That is the question posed in this provocative article.
An interesting point in the article is that we never can run out of oil. Not in terms of having no physical oil available to extract-- the economics won't allow it.
The price of oil would rise as the quantities became more scarce. At some point, oil no longer becomes cost effective. This point is long before we actually run out.
Those of you have read Moby Dick might know that whale oil prices began to rise a great deal as whales were hunted to historic scarcity. Along comes Rockefeller and his cheap kerosene illuminant and the market for whale oil implodes. No one wanted whale oil any longer, and this was long before people were actually concerned about whaled becoming extinct.
Scarcity drives up price. The higher price prevents complete scarcity. At least for something that is as valuable as energy.
We will never run out of energy. The only question is what forms we will be using, and at what cost.
Hard to believe this is happening in America. Always be vigilant.
To date, my time in the Air Force is still the largest fraction of my adult life. I joined at 19 and only got out in 2007 because I didn't want that life any more. There's more to say on that, but it will have to wait until later. I do still monitor the Air Force and have keep in touch with several folks on Facebook with whom I served in one capacity or another.
A former LtCol has written a pretty insightful piece on why he also got out. Please read not only the original post, but a post critical of him, as well as his rebuttal to it. It expresses thoughts similar to mine in why I separated from the service.
Since NYC Mayor and Castro-on-the-Hudson Michael Bloomberg began his assault on the common law right of personal defense, I initially thought he was a well-intentioned but misguided Democrat, like so many others Democrats I meet.
Watching the interview below, I changed my opinion of Bloomberg. He's not well-intentioned. He's a power drunk dictator. He's been so surrounded by yes-men that even basic counterpoints are never made to him, and he doesn't know how weak his arguments are. Please note the following as you watch the video below:
I generally do not watch major news broadcasts. The national news programs on of each of the major networks are dominated by partisan hacks who have little interest in actual investigation and even less capacity for basic reason. Unsurprisingly, I stopped tuning in to have my intelligence and my values insulted.
While this does add a measure of peace and tranquility to my life, it does make me rather late to the game in catching the more egregious examples of journalistic malpractice.
The reporting at this link is certainly more of those more egregious examples.
The "story" is how that you can hop online to find a private seller from which to buy a gun and do so without any kind of government interference. Period. This is what passes for journalism: highlight a perfectly legal activity and exclaim that horror that it is allowed. Federal law requires background checks on a firearms sold by dealers-- even at gun shows. But, like every single other product a consumer would buy from a private party, no background check is required to buy a gun from a private party.
"But you could be a selling a gun to a violent criminal!" whines the reporter. Well, the reporter might be a child molester deserving of instant death; the gun seller doesn't know anything about him either. Why is the reporter presumed innocent but the gun buyer deserving of suspicion? The implication, of course, is that anyone buying a "military style weapon" (i.e. a scary black gun) must be up to no good. I wonder if the reporter has ever castigated a car salesman because he's selling a car that might be used in a DUI someday?
The reporter is just getting started. He has the fake purchasers-- called "straw purchasers"-- make some casual remarks about not liking a background check while the transaction is going down. The impression *I* get from the purchaser's remarks is that they didn't think they could pass a background check because of how inept and complicated gov't processes can be. But the reporter takes to task the sellers because they ignored an obvious alarm bell like trying to avoid a background check. It wasn't obvious to me. The only thing obvious was that the reporter has an axe to grind.
The reporter castigates these sellers as if they had just knowingly bought booze for underage kids with liver failure. This, for making a perfectly legal deal between two private parties.
But the reporter is about to be shocked anew when a man brings his pre-teen son to the transaction. The reporter acts as if he witnesses two cases of clear parental negligence by the father: first, he let his son see the transaction and then he lets his son actually *touch* the morally tainted money that is the ill-gotten gain of selling the firearm. Can you believe it? A father taking his son with him instead of ditching him? A father, teaching his son the responsibility of firearms ownership? Letting the son actually touch cash? The parade of parental horrors doesn't end until it is exchanged for the next scene's horror: the seller has the nerve to state that he's not responsible for what the next owner might do with the gun, and that he's selling it because he wants the money.
After painting a scary tale about the scary people selling scary guns to other scary people-- did I mention, it's a perfectly legal activity?-- the reporter gathers all his moral outrage together with his Star Wars Legos and huffs his way to talk to a few politicians about why they haven't done anything. He demands an answer!
Don't blame us, they say. The evil NRA is super-powerful and we are really quite powerless to criminalize the conduct, they say. We keep trying to criminalize anything we don't like (like 32oz sodas in Bloomberg's case), but the people are stubborn and think they should be able to do as they wish, they say.
