Saturday, April 16, 2011

I’m Just Saying…..

I lived in Dallas, Texas for 8 years and I really came to like Texas and Texans. The other morning I was cruising the headlines and saw one which reminded me of just how much I liked it there. The Texas House of Representatives has approved a bill that would raise the speed limit to 85 mph on some highways. The bill still needs to go to the state Senate for approval. Texas currently has more than 520 miles of interstate highways where the speed limit is 80 mph –and if you have ever driven across some of those wide Texas expanses, you’d understand why this makes perfect sense. You know, there are a lot of those remote hiways in other states where that speed limit would do just fine (hey, California, hint, hint…).

That higher speed limit would be nice but it looks as if it may be what they call a ”moot point” if the price of gasoline keeps going up no one will be able to afford to drive. Gas prices have jumped more than 19 cents over the past three weeks, approaching the all-time high, according to a survey published last Sunday. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular is $3.76, and the previous survey, three weeks ago, found an average of $3.57.

Prices are now just 35 cents off the all-time high of $4.11 set in July 2008.

Crude prices have been affected by the unrest in the Middle East but also by two other major underlying factors: increased demand in developing nations (think China and India); the weak dollar and there is good evidence that speculators dealing in "futures" are driving up the prices to make huge profits (just like they did a couple of years ago). -Am I crazy but don't I remember our elected officials being outraged about that and promising to introduce legislation to prevent this from happening again? -naw, I must have been dreaming...

The latest Lundberg survey, which tabulates prices at thousands of gas stations nationwide, took place last Friday. Of the cities surveyed that day, the lowest average price was in Tucson, Arizona, at $3.41. The highest average price was in the San Francisco Bay Area at $4.13 (I’d feel sorry for San Francisco, my old home town, but it doesn’t make much difference –you can’t find a place to park a car there anyway).

Here is another developing story I am going to be watching closely. Congress has plans to update the old Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the law governing what the government can and can't do online.

Currently, the 25-year-old law states that "any content stored on a server for more than 180 days is considered 'abandoned,' and thus the government does not need a warrant to access it,". In layman's terms, the law currently states that the Feds can access anything in your Google/Hotmail/Yahoo! account that has been there for longer than six months, even if you're still using the account.

Congress would like to change this. Holder and the DOJ would prefer that they didn't. Why? Because reforming the law would mean the feds would need a search warrant to compel "disclosure of all stored content." While this sounds perfectly reasonable to people who have read the Constitution, the DOJ envisions nightmare scenarios like this one: "In order to obtain a search warrant for a particular e-mail account, law enforcement has to establish probable cause to believe that evidence will be found in that particular account. In some cases, this link can be hard to establish." –Good! I simply do not trust Eric Holder and the people currently running the Department of Justice (and I have said so many times). That is a terrible thing to have to say, but it is true and if there is the slightest question of trust, then they should be required to go to a Federal Judge and show probable cause for getting into our emails (and any other part of our personal lives).
There has been a lot of speculation about Donald Trump and whether he will run for President. I have been going along with those that think he is more interested in the spotlight than the Presidency -but perhaps I have been wrong. Newsmax announced that Donald Trump is serious about running for president They say to tune in to the finale of “The Celebrity Apprentice” on May 15. Apparently, Trump plans to say on the NBC show that he will be holding a press conference a few days after the May 15th show. At that press conference in the Trump Tower in New York, Trump will be announcing his candidacy for the presidency. -Hmmm,,,,,, worth discussing anyway...

Live Long and Prosper....

No comments: