The Naked Emperor

13 January 2008

American Perestroika

Sometimes, it is wise to not combine genres in entertainment and education.

Of course, I have been paying attention to the Presidential primaries, through blogs, internet, and MSM.

And my recent reading has combined geopolitical with classic sci-fi.

This is a bad and revealing combination.

Gorbachev's "Perestroika" is mildly interesting. Mainly it is a bunch of self serving statist twaddle. Lots of sound bite phrases that are semantically meaningless strung together.

What I find most curious is the meaning of "Perestroika". That's Russian for "Change".

Entering stage...oh, left, are the Democratic candidates. "We need Change!"

In my teeny mind, a chord was struck.

Gorbachev - Free health care, full employment (regardless of ability), and Perestroika.

Democrat Candidates - Universal health care, evil capitalist corporations, and Change.

Anybody else see the parallel?

Suddenly it's 1984, the Russian version.

Orwell would be so proud. According to the democrats, censorship is "Fairness", victory is defeat, and "new" ideas are merely a rehash of the death throes of an evil dictatorship.

It's worked out ever so well for the Russians, as long as they tow Putin's line.

Do we really want that for our future?

Which bring me to the mildly weird part.

Last week I was looking for some light "recreational" reading before heading into the "Room of Contemplation and Bad Odors".

Unfortunately, I picked up an old favorite, Niven and Pournelle's "Mote in God's Eye". Big mistake. I not only had to finish it, but also the sequel, "The Gripping Hand".

In those two books, the aliens have a recurring sort of character in their history. They call him "Crazy Eddie" Their description of Crazy Eddie is "Always he does the wrong thing for excellent reasons".

At best, the Democrat candidates are Crazy Eddie.

Lets look at their stance on, oh, oil companies.

Gas is $3/gallon. Last year, Exxon/Mobil made about $10 billion in profits.

Senator Clinton publicly expressed her desire to take all of those profits.

First, the price of gas is NOT a crisis. It's $3/gallon. Gasoline comes from crude oil, a toxic substance that takes extraordinary effort to find and pump from thousands of feet below the ground. Once obtained the oil must be refined into gasoline, also toxic and, by the way, very explosive. Then this dangerous substance must be transported without blowing up. Then you get to buy it. And it's $3/gallon.

Let's compare it to milk. If you want, you could buy a cow and get your own milk. Can't do the same with gas. A cow must have given birth, be fed a nutritious diet of grasses and grains, and be milked twice a day. And I've never seen milk explode. Not nearly as tough as gasoline, and milk is $4.50/gallon.

Or water. Water falls from the sky for free. I personally get mine from a well. But many, including trendy liberals, buy those cute little pints of water for $1 or more. Let's see. Two pints per quart. Four quarts per gallon. That comes up to $8/gallon. And most of that water comes from some city or other's municipal supply. In other words, tap water is $8/gallon.

Sorry, but gas seems like a bargain to me.

Yes, oil companies make a profit, ideally. The people who invest in them, i.e. put up the money, are taking a risk with their capital. Why would someone take a risk if there is no reward?

Sen. Clinton wants to take those profits from the greedy oil companies. She wants the money to go to government, "for the children" no doubt. Crazy Eddie.

Let's say oil companies make a 10% profit, although I think it's less. That would be 30 cents per gallon of gas. But the last I recall is that taxes, i.e. the government's profit is 48.3 cents per gallon. So the government is taking 50% more profit than the greedy oil companies.

So if we have a crisis in the cost of gasoline, the government could instantly save is about 50 cents per gallon just by not taxing us. Could be done in a week.

Sen. Clinton is apparently not happy with just getting 48 cents/gallon, she wants it all. Pardon me, but who's greedy here?

OK, let's give in to Sen Clinton, just for arguments sake.

The oil companies get no profit. That means no reward on investment. The investors will move their money elsewhere, including overseas.

The companies also have no money to explore for new oil, or to upgrade refineries to meet new EPA regs. Eventually those greedy companies are driven out of business.

We have lots of people unemployed. Crazy Eddie. And scarce gas supplies, so the price goes up. Crazy Eddie. Average plain folk can't afford gas anymore. Crazy Eddie. Only elitists traveling in private jets can afford to travel, like Al Gore. Crazy Eddie.

And that's just one small segment of our economy, not 1/7 like healthcare.

And that's just assuming they want to do this for excellent reasons.

Of course, this could all be election year hyperbole. Or they could be megalomaniacal gits. I'll let you decide.

Sorry this has been so roundabout. Some say that if you drink, you should not mix too many different types of alcohol. I guess I have proven the same is true with what you read.

until later,

The Naked Emperor


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