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Thread: Attitude!

  1. #26
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by submoa View Post
    If only as much money went into alternative fuel source research (or cancer or diabetes or AIDS.... etc.) as curing the impotence of old men.
    Well, if gas prices stay high for long enough, the economic incentive will exist for companies to find alternate fuel sources. There was obviously economic incentive to invent Viagra.

    I think it is better that private companies do the searching. Relying on government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers in the marketplace is stupid.

    For many years, our government essentially subsidized the price of gas. Now we're doing it with the blood of our young men and women, instead of with money collected from middle-aged people. We need to stop that, and redirect our efforts. This probably won't happen until there are strong economic disincentives to buying lumbering V10 trucks, gas guzzling Hummers, and 500hp sports cars.

    I sold my SUV and bought a little Honda Fit, partially because of gas prices and partially because I want to contribute as little as I can to the thirst for oil that keeps our military in the Middle East.

    I loved that book!
    One of my absolute favorites. Frank Herbert was more prescient than his hero Paul Atreides.
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  3. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I think it is better that private companies do the searching. Relying on government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers in the marketplace is stupid.
    Normally I'd agree with you, but when an industry exists to serve the public good but cannot become more efficient through volume, then government must step in. IE. Police force, Fire rescue and infrastructure repair.

    Alternative fuel sources such as cold fusion are in the realm of pure science where public research funding is better spent than subsidizing pharmaceutical research to give erections to the elderly.

    After all, you can't trust the oil industry to cut its own throat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    This probably won't happen until there are strong economic disincentives to buying lumbering V10 trucks, gas guzzling Hummers, and 500hp sports cars.
    +1!! However the current strategy Corporate Average Fuel Economy legislation is unwise. I'd rather see a limit on the displacement of engines sold in the US... perhaps 2.0L with exceptions for mass transit and commercial vehicles. Smaller engines means lighter cars and less wear and tear on highway infrastructure.

  4. #28
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    I'm not aware of actual industries that exist to serve the public good. All I know of are out for profit, which is the best incentive of all.

    Using your examples, I am not at all sure private companies wouldn't do better jobs at fire rescue and road work. The police must be public, however, to ensure objectivity (rather than efficiency) in the justice system.
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  5. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    I'm not aware of actual industries that exist to serve the public good. All I know of are out for profit, which is the best incentive of all.

    Using your examples, I am not at all sure private companies wouldn't do better jobs at fire rescue and road work. The police must be public, however, to ensure objectivity (rather than efficiency) in the justice system.
    The point I'm making, is that if you leave it to market incentives to act in the public good, no one would pay for infrastructure repairs or adequately fund police and fire especially outside their own specific neighborhood.

    Getting back to target. We both agree buying oil gives our money to people who hate us. The energy industry, mainly oil companies, can't reasonably be expected to fund pure research that would make themselves obsolete.

  6. #30
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    Agreed on the latter point, unless they think they can make more money selling something else versus oil.

    But who picks the "something else?" A Barack Obama appointee in Washington?
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  7. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    But who picks the "something else?" A Barack Obama appointee in Washington?
    Point made. With the oil and corn lobbies (aka bribe dispensary), really can't trust government. Can't trust Big Oil.

    If we don't win the lottery by some geek in a labcoat finding a solution on his own, any real alternative will probably come from outside the US. God forbid we trade dependence on mid-east oil for dependence on Chinese cold fusion.

  8. #32
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    It's really unfortunate that we Americans have let the granolas kill our nuclear power industry, which might have been our salvation.
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  9. #33
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    OH yes but Nuclear power is sooo DANGEROUS. Ya right, I live in MI, and we have a power plant pretty close to where i live. Right on the shores of the big lake. And ya know what, in a few years it will shut down. Because it's so old and we haven't built any new power plants in DECADES....and we can't drill in Alaska...and oh I could go on. But what do we do about it?

  10. #34
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    All I can say is something is gonna give pretty soon. Us folks that work for a living can't absorb the continuous price up swing fueled by the rise in gas prices. If it gets bad enough them tree huggers might get walked on if they stand in the way. We'll be drilling oil but by that time it will be to little to late.

