Interview and job hunting tips for journalists

Mick Gregory at Large

More stories from journalists who are surprised that they have been let go.

“After 17 years as a staff photographer, I was laid off via phone call on August 1st while on vacation. A lousy phone call. Does it get any more classless than that? Ok, what the Chicago Sun Times did to their photo staff gets a really special prize. Still, I thought/hoped my work would speak for me. No explanation other than the standard corporate spiel was given: “Due to reduction in staff, your job has been impacted by that… Here’s the HR rep.”

And that was that. It leaves you reeling and your head swirling with unanswered questions with no answers. I wasn’t the last hired, I’m not the oldest, I hadn’t been there the longest, I didn’t have the highest salary. I have no dependents costing the company extra money. I won awards (was even nominated for a Pulitzer), mentored students and interns, worked well with co-workers and do have tremendous ties to this community.

The past few years to ‘that’ phone call I received, work was pretty much a living hell as I witnessed the destruction of a pretty darn good newspaper (The Clarion-Ledger/ Jackson, Ms.) by people who didn’t want to be there, resented being there, had no ties to the community and didn’t want any.

When ‘it’ happens, it hurts, angers and stuns. I’m not sure what the reporter is going for with his story. But will it be any different from any other painful story? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

It’s truly is a hellish thing to be my age (55) and not have a steady income. Tell him that the myriad of paperwork involved in one’s “separation” is daunting, frustrating and seemingly endless. Tell him how frightening it is to be my age and not have health care. I know there are hundreds rowing this same boat with me… or, worse. Jim, mention those same things and apply it to job hunting, especially in this economy, in a market saturated with those same rowers stroking against a strong current. You try not to despair.” — John Dough

Amy Miller writes:

I know many excellent reporters and photographers being laid off, and while it makes for sad, depressing copy, as a reporter, what I really want to read is a thorough, in-depth analysis of the decisions a company such as Gannett has made since the advent of the Internet, especially continued raises to the top brass while continuing to slash resources at local newspapers almost to the point of nonfunctionality. Just ask anyone about Gannett’s ill-fated “Real Life Real News” strategy around 2004, when it blamed declining readership on too much hard news. It’s time to hold these news companies accountable for the regrettable and self-interested business decisions that have helped dismantle the news business and not just lay all the blame on Internet and Craigslist. While the Internet and smartphones are certainly the most disruptive factors at play, they cannot and are not the only reasons for the decline of the news business. Let’s chronicle the real tragedy: the news business itself.

Detroit Metro Times veteran Curt Guyette writes on Facebook:

After 18 years on the job, I was fired from the Metro Times on Friday. Earlier in the week we’d been told that the paper was being put up for sale, and that the information was being put on the Times-Shamrock website as we spoke, but that staff were prohibited from talking to any media about it, because the company wanted to “control” the message.

I ignored the order, and was “terminated” for “gross insubordination” and “breach of company trust.” No dispute about the insubordination; as for the breach of trust, that cuts both ways. Not sure what the future holds, but after reflecting on the situation for a few days I can say that I am relieved to be gone. The MT, for me anyway, had become a soul-killing place, and I’m happy that I’m no longer there. And now a new chapter in my life begins. Life is good.

He added this to his Facebook wall:

One thing needs to be made absolutely clear: I’ve got no gripe with the MT for firing me. My anger/resentment/disappointment/profound sorrow is reserved for what this paper I’ve been so proud of the past 18 years has become. Would I have liked to have gone out differently? Definitely. But am I sad to be gone? Not an iota. Like I said to one of my former workpals just after I got the boot, “At least there was no electroshock or forced lobotomy.” Life is good. And its going to get even better. So don’t anyone say they feel sorry for me, or that they’re sad. This is a life-changing event, that’s for sure. But just as certain is the fact that the road ahead leads to a better place.

Millions have fallen into the lower class and depend on the government for food stamps, the “Earned Income Tax Credit,” and free cell phones. It’s an historic shift that may never be reported accurately by the mainstream media. Careers are shattered, especially for Baby Boomers and the original Gen Xers. If you only read the mainstream media (MSM), you could convince yourself to jump on the food stamp gravy train. It is looking more and more attractive, especially when you can get free SmartPhones and service like millions are in Ohio and other spots in the North East. That is not a positive.

If you have been one of the highly skilled journalists or marketing professionals in major media. Your time is up.

Gannett, owner of 82 daily newspapers and 23 television stations, confirmed Tuesday that some of its local papers have cut staff over the last several weeks.

“Some of our community publishing sites are making cuts to align their business plans with local market conditions,” company spokesman Jeremy Gaines said in a statement.

The layoffs, totaling about a couple of hundred jobs, were revealed at many of the company’s local newspapers over the last 30 days. Jobs were cut both in newsrooms and business operations. Gannett also publishes USA TODAY, which has not been affected by the layoffs.

Gannett did not provide totals for the cutbacks at individual properties. Philly.com reported Monday that The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal is cutting 28 jobs.

Cutbacks have been a frequent phenomenon at newspapers in the digital era as readers and advertisers have gravitated to computers and mobile devices. Gannett’s newsrooms, like many others, have increased their investment in digital operations as part of the company’s transformation strategy in an effort to depend less on print revenue.

In June, Gannett bought competitor Belo for $2.2 billion, which would increase its broadcast portfolio from 23 to 43 stations. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Let’s get back to focusing on what is in your control. My friends in glass towers, though very productive and focused on the here and now, and gainfully employed, are always on a job hunt now. They are on the hunt every day, like tiger sharks. Some large businesses still use the infamous Enron practice of rank and yank. Many hire consultants to justify a major reorg. Most of us have survived rounds of right sizing.

Do your own business plan and stakeholder engagement analysis. Keep educating yourself and mentoring others. Build up a network of trusted friends and stay in contact with your friends and mentors from college and your first jobs.

All I am saying is remember the Boy & Girl Scouts’ code, “Be Prepared.”

Start the hunt with some of these tips:

Career sites: Linkedin.com, Twitter.com, WordPress.com, Indeed.com  and BrazenCareerist.

I like LinkedIn, let’s start there. Set up your profile from your resume. Once you are have that first draft finished, search for friends in your line of business and from college. Connect with them and see how they have written their profiles. Give a former employee or boss a good reference. Look at Groups. You will be amazed at the depth chart of Groups here. It’s networking made easy.

Brazen Careerist delivers candid, timely advice on all aspects of job hunting and success. Some recent blogs cover How to become the go-to guy (or gal), Tips to impress your interviewer and Five reasons recruiters aren’t giving you the  time of day.

WordPress is the site that I used to publish this blog. It has amazing features. Premium upgrades are very reasonable. You become your own web guru. Your friends may laugh when you tell them you blog and have a website, but when they visit your WordPress site, they should be very impressed if you have practiced a bit on the templates.

Twitter used to be the exclusive IM for journalists, I’m serious. We used to chat online about current events and helped each other out on sources and followup stories. Then Twitter went viral. My teenage daughter showed me some very funny hashtag (#) subjects, such as #thingsgirlssay; I just bit into an amazing peach, is one that cracks me up. Yes, my daughter said that. Men, try that line at the water cooler.

Indeed.com is the career site that will deliver to your email, company openings that you sign up for. Every morning I have interesting job descriptions from BP, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Anadarko.

Even though I am very happily employed and making an impact in an exciting career that I have been fine-tuning my whole life, I must keep on moving, not unlike a shark.

One year after the tragic BP oil disaster — all clear on the beaches!

Big Brother/Big Sis will use  the BP industrial accident as a way to pump a massive big government “clean energy tax” on the American middleclass and energy businesses. This kind of propaganda is considered “news” in Venezuela, Cuba and Spain. 

Here is an e-mail blast sent out to Democrats nation-wide today:
The BP oil spill is the worst environmental disaster of its kind in our nation’s history. My administration has deployed every tool at our disposal for the response efforts. Thousands are working around the clock, including some of the top scientists and engineers from around the world.

We are working to hold BP accountable for the damage to the lands and the livelihoods of the Gulf Coast, and we are taking strong precautions to make certain a spill like this never happens again.

