March 6, 2009

“Green” Rider…

Category: News — Ira @ 5:33 pm


I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse…
—Zechariah 1:8

The big storm hit last Sunday night. Sheets of snow, bitter howling winds, roads drifted shut. A winter mess, up and down the east coast. March, raging in like a lion. Even so, there was some humorous stuff in the news, if one looked for it. And humor, after the great March blizzard in the year of Our Lord, 2009, is a beautiful thing.

It must be tough these days, to be an environmental activist. You know the kind. The person who marches about the city streets and demands the government do some-thing to curb global warming. The person who upends cars and smashes the storefront windows of evil capitalists. Maybe starts a fire or two. And then goes home and feels he’s done something to make the world a better place.

The Greenies plan a big event every few months, seems like. Here and there, in the cities. There was one in Seattle awhile back. A horde of maggot infested hippy types assembled from all across the country. From all points, by train, plane, hitchhiking. In their tie-dyed T-shirts, jackets emblazoned with Peace signs, clutching their raggedy backpacks, they came, determined to warn us all of impending doom.

But lately, they’ve encountered some difficulties. Seems like every time they amass for another big rally, the weather refuses to cooperate.

It’s hilarious, really. Poetic justice. And it happened again last weekend in D.C. A large protest was planned, complete with marches and all kinds of banners. Go Green. Green jobs. And all kinds of other lunatic gibberish. I don’t know, Obama might even have planned to address them, lending his messiah-like demeanor and credibility to the cause. But alas, right on schedule, as if summoned by God, a huge blizzard unleashed and swept through the region Sunday night. A big chill. Eight inches of snow. Paralyzed all movement on Monday. Including all but shutting down the marching wackos.

And so it’s gone, lately. It must be disheartening to be green. Must be hard, to roust yourself from whatever little rat hole you call home (rented, no doubt, from an evil hard-hearted landlord who actually demands the rent on time), brave the winter weather, gather with other like-minded shreds of human debris, and see it all fall apart because of the cold weather. It must be hard to dial up enough energy to go out and warn the shivering ignorant masses of the coming global heat wave, when the masses could imagine few things more attractive than emerging from the frigid deep freeze that has plagued us all these many months and won’t go away.

But you’ve got to hand it to them, the marchers. For persistence. They keep regroup-ing and coming back for more. Summer, winter, frost and heat. Nothing deters them. Watch for them again around July, when it’s 100 degrees and the pavement’s melting.

One can’t help but wonder. If all those people directed their energies at something productive, if they held real jobs, if they’d relax instead of shaking down and demon-izing the actual producers, what could this country be? Not that such a thing could happen. These people are militant, angry, loud, and destructive. And determined to spread their Green gospel, by persuasion or by force, whichever is necessary.

I’m not saying the earth’s climate is not changing. Might well be. It has in the past, no reason to think it won’t in the future. But I utterly reject the notion that human activities are causing the changes. It’s a silly, arrogant thing to believe, that we are. And there’s absolutely not a shred of scientific proof out there. Not a shred. Just a bunch of computer models, combined with hysteria, and a lot of “suggestions” from elite busybodies on how to fight global catastrophe through higher taxes and a green life style.

It’s a bunch of hogwash, the whole thing. And it’s not about saving the earth. It’s about power and control.

Under Obama’s core socialistic beliefs, the Greens will get a sympathetic ear on the broad strata of their kooky, destructive agenda. New laws, higher taxes, carbon credits, twisted pigtail light bulbs filled with lethal doses of mercury. It’s all coming, and will run its course. The wolf is prowling at the door. We are entering Atlas Shrugged territory here. It’s too late now to turn back.

I try to ignore it, mostly, the hysterical noise, the apocalyptic scenarios, and just move on with my life. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. “Green” stuff jumps out and slaps you when you least expect it.

Last weekend, I traveled to West Virginia to help Dominic Haskin, one of our top customers at a builder’s show at his local mall. Drove in Saturday morning and returned Sunday night. Because of the distance, it was cost effective to rent a car, instead of driving Big Blue. So I called Enterprise, as usual. A mid-sized car. No problem, they said.

