Quick Roundup 334

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Brian Simpson on Gas Prices

The silver lining to the latest round of fuel price increases seems to be that we're getting lots of good commentary on all aspects of the subject. You can see Brian Simpson's indictment of the environmentalist movement for its large share of the blame over at Capitalism Magazine:

Environmentalists have also prevented new refineries from being built in the U.S. through lawsuits and regulations, to the point where no new refineries have been built in over thirty years. As a result, refining capacity has actually declined in the last few decades while demand has increased. This has contributed significantly to the high gasoline prices we now experience.

In short, environmentalists have done everything they can to make oil and gasoline more expensive and our standard of living lower. [bold added]
Simpson also discusses the role of speculation on gas prices -- as does Walter Williams in another recent editorial -- and ends with a few revealing quotes I hadn't yet heard about from environmentalists. One of them explicitly subordinates the value of human life to each and every other species and even to inanimate "natural" objects, as if man exists outside of nature.

On the subject of refineries, I noticed yesterday that a county in South Dakota approved via referendum the construction of what would be our nation's first new refinery since 1976. Its close is predictable to anyone who has read Simpson's column or who is otherwise familiar with the role of the Greens in sabotaging our civilization:
Despite a favorable referendum outcome for Hyperion, opponents say the refinery has many hurdles to clear before construction begins.

"There's [sic] probably a hundred pressure points that they have to pass through," said Ed Cable of Citizens Opposed to Oil Pollution, which currently has a lawsuit pending against the rezoning decision, Cable said. [bold added]
I bet many of the voters celebrating the boon to their county don't know the half of it.

Good Summary by the Beeb

Andrew Dalton points to some commentary from the BBC about our impending presidential election and asks, "How about using our heads?" Quoting as he does from the BBC:
At this stage in the race I would venture the following simplification - if America votes with its heart, it will elect Obama.

If it votes with its gut, it will go for McCain. [bold added]
I did a double take at first. Usually, when people speak of acting based on "the heart", they're presenting their version of the false mind-body dichotomy as they assert the superiority of emotions over "cold" (and supposedly incompatible) reason.

"What? No thinking man who fully understands McCain could vote for him!" I thought.

But it's "heart" versus "guts" -- or emotionalism vs. sense-of-life unaided by reason.

That's actually a very succinct and perceptive way of characterizing the tragedy of this election. Too bad for us that both "choices" are very nearly the same beneath the skin, which is to say, abysmal.

Dalton is right. What's been missing for too long in American politics -- and on too many levels -- has been rationality.

Iran Opens a New Lawfare Front

Iran, whose president so routinely delivers near-schizophrenic rants against Israel and predicts its doom that I barely notice it anymore, is now threatening to sue other nations for damaging its reputation.
Iran is threatening to sue countries that it says have damaged its reputation and pushed to have U.N. Security Council involvement in its nuclear program.
Iran is an Islamic theocracy. Islam threatens anyone who doesn't accept its "invitation" to convert with subjugation or death. Iran -- by pursuing nuclear weaponry -- would be acting exactly in accordance with this ethos as a nation, and in all other respects, it does this to the degree it can get away with. Its only possible reason for suing is because some Western nations have a different idea of what constitutes peaceful, civilized behavior than it does, and have the temerity to say so.

This is clearly yet another attempt to export censorship, and as such, it constitutes yet another unwitting confession by Islamic totalitarians that their real enemy is evidence and logic.

No: The GOP is no longer (seen as) a "reliable ally" against statism.

I've seen lots of play given to this bit about Matt Drudge no longer being a "reliable ally" for the GOP.

Much of the power of the GOP comes from people who fell for its reputation -- which it is rightfully losing -- as the party of limited government. (A proper government would act solely to protect individual rights. Many people today vaguely mean "proper" when they say "limited" or "small".)

That being the case, why is everyone acting so surprised that Matt Drudge doesn't slavishly carry water for the likes of John McCain? The man is worse than a Democrat because his conservative "credentials" will blind many voters to the fact that he -- like Obama -- has a best-of-breed, anti-freedom agenda from hell that combines elements from the left and the religious right.

The real question isn't where Matt Drudge's loyalty lies. It's where the loyalty of most conservative activists lies.

Objectivist Roundup

Nick Provenzo has posted the latest Objectivist Roundup over at Rule of Reason.

-- CAV


Burgess Laughlin said...

The people who have caused gasoline prices to rise are generally the same people who support government-owned mass transit. They are seeing their dreams come true.

Try "High gas prices lead to surge in mass transit" on Yahoo News.

Gus Van Horn said...

I had trouble with the link, but here's another story to the same effect.

What's really cute about this is that -- as I saw on the local news a couple of days ago, but can't seem to find on the Internet -- the rising price of diesel is starting to hit transit authorities as contracts that lock in old, lower prices expire.

So they'll probably get the higher taxes they love so much even without the government taxing emissions.