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Drill Baby Drill July 24, 2017

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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That was the America First battle cry for decades as the America Last crowd tried to mold us into their version of a second-rate power and potential third world hellhole.  For administration after administration we were lectured about how we had to drive less, trade in our SUVs for tiny little Obama Clown Cars to reach “Energy Independence.”  Now after less than six months of the Trump Administration long stalled pipelines are flowing, America is one of the major oil exporting nations, the cost of gasoline is dropping due to the expanding supply, OPEC is freaking because we’re fracking, and we’re talking about “Oil Dominance.”

Combine that with a resurgent coal industry and we’re beginning to see the outlines of making America great again.

If we can get a healthcare bill that allows the free market to fix the problem, if we can repeal two regulations for every new one (so far Mr. Trump is repealing sixteen for every new one), if we can resist the pressure of the neo-cons for war in Syria, or Iran, or Russia, or anywhere, if we can avoid the political assassination of impeachment we may have a chance to right the Ship-of-State that’s been listing hard to port for generations.

Those are some big “Ifs.”  The political establishment, that two headed bird of prey that constitutes the Republicrat Government Party is fixated on the destruction of the Trump presidency.  They must destroy him and declare that his election was an aberration, a mistake that has to be rebuked and reversed.  If Mr. Trump, a non-politician can succeed than it reveals the truth.  We don’t need professional politicians and technocrats to run the bewildering bureaucracy these same hacks and pencil pushers have created.

We now have a Special Counsel investigating a non-crime.  We have House and Senate committees spending all day every day investigating things they know are cut from whole cloth, castles in the air.  The Progressive Republican majorities in Congress are unable to reverse the travesty of affordable healthcare that costs more.  The courts provide injustice as they block obviously lawful acts of the President because they didn’t like his rhetoric while a candidate.  What is the long and short of all this obstructionism?  The political class and their allies in the chatocracy are determined to reverse the results of the 2016 election.  Or at least to bog the administration down with trumped up investigations to the point they’re paralyzed and ineffective.  Why?  Because they didn’t win and they can’t allow a non-politician to succeed that’s why.

For years the political hucksters told us we had to lower our expectations.  They told us we had to make amends and pay reparations for all the evil we’d done.  We had a president making apology tours, bowing to foreign rulers, and in general doing all he could to fulfill the dreams of his anti-colonial father.

Finally we have a leader who believes America can be great again.  Finally we have a leader who proudly says we should believe in, project, and defend America first.  This is just too much for the apparatchiks who hang on like a drowning man to a life preserver to the levers of power in the bureaucratic Rube Goldberg machine that is the federal behemoth.

How do we break the log jam?

Enter my new political party, the Telephone Book Party.  Every two years we pick the first 535 names out of a phone book and that’s our congress.  Then two years later we try another phone book.  At least we’d have some regular people and maybe even a few working people in there instead of these feather-bedding plutocrat wannabes making laws for everyone else that don’t apply to them.

Seriously we have to do something to break out of the death spiral.  If the deadweight would get out of the way and pass a simple healthcare fix such as Senator Cruz’s suggestion of allowing insurance companies to offer affordable policies without all the required Obamacare bells and whistles.  If they would pass tax reform and build the wall President Trump would soar to the top of the polls.  So, you can be assured none of that is going to happen.

What can we do?  We rallied in unprecedented numbers to elect a non-politician to break the cycle and rejuvenate the American dream of personal freedom and economic opportunity.  You can see how well that’s going?

If the Constitution was written expressly to institute and maintain a limited government and we have what we have how can we say it’s a success at the moment?  Dare we say it, the Constitution has failed.  Perhaps it’s time to reassess the social contract by which we order and live our lives.  If ¾ of the States call for a convention to consider amendments according to Article V of the Constitution such a convention shall convene.  Currently twelve States have voted for such a convention.  Thirty-four are needed.  Many fear such a convention.  However, if what we have now is no longer working why should we hesitate?  The Founders and the Framers didn’t hesitate.  They did what was needed to birth this great experiment in human freedom.  Should we hesitate to re-birth it now that it’s become ossified with precedent and political machinations?

