N.Korea's Failed Missile Test

Apr 13, 2012; NPR

Western Diet and Diet Soda

Apr 13, 2012; NPR

Crackdown on Undercover Photos

Feb 24, 2012; NPR

Friday, December 7, 2012

A look at 2012

It has been quite some time since I last posted an insightful look at the happenings of our day to day world. Since my last post in fact we have seen an election in the US, a brand new chapter of war in the middle east, and about 3.7 metric tons of human stupidity around the globe. All of the events that have occurred in the past year however do seem to share some underlying threat of reason, or causality if you will. What exactly do I mean? Let's start with the US election. Prior to the election, each side was spending millions of dollars in campaign nonsense, asking for money, making promises to the people, and talking about how much of a low-life the other candidate was. However, in every public debate or question and answer session, both candidates answered the questions posed nearly identically: they didn't. They danced around the issues with "that's a good question" and "let me first mention..." so that the average human being was enthralled with rhetoric to an extent where their brains shut down and they either just thought "I agree completely" or "I hate this guy." In essence, there are two types of issues that were motivating voters, ones that shouldn't be addressed by government at all, and ones that need to be tackled logically. The first, like abortion, healthcare coverage of birth control, drug legalization, gay marriage, etc. have no real place in politics. The US was founded under the premise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", not "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness according to how these people deem fit to pursue such." What it boils down to is this: if something affects other people directly, ie. robbery, murder, extortion, then that should have a place in politics and the legal system and be regulated by the state; which it is through the police force and enforcing laws against such violations of human rights. If the matter is personal choice and does not affect another human being directly, and instead only indirectly through a violation of their own personal beliefs, then tough shit. Learn to cope with the fact that people do things that you don't necessarily agree with, or move to an area where you are surrounded by like minded people so you can live a sheltered life. If someone wants to smoke marijuana, get an abortion, and marry their same sex partner, then so be it. If those choices somehow ruin their personal life (they miss work due to being high all the time, suffer emotional trauma from the abortion, and are disowned by their family for the marriage) then that is their problem to deal with. Government should be worrying about whether or not its citizens are killing each other, whether or not someone else is trying to kill and conquer us, and whether or not our infrastructure and economy are failing than whether or not someone goes into a clinic.

Lets look at the logical issues now. Taxes. Everyone loves to talk about taxes, and healthcare, and medicare, and social security. But if we took a rational and logical approach to the issues, if we thought like a computer  would in solving these issues, they wouldn't be issues. Take away the emotion and the bitching by every demographic and look at the issues. You have a deficit and you're running in the red. How do you fix this? Cut spending on things you don't need and bring in more money. What are things you don't need from a government standpoint? Defense? No, you need a strong military to protect your shores, however you do not need SUCH  a strong military that you can deploy troops randomly across the globe to play puppeteer with other governments. Healthcare? No, you need your citizens to be as fit as possible otherwise they'll die or become disabled and then you won't have a work force. So subsidize basic health care and tlet people spend their own money on big surgeries if they don't want the bare minimum health care that the government provides (free doctor visits, but you had better believe I'll go with the more expensive option when it comes time for brain surgery). How do you bring in more money? Numbers. How many people are there across the country making low to middle class wages? Quite a lot. Let's just say for argument sake, 250 million. If you bring in $1000 more a year from each of those people, you would net yourself 2.5 billion annually. However, you would affect their quality of living substantially due to the relative impact of $1000 on their income. Now how many people are in the high income brackets? Not too many, but let's just say for arguments sake 2.5 million. If you raise their taxes by $10,000 a year you would be bringing in 250 million a year. Not as big of a revenue as the other, but the relative impact on your population and their quality of life is substantially less. But no one looks at issues like this this way. They get into heated debates about what is fair and what should be done based on what has been done in the past. The fact that things need to change doesn't change. Adjustments need to be made, but those adjustments need to be made in the best way possible that impacts quality of life the least. No emotions should be brought into the discussion, and no historical BS about previous tax cuts should either. If we could replace politicians with accounting software we might not be facing a crisis where everyone acts like a 4 year old because they can't get their way.

