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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Bad faith healing

By Tom Toles

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***

Help me out, here

So explain to me again what the point of all those SUVs was. Why drive all that weight around to get to the same place any vehicle would have got you to? Why burn all that fuel that is gone forever now to go the same speed? Now, while you stare at the scary numbers on the gas pump, do you turn and see that you are pumping all that gas into a giant piece of stupid? Why did we send all that money out of the country at a time when our negative balance of trade was kicking the blocks out from under our economy?

And why did we decide to take such pleasure in hating our own American cities? Why did we treat with such hostility the compact, efficient use of space and transportation resources? Why the crazed need to sprawl out all over the landscape building ourselves a permanent commuting nightmare? One to get stuck in, in a truck disguised as a car?

Why in the face of mounting evidence that all this pointless WASTING of fuel was highly likely to wreck the climate, did we then decide to go out and buy even BIGGER vehicles? Are people capable of thinking about more than one competing interest at a time? Is immediate pleasure the ONLY consideration America is now capable of mustering? The same people who claim this sudden screaming concern over GOVERNMENT irresponsibility seem blithely indifferent to all of this. Somebody explain. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | March 2, 2011; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Federal government, Health care, Obama White House  
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Comments

"Wrecking the Climate" insures the "Science of Evolution" room to work, don't you think, Tom?

Is immediate pleasure the ONLY consideration America is now capable of mustering, you ask? One would think that since Roe.

Posted by: quiensabe | March 3, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay, ninjagin. Whatever works for you. Can't go out in the snow without your SUV wrapped around you. So, how 'bout the SUVs in Phoenix or Miami? Gotta have those just in case it suddenly snows 24" and there's just (sniff, sniff) no other way to get around?

By the way, for others of us who need to get around in Winter, modern tire manufacturers have not lost the technology to make dedicated snow tires. They're the ones with the little snowflake symbol molded into the side. Possibly invented for use by elites in Sweden, who like to get around but can't afford a whole 'nother vehicle to use to do it.

Amazing how so much of the country got by without SUVs 50 years ago, isn't it? And yet, people were able to get to work. Just amazing.

Posted by: jonroesler | March 3, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tom,

I have 2 cars -- one is an SUV -- a 1999 Jeep Cherokee that gets about 20 MPG. It's a rugged little beast. I drive it into the mountains when I go skiing, and it makes it possible for me to get to work and go about my life when the snow falls.

Unlike where you live, (in the fantasy land of eastern elites, which is replete with any number of different public transit options,) we don't have that kind of special system out here in Colorado. We're pretty much left with 4-wheel drive cars to get around for 4-5 months of the year.

So whenever I hear you (or click & clack) whine and moan and berate those awful SUVs and how stoooopid people must be to dive them, or pump gas into such stoooopid vehicles because we have a crazy hatred of cities and love sprawl and pollution with the frantic, manic Hellenistic zeal of a gas-guzzling bacchanal, I go and look in the fridge.

Why do I look in the fridge? Because the money that buys the food comes because I can get to work every day, all winter long in my SUV, and the food I buy with the money gets to the fridge because I can carry it in my SUV.

When the roads are not snowy or icy, I drive the other car -- a fuel-efficient japanese number. However, many people don't have the money to keep 2 cars, and they need 1 car that will manage the whole year, and that car needs to carry kids and dogs and all kinds of other stuff. Having an SUV covers the requirements. The "U", dear Tom, is for "Utility".

I live in the real world, and you live in the snobby eastern elitist fantasy land. You and I may share the same political leanings, but on the subject of this particular whiny, snooty, fingerpointing-crybaby screed of yours, I respectfully invite you to go pound sand.

Posted by: ninjagin | March 3, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Talking whimsical there planet...not surprised. In fact you hit a bit on the prism but do not know what it is...interesting. Half cocked and THIMK....right. Speak at yourself.

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

MDLaxer

So in 4 years the entire federal fleet is to be replaced with Tesla Roadsters and Nissan Leafs with an 80 mile range? What about border patrol and all those Homeland Security SUV's and all the vans they use? Unles You know of some new carbonless source? I suppose there is hydrogen but that requires a lot of electricity to produce do it is not presently carbonless.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I would say at least 20% of crude price increase is due to entities with NO interest in possession of oil speculating that 'oil' is worth more than 'dollars' and shorts from September buying to cover their position.

