Saturday, December 09, 2006

Trans-F You
Professor Reynolds cites Ann Althouse's theory about why New York banned Trans-Fats. She says:

I simply do not believe that the so-called health side is really composed of people who are solicitous about everyone else's health. I can't prove it, but my intuition is that all the strength on the "health" side of this war comes not from people who really care whether other people are healthy, but from people who don't like having to see fat people. They are concerned about their own aesthetic pleasures, and they think fat is ugly.
I don't know about all of that, but I can tell you at least one of the motivations for the ban, based on a conversation I had with my co-worker.

She was thrilled, she said, because her mother died of a heart condition, so she's particularly susceptible to heart problems in the future. Avoiding trans-fats is a good way to increase the likelihood that she'll avoid issues.

So I asked her why she doesn't just avoid them. And here's where the truth came out:
"Well, I do. But sometimes I forget, and this will make it a whole lot easier."
So, I can't enjoy tasty food every now and then strictly because she and people like her are too lazy to look after themselves all the time.

So, it's not just that they think they know what's best for the rest of us—they also don't care about our liberties as long as taking them away makes their lives a little bit easier.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Here's a question
Why is the United States Senate Sergeant at Arms searching blogs for the terms rockefeller, exxonmobil, and "wall street journal"?

Don't believe me?

Click on the picture at the left for a closer view.

UPDATE [12/12/2006 - 0:45]: Two days later, and he's still at it. Only now, he's led to this post first.

UPDATE [12/13/2006 - 8:26] So now he's searching for the terms "rockefeller" and "sergeant at arms." Do you think he knows that I'm watching him, or is there some connection between Rockefeller, the WSJ and the Sergeant at Arms for the U.S. Senate?

This really is weird.

F'ed Up Fridays - IV
As you know, I was traveling the first two days of this week, so this is a short edition. Still, I'll try to make it a good one... enjoy!

Best. Idea. Ever.

Best. Newspaper cover. Ever.

He went to my high school, he's the Dean of the Law School at my alma mater, he's held high-level executive branch positions, and now he's the... Best. Bobblehead. Ever.

The press supports the troops, they just cover the truth of the war, right? Well, the troops, who know the truth of the war, don't seem so keen on supporting the press.

She apologizes for this, but not that whole K-Fed thing?

Tim Klotz is the smartest man alive. Well, second smartest. The smartest is the CNN writer who felt the need to include his quote in this article.

Short answer? No. Long answer? No freaking chance.

I should have noted this in edition III, but Riding Sun wasn't the only place I won last week.

I know I've already endorsed Rummy-Bauer '08, but this is not the worst idea in the world.

A while back, I posted about why video games are good for people. Well, now there's another reason: those of us who grew up using them have more resilient thumbs.

Talk about silly behavior.

I guess my decision not to get a Christmas tree this year is paying off in odd ways.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Run, Rummy, Run
Today, Pearl Harbor Day, I endorse Donald Rumsfeld for President of the United States. I sincerely hope that he will run in '08. And yes, I know that my last endorsement, Jack Bauer for Senate fell pretty much flat. But like John Kerry and George Allen, Jack Bauer is not deterred by the temporary setbacks of his dual defeats in the NY and CT Senate races—which is why he's already agreed to serve as Rummy's running mate.

You already know that I'm a fan of Rummy's, and was sorry to see him go.

Then, over the weekend, we found out about a memo he wrote two days before he was fired. Once again, we had evidence of why it was wrong to fire him, as the memo was brilliant.

But this is just the icing on the cake. It seems that before the invasion, Rummy was the only one with the good sense to propose a plan to get in and get out. No, he wasn't whining that this would be another Vietnam—he was proposing a plan to leave a provisional government in the wake of a blitzkrieg destruction of Saddam and his government and a quick withdrawal.

But instead, W picked the State Department plan. Remember this as you hear increased calls for diplomatic solutions to, well, just about anything. Yes, sometimes diplomacy can be effective—but often it just represents the views of people who aren't willing to do what's necessary. Yeah, it would have looked pretty bad to bring down Saddam and then leave, but it would have been effective.

