Obama’s Crude Conundrum

It appears that aging Hollywood movie star Robert Redford did not see the movie “Argo,” which was awarded Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards.

Had Redford seen it, he might have noticed that in 1979 Muslim radicals under Ayatollah Khomeini took Americans hostage. The only country to offer assistance was Canada.

Such history seems lost on Redford, an ultra-rich liberal active environmentalist. (His net worth is estimated at $170 million.) Redford is vehemently against the United States’ importing oil sands from Canada. His criticism reached a crescendo in the wake of the Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline spill in Mayflower, Ark., on March 29.

It is estimated that 36,000 barrels of crude oil leaked from a pipeline, which forced the evacuation of more than 20 families from their homes.

In the aftermath, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is asking Exxon Mobil to pay $4 million to help pay for an investigation as to why the pipeline leaked.

The oil spill is only 1,000 miles from Redford’s mansion in Sundance, Utah. (The good news for the actor is that he also has residences further west.)

A post on ecorazzi.com stated:

Actor and environmentalist Robert Redford has been an outspoken opponent of the Keystone XL Pipeline since the beginning. Now that a pipeline in Arkansas has ruptured leaving a residential community with thousands of gallons of tar sands crude right in their yards, Redford is hoping the government will wake up to the dangers of building any new pipeline.

Blogging for Huffington Post, Redford wrote:

(W)hen it comes to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline… the Pegasus rupture in Arkansas is another red flag. We’ve had a lot of these red flags lately that show us what a raw deal tar sands is and we ignore them at our peril.

How many red flags do we need before we realize that the solution is to stop tar sands expansion and say no to tar sands pipelines? I think we’ve seen enough.

Redford wants Americans to contact their Congressmen and demand that they pressure President Barack Obama to pull the plug on the pipeline, a decision the President is expected to make this summer.

Redford and his Green advocates are making a mistake regarding Keystone and oil imported from Canada. This is why:

  1. The Keystone project is expected to create 10,000 new U.S. jobs at a time when the Nation is still in a recession.
  2. America must import more than 10 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d). Currently, Canada delivers the United States almost one-third of that total. Saudi Arabia sells the United States 1.2 mb/d. Imports from both countries have come down as U.S. domestic crude production has increased. However, America is going to be dependent on vast amounts of imported crude for the next decade and beyond unless newly found domestic reserves are quickly developed and/or renewable energies can begin to play a significant role in providing power.
  3. Crude provided from the Mideast, South America and Africa is transported in oil supertankers. In 1980, the Exxon Valdez spilled 750,000 barrels of oil on the shores of Prince William Sound, Alaska, making that spill more than 20 times larger than last month’s pipeline leak in Arkansas. (The U.S. State Department’s environmental impact analysis concluded that there was no evidence that tar sands oil spills are more hazardous to the environment than other forms of crude oil.)
  4. If America doesn’t buy oil sands from Canada (and principally Alberta), the Nation is going to have to buy it from other oil exporters — not one of which shares American ideals, as Canada has done for 200 years.

As the chart above shows, America must meet its energy needs with imported oil. My question: Would you rather deal with Allison Redford, the democratically elected premier of Alberta and a distant relative of Robert Redford, or would you rather buy oil from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the anointed leader of the kingdom that was the birthplace for 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers?

Description: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/11/07/timestopics/king-abdullah.jpg
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud
Description: http://www.economicclub.ca/images/ecot_speaker/297/AlisonRedford-MedRes.jpg
Alberta Premier Alison Merrilla Redford

Tale Of Two Leaders

I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. I think who America trusts for its future oil supplies is an important question.

It is reported that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has four wives and dozens of children. The king didn’t allow U.S. forces inside Saudi Arabia during the Iraq war. He has also launched a series of crackdowns including torture and public beheadings.

Ezra Levant wrote what Al Gore might refer to as “an inconvenient truth,” in his book Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands:

Saudi women are treated as the property of men, with fewer rights than children and only slightly more rights than animals. They are forbidden from driving cars; they cannot travel abroad without a man’s permission; and they can’t even have elective surgery without their master’s consent.

There is no gay marriage or any talk of it in Saudi Arabia.

Levant wrote:

And, according to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia executes gays simply for being gay. Amnesty has documented this barbaric punishment, carried out in full medieval style: a beheading and a crucifixion.

Even children are not spared Saudi Arabia’s merciless “justice.” Teenaged “criminals” are beheaded with swords in the public square; children as young as thirteen have been sentenced to more than one thousand lashes.

In Alberta, the Legislature is led by Alison Redford, a Canadian lawyer and a member of Canada’s Queen’s Bench.

Redford does have a few thoughts about her famous and long-lost cousin. Recently, in an interview with the Calgary Herald, she indicated she doesn’t think highly of her namesake or others in Hollywood are knowledgeable on energy issues.

“It’s fine for people who aren’t really impacted by this stuff to talk about why it shouldn’t happen, but these aren’t the people that are out talking to the thousand guys that want jobs — or to returning veterans who want to be able to work on pipeline construction or get trained in new technologies,” Redford said.

Hollywood Hypocrites

Actors like Robert Redford and other activists for the Green movement like actress Daryl Hannah live in a cocoon and don’t see the world as it is and, more importantly, are blind to the contradictions.

In 2006, actor Redford wrote an article for CNN, urging the United States to “kick the oil habit.”

Not long afterward, Redford lent his voice to TV ads for United Airlines. That’s amazing when you consider that in 2011 United Airlines spent about $13 billion on jet fuel and that, according to scientists, aviation accounts for 2 percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each day.

United Airlines may “fly the friendly skies,” but the airline needs a lot of oil to do it. My guess is that, in the long run, those planes will keep flying on Canadian oil.

Over the short term, I would not be surprised to see Obama block the Keystone Pipeline. He is a kindred spirit to celebrities who object to Canadian crude but are strangely silent regarding Islamic sins.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Nanny Statists Barack, Michelle And Michael

New York City is asking an appeals court judge to reinstate a ban on the sale of “large sugary drinks.” Attorneys are making the argument that the law is crucial to prevent a “serious health crisis.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks Coca-Cola venders should be treated like cocaine dealers.

