Beating a dead horse

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dude's picture
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Alright....I was thinking about this whole Iraq/Middle East/Muslim/Bush rocks/sucks debate and I had a thought which I believe is hardly unique yet simplifies my whole attitude about our (America's) Middle Eastern approach.
How can a culture and society (the Muslim world) who reacts SOOOOOO violently to a f*ckin' cartoon ever embrace democracy (not even accounting for all the localized ethnic/tribal tensions and other diametric opposition to western ideals)?  I mean, isn't freedom of speach THE cornerstone of democracy? 
It seems to me that the social inertia that has been built through well over a thousand years of tradition in the Muslim world is well entrenched and fundamentally conflicts with the basic tenents of democracy. 
My whole attitude has been misconstrued as a "soft" let's get together and talk approach, when really it's more like...Let's have a better understanding of the ways we should and should not interface with this culture and let them work out their own issues without our interference.  Now, admittedly I am not an expert in foreign policy and understand that the Middle East is strategically important for energy....so I will concede ignorance on the issues lingering in the penumbra. 
Never the less, I would compare our zealous "bringing democracy to the world" attitude to one of us sitting with a client who had been through the depression and did not want to "risk" any of their money.  Would any of us just hammer them incesantly about stocks?  It's my belief that most of us would do our best to educate the client and if no success sell 'em CD (or whatever) and move on.  Is it really productive to try and change the way someone (or someone's) to change their fundamental values and attitudes?
My whole attitude is:  Let's focus our resources in the areas that are most likely to produce results, which unfortunatley (in my opinion) doesn't equate to bashing peoples heads in to change them.

dude's picture
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Here's an analogy that may be helpful in framing my view.
Think about the differences between men and women.  Y'all probably know the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  Well the basis for this book (which from personal experience I agree with) is that Men and Women speak a fundamentally different language and that the vast majority of male/female tensions occur because of the misunderstanding that occurs during translation.  We may use the same language (english) but the interpretation is vastly different.  I think it has to do with Men being left brain (logic) dominant and women being right brain (emotive/creative) dominant.
Anyway, let's look at the middle eastern culture as a hemisphere of the mind..... maybe (this is all rambling speculation for the sake of illustrating an idea, please grant me some leeway here) they are more dominated by "left brain" ideology, guided by strict rules and logic as they understand it, which is what makes them feel safe, relevant and how they make sense of their world.  We (the western world) are perhaps more guided by right brain ideology, driven by a more open creative and ephemeral ideology which is how we make sense of our world.
Now, just as it is in vain to try and convince a woman to think lie a man (and vice versa), it is similarly in vain to try an convince the Muslim world to think like us.
Never the less, we must co exist and do rely on each other.  Therefore, it seems to me that it is best to reduce our co-dependance so that our individual actions don't affect each other so much, therefore reducing our need to respond and also to establish very clear guidelines for interfacing with each other.  I am using a logic that has been successful in my own life while interfacing with my soon to be ex wife.
Ultimately the skills that work with easing tensions between individuals can work for easing tensions between nations (a collection of individuals).
All I can say is that I have NEVER been sucessful LONG TERM by raising my voice and fighting.  All that has done is create greater resentment and more issues.
I should finally note that this is directed at the macro issue of Western and Middle Eastern relations, not specifically the way we should respond to Al Qeada (which we have our disagreements on) or Iraq.  Thanks for listening.

babbling looney's picture
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I'm calling in PETA...  Leave that poor horse alone. 
Just kidding.
Y'all probably know the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  Well the basis for this book (which from personal experience I agree with) is that Men and Women speak a fundamentally different language and that the vast majority of male/female tensions occur because of the misunderstanding that occurs during translation.  We may use the same language (english) but the interpretation is vastly different.  I think it has to do with Men being left brain (logic) dominant and women being right brain (emotive/creative) dominant.
While this may be generally true, it is not always so. I am living proof of that, being a woman and fairly left brain oriented.  Of course it takes both parts of the brain to make a whole person. You are using a stereotype to predicate your entire argument. 
But I do agree that there is a fundamental misunderstanding in communication between the Western and Eastern cultures.  Having been raised in a multi cultural environment (Japanese and American) I know that many little things can cause unintended offense or confusion.  We certainly don't need to be doing that to people who have nuclear bombs. 
However to go back to your men vs women analogy. I think that a good marriage and communication within it, depends on BOTH sides attempting to understand and communicate.  It isn't incumbent on just one side (in this case the United States) to try to be the appeaser or to try to think like the other.  If we are to make this "marriage" or political process work both sides need to try.  So far I only see one side giving an inch.  If this was a marriage counseling situation, I would say we are headed for a nasty divorce.

troll's picture
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dude wrote:Alright....I was thinking about this whole Iraq/Middle East/Muslim/Bush rocks/sucks debate and I had a thought which I believe is hardly unique yet simplifies my whole attitude about our (America's) Middle Eastern approach.
How can a culture and society (the Muslim world) who reacts SOOOOOO violently to a f*ckin' cartoon ever embrace democracy (not even accounting for all the localized ethnic/tribal tensions and other diametric opposition to western ideals)?  I mean, isn't freedom of speach THE cornerstone of democracy? 
It seems to me that the social inertia that has been built through well over a thousand years of tradition in the Muslim world is well entrenched and fundamentally conflicts with the basic tenents of democracy. 
My whole attitude has been misconstrued as a "soft" let's get together and talk approach, when really it's more like...Let's have a better understanding of the ways we should and should not interface with this culture and let them work out their own issues without our interference.  Now, admittedly I am not an expert in foreign policy and understand that the Middle East is strategically important for energy....so I will concede ignorance on the issues lingering in the penumbra. 
Never the less, I would compare our zealous "bringing democracy to the world" attitude to one of us sitting with a client who had been through the depression and did not want to "risk" any of their money.  Would any of us just hammer them incesantly about stocks?  It's my belief that most of us would do our best to educate the client and if no success sell 'em CD (or whatever) and move on.  Is it really productive to try and change the way someone (or someone's) to change their fundamental values and attitudes?
My whole attitude is:  Let's focus our resources in the areas that are most likely to produce results, which unfortunatley (in my opinion) doesn't equate to bashing peoples heads in to change them.PENUMBRA?Holy sh*te I haven't seen that word since the SAT's!

TexasRep's picture
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dude, very well put- especially for a monday-
it is easy to agree with most of what you wrote, but where the rubber meets the road is OIL- and choosing when, where and how to interface with this culture revolves around this one thing- i don't think the west would give two hoots to any civilization who demonstrated such anger otherwise-
and for what its worth, you may want to check in with the MAJORITY of citizens from Iraq and Afghan who VOTED for the first time and make sure they all really do hate the way we are forcing democracy down their throats-
i agree that the effort and the money and lives that the USA is spending on this project is based upon a very shakey premise- but the W is kind of a big project guy and i applaud/support him in the grand vision he has for the region- and continue to pray that it works.
 

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Dude it might be simpler. People who don't have food, security, shelter and protection are bribed to hate for almost nothing.
Since they can't read or write it is impossible for them to think on their own. Add the fact that exterme leaders including Saddam, Semalia warlords, Bin Ladin, Taliban and Arafat pay 20,000 and make statues of those who kill innocent people by blowing them selves up.
So you are saying that some people here relate more to brokeback then others?       Great articles!
Texas -  there are many studies that say 80% of IRAQ says they are confident country will be better in one year (among other things). If they believe and die for freedom how can we not help.
Did anyone see Mitt Romney is moving into the lead for republicans. Billery for the Dems.

dude's picture
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TexasRep wrote:
dude, very well put- especially for a monday-
it is easy to agree with most of what you wrote, but where the rubber meets the road is OIL- and choosing when, where and how to interface with this culture revolves around this one thing- i don't think the west would give two hoots to any civilization who demonstrated such anger otherwise-
and for what its worth, you may want to check in with the MAJORITY of citizens from Iraq and Afghan who VOTED for the first time and make sure they all really do hate the way we are forcing democracy down their throats-
i agree that the effort and the money and lives that the USA is spending on this project is based upon a very shakey premise- but the W is kind of a big project guy and i applaud/support him in the grand vision he has for the region- and continue to pray that it works.
 

