Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 63

So soon after the election I must admit to suffering a bit of a let down but not to the point my “ranter’s broke.” Through it all, I still find enough things irritating that I am capable of sustaining some high dudgeon. I concede though that buying gas again for less than a king’s ransom has elevated my spirits quite a bit. I’m surely happy I didn’t make the decision to start selling off our herd of Explorers. What does bother me is that even having a clear notion of the cause of the housing/mortgage/bailout/meltdown mess and not finding any big surprise in any of it, I still can’t seem to fully understand the collapse of the fuel market.

I knew that a change of posture on drilling would lead to reduced prices. What I didn’t anticipate was the drop to near 2003 pricing. I distinctly remember buying gas in Missouri in ’03 for $1.599 and enjoying the thought of living in a place with cheap gas. I haven’t had to buy any since the 2nd but I only paid $1.819 then and that’s only a 22 cent difference. That’s a far cry from the $4.099 I saw in Chicago in January. And they say there is no God! I do feel rather bad for those who watched their stock portfolios take the same plunge.

Who’s the new guy?

The biggest advantage to driving a tour bus is the opportunity to visit America’s greatest shrines on an almost daily basis. When I planned a tour, I made sure that no place of the least significance was overlooked. In the summer of ’96, we made a series of trips which started in Seattle, covered the Olympics, went into Canada, through Banff, down to Glacier Park, Yellowstone and wound up at Mount Rushmore where a fresh coach was waiting and that driver returned the party to Milwaukee and I returned to Sea-Tac to start the identical trip all over again. Each trip was two weeks and exposed the group to some of the finest sights and experiences available in North America.

Soaring mountains, coastal rain forests, the British tinged charm of Victoria, BC, great forests, endless herds of wild animals, great glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, and all that makes the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains so fabulous were on our trip plan. With that background our last touring day was appropriately to Mount Rushmore and the classic work of Gutzom Borgland. Here the heroic visages of four outstanding figures in presidential history gaze in a south easterly direction to meet the eyes of tens of millions of visitors from every state and all the countries of the world.

Additions to the monument have been variously proposed over the years and I encourage you to view this recent video to get a feel for the reactions of the existing figures to the possibility of a new addition. Who knew the presidents were such an exuberant group?

Buyer’s Remorse

As we move closer to the inauguration, we will be exposed to the potential cabinet, and other miscellaneous appointments which the new president will have to make. I really don’t envy him the job. It is an assignment fraught with error and endless opportunity for mis-steps. It is also a duty where “present” doesn’t cut it. If you want to duck a tough vote in the senate, that is an option but not in the oval office. It is the hour of decision. I shall be anxious to see his priorities exposed by the choices he shall have to make.

For all his claims of expertise gained on the campaign trail he will find this a bit more demanding and requiring actual leadership. One of the devices which is stock and trade for the community organizer is the business of stirring the pot and waiting until someone seizes a project and runs with it. You pick your leadership from the most excitable among your group. If you want a rabble-rousing lead man for a project that may work but I’m not certain how that will stack-up for the management of a functioning government agency with a huge budget.

His greatest potential problem may well be the compliant press which has provided cover for every utterance. Now that the election is behind us, the goal accomplished, and news has slowed to a trickle, they may discover that fuller coverage of the “messiah” will be an attractive alternative to fill the gap. You do have to sell newspapers and TV ads you know. Their “white guilt” has been assuaged by his successful election; therefore they may be able to do some actual reporting and investigation. That is of course, if they haven’t forgotten how.

I shall be very interested in following the future careers of those opportunists who waited until the last minute to jump on the bandwagon and support “The One’s” candidacy. Shall they be embraced as true believers or as that part of the “CYA” bunch that always shows up hollering, “me too, me too!” Fortunately for Colin Powell, he has a good (well-earned) pension and, I’m certain, other opportunities and probably doesn’t need yet one more government job. This is a case where “early bird gets the worm” meets “too little too late.”

A More Important Question

The gold finches which were my first visitors to the new bird feeders have absolutely taken over. Although tiny—5” top—they are dominating the feeders. I have grown concerned that their constant presence has supplied them with enough food that they may be unable to fly one of these days if they keep on eating. I assume they migrate somewhere and fear that they may have some difficulties. In any case it is a pleasant problem to contemplate rather than that steady diet of politics we have just endured. It pleases me to know that God has His eye on them as well. I think I shall probably trust Him for the solution.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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