January 21 05

Q1: Last week’s published pictures of England’s Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party caused outrage around the world. In the days and weeks following the uproar, a poll published in a London newspaper showed that while 70 percent of those interviewed thought Harry was wrong to sport the uniform and accompanying swastika armband, more than half of those between the ages of 18 and 24 said the choice of outfit was acceptable. What’s your take on all of this? Was young Harry in the wrong on this one or do you feel the outrage reported in the media was blown out of proportion? If you were offended, upset, or disappointed by Harry’s choice of costume, would your opinion change if you learned that for thousands of years Hindus from across the world have regarded the swastika as a highly-sacred sign of wisdom?

Young people do stupid things. it’s a fact. And Prince Harry is young and stupid. That being said, though, Prince Harry is a prince. and a public figure. i DO NOT think was an acceptable choice of outfit. The swastika is a symbol that represents a time in history that should not in any way be glamorized. my grandparents each lost their entire families to Hilter and the holocaust. i don’t, in any way, think that Harry was trying to make a point by wearing the armband. i just think he’s stupid. he was in the wrong.

Q2: In a move that many see as an admission that marketers do share blame for the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S., Kraft Foods last week announced that it would stop advertising snacks such as Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid, and instead shift its advertising budget to new lines of healthier “Sensible Solution” food products for children. Many food industry observers fear that Kraft’s strategy bolsters the position of consumer advocates who favor a ban on the business of marketing junk food to children. How long do you think Kraft’s new childhood obesity-sensitive advertising strategy will last, and how do you feel about vending machines placed in schools that dole out candy and soda?

it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Vending machines are a huge mistake in today’s schools. When children are unsupervised, of course they are going to go for the less healthy snacks and drinks – chips, cookies, and pop. By putting these foods at their fingertips, we are doing today’s youth a great disservice.

Q3: Assuming you’ve never done any of the following, which would you pick to do this winter if forced to pick one: Learn to ice fish and spend a week with anyone you wanted doing so? Travel with anyone of your choosing to the town of Jukkasjarn, in northern Sweden, for a week’s stay at the Ice Hotel, a palatial facility built each winter entirely out of ice? Or, attend a fantasy figure skating camp which culminated in your mandatory participating in a public performance in front 1,000 people, some of whom you know and work with?

i HATE being cold, so none of these things are all that appealing to me. but, if i had to choose one, i’d probably say the Ice Hotel….at least that way i could visit Sweden…and feel like i’m on the Amazing Race!

Q4: Much has been made over the last month or so about the $40-$50 million price-tag for yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration in the U.S., paid almost entirely from non-governmental sources, i.e., private donations. Former Enron executive, Rich Kinder and his wife Nancy, donated $250,000 to the inauguration, while Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens–who put $2.5 million of his own money behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that ran during the 2004 election–also donated $250,000 to the inaugural event. On the corporate side of the equation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Goldman Sachs, Sallie Mae, Time Warner, SBC, Home Depot, Northrop Grumman, the National Association of Realtors, Morgan Stanley’s PAC, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Bank of America, BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, and Cisco Systems, just to name a few, each donated $100,000 or more. How do you feel about the amount of private money raised and spent on these inaugural events?

this is private money. it’s not my money being spent, so i really don’t care all that much. these companies and people are fortunate that they have all this money to blow on an inaugural event. and, let’s be honest, the democrats will do the exact same thing in 4 years when they elect the next president. 🙂

  1. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by Giblet on January 21, 2005
  2. 1. I admit that on seeing those pictures of Harry, I was shocked! He’s a prince and therefore should be more socially responsible, but like you said, he’s a kid – he made a mistake. I doubt he meant anything by it.

    2. Good for Kraft. I hope it lasts, I hope other companies (nabisco, for example) jump on the bandwagon and I am against soda and junk vending machines in schools.

    3. the ice hotel – if i’m going to be stuck in the cold, at least let me travel and discover someplace new! 🙂

    4. Private money – fine – tax money – no way.

    this is an article about how the federal gov’t suggested to DC that they use homeland security money to pay for the $11.9 million the bush admin was expecting them to fork over.

    in case you haven’t registered with washingtonpost.com (it’s free by the way) here’s an exerpt:

    { D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week’s inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.

