"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, March 12, 2012

Two Stories, One Story III

Once again, our new feature on The Regular Guy Believes takes two stories that might seem different on the surface, and drills down to find the same moral of the story underneath both.  

The first story looks at Khairat el-Shater, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is set to install itself as the leading political power in the post-Mubarek Egypt:

With firm control of Egypt’s Parliament, the Brotherhood’s political arm is holding talks to form the next cabinet while Mr. Shater is grooming about 500 future officials to form a government-in-waiting.

As the group’s chief policy architect, Mr. Shater is overseeing the blueprint for the new Egypt, negotiating with its current military rulers over their future role, shaping its relations with Israel and a domestic Christian minority, and devising the economic policies the Brotherhood hopes will revive Egypt’s moribund economy.

With power he could only dream of when he padded around Mr. Mubarak’s prisons in a white track suit, Mr. Shater meets foreign ambassadors, the executives of multinational corporations and Wall Street firms, and a parade of United States senators and other officials to explain the Brotherhood’s vision. To the Brotherhood, he tells them, Islam requires democracy, free markets and tolerance of religious minorities.

But he also says that recent elections have proved that Egyptians demand an explicitly Islamic state. And he is guiding its creation from a position that his critics say may undercut his avowed commitment to open democracy: he sits atop a secretive and hierarchical organization, shaped by decades of working underground, that still asks its members — including those in Parliament — to swear obedience to the directions of its leaders, whether in the group’s religious, charitable or political work.
“The Islamic reference point regulates life in its entirety, politically, economically and socially; we don’t have this separation” between religion and government, Mr. Shater said in a lengthy interview.

Egypt will be lost to the West for a hundred years.

The second story deals with the reasons behind the rising gas prices in America, and the Obama Administration's role:

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple gave the GOP weekly radio address Saturday, and in it he stated bluntly that the Obama administration is "killing energy development" in the country.

Dalrymple was talking specifically about the president's war against the Keystone XL pipeline but the point is true across the country, from the new deposits in the old Rust Belt, south to the Gulf Coast and north to the Canadian border.

The Keystone XL pipeline "would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast, which would not only benefit North Dakota but the rest of the country," Dalrymple argued, adding "it's the common sense thing to do."

Commons sense has never been the long suit of the anti-carbon environmentalist absolutists, many of whom now occupy key positions in the Obama administration, including in the Oval Office. It is a theology of sorts: that new carbon-based energy development simply delays the dawn of the Solyndra-led golden age of green energy.

That theology is holding back the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs directly connected to the production of energy, and millions more that will flow from the reinvigorated economies adjacent to the deposits.

We've lost thirty years of energy development to the loony lefties of the 1960s environmental movement.   What would our economic growth trajectory be if we has spent the last thirty years building new, clean coal plans, building new, safe nuclear power plants, drilling on the North Slope of Alaska, drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, building new refineries, building new pipelines, exploring and developing new oil and natural gas fields?   What would our deficit look like if we had all that growth and the revenue flowing into the treasury?   What would a generation of poor urban males (read:  young black men) look like if there had been good manufacturing jobs that would flow from cheap energy and the requirements of industry to produce it?   What would the politics of the Middle East look like if we were energy independent?   The mind reels; only the heartless don't weep for their country.   What fools we've been.

Anyway, the thread that binds these two stories together is the Obama Administration's fealty to idealistic abstractions and naive narratives no matter what the cost to America's interests.   In Egypt it was naive "hope and dreams" for a media-created myth of an Arab Spring in which young Islamists would somehow, against all evidence, choose democracy and freedom over sharia.    In America it was naive environmentalism (coupled with corrupt crony capitalism), in which green energy would somehow overnight replace an economy based on oil, natural gas and coal.   In Egypt, the cost is a more dangerous Middle East, with a huge Islamist state on the Western border of our ally, Israel.   In America, the cost is not having Keystone, not getting oil from oil shale in North Dakota, not fracking, not building new refineries and pipelines, not building new clean coal plants, not building new clean and safe nuclear plants.  

We are poorer because of Obama's energy policies; we are more endangered because of Obama's foreign policy.   He's got to go.

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