When terrorists attacked the United States on 9/11 by flying airplanes into the Twin Towers, they killed around 3,000 civilians. In response, the U.S. killed the terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. It took time, but it was done by following the rules of war and by carefully avoiding the killing of innocent civilians.
In October of 2023, Hamas, a Sunni Islamist political and militant organization currently governing the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian territories headquartered in Gaza City, attacked Israel by killing around 1300 civilians and taking about 200 hostages. Israel, the US, and the EU designate Hamas as a terrorist organization, similar to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden which was responsible for 9/11.
In response to Hamas’ attack on Israel, Israel responded by
calling Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and giving them 10 minutes to evacuate to avoid being bombed
dropping 6000 bombs on dense residential buildings in Gaza
cutting off electricity, food, water, and fuel to residents of Gaza
blocking the border so that Gaza civilians can’t evacuate
preventing humanitarian aid from entering the Gaza Strip until the Israeli hostages are released
So far, the result of Israel’s response attack was the death of over 1000 civilians, a big percentage of which were women and children who had nothing to do with Hamas’ attack on Israel. (Update: As of Nov 3, over 9000 Gaza civilians have been killed by Israel).
While it is understandable and completely reasonable for Israel to defend itself and to retaliate when attacked, you’ll notice a big difference in how Israel and the US deal with “terrorists”. Unlike the US, which carefully avoided civilian casualties when going after Al-Qaeda, Israel appears to follow the rule of “an eye for an eye” rather than the international rules of war. The fact that Israel bombed so many buildings while people were sleeping and gave them only 10 minutes to leave is completely outrageous. Israel’s argument was that they were targeting members of Hamas, but for every member of Hamas killed, Israel probably killed 30 or so civilians. To make matters worse, Israel has blocked humanitarian aid from reaching those civilians as if Israel wants the civilians to suffer and die. In the video below, the president of Israel said that the entirety of Gaza, including civilians, was responsible for Hamas attacking Israel. He argues that civilians should have stopped Hamas. His mindset justifies the killing of civilians, including at least 1,000 children. Sadly, when Israel makes these outrageous statements, the international community, including the U.S., says and does nothing. It seems as though Israel is using this opportunity to ethnically cleanse Gaza of Palestinians under the guise of “self-defense”.
The Israeli government has clearly violated the rules of war and its actions are just as bad as the terrorist group Hamas, which they blame for starting the war.
Everyone knows that the Palestinians have been living in Palestine for a long time. Since Jews in Europe were hated by others, treated unfairly, and even killed, they wanted a land of their own. So, they argued that they should go create their own state in Palestine for 2 reasons:
they believe that God said it was their land according to the Jewish bible
their ancestors lived there 2000 years ago
Both of these reasons are a joke. If someone came knocking on your door and said that they were going to take all or half of your house or your backyard for the reasons above, no one in their right mind, including a reputable court of law, would agree to it. Unfortunately, with the help of the British, Jews were able to just take land from the Palestinians and create the nation of Israel.
What Hamas Should Have Done
What Hamas did on Oct 7 was clearly inexcusable. There’s no justification for the killing of innocent civilians. It’s no wonder why some countries label Hamas a terrorist organization. When violence is used to achieve a goal, it’s hard to get support from the international community. What Hamas should have done is like what the Jews did when they took Palestinian land in the first place. The Jews would not have been successful without the help of the British. Likewise, Palestinians will not be successful without powerful and influential allies. Those allies could be neighboring states like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. When you have that type of support, war can be avoided. Israel would be under pressure to negotiate and Israel’s allies like the US would support talks over war. If Israel refuses to talk, then the Palestinian alliance could announce that they will peacefully reclaim the land that the Israelis took from them under their “right of return“. Upon exercising their “right of return, if the Israelis fight the Palestinians and people are killed, then the Israelis will be at fault. At that point, the alliance can give an ultimatum to Israel that if Israel doesn’t participate in peace talks to resolve land and governance disputes, then the alliance will retaliate for the people Israel killed. Israel would be surrounded by an alliance of countries supporting Palestine, and Israel would know that they would lose. Under these circumstances, the US and the West would find it difficult to justify supporting a war against an alliance of Arab states.
