$5.00 Per Gallon: What America May Pay For Auto Fuel If We Don’t Wake Up

$5.00 Per Gallon: What America May Pay For Auto Fuel If We Don’t Wake Up

I’m not claiming to be neither an energy specialist nor a bona fide economist but I think the latest developments in the political turmoil in the oil-rich nations across the Atlantic and beyond deserve our careful consideration.

SAME OLD REFRAIN

When we examine the last 30-40 years of international politics as it relates to the effect of war/upheaval/et cetera in these petroleum capitals of the world—oil barrel prices and such often rise without warning or constraint. Each and every time we Americans gripe and seem surprised even though for the most part we’ve escaped true debilitating price hikes and status quo cost of automotive gasoline at the pumps in some European nations.

DENIAL AND RESERVATIONS

What year is it again? 2011. Why are we still so reliant on fossil fuels in general? I fear it is for a number of very classic human flaws. One is definitely just because it’s the way we’ve always done things, despite all the technological advances we’ve made in a matter of a few decades—we are still “dinosaurs” in how we view our transportation needs. Second, since it is the most common source of fuel, it somehow manages to be cheaper in general than the initial start-up investment it would take to delve into renewal sources of energy. Third, American politicians, corporate giants and phobic environmentalists and/or crotchety landowners are the biggest blockades to our progress as an innovative energy leader of a nation.

REALITY BITES

A combination of volatile social factors resulting after the Tunisian and Egyptian political fallouts are causing a ripple effect that won’t be truly sorted out for years to come, yet Americans are already grumbling about the gas pump prices as we fill up our thirsty tanks. How many times do we need to learn this lesson? Relying on fossil fuels is not the best long-term investment for America regardless of wherever we may source them from (international or domestic).

PRIDE: SWALLOW IT

Change is never easy. Especially when it concerns our cash flow and the request for more of it is laid out. There has to be a collective effort by corporations, energy industry innovators, politicians and American citizens to willingly go forward with real changes in our consumption of oil to give way to newer, more sustainable sources of power for our transportation (just one of our many energy usage needs: think electricity, home heating, cooking, etc). As for countries like Egypt and Libya, we need to allow them the space to work out their futures without being a puppet to their oil drenched strings.

RVSB

Four More Years? Yes, He Can.

We can acknowledge that history repeats itself in our human society here on Earth. Those who weave a successful future usually have studied history well and focused on what worked well so that they can ensure a positive outcome in their own lives. Enter here: President Barack Obama. This man has played the cards of political fate with such precision that he is securing his legacy as our POTUS (President of the United States) and tenure for four more years until 2016.

I was unable to watch his State of the Union address earlier this week but was able to read the transcript. You can go to this link for its entirety in text form: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/stateoftheunion2011.htm

Whatever your political bend is, you must realize and note that President Obama is effectively taking a page out of President Reagan’s playbook of how-to when the Executive Branch no longer holds dominance on Capitol Hill. House Speaker John Boehner will be Mr. Obama’s Tip O’Neill.

As the media mix of cable networks, radio and freelancers that blog like myself churn away with our opinions and rebuttals, the fact remains that the American people overall only care to cling to a positive, unifying message. The mad cocktail-gone-bad that has been our economy for the past several years has left many in our nation overall depressed and disillusioned about what’s ahead. This has helped to spark more passion in our political parties—so much so that we had a change in power in the House of Representatives was quickly reversed this past fall after the Democrats had it only since the infamous fall of the GOP in mid-term elections 2006.

I noticed that President Obama’s tone of rhetoric changed shortly after the mid-cycle elections, perhaps he was grounded by the returns that election night or maybe he just understood that it was now his time to truly shine as a leader despite what the balance of powers was between the Executive and Legislative branch. For those watching closely, Mr. Obama did ram through a few costly and liberal-themed things immediately after becoming our current POTUS. This was a smart calculation as he was able to establish some items before there were any repercussions from either Democrats or Republicans.

Further, by weathering the political upheaval this past fall with a tactful concession, he is able to cover over any long-standing effects that will be due to his decisions since he was sworn in. In part, by applauding and accepting that American wanted to be heard, he has encouraged us to look forward to trying to change our current predicament of a slump economy in need of jobs and debt removal.

