It's funny how little it takes people to compromise their values just to have a quick fix solution. Hugo Chavez, the lovable dictator from Venezuela, has decided to grant the citizens of New Hampshire some free heating oil to help them out this winter. Two years ago, New Hampshirites turned down Chavez flatly. However, skyrocketing fuel costs have concerned residents and now they're willing to throw in their hat with the pudgy socialist. Back in 2006, New Hampshire Senator John Sununu called the offer it a "disgrace" and an attempt at grandstanding by Chavez. However, other New England states have embraced the offer, with New Hampshire remaining the last holdout in the upper Northeast. Today's agreement brings an end to that. Even Sununu, who is still a critic of Chavez, said he is in favor of programs such as the one Chavez offers. You know, we Americans are a fickle bunch. We thrive on stories about the American Way Of Life, the American Dream, freedoms to prosper and the such. But at the first sign of trouble, the first pinprick that bursts the protective bubbles we've made for ourselves, we become willing to throw in our lot with snake oil salesmen like Chavez. Six million people in New England rely on heating oil for the winter months, so that's a lot of people willing to get a break. But at what price? Is going through times of extreme effects of the economy the price we have to pay for living in a free society? I would think yes. But really, this is just a bad response to rising oil prices. So, how much cognitive dissonance do you have, New Englanders? I'm sure plenty of the traditionally blue states up there love Chavez calling President Bush "the devil" and such, but do you really want to increase diplomatic relations with a country run by a man who recently tried to resurrect Hitler's thought police policies? –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week;;