As for nuclear. You probably know that I believe that the dangers of burning carbon are greatly exaggerated. That being said I am sure that fusion is 30 to 50 years out and fission is a viable alternative to carbon for electricity. I am not certain as to the Prism reactor specifically but I am aware of several new passive safety reactor designs. These designs are safer and one uses reprocessed fuel or recycled fuel in sodium solving part of the storage problem and relatively clean safe power. Testing in a less populated area of US or Canada could start soon. Insurance program of sorts. I don't know if this is ready for less stable parts of the world. There are several other small designs that are well tested and proven on ships and subs that may work also except they also have the continued nuke excrement to contend with.

Carbon in its liquid and gas forms is what will be the hardest to replace and nuclear can help preserve some of it. Don't rush off half cocked though. THIMK

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Here's a plan: the Federal Government announces that in 2015 it will no longer use fossil fuel burning autos. All commercial grade vehicles used by the Federal Government will have to be powered by something other than fossil fuel. The Federal Government will not dictate what that alternative is; they will allow the market to figure that out.

What this will mean is that every commercial grade vehicle the Federal Government owns, and rents (i.e. when a federal employee travels on business) will have to be powered by alternative, clean energy.

That will immediately create a demand for such vehicles. Civilians who go to the rental counter will see that the carrier is now offering alternatively fueled vehicles, and will likely want to give it a try – also increasing demand.

Posted by: MDLaxer | March 2, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

so dalyplanet...have you heard about, and if so what do you think about, that Prism reactor? Hmm? Do you think we have to wait for 20-30+ years and use/spend government money on more studies and possible discoveries before we move forward?

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

~~Hedges would flee on news of future supply increase.~~~

I disagree...I am well aware of the 'cause' of oil 'unease'. If we, in fact, tapped into our reserves I would not bet prices to fall within a few days...if at all. Stating we would begin drilling for oil in new areas would not create immeditate results and the price at the pump would still depend on the happenings of the middle east.

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

We are not having supply problems at this time bert The current rise is all based on concern about supply or confidence of supply. There is a huge gap between spot price today and today's price of future buys. Hedges would flee on news of future supply increase.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

It's not fair to say American cities are just monuments to waste and horribly sprawling commuter traps.

They're also fabulously ugly, with no sense of community.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 2, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Why do I disagree?
Simply because, one little announcement that we are going to allow more drilling would not end the crude price run up TODAY.
That is why I disagree.
why would you think that?

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Why do you disagree bertzel?

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

speaking of jokes pdog...don't you think it rather odd that the Dems in WI are seeking recall of the GOP Senators, when they at least show up to work and are doing their job?
Meanwhile the Dem Senators are in hiding like little children, avoiding the issues at hand. Sounds a bit backwards to me...but oh so funny...right.