One-state or Two-state Solution
Some people support a one-state solution where both Jews and Palestinians share the same land. Others support a two-state solution like there sort of is now. I think a one-state solution is necessary to force the Jews and Palestinians to get along. It may take some time, but eventually they will get along. In the US, African Americans and Whites didn’t get along, but eventually they did. To be fair, the government in a one-state solution would have to comprise 50% Jews and 50% Palestinians.
As for the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, they need to put aside their religious differences (Sunni vs Shia) while supporting Palestine.
Unlike real estate, which increases in value over time (except occasionally during a recession), cars depreciate in value as soon as you drive them off the dealer lot. According to NerdWallet, your car’s value decreases around 20% to 30% by the end of the first year. From years two to six, depreciation ranges from 15% to 18% per year. As a rule of thumb, in five years, cars lose 60% or more of their initial value.
However, not all vehicles depreciate at the same rate, meaning certain makes or models hold their value better than others. And depreciation rates can also change over time.
A brand-new car will depreciate the most because of the steep first-year drop. Buying a car that is just one year old avoids this first hit from depreciation and saves you a significant amount of money on a nearly new car. And, of course, waiting past the three-year mark could save the owner around half of the car’s original price.
Even if two vehicles are priced the same, that doesn’t mean they will cost the same over time. For example, fuel costs, maintenance fees and depreciation can vary quite a bit between two vehicles. Knowing the 5-Year Cost to Own ahead of time can help you save money in the long run. On kbb.com you can find the 5-year cost to own a particular car or classes of vehicles.
You can also see the vehicles with the lowest 5-year cost to own by vehicle class. According to kbb.com, Toyota and Lexus are the two brands with the lowest 5-year cost to own.
Buy a Used Car
If new vehicles lose so much value in the first few years, it would make sense then to buy a used car. In this case, you have two options:
Buy a used car from a private party
In this case, the potential to get the best deal is high but you may also end up with a vehicle that has many problems. The seller may lie to you and may not have maintained the vehicle which could result in expensive surprises. You can view a vehicle’s history on CarFax.com to see if it’s been in any accidents, how many owners it’s had, and more.
Buy a certified pre-owned (CPO) car
CPO vehicles are relatively new, low-mileage vehicles that have been inspected and certified by dealers representing the automaker who built them. They come with warranty coverage and other extras you wouldn’t get if you bought a non-certified used car. For pre-owned vehicles to become certified by an automaker, they must be less than five or six years old and have fewer than 60,000 to 80,000 miles on the odometer. These vehicles also undergo multipoint inspections at the dealership. Sometimes, these vehicles were loaner vehicles that the dealer loaned to customers while they wait for their vehicles to be serviced. CPO vehicles, of course, cost more than non-certified used vehicles but they are cheaper than brand new vehicles.
Most people don’t buy cars in cash. Instead, they finance the cost by making monthly payments for 5 years. I was just at a Lexus dealer today and with my 800+ credit score and offer to put $10,000 down on a $42,037 vehicle, I was offered an interest rate of 4.29%.
I then estimated what kind of interest rate I could get from MyAutoLoan.com and got a rate of 2.33%.
To determine the monthly payments and total interest payments, we can use a car payment calculator. At 4.29% over 60 months, my monthly payments would be $594.21 and the total interest paid over 5 years would be $3,615.72.
At 2.33% over 60 months, my monthly payments would be $566.17 and the cost total interest paid would be $1,933.44.
The difference is $1682.28 over 5 years.
Sometimes, dealers have specials where they offer 0% interest. For example, if a new car costs $42000 with 0% interest financing whereas a slightly used certified pre-owned car costs $39000 with 4% interest, you might as well buy the new car because the 4% interest would increase the cost from $39,000 to $42,044.75.
Another option is to get a loan from a credit union. Unlike banks, credit unions are not for profit so they can offer lower rates. For example, if you live in Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can become a member of 1st United Credit Union and get competitive rates for a new or used car loan. See their rates.