But our Socialist work will not end with this crisis. That’s one of the reasons why I invited lawmakers from both parties to join me at theWhite House to discuss what it will take to move forward on legislation to promote a new economy powered by green jobs, combat climate change, and end our dependence on foreign oil.

Today, we consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than two percent of the world’s oil reserves. Beyond the risks inherent in drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth, our dependence on oil means that we will continue to send billions of dollars of our hard-earned wealth to other countries every month — including many in dangerous and unstable regions.

In other words, our continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security. It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk. We cannot delay any longer, and that is why I am asking for your help.


The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a new future. What future is that? Big Government runs free enterprise like they do the IRS and US Post Office?  

That means continuing our unprecedented effort to make everything — from our homes and businesses to our cars and trucks — more energy-efficient. It means rolling back billions of dollars of tax breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy research and development.

But the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future — if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And we can do that by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.

Many businesses have already embraced this idea because it provides a level of certainty about the future. And by pouring resources into research and development, by building new markets, we will reinvent our economy — creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, for new companies and new jobs all across the country.

There will be transition costs and a time of adjustment. But if we refuse to take into account the full costs of our fossil fuel addiction — and if we refuse to heed the warnings from the disaster in the Gulf — we will have missed our best chance to seize the clean-energy future we know America needs to thrive in the years and decades to come.

The House of Representatives has already passed a comprehensive energy and climate bill, and there is currently a plan in the Senate — a plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans — that would achieve the same goal. This week, I met with congressional leaders to determine a path forward. But this is an issue that Washington has long ignored in favor of protecting the status quo.

So I’m asking for your help today to show that the American people are ready for a clean-energy future.

Never let a crisis go to waste… Who said that?

California dream turning into a nightmare for middle class

California has turned into a high-tax, socialist state where the working middle class has to support millions of illegals and highly paid government employees. The state income tax has now broke the 10 percent barrier. The number of people leaving has for the first time in 70 years outpaced the incoming number, (including illegals).

Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida had the nation’s top foreclosure rates. In Nevada, one in every 70 homes received a foreclosure filing, while the number was one every 147 in Arizona. Rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.

Among metro areas, Las Vegas was first, with one in every 60 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. It was followed by the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area in Florida and five California metropolitan areas: Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Riverside-San Bernardino and Bakersfield.

The Scobleizer has written a good blog post on the subject. Scoble is an IT and social media guru in Silicon Valley who often visits Texas. He interviewed the Texas governor, Rick Perry and they Twitter each other. Even after the real estate bubble burst in 2005-06, and homes fell in price by 20 percent each of the last three years, homes are still overpriced and only 10 percent of California  households can afford median-priced homes. Nationally, 50 percent can afford the median-priced home.

The state of California has lost it’s glamorous image. I think of it now as a congested, welfare state with the highest taxes in the United States and the largest “public” workforce to support. Did you know that most of the government employees retire at full pay after 20 years of service?

http://scobleizer.com/2009/03/24/is-california-is-setup-for-a-brain-drain/comment-page-2/#comment-2008731

Joel Kotkin of the SF Chronicle wrote this piece in 2007.

California has been losing ground in the new millennium. In 2004-05, it fell to 17th, behind not only fast-growing Arizona and Nevada but also Oregon, Washington and rival “nation-state” Texas.

Job creation has been even less impressive. In the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it can only be considered mediocre or worse. If not for the strong performance of the interior counties of the state — what Bill Frey and I call the “Third California” — the state already would be rightly considered a laggard when it comes to creating employment.

More disturbing, as California’s population has grown — largely from immigration — per-capita income growth has weakened. From the 1930s to as late as the 1980s, Californians generally got richer faster than other Americans. In 1946, Gunther reported, Californians enjoyed the highest living standards and the third-highest per-capita income in the country.

Today, California ranks 12th in per-capita income. And it’s losing ground: Between 1999 and 2004, California’s per-capita income growth ranked a miserable 40th among the states.

This slow growth reflects a gradually widening chasm between social classes. Although the rest of the country has also experienced this trend, the gap between rich and poor has expanded more rapidly in California than in the rest of the country.

Today, notes a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California, California has the 15th-highest rate of poverty of all American states. When cost of living adjustments are made, only New York and the District of Columbia fare worse. Tragically, many of California’s poor are working. Somehow, this does not seem the best road to the governor’s dream of a “harmonious” society.

How did this happen to our golden state? There are many causes.

Certainly poverty has been greatly exacerbated by huge waves of immigration, particularly from Mexico and other developing countries. But other states — including Texas and Arizona — have also absorbed many immigrants, as well as people from the rest of this country, and have not experienced similarly strong jumps in their poverty rates.

Changes in the economy are clearly suspect. From the 1930s to the 1980s, California created a broad spectrum of opportunities for white- and blue-collar workers alike. Even the 1990s expansion, suggests Debbie Reed of the policy institute, helped reduce poverty by expanding a wide range of employment opportunities.

Today, economic growth in California — like that in much of the Northeast — seems tilted largely toward elites. Once a state known for its relative social democracy, the Golden State is becoming what Citigroup strategist Ajay Kapur has dubbed a plutonomy, dominated largely by a small wealthy class and their spending.

For example, despite all the hype about the renewed Internet boom in Silicon Valley, there has been only modest expansion of employment, even in the past year. Undoubtedly lavish takings by a relative handful of engineers, managers and investors are boosting high-end restaurateurs in San Francisco and revving up BMW sales, but benefits don’t seem to accrue as much to assemblers, midlevel managers and other high-tech workers.

Similarly, the governor’s entertainment industry friends, as well as art and developer elites close to Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom, may feel these are the best of times. But Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with Monterey, now suffer a poverty rate of more than 20 percent, among the highest level in the country.

Parallel to these developments, California is losing its once broad middle class, the traditional source of its political balance and much of its entrepreneurial genius. Outmigration from the state is growing and, contrary to the notions of some sophisticates, it’s not just the rubes and roughhouses who are leaving.

Indeed, an analysis of the most recent migration numbers shows a disturbing trend: an increasing out-migration of educated people from California’s largest metropolitan areas. Back in the 1990s, this was mostly a Los Angeles phenomena, but since 2000, the Bay Area appears to be suffering a high per-capita outflow of educated people.

This middle class flight is likely driven by two things: greater opportunities outside the state and the cost of housing in-state. Over the past 50 years, housing prices in coastal California in particular have grown much faster than elsewhere; the Bay Area’s rate of housing inflation over the past 50 years has been twice the national average.

Given the shrinking per-capita income advantage for being in California, moving elsewhere increasingly makes sense, particularly for those who do not already own homes and don’t have wealthy parents. In some parts of the state, barely 10 percent of households can now afford a median-price home; in the rest of the country that number is roughly 50 percent.

These trends suggest that California could be devolving toward an unappealing model of class stratification. As educated white-collar and skilled blue-collar workers leave, businesses in the state will be forced to truncate their operations — perhaps having an elite research lab, design office or marketing arm in California but shunting most midlevel jobs elsewhere.

Obama Creating the United Socialist States of Amerika — trillions spent on Big Government programs

Back in the USSA. We don’t know how lucky we are, eh! Back in the USSA! 

 


                  
    
WE GOT YOUR  MONEY 
   
GONNA SPEND YOUR  MONEY
  GONNA PRINT SOME MORE  MONEY 

 
  
 
 

 

 

Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Gibbs was trying to create a distraction by responding to Limbaugh.

“What we are seeing is a desperate attempt by Democrats to distract attention away from a multi-trillion dollar spending spree taking place in Washington,” Ferrier said. “Creating a boogeyman to change the subject does nothing to alter the fact that there are 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, that the economic stimulus bill contained no Republican input or that their budget would increase taxes on all Americans.”

Mick Gregory

The EU is on the verge of crumbling as Obama and Gordy Brown use the banking crisis to nationalize and build more power for central government.

Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, and a time when one chapter ended and another began.

The scale and the speed of the global banking crisis has at times been almost overwhelming, and I know that in countries everywhere people who rely on their banks for savings have been feeling powerless and afraid. But it is when times become harder and challenges greater that across the world countries must show vision, leadership and courage – and, while we can do a great deal nationally, we can do even more working together internationally. — Gordy Brown, UK Prime Minister

Anyone who took Economics 101 remembers the root cause of inflation — the central government prints massive amounts of currency. Change is coming. Inflation is coming my friends. From near zero under Bush (the evil one) to what may rival Zimbabwa in about a year or two. 

