Tag Archives: energy

Warning: U Turn or Crash

U-Turn to right permitted

U-Turn to right permitted

For a very short time in the history of the world, America was an oasis of liberty in a global desert of humanistic oppression. That era is rapidly coming to an end. Furthermore, it appears more evident each day that we may have passed the point of no return. No matter what decisions our leaders make in the next few months, we cannot defy the laws of economics and math. Eventually, we will end up in financial bankruptcy and social chaos. At that point, based on the lessons of history and the law of cause and effect, order can only be restored to the chaos by draconian government intervention.

When that happens, we will have lost all hope of ever returning to a constitutional republic. America will lose its place as the “leader of the Free World”. We will no longer be the “policeman of the world” helping to maintain world order. The disorder and confusion we now see in the Middle East and Europe will continue to spread until chaos extends throughout the world, requiring the same solution, draconian government intervention. Conditions will then be ripe for establishing the long sought after goal of humanists, socialists, communists and other left wing groups, for a one-world government; the “New World Order” spoken of by George H.W. Bush many years ago.

Many of my readers are probably thinking to themselves, “The old man has finally lost it”. In 2008 when I first began to write about the dangers of an Obama Presidency, the most common response from my friends was, “that could never happen here, the American people would never stand for it.” I was also chided by my friends when I labeled Barack Obama as a socialist when he first appeared on the political scene. For some reason, I do not hear those criticisms so much today. Anyway, before you click off this page, let me assure you these thoughts are not original with me. They are gleaned from political philosophers, news accounts of current events, and the writings of commentators on political and religious history. For example, the modern progressive goal of a one world government dates back to the utopian thinkers of the twentieth century as a means for ending war, curing world hunger and furthering the socialist idea of “social justice”.

A number of groups have long sought to bring global trade, finance, transnational businesses and natural resources, under international control. The vehicle through which they hope to exercise control is the United Nations. The most active of these groups are the American Humanist Association and the Unitarian Universalists Association; both recognized United Nations NGOs with consultative status on a number of UN committees. The ultimate goal is a secular federated world government as stated in the 1973 doctrinal statement of the American Humanist Association.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

If we understand this, we are closer to understanding those who work for open borders, amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, not to mention such UN programs as Agenda 21 and the Kyoto Protocol. It also helps to explain the thinking of those who advocate the power to tax for the UN. Our national sovereignty is being attacked and slowly chipped away by the UN, issue by issue, and with the full support of too many in Washington; much in the same manner as the federal government has worked for years to destroy the sovereignty of the states.

America is on the verge of social and economic collapse. Once that happens, it will be a simple thing to surrender our sovereignty to the “democratic” protection of a world government. A large segment of our population — perhaps even a majority — have already been conditioned to accept it, through amoral secular education and the alluring promises of humanistic socialism. Any reform or reversal of our current trend must take place before we reach that point. Once we allow a societal collapse, through apathy or avarice, there will be no hope of returning to the America past generations sacrificed so much to build and preserve. As we prepare for the struggles ahead, it would be well to remember that our battles are not only fiscal and political; they are spiritual as well; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12.

This nation was founded by the Providence of God and it can only be salvaged by the Providence of God. Our government must return to our plainly written founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and our churches must return to the authority of the Holy Scriptures if we are to see true reformation. A Biblical passage that has been quoted so frequently lately, that it has almost become a cliché, is “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. Cliché or not, it is a promise from God that America cannot afford to ignore.

Does Pace expect $7.90 diesel fuel?

By W C (Bill) Augustine,

The Chicago suburban Pace bus system has purchased new diesel-electric hybrid buses because they hope the buses will be more cost-effective over a 12-year life span according to Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski.

The hybrid buses, which are made in Canada, cost $525,000 each as opposed to regular diesel powered buses which cost $288,000.  According to manufacturer Orion the hybrid buses will save over their lifetime 30,000 gallons of fuel.