On Friday afternoon, I drove over to pick up the car. As usual, I would switch out my truck, just leave it parked there on the lot. The slick young man behind the counter had the paperwork ready. He seemed a bit edgy, too eager.

“All we have is a Toyota Prius, a hybrid.” He said brightly, cheerfully. “Should be fun to drive.”

I gaped, then recoiled. A hybrid. One of those green cars I’d scorned and excoriated in the past. Right on this site. No. I couldn’t drive one. I wouldn’t.

“I can’t drive a car like that,” I answered. “I’ve got a reputation to protect here. Don’t you have anything else? A mini van? Station wagon? Perhaps a Hummer? Even a compact car? I’m not unreasonable. Anything, just not that hybrid.”

“It’s the only rental vehicle on the lot,” he said. Clearly a lie. Or maybe not. “You’ll like it. Gets fifty miles a gallon.”

Miles per gallon were the least of my worries. I’m a pickup guy, but have nothing against real cars. Last year I’d traveled to this same show in a powerful Dodge Charger. Great car. I’d gladly settle for one again.

“If it’s the only car you got, it’s the only car you got,” I said resignedly. “Let’s check it out.”

We walked out to the lot, where the little “green” car sat parked. Clearly a hybrid. Aerodynamic way beyond the point of ugliness. Bright red. Looked for all the world like a large jelly bean on four little wheelbarrow tires. Oh well. It would have to do. I’d only need it for a few days. Surely I could survive the shame of it all for that long.

The slick young counter guy opened the car door and showed me how to run it. No key, you just insert a plastic contraption and push the “start” button on the dash. Even then, nothing happens, except the dash lights up and blinks and flashes like a Vegas strip joint. Push lever on the dash for forward and reverse. And off you go.

I glowered at the car suspiciously. Small, just barely enough head room for me. After grumbling a bit more and signing the papers, I was on my way. The car slid seam-lessly and soundlessly onto the street. I punched the accelerator, the tiny engine hummed to life and the car surged forward. It had kick. A combo of battery and engine. The gas gauge showed half a tank. I stopped and topped it with all of five gallons. Must be a ten gallon tank.

I drove back to the office and loaded my show supplies. My co-workers hooted louder than they did at my PT Cruiser a few years back. Ira in a hybrid. Like oil and water. An unmixable mess.


And so it happened the next morning that I loaded my bags and got out of Dodge in a little red hybrid, on four chintzy wheelbarrow tires. A “green” rider on a red horse. No sword, but peace did not ride with me. Longing for the solid height and feel of Big Blue, I hunkered down low over the steering wheel, wearing dark glasses. So as to remain unrecognizable, at least on my home turf. I considered wearing my little black fedora, but decided not to. The Prius surged along, eerily quiet. Like a little rocket ship dodging asteroids, I weaved about, shooting past large tractor trailers and pickups and cars. Fielding disdainful glances all the way.

Had I only known, I could have zipped right on down to D.C. and joined the protest march. I had all the credentials, if not the spirit.

The two-plus hour trip was uneventful, and by the time I arrived, I was pretty comfortable with the little jelly bean. The gas gauge hadn’t moved much, about a quarter tank. Dominic met me at the mall, and after casting dubious glances at my vehicle, politely choked back his laughter and any snide comments. After all, I was there to help him.

The show was surprisingly busy, considering the tense economic times. We bustled about, chatting with many prospective customers. That evening, Dominic and his wife Jamie took me out to eat and later to see a live country band at a club. Where Jamie succeeded in dragging me out onto the dance floor a time or two. Hadn’t done that in years. West Virginia people work hard. And play hard. I fell into bed at my motel shortly after midnight, exhausted.

Because of the threatening snowstorm, I left Sunday afternoon for home. Made decent time darting through the heavy Sunday traffic. Skedaddled along ahead of the snow and arrived home safely an hour or two before the latest March storm unleashed upon the area. The next day I dug the jelly bean from a snow bank and returned it to the lot. The car hummed quietly and eerily. I happily boarded Big Blue and returned to the slick roads in a real winter vehicle.

