Copters, Self-Important Prigs, Electrical Puns

[Self-important Pig]

  • Philip Greenspun was one of the early web heroes, but he'd dropped off my radar. He runs a very small Boston helicopter charter company, and his recent blog post (via Cato) about his encounters with the FAA is a libertarian mini-masterpiece.
    Finally, the FAA inspector looked at my random drug testing program to make sure that everything was in place. I'm subject to the same drug testing requirements as United Airlines. I am the drug testing coordinator for our company, so I am responsible for scheduling drug tests and surprising employees when it is their turn to be tested. As it happens, I'm also the only "safety-sensitive employee" subject to drug testing, so basically I'm responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test. As a supervisor, I need to take training so that I can recognize when an employee is on drugs. But I'm also the only employee, so really this is training so that I can figure out if I myself am on drugs. As an employee, I need to take a second training course so that I learn about all of the ways that my employer might surprise me with a random drug test and find out about drug use. But I'm also the employer so really I'm learning about how I might trap myself.
    Read the whole thing; you'll laugh right up until you remember that you're paying for all this, at which point you'll start sobbing uncontrollably.

  • At Reason, Tim Cavanaugh discovers ex-New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston is a little too eager to manufacture stories of corporate tax malfeasance. His first column for his new employer, Reuters, claimed that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. "collected $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, all or nearly all from the U.S. government" over the past four years.

    Oops! Reuters yanked the column, when it developed that Johnston was basing this claim on a misreading of News Corp's annual reports.

    The late Cathy Siepp described her dealings with DCJ here; the phrase "self-important prig" appears.

  • Henry Payne asks a very reasonable question: Would you let a social worker handle your investment portfolio?
    Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow has a graduate degree in social work from Michigan State University. So this week, she invested $2 billion of your money in the lithium-ion-battery industry.
    Whoever comes up with even marginal improvements in battery technology will be "amp"ly rewarded (heh) by the free market. The government has no special competence to direct current funding (heh) toward such projects, and it's generally revolting (heh) to see ever-more taxpayer funds thrown down this open drain (heh).

    It's time for the citizenry to resist! Heh!