Car insurance costs vary depending on many factors. Following are factors that affect car insurance. For low-cost insurance, try Costo Home and Auto insurance.
One cost factor is risk. Young drivers below the age of 25 and elderly drivers above the age of 65 are considered high risk drivers. For that reason, car insurance tends to cost more in those age groups. Following is a chart of average insurance costs by driver age.
Understandably, if you have a clean driving record (no accidents, no insurance claims), then you’ll likely pay less for car insurance, and vice versa.
Car make, model and value
The cost of your car is a major factor in the cost to insure it. Other variables include the likelihood of theft, the cost of repairs, its engine size and the overall safety record of the car. Automobiles with high-quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.
The Tesla Model 3 is the most expensive popular car to insure. The 2022 Tesla Model 3 starts at a moderately priced $44,990 but at $2,830 a year for full coverage, insurance is significantly more than other popular cars.
Insurance for the Model 3 and other Tesla vehicles is so expensive because as a luxury car, Teslas are more expensive to repair and are a more enticing target for thieves.
The cost to change oil can vary quite a bit from one car to another and the cost is usually exorbitant if you change oil at a dealer. For example, the average cost to change oil for a Mercedes S-Class is almost twice that for a Lexus UX SUV.
My 2003 Honda Accord costs even less to change the oil.
Note that some new cars include 3 year / 36,000 mile maintenance.
Before spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, it might be helpful to read the manual first since you can’t return vehicles to the dealer as you can most other purchases. You can find manuals on the manufacturers’ websites.
Fixing a car can be very expensive. Having a warranty can save you a ton of money and offer peace of mind. With a warranty, the manufacturer will fix certain things for free during a certain period of time or up to a certain mileage. There are different types of warranties.
The typical auto warranty coverage is 3 years/36,000 miles — meaning a warranty that covers needed repairs in the first three years you own your car, or for the first 36,000 miles you drive it, whichever comes first. You can estimate how far you drive each year by finding the distance from one place to another in Google Maps, e.g. distance from home to work and back 5 days a week.
Comprehensive / Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
This type of warranty covers everything except wear and tear, damage caused by you, and normal maintenance.
This type of warranty covers the mechanical parts that move the car.
Both Hyundai and Kia offer one of the industry’s longest warranties on new cars — a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, if the vehicle is sold, only a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty goes to the new owner of the car.
This type of warranty covers repairs to the battery, electric motor, and other unique components found in an electric or hybrid car.
Lexus, for example, offers the following warranties.
The Basic Warranty coverage is for 48 months or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
The Powertrain Warranty is for 72 months or 70,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
The Lexus Hybrid Warranty coverage is for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first, and covers the following components: Hybrid Battery Control Module (battery voltage sensor), Hybrid Control Module (power management control module), and Inverter with Converter.
The Lexus Hybrid Battery Warranty coverage is for ten years or 150,000 miles, whichever occurs first on 2020 and newer models.
Rent Before Buying
Though you can test drive a car at a dealer, that may not be enough for you to really get a good idea of whether the car is right for you or not. To be safe, you can rent the same model of car you are interested in buying. If the vehicle model you are interested in is not available at car rental centers like Hertz, you may be able to find one at a private party via the Turo.com. Of course, you can also borrow a friend’s car if they have the one you are interested in.
Some vehicles are gas guzzlers. This can cause you to spend a lot more money than you thought. There are 3 main types of cars: gas only, hybrid gas and electricity, and electric only. At FuelEconomy.gov, you can compare up to 4 vehicles for fuel economy.
2021 hybrid Lexus Crossover SUC
2003 gas-only Honda Accord
25 miles per gallon
42 miles per gallon
Distance on full tank
Annual Fuel Cost
Cost to Drive 25 Miles
Sometimes you can get rebates valued at thousands of dollars. Following are some clean vehicle incentive websites.
All-electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased new, not used, in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to power the vehicle.
