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Actually I do think that the Bush administration told at least one outright lie. The Nigerian yellow cake document was such an obvious fraud that even the incompetent UN officials saw through it in less than a day. The war in Iraq was not so much a war to steal the oil there, as to maneuver the output of those oil fields into the control of U.S. based oil conglomorates, as the French and a few other players had pretty much sewn them up. You don't have to be a rockect scientist to see which corporations have already reaped huge profits from this ill advised foreign adventure. The fact that the largest staffed U.S. embassy in the world is under constuction in Iraq is a good indicator that U.S. interests will be playing a large role there for some time to come, and any military bases there (and there will be some for years to come) will give the U.S. a significant strategic advantage in controlling the political climate, and therefore the oil supply in the entire middle east.



I havn't yet read Jhon Stossel's book, but I have seen a few of his libertarian, small government programs on ABC. I happen to be in complete agreement with what he espouses, but I was already mad (in more ways than one) as I have been shouting that kind of stuff for years. VWW
 

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Re: Big jugs...

I maintain, regardless of HOW big the displacement, HOW much torgue it has, an engine can do no more work than the HP it produces. Look at the torque figures of the Harleys, certainly more than adequate for street duty and beloved by their riders for it but not NEARLY fast as a new 600 which has far less torque but far more HP (other than the V-ROD). And another thing, what makes you think that a thirties German 23 liter Aircraft engine wouldn't have repectible HP? At least as necessary to make a car go fast? I think you're trying to break the law, of Physics.
 

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Fine, listen, it's pretty clear that the Nigerian document was a fraud. How it was handled and disseminated is what's not entirely clear to me.



I still don't buy the "war for oil" argument. However, you are correct that we will have a significant strategic advantage in the area. In fact, I believe that was one of the obvioius goals. If that enables us to better to influence the political climate and insure a secure oil supply, great. It's still a leap to insist a war was prosecuted strictly for corporate profiteering.



By the way, I love all of these enviro-extortionists who oppose even the most reasonable and sensitive plans for oil exploration in our hemisphere. That group has some of the biggest liars around. (Sorry, just a side rant.)



 

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(Um, I believe you were the first to go off topic there, cruiz. I only responded.)



Right you are. The crusades were the beginning of the European colonization of the Middle East. And I'm not trying to "wash our hands." We've supported our European allies in most of their endeavors in the region. It's just that you seem to pretend that all the problems in the Middle East began at our door. That's silly. We've basically been Arab enemy #1 since the end of the second World War. Much of that has to do with our support of Israel, which was created in large part because many of our galant European bretheren didn't want "all those Jews" in their countries. What bothers me is the feeling that Europe is not acting in virtue, but fear. Witness Spain.
 

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Nah, HK, no flames. I can see where you sit, and that's fine. I don't mean to be an apologist for G.W. I think both parties have severe shortcomings. I just don't think many of the attack dogs are making much sense. Millions of jobs lost all attributed to Bush? That's unrealistic at best. The President doesn't have that much influence over markets. I seem to remember that we were being warned about recession at the end of Clinton's presidency. I also remember a substantively bankrupt internet boom that started going bust for real around that time. Surely this had something to do with job loss, no? Then we had 9/11. Not good for the economy. But when times were "good," everyone seemed to ignore the brewing storm in the Islamic world. We were all wrapped up in our 401ks and wholly unrealistic expectations of 3% unemployment forever. (Leading economic indicators are about the same now as they were all through the Clinton years. You've heard that before.)



Speaking of 9/11, why does everybody pretend that all was more or less cuddly with our Arab friends before the Iraq War? I was in New York on 9/11. I knew people in those buildings. I don't remember many wholehearted condemnations and hearfelt tears from the Arabs--even those living in this country. In fact, we only got a little backhanded sympathy with qualifications something to the effect that we brought the attack on ourselves. I also remember some dancing in the streets overseas.



