Gas Prices

Ok,

I know I’m late to the bandwagon.

I was listening to the news last night and got to thinking about this whole gas mess.

The price of oil is being inflated due to fears and rising tensions with Iran. Ok I get that.

What I don’t get is that gas demand has been a bit light over the past couple of months, So if the demand has been light doesn’t that mean that the gas being distributed right now was purchased at the lower (Pre Iranian tensions prices)?

Wolfnew

If that’s true then why are we paying higher prices on fuel right now? Why is it likely that the high prices will continue conveniently through the Summer months?

Wouldn’t you expect for the higher price to hit us when the oil purchased during the tension actually hits the refineries, or was actually delivered to the gas stations?

I found myself thinking this way because there’s a pattern in gas prices that’s developed over the past decade or so.

Each and every Spring we see some crisis that affects oil prices. It’s like the oil companies go to a big hat and pull out an excuse randomly.

I’m all for capitalism, and all for people making money. BUT I completely reject the inconsistencies between the excuses oil companies give when asked why gas or heating oil prices are so high and record profits year after year.

If in fact the oil companies are hurting… then how can they post ever increasing profits? Shouldn’t we expect their profits to be flat, or only incrementally higher?

I, as I suspect a lot of people have begun to believe that Big Oil is lying through their teeth and actually playing with oil pricing as a means to drive up profits at the expense of the economy and the suffering of the American people.

I’m hoping when congress investigates the sudden disproportionate run up of gas prices this year, that someone at least takes the oil giants to task and calls them liars to their faces.

In the mean time… the only thing we as consumers can do is this…

Use as little fuel as we possibly can. Lets see if we can affect Oil company profits by purchasing as little of their product as possible. Leave those cars in the parking lot folks…

Of course the other alternative is…

Invade and conquer the Middle East then destroy OPEC and pump those deserts dry.

I didn’t say it was a GOOD alternative…

——– UPDATE ———-

Was out & about, the price for premium unleaded at several stations was 4.69 per gallon. There was one station advertising 4.85… needless to say the employees were sweeping and cleaning up the station because there was no-one else in the place.

I’m pretty sure we’re going to see $5 and above real dang soon…

 

Alright I’m not a big believer in conspiracies BUT this makes ya think.

I’ve always been  someone that treated conspiracy theories and theorists the same way that you’d treat a addled old aunt.

You know, you can invite the old dear to the family Thanksgiving just make damn sure that everyone else knows not to say a word about any knitted products. And absolutely NO-ONE is allowed to wear sweaters.

The whole family knows if you get the old bird talking about knitting that no-one will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving day football.

Why? because the old girl will shout louder than you can make the TV about pearl stitches and the inferior quality of anything made anywhere except her house. Then you’ll get her dissertation on the poor quality of the yarns available. Followed up by her fateful meeting with Joseph Marie Jacquard and what a bastard he was to her.

However, as  I mentioned several weeks ago. I was at a friends home and he suggested that perhaps some of the conspiracy theories about 9/11 held merit. My folks taught me that you should listen to everyone even those people that you believed were completely insane or that you disagreed with so much that all you wanted to do was beat some sense into them.

So, I watched the show that my friend suggested. Then I watched another, the second one was much better than the first in that there was what I’ll call a smoking gun.

As I’ve perused Netflix I’ve noticed other documentaries. Normally, I’d have passed these documentaries by as complete hokum and not even sullied my television with their pseduo-science.

Indeed, some of them are complete wastes of time. after about the 4th Dramatic swell of music to underscore a specious argument, I’m done!

You want some fun… Watch Ancient Aliens, in addition to the guy that looks like a character from Babylon 5 who I personally find hard to watch with anything like seriousness. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to take apart their “facts” and come to conclusions that don’t require alien visitation. I find myself watching the show because they mention really interesting archeological sites and finds, which I’ll go online and read about later…

Sometimes though, you stumble across things that really catch your attention.

The end of america header

In this category of attention grabbing, sphincter tightening, documentaries is one called;

The End of America

I’ve been wondering where the hell my country has gone for many years. I’d chalked my disconnected feelings up to dis-satisfaction with the changes that all countries and societies go through over time. You know, I’m getting older… I figured I was becoming my Grandfather waxing longingly about the way things were.

But then I realized the things that are concerning me are issues about what I was taught in school to be fundamental freedoms.

I’ve described myself as a constitutionalist conservative. When I say that, I mean that our constitutional freedoms are to be preserved at any and all costs, while at the same time government shouldn’t be up our asses all the time protecting us from … ourselves.

Freedom means that we’re allowed to make mistakes, we can choose to smoke, drink, fuck, or whatever else as long as in the exercise of your rights… you don’t infringe on mine.

So I’m for small, relatively un-intrusive government and completely equal rights & freedoms for everyone. Suspension or abridgment of any part of the constitution is a really big deal to me.

To date I thought I was alone in my concern that perhaps we as a country were standing on a slippery slope.

I thought that I was over-reacting to disparate events that I saw forming a disturbing pattern. (Yeah, I’m terrified of becoming one of those conspiracy theory nutjobs.)

Yet here is a documentary which isn’t about drama, or spooky music, or anything other than a lady named Naomi Wolf essentially giving a stand up talk about a book she wrote.

