Inspection- The Puppeteers
Like gas prices?
Think it will last?
Yup: of course not, fellow puppet, Mr. or Ms. Mutual Marionette.
Part of my career, the majority of my life for about 25 years, has included puppets. I know bad puppetry when I see it, or the harsh jerk of marionette strings, and that’s exactly what I’ve seen over the years when it comes to gas prices.
I’m not your usual entertainer: I pay my own gas bills, pump my own gas, drive my own rig: therefore get to see prices and trends. I’ve lived in a tour bus, a 14′ Jayco, slept in my truck and put up tents just to do what I do. All of which, in part, was a response to gas prices and trying to run a small, low budget, entertainer-based, business. But before that I traveled north and south frequently to see relatives, for vacations, transferring cars for a few years, taken street sweepers off to be serviced, spoke to various congregations. Before I became a full time entertainer I had many jobs: a lot of them involved driving as a natural part of the job. So I have been observing prices for a long time, over a wide area and many states.
For years it was simple. Due to taxes: local, state and fed, gas in Atlanta area was very cheap, Connecticut was hideously expensive, Ohio was a bit more expensive than Tennessee and prices increased, overall, as I slanted through the Ohio. Each locale varied a bit, but consistently. I knew the stations that were less expensive, and when not to bother stopping my gas guzzling tour bus. This was Maine to Florida to Louisiana.
Other than the brief, now laughable, “high prices” of the “gas crisis” during Carter, the real odd stuff started during the very end of the Clinton administration… then it went on steroids during Bush II.
Prices were supposedly so “bad” at the end of Clinton that W said, during a debate, if gas prices were “this high,” and he were president, he would personally go over there and straighten them out. Of course, once he did ascend he did squat as prices reached historic highs. Well, “squat” until, oh; so late in the game, he was pestered into going over and play kissy face. Didn’t make a damn bit of difference, did it?
And the jerking continued during Obama, proving pols either can do nothing, or are too scared, too compromised, too corrupted by this fascistic pay for policy, pay for election results, quid pro quo system we have.
Some of what I observed on the road was, oh, so predictable. Eventually it fell into a pattern where election after election “mysteriously” prices fell in areas I was pretty sure would be more likely to vote one way, and went even higher elsewhere. But at first my attention was caught by a few days where I had to drive from New England to Tennessee, then start my southern tour right away.
From Maine into the deep south, and Florida, every gas station had the same price.
That makes no sense unless the prices structure was being reset. This wasn’t too long after 9/11. Since then price structure can only be compared to poor puppetry, the awkward jerks applied to marionettes. Prices dropped in areas that had pro-industry policy pols running for office, in the other areas got higher. This all made for herky jerky price patterns all over the east coast election time, and when policies were up for debate nationally and locally.
With every big jerk came the excuses news anchors would regurgitate, given to them by in industry shills: speculators, stomping all over oil countries, trying to kack the frackers… and some reasons beyond absurd like “market volatility,” when the only thing that seemed “volatile” seemed their desire to manipulate prices. Or how about “fear” of cold weather? Fear of bad market conditions? Here’s a list of many of these “excuses,” some seemingly more valid than others.
You know? Believe the claims, or not, it simply doesn’t matter. Those who speculate could be regulated, for example, so just saying “speculators” means nothing. Prices varied seemingly regardless of oil wells burning, where boots were stomping. There’s always something we can claim they “fear.” Doesn’t matter at all. It all amounts to bad puppetry, the rough jerk of us: their marionettes, the excuses handed to us by media shills, compromised pundits and pols.
It’s all about making noise.
All about making sure the public doesn’t think they may have the power to affect any of this, any input into changing energy policy, making energy moguls obey actual market forces, who should be what forces changes in the market: us.
Start supporting alternate energy sources for our cars, our houses, for everything.
Vote for pols who support such. Kick out the obviously compromised political shills.
If you have a need for personal local transportation buy a Nissan Leaf-like vehicle. Less so? Use a bus or car pool.
Push for more research in improved battery tech/storage for alternate energy. This is important, for like The Six Million Dollar Man “We have the technology.” What we don’t have is what we need to store the plentiful energy available via wind, solar, etc.
Forget about building a pipeline for dirty Canadian oil that, in the long run, will create few jobs from a poisonous, dangerous product headed to prison labor-loving Communist China. China.
All this will be greeted by long rants from those who are the personal property of the corporatists: politicians, pundits, the FOX Propaganda Network(tm). Rush Limbaugh will make fun of you and call you a socialist, un-American, anti-think tanks will fire their lard-based preconceived conclusions and claim their based on “research.” Prices will rise: we will be punished.
On the plus side: then we’ll know who to boycott, who not to vote for, and those we should support.
Be aware the corporatists may pretend to diversify into clean energy as their paid for pols and talkers cheer them on. It a bit like mega brewers who create artificial, not-existing, “craft” breweries to sell the same old swill with craft-like packaging. It’s also akin to the cigarette sellers years ago, they too will refuse to admit what poisons they sell, or just how dangerous the dirtiest of products extracted in the worst of ways can be.
Seen all those “clean” energy ads they’ve created to change the image of fracking? They know which way the wind is blowing.
If we stay the course, and expose those who try to con us, kick out of office those who shill, eventually, they will diversify: or die.
Then we become the puppeteers.
You see in a free country, with an actual free market, that’s the way it should be.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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