Friday, August 17, 2012

Caruso-Cabrera vs. Energy Independence

So I’m sitting around on this overcast Friday pondering topics to blog about and a few ideas come to mind. I thought about going a bit in the gutter by comparing the babes of CNBC vs. those of Fox Business. Or maybe a top ten list of the hottest ladies on all news channels combined. Can anyone say Michelle Caruso Cabrera? Wowzer!

But I settled on a topic that is a bit closer to home when it comes to our wallets. I’m watching CNBC and listening to an oil analyst at Oppenheimer discuss the risks in the Middle East that could impact the cost of oil. There is a possibility that the unrest in other parts of the region could spill over into Saudi Arabia, although slim. However, let’s consider the result if it did happen. Currently the U.S. gets just under 20% of its oil from Saudi Arabia, according to various web sources. If that country came to a standstill it would certainly throw a shock to the system.

If Saudi oil production stopped then most analysts seem to agree that oil prices would double very quickly. If that happened then how would you, Joe Citizen, feel about another war in the Middle East involving American troops while those of us at home are paying $7 a gallon for gas? Let’s assume the perfect storm happened over there and Iran develops nuke’s and halts oil shipments out of the Strait of Hormuz. Israel and Iran would be on the brink of war, and that would also lead to American military action. How about $250-$300 per barrel of oil and $10-$12 per gallon of gas? This isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

The thing that bothers me most about our energy situation is that we have so much energy here in America that we don’t need to spend a dime in that part of the world. It sucks that when we fill up our tanks some of that money goes back to that region and falls into the hands of governments that hate us. Some of that money falls in the hands of terrorist groups that are hell bent on killing you and me.

It sickens me that since I was a kid every politician for high office has promised American energy independence. Every single one of them has lied to America. Their reward for lying and pushing our country to the verge of economic collapse…they continue to get paid for life even long after being booted from office. Isn’t it ironic how someone gets elected to congress as a middle class attorney, getting a salary for elected office of around $130,000 a year but miraculously are worth untold millions when they are defeated for re-election or retire? Corrupt bastards.

With all the oil, coal, and natural gas we have we have no excuse to not achieve energy independence within two years. But, no political will. Hell, no one can even get a permit to drill for oil back in the Gulf regardless of their safety record and the current administration has shut down over 100 coal fired plants since coming into office. No wonder heating our homes in the winter is breaking the bank of the middle and lower income families.

Oh, sure there are a handful of the newer elected congressmen that want the same thing. I thought my previous congressman who served nearly 30 years gave a crap about the issue, but turned his back on his district that is comprised of families relying on home grown energy. His votes during his last term put families out of work, put our country at risk, and then he moved back to D.C. after losing to take a job with a lobbying firm…or so I have read.

Does anyone really think the current administration or the one that will come in in January do anything to actually make us energy independent? I certainly don’t.

Maybe I should have blogged about Cabrera and the other CNBC babes. At least I would be in a better mood now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Joan Jett Is Still Bad Ass

53 year old Joan Marie Larkin, an 80’s rock icon, began her professional career as a founding member of the all-girl group The Runaways in 1975. It wasn’t until the 80’s that her career finally hit stride when she went solo. Larkin is known for classic hits and great live performances including hits such as Do You Wanna Touch, Bad Reputation, Crimson and Clover, Cherry Bomb and I Love Rock and Roll. She also did the title track for the 1987 movie Light of Day.

Larkin is still rocking to this day and sounding better than ever. Of course, we all know her as Joan Jett. She turns 54 next month.

Maybe I should do a top 10 list of the coolest 80's Ladies. Jett would easily make that list.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

80's Hard Rock

I have had a couple of songs stuck in my head the past couple of days so I thought I’d admit my kinship with hard rock and heavy metal music. In my latest book, The Ultimate 80’s, I have an entire section dedicated to this genre of music during that decade. I still keep those CD’s handy for road trips and try to never miss an episode of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic.

Growing up I used to go to concerts with my big sister as often as a rock band would tour in our tiny neck of the woods. Most concerts I saw in Johnson City, TN…a two hour drive from where I grew up. Despite the long drive I would seldom miss a hard rock show.

One of my first concerts was David Lee Roth. He had just released the video for Stand Up from the Skyscraper album. Poison opened up for him and it was a heck of a fun show. Speaking of Poison, I saw them headline four or five times. They were a good live act and the shows were always fun. I remember seeing a lot of different bands opening for Poison in their heyday. Bands like Bulletboys, Danger Danger, Warrant, Slaughter, and Winger were among them.

One of my favorite bands from that era was Cinderella. They had a mixture of some bluesy rock and roll tossed in with their hair metal and sounded great live. Their debut album Night Songs is still one of the best albums of that era.

Another great live act was the Scorpions, absolutely loved their music. I saw them in Knoxville right about the time they released their classic hit Wind of Change. I have never heard a Scorpions song that I didn’t like. Great White and Trixter opened up on that tour. All great bands and all were great live. I was fortunate enough to see Great White a couple more times before MTV killed rock and roll.

Even though I saw a lot of bands, two still stick out after all these years…KISS and Van Hagar. Not only does KISS sound great live, but when you see them you get one hit after another and the show rivals the 4th of July. Their show is worth every penny. I’ve been to a lot of concerts where the band didn’t sound very good live and the overall show was dull, but with KISS I always get my money’s worth.

I remember seeing Van Halen supporting their album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Van Halen is another one of those rare bands where every song is good, not one clunker on any of their albums. I still wish I could have seen a lot of other bands live, but when you are a kid you can’t afford them all. Unfortunately I missed AC/DC, Ratt, L.A. Guns, Guns N’ Roses, Kix, Metallica…and the list goes on.
A lot of these bands still put out great music today and I think we hard rock fans should still support them by bying their newest material…but only after you buy one of my books!!! Heh!