Thirty years ago President Ronald Reagan visited the Holocaust Memorial at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany.
He spoke (Note: See video, after brief ad) of unspeakable crimes against humanity and asked his audience to resolve, "Never Again".
Switch now to a fanciful world that is present day America. Citizens focus on leading normal lives while abnormal world events portend tragedy, including:
- Rising Islamic terrorism, both domestic and worldwide emasculates the argument that Islam is a religion of peace and specifically targets America
- North Korean nuclear threats
- Dangerous disputes involving China, Japan and other South China Sea territorial jurisdictions
- Iranian nuclear ambitions, including regional and then worldwide hegemony
- Russian aggression highlighted by military incursions into Alaskan air space, threats to Ukrainian sovereignty.
- Russian and Chinese involvement with and support of Iran on a variety of issues ranging from UN politics to oil exports to nuclear decisions.
- Weak American leadership highlighted by political leaders giving military withdrawal notice dates to the enemy; empty threats targeting aggressors; weak international negotiations that contribute to a growing impression that the United States is becoming a ''paper tiger".
NOTE TO ALASKANS:
Alaskans and companies depending on Alaska face a double risk: 1) hostile federal natural resource policies upon which the state is dependent, and 2) a sometimes hostile state Administration and minority of legislators who seek to dictate how investors employ their assets; and, who overspend; and who are currently seeking to remedy overspending by imposing additional predatory taxes on natural resource investors after their investments have been made. Alaska has definately not discovered public policy nirvana, wherein:
Meanwhile, the Administration that has given up leadership of the free world, by "leading from behind" does not hesitate to take hard-line, non negotiable administrative and regulatory actions against its own people, actions that weaken America from the inside, including:
- Irresponsible rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline
- Significantly reducing energy access to millions of acres of federal lands,
- Rule of law violations, including EPA prejudging of Alaska's world class Pebble gold mine
- Improper coordination with environmental activists and unconscionable support for lavish government "sue and settle" payments to environmental lawyers pretending to be opposing litigants in court cases against agency actions
- Opposition to other heavily regulated oil & gas and mining projects throughout the United States, using wealth destroying tactics involving duplicitous regulation of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act (Note: "Mining" includes coal mining. Coal provides about 40% of America's electric power generation. Along with Hydro and Nuclear energy, coal is the lowest priced power generation source for consumers. The current Administration has undertaken a "war on coal", requiring that America's biggest source of electricity be produced by more expensive sources of power generation. The increased energy prices resulting from this policy will dramatically increase consumer costs throughout America with debatable results due to advanced technology. Note also the EPA's effort to nationalize regulation of the oil & gas fracking phenomenon which the states have successfully regulated within their own borders for decades.)
Question: Why would we be hearkening back to the Holocaust and discussing failing American leadership when our primary focus is northern gas pipelines and other North American energy projects and policies?
Answer: For almost two centuries oil, gas and mining have been the basis of wealth creation in the United States — augmented by forest products, agriculture, commercial fishing, transportation, communications, important service and retail enterprises, manufacturing and other economic pursuits depending on oil, gas and mining. Without those three basic natural resource industries, America would be only a shadow of its current self, perhaps resembling a third world country.
Dictatorships require a suspension of citizen and corporate freedoms to freely impose their will on those private interests. Socialist dictators like Hitler organize to be and remain elected. Communist dictators seem most often to take power by force and often maintain it via corrupt election systems. Socialists and communists, from a citizen viewpoint, share a common result: absolute dictatorship. America's elected leadership, abetted by unelected bureaucrats has sought to establish unilateral policy by executive action, boldly taunting the Congress and Judiciary. As a result, due process, the rule of law, and three equal-but-independent branches of government and Constitutional guarantees are all at risk.
With domestic deterioration of freedom, comes government control of the means of production, societal controls, political power at the cost of future prosperity. The oil, gas and mining industries are so controlled by bureaucratic regulation right now that, in effect, those companies seem to report to government agencies as much or more than they report to shareholders.
