Friday, July 26, 2002

Fat Guy Sues Fast-Food Restaraunts

Caesar Barber, a man who has high blood pressure, diabetes, and has suffered two heart attacks, is suing McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC, blaming them for his obesity.

Apparently, the man is alleging that undercover 'food squads' hired by the restaraunts abducted him, forced him into a car, drove him to the restaraunts, and forced him to eat their food at gunpoint. Four or five times a week.

Okay, I made that part up. Apparently, the man was already in the restaraunt when teenage employee/hoodlums pinned him to the ground and forced him to eat Big Macs instead of the Tofu salad he thought he could get at McDonald's.

No, that's not right either. Apparently, our rotund plaintiff is claiming that fast food is addictive. I've got news for him: Pretty much all food is addictive. Don't believe me? Just try to stop eating it. The withdrawal symptoms are a bitch.

Of his fast food habit, Caesar says, "It was a necessity, and I think it was killing me, my doctor said it was killing me, and I don't want to die."

Which of course sets him apart from the rest of us, who are chowing down fast food in hope of the sweet release death will bring.
The Drug War Insanity Continues

Do you ever run music concerts? Festivals? Outdoor events? Did you ever 'promote' them? If so, you're a bloody criminal and should be thrown in jail.

At least, that's what the House of Representatives would like. Check out this lulu of a bill:

H.R. 3782 Clean-Up Methamphetamines Act of 2002

SEC. 416A. Promoters of Drug-Oriented Entertainment:
"Whoever knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place were the event is held, shall be fined under Title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both."

Let's get this straight - there hasn't been a rock concert in the last 30 years with more than 500 people in attendance where some drug use didn't occur. Not even a Celine Dion concert, where poeple in droves eat Sominex like candy to try and stay awake.

Look at the wording of this bill - you don't have to have proof, or even evidence of drug use to be guilty. If you 'reasonably ought to know' that drug use will occur, you could do nine years in the big house.

Every concert promoter reasonably knows that drugs will be taken at the concert. It's part of the music culture, and impossible to stop. This bill would make instant criminals of all of them. I suppose Grateful Dead concert promoters should just be shot on sight.

As far as I can tell, this law is intended to have a chilling effect on concert venues and promoters, which in turn forces them to be surrogates for the state. Is that annoying Constitution getting in the way of cavity searching people who have 'that look' about them? No problem. Just threaten the citizenry with vague laws carrying stiff sentences, and they'll do the searching for you.

This bill is evil and should be stuffed back down the collective throats of the moronic yahoos in the committee that regurgitated it in the first place. Oh, and while I'm ranting... Could we can the tortured acronyms, guys? The full title of this bill is the "Clean, Learn, Educate, Abolish, Neutralize, and Undermine Production (CLEAN-UP) of Methamphetamines Act of 2002 (Introduced in House)". Oh, that's much better. For a minute there I was all worried about civil liberties, but the acronym sold me. That's what good governance is all about.

If you want to read the full text of the bill, take some Gravol and click here: HR 3782. Fair warning: SEC 416A isn't the only part of this bill that's going to turn your stomach. And word is, it's on the fast track to approval. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the GDP...

Speaking of economics education, just how prepared are high school teachers to teach economics? Joanne Jacobs has the answer and it'll make you feel all oogly.
Ten Ways Bill Clinton is Better Than George Bush

Get your jaw off the desk, Sparky. I haven't gone to the dark side. But it's just... well... Isn't George Bush supposed to be a conservative? You know, those guys who believe in small government and individual responsibility? Consider the policy differences between the two men:

