Friday, September 30, 2005

How High Shall I Jump, Congresswoman?

President Bush may be excruciatingly slow in responding to major national disasters affecting millions, but he's decided he won't be caught flat-footed when it's time to dance for the masters of political correctness. Suddenly, he's a veritable first responder.

Only this morning did I first read Nancy Pelosi's strange demand that the president (with whom Bennett has never had any sort of professional relationship that I'm aware of) condemn William Bennett's remarks. And by this afternoon, the White House had actually done it. Maybe if Bennett had gone up and sat on his roof in his underwear, the president might have given it a few days before doing anything.

That's the Bush White House. Always looking after the base.

I Thought They Liked Abortion

Hey, this is America! So why are the Democratic Party and Al Sharpton stomping all over Bill Bennett's right to choose?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Those Crazy Republicans!

In a move to bolster sagging morale among conservative Republicans after the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL) is going to nominate David Dreier (R-BJ) as the temporary replacement.

This should provide a big boost to the reeling conservative party, since Dreier is widely reported to be gay.

Good times!

So Ya Thought Ya Might Like To Go To The Show

Eating dinner while awaiting my flight out of LAX Monday night, I read through a copy of USA Today (since I've found newspapers and magazines easier to manage while eating than books). In it, I stumbled across an article about former Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters, who has apparently composed an opera about the French Revolution called Ça Ira.

Now, I always liked Pink Floyd as much as the next guy, and was even fond of getting weird and watching the overwrought film version of "The Wall" with some regularity back in college ("Whoa, dude, check out that flower!"). It was interesting and compelling (at least for a while), though underneath it all, you suspected, beat the heart of an insufferable, pompous blowhard.

So I wasn't too suprised when Waters removed all doubt in the following paragraphs of the story:
Waters initially resisted trying to draw parallels between late 18th-century France and current social conditions. "But then I thought: 'Well, in France back then, you had this rigid, hierarchical structure where the king was considered divinely instructed by God and had absolute power. Then you had the nobility and the clergy, but the majority of people had nothing.'
"Here it comes," I thought. "I see where this is going." Sure enough:
"That's very much like the situation we have now with some Western civilized nations. I think George (W.) Bush believes that he's operating on a license from the Almighty. And you have a very, very small number of people who control 99% of all the stuff in the world, whereas the rest are like the French peasantry were."
Right, conditions here are just like those preceding the French Revolution. What makes this typical celebrity piffle doubly-amusing is the setting for Waters' interview. Again, I quote from the article:
Waters' mission, like that of the rebels who defied King Louis XVI, was influenced by forces beyond his control. Sitting in the vast, elegantly appointed den of his lakefront Hamptons home, where Louis would have felt quite comfortable, the 61-year-old rocker explains how Ça Ira, billed as his first classical opera, came about.
A real man of the proletariat, that Roger Waters. We can all be thankful he deigned to throw us some crumbs ("Let them eat cake!") from his lakefront home in the Hamptons.

See, Roger is at the very top of that supposed 1%. But because he is sufficiently enlightened, he isn't one of the evil ones. It's the other evil profiteers in that 1% who are wrecking everything.

I'm sure that when the stage version of Ça Ira opens in Rome, admission will be free. And according to, the newly released CD version is retailing for $34.98 a pop, but undoubtedly that's a misprint. Since the physical materials for the CD set cost maybe $2, I have no doubt that's what he'll actually be charging us peasants.

An opera by Roger Waters about the French Revolution. Well that shouldn't be too pretentious.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Terrordome That Wasn't

It turns out that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with the nation clamoring for information about what was happening in New Orleans, the media did what it does best: ran nuts reporting unsubstantiated rumors.

Who can forget Fox's Geraldo Rivera, a name we've all come to associate with stability and level-headedness, standing out in front of the New Orleans Convention Center breathlessly anticipating (fomenting?) the riot he was sure was going to break out at nightfall, while mostly bored-looking refugees yawned behind him?

And who can forget the many television reporters who kept assuring us there were "bodies everywhere" at the Superdome while only showing us that same, one, poor, covered woman in a wheelchair?

I even saw one report that said the crowd inside the Superdome had divided into different tribes, with each occupying a different level of the stadium, the top level besieged by roving bands of gangmembers shooting, raping, and beating the innocent at will.

