Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some things I think I think

If there is a capital of environmentalism, it has to be the state of Oregon. There are more tree-huggers per square mile of Oregon real estate than anywhere else on Earth, though California is a close second. That’s why I am bowled over by the unabashed promotion of Oregon trees for Christmas. Does each tree come with its own hugger?

The ‘sub-prime’ mortgage crisis is bewildering. When borrowers had a chance to buy homes with adjustable rate mortgages at low rates and save gobs of money over more prudent borrowers with fixed mortgages, they jumped at the chance and laughed all the way to the bank. When interest rates changed and adjustable rate mortgages became more expensive, laughs became tears. So what do many in government and congress want to do, naturally they want to bail out the short-sighted borrowers. I say why stop there, why not indemnify those unfortunate enough to have to sell their homes in a declining market; after all the declining market is largely due to the ‘sub-prime’ mortgage catastrophe.

It looks to me that President General Pervez Musharraf is the present day version of the Shah of Iran and President George Bush is the present day equivalent to Jimmy Carter. Unfortunately for the world Musharraf is the guardian of atomic bombs and the Shah only had his secret police. Demanding Musharraf hold ‘democratic’ elections in an Islamic country is like asking the wolf to dine in the hen house out of courtesy to visitors. The outcome of ‘democratic’ elections is Gaza should be a lesson to us all but not apparently to do-gooder instincts of our president.

Another perplexing thing is Russia’s apparent indifference to the threat from Islam. Putin, a very bright and effective leader, continually places obstacles to the meager efforts by the Bush administration to thwart Islamic takeover of the world even though Islam is a greater threat demographically to Russia and the country sits within short missile range of the worst Islamic countries. With a declining reproduction rate, even after subsidizing time off for ‘afternoon delights’, in not too many years Muslims will be the dominant segment of the Russian population. Why then shouldn’t Russia be aligned with the United States to prevent Islamic world domination?

Going largely unnoticed is the action by a Congressional Committee to preserve a cut in funds for the disastrous Mexican truck fiasco. If enacted, the committee’s decision to pass along to congress a reduction by half of the funds required for the ‘pilot’ project to allow long-haul Mexican trucks access throughout the country will temporarily stall the NAFTA-required right of Mexican trucking companies to have unfettered travel in our country.

Mexico is copying ‘meals on wheels’ to bring consulate services to Mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, to help them get ‘matriculas consulares’ to be used as identification cards. Many banks and other institutions accept this form of identification without asking citizenship status. The ‘consulate on wheels’ will stay in each location up to five days at a time. This seems to be such a good idea Mexico should allow the equivalent to function on behalf of foreigners in Mexico, especially the illegal entrants to their southern border. Sure.

As long as the United States offers illegal immigrants free medical treatment, government benefits, reduced tuition rates and, in some states, driver licenses, in addition to the jobs they came here for, what is the incentive to stay at home and make a better country? Driver licenses are especially a problem because a license is more than a permit to drive, it is a nationally recognized identification card which allows the holder to board an airplane, rent a car and get a bank account; all things helpful to a terrorist.

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