Thursday, May 31, 2012

Of Electric Cars and Environmentalists

The general idea of an electric car seems good to me.  There are all kinds of advantages.  An electric motor is a very simple device, in theory, compared to a gasoline internal combustion engine.  The problem with the whole electric car push today is that it is being engineered by the state, for political, almost quasi-religious (environmentalism) purposes.

This summary of a Wall Street Journal article points up some of the problems connected to electric cars.  Some are practical.  Batteries are still far too expensive, and will not hold sufficient charge for significant trips.  But the main problem is that electric cars need electricity, and environmentalists don’t want us to generate more electricity, at least by any means that we now have to do so.

One electric car now being produced and highly touted is really a hybrid, and such a car still needs gasoline and an internal combustion engine.  At this point, electric cars are not much more than a political toy of politicians seeks to court the favor of environmentalists.

For the time being, if you want to be able to keep driving, you probably need to run over enough environmentalists that the rest stop their incessant, irrational squawking about cars.

But God doesn’t permit us to run over environmentalists.  Perhaps near misses could have the same effect, and stay within the boundaries of morality.  If not, perhaps a whole new approach is in order.  We could attach environmentalists to those little carts used as taxis in some countries, and let them pull us around to places we want to go.  Surely environmentalists would be willing.  In return, we could feed our cart-pulling environmentalists plenty of locally-grown, organic food.

Everyone would be happy!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is There Something Under the Bed?

From the comic strip “Non Sequitur” for 5-29-12:

Scene:  little girl and her talking stuffed pony are in bed.

Little Girl to Pony:  “What makes you think there is a monster under the bed?”

Pony:  “I thought I heard something . . .”

Pony continues:  “. . .so there just might be something down there, which means it could be a monster, so to be on the safe side, we should assume there is something under the bed that wants to eat us.”

Kent comments:

As I read this I thought, “I’ve heard something like this before.”  Yes, it is the reasoning (at least in public) of the “climate change” alarmists.  The phrase “global warming” doesn’t play all that well in some contexts, so now it is “climate change.”  The only thing that has changed, however, is the name.

Whatever they wish to call it, this is the reasoning pattern of the climate change people.  While it is funny in a comic strip, it is not so funny when the climate change people use it, because they add another step.  After they reach the “climate change is going to eat us” conclusion, they go on to reason (and I use that term loosely), “So therefore we need a large, intrusive, liberty-killing, interventionist government to regulate everything we do.”

I would much rather crawl under the bed and take my chances with the monster.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I enjoy a daily email from Oxford University Press called ‘Usage Tip of the Day.’  (Find it here if you are interested.)  It is a publication of selections from Garner’s Modern American Usage.  It is interesting little tidbits about, as you might guess, American English.  I try to keep up.

Sometimes you learn interesting things from this little newsletter that go beyond the correct use of American English.  Today, for example, we came to uses and phrases connected to the work ‘right.’  This brought us to ‘right-to-lifer.’  Here is the entry:

right-to-lifer (= an opponent of abortion rights) is journalists' jargon -- and is often used as a pejorative. E.g.: "The cast of characters includes . . . Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, a strident right-to-lifer who took the questionable step of asking the court to reconsider Roe." "The Battle over Abortion," Newsweek, 1 May 1989, at 28.

Rather revealing, isn’t it?  It is ‘journalists jargon’ that is used as a bad name for (and notice carefully) an opponent of abortion rights.

So, it appears, that a significant group of journalists assume that there is a ‘right to abortion.’  I was aware of that, of course.  But it was interesting to see it so plainly stated in this kind of publication.

Taking a little jab at such ‘journalists’ I propose some parallel phrases:

right-to-ownershiper (= an opponent of the right to steal)

right-to-selfer (= an opponent of the right to rape)

Finally, here is one journalists should take up:

right-to-freedom-of-speecher (= an opponent of the right to censor journalists)