It was all unbelievable, gripping, compelling stuff. And it was all crap, as we now know. There were no shootings in the Superdome. There were no young children (or anyone else) raped. There were just a bunch of blow-dried teevee reporters who were too gutless to actually go inside themselves, and instead stood outside passing off wild rumors as fact.

Rest assured of one thing, however: when all is said and done, the media will tell us that their colossal mishandling of the New Orleans story was somehow our fault rather than theirs. We pushed them too hard, demanded too much information, and were too ready to believe the worst about the mostly black occupants of the dome and convention center. Our insatiable desire for up-to-the-second information made things too competitive, leaving nobody time to actually check rumors before they report them.

What they won't say is "Gosh, we really blew that one. We got caught up in what seemed to be an incredibly dramatic scenario, and in a way we wanted it to be true, so we went off half-cocked." The one who does say that (if, indeed, there turns out to be anyone) is the only one I'll ever even consider believing again.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Big Ol' Jet Airliner

I'm in Southern California today for some business. I figured it was the perfect time to come, considering the no-landing-gear plane incident last week and the recent tremors they've been having.

My old friend Brad met me upon arrival to take me out for a SoCal staple--sushi. I was among the uninitiated, but I didn't throw up, and thus far I'm showing no signs of e-coli poisoning. It's amazing how quickly your food gets to you when they don't have to cook it.

After a long day of flying our fair commercial skies, I've noticed a couple of things:
  • I have a theory that the only real, operating gates are the ones at the very end of the terminal. No matter how often I fly, I never fly from any gate other than the very last one. If a terminal has gates 1-72, my flight will be leaving from either gate 71 or 72. This is true of everyone else I've ever asked about it too. My theory is that the other gates are actually staffed by underemployed actors, with fake planes parked outside. No flights actually land or take of from there.
  • Attention America: the people-mover is not for standing. It's for walking. If you stand on it, it actually moves you slower than you'd get there by walking. However, if you put forth the minimal effort to walk on the people-mover, you'll find yourself hurtling through the terminal at an exilerating speed that allows you to pretend in your mind that you are the Bionic Man. Or maybe only I do that. But either way, if you actually stand on the people-mover, just know that you are one of the elite, most sedentary people in the most sedentary nation in the history of the world.
  • I'm six-foot-two, about 220 lbs. There were 36 rows on the plane I flew out on. If you count each side of the aisle seperately, there were 72 rows of three seats. And once again, I found myself sitting in the middle seat, smack dab between two people who were both substantially bigger than I am. They were the biggest people on the airplane. The odds against it are staggering. I'm convinced the check-in agents do this on purpose to amuse themselves.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bouncing Around

  • Brian at Terrible Swift Word has once again had contact from Nigerian scam artists. This time, the Nigerians are going heavy on the god-talk, attempting to prey on gullable Christians.

    My favorite part: the Nigerian has confessed to being a rotten guy before a profound conversion experience at a Benny Hinn crusade. Brian (a.k.a. "Avery Lunch") responds:
    Barrister, if I may be so bold – you seem to be kind of hard on yourself about your past. Don't be. I know a certain other person who also had some skeletons on his clothesline. He liked to pick on Christians. He would throw rocks at them, and gave them no end of hassle. I think you know who I'm talking about ... that's right, Stevie Simpkins, a kid I went to fourth grade with.
    I've seen other people publish their Nigerian correspondence, but nobody on the web does it better than Brian. Watch as he reels them in, beginning here.
  • Byron York at National Review Online almost succeeds in making me feel sorry for forgotten-attention-hound Cindy Sheehan. The arrival of her "Bring Them Home Tour" in Washington D.C. yesterday was an exercise in comical mishap and apathy.
  • The new TV season is getting underway, and I feel like I'm missing the boat. I've never seen full episodes of "Lost," "24," "The Apprentice," "Survivor" or any of the other hot shows. I did finally see "House," which people have been telling me about, and found it disturbing. "24" looks good to me, but I just feel like I can't commit to it when they tell you right up front how many hours of your life they're going to demand. Even with TiVo, there are only so many hours in the day, and I don't have 24 of them to spare.
  • The baseball playoffs are a great time of year. Check out the comments section in the below previous post for some spirited baseball discussion. Arguments are the best part of baseball.
  • Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost scores some rhetorical points in his fable "In the Beginning was Nothing: A Creation Story for Young Materialists." The fact is, evolutionists do have their own metaphysical creation myth. They simply hope that by labeling it "science," everyone else will accept it and shut up, regardless of the empirical evidence. They've been trying for 150 years though, and still haven't convinced most people. They can only respond to counter-evidence with ridicule, because they have no real answers. But fortunately the emperor's cloths are being stripped off rather quickly these days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cardinal Numbers

I haven't said much about the St. Louis Cardinals this year, feeling that silence was the only appropriate response after the national embarassment of last October.

