Monday, October 31, 2005

Look there children a Fascist Pig!

And now for something completely different, well actually a continuation of Ugly Liberal II.
The next link sunny points to is Shots to the Heart of Iraq from Common Dreams-Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community. Well that is a non biased source. Not. I do feel with the victims of Coalition Forces violence on civilians. But let us look at scale:
U.S. officials have repeatedly declined requests to disclose the number of civilians killed in such incidents. Police in Baghdad say they have received reports that U.S. forces killed 33 unarmed civilians and injured 45 in the capital between May 1 and July 12 — an average of nearly one fatality every two days. This does not include incidents that occurred elsewhere in the country or were not reported to the police.

And from here:
Iraq Body Count, a peace group that counts casualties based on media reports, says on average 38 Iraqis a day die violently.

So 1/2 death per day vs. 38 deaths per day.
sunny's next three links are Lenin's Tomb?, here and Znet?. All three links are of little value since the first is someone who honors Lenin the second is just an unknown blog and the third is Znet has the likes of Chomsky and Ward Churchill. I have not been able to read the original article but from what the blogs are trying to say in 10,000 words is that the confidence level of 95% puts the range of excessive deaths from 8,000 to 194,000. This means that the median should be 98,000 but why did they not say 98,000 but 100k? Doesn't this show laziness? When presenting the information they gave a single number where Dr. Rummel gives a range of numbers to show that if the numbers vary by much and the percentage from low score to high score is high then the data supporting the estimate was probably not of high quality or the sample size was too small.
The second point is that yes the Lancet report does measure excess deaths vs. violent deaths, but when the information was presented and used by the left, it left out the fact as to what the deaths were derived from and thus left the impression that Coalition Forces directly caused all these deaths. And this meme has been used by the Democrats to a wide and unchallenged field. Dr. Rummel does use excess death on his democidal statistics but gives us the raw data to interpret and shows the confidence range and CI.
Stupid sunny:
... the IBC’s new dossier. It reports that 24,865 civilians died in the first two years, 20% of them women and children, with the number twice as high in year two as in year one. Further, “US-led forces killed 37% of civilian victims”, while “Anti-occupation forces/insurgents killed 9% of civilian victims”. Over half of all civilian deaths resulted from explosive devices, 64% of which were caused by air strikes – and the resistance don’t have an air force. That corroborates another aspect of Lancet, which is not only that most of the excess deaths have been caused by violence, but that the bulk of the violent deaths were caused by the occupiers.

And here:
American military officials said "damage will happen" in their effort to wrest control of some areas from insurgents. They blamed the insurgents for embedding themselves in communities, saying that's endangering innocent people.

Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, an American military spokesman, said the insurgents were living in residential areas, sometimes in homes filled with munitions.

"Anyone who hates America has come here to fight: Saddam's supporters, people who don't have jobs, other Arab fighters. All these people are on our streets," said Hamed, the ministry official. "But everyone is afraid of the Americans, not the fighters. And they should be."

Again I have not finished this thread, but next time I will discuss these links:

the Weekly Standard
IraqiBody count
IraqiBody count dosier
Common Dreams-More Iraqi Civilians Killed by US Forces Than By Insurgents, Data Shows
The Prof Who Can't Count Straight

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Note: if you can zoom the picture to 150% (Firefox) it will look great.
I hate Doonesbury! I have never found a comic of Garry Trudeau that I thought was funny or had any insight into the world. And I have tried by reading hundreds of his comics. So why did I post his comic here? He has finally made one that I can agree with!

This shows how the system can work for the US. Instead of "Zig" working souly on his job, he now has more resources at his disposal than his other competitors. He has now become a manager of a work force. If Zig was to get 5 egineers working under him then he would have increased his output by 5 times, increased his income by 333% (should have been more), increased trade with India and created 5 jobs, and India increases its consumption of US goods or agricultural products.

This will also increase productivity of US workers by the time difference. As Zig leaves his office and sends out the work load, his workers are busy producing and when he comes back he now reviews their work and starts the cycle of assigning tasks. It is as though the manager leaves his desk for a break and the work he assigned is all done and ready for him to assign more. This is similar to high capital industrial jobs that require 3 or 2 shifts to keep the production going 24 hours per day. Zig is able to shift work from day time to night and thus be ahead of his competition.

Also of note here:
Yesterday, Virginia Postrel posted and linked to several stories about a Public Policy Institute of California study on the effect of offshore outsourcing on the Californian economy. Postrel wrote, "The study found that outsourcing actually increases employment in California. Now the Assembly is sitting on the study."

And here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Globalist/India and China

Since has some interesting articles that closely relates to my interest in international economics and I have had some interest in these topics, I think it would be good to critic some of the articles of interest to myself.
The first article with link above is entitled: "India’s Global Bridging Powers". As a prominent member of the Non-aligned nations, India has tended to be suited to this role. But how does it change since the duopoly of the international playfield is changed?
“India should take advantage of this positioning. In fact, it can have a unique role as a bridging power that actively manages relations between the rich states and the poor. And this bridging role also extends to the relationship of the two countries which are currently near-obsessed with sizing each other up, the most powerful state in the world, the United States — and the most populous, China.”

But sometimes it has not looked out for its best interest.
“Essentially because India’s primary mode of exercising autonomy in the international domain has been negative.

It has often refused to participate in alignments, treaties and markets which it viewed as skewed in favor of the more powerful. In some way, it strikes me that this aloof stance could have been an extension of the Gandhian strategy of boycotts and fasts.”

Here's another area the author suggests:
“At a time when the West is embarking on a nervous and intense relationship with Islam and when Muslims feel increasingly alienated within the international order, the Indian model established in 1947 is a powerful example of how ancient religions can co-exist within a single political frame.”

Yes we do need India's help in creating moderate Muslims internationally. But after their recent bombings and continued religious striff, I can not say they are a powerful example. The US is actually a better example where IMO every religion in the world lives here peacefully.
This sounds good:
“Given the botched efforts of the U.S. to pursue domestic change abroad through military intervention, India has an opportunity to offer an alternative method to promote democracy. It can present itself as a model of building democratic states — by coming forward to assist wherever democracy is trying to take root locally, say, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Burma and Bangladesh.”

I am glad that India is not being wishy-washy when it comes to Democracy. India has always supported democracy at home so why did it?:
"The global predominance of the United States is awkward news for India, given India's historical commitment to non-alignment and the idea of a multi-polar world."

If we are to take "multi-polar" as being several actors with similar strength then yes but not multi-polar of free peoples vs unfree peoples.
And another caution:
“Few Americans realize that their biggest vulnerability is not a future terrorist attack. Rather, it is that — unlike Britain at its imperial zenith — the United States of America needs permanently to import goods, services, capital and people to sustain its own momentum and fund its insatiable consumption.”

