Posts Tagged ‘dependence’

‘Celebrating’ DEPENDENCE Day Under Barack Obama

July 4, 2009

As we survey the despotism of the world around us, we can admire our founding fathers – and celebrate their achievement – all the more.

Think of Iraq under Saddam Hussein; or think of Iran under the Ayatollah and the mullahs.  And then look around and see all the millions, even billions of peoples, under some form of tyranny and totalitarian rule.  It was not the Iraqi people, but the people of the United States of America, who threw down Saddam Hussein and instituted a democracy in place of tyranny.  And the Iranian people may have rioted in their streets, but they failed to throw off the shackles of their tyrannous and repressive regime.  And it is very unlikely that they ever will lest some free people liberate them from their own government.

Think of the history of human civilization, and realize just how few times peoples under such rule have thrown off the shackles of bondage for themselves.

We were one of that tiny number.  And our forefathers instituted in place of tyranny the greatest example of democratic and republican government that the world has ever known.

The rarity of America’s achievement, and the resulting greatness that has since resulted, should be celebrated with more than fireworks.  It should inspire Americans – and the world – to pursue freedom and liberty over any obstacle which gets in the way.

Many historians have argued that the British government, and the king who embodied that government, really did not seek to impose anything that tyrannous.  The king didn’t seek to impose an Orwellian-style regime; he merely wanted to modestly increase taxes to help pay for a war that had been fought for the Colonies’ behalf.

The British Empire had spent some 60 million pounds fighting the French and Indian War less than a decade previously.  And the British justifiably believed that the Colonies should share some of the burden for that massive cost.  They weren’t consciously attempting to impose tyranny; all they wanted to do was raise money.

But the patriots didn’t view it that way.  What they saw was taxation without representation.  What they saw was an imposition on their property without their consent.  They looked at taxes (such as the Stamp tax and the Tea tax), and asked themselves, “If they can impose this upon us, what else can they impose?”

And when their protests were met with thousands of British troops, the patriots believed they had their answer: the king believed he could impose power upon them at his whim.

Unlike most other peoples in human history, our founding fathers did not wait for the yoke of oppression to become so heavy that it could not be thrown off.  Rather, they were willing to fight at the very first signs of tyranny.  And in so doing, they not only won their freedom, and the freedom of their descendants; they won the freedom of millions and millions of peoples whom their descendants would subsequently fight to liberate.

Part of the problem with tyranny and totalitarian rule is that there will always be people who say, “It really isn’t that bad.  Why are you making such a nuisance of yourself by protesting?”  The analogy of the frog in water comes to mind: if a government takes away our freedoms little by little, it is very likely that won’t comprehend the deprivation until it is too late to do anything about it.

Alexis de Tocqueville – one of the great political thinkers who recognized the import and result of American freedom – also wrote about one of the most pernicious forms of tyranny in the second quarter of the 19th century:

“Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances; what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?”

C.S. Lewis wrote about a century later:

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

The tyranny described by Alexis de Tocqueville and C.S. Lewis is the tyranny we face in America today: the tyranny of the nanny state; the tyranny of big government; the tyranny of the welfare state.  Naysayers can always continue to say, “It’s not that big of a deal,” or “It’s not that much worse than it used to be,” or “This is what we need right now.”  And they always will be able to say such things.  And that is precisely why most peoples find themselves in forms of tyranny that they have neither the power nor the will to free themselves from.

There is no question that the massive anvil of fiscal insanity will ultimately fall on the US economy due to the near doubling of the national debt as Barack Obama adds a projected $9.3 trillion to the $11.7 trillion hole we’re already in.  Obama is borrowing 50 cents on the dollar as he explodes the federal deficit by spending four times more than Bush spent in 2008 and in the process “adding more to the debt than all presidents — from George Washington to George Bush — combined.”  And what is most terrifying of all, Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

What will be the result of all this insane spending, and not very long from now? A quote from a CNS News story should awaken anyone who thinks the future will be rosy:

By 2019, the CBO said, a whopping 82 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will go to pay down the national debt. This means that in future years, the government could owe its creditors more than the goods and services that the entire economy can produce.

I look at the recent past, and see debts that our children’s children’s children will never be able to hope to repay; debts that will soon shackle us, and most certainly shackle our future generations.  And I realize that these debts have been accumulated in order to forge the very sort of society that de Tocqueville and Lewis warned us about.

