26
Aug
09

Mid-week misanthropy, vol. 45

The big news of the day is of course the death of Senator Edward Kennedy.  While I have had my disagreements with the man’s political leanings and my disappointments with his past public behaviour, I think it’s important for the nation as a whole that he be laid to rest with dignity and compassion.

You didn’t honestly believe that, did you?  You did?  Look at the post title, and see if you can figure out what “misanthropy” means.  Ted Kennedy was a narcissistic statist asshole and I’m glad he’s dead.  Adios, motherfucker!

It’s not the fact that Ted Kennedy got away with* manslaughter that particularly burns my ass about the fat bastard.  Nor is it his craven bootlicking over No School Child Left Standing Behind, nor his recent attempts to reserve his Senate seat for another goddamn Kennedy, nor even his hypocritical assassination of offshore wind farms on the grounds that they might blight the scenic views of rich East Coast progressives.  It’s the fact that he did it all with a towering sense of self-importance, a thoroughly offensive attitude of smug lineal entitlement.

If you find the Kennedy haterade delicious, and I don’t see why you wouldn’t, you can find more from Jalopnik, TJIC, and Reason.  (Edit: Also pdb, SnarkyBytes, Cafe Hayek, the Daily Mail, and GQ of all places.)

——

The next glorious and well-deserved obituary on the slate is that of Cash for Clunkers.  This was originally sold as an environmental programme that asked one to believe that the ecological cost of (a) destroying a perfectly good old car and (b) building a new one, with all the smelting, refining, welding, epoxying, painting, and &c. entailed thereby, was significantly less than an incremental gain in fuel efficiency.  It has instead morphed into a blatantly distortive economic stimulus:

Secretary of Transportation Roy LaHood calls the program “wildly successful” because of the huge jump in sales numbers saying “American consumers and workers were the clear winners thanks to the cash for clunkers program.”

Will this “huge jump in sales numbers” outlive Cash for Clunkers?  No: once the incentive goes away, people will stop responding to it.   (Even the car companies recognize this.)  And, uh, about those consumers: those who traded in their old cars now have new cars, which is I suppose nice for them but hardly the same leap in fortune as buying one’s first car.

Which, now that thousands upon thousands of good-condition used cars have been destroyed, just got a lot harder:

The engine oil is drained, then replaced with an abrasive, then the engine is run until it seizes into one solid lump of unusable scrap. The remaining parts of the car can be stripped, but must be sold in six months or they get shredded into slag.

That car will never take Dad to a better paying job, will never take Mom to the supermarket or collect Jr from daycare or school, will never protect a nervous teenager as he learns to drive, will never carry young lovers to the movies, will never get stuffed full of junk and driven to college, it will never get to enrich anyone’s life in any way ever again. It will now only be melted down into ingots and sold for pennies.

This is an obscene assault on the poor. Families who can only scrape together $3000 for their next kid hauler will now have a hundred and twenty five thousand fewer cars to choose from, and those cars left are now more expensive to maintain because a hundred and twenty five thousand engines have been destroyed.

As usual for government programmes, them that has gets: if you don’t has, you don’t gets.

But surely destroying all those old cars produces badly-needed income for the car companies, doesn’t it?  (Of course it does.)  And surely those car companies spend that money, and it all, uh, trickles down to every level of society, doesn’t it?

Not so much, no:

We’re supposed to believe that we all got richer by destroying perfectly good vehicles?  Who the blue-veined fuck came up with that load of horseshit?

I’ll finish with a blatant appeal to the emotions of other motorsports fans:

That poor, poor C4.

——

While I’m railing against the recent idiocies of the U.S. federal government: why the hell are people using the USPS as “proof” that government intervention in a private market sector is a good idea?

According to Jesse Jackson Jr.:

Look at it this way: There’s Federal Express, there’s UPS, and there’s DHL … The public option is a stamp; it’s email. And because of the email system, because of the post office, it keeps DHL from charging $100 for an overnight letter, or UPS from charging $100 for an overnight letter.

(Wait, email is a public service?)

Funny, when I get an “overnight letter” from the USPS, it’s always been shipped through FedEx.  But holding up the USPS as an efficient and effective public option is somewhat more difficult lately:

D’oh!

——

And just to show that my anti-government frothings are NAFTA-compliant:

One of the big hypes for the 2010 Olympics has been how green they will be and one of the green programs that the government is showcasing is a fleet of hydrogen powered buses to be used in the Whistler area.

[…]

But BC Transit needed a place where they could park these green icons of transportation in order to show them off to the world. So where was the site that was chosen to build this parking area?  How about a red listed wetland area.

Whoops.

——

* Depending on who’s right about divine judgement and the afterlife, it’s entirely likely that he didn’t


3 Responses to “Mid-week misanthropy, vol. 45”


  1. August 26, 2009 at 23:13

    Anyone wants to tell you it’s mean to speak ill of Ted Kennedy, look at them and utter two words: Tony Snow.

    That poor, poor C4.

    Motherfuckers in that video need to have their heads beat in with a fucking tire iron. And the one had the Goddamned balls to wear a Mr. Goodwrench uni while he did that? Cocksucking little bitch needs a socket wrench shoves up his rectum and a blowtorch applied to the extruding handle.

  2. August 28, 2009 at 23:33

    The governor of New York state at one time did have the authority to make an appointment to a vacant senator’s seat. But when NY Senator John Kerry was running for president the Democrats were sure that he would be elected which would have left his seat vacant with a Republican governor who would most surely have made an inappropriate (read Republican) appointment. So they changed to rules to take away the governor’s power to appoint and instead require an emergency election. But Kerry didn’t get elected. Now with Kennedy’s death they have a vacant seat and a Democratic governor and they would like to change the rules back to the way they were, but are stymied by their own political game playing. With Kennedy’s death they have lost their 60 seat – no filibustering – majority and at a particularly sensitive time in their health care legislative battle.
    It’s really hard to have any sympathy for them. OK, it’s impossible. Although it is always satisfying to see hypocrisy come back and bite someone in the ass.


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