I understand that the achilles heel in this whole problem is oil, which is why I am very interested in alternative energy sources.
Even though I disagree with Bush, I am certainly hoping he proves me wrong.....Our world is ill prepared for the consequences of failing in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
Babbling Looney:  I am generalizing about women here.  There definitely are exceptions to the rule.  One thing is clear though, that men and women (generally) have very different underlying motivations and "perceptual lenses" from which they make sense of the world.  In my life (as well as many of my friends) these differences have manifested mostly in misunderstandings arising from misinterpreting the meaning of what each other is saying.
Thanks for the excellent dialogue.

troll's picture
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I thought this might shed some light on this interesting thread;
 
http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-200602 19.html

dude's picture
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mikebutler222 wrote:
I thought this might shed some light on this interesting thread;
 
http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-200602 19.html

Nice.  

TexasRep's picture
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I believe this satirical Dilbert view to be a large part of the reason we’re in this mess- the sappy, me-generation age worldview of: damn if we do, damn if we don’t and/or “I want my MTV” spoiled rotten attitude--—  a generation ago, we’d be up and arms about how to cut down and cut-out this addiction as part of the “what I can do for my country” role we play in it—<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Now?
We’ve gone from the last crisis 20+ years ago and the Detroit answer to that: gerri-rigged, turbo-Chryslers that got 20+ mpg to the “I want my turbo-hummer” today- don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between who ignored the Monte-Carlo analysis and instead went to Monte Carlo on the sheik’s turbo-yachts wining and dining and basically dropping the ball-  
The result?
As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago, meanwhile our technology has us 24/7 in a space station, shooting robot rockets at comets to analyze their cosmic dust, dune buggy-ing on Mars, ect.----
ya’ think if GM and Ford weren’t trying to out Hummer the other with Excursions, Hummers, F-650’s, ect- and developing 25 to 35 mpg vehicles that their bonds may be worth more than junk today?  And worth even more had they been able to develop those vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm?
Dilbert’s (wrong) view does not take into account the crucial supply/demand process which would drive down petro-profits or terror-profits, and instead throws in the towel with “if you don’t buy it, someone else will” and “its fungible” (a straw man) routine—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country and their families with “Let them fight this battle, give me my MTV”
It’s only going to get worse if we don’t wake-up:
From eiaPROVEN CRUDE OIL RESERVESIt is generally agreed that the location of proven world crude oil reserves is far more concentrated in OPEC countries than current world oil production. Note that estimates of reserves vary; EIA does not assess oil reserves, but does list several independent estimates.  According to one independent estimate (Oil and Gas Journal), of the world's 1.28 trillion barrels of proven reserves, 885 billion barrels (69 percent) are held by OPEC, as of January 2005.

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For sure new energy sources is critical for our long term success. Look at Chavez (crazy Anti American (friend of Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan)) he is who he is thanks to oil.
Additionally Americans need to wake up. Dont blame Bush for our greed to drive every where every day, avoid car pooling and buy SUV's. Many need to look in the mirror. Just went to Eastern Europe where gas is about 5 bucks a gallon. These people make a few hundred a month. So most have 1.6l or 2.0l cars.
Amazingly during Clintons first year MPG was supposed to go up after 8 years it went down. One of the great accomplishments during the Billery years.
Tex it seems Toyota (LEXUS) is leading the way with good MPG auto's. They just built a plant in America and have reccord amounts of Hybrids and fuel efficient cars leaving lots now. LS430s get up to 30MPG. This is a big v-8 with 4.3l. GM and Ford should look in the mirror not at American Tax payers to bail them out.

troll's picture
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TexasRep wrote:
I believe this satirical Dilbert view to be a large part of the reason we’re in this mess- 

Hardly. Dilbert points out economic truth that Prius drivers and Micheal Moore fans will never understand.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
TexasRep wrote:
We’ve gone from the last crisis 20+ years ago and the Detroit answer to that: gerri-rigged, turbo-Chryslers that got 20+ mpg to the “I want my turbo-hummer”

Detriot's answer to the last oil crisis was diesel engined cars that weren't worth a dime three years after you bought them. BTW, you may have noticed that Hummer sales (and Chysler doesn't make them) have fallen off and the reborn Hemi has the technology to turn off half of its cylinders for increased gas mileage. I suspect you're unaware what technology is available at your local dealer.

TexasRep wrote:
As our vehicles depreciate and wear out,

As all cars, made everywhere, always have....
TexasRep wrote:
the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago,

You have some evidence of this? I think you're wrong on this one. A similarly sized family sedan or mini van gets better mileage today than did a 1986 model. In fact, the mega SUVs get better mileage than the station wagon my father drive back at the dawn of time.
TexasRep wrote:
ya’ think if GM and Ford weren’t trying to out Hummer the other with Excursions, Hummers, F-650’s, ect- and developing 25 to 35 mpg vehicles that their bonds may be worth more than junk today? 

Now you're really confused, and on a couple of fronts. Those larger vehicles, the ones that sold, are the only models Detroit made a profit in selling. If you want junk bonds, imagine a GM selling only the low margin subcompact line. Secondly, consumers determine what models sell (and until very recently it's been SUVs) not the auto makers. Detroits failures are many, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.
BTW, if you want to buy an American made 25-35 mpg car, the lots are full of them.
TexasRep wrote:
 And worth even more had they been able to develop those vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm?

Ahhh, how about garbage powered? Dream powered? Seriously, there's nothing that keeps Ford or GM from producing BOTH massive SUVs (and I'm not a fan) AND high mileage cars like Ford's hybrid escape. In fact, they already do. You've simply ignored the consumer demand issue. You may have noticed even the sainted foreign car makers build SUVs and trucks.
TexasRep wrote:
Dilbert’s (wrong) view does not take into account the crucial supply/demand process which would drive down petro-profits or terror-profits, and instead throws in the towel with “if you don’t buy it, someone else will” and “its fungible” (a straw man) routine

You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact.
If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism (a link, btw, that's vastly exaggerated. We get a much smaller percentage of our oil from the middle east than most Americans know) someone else WOULD buy that oil. It wouldn't sit in the ground, and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.
Drive a golf cart, if you like, it wouldn't change that fact.
TexasRep wrote:
—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country

Oh spare me....

troll's picture
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If you have a real interest in fuel mileage, here's the EPA link.
http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/all-alpha-06.htm
And, oh, yeah, the Acruas at the top of the list, the ones getting mileage in the teens in town and low to mid-twenties on the highway, not made in Detroit... 
 

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 I suspect you're unaware what technology is available at your local dealer.
i'm very aware- just bought an '06 2 weeks ago

TexasRep wrote:
the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago,

You have some evidence of this? I think you're wrong on this one.
i read it somewhere- it is an average mpg study, lump in your 30+'s with the 10 mpg hummers and the average has gone DOWN over this period
Now you're really confused, and on a couple of fronts. Those larger vehicles, the ones that sold, are the only models Detroit made a profit in selling. If you want junk bonds, imagine a GM selling only the low margin subcompact line.
you missed my point entirely-
Secondly, consumers determine what models sell (and until very recently it's been SUVs) not the auto makers. Detroits failures are many, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.BTW, if you want to buy an American made 25-35 mpg car, the lots are full of them.
my point has never been "US consumers should do XYZ"- my context was that Detroit, should have been out in front of this enough to be able to give Joe consumer what he wants, and 25+ mpg.
[Ahhh, how about garbage powered? Dream powered? Seriously, there's nothing that keeps Ford or GM from producing BOTH massive SUVs (and I'm not a fan) AND high mileage cars like Ford's hybrid escape. In fact, they already do.
Ford's hybrid Escape? i shopped it,  and i would no more buy it than the gerri rigged turbo diesel of yesteryear- my point is: Detroit / USA- should have been able to be sufficiently ahead of this to be offering better by now-
You've simply ignored the consumer demand issue.
no, you've simply misread my post and manufactured your own debate-
You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact.If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism
who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.
...and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.
if the USA consumed 25% less of that oil than we currently do, what would happen to the overall price of oil globally?if the cars out of Detroit (big, massive cars that Joe consumer WANTS) got 50+ mpg, then Japan, China,Europe, ect followed with their vehicle production and as a result the world's demand dropped by 25% or more, what would that do the the global price on oil?
TexasRep wrote:
—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country

Oh spare me....

go back to your funny papers- this issue is too big for you.

troll's picture
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TexasRep wrote:
 
 I suspect you're unaware what technology is available at your local dealer.
i'm very aware- just bought an '06 2 weeks ago
I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, it sounds like you don't deserve it.