The rest of the issues around the world come down to these same two principals: human beings being intolerant that they live their life differently than others, and emotion getting involved in issues that should be approached solely through logic and numbers. We kill each other over our intolerance and differences, and we make people suffer because we won't take a step back and look at things from an objective standpoint. The day that we do, is the day that we minimize the suffering in the world; not remove it because there will always be suffering, but at least minimize it to the best of our ability. Perhaps we can take the Mayan's prediction of December 21st and use it in a different light. The old world ends on that day, and the days of rationality, objectiveness, and tolerance begin thereafter. It's a complete pipe-dream, but perhaps one day we will come to such a decision and change. If not, then it's only a matter of time before things continue in a downward spiral and we truly can celebrate the end of our existence.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Insight on Research

Every so often you will come across a depressing article about someone (usually a young child or an adolescent who is the star student and athlete, yadda yadda yadda) who is fighting a debilitating disease. The disease is usually progressive, and typically very aggressive or rapid in its progression and with a poor prognosis. Everyone is clamoring about how sad it is (which it is) and how everyone should pray, and that they hope they find a cure soon. Likewise, I typically see donation stations for various foundations that donate money to research asking for $1 here or $3 there to be donated to researching the cure for disease X. Then I'll hear groups (usually right wing groups) complaining about how millions of dollars are poured into researching these diseases and yet we have had no cures or new medications, and so they whine and complain about how it's wasting their tax dollars and we could use the money better elsewhere. In all of these situations however, people need a much better understanding of scientific research, if for no other reason than to prevent them from getting upset or having false hope. Realistically, a cure is not going to be discovered overnight and save the life of featured new story child, nor is a cure/medication going to be discovered suddenly, a mission accomplished flag waved, and research money allocated elsewhere preventing the complaints of the economic conservatives. You may have heard it before elsewhere, but for any drug, the time from research to market is approximately 20 years. In those 20 years, let look at the breakdown of the process. The money given to the research is used to buy equipment, reagents, and pay the salaries of the interns, students, technicians, and professors researching. A discovery might be made in-vitro at first, after which it is then tested in an animal model (rats, mice, etc.). Animal studies take time, and a lot of money, so again, we use some research bucks and the clock ticks by. If the treatment or drug seems to work with some statistical significance in helping animals with similar symptoms/disease characteristics (this is key, because a mouse with disease X or similar symptoms is after all a mouse, and does not guarantee that the same therapy will work in humans) then the research will progress to clinical trials in humans. This is where you'll begin to hear advertisements on the radio for an easy $3200 if you'll only let someone inject you with something and stay overnight for 4 days. Additionally, human clinical trials are broken into 3 phases. At first, a phase I clinical trial is performed to determine the metabolic and pharmacological actions of the drug/treatment, its side effects at different dosages, and to see what early signs of effectiveness are evident. If everything appears to be working, the study is progressed to Phase II where additional trials evaluate how effective the treatment is for a particular indication or patients with a given disease to see what the short-term side effects and risks are. If the drug/treatment seems safe and still somewhat effective, then the study is progressed to Phase III, where expanded tests are performed to further evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and to better determine the benefit versus risk of the treatment so that the treatment has a good indication of appropriate use for physicians. If everything is still fantastic, then we have the treatment evaluated and approved by various regulatory bodies like the FDA, and the treatment is eventually brought to market. This is all in a perfect world where nothing goes wrong. In reality, a treatment or drug will often not function the same in animal models as it does in cell culture or other in-vitro studies. It may work wonderfully in animals but not be efficient at all in humans, or worse, cause a myriad of side effects not observed in animals due to the physiological differences of humans. The treatment may fail at Phase I due to complications or study participant toxicity and fatalities. It may fail at Phase II due to a lack of effectiveness or an excessive risk to the patient. In the end, it is exactly what it appears to be at face value: a study; an experiment; a scientific venture. Science is precise, and exact, but it does not carry a 100% success rate. It is a field of educated guesses and trial and error. Breakthroughs are not made overnight, and even a 50% success rate can be the best you can hope for at a given time. The sad truth is that real science does not work like it does on shows like CSI where analysis and solutions to problems