Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Guy's Got a Point

I just read this at It's hard to disagree. The conservatives in this race have long left us wanting, in large part due to the push for those less than conservative by the media, some talk radio folk, and the voting public's unwillingness to pay attention and research the candidates. Now we're left with McCain, who despite the wailing of Michael Medved, is indeed more liberal than any self-respecting conservative can stomach. The writer is echoing the sentiments of Ann Coulter who believes that it is better for a lib to make stupid lib mistakes and take the heat, should libs actually blame one of their own for failures (they rarely do), rather than have conservatives take the hit.

Since McCain/Feingold, I had decided that I couldn't vote for McCain. It's true what Medved says, that McC/F has done little to truly take money out of politics, but the failure of a stupid move does not legitimize ignoring the person who made it. The intentions of the person take precedence in deciding how to proceed.

Then of course came other bills with his name on it, the most insufferable is the McCain/Lieberman bill regarding the mythical man-made global warming. Now, with Johnny-boy way, way, way in the lead with over 900 delegates to the Huckster's 200+, the preacher's gonna need a miracle to turn things his way. But he's only a slight step up. And the plan for many at this point is to hold the nose and vote for McCain over whichever buffoonish socialist the Dem voters foist upon us. Talk about rocks and hard places.

So now, I'm once again leaning away from backing the party, since the party has lost it's way so badly, and let the Dems have it all. It's difficult to imagine that we'd have to suffer for more than four years.

But there's one final possibility and that is if McCain can give us an indication of not only who'll be his VP choice, but who he has in mind for the Supreme Court, and that he'll back off on some of his goofier notions, such as closing Gitmo and housing those scumbags here where they'd be more likely to be treated like common criminals rather than the uncommon evil that they are.

Tricky times, my friends. Tricky times.


Dan Trabue said...

I wonder if, after eight years of President Obama, if the nation's economy has bounced back, if the national deficit has been cut and governmental spending is down at least a little, if terrorism has decreased and our favor in the world has improved (all of which happened under the last very flawed Democratic presidency), if you will be surprised? Apologetic for all the mean-spirited implications and aspersions you've cast on the Democratic candidates?

Now, I'm not saying all of that will happen. I suspect within eight years, we will have serious problems due to our economy being based on petroleum which is only going to increase in the coming decade due to higher demand and lower output.

But the last three republican presidencies have only left us with increased deficits and financial problems. McCain would only exacerbate this, I believe.

Still, if both of us are wrong and things are improved from today at the end of President Obama's second term, do you suppose you will be contrite at all?

Marshall Art said...

Those are some pretty big, as well as unlikely, "ifs", there Dan. What makes you think any of that is even possible with an Obama-nable presidency? But yeah, I'd be greatly surprised, since it's so unlikely. Oh yeah, you might see a different attitude from our foreign friends, particularly since the ones that are miffed think like libs here. Plus, those neighbors like us better when we're down, not when we're acting like the greatest nation we are. But should Barely Obama conjure this alternate reality, that only covers him, not the rest of the goofy left.

I don't think it's accurate to say that our economy is based on petroleum, even though it permeates so many different areas of modern life. Our economy is based on an entrepreneureal(sp)spirit that when allowed to act unabated, does great things.

But you assume much giving him two terms. Seems you don't know him either. But should the very unlikely happen and he is successful in doing the things about which you fantacize, of course I'd change my tune. Good luck with that, though.

Dan Trabue said...

And if the economy crashes because we've had 50-100 years of Dems and Republicans building an economy based upon fossil fuels? (Or "utterly dependent upon fossil fuels," if you prefer)?

If that happens, will you blame Obama or recognize that we've made the mistake for the last near-century of making our economy dependent upon cheap oil?

I think President Obama (or Clinton - McCain ain't gonna win) is going to have some tough sailing ahead of him and mostly due to no fault of his own but because of Bush policy and Clinton policy before that.

Marshall Art said...

Once again, not "based" on fossil fuels, merely inundated. I keep forgetting that you only have faith in "we the people" to do the right thing, not those who run the major corporations who, by the way, are also "we the people". The people adapt. Liberal politicians inhibit the success of those seeking to do so.

But you pose another incredible "if" by suggesting the economy might "crash" any time soon due to oil. A crash occurs during Obamanation's reign, it'll likely be due to his policies.

Dan Trabue said...

Once again, not "based" on fossil fuels, merely inundated.

And if petroleum was gone tomorrow, how would our economy function? How would we grow our food? How would we transport our goods? How would we get to work? How would we package our goods? How would we create our plastics (computers included)?

If you prefer, we can say that our economy is utterly dependent upon fossil fuels instead of saying it's based on fossil fuels.

Same difference to me, but whichever you please.

