Okay, Someone "Enlighten" Me... Pleas...

by AGuest 49 Replies latest jw friends

  • seven006


    Nelson Mandela is one of my absolute heroes. I think what he did and what eventually happened is the ultimate example of the word "justice." They threw him in jail for many years for speaking the truth and wanting justice. He got out, kept it up and became president of South Africa. His story gave me more hope for justice than any I have ever heard.


    Thanks. This whole mess concerns me because my middle son signed up to join the air national guard so that he could have college money and now after he goes through boot camp and tech training in April through July he might end up in the middle east, that scares the hell out of me.

    I can understand all sides. I can see the injustice from all sides. I can also see the greed and basic human stupidity from all sides. One fact remains, the price of energy dictates the price of everything. I remember when I was 18 and driving my first car. During the oil embargo I had to sit in line at the gas station to get gas for sometimes over an hour. The price of gas went up form around thirty cents a gallon to fifty cents a gallon over night.

    I was also a few months from getting married (all JW kids with raging hormones get married that young) and I was looking at the price of homes. An average three bedroom home here in Oregon was running around fifty-thousand dollars. Through the years I watched the price of gas and the price of homes stay fairly much equal in their specific percentage levels of increase. Now gas runs from around $1.50 to $2.00 a gallon. The average price of a moderate 3 bedroom home runs around $150,000 to $200,000.

    Did the trees get more expensive? Does the rain charge more to water a tree to make it grow now than it did thirty years ago? No. The price of gas that is used to cut the tree down, drive it out of the forest, cut it up at the mill, drive it to the lumber yard, drive it to the home site,etc got more expensive. Gas went up, so we needed to make more money to buy it. We made more money, so people had to make more money to buy the goods and services that they had to buy from the companies that we worked for, because they had to pay us more to work there.

    That is nothing, we in what is considered "the West" seem to roll a lot easier with the punches. It is the third world countries that depend on our help that suffer the most. At least that is the story we get. If we in the West are hurting, they are hurting. Why? because we depend too much on the present forms of energy that we have to use to feed them. I'm not quite sure about that.

    The people who live in third world countries take their pack mules, llamas, oxen and such back and forth between their village and market place. They are not dependent on oil to live their so called impoverished lives. We on the other hand can't walk five blocks to go to a convenience store to buy a gallon of milk for a dollar fifty. We have to drive because we have become to dependent on our modern conveniences.

    Without oil to make the gas that drives our cars, and runs the trucks that delivers the food and runs the farm equipment, that harvests the food and plants the food, we are screwed. We have painted ourselves into a corner. Take away that one thing, "oil" and we, the West, the so called world powers, are dead. As we are killing each other to steal each others food, the guy who is taking his maze to the market place in the wooden wagon that is pulled by the oxen is oblivious to our problem because he does not have a plastic covered radio to listen to the news that we have been screwed.

    Now, is oil important? Do we absolutely need it? Would we kill for it?

    I am sad to say, that is exactly what is happening.


  • Valis

    I'm not enough of a politician to say either way, but I went and tried to find fairly opposite ends of the scale and this is what I came up with..you can decide for yourself...

    The Heritage Foundation is about as right wing as I could think of..


    And this one is from an Instructor of Politics at the U of San Fran..



    District Overbeer

  • Mum

    All of the above are excellent answers.

    One more (I don't think I saw it above): Saddam and President George Bush I started a feud. Therefore, it is incumbent upon George Bush the Younger to take the feud to the next generation.

    Remember the Hatfields and McCoys? After a few generations, neither side knew what the feud was about except just being a Hatfield or McCoy.

  • freedom96

    I think roybatty has summed it up very well.

    I also need to add to my first post on this subject, that Saddam actually killed not one, but two of his son in laws. Cold blooded murder. You say it was treason? Maybe they had good reason for it! But tell me where the trial was held to see if they were really guilty. They were taken out back and shot. Saddam is pure evil. He does not care for anyone including his own family. Imagine what his daughters thought when they found out.

