In Defense of the President?

June 21, 2010

I don’t agree with most of what this president is about, but I can’t find any reason to criticize him for the oil spill. I don’t feel particularly outraged against BP either. Big companies are always testing the outer limits of what is safe vs. how they can create more profits by going on the cheap. It happens.

I’m also not terribly outraged that Obama turned down help from the Dutch on day four of the disaster. The president was likely allowing BP try to solve the oil leak and didn’t think the international help was necessary. How could Obama have known how big of a mess the whole thing was going to be? Fine, don’t lift the Jones Act (or whatever it’s called) to protect union jobs that keeps other countries from helping us. Again, I don’t think this is the end all be all sign that this administration is to blame for the oil spill, the botched clean up and the prolonged delay in plugging the hole.

The outrage against Obama by both the left and my fellow right wingers smells bad. It just comes off as either political grandstanding, which is uncalled for or it sounds like Environmentalist doomsday fears.

I’m trying to picture in my mind what kind of world we would have to live in where the oil explosion and spill would have been prevented by the government or even by an oil business like BP and I don’t want to live in that world. No, I’m not talking about preventive measures that will be taken in the future because we learned something from this fiasco. I mean that for this to never happen would likely be a huge, bloated, expansion of government that, if implemented, would have prevented the spill from happening in the first place.

If we went to that universe where the oil spill didn’t happen, I guarantee you that something else would have happened; like a genetic super plague would have destroyed the world’s supply of corn. Or instead of an explosion hitting the oil derrick, the captain would have been drunk and sat on the power switch, or 19 Islamic Radicals would have crashed a plane into it causing the same eventual oil leak.

I guess I’m saying that accidents happen. Big accidents happen. More people are killed every day just by driving to work than were killed by the BP explosion and oil spill. Do you want to live in a world where a government would organize itself so that 30,000 oil derricks could never go wrong? Do you want to live in a world where the government was big enough to stop every possible car accident?

This is also why I don’t blame Bush for Katrina, and even hiring Brownie to do a poor job is no demonstration of abnormal incompetence by government. I likewise don’t blame Clinton for not getting Bin Laden and enabling 9/11 to happen. I can’t imagine a world where Clinton would be able to find second rate Muslim cult leaders and kill them or shut down airlines before they could kill people. We would practically require a government so big that it would have eyes everywhere, able to predict any possible scenario of harm, then dispatch a horde of government agents to stop any form of discomfort from ever attacking anyone at any time. That’s the standard I think people went after Obama, Bush and Clinton.

Don’t get me wrong, I have come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. Obama is the worst president of my lifetime and I agree with exactly zero of his policies and I hope he’s voted out in 2012. But I don’t expect much from government and I haven’t been disappointed with how little they’ve delivered. I don’t know how much oil would have been saved if McCain was president, but I don’t think the clean up would have gone much faster, or that we would have so many more pelicans on his watch.

It’s not Obama’s fault. There are plenty of areas to criticize Obama’s policies but this isn’t one of them.

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40 Responses to “In Defense of the President?”

  1. Paul Says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said here. I think the criticism from the right comes from another point of view. I don’t happen to think it’s constructive but I understand its origin. The media at large was absolutely brutal to George W. Bush at every turn and the furor around Katrina was especially brutal. I think a lot of right wing people are pushing on Obama for this oil spill because they want to see these same lefties who criticized Bush’s slow reaction now criticize Obama’s even slower reaction.

    There’s a certain amount of revenge going on and I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable. The war of politics is a war of information and the left has repeatedly proved that if you pound the public with your message (even if it’s just not true), the public will usually begin to internalize it. The risk everyone runs is in eventually making everyone so tone deaf to the political world that pretty much every pundit starts to sound like the boy who cried wolf and the public stops listening. And frighteningly enough I’m starting to believe that this president may turn out to be “the wolf” instead of just another false alarm.

  2. Dan Egger Says:

    I totally agree. I find it bizarre that after all the highly debatable issues in the first year of his term, this accident is what “sticks” to the president.

    I genuinely have no idea what this says about us as a nation.

  3. Austin Says:

    Wow, very well argued and I agree 100%.

  4. Kathy Fullerton Says:

    People aren’t criticizing Obama because there was an oil spill. They are criticizing his leadership in the clean up process. Why didn’t he immediately have all interested parties in the Oval Office, including expert environmentalists, geologists, BP execs, oil industry experts? Instead, he hems and haws trying to figure out what the far left wants him to do, and then declares he’s gonna “kick some ass”. Now THAT’S REAL LEADERSHIP. What a doofus.

    In addition, his constant attempts to pit corporate America against the average citizen, as in his vilifying of the financial industry, the oil industry, etc. prevents cooperation in order to insure that jobs are kept and created by corporate America. It also affects the stock market and confidence in our economy.

    He has done nothing to prevent the whole country from thinking that the whole coast of western Florida is covered in oil. He could have used his bully pulpit to assure people that they could continue to vacation in the states that are on the Gulf. That would have helped the economy in one of our largest states in the Union. He also waits to do whatever the Center for American Progress tells him to do. He is a lacky for George Soros.

    The icing on the cake is that he promotes a job killing energy tax during his speech to the nation about the oil spill. Brilliant. Thanks, Obama.

    Doug, you and I part ways on this one.

