Thursday, October 27, 2005

how long are we going to stand for this?

Exxon Mobil profit, sales soar to records, Royal Dutch Shell not far behind
Eds: AMs. Also on financial services
Associated Press Writer
DALLAS (AP) ‹ Exxon Mobil Corp. rewrote the corporate record books Thursday
as the oil company¹s third-quarter earnings soared to almost $10 billion and
it became the first public company ever with quarterly sales topping $100
billion. Anglo-Dutch competitor Royal Dutch Shell PLC wasn¹t far behind,
posting a profit of $9 billion for the quarter.
Those results led Democrats in Congress to demand a new windfall profits
tax. ³Big oil behemoths are making out like bandits, while the average
American family is getting killed by high gas prices, and soon-to-be record
heating oil prices,² Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.
But Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said President Bush opposes such a move
and is instead considering a wide range of proposals to help cushion
consumers, including the creation of an emergency reserve of gasoline and
other refined products.
Thursday¹s outsized earnings are a result of surging oil and natural gas
prices that pushed pump prices to record territory after Hurricane Katrina.
They come on the heels of similar eye-popping gains reported this week by BP
PLC, ConocoPhillips Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp. Chevron Corp. reports its
earnings on Friday.
Some Republican members of Congress called on the industry to invest in ways
that will increase production so that consumers get a break at the pumps or
when they pay their heating bills. But analysts said telling the industry
how to spend its money was unfair, if not futile.
³Exxon is a good corporate citizen but it does not work for the welfare of
the country,² said oil analyst Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.
Exxon Chairman and Chief Executive made no mention of the record results in
the company¹s earnings release. Instead, he noted that the world¹s largest
publicly traded oil company ³acted responsibly in pricing at our company
operated service stations, and we also encouraged our independent retailers
and distributors to do the same.²
Likewise, Henry Hubble, Exxon¹s vice president of investor relations, did
not specifically call attention on a conference call to the company¹s record
profit, which rose 75 percent in the quarter to $9.92 billion from $5.68
billion a year ago. Hubble said the company ³achieved a number of important
The previous oil-industry earnings record was Exxon¹s 2004 fourth-quarter
profit of $8.42 billion. Third-quarter revenue jumped to $100.72 billion
from $76.38 billion in the prior-year period.
To put its performance into perspective, Exxon¹s revenue for the three-month
period was greater than the annual gross domestic product of some of the
largest oil producing nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
‹ even though it lost considerable production because of a string of
hurricanes that battered the U.S. Gulf coast.
Robert Kaufmann, a professor at Boston University¹s Center for Energy and
Environmental Studies, says production will return to pre-hurricane levels
and hurricane-related losses will disappear in future earnings reports, but
profits will remain high.
³A lot of the capacity was being built when oil was trading at $20 to $30 a
barrel range, so by definition those fields are much more profitable,² he
said. ³Nobody should be surprised by this.²
Despite the profit surge, Exxon¹s performance fell short of analysts¹
expectations and its shares fell 60 cents to $55.60 in trading Thursday on
the New York Stock Exchange, while U.S.-traded Class A shares of Shell rose
$1.15, or 1.9 percent, to $60.65 on the NYSE.
With oil futures above $60 a barrel for much of the third quarter, Exxon¹s
profits from petroleum exploration and production increased by $1.8 billion
to $5.7 billion. Soaring prices for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel lifted
refining and marketing profits by $727 million to $2.13 billion.
However, income at the company¹s chemicals unit declined by $537 million to
$472 million, a reflection of the higher prices for raw materials.
Exxon said hurricanes slashed U.S. production volumes by 5 percent from a
year ago, while global daily production slipped to 2.45 million barrels of
oil equivalent from 2.51 million barrels. By the end of the year, it will
cost the company about $100 million after taxes, the company estimated.
At Shell, third-quarter net income grew 68 percent to $9.03 billion from
$5.37 billion a year earlier. Revenue at the London-based company, which has
extensive operations in the United States, rose 8 percent to $76.44 billion.
³We are capturing the benefits of high oil and gas prices and refining
margins,² Shell Chief Financial Officer Peter Voser said, referring to the
profit margin on each barrel of crude that is refined into gasoline, diesel
and jet fuel.
Shells profits from exploration and production increased by $2.6 billion to
$5 billion in spite of an 11 percent decline in oil and natural-gas output.
Its refining and marketing profit climbed by $201 million to $1.7 billion.
Its chemicals business saw profits decline by $251 million to $321 million.
Shell said hurricane damage would cost it about $350 million, although much
of the expense would be covered by insurance.
Also on Thursday, Marathon said third-quarter profit more than tripled to
$770 million, up from $222 million a year earlier. Most of the profit came
from its oil and natural-gas production unit. However, the results fell
short of Wall Street¹s aggressive estimates and Marathon¹s stock slumped
$3.80, or 6.2 percent, to $57.28 on the NYSE.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


