Oil Greed

Some thoughts on gas prices.

Most of us are saying, “not again.” We’ve had rise, after rise, after rise in the cost of gasoline to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in profit for the top five oil companies and they are arrogantly defiant before a congressional committee that the profits are in line with other industries.

Come on, we know, that they have to say, what they have to say, because they are employees of their companies, but do they think we are that stupid? Apparently we are for we have yet to collectively stand up to giants of greed. Do they think that congress is that stupid, apparently they do or they know that some of our elected representatives are in the pocket of the big five oil companies via campaign contributions.

Oil industry explanations include the old law of supply and demand saying gasoline is in short supply and demand is high. Industry executives cite all sorts of reasons to justify the gouging of the American gas consumer.

Hogwash comes to mind. Nothing in the law of economics can justify four dollars or more a gallon of gas. The current gouging has nothing to do with the pristine science of economics or even the mundane yin yang of supply and demand. It has do to with a far older human condition: Greed!

Greed is an attack on the decency of common living. Until fairness is the rule, fairness in profit, fairness in value, the consumer both here and abroad will continue to be ripped off by the insensitivity and unadulterated greed of the oil companies.

The gas consumer sits back with a hose in the gas tank and says “woe is me”.

Want to do something?

Boycott one company! Pick Exxon/Mobil for instance. They import Arab oil so that’s a reasonable start. If all of us stopped going to Exxon/Mobil for one month and bought our gas elsewhere, what do you think Exxon/Mobile will do? LOWER their prices. When they do, the others will have to follow suit to compete. In a small, but exponential way, we the consumer have a way to fight back. Try it! I am!

April Fools


Some thoughts on April Fools Day.

Did you get fooled? All Fools Day has been around for centuries and nobody is really sure of the origin. Some of the early references come from the middle ages and many countries embrace the practice of pranks and jokes today.

Perhaps one of the best April fools jokes ever perpetrated on the public came from the BBC on April 1st 1957. Their television news show Panorama announced that because of a mild winter and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Producers had tied cooked spaghetti to dozens of trees and made it look like the strands were growing from the branches. Viewers could see Swiss peasants harvesting spaghetti, laying the strands in baskets and then placing them into the sun to dry

The host of the program Richard Dimbleby, a respected anchorman, stayed serious throughout the hoax story. His voice never cracked a smile or gave a hint of a wink.

Viewers were fooled and hundreds of people called the BBC for information on how to grow their own spaghetti trees. In British understatement they said they should “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

Campaign Limerick

I have thoughts today on the strain

Of this presidential campaign
A rhyming viewpoint,
To scold, not anoint,
How negative gives us a pain.
Advertisements are often diseased
With rampant political sleaze.
Let us say from here on
No mean lexicon
Let’s demand commercials that please.
Imagine what that would be like,
Back to times of Stasson and Ike
The ad’s must be clean
And nothing that’s mean
With statements that only unite.
It starts with political speech
And the rule to follow for each,
Find something that’s nice
That’s true and precise
With comments that honor, not preach.
Do you think we could make it a law
In this leadership quest seesaw.
All ad’s must be true,
That people will view
If you lie, or smear, then withdraw.
And tell us at once where you stand.
Do nothing that seems underhand.
Stay simple, direct
The truth, in effect
Elections would surely be grand.

China and Tiananmen Square


Some thoughts on what we ought not forget.

Nearly two decades ago the Chinese government crushed the public expression of democracy in Tiananmen Square. Some estimates say several thousand people died. Now they have decided, even though they said it was OK, they don’t want any live video from the square during the Olympic games.

The world of early June 1989 watched the beginning of the tension and the defiance on television, but then abruptly, the signal was cut off. To this day, the Chinese Government continues to deny that anyone but soldiers died in the weekend massacre. The collective heart of humankind, however, knows the truth and weeps. Just as the 2008 heart knows the truth of what’s happening in Tibet.

There is another sadness, beyond the continuing loss of life. It is the omnipresent shame that again in the human experience, an oppressive authority, used and uses force to prevent the empowerment of the people. Force will never conquer the desire, or the active quest for freedom in all its forms. History validates that truth, over and over again, on the crumbled actions of failed oppression. Truth and tolerance, compassion and education, common courtesy and common sense are the only values that will sustain a government in power and elevate the condition of its people. If we fail to learn it, we are destined to repeat it.