In the news
A few thoughts on recent stories on the Associated Press wires:
– I'm not endorsing the guy (or his opponent), but it certainly warms my heart to hear Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, in an AP interview, say that he would consider privatizing liquor sales to help balance the state's books. A couple of months ago, I contacted representatives of the leading candidates for governor to get the candidates' views on putting an end to the state’s Soviet-style liquor sales system. At that time, Corbett's spokesman said privatization of liquor sales was not a priority. Now it sounds like he's giving the idea more consideration. Good news.
– I recently heard about a book called "The Secret." When I found out what it was about, I laughed heartily and wondered why anyone in his or her right mind would spend the money to buy this hogwash. Then I found out that this crap-science book has sold millions of copies, leading me to believe there are millions of nuts among us. The main thrust of “The Secret” is the “law of attraction,” which really isn’t a law in any sense but instead is made-up bull@#$%. The AP reports that author Rhonda Byrne, in 2007, explained it by saying that "when you think and feel what you want to attract on the inside,” the law will pull you in that direction. Hah. But it seems millions of people are willing to suspend their common sense and stifle intelligent thought in order to believe that Byrne is on to something here. She's not the only one preaching this craziness. There's a fellow named James Arthur Ray who I saw profiled recently on a TV news show. You might recognize him as the charlatan who is currently up on criminal charges stemming from a deadly “sweat lodge” incident near Sedona, Ariz. With Ray out of action for a while, this presumably creates more business for Byrne, and she's capitalizing by coming out with her follow-up book, “The Power.” Here's my take: If you believe this stuff, you're a simpleton, and “The Secret” is that a shyster like Byrne has “The Power" to separate you from your money.
– I don't know if you saw this amongst all the important coverage of the LeBron James decision, but a recent guilty verdict against a white former transit officer who shot an unarmed black man sparked rioting in the San Francisco area that led to more than 80 arrests. That's right, a conviction. I seem to recall that there was rioting when police officers were ACQUITTED of whipping the bejeezus out of Rodney King, but there was a CONVICTION in this case, and people still rioted. Wonder what would happen in the case of a hung jury?