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If There Were A God
(And, of course, there's no evidence god exists)...

thxgd1.jpg

But, if there were a god, what makes you think god would want you farting up the planet with your hugemobile?

Posted by aalkon at June 22, 2007 11:49 AM

Comments

Thank you Amy, I always get missionarys comng over to my house driving those huge peices of shit. And I ask them "If you truly belive in god and that he gave mankind dominon and stewardship of the earth how can you drive such a thing?"

they never have an answer

Posted by: lujlp at June 22, 2007 7:38 AM

Thanks God, or Thanks General Dynamics?

Posted by: anon at June 22, 2007 8:21 AM

Amy - while I totally agree w/ you that we, consumers, must make better decisions for the environment, but it's tough to pick a vehicle when you have several children... and when there's children there are friends and sports gear. A Prius will not cut it...nor a hybrid Camry... and mini vans aren't necessarily better than some of the SUV's out there as far as mileage. The majority of SUV owners don't take advantage of the vehicle's primary utility: off roading, but the interior space is unbeatable. If you haven't been in the car with four kids lately, let me tell you that one's happiness is directly correlated to the amount of room in between the kids' seats!

It is unfortunate to me that size must equal poor engineering. There are a few flex fuel vehicles out there but the gas savings doesn't wow me... I recently read an article discussing the huge mistake in pushing fuel made from corn (or sugar cane or beets). There are many engineers out there - little guys - who have better ideas which they actually have made work. Their problem is funding and lack of attention to these clean, sustainable technologies. (P.S: technologies which also won't cause our food prices to sky rocket when the demand for corn - a primary ingredient in most packaged foods - goes through the roof.)

I do appreciate the irony in the picture above - but I don't think hating SUV's is necessary... but I definitely think consumers need to demand better fuel technology. It exists! It's within our power to use it! Maybe we SHOULD all suck it up and drive around in tiny hybrids to send the message that companies need to get w/ the program. Or maybe we should just make the wee ones walk the five and a half miles to the hockey rink (which would also help the U.S's obesity issue).

Posted by: Gretchen at June 22, 2007 8:38 AM

Gretchen, in addition to being a polluter, that SUV is just too goddamn big for drivers in more reasonably sized cars to see around. I'm sure it's very difficult having 4 noisy and undisciplined children in a car, but that doesn't justify blocking the vision of other drivers at critical moments and risking their deaths.

Posted by: Lena at June 22, 2007 9:00 AM

Minivans are, indeed, safer, and how about a volvo station wagon? When I talked to an insurance guy for my anti-SUV piece i wrote for New Times LA, he talked about how being higher up with a narrower wheel base made SUVs prone to rollover. Minivans, by comparison, are shaped like turtles.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 22, 2007 9:07 AM

I've found that an estate care (= station wagon in US?) is big enough for kids, dogs, camping gear, beehives, etc. A roof box or trailer increases capacity enormously. But people should be free to spend their money as they want, legally. If you want to prevent people buying SUVs, and you are in a free market economy, then you'll have to make them illegal in some way.

Posted by: Norman at June 22, 2007 9:10 AM

That, Lena, is a really big problem. You never know if you're approaching some dangerous situation in the road if you're behind one of these yahoos in a hugemobile. And sure, if you need a big vehicle because you're actually hauling huge things, well, okay. But, I don't see a lot of people hauling anything in these vehicles on the roads of LA. Often it's some tiny blond woman driving with one hand while holding a cell phone she's yakking on with the other. Lovely.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 22, 2007 9:10 AM

A turtle? Personally, I thought minivans looked like oversized eggs. But I can see turtles too.

Posted by: Joe at June 22, 2007 9:23 AM

I thought they looked like turds. Please call someone to clean them up.

