The Special Olympics or Something

The rat bastard.

Until recently, I was disabled. I had the kind of disability that was difficult to bear in public. It was the kind of disability that led me to spend more than a year holed up a house because of the fear of derision and mockery that the disability produced.  It’s only been recently that I’ve been able to leave the house without that gut-twisting fear.

I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t always dress myself. I couldn’t always walk. There were weeks at a time when I couldn’t get out of bed. Just walking to the living room was a treat.

I’m one of the lucky ones. It’s likely that the disability will return, but it’s gone right now. I get some time off. I’m the damned lucky one who gets to live like a normal person for long stretches of time between periods of disability. So I’ve got it easy. Most don’t get that vacation. Most disabled people live a limited life most normal people can’t imagine. And they live it every second.

It takes a special kind of asshole to make fun of people who live with that.

So yeah. I’m upset at Obama’s “gaffe.”  The bastards in the media, the few  reporting it, are calling it a “gaffe.” A gaffe is a social blunder. A gaffe is when you compliment your neighbor’s wife on the prettiness and femininity of her new baby daughter and find out it’s a boy. A gaffe is when you fart in the frozen food aisle. A gaffe is when you mispronounce your new boss’s name at a company picnic.

This was more than a gaffe. This was an insult, aimed at the crotch. Oh, I don’t think he did it deliberately. I think he just made the same kinds of jokes a certain type of ass makes in private. But ol’ Obama was without his teleprompter and he couldn’t self-edit fast enough to catch it.

There will be apologies. Of course. He is, if nothing else, a master at media spin (assuming the media will even cover it) and everyone will make excuses.

But we know, don’t we? We know what he thinks of the disabled. We know how he thinks of them and how casually he mocks them. The bastard. The worst of it is…the same disabled people he mocked mostly voted for him.


Barrels and Bucks

Upon the psychology of pricing oil.

We’ve all heard the people who mock SUV drivers for their big gas tanks. They’re the same people who claim that we Americans believe driving is a God given gift. They like to drive itty bitty plastic hybrid cars with bumper stickers on them predicting that driving hybrid cars will save the world. (Hubris, I say!) They’re the ones who’ve been laughing with glee as the rest of America suffers under the weight of high gas prices.

Now as the price of gas drops, I’ve been laughing, too.

I think the latest decrease in the cost of gas is an interesting phenomenon. We’ve been told, forever, that the reason why gas prices rise in the summer is because of demand. (Ditto for winter.) As demand increases, you see, so does the scarcity of oil. And scarcity of an object means that it will be more expensive. Yes? Economics 101. It makes sense, from my basic college freshman economics class level of thinking. So gas is expensive in the summer and winter because we use more of it and thus it becomes more valuable.

Or so we’ve been told.

Imagine my interest, then, to see gas prices drop recently at the pump. Imagine my shock, then, because the scarcity of oil hasn’t wavered all summer. What could be the reason behind the large decrease in gas prices?

Just before the prices dropped, the president rescinded the Executive Order banning offshore drilling. And suddenly, the price of oil per barrel goes down over $20, which translates into about a $0.30 savings per gallon at the pump here in Georgia. In my car, that’s a savings of $3.60 per tank of gas. Considering that my car is filled up about twice a week, I’m saving $7.20 per week directly from the price decrease. That’s almost $30 per month… and that ain’t small change.

It’s interesting that the president’s act alone caused the price drop. I mean, there’s little to no chance that our Democrat-controlled Congress will actually allow offshore drilling to recommence. Ever. I’m fairly sure that the people who control gas prices know this. (Though, I am happy to see the Republicans’ surprising spontaneous growth of balls today on the issue.)

[Who are the people that control gas prices? I mean, they don’t seem very friendly, do they?]

So the gas price dropped from nothing more than speculation. Which makes conspiracy theorists’ claims of mal-intent on the part of those gas price controllers seem all the more plausible. I think it’s clear that the price of oil includes more than simple economics. If it were all about supply and demand as we’ve been told, then the president’s lifting of the offshore drilling ban wouldn’t have had an effect on the price. (It makes me wonder how much of that gas price is padded by “speculation.”)

And it puts an end to the Nancy Pelosi and Company refrain that drilling offshore wouldn’t help our problems immediately. Please. We’ve just seen a $20 drop in gas per barrel because of nothing more than speculation. What would the drop be if we actually started drilling? Hell, what if we just started planning on drilling? How much of a drop would that cause?

But more interesting is the effect the price drop has had on the economy. The dollar is up. The markets gained. We’ve had real, measurable economic growth (not the piddling little half a percent growth we’ve had for a while that’s made all the boo-hooers cry “recession!” – we had almost 2% growth, which started before the gas price drop, but still).

It shows a very real relationship between the price of oil and our economy. I think it’s time for the people who’ve crowed over the high gas prices to stop laughing and help the rest of us get the gas prices down. A bad economy hurts everyone (except, perhaps, the people who want it to be bad (more conspiracies!)).

So drill, already.

Random Linkery

Were you to place your ear next to mine this morning, you would hear the sound of wind blowing through a high mountain pass. No exaggeration there. My brain has departed and left for parts unknown. Though I do suspect it may be lurking somewhere around my left big toe, I can’t work up the energy to will it back to its rightful place behind my eyes. So I’m brainless this morning, with very little to say about some links upon which I’d planned on writing extensively. Well, not so extensively for some…

Ceiling Cat Akbar!!! Hee. This is why I don’t have pets. ‘Cause I would totally do this for Halloween.

Coin Flippage: The Decline of Western Civilization is well upon us.

Admitting Mistakes: While it doesn’t refute his general point, it sure does address another one I’ve long suspected: we are being manipulated by The Powers That Be. And by TPTB, I mean Al Gore and the environmental movement. If they’re going to pretend to present a real, rational, fair documentary to the world, that documentary should not include clips from movies without expressly stating that the clip is from a movie. But no. They included a clip that was supposedly created by filming nature  when it was really created by a CGI shop in Hollywood.  Lovely honesty.

Environmentalists Can’t Do Math: Perhaps that’s why they are environmentalists and not engineers or accountants…

Biofuel = CornBiofuel + Petroleum  

(Global Food System) = CornFood +  $$$US Aid (w/help from others)  

If CornFood = Major food that keeps people from starving in developing countries

If Corn =  CornBiofuel + CornFood   ≠  ∞

And if CornBiofuel > CornFood

Thus the global food system will suffer. People starve. Q.E.D’oh!

[I’d planned on writing more about present equations vs. past equations vs. future equations involving corn, but as I said earlier, my brain is hanging out with my metatarophalangeal* joint right now. And it’s hard to think when there’s that great of a distance between my head and my brain.]

McCain ’08: The least repulsive Democrat running for president. Hee.

Cube Prank: When I was working in a cube, I wished for something like this to happen to me. It’s a mini office with a flower box! How cute is that? [Via the Hostages. And yes, it’s old.]

Some People: Just need the mean beat out of them. Seriously. Did you see the wretch smile for the camera? I say tie her down on the main drag of a retirement village and let the retirees run their golf carts over her.  Or let Arnold Palmer take a few shots with a nine iron. [Via Ace.]

*Did you know that the wordpress spell checker knows the word metatarophalangeal? Nice. Good job WP people!