Obama WANTS high gasoline prices for Americans
In pursuit of a "Green" agenda
With poor Japan's nuclear reactors in crisis; with Middle East violence stripping bare American recklessness in relying on an Arab oil supply; with prices rising fast at the local gas pump, there is an almost apocalyptic tension growing in the absence of action on the American energy problem: Tons -- or, rather barrels and cubic feet -- of resources, and no will or even interest on the part of our trusted, responsible and feckless elected leaders to get it.
What is their problem? What is our problem?
Sarah Palin posted about this emerging crisis this week (and created a not-so-small news cycle in the process), taking on "The 4-Dollar-Per-Gallon President," which is probably a low-ball figure. Palin scored President Obama's energy program, which, at best, does nothing to reverse the rise in prices at the pump even in the long-term, which is what it seems we can reasonably ask of him.
Why doesn't it? Answer coming; first, the back-story.
Palin outlines Obama administration energy policies which include: a drilling moratorium (only two permits in the last year); Obama's 2012 budget that, for example, cuts tax incentives for energy exploration; and anti-drilling regulatory policies. She discusses in some detail an area north of the Arctic Circle where the U.S. Geological Survey tells us there are some 90 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, "one-third of which is in Alaskan territory."
"That's our next Prudhoe Bay right there," she writes, describing thousands of jobs, hundreds of billions of dollars in wages and revenue, and a home-grown energy flow that wouldn't depend on the shaky grip of some desiccated desert bandit with a harem. Palin continues: "This would be great news if only the federal government would allow Shell" -- the company that purchased the leases -- "to drill there. But it won't."
Sure enough, as Palin points out, just last month, Shell announced an end to exploratory drilling this year in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas after Alaskan native and environmentalist groups went before the federal Environmental Appeals Board and successfully challenged the drilling permits Shell had received from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Now, who is it that we elected on that appeals board to make this crucial drilling decision? There's something out of whack about this system; something we can't touch; something we can't even see. Particularly in our unstable era, such a decision is an urgent matter for open debate by elected representatives; not for those "faceless bureaucrats" you read about (or maybe not).
Of course, we elected Barack Obama. The question Americans must ask of him before next time (heaven forefend) is whether he even wants low gas prices.
Judging by his actions, his rhetoric, his Third-World, anti-imperialist, Frantz-Fanon-imbued vision of Diminished America, my hunch is no. To this president's way of thinking, high gas prices are a solution, not a problem. Cheap energy is the launch pad of a soaring economy, one beyond government (his) control. And this president wants control: over what we eat (less), drive (smaller) and live (lower thermostats). As Palin reminds us, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu actually pines for gasoline prices as high as Europe's ($9-plus) as a tool of social regimentation "to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars," as the Wall Street Journal reported, "and living in neighborhoods closer to work." Chu told the paper, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Oh, and by the way: Not one senator whose salary we pay bothered to query Chu during his confirmation hearing about how regular Americans with hour-long commutes (as opposed to Berkeley professors like Chu) would fare in this social-engineering scheme.
"Energy is the building block of our economy," Palin wrote. "The President is purposely weakening that building block and weakening our economy."
I think Palin's right. This isn't about "experience," "ineptitude" or "inaction." Such excuses would explain failure to achieve a more or less conventional goal of, for lack of a better term, American greatness. That just isn't what Obama has in mind. Otherwise, he'd be doing absolutely everything in his considerable presidential powers to bring American oil to market ASAP.
Shun the Expert and Pass the Ammunition
“No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life” Lord Salisbury told us “as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe.”
For close to a century experts have told us to put our trust in government. We have a host of them in our life everyday: Federal Reserve bankers, Education Department officials, Union economists, scientists on the government dole, Energy Department officials, all here for our own good.
Yet, government doesn’t even pretend to try to solve the very problems they claim to care about. The “experts” at the EPA designed a tax on carbon to combat so-called global warming and even they won’t claim that the tax will bring down the earth’s temperature.
Still, a failed result won’t stop the experts from insisting on this tax for our own good.
As a consequence of the care of so many government experts who insist on doing stuff for our own good, we are now at a point where nothing is true.
* Men marry men and we call it marriage. Doctors kill babies and we call it choice. We practice targeted discrimination against certain classes of people, under the law, and we call it justice.
* We ban the religion of some in the public square as a matter of taste and call it a moral good.
* In the name of safety, the government takes away guns for self-defense, but sues states for enforcing federal immigration laws.
* We “improve” public education by lowering standards rather than raising them; and we design a medical and retirement "safety net" that threatens not just life, but everything our country was built on: liberty, opportunity, property.
My religion tells me to fear not. That’s why I cling to it. Others have done the same for 2000 years. My gun too tells me to fear not, although its ammunition isn’t as refined as the word of God. Good men have armed themselves for the 500 years since Europeans first lived in North America. So, I cling to the gun as well.
Expert government opinion? It’s been king for 70 years and it has a very spotty record.
Truth, I know, always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition. And I'll take truth over experts everyday.
The superior culture of Japan
Larry Elder doesn't mention New Orleans below but ...
Japan's prime minister calls the 9.0 earthquake and the following tsunami the greatest crisis in Japan since World War II. Ten thousand people are feared dead. Millions are without power, and millions sleep outdoors in cold weather. But we haven't seen looting. So I posted this question on Facebook and Twitter.