We need to plumb the depths of our hearts and the recesses of our souls to find the courage and fortitude to rebuild the walls and pinnacles of human freedom.  Just as the ridiculed advice of drill baby drill led us from energy subservience to energy dominance maybe we need a new deck and not just a new deal?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens



Real Hope for a Change September 9, 2011

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Hope and change were the magic words that swept a relatively unknown, inexperienced Barack Obama into the Oval Office. He campaigned as the one able to fix the Bush economy. Once in office he has protested that he didn’t know how bad the economy was even though that was what he had run his campaign on. He has spent the majority of his first term blaming everyone for everything. His signature accomplishments, the stimulus, Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform have done more to hurt than help. Serial vacations and weekly golf outings aside, President Obama has worked hard and has so far managed to turn a recession into the Great Recession. Now he offers the opening salvo of his 2012 campaign economic platform and the message is, “More of the same” with no solution in sight.

The solution to our current malaise is not more of the same. It isn’t spreading the wealth around in a step-by-step slide into socialism. The solution isn’t even a return to the status quo as it stood before the current administration began its war on American exceptionalism. We cannot return to a system that alternates between Republican and Democratic Progressives. We must make a break with the post-Reagan past. We must return to the fundamentals that made America the greatest nation the world has ever known: individual liberty and free enterprise safe guarded by a written constitution, and a federal representative republic operating on democratic principles

The solution is simple. How we get there is the subject of this article and hopefully a sign pointing in the direction of change.

First we have to unleash the primary engine of our greatness, our people.

Currently a tax system no one, even the people who write it, can understand depresses creativity and entrepreneurship by penalizing anyone who excels with the aptly named progressive tax. Income tax had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1894. So Congress led the way in proposing and passing the 16th Amendment which allowed for not only an income tax but a graduated income tax. The first income tax law provided for a graduated tax with a top rate of 7%. And when it was stated during the debate that someday the rate might reach an unbelievable 50% the speaker was laughed to scorn. Yet, by 1961 the top rate had climbed to 91% with the 50% rate beginning at the $16,000 level. These rates were cut dramatically under Ronald Reagan and a wave of growth was ignited that blazed for decades. However they have been creeping back up ever since. But it isn’t the rates whatever they are that we should stand against. It is instead the idea behind them. If we want a level playing field and if we want everyone to pay their fair share what we need is a flat tax. Everyone, whether they make $1,000, $10,000 or $10,000,000 pays the same percentage with no deductions and no tax credits. Everyone pays. Everyone contributes. If you earn money you join with all other earners to support the nation. Trying to tax our way out of debt elicits a paraphrase of Parkinson’s Law, “Expenditures always rise to meet income.”

Next we have to unleash our corporations.

Today America has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This makes us uncompetitive and unattractive to foreign capital. First of all tax on corporate profits is a double tax because corporations are owned by stock holders. When the profits are distributed to the owners of the stock they are responsible for this as income. Therefore the corporate tax is a double tax which is obviously unfair and an inhibition to growth and productivity. I do not propose to lower the corporate tax rate. I propose we eliminate it entirely. This would strike a blow for true equality, freedom, and fairness. It would also take a giant step in the direction of making America once again the most attractive place in the world for those who want the freedom to excel.

I would couple this with an immediate moratorium on federal regulations and a roll back on those which have shackled our economy since the beginning of the progressive era. Take the oil industry for example.  If we would cut the ideologically driven threads which bind this giant we could unleash the power of our vast reserves, free ourselves from dependence on our enemies and create millions of jobs.  “Drill Baby Drill” could become the slogan for a general renewal of American free enterprise.  We need to cut the red tape that strangles us and let freedom ring.

What about foreign Affairs?

Internationally we need to return to the policies which guided us from being a raw undeveloped nation on the edge of civilization to the pinnacle of world power. This foreign policy is superbly summed up by one of the most under-rated presidents in American History, John Quincy Adams in his statement, “America goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” To return to America’s traditional foreign policy we need to end the undeclared wars. Stop maintaining garrisons in more than 100 nations around the world, bring our troops home, and guard our own borders. We need to quit trying to build nations for people who don’t even like us,  come home and rebuild our own infrastructure once the envy of the world now a crumbling reminder of what we could once accomplish.

We also need to return the control of America’s money to Congress where it belongs according to the Constitution. The perpetually re-elected have abdicated their responsibility to create money to the Federal Reserve. Originally instituted to abolish the business cycle and manage the economy this central bank has presided over the devaluation of American currency and the inflation of one bubble after another which has led to one crash after another.

It is instructive to remember, that Marx in his Manifesto of the Communist Party called for, “Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” And that Thomas Jefferson said, “The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” We must free ourselves from this privately and secretly owned corporation that controls our monetary system and our economy.

