Black pool party

Over at Butt Propulsion Laboratories, Scott Johnson is incensed at this article in the notoriously liberal Wall Street Journal, which suggests that something should be done about the disproportionately high number of black children who drown every year. Faced with, on the one hand, a large number of dead kids, and on the other hand, the possibility that an infinitessimally small amount of his taxes will go to teaching black children to swim, Johnson says: "Say hello to Davey Jones while you're down there, Negroes!"

Of course, conservativism is about helping people help themselves: it's not that Scott wants the black children to die, it's just that he doesn't want them to get any death-prevention assistance on the public tit. It's only right and sensible that if you could pay one penny to save someone's life, or save the penny and hope that, I dunno, St. Parick's Cathedral jumps in the pool and rescues them, you'd go for the wealth-maximizing option every time, right?

After excoriating the author for citing figures out of context, Johnson demonstrates that two can play that game, by quoting some statistics from the CDC just as if they meant something:

* There is a large disparity in drowning rates between men and women. In 2003, males accounted for 80 percent of the drownings in the United States.

* Alcohol use is involved in about 25 percent to 50 percent of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation.

Which is relevant to the subject of the article (black children drown at higher rates than children of other races) because, uh, well, because, you see, most of those drowned kids are boys with drinking problems, maybe, why not.

Still, CJ isn't entirely opposed to the idea that something should be done: he's apparently in favor of reanimating Ronald Reagan's corpse and letting him save all the black children from drowning. (Reagan's period as a lifeguard, by the way, cited by Johnson as evidence of the proper approach to the problem if it exists, seems like a strange thing to hang the argument on. Not only is it kinda unconservative -- hinging on letting someone else save you instead of learning how to save yourself -- but it's contingent on the hiring of government employees; Reagan was a lifeguard at a public pool, whose construction and maintenance, like his salary, was paid for by tax money.)

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