Many articles that are meant to be “sensational” really just convey facts that play on many of our mostly irrational fears or the “gut” reaction described beautifully by author Daniel Gardner in his book The Science of Fear. These articles attempt to grab your “gut” long before providing more rational data (i.e. boring stuff) to your “head” that counters that fear they hope to exploit.
I’ll try to identify the “irrational” fear and please note that some of the fears may be somewhat rational until you look at other risk factors. You’ll have to decide whether the media just wants to attract consumers or have a real political agenda. I’ll opine – you decide.
In “Parse-imony” I break down current news stories with my pithy, running commentary…
First the headline:
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers will debate today an increase in the sales tax on alcoholic beverages and how to subsidize troubled horse racing tracks as the General Assembly pushes toward midnight adjournment. [It is extremely interesting that the Maryland elected officials are looking to tax citizen who prefer to imbibe while at the same time give money to (although “subsidize” sounds much better) folks who run another “sin tax” operation leaving little doubt who has better lobbyists.]
“What I’ve said is that we would put a cap-and-trade system in place that is more — that is as aggressive if not more aggressive than anybody else’s out there, so if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
The Chinese, it seems, are at it again stealing American jobs. This time their “cheating” come in the form of providing subsidies to their “green” industries as reported in Pittsburgh’s Tribune Review. The charge was lobbied by the United Steel Workers union and they estimate that the Chinese government has provided more than $216 billion as subsidies to their “green technology” industries:
Part of my morning drive took me along a country road that would along a stream. Homes were scattered along the road in pockets and shaded by rather large sycamore trees. One drive home this spring as I approached this curvy stretch I heard a very loud blowing sound. I had been traveling this way for months and had never noticed it before and wondered if it had always been there and I never noticed it because my car windows had been shut during the winter commutes.
“Listen to me. We’ve traced the call… it’s coming from inside the house”
I don’t know if you saw the suspense movie, When A Stranger Calls, but when the police made this call to the young lady in the house, chills went up my spine. The stalker was actually inside the house where everybody assumed that she was safe. Where we all think we are safe.
As I watched the recent presidential campaign many things struck me as odd, but one in particular. Barack Obama enjoyed the support of the United Mine Workers Union. That in itself is not a big surprise as he had the support of every union as Democrat politicians usually have. The interesting part was when you factored in Obama’s comments regarding the future of coal:
A had this book a while and thought that it would be a good one to follow The Law by Frederic Bastiat reviewed last week. Although published fifteen years ago The Death of Common Sense provides a direct insight into the substitution of common sense for bureaucracy in America. Common sense and responsibility is replaced with tens of thousands of pages of rules that promote inaction rather than progress. Having worked for many years in government I can attest to the ability of civil servants to skillfully avoid decisions contrary to the letter of the regulation even though they make complete sense.