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Venezuela's production has dipped since 2012
No, production didn't fall until after the price collapse.
www.eia.gov
They were running a deficit so when the cash flow slowed the state couldn't pay workers, production lagged and the predictable downward spiral began.

to kill off US shale production
To believe this you have to also believe the US and the Saudi royal family aren't colluding to the detriment of smaller producers.
Which is more likely: the Saudis intentionally took a huge financial hit in a failed attempt to cause a slight disruption to their strongest and most belligerent Western ally or they took the loss to cause an even bigger loss to their enemy Iran and their bff's most vocal critic?

There is an annual street fight in Dresden on the anniversary of the bombing between neo-nazis who want to march and the townsfolk who block them. Before the fanboys get all upset, I'm not saying it is Vonnegut's fault the far right in Europe and the alt-right in America use his book as reference material for their, 'the Allies were just as bad/the nazis had some good ideas' shtick, but they do.

FTA: the Americans launched an unprecedented firebombing campaign against Dresden, killing anywhere from 35,000 to 135,000 people
It wasn't "the Americans", but ignore that. Notice how big the spread is on the death toll. The latter number is straight from Slaughterhouse-Five and it has permeated revisionist history for decades. That much much smaller number still misses the actual toll by 10,000.
"wurden bis zu 25.000 Menschen getotet"
-Dresdner Historikerkommission

Propaganda was a main theme for Vonnegut, he had to have known what he was doing with that number, and the picture he painted so beautifully of Dresden as a peaceful sanctuary of art and culture was total nonsense.
Dresden had high military value, that's why Heinz Guderian personally oversaw its' fortification. The nazis had to be wiped out and Dresden was a nazi city. We should have built a statue in Bomber Harris in the Rosengarten in case they forget.

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Sir Arthur Harris

"We cried tears of joy as we saw the red glow in the sky, Dresden is burning, the Allies are not far away"
-survivor of the Theresienstadt ghetto

"Vonnegut -bah, cloroform in print"
-me

The NE corridor route has DC, Philly, NY, and Boston all in a straight line. It is one of the only routes where Amtrak makes a profit. They estimated that it would cost 151 billion (the cost of four F-22 programs) to upgrade the track to France's standard. It should be well within the power of the so-called "leader" of the free world and "greatest" nation to upgrade a profit-making route to at least 30 year old technology. Currently Turkey, Poland and Uzbekistan have faster trains than we do.

Uzbekistan.

Having said that, Amtrak is supposed to be a government subsidized, profit making company. The SNCF pays half of every ticket in France, and SNCF owns the track. Almost all the track in the US is owned by a shipping company. 36% of our freight moves on rail, 8% in France. And even in France with great trains they have a hard time competing with air. Tourists and the convenience of traveling from city-center to city-center keeps the lines alive.
If you want high speed trains you must accept they will never make money. China has built more high speed rail in the last 15 years than the rest of the world combined and do it cheaper than anyone. You can go from Beijing to Lhasa on a nonstop bullet train in 47 hours. If it operates at full capacity for 50 years it will still lose money.

Trains bring people together. They assimilate big cities and regions and "flyover" areas into nations. This was a major factor in Europe becoming THE European Union. This is why you to spend 30 million a mile for a 47hour long suicide inducing train route at 16,000 feet. And this is why the US will never ever have a decent national train service. Politicians aren't going to spend today money on a project that wont be finished until they are dead. They will get trounced by the first opponent clever enough to blame the local's problems on those people, "moonbeam" or "crazyfornia".

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