May 2, 2009: My Favorite News Stories from the Week that Was

Gold - Not every automaker needs a bailout. Ford is doing just fine without fascism, thank you.

Silver - Hopefully you're not discouraged that Swine Flu 2009 didn't live up to its hype. But I'm afraid some people are.

Bronze - I am so glad the New York Yankees' new stadium is an albatross. They deserve it.

Ford Does Just Fine Without Fascism.While the United States government controls the fates of GM and Chrysler, and while they will almost assuredly make the problem worse in the process, Ford has increased car sales by actually caring about what Americans want to buy rather than what government wants them to build. Ford moved back into the #2 US car seller, while GM continues its decline and Chrysler moves closer to becoming a has-been.
While its rivals stay afloat with billions in government aid, Ford grabbed a bigger slice of the American car market in April, with record sales of its fuel-efficient Fusion. Those results pushed it past Toyota to retake its post as the nation's No. 2 car seller.

Even though Ford's monthly sales tumbled 32 percent from a year earlier, it captured 16 percent of the total market. Most of those gains came at the expense of General Motors and Chrysler which, unlike Ford, are dependent on federal help.
The Swine Flu Pandemic that Never Really Was! Are we voyeurs when it comes to calamities? Do we want millions of deaths? It seems that some people do.

As opposed to a more localized epidemic, a pandemic crosses international borders. It's almost as though a lot of government leaders and health officials are disappointed that the breakout of Swine Flu is not living up to its billing. But there are sniffles in at least ten countries, so I guess this H1N1 thing of 2009 is a pandemic.

At one point there had been reported nearly 200 deaths and thousands of cases of swine flu at its Mexico City epicenter. I heard a story on the radio in the past couple of days that over 2,000 people in Mexico city were suffering from an unusually virulent strain of pneumonia related to the swine flu. Now, all the numbers have been dramatically "restated". In case you're keeping score, there have now been only about 200 Swine Flu cases in Mexico and about 16 deaths.
Mexico reported no new deaths from swine flu overnight - more reason to be optimistic that the worst is over at the epicenter of the outbreak.

The swine flu outbreak that has alarmed the world for a week now appears less ominous, with the virus showing little staying power in the hardest-hit cities and scientists suggesting it lacks the genetic fortitude of past killer bugs.
Darn. Maybe we would have enjoyed it better if millions had actually died.

Yankees Can't Sell Tickets. Neener, Neener, Neener!!! It's not that I hate the Yankees because they think a limitless supply of money can buy a championship, although I do. It's also not that I despise George Steinbrenner as the Yasser Arafat of Major League Baseball, although I'm passionate about that, too. What really bugs me about the Yankees is that first, they thought they even needed a new stadium, that second, they got boatloads of favors from local governments, and that third, they displaced a lot of homes and businesses to build their new digs. With all of this hatred built up inside me, I can't help but be overjoyed that the Yankees can't sell tickets to their new Albatross Stadium.
The Yankees are the only organization in the history of professional sports that could cut ticket prices in half and you still need to take out a mortgage to afford them.

That 50-percent reduction took them from the outrageous to the merely exorbitant, and though it's a nice gesture to acknowledge that you have made a mistake, it doesn't even begin to correct it.

Besides, they're not doing it because they're nice guys, or as a goodwill gesture to their fans, most of whom they've already priced out of the neighborhood, or because someone took a second look at the rate card and decided, "Geez, these tickets are kind of expensive.''

They're doing it because they have to, in order, fill the ballpark, cover their payroll and make their monthly nut.
I hope the whole organization goes belly up. This crap that sports franchises can receive special favors because they are good for the economy has got to stop. The death of New York Yankees baseball would be a good place to start.

Related Articles:

Five Pandemics that are Far Worse than Swine Flu


  1. The swine flu thing worked as a great distraction from more important issues. Perhaps it even provided some real time experience for public health officials. Unfortunately, it will produce the boy who cried wolf syndrome. Folks will be somewhat more desensitized the next time a potential pandemic comes around. In other words, this little publicity exercise could end up causing real problems in the future.


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