Archive for the ‘Oil & Gas’ Category

$1.67 a Gallon Regular

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

…$1.87 a gallon premium.

If George W. Bush is really out to take my last dollar away from me at the gas pump, to give to his oil buddies…like people say…he must be just as incompetent as everybody says.

A “change” from this means what?

Guess we’ll find out next year.

August 4

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Bidinotto reminds us what exactly is so important about this date. Thanks, Jim. Handy to know right about now.

Some Things That Make Just As Much Sense…

Monday, August 4th, 2008

…as We can’t drill our way out of this problem.

1. The bank account is about to be overdrawn. We can’t deposit our way out of this problem.
2. Your bedroom is a mess. You can’t tidy up your way out of this problem.
3. I’m hungry. I can’t eat my way out of this problem.
4. We’re out of food. We can’t go grocery shopping our way out of this problem.
5. We are disgusting, fat tubs of goo. We can’t exercise our way out of this problem.
6. I’m here, and the place I need to get to is over there. I can’t drive my way out of this problem.
7. You stink. You can’t shower your way out of this problem.
8. You’re about to wet your pants. You can’t excuse yourself to the bathroom and urinate your way out of this problem.
9. The boss is ticked at you for not finishing your assignment. You can’t work your way out of this problem.
10. I am thirsty and I just emptied my beer. I can’t fetch a beer my way out of this problem.

After #10, I think, the point’s been made; this is just code for not doing anything about anything. If there’s been any humor-value to this exercise at all, it’s been spent. But believe me: I could do this all day if I wanted to. Pick a number, and I could meet it.

However, I do not wish to denigrate this “We can’t xxxxx our way out of this problem” template. It isn’t completely worthless. I can think of two places where it makes complete sense:

– The United States has become a nation of whiners, and we can’t socialize our way out of this problem.
– Our government has a budget deficit and it can’t tax its way out of this problem.

Those two work, I think.

Seriously. Remember a few years ago when you set up that parent, grandparent, or dotty old aunt with e-mail, and your reward for that was this huge avalanche of “don’t drive with you headlights off” or “Good Times Virus” or “this guy woke up in a bathtub full of ice with his kidneys missing”? Remember that?

All of those made more sense than we can’t drill our way out of this problem. Each and every single one.

W.C.D.O.W.O.O.T.P. almost sounded like it made sense the first time it was used. Then someone, somewhere, said “waitaminnit…drilling is how it works…that’s where you get it.” The second time it was used, it looked like what it was, a stupid catchphrase designed to get democrats elected so they could do even more damage than they already have.

By the third time it was used, it was a badge of dishonor for whoever said it; by the fourth, it was a badge of dishonor for whoever heard it and took it seriously. Kind of like the guy who believed the weird old aunt about the kidney guy.

Then, they said it some more, at least twenty more times. And they’re still going.

The President Says “Drill” — and Oil Drops

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Kudlow in National Review, via Gerard.

This head swings toward Speaker Nan and the House democrats. Hello? What’ve you guys done for us lately?

Can’t wait to see your kind running everything. Hopenchange!

The Food Shrink Ray

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

You ever notice when people don’t put a lot of thought into something, they end up exaggerating their importance — and because they exaggerate their own sense of importance, paradoxically, they end up envisioning themselves as a bunch of lab rats?

That probably needs clarification. I’ll explain. Start with this article about shrinking food packages…

With fuel and delivery costs rising, food manufacturers are faced with raising their prices or giving you less, and it seems that less is the growing trend.

To Dean Smith, the two containers of Breyers ice cream looked exactly the same at his supermarket in Evansville, Ind. Then he looked closely and figured out that the old package was 1¾ quarts, while the new package was just 1½ quarts.

“You can’t tell at all,” Smith said.

But the article isn’t about ice cream. It discusses cereal, cheese discs, coffee, sausage rolls, kitchen bags…on and on. Each of them charging the same price, or more, for smaller packages.

But [Consumer Reports editor Tod] Marks said the practice was just a way to hike prices under the radar of consumers.

“It’s a shell game, call it what you will,” Marks said in an interview on NBC’s TODAY. “In these tough economic times … the worst thing that can happen for a manufacturer at this point is to raise prices. So they use this sneaky tactic of giving you less and charging you more.”

And consumers do notice.

“When you find out you’re paying more but getting less, you’re left to believe somebody is doing something wrong,” Randy Compton said on a recent shopping trip to an Apple Market in Mobile, Ala.

Okay, let’s just explore a bunny trail for a second: This complaint is going to resonate with a lot of people, who will then go on to complain how embarrassed they are in “the eyes of the rest of the world” over what huge guts and butts Americans have. And our nation is fat. And it’s true that charging more for less food is a covert way to diminish our lifestyles…but to be sincere about it, you need to put some real passion into complaining about one of those, or the other. You can’t have both.

But the primary thrust of my point here, is about the lab rats. Why do we have to imagine there’s always a sinister conspiracy. “Hah! We’ll put thirteen ounces in this ‘one pound’ package of coffee, and we’ll FOOL OUR CUSTOMERS! Muhahahahahah…!!” (Pause to twirl the tip of your bad guy mustache with your fingers.)

The truth is, this is the way competition works — the consumer is not so important as to justify such sadistic motives. And I would expect a Consumer Reports senior editor to catch on to this. If you’re charging 8.99 for a pound of coffee and your competition is charging 8.99 for a pound of coffee, and then the price of coffee goes up because the price of diesel fuel is over 5.40 a gallon, and your competition starts selling 13.5 -ounce “one pound bags” so he can keep charging 8.99…what’re you gonna do?

1. Take a loss
2. Sell your own 13.5 oz bags for 8.99
3. Keep the bags at one pound and sell them for 10.99

You don’t have to have a degree in economics or in marketing to understand options 1 and 3 are suicide.

This is nothing but economic ignorance. People had the thought in their heads that oil could go up to $150 a barrel, and the price of Nutter Butter Bars would stay exactly where it is. Well, they thought wrong. They got an education.