TexasRep wrote:
the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago,

You have some evidence of this? I think you're wrong on this one.
i read it somewhere- it is an average mpg study, lump in your 30+'s with the 10 mpg hummers and the average has gone DOWN over this period
Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.
 
Now you're really confused, and on a couple of fronts. Those larger vehicles, the ones that sold, are the only models Detroit made a profit in selling. If you want junk bonds, imagine a GM selling only the low margin subcompact line.
you missed my point entirely-
I doubt it.
Secondly, consumers determine what models sell (and until very recently it's been SUVs) not the auto makers. Detroits failures are many, but you're barking up the wrong tree here.BTW, if you want to buy an American made 25-35 mpg car, the lots are full of them.
my point has never been "US consumers should do XYZ"- my context was that Detroit, should have been out in front of this enough to be able to give Joe consumer what he wants, and 25+ mpg.
Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.
[Ahhh, how about garbage powered? Dream powered? Seriously, there's nothing that keeps Ford or GM from producing BOTH massive SUVs (and I'm not a fan) AND high mileage cars like Ford's hybrid escape. In fact, they already do.
Ford's hybrid Escape? i shopped it,  and i would no more buy it than the gerri rigged turbo diesel of yesteryear- my point is: Detroit / USA- should have been able to be sufficiently ahead of this to be offering better by now-
You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota. Do explain "better".  BTW, I hope it's more reality based than my anger at Detroit that the neat flying car has yet to show up at the dealership. 
You've simply ignored the consumer demand issue.
no, you've simply misread my post and manufactured your own debate-
Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...
You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact.If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism
who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.
Again, you can't be serious.
...and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.
if the USA consumed 25% less of that oil than we currently do, what would happen to the overall price of oil globally?
And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage. Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.
 
if the cars out of Detroit (big, massive cars that Joe consumer WANTS) got 50+ mpg, then Japan, China,Europe, ect followed with their vehicle production and as a result the world's demand dropped by 25% or more, what would that do the the global price on oil?
Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.
 
TexasRep wrote:
—an attitude which insults the fighting men and women of this country

Oh spare me....

go back to your funny papers- this issue is too big for you.
Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.

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mikebutler222Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I originally started with BOTH by stating:As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago.- what I should have stated was “of cars sold”, which would point to the lack of fuel efficiency in cars Joe-public actually wants to purchase- which AGAIN, is my main point: That Washington/Detroit could have/should have collaborated for the greater good to produce BOTH vehicles that consumers want AND fuel efficiencies which are MUCH better than they were 20+ years ago in those vehicles.
mikebutler222Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.
Again, from my original post:”…don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between…”What part don’t you understand? I originally stated that the worth of GM/Ford would be “….. worth even more had they been able to develop those (the one’s they want) vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm…”
mikebutler222You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota.
Have you driven it? Have you towed with it? Has it been battle tested enough to warrant the expenditure of $20,000+ on? 20+ years go by, the next crisis occurs, then whammo- here’s your answer- I’m not going to write a check, are you? would you suggest that Joe-consumer who cannot afford to be upside down on a vehicle 5 years from now, take a flyer on what this “..core technolgy leased from the gods at Toyota..” will be worth in 2011?
mikebutler222Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...
Really?”…  don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between..”
 
mikebutler222who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.Again, you can't be serious.
Totally.
 
mikebutler222And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage.
From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp”.. The root cause of high gasoline prices is soaring demand, caused in large part by increasingly fuel-inefficient cars and trucks. Of the 20 million barrels of oil consumed each day, 40 percent is used by passenger vehicles, 24 percent by industry, 12 percent by commercial and freight trucks, 7 percent by aircraft, and 6 percent in residential and commercial buildings.1 The U.S. passenger vehicle fleet alone accounts for one-tenth of world petroleum consumption..”
 
mikebutler222Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.
From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp”…According to the U.S. DOE, monthly average gasoline prices hit an all-time high in March 1981, when prices in today's dollars peaked at almost $3 per gallon (see Figure 4). The primary cause of that price peak was the war between Iran and Iraq, which removed large amounts of oil from the world oil market along with OPEC's ability at that time to enforce price and production quotas.
In response, the United States and other oil importing nations radically reduced their demand for OPEC oil through fuel efficiency, fuel switching and new production. In response, the total demand for OPEC oil fell by 13 million barrels per day, or 43 percent, between 1979 and 1983.20 Unable to maintain its desired market share at the high oil prices it was charging, OPEC was forced to slash its prices….”
 
mikebutler222Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.
Cite the data.
 
mikebutler222Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.
Whose reality?   Dilbert’s?   Genius.
 
 

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mikebutler222Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I originally started with BOTH by stating:
As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago.- what I should have stated was “of cars sold”, which would point to the lack of fuel efficiency in cars Joe-public actually wants to purchase-
So you acknowledge Joe consumer actually drives the train. Progress is being made...
 
which AGAIN, is my main point: That Washington/Detroit could have/should have collaborated...
The fact remains that fuel mileage IS better, much better than 20 years ago for similar cars. Joe consumer, otoh, has wanted bigger vehicles. I'm still trying to figure out how you blame anyone but Joe.
Or is it you're suggesting there's a technology that could make a Suburban with "much better" mileage? If that's the case, two questions 1) what evidence to do have that it's possible  2) why wouldn't car makers offer it if it was possible?
mikebutler222Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.
Again, from my original post:”…don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between…”What part don’t you understand?
Part missing part. The part where you don't admit that consumers buy what they want and that no union of politicos/car makers could change that by any means other than taking away that choice.
And could you answer my question? Who produces what Joe wants with the mileage you claim is possible?
 
 I originally stated that the worth of GM/Ford would be “….. worth even more had they been able to develop those (the one’s they want) vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm…”
It seems pretty much a cheap shot to me to claim that car makers have failed because they haven't produced a technology that you haven't even proved is possible. I could use the same approach to attack airplane makers for not offering me a private plane I could deflate and store in my closet.
mikebutler222You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota.
Have you driven it? Have you towed with it? Has it been battle tested enough to warrant the expenditure of $20,000+ on?
Yes, I've driven it. The fact is it's every bit as good as a Toyota. Just what did you eventually buy?
 would you suggest that Joe-consumer who cannot afford to be upside down on a vehicle 5 years from now, take a flyer on what this “..core technolgy leased from the gods at Toyota..” will be worth in 2011?
Now your point seems to have completely vanished. You bash Detroit for not producing a high mileage car (and Detroit alone, I should add) and when one's offered to you, you won't buy.
mikebutler222Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...
Really?”…  don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between..”
Ohhhh, so "don't blame it all" translates to Consumers buy what they want?
mikebutler222who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.Again, you can't be serious.
Totally.
Obviously you weren't an econ major....
mikebutler222And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage.
From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
Wait a sec, you're quoting the NRDC?????  Gee, bias-free there...
BTW, note they're talking about GAS PRICES, not OIL PRICES. And note their conclusion, 10% is all the cars in the US consume of total world  oil demand. A whopping 90% goes to other uses, and that demand continues to expand. Even if you DOUBLED US fuel mileage, you'd affect a miniscule amount of total oil usage.
 And again, all this supposition  is all based on a technology you can’t even prove is possible.
mikebutler222Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.
From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp”…According to the U.S. DOE, monthly average gasoline prices hit an all-time high in March 1981..
Note again, OIL PRICES, and they moved up because of SUPPLY THREATS. Also remember back just a few months ago to when gas prices hit near $3 again. While there was a heightened interest in high mileage vehicles, total oil consumption barely moved. Why? Because oil consumption is very inelastic.
In response, the United States and other oil importing nations radically reduced their demand for OPEC oil through fuel efficiency, fuel switching and new production.
Note how “NEW PRODUCTION” slipped in their last. The fact is world consumption is no where near as elastic as these people would have you believe. New production made up for the decline in OPEC sources.
http://www.mees.com/postedarticles/oped/a46n42d01.htm
Note the chart at the bottom of the page. World oil output actually increased while OPEC production plummeted.
BTW, here’s something you might find interesting. OPEC is about 45% of world oil production. Cut out of OPEC, Persian Gulf nations make up only 27% of the world’s total production. IOW, this “Detroit didn’t offer the high mileage cars they could, which in turn funded terrorists” nexus accounts for an entire 27% of the oil being discussed and a “possible” change in 10% of total world oil consumption.
 
