America’s Crack Pipe: Keystone XL

The Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline I call "America’s Crack Pipe." Not a harsh assessment in my book. Listen to the frantic rhetoric of the GOP. Newt Gingrich calls President Obama’s reticence on passing KXL legislation as "irrational." Michelle Bachman rants like a strung-out intravenous drug user who feels threatened her dealer might be incarcerated soon (http://newhampshireprimary.blogspot.com/2011/12/2011-fox-news-iowa-republican.html). Dan Coats (R) from Indiana calls for the White House to "immediately" enact KXL legislation (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/1217/Keystone-XL-pipeline-a-jobs-coup-for-Republicans-in-tax-deal/%28page%29/2). Rush Limbaugh even suggests the KXL pipeline will create 200,000 jobs, not the 20,000 purported. Every debate sounds more like an episode of “Intervention,” with most GOP candidates talking about oil while sweating profusely.

The Republicans remind me of the adage, "Riding forward while seated backwards in the saddle." I ran across another adage on Twitter today: "Don’t spend too much time looking at the past unless that is your destination."

The Republicans are a sad lot. They refuse to invest in technology. They refuse to support meaningful progress in science, arts, and humanities. The GOP prefers to use the militant past to set the tone for a militarized future. The GOP sees ghosts and enemies around every corner, behind us, and ahead. The GOP uses fear-mongering, misinformation, and condescension to placate and pacify people. The Patriotic Act converts people from law-abiding citizens to potential terrorists. Airport searches imply guilt ahead of innocence, using the false logic of "if you not guilty, then why are you worried?" The Department of Homeland Security is simply a facade for illegal domestic surveillance. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is simply a front for more domestic surveillance, prevent businesses from adapting to a changing technological culture, and shift blame onto the end-user. The GOP screams about Big Government yet they have been the first ones to the table with intrusive legislation that criminalizes common people.

The Keystone XL pipeline is only one component of the GOP’s Crying Game. The GOP lacks any true leadership, no true agenda that supports the Middle Class, the common American, and in fact, acts against the interest of small and mid-sized American businesses.

The Keystone XL pipeline will not improve America’s energy security. The Canadian Prime Minister stated recently that should the United States wait to long to make up its mind, Canada would build the pipeline west, to Vancouver. Here, the oil would be pumped onto tankers and sold to China (http://news.investors.com/Article/595537/201112211846/america-dithers-canada-oil-looks-abroad-.htm).

Wow! That sounds like Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Venezuela talking. But, no, those comments are from Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of the country that is America’s largest trading partner, largest oil market, our neighbor, and our supposed global ally. How does that make the United States energy independent? We don’t own Canada! We are simply relocating our dependence closer to home! Duh!

See, America needs to wake up. We can’t afford to continue our oil addiction when our allies threaten to manipulate our energy policy.

America’s energy policy has had zero leadership. Really zero. We are so far behind Europe and Japan. Mostly because Big Oil lobbies so hard, and spend so much money their voice drowns out all others. They are drug dealers making sure we stay addicted to their product.

The Keystone XL pipeline won’t create 20,000 unique jobs. Political "math" is at work here. See, because of political corruption, like the false "unemployment" numbers generated each month, we can’t really trust information coming from our legislators. The Taint of Politics is ubiquitous.

Political "math" works thus: 6,000 unique jobs x 3 years of employment equals 18,000 "person years." And, if those 6,000 unique last an additional year, the GOP can say, "The Keystone XL Pipeline will create 24,000 jobs!"

That is a load of crap to me. To me, 6,000 jobs is 6,000 unique jobs for 6,000 unique people. The creative definition of "job" allows politicians to inflate the count of jobs to help them color their political rhetoric.

Unemployment rates work essentially the same way. Don’t like the numbers, change the definition of "employment." Or, stop counting people that have been out of work 6 months or longer, or 9 months or longer. Makes the numbers look better, but are the true number of unemployed really reported?

How can we, how can Americans, make good decisions and choices and support good policies and legislation when the data has been manipulated to portray whatever message politicians want?

One final comment. Our government agencies and offices do produce good information, good data, and good numbers. The Bureau of the Census does an amazing job, the Center for Disease Control, the Office of Management and Budget, and the General Accounting Office. The problem lies with who we elect and their legislative influence. We have good people working at all levels of government. I cannot say the same thing about the people we elect, nor those that seek election.

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