Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who's Your Daddy?


The mainstream media really seem to imagine they can prevent Americans from knowing information by refusing to mention it in newspapers or on TV. For those few Americans without an Internet connection and to whom I have not faxed the National Enquirer stories: Evidence is accumulating that John Edwards is right -- there really are "two Americas."

There's one where men cheat on their cancer-stricken wives and one where men do not cheat on their cancer-stricken wives.

To put it another way, it would appear that ambulances aren't the only things John Edwards has been chasing lately. Last year, the National Enquirer broke the story about New-Age divorcee Rielle Hunter, formerly Lisa Druck, telling friends she was having an affair with Edwards and that she was pregnant with his "love child."

Who knew that "my father was a mill worker" could be such a great pickup line? In his defense, Edwards had to do something to kill time between giving $50,000 speeches on poverty.

I guess the Enquirer is lucky Edwards isn't a trial lawyer! A sleazy carnival sideshow trial lawyer wouldn't even need to start channeling unborn children before a jury -- as Edwards did in the junk-science cases that made him a multimillionaire -- to win a defamation case if these charges are false. The "love child" allegation could be easily disproved by DNA testing.

Which brings up a fascinating legal question: Would it be admissible for Edwards to channel the very love child at issue during such a proceeding? Reminiscent of his performances in medical malpractice cases, he could say: She speaks to you through me and I have to tell you right now -- I didn't plan to talk about this -- right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you, she's saying: "John Edwards ain't my daddy!"

When the National Enquirer story first broke last year, the Edwards campaign denied that Edwards was the father, pawning the affair off on an apparently very loyal Edwards campaign official, Andrew Young. Like Edwards, Young was married with children, but also like Edwards, Young is a Democrat, so it was possible. Except that, not only has Young's wife not left him, but she was perfectly copacetic with her husband's mistress moving into their gated community for the duration of her pregnancy, and even joining her, Andrew and the kids for dinner.

Back on Earth, that doesn't happen.

The Edwards campaign better start looking at its backup plan of claiming Nathan Lane is the father. It also didn't smack of innocence that the Edwards campaign stripped Hunter's videos from the Edwards Web site when the story broke. Soon after Edwards met Hunter in a bar in New York, the Edwards campaign began paying her more than $100,000 to make "hip" videos of him for the campaign Web site. Unfortunately, Edwards' hair stylists ate up most of the budget.

As Herculean a task as it would be to make John Edwards look hip, the videos can't be worse for the campaign than the Edwards staffer who said of the Catholic church's position on birth control: "What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?"

So why did they take down Hunter's videos?

With the MSM still pretending the Internet doesn't exist, last week the Enquirer staked out the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles after receiving a tip that Edwards would be going there to visit Hunter and the love child, who reportedly has her mother's eyes and her father's dramatic flair in front of a jury.

According to the Enquirer, Edwards entered Hunter's hotel room around 9:45 p.m. and left at 2:40 in the morning. Seeing reporters as he left Hunter's room, Edwards sprinted to a hotel bathroom and blockaded himself in until hotel security came to rescue him. Even more suspicious, while Edwards was barricaded in the bathroom, no one reported hearing sounds of a blow dryer.

When asked about the Enquirer story at a press conference a few days later, Edwards looked as flustered as Rep. Robert Wexler did after being asked if he really lives with his mother-in-law in Florida while running for office in that district. First Edwards pretended to be unfamiliar with the story, a preposterous pose even if the story were false. Then Edwards dropped eye contact and said: "That's tabloid trash. They're full of lies. I'm here to talk about helping people."

He couldn't have looked more guilty if he had broken into a cold sweat and lit a cigarette. Britney Spears has responded more credibly to questions about tabloid stories. Meanwhile, the only way consumers of the old media might ascertain that Edwards is embroiled in some sort of scandal is that, starting last Thursday, his name was summarily dropped from lists of possible vice presidential candidates.

If only Republican Larry Craig had been in the bathroom, the MSM might have covered it.

Obama backs Reparations

After reading the following article, it's clear Obama is dangling the possibility of Reparations in front of voters. As he stated, Deeds count more than Words. Put another way, a formal apology for slavery is not enough. A formal apology is just words. The US must Do Something for those whose ancestors were mistreated. The US must act. He is suggesting the US should compensate the descendants of those who were mistreated. Money. Big bucks, according to those who have attempted to estimate the unpaid contributions of slaves to the US economy. Meanwhile, giving money to those who have been mistreated is nothing new.

American Indians were given great gifts. Oil rights in Alaska, casino deals everywhere, mineral rights in many areas, freedom from taxation in tribal territory. Some great deals. The Japanese who were interred during World War II were compensated. In fact, they've been compensated a few times since the Second World War ended. Of course there is the example of Germany compensating the families of Jews who were killed or imprisoned by the Nazis.

Thus, Obama has revealed his belief that the US owes something of great value to the descendants of slaves. Money. The question is how much. The answer will undoubtedly shock those expected to cough it up. Big, big bucks.

Reparations will surface as one of the many enormous bills Obama will send to taxpayers if he is elected.

Obama notes ‘tragic’ US past
American history's "sad" aspects require action, the senator tells cheering journalists

CHICAGO » Sen. Barack Obama, speaking to a gathering of minority journalists yesterday, stopped short of endorsing an official U.S. apology to American Indians but said the country should acknowledge its history of poor treatment of certain ethnic groups.

"There's no doubt that when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans as well as other persons of color in this country, we've got some very sad and difficult things to account for," Obama told hundreds of attendees of UNITY '08, a convention of four minority journalism associations.

The Hawaii-born senator, who has told local reporters that he supports the federal recognition bill for native Hawaiians drafted by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, noted other ethnic groups but did not mention native Hawaiians when answering a question about his thoughts on a formal U.S. apology to American Indians.

"I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged," the Democratic presidential hopeful said.

"I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."

Obama, who appeared tired in his first major appearance since returning Saturday from a 10-day trip abroad, met with a receptive audience at the Chicago convention. Some journalists had waited three hours for the 40-minute appearance.

The group had expected Obama and Sen. John McCain to speak on Thursday night, but because of scheduling conflicts, only Obama could attend yesterday morning's talk.

