Obama’s Stance on Coal True to Form

His now controversial stance on the coal industry, as elucidated to the SF Chronicle, is in the mainstream–of the American left’s view of the environment and the economy, as I already noted relative to the oil industry:

Today, it’s fair to say that the Democrats, on the whole, would like to see a more European style of economy come to these shores.  For them this involves putting into place the social net they see in Europe (universal health care, a robust dole for the unemployed, widespread trade unions, etc.)  and the high, progressive taxes to go with them.  What’s generally missing from their programme is the economic development facilitation, and no where is their animus against this more evident than with offshore oil development.  The Republicans forced them, kicking and screaming, into letting the moratorium on this on both left and right coasts to expire.  It’s a given that, under an Obama presidency and a Democrat controlled Congress, that would be reimposed, and our dependence on foreign oil imports stretched out.

Fuelling this animus is a luddite, romantic vision of a country, once depopulated, being returned to its pristine state.  Such a vision drives the environmental movement, and drove much of the 1960’s radical revolt, another reason why people such as William Ayers matter.  Under such a regime we would have the worst of both worlds: a socialistic economy without the drive for the wealth creating development it needs to live on.  Even the Soviet Union was committed to industrial development.

And Europeans wonder why some of us feel the way we do about our counterparts on the left…

Churchgoers Still Aren’t Breaking for Obama

This from the Politico:

Barack Obama has courted white weekly churchgoers as avidly as any Republican-leaning bloc of voters, though it now appears his efforts may fall flat on Election Day.

The Gallup Poll now shows Obama backed by 28 percent of white voters who attend church at least once a week — a group that makes up a roughly a third of all voters — which would be no improvement from the 29 percent of these voters who, according to exit polls, backed Democrats John Kerry and Al Gore in the previous two presidential election.

“There has been remarkably little change among whites in the religion gap,” said John Green, of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a top specialist on the convergence of religion and politics.

No Democratic nominee in the modern day has made more of an effort to court religious voters than Obama. Jimmy Carter, a Southern evangelical, was the last Democrat to narrowly contest weekly church-going voters in a two-man race. But where Carter attempted to deemphasize his faith in the 1976 campaign, Obama has repeatedly returned to his faith to narrow the so-called God gap that has dogged Democrats for decades.

What I suspect–although I can’t prove it–is that although he hasn’t made any dent in those Caucasians whose commitment level to Christianity is substantial, he’s probably made some headway with those who are best characterised as “Cultural Christians.”  This shrinking group of people probably derive some comfort from Obama’s religiosity.  So his appeal, from the standpoint of his campaign, isn’t entirely a waste.

As the article points out, however, Obama’s problem with committed Christians is that he is not in sync with them on the issues that matter to them, specifically abortion.  That’s a good sign that some of us at least are still paying attention to the issues rather than the hype.

And, I suspect, that these statistics would not be lost on an Obama administration, which would probably not treat committed Christians any better than it did the three reporters it booted off of its campaign plane because their employers had the bad taste to endorse John McCain.

Maybe They’ll Call Obama’s “National Civilian Security Force” the Inland Police

Obama’s newest idea:

I try not to make it a steady diet on this blog, but sometimes I think I’m seeing stuff in my own novels come to life.

In my first printed novel Paludavia (written in 2003,) I have the left-wing Republic of Verecunda defended in part by its underfunded and undermanned (and underwomaned to boot) military and by a force known as the “Inland Police.”  Same Inland Police have a reputation for brutality.  Their crack unit is referred to as the “Sacred Band.”

So how well do they defend the country?  Read it and find out.

The American Left: The Worst of Both Worlds

This will probably be my last “major” posting before the American elections.  Although I know the social issues are what Christians are “supposed” to focus on, I’m taking a different tack and look at an economic one, one which I’m all too familiar with and which has shoved itself back into people’s consciousness–the oil industry.

Back in 1980, my brother and I went to London for an offshore oil show.  Part of our trip was to head out to Wembley (near the old football stadium) to visit our largest customer’s UK office.  British/European car buffs that we were, the car park was what we first wanted to see.  (I’ll get to that later.)

Since the main function of the Wembley office was engineering, and ours was equipment, the fit wasn’t the best.  But we managed to spend some time with a senior official who gave us an overview of offshore oil development in Europe, which was well underway by the early 1980’s.

Up to that point Europe was very short of internal oil and gas production; most of it came from the Middle East (and we all know how much fun that is.)  The discovery of North Sea oil and gas revolutionised the whole energy picture for the continent, and the countries that had it either onshore or offshore (UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands) weren’t going to miss the opportunity.  However, as was explained to us, all of the countries realised that it was a limited resource.  So they organised the permitting and pace of development so that the benefits of the revenue stream would be stretched out to the maximum benefit of the country (and that included not overwhelming the country’s economy with oil money, especially important for the Norewgians.)

True to form, all of the countries involved (and again especially the Norwegians) put into place an environmental and safety regime to insure that the development would be suitable for all forms of life.  This drove many Americans, used to the free form environment of the Gulf of Mexico, crazy.  But the key thing is, it was done.  The oil and gas was developed and the countries benefited.  As a side benefit they advanced the technology of offshore oil development, which has spilled over into other endeavours.

Today, it’s fair to say that the Democrats, on the whole, would like to see a more European style of economy come to these shores.  For them this involves putting into place the social net they see in Europe (universal health care, a robust dole for the unemployed, widespread trade unions, etc.)  and the high, progressive taxes to go with them.  What’s generally missing from their programme is the economic development facilitation, and no where is their animus against this more evident than with offshore oil development.  The Republicans forced them, kicking and screaming, into letting the moratorium on this on both left and right coasts to expire.  It’s a given that, under an Obama presidency and a Democrat controlled Congress, that would be reimposed, and our dependence on foreign oil imports stretched out.

Fuelling this animus is a luddite, romantic vision of a country, once depopulated, being returned to its pristine state.  Such a vision drives the environmental movement, and drove much of the 1960’s radical revolt, another reason why people such as William Ayers matter.  Under such a regime we would have the worst of both worlds: a socialistic economy without the drive for the wealth creating development it needs to live on.  Even the Soviet Union was committed to industrial development.

It would be nice for a more reasoned approach to prevail, but emotionalism has always driven this country’s life.  In the meanwhile what I’ve just explained is one reason why I’ve never voted for a Democrat for President and don’t intend to start now.

And the car park?  Because of British tax laws, it was advantageous for employers to furnish company cars to just about everyone.  So that was done on a very rank-driven basis.  UK Ford had won the biggest contract, so out at the edge, near the street, were the little Escorts and Fiestas.  Approaching the main entrance to the building (which was in the back) were the larger Cortinas and Granadas.  Right in front of that entrance was the car park attendant, shining up the Managing Director’s XJ series Jaguar, parked so that same Director wouldn’t get wet in the frequent British rain.

Having worked for a company (Texas Instruments) where there weren’t any reserved spaces, let alone company cars like this, it was an eye opener.  But when tax-driven decisions dominate, strange and inegalitarian things like this happen.  That’s someting to think about when voting for those who claim to spread the wealth around.