BIG OIL GOUGING? What About Leadership Gouging?

        

We are all concerned about higher gas prices…can you imagine making 10-15 dollars an hour and having to commute 40 miles to your job one way? We are not talking Europe here where they have transportation rails and buses in their areas. Yeah maybe in New York, and large cities..but meanwhile what about the heartland?

              

    

.Our country was built on pretty cheap oil and we are spread out, sprawling suburbia, rural and long commutes..

You cannot possibly compare our gas prices to Europes. This should have been taken care of a long time ago..in the 70’s to be exact. Now we have all the environmentalists and greenies and our Government choking us as far as drilling goes..

So now we have the presidential candidates running around telling voters that they will help solve high gas prices. Well, if you believe that, you’ll believe that Hugo Chavez drives a Yugo. It’s just bull.



Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are calling for “investigations” into “price gouging” by American oil companies. Good. There’s plenty of price manipulation going on and, under Presidents Bush and Clinton, little federal oversight. If a big oil company wants to tighten supply, for example, it’s a snap. Just slow down the refinery process by ordering some extra “maintenance” or something.

 

But who is going to investigate Senators Obama and Clinton over their opposition to oil drilling? The Democratic Party has consistently opposed new drilling, and nuclear energy as well. Even the dedicated liberal governments in France and Sweden bought into nuclear. But not the American left, no way.

We have oil in Alaska, the East Coast, The Gulf Coast that we are not drilling…a big ha ha from other countries ..don’t think for a minute Russia or China or Europe would not be using their own resources.

The price of gasoline is not set by Big Oil. It is set by futures exchanges around the world and is a direct result of supply and demand. As the world’s demand for gasoline has increased, it has all but exhausted the world’s surplus production capacity. No new refineries have been built in the U.S. since 1976. That is really looking out for us here at home…don’t ya think?

Governments own three-quarters of the world’s known reserves. Flush with oil revenue, these countries have little incentive to expand their production.

The U.S. is the third-largest oil producer. However, our government has restricted the supply of oil in the ground by putting more and more of our known reserves off limits, specifically parts of Alaska, the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, Exxon – the top U.S. company – is ranked only 14th in the world in terms of oil reserves. In addition, our government has made it more difficult to build and refine oil into gasoline.

Yes we need to conserve, yes we need to be innovative like Americans have always been..Do we really need to be using our food sources? We are paying a high price for that now and I am afraid it will be higher in the future..shortages are already hurting people and it’s coming to America and I’m not talking Neil Diamonds song.

 

related posts

A Government Engineered Food Crisis

May Be Subject To Food Rations, Warns UN

On the Republican side, President Bush has done absolutely nothing about rising gas prices, which is part of the reason is approval rating is approaching 20%. He blames the Democrats. Fine. But the President should be telling all Americans to cut back their gas consumption just a little. He should be urging us to use less gas. That would at least cut into foreign oil’s record profit margins.

Senator John McCain proposes a gas tax “holiday” this summer. True, that would save the folks a few bucks, but it would also add to the massive spending deficit. McCain is not going to rock the boat to make us ‘independent’ either. The government better start balancing the budget soon before Häagen-Dazs becomes more valuable than the U.S. currency.

The sad truth is that both political parties have sold out the folks. For decades, economists knew China and India were industrializing and those countries would demand much greater amounts of oil. Everybody knew that OPEC could slow down production and gouge the world if it could and, of course, now it can.


But if Americans would get angry and begin punishing the foreign oil bandits conserve, Use as much of our own resources as possible..then prices would drop. However, we are often a selfish people. We want those gas-guzzling Hummers and SUVs, and we’re paying a big price for that above and beyond the sticker.

We can buy less gas, urging folks to conserve energy in creative ways without falling into the Gore and his bunch green crap. We can be innovative..We can drill where we have not..We can build cars that get a lot of mileage..and they don’t have to be so little that we can barely get in and out..why not? We are the ones who got to the moon first! Are there now so many regulations that it does not pay to invent? What in the World has happened to America? Don’t answer…we already know..we are captives to globilazation, political correctness, just look at how we cannot say Jihad, thanks to Connie Rice…thats just for starters and leaders in both parties that pander to the vote now and in the future…They are not the ones that are going to have their way of life changed here…need I remind you?