If the manufacturer’s fuel saving estimate is correct, over the lifetime of a hybrid bus the 30,000 gallon fuel saving will need to offset the $237,000 higher purchase price.  Given these assumptions, in order for the hybrid to be “cost effective” diesel fuel costs must average more than $7.90 per gallon over the life of the bus. The diesel break-even price would be even higher if we added the expected six-year battery replacement cost (research shows the expectation optimistic)  and a present money value consideration to the equation.

Simple calculations show other considerations than cost saving must have driven the decision to purchase the hybrid buses.  “We’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint” said Kwasneski.

Pace’s projected 2012 operating expenses are $321 million of which riders pay $66 million or 21%.  Are riders willing to pay higher fees to reduce their carbon footprint?  Has anyone asked them?

Are taxpayers willing to increase $255 million in public funding for PACE’s meager contribution to an agreed ineffectual remedy to avert possible global warming?  Perhaps we should be straight forward and ask them.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

Environmentalism or Chrony Capitalism?

By W. C. (Bill) Augustine

President Obama has been criticized as an advocate of an extreme brand of environmentalism that borders on religion. He is also accused of using the government to curry favor toward selected parties, (i.e. crony capitalism or ‘the Chicago way’).

Although the underlying philosophy of extreme environmentalism is certainly open to further analysis, a comparison of the weight of President Obama’s alleged propensities may give us clues as to his priorities.

When dispensing favors to friends or creditors clashes with a classical concern for human environment, on which side does the President come down?

 Tonopah, a Nevada solar project , owned by PCG, whose number two person happens to be Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, receives a $737 million DOE guarantee even after the  Obama-campaign-donation-bundler  owned, Solyndra debacle. In Tonapah taxpayers are on the hook for $737 million— over $16 million per job for 45 permanent jobs created and, given the 110 megawatts of production, about $7,000 per kilowatt of capacity.  An environmentally sound investment of money?

Although a  new study conducted  at the University of Tennessee concludes electric cars are more dangerous to human health than combustible engine cars, President Obama is increasing the per electric car tax credit from $7,500 to $10,000, thus bringing the total federal and state subsidies for the United Auto Workers and government-owned Chevy Volt to $250,000 per car sold .  It is interesting that the average income of the  Volt buyer is $170,000 making them part of the despised 1%.  Choosing the whims of the 1% over human health?

Although a moratorium was placed on US off-shore drilling, President Obama failed to stop the  US Export-Import Bank  from lending $2 billion to Brazilian Petrobras of which Obama financial supporter  George Soros  was a major investor. Are non-US refineries more environmentally-friendly than US refineries?

 The Duke Energy Corp , whose CEO Jim Rogers is a major Obama contributor and co-chairman of the Democratic National Convention host committee, offered Charlotte, NC a $10 million line of credit to fund the Democratic National Convention after receiving $230 million in stimulus money.  What does the $10 million do to enhance the environment?

 The SunPower Corp , which posted a $150 million in loss the first half of last year, nevertheless received a $1.2 billion Federal loan guarantee amounting to an astonishing $80 million per permanent job created.  Amazingly, the company has paid $290,000 to lobbyist Patrick Murphy, a confidant of Senator Harry Reid, $16,500 to Democratic congressional candidates in 2010 of which Senator Reid received the largest donation. Could more have been attained environmentally from $1.2 billion?
President Obama nixes the keystone pipeline, which would have much more efficiently carried crude than railroads to the more environmentally friendly Gulf refineries than those in Asia. Coincidently, no doubt, Obama supporter Warren Buffet,  who benefited greatly from the bank bailout , owns  Burlington Northern Santa Fe through Berkshire Hathaway , which is among the railroads that will move the Canadian oil without the pipeline. Best choice for the environment?

Whether President Obama is an advocate of classical or the post-humanist religion-like brand of environmentalism, his choices appear to reflect a priority of extending state control through dispensing favors regardless of the human impact.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

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Conservatives Line Up to Join Progressive Lynch Mob

Administration continues its attacks on BP, while stalling on cleanup operations.