Posted by: Lena at June 22, 2007 9:40 AM

Because SUV drivers impose a cost (in air pollution) on the rest of us, they should be taxed accordingly to pay us back. Behavior that unnecessarily imposes costs on the rest of us -- like cigarette smoking -- should have its costs borne by those who partake of it. I don't include food in this equation, as I can be healthy and eat a Burger King burger from time to time. There's probably no amount of cigarette smoking or air polluting that's good for the rest of us, and that doesn't impose a cost on the rest of us...without any benefit for anyone but the user/behaver.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 22, 2007 10:02 AM

"you'll have to make them illegal in some way."

I'd prefer economiclly undesirable. As Gretchen points out, there are more and more consumers looking for fuel efficient vehicles, but not finding models that meet their needs.

Last night I was watching TV. First a Nissan ad: 3 models that get 35 miles per gallon or more. Then the Chrysler ad: 3 models that get almost 30 miles per gallon! So Detroit's getting the message, but there's still some lag time.

I guess prohibiting SUVs by law would be cheaper. It has taken an oil war and a rise in tortilla prices to bring consumers around.

Posted by: smurfy at June 22, 2007 10:29 AM

I find it pathetic when I see someone with an alumni liscence plate frame on anything less than a BMW.

So think about how this plate would work on a minivan. You pledged your alegiance to God and all you got out of it was a maroon caravan.

Posted by: smurfy at June 22, 2007 10:34 AM

And I ask them "If you truly belive in god and that he gave mankind dominon and stewardship of the earth how can you drive such a thing?"

They clearly haven't listened to Ann Coulter then, who interprets this as follows:

"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"---Hannity & Colmes, 6/20/01

In the meanwhile, I think the market is at work regarding big vehicles - they're cheap and getting cheaper. Hate me if you'd like, but we just bought a used 4WD Jeep for camping, skiing and etc. at 50 cents on the dollar compared to the Subaru Outbacks that would do the same thing and get about 5 mpg better. In our defense, it's a second car that we put about 5k miles a year on, while using BART and CalTrain for commuting. Plus, by not buying new, we didn't contribute the energy costs of producing a new car, which are pretty significant. These are complicated issues - good gas mileage is important, but as far as personal behavior, it's the sum of your behaviors that matters.

Posted by: justin case at June 22, 2007 10:53 AM

While I am no fan of SUVs, I would remind folks of the recent analyses that show quite convincingly that the worst Hummer competes very effectively (and probably beats) the best hybrid.

The reason: a Hummer is made largely of iron, which is cheap and doesn't take a lot of energy to produce. A hybrid, on the other hand, uses a lot of aluminum and other light metals - and these take enormous amounts of energy to make.

In other words, it's not just about mileage, but about total energy consumption. This ought to be on the sales sticker!

Posted by: bradley13 at June 22, 2007 11:02 AM

The debate over things as simple as paper bags or plastic really should include the total resource cost (TRC) to include production, shipping, normal usage, recycling and disposal. (Plastic bags win by the way.)

If it truly does cost less to manufacture a Hummer than a hybrid(I'm skeptical) then other costs associated with them would likely offset any savings.

SUV's should be taxed as luxury vehicles rather than subsidized as though they were a working vehicle for a farmer or business person.

Posted by: martin at June 22, 2007 11:14 AM

Too many people, that's the problem. When the environmental religionists grow a set of balls and start talking about the impact of having children, I might start listening to them. And furthermore, I challenge them to put their money where their mouths are, instead of always thinking it's everyone ELSE who should stop having children (usually brown people). Until then, their endless bitching about SUV's (which, yes, take less energy to make than hybrids) doesn't amount to anything more than anti-capitalist claptrap.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at June 22, 2007 11:41 AM

It will only happen with the public acceptance of procreative liberty and beneficence through advances in reprogenetics. Quality over quantity is the future.

Posted by: Joe at June 22, 2007 12:48 PM

An additional irony:

It's near Michigan street, and you're from Michigan originally...

...and the car was made there.

Ok, it's not THAT ironic.

