We were enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon. My son was following up on his college picks from Saturday. My daughter was watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie. My wife was napping on the couch, trying to make up for that lost hour of sleep. And I was working my way through the last chapter of Blue Highways (about 30 pages to go). Then the phone rang. Not unusual for a Sunday afternoon; it typically is for my wife and involves youth group that evening.
I answered and immediately knew I was the recipient of a computer-generated call. I hesitated to disconnect and I'm glad that I did......because if I had, my name would have been added to the list of individuals who support the Keystone Pipeline. By "pressing any key" my support for the pipeline would be made known to my congressmen. Any key?
Taking that literally, and bothered more by the special interest group behind the promotion of the pipeline than the pipeline itself, I thought to myself-I wonder if by disconnecting that would put my name on the suck more oil roster?
|I thought this was revealing.|
So, I stayed on the line. Actually I was hoping at some point, long after the message ended, an operator would come on and ask me to disconnect. Instead the message repeated itself. I continued to stay on the line and stood firm in not pressing any key. A long pause after the message played the second time....a longer pause than after the first. Then the message repeated itself a third time. I was thinking to myself "ingenious". This special interest group has figured out how to create a huge support list just by calling my number because they have you either way: if you support it-you would press a key, if you didn't support it-you would disconnect. Brilliantly dishonest.
The message ended its third run. A long pause. And then I received the sound that they had disconnected. I can only assume that since I didn't press any key that my name will not show up on their list of individuals who demand from Secretary Kerry his support of the pipeline.
Does this kind of crap bother anyone else? Regardless of whether or not you support the pipeline-does it bother you that large oil companies are pumping huge dollars into these political action committees to mislead the American public into thinking that by supporting such things we'll actually decrease our 1) dependence on foreign oil or 2) decrease cost at the pump? Because both have been shown to be unaffected by more supply in the U.S. In fact, oil companies are wanting to increase domestic production in order to boost their exports to foreign countries, and consequently, boost their profits. They've admitted it won't affect gas prices.
I'm somewhat indifferent about the pipeline. It has marginal benefit to the U.S. economy, and certainly less than what could be expected if we invested in alternative energy sources. But its not about the good of the country, it's about oil company stock value. I've been a firm believer and ardent proponent of curbing demand for oil as the answer to our dependence on foreign oil and the effects of additional exploration in the United States. But see, that's not a popular position to take......we are the polar opposite of true conservatism in this country when it comes to the promotion of consumption. After 9/11 what were we encouraged to do? That's right-spend more. When the economy started to tank in 2007, President Bush gave every family a chunk of cash in hopes that we would spend it. Instead we paid down our debt and he decided he wasn't going to try that again.
We have an economy, really a society, under-girded by over-consumption. If government debt bothers you, realize that it is only a reflection of our own personal debt. And like a house of cards, the slightest disturbance could cause it to all fall down. I guess that diatribe is for another post.
So, who else got that call yesterday? Was it only because my name shows up on a Republican primary voters' list?