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

~~~The US could end this crude price run up today with an announcement that we are going to allow more drilling. dlayplanet~~~

I disagree.

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

PracticalIndependent

It is the market that manipulates and producers that are complicit. Refiners and distributors (oil companies) are along for the ride. The US could end this crude price run up today with an announcement that we are going to allow more drilling.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tom:

I drive an SUV for the same reason I try to get exit row seeting on airlines. I'm tall. I need the leg room and head space.

But the thing is why blame the victims for the crime. America produces automobiles, millions of them and they need gas to operate. Every segment of government (fed, state, local, military have gigantic fleets of gas burning vehicles (why don't we start conserving there?) It's the oil companies that manipulate each and every crisis, real or imagined to raise the prices and gouge drivers.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | March 2, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Pdog

LOL

not that I agree but a funny joke there

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I see I read four years instead of 4 hours....hmmm....my bad. Course I just thought it was years cuz most people are elected more than 4 hours....again dog....stop chasing your tail.

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to tell who if it lasts for more than 4 years they should see a doctor?
Shouldn't we all be seeing drs. more than once every four years?

You make no sense there dog. Reading too many polls? I guess that would explain your confusion.
Bit of advice....don't participate in polls, don't read polls, don't believe the numbers distributed by the poll takers.
And...stop chasing your tail...makes you dizzy. Which is most likely why you liken to the polls!

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

bert, I suppose my point is a simple one.

When Republicans get power, someone needs to tell them that, if it lasts for more than 4 hours, they should see a doctor, and not try to F*&$ the country with it.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | March 2, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Pdog

A year ago polls showed similar numbers regarding ObamaCare bill with appx 61% against as written and look how that legislation turned out.

I bet the poll did NOT ask; Do you think Wisconsin government employees should continue to have the right to strike over fringe benefits unlike their Federal and most other states employee counterparts? Yes or No

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The question - "Is immediate pleasure the ONLY consideration America is now capable of mustering?" Instant gratification has been our mantra for about the last 50 years or so. That coupled with the American Dream myth of unlimited opportunities (coupled with unlimited resources) has meant that we have not been given any doses of reality until recently that there are going to be shortages - oil, seafood, arable land, breathable air, etc. The youngest generation may be somewhat aware, but the decision-making generations have a great deal of difficulty imagining anything other than the life they and their parents grew up with. And yes, it may take a really serious economic or climatic calamity to drive the point home. We almost had one in '08. The next one might not be as pretty.

Posted by: ebtnut | March 2, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

pdog and the polls....
don't trust your polls dog so other than your poll stats...do you have a point?

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Overreach

Early last week a national USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 61% of people oppose stripping collective bargaining from public unions versus 33% in favor.

This week a Public Policy Polling poll shows that 57% of WI residents oppose taking away collective bargaining from public unions, versus 37% in favor.

The poll also asked if Walker should be recalled as governor. Not simply if they think he's doing a good job or if people agree or disagree with him, but whether or not he should be RECALLED from office. 48% favor and 48% oppose. Just as many people are in favor of a recall as are opposed, and the guy's been in office for six weeks!

The same poll shows that if last November's election were held today, Walker would lose to Tom Barrett, 52% to 45%...not even close. In November, only 3% of Republicans polled voted for Barrett. Today, 10% said they would.

A new Pew poll released yesterday shows the same trend nationally, with 42% backing public unions versus 31% backing Walker, and the remainder either undecided or unaware. A New York Times poll yesterday, shows 60% to 33% in favor of backing the public unions.

Republicans, much like Bush, can't seem to moderate their lust for power once they get it. Overreach cost Republicans nationally in 2006 and 2008, and it will cost them in WI in 2012 and 2014, if not before (Walker is eligible for recall in January of 2012). At least a few governors in other states backed off similar plans as Walker's, recognizing that the public is not on their side on this issue.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | March 2, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Back in the 1950's the Federal Government funded (through tax dollars) the interstate highway system. This meant that those using the system paid far less (in taxes) than they would have if they'd have had to pay for these roads via Tolls.

Additionally, the Federal Government intervened in the market place and began subsidizing Oil Companies. With these funds, Oil Companies were not forced to pass along the cost of research, development and exploration to consumers in the form of higher gas prices. (in 2001, gas was less than $1 per gallon).

Net result: Americans learned to love the "open road" because it was fun and CHEAP! Meanwhile, ridership on mass transit (i.e. trains) plummeted.

The concept is called "unintended consequences" and all government actions are rife with them.

Posted by: MDLaxer | March 2, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I never understood the big SUVs either. It was like a status symbol for some, a more current Keeping Up With the Joneses mentality. A cousin of mine who was a newlywed had one, along with her husband and their little dog, there was still room for a family of five. "We like the extra room" they claimed. Nobody I knew that owned SUVs had a large family. It's sort of like all those McMansions that middle class families aspired to, but later had trouble affording. I recall one day walking down my block and counting 14 SUVs parked consecutively in a row. The absurdity of it all still baffles me. Europeans mocked us for our wasteful gas guzzling lifestyles and they were right. Perhaps the crap had to hit the fan economically and environmentally before Americans finnaly got the clue that being a citizen of the planet means that each person needs to be more responsible, including themselves.