Dan Trabue said...

And, by the way, while the courts made the mistake a long ways ago of allowing that corporations are people too, they're not in any moral or logical sense of the word.

Corporations have, as a legal obligation, the duty to make profits at whatever non-illegal costs possible and they do. Society be damned. The environment be damned. Logic be damned. People be damned.

The bottom line is the all-important reality for corporations.

If Corporations can change laws so that they can legally blow off the tops of mountains and dump the rubble and toxic wastes into the streams below, they will (and have).

So, no, I don't have trust in corporations. They are soulless entities, not people. (And understand, I'm talking about the corporations themselves, not the people running them who have a voice and a vote, too.)

Marshall Art said...

OK. Your last line just blew your complaint out da water. The people who run them. Corporations are the people who run them and work for them and invest in them. Corporations do not exist without all those people. Corporations blow with the wind. If the wind don't blow, their bottom line don't grow. So when society decides it thinks it needs plastic instead of paper bags, the corp will provide the plastic bags. When society changes it's mind, the corp will change the bags.

As to oil, as we agree it is a hard to ignore part of our economy, what would YOU do if oil suddenly disappeared? Can you say, "Massive and widespread unemployment?" The impact of petrol on the world economy is so interwoven, that to say one won't go to war over oil is immature and stupid, considering how many millions would be negatively impacted. And all we'd like to do, is to make sure that despots aren't controlling it. Where's the problem? Where's the alternative? The same people bitching about oil dependency are mostly opposed to nuclear power. What's left? Wind? Solar? Not good enough and not feasible or practical as a replacement. Should something be found now, today, we're likely more than a couple generations before it replaces oil. So I guess we're doomed according to people like yourself.

Dan Trabue said...

"What's left?"

Living within our means.

If we can sustainably produce x amount of energy at $y, then that's how much we should consume at that price.

Right now, we're consuming 100x past what's sustainable at 1/10th the price that it actually costs.

That's neither sustainable nor wise and it's a good recipe for economic disaster. One created by all of us and that we'll all have to deal with most likely in our lifetime. If we somehow "luck out" and make it past our lifetime without this crash, we'll have left a ticking timebomb for our children.

I'm opposed to doing so and advocate living within our means starting now.

Marshall Art said...

You're kind of a "the end is near" kinda guy, aren't you Dan? Your "trust the people" point of view is really clashing with your other belief that we're killing ourselves.

Then you say that we're all responsible for the mess with oil, yet you said earlier that our economic problems are a result of the soul-less corporations' lust for profits.

Now what's the trouble with not living within our means? That couldn't possibly have anything to do with poverty or lowered living standards, so what's the downside of not doing so? Or is it only bad when corporations do it?

Of course, living within one's means is every citizen's duty as well as every Christian's moral obligation. So is expanding one's means to the best of one's ability.

Anonymous said...

You're a one-trick pony Dan. Your arguments are trite, tired, and better left in the waste disposal. Everywhere I go, there's Dan Trabue, gob wide open like some bulimic starlet. I think you need to load some new tunes in your Ipod.

Dan Trabue said...

Thus spake the brave and aptly-named, Mr. Anonymous.

Erudite Redneck said...

Hot diggity! You're gonna stay home, too, MA? Excellent.

Good for you, for stickin' to your principles. Good for us, for winnin'.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall: So, are you arguing against:

If we can sustainably produce x amount of energy at $y, then that's how much we should consume at that price.

Or can we agree on that?

Or do you disagree with me on principle, regardless of the point?

hashfanatic said...

dan, at one time, it was not necessary to teach conservatives how to conserve

nowadays, this so-called "new" conservative feels entitled to everyone's fair share of the commons, not just his

Marshall Art said...


Didn't mean to tease and thus arouse you so greatly with no hope for satisfaction. I truly haven't decided whether to vote or not. Not voting is against my basic principles, but voting for someone I think is harmful to the country is as well. That's why I won't vote for the Dem choices in any case. That's why a win by either is not a win for you since Hill or Barry would be bad for the country.

But I'll have no problem announcing my choice or non-choice when the time comes. Try not to get too excited.

Marshall Art said...


Your point is hazy at best. Of course I don't believe in depleting our resources foolishly. At the same time, if it was announced that we only have barely a billion barrels of oil left in the ground, what then? Everyone walk in order to make it last? Make it last for whom? How quickly does the world go through a billion barrels, anyway? Will it matter to delay the inevitable?

And how does price figure into your question exactly. Price is based on supply and demand. How can you expect the price not to fluctuate accordingly? Are you suggesting that the local filling station not incur a profit in order to please your notion of overconsumption? I'm just not following your reasoning here.

Marshall Art said...