  11. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackle1886 View Post
    But what do we do about it?
    I think, from a national security (rather than environmental) standpoint, conservatives need to think hard about energy conservation and moving away from dependence on Middle Eastern oil. I realize that this goes against conservative thinking on market solutions, but I am not advocating government intervention, but rather a "movement" among conservatives to get us away from oil and on to other energy sources.

    It does not help that, because of the culture war in American, conservatives enjoy driving big vehicles and rubbing it in the faces of liberals, and looking down their noses at little "treehugger" cars.
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  12. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLSeeAmerica View Post
    I have some questions about this post:

    If there had been foreign troops on American soil for the last 50 years, would you approve of that?

    If China put troops on our soil tomorrow because they wanted our coal, would you be OK with that, or would you take to the streets against the invaders?

    If a gang from the next town robbed your bank and shot the guards, would you go after the whole town, or just the gang?
    What a load of CRAP!

    The entire post is so absurd that most here, including me, chose to ignore it, as if responding to it would somehow legitimatize it. But I kept coming back, and re-reading it, thinking I had somehow missed something. And finally, it occurred to what was missing. What's missing is someone calling Bullsh*t!

    I don't even know what you're talking about, do you?

    A 50 year occupation? We (The United States of America) kicked the hell out of the Axis powers a little over 50 years ago, and then rebuilt their countries and economies to the extent that theirs exceed ours in a lot of respects today. Without the US, Europe & Asia would be speaking 2 languages - German & Japanese. If the US desired world domination, it was ours for the taking (and still is). Our economy, our military, our industrial complex, our new weapons of mass destruction - the whole freaking world was ours for the taking. We were the Worlds only Superpower, and what did we do with this unmatched superiority? We cleaned the debris of fallen empires and rebuilt their countries brick by brick.

    China and coal? The closest we have came to stealing someone's oil is buying Alaska from Russia. If we wanted to take someone's oil, we could. Speaking of which, you sound like a Hugo Chavez sympathizer. If we wanted someone's oil, we could send a couple of "well prepared" Cub Scouts Troops south and squash your little dictator friend like the bug that he is. But since we haven't done that, just who's country are you saying we invaded and stole their oil??


    If a gang from the next town robbed your bank and shot the guards, would you go after the whole town, or just the gang?[/
    HUH?? Are you saying that we should only have gone after the hijackers? How about the regime in Afghanistan that trained, supported, gave shelter, and financed the hijackers?

    We went after the WHOLE gang! And we're still after them. And I hope we continue after them, until none are left. Does anyone remember the wild joyous parades that overwhelmed the middle east when 3000 innocent men, women, and children from around the world were murdered on our soil on 9/11? I do. Did anyone see the joy in the faces of some Muslims when innocent Israeli children were recently slaughtered? I did.

    Now here's what I think. Most of the middle east hates us. Because of unending and unchallenged propaganda filth, most of the middle east hates us. Even the countries in the middle east we call our "Allies" hate us (except for Israel). I believe that the only reason the terrorists have not continued to murder innocent civilians here in the US is because we took the fight to them. They hate us. If they could murder civilians here, they would. Why else would the terrorists not continue to strike us here, because they now love us?

    DLSeeAmerica, you make a lot of vague, shadowy statements that are open to wild interpretation that really have no meaning or basis in fact. I think someone needs to call it for what it is. BULLSH*T! I have a lot more respect for the original poster and the quote he posted. At least his post had something your's lacks - substance.

  13. #37
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Well, I don't entirely agree with the leftist talking points in DLSeeAmerica's post either, but I don't think he's totally off base with some of his statements.

    Quote Originally Posted by DLSeeAmerica View Post
    If there had been foreign troops on American soil for the last 50 years, would you approve of that?
    I don't think he's talking about Iraq or Afghanistan here. But the American military has been mucking about in the Middle East for a very long time. We rolled into Lebanon in the 1980s (and got our butts kicked). While Somalia is in Africa, it's a Muslim country, and we intervened there (and got our butts kicked). The "peacekeeping" mission in the Sinai has been ongoing for decades. We garrisoned troops in Saudi Arabia - the land of Islam's two holiest cities - since at least 1990. Same for Kuwait. And in 2003 we rolled into Iraq on bad information (and were fought to a standstill until recently).

