In his recent news conference, George Bush Jr. suggested that our nation's "problem" with high gasoline prices was caused by the lack of a national energy policy, and tried to blame it all on Bill Clinton. First, Junior said, "This is a problem that's been a long time in coming. We haven't had an energy policy in this country." This was followed by, "That's exactly what I've been saying to the American people -- 10 years ago if we'd had an energy strategy, we would be able to diversify away from foreign dependence. And -- but we haven't done that. And now we find ourselves in the fix we're in." As is so often the case, Bush was lying.
Consider President Jimmy Carter's April 18, 1977 speech. Since it was given nearly three decades ago, when many of the reporters in Bush's White House were children, it's understandable that they don't remember it. But it's inexcusable that Bush and the mainstream media (which, after all, has the ability to do research) would completely ignore it. It was the speech that established the strategic petroleum reserve, birthed the modern solar power industry, led to the insulation of millions of American homes, and established America's first national energy policy. "With the exception of preventing war," said Jimmy Carter, a man of peace, "this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes."
He added: "It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century. "We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.
"We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us." Carter bluntly pointed out that: "The most important thing about these proposals is that the alternative may be a national catastrophe. Further delay can affect our strength and our power as a nation." He called the new energy policy he was proposing, "[T]he 'moral equivalent of war' -- except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy."
When Carter had become president three months earlier, the nation was still recovering from the "oil shock" of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, and scientists were realizing our nation was just then hitting the point of domestic peak oil production predicted more than a decade earlier by scientist M. King Hubbert. (The rest of the world is hitting the Hubbert Peak right now.) As Carter noted in his speech, "The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are running out. In spite of increased effort, domestic production has been dropping steadily at about six percent a year. Imports have doubled in the last five years. Our nation's independence of economic and political action is becoming increasingly constrained." Hubbert had predicted that the peak of oil production for the USA would come in the 1970s, and it did, hitting us with a shock.
"The world has not prepared for the future," said Jimmy Carter. "During the 1950s, people used twice as much oil as during the 1940s. During the 1960s, we used twice as much as during the 1950s. And in each of those decades, more oil was consumed than in all of mankind's previous history." Hubbert said we must begin to conserve. Carter agreed.
"Ours is the most wasteful nation on earth," he said, a point that is still true. "We waste more energy than we import. With about the same standard of living, we use twice as much energy per person as do other countries like Germany, Japan and Sweden." Carter directly challenged the fossil fuel and automobile industries. "One choice," he said, "is to continue doing what we have been doing before. We can drift along for a few more years. "Our consumption of oil would keep going up every year. Our cars would continue to be too large and inefficient. Three-quarters of them would continue to carry only one person -- the driver -- while our public transportation system continues to decline. We can delay insulating our houses, and they will continue to lose about 50 percent of their heat in waste. "We can continue using scarce oil and natural gas to generate electricity, and continue wasting two-thirds of their fuel value in the process."
But that would be unpatriotic, anti-American, and essentially wrong. Who but a traitor sold out to special interests, or an idiot, would countenance such insanity?
The year 1977 was a turning point for America. If we didn't make clear and rapid progress, we would face painful times ahead. The Saudis would have their fingers around our necks. We'd face war in the Middle East to secure future oil supplies. "Now we have a choice," Carter said. "But if we wait, we will live in fear of embargoes. We could endanger our freedom as a sovereign nation to act in foreign affairs."
Failure to act in the 1970s and 1980s would inevitably lead to a time when the only way to maintain our lifestyle would be to rape our planet and seize control of oil-rich nations in the Middle East. If we didn't begin to develop alternatives like solar power, and dramatically reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, then, Carter said, even our cherished personal freedoms would be at risk. If we continued to simply follow past policies that enriched the oil industry and the Saudis, instead of becoming energy independent, Carter said, "We will feel mounting pressure to plunder the environment."
