But don't breathe while you're there.Every time I go to Russia, the first thing I notice is the air. I would say it's like sucking on a car's exhaust pipe, but -- and this is key to my story -- the air in American exhaust pipes is actually relatively fresh. You have to image black soot spewing forth from a grimy, corroded pipe. Pucker up. [That's the first thing I notice, unless I'm in St Petersburg -- In many parts of Petersburg the smell of urine overwhelms the industrial pollution. And I say this as someone who loves Petersburg.]
So whenever I read that regulations are strangling business, I think of Russia. The trash everywhere. My friends, living in a second floor apartment, complaining how the grime that comes in through the window (they can't afford airconditioning) turns everything in the apartment grey. Gulping down breaths of sandpaper. The hell-hole that oil extraction has made of Sakhalin. Seriously, I don't know why more post-apocalyptic movies aren't shot in Sakhalin. Neither words nor pictures can describe the remnants of clear-cut, burnt-over forest -- looking at it, not knowing how long it's been like that, since such forests (I'm told) will almost certainly never grow back. It's something everybody should see once.
And for those who wonder why, if the Democrats are such a flaming band of illiberal nitwits (which is a hypothesis I don't completely buy, possibly because I don't completely hate the health care bill), I'd still vote for the buggers, this is part of it:
Democrats are far from perfect, and there are all too many of them who have the wrong damned letter after their name. But there's just no fucking way I can explain to my conscience why I didn't vote against the insane fools who despise science and think regulations that keep us from breathing sandpaper in a hellscape are an unnecessary drag on business.So in theory, I could vote for a good Republican. But even if there were to be one running for office now -- and I don't think there are any -- they'd still caucus with the self-destructive, nutters that make up most of the modern party.
This is not to say Democrats have no empirical blind spots (they seem to be just as likely to believe that nonsense about vaccines and Autism, for instance), but on the whole, Democrats believe in reality. More to the point, most (top) scientists and researchers are Democrats, which has to influence the party (no data here, but I have yet to meet a Republican scientist, so they can't be that common).
So if you believe in reality, if you believe in doing what works rather than what doesn't, if you care at all about the future of our country, and if you are eligible to vote in the US elections this Fall, vote for the Democrat (or Left-leaning independent, etc., if there's one with a viable chance of winning).
Besides, far too many Dems are just dim enough to believe that if they lose, it's because they're not right-leaning enough, and the last thing we need is to push these politicians to the right. They're too far east of the center line as it is.