The first – many libertarians would argue, the only – duty of government is to protect the nation from other nations and the individual from other individuals. Its instruments are military might and the rule of law.
That duty includes keeping the nation and the individual safe from infectious disease. The law must isolate persons and animals that could make others sick.
It may be hard to identify the infectiously sick. But to the extent that it can the state must do it, and force the infected into quarantine.
The people can insist that the conditions of the quarantine are pleasant, even luxurious (why not, if luxury can be afforded?), but the quarantine must be as absolute as can be.
Right now, Americans need to be protected from the horrific killer disease Ebola. It is known where it comes from; what its symptoms are; what its gestation period is; how it spreads or could be spread. The countries from which it comes should be quarantined.
To take every necessary protective measure would be to prevent panic, not create it.
Fear of Ebola is perfectly rational. It is fearsome. To do whatever is necessary to contain and cure it is also rational.
It is those who say do nothing and don’t even talk about it who are being emotional and unreasonable. Nothing goes away just because it’s taken no notice of.
This horror exists, it has been brought to the United States, now it must be dealt with forcefully, dictatorially, with high-handed authoritarianism – in the interest of freedom.
How deeply has the Democratic Party sunk into immorality and lawlessness?
Out of many possible examples of its descent into both, this is one.
We quote part of an article by Heather Mac Donald at the Wall Street Journal:
The Rev. Al Sharpton once epitomized New York’s bad old days of the 1980s, when the then-corpulent, gold-medallion-bedecked tub thumper inflamed racial hatred and courted violence. Today, against all expectations and at least 100 pounds lighter, he has been rehabilitated into the Democratic Party’s civil-rights leader of choice. Has Mr. Sharpton changed or simply outlasted his critics?
President Obama ’s embrace of Mr. Sharpton has been particularly intense this year. On Monday he called Mr. Sharpton’s radio show to discuss the Nov. 4 elections. In April the president appeared at a political rally organized by Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network. Mr. Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, conferred with Mr. Sharpton in August about the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., as Mr. Sharpton led protests against the Ferguson police.
The Democratic establishment is just as obsequious. It turned out in force earlier this month to celebrate Mr. Sharpton’s 60th birthday party at New York’s tony Four Seasons restaurant. Hillary Clinton phoned in with best wishes. Barack and Michelle Obama sent a congratulatory letter. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gushed: “He’s the nation’s Rev. Sharpton—and the nation is better for it.” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman , Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand , and Reps. Charles Rangel and Jerry Nadler rushed to pay their respects.
Obeisance to this louse, from the most powerful in the land! Such is the character of these Democrats.
Worrying as it might be for America to see Mr. Sharpton catapulted into the national limelight, that is nothing compared with the alarm felt by many New Yorkers now witnessing his emergence as a political power in their city.
When New Yorkers elected Bill de Blasio as mayor last year, they knew they were getting a self-styled “progressive” who pledged to soak the rich and shackle the New York Police Department. What they didn’t know was that they were also voting to bring Al Sharpton and his influence into the very heart of City Hall. The mayor’s alliance with the racial provocateur is now creating the biggest crisis of his mayoralty.
So far Mr. de Blasio is pretending not to notice. As the crisis escalated, involving a former Sharpton aide now working for the mayor’s wife, Mr. de Blasio ladled on the praise at the Four Seasons. “Al Sharpton has been a blessing for this city,” the mayor enthused. “He’s been a blessing for this nation. And the more people criticize him, the more I want to hang out with him. Because a lot of times, just look who’s doing the criticizing and the way they’re saying it—it makes you realize the Rev must be doing something right. You know, sometimes, your enemies are the best endorsers of the righteousness of your actions.”
Where to start in evaluating what a “blessing” Al Sharpton has been to New York and America? …
Heather Mac Donald recalls some of the worst instances of Al Sharpton’s supporting, condoning, inciting and personally directing criminal acts, from false accusations of rape to anti-Semitic riots in which people were beaten and burnt to death.
For a full history of Al Sharpton ‘s iniquitous career of race hustling, defying court orders, and generally flouting the law and getting away with it, go here.
In 2008 the Associated Press reported that Mr. Sharpton and his business entities owed nearly $1.5 million in taxes and penalties, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fines for unpaid workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. By this year Mr. Sharpton’s tax liabilities had ballooned to $4.7 million, according to the New York Post. He still owes the Federal Election Commission $208,000 for the improper use of campaign money during his 2004 presidential bid.