The points she makes are well made and can be documented. Whether the connections she makes between the points are valid is something that I don’t think we’ll be able to know until perhaps it’s simply too late to do anything about it.

I’m glad that she wrote the book, I’m glad I got a chance to see this documentary and It’s nice to know that perhaps I’m not one of the conspiracy nutjobs… just yet.

If you have the time, check out the documentary or the book. It’s worth while for you to evaluate and make your own decision especially in this election year.

I do wish that I’d never had that damn conversation with my friend in the first place. I’d have preferred to remain blissfully ignorant and uncurious…

NOT Really!

It’s being able to talk openly and honestly with my friends that has made me a much better person than I ever would have been if they weren’t in my life.

Conspiracy Theories (Updated)

A very good friend of mine & I were discussing conspiracy theories in general over the weekend.

This conversation was taking place over a very nice bourbon after a pizza & beer.  One of the things that we touched on was the conspiracy theories surrounding large corporations, and our government.

He’d just seen a movie with a controversial take on the Twin Towers.  I need to sit down an watch the movie before I can really comment about it in great detail.

A “proof” the movie presented was that the Hijackers made really long turns in order to get their planes lined up for impact with the Twin Towers.

Since these guys were schooled in only the basics of single engine flight the question raised was how could they have controlled the planes which are complex marvels of technology.

My answer is; These planes are complex marvels of technology.

Yeah the hijackers weren’t trained pilots. They certainly had little if any knowledge of multi-turbine aircraft. So for me a more fundamental question is How did they even keep these beasties in the air?

Technology! The hijackers of 9/11 were aided and abetted by none other than the flight computers of the planes themselves.

Over the years since 9/11, attention has been paid to the perfection of the turn one of the planes made. I am not sure that turn is evidence of a conspiracy.

 It’s probably just evidence of a crazy jihadist radically yanking the yoke of a very smart plane and the flight systems computing that the requested maneuver wasn’t possible.

So the flight systems activated to counter an insanely impossible turn. The systems calculated a turn with as short a radius as possible and then executed that turn perfectly, ignoring the screaming moron who was sitting in the pilots seat at the time. That’s the beauty of fly by wire systems, computers cross check the pilot input.

The downside is that really skilled pilots trying to avoid a collision or other hazard have their input ignored too.

I’m not shooting down conspiracies or conspiracy theories. But I’m reminded time and again of Occam’s razor. Roughly stated, The simplest explanation is more often the correct one.

If in fact conspiracies abound, what is the end game?

If our government had planes fly into the Twin Towers and the towers were in fact rigged to explode, Why?

We had plenty of less dramatic excuses to invade various countries in the Middle East. There were a lot of bad people doing a lot of bad things… These bad people were carrying out attacks against our embassies and within the territories of our allies. An attack against an Embassy used to be considered an act of war. According to treaties with many of our allies, mutual defense against enemies is like… line 1 of the treaty.

So if we wanted to have a war in the Middle East we didn’t need the excuse provided by a bunch of morons flying planes into buildings. We could simply have started fielding troops and in all probability there would have been countries… our supposed allies condemning us for doing it… OH Wait!! They did…

IF we were after oil, we had every opportunity to just take it after we were in the Middle East. Honestly, I wish we had.

We’d already been yelled at by the UN. Lots of countries were calling us imperial expansionists and calling for sanctions against the evil American Empire.

We’d already paid the price for committing the “crime”, we might as well have plugged our sippy straw into the oil fields and kept pumping until we pulled up sand. But I’m not all that nice a person…

I think if in fact conspiracies are normal, then the end game isn’t 10, or 20 years out… I think you’re looking at timescales 30 years or more into the future. Oh sure there will be intermediate events in the shorter timeframe but those smaller events only lead to the big finale.

The President may have actually given us a clue about this broader system in his SOTU address.

For better than 20 years American corporations were given tax benefits FOR moving their operations offshore and simultaneously many of them were given incentives by the governments of the countries that they relocated their operations to. Can you say double dipping?

Now The President is calling for tax incentives for companies to return operations to this country. And he called for additional tax incentives for companies that set up their returning operations in the areas previously decimated by OffShoring. Extreme urban renewal? hummmmm?

Now we know a possible goal of the game. Corporations can increase profits for 20 years on the backs of the American Taxpayer and then when the parasitic load becomes too great… The corporations can return to America and be hailed as socially responsible American companies.

I’ve suggested for years that Out Sourcing is at best not good for our country, and at worst it was treason.

I’m not a big believer in conspiracies. I find it hard to believe that large groups of people can execute conspiracies without blabbing.

On the other hand…

Woodward and Bernstein had it absolutely right….

Follow the money!

———— Update —————

I just watched the movie my friend was talking about. Then I watched another one. I have to admit that the inconsistencies each of these programs asks about is interesting.

Damn! Now I’ll be wondering if  maybe conspiracy theorists have a point….

For me, the basic “Follow the Money” rule rings truer than ever.

Who gains what? What is the long term gain? These are questions that the second documentary asked and presented plausible explanations in answer to the question.

I think there should be a corollary to the “Follow the money” rule, if the money isn’t obvious… then follow the bodies.