Making a Mockery

Friday, October 28, 2005

Let's Play MASTER and Servant

This group controls us like puppets. I would like to give a special shout out to Exxon Mobil Corp. who recently rewrote the corporate record books when on Thursday posted their third-quarter earnings which soared to almost $10 billion and it became the first public company ever with quarterly sales topping $100 billion. Anglo-Dutch competitor Royal Dutch Shell PLC was much less greedy posting a profit of only $9 billion for the quarter.

That is 1 with 10 zeros: 10,000,000,000 and it isn't sales but profit.

"Exxon is a good corporate citizen but it does not work for the welfare of the country," said oil analyst Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.
"Exxon Chairman and Chief Executive Lee R. Raymond did not mention of the record results in the company's earnings release. Instead, he noted that the world's largest publicly traded Oil Company 'acted responsibly in pricing at our company operated service stations, and we also encouraged our independent retailers and distributors to do the same.'"
Exxon's revenue for Q3 was greater than the annual gross domestic product of some of the largest oil producing nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait even with lost production due to hurricanes in the Gulf coast. CIA GDP Site

These oil guys are the modern day equivalent of Robber Barons. "'Robber Barons': that was what U.S. political and economic commentator Matthew Josephson (1934) called the economic princes of his own day." Robber Barons by J. Bradford DeLong UC Berkely 1998 Robber barons were the wealthy who fought hard for their wealth and usually got it by exploiting an idea or product and fighting labor, government and others to keep their wealth. Josephson used the term derogatorily to try and persuade government to intervene.

Exxon Mobile Corp and alike are similar to the Robber Barons of a century ago because they have found a method to control production and slowly squeeze a king's ransom in profits from their product by tightly controlling supply. Big oil has consolidated into a few and thus controls the majority of oil refining capabilities in the US. Oil and gas companies carefully spin world events to raise and lower the prices on their product to squeeze the maximum profits. Big Oil fights government intervention in their cause by hardcore lobbying and greasing the palms of those in control. No big surprise.however these jokers have control over our economy. Our economy is closely tied to cheap oil. Gas runs the great American industrial machine. Anytime gas prices rise to rapidly the consumer suffers. I believe in a free market but when a small group holds the key to economic success I believe that our society will eventually crumble under the greed of a few.

Trickle down economics here kids.
If I use 2 tanks of gas a week and the cost of a tank of gas rises from $25 to $45 it means that my basic driving costs me an extra $160 a month. I am not just going to get a $160 dollar a month raise because the energy companies need more money so that is now an extra $160 I am not spending in the local economy. No longer am I spending this money to buy extra goods and services and such. The money just gets sucked up into big oil bank accounts who aren't really investing back into the economy because we know that the average Joe Oilworker doesn't get big pay raises when times are good but instead gets his standard 3-4% dole if he is lucky. So Utah has approximately 1,000,000 people who are old enough to drive (my best guess from US Census 2004 Estimate: 2,389,039) and it now costs us 45% more to fuel up that means that 45% of the money we used to spend on other businesses has disappeared from our economy. Using my personal #'s and divide them by 2 just to be conservative that means 80 million dollars goes missing each month from our economy or 240,000,000 from our Q3 local economy. Oil companies have us as hostages.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harry Carry Still Singing the Blues in Chicago
Harry has got to be a least a little tickled that Chicago finally has a World Championship in baseball. Harry Carry was the famous Cubs annoucer who always sounded a little buzzed. The 2005 baseball season has come to an end and it didn't end without controversy. For example the strike out in the ALCS that turned into a base runner or Jermain Dye supposedly getting hit by a pitch even though it clearly hit the bat or the selection of the "Latino Legends Team".

The good news is that the drought of 88 years has finally ended for the championship challenged Chicago White Sox. It was awesome to see two teams who haven't had a lot of World Series success go to the fall classic. Even though the Astros were swept 4-0 the games were close and exciting and all 4 games were decided by 2 runs or less. I mean it must have been pretty good baseball for me to stay up in the wee hours to watch a 14-inning game but the bad news is the Latino Legends controversy.