The experience wasn’t entirely negative. The ugly little car got to where I was going, and back again. Something tells me we’ll see many more such vehicles in the future. I don’t have a problem with that, as long as it’s from free market demand. But it won’t be. It will be mostly driven by governmental bullying. With one of their own in the White House, the Greens aren’t going anywhere, regardless of how many blizzards stifle their marches. Not until an overburdened populace rises up and kicks them where it hurts. And sends them packing back to their rat holes.

Until then, we’ll have to put up with’em. Like I just did.

We pause now to observe the passing of a milestone last week. Paul Harvey passed away, at age ninety. I had wondered where he was lately. His Paul Harvey News had quietly disappeared from the airways. Drifted away. Now we know why. The man was laid up, approaching death.

Almost everyone alive, at least in this country, has heard Paul Harvey speak at one time or another. His great calm booming voice, chuckling now and again at the appropriate spots. He was the most trusted man on radio.

I mostly enjoyed his “Rest of the Story” programs. Always interesting, with startling endings, he cranked them out by the hundreds over the years. He is irreplaceable, even though his son, Paul Harvey Jr. has attempted to carry on the Rest of the Story episodes. It’s not the same. Paul Jr. tries to emulate his father’s delivery and voice inflections. It’s impossible. And mildly irritating. Only reminds me of how much I enjoyed the real thing.

There was only one. There will never be another.

The good thing about a March blizzard: the snow doesn’t stay around long. As I post, most of it’s gone, melted away. May the warm sunshine come to stay.

This weekend, we all lose an hour as daylight savings time kicks in. Don’t be late for church on Sunday. Or use it as an excuse to sleep in and claim you forgot to turn your clocks forward. Especially if a boring preacher is on tap.


(No Comments) »

  1. “…maggot infested hippie types”…tell us what you really think, please. People trying to save the earth? What next, women voting? Where will the craziness end??? Don’t you think some people get so caught up in the ACTIVITY of the cause that the cause itself sometimes gets lost? My son quit eating meat because he can’t stand animals being treated badly. I told him, “Hello, Einstein, your shoes are leather!” Kook.

    I try to recycle and buy the pigtail light bulbs (crack me up!), and I’m actually LEARNING what it means to be organic. I thought you were all healthy-minded, aren’t you? That sounds like something you’d be more into. Truth be told, I usually FORGET when I grocery shop – how stupid is that!? Oh well. I’m not a radical (no time or energy), but I think I’m an earth-friendly, organic “wanna be” – minus the tie dye T-shirt and the maggots. OK, at least I recycle cans.

    Be honest, didn’t an itty bitty part of you feel like you were being earth-friendly driving that hybrid? Tell the radicals to go get a horse and buggy – can’t get much more “green” than that! They can put their money where their mouth is. Thanks for another fun week – your griping is a hoot.

    Comment by Beth Russo — March 6, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

  2. Maybe with your jelly bean and my smoke belching, diesel guzzling truck there is a good balance. Thanks for the great story and good laugh.

    Comment by Bear — March 6, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  3. I go green at the local health food store by bringing my own little cloth shopping bag and I get a 20 cents discount on my purchase. My total savings per year is at least $2.40.

    Comment by Katie Troyer — March 6, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

  4. This week’s writing was right down my alley. The leftist wackos who are supposedly green are my most despised political enemies. Like you said, they don’t have one scientific fact to back up their global warming theory. The funniest thing about their global warming rally in D C was that Nancy Pelosi was supposed to be the guest speaker, but couldn’t be there. Her plane was stranded in an ice storm, in her private, tax-dollar paid jet, none the less. The flea infested groupies that buy into the hoax of our lifetime give thier heroes Al Gore, Obama and other false prophets a free pass as they ride in SUVs and fly private jets. Hypocrisy?! Last year 400 scientist that are experts on the climate met at a U N conference (surprise) and denounced the global warming hype and said there is zero proof. In fact, this past year was the coldest year on record. I’m scared of global cooling!

    Comment by Matt Yutzy — March 7, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  5. By the way, last fall I traded my gas guzzling SUV (Expedition) for a gas guzzling F-150 pickup. Hope the tree huggers don’t slash my tires!

