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3:08 am EDT        58°F (14°C) in Broadview Heights, OH

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This update marks another milestone in the history of Larry’s Phat Page, namely the 400th update in the history of this News section. It has taken 7½ years since my very first entry on March 1, 1999 to get to this point, although as any of you who have looked through the history of this site know, no updates were made between November 2001 and February 2004. Out of the 400 updates, 217 of them (including this one) have come since my February 2004 return to the Internet, leaving 183 that were made between March 1999 and November 2001.

Given the frequency of postings on many blogs, I know that a lot of other bloggers on the ‘Net would laugh at my pace. Not even counting the well-known political or community blogs that can see two dozen posts a day, I know of several personal blogs on my blogroll that see 400 updates in one year, not seven and a half. In my own defense, though, I do have to point out a couple of things. First, since the very beginning, I have strictly observed a rule of only one update per day; this rule sort of flowed from my choice of conventions for “titles” for updates and for naming files. (It would be kinda hard to have two updates both “titled” Mon.Sep.04.2006 and both file-named as 090406.html, dontcha think?) Second, although I only later came to refer to it as such, I was blogging before 99.99% of people knew what a blog was — I’m the veteran here and y’all are a bunch of rookies. wink

(I put “titles” in quotes in the above paragraph because on my own site, I have never really looked at them as such — if anything, they are more like dates than titles on my HTML pages. I use them as titles in my RSS feed and in cross-posting entries to my LiveJournal because of the inherent limitations of those formats; RSS doesn’t work at all without titles, and LiveJournal isn’t exactly graceful in its handling of missing titles either. Substituting the first few words of the body text comes off looking kinda haphazard, quite frankly.)

There are a couple of other lesser milestones with this update too. This marks the 150th update that has been a part of the aforementioned RSS feed; I started that with my March 29, 2005 update, which was #251 overall. (For file-size reasons, that update is long gone from the RSS feed file on my site; I have to upload that file with every update, so I can’t let it get much bigger than 100KB, or about the most recent 12-15 entries.) Also, this is the first update I have made in 2006 in that God-forsaken state down south, also known as Ohio; my last Ohio update was made last December 29.

All of that said, I didn’t just come here to flog my own longevity, ya know. There is more news to be covered, like the fact that our gigantic oil corporations are now pulling out all the stops to influence our upcoming mid-term election. It first came to my attention last Monday, driving through this God-forsaken state down south, that gasoline prices were plummeting for no appreciable reason at all. Suddenly, after several months of gouging Americans with prices ranging from $2.75 in cheaper areas to as much as $3.50 in California, Big Oil had knocked it down to $2.48 in Stony Ridge, OH. I then spotted similarly low prices in many other places in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states later on last week, during the week running up to Labor Day, no less! We haven’t been hearing anything about plummeting crude oil prices lately, so what gives?

The CEOs of Big Oil are afraid. They have seen the levels of Americans’ sentiment against their lackeys in the Rethuglican Party lately; this was perhaps most clearly displayed in Connecticut’s Democratic Senate primary on August 8, in which a real Democrat, Ned Lamont, beat the incumbent Republican Joe Lieberman. (If he talks like an R, quacks like an R, and votes like an R, then goddamn it, he’s an R — I don’t give a shit what he calls himself.) They know that investigations into their blatantly obvious price-gouging and illegal collusion are coming if the Democrats take over control of Congress, not to mention that their most loyal serf whose Iraq quagmire has made all of this possible for them will be impeached, and as a result, they are doing everything they can to help the Rethuglicans.

Big Oil is trying to buy your vote for the Rethuglicrime Party in November by significantly lowering gasoline prices now, just as most Americans are starting to pay attention to this election cycle. The proof of this is obvious in the fact that diesel fuel remains up around $2.90 — they don’t give a flying fuck about only three million angry truckers, but when they see a level of popular anger that threatens their lackeys’ Congressional majority, they’ll bend over backwards to cut gasoline prices. Hell, they’ll find a way to tighten the belt and just barely get by on only $4 billion in profits this quarter! The next thing you know, some conservative media talking head on CNN, MSNBC, or FAUX News is going to say, “oh look, gas prices are coming down, thanks to George W. Bush!” and enough stupid people (the majority of Americans who can’t see more than six inches in front of their faces) are going to buy it.

Fellow Americans, I’m queueing up one of my favorite songs by The Who that I pray with every ounce of my being will describe you in November: that you “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by this corporate full-court press for the Rethuglicrime Party and the King Chimpy mis-administration. I can tell you what will happen in 2007 — hell, maybe even December 2006 — if you vote Rethuglican this November: gas prices are going to skyrocket again with nary a peep from the government. Want to pay $5.00 per gallon next year? By all means, vote Rethuglican then. (Aside: I love how the guitar solo just comes out of nowhere during the middle of the keyboard solo — Pete Townshend is a guitar god.)

Well, I’d better call it a night with a little Toad the Wet Sprocket, Pearl Jam, and Gin Blossoms here. In case I didn’t just make it obvious, early ‘90s alternative rock is most definitely one of my favorite genres … along with the classics of the ‘70s, of course.