September 17, 2003

Conservative Exercise Secret

Hey, I'll share an exercise secret with you. The idea is to get yourself in a mindset so that you can do NOTHING else but exercise. How, you ask? The good old-fashioned adrenaline rush, I answer.

1) Pick up a Ted Rall column. This one will do.

2) Tell yourself you're going to fisk it (before reading).

3) Read and fisk at the same time. Like this!

    NEW YORK--What kind of world would it be if someone set your car ablaze because it guzzled too much fuel? A better one, argues the Earth Liberation Front, a loosely-organized ecoterrorist organization that spray-painted environmentalist graffiti such as "gross polluter" and "fat, lazy Americans" on 30 sport utility vehicles at two car dealerships and set fire to a third on Aug. 22. Several SUVs and 20 Hummer H2s were destroyed. On Sept.2, 22 more SUVs were trashed at a Houston car dealership. (Police have arrested a man in connection with the California incident.)
Okay, fact. That's fine.

    Ecoterrorism expert Bron Taylor of the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, says that ELF believes "that ecosystems have an inherent worth that cannot be judged in relation to human needs, that human actions are bringing the earth toward mass extinctions, and that political action is insufficient to bring about the wholesale changes needed."
Bron Taylor. Okay. He's a lefty. But, wow, that quote sure has ominous implications. Read on. This is obviously merely kindling.

    Taken at face value, most Americans agree with the "elves." A Los Angeles Times survey found that, even among conservative Republicans, two out of three people believe that the environment is more important than property rights, corporate profits or even creating jobs. Virtually everyone acknowledges that human-generated pollution is affecting the environment: only eight percent of Americans think that global warming (news - web sites) is a myth. (The United States produces more greenhouse gases, both per capita and overall, than any other nation, making it largely responsible for climate change.)
Okay, first, the grammar problem. Rall, learn to write. "Taken at first value, most people..." You can't refer to the last paragraph with that, even though I know you WANT to. Rules. Grammar has rules. Use them, or land yourself in a mire/muck-filled swamp of more frequent fiskings.

Second, the meat, or, really, the juice of the paragraph. Where the hell did that "most Americans agree with the elves (presumably ELF minions)" statement originate? Did a hair you shaved off your maw yesterday morning scream that unfounded assertion to you when you had writer's block? That's an unfounded claim. Dismissed.

"Two out of there people believe the environment is more important than property rights, corporate profits or even creating jobs." Apples and oranges. The environment is VERY important, yes. Citizen, do your part. You, too, Rall. If I catch you littering or not recycling everything but the cat litter, I'm sending out a press release.

Blah blah blah greenhouse blah, next.

    The environmental crisis is, hands down, the most important matter facing humanity today. Who cares about peace in the Middle East if the region is under water, stricken by famine or choked by dust storms? Weather systems are becoming increasingly violent and unpredictable, species are going extinct and virgin-growth forests are vanishing at an alarming rate. While smog has diminished somewhat in places like Denver and Los Angeles, air pollution is getting worse nationally. Ohio's EPA, for example, announced that 2002 was the most toxic summer on record in 14 years.
What music would you set this to? Darth Vader's Imperial March, or Ride of the Valkyries? Perhaps the Moldau to incite emotion, but you'd have to read the paragraph verrrry slowly, as the Moldau is 12 minutes long.

The MOST important problem is the environmental crisis. THE. *mutter* Hey, Rall. Ever heard of a terrorist? You claim your guy Bron knows about them. Perhaps you should ask for a definition. And put your hands down. You said hands down.

    The main reason:
Stop - I can't let him finish. I know! I know! It's GUNS. Oh, wrong answer.


Dammit - I thought guns were always every problem. I need to read my manual on liberals again.

    What should we do about this long-ignored crisis? Writing letters to the editor and joining The Sierra Club (news - web sites) are admirable, but working within the system hasn't stopped the polluters.
Incite da troups! Call in the ELF (which should have its own theme song with sounds of raging fires mixed in - an eerie similarity to the KLF. Yeah. The ELF is gonna rock you).