Fortunately, on March 11, the day before the new law was set to take effect, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling declared that the new regulation could not pass — not because it was an infringement on a basic freedoms, but because the new law was beset with loopholes. According to Tingling, the soda ban would have still allowed, God forbid, State-regulated convenience stores to sell “large” sodas.

Tingling deserves a modicum of credit: He said Bloomberg and the city’s Board of Health had overstepped their authority by not putting the ban to a vote in the New York City Council.

Attorneys who want to stop Bloomberg and his bureaucrats believe that the City has exceeded its authority.

“It was never about obesity; it was never about soda,” said Matthew Greller last week. He represents plaintiff National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State. “It was always about power. The question, fundamentally, is what is the power of a city agency.”

Gabriel Taussig, the head of the city’s administrative law division, agreed with the plaintiff lawyers, admitting: “There’s a lot at stake in this case beyond the sugary drinks issue.”

Sermons From The Mount

How large a soda people in New York can legally buy is just the tip of the iceberg. The real behemoth below the waterline has been built by President Barack Obama and the first lady.

The President has more power, but one can’t help but believe that he takes his cues from his wife, whose pet peeve is how Americans eat and exercise.

Parents in California are opposed to public schools giving yoga lessons to their children. That didn’t bother Michelle Obama, who announced that the White House determined to keep up the practice of its “Yoga Garden” as a part of its traditional Easter Egg Roll festivities.

More than 30,000 people visited the South Lawn of the White House for the 135th annual Easter Egg Roll celebrations.

Part of the first lady’s efforts to promote health and wellness, “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!” was the theme of the Easter Egg Roll. “Come enjoy a session of yoga from professional instructors,” read the announcement regarding the “Yoga Garden.”

This may generate some ill will because yoga is the rage today. I tried yoga when I was young and fit. It certainly wasn’t “me.” And, frankly, it is not an effective exercise.

As some have pointed out, my photo reflects that I am 30 years and 60 pounds past my prime. However, I was once a competitive athlete (albeit not a very good one). But I was coached by and coached with people who were at the top of their profession. My eyes still work fine, and I frequently read about exercise and human physiology.

Healthy Living sums up yoga: “(N)o studies have yet proved that it provides a cardio workout that raises heart rate into your target zone and keeps it there long enough to provide an aerobic conditioning effect.”

There is something else my eyes tell me, and that is that the first lady is borderline obese and ill qualified with her background and education to be providing advice to Americans on what exercises they should do or what they should eat. Not that these facts will slow down the self-appointed “czar of childhood obesity.”

The Fat Lady Sings

Last August, Obama openly criticized Gabby Douglas, who had just won an Olympic Gold Medal in London in one of the most grueling sports in existence: gymnastics.

Douglas appeared on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” hosted by Jay Leno, along with the first lady.

Leno asked Douglas: “You trained your whole life, you win. How did you celebrate?”

Douglas responded: “We didn’t have time to celebrate. It was team finals and had to turn the page all-around finals and event finals after that. But, after the competition, I splurged on an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s.”

Leno said: “Egg McMuffin”

Obama then interrupted the conversation. “Yeah, Gabby, we don’t, don’t encourage him. I’m sure it was on…”

Douglas said: “A salad.”

Obama said: “A whole wheat McMuffin.”

Leno said: “It was on a whole wheat bun.”

Obama said: “Yeah.”

Leno said: “So an Egg McMuffin. Very good.”

Obama added: “You’re setting me back, Gabby.”

Douglas said: “Sorry.”

Sorry for eating at McDonald’s? I have a pretty good eye for body weight percentages, and I bet Douglas has less than 8 percent body fat and Obama has well more than 35 percent. Sorry, Michelle, but all those yoga classes and fresh vegetables grown at the White House garden simply aren’t cutting it; and your body size bellies your self-proclaimed health expertise.

The President is just as bad. Leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, Barack Obama did an interview with The New Republic. He said he would struggle with the decision to allow his child to play the sport.

“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football…I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.”

Let me see if I can get this straight: The President wonders if he would let his make-believe son play a sport that he himself has never played or coached, and his full understanding of the game comes down to watching it on his big-screen TV.

I played football for two years, and I coached it for several more. If through some miracle of science my wife and I had more children, I would not direct my sons into football. Yet I would never presume to tell other parents whether their sons should avoid the game. I wouldn’t, as Obama said, “wrestle” with that (which begs the question, when can we expect a presidential pronouncement on wrestling?).

In 2010, POLITICO wrote:

For a president who ran on uplifting themes like change and hope, Barack Obama spends an awful lot of time scolding Americans about how he hopes they’ll change.

He has advised parents to “replace that video game with a book and make sure that homework gets done.” He has urged members of Congress not to read blogs or watch 24-hour cable news. And he’s challenged lobbyists, lawmakers, bankers, journalists, insurance companies and other heads of state to do a better job.

At times, having Obama in the Oval Office is like having a really powerful Dr. Phil around.

The difference is that people can take or leave Dr. Phil. Americans have to live with what the President and first lady proclaim whether they know what they are talking about and whether we want to hear it.

Of greater import is that tens of millions of Americans don’t want to live in a nanny state. Many are looking forward to a time where there is growing liberty for all.

Yet Obama has political blinders on — and not just because he is a Democrat. Former President Jimmy Carter recently said something that I would have expected from a libertarian like the late William F. Buckley Jr.

Last December, Carter was talking about his support for marijuana. It is an old theme for Carter, who said to Congress in August 1977: “I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.”

Think how far American freedoms have slipped. Thirty-five years ago, we had a President who wanted to decriminalize small amounts of pot. Today, the mayor of America’s largest city wants to ban large quantities of pop.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Confessions Of An Ex-Stockbroker

The stock market is on a cliff. When it falls, it will not only erase the riches on Wall Street but your hard-earned savings. It is called deflation, and it will impact all of us.

I have a pretty good idea about stock market crashes because I have experienced four of them. The first was in 1987. The second was in 1989. The third was in 2001, and the last was in 2008. The monster crash for stocks is still to come.

The fundamentals both for the banking system and the economy and our dysfunctional Federal government will not allow current record stock prices to persist.