mikebutler222Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.
Cite the data.
See above
 
mikebutler222Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.
Whose reality?   Dilbert’s?   Genius.
Yes, the economic reality clearly on display in a cartoon. You’d think it was spelled out there simple enough for anyone to grasp.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Rather than blinding everyone with multicolor, cut and paste post, let's start anew. Here are a couple of questions for you.
1) What technology could produce what you're talking about, if Detroit failed, who has it.
2) What total reduction in world oil demand would that produce.
3) Why would that oil remain in the ground and not be purchased by some other, rapidly grown market.
4) Aside from removing the consumer's choice, what would move people out of larger, less efficent vehicles?
5) Given that OPEC produces 27% of the oil consumed, what effect would a reduction in US auto consumption do to their income?

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It all stems back to the gluttony (sp?) of your avg American.  How many people on this forum drive Lexus, Acura, BMW, etc. just because we can?  I goes right along with why the majority of the American population spends more than they make,... because they can, it's accepted in our culture.  And how many of us have homes twice the size of our parents houses, while raising fewer children?
I spent some time in Europe years ago.  One day I was talking to a young German gentleman, and he couldn't believe the spending habits of Americans.  If he were to buy a new car, he drove his old one until he had enough money saved up  to buy a new one.  We don't think like this, our culture is an immediate gratification system (buy now pay later).
  I feel better now, having gotten that off my chest.

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EREJ I have a big LEXUS and we get okay mileage. Also others like myself utilize Amtrak and cut out useless or consolidate trips.
America I think has woken up. During the Billery years many of us were happy, fat and ignorant (maybe we still are). The problem now is every one thinks their home equity is guaranteed. We (general population) assume "The housing market will never correct."
So everyone is getting bigger and better. Little Billy and Bobby Joe have all their toys and a free trip to college. There they can study liberal arts to increase their awareness of peace and free speech. The great thing is we can choose to do what ever the hell we want, but it's not surprising foreigners think were fat, ignorant and happy.
Laaaaa laaaaa laaaaaaaa..... As I rant more and more. Just like to do the opposite of most Americans. Live healthy, save money, travel and enjoy life debt free!
I feel so much better.

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exEJIR wrote:
It all stems back to the gluttony (sp?) of your avg American. 

That's sort of a call on morality via spending, isn't it? I'm not willing to make that call.
exEJIR wrote:
How many people on this forum drive Lexus, Acura, BMW, etc. just because we can

It's that danged freedom thing again. It's just spoiled the country 
exEJIR wrote:
 And how many of us have homes twice the size of our parents houses, while raising fewer children?

How is that anyone's business than mine?
exEJIR wrote:
I spent some time in Europe years ago.  One day I was talking to a young German gentleman, and he couldn't believe the spending habits of Americans.  If he were to buy a new car, he drove his old one until he had enough money saved up  to buy a new one. 

We do rely on credit, but don't let your German pal fool you, so do they, just to a smaller extent.

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mikebutler222 wrote:

mikebutler222Sorry, no sale. You started with "available selection" (which clearly has a higher mpg than what was available 20 years ago) and moved to an average, which if even true, is dependent on what consumers CHOOSE to buy.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I originally started with BOTH by stating:
As our vehicles depreciate and wear out, the available selection out of <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Detroit averages less mpg now than 20+ years ago.- what I should have stated was “of cars sold”, which would point to the lack of fuel efficiency in cars Joe-public actually wants to purchase-
So you acknowledge Joe consumer actually drives the train. Progress is being made...

which AGAIN, is my main point: That Washington/Detroit could have/should have collaborated...
The fact remains that fuel mileage IS better, much better than 20 years ago for similar cars. Joe consumer, otoh, has wanted bigger vehicles. I'm still trying to figure out how you blame anyone but Joe.
Or is it you're suggesting there's a technology that could make a Suburban with "much better" mileage? If that's the case, two questions 1) what evidence to do have that it's possible  2) why wouldn't car makers offer it if it was possible?
mikebutler222Interesting. Joe consumer shows he doesn't want it, but Detroit (and I don't want to be in a position of defending them completely) should have led the way. BTW, just who produces what Joe wants AND has 25+ mpg. Be specific.
Again, from my original post:”…don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between…”What part don’t you understand?
Part missing part. The part where you don't admit that consumers buy what they want and that no union of politicos/car makers could change that by any means other than taking away that choice.
And could you answer my question? Who produces what Joe wants with the mileage you claim is possible?

 I originally stated that the worth of GM/Ford would be “….. worth even more had they been able to develop those (the one’s they want) vehicles using a technology which made 20+ mpg all but obsolete and 50+ the norm…”
It seems pretty much a cheap shot to me to claim that car makers have failed because they haven't produced a technology that you haven't even proved is possible. I could use the same approach to attack airplane makers for not offering me a private plane I could deflate and store in my closet.
mikebutler222You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota.
Have you driven it? Have you towed with it? Has it been battle tested enough to warrant the expenditure of $20,000+ on?
Yes, I've driven it. The fact is it's every bit as good as a Toyota. Just what did you eventually buy?
would you suggest that Joe-consumer who cannot afford to be upside down on a vehicle 5 years from now, take a flyer on what this “..core technolgy leased from the gods at Toyota..” will be worth in 2011?
Now your point seems to have completely vanished. You bash Detroit for not producing a high mileage car (and Detroit alone, I should add) and when one's offered to you, you won't buy.
mikebutler222Your post ignored that consumers dictate what the car makers produce...
Really?”…  don’t blame it all on Joe consumer or Detroit--- plenty of Demo’s and Repub’s in between..”
Ohhhh, so "don't blame it all" translates to Consumers buy what they want?
mikebutler222who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.Again, you can't be serious.
Totally.
Obviously you weren't an econ major....
mikebutler222And if frogs could fly.... do you have any idea what would be required to lower US oil use 25%?  Gasoline amounts to a tiny, tiny fraction of our oil usage.
From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
Wait a sec, you're quoting the NRDC?????  Gee, bias-free there...
BTW, note they're talking about GAS PRICES, not OIL PRICES. And note their conclusion, 10% is all the cars in the US consume of total world  oil demand. A whopping 90% goes to other uses, and that demand continues to expand. Even if you DOUBLED US fuel mileage, you'd affect a miniscule amount of total oil usage.
 And again, all this supposition  is all based on a technology you can’t even prove is possible.
mikebutler222Even if you could triple the average mileage of US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US.
From http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp”…According to the U.S. DOE, monthly average gasoline prices hit an all-time high in March 1981..
Note again, OIL PRICES, and they moved up because of SUPPLY THREATS. Also remember back just a few months ago to when gas prices hit near $3 again. While there was a heightened interest in high mileage vehicles, total oil consumption barely moved. Why? Because oil consumption is very inelastic.
In response, the United States and other oil importing nations radically reduced their demand for OPEC oil through fuel efficiency, fuel switching and new production.
Note how “NEW PRODUCTION” slipped in their last. The fact is world consumption is no where near as elastic as these people would have you believe. New production made up for the decline in OPEC sources.
http://www.mees.com/postedarticles/oped/a46n42d01.htm
Note the chart at the bottom of the page. World oil output actually increased while OPEC production plummeted.
BTW, here’s something you might find interesting. OPEC is about 45% of world oil production. Cut out of OPEC, Persian Gulf nations make up only 27% of the world’s total production. IOW, this “Detroit didn’t offer the high mileage cars they could, which in turn funded terrorists” nexus accounts for an entire 27% of the oil being discussed and a “possible” change in 10% of total world oil consumption.

mikebutler222Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.
Cite the data.
See above

mikebutler222Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.
Whose reality?   Dilbert’s?   Genius.
Yes, the economic reality clearly on display in a cartoon. You’d think it was spelled out there simple enough for anyone to grasp.

