Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Jackson

Michael Jackson was *acquitted* by a jury of his peers of child molestation. He settled out of court with a previous accuser (whether the accusation was valid or merely a rather successful attempt to use the threat of bad publicity and the legal system to extract large sums will likely never be known).

That Mr. Jackson...was a man of unusual quirks...seems a relatively good bet. That he molested anyone, anywhere - I'm not quite so persuaded. That he had issues with drugs, pain management, and a deeply challenging youth abetted by an only slightly less challenging adulthood - seems a pretty good bet.

If we are sincere about "innocent until proven guilty", an acquittal means an end, and barring certain knowledge on the part of the accuser, should mean the end to speculative accusations on the matter. And the man is dead now, beyond mortal punishment or criticism - and should he have erred in that particularly hideous fashion, he is facing far sterner judgment than humanity might offer up - and is certainly beyond the risk of any recidivism.

What we can say with some certainty is that Mr. Jackson was a man of incredible talent, with a broader vocal range than the vast majority. A talented choreographer and composer. And a huge influence on the music of the last 40 years.

Just perhaps, now that he is gone, for the sake of his children, his friends, and his family...the sheer number of cheap shots (and I'll admit my own guilt in taking a cheap shot or two, passing on a joke or so just too evil not to share)...seems a bit excessive. Let him rest, and let us all move on.

BUSY! and HELP!!!

I sell electric vehicles. I believe in them - not just as a practical city/town vehicle (in most iterations), but as a political and philosophical action, one car at a time, to reduce dependence not merely on foreign oil, but on foreign oil originating in nations largely hostile to the United States.

Exporting cash to nations where large percentages of said cash end up in the hands of terrorists, dictators, socialist tyrants, and generally hostile sorts strikes me as generally ill-advised, and reason enough to act to stanch the oil-based cash-flow.

Biofuels, to the the absolute non-surprise of anyone with even the most basic grounding economics, compete for field-space with that silly luxury "food" - driving up prices for said luxury, while offering a relatively low resource>energy ratio. In short, bio-fuel is a dandy con job best suited as a mechanism for doling out pork to the favored few, despite the ill effects on individuals and an already fragile economy.

Anthropomorphic Global warming? The science is far from settled and the viciousness with which those who question the "received wisdom" on the topic tends to indicate an atmosphere of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) being utilized as a bludgeon to intimidate and abuse those who would question this theory. That, combined with the sheer political convenience of such an unusually handy sled ("DO THIS OR YOU'RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIEEEE!") to load failed "social justice" and "equality in misery" programs of the past...leave me deeply skeptical of the whole notion as having anything to do with science.

When something looks like the wet dream of one party or another (in this case Democrats) to ramrod otherwise unacceptable programs through, particularly when the science is based more on shouting by "true believers" than research by actual's probably a vehicle of the suspect party, rather than science.

Which brings us to the Clunker bill and the $3500/4500 credit available to folks who turn in their older or less efficient vehicles and buy new and more efficient vehicles. I think it's a good notion to reduce fuel consumption, but the whole carbon thing is generally a load in my book. But a sharp allegorical stick in the eye of Chavez and his spiritual cohorts? Not entirely a bad thing, and the money could be spent in worse fashion.

But here's the wretchedly self-serving beg - can you purchase an *all-electric* car (not hybrid, not even a little bit) with the credit? The public resources offer *NO* guidance, and I don't want folks showing up at the dealership where I work, signing papers, thinking all was well - and then getting hit with a $4,500.00 surprise!

Thus...please write or call or email (yes, it's one of those damned contact forms) WA Sen. Maria Cantwell, sitting on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and ask her to clarify that why *YES* electric vehicles qualify for the Clunker Credit.

Senator Maria Cantwell
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-228-0514 - FAX
202-224-8273 - TDD

Thank you!