"Race is not an issue," Mike replied. "Third World countries like Haiti loot due to poverty. Japan is like America, an economic superpower. Plain and simple."
"Poverty equals crime" is the standard "plain and simple" explanation, especially to the left. The analysis contains holes big enough to drive a Hummer through.
In the "economic superpower" called America, we see widespread looting following natural disasters, as well as during power blackouts, "civil unrest" and basketball team victory celebrations. If we attribute this to American poverty, what about Japanese poverty?
"Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem," read the headline of a 2010 New York Times article. Here are excerpts:
"After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people. The Labor Ministry's disclosure in October that almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007 stunned the nation and ignited a debate over possible remedies that has raged ever since.
"Many Japanese, who cling to the popular myth that their nation is uniformly middle class, were further shocked to see that Japan's poverty rate, at 15.7 percent, was close to the ... 17.1 percent in the United States, whose glaring social inequalities have long been viewed with scorn and pity here. ...
"Following an internationally recognized formula, the (Labor Ministry) set the poverty line at about $22,000 a year for a family of four, half of Japan's median household income. Researchers estimate that Japan's poverty rate has doubled since the nation's real estate and stock markets collapsed in the early 1990s, ushering in two decades of income stagnation and even decline."
If Japan's percentage of people living below the poverty line is about the same as ours, and if poverty causes crime as Mike suggests, why isn't the crime rate in Japan about the same as ours?
San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1960s became one of the most impoverished areas in California. Public policy professors James Q. Wilson and Richard Hernstein wrote: "One neighborhood in San Francisco had the lowest income, the highest unemployment rate, the highest proportion of families with incomes under $4,000 per year, the least educational attainment, the highest tuberculosis rate and the highest proportion of substandard housing. ... That neighborhood was called Chinatown. Yet, in 1965, there were only five persons of Chinese ancestry committed to prison in the entire state of California."
Two low-income areas outside of Boston -- South Boston and Roxbury -- were featured several years ago in U.S. News & World Report. They had similar socio-economic profiles: high levels of unemployment; the same percentage of children born to single-parent households; and the same percentage of people living in public housing. But the violent crime rate in Roxbury, predominately black, was four times higher than that of South Boston, predominately white.
Culture and values explain why some countries and some communities experience crime, while others do not. This explains why many students from Asian countries outperform equally "disadvantaged" black and brown students from the same "underperforming" inner-city government schools.
Culture and values explain a 2011 article headlined, "New Zealand Police 'Sickened' at Looting in Quake-Hit City": "New Zealand police said ... they were 'sickened' at a spate of looting, email scams and bogus appeals for charity in the wake of the deadly Christchurch earthquake. ... Lootings and burglaries, including one at the home of a woman feared dead in the disaster, have also been reported, while fraudulent emails soliciting charity donations were also doing the rounds." The Japanese earthquake was over 8,000 times more powerful than the New Zealand quake earlier this year. [New Zealand has a substantial Maori minority who sometimes show little respect for private property rights or rules of any kind]
Culture and values explain the fear in Egypt and Libya of looting from museums that house precious historical and cultural artifacts.
Culture and values explain why in Los Angeles, a city with a 46 percent Hispanic population and a 10 percentage Asian population, one sees no Latinos or Asians holding up "Will Work for Food" signs. When South Korea played for soccer's 2010 World Cup, the Los Angeles Korean community received permits to view games on big-screen monitors in the streets near Koreatown. The police said the streets were more trash-free after the games than before.
Culture and values are not set in stone. They can and do change for the better -- especially when we accept responsibility and stop blaming bad behavior on poverty. Plain and simple.
Fukushima heroes: Not afraid to die
Since the disaster struck in Japan, about 800 workers have been evacuated from the damaged nuclear complex in Fukushima. The radiation danger is that great.
However, CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that a handful have stayed on the job, risking their lives, to try to save the lives of countless people they don't even know. The exact number of workers is unclear and has been reported to be anywhere from 50 to 180.
Although communication with the workers inside the nuclear plant is nearly impossible, a CBS News consultant spoke to a Japanese official who made contact with one of the workers inside the control center. The official said that his friend told him that he was not afraid to die, that that was his job.
Grass-roots Credited with Defeat of Same-sex 'Marriage' in Maryland: "As if we needed more proof that grassroots action brings real results, the recent defeat of a same-sex “marriage” law in Maryland demonstrates that ordinary citizens’ voices can make all the difference in legislative battles. Pro-family conservatives in Maryland were urged to contact their state assemblyman to tell them to preserve traditional marriage, and the pressure worked – the bill was effectively “killed.” Opponents of homosexual marriage give all the credit to a coalition of activists throughout the state, including traditional values conservatives and black churches who joined together to make up the wave of phone calls that led to the bill’s defeat. Homosexual activists had boasted prior to the citizens’ action that the bill’s passage was a done deal – obviously, that wasn’t the case."
Clever Congress shoots the consumer: "Get ready for big fee increases at your nearest ATM. Some of the nation's largest banks are boosting fees on their automated teller machine networks. The new fees could be especially costly for people who withdraw cash from another bank's ATM. Chase is now charging Illinois residents $5 every time a non-customer withdraws money from a Chase ATM. ... The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by Congress last year .... included the Durbin amendment, which would limit banks' income from debit card fees."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)