Ignatz is Back!

by Kieran Healy on January 8, 2005

“Sam Heldman”:http://sheldman.blogspot.com/ seems to have returned to blogging, after more than a year away. I think that’s great. If you remember his old blog, you’ll probably think it’s great, too.

Koufax Awards

by Kieran Healy on January 8, 2005

Voting is underway for the 2004 “Koufax Awards”:http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/001581.html. If you have a mind to, vote for CT in the “Best Group Blog”:http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/001591.html and “Best Overall Blog”:http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/001590.html categories.

*Update*: Also “Best Writing”:http://wampum.wabanaki.net/archives/001594.html.

Supersize Me

by Belle Waring on January 8, 2005

This Jane Galt thread on poverty and obesity has many special moments. The basic lessons are as follows, helpfully summarized by SomeCallMeTim:

In the space of a week, Jane, Mindles, and the commenters have fleshed out the Republican policy towards the poor. To wit:
1. Those tricksy bastards (Dems) are wildly overstating the problems [this post];
2 A lot of the problems associated with the lower end of the income scale are a result of the stupidity of the poor (and really, what can you do with the stupid?) [this post];
3. Almost all Republicans have suffered through much more trying times than any of the poor have faced – and they’ve kept the aspidistra flying, dammit; the poor need to stop whining [this post];
4. Mercy is twice blessed because it is given; it cannot be commanded by the government. If someone has screwed up and doesn’t get another chance – well, they made their own bed. That someone else, with a different background, has had a second chance (or however many chances one gets in getting from 20 to 40 as a drunk) is of no import whatsoever, and people who are envious of the latter group should have had the forethought to have better parents. Indeed, even asking that we temper our scorn for them is too much – might be a disincentive to change [drug post];
5. Of course, the poor don’t need to have forethought because we keep cosseting them. If we let a few old people starve to death on the streets, they’d smarten up, work harder, and start investing; doing anything at all to help the poor merely robs them of the incentive to improve their lot [SS post];
6. Occasionally, you run across the very rare situation where it’s hard to entirely blame the poor for their situation, like natural disasters. In those cases, we may give them some help. But, before doing so, it’s important to note
– that they’ve done very little for us;
– that they are insufficiently grateful at the moment of the crisis;
– that if we’re going to put aside our principles and help them, we must get credit! [stingy post]

Still, these two comments are the best:

it seems that leftists and liberals are really, really innumerate… anyone interested in the real world and good in math seems to be very libertarian or conservative…(Link)


A pound of ham will make the equivalent of 20 quarter pounders, by my math. (This somewhat misses the point, as I wouldn’t put a quarter pound of ham on my sandwich, and probably neither would you.) Link

Ah, science. (And I grant that the comments are not strictly contradictory). On a more serious note, I was thinking today of how much better off the residents of American inner cities would be if the Singapore model of hawker centres prevailed. Sure, there’s fattening char kway teow, but every hawker centre has a fruit juice and sliced fruit stand with cheap papaya, watermelon, and kiwi fruit, not to mention carrot juice. I understand that crime is a deterrent, but why exactly is it that US inner-city markets have such awful, expensive, fly-blown produce, even the ones in Oakland CA? Is this true in poor neighborhoods in Great Britain? I understand that there are supply chain/perishability problems, but is it only this that makes it cheaper to sell St. Ides and a Big Grab Doritoes than mustard greens?