Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Links and Thoughts

A few links and thoughts for the day:
  • Regular readers know I am passionate about energy independence. This issue hits the U.S. globally (national defense, economic competitiveness) and locally (economic impact, lifestyle changes, etc.) This editorial from the Washington Post nails it, calling for the need to conserve but to drill as well. A key point the story makes that is easily missed: "The strongest argument against drilling is that it could distract the country from a pursuit of alternative sources of energy....No, the United States cannot drill its way to energy independence. But with the roaring economies of China and India gobbling up oil in the two countries' latter-day industrial revolutions, the United States can no longer afford to turn its back on finding all the sources of fuel necessary to maintain its economy and its standard of living." Even conservative Rep. Jack Kingston blogged about this editorial today, although he left out the ANWR part of the equation.
  • I also applaud Senators Chambliss and Isakson for being a part of the gang of 10 who are practical Republicans willing to compromise to get something accomplished on the energy front. To the Hannitys and Limbaughs and Boortzes who would rather watch blather about inflating tires, driving a hybrid that gets 18 MPG and in general use inaction on energy as an club to win the election rather than get something accomplished, shame on you. This approach is a sad commentary on how desperate Republicans are to beat Obama. Interesting coverage and commentary here and here. Transcript of Chambliss v. Boortz here.
  • It came out earlier this week that Mississippi is in the lead in the NBAF race because of some political shenanigans. Most people think this is bad news for Athens' chances (or good news in general, depending on your perspective). But did it not occur to anyone that this information was likely leaked for a reason, perhaps by another competitor in order to hurt Mississippi? My suspects would be Kansas and Texas, in that order, who have little community opposition and the strongest mix of political and technical strength among candidates. If the NBAF decision stretches past the election, the news of a Bush appointee meddling with the process will likely kill Mississippi's chances.
  • Go Jim Wooten. Or should I say go John Witte Jr. Thoughtful editorial and an amazing look at one of the most devastating trends in our society today -- that of one-parent households. An excerpt: "Without question, when 38 percent of children are born to single women and to men who are most likely walk-aways, serious changes in the law, in the media, in the conversations on campuses, and in the middle class and in churches, are required. Adults deserve every protection of the law —- until the moment they conceive. Then the law's obligation shifts to the interests of the child ...."
  • Newsweek and Time have both run big pieces lately on the end of the South or what is happening in the South. As always seems to happen, they fall to quickly into generalizations and Newsweek chooses to lead with the old "Southern angst over the civil war" approach. Lets face it, there are a few who still think about the "War of Northern Aggression." Well, maybe a few is too strong. Much too strong. The fact is, the vast majority of the South has moved on. Way on. Sure, we still have our issues down here. But what sets the South apart these days isn't race or an old legacy. It's pace. It's tradition, whether black or white. It's a certain energy and state of mind. It sure isn't a bunch of worrying over the lost cause that's got the South thinking a little bit harder about his presidential election than ones previous -- it's issues like energy independence (which hit our auto-driven, air conditioning society particularly hard), the contrast of growth and poverty, educational opportunities, and much more.
  • Speaking of the South, it took some serious guts for Rich Rusk to pen this piece on Moore's Ford. His group has done a lot to try to bring closure to this tragedy, and deserves credit. But he's right -- the re-enactments have transformed into a spectacle and are no longer necessary. But I have a feeling they will keep occuring as long as 1) the media keeps covering them and 2) no arrests are made in the case.

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