Do you feel that blood pumping? Are you ready for the Stairmaster? Almost...
    Burning SUVs isn't the answer, argues the Sport Utility Vehicle Owners Association of America: "All told, the vandalism will not make any company think twice about producing more SUVs and other light trucks, nor will it shake the tremendous consumer confidence in the vehicles. Instead, the blaze destroyed the property of a small business owner, and put the lives of innocent civil servants in harm's way."
This is known as "giving the bad guys a chance to talk and show their idiocy." Rall, of course, feels quite the opposite. Burn someone else's private property in the name of the environment. After all, 2/3 of Americans believe that the environment is more important that private property. 2/3!

The quote is correct, though - burning a few SUVs won't stop production. Capitalism says: demand! And the rest of the quote is dead on: Destroyed the property of a small business owner, and put the lives of innocent civil servants in harm's way. Yes, indeed. And gave the media a frenzied time, yahoo!

    But SUVs are a national blight, burning 33 percent more gas, generating 30 percent more carbon monoxide and 75 percent more nitrogen oxide than regular cars. SUVs are so popular--they account for more than half of new car sales--that average fuel efficiency reversed a long-term trend by starting to drop beginning in 1987. Since 1990, SUVs have wasted an extra 70 billion gallons of gasoline, costing even more than the war on Iraq (news - web sites). They're the sole reason we dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol (news - web sites) to reduce greenhouse gases. SUVs have got to go.
Now, I'm no fan of the SUV monoliths; I'll not buy one. But they're here, and they're here to stay. "Wasted" an extra 708 billion gallons of gasoline, costing even more than the war on Iraq. What war on Iraq, Ted? Oh, you mean that little inconsequential thing underneath the downed hands. THAT war. k.

    The SUV phenomenon is the creation of an unholy alliance of Congress, Detroit automakers and consumers. The big four automakers have convinced even the legislators they don't own outright that eliminating SUVs would hurt the economy. SUV owners think the 9,000-pound leviathans make them safer than passenger cars (though studies have proven they're not), are better at handling snow (untrue), drive off-road (very few SUVs ever leave the pavement), offer extra room for big families (get a minivan instead, dope) and let them see ahead of smaller cars (while blocking the vehicles behind them). The Republican-controlled Congress has no intention of closing the fuel emissions loophole that lets SUVs pass as "light trucks." And the SUV craze is making Detroit more profitable than ever.
Unholy alliance. Hey, isn't that a Scorpions song? Yeah, it's offa Face the Heat; quit stealing the Scorpions' meme.

It's only the Detroit automakers, eh? So the Lexus, BMW, and Infiniti SUVs are white as lambs. And, wait, Mr. Rall, you're exempting minivans? I want them to be declared heathen, too. I mean, when I'm trying to turn left in my little red sports car and a minivan pulls astride me, I can't see over it, either. Waaa! Oh.

Damned those corporations profitting off of what consumers want. Damn them!

    That leaves consumers and dealers as the principal targets of radical environmentalists like the ELF. The idea is to make SUVs as unfashionable, and as scary to own, as fur became after the PETA-inspired spray-paint attacks of the '80s. In an ideal world, American consumers could be convinced to do the right thing through an appeal to logic with public service messages like the "What Would Jesus Drive?" TV campaign, but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can't be reasoned with. They're selfish and stupid. It's unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing's for sure: It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people.
Fur. Automobiles. Fur. Automobiles. Hmm. No. And, in an ideal world, American consumers would be YOUR SHEEP, Rall. Yours. Baa. You know what else people would do in an ideal world? No one would smoke or drink too much. No one would batter his or her spouse. People wouldn't kill each other. There'd be no more hunger (k, time to cue the music). There'd be no war. People would't be obese.

Sorry, bucko. No ideal world. Oh, but those who lean so far left they have constant backaches think it'll happen if we just. legislate. enough.

(Oh, and Mom, thanks for reading - I know you're the only one who made it this far.)

4) Now, is your blood shakin', baby? You're already sweating. It's time to run/walk/Stairmaster/elliptical/cycle off that adrenaline. And the good news, puppet Rall will be back another day to inspire you yet again!

5) After your workout, submit your Rall fisk to Venemous Kate for her snarky snark snark.

Patented. Proven.


Posted by hln at September 17, 2003 05:02 PM | RANT | TrackBack