The whole world needs to import and export (trade) to maintain the momentum in human development and well being and of course I disagree with "insatiable Consumption". My training has shown me that the world wants us to consume, that they want to export and grow their economy through this process. Hopefully I will write about this sometime later. As the world becomes more developed each country will have a specialty of its own or some unique quality to add to human development.
Now let us talk briefly about the second article: Nehru’s Vision for India and China
In the 1950s, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, inspired no doubt by anti-colonial sentiments, envisioned that India and China would come together as a unified force. He hoped for them to exemplify the idea he called "Asianism".

Understandable but:
The 1962 Border War saw Nehru's dream turn into ashes, and even as recent in time as 1998, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes' declaration that "China is India's number one threat" during India's controversial nuclear tests, seemed to put paid to Nehru's words.

But now India and China are complementing each other by India specializing in software and China in computer hardware. And:
While China has a relatively high advantage in woven textile, knit/crochet fabric and made-up textile articles export, India's advantage lies in its export of textile yarn and woven cotton fabrics.

Yes similar to what I have heard. And lastly what does the future hold:
In October 2003, Goldman Sachs released a report which predicted that within 40 years, the economies of India and China, if added to those of Brazil and Russia (the "BRICs") would be larger than that of the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France and Italy combined.

This seems obvious since the only nation that is expected to grow over the next 40 years is the US at least on present trends in demographics. Japan and Germany have actually experienced a population decline with Italy and France quickly going in this direction. As their populations age and enter into retirement, the total number of workers will decline, thus creating a strain on the system to support the retirees. Luckily in the US we have a growing population at least when we count immigration, and we do have more live births per woman than the other three countries. The US also still has the ability to attract the brightest and best from around the world. As long as we can, we should be importing (allow immigration) of a wide variety of skills and abilities.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Ugly Liberal II (How socialist see 10=60,000)

Since our last talking about sunny, he has told me to fuck off 5 times and then said this:
"I hope they kill each other ... too bad they both can't lose."
‹Nobel laureate Henry Kissinger (on the U.S. arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s)

"Do not support dictators. Do not sell them weapons."
‹Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, East Timorese peace negotiator

In a perfect world it would be nice to not sell weapons to any country, but as sunny's article pointed out it would have been bad to have hegemony over the whole gulf region by one country.
Then sunny tries to accuse the US of genocide in Cambodia?
'They're not only not imaginative but they are just running these things -- bombing jungles,'' Nixon said. ''They have got to go in there and I mean really go in.'' Mr. Kissinger then cautioned: ''The Air Force is designed to fight an air battle against the Soviet Union. They are not designed for this war.'' But the president persisted, suggesting that the bombing campaign could be disguised as an airlift of supplies.

''I want them to hit everything,'' he said. ''I want them to use the big planes, the small planes, everything they can that will help out there, and let's start giving them a little shock.'' He ended by saying, ''Right now there is a chance to win this goddamn war, and that's probably what we are going to have to do because we are not going to do anything at the conference table.'' Mr. Kissinger immediately relayed the order: ''A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.''


"Kissinger loyally transmits the order to the Pentagon to carry out "a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves." That is the most explicit call for what we call genocide when other people do it that I’ve ever seen in the historical record."

My response:
Some use genocide is such a loose definition that is incorrect. Look here.

Vietcong in Cambodia thus bombing in Cambodia. War is hell. What areas of Cambodia were bombed? What were the deaths? This was not a genocide since not all the country was bombed and only selected routes were targeted.
We do know how much Pol Pot did here.

So I was trying to correct his misunderstanding of genocide, democide, etc. If he thinks this is the most explicit example of genocide, he need to go back to school. And my second response after his first mention of me being a fascist (goose-stepping):
Such an innocuous statement to say that democide occured flies in the face of reality.
"Anything that flies" is the US forces. But then not all planes were used since the majority was used in the north or stationed in other parts of the world. "Anything that moves" is refering to any vietcong movement or transportation of weapons into South Viet Nam. So anything in this speach does not refer to everything. No intentional targeting of civilians is implied or was carried out by the bombing campaign.

I would like to point out this quote with no response from sunny:
is the face and voice of Genocide .

So he seemed to drop the Cambodia thread but does ask what "anything" means. And now on to another conspiracy, but not before:
It's interesting that you should again use the word of genocide wrongly and have just introduced the term "democide". So apart from the victory salute of "Sieg Hiel" we also get the "Heil Hitler" treatment, or should that be "Heil Rummel".

I will not bore you with the Iraqi conspiracy but just to say dribble and my response:
"Now, more than ever, the grieving father [Swadi Ghilan] says he wants to hunt down and kill not only Sunni guerrilla fighters but also Sunnis who give those fighters shelter and support. By that, he means killing most Sunnis in Iraq. ‘There are two Iraqs; it's something that we can no longer deny,' Ghilan said. ‘The army should execute the Sunnis in their neighborhoods so that all of them can see what happens, so that all of them learn their lesson.'"

Shiite Swadi Ghilan's two sons were murdered this year by Sunni insurgents.

Sunny's response:
It's also interesting that when we first crossed words on this board, you scoffed at the very suggestion that 100,000 Iraqis had been killed as per the Lancet report. Yet Rummel uses a far inferior statistical analysis method for his conclusions, which you lap up with glee.

Does the term 'having double standards' mean anything to you? Perhaps i shouldn't have used the word "anything", insert the word something instead.


Vietnam was that war where the Americans used chemical weapons wasnt it, that not only caused many civilian deaths, but also many deformities, which it still does today. Has Rummel done a calculation of how many? There was also the Napalm that burnt people, and whole villages wiped out, the old men the women and the childrn all killed by US troops.

What was it that these Vietnamese people did to America, what was the attack, what are the numbers of American towns and cities flatterned by Vietnamese bombs, the dams that were blown up, the chemical weapons of mass destruction. Has Rummel got a page somewhere on his democray peace effort covering all this?

An inquiring mind wants to know.

Sunny showed no information as to Dr. Rummels inferior statistics. I don't respond to his Viet Nam acts because no sense pointing out that the North was the agressor first and constantly violated any cease fire. The Viet cong even routed into Cambodia. But back to my response:
Let us see if we can compare the bereavement of a father that lost 2 sons with the terrorists that murdered his sons. Nope.
Again he is refering to "Sunni guerrilla fighters" and "Sunnis who give those fighters shelter and support". Thus he does not imply to kill all but only those that do the acts as well as those that support these acts. His all refers to people that turn a blind eye to the terrorists.

Sunny now uses this argument to imply that Iraqis that were killed by US forces should be hunted down and killed. No sense in arguing this point when he can not see that in a "police" state the responsibilities of the army is different and has some degree of protection from his actions. This is as long as he acts in a prudent manner. While the terrorists have no oversight or rules that must be abided by. I also never justified the fathers intent to harm others only that his feelings are justified. We also had an ongoing argument that Dr. Rummel has numbers of deaths that were inflicted by the US in Viet Nam War. I believe there was some numbers on the page I linked to but did not read the whole text for looking for this. Sunny responds by bringing up the Korean War and the atrocities the US committed. Again no sense to argue about the fact that the North started the war! But he does finally brng up some hard information in all the BS:
... the IBC’s new dossier. It reports that 24,865 civilians died in the first two years, 20% of them women and children, with the number twice as high in year two as in year one. Further, “US-led forces killed 37% of civilian victims”, while “Anti-occupation forces/insurgents killed 9% of civilian victims”. Over half of all civilian deaths resulted from explosive devices, 64% of which were caused by air strikes – and the resistance don’t have an air force. That corroborates another aspect of Lancet, which is not only that most of the excess deaths have been caused by violence, but that the bulk of the violent deaths were caused by the occupiers.