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at June 22, 2007 1:06 PM

Check out this article by Bengt Halvorson about hybrid vs. Hummer:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/pf/Auto_News/Green_Car_News/Prius_Versus_HUMMER_Exploding_the_Myth.S196.A12220.html

Hybrids are new vehicles. My Insight was designed to be a much lighter car (1900 lbs). There are always going to be startup costs involved in new designs - as opposed to some SUVs that are just tarted up pickup trucks with a shell over the bed that doesn't look as much like a shell. With more and more cars built with energy efficiency in mind -- or, better yet, energy innovation -- the cost will go down.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 22, 2007 1:14 PM

I hate this blog post.

Pirate Jo's right about this part:

> bitching about SUV's... doesn't
> amount to anything more than
> anti-capitalist claptrap.

But that doesn't mean that there are too many people. It just means people are inclined to demand authoritarian solutions to the intrusions other people seems to make in shared space.

Seem to make. Listen, I hate SUV's too. Everything bad you can say about them is true. Yet a visiting Martian would think these vehicles are only mildly different from the methods the rest of us use to get around. It's the problem I have with environmental activism generally: The hope that matters of taste and incidental convenience can be used to terrorize others. It's the reason Laurie David and Dicaprio's rhetoric rings so hollow; by leading lives of tremendous wealth and consuming the best materials delivered in the highest style, they themselves drop a bigger footprint than that of any of the hoi polloi they seek to persuade (or, in their dearest fantasies, constrain).

PJ O'Rourke once summarized the thinking of enviro-wackos something like this: "There's just enough of me, but a little to much of you." Population is not the problem.

And furthermore...

It's silly to pester a Christian for driving an SUV. To the best of my knowkedge, the Son of God never spoke to the issue of transport preference... At least, the guy behind the wheel may not have thought He did. Amy, you've already disavowed his faith as a source of ethics, so it's pretty snotty for you to tell him how he should be responding to things on that basis.

Plus it's just childishly snotty. Backhandedly perhaps, that license plate expresses gratitude. The driver knows he/she didn't earn a life that rich. Were it that Ms. David could move thorugh our community with such humility...

Posted by: Crid at June 22, 2007 1:42 PM

The overnight shift is fucking up my proofreading skills.

Posted by: Crid at June 22, 2007 1:44 PM

> I recently read an article discussing the huge mistake in pushing fuel made from corn (or sugar cane or beets).

Vinod Khosla, venture capitalist:

"...Today we are starting with corn ethanol. It's a great starting point. But more importantly (it) conditions the market where investors like me say, "Hey, the next stepping stone is a greener ethanol." The step after that is cellulosic (PH) ethanol. The step after cellulosic ethanol is butanol. The step after butanol is x, y, z...."

Link: http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/249.html

Posted by: Doobie at June 22, 2007 2:16 PM

Well, the environmentalists are not going to 'save' the earth through government mandated lifestyle restrictions. Technological development is the key along with minor voluntary lifestyle changes in matters of conservation of certain resources. (i.e. water and oil)

I had a similar discussion with a co-worker's animal rights activist girlfriend over the issue of testing on animals. The practice will eventually die out, not through the endeavors of the annoying activists. Only through advances in testing procedures and the lowered risk assessment of future genetic based drug therapies. Also, I critiqued her vegan lifestyle through the advances in cultured/in vitro meat development. Is it cruel to eat a protein source that was never an animal in the first place?

Posted by: Joe at June 22, 2007 2:19 PM

Crid, I'm not entirely sure "too many people" is a real problem, either. But environmentalists say we're destroying the earth by burning fossil fuels, breeding lots of cows (creating tons of methane), consuming resources, etc. And their ire is almost entirely directed at developed countries, since your average sub-Saharan African isn't driving an SUV, can't afford to eat beef, and certainly isn't running an air-conditioner. An American kid will supposedly consume 80 times the resources of a child born in India during his lifetime.

