Thursday, May 29, 2008

YFZ Ranch Children Must Be Returned To Parents

Today, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that said that Texas CPS over reached their authority when they took over 400 children away from their parents at their homes on the YFZ Ranch and ordered that the state immediately reunited most of these children with the parents. Most people in the legal field understood from the beginning that Texas CPS overreached their authority when they raided the YFZ Ranch and took over 400 children away from their supposed polygamous parents. While this case involving child abuse where children were being forced into marriage, against their will, while still legal minors is a tragedy, the fact that any government agency has the false belief that they have the power to remove hundreds of children from their parents based on that parents religious beliefs was certain to be overturned by most state and federal courts as being unconstitutional.

In a way I wish it would have been some other 'run of the mill' Texas CPS action that cause the Texas Supreme Court to take away some of the power of CPS. For far too long, Texas CPS has used their legal power to take children away from their parents and then force those parents to prove that they are innocent before they are given back. Whether it be an couple that is involved in a nasty divorce or some person that wants to take revenge on someone they believed wronged them, CPS has become the one government agency where allegations of abuse are taken seriously even when there is no factual basis for the allegation. In recent years, it has been as easy as someone making a phone call from a pay phone to allege terrible treatment of a child where even their name is not required. Then to play it safe, CPS rushes to that home and removes the children without even having a name or face to placed on the person who is making the charges.

While there are many good people that work for CPS, there are some pretty bad ones as well. The one constant in the United States is that if you give a bureaucrat unlimited power, some of them will abuse that power because of their own insecurities. That is what has been happening too many times with Texas CPS officials and their counterparts in other states around the country. Anytime the legislatures and governors of states allow any of the bureaucrats that are under their control to have too much power, they are setting up a system of government that will eventually come back and bite them in their backside. The problem with most politicians is that they want to find quick fixes to complex problems like child abuse. Instead, what they get when they empower CPS and other government agencies with too much legal power - these agencies often times forget their basic mission and start using that power against innocent citizens that might be of a different religion or culture from the CPS case worker.

That is what I believe happened at the YFZ Ranch when Texas CPS officials rushed in to take away over 400 children from their parents. In what turned out to be a false tip, CPS took that no named caller at her word and violated the civil and in my opinion the human rights of everyone that lives at the YFZ Ranch. It did not take long for the Texas court system to see and understand the mistakes made by Texas CPS officials. However, these kinds of mistakes are made by Texas CPS every single day and the only reason that the Supreme Court of Texas was asked to rule on this case is because Texas CPS messed up big time and huge media attention showed their mistake in living color for all the world to see. Texas CPS is in severe need of repair from the Texas legislature and it is the responsibility of all Texans to demand that our elected leaders stand up and take away some of the powers that they have previously given to CPS until that agency can prove that they really are doing, 'what is in the best interest of the children'.

Title: YFZ Ranch Children Must Be Returned To Parents
Written: May 29 2008
Related YFZ Ranch Content:
Appeals Court Rules Against CPS In YFZ Ranch Raid
DNA Testing From YFZ Ranch Sect Likely To Surprise Many
Did CPS Do The Right Thing at YFZ Ranch?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Superdelegates, Not Voters Earns Obama Nomination

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama said today that by the end of next week, he expects the democratic nomination fight to be over and he also expects to be the winning candidate. Of course, Hillary Clinton will most likely have something to say about his statement later today as she campaigns for the reminding two states still remaining to cast their votes in the 2008 democratic primaries. What 2008 has proven to most Democrats is that their party's nomination process is badly flawed and it is in need of repair. No one at the top levels of the democratic party desired a presidential contest that lasted until summer, but in 2008 - that is exactly what the democratic party got and more than likely party veterans are working right now to make sure that the next time Democratic show up to vote for a presidential candidate, this years mistakes will not be repeated again.

For the past few weeks, Senator Obama has all but ignored Hillary Clinton and instead has focused most of his attention on running against Senator John McCain. There are many democratic party professionals that are deeply disappointed in the actions of both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Rather than claiming that she had run a good race, but was defeated in the end by Senator Obama, Hillary Clinton has continued to campaign around the country. The sad part about this whole Bill and Hillary story is, that before Hillary Clinton made her unsuccessful bid for the democratic nomination in 2008 - most Democrats looked at the Clinton as true party leaders. However, now that Hillary Clinton has been dragging out this race even after it was clear she was not going to win - both she and her husband Bill have lost some of their hard earned political capital with rank and file democratic voters.

A few days ago, Senator McCain urged Senator Obama to accompany him on a trip to Iraq. While that move is most definitely politically motivated - in the end I believe Senator Obama will join John McCain on that trip to Iraq and in the end it will be Senator Obama and not Senator McCain that will benefit the most from that visit. By going to Iraq, Senator Obama will be able to make it clear that his is not against the brave young men and women that are fighting there - but instead he is against a war that should not have been started in the first place. For too long Republican operatives have successfully linked people that do not support the War in Iraq as people that are somehow working against the brave US soldiers in the field there. By traveling to Iraq, Barack Obama will be able to show US troops, first hand, that he is not some nut that wants to prevent them from doing their job properly - but instead an intelligent man that would not have sent them there in the first place.

While it may be difficult to get Hillary Clinton to pull her head out of the sand and admit defeat in the 2008 race for the democratic nomination, none the less by the end of next week I believe that Barack Obama will be correct in his opinion that the race will be over. At that point, all Democrats will have the chance to run against Senator John McCain. While Senator McCain is a brave American who served this country with distinction during the Vietnam War, as a politician he has done a much less stellar job over the years. While I still consider myself a Republican, there are many problems in the current Republican Party which will need to be flushed out before I and millions of others will feel comfortable, once again, support GOP candidates. While most mainstream media reporters believe that John McCain is a moderate Republican, I on the other hand believe that Senator McCain is a liberal hiding inside conservative clothing.

Title: Superdelegates, Not Voters Earns Obama Nomination
Written: May 29 2008
Related Election 2008 Content:
Scott McClellan's New Book 'What Happened' Best Seller
White House Smear Of Scott McClellan Begins Today
Should John McCain Use President Bush During Campaign?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Scott McClellan's New Book 'What Happened' Best Seller

While few things are guaranteed in this life, one thing is for certain. Scott McClellan's new booked called 'What Happened' is going to be one of the, if not the, biggest selling books of the year. Unlike most political insider books, President Bush's former Press Secretary, is angry about the lies that were told to him by Bush administration officials when he was working at the White House. In this new book, 'What Happened', Scott McClellan has gone after the most powerful people in Washington. While at work yesterday, I noticed people talking about this new book and what surprised me was that the people talking about Scott McClellan's new book were not the usual people that sit around the office discussing politics.

In what will be one of the last full fledged GOP defensive moves of the Bush administration, Republican's from all walks of life are rushing to condemn Scott McClellan and praise the members of the Bush administration that were involved in Iraq War cover ups and some out right lies. While GOP insiders will fight to the last man/woman to defend President Bush and VP Cheney against charges that they mislead the American people when selling the idea of going to War in Iraq, I believe most Americans are not only going to believe what Scott McClellan has written about in his new book - but at the end of the day millions of them will purchase his book as well.

It is one thing for a political party to attack members of the opposing party when they make senseless charges against a President of their own party. However, Scott McClellan is not a Democrat - but instead he is a life long member of the Republican Party. In the view of millions of Republicans, including myself, President Bush and VP Cheney have ruined the GOP by first by placing this nation in debt to the point that it will take future generations decades to pay it off and also they hurt the Republican Party badly by lying about their true intentions when they lead this country to War in Iraq. While the history of a President can and does change over the years, in my view President Bush could be viewed, by historians, as the Republican President that destroyed the GOP after Ronald Reagan did such a wonderful job creating it.

The current GOP attack machine that is going after Scott McClellan for having the guts to tell the truth about what went on behind closed doors at the White House will do even further damage to a Republican Party that is already suffering from dysfunction. The last thing any member of the GOP should be doing right now is continuing to support President Bush and VP Cheney. These two men have done more to destroy the Republican Party than any other two men in decades. The fact the some GOP loyalist are standing up to defend the lairs and crooks in the Bush administration instead of an honorable man by the name of Scott McClellan proves to me that just about everyone that currently or has formerly worked in the Bush administration does not really care about what is right and what is wrong.

