politics & governmenttechnology

Piglet and The Blustery Day

No Gravatar

Oh, bother! Karl Rove has caught the wind and drifts higher, higher and higher. Piglet is your new name, replacing Boy Genius as W the Pooh called you when you were delivering modest electoral majorities by brokering devastating legislative rebukes of your constituents, your declared principles and that musty, dusty impediment to national greatness; The Constitution. Piglet’s sins are far from original. He mined the anti-Goldwaterites to differentiate Bush from a Primary throng in 2000, something W minded not at all. His family has a long record of bitter opposition to conservative philosophy and policy as demonstrated in their bilious rubbishing of Governor Reagan. This self-contradicting obstinacy re-reared it’s ugly head yesterday with the New Bush. JEB is his acronym. The once Florida governor invokes Reagan, saying that neither he, nor Bush the Elder nor Bush the Younger could have survived the primaries. Of course Bush the Elder did NOT survive the primaries but was tapped for VP to trowel over the cracks that threatened to leave Rockefeller Republicans without a home, possibly cleaving then to Carter. W himself ran AGAINST the party base as a Compassionate Conservative, in clear distinction from the ordinary kind, meaning what it always means; that the Republican will perpetuate the philisophical socialism of the Democrat but with better actuaries. “We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, gubmint has got to move!” was the famous line. The results were attacked, quite rightly, by every candidate this year so JEB is correct. The party is now far too far to the Right to bring us another George or even another Karl. Whether Reagan would have succumbed to Romney in 2012 rests on a Bush’s definition of Reaganism.

Piglet’s muddy hoof prints are on every malefaction of Bush 43 from the Rooseveltian slanders of the 2000 campaign to his disastrous denouement… TARP; W’s Parthian shot. And every one of these actions was opposed by the presumed crazies now forcing the Arlen Spectres of the world into retirement. Each one was passed with a bipartisan coalition, bringing a smile to Piglet’s muzzle as he waved his whiteboards around demonstrating his electoral genius and ignoring any fiscal impact. Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank in their turn found reasons to praise and embrace W while Rove produced another bipartisan triumph, a bipartisan disdain for himself!

As if winning the election weren’t enough to make the Left hate Piglet they concocted a variety of urban legends to sweeten the pie. In South Carolina Rove turned the state and therefore the primaries for Bush with robo-calls claiming McCain’s adopted Indian daughter was his illigitimate child by a black prostitute, or so the story went. But The National Review from the Right and the LA Times from the Left each looked after this twice-told tale and each were unable to find a single person who had ever HEARD this call, much less any recording of it on the thousands of answering machines it would have reached. With Bush in office Rove was no more rationally considered; blamed as he was for “leaking” Valerie Plame’s identity on exactly NO evidence and exhonerated when we found out, years after the Special Prosecutor did, that it was Richard Armitage that had done the deed (which yet was no crime). Up to that very point the most treasured dream of The Nation crowd was to see the little porker in handcuffs. The gleeful malice was, on net, beneficial to Piglet as it encouraged support for partisan reasons from the very people he was most dligently working against; the small government causists in the Republican party.

But just because the country is through with the last Bush does not mean that Piglet is through with us. Not for him the route of the Stephanopolous, to go from being covered by the press on Friday to being a grandee within it on Monday. No no. While Piglet does have a packet of lucrative contracts to “comment” for the Right here and there he continues his original vocation. He is a mouth for hire. He is a gunslinger; a species frequently dissected here yet no closer to extinction. As a flea will always find a dog, and a hog will always make a wallow, Rove has found a new anchor tenant for his Rolodex. Piglet is a new, proudly professional advocate for wind power and he has come to my doorstep to make his debut.

As with all advocacy for wind power, Rove’s contains little but bluster and numerical fudgery. The enthusastic agreement of Robert Gibbs should have set your lie detectors blinking right off. If the bipartisan coalition of swine and fowl is in favor of something it can only mean that they are lavishly fed therefrom. But there isn’t much fodder of this sort in Georgia, is there? This was my immediate thought as well and indeed there is NO commercial installation of windmills in the state although apparently a fair amount of manufacturing does go on. So Piglet is not tasked to impress an agreeable choir with his oinking ability, rather he is the sharp end of the spear. Big Wind wants to open up some virgin territory, bringing maple syrup to Dixie. But that is not the main purpose either of the conference being situated in Atlanta or of Rove’s speechifying. Big Wind is in danger of blowing out… pfft… like a candle. It must have the Production Tax Credit if it is to survive.

