Will oil crisis spark 'civil disobedience'?

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By Robert E. Beckner

No one will argue that the American public has been more than patient when it comes to our government, the oil companies, the futures market, OPEC or speculators or anyone else doing anything to solve our needless oil problems and the resulting exorbitant gasoline prices. Congress talks and debates and the two parties blame each other of not doing what could be done to solve the problem.

Looks like John Q. Public will have to wake them up.

It’s been going on for years, take your choice as to how many. Going back to the ‘70s oil crisis, zero steps were taken to start drilling anywhere to be sure we wouldn’t be put in that position again.

I blame both parties. Republicans will continue to say Democrats have always blocked any legislation put forward to start drilling for oil. They point to 1996 when then President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have opened up the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska for drilling.

Today, both our senators in Florida as well as California are holding America hostage by refusing to allow “off- shore” drilling – 200 miles off – not in sight of any beaches. Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson both voted to deny drilling.

We could debate the subject all day and night and get nowhere. That brings us up-to-date regarding our sorry Congress.

There are no signs they are going to change. They are tied to their environmental friends, which has forced our nation to bow down to the oil gods and pay whatever they demand.

Are you aware American is the third largest oil producer in the world and we could be number one if we would just get to drilling? But this isn’t really about laying blame, it’s to determine if the American public has had enough and is willing to take rather drastic steps; but rumbles are being heard to the effect the public should consider what is called, “civil disobedience.”

Its history is long; people have been putting their lives on the line so to speak, all for the purpose of bringing to authorities their grievances – in this case, one word, “oil.”

I found one of the first instances of “civil disobedience” belongs to women demonstrating for suffragettes. They were fighting for their convictions such as the right to vote, the disenfranchisement as women, unequal divorce laws, a double standard of morals, occupational limitations and denial of educational opportunities.

It was a long hard fight but they got their rights through the 19th Amendment in 1920. In that case it took years but was worth it.

Somewhere in history, African-Americans began using “civil disobedience” to get their rights. They followed individuals such as Martin Luther King, who believed in what they were doing. This type of protest got blacks mostly what they wanted over time.

They blocked city streets, bridges, tunnels and all kinds of areas by using their bodies, by laying or sitting down in those roads or intersections and refusing to leave and ending up being physically carried away by police. It was effective and it worked.

Are today’s citizens of all colors and nationalities and religions willing to sacrifice in this manner to bring our government to its knees? It will take many thousands all across America to be successful. That’s what I keep hearing; that some want to try, so I’m the messenger.

Years ago it was college students who took up the tactics of “civil disobedience” and were successful in closing down college administration buildings and campuses. They didn’t like some professor or his class subject, etc. and hung in there until they got what they wanted.

Then we come to current days and we find illegal immigrants who have broken our laws to get here, actually in our country parading, carrying signs and banners, even flags of their own countries, and demanding rights and benefits and reforms to immigration. The most recent of this type of “civil disobedience” was reported in an AP story on May Day, which appeared to say there is no such thing as an “illegal” alien.

The article called them “undocumented workers.” They even interviewed some of them – they are here on American soil, not legally and they get their names and arguments and positions in the paper, which was to demand citizenship and the end to enforcing the laws that are on our books to stop illegal activity. Clearly a view of liberal media outlets showing their bias and slant on the march.

Is it time for the rest of America to try such a course of action? We are slowly losing our way of life in America, a place where I grew up being taught that the majority ruled – can we actually still say that?

This “civil disobedience” would now apply to our oil problem. It would get people out of their rocking chairs, away from the TV where all they are only interested in “Dancing with the Stars” or “American Idol” or who won the golf tournament or basketball game. They need to focus on something important for a change.

All the major newspapers and TV cover is sleazy or corrupt items that is a form of influence because it contributes to the general cynicism about everything. This column is not intended to be all doom and gloom, actually, it’s intention is to build a fire under some people locally or at least statewide as it sure isn’t coming from D.C., and won’t until they hear loud, long and clear from normal everyday Americans.

What both the left and right overlook is our founders wisdom about limits and dangers of government ee Ed Crane.

Robert E. Beckner lives in Majestic Oaks with his wife, Sarah. He is a retired private investigator and insurance adjuster. He has also been a photographer and served with the Military Police in the Marine Corps.