What will happen to the Democrat/Socialist Party’s plan to tax “only the rich?” We will all be the rich. Any two income household making over $210,000 will be taxed at the super high rates of Jimmy Carter, LBJ and FDR. 

That is coming. Bet on it. We will be wards of the state with more than 50 percent of our wealth taxed by the Democrats. The home mortgage deduction has been taken away from those like Joe the Plumber. Welcome to the USSA. We don’t know how lucky we are, eh! 

 

 

 

Back on Uncle Sam’s plantation 
Star Parker – Syndicated Columnist – 2/9/2009 8:00:00 AM

cid:6DC2CCCC-45E7-4311-BE61-E0A517E9F275@local

 

Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam’s Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside thewelfare state and my own transformation out of it.

I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas — a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on 
capitalism. 
 
I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s, that were going to lift the nation’s poor out of poverty.

A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from “How do I take care of myself?” to “What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?”

Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems — the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broke n black families.

Through God’s grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.

I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996, passed by a Republican Congress and signed 50 percent.

I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producingAmerican capitalism.

But, incredibly, we are going in the opposite direction.

Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, “Thank you, Suh.”

Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash.

There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday ofAbraham Lincoln.

Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation.

In an op-ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus.

“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America ‘s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and education.”

Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea. Or that massive growth in government can take place “with unprecedented transparency and accountability.”

Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.

Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 — The War on Poverty — which President Johnson said “…does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done. It charts a new course. It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”

Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births.

It’s not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama‘s invitation to move onto the plantation. Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.

Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be?

 

Sarah Palin has executive and energy experience

When the price of oil reached nearly $149 a barrel and the price at the pump broke the $4 barrier, energy became the top issue of this election. The Democrats (or European socialists if you prefer) are slow to understand economic issues and are still chanting Green Party slogans while the rest of the country has discovered that oil drilling in America has been shut down for the past 30 years off the coast of the U.S.

Sen. John McCain picked a super star in Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska. She knows more about the oil industry than Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Harry Reed put together. Pali’s husband has been a North Slope oilfield engineer.

It’s time to realize that Norway and the UK are drilling and producing billions off their coasts in the North Sea and off the western coast of Norway. Russia has revived to a world power again from oil reserves.

Only the United States remains stupefied by environmental screed. Billions of barrels of oil and natural gas remain untouched in ANWR and off the coasts of California, Washington, Oregon, Florida ant the Carolinas.

Cuba, China and Venezuela are about to start producing oil miles off the U.S. coast.

America is about to be treated to a lesson in economics.

McCain picks Sarah Palin! McCain picks Palin! The Energy to Run America!

Published on Aug 29, 2008 

Sen. John McCain has taken center stage the day after Obama’s coronation at the Democrat Convention by announcing his VP at high noon. It’s Sarah Palin she has it all, good looks right out of central casting, intelligent speaker, family values and governor of Alaska. She is an environmentalist and understands drilling for oil is a must for U.S. energy independence.

She has positive energy and wit. She will be able to out debate Biden and show that the Republicans trust a women for high office. She has a  real life, not a life-long  politician like Biden and so many other Big Brother Democrats. 

The mother of five is an avid runner. Here is an article from the WSJ in September:

WSJ. Magazine
Gov. Sarah Palin: Midnight runs and caribou dinners

Coming Saturday Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual workout and fitness routine. Preview excerpt
By JEN MURPHY
August 29, 2008 1:42 p.m.
[sarah palin]
Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine

Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. “Running was a family affair,” she says. “I didn’t have much choice. Thankfully, I’ve never tired of it.”

Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a “family thing.” She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport’s season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

Workout

“Conventional running is my sanity,” Gov. Palin says. Having recently given birth to her fifth child, the governor is trying to get back to her old workout routine. She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.

In the summer, when it’s always light, she’ll sometimes run as late as midnight. In the dead of winter, when it’s dark, she sneaks in an afternoon run, or else grudgingly runs on the treadmill at home or at the gym in the evening. Gov. Palin keeps dumbbells at home, but she says most of her upper body strength comes from snowmobiling with her family. “It’s the best upper body workout you could ever have,” she says. “You’re maneuvering through hundreds of pounds of powder.” (Todd is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world’s longest snowmobile race.)

[sarah palin]
Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine
Gov. Palin in Juneau, Alaska

Diet pitfall

“My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit,” she says. “I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it’s the most important meal of the day but I still haven’t bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning.”

Workout gear

“My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away sweat. But in reality I’m running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I’ve been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don’t freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup.”

While I’m working out

“I’m thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time.”

Postworkout food

“Nothing. I just drink water.”

Workout pitfall

“Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it’s not because of circumstances but because I’m being less disciplined. Shame on me.”

Visit http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/

Drill here, drill now!

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Norway is the world’s third largest oil exporter and second ranked environmentally friendly country

Did you ever read about Norway’s offshore oil production in your daily newspaper or see a report on the major networks? You have to wonder why?

Norway’s massive oil reserves are all offshore on the Norwegian continental shelf. Their’s is a prime example of how fast the oil can go into production in just three years.

Follow the Norway way to see that a beautiful coastline remains preserved while large-scale oil production goes on off shore. In fact, Norway is ranked second only to Switzerland in environmental stewardship. Another fact on statistics, Norway is one of the richest countries per capita in the world, out ranking many oil-rich nations.

Up until the 1960s very few people believed that the Norwegian continental shelf had oil and gas deposits. With the Ekofisk discovery in 1969, the Norwegian oil boom began. Deep-water production from the field began in June, 1971. During the next few years, a number of major oil discoveries were made. Today, there are 52 major fields in production. In 2006, these fields produced 2.8 million barrels of oil per day and 88 billion cubic meters of gas. Norway ranks as the world’s third largest oil exporter and the tenth largest oil producer, in 2006 figures. Some reports but them second only to Russia.

Ironically, it was the U.S. that first developed offshore oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. Companies such as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil with the expertise of oil services companies including Halliburton and Schlumberger.

Most of the U.S. continental shelf has been left untouched for 20 years by a series laws enacted by the “green” political movement, bought hook, line and sinker by the Democratic party and in some cases Republicans to keep pace with the propaganda movement of man made global warming.

Former VP Albert Gore made an amazing speech yesterday claiming we had just 10 years to save the world by transforming to wind and solar energy. Had Gore been working in the real world and made such an un-researched claim at a corporation, he would be sent to a detox center for psychological testing.

This week, President Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore continental shelf drilling. But the Democrat controlled U.S. Congress refuses to do so. Think about that when you pay more that $4 a gallon at the pump today. The Republicans wanted to start drilling in ANWR Alsaska in 1993, but Bill Clinton vetoed the bill. That field could have been producing 1 million barrels per day in 1998.

The world price for oil is already dropping. Investors do their homework and have a good idea that the American people are starting to figure out the facts. There could be a landslide sweep of victoroies for Republicans in November.

Mick Gregory

China and Cuba drilling for oil off Florida’s coast. The Democrats say the U.S. can’t.

Mick Gregory

The Republicans have hit a political gusher. The Democrat/socialists hiding under the friendly Green flag of environmentalism are being exposed today. I predict the Democrats will vote against the issue of drilling off U.S. coasts.

This while Cuba and China begin drilling off the Florida/Cuba shore. They will have their straw in our oil reserve milkshake.

Next, I predict, President Bush will issue an Executive Order opening up drilling.

The coastal reserves are estimated to be 18 billion barrels from 20-year-old studies. That is the short estimate equal to the amount of oil the U.S. would produce in almost 10 years (that’s 3,600 days producing 5 million barrels per day). The coastal reserves are also nearly equal to what some experts believe can be recovered at Anwar Reserve in Alaska. The reserve that the Democrats and Jimmy Carter put under lock and key over 20 years ago as well.

Tonight, look for the new reality show called “Black Gold” syndicated on cable channels across the country on TruTV. It’s a show that drills down into the ongoing oil explorations going on in West Texas today.

The U.S. still has oil! In fact, almost 70 percent of the oil in mature wells, some over 100 years old, is attainable with today’s technology.