I do think we need to get along with other nations. However, given our standing in the world, nations also need to be able to get along with us. Eventually, we will all probably find common ground. And as for the argument that most of the world thinks we're wrong in Iraq, they may be right. But they also may be wrong. And no matter where you stand on this issue, you must agree that brave decisions are not always popular. Leaders can lead because they have the ability to make unpopular decisions. We elect people that we feel can make the best decisions based on knowledge, experience and information that we don't have. If those decisions turn out to be wrong, we fire those leaders.



So do your best to fire Dubya. That's your right.



All I'm saying is that the jury is still out on Iraq.
 

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No, of course not (but very funny nonetheless). What I mean is that the French, as always, are trying to assert themselves as a world power. It's nice to have us as a quasi-enemy to position themselves against. And other European nations, somewhat understandably so, are a little nervous about the U.S. being the only superpower.



At least we can agree on the fact that the French should stick to rhetoric and stay as far away from the battlefield as possible. :)



P.S. Who knew the Scandinavians could be hostile? I thought that went out with the Vikings?

 

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Nah, HK, no flames. I can see where you sit, and that's fine. I don't mean to be an apologist for G.W. I think both parties have severe shortcomings. I just don't think many of the attack dogs are making much sense. Millions of jobs lost all attributed to Bush? That's unrealistic at best. The President doesn't have that much influence over markets. I seem to remember that we were being warned about recession at the end of Clinton's presidency. I also remember a substantively bankrupt internet boom that started going bust for real around that time. Surely this had something to do with job loss, no? Then we had 9/11. Not good for the economy. But when times were "good," everyone seemed to ignore the brewing storm in the Islamic world. We were all wrapped up in our 401ks and wholly unrealistic expectations of 3% unemployment forever. (Leading economic indicators are about the same now as they were all through the Clinton years. You've heard that before.)



Speaking of 9/11, why does everybody pretend that all was more or less cuddly with our Arab friends before the Iraq War? I was in New York on 9/11. I knew people in those buildings. I don't remember many wholehearted condemnations and hearfelt tears from the Arabs--even those living in this country. In fact, we only got a little backhanded sympathy with qualifications something to the effect that we brought the attack on ourselves. I also remember some dancing in the streets overseas.



I do think we need to get along with other nations. However, given our standing in the world, nations also need to be able to get along with us. Eventually, we will all probably find common ground. And as for the argument that most of the world thinks we're wrong in Iraq, they may be right. But they also may be wrong. And no matter where you stand on this issue, you must agree that brave decisions are not always popular. Leaders can lead because they have the ability to make unpopular decisions. We elect people that we feel can make the best decisions based on knowledge, experience and information that we don't have. If those decisions turn out to be wrong, we fire those leaders.



So do your best to fire Dubya. That's your right.



All I'm saying is that the jury is still out on Iraq.
 

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I agree with much of what is said here (by you and others) and disagree with parts as well. If you watch Michael Moores new film, I'm sure you've heard about it, it may put some things in a different light, particularly in regards to the "why does everyone pretend everything was more or less cuddly with our Arab friends". It's interesting to me that the "Right" doesn't seem to be calling it false. It seems to me that a lot of people are dying (or worse) and a lot of rich people (well clear of harms way) are getting richer. For some reason both things ***** me off. Strategically I think the aims were to place a Military base there and to "Westernize" the Middle East creating Billions of happy little consumers to buy our products, I like to think of it as "Aggressive Capitalism". Our "Oil Industry" White House may have had a passing thought about the second largest known Oil reserve in the World... I think the People of Iraq (and the Middle East) will reject all of that, demand our departure as soon as their general election occurs (if ever), deeply hate us (even more!) for Generations and provide manpower and money to our True Enemies on a scale far beyond what would have ever happened under Sadam. I hope to be wrong. Is this the REAL"Plan"? Is it a coincidence that well over a decade after the "Cold Wars" end the only Superpower left in the World continues to spend more on Defense that ever? If we're not at "War" we could spend less on Defense right? Is that "Military-Industrial Complex" stuff BS? I think the Government itself is reaching critical mass, "Everybody for everyone in the Government being Millionaires say "I"!".
 

