Did you ever notice how some politicians are doing the same job or similar jobs in different branches of the government for 20, 30 or more years and still don't get much accomplished? You hear how one of these politicians has been trying to pass the same bills for 30 or 40 years. Some people are slow to take a hint. They may pass a bill that makes a name for themselves and they're on their way.
The biggest surprise about the big win by the terrorist organization Hamas in last week's Palestinian legislative elections is that so many people were surprised. Worse than denial, is denying you have been in denial. Despite the Hamas and Palestinian Authority charters calling for Israel's destruction; despite unilateral concessions and actions by Israel; despite negotiated "land for peace" deals, which only Israel has kept; despite massive amounts of U.S.
WASHINGTON -- This week, the Republican Party hopes to escape its immediate past. House Republicans will elect new leaders. They hope the party's corruption scandal will be forgotten and that the names Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff will become as unmentionable in their world as Lord Voldemort's is in Harry Potter's. President Bush hoped for a new start with his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
DAWSON -- Dawson-Boyd moved back into a tie for the Camden North Conference lead with a 64-54 over Lakeview Tuesday. The Blackjacks (8-2, 13-3) led Lakeview, the No. 4 team in Class A, 36-27 at halftime. Lakeview knocked Dawson-Boyd out of first place with a 57-43 win on Jan. 24. This time, Dawson-Boyd shot 53 percent from the field and cashed 19-of-24 free throws. Two players posted double-doubles for the Blackjacks; Nikki Swenson with 20 points and 10 assists and Chelsie Kurtenbach with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Kelly Swenson chipped in 15 points.
Some politicians take the high road by appealing to the desire for a fair, just and unified community. Others take the low road by appealing to the dark side of our nature, to racial and ethnic prejudice and hatred. There is political gold for a politician who can figure out how to mine the underground vein of prejudice within the present norms of political correctness, while appearing to be quite virtuous. The key is to package an appeal to prejudice inside of what appears to be a serious policy debate. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has obviously decided to take the low-road strategy.
SAN DIEGO -- I've had Mexicans tell me that they really don't understand Mexican-Americans. For one thing, they can't figure out how it is that a group of people who think and behave like any other group of Americans still consider themselves Mexican. Well, we're even. As a Mexican-American, I don't understand Mexicans -- especially about la politica (politics). I mean, if you're going to create political reform then, by all means, go ahead and create political reform. More power to you.
"Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are 'ready' for democracy -- as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress." -- George W. Bush Nov. 6, 2003 "The beginnings of reform and democracy in the Palestinian territories are now showing the power of freedom to break old patterns of violence and failure." -- George W.
It concerns me when our own school board even considers selling one of its schools so that a business can demolish it and use the space for more parking. Affiliated Community Medical Centers has gotten so much influence in this city that they have been able to do many things that other businesses would not, such as the building so close to First Street -- what happened to the setbacks? Now we are considering selling a school that serves many of our younger children with disabilities and many other community services. Where would these 3- and 4-year-olds go?
I'm afraid -- not of terrorists, nor as President Bush calls them, brutal enemies, Saddamists, murderers, and the like. I'm afraid that we the people have abdicated our control of our government. External threats exist, but they pale in comparison to the real threat -- that of losing a form of government that has withstood abuses and even a civil war, but which is being irrevocably eroded. A common tactic of governments wanting to solidify their power has been to invoke fear by painting an enemy as more powerful than the reality.
Almost everyone agrees that crude oil is a finite resource that will some day run out. Lately I have learned that a number of independent oil geologists believe that oil production will soon peak, and then go into a slow decline, bringing shortages long before that final day. Increased drilling and exploration will help a little, but not much. The catch phrase for this is "peak oil." I've also read a number of articles describing how our modern life is heavily dependent on petroleum. When oil production goes into decline, so will our standard of living.