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I’ve Got An Idea

Posted by Rick · April 8th, 2005 · 5 Comments

I’ve got an idea and I think it’s a pretty good one, too. My wife isn’t so sure.

You see, I need to find some way to make a little more money. So I’m thinking of starting a chicken farm. At first, I was really stumped, though, as to how I was going to protect my chickens from all you thievin’ varmints out there.

Then, it hit me. Americans respond best to fear.

So what I’m going to do is to get me a couple scary-looking crafty-eyed mean-spirited foxes and put them in charge of my chicken farm.

“We believe driving is not easily changeable for most people,” said Geoff Sundstrom, a spokesman for the automobile group AAA. He said leisure driving represents a relatively small amount of miles driven. Most of the driving is for going to and from work, shopping and other daily activities, he said. — Pump Shock — Get Used to It” (April 7, 2005) CBS News.

In other words, the President and Vice-President of the United States — who just coincidentally happen to be oilmen — have us by the balls. That’s why the CBS News article is titled “Pump Shock — Get Used to It” and not “Soaring Gasoline Prices — What Should Be Done About It?”

With crude oil prices at record highs in recent weeks and still close to them, the White House is casting itself as immersed in addressing the problem. It is using the increase in oil and gasoline prices to raise the pressure on Congress to pass Mr. Bush’s stalled energy bill, which the administration says would encourage domestic oil exploration and production, support alternative energy sources and improve conservation. — Richard W. Stevenson and Matthew L. Hald, “U.S. Report Sees Gasoline Prices Moving Higher Still” (April 8, 2005) New York Times.

“Immersed”?! Whoa! I’m going to need more foxes! The two in the White House are crafty, indeed!

Let me see if I have this straight. For years, the oilmen in America have been drooling over two possibilities:

  1. The chance that Americans will get used to $4 or $5 per gallon for gasoline, like they have in Europe, and
  2. They get to drill right here in America, even if it means destroying wilderness areas. No more buying from foreigners. No more long trips across the Atlantic.

Americans are paying record prices because — for the two decades in a row — “the demand for gasoline surpasses the supply; we just don’t have enough production capacity.” They built some gasoline production facilities. They just can’t figure out how to build more. Meanwhile,

The consumers groups say Americans have been forced to pay more than $250 billion in price hikes since January 2000 for gasoline and natural gas, resulting in an increase in after-tax profits of $50 to $80 billion. — “Record Prices, Record Oil Industry Profits, Consumers Groups Report” (May 11, 2004) The Business Journal.

And this isn’t some stray story, some blip, reported by only one business newspaper. ConsumersUnion.org reports that the first nine months of 2004, oil industry profits went up by 35 percent over the last year. Thirty-five percent! Can you imagine getting a 35 percent raise in your paycheck in one year?

We aren’t talking about small amounts of money, either.

For example, in just the first three months of 2001, ExxonMobil reported record profits of $5 billion; Chevron, $1.6 billion; and Texaco, $833 million. — “Oil Companies, Making Record Profits,
Seek Environmental Rollbacks”
(May 8, 2001) Environmental Media Services (last updated May 8, 2001; last visited April 8, 2005; emphasis added).

And remember, that was before the 35 percent increase in their profits. Just recently, “Exxon’s fourth-quarter earnings, at $8.42 billion, represented the highest quarterly income ever reported by an American firm.” (Michael T. Klare, “The Energy Crunch to Come” (2005) TomDispatch.com; also available at MotherJones and Common Dreams (emphasis added).)

“This is the most profitable company in the world,” declared Nick Raich, research director of Zacks Investment Research in Chicago. — Michael T. Klare, “The Energy Crunch to Come” (March 22, 2005) Common Dreams.

And that problem with production?

U.S. Energy Department data earlier in the week showed that the nation’s gasoline production jumped 5.2 percent last week to its highest level this year and that the country’s gasoline stockpiles were 5.7 percent higher than a year earlier. — “Oil Prices Drop More Than $1 a Barrel” (April 8, 2005) CBS News.

I have a question. And the problem is that whenever I ask, people get angry at me. I’m really not trying to get people angry. At least not at me. A little anger right now might be a Good Thing™ — but I’m the wrong target.

Here’s the question: ARE AMERICANS STUPID?

There are two oilmen in the White House. The oil industry secretly met with the Vice-President to decide on the Energy Policy for the United States. Oil company executives created the U.S. Oil Policy that is followed now by the Bush Administration. This has resulted in oil prices that are making life difficult for a growing number of Americans. Meanwhile, profits have never been higher than now for the oil companies. And they want us to let them drill in our last remaining wilderness spaces so they can make even more profits.

Any chance we’ll start to understand why the old adage says “Don’t let the fox guard the henhouse”?

Categories: The Bush Regime


5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 OleBlueTheHeretic // Apr 8, 2005 at 8:09 am

    Chicken farming? I will help you with rumors to get the price up! Weasels are good at politics and gaurding hen houses…honest

    Great post!

  • 2 Mike // Apr 8, 2005 at 10:54 am

    I think that our only course of action is to stop purchasing gasoline as much as possible. Carpool, telecommute – get organized. The only real power we have as Americans anymore is how we vote with our money every day. Stop buying gas – if it means getting up earlier to pick up 4 people to carpool, then that is what we have to do. Money speaks louder than anything else.
    And while we are at it, cancel your cell phone as well. Cancel anything that you possibly can do without that charges on a monthly basis. Cable TV, Cell Phones, etc. Why? Because competition is not driving prices down and services are not being charged for based on cost, they are being charged for based on what companies think they can get away with. There isn’t an oil crisis *yet*, if there was, alternative engines would already be in production on a large scale. The gasoline companies know this. The charge that you pay for your cell phone has little or nothing to do with how much it costs the provider, it only has to do with how much they believe consumers will pay for the service. If we want to pay less for goods and services, then we are going to have to force companies back into competition and this is going to mean that we have to absolutely REFUSE to pay what they are charging. If there weren’t lines of cars at the gas pumps, does anyone think that they would be able to justify what they are charging? No way in hell. The oil companies want us to think that this is a dire situation. It isn’t.
    Imagine this: An oil executive looks out the window to see a street that is normally full of cars virtually empty – people are carpooling, riding their bikes or scooters in response to the prices. What do you think they are going to do? If you said, “freak out”, you would be right.
    The biggest obstacle that I see however is the “how” obstacle. How can we get people to do it? Well, first of all, enough people have to realize that this is a problem – not a real problem, but one that has been invented to make money (much like the “California Energy Crisis” that was completely bogus). Next, we have to get organized – people with the answers have to do something. Offer to carpool. Split the gas cost between 4-5 people. Avoid un-necessary road trips/travel. Use the good old telephone in your house to call someone instead of driving to their house. This has to be large in scale in order to work, and it isn’t going to work over the course of less than 12 months, but it will work.

    Starve the foxes dammit!!!

  • 3 nick meyer // Apr 8, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    If you even think about a chicken ranch in our neighborhood I will be the first to complain and start a petition.

  • 4 jo-fo // Apr 8, 2005 at 2:24 pm

    I guess we’d better get used to paying big bucks for the ultra-safe, government chickens too.

    You know, I have it very lucky. The company I work for pays for all of my gas, so, this issue doesn’t hit my wallet directly in the way that it hits others. However, I make it a point to drive as little as possible as a matter of principle.

  • 5 eRobin // Apr 11, 2005 at 6:52 am

    Wow, what a post. Thanks for writing it.

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