But if trucks can't haul my contact lens solution to Target for me to buy, if I have to swelter in 100-degree heat with no A/C, and if I can't eat a steak once in a while, that's going to cramp my standard of living. Should we all live the lifestyle of a Third-worlder? Or, with a smaller population, couldn't we all live the lifestyles of developed countries (with vaccines and such) and not hurt the environment? If the enviros are going to preach this stuff, why do they shy away from certain practical solutions to the problems they list?

For the record, I am childfree, live in a modest condo, and bike or ride the bus to work. I only put gas in my vehicle once a month. But the environmentalists have created a religion all their own, and they seem to ignore the improvements free markets have made in the lives of people, although most of them enjoy those same benefits themselves.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at June 22, 2007 3:23 PM

"you'll have to make them illegal in some way."
I'd prefer economiclly undesirable.

So would I. But in this free market economy, they are economically desirable. Therefore you either get rid of the free market economy, or the freedom to spend buy SUVs in particular. Which is it to be? You could put pollution taxes on them ... but if they pollute more, then the drivers are already paying more in tax to buy the fuel. Plus, they would become very desirable status symbols of the rich. Would that be better? You could ration fuel: a gallon a day per head of population. Would that be acceptable? You could sell off your unused ration if you went by bicycle ...


Is it cruel to eat a protein source that was never an animal in the first place?
You bet it is. Have you ever tasted that stuff?

Posted by: Norman at June 22, 2007 3:30 PM

Well, the environmentalists are not going to 'save' the earth through government mandated lifestyle restrictions. - Joe

But apperently religious conservitves will save our souls thru 'government mandated lifestyle restrictions'

It's silly to pester a Christian for driving an SUV. To the best of my knowkedge, the Son of God never spoke to the issue of transport preference... At least, the guy behind the wheel may not have thought He did. Amy, you've already disavowed his faith as a source of ethics, so it's pretty snotty for you to tell him how he should be responding to things on that basis.
- Crid

Actually he did, that whole humility in all things bit, and Amy disavous faiths on logical reasoning simply for the reason taht sparked this whole discussion- they are harming gods so called "gift" with their stupidity and greed

the interior space is unbeatable. If you haven't been in the car with four kids lately - Gretchen

Too bad that due to their design flaws - ie high center of gravity nd to narrow a wheel base - those kids re gonna wind up dead when the damn things flip. And why because a station wagon with a luggage rack isnt 'high class'

a Hummer is made largely of iron, which is cheap and doesn't take a lot of energy to produce. A hybrid, on the other hand, uses a lot of aluminum and other light metals - and these take enormous amounts of energy to make - bradley13

Iron has been worked for millenia the others less than two centruys - the greaters concentration of magnesium (used in aluminum aloys) is salt water and aluminum is consideed to be the most pentiful metals on earth comprising nearly ten percent of the earths crust, iron cromprises 5%

also you failed to factor the cost iron rusting or of alloying the iron with other elements to prevent rust in the first palce

Posted by: lujlp at June 22, 2007 3:31 PM

"Is it cruel to eat a protein source that was never an animal in the first place?
You bet it is. Have you ever tasted that stuff?"

You bet I have. Every chance I get.

Posted by: Lena Cuisina, Ravenous Cum Guzzler at June 22, 2007 6:00 PM

> that whole humility in
> all things bit

Pride in consumer choices is not humility.

Posted by: Crid at June 22, 2007 7:10 PM

>> I'd prefer economiclly
>> undesirable.

> So would I.


Why do people pretend this makes coercion less obnoxious? "Hey man, it's just economics... But slavery was an economic condition, wasn't it?

> You bet it is.

That was funny.

Posted by: Crid at June 22, 2007 7:39 PM

Norman - the Station Wagon was essentially outlawed by the CAFE standards. Which, ironically, is why we have minivans and SUVs (which are based on trucks, not cars).

There's also some debate about how many collision fatalaties are a direct result of fuel efficiency mandates.

Pirate Jo - The future belongs to those who show up for it. If the west stops having kids, that means the only store you'll be allowed to enter in 50 years is "Burqas-R-Us".

