By Taylor Armerding
The Hendricks County Flyer
Wed Sep 12, 2012, 09:40 AM EDT
Life is full of ironies. Politics is especially full of ironies. Here are a couple that are particularly relevant as we slog our way through election season.
Over the last month or so, I've listened to a couple of radio talk shows featuring environmentalists sounding the alarm on climate change. Within their various cataclysmic predictions of the Arctic ice melting, the seas rising, crops withering in new dust bowls, and tropical diseases headed north, is a compelling theme:
The earth is not ours alone. We have inherited it from our ancestors, and we will be passing it along to our descendants. We must not be so selfish as to consume its resources to the point where they will not be available for the generations yet to come. We must not be so greedy with our energy use that we leave our descendants to cope with the oceans inundating their coastlines, polluted drinking water, and weather extremes from droughts to floods.
In fact, economic growth is a bad thing. It means more businesses making more things that consume more resources and more energy, being bought by more people. Our aspirations must not be infinite, because the earth is finite. We need fewer people, fewer things, and much more modest lifestyles.
I think some of that is a bit over the top - economic growth is what leads to the next great inventions. Who knows what kinds of energy efficiency might be achieved through technological advances?
But in general, they are correct that we should be good stewards of the earth and its resources, if we want to claim (as certain groups so often do) that we care so much about "the children."
They are correct that being good stewards means that everybody needs to sacrifice. While there are income disparities here, compared to the rest of the world, even the poor in America are among the 1 percent - the most blessed people in history.
It is ironic, then, that some of the most vocal apostles of curbing energy use are some of the most profligate users of it. Al Gore (Where have you gone, Al?) had one of the largest carbon footprints in the country, living in an obscenely large house and jetting around the country scolding the rest of us.
It is ironic, because liberals more than conservatives embrace their message much more enthusiastically. But try to find a liberal who supports everybody making sacrifices for future generations in other areas.
Indeed, one of the major ironies is President Obama declaring that the most massive government entitlement programs in the history of the world will be solvent for generations to come if we just "stop giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires."
It is pure snake oil. Impose the so-called "Buffett rule," to make sure no millionaire pays a lower rate of taxes than his or her secretary, and lift the 15 percent tax limit on investment income of more than $1 million, and you might have enough money to get the federal government through a day or so. It won't come close to ensuring that those programs will be there "for the children." That will take sacrifice from the middle class as well - something you never heard at the Democratic convention.
Then there is the irony of how "independence" is defined these days.
Some years ago, I was assigned to cover an event at a government-funded program in a building called The Independent Living Center. Based on my brief observations, the people there did reasonably good work helping clients who had physical and mental disabilities.
But it made the sign on the building absurd. The whole reason for its existence - the reason their clientele were there - was because they could not live independently.
Please, hold the e-mails about beating up on disabled people. This is no such thing. I believe those with disabilities are just as valuable and deserving of happiness and fulfillment as the rest of us. I applaud efforts to assist them in reaching that goal.
But it is silly, and patronizing, to pretend that people are independent when they are not.
It is especially ironic today, given all the white-hot screeching about "You didn't build that," vs. "You/we built that."
President Obama has now acknowledged some "awkward" phrasing when he was trying to say that those who started businesses did not also build the infrastructure that provides a transportation system and utilities used by those businesses.
He's half right - probably none of those business owners actually built the infrastructure. But they, and those they employ, are the ones who paid the vast majority of the cost to build it, since they pay the vast majority of the taxes.
But the president is at great pains to insist that those who start and grow businesses with no help from government other than infrastructure and utilities, must still be viewed as "dependent" on government services.
Meanwhile, those who are truly dependent on government (through no fault of their own) for everything from food, shelter, and clothing to activities of daily living are labeled "independent."
Welcome to more politics Through the Looking Glass.
- Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.
Will the current V.A. backlog on veterans’ compensation claims be the next scandal to hit the administration?
Currently, the backlog is at 865,000 plus compensation claims with a wait time of greater than 125 days.
June 18, 2013
Apparently, it is not enough to tolerate, accept, or even endorse the gay agenda. Now, unless you tolerate and accept criminal behavior committed by gays, you are a hater.
Believe it — that is the very public argument being made in behalf of Florida high school cheerleader Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, who faces criminal charges for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Word on the street and in the media is that it will be a really bad summer for mosquitoes. Or should I say, it will be a really bad summer for humans, because it will be a great year for thirsty mosquitoes.
June 14, 2013
As a Christian, I feel compelled to respond to a recent letter to the editor.
When Barack Obama announced his presidential campaign back in February 2007, he did it in front of the old Springfield, Ill., Statehouse in a speech full of references to Abraham Lincoln.
Ordinarily I don’t take requests, but a bunch of people have written to ask how I’m doing with my weight-loss surgery and I thought this might be the most efficient way to answer.
June 11, 2013
I am a grandmother who went to the Brownsburg graduation ceremony on June 7 and due to very poor planning on Brownsburg School’s part, I could not sit and watch my twin grandsons graduate in person. I was directed to an overflow room where I had to watch it on a TV screen and could not even take pictures.
What you are now hearing across the land is a collective whine. Blue-state Democrats are upset that Texas Gov. Rick Perry dares come and play in their sandboxes, and worse, threatens to “poach” jobs from their states.
The website Politico reports that Perry’s attempts to lure jobs to Texas are “infuriating to prominent Democrats around the country.”
I am the first to admit I am behind the times when it comes to technology. I remember way back in the olden days of the 1990s when I was actually ahead of the game. Now there are second-graders that are more tech savvy than me. I just decided to stop my forward technological progression a few years back.
June 7, 2013
College graduates facing a crushing debt – some more than $100,000 – is a very big and a very real problem.
But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal to deal with it won’t solve the problem. It is a cheap ploy to divert attention from the real problem.
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Pit bulls “are considered dangerous animals/dogs and potentially hazardous to the community,” a Bessemer, Pa., ordinance states.
June 19, 2013
© 2013 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. ·
CNHI Classified Advertising Network ·
CNHI News Service
Associated Press content © 2013. All rights reserved. AP content may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Our site is powered by Zope. Some parts of our site may require
you to download the Flash Player Plugin.
Terms and Conditions
Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN
8109 Kingston St., Suite 500