I do think it’s a good economic alert to sound for the retail consumer. But this is something you learn when you move out of the house and do your own laundry. All ketchup doesn’t come in 32 ounce bottles. But if you’re concerned about it, you can just read a couple numbers on the container of whatever-it-is you’re buying, and skip the economic-class-warfare Pravda propaganda articles in glossy magazines, masquerading as shopping tips.

Want a bigger jar of strawberry jam for your four bucks?

Drill here, drill now!

Memo For File LXIX

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008


Former work colleague Deanna Troi (not her real name) writes in with a triple-threat of an idea:

Three world problems solved……your thoughts and hey maybe info for your blog

Ok here goes ~~

1. The plastic floating in the ocean

2. The melting Polar Ice Cap

3. The increasing unemployment

MY PLAN….WELL………..of course you know its a combination of all three…….

Take all the plastic garbage and recycle it into a large plastic blanket…….in sections………..put it over the ice, melting ice, former ice at the Artic Pole…….this would create a large pool cover, blocking the sun from melting by insulating it .

This would generate jobs to gather it, create/manufacture it, and maintain it.

Ok….I know it sound silly and simple but……it “could” work……don’t you think…..?

Later Gator

Well, my initial thought had to do with something I’d been noticing for a long time: People in positions of authority, at some time or another, tell just about everyone you care to name to (to be polite about it) FECK OFF. John McCain’s said it to conservatives plenty of times, and Barack Obama just did it to our buddy Glenn Greenwald, to Greenwald’s great annoyance. But never environmentalists. Nope, environmentalists, who exist for the purpose of stopping things and making nothing go (except environmental movements), pretty much get every little thing they want, all the time. Big things, little things, in between things. Nobody in a position of authority ever tells a tree hugger to FECK OFF. With gas up toward five bones a gallon, there is more pressure now to show ’em the heave-ho than there ever has been…it might happen…but it hasn’t just yet.

And so it occurred to me that ignoring environmentalists would, directly or indirectly, address all three of these. Like Samuel L. Jackson said in The Incredibles, why don’t we do what we told our wives we were gonna do, just to shake things up a bit? — Why don’t we tell environmentalists to stick it where the sun don’t shine, just for a change of pace?

Another Item!

Gerard saw the clip we linked of that extraordinarily impressive montage of “I’m Not Here To Make Friends”…and he had an idea very much like Counselor Troi’s…

Could somebody please raise the money and gather the will to put all of these pathetic assholes in one single location and call in an overwhelming napalm strike on it? Please?

We’ll keep that one in mind.

Yet another Item!

Jessica over at Feministing, long an advocate of the hyper-populist “Can I Get An Amen Here” brand of feminism, which is nothing but a long procession of bitter hostile trial balloons sent up by feminist individuals for the endorsement of feminist groups along the lines of “I think this should be screeched at, can I get some help???”

Well. Jessica would like to let loose the dogs of “Can I Get An Amen Here?” feminism, upon some of those who practice it. Especially the ones who have been drinking before appearing on live and televised interviews.

For those of you who haven’t already been following it, here’s what went down.

Moe and Tracie appeared on Lizz’s show drunk. Very drunk, it seems. You can watch the whole video here, and the more controversial clips here and here. I was pretty much appalled by the whole interview. But it was the commentary about rape, abortion and birth control that have garnered the most criticism…The gist of it is Moe and Tracie said some extremely offensive and uninformed things – especially about rape – that they’re now being taken to task for. (They were later said to be jokes, but no one in the audience laughed.)
Here’s the short version for those who don’t feel like reading this monster of a post: 1) Whether or not you say you represent feminism, when you write about the subject to a ridiculously large audience, openly identify as a feminist, and make appearances to talk about feminism – you are taking on responsibility for the way feminism is portrayed. 2) It’s awesome to use irony and humor as a tool – but if you’re not using it in a way that hurts women, is it really worth it?

This ties in, because I think Counselor Troi’s concerns about the floating plastic are an apt metaphor for the feminist movement. In the same way you can’t viably entertain any sort of plan that involves sticking a sort of giant pool-cleaner tool into the Pacific Ocean and bundle up all those tiny bits of plastic, you can’t nail down what the feminist movement is all about either. You find a feminist who gets caught unabashedly, unapologetically and unashamedly hating men…you raise the concerns this gives you about the feminist movement to another feminist…and you get back this doe-eyed innocent look, Oh no, I’m not all about that, I just want equal pay for equal worth!

And it is this kind of nail-jello-to-tree-ism that has given the feminist movement enormous benefit throughout the decades. They have been able to advocate the most hardcore, borderline-insane nonsense — like, for example, we need to believe Anita Hill over Clarence Thomas because “women don’t lie about this stuff” (That’s one of the worst examples, but there are others). Patently absurd positions like that one, are owned when it is convenient, and then jettisoned when convenient. The feminist movement ends up being a rather hodge-podge, disjointed, undefined pastiche of floating debris, just like the Great Plastic Soup out in the ocean. It can’t be criticized because it can’t be defined.

And now poor young Jessica has realized it is this lack of a endo- or exo-skeleton that has landed the feminist movement in trouble, so she seeks to lay down some rules about “taking on responsibility for the way feminism is portrayed.” Sorry, sweetie. You’re trying to close the barn door long after the horse has left. Feminism, in 2008, is about intellectual lawlessness. It is about extending the indestructible umbrella of political cover of “Equal Pay For Equal Worth” over the rigid, hardcore extremist types who don’t deserve such cover…the “All Men Are Potential Rapists” brand of feminists. They are, by design, all part of the Great Plastic Amoeba of feminism that has no shape, has no structure, has no rules, and therefore cannot be faulted. What dear Jessica is trying to do, is roughly akin to making a pet out of the world’s largest jellyfish, and trying to saddle it up.

Another Bear on a PipelineSo Counselor Troi…here are my thoughts.

