FUBAR

A realistic view of oil drilling

I’d considered titling this column with the easy and obvious Shakespearean variation "To Drill or Not to Drill." But a quick Google search reveals that more than 23,000 incarnations of that phrase are already in use: the notion of drilling for more domestic petroleum is in the air.

Dangerous drivers fill U.S. highways

Hundreds of thousands of tractor-trailer and bus drivers in the United States carry commercial driver’s licenses despite also qualifying for full federal disability payments, and some of those drivers have suffered seizures, heart attacks or unconscious spells, according to a new U.S. safety study obtained by The Associated Press.

National Mall, national shame

Americans planning to spend some time here this summer — those who can afford the transportation costs — probably will want to stroll a few moments on the Mall, Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s effort to preserve a pastoral oasis in the new nation’s Capitol. It was to be a well- manicured haven in the grand European style for those trying to escape the hustle and bustle of a busy government.

Reagan returns to radio

Ronald Reagan started on radio, and to radio he returns. America’s 40th president will share his conservative and free-market ideas on 60 stations from coast to coast. And not a second too soon.

The disinformation age

The folks over at OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, must think we’re pretty stupid. The other day, Chakib Khelil, the current OPEC president, asserted that "the intrusion of bioethanol on the market" is responsible for 40 percent of recent increases in the price of oil.

Whining about our financial woes

On behalf of the whiner community, I would like to say a few characteristically depressing words about the economy.

As former Sen. Phil Gramm said recently, whiners like myself are having a mental recession when it comes to the economy. I have to admit this is true. My mentality long ago receded so much it took my hair with it.

The VA should be ashamed

The Mystery Caller dialed the Department of Veterans Affairs help line 1,089 times in 2002. And it created quite a problem.

Oil shale to the rescue

Oil shale just might be this country’s energy salvation, although a friend of mine isn’t excited about it. He’s an engineer and was involved in some extraction and processing of the kerogen-loaded, sedimentary rock during the 1970s energy crisis, and witnessed what was apparently one heck of an explosion.

Do you feel a draft?

This month marks the 35th anniversary of the suspension of the military draft at the end of the Vietnam War.

But even though the Pentagon regularly — not to mention unequivocally — assures lawmakers and others that the current all-volunteer force continues to handle its combat and other defense duties splendidly, rumors of a return to the draft won’t die.