 Instead They will create peer pressure against the guzzle crowd. They will use your children, guilt trip coming America..this oil stuff is all our fault..let’s just suck it up, conserve ..turn that heat down or off..air conditioning…who needs it? just open the windows.buy different light bulbs…of course, do you really think the carbon credit folks will be uncomfortable? Don’t bet on it..once in a while to look good they will pay some carbon credits..  Just watch the commercials Al Gore is bringing to us in prime time next season for the grand sum of 300 million.

I am all for profit and big profits, that is why most people work..to better their lives..however there is a fine line between profits making good money and extreme greed. Without profits there would be no jobs…of course, many of our jobs that make a living wage have gone overseas for cheap labor and that supports those countries.

 

To be fair,Profits reflect the size of an industry, and the oil industry is HUGE! From 2003 to 2007, average earnings for the oil and natural gas industry were approximately 8.1 cents for every dollar of sales, which was only a penny above the average of all U.S. manufacturing industries.
In fact, in 2007, the oil and natural gas industry earned 8.3 cents for every dollar of sales compared to 7.3 cents for all U.S. manufacturing. When you take out the financially challenged auto industry, U.S. manufacturing came out slightly ahead of oil and gas, earning 8.9 cents for every dollar of sales.
the oil companies aren’t owned by a few high rollers. Only 1.5 percent of industry shares are owned by company executives. The rest is owned by people like you and me. If you have a mutual fund or IRA, there is a good chance you own a piece of the oil industry you are looking to vilify.
Oddly enough, our oil and gas companies pay more in taxes, as a percentage of their income, than our manufacturing companies. In 2006, the oil and gas companies’ income tax expenses averaged 40.7 percent, compared to 22.1 percent for U.S. manufacturing companies.
The oil industry is capital intensive, and necessity dictates that the lion’s share of a company’s earnings must be reinvested. These costs remain high in boom periods, like the one the industry is now experiencing, as well as bust periods, like the one that occurred in the 1990s.
Also, it is important to remember that companies do not pay taxes, individuals do. Taxes must be passed along to consumers as part of the cost of doing business. Real people always will (always have) pay the cost of higher taxes. Let consumers – and voters – beware!
When politicians talk about putting a new tax on the oil companies, hold on to your wallets.

Big Oil makes its money by pumping oil out of the ground, not refining and selling it as gasoline. Only a tiny fraction of Exxon’s $36 billion profit last year came from making and selling gas in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need leadership on this energy business, or it is going to cripple our economy. Our energy incompetence has already empowered our enemies. Let’s think for once of the welfare of this country…Be outraged that we are not using our own Resources here in America, Let’s not depend on foreign oil..What is that old saying? Charity begins at home…Let’s use Alaska,the pacific, the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts..let’s stop being silly and destroying ourselves in the process. Enough already!

So let’s get ticked out here. We the people can do this. Big oil AND the Government nor the candidates are looking out for us. Let’s stop rewarding pretending they do.

McCain finally said he would enforce the border security…after much yelling by ‘we the people’..he is not going to change his stance at the present time on what happens to the ‘guest worker program’ pathway to citizenship’ or much else…including drilling….so it is time we make a whole lot more noise….lots of it..if we don’t..if we remain apathetic and lethargic on this…forget this country as you have known it..it won’t be recognizable in just a few short years…a very few short years…It is time to wake up America! Stand up as a people and bombard your reps with calls, letters and faxes…do it again and again until they have to hear you…let them know we are sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Sources:

oil facts by Jane Chastain with World Net Daily

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A is for Arrogance, B is for Baloney

Hat tip to Pamela Meister 

arrogance (n): offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

During a recent campaign stop in Florida, Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton made the following promise:

“When I’ m president, I’m going to send a message to the world that America is back – we’re not the arrogant power that we ‘ve been acting like for the past six years. “ 

The implication that President Bush is arrogant is somewhat ironic when it comes from the woman who said (while husband Bill occupied the Oval Office),

“I ‘m not going to have some reporter pawing through our papers. We are the president .”

