The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 April 2005

Seedier clouds than usual

Rick Santorum's proposal to curb the National Weather Service for the benefit of private weather providers gets appropriate sneers from Bruce:

Let's extend that logic. Any free service that the government, business or individual provides that might compete with a commercial enterprise that seeks to sell that same service would be rendered unlawful.

So how long until we have to shut down the public schools? Would we have to disband the police because of private security firms? How about the Fire Department? Would we have to stop building roads if some business decides to get into the pay-road business?

Let's take a look at charities ... food pantries, free shelters, free legal advice, tax preparation, credit counseling ... and the list goes on. All deemed a threat to free markets if we subscribe to this zero-sum line of reasoning.

And here in Oklahoma, we know that the notion that the NWS somehow impedes commercial services is manifestly absurd. Let there be even the slightest blip on the radar, and the three biggest television stations in Oklahoma City or Tulsa shift into high gear to present every possible storm scenario, the diameter and location of every hailstone, and how many minutes you have until the storm passes over your porch. You don't hear them complaining about the National Weather Service.

There's nothing particularly unusual about a Senator pitching something to benefit an operation in his district at the expense of everything else, but who's going to believe that Santorum's proposal is anything but that? This little road apple of his will never be a Fabergé egg no matter how much spray paint he sloshes over it.

Posted at 8:24 AM to Political Science Fiction


There's more to the matter than even the advisability of the bill in question. Accu-Weather employees have been commenting under false pretenses on various blogs about the NWS.

What Bruce thinks about Santorum (and I reluctantly am beginning to agree, due to this very matter), or, say, Ernest (m)Istook, various persons here at Castle McGehee who shall remain nameless, also think of the head of Accu-Weather. And this misadventure merely seems to confirm that opinion.

Posted by: McGehee at 5:25 PM on 25 April 2005

I saw that. Astroturfing at its smarmiest.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:45 PM on 25 April 2005