Posted by: alexnyc8 | March 2, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Why SUVs? Simple -

SUPERSIZE ME!!!!

It's the same stupid concept, just a different way to be stupid.

Posted by: luridone | March 2, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, we've lost all ability to learn from the past. I think we're beyond warnings now. Maybe we just have to plunge ourselves into a true Great Depression II to understand how dire our situation is. Maybe we've reached a point where my generation (I'm in my mid-40s) has to face a truly awful existential realization ("I don't know how I'll feed my family tonight") before they finally consider dumping the SUVs and the McMansions and start making some sane lifestyle changes. I certainly don't wish for another Depression, but as Wall Street is already demonstrating, this country has a terribly short attention span.

Posted by: doonser | March 2, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Bert That is quite the interesting website. The commodity flow survey may give a few CAGW types pause. A 800 million toy train from Madison to Milwaukee would be a raindrop in the ocean toward reducing transportation petrol consumption when compared to the survey data.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The monkeys have stopped getting smarter. Time to bring the experiment to a conclusion.

Posted by: Capn0ok1 | March 2, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, SUVs were an end run around the then-new CAFE federal gas mileage standards as trucks were exempted. Suburbans had been around for a long time but things like the Pathfinder were a big hit with the general public. Capacity? A well-designed station wagon can carry 5 adults and two kids and get 25 mpg and can be fun to drive. A minivan is more practical yet but obviously lacks penache. A compact car with a decent roof rack can haul a lot of lumber, including plywood. SUVs are admittedly great for off-road use, although their high roofs make loading gear such as bikes a pain in the butt. 95+% of SUVs never go off road (except inadvertently due to poor handling characteristics and inept drivers) and most become lethal weapons driven around town by distracted fools yakking on cell phones. Not applying CAFE standards to SUVs was a huge mistake--all thanks to auto lobbyists.

Posted by: e30m42 | March 2, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

runner,

Speaking of FOX, I saw O'Reilly was talking about protests in Madison the other night, and the video clip they were showing featured some violent confrontations with pushing and shoving in the crowds of protesters. And there, farther behind the protesters, in the background lining the road, were PALM TREES. I've spent a bit of time in Madison and can attest that I have yet to see any palm trees. But, maybe I'm not hanging in the right neighborhoods.

Then...I noticed it. Up in the corner of the video it said "Union Protests". A nice generic description. Ah...I see how it works. Disingenuously suggest that the protesters in Madison were violent by showing alternate video that you "sort of" identify.

FOX...the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | March 2, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

ptgrunner wrote,

"The GAO recently released a report listing some programs "at risk for waste fraud and abuse. Press release from GAO: "GAO Releases Latest “High Risk” List of Programs at Risk for Waste, Fraud and Abuse." BTW, this GAO report is released biennially and attached a range $ values to the potential waste. But FOX News reported this as "GAO Finds Massive Waste, Duplication", attached a figure of $510 billion to the waste, and wrote that "The GAO was forced to conduct the report on the behest of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK. ..."---the *biennial* GAO report is publicly available as it is every time the report is released. Well, they are FOX, and misstating information is what they do."

----------------------

1 - Please cite your source (web/video/etc) from FOX where they stated: $510BN.
2 - For the time being, I won't dispute that GAO publishes a F/W/A report biennially, however, I'm wondering why I heard Senator Reid state yesterday "I don't often give credit to Tom Coburn, but his demand for this GAO report was the right thing to do."

You may be mixing apples and oranges in terms of this specific report. I'm willing to listen to your supporting argument that this was not/not a special GAO report.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If I need a .50 caliber Browning automatic to kill deer and a 3000 sqft house for one kid, why wouldn't I need a 6000 lb SUV to go to the 711?

Posted by: queraro1

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Very funny, actually.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It's sad that, when these kinds of suggestions are mentioned, some people immediately get defensive and say "I can drive whatever I want, anywhere I want, as many times as I want!" Okay...you can. But you're the guy on the "Phoenix" that is taking everyone else's water.

Posted by: PrairieDog60

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I'm not that guy (2 Yaris's; 2 Hybrids in the family). But...(you knew there would be a 'but')...

In a country of 300+ million, what you suggest are simply 'words' in the big picture without gas-rationing. We can make ourselves feel better by driving our Prius's (not much better/I get a cramp in my neck) but with little effect.

Until Liberals agree to a sensible energy policy (noting you, ptgrunner, ockamsrazor won't ever do that), you're all show and no go on conservation.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

If I need a .50 caliber Browning automatic to kill deer and a 3000 sqft house for one kid, why wouldn't I need a 6000 lb SUV to go to the 711?

Posted by: queraro1 | March 2, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

R D Laing said that after 30 years of practice he concluded that the human race is essentialy insane. I don't know about that but we sure do a lot of very stupid things.

Posted by: WhiskeyJack | March 2, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey runner! Talk about perfect timing!! : )

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

