Wednesday, March 30, 2011

et ceteras

Thanks to Rich Lowry for bringing up what I consider to be the statistic of the week: In the late 1960’s, federal defense spending and federal non-defense spending were equal percentages of our GDP, but today the latter is four times the amount of the former. That shows why entitlements, arts subsidies, etc., must be cut or eliminated if our government is ever going to get its finances straight.

Gas prices have increased a whopping 67 percent since Barack Obama became president. Have you noticed that no one in the MSM has attributed any of the blame to him, even though he has done things that obviously place upward pressure on prices? Things like imposing a prolonged ban on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico last year, even though that drilling had been contributing to our supply for decades?

Do you remember how when gas prices were on the rise during George W. Bush’s presidency, everybody in the MSM was quick to blame him for the problem even though he took steps to alleviate it? Things like announce an end to the sweeping executive ban on offshore drilling -- an announcement that was followed by a greater than 50 percent drop in gas prices before he left office?

I have been rough on environmentalists in my last two posts, and today I learned something (thanks to Nat Brown) that makes me want to be rough on them some more. Namely, I learned that in those places where plastic grocery bags have been banned because of trumped-up environmental concerns, the use of plastic bags in general has then skyrocketed to the point that the impact of the bans is a net increase in plastic bag consumption. Don’t forget what they say about good intentions and the road to Hell…

For years I have been aggravated by the decline in quality of play when it comes to basketball. But I must say that this year’s NCAA tournament has made me happy with some old-style teamwork on display; a bevy of down-to-the-wire games; and now a Final Four featuring no top seeds and two presumably huge underdogs. It’s not yet on par with Lorenzo Charles’s buzzer-beating dunk to lift NC State over Houston in ’83, or Villanova shooting 79 percent to stun Georgetown in ’85, but this year has all the ingredients to produce a classic like those -- and for the first time in a long time I am eagerly looking forward to watching the Final Four.

And to close this post, what about some pictures? Last month I wrote about some nature preserves where I had been hiking. Since then I have paid three more visits, once to go trail running in Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve and twice to go mountain biking (such as it is Florida) in Conner Preserve. Below, the first photo shows one of the trails I ran on, while the second shows some wildflowers I encountered while biking.

I will see you back here as soon as I have something worth saying. Until then, keep plugging away at whatever it is you do!

1 comment:

Barb said...

Hello John, These photos of your FL spring are so lovely. I'm still under snow here in CO. I've read through your posts and stopped here - I'm thinking you and my Husband could be friends...Hope all is well with your wife and little girl. The best to you.