are found in 5 minutes or by the end of the 1 hour program. Experiments take time, failure, re-analysis, and new attempts. New treatments and cures will be found eventually, but it will take time, testing, regulatory approval, and more time to bring to market. Disease are constantly evolving, and with them so must treatments; a cure or treatment for one type of a disease may not work for a second type of the disease, no matter how closely related the symptoms are. There will most likely never be a cure-all for cancer or other debilitating diseases, but rather better treatments and earlier detection techniques that enable earlier interventions. The sooner the general population realizes this and tempers their hopes with a healthy does of realism and understanding of the nature of scientific research the better. Does this mean we should fund these areas less? Of course not. We should fund them more so that breakthroughs can be made faster. But faster means 17 years instead of 20; not a cure you can pick up from Walgreens in 6 months.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Each day I check to see the ongoing developments in the case of Trayvon and the public outcry for justice. Recently there has been a flurry of what is essentially mudslinging, making comments on his school record, his suspensions, his possession of a baggie of marijuana residue, and his suspension(s) one of which was related to graffiti on school property. At the same time that all of this is going on in virtually every media outlet, I come across a post that a friend of a friend has made on their Facebook demanding a public outcry for justice of a man and his girlfriend who were brutally murdered and suffered, in additional to other brutal act, the removal of the man's penis, as well as being set on fire. Now of course, this little outcry tries to play the racial card and state that it did not get media attention because of the fact that it was black on white crime, not white on black crime, despite the fact that Trayvon's gunman was half Latino, making this not quite white on black crime. All of the arguments I just mentioned hold little value. Firstly, simply because a teenager has decided to perform vandalism and marijuana related offenses, does not indicate that they are a violent person or a hoodlum in general. At most, it suggests that they experiment with substances (like a lot of teenagers) and that they make poor decisions that were most likely performed in the company of questionable friends who make equally poor, immature decisions (like a lot of teenagers). Half of the individuals I went to high school with almost ten years ago were occasional users of marijuana, and I know of quite a few that made some stupid decisions that involved theft, vandalism, and other petty crimes. None of those individuals however were general hoodlums and only a few ever went on to commit substantial criminal acts to my knowledge. To say that Trayvon's behavior in his teens is an indicator that he was more or less asking to be shot in self defense of a mugging is a very far stretch, if not absurd. As far as the racial issue is concerned, there is none. This case and the prosecution (or lack thereof) of Trayvon's shooter is a case of justifiable self defense, Florida's "stand your ground" law, and other general gun control issues. If the incident had occurred in another state that requires perceived threat of robbery, rape, or threat to life, Trayvon's shooter would probably be in custody as we speak, guilty of using excessive force in self defense. These issues have nothing to do with the unfortunate murder of the other individual, and while the other crime is a brutal atrocity, it is one that is likely to gain little media attention due to the lack of controversial issues surrounding it. There are plenty of individuals that are brutally slain each year, but their murders gain little media attention because at the end of the day, they are a simple murder case, with a victim, an offender, and a murder weapon. Perhaps they were killed by a knife, perhaps by a gun, or perhaps they were drawn and quartered by horses in the assailant's backyard and their remains strewn about the countryside. At the end of the day all three of those crimes are murder. There are no gun laws, or self-defense statures, or controversial political topics that could be invoked, and as such, the story makes for poor news. Should all of those crimes be investigated? Most definitely. Should all of them be pursued and the offenders prosecuted to the furthest extend of the law following a trial by a jury of their peers? Certainly. All of those cases however do not demand a dog and pony show however, nor do they demand a tabloid-like presentation of the case that is broadcast to every media outlet. News is, after all, a source of entertainment as well as facts; something made very evident by the flashy and noisy introductions to the nightly news and each section of it. If anything, such massive media attention takes something away from the case as it makes many individuals tired of hearing about it, and as their interest fades, so do their emotions associated with their stance on the issue. The take home message is this: if you want justice, facts, and the closure of a case, pursue the case in the legal system as much as you can, stand up for issues which you believe in, and obtain your news from a minimally glamorized source like NPR. If you want to laugh, cry, and be entertained, turn on the news; but do not start to whine when the story you were expecting to hear doesn't make the 10PM headlines.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Individual accountability