Not relevant, apparently, to Mr. Sharpton’s increasing reach into Democratic circles. Mr. Sharpton believes that New York’s mayor owes him his job — a belief shared, it seems, by Mr. de Blasio himself. Mr. Sharpton pointedly declined to endorse the sole black candidate in the Democratic primary last year. That left the field open for a late-surging Mr. de Blasio, who had run a demagogic campaign against the New York Police Department, denouncing its stop-question-and-frisk policies as racist. Candidate de Blasio also pandered to black voters by prominently featuring his biracial son in campaign ads. “We won the election,” Mr. Sharpton later told CBS New York.
Mr. de Blasio’s first offering of thanks was to hire Mr. Sharpton’s longtime public-relations adviser as his wife’s $170,000-a-year chief of staff. Such a position was unprecedented, but the choice of Rachel Noerdlinger to fill it was even more startling. It put an Al Sharpton confidante at the center of city power.
Next, Mayor de Blasio implied that Mr. Sharpton was a major player in police affairs. In late July the mayor convened a meeting of “community advocates” to discuss the death of a black man following the man’s arrest for selling untaxed loose cigarettes. Mr. Sharpton’s inevitable protests against the NYPD had blamed the death on the enforcement of public-order laws, including the ban on selling loose cigarettes. Such enforcement is key to “broken windows” policing—stopping minor crimes as a way of preventing major ones.
Mr. Sharpton was led in to the mayor’s community meeting by his former aide, Ms. Noerdlinger, and seated on Mr. de Blasio’s left, with Police Commissioner William Bratton, serving his second tour as New York’s top law officer, on the mayor’s right. The symbolism was lost on no one, least of all police officers. The next day, a mock NYPD identification card circulated through police headquarters showing Mr. Sharpton as commissioner.
By the time of the Four Seasons birthday blowout, the mayor’s Noerdlinger-Sharpton connection was turning toxic. As the local press reported, the 43-year-old single mother had failed to disclose in her City Hall background check that she was living with an unemployed ex-convict who had served time for fatally shooting a man over a jacket and for drug dealing. The boyfriend, Hassaun McFarlan, had referred to the police as “pigs” on his now-vanished Facebook page.
Ms. Noerdlinger had received a waiver of the city’s residency requirement by citing her teenage son’s need to continue a physical-therapy regime in New Jersey following a traffic accident. She didn’t mention that he was fit enough to play linebacker on his high-school football team. Like Mr. McFarlan, that son has referred to the police as “pigs” on social media, and he has tweeted: “I’m convinced all white people are the devil.”
Ms. Noerdlinger has a federal tax lien against her, typical of the Sharpton inner circle, but failed to report it to the city’s conflict of interest board. She has been involved to varying degrees in McFarlan-related dust-ups with the law, including hundreds of dollars in unpaid traffic tickets issued to her Mercedes-Benz since her City Hall job began.
Mayor de Blasio has refused to discuss the implications for his administration of these and other revelations. Nor has he disciplined Ms. Noerdlinger for her multiple omissions on city background checks.
Police morale is plummeting, given the mayor’s stubborn allegiance to a former Sharpton aide and the seeming elevation of Mr. Sharpton to near-parity with Police Commissioner Bratton. Cops in certain high-crime precincts have all but abandoned pedestrian stops, which candidate de Blasio had so fiercely criticized.
As for Mr. Sharpton, he portrays the Noerdlinger fiasco as a conspiracy to bring down the de Blasio mayoralty and Mr. Sharpton’s connection to it. After leading a few rounds of “no justice, no peace” on a recent Saturday at his National Action Network headquarters — still little more than a shabby storefront despite the millions shoveled into it by supplicant corporate donors — Mr. Sharpton told his supporters: “They will keep trying to prevent [the mayor] from transforming this city, whether it’s Rachel”—Ms. Noerdlinger—“or it’s someone else. When Mayor de Blasio and his wife reached out and said they wanted Rachel to come, I said: ‘Don’t think that they won’t put a target on your back. They’ll find something. They gonna think I cut some deal.’ ”
The longer Mayor de Blasio sticks by Ms. Noerdlinger, the more it will appear that the mayor did cut a deal. But firing her would invite Mr. Sharpton’s wrath, jeopardizing Mr. de Blasio’s hopes for a second term. Worse, Mr. Sharpton is demanding an end to broken-windows policing, while Commissioner Bratton has vowed to continue it. Mayor de Blasio cannot satisfy both men.
