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June 2008

Self-righteous Prius-driving jerks put in their place

"Who's Best for Earth? That Would Be Me."

Why oh why is this city not the solar energy capital of the world? Why?

This is but one of the many abstruse philosophical questions that torment me now that I am 46, perimenopausal and prone to lying awake at 2 a.m., mentally Google-Earthing, Google-Earthing, Google-Earthing. Deep into the night, while others are sleeping, I -- a college graduate, a Democrat and a Californian, that classic trifecta of eco-angst -- ponder the sprawl, the snarl, the smog. . . .

And when I zoom in on the middle of it, the ghostly cross hairs ratcheting down, there is my home town of Los Angeles: green-celebrity-filled, teeming with affluence and punishingly sunny. So sunny that last summer's Southern California heat wave triggered widespread power outages. Stifling 90-degree nights blew our family of four apart into a Jonestown-esque mandala, each body seeking rest in a different part of the house, all of us stripped to our underwear, clutching spray bottles, hugging wet pillows, every window flung wide.

Which got me to thinking (picture me waving my arms in emphatic semaphore): Why don't we do a cosmic jujitsu. . . and use the sun. . . to make the power. . . to run our air conditioning? Do you get my drift? Do you follow me? I think you do. The sun!

As usual, "news you can use" from the Door

"Favorites to win Miss Universe 2008".

. . . we are going to provide the odds, some photos of the top contenders and give you a chance to vote on who will win. Put your work down, make sure the boss is not lurking and take some time weighing in on who will be the hottest Miss in the whole Universe.

Fair warning: the "photos" are of the women in bikinis and some of the comments are crude.

Right on

TigerHawk expresses, really well, a thought I've had recently:

If your answer to losing is to declare yourself "done with politics," then you don't really have the stamina necessary to be a participating citizen. Which is just as well. Democracy requires the continuing participation of the losers, and if you do not have the stones to play the game again the next time then you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The sooner the passionate people get disappointed and leave the government up to those of us mature enough to recover from the agony of defeat, the closer we will be to substituting casual, fun-loving partisanship for the bitter, spitting version that has dominated in the last 15 or 20 years.

Don't yearn for the 70s

While I think the economy faces, both short-term and long-term, some serious problems, James Pethokoukis makes some good points in "Why the Economy Is Better Than You Think".

If you could swap the American economy for someone else's long term—China's, India's, the EU's—would you? . . . China, for instance, has far worse demographic problems, has far worse environmental problems, will probably never catch America in terms of per capita GDP, and, by the way, still needs to fully transition to democratic capitalism. America? It's in far better shape that you think. 

On the other hand, there's this: "The Train Wreck Ahead: Medicare is rolling toward disaster, and there is no easy way to fix it".