When Obama walked on stage at the McCormick Center, many journalists in the audience leapt to their feet and applauded enthusiastically after being told not to do so. During a two-minute break halfway through the event, which was broadcast live on CNN, journalists ran to the stage to snap photos of Obama.

The Illinois senator talked about his trip overseas, reiterating his opinion that violence is down in Iraq but worsening in Afghanistan. And he expressed his approval of the Senate's passage of a major housing bill to help homeowners avert foreclosure.

Obama, who acknowledged that he needed a nap, stood up to say farewell to the audience of journalists, many of whom gave him another standing ovation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dog Bites Man -- Muslim Nut Blames US and Jews

Is there any problem for which muslims assume responsibility? I'll answer that. No. Despite living in backward cultures that produce nothing except oil, cultures that kill all innovation and creativity, muslims lack the barest sense of self-evaluation and understanding of their extraordinary shortcomings as people and as followers of a religion.

Why is the muslim world an intellectual wasteland? One word says it all. Islam. The surest and straightest path to stagnation is found in this religion. It's been one thousand years since muslims have added an ounce of knowledge to the world. That ounce of knowledge is the mathematical concept of Zero. The number. Since then, muslims have contributed nothing, which seems to explain the origin of the concept. It was a natural state for them.

Ahmadinejad blames West for AIDS

Iran's president on Tuesday blamed the US and other "big powers" for nuclear proliferation, AIDS and other global ills and accused them of exploiting the UN and other organizations for their own gain - and the developing world's loss.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures during a Teheran press conference.

But, he said, time was on the poor countries' side.

"The big powers are going down," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told foreign ministers of the Nonaligned Movement meeting in Teheran. "They have come to the end of their power, and the world is on the verge of entering a new, promising era."

Specifically, he criticized the indictment of Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir by an international prosecutor on charges of genocide in Darfur.

Instead, he said the International Criminal Court's prosecutor, who indicted Bashir on July 14, should instead press charges against Israeli leaders for assassinating opponents and imposing a food and medicine blockade against Palestinians.

He also warned that US attempts to reach an agreement with the Iraqi government over the future presence of American troops in the country, "will undermine the independence and rights of the people of Iraq."

Ahmadinejad's comments fit both the venue and occasion of the meeting.

The more than 100-member NAM is made up of such diverse members as communist Cuba, Jamaica and India and depicts itself as bloc-free. But most members share a critical view of the US and the developed world in general. And with Iran assuming the chairmanship of the conference Tuesday, Ahmadinejad's keynote speech was tailored to reflect the struggle that some NAM members see themselves in against the world's rich and powerful countries.
A draft of the final document that ministers will be asked to approve, made available to The Associated Press as the conference opened Tuesday, reflected that struggle.

"The rich and powerful countries continue to exercise an inordinate influence in determining the nature and direction of international relations, including economic and trade relations, as well as rules governing these relations, many of which are at the expense of developing countries," it said.

NAM countries oppose "unilaterally imposed measures by certain states ... the use and threat of use of force, and pressure and coercive measures as a means to achieving their national policy objectives," said the draft.

This appeared to be an indirect slap at the United States, which has refused to rule out force as a possible means of last resort against Iran unless it heeds UN Security Council demands to curb its nuclear activities.

The draft also condemned "the categorization of countries as good or evil based on unilateral and unjustified criteria" - oblique criticism of US President George W. Bush's labeling of Iran as part of an "Axis of Evil" along with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea.

Iran has in the past counted on NAM countries to blunt pressure from the US and its allies for harsh UN sanctions and other penalties because of its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment, which can produce both nuclear fuel or the fissile payload of warheads. Teheran has been slapped with three sets of UN sanctions because of its nuclear defiance and new penalties loom unless Tehran shows compromise.

Another draft statement also obtained by the AP before the meeting began seeks continued support. Submitted by Iran on behalf of the NAM, it asks the conference to agree that "sanctions imposed on Iran for its nuclear program are of a political nature and should be promptly removed."

The ministers "further affirm ... that there is no legal basis that (the) UN Security Council proceeds" in continuing to deal with the Iran nuclear file, said that draft.

While only infrequently mentioning the US by name Tuesday, Ahmadinejad made clear that he blamed Washington and its allies for trying to "impose their political will on nations and governments."

He accused the great powers of "fomenting discord .... to intensify the military and arms race" so they can feed their arms industries. AIDS, he said, also was the result of world conditions "imposed by big powers."

Accusing the UN Security Council of being a tool of the world's haves - which use them against the have-nots - he said it was useless to expect that body to be the solution to the world's ills.

"If the United Nations and the Security Council ... were supposed to deal with the problems of the world ... we would not have a problem called Palestine," he declared, in indirect criticism of the creation of Israel 60 years ago.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

John Edwards -- Hypocritical Oaf

What is passing through the mind of Elizabeth Edwards? She must know by now that her husband has gotten an early start on a new family that will replace the one he has as soon as she succumbs to her disease. She must be thinking that he was starting a back-up family while he used her as campaign bait in his hapless bid for the Democratic nominatin. Is there any other abuse that would cause her more pain than she feels now? If there is a greater abuse, he's the person to test it.

Has there ever been a presidential or vice presidential candidate with such a ghoulish nature? A dead son, a dying wife and now a girlfriend, a new baby and soon, the freedom to begin anew.

Guard Confirms Late-Night Hotel Encounter Between Ex-Sen. John Edwards, Tabloid Reporters
Friday , July 25, 2008

A Beverly Hills hotel security guard told he intervened this week between a man he identified as former Sen. John Edwards and tabloid reporters who chased down the former presidential hopeful after what they're calling a rendezvous with his mistress and love child.

The Beverly Hilton Hotel guard said he encountered a shaken and ashen-faced Edwards — whom he did not immediately recognize — in a hotel men's room early Tuesday morning in a literal tug-of-war with reporters on the other side of the door.

"What are they saying about me?" the guard said Edwards asked.

"His face just went totally white," the guard said, when Edwards was told the reporters were shouting out questions about Edwards and Rielle Hunter, a woman the National Enquirer says is the mother of his child.

