Thursday, April 26, 2012

Radio Days: Podcast from Massachusetts and on the air in Vermont

On Tuesday Morning, Richard Schmidt and I debated Vermont Yankee's future against Michael J. Daley and Jeff Napolitano.  The debate was on WHMP radio, broadcasting from Northampton, Massachusetts.

Today, the podcast of the debate is on-line.  Also, there's a nice photo gallery of the debate.  I will write about this debate more in the future, but right now, I wanted to put up the links and thank WHMP for hosting it.

I can't write more now because I am going to be on the radio again later this morning, this time broadcasting from Waterbury, Vermont. From 11 a..m. to 12 noon, I will be on WDEV(AM 550, FM 96.1).  I will be on the Rob Roper Common Sense Radio Show.  This show is sponsored by the Ethan Allen Institute, which also sponsors the Energy Education Project that I direct.  Rob Roper is also the editor and force behind the web site True North Reports, which is always worth reading.  

3 comments:

Jeff Schmidt said...

In this podcast, there was an argument made, which I've heard repeatedly made by opponents of Vermont Yankee which I feel compelled to address.

The issue is usually framed along the following lines: "If the people of Vermont democratically decide that they don't want nuclear power in their state, why shouldn't they be able to shut down Vermont Yankee?"

The biggest problem I have with this argument is that I believe in freedom, and property. Vermont Yankee is a legal, licensed PRIVATELY OWNED business. In this country, we don't believe in depriving other people of their property, except in limited cases, and then they must be compensated.

I don't actually see anyone proposing the use of eminent domain to *buy* Vermont Yankee off of Entergy. No, they just want to deprive Entergy of the use of their property (the nuclear power plant), with no compensation.

Additionally, since when do we, in this nation, hold a VOTE on individual businesses? What's next? A community or state decides they don't like black businesses, so they vote to shut them down? Don't like a gay business, let's vote to shut it down? Don't like a business owned by supporters of your political rivals, so after you win the election, you hold a vote in the State Senate to shut it down?

We do not vote on the fate of individual businesses. That is against everything the American Constitution stands for.

The State of Vermont has no democratic right to shut down a legal business. There is a limit to democracy, or else democracy can become as totalitarian as any other form of government, at least with respect to minorities.

Rod Adams said...

@Jeff - my feelings exactly. The US is a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law, not the rule of mobs. Certainly individuals have the right to petition their government, to organize and to vote. After all is said and done, however, our most fundamental principles include fairness, limits to the power of government, and protection of private property.

I also found myself wanting to ask the Vermonters why they preferred importing power from Canada to buying it from a company headquarter in the US state of Louisiana.

Meredith Angwin said...

Jeff and Rod.

When Daley was speaking about the "democratic right" to close down Vermont Yankee, I also thought of mob rule. As a matter of fact, I wanted to ask him if he had ever read the book "The Oxbow Incident" about a very democratically-decided lynching. Of course, I had no chance to say this, and it might not have been the best thing to say anyway.

Now, I am aware of the fallacy of reductio-ad-Hilterum. This fallacy is the knee-jerk statement that your opponents are "behaving just like the Nazis"! On the other hand, the constant demonization of Louisiana ownership of the plant gets to me. Recently, Shumlin said something like "send them home." in the middle of a speech about standing up to Entergy Louisiana. The quote is in the video clip of the April 14 rally on my web.

So...here comes reductio-ad, and I know I can be accused of doing it. How far are these anti-Louisiana statements from the anti-Jewish ownership statements that Hitler made? How far is this whole Louisiana ownership thing from Kristallnacht?

In practice, of course, Shumlin versus Entergy is very far from Hitler, and Kristallnacht will not happen in America. In its rhetorical basis, alas, the Louisiana hatred, the shut-it-down-we-don't-want-it-here stuff is closer to Nazi reasoning than I would like it to be.