And they're off : LUSENET : Reality Asylum : One Thread

Okay, a forum. Why? Various reasons, really. For readers to respond to entries or projects. For readers to nag me or ask me questions. For readers to talk amongst themselves. For gossip. For grafitti. For flaming the Asylum staff. For whatever.

Let's use it and see what happens.

-- Rien (, June 06, 2001


Hoi Rien, yep..seems as it was a good Idea to put that url into the bluewastebin...wasn't it ;-) Sandra

-- Sandra (, June 07, 2001.

Oh hell, and I haven't gassed up my flamethrower in weeks...

I'm trying to think of something inflamatory to start things off properly, but I'm just not an inflamatory sort of person. Shall we go into Europeans vs Americans vis American whining about high gas prices? Shall we pick on Rien for not succumbing to the Rogaine commercials? Are crop circles real or a hoax? Briefs or boxers?

Ah well, I tried.

-- Sherri (, June 07, 2001.


I think this addition to your website is pretty cool. I look forward to posting my opinions. At the moment, I have no comment on the high gas prices we Americans are enduring. However, I suggest we all follow Nancy's ( and ride a bicycle around town. :)


-- -holly st. james (, June 07, 2001.

Oh heck, I'll come up with something, just because I'm unemployed right now and I have time.

I'd love to try that whole bike idea, but around here it's damned dangerous. I live in what used to be a farm town and is now becoming a sort of suburb of the larger city to the south. In other words, there's a major highway through the middle that has tons of little side roads joining into it, and lots of subdivisions carefully blocked in on one side, with shopping centers carefully blocked in on the other -- and drivers around here consider pedestrians as worth two points, bicyclists are worth four.

I've always wondered what it would be like to live in a place where the stores were just a few blocks away from where you lived, where you could walk everywhere without being in serious competition with cars and semi-trucks. My neighborhood - a nice subdivision adjoining two other subdivisions -- doesn't even have sidewalks. If you go for a walk around the neighborhood, you walk in the street.

-- Sherri (, June 07, 2001.

High gas prices in America ?, oh come on, have you seen how much we pay in Europe, do you know how much they pay in the UK....? it's a rip off. Like airport tax, take off and landing tax, fuel surcharge are all rip off's, but I never heard of a refund for a 6 hour flight delay.

Anybody any views on tipping service personnel.. ??

-- Mark Observing (, June 08, 2001.

Gas prices are low. Far too low. And I say this because apparently the only way to get people out of their bloody cars is making the things almost too expensive to drive.

I don't have a car. Never had one. And agreed, public transport leaves a lot to be desired. But it's still way better than paying a lot of money for fake-four-wheeled-freedom and adding even more casualties and pollution to the traffic stats.

Gas prices should go up. Car prices should go up. Car tax should go up. Use the thing when you really need it, not just because you can't be bothered to think of an alternative.

(Bark! Bark! Growl!!!)

-/|/- Rien

-- Rien (, June 08, 2001.

Go Rien!

Actually, when I stayed in New York (many years ago)I used public transportation all the time -- I parked my car outside the city (I was actually staying in NJ) and took busses and trains everywhere.

Unfortunately, Florida was built around the idea of having a car and cheap gas. There's very little public transportation where I live (in fact, there isn't any in this area, except for a little bus I see going around for the retirees at one of the assisted living places). If you don't have a car, you are walking or riding a bike in dangerous areas. I know, because I've done it. It's a very long walk to the store, and a very VERY long walk back carrying groceries. Too many places around here were never built with public transport in mind. Here, in particular, a large part of our population is transcient -- either they are only down here for the winter, or they don't expect to stay here for more than a few years, or they have retired here from somewhere else (usually somewhere with public transport -- so they don't vote for public transport. There's been a highspeed train initiative around here for about 15 years that has been voted up and down, but never built.

I'm not stating it as preferable to drive a car (although, Rien, after listening to some of your rants about the Dutch trains, I'm not sure if it's an improvement.

Maybe we should all stay home?

-- Sherri (, June 08, 2001.

Rien, that last comment was absurd. If everybody decided to use public transport tomorrow the whole system would grind to a halt in 30 minutes flat. And guess what... your income tax and insurance would double too because the government wouldn't have all that gasoline tax flowing in.

What should go up is the price of cigarettes, lets say 100 guilders per pack, as a sort of pre payment on medical care....!

-- Mark (, June 08, 2001.

