Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Friedman Visits Death-Penalty Disneyland

Though many feel Thomas Friedman lost his credibility long ago with his goofy, nonsensical columns about Iraq (You should support the Iraq war 'cause I say so, dammit, and because people who oppose it are a bunch of ninnies!), you don't need to keep going back to that, just look at his current column.

He reacts to the Katrina aftermath by lauding the government of Singapore (Singapore? Fascism with a Friendly Face? Disneyland with the Death Penalty? Mmmmm... maybe try Sweden) for knowing how to "extract the maximum from each citizen" (hmmm, is the Matrix or something?).

Then Friedman laments that the Cold War has gone away because it gave us discipline (like, say, the Reagan-Bush years, when the economy was built on borrowing and the government, including FEMA, was so rife with cronyism that Clinton is widely credited with having had to completely rebuild FEMA... although Clinton came after the Cold War... hmmmm... what exactly is Friedman trying to say here? Not even he knows).

His analysis is as goofy as his solutions, such as paying all the top officials lots more. Now, that may or may not have it's merits (it also massively separates them from the general citizenry), but it's very hard to see how that would get rid of cronyism.

How would paying the head of FEMA a million dollars a year ensure that he wasn't just somebody's roommate or that she wasn't just the daughter of a big campaign contributor?

I never read Friedman. I only read this because there was the link from Crooks and Liars.

There were two good lines here, one about the head of civil defense not being somebody's college roommate and the other about all the government attention to Schiavo while so many millions go without medical care entirely, and the national public health system falls apart.

But the rest is such nonsense as to only remind me why I never read this guy.

"There is something troublingly self-indulgent and slothful about America today..."

Yeah, and that's evident in a certain columnist for the New York Times who's long since lost his grip.      


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