It is frightening to see how many conservatives have climbed aboard the progressive bandwagon to “bash BP”.  At this point, no one knows the amount of culpability British Petroleum has in the Gulf oil spill. That will only be known after future investigations whose results will be tried in court.  Propaganda from Congress, White House and the media, far exceeds the facts available to the American people. However, we do know that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men. When we cease to be a nation of laws, we also cease to be a nation of liberty.

Following the strategy of Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste”, the Obama Administration has seized on the Gulf catastrophe as an opportunity to ramp up its attacks on capitalism and increase its power over the American people. The rhetoric of Obama since the spill has been the rhetoric of a dictator, not a President. He has brazenly defied the restraints placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution and appointed himself as the judge, jury and executioner of British Petroleum.

America has not witnessed a political climate like today’s anti-big-business one, since the turn of the Twentieth Century, when progressive politicians attempted to ride the populist tide against the “Robber Barons” of industry into elective office.  For many, that strategy proved successful, however, it ultimately culminated in the market crash of ’29 and Great Depression of the thirties.

This week Obama arrogantly announced he had ordered BP to place 20 billion dollars in an escrow account to cover the cost of mitigating the damage caused by the Gulf oil spill.  When a reporter asked a member of Congress whether there was legal authority for the demand, she answered, in effect, “if not we will pass a law”.  In addition, Pelosi is pressing for legislation to remove the liability cap on oil companies.  Under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act currently in place, oil companies are obligated to pay all cleanup costs, but liability for damage to local economies, natural resources and livelihoods is capped at $75 million.

The threat of retroactive laws and laws targeting a particular party violate a number of constitution prohibitions.  Article 1.9.3 forbids the passing of ex post fact law or bills of attainder. Amendment 7 guarantees the right to a trial by jury, and Amendment 14.1 forbids the taking of private property without due process of law.

While Obama has been bullying BP and its executives for political points, his administration seems to be doing everything in its power to obstruct clean up efforts.  The latest example occurred on Thursday when the Coast Guard pulled all the tankers used in skimming oil from the water, off the job for inspection. Believe it or not, the inspection was to make sure the tankers met specifications for the number of life preservers on board.  If there were any doubt, it would have made more sense for the Coast Guard to load up a boat with life preservers and distribute them to the tankers, where necessary.

Obama’s obvious attempt to use the Gulf spill disaster for political advantage could prove to be his biggest mistake to date.  In trying to deny Gulf Coast governors any credit in controlling the damage caused by the spill, he is alienating the American people and increasing the political stature of his number one political threat, Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana. His administration has stalled on Jindal’s request for permission to build barrier islands, for request for more booms to contain the oil, and now the incident with the Coast Guard.

Obama’s actions place Jindal in the position of “underdog” in a David and Goliath type of struggle. The American People love underdogs. The more Obama resists the efforts of Jindal the less popular he becomes and the more Americans who are rooting for Jindal. Every event of history has its own time. Now is the time for action, not finger pointing and foot dragging.

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The Congress-Copenhagen Connection

minute-man-2-lithoIn several ways, the future of America will be decided in the next thirty days.  Four events are scheduled that will have a profound effect on the level of freedom and liberty enjoyed by the American people, passage of the 2009 budget; the initial negotiating session in Bonn, Germany on the U.N. “Climate Change” plan;  Domestic legislation on global warming by Congress; and legislation on national health care.  All four have the potential to greatly expand the reach of the federal government, further erode state sovereignty, adversely affect the national economy, and diminish the level of liberty and freedom for citizens.

The Copenhagen Accords

The U.N. plan also threatens the erosion of our national sovereignty.  The first negotiating session for the “Copenhagen Accords” began Sunday, March 29, in Bonn under the auspices of the United Nations.  Goals for the accords are set forth in a sixteen page informational document to be distributed to participants. They are expected to be signed by December 2009. Unlike the Kyoto Accords, indications are that the Copenhagen Accords will have the support of both Congress and the White House.

