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Technocrat James Schlesinger Is Dead At 85

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the and-so-shall-he-remain dept.

The Military 33

mdsolar (1045926) writes "James Schlesinger, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Nixon and Ford and as the first Secretary of Energy under President Carter, passed away on Thursday in Baltimore at the age of 85. Schlesinger is perhaps the most technocratic person to reach such high office. He had a keen awareness of the connection between energy supply and national defense and as Administrator of the Economic Regulatory Administration, brought our Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan into existence. The existence of such a plan along with our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which Schlesinger also brought into being, have been a bulwark against further oil embargoes and essentially broke OPEC for a period of more than a decade. The NYT has an obituary that covers more of his career."

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Ha ha, seriously? (-1, Troll)

russotto (537200) | about 9 months ago | (#46607251)

No, he didn't break OPEC. He nearly broke the US, though; his plans resulted in manufactured shortages of gasoline and sky-high (for the time) prices.

Re:Ha ha, seriously? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607311)

No, he didn't break OPEC. He nearly broke the US, though; his plans resulted in manufactured shortages of gasoline and sky-high (for the time) prices.

Sure, the oil embargo had nothing to do with petty middle eastern retaliation for U.S. support of Israel and everything to do with James Schlesinger. Right.

Re:Ha ha, seriously? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46607787)

Sure, economic retaliation against a nation far too powerful to retaliate against militarily is petty. Right.

Re:Ha ha, seriously? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#46608947)

Sure, economic retaliation against a nation far too powerful to retaliate against militarily is petty. Right.

Little country do what big country say! The World is a playground.

And then Reagan fucked it all up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607353)

Along with the rest of the USA. Start with deregulating banks, and proceed from there to here.

Re:And then Reagan fucked it all up. (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46607535)

Its bad form to put your post in the subject but i think you should know it was Carter that deregulated the banks. He worked eith the democrat controlled congress to pass into law the depository institutions deregulatiom and monitary sometjing act in 1980 before Reagan took office.

  So lets proced from there if you still pretend outrage.

nobody gives a shit you fucking usless shitbag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607595)

Seriously, nobody really does. Now get the dick out of your ass and take another suppository.

Re:nobody gives a shit you fucking usless shitbag (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 9 months ago | (#46608117)

Exactly! Nobody gives a carp, which is why I am not even going to post a comment.

Re: And then Reagan fucked it all up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46608477)

Carter started most of the de-regulation of transportation that Reagan completed.

Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46608841)

This is what is known as a true inconvenient truth.

At least you knew who he was. (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#46607383)

He always spoke his mind, and certainly due in large part to that attribute, was fired from two of his three Cabinet posts.

He committed mutiny during the last breaths of the Nixon administration when he notified the military not to take orders from the White House, particularly those with a nuclear tint, when he became concerned with Dick's erratic behavior... and he prepared for troops to enter Washington in case the succession to Ford didn't go smoothly.

I'm just simple, but give me a man of differing viewpoints who is candidly sincere about who he is versus an ally who takes fake to new levels...it becomes a monolemma.

Re:At least you knew who he was. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46608741)

Nixon was a stand up kinda guy in comparison to what we've dealt with in the past three or four administrations.

I met Schlesinger in 1976 (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 9 months ago | (#46607423)

He was a very bright man.

Re:I met Schlesinger in 1976 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607475)

Meh. I had lunch with Robert McNamara and kissed Jeane Kirkpatrick. So there.

Re:I met Schlesinger in 1976 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607485)

He was a very bright man.

No, he wasn't bright [the-brights.net] , he was religious.
His personal beliefs flavored his politics - the worst sort.

Fa1lzors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607491)

you all is to Let (7000+1400+700)*4

Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan dated 1980 (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 9 months ago | (#46607499)

"A priority classification, including, for example, national security, newspaper distribution, rental vehicles, agriculture and for hire mail and small parcel transportation and delivery, is established to assure adequate gasoline supplies for designated essential services."
http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/12000/1... [bts.gov]

Newpapers and mail aren't what they used to be, if you need gas you rent a car(?); this need to be updated.

(California 1973 sit in line every other day for gas veteran)

Re:Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan dated 1980 (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 9 months ago | (#46608977)

I agree that we've let that lapse. The President is supposed to appoint an Administrator for the Economic Regulatory Administration, but Reagan didn't and no one else has since. It is too bad too. The State Department is handing cross border pipelines, which is not really their area. It is supposed to be the Economic Regulatory Administration that does that. http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc... [cornell.edu]

How can a man be technocratic? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 9 months ago | (#46607813)

A government can be technocratic, but how can a man? Technically competent maybe. Or technically respectful (selects advisers based on technical ability), but technocratic?

Hmm, okay, double checked the definition - Wikipedia says "A technocrat has come to mean either 'a member of a powerful technical elite', or 'someone who advocates the supremacy of technical experts' ". I suppose the second definition could apply in this case.

Re:How can a man be technocratic? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 9 months ago | (#46608997)

The Technocracy Movement was over in the 1930s really but it has some ongoing echos such as Peak Oil theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

I could've sworn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46607853)

that Schlesinger rated a mention in REM's "It's the end of the world as we know it (but I feel fine)"

But it doesn't show up on google.... sorry James, RIP.

An OG (1)

fred911 (83970) | about 9 months ago | (#46608141)

Economic hitman.

