Condom Conundrum

Liberal conundrum:

US Agency for International Development has distributed 10 billion US-made condoms around the world. To save money, they can switch to Chinese-made condoms. They’re less than half the price. But that will eliminate jobs in Alabama. Should the US government insert a “buy American” provision back into the stimulus bill, even though it’s known that protectionist trade policies hurt long term GDP? To save US jobs, it’ll cost more money and extend the recession.

Conservative conundrum:

What the *&#% is the US Government doing paying for 10 billion condoms?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Do You Ever Shower?

If you ever shower, expect to be sued.

Many people find the sound of running water soothing and peaceful. Not Marvin and Goldie Smith, who have sued their neighbor over her 5 a.m. baths.

The couple, 83 and 78 respectively, live on the eighth floor of the Polo Club Condominiums near the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. They claim the water pipes they share with the woman below them vibrate so badly they can’t sleep through her early morning baths.

The bather – Shannon Peterson, a special education teacher in the Arvada public schools – can’t believe she’s being sued for bathing before leaving for work. “I’ve done everything I can think of to work this out,” she said. “I’ve had maintenance men remove all my tile and insulate the pipes. I’ve had sound engineers measure my unit and others in the building. Nothing’s abnormal. Even the homeowners’ board investigated and told the Smiths they should install sound barriers in their unit.”

So the Smiths called their son, Sheldon, a partner in the Holland and Hart law firm. He sent a letter, threatening Peterson that her “intransigence … and tortuous conduct have resulted in incredible sleep deprivation for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Your obstinacy has ruled the day. That will now cease.” He then ordered Peterson to stop running water in her bathtub before 8 a.m.

The Smiths sued Peterson just before Christmas, citing the “reckless and negligent use of her bathtub.” The suit sought no amount but asked for a jury trial.

Peterson was shocked. “I’m really distraught over this. I’m a schoolteacher. I can’t afford hefty legal fees,” she said. Peterson called an old friend, attorney Michael Dowling, to help her.

“This is the most frivolous lawsuit I’ve seen in 30 years of practicing law,” he said.

Denver District Judge Ronald Mullins has scheduled a review hearing on March 22.

Tip From Overlawyered.com.

I bathe sometimes, and now I’m worried about my finances. I may have to stop bathing altogether.

Should I be worried about brushing my teeth or flushing, too?

True Love Waits

Uganda is under criticism for a policy of abstinence to combat HIV/AIDS. Uganda pushes the ABC method (“A”bstinence, “B”e faithful, “C”ondoms). Critics don’t like that order, but Uganda president Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet insist “there is no safe sex outside of faithfulness in marriage.” Even though this “True Love Waits” program has been credited for cutting the HIV rate in Uganda in half over the last 10 years.

Dang Christian conservatives. Critics hate it when their programs work. Cuts into their condom sales, ya know.

United Nations Abortion Funding

I penned an article for ChronicallyBiased tonight, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to get posted until tomorrow. Basically, the Houston Chronical had an editorial today that said Bush was going it along and refusing to give money to the UN that was already promised. Like a lot of liberal media lately, they left out half of the facts, so I filled readers in. Here’s the article; once it’s posted to ChronicallyBiased I’ll update this post.

An editorial in The Houston Chronicle today accuses Bush of “going it alone” and shortchanging UN Programs. Is this entirely true? Of course not, it’s the Chronicle.

This is basically a tug-of-war over money promised to fund worldwide family planning, and whether pro-abortion activists should get the funding over an alternative non-abortion program. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), not satisfied with the $2.2 billion that Bill and Melinda Gates donated in 1999, wants another $34 million dollars from the US Government.

Here’s the background that the Chronicle did not cover: On August 1985, Congress passed the Kemp-Kasten Amendment to a foreign aid appropriations bill that says in part:

None of the funds made available in this bill nor any unobligated balances from prior appropriations may be made available to any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

In other word, no funding to organizations that might result in coerced abortions. Reagan and Bush Sr. determined that under this rule, the UNFPA was ineligible for funds due to the UNFPA activities in China where abortions are coerced to maintain smaller family sizes. Clinton in 1993 resumed funding, basically saying that the UNFPA was never implicated in the coerced abortions.

The Chronicle wants you to believe this stretch of the truth:

Wishing to nurture support among Americans opposed to abortion, the administration links the U.N. Population Fund to China’s mandatory population controls. The opposite is true. The United Nation’s family planning efforts reduce the number of forced abortions and sterilizations.

Here is what the US State Department actually said:

The team found no evidence that UNFPA has “knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in the PRC.” The team found that, notwithstanding some relaxation in the 32 counties in which UNFPA is involved, the population programs of the PRC “retain coercive elements in law and in practice.” The team noted a system of extremely high fines and penalties imposed on families that exceed the number of children per family approved by the government. In this connection, even if UNFPA did not “knowingly” support or participate in such a program, that does not mean that the Kemp-Kasten restriction would not be triggered, since that restriction does not rest on a finding of legal intent to fund the coercive program. The restriction is triggered if the recipient “supports or participates in the management or a program of coercive abortion” (or involuntary sterilization).

President Bush has “continuously called on China to end its program of coercive abortion” and has “repeatedly urged China and the UN Population Fund to restructure the organization’s programs in a way that would allow the United States to provide funding,” according to the US State Department.

So did the UNFPA go without funding? Hardly. Two days after the State Department announced it was withholding funding, the European Union offered the UNFPA €32 million to compensate. And the $34 million pledged to family planning and reproductive health? The full $34 million was provided to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to “offer a broad array of voluntary family planning methods, including contraceptives, natural family planning, information about the delay of sexual activity (abstinence), the delay of first birth for married teens, and linking it to the “ABC” initiative (abstinence, being faithful, and condom use) when appropriate.” In other words, everything but abortion.

When one realizes that those for funding the UNFPA’s funding include Planned Parenthood, Salon.com, National Organization of Women, and the Sierra Club, yet opposed by US Conference of Catholic Bishops and pro-life organizations, it becomes abundantly clear that this is merely an attempt to get the US government to fund abortions worldwide.

Update: Link is up on ChronicallyBiased

Muslim Trucker Won't Haul Beer

From Overlawyered.com, one of my favorite sites that chronicles abuse of our legal system, comes this interesting question –

In Nashville, Tenn., [Muslim trucker] Ibrahim Barzinji has sued his former employer, Arkansas-based J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., on the grounds that asking him to transport alcoholic beverages violated his religious beliefs.

Let me try to see if it makes sense if I substitute other religions and cargo… would a Catholic have a leg to stand on if he refused to haul condoms? A hindu trucker that refused to haul hamburger? A Palestinian bus driver that refused to let Jewish people board?

I dunno. People shouldn’t be forced to do things against your religion, but then again, you have a choice of where to work. I’m in the petrochemical industry, and if I was told to work on a plant that I objected to on a religious basis (I can’t imagine what that would be), I’d expect my company to accommodate me if they could. If they can’t accomodate me, I can a) work on it anyway, b) quit. A lawsuit wouldn’t have entered my mind.