    The fact is, that what he has done, and continues to do is far worse than anything you want to point the finger at the US for.

    To compare homeless people sleeping in their car with the millions of his own people Saddam has killed is not an accurate comparison. Come on!

    And to suggest the the US is starving because of the price of food at a ball game? Please.

  • seven006


    OK, No problem, the devil made you say it. That little pointy tailed bastard!


    Cheaper according to who? Add the cost to create our own weapons of mass destruction as well as the vehicles to deliver them to our targets and the price tag of the war and the price tag of loss of human life and I think pumping our own oil starts to look pretty cheep. I'm not saying tear up Alaska, I'm saying allow a better energy source to be used.

    I agree with you on your comments about the more efficient cars. Hopefully, soon, the problem will be solved now that a good amount of pressure is being put on them. The problem is, it could have been solved a long time ago. The technology has been around for decides, and YES, the oil and automobile companies DID keep it from development because they were not the ones who came up with it and they did not want to tool up to produce it. Hell, they had a hard time coughing up the money to pay the guy who invented the intermittent wind shield wiper let alone the guy who invented the carburetor that gave a 65 chevy the ability to get 100 miles per gallon. That little carburetor was invented in the late 70's. It was never put into production. The American potato farmers did not stop that from happening, the American oil companies and auto makers did. Have you ever seen the movie Tucker? He had a better idea to make a better car at a better price. 50 were made.

    "First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women."


  • seven006

    Here is an article I found interesting that was written over two years ago. It came from the Earth Policy Institute. Read it and use your own judgment.


    September 8, 2000-8
    Copyright 2001 Earth Policy Institute

    OPEC Has World Over a Barrel Again
    Lester R. Brown

    On Thursday, September 7, oil prices on the spot market climbed to $35.39 per barrel, their highest since November 1990, just before the Gulf War. This latest oil price escalation not only threatens a worldwide recession, it also marks another adverse shift in the international terms of trade for the United States, one that will widen further the already huge trade deficit.

    On Sunday, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) ministers will meet at OPEC headquarters in Vienna to consider a request from oil importing countries to boost daily oil output by at least 500,000 barrels. But it may be too little too late. With the East Asian economies, including that of China, booming again, and with U.S. oil production falling for eight years in a row, even a production increase of 500,000 barrels may not restore lower oil prices.

    For the United States, which pays for its oil imports in part with grain exports, this is not good news. Exports of grain and oil are each concentrated in a handful of countries, with grain coming largely from North America and oil mostly from the Middle East. The United States, which dominates grain exports even more than Saudi Arabia does oil, is both the worlds leading grain exporter and its biggest oil importer. Ironically, all 11 members of OPEC are grain importers.

    Using the price of wheat as a surrogate for grain prices, shifts in the grain/oil exchange rate can be easily monitored. From 1950 through 1972, both wheat and oil prices were remarkably stable. In 1950, when wheat was priced at $1.89 a bushel and oil at $1.71 a barrel, a bushel of wheat could be exchanged for 1.1 barrels of oil. At any time during this 22-year span, a bushel of wheat could be traded for a barrel of oil on the world market. (See attached table.)

    With the 1973 oil price hike, this began to change. By 1979, the year of the second oil price increase, OPECs strength had pushed the exchange rate to roughly 4 to 1. By 1982, when the price of oil had climbed past $33 a barrel, the wheat/oil ratio had climbed to 8 to 1. This steep rise in the purchasing power of oil led to one of the greatest international transfers of wealth ever recorded.

    Today, 27 years after the first oil price hike, the terms of trade are again shifting in favor of OPEC. With grain prices at their lowest level in two decades and oil prices at the highest level in a decade, the wheat/oil ratio has shifted to an estimated 10 to 1 this year. OPEC has the United States over a barrel once again. With its fast-growing fleet of gas-guzzling SUVs (sport utility vehicles) and falling oil production, the United States is now dependent on imports for a record 57 percent of its oil, making it even more vulnerable to oil price hikes and supply disruptions than it was in 1973.

