Archive for April 2006

Surprise, surprise!

April 27, 2006

Well, I hate to be the one to break the sad news, but someone has to. Exxon's profits (we're not talking gross here, this is net after all taxes and expenses are paid) for the first quarter of this year fell to $9 billion (9,000000.00) after their record-breaking profit of $11 billion last quarter.

Please don't misunderstand my politics here. I am a firm believer in a totally free market, so I am not denigrating Exxon. They are entitled to make all the money they can. But to believe that the four oil companies serving America are not artificially driving the price of gas higher and higher is naive. And, when you get down to the pump, the real reason prices of fuel are so high is: you are paying them! As long as you will pay over $3 a gallon that's what it will be. Exxon has the right to raise the price of their product to $10 a gallon, if you will pay it.

If enough of us park our trucks, SUVs, big cars, and off-road vehicles so the volume of Exxon's storage tanks reaches capacity, then the price will go down. The market does drive prices. Anyone who took Economics 101 knows that. When the demand for products goes up, so do the prices. Since Exxon's artificially keeping the gas price high by sitting on their half-full tanks, the only way to bring the price down is to decrease the demand for their gas.

We, that's you and me (forget the government -they've never gotten anything right) have to cut our driving down, put our four-wheel off roaders and outboard motors in storage, and just use less gas. It only works if enough of us do it long enough for Exxon to see the demand for their gas go down. Then watch prices drop.

Every mile we don't drive will help. Everyone of us can cut down, if we think ahead, plan our drive, make one less trip to the convenience store. Let's give it a try. Let US control the price of gas, not Exxon. 

johnny b 

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A Generous Gesture

April 18, 2006

I hear that Exxon has issued a statement saying something like, "We are going to do our best to see that the driving public has the gas it needs for the summer season." Isn't that nice of Exxon? They are going to try hard to let us buy their gas for $3.00 or more a gallon. Remember, here is a company that reported PROFITS of Eleven Billion Dollars for the last quarter of 2005. (That's 11 followed by 6 zeroes.)

It is no secret why gas prices are so high. There are only four companies supplying gas to the U.S. making up a monopoly that can charge whatever the public will pay. And, they are blatant about it. Say a barrel of oil goes up to $70 today – that oil won't reach the refineries for three months, but your local gas station will raise prices another .25 before the sun goes down.

Why, you may ask, doesn't the government do something about this? It's strange, isn't it. Remember when AT&T was "the phone company?" They owned the lines, the equipment, you even had to lease your phone from them. In that case, congress decided it was a monopoly and ordered AT&T to sell off some divisions, to open their phone lines to other companies, and now we have dozens of suppliers all vying for your phone business.

Why, then, does the government not break up the oil company monopoly? A friend once said, "If you want to get to the bottom of something, follow the money." In this case the money has been flowing to politicians like a swift river. When the oil moguls are called to Washington to testify, they are treated like royalty. So forget the government doing anything to lower gas prices. (And, of course, the cost of gas is reflected in every thing we buy.)

If everybody in America would promise not to buy any gas on a certain day – I guarantee you the price would drop dramatically tomorrow . But that will never happen. Americans are, basically, pussies. So gas prices will continue to climb, but don't worry – Exxon is trying hard to supply you with gas for the summer season. 

Happy Motoring! 

Bloody rocks

April 13, 2006

It has been said that you cannot get blood from a rock or a turnip or (fill in the blank) but the U.S. government does a pretty good job of it. Yes, it’s income tax time again – hooray. Another chance to contribute to building bridges that go nowhere, and paved roads that will become busy intersections as soon as the politicians sell the land surrounding it.
The federal income tax rate is about 20%, but when you add all the “embedded taxes” (just check you phone bill, or electric bill, or how much state tax is added to any purchase (and it is outrageous on gasoline – at a time when we are all hurting due to gas prices) and you will find that your TOTAL taxes are somewhere between 50 and 60%.
Americans work harder with longer hours and less time off than any European country, and yet over half of your work day is for taxes.
And, of course, your property and school tax will go up again this year. (Have you ever see a tax go down?) Last year the U.S. government spent more money than has ever been spent before. I am not an anti-Bush democrat (I am a libertarian) but our president did not veto one spending bill that crossed his desk.
It’s been said that when you get your paycheck, if you had to walk down a line of tax collectors and hand them the money they demand you would realize how little you have left for all your work.
So my advice to you when you fill out that ludicrous 1040A this year, is to cheat. Deduct anything you can claim as an expense – work your form from the back forward. Decide how much money you want back, and work toward that goal. It’s the only choice, until the American people are taxed to the point where work is worthless.
Of course, the IRS will let you pay them with your credit card. What’s another 21% debt?

johnny b.

