I'm off to Puerto Rico for 10 days! Psyched! Going to see a Todd, a friend from UCSB, in Ponce, PR. From what I've read, it will be fairly powerful b/c PR is such an example of America's actual EMPIRE. I want to bring my video camera, but am abstaining b/c of added weight since I'm sick (fighting off a chest infection). Oh well...
Bizarre story on EPA seeking to resume human testing of pesticides on poor, orphans, mentally deranged, and college students was on KPFA last night. Sounded like scifi, but it's real. Senator Bill Nelson's & Barbara Boxer's position is astounding. The White House is trying to end a ban on human testing.
Also, apparently the record oil profits are NOT due to actual supply & demand, but oil co SPECULATION about supply and demand. So the oil industry pulled in $94bil based on speculation of less supply... and now Oil execs fight against getting their profits taxed. I admire their tenaciousness, but their courage is nil -- since Bush has clearly given the thumbs up since Enron.
The question the Oil Corps are facing is, 'Did they gouge the public?'
My opinion --> Oil Corps have done many things to prevent a true 'free market' in the energy domain, specifically around alternative energy: preventing production of and blocking public access to it. These corps take public subsidies for oil rigs/platforms and exploration and have huge tax loopholes on their organizations. They pay (often minor) punitive damages in the event of spills that may damage habitats for hundreds of years. So for me, whether or not they gouge is LESS relevant than whether or not they are good for humanity, in their current form. I say, the smaller the better. The Oil Corps would function better if they were smaller & diverse, instead of bloated money/power machines. (And of course they gouge!!)