    But this is not the only threat to international security. Climate change from burning oil and other fossil fuels may be an even greater threat to long-term world economic and political stability. Last months discovery of open water at the North Pole by an ice breaker cruise ship is only one of many recent indications that human activities are altering the Earths climate. The Arctic Ocean ice has thinned by 40 percent in some 35 years. Scientists now believe that summer ice in the Arctic Ocean could disappear entirely within the next 50 years. (See Worldwatch Issue Alert #7)

    Greenlands ice sheet is also starting to melt. If all the ice on this huge island, which is three times the size of Texas and measures 10,000 feet thick (over 3,000 meters) in some places, were eventually to melt, sea level would rise by a staggering 23 feet (7 meters). In addition to ice melting and rising sea level, global climate change can bring more extreme weather events-more intense heat waves, more destructive storms, and more severe flooding.

    The world is beginning to move beyond oil and coal toward energy sources that do not disrupt climate. Widely varying growth rates of various sources of energy from 1990-99 give a sense of the energy transition underway. Worldwide, wind power generation grew by 24 percent per year, solar cell production by 17 percent, and geothermal power by 4 percent. By contrast, world oil use expanded at 1 percent a year and coal use actually declined by nearly 1 percent.

    Even oil company CEOs are talking about shifting from a carbon-based to a solar/hydrogen-based energy economy. British Petroleum is now the worlds leading manufacturer of solar cells. Shell is pioneering the new hydrogen economy. All the major automobile companies are working on fuel cell engines for which the fuel of choice is hydrogen. The Japanese have developed a photovoltaic roofing material that allows the rooftop to become the power plant for the building.

    Denmark now gets 10 percent of its electricity from wind. For Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state in Germany, it is 14 percent. For the industrial province of Navarra in Spain, it is 22 percent. We are now getting glimpses of the new energy economy in the solar rooftops in Japan and in the wind turbines scattered across the European countryside.

    A nationwide wind resources survey by the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that three states North Dakota, Kansas and Texas have enough harnessable wind energy to satisfy national electricity needs. With new wind farms coming online over the last year or two in Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, and Wyoming, U.S. wind-generation jumped by 29 percent in 1999. (See Worldwatch Issue Alert #3)

    The generation of electricity from wind is exciting because money spent for this electricity typically stays in the community, whereas money spent for electricity generated by oil may end up in the Middle East. Moreover, with cheap wind-generated electricity, hydrogen, the preferred fuel for fuel cell engines, can be produced during the night when electricity demand is low.

    As these examples indicate, the transition to a new energy economy has begun, but it is not moving fast enough. The time has come to restructure the tax system both to reduce the threat of soaring oil prices and to stabilize climate. We can restructure our tax system by lowering the personal and corporate income tax and offsetting it with an increase in a tax on gasoline. OPEC members know that the cost of producing oil in Saudi Arabia, which has the lions share of world oil reserves, is roughly $2 a barrel. They also know that if they push the price of oil too high, they will trigger a global recession. This is not in their interest.

    If there is a world price for petroleum products beyond which a further rise would be disruptive, then the issue is who gets the difference between the low production cost of oil and this much higher market price. If importing countries push prices of gasoline, fuel oil, jet fuel, and other oil products close to that limit by imposing stiff taxes, then the potential for raising prices by OPEC is lessened. This is why, in a meeting with President Clinton in New York earlier this week, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah urged importing countries to lower their taxes on gasoline and other oil products.

    If we take the initiative and raise gasoline taxes while lowering income taxes, the increase in the gasoline tax will end up in our treasury and individuals will benefit from lower income taxes. But if we dont restructure and let OPEC countries keep increasing the price of oil, and hence of gasoline, the equivalent of the gasoline tax increase will end up in OPEC treasuries. We will eventually pay the same higher price for gasoline, but not get the income tax reduction.

