It’s summertime and the beaches are crowded, the outdoor cafes are packed and It Shines for All is up and running.

It Shines for All, of course, is the New York Sun’s new(ish) blog. Written by the paper’s editor, Ira Stoll, the blog, we must say, seems to be little more than an afterthought, and Stoll might want to tap some staff writers to help out. Mainly, Stoll uses his new plaything to push stories in the Sun’s print edition and slam the New York Times whenever the opportunity arises — and, according to Stoll, that opportunity arises several times a day. Other than the Sun promotion, it ain’t exactly anything you can’t get somewhere else. Overall, we give the Sun credit for trying, but the blog gives credence to the contention of many bloggers that the print media don’t understand the Internet.

Meanwhile, the Hobbesian Conservative takes a look at an article in England’s Times Online that says that oil production in Iraq is getting close to being back at prewar levels, and, as such, concludes that since Iraq has a lot of oil, high gas prices may actually help the war effort.

Given that we on the homefront haven’t been asked to sacrifice too much (when was the last time a kid knocked on your door asking for aluminum cans or old tires?), I’d be willing to shell out at the pump if it helps the war — though I’d still like to see someone build some more refineries ‘round here.

I drive a Dodge Ram pickup which gets 20 miles per gallon highway. What are YOU doing to help the war effort?

We’re not sure that driving a car that gets 20 MPG is anything to brag about, but there it is. From LA to El Dorado, who thinks everyone should just “stop whining,” since “current oil prices have not yet reached the level of past records. It is only nominal (before adjusting for inflation) dollars that are at a record. In 1980 oil was $40/barrel which would be $94.20/barrel today.”

On the other side is My Occasional Smatter, who, after a recent trip to the gas station where he “could do nothing but sneer in disgust after looking at the pump,” says, “Boo hiss to all you idiots in charge. Yes, that’s right, idiots. GM, hurry up with your fuel-cell cars so I don’t have to walk around angry anymore — this is just getting stupid.”

Paul McLeary

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Paul McLeary is senior editor of Defense Technology International magazine, and is a former CJR staffer.