An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily Saturday, begins with a reference to Czech President Vaclav Klaus who once called global warming “a new religion, a Trojan horse for imposing a global tyranny worse than communism.”

“Details about the Copenhagen Conference prove how right he was”, comments the IBD editor.

The centerpiece of the new accords will be an international “Cap and Trade” scheme that, if implemented, will result in a massive transfer of wealth from advanced industrial nations, particularly the United States, to underdeveloped and developing nations like those in Africa, South and Central America, China and India.  In addition to wealth transfer, the UN’s “informational notes” predicts a major relocation of businesses as companies flee from highly regulated countries to those with fewer regulatory policies.

The two domestic industries hardest hit by the new regulations will be energy and transportation.  Both rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels and they cannot be outsourced.  The costs associated with “cap and trade” and carbon taxes will be passed on to consumers through higher prices.  When added to the inflation caused by the Treasury Department’s printing of trillions of dollars to pay for the Obama economic plan the result is sure to be a lowering of the standard of living for everyone.

There is, however, a ray of hope so far as the UN plan is concerned, assuming that we still have a Constitution in place next year when a treaty is likely to be presented to the Senate for ratification.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requires a two-third majority in order to ratify a treaty. The constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote in the Senate cannot be set aside with the Reid-Pelosi “reconciliation” plan they intend to use to bypass any attempt to filibuster bills dealing with domestic climate change, energy conservation and healthcare.

A more immediate threat comes from a domestic cap and trade scheme legislated by Congress.  The domestic plan would have all the negative aspects of the UN plan and will probably have popular support among the uninformed voters that make up the major segment of the voting public.  What makes new cap and trade regulations more likely is the fact that many Republican Congressmen and Senators have bought into the pseudo-science of “global warming”.  There is little chance that such a bill could be successfully filibustered, even if the opportunity was given.

There seems to be little we can do other than protest to stop the anticipated legislation on both climate change and healthcare.  Aside from the outrageous spending spree already underway by the federal government, climate change and health care legislation pose the biggest threats we will be facing in the near future.

Eventually we will make the transition from fossil fuel to an alternative—when the time is right. When that happens it will be because of entrepreneurial innovation and consumer demand not because of central planning by the government.  That is always the way progress comes about.  We did not make the transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile because of government initiative, but because of American ingenuity and the free market.  Government interference in the free market always causes dislocation in the economy and results in unforeseen and unnecessary problems for the consumer.  Government can, to a certain extent, affect production through regulations, but it cannot dictate consumption except by trampling on the liberties of its citizens.

Both Climate change legislation and health care legislation are doomed to failure in the long run  because they violate two basic principles of the human condition.

The Problem with Central Planning

Two terms familiar to every business school student are “span of control” and “economy of scale”.  Span of control has to do with the principle that the human mind is limited in its capacity for gathering, absorbing and using information efficiently.  Economy of scale has to do with the consolidation of operations in order to improve efficiency.  The merger craze of a few decades ago brought out the shortcoming of both these theories.

Large companies bought up smaller companies in order to take advantage of the economy of scale only to find that they had stretched the span of control to a point that could no longer be managed effectively. Companies go from acquisition to centralization, to decentralization, to “spin offs” in an effort to find the optimum balance between the span of control and the economy of scale.  Few ever find it, and private businesses have an advantage over government in that they are merit based and motivated by profit.  Governments are politics based and motivated by the desire for power.

Centrally planned economies have never worked, and cannot work, because they always violate the principle underlying “span of control”.  The founders understood this principle well when they drafted the Constitution.  That is one of the reasons why they limited the power and size of the central government and reserved policy decisions affecting the daily lives of citizens to states and local communities.

Health Care

America has the best and most innovative health care system in the world.  It’s artificially high cost is primarily the result of a manufactured demand caused by our third-party payment system created by employer paid health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Until we deal honestly with that problem, we cannot solve the problem of unaffordable health care.