But with the regular season nearing its end, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to hail the remarkable accomplishment of the Cards this season. Last year, the Redbirds won an MLB-best 105 games during the regular season. As I write this, they've won 95 games already this season, and with nine games remaining they have a solid chance of cracking 100 again.

What makes this remarkable to me is the fact that they are about to lock down the best record in baseball for the second year in a row while playing with exactly one player from last year's infield. As a result of free agency and injuries, only returning first baseman (and ought-to-be-MVP) Albert Pujols remains in the daily lineup, with an entirely new cast at second, shortstop, third base, and behind the plate.

Just as remarkably, Jim Edmonds has been the only steady presence in the outfield from last year's team. Both Reggie Sanders and Larry Walker, the other two starting 2004 outfielders, have been sidelined for months with injuries this year.

To boil it down: the Cardinals are going to have the best record in baseball for the second year in a row with only two regular starters from last year's team consistently being in the lineup.

Everyone will want to give manager Tony LaRussa credit for this, and I suppose he deserves some. But what it really proves is that Walt Jocketty is the best general manager in baseball.

Nobody knows what will happen in the post-season, and after 2004 I'm certainly not going to venture any guesses. But what the St. Louis Cardinals have accomplished in the regular season is impressive indeed.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mother Sheehan Joins The Onion

Cindy Sheehan has left Texas to follow all the reporters who suddenly couldn't care less about her to storm-ravaged Louisiana. Issuing a communique on (you really just can't make this stuff up), "Mother" Sheehan (who's fame clock just struck its sixteenth minute) writes:
George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self [sic] from power.
Yes, lets hope he excuses hisself.

Beating the (presumably disappointed) Onion to the punch, Cindy Sheehan calls for the end of the military occupation of....New Orleans. She also adds this gem:
...what I saw was a city that is occupied. I saw soldiers walking around in patrols of 7 with their weapons slung on their backs. I wanted to ask one of them what it would take for one of them to shoot me.
And wouldn't all of America love to find out? That's the first question she's asked yet that I'm dying to see the answer to.

Hey, Cindy, Charlie Manson just called. He wants his crazy back.

(Hat tip: Drudge)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Active Imaginations

Leftists have recently adopted the tactic of calling the late William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and other judges in their mold "judicial activists," presumably appropriating that term because they know most Americans hate judicial activists.

Today, Ann Coulter appropriately dismantles their sophistry:
If Americans loved judicial activism, liberals wouldn't be lying about what it is. Judicial activism means making up constitutional rights in order to strike down laws the justices don't like based on their personal preferences. It's not judicial activism to strike down laws because they violate the Constitution.

But liberals have recently taken to pretending judicial activism is — as The New York Times has said repeatedly — voting "to invalidate laws passed by Congress." Invalidating laws has absolutely nothing to do with "judicial activism." It depends on whether the law is unconstitutional or not. That's really the key point.

That's why we have a judicial branch, Mr. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times. It's not a make-work program for the black robe industry. It's a third branch of our government. You'll learn more about this concept next year when you're in the seventh grade, Pinch.
Rolling back previous judicial activism is not "judicial activism," any more than putting handcuffs on batterers is battery.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Department of Creating Departments

Doug Wilson nails it today regarding the slow federal response to Katrina:
Political observers should recall the debate over the creation of Homeland Security, along with moving a bunch of agencies under the new department, creating a whole new layer of bureaucracy. "There! That should do it." This is the liberal's idea of streamlining -- make something big and bloated. The liberal thinks that if something is streamlined on paper, then it must be ready to leap into action being all streamlined like it is. The old Soviet plans would streamline things so that there was only one gas station at an intersection, which made much better sense, and looked so much more streamlined on paper. The only problem was that there wasn't any gas. In a market economy, there are three to five gas stations at an intersection -- looking quite messy on paper -- but at least there was lots of gas. Now, is the point streamlining the flow chart on your agency wall, or streamlining the flow of gas into the tank?
Someday we'll be saying the same thing about the TSA and other federal "fixes" that will result in future miasmas.

