Open Choke is the nom de plume of an anonymous oil and gas industry executive.
Open Choke's ideas and opinions do not necessarily represent the ideas or opinions of Drillinginfo.com, its owners, or employees.
You know, Singapore Airlines has really beautiful Flight Attendants that actually think that their job is to serve you food and liquor. This contrasts nicely with the pissed off unionized old hags that populate that demographic in the US.
Probably once young and beautiful, these mad ol' ladies lament their lost youth with union-fueled attitude (can't get fired now, can you?) that makes flying a less than enjoyable experience these days. A friend told me a story where he asked the "stewardess" for another adult beverage. Her reaction?
"We are Flight Attendants, NOT Stewardesses and our primary responsibility is flight safety. We serve you only as an aside to our true job."
He replied. "Oh, I didn't know that. Well, get me another cocktail, then, Flight Attendant".
I mean, of course we can't discriminate on age or attractiveness or, apparently attitude for this job that was once the very pinnacle career choice in the service industry. It apparently is not a highly sought job the Safety industry. So here is my idea on how to compete with those evil foreign airlines that unfairly use sweet young beautiful waitresses in the sky to wallop our safety trolls. We need to reformat the saftey trolls and tell them "no more blonde wigs, no more thick makeup, and for God's sake no more eye shadow... you are 60 years old with bunions and a huge ass! You are fooling no one. We would have to sew at least two Singapore Airlines uniforms together to swath your corpus. We need you to wear these very large sundress uniforms with aprons and become the Aunt Bea of the Sky! Serve warm cookies and milk and tuck everyone in and coo nice grandmotherly words to our weary travelers".
This HAS to be a better idea of how to use them than as pissed-off skyborne safety trolls...
I have been traveling extensively the last couple of weeks, giving me ample opportunity to sample In Flight Movies. One of the many I watched was "The Express- The Ernie Davis Story" about the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.
Not being a Longhorn (although some of my best friends are Longhorns), watching the Cotton Bowl scenes from 1959 were pretty funny.
"It's a beautiful day here in Racist White Christian Dallas, Texas, where bigot Darryl Royal's wildly racist Texas Longhorns take on the <Negro>-Loving Syracuse Orangeman!"
In fact, it was just like a football version of "Glory Road", the Texas Western/Dan Haskins movie a couple of years back.
All of these movies have a common theme. African Americans are great athletes. They don't get a chance to play at dominant programs. A coach that needs to win decides that racism be damned, I'm gonna get some of those black boys and beat the tar-baby out of those lilly white programs. The coach is old school but kinda fair, in that he values winning over his antipathy of African Americans in general or of 'em dating White Women. All in all, these movies are pretty uplifting. I really liked Glory Road, and I liked The Express. Probably because I am NOT a Longhorn or a Kentucky Wildcat.
So that's when it hit me. Since homosexuals are attempting today to equate their struggle with Civil Rights, what gay America REALLY needs is a sports coming out movie. 'Merica likes winning goddamn football or basketball players a lot more than any "social defect" society believes they might hold at the time.
So, screw (figuratively) whiny Sean Penn in "Milk". To be fully accepted, 'Merica needs a movie about a team of gay basketball players winning the NCAA tourney or doing something on the ol' gridiron. The crusty homophobe coach who discovers and exploits this throbbing rich vein of athletic talent at magnet schools for dancing and the arts and avoids the locker room at halftime. OK, Maybe not "Glory Road", but "Glory Hole" or something or other, perhaps. Or the movie about the first out athlete who wins a Heisman. Tebow, perhaps. Too bad Jackie Smith dropped the goddamned winning pass for the Dallas Cowboys in the Superbowl against Pittsburgh. It coulda been about him.
Perhaps a scene of the protagonist watching Carl Lewis in the Olympics, tears in his eyes, with a cutaway to thousands of gays huddled around store window TVs watching and cheering the UH star long jumping all across the US of A.
