The world can certainly do better than this. Here's why.

Wednesday, August 24


... you're so full of it...

CNN reports tonight that 1 in 1100 fills at gas stations in America results in a "pump 'n run." These events cost gas retailer $237 million dollars across (whatever period).

Wait for the wrath of the math.

If these figures are to be taken at face value, Americans spent $260.463 billion dollars on gasoline. $260 billion.

Even at a quarter the amount, implying that not everyone fills up and that most "pump 'n runners" took off with a full tank, that's still over $65 billion spent on gas.


Can anyone tell me how much oil companies' gross revenue is over any period?

Tuesday, August 9


The potsdam conference could have ended the Second War in the Paciifc theatre, had the Japanese conceded there. Their resolve to contiue the fight, as Americans would had they begun the War, is the honorable alternative. There was no sense in capitulation.

Japan had decided to fight, to the end, with honor. This is the folly of history.

When President Harry S. Truman, aware of the awesome power wielded by US in 1945, arranged the Potsdam Conference, the war was on its way to completion in any event. The concession of Japan, being beaten back and firebombed virtually out of existence, was not forthcoming. A cultural derailment, perhaps, is the reason for this. The Japanese, in destroying Pearl Harbour, began the assault on America. Four short years later, the Americans had rallied toward conquest of the Pacific.

The tipping point of the argument, with nuclear weapons in hand, surrounded casualty figures estimated as a result of an invasion of Japan. Much the same as at Normandy in June of 1944, an invasion force is expected to suffer severe casualty numbers. Such invasion, expected by the empire of Japan, would have been an honourable conclusion to the war with America. No such conclusion was elected by Truman and the military. Instead the awesome force of nuclear ordinance was unleashed. An act of power unlike any witnessed by humanity in days past or in days since.

Japan, a nation devestated by aerial bombardment, clung with steely resolve to defend their nation against an enemy. Soverign action and belief in the Empire sought to write what may have been the final chapter in the history of Japan - an honourable end. The bombing of Hiroshima, an act that would -- at present -- begin a war, brought one nearer to its close.

In the hours that followed, no doubt, the Emperor looked for a guidance to withstand this final onslaught. 140 000 dead in the greatest firebomb created. Americans had killed his people before in a rain of fire from the sky, sacrificing no men in honourable battle. It was against American conduct of warfare that hardline leaders of Japan sought to stand. Whereas the surprise attack of Pearl Harbour had been answered hundredfold, a surprise that would not have occurred had the US military accepted that the Second World War began in 1939, still the US practice of warfare made heroes of every fallen soldier. And they still do, to this day.

But this is not the end of the story.

The bombing of Nagasaki, three days following Hiroshima, reeks of American interest. No sane individual could admit that the uncontested bombing of Hiroshima stood as insubstantive evidence of American resolve to win the war at all costs. The impatience of America for Japanese capitulation was satisfied by 70 000 more dead people and the testing of a weapon of of more-massive destruction. 23 333 lives per day. Again, following Nagasaki, Japan waited three days... and then two more. On 14 August 1945, Japan surrendered unconditionally.

This too, is not the end of the story.

The conventional wisdom -- then, as it is now -- is that the killing of 100 000 people in a single attack is cause for war. That the initiation of the nuclear age in an act of sheer terror -- a single plane, uncontested, annihilating a city -- would provoke kamikaze strikes and

With honour there is wisdom. The Japanese waited, seeking the American response. Childishly, a second bomb was sent -- to end the war, of course -- but still the mountain did not yield to the passing wind. Five days later the Empire believed that the time was right. In brilliant act of wise leadership, the sword of warfare was forever abandoned by the Japanese. War, with nuclear weapons at hand, is no exercise within the grasp of humankind.

Will this story end?

It is the unfortunate responsibility of history to repeat itself when it is not remembered. In the contemporary period, the aggressive Empire is American. Their ambition has led them to invade other nations, removing what obstacles they see fit to conduct the affairs of such an Empire. The ultimate equalizer, still in play, threatens still to be loosed a third time on the world. What then of the lessons of the past?

The aggressive movements of Japanese and German Imperial powers of the 1940s roused the ire of all free nations. Until 1945, no conventional weapon existed to oppose such military belligerence. Had the atomic bomb existed in 1939, would the war have happened? If either party, axis or allies, been in control of such power -- would the world exist as it does today? There are too many variables to count. Suffice it to say that the world would be better off without WMD altogether.

Americans have a blind view of international conflict. Heroes do not go to fight in war because they are called upon to do so. Heroes fight to put right a great injustice -- even if the instigators are his brothers, the hero will stand against his own to put right that injustice.

Now, 60 years after Hiroshima and 60 years after Nagasaki, the world shudders beneath the specter of nuclear weapons. Such ignorance of lessons burned into the history and culture of the world must be learnt well, if at all. On 6 August 2005, the mayor of Hiroshima implored, again, that the so-called "Nuclear club" abandon its WMD and, as all Japanese have sworn, never repeat the destruction and death levied against his city, his home.