The timing is right for U.S. oil industry stocks to rise. Meanwhile, the world market of crude will soon fall to below $100 in my guestimation.

Four major league oil companies are in negotiations for contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein socialized the oil companies and grabbed power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, BP and Chevron — and a number of oil-service companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to press releases.

The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will begin the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since Hussein ordered the burning of his country’s oil fields and the start of the Iraq war.

UPDATE: Time to ask why the Democrat Congress doesn’t do anything about the oil crisis.

The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to single digits for the first time in Rasmussen Reports tracking history. This month, just 9% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Most voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, which ties the record high in that dubious category.

Obama Leads in Delegates and Will Win More This Weekend

Mick Gregory

Did you read in your mainstream liberal media about Obama’s lead in delegates and was there much coverage of the likely wins he will make today?

Instead there is an MSNBC reporter suspended for daring to say that the Clinton machine pimped out Chelsea to call super delegates to have them switch from Obama to Hillary (what happened to free speech?).

What a tyrant. All you disgruntled Republicans should vote for Obama. Put Clinton Inc. out of business.

Two Parties on Mondays in San Francisco–One for the success of new media at WordPress, the other about 100 layoffs of old media at The Chronicle

By Mick Gregory

It is the best of times for citizen journalists; and it is the worst of times for the old media.
Monday, Bloody Monday, As Axe Swings At SF Chronicle

The first of 100 job cuts took place at the SF Chronicle on Monday. The axe fell swiftly. Several managers were the first to receive news they no longer have a job.

Some had worked there for decades, making quite a bit over scale. Some in the six figures.

“You know times are bad when executive editor Phil Bronstein gives the boot to men and women who have been his colleagues for years — some all the way back to his early tenure at the Examiner,” writes Frances Dinkelspiel. Managing editor Robert Rosenthal left on Friday. By Monday, nine other top newsroom managers — including deputy and assistant managing editors — had been let go. They are: John Curley, Leslie Guevarra, Steve Cook, Jim Finefrock, Paul Wilner, George Judson, Laura Impellizzeri, David Tong, and Hulda Nelson.

Next in line are 85 reporters. Many have been there for decades. Many have had “tenure,” and thought they had a job for life. Many will be slugging down shots with Guiness chasers the next four weeks. The SF Chronicle will have made one of the largest newsroom cuts of any major newspaper in the modern era.

It was a somber scene Monday evening at The Tempest, the bar on a seedy side street, that serves as a favorite watering hole for the SF Chron workers. The higher paid editors visit the posh “M” on the more fashionable corner of Fifth and Mission. Phil and Rosey have even been seen in the “W.”

The Tempest is an ironic name for a bar catering to the local print media.

Meanwhile, at a cool spot in Potrero Hill, WordPress citizen journalists had a different celebration; one million blogs have been created by the highly successful new national media. And Craigslist.org has cleaned the Chron’s clock when it comes to employment advertising.

Tanker Explosions on Major Highways in Houston and San Francisco Within Days of Each other

Mick Gregory

The nation’s fourth largest city, Houston, and fifth largest metro area, San Francisco/Oakland, had fiery tanker explosions at the areas’ major highway intersections within days of each other this weekend. Both “accidents” occured at intersections that average 280,000 and 200,000 cars a day.

There won’t be a connection made in the media or by the government. The Democrat-controlled media doesn’t want the public to realize the extent of the war on terror. It will be up to citizen journalists to expose the facts and connect the dots.

UPDATE: The driver who crashed a tanker loaded with gasoline and brought down a heavily trafficked highway overpass was given a commercial trucker’s license despite a history of criminal convictions, including drug and burglary arrests.
Mr. Mosqueda, 51, also got a special hazardous materials endorsement last year from the federal Transportation Security Administration despite regulations that can disqualify applicants with multiple convictions. To get it, he had to undergo an FBI criminal history check and an intelligence background check.

If gas tankers are not potential targets? Why the FBI background checks?
OK, what did the background check reveal? First of all, isn’t the name Mosqueda a little weird?

Here is a report on the Houston fire bomb.

Police said Luis Perez took a ramp at the interchange too quickly and lost control just after midnight Friday.

“It appears the vehicle may have been traveling fast enough to cause it to roll over,” Capt. M.W. Martin said. “When it burst into flames its cargo also ignited, causing an explosion.”
Massive flames extended about three stories high.
Perez, 39, was killed instantly, police said.

“There is fire and heat damage to the overpass,” Martin said.
The intense heat caused parts of the concrete overpasses to crumble and turn into gravel.

What a coincidence. Could there have been remote-controlled bombs placed on the highways? Is Al-Qaeda behind these “accidents?” Why isn’t the mainstream media reporting the possible connection? How would you like to be a BART commuter this morning?

Less than 48 hours later this tanker exploded in Oakland.

A tanker truck crashed and burst into flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Sunday, creating such intense heat that a stretch of highway melted and collapsed. Officials predicted a traffic nightmare for Bay Area commuters for weeks or months to come.

Flames shot 200 feet in the air, but the truck’s driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns. No other injuries were reported in the 3:45 a.m. crash, which officials said could have been deadly had it occurred at a busier time.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Officer Trent Cross of the California Highway Patrol said of the crumpled interchange. “I’m looking at this thinking, ‘Wow, no one died’ – that’s amazing. It’s just very fortunate.”

Authorities said the damage could take months to repair, and that it would cause the worst disruption for Bay Area commuters since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged a section of the Bay Bridge itself.

UPDATE: Evidence disposed of in China
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
If the collapse was just a freak accident, why won’t the government let forensic engineers examine the site? Caltrans is preventing leading civil engineers from examining the wreckage. Instead, the debris is being shipped to China for “recycling” without being examined, even though steel is worth a mere 15 cents/pound, hardly enough to cover the shipping costs.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

What the Government Knew
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Records have surfaced showing the exploding tanker truck carried extra gasoline — more than is legal — on past delivery missions on four separate occassions. This new information adds a new wrinkle to our understanding of 4/29. It’s very possible that when it crashed, the tanker truck had been illegally overloaded with yet-another cargo of dangerous, freeway-destroying gasoline.

But why? Who would want the highways to be travelled by a flammable truck stuffed with extra gasoline — and driven in a truck with a history of brake problems?

Look at the facts. Government agents had already spotted the truck and the extra gasoline it carried. But the California Highway Patrol had also once identified the exploding tanker truck’s brakes as so dangerously faulty, they’d immediately ordered it not to return to the highway.

But then new brakes were mysteriously delivered and installed at the inspection site — and the doomed tanker continued on towards its catastrophic destiny.

The driver, a repeat felon, would be an easier target for pressuring from a rogue official or agencies intent on coercing cooperation. But even if they’d found their man, who would pull the strings to waive the obvious safety regulations to put this plan into action?

These are questions that won’t be asked by people blinded by the “official” story — but there’s a pattern here, and it can’t be wished away. The highway re-opens, the sun shines, and Californians blindly continue on with their lives, imagining a public safety which may no longer exist.

Because the accident occurred where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people.

Transportation officials said 280,000 commuters take the bridge into San Francisco each day.
On Sunday the collapse doubled the half-hour trip drivers normally face getting to and from San Francisco and the eastern suburbs – even though many didn’t even attempt the trip because of the crash. Traffic appeared light on the bridge itself, but motorists looking to get on and off were backed up on both sides.

Transportation officials said they already had added trains to the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail system that takes commuters across San Francisco Bay, and were urging people to telecommute if possible. In preparation for rush hour, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized funding so that ferries, buses and the rail system could carry commuters free of charge during Monday’s commute.

The tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline ignited after crashing into a pylon on the interchange.
The driver, J. Mosqueda, 51, was headed from a refinery in Benicia to a gas station near the Oakland Airport when the accident occurred, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A preliminary investigation indicated he may have been speeding on the curving road, Cross said. Mosqueda (unusual name) was being treated in a hospital for burns Sunday; the hospital would not transfer media calls to his room.

