Strange bedfellows

I don’t like politics. Never have – never will. Some friends of mine have two simple rules when you visit them – no politics and no religion. Plenty of beer and music, but the other two are definitley out.

I used to be the same way. Although I watched and paid attention, I never voted for either party nor did I ever really discuss politics in any way. It was too surreal. It wasn’t happening on the same plane of existence that I reside in.

I just went about my business and my life, oblivious to the true nature of the multi-headed beast that is our government. One day not long ago, that all changed – but that’s a story for another time.

Politics never really affected me in my blissful wanderings, at least I didn’t feel it affecting me. I was never rich or well-to-do, but I was carving out my own little slice for myself and my family.

I live in a beautiful state in a beautiful country surrounded by lakes and mountains and good honest people. I could be happy here. I should be happy here.

But alas! Something stands in my way, blocking my every move. Something wicked and dishonest, treacherous and deceitful, with a voracious appetite for the fruits of my labor, my lifeblood, my sanity.

Ah, but I digress. I apologize, I can’t help myself sometimes. A slumbering beast has been awakened, and it wishes to intrude on all aspects of my life, tainting the most innocent of conversations; to remind me constantly of its everpresent impact, its heavy thundering footfalls I can never seem to outrun.

But I want to talk football. Unlike politics, I like football. It’s virtually the only thing I still own a TV for, although I have in recent years taken a liking to hockey as well.

As with any of my varied interests, I spend a considerable amount of time reading about it, mostly online. But there’s one column that I read religiously through the NFL season. It is a tasteful blend of mostly football commentary, some political commentary, some astronomy, even a little cheerleader appreciation.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback is a weekly column written by Gregg Easterbrook for ESPN. According to his ESPN bio, he is the author of The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, as well as being contibuting editor of The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, and the Washington Monthly.

I haven’t read any of his other work, perhaps out of a desire not to taint my appreciation for TMQ. I don’t always agree with some of his thoughts on certain issues, but he never ceases to enlighten and provoke thought. Last Tuesday’s column was no exception. About halfway down the page, there is a heading entitled: More on Mileage and politics. I encourage everyone to read it.

This particular piece isn’t necessarily front page news, nothing earth-shattering, but just another example of Washington’s completely corrupt and insane way of doing business. It has to do with the mileage standards law that was passed last year, and how the big three automakers are asking for taxpayer research subsidies to meet these requirements, at the same time that they’re applying for – and will unbdoubtedly get – a waiver from having to meet these standards.

What’s worse is that it appears that Hyundai has announced that it will meet the 2020 standard by 2015. The upstart Korean automaker embarassing the best and brightest America has to offer. And we wonder what has happened to the American auto industry? Well, they met the government, and it was love at first sight.

Like the rest of America, it has gotten fat and lazy off the welfare state, unimaginitive parasites gorging themselves on the blood of their hosts. Maybe if they invested all the money spent on lobbying for money from the ever-accomodating Congress into actually producing vehicles that someone may actually want to buy or feel good about buying, we would see a resurgence in and a renewed pride in the Made in America label.

Until then, I’ll take my Toyota.