Prague Twin

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Still No Time

There was a time way back when, when you might say I was cool. I crafted my dancing skills through punishing partying at "rave" parties and clubs. I was (and still am) an avid follower of music. I even got paid to DJ in some clubs in Prague.

This is me now.......




I'm studying "Economic Analysis for Managerial Decision Making." I'm drawing supply and demand curves, finding the equilibrium level, figuring elasticity, and generally being a nerd.

I kind of like it though.

Labels:

50 Comments:

  • I don't believe I'm saying this, but the nerd in that video was kind of cool!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 11:56 PM  

  • That is Weird Al if you can believe it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:15 AM  

  • lol

    I had the opportunity to ride a Segway at my nephew's graduation. My husband wouldn't even get on it, because of the song.

    I liked it anyway.

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 3:31 AM  

  • "They see me rolin', my Segway..."

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:47 AM  

  • praguetwin, Vaclav Klaus and his comments recently appeared in the US media:

    "Global warming: truth or propaganda?

    Published: June 13 2007 17:09 | Last updated: June 21 2007 13:01

    Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, argues in the Financial Times that ambitious environmentalism is the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity.

    Mr Klaus writes that “global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem” and the issue “is more about social than natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature.”

    Do you agree? Or do small climate changes demand far-reaching restrictive measures? Mr Klaus will answer your questions in an online

    Vaclav Klaus answers a selection of questions.

    Vaclav Klaus: What is at risk is not the climate, but freedom...

    By Blogger no_slappz, at 5:05 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger no_slappz, at 5:05 PM  

  • No_Slappz,

    If you think I don't know that....

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:51 PM  

  • PT

    So you know that ambitious environmentalism is the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity?

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 5:57 AM  

  • No,

    I know what Klaus said. He is our president, you know. I'd have to be living under a rock not to know what he is up to.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:14 AM  

  • pt

    Oh, I see.

    So how do you feel about his statment: “global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem”?

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 2:27 PM  

  • praguetwin, I would expect you to know what the Czech president said about global warming.

    My point was to let you know that his comments had appeared in the US press and that at least one person in America read them.

    I am always interested in the opinions of people on matters such as global warming, which are concepts of such magnitude that no one on the planet is capable of grasping them.

    I happen to agree with your president.

    Meanwhile, like I've said, I believe in free markets, which means if the people of the world want to drive cars until all the oil is gone, well, that's okay by me.

    Because it is the goal of humans to meet all our individual desires, I believe we will procreate and consume at high and higher rates for many more decades.

    Global energy consumption will increase at high rates, except in countries like Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe and other dictatorships. But they will eventually collapse and energy consumption will increase in those countries as freedom manifests itself.

    What the world needs now and will need more of, is potable drinking water. At this point, clean drinking water is more valuable than oil to those in many countries.

    A million children a year die of malaria in Africa. That's what comes of allowing Nature to take its course.

    Clean water and DDT would END malaria deaths. But cleaning water and spraying DDT seems to violate the sensibilities of many heartless people.

    Frankly, I think there's a market in Africa for the water from the ice melting on Greenland.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 5:39 PM  

  • LOL. I haven't seen anything by Weird Al in a long time.

    Who Hijacked Our Country

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 11:25 PM  

  • no_slappz,

    I think I've made my views on the global warming question quite clear. How this relates to "White and Nerdy" I'm not sure. However, I will take issue with one thing you said...

    Because it is the goal of humans to meet all our individual desires, I believe we will procreate and consume at high and higher rates for many more decades.

    Clearly you are right here. In fact BP just announced that they predict that proven oil reserves can supply the current level of consumption for another 40 years.

    Of course there are two problems with that prediction. 1. The current level will be surpassed tomorrow. 2. A good portion of those reserves are in Iraq and their "proven" status is quite dubious.

    But lets just say they are right, and lets even pretend that global oil consumption won't grow.....

    Forgive me for thinking that human beings, with all their brilliance, are being a little short-sighted for not thinking more than 40 years in advance.

    Sure, you and I may be dead by then, but I plan on having children. What about them? And their kids? What about my nieces? My 3 year old cousin? Am I supposed to disregard their future?

    As to the drinking water, I agree. Too bad all the "free-market" advocates don't lift a finger to help the cocoa farmers (one of thousands of examples) who are forbidden from refining the beans into powder and are thus forever bound in poverty while the large companies make a fortune.

    I agree that the markets should be free. If you want the Africans to have water, perhaps they should be allowed to share in the profits that are being extracted from their lands.

    That would do a hell of a lot more than shipping melted ice from Greenland.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:30 AM  

  • Lysander,

    It is a valid point that Klaus is making, but he falls down on some others. First let me say that no one denies the world is getting hotter, and no one denies that accumulated CO2 is on the rise, sharply (no one sane anyway). The only unanswered question regarding global warming is the extent to which humans are responsible.

    Klaus' belittling of the problem by referring to "tenths of a degree Celsius" is akin to others on the right who point out that CO2 is measured in parts per million.

    Both of these tactics are thinly veiled uses of "appeals to ignorance", which is second only to "attack the man" in the fallacies of argument. I'm sure you are familiar with these, Lysander.

    There may be some hysteria involved in the Global Warming debate. But the most ridiculous of them all is the hysteria surrounding the social and economic effects of reducing carbon output. Klaus and his ilk would have us believe that an enforced reduction of atmospheric CO2 will result in the collapse of the world economy and the re-opening of the gulags.

    This notion I reject unequivocally. Reduction of CO2 makes sense. Those countries (i.e. Norway) and government bodies (i.e. the EU) who are pioneering these efforts should be praised for their foresight.

    History will be much kinder to them than to Mr. Klaus and his fans.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:45 AM  

  • praguetwin, you wrote:

    "BP just announced that they predict that proven oil reserves can supply the current level of consumption for another 40 years."

    BP's estimate is almost meaningless for a lot of reasons.

    You wrote:

    "2. A good portion of those reserves are in Iraq and their "proven" status is quite dubious."

    True. But the joke is this: the estimates of the Iraqi reserves, as well as reserves located in the lunatic muslim dictatorships are most likely low. Our oil-finding and reserve-mapping skills have improved a lot in recent years. But we haven't had access to those territories. The muslims are totally incompetent when it comes to running their oil businesses. Thus, any estimates made by westerners are quite old -- and probably way too low.

    I'll bet middle east reserves are substantially higher than the most wildly optimistic numbers available 10 years ago.

