Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 47

The Vampire Cops
The Houston DWI blog reports "that Harris County DWI "No Refusal" weekends are going to be every weekend for the next 3 years." (HT: blogHouston) Thanks to a federal grant, anyone suspected of DWI can have their blood forcibly removed from their body for testing.

I want to make it clear that I think driving while drunk is grossly irresponsible and an objective threat to others. However, I find the standard for DWI to be non-objective. Certainly, the level of alcohol in one's bloodstream can be measured, but that alone does not tell us whether an individual is impaired to the point that he should not be driving. Two individuals can have the exact same alcohol in their blood and exhibit vastly different levels of impairment.

The Devil Calling Satan Evil
On Friday the Texas Board of Education will consider a resolution "asserting the need to fend off a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian bias in textbooks." According to the Chronicle:
The resolution says pro-Islamic and anti-Christian bias has tainted past social studies textbooks, and problems "still roil" in some books nationwide. It asserts that "more such discriminatory treatment of religion may occur as Middle Easterners buy into the U.S. public school textbook oligopoly." It says past books devoted more text lines to Islamic than to Christian beliefs and asserted that there have been "politically correct white-washes" of Islamic culture and "stigmas on Christian civilization." 
The conservative Christians on the Board are concerned that their particular form of mysticism is not getting enough attention in the public schools. Instead of removing all religion from the educational system, they want to argue over which particular irrationality will be forced upon students.

More Economic Illiteracy
The Chronicle reports:
American taxpayers have thrown $4.6 billion into emergency projects across Texas over the past 19 months to salvage the Lone Star State economy — creating or saving 47,704 jobs as of July, a review of federal records shows.
First, American taxpayers didn't "throw" money into Texas. It was taken from them by force.

Second, the paper doesn't tell us how much money was taken from Texans to "save" jobs in other states.

Third, the paper doesn't tell us is how many jobs were destroyed when that $4.6 billion was seized from individuals and businesses who would have otherwise saved, invested, or spent that money.  Nor does it tell us how many jobs were destroyed by the taxes Texans have paid and will pay to allegedly benefit the residents of other states.

In short, while bragging about the "jobs" saved, the paper conveniently ignores the cost.

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