Witnesses reported flames rising up to 200 feet into the air. Heat exceeded 2,750 degrees and caused the steel beams holding up the interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound Interstate 580 above to buckle and bolts holding the structure together to melt, leading to the collapse, California Department of Transportation director Will Kempton said.
The charred section of collapsed freeway was draped at a sharp angle onto the highway beneath, exposing a web of twisted metal beneath the concrete. Officials said that altogether a 250-yard portion of the upper roadway was damaged.

Fatal fiery blast closes I-10, U.S. 59 ramps in Houston, kills tanker driver.
Fiery explosion kills tanker driver, will lead to repairs of marred freeway

The fiery and fatal explosion of a tanker truck just north of downtown is expected to shut down one ramp of a heavily used interchange for at least a week and create a bottleneck on another for possibly two months.

The driver, tentatively identified as Luis Perez, 39, of Houston, died in flames that reduced the truck to rubble. Dental records will confirm his identity, investigators said, and they added that the family has been notified.

Police did not identify the owner of the truck, the cargo it was carrying, or its origin and destination.

A Houston ordinance generally bars vehicles carrying hazardous materials from entering areas inside Loop 610 unless they are delivering or picking up cargo.

Both diesel fuel, which some reports said the truck was carrying, and gasoline, which is more likely to cause a series of explosions like those some people heard, are considered hazardous materials under the ordinance, said Police Lt. Gary Scheibe.

The accident occurred about midnight Frida on a ground-level ramp that takes traffic from southbound U.S. 59, the Eastex Freeway, to eastbound I-10, the East Freeway.

Police said the load “apparently shifted” as the tanker went east, causing the truck to roll and hit the barrier wall, spilling fuel on the freeway.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Norm Wigington said the heat caused severe damage to the concrete pavement, which will have to be fixed. The ramp will probably be closed one or two weeks.

During that time, southbound traffic on U.S. 59 can detour to exit onto I-10 west and U-turn at San Jacinto to double back eastward.

The towering flames and intense heat also blackened and damaged a ramp that passes over the accident site and takes traffic from eastbound I-10 to northbound U.S. 59.

Inspection showed four steel box beams on that ramp were damaged enough to need replacing, Wigington said.

“It will take about two months to have them rebuilt off-site, and then we’ll probably shut down the ramp for a weekend and install them,” he said.

During the wait, he said, one lane of the two-lane ramp will remain closed. The other, which was reopened about noon Friday, is expected to remain in use, although the narrowing could cause rush-hour backups.

Although TxDOT does not normally make traffic counts for ramps, the agency estimates that the main lanes of U.S. 59 at the busy interchange carry more than 200,000 vehicles a day, and those of I-10 at the interchange carry about 160,000.

Authorities said the crash sparked a four-part explosion that shook the surrounding area. Heat from the flames was so intense, they said, that it caused parts of the concrete to turn back into gravel.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in about two hours, authorities said. The accident is under investigation.
The cost of the repairs would likely run into the tens of millions of dollars, and the state was seeking federal disaster aid, Kempton said. Schwarzenegger late Sunday issued an emergency declaration to allow repairs to happen faster, said Adam Mendelsohn, the governor’s spokesman.
The Bay Bridge consists of two heavily traveled, double-decked bridges about two miles long straddling San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the accident showed how fragile the Bay area’s transportation network is, whether to an earthquake or terrorist attack, and has the potential to have a major economic effect on the city.
“It’s another giant wakeup call,” Newsom told reporters at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego.

Yes, Mr. Newsom, it woke some of us up to the knowledge that we may be under attack.

They Laughed when I said I did not believe in man-made global warming — then I told them to read Michael Crichton

By Mick Gregory

They were sipping Pinot Noir and a vat-variety of white wine in plastic cups at the Museum of Modern Art NPR members party when I broke out of my PC polite trance and said “I just read Michael Crichton’s book ‘State of Fear’ and I believe that we progressives had better think again about all this before we jump on the Al Gore ‘Prius bandwagon.” To myself, I’m starting to refer to those hybrids as the Pious mobiles, akin to the Pope Mobile.

Then they became quiet. One of the most outspoken of the creatives, an art director for a non-profit, said, “what? You would follow a novel for advice rather than the Oscar-winning “Inconvenient Truth?” I said “yup.” Just Google Michael Crichton some time.

“Not!” The smug pony tailed aging boomer smirked. Laughing to his “groupies.”

“Hey, I even listen to Rush podcasts,” that’s how open minded I am,” as I proudly watched them break off the conversation.

Shock your liberal and progressive friends. Not only tell them about Crichton’s “State of Fear,” but also
“The Skeptical Environmentalist.”

Later that night, after a 45 minute BART ride, among burned out office workers, shoppers and members of the homeless substance abuse community, I checked my email, and read this on the Drudge Report:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein offers plenty of tips on how California households can combat global warming, such as carpooling and running only a full dishwasher.

But one bit of information Feinstein declines to share is the number of times that she flew last year on her husband’s Gulfstream jet, which burns much more fuel per passenger-mile than commercial airliners.

I thought (what would my Progressive friends say?) “Senator DiFi is one of our leaders. Of course she has to get the message out.”

http://www.michaelcrichton.net.

.

We all Need to Wake Up

Progressive Democrats know what is good for us all. We should be embarrassed about our carbon footprints. It is not for us to judge our leaders. We should take orders with honor.

—By Mick Gregory

An Inconvenient Truth’s song, “I Need to Wake Up,” was a spiritual appeal to conscience by Melissa Etheridge, and it won an Oscar in its category. She is a lesbian, John Edwards wants to know.

Poor Al Gore, he was born with a carbon footprint in his mouth. I thought it was so touching that when he was a teenager and out on a Sunday drive, his father would drive the limo to the family’s favorite restaurant (that didn’t usually serve blacks), so their black servant would wait in the car and Al would take a sandwich out to her.

Maybe that’s when global warming first occurred to the future leader, when he saw his family’s black servant sweating in a hot limousine.

‘He Betrayed Us! He Played on our Fears!’ — Al Gore — A Convenient Crisis — But Don’t Look at His Carbon Footprint

By Mick Gregory

Editor’s note: I know the pressure that professors and journalists are under to follow the doctrine of their “profession.” In my case, I don’t care, I’m not attempting to talk the PC talk to impress editors for a $70,000 a year job of pumping out AP-style clap-trap following the progressive agenda of “global warming,” “Republicans bad,” “Democrats good,” and “It takes a village.”

UPDATE FROM DRUDGE: GORE MANSION USES 20 Times the ENERGY OF AN AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASED AFTER RELEASE OF “AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.”

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431
editor@tennesseepolicy.org

I felt a little sorry for “AlGore” last night. Didn’t you? His weight has ballooned, I think he must be nearly 300 pounds and his wife who used to promote Hollywood sanctions on content, is back on the A list. Hollywood gave his PowerPoint presentation that was jazzed up with glaciers sliding into the ocean and a dead bird here and there an Academy Award. I don’t think great directors Robert Altman or David Lynch have ever won one. Gulfstream jets flying “leaders” coast-to-coast for black tie events and political fund raisers, while the little working people should be taking mass transit to work every day. That’s the Progressive Democrat vision for America.

Didn’t Gore’s comments seem sheepish, trite and stiff? And why isn’t he running for president as the jokes all night suggested? I’m guessing that the Clinton machine told Gore he can’t run for president. That the donation machine will not be turned on for his campaign. Clinton may have said: “It’s Hillary/Obama’s race, you came close, but no cigar…. catch my drift?”

Another professor who says that Al Gore’s movie is a bunch of dumb-downed science. He appeared on the Dennis Prager show last week, and Prager promised that the transcript will be up at Prager’s Townhall.com site.

Remember when the VP AlGore came out and started his Moveon.org days by yelling to a crowd of fanatics that “He Betrayed Us! He Played on Our Fears!”

Well that is exactly what Gore is doing. Pure scare, propaganda. Pure nonsense. It’s targeted to the liberal masses with a hate toward the free market and free choice democracy we have in America.

Did you see AlGore’s book yet? It’s a picture book filled with images from his movie.

“The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”
Michael Crichton, Science writer and author ‘State of Fear’.

And yet another reputable scientist is willing to stand up to Gore. Professor Giegengack of Penn State now has seen enough of the political nonsense:

There’s no way to watch “An Inconvenient Truth” without getting worried — at least a little worried.
Not Bob Giegengack. He has described Al Gore’s documentary as “a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008.” And he added, “The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and appeals to public fear as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a particular ideology.” This from a guy who voted for Gore in 2000 and says he’d probably vote for him again.