 

Holy Sh*t MikeB.  What planet are you from?  The point by point argument in technicolor now?  I think I counted 5 different shades of green, not to include red and an interesting shade of blue.  Man you've turned the rebuttal into an art form.
We should have a contest to see who can get the longest, most intricate, colorful and detailed point by point rebuttal from MikeB.

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dude wrote:
Holy Sh*t MikeB.  What planet are you from?  The point by point argument in technicolor now? 

Yeah, once he started the color response, there was no easy way to go back to the easier to read quote method.
 
BTW, I had to "re-select" the color everytime I wrote a line, thus the many shades of green 
 
 
 I think I counted 5 different shades of green, not to include red and an interesting shade of blue.  Man you've turned the rebuttal into an art form.
We should have a contest to see who can get the longest, most intricate, colorful and detailed point by point rebuttal from MikeB.

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I think it's kinda funny how one of the links you posted contained the following paragraph:
http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
Although drilling proponents often say there are 16 billion barrels of oil under the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the U.S. Geological Service says the amount that could be recovered economically -- that is, the amount likely to be profitably extracted and sold -- is roughly 3.2 billion barrels. That amounts to only a six-month supply of oil, based on U.S. consumption. Simply put, there is not enough new oil recoverable from domestic sources at reasonable cost to influence the world price for oil or to substantially displace imports.
In addition the whole tone basically pulls the rug out from underneath the Bush administrations approach to energy independence.
It's not like you to be posting material that challenges your hero MikeB.
No doubt the task of increasing energy independence is unimaginably challenging, problem is that the consequences of not changing our habits will probably be much more catastrophic than tightening the belt, seeking alternatives and changing how we fundamentally operate as a society.

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BTW MikeB, Thanks for the links, very informative.

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dude wrote:
I think it's kinda funny how one of the links you posted contained the following paragraph:
http://www.nrdc.org/air/transportation/gasprices.asp
Although drilling proponents often say there are 16 billion barrels of oil under the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the U.S. Geological Service says the amount that could be recovered economically -- that is, the amount likely to be profitably extracted and sold -- is roughly 3.2 billion barrels.

Dude, dude, dude, don't quote the NRDC as some sort of unbiased source. It just makes you look silly.
The USGS was guessing at the price of oil AND the reserve's size. More to the point, don't pertend it's just Bush that thinks drilling in ANWAR to lessen US reliance on foreign oil is a good idea.
 

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dude wrote:
BTW MikeB, Thanks for the links, very informative.

I didn't supply the NRDC link, dude. That was Tex...

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Not implying that the NRDC is unbiased.  Got confused as to who posted the link.  Never the less, drilling in the artic is a fools game in my opinion, just postpones the inevitable. 
We must change our consumptive habits, localize (de corporatize) food production (to reduce the need for shipping), change how we builld structures (to encompass lower embodied energy construction materials and increase usage of thermal gain principles from the sun for heating) and utilize more renewable energy sources to even begin to put a dent in our need for oil. 
I know it sounds blasphemous but we could actually learn a lot from Cuba, who has made incredible strides in becoming self sufficient after the fall of the Soviet Union.  Although I'm definitely no fan of Communist ideals, I will say that the achievements Cuba has made are worth learning from since they had to make a radical change in a very short period of time.  In addition, contrary to popular belief, Cuba has a very high quality of life to boot.
I also get inspiration from Brazil, which has converted the majority of it's cars to ethanol and has done it in a very short time span.  It's amazing how the countries with so much less than us, who have a real need to address these issues are at the forefront of developing solutions.  Unfortunatley, I am not so optimistic about our cultures' ability to change, we are far to obsessed with the convenience and comforts our artificially high standard of living has provided.  We'll pay the price someday though.

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dude wrote:
Not implying that the NRDC is unbiased.  Got confused as to who posted the link.  Never the less, drilling in the artic is a fools game in my opinion, just postpones the inevitable. 

An opinion, no matter how wrong, that's you're entitled to 
We must change our consumptive habits, localize (de corporatize) food production (to reduce the need for shipping), change how we builld structures (to encompass lower embodied energy construction materials and increase usage of thermal gain principles from the sun for heating) and utilize more renewable energy sources to even begin to put a dent in our need for oil. 
dude wrote:
I know it sounds blasphemous but we could actually learn a lot from Cuba, who has made incredible strides in becoming self sufficient after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Ahhh, the wonders of a top-down dictatorship where consumers have no choice, and little else, for that matter. 
dude wrote:
    In addition, contrary to popular belief, Cuba has a very high quality of life to boot.

That would explain the 1950s era Chevies everywhere. "High quality of life" ROFLMAO....
dude wrote:
 Unfortunatley, I am not so optimistic about our cultures' ability to change, ...

It's a shame that you know so little of our history that you doubt our abilities. Then again, there's no greater article of faith on the left than the doubts of America....

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pls delete from the above post the paragraph that starts with "We must change..."

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MikeB said:
That would explain the 1950s era Chevies everywhere. "High quality of life" ROFLMAO....
Reply:
You have a very shallow definition of quality of life, which I expected.  If you're equating automobiles and satisfation with life I pity you.
Actually, most of the people I know who were alive during the 50's say that the quality of life was much better then than today.
Mike B said:
It's a shame that you know so little of our history that you doubt our abilities. Then again, there's no greater article of faith on the left than the doubts of America....
Reply:
Yeah all you Bush B*tches were so optimistic during the Clinton years.  In fact your avatar, Rush Limbaugh and his cronies were a foutain of good vibes in th 90's . 
Also, your predictable response about Cuba is illustrative of your ignorance and narrow mindedness.  You know, our best teacher is usually our enemy.  As long as the problem is being solved, who cares where the solution comes from?
You probably think the Vietnam War was a worthwhile cause. 

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dude wrote:
MikeB said:
That would explain the 1950s era Chevies everywhere. "High quality of life" ROFLMAO....
Reply:
You have a very shallow definition of quality of life, which I expected.  If you're equating automobiles and satisfation with life I pity you.
I find it hard to call a place with crumbling infrastructure and a complete lack of consumer goods (not to mention FREEDOM) a "high quality of life". People usually don't risk their lives to ride rafts to escape a "high quality of life"....
 
 
Actually, most of the people I know who were alive during the 50's say that the quality of life was much better then than today.
Mike B said:
It's a shame that you know so little of our history that you doubt our abilities. Then again, there's no greater article of faith on the left than the doubts of America....
Reply:
Yeah all you Bush B*tches were so optimistic during the Clinton years.  In fact your avatar, Rush Limbaugh and his cronies were a foutain of good vibes in th 90's . 
There you go again...ascribing views to me I've never expressed. Here's a hint, take a look at America HISTORY which is what I mentioned, to see how we've managed adversity in the past.
 
Also, your predictable response about Cuba is illustrative of your ignorance and narrow mindedness.  You know, our best teacher is usually our enemy.  As long as the problem is being solved, who cares where the solution comes from?
Is that you way of defending using a example from a consumer-choice free, top-down driven economy that's in the pits as something that could be done here? Geezze dude, how clueless can you be? What you're saying is that dictators can make the trains run on time. BFD...
 
You probably think the Vietnam War was a worthwhile cause. 
You probably think that was a rational response....
BTW, who cares what my view on that is, ever consider the views of the people sent to reeducation camps?

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dude wrote: I know it sounds blasphemous but we could actually
learn a lot from Cuba, who has made incredible strides in becoming self
sufficient after the fall of the Soviet Union.  Although I'm definitely no fan
of Communist ideals, I will say that the achievements Cuba has made are
worth learning from since they had to make a radical change in a very
short period of time.  In addition, contrary to popular belief, Cuba has a
very high quality of life to boot.

I tuned out this thread so I missed this exchange. Dude, I don't know
whether you are agitating MikeB by the above statement, but you are
totally off the mark. You can't be serious about Cuba. The average
Cuban receives 8 oz. of beef per month as a government quota. In
Havana, electricity is off 16+ hours a day. In tourist areas, there are
stores that only sell merchandise in US dollars to keep citizens out. Even
the beaches are off limits to its citizens.