As major stock indexes reach all-time highs, there is the disjoint between the value of equity prices and the economic realities that will eventually have to support prices.

We live in a time Oscar Wilde described more than a century ago: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Everyone seems to know the price of the Dow Jones industrial average. Friends and family ask me how much higher the stock market will go. Few ask if it will go lower, while many offer their own stock tip.

It’s no different from 1929 when legendary investment guru Bernard Baruch said: “When beggars and shoeshine boys, barbers and beauticians can tell you how to get rich, it is time to remind yourself that there is no more dangerous illusion than the belief that one can get something for nothing.”

When I suggest that the market is heading lower, people wave me off.

What most people seem to understand is that Big Board stocks keep setting records. Both the Dow and the broader-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index are at all-time highs.

The S&P has gained 10 percent in three months. The Dow is up more than 11 percent. Yet the U.S. unemployment rate is close to 8 percent. America lost 8.9 million jobs in four years and has gained back only half of them.

The economic recovery exists only on paper because of massive cash injections by the Federal Reserve.

Only trillions of dollars’ worth of freshly printed money has prevented the United States from falling into an economic abyss.

But printing new money does not equate to creating new wealth. All the Fed has done is provided a cancer patient with copious amounts of morphine. It is a feel-no-pain regiment for the markets. But the cancer is still there.

Two things dictate investment behavior: greed and fear. For the past year, greed has consumed any fears.

I Wished I Had Sold Used Cars

In the spring of 1996, I was in an office on the eighth floor of the Washington Mutual Building in Spokane, Wash.

I was working for one of the largest brokerage companies in the country.

Each day on my desk there were Securities and Exchange Commission compliance books and stacks of practice exams to help me pass a registered investment adviser exam. Once I passed it, I could dispense investment advice to all.

To get the job, I passed the aptitude test by saying that 2 plus 2 equaled 4. I believe that the brokers who were fast-tracked said 2 plus 2 equaled 16.

Over the next six months, I studied securities laws that dated back to the 1930s. I also spent time in the lunchroom learning from seasoned brokers about ways to get around these laws.

Below sums up my experience as a stockbroker in training:

Question: How many stock brokers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Correct answer: Two. One to take out the bulb and drop it, another to try to sell it before it crashes (fully knowing that it’s already burned out).

The advanced test for certified investment advisers was this:

Question: How many investment brokers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Correct answer: Good God! It burned out! Sell every share of GE!

I remember the 6 a.m. Monday meetings in the conference room.

It was there that we received a call from the company’s grand poobah, Ralph Acampora. His name was synonymous with the dot-com bubble.

Acampora’s biography states: “He was an industry leader in technical analysis and a regular on popular weekly TV shows such as Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser. His opinions about the market were reported by major national newspapers.”

I had been writing about investments for well more than a decade, so I knew about bullish Acampora and his never-ending expectations for higher stock prices.

The world said Acampora was a genius, which made it all the harder for me to understand his Monday morning call to arms. I suspected Acampora was not really trying to sell value to Prudential customers. But every Monday the sales team was given its orders.

One time, I interrupted the post conference meeting by suggesting resource stock. A group of 15 brokers looked at me like I was a heretic.

After several Mondays of listening to Acampora clairvoyance in picking stock market winners, I went to my manager.

I asked him why Acampora was telling us to pitch such stocks. The manager explained to me that Prudential had an inventory of stocks and that they had to be sold every week.

It hit me. My job was never to give quality investment advice. I was being trained to generate revenue for Prudential. I was a used car salesman. Even worse, I wasn’t even providing anything as useful as a used car.

I passed my exams for Prudential and the SEC. Once I did that, I was registered to attend a two-week sales boot camp in California. If I survived that, then I could push any stock, bond or mutual fund I wanted.

I decided to quit. That was the only time in my 55 years that quitting felt right.

In 2013, nothing has changed. Wall Street is richer than ever, and big analysts have more lives than wrinkled movie stars. They can make the same mistakes over and get richer for it.

Bestselling author Nassim Taleb addresses this absurdity: “People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new school bus.”

Action to take: Sell all Big Board stocks immediately. Move money into physical gold, silver, Treasury bills (despite their low returns) and hold physical cash in a safe dry place. Speculators believe the only game in town is blue chip stocks. Take it from an old ex-stockbroker.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

Guantanamo Bay: Which Side Is Obama On?

Once more, Barack Obama has shown himself to be a pathetic President. The latest disgrace of the vaulted liberal leader is his failure to stand by his conviction to shut down Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo).

It has been four years since Obama promised to close down the military prison. Now, he wants to provide $196 million in renovations and new construction as requested by his new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. Obama has decided keeping enemies of the United States comfortable is more important than meting out justice.

General John F. Kelly, the chief of the U.S. Southern Command, testified before Congress last week that repairs and upgrades are needed at Gitmo, including two new barracks and a new mess hall.

It is ironic that up to 100 “detainees” are on a hunger strike.

Rolling Stone reported: “Eight of the hunger strikers are being force-fed through a tube, a process the United Nations has previously classified as torture. Two hunger strikers have been hospitalized for dehydration.”

I am a libertarian through and through. I say if they want to starve themselves to death, let them — especially if these individuals want to inflict terror against Americans.

What does our President want? He wants to spend money America cannot afford to keep “detainees,” doublespeak for prisoners of war, more comfortable.

Regarding Gitmo, the Obama Administration is dead wrong. It is a classic case of Obama’s wanting his cake and eating it, too.

Obama should either:

  • Choose a speedy trial, a basic right to defendants which would also give closure to the victims of those atrocities.
  • Or deal decisively with Gitmo prisoners if they remain a clear and present danger to the United States.

Last month, The Daily Beast summed up America’s blundering President regarding Gitmo:

The Obama administration insists it’s doing everything possible to fulfill the president’s pledge. “We are absolutely still committed to closing Gitmo,” National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said in an interview. He put the blame elsewhere, saying, “The unfortunate reality is that Congress has gone out of its way to prevent us from doing so, but we still believe closing the facility is in our national security interest.”

Yet experts say the chances of Gitmo closing, at least before Obama’s out of office in 2016, are exceptionally slim.