~~~to control the rest of us. Why the hypocrisy? Why the double standard?
Posted by: DirtFarmer1 | March 2, 2011 11:42 AM~~~~

Speaking of Bad Faith....your comment above pertains to that as well....

God I despise the use of religion for personal agenda!!!!

K...had to get that off my chest : )

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

When you try to discuss AGW or CC, AGW deniers want to talk about Al Gore (who has almost entirely correct on the issues of CC) or communism (they don't what it is).

When you try to talk about disparities in income distribution, conservatives (e.g. Rand Paul) want to talk about some income tax disparities.

When you talk about the unfairness of eliminating collective bargaining rights for public workers, they want to talk about the need to balance the WI state budget, even though there seems to be little doubt that the WI budget can be balanced without taking such a draconian step. The state of WI, as well as many other states, has been balanced their budgets for years with collective bargaining for public employees in place.

The GAO recently released a report listing some programs "at risk for waste fraud and abuse. Press release from GAO: "GAO Releases Latest “High Risk” List of Programs at Risk for Waste, Fraud and Abuse." BTW, this GAO report is released biennially and attached a range $ values to the potential waste. But FOX News reported this as "GAO Finds Massive Waste, Duplication", attached a figure of $510 billion to the waste, and wrote that "The GAO was forced to conduct the report on the behest of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK. ..."---the *biennial* GAO report is publicly available as it is every time the report is released. Well, they are FOX, and misstating information is what they do. And let's not forget the "mistake" over the Gallup poll results (which they did retract), and the Breitbart video. The point is that people who watch FOX are not just misinformed on many issues, but their logic is faulty when they try analyze or assimilate new data.

You can't debate people who don't address the issues of the day honestly. If people think that changing the subject of debate or shouting others down is winning a debate, then there can be no exchange and no position changed. Debate the issues.

Posted by: ptgrunner | March 2, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Why do people buy SUVs? It's called "freedom of choice." You got something against that, Mr. Toles? Perhaps you'd prefer a society where the government dictates where and how people live, where they can/can't work, how many children they can have, etc. That's why you are pushing this man-made climate change myth, because you are one of those control freaks who want to control other people. Algore says we must sacrifice, while elitists like him live a high-energy lifestyle. Thousands of global bureau(c)rats (the c is silent) jet off to places like Bali to live the high life, while they talk about global warming and how to control the rest of us. Why the hypocrisy? Why the double standard?

Posted by: DirtFarmer1 | March 2, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The crazy thing is people only talk about the high cost of gasoline effecting their lives. We live in the Petro/Chemical age and petroleum products touch every aspect of our lives. People need to think about how much of the car itself is made from petroleum products, your house, your clothing, medical and dental utensils, fertilizers for our crops, and medicine to name a few. By driving around in huge gasline consuming vehicles we ultimately end up impacting everything in our society.

Posted by: daburge | March 2, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Rudesan

Re (Overheard at the club)

Somehow you have managed to place ALL energy production and ownership into one single category. This is completely false. Many energy producers and energy forms are competitors.

PLMAnnapolis

Most cities are MORE polluted with real air pollution than their suburban or country neighbors. Much of this air pollution comes from industry, home heating, and power generation.

When I read your posts it is clear your opinions are based in false beliefs rather than factual information.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Tom, haven't you heard? Bigger is always better! We Americans need bigger vehicles, bigger houses (McMansion anyone?), bigger yards, bigger malls, bigger newer stadiums, etc. It's this whole idea of, if we "can", than why not?

Farmers and some others who depend on such vehicles for their livelihood need pickups and 4WD. For urban folks, it's a status symbol or a "convenience". You may need to haul something once or twice a year, so you have it "just in case".

I often use the analogy of the "Flight of the Phoenix", if you remember that old movie. A plane crashes in the desert and only has a little bit of fresh water to last. Someone ends up taking more then their share. This is an oversized SUV driver. Oil is the "water" of our economy. There is only so much of it. Once it's gone, our economy, and people, will suffer (that is, if we don't make major changes now before that point of "peak oil"). So, if the economy needs to conserve as much of this "water" as we can, than you really shouldn't be taking more than your share. In essence, demonstrate that you're doing something, anything, to minimize your fuel use. Drive something smaller. Don't drive as much by walking, mass transit, biking, etc. Consolidate your trips by not driving to the mall one night, only to go back again the next day, passing the grocery store in the process which you then have to go back to the next day. A little planning can help with such things.

It's sad that, when these kinds of suggestions are mentioned, some people immediately get defensive and say "I can drive whatever I want, anywhere I want, as many times as I want!" Okay...you can. But you're the guy on the "Phoenix" that is taking everyone else's water.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | March 2, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This would require the use of logic, which way to many folks do not either have or use.

Posted by: JohnA5 | March 2, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Well Tom, you almost did it. After using the word 'we' 4 times and the word 'our' 3 times, you were almost bipartisan in your questions. Did you forget what your intire life revolves around for a split second, only to go back and add the penultimate sentence to blame it all on the Tea Party?