    Federal officials have told the District that it should cover the expenses by using some of the $240 million in federal homeland security grants it has received in the past three years — money awarded to the city because it is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack.

    A spokesman for Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees the District, agreed with the mayor’s stance. He called the Bush administration’s position “simply not acceptable.”

    “It’s an unfunded mandate of the most odious kind. How can the District be asked to take funds from important homeland security projects to pay for this instead?” said Davis spokesman David Marin.

    The $17.3 million the city expects to spend on this inauguration marks a sharp increase from the $8 million it incurred for Bush’s first. }

    Comment by chisparoja on January 21, 2005
  3. Q1: What’s your take on all of this?

    The costume is absolutely wrong to wear to a party – especially by the prince of england.Stupid kid. Stupid mistake. He should be given a history class. End of story.

    Q2: How long do you think Kraft’s new childhood obesity-sensitive advertising strategy will last, and how do you feel about vending machines placed in schools that dole out candy and soda?

    it won’t last. snack food companies are about making $$ – not making the american public all touchy-feely. Unless, making the american public all touchy-feely makes you more $$. For the moment, with all the litigation surrounding fast food, it was a wise decision to stop advertising to kids and stop putting machines in schools. Long term: money talks – those kids are the driving force behind Kraft sales. They’ll be back.

    Q3: Assuming you’ve never done any of the following, which would you pick to do this winter if forced to pick one?

    Learn to ice fish and spend a week with anyone you wanted doing so… so many yummy choices….

    Q4: How do you feel about the amount of private money raised and spent on these inaugural events?

    You are partial right Ali. Many of these are publicly traded companies – meaning this is stockholders’ $$. It all goes to show that the only way you get anywhere is by lining politicians’ pockets. See: Canadian sponsorship scandal etc. All hail democracy…

    Comment by Giblet on January 21, 2005
  4. Q1: Under normal circumstances a Nazi costume, representing a reprehensible regime and its barbarous practices, would simply be very poor taste and judgment. Prince Harry, however, is a very public figure – and not just any public figure. He is a member of the royal family of England, a country that stood against the Nazis and all they stood for, a country that withstood tremendous hardships at the hands of the Nazis. In these circumstances Harry’s choice of “fancy dress” is itself reprehensible. Yes, he should issue a very public apology – and make it sincer. He should also be forced to retake his History classes. As far as the swastika representing a highly sacred sign of wisdom among the Hindus, that’s fine and dandy. Perhaps if Harry were dressed as a Hindu religious he could use that explanation of the swastika. He wasn’t, however, and instead chose the costume of a party that used the swastika as the symbol of hate and evil. (If Harry were my kid he wouldn’t be able to sit for several weeks, and be forced to voluteer at the nearest Holocaust museum.)

    Q2: I think this is a marketing ploy. Parents want their kids eating healthier, so Kraft is targeting that shifting market. Kids may give their preference of snack foods to their parents – even whine to get what they want, but Kraft knows that ultimately it is the parents that buy the snack foods for the household. Besides, who needs to market junk food to kids? Make it available at the local store and they’ll spend all their paper route money on it – especially if mom and dad are buying “healthy” snacks for the home. This still doesn’t take the onus off parents to monitor their kids’ nutrition. Snack food companies are no more to blame for childhood obesity than beer companies are to blame for alcoholism. The couch and remote control are more to blame for childhood obesity than anything else, in my opinion.

    Q3: The ice hotel sounds cool because people will wait on me. If I’m going to be cold, I at least want room service and clean towels. Then again, I’ll bet a hot shower is out of the question.

    Q4: Key phrase: “private donations”. What’s the fuss? Also, the cost of this inaugeration is less than Clinton’s last inaugeration, adjusted for inflation. It does look bad that Bush is making D.C. ask for Homeland Security funds for the security. Although, isn’t that why there was such an increase in the security costs this year, because of the new threats to the Homeland? And isn’t it part of the Homeland budget’s purpose to reimburse for just such extraordinary expenditures? Again, I don’t see the fuss.

    Comment by Sean on January 21, 2005
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