I have not had a chance to respond to this since the links were so long and boring. Znet has no value to me since it also has Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill. I also start looking at prior posts and started looking at fascism .
So again I will get back to these numbers.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The new liberal imperialism

When the above link to the article appeared on this blog, I thought my socialist friend (sunny) had pointed to another article blaming the US for all the problems in the world.
Let me get to his conclusions of two forms of postmodern imperialism:
Postmodern imperialism takes two forms. First there is the voluntary imperialism of the global economy...If states wish to benefit, they must open themselves up to the interference of international organisations and foreign states (just as, for different reasons, the postmodern world has also opened itself up.)

So nations have a choice to make in pursueing changes or not. After taking my class in Less Developed Countries Financing, I can see that some of the international organizations (including aid organizations) have caused more problems than they helped. But promoting liberal democracies in the these countries needs to be a priority. It does no good to the very poor to give aid to a totalitarian country that squanders and uses the aid for political gains.
The second form of postmodern imperialism might be called the imperialism of neighbours...The response has been to create something like a voluntary UN protectorate in Bosnia and Kosovo.

This suprises me that my socialist friend pointed this article out since he has stated the Yugoslavia Was was avoidable.
In a further unprecedented move, the EU has offered unilateral free-market access to all the countries of the former Yugoslavia for all products including most agricultural produce.

Oooh, one way free trade imperialism!
While you are a candidate for EU membership you have to accept what is given - a whole mass of laws and regulations - as subject countries once did. But the prize is that once you are inside you will have a voice in the commonwealth. If this process is a kind of voluntary imperialism, the end state might be describes as a cooperative empire. 'Commonwealth' might indeed not be a bad name.

My second point I want to make is the avoidance by the author to talk about liberal democracy and how these theories are creating a new world with less violence.
The basic fact is that Western European countries no longer want to fight each other. NATO and the EU have, nevertheless, played an important role in reinforcing and sustaining this position. NATO's most valuable contribution has been the openness it has created.

Yes openess that is created through liberal democracies!
The USA is the more doubtful case since it is not clear that the US government or Congress accepts either the necessity or desirability of interdependence, or its corollaries of openness, mutual surveillance and mutual interference, to the same extent as most European governments now do.

I would disagree with this. One way to see this is we allow more immigration into the US than Europe and we tend to be the free trade supporters. And:
In the prolonged period of peace in Europe, there has been a temptation to neglect our defences, both physical and psychological. This represents one of the great dangers of the postmodern state.

While I don't believe this is a great danger, it does show that liberal democracies can trust each other. Going back to the US case, you can see that US-Canada border supports the contention that we are open. Especially considering this is the longest unguarded border in the history of the world (between two liberal democracies). Even our border between US-Mexico has at best a light amount of military protection.
In the 1950s, South Korea had a lower GNP per head than Zambia: the one has achieved membership of the global economy, the other has not.

I wonder if this might be liberal democracy? Zambia has an average freedom score of 4.4 (Partial Free) and South Korea of 2.8 (Just over free)(I know, just averaging over the recorded period and for the two scores). But the most recent year of South Korea (1,2) and Zambia (4,4).
To become involved in a zone of chaos is risky; if the intervention is prolonged it may become unsustainable in public opinion; if the intervention is unsuccessful it may be damaging to the government that ordered it. But the risks of letting countries rot, as the West did Afghanistan, may be even greater.

Yes I agree. But not with this:
Examples of total collapse are relatively rare, but the number of countries at risk grows all the time.

So let me leave you with the fact that liberal democracies have grown honest, and how the author states it:
The fundamental point is that "the world's grown honest". A large number of the most powerful states no longer want to fight or conquer. It is this that gives rise to both the pre-modern and postmodern worlds.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Explaining economics to the crazies that come up with crazy ideas.

The above link has the conversation in entirety but let me start with the fable of the eggs and microeconomics outcomes (by handy77):
A man eats two eggs each morning for breakfast.
When he goes to the grocery store he pays .60 cents a dozen. Since a
dozen eggs won't last a week he normally buys two dozens at a time.
One day while buying eggs he notices that the price has risen to 72 cents. The next time he buys groceries, eggs are .76
cents a dozen. When asked to explain the price of eggs the store owner says,
"The price has gone up and I have to raise my price accordingly".
The store buys 100 dozen eggs a day. I checked
around for a better price and all the distributors have raised their prices.
The distributors have begun to buy from the huge egg farms. The small egg farms have been driven out of business.

The huge egg farms sell 100,000 dozen eggs a day
to distributors. With no
competition, they can set the price as they see fit.
The distributors
then have to raise their prices to the grocery stores and
on and on and on. As the man kept buying eggs the price kept going up.
He saw the big egg trucks delivering 100 dozen eggs each day.
Nothing changed there.w
He checked out the huge egg farms and found they
were selling 100,000
dozen eggs to the distributors daily. Nothing had
changed but the price
of eggs.
Then week before Thanksgiving the price of eggs shot
up to $1.00 a dozen, Again he asked the grocery owner why and was told,
"Cakes and baking for
the holiday". The huge egg
farmers know there will be a lot of baking going on and more eggs will be used. Hence, the
price of eggs goes up. Expect the same thing at Christmas and other times
when family cooking and baking happens.
This pattern continues until the price of eggs is
2.00 a dozen. The man says,"There must be something we can do about the
price of eggs". He starts talking to all the people in his town and
they decide to stop buying eggs. This didn't work because everyone
needed eggs. Finally, the man suggested only buying what you need.
He ate 2 eggs a day. On the way home from work he
would stop at the grocery and buy two eggs. Everyone in town started
buying 2 or 3 eggs a day.
The grocery store owner began complaining that he
had too many eggs in his cooler. He told the distributor that he didn't
need any eggs. Maybe wouldn't need any all week.
The distributor had eggs piling up at his
warehouse. He told the huge egg farms that he didn't have any room for eggs would
not need any for at least two weeks.
At the egg farm, the chickens just kept on laying
To relieve the pressure, the huge egg farm told the
distributor that
they could buy the eggs at a lower price. The distributor
said, " I don't have the room for the %$&^*&% eggs even if they were
The distributor told the grocery store owner that he
would lower the price of the eggs if the store would start buying again.
The grocery store owner said, "I don't have room for more eggs. The
customers are only buy 2 or 3 eggs at a time". "Now if you were to drop the
price of eggs back down to the original price, the customers would start
buying by the dozen again".
The distributors sent that proposal to the huge
egg farmers. They liked the price they were getting for their eggs but,
those chickens just kept on laying.
Finally, the egg farmers lowered the price of
their eggs. But only a few cents. The customers still bought 2 or 3 eggs at a
time. They said, "When the price of eggs gets down to where it was
before, we will start buying by the dozen."
Slowly the price of eggs started dropping. The
distributors had to slash their prices to make room for the eggs coming from
the egg farmers. The egg farmers cut their prices because the
distributors wouldn't buy at a higher price than they were selling eggs for.
Anyway, they had full warehouses and wouldn't need eggs for quite a
And those chickens kept on laying.
Eventually, the egg farmers cut their prices
because they were throwing away eggs they couldn't sell. The distributors
started buying again because the eggs were priced to where the stores
could afford to sell them at the lower price. And the customers starting
buying by the dozen again.

