Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's Get Real Mr President

Sometimes I feel when watching the morning news that I am in some sort of alternate universe where one and one add up to three but only on a Wednesday afternoon when it rains. No doubt, there is not an American who does not cringe when the news comes on and tells us all how many more 100s of thousands of barrels of oil have leaked out of the well that is clearly almost to deep for anyone to deal with including BP and the US government (Obama's boffins included).

Here's my confusion. My understanding is that BP is drilling a mile below the surface of the ocean because that is the only place they can drill. The reason for this is that no one wants to drill in Alaska and other locations right? The argument against drilling in these places is that the environmental damage would be to great. Right now, we have environmental damage that is making the Exxon Valdez look like an oil can was leaking. We are going to be cleaning this one up for years and it's doubtful in my mind if the shorelines of some states will ever recover along with thousands of jobs (remember, the pesky thing that the president says he is also concerned with).

Now when someone makes a decision they must weight the benefits and concerns. Clearly, the risk of drilling one mile below the ocean has farm more potential to cause ecological harm than does drilling in Alaska. If I am wrong I would love someone to rationally explain why this is not true.

Also realize that the current philosophy of the country is that government is good and very effective. Really? I thought there were regulators that looked after things like, I don't know, maybe drilling in locations one mile under the ocean. I guess the president and the beloved US government was just a few graduates of our wonderful liberal education institutions short when the committee was put together on why it's not a good idea to drill in a place that resembles the movie the Abyss.

Now the president's solution gets me even more angry if that were possible. Stop drilling offshore. Really Mr. president. Did you not get your breakfast or that first cut of coffee this morning? The problem is not drilling offshore the problem is drilling a mile under the sea. Get it Mr. President? I guess not. There is a difference. Have someone introduce you to the concept of distance. Start with a ruler.

Now the solution. Take a large number of US dollars and funnel them into other nations because their GNP is not as large and call this cap and trade. Simple economic fact Mr. President. Perhaps you can have those boffins take a course in economics 101. Any economy in the modern world needs energy and the primary source of this energy is oil. Having a large GNP (which by the way employs people) means needing oil.

Now the green solution. Look, I don't want to live in an industrial bucket of waste any more than the next guy. I don't! But we have to be realistic. Having a bunch of windmills off the coast right now or having a bunch of solar panels is not even going to come close to powering a city like New York let alone the rest of the country. Should we put money into these technologies? Absolutely! And I really do hope that the day will come when they make it realistic to use them to power our cities but we are not there yet and any amount of dreaming and theorizing is not going to make it happen.

There is however a solution. It's called a nuclear reactor Mr. President. They have lots of them in France to the point where France exports energy and no one in France glows in the dark. Truth is, that safeguards can be put in place that will work a lot better than the safeguards, or lack of them, that have turned the US into a oil spill.

I know, I'm bad because I am not green and I have insulted our poor president with some inconvenient truths but I guess I need to understand more about how complex this world is and yes, one a Wednesday afternoon, after it rains, one plus one really does add up to three. Believe that, and you will believe that Al Gore conserves energy in his personal life.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reason and Politics

I rarely post anything on politics because I find that people tend to get angry when discussing politics and I really am not into anger, it gives me heartburn. I prefer the more pleasant side of discussing music where it seems that usually, people can agree to disagree on musical tastes a bit more easily than politics.

None the less, I read tweet just this morning that expressed great anger than somebody would criticize president Obama over his handing of the BP oil spill. Many others have gotten angry over Tea Party people calling them terrorists. Why all this anger?

I suppose many would call me a radical as well for my conservative political views but let me make then as clear as possible.

First, I don't see capitalism as always a good thing but the problem in many ways with the world is not capitalism but greed. Frankly, those like Michael Moore who long to call one another comrade should simply read up on the cultural revolution of China and the killing fields in Cambodia of Pol Pot or many other such atrocities. Frankly, I will take greedy CEOs any day to that nightmare.

My position is rather simple. It's good for people to create. Early 20th century capitalism was born of many people who wanted to make the world better by making good things. The problem is that the things and the money became to the focus. If it helps a person to make it home quicker by driving a car rather than riding a horse, so they can be with their families, great! This is a good thing and this is what capitalism has brought to the world.

But if the kids are all in electronic la la land watching some video game that involves killing the most people in the shortest period of time (granted only cyber people) and mom and dad both work and want to make more money to get a bigger house to put more things in rather than spending time with their kids who have a cyber baby sitter, then sure, something is wrong in the land of capitalism.

Bottom line. I don't believe capitalism needs fixing as much as how we use it. Good products are not evil but if they change our lifestyles in a negative way then we need to reexamine how we do things. However, goverment can't change this but only people. Better for the kids to have a bike or go play baseball then to be glued to the TV and better for mom and dad to make less money and be able to spend more time with the kids. I guess this makes me a dangerous radical conservative because I would rather have the kids and mom and dad become the village rather than the other way around but if that's how its percieved then so be it, I'm a dangerous radical.

I guess I also get concerned when I see so many of our industries being effectively nationalized such as the auto industry, the banks and medicine. Government ownership of the means of production is by definition Communism right? Or did I not listen that day in class. I am not being radical here, really I'm not and if I offend people by attacking Obama, then understand where I come from. I grew up in a free country and for my family and me, capitalism has not bee a bad thing, not at all. We ate dinner together and I did not even have video games until around high school. But when my government wants to control more and more it makes me a bit jumpy. If that makes me a tea party person or a terrorist then so be it. I guess I would rather like to see our country find its roots rather than be transformed into a country where big brother is always watching.

On the environment. Look, I don't want to see the environment destroyed any more than the next guy but energy is strongly tied to our economic health as a country. Unless we all want to go back to the stone age, we have to find some way to care for the planet better without destroying everthing in the process. We have to be pramatists here rather than idealists. I just don't think that tripling energy bills for families that are already struggling and sending US dollars to other countries is the way to go. Again, if that makes me a radical, a tea party person, a terrorist then I guess that those who would feel this way are entitled to their opinion.

To end this, let me just say this. "Yes president Obama, I kind of like the country the way it used to be. Can't we find a way to get it back? I'm not sure that I am all that ready to go boldly forward into the brave new world if it costs me my freedom and in the end, is that not what America is all about".

Sorry if I offended anyone.