Thursday, July 19, 2007


Big headlines always grab the attention of the readers, but eventually they get into the story and find that the headline is normally utterly worthless. Hey, I don't blame the papers, they have to sell. Here are a few stories that no one seems to care about, but still might prove interesting.

1. According to MSNBC, the slowness of FEMA may mean contractors will be in short supply after the next natural disaster.

Why does this surprise anyone? Conservatives have been pointing out big government inefficiency for over 70 years. This is what one must expect from any big bureaucracy.

This story has implications for socialized medicine. If the government can not promptly pay tree clearing contractors, how will they be able to effectively handle the medical decisions for over 300 million Americans? How long will it take to approve a simple medical procedure?

2. Booksellers will not profit from Harry Potter and the Unnecessary Hype, I mean Deathly Hallows.

I'm not all that sympathetic towards booksellers, especially the big stores that gouged me on textbooks in college. I also can summon very little sympathy for the little booksellers because normally those places carry way too many books about young girls finding out they are lesbians and old women leaving their husbands to carry on an affair with a hairless pool boy.

The Barnes and Noble near my house had three shelves devouted to "Spirituality," and only one devoted to philosophy. Nothing is more annoying than having to listen to a bunch of idiotic young women talk about crystals, nature rituals, Mother Gaea and other New Age nonsense while I am trying to peruse some Spinoza and Strauss. I will shed very few tears for them indeed.

Harry is everywhere: Want more Harry news? How about how Harry's publisher could use some CSI style detective work to track down the gauche fellow who put the book online? Funny thing is, I bet if they used technology like this to track down terrorists the Left would scream about civil liberties.

Need more Harry? A couple is going straight from their wedding reception to the mall to get Deathly Hallows. Ten to one their kids will be nerds.

You just can't get away from Harry these days. He is around every corner and under every fold.

3. Massachusetts voters can now vote "None of the Above." If a majority choose this, the election is voided and another must be held in two or three months.

Once again we have evidence of the symbolic gesture trumping real action. If voters do not like candidates, then why don't they get involved and start recruiting decent candidates? Why can they take the childish way out and risk nothing by rejecting all the candidates? This is just infantile sneering from the back of the class at those who try to take a role in the community.

70 percent of the office holders in Massachusetts ran unopposed last year. What makes people think that giving the electorate an extra 60-80 days will mean more competition will emerge? Most likely, if someone is running unopposed it means that no one really cares to challenge them.

Elections mean having to choose between flawed candidates. This is what democracy is about. If you can not deal with that do not vote.