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The Land Of Inversion

Lileks is on a roll today:

I heard more interviews with learned politicians informing me that "drilling for oil" will not affect anything, least of all the quantity of oil. We must apparently wait until 2015, when a magic engine that runs on unicorn flatulence is invented. I have to ask: why is anyone investing in unicorn flatulence today, when it won't make any difference for several years? The answer's simple: the engine will Appear at the chosen moment, borne from the clouds by starlings, but only if we have repented of our foul ways, and the last of the sinners has left the cul-de-sac to reside in a home located a sustainable distance from his or her place of employment. When the last suburban outlying development is empty, when the homes of whose size we disapprove has been abandoned, when the last citizen has been gathered unto the bosom of the urban center, where his profligate ways are sneered upon and the measure of his yard shall be no greater than the standard lot size decreed in 1902, then shall the magic engine appear. Until then, the wind and the sun will bear us onward.

Honestly, it's like FDR coming into power promising "bold, persistent experimentation - except for any sort of government involvement in the economy. That's off the table."

No, in the Land of Inversion, we've decided to do things that run completely counter to human nature - at least to the nature we perceive in our domestic opponents. Don't give an inch to your domestic foes; they'll read it as weakness! To everyone else, though, it's olive branches strewn like ticker-tape at an astronaut parade. In Israel, for example, this horrible prisoner swap - child-killer exchanged for murdered soldiers. The fellow is welcomed home as a hero by Hezbollah and Lebanon's Prime Minister and President, because in the Land of Inversion, heads of state clear their calendar when child-killers breathe the sweet air of freedom again. It's all relative, really. One man's child-killer is another man's freedom fighter, and if you point out that the "another man" is a Jew-hating idiot fanatic who'd be proud to blow up the Holocaust Museum in DC and take out a busload of Iowa tourists, you're ignoring the significant impact this exchange had on the Climate of Trust that will lead to peace. I mean, it's not like the entire cabinet turned out to meet the guy. In the delicate calculations of the region, that counts for something.

There are some tart words about the Archbishop of Canterbury as well.


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Leland wrote:

The simple response to "drilling today won't produce oil for 10 years" should always be "How many years will it take solar and wind to be viable?"

Jeff Medcalf wrote:

Perhaps, but the better response is: "Just the right time frame to lower the price on the futures markets, and thus the price of gas today!"

Carl Pham wrote:

I don't even know why such infantile short-sighted arguments even merit a response.

Why save for retirement, decades off? It won't improve your standard of living now.

Why study algebra in 7th grade? It won't make your goals in 7th grade (e.g. popularity with the in-crowd) come any closer.

For that matter, why direct your tax money to photoelectricity research, when it won't reduce foreign oil dependence for some unknown number of decades, and possibly (research being the chancy business it is) never?

I think to make these kinds of arguments you have to have the kind of personality that is utterly untroubled by any internal logical inconsistency. You have to be, in other words, completely two-faced, completely cynical and maybe hypocritical.

Lovernios wrote:

"You have to be, in other words, completely two-faced, completely cynical and maybe hypocritical."

A Democrat?

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on July 17, 2008 6:01 AM.

Defending Milton Friedman was the previous entry in this blog.

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