Who Actually Likes Oil Companies?

An online acquaintance posted a link to an article congratulating Exxon Mobil for their record profits. This looks like a mutated strain of Stockholm Syndrome to me.

I also work for a company that is on good financial ground in spite of the economy (I won't specify, since I'm sure they don't want their name connected to monkey nose-picking and sexy Rod Blagojevich). So why am I angry about the oil companies and not at my own company?

To me it's a matter of what we offer. My company is one of a number of companies that offers products to help people stay financially stable during tough times. Their focus on making the customer, rather than the bottom line, the top priority has made their product consistently the best in the industry. Rather than jumping on get-rich-quick fads, they invest conservatively to ensure that they have dependable cash flow even when the economy is bad.

Oil companies, on the other hand...looking for a metaphor....have us by the crankshaft and keep twisting. Their artificially inflated $4.50/gallon gas prices are part of what hurt our economy in the first place. In the short term, they're holding us hostage*. We have no other viable options but to go to them (or another one of their competitors, who is also charging the exact same price) in order to go about our daily lives. Hopefully in the future there will be other viable alternatives and we won't have to go crawling on our knees to the oil companies when we want heat our homes and drive to work.

And that's what gets me. The people trumpeting Exxon's big profits are the fiscally conservative free-market supporters. This is an example of an unfree market. We have virtually no choice but to buy. It's practically a tax. If you don't pay the government, they send someone to your home and arrest you (Edit: or in some cases, to hire you). The oil companies have an even better business model--if we don't pay them, they let us sit at home (for lack of a car), where we'll freeze for lack of payment on a heating bill we can't pay for lack of a job.

And we free-market supporters are supposed to congratulate this system? We're supposed to think it's great? This is a prime example of letting ideology tell you what's good, instead actually looking at the real, practical results in the world.

* In the long term, someone is bound to find a decent alternative energy source. And we'll run out of oil eventually.

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Obligatory Breaking News Post

I'll just let the ex-governor and my Photoshopping skills speak for themselves:
[W]hether it's a court of law or administrative hearing or whether it's schoolyard justice when one kid hits another, but the kid that hit him wasn't the one who did it. He's got other boys he'd like to have tell the teachers he didn't do it.

I just feel bad for his future cellmate.


I received a text message from America's favorite blogger, Tommy "not a religious books publisher" Nelson, while I was at work today. I quote "Blago is gone!"

Apparently by a unanimous vote, none the less. If I had known it would be this easy, I would have suggested it six years ago.

Anyway, that's not even my main point. My main point is I went to cnn.com when Google News didn't immediately bring up a story. This I what I was greeted with as the top story:

Sadly, I can't show you the full context. It would probably be considered inappropriate to take screen captures of Brazilian bikini models while using work computers. By the time I got home, she was no longer the top story.*

So, the Senate of an American state just voted to kick its governor out of office and CNN is leading with a story about a Brazilian model? Admittedly, she died and that's sad. But it's not headline news. It's not really news at all. And the fact that she had a series of amputations and eventually succumbed to sepsis from a urinary tract infection is not really my business. Let the poor woman rest in peace. Don't crash her funeral with your cameras, asking her family to cry on cue. You bastards make me sick.

Wow, that got out of hand. I was hoping to make a light-hearted post about CNN being stupid, but then my pent-up righteous anger got the best of me. I'll post pictures of monkeys picking their noses tomorrow.

*I'd like to point out that the Brazilian bikini model story was not bumped off the front page impeachment coverage. When I checked about an hour ago, the lead story was about a guy who faked his own death in 1989, leaving behind a fiancee and kids from a previous marriage in an apparent attempt to live out the plotline of an episode of My Name is Earl.