Unfortunately, Hillary’s attitude is not at all unusual these days on the American Left. While abroad, John Kerry said America has become an “international pariah.” Ted Kennedy believes that our fight against terror has “left America more and more isolated in the world.” According to John Edwards, America can only regain its moral authority by “acknowledging when we ‘ve made mistakes or been proven wrong.” And writing for the Washington Post, Richard Cohen said,

“The contempt the Bush administration has shown for world opinion and international law — not to mention American traditions of jurisprudence — is costing us plenty.”

When you were growing up, how many times did your parents tell you not to worry about what others thought? To do what was right for you, even if it went against what the popular kids considered to be cool? Too many of our elected officials seem to have forgotten this simple homespun lesson. Their political outlook mirrors the social outlook we were all forced to endure in high school: if you didn’t look, dress or act in a certain way, you just weren’t accepted by the self-anointed elites. Even if you did, admittance to the inner circle was not guaranteed.
Should Americans look to the self-anointed global elites for guidance when it comes to our foreign policy?

Writing in American Thinker, Kyle-Anne Shiver relates this tale:

I got into a bit of a verbal tussle with a Brit this past summer – in New York, of course.  He was demanding to know why W didn’t pay more heed to the European interests before starting a bloody war that involved the whole bloody world.  At first, I could barely believe my ears, but then I simply reminded him that we, the citizens of the United States, pay our President to worry about us first – and everyone else after that.  He bolted back that, well, Clinton had cared about them!  I just said that perhaps that was one good reason why his party was out and the ones who put America first – and foremost – are IN.  

Another good rejoinder might have been to ask why Europe didn’t pay more heed to American interests before starting two terrible wars that involved the much of the world. Neither World War I nor World War II were picnics, and it certainly would have been nice if someone in charge somewhere had asked what America thought beforehand. But most Americans are realistic. They don’ t expect France, Germany, or any other country to play “Mother, may I? ” with us when they make their foreign policy decisions. Alliances come and go depending on the needs of the day, but the reality is that it has always been every man for himself, and it always will be.
 

George Bush famously said,

“A leader is somebody who is willing to take positions based on principle, not polls or focus groups.”

And as far as our security goes, he has done just that. Unlike his predecessor, who licked his finger and held it up to the wind before making important policy decisions, Bush has been steadfast in his belief that the safety of American citizens takes precedence over the good opinion of the world’s chattering classes. After all, he was not elected by world citizens, but by American citizens. In the end, our president is only accountable to us. Not to the French politician who considers the atrocity of 9/11 to be a mere “incident” in history. Not to the U.N., a bloated bureaucracy that has no problem giving Cuba a seat on its Human Rights Council. And certainly not to the angry Brit whom Kyle-Anne Shiver had the misfortune to come across.
It is amazing how all discussion of American arrogance ceases when some kind of disaster occurs somewhere in the world. Then, instead of berating us, the world entreats us to send money, troops, and other types of humanitarian aid to victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, and so on. It is certainly tempting to say “no.” After all, being the world ‘s whipping boy gets a bit tiresome, especially when the whipping boy is expected to extend non-refundable loans in addition to his posterior. But of course we do, because it’s part and parcel of who we are.
Doing what is right for American sovereignty may be considered to be arrogant by outsiders and those of us who worry constantly about winning Miss Congeniality in the beauty pageant of life. But the rest of us should not be afraid to stand up for our selves.

As George Will said,

“Most of all, America passes the critical gate test. Open the gate and see where people go – in or out. This is still the country people flock to.”

Class dismissed.

Which came first: The Intellectual or the Leader?

Hat tip to  Pamela Meister of The American Thinker

There’s been a lot of talk within the past, oh three election cycles, about how the “smartest” or most “intellectual” candidate would make the best president. Coincidentally, they are all Democrats:

  • In 2000, Al Gore was considered more “intellectual” than George W. Bush, despite the fact that his college transcript was rife with Cs and C-minuses. He also dropped out of the Vanderbilt Divinity School after receiving a number of Fs.
  • In 2004, John Kerry was touted as being “smarter” than George W. Bush, even though his undergrad GPA was one point lower than Bush’s – a fact that was conveniently unavailable until after the election.
  • Hillary Clinton has been anointed the best and brightest of the class of 2008, followed closely by the “clean and articulate” Barack Obama – although don’t expect to see Mrs. Clinton’s grades anytime soon; they likely have been sequestered like her papers from her days as First Lady.

