Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


* The Prague conference must have been the greatest gathering of dissidents and freedom fighters since, well perhaps since the Continental Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence.

They arrived at a set of points, evidently in remarkably short time, with remarkably little contention. Perhaps it's because the ethical issues are in fact for once, quite simple and clear.

They addressed this at somewhat greater length, but at bottom it starts with: don't lie about tyrannies, call them what they are, name them and shame them.

Heroes of liberty who have done hard time in terrible conditions, some of whom were there, others of whom were represented by friends and relatives, have said time and again that what sustains them in captivity, and through prolonged torture is the knowledge that somewhere someone knows that they are being wronged.

* Paris Hilton is an Upper Class Twit, and a Trust Fund Idiot. Though nice enough to look at, there is something vacuous about her face, and she only has to open her mouth to make a man indifferent to her looks.

Nonetheless the outpouring of scorn and glee at her re-imprisonment is a bit unnerving. TV news types were openly jubilant at the sight of her weeping and crying for her mother as the judge sent her back to jail.

Perhaps she's finding out what Alcibiades did all those centuries ago: that the democracy loves to raise its idols high - but equally loves to dash them low.

The same TV personalities who covered this with such glee would pause from time to time and wonder, why the heck are we doing this? What is it about this no-talent, famous-for-being-famous spoiled brat that grabs and holds our attention?

Well I'll tell you, I think there's something great about all this. We're having a much-needed conversation about the way the law operates in practice, about the "best justice money can buy". About how the rich are treated by the law as opposed to the rest of us - and it's centered around a trivial case in which no one died.

This is the conversation we didn't really have after the O.J. case. And we can have it without the O.J. race baggage.

Buck up Paris. That little vacation in jail will give you time to think (if you know how), and now you know what fame is worth.

* I can hardly believe what I'm hearing on the FOX business news. A business-news talking head has just openly said what I've speculated about for years.

On the question of whether we should buy oil from countries hostile to us, he said that we should use up all of the rest of the world's oil before we tap into our own considerable reserves, whose exploitation is currently blocked by the environmental lobby.

About 20 years ago I wondered in a bull session whether somewhere in the higher policy circles that decision had already been made.

OK so maybe I'm paranoid. But am I paranoid enough.

* And speaking of oil, yesterday I saw a commercial for CITGO which is of course, the state oil company of Venezuela. It had a number of clips of tankers on the sea and some nice tropical scenery and a written line, "A plentiful supply of Venezuelan oil." I wonder what the heck that means?


  • At 5:58 PM, Blogger gun-totin-wacko said…

    A few of my own ruminations:

    ---Nice to know all those folks in Prague took the moral high ground. It's always impressive to hear the *real* victims of tyranny call it what it is. Especially when we too often hear the stupidity that pours from the mouths of people like Dhimmi Jimmy Carter and his allies Michael Moore and Danny Glover.

    ---I sorta feel sorry for Paris Hilton, but only because the sheriff screwed her over- had he done what he was told, she'd have stayed there, and been better off. Getting dragged back to jail when you thought you were home free has to be crushing.

    Otherwise, I think she still hasn't "gotten it". Carrying around a bible before jail, and dropping hints she'd changed her ways? Uh Huh. Showing up at almost midnight, and still getting credit for a day served? No. Rumors that she had planned a "welcome home" party for this weekend? Bad idea.

    So perhaps now she's beginning to understand that breaking the law sometimes carries a price. Even if you are "hot".

    ---Interesting thought about our oil reserves. I confess I never thought much about it from that angle. But it does make sense. But I still think we should look at things like nuclear energy. Or perhaps try something like building a new refinery...?

    Nah, better to whine about things than to take action. My sister still blames the cost of oil on GW Bush not doing enough. I've explained that we can't develop alternative fuels in 4 years, but then she just blames everyone, but still holds him accountable. Been doing that almost since he took office.

    And yet she still refuses to assign any blame for Michigan's depressed economy to the current governor. In 4 years, Bush can create new energy sources, but Granholm can't take *any* action on the economy. Ugh.

    ---I think anything that comes out of Venezuela has to be considered dicey. Castro Jr. there is trying to improve his economy by getting more money from the US, because he knows he's screwed the economic pooch.

    I don't set foot anyplace near a Citgo anymore.

  • At 11:22 PM, Blogger D. Frank Robinson said…

    Right after the 1970s oil embargo I worked for a major oil company in Oklahoma City as temp for several months. It had to do with researching data on abandoned well sites. Well, one day I mentioned to some engineer types that maybe we ought to just leave American oil in the ground until the price went up to may $100 a barrel. I got some cold stares. Of course, that would have meant that would have been out of jobs for a long time.... I think there is a policy to keep domestic oil production and refining at a minimum, just enough to keep a core of trained people on staff.

  • At 6:03 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    I don't patronize CITGO either. I've got friends from Venezuela who say they aren't going back there because "Chavez is going to be another Fidel." Best thing for their country, absent a coup, would be for the economy to collapse as soon as possible.

    You know Frank I really wonder about that - where is "oil policy" made?

  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Gilmoure said…

    "A plentiful supply of Venezuelan oil." I wonder what the heck that means?

    Translation: We have our fingers around your nuts?

  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger Galt-In-Da-Box said…

    Paris Hilton is not fit to touch the feet of those people in Prague.
    Though it's better in America, we still have a long way to go before we actually have "Equal justice under law" when millionaire murderers walk the golf courses because of their pigmentation and bank accounts, and the media swoon and fawn over the trivial legal perils of a clueless blond because of her famous last name.
    There are better, cheaper alternatives to oil, but that would require change that is not desirable to the current Administration and the establishment that put it in power.


Post a Comment

<< Home