It's getting to be the time of the year when the dead rise and walk the Earth. T, Jack, and Bob look like they're having a good time. So should you.

Around this time of year we all get together for your typical pagan debouch fest in honor of the H day.
If you happen to find yourself in NEPA around the 28th you should stop in for some hobnobin with some otherworldly creatures.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I'm glad he lost the powder blue

Tom Wolfe is Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Internationally acclaimed author Tom Wolfe has been named this year's Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters at Bucknell University.

The annual award was established to honor and recognize an individual who represents the very highest level of achievement in fiction writing.

Wolfe will receive the award and give the talk, "An Evening with Tom Wolfe," Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell. The talk is open to the public without charge.

Wolfe is the author of 12 books including the best seller The Right Stuff, winner of the American Book Award for general non-fiction in 1979.

His recent novel, A Man in Full, was nominated for the National Book Award four weeks prior to publication and had an unprecedented first-run printing of 1.2 million copies.

His newest book, I Am Charlotte Simmons, takes on the hallowed halls of America's modern university in a scathing assessment of higher education..

Raised in Richmond, Va., Wolfe holds his degrees from Washington and Lee University and Yale University. He worked as a reporter for The Springfield Union, The Washington Post and The New York Herald Tribune before beginning his career as a novelist with his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, published in 1965.

Other national best sellers include The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and The Bonfire of the Vanities.

The Weis fellowship was established through a grant from the Degenstein Foundation in honor of Janet Weis, author, civic leader and philanthropist.

Weis is trustee emerita of Bucknell University. Her late husband, Sigfried Weis, was chair of the Bucknell Board of Trustees from 1982-88.

Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell stated, "We are pleased to welcome Tom Wolfe to our campus, and to have him join the list of world-renowned and respected writers who have received this award, an award which is a fitting honor to the life and work of Janet Weis."

Previous recipients of the fellowship award were Toni Morrison, John Updike and Salman Rushdie.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

it's not gas. just hot air.

I've been doing some math pertaining to the cost of fossil fuel products and came to the conclusion we're doomed. I hear a lot of "economists" talking about supply and demand and the reason the gas prices are so high is because crude oil is in short supply and the only way we can get the price of petroleum down is to reduce the amount we use. I suppose if an economist says it, it MUST be the truth. I mean, wasn't it economists who said there wasn't enough to go around back in the 19th century? Wasn't it economists that said the trickle down theory was the greatest thing since sliced bread? Wasn't it economists that said there was a shortage of water on a planet that's only 4 fifths water? Wasn't it economists that said there was a shortage of air?
An economist is a tenured PhD who never had to live and work in the real world, let alone practice economy.
If the demand for something remains constant and the supply is stable, then economic logic dictates the price will remain the same with minor adjustments for cost of living. If both supply and demand increase, or decrease, the price should logically remain the same. If supply goes up and demand goes down we can expect a decrease in prices. If supply goes down and demand increases we can expect higher prices. Ok, you get the picture. This is basic stuff. A no-brainer.
But what if some economists get the idea that there isn't enough to go around? No facts to back up this statement. Just a dumb-ass theory from some guys with way too much time on their hands. Proving this theory is simply a matter of finding some loudmouths in the public eye who can say, "Yes, this guy is right! There isn't enough to go around and if that's the case, who should have enough but the elite 2% of our society? The rest can tighten their belts, live a spartan life and work very hard to give all their money to us."