    Comment by Matt Yutzy — March 7, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  6. I always find this “green” trend a little strange – I come from a group of people who saved and reused bread bags, cool whip containers, mayo jars and just about anything else that could be reused. (I would guess that a number of the readers here can recall how icky sticky old bread bags could get) We used to grow a majority of our own food, used the smelly stuff from the barn and tossed food scraps on heap in the back yard. We didn’t refer to it as being “green” or environmentally conscious – we just called it poor.

    I do know that manufacturing glass with glass is easier than starting from scratch that’s why some states have refunds on the cans/bottles/plastic – at school in NYC we called that lunch money.

    Living down wind from the LanChester land fill – I can appreciate sentiments about reducing the amount of stuff we mindlessly toss.

    Comment by Glo — March 7, 2009 @ 4:55 am

  7. I recently picked up ELLE magazine where some whacko woman was bragging how she’s saving the environment (she claimed to have started back when no one else did) by hanging up her wash, using no paper products including diapers, growing her vegetables, etc. I thought, I know a whole people group that does all that & more: “It’s called being Amish.”

    Comment by Wilma Wagler — March 7, 2009 @ 8:38 am

  8. Green is not a trend. It’s built into us since Adam.

    But earth worship followed soon after the first sin, we suspect. Rom. 1.

    That said, one minor comment. Flourescent lightbulbs are supposedly “green.” Au Contraire. They contain mercury, which kills neurons in the brain. Broken lightbulbs in the house? Landfills leaching into water. It’s diabolical; in line with population planner goals. (See The Greening of America by Larry [deceased] and Franklin Sanders The Money Changer, see “Articles”)

    Comment by LeRoy — March 7, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  9. Ira, Ira, Ira………..A HYBRID??? As loyal as “Big Blue” has been to you??? Words cannot describe my or Big Blue’s emotions.

    Comment by Robert Miller — March 8, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  10. Ira, you asked for a link to The Greening. (By the way, the author is Larry Abraham. Published 1993 by Double A Publications, 800-528-0559.)

    I thought co-author Franklin Sanders had an interview or review, but he does not have one on his site. (Franklin is not listed as co-author, but he either collaborated on this book, or was co-author on another, similar work, with the late Mr. Abraham.) However, links to the page with many articles of interest by Franklin Sanders. And a current battleground with government intervention in agriculture, one tangent of the whole “global warming” attempt to literally try to gain “jurisdiction” to regulate everything, is outlined in these two articles:

    On an internet search, I just found you can read The Greening online, starting here:

    Lastly, it is worth mention that How the World Really Works by Alan B. Jones summarizes handily 10 important books, including The Greening.

    Jones notes, “[My] purpose is to provide a shortcut for politically astute readers to acquire the essential knowledge needed to be effective in the ongoing fight to save for our posterity the great experiment in freedom that was launched 200 years ago by our country’s founders. … Without [understanding the enemies/strategies exposed in these books], our efforts will continue to be aimed at symptoms rather than causes, and will continue to be insufficient, misdirected, and ineffective. … Our problems are interconnected…. [With understanding], many of the actions most needed by our society will then become obvious to you, to the benefit of us all.” See more on this book here: or order it here:

    Comment by LeRoy Whitman — March 8, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

  11. Oh Ira, you’d like my husband. He only drives these old 1980’s vehicles (aside from his truck) that he can fix himself if something goes wrong. Every time he starts one up, a cloud of black smoke appears and a bald eagle falls dead out of the sky on to our front lawn.

    But on to more serious matters: Paul Harvey ruled! And that really was the rest of the story.

    Comment by Monica — March 9, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

  12. Conserving resources is good, but I still prefer my spacious pickup truck (I don’t own or lease a private jet).

    Comment by Reuben Wagler — March 12, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

  13. I love this blog, but this post/thread is plain nutty. What is it, worried your testosterone would take a plunge if you turned to some less polluting/guzzling vehicle? Gadzooks.

    The climate… what I hate is all the panic mongering. Can’t stand it. Both sides have an axe to grind. Like there wasn’t enough damage this civ is doing to the planet, regardless of the climate thing. You know what really gets me? The pretense that “we” can actually do something to change the climate one way or another. Such baloney. Just another way to yank people’s chain.

    Comment by Vera — March 21, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

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