Title: Scott McClellan's New Book 'What Happened' Best Seller
Written: May 29 2008
Related Election 2008 Content:
White House Smear Of Scott McClellan Begins Today
Should John McCain Use President Bush During Campaign?
Has Jimmy Carter Become A US National Security Threat?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Death Toll Rises From 2008 Tornadoes

In most parts of the United States, 2008 is turning out to be a deadly year when it comes to tornadoes. Unlike previous years – in 2008, Americans all over the country have experienced tornadoes and some of these tornadoes have taken place in some really strange locations like Colorado, north of Denver. As a lifelong resident of Texas, tornadoes have been a way of life for my family for generations. On many occasions as a young boy growing up in the Texas panhandle, mom and dad got my sister and I up in the middle of the night to visit a neighbors tornado cellar to ride out a major thunderstorm. During those days, a loud siren would sound which was the first indication that something was not quit right with the weather that night. Luckily, on all of those occasions – my family was spared a direct hit by a tornado, but the mental damage that racing for cover does to a young person is something that brands an negative image in their minds forever.

Don't get me wrong, it was be child abuse in it's worse form if a mom and dad did not try to find shelter for their family when a tornado warning had been declared. However, memories of being waken up in the middle of the night to seek shelter in a life or death race to escape a tornado does effect children and those children remember those feelings for the rest of their life. So far this year, I have witness, via television, some of the worst destruction in US cities that are almost never threatened by a tornado. While true believers in Global Warming are quick to blame the heating of the Earth as the reason why these greater numbers of tornadoes are happening, other experts are quick to point out that weather conditions around the world do change drastically from year to year and while Global Warming is a potential cause of these high numbers of tornadoes, no one really knows for sure if 2008 is just a bad year for tornadoes or if Global Warming will continue to make the next year even worse.

Back a couple of years ago when Hurricane's Katrina and Rita did massive damage to the US Gulf Coast, Global Warming hawks were quick to blame those massive hurricanes on Global Warming. However, rather than hurricanes getting worse in the next two years - they have been pretty much non existent in 2006 and 2007. So what does that tell us about the effects of Global Warming on weather around the world? To me it says that while there might be good reason to be concerned about ever increasing temperatures on planet Earth, in the end the Earth might have secret ways of adapting itself to a warmer climate. In fact, I still have real doubts as the whether man is causing this rise in the Earth's temperature - instead I believe it is much more logical to believe that the Earth has cycles where it cools and other cycles where it warms and man has little to do with how the Earth does it business.

I find it easy to believe that soon Global Warming hawks will be presenting their new story that all of these massive tornadoes around the world are happening because of the increasing temperature of the Earth. In the same way that these same Global Warming activist used the terrible hurricanes of Katrina and Rita to push their left wing agenda back in 2005, once again in 2008 they will use the high number of tornadoes to preach their never ending message of gloom and doom when it comes to Global Warming. Man made Global Warming might be completely real and a danger to us all, but until non political scientist start standing up and proving it's existence in a logical and non partisan way - most American will continue to view Global Warming as just a left wing political cause that was dreamed up to increase the taxes of Americans and further erode our freedom and way of life.

Title: Death Toll Rises From 2008 Tornadoes
Written: May 29 2008
Related Severe Weather Content:
Did Global Warming Cause Today's Colorado Tornado?
Oklahoma/Missouri Tornadoes Kill Dozens, Homes Destroyed
Tornado Season Has Arrived, Multiple Daily Warnings
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

White House Smear Of Scott McClellan Begins Today

Like many brave men that came before him, in a recent book former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan dared to tell the truth about what really goes on in the Bush administration – so starting today Mr. McClellan will be smeared by the Bush administration and members of conservative talk radio like Rush Limbaugh. In many ways, the Bush administration has been living in a state of denial for many years now as their one glorious military victory in Iraq has turned into a quagmire and driven President Bush's public approval ratings lower than any President in modern history. Rather than looking at this new book by Scott McClellan as just another reflection of how poorly President Bush has done his job, instead the few remaining members of the Bush political attack machine will work overtime this week to try and destroy the honesty and character of a man they use to call a friend.

Back in 2000, I had tremendous hope for President Bush as he was sworn into office as our new President. While President Bush got off to a slow start – the events of September 11, 2001 allow President Bush to lead this country through one of our darkest hours. Then somewhere along the way, President Bush decided that it was in the best interest of the United States to attack Iraq and put an end to the treacherous rule of Saddam Hussein. Using hind sight, I believe that one of President Bush's number one goals when he became President of the United States was to see the end of Saddam Hussein's rule in Iraq before he left office. The events of September 11, 2001 allowed President Bush to do what before that terrorist attack would have been impossible and that was to lead a grieving and angry nation to war against a country that had not attack us first. The evidence that President Bush provided to the American people and the world seemed to prove that Saddam Hussein was not just a danger to his own people, but also to the entire world because he was continuing to build weapons of mass destruction. In the end, that claim by the Bush administration turned out to be a lie.

In the view of the Bush administration, Scott McClellan must now be personally destroyed because he dared to tell the truth about what the Bush administration was really up to when it came to selling the War in Iraq to the American people. Some people I know have told me for years that they believe that President Bush had only one goal when he ran for President of the United States and that goal was to see the death of Saddam Hussein because shortly after George W's father, George HW, was defeated for another term as President – Saddam Hussein tried to have him killed during a visit he made to Saudi Arabia. The reasons the Bush administration has given for going to War in Iraq have changed so many times over the past few years, it has been almost impossible to keep up with them. If President Bush's main goal for running for President was to see the death of Saddam Hussein, then maybe he is satisfied that his administration has been successful – even though few Americans would agree.

When it comes to former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, I am not surprised at all that he had the guts to stand up to President Bush and the powerful people around him when writing his new book. McClellan's mother is a lady by the names of Carol Keeton Rylander or better known to some people as Carol Keeton Strayhorn. Ms. Keeton has been married many times so Rylander was her former husband's last name while Strayhorn is the last name of her current husband. People familiar with Texas politics know Carol Keeton as a tough lady that use to be the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and more recently ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Texas as an Independent candidate because she did not like the way current Republican Governor Rick Perry was doing his job. Scott McClellan comes from a tough political family in Texas where they do not fear either a Governor or President George W. Bush. Every time Scott McClellan's mother has run for political office she has used the campaign slogan, 'One Tough Grandma' and from what I know and have ready about Ms Keeton's personality - that slogan is 100% accurate.

Title: White House Smear Of Scott McClellan Begins Today
Written: May 28 2008
Related Election 2008 Content:
Should John McCain Use President Bush During Campaign?
Has Jimmy Carter Become A US National Security Threat?
Hillary Gets Bum Rap For RFK Comment
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Big Brown My Favorite To Win Belmont Stakes

I'm sure that I am not the only person in this world that hopes that 'Big Brown' wins the Belmont Stakes in 2008. It has been 30 years since any horse has been able to win the 'Triple Crown' of horse racing and I for one believe it is time to see another triple crown winner this year. The last time a horse won the triple crown, I was 19 years old and just one year out of high school. Right now, I am knocking on the door of 50 years old and I believe it is time for another great race horse by the name of 'Big Brown' to go down in racing history. I had hoped two years ago that 'Barbaro' would have been able to win the triple crown, as that once great race horse had the body and attitude necessary to bring home that most elusive of victories. However, it was not in the cards for Barbaro to win the triple crown and after a life threatening injury at the start of the Preakness Stakes, Barbaro was eventually put down when exhaustive efforts were made to save that beautiful and brave horse's life failed. I was so please to hear the news that Big Brown was out on the track today after reports surfaced a few days ago that he had injured his left front foot.

With the exception of the Superbowl, few sporting events in the United States grab the interest of almost everyone like the potential of a triple crown winner in the sport of horse racing. For almost three decades, Americans have been waiting for a horse that has all the right stuff needed to to win all three of the triple crown races at first the Kentucky Derby, then the Preakness Stakes and finally the Belmont Stakes. While many thing have changed in this world since 1978, the sport of horse racing has pretty much remained the same with the exception of the competition that is ready to race on race day. Maybe because of more intense breeding or the fact that steroids are routinely used on modern day horses, or both, the differences between a winning horse and the one that comes in last is not as great today as it was 30 years ago. However, it is a mathematical fact that eventually there will be another triple crown winner in horse racing and I am hoping against hope that 2008 will be the year that Big Brown goes down in the history books as the newest horse to cross that amazing milestone.

