Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Gas Hostility and Demagoguery
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)
Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.
Well I suppose we need to talk about it some more…gas prices, that is.
If I’m starting to sound like a broken record on this subject, it’s not because I’m fixated on this subject, but because the message just is not getting out in the way that it needs to! Gas prices keep on going up, people keep getting pissed off about it, and something DOES need to be done about it, because THIS IS affecting our economy! You know, that hypothetical "robust economy" that the Bush Imperium and their ass-kissers on talk radio and on Fox News LOVE to talk about? I’ve got news for you folks… it’s not as robust as they claim it to be.
But back to hostile gas prices... And yes, that IS the right term for it. IT IS HOSTILE! When you have the president of a rogue nation like Iran rejoicing – REJOICING – at high gas prices and the volatile price of oil and actually say that these things need to be even HIGHER, then there is no other word to describe this situation except HOSTILE!
But what really bothers me is how badly this issue is being DEMAGOGUED.
"Demagogue"… rather interesting word, huh? It’s actually Ancient Greek for "popular leader". It was originally a term used to describe leadership by eliciting the support of the masses. But used in the context of modern-day politics, it becomes an obscenity. In modern times, if you demagogue an issue, then you are employing a strategy of obtaining power by appealing to the popular prejudices, fears, and expectations of the public.
About a century ago, Baltimore’s own H. L. Mencken, gave this rather interesting definition of a demagogue: "one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots." And that is EXACTLY what is happening to the issue of hostile gas prices. It is being intentionally, deliberately, and systematically DEMAGOGUED by politicians and by the air-fluffed egotistical members of the media.
Yes, we know about the various reasons behind the high gas prices. We’ve KNOWN about them! We KNOW that we have been more and more dependent on foreign oil, despite the false promises and empty programs of every single US President since Richard Nixon to change it. We KNOW that China and India are now serious competitors for the oil that we used to take for granted. We KNOW that we haven’t built a single refinery in DECADES. And we KNOW that our federal government has continuously and systematically required the remaining refineries to come up with so-called "boutique" gasoline on the pretext of saving the environment.
And YET… we still hear the horsecrap from the air-fluffed media about how we should be "grateful" that we’re ONLY paying $3 per gallon. Oh, look at how Europe is paying for gas prices! They’re paying DOUBLE that amount! Yes they do, and the difference between their prices and our prices is in TAXES! They tax the CRAP out of European motorists to pay for their socialist programs. But we don’t hear that part too loudly from the ego-driven media, do we? NOOOOOOOO! Take away the taxes and their gas prices are pretty much on par with our own!
We also still hear the conservatives spin their HORSECRAP about how "adjusted for inflation" we’re still getting a bargain. Well I don’t know about you, but the money that disappears from my wallet to pay for gas is in TODAY’S amount. The bills I pay for are in TODAY’S amount. The price of the groceries that I get at the store – which ARE going up, by the way, because of this – are in TODAY’S amount! They’re NOT "adjusted for inflation from 1981" or from any other year.
Tell you what, when all of these Bush Imperium apologists and brown-nosers start getting paid exactly the way they would have been paid in 1981, THEN they can talk about "adjusting for inflation" all they want to. In the meantime, stick with current events, because you’re doing miserably with the here-and-now!
And we’re still hearing about how RICH the oil industry is getting off of us. Yes they are, because THAT is what a private business DOES! That’s the nature of the beast, and it doesn’t matter what kind of business it is.
Look, unless you’re some clueless college student who thinks they know everything, a desperate housewife-slash-Stepford Pod Person, or a self-employed businessperson, odds are you work for a private business. The people that keep YOU employed have one mission… to make as much money as they can! If they can’t do that, then they certainly have no reason to keep YOU employed! They’re not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.
Now, does it BOTHER me to know that gas company execs are making boatloads of moolah over our misfortune? Absolutely! Do I think they should be PUNISHED for it? I’d be lying to myself if I said no. But taxing that money is not the way!
Come on folks… if you actually USE that gray matter between your ears, then you’d realize that this horsecrap idea of a so-called "windfall profits tax" that these politicians want to talk about will only make things WORSE for us as consumers! Do you know why? Because taxes to a business are simply OVERHEAD, which gets passed down to US in the form of HIGHER PRICES! It’s not going to affect their profits… PERIOD! All it will do is it will push gas prices up EVEN HIGHER! WE end up paying that tax FOR them!
