Thursday, February 28, 2008

Off topic

McCain going after Obama on Iraq is so stupid it gives me a chubby. Even with the Rove margin, this going to be a fun election, isn't it?
Weird.

A note on my absence

Poopy week, haven't had it in me for lighthearted mockery or reading Megan's spewings. I'll find the spirit again soon, faster if Zooey Deschanel is out there and feels like having dinner.

Paultards On The Rampage

For amusement's sake, wander to Ms. McA.'s & peep at the comments when she takes a mild poke (mostly by quoting Wonkette) at Ron Paul, who certainly deserves to be poked w/ at least a sharp stick. Perhaps w/ the Sharp Stick That Grants Common Sense, were there such a thing. Then we could give McMegan a jab as well.

As an example:

In closing Megan I would suggest you read the law of the land a few times and support limited gov and use your real skills to expose those who do not support our founding fathers then attack one of few men who does.

I expect to see improvements with your next post and if not I will send a letter to the editor then simply stop reading any news alert which bears your name. I'm sure others will take the same approach.
The above not written by anyone from here, honest.

Thursday Cat Porn

Time for some pictures!




















My kitties are republicans. Rather than going and hunting birds themselves, they hunt from the window!
















My kitties are hippies! They like to cuddle!
















Awww, isn't Samus such a cutie all snuggled on the couch!

















More adorable couch cuddling!

And now, watch them fight the evil fleece on a stick!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm Not Anti-Union, But I'm Not Pro-Union, Either, If You Know What I Mean

Our muse speaks:

I'm actually not particularly anti-union, and to the extent that I do have problems with unions, it is not because they seek higher wages and benefits for their members. Rather, it is because they introduce serious structural rigidities into the economy.
And I answer:

From The Encyclopedia of Pseudo-Economics:
Ridgidity, Structural (Serious): People who work for a living getting some of their share of the wealth they create. Not generally approved of, especially if said share comes at the expense of the investor class, who actually have the irrational aversion to work that they often incorrectly attribute to those who do work for a living.
Now you know why they call it the dismal science.

New Rule: Titles only

What with my resolve waning as our devil tongued mistress's output waxes, I'm down shifting. From now on, I'm recounting the idiocy that appears inside of her titles only.

Well, that's prolly a lie. I mean, if I read the titles, I'll likely be sucked into the train wreck just below them. In the words of the drug dealer in "Go" "There it is, just sitting there, waiting to suck ... I hate it, but I can't stop reading it." But this should be fun anyway

First up:
In which I try to write an article without mentioning Evita or the Tango:

Wow, I guess McMegan figures that after she was blatantly racists against blacks she has to be more careful with which stereotypes she throws about. Hehehe, all I know about a country of, what, like 60 million people is that Madonna made a movie about them and they have this really cool dance. I love that she calls it "the Tango" too. Is that her Lettermen impression? Is she like, imagining herself on late night TV in Buenos Aires saying "you kids today, do you like the Tango?" It's a fucking type of music, McAddled. It's also a TYPE of dance and not A dance. It doesn't not belong with a definitive article.

I see that while I was writing this the titles Your housing news for the day and No unions for the unions have popped up. Let's just say to the former, that nothing McArduous says is ever, even remotley, news and to the latter, a plain ole "wtf?"

Wow, that was so much less exhausting.

Typery

Per Megan:

I love the fact that when I go to Forbes.com, and am confronted with a full screen add [sic], the link to close it reads "Skip this welcome screen". If this is the Forbes idea of welcome, one rather wonders how they see their guests out at the end of the night.
I love that I never go to Forbes.com. And I also love that although I was a French major, not an English major, I never use the phrase "the fact that," or anything else as redundant & meaningless. And that I can proofread well enough not to let "add" go when I mean "ad."

And I love the irony that someone who complains about poor English usage (to put it mildly) can't turn a phrase or proofread well enough to save her own life.

We'll let the misplaced full stop go, as Ms. McA.'s Anglophilia (Except of course for their rotten National Health, which actually provides health care for their nation, imagine that!) is more or less understandable. Though our patience wears thin. She hasn't been typing for The Economist for some months now. Can't teach a long-time hack new tricks, nor even the same ones she probably never learned in the first place.

"One rather wonders," indeed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Almost, But Not Quite...

In the general vein of becoming "vegan" for Lent (even though she's "not very religious") we find this:

My colleague Graeme Wood suggests that we should harvest the organs of executed criminals. His argument is surprisingly persuasive, for all that I am against the death penalty. But in the end, I hesitate to give the state, or juries, a compelling additional reason to kill a man.
If she's opposed to execution, why is organ harvesting so "additionally compelling?" Would arguing that even be allowed? (W/ the current Supreme Court, it just might.) Gawd.

Of course, mealy-mouthed phrasing like "for all that I am against the death penalty," provides an easy out. There may not be much "all" there.

And "kill a man?" Women aren't executed any more?

I love when she writes about things of which I'm familiar

Megan decides to actually attack some conservative BS in order to show that she really is an independent cause, you know, four articles about liberals that love Cuba = one article about a ridiculous right wing ad being run on a major network. But of course she can't help resist throwing some left bashing in too and while doing so, she manages to get a number of facts wrong in just a few short sentences

Berkeley Bashers:

I am second to none in my admiration for our troops. But this ad is one of the weirdest ads I've ever seen. It's running on Fox News in Washington DC:


I feel that my fellow Washingtonians are probably going to have little effect on the Berkeley city council, which has so far proven fairly well immune from stronger influences, such as reason. I also find it hard to believe that the marines lost a great opportunity when they were told not to recruit in Berkely. Nor that there is much danger that cities around America will follow Berkely's lead and suddenly start wantonly disrespecting America's armed forces. It's pretty amazing that real people spent their hard-earned money on this.

It's good to know that Megan is second to none in her admiration for our troops. I know I, being a card carrying member of the left, feel a constant need to remind people that I'm second to none in my unadulterated hatred of anything and everything the troops do. I don't want anyone getting confused on that point when I say something that might seem like a tacit admission of their humanity.

As for the city council being immune to reason, I'll vouch for that. I live not two blocks from Berkeley City Hall and let me tell you, this town has more than its fair share of totally batshit insane.

Of course, when you're Megan, you can make yourself look stupid arguing that the sky is blue.

The marines didn't actually lose ANYTHING by the actions of the city council. For those that wish to be actually informed rather than just pulling shit out of their ass and trusting fox news, this is what happened:

1) The marines have had a recruiting station on Shattuck Ave (downtown Berkeley) for sometime.

2) Berkeley City Council (BCC), knowing that their constituents would not like this but realizing they can't exactly kick them out, grant a permanent parking space across the street for the group Code Pink so that a permanent protest may be held

3) Sometime later, BCC passed the resolution condemning the marines with no real ramifications or regulations.

4) A bunch of people got upset because of the extreme hyperbole of the resolution. BCC decided to reconsider the resolution.

5) On the day of BCC meeting for the reconsideration, there was a large protest containing both pro and anti war groups. My guess is that, at it's peak, at least 1000 people were there.

6) During the meeting, BCC decided to retract the resolution because of its harsh wording. They claim not to have read it carefully enough when they ratified it. They voted against giving the marines an apology because they felt that, though the wording was harsh, they were behindthe sentiment of the resolution and so had not done anything wrong.

So Megan's statement "I also find it hard to believe that the marines lost a great opportunity when they were told not to recruit in Berkely." has no grounding in reality for two reasons. the most obvious is that marines have and will continue to have a recruiting station in downtown Berkeley. The second is that I'd be willing to guess that it's actually a pretty successful recruiting station. Not only because it continues to exist despite widespread animosity in the town in which it's situated, but also because of demographics. Berkeley is not only home to many radical liberals but also lots and lots of poor people. It has a notoriously crappy school system. It is also right next to Oakland, another town with a large poor population. Finally, the recruiting station is very close to a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station which is the system the ferries everyone around San Francisco and the entire East Bay. So in reality, if the marines would most likely not like to lose this recruiting station.

So, yeah, she's dumb.

Who is she talking to?

Back to the well of redundancy, she again uses a favorite title of hers. I don't even want to know how many hits a search of "Department of" in her archives would give.

Don't worry, there's also schizophrenia in this post.

Department of non-leading indicators:

I won't even quote here. Megan writes two sentences and provides an ~20 sentence quote to show us that Cubans really are poor.

Who the hell is she talking to? I mean, yeah, I live in Berkeley. I know there's more than a few stupid hippies that think Cuba is a swell place to live, but are there really enough of them that Megan needs to waste her breath? Does she think that any of them read her blog? Is she convinced that she might actually persuade them to shower, shave, get a job, and stop fucking all of their friends in weed soaked orgies while singing "Hail pappa Castro?"