Put a sock in it, Cynthia

April 6, 2006

If you are not a Georgian, please do not consider the outrageous acts by Cynthia McKenny as typical of those of us who live in and around Atlanta. A little background – her father was a bail bondsman, and through his contacts in bailing out politicians, he became friendly with the power makers. So when the city of Atlanta became predominately black, he garnered enough votes to become a state legislator – but he still carried his knife and his gun in the state house. He is the role model for his daughter's arrogant stupidity.

Personally, I am sick and tired of people who should know better, playing the "race card." Atlanta (which has five surrounding counties making up the metro area, much the same as New York and its burroughs) is, and has been for years, totally integrated – anybody can have any job, live anywhere they like, and many blacks have become millionaires here. You won't hear them cry "racism" everytime someone cuts them off at an intersection.

My neighbor came from South Africa, and just using what is available to "underprivileged minorities." he now owns a mortgage company, a real estate company, and a construction company. And, he is a fine neighbor, too.

If there is a trodden minority in this nation it is the middle-aged white male, for whom there is no affirmative action, who finds racial and gender descrimination at all job levels. No doors are opened for him; he gets no government favors. But, seldom do you hear him cry "racism!" when he's passed over for a job or a promotion.

So please shed no tears for Cynthia McKenny, she is a huge embarrassment to those who live here. She lost her seat in congress in the election prior to the last one – hopefully God will grant us someone with a brain in the next election.

johnny b. 

Saludas Amigos

April 2, 2006

My father was a first-generation American of a couple who migrated from Hamburg, Germany to Texas in the 1800's. When I was young, many times I asked my father to teach me some German, just a few words, anything to help me understand my heritage. He couldn't do it; he didn't know any German words. His parents could not speak english when they came to Texas, but they learned and they allowed their children to only speak english – because they were so proud to be Americans.

Now, look at that manual for the tool you just bought for yard work or in your workshop or you business. It is written in both english and spanish. Our schools now must have interpreters for Mexican children so the kids can learn arithmetic in spanish. This is patently absurd.
I have some questions for you now, which you already know the answers to. If I go to live in France do the French expect me to speak French? How about Japan? Brazil? Italy? How about Mexico? The answer, of course, is that if you take up the nationality of another country you are expected to learn the native language – to speak it and to write it.

I am very proud that I am an American. My father fought for America in World War I and it is certainly possible that some of the people he killed in the line of duty were relatives of his. But he wasn't German anymore, he was an American through and through.

I don't believe in hyphenated Americans. If you come here legally, or are born here you are or should be simply a good American citizen. I don't call myself German-American, and it is pretentious for people to call themselves African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Canadian-Americans, Russian-Americans, or any other nonsensical name. If you are more proud of where your ancestors came from than being a part of this great nation, then go back to Africa, Mexico, Canada, Russia.

We have reached the point in this country where the illegal Mexican-Americans out number the American born African-Americans, and there is no question that something must be done to stop the flowing river of Mexicans that cascade across our open borders in waves – with no intention of becoming citizens, and then marching in our streets waving Mexican flags in protest because we prefer them entering the way my grandparents did – legally. Learn our language, you ignorant bastards, contribute to our economy, pay your taxes, get off our welfare, pay for your medical care – or else get your asses back to the filth of Mexico.

This is something we Americans must insist upon. Our politicians, remember, are only interested in getting enough votes to keep their cush jobs. So it is up to us to see that they send these population polluters back to where they sneaked in from. And from now on, let them earn the right to be an American.

johnny b.