Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wrecking America

By Alan Caruba

I am always wary of conspiracy theories. Most can be explained away as shared ideologies which, in the case of the current and recently past Congresses and White Houses, can be described as socialism. It did not and does not matter which Party was or is in power.

The other explanation for the national car wreck we’re in is just plain “stupidity.” Another way of describing this is “willful ignorance.” Both apply when the President, Senators or Representatives say things that have no basis in fact either historically or empirically.

We all know, for example, that it is getting colder no matter where we live, but the President has been lying about “global warming” and “greenhouse gas emissions” for some time now.

Similarly, Congress, going back to 1979 or so, has been doing everything in its capacity to thwart access to the tremendous reserves of energy in America, thus forcing Americans to pay more for imported oil and to subsidize the worst possible way to generate electricity, wind and solar power.

It has banned the manufacture or import of incandescent light bulbs starting in 2010.

It determines how much water can be used to flush your toilet.

It determines the content of every gallon of gasoline, requiring that ethanol be a component even though ethanol ensures less mileage and more carbon dioxide emissions from the tailpipe. It also drives up the cost of all foods made from corn or the livestock to which it is fed.

What kind of nation fails the most essential element of a modern society, the maintenance of its infrastructure? America’s roads, bridges, ports and other elements of infrastructure are sorely in need of repair or replacement. It’s not happening along with the failure to build a single new nuclear plant, nor refinery in three decades.

Meanwhile, following a Bush “stimulus” effort and an Obama “stimulus” bill, the economy remains mired in the doldrums. Unemployment has risen above 10%, the worst since 1983. Things like this don’t happen without a cause and, as Ronald Reagan used to say, “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.”

In a similar fashion, during a 1959 interview with Mike Wallace, the author Ayn Rand said, “A free economy will not break down. All depressions are caused by government interference and the cure that is always offered…is more of the same poisons that caused the disasters.”

Rand was referring to the Great Depression, an economic disaster made infinitely worse and longer by all the government prescriptions applied by both President Hoover and, in particular, President Franklyn D. Roosevelt. It is now understood that FDR and his economic advisors literally stretched out the Great Depression to ten year’s duration by choking off the free flow of capital and trade.

There is an interesting comparison between FDR and President Obama. Neither had any experience in the world of business and commerce. Neither ever ran a business or met a payroll. A political campaign is not a business enterprise. It is a short-term fund raising effort. It produces nothing except a candidate who either wins or loses. Obama’s economic advisors have been prescribing the same awful “remedies” as FDR’s.

The present dilemma is that Obama is an ideologue, a “red diaper” baby raised on the socialist belief in the “redistribution of wealth” which essentially means taking money from productive wage earners and investors, and giving it to “the poor.” The problem with that is that there has always been about 14% of the population that have been and will be poor. Giving them other people’s money does not make them less poor; only more dependent on government.

This transfer of wealth in exchange for getting their vote comes with no guarantees. The large percentage of Blacks who voted for Obama in 2008 did not bother to return to the polls in this year’s elections. Neither did the worshipful youth who helped elect him by a slim seven points.

As for those youth and everyone else who has passed through the U.S. education system since the 1960s, the bad news is that you received some of the worst education available in any nation on Earth. That’s why you don’t understand much about what is happening in your life or in the world around you. The curriculum has been dumbed down to ensure your ignorance of things graduates in 1950 understood even if you do not.

The good news is the swift plunge in Obama’s popularity among all voters. He has proved himself to be spectacularly ill-prepared for the presidency on the basis of its ideology, his experience, and his judgment. One almost expects him to show up on “Dancing with the Stars” any day.

So what or who is wrecking America? A lot of very stupid people.

Only a Congress that openly admits it does not read the bills put before it votes on them could be so indifferent to the public will or the public good.

Two bills will wreck the economy beyond recognition. There is no public support for either healthcare reform or the energy cap-and-trade bill. Yet both are the keystone legislative goals of the White House.

Beyond stupidity, there is ideology.

The environmental movement, a quasi-religious cult, is fighting every form of energy production except solar or wind. It is engaged in a war on private property. It regards all chemicals as poisons despite the fact that the human body is a virtual chemical processing factory. It is the megaphone for “global warming”, the largest hoax—other than Communism—in modern history.

It’s just too easy to beat up the news and entertainment media, particularly the latter. What passes for entertainment is too stupid, too childish, and too vulgar for words. As for news, Americans are increasingly finding their own sources on the Internet and/or relying on sources such as The Wall Street Journal and others they trust.

So, if you are looking around for an answer to what or who is wrecking America, just keep looking around you. It’s Congress. It’s the White House. It’s people who believe the Democrat Party cares what they think. It’s people who think Islam is a religion of peace. It’s people who follow news of “celebrities.” It’s Nancy Pelosi. It’s Harry Reid. It’s Barney Frank. It’s Barack Hussein Obama.