You want SUVs to go away? Ditch the corn subsidies, cut the ethanol crap, and let gasoline go to $5/gal. When the inevitable shortages come about because we haven't built new refinery capacity in more than a generation, people will re-think their automotive choices.

And maybe the station wagon will make a comeback.

Posted by: brian at June 22, 2007 9:05 PM

I drive a Passat and I love it. But I also have enjoyed driving four years behind the wheel of a Yukon.

I found that a major issue people have is with SUV's flipping over. I never once came close to flipping my Yukon and I drive like a Masshole. Yes, the risk of flipping an SUV is higher than a Porsche - made for the curves - but seriously, it's a lame ass argument. If you flip your car on an off ramp then you're an idiot. A real. Fucking. Idiot. Every car drives differently and you have to adjust your driving habits. It ain't rocket science. Moving on.

As far as not seeing around them - yes, I agree. Being behind an Excursion on the highway is tough because when they hit the breaks you can't tell if something is actually happening ahead or if the driver is tailgating or, as I like to call, an SBD,"Sporadically Breaking Driver." Hate those people - it incites panic breaking behind them.

But... I deal with it, when I'm in my trusty little Passat, because I know I could easily be driving such a vehicle but choose not to because my commuting costs were ridiculous, I don't have children and I don't live on the side of a mountain.

And to the person who said "undisiplined" children above - even the best behaved kids freak out. They're fucking KIDS. It happens. I nannied my way through high school and college. While obnoxious brats are usually the result of poor parenting - every little angelic child has a few moments, every single day, when she just HAS to pinch her sister. Or steal the juice box. Such things aren't indicative of poor parenting or nannying...it's because they're CHILDREN. My mom drove a wagon while we were growing up, then we moved up to a mini van. The van was more spacious and there was less bickering. I drove an SUV while nannying (theirs, then my own) and that much more space was proportionately helpful.

Finally - if you hate being stuck not seeing around an SUV, go get one yourself. They're in the way... boo hoo. Drive a bigger car. It isn't that SUV's are too big, it's that there is a large range of different sized cars on the road. If we all drove SUV's there wouldn't be this issue. But we don't so the people who drive smaller (and more fuel efficient, thank god!) cars get annoyed. I'm sure motorcycles could find the same issue with a Smartcar. Well - tough crap, don't drive a tiny motorcycle.

My issue w/ SUV driving mommies isn't that their vehicle dwarfs mine, it's that 99% of the time the woman has a Dunkin's cup in one hand and a cell phone in the other and blows through every stop sign, barely missing hitting me.

Ok, long winded, yes, but I just had several gin and tonics.

Posted by: Gretchen at June 22, 2007 9:41 PM

"boo hoo. Drive a bigger car."

Suck my 2-inch dick, you gin-swilling whore.

Posted by: Lena at June 22, 2007 10:32 PM

Brian,

Ever lived in the Middle East? Before they can conquer any nation they would have to straighten their own problems first. In the next 20 years that whole area is going to go through a complete societal nervous breakdown. What do Sunni Muslims fear the most? The West or a powerful mass Shia Islam movement full of aggression and nuclear weapons? The job for the US and other secular nations is to try to contain this upheaval within the Middle East.

Why haven't the Arab states overrun the tiny Israeli nation? When was the last great Arab Army threatening the world? How about an Arab Navy? Are they going to storm the beaches? How would they occupy the USA?

So give up on the fear tactics.

Posted by: Joe at June 22, 2007 11:02 PM

Folks, you're missing a few things. Some of them are the same things missed every time this issue comes up, but bear with me.

Big SUV drivers DO pay a tax for buying a fuel guzzler. Then, of course, they cripple themselves, being unable to afford the six trips to Yosemite per year they dreamed of before they helped burn gas prices up.

Most drivers have no idea how to drive, believing (falsely) that "no accidents" = "good driver". They are caught by the laws of physics hundreds of times a year.

Big SUVs are very profitable because of drivetrain carryover from the pickup truck line. No, they don't have to be that high up and handle so badly except for one thing: the public wants them that way.