    You wrote:

    "Forgive me for thinking that human beings, with all their brilliance, are being a little short-sighted for not thinking more than 40 years in advance."

    We will adapt as rapidly as nature forces us to adapt. Don't worry about when the oil will run out. It won't happen overnight. But 40 years, 60 years, 100 years. Whatever. We will get there. And by the time we do, alternatives will have emerged.

    You wrote:

    "Sure, you and I may be dead by then, but I plan on having children. What about them? And their kids? What about my nieces? My 3 year old cousin? Am I supposed to disregard their future?"

    What about them? They'll be fine. Only a couple of decades ago worrywarts were saying the same thing about Global Cooling and Nuclear Winter. There was the big anxiety attack over the Population Bomb. A lot of humans go into tizzies over irrational and unfounded concerns. We are just as prone to these manias today as were people at any time in history.

    You wrote:

    "As to the drinking water, I agree. Too bad all the "free-market" advocates don't lift a finger to help the cocoa farmers (one of thousands of examples) who are forbidden from refining the beans into powder and are thus forever bound in poverty while the large companies make a fortune."

    Nonsense. The whole issue of poverty, bad water, disease and misery boils down to the government in charge. Democratic capitalist countries solve their major problems. Dictatorships don't.

    Africa is a continent of crazy dictatorships. The problems will never end as long as the people allow themselves to be subjugated by thugs.

    You wrote:

    "I agree that the markets should be free. If you want the Africans to have water, perhaps they should be allowed to share in the profits that are being extracted from their lands."

    Well, as I said, the problem is the indigenous governments. They don't like US-style freedom and prosperity. They like ruling with guns. By the way, there's a lot of oil beneath African soil and water. African reserves are way understated. There's probably massive amounts of oil under the poorest countries. But no one will ever benefit from it as long as thugs and butchers keep seizing power.

    Are you suggesting the US should clean up the continent?

    The anti-oil crowd supports these thugs. The longer the thugs hold power, the longer it will take for full exploitation of African resources such as oil. That brings smiles to the faces of the anti-oil people.

    It's a dilemma. Oil brings prosperity. But its use affects the environment. People can live in poverty under brutal governments, or those same people can feel the beginnings of prosperity if benevolent governments exploit oil for national benefits. Hmmmmm. What to do?

    You wrote:

    "That would do a hell of a lot more than shipping melted ice from Greenland."

    The thugocracies and kleptocracies of Africa are the problem. In fact, as outsiders, we'd have far more success shipping Greenland ice to African nations than anything else.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 6:16 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Nancy B, at 10:36 PM  

  • Well, I just wanted to say that the song was a great find, and I didn't even catch that it was Wierd Al. It gave me a real chuckle. I especially liked it when the "cool" guys locked the door when the Nerd approached the car.

    Seriously, though, I think you can study economics and still be cool.

    By Anonymous publia.padena, at 10:38 PM  

  • no-slapzz,

    "Democratic capitalist countries solve their major problems."

    I must have missed that. What problems have the American government solved recently?

    Immigration, health care, education, discrimination...? Which problems are "solved" by your standards?

    And how has oil brought prosperity to Saudia Arabia? The ruling class, perhaps, but the citizens?

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 2:25 AM  

  • I concur. The question remains; to what extent is global warming anthropogenic? Until the answer to this question is known, it makes no sense from a scientific point of view to take any action that would affect mankind adversely. And while I agree with you that those who suggest that enforcing reduction of C02 emissions would result in the collapse of the world economy – a position taken by very few – are in fact wrong. There is no doubt in my mind that such enforcement would and does have a negative impact on some developing nations that can be measured in human lives.

    I don’t think we should start the Chemo before we have properly diagnosed for cancer.

    Now as to thinly veiled uses of “appeals to ignorance” couldn’t we also level those charges against proponents of the notion of anthropogenic global warming who ramble on ad nausium about C02 as if it were the only green house gas that affects the globes temperature or imply that man is the only source of C02?

    As to how history will see the situation, I can only recall that the very first earth day concerned itself with the coming ice age, and as all chicken littles past present and future are ridiculed when their conclusions are sourly wrong, I suspect that I will laugh just as hard in the future as I do now.

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 5:02 PM  

  • stephanie, I wrote:

    "Democratic capitalist countries solve their major problems."

    You responded:

    "I must have missed that. What problems have the American government solved recently?"

    I see. First, to attempt to undermine a point, you add qualifiers that were not part of my original statement -- you inserted "American government" for "democratic capitalistic countries" and "recently" as a time-lock for valid gains in the world.

    Let me give you a couple major points. In the US no one goes hungry. We give away food. You cannot starve to death in this country unless you go a on hunger strike to voluntarily commit suicide.

    We have no major public health problems. No malaria, no small pox, we defeated polio and a very long list of brutal diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people in countries run by total incompetents.

    Everyone in the US is offered a public-school education, unlike many other countries where half the population -- the female half -- is excluded. You can criticize public education in the US. There's plenty to criticize. But it's avaiable. And for able students, it is excellent. For students who don't care, well, what can you do?

    The list of superlatives is too long to mention. But it's there despite your readiness to dispute the obvious.

    You wrote:

    "Immigration, health care, education, discrimination...? Which problems are "solved" by your standards?"

    We don't live in a utopia and we never will. But anyone willing to work can cover extraordinary lengths in this country. Or live a pleasant quiet life without too much trouble. The choice is there to be made.

    Mentioning immigration is good for a laugh. You are attempting to suggest this country is a bastion of inequality and discrimination. Yet we are inundated by blacks and hispanics attempting to sneak in. Before you go on a foolish diatribe about the inequities of America, look at the net negative migration patterns in about 100 countries around the world.

    The facts are clear. Millions want to get the hell out of the sewer countries in which they live. Where do they want to go? To the democratic capitalist countries of the world. Are they all stupid?

    You asked:

    "And how has oil brought prosperity to Saudia Arabia? The ruling class, perhaps, but the citizens?"

    Like I wrote, it all boils down to the government. Outside of Israel, the entire middle east is run by lunatic muslims who can turn wealth into poverty like no other group on the planet.

    The surest route to abject poverty comes from the embrace of islam. It has been the ruination of billions. You can take it from there.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 5:48 PM  

  • no-slappz,

    "First, to attempt to undermine a point, you add qualifiers that were not part of my original statement..."

    No, actually I was using a specific example to contradict a generalization not based in fact. America is a democratic capitalist nation with many unsolved problems that have been worsening over decades. Thus, your generalization is not true.

    "In the US no one goes hungry."

