The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

more santorum

Slate.com's Timothy Noah reports today about Santorum's introduction of the National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005, a bill ostensibly intended to force the National Weather Service not to compete against the "free market." The bill would require the NWS to make their raw data—which is, in that form, unintelligible to the layman—freely available to for-profit services like AccuWeather. On top of that, NWS would itself be prohibited from making that raw data understandable by laymen. In essence, it's Bush-style crony capitalism: PRETEND that we want to shrink government, when what we really want to do is allow companies to make money off of what the government would otherwise provide for free. It's pork politics, at its heart (AccuWeather is based in Pennsylvania), but like Tom DeLay's more notorious work on behalf of various Sugarland, TX companies, it's grounded in the hypocritical activities of anti-big-government Republicans who use that philosophy as a cover to turn over the public weal to the private sector, while making the government pick up the tab and provide the seed money.

And of course, Santorum has signed on to the most bogus, intellectually dishonest scam the religious right has been crafting for the last few decades, the idea that God is on the side of capitalism. Frankly, the notion that God has a favorite system of economic organization makes as much sense to me as the notion that God favors the Red Sox over the Yankees or that he hates the Pirates. Wait, bad example.

2 Comments:

  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Jason B. said…

    How does this jive with Santorum's web site ( http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1304&Region_id=0&Issue_id=13&CFID=24069348&CFTOKEN=16803479 ) where he says that the information will continue to be freely available?

    --jason

     
  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger mantooth said…

    Not being an expert on the subject of weather-information dissemination, I turn here to Tim Noah, who states that:

    "What the bill actually says is that the NWS must issue all its data "in real time, and without delay for internal use." This means that the NWS must issue data in raw form that will be incomprehensible to the general public—thereby providing private weather companies with a government-guaranteed opportunity to massage that information into something the public can actually comprehend. That the intended recipient of the NWS's raw data is the private weather industry, rather than the inexpert consumer, is made plain in the bill's very next sentence, which states, "Data, information, guidance, forecasts, and warnings shall be issued ... through a set of data portals designed for volume access by commercial providers of products or services." The envisioned "data portals" (whatever they turn out to be) are quite obviously not intended to get all that weather information to you and me."

     

Post a Comment

<< Home