If we failed to develop alternative sources of renewable energy and conserve what we have, the alternative could be nasty. As Carter pointed out: "We will have a crash program to build more nuclear plants, strip-mine and burn more coal, and drill more offshore wells than we will need if we begin to conserve now. Inflation will soar, production will go down, people will lose their jobs. Intense competition will build up among nations and among the different regions within our own country. "If we fail to act soon, we will face an economic, social and political crisis that will threaten our free institutions."
Carter's speech drew a strong reaction from the Saudis and the oil industry. Think tanks soon emerged - many whose names are today familiar - to suggest there was really no energy problem, and they led the charge to establish a permanent right-wing media in the US. Within two years, Saudi citizen and oil baron Salem bin Laden's sole US representative, James Bath, would funnel cash into the failing business of the son of the CIA's former director, political up-and-comer George H. W. Bush. With that money from the representative of Osama Bin Laden's half-brother, George Bush Jr. was able to keep afloat his Arbusto ("shrub" in Spanish) Oil Company. And he would be in the pocket of the bin Laden and Saudi interests for the rest of his life. But Carter was incorruptible.
"We can be sure that all the special interest groups in the country will attack the part of this plan that affects them directly," he said. "They will say that sacrifice is fine, as long as other people do it, but that their sacrifice is unreasonable, or unfair, or harmful to the country. If they succeed, then the burden on the ordinary citizen, who is not organized into an interest group, would be crushing." But that would be wrong. It would be un-American. It would lead to future oil shocks, and the probable death of American soldiers in Middle Eastern oil wars. Instead of caving in to the Saudis and the oil industry, Carter said: "There should be only one test for this program: whether it will help our country."
Two years later, as the bin Laden family's sole US representative was bailing out George Bush Junior's failing oil business, Jimmy Carter gave another speech on energy, further refining his national energy policy. He had already started the national strategic petroleum reserve, birthed the gasohol and solar power industries, and helped insulate millions of homes and offices. But he wanted to go a step further. "I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States," Carter said on July 15, 1979. "Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 -- never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s..." In addition, we needed to immediately begin to develop a long-range strategy to move beyond fossil fuel.
Therefore, Carter said, "I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000." But then came the Iran/Contra October Surprise, when the Reagan/Bush campaign allegedly promised the oil-rich mullahs of Iran that they'd sell them missiles and other weapons if only they'd keep our hostages until after the 1980 Carter/Reagan presidential election campaign was over. The result was that Carter, who had been leading in the polls over Reagan/Bush, steadily dropped in popularity as the hostage crisis dragged out, and lost the election. The hostages were released the very minute that Reagan put his hand on the Bible to take his oath of office. The hostages freed, the Reagan/Bush administration quickly began illegally delivering missiles to Iran.
And Ronald Reagan's first official acts of office included removing Jimmy Carter's solar panels from the roof of the White House, and reversing most of Carter's conservation and alternative energy policies.
Today, despite the best efforts of the Bushies, the bin Ladens, and the rest of the oil industry, Carter's few surviving initiatives have borne fruit.
It is now more economical to build power generating stations using wind than using coal, oil, gas, or nuclear. When amortized over the life of a typical mortgage, installing solar power in a house in most parts of the US is cheaper than drawing power from the grid. (Shell and British Petroleum are among the world's largest manufacturers of solar photovoltaic panels, which can now even be used as roofing shingles.) And hybrid cars that get 50-70 miles to the gallon are increasingly commonplace on our nation's highways. Instead of taking a strong stand to make America energy independent, Bush kisses a Saudi crown prince, then holds hands with him as they walk into Bush's hobby ranch in Texas. Our young men and women are daily dying in Iraq - a country with the world's second largest store of underground oil. And we live in fear that another 15 Saudis may hijack more planes to fly into our nation's capitol or into nuclear power plants.
Meanwhile, Bush brings us an energy bill that includes eight billion dollars in welfare payments to the oil business, just as the nation's oil companies report the highest profits in the entire history of the industry. Americans struggle to pay for gasoline, while the Bush administration refuses to increase fleet efficiency standards, stop the $100,000 tax break for buying Hummers, or maintain and build Amtrak. George Bush Jr. is arguably right that gas prices are spiking because we don't have an energy policy. But instead of blaming Clinton, he should be pointing to the Reagan/Bush administration, and to his own abysmal failures over the past four years.
