Having finally found time on vacation to write, and suffering a slow connection, here are some quick hits for today:
* As much as Hurricane Katrina may have indicated that building in Louisiana is a bad idea, the fires and decade after decade of drought in California may be a sign that it is time to shift population and business growth out of California. Sure, it is a desert that we have built a massive population around that can survive with the Sierra Nevada mountains and their snow pack, but global climate change is reducing glaciers and snow pack in mountains globally. How much longer can northern California, much less southern California keep fifty million in water or from burning down?
* In the middle of a 24 day vacation to the third world makes me think more than ever before that building American exports around selling alternative energy and energy conservation products to developing countries can be an economic boom for America. In nations that continually experience brownouts, that utilize technology that creates enough pollution to give one a sore throat in hours, that yearn to have more, and have sucked up American dollars but have nothing to spend them on, it seems a marriage made in heaven to manufacture and sell alternative energy products back.
* Sharing imperfection with many politicians, the passing of Ted Kennedy has ended one of the most prolific political family legacies for at least one generation. What is truly shocking is the right's inability to even be respectful of such an obvious legacy. It shows how far they have come from the respect of Reagan Republicans to today's trash talking, stand for nothing, say no to everything, and refuse any possible agreement Republicans. Truly a sad day for the GOP, and a sad day for America with the loss of Ted Kennedy. Rest in Peace.
* President Obama needs to go back to watch Reagan's strategy for taking the lead. The President has failed to lead on issues after his early victories and it is hurting him badly. He is having trouble controlling the debate to this point, and that is to be somewhat expected in today's media age that Reagan never had to contend with, but his strategy still works. President Obama must take a stand on issues instead of simply waiting for Congress to act. His actions will provide political cover for many, and direction for others. But sitting back and hoping others find a deal has left too many deals going on, but none that anyone can agree upon. This isn't his first test of leadership, but it may well define the first year of his Presidency in a weak way unless he starts to up his game.
* The more time I spend in the Philippines, the more I think we need to increase immigration levels for Filipinos and other Asians. Nothing against other groups, but the amount of hard work to develop this country might just light a fire under the lazy butts of Americans who sit there and whine about immigrants while they refuse to get off their butts and take hard work jobs. God forbid they do anything harder than working at Walmart or collecting their welfare check while they whine about immigrants taking their checks. Then again, Hispanics have been embarrassing them for years as lazy. I guess we should just do it because of the expected shortfall of workers in America as the Baby Boomers retire then. Either way, we get harder workers who aren't afraid to start small businesses and take risks to improve their positions in life, instead of sitting on their butts praying for some major corporation to offer them a menial job that will be exported later anyway.
* It is telling how far Republicans have come when Reagan said we need market based solutions through tax incentives to deal with environmental issues instead of heavy handed regulations. Clinton and now Obama have agreed by using tax credits for programs like Cash for Clunkers, and the GOP of today call it "Socialism." It is pretty clear the GOP isn't the party of Reagan anymore. It is just the party of "No!"