Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Harsh Realities

By Alan Caruba

Sooner or later reality catches up with all kinds of really bad ideas.

I was thinking about this in the midst of the breathless news coverage of Hillary Clinton’s win in Pennsylvania. The Democrats have managed to paint themselves into a corner with two candidates, neither of whom has a hope in hell of winning the White House in November. Since the 1960s Americans have rid themselves of the uglier aspects of racism and have opened doors for women who want careers. The result is a Black candidate and a woman candidate.

Here’s where reality steps in. Raising children is a fulltime job if you want to do it right. There’s much to be said for utilizing the talents of half the population, but life in America has become so expensive that now both parents must work just to have the basics and a few extras. To put it another way, we consume a lot because we have to. Two cars for starters, child care, and the list just gets longer after that.

Being Black is turning out to be a greater liability than Sen. Obama or any other Democrat has wanted to admit. Being Black and belonging to a church with a pastor who says bad things about America is a bigger liability, but being Black and being a crazed liberal for whom government is the answer to all our problems and needs is popular only with a younger generation.

Young voters buy that nonsense because they don’t know any better. Most don’t even know why America fought a Cold War from 1945 until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, followed not long after by the collapse of the Soviet Union from its own dead weight. Today Russia is making a comeback, due almost entirely to oil and natural gas, but has essentially opted for a new form of czarist government.

Another harsh reality is that America has been going down the Socialist path now since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt. All manner of “safety net” programs were put in place and added to, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. These “entitlement” programs are just flat running out of money and the flood of illegal aliens, many with “anchor babies” born here, are going to suck them dry even faster than anticipated. America is aging.

Worse to come will be the complete collapse of our public and private pension funds. The government is obligated to make up any losses and there isn’t enough money to do that. What money that’s still in circulation is rapidly losing its value against the Euro and other currencies. I wonder why? Could profligate spending and a huge deficit have anything to do with it?

More reality intrudes as a worldwide food shortage is occurring thanks to the bonehead notion that America should turn corn and soy into fuel instead of eating it, feeding it to livestock, or exporting it to help the economy. What do you expect from a nation that pays farmers not to plant crops?

Our wheat stocks are at the lowest ebb in years, so a loaf of bread or a pizza is going to become a luxury item pretty soon. Don’t look to the rest of the world because it’s suffering shortages of rice and other grains too. It’s not that there isn’t arable land in places like Africa, but when it’s too costly to buy seeds, fertilizer and the pesticides and herbicides to protect crops, farming is a losing proposition in such places.

The population die-off is going to be horrendous. A billion people live on $1.00 a day or less. The level of corruption worldwide will insure that the warehouses will run out of food. Remember, even if the wealthy nations send money, you can’t eat money.

You can thank the environmentalists for trying to get every pesticide and herbicide banned from use. They have also fought genetically modified seeds whose crops are protected against insect predation, the use of herbicides to rid the field of weeds, and even drought. This accounts for why the Earth has been able to feed over six billion human beings.

The whole world runs on oil in case you haven’t noticed. Aside from the obvious use as fuel, oil is the basis for all plastics and we all use lots of plastic. The uses of oil are too vast to number, but suffice it to say that all machinery requires it in some fashion or other. The speculators have bid up the “oil futures” out of pure human greed and now the price of a barrel is going to the moon.

Meanwhile, the world is not running out of oil. It’s not a supply problem. There are enormous amounts of known reserves and more to be discovered. Part of the problem is that there are not enough refineries worldwide. None have been built in the U.S. since the 1970s. They cost over a billion and, in the meantime, environmental groups and the EPA will amuse themselves suing to protect the environment.

A nation that requires 45 different blends of gasoline in the name of clean air increases the cost of each gallon. Then it requires that the laws of thermodynamics be ignored as it demands more mileage from each gallon while requiring an ethanol additive that reduces mileage.

Meanwhile Congress is contemplating implementing a “cap and trade” program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fight a global warming that isn’t happening. The sun’s radiation has decreased now for several years. The oceans that normally retain 80% to 90% of the Earth’s heat are cooling too. Bundle up!

These are a few harsh realities that all coming due in unpleasant ways. You can thank to a lot of liberal policies and beliefs that just don’t work in the real world or, when implemented, make life in the real world very expensive and even dangerous.

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