Day: April 25, 2010

Energy Regulations: Coal, Oil, And The Federal Government

President Obama is presently memorializing the 29 coal miners killed on April 5 at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia. The obvious need for greater regulation of mine safety has been recognized because of this, the latest, of numerous mine tragedies.

The country is also mourning the loss of 11 oil rig workers who are missing and presumed dead from the explosion in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month, causing many to wonder about off shore oil drilling in the Gulf, which is part of President Obama’s plans.

The nation has a great need for the development of energy resources, but the seemingly persistent loss of life demands us to step back and try to figure out what can be done to promote safety for energy workers, who play such an important role in the welfare of our country! We also must consider the effects on the environment at the same time!

Despite the mistrust that exists among many people toward the federal government, it is only that government who can insist on safety regulations enforcement to protect the workers, and Obama is very aware of the need to increase and improve regulation.

Anyone who is against this is living in a fantasy world! We still need government, whether some want to accept that as a reality!

Ronald Reagan On American Currency: Vast Numbers Say NO!

Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry (no Patrick Henry LOL) of North Carolina has introduced a bill to put Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill, replacing Ulysses Grant, but polls show 79 percent oppose such an idea, including 71 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats, and 79 percent of Independents! It is good to see that even sensible Republicans realize how crazy an idea this is!

Reagan is already memorialized on the Florida Turnpike, the largest federal office building in the national capital, and on the Washington, D. C. airport, and there is an active campaign to name as many places after him as John F. Kennedy, but it is apparent that there is no support for the former President to be on our currency supply.

People tend to forget that while Grant was an alcoholic, and presided over the Panic of 1873 and had tremendous corruption occur during his Presidency, he also won the key battles of the Civil War which kept our nation whole.

And when one considers that Reagan promoted economic policies where the rich became richer, the poor became poorer, and the middle class declined; environmental policies that were the worst in American history; tripled the national debt; destroyed the labor union movement; and promoted an anti government, anti intellectual attitude in America, how can anyone think he should replace historical figures such as Grant, who represent the concept of the saving of the Union and the downfall of states rights? Without Grant’s military prowess, the country would not be what it has become in the past nearly 150 years!

As time goes by, it is already evident that Ronald Reagan has been built up by Talk Radio and Fox News Channel, and certainly, there are positive things that could be said about the 40th President. But historians are also coming to grips with the faults of Ronald Reagan, and the love affair that many have had with Reagan is starting to crumble!

Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, And Cooper Union

When Barack Obama delivered his speech on financial reform at Cooper Union College, just a short distance from Wall Street, last week, it brought back memories of another event that took place at Cooper Union 150 years ago, and transformed American history!

The Cooper Union speech of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 transformed the one term Congressman, from a dozen years earlier, into a prominent candidate for the Republican nomination for President.

Historian Harold Holzer, a leading Lincoln scholar, wrote a very significant book on this precise topic in 2004. Lincoln came across at Cooper Union as very reasonable and rational as a candidate.

In the same way, Obama came across at Cooper Union as reasonable and rational in his call on Wall Street to stop fighting necessary financial reform, so that never again will the stock market and banking crisis of 2008 ever happen again!

This week, the Senate considers a financial reform package which is essential, and if it is opposed by the Republican party, it will be obvious who is to be held responsible in the future for a repeat of the disaster of two years ago! Fortunately, as we get closer to that moment, it seems as if many Republicans realize that they cannot afford to appear as if they are in bed with Wall Street.

The Cooper Union speech of Barack Obama is calling on Wall Street to cooperate in appropriate regulation, and we shall see this week whether it worked. But Obama at Cooper Union certainly evoked thoughts of Lincoln, and not for the first time! 🙂

The Nevada Senate Race : Will Nevada Reject Harry Reid For Sue Lowden?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has been in the Senate for 24 years, may not be a charismatic figure, but he is very much underestimated inside and outside the state.

It is hard to imagine Nevada giving up the great advantage it has with Reid being the Majority Leader. He has always done well by the state, and when one looks at his leading opponent, Sue Lowden, who has been the state’s Republican chairperson, it seems that the voters would have to be crazy to reject Reid!

Sue Lowden has made a fool of herself in suggesting that citizens should go back to what she calls the “barter system”, whereby in the “olden days”, patients paid doctors by giving them “chickens” or offering to paint their home!

When observers first heard and saw Sue Lowden say this in a television interview, they had to pause and wonder if they were imagining what she said! This makes one wonder about the woman’s sanity and fitness for office!

Lowder still faces a primary against another Republican, but if this is an example of what the GOP can come up with, and with the other Nevada Senator, John Ensign, a Republican, under fire for having a sexual affair with a staff member, and then trying to pay off the husband with funds supplied by his parents, it seems hard to believe that Nevada will want to turn their back on Harry Reid, who comes across as effective, if not exciting as a personality.

If Nevada rejects Harry Reid and loses his influence and clout, then it will be a sign that they deserve whatever the results will be!

The Work Ethic And Ethics Itself In Crisis In America!

When the news emerged regarding the 33 employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission who spent all of most of their time at work surfing the Web for pornography, some for eight hours a day on the office computer, it really brought to reality the fact that this is just a symptom of what is really wrong with America in the 21st Century!

Of course, it is wrong to put the onus on the thousands of employees of the SEC who do their job with professionalism and commitment every day! But the thought that highly trained professionals, many of them attorneys, would act so disgracefully at the work place, is extremely disturbing!

This is just a symptom of the tremendous collapse of the work ethic, as well as ethical standards themselves, which has in all walks of life become a growing menace to the future growth and advancement of American democracy!

Whether it is government, business, medicine, the law, religious institutions, education, social service agencies, the media or anything else, the trend has been toward greater numbers of people failing to meet their responsibilities at work and having low ethical and moral standards in the way they interrelate with others!

If we do not regain the high standards that made America great, then we may be witnessing the permanent decline of the American way of life, and that is something that should alarm everyone who cares about the future of this great nation! 🙁