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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Two for one

I did not actually break my thumb with the bungee cord this morning (don't ask), but it makes it hard to type. So, one each: A Quiz! and a Bottom of the Barrel.

Which Nigerian spammer are You?

(Thanks to Art-Machine. Take this one. Seriously. I laughed all the way through it.)

As for our Bottom of the Barrel contestant today (a quick reminder of the BoB rules: I take the lowest of the low Insignificant Microbes in the Ecosystem and give them a link here, along with something nice to say) is number 10029, Alien Landscape: "Observations concerning the strange creatures that dominate this planet called Earth."

Ken (the main page contains all posts since January 1 of this year--and it scrolls like it!--but there is no convenient "About Me" or anything to make it easy. I had to read, a lot, to figure it out. I shouldn't really say much, since I don't have an "about me" either, but, then again, I'm not last in the Ecosystem) is another of them conservatives, newly moved to Texas for, apparently, the tax benefit. At least, that's celebrated in the April 15 post.

It's hard to say nice things about the conservative bloggers, especially when they're wrong as often as Ken is, despite some occasional disagreements with Bush and even at least one nice Grover Norquist dis--which means, I think, he's got a much more libertarian bent. I will say this, though: When our alien observer (and he does seem to be from a different planet occasionally, like advocating hover cars and such) makes his arguments without hyperbole and with research and historical example.

Again, though, he's often on the wrong side. Take his January 2 post, cleverly defending the obscenely rich as those who "beta-test tomorrow's everyday mass-market items. When they start buying a new toy, the profits fuel further development, which leads to better and less expensive versions. [. . .] So the next time you hear someone decrying 'income inequality,' remember that income inequality is what gives us our beta testers, and reflect that unless the government finds an excuse to prevent it, those toys you envy the rich for having will one day be yours." Aside from the fact that I haven't gotten my Lear jet yet, Ken neglects the thrust of most arguments arguments against obscene wealth (well, the ones I make, anyway). It's the ever-increasing stratification that presents the problem.

Or, more recently, about the war, Ken actually says this: "[I]f the occupying foreign power is bringing liberty where there was none before, then freedom-loving people who know the score will welcome the occupation[. . .]. [A] successful occupation would be to the Iraqis' benefit even if it never ends or produces any sort of local democracy, and those who try to cause the occupation to fail do not have the best interests of their fellow Iraqis at heart and are deadly and dangerous enemies to Iraqis as well as Americans." Because, apparently, We Know Better. I wonder if Ken is as shocked as Rummy that there are no flowers.

Showing his libertarian bent, he makes the argument that regulation--from FDA to minimum wage--really hurts employees and consumers, robbing us of choices we could otherwise make. "Please, sir. Let me flip burgers for you and you only have to pay me a dollar. That's all I need to afford those drugs that they sell without rigorous testing to see if they're safe!"

My thumb hurts. Sigh.

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