But in spite of my opinion that it’s all just political gamesmanship, I have to admit I’ve really enjoyed watching the debate. Why? Because it’s so blatant. So obvious. All the pretenses and smoke screens are dropped. Money is on the line now, and this is the only time when you get to see what politicians really care about.
I shot photos as long as I could, keeping Atlantis in focus and just holding down the shutter button, but all too quickly it dwindled to a speck in the viewfinder, so I quit taking photos and watched the last few seconds with my naked eyes. A thick cloud ceiling, hanging low, and the shuttle punched into it like bullet. The fire of the rockets lit the clouds from inside and above, and for just a moment a bright yellow flash spread over the sky, and then she was gone.
Waiting seemed like a good idea at the time, but it probably wasn’t. I was pretty cool about the whole thing Saturday evening. I’ve got a good head of steam worked up about it now.
Vicki and I were talking about this whole issue the other night (this is what passes for light conversation around Stately Thomas Manor) and she asked me “Just who is on our side in all of this?” I thought it was an extremely salient question. Republicans? No. Democrats? No. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone really is, except organizations like the EFF. If that’s the case, then I think they deserve our support.
I think part of the problem lies with the culture. There is some solid research being done on climate change, but it doesn’t get much attention because it’s a complex topic and a field of study that isn’t well understood yet. Scientists who predict various doomsday scenarios get more attention, are awarded more grants, and sell more books to people who are already convinced. The same thing happens on the other side. Any scientist who can come up with a shred of evidence to refute manmade global warming can sell a ton of books to people who will happily believe anything that allows them to maintain their lifestyle.
A TSA guy behind the counter said “Photographer, eh?” I said “Strictly amateur, but I take a lot of pictures.” He kind of chuckled and I said “It always shocks me that you guys never want to inspect the camera case.” He said, “Oh, none of us are photographers. We wouldn’t know what we were looking at in there anyway.”
So if you find yourself on the right, enjoy the moment. You made some gains. Got some big wins. Unfortunately for you, there’s not enough of a majority to get anything done unless your guys work with the other guys, and we both know that won’t happen. The Tea Party, Limbaugh and Beck have all your legislators held hostage at this point. Any of them that dare to reach across the aisle will be instantly stamped with the RINO label, and for all practical purposes their careers will be over.
You know what? Screw voting. I’m just not going to do it. I recuse myself. I abstain.
It turns out that the police force in the little town of Gauley Bridge issues more speeding tickets each year than any other municipality in the state of West Virginia. To understand just how absurd that is, you need to look at population figures. Gauley Bridge has less than 800 residents, the city of Charleston has 50,000 – and yet Gauley Bridge issues more speeding tickets than Charleston? Yup. More than Charleston, more than Huntington, more than Beckley. In fact, the little town of Gauley Bridge, with maybe four miles of paved road in the whole place, issues more speeding tickets than any single county in the state.
The bottom line here is that wind energy production just isn’t very efficient yet, and we really need these massive deployments to figure out how to make it work. Besides, they’re beautiful and harmless – unless of course, you’re a NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) weasel and The View is all you give a damn about. I’m not even saying that’s a bad position to take. If you’re one of those people who worship at the altar of homeowner value, then I’m sure it’s a reasonable opinion. I’m just saying that trying to conceal your real agenda by pretending to care about the environment is obvious, fraudulent, and pathetic.