American Elephants

Mark Steyn is the Guest on Uncommon Knowledge. by The Elephant's Child

Peter Robinson’s guest on Uncommon Knowledge this week is Mark Steyn, a self-described “happy warrior” and Cassandra.  His subject is demographics and the changes that the lack of babies and the dearth of religion are playing in Europe.   Combine demographics with Europe’s Social Democratic government and 3rd world immigration, and you have civilizational transformation, and the inevitable doom of the Western world.

This was the subject of Steyn’s last book, America Alone. The changes will be enormous, and an exhausted Europe is drifting mindlessly into something for which they are unprepared.

These dialogues are always fascinating.  Peter Robinson is a wonderful interviewer, and Mark Steyn one of our most interesting and thoughtful pundits.  Each of the five segments is about 7 minutes long, and you can watch them one at a time or all together.  All previous interviews are also available.  I recommend any of them unreservedly.

21st Century Socialist Vision Turns the Lights Off in Venezuela. by The Elephant's Child
May 1, 2010, 8:10 am
Filed under: Energy, Latin America, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Venezuela, one of the world’s great oil powers — one of the top five providers of crude oil to the United States — is having trouble keeping the lights on at home.  Every day for the past three months, government-programmed blackouts means the lights flicker and go out, in a once prosperous country.

A months-old energy crisis and state interventions are taking a brutal cost on private business.  It’s a major challenge for Venezuela’s President-for-life Hugo Chavez, and his vaunted 21st century socialist experiment.

“The government is paralyzed, unable to handle the situation — and there are no fiscal plans to deal with the crisis,” said José Guerra, a former Central Bank economist who directs the economics department at Central University in Caracas, the capital.  “Our situation is unbelievable, because we have one of the biggest reserves of oil in the world, thermal-electrical and hydroelectric sources.”

Chavez hails his 21st century socialism as the answer to American-style capitalism that he calls an abject failure.  The oil industry is pumping 20% less crude than in the 1990s and is saddled with debt.  Venezuelas hydroelectric plants are unable to generate enough power because they have failed to make the necessary investments to upgrade facilities.  The inflation rate could rise to 35% this year, economists say. Thousands of factories have closed since 1999 for lack of access to money.

To save energy the government has imposed rolling blackouts in cities that can last as much as four hours or more a day.  And they fine  businesses that use too much energy.

They always think that socialism will bring a brighter tomorrow.  But the lights are going out sporadically in Venezuela.

When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Three Drudge Headlines by American Elephant
May 1, 2010, 3:16 am
Filed under: Environment, Humor, News, Politics | Tags: ,

Three events in the order of reportage:

1. Sunday afternoon: “WHITE HOUSE: No Gulf Trip Planned for Obama…


3. Sunday late night: “**UPDATE: Obama Plans Urgent Trip to LA Coast…

…I’m jus’ sayin. Draw your own conclusions.

(*John Edwards could not be reached for comment.)

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