Part I: Obama Versus McCain on Natural Resources & Fossil Fuels. Are McCain and Obama NIMBY Advocates?

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

This article is divided into parts. This first part includes our opinions regarding our use of fossil fuels and the direction we are taking to provide for our needs as well as to reduce our dependencies on those fossil fuels. It also makes suggestions that may seem somewhat radical for resolving these problems. In subsequent parts, we will look to expand on what we can do as a nation and look at the candidates, lining up their positions to see which best aligns with our opinion of how to approach the problem.

We are a “prima donna” nation. We (not the writers of this publication, but all of us) believe that it is all about us. We seem to believe that the world revolves around the United States, and if we protect our part of the world, it is just dandy if the rest of it falls into oblivion.

In some nations, it is all about a power grab to see who can get the most out of those resources, not how to preserve their environment or even preserve lives as they murder or enslave their countrymen for financial gain. Those that have gotten rich off of the US, like the Arab Nations, are more concerned with how to spend all the money than they are with how they destroy our environment. Despite all the billions that Saudi Arabia has made from oil, when have you ever heard they were investing in a plan to help reduce the world’s dependency on fossil fuels or offered a plan to reduce so-called greenhouse gases?

We have had many disasters throughout the world with respect to natural resources. We in America care about those disasters. A five billion dollar punitive damages award was the largest set of punitive fines ever handed out to a company for their irresponsibility, and it was leveled against Exxon for the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

Unfortunately, money talks. Recently, Exxon lawyers and the company’s financial influence led to the ratcheting back of that award to a paltry 500 Million dollars by our Supreme Court. This was a pathetic slap on the wrist and a very small portion of Exxon profits as they have taken advantage of our resources and consumption to make billions.

Irrespective of this irresponsible action by our Supreme Court, we as a nation, do care about our environment, but our reaction to such disasters has been to become overly cautious at home. We have new technologies to tap oil shale, but we are so worried about damaging the environment we have tied up the progress for years. We have massive oil reserves in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico, but we are reluctant as a nation to tap them because we are concerned about the damage to our environment. Despite the fact that we have never had a nuclear plant disaster in the United States (although we came close years ago at Three Mile Island), and despite huge advances in our technology, we have essentially halted the advancement of the use of Nuclear Energy within the US.

What does that show? We care. We think our fight will help the world to survive. We all seem to want the environment to be clean, to preserve every species, to maintain our national wilderness. We, as a nation, above all others throughout the world, will fight to defend and propagate our world. Problem is, we are too self-centered and approaching it all wrong.

We continue, like Al Gore, to preach to the choir. We are a very small part of the problem, although, because of our consumption of fossil fuels, we may be a huge part of the source. We have to address our consumption while removing the guilt imposed by people like Al Gore that use huge amounts of energy while telling the rest of us we are at fault. And we do not believe addressing our consumption necessarily, in the short run, means reducing it.

NIMBY Mentality

In our supposedly noble fight to maintain our environment, we have clearly favored the US environment over that of the rest of the world, despite the fact we consume such huge quantities of the world’s resources. We consistently demonstrate a not in my back yard (NIMBY) “prima donna” mentality. It is fine for us to build new refineries, just not where we need to build them, in America. It is great that we are drilling less and using fewer of our natural resources, so long as we can import them from elsewhere. Let other nations destroy their environments and we will gladly use their resources while we babble on about alternative energy to make ourselves feel better. As long as we don’t see it, that is fine with us.

Our NIMBY attitude is so extreme, we preach about alternative energy, but actually block projects that would reduce our dependency on oil and help clean our environment. This was exemplified when a battle arose over a plan for a wind farm for Cape Cod, Massachusetts that would generate nearly half the electrical supply for Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It was hoped that this wind farm would be in place by 2005. It didn’t happen. Why? NIMBY!! Wayne Kurker, president of Hyannis Marina, formed the “Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound”, specifically to fight the wind farm proposal.

