Allen Wollscheidt's 7/04/06 letter regarding my energy and ethanol letter prompts three insights.
First, "The Seven Forms of Propaganda Devices:"
1. Glittering generality: mother, democracy, children
2. Transfer: accuse the opposition of being or doing that which the accuser is or does.
3. Testimony: experts, scientists, talking heads.
4. Name-calling: right-wing isolationist, ultra-conservative, prejudiced.
5. "Plain folks": fuzz, feel-good togetherness.
6. Card stacking: present only the good (or bad) side.
7. Bandwagon: Everybody is doing ‘it'.
These devices are liberally applied when truth, common sense, good judgment, and sound technology fail to support a desired argument.
The author had a great start in his first paragraph, exercising both device 4 ("... unimaginative, uninformed, dogmatic conservative ...") and device 2, calling me "naive" shortly before he advocates the ever-popular "something for nothing" solution to our energy problems -- just stir up a little "water, air and sunlight into usable transportation fuel."
Fact: there is no current, adequate alternative to petroleum energy.
Second insight -- inflation: the fed's conversion of the U.S. dollar into a fiat currency (inevitably and invariably resulting in financial collapse of that currency) means that $8.31 today purchases what $1 purchased in 1950, and that a dollar saved in 1950 is worth 12 cents today. "Three-dollar gasoline is simply not expensive at all" only if you are not living on a fixed-income; or are averaging 15 percent annual raises to stay even with this long-term inflation rate. The government and the media lie when they claim/report that inflation is due to businesses increasing prices, instead of government's 24/7 dollar-printing.
Third insight: oil company profits -10 cents/gal; fed and state taxes - 59 cents/gal. Who's the crook?
His "uninformed" charge also fits into device 2. U.S. crude oil and natural gas reserves in ANWR, offshore, and under federally-locked up U.S. land could easily sustain U.S. demand for petroleum-derived fuel, pharmaceuticals, and plastics for the next 150 years, even without developing shale oil extraction technologies and new exploration. The government that mandates ethanol cannot balance its budget, secure its borders, or manage its forests; and forces U.S. energy wealth to flow to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, et al, cannot solve U.S. energy issues, except by getting out of the way of domestic petroleum production and refinery construction, neither required "everywhere there is a flat spot," to meet U.S. needs.
Terry L. Putnam, Young