In a couple of years - 5 or so - we're going to have to figure out what to do with millions of hybrid batteries. Go ask your dealer what they have in place to deal with yours when it goes bad, and how much it will cost you to change it.

You can argue about what kind of vehicle to use all you want. We don't have any kind of logic today because of "style" issues and poor thinking. Example: it's OK for me to get on a 160HP GSXR1000 Suzuki motorcycle, having handed a dealer and my insurance people a check, but I can't take my Honda ATV to the grocery store six blocks away.

You folks thinking of biodiesel can forget it, if you think that means plentiful and cheap fuel. About 15% of grain production today goes in to making biodiesel - it's worth only 1% of demand. Do some math. Thinking of alcohol? Sorry - there's about a 15% mileage penalty, and a HUGE cold-engine starting problem; cold alcohol burns like water.

The smart solution is intelligent design of low-powered, lightweight framed vehicles with turbodiesels. I mean, I can make a 1975 Chevy 1/2-ton make 25MPG with a period diesel and some smart drivetrain choices; 30 years of technology should beat that all hollow, especially at the 150HP mark.

Posted by: Radwaste at June 23, 2007 12:12 AM

> long winded, yes, but I
> just had several gin and
> tonics.

Be my bride.

Posted by: Crid at June 23, 2007 1:34 AM

God I love you radwaste you always point out the heart of the matter "much it will cost you"

Yes how much of an artificially inflated, imaginary money system based on a series of mutal debts dancing around an electronic mainframe will it cost you? How much longer will you have to work at a job you despise in order to keep up with the news cars and clothes and toys.

Good fucking god - who cares what it costs - its not like you can take it with you when you die, and what the fuck is the point in accumulating wealth and propert and things if you dont do something meaningful? What is the point if along the way you destroy the planet?

So it costs more - maybe if some things cost more people would stop buying needless crap and use that money on important things, maybe if things cost more the population whould wake the fuck up and demand that the items they buy dont come with such a huge fucking mark up - I see no problem in turning a profit, but give me a fucking break.

How much dill it cost - how much will it cost when we reach the point where we have no other options and are backed into a corner because we didnt want to deal with the cost when t was still managable, even though it was uncomfortable

Posted by: lujlp at June 23, 2007 2:09 AM

I'm all set Lena. But thanks for the generous offer you are quite kind. Twat.

Posted by: Gretchen at June 23, 2007 6:53 AM

Crid :-} If you like "Gin swilling whores" then I'm your gal!

Posted by: Gretchen at June 23, 2007 6:55 AM

I love you, too, Gretchen.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 23, 2007 8:01 AM

> maybe if some things cost
> more people would stop buying
> needless crap and use that
> money on important things

Why on Earth should anyone let you tell them what's needless and what's important?

Posted by: Crid at June 23, 2007 10:15 AM

Crid - they should because I'm right. You know it.

The public is going to scream and weasel around as much as they can so they can drive what they want, and they want BIG to show how IMPORTANT they are. While being so inept that I can't get what I want and drive it: a sub-compact Daihatsu cab-over diesel pickup with three-sided tailgate, sold all over the world but here because the yahoo on the cell phone can be hurt. It has A/C, a 5-speed, a cab roll cage, a bed light bar, and Daytona Speedway has a bunch of them for property patrol. If you wanted something sporty, you could look at www.daihatsu.com/catalogue/ .

Damn, people don't understand that they can save 30-45¢ per effective gallon - AND drive fuel prices back down - just by doing the speed limit on their cruise control!

Posted by: Radwaste at June 23, 2007 11:36 AM

> they should because
> I'm right. You know
> it.

First of all, authoritarian condescension belongs on Ms. Huffington's blog, about forty block to the north.