The only way to solve the problem of healthcare costs is to allow the market to function.  Add the amount being paid by companies for employee health insurance to employees’ paychecks, return taxes paid for Medicaid and Medicare to the taxpayer and let the taxpayer pay for their own catastrophic health insurance and routine healthcare, “out of pocket”.

When our automobile breaks down we think nothing of paying five hundred or a thousand dollars to get it fixed.  Certainly, our body is more important than our car.  Yet, we have created an expectation that when our body breaks down or develops a temporary “problem” the expense of getting it fixed should be born by someone else.

The expense for indigent health care can and should be born by states, local communities and families, as it once was.  No one should go without needed health care, and they do not today.  The problem is that as the system is now working the cost of  indigent care is born by hospitals and emergency rooms and passed on to other patients through elevated cost for hospital services or to the taxpayer through hospital reimbursements.

The problems caused by government planned and administered healthcare schemes in Canada, England, France, and elsewhere are well documented and widely known.  In spite of this, our politicians are determined to force nationalized health care on everyone, in one form or another.  The inevitable result will be lower standards of care for patients and unsustainable cost to the taxpayers.  Eventually, health care and our arrogant attempts to control climate, unless checked, will result in the demise of capitalism.  If one doesn’t get us, the other one will.

Enough is Enough!

It’s time for a good old-fashioned, stress-relieving rant.

The battle for votes between the two political camps threatens to leave the winner with a country in shambles.  Some comfort can be found in the fact that neither candidate intends to try to keep all their outlandish and impossible promises.  More comfort may be found in the fact that most of them could never find their way into law.  Even if we ignore those promises, that still leaves us with trillions of dollars in additional spending that will drive the debt for future generations to astronomical proportions while making the money they have left to pay it with practically worthless.

I am tired of paying three dollars for a loaf of bread, four dollars for a gallon of milk and four-fifty for a gallon of gasoline while some empty headed politician on TV tells me that inflation is under control.  I am tired of not being able to learn what is really going on because of the claims and counter-claims from the candidates as they attempt to shift blame to their political opponents.  I am tired of Congress using our tax money for social engineering and economic manipulation.  The Constitution only authorizes them to use it for the expenses of running the government.

I am tired of a Congress that is run by party bosses for the good of the party, instead of for the good of the country.  I am tired of politicians who put party loyalty and a quest for power before loyalty to their constituents and the welfare of the country.  There is something drastically wrong and definitely unconstitutional when the performance of our government and our culture is dictated by the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader in the Senate and five left-leaning Supreme Court Justices.

I am tired of a Congress that treats the Constitution as a suggestion of how the government might be run—if it’s convenient—instead of as a contract that specifies how it must be run.  I am tired of political correctness that prevents public figures from correctly identifying the problems we face and how we got here.  Most of all I am tired of a whining, sniveling populace that seems incapable of distinguishing between government and Santa Claus.

I was born at the beginning of the socialist epoch and since the life span of socialism seems to be about seventy years, I will probably check out while it is in the process of collapsing.  My formative years, which probably affected my worldview, was lived during the great depression and World War Two.  I have watched the country move into socialism starting with the New Deal and progress through the Great Society and the War on Poverty.  We are currently moving faster into total socialism than at any time in my memory, while many of my fellow citizens watch it happen and cheer its progress.

It is often difficult to see the pitfalls of socialism until it has been in place for a period of time and its true nature begins to emerge.  The majority of my generation and almost all of my parent’s generation saw Franklin Roosevelt as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.  I was almost thirty years old before I began to see him in a true light and started to understand the damage he did to our country and our Constitution.

There are two economic models available to modern societies, capitalism and socialism.  When they are mixed socialism almost always crowds out capitalism because capitalism requires individual effort and responsibility, while socialism depends on the efforts of others and responsibility is shifted to the government.  The biggest difference, however, between the two is in it’s administration.

