Sunday, 24 November 2002
|1628 - More leftist drivel|
Since I can't comment on wbwolf's LJ directly...
First off, he says that, commenting on a Canadian government official calling President Bush a "moron":
I feel its like someone finally said what much of the world feels like dealing with our Little Tin God in Chief. Having said that, I find it reprehensible that any media outlets would seize upon this incident as a chance to berate Canada. Yes, the US should care, but not as a opprotunity to defame Canada, but as a wake up call that we are too inwardly focused and we must take into account other countries.
To that, I politely reply "bullshit!". Since when does Canada get to tell us who to elect or how we should look at the person once elected? He's not Canada's president, nor did he try to become such. wbwolf's comment is nothing more than the bleating of a leftist unhappy that the country has repudiated his views. If Canada thinks president Bush is a moron, then it's acceptable for us to take them to task for it.
He then went on, in a bit of HTML misformatting (the source code is horrible, but that's probably his client, not his own doing), to say:
The second promo is for a show that poses the following query: [Terrorism: Mission Impossible?]. The short answer is yes. Ever since President Bush has launched this fool's errand of "eliminating terrorism" in the wake of 9/11, I felt like it was similar to communism: good idea in theory, but impossible to impliment. Terrorism will always be with us. Whereever there is a small group that is suffering a real or imagined injustice, they will resort to violence to get point across.
Perhaps they will. Whenever they do, however, it falls to us to find the culprits and deal with them harshly. If we do that enough times, and harshly enough, those who feel that violence is the only way to call the world's attention to their problems will learn that it's always counterproductive.
Furthermore, even if we get rid of Al Qaida, there will be other terrorist groups elsewhere in the world. Are we then going to hunt all of those groups down? I thought the goal of the post Cold War military was not become police man to the world.
It appears that nobody else is willing to do the job. Someone must; if that someone winds up being the US, so be it. I'd much rather be policeman to the world than have more World Trade Center-scale attacks happen.
Finally a comment from CNN's Final Edition: "Until conservatives have a way of dealing with SUVs, then they will not serious deal with Saudi Arabia." The whole conversation stemmed from evidence that some of the hijackers received money from the Saudi governement. As noted, it is our country's reliance on oil, especially from the Middle East, that is keeping us in an increasingly awkward alliance with Saudi Arabia. We should be encouraging oil conservation and alternate energy sources, but given Bush and Cheney's ties to the oil industry, I serious doubt this will happen any time soon. On a related notes, I am heartened to see that Toyota is starting to lease fuel cell vehicals to the Japanese and California governments.
Finally, the standard leftist eco-drivel. Whenever they want to bash conservatives, they throw in a gratuitous anti-SUV insult. The simple fact of the matter is that, when they call for "conservation", they really mean "deprivation". It is impossible to provide a safe vehicle that has the carrying capacity of an SUV or a minivan and gets 40 MPG or better, as I've heard some eco-extremists claim - or at least to do so under $50,000. Alternative fuels don't provide the simple basics of a safe, driveable car: DaimlerChrysler has announced fuel-cell vehicles to be introduced next year. Sounds good, right? Yeah, until you find out that it has a total range of 90 miles between fillups and a pathetic 0-60 acceleration time of 16 seconds. That car would be swatted flat on a Houston freeway. That's not alternative transportation, unless you're looking for a way to get to the morgue.
The simple reason that we're so dependent on oil is that there's no better alternative. Anyone who can come up with one - as long as it provides comparable vehicle performance at the same price - will become rich. Until then, we need to admit that we're stuck on oil, and the only way to lower our dependence on foreign oil is to develop domestic sources. There are plenty of those, but the eco-extremists won't let us have those. They've gotten away with it so far, but we should come to our senses and tell them that we no longer have the luxury of ignoring our own natural resources.
current mood: determined
I'll just comment on the SUV part of it.
There are viable alternatives in development, and that development is being held back because of our dependence on fossil fuels. We can have conservation of non-renewable resources -and- have decent vehicle performance, yet no incentive exists for US auto makers to put some serious work behind it. Toyota and Honda, on the other hand, are selling the Prius (since 1997) and Insight, respectively, and doing so at a reasonable price. Hybrid research goes on, however, and they are addressing the issues you bring up.
Also, you say that SUVs (for the sake of debate, I took "SUV" to mean something like "Excursion", as opposed to smaller SUVs like VUE or Escape) are "safe." If you're behind the wheel of one, you're absolutely correct. No one short of a semi truck can touch you. If you're in a Cavalier or a Saturn SL1, however, and happen to get broadsided by one of these, it is NOT safe, in my opinion. Additionally, not everyone -needs- such a big vehicle. There are smaller SUV-type vehicles that do get respectable (I'll say that mid-20s is respectable) gas mileage and do the same job, but apparently some are of the opinion that bigger is better. It's this paradigm that can stand a shift.
Dad's got one of the Honda Insight Hybrids...it's sooo cool! I love it! It runs great, imo, and it's soooo quiet! =oD I think it's great, but then, my family just uses cars to get from point A to point B and not for, like, climbing big mountains and stuff...eh. I didn't actually want to get involved in this discussion...just wanted to vouch for the Honda Insight being a neat car!
Neither the Prius nor the Insight fill the same role as even a small SUV, such as the Toyota RAV4 or Ford (spit) Escape/Mazda Tribute. They're both TINY! (The Prius is a 4-door that can hold 4 adults if they're good friends; the Insight is a 2-passenger car, strictly, with little carrying capacity.) Toyota is rumored to be introducing a hybrid version of the RAV4 soon (I had thought it would be for the 2003 model year, but it's not out yet). That's fine if that small a vehicle will handle your mission requirements, but what about folks who genuinely need a bigger vehicle?
