“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's the same as it ever was

Oh my, once again the Bush Administration has "stepped in it."

EPA Won't Act on Emissions This Year
Instead of New Rules, More Comment Sought

By Juliet Eilperin and R. Jeffrey Smith Washington Post Staff Writers Friday, July 11, 2008; Page A01

The Bush administration has decided not to take any new steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions before the president leaves office, despite pressure from the Supreme Court and broad accord among senior federal officials that new regulation is appropriate now.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce today that it will seek months of further public comment on the threat posed by global warming to human health and welfare -- a matter that federal climate experts and international scientists have repeatedly said should be urgently addressed.

The Supreme Court, in a decision 15 months ago that startled the government, ordered the EPA to decide whether human health and welfare are being harmed by greenhouse gas pollution from cars, power plants and other sources, or to provide a good explanation for not doing so. But the administration has opted to postpone action instead, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Greeenhouse gas other words, carbon dioxide emissions, you know, the gas which makes trees and other living green things grow. The ruination, the destroyer of worlds. Carbon.

Expect the howls of protest and excoriation to reach a cresendo in the coming months. Or, in this election year maybe not. Nevertheless, the true believers will not let political expediency or the current economic crisis stand in the way. According to this account in the Moderate Voice, Vice President Haliburton Cheney is the evil power behind this latest affront to mankind.

In its unaltered form, the changes heralded by the findings in the report would have had substantial economic as well as environmental benefits. Sadly, those changes would have also have done two things that Cheney isn’t going to let happen on his watch — I mean, Bush’s.

  • Trigger ’sweeping’ regulatory requirements under the Clean Air Act;

  • Cost utilities and automakers billions of dollars.
Well, if it was VP Cheney who stopped regulatory requirements that would have cost utilities and automakers billions of dollars, I say, "Bravo."

Unfortunately, it may not be possible to forestall the green zealots forever. The next administration may very likely be more amenable to what Al Gore first proposed in the early 1990's, the dreaded, wealth redistributing Carbon Tax which according to the Carbon Tax Center:

A carbon tax must be the central mechanism for reducing carbon emissions. Currently, the prices of gasoline, electricity and fuels in general include none of the costs associated with devastating climate change. This omission suppresses incentives to develop and deploy carbon-reducing measures such as energy efficiency (e.g., high-mileage cars and high-efficiency heaters and air conditioners), renewable energy (e.g., wind turbines, solar panels), low-carbon fuels (e.g., biofuels from high-cellulose plants), and conservation-based behavior such as bicycling, recycling and overall mindfulness toward energy consumption. Conversely, taxing fuels according to their carbon content will infuse these incentives at every chain of decision and action — from individuals’ choices and uses of vehicles, appliances, and housing, to businesses’ choices of new product design, capital investment and facilities location, and governments’ choices in regulatory policy, land use and taxation.
A carbon tax won’t stop global climate change by itself — other, synergistic actions are required as well. But without a carbon tax, even the most aggressive regulatory regime (e.g., high-mileage cars) and “enlightened” subsidies (e.g., tax credits for efficiency and renewables) will fall woefully short of the necessary reductions in carbon burning and emissions.

This is a stark illustration of the clash of worldviews that underlie our modern world problems. It doesn't take an Albert Einstein or Milton Friedman to figure what is going on here. It's the age old struggle written in a modern play. The Soviet Union may have gone out of business but the mentality didn't. Reds have simply found a new green vehicle to carry on their struggle for socialism. Anarchists and malcontents are still at war with the establishment. Men still seek power and control over others. Wolves are still among the sheep. Thieves still seek the treasury.

Man's nature does not change and we're kidding ourselves if we think we are more intelligent, more enlightened, more humane and better looking than those who came before us. We're just as fallible and human as all that came before us. Other than the fact that there's more of us, it's the same as it ever was.


  1. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to forestall the green zealots forever. The next administration may very likely be more amenable to what Al Gore first proposed in the early 1990's, the dreaded, wealth redistributing Carbon Tax...

    From a couple of days ago:

    Mac’s Off Cap-and-Trade [Larry Kudlow]

    The election stakes just keep going up.

  2. McCain's not, for the record, off cap-trade. Kudlow was apparently seeing what he wanted to see.

  3. Hey, two threads in two days w/no ht to Juno Maximus!
    From last thread:
    The EPA’s Blueprint for Disaster =
    A new regulatory regime from our environmental bureaucrats would grind the economy to a halt.


    Hamas respects successful jihad. Litigation jihad is one of the most venal and effective weapons in the jihad assault on Western civilization.

    Hamas is suing UK blogger over a tiny detail (over at Gates of Vienna). This friends, is terrorism.