I just imagine Megan, sitting at her desk, trembling and muttering to herself "I won't eat meat. Cuba is bad. I won't eat meat. Cuba is bad," occasionally screaming "HEATH LEDGER IS THE DEVIL!" while Ross and Andrew pet her hair soothingly saying "Calm down, Megan. The men in white coats are almost here." and thinking to themselves "I bet we can find her stash of uppers."

I wonder what kind of fit she throws when she finds out they don't make straight jackets in elongated elf sizes.

Just to Add

...to brad's item on McArdle's Instapud item, in which she quotes a letter from a reader whose friend is a "public-sector psychiatrist." (Convoluted enough for you? Not to mention the "a friend of a reader says absolutely, blah blah blah..." so it's gotta be true attitude.)

Assuming that the public shrink who is a friend of a reader is correct (as a participant in the public mental health system, I can say that I was given samples of the medication I'm currently taking by both a private [non-psychiatrist] doctor & by my "public-sector" shrink, then when the public sector sample supply ran out I was officially enrolled in the County prescription program, which doesn't cost me a penny, except of course for all the taxes I've paid throughout my life) if I'm not mistaken (and I really have no idea what the "Michael Moore idea of a medical system" is) a single-payer program would probably combine the "bean-counters" & look at the totality of potential expenses. This two-part bean-counter system doesn't seem very efficient. Isn't private, for-profit enterprise a guarantee of the ultimate in efficiency? You don't suppose that, say, Medicare for all would cut down on such overhead & inefficiency, let alone the 30% premium Americans pay for medical care over our European cousins? Too bad Instapud doesn't allow comments.

Or as brad so aptly put it, in Megan's voice:

Your anecdotal experiences of the world are immaterial. Only my own bear sufficient weight to contradict carefully conducted studies of reality.
except that it applies to me, in this case.

Good news for the good folk of Instaputz

Glennbot is back in the morgen. Here, however, another soldier teeters on the edge. This is a war of attrition, and while Megan is certainly a dead-ender, it might take decades. But in the end, history will vindicate us.

Monday, February 25, 2008

For the love of God, take away her uppers

Megan discovered ritalin last week. Or dex. Some kind of speed. Maybe the upshot is an eventual leave of absence for a trip to Betty Ford's, and/or amusing paranoid posts about people trying to sneak Slim Jims into her almond milk. But in the meantime, she's trying to smother us with shit.
Dear Megan, you get paid either way, go back to shitty and lazy. Shitty and verbose isn't working.
Shorters.

Much obliged: Megan is in lecture mode. Wonderful.

One of the many interesting thing about the debate on collective action problems is that while liberals usually claim (with some justification) that it is the libertarians advancing simplistic models that bear no resemblance to the real world, in this case a lot of liberals were making arguments that rest, I think, on a fundamental mischaracterization of how the American government actually works.
"I'm not a poopypants, you are!"
The collective action problem is a very elegant idea, and easy to state simply, which is why it has become sort of the liberal equivalent of the tragedy of the commons. The basic idea is that there are certain equilibria which are better for everyone, but because every individual can make himself better off by cheating, the group can't get there. The solution usually proposed is a tax or regulation, but it doesn't have to be; you can, for example, sign an agreement that only kicks in if a sufficient number of people comply--much like what was done with Kyoto.
I can actually hear Spencer crying from here.
She goes on quite a bit, but I'll leave it to Crooked Timber to show why it's just a bunch of jargon and buzzwords, signifying nothing.

Mahalanobis: When lefties say Pinochet, I say Castro. Sure, what Pinochet did was largely dictated to him by students of my heroes Hayek and Friedman, and I think the only bad parts were the killing and dictatorship and reign of terror, but Castro provided universal health care. What a monster.

Is poverty in the eye of the beholder?: Dear readers,
Your anecdotal experiences of the world are immaterial. Only my own bear sufficient weight to contradict carefully conducted studies of reality.
Love,
Megan
Also, read this
Deep poverty is much more picturesque than moderate poverty. Poor countries have their old colonial buildings still standing, because no one had the money (or the reason) to tear them down and put up something bigger. The countryside is dotted with adorable houses made out of natural materials and natives wearing colorful traditional garb. Animals graze in verdant fields, besides teams of sowers and reapers. Middle income countries are smoggy, and almost everything looks like a cheaper, shabbier version of what you get in the US. Scenic landscapes are despoiled by cinderblock buildings with hideous tin roofs, or trailers; cities are choked with boxy modern buildings that look something like our housing projects. The genteel decay that looks gothic and intriguing on an old Victorian mansion just looks seedy when it's eating away at badly poured concrete. Affluent Americans underestimate the utility value of things like having personal space, or an automobile.
If that's not a sales pitch for bringing in the sweatshops, I don't know what is. Why have indigenous local traditions when you can have smog and tin shacks?

Greener-than-thou: I really don't trust the work of licensed professionals. My own unsourced assertions are much more convincing.

Forgotten, but not gone: Fuck Nader, he's the concern troll of presidential elections. Still, Megan shows yet again that her political development ended sometime during the first Clinton Admin, presumably before the Gingrich revolution.
That's not to say that you should have a preference between Democrats and Republicans--frankly, these days, it feels a lot like "So, by which of the plagues of Egypt would you like to be consumed?" But if you do, you should vote for that candidate, rather than making an expressive vote which could put your last choice into office.
So, yeah, don't vote for Nader, but he was right about that whole no difference between Bush n Gore thing. Haven't the last 7 years proven that? Urgh.

I'm leaving!: M. covered this post down below, but I have to add a mention that Megan must've been too busy trying to sell her work to the various militias in Montana and neighboring states to have noticed their rhetoric. She really would benefit from reading Orcinus, but you know how them fellow travelers are. Selectively deaf.

It's action--but is it collective?: I can play with jargon, too, look. I'm not saying the terflufflewitty is gimmelfarb, but rather huchietwang. If you flimble the shamkoia, you just end up wadkinablizing the brugok.

The logic of collective action: If the voldans quarkles the lilinty, then the ewotion buagles the crontotonk. QED, bitches.

Kaphtor on Cuba:
"I might add that the US tends to get blamed for both dictators, which just goes to show, in the minds of some people, it doesn't matter whether we support third rate leaders like Batista, or oppose third rate leaders like Allende, when they fall to a coup within their own country, it's America's fault. It also doesn't matter whether we embargo them or trade like crazy with the subsequent junta, the policy it to blame for the continuing plight of the people. And it doesn't matter whether we gently show the dictator the door, or shake our fist at him in his dotage, we don't get much credit."
To be clear, the whole post is a quote, Megan isn't saying it herself. She's merely putting it up in a place where the idea of lefties being objectively anti-American will resonate. I have to note that this was not crossposted, but went up only at Instapundit. Heh, indeed.

My post on pharma:
triggered some emails complaining that drug companies spend more money on advertising than R&D. I blogged about this a while ago:
People who think that there is a gigantic pool of capital that could be sucked out of the pharmaceutical advertising budget are being misled by accounting terminology. People who rail against the pharmaceutical industry are fond of noting that about 20% of industry revenues go to marketing, with the implication that this is all wasted on advertising baldness cures during Golden Girls reruns. But just the top ten firms in the pharmaceutical industry took in about $350 billion in revenue in 2007, 20% of which is $70 billion. The entire US expenditure on advertising by all companies in all media forms totaled something like $150 billion in 2007. I know it seems like every other commercial you see is for Botox, but most advertising is not done by pharmaceutical firms.

In fact, advertising is only a small fraction of that marketing expense. Over half of it expense consists of free samples, the offering of which seems to me like an unalloyed public good.
I blogged about this back then, too.

A letter from a reader:
I have a friend who is a public-sector psychiatrist. She tells me that the free samples are the only thing that keeps her patients going. Yes, there are government programs BUT they refuse to pay for the latest medication, because the older stuff (which is less effective and has more side effects) is cheaper. The bean counters for drug costs are different from the bean counters for costs of mental committments, hence the first don't care that they're shooting up the costs of the second. Overall it winds up costing more, since a committment is lot more expensive that pills, but welcome to Michael Moore's idea of a medical system.
Don't see that the failure of programs set up by an Administration ideologically opposed to helping people to work well shows that any attempt to help people will fail?


Jesus, that was long. Megan, please, seek treatment. Speed kills.

Left behind

In an article cleverly titled "What the heck is happening to Lancet?" Meganomania shows just what it takes for her to become paralyzed with disbelief about the quality of a publication: you must post three articles with which she disagrees


Apparently, it is now publishing articles like this:

Rich countries are poaching so many African health workers that the practice should be viewed as a crime, a team of international disease experts say in the British medical journal The Lancet.

The provision of health services in poor countries is a huge problem that the international community should worry about. But not by declaring medical personnel the property of the state, and their migration therefore a form of thievery. There's been a lot of talk recently about the right of entry for poor people, but even more important is the right of exit. There's a reason that places which require their citizens to get permission to migrate are generally dreadful places to live.


