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You can’t have it both ways

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By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

All fashionable items, by their very definition, eventually go out of fashion. I think we may be seeing this come to pass now in some areas.

This column will build on what I said last week in, “Is this a tipping point?” Since that column, we have been blessed with shrill speeches at the World Economic Forum by John Kerry and Al Gore, where they called for taxing us to death to pay for the perceived climate change needs (Kerry) followed by phrases like “boiling oceans” and “rain bombs” by Gore.

It has been raining a lot in California and the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is approaching record levels. Unfortunately, much of this is just flowing out to the sea because environmental groups have spent years opposing the construction of new reservoirs and canals.

You can’t have it both ways, folks.

Over 100 years ago, the country went through a major sea change that was suddenly fashionable and quickly became unfashionable. Some attribute that movement to Hillsboro, Ohio and Eliza Jane Thompson (no relative). That movement was prohibition which, prior to its implementation, seemed like a good idea; but about a week after its implementation, it seemed like oh-so-bad of an idea.

Then it took a dozen years to get rid of it, with remnants of it still lingering in some corners. Chicago hasn’t recovered yet.

It just may be that climate change, woke and transgenderism will suffer the same fate as prohibition. They all seem to be getting “long in the tooth” with the noise from the naysayers in each of these camps becoming louder and bolder.

Konstantin Kisin at the Oxford Union Society gave a speech a couple of weeks ago that has “gone viral” making several cogent arguments about some of these issues, and it is ringing bells around the world ( He seems to have summarized the current state of the exit from the fashionableness of these topics.

But let us further examine my topic this week. There is one overarching theme that all these Individual items touch.

That theme is this: to one degree or another, all of these topics contain a large dose of human feelings. Yes, prohibition can be somewhat tied to inebriation statistics, climate change drags along some science with it but the last two are 99-percent human feelings.

What happens to human feelings over time? They change, they go in fashion and out of fashion. They are not constant, for we humans get bored over time and want new topics on our daily agenda. Look at the lexicon. Look at the words that come in fashion and go out of fashion.

Concepts are no different than words and these topics are approaching the staleness of “sock it to me.”

I was in Hillsboro last week. I exited Friday afternoon via U.S. 62 south. As one leaves Highland County and enters Brown County, there, on either side of the road, stands the (hope?) (remnants?) of the great solar panel initiative.

Nearly as far as the eye can see, there is the bracketry, cabling and junction boxes of the great solar farms. The only things they are lacking are the solar panels themselves. Like Eliza Jane Thompson was the precursor of prohibition, will these empty skeletons be the precursor of the fate of solar? Time will tell.

In a tortured way, these skeletons remind me of the old movie, “Support Your Local Sheriff” (starring James Garner) who is told, after he takes the job of sheriff, that “We have a jim-dandy new jail. It is only lacking one thing – bars for the cells.”

The solar farms look interesting. They are only lacking one thing – solar panels.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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