But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the above politicians really are intellectually superior to their rivals. We can therefore ask not only why George Bush beat two “intellectuals” in their respective presidential races, but also, do intellectual types really make the best leaders?

If “conventional wisdom” is correct, Al Gore didn’t lose the election, it was stolen from him. Seriously, though, we must consider other factors such as personality and likability. In 2004, Bush beat Kerry in the “likability” category by large margins. Similarly, Al Gore was characterized as a “stiff campaigner,” less likely to inspire that all-important likability factor.
 

According to Richard Benedetto,
 

The vote for president, unlike balloting for mayor or governor, is as much a personal choice as it is an issue choice. Americans want to like their president as well as agree with him. They often will overlook differences on issues if they like or trust the person. Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower are recent cases in point. Bill Clinton’s likability helped him survive the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Think about it for a moment. Political ideology aside, who would you prefer to sit down and chew the fat with? George Bush, who spends his vacations wearing jeans and wielding a shovel at his ranch in Crawford, Texas? John Kerry, who enjoys skiing at expensive resorts and slaking his thirst with bottles of vitamin-enriched water? Or Al Gore, who vacations extensively in Europe and flies around in a private jet?
 

Many average Americans can’t afford to travel to Europe in coach, let alone private jet, nor can they enjoy pricey ski getaways. But they often can, and do, spend vacation time working around the house and yard. Yes, George Bush came from money and the size of his Texas ranch puts the modest homes of many Americans in the shade. But it’s oddly comforting to see a president who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. It gives the impression that he isn’t afraid of hard work, which is important for one who seeks the highest office in both America and the world.  
 

Now obviously George Bush is not running for office again, but I use him as an example because so much emphasis has been put on the “smart” vs. the “dumb” candidate — “dumb” being equivalent to President Bush. When you realize that an entire industry has sprung up around Bush’s “inferior” intellect, with numerous books, calendars, and other items for sale that impugn his IQ (and focusing largely on his propensity for mispronouncing words like “nuclear”), he’s an obvious choice for discussion. (What will these entrepreneurs do when President Bush leaves office on January 20, 2009?)
 

If being smart was the only qualification for being a leader, one would assume from his treatment in the media that George Bush should never have gotten near the Oval Office. But there are other qualities that people look for in a leader. Here’s a partial list, culled from various sources:
 

  • Vision
  • Integrity
  • Consistency
  • Decisiveness
  • Self-belief
  • Ability to delegate
  • Willing to take risks
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Capable of choosing competent team members

When making that all-important decision on who to vote for in both the primaries and the general election, think about the factors listed above. Does your candidate have a vision? Is he willing to take risks? Does he stick to his basic convictions, or does he have a habit of licking his finger and putting it up to the wind of public opinion? (Yes, I know there is a woman in the race this year, but I find the constant use of “he/she” when writing to be tedious.)

Eugene Robinson, writing for the Washington Post, believes we need an “egghead” in the Oval Office; specifically, Al Gore:
 

In [his] book, you see, Gore betrays familiarity with history, economics, even science. He uses big words, often several in the same sentence. And in public appearances he doesn’t even try to disguise his erudition. These supposedly are glaring shortcomings that should keep Gore on the sidelines, rereading Gibbon and exchanging ideas about the structure of the cosmos with Stephen Hawking.
[…]
We need a brainiac president, a regular Mister or Miss Smarty-Pants. We need to elect the kid you hated in high school, the teacher’s pet with perfect grades.

Robinson must not have received the memo about Gore’s grades in college. Nor does he take into account many of the leadership qualities I listed above. Book smarts, if I may use the colloquial term, does not necessarily translate into common sense. It’s one thing to theorize on paper and in forums. Putting one’s money where one’s mouth is…well, that’s something else entirely. According to USB Business Development, an organization that offers (among other services) leadership workshops and programs,

[C]lever people, who have no relationship skills, can be intimidating or seem arrogant to others, creating divisions and hierarchies. This causes friction and precludes open dialogue and can eventually dry up creativity. In any leadership role, academic and intellectual abilities must be balanced with high emotional awareness.