OMGzors! Lancent isn't totally rewriting submitted articles to conform to Megan's political beliefs! Have they the brain-worms? Sure, calling it a "crime" is at least a little hyperbolic, but why the hell shouldn't people be upset when countries trying to improve their poor way of life see skilled workers fleeing to other countries already better off? Seems to me a reasonable argument could be made that poor countries that have invested money and infrastructure into training health care workers could expect said workers to stick around and acutally improve the health care quality of those that made the investment.

But in her continuing desire to show how much more important profit is than things like providing medical care to deeply impoverished countries in sub-Saharan Africa Megan decides to deride a journal with which she has only passing familiarity for not censoring it's submitters.

Where's the joke? I can't think of one. I seriously am thinking of quitting this gig. Reading her libertarian drivel, especially when she's writing as prolifically as she has been lately, just saps the humor right out of me. She is just horrible.

Another One I Couldn't Let Pass

It's been quite a day @ Asymmetrical Information.

I defend the pharmaceutical companies a lot here, and with good reason; they produce lifesaving drugs. More please!
"More please!" Isn't that cute?

Now let's try it another way: "I defend Hitler a lot here, and with good reason; he produced the autobahn. Faster please!"
The possibilities are almost endless. Submit your entries in the comments.


And just to deal a bit w/ the serious (just kidding, we all know better) portion of her item:
Nonetheless, one criticism I don't see made enough is that pharmaceutical companies don't seem to realize that they can't sell pills the way you sell detergent.
But, they won't make enough money to provide all those life-saving, vomit & diarrhea-inducing drugs if they can't sell them to suckers who don't need them. And how will they pay for the marketing if they don't market?

P. S.: In this country, you can sell anything the way you sell detergent. That's what freedom is all about! See, for example, this item from a bit earlier in the day. Does whatever passes before her eyes & ears sink in just a bit & provoke some sort of response, whether it's telebision advertising or some one's web log, w/o any worry/concern about consistency?

P. P. S.: She's never seen/heard any one mention previously that perhaps the mass-marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals is not the best idea in the world?

Enough W/ The Confederates

Well, sez Ms. McA., thank goodness the secession movement is moving away from tacky neo-confederates & is now firmly in the hands of sensible gun nuts.

But it's nice to see the secession space taken over by someone besides
neo-confederates.
Why McArdle really sucks, & would even if she were a drooling anarcho-syndicalist progressive as I am (a/k/a: Elements of Style©): The phrase "the secession space" works so much better when expressed simply as "secession."

And it appears (that is, it seems to me) as if it's still pretty much "neo-confederates" who are pro-secession.

There's One Born Every Minute*

And Megan must be one of them, if she doesn't realize that these sorts of attempted scams never stop.

It just occurred to me how odd it is to see ads in the style of the late 1990's "Make a fortune in the stock market with [insert financial services firm here"[sic]. The Dow is in the doldrums, and more to the point, you would think that people would be tired of get-rich-quick schemes based on rising asset prices. But perhaps they never do.
There's always one ad or another talking about "making money in a declining stock market." And the radio advert from the National Association of Realtors screeching that "each market is different," go ahead & try your luck in real estate despite the obvious is rather amusing. It's suckers like this who fall for glibertarianism in the first place.


*The actual P. T. Barnum quote was along the lines of "You'll never go broke underestimating the taste of the American public," but you get what we mean. Poor taste, ignorance, just plain stupidity & venality, it's as American as poisoned w/ Alar apple pie.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cat porn again

and the german people constantly searching google for cat porn rejoice. I love letting you freaks down. And if you are wanking to Binkley, well.... ewww, but better him than me. Unless yer a purty girlwoman, but I digress.

Still, he is purty.

And getting bored.

Love is not the answer.

That leaves only violence.

So violence it is.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Megan runs a poll with a margin of 100%

Swinging from their own petard:

As longtime readers of the blog know, I'm related to the Swing Voter, aka my mother. Her vote is an infallible indicator of who will win the general election. We had dinner last night, and somewhat to my surprise, The Swing Voter is completely outraged by the New York Times story--she vows to no longer take the Times, nay, not even for the Sunday crossword. She is also now thinking seriously about voting for McCain just to spite the New York Times.
Ok, so this isn't "Fire Megan McArdle's Mother, but she's giving up on a newspaper over ONE article? I guess we know that there is another trait passed on through only the loins of the legendary McArdle lineage: colorblindness in women.
I found myself offering a tepid defense of what really is a pretty indefensible story: to wit, that reporters in cases like this usually know more they can tell, because so many sources refuse to go on the record. The Swing Voter was unmoved. She feels like the Times, and the sort of people who staff the Times, feel that they are entitled to manipulate the election in order to get teh "right" results--that such a story would never have run about a Democrat. No doubt the folks at the Times would strenuously disagree--but it matters that people feel that way. I seriously doubt my mother is the only one

Oh man, Megan must've been so confused. On the one hand, her mom was totally keying into that "left wing media bias" meme that gives McMoron such a dizzying high. On the other hand, as McMegan becomes more and more entrenched in the putzditocrocy, she has to become more and more fearful of biting the hand that feeds her. Also, she's meeting a few journalists and discovering they're not all about just making shit up so that whatever they want to happen happens.

I love how her "tepid" defenses are of the sort we're offered about Bush's actions. Yeah, it looks like he's doing totally batshit crazy and illegal stuff, but he knows more than we do so trust him. I mean, appealing to her mother's common sense by stating that the notion that the Times is a gigantic organization and cannot possibly be carrying out a conspiracy on level that her mother and herself seem to take for granted without generating mountains of evidence and battaliolns of whistleblowers is completely absurd.

God, do I hope Megan is wrong. If swing voters vote for McCain to spite the NYTs, dear lord, this country deserves whatever it gets.

Oh yeah, insert joke about how she insults the story with no evidence or explanation as to why it's so clearly bad yadda yadda etc etc <thud>

Friday, February 22, 2008

Take away her pills

please.
I'm begging you.
The shit avalanche just won't stop. Instaputz sent us a note of condolences, it's so bad. I feel I'm overusing the format, but the only way to tackle this is shorters.

Tax me more: Nope. Not reading all that. Not gonna happen.

Even if I werent't a (temporary) vegan,:

I'd think almond milk in my coffee was pretty delicious. It has about as many calories as 1% milk, it's creamy--not like nasty soy or rice concoctions, which are good only for baking--and it tastes deliciously of almonds. A huge improvement over hyper-sweet syrups (and if you like it sweet, just add your own sugar or Splenda.) After Lent ends, this is one innovation I'll keep.
Well, M., you have your answer. She's vegan for Lent, which definitely means the leather is still in play. I hear that next year, for Lent, Megan is going to pay a guy to stand alongside her yelling out false complements for passersby to hear.

What do voters want?: I think Megan McArdle is a vampire. It's the only explanation for her lack of self-awareness. She cannot self-reflect because she cannot see her own reflection, thus she never developed a proper concept of the self, and mistakes the entire world as an extension of her being. If you think I'm stretching, then find another way to explain this
The problem is, voters bore journalists. Not because we're elites and they're proles, or we're smart and they're stupid, or however you want to frame it. Voters bore journalists because we are supposed to find out what they think about policy--and they don't, much. We, on the other hand, spend all of our time immersed in this stuff. Talking about politics with your average voter is, for most journalists, like an engineer trying to explain to his mother how a television set works.
If Megan wasn't a woman I'd physically threaten her in response to this. This kind of stupidity is genuinely lethal. This is the level of stupid that allows folk to say "now I'm not racist, but *insert racist assertion here*". Megan, by her own admission, only started paying attention to this campaign at the end of last August. In 2004, she voted for George Bush, and there were over 50 million common voter type people who understood politics better than Megan at that moment. Megan's unwillingness to hear criticism leads her to hellholes like this post, because if the problem isn't with her then it must be everyone else in the entire world.
There's a classic moment in the flick Broadcast News where Holly Hunter's boss sarcastically tells her "it must be great to know everything", to which she replies "no, it isn't, it's terrible" (I'm paraphrasing from memory). Megan, like most mediocre journalists, probably thinks she embodies this moment, without vaguely understanding its very simple message.

Farewell forever:
Like most Irish Americans, I have a sort of vague sentimental notion that the conversion of Ireland to an English-speaking nation is a linguistic and cultural tragedy. Like most Irish-Americans, I also would not want to actually live in a non-English-speaking nation. What I really want is to have learned Irish from my Grandmother, and be able to impress friends by ordering drinks in my ancestral tongue while on holiday. This is the sort of thing that makes my Irish friends complain--justly--that Irish-Americans would really like to see the whole country preserved as a sort of Colonial Williamsburg with shamrocks and twee wool caps.
"learn Irish"? Now, I'm heavily Scottish, so fuck you bagpipe stealin potato suckers, but is there a legitimate history of calling Gaelic "Irish"? I wonder if Megan romanticized the IRA back in the violent days. She is Catholic, and stupid.

