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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


President-Elect Obama has moved with deliberate speed to put together his cabinet and other key advisors and President Bush is seeing to it that he is kept current on everything of importance that he will inherit. So far his appointments seem to be near the political center as opposedto the radical left of the Democrat Party. Still, he's going to bear watching as many of his campaign promises run contrary to what is the likely center-right position of the country.

The Economy

Most experts now say we are "technically" in a recession. From my viewpoint, we've been in a recession for at least a year. A few of those so-called "experts" are forecasting a turnaround by year-end 2010. Meanwhile, bright spots are just about impossible to find. Christmas shopping sales are way down as is almost every other business activity. Having experienced the Great Depression, the current situation makes me mindful of those times. If we don't do things right to turn the current situation around, we could easily slip into a depression.

Current focus is on the Big3 auto companies. In its infinite wisdom, the government will try to bail them out which I am absolutely opposed to. It won't make our lives any easier but I favor Chapter 11 for all three of them. That would give them the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. They could proceed without having to kowtow to the United Auto Workers Union at whose feet much of the industry problem lies. The rest of the problem lies in lousy management. The court could lay down some strict rules among which should be a sharp curtailment in executive compensation and a moratorium on any attempts to unionize the workforce. Should the UAW be allowed to seek representation (and there are many who believe they shouldn't) at some point in the future, the "card check" system should be disallowed in favor of voter privacy and any election must be supervised by objective overseers.

Big3 executives bemoan the fact that several million jobs would be affected, not just the autoworkers; suppliers of parts and dealers and their employees would be impacted as well.

If restructuring of the Big3 is done properly with deliberate speed and in close cooperation with their suppliers and dealers, any adverse impact should not last long. Suppliers and dealers should use the restructuring period before operations recommence to look at there own structure and operations for improvement.

Executive Compensation

Executives in all major corporations need to take note of the Big3 situation. They need to do lots of soul searching about their own companies, their dealings with trade unions and what they agree to, and their own compensation levels and benefits. As I have noted in previous posts, not only is the absolute level of their compensation excessive in many cases, the gap between what they make and what the average hourly worker in their companies makes continues to increase beyond reason. Shareholders should keep the feet of the executives to the fire.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Post-2008 General Election

This is being started on Election Day 2008 and it assumes Barack Hussein Obama will win the election.

Reconstruction of the Republican Party

The GOP has moved too close to the political center. It should never accept being a twin of the Democrat Party which has moved toward the center as well. This has reduced our elections to little more than popularity contests. Lost is the conservatism inherent in drafting the original Constitution and which was at the core of the early GOP. The party needs a thorough overhaul to get it back to being the party of conservatism and stressing the rights of the individual.

The NEW party must not be lured into accepting socialism in any of its forms, be it single payer health plans, grade advancement and graduation standards in our public schools or welfare programs that only serve to expand the Democrat Party control over perpetual welfare recipients and their voting habits.

The NEW party must do all it can to protect our 2d amendment rights and maintain a strong military force capable of conducting state of the art warfare and defending the country against all enemies.

Future Candidates for Offices at all Levels

John McCain and Sarah Palin fought a good fight but once the economy plummeted their goose was cooked. Most likely, McCain will not pursue the Presidency again, but Palin is still young enough to make more than one run at it. Some have said she became a drag on the ticket, but I disagree. I think she could make a serious run, given a few caveats. If she wants any national office, she'd be well advised to do it from a home in the lower 48. Alaska is a beautiful place but it's too remote from the national scene for a person who needs to remain on the radar screen.

Mitt Romney is still a possibility to run for the White House in 2012 as is Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush. I would like to see Newt Gingrich get back into office as well and there are others who will rise up in the next two years.

The Bailout

I did not support the bailout voted into law by Congress just prior to the General Election. All it has done is help people undeserving of such help and nothing to discourage those who had their hands in the cookie jar at Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac, Wall Street financial institutions, etc. Among those with hands in the jar were some members of Congress, i.e. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank et al.

Now the Big 3 automakers---Ford, GM and Chrysler---want a bailout which I also oppose. It would be far better off for the nation longer term for them to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy under which they could reorganize, streamline their operations, and get out from under an onerous employee/retiree benefits expense that has made them noncompetitive in the USA market place. I don't think our tax money should go to shore up the UAW. Supporters of a Big3 bailout harp on the idea that many thousands of jobs depend on the auto industry and would be hurt if the Big3 went into Chapter 11. The ancillary workers would lose some benefits but would keep their jobs once the current mess is removed.

I believe one of the major benefits that will come out of the current situation is that thinking people will come to see the folly of unionism and the economic damage they have caused us all. But that is not enough. They will also see that management is not without blame. Managements of the Big3 not only acquiesced to UAW demands on retirement and other benefit plans, they flat out refused to understand what foreign manufacturers were doing to them in the market place. While they continued to make gas guzzling monsters, the foreigners were building less expensive, higher fuel efficieant vehicles which were growing in appeal to many Americans.