I grew up in a small town where my father earned his living by farming and ranching. Our family always had at least two horses that we used to round up cattle with at least two times per year. When our horses were not use in bringing the cattle back to a coral in order to either vaccinate or sell them, our horses pretty much lead a leisurely life in the pasture except when I would travel out to our farm to take a ride on one of them. Like me, my wife has always thought that horse were the worlds most beautiful animal. While my wife has never ridden a horse like I have done, she none the less still loves those beautiful animals. My wife and I enjoy watching horses run in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and at Belmont – but in recent years we have found ourselves in almost a state of tension as these marvelous animals run their race and cross the finish line. Our tension surrounds the terrible bone breaks that have been suffered by race horses in recent year and the almost certain fact that if a horse suffers a major leg break during a race, that horse will be put down almost immediately.

While I do not have a crystal ball that will tell me if 'Big Brown' will win the Belmont Stakes early next month and in doing so become the next Triple Crown winner, it is certainly not against the law to hope that Big Brown will win at Belmont and give a new generation of Americans the same feelings that I had 30 years ago when 'AFFIRMED' won the Triple Crown. More than likely the ratings on ABC when 'Big Brown' runs for a possible Triple Crown victory, in two weeks, will be through the roof as regular folks around the country, just like me, hope to see this amazing race horse go down in the history books as the 2008 Triple Crown winner. While Big Brown is most certainly not a lock to win the Belmont Stakes and in turn the Triple Crown, this amazing brown horse has a great chance of making this miracle comes true. While there are many fevers that are referred to in the world of sports – nothing will hold a candle to the Triple Crown fever that will sweep the United States during the first part of June.

Title: Big Brown My Favorite To Win Belmont Stakes
Written: May 28 2008
Related Horse Racing News:
Big Brown Injured, Will Still Race At Belmont
Big Brown Looks For Triple Crown At Belmont
Big Brown Reminded Me Of Barbaro In Preakness Stakes Today
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Should John McCain Use President Bush During Campaign?

As election day approaches in November, some political pundits are starting to asked the question – 'should John McCain welcome President Bush's support on the campaign trail'? Of course, if John McCain already had the conservative wing of the Republican Party lined up in lock step support of his November campaign, more than likely Senator McCain would pass on any help that President Bush could offer him. However, since John McCain is no where close to having the type of conservative support he will need to win in November, President Bush could be a blessing for his chances in November – even though most Democrats think using President Bush in any type of campaign message is political suicide. While President Bush's approval rating is lower than any President in modern history, there are some very conservative people in the Republican Party that still believe that President Bush is the next best thing to sliced bread. Unlike most Americans, these die-hard Bush supporters are very pro Iraq War and most of them have never wavered in their support for President Bush.

While most Americans have long since lost interest in listening to anything President Bush might have to say, there are millions of social conservatives that still hang on his every word. Conservative radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh have given hundreds of hours of free air time in support of President Bush and his Iraq War stand and most of the people that still think President Bush is doing a good job are listening to these radio talk show hosts which give them what they want – a positive opinion of President Bush as our commander-in-chief. Remember, radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh have been less the glowing in their support of Senator John McCain, even after he wrapped up the GOP nomination a few months ago. To people like Rush Limbaugh – John McCain is not really a conservative, but more of a liberal politician that is dressing up like a conservative and trying to fool the GOP rank and file. On that issue, I agree 100% with Rush Limbaugh. John McCain is no conservative in my view and in many ways I believe he is tricking the American people with his campaign because if elected he will make a 180 degree turn to the left and government the same way he has lead in the US Senate for years.

When it comes to John McCain getting enough social conservatives to vote for him on election day in order to win, no one person can help him motivate the conservative wing of the Republican Party more than President Bush. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, President Bush has given his 100% support to John McCain and since millions of social conservatives still trust the opinions and judgment of President Bush, then John McCain would be foolish to refuse the campaign support of President Bush. That said, there will be limited areas of the United States where President Bush could help Senator McCain. In my opinion, President Bush will help Senator McCain the most in deep south states like Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and be of little to no help to him in larger states like New York, California or Pennsylvania. While it might be difficult for John McCain to always put President Bush in exactly the location he needs him to be for maximum effectiveness – there is another area where President Bush can help John McCain and that is in the area of fund raising.

In the end it will be a careful balancing act, for John McCain, when it comes to using President Bush to help him win the presidency in 2008. This election year is one of the strangest I have ever witness in the Republican Party because rather than locking up the conservative base and then going after moderates and liberals in the general election – John McCain won the nomination in a backwards way where he won the support of moderates and liberals while most conservative voters did not support him in the primaries. The world looks completely different in 2008 as the democratic candidates of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to fight on into the summer and where their Republican opponent easily won the GOP nomination without conservative support. The 2008 presidential election is going to go down in history as a very strange election indeed as it continually turns conventional wisdom on it's ear not just once, but continually during the whole campaign season. For political junkies like me, 2008 is the best of all words because no one, even the smartest of political strategist can make heads or tails out of what is going to happen next.

Title: Should John McCain Use President Bush During Campaign?
Written: May 27 2008
Related Election 2008 Content:
Has Jimmy Carter Become A US National Security Threat?
Hillary Gets Bum Rap For RFK Comment
Is It Time For The Democratic Party To Dump Superdelegates?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Home Prices Cause Consumer Confidence To Drop

As home prices around the United States continue to drop, US consumer confidence has gone down as well. Right now the US economy is facing one of the most bleak futures that consumers have witnessed since President Jimmy Carter presided over an economy that had interest rates approaching 20%, long gas lines/rationing and a foreign policy disaster, in Iran, that all dragged down the confidence of the American people on a daily basis. While the increasing price of gas in probably the biggest concern of American consumers, the US housing crisis cannot be that far behind. Since most Americans do not save money, they have always relied on the increasing values of their homes to carry them through a rainy day.

For the first time in a long time, the American people are facing a double whammy as their homes decrease in value along side their almost worthless new SUV sitting in the garage. While there are some that believe American consumers are reaping what they have sewed over the years, in reality the American people did not all wake up one morning and say with a collective voice that instead of living our lives in a moderate manner, instead we are going to throw caution to the wind and live like there is no tomorrow. Instead, most Americans have been following the lead of their elected representatives in Washington, who have always given off the impression that money is not an object when it comes to getting what they want. That type of blank check mentality has caused the once great US economy to be facing a bleak future right now as all those blank checks that have been written over the years are now all showing up at the bank to be cashed at the same time.

In recent years, the US has faced more than it's fair share of economic bubbles. Back ten years ago, all anyone could talk about was the tremendous investment opportunities in the NASDQ stock market. Like drug crazed addicts, millions of Americans started taking all of their unused cash and invested it in Internet Stocks. This mad rush to invest in new start up Internet companies caused some new Internet companies that did not even earn a profit to be worth more, on paper, than legendary names like GE and Proctor and Gamble. Of course it was not long before the NASDAQ bubble burst and with it billions of dollars worth of retirement income was lost as well. After the NASDAQ market collapsed, rather than most Americans learning their lesson when it comes to short term risky investments, many of them decided that the US real estate market was the next big NASDAQ so they rush to put what cash they had left into the housing market by using new types of mortgages called ARM's where their payments could be low and many times banks did not even require them to make a down payment.

Now the US economy is in the cellar and when you add extremely high gas prices to an already deflated housing market, you get all the ingredients you need to form a perfect recession. While politicians in Washington show no signs of going into rehab and breaking their addiction to borrowing money from tomorrow to pay for short term extravagances today, I do hope that most Americans have learned their lesson when it comes to investing their retirement income in short term growth stocks that will never provide the long term investment income they will need in their retirement years. I also hope that most Americans have learned that ARM mortgages are not all of what they are cracked up to be and instead they will start to look at their home as a long term investment and not just a saving account where their equity can be drawn upon in the event of an emergency. While bedrock financial principles are not that sexy, when all the get rich quick schemes finally explode – it will always be those time honored principles that smart people and businesses turn to in order to right their sinking ship.