That is the way to Civil Rights. Forget Marriage Amendments and Gay Right Parades. Success on the Basketball Court or Gridiron is the superhighway to America's Heart. Because God Loves Winners over all else!
Karl Heinrich Marx, known to his buds as Heinie (maybe, I don't know for sure, but I sure as hell would have called him Heinie) had four kids. This fact amazes me, and causes me to think he just wasn't paying attention when the kids were small, because the human love of private property is apparent long before talking or walking. "Mine" has to be the earliest word children learn, especially in the presence of other children, followed closely by "NO!" when a more enlightend progressive child tries to take his truck or her doll away to play with it themselves. This isn't taught behavior, and probably is the crux why socialism and communism fall flat on their dialectic asses in real life.
Some interesting factoids about Marx...
His dad changed the family name to Marx from Mordechai and his religion from Judiasm to Lutheranism in order to practice law,
Karl and his family had a lush, bourgoise lifestyle funded by Daddy and later by his large inheritence before he pissed through it all, and was forced to live in poverty in England. Why does this not surprise me at all? This and the the fact that he was a journalist and never swung a pick?
His mom was great aunt to indistrialists Gerard and Anton Philips (yes, as in all the Philips appliances etc.), so Marx was even a blacker sheep than I supposed. I can hear the discussion now... "My Karl is responsible for murdering 20-100 million people in the 20th Century!"
"How nice, My Gerard and Anton created a company that exists today and makes goods that people still want to buy 100 years later!" says the Aunt. In my world, the Philips line is the better line.
Of course, like all monumentally stupid ideas that result in the ACTUAL death of big chunks of humanity, Karl's Line has college professors, journalistsm and third world dictators flock to it like mothers milk.
These thoughts occured to me while watching the interaction of a passel of nieces and nephews this weekend... No commies there!
It is essentially a 50-50 split for those under 30 to prefer socialism to capitalism. Lenin's efforts that he gloated about 70 years have worked. "Take over the entertainment and educational systems and you win the day" to paraphrase.
Look at the eyes and the nose! No wonder Al Pacino so enthusiastically portrayed a Cuban gangster in his defining role in Scarface! He is a Castro Doppelganger!
I was reading an article about the great Humanitarian Fidel Castro (you know, the guy who has a medical system and educational system we should emulate... oh wait, we ARE trying too, now! Yay!) and and how the US Black Congressional Caucus fell all over themselves attempting to fellate him this last week, and the photo of him struck me as looking very Pacinoesque... The eyes, the nose, the mouth...
What is it about Entertainers and Democratic Congresspeople that they go all weak in the knees over powerful despots? Is the sure way to their democratically-elected hearts merely to torture and murder those that don't agree with them? Is power THAT much of an aphrodesiac?
I think Hitler liked butterflies and puppies, too. You Fuggin' Cockaroach!
What's important to note here is how easily this this voice of the "New Tolerance" throws out the threat of stealing hundreds of billions of dollars of property with impunity. This is what power begets. Can't do that in America? Yes We Can!
1. Would Saudi Arabia be considered "stupid" or "smart" if it decided to both immediately stop producing oil and go deeply in dept to work on solar and wind energy technology?
If you answered "Smart", then just quit reading right now. This blog isn't for you. If you CAN read.
Oil is THE most important commodity to Saudi Arabia and it depends on it for jobs, infrastructure, and way of life. It would be insane for them to STOP production and devote their much diminished wealth to the risky proposition of developing solar and wind energy. That is like quitting your job and taking the rest of the money left in your bank account and buying lottery tickets for the 2015 lottery.
It's a ridiculous statement, to be sure. Saudi is certainly not stupid enough to do such a thing. In fact, the only country on Earth stupid enough to do anything of the sort is.... The Good Ol' US of A.
The USA, also known as the "Saudi Arabia of Natural Gas", is making every effort it can to stop it's own domestic drillers from drilling for Clean Natural Gas. That's right. Clean. As in "low particulate matter". As in "low carbon footprint". The tax rate on domestic production, already higher than that imposed on nearly any other industry, is fixing to go up 20-30% with the new budget... right when the wellhead price of natural gas has fallen 75%!