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Hey, I fully acknowledge that this thing could backfire completely. Iraq, and the Middle East in general, is a risky proposition. But many a controversial decision has been ridiculed when it did not produce immediate or perfectly ideal results, only later to be proven the correct decision. Hell, I see it happen in business almost weekly. I'm not sure the answer should have included the Iraq war. Then again, I'm convinced that we could not let the situation exist as it did. There has been a growing Arab hostility towards this country for many years. We have been attacked increasingly for over ten years now. It's entirely possible that we have only exposed the ugly feelings that many Arabs/Muslims have been harboring and nurturing for years. The Iraq War has given them the opportunity to voice their hatred. I'd be willing to guess that most of it existed prior to it. Remember, there were no strong condemnations--and they had the gaul to blame us-- from Arab leaders or citizens after 9/11. Isn't it obvious that's because they had been harboring hatred for some time. No Arab politician had the b*lls to come out and strongly condem the attacks. I think it's obvious that they both fear being seen as a friend of the U.S. and also use the resentment of us to their political advantages. (Has anyone forgotten that many of these guys are not particular nice people?)



You know, sometimes you need to fight an enemy, not placate it. And it won't come easy. My parents are of the WW II generation. They did what they had to do. Will we? The Arabs hated us before, they will probably hate us in the future no matter what we do. How does anyone plan to solve that?



Michael Moore: I have not seen "Farhenheit 911" but I do plan on seeing it when it comes to video. But let me just say that I've seen "Roger & Me" and "Bowling for Columbine." Both well made films. But both were also self-serving distortions of the truth. "Bowling" in particular. That stunt he pulled with Charleton Heston was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in a "documentary." The worst part is that he already had Heston nailed before he pulled that gratuitious nonsense. I did agree with some of his conclusions. But then the whole train of thought became confused and sensationalist. I'll reserve judgement of F 9/11 until I see it.



But here's what's really dubious about Mr. Moore. I actually met him and was involved in a long discussion (about an hour) with him in Union Sq. Park square shortly after 9/11. He was nice enough to us, but when we started to discuss the situation I became acutely aware of his biases and a troubling misunderstanding of geopolitics. I'll give you two of his off-kilter assertions: 1. The U.S Military is incapable of ridding Afganistan of the Taliban. 2. We should get the Israelis to do it! What? I thought he was joking. He wasn't. Do I have to explain what a disasterous move that would have been if it unraveled?



This man is a talented film maker. He is not a talented political theorist or social critic. He is not even a documentarian. He has a talent for drama and humor and entertainnment. Entertianment is often defined by distortion and exaggeration.
 

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Michael Moore is without a doubt a socialist self serving wind bag. I disagreed whole heartedly with him on his second amendment hit piece Bowling for Columbine. That being said as the old saying goes even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I have yet to see his 9/11 film but I have seen some good reviews of it on some of the paleo-conservative libertarian websites I read daily. His idea about the Israelis was of course pure unadulterated idiocy. He, however has a good point about the Taliban, as the last I heard Mullah Omar and many Taliban fighters are still roaming the countryside there. VWW
 

