Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sue Everybody! Punitive Damages!

The title is a reference to an early Jerky Boys crank call, where they called a lawyer and made an absurd claim ending with the caller wanting to sue everyone, including the lawyer on the line. This new suit against McDonald's by a California woman over Happy Meals isn't exactly as stupid, but close. From CNN:
Parham, a 41-year old state employee, says her kids repeatedly ask for Happy Meals, mainly for the toys. "We have to say no to our kids so many times and McDonald's makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald's is getting into my kids' heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat."
I'm 42. I have a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old, so I have some basis for comment here. There is no word in the English language they hear more than "no". It is a word I am happy to issue. Kids are Want Machines. Parents guide children by saying "yes" to things they approve of, and "no" to things not approved of. Any parent is, in my opinion, abdicating the most basic role of the parent when they decide saying 'no' is too strenuous an act for them to carry out on an ongoing basis. Lovely, but typical for our times.

In the Kole house, the kids know better than to ask Dad for McDonald's. It ain't happening, with one significant exception. When we are doing a long drive, I will take them to a McD's with a "Playplace" in it. That way, they can stretch their legs and generally be kids in a way being cooped up in a car for hours denies. Isabel has been to McDonald's less than 10 times in her life, despite two of their restaurants within a mile of our house, either of which we will drive past, depending on which way we're headed out of our neighborhood.

I hope this mother does what we did here, and remove the TV from her house. If one would give up so easily to McDonald's commercials, it's going to have a lifetime of frustration. Suits will undoubtedly have to follow to toy makers like Mattel, and then later Anheuser-Busch, and General Motors. Not sure what recourse you'll have if the kiddos are introduced to cocaine and gangs.

This is a frivolous lawsuit as Exhibit 'A'.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Balanced Budget, Explained With Pork

It seems the public perception is that balancing the budget would be impossible, that it would require a Herculean amount of political courage to cut out all the fat necessary to end deficit spending.

Alas.'s Nick Gillespie trims the fat to show just how absolutely huuuuuuuge the cuts would have to be:

No reason not to cut to at least the balancing point. Heck, maybe even get into that deficit. Congress Critter, you can even leave your leather jacket on.

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Podcast Almost Ready

Now that the nature of the thing has been decided, I've begun assembling bits for the first episode of "This Podcast Could Be Your Life".

I interviewed Steve Wainstead as my first guest, drank a beer, and discussed some Bucket List stuff. In the next day or two, I'll have it in finished form. Stay tuned!