There’s not much I can really say about the shocking events in New Orleans that hasn’t already been better said by others. But there is one thing I wanted to note because it seems to have gone right past people. Check this paragraph from cbsnews.com: In Washington, the Bush administration decided to release crude oil from the federal petroleum reserves after Katrina knocked out 95 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's output. But because of the disruptions and damage to the refineries, gasoline prices seemed to pay no heed. "Gasoline prices seemed to pay no heed"? So the gas prices are raising themselves? Here’s the deal: neither nature nor the government requires you to follow the "law" of supply and demand. It’s just a way of describing how people tend to behave. Gas prices are surging because the gas companies have chosen to raise them. Now reasonable people can disagree about whether or not they made the right decision, but the point is that they did in fact make a decision. It’s not even the choice itself that bothers me – after all, corporate C.E.O.’s do have a fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders. It’s more the realization that, while every other aspect of this crisis is being micro-analyzed, the oil companies just completely get a free pass. The idea that maybe an oil company could give up their profits for a few weeks in order to save the American economy during a national crisis is not even thought about, much less discussed, much less enacted. That says as much about our own minds as it does about the oil companies, which is why I bring it up.