1. Scoop up the Great Plastic Soup for those bits, as best you’re able;
2. Make a giant plastic bulls-eye out of it;
3. Take it to the Arctic where all the ice is supposed to be melting down;
4. Put our drunk feminists on the bulls-eye along with the environmentalists who won’t let us build any power plants or drill for oil;
5. Add to those, all the reality show contestants who “aren’t here to make friends”;
6. Like Gerard said. Napalm the sucker. That takes care of the plastic, the drunk feminists, the enviro-Nazis, and the vapid silly contestants.
7. And the ice.
8. Jessica will be much less stressed-out, too.
9. Plus, the contestants won’t make any friends, which they didn’t want to do anyway.
10. Check back in a year, I’ll betcha there’s plenty of ice, and plenty of polar bears to go with.
11. I got a feeling our population of brain-dead cliche-spouting reality show contestants will also have replenished (although I’m not sure about that).
12. And jobs galore. Especially if we make an annual habit out of it.

I just love the smell of napalm in the morning.

The 68 Million Acres

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Phil got a letter back from his democrat Senator. The subject was drilling for oil stateside, and the text of the reply was predictably boilerplate.

Combined, oil and gas companies hold leases to nearly 68 million acres of federal land that they’re not using both in Alaska and in the Gulf. This is over 80% of available federal land and the federal government provides these leases at a discount. Congress needs to pass legislation that would force oil companies to fully utilize these existing areas which contain some of the most abundant supply of oil in this country. It only makes sense that they explore and develop the millions of acres they already have access to before Congress permits drilling in new areas.

Energy experts contend opening new areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not lower prices at the pump for years and then only by a few cents. Additionally, it would fail to move the country toward energy independence. With only 3 percent of the world’s oil supply and 25 percent of the world’s demand, it is clear America can not drill its way to lower prices. Our country instead needs real solutions to the energy crisis.

I’ve seen the 68 million acres addressed in a lot of different places, but the best analysis that came to my attention was the one you can find here. To bottom-line it, looking for oil works pretty much the way you’d expect it to. You could buy land, hoping you’ll find some oil there but that would be ridiculously expensive. So the companies lease the tracts on a massive scale, presumably at a lower rate, for the purpose of exploration. If they find some oil, they have to take out a different lease in order to actually produce.

So there is just a smidgen of truth in each sentence. Nothing more, nothing less. The leases are provided “at a discount,” in the sense that it makes good business sense for both sides to sign exploration leases at one rate, and production leases at another.

The thing about 25 percent of the world’s demand and 3 percent of the world’s supply, is another interesting little canard. I’m not exactly sure how I’m supposed to interpret that sentence, and that’s probably by the design of whoever wrote it. Evidently we’re providing 3 percent of the world’s supply of oil but we’re creating a quarter of the demand, so we have to import whatever we’re using that we can’t pull out of the ground here. I do not know if “3 percent of the world’s supply” means we’re already pulling that 3 percent out of the ground as things stand now, or we’d be supplying that much if we were using the 68 million acres the way democrats say we should be using them. Since the 68 million acres is just a big ol’ snow job, and a fairly obvious one at that, I don’t suppose it very much matters. As Phil says, “I assume the allusion to accounting for 25% of the world’s demand and 3% of the world’s population is hinting at some sort of moral assessment of whether or not that should be so.” Hard to say; they aren’t really going anywhere with this thought, except to say we “can not drill [our] way to lower prices.”

Allowing all else the benefit of the doubt, the logic still seems fuzzy to me. We are providing 3% of the world’s oil. Congress lays the smackdown and says, you dirty rotten creepy jerks (DRCJ) in the oil industry better use those 68 million acres or we’re gonna take ’em away! The DRCJ’s get together and say omigosh, Congress is really getting tough on us. Darn those noble democrats and that strong-willed woman with the gavel, Nancy Pelosi! Oh well, we know when we’ve lost a battle. So they start pulling more oil out of the ground — now we’re providing 4% or 5% or 6% of the world’s oil. Yay, democrat Congress!

Well…now we have more oil. We import a little bit less…or we don’t import less…whatever. Clearly, oil would become somewhat more of a domestic product, and less of an imported one. Prices would then come down, because they would have to. The trade balance would benefit. And/or, the oil reserves. Supply and demand.

Bears Really Hate Pipelines Huh?I think Phil is right; there was supposed to be some “bash America” talking point stuck in the boilerplate, something someone wanted stuck in. Oh, that stupid piggyish America, guzzling more than her fair share of yet another precious resource. Well, it must not have been coordinated too well because they didn’t take that thought anywhere. I doubt I can find a plurality of democrats anywhere, who can provide to me one single coherent explanation of how this is supposed to work — how drilling more fails to lead to lower prices because we’re consuming 25 and supplying 3.

In the end…it’s just yet another example of a simple matter being made needlessly complex. We’re restricting ourselves from drilling for our own oil reserves, importing like mad, paying through the nose. We’re being sold a big ol’ bill-o-goods about caribou and fuzzy baby polar bears shivering to death because of our selfish oil exploration, a tiny minority of us are buying those bullshit stories, and so the status quo endures even though it does nothing to help us and everything to hurt us.

Drill here, drill now.

How’d That Work Out?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Speaker Nan, last summer, announces her bold plans for bringing down those gas prices. H/T: Texas Rainmaker.

Obama voter’s logic: Obviously, we haven’t given democrats enough power yet. Let’s go further into the cul de sac and see what happens.

Memorial Day 2009: $6.50 regular self-serve, if you’re lucky.

As people consume less fuel in America, vehicle emissions should drop. Less pollution means bluer skies and longer lives — and the potential to slow global warming, albeit slightly. Lower energy demand means the air will contain fewer toxic agents, like particle pollution, which can get deep into your lungs and cause serious health problems. Bottom line? About 2,220 lives have already been saved over the past year because of higher gas prices and less pollution, according to an estimate calculated for TIME by J. Paul Leigh, a University of California at Davis health-economics professor who co-wrote a study on the topic in the March 2008 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. If prices remain high, we can expect some 2,000 people to avoid dying from pollution in the next 12 months.

