April 30, 2009
Bound to Burn
Humanity will keep spewing carbon into the atmosphere, but good policy can help sink it back into the earth.
By Peter W. Huber
Like medieval priests, today's carbon brokers will sell you an indulgence that forgives your carbon sins. It will run you about $500 for 5 tons of forgiveness -- about how much the typical American needs every year. Or about $2,000 a year for a typical four-person household. Your broker will spend the money on such things as reducing methane emissions from hog farms in Brazil.
But if you really want to make a difference, you must send a check large enough to forgive the carbon emitted by four poor Brazilian households, too -- because they're not going to do it themselves. To cover all five households, then, send $4,000. And you probably forgot to send in a check last year, and you might forget again in the future, so you'd best make it an even $40,000, to take care of a decade right now. If you decline to write your own check while insisting that to save the world we must ditch the carbon, you are just burdening your already sooty soul with another ton of self-righteous hypocrisy. And you can't possibly afford what it will cost to forgive that.
If making carbon this personal seems rude, then think globally instead. During the presidential race, Barack Obama was heard to remark that he would bankrupt the coal industry. No one can doubt Washington's power to bankrupt almost anything -- in the United States. But China is adding 100 gigawatts of coal-fired electrical capacity a year. That's another whole United States' worth of coal consumption added every three years, with no stopping point in sight.
Much of the rest of the developing world is on a similar path.
Cut to the chase. We rich people can't stop the world's 5 billion poor people from burning the couple of trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have within easy reach. We can't even make any durable dent in global emissions -- because emissions from the developing world are growing too fast, because the other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy, and because we and they are now part of the same global economy. What we can do, if we're foolish enough, is let carbon worries send our jobs and industries to their shores, making them grow even faster, and their carbon emissions faster still.
We don't control the global supply of carbon.
April 28, 2009
Are men inarticulate? Sure, sometimes. Expressing deep feelings is difficult, especially if you've been toldas most males have, even in our postmodern agethat to express your feelings is unmanly.
But I don't really see women able to express their feelings any better. Women like to talk about feelings, as men like to talk about football and computers. But when it comes to talking about your own feelings, I find that women suddenly stumble. In the workplace, around the dinner table, on that big date, I am not aware that a woman has an easier time expressing the hard truths: that her feelings are hurt, or something made her feel bad, or that she feels weak or sad or inadequate.
I don't see women powering through their psychotherapy faster than men, because they have easier access to their feelings.
I don't see lesbian relationships going more smoothly than heterosexual relationships.
I don't see friendships between women going more smoothly than friendships between men. Plenty of female friendships collapse into nastiness and rancor.
In short, I don't see any real evidence that women handle their feelings better than men: most child abuse occurs in single-parent families headed by women.
And so, I think the stereotype of the inarticulate, emotionally unexpressive male is simply untrue. The truth is that expressing a deep feeling of hurt or fear or inadequacyor loveis difficult for anybody, male or female.
Well worth the read.
Thanks to Conservative Propaganda for the link/
April 22, 2009
Meanwhile, the national consensus has moved in the direction of civil unions for gay couples. Civil unions confer all or most of the legal incidents of marriage, but they withhold the word marriage and are treated as a formally distinct status. Gay opinion regards them as second-class citizenship, but they are a lot better than nothing, and they have the advantage of conferring most of the state-level protections and prerogatives of marriage with little or none of the controversy.
But the quintessence of Burkeanism is that we do not live in an ideal world, and we should be thankful that we do not. On the whole, the path the country is taking is a grand vindication of the virtue of muddling through. Localizing gay marriage has taken the edge of hysteria off the issue and bought the country the time it needs to deliberate. Experimentation offers the opportunity to learn from experience, which is the only way social learning happens. Civil unions provide a way to give gay couples at least some of what they need and could easily be converted into marriages if society evolves in that direction. When all is said and done, the country adapts to a changing reality without rushing ahead of it.
Kudos to Gay Patriot for the link.
April 21, 2009
PETITION OF THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA
To the Governor and
Duly Elected Representatives of the Commonwealth
We the people of Virginia, stand in awe at your duplicity and absolute fiscal irresponsibility.
You were elected to stand watch as diligent stewards over our future, but instead you have bellied up to the trough of government waste. You have auctioned off our futures and our liberty for the sake of political convenience and we are not amused.