    • tennapel Says:

      We aren’t in disagreement with what he has done. I agree that he’s not a real leader, gone to war with the oil industry instead of our real enemy the terrorists, being a lacky of the left, trying to jack in an energy tax purely for political opportunism, but I disagree with seeing this oil spill as some kind of failure on his part.

      I see a normal level of governmental incompetence with the clean up. It’s no worse or abnormal than dealing with Katrina. It’s not worse than inefficiencies in our war in Iraq, rabbit trails, failures… it’s a normal level of incompetence for something as incompetent as a bunch of politicians trying to accomplish something huge.

      I think expecting Obama to be the answer is where we fail. Expecting Bush to stop a hurricane, flooding, then looting and disorder after a disaster is holding him to an unreasonable standard.

      These are all normal mistakes made by fallible men who can’t see the future. BP showed a normal level of incompetence in not being able to predict the future.

      If BUsh was handling the oil spill it’s entirely possible that the same amount of damage would be occurring right now… and all of his political enemies who now defend Obama and castigate BP would jump down his throat with how he loves the rich, hates the poor and doesn’t care. I just want to make sure that you and I aren’t doing the same thing to Obama.


  5. My assessment of this president is the same as yours. And I see your point in not lowering ourselves to the level of the Left who would be castigating a Republican for the same lack of leadership.

    I guess it’s Obama’s attitude during this catastrophe that irks me. Yes, accidents can’t be prevented and we certainly DO NOT want a government to be fail-safe because of the scope of freedom we would lose. But his attitude is snarky and annoying–more than usual. ;) It bugs me.

    But that’s a personal observation, not a political one. Overall, I agree with you.

  6. cf Says:

    stick to art work. you come off as being off your rocker on this one. to say if this didn’t happen than something else would happen to take its place is insanity. people getting killed driving to work does,t effect the ecosystem of the planet this oil spill does. Doug your opinions are all around stupid please stick to time better spent drawing, make a new earth worm jim or something.

    • tennapel Says:

      You’re right the carbon emissions from automobiles doesn’t effect the ecosystem. Glad to meet a fellow GW denier.

      The world has been around a looooooong time… unless you’re a young earth Creationist. Which you may very well be. Anyways, a whole lot of disasters worse than this spill has happened on every one of your favorite flourishing ecosystems you love today and they recovered just fine.

      It’s also important to note that your remedy for me doing something stupid like sharing my opinion would be to make something not stupid like an Earthworm Jim? Have you ever SEEN Earthworm Jim?!

      • Martin L. Shoemaker Says:

        I have no real clue who you are. I stumbled upon Tommysaurus Rex, loved it, and decided to learn more.

        But with that reply, you just got added to my Favorites list. That was funny!

  7. Patrick Park Says:

    I’m on a similar, parallel track to you. I agree that gov’t is the least competent and least efficient way to do almost anything. They have to do certain things, like run the army and courts, but they shouldn’t do much else.

    Katrina, I think, was a local disaster of nature and gov’t. The “blame Bush” crowd completely overlooked the role of State and local (corrupt) gov’t. There may also have been a “green” component to that disaster since levees in the area were regularly challenged by eco groups (see: http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/berlau200509080824.asp). However, even given all that, I’m sure there were some legitimate complaints about how things were handled at the Federal level.

    The gulf oil spill was even more of a Federal issue – the rigs were directly under the regulatory authority of the Feds, as I understand it, so I think they legitimately bear the burden for not implementing the rules properly (just as the SEC failed to implement the rules that should have caught Madoff sooner). I think I may part company with you on the response. I just don’t see why international help wasn’t allowed after a week or two when it should have been obvious that things were going badly. I think even as incompetent and inefficient as gov’t is bound to be, at a certain point, when stupidity is running rampant (such as the reports of the Coast Guard actively preventing some of the remediation efforts) that some accountability must be expected.

    Oh, and someone made a good point: there’s a “green” component to this fiasco as well. We’ve had a spotless record with the shallow-water oil wells for decades, but the oil giants have no choice but to head for deeper water to discover and recover oil for us because the eco-fanatics have succeeded in preventing drilling on the continental shelf off California, New York, Florida, etc.

    So, in short, I think there are more reasons to blame Obama for mishandling the gulf oil spill than there were reasons to blame the Feds (and therefore, Bush) for the handling of Katrina. However, I have to agree that much of the blame Obama is getting is undeserved. On the other (other?) hand (thank you Dr. Seuss) I am enjoying seeing the Savior of the Left getting roasted a bit by the same destructive tactics he and his fellow travelers have not hesitated to use.

    • tennapel Says:

      Patrick, these are all valid points. I think this kind of measured response to Obama (and to Reagan, Bush, Clinton) doesn’t sound like grandstanding, nor does it try to make Obama the author of the end of the world.

  8. Lina Maini Says:

    An accident, personal or large-scale corporate is just that. I agree across the board with your op, Doug, but my guess is we’ll be getting a “Prescient Czar” soon. The Ministry of Silly Walks is beginning to look quite pragmatic…

  9. trlogan Says:

    Doug, I so appreciate you posting this. I agree with your viewpoint on this.

    And, heck, if I can defend Palin now and then, and you can defend Obama now and then, it makes me hopeful that reasonable dialogue re: politics CAN happen.