The nanny state doesn’t celebrate the peoples’ independence; it celebrates their dependence.  As big government assumes more and more control of the economy, it creates more poverty and therefore more need for the government to come to the increasingly dependent peoples’ rescue.  It systematically and progressively creates a vicious cycle of dependency that becomes increasingly difficult for a once-free people to sever themselves from.

I think of two attempts by the Obama administration to seize government power that are most pernicious of all: health care and cap-and-trade.  Consider for a moment that if the government assumes control over our health care, it will have the potential to control everything that goes into our bodies, and even the activities of our bodies in the name of our “health.”  And as for cap-and-trade, what doesn’t require energy to produce or transport?  Under these two programs alone, nearly total control can be exercised.

What would our founding fathers – who were willing to fight over taxes on stamps or tea – have to say about these massive government power grabs?

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Obama’s Absolutely Inexcusable (NON)-Energy Plan

July 15, 2008

Barack Obama had this to say the other day on July 11:

I’ve often said that the decisions we make in this election and in the next few years will set the course for the next generation. That is true of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s true of our economy. And it is especially true of our energy policy.

The urgency of this challenge is clear to anyone who’s tried to fill up their tank with gas that’s now over $4 a gallon. It’s clear to the legions of scientists who believe that we are nearing a point of no return when it comes to our global climate crisis. And with each passing day, it is clear that our addiction to fossil fuels is one of the most serious threats to our national security in the 21st century.

…An even more immediate and direct security threat comes from our dependence on foreign oil. The price of a barrel of oil is now one of the most dangerous weapons in the world. Tyrants from Caracas to Tehran use it to prop up their regimes, intimidate the international community, and hold us hostage to a market that is subject to their whims. If Iran decided to shut down the petroleum-rich Strait of Hormuz tomorrow, they believe oil would skyrocket to $300-a-barrel in minutes, a price that one speculator predicted would result in $12-a-gallon gas. $12 a gallon.

The nearly $700 million a day we send to unstable or hostile nations also funds both sides of the war on terror, paying for everything from the madrassas that plant the seeds of terror in young minds to the bombs that go off in Baghdad and Kabul. Our oil addiction even presents a target for Osama bin Laden, who has told al Qaeda, “focus your operations on oil, since this will cause [the Americans] to die off on their own.”

If we stay on our current course, the rapid growth of nations like China and India will rise about one-third by 2030. In that same year, Middle Eastern regimes will be sitting on 83% of our global oil reserves. Imagine that – the very source of energy that fuels nearly all of our transportation, controlled almost entirely by some of the world’s most unstable and undemocratic governments.

This is not the future I want for America. We are not a country that places our fate in the hands of dictators and tyrants – we are a nation that controls our own destiny. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. It’s what led us to wage a revolution that brought down an Empire. It’s why we built an Arsenal of Democracy to defeat Fascism, and stopped the spread of Communism with the power of our ideals. And it’s why we must end the tyranny of oil in our time.

Notice the last sentence. “It’s why we must end the tyranny of oil in our time.”

Obama doesn’t say, “the tyranny of Middle Eastern oil,” or “the tyranny of oil controlled by terrorist and totalitarian regimes.” He says, “the tyranny of oil.” Period. “Oil” is a tyrant. Hope you knew that.

Please understand the history that Barack Obama foolishly ignores even as he attempts to cite it. One of the key stratagies we used to defeat Nazi fascism was to systematically deny them the fuel they needed to keep their war machine running. Had the Nazis had adequate oil supplies, it is almost certain that they would have broken through the American lines during the Battle of the Bulge. Conversely, had the United States not had adequate oil, we would not have won the war.  Citing the defeat of fascism with cutting ourselves off from oil is historical revisionism that borders on criminal irresponsibility. Oil made us strong. Oil helped us defeat fascism.

It is with this fact in mind that I consider Obama’s last sentence, “And it’s why we must end the tyranny of oil in our time” in light of Neville Chamberlain’s now infamous “peace in our time” statement. Chamberlain has gone down in history as being the ignominous fool who actively prevented England from arming itself and standing up to the real tyranny of Adolf Hitler even as the threat of Hitler loomed ever larger and ever darker. Barack Obama is a fool in the same mold as Neville Chamberlain, because he urges the same pathetic mindset that characterized Chamberlain. Obama refuses to allow drilling to develop a stable domestic supply of what the United States absolutely needs to remain strong.

