Thursday, June 30, 2005

It Worked For PETA

Pamela Anderson gave PETA a boost (I so wanted to use the word bust but it just didn't work) when she posed nude for the animal-rights cause. What showing off her plastic surgeon's handiwork has to do with saving little fuzzy creatures I do not know.

But she and they thought it made for a good advertising campaign.

Perhaps. She is, after all, a whole lot smarter than me.

But somehow, I think the concept can be taken too far.

Bridge Club Members to Strip for Calendar

FARMLAND, Ind. (AP) -- Seven women who usually gather to play cards are planning to strip down for a calendar as part of the fight against plans to tear down Randolph County's 128-year-old courthouse.

The women ranging in age from their early 70s to older than 90 will pose nude - with strategically placed miniature replicas of the courthouse in front of them - in the fundraiser for the Save the Courthouse Fund.

"I don't know how we're going to look, but we're going to pose," 85-year-old Garnita Amburn told The Star Press of Muncie for a story Wednesday. (link)

Let me give you batty old women some advice. I stared for hours at the photo of Pamela Anderson. It made me hungry. I ate meat. A calendar touting the physical attributes of 80 and 90 year-old women, if I catch a glimpse of it, will incline me to drive over to Randolph County and help tear down your courthouse. Consider this advanced warning.

As someone who has a bit of experience with negotiation techniques, let me respectfully suggest that you reverse course and threaten to disrobe if the county begins demolition. That will stop them in their tracks.

I'm picturing Hillary Clinton naked on the courthouse steps (see yesterday's entry, "Bad Choice of Words."). Someone kill me.

Photo courtesy of PETA.

Click on image to enlarge.

No Confidence

Am I the only person on earth who finds this exercise a bit like Clotho predicting our future by spinning her thread?
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index Rises in June
June 28, 2005

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in May, improved further in June. The Index now stands at 105.8 (1985=100), up from 103.1 in May. The Present Situation Index increased to 120.7 from 117.8. The Expectations Index rose to 95.8 from 93.4 last month.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center: “This month’s gain in Consumer Confidence has propelled the Index to a three-year high. The improvement in consumers’ mood suggests that business activity and labor market activity will continue to pick up over the next several months. And, with consumers in better spirits, and job concerns remaining relatively steady, there is little reason to expect a dramatic shift in consumers’ spending.” (link)

And you will come into great wealth. And your dead Uncle Ernie wants you to know that he's doing just fine. And that pain in your lower back will ease. And ...

Look, in the first place, I'm kind of skeptical when a report that purports to analyze any activity in a given period of time is released before that period has ended.

Beyond that, there is no reasonable explanation for this - if it were true. Consumers are more confident why? Because unemployment is down? No. Employment is up? Last month it was less than anticipated. Credit card debt remains extremely high. Mortgage interest rates, although they dipped in recent days, are up for the month. Oil prices are sky-high. Inflation is about what it has been for a few years. Stocks are stagnant. Bonds have taken a step back.

So, is there any validity to this or is someone simply playing with us?

What a Relief

Your chances of contracting Aids are pretty slim if you use a condom each time you have sex with an Aids infected partner. So says Heather Boonstra, a "public-policy official with the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group affiliated with Planned Parenthood that researches reproductive health issues." "They do not provide 100 percent protection, but for people who are sexually active, they are the best and the only method we have for preventing these diseases." (link)

Now that's going to improve consumer confidence.

But apparently the fact that you will only die a horrible death five times for every hundred you have sex with an infected partner is good enough for the Aids-advocacy crowd.
James Trussell, who serves on the board of the Guttmacher Institute and is director of Princeton University's Office of Population Research, said there is "absolutely incontrovertible evidence" that condoms reduce transmission of the most serious sexually transmitted disease, AIDS.

"To my mind, everything else is gravy," Mr. Trussell said.
Which is what your blood turns into when you become one of those poor slugs in the "reduced but still affected" sample group.

I have no idea why these people persist in touting a product that is guaranteed - statistically - to fail you at some point. To my mind, if a product is put on the market to prevent your dying, it should be absolutely effective.

As of today, the only absolute method of preventing the sexual transmission of Aids is:

Keep it in your pants.