Posted by: whatsup4 | March 2, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I doubt if anyone can help you out Toles, however, I will put in my two cents worth : )

Just think of it as a form of evolution.
If you take a step back in time :) the average vehicle back in, oh, let’s say, the 60’s, got an average of what? A little over 12 miles per gallon. Gradually these same types of vehicles have actually improved on their mpg.
See you just are focusing on the now…you have to take a look at the ‘big picture’.
My little convertible , which is several years old…k, maybe more than several, gets about the same gas mileage as my newer passenger vehicle which is much larger, tho not a 4 wheel drive.
Actually I could use a 4 wheel drive where I live…sure would have made traveling a lot better a couple of weekends ago.
Anyway…my point being, some of us need some ‘heavy duty’ vehicles and really the mpg aren’t all that bad compared to 50 yrs ago……slow process, to be sure, but so is evolution , no?
And speaking of which…I heard that in about 30-40 years from now we might evolve into a nation of nuclear power once again…new and improved, of course.

Oh, and just to keep up with the rest of you, data minded, people, I’m even including a link today for your enjoyment!

http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_09.html

Posted by: bertzel | March 2, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I had an argument with an SUV driver over a decade ago, about my position on urban planning and the need to provide more public transit and neighborhoods that were built for people, rather than cars.
He defended his right to drive wherever he wanted to, and nothing I could say would make him give up his SUV.
I replied that I didn't want him to give up his SUV. I only wanted to make it possible for the average family to be able to afford a home, near public transit, in a neighborhood where the schools are accessible, and where the cost of keeping a home are affordable.
He replied that if I insisted on "forcing" people to live in cities (presumably through the public planning process) he would fight me with his dying breath.
Mr. Toles has a point, but I think there is a deeper one. We need to engage in a true dialogue, where the SUV driver can pollute all he wants, and use up all of the hours of the day endangering his kids' lungs with the pollutants from his lifestyle, so that the rest of us can live in cleaner cities, with lower energy costs, greater access to modern technology, and a more equitable society because we're not all gobbling up the subsidies that make our use of the SUV possible.
You think our current gas prices at over $3.10 per gallon are not subsidized? How much do you think the war in Iraq costs each day? How much do you think our support for the Saudi government costs us each year? Add that to the price at the pump and see how much the SUV costs everybody, not just the owner. Add to that the cost of asthma treatments, COPD, and other hospitalizations for people who can't breathe our air, and the cost of the SUV becomes outrageous.

Posted by: PLMAnnapolis | March 2, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Hi. I own an oil company. I'm going to let you in on a little secret about making money. Sure we get a piece today, but it's nothing compared to what we will get when the world's supply runs out. When the only oil left is good old American (and Canadian). But how to do that? War, of course. War and big cars. War and big cards and rocketships. Alternative fuels? What's your hurry? Can't introduce viable alternatives while I'm sitting on all that Texas tea! When the oil runs out, wind, solar and nuclear energy will be that much more expensive. And since my associates and I own most of the patents, all that cash stays at home.
(Overheard at the club)

Posted by: Rudesan

-----------------------

Sure. You overheard that EXACT conversation at the club.

Were you served, at the club of course, by nice men in white pants suits offering little pills in a cup?

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"3 - Walker remains solid, strong in WI. Democrat shenanigans will lead to layoffs."

OK. Let him bluster and lay off the workers they need. Let him reap the consequences.

Give him enough rope to tie himself up nicely.

Posted by: GaryEMasters

------------------------

Sure. Nothing about the AWOL Democrats - it's all Walker's problem.

Democrats and the unions led to the budget break-down in WI. Their response when someone is ELECTED to fix it?

Childish behavior.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Stick to cartoons. Your writing leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by: BillyBob7 | March 2, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The SUV question is easy - because i'm a very special person, without whom the world would end as i know it. my precious existence must be protected and preserved at all costs, especially costs to "others". a nice, max-tonnage metal shell ensures that i survive any nastiness with the lessers out there.

Posted by: greenneck | March 2, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Hi. I own an oil company. I'm going to let you in on a little secret about making money. Sure we get a piece today, but it's nothing compared to what we will get when the world's supply runs out. When the only oil left is good old American (and Canadian). But how to do that? War, of course. War and big cars. War and big cards and rocketships. Alternative fuels? What's your hurry? Can't introduce viable alternatives while I'm sitting on all that Texas tea! When the oil runs out, wind, solar and nuclear energy will be that much more expensive. And since my associates and I own most of the patents, all that cash stays at home.
(Overheard at the club)

Posted by: Rudesan | March 2, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Now it is a new Toon

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Tom,
Let me rephrase your question thusly:
Q: "Why are we spending $3000 per gallon to deliver gas to our troops in Afghanistan?"