Because the reporter is somewhere between lead and uranium in density, he never stops to ask how the NRA got so powerful. It's really as simple as this: there are a lot of people who *freely* give money to the NRA to advance their interests against the busybodies like our childish reporter. Unlike the Really Powerful Betters, the NRA actually has to *DO* something for the people to get them to voluntarily give them money. That's a lot tougher than just ramming through another tax. But I digress.
The reporter's high-horse crusade also takes makes a stop at the "if-it-saves-just-one-life" exhibit as well. You know this tactic well: the reporter digs up a case where his proposed policy *may* have made some kind of difference in a tragedy, fallaciously argues that the absence of the policy is the ONLY reason the tragedy occurred, and brings on the tearful victim as the emotional face of the policy. In this case, the reporter uses the person first to say what he can't (after all, he's the straight-down-the-middle, unbiased reporter-- Scout's Honor!) and secondly to make obvious how uncaring and insensitive is someone who disagrees with him.
By itself, the article is really just standard Leftist advocacy not-so-carefully disguised as inept journalism. But I think what really makes me mad isn't the standard journalistic malfeasance that is banal on the major networks. No, I think it's the demonizing of innocent people and the glossing over or far more relevant things-- like people's right to conduct legal transactions with other people without the government interfering.
Private sellers are not the problem! When Frontline delved into this issue with a former BATFE agent, the data showed that criminals mostly do not get the guns from private party, in-person transactions like the kind our huffy reporter wants to end. Instead they get them these ways:
Criminals have incentive not to buy over the Internet as this huffy reporter demonstrated because such transactions are more easily traced and a face-to-face transaction means there's a witness to the deal. No surprise here-- criminals don't get guns the same way law-abiding owners do. They get them from crooked dealers (already illegal) and family and friends.
So where does that leave us? That leaves us with an angry, childish reporter demonizing law-abiding citizens for legally selling firearms, an activity linked to only the tiniest fraction of that tiny fraction (<10%)of violent crime that actually involves guns. Sure, that .50BMG could shoot down a helicopter-- but it never did. It almost certainly never will. That fact is completely lost on the likes of this NBC reporter.
Most better-informed voters know that educational outcomes in American are following a 30+year downward trend even as funding for the same dwarfs levels of long ago.
The [Milton and Rose] Friedman Institute for School Choice releases the following report that a huge fraction of educational dollars are being used to hire non-teaching administrators, accountants, and coaches.
Consider this introduction to the full report:
America’s K-12 public education system has experienced tremendous historical growth in employment, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Between fiscal year (FY) 1950 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students in the United States increased by 96 percent while the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) school employees grew 386 percent. Public schools grew staffing at a rate four times faster than the increase in students over that time period. Of those personnel, teachers’ numbers increased 252 percent while administrators and other staff experienced growth of 702 percent, more than seven times the increase in students.
In a recent Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, Lindsey Burke (2012) reports that since 1970, the number of students in American public schools increased by 8 percent while the number of teachers increased 60 percent and the number of non-teaching personnel increased 138 percent.
That hiring pattern has persisted in more recent years as well. This report analyzes the rise in public school personnel relative to the increase in students since FY 1992. Analyses are provided for the nation as a whole and for each state.
Between FY 1992 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students nationwide grew 17 percent while the number of full-time equivalent school employees increased 39 percent, 2.3 times greater than the increase in students over that 18-year period. Among school personnel, teachers’ staffing numbers rose 32 percent while administrators and other staff experienced growth of 46 percent; the growth in the number of administrators and other staff was 2.7 times that of students.
Importantly, such growth cannot be attributed to the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. During the pre-NCLB period, FY 1992 to FY 2001, public schools’ student population grew 13 percent while public education personnel rose 29 percent—a 23 percent increase for teachers and a 37 percent increase for administrators and other staff. Post-NCLB (FY 2002 to FY 2009), employment growth (7 percent) still outpaced student numbers (3 percent). Teachers and administrators increased at about the same rate of 7 percent.
The chief difference between the NCLB era and the prior time period is the trend toward increasing non-teaching staff at a rate greater than teachers was halted—with NCLB, teachers and non-teaching staff both increased at the same rate (more than twice as fast as student enrollment). In both the pre- and post-NCLB periods analyzed, overall staffing in public education grew about 2.3 times faster than the increase in students.
Compared to other nations’ schools, U.S. public schools devote significantly higher fractions of their operating budgets to non-teaching personnel—and lower portions to teachers. Meanwhile, the U.S. is one of the highest spending nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) when it comes to K-12 education.