    Thanks.

    • tennapel Says:

      I just seems like we expect perfection from a leader, then if he eats it, his ideological opponents jump on top of a giant, lazy-thinking dogpile. I hate dogpiles… especially the people on the very top of said pile. They seem to be trying to gain something by kicking the wounded that they don’t even have the principles to make the judgment. They march in the parade but only if all the streets are full.

      I don’t even get the criticism that he’s not lifting the JOnes act. It seems normal that a president would protect a lobbying group that is in his group of friends or circle of power. I never had a problem that military deals went to Bush and Cheney cronies… I kind of want friends to rely on corporate friends in times of war. So shouldn’t Obama not piss off every American union worker while he’s negotiating an environmental disaster? My fellow GOPers seems to act like if we had the Dutch helping us from day 3 that the gulf spill would be fine. Or if we went with Jindal’s clean up efforts the beaches would be clean. I don’t care what GOP idea we would have gone with, the gulf would be completely soaked in oil through and through so maybe it’s worse because of Obama but it’s not initially bad because of him.

      That said I DO still blame Green policy for having the Derricks in deep water in the first place. This whole BP disaster only illustrates the unintended consequences of many of our noblest intentions.


  10. I agree with you re: expecting perfection from a leader – that drives me nuts. I voted for Bush, and I supported Bush but he ticked me off. I voted for Obama, and I support him, but I don’t agree with everything he believes and does. I’m old-fashioned in that I respect the office of the President, even if I DIDN’T vote for him – but I’m also realistic in that I don’t expect to agree or affirm every move a leader makes. I campaigned for Obama, it doesn’t mean I think he’s God.

    I don’t think the BP thing is worse because of Obama – that sort of goes against the point of your post, doesn’t it?

    I know Palin is pushing the “blame the green people” idea – so of course I’m suspicious of it. At this point (and I want to learn more), I don’t blame Green policy for the derricks in deep water, I blame our oil greed. I blame the fact that we aren’t seeking better solutions. I blame a “Drill Baby Drill” mentality.

    And, I’m so heartsick about the BP spill, I can hardly read about it or hear anything about it any more, I admit. I want us to stop the finger-pointing and fix the freakin’ leak.

    I take it really personally, as I’ve been visiting the Gulf Coast several times a year since I was a little kid, have always had fam on the Emerald (for now) Coast, and my parents live in Panama City.

    Our favorite swim spots, in that gorgeous clear water now have tar balls rolling forward in them.

    • tennapel Says:

      Teresa,
      you said,
      “I don’t think the BP thing is worse because of Obama – that sort of goes against the point of your post, doesn’t it?”

      I only brought that up because some may say that the narrative isn’t that Obama is initially at fault, but that he made it worse by doing or not doing X. I’m not defending Obama for any other reason than I’d defend any man in the same position, he can’t see the future and he belongs to an institution (government) that is best left untrusted to do just about anything. I’m horrified that America would blame government for just about anything… other than being too big.

      The only difference between Obama handling this mess and some GOPer handling this mess is that the press generally respects Obama, while the GOPer would be up for impeachment by now with covers of TIME saying, “Republican Legitimacy Forever Ended by Their Oil Spill”. SNL would have Palin winking, wearing a stripper’s outfit and being too stupid to put a cork in an oil pipeline. The general respect Obama received from the mean people is what every president should get, especially during hurricane Katrina and two wars. Now I sound like a cry baby. Sorry, I’m just laughing at everyone in the world right now.

      “At this point (and I want to learn more), I don’t blame Green policy for the derricks in deep water, I blame our oil greed. I blame the fact that we aren’t seeking better solutions. I blame a “Drill Baby Drill” mentality.”

      Well, given you drive a car, paint with acrylics and drink from a plastic water bottle, we don’t need to look far for where to point our finger. But calling it “greed” seems like an injection of morality where none is warranted. Are farming accidents to blame for our corn greed? It’s a panacea offered by the left that claims we can survive without oil. We don’t have any alternatives that would work, so “Drill baby drill” isn’t an unreasonable mentality to have if we like flushing toilets, insulin for diabetics and a car to drive to our art openings. You’ve watched first hand how the left had a tumor-covered-cow over drilling ANWAR so guess what they would say about drilling off of California’s coast? We’re in deep water for a reason, but now I want to challenge every Democrat who doesn’t want to drill in the shallows which oil spill hurts the environment more… A) the one in deep water, where the oil is kept faaaar away from the coast or B) the one in shallow water, where we could send a SCUBA diving welder to manually plug a hole in 48 hours?

      I know the left would rather admit to being Nazis than call Sarah Palin right, but you have to believe that even your worst ideological opponent is going to be right about some things, some time. Especially in a morally neutral area like drilling for oil. Ah, the left hasn’t allowed it to remain neutral by creating a green religion, so that potentially harming the environment is harming “Eden” but that creation of a state religion is more the cause of horror at Palin’s creed more than the realities of our oil need. I think Palin probably has a better grasp on what America’s oil needs are than anyone in the current administration. It’s hard to believe when the media has pinned her as an idiot, but above all else, we should test every narrative the media creates because about 90% of them are lies. If you think Palin is wrong about just about everything most of the time, I don’t see how you can rest on the narrative of big media and the majority governments in power. Are you sure-sure-sure that we can shut down our coal industry that provides half of America’s electricity today? Are you sure we can tax traditional forms of energy that actually work and reapply that money to wind and solar so that they are profitable… especially when one oil well provides as much energy as all of our current solar panels in use combined?

