So Many Ideas, So Little Space
More ideas for columns than I have time to write, so here's the leftovers.
From the Casey Anthony trial to the fight over raising America's debt ceiling, there is no way anyone can say this has been a boring summer when it comes to news. It's time to clear out the backlog of column ideas floating around in my head before my brain explodes, so I'll just dump all this stuff on you.
• Casey Anthony — Almost everyone believes this woman either killed her daughter or at the very least allowed her to die through negligence and then lied about it. The jury spoke, based upon the evidence presented, and thus Anthony will be released from prison in a few days. I understand the legal and civil liberties reasoning behind the constitutional right of defendants to not have to testify if they so choose. However, the goal of every trial should be for the guilty to be convicted and the innocent to be acquitted. In many cases the only way that can happen is if the defendant takes the stand. If Casey Anthony had been questioned during her trial I can almost guarantee there would have been a different verdict. Discuss among yourselves.
• Nutritional Supplements — If you or your family members use nutritional supplements, you may soon be in for a major shock as many natural products disappear from store shelves. It's no secret the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has been in the back pocket of the pharmaceutical industry for a long time, and Big Pharma hates the natural food products industry. Drug companies do a lot of research trying to isolate ingredients found in nature they can then synthesize and patent to use as the latest expensive blockbuster drug.
As an example, it's scientifically accepted that supplementation with fish oil has great heart health benefits. Seeking to capitalize on this, one drug manufacturer developed a medication that is nothing more than a synthetic copy of one of the active components found in fish oil. Why would anyone buy an expensive prescription drug when you can pay a few pennies a day for real fish oil capsules that will deliver the same benefits and possibly more?
The solution for the drug companies is to eliminate competition from inexpensive natural products. Big Pharma lobbyists have successfully persuaded the FDA to propose new rules based upon an interpretation of existing law that would essentially make illegal almost every new nutritional supplement developed since 1994. Here's a great article for you.
• School Start Date — Summer officially started only 3 weeks ago and we are already seeing back to school sales. Call me old school, but we need to let kids enjoy their summers. It's time to ride bikes, play in the creek or head to the beach. I will go to my grave believing the day after Labor Day is the proper date for the school year to begin.
• Sales Tax Holiday — It does not take long for people to develop an entitlement mentality. The idea of a sales tax holiday for back to school shopping has only been around for few years, yet eliminate it and let the complaining begin. In reality it should have never been started. All businesses should be treated equally, but the sales tax holiday only eliminated sales taxes on certain types of products, thus helping some merchants while hurting others. I can give you a long list of business owners whose sales volume typically dropped off a cliff during the week before and after past tax holidays as their customers spent their discretionary income only on tax fee goods. Government should not be picking winners and losers.
• On Second Thought — Filming for the new Three Stooges movie that has taken place in the Cartersville area recently has created some local buzz and hopefully has given a small shot in the arm to the local economy. There are actually a number of movies being shot in Georgia this year and the statewide economic impact will be fairly substantial. A lot of this activity is due to recently enacted state tax breaks for the movie industry. Now I'm confused.
• Another Black Eye — Recent revelations from the test cheating scandal that has rocked the Atlanta Public School System has given parents yet another reason to want their children to be educated somewhere other than a government school. Our education delivery system is going to change greatly over the next 20 years. Georgia can either be out front or we can continue to patch up this old jalopy with Bondo.
• Winner and Loser — So far I have been pleasantly surprised at how effective Nathan Deal has been in office since his swearing in back in January. I have also been extremely disappointed at the ethical lapses and cronyism that continues to surround him and his administration. The honeymoon may not be over, but I've had him sleeping on the couch a few times.
• No Winners, Only Losers — When President Obama was a U.S. Senator, he attacked President Bush for wanting to raise the national debt limit and voted against doing so. Now as president himself, Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling and attacks those Republicans who say we should cut spending instead. Uncle Sam's multi-pocketed parachute pants are empty and even the Republicans aren't willing to go as far as needed to save the nation from financial collapse. Once Congress and the president finally strike a deal, the odds are that next year's budget will still be larger than this year's. That's not financial stewardship. No, that is smoke and mirrors based upon some obscure theoretical future spending cuts that will never actually materialize.
• Why You Should Think Twice — Just be warned that should you ever decide to get into politics, even the most obscure facts about your life will suddenly become fair game and you may be hurt deeply. Thanks to the Boston Globe, President Obama recently heard for the first time some incredible news about his early days. In 1961, Obama's father was investigated by U.S. immigration officials for possibly still being married to a wife in Kenya when he married the president's mother Ann Dunham here in the states. With Dunham being 5 months pregnant, the president's father told federal officials that he and Dunham were not living together and that they planned to place the baby up for adoption. Amazing what a Freedom of Information Act request can uncover, but I'm not sure this piece of news really accomplished anything.
Ah, my head feels a little clearer already, so maybe I will sleep soundly tonight. Though I have a sneaking suspicion my brain will fill up pretty quickly again with more junk in the morning. Anyone know of a 12-step program for news addiction?