Ordinary heroes:
A few months ago, I got an attack of vertigo in a bar, so bad that I couldn't walk. (It happens every few months) As I staggered out of the bar, having to stop and put my head between my legs every few steps in order to overcome the waves of nausea, I dimly realized that the friends I was with (both male), were informing everyone in the bar that I had vertigo. When I stopped being so sick, some hours later, I started being embarassed; I must, I thought, have looked like I was vilely, humiliatingly drunk. Was it very embarassing, I asked one friend.

"It wasn't because you looked drunk," he said; "You looked like the roofies had kicked in too soon."

Regrets . . . I have a few . . . but then again . . . too few to mention:
Obama's rhetoric about trade, and his insanely bad economic "patriot act" have certainly given me pause. But do I have buyer's remorse? No. For starters, I clearly prefer Obama to Hillary as president; on the assumption that there's a very good chance that Generic Democrat will win the election, the primary outcome suits me.
An outcome which, while it certainly looks very good for Obama, has yet to be determined, Megan's royal decrees aside.
Moreover, Obama is running left right now to try to win the nomination. I expect he will tack right in the primaries . . . and he will probably have to govern as the fellow in the general election, because that will be his actual mandate.
The Atlantic does not check the copy of its bloggers, Megan has proven this time and time again, but when she makes those small but grating mistakes I still get a bit depressed.

Crooked Timber » » McMuddled: I love you, Crooked Timber, really, I do, but you're too good for this. Megan is beyond responding to rationally. Like her fellow conservatives, she's created a bizarre alternate reality which, while she uses english words to describe it, has no correlation with the reality in which our minds and/or physical bodies exist. I realize that's a bit more extreme than saying she's prone to using the jargon of fields and concepts she simply doesn't understand, but I'm really coming to think there's something pathological here.

Clarification:
This does, however, raise an interesting normative point, into which I have now been sidetracked without quite noticing: should you, if you think that your taxes are too low, voluntarily give that money to the government? The answer, I think, is yes, for reasons that I've laid out in previous posts. But that is separate from the positive observation I stand by: people are more interested in levying taxes on others than they are in paying taxes themselves.
English major.

Time to stop being sober.

I grow weary

As Brad has noted, Megan's output has swelled like a balloon. Since there's only so much hot air I can take in any given week, I've been slacking. Can you blame me?

Still, I skim through and come across nuggets like this:

I concede that there is a collective action problem in providing actual public goods, like the military and statues of politicians on horseback
........ politicians on horseback? WTF? Was a publicity stunt by dubya that I haven't heard about? Has Megan confused the year 2008 with the year a-long-time-ago and politicians with people we generally associate with horses? Seriously, what politician has a statue of himself on a horse? What the hell is wrong with her? Does she even think? Why does she insist on putting these awful jokes into her already awful "analysis?" They wouldn't even be funny if they made sense.

Sigh.

Randomness

Yesterday afternoon someone searched for "woman dressed like cats porn" on Google Canada. FMM, I am proud to say, is the number one result, beating a post on Feministing.
This means boys are better than girls.

So many goddamn words

dear frigging god, Megan had more to say during the debate than the candidates did.
Some lowlights

8:08 Hillary is looking chipper and trim; she's clearly one of those people who thrives on soul-crushing defeat. Her speech, however, sets my teeth on edge. ...

8:17 Obama comes out with bold, transgressive statment [sic]: not so much liberty in Cuba

8:18 All right, Obama is suggesting ending the travel ban. Not quite bold and transgressive, but refreshingly sensible.
Omigod, he's gonna pick his nos... nope, just a scratch.
8:21 Vader in a pantsuit: this is how one of my debateblogging companions just described Hillary's look. Yes, it's not fair that she gets her clothes commented on and the guys don't. So might I point out that Obama is...
No, you may not.
8:30 Hillary also apparently wants to end the Republican war on science. I say a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. What we need is not an end to the war, but an Iraq style surge.
Megan, hire a writer.
No, seriously. The Canadian hordes with their ice guns and their exaggerated "oo" sounds will not violate the territoriality of this great nation on Hillary Clinton's watch. 54°40' or fight!

Anyone who might have thought that Hillary Clinton had, like, voted for the fence was mistaken. She was voting for possibly considering the fence.
Like, seriously. You guys? You guys! F'real.
9:10 Why is the food talking? This is how one of my companions describes the way Hillary is looking at Obama when he talks.
Megan McArdle was compensated by The Atlantic for those words.
9:17 Hillary seems to be blaming George Bush for Kosovar independence and the resulting riots. Am fascinated to ponder what she might have done to stop the Kosovars from voting to separate . . .
I'm no big Clinton supporter, but I'm willing to guess Hillary knows 150,000 times more about this issue than Megan. Partially because Hillary is a very intelligent woman whose husband had extensive involvements in the area not so long ago, partially because Megan is a dumb ass who mistakes her rectum for a magic entryway to absolute truth.
9:24 Hillary says that she will start withdrawing troops within 60 days. One of the journalists in the room looks puzzled "Can you move a brigade in a month?" Another journalist suggests a follow-up question: "How many troops in a brigade?"
.... it just goes on and on, but I couldn't leave that one out. Now, the grand finale, tho we'll continue on with her afterparty posts.
9:35 Someone in the room says the two candidates look suspiciously healthy. Where are the husky voices and haggard brows? Could it be . . . steroids? And if so, should whoever wins get an asterisk after their name on the presidential roster?

9:37 Another IM from Dan Drezner: Tax cuts = wasteful speding????!!!!

Well . . . have you seen the crap some people buy?

9:42 Dan again: I swear to God, did she just plagiarize Primary Colors???!!!!

9:43 Is she gonna cry? Is she?

9:44 No.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is proud.
Now, some quick shorters.

Hail, Hillary:
The emerging consensus: this was a good debate for Hillary Clinton . . . but not good enough. ...
Obviously, I'm not a Hillary supporter. But now I have that feeling of sympathy that often wells up when an opponent is defeated; once we can afford to be generous once they are no longer much of a threat. And one can hang one's hat on the fact that she was possibly undone simply by bad timing. Not having been much of a primary hound the last time around, I've been repeatedly struck by how path dependent this all seems to be. If the primaries had been run in a different order, mightn't she have emerged as the front runner . . . and wouldn't that be a pretty bitter thought for any of us to live with?
A bitter thought? Thoughts don't has flava, according to reality. Also, much as I loathe the DLC, I could live with Hillary as president. After the last 7 years, she'd be filet fookin mignon.

Great minds think alike:
Chris Beam of Slate had much the same thought as my crew:
Obama looks like a Roman senator. Hillary looks like a guest star in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Update 8:35 p.m.: A friend corrects me. More like Chronicles of Riddick.
Considering the extremely limited extent of Megan's pop culture references, I can only respond to this by saying, "Worst. Scifi references. Ever."(Omigozors, I think I just plagiarized her joke. Halp!)

Who you calling a plagiarist?:
During the debate, Dan Drezner suggested to me over IM that Hillary Clinton was plagiarizing Primary Colors. He backs it up on his own blog:
Hillary Clinton, February 21, 2008 debate with Barack Obama: "You know, lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox." Hillary Clinton, later on in the same debate: "You know, the hits I've taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country." Jack Stanton speech, in Primary Colors (New York: Random House, 1996), p. 162: "Y'know, I've taken some hits in this campaign. It hasn't been easy for me, or my family. It hasn't been fair, but it hasn't been anything compared to the hits a lot of you take every day."
Meanwhile, Chris Beam at Slate picks up on another instance:

Hillary, however, pivots in a way that evokes, of all things, her Diner Sob. Only this time, she sets herself up: “People often ask me, ‘How do you do it? How do you keep going?’ ” That’s the exact same question asked by Marianne Pernold Young at the CafĂ© Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the eve of the primary. Clinton then goes into a colorful anecdote about a medical center filled with people injured in Iraq. She doesn’t exactly tear up, but it’s a deliberately emotional moment. (We see Chelsea looking teary afterwards.) At the very end, she borrows a line that John Edwards used toward the end of his campaign. "We're going to be fine," she said, referring to herself and Obama. (Edwards always said it about himself and Elizabeth.) "I just hope we can say the same thing about the American people."
The natural responses to these "accusations" are obvious, I don't even need to voice them. I'd just like to note that Megan is a coward, and didn't even add a "heh, indeed" to the post. She's merely calling attention to what others are saying, not saying it herself. (Still, don't tell Hillary where you heard it, k?)

I hope Megan takes a long weekend. She's been in horrid form this week.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just a putz, putzin' around

putz putz putz putz

Megan's Insta-shite, plus a little Annie A.

