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The Dupe of Oil
May 19, 2004
By Richard A. Stitt

"It's the oil, stupid! It's ours, we stole it fair and square."

That was a quote made back in the early 80s by Republican Senator Sam Hayakawa. And now we have Bush spouting the same message, only on a larger scale, urging that the world must be made safe for gas guzzling SUVs. After all, who is talking about sacrifice today?

For those of us who are old enough to remember, there were many sacrifices the citizens made during World War II. Less available gas was but one of the many problems which all citizens accepted because then, unlike today, everyone had to give something up to contribute to the war effort.

How soon we forget. But I have not. I understand one thing quite clearly and that is the Bush/Cheney-orchestrated Enron rip-off of close to $45 billion in California was accomplished with incredible ease and alacrity. Now California has a Republican governor, The Terminator, who is easily suppressing all litigation which was seeking to recover billions of dollars for California consumers and rate payers. Once again California is being bombarded with Republican-sponsored legislation to deregulate electricity and give it over to the privatizers and profiteers. Coming soon to California: another energy emergency.

Though employees of Enron eventually lost their jobs and 401Ks in early 2001 due to the grand larceny committed by Bush's largest contributor and Republican benefactor, Enron, they were the first ones squealing with delight while they were watching their stock values soaring out of sight commensurate with the shortages and skyrocketing electricity prices in California. Chalk it up to greed.

In the meantime, Bush insists that he will not forego one penny of his $1.35 trillion tax cut giveaway to the wealthiest 10% of the population to help pay for his $500 billion federal deficit nor help pay for his unending requests to finance his Iraq war. Sacrifice to help pay for his Iraq war of choice? Not by his filthy-rich corrupt corporate contributors!

Underscoring his contempt and disdain for the average worker in this country, Bush demanded, and received, an additional $87 billion supplemental in 2003 to be paid for by the taxpayers, and recently added another $25 billion request to continue his personal war of choice in Iraq.

The echo of Iraq's possession of WMD, the initial reason Bush gave for putting 15,000 Iraqi men, women and children in their graves and over 750 US military in body bags, has long faded away, replaced now by the Bush guiding principle that he is changing the world by bringing democracy to the Iraqi people and setting an example for the entire Middle East.

California now has the highest gas prices in the nation and believe me, nobody gives a tinker's damn about why and how we are being ripped off any more than they did back in the early 80s when we were experiencing high gas prices and shortages with people lining up to get their gas on state-mandated odd/even days.

Most of the other states are currently whining that their gasoline prices have "climbed" to $1.94/gallon. We haven't seen gas prices that low in over two months in California.

Back in the early 80s Senator Charles Percy of Illinois used the specious argument that Californians were consuming more gasoline, thereby causing a nationwide gas shortage. That bit of casuistry lasted until a survey was performed later which showed California was consuming far less fuel on a per capita basis than were the drivers in Illinois. That was because Californians drove far more fuel-efficient, smaller Japanese cars than did drivers in Illinois who were driving heavy cars with V-8 engines and gas guzzling pickup trucks.

Now, Californians are paying $2.40/gallon for unleaded regular and over $3.00/per gallon for the premium grade. But at least this time around California has not become the chief "culprit" in the price run-up. China's booming economy and increased manufacturing have now become the bogeyman for the corporate magnates and Bush/Cheney oil tycoons and are thus the chief reasons for pushing oil prices through the roof.

At this point, over three years since Cheney's Energy Task Force concealed all documents relating to the billions of dollars which the energy producers extorted from consumers and ratepayers, and since Enron's bankruptcy, we have returned to square one with yet another Ponzi Scheme "oil crisis." Only this time the whipping boy is China which has increased their oil imports and consumption at a far greater rate than all other industrialized countries.

It is interesting when you look at so-called future planning by the corporate mavens that none are being held to accountability for not recognizing the growth of the Chinese economy which we read in the business news is running at about a 10% rate per year and whose oil demands have increased by 30%.

Also, how did the Nobel Prize-winning economists and their glittering fiscal estimates which are followed religiously by Wall Street investors fail to anticipate the meteoric rise in world oil prices? Should we dismiss these scholarly prognostications and consider them as only as treatises which have about as much reliability as a two-day weather forecast? Or are they systematic accounts and pieces of code language carefully produced for the Bush/Cheney plutocrats who stand to increase their fortunes?

Though we can't or probably won't see the campaign contributions made to Bush/Cheney by the oil conglomerates until well after the November election, you can bet that much of their profiteering is being pumped into the Republican coffers in order to solidify their stranglehold and control on our once-vibrant democracy.

Now, however, inflation has become as much of a concern as job losses. According to recent statistics in the daily business news, the increase in energy prices will cost consumers a minimum of $50 billion before the end of this year. That is $50 billion less that customers will have to spend in Wal Mart and other stores on consumer products.

There is also little question that oil production could be stepped up immediately by putting pressure on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries.

But why should Bush/Cheney want to do that now? This may be Andrew Card's "new model" and his propaganda dream-come-true scenario. The oil "crisis" could well become Bush's second generation trifecta whereby the Republicans and their corrupt corporate benefactors can control the oil market, bomb another country, say either Syria or Iran, create another national "emergency" and manipulate the voters by lowering oil prices in time for the November election.

The ever-grateful drivers of the gas-guzzling SUVs will then be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief as they belly up to the gas pumps, praise be to Bush Almighty!

Some proof of this possibility can be read in the chapters in Bob Woodward's book, Plan of Attack, in which he states the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandr bin Sultan bin Abdul, promised Bush he would use his leverage to lower gasoline prices just in time for the November election. This is the same person whom the Bush/Cheney regime trusted with sharing knowledge for invading and bombing Iraq days before informing the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

Power indeed does corrupt, and absolute power does indeed corrupt absolutely. Again, history repeats itself as Americans today, like those over twenty years ago, have become the dupe of oil.

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