Handed down from ancient times, the Hopi Prophesy delineates the path of peace, and harmony with nature. Where we have deviated from that path, the prophecy has correctly predicted the results. Which path lies before us? What does the future hold? Hear a message of tribal elders for our modern world at the link above, or read it below:
"You have been telling the people that it is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour."
"There are many things to be considered. Where are you living? What are you doing?
"What are your relationships? Are you in right relation?
"Where is your water? Know your garden.
"It is time to speak your Truth.
"Create your community, be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
"This could be a good time!
"There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
"They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
"Know the river has its own destination.
"The Elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
"At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all ourselves. For the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
"The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
"Banish the word 'struggle' from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
2) If you are part of a group of people that hurl racial and homophobic slurs at elected officials. (Extra-special teabaggery awarded to those that called my former congressman and civil rights leader, John Lewis the “N” word,) you are a teabagger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsCL6cxbJqk
8) If you are part of a movement that believes Obama plans on using the military against his own citizens and have FEMA create reeducation/concentration camps for white Christian conservatives, you are a teabagger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UASS1qFAIQ8
Bonus note: This past week, the Tea Party Patriots site ran a headline that announced, “FBI Raids Tea Party Compound” after the arrests of members of the Hutaree militia. Once again, who am I to argue with members of the Tea Party movement if they wish to claim the Christian Identity militia as one of their own? The fact is, at least one member of the Hutaree militia has connections with the Michigan and Ohio militia. And both these militias have connections to the Tea Party movement. And, we all know Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols attended Michigan militia gatherings.
TALKING POINT: "The President does not take the threat of ter.rorism seriously enough" MEANING: as soon as there is a successful attack we can say 'GOTCHA' TALKING POINT: "The American people have spoken" MEANING: Never mind the majority of Americans are against this. If we say NO long enough then maybe people will vote for us thinking we were right
TALKING POINT: "The polls show..." MEANING: Rasmussen says...
TALKING POINT: "Let's slow this down..." MEANING: Give us time to water it down so the bill is worthless to the American people, and favors Corporations and Wall Street.
TALKING POINT: "Hell no you can't!" MEANING: I hope we can stop him and get into power again.
TALKING POINT: "Endless bailouts" MEANING: Phew..that vote to break up the banks was a close one.
TALKING POINT: " 9.9 % " MEANING: We definitely don't want to talk about that 290,000 jobs number.
TALKING POINT: "We want to see his birth certificate!" "Obama was born in Kenya!"(Birthers) MEANING: We don't want a black man as our president.
TALKING POINT: "Obama is a Liberal/Socialist/Marxist/Communist" MEANING: We know Obama is more of a Centrist and we are pleased with many of his programs. But if we keep telling this lie long enough, maybe we can get power back away from the Democrats and Liberals.
TALKING POINT: "I want my country back!" MEANING: Away from you.
This is the same song and dance the right has been performing in the past. They always say the same thing only the subject changes:
We are all in favor of __________ __________. It is the right thing to do. We just think this ________________ is not the right thing to do. We should just stop and _______________ this and start over on it. We need to insure we have this _________________ perfected before taking any action on it. The Democrats are just trying to cram this down our throats, they say we have to ___________________ or else. They are just not giving our side and opportunity to offer ideas and suggestions to _________________.
The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now. You've lost me and you've lost most of America. Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I'd like to give you some advice and an invitation.
First, the invitation: Come back to us.
Now the advice. You're going to have to come up with a platform that isn't built on a foundation of cowardice: fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/commun/fasc-ism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more. But you have work to do even before you take on that task.
Your party -- the GOP -- and the conservative end of the American political spectrum have become irresponsible and irrational. Worse, it's tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred. Let me provide some examples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.
If you're going to regain your stature as a party of rational, responsible people, you'll have to start by draining this swamp:
You can't flip out when the black president bows to foreign dignitaries, as appropriate for their culture, when you were silent when the white presidents did the same. Bush. Nixon.Ike. You didn't even make a peep when Bush held hands and kissed leaders of countries that are not on "kissing terms" with the US.