The guard said he escorted Edwards, who was not a registered guest at the hotel, out of the building after 2 a.m. Edwards did not say anything while he was escorted out, said the guard, adding that at times the reporters on the scene were "rough on him," sticking a camera in his face and shouting questions.

The guard did not recognize Edwards at the time of the incident, but said he concluded it was the 2008 presidential hopeful after hearing reports about the incident and finding an Enquirer reporter's notebook at the scene.

The guard said during the chase the reporters had dropped the notebook, which he picked up.

"This book has everything in it on him," he said, referring to Edwards. The guard later confirmed Edwards' identity after being shown a photograph.

A former campaign staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told he wishes he were "more surprised" to hear reports Edwards was visiting Hunter. "I'm definitely upset by it. I wish I was more surprised, though."

Edwards this week has repeatedly refused to comment on the Enquirer report. Asked about it on Thursday at an event in New Orleans, he said: "I have no idea what you're asking about. I've responded, consistently, to these tabloid allegations by saying I don't respond to these lies and you know that ... and I stand by that."

Edwards spokesmen did not respond to repeated calls by to respond to this story.

Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Michael Publicker, meanwhile, confirmed Friday that an incident report was filed with the department by two of the tabloid's reporters. Publicker said that contrary to a published report, a "criminal complaint" was not filed and there are no charges pending.

"It will be looked into," Publicker said, refusing to say whether Edwards would be contacted as part of a formal investigation. "We're not going to comment on the investigation," he said.

Police department spokesman Tony Lee said Publicker told him that Edwards was not named on the incident report.

Enquirer Editor-in-Chief David Perel told his reporters caught Edwards visiting Hunter and her baby at the hotel earlier Monday evening. Perel said Hunter and Edwards have been occasionally getting together so Edwards can see the baby. Hunter came to Beverly Hills with a male friend, Bob McGovern, said Perel. Hunter and her companion reportedly booked two rooms under McGovern's name, and McGovern picked up Edwards to bring him back to the hotel.

Perel said Enquirer staff had been given information about the planned Edwards-Hunter meeting, and the tabloid sent reporters to the hotel in anticipation of Edwards' arrival. According to the Enquirer, Edwards was first spotted being dropped off at the hotel at 9:45 p.m. PT, about 25 minutes after reporters watched McGovern leave the building in his BMW.

Edwards went to Hunter's room and the two left the hotel together and returned 45 minutes later, Perel said. Edwards reportedly entered her room and stayed there until after 2:30 a.m. PT. could not independently confirm the Enquirer's allegations. Perel also declined to identify where the Enquirer received the information about Edwards' alleged visits.

Perel told that after leaving Hunter's room, Edwards took an elevator to the basement, where he was confronted by two Enquirer reporters. He ran into the bathroom, where he remained until the security guard arrived.

The Enquirer says it has videotape showing Hunter entering the room where she met Edwards, and shows Edwards leaving the same room. However, the Enquirer has thus far declined repeated requests by to release any photographs or videotape evidence of the incident.

Lynda Simonetti, director of public relations at the Beverly Hilton, refused to comment on the guard's version of the incident, citing the hotel's privacy policy.

"We value the privacy of all the guests," Simonetti told, adding, "The non-disclosure policy applies to the requests of the names, whether it's past, current or anticipated guests... That's our policy."

Simonetti said she had "no knowledge" of the incident report filed by the two Enquirer reporters, and "I don't have any knowledge of any other circumstances."

As recently as last month, individuals vetting vice presidential candidates for Barack Obama had listed Edwards as a potential running mate. Edwards was viewed as a candidate who could help Obama appeal to white, working-class voters who had favored Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

Edwards, who was John Kerry's running mate in 2004, endorsed Obama in May, saying the presumptive presidential nominee held the same views he did about uniting a divided America.
Before and during the Democratic primaries, Edwards urged all candidates to boycott planned debates on FOX News, even though he had made prior appearances on the channel. One of those debates was to be sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.

Last October, the Enquirer reported that several sources said a former campaign worker on Edwards' campaign had been having an affair with the former North Carolina senator. In an e-mail allegedly written by Hunter to a friend, she wrote that she is "in love with John," but it's "difficult because he is married and has kids."

Edwards' wife Elizabeth, whom many have credited as being one of the driving forces behind Edwards' campaign, announced in March that her breast cancer had re-emerged after going into remission following a 2004 diagnosis.

Hunter has said that the father of her child is former Edwards campaign official Andrew Young. The 41-year-old married father of three has also said he is the father.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Pretend She's Already Dead

Is there any level too low for a personal injury lawyer to stoop? His wife is dying of cancer, a condition he made a central issue in his failed compaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. His campaign slogan seemed to be "Vote for me because my wife is dying of cancer." It seemed as though he were parading the pending death of a guiltless victim before the members of a jury to gain their sympathy. This jury of primary voters was empowered to award him with the prize he sought. The nomination instead of big money.

Last December the National Enquirer first uncovered evidence of Edwards' hanky-panky. But reporters were not sure about the paternity of the soon-to-arrive baby. It looks as though that question has been answered. If the Enquirer is wrong about Edwards and Rielle Hunter, then he will soon own the Enquirer. Thus, it's not too likely the paper's attorneys would have okayed the publishing of this story if there were any doubt about its accuracy.

Edwards is cooked. Southern Fried Chicken. Going down into the same deep frier that consumed NY Governor Eliot Spitzer and NY Congressman Vito Fossella. But Edwards infidelity seems so much worse. A love child is bad enough. But even worse is the fact that his wife is dying, and as far as he's concerned, she probably isn't dying fast enough.

What will John Kerry say about Edwards? He's already said that Edwards was a creepy guy who repeated a prepared speech about his dead son without realizing he'd already performed this act for Kerry. Kerry said it was creepy the first time, but downright unnerving the second time. Thus, Edwards seems to have developed a pattern for ghoulishness. How long will it take for everyone to come clean? Edwards has a long history as a convincing liar. He'll never tell. But there are plenty of others to spill the beans. There's no way his girlfriend was silent since their relationship began. She told someone who told someone else, and somebody in this chain will spill some guts.