Cuba was at the brink of disaster. The main crop, sugar, had multiple
years of terrible yields. The only thing that saved Cuba was Hugo
Chavez. He sells oil and petro products at half the market price in
exchange for military and medical assistance. Even though Castro is a
master politician, his economic principles have been a disaster. Cuba is
frozen in time. If quality of life is as good as you say, why then do so
many Cubans risk being eaten by sharks to get to Florida?

This is not a good example to support your point. I'm with MikeB on this
one.

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I vote for MikeB also. Dude is smart, but my friends from Dominican and Haiti (similar to Cuba) want to be in America. They know making 5$ an hour with the opportunity to get paid for 2 - 45 hour jobs is awesome! Food on the table and shelter over head.
Talk to anyone under the USSR and learn that until democracy rolled in they got fruit once a year (New Years). Of course some planted fruits, but a vision of anything more then waiting in lines for hours to get beef was more then a dream.
America is the land of opportunity, but Americans are obsessed with debt. Maybe Bush, pork and congress can be to blame... Although I think the national debt has incrased 2.5 tril since Bush took over. Meaning there was 4 or 5 trillion before. So its a trend and once again not only GW's fault!

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dude wrote: 
We must change our consumptive habits, localize (de corporatize) food production (to reduce the need for shipping), change how we builld structures (to encompass lower embodied energy construction materials and increase usage of thermal gain principles from the sun for heating) and utilize more renewable energy sources to even begin to put a dent in our need for oil. 
 
Unfortunatley, I am not so optimistic about our cultures' ability to change, we are far to obsessed with the convenience and comforts our artificially high standard of living has provided.  We'll pay the price someday though.

That is were I was going with my post.  MikeB, I'm not saying that you or anyone else is not entitled to the comforts that we have been afforded in our line of biz. (h*ll, I'm right along with you)  I was merely speaking about the general population trying to keep up with the "Jones".  Energy (oil) consumption is just the tip of the iceberg.
 

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mikebutler222So you acknowledge Joe consumer actually drives the train. Progress is being made...<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Wrong again..
 
mikebutler222Or is it you're suggesting there's a technology that could make a Suburban with "much better" mileage? If that's the case, two questions 1) what evidence to do have that it's possible  2) why wouldn't car makers offer it if it was possible?
This has been my (admittedly) conspirator theory all along—can I prove it? Of course not but when I wrote: “ …. meanwhile our technology has us 24/7 in a space station, shooting robot rockets at comets to analyze their cosmic dust, dune buggy-ing on Mars, ect….” My take was that our technology has spectacularly advanced; yet we are still getting less avg mpg than we did 20+ years ago in CARS THAT WE WANT TO DRIVE--
mikebutler222Part missing part. The part where you don't admit that consumers buy what they want and that no union of politicos/car makers could change that by any means other than taking away that choice.
Or… if the technology which achieved the afore mentioned feats were channeled into this area and equally spectacular results were had.
mikebutler222And could you answer my question? Who produces what Joe wants with the mileage you claim is possible?
You are off your rocker.
 mikebutler222It seems pretty much a cheap shot to me to claim that car makers have failed because they haven't produced a technology that you haven't even proved is possible. I could use the same approach to attack airplane makers for not offering me a private plane I could deflate and store in my closet.
Well if it blows your skirt up, attack the airplane makers…at least it’s something your good at.
 
mikebutler222You're either joking or have no idea what you're talking about. There's nothing "gerri rigged" about the Escape. In fact much of it's core technolgy is leased from the gods at Toyota. Yes, I've driven it. The fact is it's every bit as good as a Toyota. Just what did you eventually buy?
You must be insane, or you have never taken your Ford back to the dealer and dealt w/ their tech’s in the tool shed.I would no more trust that these guys could consistently repair my hybrid electro/conventional engine than I would if it were a nuclear reactor – that you would is great for you, and time will tell if this technology and the way Ford is applying it works out—I honestly hope that it does- what I would prefer to see is an engine which can perform as we are used to, AND get 25+ mpg or more IN VEHICLES THAT WE WANT.
mikebutler222Now your point seems to have completely vanished. You bash Detroit for not producing a high mileage car (and Detroit alone, I should add) and when one's offered to you, you won't buy.
I applaud Detroit, et al for producing anything which stretches out a gallon of gas—I just won’t be the guinea pig who spends my money on their gerri rigged prototype using technology that they leased from another company— but my issue was (as if you care) that 20+ years went by before we started getting something produced along these lines—How would have developing this technology, or technology better than this, and offering it and improving upon it every year for the past 20+ years hurt the manufactures or the public? If they were not profitably produced, then Washington should have stepped in with incentives/subsidies to keep the technology advancing for the greater good, and by now (crisis looming) we’d have proven vehicles and tech’s who know how to work on them.As far as buying the Escape, no – the negatives are just too great and I’m unwilling to compromise performance to that extent, nor do I feel confident that this technology is as good as we’re are going to get.
mikebutler222Ohhhh, so "don't blame it all" translates to Consumers buy what they want?
Exactly.
 
mikebutler222You can't be serious. Dilbert is exactly right and anyone who makes a living in finance should be able to recognize that fact. If we could wave a magic wand and stop buying oil from centers of terrorism (a link, btw, that's vastly exaggerated. We get a much smaller percentage of our oil from the middle east than most Americans know) someone else WOULD buy that oil. It wouldn't sit in the ground, and the supply/demand forces you seem to not understand would STILL move than fungible asset throughout the world. China and India would still buy that oil.who foolishly suggested this? You and Dilbert were the only two to believe where you buy oil from is material or debatable- not i.Again, you can't be serious.Totally.Obviously you weren't an econ major....
 
If we (and others who will benefit from this better technology) decrease our consumption, prices will go down- who buys the oil that we don’t buy is not material- the price they pay is, and the price will be less, if we can exploit technologies which allow us and the world to consume less petro-fuels.  Thus, a shrinking terror-profit margin.(I bet you and Dilbert secretly already knew this)
 
mikebutler222BTW, note they're talking about GAS PRICES, not OIL PRICES. And note their conclusion, 10% is all the cars in the US consume of total world  oil demand. A whopping 90% goes to other uses, and that demand continues to expand. Even if you DOUBLED US fuel mileage, you'd affect a miniscule amount of total oil usage.
It’s a start- and don’t you think when them there foreigners catch wind that we are saving all this cash using these new machines here in the USA, they’ll want ‘em too?
 
mikebutler222And again, all this supposition  is all based on a technology you can’t even prove is possible.
Correct- but like you I have a supreme confidence in the US system of capital enterprise and our ability meet a challenge if properly motivated and compensated. Washington has collaberated with other sectors to motivate technology towards the greater good and should be working double time now w/ auto et. al.-
 
mikebutler222Even if you could triple the average mileage US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US
 And if we allow blacks and women to vote the world will end, as we know it.(P.S. I heard that the whole “ hair is gonna’ grow on your knuckles if you masturbate” thing was a myth)
mikebutler222Note how “NEW PRODUCTION” slipped in their last. The fact is world consumption is no where near as elastic as these people would have you believe. New production made up for the decline in OPEC sources. Note the chart at the bottom of the page. World oil output actually increased while OPEC production plummeted.
Did you miss the part where it says “Raising fuel economy performance to 40 mpg over the next 10 years alone could cut passenger vehicle oil demand by about one-third or 4 million barrels per day by 2020. By 2015, increased fuel efficiency would save 2 million barrels of oil each day (see Figure 5, below) -- about equal to current daily imports from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (see Table 1).” ?   (BTW, before you grab your “new word of the day” and start on your “fungible” hobby horse again,  no one is insinuating that anyone can cut-out OPEC’s global market contribution of oil)Is your position – “don’t bother, the facts are in, go on doing what you’ve been doing, it won’t matter anyway”??Your entitled to that, if it is- but I think it’s asinine.
mikebutler222BTW, here’s something you might find interesting. OPEC is about 45% of world oil production. Cut out of OPEC, Persian Gulf nations make up only 27% of the world’s total production. IOW, this “Detroit didn’t offer the high mileage cars they could, which in turn funded terrorists” nexus accounts for an entire 27% of the oil being discussed and a “possible” change in 10% of total world oil consumption.
We’ve gone over this already- production from Arab nations is used as a “backstop” after other nations compete and sell their oil- this keeps the non-Arab influenced price as high as possible in the market, basically, OPEC “makes-up” the global supply that is additionally needed.As for our challenges in the future, its not production that matters, it’s reserves, and OPEC holds 69% of them.From eiaPROVEN CRUDE OIL RESERVESIt is generally agreed that the location of proven world crude oil reserves is far more concentrated in OPEC countries than current world oil production. Note that estimates of reserves vary; EIA does not assess oil reserves, but does list several independent estimates.  According to one independent estimate (Oil and Gas Journal), of the world's 1.28 trillion barrels of proven reserves, 885 billion barrels (69 percent) are held by OPEC, as of January 2005.
 