  • SixofNine

    Hell, they had a hard time coughing up the money to pay the guy who invented the intermittent wind shield wiper let alone the guy who invented the carburetor that gave a 65 chevy the ability to get 100 miles per gallon. That little carburetor was invented in the late 70's.

    Jesus Christ! Think. It didn't exist. It doesn't exist. Bullshit comes from more than one source you know? Yep, long before there was the internet, way back in '65, there was bullshit. It's long past it's born-on dating though.

    If only the solving the worlds problems were as simple as simply listening to some lone, more-than-slightly-eccentric fuel/air mixture wizard working furiously in his garage in Peoria Podunkville.

  • back2dafront

    Dave, I agree with ya, but I think our need for oil exists only because we refuse to pursue alternate energy. I'd trade in my gas vehicle for an electric one in a heartbeat, and I'd do anything the government encouraged me to do in order to make a step in the right direction.

    Maybe someone from Canada can input what the government has done up there recently to encourage people to conserve energy? If I'm not mistaken they just signed the Kyoto treaty and are making steps to encourage energy conservation.

    Point being, it's not an impossible feat, it's just seems like America is not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to pursue alternate energy. Reason being there's money to be pocketed w/ the pursuit of oil.

    That's the only reason I can see. The Bush administration yet again shows a lack of foresight. This global warming stuff is serious [email protected]*. When flooding and winter storms start wiping out civilizations it'll be to late to start converting to alternate energy. The time to act is NOW.

  • back2dafront
    If only the solving the worlds problems were as simple as simply listening to some lone, more-than-slightly-eccentric fuel/air mixture wizard working furiously in his garage in Peoria Podunkville.

    ummm....it is that simple.

    Or maybe I have it all wrong and going to war in Iraq to protect us from Sadaam and terrorists and simultaneously securing oil interests in the area will save our environment and prevent the poles from melting.

    Real brilliant plan there. By the time we're done w/ Iraq, N. Korea will be making more nukes anyways, which they can slip to terrorists.

    I say:

    Let the U.N. and Europe handle disarming Iraq.

    Focus on coming to terms with N. Korea. Get off the frikkin high horse and give the people some food so they'll shut their reactor down.

    Sign the frikkin Kyoto Treaty.

    Now that sounds like a plan to me. But with Bush calling the shots, we're going to further provoke an Arab nation that already hates us, and they'll discover ways to further terrorize us. Bombing Iraq ain't gonna solve shit.

  • roybatty
    The technology has been around for decides, and YES, the oil and automobile companies DID keep it from development because they were not the ones who came up with it and they did not want to tool up to produce it.

    Dave, exactly HOW did the car and oil companies stop the development of this technology? I will agree that the automobile makers fight against the governments efforts to raise the minimum mpg for cars. You know why? Because it costs money to develop more fuel efficent cars, money you and I aren't willing to pay because gas is so cheap.

    Barring the recent spike in gas prices, which would the average SUV buyer purchase. One, a "standard" Ford Explorer which get 20mpg at a cost of $28,000.00 or a "hybred" Explorer which get 35 mpg but costs $40,000.00? They'll pocket the $12,000.00 and buy the standard Explorer. Ford knows this so why invest a ton of money in hydred cars. Now second senerio. Same priced but gas now costs $3.50 a gallon. Suddenly Ford can't produce enough hybred cars.

    I'll even give you a real life example. A couple of years ago when gas prices sudden hit $2.50 a gallon, the local Honda dealers in Chicago couldn't keep up with the demand for it's Insight hybred car. Soon after gas prices again fell, people went back to buying Accords.

    Regarding your comments on gas prices and plastics...I agree. As a plastics engineer I've seen resin prices go through the roof recenty. All of us have an interest in seeing the free flow of oil from the middle east.

    Dave, one last question....what kind of vehicle do you drive?

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