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A Moment with Mary Ann

May 3, 2008
By Mary Ann Menendez - EDN Staff Writer
My dad was a wise person. I knew that at 8 years of age.

I still believe it and he passed on 21 years ago.

During the 1960s when tensions were fearful due to the Cold War, Bay of Pigs, and Vietnam Conflict, he shared his sage philosophy on how to wage war and be victorious without anyone being shot or bombed.

I was 8 years old in 1963. The thought of innocent people being gunned down in the name of (fill in the blank) was repulsive.

It still is.

So his statement on winning a war without bloodshed was intriguing to my growing mind. But it could not wrap itself around any logical answer.

Having watched black-and-white cowboy or military TV shows (Bonanza, Gunsmoke and Hogan’s Heroes), I knew brave men like to whip out weapons and fire away.

In two sentences he said, “If we would halt shipments of wheat to countries which are oppressing that would do more in sending a message than all of the military force we have. When bellies are empty, people tend to change their way of thinking very fast.”

Yes, that made sense that day.

Think of childhood times of being sent to bed without supper because of doing something naughty. That got our attention and the bad deed was never repeated.

Fast forward to today. Emotions and moods are raw everywhere you look and mostly because we need petroleum products. Americans are conserving to reserve gas usage but that’s not enough. The price of gasoline continues to rise like a spiking wild fever and the jagged edges are stabbing us across the board.

Almost everything we need to survive, except the air we breathe, is somehow tied to the oil crunch. You cut this or that from the budget to save money for gasoline or groceries and that’s commendable. But is it enough?

Did you know over 6,000 products we use contain some form of petroleum? (See list below). We may be in too deep. But we’re losing something more precious. Our soldiers unselfishly protect our freedoms in an oil-rich country that has no conscience. Iraqis think they are causing Americans great distress by choking oil supplies and tying up our military. Iraq along with Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Ecuador, are the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. They are the keepers of the oil barrels and are well aware of our addiction.

But life and its history from the beginning have a way of coming full circle, making things right. Our leaders in D.C. should jab OPEC’s abs and cut food supplies. Then perhaps, they would beg to barter.

One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:
 
 

 

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