atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2128: They're asking a question I answered in June of 2008

If not earlier.

Der Spiegel asks, "Is Obama the Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century?" And I've been saying the Obama administration would be "Carter 2.0" since Obama won the nomination.

Of late, there have been a few bits of commentary here and there from the mainstream media wondering, " this guy really as good as we thought he was? 'Cause it's starting to look like he's not...."

Of course, the lede sets an impossible standard: "Can US President Barack Obama lead America away from fossil fuel dependency?" The simple and accurate answer to that question is hell no. In order to "lead America away from fossil fuel dependency" Obama will have to somehow invent a new source of energy which is as dense and inexpensive and portable as petroleum. (Hint: modern science can't even conceive of one yet.)

No one save God or Jesus could "lead America away from fossil fuel dependency" without totally trashing the economy in the process. Our society needs energy in order to function, and there are no sources of energy save fossil fuels which can drive it.

We could shift our electrical generation to nuclear; that would have the effect of lowering prices of fossil fuels since most of our electricity comes from burning them; coal is the majority but we also burn oil and natural gas, too. Switch to nuclear and we put a lot of coal miners out of work, but we also stop spewing radioative smog into the air.

But transportation? With the execption of electrified rail, everything needs petroleum: cars, trucks, buses, trains, airplanes, motorcycles...everything. The power grid won't handle a switch to electrifying the entire transportation infrastructure of the country, even assuming there was a way to make electric vehicles practical for all applications. Which there isn't.

* * *

New York attempts to balance its budget on the backs of the poor. It's well-known that smoking tends to be a vice of the poor. So by raising taxes on cigarettes, New York is essentially taxing the people who can least afford it.

This is the only place you'll hear this described that way, though.

* * *

Give that cop a medal, a raise, and a promotion. I hate those asshats who leave their car stereos on super-loud even when they go inside stores or what-have-you. And particularly when a cop tells you to turn it down, turn it the fuck down and leave it down, you inconsiderate fucking retard.

* * *

Commies try to block the unloading of an Isralei cargo ship. *sigh*

Funny part: the ship arrived late enough that it wasn't going to be unloaded until the next day, anyway, so their protest was FAIL.

And they ended up blocking the unloading of a Chinese ship, instead. Heh.

* * *

Speaking of commies, Obama's oil spill commission is full of theorists and eggheads, and conspicuously short on people with actual know-how.

...kind of like the entire Obama administration.

* * *

Chuck Schumer doesn't seem to understand who's holding a lot of US debt right now. "Get tough" with China? Good luck with that. The results won't hurt you (unless the riots get through your security staff) but the rest of us are going to have to deal with the mess you're creating.

You'll be lucky not to get lynched when the shit hits the fan, is all I'm saying.

* * *

Eh? Not me. If things go to shit I'm not going anywhere near the inner cities, and that includes Washington, D.C. I'm heading for the hinterlands.

* * *

Al Qaeda is saying they're going to attack the US again and again, and kill a lot of people. I don't know how much is bluster and how much is really possible, since they've been pounded pretty hard since 9/11/01. I suppose that with the US pulling out of Iraq there is shortly going to be a couple of fancy bases going up from which they can operate, but God knows.

* * *

If I had to have someone else's brain besides my own, I'd want Mark Steyn's.
“Just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist and our nation’s secretary of energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

“As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology.”
Beautiful! Brilliant! I can sum this up thus:

"Hey, BP, this is the President. We've concluded that you guys need more equipment. Bye!"

It's like an inside joke from my college days. "Unfortunately, with the equipment we've got, we're unable to analyze this data," says the scientist. "We need more equipment!"

That's the level best these guys can do? "Get more stuff"? All these smart people from national labs and experts from academia and the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. Steven Chu, and the best they come up with is, "Get more thingies going out there"?

WTF is this? "Keystone Kops, the Gulf Oil Spill edition"?

* * *

I link this post of Boortz because it says, "fter 24 hours, the barges went back to work, and according to media reports, no inspections were performed." Emphasis his.

...the barges had to be sidelined for safety inspections and no one actually inspected them?

* * *

I've been saying for a long time that there really does need to be some perspective on this issue, and I say it every time a story like this hits the major media.

Short form: there is a judge who thinks it's unfair for a guy who merely looks at child pr0n to get a stiffer sentence than the guy who actually abuses children: "The decision noted that the recommended sentences for looking at pictures of children being sexually abused sometimes eclipse those for actually sexually abusing a child."

People who collect that stuff are skunks, but our Constitution has a prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment". Make the punishment fit the crime; if you're going to send a guy who looks at pictures away for no less than five years, you should send the child rapist who took the pictures away for fifty. If you're not going to punish child rapists harshly, then perhaps the penalties for lesser crimes are too harsh.

I don't know what to do about the problem of child pr0n, but merely making it more illegal isn't going to do it.

* * *

Okay, back to car stuff, which is at least fun to talk about:

Og had a lot of car "fun" this past weekend. And he talks about someone putting in an oil drain plug too damn tight:
Spent several hours retapping the oil drain plug in my dr’s daughter’s Beetle on saturday. The folks at Oil Express apparently used an impact to tighten it, the beetle was hemmoraging oil and when I went to check the plug it fell out in my hand. I’m boggled at the incompetence of some folks.

Anyway, thankfully to God, I found the correct oversize repair plug at The Zone, and got ‘er fixed. The engine still drips some oil, but it will, at least, no longer be in danger of spitting its plug on the highway and puking the oil out, causing the engine to sieze. $40 including the oil change later and she’s moving on down the road. beats the $1500 the shop wanted to REPLACE THE OIL PAN. THey said “Happens all the time. Someone put a steel plug in an aluminum oil pan”. For those of you who would have no idea, they ALWAYS USE A STEEL PLUG IN AN ALUMINUM OIL PAN. They were anxious to rip off a 19 year old girl.
As longtime readers of the Fungus may recall, I had a similar problem, though thankfully the threads weren't stripped.

If it were me, I would go to that Oil Express and ask to talk to the manager....

Also: $1,500 to replace the oil pan? Jesus Christ.

And his description of fixing door internals is apt:
The actual process was a lot like tuning a piano seventy feet away through a keyhole, with a sledgehammer and a piece of cheese.
Doors are assembled from the inside out at the factory; they're not designed to be repaired. The back side of the door gets the window and other innards put into it; then the impact beam is installed, and finally the outer skin goes on. After that, it's all sealed.

Need to replace a window motor? Take off the inner trim panel. Then drill out rivets and possibly cut out a chunk of the inner structural panel. It sucks.

* * *

Anyway today was shopping day; and tomorrow the doc appointments start. Mine is Tuesday morning; then Mom's got one on Wed, Thu, and Fri.

And my Libre is still a month away from shipping.

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