Title: Home Prices Cause Consumer Confidence To Drop
Written: May 27 2008
Related Investment Content:
Worlds Best Investments, Gold And Crude Oil
The Time To Buy A Home Is Now
Real Estate Investing 101, Buy Low - Sell High
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

$4 Per Gallon Gas A Reality This Week

Right now, the average price of regular unleaded gas is $3.97 per gallon and almost everyone the studies the price of gas believe that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States will top $4 per gallon this week. Every time gas prices set a new record, a few mega rich people in the Middle East celebrate while billions of other people around the world become more depressed. Most experts already believe that the United States is currently in a recession and it is certain that this recession will only get worse as gas prices pass $4 per gallon and eventually head toward that once unthinkable price of $5 per gallon nationally.

While most of the major contenders for the White House in 2008 have only given lip service to solving the real problem that increasing gas prices are having on our economy, only Hillary Clinton has clearly and correctly pointed the finger of blame at OPEC and their monopolistic control over what the rest of the world pays for a gallon of gasoline. Maybe it is because Hillary Clinton is running a long shot race for the White House and she has little to lose by blaming the right people for this problem or maybe she really does understand how OPEC is driving the US economy further into recession with each one of their crude oil price increases.

While I don't expect Senator John McCain to desire change when it comes to the current state of affairs, in regards to oil prices, in the United States. The one candidate that claims to be the agent of change in this race, Senator Barack Obama, should be front and center like Hillary Clinton is in calling for a tougher stand against the member nations of OPEC to try and force them to quit causing a worldwide energy crisis which only benefits them and a small group of oil companies around the world. Everyone that has read my posts over the past almost three years knows that I am not a supporter of Hillary Clinton's bid to become the next President of the United States, However, on the one issue of – who is really to blame for rising gas prices – Hillary Clinton is right and she should be listened to and followed.

Most Americans are very angry with the almost daily increase in gas prices, but most of them do not know who is really to blame for this once affordable energy source, gasoline and diesel, being forced higher by the day. When Hillary Clinton stands up and points the finger of blame at the member nations of OPEC she is not only blaming the right people and nations, but she is also proving that the worldwide oil business is no longer based on sound 'supply and demand' principles. OPEC took control over the supply of crude oil years ago and within the past few years they have been able to manipulate the price of crude oil by simply pumping more oil or turning off the value in order to get the price they want for their product.

Title: $4 Per Gallon Gas A Reality This Week
Written: May 27 2008
Related Gas Prices Content:
RVs Are Selling Well Even With High Gas Prices
High Gas Prices Slow Small Business Growth
High Gas Prices Slow Global Warming Debate
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Has Jimmy Carter Become A US National Security Threat?

Most people in both the democratic and Republican Party's have either publicly or privately admitted that former President Jimmy Carter has left the reservation when it comes to acting like a good former President of the United States should act. However, yesterday President Carter admitted to the world that Israel does have over 100 nuclear weapons in it's arsenal which I am pretty sure is classified by the U.S. government. Even though it was a long time ago when President Carter served as President of the United States, he still has intelligence knowledge from that period of time which is most certainly still classified by the U.S. government.

When a former President of the United States, like Jimmy Carter, starts giving away U.S. secrets – should he be any different than any other public servant that swears an oath to keep U.S. secrets even after they have left public service? The only person that I know of that has the power by law to declassify any government document is the current sitting President of the United States and not a President that served years ago, but also still has tremendous knowledge of U.S. classified information. In my view, former President Carter is losing his mind and he is saying anything he wants to say without thinking out the consequences of those actions in today's world. It is also clear that former President Carter is pro Palestinian in his political leanings which does cause him not to be a fair power broker in negotiating peace in the Middle East.

Former President Carter's go it alone strategy in the Middle East flies in the face of what he would have expected from a former President when he served as our commander-in-chief. That is why I believe that former President Carter is losing his mind and without seeming too harsh, something needs to be done about his caviler manner of discussing classified American government secrets with the press when he travels around the world working against our current President in Middle East diplomacy. In some ways, President Carter is the first example of a modern day former President of the United States that seems to have become so mentally ill that he blurts out US national security secrets while traveling around the world.

If President Carter was a retired member of the CIA or NSA he would most certainly be brought up on charges for leaking national security secrets. However, since President Carter is a former President of the United States – he will be treated differently by the US Justice Department than some retired bureaucrat that did the same thing. The area of law is an evolving thing that must be changed as the once unthinkable happens in the real world. Unfortunately, because of former President Carter's 'loose lips', new laws will need to be passed to prevent future former President from being able to leak their vast intelligence knowledge to the press once they become a former President. I believe we have not heard the last of Jimmy Carters mistake as his mind continues to fade and as he works overtime to try and prove to the world that he is still relevant when it comes to negotiating a real and lasting Middle East peace.

Title: Has Jimmy Carter Become A US National Security Threat?
Written: May 27 2008
Related Election 2008 Content:
Hillary Gets Bum Rap For RFK Comment
Is It Time For The Democratic Party To Dump Superdelegates?
Is America Ready For A Black President?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Monday, May 26, 2008

Movie '21', Fun Movie But Was Too Long

My wife and I traveled to our local dollar theater this weekend to see a movie called '21'. This movie was based on a bunch of smart kids that were attending MIT in Boston that were recruited by one of their professors to help him and them get rich by counting cards when they played 'black jack' in Las Vegas. This movie was sort of based on a true story where this really happened and at the end of the day those real life kids and the ones in this movie get caught by Las Vegas casino security and were shown the door and threatened with death if they ever returned again.

Since I was a young man, I have heard of people that traveled to Las Vegas with the intention of breaking a casino with their ability to count cards. While counting cards is not illegal, like any business casinos can choose who to let into their casinos to gamble and who to keep out because their wisdom allows them to beat the house too many times. '21' was a very interesting movie to watch because like most people I have found myself on the losing end of black jack hands in Las Vegas way too many times. From a strictly human standpoint, it felt good to see smart kids able to beat the casinos at their own game, even if their activities were eventually discover by the casinos and their days of beating the house came to an end.

I knew a man once, back 30 or 35 years ago that was able to travel to Las Vegas and beat the casinos on every trip by playing black jack. This guy was a regular enough person who I have not seen in 30 years, but like the kids in the movie '21' he was able to count cards effectively and leave Las Vegas with a large amount of winnings on every single trip. More than likely there are thousands of people that know how to effectively count cards and win consistently at black jack. Of course we will never know exactly how many people have this talent because the people that are really good at counting cards must also be good enough to know when to hit the road without being noticed by casino security.

In the end, some of the best Las Vegas card counters have been beaten at their own game because of ego and greed. Without ego and greed, a smart card counter would be able to continue to win at black jack and never be noticed by the management of most casinos around the world. However, most people that are consistently successful at counting cards and winning big in Las Vegas are eventually caught because their ego and a feeling of greatness takes over their enter soul to the point that they eventually start making big mistakes. That is what happens in real life and also what happen in this movie '21' that my wife and I watched this weekend. The inability of most people to keep ego and greed under control is what casino managers always count on when it comes to catching people that are beating them at their own game when playing black jack.

Title: Movie '21', Fun Movie But Was Too Long
Written: May 26 2008
Related Movie Review Content:
Will Indiana Jones Top Iron Man At The Box Office?
Iron Man Rocks While Speed Racer Dies Quick Death
Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman 'Bucket List' Number One
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

RVs Are Selling Well Even With High Gas Prices

As millions of people around the United States look for cheaper means of transportation to take them to and from work, one vehicle that gets terrible gas mileage is still selling quite well in the marketplace. RV dealers report no sales drop this year despite the poor gas mileage ratings of their product. In a way, it makes sense to me that not only are RVs not dropping off in sales as gas prices increase, but in some areas of the country RV sales are increasing. Just think about this issue as a 30 or 40 something family with several young kids. In the past, it might have made sense to take a long vacation in a far away location where everyone could have a good time. However, for many families the idea of packing up the family to take a month long vacation in an automobile, traveling around the country, is not financial possible anymore with gas prices over $4 per gallon in many areas.

However, if that same family purchases an RV and travels only a short distance to say a lake or national forest - the amount of gas that it takes to travel there in an RV will not be that great and once the family arrives, there will be plenty of fun things to do without the need to use much gasoline in that RV until it is time to return home. Also, millions of people are now pulling a fuel efficient vehicle behind their RV - so when they arrive at their vacation location, if they need to move around in a vehicle, they can do so in a very fuel efficient way. While sales of RVs may not have been hurt by the current gas price crisis in the United States, the same can not be said for the SUV. I have heard from several people recently that when they attempted to buy a new car at a dealership, the sales people and management did not seem interested at all in taking their SUV in as a trade in.