As time draws closer and closer to the supreme court hearing regarding the health care reform, or Obamacare if you want to call it that, more and more people are coming out of the woodwork to oppose it. After reading a nice editorial regarding the health care plan, I feel as though they side stepped around the true underlying issue. In the editorial, the issue is raised that a lot of people are misinformed about the policy, and that the Obama administration failed at conveying the correct information about the bill. It touches on how the reform was initially a Republican idea and that the administration embraced it hoping that it would be accepted by both parties alike; an assumption that turned out to be quite wrong. If you strip away most of the issues surrounding the bill and it's support or opposition though, you get to the real issue at hand: people are horribly misinformed. Not only are they misinformed, but they have built strong arguments and feelings around misinformation, and now are even less susceptible to changing their minds because now the actual facts go against everything they know to be true. How is it that in this day and age people can be so misinformed about an issue, one which is a piece of legislation that is publicly available for viewing in its raw form? Simply put, people are lazy and ignorant. I'll admit, the phrasing of any piece of legislation can be difficult to understand, redundant, and a boring read. However, like classical English literature, if you read it carefully enough, look up the words you do not understand, and ponder the issue, you'll be able to understand the general concepts, if not more. But how many people actually take the time to read the primary literature? Not very many, even though internet access to the bill is available, and most Americans have access to the internet in one form or another. Primary literature aside however, one can find a myriad of summaries of the bill that lack any sort of opinion or political slant. Yet most individuals do not seem to have read such simple summaries, and instead opt for the bias left-wing or right-wing opinion articles that not only skew the facts, but omit some completely. On top of this, the number of articles and summaries of the bill are at least equal to the number of videos or news clips that do an equally poor job of explaining the bill, simplifying the information even further and attempting to make it fit into a 30 -60 second video clip. Which do you think most individuals would pick to read or view? The article or the video? Most likely, and assuming people are as lazy as they seem nowadays, I think most individuals will watch the video clips from their news source of choice, with their bias of choice. Once they've digested the equivalent of a one paragraph tweet of information, they'll begin building their own views and opinions, sharing them with others, discussing them with like minded individuals, and solidifying their stance on the matter. But their stance is so fundamentally weak that it is laughable. It's not weak because of their own left or right leaning bias, it's weak because most opinions floating around out there or gaining substantial attention are based on only a few hand picked facts mixed with a lot more misinformation. When did people become so lazy and apathetic that they ceased to read most or all of the information on a subject before forming their own opinions? When did ignorance become something almost prized, preferring misinformation and editorials to actual facts as boring as they might be? Sadly, these same individuals comprise the voting majority, and as such, make decisions and place votes based on their bare minimum, partial understanding of subjects. When this country was founded, voting rights were limited to land owners, and voting rights were tarnished by sexist and racist limitations. Now, all races and genders can vote, and the voting age reflects the age that one is able to die for one's country. But why are voting rights extended to individuals that lack critical thinking skills? Why are voting rights extended to those that favor ignorance and the quick/easy route over the longer and more involved, but more factual route? No one should be prevented from voting because of their color, gender or sexual orientation. However, the village idiot's opinion should not be counted with the rest. If an individual would rather read a tweet than the actual text before making a decision; if an individual would rather not look up a word's definition to understand a text more fully; or if an individual would rather jump on a bandwagon than form their own opinions, then that individual should not have to right to vote. This country has thrived due to democracy, but what progress can be made with an uneducated lazy populace? Decision making should be done by rational, logical, critically thinking, educated adults; not by individuals who solely rely on 30 second news clips for all of their information. We need to educate our nation so that it can thrive; but until those individuals are capable of making unbiased logical decisions, they should not be allowed to shape their country's future.