      Given the left’s history I really wish they would consider the law of unintended consequences as we construct the new Utopia. I’m not against Utopias per se. As a category I admit they’re nice to think about. But stand between a lefty and Utopia and there’s always a spilling of blood. Oil spills don’t scare me. We’re going to be fine and you are going to swim again in those waters. Okay, you’ll be 80 years old, but it’s going to be worth the wait!


      • I get it. It just seemed you turned on him on this point. You’ve made it clear that you don’t endorse anything about the man.

        I didn’t say I don’t contribute to the “Drill Baby Drill” mentality. We are one of the few families I know who only has one car, and my hubby lives in another town, and takes the metro exclusively. I wish I could afford a hybrid right now, but I can’t. Soooo, I feel the guilt and the shame.

        I just think Palin is reckless with her words. Slamming “lefty” for this is just silliness, when “Drill Baby Drill” is her mantra.

        BTW, I have a titanium water bottle, if that makes you feel any better. But, I fill it from a BIGGER plastic bottle . . . DOH!!!


      • But I don’t drive a hybrid and I can afford one. My wife and I proudly drive two gas hogs. I’ll only take the minimal effort to separate trash and go through more plastics than Pamela Anderson’s elective surgeon. I encourage others to do the same.

        Am I morally wrong and worthy of your judgment?

  11. Patrick Says:

    Here’s why wind (and Solar) won’t reduce our reliance on fossil fuels: Sir David King, the government’s former chief scientist and director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, said the figures highlighted the need for new nuclear generators to help cut emissions and keep power supplies reliable. “We can’t rely too heavily on wind because it always requires a gas-fired turbine to be able to be switched on to provide alternative energy,” he said. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/28/drive-switch-green-power-setback

    Interesting that they put what was arguably the most important piece of info at the end of the article. Is that what they call “burying the lead?”


  12. Doug,

    To answer your direct question, yes I think it’s morally wrong, and heck, you know you are always worthy of my judgment!! Thanks for asking. Very polite of you.

    I think it’s irresponsible to “proudly drive two gas hogs.” I guess I don’t think we should be proudly piggy about much of anything . . .

    I know that fits in with that Proud Palinista mindset, though.

    I’d like to trade in my truck for something smaller, preferably a hybrid (I don’t have need for a big pickup, just transport, and I borrow or rent when I have to transport my big artwork), but I cannot incur a car payment right now.

    peace,

    trl


    • Actually, it fits in with the proud Bidenista and Obaminista mindset too.

      They think we should proudly pay taxes, proudly force the working class to pay for those who won’t work, proudly take away our ability to choose our own schools. I’ve yet to see a lefty embrace any of their platforms with humility so pride appears to be the hip new way.

      If my driving a legal car that I pay for is morally wrong, is it morally wrong to suck an unborn baby into the sink? You don’t need to bring up who takes care of the mother or not, because that’s off topic. I’m just trying to gage what kind of indoctrination you mean by saying that I’m morally wrong for driving my car.

      Further, should every American have the constitutional right to drive their gas guzzler’s around? Can we slap such an enormous tax on certain medical practices that people don’t have the ability to exercise that lovely constitutional right we discovered, just before we found the right to punish driving vehicles that are less economical than the ones you long to be holy enough to afford?

      I’m not laughing at you but I am laughing at “the royal y’all” because green issues are the most trivial, silly justification for beaurocracy I’ve seen in my lifetime. The idea that you stay up at night feeling the tiniest ping of guilt over driving a pick up truck actually keeps ME up at night. So stop it. I don’t want to lose sleep and I don’t need to laugh this much either.


  13. Doug,

    I knew as soon as I read your question “is it morally wrong,” that you were using it as a setup for a statement you wanted to make regarding unborn babies – a well-established argumentative pattern of yours. Speaking of “off-topic.”

    I don’t connect being holy to my vehicle, at all. That’s a new idea to me, unless you count my distant familiarity with the concept of the Popemobile. But since I don’t think of him as holy, heck, it’s just not tracking.

    I think it’s all related, life, and our care of our planet, the whole Genesis thingy about taking care of things – so I guess when someone laughs off taking care of the earth, and impacting other people and countries with our waste, pollution, etc., it seems inconsistent to me – life is life, isn’t it? Is there a hierarchy of humans? Some count more than others, I guess? Babies more than women, American babies more than foreign people (already born) affected by American waste and a careless attitude about God’s creation – I guess I don’t feel that way. I guess I strive to do better with this.

    At some point, it would be nice to hear you acknowledge that life is life, whether it’s in someone’s belly, or several years into its existence, living in some other country or on another shore Americans don’t care if we abuse and/or trash.

    Green issues are not trivial. Green issues affect life. For millions.

    Just not you and your cars. Squeaker! Congrats on escaping!


    • I didn’t bring up morals. Any time you use words like “should” or “ought” regarding an oil spill you are bringing up morals. It’s not about unborn babies, it’s about misplaced hysteria in the name of a psuedo-virtue preached by your party even as they take shots at traditional religionists for being no less religious.