“Guantanamo is not going to close any time soon,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a right-leaning think tank. “There are too many problems to solve. There are still Yemenis who can’t be repatriated to their home country, there are detainees too dangerous to transfer anywhere and quite a few prisoners who the administration says they cannot try in an open court.”

There is another irony about the President. Last Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will begin closing 149 air traffic control towers starting on April 7. The Transportation Security Administration also claimed sequester-caused airport security delays are on the horizon. That means more time at the airport and compromises safe travel.

Meanwhile, Obama is cutting defense spending as part of his $85 billion in automatic spending reductions.

Obama wants to slash spending on the very mechanisms that would prevent another attack against American civilians. Whose side is the President on?

Kill ’Em Or Clear ’Em

I love World War II history. I am proud of my Canadian roots and my American citizenship. I take extraordinary pride that during World War II, the Black Watch of Canada and the U.S. Airborne dealt decisively with the fanatical SS troops that they fought against — fanatics like the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend who refused to take Allied prisoners. They executed hundreds of Allied soldiers outright. In some cases, they even crucified them against trees and buildings. That terror was met in kind by our fathers and grandfathers who mostly accepted the surrender of Wehrmacht soldiers but had no dealings with the SS.

In an article in the Daily Mail, Antony Beevor, a noted historian and writer of World War II, summed up the allied actions of Normandy against the Germans:

With revenge on their minds and nerves still taut after the jump, the American paratroopers-blood was up. A trooper in the 82nd remembered his instructions only too clearly: ‘Take no prisoners because they will slow you down.’

Stories about German soldiers mutilating paratroopers inflamed the Americans still further. A soldier in the 101st recounted how after they had come across two dead paratroopers ‘with their privates cut off and stuck into their mouths’, the captain with them gave the order: ‘Don’t you guys dare take any prisoners! Shoot the bastards!’

Fast-forward six decades and we have Obama who not only wants to hold terrorists but also wants to save them from self-starvation and provide them better living conditions.

Are we at war or are we not? If we are, Obama needs to find some resolve and deal with our enemies. If not, he needs to send these Gitmo prisoners to trial.

Of course, Obama won’t do either. He lacks the gumption to take a stand on Gitmo, just as he lacks it with regard to almost everything else.

Love their politics or hate them, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his top World War II commander in Europe and future President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, dealt with America’s enemies expeditiously. Obama refuses to stand against them. He stands for higher taxes and greater entitlements. That makes him not only an ineffective leader but also a dangerous one.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Obama’s Keystone Kops

“The only way to break this cycle of spiking gas prices — the only way to break that cycle for good — is to shift our cars entirely, our cars and trucks, off oil.” — President Barack Obama, speaking at the Argonne National Laboratory on March 15

President Barack Obama has finally brought Congress together with one common goal: to oppose his ruinous energy policies. Perhaps he can unite grass-roots Americans the way no one has since King George III.

On Thursday, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would give Congress the sole power to approve TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline project. It is essential to America’s national security in that it channels Canada’s vast oil sands to refineries and ports in Texas.

Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced the measure, which proposes to ensure the construction of the 800,000-barrels-per-day pipeline.

It is no surprise that the President is fighting back. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters last week that since the pipeline will cross international borders, the decision for its approval belongs with the State Department. This is the latest example of how the President usurps the democratic process and seizes extraordinary powers, all for the good of the environmental movement.

The $5.3 billion Keystone pipeline has become the battleground for Canada’s oil sands. The combatants are the Greens and the realists. The latter understand that for the foreseeable future America needs secure supplies of petroleum and not the fantasy of windmills and electric cars.

The Greens continue to resist and insist the pipeline will expand the oil sands projects in Western Canada, leaving a dangerous carbon footprint upon the world.

The Problem with Pelosi

Not only would the Keystone pipeline greatly decrease America’s dependency on Mideast oil, but it would also create tens of thousands of new jobs at a time when unemployment lingers close to 8 percent.

Not so, said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat and environmental activist who continues to argue that the Keystone pipeline will not deliver many jobs.

“It just is amazing to me that they can say [Keystone would create] ‘tens of thousands of jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,’” said Pelosi at a press briefing on Capitol Hill last week to oppose the bipartisanship in the Senate. “The oil is for export and the jobs are nowhere near that.”

The Keystone pipeline may not employ as many people as Pelosi does for her hairdos, clothes and facelifts; but at least it is a start. Contradictions from Pelosi abound. If she visited Saudi Arabia as opposed to any Western democracy like Canada (America’s most reliable ally and energy source), the women’s rights advocate would have to cover her face with a scarf and she couldn’t drive around in her gas-guzzling Chevy Suburban.*

Pelosi, Obama and green advocates continue to recklessly tie the Nation’s future to Islamic oil producers like Saudi Arabia, home to most of the 9/11 hijackers.

The chart below gives you an indication of Canada’s oil wealth. It doesn’t even include Canada’s oil sands reserves. If those figures are included, Canada has oil reserves five times larger than Saudi Arabia.

 
Incompetency Or Conspiracy?

In November, columnist Ezra Levant summed up Obama’s energy strategy in the Toronto Sun:

Barack Hussein Obama announced America’s new energy policy: He prefers Saudi conflict oil shipped in on tankers over Canadian ethical oil in a pipeline.

It’s a bizarre decision for the president of a country with 9% unemployment, that could use the thousands of well-paying jobs that will be created building the state-of-the-art pipeline.

It’s not just jobs and the property taxes that the pipeline will pay in perpetuity. It’s the energy security. There’s no risk of a Gadhafi-style revolution in Canada.

There’s no need to spend $1 billion on a Pentagon mission to secure Libyan conflict oil, with friendly Canada to the north.

But in some ways, Obama’s decision isn’t surprising. He has adamantly opposed drilling in northeast Alaska, though his own administration estimates that would provide an additional 800,000 barrels a day, almost as much as America imports from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela.

Obama doesn’t much like drilling in the Gulf of Mexico either ­­— his moratorium there caused many deep-water rigs to move to other countries, costing more than 100,000 lost jobs in states like Louisiana, jobs that won’t come back for years.

