"Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren testified Tuesday that the service is reviewing other options, including relying more heavily on Army reservists or Navy and Air Force personnel, so as not to put more pressure on a stretched active-duty force.
Most soldiers spend 15 months in combat with a guaranteed 12 months home, a rotation plan that has infuriated Democrats because it exceeds the service's goal of giving troops equal time home as in combat. In coming weeks, the Senate will vote on a proposal by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., that would restrict deployments."
It looks like the debate between price controls, rationing and availability may soon be heating up.
I think a lot of people will agree, that rationing of gasoline would be an unpopular prospect. The US did it during WWII, but during that period, the effects of The Great Depression really hadn't let up much. People were more accustomed to hardship and didn't survive day to day, by increasing their debt.
Now the notion of sacrificing for war is a foriegn one. The public has been sold on the idea that the war will lower fuel prices and free up more oil for the US. In reality, no war has ever done this. Every war has forced the nations involved, to do with less.
And isn't this logical? If a nation converts its economy into a machine for creating goods just so it can destroy them, then it is simply throwing its wealth away. An economy improves by using it's wealth to create goods that are reinvested into the economy. In times of war, a nation toils to throw it's wealth away. How can this enrich a people?
The war in Iraq has actually decreased Iraq's oil production, while driving the price of oil higher. Other nations are seeing their oil production decline. Gwahar is dying, Saudi Arabia is likely in decline. At best they are getting tired of running ever faster to stay in one place.
But the US Gov needs even more fuel in order to wage the war in Iraq. To keep winning for the next fifty years or more under the Bush plan, the US Military will need to keep increasing fuel usage as the world runs out of oil.
As I've argued before, the US Gov has infinite quantities of money. They will get the fuel they need. It is likely now that the US Gov uses more fuel than US private industry. In order for the US Gov to keep increasing fuel consumption, while supplies stagnate and fall, the US public will have to do without.
There are three paths we can take. 1. Ration fuel. Distribute fuel coupons and limit people to a maximum quantity of fuel per month. Many people will not be able to use their gas guzzlers to get to work under such a plan. 2. Let the market sort this out. Let prices of gasoline rise until demand is destroyed. When people become unemployed, they'll use less gasoline. they'll buy less stuff. Less stuff bought means less shipping. 3. Force prices low for political points. Let the fuel run out on a regular basis. This will lead to hoarding and thievery. Desperate people who were otherwise law abiding will start stealing fuel, to get to work, take the kids to school etc...
All three have problems. With number three, even law enforcement and emergency services will run out of fuel on occasion, and will be unable to respond to emergencies. If fire departments can't get fuel, then they won't be putting out fires.
With number two, price shocks will cause major economic damage. Taxes will go higher as municipalites pass ont he prices of fuel to citizens.
The first option stands the best chance of maintaining order in my view. It will be cheated, but it will help to insure that essential services get the quantity of fuel they need, in order to operate.
With a slower economy and the housing boom ending, we're likely to see an increase in friction fires, started by insurance papers rubbing together. We need to insure that emergency services continue to operate. If we don't, then fires are going to cause more damage and loss of life than necessary.
Politician's are promising that they'll keep gasoline prices down. Maybe number three is the choice we'll make for now?
For most of us, rising prices have been the major concern when it comes to gas. But on Friday, it was a different problem plaguing some Sioux Falls drivers.
As people pulled up to a gas station is southeast Sioux Falls, they were greeted with signs they didn't expect. Stations out of gas because of a shortage.
Gas terminals are empty across South Dakota. From Sioux Falls to Yankton to Sioux City, they are all out. And tankers cannot find anywhere to fill up.
"More so this summer it seems and they're saying it's supposed to get worse before it gets better but there's just not enough fuel coming down the pipeline into the delivery system," said BP owner Shane Oien.
Thankfully, gas prices are still down 24 cents from where they were last week.
This is a great video of Bush, showing him interatcing with the crowds in Albania. In Albania, Bush is so trusting and loving that he gets in and lets the crwod grab him. He even gets his watch stolen.
Bush would never do this in the United States of America, unless the audience is carefully pre-screened. He understands that America is a much more dangerous country than Albania.
Why is Albania a safer nation than the Unitied States of America? Why is Bush fearful and afraid to go out in public in the USA? Why haven't Bush's policies made America as safe as Albania?
The neocons continue the drumbeats for a wider war. Joe explains to us that we can attack Iran, but we will not need to invade that country. His explanation assumes that Iran will not seek retribution for attacks on their homeland. He assumes that we can bomb the crap out of Iranian towns and villages along the border, and Iran will not retaliate.
I agree to some extent, that Iran is likely involved in the war in Iraq. We're subjugating a nation on their doorstep, and our President has announced that Iraq will be property of the USA for fifty years or more. Just as the USA is concerned with and meddles in the politics of Canada and Mexico, Iran is involved in affairs of its neighbors.
In fact, this situation is an obvious outcome to waging war against Iraq. Its one of the principle reasons we gave for the upcoming failure of Rumsfield's plan of waging the war on the cheap, back in 2003. If you're going to control a nation, you must seal its borders. You can't have folks travelling back and forth freely between a soveriegn nation and the one you're trying to crush. Rumsfield was never interested in closing the border between Iran and Iraq, because it would've been costly up front. Rumsfield didn't want to commit the resources needed to control the border. We just didn't have enough troops.
