Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You Think it is Bad Now...

The New York Times reports that "Oil prices have nearly doubled in a year," and furthermore, "As demand continues to outpace the growth in oil supplies, analysts expect little relief in prices. A shortfall in supplies over the next two years will probably send oil to $150 to $200 a barrel, Goldman Sachs said in a new report.

Analysts’ forecasts for the price of gasoline over the next few years run as high as $7 a gallon."

This sounds pretty ominous. I am praying that they are overestimating. But, I know in my heart analysts, economists, and reporters typically underestimate these numbers. One can only hope that this time we experience the exception rather than the rule.

However, evidence for such positivity is scarce. For according to the above quoted NY Times article published just six days ago, "
the government said it expected gasoline prices to peak at a national average of $3.73 a gallon in June, just as the summer driving season kicks off." And yet, we're barely half way through May and we've already hit that mark.

The Times also reports that "Some private analysts have gone beyond the Energy Department’s forecasts, predicting that gasoline will surpass $4 a gallon this summer." But at the rate we're currently going, I think we're primed to be there before summer even begins (June 21st)!

I think I have chosen the most expensive summer to travel across America...smart.

Read the NY Times article

See the AAA's national gas estimates

McDonalds hamburger & fries virtually unchanged since they were served 4 years ago!

Wow this is grotesque. I may never have fast food again...or at least for a very very very long time.

Is there TOO Much Freedom of the Press?

"In a 'State of the First Amendment Survey' conducted by the University of Connecticut in 2003, 34 percent of [high school-age] Americans polled said the First Amendment 'goes too far'; 46 percent said there was too much freedom of the press; 28 percent felt that newspapers should not be able to publish articles without prior approval of the government; 31 percent wanted public protest of a war to be outlawed during that war; and 50 percent thought the government should have the right to infringe on the religious freedom of 'certain religious groups' in the name of the war on terror."

This is pretty horrifying.

Have teenagers missed the unequivocal point that without freedom of speech and press there is no freedom at all. For I know teenagers of all people value independence and liberty...I mean isn't that what those hectic years are all about, liberating oneself from one's parents?

So why this disconnect?

Exactly what America have these teens grown up in that could allow for this myopic and inane comprehension of the relationship between freedom, human rights, and communication on such a massive scale to exist, and, persist?

Is this a sign of a tired, weak, mindless parental populace drifting to institutions like the government to tell them and their children what to know, say, and do, so they don't have to breech the perceived security of their ignorance and think for themselves?

Whatever it is, if there is any war worth fighting, it is the battle to preserve/augment the quality of the minds of a future America against fecklessness, dogma, idiocy and indolence.

What kind of parent are you, or are you going to be? Don't become one of these. Don't become yet another member of humanity that slows down the healthy evolution of our species because you're too scared to push the static boundaries of your psychic comfort for truth and intelligence.

(Incidentally, if you are a parent and this is the first time you have really thought about this, it may already be too late for you.)

Read the rest of Gore Vidal's article in the Huffington Post: President Jonah
More on the survey itself: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6888837/