Thursday, July 31, 2008

Outrage

Virtually every group in the population is less angry in 2008 than in 1996 -- those making more and those making less than the average income; college-educated and noncollege-educated folks; men and women.

Only one major group in the population has gotten angrier: people who call themselves "very liberal."

Where's the Outrage? Really. - The Wall Street Journal

This jibes perfectly with what I see around me and especially on the web. The farther left people are, the more outraged they seem to be about... well, nearly everything. I can't count the number of extreme-left blog comments I've read which exhibited such spittle launching outrage that I felt the need to wipe my face afterwards. Not so much from the right side of the fence though.

 

 

But reading on in the Journal I ran across another article that added to my weekly outrage quotient.

The Bush Administration has ignited a furor with a proposed definition of pregnancy that has the effect of classifying some of the most widely used methods of contraception as abortion.

Treating the Pill as Abortion, Draft Regulation Stirs Debate - The Wall Street Journal

Just about any time the Republican party says anything remotely involving reproductive rights I get pissed off. At least with abortion I can understand the argument, even if I don't agree with it. But this is just ridiculous. Would the world really be a better place with a lot more unwanted children in it?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunset in the Park

Leading Questions

I got a survey from the National Republican Congressional Committee in the mail tonight. I figured I'd actually fill it out for once, make my voice heard and all. Of course I fully expected all the questions to be slanted, and I certainly was not disappointed. However, question #12 was the standout in my eyes.

12. Do you agree that winning back a Republican Majority in the House of Representatives is essential to stopping the Nancy Pelosi Democrats from raising our taxes, destroying our economy and endangering our homeland?

What a great example of a loaded question. Merely answering the question implies agreement not only that the Democrats are doing all those things, but also that they need to be stopped. The only thing you get to answer is whether winning a Republican majority is essential, or whether they could best be stopped some other way. Way to go NRCC.

Of course, question #13 is even better. The question is basically "Do you want to make a contribution?", and the available answers amount to "Yes, and here's some money", or "No, but here's some money anyway to fund this survey." I wrote in my own answer, "Screw you, quit trying tax me like a Democrat!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rocket's Red Glare

Shot just as the red fountains begin going up from Invesco Field in the background.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Neon Overload

On the Fourth of July Elitch Gardens is lit by it's own neon and backlit by the floods of Invesco Field. Amateur fireworks can be seen behind the Ferris wheel as well.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Door-to-Door Reality Check

A college student came to our door tonight trying to recruit for Environment Colorado. Unfortunately his pre-canvassing education had been a bit lacking and somewhat one-sided. Had I answered the door he probably would've just been sent on his way, but he had the misfortune of talking to Wendy.

His opening was that oil companies want to drill on the Roan Plateau, and that shouldn't happen. Which seems reasonable, but begs the question of where that oil should then come from? The Middle East?

His answer was to not use oil at all, but instead build geothermal stations.

Geothermal, eh? Is that really a viable solution for 300 million citizens? He stated that it certainly is, but pretty much dropped the point there. I did a bit of research after the fact, and it doesn't seem feasible. Wikipedia says geothermal could generate about 100 GW/year in the US by 2050. Which is great, except that in 2007 the US generation capacity was 1 TW. So in 47 years geothermal could equal 10% of today's supply.

Regardless of economics, if your immediate concern is to avoid drilling then geothermal is an odd alternative, since it entails drilling deep wells to heat water. So what about that then?

Well, came the answer, look at this picture of an oil rig. Look how big it is, the size of a supermarket! Which didn't really answer the previous question, but no matter. Wendy's been educated a bit about oil & gas drilling, so she pointed some things, such as that the rig in his picture could manage 32 wells. Besides that, before they even started on that they had to file a reclamation plan for cleaning up the site & regrowing the plants, and set aside the funds for it too.

At this point he apparently decided that she was an irretrievable heathen, and had too many of those pesky facts besides, so he beat a retreat. She's still disappointed that he left before he could read Encana's Corporate Responsibility Report. Ah well, perhaps next time.

I should point out that neither of us is opposed to clean energy or environmental conservation. But slinging around propaganda for half-baked, unfeasible ideas doesn't help anyone.