Barack obama ignores the lessons of history. And he views oil as a moral evil rather than as a vitally needed source of energy. That’s why he can run an ad like this:

SCRIPT: Announcer: “On gas prices, John McCain’s part of the problem. McCain and Bush support a drilling plan that won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years. McCain will give more tax breaks to big oil. He’s voted with Bush 95 percent of the time. Barack Obama will make energy independence an urgent priority. Raise mileage standards. Fast track technology for alternative fuels. A thousand-dollar tax cut to help families as we break the grip of foreign oil. A real plan and new energy.”

Obama: “I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”

You see, oil is “a tyrant” for Barack Obama. And John McCain – like that evil George Bush – support drilling. Drilling to provide the world with still more oil, and therefore still more tyranny. Barack Obama is a clever speaker, but the simple fact of the matter is that he is taking the far left position that fossil fuels – which contribute to global warming – are therefore evil and their use contributes to “tyranny.” Let me tell you what: an attitude like that may be as politically correct as the sky is blue, but it most definitely won’t fill your gas tank.

Obama acknowledges the dilemma we now find ourselves in: that of facing the prospect of $12 a gallon gasoline because of our dependence on foreign oil, the volatility of a Middle East that could erupt at any moment, and the increased global competition for dwindling supplies. [Note: I’ve already written about why we face $12 a gallon gas].

The answer to this dilemma, according to Barack Obama, is to absolutely refuse to increase our domestic oil production, and to instead wave a magic wand that will give us a powerful new alternative source of energy that will somehow meet all our needs and solve all our problems.

John McCain is “part of the problem” because he – like that George Bush – “supports a drilling plan that won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years.

Well, a few things. First, I can not even begin to comprehend the irrationality of claiming that any attempt to increase our own oil supply – and we have massive oil potential – must not be considered as a solution to obtaining energy independence from foreign oil. Apparently as part of his plan to end “the tyranny of oil,” Barack Obama is literally in favor of preventing private corporations – using private money – from increasing our domestic oil supply while at the same time decrying our dependence on foreign oil. This is absurd. It is insane.

Second, Obama – joining a chorus of other Democrats in claiming that drilling “won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years” is equally irrational. Had people like Barack Obama gotten the heck out of the way seven years ago – instead of using the power of government to prevent drilling – we would not be where we are now. To use a criminally stupid policy that prevented us from drilling seven years ago in support of an even more criminally stupid policy to therefore not drill now is simply incredible. How on earth can everyone not see this? Had we drilled seven years ago we would have increased supplies now. If we don’t drill now, we will for a certain fact place ourselves in an even more dire situation in seven years. Period. End of story.

As a further note, oil experts say they could have some production on line in as little as one year. And many financial experts say that – to whatever extent “speculation” is driving up the price of oil – a firm commitment to increase our supplies would dramatically reduce the problem.

Third, Barack Obama is literally blaming George Bush and John McCain for attempting to do what would have worked had we only done it earlier, and would still work now but for obstructionist Democrats who have no energy plan at all.

House Democrats have literally been blocking any vote on energy at all for fear that Republicans would introduce a vote requiring domestic drilling. This is the epitome of not having a plan. (Maybe blocking any bill on energy is part of Nancy Pelosi’s brilliant “commonsense plan” that has seen the price of gas double since she began to implement it?)

Now, at this point, a liberal (I don’t use the word “progressive” because that would imply they want “progress,” when these people stand in the way of genuine progress) will probably stand up and say, “Obama DOES have an energy plan.”

Well, keep in mind that Barack Obama himself has said that he was all in favor of gas becoming more expensive; he only regretted that the price rose so steeply and thereby ignited the ire of Americans.

But let’s look at Barack Obama’s plan to solve our energy dilemma. Let’s see who is really “part of the problem.”

What is Obama proposing?

Well, he absolutely stands against increasing the amount of the stuff that fills our tanks and keeps our economy flowing.

In place of “the tyranny of oil” (and especially “the tyranny” of domestic oil), Obama proposes:

* A second, $50 billion stimulus package that would send energy rebate checks to every American.* A $1,000 middle-class tax cut that will go to 95% of all workers and their families.

* A crack down on oil speculators who may be artificially driving up the price of oil.

* A fast-track $150 billion of investment in a clean energy fund to help create the fuel-efficient cars and alternative sources of energy that will secure this nation and jumpstart a green economy.

* Doubling fuel mileage standards over the next two decades utilizing much of the technology we have on the shelf today – a step that will save this country half a trillion gallons of gasoline, the equivalent of cutting the price of a gallon of gas in half. And I will provide tax credits and loan guarantees for our automakers to help them make this transition.