Here is a perfect example of the type of individual that should not be allowed to vote until they up the number of dendrites that are firing at any given time:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GOP Primaries

Recently I've been checking in on the ongoing statistics and results from the GOP primaries. It goes without saying that checking in on the democratic primaries is something that is not even necessary since Obama will be running for re-election. As usual the news and papers, websites, and tweets are all a buzz regarding who seems to be the current potential candidate for the 2012 election. Mitt Romney is of course the logical choice as many news sources put it, while Santorum is the moral favorite. I would really like to understand just WHY Santorum is the moral favorite. Better yet, I would like to know why exactly an individual's personal beliefs carry any weight whatsoever when it comes to a presidential candidacy. It really makes no sense whatsoever to put any weight on personal beliefs when choosing a candidate. The presidency is simply a job; granted a very important job with global impacts, but ultimately it is just a job. When considering any individual for any job, most employees want to see their employment history to determine whether or not this individual is reliable, on-time, and overall shows the potential to be a good employee. An employer will also look at the individual's education and work experience to determine if they are qualified for the job, and to help determine their ability to excel at the tasks that will be given to them. Similarly, it would be illegal for an employer to deny employment to any individual on the basis of their gender, race, or religion. This same approach should be used to determine the value of a presidential candidate. We need to analyze each candidate on an employment basis. Does the candidate have previous leadership experience and how did they perform while in that role? Does the candidate follow through with their plans and projects or do their waiver and falter (this should not be confused with the necessity of playing politics and making concessions and compromises)? Does the candidate possess education and work experience relevant to their proposed position as president? These should be the factors we analyze. Yet for some reason or another people will choose a candidate based on their perceived ability to share a beer with the individual, or the individual's religion and personal code of ethics. Person ethics should have virtually no bearing on decision making on a national scale. What right does ANYONE have to push their personal ethics on an entire nation by means of laws and legislation? They have the DUTY to make services and choices available to their citizens enabling them to live their lives according their their own personal code of ethics and beliefs. They should pass legislation that enables each citizen to attend whatever religious services they desire, to have, or not have procedures done in accordance with their own views. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: these are the three things that the laws and legislation set forth by our government should enable. Not the pursuit of happiness according to the elected official's (or official's party's) beliefs and ethics. The elected candidate should be capable of performing these duties and ensuring these rights for citizens. Yet here we have a soon to be presidential candidate, running in the primaries, who has publicly stated that the separation of church and state disgusts him. The last time I checked that is a personal belief, one that goes against the founding principles of this country, and should damn near exclude any individual who believes that from holding ANY public office in this country. If you ran a slaughterhouse would you want to hire someone who publicly states that meat is murder? If you ran an environmental group would you want to hire an individual who publicly states that global warming is a myth and alternative energy is pointless? I highly doubt it. How these extremist   hack jobs ever get elected to any office and begin to progress through our political system is a testament to the education and critical thinking ability of the average American and the average American in the states that support them. Is Mitt Romney the right choice then? I'm not sure, I would have to analyze his experience further. Is Obama? Again, I would have to compare Obama and Romney and see who is the better qualified candidate and who would maximize every individual's ability to live according to their own beliefs and not get forced one way or another due to bias legislation. Is Santorum? No. If anything he would be a wonderful candidate for a conservative PTA organization, or even a pastor or Christian youth group. However a man like Santorum should NEVER be allowed into any office while his beliefs continue to go against our founding father's basic principles that were devised in an attempt to escape persecution from the British government. Unless of course we want the United States to become an increasingly hostile and bias place to live, and show the world yet again that our principles can be bent or outright ignored at anytime that we feel it is necessary.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Federal funding and the average commenter

So I read an article today on NPR that discussed how birth control ultimately saves tax dollars. It puts forth very simple arguments that are based solely on cost analysis and how a given policy that costs XXX dollars ultimately saves taxpayers XXX dollar due to the reduction in unplanned pregnancies, and ultimately, babies that are born into households that are either ill-prepared to handle them, or are downright incapable of handling them. The article was quite well written, and provided a very unbiased analysis of this ongoing controversy regarding coverage of birth control and family planning services by employers and tax payers. It doesn't matter what side of the fence you lean on, or what color flag you fly when it comes to politics; numbers speak for themselves. Anyone who has ever read about, or performed any branch of the sciences know that ultimately, the data speaks for itself. True, accidents happen, miscalculations are made, and a thorough analysis is always needed. However, at the end of the day, if the data goes against (or with) your current hypothesis, you have to give it some credit. That being said however, one would be quite surprised to read the comments that begin to flow following the article. Thanks to the ability for anyone and everyone to comment, we now see a nice image of just how uneducated, ignorant, and oblivious some people can be. People begin raising all sorts of slippery slope fallacies about how if we pay for contraception and family planning that we're one step closer to imposing a 1-child policy like China. Or then there are the individuals who feel it is necessary to go on and on about Obamacare and the liberals forcing their ideals down their throats regarding birth control. The last time I checked, there are all sorts of subsidies and uses of federal funding that I don't necessarily agree with. However, it ultimately is for the good of the whole and so you take the good with the bad. You implement funding and policies that enable people to live their lives according to their own beliefs without forcing something upon them one way or another. Think of it like education. The federal government provides subsidies for colleges and higher learning institutions nationwide; because of this funding, college tuition are lower than they would be without them (expensive instead of ridiculously expensive). By doing this, more individuals are provided the opportunity to attend college, and pursue their own goals, without forcing everyone to go to college. Every citizen has a share of their tax dollars going to this federal subsidy, however as we all know, not everyone goes to college. Some individuals simply don't want to, and that's fine. That is their choice and they have made it. If we replace education with birth control and family planning, there is no difference. More individuals who wish to take advantage of birth control and family planning services are allowed to do so, while those who do not, don't. Everyone pays in, and those who want to utilize the services do so according to their own beliefs and needs. The same could be said for many other funding issues and law making controversies. Simply because something is legal or funded does not mean that you are FORCED to perform that legalized act or use the funded service. Farming is highly subsidized, however I have never been approached my a government agent instructing me to be a farmer "OR ELSE." Yet here we see countless Americans, many of whom are probably registered voters, clamoring on in a very tabloid like fashion about conspiracy this, liberal that, Obamacare this, etc. etc. The opposite side of this coin remains the same for left-leaning individuals who start freaking out about legislation and spending policies that go against their grass roots nature. Both sides need to realize that the world will never be completely conservative, or completely liberal. NEVER. As such, we have to have everything in balance, where government functions to maintain the safety of the state, while allowing each individual to live their lives as they choose. It's the reason we have religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom to bear arms. Unfortunately, it seems as though some people have stopped enjoying being an adult and would rather have a government entity make their lifestyle choices for them. If that's what they want, to be treated as a child, then fine. But children are not allowed to vote, and neither should they. Besides, would you rather pay a little for some federally funded condoms now, or pay a lot more when all of those ill-timed babies grow up to be the next generation of Walmart shoppers that sell their food stamps for liquor and suck up welfare money like a gap toothed sponge?

