Monthly Archives: August 2004

Why the illuminati love $50 oil

First, the ERROR #76 problem when creating forums is fixed.

MSN money is currently running a story talking about the effect that sustained $50/barrel oil prices could have on the day to day economy — escalated gas prices, shipping prices rise (bringing everything up), job market toughens, housing and heating costs go up, and so on. Now, first I'll point out their closing paragraph to put this “new record price” into context so I'm not being a total fearmonger:

Adjusted for inflation, oil would have to reach $57 per barrel to surpass its peak during the 1990 Gulf War. And it would have to jump to $80 per barrel to match prices seen during the 1978 and 1981 oil crunches.

The uninflated price for 1980 was $38, and the uninflated price for 1990 was $34 to put it into context. There's a longer history of oil prices here. But let me put it into a real world context: if oil continues to go up in price, it will widen the gap between the rich and the poor in Western nations.

In Western nations, in terms of a percentage relation to their total income, poor people (including the middle class) spend a lot more money on oil than those who are very wealthy. For those who are very wealthy, an increase in oil pricing will only minimally affect them, but for those who are not as well off, it will hit them very hard. In an American context, it will be coupled with them having to give up their healthcare and similar concessions to make ends meet.

But that's good for the rich — with retirement savings systems around the world failing under huge aging populations, we've got to figure out a way to make poor people die before they retire. Everything from slovenly TV lifestyles, targetted fast food and junk food marketting, low quality food, to disease-inducing diets like Atkins are working very hard to create a generation of people who won't live past 55 or 60. To sustain our current economic model, we need a relatively small (1% of the population) ruling class that is very powerful, and an immense working class that is too financially strained to rebel, and doesn't live long enough to reap the benefits of their hard work. Look at the political changes that have happened over the last twenty years if you want to decide if there are forces putting this plan in motion.

I <3 Woody Harrelson

Watch this, earthrapers.

Me stante virebunt

Check out Ryan and Corrie's page for the BABYFEST shirts — concept by Rachel, design by me, shirts and babies by Ryan and Corrie. I'm looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Lunchtime BME update

I've just posted this week's experience update with 240 new stories online (I've left the current cover though). The featured ones are clustered at the top of the list and the rest are alphabetical. The new email format seems to be working as well, so that's good.

Thanks as always to the writers and the review team… If you want to meet interesting new people, reviewing is a great way to do it. When you review an experience, you have the option to pass a comment to the author. This is part what they see in their “welcome to BME” email:


Your submission was reviewed by members of IAM (you can do the same; when you've logged into IAM, click the "Help IAM" link on the main index page to learn how to join the review team). Here are some of the comments they left, along with their usernames if you'd like to chat with them:
    "Pheadra: I'm glad to hear that your experience wasn't a
    'horror.' I wish you happy healing!"
    "WasabiTurtle: I wish I could pass off blood stains as food
    products. :)"

Now when the writer of that experience gets online, you can bet there's a real good chance that the first people they're going to visit and say hello to are Pheadra and WasabiTurtle. You can also get free BME shirts or just IAM coupons as well if you're more in it for the mercenary factor.

To join the review team, click the “Help IAM” link on the main index page of IAM. That page includes the information you need to get started. The only thing I ask is that you not rush ahead too blindly — understand what's needed, and do take part in the reviewer forums if you're unsure.

So today I'm at lunch and sitting across from us are a French woman, a German, and a Canadian (no, I'm not leading into a joke). While they stank of aristocracy, they spent their meal whining about how much they hated America — it sort of reminded me of the scene in Apocalypse Now when the French are complaining about Americans, even though it was totally the pot calling the kettle black.

French: Bush wants to attack Germany, he wants to attack France, he just doesn't care. One madman, and look at all the damage he can do to the world.
German: Yes, it is true, but all Americans are like that.
French: I've just written them all off, especially Texans. Texas was better off when the Mexicans were running it, but all America ever cares about is oil so they had to kill them and take their land.
Canadian: I work with an American and her kids are so spoiled.
French: I know, those Americans give so many presents at Christmas that they just don't understand the value of gifts.
Canadian: Some of them even go into debt to give presents. I don't know why, it's just Christmas.
German: When I was a little girl in the colonies, all I got was oranges.
French: What more do people need? Everyone is so unhappy these days, society isn't what it used to be.
Canadian: I know! When I walk around Toronto, the homeless people seem so angry. I think they must be on drugs, we live in such a wonderful city.

Rich and stupid never combine well. Actually, I'm not convinced that stupid mixes with anything particularly well…

Malls are unknown territory to me

So I'm at the mall in some store full of plastic clothes and folks trying to stuff themselves into those clothes, but seemingly only those far too small for them — I don't have a problem with the overweight part, if that's what someone chooses* for themselves, more power to 'em… but if you want to look good (no matter what your weight is), you should try and find clothes that fit. Same goes for super little people in oversized clothes — it doesn't bring out their best. Big or small, the right clothes can help you achieve your aesthetic goals… but you have to realize that a mini-skirt isn't really a functional corset. Anyway, now that I've gotten everyone even angrier at me…

I had kind of a “Friday the 13th: The Series” moment there. Don't buy that tiki in the discount bin unless you're equipped for dealing with ancient curses.

* Although I do think that “be happy the way you are” is a terrible, terrible mistake. If “be happy the way you are” was a valid way of looking at the world, why get tattooed or pierced, to say nothing of why bother exercising, learning, or improving oneself in general? The cool thing about being human is that we don't have to be happy the way we are because we have such incredible capacity for modifying ourselves on so many different levels. People should try and excel in everything they do.