Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How to Inform Oneself Without Reading a Lot

Typically, I try to withold opining on a current event until all the facts are known. When one draws conclusions too early in a developing and fluid situation, the outcome has a tendency to be 180 degrees out of phase from the gun jumper's conclusions, making him look rather foolish (anybody remember "Fitzmas"?).

When I heard that Bush was selling the operational rights of a number of American ports to interests in the Uniited Arab Emirates, my gut reaction was that it was a supremely bad idea. Not only were the lefties - who suddenly took an interest in homeland security - sounding like a bunch of stylized bigoted southern crackers (He's selling our ports to Ay-rabs???!!!), but Bush was being slammed by members of his own side as well. Because I have limited time to inform myself about everything due to the fact that I am primarily occupied with a) my job, and b) preventing The Boy from conducting his crude scientific experiments regarding electricity with a fork and an electrical outlet, my only knowledge of the story was from headlines and brief snippets caught on the TV news.

On its face, selling a number of ports to concerns based in a part of the world that contains large numbers of fanatic dirtbags who would love nothing better than to float a tanker carrying a live nuke into one of our harbors. On the other hand, a decision that is so obviously sketchy might stillhave some compelling and unsurmised rationale behind it that makes sense.

I was confused.

But no more! I have discovered the ultimate good idea / bad idea detector. This amazing time-saving miracle allows one to tell within seconds whether or not a given act or idea is borne of Solomonic wisdom, or is pure and utter stupidity. Usually, as in this case, you don't even have to read past the headline.

Adapting a tactic from the Nihilist Anti Lock Betting System, I have been able to conclude with 100% certitude the wisdom of selling ports to Arab interests. It only took me about 5 seconds. My opinion on the issue is as follows:

It is a supremely bad idea.

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