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Posted by Chad (+1758) 16 years ago
I noticed around town today that some of our service stations have no fuel available? What the hell is up with that? Our fuel comes from Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and mostly Canada. It has nothing to do with the Gulf coast, the hurricane, or the Middle East!

I see where there is gas it's over $3.00/gallon. That's nuts, too! Why is it that we as a society or group of semi-intelligent people can't see the oil being poured over our eyes? The oil companies are making huge, no, absolutely sinful profits recently (so are the banks that carry the credit cards we buy gas with)- shouldn't there be some intervention or cap on their profits? We impose such limits on electricity and natural gas, granted they're needed to cook our food and heat our homes, but this gas thing is getting nuts.

I spoke with a small trucking company owner last night and he has seen his fuel bills rise from $30,000 to $50,000 in the past month. Who the hell do you think is going to pay for that. YOU and ME. This nationwide price increase is the beginning of the recession- mark my words. Between the money we're burning up in Iraq and the hurricane, we're in for a rough ride.

My grandmother grew up during the Depression and eats moldy bread and cheese to this day. I don't intend to impose that level of frugality on my family, but it's time we as a nation wake up and see the ways of our excess. Our kids are the ones that are going to get stuck with the mess and us as a bunch of destitute geriatric needy people.

Oh, man! I'm on a ranting and raving rage! I've lost my train of thought I'm so p**&^! off.

Comments?

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 9/1/2005).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Chad:

We're getting worked by the big oil companies. Nothing we can do about it. I'd throw out the famous Bobby Knight quote, but I'll refrain.

$3.00 per gallon was/is a psychological barrier; it will be interesting to see if this affects people's behavior (not unlike a cigarette tax...err...health impact fee). I'm still filling up the old SUV and heading out for the long weekend; but I know a lot of other folks who are staying home.

Our government is spending more freely than ever, which is generally good for the economy. Hell, any econ major at the local community college can tell us that. However, all of the billions spent over in Iraq is not helping our domestic economy as much as other government spending would.

I don't like where things are heading...
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 16 years ago
Why the heck is it that our "conservative" Republican government is spending more money than any administration in history? Bush is only conservative when it comes to his religion, his big business cronies, and his pocketbook. He's doing nothing to conserve the average guy's money! Nuts!
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Chad:

Hopefully you didn't see Bush's live interview with Diane Sawyer this morning.

Embarrassing.

The man SHOULD NOT do live TV unless he has a teleprompter. Sheesh.

Since Diane Sawyer worked in the Nixon administration, she wasn't exactly throwing out hardball questions either.

*sigh*
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Posted by remus (+60) 16 years ago
I suppose the hurricane is Bush's fault to?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 16 years ago
"Our government is spending more freely than ever, which is generally good for the economy. Hell, any econ major at the local community college can tell us that."

I can't think of any economist who would say such a thing, but if thats what you learned in your JuCo Econ class, I'm starting to see where you get that startling perspective of yours.

Facts:

We basically consume 100% of our US gas refinery capacity every day.

Today, nearly 10% of that capacity is gone.


What could possibly slow the consumption of gasolone down???

"I'm still filling up the old SUV and heading out for the long weekend; but I know a lot of other folks who are staying home."

Yes indeed, the price is what will make people consider conservation, just as you stated. Nothing else could drive down demand in this environment. People need to ask, "Is this trip really worth it?" during this crisis. Only $$$ will make them do that.

But I guess if you were writing policy, you'd fix prices at an affordable level so people could drive around comfortably right up until the point when there's no gasoline left whatsoever.

Energy is a fluid market. It will travel to meet demand. It doesn't matter where we get our gas from, because our region will be tapped to meet shortages elsewhere, creating shortages here.

This is a national catastrophe. One in which some people will circle the wagons while others will just point fingers. Thousands are dead. Hundreds of thousands are homeless. If the worst thing that happens to you is that gas costs 50 cents or a dollar more per gallon, consider yourself blessed.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/1/2005).]
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Posted by Heath H (+647) 16 years ago
Uh, ummm.

Yeah, what Rick said.
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Posted by Rick Goff (+66) 16 years ago
I'd blame panic buying for the fuel shortages.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1344) 16 years ago
Rick your absolutely right in most of your post, and I agree with most of your points. The hurricane aside, there is some shady things going on in the oil industry.

The last 2 years have been record setting years of profit for the oil industry and last year was the most profitable in the history of that industry. We are being gouged, we were before the hurricane and we will continue to be afterwards.

