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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gaming, Holiday fun, and political nonsense:
   Rip Van Winkle didn't miss much

Ah. The second holiday season. MLK Day and then the proverbial Chinese New Year. Top that off with a week of training and I am MIA.

Of course, that hasn't stopped me from playing Space. Lousy game design. But. Sweetly addicting for your average obsessive-compulsive.

In the wake of the President's State of the Union, pundits are flapping about Bush's Energy 180. Reduce dependence on oil. Alternative energy. 70s crapola. And they all say Bush didn't go far enough.

So, it is 12:30 am and I have to get up in 5 hours, so please forgive the gamey attitude. I'm watching a replay of the News Hour on PBS and they've got Robert Lieber from Georgetown University crying for conservation and spewing doom and gloom whilst Anne (Amy??) Jaffe of Rice University is calling for SUVs to meet the same mileage requirements of minivans and telling Americans to "get with it".

Point one. Lieber warns that the oil market is "extremely tight" and an upset like another hurricane or trouble in Niger (Nigeria?) will have catastrophic results. Now, I am all for efficient energy use, but, tight? Based on what? Did we not already survive those dual crisis? Did not the price of oil blow past $60 a barrel and $2.50 at the pump? Was that not a major shock to the system? Well, not if you go by the actual consequences, which turned out to be nil. Is it not possible that the sensitivity of the economy to oil price fluctuations is not all that tight anymore? Yeah, technically you might be able to call the oil market tight with regards to price, but the economy don't seem to care. What is so different between 6 months ago and now that would justify the "tight" call? It isn't. And that is the point.

Point two. Jaffe would have us dumb down SUVs just because they are so damnably politically incorrect. It probably doesn't help that the soccer moms driving them don't vote Dem. Yes yes. In the 70s, Detroit arrogantly refused to believe that America wouldn't want a cheap underpowered car that got great mileage. America loves power. Boyo, did the market prove them wrong. Which is exactly the point. Can someone please explain to Ms. Jaffe that the reason SUVs sell so well is because they HAVE power. Imposing EPA mileage requirements on an 70s American public who had already turned to more fuel efficient cars was a no-brainer for even the dumbest politician. And those same politicians will tell you that you'd have to be nuts to put a chokehold on the one reason people are buying SUVs. Unless, of course, you are an East Coast Elitest (is Rice Univeristy out East?) who feels the need to educate the general electorate on what is good for them...

Jaffe. Get with it.


Anonymous MBMc said...

Cheers to that, Jay Cline.

2/02/2006 1:39 PM  

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