Oil Embargo? Please! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#46608165)

Nothing but an argument over price, and a devaluation of the dollar in the market two years after removing the gold standard. Old stock had to be used up before they could bring the new prices to market. It's an accounting thing. And I do believe it happened again in '79. This whole OPEC thing was a ruse. And the "strategic" reserve is just the government propping up the market, a bailout of sorts, kinda like government cheese.

"....essentially broke OPEC..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46608379)

"...our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which Schlesinger also brought into being, have been a bulwark against further oil embargoes and essentially broke OPEC for a period of more than a decade. .."

Although those have probably been factors in "breaking OPEC," there may have been other factors. Amory Lovins around 15 years ago pointed out the following. If you make a graph showing US energy consumption in the last century, you have a fairly evenly rising line from the early part of the century right up to the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo. After that, the line is almost flat up to circa 1990, when in slowly started to rise again. The 1973 embargo shocked the US. One of the ways the US responded was to go on a conservation binge. From individuals installing weather proofing of their homes to large companies cutting back on lighting, to Governor Jerry Brown of California in the 1970's requiring all new State Buildings to have passive energy conservation methods, to people buying cars with improved mph, etc. This behavior continued for almost 20 years, and then with time people forgot, and started buying SUV's etc. Even though Saint Regan ripped out the solar energy system Carter had installed on the White House and cut the Federal Budget on alternative energy, the shock of 1973 stayed. (Early wind generators suffered from mechanical failures from changing wind speeds. The US Government funded research to invent better technology. Not only did Reagan's administration stop the funding, they locked up the inventions from public view for over a decade!) Energy costs real money and not using it when you can is one way to react.

So, the US reacted, but then OPEC, and largely the Saudi's reacted. They realized that big shocks oil pricing and/or availability would result in effective counter behavior. Since then they have not done any total embargos or major price hikes. They done both, but at a 'tolerable' level or duration where they could gain a benefit but not create a motivation to "break free" from reliance on their oil.

Now, with the rise of Asian and South American markets for oil, they have other places to sell.

Again, I'm not saying his actions were not wise, and they did provide a buffer for the US from oil price fluctuations and available supply, but the original poster may have overstated the effect.

===
Interesting about his actions during the end of Nixon's Rein of Terror. I'll have to read up on that.
===
I'm not an anonymous coward. For one thing, the NSA knows who I am anyway. Mostly though, I'm lazy, too lazy to register. And, frankly, why should I trust /.? I don't trust Google, Microsquash, or the PTA with my info.

Re:"....essentially broke OPEC..." (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46608971)

Wow, your post sounds like a partisan troll or an idiot repeating the rantings of one.

First, Reagan ripped the pannels off in order to repair the roof under them- most likely damages and having its working life reduced because of them. Second the pannels were rediculously expensive so in an era of deficit spending not putting them back made sense regardless of how many people were laughing at them. Finally, they didn't produce electricity, they heated water and not very well. We would have to wait untill Bush (g.w) was in office before we got anything cost effective or efficient installed.

The same can be said about funding too. But Jesus- how much more needs speny. I mean solar has been around since yhe 1800s and wind was the primary source of electricity in the west until the 50s. You act as if none of this existed before Carter and Reagan tried to hide it ot something.

Tell me, with such a biased bent view, why should anything else you said be taken seriously? I mean for all we know, your entire post is a troll.

Re:"....essentially broke OPEC..." (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 9 months ago | (#46609143)

I would mod the GP +1 Interesting, and your post -1 Redundant.

Re:"....essentially broke OPEC..." (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46610181)

Then you would be proving to the world how much of a biasef idiot you are who abuses mod points because of political dreams not based in reality.

Wait, you just did that.Well, now we know and as GI Joe used to say, knowing is half the battle.

Re:"....essentially broke OPEC..." (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46609241)

by Anonymous Coward
[...]
I'm not an anonymous coward.

Yes, yes you are. It says so right at the top of your comment.

For one thing, the NSA knows who I am anyway.

HA HA! HA! I'm slapping my knee here. But we still have every reason to believe that you are cowardly.

Mostly though, I'm lazy, too lazy to register. And, frankly, why should I trust /.?

No one is asking you to trust Slashdot with anything more than a potentially throwaway email address. All we want is confirmation that the person we were talking to yesterday is the person we're talking to today. If you're too lazy to register, are you too lazy to think or to do proper research? Who knows, there may be no correlation, but it seems suspicious.

Nobel != technocatic (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 9 months ago | (#46608737)

Steven Chu was just recently in that post, and he is a Nobel laureate. Could this mean that "technocratic" has nothing to do with anything (except, possibly, someone on the net trying to get more page views)?

Re:Nobel != technocatic (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 9 months ago | (#46609913)

Technocracy was a political movement. The idea was that people educated in technical fields could do a better job running things than people who did politics for a living. Schlesinger falls into their ranks mostly by being omnicompetent and dismissive of politicians when they were flaunting ignorance.

You can say what you want about his politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46609119)

But he was a dedicated public servant who put forth a consistent effort in that service to achieve his vision of a world order that resulted in greater peace. Whether on the right or left, the elitist or the anarchist schools of thought, we should be lucky to have another in our lifetimes as committed to the end goal of a more secure and peaceful planet.

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