I cannot fathom how the President is so ignorant of America’s energy and job needs. He continues to ignore the best interests of the Nation he swore to protect. Could it be there is something nefarious afoot in the Obama White House?

The party line was repeated Friday by Obama spokesman Josh Earnest, who declared that supporting projects such as the Argonne National Laboratory, where Obama was touring, is more important to America than petroleum.

The Argonne lab is just outside Obama’s home base of Chicago. Researchers there are working on advancing batteries for electric vehicles. It is part of Obama’s pledge to wean cars and trucks from oil.

The President has as much engineering expertise as I do, and I would wager that he has a lot less understanding of energy. Despite this, he has brazenly urged the establishment of a $2 billion clean energy fund over the next 10 years. How? Obama will redirect royalties the Federal government receives from offshore drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf toward research for electric vehicles, the very cars that I have derided.

Against all reason, the President continues to embrace Green energy while marginalizing Texas tea. He is robbing Peter to pay Judas.

So around and around we go with Obama, our vaulted leader who is in Jerusalem today kicking off his Mideast tour. He proposes to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and ease tensions in a region that sits atop two-thirds of the world’s conventional oil reserves and is on the brink of anarchy.

What Obama either doesn’t understand or understands all too well is that America’s national security needs are tied to petroleum. Without a lifeline from the Canadian oil sands, the inevitable will happen: the Mideast will explode while the U.S. economy, under the yoke of $10 per gallon gasoline, will implode.

In the end, the greatest threat to America may reside inside our borders at the very head of our government.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

*Editor’s Note: Carma Globale reported in 2009 that then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi was driven around Washington in a Chevy Suburban. The website was unable to find out what vehicle she drove.

Obama Is Spoiled Rotten

“Spare the rod, spoil the child.” – Samuel Butler

Last week, Vanity Fair published an adaptation of Zev Chafets’ biography of FOX News President Roger Ailes, in which Ailes described President Barack Obama as “lazy.”

Ailes may be correct in saying that Obama “never worked a day in his life.” Yet I do not believe that the President is lazy. I think Obama was spoiled rotten by his mother and her parents and that he has continued to be spoiled rotten by overly adoring liberals.

The real Obama clearly expressed himself in 2008 when he became exasperated by reporters after a news conference: “Come on! I just answered, like, eight questions.”

Sorry, Obama, for thinking it was anyone’s job to ask you questions.

Obama is the last person in the room to be sorry about anything. (There is plenty to be learned about Obama in Richard Minter’s recent book Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him.)

According to White House records, the President was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 4, 1961. That makes him a member of Generation X, those born between 1960 and 1984.

What makes many of that generation so special is that they are born to baby boomers, who rejected raising their children the way generations of Americans had raised theirs. The baby boom went bust when they overindulged and spoiled their kids.

Raised by a single mother who was taking college classes, our 44th President had zero contact with his father. Instead, he found himself with his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was “finding herself” while traveling the world and continually going to college. When he was 10, Obama’s mother left him with his doting maternal grandparents.

Obama was not spoiled by money but by attention and adulation. One of only a handful of black kids at his high school in Hawaii, he was given extra merit for his intelligence. It seems clear that his grandparents, teachers and fellow students fawned over him, giving him an exaggerated sense of self.

Social scientists say that our basic personality is shaped at an early age. I have found that to be true. If we turn out to be kindhearted, industrious or insolent at 50, our behavior is cemented at a young age. In this regard Obama exhibits the personality of the peevish boy that he was while growing up.

On Jan. 27, New Republic published an interview with Obama.

One question asked was:

It seems as if you’re relying more on executive orders to get around these problems. You’ve done it for gun control, for immigration. Has your view on executive authority changed now that you’ve been president for four years?

Obama responded:

[T]here are certain issues where a judicious use of executive power can move the argument forward or solve problems that are of immediate-enough import that we can’t afford not to do it. And today, just to take an example, the notion that we wouldn’t be collecting information on gun violence just to understand how it happens, why it happens, what might reduce it–that makes no sense. …

Clearly, Obama sees things his way: the way a 5-year-old sees a Tonka truck.

The Telegraph summed up Obama’s leadership qualities:

President Obama sees his re-election as a mandate to continue the very policies that will eventually bankrupt the country unless they are reversed, regardless of huge opposition on Capitol Hill. It chimes closely with the president’s second inaugural address…, which offered absolutely no olive branches to the nearly 61 million Americans who voted for his opponent in November.

It wouldn’t be hard to fill a book on Obama’s self-centeredness. When Neil Armstrong died in August, the President posted a picture of himself looking up at the moon. What should have been a President talking about the greatness of an American hero became another self-aggrandizing moment by Obama.

How Dr. Spock Ruined America

I will wager that Obama never got a spanking. His upbringing is the kind that is on constant display; the baby boomers of my age were bound and determined to never use discipline on their children. Instead, they praised their children as being “special.” When those kids acted up, they begged and pleaded with them to be good.

I was hardly “Father Knows Best.” Most of the credit for the way our children turned out goes to their mother. But I won’t shy away from the fact that I did administer spankings to our kids on rare occasions, just as my parents did with me and my siblings.

Today, our children are 25, 28 and 30 years old. They all have good jobs, live independently and, in their adult years, have thanked me for the discipline they got.

What earned a spanking? A clear example was our eldest. When he was 4 we took him to the Seattle Zoo. As we got to our car, he got this strange look on his face and immediately bolted into traffic. I yelled, “Stop!” He kept going and reached a lane where there was an oncoming car approaching at 30 mph. The fact that I was then young saved his life.

When pregnant with that child my wife read what millions of baby boomers read: Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock, M.D.

If you ever thought Spock was a plethora of knowledge, think again. In 1989, while revising that book, he wrote: “I visited a small private school… with the idea of asking children… what advice to parents they’d like me to incorporate in the forthcoming revision of Baby and Child Care. … In a thoughtful mood, the class was unanimous that parents should not hit their children.”

I am shocked! What is next: recruits in the Marine Corp will say they don’t like PT?

Look around and you can see bratty behavior on display. (Shopping malls come to mind.) And kids don’t grow out of it. I have a friend that consults for a college football team. He tells me that sometimes parents call up the head coach at the university and question him as to why their son isn’t playing more.