Despite Mr. Sharpton’s current mainstream patina … he still peddles the dangerous lie that police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men and that racial discrimination is the main force holding blacks back.
In fact, it is other young black men who are responsible for the high homicide risk faced by black teens, and it is proactive policing that has dramatically reduced that risk, saving thousands of young lives in places like New York City.
Mr. Sharpton’s longevity as a public figure rests on the enduring power of racial grievance to elevate those politicians who accede to it, while distracting attention from the family and social breakdown afflicting the black community.
Al Sharpton embodies the spirit of the Democratic Party. So does Mayor de Blasio, for whose sleazy political biography go here.
Zale Thompson, a convert to Islam, yesterday tried to kill New York police officers with an axe.
While the group of four stood on a rain-wet Queens sidewalk, Thompson took his weapon out of a bag and rushed at them. He seriously wounded two. With one of his blows he chopped into the arm of Officer Joseph Meeker. With another he cracked the skull of Officer Kenneth Healey. Both victims are in hospital and expected to survive. Thompson was shot dead.
The New York Post calls Thompson a “psycho”, a “madman”. And it reports Police Commissioner William Bratton stating at a press conference –
There’s nothing we know at this time that would indicate that [Islamic terrorism] is the case.
It also reports:
Thompson’s Facebook page includes a passage from the Quran in Arabic script beseeching Allah’s guidance in finding “the straight path” and a black-and-white photograph of a black-scarved militant.
And he wrote on his Facebook page:
Helicopters, big military will be useless on their own soil. They will not be able to defeat our people if we use guerilla warfare. Attack their weak flanks.
The paper also mentions this:
Thompson is being investigated for broader terrorist connections, a law enforcement source said, adding, “There are suspected terror ties.”
So why does a fairly sensible newspaper call this obvious Muslim jihadi a madman, as if to exonerate Islam?
In our opinion, it is insanity to believe the absurdities every religion teaches. We think belief is for the most part a quirk in the minds of otherwise rational beings.
But if this Muslim, Zale Thompson, is to be considered mad because he carries out his duty, as prescribed by Islam, to kill non-Muslims, then all jihadis everywhere are madmen. There are no exceptions.
Their lunacy cannot, however, be regarded as an extenuating condition. Deranged or not, they are a threat to non-Muslims anywhere, to the Western world as a whole, and the United States in particular.
Contrary to President Obama’s assertion that “we will never be at war with Islam”, Islam is at war with us.
Is it not time we fought back?
While the US Air Force continues to bomb what it thinks are IS/ISIS/ISIL positions in what was, but may not still be, Syria and Iraq, convoys of trucks bearing life-saving aid in huge supplies donated by the US taxpayer (among others) also continue, trailing unstoppably into enemy territory.
No other air forces seems to be at work there, though to prop up the lie that a huge coalition – including Sunni Arab states – had joined the US in its aerial action against the Islamic State, the world was treated to a glamor pic of a pretty female Qatari pilot leading a squadron of three bombers on the first day of the venture. Did she drop any bombs? And where has she gone? Will she be back? Without her, Obama and Kerry must seem to be combatting IS/ISIS/ISIL all by themselves (by proxy of course) from the clouds.
They also drop crates of arms and ammunition to whomever finds them down below. Some to the Kurds who are fighting ISIS on the ground – if the Kurds are lucky enough to find them. And one load – at least – whether by accident or intention, to ISIS.
And while the bombing displays admirable militancy on the part of the White House, and the gift of arms to ISIS may have been an accident, the US and Britain and the (abominable) United Nations and possibly the EU are deliberately delivering massive quantities of aid to the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).
ISIS crucifies boys; saws off Americans’ and Britons’ heads; stoned a timid young girl to death just recently – her own father among her killers. And still the trucks of aid go trundling in, bringing food and medical supplies to ISIS. Well, ostensibly it’s for “civilians” and “displaced persons”, but ISIS rules the route.