— 4. Less Polution, from 10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas, Time Magazine.

Update: Buck opines on a subject that overlaps significantly:

One of the things that bugs the Hell out of me about the current “energy debate” is how our loyal, patriotic, and oh-so-concerned-about-OUR-welfare Democrats distort… nay, totally misrepresent… the issue of domestic oil drilling. There IS a Democrat Party Line in this space and it goes something like this (from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, via The Obamanon’s web site):

Oil companies, he said, already have drilling rights to millions of acres of federal land, “and yet they haven’t touched it,” Obama said. “John McCain wants to give them more when they’re not using what they already have.”

The companies ought to pay a fine on drilling rights they’re holding but not using, he said.

Well, now. That Las Vegas speech drew some attention from the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal Monday:

“I want you to think about this,” Barack Obama said in Las Vegas last week. “The oil companies have already been given 68 million acres of federal land, both onshore and offshore, to drill. They’re allowed to drill it, and yet they haven’t touched it – 68 million acres that have the potential to nearly double America’s total oil production.”

Wow, how come the oil companies didn’t think of that?

Perhaps because the notion is obviously false – at least to anyone who knows how oil and gas exploration actually works. Predictably, however, Mr. Obama’s claim is also the mantra of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Nick Rahall and others writing Congressional energy policy. As a public service, here’s a remedial education.


To deflect the GOP effort to relax the offshore-drilling ban – and thus boost supply while demand will remain strong – Democrats also say that most of the current leases are “nonproducing.” The idea comes from a “special report” prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Resources Committee, chaired by Mr. Rahall. “If we extrapolate from today’s production rates on federal lands and waters,” the authors write, the oil companies could “nearly double total U.S. oil production” (their emphasis).

In other words, these whiz kids assume that every acre of every lease holds the same amount of oil and gas. Yet the existence of a lease does not guarantee that the geology holds recoverable resources. Brian Kennedy of the Institute for Energy Research quips that, using the same extrapolation, the 9.4 billion acres of the currently nonproducing moon should yield 654 million barrels of oil per day.

There’s much more at the link, and it’s all good. Whenever I see or hear the Democrats’ arguments against domestic drilling, I naturally assume they’re both arrogant and insulting. Arrogant because they truly believe they have the only answer(s) to our energy problems, and they most certainly don’t. And they (Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Emmanuel) are insulting because they obviously expect me to believe this shit.

The bit about fining the oil & gas companies for not using the land falls right in with the pattern. Roll back the tax cuts, raise the minimum wage, put in price caps, tax their profits, tax their equipment, tax their land.

The common thread is that you make it more expensive to do business.

What happens to prices of things when it’s more expensive to get them sold?

I’d love to see a real interviewer question Obama or any other prominent democrat about how this works. Don’t try to shred the guy to ribbons, don’t try to embarrass him…no interruptions except one, “that doesn’t answer the question I asked you.” Just one simple question: How does this work? Step One is make it more expensive to be an oil company, through your plan(s); Step Three is lower gas prices; what is Step Two, exactly, Senator? Take all the time you need but please stick to the subject.

Oh and that dunking stool on which you’re sitting will give way, if we hear the words “Bush” or “failed policies” or “Iraq.” Ker-PLOOSH.

We’re supposed to have freedom of the press in this country because the public has a right to know. Seems this should’ve happened a long time ago.

Waters Backpedals

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008


In speaking to oil company executives at a May 22 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Waters tried to hold her tongue but nonetheless said: “This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, uh … would be about basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.”
But Michael Levin, communications director for Waters, told Cybercast News Service on Friday that Waters did not mean what she said.

“It was one comment in a long hearing, and it has continued to have a life of its own in the blogosphere,” he said. “It was not her intention to announce a big policy proposal. It’s not a developed policy proposal. It was not an intentional statement.”

I wasn’t taking the cookie out of the jar, because you weren’t supposed to catch me doing it.

Thing I Know #230. We’d call them “rationalists” if they thought things through rationally; that’s why they’re called “socialists.”

Consider the following, substituting “democrat” for “burglar” and “socialist” for “encyclopedia salesman.” It holds true and sums things up rather nicely.

Yup, all the way to the end with the salesmen flying out of the window.

Update: I see Phil is still busy with his graphic artistry, and he’s had much the same idea before I had it.

Price Cap on Gas

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Via Boortz, a frightening snippet from someone who (I presume) is as free to vote as you and me.

Why not speak about taxing the windfall profits of the oil companies, or legislating a cap on the price of gasoline via legislation?

If capped at $2 a gallon, ExxonMobil profits would still be well higher than $20 billion a year. Why on earth do they need to make twice that and bring the economy of this nation to its knees in the process?

Capping the price of gas puts dollars in everyone’s pocket, and helps reduce the cost of all products we consume, which further bolsters the economy. It’s a common sense solution that works across the board.

Yeah, like, uh, do the numbers! If gas cost $2 a gallon, you’d have money in your pocket! Like…a bunch! Whatsa matta with you, you stupid or something?

Next, we repeal that law of gravity.

Q: A blonde ordered a pizza and the clerk asked if he should cut it in six or twelve pieces.
A: “Six, please. I could never eat twelve pieces.”


Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Big Peace SignThe kollege kids in Ithaca, NY want a Guiness representative to validate their claim to the largest human peace sign.

The previous largest human peace sign was made by 2,500 people at the University of Michigan. Ithaca is now waiting for Guinness to sanction its new record of 5,814 people.

Organizer Trevor Dougherty, a high school sophomore, says the effort was a show of support for world peace, not just an attempt at a record.

Yay. Yes, the world could use some more peace. We could start with our left-wingers pledging to work more closely with our right-wingers. Compromise a bit more often. Heh…funny how that one item seems to be left out.

You know, it occurs to me that “peace” stands alone as having it’s own simplistic, easily-reproduced sign. It is the one intangible noun that defies a solid definition. Next to “greed” and “hate crime.” “Racism” seems to have slipped a few teeth in the cogs as well; it used to mean a personal belief in the inherent superiority of one race over another, and lately I’m seeing a lot of things that don’t incorporate that being called “racist.”

