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Saturday, March 13, 2010


Steve Cole comments:

Some television shows seem to do a poor job of getting all of the information presented in a logical order. Obviously, information is missing, and I wonder how many (like me) try to figure out what's really going on.

On STOSSEL on Thursday, 11 March 2010, they took Louisiana to task for having a license requirement for florists, which seems silly. They derided the state for using the license system to limit competition, despite the head of the trade association pointing out that it did nothing of the kind, anyone could take the test and 90% passed it. The two nice blonde ladies did not pass, probably because they did not study and practice. (The general subjects and some of the specific skills required are public knowledge.) To be sure, some of those skills are silly and outdated, but the purpose of the license (and arguably a dumb one) is to preserve a body of skills and knowledge, even if (especially if) that specific knowledge is no longer used. One might argue that the test should be updated, and one might argue that the whole point of licensing florists is just nonsense, but not that the test limits competition. I must wonder if the real reason that Louisiana licenses florists is to collect the license fees.

On an episode of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, Gordon Ramsay went to a restaurant in Indiana which was over a million dollars in debt and sinking fast. (Naturally, he fixed the problems and made the restaurant a thriving success; the guy really is good at that.) The restaurant was owned half by the on-site manager, and half by a couple who owned another (successful) restaurant 200 miles away. The three complained that they had put their savings, their inheritance, their retirement funds, and everything they could borrow into keeping the failing restaurant afloat. The real question, one nobody asked, is why the couple who had another restaurant cashed in their retirement accounts without fixing the problems. Why did they need Gordon Ramsay? Couldn't the husband just have told his wife "Run our place for a month while I go figure out why John is failing to run out other investment at a profit?"

The recent KING TUT UNWRAPPED show included the theory that the boy-king had become a strong ruler who was beyond the control of his advisors by the time he died. I find the evidence for this very suspect. (It's more like the show's producers and guest historians just wanted to think better of Tut than others have heretofore.) They base this on the "newly discovered" data in the tomb of Huy showing Tut involved in the Libyan campaign (which is mentioned in Egyptology books I have that are twenty years old) and newly discovered blocks that might show Tut's chariot in the Syrian campaign a year before Tut died. This is not really unlikely. The Saqarra tomb of General Horemheb (carved during Tut's lifetime, and Tut would have been told if Horemheb was exaggerating) details both of these campaigns, notes that Horemheb was under command and had been SENT on the campaigns by Tut, who remained in the capital.