Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oil.. Supply and Demand..

The other day I was listening to some anti-war protesters on public radio, "No War for OIL!" they were chanting. I always wonder if those protesters really understand what they are saying and I just want to talk about the oil issue for one minute.

If we pull out of Iraq prematurely and leave it to... come what may... that oil will be prayed upon by several other groups. Some want to destroy that resource and have tried by various means. I think there is legitimate concern that Iran will/is trying to take and control that resource. Just imagine billions of dollars worth of oil in the wrong hands providing funding for mischief.

The U.S. doesn't currently get much of its oil from Iraq.. we get it from other places, less and less from Venezuela. Oil has recently reached $100 a barrel on the open market with the potential of rising much higher. With emerging economies in both India and China requiring and willing to pay for oil, we have an increasing demand with an increasingly tight supply.

We have made some mistakes in the United States. We have moved from shipping goods by rail to shipping by truck. We have imposed "the death tax" until just recently which has all but made the family farm extinct and we have changed our good orchards and farm land into malls, condos and movieplexes. Finally, we have allowed the environmental lobbies to stop our nation from producing it's own energy.

I think if we don't make some changes, we are going to have a situation where the cost of energy and subsequently the cost of food will be beyond the means of many Americans.

I like to have a banana for breakfast in the morning. My Chiquita banana came all the way from Guatemala. My grapes, if I have those, come from Chile. The butter on my toast came from Wisconsin. Those things didn't just hop over here. They came using fuel.

I sometimes wonder when protesters chant, "NO War for OIL!" if they understand that oil really is: driving SUVs, larger homes, a less expensive food supply, a larger middle class, vacations using air travel . It's all those things and more. But, if someone recognizes that and they still don't want to fight over oil, their protest has integrity and they should continue.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why some politicians feel that generosity must be legislated...

"In 2002, the year before Obama launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, the Obamas reported income of $259,394, ranking them in the top 2 percent of U.S. households, according to Census Bureau statistics. That year the Obamas claimed $1,050 in deductions for gifts to charity, or 0.4 percent of their income. The average U.S. household totaled $1,872 in gifts to charity in 2002, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.The national average for charitable giving has long hovered at 2.2 percent of household income, according to the Glenview-based Giving USA Foundation, which tracks trends in philanthropy. Obama tax returns dating to 1997 show he fell well below that benchmark until 2005, the year he arrived in Washington."

See the full article in the Chicago Tribune..