Some links for consideration:

http://www.washingtonpost...02085.html

http://www.consumerwatchd...gasprices/

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT...id=1029991
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Posted by Big Dave (+441) 16 years ago
It's always interesting to me how people react when prices go up. Petroleum prices are not set by oil companies, rather they are set by world markets. OPEC, oil stocks, consumption, domestic production, and yes production shocks like Katrina all contribute to gas prices along with a host of other things. Oil is traded on open markets world wide by traders, producers, governments, and a host of other entities. NO single entity, even if it is as big as Exxon, can exert enough market power on its own to significantly move the market. You or I could buy or sell an oil contract on a futures market and thereby contribute our best guess for the direction of oil prices. It was not too many years ago (1999ish) when the price of a barrel of oil was less than $10/barrel. What factors went into that price - all the same factors as today, only the direction was different. Enough Econ.

Oil companies are not to blame for high oil prices, although they are the recipient of high profits due to high oil prices. I don't like paying the prices any more than the rest of you, but I'm worried more about how to cope with them than finding someone to blame.

I also think that these high prices present us a golden opportunity. Conventional wisdom states that one day we will need to find alternative sources of energy and up til now many of those sources have not been competitive from a price standpoint with fossil fuels. It appears to me that now we can start developing these alternatives profitably which should really spur development.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Rick:

Chad was referring to the possibility of a recession.

There are two ways to coax the economy out of a recession:
(1) Cut taxes
(2) Increase government spending

I'm guessing you never attended an economics class. I got straight A's in the two years of econ I took in college. I was a summa cum laude graduate (3.8 graduate) and passed the CPA exam on my first try.

My year-end bonus this year will exceed your annual income.

Capitalism is nice.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 16 years ago
Congratulations on all of that.

But for the record, I don't know what's more interesting.

Someone who, from whatever remote residence, connects to a website about one of the poorest regions in the nation to brag about how much more money they make than the people who choose to live there.

Or

Someone who, in the face of a national shortage, states "I'm still filling up the old SUV and heading out for the long weekend" (no doubt thanks to their oversized income) while maintaining that the whole problem is really corporate greed or "big oil"

Not all greed is corporate.


[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/1/2005).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Rick: I'll take the time out of my hectic schedule to respond to your quotes:

but if thats what you learned in your JuCo Econ class, I'm starting to see where you get that startling perspective of yours.

I detailed my educational background to refute your assumption that I attended a junior college econ class (although there's nothing wrong with that, I guess.)

I don't appreciate being talked down to, especially by someone like you. Rube.

But I guess if you were writing policy, you'd fix prices at an affordable level so people could drive around comfortably right up until the point when there's no gasoline left whatsoever.

No. Again you're making an incorrect assumption. I was awake during econ class, lo those many years ago.


But for the record, I don't know what's sadder.

Playing the injured party again. Nice.


Someone who, from whatever remote residence, connects to a website about one of the poorest regions in the nation to brag about how much more money they make than the people who choose to live there.

I was bragging about making more money than YOU. Not anyone else. There are lots of folks living in Miles City that make far more money than I. Look around, my friend. Actually, I live less than 400 miles from Miles City.

Money's not all that important. It must be to you, though.

Someone who, in the face of a national shortage, states "I'm still filling up the old SUV and heading out for the long weekend" (no doubt thanks to their oversized income) while maintaining that the whole problem is really corporate greed or "big oil"

Guilty as charged, baby!


Not all greed is corporate.

I feel bad, I'm so greedy. Tell you what, Ricky, I'll send you some M&H gas coupons. Hey, I feel better already!

Have a good day! It's vaca time for me.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 16 years ago
My JuCo statement came as a reference to your "Hell, any econ major at the local community college can tell us that."

I guess its beyond the scope of this forum to try to teach you the meaning of the word context.

As far as me making "assumptions" please forgive me, as it is often necessary in order to fill in the cavernous gaps between the points in your "logic??" . If demand for gas outstrips supply, how do you suggest prices could be kept down short of price fixing? I guess someone as educated as yourself has no need to worry about such detail.

Empty populist rhetoric really makes much more sense coming from the guy bragging about sending M&H gas coupons while in tonight's paper, M&H's manager is quoted to say that he's worried they're about to run out of gas. (Shortage??? what Shortage???) So I guess your coupons might end up being worth about as much as your other proposed remedies to our public ills. But keep driving that guzzler for pleasure, since you can afford it. Meanwhile, the less fortunate might be walking to work.


