Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Rain on St Rick II

Timothy Noah on Slate has dismembered Santorum over St. Rick’s plans for the National Weather Service. If he gets his way the NWS will be handcuffed, forbidden to distribute weather information in human readable form. If you assume that Santorum’s motives are those of a free-trader, then why not just do away with the NWS and let AccuWeather collect its own data. If you assume that it’s a concern for efficiency, then AccuWeather should have no problem in the current market, providing value-added products that the customer will pay for. Why would they need protection against a big bad government competitor to maintain their profits?

Some of you may remember the impact that Craig Venter, with private money, had on the Human Genome Project. He basically derailed the whole show, forcing the government to accept that he could do the job better, faster, cheaper. Eventually they joined forces and both sides benefited, most especially the public. If AccuWeather can’t compete with the government, they deserve only pity, not the full attention of a US Senator, a member of the greatest deliberative body in the history of the world.

8/2/2005 11:28 PM

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At Wednesday, August 03, 2005 8:14:00 PM, Blogger mal said...

"greatest deliberative body" comes off a bit presumptive in view of some of the senates pecadilloes (SP?)...eg McCarthy hearings,,,Johnson impeachment etc...and yes I will concede there have been a number of fine individuals to serve in Senate along with the scoundrels, fools and poltroons *S*

At Sunday, August 07, 2005 3:21:00 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

It's not the individuals who serve there, though there have been many great men in the Senate. It is the purpose they serve and the issues they address. They have found the will and the way to compromise in the face of great, unquenchable differences, maintaining civility, honor and union across chasms of reproach.

There was a certain amount of sarcasm in my choice of the phrase, precisely, as you state, because of the personal inadequacies of the membership. I happen to feel particular irritation with the transparent hypocracy of Mr. Santorum, who has always tried to represent himself as above reproach. Given the benefits of hindsight, I would have designed the system differently, but I hold unalloyed respect for the founders of the institution.


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