      I think these are the only three sentences in Genesis the left still believes in any more. What happened to, “Oh, so you’re going to stone me for eating shell-fish?” B.S. Just what exactly is the punishment for not taking care of the garden… will my entire city be burned to the ground by God or will my wife be turned into a pillar of salt?

      We don’t impact other countries with our waste, pollution etc. as much as we impact other countries with our reduced pollution through prosperity, technology and education. And I only hold babies as more important than women because a fetus’ carbon footprint is smaller so he is de facto less evil. But I’m glad that you see yourself as striving to do better than me. Let me know how those good works calm your tormented, Eden destroying soul.

      I will not acknowledge that life is life, because you have wisely gathered all of the information you know about me to conclude that I don’t care about babies who are several years into existence, I don’t think people in other countries are made in the image of God and imbued with the same natural rights as I.

      Green issues are trivial and should remain trivial, because when big, bloated, leviathan states use a Pharisaical concern for the environment as an excuse to expand government and make the citizen smaller, less free and still manage to kill over 50 million people “on other shores” with DDT bans I don’t buy the crocodile tears. Green issues don’t save lives, but turning off a certain plastic vacuum hose would.

      The Earth has been around a long time… it spills 100 million gallons of oil on its own even without oil spills.

      My next car is going to be a tank that runs on spotted owl eggs. (Don’t worry Teresa, I’m not killing the adults, just the unborn tissue.)


  14. Hmmm, I thought you did bring up morals, just asking me that direct question about whether I thought you are “morally wrong” to be proud you guzzle gas. My answer to that very direct question is “yes.”

    Abortion isn’t related to the topic at all . . . I’m just pointing out that I knew you asked that question in that way so that you could change the thread direction. I answered you directly, anyway. And I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t make “unborn tissue” cracks to me – seriously.

    I admit to you, it always seems to me an attempt to strike the higher moral ground, no matter what the topic – here, it’s “I don’t recycle, but IT’S NOT AS BAD AS KILLING BABIES.” End of argument. End of discussion (Gosh, what WAS that discussion?) So, you got to make your point here that KILLING BABIES IS WORSE THAN NOT RECYCLING.
    *sigh*

    I still think it’s important to take care of the planet, and I just don’t understand your attitude about it. I keep trying to, I really do . . . but I just don’t. I also don’t presume you only do things because of your fear of OT punishments, and didn’t say so . . . soooooo I think that’s maybe just an emotional rant at the left, but here aimed at me, because it’s kinda convenient for you?

    Didn’t say I was striving to do better than you in general, just on the green issue – which you admit is not something you value on any level, so . . . let it go. Why argue about something you don’t value anyway? I don’t have time or inclination to talk you into recycling or trading in for a Prius, or even sticking to the topic. I just wanted to discuss the oil spill, etc., and our attitudes about the planet, for a bit, I think.

    BTW, I don’t feel locked in to voting for Dems; I feel pretty free to vote how I like, so please don’t you worry yourself over that, either, now. No losing sleep over worrying, or from laughing yourself awake at my ridiculous responses to you.

    You need to save your energy to separate 1) the glass from the plastic, or 2) the owls from their eggs, or 3) the “pseudo-virtuous” from the Truly Virtuous.


    • But Teresa, part of your schtick is to make fun of puritanical legalists who go around playing church lady to the petty sins of others… sins you think are fine or trivial. So you sounded concerned about fuel usage and I thought I’d see if you swallowed the cultural line that not recycling is the highest immorality known to man… even as we yawn at the 5,000 abortions today. That’s not a pro life rant, it’s a rant about Greenie legalists who claim to care about life.

      I won’t bring up the unborn tissue crack, and you oughtn’t make the sweeping claim that those who care about the unborn necessarily don’t care about the baby after it’s born. It’s irrelevant, and a deflection anyways. It’s like saying, “The abolitionists have no right to complain about slavery unless they intend to do something about the lack of labor first.” Hopefully, you too, were joking, because we know that no person would seriously make such arguments.

      It goes without saying that killing babies is worse than recycling. But if you’re claiming you tire of ubiquity of the abortion argument then you can’t possibly have been paying attention to the last 5 years of green bitching being on everything from Nickelodeon to Coke cans.

      Now you’re telling me that it’s important to take care of the planet. I didn’t know that. But I think we’ve got that topic covered since I read “recycle” on the side of my gerber baby bottle but I don’t read, “You should bring all humans to full term.” Keep knocking over windmills, or wind harvesters or whatever we’re paying for with our tax dollars these day.

      If you want to discuss the oil spill, then let me start by saying we’re going to survive it. You don’t have to get caught dead driving a Prius. You may drive your truck with immunity.

      But if carbon emissions are so evil, deadly, and anti-Genesisy, how could you live with yourself and drive one car? Are the oceans going to rise and kill our offspring or not? If they are then you have a moral obligation to have ZERO carbon output. Al Gore needs to park the jet forever and I don’t want to hear about buying sin indulgences in form of carbon credits. If his jet is going to make oceans rise and kill polar bears he IS being immoral for farting.

      It’s one thing for you to live by your own fashions, made up values and religious inspiration, but it’s another to force your beliefs on others by supporting carbon taxes, fuel taxes to manipulate emission standards and poo-poo oil drilling jobs.

