Friday, June 20

Do Not Drill Here

Letters sent out to several Senators concerning the issue of domestic oil. I've included one of them just below this paragraph. It is important that you write to them even if its just to let them know how you feel about it. I know it feels like having more oil coming to us would lower oil, but in order for it to make its greatest impact, the oil reserves would be used up in a period of 5 or fewer years. We would be even more dependent on oil since even a modest decrease cut in prices would mean less conservation. As always, I encourage you to follow up any points of interest you read about with your own inquiries and investigation.

Senator Cornyn,

I have written to you on numerous occasions before. I have been impressed with your responses and the apparent tread you’ve made up Capitol Hill.
I am writing because I am deeply concerned about the state of leadership in the
Republican party. I truly believe that you plan on being different once you’ve fortified your position in the party. I know that you have Rick Noriega putting some pressure on your office, but if you are truly ready to start showing some of the leadership that will make you safe with the Texas constituency, I recommend make some alterations to the current plan to Drill Here, Drill Now.
Replacing fossil fuels is a matter or Sooner or Later. It is not a matter of Green v. American Business, oil company profits v. consumer costs, Democrat v. Republican. If we drill in America, we must use a significant amount of that energy to create a market-ready alternative energy source. Iraq is soon going to let Shell, Exxon and others onto their oil fields. Iraq is the most feasible solution to increasing the world supply of oil with any immediacy. I would push this information while at the same time ensure Americans that the environmental damage drilling on our soil could possibly be healed over a period of fifty years. Most importantly, emphasize that the oil reserves we do have go to replacing oil and petroleum in this country. The oil we get from outside is for our day-to-day needs. Also, see about withholding subsidies for refineries unless they contribute to the renewable energy initiative through stocks, research, or profit-sharing. Convince those companies that providing the world’s energy is far more lucrative than providing domestic fuels. Let them feel comfortable that the government is not instructing them on how to run their business. Let them be appreciated for the billions of dollars the Fed collects through royalties each year. Assure them that their windfall taxes will never see it’s way through Senate. Let them know you are on their side.
Like you, I remember seeing oil derricks all over Texas 15-20 years ago. I have seen the effects pollution has had on this wide open state and the Gulf of Mexico. I believe that some sacrifices can be made if we are able to create long-term solutions. I loath the fact that I ineffectively being sold on domestic drilling to lower gasoline prices when I would gladly pay more for a decent, humane alternative. I feel the pain filling up my Ford truck. I still would rather we do more than play politics for the oil vote.
I know that there are existing acreage and contracts that will allow oil companies to drill offshore. I still strongly oppose ANWR drilling or any drilling on in National Parks systems. I am fully aware that “ban” is semantically accurate as there is much public sentiment against offshore drilling by the communities it surrounds. What Drill Here, Drill Now is attempting is support build-up among the majority of Americans before they realize they’ve been fooled. 18.75% sounds like a good enough reason to perpetrate this hoax, no?
If I may, I would like to suggest a way of making the blight of your problem less disagreeable. People say they want cheaper gasoline, but here’s how to make the increased energy plants seem like something cause-worthy. Western Refining is located here in El Paso. It is something the locals look at with a sense of pride despite the smell that flows through a central commercial district and the surrounding neighborhoods. However it is one of the few large enterprises out of El Paso; and other, larger communities around the US might respond to a refinery the way El Pasoans react to our copper refining plant, ASARCO out of Arizona.
I am not an expert on energy. I do however represent the large constituency of people in Texas who do not like paying more for energy especially with little reprieve in sight. I know there have been many millions of dollars invested in Yucca Valley, Utah. I would gladly accept a nuclear plant in the neighborhood if it contributed locally, and lowered costs. I am a Texan. I would accept a nuclear pellet powering my truck if it was relatively safer than smoking or the Texas Sun. Please ask the leadership pushing for domestic drilling to reconsider. American oil reached it peak in the early 70s. We stopped drilling for reasons of cost, accessibility, and labor. We still pay for the expensive sand and tarpit oil from Canada and elsewhere; but it would not be unwise to pump a lot of funds and energy into extracting oil from domestic reserves when it would simultaneously make us more dependent on foreign oil once those reserves ran out, and enervate current trends toward conservation and alternative energy. Without a long term plan, this Drill Here, Drill Now strategy is malevolent and pathetic.
I thank you for your courage in leadership. The Texas constituency will thank you with their vote.


Tuesday, June 17

The Liberal Viewer

I am the slow one to this guy. I have seen his videos here and there, but I only recently signed up for a Youtube account. I have discovered "channels."

Understand there is no such thing as impartial journalism. It is almost an oxymoron. The thing is, does the story completely click? Do we need more facts? The answer is always yes.

