August 1, 2008

General knowledge

This is one of those things that have always confused me as well. I really don't get it. General Motors is one of the largest companies in America. It's been around for a very long time, including several periods of time in which large, international wars have taken place. The idea that no one- no one- at GM could have possibly speculated that gas prices would increase as a massive years-long war in the middle of where most of the oil is reaches beyond ludicrous.

Update: You know, I was originally going to end this with a snarky line like "But I'm sure this is all just the employee's faults or something." And, of course, we can always turn to Megan McArdle to actually believe just that.

Second Update: Okay, yes. The Middle East is not, in fact, "where most of the oil is," at least as far as U.S. oil intake. Thank you, everyone in the world.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:34 PM

July 30, 2008

Tabloid journamalism

Look, an illicit affair is far from unbelievable so the concept itself of the National Enquirer having the goods on John Edwards isn't somthing to dismiss on its face, but I'm pretty sure the Freepers having collective orgasms over this story are the same ones who were ready to pop champaigne corks upon hearing some guy claimed he had sex with Barack Obama and that Larry Sinclair had a tape of Michelle saying "Whitey."

In other words, "we'll release the photos later" is textbook routine for less-than-credible news outlets hoping that a story with weak evidence can pick up steam based on the scandal alone without having to actually back up their claim. I'm totally willing to be completely wrong on this, but if the Enquirer has evidence of something, release the evidence. That's what, you know, journalists actually do.

As far as the blogger posting this goes, I really wish the logic of things like "a DNA test would have settled this weeks ago" would be more widely-understood as a sign that you're not a real journalist. No, Edwards taking a DNA test to prove a as-yet completely unbased rumor that he has a love child is not "the solution." See, actual journalists don't create a story and then ask the subject of the story to verify it for you. There's this amazing technique called "investigating" you might want to consider, and despite your fawning praise of yourself in "the most popular post on HuffPo," that actually involves more than "lots of Googling" with the wife.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:56 AM

July 29, 2008

Man on Wire

Sweet, I had no idea they made a documentary about Philippe Petit. Odds are you have no idea what that name means, but the trailer covers exactly why he's one of the ballsiest people who ever lived. There was a short PBS documentary about his story a few years back and, to be blunt, his story is amazing.

I'm not saying Petit's particular stunt was the most daring, or that he exudes bravery that overshadows great soldiers or doctors or artists or whatever, but there's a shortage in this world of people who spend their lives knowing exaclty what makes them happy, and just going ahead and doing it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:02 PM

July 28, 2008

"Everything is Excellent News for John McCain"

Latest comic - click here!

Apparently, every positive development in the Obama campaign is thanks to the dilligent work of Republicans. If that's really the strategy McCain wants to go with, by all means he's welcome to. If a year from now, Barack Obama is president and the Republican strategists want to take credit for it, I'll be more than happy to be among the first to say, "well, duh."

Buy some crap. Join the mailing list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:09 AM