A: "To preserve the narrative called the American Dream of liberty and justice for all those snoozers who think that fantasy can become real." No, I really don't need a 4wd humvee to bring my groceries home!

Comment: I recall a wise man saying many years ago that the truly happy are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness [rather than after fantasies.] So, 'what is righteousness, and how can we dine on it, with balance' becomes THE REAL QUESTION. Got appetite?

~eric.

Posted by: 2ericc | March 2, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

This toon and post is a repeat today.

Posted by: dalyplanet | March 2, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

2nd tier Republican leaders (Presidents, Senators, Representatives, Governors, etc.) don't want general education to be too good. Educated citizens are a threat to the bank accounts/power of their corporate masters. Educated citizens think and don't buy gas-guzzlers.

(OK, hyperbole, but you get my drift.xoxo)

Posted by: GeneTouchet | March 2, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I do drive an SUV. There are three good reasons:

My wife got tired of driving the Suburban, so she gave it to me when she bought a Hummer.

My Corvette doesn't have 4 wheel drive.

I need a lot of seating when I go to the end of the bus line to pick up the domestic help.

Obviously, not everyone is driving an SUV for no reason, I have three!

Posted by: HalflifeToolmaker | March 2, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"Why the crazed need to sprawl out all over the landscape building ourselves a permanent commuting nightmare?"

Well, just after WWII, there were some questions about nuclear war and how to survive. The conclusion was that the only way to survive was to decentralize the whole USA society. But it was also too expensive to do. So we tried other plans.

Now with solar energy, wind energy and even geothermal energy one can build a house off the power grid. If they telecommute or have an occupation they can do close to home, thy can live anywhere they want. That does not drain our economy. It frees it from high land prices and housing for the rich only.

It can be a safe alternative for the future. But it requires planning and supervision. Just like the rest of us do.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 2, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

"3 - Walker remains solid, strong in WI. Democrat shenanigans will lead to layoffs."

OK. Let him bluster and lay off the workers they need. Let him reap the consequences.

Give him enough rope to tie himself up nicely.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 2, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Why the SUV?

Well George W thought they were unfairly safe because they had so much armor they were the T Rex of vehicles. But the makers had to ramp up quickly and they used a frame with a tiny base. So they turned over at the drop of a snow flake.

But tiwas never safety. It was all about being bigger and being feared on the road.

That is what the SUV was about and the Hummer was the MAX SUV. But look inside. There is not that much room for people.

oops.

And for some they are difficult to get in and out of.

Now if a person plans their life style they could have a hummer and live close to work and stores and be ok.

OOP{S!

Some missed that train, too.

So sad.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 2, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

and the answer is.... kids

Posted by: sold2u | March 2, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

It's because Obama was born in Kenya and not the US of A! Someone should him the "Queen of Diamonds” playing card! We are doomed! Doomed I tell you!

He's openned the boarders to let in all those pro-Kenya forces hiding in Mexico! The Commies are coming the Commies are coming! (is that a Kenya Submarine!?! OMG!

Now about my SUV........

Posted by: kparc1212 | March 2, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Another dull Tole's rant. Just a red herring he's throwing out there after the GOP has had a FANTASTIC week. Let's review.

1 - 2 week CR passed the House w/$4BN in cuts. Senator Reid guarantees it will pass the Senate in the next 48 hours.
2 - GAO report underpins $200BN in duplicative government services. Makes that GOP request for $61BN seem like chump change. It's going to be VERY difficult for the administration and the Democratically controlled Senate to argue cuts now.
3 - Walker remains solid, strong in WI. Democrat shenanigans will lead to layoffs. Democrats will be blamed outright.
4 - Federal Government did not shut down - robbing Democrats of their much hoped for talking point.

Unions failing; strong GOP governors; GAO smacks-down Democrats waste, fraud and abuse; strong House leadership revealing the complete ineptitude of Pelosi's rule.

Liberals on the run baby.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

SUV: Super Unpatriotic Vehicle. Being a patriot is putting your money where your mouth is. You know, not taking your company off shore (like Haliburton) to avoid taxes; not sending jobs overseas; paying your fair share of taxes; serving your country (you know, like George Allen Rush Limbaugh, Saxby Chambliss, Trent Lott, George Bush, Dick Cheney)

Posted by: roscym1

---------------------

I love these posts from mental midgets like you.

Ever been to an oil field? Combat zone? There are few companies in the world that have the equipment and know-how to build up infrastructure - and fast - like Halliburton. Fewer still that will operate in combat conditions. And Halliburton employees a LOT of Americans.