"lets say 100 guilders per pack, as a sort of pre payment on medical care"

Nice idea but not very true to facts. The people that cost most in medical care are those working hard to stay alive. In other words: heart patients. Lung cancer is a relative cheap and quick way to die. Medical costs are very low since there's nothing that can be done about it, and since the average diagnosed patient has about 3 months left to live. So throw in some painkillers and get it over with.

Compare that to a by-pass operation. (Not that I'm saying that people shouldn't have one, I'm just comparing costs here.)

On a less serious note, it would still mean tobacco is cheaper than cocaine. And those outrageous prices don't do much for the 'war on drugs' either, now do they? ;-)

-- Rien (, June 08, 2001.

Careful there, Rien.

Tobacco smoking does more than contribute to lung cancer. It contributes to those heart disease patients you were talking about -- smoking causes arteries to narrow. And then there's emphesyma, which doesn't kill right away, and certainly is expensive to treat. The whole narrowing artery thing also contributes to stroke and high blood pressure. Stroke is probably one of the most expensive diseases to treat. Stroke victims can require treatment for years. I've had at least three family members suffer through that.

Smoking can also cause impotency and erectile disfuction. While it might cut down on sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy, I don't know if it's a fair trade.

Then again, since when has outlawing any vice made it go away? If someone were to outlaw nailpolish tomorrow, there would be a huge explosion in black market nail care products. Humans, for whatever reason, always seem to prefer anything they are told they can't have.

Has anyone seen the story about the mass school murder in Japan? Some stories are saying "Thank God Japan has such strict gun laws! What if that madman had had a gun?" I keep thinking "that man killed 8 children with a knife, and injured 15 more. He had to do it up close and personally, getting blood on his hands, not standing at a distance playing a video shoot'em-up.

-- Sherri (, June 08, 2001.

"Tobacco smoking does more than contribute to lung cancer. It contributes to those heart disease patients you were talking about "

I know. That's why I deliberately mentioned lungcancer as a disease and didn't go into the (other) tobacco side effects. So although strictly speaking what I said was true, there's a lot more to it of course. You're absolutely right about that.

It's just that I find this "let smokers pay for their medical care"- idea irritating. On the surface it may sound fair, but take a second look and you'll see it isn't.

But hey, what do I care? I'm almost nicotine-free anyway. Let the suckers pay! ;-)

-- Rien (, June 08, 2001.

"It's just that I find this "let smokers pay for their medical care"- idea irritating. "

I know Rien, and likewise, I found your suggestion to increase benzine and car taxes irritating... but lets face it, we all contribute - and are all victims of this corrupt money driven society. How can we possibly justify the billions of dollars paid in compensation for smoking related illness's (own choice), when there are little kids dying of starvation in African countries (no choice)... it just isn't fair.

-- Mark - (, June 09, 2001.

> How can we possibly justify the billions of dollars paid in >compensation for smoking related illness's (own choice), when there >are little kids dying of starvation in African countries (no >choice)... it just isn't fair.

The judges who sentence tobacco companies need their heads checked. Tobacco is unhealthy, sure, but as you said it's the smoker's own choice. You can't blame the factory for that. And if you do blame them, fine, but then you'll better start dragging the gun / ammunition / alcohol / car makers into the courts too.

And Africa, well, as long as the global banks and economies refuse to pardon the huge African debts, that continent will never recover. But no, instead of wiping the slate we just give them another major loan they can never pay back. And they've got to use that new loan to pay the *interest* of their previous loans.

That way they'll never be able to get things going, because the little money they make goes to some bank abroad. It's called 'international banking' and it's fucking obscene. Fair? Who said anything about fair?

-- Rien (, June 09, 2001.

Fairness, I think, is a pretty subjective concept. To the banker who loans the money (and the people who invested the money in the bank, who could turn out to be people just like us), not getting back the loan isn't fair. To starving people, money diverted by their government from agricultural improvement and medical care so that the officials can drive nice cars isn't fair. To the officials, not being able to take fullest advantage of current good luck after years of want and personal poverty isn't fair.

In other words, what ever doesn't serve a particular person's self interest isn't fair.

Bah. I just say Bah. You know, Rien, you are right. Not having a gun in my house has probably saved a lot of lives. Of course, I do have stuff to make a bomb if I get creative....amazing what you can do with cleaning products... (just kidding, I'm not that smart)

-- Sherri (, June 09, 2001.

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