Anonymous said...

How very ironic that while our European and US troops are slugging it out, and dying, in Afghanistan in order to establish some sort of democracy in that barbaric land, our home countries are being subjugated relentlessly.
Men and women dying for someone else's freedom when their own freedoms back home are being snached away by the EU, the UN, Agenda 21, Sustainable Development and any other nasty alpha-numerical mix you want to add on.

Somehow, the world seems out of kilter and getting screwier. Our politicians are hell-bent on as much destruction to our way of life as they can muster. What ever course of action is deemed best for our people is rejected in favour of imposing an 'ideal' bygone age of Conan The Barbarian style retro city states.

This collective, world-wide madness has to end and will only be brought about by a complete about face by those in power and able to organise on a massive scale. As those in power erect a massive, almost impenetrable fence between themselves and the people this seems to be a pipe dream; we are being herded like cattle to ever smaller pens prior to slaughter - all in slow motion. There must be, eventually, a corrective moment.
Just when and how is the moment of correction going to kick-in?

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

Hi Alan,

You write, correctly, "It did not and does not matter which Party was or is in power."

I write, correctly, HOORAY! You dun broke the code.

William Claffey said...

Hello, Mr. Caruba:
Yesterday I read your column denouncing CFLs. It is inaccurate in several ways.

25 years ago I talked to some GE engineers who were starting research and development on the CFL. They succeeded, but it took a lot of time and money. GE wants to sell its product. GE announced in 2007 that they would no longer make incandescent bulbs. The move toward CFLs may be partly due to Congress, but it is also due to GE.

Incandescent bulbs are not less "efficient" than CFLs, they are less efficient. The quotation
marks are meant to cast doubt. The raio of lumens out to watts in is smaller for the incandescent bulb by a factor of four.

The EPA safety level for mercury vapor is 0.33 mgs per cubic meter for a period of eight hours. The CFL contains 5 mgs of mercury, and this would be dangerous if all the liquid turned rapidly into vapor.
But this will not happen, because the vapor pressure of mercury at 20degrees C is 0.0000001 bar.

I have seven CFLs in my house. All achieve full brightness in three seconds. One buzzes. The light is not quite as warm as that produced by an incandesecent bulb (less red in the spectrum). It is much warmer than the light pruduced by a fluorescent tube. When I talked to the GE engineers, they knew that they had to figure out how shift the fluorescent spectrum toward longer wavelengths, and they solved the problem, though not perfectly. None of my CFLs have burned out. I will cut my electric bill by $210 in the next five years.

Guy said...

William: Nobody is really disputing that CFL's are more efficient, at least I'm not. I've measured their power draw, and they do indeed use significantly less power and generate less waste heat than an incandescent bulb. They do have their drawbacks, like the different color temperature and poor performance in cold weather, but for indoor use, in a standard lamp or fixture, they are a good choice. Personally, I use a lot of them for one simple reason ... to SAVE MONEY. I also use them when the heat generated from an incandescent bulb would be a problem.

However, I've also run into several applications where a cheap, inefficient incandescent bulb is a wonderfully simple solution to a difficult problem. It's all about CHOICE, and that's what America is all about ...freedom of choice. I decide where I want to use which product, based on my needs and wants.

Letting some bureaucrat in Washington make those decisions for us is wrong, it's un-American, and it goes against everything I love about this great country. I'm not going to go into detail about all the applications where CFL's simply won't do the job, but let it suffice to say that CFL's simply will NOT WORK for many applications. Having our government, that is supposed to be busy SERVING us, making ridiculous laws and banning things complicates my life and interferes with my ability to get things done. In my humble opinion, THAT SUCKS.

Additionally, people like me, who often NEED incandescent bulbs for these "other than lighting" applications can see the writing on the wall. Incandescent bulbs will become hard to find, many types will disappear altogether, and guess what? They will also become very expensive. Coming from a group of people who were elected to SERVE us, this sort of legislation is incredibly aggravating, and it makes me want to hoard incandescent bulbs and use them everywhere I can for the rest of my life, just to make a point.

Lastly, when the MILLIONS of harmless incandescent bulbs that end up in dumps every day are replaced with CFL's, we're going to have a big problem on our hands.... mercury pollution. Yes, I know we aren't supposed to throw them in the trash, but to date, nobody has been able to stop people from tossing batteries in the trash, and it will be no different with CFL's. Perhaps we just need another law ...

William Claffey said...

Guy: I agree with you. Nobody shoud be forced to buy CFLs. I was writing in response to Mr. Canuba's column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He demonized CFLs, and talked about technical issues like efficiency and the evaporation of mercury, but he is very ignorant about science.

The first generation of CFLs is not perfect. Future research should lead to a warmer spectrum and the replacement of mercury.

I wouldn't worry about the 2012 law since it cannot be enforced.