HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

1/17/2001

The lesser of two evils


or, more Pies-in-the-face

Well, my doctor visit went fine. My obese physician took out a decent amount of blood and did a cursory listening to my pulmonary system, and pronounced me healthy.

An important event not covered by most news media have been the ongoing talks on global climate change. The evidence for ongoing impacts of warming continue to pile up as politicians debate what should be done. The recent talks in the Hague have just collapsed over a series of ridiculous demands by the US, such as a demand to count existing forests in North America as carbon sinks to offset our massive output of greenhouse gases, or the right to buy pollution credits from countries with declining economies, like Russia's. Here's the kicker -- as this Australian analyst suggests, if the rest of the world doesn't go along with the US's demands, there may be no deal at all, which is even worse than giving in to us dirty Americans. Please note that this article contains the following reference:

The US also wanted credit for planting forests at home and elsewhere, and for selling nuclear power plants to Third World countries anything to avoid the politically painful task of persuading its citizens to change their energy habits. No wonder an outraged green lost it last week and pushed a cream pie into Loy's face.

This is raising my awareness of pie-ing episodes to new heights.

I've received a bit of criticism for being too liberal on the views presented here. That is funny to me, since I have a number of friends who are way farther out on the left wing than I. I've been vilified by people I love for my support for the WTO, although its Intellectual Property rules are clearly awful, and it really ought to not supercede national environmental policy; I have no trust for the government's ability, despite its intentions, to solve most major societal problems, and in most fiscal respects I hew to the Clinton/Perot line of avoidance of deficits and prudence. Above all, I'm really a libertarian, with a firm line drawn at the places governments should intervene such as avoidance of market failures, consumer protection, and protection against "externalities" that miss out on a market equation, such as pollution and other environmental destruction. Which is, among other reasons, why I couldn't vote for Harry Browne, since he would eliminate the SEC and other arms of the government that actually accomplish some good things.

That being said, I can't help but be sorry for the Pandas recently leased to the Washington National Zoo for a cool $1 million a year. This is ridiculous. The few pandas left in this world deserve more than to be cheap (er, expensive; but still the zoo will make money on this deal) publicity tool for a zoo that recently lost its other two pandas (one of whom loved Starbucks muffins)and suffered greatly in the PR engines of the press for the shooting last year. To further enhance my reputation as an extremist, I offer this link to PETA's argument why zoos are cruel, unusual, and counterproductive.



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