This is our Facebook page summary of an article by Jamie Dettmer in the Daily Beast:
In addition to accidentally airdropping loads of weapons to ISIS, and while U.S. warplanes strike at them, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid is flowing into their territory, assisting IS/ISIS/ISIL to build their caliphate. The food and medical equipment, meant for civilians, is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. But the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS.
The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs. Aid coordinators say that USAID and other Western government agencies and NGOs actually employ ISIS people on their staffs. “They force people on us. And when a convoy is being prepared, the negotiations go through them. They contact their leaders and a price is worked out.”
The aid itself isn’t carefully monitored. ISIS keeps some of it to feed and treat its fighters. At a minimum, the aid means ISIS doesn’t have to divert cash from its war budget to help feed the local population or the displaced persons.
Last year when there was a polio outbreak in Deir ez-Zor, the World Health Organization worked with ISIS to carry out an immunization campaign. In these ways the West, and in particular the US, is providing support for the Islamic State.
Many aid workers are uncomfortable with what’s happening. “A few months ago we delivered a mobile clinic [to the Islamic State],” says one of them. “A few of us debated the rights and wrongs of this. The clinic was earmarked for the treatment of civilians, but we all know that wounded ISIS fighters could easily be treated as well. So what are we doing here, treating their fighters so they can fight again?”
What makes the picture even more bizarre is that while a lot of aid is going into ISIS-controlled areas, very little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria where the Kurds are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that they were not included in the U.N. polio-vaccination campaign.
According to the same source: Jonathan Schanzer, Mideast expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, thinks that any aid that reaches the people will help to keep them contented with ISIS rule. He’s quoted as saying:
I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance. By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.
We see his point, but doubt that there is going to be an uprising against ISIS within the Islamic State any time soon, no matter what the circumstances.
A State Department official is reported to fear that if the aid convoys were to be stopped, there would be an humanitarian crisis for which the West would be blamed. We don’t think fear of blame should be of any concern. Why are all these sentimental Western policy makers and executives so afraid of being blamed? It is blame by Muslims that they particularly fear. What is withholding aid from an enemy state compared to what the Muslims of ISIS are doing? It’s an absurd consideration, but it distorts policies, both domestic and foreign, over and over again.
Obama warned that he would “fundamentally change America”.
From what to what wasn’t asked or stated.
He is plainly making a demographic change. That is as fundamental a change as any change could be.
Fundamentally the nation has been from its inception an Anglophone country, its law based on British common law, it’s values – enshrined in the Constitution – derived from the European Enlightenment. Immigrants were invited into the land from everywhere and anywhere in the world, and were expected to use English, obey the law, and uphold the Constitution.
Obama wants to change all that. He manifestly does not want America to be solely or even predominantly English-speaking; he does not believe the law is sovereign, preferring it to be what leftist judges say it is from one moment to another, in accordance with their moods and personal prejudices; and he wants to scrap the Constitution.
Therefore he does not want new immigrants from Britain or Europe, or any Anglophone countries. Which is to say, he does not want white immigrants.
He wants enormous numbers from the Third World, where the Enlightenment never penetrated, and rule by tyrants and criminals is customary. So he invites hundreds of thousands of immigrants – millions over time – from the Muslim Middle East, Latin America, and countries where most people are black.
It is a policy of downright racism.
Obama is a racist.
This is from the MailOnline:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIC] plans to seek a vendor to produce as many as 34 million blank work permits and “green cards” – the paperwork that authorizes illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States – as the White House prepares to issue an executive order after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.
According to a draft solicitation published online, the government agency will look for a company that can produce a minimum 4 million cards per year for five years, and 9 million in the early stages.
President Barack Obama has pledged that he will make a move on immigration reform this year. His original timetable called for a decision by the end of the summer.
Republicans have decried the plan as an “amnesty” for millions of illegal immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come across the U.S.-Mexico border this year. …
Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he ultimately enacted without congressional support, uses the EAD cards [Employment Authorization Documents] as part of its implementation.
USCIS says it processed 862,000 EADs overall between January and June of this year.
But “the guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards”, according to the draft RFP (Request For Proposal].
“The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards.”
But why even bother with the documents?
This is from the Washington Times:
The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the Obama administration to task Friday for its “irresponsible” plan to allow as many as 100,000 Haitians to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the administration’s Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program — which will allow thousands of Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits — is “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority”.
The Obama administration is unabashed.