Then out of nowhere came....
"My year-end bonus this year will exceed your annual income."

now...
"Money's not all that important. It must be to you, though."

uh, uh, OK.

Let's just say that I doubt you have any idea how much money I make, so you must be basing your assumption on the fact that you make far more money than most people either on this site or in Miles City altogether. Otherwise, how could you say that? I know you won't answer because you can't.

I am blessed with enough money to get by raising two kids with a wonderful wife in a nicer house and town than I deserve. Comparing myself to others when I am given so much would be wrong.


[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/1/2005).]
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 16 years ago
World markets my butt! The fuel sitting in the tank under the Town Pump was delivered a week ago. There is no reason the price should have gone up 50 cents overnight. It's gouging the user plain and simple. Haven't you ever noticed that the price can jump immensely overnight, but it takes weeks or months to come back down- even if the per barrel price drops quickly. The guy at the station isn't making a whole bunch, but the traders, big oil, and the guys pumping it out of the ground are making plenty.

Yeah, Capitalism is great- if you can afford to keep up with it. Is your pay going up at anywhere neat the rate of fuel, energy, food, insurance, a new car, clothes, diapers, baby food, a 2X4 or sheet of plywood? I doubt it.
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Posted by Big Dave (+441) 16 years ago
Yes, as a matter of fact, my wages are keeping up with those things. Last I looked, inflation was creeping along in the neighborhood of 4%. It will certainly be higher in this quarter due to fuel prices.

I know the rising gas prices seem patently unfair, but I will pose this question. As another has pointed out, something like 10% of our refining capacity went offline with Katrina. So how is the supply of gasoline regulated if price does not change? Supply and demand would tell us that consumption will not change if price does not change. Market forces at work.

A followup question would be if gas companies could get us to pay $3 or $5 or $10 per gallon, why didn't they do it a long time ago? My guess is that market forces have been dictating those prices.
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Posted by john newcomer (+293) 16 years ago
Interesting thread- I am surprised no one has touched on the other side of this equasion. Whatever happened to automakers building normal cars with decent gas mileage in mind? Every morning on my commute to work I am amazed to see the Excursions,Escalades, Hummers etc. being used as commuter vehicles and the only person in them is the driver. Sad to say but maybe this fuel shortage will motivate the manufacturers to reexamine their design standards and start working on vehicles that use the fuel more efficiently if people start leaving these fuel sucking pigs on the showroom floor instead of buying them as status symbols.My last vehicle was a mid 80s 4wd toy truck-25mpg. The Tacoma I replaced it with gets 18 on a good day,needless to say I don't use the Taco as a daily driver. We spend how much on the average new vehicle? And how much of that cost is directly attributable to emission control devices? Yes I am aware we are very near the point when vehicle emissions are supposed to be 0% but the manufacturers seem to focus on bling and emissions, the old good gas mileage thing seems to have fallen by the wayside for the most part.Welcome to the modern world-the motto being- Whatever you can get away with. Oh by the way I can't wait to see the replies to this- and yes I do understand that people in the ag. world have no choice they need trucks to work their farms and ranches.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Let's just say that I doubt you have any idea how much money I make, so you must be basing your assumption on the fact that you make far more money than most people either on this site or in Miles City altogether. Otherwise, how could you say that? I know you won't answer because you can't.

Rick:

I know where you work and what you do for a living. I asked some of my friends in MC. Even if I didn't know anyone in MC, all I'd have to do is Google your name, for God's sake.

There, I answered you.

I doubt your pickup gets much better gas mileage than my SUV.

Would Town Pump coupons be better?
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3703) 16 years ago
Chad, I am sorry for getting off of the topic, sort of. "Gas" and Gas Prices have been the topic of every word out of the shrubs mouth over this entire disaster he also has had time to meet with his brother and do some campaigning. He, as yet, has not made it to Louisiana. I understand he plans a flyover today.

Gas pricing is not life threatining (unless you are in Iraq). Food, water and shelter are the basic needs for survival. So far, what I have seen is racial profiling, calling desperation anarchy and explainations of why gas will cost more.

G.W. is an ignorant, greedy, arrogant, fascist puppet.

Please don't waste your time telling me that I am a left leaning democrat. I am not a democrat.

Don't waste your time telling me that G.W. is a good Christian man.
I'm not a Christian.

As an alternative to addressing personal opinions. Might I suggest, organizing a food drive, donating to the red cross, giving blood and trying to conserve a little fuel.

