Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I must admit that I am feeling overwhelmed. The long term Southern strategy of the GOP is working to fan enough bigotry and racial cynicism that a host of Tea Baggers may take over Congress in the upcoming election. Point One: A church in Florida is organizing burning of the Koran to commemorate 9/11. Two: A Republican candidate for Congress tells his followers that Islam is a cult and therefore not entitled to the protections of the First Amendment. Third; RNC Michael Steele and Andrew Breitbart,of Shirley Sharrod infamy, will appear as headliners of a massive fundraising event in Beverly Hills. Those with short memories may remember that last week Breitbart distributed edited film of a speech by Sharrod that impugned her integrity and falsely cast her as a racist discriminating against poor white farmers. Fourth: I received an e-mail this morning from a member of an exclusive country club which depicted photographs of black people arrested for various offenses, all of whom were wearing Obama tee shirts or sweat shirts.

All this in the country I love, the country in which the basic underlying principle is that all people are created equal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hand in Hand

Is the issue of global warming limited to global warming? Is this a nonsense question or is there more than meets the eye to this simple query? As you may surmise, I respectfully suggest to all my conservative friends that global warming is one side of a coin the other side of which is the pithy common sense observation that the sum total of the world’s remaining oil and gas reserves will run out sometime in the next 100 years. In other words, the world, as we now know it is not coming to an end, but to a new stage which will be dominated by countries and technologies whose present-day efforts and commitments will place them is leadership roles in the near future insofar as the need for vital access to these new treasures as a means for survival. Let me put it another way; consider what happens to the millions of people in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran when oil revenues slow to a drip-drip-drip. (Iran currently receives 100 million dollars a day for its oil). Consider what happens to Americans when the depletion of the world’s oil reserves renders it impossible to drive the 15 mile round trip to work or play or visit relatives? One does not need to accept the scientifically valid concept of global warming to understand the other side of this looming situation. The solution is to begin to limit and, eventually, end our dependence on foreign oil while at the same time recognize that our own resources are exhaustible. Wind and solar energy, not to mention nuclear power, must be harnessed and brought into play on an urgent schedule. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Oklahoma Republican Senator James Imhofe’s building of an igloo in February to mock the notion of global warming should not be allowed to replace the Nero example as the poster child of indolent neglect as our cities and states fall into ruin.

I am adding the following as a postscript to the above. This pithy comment appeared in the July 25, 2010 New York Times op-ed by Tom Friedman:

The last word goes to the contrarian hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham, who in his July letter to investors, noted: “Conspiracy theorists claim to believe that global warming is a carefully constructed hoax driven by scientists desperate for ... what? Being needled by nonscientific newspaper reports, by blogs and by right-wing politicians and think tanks? I have a much simpler but plausible ‘conspiracy theory’: the fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profits, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientific results. I, for one, admire them for their P.R. skills, while wondering, as always: “Have they no grandchildren?”