Friday, February 22, 2008

PAID $3.04 FOR GAS TODAY...

...and a place down the street was selling it for $3.06. These prices have sparked some discussion on the Hattiesburg American forum, and I reproduce one of my posts there below:

All I'm saying is that the previous inflation-adjusted record average gas price was in 1981, when Reagan was in office and there was a war going on in Iraq. That same month, this is what happened:

"...U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he saw the possibility of improved ties with Baghdad and approvingly noted that Iraq was concerned by "the behavior of Soviet imperialism in the Middle Eastern area." The U.S. then approved the sale to Iraq of five Boeing jetliners, and sent a deputy assistant secretary of state to Baghdad for talks."



The declassified memorandum that details all this is here.



Reagan was also shot that month.

The new inflation-adjusted record average gas price has now been achieved during Bush's term. And strangely enough, there's a war going on in Iraq.


Coincidence? Not bloody likely.

I'm not at all saying that Democratic presidents haven't had their share of foibles--LBJ lying us into Vietnam, Truman using the atom bomb even though he knew Japan wanted and was trying to surrender, etc.

But I'm saying that when wars in Iraq converge with Republican presidents, we seem to get record average gas prices. And interestingly, in the case of both records, in '81 and '07, men named George Bush were either president or vice-president.

Also, not exactly sure what 1977 gas lines kenjutsu is referring to. The first Arab oil embargo was in 1973, when Nixon, yet another Republican, was in office.

There was of course the energy crisis of 1979, due to the effects of the Iranian revolution, and there were gas lines then.

"Back in the 1973-1974 period and in 1979, folks waited for an hour or more on gasoline lines that at times stretched for miles, and people could only buy gas on alternate days, depending upon whether their license plate ended with an odd or even number. The federal government even printed gas-rationing coupons, although they were never used."


Gas prices "climbed throughout the 90's?"

Gas prices, according to kenjutsu, began to "climb throughout the 90's." He notes that this started in approximately 1992, the last year Bush I was in office.

As ol' Ronnie Raygun said--"Trust, but verify":

All prices listed are for U.S. regular grade gasoline:

1/6/92: $1.04
12/28/92: $1.06
1/25/93: $1.05
12/27/93: $0.99


Point taken? No? OK, let’s skip ahead a few years...

5/26/97: $1.20
7/28/97: $1.16
1/5/98: $1.08
3/23/98: $0.99
1/4/99: $0.91
12/27/99: $1.26


I think we can conclude that the price of gas didn’t ONLY “climb throughout the 90's.” The price FLUCTUATED.

Gas prices under Bush

Lowest gas price of Bush admin.:
12/17/01:$1.04

Lowest price since beginning of Iraq war:
5/12/03: $1.42


The price of regular has not been that low since then. And since March 14, 2005, gas has never been less than $2.

Where’s the data come from? From the Energy Information Administration in good ol’ Washington, D.C.


Under “Area,” click on “United States.” You have to have Excel or an Excel viewer to see the chart. All data above was taken from the first column.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

WHAT? I THOUGHT OSAMA DID IT!

Should've posted this last week...

"The Pentagon on Monday charged six Guantanamo Bay detainees with murder and war crimes for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Officials sought the death penalty in the unprecedented military tribunal case that has been clouded by revelations the key suspect suffered interrogation tactics that critics call torture."


Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden runs free!

And were any of these six suspects citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan, the two countries we invaded because of 9/11?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed-Kuwait
Mohammed al-Qahtani-Saudi Arabia
Ramzi bin al-Shibh-Yemen
Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali-Kuwait or Pakistan
Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi-Saudi Arabia
Walid bin Attash-Saudi Arabia or Yemen


Hmmm...so we are we at war with Iraq and Afghanistan again? WMD? Freedom? 9/11? Oil? Israel? Because it's certainly not because any citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan attacked the U.S on 9.11.
AFGHANISTAN A JUST WAR? NOT SO MUCH...

A dude at the Hattiesburg American forum said Afghanistan is a "just war." I attempt to disabuse him of that notion with what follows...

Consider:


1. The Bush administration gave the Taliban a lot of money before our invasion--$53 million, to be exact. This was only a few months before 9/11 in spite of their support for terrorism, their treatment of women, and their toleration of Osama bin Laden.

2. Suddenly, and I'm sure quite by coincidence, Bush agreed to a plan to attack Afghanistan on 9/10/01.

3. In February 2001, the Taliban offered to send Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia if the U.S would work with them.

4. None of the hijackers in the official 9/11 fable were from Afghanistan.

5. If bin Laden's presence in Afghanistan justifies a war on a country that has hardly ever known anything else, why did the Bush admin. arrange for bin Laden's relatives to be flown out of the country two days after 9/11?