Vice Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards was caught visiting his mistress and secret love child at 2:40 this morning in a Los Angeles hotel by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

The married ex-senator from North Carolina - whose wife Elizabeth continues to battle cancer -- met with his mistress, blonde divorcée Rielle Hunter, at the Beverly Hilton on Monday night, July 21 - and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER was there! He didn't leave until early the next morning. Rielle had driven to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara with a male friend for the rendezvous with Edwards.

The former senator attended a press event Monday afternoon with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the topic of how to combat homelessness.But a months-long NATIONAL ENQUIRER investigation had yielded information that Rielle and Edwards, 54, had arranged to secretly meet afterward and for the ex-senator to spend some time with both his mistress and the love child who he refuses to publicly acknowledge as his own.

The NATIONAL ENQUIRER broke the story of Edwards' love child scandal last year, when Rielle was still pregnant and Edwards was still considered a strong candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Both parties denied the NATIONAL ENQUIRER report and a close friend of Edwards' came forward and said he was the father of Rielle's baby. But sources told the NATIONAL ENQUIRER a far different story - they revealed that Edwards was engineering a massive cover up of his shocking infidelity.Sources came forward after that story appeared and told The NATIONAL ENQUIRER that Edwards and Rielle had met secretly several times, so that he could see his baby and continue his relationship with Rielle.

The NATIONAL ENQUIRER learned ahead of time that one such meeting was set for yesterday.At 9:45 p.m. (PST) Monday, Edwards appeared at the hotel, and was dropped off at a side entrance. NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporter Alan Butterfield witnessed the ex-senator get out of a BMW driven by a male companion and stroll into the hotel.

Said Butterfield: "Edwards was not carrying anything. He walked in alone. He was wearing a blue dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He was looking around nervously before he entered the hotel."Once inside, he interestingly bypassed the lobby and ducked down a side stairs to go to the bottom floor to catch the elevator up - rather than taking the elevator in the main lobby. He went out of his way not to be seen."

Meanwhile, Rielle had reserved rooms 246 and 252 under the name of the friend who had accompanied her from Santa Barbara, Bob McGovern. Rielle was in one room and McGovern was in another with her baby. This allowed her and Edwards to spend time alone, a source revealed.Edwards went out of the hotel briefly with Rielle, they were observed by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER and then went back to her room, where he stayed until attempting to sneak out of the hotel unseen at 2:40 a.m. (PST). But when he emerged alone from an elevator into the hotel basement he was greeted by several reporters from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

Senior NATIONAL ENQUIRER Reporter Alexander Hitchen asked Edwards why he was visiting Rielle and whether he was ready to confirm that he was the father of her baby. Shocked to see a reporter, and without saying anything, Edwards ran up the stairs leading from the hotel basement to the lobby. But, spotting a photographer, he doubled back into the basement. As he emerged from the stairwell, reporter Butterfield questioned him about his hookup with Rielle.

Edwards did not answer and then ran into a nearby restroom. He stayed inside for about 15 minutes, refusing to answer questions from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER about what he was doing in the hotel. A group of hotel security men eventually escorted him from the men's room, while preventing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporters from following him out of the hotel.

Said reporter Hitchen: "After we confronted him about seeing Rielle, Edwards looked like a deer caught in headlights!

"He was clearly surprised that we had caught him at this very late hour inside the hotel.

"Some guests up at this late hour watched the spectacle in amusement from a staircase nearby."

Meanwhile, Rielle's friend McGovern also refused to answer any questions from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER or offer any explanation for her meeting with Edwards.The Edwards "love child" scandal drew international press attention after the NATIONAL ENQUIRER published a blockbuster investigation about the politician in our Dec. 31, 2007 print edition.

We reported that Rielle, a woman linked to Edwards in a cheating scandal earlier last year, was more than six months pregnant - and we reported that she told a close confidante that Edwards was the father of her baby!

Edwards denied the affair and that he was the father, and in a bizarre twist, a close friend of his, Andrew Young, said he was the father. Young, 41, was married at the time with three children. The NATIONAL ENQUIRER has learned he still is married.

Sources told the NATIONAL ENQUIRER exclusively that Edwards had engineered a massive cover up of the affair and love child scandal and that Young was taking the blame for his good friend. At the time Rielle had been relocated from the New York area to Chapel Hill in Edwards' home state of North Carolina, where she was living in an upscale gated community down the street from Young. Strangely, Young even had Rielle to his house for dinner with his wife and kids, the NATIONAL ENQUIRER has learned.

Young has been extremely close to Edwards for years and was a key official in his presidential campaign. Rielle is a self-described filmmaker whose company was hired by a pro-Edwards group called One America Committee. She was paid $114,000 to produce videos for Edwards' campaign and worked with him on those videos.

After our story last December, reporters from other media outlets asked Edwards about the report during a campaign stop in Columbia, S.C.

Edwards responded: "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous," adding: "Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years."

Rielle issued her own statement, saying in part: "The innuendos and lies that have appeared on the Internet and in the NATIONAL ENQUIRER concerning John Edwards are not true, completely unfounded and ridiculous."

But a source told the NATIONAL ENQUIRER: "Now that it seems to have blown wide open, Rielle may get her wish - all she wants is for John to marry her and for them to live happily ever after with their baby. She's tired of running and living a lie."

A representative for Rielle had no comment on last night's meeting with Edwards.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Turning Plowshares into Swords

A thousand years of islamic intellectual stagnance has kept muslims poor and angry in most of the world. But they do show a streak of inventiveness when it comes to converting a useful tool into a deadly weapon. It's not that their thinking is elevated, insightful or unique. The aspect of muslim thinking that clobbers observers over the head is the nihilistic and murderous nature of it.

16 wounded in bulldozer attack in Jerusalem

Sixteen people were wounded, one of them moderately, as a bulldozer driver went on a rampage in central Jerusalem Tuesday afternoon in an apparent attempt to recreate the terror attack in the capital earlier this month.

Second bulldozer attack this month in Jerusalem

The vehicle reportedly left a construction site near the Yemin Moshe neighborhood and set off towards Liberty Bell Park (Gan Hapa'amon), near the corner of Keren Hayesod and King David streets. It drove a distance of approximately 160 meters, attempting to overturn a bus and crashing into four other vehicles - one of which it flipped over. The man was then shot dead by a civilian and a border policeman.