But I digress.

You show people a peace sign…everyone understands it refers to the word “peace” but we have so little collaboration about what that really means. Stop fighting? Ban guns? Sign a non-proliferation treaty, and just hope the other guys are demolishing their munitions when they say they are? Does it mean start inspections, or call a halt to them? Does it have something to do with Marxism? Why or why not?

I can think of a few other things that could use a simple, internationally-recognized pictogram, to make it easier to promote them. These are things much more worthy of such promotion than the same-ol’, tired old war protest.

Graphics artists, your submissions are solicited. Make ’em simple as possible, and preferably fitting in a circular border. Who knows, maybe one or two of ’em will have ten thousand able-bodied supporters, and before the summer is out we can break the record.

1. Skepticism about global warming. I doubt you can save the planet by unplugging your toaster.
2. Critical thinking, in general. We used to have some. Let’s bring it back.
3. The Wolfowitz Doctrine.
4. The willingness to provide others who are weaker with a terrible, deadly defense. (The U.S. Marines have a nice logo that says exactly this, to some.)
5. The idea that maybe we should keep putting violent criminals in jail until there’s nobody around to commit violent crime anymore. That’s what the “peace symbol” means to me, but that’s open to individual interpretation.
6. Hooray for capitalism.
7. You can have my gun when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.
8. Say no to crack: Pull up those pants!
9. Hooters girls, on the other hand, are awesome.
10. So is cold beer.
11. So are buffalo wings.
12. I wish cars were still built so we could tear ’em apart and put them back together again.
13. Commies leave. This country isn’t for you.
14. Nerds are cool.
15. Any country that is our ally only until we take steps to defend ourselves, is an ally we don’t want or need.
16. Thing I Know #70. Courage has very little to do with being outspoken.
17. Drill here now. Sign Newt’s petition.
18. Peer pressure sucks.
19. Canada, shame on you for your Human Rights Commission!
20. Keith Olbermann, go away.
21. Guilt is a useless and nonsensical human emotion.
22. It’s a futile endeavor to try to be better than everyone else when you’re also trying to be exactly like everyone else.
23. Let’s make it easy for young people to find work. There’s nothing wrong with a seventh-grader mowing lawns for money.
24. Rule For Living With Me #2. Show how mature you are. All things do not necessarily have to be said.
25. Go away, Oprah.
26. Thing I Don’t Get #24. Men shouldn’t get piercings in their junk and I don’t know why they’d want to.
27. Teach your child how to drive a stick-shift!
28. Same-sex marriage: It isn’t a human rights story, it’s a human-interest story.
29. Getting your news out of The Daily Show is a bad, bad idea.
30. Thing I Know #52. Angry people who demand things, don’t stop being angry when their demands are met.

Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
Gracie Hart: That would be… harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
[crowd is silent]
Gracie Hart: And world peace!
[crowd cheers ecstatically]

Update 6/24/08: Phil submits the following for #17. One down, twenty-nine to go.

Nationalizing the Oil Industry

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Hello, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Patrick Henry, James Madison, James Monroe, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin…how y’all doin’? I’m from 230 years from now. Just flew in from the 21st century, and boy are my arms tired! Thanks for that Independence thingie by the way.

But I have some news you might find unsettling. Here in 2008, fewer than half of us oppose nationalizing the oil industry. Yup…but don’t worry, we think about you guys every summer when we chow down on hot dogs and beer and blow up mailboxes.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% of voters favor nationalizing the oil industry. Just 47% are opposed and 24% are not sure.

The survey found that a plurality of Democrats (37%) believe the oil industry should be nationalized. Just 32% of voters in Barack Obama’s party disagree with that approach. Republicans oppose nationalizing the oil industry by a 66% to 16% margin. Unaffiliated voters are opposed by a 47% to 33% margin. [emphasis mine]

The knee jerk reaction to this is that we need to license people to vote…and of course, the knee jerk reaction to that is we can’t start licensing people to vote — it is contrary to American ideals.

Hmmm…hmmm…hmm, hmm, hmm.

Well, it’s clear something has to be done. Maybe we can get around the objection about “American ideals” by nationalizing the votes of the socialist-minded and stupid? It’d be a little tough on them to argue against that, when it seems they’re not that emotionally invested in opposing it, and some of them who serve in Congress are hard-pressed to even remember what the word is.

Via Malkin, via Rachel.

A Good Flip-Flop For McCain

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Via CDR Salamander, Kathryn Jean Lopez gets the idea from one of her readers:

McCain should flip-flop on ANWR by claiming while meeting with Gov. Palin of Alaska she informed him of the issue at hand in detail(with facts he was ‘previously unaware of or misinformed on’) and combined with Americans now hurting at the ‘pump’ he now sees he should support drilling, blah, blah. Frame it around Energy Independence, make it a national security issue as well as economic and then make sure to include that we can still seek alternative sources while drilling domestically at the same time, etc……this issue has legs and there is nothing the Democrats can do to counter it. Sure it would be a flip-flop but it wouldn’t matter since on this issue the moderates are flip-flopping on it also, it’s a populist issue.

The Republicans, and not only them but the conservatively-inclined, are deeply split over the issue of whether McCain is a worthy candidate. I have consistently been inclined toward the negative on this because I think he’s a backstabber.

This would coax me seriously toward McCain’s side on this thing. Do I speak only for myself? Ah…I don’t think so.

I’m sure those $400-an-hour political consultants say people like me aren’t worth it. They must know something. History shows, however, that when those $400/hr consultants piss in their own boots, they do it right after saying people like me are better enemies than friends. They tell their bosses to go ahead and tick off the conservatives, there’ll be no price to be paid…and then those bosses lose. The record’s pretty consistent.

Just sayin’.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form XXII

Friday, June 13th, 2008

It has to do with the notion that we can get a better deal out of our industrialists by making it more expensive for them to deal with the rest of us.