He has another idea about why climate change happens:

The Earth has been warming for about 20,000 years. We’ve only been collecting data on that trend for about 200 years. “For most of Earth’s history,” he said, “the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has only rarely been cooler.” Those cooler periods have meant things like two miles of ice piled over much of what is now North America. Nothing to be nostalgic for.
The professor hits a button on his computer, and the really long-term view appears — the past 650,000 years. In that time, the Earth’s temperature has gone through regular cycles of rise and fall. The best explanation of those cycles was conceived by a Serbian amateur scientist named Milutin Milankovi´c. Very basically, Milankovi´c said this: The Earth’s orbit around the sun is more or less circular, but when other planets align in certain ways and their gravitational forces tug at the Earth, the orbit stretches into a more elliptical shape. Combined with the tilt of the Earth on its axis as it spins, that greater or lesser distance from the sun, plus the consequent difference in solar radiation that reaches our planet, is responsible for long-term climate change.

Those who question the environmental orthodoxy are treated harshly, where do you think funding comes from? This is why they don’t speak up very often. It only causes trouble, and the activists don’t really care about the science, anyway.

NOW TO THE ROOT OF THE AlGore argument — the idea that rising carbon dioxide levels are causing an increase in temperature.

To determine temperatures and carbon dioxide levels in the distant past, scientists rely on what they call the “proxy record.” There weren’t thermometers. So researchers drill deep down into the Antarctic ice sheet and the ocean floor and pull up core samples, whose varying chemical elements let them gauge both the CO2 levels and the temperatures of the distant past.

The scientist clicks a button, and three charts come together. The peaks and valleys of the Milankovi´c cycles for planetary temperature align well with the ocean-floor estimates, and those match closely the records of carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature indications from ice cores. So, the professor maintains, these core samples from the polar ice and ocean floor help show that the Earth’s temperature and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been in lockstep for tens of thousands of years.

Of course, that was long before anybody was burning fossil fuels. So Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way.

Giegengack has a lot of slides is his show too. He points out that within his lifetime, there was a three-decade period of unusually low temperatures that culminated in the popular consciousness with the awful winter of 1976-77. Back then, scientists started sounding the alarm about a new Ice Age.

Of course, it’s long been thought that the world would end either in fire or in ice. These days, the scientists are shouting fire. And in all his years around environmental issues, Giegengack has never heard so much shouting. “I don’t think we’re going to have a rational discussion of this question in the present environment,” he says. “The scientists are mad because they think nobody in Washington is listening to them. So it’s all either apocalyptic disaster or conflict of interest. If you suggest that we’re not going to hell in a handbasket because the rate of global warming is low compared to so many other environmental issues that we’re enduring, then you’re accused of being in the employ of the oil companies and you’re labeled a Republican.”

AlGore’s mission is propaganda. He REFUSES TO DEBATE with those who know what is going on. No, he is in the middle of a political campaign.

He GOES ON OPRAH:

The show turns out to be pretty much a synopsis of An Inconvenient Truth, with Gore clicking through his hyper-produced PowerPoint program and Oprah exclaiming “Wow! Wow!” with dramatic concern.
And no, this is not one of those people who are in the employ of the Republicans:

To dramatize the melting of the floating ice cap at the North Pole, Gore has inserted an animated clip of a polar bear swimming desperately to a tiny ice floe that isn’t strong enough to hold him. Global warming is drowning helpless bears. Oprah thinks it’s the coolest and saddest thing in Gore’s whole movie. Giegebgeck starts shouting:
“We don’t know that. We don’t know that! We don’t know that polar bears haven’t drowned in every interglacial period. Nobody was watching them back then.”

It’s got to be a frustrating experience, seeing a topic you’ve spent some 50 years studying turned into an Oprah episode. “I like her,” Gieg says. “She’d beat Al Gore if she ran for president.”

Then Gore clicks again to dramatic footage of a collapsing polar ice shelf. “That’s irresponsible,” Gieg says. “What he’s doing is no less than the scare tactics used by people like Karl Rove.”

But we must act soon! Before it is too late! We only have 3500 years to figure this thing out:

“Sea level is rising,” Giegengack agrees, switching off the sound. But, he explains, it’s been rising ever since warming set in 18,000 years ago. The rate of rise has been pretty slow — only about 400 feet so far. And recently — meaning in the thousands of years — the rate has slowed even more. The Earth’s global ocean level is only going up 1.8 millimeters per year. That’s less than the thickness of one nickel. For the catastrophe of flooded cities and millions of refugees that Gore envisions, sea levels would have to rise about 20 feet.
“At the present rate of sea-level rise,” Gieg says, “it’s going to take 3,500 years to get up there. So if for some reason this warming process that melts ice is cutting loose and accelerating, sea level doesn’t know it. And sea level, we think, is the best indicator of global warming.”

More:

“See,” Gieg says, “the thing he doesn’t mention is that there are 2.4 billion people in India and China who have launched a campaign that will increase their energy consumption by a factor of 10. No matter what we do. If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China.
“It’s over. If CO2 is the problem, we’ve already lost.”

When Gieg gets to this point in his argument, as he often does when talking about global warming, he gets a little frustrated. “I always get sidetracked because, first of all, the science isn’t good. Second, there are all these other interpretations for what we see. Third, it doesn’t make any difference, and fourth, it’s distracting us from environmental problems that really matter.” Among those, Gieg says, are the millions of people a year who die from smoking and two million people a year who die because they don’t have access to clean water.

But no, the Democrats are going to get everyone wound up about global warming, which we really have about 10-50 years to figure out. In the meantime, those 2 million people will continue to die, year in, year out, while Democrats chase their tails, and make themselves feel moral.

The Book the Democrat Progressives hope you never read–The Skeptical Environmentalist

By Mick Gregory

There has been an awakening of independent thinkers in response to the mass hysteria of crisis, catastrophe and convenient lies propagated by the party of Big Brother/Big Sis. I have mentioned “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton because he has loaded a thriller with facts. One of his references is to a ground breaking book by Bjorn Lomborg. It’s time to tell the environmental emperor, Algore that he isn’t wearing any clothes.

“The Skeptical Environmentalist should be read by every environmentalists so that the appalling errors of fact the environmental movement has made in the past are not repeated.
A brilliant and powerful book,” said Matt Ridley, author of Genome.

Global Warming — the Biggest Hoax Ever Promoted by Mass Media, Lawyers and Progressive Democrats

Emerging economies such as China are justified in holding back on fighting greenhouse gas emissions until richer polluters like the United States do more to solve the problem, former Vice President Al Gore said Wednesday.

China, Indonesia, Russia and India are huge polluters.

We are so fortunate that Bush won Florida by 1,500 votes.

The world’s top climate scientists warned in a report last week that global warming was very likely caused by humanity and would last for centuries.

Chinese officials said they would act after industrial countries such as the United States and others make changes themselves, Gore said, addressing a conference in Madrid on global warming.

“They’re right in saying that. But we have to act quickly,” said Gore, who was nominated last week for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in drawing attention to global warming.

“China’s reaction to the scientific report last week was disappointing, but it was instructive,” Gore said.

Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide

Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?

By Timothy Ball

Monday, February 5, 2007

Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn’t exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and was a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.

What would happen if tomorrow we were told that, after all, the Earth is flat? It would probably be the most important piece of news in the media and would generate a lot of debate. So why is it that when scientists who have studied the Global Warming phenomenon for years say that humans are not the cause nobody listens? Why does no one acknowledge that the Emperor has no clothes on?

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.

No sensible person seeks conflict, especially with governments, but if we don’t pursue the truth, we are lost as individuals and as a society. That is why I insist on saying that there is no evidence that we are, or could ever cause global climate change. And, recently, Yuri A. Izrael, Vice President of the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed this statement. So how has the world come to believe that something is wrong?

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. “It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species,” wrote Lowell Ponte in 1976.

I was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as I am to the threats made about Global Warming. Let me stress I am not denying the phenomenon has occurred. The world has warmed since 1680, the nadir of a cool period called the Little Ice Age (LIA) that has generally continued to the present. These climate changes are well within natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. But there is nothing unusual going on.