The wounded were evacuated to hospitals in the capital.

The perpetrator of the attack, Ghassan Abu Tir, was a relative of Muhammad Abu Tir, a Hamas parliamentarian jailed in Israel.

Terrorist plows bulldozer into vehicles
Another attack from 'within'

Video: Eyewitness report of bulldozer attack by Likud activist Moshe Feiglin
slideshow: Bulldozer attack

The first man to respond to the attack was Yaakov [Yaki] Asa-El, whose brother Amotz is a Jerusalem Post columnist. Asa-El, 53, a father of nine living near Mount Hebron.
Asa-El fired the first shot at Abu Tir, and then the border policeman arrived and fired at the attacker from both sides of the bulldozer.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police sealed off possible escape routes into east Jerusalem, and were searching for two suspects who fled the scene.

The attack took place in a busy part of downtown Jerusalem, several hundred meters from the luxury hotel where US presidential candidate Barack Obama is supposed to stay Tuesday night as he kicks off a visit to Israel.

The bus that was hit, No. 13, belonged to the same line of the bus that was overturned in the previous attack.

"I was driving on the main road when the (construction vehicle) hit me in the rear, on the right hand side," the bus driver, who was not identified, told Channel 10 TV.

"After I passed him he turned round, made a U-turn and rammed the windows twice with the shovel. The third time he aimed for my head, he came up to my window and I swerved to the right, otherwise I would have gone to meet my maker," he said.

Witness Moshe Shimshi said that the bulldozer driver, who was wearing a large, white skullcap commonly worn by religious Muslims, slammed into the side of the bus, then sped away and went for a car.

"He didn't yell anything, he just kept ramming into cars," Shimshi said.

The driver then headed for cars waiting at a red light "and rammed into them with all his might," he added.

Channel 10 TV said a mother and her baby were wounded. Israeli rescue services said they had evacuated one person whose leg was partially severed; Israel media said he was in the car that was overturned.

"This was another attempt to murder innocent people in a senseless act of terrorism," said government spokesman Mark Regev. "All people who believe in peace and reconciliation must unequivocally condemn this attack. Unfortunately, it is clear that we as a society will have to remain vigilant against terrorism."

Minutes after the attack, the driver, wearing shorts and black shoes, was sprawled backward in the construction vehicle's cabin, his legs dangling lifelessly.

On July 2, a resident of east Jerusalem rammed a bulldozer into cars, buses and pedestrians on one of Jerusalem's busiest streets, killing three people and wounding at least 45 others - including a six-month-old baby girl - before being shot dead by security personnel.

Drilling + Alternative Energy + Conservation

T. Boone Pickens says oil will hit $300 a barrel unless we reduce our imports. In other words, if we Increase Domestic Production we can fight the forces pushing oil prices higher. If we drill and produce more oil domestically, the US can counter the global forces that will drive oil prices to prohibitive levels. But there is no technology available today that produces energy that is less costly than oil at its current price. It's that simple.

He's right about a few points, however. The US should encourage car-makers to build more vehicles that operate on Natural Gas -- CH4, Methane -- the same gas used in kitchen stoves and the same gas that heats many homes. Natural Gas is a domestic product and it is abundant. Moreover, today's internal-combustion vehicles can run on Natural Gas and almost every car-maker already builds vehicles that run on this fuel. The US Post Office delivers the mail with Natural Gas Powered Vehicles. Many buses and taxis in New York City also use Natural Gas. The only major issue is refueling stations.

However, there is no question that developing refueling sites for Natural Gas Powered Vehicles is far less problematic than developing the Electric Vehicle business. Batteries for Electric Vehicles are primitive, expensive and relatively dangerous. On the other hand, all design and technical issues faced by Natural Gas Powered Vehicles have already addressed and these vehicles are ready for widespread use. Meanwhile, Electric Vehicles will suffer from limitations imposed by battery technology for decades.

Too many dreamers believe revolutionary advances in battery chemistry can occur in a couple of years. But battery chemistry is old stuff. Scientists have wrestled with ways to store electricity for a couple of hundred years. The biggest problem is one that is always present -- where to put the electricity.

By extension, storing energy is always the big problem for energy consumers, especially if the device consuming the energy is mobile and must carry its energy supplies on-board. For centuries scientists have looked for ways to solve this problem. Whenever possible, they hoped to capitalize on Nature's help. They looked for energy that Nature had already stored in handy ways.

When it comes to stored energy, nothing beats a barrel of oil. But Natural Gas is almost as good. Coal is okay. However, nothing else comes close. Hence, we should drill the countryside for oil and gas till it looks like Swiss Cheese while developing Solar, Wind and Nuclear alternatives.

Pickens sees $300 oil unless U.S. cuts crude imports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Oil prices will hit $300 a barrel in 10 years if the United States fails to reduce its dependence on foreign imports, billionaire oil investor T. Boone Pickens told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday.

The United States imports nearly 70 percent of its oil and Pickens said the world's top petroleum-consuming nation would import 80 percent in a decade if it does not aggressively tap its own natural gas and renewable resources.

"If we continue to drift, oil will hit $300 a barrel in 10 years," Pickens testified at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

He testified as the Senate planned to debate energy legislation amid calls for more oil drilling to help lower oil prices which hit a record this month of over $147 a barrel.

Pickens has been touring the country pushing a plan under which domestic natural gas supplies would be used to power cars instead of electrical power plants. The federal government and private investors would build a massive wind farm system in the middle of the country from Mexico to Canada to provide electricity.

Pickens, who heads the hedge fund BP Capital, stands to benefit from such a program. He's building a 4,000 megawatt, $10 billion wind farm in northern Texas that should start generating power in 2011.

Industry group the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has said the Pickens plan could work if the government renews the production tax credit for renewable energy, preferably for longer than a year or two.

Growth in U.S. wind power has been dramatic. Preliminary figures show the United States in July may have surpassed Germany as the world's largest generator of wind power, AWEA said.

"We're on track to doing that, if it hasn't happened already," said an AWEA spokeswoman.