Rather than consult your constituents to determine your course, you holed yourselves away in the corridors of power and made decisions based on the corrupt sway of political pull.
We demand better servants...we deserve better men.
It is our resolution to stand united against your wasteful governance. The signatories of this document agree that theft is not the solution for debt, and graft is no substitution for leadership.
We advise you to proceed carefully as you waste our hard-earned money on your frivolity, because we are watching and you will be held accountable.
April 20, 2009
I have no idea how Iowahawk manages to do this type of thing on a consistent basis. Fills my black heart with jealousy, it does, my precious.
Ah well. Read it anyway.
April 17, 2009
Mega-props to our President Obama for yesterday's speechifying about simplifying and fair-izing the Infernal Revenue Service and all that.
Except for one small nitpicky thing: He's full of shit on this topic. How precisely is he or his Slugger's Row of policy mavens (you know, the idjits who can't even use Turbo Tax) gonna make the income tax more fair? As it stands, the top 1 percent of filers pay 40 percent of all income taxes; the top 5 percent pay 60 percent; and the top 10 percent pay fully 70 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent (5-0, Dano!) pay a whopping 3 percent of all income tax.
And now this morning, Obama was on the tube again, yapping about traffic jams. What the hell is going on here? The president of the freaking United States is talking about traffic jams? Then again, in grammar school we did all learn that part of George Washinton's Farewell Address where he warned against entangling alliances and the dread menace of highway jughandles and traffic circles. That Obama's big solution is, ta-da!, "high-speed rail" is simply one more sign that he is simply not serious about anything other than paying off 19th and 20th century legacy special interests. I look forward to tomorrow's press conference, when Obama trains his laser-beam brain on the question of whether Razzles is a candy or a gum.
Let me clear: I think we'd be in pretty much the same financial situation if McCain had been elected. But at as much as I disagree with Mac, at least I'd know he was in over his head.
April 16, 2009
There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Some words are timeless. And while this is not an armed struggle, it is no less a struggle for the very future of this country.
I've seen some DC apologists say, "But hey, you got a tax cut." Well sure, that $500/year is nice and all, but somehow that doesn't balance the scales when measured against bankrupting this country and saddling my children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt. If I'm going to be paid off like a whore, you're going to have to pay me a lot more than that. Frankly, DC cannot print enough. All of you who are content to have your bread and circuses while the country crumbles around you, have at it. The rest of us will try to save your asses as well.
April 15, 2009
April 09, 2009
In light of SUU officials plan to designate "Free Speech Zones" on campus, I thought I'd offer my assistance. Grab a map. OK, ready?
All right, you see that big area between Canada and Mexico, surrounded by lots of blue ink on the East and West? You see it?
There's your bloody Free Speech Zone.
Senior communication major from Bountiful
The best hope for this country is that there are a lot more Jeffrey Wilburs out there.
April 08, 2009
Yes, I saw Mythbusters do the whole beer chilling episode. However, the geek cred for their icy brine solution is way less than the one seen here.
April 06, 2009
The more I drink, the better everyone else looks, so the rest of you slackers start pourin'.
I could have submitted this to Rule 5 Sunday, but since this Monday, I guess that I'll have to pass until next time.
April 03, 2009
Bill links to the story/picture from American Thinker and posts this little quote:
This is one of the most nauseating things Ive ever seen. I excoriated G.W. Bush for kissing and holding hands with this Oilbag S.O.B., but this is the fucking President of the United States symbolically prostrating his nation and its honor before a loathsome barbarian savage.
Words fail me.
April 02, 2009
This isnt just a USB vibrator. This one includes 5 interchangable latex probes (wow!), has 10 unique preset pulse/vibrate rhythms (yihah!), and features a self adjustable finger ring vibrating bullet (amazing!). Heres our winner ladies and gentlemen - the Super 10 function USB powered vibrator. Crazy shit.
SkipScreen is a no-frills Firefox extension with a singular focus. Once you install SkipScreen the splash screens on popular file sharing services, that show you advertisements and encourage you to upgrade to premium service to avoid having to wait, are a thing of the past. As you can see in the screenshot above, the save file dialogue box popped up immediately while the count down was still in progress.
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