    This is completely false. First, there is a significant difference between "no one goes hungry" and "no one starves to death." Those are completely different statements. And neither are true, though the first is admittedly more common than the second; and neither are as common here as they are in impoverished countries, such as those found in Africa.

    As an instance of "those who go hungry" I suggest you visit inner-city schools where the only meals some of the children are likely to get are those provided by the school. Lunch, almost certainly, and most likely breakfast as well. However, that does not mean they come home to a well balanced meal, or a meal at all for dinner.

    Second, there are those families who have children with special needs more severe than my own, the children of which require specialty foods that come at a great deal of cost. Sometimes these families, doing the best they can, still cannot afford these foods and they are not available on the shelves of food pantries. Adults face this difficulty as well, though that depends considerably on their measure of independence.

    Lastly, people do starve to death in America. They don't have to, but it does happen. Both from neglect of those who should be caring for them, and lacked opportunities for those without anyone to care for them. While homeless individuals in cities can usually find sufficient assistance, not all homeless people live in cities and some starve before they can find the help they need.

    While these examples are rare compared to the examples of mass starvation in the world, they do disqualify the veracity of "no one goes hungry." Perhaps if you were closer to the poverty line or took more of an effort to be aware of such problems you'd know for yourself how real they are -- even in democratic capitalistic nations.

    "We have no major public health problems."

    Okay, let's start with the obvious. Cancer isn't a major public health problem? HIV? Herpes? Cerebral palsy? Diabetes? None of these are major health problems? Millions of uninsured who flood emergency rooms with non-emergencies, because the doctors have to see them? People who won't go, because they won't accrue bills they can't, so they get no health care? These aren't problems?

    Or is it only a major health problem when it's a problem over there, that other nations have -- to some extent -- solved? Interesting definition, wouldn't you say.

    "Everyone in the US is offered a public-school education..."

    Yes, and it's so beneficial when so many people of normal intelligence graduate high school without being able to read at all, or if they can, past the sixth grade level. It's so helpful when basic skills, like balancing a check book and locating the United States on a world map, are absent from so many students.

    Bravo! We deserve kudos for that incredible feat.

    "For students who don't care, well, what can you do?"

    Well, not give them the diploma for one. If they don't do the work, they shouldn't pass the class. Instead, we lower our standards so they do pass. That would be enabling those who don't care -- thus the poor results.

    "We don't live in a utopia and we never will."

    No, a utopia is impossible. Does that mean we should accept that our lifestyle is better than theirs and that's enough? However, the point is does the United States of America currently solve its problems?

    "Mentioning immigration is good for a laugh. You are attempting to suggest this country is a bastion of inequality and discrimination."

    Actually, I was referring to the fact that we have open boards that illegal immigrants -- including terrorists -- can just walk on past, no questions asked. They can get jobs, hit people with cares, get health care through the emergency room, rape children, and still we don't send them back.

    Ah, I see what you mean. No, discrimination was a second, and separate issue; and was more a snipe at Democrats who moan about discrimination, and then enact discriminating legislation to "combat discrimination." Never understood how that solved anything myself, but if you like it giddy for you.

    "Where do they want to go? To the democratic capitalist countries of the world."

    Actually, they go pretty much anywhere they can get. People from poor countries migrate to other poor countries, too. They don't all come to democratic countries, and a lot of them do go to socialist countries -- like Canada and Holland.

    "Outside of Israel, the entire middle east is run by lunatic muslims who can turn wealth into poverty like no other group on the planet."

    Thus your snide remarks about discrimination. Hmm.

    Just one more question: Who enables these "lunatic muslims?" Couldn't be those democratic capitalist countries you're so proud of, could it?

    Don't get me wrong. I believe in both capitalism and democracy. But, I also believe in this funny thing called reality; it sucks more often than not, but the only way to make positive change is to acknowledge that somethings need to be changed.

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 10:41 PM  

  • Ns,

    Honestly, I'm skimming at this point. I thought I was wordy, but clearly you are the master.

    Two quick points...

    1. The truth about oil reserves is no one really knows. My OPINION is that Saddam over-declared his own, and Iran may well have done the same. There may be much more in Kazakhstan than anyone has guessed, or they may not be. But the real question is how much is left in Saudi Arabia. As you mentioned, it has been so long since anyone from the west has done an assessment over there, that it is anyone's guess. Having said that, some data has been collected that is quite disturbing. Before you pop off again, read this.

    2. Yes, corrupt African governments are a huge problem. However, your analysis seems to assume that they are prohibiting their people from making refined goods simply because they hate their people and want them to live in eternal poverty. What you fail to recognize is that these prohibitions on making finished goods (only one example of unfair trading practices) come as a result of corporate pressure and bribery. Often these are the conditions that are required for a state to win the opportunity for a company to locate in their country.

    Yes, it is criminal, and the corporations couldn't do this without corrupt governments, but lets be clear that these governments are lining their pockets with corporate money at the expense of their people.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:48 PM  

  • Lysander,

    I disagree that pressure to curb CO2 emissions will have such an adverse effect. You do realize that raising the speed limit by 5 M.P.H. has an effect that can be measured in human lives.

    We know that atmospheric CO2 has nearly doubled in 200 years. We know that humans are releasing millions of tons of it every year will at the same time clearing the surface of the planet of the vegetation that sequesters it. To deny that these two actions are increasing CO2 is the ultimate in ignorance.

    It amazes me that people like yourself who believe in bombing the shit out of Iraq, which has an effect measurable in human lives, and who believe in the ability of industry to adapt to any situation, even those as dire as the end of oil, don't believe that industry can adapt to restrictions on CO2 release and don't believe that making an adjustment to the practices of polluting the air and clearing the forests isn't worth the potential costs.

    If bombing the shit out of something could cure pollution, would you advocate it?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:55 PM  

  • praguetwin, you wrote:

    "If bombing the shit out of something could cure pollution, would you advocate it?"

    And if it worked, the target would have to be China. It has been acknowledged that China now spews more combustion pollution than the US. Worse, Chinese combustion gases -- CO2 and other effluents -- account for 10%-15% of the bad air in California and Oregon.

    China is building many new coal-fired power plants. According to the Chinese government, the country intends to build about 200 hundred of them over the next four years. That will stink up the place.

    China also expects to see its car population go from today's 20 million vehicles to as many as 300 million by 2020. Wow.

    No matter what the US does internally, growing prosperity around the world will lead -- absolutely and inevitably -- to more pollution of every form.

    As I've said, if you want to stop the pollution you must either begin a program of genocide OR convert to islam.

