Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Thing About Oil

Here's the thing: we're running out of oil. For the near-term new drilling isn't going to help; it's going to take years to bring in the first new oil. For the long-term new drilling is just grasping at straws because we're running out of oil. My advice? Get over the oil and get busy on alternatives.

Up in Santa Barbara, which led the charge against off-shore drilling after a nasty spill years ago, the Supervisors want to allow drilling now. The Government (Minerals Management Service of the Dept. of the Interior) estimates there are perhaps 5.7 billion barrels of oil to be had between Point Conception and Mexico, and the folks in Santa Barbara are having Jed Clampett dreams.

The problem is that, according to World Watch, global demand for oil was almost 86 million barrels a day in 2007, over 20 million a day for the U.S. Assuming that it all comes in with no hitches whatever, we're talking about 66 days worth of oil... 275 days if we don't have to share it with anyone else. What are you willing to destroy for nine months of oil? How hard will you fight to keep from sharing it? What will you do next?

Sadly we've become such passive consumers that we're willing to believe that the oil companies know best about oil... like the insurance companies know about health care. They're in the oil business and they know about making money. Remember a few months ago when they found the leaks in the pipeline coming out of Prudhoe Bay? Pipelines need maintenance? Who knew? Supervisor Brooks Firestone thinks technology will prevent a replay of the 1969 spill because he has blinders on.

There are people running for office who are willing to stand watch while international oil sucks the last bit of blood out of every square inch they can get to and then two things are going to happen: that oil is going to get sold to the highest bidder on the world market, and then the biggest shareholders will sell their shares at the top of the market and move on to the next market leaving you on your bicycles with a scorched earth.

Deal with it.

"Armed Men Were No Threat to Obama"

I mean to write a few words about off-shore drilling, but first I have to ask what in the hell is going on in Colorado. Here's a suggestion if we're going to continue the trend away from "nominating conventions" toward coronations: have it in a safe place.

These three knot-heads... meth-heads actually... get busted with rifles, ammunition, body armor, disguise materials... oh, and they're white supremacists... and they confess to a "crude" plan to take advantage of Obama's planned Thursday night acceptance speech at Invesco Field to kill him. What do you think happens? Nope, not in Colorado!

The U.S. Attorney there, a guy named Troy Eid out of Jack Abramoff's old law firm appointed in 2005, says their plan wasn't good enough to succeed so he's just going to file weapons charges. "We're absolutely confident there was no credible threat..."

We live in an environment where if you sit in an airport discussing why "comb" is pronounced one way, "tomb" another way, and "bomb" yet another... yeah, your butt's in the slammer for awhile. Three skinheads blow into Denver with weapons and a dream, and that's just three crazy guys on meth in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Seriously people... no more neo-fascists for a while, okay?

Monday, August 25, 2008

People With Challenged Judgment Running for President

Suddenly there are at least a half dozen things I want to vent about here, but first I think I need to talk about Senator John S. McCain, III. I've given John McCain a pass for the last 35 years because of his experiences as a POW. I think we're past that. John McCain questions Barack Obama's judgment, and it occurs to me that peope in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

I'm not sure what it is about the way McCain dismissed his first wife, Carol, that pisses me off. I'm not a particularly nice person at times, and I've done things I'm not proud of certainly. I can easily see how his life sucked from October, 1967, into March, 1973; but she held up her end keeping a house and raising three kids by herself not knowing if she'd ever see him again. If that's the way he treats a woman like that then how on earth can anyone trust him?

Five Senators were exposed in the Lincoln S&L scandal in 1989; one of them was my Senator, Alan Cranston. Two of them, John McCain and John Glenn, were bulletproof while the other three ended their Senate careers at the end of their terms. Senator McCain was criticized by the Senate Ethics Committee for poor judgment (as was Senator Glenn).

John McCain is supposed to have written "I would very much like to think that I have never been a man whose favor can be bought." Well, he can think anything he wants, but dumping a good woman for an heiress whose father is connected and enjoying the favors of lobbyists and fundraising from them while ostensibly campaigning to limit their access has the taint of corruption.

Senator McCain, I've come to terms with who and what you are. I don't even care anymore whether or not you've boinked Vicki Iseman because it doesn't matter; that's your wife's problem. I question your judgment. Moreover, I question your character.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Millie!

Sending my best wishes to Millie Garfield of My Mom's Blog for a fantastic birthday today, and for many more years of good health and great happiness!
Many thanks for sharing your life with us... and for teaching us a little Yiddish!

Millie, I have enjoyed your efforts.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Word About the Trial at Gitmo

I've said before that the way we treat others, even our enemies, says more about us than about them; we do what we do because of who we are, not because of who they are. The issues of citizenship and territorial boundaries are not mentioned in the Bill of Rights; it's about people and how we, as Americans, treat them.

Yesterday Senator McCain reportedly said, "The fact that the jury did not find Hamdan guilty of all of the charges brought against him demonstrates that the jury weighed the evidence carefully," That's enough? I'm sorry, Senator, but isn't that a little like saying that, because they didn't kill you, the North Vietnamese didn't do so bad?

We're supposed to be the good guys in this picture. I'm not sure that lip service to the Constitution and violation of the Geneva Conventions is the way to go.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

I haven't been having that much fun, but time has gotten away from me.
I did renew my lease here once again, and I've been trying to find a comfortable, productive niche for myself. I've been more active in the local community and training for CERT. I have more Red Cross training on the calendar in the coming weeks.
I've been tinkering with a piece on health care financing issues (I'm certain that the figures being tossed around for Universal Health Care are hugely inflated by corporate interests) but I haven't made the time to put it together.
The 2008 presidential election leaves me wishing for better choices, and California politics... why is it that in this blue state there are no standout Democrats? Is it simply that, with their gerrymandered districts, they don't need to do anything?
Welcome home, Sean at Doc in the Box!