Let the tirade begin
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 16 years ago
Bob, Wow, that's sad. I guess I should have gone by "Rick K."

Anywho, for what its worth I realize that my pickup gets poor mileage. That's why it would be unusual for it to get more than 10-15 miles a week put on it. I use our car whenever possible.

If gas didn't cost so much, would I worry about that? Probably not.

Tucker, looks like the tirade has already started.

Could anyone imagine that if the President had shown up yesterday or the day before, and the SS brought rescue operations to a screeching halt because of security, how the press and left would decry his selfish political showmanship during such a desperate crisis?


[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/2/2005).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Could you imagine the President of the United States making this statement on live TV?

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"

He's rather ill-informed, don't you think?
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2101) 16 years ago
Bush and his administration is a disgrace. The Repubs said elect us and 9-11 will never happen again. Well it has! Homeland Security is a failure! He should be inpeached for incompetence. The administration knew that the Katrina was going to hit New Orleans and they should have had been prepared. Did they think that everyone would or could leave when ordered to evacuate. All the SUV's left but what about the poor who didn't have cars or could not afford to use public transportation(for most payday would be Sept 1). Buses should have been lned up nearby. The Navy should have followed the hurricane in. What about the nearby airbases that are sitting empty. We can take care of any other country in the world and our tax payers pay for it. But we can't take care of our own. Meanwhile Bush played golf.


[This message has been edited by Tom Masa (edited 9/2/2005).]
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Posted by Ken Minow (+382) 16 years ago
"but maybe this fuel shortage will motivate the manufacturers to reexamine their design standards and start working on vehicles that use the fuel more efficiently if people start leaving these fuel sucking pigs on the showroom floor instead of buying them as status symbols."
People certainly aren't helping the fuel shortage problem by driving gas guzzling SUV's,but there are lots of new vehicles available that make substantially better mileage.A lot of people seem to think that Detroit[or overseas]is fully capable of putting out vehicles that can put out 0% emissions and still get 30-50 mpg.Conspiracy theories abound-Detroit in bed with the oil companies,etc.If so,maybe the oil companies should slip a few billion of their record setting profits back to the struggling auto industry!I constantly hear the stories like"My 66 Chevy got 25 mpg". Yes,but remember the smog in LA and any other major city in the 60's-70's?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 16 years ago
Yes yes, blame! That will help. As of Friday night nobody could forecast for sure where the hurricane would hit more accurately than anywhere from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. Nobody predicted it would be a Category 5 either. But the administration knew! and they knew exactly where it would hit too. We all know Rove was pulling Katrina's strings all the way into the coast.

Sheesh. The feds should have easily been able to hurricane-proof several hundred miles of coastline in one day. Bush just didn't feel like it.

Really though, we should really take this occasion to humble ourselves with the idea in mind that we are truly powerless against nature's most powerful forces. People used to understand this.


[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/2/2005).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5101) 16 years ago
Here's an excerpt from an article in the conservative newspaper, the Washington Times:

http://www.washingtontime...-8561r.htm

But some of the fiercest criticism of the president is coming from fellow conservatives. The staunchly conservative editorial page of the Union Leader of Manchester, N.H., savaged Mr. Bush for not responding more decisively Tuesday.
"A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource to rescue the stranded, find and bury the dead, and keep the survivors fed, clothed, sheltered and free of disease," the paper said in an editorial on Wednesday.
"The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, has vanished," the editorial added. "In its place is a diffident detachment unsuitable for the leader of a nation facing war, natural disaster and economic uncertainty."


Damn unpatriotic right-wingers, criticizing the president! I'm outraged.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2101) 16 years ago
You're absolutely right, Rick. LOL
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17731) 16 years ago
I bet those folks in New Orleans are happy they got their tax cuts!

http://www.alertnet.org/t...79059.htm
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 16 years ago
Oi Vay, Tucker!

1. You're absolutely right that we should be devoting more attention to the needs of the people in the middle of the hurricane mess and less time to what it's doing to the price of gas. However, my point is that a nationwide increases at the pump rarely has any direct link to regional events.

2. I am a Democrat, and proud of it, even though I don't agree with much of what any political party has to say- or what they do.

3. I tell you what, I've got a one ton dually with a crew cab. I've also got a 35 foot enclosed triple axle trailer. You help me fill them up and and we can drive a load of relief where it's needed ASAP from the people of Miles City, Montana. Who's game?