Who reads instapundit?:

Science nerds, apparently. I'm reading the email, and most of it is correcting Megan McArdle about the theory of evolution or getting on my case about how a lunar eclipse is a full moon. So I'll try to serve up more science. Did you know some scientists in Italy figured out how to detect the G-spot using ultrasound? There, did I say that wrong?
posted at 09:30 PM by Ann Althouse[who I am not]
Ann, who is not me, proves that if she's bad at something it only means she's going to do it again and again and again and again until she has tenure.

"If republicans are making too much:
of Michelle Obama's gaffe that 'for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country' -- and well they might, because it could win them the election -- Democrats are making way too little of it."
posted at 08:04 AM by Ann Althouse[a person I am not]
Ann (~me) is not saying this herself, it's a quote from the link, though that's not at all obvious from the post. The quotation marks don't help when dealing with a narcissist who quotes herself frequently. Also, what exactly are Democrats to make of it, a bumper sticker? Apparently petty minded partisans such as Ann, who most likely voted for Clinton twice to use as a come-on if she ever met him in person, think whether Michelle Obama should have been "really proud" of the US more often is going to determine the election.
It won't.

Oh God:
. . . I'm not sure if "thanks" is quite the word for the reader who offered me a concrete visual to go with my metaphor about the demise of the Clinton campaign.
posted at 11:20 AM by Megan McArdle
I'm not reinserting the link, but that goes to a post over at S,N! fav Ace of Spades with a pic of Hillary as a vampire staked in her coffin. Yes, Megan McArdle linked to Ace of Spades while guestblogging at Instapundit, with Ann Althouse. Yes, the world is going to end because of it.

Psst, Megan.
Stuff like this has been around for ages.
posted at 12:59 PM by Ann Althouse[the un-me]
She's talking about make-up. I am very juvenile and I find this post to be the funniest thing I've seen all week.

A mob is storming the US Embassy in Belgrade.: ... which is apparently hilaaaaaaaaaarious.
They're mad about the Kosovo independence vote. Even destroying the vital US ornamental shrubbery installations cannot break our steely will, nor silence the voice of Kosovar freedom . . .
posted at 02:43 PM by Megan McArdle
From Megan's link
A charred body was found inside the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, after rioters stormed the complex Thursday evening in protest of Kosovo's declaration of independence, sources in Belgrade told FOX News.
HAAAAHahahahahahahahaa... wait, what?

There's more I could poke at, but my tummy hurts too much from charred corpse hilarity to continue. Probably a quick look at the debate post still to come sometime tonight.

Verbal Diarrhea

Someone take away Megan's prescription uppers, whatever they are. She's never this productive. She must be trying to put a good face on her habits for Instaputz's huge and influential readership of scared little men. Oy. This will be in two parts, one Atlantic, the other Instaputzy. First, The Atlantic.

Eliot Spitzer is doing: I'm glad to know Megan loathes the Guv. He has real flaws, but he's also not George Pataki, which is inherently a wonderful, glorious thing. He also has some real achievements, and knows how to pick his enemies.

Eliot Spitzer is doing what he does best--threatening regulatory interventions of dubious legality, in order to strongarm banks into donating money to his pet causes. In this case, that cause is the municipal bond authorities of New York State.
Ann Althouse, who the me that I am is not, would probably call that libelous. At the very least, it shows Megan is quite angry at him. Too bad it's too late to add him to the poll.

Brookings: Income mobility is not what it used to be:
A chapter of the report released last fall found startling evidence that a majority of black children born to middle-class parents grew up to have lower incomes and that nearly half of middle-class black children fell into the bottom fifth in adulthood, compared with 16 percent of middle-class white children.
That is a shocking statistic. It's easy to understand why poor black kids have trouble getting ahead: a combination of social capital, culture, racism, and lack of resources. It certainly is possible to succeeed if you're poor--the difference is, if you're poor you have to do every single thing right, while the rest of us have some margin for error. But middle class kids have parents to model and enforce successful behavior; they also have resources to ride out life's storms. Nor is racism a particularly plausible explanation. Racism may depress the earnings of middle-class blacks--but not to poverty level. The returns to education are actually higher for African-Americans than for whites (though in part this is because they're starting from a low base).
Once again, fuck you Megan. IT'S FUCKING RACISM. Unless you want to say blacks are inherently inferior, and you leave that for Steve Sailer to insinuate, most of the time, then the only possible explanation for this huge discrepancy is discrimination against those folk. That's called racism. Megan is probably still trying to figure out how to blame it on the public school system.

Ise, Ise baby . . .:
That said, I don't have a good sense of how much impact this sort of thing actually has, and I suspect it's (sadly) rather common.
How long have you lived in DC, Megan?

Lessig is more
one certainly can't object to the prospect of more serious thinkers, and fewer professional politicians, in Congress.
Mkay, Jonah's gf.

Clinton campaign in chaos?:
FOXNews offers confirming evidence for what I've been saying for months
"confirming evidence". English major. N yeah, the attitude is full of shit, but, well, duh.
On the other hand, I didn't think she could win in New York. On the third hand, perhaps she wouldn't have, if she'd been playing against the varsity. At any rate, it certainly doesn't sound good.
"the third hand". And yes, this noted prognosticator thought Hillary couldn't win in NY. Megan didn't just think she wouldn't win, but couldn't. English major.

Back with the flipside of hell later. Plus maybe a look at the debate post.

Oh God. Oh God.

I'm not even going to provide links. What's the point?

She titled another post "The rich really are different" and yet again, she goes on to mock an entire group of people for... some reason?

I'm guessing, at this point, that those reasons are psychological. Perhaps they're the much documented guilt we've noticed? Maybe it's actually jealousy, as Megan, being only upper middle class, feels left out of the uberrich lifestyle? I think the latter makes sense. Afterall, in her Randian world view, the more you make the better you are and who doesn't like to go around trashing their betters in order to feel a sense of undeserved superiority? I mean, who doesn't do that that has a narcissistic personality such as Megan's?

That, or she's just trying to annoy me on purpose.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I feel like an abusive husband..

I'm not like this, Megan. It's not me. It's you. You make me this way. Why do you make me repeat myself over and over and over and over. I don't usually repeat myself over and over. You make me repeat myself over and over.

1/28/08

Supply, meet demand. Demand, meet supply. I just knew you two are going to hit it off!

Wait a second... that headline looks familiar you say.

Well, yes, because Megan thinks that using a not very clever witticism twice in less than a month is acceptable practice for a professional writer. I guess she is a fan of The Family Circus.

Cause, hey, you know what happened today, don't you? That's right!

2/20/08

Supply, meet demand! Demand, meet supply!

I hate you, Megan. I'm not like this. You make me like this. I don't usually repeat myself. You make me like this. I hate you, Megan. I'm not usually like this. You make me like this. I don't usually repeat myself.

I hate you, Megan. You make me like this.

Insta-hell

I have seen the face of Satan. It is a blog where Megan and Ann Althouse, who I am not, both post. It's called Instapundit. It is a bad place where bad people say stupid, hateful things. You're probably familiar with it, if only by reputation.
Megan said her posts would be cross-posted, as I noted earlier, but some were not. These are those moments of pain, but, in keeping with Instapundit's limited literacy, they're short.

Consumer price inflation inches higher:

Both the headline number and "core" inflation--which excludes food and energy prices--rose substantially. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal think it won't last. Of course, they were also surprised by the current figures.
... and?

It depends on what the meaning of the word "pledged" is:
Instapundit is always a great place to make stunning declarations--in 2004, it's where I announced I was voting for George Bush.
What's stunning about that? You're a corporate enabler, Megan. GW should still be your idol. Now, an overblown proclamation
So here goes: Hillary is done. She cannot collect enough delegates to win the nomination. The superdelegates are not going to hand the nomination to someone who didn't get a majority of the delegates, or the popular votes, in the primaries.
Well, actually, she still can collect enough delegates to win. It will be very, very difficult, but it is possible. If Hillary doesn't win Texas and Ohio on March 4th, then she's done, though if she wins one she'll likely stay in the race till the end. Megan has more to say, but she's plain factually wrong.

Untitled:
CNN is reporting that Obama just secured the endorsement of the Teamsters. I am unfortunately seized by a mental vision of Hillary Clinton pounding on the lid of her coffin as the final nails are driven in.
Unfortunately? Has Megan accepted that she'll face nihilism without Hillary loathing to animate her?

Apparently, the Northern Illinois campus shooter was taking prozac, xanax, and ambien.:
This is being reported as if it were something ominous, perhaps the cause of the tragedy. This seems a little much. It's not exactly shocking to find out that people who go on shooting sprees are often depressed, anxious types with difficulty sleeping.
No, Megan, they aren't reporting it in any such way. Maybe you're just upset they're not turning the revelation into a chance to make jokes about Heath Ledger, but the CNN article in question contains the following line
A psychiatrist not familiar with the details of the case said the three-drug combination was not necessarily either unusual or dangerous.
and reads like a basic provision of information on the background of the shooter. I don't think Megan understands that headlines are designed to convey information.

