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.
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!