New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was on "Real Time With Bill Maher" last Friday, where he had not a few nice things to say about the oil industry. He took some cheap shots at Sarah Palin, claiming she's an energy expert in the same way that the King of Saudi Arabia is, by accident of birth and not through any sort of merit. He also attacked the "drill baby drill" mantra as being the dumbest bumper sticker expression to come out of a political campaign. And then he went on about energy technology. Friedman sees U.S. oil dependence as something dragging us down and keeping us from switching to a viable alternative source. He sees that call to increase oil production being equivalent to buyers wishing to purchase more typewriters on the eve of the computer revolution. Now, to a certain extent, Mr. Friedman is correct. And when the next great energy source comes along, I'm sure a good portion of society will be chastised for slavishly staying loyal to oil. But that time has not come yet. Oil is still needed, very much so, and Mr. Friedman's eyes are unfortunately bigger than his stomach. But making snap judgements about the near future hasn't really been Friedman's forte. After all, this is the man who has a satirical unit of measurement named after him called the Friedman unit which basically argues that "the next six months" will be the final say on any matter. If that's the case, I hope that oil doesn't become obsolete in the next six months. I haven't even paid off my car yet. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com