His State of the Union address this week speaks directly to all of us Americans who are choosing to ignore the Wall Street hyper-talk and economic rumblings of demise. He is able to capitalize on the recent Tucson, Arizona shootings tragedy in a positive manner by rallying the nation to embrace what we ought to strive for as one of the major world powers.

I offer these lines from President Ronald Reagan’s first State of the Union address to the nation on January 26, 1982 : “A year ago, Americans’ faith in their governmental process was steadily declining. Six out of 10 Americans were saying they were pessimistic about their future. A new kind of defeatism was heard. Some said our domestic problems were uncontrollable, that we had to learn to live with this seemingly endless cycle of high inflation and high unemployment.
There were also pessimistic predictions about the relationship between our administration and this Congress. It was said we could never work together. Well, those predictions were wrong. The record is clear, and I believe that history will remember this as an era of American renewal, remember this administration as an administration of change, and remember this Congress as a Congress of destiny.”Read more: State of the Union Address: Ronald Reagan (January 26, 1982) — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/t/hist/state-of-the-union/195.html#ixzz1CIwQgnAS

Couple those words with our current Commander-in-Chief: “What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow. I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.”

Amazing isn’t it? Not much has changed but that is to our advantage because it means we always can choose whether to tackle our future or not. President Barack Obama is a great example of a man who although has faults and maybe even some fraudulence to his character, he embraces what has worked throughout the centuries—a positive message repeated in simple terms will often mobilize the masses to accomplish great things.

God Bless America.

RVSB

Friday’s Closing Thoughts: Simplify, Why & Gov. Crist’s Peril

CLOSING

It doesn’t matter what type of work you’re involved in, Fridays still seem to hold such a relief factor for most of us.  Especially if you have children and go by school or self-imposed schedules weekly.  For stay-at-home parents, Friday also brings the joy of your other half coming to the home front for hopefully most of the weekend helping you feel a little like an adult again. Welcome to Friday friends!

SIMPLIFY

I pulled an all-nighter this past week, I believe it occurred on Tuesday evening when my husband was out-of-town for a business trip.  It began with crusade to clean out our car, it has been a virtual gyspy-mobile for months with the necessity of mini-cleans along the way.  However, the spring cleaning I’m talking about consisted of pulling out all rugs, mats, special vinyl and leather cleaner, leather conditioner (yes, conditioner cream for leather!),vacuuming EVERYWHERE, de-gunking all appendages, buttons, et cetera. 

In addition to the car itself, I boldly attempted to clean my son’s car seat as well. WARNING to all my parent friends and strangers alike, do have your owner’s manual to the car seat handy before you start to remove fabric pieces and if you can manage, just take wipes and spot clean for the large areas. I almost tossed the entire entourage out of frustration of trying to reassemble the doggone contraption while my beloved toddler was in tantrum wind-up mode the next morning. (another caveat: reassemble child car seat while child is still sleeping soundly, so even if it’s 3:40am, just do it!)

Besides the car, in my post-tax season purge, I went nuts and tore into all random bags of receipts, bill stubs, business cards, random mail, you name it and I found it in its burrowed sack/box and had it all on the floor.  Between sips of my favorite Greek Retsina wine and leftover Publix cake, I battled through this reorganization, reallocation and ultimate trash-fest at about 4am officially Wednesday morning.  Shortly before 5am I came to my senses and realized that I was on morning kid duty in less than 2 hours so a nap would be in order.

You may expect that I regretted staying up all night clean and organize but the fact is that taking that unfettered time to simplify areas of my life that I spend so much time in was the best thing I’ve done in months.  Yes, I’ve paid through being a little more tired this week but I’ve relaxed in my mood because the catharsis of simplifying clutter and mess has allowed me to just indulge in the adventures (both expected and unexpected) of every day after Tuesday this week.  If you can find a way to do this for you and your family, I highly advise it as it truly has been a relief.

PERIL: Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist

In other news, I awake this morning to the www.sayfiereview.com headline for Gov. Crist stating that the stage may be set for him to become and run as an Independent in the state as he seeks the election win for the U.S. Senate race.

A fun quote from Mr. Steve Bousquet’s report from the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau reads: “Crist is boxed in politically. His political future is in peril. The former quarterback who loves sports analogies needs to throw a Hail Mary.” You can look this story up here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/with-veto-crist-sets-stage-for-independent-run/1087793

I remember working in Congress for a Florida congressman back when Crist was seeking to run for the Florida governor seat he now occupies. I had been tracking him in the headlines for years as I watched him strategically position himself to be the right candidate on paper.  Many of my colleagues contested the idea that he’d win the race, I stood my ground because I knew he was packaging it well.