Last night I was talking to my sister and she shared with me a story she heard from a friend of hers that is in the real estate business. This friend told her that she recently went to a car dealership to try and trade in her SUV for a new hybrid car. Unlike previous visits, this dealership she usually trades with was very reluctant to trade her our of her SUV so she would have the money to purchase a hybrid car. In the end, my sister's friend was able to get herself out of that SUV and she is now driving a hybrid vehicle. To make this deal happen, she had to agree to take much less than blue book value on her SUV or there was no way any auto dealer she talked to would make a vehicle trade which would allow her to get out from under her fairly new SUV. In the end she was forced to go upside down on her new hybrid car even though that would not have happened if she was able to get the current blue book value for her SUV.

While it might be easy to get upset at car dealers for not wanting to step up and make generous trade in offers for SUVs, to me it makes perfect sense. We consumers do not want to continue to drive gas hog SUVs anymore, so why would a car dealer want to over pay for an SUV trade in when no one visiting their car lot is going to want to buy it either? If a person really wants to get the maximum trade in value from their SUV, maybe they should consider trying to trade it in on an RV, instead of a hybrid automobile? There is a tremendous mark up in the price of new and used RVs so RV dealers might be in a better position to possibly over allow on the trade in of an SUV than most car dealers. Right now, owners of SUV are in a terrible financial position when it comes time to trade in their vehicles.

Title: RVs Are Selling Well Even With High Gas Prices
Written: May 26 2008
Related Gas Prices Content:
High Gas Prices Slow Small Business Growth
High Gas Prices Slow Global Warming Debate
Will Highways Be Empty This Holiday Weekend?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

High Gas Prices Slow Small Business Growth

It is common knowledge that small business inside the United States is the biggest provider of jobs in most communities. However, rising gas prices are putting a strain on the growth of small businesses and in return there could be a shortage of new job offerings from those businesses in the months to come. While most Americans are trying to readjust their budgets to find additional dollars for gas each month, soon some Americans could find themselves working at jobs that will be unable to provide cost of living raises and in a few cases they might be forced to start laying off employees because like regular people, small business are being force to pay higher prices for gasoline as well.

There are so many downsides to high gas prices that it would be impossible for me to list them all here in this post, but needless to say one of the biggest downsides to high gas prices are the effects that they will have on small businesses and in return the paychecks of millions of Americans that work in those small businesses. Most small businesses are growth machines, if managed properly. However, for a small business to grow - they must spend a bunch of money in selling their product or service to an ever expanding base of customers. When gas prices continue to skyrocket to $4 per gallon plus, the cost to first win the business of those customers and then to maintain a close working relationship with them begins to cost a tremendous sum of money.

Just like with families all across America right now, when small businesses are forced to spend twice or three times as much money on gasoline as they did only a few short years ago - there is less money available to expend their workforce and also less money available to provide cost of living and merit based raises. However, rather than small businesses being able to pass their additional costs of doing business on solely to their employees - in a competitive small business environment it could be a disaster if a small business loses all of their valuable employees because some other small business finds a way to better manage costs and in return is able to offer more money to their employees even as gas prices continue to rise.

In that respect, the best managed small businesses will survive while poorly managed ones will go out of business because of the additional pressure that high gas prices have placed on their bottom line. While high gas prices will slow the growth of many small businesses in America today, smart small business owners will be looking for managers that have the intelligence and the ability to continue to grow a small business even with an uncertain and constantly changing cost of doing business expense like rising gas prices. While rising gas prices will hurt both consumers and businesses alike, there will be a small group of small business managers that will grow their businesses while at the same time other businesses with management and business plans based on low gas prices will be eliminated. Complaining about rising gas prices is what most ineffective managers will do, while the really smart ones will find ways to deal with rising gas prices and also find ways to keep their most valuable employees during these hard economic times.

Title: High Gas Prices Slow Small Business Growth
Written: May 26 2008
Related Gas Prices Content:
High Gas Prices Slow Global Warming Debate
Will Highways Be Empty This Holiday Weekend?
Will Employers Switch Payroll From Cash To Gas?
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Saturday Afternoon Tornadoes, Live On CNN

With gas prices completely through the roof, my wife and I stayed inside, for the most part, this Memorial Holiday weekend. While switch around the various cable channels on Saturday afternoon I saw a report of a tornado on the ground in Oklahoma. Right before I started switching the channels again, I noticed that not only was the tornado I was watching on CNN a very massive storm, but in the upper left hand corner of the screen I saw the word, 'Live'. Much to my surprise I found myself watching a tornado as it was happening live on CNN cable television. As a lifelong resident of the State of Texas I have seen my fair share of the devastation that tornadoes can do to communities the find themselves in the path of a major storm. However, until Saturday I had not seen a tornado that was on the ground and doing damage live on television.

While CNN was the network I was watching when this tornado footgage was being sent out via cable television around the United States and maybe even the world, it was a helicopter pilot from an Oklahoma television station along with a reporter and a camera man that provided the real play by play of what was happening in real time as this tornado passed across the vast flat plains of Oklahoma. When I first started watching this CNN coverage on Saturday afternoon, my first thought was that some television station in Oklahoma had a camera on a tall tower and they were using their zoom feature to show those amazing pictures of a tornado on the ground there, live on nationwide television. However, soon after I had that thought, CNN started sharing the sound along with those amazing pictures and it turned out that some brave or stupid person, depending on your point of view, was flying a helicopter and filming this massive tornado from only two miles away and sharing their bird's eye view of a tornado on the ground with millions of people around the United States.

As my wife and I watched this live coverage on CNN of a tornado on the ground in Oklahoma, I remember telling my wife that we were witnessing something that I had never seen before on live television. Sure all of us have seen film footage of tornadoes that have done massive damage to property and cause the deaths of hundreds of people in the past, but to have such good pictures of a tornado on the ground and for those pictures to be sent to our living room televisions live is something that does not happen everyday. In a way, I felt like I was back in school and in science class as I watched these brave reporters from that television station in Oklahoma send their live television pictures to millions of people around American of a tornado on the ground in the state. Just image the scientific knowledge that will be gained from those 20 to 30 minutes of television footage that were shot from that helicopter in Oklahoma on Saturday?

My guess is that since this weekend was a holiday, the normal ratings that cable network news channels receive would normally be down dramatically. However, CNN found a way to add life to their channel by tapping into a live event that was happening in rural Oklahoma. While I am not a ratings expert when it comes to television coverage of live events, I found myself memorized with that live helicopter coverage from those brave three men in Oklahoma as they risked their own lives to bring all of us a better understand of how powerful and deadly tornadoes can really be. As a guy that likes to channel surf, I was certainly glad I was channel surfing on Saturday when CNN lifted my back from the couch to watch their live coverage of a tornado on the ground in Oklahoma. While some might question the wisdom of that helicopter crew to stay in the air while funnel clouds surrounded them, I for one think that they were brave and not stupid for taking advantage of a once in a life time opportunity to allow the American people to see first hand and 'live on television' what kind of damage a major tornado can really do.

Title: Saturday Afternoon Tornadoes, Live On CNN
Written: May 26 2008
Related Tornado Content:
Did Global Warming Cause Today's Colorado Tornado?
Oklahoma/Missouri Tornadoes Kill Dozens, Homes Destroyed
Tornado Season Has Arrived, Multiple Daily Warnings
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Houston, The Phoenix Has Landed On Mars

After years of hard work and a trip that lasted months and covered millions of miles, NASA safely landed the Mars Space Ship, Phoenix, on the 'Red Planet' tonight. Just before writing this post, I looked as some amazing pictures that had just been beamed back to Earth from Phoenix after it landed safely on what researchers have dubbed the Mars North Pole. Soon, Phoenix will start digging beneath the surface of Mars in search of water. Most scientist believe that at one time in the history of the Universe that the planet of Mars contained surface water because there are signs of old river beds that once contained water at some time in Mars' history. However, somewhere along the centuries - the water on Mars disappeared and with it life forms that once called the 'Red Planet' home.

Many scientist current believe that there is still water residing not far beneath the surface of Mars in it's polar regions. The number one goal of the space craft Phoenix is to search for that water and if it truly is there under the surface of Mars to get a sample of it and see if there is some kind of life currently living inside that water sample. While Phoenix will probably answer many questions on whether life still exists on Mars, the bigger question that most people like myself have is, if there was once water and life on the surface of Mars - first where did the water go and with it what kind of life once lived on Mars but was forced into extinction when it's water supply dried up? People on Earth have always been fascinated with Mars not only because it is a close neighbor to planet Earth, but because Hollywood has portrayed Mars as somehow being the most likely planet in our solar system to have once had intelligent life residing there.

