Selected Headlines for May 17, 2009

As a news junkie, I read a minimum of eight newspapers a day. Here are a few headlines from today’s papers that I felt warranted a comment:

Gay-Marriage Issue Awaits Court Pick
Same-Sex Unions Supplant Abortion As Social Priority for Conservatives

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 17, 2009

If everyone married someone of their same gender, wouldn’t abortion disappear as an issue?

Biodefense labs make bad neighbors, residents say
A series of state and federal lawsuits have blocked the opening of a lab complex in Boston. Neighbors are nervous that toxins could get out, and some scientists are likewise skeptical.

By Bob Drogin
May 17, 2009,0,6818200.story

Let them build a pig farm instead.

A giant leap toward space-based solar power

Pacific Gas & Electric has signed a contract to buy power from an ambitious start-up that plans to launch solar power collectors into orbit to back energy as radio waves. Pie in the sky?

By Marc Lifsher
May 17, 2009,0,3487369.story

And what SPF do you need to protect against that? Oh well, at least they’re experimenting in Fresno.

Jesse James Hollywood’s murder trial opens
Former fugitive could face the death penalty. The kidnapping and slaying of a West Hills boy inspired the movie ‘Alpha Dog.’
By Steve Chawkins
May 16, 2009,0,138157.story

Is it fair to convict someone just on the basis of their chosen name? Perhaps.

Colorado climatologists explain ‘average hurricane season’ forecast
Philip Klotzbach and William Gray use ‘hindcasting’ for their predictions, which are sometimes right on and sometimes way off. This year, El Niño’s unpredictability adds to the uncertainty.

By Robert Nolin
May 17, 2009,0,3890857.story

OK, this one really needs no comment.

51% identify as ‘pro-life’ in U.S.
It’s the first time the Gallup Poll finds ‘pro-choice’ outweighed — at 42% — and a near-reversal of last year’s figures.
By Robin Abcarian
May 16, 2009,0,3897855.story

We’re either a very fickle people, or this is more evidence of why people don’t trust polls. A complete reversal in one year?

Panetta fires back at Pelosi on interrogations
The CIA director says agency records show that officials truthfully briefed the House speaker in 2002. He also urges CIA employees to tune out the uproar.
By Greg Miller
May 16, 2009,0,7605785.story

It didn’t take long for the Democrats to start feeding on each other, did it?

Latest pest-control attempt: Turn fire ants into zombies
A new species of fly injects the ants with larvae, which attack an ant’s brain and eventually cause the head to fall off. The invasive ants cause an estimated $1 billion in damage in Texas every year.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
May 16, 2009,0,3600101.story

Another take on the Panetta/Pelosi dust-up?

Twitter brings diners to L.A. food trucks
TREND: Food trucks are using Twitter to attract customers.
By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, The Associated Press
Updated: 05/15/2009 08:59:03 PM PDT

Now that’s a good use of Twitter.

Slur-Filled Web Site Hurtful but Not Illegal
Some Call Teen Forum ‘Toxic’ Free Speech
By Donna St. George and Daniel deVise
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, May 17, 2009

There are, however, laws against libel, slander and defamation of character.

Even to Save Cash, Don’t Try This Stuff at Home
Saving money never cost quite so much.
May 17, 2009

Go ahead! Do it! It may be the secret weapon against lackluster consumer spending!

Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at


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