In this case, I haven’t been paying much mind as everyday life keeps me occupied from reading all the details of the going-ons in the politics world. But I believe my sense of Crist hasn’t changed and I’m disappointed that he got the governor’s seat only to look again to other higher political aspirations instead of just doing the job he was elected to do. Now a young, vocal and naive Marco Rubio comes out and challenges him like Rufio from the Lost Boys in the Peter Pan movie rendition of “Hook” with Robin Williams.  Crist is flustered that his carefully crafted goals may be shook and possibly destroyed so he goes for the old change-my-political-affiliation get-out-of-jail free card.

Sigh. I love Florida and the politics in our state truly can be unique from other parts of our nation.  I just hope that this governor’s race plays out for the best of the citizens of the state of every political party: democrat, republican, independent and otherwise.  I’ve lived through both democratic and republican governors in our state and respect the office and the job they do more than the party they affiliate with. 

I simply don’t support Crist for the U.S. Senate seat because I feel he just went through the mediocre motions needed to fulfill his governor’s role and with that type of attitude, I don’t want him to represent our Florida voices in the U.S. Senate.

RVSB

Personal Reflection: Politics and Poisonous Speech

In my life I have had the honor of working in the U.S. Congress as a legislative aide and in a Presidential Administration as a humble political appointee.  During those ‘working bee’ years, I came to understand how our nation’s legislation is written, enacted and executed.  Admittedly, I came in pretty ignorant…I actually kept a book at my desk that broke down what we all should have learned in our Social Studies/Government Civics classes in grammar school.  Alas, nothing is a better education than being immersed in the daily grind of it all, down to the most mundane amendments written for bills on the House Floor.

However, my personal work experience in DC Beltway politics also served to affect me in a negative way.  One of my bosses went down in an ill-gotten scandal and although I already had garnered a jaded chip on my shoulder about politicians on both sides of the aisle–this one was pretty jolting.

My first inclination was to walk away altogether from politics for a while, but I did enjoy carrying out and interacting with ‘the people’ that have the power to elect and vote out these lawmakers.  Thus, when opportunity knocked to become a political appointee and work at the U.S. Department of Treasury, I leapt into it.

I can truly say that my post at Treasury was the hardest I had ever worked in an office environment in my career so far.  The people I met and worked with were among the highest caliber and yet I also came in contact with some who were so power-hungry and obsessed with subjects not necessarily in our nation’s best interests.  My political and bureaucratic education was once more expanded and it was extremely difficult to avoid becoming disillusioned further–again, both political parties to blame, neither better than the other.

Is the answer to abolish our heavily two-party system?  No offense to Independents, Libertarians, Green Party and so forth, but the Democrats and Republicans do have the most members and money of all our other political parties in this country.

Although the speeches between the politicians, the pundits and even the public has become so poisonous at times, I cannot believe that getting rid of the balance of powers would ever work for our nation.  Just as I can debate with my husband, my family, my friends and even strangers, I think it makes me a better person and perhaps more open to other ideas than just my self-formulated ones.

Many recent politicians, even our current President, have attempted to deliver a new way, a “hope for change” if you will.  Please understand that sort of promise in action is challenging in the present political halls of power.  Having worked with others who believe in compromising and working things out for the best of our people’s interests, even those persons in powerful positions have run and still run into the wall of “the way thing are”.

Having said all of this, I still firmly believe that our system of checks and balances in our government is the best for our time in our nation.  Another solution to consider is personal responsibility for everyone involved: the voting public, the worker bees in government, the lawmakers and elected officials.  Just as if we all simply let someone pass in front of us while we drive on the road this week, everyone would enjoy driving much more than the common ‘road rage’ many of us endure daily–we should consider that if everyone did their active part for our nation’s local and federal governments, there would be less griping about ‘the system’ because the system simply deconstructed is designed for “the People, by the People.”

Note:  A trip to Epcot with my son and a close friend yesterday yielded this thought tangent after viewing the Presidential show in the United States section–random but true:-)

RVSB

Wyoming Life

"God bless it and keep it wild"