Wind could generate 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, only slightly less than natural gas currently fires, the Department of Energy said in a report.


Building transmission lines and securing corridors to bring wind power from the heartland to the coasts would be a major effort.

"I think we're talking eminent domain," Pickens told reporters after the hearing, referring to the practice in which the government sometimes seizes private property with monetary compensation. He said bringing the power to the coasts would take an effort similar to former president Dwight Eisenhower's building of the national highway system during the Cold War.

It could cost hundreds of billions of dollars to develop wind power. Pickens said reduced crude oil imports could pay.

Natural gas analysts were less certain the country can convert quickly from its gasoline- and diesel-based vehicle transport and fueling systems.

Chris Kostas, analyst at Energy Security Analysis Inc in Boston, said growing oil demand from developing countries like China and India could keep crude prices rising even if the United States succeeded in cutting oil imports.

Some 8 million vehicles in the world run on natural gas, with only about 140,000 in the United States, said Pickens, who owns a Honda car that runs on natural gas.

House Democrats were to hold a closed door caucus meeting with Pickens on Tuesday evening to discuss his plan.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

99 Acres and No Mule or Fuel

Raul Castro knows Cuba would prosper if his brother died and he were to introduce real capitalist reforms. But, he's also the key man in a dictatorship, which means he's incapable of allowing citizens enough freedom to succeed. Nevertheless, he's reached the point where he will allow people to become sharecroppers. Apparently he's willing to allow anyone a shot at becoming a farmer. "Back to the Land" is the current mantra of Raul Castro's regime. City people are receiving encouragement to become rural farmers. No experience necessary. That must mean too many Cubans are earning money illegally in cities where tourists go.

Despite this slight loosening of control over state land, Raul promised Cubans that more tough times lie ahead. He should know. He's going ensure that Cuba sticks to the policies and practices that maintain shortages of all goods and services. As long as a Castro is leading Cuba, the tough times will remain.

Cuba to Grant Private Farmers Access to Land

MEXICO CITY — President Raúl Castro continued his rollout of changes in Cuba on Friday with the start of a plan to boost the island’s sluggish food production by granting private farmers access to up to 99 acres of unused government land.

Cuba seized land from most large-scale farmers after the 1959 revolution; the latest announcement in the Communist Party newspaper Granma stopped well short of a return to pre-revolution private enterprise.

Under the new system, private farmers, who have continued to exist under Cuba’s socialist system, would have access to the plots for up to a decade, with leases renewable if conditions were met and taxes paid. Cooperatives and state farms would also qualify for more land, for up to 25 years. But the fields would stay in the hands of the government, which controls an estimated 90 percent of the island’s economy.

The new plan, mentioned several months ago but formally announced Friday, is intended to jump-start food production at a time when Cuba is feeling the effects of the global rise in food prices. Last year, Cuba spent nearly $1.5 billion for food imports, much of that from producers in the United States that were granted a special exemption from Washington’s trade embargo on Cuba. This year, the island’s bill for food imports is expected to rise by another $1 billion, officials have said, calling the issue one of national security.

Cuba’s government released statistics last month showing that fallow or underused agricultural land had increased to 55 percent in 2007, up from 46 percent five years earlier, The Associated Press reported.

The announcement on Friday acknowledged the struggle that the country was facing in feeding itself.

“For various reasons, there is a considerable percentage of state land sitting vacant, so it must be handed over to individuals or groups as owners or users in an effort to increase production of food and reduce imports,” the government decree said.

The plan appeared partly designed to prompt more Cubans, who are drawn to the cities for more opportunity, to give agriculture a try. Those who do not currently farm any land would be given access to up to 33 acres for farming, the government said.

Mr. Castro took over provisionally for his ailing brother, Fidel, in July 2006. But he has begun putting his own stamp on the country only since February, when he formally became the second president of Cuba in the last half century. In recent months, he has allowed Cubans with enough money to buy cellphones and computers, which had previously been restricted. He has allowed them to rent cars and visit tourist hotels and opened up the possibility of private taxis. And he has taken the limits off state salaries, allowing for productivity bonuses.

Where he has stood firm is on political dissent, continuing his brother’s insistence that overt criticism of the system and government amounted to disloyalty.

Many Cubans relished the changes even as they complained bitterly that giving them access to consumer items did little to boost their state salaries.

In a speech at the close of the National Assembly earlier this month, the president made clear that he was remaking some aspects of the country. The ideal of everyone, a doctor or a laborer, earning the same amount, with no regard to productivity, seems to be fading.

“Socialism means social justice and equality, but equality of rights, of opportunities, not of income,” he said. “Equality is not egalitarianism.”

In the speech, Mr. Castro prepared Cubans for tough times ahead.

“It’s my duty to speak frankly, because it would be unethical to create false expectations,” he said. “To tell you otherwise would be misleading.”

He went on to exhort Cubans to make the island more self-sufficient. “We must go back to the land,” he said.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flacks

The New Yorker cover offers and interesting pair of images. Obama himself is presented in the muslim clothing he wore while visiting a muslim nation a while ago. Thus, his image was created from something real. Behind him is an image of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist he has vowed to capture. In a recent speech Obama stated the US should hunt him down no matter where he is. Obama admitted bin Laden was most likely in Pakistan and that we should go get him. In other words, invade Pakistan. That seems to contradict his position on Iraq, the country from which he wants to withdraw our military forces immediately. His desire to switch from one country to another suggests he will become the Wack-a-Mole president if elected. If bin Laden is living relatively safely in Pakistan now, his living conditions would change for the worse following a US invasion of a country that is nominally an ally. However, if we were to depart from Iraq, it appears likely bin Laden would consider moving there. With no American forces in Iraq to kill him, it seems as though Iraq would become the best place for him to go. But, Obama has pledged to capture or kill him. Thus, if bin Laden were to slip into Iraq, Obama would send troops back to Iraq in pursuit of him.

