Saturday, April 28, 2007

Downtown Parking and Traffic Congestion Solution

Watch the video - It is good for a lift if nothing else.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What the Hell Does That Have To Do With The Price Of Eggs In China??!!?

Growing up in Wakkanai was a unique experience that exposed me to a culture half a world away in an extreme climate and caused me to look at the world differently. While some of you may think this is all about me, I can assure you that this is merely an attempt to share my experience in hopes that you too may look at the world differently and how global events affect you personally.

Wakkanai is a fishing port famous for King Crab as well as anything else they could dredge from the sea while having snow was on the ground from September until June and in the hills during August. Springtime saw the sun at 2:00AM during the kelp harvest as dark came at 9:00pm and winter permitted the sun to work 8 hours at best. It was a harsh climate with hardy people working to harness the bounty of the sea.

Today, its port activities are gearing for offshore oil exploration since the Kuril islands are one of the petro hot spots of today with some of the largest deposits of natural gas as yet unmapped. Both Russia and China are laying claim to the area with Japan asserting that have always maintained sovereignty over the area.

It does something to a 7 year old kid that has just seen JFK murdered and the event splashed over the TV while living under nuclear threat and focusing on it more intently because his Air Force family is flying halfway around the world to live in a land of ice and snow where the nuclear enemy could be seen on a clear day while living in an information blackout. On occasion, we were confined to our housing units because of Russian May Day protests and other events while armed guards patrolled our perimeter fence. It was quite a shock upon our return to see hippies protesting at San Francisco International while we enjoyed our first glass of fresh milk in three and a half years. Vietnam had escalated while we were overseas and America had changed from Ozzie and Harriet to a cauldron of racial and social turmoil topped with Vietnam War protest, all while we were trapped in our own little time warp. I grew up not trusting politicians because I had seen the action behind the headlines and knew it did not square with what was being fed to the general public. Hence I have always had a healthy skepticism of what is found in the press and an appreciation of the importance of seemingly insignificant information.

A prime example is the KAL 007 incident. While I was not there at the time of the downing, the function of our outpost was to monitor all electronic activity that could be picked up in the area. It had long been a practice for stripped B-58 Hustlers to skirt Russian airspace to incite a response in order to map communication and fighter response tactics for future US penetration strategies. Evidently, the Russkies had enough by the time KAL 007 wandered into their airspace and got splashed. Some bodies and debris from the wreckage did wash up on the shores of Wakkanai, hence the memorial. The lesson learned here is that the Russians knew KAL 007 was a passenger flight as they had trailed it visually for some time and shot it down with no apology because it was within their airspace. Done deal. End of story. They had also been provoked for some time prior to the event and made a cold, calculated decision to set an example to the rest of the world that they were to be feared while the rest of us talked about whether they were right or wrong.

Also, it was common practice for Russian trawlers to be present within sight of our base and occasionally capture a fishing boat and crew. Sometimes they returned the boat, sometimes not. The fate of the crews were not disclosed publicly but it was common knowledge that the Russians turned them into coal miners on Sahkalin where they slaved to their death. These stories were common while illustrating the barbaric capabilities of the Russian government.

Because of their heritage, geography, and loss of territory and status, the Russian bear has been wounded. This is why we should realize that our involvement in the Middle East is a battle not only with Islamic extremist but with Russian surrogates that cause us to expend wealth, military assets, and develop internal tensions and divisions. Russia is also why we gave most favored nation trade status to the Chinese over human rights concerns so that their meteoric economic development will cause Russia to focus more on their territorial integrity than military expansion and adventurism. This pressure will be seen in the Siberian territory that has been sparsely populated by Russians and increasingly encroached upon by the Chinese as they both vie with the Japanese to develop the oilfields of the subarctic seas . Even with economic competition for energy resources of the Middle East, increasing industrialization of China and India will drive the East to locate and develop petroleum assets causing possible military conflict and conquests of contested territory.

To some of you, I am quite sure that this scenario sounds like recent history with the perceived demise of the USSR mixed with old domino theory , but I can assure you that with a little research, you may find that the near future will prove the wisdom of our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and what is at stake is nothing less than our survival as a country.

Now that we have been around the world to get here, this is my message. NAFTA is possibly the initial blueprint to unite Canada, Mexico, and the United States if not in one country, at least in a loose confederation to be able to withstand the changes that are occurring in the East. Therefore, we in Louisiana cannot afford to accept the so-called leadership and current government structure of our state and local entities if we are going to be able to have the flexibility and ability to ride the wave of change that is engulfing our fair state. Our current system governs roughly 4.8 million people to date. With the state level and the 64 parish and subsequent municipal subdivisions, we are supporting more government structure with tax revenues than actually accomplishing objectives. Our system of government within our state was and is becoming increasingly cumbersome and counterproductive. Bouncing down our state and local highways should remind you that the rubber is not meeting the road, especially where government performance is concerned. I feel it is time to have a bottom to top review of what is broke and what works and look to consolidate governmental entities in order to remove duplication, inefficiency, and tax load to citizens and commerce.

Does anyone see that Louisiana still has a plantation mentality? We have a wealth of natural resources that would be he envy of many other states from minerals to petroleum, timber, livestock, seafood, the ability to raise citrus and about any other crop that is useful to mankind.

So why is it that we do not focus on maximizing our resources and export value added products?

I also wonder when we will receive our first shipment of eggs from China?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is He a Good Witch or a Bad Witch??

Well, Mayor Roy has been in office past 100 days and my curiosity has me asking what do folks think of the way our new mayor is handling his office? Personally, I feel he is doing what I hoped he would. It appears that he has surveyed the operations of the city thoroughly while defining his role in our government and reminding the city council of theirs. He has also defined areas of need and requested assistants to aid handling issues in that area. While I might disagree with the expenditure of funds and expansion of city gorvernment, I am quite sure Mayor Roy can make the case for additional assistants as the areas of concern he has identified are not going to fix themselves or go away. What say you?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ultra-Conservative or Realist

I wish the world would realize that armed conflict is a terrible waste of precious resources both in material wealth and human life which embodies unknown potential for creativity and betterment of our planet. I resign myself to know every organism operates in its own self interest. Herein lies the dilemma between Liberal thought and Conservative thought, not the common destination of world peace and prosperity, but the path that will have us arrive. Is it possible to begin a dialogue as to whether we actually possess the same long term goal? If so, then is it a matter of how to get there? I have never sought to classify myself as liberal or conservative as that seems to be a polarizing exercises that creates division and stops progress. Is it possible that our conversation become more goal oriented? Or should we choose the path first to see where it leads? Any thoughts?