mikebutler222Let's assume you could waive that magic wand. Suddenly there is this technology and just as suddenly the entire world adopted it, you'd barely make a dent in the price of oil (if at all) because the OTHER uses for it dwarf what's used in cars.Cite the data.See above
I see no data in the “above” which answers this question.What I did see was your Dr Chalabi refute your “Even if you could triple the average mileage US cars, the growth of the economy alone would keep demand right where it is. Furthermore, lower prices would simply encourage MORE demand from nations other than the US” with:”CGES projects a much lower rate of demand increase:  less than 1% per year, or about 0.8-0.9% per year, in which case an incremental demand until the year 2010 would not exceed 3mn b/d. Under such sluggish world demand growth and increasing oil supplies, OPEC’s ability to maintain the present price band would be inconceivable.”and”However, these projections of world demand cannot be considered realistic if we take into account present and future trends, which lead to a much lower rate of increase. In the last 10 years, the average annual increase of world consumption has been 1.2%, falling to 0.9% over the past five years. Predicting a higher growth rate for future world demand, despite huge technological advancements, environmental pressure, government policies, etc., is hardly conceivable.”
 
mikebutler222Clearly the reality of the economics of the issue escape you.Whose reality?   Dilbert’s?   Genius.Yes, the economic reality clearly on display in a cartoon. You’d think it was spelled out there simple enough for anyone to grasp.
The difference?Dilbert knows that no idiot would ever really believe dogbert---- whoops, he stands corrected.
 

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Whoa here boys...... It's easy to take my point out of context.
My whole point originally was revolving around the concept of energy independence.  I would not compare Cuba economically with the US in any way.  i know some people who went to Cuba and their reports of Cuba were nowhere close to all the negative propaganda we get here in the US (and no they didn't have a government minder with them).  Sure there are infrastructure issues, but the main point is that quality of life is highly subjective and doens't necessarily coorelate to wealth and material posessions.  The report I got was that there was no widespread squalor, crime or "poverty" (from the perspective of the Cubans).  Yeah, the infrastructure sucked, but there were many redeeming factors.  Apparently the healthcare system is world class and many students from around the world go to Cuba to get trained as doctors. 
Look, what I heard was that the quality of life was very high when judged by measures such as satisfaction, crime levels, time to spend w/ family and persue personal interests.  What was most suprising was that there weren't the droves of people who wanted to have a mass exodus that I always hear about in the news. 
I don't have the time to detail for all of you the many things I learned about Cuba from some folks who were there that don't support alot of the negative press that Cuba gets.  Sure, it's not a place I'd want to live, I like having electricity.
I hate to break it to you but the US is not the beacon of freedom and quality of life a lot of you think.  We have by far the worlds highest incarceration rates, see:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0818/p02s01-usju.html
To give you some perspective  we jail 5 to 8 times as many of our citizens than other leading industrialized countries (we even beat Russia) see:
http://www.sentencingproject.org/pdfs/pub9036.pdf
About a quarter of all incarcerations are due to non violent drug crimes!  Note the chart that shows the INCREDIBLE leap in prison population shortly after the War on Drugs was initiated.  Funny thing is that if you take some college kid who get's busted for pot and put him in jail, when he gets out he's now got a criminal record and will have a hard time getting a good wage job so whats he to do?  Well how about all that sh*t he learned in prison.  The prison system is one of the most effective criminal schools in our country.  Anyway I'm getting a little off topic, I just can't stand idiocy.
What's also interesting is that we are about average as far as crime rate goes (although at a higher risk of violent crime).  Other countries with exponentially lower incarceration rates do not suffer from higher crime rates than us.  Jailing more people does not reduce crime.
Look, I'm not an anti-US guy.  I just passionately believe we can do much much better and I don't think Bush is doing the job right.  If we are to live up to the hope of being the MOST FREE country on the planet like we get hammered into our heads by the media, there is room for a lot of improvement.
You all may want to hate on me because I'm not a red blooded, apple pie patriotic American, that's fine.  I'd suggest that anyone who is curious about the truths of "quality of life" and freedom in the US do some research on their own and quit listening to the domestic media.  What you find will be facinating (I know it was for me). 
Peace. 

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I'll add that I know that the US places between #6 and #10 on various quality of life studies.  I'll note that many of the various studies out there are primarily weighing GDP, per capita income, life expectancy and a lot of factors that clearly advantage more industrialized and developed nations.  I'm hoping that the majority of you who have an interest in the above info are open to the idea that people can be very happy and satisfied with life without a lot of luxuries.  Some of the most satisfied people I've known live off the power grid and live very minimalist lives. 

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Doing a quick search on the internet I cam across an article by someone who has been to Cuba who reflected the same conditions that my friends experienced.  Here is an excerpt:
Cuba's universal, free, high-quality health care, is the best in the Third World. The island country has produced the lowest infant mortality rate in this hemisphere and life expectancy rates better than in the United States. Cuba has the highest number of both physicians per capita and health teams serving the global poor, in the world, along with the most complete infant immunization coverage and a national health and nutrition education program that has led to urban (mostly organic) gardens that produce 3 million tons of fresh produce per year for 11 million people. (Cuba expects to feed its population on organic food in the coming decade.)
Most of the problems that everybody hears about concerning Cuba has to do with Cuba having to change radically after the fall of the Soviet Union as well as continued economic sanctions by the US.  Any country who had to face those kinds of changes and obstacles would be a hard place to be for a while at least.
Although finding good info on Cuba on the net is a little difficult here are some articles which I found that backed up my friends experiences in Cuba
http://www.cuba-solidarity.org/news.asp?ItemID=671 : talks about energy progress in Cuba
http://www.counterpunch.org/morris06032004.html
Note that I don't necessarily support the overall view of these authors.  I'm just using these articles as a validation of the info I've heard from folks on the ground.
Here's another interesting excerpt which I have found to be true:
The latest UN vote opposing the U.S. embargo was 179-3 (last year it was 173-3). The world opposes U.S. policy on Cuba, but the United States pummels the world into submission, in an all-too-familiar, and increasingly dangerous, exercise of the unilateral "rule of force."
There is a joke about Cuba and Fidel Castro that suggests that if Fidel could walk on water, the United States would report that he is too old to swim, i.e., here, everything about Cuba receives a negative spin.
Anyway, I have nothing more to say on this issue.

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I lied.  I'll finish by saying that most of Cubas problems are actually due to the US embargo, which is soooooo necessary because Cuba is such a major threat (rolls eyes).  I think it's BS that we restrict any companies that do business with us from doing business with Cuba. 
Yeah, let's hit 'em on the head and then criticize and demonize them for being hurt. Great logic guys/gals.  Keep it comin' America, you never cease to amaze.

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dude wrote:I'll add that I know that the US places between #6 and #10 on various quality of life studies.  I'll note that many of the various studies out there are primarily weighing GDP, per capita income, life expectancy and a lot of factors that clearly advantage more industrialized and developed nations.  I'm hoping that the majority of you who have an interest in the above info are open to the idea that people can be very happy and satisfied with life without a lot of luxuries.  Some of the most satisfied people I've known live off the power grid and live very minimalist lives. 
i've been to many places where the fruit is low hanging and the people are very laid back- they don't seem too bothered that they are missing out on all that we in the US seem to consider so important-me? i spend my days dreaming of getting back to those places for a visit- but i live where i want.
 

