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Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

Hi! My question is about gas prices. Do you have any idea why these gas oil kings are allowed to keep the gas prices so high? Everyone I speak to understands if prices were around $1.50 per gallon, everyone would spend more. In return, stores could hire more people and more state taxes would be collected. Schools would spend less on gas for buses which then would be more dollars for kids. Stores could keep prices down since less would be going out to delivery costs.

How come there is no one publicly is trying to do something? What are your thoughts?

Cash Strapped and Gas Starved

Dear Cash Strapped:

I wish it were as simple as oil barons just standing around sucking the life out of us consumers. That kind of weasel is easy to see and define, and you can do something about that. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Oil prices are shooting through the roof partly because of the instability in the Middle East, but also because commodities traders are driving the price of oil futures contracts up. Demand is also high from China and India as their populations grow their middle class. Add into this the decline of the dollar (which is the world’s reserve currency and what every country buys oil in), which naturally drives the price of oil up. According to the Department of Energy, the price of crude accounts for 65% of the price you see at the pump.

So our refineries have to buy oil at these increased prices and then refine it. The refining process accounts for 14% of the cost of gas. In this area, the refineries are averaging 22 cents a gallon in profit. From a business standpoint, that’s really not much. Distribution and marketing costs account for 8% of the price at the pump. And then we have taxes, which eat up the last 13% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

If you have to point a finger anywhere, it would point mainly at our United States government, at our presidents past and present, and the U.S. Congress, all who abdicated their constitutional duty to control the U.S. Treasury. Instead they turned it over to a cartel of bankers, allowed our money to become worthless, and now we have a lot of paper but no wealth. Again, because we’re the world’s reserve currency, it affects prices on consumer goods all across the globe.

In addition, that same government has allowed special interests and groups to control where we drill. We have more oil here than anywhere overseas, but we cannot drill here. We can give Brazil billions of dollars for their drilling needs, but our government won’t lift a finger to help distressed Americans who are suffering in this shaky economy. Only someone who is so out of tune with average Americans could possibly give the answer President Obama did when asked about the high gas prices last week. He disdainfully told the man to trade in his gas hog vehicle and buy a fuel efficient one. That’s real easy to say when money is not an issue for you. But for most Americans, buying a $30,000 car is just not feasible in this economy, and those out-of-touch elitists on Capitol Hill just can’t seem to grasp that.

If you want to do something about gas prices, then vote. It’s not a quick fix, not by a long shot. We’re probably going to hurt at the gas pump for a long time, because it’s an orchestrated maneuver to force us to accept green policies that are unproven or only line the pockets of the likes of Al Gore with his cap and trade agenda. But until we get people in office who have an idea of the world realities that average Americans face day in and day out, we’ll never get out of this mess.

The Editor


Dear Editor,

Thanks for all your articles and informative info. I am thoroughly enjoying them and know they are blessing our whole family. I definitely don’t profess myself to be any gardening expert – in fact, I used to be a “black” thumb (just my little disclaimer there before I share what I have learned!)

But after doing some research, and learning from one of our local garden experts here in the Boise Mountains … I have been amazed at the successes of our garden. We are nestled in a mountain community (requiring tire chains in winter) … so out here we are up against all kinds of wildlife and insects, and yes … stinkbugs are one of them.

Here are some incredible little things that have worked so well for our garden. I figured I would share them in case they happen to bless others as they have us. We have had virtually NO stinkbug problems with our garden and tomatoes while I have done this, and we have a completely organic garden – no pesticides or fertilizers ever needed other than the organic fertilizer once per month:

•We place bulbs of garlic into the soil, around the plants. They sprout up and the scent deters SO many bugs. You just peel the bulb of garlic and press them about 1 – 1.5 inches down into the soil around the plants
•You can also even put some garlic powder into a spray bottle with water, and spray it around the soil or the foliage here and there – if you are having a real issue with insects/stink-bugs.
•The only plants that don’t like the garlic and don’t grow well with this are the peas and beans – otherwise, garlic has been a life-saver for our garden.
•In addition to that, we plant marigolds around the plants too. Between the marigolds and the garlic – I haven’t needed anything else.
•We have the diatomaceous earth also – but honestly I have never needed that on the tomatoes with the garlic and marigolds around. It’s been awesome.
•I have also read that you can plant chrysanthemums around the tomatoes… as a deterrent for stinkbugs.
•I have also read that you can sprinkle spices on the soil around the tomatoes (but just a note that some plants don’t respond well to certain fragrant spices, so you’d just want to make sure you don’t have those plants around certain fragrant spices and best to just research that.)

Don’t know if that will help anyone, but just in case – I thought I’d pass it along! God Bless!

Mountain Gardener

Dear Mountain Gardener,

Thank you so much for sharing the things you’ve learned with our readers. We always appreciate folks who write in with additional hints and tips.

Also, we had several folks ask if diatomaceous earth was harmful to earthworms. Everything tells us that food grade diatomaceous earth will not destroy earthworms if applied to the top of the soil and the worms are allowed to work it into the soil on their own. It is actually beneficial to the worms and compost, but you don’t want to bury them in it.

The Editor

If you’d like to contact the editor, please send an email to [email protected]


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