Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Barack Obama: you can’t be great and be led by Daryl Hannah

Waiting for Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is getting on my nerves. I’ve never been as enthusiastic about any other President in my life. He’s exceptional; I trust him and I’m a conservative Canadian. Yet, he hugs the power to say no. 

"Obama Faces Risks in Pipeline Decision," the New York Times acknowledges. Then the article attempts to lighten his responsibilities by treating the matter as just another psychological and partisan drama.

“The Keystone pipeline is treated mainly as a domestic issue in Washington. But for Canada’s Conservative government, which has its power base in the oil-rich province of Alberta, it represents a crucial moment in Canada’s relationship with its most vital foreign partner even if the oil sands are also a divisive issue within Canada.  Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are not close, and the two make a portrait of contrasts in style and substance. While Mr. Obama comes from the liberal wing of his party and is known for stirring speeches, Mr. Harper is conservative even by the standards of his own Conservative Party and can be stiff in public. His political base, the province of Alberta, is the heart of the Canadian oil patch.

“Mr. Obama’s recent expressions of concern about climate change contrast starkly with Mr. Harper’s stated priorities.”

This is disingenuous.

Keystone isn’t a domestic issue at all, nor is it merely a liberal President’s best chance since Jack Kennedy to humiliate a Conservative Prime Minister. Obama has no record on climate change that puts him in front of Canada and has no known score to settle with his northern ally.  

The President’s fine rhetoric on climate change no more beggars the Prime Minister’s policies than it does his own.

No matter how far apart they are temperamentally, Obama has had no surer an ally in the West. On going into Libya, staying out of Syria, not subsidizing European governments, applying sanctions on Iran, and fighting recession in North America, Harper has stood firmly with Washington. (Okay, Harper hasn’t publicly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for expanding settlements, but then again, neither has Obama.)

The importance of the Keystone decision is inspired by a global problem, and how it’s resolved will enhanceor shatterObama’s reputation as a steady President and trustworthy ally in addressing global problems.

Except for the cynics and Daryl Hannah, and their fans, everyone recognizes that attacking capitalism and pipelines and singling out one mining operation in the fossil fuel supply chain won’t save the planet or elect liberals. Nevertheless, rejecting a pipeline over mining practices in Canada would hurt Canada’s economy severely, be a roaring hypocrisy, and, as likely, be a breach of Canada-US and GATT trade covenants.

Over the two precious years Barack Obama has left to launch something big on climate change and North American renewal, Stephen Harper will be Canada’s majority Prime Minister.

With the Keystone decision, the President can decide whether he wants to fashion a credible North American policy or simply issue environmental regulations that will make Republicans angry without solving the problem.

1 comment:

  1. Prime Minister of Canada proved to everyone once and for all the big difference between the United States and Canada. He stated on CNN the other day that all the land that is being mined for shale oil belongs to him as in Canada, even though they are elected by a vote of the people, the power of the government lies with those elected into ofice and through the Crown; while here in the UInited States the power of the government lies equally through all the citizens of the United States and is adminstered by all those elected to Congress only. the President and the US Supreme Court can only do what the Constitution allows them to do and what laws that Congress passes, as long as they don't infringe on the Constitution except if do so as per Article V of the Constitution. Where the Prime Minister has full and unhibited control over all the lands of Canada and do so without any recourse, the President, the US Supreme Court all the way down to the Mayor of any community and its city Council don't have that luxury or leagal authority. That is why no private lands or properties, and even public lands, cannot be taken away and used for "for-profity" purposes without the consent of the people through their elected officials in the legislative branches of government, and then, and only then, through "due-process-of-law". Too often the citizens of this nation, particularly those that live within the confines of any state, county/parish/burough or city because US Attorney Generals office, state Attorney General office, or US Supreme Court state Suprem Court has failed to uphold the US Constitution, the states Supreme Court or any of their "oath-of- ofice" as required by Aricle VI of th US Constitution. When the Prime Minister tells the American people what he intends to do in this country he is way out of line. We tried to tell them what to do in the War of 1812 and got our butts kicked. Now he needs to reconsider because now the butt kicking is on the other foot. All constitutions and laws are only pertinent to that particular country only, and aren't supposed to have any bearing upon any other country, unless that country implies, attmpts or actually takes any type of action against another.