Hot Air

Walmart Wants You Poor

This is no breaking news (The Pencil is not CNN talking incessantly about a missing jetliner) but Walmart’s business model has been found to depend on an expanding population in poverty so that its shareholders and execs can amass gobs of cash.

In other words, it’s in Walmart’s best interests for you to collapse, financially. Isn’t the free market a delight?

Great Depression

Walmart’s Preferred Customer Base

As I say, we’re not stopping the presses to get this news out. Only that the Walton family, the members of which rank among the richest humans in the universe, has now confirmed what those of us who aren’t snoozing through life have known for years. In the company’s latest annual report, Walmart comes out and says, unapologetically, that it needs people receiving SNAP benefits and other public assistance programs in order for its wealthy bosses to become even more wealthy.

Everybody’s On The Spectrum

And I will be condemned to death by stoning by many in this holy land, but I’ve been talking about this for years:


The author’s suspicion? There is no patented autism drug that the obsessive anti-Big Pharma people can jump on — the idea being that all drug companies are run by amoral fiends who force doctors to diagnose diseases and prescribe drugs solely to bolster bottom lines.

But first, let’s whip on the author: He’s wrong. There’ve been plenty of pieces in mainstream and scientific media about overdiagnosis of Asperger’s and other autism spectrum maladies. Nevertheless, the point still holds. If everyone and his brother has autism, then nobody has autism. One observer has hit the nail quite nicely on the head: It’s a spectrum, and we’re all on it.

[h/t to Jerry Boyle.]

Stupid Talent

Finally, oh golly gee, I love this! First, a caveat. You may not care for sports, and that’s cool. You may also think long profiles of professional athletes are about as fascinating as watching the person in front of you in the checkout line look for his preferred customer discount card for about an hour and a half. Most times you’re right.

The New York Times yesterday ran a super-long thesis on the life and times of erstwhile Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka, who’ll be flinging the horsehide for the Evil Empire this annum. Trust me, I’m a baseball geek and even I couldn’t slog through all the Tanaka minutiae. But I did learn one fabulous thing. Tanaka’s wife is known as an o-baka tarrento. That’s Japanese for stupid talent. Literally!

Game Show Girl

A Typical O-baka Tarrento

Yeah, the Japanese have an actual term for silly, cute girls who have achieved some level of fame on, say, game shows, reality shows, or other high water marks of culture. Often they’re clueless about the world and their flamboyant dingbat-ism is so over the top that their very idiocy alone propels them to the top of the Q-ratings.

Acc’d’ng to the NYT, many Japanese consider such o-baka tarrentos to be “nonthreatening and adorable.”

Of course, we revere such inane human beings in this holy land as well. Only we call them Fox News personalities.

Fox Blondes

Megyn Kelly, Martha McCallum, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, And Gretchen Carlson

3 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. David Paglis "Cynicism gives the illusion of understanding." says:

    Another good one, I disagree about the drug companies forcing the doctors to prescribe; I think it is the patients: “Waddya mean, my kid is just high strung? He’s obviously ADHD, He needs Adderall, Sheesh, I pay 75 bucks to hear my kid is normal?” Nice little zinger at the end about Fox News.

  2. Candy says:

    David, Actually, it’s both. It’s never just one way, black or white. Many grays in between.

    • David Paglis "Cynicism gives the illusion of understanding." says:

      Candy, that’s true but I don’t get how the drug companies “force” doctors to prescribe their drug. For a drug to be on the market the FDA has to deem it “safe and effective”. I think the power of advertising has a stronger influence on the patient than the doctor.

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