One question I ask myself is whether I am wasting my time. I do not watch much Fox News ever. This is not leaving me in the dark. This does not mean I am not getting information on what 'the other side' is doing. Fox news is a worthless station. There are many links below and at this youtube channel with content from Fox News. Let people like the Liberal Viewer suffer through the pain of watching.

Maybe one day, Fox will straighten up and we'll all tune in.

Unlikely, but they're always just one news story away from losing all credibility.

Friday, June 13

Thump speech

Greg Palast's office contacts you when you ask stridently. It took a week, but I should have some stuff coming in the mail. I tried talking to a few state reps while I was in Austin. What I need mostly is to build constituent interest for these reps to take anything I say seriously. Right now I only have Alpine as a potential area outside El Paso, TX. The others would be much longer trips, and there will be much more to do here for the general election. Looks like an email campaign to save the internet.

So thanks, AC. Your info will go to good use.

While I was in Austin, I had a long conversation with a communications major about the importance of the Press. While I cannot argue with the influence mass communication has on the people, the structure, and the everyday living effecting all of us, I am choose to be a silent mover. I think it is all very well to influence our neighbors, but this is not what mass communication is. It is the presentation of too general a theory that any dig into specific examples causes a significant compromise or serious narrowing of scope not intended by the original hypothesis. It is easy enough to manipulate polling questions or statistics to affect the answers that prove your point, but that specifically supports my distrust of the Press.

In plain terms, I do not talk to anyone publishing if I do not know their work. Even when I must trust a stranger, I verify their sources. Otherwise I rely on personal word-of-mouth to disseminate my information to the influences people will listen to. I try to get 3 independent sources saying the same thing before I believe my own verification. If I cannot, I collect what information is available but wait before I believe. I do not believe most news prima facie. You should at least be skeptical. They're getting to be almost as bad as those FWDs you get through email.

Treasure friends.

Take the suspension of the campaign story for instance. It is being sold as a way to respect the voters and supporters. I wonder how much of it is pretended for a shot at Howard Dean's chair. I do not mean that Hillary wants it, No no. I don't even think Terry McAuliffe would want that seat back. All I am saying is that you need to build amazing support among your constituency if you're going to take a shot at the incumbent. If members of the Democratic National Committee can be pressured to oust Howard Dean, these Hillary National Delegates are the constituency to push in this direction. I do not know who if anybody intends on running against Dean, but a full Mich/Fla certainly would come in handy for any blocks that could hurt the man a lot of people blame for cutting Clinton down.

We should not allow anything to happen to Dean. Senator Nelson is a joke for making his arguments in front of the RBC. I know he has constituent anger he has to deal with, but what's with all of the invoking of real and terrible atrocities from the history of the world. Only 23% of Dems voted in that Fla primary. If anything, they got bumped by near 100%. If anything, counting them as 50% disenfranchises the many people in Fla who knew their state had violated the rules and would not be counted. If you ever wondered what happened to that story, I just told you why it isn't ever going to change from the May ruling. Howard Dean should not be penalized for being a strong chair.

I'll tell you more about my local scene after a week.

Saturday, June 7

Austin, Day Done

I must reflect over what I should say.

The state convention is done. We gained 2% with over 7000 attendees, 24 Obama delegates to the national, and Don Williams up from El Paso. This is a good man.

I will have more to say in the coming days. Right now, I'd like to see how what has been played turns out. Jen, Jeff, Jim, and Diana: you made it a fantastic trip. The Obama staff was really grumpy all week, but then I could see them happy and smiling once they were out from under the weight of the convention. They did an excellent job. Thanks personally to Glen, Matt, and JD.