And now, a word from Ann Althouse, who I am not.
HI, MEGAN, HI MICHAEL. Nice to be here with you again. I've been away all afternoon flying from Madison, Wisconsin — my usual home base — to Brooklyn Heights, where I'm a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School this year. I'm especially glad to be back to my view of New York Harbor for tonight's total eclipse of the moon. If the clouds behave I hope to have some nice photographs for all you Instapundit (and Althouse) readers. But don't wait for the photographs. Find a vantage point and gaze. Or howl. Or whatever one does for a total eclipse. Not howl. That's for the full moon. Maybe a hearty silent scream. You'll have to wait until 2010 for the next opportunity.
No joke required.

Truth Be Told...

Why, look at this:

Journalism is a career that is highly, highly dependent on networking and self-promotion,
sez Ms. McArdle.

And who would know better?

It's all about raising yourself up by your bootstraps, you know. Or sucking up to the powerful, at least those more powerful than you. And soon enough you'll find that talent & ability don't matter, it's just the attitude you display to your betters.

And that Barbara Ehrenreich? Acting like a lunatic! Just save your money, kids. It's easy!

Here's just how easy it is, as told by D. Sidhe, commenting @ the ever-popular Sadly, No!

A steaming pile of crap

That's what Megan has left for me to deal with today.
Dear Megan, please flush when you're done, next time. We don't need to find your remains.

Quote of the day:

I hate to see people get all caught up in national elections. The Presidential election is, as CNN puts it so well, a Ballot Bowl, analogous to the Super Bowl. It is a marketing extravanganza for centralized government.
(Not Megan's words, of course, just endorsed by her.)
Does this mean Megan is now going to fault Obama for bringing people back into the process? How dare he make government seem potentially relevant to making people's lives better? Megan and Obama's relationship is bordering on abusive.

How can I say I love you if you won't shut up?: And then she crosses the border, giving Obama a subtle warning that she's about ready to hit him. You see, Obama is concerned about the welfare of the American worker, and that's socialism. Obama is, horrifyingly, not entirely in favor of free trade.
As Daniel Drezner remarked to me yesterday, the sad fact is that a lot of swing states are in the rust belt, which means that you can expect to see protectionism on the agenda over and over again through November.
It's such a sad fact that the well-being of Americans will figure into our election, isn't it? Megan can't bring herself to believe this is so, which means Obama must be pandering.
Of course, "I support my candidate because I'm sure he's lying" is hardly a stirring rallying cry. And there remains the disturbing possibility that he's serious about all this.
Fuck you, Megan. Naomi Klein should have your job.

Why be against bankruptcy reform?: Megan had her broken clock moment of the day in this post, and argued against the recent bankruptcy "reforms". The bad part is in a footnote.
Contrary to popular belief, illness often brings on bankruptcy not through high medical bills, but loss of income to pay other bills.
Daaaaaahgahwooty. What? Contrary to popular belief, the money spent on high medical bills couldn't be otherwise spent on normal bills, so STOP BLAMING THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE REFORMED CAN I HAS MY CHECK NOW MR INSURANCE LOBBYIST?

Mayor's climate aide gets $160,000 a year:
The city of San Francisco has just created a highly paid job called the "director of climate protection initiatives". I am hard put to imagine what the city of San Francisco imagines it can do, all by its lonesome, to halt global warming--the nature of international oil supplies, and fixed infrastructure investment, mean that any energy not used in San Francisco will simply be purchased by someone else at a very modestly lower price. The San Francisco Chronicle's commenters are apparently as flummoxed as I am--only they're also mad, because it's their money being spent.
Y'know what's irrelevant to deciding whether this is a rational choice? Knowing what this official does, and whether the particular person chosen for the spot has unique skills in such demand that such a salary is justified. It's better to just presume that your own biases are better informed than the government of a large city. And, if, say, this person finds a way to improve traffic flow and reduce smog, that smog will just move to some other city. If too many cities follow San Fran's model the nation will soon be menaced by roving masses of smog who beat up old ladies and threaten children. Is that what you want, you dirty hippies?

Guest blogging:
I'm guesting at Instapundit this week; I'll be cross-posting all my Instapundit content here, however, as well as the wonky stuff that only appeals to my more . . . exclusive . . . readership.
And thus ends any and all pretense by Megan of having any left leanings, whatsoever. Heh, indeed. *more to come on this in a separate post*

Things that make you go hmmmm:
Kriston Capps:
More people have personally seen or felt the presence of a ghost than approve President Bush's job performance. Which is in the basement. Where the ghosts live.
Typical liberal garbage. George Bush's approval ratings, however abysmal, are still higher than the number of people who have actually seen a ghost.
I'm going to be generous and assume Megan was trying to be funny here. She isn't funny, because she doesn't understand humor, but, unless she's pandering to Instaputz's audience (a very real possibility), that was a joke. Problem is, our jokes are unintentionally revealing. People who make lots of racial jokes, for example, tend to have unresolved racial issues. Megan has tons of lefty friends and went out with more than one lefty, so there. She's, like, infected with our stain, and there's nothing in her attitude that would make you wonder whether she thinks it's funny cuz it's true. At all.

Making it: Forget the point of this post, let's just savor this
Journalism is a career that is highly, highly dependent on networking and self-promotion, yet in the book she comes across as someone who has never mastered the rudiments of personal contact, like not gratuitously insulting people with whom you are trying to secure employment.
Fluffers make great journalists, dontchaknow. Mencken was a noted ass-kiss. Heh, indeed.

Information wants to be free, but medical care doesn't.: Y'know what's awesome? The fact that tv ads for prescription medicine have made patients try to determine what treatments they should get, instead of relying on the opinions of trained experts who base their assessment of your individual health on direct observation. Health care should be trendy, not based on good science. Doctors are notorious for holding out on the good meds. You have to earn their respect by questioning their competency compared to tv ads, first.
Browbeating the pharmas will not generate enough savings to finesse this trend.
.... What?

Next up, a look at what Megan's doing over at Instapundit. She said all her posts would be crossposted, but seems that's not the case. Heh, kill me.

Please Kill Yourself

Miss Megan blogs about rising suicide among the middle-aged (nearly 20% between 1999 & 2004) & wonders why. Just minutes (well, an hour or so) before I read that, I heard well-known pinko Thom Hartmann on Air America referring to the NYT article, & then referring us to a BBC story that in Australia, over the last 100 yrs., suicide has risen every time a conservative gov't. has been in office. Wasted half an hour trying to find it on the BBC's site & Google™, but couldn't. Maybe it's on Hartmann's site, I dunno, my time runs out here at the library. Makes sense to me though. If any one could make middle-aged people kill themselves, it would be G. W. Bush & his administration, as people realized how miserable the remainder of their lives would be.

And we might also remember a recent (last wk.?) study indicating the the young & the old are happier than the middle-aged. No one seemed to make the connection that of those three groups, only the middle-aged are stuck in horrid, mind-numbing jobs, w/ the proverbial bootheels stomping on their faces for the foreseeable future.

P. S.: If I'm never heard from again...

UPDATE: See comments for links to the studies I couldn't find, from ever-helpful Contributing Editor emeritus Spencer. Thanx!!

Late night shorters

Let's catch up with Megan's day.

The Bellows » More Housing, cont.:

This dovetails with the fact that many of the most problematic loans hit trouble even before their teaser rates reset, meaning that there was never any realistic possibility that the borrower would repay the money.
Which only goes to show, it's all the borrowers' fault for taking on loans beyond their ability to pay, regardless of whether they could comprehend that.

Obamarama:
So how can I support [Obama]? Well, I wouldn't, if there were better alternatives. But my choices are Hillary Clinton and John McCain, whose goals may be slightly more moderate, but whose instincts are for regulating the hell out of any market outcome they don't like. McCain is not a classical liberal; he's the product of an intensely hierarchical honor culture that he seems to think would substantially improve the rest of us if we adopted more of its values. I have no shortage of respect for the military, and their willingness to place their own lives between the rest of us and war's desolation. But that doesn't mean I think America would be a better place if we had a more martial state. His record bespeaks little respect for spontaneous order and individual freedom. What free-market instincts he evinces seem to have come as part of the conservative ideas combo-pack he bought because it was cheaper than buying the parts individually--all he really wanted was the national greatness and the moderately conservative social structure.
According to Megan, liberty = the ability of corporations to act without regulation. This is fucking stupid, and only stillborn idiots believe this.
As libertarians go, I'm not a tax nut; I think deadweight loss is relatively low, and taxation is among the least intrusive actions the state can take. I'm far more concerned about regulation. The economic cost tends to be higher; it lacks the natural limits imposed by citizen resistance; and it doesn't so extensively accustom the citizenry to taking orders from the state.
You're a corporate shill, Megan, not a libertarian.
(I know I'm not being wittily snarky in this, but fuck. This isn't funny.)

