Recent Letters

In Backtalk:

Pete Komen’s Law of Politics: Never believe anything until it is officially denied.

Marcia Schneider: Ralph Nader should talk about us.

Peter Yff: We don’t know what really happened in Halabja.

Greg Cunneen asks: If the purpose of “rendition” is not torture, then why are prisoners being sent to torture-friendly non-coalition countries, rather than torture-averse coalition countries?

And more

James Howard, of Just reread your posting from December 12, 2004 [“The Economics of Oil“] where you wrote:

“Curious about the present level of POT’s popularity I checked Google News and found that in the past few days POT has been mentioned in articles on numerous dissident sites, including Axis of Logic, Al-Jazeerah,, From the Wilderness, Slashdot,, CounterPunch, Znet, Common Dreams, AlterNet, Mother Jones, and Washington Dispatch. Two Indian news sites also mentioned POT but no mainstream Western sources did.”

I wonder if the recent Hirsch report to the US Department of Energy, the cover story in Moneyweek, the mentions in Bloomberg news and the recent Deutsche bank study would sway your mind on the matter?

Furthermore, have you read Michael T. Klare’s Resource Wars? Vital reading for anyone antiwar (should be everyone!).

Sam Koritz: My point in the quote above is that antiwar sources are promoting a fringe theory, peak oil theory (“POT”) — the idea that petroleum production is about to peak, or has already peaked. Despite the sources that you cite, I still believe that POT is a pretty fringe idea — but this is a minor point. My main point is that, barring some sudden shock to the system, the price mechanism is perfectly capable of replacing and reducing the use of petroleum, without a serious crisis. To argue otherwise (besides being wrong, in my opinion) is to provide patriotic Americans with a reasonable motivation for US military control of oil-rich regions. To what I’ve already written on the subject I’ll only add a quote from Victor Niederhoffer and Laurel Kenner’s Practical Speculation:

… [Julian Simon’s] discovery arose from his attempt to find out why real commodities prices were constantly decreasing and why predictions of commodity shortages are always wrong. He likened the situation to looking at a tub of water and marking the water level, and then observing people putting water from the tub into buckets and taking it away. But when the tub is examined again, the level is higher than it was at the start. He attributes the constantly increasing water to discoveries of improved methods of production of goods that are in shortage and the development of substitutes. “More people and increased income cause resources to become more scarce in the short run. Heightened scarcity causes prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity and prompt investors to search for solutions. These solutions eventually lead to prices dropping lower than before the scarcity occurred.”

Author: Sam Koritz

I like cheese.