". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gasoline, Terrorism, and the Presidency

According to this news report, the average price of gasoline in Chicago is the highest in the nation.

Tell me about it. I live in Chicago. Every time I go to fill up my van I feel sick to my stomach. My husband and I are now paying over $70 per vehicle for a tank of gas.

I have never had a very good understanding of all the factors that influence how much we pay at the pump. But it is an understatement to say that recent developments have heightened my interest. So I was doing some searching for answers and came across this story stating that back in 1999 gasoline was actually selling for less than $1/gallon. Huh? Can that be right? From $1 to over $4 in less than 10 years? What is going on here?

Then it hit me. It's an election year. In November Americans will choose a new president, and on the issue of homeland security the difference in candidates is dramatic. I don't applaud all that President Bush has done, but he has my undying gratitude for keeping me and my loved ones safe from terrorists since that gut-wrenching day in September of 2001. John McCain, if elected, will enforce policies designed to continue that record of safety. Those who would like to hurt us know this and would much rather face a President Obama or Clinton than a President McCain. What better way to have an impact on this country's upcoming election than to send gasoline prices spiraling out of control right before the election? Panicked Americans who are looking for something they can do to effect a change will latch on to the presidency as a scapegoat: there's a Republican in the White house, so it must be his fault. Let's get a Democrat in there and see if things get better.

The reasoning is, of course, utterly flawed and in my opinion would be playing into our enemies' hands. But my fear is that many Americans will buy into it. And I will wake up on a cold day in January of 2009 and feel even less safe than I do today. And oil prices will probably go down for a while. But it will just mean OPEC has gotten the best of us again.

Here are several articles I found suggesting ways we can loosen OPEC's puppet-like control of us. The one by Rich Lowry is 7 years old but still seems quite applicable to me.

"Breaking OPEC's Grip" by Robert Zubrin

"Really Big Oil: While Fighting Terrorism, Fight OPEC, Too" by Rich Lowry

"The Oil Price Conspiracy" by Jack (that's all, just Jack)


James said...

I suppose the best way to destroy OPEC would be to stop buying what it sells. Ever since OPEC first burst upon the scene in the 70s, I've been aghast that nobody has cared about more fuel efficient vehicles. We know that you can easily make a 50mpg car. Where is the demand for it or the 100 mpg car?

I'm also fascinated because so many Lutherans are so politically, pardon me, right wing. Is it because we think the primary purpose of the state is law and order, and that particular political philosophy focuses on order above all things?

Susan said...

Playing into OPEC's hands? Isn't that how we deal with all problems today? We tell the school-kids to give the bully what he wants, and the bully will be won over by kindness. We find that sort of attitude all throughout society. The people who turn planes into bombs and blow up our skyscrapers? Just be nice to them and they will change. No understanding of original sin. No understanding that the purpose of govt is to punish evil-doers and keep the [outwardly] moral people safe to go about their business. Nope. We're mixing church and state all the time, as in, confusing the two kingdoms. When the govt should be punishing the guilty and thwarting their actions, the govt is forgiving and looking for a change of heart. That's the Church's role. And it doesn't work when the govt tries it. Especially when we start with the premise that people are by nature good.

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...


A lot of Lutheran bloggers I read would supposedly fall on a "right-wing" side, but right-wing and left-wing are becoming less useful designations. When I tell people that I'm a fiscal libertarian with a pro-life streak, some of those typical right-wingers end up agreeing with that. I'm not big L Libertarian because I don't think we can be completely reactive with respect to foreign policy.

I do think President Bush can take some credit for not having another major terrorist incident on his watch. Our relative safety though, came at a monstrous cost which we are still calculating. We are up against an ideology that recognizes no distinction between church and state and is more than willing to use our freedoms against us. Some things are just impossible for the government to do, such as putting air marshals on every flight. In those kinds of situations, it is just better to inform the public and let private citizens handle the risk themselves, rather than window dress with Real ID and invasive airport screenings.

When we look at this conspiracy, you have to ask, who does it benefit? McCain? He's on a global warming binge. Obama and Clinton? You serious? Honestly, it would benefit Ron Paul the best because Paul can say, see? This is what happens when we handcuff ourselves to arbitrary ideals of what our environment should be like.

So no, I don't see a controversy here. If you think that the oil companies are raking you over the coals and taking insane profits, consider that the government takes twice as much out of every dollar than the oil company does.

And the government does nothing to get that oil out of the ground. :)

Anonymous said...

In the United States and Canada we have close to 1 trillion barrels of oil. If we could utilize 10% of that we could solve a lot of our problems. If you go to American Solutions.com you can sign a petition for us to drill here!

I also agree, we need to develop cars that have better gas mileage...the technology is there.