      My question about your perception of me was only to see if you were going to go all green fundamentalist judgmental on me or if you were going to string off some B.S. like, “Jesus said don’t judge, so if you want to pollute, that’s your truth.”

      I’m looking for a standard, that’s all. Still looking.


  15. My “schtick?”
    “Made up values?” Wow.

    I was seeking a standard as well, when I commented on caring about life, all life . . . not just one sector of it. I think that goes to the whole caring-for-the-planet thingy. It’s not the most important thing in life, as far as always being the number one consideration . . . but it IS what we are discussing here.

    “But I think we’ve got that topic covered since I read “recycle” on the side of my gerber baby bottle but I don’t read, “You should bring all humans to full term,” is a clever turn of phrase, but I guess they figure you already did that, or you wouldn’t be holding the baby bottle. Am I being too literal?

    I think carbon credits are total BS – prostitution of an ethic. I think it’s so celebrities can show up at green events in their limos and private planes, but still host “green week” on the Discovery Channel. It’s crap. So again you are generalizing about me, because I’m honest with you that I think we shouldn’t be proud to guzzle gas and laugh about recycling.

    Re: my beloved pickup, and I do love it -I do plan to be rid of my truck in two years, but I live in the country now and need it. When I live in a nice city with a lovely Metro system, I plan to sell it. City conveniences. I do think about the carbon output (or whatever it’s called) – I do think it matters. And, we never had air conditioning when we lived in Colorado, so for 20 years I had braggin’ rights, I guess, but “need” it here where I live now. So, we’re making choices, not all of them good for the planet. I guess the “standard” you can’t seem to find from me, (am I expressing it THAT badly or are you being purposely obtuse?) is that I strive to be better at this green thing, and yes, I think we need have a care for the planet.

    To take the little things we do know and to do better with that – to buy recycled, to recycle – to make that just something we do, like you wouldn’t pile up your trash in your living room and leave it to rot – why do that to the planet? Do you litter? What do you think of litter? Do you teach your kids to throw their Mickey D’s toys out the window if they don’t want them, and their juice boxes on the playground? I guess I’m just striving for a more grown-up version of some of those basic tenets – and maybe tenets do evolve into morals?

    You don’t make sense, btw, when you disdainfully discuss forcing beliefs on others. You strive for that when you seek to make abortion illegal. Most laws DO legislate morality. Don’t kill, don’t steal, etc.
    And what is that, but forcing our beliefs on others?

    I’m being open here about not reaching an ethic (yes, a standard) I strive for . . . one which I think matters. When I travel or visit a culture which lives below the American “standard,” I’m more acutely aware of how little I need and how much I’ve accumulated and use every single day.

    My standard would be to make as little impact on the planet as possible – and by driving a big ole pickup and using air conditioning, and buying salad in presealed plastic bags, I’m not living up to that.

    I’m not Bear Grylls, I cannot eat grubs and drink my own urine.

    So, I recycle, I use reusable shopping bags, I buy products made from recycled materials, and I use trash in my artwork . . . very little impact, decent for an American, maybe . . . but I guess I’d rather make those personal choices than the alternative.

    Just because someone isn’t quite living up to their standard, doesn’t mean they don’t have one.


  16. WHen you phrase recycling as a personal choice, I think that’s great! You may believe it’s moral but America has a strong tradition of letting people work out their own creed and there’s no conflict. If everyone just recycled as they pleased or didn’t recycle as they pleased, we’d all be fine. But that’s not the spirit of the age is pushing.

    The bumper sticker of the left is “don’t push your linear western, fundi religion onto others”. They relativize to the individual ideas they don’t really believe in… like the sanctity of traditional marriage needs to fall to the wayside of a personal morality that will not only be created by the individual, but will be punished by the state if this new freedom isn’t allowed. But try to get the right for an individual to have a Bible study on school grounds and watch them all go psycho because the state can’t endorse… or allow the personal value of reading a Bible in a group study.

    We relativize the values of others and make absolute our own. That’s the left and the right. So I’m just calling out the left on their shoving every value of their green religion down other people’s throats and it’s made of the exact same thing as prayer in schools. They may try to call down “science” on their behalf, but almost all of the left’s science is a conclusion in search of evidence. The most reliable evidence that the earth is in danger of man’s carbon emissions were completely cooked books, again, by religious idealogues who sought an end not a scientific discovery.

    When I use shopping bags, I pay for them. That’s a free decision I choose to make. Some people pray in schools, some people don’t. It’s not strange that due to a religious ideology someone would call a non-reusable bag a “sinner” which is what you imply with the immorality of my decision to drive (and freely pay for) a gas hog. Some people are public school non-prayer hogs, some are gas hogs. There are abortion hogs and create drilling job hogs.

    I agree with you that all laws are moral and that we legislate morality all the time. I just wish the rest of the greenies were as honest as you that this is an ideology being pushed at the government level, a cultural level and that it intends to punish those who don’t tow the party line. It is a state ideology and it only proves that the separation of church and state really is a double standard only called down to stop religions the left doesn’t believe in. I intend to drive my prayer-in-school car through the tunnel they just built. But we both know what will happen if I do that.

