Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In an earlier post the subject of petroleum reserves was discussed. More recent reports touch on the same issue note that "peak" reserves which was earlier reported to occur about now, will not be reached until 2030 if then. The fact is, the proven reserve number goes up with every new significant oil discovery. At least, that has been the case in the past and there is every indication it will continue to be the case for awhile longer. Still, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. It remains essential that we (1) continue searching for new reserves; and (2) press development of viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

On the political side of things, I noted with deep concern the news that the superintendent of schools in San Francisco has ruled that JROTC units be removed from all high school campuses in the system. The reason given is that parents have raised objections to the units being used to recruit their children for service in the U.S. military. Liberals have fought the presence of ROTC on college campuses going back to the Vietnam war, now they want them off high school campuses as well. Are they afraid their children may show some courage and begin believing again that we can never stop fighting to defend our freedom and that of others in this world?

And how do the liberals think leadership skills are acquired? Leaders are not born with the needed skills to lead. Effective leaders learn first how to follow and once they have learned how to take orders, they are ready to begin learning the skills of leadership. It is possible to learn such skills as a member of student organizations, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and others, but none do a better job than military-oriented units like JROTC, the Junior American Legion and ROTC. So, by closing down JROTC units in San Francisco high schools, liberals have cut off one more avenue young people can follow to becoming leaders.

Effective leaders understand the value of team work and what it takes to build a team. They are flexible in selecting a leadership style appropriate for the situation involved. There are many factors to consider in leading and that's the reason its a learning process, not something anyone is born with.

Another thing about the ROTC is that the program has produced more officers for the various services than all of the military academies combined. But that is something liberals, in their woolly way of seeing life, choose to ignore.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Now that the 2006 elections are over except for some possible recounts in Montana and Virginia, it's time to begin Monday morning quarterbacking. Clearly, the election swung on the issue of Iraq and the administration's handling of the war. A few outcomes were the results of alleged corruption and moral misbehavior, but they alone would never have produced the ultimate result. No doubt the Rumsfeld resignation was a direct result of the primary cause of the Democrat victories. I believe the move was unfortunate but politically the thing to do. Had it occurred amonth or so earlier, the GOP might have held on to their majorities in Congress. Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld has served this nation well, and along with Cheney, has sacrificed greatly in the process. What happens now is the question.

I would like to think that the Democrat leadership will come to understand the true importance of the war in Iraq and the larger battle against terrorism being carried out by Islamic extremists. If they do, I believe much can be done to win the day in Iraq and bring about unity in the larger struggle remaining ahead of us.

I would also like to think that we will come together on domestic issues such as tax reform, social security reform and health care. That won't be an easy task with strong left-leaning Nancy Pelosi as House Leader and equally strong leftists Rangell, Conyers and Waxman heading up key House committees. It won't be any easier over on the Senate side with Reid & Co. in charge. As a result I see little good coming from the 110th Congress.

I don't know much about Rumsfeld's replacement except that he has been working on the Iraq study committee which is due to render its report to Bush very soon. Clearly, the secular battle going on between the Sunnis and Shiites is not going to stop no matter what we do to prepare to leave the country. The present Iraqi government is not ready to go it alone should we leave precipitously. They may never be ready completely, but the time will come for them to try without us. Biden has said we should help them set up three separate states, one for each of the major sects ... Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. It sounds good initially, but would that stop the fighting or would they continue battling at their borders ? I suspect the latter.

Looking ahead to 2008, there is no doubt now that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat candidate for President. She started her campaign months ago. I haven't trusted the lady ever since her attempt to reform medical care in this country with a single payer (government) health plan. Not once did she consult with those service providers and administrators who would have to live with whatever program she came up with. I also see a deep seated meaness in her eyes and I don't believe she has any fondness for men. I don't know who will be her running mate and it doesn't matter at this time anyway.

The GOP has a healthy stable of potential candidates to draw from that includes McCain, Guiliani, Romney and Jeb Bush among others. I would add Condi Rice to that list but she needs more direct political experience. She would make an excellent running mate for any of the aforementioned men and then move to head the ticket in 2012 or 2016. It's going to be an interesting 2 years.