Capitalism is self-administering and self-correcting.  When engaged in properly it rewards its participants with prosperity and comfort.  When engaged in improperly it punishes offenders with economic failure and the censure of society at large.  Those who do not participate, either through ignorance of its workings or slothfulness, often fall prey to the siren song of socialism.  Capitalism works independent of government because, at its core, it rests on an arrangement between those with a need and those who are willing to fulfill that need for a profit.  The only oversight it requires from government is to police its honesty to insure the gullible are not taken unfair advantage of by the greedy.

Socialism, on the other hand, cannot function without an administrator.  Someone must assume the role of taking from those who produce wealth and redistributing it to those who do not.  Invariably that role is left to the government, with the acquiescence of enough citizens to make it possible.  The administration of socialism is always presided over by a ruling elite, preaching equality and considering themselves more equal than most.  The hallmark of socialism is corruption.  The elites in charge line their pockets from the labors of the populace who are kept in a state of equal deprivation.

In the last month we have take some major steps toward complete socialism.  The economic crisis, caused primarily by government policies intended to manage the economy, is creating an excuse for the government to take over major parts of the economy.  The mortgage crisis, brought on by congressional demands for cheaper loans to homebuyers with inadequate means for repayment has led to a virtual takeover by government of the mortgage industry.  These government induced, substandard loans increased the demand for houses which increased home prices to the point where the market collapsed.

The most culpable participants were the two quasi-government institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who were buying up these loans enabling banking institutions to issue even more.  Both Freddie and Fannie also served as piggy banks to finance the opulent lifestyles of their executives and campaign cash for congressional leaders.  The contagion spread to other financial institutions causing investment banks to begin falling like dominoes.

That coupled by a shortage of energy—also caused by government regulations—in a nutshell, explains our current economic crisis.

We are told, however, that the cause of the crisis is not enough regulation by government and the only solution is for the government to have even more control.  In the past month the government has, in effect, nationalized the major portion of our housing industry and financial institutions.  Within the past twenty-four hours it has nationalized AIG, a major player in our insurance industry, taking a seventy-nine percent equity interest in the company in exchange for an eighty five billion dollar loan.

Next in line is the automobile industry asking for fifty billion dollars to help with government demands to transform their manufacturing processes in order to meet the demands of radical environmentalists.  The price for the companies, if their request is granted, will be more government control over their operations and even more expensive and more stringent regulations that they will be required to implement.

We now have the government telling us what kind of car we should drive, what type of lighting we must have in our homes, the type of TV sets we have to watch, what appliances to buy, how to discipline our kids; the list goes on ad infinitum.

Socialism cannot co-exist with our form of constitutional government.  We have to choose between a government with limited constitutional powers and a socialist government with unlimited powers—while it lasts.  I say, “It’s time to say ‘enough‘; throw all the bums out and start over“.


Do Your Patriotic Duty–Pray for a Do-Nothing Congress

It seems everywhere you turn someone is demanding the government do something to lower the price of gasoline and solve our “energy crisis”. Before joining the chorus we need to stop and apply some good old fashioned “horse sense” to the problem.

We do not have an energy crisis. We have a business crisis. Simply put, the problem is that oil companies are not able to supply enough oil to meet the demands of world markets. A seeming related problem is that the climate of the earth is warming. Both of these problems, the real and the imagined, require clear thinking on the part of the American people before we allow the government to do irreparable damage to our economy, the Constitution and our way of life.

The first question that must be answered is why the oil companies are not able to keep up with the demand for their products. It is not because there is a shortage of raw product. There are trillions of barrels of oil beneath the surface of the earth just waiting to be discovered and processed. It is not due to lack of capital. The oil companies are among the best financed companies on earth. It is not due to lack of labor. So long as there are millions of unemployed persons worldwide seeking a livelihood it cannot be claimed there is a shortage of labor.

The only reason there is a shortage of oil is because it is 100% under the control of the most inefficient mechanism ever devised by man, government. 95 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves are owned by a government. The remaining five percent, located in free-market countries, are heavily regulated by those governments and, in most cases, located under land or water owned or controlled by government.