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I believe that our relations with the Israelis are and have been at the heart of the U.S.'s problems in the Middle East lately (other than that Iraq thing, of course that Shah of Iran stuff and the like didn't win us many friends there in the past). The Israelis and the Palestinians remind me of the Hatfields and McCoys, hopefully they can soon gain the wisdom these "Hillbillys" achieved over a hundred years ago. I support Israels right to exist and thrive, the Jewish People have a place in my heart. I do believe that if peace and security were their true goals it could be achieved by giving up the Palestinians land. I don't buy these "Security Concerns". The Israelis have demonstrated repeatedly that they can kick the entire Middle Easts A$$ (without resorting to the "Bomb", which only they have there), the Palestinians are no more a threat to them than Mexico (or Cuba) is to us. Build a wall around all of Israel if you want. I consider myself to be an amateur student of History, as far as the U.S. position should be, two things seem very clear, Don't Invade Russia, Don't mess around with (try to force influence on) the Middle East. Gentlemen (vww/pdad) a pleasure, should we find ourselves together I got first round, if we start to talk politics... so be it :). PS Whew had to unload some this this stuff!
 

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Re: Big jugs...

Hello Dale,

Sorry I am so long in responding but the sprog and me have been visiting our buds for the last week.

You are essentially correct in you concepts of torque and HP, and you are also partially correct in your assertion that mass (weight) has little effect on top speed EXCEPT that it has an effect on accelerating the mass to top speed. In other words, once you get a large mass up to speed it takes essentially the same amount of energy for equally shaped objects to maintain that speed but getting them there is a different story.

I think the HP claims for this sound a little on the light side too, but it's possible. It all depends on the aerodynamics and the length of the run. Aerodynamic drag, depending upon the shape of the object, has at least two terms: one linear and one quadratic. Depending on the shape of the object the quadratic term begins to dominate above certain speeds and the drag forces increase exponentially with increasing speed. That's why it's really hard to get a motorcycle to do 200m mph irregardless of engine size.

Hope this helps.

Martin
 

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Yep, Van. He is a snake oil salesman for sure. Give a guy a camera and if he shocks us or makes us laugh or cry, suddenly he's a genius about everything. Chalk that up America's misguided cult of the celebrity. Being in the creative field, I have a pretty good idea of how images and words can be used to distort and/or simplify a complicated issue. He is a master of all of this.



If people want to consider his point of view, fine. Just don't take it as gospel. It's certainly not that.



As for Afghanistan, it's a tough job. There will be Taliban and pro-Taliban elements there for years to come. However, to assert that the U.S. Military is not doing the job is not accurate. I think it's plainly apparent that no other military force could have accomplished what our forces have in such a short period of time. And remember we're using Afghan troops for much of the operation. And the fact that Moore could make such an uninformed proclaimation is what really irks me. He is of the Vietnam-syndrome mindset. If we continue to live by that standard, we'll be paralyzed forever. And aside from that, what would he have us do? What would it say if we fought completely by proxy--sent some other non-U.S. force to do the job and they botched it. How weak would we appear to our enemies and the rest of the world? These bastards rely on the fact that we don't have a stomach for war. Bin Laden has said it outright. Even Saddam has said it. Their strategy is always to draw us into "another Vietnam." Everyone running around saying we can't do the job plays right into that strategy.



As far as the Israeli comment, I politely told Mr. Moore outright that it was total nonsense. Know what he did? He sort of just looked at the ground and changed the subject. This is a man with an agenda. Any truth that dosen't fit into his agenda seems to be discarded.
 

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HK, the Palestinians had an independent state in 1948 as part of the original plan for the establishment of Israel. Had they accepted this arrangement, they and the Israelis could have had a very prosperous relationship. Instead, the most of the middle east attacked Israel in attempt to drive them into the ocean.



The whole issue is far too complicated to go into here, but it goes back to around the turn of the century and the original Zionists. I fear that this issue will never be worked out. There are parties on both sides who derive their power and prestige from the continuation of the conflict. The goal of the radical Palestinians is not to establish an independent Palestinian state, but to destroy Israel. Conversely, the Israelis have gotten religion too mixed up in their political system. This thing could go on forever.



I'd love to have the drink someday. It's nice to see a disscussion of politics and world events doesn't have to turn into a shouting/sloganeering match, as is the current fashion. Tell you what, though, let's get back to bikes.
 
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