Friday, August 29, 2008
Palin's experience seems ridiculously thin. That is already a problem, but a much bigger problem when the guy at top of the ticket would become the oldest president, by several years.
I wonder if McCain was not excessively captivated by Palin's own apparent "maverick" (boy is that word over-used, for lack of a good synonym) image. This Peggy Noonan article dwells on the notion that McCain defines himself, more than anything else, by his "maverickness".
Then there is a subtlety pertinent to being the first woman in the office. Not every husband is well-equipped to be a good first gentleman (or whatever he will be called). Margaret Thatcher's husband, Denis, I believe was thought to have laid down a great path to follow in the U.K. I really know nothing about Palin's husband, except that he must have far less experience of the world even than she does, so one just has to wonder about that angle.
John McCain is yet another example. That wouldn't have been the case in 2000, but it is now. Waaaayy too old and establishment for the present mood of the country.
The one time the Republicans deviated from this recent pattern? Well in 2000, they did the exact opposite, nominated a guy who hadn't paid any dues at all, and that got us Dubya. Which I think explains this year's strong reversion to form.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
If we were energy independent, the politicians imply, prices wouldn't go up. But if you're an oil-striking American dude - maybe a little naive but smart enough to know that your hot daughter Elly May is going to be better off in Beverly Hills than the Ozarks - you're going to shop your barrels to the highest bidder, not just to whiny Americans with their near-worthless dollars. More oil procured from under U.S. soil means more oil on the global market, not more oil for just us.And let us not overlook this point:
The only smart thing I heard was Obama's advice to fully inflate your tires, although he overlooked the fact that gas stations no longer have free air pumps or even decent pay ones.That last part is SO true! 15 years ago, many stations had these nice, dial-your-psi pumps. When you hit the desired psi, the pump would ding 3 times, and would stop pumping. In one sense it is a silly and trivial thing, but since my solution (using my bike pump) is unlikely to appeal to most people, the absence of good pumps really is an impediment to a public good. A little bit like the shortage of public restrooms in many cities is an impediment to tourism and quality of life.
Friday, August 08, 2008
(The tires example struck me right away, since it was the subject of my New Year's Resolution 3 years ago. And I have found that one pretty easy to keep.)
Saturday, August 02, 2008
"You should never re-enter a vehicle when you're fueling," Mr. Wormser said.
That's because a person who re-enters a vehicle and slides across the seat can acquire a static charge of thousands of volts, caused by friction between two electrically dissimilar materials, such as clothing and seat upholstery, said Dr. Robert E. Nabours, an electrical engineer. If the charge is not harmlessly discharged through the person's shoes or by the person touching metal, such as part of a grounded car, an electrical arc can jump from a hand to the nozzle, igniting gas vapors and starting a fire.