Funny man George Carlin’s book banned from Wal-Mart

By Laura Van De Pette
November 19, 2004

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, is refusing to sell comedian George Carlin’s best-selling new book, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops,” in its stores because its cover makes fun of the “Last Supper,” said a spokesman for Carlin. But Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk said the book was not being stocked in Wal-Mart stores because the company felt it “would not appeal to a majority of our customers.” She added Wal-Mart was selling the book online. Carlin spokesman Jeff Abraham said Wal-Mart did not like the book’s cover that shows the comedian in the setting of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” sitting next to an empty chair where Jesus sits in the painting. “They did not like the cover because it was a parody,” Abraham said, adding: “George attacks everything in this book, but it does not have any nude photos. He said he thought the title would offend everyone,” according to Reuters.

Cold snaps and smog contribute to heart disease

Several studies show that people are more likely to die or have acute heart trouble when the temperature drops suddenly, or when air pollution levels are especially bad. “The issue is not just the absolute temperature outside. The issue is how well you protect against the temperature,” said Dr. Gad Cotter of Duke University in North Carolina. Cotter’s team studied 300 patients last winter in Israel. When the temperature dropped below about 45 degrees F in Israel, between two and three times the number of people were taken to hospital with acute heart failure than on warmer days. Dr. Nino Kuenzli looked at two previous trials of 800 people over the age of 40 and found those who lived in more polluted areas tended to have thicker carotid arteries. This is a measure of underlying heart disease. “The thickness of the carotid increased four percent to five percent,” Kuenzli said. In other words, the more visible pollution there was in the air, the worse the level of underlying artery disease, according to MSNBC.

Saving money at the pump, finally

Over the past two weeks, the combined national average price for all grades of gasoline dropped to $2.04, down three cents from the previous two weeks. The biggest seller, self-serve regular, had an average national price of $2.01 per gallon, down three cents. Mid-grade was $2.11 a gallon, down 12 cents, while premium was $2.21 per gallon, down seven cents. The drop in prices is attributed to an increased supply of crude oil. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries nations increased production after crude oil spiked to $55 a barrel several weeks ago, while production off Florida’s Gulf Coast had recovered somewhat after a series of devastating hurricanes, according to The Associated Press.

Bush’s burst of political energy is full of promises

President Bush has set out a domestic agenda that is more ambitious than four years ago. His agenda includes the revamping of tax code, updating school reform and fixing social security. At a press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 3, just hours after the 2004 election was decided, Bush said he had a lengthy “to-do” list and promised to unite, not to continue to divide the already polarized nation. On the top of Bush’s agenda is the possible appointment of several conservatives to the Supreme Court. Bush also included education and social values in his agenda plan, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

Marine being investigated

An NBC pool correspondent witnessed and caught on tape the apparent killing of an unarmed Iraqi prisoner. The prisoner was caught the day before and is shown on the tape being shot while lying on the ground. The Marine that shot the prisoner was himself shot the day before, but had already returned to active duty. The Marine has now been pulled out of the battlefield while the Pentagon investigates the incident. “The facts of this case will be thoroughly pursued to make an informed decision and to protect the rights of all persons involved,” said Lt. Gen. John Sattler, according to MSNBC.

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Laura Van De Pette

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