Friday, May 6, 2011
Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
The stunning and good news that a Navy Seal team had killed Osama Bin Laden brought a measure of justice to those that were affected by the terrorism that this evil man fomented and marked a major step in the attempt to eradicate Al-Qaida. Seal Team 6 executed the dangerous mission and accomplished their objective flawlessly, and this is a testimony to their training and the might of the US military. Now that we are recently removed from this event, I think there are a few key points that we should ponder. The intel trail that culminated in the killing of OBL began in Guantanamo, where through "enhanced interrogation techniques" the names of OBL's trusted couriers were learned. Tracking OBL was an arduous and frustrating process conducted by the Joint Special Operations Command. They had agents on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the past TEN years. Doing the dangerous and dirty, boots on the ground intel work was critical to finally locating OBL. For those that say we do not need the intelligence assets that we have, or who fought vigorously to close Gitmo, look at what those assets made possible. Those on the left who loath the military and the intelligence community and what they do need to recognize this: it is a mean, no, vicious world and there are those that want nothing more to kill you and me and destroy our way of life. Killing an evil leader like OBL does not just happen. It is tough, dirty, difficult work. Work that most of us could not do. So be thankful that we not only have the best military in the world, but that there are leaders who recognize that keeping our nation free and safe goes beyond the court system and treating enemy combatants like criminals.
Often, when I am reading a book, I pause and thank my English teacher. At least, I did until she got an unlisted number.
I mentioned this about a year ago when this idea was first discussed in the halls of Congress. It quickly disappeared, but now has reappeared like a zombie. What is it? A proposal by the Obama administration to begin taxing all automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive. This confiscation, uh, funding mechanism is tucked into the draft of the Transportation Opportunities Act that is under study by the Senate Budget Committee and the Federal Highway Administration. Section 2218 if you want to be specific. According to this idea, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) would be monitored by an electronic device placed on each automobile and payment would be collected at the pump when the vehicle is filled up. Now here is a question for you to consider: do you think the implementation of a VMT would lessen other gas taxes that are currently collected when we fill up our vehicles?.......I'm waiting..... No? Neither do I. Government at all levels is like a crack whore: they cannot get enough of your money and they will do anything to get it. This will be another burdensome layer of taxation on the public that will only serve to confiscate more of your income and direct it to Washington. And if you have a long commute to work, you are just plain out of luck. Pay attention to this one folks, and let your elected representative know your feelings.
I bet that living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.
Here is something we all should consider when we fill up our vehicles: when President Obama took office, gas was averaging $1.83 per gallon. Today, it averages $3.87. Now one can blame the blowout of the BP Deep Horizon well and subsequent drilling moratorium for part of this as well as a weaker dollar, and you would be correct. A fundamental understanding of where we are today with gas prices would not be complete without understanding the Administration's view of energy in general and gasoline in particular. President Obama's Secretary of Energy is a former Berkeley physics professor Steven Chu. When he assumed office in 2008, one of his first pronouncements was, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Do you know the current per gallon price of gasoline in continental Europe right now? Over $8 on average. Ken Salazar is Obama's Secretary of the Interior. As a US Senator, he proclaimed on the floor of the Senate that he would oppose any offshore drilling to tap into our oil resources, even if gas went to over $10 per gallon. These, along with others in the Obama administration, are the people that are shaping our nation's energy policy. Our energy policy and the future direction of energy development in this country are open for debate, but the fact is that today, this administration intends to punish those of us that rely on our personal vehicles for our livelihoods and for our discretionary use. Think about that the next time you fill up your vehicle.
The only stupid question is the one that is not asked. Except maybe, "Don't you think it's time you audited my tax return?"
And that, my friends, is my view.