Lenin once said, “The surest way to destroy a nation is to debauch its currency.” The Federal Reserve Bank has inflated our currency almost beyond recognition and to re-establish our nation as the greatest experiment in human freedom that it was meant be we must reverse this trend. To do this we must stop the deficit spending which drives our debt which creates the need for politicians to inflate our currency to hide their mismanagement. We need to cut current deficit spending, cap future spending, and begin to pay down the debt. Only by actually becoming responsible once again will we create the certainty of value that sound money portrays. Inflation is a dishonest tax upon all we earn and the silent thief of all we save.

Our current leaders work to manage the decline of America. However, those of us who refuse to accept the inevitability of this decline can turn it around. We can stand in the gap and bring forth the re-birth of America. So, if we have the will and the courage we can have some real hope for a change.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

A Declaration of Energy Independence May 13, 2011

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The rising price of oil has a negative impact on our economy and threatens to stifle our anemic recovery from the government produced and bureaucratically fostered Great Recession.  How did we get here?  Has anyone ever pinpointed the problem beyond blaming speculators and rising demand?  Has anyone shown us how our energy independence could be achieved?

Remember the 1973 oil embargo?  This was our first oil shock.  How did it come about and what did we do about it?  Did these policies solve the problem?

In 1973, the U.S. and the Western world were experiencing an accelerating inflationary spiral. Twenty years of prosperity and accelerating population growth created heavy need for raw materials that were not being produced internally which made them highly vulnerable to commodity cartels. Due to the fall in domestic production mainly because of the powerful man-made global warming lobby the demand for Middle Eastern oil increased. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), formed in 1960, determined to increase its profits at the expense of the West grew stronger.

President Nixon, in an attempt to control inflation imposed price controls on oil in March 1973. The U.S. which has the world’s largest reserves of oil had been self-sufficient in energy up until the late 1950s was by the 1970s importing over 35% of its energy needs.  Through the lack of planning U.S. petroleum reserves were depleted and the pride that goes before a fall led our government, corporations, and individuals to be entirely unprepared for the radical change about to take place.

On the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur October 6, 1973,, Egyptian forces attacked Israel across the Suez Canal, while at the same time Syrian troops attacked the Golan Heights. With help from the U.S., Israeli forces succeeded in pushing into both Syria and Egypt until a cease fire saved both Arab regimes.  On October 17, OPEC struck back imposing a total oil embargo on the U.S. and increasing prices by 70% on Western Europe, and overnight the price of a barrel of oil to these nations more than triples going from $3 to $5.11.

This led to a series of presidential statements and actions all aimed at rallying the American people in the face of growing dependency and international impotence in the energy sector.

Richard Nixon said, “Let us set as our national goal, in the spirit of Apollo, with the determination of the Manhattan Project, that by the end of this decade we will have developed the potential to meet our own energy needs without depending on any foreign energy source.”

President Gerald Ford said, “I am recommending a plan to make us invulnerable to cutoffs of foreign oil. … new stand-by emergency programs to achieve the independence we want…”

President Jimmy Carter said, achieving energy independence was the “moral equivalent of war.”

Ronald Reagan, always looking for the free market approach said we should look to, “native American genius, not arbitrary federal policy, to be free to provide for our energy future.”

In 1991, in the prelude to the First Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush announced, “There is no security for the United States in further dependence on foreign oil.”

In 2000, President Clinton said, “The nation’s growing reliance on imports threatens the nation’s security because it increases U.S. vulnerability to oil supply interruptions.”

George W. Bush repeated recent presidential history by insisting, in his 2003 State of the Union address, that one of his administration’s goals was “to promote energy independence for our country.”

Mr. Obama continued the chorus saying, “America’s dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced.”

Did any President ever have an energy policy which effectively dealt with the problems of oil production and supply?

Reagan said, “The best answer, while conservation is worthy in itself, is to try to make us independent of outside sources to the greatest extent possible for our energy.”

Ronald Reagan also said, “Our national energy plan should not be a rigid set of production and conservation goals dictated by Government. Our primary objective is simply for our citizens to have enough energy, and it is up to them to decide how much energy that is, and in what form and manner it will reach them. When the free market is permitted to work the way it should, millions of individual choices and judgments will produce the proper balance of supply and demand our economy needs. ”

As soon as he became president, Ronald Reagan ended the price controls on domestic oil first imposed by Richard Nixon; these controls had contributed to both the 1973 Oil Crisis and the 1979 Energy Crisis. Almost immediately the price of oil fell, and during the 1980s America didn’t experience the gasoline lines and fuel shortages of the 1970s.  In addition, the removal of price controls ignited a boom in domestic drilling which arrested America’s slide into energy dependence.