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970’s global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990’s temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I’ll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

No doubt passive acceptance yields less stress, fewer personal attacks and makes career progress easier. What I have experienced in my personal life during the last years makes me understand why most people choose not to speak out; job security and fear of reprisals. Even in University, where free speech and challenge to prevailing wisdoms are supposedly encouraged, academics remain silent.

I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libellous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures. Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.

In another instance, I was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies. That is a lie. Apparently he thinks if the fossil fuel companies pay you have an agenda. So if Greenpeace, Sierra Club or governments pay there is no agenda and only truth and enlightenment?

Personal attacks are difficult and shouldn’t occur in a debate in a civilized society. I can only consider them from what they imply. They usually indicate a person or group is losing the debate. In this case, they also indicate how political the entire Global Warming debate has become. Both underline the lack of or even contradictory nature of the evidence.

I am not alone in this journey against the prevalent myth. Several well-known names have also raised their voices. Michael Crichton, the scientist, writer and filmmaker is one of them. In his latest book, “State of Fear” he takes time to explain, often in surprising detail, the flawed science behind Global Warming and other imagined environmental crises.

Another cry in the wildenerness is Richard Lindzen’s. He is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology – especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. Linzen frequently speaks out against the notion that significant Global Warming is caused by humans. Yet nobody seems to listen.

I think it may be because most people don’t understand the scientific method which Thomas Kuhn so skilfully and briefly set out in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” A scientist makes certain assumptions and then produces a theory which is only as valid as the assumptions. The theory of Global Warming assumes that CO2 is an atmospheric greenhouse gas and as it increases temperatures rise. It was then theorized that since humans were producing more CO2 than before, the temperature would inevitably rise. The theory was accepted before testing had started, and effectively became a law.

As Lindzen said many years ago: “the consensus was reached before the research had even begun.” Now, any scientist who dares to question the prevailing wisdom is marginalized and called a sceptic, when in fact they are simply being good scientists. This has reached frightening levels with these scientists now being called climate change denier with all the holocaust connotations of that word. The normal scientific method is effectively being thwarted.

Meanwhile, politicians are being listened to, even though most of them have no knowledge or understanding of science, especially the science of climate and climate change. Hence, they are in no position to question a policy on climate change when it threatens the entire planet. Moreover, using fear and creating hysteria makes it very difficult to make calm rational decisions about issues needing attention.

Until you have challenged the prevailing wisdom you have no idea how nasty people can be. Until you have re-examined any issue in an attempt to find out all the information, you cannot know how much misinformation exists in the supposed age of information.

I was greatly influenced several years ago by Aaron Wildavsky’s book “Yes, but is it true?” The author taught political science at a New York University and realized how science was being influenced by and apparently misused by politics. He gave his graduate students an assignment to pursue the science behind a policy generated by a highly publicised environmental concern. To his and their surprise they found there was little scientific evidence, consensus and justification for the policy. You only realize the extent to which Wildavsky’s findings occur when you ask the question he posed. Wildavsky’s students did it in the safety of academia and with the excuse that it was an assignment. I have learned it is a difficult question to ask in the real world, however I firmly believe it is the most important question to ask if we are to advance in the right direction.

Dr. Tim Ball, Chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (www.nrsp.com), is a Victoria-based environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. He can be reached at letters@canadafreepress.com

Major Brand Survey Shows Citgo Crashing

By Mick Gregory

What the mainstream news either can’t or will not provide. The cost of this oil industry report is $150. That’s about how much a reporter costs a day following Hillary and Obama around.
Where are the followup stories on Citgo? Why not report on why 7-Eleven, Circle K and Petro Express dropped Citgo? Have they lost 3,000 or is it closer to 5,000 locations?

More than 90 brands were ranked in this year’s Brand Power rankings including Mobil, Exxon, Stewarts, Marathon Ashland, Citgo, Cenex, Sunoco, Rotten Robbie, BJ’s, USA Petroleum, Safeway, Phillips 66, Sinclair, Kum & Go, Aloha, RaceTrac, Admiral, Home Depot, Caseys, Speedway, Kwik Trip, PDQ, Irving, Tesoro, Rutters, Gas America, Gate, Mapco, Getty, Gulf, Circle K, Weigel and more.

The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), the leading authority on wholesale and retail gas prices in the U.S., has put together the most comprehensive scorecard on the entire retail petroleum landscape. The OPIS Retail Year in Review and 2007 Profit Outlook is a must-have 125 page almanac for anyone involved in the downstream petroleum industry.

The report includes the annual OPIS Brand Power results, a ranking system based on how much of a premium one brand is able to extract against its direct competition at the pump.

On a national basis Chevron proved to be king for the third straight year. The average Chevron station was able to charge 2.15cts/gal more than its competition. Shell was second followed by Lukoil, BP, Texaco, Fina, Mobil, Exxon, 76 and Pure.

At the opposite end of the spectrum was Arco which priced its pumps nearly 10cts/gal below its competitors. The Arco discount was more substantial than Costco, Sam’s and BJ’s, the three largest wholesale clubs in the country. Most of Arco’s business is company operated or dealer tankwagon, but if measured against local racks, Arco sites fetched very low implied margins.

On a regional basis, top honors continued to go to major flags except one region.

New England: Texaco was the most powerful player with the average station pricing 3.1cts/gal above its competitors. Shell was next followed by Mobil, Exxon and Sunoco.
Hess was the most aggressive in the region, even more aggressive than supermarket chain Stop & Shop.
Mid-Atlantic: Shell, Mobil, Lukoil, and Exxon were in the top four, while Wawa, Xtra Fuel, Delta Sonic, Royal Farms and Kroger were in the bottom five.
Southeast: Chevron was also a regional winner in the Southeast. The more aggressive stations in the region included Flying J, Costco, Liberty , Sam’s and Sheetz which recently opened some sites in North Carolina.
Great Lakes : It was independent brands in this region that took the top 2 spots. Gas City and Fast Stop were best in the region which were comprised of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Flying J, Meijer, Wal-Mart, Murphy USA, Thornton Oil, and Kroger were ranked as some of the chains with the lowest pump prices.
Midwest : BP took the top spot in the Midwest which also saw Valero and Fina crack the Top five. The top 5 most aggressive brands included Murphy USA, Quik Trip, Kwik Shop, Mirastar and 7-Eleven.
Southwest: The 76 flag was tops in the Southwest. The most aggressive supermarket in the region was Kroger followed by Albertsons, HEB and Safeway. The data also indicates that Costco priced more aggressively than Sam’s by about 3 cts/gal.
Rockies: Chevron once again obtained a regional championship and Conoco cracked a regional top-five for the first time this year. Sam’s Costco, Mirastar, King Soopers, Flying J, and Maverik were the most aggressive sites in the region.
West Coast: Texaco was number one in the West Coast followed by Chevron. Costco and Arco were the two cheapest pricing brands on the Pacific.
In addition, the report takes an in-depth look at profit margins on a national, regional and market-by-market basis. It reveals the six annual trends in the market, (the winter high, winter sell-off, Petronoia rally, Petronoia ebb-tide, demand/storm rally and the autumnal collapse) and examines how each market in the eight regions of the country reacted to those trends.

It is clear to industry analysts that Citgo is in its last months as a brand. Not even Joe Kennedy shilling for Hugo Chavez’ brand, can help stem the market losses.

Why don’t your major newspaper business sections cover this subject?

Czech Republic President Calls Man-Made Global Warming a ‘Myth’ and Questions Al Gore’s Sanity

By Mick Gregory

Man-Made Global Warming May Be the Biggest Hoax Ever Supported by the Mainstream Media.
Maybe there is hope. It’s no longer a done deal. Now a European head of state speaks out.
Check when this will be in the mainstream media. This propaganda is worse than the era of yellow journalism. At least there were real facts hyped in that era.

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis.