The other half of the New Yorker cover that depicts his wife as a machine-gun carrying revolutionary is certainly a more fictional image than that of Obama himself. Unless Michelle attended a costume party dressed like a 60's black radical female engaged in the violent overthrow of the US government, the only place she's appeared in those duds is in the minds of millions of Americans who believe the Inner Michelle is a radical. But based on Michelle's statement that she only recently felt pride in her country as well as the beliefs she expressed in her Senior Thesis at Princeton, it's easy to understand why many people picture her as a violent revolutionary. Moreover, she spent most of her years between college and the start of her husband's presidential campaign listening to and agreeing with Reverend Wright, a black radical who praises Louis Farrakhan and blames white America for bringing 9/11 upon the country. As if that weren't enough, her belief in his preachings is so deep that she had her children join her in the pews to learn about America from the Reverend.

Meanwhile, Obama is angry at the New Yorker for publishing the images of his wife and him. He's especially angry about the image of his wife. Thus, the true satire and humor in this situation reflects the unintended consequence of revealing some basic truths -- among them the truth that even the New Yorker understands how millions of Americans are able to recognize the radical characteristics of Mr. and Mrs. Obama. Undoubtedly David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, woke up a day or two later and realized the truth. "Oh my god," he said early one recent morning, "they really are radicals. But I guess I knew that all along."

The cover of the New Yorker revealed the subliminal beliefs of the artist and the editors. The artist depicted the thoughts of many non-New Yorker readers too. But it is Obama's liberal supporters who love his lengthy tirades about what is wrong with America and Americans who realize, even if only subconsciously, that he views much of America with contempt and that he has a dictator's desire to wipe out what he despises. In other words, Obama and his wife are everything the New Yorker cover suggested, and much more, and much worse.

Obama calls criticism of wife 'infuriating'

WASHINGTON (AP) - What gets under Barack Obama's skin? Criticism of his wife, Michelle Obama.

In an interview with Glamour magazine, Obama said attacks on his wife are "infuriating." The likely Democratic presidential nominee blamed the conservative press for going after his wife as if she were the candidate.

"If they have a difference with me on policy, they should debate me. Not her," Obama told the magazine.

An Associated Press-Yahoo poll suggests Michelle Obama has higher favorable ratings than Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. However, Michelle Obama's unfavorable ratings are also higher.

Michelle Obama came under fire in February when she said she was proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. She later clarified her remark, saying she has always been proud of her country and was particularly proud to see so many people involved in the political process.

Obama said the attacks are ironic because his wife is "the most quintessentially American woman I know."

Michelle Obama, 44, has worked as a lawyer and hospital executive. The couple has two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

The Internet has been a double-edged sword for the Obama campaign. While it's allowed them to organize supporters and raise millions of dollars, Obama said it's also provided a vehicle for rumors and myths to spread quickly.

"It's very hard to catch up," he said.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wall Street Porn -- SEC Knows It When It Sees It

Regulators may be driven by good intentions, but their effort to stop the spread of disturbing information and opinions about public companies looks more like an assault on the right of anyone to express his views on a public entity. Public companies are like public figures. Thus, it's fair to say almost anything about them.

With respect to the laws of libel and slander, the only forbidden statements are those claiming that a public figure has committed a crime or had contracted a loathsome disease. However, if such a claim is true, then there is no penalty for publishing the truth. The truth is the best defense.

However, if anyone should face disciplinary action for shooting his mouth off, it's Senator Chuck Schumer, who singlehandedly caused a run on IndayMac Bank that brought about its collapse. Schumer, of course was too cowardly to admit his statements about the condition of IndyMac were responsible for the depositors' run on the bank. He blamed the bank's management for the problems -- a true but misleading statement -- while distancing himself from the reality that a senator who on sits on the Senate Banking Committee can issue statements that send bank depositors into a panic.

Securities Regulators to Examine Industry Controls Against Manipulation of Securities Prices Through Intentionally Spreading False Information
Prevention Effort Augments SEC's Ongoing Enforcement Investigations

Washington, D.C., July 13, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the SEC and other securities regulators will immediately conduct examinations aimed at the prevention of the intentional spread of false information intended to manipulate securities prices. The examinations will be conducted by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and New York Stock Exchange Regulation, Inc.

The securities laws require that broker-dealers and investment advisers have supervisory and compliance controls to prevent violations of the securities laws, including market manipulation. Examiners will focus on these controls and whether they are reasonably designed to prevent the intentional creation or spreading of false information intended to affect securities prices, or other potentially manipulative conduct.

These examinations are in addition to the Commission's enforcement investigations into alleged intentional manipulation of securities prices through rumor-mongering and abusive short selling that are already underway.

"The examinations we are undertaking with FINRA and NYSE Regulation are aimed at ensuring that investors continue to get reliable, accurate information about public companies in the marketplace," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "They will also provide an opportunity to double-check that broker-dealers and investment advisers have appropriate training for their employees and sturdy controls in place to prevent intentionally false information from harming investors."

FINRA, NYSE Regulation and the Options Regulatory Surveillance Authority recently reminded industry firms that intentionally spreading false rumors or engaging in collusive activity to affect the financial condition of an issuer are violative activities, and further reminded market participants to review their internal controls and procedures to prevent this type of conduct.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Gasoline Prices Explained

The following text explains a lot about gasoline and why we pay as much as we do when we fill up the car at the local gas station.

A Primer on Gasoline Prices

Gasoline is one of the major fuels consumed in the United States and the main product refined from crude oil. Consumption in 2007 was about 142 billion gallons, an average about 390 million gallons per day and the equivalent of about 61% of all the energy used for transportation, 44% of all petroleum consumption, and 17% of total U.S. energy consumption.

About 47 barrels of gasoline are produced in U.S. refineries from every 100 barrels of oil refined to make numerous petroleum products. Most gasoline is used in cars and light trucks. It also fuels boats, recreational vehicles, and farm, construction, and landscaping equipment. While gasoline is produced year-round, extra volumes are made and imported to meet higher demand in the summer.

Gasoline is delivered from oil refineries mainly through pipelines to an extensive distribution chain serving about 167,500 retail gasoline stations in the United States.

What are the components of the retail price of gasoline?

The cost of crude oil as a share of the retail price varies over time and among regions of the country. In 2007, the price of crude oil averaged about $68 per barrel and accounted for about 58% of the national average retail price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline. In comparison, in 2005 the average crude oil price was $50 per barrel and the crude oil cost was 53% of the retail price. From 2000 to 2007 the average crude oil price was about $39 per barrel and the crude oil cost share of the retail gasoline prices averaged 48%.

