Gleanings and Observations

The White House has asked Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production to bring down gasoline prices in the U.S. The high prices, says the White House, “risk harming the ongoing global recovery”. Lower prices mean we conserve less and use more. Which means more greenhouse gas emissions. That, says the President, will “roast the world”. He says we need to cut the emissions to stimulate growth and create millions of jobs.

We need more, cheaper oil or the recovery will be aborted, and need to stop using oil in order to stimulate growth and create jobs. Get It? Meanwhile, while our producers hold back new investment, Bloomberg reports, “Russia is supplying more oil to the U.S. than any other foreign producer aside from Canada.”

Immigration is on the rise. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of illegal border crossers are allowed to disappear into the domestic population. The administration is unperturbed. Meanwhile, Afghans who helped our troops during the now-ending war are clamoring to be allowed entry. So far, some 221 Afghans who aided American forces have arrived in the U.S. while officials process their visa applications and hunt for other countries that might give them refuge.

The New York Times reports that Ross Wilson, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, told it that “difficulties lie ahead for the thousands more awaiting refuge.” Meanwhile, even advocates for these endangered Afghans say, “realistically, one cannot bring 20,000 interpreters directly into the United States. That wouldn’t be safe…”. Apparently not as safe as dispersing illegal immigrants around the country and hoping they show up for a hearing at some future date. Since Customs and Border Protection say they are apprehending immigrants from 50 countries, perhaps threatened Afghans ………..

California is hit more often than residents and businesses would like with rolling blackouts because the electric system has insufficient capacity to meet demand. The state and federal governments are offering handsome tax credits to consumers who will increase demands on the electricity grid by purchasing electric vehicles rather than those climate-warming gasoline-powered vehicles that will heat up the globe.

Vice president Kamala Harris told a press conference when she visited one of the less active sections of our border with Mexico that her principles are to accommodate people who leave their homes because they can’t provide for the basic needs of their families, and to give them “hope”. Unfortunately, that is not much of a policy guide since the world contains quite a large number of people who can’t satisfy the basic needs of their families, and could use a shot of hope, along with vaccines if the condition of many now crossing our border is any guide.

The UN Food Programme reports that 957 million people in 93 countries do not have enough to eat. The Global Humanitarian Outlook reports that 239 million people need live-saving humanitarian action.

In 1979 Jimmy Carter asked Deng Xiaoping to lift its virtual ban on people going abroad. “How many Chinese nationals do you want? Ten million? Twenty million? Thirty million?”, Deng is said to have quipped. This latter recollection recorded in The Economist.

How many who satisfy Harris’ principles does she want?

Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to see one million electric-vehicle charging stations scattered across Germany by 2030. The country now has 21,000 such charging points. Elon Musk would be delighted to cooperate, but environmentalists are having none of it. The New York Times reports that Tesla’s first major assembly plant in Europe has been held up by, among other things, a requirement that he find new homes for current residents of his site: a species of lizard and a kind of snake that feeds on that species. Meanwhile, only a cynic would argue that this enforced delay is to give Volkswagen and other German auto manufacturers, including BMW, which is way behind in the race to market EVs, a leg up.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that crime is up in New York because unemployment and threat of evictions put people “…in a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

But petty larceny – “stealing some bread” – is down 7.8% while murders are up 23% and the number of shooting victims is up over 70%, reckon the editors of the New York Post.