Yesterday Major League Baseball announces its "Latino Legends Team". What a joke. First the team seems to be the greatest Latino's of the 90's and 2000 but what I find more offensive is the fact that we have to have a greatest team based upon ethnic background. While it is no secret that baseball has become popular with Latino countries and Major League Baseball is full of Latino talent, I think it is truly ridiculous to announce a "Latino Legends Team". In today's world of political correctness how can this be right? Aren't we supposed to be the same just like vanilla pudding? What about the "I have a dream speech" that all over-paid over-hyped Major League Baseball Players be treated equal? What would happen if Major League Baseball announced Caucasian Legends Team? What would be the public backlash from an Idaho Legends Team, or a Scandinavian Legends Team or maybe a Southern Redneck Legends team? This is a joke and an insult to baseball and baseball fans. Was this the genius mind of Bud Selig aka Mr. End the All-Star Game in a Tie? Is this racist. discriminating against Rednecks of America? I guess Major League Baseball hates Rednecks, Idahoans and Scandinavians. This is outrageous. I mean we live in such a Political Correct society where a head coach cannot even say, "Afro-American kids can run very well. That doesn't mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can't run, but it's very obvious to me that they run extremely well." [1] I guess you cannot acknowledge a particular race's skills. I mean after all there does seem to be a higher percentage of very talented African American athletes but I guess in today's world we just cannot say that.
[1] Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry's comments from

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Corporate Lap Dance: Going All the Way for Your Clients
"According to American Express, Savvis CEO Robert McCormick rang up charges of $241,000 in a single visit to a strip club while entertaining a small group of business acquaintances. The bulk of the charges were for tips that McCormick gave to lap dancers who were entertaining his party in a VIP room known as the President's Club, according to Scores spokesman Lonnie Hanover." MSNBC

So I have a few questions for Mr. McCormick. At what point did it seem like a good idea to go and get lap dances on your investor's dime? And why would you not pay the bill knowing that this could go public and again hurt your investors? I guess $241k isn't that much for a lap dance and no accountant is going to notice that amount of money missing? No surprise your stock is trading at $.60 a share down 80% over the last 3 months. I guess $241k in lap dances isn't quite as excessive as a $6000 shower curtain was in other news.

Consumer confidence declines unexpectedly
I read this headline today and thought unexpectedly? What the . Who the hell didn't see this coming? Al Greenspan where were you on this one? Consumer confidence didn't fall unexpectedly; the greedy oil/gas bastards killed consumer confidence with outrageous pricing. Ripping off the public by raising gas prices over 60% in a few short weeks certainly didn't contribute to the problem. The gas companies are announcing record profits for Q2 and Q3 but for some reason the consumer confidence declined unexpectedly. I guess nobody saw the fact that the gas companies have been bilking the public of their extra income sending the economy into a recession. All we hear now is how high heating oil and natural gas prices will be this winter because there was a hurricane in the summer. Does any one else suspect collusion?

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Do ya wanta Fanta?
One of the world's most annoying advertising characters has become one of the top 10 searched for Halloween costumes. I bet the geniuses behind the ad are asking for the big paycheck now. Here are the top costume searches from Lycos
1. Star Wars Costumes
2. Dog Costumes
3. Lava Girl Costume
4. Homemade Costumes
5. Baby/Toddler Costumes
6. Willy Wonka Costumes
7. Fanta Girl Costumes
8. Shark Boy Costumes
9. Sexy Referee Costumes
10. Gypsy Costumes
11. Group Costumes
12. Fairy Costumes
13. Pippi Longstocking Costumes
14. Rainbow Brite Costume
15. Shrek Costume
16. Wizard of Oz Costume
17. Slipknot Costume
18. Toga Costume
19. Elf Costume
20. Goddess Costume
21. Popeye Costume
22. Sonic Costumes
23. Superman Costumes
24. Tinkerbell Costumes
25. Strawberry Shortcake Costumes

Gooooo Cougs.
I would just like to thank BYU football for 2 quarters of entertainment. The first two quarters of Saturday's game kept me entertained. Some where early in the third quarter, the BYU football I love to hate showed up. First off it didn't take a defensive genius to realize in the first quarter that maybe we should double up on Stovall the first 7 completions were to him. Stovall and Samardzija (359) accounted for over 71% of Norte Dames offensive yards (511).

"I don't care if there are 6-5 receivers out there," linebacker Cameron Jensen said. "We still have to cover and if they make the catch, we still have to tackle and we didn't do a very good job of that." FOXSports

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