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Nothing changes in oil and war game

It's a fact; nothing changes in the USA. As one goes back in our history and examines the various political misdoings and manipulations and carryings-on, it becomes apparent that, as bad as we perceive the events that are happening today, in fact...

It's a fact; nothing changes in the USA. As one goes back in our history and examines the various political misdoings and manipulations and carryings-on, it becomes apparent that, as bad as we perceive the events that are happening today, in fact, they've pretty much always been that way. Bad news is good news, kind of.

Lately, the big deal is connecting Eisenhower's administration back in the early '50s and his predictions of the military-industrial complex taking over the country with what's happening currently here and around the globe. All that might be true. We're involved in a war, the prolonging of which we can blame on the inability of our industrial corporations to stop screwing stuff up over there. It's in their best interests to uphold their half of the military-industrial bargain. That way, they can get the government to throw more money at them.

But, being as how it's in their best interests, they still can't run the lights in Baghdad for more than a couple of hours a night; none of the waste collection or sewer systems are operative; and why should they keep the oil pipelines flowing to the coast, since Big Oil doesn't have any significant interest in those? Good point, huh? So, then, this is the military-industrial complex that Ike warned us about: Good lobbying elects your president; he appoints leaders from industrial leadership positions; good lobbying and insider connections gets government contracts; good excuse-making and lackadaisical performances keep the whole thing going.

All this is new, right, this misbehavior? Things in this country used to be rosy, simple, honest, forthright, "all-American?" Wrong. Remember last week, when I found those old newspapers in the wall of this old house, the ones that dated back to 1895. I found another piece, this one dated back to 1894. Some of the article is missing, but the heading is "Business and Finance." Here's what I found of the article:

"For ...., heartily wishes that every voter in the United States not only could but might be impelled to read the book: 'Wealth against the Commonwealth,' a brief notice of which was given in a previous part of this journal. Mr. Henry Lloyd is one of the most diligent of students, careful, painstaking as he delves after the truth. One of the clear, decisive writers of the day. In this work he has plainly shown the power and disposition of combined wealth, monopoly, to take possession of the political machinery of the country and prostitute every department of the government to its service. In the history of The Standard Oil Company, to which a large part of his book is devoted, the political and convenient methods of all the members of the large trusts are delineated...."

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And that's the end of the article. The rest was torn apart in the removal of the wall. I like the part about "prostitution of every department." That's a good line.

Anyway, back to the original intent of all this: The Standard Oil Company--and others of its size--couldn't have been established very long back in 1894, and yet, they were already drawing extreme criticism for their overall behavior. It would appear that President Eisenhower would have 50-plus years to develop his opinion of this behavior, wouldn't it?

Now we pay a dollar a gallon more for automobile gasoline at the pumps while our country goes half a trillion bucks in debt each year for a war that, be honest now, was at least partially begun because we didn't want to pay big money for car gas.

Unfortunately for us, we've forgotten that big money wins political elections in this country, and that same big money comes from big corporations, like The Standard Oil Company. Perhaps it isn't fair to single out Big Oil here, and so one should point out that they are strictly an example of what's going on, and are not the only one up to these sorts of shenanigans. Which still doesn't exempt any of them from blame.

They're out to make money. They're not out to make ethanol; they're not out to fix pipelines that contain someone else's oil; they're not out to promote an oil surplus; they're out to make money.

I remember when the Kyoto agreement back in the early '90s was signed, and all of us service techs had to be certified to handle refrigerants, due to their destruction of the ozone layer. R12, the most common refrigerant of the time, was banned from production, but existing stocks could be used.

The price went from a wholesale of 50 cents per pound to a buck. The service organization as a group howled in protest, even as they continued their double markup, now making twice as much as before. Then it went to two bucks, three, four, and continued on upward. Service techs still howled, even as they went to the bank three times as often as before.

The Standard Oil Company isn't howling. They know how to make money.

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And it isn't by creating surpluses.

Nothing changes. Bad news is good news, kind of.

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