Continued deterioration of freedom brings corruption and mismanagement of the energy industry as Venezuela, Argentina, Russia and now Brazil and China have amply demonstrated. Incompetent health care rollout, SBA conference follies, IRS abuses of citizens and leaving our fighting forces to die in Benghazi gives lie to the Administration position that, "we leave no man behind".
Such is the result of dictatorship: inefficiency, abuse of power, over regulation, over taxation, corruption and the eventual destruction of a country's independence, economy and/or individual freedoms.
President Reagan urged the world to "never again" allow a holocaust like the one developed by Adolph Hitler's dictatorial administration.
Reagan's world remembered that without a strong and resolute America the results of WWII, Korea and the Cuban Missile Crisis would have been much different. On the contrary, Viet Nam should have taught many generations of Americans — including this one — that irresolute leadership prolongs the agony of war without achieving the desired outcome.
Does today's world remember the faith and fights of our fathers and mothers? Not if you ask Cuban refugees and Columbian leaders who are amazed that the U.S. Administration would provide massive benefits to a country that still denies freedom for its citizens and supports communist guerilla activity in South America.
These days it seems that United States citizens live in an alternate universe surrounded by threatening chaos:
- Islamic terrorism, murders and torture are epidemic.
- Strong but evil-intended nations are undertaking probing tactics to determine America's weaknesses.
- American leadership has weakened the military, making the prospect of standing off two or more belligerents at the same time dangerously perilous…not to mention three or more.
- Meanwhile, American leaders have attacked the economy from within:
- They are printing unearned dollars in such volume that economic chaos, the loss of reserve currency status and violent inflation can only be steps away.
- Our leaders are blatantly weakening our basic industries — oil, gas and mining — dangerously reducing the supply of wealth from those and other energy/materials dependent sectors.
- The Administration has created a wealth distribution, crony capitalistic system. The system involves taxing productive industries to support political allies and/or uneconomic enterprises, including inefficient alternate energy businesses; free cell phones for some paid for by other phone users; FCC power grabbing control of the Internet without Congressional approval; sole source contracts, etc. that will cripple economic recovery if its other failings don't do so first.
- The Administration coddles law breaking Black Panthers and minority offenders hurt or killed by law enforcement, while remaining silent when white citizens are killed by minority criminals or police (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
- New health care, financial services and student loan bureaucracies, among a legion of others, have swelled federal payrolls at the expense of private employers and privately employed, taxpaying citizens. Meanwhile, friends of the Administration and federal employees who evade taxation march on, unpunished.
The U.S. leadership is rapidly destroying American culture, American values and future hopes for a prosperous, secure country in two ways,
First, its poor international leadership is providing opportunity for bad actors to threaten or consume weaker countries which are American allies; and, second, its poor domestic leadership is threatening the fabric of the economy with over regulation, over taxation, unenforced immigration policies, giving lip service to opposing professionally organized social unrest, etc.
For those Americans still enjoying a fanciful world in an alternate universe, we have a heartfelt plea.
As we engage in weekend parties, tail gate BBQs, athletic events, local politics and hobbies of every description…let's take time to teach our children about America's history, dangerous current events and how great civilizations have fallen due to internal corruption and irresponsible tax, spending and regulatory policies. And let's teach them how our predecessors built the country and defended it, with great sacrifice, for our use today.
Can we also be mindful that with Constitutional protections, courage, freedom, patriotic commitment and firm leadership America can reclaim a vibrant energy industry, a secure national defense and a prosperous future?
In this way, today's terrorism, modern holocausts, and territorial disputes can be extinguished or peacefully resolved as we recommit ourselves to see that murderous world malaise happens, "never again".
|For those new to Northern Gas Pipelines, the author of today's commentary is Dave Harbour, Publisher. Harbour is Commissioner Emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and has supported programs of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission for years. Accredited as a public relations professional (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America, he has served as an external and/or government affairs manager for two pipeline companies and an Alaska North Slope oil producer. He is a former university vice president, construction company owner and Infantry Army officer. He is former president of the Alaska Press Club and National Bald Eagle Foundation and past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of his readers, public service sponsors or past affiliations.|