In order to carry out this scheme there has to be a shortage. We have that in oil right now. Or do we? I tend to think this oil shortage is a load of greedy capitalist crap designed to produce big profits for ExxonMobil and if these bastards discovered an oil deposit large enough to float a planet they'd still push the "not enough to go around" bit until they owned everything, and we'd STILL be paying arms and legs to drive to the bread lines.

ExxonMobil made profits exceeding 52% last year. The number 1 rule in business is to constantly make profits more than the year before, year after year til the end of time. If everyone traded in their SUV's for mopeds, gas would have to exceed $20 a gallon in order to match the profits of last year.

On the other hand, if everyone went out and bought the biggest gas guzzlers they could find and trippled the fuel consumption of last year, we might see a drop in gas prices, only because ExxonMobil will reach their profit goals ahead of schedule... That is, if their greed is as limited as they say their oil supply is.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Poor pigless England ...

This was found on Tim Blair's blog.


Poor pigless England ...

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (Tory-controlled) has now announced
that, following a complaint by a Muslim employee, all work pictures and
knick-knacks of novelty pigs and ³pig-related items² will be banned.

... is soon to be flagless, if certain intolerant folk get their way:

British prison officers who wore a St. George¹s Cross tie-pin have been
ticked off by the jails watchdog over concerns about the symbol¹s racist

The pins showing the English flag ‹which has often raised hackles due to its
connection with the Crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries ‹could be
³misconstrued,² Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers said ...

Chris Doyle, director of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British
Understanding, said Tuesday the red cross was an insensitive reminder of the

"A lot of Muslims and Arabs view the Crusades as a bloody episode in our
history² he told CNN. ³They see those campaigns as Christendom launching a
brutal holy war against Islam.²

Doyle added that it was now time for England to find a new flag and a patron
saint who is ³not associated with our bloody past and one we can all
identify with."
A new flag, eh ... I guess a St George¹s Cross made from bacon strips is out
of the question?

UPDATE. Perry de Havilland: ³I wonder how this organisation would react to
calls for Muslims to abandon the crescent moon, the green flag and all other
overly Muslim symbols as being offensive to some English people who may
associate them with slavery?² (via Tom Pechinski)

Posted by Tim B. on 10/05/2005 at 02:57 AM

After reading this I got really pissed off that these moron brits are cowtowing to every whim these little sheet-head, goat fuckin, camel whores demand because of their cowardly PC sensitivities. These social irritants aren't making things any better. They're turning pacifistic people, such as myself, into very pissed off people ready to kick some cowardly moslem ass and then go to the Dudley Borough Council and piss in their faces.

And I'd like to say something about the Crusades. It wasn't a bunch of Christians going to the middle east to raise hell and pilliage. It was a last ditch attempt to save Christianity from a total Moslem takeover. The middle east was primarily populated by pacifist Christians until the Moslems got a bug up their asses and decided to take over the world. The holy see saw the end of Christanity in sight and if not for the efforts of people like Richard the Lionhearted, Italy would have been invaded, Rome would've been sacked, the Vatican torched and the pope and every nun and cardinal in sight would've been murdered and raped, in that order, by the same overly-sensitive bastards that want to do it again in the 21st century. Read a history book and wonder why Turkey, Armenia, Spain and a whole lot of other countries are still under Moslem control and wonder what kind of world we'd have if European Christians didn't try and stop the Moslem war machine in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. We'd have a backwards, medeival world full of ignorant camel fuckers who treat their women with less respect than a dog. Why more people can't see this is beyond me.
The Crusades weren't intended to convert the middle east to Christanity. It was to prevent Moslems from killing everyone in Europe and the middle east who wasn't Moslem. Reasoning didn't work then. The only thing that stopped the Moslems from taking over the world was a force stronger than they were. And let's face it. In a fair fight the best Arab will get his ass beat every time by someone half his size. That's why they fight like cowards..... by sneaking around killing women and children. And you want to compromise with low lifes like this? Wake the fuck up and smell the hashish.