Mr. Roberts

The John Roberts confirmation hearings are underway, and while my heart wants to be positive about his nomination, the actual evidence still keeps going the other way.

Yesterday, in his opening statement (after the usual blather about "judicial restraint" to which all nominees, conservative or liberal, pay lip service), Roberts said:
Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath. And judges have to have the modesty to be open to the considered views of their colleagues on the bench.
Slavish devotion to precedent (stare decisis, as the lawyers call it) has ruined our legal system, with bad ruling built upon bad ruling until the U.S. Constitution has become unrecognizable. In fact, it's the very opposite of humility. Rather than being subject to the Constitution, this view says that judges ultimately trump the Constitution, and that we dare not overrule them when they do because "stability" is more important than the rule of law.

The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, while fairly conservative, will ultimately go down as a middling chief because of his own unwarranted devotion to "settled law." The reason most conservatives did not consider him to be on the level of Justices Thomas and Scalia is because, while frequently conservative, he'd ultimately jettison an originalist reading of the Constitution when the incorrect ruling of some addled judge (or previous Supreme Court) came into conflict with it.

Roberts has already, in less than seven minutes of testimony, indicated that he too will sill submit the Constitution to the judges. It certainly doesn't make him unusual--that's the dominant judicial philosophy in the legal profession today. But unfortunately President Bush promised us a Thomas or Scalia, a promise he has quite evidently welshed on.

(UPDATE: Even as I write this, Judge Roberts is facing questions on day two of his hearings. We're not even an hour in, and in response to a question on Roe v. Wade from Arlen Specter, Roberts has said Roe is "..entitled to respect under those principles"--i.e. stare decisis. He also said that it is “a jolt to the legal system when you overturn precedent. It is not enough that you may think that a prior decision was wrongly decided." Hmmm. And finding, say, a right to abortion in the Constitution after nearly 200 years of nobody finding it isn't a jolt to the legal system? Funny how liberals are quite satisfied to "jolt" the legal system--repeatedly--when it suits their ends. Only "conservatives" do this silly fiddling while Rome burns.)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Good Editor Cuts To The Chase

The Washington Post has a little section called "Who's Linking to This Article" on their website so you can see what bloggers are saying about a given piece they've published. In that section, for Richard Cohen's column of the other day, they've linked to my post about it among the featured entries.

While the Post chose to exerpt roughly the first paragraph of text for all the other featured blog entries, the editors whittled mine down to the bare essentials:
Rabe Ramblings:
...Richard Cohen is retarded...
I must say, I've never been quite so...well, I guess "proud" isn't quite the word. No, wait a minute. It's exactly the word.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Cohen To The Bottom Of The Class

What has long been suspected around the nation's capital was finally revealed today in the Washington Post: Richard Cohen is retarded.

It's the only reasonable (and charitable) way of reading his column.

Now I've been no big fan of the Roberts nomination, as I've made abundantly clear. But finding himself unable to attack Roberts substantively, Cohen today argues that Roberts is unfit for the Supreme Court because he never flunked out of college like Cohen once did. I wish I (or he) were kidding:
I sometimes think the best thing that ever happened to me was, at the time, the worst: I flunked out of college. I did so for the usual reasons -- painfully bored with school and distracted by life itself -- and so I went to work for an insurance company while I plowed ahead at night school. From there I went into the Army, emerging with a storehouse of anecdotes. In retrospect, I learned more by failing than I ever would have by succeeding. I wish that John Roberts had a touch of my incompetence.
Trust us, Richard. Nobody else wishes that.

But I think Cohen has an excellent handle on what makes a great Supreme Court justice: a storehouse of zany Army anecdotes. In fact, that's why I actually think Dewey Oxburger ought to be the nominee. His friends call him "Ox."

As if that superlative piece of idiocy weren't enough, Cohen mind-bogglingly further criticizes Roberts for--get this--never having been a politician. Only in Washington could someone, without a hint of irony, regard not being a politician as a character flaw.