Me, quoting me, on the fourteenth of March:

…there’s a prevailing viewpoint that the labor market has become soft for those seeking work; there’s a prevailing viewpoint that this is due to the “outsourcing of jobs” by “big companies”; and there’s a prevailing viewpoint that, to fix this, we need to elect someone who will raise taxes on those companies.

On Tuesday, I directed this concern toward the oil and gas companies. And I allowed myself some optimism that perhaps, just perhaps, our sanity might be recovered sometime this summer.

I mean, how much longer can this go on, where the man in the street is NOT yet saying “waitaminnit…duh…these ‘conservative’ guys, er, that’s a good point. You charge them evil awful oil guys more tax money and this somehow results in me paying a lower price at the pump, how does that work again??”

At some point, that question has to get answered. When enough people are asking about it.

I do not know if cartoonist Michael Ramirez of the Investor’s Business Daily reads my blog. I have always been inclined to presume that nobody, or hardly anybody, does. But then how else do you explain this gem which appeared on Wednesday (of which we learn by way of fellow Webloggin contributor Absurd Report)?

I’ve been robbed, but I’m not calling the police. I’m quite flattered.

Former President Carter, of all the deeply disturbed individuals of whom I’ve come to be aware, stands alone as the one that most deeply disturbs me. Consider the following:

We fired him.

His personality was just fine by us. After four years of his policies, we figured out the resulting wreckage was too high a price to pay for a toothy grin and appealing personality.

Upon being fired, Carter did not say (nor did any of his few remaining fans, to the best I can recall) you’ll be sorry you dirty rotten so-and-sos. Or…I respect your right to vote for the wrong guy and look forward to the day you finally see the error of your ways.

He hasn’t said anything like that since.

When he talks about how wonderful his policies are, he doesn’t; he simply drones on about how miserable other peoples’ policies are. He says we “need” to talk to our enemies but he doesn’t discuss what the benefits are of doing this. He just rambles on about how we should be doing it.

In other words — neither he, nor those who see things from his point of view, will belly up to the bar and proffer an argument that his policies are good. That they will serve our interests. And they certainly won’t proceed from there to explaining, in step by step fashion, exactly how and why these policies would result in the things we say we want.

He talks us into our destruction and he seems to intend to. He doesn’t admit this is what he’s all about — but he doesn’t put forth even some token, ritualistic steps toward pretending anything else.

And to the best I can see, everyone in our country who likes him, was born after he got fired.

But forget about Carter. From what I’ve observed, whenever he earns the title of “dignified elder statesman” by re-defining it to mean some old buzzard who can’t shut up — his topic is foreign policy. There may be some news somewhere of his signing on to this nonsense about “bring the gas prices down by taxing the snot out of the people who make it.” I wouldn’t be surprised. My knowledge base says, his visible support for this took place mostly when he was in charge. He serves here, not as just another loudmouthed pundit, but as something far more valuable — a historical anecdote.

This is an interesting discussion my girlfriend is having with her mother fairly often lately. Throughout most of recent history, America has had a Republican President and a democrat Congress. During that time, our economic performance has been disappointing much more often than it has been pleasing. How do we evaluate what’s going on when the economy disappoints, with a Republican President and a democrat Congress?

Our democrats like to point to this bill being passed and that bill being vetoed, and war, war, war. But there’s this budget being passed every single year. Through the line-item veto, the White House has sought to have some say in that thing, and been denied. This is not part of the executive power, the Supreme Court said. This would transgress on “separation of powers.”

Okay, so the government’s budget is not what the President does. So when the government’s budget pisses in it’s own boot…we look to Congress when it’s time to point fingers, right?

Congress also decides things that relate directly to gas prices. Like the above-mentioned taxes. And, of course, the drilling. No, no, no, no, no, says Congress! You can’t drill there! There’s some crapglobbler penguin that might be endangered, and then the knobchogging mango shrimp is gonna get an upset tummy from the derrick booms, and the this or that other silly thing is “pristine.” Can’t do it. Gotta keep buying barrels from Osama bin Laden. Alrighty then. Bush the frat boy President had six years to mess up our gas prices, and all of the tightening and ratcheting he was able to pull off, was up to somewhere around $2.50 a gallon. That’s a pretty lackluster job of trying to screw us over, George Bush the fratboy President.

No, to really unleash his potential and mess things up, he needed a Jimmy Carter Congress. Hello, four-dollar-a-gallon gas! Five-dollars, we’re coming! Shouldn’t be long! And it’s easy to explain why. Drilling and not drilling…supply and demand…taxes.

The Jimmy Carter Congress, as it is explained in Ramirez’ cartoon, wants to fix things again by doing things the way they’ve been doing them to bollux them all up. We’ll show you, you greedy sunzabitches, we’ll lay down a windfall profits tax.

Now that Ramirez has put my idea into pictorial form, I’m less inclined than ever before to back down from it. At some point the gas consumer has to ask the question I said he’d be asking. I save money…when you guys make it more expensive for people to sell the product to me…how?

And it’s going to be frustrating trying to get an answer. Because nobody, least of all the people backing that plan, is alleging that a lower per-gallon gas price is what is supposed to happen.

And among we who lived through Carter’s four-year winter, it’s understood that this is an assertion upon which we should insist, before the discussion proceeds any further.

While you’re waiting — have you signed Newt’s petition yet?

D’JEver Notice? VI

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Me quoting me, on March 21st:

The liberal has a proposal. He looks around and sees that we are living in an antagonistic relationship with each other; his proposed idea would put us into a symbiotic one. You spew carbon and are therefore killing the planet. You are keeping the money you make and are denying it to “needed social programs.” You aren’t paying enough tax on your income; your purchases; your gasoline; your tolls. You are killing the Iraqis. You are poisoning the caribou. The oil companies, in turn, are poisoning you. And if you have a gun, it’s just a matter of time before you shoot me with it.