“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States. The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system — family reunification,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally [sic] immigrate sooner [in]to the United States.”
There’s typical Obama gang “reasoning” for you: rebuild Haiti by taking large numbers of Haitians out of it.
They are highly desirable immigrants to Obama, because they are black.
To reinforce the verdict given by Bill Whittle on the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola scare (see the video below Fear of Ebola, posted October 18, 2014), here are excerpts from an article by Matthew Vadum at Front Page:
President Obama’s lies about the communicability of the truly terrifying Ebola virus are recklessly putting American lives at risk. …
At a photo-opportunity disguised as an emergency cabinet meeting the president did what he always does: he lied and lied and lied.
“Here’s what we know about Ebola: That it is not like the flu,” Obama told his groupies in government and the media in reassuring tones. “It is not airborne.* The only way that a person can contract Ebola is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is showing symptoms. In other words, if they don’t have symptoms, they’re not contagious.” …
The White House website repeats Obama’s lies: “You can only get the Ebola virus by direct contact with: Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola; Objects contaminated with the virus; Infected animals.” …
Dr. Steven J. Allen [is] an expert on the Ebola virus and he says Obama is not telling the truth. … Although Ebola is indeed spread by means of body fluids there’s a catch.
We don’t how long it can last on surfaces or as droplets in the air so when President Obama said earlier this month you can’t get it from sitting beside someone on a bus that was a total lie … You can get the disease from such a small number of viral particles that logic says you can get it from someone coughing in your vicinity.
In other words, Ebola can spread through the air, contrary to Obama’s remarks. This helps to explain why health care professionals who value their lives wear hazmat suits that look like astronaut gear when dealing with Ebola-infected patients. …
Dr. Allen says:
It is Obama’s ideology that makes him incompetent. … Public health is supposed to be about fighting infectious disease and protecting people from environmental dangers. We have the Environmental Protection Agency to cover the environment and the Centers for Disease Control is supposed to be for infectious disease.
The Obama people, continuing a long-developing trend, have reinvented public health to mean control over personal behavior such as what you eat, whether you have guns in the house, whether you drive drunk … but the CDC is supposed to be dealing with infectious disease, not personal behavior. Anything else is mission creep and getting away from protecting us as was intended when the CDC was created.
In the Obama era the CDC has pushed a dizzying array of social-engineering proposals that have nothing to do with disease. These nanny state initiatives include a federal universal motorcycle helmet law, a study of video games and television violence, a “national action plan” to prevent accidents in children’s playgrounds, and studies and campaigns “promoting positive community norms” and “safe, stable, nurturing relationships (SSNRs)” in homes and schools. …
Obama praised several officials including Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and his perpetually bungling CDC Director Tom Frieden, who has been busy more or less full-time in recent weeks issuing clarifications of his infelicitous, inaccurate statements from the previous day.
Obama said the officials have done an “outstanding job” so far, but that with flu season upon us and Department of Homeland Security officials also working on combatting ISIS, “they also are responsible for a whole bunch of other stuff”.
Despite all the fabulous work [done by] Frieden, who used to labor for then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on vital projects like limiting the size of soda pop servings, Obama is warming to the idea of appointing an “Ebola czar” to coordinate the government’s response to the crisis that his boneheaded policies have created.
Since that was written, Obama has appointed an “Ebola czar”: Ron Klain, a spin-doctor who did his thing for Al Gore and Joe Biden, and whose prime accomplishment was facilitating Obama’s shocking scheme to promote solar energy: flushing $535m of taxpayers’ money down the toilet known as Solyndra. He has no qualifications in medicine and no experience dealing with public health issues.
Frieden has been coming under increasingly heavy political fire in recent days. It doesn’t help that he has no idea what he’s doing, Allen said. “The problem with Frieden is he is a prohibitionist zealot who is clueless about the threat we are currently facing…”
Although quarantining infectious patients has been practiced with impressive results ever since the invention of medical science, Obama refuses to halt travel to the U.S. from Ebola-afflicted parts of the world, even from Ebola-devastated Liberia, home of the patient who recently succumbed to the disease at a Texas hospital.
Defying common sense, Obama says a “flat-out travel ban is not the way to go”.
Critics point to Obama’s stubborn refusal to stop residents of Liberia and other affected countries from visiting the U.S. as incompetence or a lack of leadership.
This criticism may be unfair. Obama is more likely acting out of principle.
