Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Environment

I ponder the environment a fair amount these days because of all the global warming hype and high gas prices, high food prices, etc. We should, of course, be good stewards of the earth and avoid pollution as much as possible. However, I disagree with the notion of putting the earth before humans, or blaming humans for anything problematic about the environment. I ran across a couple of articles that I recommend that you read and give some thought to. They are as follows:

At Townhall, "A New Environmentalism" by Victor Davis Hanson

At American Thinker, "Earth First! (People Later)" by David Bueche

In "Earth First! (People Later)", Mr. Bueche discusses why global warming isn't really a problem and how much of a disservice it is to humans to focus on that instead of other, more urgent problems (food, sanitation, etc.).

In "A New Environmentalism", Mr. Hanson focuses on energy and points out that if the US continues to import oil, we are often filling the coffers of terrorists and others who do not have our best interests at heart. If we continue to divert grain to biofuels, we raise food prices around the world, which hurts the poor most of all. He points out that solar and wind simply do not provide enough energy at this time or in the foreseeable future. The wisest course is to build nuclear plants and to drill for oil in our own country (ANWR, off the coasts).

I think these two articles make a lot of good points and that we need to get away from extreme positions on the environment (Don't touch anything!). It is possible to seek traditional sources of energy without much in the way of pollution or other environmental damage. We need to do what is best for our country, which in turn will do a lot to benefit people around the world. We need to think instead of following along with the various hysterical claims of global warming or whatever the cause of the day is. We can still be good stewards of the earth while making sensible use of its resources.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

About the Constitution

At Dr. Walter E. Williams has an excellent column titled "Political Loathsomeness" that has some thought-provoking comments about how well we Americans follow our Constitution.

It's very clear to me that politicians and judges have stretched the meaning of the Constitution out of all recognition. All the handouts and all the bureaucracy are so far from being authorized by the Constitution that it is ridiculous that we citizens have allowed this to happen. Now, of course, so many people get some sort of a handout (paid for by other people's hard-earned money) that they don't want government largesse to stop. As Dr. Williams says:

Most of what Congress is constitutionally authorized to spend for is listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and includes: coining money, establish Post Offices, to support Armies and a few other activities. Today's federal budget is over $3 trillion dollars. I challenge anyone to find specific constitutional authority for at least $2 trillion of it. That includes Social Security, Medicare, farm and business handouts, education, prescription drugs and a host of other federal expenditures. Americans who have become accustomed to living at the expense of another American would not want Congress to obey the Constitution, especially if it left out their favorite handout.
He also says:

At one time there were presidents who respected the Constitution. Grover Cleveland vetoed hundreds of spending measures during his two-term presidency, often saying, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution." Then there was Franklin Pierce who said, after vetoing an appropriation to assist the mentally ill, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding, "To approve such spending would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
Do you suppose we will ever again have a president or congressmen or judges who have such respect for the Constitution? I would certainly like to think so. A lot of it is up to the citizens of the United States of America. We vote. We contact our elected officials frequently. We educate our children (the schools aren't doing it) about the Constitution and what government is supposed to be.


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