Serving your country? How many heart attacks did Dick Cheney have whilst doing government work. Secretary of Defense; VP - either of those positions he held ring a bell? That IS serving your country you nit-wit.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 7:17 AM | Report abuse

@pararanger22 | March 1, 2011 9:54 AM

I do not recall a single time when you have corrected me on the "facts." Colonists and the Rev. War., WWII, AGW, Vietnam. I got the facts right.

On the other hand, you do not give a fig about empirical data and are absolutely impervious to facts or reason. Your final fallback position, when you sense you've lost any debate is to call people "dimwitted liberals", "idiots", "dopes", and "cowards" (from behind your pseudonym"). I've heard the Moynihan quote many times...have thought it applied to you quite well. And yes, you should apologize to Sen. Moynihan.

Posted by: ptgrunner

-----------------------

Moynihan was reasonable. You aren't. He would appreciate me much more than you. Why? Because I admit it when I'm wrong (I don't whine and cry like a baby like you do). What do you do when you're wrong. You act like a C130 under air attack 'Chaff!' 'Flare!' 'Smoke!' - anything to avoid facing the truth. You have a very serious mental block about accepting the truth.

You wouldn't recognize empirical data if it was spoon-fed to you much less UNDERSTAND any of it. You don't deserve my very witty names anymore - you're not worth it.

Posted by: pararanger22 | March 2, 2011 7:03 AM | Report abuse

SUV: Super Unpatriotic Vehicle. Being a patriot is putting your money where your mouth is. You know, not taking your company off shore (like Haliburton) to avoid taxes; not sending jobs overseas; paying your fair share of taxes; serving your country (you know, like George Allen Rush Limbaugh, Saxby Chambliss, Trent Lott, George Bush, Dick Cheney)

Posted by: roscym1 | March 2, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Boeing just won a $50 billion dollar US Government contract to build the new Air Force fossil fuel refuelers. Not solar power or wind refuelers. So much for the power of green energy. Big pickup truck sales increased 39% last month.

Posted by: billybeer6 | March 2, 2011 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Urban sprawl is easy to understand, the further out the homes, the cheaper they are. It was one of the major ways people could afford the "American Dream."

I appreciate reading your comments. I've learned a lot from you. You're one of few voices in the media telling it like it is. For all the frustration it must cause you, please keep at it. There's a lot of people that need waking up.

Posted by: brwstac | March 2, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I especially hate my lawn. What a waste of time on the weekend! I would rent it out to homeless squatters but I think the homeowners association has some rule...

Posted by: moore_te | March 2, 2011 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I would try to explain, but you just can't explain stupid. Instead, I resort to my oft used quotation from H.L. Mencken, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public". I have written this over and over and never tire of it, it explains so much of our misery.

Posted by: merhoff | March 2, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

How are non sequiturs about communism and Al Gore productive to the discussion at hand? Is it that there is no defense for our rampant consumerism besides "We want these things and no one can tell us we can't have them"?

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | March 1, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Why do warmers whine every time they are referred to as communists?

Posted by: jornolibist | March 1, 2011 8:51 PM
-------------------------------------------------
Why do you avoid the issue of AGW by referring to those of us who believe in AGW as "whiners" or "communists?" Is there any reason why YOU cannot have an honest discussion about AGW?

Posted by: ptgrunner | March 1, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Why do warmers whine every time they are referred to as communists?

Posted by: jornolibist | March 1, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

About those SUV's -- you have to be able to go to Home Depot and bring home the lumber/sheet of plywood you bought, or the lamp/table/desk from Target, or sports equipment from wherever. Those things just don't fit in the smaller cars. Paying delivery fees for those things is a ridiculous notion.

Posted by: valcol1 | March 1, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Just think of your beloved central government as the inefficient, tax-guzzling SUV that it is and it will all come into clear focus for you.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | March 1, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

For such a nation of inventors and innovators, we are equally a nation of idiot, selfish consumers not able to look beyond our immediate interests. And the government and media just feed into it ... So how many years do we have left consuming at this rate as the economy continues to implode as we continue to ignore the writing that is on the wall (hey Wisconsin, maybe you are a wake up call ... wait, let me hit the snooze button ...)

Posted by: PlumHunter | March 1, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore drove or was chauffeured in SUV Suburbans and private jets while writing "Earth in the Balance." Today Gore owns a 100 foot houseboat he says runs on coconut oil, but 200 gallons of coconut oil is hard to find on the docks in Tennessee.

Posted by: billybeer6 | March 1, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

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