The PTC, like so many deceitful robberies, is a giveaway camouflaged by the appearance that it doesn’t give away much. It is a federal subsidy that pays the producer of electricity from wind (and incidental others) $.022 per kwh. We can call it two pennies, rounding down. Certainly that is trivial, right? Except that it amounts to nearly half the five-cent per kwh rate. What madman could oppose funding an industry that only needs a 44% support? Still there must be some, or the sitting Governor of Arkansas (D) wouldn’t have seen a need to denounce these primitives as “un-American“.

So Alt Energy is coming to the Old South where the wind does NOT, noticeably, come a-sweepin’ down the plain. And maybe it is improvement in the turbines, as the press kits advise, that brings these giants of the prairie to Atlanta but more important by far is the desire to spread the pork associated with wind power, increasing the numbers of legislators willing to support it. Rove is not known as a mechanical/aerodynamics engineer with extensive knowedge of commodities markets, rather he is an expert in cobbling together legislative coalitions to support sacred cows that can be milked. His true targets are the Senators and Housemen of the South as well as their counterparts in lesser offices and of course the connivince or at least apathy from people like you.

I’m sure they love this at the State level, it’s just their cup of tea, but locally there seems to be only one taker. The council of Tybee Island has resolved to “support wind energy development” and is the very first to do so. These are cagy town fathers as their “support” does NOT include installing or certainly BUYING windmills for the production of electricity. Rather they support “dialog” and invite wind related businesses to come on out, build plants, train a workforce and do just whatever it is they do and maybe, just maybe, there might be an off-shore wind implacement someday. At least Tybee can claim that there are no Kennedys about to stand in the way as they do in Massachusetts, claiming the entire Atlantic Ocean as their back yard.

What all these fans of wind power admit is that without the PTC there will be essentially NO wind industry. None. It was for such payments that conventional utilities got into wind in the first place as the windmill’s glaring inefficiencies make it ill suited to any other purpose. But even that exploitation has its limits. The utilities took in the subsidy, a tax credit, and used it to defer taxes laid on other activities that produce usable, deliverable and salable electrical power. Now wind-only producers are undercutting them, claiming the subsidy opportunistically and forcing them into expensive compensating measures that deliver not a bit more electricity but make what we have more expensive. So while wind is producing negligible energy, possibly absorbing energy on net and driving up the price of conventional power, through the federal tax credit YOU are paying their taxes. Clearly this is a deal worth fighting for, worth hiring expensive shills for, but there must be something else, something more…. cost effective to get the general public on board. That something else is a thinly veiled spiritual appeal; a neo-pagan worship of earth itself and the divine elements of it, like wind.

No, it is not Piglet and his brothers; they worship the money, but for those who claim no interest in money there is other compensation. Sometimes it is as simple as a blank demand to “do the right thing.” Wind is the right thing as clearly as frakking or otherwise digging up REAL energy sources is the WRONG thing. But for the most devoted activists there is an open appeal to make Gaia worship their religion. She is a fickle goddess; loving whales but hating cockroaches. Drilling harms and insults her while a fleet of whirling blades that chops up birds in flight and thrums a maddening sub-sonic noise pollution (especially under water), these are sacred structures. Building them is a sacrament. Obstructing them, a heresy.

This is the true meaning of the term Wind Power. It is not a flow of energy with which you may boil an egg. Wind Power, like Green Power of which it is a part, is instead a cultural and political force. As solid as wind energy is ephemeral, Wind Power strides the nation leaving gigantic, soon fossilized footprints and wielding a club alloyed of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated frauds. No hurricane has ever wrought such destruction and what we have seen is only the beginning. The wind worshippers practice a bureaucratic catechism that absolves their own sins of holding such a thing as a convention; declaring it, through incantations to be “100% Wind Powered” although there is not a functional windmill for a thousand miles. They expect you to participate in the Divine Deception. With enthusiasm. In the name of Zephyr they propose to re-place corn fields with wind farms representing an escalation of demands from wishing merely to place them there. Corn and the windstalks are spiritually incompatible species, it seems, just as a span of pipeline does not simply cast a modest shadow on the earth but makes the fields untillable, like the presence of a dragon. In the name of Mammon and good old “efficiency”, the entire force of the state is enlisted through paid henchmen like Rove to condemn here and encourage there; to tax our current fuels into oblivion and subsidize fantasy fuels into existence to a purpose as unspoken in public as a vile bodily process. It is penance. Punishment. We have erred in taking and burning the blood of the earth, even if it was to warm our huts, and so we must pay, in dollars as well as humiliation. The towers of a new and alien religion must be built and at OUR expense. No, this is not really a blustery day in Georgia or anywhere else but the winds must be appeased.

For that, I suggest a suckling pig.

Latest posts by Ken Watson (Posts)

Print This Post Print This Post

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment