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Odds and Ends for June 2007

Summer doldrums in Paeonian Springs.

by Michael H. Thomson
June 20, 2007

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Odds and Ends for June 2007
Construction – I have a front row seat to excavation, building, plumbing, etc., this summer due to an addition and remodeling going on at the hacienda. We have an excellent builder and he in turn has a great crew. You learn a lot watching and listening. Of course, that's what being a "Partial Observer" all is about. The Washington D.C. area has always been good for the construction trades even when everywhere else is in a slump. When I first lived in the area in 1973 building was hot and has been so with minor lulls until recently. One of the carpenters on my project told me this morning that a major home developer in this area had temporarily dismissed 3500 workers as of yesterday. Even in this area – this is not good. The conventional wisdom - at least by carpenters and builders – is that things will change for the better after the election. I just hope that the results of the election aren't so bad that things slow down even worse.
The Election – I've tuned it out, but I still have my opinions about all the major contenders:
Hillary and Obama – I think these two will be the ticket for the Democrats unless Hillary feels uncomfortable with Obama. In that case, I think it will be Hillary and New Mexico's Richardson. That's what I like about this column; I can come back next year and see how on target or off base I was making this prediction.
Thompson and Giuliani – If the Republicans don't make this their ticket then I don't see a Republican in the White House until 2012. This is still not the best that the Republicans could do. A Mike Huckabee – Ron Paul ticket would be my choice if we had a sane nominating process.
Gasoline Prices – I've already cried "Uncle!" but they keep on raising them.
Paris Hilton – I stayed there once. The menu in the restaurant is terrible unless you like eels and snails. The breakfast croissants and espresso were great!
"Sicko" – Alarmist! Alarmist! Alarmist! Michael Moore's newest flick is going to change the health care industry as "Bowling for Columbine" movie changed gun control.
Drugs and Politics – I write about drugs in a number of my columns. Mexican connections, Middle Eastern connections, Chinese connections, etc. How serious is the problem? Get this – just this week, the State of South Carolina Treasurer, Thomas Ravenel was indicted by a federal grand jury for distribution of cocaine. Is this an isolated incident?
Heroes - While a selfish and greedy man was sullying the reputation of the Palmetto state, nine unsung heroes of engines 16 and 19 gave the ultimate sacrifice trying (and succeeding) to save the lives of others in a tragic fire in Charleston this week.
Greenhouse Gases – China now has the dubious distinction of being the world's top emitter of carbon dioxide. China was not expected to overtake the U.S. for this title for several years. How fast is China progressing anyway?
Immigration – George W. Bush, Republican, and Democrats in the Senate are going to make another try at giving amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens this week. Somehow, I feel that another disappointment is coming for them. I think the Congress would have better luck repealing the NAFTA treaty.
Well, I have to go refill the drink cooler for the builder and his crew. You do what it takes…
Until next time…

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