The Locker Room

August 30, 2004

The Tacky Trend Toward Outsourcing

Posted by Paul Chesser at 2:52 PM

A craft maker who sold her goods through an artisan's association for 12 years is now suing it, because the organization has failed to pay her for some consignment items they sold since November. The Watermark Association of Artisans, based in Elizabeth City, says it has fallen on hard times because of -- yep, you guessed it -- the economy and global outsourcing.

"People are buying these cheap items made in China instead of quality crafts," said Watermark's acting manager, Lorraine Donadio.

Purchased at Wal-Mart, undoubtedly.

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On "machine law" and a new caveat on "when ya gotta go"

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:42 PM

I just concluded an elegant book by F.H. Buckley entitled The Morality of Laughter, which makes the case that laughter provides instruction on how to live the good life by pointing out extreme aberrations from virtue. It's an excellent read, but I cannot do Buckley's thesis justice with just a sentence or two, so let me just recommend it highly and move on to the rest of my post.

Buckley provides a chapter on "machine law," which is an extension of Henri Bergson's "machine man," one whose code is too rigid, to mechanical, to navigate the obstacles of life dexterously. They appear risible to us just as the man who cannot navigate a patch of ice does. Machine law is an application of mechanical, rote rules; nevertheless, such "nonsensical legal doctrines survive because we have lost the knack for laughter. ... The expansion of victim rights and the extensions of federal power are defended by liberals and opposed by conservatives with the same heavy seriousness. But in throwing away the self-correcting powers of laughter, they have conspired to produce the most comic jurisprudence."

All that was already fresh in my mind when I encountered this news story:

Jesse Huffman insists he didn't do it on purpose, but the toilet he left plugged after "nature called" at this border crossing in north-central Montana has him facing criminal charges. Toole County authorities charged the 19-year-old college student from Great Falls with criminal mischief after a border agent accused him of intentionally clogging the toilet.

Huffman said the clogged piping was completely unintentional, the result of an urgent, but natural bodily function. ...

Cory Grayson, one of Huffman's friends, said he couldn't believe it when border agents first threatened charges.

"I didn't think they were serious at first, I was just laughing so hard," he said. ...

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Explained at Last

Posted by Paul Chesser at 12:15 AM

Jonathan Last of The Weekly Standard details today how bloggers dragged the mainstream media kicking-and-screaming to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story.

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A Talk Show Host's Best Friend

Posted by Paul Chesser at 11:38 AM

It turns out that Jerry, our beloved-but-departing WPTF radio talk show host, won't be the only new Agar in Kansas City:

OFFICER Lowell Lacy and Agar rest after their demonstration.

At least he's a Czech Shepherd and not a French Poodle! But the question is, who provides a greater service to the community: A bomb-sniffing dog, or a bomb-throwing conservative talk show host?

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Conservative Massachusetts?

Posted by Chad Adams at 09:56 AM

So, during the toughest economy in the past twenty years, NC has grown government significantly while losing jobs. Contrast that with the fact that the state of Massachusetts has cut more government jobs than any state in the union over the past three years.

In fact they cut 5% of their payroll and 3.1% of their total workforce between 2001 and 2003. I wonder if the NC legislature is watching? Doubtful, but one can always hope!

Obviously, the state employees union isn't happy. Their membership is down about 2,000 members during the same period of time.

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Fill in the Blanks

Posted by Paul Chesser at 09:46 AM

Al Franken has a laughable complaint in USA Today:

Charges against John Kerry by a group of Vietnam veterans first got a foothold in cable news earlier this month. Network news and print media followed, making it a dominant story.

Thursday a week after Kerry first publicly blasted the ads President Bush said he doesn't think Kerry lied about his record in Vietnam. But he didn't condemn the veterans' TV commercial that charges Kerry won his war medals dishonestly. And Bush said he also has been hurt by ads aimed at him.

But none of them "did anything like the Swift Boat guys. They went after Kerry with stuff that has been disproven," Franken says.

He blames the media for giving the charges credence. "It used to be that an accusation wasn't the story. A story was there's an accusation that seems credible. But now there's so much pressure for ratings, to fill time, to go for the sensational."

I propose that Lockerroom bloggers participate in a "Refute Al Franken" contest where they fill in the blank: "But none of them did anything like _______. They (He/She) went after ______ with stuff that has been disproven."

Here's a couple of ideas:

Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas

Ted Kennedy, Robert Bork

Al Gore, President Bush

By the way, we think-tankers will not be reporting from the Republican convention in New York City this week, so make sure you check back with the Lockerroom throughout the week for our distantly informed rants.

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It's Only Fair

Posted by Paul Chesser at 09:30 AM

I propose a North Carolina constitutional amendment that should be placed on the ballot this November: "Laptop costs to state university students should be kept as low as practicable."

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