This leads me to another point that I hear over and over: that nobody "needs" an Excursion or such. What the hell is this, China?! The whole basis of our economy and way of life is that nobody gets to tell someone else they don't need something. If they believe they need something, and can afford it, then nobody has the right to tell them they don't need it. My mother drove big Ford and Buick station wagons for years because my father believed she needed it to be safe. (Aside: Why don't I hear people complaining about gas-guzzling station wagons or luxury cars or minivans? The Dodge Grand Caravan I had for a rental last week got worse gas mileage than my RX300.) Nobody complained then, because they knew it was none of their damned business.
Getting rid of the Excursions of th world won't do away with the safety issues of large vs. small vehicles. To do that, you'd need to get rid of any and all medium and large trucks, buses, motorhomes, you name it, as well.
</i>It is impossible to provide a safe vehicle that has the carrying capacity of an SUV or a minivan and gets 40 MPG or better, as I've heard some eco-extremists claim - or at least to do so under $50,000.
Ford Motor Company has already proven this statement false. The Ford Escape Hybrid uses the same frame/body as the Ford Escape (and therefore has the same carrying capacity and impact-safety values) and is designed to get 40MPG in city traffic. This thing uses gasoline, and though the fuel tank will be smaller than on the normal Escape, it should get a lot more than 90 miles between fill-ups. Also, while I can't comment on the Escape Hybrid's acceleration, I have seen that in existing hybrids (including the not-too-compact Honda Civic Hybrid) the acceleration isn't too much worse than the normal model.
And this is just using one technology; there's plenty others out there that already exist or are being developed now that will allow the larger vehicles to get better fuel efficiency. And, of course, one aspect of this is reducing weight; there've been a number of studies that show that dropping the weight of a full-size vehicle like the monstrous Expedition by a hundred or more pounds can help improve efficiency without compromising the vehicle's safety at legal speeds. They're heavier than they need to be, in a large part to push them up into heavy-truck classifications and avoid the very same environmental standards that were meant to push the development of cleaner vehicle technology.
And, yes, these kind of things do cost money. But it's money that the consumer spends and then gets back in terms of savings at the gas pump, as well as in terms of polluting less. And the technology gets cheaper every year because technology tends to get cheaper as it's refined and mass-produced; so at first it might add significantly to the cost of a vehicle (the Ford Escape Hybrid will cost a few thousand more than a standard Escape, though it definitely won't hit $50k by a long shot), but as the technology is developed, it gets cheaper. And it is currently being developed; the only thing that's holding it back is an investment by the auto industry that, as the economic viability of the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid show, they can indeed afford to make.
The better alternative isn't to get rid of oil. It's to use our oil as efficiently as possible; hence the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles. The technology exists; hell, if you don't want the consumers to be burdened with it, have the government subsidize the development costs. To help the country get off the influence of foreign oil, it'd be worth it.
The Ford Escape Hybrid uses the same frame/body as the Ford Escape (and therefore has the same carrying capacity and impact-safety values)
there've been a number of studies that show that dropping the weight of a full-size vehicle like the monstrous Expedition by a hundred or more pounds can help improve efficiency without compromising the vehicle's safety at legal speeds.
Legal as in 55, or legal as in 70 or 80? Don't forget that designing a vehicle to be safe only at 70 is a major safety compromise anyway; that's the kind of thing that would make any class-action lawyer positively rub his hands together with glee.
The technology exists; hell, if you don't want the consumers to be burdened with it, have the government subsidize the development costs.
The liberal fallacy in a nutshell. Where do you think that government subsidy comes from? The pockets of consumers! Regardless of whether the money comes from individual income taxes, or corporate income taxes, or other taxes, ot all eventually comes out of the pockets of the consumer. Liberals spend money - as long as it's not their own - as though it grew on trees on the Capitol lawn, but it's just not so.
The liberal fallacy in a nutshell. Where do you think that government subsidy comes from? The pockets of consumers! Regardless of whether the money comes from individual income taxes, or corporate income taxes, or other taxes, ot all eventually comes out of the pockets of the consumer.
We're spending a hellish amount of taxpayer money right now on Homeland Defense. Considering that accomplishing something like this would allow us to live more off of oil pumped here in the U.S. and allow us to stop buying oil from states that sponsor terrorism (and therefore giving them more money to sponsor terrorism with), it seems like a worthy expense of our money (not to mention rendering us far less vulnerable to those same states getting together and staging a massive oil embargo against us a la the 1970s).
Yes, it'd cost money, and it'd cost taxpayer money, for a few years. But once the technology's there and being mass produced, it'd stop costing extra money, and just be a part of buying a car again, and not only that, but taxpayers would start getting the money back in terms of the significant savings they'd have at the fuel pump every year from then on.
The government does subsidize scientific research, and it's yielded good results in the past (look at the number of useful and sometimes life-saving achievements that came out of the taxpayer-funded space program in the 1960s and that keep coming out of NASA even today). I'm not saying they should subsidize the cost of building the vehicles themselves; consumers would still keep buying them like they always have. But subsidizing the cost of developing the fuel-saving technology and then giving it to the automakers to use would really be a major contribution to this country's stability.
Since when is investing in the stability of this country a "liberal" thing? If it is, I want to see you start crucifying Bush for signing that massively taxpayer-expensive Homeland Defense bill.