For me, these Mars explorations are a very critical piece of the puzzle on how our solar system developed millions of years ago and Mars could provide important clues on what might be in store for Earth millions of years in our future. If intelligent life once thrived on Mars, but for some cosmic reason was killed off - that knowledge might help future residents of this planet to better understand what might happen in Earth's future. While I am not a scientist, I do have some opinions on what might have happened to the water on Mars and also why the life that most certainly use to live there became extinct. In my opinion, over the centuries our Sun has become hotter and with that increasing heat, Mars became just too hot to hold an atmosphere that could maintain it's once large water supply. Once the Mars water supply was depleted, soon there after all life living on the surface of Mars soon perished.

As Mars continued to heat up to a point where surface life could no long exist because of a diminishing water supply, life on Earth began to take shape and with it the first building blocks of our planet began to be born. During the time period when life would have flourished on Mars, the Earth would have been too cold for surface life to be a possibility. More than likely during those cold Earth years, there was primitive life that lived deep beneath our oceans which were kept alive with the help of warmth from underground volcano's. As Mars died, the Earth began to form and new and more intelligent life began to take control of this planet as surface temperatures on Earth increased. So, if my opinions are right, what does that foretell about the future of the Earth? Well, it will not be a pretty picture as our solar system Sun continues to heat and eventually causes the Earth to go the same way of Mars. The good news is that none of us will be around to see this change happen, but somewhere further out in our solar system - new life will become possible, on another planet or moon, as the Sun continues to heat up and eventually in millions of years the Earth may look exactly the way Mars appears today.

Title: Houston, The Phoenix Has Landed On Mars
Written: May 26 2008
Related Space Exploration Content:
Satellite Shoot Down, US Navy Tries Thursday
Space Shuttle Launch On Beautiful Florida Day
Endeavour Trying To Beat Dean Home
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Big Brown Injured, Will Still Race At Belmont

There was some terrible news today when it was announced the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner 'Big Brown' had injured his left front foot. This injury had caused Big Brown's trainer to keep this likely 'Triple Crown' winning horse from work outs the past two days. However, the good news is that 'Big Brown's' injuries are not serious enough to keep him from racing in the 'Belmont Stakes', in two weeks, at which time he could become the first triple crown winner in three decades. Millions of people around the world have fallen in love with 'Big Brown', in the same way they did with 'Barbaro' a couple of years ago before a major injury ended his career at the Preakness Stakes and eventual his life a few months later.

On Sunday afternoon I usually like to take it easy and stay inside this time of year because here in Texas it is already very hot with temperatures rising almost to 100 degrees. After a short nap a few minutes ago, I woke up and started reading some of the various news headlines on the Internet and that is when I saw the news of 'Big Brown's' injury on the front page of the USA Today website. I remember having this deep and sick feeling down deep in my stomach when that headline blazed the news that 'Big Brown' had suffered an injury. As I rushed to click on the link and read more about 'Big Brown's' injury - I was trilled to read that the injury to his front left foot was not serious and also that he would most likely compete at the Belmont Stakes in two weeks.

In 2008, horse racing has been forced to review how they breed and train their horses after another horse was put down a short time after the Kentucky Derby this year. During this review it has been learned that almost all race horse trainers give steroids to their horses which came as a big shock to me. While the American people have been focused on making sure major athletes have not been doping themselves to victory and an early grave - in the world of horse racing the issue of doping the horses as part of their training process was not even consider controversial until recently. When you add a breeding process that encourages the development of extra strong muscles and then you add the extra process of doping the horses with steroids that cause those already strong muscles to become even larger, it is no wonder that bones of horses eventually break under the strain of running on a fast race track where their muscle volume far exceed the ability of their bones to handle the weight and stress.

Like millions of other horse racing fans that have waited decades for another triple crown winner, I am hoping against hope that 'Big Brown' will win the Belmont Stakes in June and add his name to the small list of race horses that have been good enough to earn the Triple Crown of horse racing. While 2008 is a transition year for horse racing because of the many controversies that currently surround that sport. I still hope that 'Big Brown' will win at the Belmont Stakes in June and become the first triple crown winner since the 1970's. I also hope that the owners that raise these amazing animals will rethink their breeding process and also ban the use of steroids. If they don't make these changes - their over eagerness to win on race day could, in the end, damage the sport of horse racing, forever.

Title: Big Brown Injured, Will Still Race At Belmont
Written: May 25 2008
Related Horse Racing News:
Big Brown Looks For Triple Crown At Belmont
Big Brown Reminded Me Of Barbaro In Preakness Stakes Today
Derby Without Barbaro - New Movie Brings Tears
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Will Indiana Jones Earn $200 Million Opening Weekend?

There are those in the motion picture business that are suggesting that the new Steven Spielberg/George Lucas movie 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' should earn between $175 - $200 million it's first weekend in the United States alone. Like many movies before it, 'Crystal Skull' will have two extra days to reach that magic $200 million figure because of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. While some people suggested that time had passed by the box office magic of the Indiana Jones series of movies, it's first two days of release show something completely to the contrary. On Wednesday and Thursday, 'Crystal Skull' earned $56 million and those were weekday showings where the number of theaters headlining 'Crystal Skull' will be dwarfed compared to the 4500 plus theaters that will be showing the movie this weekend.

During tough economic times, Americans have always turned to movies to provide good entertainment at an affordable price. Right now, most Americans are finding the high cost of gasoline to be a major consideration when planning how to spend their leisure time. With gas prices approaching $4 per gallon in most parts of the United States, the reliable entertainment value of dinner and a movie is a bargain. Harrison Ford, who has played in some of the highest grossing movies of the past thirty year, once again is playing the lead character of 'Indiana Jones' in this new 'Crystal Skull' movie. Just image the Hollywood buzz that will be generated if Indiana Jones is able to earn between $175-$200 million on it's opening weekend?

There has already been another movie that has caught fire at the U.S. movie box office by the name of 'Ironman' and with Indiana Jones already packing in movie goers this weekend - the 2008 summer box office for Hollywood is looking great right from the start. The new blockbuster movie 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' is doing more this weekend than earning Steven Spielberg and George Lucas a bunch of money. It also is showing once again that a major Hollywood star, this time Harrison Ford, can preform in an action movie at the age of 65 and pull it off in a way that even teenagers and young adults enjoy watching. For baby-boomer's like myself it is great news that we are not all washed up when we hit 65 years old.

In addition to Harrison Ford, who stars once again in an Indiana Jones adventure - other older actors like Sylvester Stallone have proven the they still have a high value in Hollywood, even though advancing age use to cause major Hollywood studios to ignore older actors in favor of the newest flavor of the month talent that often times was here today and gone tomorrow. While I would love to go see this new Indiana Jones movie over this long Memorial Day holiday weekend, instead I will wait until the crowd die down a bit before heading out to my local theater. Being an old American does have some draw backs like not wanting to stand in long lines or feel cramped when watching a movie. However, I will see this movie eventually and from what I have read so far - I will not be disappointed.

Title: Will Indiana Jones Earn $200 Million Opening Weekend?
Written: May 25 2008
Related Entertainment News Content:
Did David Cook Really Beat Archuleta On Idol Tonight?
Childhood Memories Still Strong, Karen Carpenter's Death
Utah's David Archuleta On Road To Idol Victory
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Saturday, May 24, 2008

High Gas Prices Slow Global Warming Debate

While it should not come as a surprise to many people, the United Nations (UN) has announced that around the world the calls for change to save the Earth from Global Warming have started to slow down. More than likely, the reason that most citizens of the world have lost interest in the Global Warming movement is because right now those same citizens are suffering with gas prices which are putting many of them in the 'poor house'. Like most liberal causes, Global Warming is blamed on people and countries around the world that have carelessly and wastefully polluted this planet with too many carbon based particles that are now causing the Earth to hit above it's historical norms. Whether man is the actual cause of this warming I will leave to another post, today I want to talk about how ideology is often times trumped by the real life financial concerns of regular everyday people.

