Saturday, February 25, 2012
To blame the price of a barrel of oil on the present administration is a bit disingenuous, in my opinion. Besides, there are several factors today that go into the price of a barrel of oil, a commodity used around the world as an investment instrument by hedge fund managers.
The first oil embargo took place in October 1973. The United States has had over 38 years to become energy independent. Of those 38 years, 26 of those years were under a Republican administration. But, we should know that oil and politics, unlike oil and water, does mix. Policies as they relate to oil, its importation and refining into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel is controlled by the oil industry. To jump on the present administration is a bit too late. A plan that would take us towards complete energy independence should have been started 38 years ago under the Nixon administration, but that administration had its own problems to deal with. President Ford did not have very much time because he was voted out in 1976. But President Reagan had 8 years and President George H.W. Bush had 4 years, and his son President George W. Bush had 8 years to deal with our problem. So why with all these Republican Presidents, who know so much about business, do we not have today an ENERGY POLICY? Could it be that the Saudi family runs our energy policy through our presidents?
Bush 43 Stamp by F.D. Zigler, acrylic on canvas board, 2011.
Perhaps the worst part of our inability to develop a policy of energy independence is that it has affected our national security. As a nation, we should have developed alternative sources of energy, so, even though oil is a commodity that is traded around the world as an asset in an alternative investment portfolio, we would not be almost totally reliant upon oil. An army does not put all their resources in one weapon system. So too, a nation should not put all of its resources behind one source of energy - oil. We would be a stronger nation with multiple sources of energy upon which our country could run. If hospitals have backup sources of electricity so if the power goes out from one source they can switch over to another source, shouldn't a country be as well prepared? Energy independence is not just an issue for our domestic economy, but an issue of national security as well.
Fairness - the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice, evenhandedness.
Around 30 years ago, when I was working at one of the bank trust departments that I worked in, one young associate told me that his mother would tell him and his brothers that "life isn't fair." It kind of surprised me because he came from what some people in the greater Cincinnati area would consider to be the most exclusive of places to live - the Village of Indian Hill. I guess if anyone else had told me that, and they had been raised in any number of the poorer neighborhoods inside Cincinnati, I might not have every given it a second thought or even remembered it to this day. The fact that a boy who was raised in one of the wealthiest villages in the United States, that made an impression on me. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with even a child being brought up in a wealthy area and attending one of the better school districts in the state, to know that "life isn't always fair" is a good thing to keep in mind.
I think most of us expect to be treated with fairness. That may not always be the case, but to go through life expecting the worst of people like our police, firefighters, teachers, doctors and lawyers, doesn't do much for me. I would like to start with the presumption that people treat people they way they want to be treated, justly and evenhanded. Society doesn't always live up to our expectations, but nevertheless, it is a worthwhile goal for each of us to pursue fairness in our lives for ourselves and others. That kind of attitude makes for a better society for us all. That is my opinion, what's yours?
Level Playing Field No. 2 by F.D. Zigler, oil on wood panel, 1994.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Last night I went to the opening of the President Obama Campaign Headquarters in East Walnut Hills in Cincinnati. The place was packed. I met a man from Anderson which is hardly Obama Territory, but you can't judge a person by where they live. I came up with the idea to take my painting of OBAMA AS SUPERMAN and turn it into a t-shirt. This will be a full color image on a white t-shirt. I can offer this 100% preshrunk cotton t-shirt for $16.00 and that includes postage within the United States. I would like to see how many of you out there would buy an OBAMA AS SUPERMAN t-shirt as I need to make up 36 t-shirts for a full color design. Now I can't tell you these t-shirts are going to become collectibles, but I will tell you that they will show your support for President Obama in 2012. Please feel free to share this with other Obama supporters as I really want to do this t-shirt. The image above is the image that will appear on the t-shirt.
Obama As Superman by F.D. Zigler, acrylic on canvas board, 2011.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
This week on CBS News I watched a brief interview with the CEO of General Motors. When asked directly was the Government "bailout" necessary, he said he might be offending some customers, but that in his opinion the situation for GM, the American auto industry, including auto parts suppliers and the United States' economy would have been far worse had the Obama administration let the American auto industry go into bankruptcy. There are those that don't care that the outcome was a success, regardless how much economic suffering was avoided, and how much quicker the "bailout" of GM and Chrysler was an important factor in the speed at which our domestic economy has rebounded. It is easy to say let them all go into bankruptcy, but has anyone calculated who the "all" is in economic terms? How many tangential industries, companies and jobs would have been affected by a bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler? Does anyone believe that the total number of bankruptcies would have been just those two automakers? Could Ford Motors have survived if GM and Chrysler went into a long protracted bankruptcy? It doesn't take a Nobel Laureate economist to realize that any supplier to the American auto industry that was heavily dependent upon that industry would certainly find their company at risk of bankruptcy. Talk about a domino effect! This would have been a domino effect that would have taken down many more companies than just those supplying the auto industry. General Motors is back selling more cars and making bigger profits, and thousands and, in my opinion, millions of people are working today because the federal government came to the aid of an industry that affected so much of our domestic economy. So, in conclusion, I think the CEO of GM was right in his analysis of what would have been had not the Obama administration taken the actions they did. For conservatives, the saving of jobs and preventing a severe economic downturn may not justify the "bailout", but that is where I disagree with them and their philosophy of the role of government and its relationship to its people in the 21st century.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Okay, so the heart isn't red. So what? Does everything have to be color coded before it means something? Perhaps I am just lazy, or, perhaps that's the way I felt at the time I painted on the envelope. Why an envelope? I have lots of free envelopes so I paint on them. This one I painted a heart and a butterfly. It is not just for Valentine's Day, it is for everyday. People, like the butterfly, should be free. What you do with your heart is your business, and what I do with mine is my business. Have a Happy Valentine's Day.
Butterfly in a Heart by F.D. Zigler, acrylic on paper envelope, 2011.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Last night I watched a young man of Chinese ancestry, born in the United States, light up Madison Square Gardens in helping the New York Knicks beat the L.A. Lakers. This 6'3" point guard who was undrafted out of Harvard University has exploded onto the NBA scene this past week with a dramatic display of basketball talent. Last night he scored another personal high of 38 points. But, what is so remarkable about this? He is the first Chinese-American to play in the NBA.
I remember when blacks did not play quarterback in the NFL, and then that changed when the Washington Redskins behind Super
Bowl MVP Doug Williams won the Super Bowl XXII and put that piece of prejudice to rest for good.
I get excited when I see barriers come down! Walls come down, and ugly prejudice is shot out of the water! This says something very profound about our society, and some people are not going to like where I am going with this. We as a people are not going back to the ghetto, to the back of the bus, or any other place that ignorance and prejudice dwell. We are going to continue to change, yes I said change, and move forward to embrace a more inclusive society. Those that don't want to ride this train with us, will unfortunately, be left behind. Our society and the world is moving forward without them.
Tribute To Jackie Robinson - Leveling The Playing Field 1947, By F. D. Zigler, acrylic on paper envelope.