Star-Tribune article on price of gasoline. I don't really mind the gas prices now that it's nicer out. One can't bike in the tundra winter up here in Minnesota, so I spend a lot of money on gas during the winter. But now I get some schadenfreude from seeing people in aircraft-carrier SUVs filling their tanks up for $100+. "Four wheels, one person -- they're no different than me," I've started telling myself if I encounter someone in a monster truck on the road.
For me, the price of gasoline now seems to reflect what one is doing for the environment. However, after living in Tucson, I know that the Twin Cities area is structurally designed against pedestrians, bicyclists, and even motorcyclists. People roll through most stop signs, there are no bike lanes outside of the so-called "hippie" "people's republic of" Minneapolis, and you're taking your life in your hands if you commute on a motorcycle, with monster SUVs obstructing the views of people with cars like mine -- "this lane change could be your last." I also like the office parks in the suburbs where the only entrance comes straight from the parking lot and the building lies nowhere near any bus route. That keeps "the undesirables" -- and equality and environmentalism -- out of view.
Related to this: an AP short article on another kid getting run over by the family SUV. This made the newspaper because it was the most popular Christian pop music artist's kid who got run over by a teenage sibling, and she happened to be adopted from China. You know, back when I got my class C commercial driver's license, the vehicles I was driving were not that different from modern-day Suburbans, Yukons, Hummers, and Escalades. These are weird, tragic stories, which force me to ask, "Why was she driving a vehicle that big, with that bad a view, where when you bump into a person you just keep backing up and running over a person and killing that person?" Anyway, these stories draw my attention.
Petraeus giving us some light at the end of the tunnel, but instead of six months on the dime, it's five:
Glory hallelujah! Call Tom Friedman -- things will be so much better in Iraq in six months! Oh, oops, more details this fall.
Gen. David Petraeus said Thursday he is likely to recommend further troop reductions in Iraq but won't promise more details until fall....
Bush's approval/disapproval numbers indicate that most Americans see gas prices, healthcare costs, the economy, and the Iraq fiasco as connected. Whatever snake oil the Republicans sell this fall, it's quite apparent that when people are getting screwed, they want change. The "change" candidate can only get stronger -- gas, healthcare, food prices, et al aren't going down.
All of this puts us at a peculiar time in history, reminiscent of the post-Vietman War 1970s where a downturn in the world economy resulted in similar prices for commodities compared to today's.