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

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It was announced this morning (December 27, 2007) that two-time former Prime Minister Benizir Bhutto was assinated at a rally in her native country. She had been in exile until October when she came back to the country to campaign in scheduled upcoming elections. She had been a proponent of democracy for her countrymen but was strongly opposed by the current leader, General Musharraf. The latter immediately claimed Bhutto was killed by al-Qaeda terrorists not aligned with him. Bush called for those who committed the act to be brought to justice, making no mention of the current Pakistan leader. There appears to be some confusion over how she died. Initial reports said she was shot in the head and neck, but reports a day later said she was not shot, that she struck her head on the vehicle she was in after the rally. Meanwhile, the election that was to occur shortly after Bhutto's death was postponed to February.

Pakistan poses serious problems for us and the Middle East. Instability there raises great concern about the security of their nuclear weapons and the nearby presence of Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. I find it difficult to trust Musharraf or anyone else in that part of the world. He has done nothing to remove al-Qaeda and Bin Laden from his country.

U.S. Politics

The primary election season is moving into high gear, now. The battle between Barak Obama and Hilliary Clinton is now joined. In my view, however, it still looks like Clinton will take the Democrat nomination. Over on the GOP side, I see the battle coming down to Romney and McCain. Romney will win that battle unless the picture in Iraq suddenly worsens making a military veteran like McCain the better candidate. Obama will be Clinton's running mate and Fred Thompson will be the GOP running mate.

The Economy

It's looking more and more like we are heading into a recession. The only question is how deep and how long it will last? The busted housing market and the subprime mortgage market collapse started the downward spiral and it is spreading from there. Smart business owners and managers are tightening their belts by cutting expenses and consolidating operations. Unfortunately, that means layoffs and reduced purchasing, further dampening the economy. As much as Congress is feverously considering ways to put a spark back into the economy, whatever they do won't solve the problem long term.

The long-term solution must begin with a working off of inventories. Automobile lots are choked with new and used vehicles; boat dealer lots and waterfronts are equally choked with new and used boats. There is a clear surplus of single-family residences for sale in many parts of the country, and the same can be said for vacant apartments and condominiums. Vacancies are increasing in retail store malls and strip shopping centers. Reducing such inventories isn't going to happen overnight. It's going to take up to two years or more in some sections of the country.