Tough. They are here to stay, for three simple reasons.
One, demand will not go down. In the future, high demand for gasoline will hopefully level off and eventually recede in the United States (due to a peaking of our economy, stagnation in our population growth, and maybe some tougher fuel-efficiency standards), but as we Americans so often forget, we are not the only country in the world. India and China are poised to develop such an insatiable appetite for gasoline that it will make our own petroleum gluttony pale in comparison. India and China have a combined population of over two billion, compared to the roughly 280 million who reside in the United States. If their economies continue to grow at the torrid paces that they have been for the last few years, not only will they develop economies that are greater than the United States’, they will also develop the middle class that is necessary to turn a country from a mass producer into a mass consumer. In fact, the middle class is already becoming prominent in both countries, but a middle class in Asia is different from our conception of a middle class here, in that in Asia, they still have far less purchasing power. That will change. The prospect of a billion cars rolling around southern and eastern Asia within the next thirty years should frighten anybody who is concerned about our country’s lack of an energy policy. Continue reading “Tired of High Gas Prices?”
The answer is, ethics has seemingly returned to normal. That is, the normally toothless ethics police in the house have had their powers restored to them. But whether or not the House Ethics Committee is capable of holding representatives accountable for ethical lapses was never really the issue. Asking politicians to police themselves is such a ridiculously stupid idea that, honestly, just the thought of such a situation leaves me speechless. Continue reading “Ethics Returns?”
It has been eleven years since the genocide that took place in Rwanda. Since then the western world has marked milestones and anniversaries, all with the acknowledgment that more could have been done. Our nation and others in the west have reassured ourselves over and over again, in order to assuage the guilt at our inaction, that we will not let another Rwanda happen. Continue reading “Less Than Human”
The last few days have seen an interesting, lopsided debate rankle American politics. This debate is one that pits the majority of the public against the majority of the country’s leadership. Continue reading “Stay Focused”
These days, Afghanistan is held aloft by the Bush administration as the shining star of democracy’s inexorable spread. Truth be told, since the American-led war that ousted the Taliban three years ago, the signs of life coming out of Kabul and the wider country at large are encouraging, but Afghanistan is a test case for the difficulties inherent in the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Continue reading “The Shining Star”
The election in Iraq is a success to this point. The large numbers of Iraqis that turned up at the polls shows that I was mistaken when I wrote earlier that the Iraqis may not be ready for, or even want, democracy. They turned lives that had been lived under a brutal dictator, without a nascent movement for democracy, into a clamor for democratic self-rule within a matter of months of the beginning of the American occupation. Many people were surprised at the fervor shown by so many Iraqis not just on election day, but in the months leading up to it. The political mood in Iraq can easily be characterized as one of vigorous debate. Continue reading “Ends and Means”
The Republicans are a pompous group of blowhards who revel in their power by smoking cigars and exhaling mirth in the direction of their vanquished foes, the Democrats. They are the perfect, unrestrained example of the sore winner. Their gloating, their absolute belief that providence has led them out of the shadows of American politics to lead this nation towards the bright future of conservatism, is an amazing contradiction for a party that professes faith above reason. The Republicans are guilty of the sin of pride. Continue reading “Don’t Be So Damned Smug”
The method never worked for me. The last I remembered was arising in the late afternoon with one of those vicious, evil hangovers. You know, the type that moves its way down the back of your neck and makes the walls painful to look at. Every part of my body felt bathed in poison. It had been one of those nights. How long had I been asleep? Were the stars still out when I finally crawled into bed, or had I decided to push the envelope until morning, bringing on this frightful bout of forgetfulness, remorse, and crapulence? Continue reading “Selah”
The president has overreached.
Ever since he outlined his plans for reshaping the future of Social Security, he can’t buy good press. Every day at least a dozen articles hit the pages of newspapers across the country and on the internet, lambasting his misguided attempts to gut the most popular government program in the history of the country. Liberal pundits, op-ed columnists, reporters, commentators, even the publicly-expressed doubts of Republican senators and representatives, have all served to make this a difficult time for the Bush administration. Today, in fact, conservative legend Alan Greenspan cast doubt on the president’s Social Security plan in his regular testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Mr. Greenspan has a large amount of credibility in this country and abroad when it comes to money, and it is encouraging to see him, maybe, throw off the mantle of being a Bush yes-man and get back to the business of fiscal responsibility. But praising Alan Greenspan is not my reason for putting pen to paper today, as it were. Continue reading “Hopping on the Bandwagon”
The cries have begun in earnest. Almost two years into a war that was supposed to last for only a few short months, talk of an exit from Iraq has become commonplace in the arena of public debate. Continue reading “No Exit Strategy”