Now, transpose this analogy to the gasoline industry.
What if everyone only bought $10.00 worth of gas each time they
pulled to the pump? The dealer's tanks would stay semi full all the time.
The dealers wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the huge tank
farms. The tank farms wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the
refining plants. And the refining plants wouldn't have room for the oil
being off loaded from the huge tankers coming from the Middle East.
Just $10.00 each time you buy gas. Don't fill it
up. You may have to stop for gas twice a week but, the price should come
Think about it.
As an added note...
When I buy $15.00 worth of gas which leaves my tank
a little under half full. The way prices are jumping around, you can buy
gas for $3.15 a
gallon and then the next morning it can be $3.05. If
you have your tank
full of $3.15 gas you don't have room for the $3.05
gas. You might not
understand the economics of only buying two eggs at
a time but, you
can't buy cheaper gas if your tank is full of the high
priced stuff.
Also, don't buy anything else at the gas station;
don't give them any
more of your hard earned money than what you spend on
gas, until the prices come down...

Interesting fable, if you don't mind me saying so.
But let me explain some microeconomic ways of looking at this small issue.

While robert is correct that total consumption has not changed (Everyone is still consuming 2 eggs per day), inventory levels have changed and will indicate to the parties that business plans need to be changed. Let us count the inventory as of 12:01 am. The consumers inventory levels before was 24+22+20+18+16+14+12+10+8+6+4+2=156/12days=13 and then the process repeats. Now he averages 2 for each day as before it was 13. The extra 11 eggs he now holds on average becomes excess inventory for the grocer times the number of consumers. If the market feels this is a downtrend and does not reorder the distributors would also cut back ordering and thus the farmer now has a shock to the sales. Hopefully he will not panic and keep production up knowing that the consumers are still eating 2 eggs per day.

Now comes the tricky part, what will the distributor and grocer do? The grocer now has a higher transaction cost and packaging cost. This is derived from more clerks and repacking into 2 egg carton packages. This will result in higher per egg costs for the consumer and thusly not be any better off.

And Howard you are right that we often forget the transaction costs for the consumers. Every time the consumer goes back to the store he spends time that could be better spent with family or on his interests.

The story has the assumption that the farmer is a monopolist and can charge any rate he so desires (ie from starting at $0.60 to $2.00 per dozen). But any monopolist wants to charge the highest in the long run that will maintain his monopolistic rent and still keep competitors as well as substitute goods out of the market. In this scenario he could maintain his monopoly for the short term but other farmers seeing him making a killing would enter the market. Or consumers would switch to Captain Crunch (Sawdust). Or consumers would raise chickens themselves. Here is an example of less than $50 dollars to get started.

Ren, as you have pointed out not all lowering of consumption leads to a lowering of prices. As in the case of sewars where the fixed costs of production is high and marginal costs rise slowly with each additional unit of production or output. The graph on the marginal costs at Wiki also shows that if prodution is low then the per unit costs will increase. This is one reason that rural gas tends to cost more than urban gas. The costs to set up and maintain the station would be close between locations but the rural location would not have as much sales or production and thus fixed costs are higher on per unit basis of output.

So now let us move on to the issues of filling up gas tank. Since I think very few of us follow the gas markets well enough to bet on what direction the gas is going to go on a day or week, then market timing is probably not a factor in deciding when to fill up. Being concerned about the environment then your method of filling up is not good advice, handy. The best process I believe is to fill but not top off when the level is 1/2 or slightly less in the tank. As the tank is low the volume in the tank is filled up with air of "evaporative emmissions" and thus more is released into the air with low tank levels. But filling up the vehicle more times on a daily basis will also open the cap more often and increase again the evaporative emmissions. Some other good advice from here.
Lastly, before I have a nice healthy granola bar and a hot cup of coffee be sure to look at Urban Lengends: Pain in the Gas.

Another Political Quiz:

For each statement, record whether you agree with the statement or not. Answer yes or no and try to limit the number of responses in the maybe/not sure category.

1. We demand equality of rights for US citizens in respect to the other nations.
2. The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen.
3. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.
4. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented.
5. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
6. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically.
7. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all.
8. Breaking of rent-slavery.
9. Abolition of unearned incomes. Or at least tax it at a higher rate.
10. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
11. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people.
12. We demand the nationalization of all monopolistic industries (trusts).
13. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries (Permanent fund dividend-AK).
14. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
15. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation.
16. Immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, with the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest.
19. We demand substitution of a US common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program.
21. Enable every capable and industrious US citizen to obtain higher education.
22. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
23. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the US citizens.
25. It combats the materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.
26. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power.

Please respond to my poll (Y,N and M) and I will give results next week.

PS (1-9-07):
Anonymous said...

So you take the early doctrine of the Nazi party remove all the racial comments which were an intergral part of it and try to trick liberals and claim they are nazis. Nice try...

If you remove all the racial comments then it becomes an entirely different doctrine, as race was an intergrel part of the nationalist socialist ideology. Seems you are too stupid to understand that.

For example "citizens" in that document is refering to people of German blood only. A fact that you have completly washed over by manipulating it and changing the original document. Goebells himself would be proud of ya.

For the real document not the deceptive one put up by this blogger see:

I wonder if people realize that if you criticize something, putting your name on the line means something, instead of remaining Anonymous.
It may seem unfair to you to not include the racist aspects of Fascism, but the point was that the points could be both conservative or liberal ideas at least in the USA.

No, it is not totally different doctrines, it only is not emphasizing one aspect of it. Communism has been racist for most all experiments of it, but no one states that as a doctrine of it {At least that I know of.}.

Anyway, if Anti wants to actually discuss this stuff, then I would be open to it.

On the positive side, you should look at the results at Results of Fascist Poll before judging or thinking that your liberal friends fell for my questionnaire.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Political Left-Right and where are the Fascist?

One of the purposes of my blog is to explore and search out new ideas (at least to myself). Recently I seem to be seeing a lot of attention to "Fascism". At the above link sunny accused me of being a Fascist indirectly. Now in his defence I called him a communist (on this blog) and he has not responded. His links to Lenin's Tomb seems to explain it all. We should all honor a man that killed around 4 million of his own people. Not! Even if we are to claim 100,000 dealths then the US would need 100 years to kill 4 million. But since this has brought up some interesting intersections, I thought I would discuss "Fascism" and the left-right divide.

