Wednesday, December 15


Bay District, Florida - A gunman interrupted a school board meeting with a bad temper and a gun Tuesday.

The video is disturbing.

Afterwards, witnesses said the man had a borderline personality.

Yeah. Not to mention a gun.

I had to get up early this AM to take my Poor Wife downtown, because she got called for jury duty during Finals Week and would not take the only avenue available for putting it off temporarily--claiming illness--because "that would be lying." I tried to explain to her that giving that answer was, itself, prima facie evidence of a disqualifying mental condition, or, at the very least, proof that she belongs to no American's peer group. She went anyway.

And I got to watch the crack of dawn news so I could see the video of the Bay District Shootout roughly seventeen times before my second cup of coffee. And I remarked to my Poor Wife---who was in no mood for my political commentary, not that that's ever stopped me--"Y'know, if he'd threatened the Board with a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV or Synthetic Marihuana, Popularly Known As 'Spice', the teleprompter readers would have been demanding it be banned before sundown. But he whips out a roscoe, and the attitude is, "Crazy people really ought to think twice before they point one of those at somebody. Good thing it ended happily."

"Opposition to Health Law Is Steeped in Faux Tradition".

The opposition stems from the tension between two competing traditions in the American economy. One is the laissez-faire tradition that celebrates individuality and risk-taking. The other is the progressive tradition that says people have a right to a minimum standard of living — time off from work, education and the like.

Both traditions have been crucial to creating the most prosperous economy and the largest middle class the world has ever known. Laissez-faire conservatism has helped make the United States a nation of entrepreneurs, while progressivism has helped make prosperity a mass-market phenomenon.

Yet the two traditions have never quite reconciled themselves. In particular, conservatives have often viewed any expansion of government protections as a threat to capitalism.

Even though, of course, it's never proven to have been so. Meanwhile, do these two unreconciled tendencies actually cancel themselves out? Not only have progressive programs served as the bedrock of the improvement in the quality of life since 1800, as we explained to Mr. Brooks yesterday, but is there any sense in which "creating a nation of entrepreneurs" actually responds to "mass-market prosperity" and a reasonable social net? I mean, maybe what you have here isn't really a philosophical debate with roots extending all the way back to the beginnings of Ronald Reagan's second career as a B-actor. Maybe what you have her is one side being so fucking dishonest and obtuse that the debate goes on forever with no rhetorical justification whatsoever.

"Fox News email shows network's slant on climate change."

Fox News Channel's top Washington editor ordered the network's reporters to couple any mention of global climate change with skepticism about the data underlying such a scientific conclusion, according to an e-mail released by a liberal media-watchdog group Wednesday.

Well, one, this is right up there with the shocking news that diplomats give each other the razzberries behind their backs, and that Saudi Arabia runs whatever portion of our Middle East policy isn't already set aside for Israel. I mean, I'm all for releasing this stuff, however obvious, but let's consider what it would take nowadays to find a target which could feel shame. And second, when somebody figures out a way to make Americans think that doing whatever their economic superior orders is anything other than the highest moral standard mankind has ever achieved, lemme know.


Rugosa said...

Whenever I hear "nation of entrepreneurs", I always want to ask the perpetrator "So, if everyone is an entrepreneur, who drives the bus?" It takes a whole range of activities to run a country, and the contributions of the bus drivers deserve to be rewarded as well as those of the entrepreneurs. And the entrepreneurs need to recognize that they are just shopkeepers, not Lords of the Universe.

Keifus said...

I wonder if those candid Fox emails will disprove the idea of honest climate change "skepticism" just like they imagined a similar set disproved climate change.

(I kid of course: emails are fine for disproving honesty, but arguments describing physical phenomena have a different evidentiary standard. It'd be funny that these assholes have the fact/opinion thing so exactly wrong, if it weren't so depressing.)