Gas prices are up. Demand for oil is up. Americans are dying in Iraq and dependence on Persian Gulf oil is up. Even the president agrees that climate change is a growing concern. Instead of addressing these problems head on, the energy bill just signed into law by the president displays an abject failure of leadership.
America needs a bold new energy strategy, but the president and Congress have punted. This energy bill is just another corporate giveaway which ignores forward-looking solutions, fails to help Americans at the gas pump and deepens our dependence on foreign oil.
While White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan says this bill will "reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy and help address the root causes that have led to high energy prices," the reality is that the energy bill does nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil or lower energy prices. Even the conservative Heritage Foundation said that "we'll be dependent on the global market for more than half our oil for as long as we're using oil, and the energy bill isn't going to change that;" and President Bush's own Energy Secretary, Sam Bodman, cautioned that motorists should not expect a quick decline in gasoline prices.
America needs a new, visionary program for energy independence. The Apollo Alliance has outlined a 10-step national agenda of strategic planning and investment that drive for energy independence by the year 2015. Apollo's bold vision for energy independence will create three million new jobs, more than a trillion dollars in new economic activity and freedom from reliance on Persian Gulf oil. Our leaders have missed an important opportunity to declare energy independence—but the stakes are too high and we must continue to pressure our leaders to enact Apollo's bold solution.
Brenda Brown Placitas
Editor's Note: See apolloalliance.org for details.
I was about to write to congratulate you on your excellent choice of Scott Sharot as your new food columnist, and then I found out, just now, that you've fired him! What, not enough cuss words? Maybe overly literate, no confusion of "its" and "it's" or the other little typos and grammatical errors that pepper so many of your articles?
Scott's columns were smart, fun and informative. You've gotten rid of one of the highest quality writers you've ever had the good fortune to find. Perhaps you didn't deserve him. Please rethink.
Elene Gusch Albuquerque
Editor's Note: Don't worry, Elene, Scott Sharot hasn't been fired! Along with his many other creative pursuits, Scott is a freelance writer for the Weekly Alibi, and he's just not contributing to us on a weekly basis right now. You can find more of Scott in this summer's Duke City Shootout, teaching cooking classes and participating in various plays and poetry readings throughout the city.
It's a Teen Thing
I have a teenage daughter that likes to dance. She goes to the high school dances whenever they have them (about twice a year). The City of Albuquerque and Sheriff's Department have summer dances Downtown and other places for the kids, but all they play is hip-hop and rap. My daughter likes hip-hop, but she also likes techno and rock, and she has friends that like country music and oldies.
It seems that a lot of the kids in the city are left out if they are not into hip-hop or rap dancing. With the new underage club laws, my daughter will surely not have anywhere to go for dancing until she is 21. To be fair, all styles of music should be promoted in city dances.
Dave McLaughlin Albuquerque
Facing the Music in Flagstaff
I'm in town from Flagstaff, Ariz., for the National Poetry Slam and I picked up a current Alibi, running across your "Facing the Music" article [Newscity, Christie Chisholm, August 11-17]. I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that it was very well-written and articulate. The article really probed the issue and worked to clarify it, even to those of us who aren't entirely familiar with the situation.
Although, reading the article, it all sounded very familiar. Just down the '40, Flagstaff is debating the all-ages issue, albeit on a much smaller scale. Among other things, I help organize poetry slams and all-ages arts events in Flagstaff and find it increasingly difficult to find accommodating (a.k.a. under-21 friendly) venues. I'll take the article back up the mountain with me.
Logan Phillips Flagstaff, Arizona
Break the Cycle of Violence
It is significant that the condemnation of the latest terror attacks out of mouths such as Bush's always sounds like a self-indictment. Everything that is said about the authors and their horrific deeds in London and elsewhere applies almost equally to the leaders of the "free world" and their policies. I say almost because there is an obvious imbalance in the availability of the means of destruction. The bloody acts carried out by the terrorists of London, Madrid and elsewhere have been done a thousandfold in Afghanistan and Iraq by the self-proclaimed leaders and defenders of democracy. Their misdeeds are epitomized in and symbolized by Falluja, a city of 300,000 now totally destroyed.
What happened in London and Madrid is almost nothing compared to what the people of Iraq suffered during the months of invasion. I say almost because, unlike the leaders of the "free world," to the sensible man and woman the massacre of one or 100 people is an irreparable loss, whose tragedy can't be undone, alleviated or even fully imagined. Yet Bush and his army officials applauded the feat of their soldiers of having done such "a fine job." Since Arab lives do not count in such judgments and calculations, the real human costs did not come out until much later. More than 100,000 lives were murdered, let alone the uncounted and uncountable number of wounded, maimed, tortured, terrorized and traumatized.
If they really meant what they said, if they really wanted to track and hunt down the terrorists and bring them to justice, they would have to turn themselves in first. That would break the cycle of violence and open the prospect of peace.
Joachim L. Oberst Albuquerque
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