Tuesday, March 22, 2011
A few days ago, I ran across news that former Vice President Dan Quayle defended President Obama from attacks leveled by his political opponents over his enthusiasm for golf. (The RNC has done this in the past.) Quayle counters two aspects of such criticism with a much-needed dose of reality:
"I'm glad he's out playing golf. I happen to be a golfer," Quayle said on the Fox Business Network. "I think presidents deserve down time. And believe me, he is in constant communication with what's going on."Yes. We all need recreation, and yes, the President is easy to reach if he's needed. Those are excellent points, but perhaps more excellent than Quayle himself realizes: They reveal such attacks to be ill-informed at best, raising the question of why they are leveled at all. This opponent of Obama's, for one, regards his policies as so bad for America, I'd frankly rather he spent much more time on the links!
[W]hat do you want him to do, stay in his house and be on the phone with the ambassador to Japan all the time?" [link omitted]
This complaint is a sleazy attempt to portray the Chief Executive as derelict, and reminds me of other, similar complaints about his competence in that it raises entirely the wrong issue at the expense of failing to take his agenda or policies to task. Indeed, the attacks themselves are incompetent, for they implicitly concede the premise that what Obama wants to accomplish would be just fine, if only it were more ruthlessly and efficiently executed. In other words, when such attacks are leveled by the likes of the RNC, whose members know better, they are also derelict, and reveal intellectual bankruptcy.
John Cook discusses radiation units and links to a graphic comparison of the relative safety levels of various energy sources in "deaths per Terawatt hour."
XKCD posts a great graphic on radiation doses.
Mark your calendars! Edison Hour is at 8:30 p.m. this Saturday. This is the opposite of "Earth Hour," and is called "Human Achievement Hour" by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.