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Ravens in the Storm

Ravens in the Storm

By Carl Oglesby

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Aboard the Condoleezza Rice

Posted on Feb 12, 2008
oil tanker

This isn’t a picture of the tanker once named after Condoleezza Rice—that ship is now known as the Altair Voyager. Although Rice, now secretary of state, has said she is proud of her association with Chevron, the oil giant quietly renamed the ship in 2001 to avoid controversy after Rice became part of the Bush administration.

By Robert Scheer

Whadda you mean “we,” Mr. TV Pundit? When you say “we” are doing better in Iraq or, even more absurd, that “we” were right to invade that country in the first place, are you putting Joe Blow American in the same bag as the top officers of Exxon, which made $40.6 billion in profit last year thanks to the turmoil in the energy markets? That royal “we” is good for the royals who control our government, but its persistent use embodies a pernicious lie that betrays the core ideal of representative democracy.

Ever since “we” invaded Iraq, most of us have gotten nothing to show for it other than an enormously increased national debt that we will be paying off for decades to come and an economy that is sputtering into recession. Oil sold for $22.81 the year before the war was launched against a country with the world’s second-largest holding, and the average price last year was almost three times that, at $64.20.

With oil bouncing up to $100 in the fourth quarter, Exxon recorded the highest corporate quarterly return ever. Chevron, the country’s second-biggest oil company, saw profits rise 29 percent that quarter, contributing to an enviable profit of $18.7 billion for 2007. Clearly, what’s good for big oil is not good for most Americans, few of whom would look back on 2007 with favor.

It’s easy for the Bush big shots to equate the fortunes of big oil with that of the nation. After all, George W. got to be president only because his failed career in the Texas oil industry exposed his charms to the big energy guys, who then bankrolled his political career. Dick Cheney was an out-of-work defense secretary when picked to be CEO of Halliburton, which has profited mightily from its dealings with Exxon, not to mention running the Iraq franchise.

And the image we should all recall is of the Chevron tanker named Condoleezza Rice. Only in America would we think it not a conflict of interest that Rice was paid handsomely for being on the board of Chevron from 1991 until she resigned to go to work in the Bush White House. How worried can she be about the deteriorating position of the United States in the world when her oil company buddies are doing so well?


Square, Site wide
We are conned since early childhood to look with dark suspicion upon anyone who points a finger of accountability at the robber barons of the corporate world. It is for that reason that Exxon’s outrageous profits made in exploiting an energy crisis that has hurt so many ordinary Americans barely elicits media outrage of any sort. Nor does this fact get much play in the presidential race. To her credit, Hillary Clinton took umbrage over Exxon’s then record-setting profit of $39 billion last year, stating: “I want to take those profits and put them into an alternative energy fund ... that will actually begin to move us toward the direction of independence.”

From the hysterically negative response of the right-wing media, you would have thought she had hailed the second coming of Karl Marx. No wonder this year with even higher profits there was no similar outcry from any of the leading candidates. They should be outraged because the taxpayers they are supposed to represent are forking over a lot of money for the military in order to make the world safe for Exxon.

The lifeline of Exxon is not its oil drilling skills but rather the power of the U.S. government, particularly the military, that can be marshaled to intimidate those nations that would dare challenge Exxon’s right to profit exorbitantly. Whether it’s about pushing for a pipeline crossing Afghanistan or tying up Venezuela’s foreign assets in international courts, as Exxon managed to do last week, the U.S.-based oil giants strut with the full confidence that Uncle Sam will back them up.

But who will back up Uncle Sam except ordinary American soldiers and taxpayers who sacrifice to fight and fund battles that have nothing to do with their national interest? What a sorry record U.S. oil companies have compiled in places like Venezuela, Nigeria and the Persian Gulf down through the decades. But throughout those imperial adventures backed by U.S. gunboat diplomacy, there was the illusion that the plundered loot would be shared with the folks back home. The next time you fork it over at the pump remember the $40.6 billion Exxon got, and you will get the point that “they” and “we” are hardly in the same boat.

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By BobLoblaw, October 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
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By thebeerdoctor, February 20, 2008 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Yes Expat, after reading the link, we do indeed live in interesting times. After awhile it all starts to resemble some huge morally ambiguous Graham Greene novel… where all motives are discussed, except the true motive: the coin of the realm.

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By Expat, February 20, 2008 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

^ Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale is one of the finest brews I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking; draft of course.  Oh, and I agree, nice essay.

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By Expat, February 20, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

^ a row and the dollar and the economy crashing; we are definitely living in interesting times.  One of my favorite reads is the “Asia Times” and Pepe Escobar has a very interesting article regarding Iran’s oil bourse and the fact they are no longer selling oil for US dollars.  Here’s a link to the article…worth the read and the interesting times will continue for some time.