But back in those heady days, the media talked up grand plans for Iraq. We were going to bomb and kill until Iraq became a paradise on Earth. Through war comes peace, through death coems life, or some-such bullshit. Now the administration is finally telling the public what was true all along, that we invaded Iraq to make it a colony, and to make the people of Iraq, slaves to international corporate interests. But most of the public pays no attention. They've heard so many stories, that they can now choose from a smorgasboard of rationalizations, for continuing the slaughter in Iraq.
As I've mentioned before, a good con works from greed, and finds a rationalization that the mark can latch onto. Its important to give the mark an emotional hook. Greed works well, but even better, is to marry greed to some good work. Like making money investing in programs for the poor.
At a gas pump a while back, a woman was complaining about prices. I mentioned that these are the sacrifices that people make in times of war. She said, "They told us that the war would bring prices down!." I said, "Yeah, a lot of people bought that line." Another man at the pump laughed and said, "They sure did!". She actually looked thoughtful and fretful as she got in her car and drove off. I can hope that she was questioning her assumptions.
That was one but one catch for greed. For Christians it was the promise of missionary work in Iraq. We were going to convert all the Iraqis to Christendom. for businesses, it was the promise of turning Iraq into a vibrant economy that would buy American goods. For the peace lovers, there was the promise of a safer and nicer MiddleEast. The war promised something for everyone.
People will believe Joe. They will think that bombing the shit out of Iran will solve our problems.
Iran has shown incredible restraint. We've been taunting them and our own President has made it clear that we've sent spies and sabateuours into Iran in order to destabilize the government. Iran has announced that they've been capturing spies. Joe says that Iran has killed 200 Americans so far. Were they captured, tried and executed on Iranian soil?
Bush has announced in speeches that we are engaging in activities considered historically to be acts of war, against Iran. Yet Iran has not displayed any outward acts of aggression. They are following the US model of supporting rebels behind the scenes. Playing tit for tat.
This is driving the neocons crazy. If they want a war with Iran, it looks like they have no choice but to start it. Bombing the crap out of border towns ought to do it.
Joe knows he's feeding us a line. The war won't get better if we engage the Iranians. If we bomb their border towns, then that act will be their Pearl Harbor.
As I've mentioned before, the logical outcome of this is open war with Iran and a slaughter of our forces in Iraq. Which according to some sources, is the neocon plan. This disaster they believe, will rally the public, who will see Bush's plan of creating peace out of world war, as the true means to accomplish paradise on Earth. A major war, a return of the draft, and open ended conflict in the Middle East will make us safer, and prove that Bush was right about the dangers that the Muslim world presents to the Christian societies.
I know I've said as much as this previously. Perhaps I'm struggling with the need to find a different rationale. A different path through history. But if we attack Iran, I don't see how things could work out any better than this scenario.
A number of neocons take glee that predictions of war with Iran so far, haven't come true. I find that a strange position to hear from the same camp that's cheerleading for war with Iran. I hope that the war does not escalate, but I don't fool myself into believing that time has run out on this scenario.
I've always thought that Bush has the sort of personality of folks that trash a place when their lease runs out. That he'll leave us with a surprise mess when his term is up. A mess that says 'Fuck You', in a way that only Bush can say it. We still have plenty of time to start a war with Iran. What worries me more is that he may start it with plenty of time to enjoy it while still in office, while still saving an even bigger surprise for his legacy when he exits.
During her brief incarceration, the media had nothing to report on. They aren't qualified to report real stories. With her in jail, and no soiled undies to search for in hotel lobbies, they were at a loss as to what they would spend hours and hours, and hours reporting.
My best guess is that Karl Rove and media worked together to get Paris out of jail, so she could entertain the media by flashing her underpants in public places, in violation of her sentence. Millions of reporters will be anxiously waiting for Hilton's next move.
Now its safe for Republicans to be exposed for their crimes, without the media finding out.
So now everyone will be asking, what is her unspecified medical condition? Does she have aids? Is she claustraphobic? Is she allerigc to peasants? Is she jonesing from lack of attention? When will learn the answers to these and other important quetions?
Now Capt. David Rozelle is volunteering to go back. With troop shortages increasing, this is likely to become mandatory. Our military is facing a desperate situation.
Republican Hawks are openly calling for a dramatic defeat in Iraq, so that the US public will get behind a huge offensive.
The plan that we're hearing from Republicans now is to push into Iran, so that the floodgates will be opened in Iraq. Once our troops are slaughtered there, the US citizenry will rise up and demand vengeance. Then somehow, perhaps through a draft, we'll gather up the manpower to put forth a WWII style offensive.
Another favorite Republican plan seems to be a hope that the US will be hit with another major terrorist attack. If the US is hit with a major terrorist offensive, then this will prove that Bush is protecting us from attacks. In the Republican world, you're safest when you're getting your ass kicked.
I find it ironic that we've come so far supporting our troops means that we're setting them up to be slaughtered, and that inviting and hoping for terrorist attacks is a strategy designed to make us safer.
The Republican ego and lust for glory is like a tick swollen to the burting point. Now they want many more thousands of Americans to die, to prove that they weren't wrong about the Muslim threat. And they are going to keep pushing for the slaughter of Muslims, until their paranoid beliefs become a self fulfilling prophecy.
If we get to the point, where we nuke Iran and kill many millions of people for ego, how will this reflect on Christianity? Do Christians want to be known for committing the single most heinous act in the history of the Holy Crusades?
What kind of person would kill millions of people to avoid admitting that they were wrong?