Back when crude oil and gasoline were cheap, the Global Warming movement lead by well know politicians like Al Gore was popular and the idea of cleaning up our planet was something that almost everyone could agree was a great idea. However, over the past two years – the price of gas at the pump has increase so much that most Americans are no longer concerned about liberal causes like Global Warming, but instead they are focused on trying to find a way to balance their family budgets while the price of gasoline is rising almost on a daily basis. This latest fall off in concern about Global Warming is just another example that when push comes to shove – the American people and others around the world are more concerned with their own well being than they are about a planet that might be in peril. It is hard to blame the American people for having that attitude when their elected leaders in Washington are pretty much all narcissistic and looking out for themselves as well.

In a way it is funny and strange that in this November's elections, the conventional wisdom of pundits believe that Democrats will increase their lead in both houses of Congress and they are likely to win the White House as well. This will come at a time when most Americans will be thinking more about how the government should bring down the price of gas while at the same time demanding that the government do more to find additional supply's of gas right here in the United States. Rather than Democrats taking control of Washington with age old causes like Global Warming as top issues, they instead will be elected to find ways to increase supply's of crude oil in order to lower the price of gas at the pump.

Popular liberal issues like preventing Global Warming by putting additional taxes on Americans will die a quick death in the Congress next year if any mainstream Democrat is crazy enough to propose it. With gas prices high and going even higher, most Americans will be asking their elected leaders to find ways to lower the price of gas and most certainly not increase that price further with additional taxes to prevent Global Warming. The time for Al Gore and others in the Global Warming movement to get U.S. leaders to adopt their ideas of change died when OPEC forced this world into $3 per gallon gas prices that have continued now for over a year. Until gas prices go down substantially and stay down for a prolong period of time, the worldwide Global Warming issue will be a dead cause to most politicians and citizens of this world.

Title: High Gas Prices Slow Global Warming Debate
Written: May 24 2008
Related Gas Prices Content:
Will Highways Be Empty This Holiday Weekend?
Will Employers Switch Payroll From Cash To Gas?
Trucks/SUV's Drag Down Ford Motor Sales
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Will Highways Be Empty This Holiday Weekend?

More than likely major Interstate Highways will not be empty over this Memorial Day holiday weekend, but by this time next year if gas prices continue to increase at their present rate - we might see people riding motorcycles and skate boards down U.S. Interstate highways because consumers will not be able to afford to put gas in their automobiles anymore. For generations, Americans have used their love affair with their personal automobile to take both short and long vacations over long holiday weekends. One of the most popular of those long holiday weekends has been Memorial Day because that holiday is the first one where the weather conditions are warming in all 50 U.S. states and millions of people have been suffering from cabin fever for the past six months. While I expect this Memorial Day to be a busy one out on most major Interstate highways, the American people are already starting to change their driving habits and in return their vacation options because of the rising price of gas.

I certainly hope that the next group of politicians that take up residence in Washington D.C. next year will get serious about trying to find both short and long term solutions for the U.S. energy crisis. Part of finding a solution will be to stop blaming other Americans for the problem and focus their attention on pressuring OPEC to increase sales of crude oil to the worldwide market and once and for all start opening up crude oil drilling in the United States in all parts of Alaska and off the coasts of Florida and California. In the United States we are our own worst enemy when it comes to our current energy problems. For too many years we have demanded of our politicians to let us 'have our cake and eat it too' when it comes to energy policy. On one hand we tell politicians that we want to take care of the environment by not drilling for oil in beautiful wildlife and oceanside areas of this great country, while on the other hand we are demanding that politicians continue to provide us with a large supply of cheap crude oil so we do not suffer with high gas prices when we fill our cars with fuel.

For decades, some people on the far left who are deeply involved in the environmental movement have said that if the United States could just get the price of gas high enough and keep it there for long enough – energy alternatives to petroleum would start to increase. While there is some basis to that argument, in reality technology and the wisdom to use it correctly have not yet reach reality when it comes to alternative forms of energy saving the day for this world. While I believe that alternatives to fossil based fuels are going to be developed and provide the next generation of the energy that we need, it will take additional decades for those alternatives to be developed and fine tuned before they will even make a dent in the current dominance of fossil based fuels. In the mean time we must drill for more oil in the United States and also it must be drilled in an environmentally friendly way.

The left and the right in the United States have done more than just divide Americans on election day by scaring them into voting against something rather than voting for it. Both of these extremist ideologies have also, in their own way, created the energy crisis that faces America today. On the right, conservatives have been too eager to allow oil companies to drill for oil and transport that product to market in a way that is not safe for the environment. While on the left, liberals have been trying to drive the American people back to cave man times by blaming all the Earth's environmental problems on the greedy and selfish way that some people take from this planet while never giving back or cleaning up their messes. While there is some truth to both the conservative and liberal arguments when it comes to this energy crisis, neither political group has all the answers and just like always both conservatives and liberals must compromise or nothing will change and the price of gas will continue to rise.

Title: Will Highways Be Empty This Holiday Weekend?
Written: May 24 2008
Related Gas Prices Content:
Will Employers Switch Payroll From Cash To Gas?
Trucks/SUV's Drag Down Ford Motor Sales
Big Oil Companies Not Responsible For High Gas Prices
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Hillary Gets Bum Rap For RFK Comment

I am no fan of Hilary Clinton and I also believe that she is causing great damage by staying in the 2008 democratic race even after there is no chance for her to win the nomination. However, after listening to her comments about the June assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) back in the 1960's, I believe most people in the mainstream media are grossly over reacting to what she said and how she said it. There are many things that come out of Hillary Clinton's mouth the are more than fair game for members of the mainstream media to run with, but to suggest that she is somehow staying in this race with some kind of sick desire that some bad might happen to Obama before this summers democratic convention is wrong.

In a way, Hillary Clinton has brought much of the negative attention she is receiving on herself by continue to fight when there isn't a chance for her to win the nomination. By staying in the fight, she is making both herself and her husband look like spoilers in the 2008 race for the White House - instead of long time democratic party professionals that love to win elections, but at the end of the day supporting their political party is more important. In some ways Hillary Clinton's 'all or nothing' 2008 race for the White House is turning off millions of Democrats that once were very loyal toward the Clinton family. Maybe the reason that Hillary Clinton is catching some much negative attention about her RFK comment is because democratic members of the mainstream news media are looking for some way to get even with her because she will not withdraw from the race and support Senator Obama?

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton must believe that Democrats will forgive Hillary for fighting on and hurting the chances of Barack Obama to be the next President? If that is the case, it is easy to understand why they would feel that way after most Democrats looked the other way when Bill Clinton lied about a sexual relationship when he was the President of the United States. In my view, the attitudes and opinions of most democratic voters has changed since the time when Bill Clinton was President of the United States and those same voters will be less forgiving of Hillary Clinton when and if she decides to run again for President. With both the Clinton and Bush families there is a fatigue that has set in the the country against these two families having a monopoly when it comes to serving as our President and that fatigue will only grow as Hillary Clinton continue to fight her losing battle for President.

The time has long sense come and gone for Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the 2008 democratic race for President, but unfortunately she is not going to quit until she permanently damages the Clinton brand for years to come in the democratic party. For those of us that have never liked the Clinton's, Hillary's self destructive nature is not totally bad because we have wanted the Clinton's to self destruct for a long time now. However, many people that have never liked the Clinton's do like the ideas of change that are represented by Senator Barack Obama. While Senator Obama continues to fight for much needed change in this country, His rival, Hillary Clinton, is continuing to stay in this race in order to continue business as usual that her husband and the Bush family have given to this country for two decades. While Hillary Clinton's makes speaking mistakes all the time and she should also get out of the democratic race for President, now - trying to speed up her withdrawal from the race by using some trumped up RFK comment and then trying to tie that comment about Robert F. Kennedy to Senator Barack Obama is not just silly, but also counter productive to the real goal of getting her to leave this race as soon as possible.

Title: Hillary Gets Bum Rap For RFK Comment
Written: May 24 2008
Related Election 2008 Content:
Is It Time For The Democratic Party To Dump Superdelegates?
Is America Ready For A Black President?
Obama Blowout In Oregon, Hillary Continues Fight
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Trans Fats In All US and Canadian McDonald's

While most fast food restaurants took trans fats out of their cooking process long ago, McDonald's had sort of been dragging it feet because they did not want to destroy the taste of their world famous French Fries. While it is a proven fact that trans fat are unhealthy for humans, it has been a proven fact for even longer that McDonald's French Fries taste better than anyone else's. The CEO of McDonald's recently told stockholders that trans fats had been removed from all of their U.S. and Canadian restaurants and so far customer complaints have been kept to a minimum. While no one deliberately wants to eat foods, like those cooked with trans fats, that are dangerous to their health - most Americans are tired of the so called 'food police' trying to take away foods we have loved to eat for years.