As to the energy questions:  How do we end our dependence on foreign oil?  How can we achieve the energy independence which every President since Nixon has said is a matter of national security?  Stop wringing our hands and moaning about our situation, stand up like our ancestors have and boldly declare our Energy Independence!  In practical terms we should: take the shackles off our domestic oil industry, build new refineries, develop better distribution of natural gas, expand the use of nuclear, wind, solar and every conceivable form of energy, and drill baby drill!

Then in this new situation with America reaping the benefits, the jobs, the growth of a renewed sense of freedom and security let’s barter.  One barrel of oil = one bushel of wheat.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

What Will You Do When the Lights Go Out? March 11, 2011

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When the power goes off leaving you with no TV, Internet, or email you have a lot of time on your hands.  Thankfully there are batteries, so my trusty computer will still work for a few hours, and I can follow my fingers into my thoughts.  Looking out my window I can’t see any lights in the neighborhood so at least I know it isn’t just our house that’s in the dark.  In addition, there are cars running up and down the street, so I know at least it wasn’t the dreaded EMP blast.  The wind was making a strange noise but stopped, so we have come out from under the table since there’s no indication of a tornado on the way.  All these kinds of thoughts run through your mind when the lights go off.  In other words, when you’re in the dark there’s little light.

This lack of power also brings to mind the recent spike in oil prices and the resulting sticker shock at the pump.  Our government assures us there is no inflation.  Anyone who goes to the supermarket or the gas station can gauge the validity of those claims for themselves.  When the power goes off in the middle of the night it’s impossible to know why, but when America runs out of energy we should all know why.

Beginning in 1974 when the former anti-establishment protesters became the establishment and the Watergate Congress grasped the reins of power the United States has been systematically hamstrung in its production of energy.  They founded the department of Energy in 1977, and through its enlightened management of our energy production and power needs the percentage of our energy needs coming from domestic sources has steadily fallen as our dependence on imported oil has soared.

America has some of the greatest proven reserves of oil in the world, but due to unproven and sometimes disproven environmental concerns we aren’t allowed to explore, drill, or pump at anywhere near full capacity.  We have one of the world’s largest supply of coal, but for the same tenuous reasons its use is maligned and restricted.  We are the preeminent designer and builder of nuclear power plants, but due to unsupported safety concerns we haven’t licensed or built a new plant for decades.  We have the technology and the space to build refineries that don’t pollute; however, the all powerful environmental lobby has blocked the construction of a new one for over thirty years.  So when the price hits $4 a gallon and the lights go out don’t sit in the dark and wonder why.

Right now the Obama Administration is fighting the federal courts that have said the moratorium on oil exploration in the Gulf, which was imposed by decree, is illegal.  In a knee jerk reaction our President declared the gulf off limits for drilling, economically devastating the deep water oil business and the many industries and people it supported.  The government argues it’s too dangerous to drill in deep water after the BP leak.  No one contends it isn’t difficult but since the same government makes it almost impossible to drill on land where it is the safest or in shallow water where it is much less dangerous what alternative is there?  Only the one each successive administration for decades seems to favor: buying oil from the Mideast.  Our elected leaders are trading our energy independence and our treasure in exchange for letting someone else drill somewhere else.

Instead of oil and coal and nuclear we are told that America’s future energy needs will be met by ethanol, solar, and wind.  Our massive use of ethanol, which is a very inefficient energy source, has driven up the price of corn worldwide causing food prices to escalate.  This in turn has contributed to the current unrest which is driving up oil prices.  The same environmentalists who campaign against oil, coal, and nuclear also work to block the construction of solar power plants in the vast deserts of the Southwest.  The same politicians who work for the demise of our traditional forms of energy fight the construction of wind farms if they happen to be anywhere near them.  All three of these boondoggles have received billions in federal dollars, tax breaks and incentives for decades and the answer to our energy needs are still blowing in the wind.

The only growth industry left by the government is the government.  It is powered by its own inertia. America’s energy policy seems to be to manufacture an energy crisis.  Typing away on my battery operated computer by the flickering light of an oil lamp, the vision of America’s energy future seems almost as dark as the scene outside my window in a blackout.  We’ve allowed demagogues preaching a false gospel of man-made global warming chanting songs of pollution hysteria while serving sacraments of social guilt to give our enemies a chokehold on our energy artery.  The next time you pull into a gas station as you pump your fuel look at the price.  Remind yourself we have a Secretary of Energy who thinks the price should be at European levels and a President who has said energy prices will skyrocket under his programs. Now ask yourself, “If that’s their plan, what’s mine?”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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