Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carbon footprints, and other lies . . .

Oh, yeah. I'll believe that global warming is imminent, and government can't cut spending when I see the people in charge acting as if it were true. Until then, I'll remain skeptical.

Look at what Nancy was doing about global warming. She was flying around in air force jets - for free - and sucking up booze and treats. Over 90,000 miles in a jet, funded by tax payers, in less than a year. Now there's a carbon footprint for you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Curly lights and the birth of nations . . .

Coupla' years ago I started replacing regular light bulbs with CFLs. You know. The curly bulbs that sequester mercury to be leaked into the environment someplace, somehow, someday. But they use less electricity so less coal must be burned or less water must be dammed to make the electricity to light them up. For using less electricity is is good.

And we are going to need the electricity to run our cars. Or else we are going to grow food and use up lots of energy to turn food into alcohol and run our cars on that. And screw the people who might have been able to use a few extra calories and need the food.

Using less so-called fossil fuel (so called to imply that there is an exhaustible supply of oil left to us by our brothers, the dinosaurs, so we should be frugal as they are making no more oil, being extinct) using less will benefit the environment because we buy oil overseas from people who will screw up their own environment to get oil for us, and maybe fire-off a few suicide bombers with the cash they get from selling oil. For screwing their environment to help our own environment is good.

Anyhow, I stuck some of the curly bulbs in my bathroom about a year and a half ago. These were the bulbs that cost too much but would last six years.

Guess what? I've now got two of 'em sitting on my desk, all used up, as I type this epistle to posterity. Oh, and I didn't replace one of the "bad" incandescent bulbs in the bathroom at the time, thinking I'd put a curlycue in when it burnt out. And guess what. It's still working and I'm perturbed off. This is not good.

I figure there's a worldwide eco-hysteria going on, and only some of the concerns and solutions to eco problems are legitimate. But others are expensive solutions to imaginary problems, constituting commercial windfalls. But I'm okay with that. If you come to believe that wearing a daisy chain of beer can tops around you neck treats your hypothyroid condition -- go for it. If you become convinced that riding a bicycle to work twice a week will prevent male pattern baldness, peddle your silly ass off with my blessing. And if you want to buy curlycue light bulbs, you should be able to do that all you want. And maybe you're right; Mother Nature will love you and will give you a kiss on the cheek and a friendly little goose in gratitude for your use of curlycue light bulbs and a hybrid car to drive your bike around in a bike rack on the back. Wear a knit cap, so we can identify you as "one of those" from afar. For you are good.

And you are not being compelled to be good - you're doing it of your own free will. That's double good. Right?

But when I see that laws have to be passed to make all of us begin buying an expensive alternative to solve environmental concerns, I have to wonder. I particularly wonder when the testing to support the legislation avoids testing the value judgments implicit in the proposition, and tests only the performance efficiency of obtaining the goals implicit in the value judgments.

Hey, if it makes sense, we'll do it. You don't need a law.

But when a great deal of money is involved, like buying stuff like lightbulbs, electricity, and gasoline, I think we should be suspicious. Ordinarily I would say, follow the money. But in this case, there are politicians' sticky fingerprints all over the legislation that changes consumer buying choices, so I would say, you probably don't have to follow the money. Since politicians are involved and laws have been passed, that is enough for me to think we are being scammed again.

Because it is obviou$ly ea$ier to convince a few corrupt and venal politician$ that they ought to pass a law requiring all of us to do buy something then it would be to convince us that we ought to buy that thing. Being free to make our own decisions, we might otherwise conclude that the product is of doubtful utility when it is of doubtful utility. So our freedom to make such decisions must be eliminated. By law.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Car of the Year . . .

Chevy Volt has just been named the Car of the Year. Seen any yet? Kind of like President Obama's Peace Prize. Seen any?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

This is cool . . .

A whole bunch of Muslims in Egypt have attended Christian Copt church ceremonies to serve as human shields to protect the Christians. A church service was bombed recently, and people worried it could happen again. One of the statements was that the attack was an attack against all Egyptians, not just the Copts. Wow. Just, wow.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Three fifths of a person . . .

C'mon, people. Oh, I mean those of you over the age of 45. (Those under that age probably weren't provided this sort of an education, as self-esteem has replaced information in the acedemic schema, so it's not your fault.) But the rest of you. Did you skip history class that day?

The U.S. Constitution didn't say that a slave was only 3/5's of a person. It gave representative votes in the House to southern states at a reduced rate, so that the southern states weren't disproportionately over-represented in Congress based on the number of people in the state -- when some of them were disenfranchised by that state by reason of being treated as property.

In short, the writers of the U.S.Constitution used the 3/5 fraction to discriminate against slave holding states when it came to votes in Congress.

It was a compromise. The slave states wanted representation based on the number of people in their state, slave and free. The non-slave states wanted representation in Congress based only on the free population of the slave states. A deal was cut, because there wouldn't be a union if the north got their way altogether, because the slavery south just wouldn't ratify the constitution. And vice-versa.

Those of you who are still yelping about this after all these years are either cynically trying to drum up political enthusiasm, or you are showing your ignorance altogether. Or both.

Something is happening that I don't understand . . .

A coupla times a month or more, my bride and I go to a local corporate mega fast burger location, 'cause it's really neat to get your meal freshly prepared and wrapped up in individual paper wrappings, except for frenchfries, which are served in a little carboard holster device. You know these places. They always have some sort of music playing, usually something I don't recognize which evidently appeals to the employees working there. But then one day they put some Country and Western stuff into the mix.

No problem -- it has melody and lyrics.

Of course, for Christas season, Christmas music was used.

Then, things got a little wierder. It was Christmas music with a country flavor. You know. Slide guitars. A banjo here and there. Some honky tonk undertones.

Okay, I said. This will be over in a few days.

Went there today. What was playing was stuff from the thirties and forties. Horns. Clarinets. I recognized some of the songs as stuff my parents had on the old wind-up record player, but these weren't the old stuff. These were old songs with old arrangements and bands, recorded in modern times. How can this be? I am greatly confused.

If I go back there and hear bagpipes, that's it. I'm turning vegetarian and buying a tricycle and a shotgun. And swimfins.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Politics 2011, version 1.0

The Republicans are planning to open the next Congress by reading the U.S.Constitution out loud. Their theory is that this exercise is likely the first and only time some members of Congress will ever be required to consider the U. S. Constitution.

The New York Times plans to pronounce every word the reading as a collection of "to be expected" right wing lies, secure in the knowledge that conservatives make things up. Twenty-two percent of all Americans, sixty-four percent of all subscribers to the New York Times, and virtually the entire staff of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Harvard College, and CCNY will believe the New York Times. For they are the smart ones.