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

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend 2008 has just passed and once again we are reminded of the fact we owe our freedom to many brave men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice in wars past and present. Memorial ceremonies were not without distractions. Here in my town we had demonstrators from that supposed "church" group in Kansas that has gone around the country shouting at military burials that God killed our lost ones. Thankfully, a number of biker veterans drove their motorcycles to the ceremony and parked them in a line seperating the demonstrators from the crowd gathered to pay tribute to our veterans across the street in Memorial Park. When the demonstrators started yelling the bikers started up their bikes, revving them up to drown out the demonstrators.

I think I could live a thousand years and never be able to understand people like those demonstrators.

Barack v. Hillary

Hillary Clinton is in process of halting her campaign as her opponent seems to have the required number of delegates to claim their party's nomination. There is a feeling among some that she will seek (demand?) the VP slot on the Democrat ticket thereby assuring a Democrat victory in November. It's difficult to see that happening for several reasons: first, she's still interested in the top spot, not a subordinate role; secondly, like John Nance Gardner once said, "The VP job isn't worth a bucket of spit (he actually used a different 4-letter word)!"; third, she could wield a lot more power as a Senator in a Democrat controlled body and still work toward the top spot in 2012.

Those who are managing Obama's campaign have done a terrific job but now it becomes increaingly more difficult for them. He did not do well in the primaries in the big states he's going to need in November. He still has the matter of the church in Chicago and Rev. Wright hanging over his head and that's not going away very soon. Many will continue to see him as the "Manchurian Candidate"and still too close to Islam. Some Hillary backers will switch their support to Obama, but the number may not be all that great. What Nixon campaigners called the "Silent Majority" have yet to be heard in this campaign. A lot is going to come down to believability when it comes to Obama's success or failure.

Obama v. McCain

There's no question but that Obama has it all over McCain when it comes to smooth rhetoric and delivery of speech. Not so, however, when it comes to experience and programs that make sense. First of all, McCain will not abandon the U.S. Military as Clinton did during his tenure in the White House. Obama wants to pull our troops out of Iraq and he says he would position them elsewhere in the Middle East and/or Europe to standby if needed. If needed for what? No one wants to see our troops have to stay in Iraq indefinetely. McCain will support our effort there until the Iraqis are able to handle the situation largely on their own. He will bring troops out gradually until there is no further need for them with the exception of a few training units to continue training Iraqis at the pleasure of the Iraqi government.

Obama sees himself as a reformer and a "change" agent when it comes to the way things are done in Washingto, D.C. He is yet to detail what he would reform or what he would change. He seems to be close to Hillary on medical care which concerns me very much. If you own or manage a business and like the way government agencies deal with you, you will simply love socialized medicine. We need an energy policy that will reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and at the same time pave the way for renewable alternatives. To do that we must permit the oil companies to drill for oil closer in to Florida's west coast, off the Atlantic and Pacific continental shelves, in ANWR and support research and development on alternative energy sources. So far I get the feeling Obama doesn't see it that way, and that bothers me as well.

McCain has not detailed what he would do on the medical care issue, but rest assured it won't be socialized medicine. I want to hear more from him on energy because he may need some education on the subject. I am specifically concerned about what he plans to do to bring down the spot price of crude oil, to encourage oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific continental shelves, allow more drilling closer to the coast of Florida, and opening up ANWR. I'm also interested in what he plans to do to speed up development of energy alternatives.

Obama is tied to the Democrat party line on taxes which means he would let the Bush tax cuts die, continue the death tax, raise other taxes to pay for his health plan and various nanny state programs. He would likely give serious thought to "windfall profits" taxes to further discourage big oil companies from doing the things they are already doing to bring on more oil and energy alternatives such as fuel cell technology, coal gasification and other technologies.


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