    In 18 months, GE will pull their lines of 270 incandescent bulbs because it will be illegal to sell them. The mercury bulbs are dangerous, make crappy light, are expensive and do zero to save the planet. The law was signed by George Bush (the first evidence I’ve seen that he actually is stupid). And while we’re preoccupied with this complete self-righteous trivia, Iran builds a nuclear bomb that the left can’t stand to remove a strangle-hold on Israel to acknowledge with any real action. If you think incandescent bulbs will destroy the world just think of the pollution a bomb dropped on Israel would accomplish. The left can’t seem to care about the human lives of Jews so I’m hoping we can make a list of endangered animals that live in Israel so we can get some action from the Pagan in chief.


  17. I just think we know it’s a better choice not to litter.
    I don’t think that’s so radical.

    I think that recycling is the right thing to do, even if I cannot “save the planet.”

    Sorta like, I know I’ll never be a prima ballerina, but I haven’t chucked exercise out the window.

    I don’t like those light bulbs, either.


    • But we both think litter isn’t an ideal. That’s a far cry from calling it morally wrong or saying it’s destroying the planet. I could make another argument for not littering that uses a non Materialist value like “beauty” but secularists don’t believe in an absolute statement like “beauty” because it can’t be verified empirically in a laboratory.

      So if they do go with a moral statement, they have to use media to make everyone ridicule the minority who doesn’t believe in it as ignorant, pro-tribulation or pro-pollution (which is silly). Where the cultural peer pressure doesn’t work they go to “experts say” or “science says” to claim that it is empirically proven that the world will die if we don’t destroy capitalism.

      You saying, “It’s a better choice not to litter.” states a simple truth. “You are killing your grandchildren by driving this car vs. this other government subsidized car” is less simple and not likely true.

      But at least we can H8te those lightbulbs together. God bless you, sister.

    • Patrick Says:

      I probably shouldn’t step into this – fools rushing in where angels fear to tread sorta thing – with Doug being on such an awesomely righteous roll and all (and here I thought I was the only person who’d ever made the eco-Pharisee comment…), but I’d just like to point out that recycling isn’t the only proper response to littering – putting trash where it belongs, in the trash bin, is also a morally responsible choice.

      In fact, dumping waste in the trash bin may be morally superior to curbside recycling. How’s that possible? Here’s the logic (reference at the end of the list):

      1. We’re not running out of space for landfills: “Holding all of America’s garbage for the next one hundred years would require a space only 255 feet high or deep and 10 miles on a side. Landfills welcome the business. Forty percent of what we recycle ends up there anyway.”

      2. Mandatory curbside recycling is more wasteful of resources than other methods of recycling or just putting garbage in a landfill: “Overall, curbside recycling’s costs run between 35 percent and 55 percent more than other recycling methods, because it uses huge amounts of capital and labor per pound of material recycled. Recycling itself uses three times more resources than does depositing waste in landfills.”

      3. Voluntary recycling happens when the cost of producing the item from virgin material is higher than the cost of recycling it: “Everything of value has always been recycled. You will automatically know that something is of value when someone offers to buy it from you, or you see people picking through your waste or diving into dumpsters.”

      Ref: http://mises.org/daily/3887

      So given the above, I think Doug’s attitude toward recycling is actually more ecologically enlightened than wimps like me who do it out of guilt. In fact, I think I’ll go dump my wasteful recycle bin into the trash bin right now! It will be hard to break my bad recycling habit, but like they say – every journey begins with a single step…

      • tennapel Says:

        Patrick, you’re a cultural heretic. My kind of guy.

        The amount of water resources and cost alone make recycling paper products morally “wrong” especially when the priests just throw it into the landfill after we receive our absolution. That and the primary source of tree planting in America comes from paper companies that replenish what they cut. They plant less trees and take care of less forests when they don’t have to cut fresh resources to make paper so it’s actually anti-green to recycle.

        Glass is easy to melt down, but we’re not running out of freaking SAND any time soon so there’s no environmental impact to not recycling that.

        The only thing ecologically sound to recycle is aluminum because it does cost more to pull out of the ground than to reuse what we’ve got.

        While traditional morals have absolute ties to real sin, death and destruction of civilization, all of the green morals aren’t connected to anything we do… especially when it’s tied to something as arbitrary as carbon emissions. We’re carbon-based life forms, making our very existence a supposed sin of emissions.

        Putting green above people has devalued our precious time on earth by pre-occupying otherwise useful people to separating trash, bitching in media and taxing fuel, air, LIFE itself. And don’t get me started on the Zero Population Growth (ZPG) garbage that is literally anti-human life.

        It gets much worse. But suffice it to say, Green is Mean. Then it pats itself on the back as being the new Jesus of the universe. Paganism in all of its incarnations, needs to eat life to survive.


  18. I think it’s interesting that 2 out of 3 of Patrick’s arguments against recycling are cost-based. Like, “It costs more, so it’s worse.”

    And I just think that the love of money is the root of all evil. Cannot remember where I got that . . .

    Talk amongst yourselves. ;-)


    • It’s true that like the left, Jesus only cared about people misusing money. We can’t extrapolate that at all as meaning that someone shouldn’t waste a huge percentage of a lifetime separating trash and riding public transit for no benefit.

      Money is just a symbolic form of time you spent working. If money is evil to God it’s impossible that wasting time isn’t. I imagine God values what we do with our time even more than he values what we do with money.