Secondly, I concede no such thing. Y'know, I think of the explosion of wealth that's happened in the last century or so, and how it's all about transportation. About being able to manufacture things from ever-more refined and exotic materials... Fabrics and dyes and polymers and bindings and alloys and machined parts and fruits and vegetables and meats and paper and silicon and wood. And all this stuff got trucked somewhere, where someone could process it again, and then it got trucked or flown or floated the consumer. Not only did it give us a giddy array of choices about who we become and how we want to live, it's allowed several generations of us to bring novelty, and comfort, and fulfillment to the lives of others in order to get rich. Everything in your home is like that. Everything in everyone's home is like that, not just the rich people. And in the work place. And the public spaces, the museums, the sports stadia, and the farms...

But you say cruise control can reduce the cost of gas, so we'll have a few quarts on hand later.

Even as China continues to develop? Puh-leeze. They have almost sixty cities with a population of a million or more, with a 10% growth rate. They're scurrying out of the rice paddies at a furious pace, and they're (rightfully) horny for the kind of wealth the West enjoys as a matter of course. And we enjoy it through cheap energy... It's not just helpful, it's essential. Don't pretend we have a choice. And especially don't pretend we have a choice if we want to avoid fascism of a distinctly Soviet odor.

Of course there will be better efficiency in the years ahead, because oil will cost more. But when the end of oil is in sight, as so many panic-mongers are eager to believe, the price is going to make other alternatives more attractive. So they'll be improved, and they'll get cheaper, and.... People are smart, especially with technology. (Once upon a time, there was no oil, either. Someone had to figure this out. God didn't leave signs for us in the desert saying "Pump me, baby!")

I can't understand why the generations who've benefited from this fundamental truth most profoundly can't take it to heart. (I think the truth scuttles their fantasy of being close to Mother Earth and her [imaginary] beneficence.)

People who want to worry too much are expressing (A) their own mordant fantasies of End Times and (B) a personal need for control of the lives of others and (C) a cowardly, despicable embrace of closed-loop, zero-sum, static-condition thinking.

But civilization is in motion! If by the survey of your own life this appears not to be the case, then we feel badly for you, and we're sorry if it hurts your feelings that the other guy has a shiny new car. But please stay out of the way.

And that goes double for you, Achmed.

Posted by: Crid at June 23, 2007 4:25 PM

Heh. I knew you'd gag when I said "I'm right". Tongue-in-cheek, I delivered the same line anybody else would serve when asked for their opinion. Sorry it wasn't more obviously funny!

Of course, since the term "supply", as in "supply and demand" also is affected negatively by close approach to shipping limits, the reduction in usage gained by turning the gas pedal over to the cruise control does have a positive effect. Feet, especially those attached to impatient people, are stupid. This does not change because the Chinese buy crude.

Posted by: Radwaste at June 23, 2007 5:52 PM

You're fucking with me again, Raddy.

Since the dawn of time, despots have offered to protect the masses from their own "stupidity." See also Venezuela, Iran...

Posted by: Crid at June 23, 2007 11:10 PM

"Since the dawn of time, despots have offered to protect the masses from their own "stupidity.""

Of course. Now, where will the education come from, that there are actually convenient ways to conserve personal wealth as well as one's neighborhood? Can we all wait for "the masses" to realize they have developed their way into mudslides and dead lakes and $4/gallon gas, smoked their way into forest fires and cancer, and so forth?

We can't just let pols promise that if we send them tax money, they'll fix it.

Please don't mistake my illustration of "everyman thinks he has the answer" for advocating Imperial decree - even though it can work. Somebody has to lead. Who?

Posted by: Radwaste at June 24, 2007 9:52 AM

> where will the education
> come from

Grrr..! Ugghh!!

> there are actually convenient
> ways to conserve personal
> wealth

If you can grow 'wealthy' through conservation, by all means do so. The most powerful tool in the formation of character is example, and to offer yours in the service of voluntarily improving one's own lot in life is a forehand slam.

It won't work, of course. We're told that one in ten credit card holders routinely carries an average balance greater than $10,000. If you were eager to return some value to consumers in a hurry, that'd be a better place to start.