Going back to my childhood, one of my favorite foods to eat was McDonald's French Fries. Until recently, I did not care what kind of cooking oil those French Fries were cooked in - Instead, I just knew that they tasted good and I would crave them at least a couple of times per week. Now in hind sight I probably was hurting my health by eating McDonald's French Fries that were cooked using oil that contained trans fats, but those fries tasted good and I always felt satisfied when I ordered them when eating at a McDonald's Restaurant. Now, without me even knowing it - McDonald's has changed their cooking oil to a new blend that does not contain trans fats and I have not even noticed that switch over. Not noticing a change in the way French Fries taste at McDonald's even after changing the type of cooking oil they use to cook those fries has been a welcome sign that McDonald's did a great job in improving their customers health without destroying the great taste of their world famous French Fries.

In the recent past, fast food restaurants in the United States have been given a bum rap when it comes to the healthiness of the foods that they serve. Acting as if most Americans were stupid and did not realize that fast foods were filled with loads of calories and fat, many arrogant special interest groups, have tried to force changes in the way fast foods are prepared against the will of fast food owners and customers. What these special interest group apparently did not realize was that customers of fast food restaurants would most likely be eating the same type of foods at home as they were ordering in fast food restaurants like McDonald's. While many of the food choices at fast food restaurant's are the same today as they were ten years ago, there have been major changes at fast food restaurant's recently that have improved the choices of the foods that are offered to the customer.

While McDonald's took their time and spent tons of money to make sure they did not ruin the taste of their French Fries before removing trans fats from the cooking process, some of the other fast food chains have not spent the time or money to work out the taste issues before they switch from trans fat oils to something that is more healthy. While I won't mention any restaurant names, in this post, of fast food companies that did a poor job switching from cooking with trans fat oils to something healthier - I'm sure most of you know which fast food companies I am referring to. On the other hand, McDonald's should be congratulated on the fine job they have done in making their great tasting French Fries safer to eat, without destroying the taste that billions of people around the world have grown to love.

Title: No Trans Fats In All US and Canadian McDonald's
Written: May 23 2008
Related Fast Food Content:
Great McDonald's Location In Hillsboro Texas
Move Over IHOP - McDonald's All Day Breakfast
Blaming Fast Food For Obesity Problems
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Did Global Warming Cause Today's Colorado Tornado?

While I am not a total Global Warming believer, I am not a total skeptic either. That said, it is a strange event indeed when a tornado strikes Colorado north of Denver and does the kind of damage that today's tornado caused to that area of the country. While looking at some excellent pictures of today's Colorado tornado, it reminded me of some of the massive tornadoes that have ripped through the State of Texas over the years. One of the widest and strongest tornadoes to strike Texas in recent memory was in 1997 when a mile wide, F5, tornado struck Jarrell Texas. While I was looking at the pictures of today's tornado in Colorado, that tornado reminded me of pictures that I had seen on television as that 1997 tornado destroyed much of the city of Jarrell.

Is Global Warming the real cause of strange weather events around the world, or is Global Warming just getting the blame so far left liberals can continue their fight to reduce worldwide carbon pollution? I don't know the answer to that question, but there are plenty of people on the far right and far left that think they do. What I believe is, that man should always be a good steward of this planet that we call home, but at the same time we have to realize that we are no longer living in the 18th century and modern energy is hear to stay. Can and should we do more to improve modern energy sources to where they burn more cleanly? Of course we should, but the very idea that all Americans should go back to riding bicycles and other ancient means of transportation is crazy and down right foolish.

The problem many conservative and moderate Americans have with the Global Warming movement is that it is being lead by what we believe to be liberal extremist. In the same way no liberal would want Rush Limbaugh dictating what is best for their communities, conservatives and moderates believe that left wing politicians like Al Gore are using a fake Global Warming argument to further push liberal ideas that are not completely scientific. Almost every idea that is being put out by the Global Warming movement contains language that criticizes the American people for being wasteful and urges both the citizens of this country and government to reduce the standard of living for Americans in order to fight worldwide Global Warming. When you add to that price tag billions of dollars in extra taxation to prevent and clean up the causes of Global Warming of the past, you then have a formula that most Americans are not going to buy into.

I do believe that the warming of planet earth does have a role to play in some of the strange weather events that we have all witnessed over the past five or ten years. However, is the earth warming because of man made pollution or is it warming as part of a normal cycle? Since reliable weather information has not been kept except for the past 100 years or so, it is difficult to really know if man is causing this Global Warming trend or if it is just a part of the earth's weather cycles that have repeated themselves for thousands of years. In my opinion it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to whether Global Warming is causing strange weather events like today's tornado in Colorado. However, just because I believe we should do more to clean up this planet does not mean that I want to do away with a modern way of life that all Americans have grown accustomed to.

Title: Did Global Warming Cause Today's Colorado Tornado?
Written: May 22 2008
Related Severe Weather Content:
Oklahoma/Missouri Tornadoes Kill Dozens, Homes Destroyed
Tornado Season Has Arrived, Multiple Daily Warnings
Storms/Tornadoes Rock Mississippi River Towns
2005-2008 © Hutch Report

Will Employers Switch Payroll From Cash To Gas?

I wonder how long it will be before employees start asking their employer to pay them in gas instead of cash? While the cash that employees are paid with each payday is going down in value by the day, on the other hand gas is increasing in price everyday to the point that employees could make an additional net profit if their wages were paid in gasoline, rather than with the U.S. dollar. Of course, that is not going to happen - but it does help explain some of the problems facing Americans as gas prices increase on a daily basis. The past three days I have been working in a different office and that new office window is facing a convenience store across the street. On Tuesday, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.75. Yesterday that price increased to $3.79 per gallon and then today when I looked at their sign the price for a gallon of gas had risen again to $3.85 per gallon.

In less than 48 hours, the price of gas at this one convenience store increased by over .10 cents per gallon and my guess is that it will increase by another nickel, tomorrow. All over the United States consumers are witnessing this same type of price increase in their own communities and in addition to being angry about what is going on with the price of gas, most people are worried and concerned too about when this run up in the price of gas is going to stop. Here in Texas, summer is approaching fast and with it will come dozens of days when the high temperature will exceed 100 degrees. With gasoline prices increasing daily, soon millions of Americans will have an even greater energy burden to face as hot weather will cause people to be forced to run their air conditions more which in turn will raise their monthly electric bill.

While I am sort of joking about employees approaching their employer and asking to change their method of pay from cash to gasoline, in reality that change could increase the annual pay of employees around the country without the employers have to give a pay raise. Of course, most Americans don't have huge storage tanks that they can fill with gasoline on payday - but I'm sure there is someway that the American people can turn this lemon of an oil crisis into lemon aid. If Americans were currently being paid with gasoline instead of cash, it would help relieve a bunch of stress on the average worker when they pass by a gas station and see the price of gas going up everyday. In a way, employees might just celebrate an increase in gas prices if their pay was based on that price instead of feeling down and out because their current paycheck is being funded with the dropping U.S. dollar.

Just image the future of Wall Street if this idea catches on. In this new world when a CEO is hired to run a company he will be paid a small salary in U.S. dollars, but if he does a good job - his bonuses will be paid in gasoline instead of stock options from the company that he runs. Eventually, if gas prices keep rising - employees might get even more bold and start asking that their retirement plans be funded with gasoline as well. In the future who really wants to have stocks or cash that does not appreciate that much over time, when that same persons retirement plan can be funded by the fast growing investment in the world right now, unleaded gasoline. Like the rest of you, I am fed up with these daily increases in the price of gas - so I decided to have a little bit of fun with this gas crisis today rather than beating the same old angry man drum at a problem I cannot control.

Title: Will Employers Switch Payroll From Cash To Gas?
Written: May 22 2008
Related Gas Prices Content:
Trucks/SUV's Drag Down Ford Motor Sales
Big Oil Companies Not Responsible For High Gas Prices
Gas Station Manager Fired For Confronting Robber
2005-2008 © Hutch Report