Continues Rain Man Cohen:
But it is not only the lack of political experience that I rue today, it is also the lack of life experiences that makes me wonder.
What in the world, you may ask, do life experiences have to do with one's ability to read and apply the plain words of the Constitution? How does riding trains as a hobo help one to read statutes? Such things are entirely irrelevant, of course. But Cohen and his ilk are not looking for someone to read and apply the laws and the Constitution. They are looking for people who will write a new one from the bench. That's why Cohen wants someone with political experience who knows what it's like to be "downtrodden." The "good" justices must be able to rule based on emotion and personal identification rather than the law. In the liberal vision, judges must see themselves in a political lawmaking role and impose progressive policy preferences on an unwilling nation.

One thing is not suprising in all this, though. You kinda figured Cohen probably flunked out of school, didn't you?


While there are plenty of good, sane reasons to criticize the Bush administration on any number of issues, I've mentioned in the past that South Florida happens to be a hotbed of wild-eyed, irrational, monkey-rage criticism.

Here's a letter to the editor that appeared in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
You'd think that George Bush would have gotten around to helping the Gulf Coast states a bit faster, seeing as there is so much oil in that area. Well, at least as fast as he rushed into Iraq for its oil.
At first I thought it must be a Republican being ironic. But because I live down here and know these people, I'm now convinced it's intended seriously.

Amazingly, this woman might truly be too stupid to recognize that she has just successfully argued that oil is obviously not Bush's primary motive. And she thinks she's just argued the opposite. In her rush to attack President Bush on any available grounds, she served to demolish a fundamental tennet of the Left: that the war in Iraq was primarily about oil.

And as her email found it's way through cyberspace, I'll bet she sat back and smiled in self-satisfaction with the real zinger she'd just gotten off against Bush. True genius at work.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Major (Garrett) Story

While nobody is thrilled with the federal response to Katrina in New Orleans and thereabouts, one gets the sense that people are quickly realizing New Orleans' problems have far more to do with inept/corrupt local and state government than they do with the manifold flaws of the federal government.

Major Garret of Fox News is reporting a story today that, if true, will end the debate once and for all. It's an astounding story. According to Garrett, the American Red Cross is telling him that they were poised to immediately begin relief efforts at the Superdome in New Orleans after the storm passed, and that the state government would not allow them to.

Garrett appeared today on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. Following is a portion of the transcript provided by Radio Blogger:
HH: You just broke a pretty big story. I was watching up on the corner television in my studio, and it's headlined that the Red Cross was blocked from delivering supplies to the Superdome, Major Garrett. Tell us what you found out.

MG: Well, the Red Cross, Hugh, had pre-positioned a literal vanguard of trucks with water, food, blankets and hygiene items. They're not really big into medical response items, but those are the three biggies that we saw people at the New Orleans Superdome, and the convention center, needing most accutely. And all of us in America, I think, reasonably asked ourselves, geez. You know, I watch hurricanes all the time. And I see correspondents standing among rubble and refugees and evacuaees. But I always either see that Red Cross or Salvation Army truck nearby. Why don't I see that?

HH: And the answer is?

MG: The answer is the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, that is the state agency responsible for that state's homeland security, told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come.
HH: Any doubt in the Red Cross' mind that they were ready to go, but they were blocked?

MG: No. Absolutely none. They are absolutely unequivocal on that point.

HH: And are they eager to get this story out there, because they are chagrined by the coverage that's been emanating from New Orleans?

MG: I think they are. I mean, and look. Every agency that is in the private sector, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Feed The Children, all the ones we typically see are aggrieved by all the crap that's being thrown around about the response to this hurricane, because they work hand and glove with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. When FEMA is tarred and feathered, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are tarred and feathered, because they work on a cooperative basis. They feel they are being sullied by this reaction.
With these sorts of stories being reported, expect New Orleans' mayor and Louisiana's governor and senators to switch even more decisively into survive-at-all-costs-by-trashing-and-burning mode.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Howard Beale, Call Your Office

This is the funniest thing I've seen in weeks: The "Disaster Porn" Stars of Cable News*

(Hat tip: The Therapist)

*The post contains some PG-13 language.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Our Next Guest....

As Dave Barry would say, I swear I am not making this up. This was an actual exchange I heard on MSNBC Saturday night between a reporter and the mayor of Baton Rouge:
REPORTER: And, I understand you have a big visitor coming in tommorrow.

