Gas lit

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

High gas prices and getting higher. OPEC+ announced earlier this month that they are going to cut production. It’s hard to know exactly who to blame. Some say it is the result of inflation. Some say it is the result of government policy. Some say it is the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Some say it is just the oil companies jacking prices for profit. It obviously isn’t as simple as one of these things and trying to make it solely about one of them is foolish.

However, here in the the US, it has a lot to do with the fact that our government (the Biden administration) has chosen to take a route with energy policy that does’t keep access to oil easy or convenient. As such, the supply is always short in the US when we could actually be nearly oil independent. The administration refuses to allow more refineries, more drilling, and no new pipelines.

The Democrats believe higher energy prices will force Americans to finally get behind “clean” energy of wind and solar, the faster the better in their view. But they also see the peril in allowing prices to get too high, especially when it comes time to vote. Biden has been trying to keep prices low (very unsuccessfully) over the last couple months because of the looming mid-term elections. With an upcoming election and prices rising rapidly, the Biden administration is trying to put pressure on Saudi Arabia because the cost of fuel (well, the cost of everything really) will be weighing on the minds of Americans when they fill in their ballot. When Americans feel pain at the pump and in their wallet they tend to vote away from policies that made it them feel it.

As an example, I have three receipts less than a month apart. In that time span, the gas price as my local Costco (nearly always the cheapest price) has gone up $1.10/gal. That’s a lot of pain at the pump in less than a month. The worst part is that fuel prices are typically going down this time of year (after Labor Day) since the “driving season” is over and consumption/demand is lower.

My last three fill-ups.

Obviously, this is weighing on my mind. I make a pretty good income, but I am feeling the pinch. I can imagine how others who were already on tight budgets are feeling now. It’s a struggle and really hard choices are having to be made. I am sure the last thing they are thinking about is clean energy and long term policy. They (we) all want some relief.

Manipulating voters before an election is nothing new. Both parties do it. It’s irritating as hell that most people don’t see right through it. But, put a little money in the pockets of voters shortly before an election and they tend to forget the pain they felt for a short time while they vote. We’ve seen this fairly often too – and in a not so transparent move, California (the largest state, dominated by Democrats) is giving money back to voters just in time for elections. It apparently goes by many different names – “Middle Class Tax Refund”, “Inflation Relief Check”, “Gas Tax Refund” – but the goal is all the same, make sure voters try to forget their pain at the pump and other places for a short time. Also, just in time (not a coincident or a surprise), the president releases more oil from the strategic stock pile. Didn’t see that one coming…*sarcasm*

Anyone else tired of the garbage going on in DC, or their own state? Anyone else tired of the rich and elite manipulating the government for themselves?

The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production will make prices spike in the short term. How that ends up translating to prices at the pump remains to be seen, obviuosly. However, can we be confident that the OPEC+ members will actually abide by the agreement? Not really. Traditionally, they decide on a production cut and then one or more members decide that the price spike is too good to lower production so they keep producing at the current level to maximise profits during the price increase. Members always accuse other members of violating their agreement and everyone ends up producing just as much or more than previous levels to make up for lost ground in the market.

Ultimately, their announcement is market manipulation and likely won’t really happen. But, it also might be American election manipulation too. To say that oil producing countries are “pleased” with American Democrats and their progressive push towards climate alarmism would be more than a mis-statement. Another political party would be friendlier, in their opinion. This may be their actual goal, but time will tell.

Idiocy

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I hate to say it, but America (the land that I love and still think is better than anywhere else in the world) has become the land of idiocy. Yesterday, as well as the events of the last…well, pick a time frame…either way, this stupidity has been going on for a long while. A LONG while. Yesterday, and many events over the last year, are just coming to a head of ultimate stupidity.

Let’s be clear, the events of yesterday and storming the Capitol building are unacceptable. It should have never happened and I hope that it never happens again.

History has shown us (our own history) that displeasure with the government isn’t all that unusual and leads people to do things they would not normally do. Our Founding Fathers led a rebellion against a king and a government they found to be unjust. Those who supported the king and did extreme things in their support of the king likely found some actions despicable when the “other side” did them. Those who supported the colonies and eventually a free nation likely found the “other side” despicable when they did some of the same extreme things. Heck, even during our Civil War, both sides did despicable things to each other. Vietnam era protests? Yep, still some ugly things happening even then.

The difference between now and then?

Increased, instantaneous communication. It exists now, it didn’t at any time in the past.

How does that play a part in all this? Well, it literally takes no time for a rumor, opinion, or thought to spread far and wide. In an instant “information” can be disseminated to any number of people at one time. That’s a problem. It could be a good thing, but for the most part I think we see more problems with it than we see positives for it. Why?

It eliminates the possibility for someone to evaluate information and immediately creates an emotional response. There is little time for an individual to consider the information, process it, and then evaluate a response. Instead, people have devolved into an instantaneous, emotional response. They don’t think. They let their idiocy take over.

Instead of thoughtfully considering a response, or thinking clearly about their actions, they just respond. No forethought. No consideration. No evaluation. No wait. No weighing of consequences. No evidence. No proof. No nothing. Just response.

That, folks, is a terrible thing.

Social media has killed our ability to thoughtfully consider, to evaluate response, and restrict our own actions. Instead, we feed our need of immediacy, our need of instant gratification, with regrettable words and actions. We don’t wait for facts. We don’t consider another’s point of view. We don’t tolerate those who are different from us, think different from us, or believe different than us. We just don’t. We are not better off because of this.

We are actually becoming unrecognizable.

We are no longer a bastion of freedom, tolerance, and opportunity.

We have divided ourselves into camps of this or that. We have let ourselves be divided into those camps. We are not what our Founding Fathers believed we could become. And the direction we are currently headed won’t get us there either.

This idiocy can’t continue. We are in trouble if we continue to let it happen.

Agenda?

my secret plan to rule the world book

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Something you might wanna check in your state, especially if your state is being slow on opening up the state because of the pandemic.

As you know, the governor here has an alternative agenda rather than just the health and safety of the citizens of the state.

Unfortunately, what we as the citizens have learned is that the governor and the Secretary of Health have almost unlimited power when it comes to a public health crisis. There is no review by the state legislature on the governor’s powers and there is no way to slow down an abuse of power, if one were to occur (which many believe may be currently occurring).

I also just learned that the Secretary of Health is not an elected official. The secretary is appointed by the governor. Looking at the credentials of the current secretary, it appears he has all the qualifications to make him acceptable for the job. But as an appointee, that also means that undo pressure could be applied.

I am not saying the Secretary of Health has an agenda, but the governor does have one. With literally very few checks and balances of power on the governor in these types of situations, it certainly bears additional scrutiny.

Could the secretary have an agenda? It’s possible. Or maybe not. But, having someone with so much power, along with the governor and not be an elected official, that bears a closer look too.

Do you know how your government is set up?