Sunday, October 23, 2011

Burned Out Moonscape and Prez Candidates without a Plan

In San Antonio on Riverwalk, a break from the 10 hour travel time to West Texas – another universe. West of San Antonio the effects of the drought were stunning – dead trees were up to 50% of the ground cover in some areas. The grass was tinder dry – a raging fire waiting to happen as our drought drags on.

The dead Cedars were burnt brown like Christmas trees that had been microwaved too long. The dead majestic oaks looked like gray ghosts, lifeless trees that were almost invisible against the horizon.

Got to watch a big game in which Permian saw a huge lead dwindle down to a one point difference in the last six seconds. Their fierce rival from Midland tried a fake 2 point conversion and it would have worked but for one Permian player getting a fingertip on the ball just enough to edge it beyond the grip of the Midland player, a foot from the line. To Permian it meant going down in defeat for the season – or going to the playoffs. To some people, it was entire careers on the line. It was a heart stopper.

I heard about Gadhafi’s death Thursday on the radio during the drive to the lunar moonscape that calls itself West Texas. Three days later it seems as if centuries have past. Libyans can’t believe that the man who hunted them for decades is dead. Young engineers and those like him who took up arms to rid themselves of a ruthless dictator are now free.

Yet I am still amazed by the sheer number of Americans who look blank when you mention Gadhafi’s name – even in places like Houston and Odessa/Midland. He only blew up an American airliner, Pan Am 103, killing 270 of which 189 were Americans – many of whom were still alive and strapped in their seats when the aircraft fell on Lockerbee Scotland. Are we that clueless as to our own history? 1988 is not that long ago when it comes to murder of our own. How soon we forget them?

Gadhafi killed his own people in far greater numbers. Thousands vanished under his rule. Saying even the smallest thing that was taken as criticism during Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship was enough for you to disappear and never be seen by your family again.

And people wonder why he ended up with a bullet in the head instead of a prison podium to continue agitating his supporters to defeat the rebels? Libya isn’t America where even a serial killer gets Miranda rights. He would have done the same to any of them in a heartbeat – and continued causing trouble from his cell to sabotage their fledgling democracy, which will be hard enough to do as is.
Now they can move on with the next chapter of Libyan history and work on building a more humane society, a country that is not run by a crazy family of killers and abusers.

On the Presidential front I have watched the debates and followed the developments and have a couple observations.

First I am amazed someone could run for President and not even have an Economic Plan on Day 1 (I’m talking about you Gov. Perry in particular since I live in your state). What? We are electing you because you can read talking points? And then Perry’s economic plan was shallow and superficial -- 100% focused on drilling for oil. That’s it? Just oil? What about high tech? I guess all of us will be deck hands on an oil rig or driving a tank truck instead of building next generation space ships and high technology products.

Perry never mentioned all the other American industries that must compete in the 21st century –biotech, medical, space, green jobs. Nor did he mention he has been cutting our education funds, insuring that we will not be leading the 21st century when high tech jobs in Texas (and 3 million in America) go unfilled because we don’t have the people with the skills to fill them. They won’t be filled with high school drop-outs, an area where Texas is No. 1.

Iraq – President Obama says that we are out by the end of this year. Thank God that after nine years and nearly $1 trillion dollars we are leaving Iraq, the country that was not involved in 9/11 and did not have weapons of mass destruction. It took the lives of over 4,400 Americans and 150,000 Iraqis – and allowed Iran to gain an advantage and build its nuclear investment after we eliminated their No. 1 threat. Now the Iraqis need to do their own work just as Libyans are doing on their own.

We spent $1 trillion on Iraq at the costs of thousands of Americans versus only $1 billion on Libya at the cost of zero Americans. Big difference in cost in money and lives! Which do you think is better? That’s $1 trillion we could have invested in American lives, roads, bridges, modern infrastructure and education needed to stay ahead of China and India who are educating more high tech skilled workers than we are!

Now it’s time to focus on American jobs and education to compete with our global competitors in China and India. However, one of our parties seems more interested in sabotaging our economic success then helping jump starting it.

Maybe it is because Congressmen have jobs (at taxpayer expense) that they can vote against funding the repair of thousands of derelict bridges and crumbling roads that would employ millions. Hopefully the same people will be on those bridges when they collapse into the waters below and we can elect representatives that don’t do nothing to fix the worst financial downturn we’ve had in 70 years. Now they want to repeal the financial reforms to avoid yet another Wall Street meltdown. Apparently there is one party that represents the top 1% that got us into this mess.
Stay tuned…

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