Free Markets, Free People

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know it has been a rough year for a number of us. The economy, the debt/deficit that’s been increased, and the usual political nonsense, etc.  On a personal level, my job of 24 years went away on Oct. 1st (company sold, didn’t need my redundant position).

On the plus side of the ledger, my son came home from Afghanistan (which wipes away all the “aw crap” moments), I see the lay off as a gift (it has gotten me off my complacent rear and into trying something I’ve been dying to do for years – more about that at a later date), and health wise, most of the family is in pretty good shape.  Besides, I have 4 grandsons who live within 4 miles of me – how could life be much sweeter.

Enough about that – on to  more about what we talk about here daily (and another thing I’m continually thankful for are the QandO readers and commenters – from the bottom of my heart – thank you).

One of the things I’m most thankful for are hack writers.  They create such a target rich environment.  Without them I couldn’t go off on righteous rants which I truly enjoy.  To make life easier for those of us thankful for hacks, Alex Pareene of Salon has compiled a list of what he considers the 30 worst hacks now writing.  For the most part I agree with his list and I have no problem at all with his number 1 pick.  There are others I’d add however, like this one.

Conspicuously absent from the top 5, however, is this one.

A couple of other writers who could easily graduate to that list and actually end up in a top 10 position are Mark Ames and Yasha Levine who wrote one of the worst articles for the Nation it has ever been my displeasure to read.  It is entitled “Koch-funded libertarians behind the TSA scandal”.  About the only fairly interesting thing about the article is they don’t provide a scintilla of proof to back the premise in their title.  None.  In fact it is so bad that Glenn Greenwald and I agree on something – mostly that this is just pitiful.  It is a hatchet job that should end up in every J-school course as a case study on how to destroy your own reputation and that of the journal for which you write in one easy lesson.

One other thought that occurred to me while sifting through the merde was “what were the editors thinking” when they okayed this nonsense?  Another in any number of increasingly obvious cases that question the worth of editors.  Even a lunatic with a blog out there in flyover land would most likely think twice before publishing this sort of crap.

Finally, at least for today, I’m thankful for this:

[T]he number of Americans who agree the earth is warming because of man-made activity has been in free fall, dropping to 34 percent in October, from 50 percent in July 2006, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

It is nice to see sanity winning over Chicken Little alarmism.  Science is all about skepticism, not consensus.  And there has been plenty, as we’ve noted over the years, to be skeptical about. 

Anyway, enough for today – go, enjoy the family, enjoy the turkey and have a wonderful day.  And thanks again for your loyal readership.  We appreciate you more than you know.

Happy Thanksgiving.



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12 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I’ve been through the buyout/redundancy bit three times and three times it turned out to be a positive thing. I’m sure this will turn out positive for you as well.

    Krugman absolutely has to be on the list.

    Hope your having a terrific Thanksgiving with your family.

    • My current employer has morphed multiple times.
      We spun off 8 or 9 years ago with 16,800 employees, then were merged about 5 years later when we we’re down to 2,800 employees.  A “victim” of the “irrational exuberance” of the “dot com boom” when it went bust.

      • This is the second time I’ve been laid off. Nothing particularly new. However, it is an opportunity as I see it to do what I want to do vs. doing what I have to do. We’ll see how it works out.

  • 99 weeks of unemployment for McQ = more blog reading awesomeness!
    At a job interview:
    So, we want to hire you. When can you start work?
    In about 2 years, unless they extend unemployment again.

    • Uh, McQ, not saying you couldn’t find a job, or something to do independently, just marveling at the fact that 99 weeks of unemployment benefits exist.
      I am not sure how you post so much as it is.
      I’m a little afraid if you had more free time what would happen to my productivity at work.
      p.s. I will be enjoying KFC for Thanksgiving here in China.

    • Haven’t even applied for unemployment. Doing some contract work in the interim while I go about creating my own job. I’ll work till I fall over dead because I just can’t imagine myself not working. Love the challenge of work and am trying to create a custom job that does exactly that and is something for which I have a passion.

  • John Fund?
    Not complete whackjob E.J. Dionne?
    Hey, McQ; staying with one employer for 24 years puts you in about a “two percentile”. Be grateful. Of the 18 companies I’ve worked for (and seven I consulted to during a nine years “consulting” stint)  the past 40 years, only three are still in business. Small business might be the source of new jobs, but 90+% are gone inside of three years.
    But, as you lined the other day, vets make great entrepreneurs.

    • Not complaining Sharpshooter – life happens and in this particular case the handwriting was on the wall for quite some time about the sale. I’ve been laid off before – no biggie. And, at this stage of my life, I’m in much better shape financially than I was the first time it happened. It gives me an opportunity for something completely different and I’m looking forward to that.

      • If you’ve only been laid off twice in your life, you probably didn’t work in construction or the tech sector. I know several of my tech sector peers have been laid off four, five, six times in fifteen years. Average tenure in 2005 was 19 months.
        I know a few in the insurance industry have taken jobs at $12 an hour that were making $40-50K back a few years ago.
        Be grateful…damn grateful.

  • Dunno if you follow Coyote Blog, but Warren’s got some interesting thoughts on starting or running your own small business. For example, he writes about his idea of “retirement” here: