(The Daily Impromptu is getting front-page treatment today because A) it’s a Friday and B) because I can.)
Doing My Part For Energy Efficiency
A few weeks ago, I ended up trading in my well-worn old car for a nice new Mazda3. (3i four-door sedan with a manual, natch). I agree with Mickey Kaus’ description of the Mazda3:
You feel happy getting in this car, and smart, like you’ve just found a restaurant that serves a delicious steak meal for $5. BMW wishes it could offer an interior this good for $40,000. GM wishes it could offer it for any price.
The first thing you notice about the 3 is just how well constructed it is. The fit and finish is superb. The engine is virtually silent. The sound system is excellent (if a bit heavy on the bass – which is great for Snoop Dogg, but less so for Hilary Hahn). The front sport seating is unbelievably comfortable – practically cradling you from the moment you sit in them. The mechanics of the car are equally excellent. The shifting is smooth and responsive (well, at least as smooth and responsive as it can be for someone who barely knows how to drive a manual at the moment).
And then there’s the gas mileage. With gas over $2.50/gallon, why anyone would want to drive an SUV is beyond me – the 3 is much, much more fun, and filling it up doesn’t involve the sacrifice of any limbs or first-born children at the pump.
Kaus criticizes the 3 as being somewhat less than fun to drive. The steering on the 3 takes some mental adjustments. It’s a very front-heavy car, which does effect the handling. It doesn’t have the feeling of barely controllable power that some cars have, nor is it stiff and plodding. Contrary to Kaus, I like the handling on the 3 – so long as you’re willing to meet it halfway and give it the finesse it needs to handle well, it’s a very fun car to drive – even in the usual stop-and-go city traffic. It has It’s got just the right mix of luxury and sportiness, and at the price, you really can’t go wrong. Plus, the thing is downright sexy, inside and out.
I purchased my 3 from Domaille Mazda over in Rochester, MN, and have nothing but praises for the place. After some very bad experiences with another dealership, it was nice to have a place that offered exactly what I was looking for at a great price and without any hassles.
The 3 is a great car – and at its price its a great value as well.
Failing To Learn From History – Again
The Belmont Club has a chilling walk down memory lane for us all as well as anexpansion of that argument. Wretchard argues that the Gaza disengagement is analogous to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s – while Germany did have a legitimate claim to the Rhineland back then, the results of the decision to allow him to take it only fueled the Nazi regime:
The irony is exact. The French Left remained passive in what Churchill called the last moment in which Second World War could have been prevented. Instead it allowed that Hitler had a legitimate grievance and met him with renunciations of militarism and expressions of understanding. For what, they asked, could be more German than the Rhineland? One could have rhetorically asked whether a Nazi Rhineland was the same thing. But then:
Plus Ã§a change, plus câ€™est la mÃªme chose.
I see the Gaza withdrawal as a sad necessity – Israel couldn’t afford to protect those settlements, and now Gaza can be walled off and left to its own devices. However, there is no doubt that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations that have infected Palestinian society like a malignant cancer are already seeing this as a victory. (Not to mention that the UN is paying for Palestinian propaganda that argues that soon the Palestinians will take the West Bank and Jerusalem. Sharon has to make it very clear that Israel will do what it must to defend itself – which may mean striking out as well as pulling back.
The only time this war will end is as Golda Meir noted – when the Palestinian people love their children more than they hate Jews. Sadly, the vast majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been so steeped in a pernicious ideology of anti-Semitism and terrorism that hope for anything other than a cold peace is just about nil.