    Otherwise, the world will need lots more energy and no one can stop people from getting the amount of energy they want.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 1:35 AM  

  • PT

    Thanks for proving my point with your dogmatic response.

    School is in.

    http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ESEF3VO2.htm

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 3:04 PM  

  • praguetwin, you wrote:

    "1. The truth about oil reserves is no one really knows."

    That statement must be qualified. We don't know the exact quantity of oil on the planet, but we can absolutely positively state that it is EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN a very large number.

    There is ZERO chance that reserves are LESS than today's estimates.

    You wrote:

    "My OPINION is that Saddam over-declared his own, and Iran may well have done the same. There may be much more in Kazakhstan than anyone has guessed, or they may not be. But the real question is how much is left in Saudi Arabia. As you mentioned, it has been so long since anyone from the west has done an assessment over there, that it is anyone's guess."

    So What? What difference does it make? Oil is a FINITE resource. Why debate when we will consume the last drop of a finite commodity? Knowing that oil is finite is all you need to know. Meanwhile, the approach to the end of all oil supplies will occur over decades.

    We are now debating "Peak Oil". We are wondering if we've gone over the mid-point hump. If we're at only the midpoint of known reserves, we're just getting warmed up.

    You wrote:

    "2. Yes, corrupt African governments are a huge problem. However, your analysis seems to assume that they are prohibiting their people from making refined goods simply because they hate their people and want them to live in eternal poverty."

    No. Dictators must subjugate the people to maintain dictatorial power. It's that simple. Africa is a continent of people who own and produce almost nothing. This is the result of nothing other than the indigenous governments. They are all morally and conceptually corrupt. They are all either thugocracies or kleptocracies.

    The leaders understand that with-holding everything from the citizens brings out the gullible fools of the world. Good-hearted but foolish people around the world believe their charity is helpful to those who suffer under dictatorships. Instead of the countries attending to the welfare of impoverished citizenry, the dictators know they can shift the financial cost to the dupes of the world who support the corruption through giving.

    You wrote:

    "What you fail to recognize is that these prohibitions on making finished goods (only one example of unfair trading practices) come as a result of corporate pressure and bribery."

    You really are a neophyte in these matters. The dictators of Africa steal everything not nailed down. They do it till they are killed or deposed by coups. Of course you are implying that corporations from democratic capitalistic countries are the culprits rather than the butchers who slaughter helpless Africans every day as they fight for power and control.

    You really need to learn about private property and controlling the means of production. Without the government and legal framework for establishing private property, no country ever achieves broad- based prosperity. But private property is a threat to dictators. Private property equals power and the dictators want all of it.

    Notice how quickly Zimbabwe has fallen. It will continue its economic collapse as long as Mugabe is its dictator. Starvation is coming.

    You wrote:

    "Often these are the conditions that are required for a state to win the opportunity for a company to locate in their country."

    Capitalists avoid investing capital in dictatorships because the dictators often seize the results of their investments.

    Buying oil -- a commodity -- from a dictatorship is very different from building factories and developing other expensive assets in countries where property is not safe from seizure by the thugs in charge.

    You wrote:

    "Yes, it is criminal, and the corporations couldn't do this without corrupt governments, but lets be clear that these governments are lining their pockets with corporate money at the expense of their people."

    Show me where US companies are building factories in corrupt countries. Like I said, buying oil or any other natural resources from a corrupt government is not the same as putting money into a corrupt country.

    US corporations are investing in China because China has given US corporate investors the necessary legal assurances that properties will not become subject to unfair seizure. China knows which countries butter its bread.

    African thug dictators don't care about any of this.

    Class project idea: Compare and Contrast China with the African thugocracy of your choice.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 6:34 PM  

  • stephanie, you wrote:

    ""In the US no one goes hungry."

    This is completely false. First, there is a significant difference between "no one goes hungry" and "no one starves to death." Those are completely different statements. And neither are true, though the first is admittedly more common than the second; and neither are as common here as they are in impoverished countries, such as those found in Africa."

    You are a determined nitwit. This week's food headlines in New York City focused on overweight and obese kids. The problem is not too little food. It is too much food. This week the local news has been running stories stating that 42% of children in the Bronx are overweight. And another 25% are considered obese.

    Please tell me who's not eating. I admit that maybe the fat kids are stealing the food of the skinny kids, but after a while the skinny ones will run away with their food before the fat kids can catch them.

    You smugly wrote:

    "As an instance of "those who go hungry" I suggest you visit inner-city schools where the only meals some of the children are likely to get are those provided by the school. Lunch, almost certainly, and most likely breakfast as well. However, that does not mean they come home to a well balanced meal, or a meal at all for dinner."

    I live in Brooklyn, NY. I have worked in the public schools. My kids attend public schools. I know all about the food programs. The fact that they exist confirms my point. Idiot parents don't feed their kids. But the city handles the job. I can assure you that the kids eat and that they are not "going hungry." You are the victim of left-wing propaganda. Food is so cheap we can afford to give it to those who need it. We do. We're generous that way.

    You wrote:

    "Second, there are those families who have children with special needs more severe than my own, the children of which require specialty foods that come at a great deal of cost. Sometimes these families, doing the best they can, still cannot afford these foods and they are not available on the shelves of food pantries. Adults face this difficulty as well, though that depends considerably on their measure of independence."

    You're really reaching now. Give me an example. I think you are fabricating stories now.

    You wrote:

    "Lastly, people do starve to death in America. They don't have to, but it does happen. Both from neglect of those who should be caring for them, and lacked opportunities for those without anyone to care for them. While homeless individuals in cities can usually find sufficient assistance, not all homeless people live in cities and some starve before they can find the help they need."

    No one starves to death in the US due to lack of available food. If people are too crazy to eat, they are not starving and suffering from unavailable food supplies. You are now trying to mix one situation with another. You are dishonest.

    You wrote:

    "While these examples are rare compared to the examples of mass starvation in the world, they do disqualify the veracity of "no one goes hungry." Perhaps if you were closer to the poverty line or took more of an effort to be aware of such problems you'd know for yourself how real they are -- even in democratic capitalistic nations."

    Like I said, I live in Brooklyn, NY. I guarantee you that I see more of humanity, both the good and the bad, than people living almost anywhere else in this country.

    I wrote:

    "We have no major public health problems."

    You responded:

    "Okay, let's start with the obvious. Cancer isn't a major public health problem?"

    You don't understand the definition of "public health" or what it means that a "public health" problem exists.

