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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, June 08, 2012

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Who in the hell is Karl in Munich to say he won't work harder and pay more so that Demetrius in Athens can have his Euro and early retirement?"

Spilled Salt
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC pundit, claims that dismantling the Union-Democratic Party political machine means that Democrats cannot compete. Her argument on this is that corporations control the Republican Party, so that it has money and poor Democrats have to rely on unions to have a chance. Except for when the corporations donate more money to Democrats than Republicans, which happens every time the Democrat seems likely to win. Corporations are apolitical, they don't support one party or the other. They support the guy they think is most likely to be in a position to hurt or help them.

Cory Booker made a mistake. The Newark New Jersey mayor was a rising star in the Democratic Party, but he criticized President Obama's attacks on Bain Capitol and became the enemy in one statement. Now, the Obama administration which was once considering the man for the Housing department should a second term arrive, says Booker is "dead to them." How long before the left starts arguing he's not really black?

Mitt Romney's website has had a few typos, the most recent to misspell Ronald Reagan's name "Regan." This has been mocked by all the usual suspects, but conspicuously unnoticed has been the typos on Barack Obama's website. Its almost as if human beings are involved and make mistakes, or something.

According to Franceso Zaratti at the Higher University of San Andres, the retreating glaciers in Bolivia are due to something other than global climate change. He believes that airborne pollution landing on the glacier and darkening it is causing it to melt faster. All this time I thought glaciers retreated and advanced over time naturally.

CNN has seen its ratings plunge over time, and is now at a 20 year low in its ratings, which puts it about the same as right around the first Iraq war.
The third-place cable news network hit a 20-year prime-time ratings low last month, averaging only 390,000 viewers — down 51 percent from May 2011.

Those were also CNN’s lowest numbers, in prime time, since October 1991.

While prime-time numbers for all the cable news networks were off from May of last year — MSNBC was down 19 percent and Fox News Channel dropped 9 percent — CNN was hit the hardest.
When your ratings are lower than MSNBC... its time to seriously reconsider your business model and content. If it wasn't for airports I wonder if CNN would have any viewers at all.

Candy Crowley, host of State of the Union on CNN pressed Virginia's Governor McDonnell to say that their lower unemployment and better than average economy was due to President Obama:
Don’t you credit President Obama at all for the good fortune that Virginia has? He’s done nothing at all that helped you all?
Apparently this woman thinks that President Obama is in charge of luck. Thank Obama I won the lottery! If it hadn't been for Obama, I'd have never gotten 3 cherries on that slot machine! Perhaps its this kind of thing that's making people not watch so much?

Voter ID is a deliberate attempt to keep poor people and minorities from voting, the left constantly claims. Meanwhile, Union votes, visits to the first lady Michelle Obama, and Democratic Party state conventions all require picture ID. If picture ID is so difficult to get, so often unheld by the poor, and such a massive burden, why are these situations acceptable?

Occupy is in the news again, this time its being treated for "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Apparently being an idiotic spectacle and trashing your home city while accomplishing nothing but being pepper sprayed and mocked is traumatic. I'll give them credit, though. They were bigger than the Coffee Party and the rest of the left's pathetic attempts to counter the Tea Party movement.

Recently George "I'm a kind of god" Soros admitted the game plan with his tinkering in world politics and governments. It was in the context of the EU and complaints that Germany won't just play along and prop up failures like Greece. As DrewM writes at Ace of Spades HQ:
A massive reorganization of societies was organized by a "small group" who knew that their promise of limited but important integration (a shared currency) couldn't work on its own. They were patient enough to wait for the inevitable collapse that would create the conditions to allow them to do what they really wanted to do but knew they couldn't say out loud...usher in a massive political integration of Europe.

Now for a guy like Soros, this is a feature not a bug. It's far easier to exert control over "a small group of far sighted statesmen" then the restless rabble of 20 something countries bitterly clinging to their traditions, national identities and sovereignty.
Indeed. The smaller the group, the easier to manipulate and control them. Unless that group deliberately and specifically tries to remain conservative it will inevitably over time become increasingly leftist because the most zealous and active will usually be left leaning.

Salt, the evil substance, its blamed for heart disease and high blood pressure. Except its critical for human life, used in dozens of key metabolic processes in the human body, and an important tool in cuisine. To guys like Mayor Bloomberg its something the little people need to have restricted for their own good. But research has never been able to demonstrate a relationship between salt and high blood pressure, and even the New York Times recently admitted that its not really bad for you at all. And yet browsing around you can still find dozens of articles on otherwise scientific and health related sites that claim cutting back on salt is good for you. Certainly eating too much salt is bad for you, but then so is drinking too much water.

Unemployment in America continues to be bad, and its up to 13.6% for blacks (in official numbers, probably around 18% when you count all the people the Department of Labor chooses not to such as folks who gave up looking or haven't ever been able to find a job). The numbers are similarly bad for hispanics, which combined with President Obama's "homosexual marriage is great!" statement is not going to help his turnout with those groups.

James Lileks has a typically wise and witty response to Mayor Bloomberg's (apparently doomed) proposal that New York City ban large-capacity sugary drinks such as the "Big Gulp."
Let's get one thing clear: when the TV talk-show people lavish praise on the idea, it has nothing to do with some abstract notion of the costs of obesity. They just don’t like fat people. Fat people, at best, are a rebuke their own finicky vanity - I look good, why can’t you? - and at the worst, aesthetically unpleasant. If they all went away, the trim pert types woudl miss them after a while, and realize that people no longer came pre-packaged in a style that made them easy to dismiss.

