Archive for July, 2008

Offshore Drilling is a Gimmick

MoveOn’s new ad cuts straight through the bull on the current energy debate:

Furthermore, today we learn that Exxon Mobil just reported not only their most profitable quarter, but the most profitable quarter of any corporation in the world, ever. The lie that oil companies somehow are hurting right now because of the price of oil is ridiculous.

The idea that lower prices at the gas pump would come from lending the oil companies a hand by letting them drill in protected areas… is also a lie.

If Exxon Mobil and other members of Big Oil wanted to lower prices for the American consumer at the pump, they could have done so by now. Instead, they would rather rip us off to the tune of 11.68 billion dollars in a single quarter.

We don’t need more drilling — we need to get off of oil as fast as possible!

The Commander in Chief Test

I’ve been out of town for a week in Eugene, Oregon. Man, do I have some nice things to say about that place.

For now, have a funny/relevant youtube video!

Missouri Town Powered Totally by Wind

Brief post today — just want to make sure no one misses this great news about a Missouri Town that is completely wind-powered.

Al Gore’s challenge to be on 100% renewable energy in 10 years looks more likely with news like this!

Bob Barr on the Todd Klein Show

Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr will be calling in to the Todd Klein Show on Monday, July 28 from 9:30-10:00am.

The Todd Klein Show airs every weekday from 9:30-11:00am on KRFE 580 AM. The call in number is 806-745-5800.

Congratulations, Todd, for landing a presidential candidate as a radio guest!

Sick of McCain-style “experience”

McCain keeps on gaffing it up, this time referring to the nonexistent Iraq-Pakistan border. Wow.

Last week it was Czechoslovakia, which no longer exists.

Before that, he mixed up Sunni and Shia Muslims.

He’s also confused the prime minister of Germany with the prime minister of Russia.

So… where is all this foreign policy experience that the right-wingers keep on insisting that McCain has?


Gitmo Detainee Profiles

A friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting project that collects biographical information of those imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

Here’s a taste:

“They would say they were taking me to isolation for three days, and then leave me there for three months,” Najib said. “Then they would bring me back to a cell, and three or four days later take me back to isolation. . . . I would say, and this is a guess, I spent 15 days a month in isolation.”

As a result, Najib, who was arrested by U.S.-backed northern alliance soldiers in November 2001 after he’d driven a load of Taliban fighters to surrender, was jailed at Guantanamo for more than four years.

This facility’s short life will be a black mark on our history. Reading the individual stories of the detainees really drives that point home.

Beer and Llyr

I find myself still thinking about the possibility of packaged alcohol sales in Lubbock. I have learned that making Lubbock wet MUST require a petition; the City Council cannot put the issue before the voters as they can with a bond package. This is a state law that should be changed, but I don’t believe our state legislature will change it.

Now, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that the petition cannot get done unless a paid group comes in and organizes the petition drive. This was successful recently in Fort Worth. Groups like this aren’t cheap, and likely some coalition of big businesses in Lubbock would have to fund such a move.

I still believe that it’s possible to obtain the nearly 20,000 valid signatures necessary to put packaged alcohol sales on the ballot with an all-volunteer effort. The trick will be putting competent organizers in charge of the process and making it a multi-petition process. I believe 2009 is the year to make Lubbock Wet — that’s when all the best organizers in town will be done with the (much more important) campaigns of the 2008 election cycle.

On a totally unrelated note, I’ve been re-reading some books in my spare moments at my month-old (yay!) bookstore, Awesome Books. This week, I’m re-reading the excellent Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. I was struck by a quote from the third book, The Castle of Llyr:

“Whether it be Prince or Pig-Keeper,” said Gwydion, “such is the way of a man. The destinies of men are woven one with the other, and you can turn aside from them no more than you can turn aside from your own.”

The above quote is a nice way to express one of my core beliefs, shared by most of us on the Left: we are in this together. We are individuals, yes, and that’s important. However, there is a greater fabric of society that links us together, and that’s why we have to look out for each other. These days, many on the Right do not look far past the individual, often refusing to look at problems from a systemic perspective. They just don’t get it.

Lloyd Alexander got it, and he gave this insight to millions of children through his wonderful books.

Is it time to make Lubbock wet?

The A-J reports that City Councilman Todd Klein wants to lay the legal groundwork for packaged alcohol sales in Lubbock.

It’s about time. To me, this makes complete sense. The city should be prepared for voters to approve packaged alcohol sales in the city limits, and we citizens should be organizing to bring that choice before the voters as soon as possible.

I also wonder (out loud) if it’s possible for the City Council to place the question of packaged alcohol sales before the voters without a petition. If they can put bond packages on the ballot, why not a packaged alcohol sales referendum?

4th Off Broadway video

Friday’s “4th Off Broadway” Democratic Party area is captured in this wonderful YouTube video.

Thanks, Rex!

Lubbock Democrats at 4th on Broadway

Yesterday was a blast! I joined my fellow Lubbock Democrats in celebrating Independence Day the best way we know how — by talking about our candidates and registering people to vote.

The Republican Party had what I thought was an unintentionally funny float in the parade. Chris Winn was driving a big truck, pulling a faux oil barrel labeled “drill here / drill now,” and shouting “Energy Independence” to the crowd. I wonder if he understands that more drilling won’t lower the price of oil, or that the big truck he was driving is the real problem.

A Flickr set of photos from the 4th on Broadway festivities is available.

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