Obama’s neo-Marxist, identity politics-infused worldview holds that America is an imperial power that has victimized other nations merely by being wealthy and powerful. Meanwhile, Obama romanticizes backward countries like those former colonies in Ebola-rich West Africa and views imposing a travel ban on their citizens as adding insult to the grievous injuries that the perpetually guilty United States has inflicted on them.
The president has no compunction putting American lives at risk and subordinating their interests to those of West Africans.
Obama seems to forget that his chief duty under the Constitution is to protect the American people.
Did he ever remember it?
* Go here to read a scientist’s opinion that the Ebola virus can mutate to become airborne if it has not already done so.
Bill Whittle talks about the threat of Ebola:
Despite all President Obama’s efforts to prevent it, the US is winning the oil game. Because no human force is stronger than the market.
The knuckleheads of the Left love to hurl the accusation in the faces of conservatives that the presidents Bush “only went to war against Iraq because of oil”. (As if they themselves would never think of driving a gas-fueled car – or would be perfectly content not to.)
The accusation is not true. But perhaps the US should have gone to war against one or more Middle Eastern powers “because of oil”.
Oil is a very good reason to go to war. Would have been, when the Saudis had OPEC hyping the oil price in 1973. The results for the US and Western Europe were dire.
This is from Wikipedia:
In October 1973, OPEC declared an oil embargo in response to the United States’ and Western Europe’s support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The result was a rise in oil prices from $3 per barrel to $12 and the commencement of gas rationing. Other factors in the rise in gasoline prices included a market and consumer panic reaction, the peak of oil production in the United States around 1970 and the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. U.S. gas stations put a limit on the amount of gasoline that could be dispensed, closed on Sundays, and limited the days gasoline could be purchased based on license plates.
Even after the embargo concluded, prices continued to rise. The Oil Embargo of 1973 had a lasting effect on the United States. The Federal government got involved first with President Richard Nixon recommending citizens reduce their speed for the sake of conservation, and later Congress issuing a 55 mph limit at the end of 1973. Daylight savings time was extended year round to reduce electrical use in the American home. Smaller, more fuel efficient cars were manufactured. Nixon also formed the Energy Department as a cabinet office. People were asked to decrease their thermostats to 65 degrees and factories changed their main energy supply to coal.
One of the most lasting effects of the 1973 oil embargo was a global economic recession. Unemployment rose to the highest percentage on record while inflation also spiked. Consumer interest in large gas guzzling vehicles fell and production dropped. Although the embargo only lasted a year, during that time oil prices had quadrupled and OPEC nations discovered that their oil could be used as both a political and economic weapon against other nations.
War then would have been a far better answer to the Saudis than meek acceptance buttered with sycophancy.
War and drilling. Drilling wherever there was oil in America and off-shore. Including Alaska. Ignoring the Environmentalists with their philosophy of impoverishment.
Now all is changing. The US is becoming the biggest oil producer in the world. The Saudis and the other Middle Eastern tyrannies have no resource other than the oil discovered under their ground and developed into riches for them, by the infidel. And now they are losing it.
They, and all the evil powers that have wielded oil as a weapon, are taking desperate measures. Which will fail.
This is from Investor’s Business Daily:
With Saudi Arabia ramping up oil production, prices are tumbling, and the world’s petrotyrants — Iran, Russia and Venezuela — are taking a hit. Seems the old high-price, low-production tactic isn’t foolproof.
The Saudis don’t seem to be interested in budging. As prices fell to $83 a barrel for November-delivery crude, they’ve ramped up production even as others call on them to stop.
The first call came from fiscal shambles Venezuela, for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] for a production hike. They were coldly rebuffed.
And on Tuesday, Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal — a Saudi entrepreneur with a lot of non-oil money who sometimes plays gadfly to the regime — warned that the kingdom would fail to balance its own budget if oil prices went below $80. But he, too, was rebuffed.
It all may be because Saudi Arabia has a strategic need to check Iran over its nuclear program and financing of Islamic State terror and to discipline Russia for its support for the Assad regime in Syria.
It’s also almost certainly a response to the great shale revolution in the U.S., which has slashed U.S. dependency on oil exports to 20% from 60% a decade ago.
A Chilean-based entrepreneur told IBD last year that the greatest fear of Saudi Arabia’s king was America’s shale revolution, which was cutting into Saudi’s role as the world’s swing producer of oil.