So first let me start with definitions:
1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.

n : a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)

I believe in free markets with well defined property rights, decentralized government controls that follows all the principles of a liberal democracy and decry racism and belligerent nationalism. Well it sounds like I do not meet any of the Fascist principles. Let us look further into these issues.

Let me start with Dr. Rummels views in Hitler was a Socialist:
What is socialism? It is a politico-economic philosophy that believes government must direct all major economic decisions by command, and thus all the means of production for the greater good, however defined. There are three major divisions of socialism, all antagonistic to each other. One is democratic socialism, that places the emphasis on democratic means, but then government is a tool for improving welfare and equality. A second division is Marxist-Leninism, which based on a "scientific theory" of dialectical materialism, sees the necessity of a dictatorship ("of the proletariat") to create a classless society and universal equality. Then, there is the third division, or state socialism. This is non or anti-Marxist dictatorship that aims at near absolute economic control for the purpose of economic development and national power, all construed to benefit the people.

Mussolini's fascism was a state socialism that was explicitly anti-Marx and aggressively nationalistic. Hitler's National Socialism was state socialism at its worse. It not only shared the socialism of fascism, but was explicitly racist. In this it differs from the state socialism of Burma today, and that of some African and Arab dictatorships.

Also note that Nazi party never won popular support here:
Communists 4.8 million votes
Social Democrats 7.2 million votes
Centre party 5.5 million votes
Nationalists 3.1 million votes
Other parties 1.4 million votes
Nazis 17.3 million votes

To be clear, National Socialism differs from Marxism in its nationalism, emphasis on folk history and culture, idolization of the leader, and its racism. But the Nazi and Marxist-Leninists shared a faith in government, an absolute ruler, totalitarian control over all significant economic and social matters for the good of the working man, concentration camps, and genocide/democide as an effective government policy (only in his last years did Stalin plan for his own Holocaust of the Jews).

Mein Kampf, Chapter 4:
If the National Socialist Movement should fail to understand the fundamental importance of this essential principle, if it should merely varnish the external appearance of the present State and adopt the majority principle, it would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason it would not have the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social programme of the movement consisted in eliminating personality and putting the multitude in its place, then National Socialism would be corrupted with the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois parties are.

This appears Socialist and leaning to Marxism. And from Gregor Strasser, a National Socialist theologian states:
We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak ... and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.

Doesn't look like Socialist like the capatalist system. And:
There are two patterns for the realization of socialism. The first pattern (we may call it the Lenin or Russian pattern) . . . . the second pattern (we may call it the Hindenburg or German Pattern) nominally and seemingly preserves private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary markets, prices, wages, and interest rates. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs, but only shop managers ... bound to obey unconditionally the orders issued by government.

By Steve Kanga Myth:Hitler was a Leftist...
Many conservatives accuse Hitler of being a leftist, on the grounds that his party was named "National Socialist." But socialism requires worker ownership and control of the means of production. In Nazi Germany, private capitalist individuals owned the means of production, and they in turn were frequently controlled by the Nazi party and state. True socialism does not advocate such economic dictatorship -- it can only be democratic. Hitler's other political beliefs place him almost always on the far right. He advocated racism over racial tolerance, eugenics over freedom of reproduction, merit over equality, competition over cooperation, power politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy, capitalism over Marxism, realism over idealism, nationalism over internationalism, exclusiveness over inclusiveness, common sense over theory or science, pragmatism over principle, and even held friendly relations with the Church, even though he was an atheist.

We will get back to this later.

Let me see what Wikipedia has to say aboutFascism:
Fascism was typified by attempts to impose state control over all aspects of life. The definitional debates and arguments by academics over the nature of fascism, however, fill entire bookshelves. There are clearly elements of both left and right ideology in the development of Fascism.

Being a conservative, I do not believe in strong state control.

The US ,or world, political spectrum is represented as a simplistic line as in Left-Right Politics:
George Orwell once argued that the difficulty in classifying Left versus Right is due in part to the propensity for nascent factions of an ideology to be disavowed and labeled as being on the opposing side of the left-right divide by their erstwhile comrades - or they may so choose to label themselves to highlight their disagreement. This results in incremental or evolutionary doctrinal distinctions being placed in opposition in the popular perception of the left-right political spectrum.

My first political science instructor stated that the straight line was not sophisticated enough and he drew a circle with a small gap on the bottom. He said as politics went to the extreme left and right end up being closer to each other than the centrists. I believe that the closest were anarchists and communists.
For a start, Communism was never a social system at all, but a political MOVEMENT. There is a social system called ‘communism’, which literally means people living in communes (barracks), with no private ownership of property, no government, and everything shared out on the principle ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their need’.

So now that I have concluded our political spectrum can not be analyzed by a line then what other model can we think of to explain the differences in political groups. A good place to start is Political Spectrum. The first chart is Nolan Chart. I like this because it shows that Liberatarians strive for more economic and personal freedoms. But this also places Fascist and Communist in the same lower left corner, so maybe too simplistic. But try the test anyway.

And now for something completely different...Take the test. This might be the best model but what do you think?

Next model is Pournelle. While I like the statism as an axis in "state as ultimate evil" and "state worship", but I see that Fascism and Naxisism as having rationalism also. All political groups want to portray themselves as not "irrational" but as "reason entroned".

The next model is Friesian Political Spectrum. It starts with the Nolan Chart and then makes it 3d with Z axis being liberty value. How about another test? I will try to study this later.

And lastly this chart is interesting. This seems to imply that we are more likely to get along with others in our group. But some international bonds are formed when both parties are willing to spend the social and political energy to get past cultural divides. Because I see the relationship of Japan and the US to be under this mutual cooperation, even though Japan is Confucian and the US is English Speaking.

I don't expect this to explain all aspects of fascism but at least get a primer started on thinking of how political parties in the US and the world should be analyzed in relationship to each other. One of my philosphies is that people or to a broader sense groups should be allowed to express themselves in their own words and not imposed by outside groups that want to disparage such groups in hyperbolic political attacks.

Progressivism is not dead! (But it's on life support ...)


Friday, October 21, 2005

The Ugly Liberal

I don't know if I blogged about a communist I meet on Thom Hartman's blog. The above link is what I will be refering to.

Since I do not know all the facts of these acts: Film rolls as troops burn dead and Taliban corpses 'used' for propaganda, I will avoid condemning their actions. One piece of information was that the bodies were not claimed for 48 hours and needed to be disposed of by burning. I am confident that if wrongdoing was done then we will prosecute the guilty. This is unlike the kidnappers of Rory Carroll.

The US defeated the Taliban a few years ago, apparently, with a massive Aerial Bombing campaign. [ First US ground mission a failure: 10/22/01 Times of India: "The first US ground mission inside the Taliban-held Afghanistan on Saturday was a failure ... reports that appeared out of Israel, Russia, and India ... the only audience being left in the dark was the US public …]
The US formally announcing the defeat of the Taliban back in Jan 2002, a kind of "Mission Accomplished".