* A Venture Capital Fund that will provide $50 billion over five years to get the most promising clean energy technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace.

* Requiring that 25% of U.S. electricity comes renewable sources by 2025, and that the U.S. produce two billion gallons of advanced cellulosic biofuels by 2013. (Pointedly, he says that the U.S. will “also invest in finding cleaner ways to use coal, our nation’s most abundant energy source, and safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste.”

* Using the U.S. clean energy fund to invest over $1 billion a year to re-tool and modernize our factories and build the advanced technology cars, trucks and SUVs of the future.

* Calling on businesses, government, and the American people to make America 50% more energy efficient by 2030.

The first two proposals have nothing to do with energy whatsoever, apart from essentially subsidizing the frightenly high cost of gas. I enjoyed my last $300 handout from the government, and would enjoy the next one just as much. But that money in my pocket is going to have to be paid by the next generation. We do have a nearly $10 trillion national debt, and eventually this kind of debt level is going to implode this country.

As for Obama’s $150 billion investment in clean energy – which by the way would come on the backs of those evil oil companies who produce that “tyrant” substance oil (and which would drive up their costs and thereby drive up the price they charge for gasoline) – how long will it take before we’re driving happily along with cheap fuel? He ridicules drilling because it will take “seven years,” after all. Well, by his own incredibly stupid logic, let’s ridicule investment in alternative energy! It will take YEARS before we have any significant energy from such alternatives.

Keep in mind, alternatives such as ethanol (which is E-85, aka “flex fuel”) has been fool’s gold. It is incredibly expensive to produce, relies on huge government subsidies to bring the cost down to level’s that Americans are willing to pay, and has caused enormous increases in the price of our food. If that isn’t bad enough, desperately poor people around the world are literally starving for this insane government-propped “alternative fuel.”

Ethanol truly IS an “alternative”; it is an alternative to what actually works. It is an alternative to sanity.

Every other part of Obama’s plan is tantamount to an act of bowing down before the pagan idol of big government. Private enterprise is irrelevant for Barack Obama, other than the fact that they are obstacles in the way, who must be forced by the government in order to do what is right and good as decreed by the standards of political correctness.

The idea of getting out of the way and allowing the private sector to produce the innovations we need is shockingly absent from Obama’s plan. Instead, the private sector is “required” to do one thing, and “called on” to do another.

Keep in mind, Democrats in the Senate couldn’t even run a freakin’ cafeteria without running it into the ground.

And how much energy will Obama’s plan actually produce? What kind of energy? How much will it cost?

This isn’t an energy plan. It is a typical liberal NON-energy plan from a typical liberal politician.

It’s not lack of government money that has prevented nuclear power and clean coal-burning technology, it’s been Democrats and their innumerable laws, restrictions, and regulations. Private money would flood in if Democrat’s would quit imposing one burden after another upon energy providers and let them produce energy.

We don’t have nuclear power because liberals and environmentalist foolishly despised it and demonized it twenty years ago. We don’t have it because Democrats have imposed so many hurdles, so many regulations, so many restrictions, so many environmental studies, so much bureaucracy and so much red tape, that it has been unprofitable – and even impossible – to build a nuclear power plant (or, for that matter, an oil refinery).

Barack Obama went to Las Vegas and had this to say:

Under the bleach-bright Las Vegas summer sun, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday checked out the solar panels that shade cars in the parking lot of the Springs Preserve while powering the facility.

“What we are seeing here … is that the green, renewable energy economy is not some far-off, pie-in-the-sky future,” Obama said in a speech at the local nature attraction. “It is now. It’s creating jobs now. It is providing cheap alternatives to $140-a-barrel oil now. And it can create millions of additional jobs, entire industries, if we act now.”

Really? How much? What’s it going to cost? Will it keep my car running?

Keep in mind, liberals recently blocked a massive solar panal plan on federal land. They have blocked wind mills. Ted Kennedy has personally done everything he could to block a wind farm in Massachusetts. They have blocked nuclear power for decades.

But the problem with alternative energy isn’t just obstructionist Democrats. It goes far, far deeper.

Obama went to Las Vegas to sing Kumbaya to solar energy. So let’s look at solar energy:

Can renewable energy make a dent in fossil fuels?

4.2 billion. [Emphasis mine]

That’s how many rooftops you’d have to cover with solar panels to displace a cubic mile of oil (CMO), a measure of energy consumption, according to Ripudaman Malhotra, who oversees research on fossil fuels at SRI International. The electricity captured in those hypothetical solar panels in a year (2.1 kilowatts each) would roughly equal the energy in a CMO. The world consumes a little over 1 CMO of oil a year right now and about 3 CMOs of energy from all sources.

