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©April 2006

Carol Jane Remsburg




Current Events April 2006





'Tis the last day in April 2006, and topping the news has been multiple topics nearly interwoven together via politics, greed, or natural disaster.  Let's see, we have oil prices at all time highs, electric prices poised with a planned spike set to begin tomorrow, the war in Iraq (as well as about 100 other places of unrest in the world, like Darfur), and last but not least, the pending "Day without an Immigrant" strike for tomorrow.  So much news, and none of it appealing.


So this little snapshot in time I'll put down and maybe check back on it in a few years to see if anything has changed, or my feelings about them.


First we have the record high oil prices, along with the record high earnings reaped by the oil companies.  Hmm, high prices, higher profits.  Somebody's making mega-money here and it's not the Average Joe, or Average Josephine in my case.  It's said to be due in differing parts by the backlash of Hurricane Katrina that damaged some oil refineries AND let's not forget the issues in the Middle East.  Still, if that were totally true, the oil companies wouldn't be seeing such increased profits, should they?  What most consumers know is that the bottom line is a bigger chunk of their wages is being spent on gas.  For those with already tight budgets, the squeeze is being felt keenly.  I've got a feeling something's gotta give soon—food or gas?  Geez, I knew I needed to diet! 


Second, almost like a domino-effect, electric companies have applied for dramatic rate hikes, anywhere from 35% to 50% increases in some areas set to begin on May 1st in my area.  Oh, they even have this little deal where for some, they will set up payment plans to cover the increase to allow time to pay and catch up.  My thoughts on that, are how could you?  Put off until November paying back the difference starting in May and you'll NEVER catch up.  And if you can't, what will they do outside of cut of your electricity, send Guido out to apply a little pressure?  Maybe smash the old TV?  (Hey, you need to buy a HD set by 2009—so what's a coupla years without TV.  It'll save you on cable, Dish, or DirecTV.  So Guido's doin' you a favor—right?)  One of the few things I really count on during summer is my A/C…I can see it set to 85 degrees already.  Me, of the sporadic personal summers, I already plan to start my visits to the local "Beer Caves" they keep set at 28 degrees.  That's if I can afford the gas for the trip to the store.


Training the teen to turn off every light NOT needed or currently being used has been a task for nearly fifteen years.  I've upped the ante now, I figure for what I save in electricity going to lights will offset the outlay for that cattle prod. 


As for candlelight, well, the cost of candles has risen SO much, I figures we could make our own.  If you were considering trying that….It costs about $16 to make the same $4.99 candle you can get at Michael's.  Oh, that price will rise further when the cost of propane goes up more, and it will, like it doesn't already cost the earth.


Third, The War In Iraq!  Please note I did use caps for it.  It's impacted all of us in so many ways.  There are a thousand different angles it could be addressed, still it's a tough issue.  Most of us know Saddam needed to go, yet few of us could realize how difficult it would be to put Iraq back together after his downfall.  I do feel that even the most savvy political experts and military minds had NO CLUE how long or hard this was really gonna be.  It's almost like Vietnam---where we went in, but weren't 'ALLOWED' to win.  Had free reign been given, Vietnam would have had a much different outcome—but that's another rant.  For now, Iraq, has issues where there are so many different guerilla/terrorists factions trying to ensure that stability and autonomy do NOT come to the people of Iraq, it's scary.  I think it's the western mindset that does NOT understand that terrorists are crazy to the core—they just plain don't care.  It's a difficult concept for most of the rest of us to understand. 


And fourth, "A Day without an Immigrant," what a CROCK!  The term 'immigrant' implies a LEGAL STATUS, that's not what this is about.  The millions of ILLEGAL ALIENS suddenly want blanket citizenship.  America IS a melting pot of peoples as it should be, but there is a process.  Most Europeans who arrive for a work visa have tests to take to ensure they speak English, or at least enough to get by with.  The Mexican INVASION now has come to the point where most products sold in the US have Spanish language all over them, also entire sections of the grocery stores are set up solely for those who can't speak anything but Spanish and provide their ethnic products. 


I'm the first to enjoy different foods from around the world, but when I have to figure out my laundry detergent and softener---and the primary label is SPANISH?  Um, what country AM I LIVING IN?





Please don't misunderstand me, I'm ALL FOR the American Way, but if you are coming to this country, do it legally—AND learn the language.  What illegals are doing now has been done for years…pregnant women coming over the border, very close to gestation date…pop the kid, BINGO, we have an instant citizen.  Oh, and we can't send MOM home…  Every angle is used, and that's wrong.  I am not for blanket amnesty for illegals.  And worse, it's the companies who hire them who have gotten us in this mess in the first place for bigger and fatter profits.


That's not fair to anyone, least of all the illegals.  My take, if you wanna be an American citizen—go through the proper channels.  Don't try a boycott, I'll laugh right at ya, and hope you find your way back beneath the border fencing…don't let it rip those jeans as you wiggle under.


Yet, there will be a few riots tomorrow and at the very least, somebody is going to get hurt.  That's NOT how it should be in my view.


Rat's where's that "Walgreen's—In a town called Perfect…" when you need it?  Such a lovely fantasy it is, with the real world such a scary place.


Meanwhile, we can hold on tight for the ride, keep trying to teach our kids the proper core values while still trying to believe in them ourselves.


As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night."


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