Its been a great success, so ive heard.

Yes when you are in a war all kinds of force is used. No time in history have we spent more resources to kill so few (enemies) while spending so much to avoid collateral damages. He had to go back 4 years to try and find a defeat from AfroCubaWeb.

Of course communist can not be bothered to read the text or even understand the reasons:
The statement is a technical amendment to a presidential order which imposed sanctions against the regime.

The order, issued by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, had covered restrictions on property and transactions within the " territory of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban."

Armitage's statement means that the above description in the order was no longer valid.

The judgment was made despite the fact the U.S. troops are still hunting down remnants of the Taliban, including its leader Mohammad Omar.

So for the US to rescind the sanctions imposed by Clinton, Bush had to make these changes. sunny makes a good liberal if nothing else. Liberals like to be on both sides of one fence. Condemn the actions if Bush did as he did or condemn when he does not raise the sanctions. And just as the liberals said that large percentages of the Afghan population was going to die the first year, there would be nashing of teeth if the restrictions were not removed.
And after the fraudulent Afghan election just gone, its been just that, for some. Rights body warns of warlords' success in elections

"More than 80 percent of winning candidates in provinces and more than 60 percent in the capital Kabul have links to armed groups," AIHRC deputy chairman Ahmad Fahim Hakim said on Monday, adding some were notorious warlords.

Of course communist can not read:
However, it said there was no indication of any systemic problem or orchestrated attempts to defraud the entire election and added that the irregularities did not seem to have significantly affected the legitimacy of the results.

And we are talking warlords that Afghans openly prefered the Taliban to. Hence the Talibs meteoric rise to power.

Successful production of heroin has never been so high - warlords you see.

Believing in Democratic Peace means to me that whatever people want is what they get as long as they can vote the bums out if later they change their minds. And I am sorry but I say let us decrimilize drugs and I would assume that sunny believes this also. I am worried about the corruption of the drug trade but also want them to have productive crops to raise their standard of living that will also make democracy more likely to survive.
Could things get any better? Well ...

Rice Wants to Follow Afghan Model in Iraq.

No worries, cuz apparently.

Afghanistan, Iraq among most corrupt countries in world

Iraq vote counts 'point to fraud'

I am not sure what plan would be better for Iraq, but no communist need to explain what plan would be good in this situation (of course I could suggest Cambodia). The corruption is a concern and I would like to look at the database just as Dr. Rummel plans to do. I would like to see trends and to see what factors make a negative score like is terrorism considered corruption? Is the kidnapping and ransom part of the corruption they are calculating? As far as fraud, at least they are looking at the results to see if they can correct any of the problems. We can always compare it to the communist "democracies" like China, Cuba etc.
Recent Taliban successes include.
RAF Harrier was destroyed and another has been damaged in a rocket attack
A blast destroyed eight fuel tankers Friday outside the U.S.-led coalition's main base in southern Afghanistan
Ex-Taliban Governor Wins Afghan Legislative Post
"A former Taliban governor who oversaw the widely condemned destruction of two massive Buddha statues has won a post as a lawmaker in the Afghan national parliament."

Taliban kill three Afghans for spying for US troops
I was thinking of adding something about the bombing of Kosovo/Serbia. But then this popped up, "America's Road to Bali."

What a communist $%##%^&&@!! to say that these are successes when US troops are killed. The last link above is the most telling that he links to a person that had to decide between a name of Lenin (choose Lenin's Tomb) or Trotsky.

More evil empire news...
Guardian journalist abducted in Baghdad
The Guardian's Iraq correspondent, Rory Carroll, was last night missing after being kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad. Carroll, 33, an experienced foreign correspondent, had been conducting an interview in the city with a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime. He had been preparing an article for today's paper on the opening of the former dictator's trial yesterday.

That should teach all journalists not to look for the truth about Saddam's repression! He should have already known that all evil derives from the US, ooops that is US/UK.
Well even an enemy of my enemy is still not my friend.

Ha ha.

Rory Carroll, 33, was "safe and well" and was in the Iraqi capital's Green Zone, the Guardian's foreign desk said.

Kidnapped reporter freed in Iraq

Rory Carroll (Guardian handout/PA)
Guardian reporter Rory Carroll has been in Iraq for nine months


So this critic of the US-led occupation, a rare reporter in Iraq, was prevented from covering the occupations sham court appearance of Saddam Hussien!

Well actually I am glad he is safe. But my comrade is a complete moron. Carroll was not covering the "sham court".
Mr Carroll had been in Baghdad with two drivers and an interpreter to interview a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime when he was kidnapped, the Guardian said.

I wonder where Amnesty International is now...
Carroll described his captors as Shia opportunists. He said he had been treated well "apart from a bit of initial roughness", the paper said.

And wheres the video?:
"They stripped me of all my own clothes and dressed me in old clothes."

He said he had been handcuffed and held in a room beneath a house for 36 hours.

"It was a darkened room, a concrete passageway beneath the ground floor. I only had a rug and pillow. They allowed me out twice for food."

He told the paper his captors were Shia.

Oh my God, we need to get those kidnappers out of Iraq! Where's the protesters when you need them? I think I would rather be in Guantanamo. There I would get 3 meals with a cot and clean clothes with reading times and prayer times.

"At one point I was told I would be used as a bargaining chip in exchange for al-Sadr people taken in Basra. My fear was that I would be sold on to the Sunni or Islamist groups," he said.

Ooops, he knew that his life was in the balance and any decision could lead to his loosing 15 lbs of ugly fat (his head).

So in conclusion sunny is a complete idiot. He doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good conspiracy or a chance to show the US as an evil empire.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thanks for the Comments on Hispaniola

Thank you Dr. Rummel for commenting on my blog and I agree completely with your answer.
And thank you Hank, but I do want to explore some of the points you brought up from your post:


As I remember my Latin American history. Haiti was a slave colony in the worst sense, as if there good sense. There was no effort to develop any local leadership by the French, with independence virtually every one who know how to manage anything larger than a small plantation left. You had a country with no leadership cadre, no traditions of political process, and close to 100% illiteracy. Really, a checklist of everything to make a country fail.

The DR was not without its problems but there was a local leadership cadre with some political tradition and at least some of the assets necessary to develop the country.

The difference shows.

One of my main points is that after 200 years the Haitians can no longer blame the past history with French. The Haitians some how had enough leadership (more than likely bad) to control and occupy Dominican Republic (DR) for 22 years from 1822 to 1844. Throughout this I am using the above link for history of Haiti.

But going back to the excuse of slavery and exploitation of the colonizers then let us look at Belize.
Belize, like other British colonies, lasted as a slave society until 1838, when slaves were emancipated throughout the British empire.