6. Afghanistan did not invade or attack the United States. In fact, the Taliban tried to warn the U.S. about 9/11.

7. The U.S. government has never brought formal charges against bin Laden for 9/11.


So why again is Afghanistan a "just war?" If you ask me, it's not "just war"--it's just war. And war is a racket.

Monday, February 11, 2008

BUSH'S IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES! Plus: the relative novelty of Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul

A letter to the editor of my local newspaper:

Is this the America we have become?

In recent testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, CIA director Michael Hayden testified that the agency had used waterboarding on three "enemy combatants" and that the technique is probably illegal under current statute.

Later, like a spoiled brat, President Bush, strutting his macho Rambo stuff, announced that he reserved the right to authorize water boarding on those he, in his wisdom, decides need it.


A short video at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19259.htm about American torture gives a small glimpse of how America under Bush has strayed from its founding principles in the last seven years.

Is this the America we have become? Is this an America we can be proud of? Is this who we are?

George W. Bush has taken us on a path from which there is no return to undo the evil we have wrought. We are an empire with more than 700 military bases in about 130 countries (see "Nemesis" by Chalmers Johnson).

Defense and expansion of that empire requires belittling, demonizing, even torturing anyone who gets in the way of our crusade to dominate the world (as has been true of every empire in history - in the end there are no benign empires).

It's called American exceptionalism. In his 1920 poem, "Four Preludes On Playthings Of The Wind," Carl Sandburg laments the demise of an "exceptional" nation with the monotonously repeated hollow refrain; "We are the greatest city, the greatest nation, nothing like us ever was."

Even as the nation decays into rubble populated only by rats and lizards.

Robert R. Regl

Hattiesburg



My response:

Great letter, Bob.

Mr. Regl never said or implied that GWB put 700 military bases around the world.

As Bob said, Bush has publicly admitted to at least one other criminal act--warrantless wiretapping. It doesn't matter whether GWB has one year or one hundred years left in office. He should still be impeached, tried, and put in prison.

The trial ought to be very short--it could consist of someone reading the FISA act and then playing videotape of Bush admitting to warrantless wiretapping. Then someone could read statutes relevant to cruel and unusual punishment or whatever law forbids waterboarding (granted, it's not decapitation, but since when is it OK for us to do exactly what the bad guys do) and then play videotape of Bush's latest admission. Cut and dried. Open and shut. Maybe it'd take about 45 minutes. Bye bye Bush.

Then we let Cheney go ahead and take the oath of office, after which he'd also be tried and convicted in a similar manner. So with the swearing in and the trial, maybe an hour and half goes by. Then we go to lunch, by which time President Pelosi knows that she better mind her p's and q's or she'll get the same treatment (this would have the added benefit of taking the potential title of "first female president" away from Hillary Clinton, thereby cancelling out the novelty of the idea of Clinton becoming president, turning the mood of the country toward another novelty--following the Constitution and voting for Ron Paul)!

Also, Regl is far from alone when it comes to "hating Bush." Nobody likes the guy or wants to have a beer with him anymore. He's got miserable poll numbers. It's not divisive to speak out against Bush, it's mainstream!

Monday, February 04, 2008

WHAT DO RAT POISON AND MY TAP WATER HAVE IN COMMON?

According to the CDC, they both contain sodium fluorosilicate, an inorganic fluoride compound that is recommended for use as an insecticide and a rodenticide.

Our water has been laced with this poison since 1976. Here's the data:

"CITY OF HATTIESBURG 0180008 8 Forrest Sodium Fluorosilicate Adj 8/1/1976 48,000 0.2 0.8"


Sodium fluorosilicate is a poisonous substance defined thusly:


"Definition: A sodium silicate of the formula Na2SiF6 occurring as a white, odorless, granular powder. It is toxic if ingested or inhaled, and will strongly irritate tissue. It is used for fluoridation, in porcelain and china enamels, to mothproof woolen garments, and in the manufacture of silicon.
(Synonyms: sodium fluosilicate, sodium hexafluorosilicate, sodium silicofluoride)"




Here's how an apparently Chinese company that sells the chemical describes it ("poisonous," "pesticide"):

"Formula: Na2SiF6 M.W: 188.06
Property: This product is a white crystal or crystalline powder, poisonous, slightly acid, soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol, it can decompose into fluoride and silica in alkali. S.G.: 2.68 ; HS Code: 28262000; Cas No.: 16892-85-9.
Package: Plastic lined woven bags of 25kg or 50kg net each
Usage: it is mainly used as disinfectant for running water, additive for acid¡¬™proof daub, solvent for enamel, pesticides, wood preventive, welding solvent for lead alloy and also used in production of opal glass, artificial marble, sodium fluoride, pharma"



Here's another website regarding chemicals from China that indicates that containers with sodium fluorosilicate, the ingredient intentionally added to our water supply since 1976, should be labeled with a skull and crossbones.

