Posted by: spacewritinguy | November 26, 2007

Some Miscellaneous Notes

Saudi Arabia just “celebrated” its 136th execution by beheading…and here we’re worried about causing pain in a lethal injection?? There is pain and there is pain. However, one must consider the fact that, either way, you’re dead. It’s just a question of how much time the pain endures and to what degree.

Hugo Chavez is trailing in a poll regarding a referendum on extending his presidency. Of course if he’s like most good totalitarians, he won’t let a minor thing like the public will get in his way.

Anti-Putin riots continue in Russia. The only good news, I suppose, is that the world is watching. At least until Putin turns the cameras off, as happened in Burma.

Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, offers some interesting insights into the global warming issue in his new book, Cool It, which he discussed on C-SPAN2 today. What I like about Lomborg is that he is willing to both state his bias (he believes in global warming) but also state its limitations (he believes it’s a solveable problem, not a catastrophe). Lomborg also offers politically acceptable policy solutions and a civil voice of reason, both of which are becoming increasingly rare on this issue. He posits possible outcomes, and then asks the audience to consider whether an issue of environment like damage from hurricanes could be better solved in other ways. For instance, would such damage be alleviated better by taxing Western Civilization now for a minimal improvement 100 years from now or whether we wouldn’t be better off just building better levees or ending the subsidizing of living on the coast through federal bail-outs. He believes in more science and R&D for newer, more environmentally friendly technologies. And given all these attitudes and the questions he got from his audience, I’m certain that he’s been permanently drummed out of the global warming orthodoxy.

Having just returned from a visit from my family, I’m wondering if it is time to start licensing parents. I, for one, would probably be prevented from becoming a father, not because I’m particularly abusive or evil, but simply because I lack the patience for being one. My sister would pass with flying colors; my brother-in-law, while occasionally annoyed by his children’s antics, would also pass. I would flunk, simply because I have almost zero tolerance for disruptive noise and behavior, a trait I’ve had since I was a kid. Would this test be based on income? Unlikely. The primary requirements are love, patience, and persistence. Lacking a significant other to love, practically no patience, and persistence only in matters that interest me (of which child rearing is not one), I would flunk and in a big way. Does that guarantee that only good kids would come out of such a result? Hardly. But it would, at least, ensure that most children avoid abuse or unnecessarily high dysfunctionality.

That’s about it for today. Five days off the Internet, and I feel GREAT!

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