It seems more and more that Rumsfeld was the only one thinking in this administration, and certainly the only one who could see clearly what would be necessary. And now they've unloaded him.

So, it's time to get Rummy a new job, and I think POTUS would be a great fit.

Unfortunately, a relative of mine likes to point out that there are many people smart enough to make fantastic presidents; they're also smart enough not to run.

Jed Babbin has more on Rumsfeld's successes. Honestly, in this age of global conflict, is there a better resume around?

And TCS Daily provides more insight into the fear and loathing of the real Donald.

Rumsfeld-Bauer 2008 Campaign Slogans:
Obama Who?
Our Enemies Don't Stand a Chance
A Chicken in Every Pot, and a Bullet in Every Terrorist
The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance... and a Hacksaw
Don't be a Dummy, Vote for Rummy!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

When will they grow up?
Congratulations to Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe. A child is a blessing in any committed relationship.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way:

Conservative leaders voiced dismay Wednesday at news that Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney, is pregnant, while a gay-rights group said the vice president faces "a lifetime of sleepless nights" for serving in an administration that has opposed recognition of same-sex couples.
I'm frankly not surprised by the conservative ass-hats who don't think a loving couple can raise a child—particularly when you consider how many kids are growing up in this country with one or no parents.

But really, do gay rights advocates really need to take this time to attack the woman's politics? Frankly, I don't think this should be in the news, but if it is going to be then can't we just be happy for these people?


UPDATE [12/8/2006 - 12:23]: I think that this is spot on.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another loss
Bolton will step aside. The CNN article characterizes opposition to his position as ambassador to the UN, saying "Critics have questioned Bolton's brusque style and whether he could be an effective public servant who could help bring reform to the U.N."

So, basically we're firing a guy who we wanted to bring reform to the UN because he's not enough like the rest of the people currently at the UN?

I know it mattered for control of the Senate, but can I just say how glad I am that Lincoln Chafee is gone?

Senatorial Strong Arming
Somebody put a collar on Rockefeller and Snowe.

They've apparently decided (like the rest of the world, it sometimes seems) that debate over Global Warming is closed. In a letter addressed to Rex Tillerson, the Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, they effectively tell him as much, and tell him that it is his company's responsibility to correct the problem.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board does a far better job responding than I have time to do, so read the letter and then read their response.

Minimum Wage Update
Note: I will be traveling today and tomorrow with limited internet access, so any posts that go up over the next 36 hours or so will likely be posted without links, and will likely be brief. In addition, posting will almost certainly be sparse. I know I promised I'd be back full time after the LSATs, but bear with me and I promise I'll be back in full swing no later than Wednesday. My apologies.

Also, please note that today's posts will be timestamped according to when I wrote them, not necessarily according to the time they were posted, in EST even though I'm in the midwest.

A while back, I posted about the folly of raising the minimum wage. While driving to the airport this morning, I heard an interesting piece that's related to this issue. It seems that someone did a poll of (I think it was 200) American economists, with an effort to make sure the sample was a fair representation of the political spectrum found among the larger group. The main point was that while there are a few particularly divisive issues, by in large a mainstream American economist believes in fair trade, low taxes and low subsidies with very little political philosophical variation.

The exception cited by NPR's Morning Edition correspondent? The minimum wage. It seems that 38% of the sample wants to raise the minimum wage, while 47% wants it eliminated altogether.

This tells me two things. For one, I'm encouraged to know that such a large portion of economists see things this way. It also highlights how economically uneducated the political chattering classes are.

Second, while they didn't address the remaining 19%, I would bet that at least 4% of those expressed an opinion against raising the minimum wage, even though they are not looking for its outright elimination.

Why does that matter? It says that (assuming the sample is statistically significant, and actually representative of economists—two assumptions that I cannot investigate without reading the poll itself) a majority of economists do not believe that raising the minimum wage is a good idea.

So the next time you read a news article that says "While most economists agree that raising the minimum wage will result in job losses at the bottom end of the market, many believe that a modest hike from its current rate will not have a significant effect on unemployment rates," keep in mind that "many" most likely stands for "a small group, representing less than a plurality, holding a viewpoint that serves this author's basic assumptions about this issue."