Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Couple of Random Thoughts

- Scott McClellan, the former Bush press secretary, turns on the war in Iraq. Apparently Bush wanted to go to war and launched an aggressive campaign to "sell" it to the public using somewhat dubious means. Who'da thunk it?

I guess I'm not sure what the importance of this book is. We all know, pretty much, that Bush wasn't entirely truthful when he led us to war, regardless of whether you think the war was justified or not. What this doesn't change? The fact that someone has to clean up this mess.

- I'm really not sure what to say about this. Bombs are supposed to kill people and destroy shit, right? So why were the toxic gases that they released a concern? Because that's the true tragedy when a bomb goes off - not that people get killed but that toxic gases might harm the environment.

- Speaking of people with farked-up priorities, someone apparently torched the home next to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's summer home in Michigan because the city killed a cougar that was wandering the streets in April. Never mind that cougars can kill people and that even animal-rights organizations were cool with the city's response.

Scariest line of the article, though? This (emphasis mine):
In California, where human contacts with cougars are more frequent, the public has mixed feelings about how to respond. In 1994, a cougar was slain after it killed a woman jogging in the Sierra Nevada. The cougar's cub was later found and brought to a zoo. For a while, donations for the cub's upkeep significantly outpaced contributions to a fund for the woman's two children.
Really? You would rather feed some furball than two motherless children? Who are you people?

- On a slightly happier note, the coveted award of which state's residents put away the most beer per capita goes to... North Dakota? I guess you'd have to be drunk to live there. Rounding out the top ten are New Hampshire, Nevada, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, South Carolina, and Delaware. Surprisingly, the craft-brew hubs of Oregon (22nd), California (a shockingly awful 45th), and Colorado (20th) ranked nowhere near the top.

It should come as no surprise to anyone with a pulse that Utah is 51st (the list includes D.C.). But the next-lowest three? Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, in that order. I guess they don't drink beer in New York City...

North Carolina is 34th. Andy, we have some serious drinking to do.

- Update: Next time anyone tries to feed you the B.S. (not Ben Stark) line that the ACLU is a bunch of Godless commies trying to steal your religion and force you to worship Charles Darwin, show them this story. Then tell them to shut the hell up.


-Dave said...

I'd only add that explosives are also used in construction and mining, and that having less-toxic explosives to use in such situations is a good thing with no collateral "killing people" angle.

But using them to make better artillery and tank shells? Yeah - that's kind of amusing.

Andy said...

Scott McClellan: Yep, pointless book, mostly b/c it's two years too late. Maybe in 2006 when the war was on 24/7, 99% bad news, maybe then you take the President to task over it. Now, with the war going so well that the media essentially refuses to report on it, the President with his bags pack -- YAWN.

Beer consumption: I had a conversation along these lines last night with Ms Rick -- consumption is going to be highest where the brand/value of beer brought is the lowest. Oregon, California and Colorado, micro-brew hotbeds, I would imagine that people appreciate the hobby and finer qualities of beer. Then there's SC where 90% of the beer section is Bud and Miller. They go for quantity and drunkness.

jacob said...

Yeah, I had the same thought Andy did. In states where the beer is both more expensive and higher in alcohol, consumption could be limited.

Mike said...

It's the per capita that kicks California's (not to mention New York's) ass. I mean, no one lives in North Dakota, so a few heavy drinkers there have a greater impact on the total.

The quantity vs. quality argument is also legitimate. I would be interested in a parallel study that tracks quality of life - I'd bet they're inversely proportional.