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sm62704's Journal: Where is the outrage? 9

Journal by sm62704

Please pardon the ranting flamefest that is coming the way of those of you who choose to keep reading.

I ran out of gas yesterday. Or rather, Tami did, in my car.

I had a buck forty in my pocket, and walked to the gas station and put it in the gas can at four sixteen a gallon.

When I first went to college (before temporarily dropping out to join the military), a dollar would give me a quarter tank of gas and get me from Cahokia to Edwardsville and back.

Yesterday a dollar forty wasn't even enough to get the damned thing started.

I walked back to work, bummed a ride to the bank and gas station and filled the can for $4.40. I emptied it into the car, drove back to the gas station and put another twenty dollars in it.

It almost gave me a quarter tank.

My journal the other day made passing reference to the Oil Baron Traitors who live in the White House. Whether or not looks are deceiving, it seems as if these two incredibly dishonest men clawed their way there by hook and by crook, disguising their criminal pasts, simply to enrich themselves and their oil buddies at the expense of the very people who voted them into office.

Before you break the keys on your keyboard screaming "WAHT TEH FCUK DO YUO MEAN CRIMINAL YOU TINFOIL HAT-WEARING DEMOCRAT????!!!111OneOneOne!!!1!", first, Bush and Cheney ARE criminals. Both have been conviced of drunken driving. My friend Mike's cousin is in a Missouri state prison as I type this for the exact same crime that Bush paid a hundred dollar fine for. Prisons are for criminals.

Bush and Cheney are not only criminals, but they kept their criminal records secret until the day before the 2000 election.

How did they do that? If I were ever to get arrested, let alone convicted of drunk driving or anything else, and ran for public office the fact would be in the newspaper before the ink was dry on the candidacy paperwork.

I'm no Democrat. I've voted Republican in more Presidential elections than Democrat, so this isn't some partisan ass-waving (donkey-waving). Until Bush took office I thought I'd never see a worse President than Carter.

But here we have an oil man as President, and another oil man as Vice President, and the price of gasoline has more than quadrupled since they took office. I lived through the gas crisises in the 1970s, and the first Arab oil embargo was a shock, because I was in uniform in Southeast Asia when it hit. All I knew of it was the mutterings of the taxi drivers and bhat bus drivers. I had no idea it was a worldwide occurrance; I didn't speak Thai very well.

When I left the US to drag aerospace ground equipment to B-52s, U2s, and other military aircraft in support of a senseless, useless war that I had stupidly and sinfully volunteered for, gasoline was thirty cents per gallon in both Deleware where I had been previously stationed, and St Louis where I'd grown up.

When I reached Alaska on my way home, the headlines screamed "Nixon Resigns!" The first President I had ever cast a vote for had resigned in disgrace. Of course it was over the Watergate scandal, not oil or gas, but when I got home gasoline was seventy five cents a gallon.

It was quite a shock. So was the fact that the President of the United States had never been voted for in any national election at all - Nixon's original Vice President had been indicted, tried, and convicted (Wikipedia says he pleaded "no Contest") of the same crimes that former Illinois Governor George Ryan is in prison for today.

Of course, Agnew's criminal acts didn't kill anybody like Ryan's criminal acts did. It is a supreme irony that the man whose criminal actions killed children by burning them to death was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But I'm getting a bit off-topic here.

Nixon had appointed Ford. Ford was the only President in US history to not have been elected to the post of President or Vice President. He then gave a Presidential pardon to the "not a" crook who had appointed him President!

And you young folks wonder why we geezers are so cynical. We've lived through some God damned sleazy politics. If only I could have the idealism I had in my youth! Or maybe, if only I could have never been idealistic at all and been spared the disillusionment.

The price of gasoline dropped slowly down somewhat. Nonetheless, this doubling of gas prices caused a severe recession, and it was a historical first - previous recessions and depressions had seen either stable prices of goods and services, or deflation. Never before had recession come at the same time as inflation. The word "stagflation", an ugly mashup of stagnation and inflation, was coined.

Rather than blaming the meteoric rise in prices on the price of oil, the media blamed labor, despite the fact that the Federal government had instituted "wage-price controls" which kept working people's incomes steady while allowing the incomes of those whose incomes were derived from sitting on their asses collecting profits to rise meteorically. You may not have been able to raise the prices in your store, but you could open new stores. Your hard-earned wages could go up not more than a certain percentage, but the rich's dividend income had no such controls.

The wealthy got richer and the poor got hungrier.

It happened again in 1979. I had just taken a required college course, with the textbook being Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday (the link is to the text of the entire book). Read it today and be afraid, be very afraid.

Gas prices nearly doubled from sixty five cents per gallon up to a dollar. The Iranians (more Arabs) put the final nail in the coffin of the Carter Presidency by kidnaping some Americans right before the Presidential elections. Ironically, the Iranians helped us, their sworn enemies, by ensuring that Carter's Presidency was finished.

This record high price of gasoline is touted by the media and parroted by neocons as the metric by which today's gas prices should be measured "after inflation".

But the inflation was a direct result of oil and gas prices! Those giant machines today's farmers use gulp incredible amounts. Plastic is mostly made of oil, and nearly everything is made of plastic. And everything must be transported, and the trucks and trains need deisel.