The conservatives are putting out the message that we are already living in a symbiotic relationship. I breathe out and I spew my carbon, it’s a wonderful thing because the trees and plants need the carbon for photosynthesis. Notice that science, on this point, sides with the conservatives. The oil companies supply the gasoline I need to get to work, earn my money and live my life. Hard facts and evidence, here again, side with the conservatives. Furthermore, if the taxes are raised we’re just going to buy less stuff…and if the taxes are raised on the oil companies, they’ll just pass that on to the consumer. Once again: Economic science and historical evidence side with the conservatives.

The liberal says, enact my proposal and we’ll enter into a symbiotic relationship. Next week, the liberal will have another proposal, and offer the same pitch — he won’t admit the last proposal failed to get us into this symbiotic relationship. He won’t offer to roll back this previous failed proposal. To our discredit, nobody will call on him to do so…

The conservative says we’re already in the symbiotic relationship. You are good for me. I am good for you. We can all go on doing exactly what we’re doing. The only thing we should really change is to get those damn liberals to stop voting.

Phil Bond of Elk Grove, writing a letter to the Sacramento Bee which appeared this morning:

This fall, voters can choose whether our goals in the Mideast are better served by keeping our troops in Iraq or withdrawing them. But more important, we can choose whether we want four more years of a failed Republican economy, or whether we want Democrats to reverse its course.

Is our economy better or worse than it was seven years ago? Most would say worse. Crude oil futures, for example, are now more than four times higher than they were at the beginning of the Iraq war (2003).

The Republican economy is marked by the following mistaken beliefs:
• War is good.
• Wealth trickles down.
• The free market will take care of itself.
• Business regulation is bad.
• Consumer protection is unnecessary.
• The wealthy deserve tax relief.
• Health care is for those who can afford it.
• The working men and women of America are chumps.

With a Democrat in the White House, and with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in Congress, our economy can turn around. We can go from our current record national debt to a more manageable deficit, or maybe even a modest surplus.

The failed Republican economy must be replaced by one that works for all of us. [emphasis mine]

Must be a bitch when Howard Dean’s checks don’t clear, huh Phil? I notice you left the relevant question unasked: When did our economy do a better job of sucking, between seven and two years ago, or between two years ago and now? I mean, that just bubbles up to the top of my cranium when I hear things like “democrat in the White House…filibuster-proof democrat majority in Congress.”

Dude. Gas is up to over four a gallon, plus a good deal more in some parts. You’re making me think of…like…seven eight nine ten. A permanent ceramic plate riveted in place over the 48 states to keep anyone from drilling anywhere, a hundred and ten percent profit tax on anyone who thinks of making any money off oil, and a carbon sin tax to help regulate us little peons into the “correct” behavior.

Is that not the way it works with democrats in charge? If not, then when does this wonderful Nancy Pelosi Marc Foley Congress bring down the gas bill? Ah yes…they aren’t running enough stuff yet. That’s why they suck so much. We need to let them make more bad decisions, then everything will be all wonderful.

Ah, but those words I’ve put in bold, are the ones I think deserve special emphasis: Works for all of us. ALL of us. I’m thinking back on that symbiotic relationship, the one believed-in only by our conservatives…or our conservatives and our moderates, rather.

Our liberals don’t believe in it.

Phil Bond just got done bashing big huge chunks of this “all of us.” The “wealthy,” “those who can afford” health care, Republicans who’ve been running this “failed economy” (especially after the democrats got in to help them run it, which is when it really seems to me to have gone in the crapper, but anyway…). Big oil companies, Republicans, wealthy people — they all need to be taken down a peg in this economy that “works for all of us.” I’m having an Inigo Montoya moment with Mr. Bond on this “all of us” thing. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Me quoting me, commenting on Rick’s blog (hours before I learned of Phil Bond’s screed in the letters section):

When liberals use the word “everyone” they never mean it. If [the] roar of a motorcycle or boat engine is music to your ears, and your interest is captured when you hear about a new barbeque sauce recipe, you probably don’t exist to them.

In spite of that clear difference — conservatives think we’re already living in a symbiotic relationship, liberals don’t — it still flummoxes and bedazzles me that the liberals I know, who are approachable and genuinely willing to debate things in good faith do see symbiosis as a noble ideal. These, I think, are the good-hearted people being bamboozled by the career politicians and public-relations hacks.

Your democrat-voting guy-in-the-street, so far as I can tell, wants everybody to live in harmony, with common interests.

But he’s everlastingly married to the idea that it simply can’t happen. He says a lot of words to the effect that he’ll always believe it’s possible no matter how discouraging things get. But his actions are the exact opposite. He continues to be shown, year after year, that we are living in a symbiotic relationship with each other — business owners and employees, men and women, blacks and whites, oil providers and oil consumers.

And he refuses to see it. He’ll pick a solution to our problems, either through multiple-choice, cheer-this-guy-boo-that-guy — or, he’ll put a solution into his own words. Through it all, there’s always a whole class of bad people, who need to be bashed.

Very often, how this helps someone is left unstated — the stated part, is what injures someone else. We’re going to regulate and tax those oil companies………yeah? And? Well, that’ll be good for everyone else. Don’t ask me why. You shouldn’t wonder. It should just be assumed.

He’ll insist this is in service of a society, or economy, or brand new zeitgeist, that will serve the interests of “all of us.” But all doesn’t mean all. It means the opposite. Logical opposite, not numeric opposite — not “none of us.” I mean, “not all.” The guarantee is that there will be a defined subclass of persons who, by design, are injured. It is an exclusive club of people who are serviced by this new economy; there are membership restrictions involved. THAT is what they mean by “all.”

On the Windfall Profits Tax

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Katy Grimes, who is sidebar resource Fetching Jen…miss her, you’re missing more than you think you are. Wonderful blogger, especially since she’s local — she and I share an area code, but not a zip. Blogging on Townhall, she writes:

While the Senate lost just this morning (51-43) on their attempt to tax “windfall oil profits,” Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters already threatened to “socialize” the oil industry (I think she meant to say “nationalized”). Watch the Fox news clip of Waters actually threatening to take over oil companies (sounds like hugo Chavez) here.