There was a CBC TV documentary two years ago about post-baby boomers. It included a segment where parents phoned bosses of their 20-something children to complain that Johnny and Sally were not being treated fairly at work. The program concluded that spoiling children took off with Generation X.

Obama is not the only one in government who was spoiled. The ranks of Congress are also becoming filled with the overindulged and pampered prodigy of the baby boomer generation.

In today’s Congress, there are 115 members who belong to Generation X. While the average age of Congress is high by historical standards, its ranks are being filled by people who did not suffer events like the Great Depression and World War II. I don’t doubt that most of these members are intelligent and capable. I doubt many of them faced much hardship or discipline. They continue to demonstrate that they simply can’t “play nice” with others.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Titanic Trips

It’s just money; it’s made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it… And it’s certainly no different today than it’s ever been. 1637, 1797, 1819, ’37, ’57, ’84, 1901, ’07, ’29, 1937, 1974, 1987 — and whatever we want to call this. It’s all just the same thing over and over; we can’t help ourselves.” — Wall Street CEO John Tuld (played by Jeremy Irons) in the 2011 movie “Margin Call”

A man grabs milk from his fridge. He takes a slug. He says, “Still sour.” He puts the milk back in the fridge.

That sums up my philosophy on investing and pretty much every other human endeavor. People tend to be suckers. How else can you explain why so many of us repeatedly make mistakes that would make a 5-year-old scream, “Stop, stove hot!”?

Not making the same mistakes over and over is something we lose in our teenage years.

As Voltaire observed, “Common sense is not so common.”

A titanic example is the Titanic itself. A year ago, it was announced that a new HMS Titanic — the old one is apparently rusted — is going to set sail in 2016. More than 40,000 people, some willing to pay $1 million, have already signed up for its maiden — whoops, second from maiden — voyage. It sounds like a joke, but Australian billionaire Clive Palmer unveiled his plan to build the Titanic II and add to his “for suckers” assets, which he calls his tourism business.

Palmer said his company Blue Star Line has commissioned the state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build a near replica of the ill-fated Titanic. I say near because I suspect this one will have more lifeboats.

At my age, I, too, am nostalgic. But really, the Titanic? I understand why people might pay a million dollars to fly on a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis. It never crashed. But the Titanic sunk, taking with it the lives of more than 1,500 people. For a century, it has been recognized as one of the pinnacles of human stupidity.

What’s next, a trip on the Hindenburg? I believe thousands of people would sign on for that, too.

Billionaires like Palmer don’t make many mistakes. (It is interesting that most of his wealth is tied to hard assets through his mining empire.) But most of the rest of us do make mistakes.

There is another kind of Titanic that is currently sailing at breakneck speed through iceberg fields. It is called the stock market.

A Constant Rebirth Of Old Pains

My family is no stranger to stock market crashes. In 1929, my father was 17 and was working on the homestead with my grandparents, who had managed to tuck away money with a Calgary feedlot. My grandmother was a tough and skeptical woman, but even she was caught up in the irrational market exuberance that marked the last three years of the 1920s.

According to my uncle, bad news came to their farm in 1930. The feedlot was under foreclosure. When my grandparents arrived in the city, they discovered that one of the largest feedlots in Southern Alberta had been shuttered and permanently closed. They hired a lawyer but to no avail. Creditors during the earliest stages of the Great Depression had foreclosed on the feedlot and taken her and my granddad’s $10,000. That equates to $80,000 in today’s money: a lifetime of savings for my grandparents.

My grandparents owned the land they farmed, so they barely squeezed by during those depression years. But never again would she trust her life to the fortunes of others. She hid cash and was suspicious of banks, a tradition that was passed on to my dad and his children. I know my children don’t share that sentiment because they are willing to buy Big Board stocks even though I have tried to discourage them. I can understand their willingness for risk. I’ve witnessed six bear markets in my time, and they have not experienced any (as of this writing).

My father told me how he remembered the stock market crashing in 1929 and that there was a final washout in 1937. It took four decades for the next bear market to beset U.S. stocks. It is understandable that investors in the early 1970s thought risk had been eliminated from the stock market. What is amazing is that right now investors can’t even remember the crash that happened five years ago.

March Madness

The Dow Jones industrial average’s rise above 14,000 points is incredible when you consider that since President Barack Obama was elected to his first term the Dow was 9,000. In fact, the Dow has climbed 15 percent since Thanksgiving. And the charts also show that the Dow is likely hitting a triple top. The first two were in 2000 and 2007.

American stock prices have not soared on bedrock fundamentals. Consider the following:

  • On Friday, the Federal government was forced to implement its $85 billion “sequester” spending cuts, which are already impacting jobs and confidence in the economy.
  • The unprecedented easing by the Federal Reserve (Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s idea of priming the pump at your house would be to run Niagara Falls over your property).
  • An intractable unemployment rate hovering just below 8 percent or not far from where it was when the Dow started to take off. (Consider the chart below, which shows the price of the Dow measured on the left and the U.S. unemployment rate on the right.)
Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. U.S. Unemployment Rate

How is it even possible that these fundamentals don’t add up? The truth is, it wouldn’t be possible with even a modicum of common sense. This bubble exists because investors have become speculators and are rabid to profit off the last dollar — a dollar whose value, by the way, is eroding considerably each and every year for the past 12 years.

Tripping Point

When I was in my early 20s, I was at a party with all my old friends from high school. One of our buddies thought he could drink with impunity. That was until he stepped around the bar and tripped over an ice chest, falling flat on his face. In the 35 years since, I have never seen him drink in excess again. So there is hope.

On the other hand, Wall Street is nothing right now but excess. My fear is that when Wall Street trips, it is going to take the rest of us down with it.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Driving With The Stars

“If I am your president, the first thing I would put into motion is that 10 years from the day I take office, no new car made in America is run on the internal combustion engine.” — George Clooney as Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Morris, in the 2011 movie “The Ides of March”

Many of the biggest names in Hollywood were out in full force Sunday at the Academy Awards. Many adopt highfalutin causes the way Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children. An important cause among the rich and famous is saving the Earth. Movie moguls’ and stars’ favorite tools for saving the Earth are electric cars, such as those that were on display at Global Green USA’s annual pre-Oscar party.