A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the income tax you owe. For example, if you owe $1,000 in federal taxes but are eligible for a $1,000 tax credit, your net liability drops to zero. … Therefore, if your total tax is $400 and claim a $1,000 tax credit, you will receive a $600 refund.
For example, for the Hyundai Ionic All-Electric sedan, you can get a $7500 federal tax credit.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid and the 2022 Lexus NX Plug-In Hybrid qualify for a $7.5K federal tax credit as well.
The 2017–22 Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid qualifies for a $4,502 tax credit.
The process to apply for a tax credit is fairly simple. You first have to buy a vehicle that qualifies, of course. Then you fill out form 8936 along with your tax return. After filing your return, if you look at your IRS tax transcript, which you can download from the IRS website, you will see a section titled “Tax and Credits” with a line item (highlighted below) for “F8936 Electric Motor Vehicle Credit Amount” which should have the dollar amount of the credit available for the EV you buy.
Costco Auto Program
Costco claims to offer its members a discount when buying new and pre-owned vehicles from participating dealers. An Authorized Dealer Contact will present the “Costco Member-Only Price Sheet,” displaying your prearranged pricing. The savings can be displayed in one of two ways: one version lists pricing for all models available at the participating dealership; the other will show a VIN-specific price based on the vehicle you select, including any applicable manufacturer incentives or rebates.
Tires aren’t like shoes: The bigger the size, the more you pay. According to Discount Tire / America’s Tire, the average prices are as follows.
Small (12” – 15” wheels). Compact cars, golf carts, etc.
$80 – $150
Medium (16” – 20” wheels). Crossovers, SUVs, small trucks, and vans.
$100 – $250
$150 – $250
All-Gas vs All-Electric Vehicles
Vehicles are becoming more and more electric. Here are some pros and cons of all-electric vehicles.
You can save a lot of money
Electric cars can be pricey
Electricity is renewable
Charging can be a lengthy process
You can reduce your environmental impact
You can’t go as far or as long as gas cars
You can take advantage of tax credits and clean car rebates
Finding a station can be tough
Less maintenance is required
Car insurance premiums may increase
Drive solo in HOV lane
No oil changes
No smog checks
Note that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 supports ultra-fast charging and can go up to 300 miles on a full charge.
The ultra-fast charging capability gives you over 60 miles of range with just a five- minute charge, or you can charge it from 10 percent to 80 percent in just under 18 minutes. However, ultra-fast chargers are only available at public charging stations.
Lexus UX 250h
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Transport large items
Yes, it’s a subcompact SUV but the trunk is small because the battery is there
Yes, it’s a subcompact SUV with a large trunk because the battery is in the front
Fed Tax Credit
Yes, ultra fast, 5 mins gets you 60 miles
Must change oil, belt, and filter
Must get a smog check
Must go to a gas station
No, charge at home. Can also charge at a public charging station.
4 years, 50K miles
5 years, 60K miles
6 years, 70K miles
10 years, 100K miles
Cost to drive 25 miles
EV (Electric Vehicle)
EV Battery Size and Range
An EV’s range depends on the size of its battery.
Gross Capacity—or Total Capacity—is the total amount of energy a pack can theoretically hold.
Net Capacity—or Usable Capacity—is the amount of energy the car can actually draw on to move.
You can see a list of EVs sorted by battery size. The average size is 56.3 kWh. The largest is 107.8 kWh (Mercedes EQS AMG 53 4MATIC+). The smallest is 16.7 kWh (Smart EQ for four).
EV Charging Speed on Level 1, 2, 3 Chargers
Before buying an EV, make sure to research your ability to charge it. Most EV owners install a Level 2 charger in their home which is an added cost. Learn more about EV charging.
Range Added Per Hour
Time to Charge 60 kWh EV
Time to Charge EV with a 60-kWh battery is the time to raise the battery’s charge level from 10% to 80%
The Ioniq 5’s battery pack size is 77.4 kWh, and the maximum continuous draw permitted on a 15A 120V outlet is 12A (incidentally the rate at which Hyundai’s In-Cable Control Box, aka granny charger, tops out in the North American market).