Taken from A History of Belize. Which from reading this passage, it shows it was even more brutal than the Hispaniola experiences that ended in 1804. Note: that also Belize was heavily "exploited" with the timber and slave trading.
Let us look at the numbers:
Freedom House average rating:
Belize: 1.2
Haiti-: 5.7
GDP per capita:
Belize: $6500
Haiti-: $1500
Land Area:
Belize: 22,966 sq km
Haiti-: 27,750 sq km
Belize: 279,457
Haiti-: 8,121,622
Arable land %:
Belize: 2.85%
Haiti-: 28.3%
Arable sq km:
Belize: 654.531
Haiti-: 7853.25
Belize: 427
Haiti-: 1034
From CIA-Belize.
Well not all theories pan out but it is remarkable that Belize has less than 3% of land area is arable. Obviously if the two countries only relied on their arable land for sustenance then Belize would be in better shape. But if density was the primary factor in environmental degradation then we would assume that Singapore would be in much worse condition than Haiti.

In the short article that Jared Diamond wrote One Island, Two Worlds, he did not discuss the:
1915-1934: U.S. Occupation

Main article: United States occupation of Haiti (1915-1934)

From July 28, 1915 until mid-August 1934, Haiti was under the occupation of the U.S. Marine Corps, effectively making Haiti a colony in all but name. Efforts were made to improve Haiti's infrastructure and education systems in particular, but because of the imposed nature of these reforms, with little regard for Haitian customs or traditions, these generally were not well-received nor especially effective.

From my perception the US has always tried to promote education in Latin America even if just to export our education services and advance our own economic interests.
Lastly USAid seems positive about Haiti's prospect. We can only hope that their elections result in a liberal democracy being formed.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

One Island, Two Worlds/Hispaniola

If you had been reading my blog, you would know that Democratic Peace is an idea I support. But like any posit, it needs to be explored and examined. It is good to be skeptical of any theory that purports to explain the reasons for war, democide and even famine.

I ran across the above article lately and commented on Dr. Rummel's site at Americans Don't Believe in the Democratic Peace. Now I would like to expand some of my analysis (ok back of napkins analysis). After reading the article I then realized he was the same person that many free market environmentalist criticize and that I had seen his lecture on a local access channel.

Let us start with his first reason that environmental degradation is much higher in Haiti than the Dominican Republic:

Part of the answer involves environmental differences. Hispaniola’s rains come mainly from the east. Hence the Dominican (eastern) part of the island receives more rain and thus supports higher rates of plant growth.

Hispaniola’s highest mountains (over 10,000 feet high) are on the Dominican side and the rivers from those high mountains mainly flow eastwards into the Dominican side.

The Dominican side has broad valleys, plains and plateaus and much thicker soils. In particular, the Cibao Valley in the north is one of the richest agricultural areas in the world.

Yes the rain comes mainly from the east but how does this have any bearing on rainfall? A lot more factors come into play here. One is the fact that the mountain ranges line up east west and thus the rivers run north-south directions more than east-west directions. If there was a blocking mountain range such as the Pacific Northwest has then maybe I could understand there being a rain shadow effect.

It is hard to get a definitive answer to the exact amount of usable rainfall but let me break down some numbers.

Highest point:-DR--- Pico Duarte 3,175 m
---------------Haiti Chaine de la Selle 2,680 m
Land Area:-----DR--- 48,730 sq km
---------------Haiti 27,560 sq km
Population:----DR--- 8,950,034
---------------Haiti 8,121,622
Arable land %:-DR--- 22.65%
---------------Haiti 28.3%
Arable sq km:--DR--- 11037 sq km
---------------Haiti 7799 sq km
Persons/arable:DR--- 810.9
---------------Haiti 1041.5
Density:-------DR--- 181/km²
---------------Haiti 271/km²
Coastline:-----DR--- 1,288 km
---------------Haiti 1,771 km
All information from CIA-The World Fact Book at Dominican Republic and Haiti.

By looking at the graphs at Monthly Weather Review
I see that DR has 2 locations over 100 inches of rainfall per year and Haiti has 3 but smaller areas. And while I will conclude that there is more rainfall in the DR side, the differences are not significant considering that it is more important what you do with what you got more than what you have to start with. While the CIA states that DR has water shortages as its main environmental issue, but it has done much on water management including building of dams.

Since the wind patterns go easterly so do hurricanes! Which means Dominican Republic has to bear more of the adverse weather, and thusly the damages environmentally.

His points are so good he has to repeat them again:

In contrast, the Haitian side is drier because of that barrier of high mountains blocking rains from the east.

Compared to the Dominican Republic — a higher percentage of Haiti’s area is mountainous — the area of flat land good for intensive agriculture is much smaller. There is more limestone terrain and the soils are thinner and less fertile and have a lower capacity for recovery.

I already talked about the barrier being only in his mind. Then why did agriculture become more developed in the Haitian side? Arable land is smaller on the Haiti side, but as the numbers show the per person arable land is only 28% greater on the Haitian side.

Now back to the reasons by Diamond:
Note the paradox. The Haitian side of the island was less well endowed environmentally but developed a rich agricultural economy before the Dominican side. The explanation of this paradox is that Haiti’s burst of agricultural wealth came at the expense of its environmental capital of forests and soils.
This lesson — in effect, that an impressive-looking bank account may conceal a negative cash flow.

While yes this makes sense, but what could have corected these problems; maybe a Liberal Democracy and maybe well defined property right could help?
Here comes the French!
One of those social and political differences involved the accident that Haiti was a colony of rich France and became the most valuable colony in France’s overseas empire. The Dominican Republic was a colony of Spain, which by the late 1500s was neglecting Hispaniola and was in economic and political to decline itself.

Hence France could and chose to invest in developing intensive slave-based plantation agriculture in Haiti, which the Spanish could not or chose not to develop in their side of the island. France imported far more slaves into its colony than did Spain.

So let me get this straight economic and political decline will improve the environment. So today Haiti is in this condition and it thus must be in environmental euphoria. Not! At some time in 200 years since independence (from France 1804), Haiti could have changed directions it seems.
I too love to blame the French for all the problems but at some time 200 years ago these slaves became free and then had choices on how to create a government. Did the French make these choices? Was it that slaves could not govern themselves? Is he assuming that any slave-based plantation agriculture results in environmental degradation? As far as I know the south and the Deep South did not sufer the environmental damages that other parts of the country has (ie dustbowl, toxic Great Lakes, etc).

Back to Diamond:
As a result, Haiti had a population seven times higher than its neighbor during colonial times — and it still has a somewhat larger population today — about 10 million versus 8.8 million.

So again we need to look back 200 years for his theory to hold any water. And his numbers are not even close to factual! DR 9 million Haiti 8 million

But Haiti’s area is only slightly more than half of that of the Dominican Republic so that Haiti with a larger population and smaller area has double the Republic’s population density.

Wrong again, DR has density of 181/km² and Haiti has 271/km² according to DR and Haiti thusly a population density of less than 50% higher. A more important indicator I mentioned earlier is density for each sq km of arable land thusly 28% more people have to derive food from available land and not twice as Diamond implies.
We can also look at coastlines as opportunities in harvesting from the sea. Haiti has 37.5% more coastline and a well protected inner bay. Estuaries and bays are said to be the most productive locations in the world. While this short blog can not delve too much into this, it would be easy to imagine that this resource has not been exploited to its full extent.