4. For the record- I have long felt there are many cities in America (and the world) that are disasters waiting to happen. The Big Easy was/is one of them. I DO NOT believe it should be rebuilt where it is. Just as they did in Iowa after the river flooded, the Feds should say you need to move this city to higher ground; we are no longer willing or able to bail you out.

5. Question? Why wasn't the National Guard or the full time military in new New Orleans faster. Why aren't navy seals in there with Zodiacs patrolling? Why hasn't Marshall Law been declared to provide some guidance and direction to the hopeless, but honest citizens of Louisiana?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17731) 16 years ago
>>Why wasn't the National Guard or the full time military in new New Orleans faster. Why aren't navy seals in there with Zodiacs patrolling?

Ummm..because they are in Iraq?
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 16 years ago
No $hi# Gunnar, but they're not ALL in Iraq. Aren't we supposed to be a lighter, faster, more responsive military now? Well, let's see it.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17731) 16 years ago
The slow response is pretty amazing, considering that we have a department of homeland security now that's supposed to be handling things like this. If we know a hurricane is on its way for two days, yet we don't get the troops sent in until four days after, it really makes you wonder if we have a terrorist attack how long it'll take for the troops to arrive then.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 16 years ago
Can we say S-T-A-L-K-E-R boys and girls???? Very strange and disconcerting!
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 16 years ago
Denise? Where did that come from, I'm not following you?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 16 years ago
Some random thoughts...

So how much does a cup of Starbucks cost per gal. If it goes up .10 a cup does anybody care?

Why aren't we drilling for oil and building refineries where hurricanes are not a problem (i.e. Alaska)

I am not happy about higher gas prices, but I believe we need to keep our perspective. The price of a lot of things is going up. Much of the oil problem is due to our own short sightness. Many thanks to the environmental terrorist who have held this country hostage for the last twenty years. Perhaps $5.00/gal gas will render these clowns irrelevent and we can finally deal with the issue.

One of the solutions to offseting the cost of gas is to buy oil futures or stock in an oil company.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2101) 16 years ago
Richard
I have mineral acres and my check has gone up abou $100 a month the last two months. But it still irrates me to pay $319 a gallon. Guess things could be worse I could be a smoker and pay $20 for a carton of cigs. LOL
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 16 years ago
Chad, she's only referring to the fact that you'd better not argue with Bob "L." or, not only could he resort to referencing newspapers nobody's ever heard of to back up his point, but you might catch him sifting through your trash, looking for your family's paycheck stubs on his next visit to town.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 16 years ago
Or perhaps hack into Montana's DMV records? Request his Miles City "friends" to stake out opponents' houses for make, model, serial number, and gas consumption of their vehicles?

I think that anyone who must repeatedly compare his/her income to others is compensating for something? Hmmmmmm. I could imagine several scenarios, but since some of us are only on a first-name basis, it is a little difficult to play on a level field.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1344) 16 years ago
It's a pretty typical internet scenario. You get used to it, and 9 times out of ten it's just over heated emotions.

Not that someone would have to be a stalker to find out anything about someone living in Miles City. For God's sake it's well.. duh Miles City. Half the time I come home I find things out about people without having inquired once, and from people that are not my immediete friend/family and have seen me maybe 1 or 2 times in the last 10 years.

I doubt people who live in Miles City are ignorant to the fact that it is a giant rumor mill of information at all times.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 16 years ago
I was confused about this stalker thing, so I was forced to read the whole thread.

I've got it down now. Bob L. is one sick psycho. Plus he lives "within 400 miles," of Miles City.

I'd guess Billings or something else that is a completely different world than MC.

If Bob L. is in fact a former resident of Miles City, I would like to say, "Farewell, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. I'm glad your big car makes up for, well, you know."

Aah, the exciting life of a thousandaire accountant. Really, congratulations!

P.S.
Rick, you look really nice right now. I mean right this very minute. I can see you.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (edited 9/3/2005).]
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Posted by Jeremy Orthman (+440) 16 years ago
Wow,

I finaly get to use something from my American History II class. An increase in Government spending can help lead an economy out of a depression. It is what FDR used when president...Wow, you can use this stuff...
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1665) 16 years ago
Too funny Buck! For some reason I hear the voice from the movie Scream when I read the last lines of your post. Chilling!!!!!
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Posted by Scott (+261) 16 years ago
Yup! I must agree. This thread turned into something kinda scary. Personally Rick, I think you enjoy when people lash out on you. You take it and have fun with it. That is also what I do, way to be a good sport and take one for the team. Were with ya on this one.
Have a good Sunday Rick
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