120V * 12A = 1.44 kW, and the charging efficiency lies somewhere between 80 and 90 percent, let’s call it 85. So 77.4 / 1.44 / 0.85 = 63.25 hours, or a bit over 2 days and 15 hours. That said, you’d never use 100% of the battery capacity. If you’re plugging in each night after an average daily commute of 30 miles, you’d be recharged in under 8 hours.
Most EV owners will install a Level 2 charger in their home with between 30 and 40 amp capacity, with 32A being common. Charger efficiency is about 90 per cent at the higher voltage, so 77.4k / (32 * 240) / 0.9 = 11.2 hours from 0 (never drive your EV down to zero!) to 100 per cent.
So many cars now have touchscreens and the screens are just getting bigger and bigger. Many people use their phones for driving directions, playing music, and more. But, phones screens are small which makes them more difficult to use, especially when driving. Some car screens have maps and driving directions but they’re hard to use and ugly. Tesla car screens have nice maps but Teslas are expensive and you may not want a Tesla. In that case, you may want to get a car that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
For example, here’s how Google Maps looks on Android Auto.
You can find routes, get real-time alerts, view places on the way, reserve parking, find a charging station, and more.
You can also control music using some apps on your phone like Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music.
I personally use the PowerAmp music player. It was upgraded to support Android Auto and the screen looks like this.
Of course, you can all make phone calls and chat as well.
Note that for Android Auto, not all apps are supported.
When considering a new car, there are often more than one trim levels to choose from. Each trim comes with different features. You’ll want to make sure you compare each trim and feature, e.g. does the base model include heated seats, before picking a trim.
a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another. of customs or beliefs from generation to generation
a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.
(in Christianity) doctrine not explicit in the Bible but held to derive from the oral teaching of Jesus and the Apostles.
(in Judaism) an ordinance of the oral law not in the Torah but held to have been given by God to Moses.
(in Islam) a saying or act ascribed to the Prophet but not recorded in the Koran.
Many people uphold and follow tradition as if it were some sort of law. Many traditions have nothing to do with religion yet people continue to follow them. Some traditions don’t have negative consequences if not followed, but others can be outright ridiculous and even life-changing. Following are some outrageous and even deadly traditions that still happen today.
Based on caste system in India Dalit is a name for people belonging to the lowest caste in India, characterized as “untouchable”. They are discriminated against on many levels and even murdered.
Killing Babies and Infants
In Ethiopia Children born out of wedlock and children with perceived and true physical abnormalities are considered ritually impure. These children are disposed of either through drowning, putting soil in their mouths and strangling or leaving infants in the forest.
In India Baby girls are being killed in the Tamil Nadu area of India, so their poverty-stricken parents can avoid paying large dowries when their daughters marry.
Foot binding was the Chinese custom of breaking and tightly binding the feet of young girls in order to change the shape and size of their feet; during the time it was practiced, bound feet were considered a status symbol and a mark of beauty.
Leblouh (Arabic: البلوح, romanized: lə-blūḥ) is the practice of force-feeding girls from as young as five to nineteen, in countries where obesity was traditionally regarded as desirable. Especially prevalent in rural areas and having its roots in Tuareg tradition, leblouh is practiced to increase chances of marriage in a society where high body volume used to be a sign of wealth. The practice is being done in several African countries, such as Mauritania, Niger, Uganda, Sudan, Tunisia (specifically Jewish people), Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Dowry deaths are deaths of married women who are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by their husbands and in-laws over a dispute about their dowry, making the women’s homes the most dangerous place for them to be. Dowry deaths are found predominantly in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran.
Bride burning is a form of domestic violence practiced in countries located on or around the Indian subcontinent. A category of dowry death, bride-burning occurs when a young woman is murdered by her husband or his family for her family’s refusal to pay additional dowry. The wife is typically doused with kerosene, gasoline, or other flammable liquid, and set alight, leading to death by fire. Kerosene is often used as the cooking fuel for dangerous small petrol stoves, so it allows the claim that the crime was an accident. It is most common in India and has been a major problem there since at least 1993.