Gas Prices, Gaia & the Great Hamptons Rosé Shortage of ’12

I know I’m supposed to be fasting from the internet, and yeah, I’ll get back to that in a second, but right now, a girl’s got to rant.

You know, I don’t drive much. I don’t even leave the house much. But sometimes I have to go out, and sometimes I even need to gas up the car, but since I do it infrequently, I’m not always aware of the gas prices.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to my favorite gas station and found “regular” gas running at 4.19 per gallon. Yeah, even higher than that picture!

Yes, I was shocked, and while I pumped my $40 worth, I chatted with the fellow on the other side of the aisle who was watching the digit-counters while shaking his head.

“I hadn’t realized gas had gotten so expensive,” I said.

“You live on Mars?” he asked.

“Well, you know, I’m not even seeing it being reported on in the headlines,” I answered. “I just lost track.”

“That’s true,” he said, as though it was a new awareness. “Usually there are news reports…”

Yeah, there are. Pulling away with my not-full tank of gas, I considered the media silence on these high gas prices, and I began to get mad. Once upon a time — and not that long ago — high gas prices were leading stories on nightly news programs. Grim-faced anchors introduced stories of family budgets becoming strained; earnest reporters shoved microphones into the faces of working people and asked whether they were having to make hard choices. It was all very solemn and serious. People were choosing between food and fuel, and winter was coming, and home-heating oil would likely be sky-high, too, and we all knew whose fault it was, didn’t we?

But now, with gas at $4.19 — higher, near the expressway — here in New York? Not a whisper. Not a headline.

Gosh, if only Mitt Romney had “big oil” pals. We’d hear about this story every night, and I wouldn’t have been so surprised, today.

Driving home, I noticed a transit bus just crammed with people.

Now, this is the place where for decades “mass transit” has meant packed cars on the Long Island Rail Road and near-empty buses burping black smoke into the suburban sky. But I suppose a $2.00 fare is more affordable for many than a $60-70 fill-up for the car. It must be so for “many” because the bus I saw was stuffed.

Perhaps some see this as a net-positive: high gas prices means more people taking mass transit, ergo, a cleaner world for you and me. Obama did say he wanted a gradual price increase for the sake of Gaia, or something, right? So, yip-yip; we’re all poorer, but at least the planet is saved!

Or, is it? Over the weekend I heard about one Earth-loving member of the beau monde who — faced with the possibility of falling short on the vital-and-necessary rosé before Labor Day — arranged for a same-day transport of vino, from somewhere-in-Manhattan to somewhere-in-Southampton at an unusually high cost, both in dollars and fuel. Thus was a crisis averted during the Great Hamptons Rosé Shortage of 2012; our hero(ine) was able to offer a serviceable wine at the end-of-summer bash, with no loss of face.

Thank heavens for all those little people suffocating on the buses; their unselfish sacrifices probably rendered the rosé travel excesses a net-zero on the carbon-meter.

As Glenn Reynolds would say, I don’t want to hear another damn word about my carbon footprint. Not when people are so unwilling to suffer a day’s red or white wine that they’ll injure our planet with outsized fuel emissions!

So, high gas prices are only newsworthy when they are also politically expedient? High carbon footprints only matter when it’s the ordinary folks making them? Why should I be listening to the mainstream media, again?

And by the way, you Chicago teachers? Job-protected and pretty well compensated as you are, while the kids can’t read? You seriously want sympathy because you’ve only been offered a 16% increase over four years? And great benefits? Yeah, cry me a river, sweethearts. We’re talking four-years-no-raises over here and those I know who have gotten raises — besides my teacher friends — have considered a 2% increase to be a blessing. Go home. Do your damn jobs and stop complaining; if I were in charge, I’d fire your asses, and I bet my union-member parents would be cheering me on from their graves as I did it.

One of my best pals is now a teacher, and I love her dearly, but it is truly odd how we evolve: back when we were young, and Reagan fired the air-traffic controllers, I was the horrified Democrat and she was the triumphant Republican. Now we’re both independents, but we avoid the subject of politics, altogether. This is called “progress.”

Just for the heck of it,
I looked for news about gas prices and found these two: Gas Prices Rise Less Than a Penny. Prices are going to go down all on their own. Goooood neeews! I do so appreciate it when the press puts a positive face on things!