However it spills out, the Saudi move to raise production may be the most dramatic move to shake events since President Reagan forced the bankruptcy of the Soviet empire by … asking the Saudis to raise production, which they did.
With this most recent move, the petrotyranny model of using oil as a weapon against smaller neighbors and the U.S. is effectively dead. Over the past decade, all of the states that have staked their futures on the power of oil have effectively burned their bridges to other models for building their economies.
When Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez took over in 1998, he scrapped that nation’s high-production, low-price, high-market-share strategy. In its place came a “model” based on high prices for consumers, low output and the expropriation of state oil company profits to pay for bigger government and an expansive welfare state, leaving the company without investment.
Foreign oil properties were also expropriated, including Exxon Mobil’s in 2007. It provided a short-term boost but left the country one of the most unattractive in the world for foreign investment and capital.
Russia, meanwhile, adopted a somewhat similar strategy after its 1998 crash. It focused on becoming a petropower, much to the detriment of the rest of the economy.
Today, more than three-quarters of Russia’s economy is oil-based, leaving it dependent on high oil prices with no balance from other sectors and wasting its most valuable asset: a well-educated workforce.
Instead of diversifying, Russia used energy as a weapon, repeatedly cutting off Ukraine’s natural gas supplies since 2009 in a bid to force its neighbor to toe the Moscow line, as well as to “Finlandize” its eastern and central European neighbors into fearing more energy cutoffs.
Then there’s Iran, whose illegal nuclear program has enjoyed soggy indifference in Europe based on the region’s dependence on Iranian oil.
These three troublemakers share one thing in common: a strategy of high oil prices and low production, plus a willingness to interfere with markets to make them into power games.
But as it turns out, that strategy was another kind of dependency. And the Saudis, egged on by the shale revolution, have just ended it.
Market manipulation is peculiar. In 1998, the Saudis tried to cut output to keep crude prices from falling further. It didn’t work. From that, they learned a valuable right lesson: Nothing is bigger than market forces.
Now, the world’s remaining petrotyrants are about to be schooled as well.
Time for a little quiet celebration. And it doesn’t have to be only a little or very quiet.
Let us crow.
John Hawkins writes at Townhall:
1) Only in America could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund raising event.
2) Only in America could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black.
3) Only in America could we have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner, the head of the Treasury Department and Charles Rangel who once ran the Ways and Means Committee, BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.
4) Only in America will you find people who burn the American flag and call America an “imperialist nation”, but who get offended if you say they’re not patriotic.
5) Only in America can we have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.
6) Only in America could someone drinking a $5 latte and texting to his friends on an iPhone 4 complain that the government allows some people to make too much money.
7) Only in America would people take rappers who brag about shooting people and selling drugs seriously when they complain the police are targeting them unfairly.
8) Only in America would we make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege while we discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just become American citizens.
9) Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as “extremists”.
10) Only in America could the most vicious foes of successful conservative women be self-proclaimed feminists and the National Organization for Women.
11) Only in America could you need to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.
12) Only in America can we have terrorists fly planes into our buildings and have some people’s first thought be “what did we do to make them hate us?”
13) Only in America would we think teaching kids at college is an appropriate job for communists, terrorists, and other dregs of humanity.
14) Only in America could people demand the government investigate whether the oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when for every penny of profit the oil companies make, the government tacks on roughly 24 cents’ worth of taxes.
15) Only in America could the first people asked to weigh in on the seriousness of a racial incident by the media be professional race hustlers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Ben Jealous. In other words, it’s like calling in a car dealer as a neutral source on whether or not you need to get a new car.
16) Only in America does airport security put its hands on your underwear….while you’re wearing it.
17) Only in America could the government force a skating rink to have handicapped parking spots and Braille on the ATM machines.
18) Only in America could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation ever has before in all of recorded history, still spend a trillion dollars more that it has per year, and complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.
19) Only in America could the rich people who pay 86% of all income taxes be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all.
20) Only in America could the people who approve of slaughtering 25 million females babies via abortion accuse OTHER PEOPLE of waging a “war on women”.
We laughed and nodded, and hope our readers will too.
Numbers 5, 8, and 13 are the ones we appreciate the most.
(Hat-tip our Facebook commenter Libby Lael)