- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2002

Flabby fingers
"Anyone who's been watching Al Gore's newly naked left ring finger a bit too closely and worried that he and Tipper may have headed to splitsville when none of us were looking, take comfort.
"The reason the former veep's not wearing his wedding band, he explained to a curious crowd during a speech Wednesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is not because his love has gone cold, but rather because his fingers have gone flabby. He has, he admitted, gained too much weight to fit into it.
"Later, Tipper, who was in the audience, commented that she hadn't even noticed that he'd stopped wearing the ring.
"Guess Al's not the only one who's getting a little thick."
Amy Reiter, writing on "Gore weighs in," Oct. 3 in Salon at www.salon.com

Seeing the stork
"The most eloquent and answerable argument against abortion is surely an ultrasound picture of the baby in the womb. The new ultrasounds have moved outside of the doctor's office and inside the shopping malls. This development is a persuasive new tool in the cultural battle, and it should help on the political side as well.
"Fetal Fotos Inc., a Salt Lake City company that has expanded into 10 locations across the country, has set up actual photo studios in shopping malls, where pregnant women can purchase early baby portraits. For $120, a new mom can receive two ultrasound sessions, a portrait of the baby's face and a video of the baby moving, set to the music of a lullaby.
"Another company, Before the Stork, in Bloomington, Ind., offers a 'trimester package,' allowing parents to watch the baby grow. Ultrasound movies have become popular gifts for grandparents and the entertainment-of-choice at baby showers. The medical profession is huff-huffing at the nonmedical use of ultrasounds. Ultrasound shows the humanity of someone easily dismissed as a 'fetal growth' or as an abstraction whose status as a living being is said to be in doubt."
Gene Edward Veith, writing on "Pro-life Photography," in the Sept. 28 issue of World

Favorite cranks
"Of all the crank left-wing groups I am paid to periodically encounter, I've always harbored a secret soft spot for my friends at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This is not an easy admission. For the only thing I like better than eating meat once a day, is eating meat two or three times a day.
"It doesn't really matter how provocative their latest media campaign is. When they stripped Kim Basinger and Christy Turlington down to their birthday suits, having them declare they'd 'rather go naked than wear fur,' I could think of no other apparel I would have rather seen them in.
"A few years ago, PETA took advantage of a medical study saying that avid dairy consumers experienced higher incidences of prostate cancer, by parodying the milk industry's 'Got Milk?' campaign with a billboard featuring a milk-mustachioed Rudy Giuliani asking 'Got Prostate Cancer?' Having been recently diagnosed with the disease, Giuliani threatened to sue. PETA yanked the ad.
"But I took subversive pleasure, knowing that broad-bottomed, milk-fed steak-heads driving past the billboard in Oshkosh or Fond du Lac would nearly drive off the road oblivious to the implication that they could be suffering adverse health effects from downing the milk of factory farm cows who are shot full of unhealthy growth hormones, kept constantly impregnated and permanently confined to rib-hugging pens, and who are then milked with machines until they bleed or suffer bacterial infections.
"[T]here is nothing veiled about PETA's agenda. Of course they'd like us to all be vegans, to which I say so what? It will never happen. Even PETA knows they'll never be able to save all animal-kind by winning the meat wars. People like me, who are otherwise sympathetic, will never let them."
Matt Labash, writing on "For the Love of PETA," Oct. 1 in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com


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