Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

This post has been long in the making: it has resided in my brain since the time I started this blog and it has certainly made itself apparent throughout this part of history that will surely become known as the Great Manic Depression (you heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen). This will be the last post, officially, of the 59 Second Minute in its current, utter useless form, but it will also begin an era of new, more fresh, political commentary by me, as well as another project that will ultimately end up taking more of my time and is totally different from anything I’ve done here in my blogspace in the cybersphere. This post carries a message of imperative importance to everyone who considers themselves politically informed, or is involved in any way in the politics of the United States.

The message is this: both the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same, wretched coin. Together, they compose an entity that is against the liberty of all American citizens. There is not a party that is for freedom – no mistake about that.

Consider that most people dislike the Republicans for their over-reliance on evangelicals; for their restrictions on the decisions of women via their “pro-life” stance; and for their traditionally anti-gay views. This is infringing upon peoples’ social liberty because it restricts their freedom based on sexuality, gender, or, in some religious extremists’ cases, religion.

Consider that some people dislike the Democrats for trying to increase taxes and increase the role of government in all sectors of life, especially now in the economy. This is infringing upon people’s economic liberty because they seek to restrict the way that people trade goods and conduct their business. Having freedom of any kind naturally carries risk – the risk of failure. The government, in essence, seeks to remove the risk of failure by taking over the banks, etc., etc.

When you put these parties together (have a compromise between the two), what do you get? General authoritarianism, where the government dictates what you do, both socially and economically. Is this the type of system the “land of the free” deserves? NO!

I’d argue, that since the founding of this country, political thought has become increasingly homogenized, especially in the past 60 years, due to the two-party system. Again, ask, “What makes two people in the Democratic party any different from one another?” Not much; and I’d wager that that fact is a cause (or is it an effect?) of the lack of diversity in political thought from our people, and, thusly, the representatives they elect. And if there is no diversity in political thought (along party lines, of course: Republicans vote Republican and Democrats vote Democratic), then, one can argue that no one’s really thinking at all. Think about it: if your political views mesh with the typical Democratic robot, then you don’t have to think, for they think for you! You hear them talk, you nod in agreement, and life goes on. Then you hear a left-leaning journalist spit fire at the Republicans, you, again, nod in agreement (for Republicans are The Enemy), and life goes on. Whenever you talk politics, you just vomit back what you heard on TV or read in the newspaper, and life goes on, without any analyzation of your beliefs.

This type of system benefits nobody but the ruling class. We’ve become programmed like Pavlov’s dogs: the majority of the populace has been conditioned to think highly of a person that has that capitalized “D” next to the state they represent when they’re interviewed on the major news networks (note: substitute “D” for “R” when appropriate). And when the “R” shows up – well, he’s just another Bush and shouldn’t be listened to.

(As a side note: when there is infighting among parties – witness the fears of Hillary “ripping apart” the Democratic Party during the Conventions last year- people hope they all “get along” and keep going with the party line. Back then, I said I hoped she would concede to Obama but now I realize there was no correct choice, and I imagine that it would’ve been preferable for the party to be torn apart if Hillary pulled a stunt during the Conventions. My reason? I don’t want parties)

Is this the kind of divisiveness we need in our country?

As I said before, if we all think along the party line(s), who do we elect? The same people, or, at the very least, people who follow the party line(s) – the sad thing being that there is no tangible difference between the two options. And so, we elect the same people, and they continue to get nothing done or they decide to do the worse alternative: make bad laws.

We wonder why the country is going downhill, and then you look at Congress’s approval rating, which has hovered around 30% for what seems to be time immemorial. If we really dislike who is in Congress that much wouldn’t it make sense to vote them out of office by replacing them with someone more competent and has a political ideology that would better represent us?

But, the problem is, we’re given two choices in most races, and are forced to pick one of the two party lines that fits ours the best. And, most often, we elect people of the same party – people who closely share political ideologies… Who are likely going to repeat the failings of their predecessor. So we vote in what seems to be a revolving door of people who follow a certain party line, but, somehow, 70% of us more or less disapprove of Congress as a whole.

The issue lies in the homogeneity of the parties and of the populace. It has become evident that the two-party system is worthless and is destroying the quality and quantity of political thought in this country. It gives no choice to those who disagree with the dominant parties and force their hand into voting for the lesser of two evils. I say that we abolish the party system and vote for people based on the quality of their thought and their policies, not the name of the party they’re a part of. I say we stop casting our votes for both parties, since they are against our liberty. I say we open our minds and encourage those with alternative viewpoints and vote for them instead. I say we pick up a book on political theory or economics instead of turning on our televisions.

And, if you don’t believe me, I think you’ll take George Washington’s word that the party system does not work. From his farewell address in 1796:

They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion…

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally…

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: off-shore drilling is the biggest scam since we were told the Iraq had links with al-Qaeda. But, time and time again, the Republicans (and now, their evil twin, the Dems, are supporting it as well) have been saying that it will reduce crude oil and gas prices significantly, and, get this: it can be done in two years! Finally, we’ll be able to break our dependence on foreign oil by… making ourselves dependent on our own oil! Just what the Bushies and the neocon overlords geniuses have been waiting for all these years! Surely these claims aren’t exaggerated, and there’s ample hard data to back the hyperbole up, right? Right?