Put another way, we’d need to equip 250,000 roofs a day with solar panels for the next 50 years to have enough photovoltaic infrastructure to provide the world with a CMO’s worth of solar-generated electricity for a year. We’re nowhere close to that pace.

Great googley moogley! That’s a whole bunch of solar panels. Particularly with liberals blocking the ones we’re trying to build now. Clearly, solar energy won’t even scratch the surface of providing a real solution to oil.

Well, beyond solar energy, there’s also wind power. And Obama talked about nuclear power, too. Could they provide us with a real alternative to oil? Not even close:

But don’t blame the solar industry. You’d also have to erect a 900-megawatt nuclear power plant every week for 50 years to get enough plants (2,500) to produce the same energy in a year to equal a CMO. Wind power? You need 3 million for a CMO, or 1,200 a week planted in the ground over the next 50 years. Demand for power also continues to escalate with economic development in the emerging world.

“In 30 years we will need six CMOs, so where are we going to get that?” Malhotra said. “I’m trying to communicate the scale of the problem.”

The article above, by Michael Kanellos, has a neat little pie chart for you “a picture’s worth a thousand words” types:

The problem is that abandoning the use of oil and then relying on the “alternative” solutions that we currently have is analogous to draining all the oceans dry and then trying to refill them by spitting. And there just aint enough spit to make a hill-of-beans’ worth of difference. And there aint enough “alternative energy.”

Michael J. Economides, writing for China Daily, says in an article titled, “Fossil fuels still the best,” writes:

Of the world energy demand 87 percent comes from fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal. This fraction has not changed much since the 1970s and the first “energy crisis”, while energy demand has more than doubled.

By almost everybody’s estimates by the year 2030, the total world demand will increase by 50 percent and oil, gas and coal will still provide 87 percent of the world energy. The reason we use them is not because of some evil conspiracy headed by a dark knight. We use them because they are the easiest, most flexible, most reliable and most efficient forms of energy.

Biofuels as done today, cause a negative energy balance not even considering their impact on food prices. I have no aversion to wind or solar. I love the sun, I am Greek. But they are eminently unreliable and, even in their best case, without government subsidies, they make $200 to $2000 oil still attractive. It is that simple.

But here is how we are ridiculous in the developed world and it would have been funny had we not run the danger of committing societal hara-kiri. We have let dazed environmentalism of the most outrageous variety put on a tie and become mainstream, dominate the covers of national newsmagazines and, predictably as of late, earn Oscars, Emmys and Nobels.

There are no alternatives to fossil fuels for decades and the transition will be long and painful. Nothing will happen overnight. We will continue to be a fossil fuel-dependent economy for the foreseeable future.

We desperately need oil. But Barack Obama stands in the way of obtaining the oil we need. We can not possibly maintain any semblance of the lifestyle that we have come to enjoy without oil. Ergo sum, Barack Obama is a clear and present danger to the American way of life.

And Barack Obama, due to the brand of pure foolishness he shares with his fellow Democrats, requires the United states remain completely dependent on foreign oil – and Middle Eastern oil – for decades to come. Ergo sum, Obama is a clear and present danger to our security.

In concluding, let me state that I am a religious person, and I believe that God gave us oil for a reason. I also believe that He gave us more than enough to meet our needs.

I am in favor of genuine, practical, clean alternatives to oil. I am in favor of providing tax breaks to ALL current and potential producers and suppliers of energy – including oil companies (in order to develop shale oil technology, clean coal technology, etc.). I believe that we will find the solutions that we need in a timely manner if we act wisely.

But demonizing the oil that sustains us, and pursuing a liberal-socialist radical environmentalist agenda that literally keeps us in the dark is not wisdom. It is in fact the very worst kind of foolishness.

See my other articles on Democrats and their obstruction to our energy supply:

Democrat’s ‘Commonsense Plan’ Revealed: Let’s Nationalize the Oil Industry

Blame Democrats for Sky-High Gas Prices

Democrats Block US Energy Independence, Send Gas Prices Soaring

Democrat’s Ideological Stand Against Domestic Oil Terrible for US Economy & Security

If You Want $12 A Gallon Gas, Vote for Obama and Democrats

My articles on the pseudo-menace of global warming:

What You Never Hear About Global Warming

What the Science REALLY Says About Global Warming