Interestingly, Thomas Sowell recently had this to say about Senator John McCain:

Maybe the reason Senator John McCain’s campaign has failed to get any traction is that the debates show him to be the kind of arrogant and condescending know-it-all who would be the most dangerous kind of president.

Think back to the know-it-alls in your experience, both in school and the workplace. Just because they may have more actual knowledge than you in a particular area, does that automatically mean they are the best choice for a leadership role?

Liberals were, remember, in high dudgeon both in 2000 and 2004. They felt, by rights, that the candidate they believed to be the smartest one should have won. Those who place a high premium on intellectualism automatically assume that, as the best and the brightest, they deserve all the accolades society has to offer. But in a capitalist society like ours, this is not always the case. Robert Nozick, writing for the Cato Institute, has a hypothesis that goes back to one’s schooldays (all emphasis mine):

The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated. By incorporating standards of reward that are different from the wider society, the schools guarantee that some will experience downward mobility later. Those at the top of the school’s hierarchy will feel entitled to a top position, not only in that micro-society but in the wider one, a society whose system they will resent when it fails to treat them according to their self-prescribed wants and entitlements. The school system thereby produces anti-capitalist feeling among intellectuals. Rather, it produces anti-capitalist feeling among verbal intellectuals. Why do the numbersmiths not develop the same attitudes as these wordsmiths? I conjecture that these quantitatively bright children, although they get good grades on the relevant examinations, do not receive the same face-to-face attention and approval from the teachers as do the verbally bright children. It is the verbal skills that bring these personal rewards from the teacher, and apparently it is these rewards that especially shape the sense of entitlement.

Nozick is writing here about why intellectuals at large oppose capitalism, but his ideas about those who excelled in school expecting to excel in other areas of life (and feeling cheated when they don’t) is very telling.

This brings us to the role of schools in today’s leaders. I asked Dr. Candace de Russy, a nationally recognized writer and lecturer on education and cultural issues, for her thoughts on the subject:

For some decades our academic system has been indoctrinating rather than truly educating students, thus producing intellectuals whose minds are clouded with ideology and whose judgment is impaired. Given the usurpation of higher education and K-12 teacher hiring processes by the left, it is also now in the self-interest of many intellectuals to exercise poor judgment, in scholarly matters as well as in the political realm. Some of the great declinists connected weak and pusillanimous – decadent – leadership with societal affluence. Perhaps many of our intellectuals are too materialistic and self-centered to bother with the rigors of exercising leadership and wise judgment.

Rather than teaching students to think, many educators take it upon themselves to fill their students’ heads with propaganda and groupthink. This explains why conservative campus clubs such as the College Republicans have relatively small memberships, while you can count on large numbers of college students to turn up at anti-war rallies sponsored by International ANSWER and other Communist front groups. Ben Shapiro, author of the bestselling book Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, discusses the phenomenon of elitist liberal professors that seem to dominate higher education:

This [second] group [of liberals] feels that conservatism is simply dumb.  Professors tend to be intellectually arrogant anyway, and liberalism by its nature is an extremely elitist ideology.  Many professors feel that conservatism is too simplistic to waste time on in the classroom.  I cite numerous examples of this in Brainwashed.  Professors say that if you’re conservative, you’re unqualified to clean highways, much less teach a classroom of students.  Four professors even created a fully funded study designed to conclude that conservatives are less “integratively complex.”  Of course, they had to lump together Stalin, Castro, Hitler, and Reagan in order to do this, but the end justifies the means.

Being spoon-fed a particular ideology (one that espouses a worldview where entitlement plays a major role), coupled with the assumption that higher education automatically confers superiority, and you have people who wonder why a “dummy” like George W. Bush could ascend to the presidency not once, but twice. And rather than take a look at the qualities and convictions that played a major role in his electoral success, they whine and cry about “stolen” and “rigged” elections – because, as Dr. de Russy says, indoctrination – not education – is the name of the game.

Intellectuals will likely always feel as though they are more deserving of leadership roles in our society. But if we take a serious look at our educational system from the bottom up and revamp it to highlight problem solving and critical thinking skills over ideological brainwashing, perhaps that group will shrink to a more manageable size. For not only do we need independent thinkers in our political class, we also need independent thinkers in the electorate. Our future as a democratic republic depends on it.