In an interview with “Hospodárské noviny”, a Czech economics daily, Klaus answered a few questions:

Q: IPCC has released its report and you say that the global warming is a false myth. How did you get this idea, Mr President?•

A: It’s not my idea. Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it’s a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It’s neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment. Also, it’s an undignified slapstick that people don’t wait for the full report in May 2007 but instead respond, in such a serious way, to the summary for policymakers where all the “but’s” are scratched, removed, and replaced by oversimplified theses.• This is clearly such an incredible failure of so many people, from journalists to politicians. If the European Commission is instantly going to buy such a trick, we have another very good reason to think that the countries themselves, not the Commission, should be deciding about similar issues.•

Q: How do you explain that there is no other comparably senior statesman in Europe who would advocate this viewpoint? No one else has such strong opinions…•

A: My opinions about this issue simply are strong. Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice.

• Q: But you’re not a climate scientist. Do you have a sufficient knowledge and enough information?•

A: Environmentalism as a metaphysical ideology and as a worldview has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences or with the climate. Sadly, it has nothing to do with social sciences either. Still, it is becoming fashionable and this fact scares me. The second part of the sentence should be: we also have lots of reports, studies, and books of climatologists whose conclusions are diametrally opposite.• Indeed, I never measure the thickness of ice in Antarctica. I really don’t know how to do it and don’t plan to learn it. However, as a scientifically oriented person, I know how to read science reports about these questions, for example about ice in Antarctica. I don’t have to be a climate scientist myself to read them. And inside the papers I have read, the conclusions we may see in the media simply don’t appear. But let me promise you something: this topic troubles me which is why I started to write an article about it last Christmas. The article expanded and became a book. In a couple of months, it will be published. One chapter out of seven will organize my opinions about the climate change.• Environmentalism and green ideology is something very different from climate science. Various findings and screams of scientists are abused by this ideology.•

Q: How do you explain that conservative media are skeptical while the left-wing media view the global warming as a done deal?•

A: It is not quite exactly divided to the left-wingers and right-wingers. Nevertheless it’s obvious that environmentalism is a new incarnation of modern leftism.•

Q: If you look at all these things, even if you were right …•

A: …I am right…•

Q: Isn’t there enough empirical evidence and facts we can see with our eyes that imply that Man is demolishing the planet and himself?•

A: It’s such a nonsense that I have probably not heard a bigger nonsense yet.•

Q: Don’t you believe that we’re ruining our planet?•

A: I will pretend that I haven’t heard you. Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can’t. I don’t see any ruining of the planet, I have never seen it, and I don’t think that a reasonable and serious person could say such a thing. Look: you represent the economic media so I expect a certain economical erudition from you. My book will answer these questions. For example, we know that there exists a huge correlation between the care we give to the environment on one side and the wealth and technological prowess on the other side. It’s clear that the poorer the society is, the more brutally it behaves with respect to Nature, and vice versa.• It’s also true that there exist social systems that are damaging Nature – by eliminating private ownership and similar things – much more than the freer societies. These tendencies become important in the long run. They unambiguously imply that today, on February 8th, 2007, Nature is protected uncomparably more than on February 8th ten years ago or fifty years ago or one hundred years ago.• That’s why I ask: how can you pronounce the sentence you said? Perhaps if you’re unconscious? Or did you mean it as a provocation only? And maybe I am just too naive and I allowed you to provoke me to give you all these answers, am I not? It is more likely that you actually believe what you say.

[English translation from Harvard Professor Lubos Motl]

Pelosi Fying Circus. What About the Carbon Footprint? Abuse of Power?

By Mick Gregory

Democrat Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, now demands a free jet. Ever hear of conference calls?

Hillary’s big guns are holding back from advising Pelosi.

I have a new theory, I think that Pelosi is being sabotaged by the powerful elite in the Democrat party. Image mistakes like this can easily be avoided with a little brainstorming. I think that having Pelosi around hurts Hillary’s chances. Not even moderate Democrats want to see the total government run by Prorgressive Democrats.

In a new world of face-to-face conference calls, Blackberries, online chats from all over the world on Skype, Macs and many other devices, the new Democrat Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is asking for her own government jet to fly her and her friends around for meetings.

Can you imagine the outrage in the media if Newt Gingrich had demanded his own 747-200 passenger jet? I can. Page one stories all week.

The excuse Pelosi is using now is that she just wants a plane that doesn’t have to refuel. Question, don’t most smaller aircraft sometimes have to refuel, including the president’s plane?

Question 2) Doesn’t Pelosi own a brownstone mansion in Georgetown? Why does she all of a sudden have to shuttle back and forth the California?

During the same week that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are pushing for a bill that states “It is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq…” she is demanding a military 747-200 for her use.

I think the jig is up.

Meanwhile, Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida said Mrs. Pelosi’s request represents “an arrogance of office that just defies common sense” and called it “a major deviation from the previous speaker.”

Now she is DEMANDING (and by demanding we mean having John Murtha send threatening phone calls to the administration) to be given a military aircraft that is the equivalent size of a commercial 757.

Evidently having the old small plane that Dennis Hastert had occasional use of was not enough, nope — she wants Air Force One – without the Oval Office. Room for her friends and lobbyists?

And what would Al Gore say about the amount of fuel she would be using?

Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri called it a “flying Lincoln Bedroom,” and Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, North Carolina Republican, labeled the speaker’s plane “Pelosi One.”

“This is a bullet point to a larger value — Pelosi’s abuse of power continues,” Mr. McHenry said yesterday. “It began when the speaker denied minority rights to Republicans, continued with her ‘TunaGate’ scandal, and now she’s exploiting America’s armed forces and taxpayers for her own personal convenience.”
“TunaGate” was a reference to Democrats exempting American Samoa from legislation to increase the minimum wage. Star-Kist Tuna, whose parent company Del Monte Corp. is based in Mrs. Pelosi’s district, had lobbied against the wage increase.

Nancy Pelosi has unleashed her clueless, elitist, and out-of-touch inner-limousine liberal and allowed it to run free. First it was her recent demand for private use of an Air Force jet for trips to California not only for her, but her staff, delegation colleagues, family friends, and generally anyone else she likes. Now, in a moment of irony so rich it should carry a diabetes warning, we learn that she will be going to tomorrow’s Congressional hearings on global warming in a Chevy Tahoe.

It’s amazing to contemplate, but I do believe she has a political tin-ear bigger even than Hillary’s.
—irishspy.typepad.com

It Is Time for Citgo to Go.

By Mick Gregory

President Hugo Chavez has new dictatorial power that he is using to nationalize several U.S. oil companies’ investments in upstream projects. Those involved include ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Chevron. The Marxist president who calls his own middle class “rancid” is demanding that the oil firms sell the majority of their Venezuelan project control to his government, in effect, nationalizing the projects.

Citgo Petroleum, the Venezuelan oil company operating in the U.S. has failed to file SEC reports for the past 18 months and its Houston corporate website says they still have 13,000 retail locations (and they’re sticking to it), even though there are well-publicized reports of more than 3,000 locations that have dropped the Citgo brand in 2006, including 7-Eleven, Circle-K and Petro Express.

Remaining Citgo retailers seem willing to weather the national boycott, things are going to get better? You think? Some owners are apparently satisfied with the big discounts Citgo grants them on fuel for staying with the tarnished brand. What’s the future in that, when oil is at historic highs?

Citgone

Analysts are beginning to wonder how much longer the Citgo brand will exist. The organizational, legal and marketing costs of maintaining the brand are much more than the value the brand generates to attract customers. In fact, it may well be repelling customers. Chavez could shave some $60 to $70 million from the budget. Several million dollars have been slashed from the marketing and promotion budget. The sponsorships of NASCAR, BassMasters fishing tournament and several regional sports promotions have been cut, and the Events Marketing Manager Geoff Smith was let go in January. Plus there are expensive lawsuits springing up from retail owners regarding pricing irregularities and lack of marketing support. That’s on top of serious federal EPA lawsuits for illegal emissions.

At $56 a barrel, PDVSA would be better off selling their Venezuelan, OPEC oil on the world market without the expense of supporting a failed brand name.
Remember the “feel good” ad campaign Citgo ran last year, “Fueling the Future?” There were no reported sales gains from the multi-million dollar effort. How long before PDVSA’s financial advisors run the numbers?

Some believe Chavez planned to shut the downstream retail business all along. Last summer, Chavez brokered a deal to sell half of its current U.S. supply to China, as soon as the super tankers and refineries are up and running.