Lots of B-list stars were on hand at this year’s event, including Ed Begley Jr. from the early 1980s TV show “St. Elsewhere.” Begley arrived in his black Chevy Volt.

Greencarreports.com reported: “Stars and green cars are nothing new–several have admitted to owning Toyota Prius in the past, while others have been spotted in Tesla Roadsters or Fisker Karmas.”

Excuse me, but I don’t like to be lectured how I should live my life from multimillionaires whose abuse of sex and drugs would prohibit their entrance into the gates of Sodom or Gomorrah. Besides, it is much more interesting to learn the opinion of one of the largest car manufacturers, Toyota, than it is to hear drivel from people whose basic job is to look good while pretending to be someone they are not.

Last fall, Toyota cancelled mass production plans of a soon-to-be launched eQ, which was to be a pure-electric variant of the Scion iQ.

“There are many difficulties,” Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s vice chairman, told Reuters in September, breaking ranks with other car companies that, for mostly public relations reasons, feel compelled to build and sell electric vehicles, also known as lemons.

Uchiyamada said, “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

Want a second opinion? Read this story published on Feb. 22 in the National Post under the headline “Electric Vehicles ‘20 To 30 Years’ From Mainstream Use.”

The Post interviewed Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, which outlines future trends for automobile manufacturers.

Rather than just focusing on the fact that batteries still have not come up with a reliable way to move people over any reasonable distance, DesRosiers criticized the lack of infrastructure to recharge electric vehicles while they are on the road.

“It isn’t getting the charging station out there, and it doesn’t matter how sophisticated the charging station infrastructure is,” he told the National Post. “You don’t have the battery technology developed enough to be able to quick-charge in a matter of five or 10 minutes. We could be decades away from that.”

DesRosiers concluded: “You can build a case for electric vehicles, but they’re 20 or 30 years out before they have any sort of volume.”

While DesRosiers is critical of the lack of EV service stations, The New York Times took dead aim at the electric car itself this month in a scathing test drive report. Published on Feb. 8, the headline in the Times read “Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway.”

It took John Broder five times longer to drive the Tesla Model S from Washington, D.C., to Boston than it would have taken him to travel in a conventional car. In addition, the trip was riddled with angst, including technical problems and emergency stops to charge the battery. It ended with the total failure of the car, which had to be put on a flatbed truck (a process made more difficult because the car’s parking brake would not release). Per “Tesla’s range-maximization guidelines,” Broder set the cruise control at 54 mph. The speed limit was 65. The $101,000 car had to go slow because its batteries were seriously running out of juice. Recharge times took up to an hour when Broder was able to find places on his carefully planned trip, which included troubleshooting calls with Tesla technicians in California.

Predictably, there has been a backlash by the Greens, and Tesla went so far as to criticize the driver while vindicating the car. It’s not the car’s fault; it’s the driver’s.

Personally, I do not want to spend a fortune on a car that cannot go as fast as my first car, a 1972 Ford Pinto. Whose genius did this start with? A famous celebrity who has gainfully played the role of President of the United States for the past four years.

Broder reported:

The federal government has invested in the effort to find a solution. Three years ago, Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and secretary of energy, proudly announced a $465 million loan to Tesla as part of an advanced vehicles program intended to cut fossil fuel use and address global warming.

The loan to Tesla would “begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry,” Dr. Chu said.

On Feb. 1, Chu announced that he will not serve a second term as head of the U.S. Department of Energy. Apparently, Chu sees the end of the road is coming for his polices, and he wants a quick getaway. My guess is that he will not be taking it in a Tesla.

And don’t expect President Barack Obama or the first lady and their entourage to be traveling in electric limos. For one thing, such vehicles are too heavy to be moved by a puny electric engine. Even if the horsepower existed, it would not be reliable or safe transportation. They are what the rest of us should drive, however.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Obama: Free At Last

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” — Martin Luther King Jr., at the conclusion of his march on Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 1963

President Barack Obama has a dream, and he made it clear to the Nation a week ago during his State of the Union address. In it, he laid out how it will be manifested in his last term. Obama has four more years to be free at last, four years to dictate his economic and energy visions to the United States.

We are at the cusp of a revolutionary period — a time for Obama to right a ship that he, with his Ivy League idealism, never believed was properly upright. The President will use these years to cement what he believes is his rightful place in history.

But these next four years will reap an economic crisis, planted by the President and from which the only harvest can be the destruction of the U.S. dollar.

Obama’s audacious plans for America’s future were laid out plainly during his State of the Union speech last week.

“Deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan,” he said.

I know the President said this because I was watching Obama’s address with my wife. I asked, “Did he just say what I think he said?” She looked as surprised as me and gave me an affirmative nod.

With the power of the Internet, I understood that evening that indeed neither of us had been dreaming. Instead, the President had been on television sharing his dream for America’s future.

Then, this past weekend, the President gave his weekly radio and Internet address to reaffirm his position that deficits do not matter.

According to Obama, no American who works full-time should live in poverty. He was asking Americans to support his proposals to raise the minimum wage, pass comprehensive immigration reform and incentivize companies to create jobs in the United States. The President clearly believes that the long-term solution to America’s economic problems is more short-term debt. What Obama doesn’t realize is that we are already late in the game.

When I started out writing about the Federal government more than 30 years ago, the Federal debt was just more than $900 billion. I remember my father, who was my publisher at the time, fretting about what $1 trillion in Federal debt would mean for the economy. As it turned out, it meant very little. We blew past that total, then many other milestone numbers. The biggest debt accumulator of all time is Obama.

Continued deficit spending is part of Obama’s dream; but it is a dream I very much doubt that King would endorse, given the increase in poverty to American minorities.

Earlier this month, The Washington Informer stated:

There is nothing wrong with Blacks “having Obama’s back” if we were all enjoying high levels of economic success, but continuing to applaud ineptness is dishonest. Suppose you spend more money this month than your income. To keep going you borrow. The amount you now owe is “debt.” You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you spend more than your income, you must borrow more and still have to pay the interest on your now larger debt. If you keep borrowing eventually you will reach a point where all you can do is pay the interest and not have money left for anything else. This is known as “bankruptcy.”