A thin woman with three children by three men who can't get by is an object of concern. A fat women with two kids who can't get by is a toad, and probably a smoker.

A culture that redefines food choices as moral issues will demonize the people who don’t share the tastes of the priest class. A culture that elevates eating to some holistic act of ethical self-definition - localvore, low-carbon-impact food, fair trade, artisanal cheese - will find the casual carefree choices of the less-enlightened as an affront to their belief system. Leave it to Americans to invent a Puritan strain of Epicurianism.
And I think that's the bulk of the reason behind this. Yes, there's a certain "the government is in charge of your health because we want socialized medicine" aspect to this, and yes, there's a certain level of "we're better than you and we have to make sure stupid worthless normal people are cared for by their superiors" but honestly, this is largely about the cult of fitness. In a world where you think what happens now is all that matters and all we are, being fit, healthy, and sexy is supreme. Liberty is subordinated to not having to look at those ugly fat people.

Microsoft is going to stop producing the Zune. Introduced as competition to the IPod, this was meant to be a big seller for Microsoft, but it never matched their expectations. The strange thing is that in some ways, the Zune was a superior product and the Zune HD gets glowing reviews by both business and users. This is a frustrating part of business: you can be a modest success and get shut down because you didn't make as much as predicted or hoped. Just because its a good product doesn't mean it will survive.

Plan B, or the "morning after" pill was said to work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the wall of the uterus, thus stopping pregnancy. The problem is, that's not what it actually does. All it does, according to research, is delay ovulation and hinder sperm movement. The effect can be the same - no pregnancy - but it won't stop you from getting pregnant if you've already ovulated. On the one hand, that's good because it doesn't abort babies, which the original description of the pill clearly was doing. On the other hand, this research was available before the drug was approved by the FDA, and they still put the false description on the approval and packaging.

Canada's Human Rights Commissions have enjoyed almost unlimited power for years after a certain section of Canadian law was added in, outlawing "hate speech." The Canadian government just removed that section from the law, largely due to the efforts of Canadian bloggers and pundits such as Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn. Congratulations on your victory for liberty guys. Its now no longer illegal in Canada to disagree with political correctness.

President Obama has been out fundraising a lot, so much so that people have begun to mock it, wondering how on earth he gets anything else done. President Bush the younger did an awful lot of fundraising in 2004, but so far Obama has tripled the number of fundraisers that Bush engaged in. And yet he's still being left behind by Romney's funding. So instead of trying to intimidate Republicans by claiming they'll raise more than a billion dollars, Obama's team is whining that the evil GOP is raising so much money.

Newspapers are in "survival mode" according to business analysts, firing staff and cutting back to survive on a much lowered revenue pattern. Although newspapers did well into the nineties, by 2001 they were on a downward dive, and the circulation and money made by papers is plummeting rapidly.

France has passed a law to change their retirement age. One of the problems Europe - especially nations such as Greece and Spain - have faced is that decades of leftist governments have been lowering retirement ages, raising retirement benefits, and increasing welfare so that the burden on workers has been going up and up. Except France has decided to lower their retirement age from 62 to 60. Apparently the socialist French government is unhappy that their nation isn't collapsing as fast as some. There's a bankruptcy gap!

Meanwhile, the little nation of Estonia has reversed their collapse and is prospering. How on earth did they do so? Well they applied austerity measures - real ones - and reduced government spending to end their debt spiral. Unlike most of Europe, whose "austerity measures" were actually slight reductions in spending and tax increases, Estonia tightened their belts everywhere, and managed to not riot:
“Everybody had to give a little bit. Salaries paid out of the budget were all cut, but we cut ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and the average civil servants’ by 10 percent,” Parts told GlobalPost.

“In normal times cutting the salaries of civil servants, of policemen etc. is extremely unpopular, but I think the people showed a good understanding that if you do not have revenues, you have to cut costs,” adds Parts, who served as prime minister from 2003-2004.

As well as slashing public sector wages, the government responded to the 2008 crisis by raising the pension age, making it harder to claim health benefits and reducing job protection — all measures that have been met with anger when proposed in Western Europe.
Well maturity and good sense go a long ways in a population. Estonia is part of Eastern Europe however, and they remember the horrible socialism imposed on them by the Soviet Union very well.

And that's the Word Around the Net for June 8, 2012.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

The sad thing about CNN is they currently (not always) probably do the best job of the three networks in just giving out straight news stories without a bunch of political slant or sensationalism... and as a result their news programs are boring as hell. I used to have a sort of mini-crush on Erin Burnett when she was of CNBC's "money honeys" and then CNN went and gave her a news show and the subject matter is so boring that even her good looks don't make it worth watching (and I watch CSPAN quite a bit, for crying out loud... so when I say boring I mean BORING).

Don't get me wrong, they do show bias, but not as strongly or as consistently as Fox News(which presents both sides but always agrees with the right) or MSNBC (whose commercials are basically campaign ads for the Democratic Party these days).

12:05 PM, June 08, 2012  
Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

CNN's finance segments were usually the best and most balanced, and overall CNN's coverage is usually good, I agree. They're significantly less obnoxiously hyped than Fox, whose parade of celebrity trials and missing little girls turned me away even when I wanted to like it.

12:08 PM, June 08, 2012  
Anonymous Peccable said...

By the reasoning of Holder et.al. the reason for photo ID at Moochele's book signings and Donkey Conventions is to keep out the trash. No ID, no in!

6:00 AM, June 10, 2012  

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