The dangers of not doing your basic research
This ridiculous op-ed from Iain Murray and David Bier, where they exploited Hurricane Irene to argue that we don't need a National Weather Service, has been making the rounds. Probably more liberals are reading it to boggle at the sheer mean-spirited idiocy of it than by conservatives who are intrigued by the argument. Matt Y. dismantles the stupidity of this this line of thinking admirably (though he goes after someone else making exactly the same argument). So read his take on it.
I just want to point out that for all the puffed-up pseudo-intellectualism of Murray and Bier, they were incapable of doing extremely basic research that took me literally 30 seconds to do for them. Quote:
There is a very successful private TV channel dedicated to it, 24 hours a day, as well as any number of phone and PC apps. Americans need not be forced to turn over part of their earnings to support weather reporting.
So I went to the Weather Channel's website, clicked the "About Us" page, and read up a little on their service.
Information from the National Weather Service, such as severe weather alerts and current conditions, is transmitted to custom equipment at each cable location, as are thousands of customized weather forecasts prepared by The Weather Channel meteorologists.
I'm guessing that very successful 24-hour weather channel would be first in line to tell Republicans to fuck off if they actually did try to get rid of the National Weather Service.