Online Opinion Outpost: February 25

214

The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

‘Frozen’ conspiracies

Salt Lake Tribune

Now, it’s possible for a movie — or any form of mass entertainment — to carry messages far deeper than even its creators intended. And it’s also possible for individual viewers to interpret those messages differently.

But trying to stretch the storyline of “Frozen” to cover a so-called “gay agenda” is patently ridiculous and says more about the agenda of the person concocting the theory. Maybe somebody should just let it go.

Hollywood pressures

New York Times

Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.

Participating in this call and response is a kind of critique, a way to show up the media by allowing their oversize responses to essentially trivial actions to reveal the emptiness of their raison d’être. Believe me, this game of peek-a-boo can be very addictive.

Mr. LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor’s need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult. I think Mr. LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist.

Global Warming

The Washington Post

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination.

Now we learn from a massive randomized study — 90,000 women followed for 25 years — that mammograms may have no effect on breast cancer deaths. Indeed, one out of five of those diagnosed by mammogram receives unnecessary radiation, chemo or surgery.

So much for settledness. And climate is less well understood than breast cancer. If climate science is settled, why do its predictions keep changing? And how is it that the great physicist Freeman Dyson, who did some climate research in the late 1970s, thinks today’s climate-change Cassandras are hopelessly mistaken?

Freedom of the press

Fox News 

The FCC is launching a new study, taking upon itself the task of deciding what news the public “needs” to hear, versus the news the public wants to hear. The agency will conduct a “General Population Survey” that will “measure community members’ actual and perceived critical information needs.”

Got that? What you think (perceive) you need to know is different from what the government says you need to know.

In an era of divided government, it’s sometimes difficult to stop Obama administration excess, but this call to action should be easy: Under no circumstances should the House of Representatives allocate even a single dime of taxpayer money to authorize or empower government monitors in any newsroom in America.

Olympics

USA Today

Are the Olympics worth it? Every two years, Olympic critics argue that the money should be better spent on causes such as fighting poverty and disease. I am a staunch defender of the Olympics, but I think it’s time to draw spending boundaries.

Reports claim that China and Russia each spent in the neighborhood of $50 billion on their Olympics. The London Games cost at least $15 billion. Greece’s $11 billion Olympics pushed the country toward collapse. Arguably, the Olympics would be worth every penny if the spending were absolutely necessary. But it’s not.

To guarantee that the athletes remain the focus of the Games, and that the Olympics endures for generations to come, it is time to limit the excess.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email