Creeping bigness

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MARCH 22, 2011 7:20 AM

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“There is only one thing as big as the universe: the human brain,” a neuroscientist says on NPR, quoting Isaac Asimov.


They’re both full of dark energy and dark matter.

Speaking of which, as Peter Sagal of public radio’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” has pointed out, at a time in which a rather impressive, if not outright stunning, natural disaster wracked Japan (earthquake followed by tsunami followed by nuclear-power-plant meltdown, or something approaching that, in case you distracted by the silliness called spring break) and the Libyan forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were bearing down on the rebel city of Benghazi, the U.S. House Republicans stood up and got counted.

Bully for them, as a famous Republican former president used to say. (Well, according to hearsay.)

In standing up for what’s right, the GOP House members voted to deny federal funding for National Public Radio.

Take that, Qaddafi. Take that, radiation.

You got to hand to Republicans. They really know how to put up a fight against … well … something evil.

It must be something big, and it must be something evil, and it must be something … governmental.

Ergo, NPR. Evil liberalism incarnate.

Never mind that, as we liberals can remember, during the run up to and the invasion of Iraq, NPR seemed so pro-invasion and so pro then-President George W. Bush that we said NPR stood for National Pentagon Radio.

But no. NPR is evil liberalism, or perhaps even evil creeping socialism. It’s almost as evil as President Obama’s health-care reform, which would reduce America’s health care to level of Canada’s or Germany’s.

(Of course, America’s health-care system would first have to rise to the level of Canada’s or Germany’s before it could be reduced to that level, but never mind that, too.)

There’s an interesting thing about Obama’s plan: According to a recent Kaiser poll, 42 percent of Americans favor the health bill passed a year ago, 46 percent oppose it. Most of the opposition is about the individual mandate that will require everyone to get health insurance when it kicks in 2014.

However, when it’s explained to opponents that no one will be mandated to drop the insurance they have and move to some sort of government plan, that if they like their insurance, they may keep it, opposition to the individual mandate and the health bill drops to 35 percent.

Meanwhile, speaking of health, Americans on the West Coast have, according to reports, bought up almost all the potassium iodine pills available because of fears of radiation poisoning from the nuclear-plant problems in Japan. Any radioactive plume, of course, is nowhere near the West Coast.

The Boston Celtics are much nearer to crushing their health than any Japanese radiation.

Too bad that the West Coasters are not more worried about what Japanese products are truly poisoning them every day: Toyotas, Hondas, Suburus, etc. These, it should go without saying, go hand-in-hand (on the steering wheels) with the poisoning that GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles produce. Somehow, the state’s smoking ban didn’t affect that. A California smiling ban would have had about as much effect.

Oh, and that oily sheen recently discovered in the Gulf of Mexico that many thought came from oil from the BP spill?

Turns out it comes from Mississippi River “sludge,” officials say.

In other words, Mississippi River pollution.

Hello, Iowa.

“There is only one thing as big as the universe: the human brain.”

Is that too big to fail?

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