    The government -- if it is a responsible entity, which ours is -- will devote money, manpower and legislation to PREVENTING and ending health problems that can afflict the public, at large, through no fault of any individual.

    Clean drinking water is one of the key elements to high-quality public health. Dirty water kills millions of people around the world every years. But not in the US or other democratic capitalistic countries.

    The government has the power to assure the safety and quality of drinking water.

    The government does not have the power to control cancer. Government can support research efforts to fight cancer. But there is NO "public health" initiative the government can enforce that will stop cancer. There is no "clean water" equivalent.

    People must quit smoking to end the threat of lung cancer. But that is beyond the power of government.

    You wrote:

    HIV? Herpes?

    Apparently you want the government to control your sex life. If you want to see the end of AIDS and HIV, it will take nothing more than the government putting a stop to anal sex. Of course there have been laws against all forms of "sodomy" for decades before AIDS and HIV appeared. I guess that means some people were breaking the law. What do you think?

    Okay. After the lawbreakers began developing AIDS, researchers went into overdrive looking for a cure and/or a vaccine. So far, the research has helped a lot. But still no cure and still no vaccine.

    But, like I said, the end of AIDS and HIV will occur when people stop having anal sex. The government is powerless on this issue. Unless you have your way.

    You wrote:

    "Cerebral palsy?"

    There are a number of causes of CP, including botched child births. This is clearly not a "public health" issue, in my view.

    You wrote:

    "Diabetes?"

    First, researchers are working diligently to develop better treatments for diabetes. They are succeeding. Second, may people give themselves diabetes through bad eating habits. Once again, this is a personal issue. Not one that government can or should control.

    Here's some good advice. Don't smoke, don't do drugs, don't drink and don't overeat. The key to healthy living is not a deep dark secret kept from the masses. Big fat slobs give themselves diabetes. They should wake up to their own foolishness.

    You wrote:

    "None of these are major health problems?"

    You must separate the health problems government is empowered to tackle directly -- clean water -- and those it must approach indirectely -- smoking/lung cancer, diabetes, alcoholism.

    You are free to kill yourself by the method of your choice. But you are not free to poison the water supply.

    You wrote:

    "Millions of uninsured who flood emergency rooms with non-emergencies, because the doctors have to see them? People who won't go, because they won't accrue bills they can't, so they get no health care? These aren't problems?"

    The framework exists for everyone to obtain some level -- perhaps minimal -- of medical care.

    Medicaid covers people at the bottom. If people are qualified for Medicaid but don't seek care, that is not the fault of the government. You have no idea who is qualified for Medicaid and who is lying about the care they have or have not received. Lying about healthcare is very popular.

    You wrote:

    "Or is it only a major health problem when it's a problem over there, that other nations have -- to some extent -- solved?"

    You now sound like a total idiot. Millions of people die every year in Africa because the thugs running countries don't bother to bring in clean water. Diseases kill million on that continent because the leaders of the countries do absolutely nothing to help the people. Crap like that simply does not and cannot happen here.

    I wrote:

    "Everyone in the US is offered a public-school education..."

    "Yes, and it's so beneficial when so many people of normal intelligence graduate high school without being able to read at all, or if they can, past the sixth grade level."

    Obviously you have never had contact with inner city kids in a classroom. Learning, like cigarette smoking is an individual experience. The government cannot force anyone to learn anything. But you seem to think that's possible. You're clearly a big fan of government running the lives of every individual. That's a very bad idea.

    You wrote:

    "It's so helpful when basic skills, like balancing a check book and locating the United States on a world map, are absent from so many students."

    I can assure you these basics are taught in Brooklyn public schools. However, I can also tell you that many kids refuse to learn these simple facts. If you have a strategy that will cause kids to learn every fact you put before them, the NY Department of Education will pay you millions.

    You wrote:

    "Bravo! We deserve kudos for that incredible feat."

    Many kids from NY City public schools go to the best colleges in the country. Of course many of them are white. Please tell me how to make black and hispanic kids care more about education.

    I wrote:

    "For students who don't care, well, what can you do?"

    You responded:

    "Well, not give them the diploma for one. If they don't do the work, they shouldn't pass the class. Instead, we lower our standards so they do pass. That would be enabling those who don't care -- thus the poor results."

    Or, if we raise the standards, the dummies will hang around high school until they are 25. This problem surfaced long ago. It's real. Best bet is to get the older kids out anyway possible. High school is not forever.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 7:22 PM  



  • There is ZERO chance that reserves are LESS than today's estimates.



    You are just wrong.

    I asked you to look at the article before you popped off. You didn't.

    I'm done with this thread.

    Class project: get some class and quite calling me names.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:12 PM  

  • no-slappz,

    "You are a determined nitwit."

    If you can't have a discussion without resorting to name-calling, then you are obviously too under-confident with your information to be worth my time.

    P.S. There's a lot more to this country than New York City; and I'm not a liberal, I'm a conservative whose spent most of my adult life living at the edge of poverty.

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 2:26 AM  

  • stephanie, I wrote:

    ""You are a determined nitwit.""

    You responded:

    "If you can't have a discussion without resorting to name-calling, then you are obviously too under-confident with your information to be worth my time."

    That's your rebuttal? Okay. In other words, my assessment of you is the only statement I made with which you disagree.

    You wrote:

    "P.S. There's a lot more to this country than New York City;"

    No kidding? I've seen the entire country more than once. But when that tired old quote is dredged up, it's usually used to reference how different NY City is from the rest of the country.

    However, NYC is a microcosm. There's no place else on Earth where people recently arrived from so many different countries, speaking so many different languages, find themselves as neighbors. The place may be a madhouse, but whatever aspect of life one seeks, it is here, with the exception of ranch-style living.

    You claimed:

    "...and I'm not a liberal..."

    I think you are, but you don't know it.

    You claimed:

    "I'm a conservative whose spent most of my adult life living at the edge of poverty."

    Why?

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 5:06 AM  

  • PT

    OK, So I read the link that you wanted NO Slapz to look at and my question for you is this; did you bother to look at some of the ideas exchanged below the initial piece?

    Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the piece you linked to:

    "The original source did not identify the exact location or details for the diagram, but Stuart believes it represents a slice from the northernmost thumb of the field"

    Believes?!?!


    Or this one:

    "If that matching is accurate, it implies the following values for the oil water contacts over time"

    IF?!?!

    Or:

    "through careful sleuthing, believes he can infer."

    Or:

    "Whether this picture describes a particular historical or simulated future condition is not known"


    Now honestly PT there are probably more scientifically credible pieces of research asserting the existence of Big Foot.

