Fulcrum Ruminations

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Been Such a Long Time . . . It's Been Such a Very Long Time

Quite a while since the last post. Well over a month. Much has happened.

Barack Obama is of course the presumptive Democratic nominee for President. I believe he will win. McCain has a good record of service but he feels old and tired. His moment was 2000, not 2008. Obama is putting out a message of "change" which, even tho it's not actually defined very well, is bringing people into his camp. And since he is relatively young and not fully assimilated by the Washington political culture, he may be able to deliver. We'll see in November.

Oil prices have skyrocketed. The economy, already battered by the housing industry implosion, is looking like it's headed towards a recession. President Bush announced the opening of formerly-restricted areas to oil drilling and that's having a somewhat calming effect on prices, at least for the moment. Realistically, the only long-term fix to this problem is to move off of the oil standard entirely. There are measures that can be taken, and we're seeing some stuff already happening as the market adjusts itself. The big American car manufacturers are scaling back or ceasing production of oversized, inefficient vehicles like SUVs and there are plans for more hybrids. Small cars are coming into demand again as short-sighted American consumers finally have reason to think about fuel efficiency. At least one manufacturer has announced a hydrogen-powered car for near-future production.

Of course, the more government interferes with the market, the worse things will get. One has only to look at the ethanol subisdy business to see how easily good intentions can fall victim to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The situation in Iraq continues to improve. Only the most foaming-at-the-mouth of the reality-impaired can now deny the success of the "surge" strategy. Afghanistan, meanwhile, is not going so well. Too many resources being directed to the Iraqi theater means not enough is being done in Afghanistan. Still, the situation remains controllable. One hopes that the next President doesn't suffer an attack of extreme foolishness leading to a precipitous action like a sudden withdrawal from Iraq before things are sufficiently stable.

The recent Heller decision by the Supreme Court, altho flawed, nevertheless established the Second Amendment as an individual right. Of course, this was patently obvious to anyone with more than a sixth-grade command of the english language all along, but it's nice to have it made official. The DC government, as is the habit of entrenched liberals, is trying its best to ignore or circumvent the court's decision. I forsee several more legal challenges to DC's grossly unconstitutional gun laws in the near future. Meanwhile, it seems likely that several other cities with such rubbish on their books will also see their attempts to trample the rights of their citizens challenged on the basis of Heller.

The FISA legislation was passed by Congress. This of course is damaging to our freedoms, being yet another short-sighted attempt to provide security at the cost of essential liberties, and we all know the famous quote regarding such things. I believe it's time to show Congress that We The People aren't going to tolerate their nonsense any longer and vote the lot of them out of office. However, I have no realistic expectation that this will happen. There are too many knee-jerk voters out there who would vote for Satan so long as old Scratch had the right letter in front of his name. And everyone always seems to think that, altho Congress is doing a poor job, their own guy is just fine and they keep sending him back.

No profound insights this time, I'm afraid. Just some random thoughts and observations.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,