Wednesday, June 4

Austin, Day 1

Dear Clinton Supporters,
I want you know that there’s no bad blood between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I want you to hear me out, maybe not today, but at least by the time September rolls along, I want you to prick your ears up. I want you to be able to take what you’ve heard and read to filter out who speaks the truth. If there are any grievances you hold, I want you to talk to Obama staffers and other volunteers about what we can do to fix it. We are sure you can help us, and so we’ll be eager for you to make the first step through the doors of an Obama HQ.
There have been some harsh and completely ridiculous lies tossed around about both our candidates. In the many months working for the Obama campaign, I’ve never heard any of these lies perpetuated by anyone I’ve had the honor to work along side. Like you, I’ve had to defend my candidate against jeering and criticism sometimes coming from a place of hate and prejudice. I don’t know which one of us has had it harder. Imagine my surprise when I found myself defending Hillary Rodham Clinton to a trio of older men, a couple strangers in line at the coffee shop. These men were bad-mouthing the Clintons for pushing women’s rights in not so formulated a thought. They were bad-mouthing women, and strength, and equal opportunity. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t yet had my coffee, but I’d rather think it was the sight of three good ole boys feeling bright spouting this kind of despicable nonsense in public space compelled me to confront them. I excused myself into their conversation and pressed them for more information. I ended the conversation with the leader saying, “I wasn’t sure you were an idiot, but thanks for clearing that up.” He said I was owing to his generation for my schooling. I shot back with, “I am very glad to have your support for education.” I then asked them if they’d like to contribute to the Texas State Democratic Party. They said they were voting with McCain.
The coffee girl dropped the sullen look from her face. That morning I didn’t pay for my coffee. She was an Obama girl, to top it off, but she remarked at how those men always came to talk so loud everyone could hear. I go to that café regularly now, and those men haven’t been back.
Whether you like us or not, we are willing to help you. What this should mean to you is that Obama people consciously the proper respect and consideration to the great number of people and ideas out there. Indeed, we do not give preference to rights and privileges to people who like us over people who don’t. We do not take the freedom or the citizenship we are given in this country for granted. We know that if America is great, we are the ones who must make sure we keep it there.
Now, you’re looking at a young guy like me and thinking I’m the new kid on the block. I’ll give fair warning that you should start getting used to this face and other faces like mine. We are not the youth responsible for voting Obama into the White House. We are the older brothers and sisters of the youth that is voting Obama into the White House. We almost turned our backs on the government. We almost kept to our business or professional degrees, to entertainment, to building up our own families with the idea that government could not be trusted. Being connected to the internet, many of us still stayed informed. We know that most of what’s said on TV and on stumps effect a small amount of people extraordinarily. The biggest change most of us will see is a politician keeping his job a little longer. We’re a generation of skeptics, we learned quickly how to filter through the many contradicting news sources from around the globe. We want to show you what we’ve learned, and listen to what you have to teach. We’d been waiting half in vain, but at the same time ready to take our places if that day would ever come.
The day has come, dear Democrats. We expect many of you who are used to the way government has always been issued to feel a little uncomfortable. When you read Obama’s website, you might dismiss “We are the change we have been waiting for” as ‘fancy talk’. You might think these words mean nothing. It is real. It is a very real and pragmatic message that energizes many of us to the fact that Obama is opening up the door.
Take me, for example. I’m not the kind of person you normally see at a political convention, at least not the kind asking for your support. I’ll admit I could probably use a haircut and a fitness plan, but what I do know is that my younger brother is happy to see me join in the movement of leadership in the arena of politics. He’s serving in the Air Force. He asked me “What’s taken y’all so long?” The answer to that is “We thought we were alone.”
My brother knows that this is a democratic republic. He understands that if something is not working, by the will of the people, we can do much to change that by our institutions. We try new things and throw out what doesn’t work. It’s not a matter of if but when. In all likelihood, it will become necessary to try new policies again soon. He hears a number of opinions on base every day, yet decides for himself to cut through the fat and vote for Obama. He’s confident in me. He’s confident in this country. He believes that it is not be a matter of when anymore, because we know the answer to that other important question: Who?
So many of the good men and women who’ve been working to correct the system from within have had to wait, and they are now making their move. You see, it’s not a campaign of pretty sounding rhetoric. It isn’t blind overstepping by the peace-lovers and naïve youth. Many of the Senators and statesmen are joining Obama in this very real and pragmatic movement for change. If you have a solution, he will hear it out. You can make a difference even if your allegiances are not all in line with his. Now we know we are not alone, and the older brothe irs and sisters of America’s youth believe this country has a place for them, for our government, for our grandparents, our earth, and our neighbors. We’ve been waiting for something to save us, and now we’re here.
You’ve got to know that a smear campaign is coming. It’ll be big and ugly. Much of the smear will come from outside Republican Party-funded organizations. If you think we’ve seen the worst, the rather flaccid attempts by John McCain will be supplemented by nefarious and irresponsible die-hard conservative groups. Their weakness is that they are small group of people that has done much to deceive the supporters of their own party. You will hear every insult and innuendo coming from these groups. Do not lump all Republicans in together. We can get a few of them on our side. Responding with hostility is what the RNC is banking on to stand a fighting chance this election. You must prepare yourself with reasonable and stalwart answers. You must ready your heads with your hearts in the right place.
I am running for a DNC slot. I want you to know that there are more important things than my receiving your vote. Please hear what I have tried to express in this appeal to Clinton supporters. This change isn’t anything guaranteed to happen. We know that we are exercising a Democratic ideal by supporting Barack Obama. We are moving towards something grand, but we are moving in one direction. This is how a nation can change.