Here is the original article:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Post-It Notes On Gas Pumps

No doubt, if you've been on any social networking site or have looked through a few various web sites you've come across an image of a post-it note on a gas pump. It says something along the lines of gas prices being high is a direct reflection of our current administration, and that everyone who had voted for "hope" and "change" and every other single word advert that came out in 2008. Of course there have been some pro-democrat and pro-Obama responses to this, but both sides have the entire picture horribly wrong. When I say wrong, I don't just mean incorrect, but also jaded and horribly ill-informed and under educated. I was a biology major. My training and education in economics begins with my own personal budget making and ends with principles of macroeconomics from my freshman year of under grad. I know that I do not have the background in local, national, and international economics to make an accurate assessment of the underlying causes for increasing or decreasing gas prices. I know there are directly proportional to the prices of crude oil, and that those prices fluctuate not only with political climates, but also consumer demand and manufacturer supply. That being said, I could not be more amazed at the stupidity of these individuals attempting to cry foul and rally the troops in support or opposition of our current administration. When Clinton was in office, gas was well under $2.00 a gallon in the Bay Area of California, and it remained that way into my high school years when Bush Jr. took office in 2000. Under Clinton's administration various international and political events occurred, as they did under the administration of Bush Jr. Yes, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars started during Bush Jr.'s administration, and one would obviously conclude that the strain that both of those events put on international relations and the global economy, gas prices went up. But also, despite every political climate and international event, time went on as well, and economies improved and worsened, and inflation occurred as it always does. Inflation increased the price of gas as well, and then we add some corporate greed into the mix, and various increases and decreases in consumer demand, and we see even more how volatile the price of gas is. Then for some reason (note my lack of economic knowledge here), following Obama's inauguration in 2008, gas prices dropped down by quite a bit. The factors that contributed to this sudden decline are as numerous as the factors that contributed to its sudden increase at various times from 2000-2008. Then the US suffered a recession, and many other nations suffered hard economic times as well (we still are suffering, this isn't a past event quite yet). I do remember from my econ class however that when an economy takes a nose dive, its currency can devalue. That combined with normal inflation can make things quite more expensive. As a result, and as a result from many other factors, gas has crept back up again and is now nearing $3.70 a gallon in the Midwest. However, I also don't recall a gallon of milk being almost $4.00 as well back in 2008, or 2004, or 1999 for that matter. I also remember at the end of the 90's when I could get a value meal at a fast food joint for about $5. Can you see what I'm saying here? Ragging on one administration or another for increasing gas prices is like blaming the current administration for traffic on your morning commute. Because everyone knows, if the economy wasn't recovering there would be fewer people with jobs, and then there would be fewer people commuting to work, and I wouldn't be stuck behind this damn Honda right now. Damn administration and their traffic supporting policies. So the next time you decide to start making A relate to B when there are 1,000 other contributing variables, think twice. It only makes you seem less intelligent. As for the people who jump onto the bandwagon because of these battle cries....if person A is an idiot, and person B follows them blindly, I think that makes person B even less intelligent, if not a lobotomized lemming.


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