Blinders

I just read through the msnbc piece on “Congress Questions Big Oil’s big profits” and it was, at least in a sense, heartening which was a nice suprise.  It was somewhat uplifting because it shows that Congress is actually getting involved and calling Big Oil to accountability.  Congress is actually doing something that has legitimate potential to positively affect average Americans!  A novel idea in our day. 

 One of the oil company executives made a futile if not devious attempt to deflect blame for the estimated 100 billion in record profits, just last year, saying that the industry is cylical and that high profits years are a market necessity to offset low profit years.  The minor problem with his statement is that it’s got nothing to do with reality.  He’d (John Hofmeister, Pres of Shell Oil) made that statement in Nov 2005 when oil was only $60 a barrel.  Today it closed on the NYSE at $100. 

Americans are responding though.  Hundreds of truckers went on strike accross the nation to protest rising fuel costs and our Congressional representatives at the hearing did an admirable job of attacking Big Oil’s reps considerably; “On April Fool’s Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., as he opened the hearing.  Ultimately however, whatever the outcome of the hearing, has yet to be determined and a long road it may well be.  However effective the outcome, still up in the air.  Propsals for tax cuts and increased spending on alternative energy sources development, to which Exxon Mobil spends a paultry 100 million while having earned over 40 billion last year, were at least put on the table.  Whether anything was done with them I’m certainly as of yet aware.  

 These facts are sad and can lead to another more disheartening conclusion all together, namely, given the chaos engulfing our world, and our near helpless position to do much about it* (insert jumbo sized grain of salt), is it perhaps not better to lead our lives with blinders on?  Simply do whatever it is that is best for ourselves and let the world crumble on its merry way?  The haunting notion I’m left feeling is that that road will take us to an ugly, beaten place.  A life where we’re too stupid and/or lazy to realize how bad we have it and a lost memory of what we’ve given up. 

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