… It’s time Black Americans ask themselves: “Can these practices go on forever and can we pretend that what has been occurring is “good governance?” Talk about a “racial divide”: Polls show that Blacks and mainstream America view this economic imperative differently. While 96 percent of Black Americans support Obama and his policies, 85 percent of Americans worry that growing deficit spending will hurt their children and grandchildren, and 56 percent think that within the next decade the red ink will spark a major economic crisis.

Since Obama took office, the Federal debt has increased to $16.5 trillion, up from $10.6 trillion when George W. Bush left office.

Yet, according to the President, education, job training and benefits to the elderly should not be sacrificed to reduce the deficit.

So where then is the sacrifice? It seems Obama wants to have his cake and eat it, too: He wants to bankrupt America.

One thing college did not teach Obama is that deficits will matter in the long run. (In fact, we are rapidly approaching the time when they will matter.) Deficits matter because the Federal government is borrowing $5 billion per day to pay its operating expenses, and many of the Treasury auctions are being attended by foreign investors. The last data on a full month was for December; foreigners bought almost $30 billion in Treasury debt. Currently, China and Japan are sitting on $2.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt. And for Obama and the United States to continue to meet its spending plans, it needs these two countries and many others to keep bidding at Treasury auctions.

What happens if investors in Beijing and Tokyo lose confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to deliver back dollars that have “not” lost their worth because of inflation?

The first thing that would happen is that the U.S. bond market would begin to snap, since the United States would be forced to pay higher interest rates to sell its lifeline of debt. Higher interest rates would impact not only the bond market, but the stock market, real estate market and every component of the U.S. economy. In a matter of days or even hours, we could have an economic bust that would make the Crash of 2008 a footnote in history books.

Yet I believe that Obama remains unfazed by the size of the exploding Federal deficit and the resulting whirlwind that will drive interest rates higher and implode the U.S. economy. Either Obama is willfully unaware of the risks facing the Nation or he simply does not care about them. His ultimate economic and political endgame may be known only to him and a few insiders, but I believe he is the most dangerous President America has elected in the past 100 years.

While King revealed his dream for America half a century ago, Obama is just beginning to fully disclose his vision. It is the antithesis of King’s dream. It will not strengthen nor unite a Nation; it will weaken and rip us apart, both blacks and whites. The President’s dream will become the Nation’s nightmare.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

The State Of The Disunion

The State of the Union address last night revealed in Barack Obama a President who has tried and failed to be a healing leader. When first elected, he swore to oversee America’s social reconstruction. He failed. Instead, he has brought about a deterioration of race relations and greater social strain than we have ever witnessed in two generations.

Throw away the accolades, the awards or the vast number of schools and bridges that will doubtlessly be named after him; Obama’s term in office is stirring racial resentments.

Good Leaders Unite People

I disagree with the politics of the Kennedy brothers and the myth of Camelot that is embedded in President John F. Kennedy’s Administration. Yet I believe that Robert F. Kennedy did his utmost to heal a nation during one of the most troubled times in our history.

The best evidence of this is the speech RFK delivered to a mostly black crowd gathered to hear him in Indianapolis on April 4, 1968. RFK had just learned of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.:

I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

… For those of you who are black — considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge…

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

… What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another…

Robert Kennedy was beloved by millions, perhaps because he did not live long enough to meet or to disappoint grand expectations.

You would think Obama would emulate RFK. Both were young Senators in the Democratic Party who campaigned hard for the Presidency. Yet unlike Robert Kennedy, Obama has refused to ease racial tensions and has at times inflamed them.

Obama’s Handy Race Card

In contrast to RFK’s message are two occasions when Obama poured gasoline on already simmering racial fires.

The first was in July 2009 when Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass., by police investigating a possible break-in.

Gates found that the door to his residence was jammed and forced his way through the door, according to The Associated Press. A woman called police, saying she saw “two black males with backpacks on the porch” and that one of them was “wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry.”

When the police arrived, Gates would not come out of the house to talk to them and he refused to explain the circumstances of the apparent break-in. Instead, he became confrontational with police and even initially refused to produce identification.

The Boston Globe reported:

He was booked for disorderly conduct after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to a police report. Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had “no idea who he was messing with,” the report said.

Rather than simply ignore a regional news story, Obama was quick to comment: “Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

Please, Mr. Obama, let’s not forget the facts you openly admit: that you were not there and that you do not know what role, if any, “race” played in that arrest.

After the truth came out (that Gates was abusive and police were doing their job in protecting his property), you might believe that Obama may not be so eager to personalize another news event whose focus was race. If you thought that, you would have been wrong.

More egregious than Obama’s inserting himself into the Gates’ case were his opinions on the tragic death of black teenager Trayvon Martin one year ago.

Not in dispute is the fatal shooting death of Martin by George Zimmerman on the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. The events of that night grabbed the national spotlight. If we learn the truth of what happened that night, it will be in a Florida courtroom — not from the personal opinions of our President.

But that didn’t stop Obama from weighing in on it. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said nearly a month after Martin’s death. “I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us, as Americans, are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

Seriously, Mr. President, if you had a son, he would look like Trayvon? If a non-black said there is a resemblance between Martin and the President, I expect he would be accused of being racist.

Moreover, does the Florida judicial system really need to be lectured by the President to take the young man’s death seriously?

Four More Years Of Racial Unrest

Throughout his first term, Obama did not reconcile racial divisions. He seemed to make them worse.

That was admitted last month by Toni Carter, former deputy mayor of Hanover Park, Ill., who said the African-American community had big expectations that racial tensions would be reduced after Obama was elected. She now believes the country has taken a step backward.

“It seems like a lot more people are (angrier) than they were before,” said Carter, who added that she doesn’t expect any improvement in Obama’s second term.

Good race relations are essential to national unity. A competent President would understand this and not see the country splintered. Instead, Obama seems preoccupied with his immediate political agenda and his future place in history.

T.S. Eliot wrote: “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm–but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves. ”

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Myers’ Energy & Gold Report