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dude wrote:
I lied.  I'll finish by saying that most of Cubas problems are actually due to the US embargo, which is soooooo necessary because Cuba is such a major threat (rolls eyes).  I think it's BS that we restrict any companies that do business with us from doing business with Cuba. 
Yeah, let's hit 'em on the head and then criticize and demonize them for being hurt. Great logic guys/gals.  Keep it comin' America, you never cease to amaze.

to an extent i agree-BUT- if Cuba had the resources that Iran has, we'd be living in a state of much higher stress-Better if they are poor and nuetralized until they can prove that we can all get along?

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Heres a link that you might like Tex:
http://www.energybulletin.net/3384.html
more info supporting my view.
Tex, how exactly is Cuba a threat.  What interest do you think they have in fighting us (bay of pigs was 40 years ago).  I have never bought into the us vs. them attitude just because of differing ideologies.  I definitely don't believe in socialism but I support those who prefer to live in that manner.  I believe the "your either with us or against us" and "black or White" attitudes create a lot of problems that needn't be.  Look at Vietnam as an example.

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dude wrote:
Tex, how exactly is Cuba a threat.  What interest do you think they have in fighting us (bay of pigs was 40 years ago).  I have never bought into the us vs. them attitude just because of differing ideologies.  I definitely don't believe in socialism but I support those who prefer to live in that manner.  I believe the "your either with us or against us" and "black or White" attitudes create a lot of problems that needn't be.  Look at Vietnam as an example.

i can't determine what's up in Fidel's mind, or Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the 9/11 terrorist crowd, but if we agree that for some reason Fidel is hostile towards the USA, then why help strengthen him into becoming a powerful, hostile enemy?As for ideologies, who cares anymore?
 

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I guess I'm not an expert on Cuba vs America politics but I'd bet that Fidel has little interest in starting conflict w/ the US.  Iran and the 9/11 crowd have broader and deeper cultural and religious issues with us and can understand sanctions and various actions against them.
As far as Fidel's hostility, how exactly do we define that?  Gosh, I'd say that there are plenty of countries out there which have an equivalent "hostility" towards us, yet have no US economic sanctions.  From what I've been reading, it seems that Cuban hostility has good reason.
http://www.stwr.net/content/view/38/37/
Actually, it seems that Castro has been a postive influence for the people of Cuba.  It's US policies that have been bad for Cuba.
 

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i'm no expert either- i'd guess tho that:
hostility+proximity+past actions= no McDonalds.
once Fidel dies, i'm thinking that we release the "past actions" part of the equation and our relationship will begin to normalize- allowing us to smoke better cigars and drink tastier rum-

dude's picture
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 Yeah, a Cuban cigar would be nice.

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dude wrote: I guess I'm not an expert on Cuba vs America politics
but I'd bet that Fidel has little interest in starting conflict w/ the US. 

Again with the same bullsh*t. Dude, you're dead wrong again.

Published Tuesday, January 9, 2001, in the Miami Herald
Jailed Cuban spy identifies his `handlers'

He said both directed him to get a job at the Southern Command's Miami
headquarters.

BY GAIL EPSTEIN NIEVES
gepstein@herald.com

A former Cuban intelligence agent on Monday identified two more
defendants in the Cuban spy trial as his ``handlers'' and said both of
them directed him to get a job at the Southern Command's Miami
headquarters so he could snoop for the Cuban government.

The testimony of acknowledged ex-agent Joseph Santos, 40, was the first
to link accused spies Ramón Lavaniño and Fernando González with in-
the-trenches intelligence activity. On Friday, Santos similarly implicated
co-defendant Gerardo Hernández.

The trial's opening weeks focused on documentary and physical evidence
against the five accused spies. With Santos, jurors are hearing firsthand
accounts about the inner workings of Cuba's intelligence apparatus, from
spy recruitment to training to work assignments.

In the case of Santos and his wife, Amarylis -- also a Cuban agent --
their achievements were far less illustrious than their assignments,
according to testimony.

Santos said he successfully completed a research project on the Southern
Command while its new headquarters were being built in Miami's Doral
section in early 1997.

He and his wife took photographs of all the surrounding buildings,
between Northwest 87th and 99th avenues and 25th and 40th streets,
``to provide a pretty clear idea to anyone'' what the area looked like.

Santos said he gave the report to his handler Lavaniño, an ``illegal
agent'' or ranking Cuban intelligence operative who also went by the
name Luis Medina.

But more importantly, Lavaniño told the Santos couple that their
``supreme task'' was to get jobs at the Pentagon's SouthCom
headquarters, which directs U.S. military operations in Latin America and
the Caribbean.

Accused spy González -- who also went by the name Rubén Campa --
gave them the same task, Santos testified. ``Penetrating'' SouthCom was
a high priority set by Cuba's intelligence chiefs, according to Havana-to-
Miami directives seized by the FBI and read to jurors Monday.

MISSION FAILED

The Santos failed at that assignment. They were too busy trying to make a
legitimate living and never found a place to apply for a job, Santos said.

But on cross-examination, the defense attorney for accused spy
Hernández scoffed at the notion that Santos could have obtained anything
important -- let alone national defense secrets, a key factor for proving
espionage -- even if he had managed to get hired at SouthCom.

Santos does not speak English. Before his arrest, he was working as a
laborer at Goya Foods and the Miami Arena.

Attorney Paul McKenna read jurors a report in which Hernández directed
Santos to obtain ``public information'' about SouthCom. ``In fact, none
of your handlers ever tasked you with getting national security
information, did they?'' McKenna asked Santos.

Santos responded that it was implicit that he was supposed to get
information that could not be obtained ``by conventional means.''

SERVING SENTENCES

Santos and his wife are already serving prison sentences after pleading
guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent.

Their terms are likely to be cut short for their help testifying against
Hernández, who prosecutors say conspired with the Cuban military to
murder four Brothers to the Rescue fliers in 1996.

McKenna cross-examined Santos about the plea agreement for a long
time in an apparent bid to undermine his credibility. Under sentencing
guidelines, Santos faced 60 months but prosecutors recommended he
serve 48. U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard agreed.

``So these people here,'' McKenna said, naming prosecutors Caroline
Heck Miller, John Kastrenakes, David Buckner and FBI Agent Al Alonso --
``are all your friends that are helping you, correct?''

``They're not my friends,'' Santos responded through an interpreter. ``I
met those people during the investigation of the case.''

Copyright 2001 Miami Herald

skeedaddy's picture
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In case you didn't hear about this:

Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective
machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is
written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces,
aided by state-controlled mass organizations, silence dissent with heavy
prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile.

Cuba's political prisoners, held for exercising their fundamental rights of
free association, free expression, free opinion, or freedom of movement,
provide the government's repressive machinery with credibility,
demonstrating that opposition to the government engenders the genuine
risk of serving time in prison. The inhumane conditions and the punitive
measures taken against prisoners have been, in several instances
researched by Human Rights Watch, so cruel as to rise to the level of
torture.

dude's picture
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Whatever Skee.  The US is not hot on matters of Civil or Human rights either, what do you call abu Gharaib or Guantanamo, how about domestic spying or imprisoning people "indefinitely" without charges or how about the McCarthy era?  We probably jail a higher percentagage of our citizens than Cuba does.   
I'm not defending Cuba here, they certainly have their problems (some of which you cited), but so do we.  I don't buy into the America superiority complex that the vast majority of our population buys into (and probably most posters on this board as well).  I used to, but then I lived in a foreign country for a while and started making friends in many different countries.  It became clear just how mislead I was.  
Just as history is written by the victor in a conflict.  Information is filtered through the prevalent paradigm of a given culture.  Our news biases the bad and misses the good in regards to Cuba.
We're probably guilty of using the same strategies Cuba is using when it comes to planting spys, why are they bad and us good?
America is guilty of a long list of unmentionables, including VERY destructive economic policies toward developing nations (especially in the 1970's, pick up the book confessions of an economic hitman), which have undoubtedly resulted in the deaths of millions of people.
What about the US's support of Pinnochet, Batista and other tyrannical dictators throughout history.
All I can say is that if you read the book, your attitude about US policy will change dramatically.  This is a book written by a former CFO in the energy consulting business who is also very well respected in the energy business.  His book is cited in many academic papers and is veeeerrrryyy eye opening.

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