So why do politicians and the air-fluffed media continue to bring the subject up? Because THEY KNOW that it’s not going to work! It’s a placebo. It’s a FAKE solution! It sounds nice but it doesn’t do anything.
Do you know what DOES work? Cutting down on consumption. STOP DRIVING! THAT hurts the oil executives! THAT hurts their bottom line! It’s no coincidence that every time prices go up in the summer months, we continue to hear about how we, as Americans, are driving even more. STOP DOING THAT! If you’re really pissed off about prices, if you’re driving yourself into bankruptcy over these climbing gas prices, then YOU have to make the concerted effort to stop driving!
So why am I the only person telling you this? Why am I the only person who is telling the public to STOP DRIVING? Why aren’t you hearing this message from the air-fluffed members of the media? Why aren’t you hearing this from our elected grifters and shysters?
Well let’s get brutally honest here… you’re not hearing this from our elected grifters and shysters because they’re too busy demagogueing the issue! They’re busy using your class envy and your outrage to their political advantage. They want you to think that they’re really doing something to HELP you, while at the same time never really coming up with an actual solution.
Oh, yeah, the US Government will "investigate" whether or not the oil industry is engaging in wholesale price fixing and price gouging… YEAH RIGHT! They’ve made that same promise to us EACH AND EVER YEAR! And guess what? Every year they come up with the same answer. "After a thorough examination, we cannot find any evidence of price fixing or collusion on behalf of the oil companies."
THAT’S why they bring in the executives from the oil industry and have them answer the questions that we already know about, and why they WILL NOT bring in the EPA, the Secretary of the Interior, or the Secretary of Energy to explain why THEIR regulations and THEIR programs are causing this continual problem. It’s ALL SCRIPTED, people! It’s more scripted than professional wresting!
And if you’re wondering why the air-fluffed members of the media won’t tell you the REAL solutions to these problems, then all you have to do is see what kind of COMMERICALS are being aired in between the news segments. Yes, gas prices are still going up, and they’ll be happy to show you just how pissed off people are about it, and about how high the prices are probably going to go, and how much money Big Oil will be making off of this problem… BUT FIRST… a few words from your local airline, two foreign boards of tourism, a hotel or two, a local amusement park, and three or four local auto dealers… ALL of whom rely on YOU continuing to drive and to spend more and more money on gasoline!
Bottom line: it’s not in THEIR best interests to tell you the truth about what it takes to cut down on gas prices. So they’re going to do everything BUT tell you to stop driving. They’re going to demagogue the issue because they know that if they told the truth, then THEY would lose money!
Besides, having the problem come up every year helps out their ratings! It gives them a news story they can count on. Look at how much time is dedicated to gas problems… and how much of an effect it has on the economy. Look at all of the "special reports" being done about it, and about what can be done. And where CAN people go to get the cheapest gas? They’ll certainly tell you! By the way, how many of you have radio stations or TV stations doing little "cheap gasp" promotions? That’s not exactly helping matters much either.
Listen, folks, we need REAL solutions to the problem of hostile gas prices. And the definition of a "solution" is something that RESOLVES the problem; not something that "feels good" or something that just appeals to our perverted sense of class and wealth envy. If it doesn’t resolve the problem, then it’s not a solution. It’s a FAILURE. And right now the politicians and the members of the media have nothing to offer us on this matter but FAILURE!
(Computer – some good mixes linked to the subject, but you have to hear the rant to appreciate them)
(Fade Music In – "The Instinct" by Rare)
You know, I normally dismiss John Gibson’s commentary on Fox News as simply more conservative apologist propaganda, but for once he actually got something right.
On Monday, May 24th’s rant, Gibson pointed out that the Bush Imperium’s perception of how the economy is faring is not matching with what Americans by-in-large measure the economy.
The Bush Imperium sees corporate profits, low unemployment numbers, and consumer indexes, while Americans see jobs, gas prices, and mortgage rates. Gibson correctly points out that we see the change in gas prices every day, and the non-stop climb in interest rates by the Federal Reserve is basically a big "SCREW YOU" flag for consumers.
THESE are our indicators, and I happen to think that they are better indicators of how the economy is faring, because the so-called "official" numbers can be just a little bit deceptive.
And for every week that goes by that the Imperium FAILS to recognize this, it will hurt them, because it continues to show that they are absolutely clueless about the needs and concerns of the American people.
Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")
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