You can't praise the Congressional Budget Office when it's analysis produces numbers that fit your political agenda, then claim it's unreliable when it comes up with numbers that don't.
You can't vote for X under a Republican president, then vote against X under a Democratic president. Either you support X or you don't. And it makes it worse when you change your position merely for the sake obstructionism.
shout "baby killer" at a member of Congress on the floor of the House, especially one who so fought against abortion rights that he nearly killed health care reform (in fact, a little decorum, a little respect for our national institutions and the people and the values they represent, would be refreshing -- cut out the shouting, the swearing and the obscenities);
You cant repeatedly assert that the president refuses to say the word "terrorism" or say we're at war with terror when we have an awful lot of videotape showing him repeatedly assailing terrorism and using those exact words.
If you're going to invoke the names of historical figures, it does not serve you well to whitewash them. Especially this one.
So, dear conservatives, get to work. Drain the swamp of the conspiracy nuts, the bald-faced liars undeterred by demonstrable facts, the overt hypocrisy and the hatred. Then offer us a calm, responsible, grownup agenda based on your values and your vision for America. We may or may not agree with your values and vision, but we'll certainly welcome you back to the American mainstream with open arms. We need you.
(Anticipating your initial response: No there is nothing that even comes close to this level of wingnuttery on the American Left.)
The Perpetual American Lynch Mob Apparently what Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Thomas Paine, Roger Sherman, John Jay and James Wilson "had in mind" turns out to be a white, racist, homophobic, myth-believing nation of Village Idiots suckled on Fox News and wet dreams of the "Rapture." http://huff.to/cki8AK
Teabaggers wake up from a lifelong intellectual coma and suddenly realize life is not fair, by Stacie Adams 041610
There was a stat recently that many people were losing their shit over. Apparently about 47% of the population doesn’t pay Federal Income taxes. Why, you ask? Because they make so little money that taxing it is pointless, or they receive assistance in the form of government credits aimed at reducing the financial stress of lower to middle income families.
Here is a more annoying stat; approximately 53% of your tax payment goes to military funding. On principle I can’t really object to that. However, in practice this money is squandered on bullshit like having outposts all over the world and slogging through two different wars that our military is apparently incapable of bringing to a close. Wasteful spending in the military is legion and has been for quite sometime. Comparatively, something like education, which is posing a huge problem to the US at the moment, is pathologically under funded.
But the infamous tea-baggers or tea-partiers or tax day protesters or whatever they are called only recently noticed that the government was actively screwing them over. In fact, for many years if one said something not completely glowing about the government they were accused of being a communist by the same people who are now so critical.
Is it so hard to believe that these people are racist and that’s why they’ve suddenly become such vocal critics of the current administration? It’s not that I think Barack Obama is beyond criticism, it’s just that the criticism leveled by the tea-bangers makes no goddamn sense. They direly claim the country is headed in the wrong direction, which is at best a vague objection and at worst is a place holder for something much more impolite. And if the country is truly is on the ‘wrong track’ it’s been on that path for much longer than Obama has held office.
The disparity of the government only became evident to these people when a black guy took office, yet they are entirely squeamish about being called what they are. There was a mad dash to prove that the accusations of racial slurs being shouted at members of congress after they voted on health care were nothing but liberal propaganda. Andrew Breitbart, a hideous yet incompetent protege of Matt Drudge, even went so far to manufacture a video he claimed refuted the congressmen's allegations. Except the video was from a completely different event and disproved nothing, which was duly noted by many commentators.
According to a recent poll, 18% of Americans aggree with the ideas put forward by tea-partiers. I find this troubling because I have yet to unearth one sentiment afforded by this group that makes a lick of sense. Maybe it is like a dog whistle, only angry, put upon white people can hear the shrill cry of the boiling kettle.
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On Saturday, Terry M.
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Captain from Fort Worth,
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Facebook that he wrote to
Sen. John Cornyn,
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