Saturday, December 06, 2003

Spinning Good Economic News to Bad - Register Seethes and Whines

The economy is going gangbusters. Unemployment is going down. Productivity is going up. Inflation is in check. Time for celebration? Not at the Register where they know that this is the harbinger for four more years of Bush43. Bwaa-ha-ha, spout and sputter all you want, 'taint gonna do no good no how. It’s time for some bitter medicine.

The editorial itself is a laundry list of liberal lamentation. Boo friggin' hoo. Those who "need" it most aren't getting it. We need 150,000 jobs a month and we're only getting 57,000. Productivity is improving, but this benefits nothing but those evil capitalists. The 9% productivity improvement just means that the slaves in the sweatshops are just straining harder under the whip. All wage earners are doing their best. All employers are heartless Scrooges. Only over-paid corporate executive pigs are benefiting from the recovery.

What passes for an editorial staff must have been listening to NPR's Marketplace (that Socialist business news program), because I heard this exact same spin using the same numbers last night.

And, of course... this cannot last. Federal deficits are going to choke off the recovery anyway before them poor working folk get anything good.

It's truly amusing when a discredited political/economic philosophy, mediocre writing skills and a strong recovery meet. Expect more hysterics over the next year. Lord, it's going to be fun.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Incrementalism and Prohibition

In my last rant, I took John Gaps to task for his simple minded (and yet wrongheaded...) piece on the dangers of alcohol, young adults and parental responsibility. Radley Balko has written a paper that clobbers Mr. Gaps and his fellow travelers. Go read Back Door to Prohibition: The New War on Social Drinking and see why good intentions and government power are truly a nasty cocktail.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

You Don't Have to be Drunk to Be Stupid

The Register has reached a new low. What's worse than blindly liberal, anti-Bush and annoying political drivel? Let’s try, mindless and insipid puritanical, crypto-prohibitionist drivel.

John Gaps III's Effects of alcohol come in all shapes and sizes is a content-free nanny piece of the sixth order. It goes on for paragraphs and says nothing at all. Some lowlights:

So lets get to the point. Alcohol is a legal substance that is so powerful that it is worshiped and vilified in the same breath. A couple ounces can change lives in the eternal sense. Where cigarette smoking is bad in an incremental, lifelong destructive way, alcohol consumption is like spinning the big roulette wheel of fate, which is not unlike putting your hands on the steering wheel after a drink or three.

Mr. Gaps... you have no point. Ooohhh... it's powerful. Oooohhh... it's worshiped and vilified. Ooohhh... changes life in the eternal sense. Ooohh... big roulette wheel of fate. Come on. Don't want to drink Mr. Gaps... then don't. No one should get behind the wheel drunk. But Gaps makes having a drink sound like Russian Roulette. Back off Mr. Hyperbole man.

Alcohol is something you pay for twice, the price of it on the shelf and cost to your health and well being afterward. If you're lucky, you get a minor headache, a little less cash in your wallet and maybe a couple of things left undone before you passed out. The major costs can be mammoth. The destruction of your life and the lives of others.

Jeez... from just a few cocktails? Man, are you sure you're not talking about crack cocaine? Mr. Gaps (gaps in memory...?), do you pass out every time you drink? Perhaps you should indeed refrain.

All of us, "adults" and underage adults, have to make a decision about alcohol and its role in our lives. For a young adult, it means avoiding situations with alcohol, period.

"Underage adults"...??? What the hell are they? Oxymoron alert!!! Yep... I think that 18-21 year olds should avoid all contact with alcohol. Then on the 21st birthday they should go absolutely nuts -- Yeehaw!!!

There are several of things going on here that Mr. Gaps (Gaps in judgment?) glosses over in this preachy piece of editorial fluffage.

We have to make a decision about the age of majority in this country. Let's pick an age... 18...? Fine. 21...? Fine. 19...? (this age makes sense to me and would get most kids out of high school before the age of majority) Fine. Let's decide on one and stick to it. What we're telling young adults is that: hey... you get to have all of the responsibilities of adulthood and none of the privileges. It's bullshit. Kids are NOT stupid. They KNOW it's hypocrisy. And, speaking of hypocrisy…

We baby boomers are tremendous hypocrites when it comes to our kids. Yeah, we had a great time in our teenage and early twenties… BUT NOT OUR CHILDREN!!! Oh yeah…? Guess again buckwheat. You think that your kids are not going to drink and (heaven forefend!!!) smoke pot by the time they are 19 or so? Most of you are living in a dream world.

Of course we "adults" are not without blame. We generally treat our children well enough that, at some point, they want to please us. They do so by emulating us. Mom buckles her seat belt, and the child sitting beside her makes the satisfying click of his own restraint for praise. "Buckle up for safety" was the campy tagline in our 1980s minivan. What about Dad walking around with a beer or mixed drink in hand every evening?

This is another “argument” that attempts to influence (a small step from regulating) adult behavior with a plea “for the children”. Fie on it. What about those of us that try to provide a role model of responsible use?

Let's sum up: According to Mr. Gaps (gaps in logic?) You drink... you pass out... you die.

So what's the answer? I really don't know.

You’re right Mr. Gaps… you don’t. But that did not stop you from blathering on for a full column.

Whittle's Back

Like criminals everywhere, they prey on their own people, and anyone who thinks that the small bands of Ba'athist torturers and assorted lunatic Jihadi’s still on the loose in Iraq is analogous to the widely popular nationalist resistance in Vietnam is either deluded, mentally unbalanced, a journalist, a hippie, or a celebrity.

Oh yeah... Bill's in 'da house.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Hogberg Harpoons Harkin

Dr. Dave gives Senator Tom a rightous fisking on his oh so predictable and lame Medicare piece.

My favorite bit:

You mean seniors will get a voucher from Medicare to join a private plan? OH NO!!!! The world is coming to an end! That sound like that terrible food stamps program where people are “forced” to redeem their food stamps at a local grocery store. They can’t buy their food directly from the government! What an awful concept, requiring those on sucking on the government teat to make choices based on the free market.

Good Lord, I do despise Tom Harkin. F%&#ing, pandering demagogue from hell.

Thanks David... I feel better now.