Then there is Dick Durbin demonizing profits: “The oil companies need to know that there is a limit on how much profit they can take in this economy,” said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, warning that if energy prices are not reined in “we’re going to find ourselves in a deep recession.”

Thank God they lost this vote. What industry will be their target next? Farming is already heavily subsidized, but not yet nationalized. Look out Apple and Microsoft: your “obs[c]ene profits” are a big target.

Brings to mind an old family argument within the generation more senior that I used to witness from the sidelines: The uncle that just died, I vividly remember him asking me in exasperation “What in the world is the matter with your father? Doesn’t he understand that he’s poor?” The incredulous reaction was inspired by my Dad, actually his entire half of the family tree, showing reluctance to support these Roosevelt-progressive “gettin’-even-with’em-ism” programs and policies.

I’ve never exactly been in high cotton, myself; things are a little leaner now, than they have been before. But to me, it seems natural the oil companies should be making higher profits, now, when gasoline is more expensive. Isn’t this to be expected? They’re providing us with a commodity that, both before & after we get our claws on it, we prize more highly than we did before. While they’re bringing it up out of the ground, while they’re trucking it around, during the refinement of it, more things can go wrong when it’s worth more money. By “more” things, I mean a higher dollars’-worth of things…which is the only measurement that really matters.

To say nothing of the fact that when they’re moving it around, they’re burning their very own product. Look closely at a gas tanker sometime. There’s some littler tanks on the side, up by the cab, right? That’s where the diesel fuel goes. The gas in the big tank survives the trip, but the diesel gets burned up moving the gas around. Said diesel gets more expensive when the gas gets more expensive. Duh.

So if things happen to go peachy and there’s a profit to be made…yeah, I expect that would go up. This is why kids put up lemonade stands when it gets hotter outside. When there’s a profit to be made from the selling of it — when we value it more.

One other thing: We’ve quibbled about gas prices and “windfall profits” pretty much every Memorial Day, when there’s a new ceiling being ruptured in the average per-gallon self-serve gas price in the country. We’ve always done this — but not, in my memory, to this kind of intensity. Not this kind of viciousness.

Before Labor Day, I expect the crude oil price might come down again…the gas price probably will not. The snarking from the socialists who call themselves democrats, probably won’t die down even as it overheats the very machinery that is tasked with spewing it at us.

I think we’ll see a meltdown. And that is why I watch this with intense interest.

I mean, how much longer can this go on, where the man in the street is NOT yet saying “waitaminnit…duh…these ‘conservative’ guys, er, that’s a good point. You charge them evil awful oil guys more tax money and this somehow results in me paying a lower price at the pump, how does that work again??”

At some point, that question has to get answered. When enough people are asking about it.

Some clever satire would get that first domino tipping over, wouldn’t it? Like a late night comedy show where some evil oil executive is reviewing the corporate tax bill and saying “Good God! We’d better cut our prices in half so Congress stops making our lives more miserable!” I think that, with a heavy coating of sarcasm, might be all it takes to get the gears turning.

Companies do not reduce prices of their products when their costs go up. And you don’t need an advanced economics degree to get that. Third-grade math is enough.

Thing I Know #230. We’d call them “rationalists” if they thought things through rationally; that’s why they’re called “socialists.”

Getting It Good and Hard

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

George F. Will opines some more, this time about gas prices. And the villain he finds, is a rather interesting one. He’s mediocre some of the time, good much more of the time, and excellent occasionally. This one’s excellent.

“Democracy,” said H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” The common people of New York want [Charles] Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice.
Also disqualified from complaining are all voters who sent to Washington senators and representatives who have voted to keep ANWR’s oil in the ground, and who voted to put 85 percent of America’s offshore territory off-limits to drilling. The U.S. Minerals Management Service says that restricted area contains perhaps 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — 10 times the oil and 20 times the natural gas Americans use in a year.

Drilling is under way 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are.

ANWR is larger than the combined areas of five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware) and drilling along its coastal plain would be confined to a space one-sixth the size of Washington’s Dulles Airport. Offshore? Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed or damaged hundreds of drilling rigs without causing a large spill. There has not been a significant spill from an offshore U.S. well since 1969. Of the more than 7 billion barrels of oil pumped offshore in the past 25 years, 0.001 percent — that is one-thousandth of 1 percent — has been spilled. Louisiana has more than 3,200 rigs offshore — and a thriving commercial fishing industry.
America says to foreign producers: We prefer not to pump our oil, so please pump more of yours, thereby lowering its value, for our benefit. Let it not be said that America has no energy policy.

On an only slightly related topic, birds are building nests on the side of my apartment building. They’re up to somewhere around six nests, going bollywonkers over all the humans that are “invading” these nests…simply by opening doors and walking out of them. I bring this up because there are federal and state laws saying we can’t do anything about it. What we can do is sit around with our thumbs up our butts waiting for them to build a few more nests.

That, and George Will’s comments, inspire me to utter my doleful refrain one more time: When does anyone in any position of authority, ever tell the environmental activist to stick it? Can someone name three examples? I can’t think of one.

It would appear a given environment-related situation can disintegrate into ever-descending depths of dysfunctional mess, and it still won’t happen. I’m glad our standard of living is so sky-high we can afford to be held captive by this. That just tells me a fruit is most ripe right before it starts to rot.

Thanks to the environmentalists, I think we’re just about there.

H/T to Boortz for the Will find.

Too Complex

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I’ve been noticing this about the “too complex” meme for a long time now. When people say something is a “complex” or “complicated” issue, seldom-to-never do they go on to articulate exactly how it is that this complexity changes anything, gives us anything new to think about, culminates in someone having the wrong idea about things who otherwise might not, etc. In fact, if you’re patient it seems invariably true that these people who talk about “complexity” will go on to some other topic that really is complex, and discuss that other issue as if it were far simpler.

Thomas Sowell takes on those who use the “complex” argument on our thorny economic issue of gas prices. H/T: Boortz.