Pelchem makes the rat poison connection

Pelchem, a South African producer of sodium fluorosilicate, issues the following warning about the chemical in their safety information:

"Toxic by inhalation and if swallowed. Harmful if in contact with skin."



Is that not what we do with water, i.e., inhale it (steam in shower or from boiling), swallow it, and bring it into contact with our skin? And our water is intentionally spiked with a chemical that makes all such activities toxic?

The Pelchem data sheet also tells us the following:

"LOCAL EFFECTS:
Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation,
nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Inhalation of
dust may cause shortness of breath, tightness
of the chest, a sore throat and cough.
CHRONIC TOXICITY:
Continuous or intermittent exposure to
inorganic fluorides can lead to
appreciable accumulation of fluoride in
bone, and, to development of
osteosclerosis and other bone
changes.
HUMAN EXPERIENCE:
No evidence of association between fluoride ingestion and mortality from cancer in
humans. (Internal Agency of Research on Cancer)."


Here are Pelchem's recommended uses for the chemical:

"RECOMMENDED USE:
1. Fluoridation of drinking water.
2. Laundry sours.
3. Opalescent glass.
4. Vitreous enamel frits.
5. Metallurgy of aluminium and verblium.
6. Insecticides and rodenticides.
7. Leather and wood preservatives."


They recommend that what's in our drinking water be used as RAT POISON! Or to process aluminum!

Where does Hattiesburg's sodium fluorosilicate come from?

Where does the city of Hattiesburg get its sodium fluorosilicate to put in our water, I wonder? In my limited Google searches, the main manufacturers/importers seem to be from Asia and Africa. Do we special order our poisons from overseas to put in our water supply?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

EXXONMOBIL BREAKS RECORD--AND BACKS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE!!

So ExxonMobil has now broken its previous record, which was the all-time high for any company in history in quarterly profits:

By any measure, Exxon Mobil’s performance last year was a blowout.

The company reported Friday that it beat its own record for the highest profits ever recorded by any company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion, thanks to surging oil prices. The company’s sales, more than $404 billion, exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries.

Exxon Mobil earned more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007.

The company also had its most profitable quarter ever. It said net income rose 14 percent, to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the last three months of the year. The company handily beat analysts’ expectations of $1.95 a share, after missing targets in the last two quarters.

Like most oil companies, Exxon benefited from a near doubling of oil prices, as well as higher demand for gasoline last year. Crude oil prices rose from a low of around $50 a barrel in early 2007 to almost $100 by the end of the year — the biggest jump in oil prices in any one year.


It's simple, really. They made more because they charged us more for something we have to have. They didn't make the gas any better, they didn't serve us any better or anything. They just charged us more.

Why are we upset about this? I'll tell you why...

At the Hattiesburg American forum, a poster asked "Why are we upset that the big oil company makes record profits?" Here's my reply:



"Why are we upset that the big oil company makes record profits?"

1. We're upset because they charged us more for the same exact product and the same exact service.

2. We're upset because gas is something we must have.

3. We're upset because higher gas prices mean higher prices for everything. ("Diesel price rise has ripple effect on goods," LA Times)

4 We're upset because the value of the dollar keeps dropping while prices keep rising.

5. We're upset because of record credit card debt, negative savings, and declining wages. (An earlier post about all that can be found here)

6. We're upset because of record debts and unnecessary wars that threaten to collapse our economy.

7. We're upset because we're about to borrow from ourselves (or the Chinese) to "help" ourselves buy some more over-priced gas or goods made in China, which only fuels (no pun intended) #6 (and #5).

8. We're upset because we know the world is nowhere near to running out of oil--the supply is being suppressed while demand only increases, jacking up the price.

9. We're upset because the president makes out with oil-rich dictators who won't cut us a break on oil prices, so we agree to sell a dictatorial regime that maintains a state of war with Israel a bunch of weapons because we love democracy so much (which only fattens the bottom line of defense contractors who then have that much more money to lobby with, allowing the whole sick cycle to continue ad infinitum).

10. We're upset because we have very few alternatives to get us out of this mess--even if we buy hybrids, we still have to pay inflated prices for all the goods that are trucked to market because of high gas/oil prices.

11. We're upset because the "free market" has allowed many industries, including the oil industry, to consolidate in fewer and fewer hands (now only 6 "supermajor" oil companies), whiich reduces competition and the incentive to fix any of the problems mentioned above.

12. We're upset that none of the American oil companies, including ExxonMobil, would help out with discounted home heating oil for Americans. Luckily, Venezuela's Citgo stepped up to the plate to help out.

If I left anything out--and I'm sure I did--please add your reason we're upset to the list.