Obama to Big Three
Our new president should tell the domestic auto industry: “We’ll be helping you out with some federal loans. After all, we don’t want any more unemployed people. But here’s the deal, boys: You will immediately cease production of all passenger, light truck and sport utility vehicles with highway mileage under 30 mpg. Further, as of July 1, 2010, you will halt production of all vehicles with highway mileage under 35, and after July 1, 2011, it rises to 40. These limits apply to each vehicle produced, not to ‘fleet averages.’ In addition, passenger cars and light trucks and vans and SUVs will henceforth not be produced with eight-cylinder engines, only six or four. (After July 1, 2010, only four cylinder engines will be produced.) My staff will be refining regulations governing light truck production, in recognition that some people actually do need light trucks to earn a living. Perhaps we will require certificates of need or some other mechanism. In short, we mean business.”
Events of the last six months have proved how powerful a weapon decreased petroleum consumption is against the weak dollar and a weak foreign policy vis-a-vis Iran, Venezuela, etc. I hate to be harshly dogmatic about it, but as your newly elected leader, with a pretty good mandate, it’s time to get serious about change.”
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We’re all watching
President-elect Obama has been given the opportunity and the mandate to turn this nation around. Close scrutiny will be the order of the day as a nation eager for change watches to see if his actions match his words. Obama’s style lends itself to a spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship, and I was proud to also see and hear John McCain recognize the fact that all Americans must come together and find solutions to our many urgent problems.
Americans can disagree on ideology and continue to haggle, or they can get about the task of repairing the problems. The increased political polarization that has developed, especially over the past seven years, must enter the history books and be viewed as part of our past. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil did it during the 80s, and once again, we have the kind of leadership that I strongly believe will reach across the aisle and do what’s right for the nation.
Come January, we will have a president who knows how to listen and who becomes an even better listener when people disagree with him. The approach of going it alone in the world will come to an end.
When I woke up Wednesday morning, I was even more proud to be an American. I believe that Obama will continue to be a transformational leader. Only time will tell how this new administration handles the incredibly difficult issues facing it against a backdrop of enormous expectations. We are all watching and the time is short.
Mark R. Carney
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This is in response to the letter by the Rev. Gregory Hewitt on Christianity as the only path to salvation.
It is precisely because of this exclusivity that many of us have left Christianity. It no longer fulfills what we intuit as the image of God.
Christianity is only one image of God. The full nature of the transcendent is too immense for the mind of humans to grasp. God is not “out there.” God is in the awesome beauty and complexity of the natural world. God is in each person and each person holds their own image of the transcendent. The theologies and myths of non-Christians are as true as the those of Christianity.
The time of revelation did not end in the fourth century C.E. when the Apostles’ Creed was declared by men to be orthodox Christian dogma.
Revelation continues as the mind and spirit of humanity continue to evolve. Revelation continues through the works of philosophers and poets, whose thoughts give us deeper insights into our own humanity and our place in the universe. It continues in the work of scientists whose discoveries reveal more of the wonders of nature. It continues in each of us.
How we find the meaning of our lives is a journey to find the image of God within ourselves. In the Gospel According to Thomas, Jesus says, “Bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you.”
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We broke it, we pay
Having a new president gives hope for a better image abroad but ultimately our foreign policy will have a greater impact. Sen. Collins and two Democratic senators authored a bill that was recently passed into law.
This bill requires the Iraqi people to spend their oil revenue to help pay for reconstructing their country; this saves Americans billions, which is good. However, the general rule of thumb is that if you break something, you are responsible for fixing it, not the victim.
After the initial shock and awe campaign, the U.S. Agency for International Development gave most of the reconstruction contracts to U.S. multinational companies such as Haliburton and Bechtel, excluding Iraqis. These companies have overcharged U.S. taxpayers and often failed to meet contract obligations. This new law requires Iraqis to pay these same companies for reconstructing their country — this is unfair. This law is reprehensible because it shows no acknowledgment or ounce of compassion for the harm that we have inflicted on Iraqis. This is the kind of foreign policy that hurts our image around the world.
If we want to save money, we should set a time table to withdraw U.S. troops. If we want to gain respect or to improve our image, then we could begin with paying for the reconstruction and reparations to the Iraqi people.
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I read with interest the recent article reporting on the surge in “assault rifle” sales fueled by the anticipation of Barack Obama’s presidency (BDN, Nov. 8). Who could have predicted that his election would yield such an immediate boost to the economy?
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Birth control education
I read with interest Kathleen Parker’s tribute to Laura Bush (BDN, Nov. 5).
I agree that the first lady has quietly and graciously acted on behalf of women and children all over the world to bring enlightenment. Her statement, “If women are educated, everything across the board improves for their families,” is true.
However, it seems that birth control education is lacking within the scope of her concerns. I realize her husband is strongly against abortion, but birth control is separate and something women in many places really need. They do not want to have too many children and need help.
So many problems across the globe are caused as a result of too many people.