Sorry about the absence, I really hate letting all my fan down, but I just got myself into a bad place back in the fall. A combination of reading Milton Friedman's explanations of how politicians will whore themselves out to whoever is buying, and then watching the dwarf race...um...err...presidential campaign wherein the politicians spent every waking moment whoring themselves out to whoever was buying; seeing the congress screw up whatever they touched; and then catching the the bits and pieces of that Al Gore fellow telling a bunch of U.N. panhandlers in Bali that the U.S. in its failure to sacrifice its economy on the global warming altar has sealed the fate of us all, left me in a bleak mood. There's more to it than that, but that's all the excusing I'm good for right now.
I pulled the shades, unhooked the phone, and brought Bruce Catton's biography of U.S. Grant down from the shelf and said bah to the world.
Anyway, the Trophy Wife
actually spent time today finding the keys to this here blog and told me to snapthehelloutofit and get writing. How can a guy refuse? so happy new year and tallyho.
I once started an intro to psychology course at the local community college -- got through the first five minutes of it too. Right up to the point where the teacher reamed someone out for the use of the term "human nature". Told the poor kid in that lofty "I am the high priest of knowledge and none shall enter the kingdom of heaven but that they go through me" tone there was no such thing as human nature. First I wanted to play poker with the guy, second I thought, if there was no human nature, what the hell am I doing paying for a class the teacher has just admitted is about nothing, and third I dropped the class. Traded it for English 101 -- best decision I ever made.
You know the joke -- a guy is walking down the street one night and sees his friend on hands and knees patting around on the sidewalk. "What's up?" he asks.
"Dropped my keys," is the answer. And after twenty minutes of fruitless searching finally asks his buddy where he was standing when the keys were dropped.
"Over there in the bar," says the friend.
"Then why are you looking out here on the walk?"
"The light's better."
Old joke, not really funny, in fact pretty dumb -- but human nature in its purest form. We would rather spin our wheels in guaranteed, comfortable failure than take the hard, unglamorous choices required for success.
I've rambled enough and I'll be getting back to this theme a lot. But for now consider this: we need more oil, we need to build nuclear power plants, we need to increase our refining capacity. Congress has just passed and the president has signed a very costly energy bill that gives piles of cash to the agriculture industry to subsidize ethanol production (you burn far more than a gallon of gas to produce a gallon of ethanol so it needs your tax dollars to even come close to economic feasiblity). They have set aside another walloping huge mountain of cash for solar and wind and geo-thermal, and for all I know, they're giving Uri Geller some dough to spin generators with his mind. None of which has any chance of being worth much in our or our grand children's lifetimes, but it looks good to folks who don't want to make the hard choices.
They're looking for answers where the light is better.