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While they may be attractive, and safer than the old blue and yellow plates, the new canary and black are reflective and provide a large target for laser speed sensors; you know, those things that will make your radar detector obsolete. Tests have shown that cars with fewer reflective surfaces are more stealthy to laser detection. While I do not advocate willful flaunting of the law, I believe that random speed measurements are an ineffective way of promoting public safety on the roads. They are, however, an effective means of creating revenue for municipal budgets. I see no reason to encourage this method of enforcement, without equal efforts being put upon left lane bandits, drivers who don't signal properly, and drivers that ignore traffic signals at intersections.
I feel I must share a few observations with you on the past political season. By the time you read this, the election will be history, so no one can accuse me of trying to influence you.
I find it humorous that a President who declares to be "in touch" with the average American, cannot identify a checkout scanner at a supermarket. I find it somewhat less funny when you consider this is a past director of the CIA.
Mr. Perot is correct in pointing out the terrible financial trouble we are in. If we went to a credit counselor, as a national family, and presented our books with our assets and liabilities, we would be asked to surrender our credit cards and not use them again until we had demonstrated fiscal responsibility. When Congress has needed more money for programs, it always borrowed from other programs, borrowed from lending institions, or came to us for more, something we cannot do to balance our personal budgets. They also improve their own credit limit by raising the limit on the national debt. This is a great way of balancing a budget, but it is something only Congress can do. Additional sources for revenue have been suggested, among them an increased gasoline tax.
It had been projected that by this time gasoline would be selling for well over $2 per gallon. It has been a policy of recent administrations to do everything in their power to keep fuel prices lower, partly to help the economy, and partly to gain political favor with voters who have to fill their tanks. It seems that the health of the economy is not directly related to fuel costs, and neither is the favor of voters. We are awash in cheap, imported oil, and we are at the mercy of those that supply it. Although we don't like to remember the gas lines of the 70's, we were on a healthier path as a nation toward energy independance than we are now. We have been taught to believe that we are a powerful nation because we have the ability to repel invaders, or can send troops to other parts of the world to protect our interests. Real power, however, lies in being able to do without what the rest of the world supplies, namely, oil. Without oil as an instrument of foreign policy, our headaches in the middle east would practically cease to exist. Dictators of oil producing nations could not purchase arms if their oil exports were no longer needed. This means we must encourage domestic energy production; oil, nuclear, fusion. A domestic energy policy should emphasize these areas, even if it means higher gasoline prices. If gasoline taxes are raised, it will merely bring prices closer to the current world level. If the monies are directed toward policies that will make us less dependent on imported fuel, it will be well spent. And while some say that raising gasoline prices 50 cents a gallon will hurt people, I cannot see that lowering prices would help them much. It would encourage conservation, efficiency, and alternate energy sources.
One quote of Mr. Perot that stays with me is "Any person with the intelligence to be President of the United States would have the good sense to not want the job". Mr. Perot did not heed his own advice, thus illustrating that good sense was not a job requirement. It reminds me of the sign that hangs in the luncheonette: "Good food takes time to prepare; yours will be out in a minute." For Mr. Perot to lash out at what is normal perfidious behavior for political parties in election campaigns reveals him to be politically naive. Without absolute proof of his allegations, Mr. Perot has provided the joke for the bumper sticker that has always been my favorite punchline:
I am not paranoid; they ARE out to get me!
Mr. Perot's running mate, Admiral Stockdale, failed to measure up to the trait illustrated so well by Ronald Reagan; that is, the ability to ACT presidential. Perhaps being a member of the Screen Actor's Guild is more important than having a high I.Q. The Admiral, after flustering a while could have quipped "read my book".
I worried for a time that the American public thought that Dan Quayle was less real than Murphy Brown. After watching the vice-presidential debate, I have concluded that the public thinks that Dan Quayle is just as real as Murphy Brown.
May God save the republic.
Last Modified December 25, 2000