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Thread: Mideast Turmoil

  1. #1

    Default Mideast Turmoil

    Mass protests toppled the government of Tunisia, now similar protests sweep Egypt. What does it all mean? At worst it could mean organized attempts to replace many middle eastern governments, that would probably include at least a few oil rich countries, in which case the spigot might be turned off, in which case Who knows what could happen? Only time will tell. We know Al Qaeda and other fundamentalist Moslem groups despise the government of Saudi Arabia, we know Iran does not like us--its forming alliances with Russia and China. All that relatively cheap, or at least available, oil might be drying up. Then what? The grossest most blatant colonial war to just simply seize it? That would be pretty much Europe's only real choice, the US could always occupy the Mexican oil fields if "we" "had to". The riots in Egypt make you aware of what an intricately spun web the world economy is, how interdependent, how vulnerable it is. It does take me back to those glorious Reagan years when he ended President Carter's energy independence program. We would be sitting mighty pretty if that had been carried through, pretty much invulnerable to whatever happened in the middle eastern oil countries. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    There is a wonderful misunderstanding about oil in the United States.

    Many believe that oil dependence is a gummint problem. Wrong.

    Oil Dependence is a consumer problem. Options to fossil fuels have been around for over 30 years. And in the last 10 years have become cost effective, viable, and practical.

    CONSUMERS DON'T CHOOSE THE OPTIONS.

    Do you have PV on the roof?
    Do you have solar hot water?
    Are you driving a 40+mpg vehicle? Or a hybrid?
    Are you using CF lightbulbs? Insulation? Etc. Etc. Etc.

    But it's so much easier to just blame the gummint.
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    Energy answers are already here.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    The situation in Egypt appears to be turning to anarchy, stores are being looted and burned, the breakdown of civil authority invites/produces mass lawlessness.

    I think it does take a guiding authority to put a country on any given track. 60 Minutes examined Brazil's energy independence resulting from a long term sustained government program of using sugar cane refuse to produce alcohol and energy from it. Cars there run largely on alcohol, the same could have been done here, it would have been a fantastic boon to economies from Florida to Louisiana, probably Hawai'i, too, even the Philippines. Oh well. Oil always had the ear of our government, it even ran it during the bush administration. Even something as empty symbolic as Reagan taking down the solar panels that President Carter had erected on the White House has a powerful effect on millions of consumers. Canceling fuel efficiency standards for cars, even more so. We made our bed and we must lie in it. Chickens coming home to roost. Any more cliches you can think of that apply? If our dependence is the consumers fault, at least part of it happened because of the foolish policies they voted for when they voted for handsome actors and empty suits and empty slogans. Best remark I ever heard on Reagan: the clothes have no emperor. But the masses loved it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    The leftist media such as it is (about 4 radio stations that carry what is left of Air America) is saying that the turmoil in the Middle East is fueled by big increases in food prices, which is caused by Wall St. speculators. We do see gasoline prices rising again, quite high, and speculation may be causing that, too. What good do these speculators do? Theoretically they cushion the market fluctuations for producers of basic products and buyers, but if it has gotten to the point that they are causing the overthrow of governments they have clearly outlived their usefulness. In causing the overthrow of governments this rampant speculative capitalism is destroying the world economic stability that capitalism needs for its very existence. It is time to put the needs of the country before those of a handful of speculators.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Quote Originally Posted by timkona View Post
    There is a wonderful misunderstanding about oil in the United States. Many believe that oil dependence is a gummint problem. Wrong. Oil Dependence is a consumer problem. Options to fossil fuels have been around for over 30 years. And in the last 10 years have become cost effective, viable, and practical.
    CONSUMERS DON'T CHOOSE THE OPTIONS.
    Do you have PV on the roof?
    Do you have solar hot water?
    Are you driving a 40+mpg vehicle? Or a hybrid?
    Are you using CF lightbulbs? Insulation? Etc. Etc. Etc.
    But it's so much easier to just blame the gummint.
    While a small % do way more than what you mention to reduce their impact/lessen costs, to blame the average Joe of the last 75 years for behaving outside of what's been institutionalized virtually to exclusivity as the norm is silly. We are oil lovers by design and have been programmed as monster consumers to buy too much on credit and throw away and buy again, herded into cities/communities and zoned out of legal options, and dumbed down to acquiesensent zombies unable to remember how to make fire. Not everybody has the luxury to be better.