If that isn't Alice in Wonderland enough for you, the Carbon Cap and Trade issue has reappeared. We keep stabbing it with our steely knives but we just can't kill that beast.
This is Congress's great idea. We just recognized and are scrambling to deal with a financial mess that threatens the entire world's economies, created by things called financial derivatives, and Congress follows up by... creating the world's largest financial derivative market... based on energy! Brilliant!
Unlike the European model, where credits need to be purchased for releasing carbon into the atmosphere, the US version being floated around by our silly idiots has a nice American punitive bent toward domestic energy producers. Yes, you will have to buy a "credit" for even producing hydrocarbons! And guess who controls the credit supply? Yep. The Federal Government. A massive effort to control and diminish US production is underfoot, and designed to essentially socialize the production of oil and gas by letting Uncle Samuelista set the "cost" of new ones... ie variably tax production so that they can grab as much of the wellhead revenue as they can get. We give some bureacrats the ability to essentially freeze domestic drilling and production by jacking the price of a credit. And only for US production! Want to see our trade deficit sky rocket? Want to see the end of any hope at energy sufficiency? We will be the gimp-balled bitch to the energy producing world when this is implemented. Hope you like catching!
Like I said, only one country on Earth is stupid and venal enough to do something like this.
This is theft on a scale unequalled in human history, brought to you by the US 111th Congress, clearly the worst Congress in my lifetime, and perhaps the worst ever seated. All of those serving will live with the shame that history will heap on them for the rest of their lives. To all of you Congresspeople... None of you is worth my dog's spit!
Why is there general outrage when a CEO makes 50 million a year but none at all when a friggin' baseball player does the same? For perspective, I am a CEO who owns a good chunk of my company and my salary is not the highest one in the company. No one in my company makes more than maybe 8 times the lowest salary, so neither I nor my company qualifies for the outrage being whipped up.
I just wonder, though. The reason you would hire a high priced person is the promise that he or she would raise your stock value much higher than the compensation. Mind you, these are not unskilled positions and driving a huge revenue stream into a ditch a real possibility. If the person does not perform, then get rid of him or her. Make sure you have a contract that allows that. Make sure they do not have a bunch of golden parachutes that loot your company if you have to. If you, as an owner, have a history of being a willful idiot and sacking people all the time, you will probably have a problem hiring good people without it, though.
If someone manages a 100 billion dollar complicated beast into doubling its revenues and value, no easy feat, that, I think they would be worth a billion or so in compensation... 1%. That is less than what I pay a mutual fund manager or a stock broker for far less effort. Given that the growth has driven new job growth numbers into the thousands, and lets presume it comes from providing stuff to people that they want to buy, and not some massive fraud, and taxes are paid that dwarf said compensation, it seems ludicrous that we would complain, or, even worse, demand Government action to limit that compensation. I don't see the wisdom in that in Baseball OR Business.
To be clear, I think that boards of directors and management of big companies are often sometimes too concerned with shareholder value, and can loot a company toot de suite. This is solved by not buying their stock. Low stock value will draw shareholder lawsuits and a booting of management in a way that no regulation on compensation could ever do.
I have never bought bank stocks or, especially, I-bank stocks because these entities all were originally partnerships and they existed solely for the benefit of partners, thus the huge bonuses and compensation packages. No industry spends more of its profit on management bonuses than I banking. This is all great when the ownership is held by the folks that get the bonuses, quite different when they work for me as a shareholder. One generation of folks got obscenely wealthy (I use that term in the kindest way) when they sold out future generations of partners for a one time payout in the I bank IPO boom. They gathered generations worth of golden eggs at one time when they killed the goose, and then went on running the business as if they owned it. That is why I elected not to invest in those firms. They don't care about the shareholder.
Shareholder rights are a great thing, but arbitrary caps on compensation see to me to be taking the eye off the ball.