Damn them French:
In addition, all of those French ships that brought slaves to Haiti returned to Europe with cargos of Haitian timber, so that Haiti’s lowlands and mid- mountain slopes had been largely stripped of timber by the mid-19th century.

So let me calculate mid-19th century to beginning of 21st century is 150 years. Coincidentally the same amount of time for a forest in the east coast to become an old growth timber forest. This would be the same logic that 9-11 was the result of the crusades.

Those damn western racists!:
A second social and political factor is that the Dominican Republic — with its Spanish-speaking population of predominantly European ancestry — was both more receptive and more attractive to European immigrants and investors than was Haiti with its Creole-speaking population composed overwhelmingly of black former slaves.

Hence European immigration and investment were negligible and restricted by the constitution in Haiti after 1804 but eventually became important in the Dominican Republic.

The title says it all, but then why did Haiti try harder and not less than DR? A friend of mine said that during the early 70's he went to Haiti to help with resort building and casinos. Haiti backed away from every offer and as history has shown the DR's were more than happy to get western investment that Haiti passed up.
If Western Countries were strictly basing decisions of racism, then why is Jamaica per capita GNP nearly 3 times more at $4100 vs. $1500 for Haiti? All three countries have a minority of whites with DR having 73% of mixed race and per capita GNP of $6300. I would also like to mention that Jamaica has been a free country by Freedom House ratings for the past 32 years.
Diamond does not mention it but one important factor to look at is that "wealthier makes healthier". As people have more money to spend they spend more on their health as well as the health of the environment.

Damn slave owning land!:
Still another social difference contributing to the different economies is that — as a legacy of their country’s slave history and slave revolt — most Haitians owned their own land, used it to feed themselves and received no help from their government in developing cash crops for trade with over seas European countries.

The Dominican Republic, however, eventually did develop an export economy and overseas trade.

Damn it, the proletariat owning their means of production. What will happen to the world? Didn't the slaves know that a centralized controlled government was better? Or maybe if they did not have a liberal democratic form of government to explore as a group the direction they wanted the country to go.

Again, Damn them French!!!:
Haiti’s elite identified strongly with France rather than with their own landscape, did not acquire land or develop commercial agriculture and sought mainly to extract wealth from the peasants.

So the elite did not own the means of production, which should mean that the peasant farmers had the upper hand and could through a liberal democracy, say what the resources are to be used for. Even the free market would dictate that farmers would change the production away from commodities that did not earn an amount equal to the economic profit in the long run. How could the elite extract wealth with no export market and just a domestic market. The elite would either be the government exploiting through the use of the police state or were the merchants that facilitated the transactions. But the merchant in a free market would easily be pushed out of the market if his economic rent was too high.

Almost there but not quit:
Finally, Haiti’s problems of deforestation and poverty compared to those of the Dominican Republic have become compounded within the last 40 years.

Diamond has almost started thinking about what has been so different in the past 40 years. Maybe it has been freedom in DR and none in Haiti? We can only hope that maybe some day he can think of other factors as to why the environment is degraded in some locations and is healthy in others.

Damn those Dams:
Because the Dominican Republic retained much forest cover and began to industrialize, the Trujillo regime initially planned, and the regimes Balaguer and subsequent presidents constructed, dams to generate hydroelectric power. Balaguer launched a crash program to spare forest use for fuel by instead importing propane and liquefied natural gas.

This is a novel approach to build dams and allow the market to take off some of the demand on the forests. Under a normal market with strong property rights, as a resource becomes scarcer the price is increased until a substitute is found or demand is reduced until it equals what the production can be sustainably.

But Haiti’s poverty forced its people to remain dependent on forest-derived charcoal from fuel, thereby accelerating the destruction of its last remaining forests.

Yes, without wealth creates situations that promote unhealthy situations. But, even poor communities and families in the poorest of countries have savings and capital. If property rights are well defined and enforceable, the poor can do much to improve their lives and their communities. Liberal democracies create ways of the communities to spread information and ideas that can be used to tackle issues such as the environment.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Alaska Permanent Fund and ANWR

Red Eagle:
Ron, opening ANWR is an incomplete idea at best. Much more could be 'produced' by conservation.

First as I pointed out earlier, if liberals say no at any cost then they fail to let themselves be at the negotiating table. And thusly to create a complete idea in your words. But beyond this, is it an incomplete idea for biodiesel, or hybrid cars or wind turbines or hydro or solar... None of these can replace oil 100%.
Secondly, nothing is "produced" by conservation. We can not conserve to no (0) demand.
We are already into the next stage of global warming, and what will that do on that artic plain? Maybe flood it? Flood all those hundreds of miles of pipelines, roads, airstrips and derricks our neocon liars call a 'postage stamp'?

If the artic plain were to be flooded then most lowlying areas will be flooded and we will have to deal with. By your theory we need to move all the cities away from the coastal areas now.
maybe paving the wilderness appeals to you? Finally, maybe our great grandkids will really need this oil, while we don't. Openning ANWR before gas milege is raised is pure waste.

You being from Alaska, I would have assumed that you knew about ice roads and the fact that very little of ANWR would be used for oil drilling. Based on microeconomics, the price dictates that we need the oil now and that our great grandkids will find alternatives if necessary. Just as my great grandfather time discovered that animal forms of travel created too much waste and was economically inefficient.
Your ideas about logging Alaska are even worse, and you do betray the neocon lie that 'thinning' is different than clearcutting. What thinning really means is taking ALL the trees so they can't burn? No matter what the liars tell you on TV, big logging operations only clear-cut because of the size of their machinery. Also, logging in places like the Tongass national forest costs the taxpayers more in subsidies than the cut wood earns.

I actually didn't say any ideas about loging in Alaska. But from my experience from observing private land that was used for logging, the clearcutting was done in sections like a checkerboard pattern. This allowed young trees to flourish on the open spaces. Animals such as deer or moose actually like the open spaces to graze. The subsidies that are often quoted are subsidies that would already exist even if there were no logging. And just because one government agency that is tied in bureacratic does not mean other governments could not do better to create revenues for the people of Alaska and Oregon.

And if we are worrying about global warming should we not try to sequester CO2?
And there's the controversial fact that if one wants to use forests at the optimum efficiency for reducing global warming gases, young growing forests absorb more CO2 than do mature trees...thus, periodic harvesting would actually help sequester more carbon than letting great quantities of forest mature into old growth
From RoguePundit]
And check out GreeSpirit]
The logging companies took 95% of the trees in the West, then they blame environmentalists because they're out of trees.... But really, it was the law passed in the 80's that allowed wood to be exported to Japan, without first going through a mill, that wrecked the rural communities. There's still plenty of trees out there, but they're creating jobs in Japan, not here.

If you have any facts to back up your statements, let me know. Unfortunately, I do not see that Alaska has the ability (labor force, technical skill) or will (subsidize industry indifintely) to create an industry that adds value to timber sales. Oregon has some opportunity and does appear to have some counties with sustainable timber industry. Look here.