    And I think he does have a point. Let's say the UN had garrisoned troops in major American cities to "help protect the US from terrorism" after 9/11. We'd have self-styled "patriots" all over the internet ready to load their ARs and fight the blue helmets. Hell, we have that already without a UN military presence in America.

    If China put troops on our soil tomorrow because they wanted our coal, would you be OK with that, or would you take to the streets against the invaders?
    Okay, the analogy might be a little clumsy, But if anyone believes that preserving the flow of oil from the Middle East is a not a major reason we are there (and have been there for decades), well, they just have their head in the sand.

    I'm not saying preserving the oil flow is a bad thing, because our economy depends on it. We have had ample warning that $110-a-barrel oil prices have been coming, and we did nothing to wean ourselves off this addition to Arab/Persian oil. Now in addition to money, though, we have to spend American blood to preserve that flow of oil. I have participated in well over twenty Fallen Comrade ceremonies here, and have performed honor guard duties for two soldiers (my unit has had two KIA). I resent the hell out of the fact that, despite decades of advance notice, America just sat on its collective hands and enriched the Arab oil baronies, while doing nothing to develop alternate fuel sources.

    If someone wants to believe that none of this is about oil, well, I will let them go back to listening to the conservative talk radio mouthpieces and pretending to think for themselves.

    From James NM:

    Are you saying that we should only have gone after the hijackers? How about the regime in Afghanistan that trained, supported, gave shelter, and financed the hijackers?
    Even most liberals have no problem with the invasion of Afghanistan and fighting the Taliban. I was pleased to be assigned to this fight rather than the pointless one in Iraq. However, I can attest that we are going about this fight in typically stupid fashion, particularly when we go around the country burning to the ground the only crop that Afghans can sell at a profit. This just alienates Afghans and drives them right to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    We went after the WHOLE gang! And we're still after them.
    Well, the gang wasn't in Iraq, but we continue to spend money and blood there. Meanwhile, we can't respond adequately to other threats from "the gang" because our military is worn down from five years of fighting a war that gains us absolutely nothing...but has had the very undesirable effects of creating an entirely new set of enemies and alienating the very allies we need to win the stupidly-named "war on terror."

    And I hope we continue after them, until none are left.
    I do, too. Yet if our battle tactics kill one bad guy, but create ten more, are we winning or losing?

    Now here's what I think. Most of the middle east hates us.
    Most of the Afghans I've met (which is a lot) like us just fine, actually. The Kuwaitis like us fine, and appreciate us kicking the Iraqis out of their country . Have you actually traveled the Middle East, or are you just going by what Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage say?

    Clearly there are some Arabs/Persians who hate us. Just as cleary, there are many who do not, or who are neutral.

    I believe that the only reason the terrorists have not continued to murder innocent civilians here in the US is because we took the fight to them.
    But they did continue to murder people in Madrid, London, Bali, etc. It may be simply that attacking America is logistically much more difficult than hitting other pieces of Western Civilization, and like everyone else, the terrorists want more "bang for their buck," bad pun not intended.

    Yes, we are fighting bad guys in Iraq. But these are not the same bad guys who attacked us on 9/11. We created a large number of our enemies with our many blunders in Iraq, starting with an invasion that was based on intelligence blunders, a blundering disregard of the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in the post-war planning, and continuing with blundering Rumsfeld DoD policies that had too few troops on the ground in the months and years following the invasion.

    The hostilities in Iraq have done nothing to make Americans safer. If anything, the invasion of that country has angered more Muslims, made al-Qaeda recruiting easier, severely degraded our military readiness, and alienated Western nations that might have otherwise helped us win our war. Look at how America now has to go to NATO, hat in hand, begging for more troops and equipment in Afghanistan. Iraq has had only counterproductive results all around, when it comes to fighting the bad guys who attacked us on 9/11.
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