    Please don’t pick up your marbles and runaway from this one,, It’s an important topic and there is much to be learned.

    P.S.,,, I thought that name calling was OK?? If not, perhaps an apology to Young Conservative is in order.

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 3:42 PM  

  • no-slappz,

    "In other words, my assessment of you is the only statement I made with which you disagree."

    Hardly. In other words, I am not going to debate with you if you lack either the intellectual capacity to make your arguements without name-calling or the ethical capacity to know it is inappropriate to do so. If you cannot clean up your language, then I will not debate with you. If you would like to debate with me, then I suggest you re-post your comments without the drivel.

    "However, NYC is a microcosm."

    Microcosm it may be, but that does not mean it accurately reflects the conditions on the ground for the rest of the country. Poverty is real, if you've traveled so much and yet missed it then I suspect it's because you don't care enough to look.

    "I think you are, but you don't know it."

    I'm an independent who leans towards the conservative. However, I do not practice Republican groupthink. If that makes me a liberal by your limited definition, so be it.

    "Why?"

    The answer depends on your attention span/interest.

    Short version: I married my husband straight out of high school, I chose not to pursue a college education at that time, had three babies in four years, and while my husband had every intention of being the bread-winner, mental illness affected him in such a way that he could no longer work to support our family. I am currently getting a college education so that I can earn a decent salary that is capable of supporting my family; because my children have special needs that require a lot of care I cannot work for minimum wage, go to college and care for family all at the same time -- so we live off SSI and student loans. Not the most practical or the wisest solution, but it's proving effective for the time-being.

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 8:37 PM  

  • Lysander,

    "P.S.,,, I thought that name calling was OK?? If not, perhaps an apology to Young Conservative is in order."

    While the last portion is something I cannot respond to, because I have no idea what you are referencing (and everyone can make mistakes -- we're all human and fully capable of spouting off when we shouldn't), I can address the first part with a direct quote from this thread:

    PT said: "Both of these tactics are thinly veiled uses of "appeals to ignorance", which is second only to "attack the man" in the fallacies of argument. I'm sure you are familiar with these, Lysander."

    Thus, clearly, PT has little respect for those who resort to name-calling, which is a form of "attacking the man."

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 8:40 PM  

  • Stephanie

    So, you believe that PT has little respect for those who resort to name-calling?

    http://praguetwin.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html

    I guess you werent reading back then. I hope you are not as disapointed as I was.

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 9:31 PM  

  • Stephanie

    Almost forgot, please see the post entitled "chickenhawk"

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 9:42 PM  

  • Lysander,

    1) I can and will show you how to create links if you do not know how. (snide-free and genuine)

    2) It is absolutely telling that you felt it necessary to go all the way back to September 2006 to find an example.

    3) That was during my I-hate-Blogger-for-erasing-me phase, so 'no' I didn't read that particular post; 'yes' I was familiar with PragueTwin before that time. So, 'sort of' is median answer.

    4) Young Conservative is gone. His blog is deleted. Either he didn't have the fortitude to assert his positions; or, he didn't have the ethics not to get banned. Either way -- it's a mute point now.

    5) I have gone head to head with liberals who have served in Iraq (as well as vets of previous wars) and supported my stance in Iraq. I probably did not change their opinions one iota, but I can hold my own. I have never served in the military, I can never serve in the military without lying to get in (which I refuse to do), and would not serve now even if I could get in because I have to serve my family before my country. This does not invalidate my opinions and I will make that point, successfully, with any reasonable person who assumes that it does. That this particular person seems unable to do that gains him very few points with me (cannot be verified one way or the other, because the site is gone).

    6) Without the ability to see what PT said on that site, I have to go with what PT said on his own site:
    a) PT calls YC a chickenhawk. Is it nice? No. Is it descriptively accurate? Maybe. Answering that question would, again, involve having access to YC's site -- which is gone.
    b) PT says, "Yea, he deserves it if he can't even come up with a response." With this, I tend to agree. People should be able to support their positions, especially when that position puts them on shaky ground. Is what he did warranted? That really depends on what YC was saying -- which I don't know.

    7) As I said before, "and everyone can make mistakes -- we're all human and fully capable of spouting off when we shouldn't"

    PT does something most bloggers/commenters don't. He tries to evaluate the content of the message, and he doesn't jump to defame the messenger. PT and I often disagree; yet we're civil about it, can agree to disagree, and can continue debating or set it aside. His caliber of debate is much higher than most, and for that he has my respect and my continued patronage on his blog (whether he always appreciates that or not).

    If you think no-slappz has performed in like manner, then you are entitled to your opinion. I do not. And I have the right not to debate with someone who does not meet my own intellectual and ethical standards, because it is my choice how I devote my time. I have debated many issues with many different people. I have learned, through personal experience, that those who have to resort to name-calling usually don't have anything to say worth listening to. Their opinions are often formed on the basis of something other than facts, and facts that contradict their position are completely ignored when presented; they never admit to !shameful! trait of the ability to be wrong; and they don't actually read comments, but rather skim them, thus missing most of the content and reacting with knee-jerk responses that have little substance. In other words, they're not worth my time.

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 11:52 PM  

  • I think name calling can be justified when a person shows himself to be an unconditional hypocrite. However, even in those circumstances, I refrain myself from resorting to such tactics. I try not to call people names, although at times I have failed in my quest.

    In the case of the chickenhawk, I did revel in the name-calling that others engaged in. Perhaps it was a slight of judgment, but in that case it seemed that many were looking for some kind of response. Many, including myself, were begging for a reaction, any reaction, from a person that had dug himself so deep into a hole that only those who resorted to such tactics had a chance of bringing him into the fray.

    Eventually it worked, and the young lad spoke up for himself. Good on him.

    In this case, I am making points about economic events over which I have no control, nor do I have an opportunity to make my labor effect the result of these consequences.

    To the best extent possible, I try to align my lifestyle with a green outcome. My analysis of the situation should, therefore, not induce or justify in any way an attack on my character or person, irrespective of any previous lapses in the greater ideal of open discourse which I espouse.

    As to the Saudi oilfield question, it is clear that the study pointed to is less than perfect. However, there is little else to base an educated assessment upon.

    Can you provide better data? Like all hucksters and rhetoricians, you find it easy to pick apart a person's analysis. But a better analysis of course you cannot offer us.

    In fact Lysander, I've yet to see you espouse anything other than unprovable sound-bites.

