Friday, May 15, 2009

Silly Questions

1. Who the heck keeps yanking Obama's chain? It seems like the average half-life of his policy statements has shrunk to under 24 hours. The latest about-face is, as you all know, his statement of intent to release the "interrogation" photos, which was quickly followed by his statment of intent to _not_ release said photos, on grounds of -- what else? -- "national security". Now... either someone is trying -- and succeeding -- to make Obama look like a fool, or these are all self-inflicted wounds (which are having the same effect). Well hey, when a guy is single-handedly reshaping the world economy, it's understandable that a few details get neglected now and then. But still, this is starting to get ridiculous.

2. What makes people think administration-imposed executive pay caps are going to cause a "brain drain"? That assumes there are any brains _to_ drain. If you follow the conventional wisdom, the economic meltdown is the result of years of the most blockheaded, moronic decisions ever made in the business world, by the biggest blockheads and morons to ever inhabit that world. So again -- what "brains" are people worried about? There are fears these characters might decide to seek employment elsewhere than in the American economic sector. Well great, let them! May I suggest, for example, that they apply to the Iranian government? Or maybe that would be taken as an act of war...

3. And along the same lines, what is this "entrepreneurial spirit" that is threatened by government meddling in the rarefied world of business executives? Would that be the same "entrepreneurial spirit" that has caused most large businesses in the U.S. to, over the years, become, for all intents and purposes, new branches of government -- and now wards of the state? The "entrepreneurial spirit" that depends on no-bid contracts and government-granted monopolies to stay in business? The one that requires businesses to set aside hefty pieces of their annual budgets for bribes, er, I mean, "campaign contributions"? The one that is so petrified of competition that it buys legislation to discourage, or outright prohibit, anyone else from offering the same goods and services? The one that engages in price-fixing right under the always-sleeping eye of the regulators? Yeah... this kind of "entrepreneurial spirit" is one we can do without, it seems to me.

4. And again along the same lines, has anyone noticed that the administration wants to start regulating executive pay for _all_ businesses, not just the ones receiving bailouts? Benito, can you hear me now?

5. Is it any accident that there is an epidemic of mental health problems among U.S. military personnel stationed in Iraq? I've said it before -- it's not just about combat conditions, nutrition, climate, or anything of the sort -- it's because the entire operation is a fraud, and without meaning -- and sooner or later that fact is going to sink into the skull of even the most dull-witted troop. And the natural human response to chronic absurdity is to go a little bit nuts.

6. Well, thank goodness! I feel a whole lot better now. It turns out that the Social Security and Medicare "trust funds" haven't disappeared after all. They've been located, and are being safely stored "in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg, W. Va." Can you imagine? Not one, but two, vast trust funds that every American depends, or will soon depend, on can actually fit into a single filing cabinet -- in West Virginia, no less. The marvels of miniaturization never cease to amaze. Of course, the cynic and the naysayer will scoff and say, well, that just reflects the drastic shrinkage in those funds, and the fact that they are about to disappear altogether. But I say, look on the bright side. Are there any records of what has been done with the "bailout" money -- in West Virginia or anywhere else? No. Will there be any records of what is done with the "economic stimulus" money? No. So let's be thankful that these venerable legacy funds, at least, do have some sort of physical representation somewhere on the planet, and are not just totally abstract.

7. I've always considered NASA to be, basically, the world's biggest sandbox, and its employees a bunch of overgrown geeks with bad haircuts and rumpled clothes who can't get dates. But doggone it, I do hope they manage to fix the Hubble telescope. I love those pictures. They are inspiring. They even -- dare I say it? -- seem to lend support to the traditional "proof from design" of the existence of God. Now just wait, the next thing you know the ACLU will sue NASA for violating the "wall of separation of church and state".

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