In Paris, in 1971, on this date, the lead singer of The Doors was found dead. Jim Morrison was found in his bathtub in his apartment by his girlfriend. He was 27 years old. The husband says The Doors as a rock group were hugely popular with the military during the Vietnam years. It's his recollection. By 1971, he was back from his service and I was still in high school. Didn't meet him for ten more years.
Different place, different time, still classic 60's rock. The Lizard King.
If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion on from whom you purchase your auto fuel, I will tell you I am purchasing from the two big name oil companies who have told Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to put his demands where the sun don't shine and refused to be strong armed into signing agreements allowing Chavez majority control on their operations. Chavez is hell bent to socialize the oil drilling industry in Venezuela and insisting foreign owned companies forfeit majority control of the operations, thus allowing the oil drilling industry to go the way of the governmental takeover of the electric and telephone companies.
The oil companies taking a firm stand and pulling out are taking a huge monetary hit for infastructure investments already in place. For ConocoPhillips the operations in the Orinoco region were valued at $6 billion and are about 10% of the company's reserve base and 4% of its worldwide production, according to an article in the Financial Times.
Somewhere along the way in the late 1980's I read a book on investing your money in socially conscious companies. I took the philosophy, that you support companies each time you spend money on investments, and decided to apply it into everyday life. I make the effort to support companies and causes with my purchases on a routine basis. I'm not making waves as an individual consumer but if the majority of consumers would use their financial voice regularly, the statement is heard.
I shop at locally owned businesses whenever it is practical. I purchase products made in my state so that workers are supported. I love a locally owned book store located close to my house and go there when I can, instead of the big name chains with the coffee cafes in the back. It's just basic stuff here. I also have the chore of paying bills, so I am known to be, um, frugal. I'm always looking for a deal and shop chains if it makes more sense.
Socialization of private industries is not the way for economic prosperity of a country or for its people's freedoms. It's a good deal if you're the dictator. Chavez has shut down the free press in Venezuela and takes great pride in his mentoring under Castro. Now he is forging ahead with his partnership with Iran. Today it was announced that Iran and Venezuela will build methanol facilities together in hopes of injuring the American energy sector.
I know it's popular, and easy, to ridicule and complain about big oil in this country. The fact is that until we develop a workable energy policy we are beholding to some bad people for oil. About 60% of our oil is coming from foreign sources. Our refineries are working at maximum levels. The last refinery was built 30 years ago. A segment of our population is committed to lobbying against any new drilling in our waters. Those screaming for alternative energies to be developed have absolutely no idea of the costs involved. Do not kid yourself. The costs will be passed on to the consumer. And those same people are also the ones who don't want wind farms cluttering up their precious ocean views from their estates on the coasts.
The Dems in congress, looking more and more like socialists, are working to take away tax incentives on big oil. They have determined that too much money is being made. When did they get to judge? Why should oil companies continue to make investments when everything is being set to favor alternatives? The same Dems pouting now over profits are the same ones obstructing the administration's energy policies, the first policies sent to Congress for votes in 2002. To hear critics speak, you would think nothing has been done by the administration. President Bush has advocated hydrogen technology, wind energy, clean coal, and now nuclear energy. Ethanol, coming from corn, is in use and the price of our groceries from the strain of producing the crop are felt at the market.
How much are you willing to sacrifice for energy independence? Solar panels for homes are not affordable for the average citizen. Some grants are made and that is good. Insulating windows in your home is an energy saver. Smaller vehicles are easier on gas consumption. Even recycling, an issue I've been involved with on a local level in our former community since the 1980's, has proven cost inefficient in many areas, especially out west with less populated areas.
We all make choices. Supply and demand. If you feel justified in supporting taking away incentives in one industry, then to be fair, other profitable industries should be looked upon in the same manner. Entertainment? Trial lawyers? Lobbyists? Hedge Fund financial firms? High tech millionaires? When did privileged lawmakers, reaping financial rewards from their positions of power and spouses and children enriching family coffers, get to be the voice of how much money companies can make?
I'd be more worried about their fellow lawmakers who consort with Hugo Chavez and bow and scrape to him for his offer of low cost heating oil and accept the oil. It was nothing but a publicity stunt after he went to the U.N. and denounced the president as the great Satan.