    Egypt as we've known it is about to slide into history and become another mid-east lawless state.
    Last edited by Ron Whitfield; February 2nd, 2011 at 11:51 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    The consequences of two of the biggest mistakes of the twentieth century loom before us, both on the shoulders of the much admired and pretty much OK Dwight Eisenhower. Overthrowing Mossadegh in Iran is credited with starting the Islamic nationalist movements. Iran democratically elected a guy who could be called nationalist or socialist depending on your viewpoint, and we overthrew him at the behest of BP of all people. Bad choice. We installed the Shah and that worked fine for 30 years, building up hate and pressure like a volcano that has not stopped erupting yet. The other bad decision, letting the conglomerate composed of GM, I think it was Firestone Rubber, and one of the big oil companies buy up for the purpose of shutting down public transportation systems across the country. An old story. But how much better off we would be if we had just done things rationally, based on what was in the best long term interest of the country as a whole rather than for the short term greed of a few (very few) vested interests. The same story with Reagan ending President Carter's energy independence program. Nice for the campaign contributors, but the country pays quite a price down the line. Govern for the many, not the few. Or is that socialism?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalalau View Post
    Reagan ended President Carter's energy independence program.
    And to show the nation just how much he meant it, he also took down the Carter installed solar panels on the WH roof.
    We don't need no stinking good ideas!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    A lot of conservatives look at moves to conserve the environment for future generations as goofy dirty hippie communism. Global warming/climate change, pollution laws, solar power all come to mind as targets for their ridicule. Texans want their God given right to pump out all the water from the aquifer under their state to keep their lawns and golf courses green and screw the future generations if there's nothing to drink, or if its poisoned: God will provide. Or Jesus is coming back so soon it won't make any difference anyway, as Reagan's secretary of the interior James Watt believed. Why save anything for future generations when there won't be any? Very convenient.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    http://specials.msn.com/A-List/Lifes...entid=27519897

    What kind of people would beat up a good guy like Anderson Cooper?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    "The pundits and politicians who are siding with the brutal dictator over Egypt's people.."
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/w...merican_allies
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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    This situation has hit a little close to home. My good friend and colleague, in whose home I was able to collect the majority of donations for the first year of Auntie's slippah project, was in Cairo when this mess began. Her tour was immediately confined to their hotel rooms. She was finally able to get an email to her friends and family once she was evacuated to Greece 2 days ago and is on her way back to HNL today. Just one, great big...PHEEEEEEW!

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    Talking Re: Mideast Turmoil

    "Egypt, US Territory" has a nice ring to it.
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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    This situation has hit a little close to home. My good friend and colleague, in whose home I was able to collect the majority of donations for the first year of Auntie's slippah project, was in Cairo when this mess began. Her tour was immediately confined to their hotel rooms. She was finally able to get an email to her friends and family once she was evacuated to Greece 2 days ago and is on her way back to HNL today. Just one, great big...PHEEEEEEW!
    Double PHEEEEEEW!!!

    Auntie Lynn
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110204/...mi_ea/ml_egypt

    Wait till Geraldo gets there. No one messes with Geraldo.

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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Hey Kalalau, seems the Mideast turmoil has sparked a rant in you that goes way beyond their borders. I'm sure you all have good cause for complaining, but I'm equally sure you all have no idea as to a viable solution. No matter how well we conserve resources, if we don't limit population we will, without doubt, exhaust them. One child per woman - world motto for the 21st century (100 years, at least).
    Last edited by salmoned; February 3rd, 2011 at 11:27 PM.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Quote Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
    One child per woman - world motto for the 21st century (100 years, at least).
    Which only means a world full of men. I wouldn't be giving that thot a

  17. #17
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    Talking Re: Mideast Turmoil

    How about one son and one daughter? Hate to be the second-born son.
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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Ron, how do you figure that is the result? One child per woman means only women are sure to have progeny (if they're capable, if not the birthright could be transferred). I believe that would increase the value of every child, but especially females.

