The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Energy Independence: Globalization and its Disconnects.


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Few noticed Hillary Clinton's monumental lie to the viewing public the other night when she made the outrageous claim that the USA had achieved "Energy Independence". So little is known about energy usage and its repercussions, there being so many lies and half-truths foisted onto the public, that even in so heated a forum as the churlish childish arena we still insist on calling "debates", (despite there lack of any substantive wrangling with any of the real and vital issues that urgently need addressing), despite their being neither Presidential nor a Debate, that Mrs. Clinton apparently felt it would be a good time to slip this by the audience under the radar. A dog-whistle heard only by those capable of tuning into a different frequency than the hoi polloi she was purportedly addressing .

So, not to pick on Hillary, but, whereas most people will either ignore or accept as meaningless, the Trump statements on energy exploitation and the need for even more rapid, destructive combustion of the rest of the fossil fuels we can manage, at ever-increasing costs, to dig up, they will far more likely internalize Mrs. Clinton's bare-faced lie that the USA is energy Independent, a claim that is as pro-fossil-fuel industry and Climate-Change-Denying as anything Trumplestiltskin said.

So why would she use such a monumental falsehood? Is it possible, even conceivable, that she mistakes us for the gang of backward children she plays tricks on? That she has the same contempt for us that she has for them? Because it was a stupid lie; easy to expose; not worthy of Mrs.Clinton's usual foxy wiles. It didn't even make any sense, given her historical support of Globalization, to which the very concept of Energy Independence is anathema. This fact, and the linked assertion that the US is no  longer dependent on Saudi oil, lend credence to the interpretation of her statements as a sop to those who fear she might actually do something on a national level that might change the continued reliance of the entire economy on the portable combustion machines we fly around in or the mini burners we walk around carrying and checking a hundred and fifty times a day (on Average).

Yes, that little happy phone you carry around, although small in package, is, unlike an auto, which is an obvious source of pollution and energy consumption, also a fossil-fuel burner, comparable in scope because it not only is owned by 5 times as many people as automobiles, but, unlike an auto, is consuming power 24 hours a day 7 days a week, as is the network over which its data must fly.

What the US citizen is unaware of, and could really care less about, is that the reason these two technologies were deployed, is that they were Defense Department initiatives, one by the Eisenhower administration, the other, by the Bush/Clinton administrations, using taxpayer money, approved by the most rabid of conservatives, since they came under the rubric of "Defense", when it/they were in fact shoddily-disguised gifts to the private sector and served as Keynesian stimuli to the economy.

So while the most energy-intensive technology, the one that inspired a nationwide impetus to business from which everyone initially benefited, so its destructive rampage across the continent was cheered, the other, the so-called, Information Superhighway, was designed for the exact opposite: to destroy entire industries and change the middle-class into the muddle-class, were both, like it or not, Military technologies. The first, a copy of Adolf Hitler's autobahns, which, because the third Reich depended on them rather than rail for its internal logistical needs, helped bring about his defeat, as the supply of rubber and oil needed to run them was beyond the capacity of Germany, with its scant supplies of either, to procure. Both the highway/auto complex and Darpanet were spun-off to the private sector as gifts and that, the banks following suit, were used, not to democratize, but to militarize, an entire population, albeit one that, from its inception, was always primed and ready to go to battle to expunge any and all barriers to their untrammeled access to resources.

They were specifically designed to make America grate against every international standard of cooperation and peaceful pursuits of growth, enabling its Superpower status and excluding, as much as possible, the rest of the world from its ascendancy. Now, in and of itself, this isn't really much different than any other Nation State in history, The British Empyre (and I do mean pyre) being the most recent example. But the second world war, or so we were taught in our history classes, proved the old order was one fraught with intractable dangers that would, every generation or so, explode into a planet-wide conflagration, and so the UN was formed and the nations of the world declared they would come together in mutual understanding to try and prevent the recurrence of anything approaching such unparalleled mayhem again.

Ronald Reagan said the hell with that and started the longest, most ambitious build-up of offensive capabilities of any nation in the history of the world for a country that was neither at war nor having its sovereignty threatened by any other country. There was one overriding reason for this atavistic return to trampling around the globe for economic opportunism: Oil. We needed it and they had it. And now Mrs. Clinton insists that we have it again, presumably because of fracking, despite the fact that the number of rigs has plummeted, the amount of oil produced thereby, shrinking.

Not that the amount of syn-oil extracted by ripping up the continent, injecting so much poison into its interior at such high pressures that formerly seismically quiescent Oklahoma has become earthquake central, hasn't produced results. We have gone from producing a mere 1/3 of the oil we burn to double that amount. But production of 2/3's of one's oil supply does not energy independence make. And when you factor in the newly-enabled privilege of the oil industry to take that oil and export it to wherever it'll fetch the highest price, the entire concept of energy independence becomes completely meaningless. Sure we're producing more. But we're shipping that extra production overseas, so we're also importing more. How independent is THAT?

The reason for this blatant lying is the same as it always is, whether it's Wells Fargo or VW, Phillip Morris or Samsung: to further enmesh the populace in the web of lies they beg to be cocooned in. Whether it's that they will somehow be "great" again, or, more insidious, that they have, through some miracle of wishful thinking (of the sort Sarah Palin would have been mercilessly (and deservedly) excoriated for), become "energy" independent. That somehow not needing the Saudi's oil means it's OK to furnish them with phosphorous bombs to drop on Yemen, because we're not now being black-mailed into doing so, but are doing it instead just for the sheer joy of burning up yet another Middle Eastern nation now that we're through with burning up Middle Eastern oil.

Yet it's The Donald who's the monster because he wants to grope women without their consent? Burning them to a cinder, along with their children, in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq, without their consent, well, that's just business as usual; nothing to see here.

But as the Declaration of energy Independence, all the while making the economy dependent on greater and greater supplies of a finite resource whose supplies are dwindling and whose byproducts of combustion are chemical refuse causing worldwide destruction, aren't issues that Mrs. Clinton has either the intellectual or political resources to address, she instead uses the politicians' favorite refuge of obfuscation, subterfuge and the always reliable, outright lying.

During her first tenure in the White House, then as first lady, I watched the freeways leading to Silicone Valley's beehive of activity become more and more congested with larger and larger vehicles, sucking up ever-increasing quantities of energy-intensive fuels, as the New Economy, most of which was comprised of pure hokum, waxed eloquently about Tele-commuting, and how it was going to replace the time-wasting activity of the daily commute, enabling one to spend more time with one's children, reducing one's expenses, and producing less stress in our lives. But None of this happened. Contrarily, people were forced into longer and longer commutes, burning up an increasingly untenable amount of resources, and taking people away from their families for a longer time, every day of the week, with a work-week that now often included Saturday, which, even if for a half day, requires the expenditure of the exact same amount of resources to go back-and-forth, as a weekday in which you get paid twice as much since you worked twice as long.

There has been no change in any of the ways we live our lives that will change any of this for the better. Nothing. Nor are any planned. Yet neither Mrs.Clinton, nor Trumplestiltskin has had anything REAL to say about how they would get us out of this inescapable corner we've painted ourselves into.

And it is for that reason that the debate should have ended right at the beginning when they each flailed the other with fact that they weren't fit to be president. But not because of their personal lives, which are, as everyone's is, hopelessly compromised, but because they have nothing to offer, and so they have offered nothing. And this, it would seem, is the only criteria needed to wrest the nomination for the Presidency of the United States from their respective political parties.

Now could you explain to me one more time why the US is the indispensable nation? The beacon of freedom? 'Cause I really don't get it.


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