Cuba libre: Castro retiring totally might mean something, or not. There aren't many vegan options in Cuban food, are there?

Killing capitalism softly: Note that the top of the page for this post adds (Econ 101) to the title, implying you might learn something. This implication is false.
To a first approximation, everyone in the 1930s and 1940s seems to have believed that capitalism, and quite possibly democracy, were headed for the ashbin of history; the hope (or fear) appears in the writings of everyone from Orwell to Hayek. The question I have is, given this near-perfect consensus, how did we manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Or did we? We are, it seems, gearing up to nationalize an industry that accounts for 16% of national output--and even libertarian bloggers have been known to speak out in favor of that most socialist of institutions, the Federal Reserve.
Everyone together, with me. The fact is, it's the DUSTBIN of history, dammit! Megan can't even steal from Gary properly. Pfffft. As for this claim of "everyone" feeling this way, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what about the folk fighting for the Allies in WWII? They, just maybe, still had some belief in capitalism and democracy. Maybe. But it's obvious she's simply empirically wrong on this, innit.

"Even the libertarians . . . ": Poor Megan, she picked a political ideology she thought would give her cover for being a corporatist conservative, and no one is falling for it anymore.
Maybe if she gets blindly self-righteous about how she's being treated while continuing to ignore the erosion of private rights by this admin, we'll give in so she'll shut up. It's not like libertarians should be concerned about personal liberty and privacy, as opposed to corporate regulation.

Megan's been taking her dumb pills this week, no doubting that. Urgh.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Color me repetitive.

Cuba libre:

An article in which Megan asks us to "Color me unconvinced"

Since we're just as into repeating ourselves here as she is over there, let's do a quick run down of things she's been colored in the past 5 months:

2/19/08: unconvinced

10/29/07: skeptical

10/16/07: unimpressed

10/15/07 sceptical [sic]

10/10/07: incredulous

10/09/07: skeptical

9/22/07: skeptical

9/20/07: unimpressed

So, for those of you wondering what kind of colors Megan prefers, they are primarily skeptical, largely unimpressed, with hints of incredulity and unconvincedness. There is also a dash of scepticism, which is like skepticism only it's also useful for walking/an ornamentation of aristocracy.

I guess we should at least be thankful that she's switched from a boring, derivative writing style that cycles every 4 months instead of every 4 days.

Why?

what is wrong with me? I wake up in the morning and compulsively check MMs blog, only to find her 80th million post titled "Obamarama."

Hey, Queen of Clever, STOP. I don't even have to read the freaking posts anymore to get annoyed. Can't we go with "Obamalicious" or maybe "Obamatastic" or hell, why not try "Someone dropped an O-bom!" but for fucking fuckity's sake (god I love cursing, too) STFU with this Obamarama crap.

In....

Insip....

Insipid....

Insipid-ama....

Monday, February 18, 2008

This much stupid

that's how much.

Separate and increasingly unequal:

I also disagree with the notion that the concentration of wealth is a large political problem.
*sigh*
Europe is, if anything, even more elite-dominated than America, despite radically less income inequality. And while the wealthy certainly have the ear of politicians, and also give a lot of money to those politicians, it's not clear to me how tightly these things are linked on matters of broad national policy. It's clear and obvious that people who give campaign contributions get favors that are large to them, but small from the perspective of the nation: a $14 million tax break for Florida loggers, or what have you. But the president of GM makes no campaign contributions; I bet he still gets his phone calls returned by politicians, especially if they happen to be from Michigan.
"The president of GM makes no campaign contributions"?
And it gets worse
I think that if there is a problem, it is that high concentrations of economic power may make the current distribution of wealth intergenerationally self-sustaining. ... But in America, money buys access to things, particularly education, but also opportunities like unpaid internships, that make it easier to get a high-paying job. This may be more worrisome than big wealth concentrations.
Did Megan have her eyes open at any point in her time in private school? What's she's describing is not a hypothetical, it's how society has been run at least since written descriptions of society began. The rich get richer, regardless of merit. Of course there are exceptions, but goddamn Megan is dense.
Wealth is eroded over time, either by lazy heirs or the sheer multiplication of descendants; hence the phrase "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations". But if the rich start passing on, not money, but the habits, skills, and social capital to make your own money, the result could be an aristocracy more deeply entrenched than any ever seen in America.
Notice the "subtle" argument here? If the children of the rich get richer, that's because they were taught to be superior beings, not because they had everything handed to them on a goddamn platter by actually talented people whose salary the rich pay. The "problem" is a crop of "super-rich" who just are superior. Excuse me while I swear at Megan a bit for trying to intellectualize the rich kid's inherent sense of entitlement and self-superiority. Fuck you, you stupid shithead asshole fucking fuck of a fuckafuck. Don't tell yourself that's not what you meant, either, Megan. It is. This bullshit hypothetical supposes that there's no MONEY being passed down along with the superman training. That's fucking dumb. (And btw, "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves" is an expression of old money snobbery, the implication being that those lacking the class to be born into old money won't be able to hold onto it. Megan simply doesn't know what she's talking about.)
Conservatives might rejoinder that this elite might be more entrenched, but less effective, since much of what it is handing its descendants are positive endowments such as virtue and education; endowments that can't be realized without a substantial amount of work by those descendants. I don't think that's right--our education system daily gives lie to the notion that America nurtures any sort of equality of opportunity--but even if it were, we'd need to think hard about the character of a nation with a hereditary educational aristocracy.
Conservatives might rejoinder what, exactly? That a hypothetical elite that doesn't inherit their families' wealth would obviously deserve their superman lifestyles, but not have the financial muscle to dominate politics the way they do now? All the money the wealthy previously held having been what, donated to the fucking poor?
I'd try to respond constructively to Megan's convoluted drivel, but she barely managed to rise to the level of confused ramblings. The muddled objections to nonsensical hypotheticals she herself constructed simply overwhelm you with stupid. It comes across like an unintentional snapshot of how her psyche deals with the unfair and undeserved advantages she's had in life. I'd say something dismissively witty about these psychic defenses, but they're simply too incoherent. I don't believe that Megan thinks her own existence is a bad thing, yet that's what she essentially concludes with. One thing money doesn't buy is self-awareness.

How much stupid is there in the world?

Not stupidity, stupid. Stupidity is too evolved to describe Megan's drivel. Her two main posts today contain a staggering amount of sheer, unadulterated, stupid. George Bush would call her work today shallow and uninformative, if he could read. This is going to be a painful post, and it has a sequel to follow.

The lobby that dare not speak its name:

Foreign policy is not my area, so it's pretty low down the huge pile of books sitting unread on my shelves. But I have read most of the reviews, and what strikes me is how much of the objection seems to be to the simple fact of acknowledging that there is an Israel lobby.
Next week, Megan provides reviews of books she's been told exist. I can't wait to see what she thinks of whatever manuscript Pynchon is theoretically developing just this moment.
Nevermind the thesis of this post, it's painful enough just documenting the stupid. We'll start off with a light assault on reason and logic
No Arab-American I have ever met is either surprised or offended when you note that the Michigan delegation in Congress is the only substantial geographical opponent to America's Israel policy; indeed, they wish they had this power in other states. Irish Americans don't accuse you of conspiracy-mongering when you note the way the late Senator Moynihan happily handed out vastly disproportionate numbers of visas to the Irish.
What is a "geographical opponent"? I even googled it to check if it's jargon, and Megan's post is either the second or first result, depending on whether you search the words or the phrase. The phrase only yields 49 results, with near all the rest about sports team rivalries. And, since we're not above nitpicking here, can't an English major take care with her language so as not to indicate that Senators have the ability to issue visas (and a responsibility to use that authority in a geographically balanced manner, apparently) though of course they can dictate certain things to the INS depending on seniority and the willingness of others in the power structure to tolerate it.
Moving along, we come to the first dose of weapons grade stupid of the day
no one persecutes Arabs on the grounds that they are running a secret conspiracy to rule the world. To some extent I'm sympathetic to it, much as I understand why research into race and IQ has been left largely to wingnuts with not-so-hidden agendas.
I have to give her credit, that's quite a one-two punch. Megan, apparently, lives in DC but hasn't heard of that ole bullshit boogeyman Islamofascism, or... Gitmo. They have nothing to do with Megan McArdle becoming a vegan, so it's not surprising. As for race and IQ, that's like asking why only kooks are still into phrenology. Race and IQ are largely artificial constructs left over from the global hegemony of a certain strata of european and american males, but I'm not a sociologist so there's only so much i can say to justify that claim. It does make sense that an enabler of the still quite powerful remains of that hegemony like Megan would want further research into the confluence of two streams of bullshit. As we're about to see, Megan remains horrified by the idea that a wealthy person anywhere would find reason for self-doubt.
But first, I'll give Megan the final word, with another of her cute little admissions of personal fallibility
I'm not sure how well this works--we give Israel an awful lot of money, and to some extent it seems to me that the regional rivalries are the product, rather than the cause, of our Israel policy. On the other hand, I'm no expert, and Dan is, so I'm probably wrong.