MAYOR: Yes, John Travolta is coming here tommorrow to visit with folks...

REPORTER: No, I'm talking about your really big guest.

MAYOR: Oh yes, that's right, Oprah is going to be here...

REPORTER (interrupting impatiently): And also the president is going to be here tommorrow.

MAYOR: Right, right. The president is coming tommorrow too...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

And How's Your Family?

Yesterday I submitted a comment to the amusingly vacuous Huffington Post, which they have evidently rejected for publication.

I was commenting in regard to Robert F. Kennedy's recent post there, entitled "For They That Sow The Wind Shall Reap The Whirlwind." In it, Bobby Jr. takes some solace in the fact that Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi, whose governor, Haley Barbour, actively opposed the Kyoto treaty. Bobby essentially argues that global warming caused the hurricane, that Barbour (by opposing Kyoto) caused global warming, and that Barbour is therefore receiving his just desserts.

For the record, here's the comment I tried to post which was rejected:
"For they that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind."

I can't believe I'm seeing that scripture being quoted by someone whose immoral, decadent, hedonistic family Divine Providence keeps finding new and novel ways of wiping out.

Reap what they sow indeed.
What I want to know is: if the globe is so darned warm, how does Bobby's family find enough snow to play ski-football?

Hot Gas

Last year I warned that whenever a politician starts whining about price gouging, there is one thing you can be absolutely sure of: you are in no way, shape, or form going to have any chance of getting whatever it is that they're supposedly keeping cheap for you.

That could shortly be the case with gasoline, if President Bush's comments today are any indicator. The president has taken the politically easy postion against "price gouging at the gasoline pump." Hopefully it's only talk. Otherwise, you will soon be able to pretty much forget about getting any actual gasoline.

To review a little bit of basic economics as we like to do from time to time: prices are not (as many popularly imagine them) tools by which the producers of goods and services exploit and "stick it to the little guy." They are a way of allocating resources. Prices reflect the demand for a particular product relative to the supply (or perceived supply) of it.

Currently, gas prices are rising quickly. Why? Because the demand is the same as it has always been (or perhaps even rising), but the supply has been reduced. Even more importantly, people perceive that there is a gas shortage, which makes them want to get it as quickly as they can. Though higher gas prices don't thrill me either, they serve a purpose in this situation. If people are going to buy gasoline now, they have to do some prioritizing. They have to decide if they want to spend their $3 on a gallon of gas, or if at that price it would be better spent on something else. These are the decisions the market is designed to force in order to keep resources available to those who want them most.

When prices are not allowed to rise to naturally reflect the market, people (recognizing a bargain when they see one) will begin to hoard things because they don't have to make those choices. The artificially cheap price suddenly looks so good that people will even buy extra "just in case."

Last week here in South Florida immediately following the hurricane, I saw more than a handful of people at Home Depot buying three or four generators at a time. Why? Because the price of generators, by law, was frozen. The price was kept artificially low due to the hurricane (thanks to "courageous" anti-"price gouging" politicians). But the demand had just suddenly skyrocketed. What did this mean to most consumers? It meant that by the time they got to Home Depot, there were no more of the now conveniently inexpensive generators left to purchase.

It works the same way with gasoline. Suddenly, there is a perceived gas shortage. Even as I type this, people in my office are running out to fill their cars up before the gas pumps "run out." If anything (silly rhetoric about "big, evil, greedy oil companies notwithstanding), people rushing out to buy gas would seem to indicate that it is actually still too cheap. The price is not yet reflecting the true demand, which is still quite high.

Most people (especially radio talk show hosts, for some reason) complain about the rising price of gas, but I still don't see any decrease in traffic during rush hour. Gasoline is not yet "too expensive" since just about everyone who was driving alone in their cars to work a year ago is still doing it now. The "right" price for gasoline will have been reached when there are no gas lines and there are about as many cars filling up at the pumps at any given moment as there were six months ago.

Understand something: higher gas prices will be the only reason you will still be able to actually get gas. If some politician somewhere forces the price artificially lower, he will have just insured that gas will be a lot cheaper--and that you won't be able to actually find any.

For more on this, check out Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, or my post from last year, "Why I'm Glad for High Gasoline Prices."