Archive - Editorial
June 21st, 2010
Last Thursday, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, dropped a bomb of a comment that we’re sure he wishes he could take back. What he said wasn’t a major event; rather, it was a single comment during a day-long hearing as the House grilled BP oil chief Tony Haywood over his role in the environmental disaster. His comments were among dozens — most of which took the side of those Americans whose lives had been upended by the obscene about of oil gushing from the bottom of the Gulf each day.
In the race for governor, Democratic candidate Matt Dunne stands alone in the crowd for one clear reason: He is outside the political beltway — the other four Democrats and Republican Brian Dubie are entrenched in state politics and have been for a long time. The question is whether that’s a help or hindrance, and many analysts, as well as Dunne himself, see it as a major plus.
News this week that Exxon-Mobil not only paid no U.S. taxes last year, but also a received $156 million tax refund from the federal government, won’t go over well with the average American taxpayer.
A friend asked me the other day how long it has been since I graduated from high school. I did the quick math in my head (I graduated in 1982), and came up with 28 years. I hesitated saying the number out loud because it didn’t seem possible. Twenty-eight years? I did the math again and, darn it, I still came up with 28.
On a recent family trip to Oklahoma, I developed a whole new admiration for, and horror of, the airline industry. No other business I know of can provide so little for so much and still be in such high demand. (As a cell phone owner, I don’t say this lightly.)
Airline travel has become increasingly expensive, inconvenient and exhausting. It offers little incentive to keep customers coming back. Yet the airports are packed.
In late March, a little noticed, almost unreported event took place in the Middle East. The government of Qatar forced out the moderate leadership of one of Islam’s most popular, moderate websites and is reshaping it into a religiously more conservative media outlet. They have started by running news releases instead of the moderate and diverse content that the site, IslamOnline, was known for.
That Addison County might be the location of one of the state’s largest solar farms is exciting news in as much as it is another example of “green energy” being built for a future that is not so directly tied to fossil fuels. It is exciting, too, because when new technologies for such basic commodities as energy are used locally, that often sparks a corresponding interest in jobs related to that field — among students of solar energy, as well as niche businesses that might one-day feed into the solar energy industry.
I always thought I’d be able to tell folks exactly where I was when I decided to run my first long-distance race. You know, one of those sobering, psych-yourself-up moments you never forget.
Turned out to be quite the anti-climax, really. We were riding in the car around four months ago when our son, Mark, blurted out, “Dad, we’re running the half-marathon in Burlington this May.”
“Thanks for signing me up, son,” I believe I muttered under my breath. “Did you put me down for the firing squad, too?”