This quote from Wayne demonstrates how everyone in America seems to feel. ”A good portion of us who migrated to Cape Cod came to enjoy Nantucket Sound, and if Nantucket Sound becomes an industrial, electrical generation area, then it’s no longer the national treasure that people currently feel it is. We look at this as our wilderness, our national park.”

Great point Wayne, made despite research demonstrating how good the project would be for the Cape and how we could have set an example for the rest of the nation to turn to alternative energy sources. It is fine to pollute the rest of the world, burn coal and oil to generate our electricity, just don’t ask us to do anything about it in our back yard.

We, as a nation, must discard this NIMBY attitude. We have to tap our own natural resources now and also execute new revolutionary plans for alternate energy. We have to reduce our dependency on foreign oil to reduce our trade deficit and strengthen our dollar and to put us in control of our own destiny. Or should we instead bomb Iran?

Then, after we have solidified our financial position and become essentially independent of foreign oil in any way we can, we can better focus on alternate energy sources to reduce our use of fossil fuels. We are saying to pursue all solutions, now, whether they are ideal or not so we control our own destiny.

We are suggesting immediate action to drill in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico as well as tap other resources in the United States. We have the largest reserve of coal of any nation in the world. We can build refineries that convert this coal into petroleum that is cleaner burning than the petroleum we use now. The refineries may pollute more, but we have technologies to assist us. And we have enough coal to make enough petroleum to last the United States 200 years! We should tap our Oil Shale reserves and build new safer Nuclear Power Plants and we should do it now!

And when we are done, and as the world realizes we are willing to supply our own needs, our dollar will strengthen, our trade deficit will drop sharply!  We may even start exporting natural resources to the rest of the world as we steadily reduce our need to import them.  We can further develop alternate energy technologies with the money we didn’t give to other nations to meet our needs.

Let’s leave Part 1 with a question we will answer when we return. What nation does the United States import the most oil and petroleum from? The answer will surprise you.

FIND THE ANSWER to the above question on the next article: Democrats, Republicans and We All are Misguided

The Primary Issues Of The Presidential Election 2008 Obama versus McCain

We have read the speeches and followed the conventions and read much of the emotional fluff that goes into any election. Fact is, this comes down to fundamental issues we all care about.

Now, how does a candidate give you the warm feeling you need to make sure you don’t leave a chad hanging when you vote? To totally commit to a candidate, you have to believe in the entire package. So, they feed you a package, with the edge taken off of each primary issue.

The problem is that by the time November comes around, you really don’t know what you are voting for or against, so you tend to vote your party, which you may have chosen because your father was a member of that party, or maybe because he wasn’t!! Perhaps it is your current group of friends, or maybe it is the persuasion of a particular set of folks that convince you, or maybe you even just make the decision in five minutes over a glass of wine.

But the fact of the matter is most people that vote for President, do not understand half the issues when they make their selection. It is not because they lack intelligence, and we have been as guilty as the rest. It is where we focus our time. The selection of President is clearly critical to the nation, but so is paying the bills, dealing with taxes, and taking care of your children. How much time is there in a day? Is it possible that we allow the hyperbole of the election to drive our selection, and is it any surprise that quite often it is the candidate raising the most money that gets our vote in the same way the brand name products get placed in our shopping cart?

We are going to attack the issues one at a time between now and the election and pin down the candidates on their side. We ask for your inputs where you feel we are wrong or right. And we want to determine, one by one, which man is the better selection for President.

We do ask you that you realize one primary issue. No matter what ideals the candidate holds and how many promises they make, they will not and cannot keep them all. Most are ideals they hold that allow you to identify with them. Many will turn out to be a lost cause and seem like false hope. So another objective is to let you know where we feel the position your candidate is taking is likely a pipe dream and an ideal, but cannot happen in the real world.

Welcome to myrealitytelevision.com. Please feel free to make yourselves part of our reality!