*back with part 2 after I crack a beer and stretch my legs*

Your discussion of something that is not me reminds me

that I, me, am here, being the me that I am. And the me that I am thinks Megan is the child of Jonah and Ann Althouse, who the me that I am is not. How else to explain the blegs and narcissism?
Snickers are about Megan.

Too bad I'll never get to eat a Snickers again; turns out that nougat contains (non-humane) gelatin.
Non
humane
gelatin
.

Oy.

...

Bleg:

I can't find my copy of the Motorcycle Diaries. Does anyone know the last line?
Then there's this comment (in reference to Che Guevara)
Apparently those weren't his last words, but what he said on his capture.

As long as we're quoting mass murderers, what are last words of Mein Kampf?

Posted by Occam's Beard | February 18, 2008 8:48 PM
Quality people all around.

Thanks... kind off.

How to lose money in the subprimes without really trying:


It's hilarious, this is!


Thankfully, there's still something to make fun of as Megan who, rather than provide a link as I have, embeds this hilarious slide show. It contains small text. Any html genius wanna splain to Miss Bright-o-Pants what happens when you shrink something with small text to a quarter of its original size? (Hint: the text loses some of its utility.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Megan McAudio

Ever the masochist, I decided to click on "Radio Free Megan," which turns out to be the "official podcast" (as if there's an unofficial one being bootlegged over the Internet at this very moment, f'r crissake) of Asymmetrical Information. It may not be her fault, but if you wanted to waste 64 minutes of your life, or merely wanted a clue to McArdle family dynamics, you can't listen to her interview w/ her father ("Transit Talk") because the link links to her squawk w/ McCain's econ boy ("McCainomics") which is played back at a very low volume (his voice lower than hers, oddly enough). I'm unable to adjust the volume on the devil-box I'm using, but did turn up the podcast volume to max.

Whether we can blame Ms. McA. directly for the technical difficulties/incompetence, or lay them at the feet of the no doubt underpaid & treated-like-crap geek at The Atlantic is unknown, but it's just typical, innit?

The point being, don't waste your time, in case you were going to. (But you weren't, were you, being wiser than that?)

Big Generalized P. S. (not referring only to McMegan): What really is the point of podcasts? Just transcribe your interminable conversations & let us read them &/or skip through them. Anything spoken can be read through in, say, a third of the time it would take to listen, unless one is listening while ironing or drying the dishes, in which case it's neither compelling nor worthwhile, is it?

brad adds:

She does podcasts and bloggingheads to pad her resume as a fledgling pundit. Think of them as audition tapes for hating on Hillary with Chris Matthews. Fortunately, she's got no screen presence, looks like a Pound Puppy, and very, very clearly has no voice training, so she still has to ratchet her mediocrity up quite a bit to have a shot.

The Big Malig adds (19 February 2008, 1013 PST):

Pound Puppies™ are cute, though.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Big ole shorters

Lots to catch up on, lots to mock.

We must compel them to be free!

What?
DENNIS:
I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week,...
MEGAN:
Yes.
DENNIS:
...but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting...
MEGAN:
Yes, I see.
DENNIS:
...by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,...
MEGAN:
Be quiet!
DENNIS:
...but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--
MEGAN:
Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN:
Order, eh? Who does she think she is? Heh.

When Hillary Clinton fixes the housing market, she really fixes it.:
This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. Yes, multiple foreclosures can be bad for urban neighborhoods, and it would be nice if there were some way to prevent this.
Remember, profit is sacred, and thus cannot be placed in danger without committing economic heresy. AND THE LENDERS ARE BLAMELESS.
The teaser rates these people got can be lower than the rate on a prime fixed mortgage. This is, of course, very nice for the people who bought more house than they can afford. It will not be so nice for anyone who wants to get a subprime mortgage in the future, since this move will probably destroy that market for at least a decade or so to come. It will, of course, be very bad for anyone who happens to be a mortgage lender--aka the people the rest of us want to borrow money from in order to buy houses.
If the lenders have to feel the pain of their mistakes, how are they going to repeat them? Come on, people!
This move will leave them with a lot less money to loan out to anyone else, so hello, higher mortgage rates. Higher mortgage rates, for those following along at home, generally mean lower house prices, which means that the problem of negative equity will get worse.

In other words, Senator Clinton would like to destroy the mortgage market in order to save it.

I see this problem as roughly the same problem of pharmaceutical price controls. Yes, we can help some people now, but only at the cost of hurting a lot more people in the future. Those people, of course, don't vote, either because they aren't born, or don't know who they are yet; hence, politicians often ignore them. But that's no reason that the rest of us should follow suit.
Don't you realize fixing problems might make it harder for already well off people to profit from the problematic situation? Why make the housing market, or big pharma, actually serve people?

Another bad idea: Has Megan mentioned how much she loathes Hillary in the last 15 seconds?

The king of wrong?: Lecture time. Prof McArdle sez
Obviously you should not deceive people, much less manipulate their words to present a substantively false image of them or reality. But if you sit down thinking that no one you interview should ever be unhappy with the result, you are committing to a project just as dishonest as the filmmaker who starts out with a narrative and trims the facts to fit it. Probably the hardest thing about being a journalist is disputing the truth claims of nice people who have spent hours of their valuable time talking to you about their issues. But that's your job.
Which is why Megan doesn't bother with interviews or research or anything else actual journalists, the people who convey new information to others, do. It's because she's polite, and considerate of others, not because she's incredibly lazy.

∞ degrees of separation: This post... has a point?

Piracy: a symphony of spontaneous order:
Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN:
Order, eh? Who does she think she is? Heh.
MEGAN:
I am your queen!
WOMAN:
Well, I didn't vote for you.
MEGAN:
You don't vote for queens.
WOMAN:
Well, how did you become queen, then?
MEGAN:
The Ayn of the Rand,...
[angels sing]
...her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft a steaming pile of crap from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Megan, was to carry this steaming pile of crap.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your queen!
DENNIS:
Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing fecal matter is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
MEGAN:
Be quiet!
DENNIS:
Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a turd at you!
MEGAN:
Shut up!
DENNIS:
I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had dropped a deuce on me, they'd put me away!
MEGAN:
Shut up, will you? Shut up!

Stag + flate = uh oh!:
Seeing creeping stagflation paired with oil prices in the 1990s would tend to bolster that theory.
Megan was an English major? Has anyone verified her diploma?

Sick of being sick?: Then get a good job with good health coverage and a generous number of sick days, sickie!
There is probably some truth to this. But it bizarrely seems to assume that there is some steep demand in decline for long weekends after you've had three or eight, which is not, in my experience, true. The problem is, whether you call it sick leave or vacation days, a day off is a day off. Many people in America (and the rest of the world) already view their sick leave as a sort of backup vacation, which means that the temptation to hoard them by coming in when you're sniffly is intact. (This is why people in lower-skilled jobs are frequently put through the indignity of having to bring in a doctor's note.) If, as for most people, work is somewhere you'd rather not be, then when given the opportunity not to be there, you won't.
I guess Megan sees a problem in this. I do, too, but it's not the same one. The problem is the average American worker gets such little vacation time and is expected to put in so many hours that they end up valuing sick days more as extra vacation than as days to stay home when they are sick. Megan, of course, sees the problem as those lazy shiftless workers not breaking their backs hard enough.
Social and cultural rules can control this to some extent, but they seem to break down over time, which is why the Scandinavian countries, with their generous sick leave policies, are having increasing problems with absenteeism. The problem is worst in Sweden, but it seems to be a concern anywhere that has generous leave policies
Now, credit where it's due, Megan actually cited sources, with links I'm not gonna bother to reinsert. That said, it's only having gone to business school which allows Megan to see workers as assets instead of human beings and see only productivity and problems of overindulgence, not quality of life or human lives. Or at least that's my theory.

I'm in ur convenience store, enslaving ur kidz: Ok, first off, to whoever it was who introduced Megan to Lolcats, fuck you.
Second, the studied opinion of medical scientists means NOTHING compared to Megan's personal experience. Fuck the recorded experiences of many other people, they're just fooling themselves.
I'm actually like Megan, the physical withdrawal was easier to deal with, for me, than having to readjust my habits. But I've had friends who couldn't quit because they couldn't handle withdrawal. Megan would probably call them weak, I call them not me, so wtf can I say about it.