Back to my internet-fasting. Do stop in each day, as I have posts scheduled!

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds linked. Thanks, Glenn!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Manny

    It’s an outrage. It jumped twenty cents in a day. I have no idea how Obama is ahead in the polls. He’s performing the greatest political sleight-of-hand I’ve ever seen.

  • kelleyb

    Yes, Manny, gas prices are outrageous. But more egregious are the sycophantic 0bama parasites who masquerade by day as objective members of the Fourth Estate when most of their members are actually card carrying operatives of the 0bama propaganda machine. Nary a mention of anything that might impact their dear and gracious leader’s reelection passes thru their computers to the hapless citizens of this country. God have mercy on us.

  • Adam

    I’m beyond annoyed that the death toll in Afghanistan doesn’t get more mention. There’s been twice as many U.S. and coalition deaths from 2009 to the present (about 2,000 deaths) than there were from 2001 to 2008 (about 1,000). I’m not attributing the deaths to the President–obviously, that’s our enemies’ doing–but the media outrage over the wars during the Bush years has been mysteriously silenced.

    [They're not interested in drones or kill-lists, just now, either. -admin]

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    I have no idea how Obama is ahead in the polls.

    I do.

    The media outlets are nothing more than the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party.

  • RJT

    This post is perfectly written…..have you been grocery shopping Anchoress? Food prices are also too high. Oh well. Don’t despair, get a crucifix! Best advice from a few days ago.

    [I agree! - admin]

  • Ellen

    Gas prices, food prices, clothing prices, taxes – they are all going up. My salary is not.

    I hold my crucifix and pray for change.

  • Mark L

    As to why Obama is ahead in the polls, it is worth looking at the internals of a poll. In one poll where Obama was favored by 52%, the internals broke down this way:

    Self-identified Democrats favored Obama over Romney 97% to 3%
    Self-identified Republicans favored Romney over Obama 96% to 4%
    Self-identified independents favored Romney over Obama 54% to 46%

    And in aggregate Obama led Romney 52% by 48%

    One piece of internal data *not* released: the percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and independents used to calculated the final result. My bet is that it was something close to 40% of the electorate is Democrat, 26% is Republican, or something similar to that.

  • Morton Doodslag

    I came here through a link at PJM. I’m a periodic reader of this site, so it didn’t completely surprise me to see gauzy article linked at the bottom titled “Getting to Know Ramadan”. That’s a nice little puff peice. What does it accomplish? I know you imagine you’re being all high-minded, reflective, and introspective, and I suppose there are Muslims out there doing the same… somewhere. But there’s another story about Ramadan, and that one involves increased sectarian strife among Muslims during Ramadan, it involves an uptick in the ubiquitous hatred of so-called “unbelievers” delivered in intense Mosque sermons to fasting Muslims during is time too. So what is the point of serving up only one side to your readers, a side which deliberately glosses over the extremely sinister aspects of Islam and Muslims? Papering over Jihad won’t make it go away. I politely suggest you wake up.

    Now I suppose you’ll label me a bigot, perhaps comfort yourself in that, but I repeat, lying to yourself (and others) won’t make their Jihad go away… Pretending Islam is something thatbit isn’t will not alter one atom of what Islam really is… In fact, the enemy relies on your denial to advance his goals, and sadly, appalingly, you appear happy to oblige. And one last thing: running such pro-Islam puffery on the anniversary of 9/11 is just plain obscene. Reflecting on that in the context of millions of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and anyone considered “infidels” by Muslims. Just some thoughts.

  • Old Line Dad

    Actually, in that poll you referenced Mark, out of roughly 822 respondents, CNN only managed to find 37 independents. Not 37%…37 total.

    And the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, which shows a 1 point lead for the President among Likely Voters, had a sample of 23% Republicans, 14 points behind what Rasmussen is seeing as current party identification, and 12 points behind 2010′s voting results.

    Does anyone really believe that independents are going to stay home on Nov 6th, or that Republicans will only manage to get to 23% nationally?

  • Constitution First

    */sac Blame Bush. */sac

  • A.G. Wallace

    Repeat after me: “Presidents don’t control gas prices. Presidents don’t control gas prices. Presidents don’t control gas prices.” There. Don’t you feel better?

