Category Archives: World

the real cost of gasoline

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this study before, but I finally found a source I can cite.  Back in 1998, the International Center for Technology Assessment released a study called “The Real Price of Gasoline.”  It showed that if all the costs of gasoline (including subsidies and externalized costs) were included in the price at the pump, gas would actually cost between $5 and $15 a gallon.  (At the time, gas was $1 a gallon and we weren’t spending $100 billion per year in Iraq and Afghanistan.)  The full report is online (as a PDF), and I strongly recommend it to anyone.

what color would non-proselytizing Gaian rational physical theorists wear?

UPDATE: Apparently this whole story was false, a hoax. I’m definitely relieved. I’ll leave the rest here because, well, I’m lazy like that.

I haven’t followed internal affairs in Iran lately, but a recent story has chilling history-repeating-itself overtones. Apparently Jews and other non-Muslims will be required to wear color-coded insignia to differentiate them from Muslims.

Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical “standard Islamic garments.”The law, which must still be approved by Iran’s “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

If true, this would be the scariest development yet from Iran. This is the kind of development that starts to justify UN sanctions and (maybe just the barest beginnings of) thoughts of regime change. I just hope it doesn’t get drowned out by the incessant saber-rattling we’ve seen to date.

As an aside, I’m proud that I got through this whole post without using the terms “Nazi” or “Hitler”. Until the end, of course. Bah, nevermind.

a call for help, a plea for sanity

I need a word. Perhaps I’ll call on the verbivores to help, but you, gentle reader, might know of one already. Here’s the definition: “To become what one ostensibly opposes, often in the course of that opposition.” It may sound like hypocrisy, a la “if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s intolerance,” but this new thing needs an element of menace, of tactics employed to win the battle. Think of Serenity‘s Operative, who hunted down sinners by commiting every sin he ascribed to them.
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