Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Newsday Tuesday: Virtual Seals Have Rights Too!

"Animal rights stunt-group PETA is protesting Canada's culling of adorable baby seals this year by hosting a battle royale in World of Warcraft.

This Saturday, PETA is calling on activist gamers to combat a team of Horde "seal killers" set on bashing soft, furry heads on WoW's Whisperwind server. The demonstration takes place in the high-level zone of The Howling Fjord on the glaciers where baby seals frolic unassumingly."
(Full Story)

So this strikes me as pretty ridiculous even for PETA. The whole premise of the game is to go around and kill stuff. The programmers put the seals in the game for that specific purpose. Aren't there some real life animals they could be protecting?

There was also a totally different story I found that I thought was worth sharing. Apparently due to a loop hole, the paper industry is being paid to pollute more.

"Thanks to an obscure tax provision, the United States government stands to pay out as much as $8 billion this year to the ten largest paper companies. And get this: even though the money comes from a transportation bill whose manifest intent was to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, paper mills are adding diesel fuel to a process that requires none in order to qualify for the tax credit. In other words, we are paying the industry--handsomely--to use more fossil fuel. 'Which is,' as a Goldman Sachs report archly noted, the 'opposite of what lawmakers likely had in mind when the tax credit was established.' "
(Full Story)

Now, I realize that lawmakers aren't perfect, and that it's hard to think of all the clever ways that one might abuse the spirit of a tax credit like this, but shouldn't these loopholes get closed pretty rapidly? It doesn't seem like that is happening anytime soon.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully these were interesting. :)

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