Federal, State, and local government taxes are the next largest part of the retail price of gasoline. In 2007, taxes (not including county and local taxes) accounted for about 15% of the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline.

Federal excise taxes were 18.4 cents per gallon and State excise taxes averaged 21.5 cents per gallon. Eleven States levy additional State sales and other taxes, some of which are applied to the Federal and State excise taxes. Additional county and city taxes can have a significant impact on the price of gasoline in some locations. From 2000 to 2007, taxes averaged about 24% of the retail gasoline price.

Refining costs and profits were about 17% of the national average retail price of regular gasoline in 2007, close to the 2000 to 2007 average of 16%. This component’s share varies from region to region mainly due to the different gasoline formulations required in different parts of the country.

Distribution, marketing, and retail dealer costs and profits in 2007 were 10% of the gasoline price, down from the 2000 to 2007 average of 12%. Most gasoline is shipped from the refinery first by pipeline to terminals near consuming areas where it may be blended with other products (such as ethanol) to meet local government and market specifications, and is then delivered by tanker truck to individual stations. Some retail outlets are owned and operated by refiners, while others are independent businesses that purchase gasoline from refiners and marketers for resale to the public. The price on the pump includes the retailer’s cost to purchase the finished gasoline and the costs of operating the service station. It also reflects local market conditions and factors, such as the desirability of the location and the marketing strategy of the owner.

Why do gasoline prices fluctuate?

Retail gasoline prices are mainly affected by crude oil prices and the level of gasoline supply relative to demand.

Strong and increasing demand for gasoline and other petroleum products in the United States and the rest of the world is exerting intense pressure on available supplies. Even when crude oil prices are stable, gasoline prices fluctuate due to seasonal demand and local retail station competition. Gasoline prices can change rapidly if something disrupts the supply of crude oil or if there are problems at refineries or with delivery pipelines.

Demand for gasoline is seasonal. Retail gasoline prices tend to gradually rise in the spring and peak in late summer when people drive more, and then drop in the winter. Good weather and vacations cause U.S. summer gasoline demand to average about 5% higher than during the rest of the year. If crude oil prices do not change, gasoline prices typically increase by 10-20 cents from January to the summer.

Crude oil supply and prices

– Crude oil prices are determined by worldwide supply and demand. Events in crude oil markets that caused spikes in crude oil prices were a major factor in all but one of the five major run-ups in gasoline prices between 1992 and 1997, according to the National Petroleum Council’s study “U.S. Petroleum Supply - Inventory Dynamics.”

Rapid gasoline price increases occurred in response to crude oil shortages caused by the Arab oil embargo in 1973, the Iranian revolution in 1978, the Iran/Iraq war in 1980, and the Persian Gulf conflict in 1990. The cost of crude oil has been the main contributor to recent increases in gasoline prices. World crude oil prices reached record levels in 2007 due mainly to high worldwide oil demand relative to supply.

Other factors contributing to higher crude oil prices include political events and conflicts in some major oil producing regions, as well as other factors such as the declining value of the U.S. dollar (the currency at which crude oil is traded globally).

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has significant influence on world oil prices, because its members produce over 40% of the world’s crude oil and have more than two-thirds of the world’s estimated crude oil reserves. OPEC members are also the only countries that have “spare production capacity” and the ability to bring more oil into production relatively quickly. Since it was organized in 1960, OPEC has tried to keep world oil prices at a target level by setting production levels for its members.

Gasoline supply and demand imbalances

– Gasoline prices tend to increase as the available supply of gasoline grows smaller relative to real or expected demand or consumption. The supply of gasoline is a function of crude oil supply and refining, imports of refined gasoline, and gasoline inventories (stocks). Stocks are the cushion between major short-term supply and demand imbalances, and their levels can have a significant impact on gasoline prices.

If refinery or pipeline problems and/or reductions in imports cause supplies to decline unexpectedly, gasoline inventories (stocks) may drop rapidly. This may cause wholesalers to bid higher for available supply over concern that future supplies may not be adequate. Imbalances have also occurred when a region has changed from one fuel type to another (e.g., to cleaner-burning gasoline) as refiners, distributors, and marketers adjust to the new product. Gasoline may be less expensive in one summer when supplies are plentiful vs. another summer when they are not. Prices for all commodities fluctuate, but gasoline prices are generally more volatile than prices of other goods. For example, consumers generally have options to substitute between food products when prices change but most do not have that option for fueling their vehicles.

Why are gasoline prices higher in some regions than in others?

-- Although price levels vary over time, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data indicate that average retail gasoline prices are often highest in certain States or regions. Besides taxes, there are other factors that contribute to regional and even local differences in gasoline prices: Distance from supply – Retail gasoline prices tend to be higher with greater distance from the source of supply: ports, refineries, and pipeline and blending terminals.

About 66% of the crude oil processed by U.S. refineries in 2007 was imported, with most transported by ocean tankers. The U.S. Gulf Coast is the source of about 40% of the gasoline produced in the United States and the starting point for most major gasoline pipelines.

Supply disruptions - Any event that slows or stops production of gasoline for even a short time, such as planned or unplanned refinery maintenance or the refinery shutdowns that occurred when the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, can prompt bidding for available supplies. If the transportation system cannot support the fl ow of surplus supplies from one region to another, prices will remain comparatively high.

Retail competition and operating costs

– Pump prices are often highest in locations with few retail gasoline stations. Even stations located close together have may have different traffic patterns, rents, and sources of supply that influence their pricing. Drivers face a trade-off between stations with high prices and the inconvenience of driving further to find a station with lower prices.

Environmental programs - Some areas of the country are required to use special “reformulated” gasoline with additives to help reduce carbon monoxide, smog, and air toxics that result when gasoline is burned or when gasoline evaporates during fueling. Other environmental programs put restrictions on fuel transportation and storage. These programs tend to add to the cost of producing, storing, and distributing gasoline. About a third of the gasoline sold in the U.S. is reformulated. Each oil company prepares its own formulation to meet Federal emission standards.