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Showing posts from October, 2011

ConocoPhillips vs. Godzilla

Who hasn't seen one of those feel good ads on TV these days, touting the benefits of natural gas like it was the next cold fusion? The one I like best, but which I cannot find on the internet as of yet, shows a group of students after class having one of those ad hoc debates so common in academia these days (though I believe in real life it's more likely to involve a heated discussion of Halo). A couple of students rush into the debate all morally superior ("Big oil! What about the environment!"), getting in the faces of the others who calmly stand back while the opposition digs a deep, deep hole for themselves. And then the other two spring into action like members of some Seal-6 anti-terrorist squad. "Actually, it's cleaner!" says one about, you know, methane, or natural gas as it is commonly known. And don't you love that name, too? Natural gas, 'cause it's "natural." So it must be good for us, right? Of course, cyanide is natur…

Declaration of Independence, part deux

In light of the Occupy Wall Street protests, I thought a review of the Declaration of Independence might be apropos. Here, I think, is the salient quotation: That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and…