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

John McCain’s RNC Speech Shows No Real Direction

We feel last night Senator McCain had an opportunity to lay out a clear direction for America. We believe he turned mostly to hyperbole and avoided the issues that face America, and because of this, his speech failed. Here are some primary issues from that speech and our replies.

1. We lost their (Americans) trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.

Our Response: OK, we need to know what the heck you are talking about Senator. If a bill was passed that was a welfare bill for oil companies, what was it, and how will you have it repealed? That is a big issue, don’t gloss over it.

2. We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We’re all God’s children and we’re all Americans.

Our Reponse: Uh, no kidding. You are just paraphrasing the US Constitution. We are figuring the US citizens get that by now. But yet we appear to be doing everything we can to inhibit migration of new immigrants that could help this nation and economy going forward. That Latino daughter likely had parents that came to this country illegally because of the bureaucracy we create to block desirable immigrants from making our shores.

3. We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.

Our Response: OK, but there a policy in there somewhere right? These statements are too broad-based. Open Markets scare Americans because it has led to a huge migration of jobs out of the US and because we continually allow countries like China to export cheap, knock-offs of our products, often patented or name-brand products, to the US. Free trade is one thing. It means we do not charge duties and taxes on imports. But cheating trade is another. And those nations that continually hurt Americans do not deserve carte blanche access to our markets.  Certainly, we want to keep the “fruits of our labor”, but we want to have jobs so there is some fruit!

4. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.

Our Response: OK. But this is just filler right Senator?

5. My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them

Our Response: Senator. With all due respect, we have kept taxes low or cut them over the past eight years and destroyed our economy. We went from a nation in 2000 with a surplus to once again having a massive deficit. And despite all those tax cuts and Republican efforts, we are facing an economic meltdown as banks and mortgage companies fail.

6. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

Our Response: We fail to see how a health care system that pools the purchasing power of all Americans can hurt America. So far, the health care insurance companies are raking in unheard of revenues and profits, all the while telling us it is because the expense of health-care has gone up. Yes, it has, primarily because of these institutions that fight, not for health-care, but against paying for it while steadily raising premiums. On a regular basis, these insurance companies reject health-care claims for obscure reasons and make each and every American fight for every visit to their doctor or for every prescription. It is no longer up to your doctor to decide what is appropriate for your personal care; it is up to the insurance companies. That is not health-care. That amounts to insurance bean-counters trying to keep Americans from getting the care they pay for, and it has placed the US well behind curve in terms of quality nation-wide health-care.

In addition, your policy of removing the tax deduction for employer provided health-care benefits replacing it with a $5000 tax credit for family coverage is totally misguided. It penalizes people in higher cost of living areas.  It also rewards only families, implying single people were not worth government’s time (remember, all men/women were created equal, the constitution says nothing about “married only”), and essentially does nothing to address the furious rise in the cost of health insurance.  That is the true issue here.  It comes down to how much we are charged for medical coverage, not the cost of health-care artificially inflated by these insurance companies.

For example, when I get a bill for a test from the hospital, it is three times what the insurance company has told the hospital they would approve.  That is totally unfair to uninsured Americans, to pay many times the cost of the actual service and many times what large insurance companies pay for the same service.  A simple law to ban this practice would assist greatly in the artificially increasing cost of health-care.

7. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas.

Our Response: It is not the tax rate that drives companies out of America, it is the expense of labor. Our cost of living is higher, so we have to pay our workforce more money. You argue for free trade, but fail to protect us from cheap and often illegal knock off imports that damage those companies that support our jobs. If you want to support jobs in America, make it less profitable for companies to locate outside the US, take away their tax breaks and take away the ability of foreign companies to export knock-off products into the US so easily that one can purchase illegal copies of copyrighted software and patented products on the streets of New York 24 hours a day.

8. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.

