Sunday, June 25, 2006

$Billions Against Babies

Warren Buffet has announced his philanthropic intentions this weekend. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the winner, and unborn babies are the losers.

Buffet has pledged a series of annual gifts (in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion) to the Gates foundation, which works towards the prevention and treatment of diseases around the world, such as AIDS and malaria. The Gates foundation also contributes significantly to improving graduation rates in US high schools, to college scholarships (for attendees to Cambridge and for minority applicants), and to the building/improving of libraries in low income and disadvantaged communities.

Buffet is also giving $2.5 billion to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, whose principal focus is on "reproductive health, family planning, and pro-choice causes". Certainly Buffet's generosity is to be admired, but do pro "choice" causes really need $2.5 billion? The nation's abortion industry is slaughtering roughly 1.5 million unborn babies per year in the USA, so I for one am at a loss as to why Buffet thinks pro "choice" causes need more money.

So to summarize the results of Buffet's plan:

Some of the Winners:
  • Third world nations
  • Minority high school students
  • Attendees to Cambridge
  • Low income children in the Pacific Northwest
  • Homeless people in the Pacific Northwest
  • Libraries in low income communities

  • Unborn babies

    To reiterate, Buffet (and Gates) is to be commended for his generosity. But it's clear Buffet is making a social statement with his giving. He is not building a world class business school, he's not helping the US scientific community, he's not offering seed money to promising entrepreneurs, and (fortunately), he's not giving his money to political causes. Rather, Buffet is attempting to improve the conditions for the worlds most needy and vulnerable. Unfortunately, unborn children don't meet Buffet's criteria as the most needy and vulnerable. So not only does he fail to give a penny to save an unborn child, he donates $2.5 billion dollars to better fund America's abortion industry. What a sick irony the Buffet fortune has become.

    Story here.
  • Thursday, June 22, 2006

    Why Can't USA Compete in Soccer? Title IX

    The US just lost their final World Cup match to tiny Ghana by a score of 2-1. In 3 games against the Czech Republic, Italy, and Ghana, the US managed only 1 goal (the goal against Italy was scored by the Italian team).

    Why is it a sports crazed nation of 300,000,000 people can't beat the Czech Republic nor Ghana? To put this into perspective, the USA has lost soccer matches to these two nations:

    Ghana - about the size of Michigan with the population of NY City metro area.

    Czech Republic - about the size of South Carolina with the population of LA metro.

    We all know that soccer is far down on the list of favorite US sports. Baseball, football, and basketball surely top soccer. But in my experience, you have more youth playing soccer today in the US than either basketball or football. Young kids love the game, and we have countless leagues devoted to developing talented young players. Why can't we compete globally? Title IX.

    Title IX is the provision that requires colleges to award as many athletic scholarships to women's sports as they do men's sports. On the surface, this sounds great. Women should have the opportunity to compete at the college level. But we should all quit pretending that women are just as likely to make a career out of sports as are men. Why the need to ensure equality of scholarships if it's the male athlete who is 10 times more likely (an understatement) to pursue a career in professional sports?

    More importantly, football programs provide for 85 full ride scholarships. As a result, athletic programs offer a wide array of scholarships for women athletes, including soccer, to meet Title IX requirements. On the other hand, you will be hard pressed to find a university which offers scholarships to play soccer. As of last year, there were only 21 Division 1 programs playing men's soccer, including traditional collegiate powers Akron, Winthrop, Niagra, and Birmingham Southern.

    The implications are clear. Our very best male athletes have very little incentive to pursue soccer in high school, other than for the pure love of the game. Soccer players who are skilled in multiple sports drop soccer in favor of the sport in which collegiate scholarships are available. Those that do stick with soccer will graduate with limited, if any, opportunities to become world class soccer athletes. Furthermore, many are faced with the dilemma of attending a school such as Missouri State, which offers soccer scholarships, or attending a major university such as Michigan or Texas A&M, which do not.

    The bottom line is that to fix US soccer, we need major universities to create soccer programs and to offer full ride scholarships. For that to happen, we either create new women's sports programs to meet Title IX requirements, or we modify Title IX in a manner that better meets the demands for male athletes.

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Now for something completely different....

    .....what you get when you combine Mentos and Diet Coke. Press the play button in the player below...that's the little triangle for the technology-impaired. No, not the one pointing down, the one pointing to the right. ;-)

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Thank You, Palestinian Style

    As posted on Little Green Footballs today, here's the latest example of political cartoons coming from the Palestinian government:

    Can anybody help me understand why the United States sent these vermin $274 million last year? To put this into perspective, the budget of the Palestinian Authority last year was $1.8 billion, so the United States financed over 15% of the entire cost of running the Palestinian government. Part of this funding was a result of George Bush using his congressionally authorized waiver to redirect $50 million of USAID funding directly to the Palestinian Authority. The cartoon above does a great job in conveying the gratitude of the Palestinian government. (Details of Palestinian funding can be found in this Congressional report.)

    As we consider whether or not to continue financial support of the Palestinan government, let's remember that these are the same people who:
  • Called for the death of anyone who published Mohammed cartoons
  • Send children armed with toy guns to the border fence of the Gaza strip hoping to promote a violent (and presumably deadly) response from Israeli security forces
  • Use suicide bombers as a primary diplomacy tool with Israel
  • Will not recognize Israel's right to exist.

    It's time to end this charade of pretending the Palestinians will ever be partners in peace. It's time to end all financial support for the Palestinian government, and let nature take its course in Gaza and the West Bank.