    Why don't you update your blog, and tell us something, oh wise one?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:59 PM  

  • Stephanie,

    We were posting in unison. I did not have the privilege of reading your post before I wrote.

    For the record, I very much appreciate your patronage on my blog. Yes, we disagree on many things, but our discourse has been quite enjoyable from my end.

    Also for the record, the young republican was a 19 year-old who made it clear (and used the 5th anniversary of 911 to propagate his opinion no less) that it was absolutely essential to keep fighting the war in Iraq. Furthermore he used the opportunity to chastise anyone who opposed the war as a traitor. Nevertheless, this "brave" young man refused to sign up for the service because, as he said, his own education was more important. I believe he was studying business.

    As a result, literally hundreds of people jumped his case (including at least a dozen vets) asking in not such a nice way why he hadn't signed up. I merely asked him why he didn't at least stand up for himself and engage his detractors, which I think is the point of blogging.

    Perhaps I served to glorify his detractors, and indeed I did enjoy seeing the young man get his lunch served to him.

    Lysander, as a chickenhawk himself, took particular offense to me even pointing this out, and almost a year later will not let me forget that I stooped to this level. Fair enough.

    I made a mistake glorifying name-calling. I'll admit it. But I try not to do it myself, and I ask those who comment on this blog to at least try not to do it either.

    Sorry for calling you a chickenhawk, Semper Faux, but you've earned it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:15 AM  

  • praguetwin, I read the Stuart Staniford piece. It is a quiet rant. He is, as his blog shows, an enviro-nut.

    His article included the following:

    "Stuart acknowledges that
    Southern Ghawar, by contrast, can maintain plateau for decades to come, but there is only 1.7mbpd of production there on last known figures."

    In other words, the preceding is a disclaimer. Moreover, it is one that ignores the impact of drilling and lifting improvements.

    It further states:

    "Here I have only skimmed the surface of Stuart's painstakingly detailed analysis."

    Nonsense. As Lysander noted, all key points are "inferred", "possible", "believed", "whether this or that", etc. Utterly lacking in credibility and concreteness.

    The writer says:

    "Neither Stuart nor I have a particular agenda here."

    Outright lie. Staniford has an agenda.

    He writes:

    "The Saudis have been deliberately concealing the data that could settle this speculation quite conclusively."

    Why should they? First, the default position among too many people is to believe that world reserves are less than we think. This is obvious nonsense.

    But the Saudis have billions of reasons to keep the world in the dark. It is better for the Saudis if the world believes there is LESS oil in Saudi Arabia. Not more oil.

    Saudi Arabia is a country that needs cash. Lots of it. What better way to earn more than letting the world think the only Saudi export product (aside from wahabbism) is in short supply. That will keep the price up and the Saudi cash register ringing, ringing, ringing.

    If you think muslims see something wrong with that deception, you are mistaken.

    He writes:

    "And yet, accurate information about what is ahead is absolutely vital in order to help us all make the adjustments and adaptations necessary for what is to come."

    The preceding is a true statement. But the Saudis do not benefit from sharing their oil facts with the world. They benefit when the world is in the dark.

    He writes:

    "Stuart observed that nobody had a compelling fix on the facts, even though the story may prove to be one of the most important events of our lifetime."

    And oil is trading around $65 a barrel. If we knew that Saudi was sitting on an ocean of oil, its price would drop. Why would the Saudis want any good news to get out? Why would they want ANY information to get out? They can't be sure how the world will react to concrete information about supplies.

    If Saudi supplies are, in fact, running low, the release of that information would probably cause some countries to relax drilling practices. If more countries opened territories to exploitation, world oil prices would fall. That's bad news for the Saudis, who want MORE MONEY.

    He writes:

    "For that reason, he decided that it was worthwhile for someone with his abilities to wade through all the detailed information available to try to form the most accurate picture of where things currently stand."

    And he failed.

    He wrote:

    "After Stuart's monumental research, I really think the burden of proof is on those who claim that Saudi Arabian production can continue to increase."

    Why? Many countries in the world can increase production if they believe the Saudi output will begin to drop. If they BELIEVE Saudi production will fall, they can increase production at home.

    He wrote:

    "At this point, we need not the conclusions of experts nor the reassurances from Aramco, but hard data to support the claims."

    Nice close. Tricky. We will NEVER get an honest answer from the Saudis. We should accept this state of affairs. Thus, this whole article is an example of the logical fallacy of an "appeal to ignorance."

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 12:53 AM  

  • PT,

    Thank you.

    "Nevertheless, this "brave" young man refused to sign up for the service because, as he said, his own education was more important."

    As you probably remember, I'm taking all my courses on-line. One of the great priviledges of this is to have people serving in the military (in Afghanistan and Iraq) as my fellow students. It's a great priviledge to see these men and women doing what they do and going to school, too. It also makes me feel like a complete wimp, because I don't handle my obligations better. But, if it's any consolation, the guy probably wouldn't be much of a credit to our military; they're probably better off without him.

    "Perhaps I served to glorify his detractors, and indeed I did enjoy seeing the young man get his lunch served to him."

    Sometimes it's difficult; but, again, we're all human. We all have self-expectations that we don't live up to, unless we have no self-expectations at all.

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 2:04 AM  

  • Interesting Article from NY Times 6/28

    An iPod Has Global Value. Ask the (Many) Countries That Make It.

    By HAL R. VARIAN

    Who makes the Apple iPod? Here’s a hint: It is not Apple. The company outsources the entire manufacture of the device to a number of Asian enterprises, among them Asustek, Inventec Appliances and Foxconn.

    But this list of companies isn’t a satisfactory answer either: They only do final assembly. What about the 451 parts that go into the iPod? Where are they made and by whom?

    Three researchers at the University of California, Irvine — Greg Linden, Kenneth L. Kraemer and Jason Dedrick — applied some investigative cost accounting to this question, using a report from Portelligent Inc. that examined all the parts that went into the iPod.

    Their study, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation, offers a fascinating illustration of the complexity of the global economy, and how difficult it is to understand that complexity by using only conventional trade statistics.

    The retail value of the 30-gigabyte video iPod that the authors examined was $299. The most expensive component in it was the hard drive, which was manufactured by Toshiba and costs about $73. The next most costly components were the display module (about $20), the video/multimedia processor chip ($8) and the controller chip ($5). They estimated that the final assembly, done in China, cost only about $4 a unit.

    One approach to tracing supply chain geography might be to attribute the cost of each component to the country of origin of its maker. So $73 of the cost of the iPod would be attributed to Japan since Toshiba is a Japanese company, and the $13 cost of the two chips would be attributed to the United States, since the suppliers, Broadcom and PortalPlayer, are American companies, and so on.