Wrong.

The Energy Information Administration, or EIA for short, released a comprehensive study in May of this year detailing what would happen should we choose to drill in ANWR… And the results of the study do not show what the conservatives and, to an extent, the liberals want you to think. Wake up America: this off-shore drilling business is just political deception designed to get votes for McCain. It’s so effective at swaying voters’ minds that Barack Obama, too, has had to swing his stance on off-shore drilling in an effort to keep pace, still repeating the lies of the self-proclaimed oil experts who will make false projections so their pals at Exxon or BP can rake in the cash. The EIA report contradicts everything that has been said about off-shore drilling, from the calls that we’ll be able to drill within 2 years, to the claim that it’d drastically shrink oil prices. Hell, it won’t even affect our dependence on foreign oil significantly! Here’s the study if you want it.

Ready to debunk off-shore drilling? Here we go:

On the 2 year lie:

The assumption that ANWR oil production would begin 10 years after legislation approves the Federal oil and natural gas leasing in the 1002 Area is based on the following 8-to-12 year timeline:

• 2 to 3 years to obtain leases, including the development of a U.S. Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) leasing program, which includes approval of an Environmental
Impact Statement…
• 2 to 3 years to drill a single exploratory well. Exploratory wells are slower to drill
because geophysical data are collected during drilling, e.g., rock cores and well logs.
Typically, Alaska North Slope exploration wells take two full winter seasons to reach the desired depth.
• 1 to 2 years to develop a production development plan and obtain BLM approval for that plan, if a commercial oil reservoir is discovered. Considerably more time could be required if the discovered oil reservoir is very deep, is filled with heavy oil, or is highly faulted…
• 3 to 4 years to construct the feeder pipelines; to fabricate oil separation and treatment plants, and transport them up from the lower-48 States to the North Slope by ocean barge; construct drilling pads; drill to depth; and complete the wells.

That’s right, with current estimates, it’d take a minimum of 8 years to get one barrel of oil out of ANWR. John McCain would be out of office in his second term (assuming he got reelected somehow) before we got any oil out of ANWR. It’s not going to work that fast, period.

Okay, whatever, what would happen to world oil prices?

With respect to the world oil price impact, projected ANWR oil production constitutes between 0.4 and 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030, based on the low and high resource cases, respectively. Consequently, ANWR oil production is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices. Relative to the AEO2008 reference case, ANWR oil production is projected to have its largest oil price reduction impacts as follows: a reduction in low-sulfur, light (LSL) crude oil prices of $0.41 per barrel (2006 dollars) in 2026 in the low oil resource case, $0.75 per barrel in 2025 in the mean oil resource case, and $1.44 per barrel in 2027 in the high oil resource case. Assuming that world oil markets continue to work as they do today, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could neutralize any potential price impact of ANWR oil production by reducing its oil exports by an equal amount. [emphasis mine]

You heard me. ANWR oil will most likely constitute 1 percent of world oil production, and, consequently, any positive effect can be rendered null by the production of OPEC — meaning that it’s no sure bet that oil prices will sink just because we got some production out of ANWR.

And, finally, dependence on foreign oil:

Every barrel of ANWR oil production reduces crude oil imports by about a barrel (Figure 3 and Table 2). In the AEO2008 reference case, the proportion of crude oil and liquid fuel imports to total supply remains relatively constant during the 2018 through 2025 time period at an average value of 51 percent. After 2025, reference case oil dependency increases to about 54 percent of U.S. liquid fuels supply in 2030. Because U.S. liquid fuels consumption grows slowly during the entire projection period, the lowest import dependency levels occur between 2022 and 2026 across the three resource cases. The mean oil resource case projects a minimum import share of 48 percent in 2024, before rising to 51 percent in 2030. The low and high resource cases project minimum import shares of 49 and 46 percent in 2022 and 2026, respectively.

Translation: assuming we don’t drill in ANWR, the study projects that 54 percent of our oil supply will be imported from foreign countries (in AEO2008 reference case). In the high resource case (maximum amounts of projected oil), we will have 46 percent dependency in 2026, and later on (in a graph), the study projects that we will have 48 percent of our oil be imported (from foreign countries) in 2030 in the high resource case. The bottom line is that the absolute best we can do in ANWR is to reduce our foreign oil dependency by 6 percent.

Can you hear me Washington? All your claims about off-shore drilling are outright lies, and now you can’t say that those who oppose it don’t have data to back it up. Because we do. The data says that we will be able to drill, at best, in 8 years, not 2. The data says that there won’t be a significant effect in global oil prices, not the ridiculous claim that it will drive gas prices down to $2. And it won’t do any magic in really reducing our dependence on foreign oil, since it will only shrink it by 6 percent, which won’t do us any good in the year 2030.

Wake up!

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