Quick Roundup 378

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Energy "Independence" vs. Personal Independence

In addition to the faddish pursuit of alternative energy in the name of "energy independence" being a mis-allocation of capital and poor substitute (alternate link) for national self-assertion on the international stage, it will lower our standard of living. Brian Phillips puts this last fact very well when commenting on a particularly daft assertion by business columnist Loren Steffy of the Houston Chronicle:

In the case of foreign oil we must give up the value of driving a larger vehicle, or reduce our driving, or curtail our energy consumption in other ways. We must surrender these values -- which are chosen voluntarily -- in the name of achieving energy independence. We will achieve energy independence, we are told, by restricting individual independence, that is, reducing or eliminating the choices available to individuals. And eliminating individual independence is the real goal of the apostles of sacrifice. This is the change that Obama proposes. [bold added]
He also has recently posted a nice analysis of a recent proposal to force mobile food vendors to carry radio identification tags on their vehicles.

First in Line to Taste the Leather?

The big question now that Obama has been elected to the Presidency is: Which answer to the "Human Rorschach Test" will show up for the job? I'm hoping for "empty suit", but fear "incipient dictator". Charles Krauthammer, on the other hand, seems to want "incipient dictator"!
With [Obama] we get a president with the political intelligence of a Bill Clinton harnessed to the steely self-discipline of a Vladimir Putin. (I say this admiringly.) With these qualities, Obama will now bestride the political stage as largely as did Reagan.
Of course, Obama hasn't even taken office yet, so maybe this just another individual test result! Either that, or the boot-licking has already begun.

This raises an important point. The question of which Obama is really be a two-parter: (1) How far to the left will he govern. (2) How competently will he implement his agenda?

The Print Edition of TIA Daily

Last month, Myrhaf posted a hilarious parody of TIA Daily, to which I used to subscribe.

Today, for the second time in two or three days, I received an issue TIA via post. I hadn't received one of those for so long that I'd forgotten I had a subscription at all, much less that there were remaining issues!

"They will know we are Christians by our love." (Part IV)

It's a good thing these monks have devoted their lives to the study of religion, which we all know is the only thing standing between us and barbarism!


The church in Jerusalem's Old City, one of the most revered sites in Christianity, is home to six different Christian sects who frequently fight over the rights to maintain and worship in different sections of its hallowed halls.

This time, the fight followed an Armenian procession marking the fourth-century discovery of a cross believed to have been used in Jesus's crucifixion.

Greek Orthodox monks had apparently wanted to post a monk inside the Edicule, a structure built on what is believed to be Jesus's tomb, and blocked the procession when the Armenian clergymen refused.

Riot police broke up the fight and arrested a bearded Armenian monk and a Greek Orthodox monk bleeding from a gash on his forehead. [bold added]
Oh! Did I neglect to mention that religion imparts "perspective" and the right priorities, too? Sorry!

-- CAV

10 comments:

Andrew Dalton said...

I'm in Israel this week, and I was in that church the day before the monk brawl occurred.

Dismuke said...

"I'm hoping for "empty suit", but fear "incipient dictator""

My fear is that he is an empty suit who is manipulated behind the scenes by an incipient dictator. Such a dictator would have no desire to have the personal fame and glory associated with such a position but would be motivated entirely by the raw exercise of power and the nihilistic thrill of seeing his enemies and what we have known as the American way of life ground into the dust. That kind of would-be dictator is far more dangerous than the kind who wishes for personal glory and to be universally loved.

We have fallen very far and very fast considering that talk that we might be facing a serious attempt at imposing a dictatorship on our country is no longer something in the realm of the kooks. It is a very real possibility. Interestingly enough, the people in charge now are the very same people who, over the past 8 years, were freaking out that Bush was about to impose a dictatorship and open up concentration camps. Considering that Bush was a political appeaser and wimp, that was almost humorous. As several people have pointed out, what we saw was PROJECTION of what they would do if THEY were in power and in Bush's place. Watch for them to try and implement everything that were warning that Bush was going to impose. These people are Stalinists. Where they want to go and what they will try and do if given a chance is no big mystery and there are numerous examples in history that show what such people always do when in such a position. The only thing that in my mind is an open question is whether and to what degree the American public will allow them to get away with it and whether they will fight back.

z said...

On energy cutbacks, I got into a mini-debate with an old high school friend of mine, hows this for the argument from intimidation:

He writes "If I am wrong, it costs us all money. If you are wrong, everyone on earth dies. So really it just comes down to how willing you are to bet the lives of everyone on the planet."

So my argument is wrong because I'm a jerk whose willing to bet the lives of everyone on the planet. Nice.

Harold said...

In the case of foreign oil we must give up the value of driving a larger vehicle, or reduce our driving, or curtail our energy consumption in other ways. We must surrender these values -- which are chosen voluntarily -- in the name of achieving energy independence. We will achieve energy independence, we are told, by restricting individual independence, that is, reducing or eliminating the choices available to individuals. And eliminating individual independence is the real goal of the apostles of sacrifice. This is the change that Obama proposes. [bold added]


That's a really good quote. Think I'll check out his website. I'm tired of this demagoguery over the oil issue. Oil comes from all over the world because all oils are not the same. They differ substantially in acidity, gravity, sulphur content, "cut" yields, etc. Depending on the nature of the refinery, they may or may not be able to process crude developed here and even if they were, it may be cheaper to get it elsewhere. Also, the demand for oil (generally) is very great. Although, right now distillate is dominating and gasoline demand is quite bad. In any case, we couldn't sustain ourselves with just what we get from here. (This is why ANWR is largely political). I'm all for drilling of course and if people can develop other technologies that are more cost effective, more power to them.


An aside: I gathered from your posts that you are somewhat familiar with New Orleans. It's my first time here and it's pretty interesting, lol.

Gus Van Horn said...

All,

My apologies for the delay in posting your interesting comments. (Poor Andrew, almost saw that brawl! Damn the bad luck!)

I was on planes most of the day. Job hunting again. Buyer's market. Wish me luck!

Oh, yes. RE: The Big Easy. My wife grew up there, and that's where we got married!

Gus

Andrew Dalton said...

z:

You should point out that such an argument is just a recycled, secularized form of Pascal's wager--which amounts to using arbitrary claims and fear as a standard of knowledge and guide to action. It's a bad argument for believing in God, and also a bad argument for anything else.

Gus Van Horn said...

z,

I assume you're speaking of the energy "independence" argument.

If so, gret minds think alike!

Gus

Gus Van Horn said...

"GREAT". Not "gret". Bleh!

Jim May said...

Z: My counter-argument to that line of BS is this:

Well, actually, since climate changes of great magnitude have swept this planet many times in its history, including over the span of human existence, and we are still here, the likeliest consequence of global warming is massive economic dislocation - in other words, it will cost us a lot of money, if we don't anticipate and adapt. And that's *if* it's real.

On the other hand, out of control governments are KNOWN to be by far more dangerous to human existence; the body count for death by government IN THE LAST CENTURY ALONE outnumbers all other disasters in recorded history.

So we can adapt to what *might* happen, or destroy our economy and expand government power, moving us closer to something we know for an historical fact will result in the deaths of millions.

Gus Van Horn said...

I LIKE that argument, Jim!