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Thought for the Day - Feb 24

Peter T. 24 Feb 00 - 09:45 AM
catspaw49 24 Feb 00 - 09:57 AM
annamill 24 Feb 00 - 10:10 AM
Little Neophyte 24 Feb 00 - 10:38 AM
Amos 24 Feb 00 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Mbo 24 Feb 00 - 10:43 AM
Troll 24 Feb 00 - 10:44 AM
Bert 24 Feb 00 - 10:58 AM
Troll 24 Feb 00 - 11:12 AM
MMario 24 Feb 00 - 11:15 AM
Peter T. 24 Feb 00 - 11:34 AM
Amos 24 Feb 00 - 11:43 AM
wysiwyg 24 Feb 00 - 11:52 AM
Troll 24 Feb 00 - 11:59 AM
Mbo 24 Feb 00 - 12:03 PM
catspaw49 24 Feb 00 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 24 Feb 00 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 00 - 05:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 00 - 05:51 PM
Little Neophyte 24 Feb 00 - 07:45 PM
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Subject: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 09:45 AM

When I was working my way through college many years ago, I was a security guard one summer at a warehouse/distribution centre for the A & P grocery chain. Since I didn't have much to do, being on the night shift, I used to have long conversations with the distribution coordinator about the whole food business, and how complicated the sales/futures/hauling/storage business was. He had only one real long term concern: he believed that the gradual elimination of the railways would make the food business much more vulnerable to trucker's strikes. (Remember, this is management talking). What he didn't count on was also the simultaneous shift into "just in time" delivery as a policy, eliminating intermediate warehousing.
We have just (in Canada) had our first taste of what this might mean -- a trucker's one day strike and slowdown over the increasing cost of diesel fuel (paid for out of the trucker's pockets). It is clear that a full scale strike, supported by truckers in the U.S., would stop everything, and present people with serious food shortages within less than a week. Here is an example of the law of unintended consequences: huge concentration on trucking, refusal to deal with fossil fuel consumption, and a new management style promoting "efficiency" -- all working together towards an interesting new societal vulnerability, and rising militancy among truckers, themselves pushed to the wall.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 09:57 AM

Having problems getting fresh endive huh?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: annamill
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 10:10 AM

We should be giving these business men every break we can. You say it comes out of the truckers pockets, but I think maybe it really comes out of our pockets. The truckers will just charge more for the trucking. They should have tax breaks, toll breaks, cost of fuel breaks, etc. In the long run I think it would be better for us all. As the farmers, these people give us our staples and we obviously need them. Give them what they need.

Good one Peter. Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 10:38 AM

I think it would be wise for the public school curriculum to include How to Grow Vegetables, Fruits & Endive.

LN


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 10:41 AM

Endive is easy...here in California, we just run out to the end of the board, endive.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: GUEST,Mbo
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 10:43 AM

Well, we did when we were homeschooled. We grew potatoes, pumpkins, and watermelons, one of which reached the size of a basketball....ah spring is here...the strawberries have returned! Ye-Yes!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Troll
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 10:44 AM

When you go into business for yourself, there is no garantee that you will be successful. There are many variables to be dealt with, not the least of which is the cost of operation. If the operating costs are high then the price charged for the service you offer will be corespondingly high. The final consumer pays the bill. Why set up a huge and expensive beauracracy to deal with subsidies and doles? Let the truckers charge what the traffic will bear. Higher costs at the final destination will result in fewer units sold, thus fewer units required, a drop in demand for service and lower operating costs albeit with possibly lower profits for all concerned for a time.

I do not see where it is incumbent on the consumer to shoulder the additional burden of insuring high profits for business through government intervention. We pay in the end regardless.With no beauracracy to pay for it's cheaper in the long run.

As for people running out of food, The government has the ability to demand arbitration and can, in emergencies, nationalize the service until things are settled.

It seems to me that the truckers are using blackmail to keep their profit margins high.

But thats just my opinion and I could be wrong. I've been wrong before and the day is just getting started. LOTS of chances for more f**k-ups.

troll


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Bert
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 10:58 AM

Hmmm, The truckers I've seen don't 'appear' to be keepimg their profit margins high. Maybe you're talking about someone else!

I would suspect (but don't know) that many are working on fixed price contracts.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Troll
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 11:12 AM

Yeah, fixed price contracts are a bitch. But that could be fixed easily by adding a cost-of living (sort of) clause. The businesses have to have the truckers to operate so, in the end, they would have to go along. Those truckers who didn't put in the rider in order to get contracts would be in the fix they are in now anyhow.

I am not in favor of government bailing out businesses. I mean witness the S&L fiasco here in the States. The people who caused the problem were bailed out and the little guy paid the bills. The little guy would have suffered in any case but without government intervention at least the fat-cat bastards would have suffered too.

