Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Dear Prudence 

Would it be moral to take f*ckmooks like this one, freeze'em in carbonite, and line them end to end to fortify our city’s floodwalls?

Monday, January 31, 2011

As a high school senior I listened to an ornery UK punk band-- but I repeat myself-- who screamed songs about why “meat means murder.” Their animal rights arguments weren’t very persuasive, but their music did inspire me to read more about vegetarianism. When I graduated and went off to college in Texas, I decided to not eat red meat. It wasn’t the easiest lifestyle experiment, but I justified it on ecological and health grounds.

After a few years I decided to rejoin the carnivores, even if I didn’t love their fallback position-- Humans have been endowed by their creator with canine teeth and dominion over protein-rich beasts, thus they are designed to cultivate and consume meat. As long as we clean our dinner plates, meat eating is no sin... (Actually, for a more in-depth debate, this post by an ex-vegan and the comments below them is pretty fascinating.)

In terms of meat, I'm definitely going back to a "less is more" phase. Go read my latest post at The Lens.

You didn't ask me what my favorite Conflict song is. It's (still) "The Day Before."
From WSJ columnist Dan Neil's 1/15/11 "Rumble Seat" column:

The North American International Auto Show [in Detroit earlier this month]... provides a teachable moment. It turns out, lazy and overfed car companies can lose weight and come out fighting (hello, General Motors). Conversely, a stable of the smartest executives on the planet is no guarantee your company won't stumble into a clearly marked minefield (VW, I'm looking at you).

Other takeaways: It was naive of naysayers to judge an emergent technology such as electric mobility by its previous limitations. They will dine on crows in the coming years. And it's perfectly permissible for national governments to save giant employers in a moment of crisis, because flesh and blood is more important than ideological purity. Just don't make it a habit.

The Detroit bailout was the right thing to do: Grit your teeth if you must. Two years later, GM is profitable, right-sized, globally competitive and an engine of automotive change—as evidenced by the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle, named the North American Car of the Year. The government's stake in "Government Motors" is down to 25%. When GM's stock reaches the low $50s range, analysts expect the Treasury will likely sell the remaining stake and actually make money on the deal. That's about as good an outcome as could reasonably be hoped.

As for the government-financed Chrysler-Fiat merger, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he expects to pay back the U.S. Treasury this year (not least because of the punishing interest on those notes). The company's U.S.-market offerings have been renovated, including a successful reboot of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Chrysler lives to fight another day.

Weird name for a school 


Florida police are trying to figure out how a 5-year-old boy came into possession of a loaded handgun that he dropped inside a pre-kindergarten class.

A female pre-kindergarten teacher at Moseley Elementary School in Palatka was giving a music lesson Tuesday morning when she noticed the small, .22-caliber handgun fall out of the boy's pocket, Assistant Police Chief James Griffith said. The firearm did not go off, and no one was hurt.