    Random, second born? Not allowed, unless another's birthright is transferred.
    Last edited by salmoned; February 4th, 2011 at 02:19 PM.
    May I always be found beneath your contempt.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    You would think, but in many countries the girls are killed prior to or at birth, plus the suicide rate for women in impoverished lands is rediculously high. Japan is a prime example of how even an intelligent and culturally enlightened country can doom it's shortsighted self by greatly preferring boys. Girls have little chance, I certainly wish it were in the reverse.
    America celebrates female beauty because we still got most of them, so we'll be the last to go.

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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Ahh, but the beauty of this program is that those masses of men will leave few heirs. Family lines will discontinue, along with that male preference. Problem solved.
    May I always be found beneath your contempt.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    I think this preferential ignorance will continue until near extinction, which may be too late for many. But often women are equally to blame for at least tolerating it.

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    Wink Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Quote Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
    No matter how well we conserve resources, if we don't limit population we will, without doubt, exhaust them. One child per woman - world motto for the 21st century (100 years, at least).
    Perhaps "One child per man" would be a good addendum as well.

    However, with female infanticide, it might be tragic, but it may reduce population growth.

    Whereas men can 'father' many children - hundreds, thousands, more!
    A woman can produce a limited number of children.
    We should cherish our women and cull our men so that only the 'best' can reproduce.

    Yeah, right, I know already.

    Eunuchs were a GOOD idea.
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    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    To get back on topic, in my opinion, the best strategy for the US is to stay out of it and let the Egyptian people decide what is best for themselves.

    BTW, we love our hybrid, cfl's, and PV. "It's good to be green."
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    This details some of the difficulty BO faces in making hard line decisions concerning the matters http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theloo...y-obama-hedges

    He has to dance the fine line between supporting the status quo which has benefitted the US and helped keep a wobbly balance between nearby countries vs pressing for a revolt for Democracy, which is another way of saying a newly free people in turmoil can then vote in any US hating extremist power they want. And given the fact that the majority of people there are not US supporters, Obama has good reasons to want the corrupt evil multi-billionaire dictator Mubarak to remain.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Mideast Turmoil

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Whitfield View Post
    He has to dance the fine line between supporting the status quo which has benefitted the US and helped keep a wobbly balance between nearby countries vs pressing for a revolt for Democracy, which is another way of saying a newly free people in turmoil can then vote in any US hating extremist power they want. And given the fact that the majority of people there are not US supporters, Obama has good reasons to want the corrupt evil multi-billionaire dictator Mubarak to remain.
    Typical Americentric thinking.

    Democracy means a government by the people,... not a government that acquiesces to America.

    However well meaning a foreign country may claim their intentions are, would the American population tolerate an outside nation to interfere and manipulate the results of election in the US? No??? Then why should we expect Egyptians to willingly accept American intervention in their process to pick their own leaders?

    I would think the Iranian revolution of 1979 would have taught Americans the disastrous consequences of supporting a corrupt dictator who is unpopular and has lost the mandate of his people. Supporting the pro-American Shah only fueled greater distrust of the US among the general population. Do we want to repeat the same mistake with Egypt? There are some political commentators who would, if they had their way.

    Gee, I wonder what the IQ is of a person who keeps forgetting that placing one's hand on a hot stove is not a good idea?

    Hosni Mubarak has maintained peace in his region and continues the cordial relations that his predecessor (Anwar Sadat) established with Israel in 1978. That's all well and good.... but does that fact alone make Mubarak a good president? If we as Americans had a President who kept our country safe from attack and was not at war, but the economy was mired in a deep recession with record high unemployment, what do you think will happen to that President come re-election time? That's right. A new president is likely to be elected. Americans expect more from their leader than just providing peace and security. So why should we expect Egyptians to be happy with Mubarak merely over the fact that he has maintained peace with Israel? If Mubarak's administration has performed poorly when it comes to economic/domestic matters, should anyone be surprised that the Egyptian people have turned against him?
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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