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Saturday, November 05, 2016

TIME TRAVELER

I can’t believe we are doing it again. We got along for nine thousand years without doing it, and now we do it twice a year. It was a dumb idea when we did it the first time and now that we’re doing it  twice a year? Why?! Doing a dumb thing twice does not make it smart. Why are we doing this again?! 
The persons to blame for this are the obsessive-compulsive bureaucrats who champion the so-called Daylight Saving Time – and there is no “s” at the end of “Saving” because it’s modifying time, not daylight – I told you these clock watchers were obsessive compulsive. But that dropped “s” should also give you a hint that this whole thing is one great fraud being perpetrated on each and every one of us in the name of good grammar. So on November Sixth  at 2:00 AM, we will "fall back", adjust our clocks again because we’re all supposed to.  It's a unity thing, I guess. We are all dumb together because being dumb together is better than being smart individually. I guess being smart together is not an option. .And come Sunday, 12 March, 2017, you know in advance that you are not going to feeling like "springing" anywhere, and yet we will. Because its the law, or a rule or something. These endless adjustments are an endless treadmill of dumbness.
Experts assure me that during Daylight Saving Time we’re going to save 10,000 barrels of oil a day, reduce crime and spend more time out of doors with our families in the evenings during summer. Of course your iPad and your iPhone would start displaying some rare Lapland dialect if you tried to instruct it to ignore the whole thing.  But why are we doing this again?!  They first tried this half baked scheme back in World War One, and as soon as the war was over they dumped it. And now, every time some liberal one-world type comes up with another energy saving idea, we are all required to smile and call it "green":  But I wonder about all that extra fossil fuel we burn come come spring again, every morning to light our darkened bedrooms, not to mention run our computers, TVs, hair dryers, electric razors, water heaters and all those headlights. We used to say that people who rose early got up with the cows. Well, the cows are not getting up any earlier. Nor are the chickens. Why the hell are we?
As everybody keeps pointing out, it was Ben Franklin who first purposed Daylight Saving in his essay “An Economical Project”, (but in French, of course) (above)  in which he suggested that if authorities were to “…Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, …it is probable he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening."  Yeah. And if we set him on fire, it is probable he will not litter. It is an interesting idea from the eighteenth century’s second most famous reprobate, but it strikes me like accepting interior decorating suggestions from the Marque de Sade, who was the first most famous reprobate.  How do we know that Ben wasn't  just joking?
Well, if he was, then Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who wrote the amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requiring Daylight Saving Time, missed the punch line. So the same Congress that has refused to raise the minimum wage for 15 years found the time to steal an hour of your sleep every March and screw with your sanity every November. In the next election I suggest voting for Ben Franklin. It would make as much sense.
Ben was trying to save about 64 million pounds of candle wax a year. Well, look how much wax we saved by inventing electricity! And, didn't Ben have something to do with that?  Kite, key, electrical storm -  any of this sound familiar?  Listen, didn't Ben see this whole electricity thing coming? And speaking of electricity, according to the New Jersey Public Service Enterprise Group, Daylight Saving has “no impact” on energy demands in their service area. And the government of Kazakhstan has already dropped the whole idea of “saving daylight”.  Are we dumber than the Kazakhastanies? 
According to the University of California Energy Institute, daylight saving does not actually save energy, it just moves it around. And a recent study of electric bills in Indiana found that the time "shifters" are actually costing each Hoosier almost $3.00 a year MORE -  about $8.6 million a year in total, plus somewhere between $1.6 and $5.3 million in pollution costs for generating all that extra electricity for getting up and going to work in the dark!. And if that is what it costs Hoosiers (like me), think what it costing people in New Jersey!  Just think about it. A little more energy conservation like this and we might as well just start burning wood for heat again.
And another problem with this bi-annual adjustment to our sense of reality is that our brains can’t adjust without being told to, while computers solve the problem without a hitch. So while our electronics no longer need a "time patch” for programs, humans require psychiatric assistance to adjust to the depression brought on by lost sleep!  To quote from Ken Fisher’s article for ARS,  “So while the US government pats itself on the back for at least looking busy, know that the main goal – energy conservation – has not been met….Isn’t arbitrary, mostly meaningless change, great?”  Hell, no, it isn’t.
Still, I’m willing to be cooperative.  If we need more daylight then let’s move the clocks forward and be done with it. Why fall back in the fall? Listen, if the majority of the population decides that at noon tomorrow we should pretend that it is now 10:45 AM, I’d go along with that. But for heaven’s sake please stop moving the clocks back and forth and back and forth as if we were keeping time with Mexican jumping beans. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Pick a damn time and leave it the hell alone!
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