    Think of the tens of thousands of dollars this will cost the individual blogger who gets sued. Think. The little guy up against those bloody petrol dollars. One has to wonder if Hamas is using US State department funds to pursue this? The new front ....... terrible, all of it.

    A British blog called Harry’s Place is being sued by Mohammed Sawalha for posting a variant of a translated phrase from one of the plaintiff’s speeches.

    Lest you think of Mr. Sawalha as an innocent lamb, consider that even the BBC (yes, even the Beeb!) says that he “master minded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy” and in the UK “is alleged to have directed funds, both for Hamas’ armed wing, and for spreading its missionary dawah”.

    Blogger Silenced

  5. Well, I'll tell you what ...

    Before Mike Brown went off to run FEMA, he ran the Arabian Horse Ass.

    Now the local chapter of that Ass., was for a time, run by his friends, who lied and used fradualent practices in dealing wiith local and Federal government officials.

    Because the local newspaper, a Gannett paper, refused to follow the story, my little family business did. We published the facts, all provable and in the public record.

    Brownie's associates sued us in State Court. Now they got more exposure, no doubt of that, but we had to spend those standard Court and lawyer expenses. The ever famous $50,000 that a modern legal adventure seems to cost.

    So, over the past five years, we have spent in excess of $100,000 to do battle with the minions of the GOP, either through Brownie's buddies or the Forest Service.

    bob laments the Courts taking over the management of the Forests, while I lament the fact that the Forest Service operates like a criminal organization, in violation of easily understandable Federal Law.

    If not for the Federal Courts, the Forest Service would have continued to break the Law. The Courts only able to step in, after citizens raised and spent that legendary $50,000 for the best private lawyers available.

    Fuck the Forest Service and Brownie's buddies and their masters in the GOP. Perhaps after the Dems have rein for a while, I'll be cussing them, too.

    But the only politicos to step up, against the Forest Service's illegal practices were the Democrat Congressmen, from AZ. Each of the GOP boys took a pass.

    So unless one is willing to step up and spend some of their own cash, creating exposure is a two edged sword.

  6. Rat, I was mostly passing on the lamentations of Dr. Bill about the court rulings in California, which always seem to go with the Sierra Club and according to him are really screwing up the forests, which I believe. Around here it's a little different, not so severe, we do thinning in many places, or used to. What happens here is, the Forest Service will allow a timber sale, and get sued, almost every time. Then the court rules. It is a fact, the Fed. court runs the forests now.

    Don't know anything about Arizona, but I commend your fire and fight, and willingness to put yourself on the line. I wouldn't be albe to finance a fight, myself.

    By the way, that judge that ruled on the spotted owl so many years ago, and put many logging towns out of business--before he died, at age 91, he apologized, and said he got it all wrong.

  7. The Forest management, as to thinning, has caused great hardhip, here. Hundreds of homes destroyed because of it.

    But there is no fight possible on that front. It is much to large for us little folk to fight.

    We got 'em on specific actions that were in violation of Federal Law. An easily understood Law that the Federals said was circumvented by Forest Service's regulations and management expertise.

    Here, too, they would not allow the timbering of the free standing but dead trees. Trees that were all that remained after the underlying brush exploded in flame.

    The Courts are often wrong, it seems, but there is no other locale to fight the Collective, unless one takes up arms.

    Hayduke Lives!!
    a rallying cry for anarchy.

  8. That thick brush and them dead trees is needed for ECOLOGICAL DIVERSITY.
    ...and then the moonscape that results after the fire provides a new testing ground free of most forms of life, safe for emerging new lines of fungal and bacterial life.
    Not to mention the mud and silt resistant fish species that might evolve in the forever brown creeks.
    It's all good.

  9. Who knows what might arise from those muddy creeks, slouching towards Bethlehem, after being born?

  10. Probly some supernympho slouching toward Gomorrah only to find Iuppiter Optimus Maximus.
    ...that would be me.

  11. Biological splendor at Olympic National Park

    It's hard to think of anywhere else in the lower 48 where a wilderness of such heft and intensity lies practically within commuting distance of a major metropolis. Blue-ice glaciers, rain forests thick with moss-draped Sitka spruces and miles of deserted, driftwood-piled beaches are just a ferry ride across Puget Sound from the overcaffeinated headquarters of Starbucks and

    So are mountain lions, Roosevelt elk and the occasional black bear. There are streams swollen with salmon, pristine alpine lakes and mountains beyond mountains. The place even boasts some of the tallest trees in the world.

    In all, Olympic National Park comprises more than 900,000 acres of the Olympic Peninsula - a hunk of land that juts like an apostrophe from mainland Washington. Outside Alaska, few places in the United States are as environmentally and biologically diverse.