Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Lattanzi Ten - 3/11/15

Thanks to Nick for filling in on yesterday's Ten! Now that I'm back, and it's Wednesday, we shall now return to the stories that interest me on this here Hump Day. -- J.L.

McDonald's is suffering from a cluster of issues, and "changing tastes" of the public is but one of the many. The cost of food keeps rising, and for eons (ok, I am being just a tad hyperbolic), McD's has been the "cheap" place to get food. When you are used to paying a dollar for a double cheeseburger, paying $1.79 for an even smaller alternative there is not appealing. Also factor in that despite all the hyperventilating about how it makes children fat, people just don't have as much disposable income to spend on already-inflating prices for lower quality food.

I remember paying $2.99 plus 39 cents to supersize a nicely sized Big Mac, fries and Coke. The same meal is now in excess of six dollars, and there's not even a super size option anymore. The median income of the American public hasn't doubled, has it?

I oppose subsidizing so-called "green" energy such as wind and solar, and I also am against the Renewable Fuel Standards, about which Leno writes here. Ethanol is a racket, and yet, presidential candidates grovel to Iowans about keeping it so they can get the corn to vote for them. Ethanol emissions actually cause more smog than straight refined gasoline, so no matter what Big Iowa™ tells you, it's not really about the environment, but about keeping corn prices artificially high.

The issue with user-based taxes that always seems to rear its ugly head is that no one proposes swapping them out. It's always in addition to the current bevy of taxes. Many states who are looking at the per-mile driving tax of course are not going to repeal the gas tax. It's the same as people who advocate a VAT (value-added tax). Will they eliminate the income tax? Not a prayer.

And what about the civil liberties issues here? Because, of course, we all know that the government can be trusted to use our information with only our best interests at heart. Right? Right?

Speaking of civil liberties, the ACLU and I are in agreement on something! Most know that I am not a fan of the Washington Football Club Redskins, but I have been a cheerleader for them keeping their team nickname. It's been a couple of years since I last talked about it, but this whole issue has been nothing but to be used as a political cudgel and a distraction. Anyway, with regard to the ACLU, bravo to them for doing the right thing. I tend to see the ACLU on the same level I see someone like Bill Maher: most of the time they are wrong, but when they are right, they are very right.

I needed an excuse to quote from Spongebob which, to my great horror, is actually pretty funny. The link is actually to Thomas Sowell's latest column about what he calls the "racket of disparate outcomes". Whether you agree or disagree, Dr. Sowell's writings are always illuminating. It's too bad that he is nearly 85 years old and closer to the end than to the start of his career.

For the record, I rarely watch any cable news outlets, but I found the story about the poll saying the Fox News Channel is the most trusted source to be hilarious. I guess Media Matters proclaimed victory a little too quickly. I find most of the vitriol against FNC to be puzzling because most who complain about it either a) don't actually watch it or b) only are really complaining about two particular hosts in the opinion block of the evening.

As to point A, most of the vitriol has its roots in reading a biased source (in the strict sense) second hand, or watching one of Jon Stewart's dishonest and cleverly edited videos. As to point B, "Fox News" is really just shorthand for "Bill O'Reilly" and "Sean Hannity," while mindlessly adhering to tribal affiliation.

I have nothing against them personally, but their programming just doesn't appeal to me. O'Reilly tries too hard to be the "everyman" and to position himself on the fence. Usually fence-sitting results in a lot of splinters in and up the ass. Hannity is too much of a cheerleader for my taste, and is more or less just a slightly more erudite right-wing version of any of the "personalities" seen on MSNBC (Al Sharpton notwithstanding, since he is neither erudite nor eloquent).

The Paragons of Tolerance™ want to ensure that the only kind of tolerance is what said paragons say it is. How's that for a mouthful. I've argued in the past that religious institutions ought to remove themselves from any and all civil services and institutions if they aren't going to be able to continue being who they are.

Absolutely love this cover:

I listened to much of her "press conference" yesterday. It was just about one of the worst performances I have ever heard. Not even handpicked softball questions could save her, and there were at least two (if not more) glaring contradictions in the "facts" she presented. She also looks haggardly as hell. The question becomes: what now? Does she continue to push forward running for president knowing that another shoe (or five) might drop? Does the Democratic Party do their best Republican impersonation and nominate her anyway even though she is the worst possible candidate at this point?

This one ain't going away.

Watching Chuck do his martial arts on TV and in movies is fun, but Chuck Norris Facts are the best. Some of my favorite:

-- Before going to sleep, the Boogie Man checks under his bed for Chuck Norris.
-- Chuck Norris doesn't do pushups; he pushes the world down.
-- When Chuck Norris swims the ocean, the sharks are in a steel cage.
-- Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer; it's a shame he's never cried.

A flurry of moves have taken place. So not only was LeSean McCoy traded, but Jeremy Maclin left to sign with Kansas City, and now Nick Foles was traded to St. Louis for...Sam Bradford.

Or should I call him Double ACL?

I'm not too worried about it at the moment, since it is, you know, March 11. I am not going to be like the Baltimorons who jumped off a bridge cried about Haloti Ngata (who is 31 years old, by the way - an old man in football years) being traded to Detroit. Baseball begins in three weeks, so let's try to focus on that instead of letting smarmy pinheads like Mike Florio and Adam Schefter drive the news.

I'm sure, though, that the appeal to leave the NFL alone will fall on deaf ears. Because FOOTball!!!

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