      But it’s the left, not Jesus that want you to waste both your time and give them your money for their redistribution. Freedom isn’t at the height of their values either.

    • Patrick Says:

      Now who’s changing the subject?

      If you want to talk theology, that’s fine by me. The quote says, “The LOVE of money…”. I wasn’t talking about loving money – how to get rich quick, how to horde your money, etc. – I was talking about reasons not to recycle because the cost of recycling certain items just isn’t worth it. If it was, someone would be paying you for it.

      Eco-nannies are all about “unintended consequences.” Well here we have UC’s in spades. Think about it: who’s paying to do that worthless recycling? It’s the comrades – I mean citizens – of that town, either directly through garbage disposal fees or indirectly through their taxes. That’s money that’s not being spent at restaurants, etc. which, “at the margins” – and all economics, btw, is the effect of our economic decisions “at the margin” – results in fewer low-paid, low skilled jobs or few hours for part-time workers.

      So the single mom who’s working two low-paying jobs just lost one of them and had to go on welfare because people are wasting money recycling paper that could have gone in a landfill.


  19. ANd you can’t separate economics from the environment. The recycled paper gets dumped into the landfill if the value of that paper on the open market is below a certain value. A majority of the time it’s dumped for the same reason that subsidized farmers are paid by our government to dump their corn… in some markets it’s cheaper to dump it than to use it. So you get ZERO moral points even for most green actions because they’re only their to fund a tax subsidized government operation.

    The Green god is an idiotic God that exacts movement of his followers without benefit. Works without goodness. ANd it’s a placebo or worse, an inoculation, for a real, non-Pagan based God that the Materialists necessarily reject. Money, as well as false humility and self-righteous cultural works are the root of all kinds of evil.

    Rich people and consumers are GOOD for the environment. Show me a 3rd world country and I’ll show you the biggest polluters because taking care of waste is a luxury afforded to only the wealthiest Western countries. We invent every breakthrough that cleans or preserves the environment. It’s the poor communities around the world, where there is no constitutional rights for human freedom to build their own business that creates raw sewage, strip mining, clear cutting forests etc. Drive the roads of Mexico to see garbage heaped up along the roads… socialist democracies at work.

    When it’s profitable to be clean in a free open market the world will be greener than green. But trying to make it green by creating an enviro-theocracy will never work, destroy the one capitalist engine that has cleaned the environment so far and makes people waste their time doing zip for the environment, while they assuage their guilt as if they are. The height of pharisaical self righteousness of our time. Where are our prophets to call them out? He ain’t on the left. That temple of money-changers is their meal ticket.


  20. Ditto Patrick’s clarification on the “love of money.” Which is different than just “money.”

    I was sort of joking, but geez, y’all got your panties in a knot!

    Nobody here is trying to create an enviro-theocracy, or destroy capitalism. So calling out people who want to think and live green, as being “the height of pharisaical self-righteousness of our time” is just BS. Really. There are plenty of greenies who are just normal people trying to take better care of things. GOOD GRIEF.

    And I guess I haven’t seen any science which says it’s a waste of my time to recycle, or does anything but good for the planet . . . seems to make sense to reuse stuff. I like shopping at Goodwill . . . I mean, I LIKE it. And I like donating there. It employs people, and I get neato stuff.

    Those “costs” y’all got your panties in a wad about include employing people. Working towards cleaning up our environment.

    I do think it’s crazy and just silly/stubborn not to recycle . . . my opinion.

    I don’t care if you do like I don’t care if the Shroud of Turin is real or not. It would be neato and BETTER if you DID recycle and DIDN’T set out to guzzle gas as a personal goal, but I cannot CARE in that I won’t lose sleep over it.

    I do always go back to Genesis and taking care of things. It’s sorta basic, I think.

  21. Daniel D Says:

    Man I like your mindset. It’s nice hearing someone get a little upset in a logical way about this whole dilemma. I don’t know what anything BUT moving forward is doing to help the problem, but everyone around me seems to be looking backward for the blame instead of rolling up their sleeves and trying to help in any way. Accidents happen, and it’s good to live in an age where something like this is taken as seriously as it has been.

    In other news, not sure what you think about your art being used in this way, but I did recently get the cover art from Five Iron’s quantity is job 1 tattooed on me… Several reasons, but I can’t get enough of your characters and style, and I have an incredible amount of respect for not only your talent, but the way you infuse it with meaningful stories and unique humor. Anyway, fan rant done. Hope you keep it up forever man!

    • tennapel Says:

      Not a fan of tatts only because I think God did a better job with your arm than my artwork would. Still, I’m flattered you picked one of my images to go with you to the grave. Wear it well.

  22. Brandon McElwee Says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned that Obama had a federal law broken by not having any fire booms in storage.

    Then he he puts a halt on drilling and complains about the danger of deep sea drilling. Shortly after he hands a 2 billion dollar check of our tax money to Brazil to finance the discovery of oil even deeper than what this rig was at.

    Obama and his buddies have been looking to kick and blame someone before even getting the crisis all fixed up first, for there would of been plenty of time after.

    Also the cap method that has been working so far was going to be used first but the government said no you can’t do that to BP…and thank god his use of this crisis to push cap and trade seems to have failed.

    Obama may not have started this spill, but he sure seemed very very shady about fixing it.


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