Or rather, 1980 oil was the metric neocons used when Hurricane Katrina made the price of gasoline shoot up to three dollars a gallon, less than three short years ago. Even still, compared to the wage a minimum wage worker makes rather than the false metric of "after inflation", a falsehood because of the fact that oil caused, rather than was a result of, inflation, that three dollar a gallon gasoline was far more expensive for the minimum wage worker than it was for a minimum wage worker in 1980.

It is argued that "only teenagers make minimum wage", but have you ever been to a McDonalds? My acquaintence Terri, who drinks at Farley's, makes French fries there. I'm not sure how old she is but she looks to be in her late forties. Brian made minimum wage at Subway's before going into drug rehab. I seldom see anyone working at any fast food restaraunt that looks younger than twenty - most of these folks have children.

As I sat down one evening
'Twas in small cafe
A forty year old waitress
To me these words did say:
"Well, I see that you are a logger,
and not just a common bum
'cause nobody but a logger
stirs his coffee with his thumb!"

-From James Steven's American folk song The Frozen Logger

Wait staff make minimum wage after tips!

The people I see on the streets, in the bars, in the stores, and especially in the gas stations all grumble loudly about the fucktardedly high price of gas. Everyone is complaining, except three groups of people, and these three groups all make excuses.

The first group, understandably, is those in the oil and gas industry. The second group is the necons, who against all logic and reason blame environmentalists for the record high prices, despite the record high profits of the oil industry.

The third group is the mainstream media. Where is the outrage? Isn't it supposed to be their job to question the status quo?

No, I guess it's their job to make excuses for the excesses of the rich (who after all own the various media outlets) and inform us of the incredibly important drug problems and custoidy battles of useless celbrities.

And they wonder why their circulation continues to dwindle!

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Where is the outrage?

Comments Filter:
  • by JDWTopGuy (209256)
    I don't see the government letting anybody drill in new places here in the states. Getting oil at home means less money spent transporting it, less dependence on nations that only like us for our money, and more American jobs. However I don't think it's everybody's favorite scapegoats (Bush, Dick, etc) who are blocking things like drilling in Alaska.

    Anyway, on the subject of gas mileage, here's something you should consider next time you're thinking about how much you hate diesel cars: Euro spec TDI mileage [jalopnik.com]
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      If they found a way to make diesel not stink and rattle I not only wouldn't mind them, I'd probably buy one.

      the increased torque and efficiency of diesel can't overcome crappy driving techniques. Truckers who let their engines idle for hours at a time have no business complaining about the price of diesel or the low mileage they get.

      Very true. People here will as willingly race to a red light in their Escalade as they'll gripe about the price of gassing it up. It annoys me endlessly when I'm coasting toward
      • by JDWTopGuy (209256)
        I'm glad to hear you're driving smartly. It won't make buying gas less painful, but at least you won't have to as often. And hey, if you're driving under the speed limit you don't have to look out for cops.

        They've made really amazing advancements with diesel engines for cars. In trucks they're still rather beastish, albeit cleaner, but in cars they've managed to make them nearly indistinguishable from the gas engine versions of same models. (The Top Gear comparison of the gas and diesel 6-series BMWs was re
        • by sm62704 (957197)
          BMWs was really interesting to see, the diesel was actually quieter than the gas engine model IIRC.)

          Wow, BMWs must have really gotten noisy then, because if I'm idling I can't hear my '02 Concorde (my best mileage was 36 mpg in a 100 mile trip from St Louis to here).

          The problem is when they get a little older. The new diesels generally don't stink. Gasoline powered cars only stink when the spark plugs get old, but diesels don't have any spark plugs.

          My car is recycled. I gave my last car away after the steer
    • I don't see the government letting anybody drill in new places here in the states

      Drop in the bucket. By the time the ANWR argument is resolved one way or the other, it really won't matter.

      Build nuclear power plants, build 'em now, or suffer a resurgence of smog.
      • by JDWTopGuy (209256)
        I agree that we need more nuclear power (and less coal/etc). Of course everybody gets all NIMBY about them, and so here we are with the ability to make really clean power, and doing nothing about it.

        But electricity has nothing to do with oil, and it's my opinion that as long as there is oil people will stick to gas/diesel vehicles. We need more nuclear power, more oil drilling, and more refineries.
        • But electricity has nothing to do with oil

          No, but electric cars are a doddle. Fertilizer, on the other hand....

          more oil drilling

          Peak Oil says it's just a diversionary tactic. Course correction should start earlier rather than later.
          • by JDWTopGuy (209256)
            Electric cars are fine for the small percentage of the population that they are actually feasible for. You wouldn't get me in one, since I have driven roughly 26,666 miles a year since I got my car in January '07 (40,000 miles on the odometer now). That's mostly long trips (300-400 miles one way). There's simply no way an electric car would ever be feasible for me as a primary vehicle.

            Note to the pedantic /. peanut gallery: As I mentioned in other posts, I drive for mileage, and at least half of my trips ha
            • by sm62704 (957197)
              The GP was wrong.

              But electricity has nothing to do with oil

              Yes, it does. Some of The generators here in Springfield [cwlp.com]run on oil.

              City Water, Light & Power is the supplier of electricity for Springfield residents and businesses. CWLP's Electric Division facilities include the Dallman and Lakeside coal-fired power plants, three diesel generators, two sulfur dioxide (SO2) scrubbers serving the three Dallman plants, a maintenance facility and a waste water treatment plant. A selective catalytic reduction (SCR)

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