1. Homeland Security
George Bush:Wants huge new federal mega-department.
Bill Clinton:Wants Secret Service to watch out the window in case Hillary comes home early.
2. Trade Policy
George Bush:Protects steel industry with huge tariffs.
Bill Clinton:Protects legal industry with huge lawsuits.
3. Education Policy
George Bush:Increases spending by 63 billion to educate your children.
Bill Clinton:Will educate your daughter for free.
4. Agriculture Policy
George Bush:Signs huge, pork-laden farm bill.
Bill Clinton:Eats huge, pork-laden buffet.
5. Fiscal Policy
George Bush:Runs gigantic deficit, wants heavy government oversight of corporations.
Bill Clinton:Makes 100 grand per anecdote.
6. Drug Policy
Bill Clinton:Didn't inhale.
George Bush:Didn't exhale.
7. Science
George Bush:Worried about results of DNA research.
Bill Clinton:Worried about results of DNA test.
8. Seniors
George Bush: Wants to give them 340 billion dollars worth of free drugs.
Bill Clinton: Feels their pain.
9. Foreign Policy
George Bush: In bed with Saudis, waffles on war, watches Iraq.
Bill Clinton:In bed with waffles, watches nice racks.
10. Civil Liberties
George Bush: Wants to tear down 'Posse Comitatus'.
Bill Clinton:Wants to party down with the K-ROCK 'Party Posse'.

Required Reading For The Economically Challenged

"Jane Galt" is rapidly becoming one of my favorite bloggers. She knows what she's talking about, and delivers long descriptions of complicated issues in management and economics with a healthy dose of common sense and humor.

Run, don't walk over to her web site and read this excellent description of patent drug economics. Not only will you learn something about the drug industry, but also the way in which all companies conduct business.

This kind of understanding of business should be a requirement for high school graduation in a capitalist country, but sadly that's not the case.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

32 Quarts Later

Inspired by Stacy's beignet haiku, I have composed some brief verse to explain why my hands have been funny colours lately.

Plum season arrives
What's happened in my kitchen?
Purple explosion!

Piles of apricots
I'll scream if I see one more
Hateful orange round thing.

Orange and purple fruit
Chase me through hallways of sleep
Process us! they cry.

Certo Fruit Pectin
Boils then cools my dark nightmares
Into a firm set.

Four cups of cooked plums,
Seven point five of sugar.
Bring to a full boil.

Sugar: fifty pounds.
Pardon my French, but damn, that's
A lot of sugar.

What will I get you
For Christmas? Same as the rest
Hope all y'all like jam.

Monday, July 22, 2002

New Boy Band To Feature American Taliban and Steve Earle
Jon Lovitz In Negotiations

No. No, I mustn't. My own intestines will bust out of my gut and choke me if I go further.
Steve Earle's Blues

So ole' Steve has got himself in some hot water for writing a song told from the point of view of John Walker. InstaPundit has quite a bit to say on the subject, as does Charles Oliver.

I take Oliver's viewpoint on this. There's nothing wrong with writing a song from the point of view of someone else, even if that someone else is a bad guy.

Hands up, all of you who liked Earle's "Copperhead Road". Remember what that song is about? It's about a Vietnam vet who takes to growin' hisself some dope. And if the DEA comes around, he's ready to kill them. After all, he learned a thing or two from 'Charlie', dont'cha know.

I don't recall a lot of handwringing about this song, despite the fact that the protagonist is ready to kill lots of Americans, and is totally unrepentant about it.

Besides, having read the lyrics on Oliver's site, I'm not sure they are all that glorifying. They sound to me more like the story of a disaffected youth who didn't fit in, so he joined the Taliban with the promise of glory and heaven, and wound up coming home to a trial with his head covered with a sack. Which is, after all, pretty much what happened.
New Features on the Left

You thought I was going to talk about an Oliver Stone movie, didn't you? No, I mean new features on the left menu bar. We have collected some of our mail and poetry for your easy perusal. Because as I always say, if you're running out of ideas, recycle old stuff.

Not that we're running out of ideas or anything. But I'd like to make a plea at this time: Al Gore, if you're reading this... PLEASE. SAY SOMETHING. We're running out of material. Don't make me have to go back to the radical cheerleaders web site. I beg of you. Think of my children.