    But this method hides some of the most important details. Toshiba may be a Japanese company, but it makes most of its hard drives in the Philippines and China. So perhaps we should also allocate part of the cost of that hard drive to one of those countries.

    The same problem arises regarding the Broadcom chips, with most of them manufactured in Taiwan. So how can one distribute the costs of the iPod components across the countries where they are manufactured in a meaningful way?

    To answer this question, let us look at the production process as a sequence of steps, each possibly performed by a different company operating in a different country.

    At each step, inputs like computer chips and a bare circuit board are converted into outputs like an assembled circuit board. The difference between the cost of the inputs and the value of the outputs is the “value added” at that step, which can then be attributed to the country where that value was added.

    The profit margin on generic parts like nuts and bolts is very low, since these items are produced in intensely competitive industries and can be manufactured anywhere. Hence, they add little to the final value of the iPod. More specialized parts, like the hard drives and controller chips, have much higher value added.

    According to the authors’ estimates, the $73 Toshiba hard drive in the iPod contains about $54 in parts and labor. So the value that Toshiba added to the hard drive was $19 plus its own direct labor costs. This $19 is attributed to Japan since Toshiba is a Japanese company.

    Continuing in this way, the researchers examined the major components of the iPod and tried to calculate the value added at different stages of the production process and then assigned that value added to the country where the value was created. This isn’t an easy task, but even based on their initial examination, it is quite clear that the largest share of the value added in the iPod goes to enterprises in the United States, particularly for units sold here.

    The researchers estimated that $163 of the iPod’s $299 retail value in the United States was captured by American companies and workers, breaking it down to $75 for distribution and retail costs, $80 to Apple, and $8 to various domestic component makers. Japan contributed about $26 to the value added (mostly via the Toshiba disk drive), while Korea contributed less than $1.

    The unaccounted-for parts and labor costs involved in making the iPod came to about $110. The authors hope to assign those labor costs to the appropriate countries, but as the hard drive example illustrates, that’s not so easy to do.

    This value added calculation illustrates the futility of summarizing such a complex manufacturing process by using conventional trade statistics. Even though Chinese workers contribute only about 1 percent of the value of the iPod, the export of a finished iPod to the United States directly contributes about $150 to our bilateral trade deficit with the Chinese.

    Ultimately, there is no simple answer to who makes the iPod or where it is made. The iPod, like many other products, is made in several countries by dozens of companies, with each stage of production contributing a different amount to the final value.

    The real value of the iPod doesn’t lie in its parts or even in putting those parts together. The bulk of the iPod’s value is in the conception and design of the iPod.

    That is why Apple gets $80 for each of these video iPods it sells, which is by far the largest piece of value added in the entire supply chain.

    Those clever folks at Apple figured out how to combine 451 mostly generic parts into a valuable product. They may not make the iPod, but they created it. In the end, that’s what really matters.

    Hal R. Varian is a professor of business, economics and information management at the University of California, Berkeley.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 5:25 PM  

  • Leave it to muslims. Based on yet another example of muslim incompetence, we know that Iran is incapable of developing nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, they will have nuclear weapons soon, thanks to help coming from other nations.

    IR'RATION'AL IRANIAN GAS RIOTS SPREAD
    AP

    June 28, 2007 -- TEHRAN - Iranians smashed shop windows and set fire to a dozen gas stations in Tehran yesterday, angered by the sudden start of a fuel rationing system.
    Police were sent to guard some stations after the violence erupted, and there was calm during the day as motorists lined up to fill their tanks under the new restrictions.

    The Islamic government had been warning for weeks that rationing was coming, but the announcement of its start just three hours before the plan took effect at midnight Tuesday startled people and sent them rushing to get one last fill-up.

    The rationing is part of a government attempt to reduce the $10 billion it spends each year to import fuel that is then sold to Iranians below cost.

    Iran is one of the world's biggest oil producers, but it doesn't have enough refineries for its domestic gasoline market.

    But a hike in gas prices last month coupled with rationing are feeding discontent with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    "This man, Ahmadinejad, has damaged all things," said Reza Khorrami, 27, who was among those lined up at one Tehran gas station.

    Drivers attacked some stations as managers stopped selling fuel to recalibrate their pumps.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 7:24 PM  

  • NS,

    Seriously, this is stuff you need to post on your own blog.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:31 AM  

  • PT

    Thanks for owning up,, It really means a lot to me.

    My skin is thick,, you can call me chicken-hawk any time as long as you dont mind me calling you chicken-little.

    Although I would appreciate an explination as to why I am in your eyes a chicken-hawk

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 3:48 PM  

  • NO SLAPZ

    Come write on my blog? I could set you up w/full access.

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 3:49 PM  

  • praguetwin, the two articles I posted form excellent bookends.

    On one end of the economic bookshelf, we have Apple operating from its base in a democratic capitalistic economy. By creating the iPod, it has stimulated economic betterment in virtually every productive society around the world.

    At the other end of the bookshelf is the story of the Iranian buffoonery showing how muslim morons living under the self-imposed and economically bankrupt system of islam fail to supply the country's internal need for a basic commodity despite the fact that the feedstock is literally bubbling up out of the Iranian earth.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 3:55 PM  

  • lysander, you wrote:

    "Come write on my blog? I could set you up w/full access."

    Okay. Sounds like fun.

    By Anonymous no_slappz, at 4:13 PM  

  • Lysander,

    I'm glad you are not offended, and you can call me chicken-little anytime, although I don't know what you mean.

    I know from our previous conversations that you see American interventionism beyond benign and generally beneficial. In fact you advocate widening the scope of American interventionism.

    Despite your love for all things military, you have avoided service of any kind and not due to any physical or mental limitations. I'm not saying you are required to serve, but your actions (or lack thereof) qualify you for the title I hung on you. By definition, the tag fits.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:30 PM  

  • PT,

    While I don't love "all things military," I must ask if you would approve of American interventism of the type described in the video you linked to in the post about this one? You didn't say what you thought of that -- and, unfortunately, the discussion doesn't seem to be taking off there.

    If there was a world SysAdmin organization who could handle the matter (better than the UN), would you object to America using its position of power to (try to) improve the lives of those suffering under "politically bankrupt governments"?

    By Anonymous Stephanie, at 10:17 PM  

  • No slapz

    email me @ highpowerdirector@pacbell.net

    By Blogger Lysander Cadwalader, at 3:23 PM  

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