Our Response: Again, you are discriminating against the unmarried man or woman. That does not improve their lives, it makes them pay for the children of others. We are all for reducing government spending, but so far, we haven’t seen a specific policy regarding that. Opening new markets for us internationally is great. The US Market is too open already. Free trade so far is better than “free” for other nations, but is very expensive for America and its labor force.

9. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We’re going to help workers who’ve lost a job that won’t come back, find a new one that won’t go away.

Our Response: Words are cheap. This is repetitive nonsense we have heard before. Where are those jobs? We don’t want to wish away the global economy Senator, we want to make it a fair playing field, not just allowing foreign countries to steal from our investors while marketing illegal products in our nation. That is not free trade; that is stupid trade.

10. We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities.

Our Response: Sounds good. But it implies you think that other nations aren’t already training their workforces as well, and as long as you make it more advantageous for them to steal work from America in a so-called global market place, they are doing the training cheaper and delivering cheaper labor, which is killing even trained jobs in America.

If we are going to do that, at least immigrate trained labor from other nations so those people can at least pay American taxes and support Social Security going forward, instead of wasting billions trying to fight off immigration.

11. Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I’m President, they will.

Our Response: More useless verbiage with no plan.

12. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It’s an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It’s time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.

Our Response: Here we agree with the Senator 100%. We are a “prima donna” nation that thinks we have the right to not use our resources as the rest of the world charges us for theirs. We think that by paying others to do the dirty work, we somehow brush off responsibility on them. We can no longer, with our massive deficit, continue to enrich the nations rich in oil resources. We have our own resources, we must find ways to tap them.

We as a nation cannot be responsible alone for the “health of the planet”. Our population is only 1/3 that of China, and that is only one other nation in the world. You speak of a global economy where the US takes all responsibility for “health of the planet” while you offer those countries taking advantage of cheap resources at the expense of the environment free trade with the US on a totally unfair playing field. We need to drill. We need to build better and more modern energy plants. We need to mine those resources available to us. If we do not, other nations will, we will pay them to do it, and they will not care about what they destroy in the process of taking our money.

We are done listening to speeches like this Senator. We want a plan. We want specifics. This speech was disheartening because it lacked content, it lacked a plan we can buy into, and it is clearly not going to get you elected president no matter how many years you spent in a prison camp.

We have a new idea.  How about making Iraq the 51st US State?  Wow, that is radical.  Anybody with any guts out there?

McCain’s Healthcare Policy Out of Touch With Reality

Senator John McCain has a plan for healthcare that is out of touch with reality because it totally ignores the cost of healthcare, and it does not take into consideration cost of living differences.

McCain’s plan is to offer a $5000 refundable tax credit (what a rebate?) to families to help pay for healthcare. That sounds pretty good until you hear he is including the elimination of the exemption of employer-provided healthcare from income taxes.

Most plans that cover a family cost well in excess of $1000 a month in the US, and sometimes much more in areas that have a higher cost of living. So, if on average, one pays $15000 for healthcare a year and gets a $5000 credit, it would only be marginally different from getting the tax deduction in the first place. Anyone that pays more due to the cost of living would actually pay more taxes because their medical benefit would be taxed as income! This is inherently unfair and could push people towards the Obama camp, especially those in areas with a higher cost of living.

Even some groups that favor better health coverage for their union members are backing away from McCain. The United Mine Workers of America, for example, have endorsed the Democratic ticket specifically for this reason. “Mr. McCain’s plan would impose a tax on health care benefits that have been negotiated into employees’ contracts” said Cecil Roberts, union president.

A more fair plan, if McCain wishes to support commercial health care, is to require an increase in the taxes on profits from those companies providing healthcare. While many people believe that healthcare cost increases have hurt Americans, few have any idea how much they have benefited the US Healthcare Insurance companies such as Unitedhealth Group, Inc. the largest insurer in the US. Unitedhealth Group’s sales have steadily increased while their cost of revenue has dropped. It is good to know someone is benefiting from the high cost of health care, but not if our individual costs for that health care are to be taxed!