Sorry. This is a sore point with me.

troll


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: MMario
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 11:15 AM

Little Neo - vegetables, fruit, and endive? It gets it's own classification now?

I suspect the truckers are getting the short end of the stick; as in most cases are the farmers when it comes to food production.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 11:34 AM

I hate endive, fresh or stale. I was thinking about this more as a socioecological system within which everyone has become enmeshed, and a new constellation of vulnerabilities, pressure points, and power struggles seems to be emerging. And under it, sloshing around, is oil.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 11:43 AM

Oil is it. You want a center pressure point, you got it. We've forgotten how to do without horseless carriages, and Lighter Than Air schooners never got invented. To think that less than a hundred years ago hardly any man born alive would grow up not knowing how to rig,handle, cure and control a horse... That knowledge today is down around the level of buggy-whip design in a majority of the towns I've seen -- preserved in enclaves like racing communities and rodeo groups.

The ridiculousness of this technological lock-in is weighing on us all. How much we could discover, if only we didn't love so dearly what we already know...


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 11:52 AM

Mbo,

Please send me one basketball-sized potato, and make it a fresh one. Hardiman says he is running short of potatoes, and if I give him one big one maybe it'll last. He gave the rest to the band.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Troll
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 11:59 AM

That oil don't belong to those OPECKERS. they're just closer to it. Lets drill through and slurp it right out from under 'em.Serve 'em right.Buncha ragheads!

troll "BG"


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 12:03 PM

I don't know Praise, Big Mick told me he was interested in getting it so he could bake it.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 12:07 PM

The Mick don't bake the taters Meebo. More like uh, well.......anyway...........

And......until there is a mass interest in changing the sheets, we're gonna' be sleepin' in this bed.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 12:10 PM

Fred Francis of NBC News once followed a long-haul trucker around as part of one of those "in-depth" stories. The guy lived somewhere way up in Maine - gets a call at some ungodly hour of the morning from his dispatcher to pick up a load and drive it to--Los Angeles, all the way across the country. About eighteen hours into the journey, Fred, from the sleeper, asks, "Aren't you tired? I'm not even driving and I'm worn out."

He gets to the warehouse in L.A.- about four days later, with about a total of ten hours of sleep under his belt - at 2 a.m. He has to wait until the warehouse opens at 7 a.m. to drop his load. While he's waiting, they figure that hour for hour he could make more money working at McDonald's, if he includes all the unproductive wait time.

From L.A. he's dispatched to Texas, then to Nebraska, then somewhere else before finally getting home. Each trip has its own set of special circumstances that keeps the passage of time from being profitable for him. When he gets back to Maine thirteen or so days later, he's summarily fired for turning up positive for THC on a urine sample. The story ends there with a parting shot of him looking entreatingly into the sunset.

The romance and adventure of a life of wanderlust.

Regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 05:40 PM

Woo Wee, What a thought for the day!

I lived in Houston during the Oil Crises of the 70's and subsequent Oil Gluts of the 80's. The cheap oil that we have enjoyed over the last 10 years has basically destroyed the domestic production system. We are much more dependent on foreign oil than we have ever been in the past. When the oil industry begged for some relief in the 80s they were given the response "Let the market resolve it". The crash of 1985 was the consequence. The Houston area alone lost more than a hundred thousand jobs in 1985 (can't remember the exact number).

Today's energy price increases are the direct consequence of OPEC starting to get its act back togehter and realize that they have us by the short hairs. The only reason that there has not been large scale problems with the economy and distribution system is that there is another technological revolution going in automation and Intelligent Transportation systems. There are more short term alternatives (re-routing, better distribution, just in time delivery etc.) today and we can use computers to make adjustments to short term glitches. This won't last.

We are heading for serious trouble unless as a society we start living in a more environmentally sustainable way. That includes weaning ourselves from cheap oil.

This is not a case of let the market rule, and government intervention for government's sake. One of the functions of government is to protect us citizens from the fluctuations and suffering that the market causes. If you can't get food because the truckers won't deliver it, or you can't afford to heat your home in the winter because of spot shortages in fuel oil, hearing some conservative anti-government policy wonk gush at how great the market is working really goes over well.

Anyway. We are now reaping the consequences of our actions. And its going to get worse before it gets better.

JAB


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 05:51 PM

Driving tricks across a continent to deliver food that could have been grown locally, while someone else is driving back across the continent delivering food that could have been grown locally. All burning up oil that can never be replaced, wrecking the planet.

It can't go on that way. And it won't. Hold on to your buggy whips, you might just need them.


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Subject: RE: Thought for the Day - Feb 24
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 24 Feb 00 - 07:45 PM

In our lifetime you may find wilderness survival courses go beyond the interest of the naturalist.
A sharp businessman would see the futures in Duct Tape stock investments.

LN


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