When Congress returns to Washington, September 3, it will be under heavy pressure from the American public to “do something”. Most Americans have no idea what they want Congress to do other than make gasoline cheaper. The price of gasoline is an end result not a process. In order for the price to come down, oil companies have to produce enough product to meet the demand at a price consumers and businesses can afford.

Our problems are not due to government inaction. They are due to too much government action in the past. What we need is less involvement by government not more. Demanding that government do something without specifying what that something is, is like turning your teen age daughter loose at the mall with your credit card and permission to buy whatever she wants.

If we can’t drill our way out of the problem, we certainly cannot legislate our way our. Given a choice between the two, drilling is certainly more productive than legislating. Most of the solutions offered by our political leaders are nothing more than flights of fantasy though up during periods of daydreaming about what they would do if they were king. Only a small percentage of them are practical enough to ever be implemented. Those that may be implemented promise to do more harm than good.

The solutions offered by either party involve a major overhaul of our economy, our lifestyles and our relationship to government. Democrat plans would add trillions of dollars to the cost of government and give it almost total control of the major decisions we make in our lives, such as the type of car we drive, the type of home we live in and where that home is located. In Obama’s energy plan, for example, he promises to “build livable and sustainable communities”.

These communities would be designed to facilitate the use of alternative means of transportations, including bicycling and walking. He would have controls over building design to insure energy efficiency. He would also have controls on appliance manufacturing to insure our refrigerators, toasters, light bulbs, etc. were energy efficient.

To bring about these utopian communities he proposes billions of dollars of taxpayer money be directed to manufacturers, building supply firms and contractors for insulation, windows, heating plants, and other energy saving devices. One of his proposals is to “make a commitment to weatherize one million low-income homes” each year for the next ten years. Included in the plan is “upgrading a home’s furnace, sealing leaky ducts, fixing windows and adding insulation“.

Both parties have plans to force Americans to use less oil and more alternative energies. No doubt we would be better off if we did so. However, man is a stubborn creature and engaging in that human activity identified by Jefferson as “the pursuit of happiness” is an activity we prefer to engage in in our own way and at our own pace. Wind power and solar power has been around for decades. The reason it is not used more by the public is because it does not meet their needs for convenience and reliability.

The same thing can be said for energy efficient cars; remember the Yugo. Some readers may even be old enough to remember the Willys. Then there was the Isetta, a two passenger vehicle very similar to the “plug-ins” being made today except the Isetta had only one door. That door opened in front. If you parked at the curb and another car parked in front of you, you couldn’t get back into your car until the other car moved.

The point is there is nothing new in the proposals offered by government. Everything has already been tried and rejected by the consumer. Some will return in an improved form, and eventually will be accepted, when the public is ready, not when the government is ready. If we have learned anything from history, it is that when government attempts to manipulate the American consumer, the unintended consequences are always more negative than the problems government is attempting to solve.

There is no way the government could force the changes in American’s lifestyle they want without Herculean controls over almost every aspect of our lives. I can not believe a majority of the American people are ready to turn over to government the amount of control over their lives that would be required.

The most serious danger facing us in our current dilemma is an over reaction by government. Whenever government attempts to make major “forced” changes in one part of the economy the ripple effect has consequences for all its other parts as well. The ripple effect of plans currently being discussed would be a tsunami. For example, according to DOT figures Americans drove 12.5 billion fewer miles in June, 2008 than in June, 2007. That may mean a penny less per gallon when we fill up our gas tanks, but it plays havoc on the profits and jobs of those who depend on a motoring public for their livelihood.

The effects of mandated use of ethanol on our food supply and prices is another example, and there are many more. If left to its own devices, the market will eventually reach equilibrium between the various forms of energy available today. That is the way of nature and of markets. Government tinkering with either can only have disastrous effects in our lives.

That’s why the most fervent prayer by every American ought to be, “please give us a do-nothing Congress. Above all, please, do not allow them to saddle the American people with a ‘comprehensive’ energy plan.”

Copy and e-mail this link to a friend: Illinoisconservative.com/pray for a do nothing congress