"nowadays, this so-called "new" conservative feels entitled to everyone's fair share of the commons, not just his"

Just one question: Did you have to go all the way up to your shoulder to pull this one out of your ass? You'll need to flesh this statement out a bit as it currently just sounds stupid.

Dan Trabue said...

Will it matter to delay the inevitable?

No, a greedily consumed finite supply will go away eventually, regardless.

What matters is setting up an economy that is dependent upon something that we know is going away.

It's very much like this: A fella wins the lottery where he gets $10,000 checks every month for two years. So the fella (who normally makes $10,000 A YEAR - although he quickly quits his job since he can afford to) goes out and buys a $5 million home and another million dollars worth of cars and knick knacks. He can afford to make those payments for those 2 years because of those lottery checks.

But at the end of two years, what? He can't afford to keep up the payments and he loses it all. Probably has to go into bankruptcy. I mean, he had a nice two year ride, but it was rather foolish of him to spend the money thusly. He could have bought a cheap home and had it paid off instead of living beyond his means.

His children, when they're kicked out and living on the streets with nothing to show for it say, "Dad? Why in the heck did you do something so stupid??" And they cursed their father for his stupidity.

It's very much like that.

Dan Trabue said...

And how does price figure into your question exactly. Price is based on supply and demand... I'm just not following your reasoning here.

No, apparently you're not. I would LOVE for our price to be based on supply and demand IF actual costs were paid. But they're not.

We are subsidizing oil and auto companies and drivers so that oil is wildly UNDERpriced. Estimates for True Costs for gasoline is closer to $10-15/gallon. If we would start removing subsidies, start demanding actual costs being included, then the price would rise to reflect actual costs and the market could do a decent job of regulating demand.

I think we've gone through this before, but you can read here for info on how gasoline is vastly underpriced.

For just one example of how drivers are subsidized, consider our roads. Gasoline taxes pay for SOME of the existing infrastructure, but nowhere near all of it. Nearly all local roads are paid for using general tax moneys paid for by the population at large - including non-motorists. Ditto for all the parking spaces and parking lots in big cities.

You like your big welfare bonus you're getting? Getting to drive at a reduced rate on the backs of those who have no cars? Not paying your fair share? You big cadillac king, you!

For just one example of how drivers are subsidized by general taxpayers.

Marshall Art said...

Do non-drivers eat, wear clothes, live in some kind of structure, use appliances? I could go on. Roads are used by the manufacturers and dealers of the above products to deliver them to all, including those who do not drive. Pretending that drivers are getting something paid for by non-drivers is a curious way to look at the situation. Roads benefit all and it is roads that non-drivers support in taxes. Even the drivers that use the roads are going to and from jobs wherein the above products are made, stocked, distributed, etc.

Dan Trabue said...

So, I'm unclear: Did you have a position on this posit? -

If we can sustainably produce x amount of energy at $y, then that's how much we should consume at that price.

And are you in favor of drivers, auto companies, oil companies continuing to receive welfare?

As to your claim that we all benefit from roads, this is true without a doubt. But we don't need all the parking spaces nor roads as large if it weren't for 1/2 billion motorists out there.

For instance, a bike lane can be built for something like $25,000/mile. A four lane highway costs more like $2.5 million/mile (I can look up exact numbers, if you'd like). Motorists ARE subsidized.

I'm asking if you're in favor of continuing this welfare or if you're in favor of motorists, oil companies and auto companies paying their own way. If you, like me, are opposed to this sort of welfare, and we were to reflect these prices in gasoline taxes, then it starts getting closer to $10+ gallon.

I'm advocating no welfare for those who don't need it (motorists, etc) and paying real costs (or trying to). I'd think that this would be something conservatives and liberals could agree upon. IF we weren't determined to oppose the Other just because they're the Other.

Marshall Art said...

"And are you in favor of drivers, auto companies, oil companies continuing to receive welfare?

They don't. You like to pretend that's the case to make some point. Try just making the point. Taxes go toward maintaining the roads. The roads aren't just for those out for a Sunday drive, they are primarily for the transportation of goods and services that everyone, drivers and non-drivers, desire. Thus, it is not only drivers who benefit by the maintaining of the roads.

A bike lane where I live is useless for commerce as it is freakin' cold in the greater Chicagoland area and that means the bike trails you'd spend tax dollars on would go unused througout most of the winter. And just how much can be hauled on a bike exactly? Please keep DannyWorld in your head where it belongs. It doesn't work out here for the rest of us.

As to the price of energy, I'll leave it to market forces to decide what it should cost. Perhaps if we didn't have so many different blends across the nation, that would reduce costs to the consumer a bit. Let's try that first, if the greenies will shut the f up.

Marshall Art said...

BTW, what's all this gas talk have to do with the post?