  • Paul A’Barge

    Just a note to underscore:
    Media == #Propagandists

    Just saying.

  • skat

    Maybe all the conservative bloggers should keep talking about gas prices, Afghanistan, etc instead of bogus polls!

  • Tina

    Did you do any research on why the Chicago teachers are striking? It is not about the money.

    Sure fire all the teachers and put in teachers who have no experience. That’s really going to help.

    [Yeah, I researched it; they want even more job-security and less accountability. There are lots of people out there with teaching degrees or expertise in their fields who could be exemplary teachers if given the chance, and sorry, but if 79% of Chicago's 8th graders can't read, even with those "experienced" teachers, then I don't think we could do much worse with inexperienced teachers. -admin]

  • Manny

    “Presidents don’t control gas prices.”

    No, but they could have an energy policy that will implement more native energy sources. They could reduce regulations that are overly burdensome. How many years in a row have we been hearing even if we started doing something today it would be five years down the road before it would effect energy prices? And it’s one olitical party that has prevented internal energy production.

  • Bob Agard

    Hi Elizabeth. Long time no comment! Linked to you here:

  • Steve Kellmeyer

    Let me get this straight – YOU take a fast from the Internet, but you don’t want anyone to take a fast from reading your Internet column, so you fill it up with auto-columns.

    That just seems a little … hypocritical…

    [Haven't run an auto-column yet. What auto column are you thinking of? I'd LOVE to be able to run an auto-column, but so far everything I've posted this week has been fresh, b/c I got mad about gas prices; I forgot I had a First Things column to promote. I forgot about 9/11. So, my retreat hasn't quite begun, as much as I'd like; these are all fresh, baby, fresh. But when I finally do managed to let one of the scheduled (not reposted, but freshly-written-and-then-scheduled) posts, I'll shoot you an email and you can ignore the hell out of it! :-) -admin]

  • Gail Finke

    I’m with you on the teachers. Of course I love teachers, who doesn’t love teachers? But teachers striking now for money and job security, when their salaries are paid by people who have neither — and often people who have few or no benefits — need to quit their crying. I live near the town that was nearly wiped off the map when DHL closed its hub and what did the teachers there do, when nearly everyone in town was out of a job? They wanted more money, that’s what.

    Look, everyone knows that teachers in an urban system have a really tough job. They deal with kids with all kinds of problems as well as with non-functioning families and lots of transients. In Chicago, kids from functional families do fine in public schools. So if that’s the problem, DEAL WITH IT. Outmoded, everyone-gets-a-raise and no one gets evaluated rules are not helpful to the school system, and neither is making schools that attempt to raise children. You know who else is suffering right now? Support personnel — of whom there are many — who won’t get paid during the strike. Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s one reason you join a union. But when you pretty much spit in the face of your pupils, your families, and your colleagues, you should not be surprised if they don’t like you.

  • TerryC

    No guessing needed on these polls. They have pretty uniformly been oversampled for democrats. They have also been pretty uniformly been taken from registered voters rather than likely voters. Both facts seem to cause the polls to produce a lean toward Obama. I believe that the point is to attempt to suppress the vote of Republicans and Independents who will vote against Obama. Of course the only poll that really matters is the one on election day. Look for the networks to call east coast states for Obama before the polls close out west, on the slightest pretense, especially in the must have swing states. The point is to discourage voters from going to the polls because they think Romney has already lost.
    It needs to be remembered that in some previous elections elections have turned on only a couple of thousand votes in a single precinct of a state. Take the precinct, take the state, take the election. It’s why the Dems pushed so hard for those Secretary of State positions, cause in many states those are the people who run the election machinery in the state and those are the people who certify the count (or in the case of Minnesota overturn the count.) Its also why they are so worried about swing states this year. Ohio, Florida, South Carolina have republican Secretaries of State, which cuts down on the opportunity for shenanigans.

  • Shane

    Just for comparative sake and another perspective, in Dublin, Ireland today a litre of petrol was €1.70. There are approx 3.79 litres to a US gallon so that would be €6.44 or USD$8.23 at todays exchange rate for a US gallon.

    [That makes it all okay, then? -admin]