> advocating Imperial decree -
> even though it can work.

Rrraaarr... There you go, pretending that we have all this righteous muscle in our pocket that we happen to choose not to use (at this hour).

> Can we all wait for"the
> masses" to realize

No, but you can let them make their own choices at their own costs.

> Somebody has to lead.

No. No no no, a thousand times no. Free people will tell you how they're going to live.

> Who?

Funny how it all comes down to that single, percussive syllable of a question. See, I bet you have someone in mind, and I bet you have intimate familiarity with his Filofax and are ready to start booking meetings and conferences immediately. It's a single-word question for a lonely Hollywood hero. I can hear Don LaFontaine doing the trailer right now: "In a world of profligate indulgence and poisonous disorder, One Man could see a better way..."

When people dream of the people being lead in campaigns of great virtue, they always imagine being the leaders. Al Gore thinks this scenario can get him all the way to the White House. I think if I ever get a chance, I'm going to pee in Al Gore's pocket and tell him it's raining. (Acid rain.) And I actually voted for that fucker!

Once.

Posted by: Crid at June 24, 2007 11:26 AM

And more Re: Imperialism... I just don't think it's worth it.


"There is thus no question that Mao was the greatest drug-addiction therapist in history."

http://urltea.com/u2j

Posted by: Crid at June 24, 2007 12:09 PM

"See, I bet you have someone in mind, and I bet you have intimate familiarity with his Filofax and are ready to start booking meetings and conferences immediately."

Well, pay up. You lose, both times. That was a rhetorical question.

It gains urgency because this "free" people you're talking about is easily led by the nose. Look who they elect. Look at what and how they worship. Watch them squeal at every calamity presented to them, a la Mencken.

Somebody, or some class or person will cause either poverty or prosperity. Who? Someone can set an example and be emulated, and thus be a leader without also being a fascist. I don't think a government official will do squat because of the caliber of person elected office seems to attract.

Posted by: Radwaste at June 24, 2007 6:24 PM

> That was a rhetorical
> question.

Right. I don't like your rhetoric.

> led by the nose.

Americans don't select leaders. They hire public servants. They're not always great at hiring, but nobody is.

> Look who they elect.

They elect who they want. If you'd prefer another arrangement, the United States is much more patient with emigration than immigration, and other nations have different configurations... Be sure and send a postcard if you get work.

> Look at what and
> how they worship.

Are you that eager to look down on people? If you have to wait until Sunday morning to find fault with peers, you're in very good company indeed.

> Watch them squeal at
> every calamity presented
> to them, a la Mencken.

What are you talking about? More than any people on the globe, Americans are ready to deal. We're famous for it. Mencken had his own problems, but I wouldn't call him a squealer.

> Somebody, or some class
> or person will cause
> either poverty or
> prosperity.

Where the fuck does that come from? What could it possibly mean? America is all about giving you as many at-bats as you need in order to connect.

> Someone can set an example
> and be emulated

We'll be watching you closely... And judging you harshly.

> Who?

Goddamn, there it is again... It's a tic. Listen, I think you've midsread American character, perhaps on the example of your own most personal, psychographic, family-of-origin needs. Americans aren't waiting for golden superhero to step out of the murk and show us the way... We're busy enough keeping the assholes at bay so we can do what we need to do.

Please don't be one of the assholes.

Posted by: Crid at June 24, 2007 7:23 PM

The very day this was posted I saw a similar license plate/huge vehicle combo.

"4U2CGod" on a HUGE pick up truck with the ridiculously large tires. Is the size of the truck and tires supposed to awe me into believing in god? I don't get it...

Yes, yes pick up trucks are useful to a lot of people for hauling things and other such jobs. However, a big bright and shiny pick up with a custom paint job and not a scratch on it is hardly used for much in the way of actual work. Not to mention that towering on tires that huge has to be a rollover danger much like an SUV. I could be wrong on that, but it just doesn't look stable.

Posted by: Allison at June 25, 2007 6:37 AM

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