The Lowe Down

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Chan Lowe: Gadhafi and fuel prices


This is what the Japanese dared to start a war over, back when they created the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in the 1930s.

Since the island nation lacked raw materials of its own, it determined that it was of vital national interest never to let its economy be held hostage to a shortage of natural resources and commodities.

Japan’s methodology in subjugating and brutalizing the peoples of a vast region was contemptible, but at times like these we can certainly appreciate her motives.

We like to think of ourselves as the most powerful nation on earth, yet our fragile economic recovery risks being strangled by, of all things, the reluctance of a semi-obscure North African madman to vacate his seat of power. Every day that he counterattacks and digs in is an extra day of turbulence and uncertainly in the world’s oil futures markets, with direct consequences to the prices of everything we consume here at home.

One could not blame the average American taxpayer for questioning the expenditure of so much of our treasure on the greatest defense machine in the history of mankind if we remain so vulnerable to discrete events in far-flung places.

One way out of this mess is to begin thinking of “national defense spending ” as something other than a series of jobs programs for defense workers scattered throughout a collection of congressional districts.

Hard as it might be for our representatives in Washington to get their minds around this, the fact is that every dollar spent on energy independence is a dollar we don’t have to spend worrying about keeping our oil supply lines open.

It’s up to us to educate our politicians that a salary earned by a voter manufacturing, say, photovoltaic cells consists of the same legal tender as a salary earned building tanks or bombers.

Categories: Economy (197), International (86), Middle East (28)
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We truly have a global economy. Today we are worried about oil, tomorrow it will be some other resource vital to our lifestyle or economic well being. The key is not so much to reduce our dependency on oil but rather to learn how to deal with the loons who take actions to put the flow of vital resources at risk. For this we need a strong President. Obama is again presenting a weak image to the world, particularly to the Middle East and North Africa. The people of Libya are fighting to rid themselves of a repressive, crazy leader. The Obama administration is clueless when it needs to be decisive. They dropped the ball in Egypt, now they are letting people get slaughtered in Libya. Neither Reagan, 41 or 43 would have allowed this situation to spin out of control. A great opportunity to create a new balance is being lost by an inability to take meaningful action.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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