Month: July, 2012

Left or Right? Not Politics, but Driving.

Left or Right? Not Politics, but Driving.

Why do some countries drive on the left, and some drive on the right side of the road? 

Here’s one summary, which essentially says that Continental Europe was introduced to right hand driving by a combination of economic factors and the French Revolution. Originally everyone was on the left, because otherwise swords would hit coming the other way (swords were worn on the left because it’s easier to draw them from their scabbards than if worn on the right).

I thought it was interesting. I hope you enjoy reading. 



What I Discovered Today

What I Discovered Today

A long, long time ago in a university far, far away (meh, Star Wars is playing, don’t judge me because it’s on my mind) someone once told me that a centrist Democrat that was running for a local State Senate position was ’embarrassingly rightwing.’ Indeed he was rightwing this, rightwing that and I didn’t know what to make of it at the time. I’ve thought about it a lot. 

Anyhow, to cut short a long story you don’t rightly care about here is an equally ’embarrassingly rightwing’ site run by centrist Democrats. Miracles of miracles, it isn’t being run for apologetic purposes. There’s no shy, ‘I know I should be more liberal, but I was raised Southern’ (with a capital S, thankya) or belligerent ‘I am true, Blue Dog Democrat and a real sonofabitch.’ Eh, poor motifs I know. Point being, they are legitimate centrists. I’m in love. 

Mapping Judaism

Mapping Judaism

Courtesy of some fine fellows over at the Economist’s online side, the internet net now has a nifty graphic on Judaism. Who knew the U.S. was the second-favorite spot of Jews? 

A New York Times Miracle

Did you know that last January men and women sat together in a room to decide our future? They had to decide, once and for all, whether the world would face rising sea levels, the death of small furry mammals (that we all love unconditionally, unless you work at Chevron or Exxon) and higher levels of armpit perspiration? Insert more histrionics as needed. But, seriously, there was. It was in Bonn. To quote Via Media, “much was said and nothing was done — and yet again even fewer reporters and officials paid attention to this increasingly irrelevant bureaucratic mess.” I think there’s another one scheduled. Look it up on Google or something.

Though that’s not the point of this article. The point is that the collective “mind” of the NYT has finally sounded a tactical withdrawal from the carbon tax initiative in their recent article. Perhaps they saw what everyone else saw at Bonn and finally realized that the gig was up for any world wide cap-and-trade legislation?

The successes make it possible at least to fathom a transition to clean energy that does not involve putting a price on carbon — either through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program that requires licenses for emissions.

Mr. Leonhard is certainly no seer. He argued, at one point, that Obama’s future economic policies would make the now-President “look like a fiscal conservative.” Punditry is, at best, a way for the upper-middle class to work without working. I respect him for getting his money, but certainly not his opinion. It is nothing personal. I don’t put too much stock in what a professional guesser, who knows little about natural gas exploitation and renewable energy. If you have read a particularly self-righteous pamphlet on how coal plant operators secretly want to destroy hybrid cars you know as much as him. More importantly, he’s quite the trial balloon for the New York Times. He’s too important to be the carcass others at the newspaper trample over if the blowback is too fierce. He’s too much of a trusted liberal ideologue for this to be the semi-weekly “look, we aren’t biased!” piece.

In short, we could be looking at a real realignment of the New York Times’ coverage of both natural gas recovery and cap-and-trade. Exciting stuff.

Nixon, A Plan For Everything


Nixon lovers everywhere will enjoy this unused disaster speech, written for the first men who visited the moon.

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

[ image: A lonely view of a distant home]
A lonely view of a distant home