The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Setting examples...

This is Saturday. And, on Saturdays, I have established a tradition of political whining and harassment. Today, I am going to continue that tradition.

The latest political football being tossed around concerns a regional administrator of the EPA who likened his method of regulatory enforcement to that of a practice by the Romans as they set about conquering the known world (at the time). Let me offer a quote:

 Armendariz’s remarks came during a 90-minute speech in 2010 to residents of Dish, a tiny town north of Dallas where concerns over the environmental effects of a method of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have moved center stage.
Armendariz is shown in the video answering a question about enforcement of environmental laws. Noting that the analogy was “crude” and “maybe inappropriate,” he said: “It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.” He then said the same approach could prod companies to obey environmental laws: “You make examples out of people who are not complying with the law.”

Please note  that I pulled the quote from the Washington Post story that was not only rejecting the comments as "inflammatory" and "wrong" but defending the regional administrator against calls for dismissal. This was not a "hit piece" from some Right-Wing blog. There is no question that he made the remarks, there is a video of him making the remarks posted on Sen. James Inhofe's (R- Oklahoma) web page.

I am not surprised by the remarks. I am surprised only slightly that we are hearing about them now rather than 2 years ago when they were made. No one noticed then? Were they less controversial then? Are they more controversial now?

I don't think so. 

The remarks were likely noted and set aside until a more "appropriate" time (such as an election year) when they could be used. Such is politics.

But those of us who are not happy with this administration's policies would rather that we had a steady and reliable reporting of the way it operates.  Of course the administration is opposed to exploiting the traditional energy sources. And, in this election year, it is touting how much more oil is being drilled for and more natural gas is being accessed and so on. But go back a few years and recall how the incoming administration (and, indeed, the Democratic Party) has always maintained, correctly, that it takes years (5 or more) to produce results from granting exploration rights and, thus, opposed increasing energy exploration because it did not address whatever current energy crisis existed.

Think about that... It means that any increase in oil and gas production today is the result of an expansion of exploration begun 5 or more years ago. And that means the administration is taking credit for the efforts of the previous administration... even while it carried out policies to stifle the previous administration's efforts.

What bothers me most is that there are a large number of people who do not think beyond the sound bites of today, who do not exercise a healthy skepticism of any pronouncements by any current office holders. They reserve that skepticism for the political party members of the opposing political party.

As a nation (perhaps world-wide), we are losing our ability to think, to reason, to be skeptical, to demand proof...

To rule ourselves.

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