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By voice of truth, February 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

I have a huge SUV, that my wife drives around.  We also have four kids.  I doubt they would fit into a shitty little Prius, or on some nuts bicycle.  And we love it.  The kids watch movies, we can pack all our stuff and drive around the country.  I don’t give a flying rats ass that you are offended by it.  Hell, my wife even smashed a mirror off it by hitting the side of the garage, and she needs an entirely empty mall parking lot to park safely!!  It’s great.

On a seperate topic, did you know that the bottom 50% of American income tax filers made over $190 Billion, yet combined paid less taxes than ExxonMobile.  Ooops.

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By jackpine savage, February 18, 2008 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Nice essay, beerdoctor…thanks for the link.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 18, 2008 at 6:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republicans won’t get the chance to jump on Obama as the (un)Democrats are preparing to stab him in the ass!
Hill-the-business-shill is the party’s candidate, and they are prepared to upset the voters by seating Florida, Michigan, and using super delegates.

I see the party is pressuring Edwards to throw his support (and delegates) to The business shill.

This isn’t an election, it’s a coronation… 

BUT the news media still uses the word “democracy” which by definition means one person, one vote!

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By jackpine savage, February 18, 2008 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

Thanks, zeitgeist.

Um, hmm…the head of GM’s European division won the highest award available to a non-German national from Hitler for his company’s tireless devotion to outfitting the German war machine.  Many of the trucks used to ferry Jews to their death were GM products. (The “Blitz Truck”, specifically)

Henry Ford had managed to build hemp based body panels for his cars by the mid-thirties, before the marijuana tax act of ‘37 came into effect.  The chemical giants were a big part of that too.

Cyrena, you’re spot on concerning industrial hemp.  The French have built whole houses out of the stuff, from the foundation to the sheathing to the insulation.  European auto-manufacturers are making parts out of it again.

Its a fantastic crop: yielding up to 10 tons/acre with almost no fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation, or farm labor necessary (beyond planting and harvesting).  The seeds have one of the highest ratings of omega 3 fatty acids in the plant kingdom…strange that i can buy Canadian hemp butter at the food co-op, but i’m not allowed to grow it.

As an aside, industrial hemp growing would also be the best way to reduce illicit marijuana cultivation, because the hemp would pollinate the marijuana…fairly ruining it as a drug crop.

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By cyrena, February 18, 2008 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

On the hemp…the Natives Americans (at least a few tribes in Northern and Central California) still attempt to grow it, for all of the various applications that it the same uses that it had when they grew it 2oo years ago in the colonies. (and not just the Natives). For them, specifically since 40% live so far below the poverty line, on the reservations, no access to any sort of an income or employment, it is one of a very few useful things that they can cultivate and actually sell or use to make things for sale.

But, the feds wait until their crops are all carefully planted, and underway, then they show up and destroy the crops, and arrest anybody who is around working on them. The SAME tribes/locations have been targeted by the feds over and over, and each time they have to try to sue the government. (usually not successfully, and of course their crops have been destroyed).

Meantime, it’s long since been proven that the hemp they try to grow, has less than .000001 of the THC ingredient/chemical that is contained in the cousin plant, (marijuana) that gets anybody ‘high’. So, somebody would have to smoke the entire crop, just to get a buzz. Needless-to-say, anybody who tried that, would drop dead of some other thing first, so that’s OBVIOUSLY NOT why they are growing hemp!!

Doesn’t stop the feds though. They just keep doing raids that destroy and arrest…destroy and arrest.

Now if there was any real intoxicating value to the stuff, it would be called a ‘hit’ instead of a raid, just like all the other major drug cartels indulge in. (Because the feds would just steal it, instead of destroying the crops).

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By cyrena, February 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment


Thanks for this history on Edison and Ford, and specifically the fact that they had already envisioned the stranglehold that the OIL would put on the world. (or at least us).

If only, if only…he’d been able to carry out the windmill action. But then, others have, and we know that at least here, it was pretty much subverted, as has been the solar energy option. Not because nobody conceived of it, (my little tiny first home was solar powered, and that was 30 years ago) but because there’s all that money in stealing and/or otherwise appropriating oil and selling it back to the masses that it’s been stolen from.

It’s not as easy to steal the sun or the wind.

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By amunaor, February 17, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Good point’s jackpine savage. It was the timber monopolies that destroyed U.S. hemp production, with their wako campaign ads, pandering to the public’s misperceptions and fears which effectively destroyed an enormous potential for a rapidly renewable product, with a wide variety of applications. That psychology is still in play today.

Then their was ‘Trading With the Enemy’ a major expose of U.S./British Corporate collusion all throughout WWII, as though nothing was happening; whose end game was that no matter which side won or lost the war, the major players would come out on top.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, February 17, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

I agree! My early hopes were riding on Kucinich, but as it stands, Obama is perhaps the best of all worlds.

We should be on the lookout for the repugnant, anti-socialist party to kick their psycho-shredder public relations firms, against Obama, into high gear and feed it right back to them. Hillary has already proven herself as an Elephant in a Corporate Donkey suit.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By thebeerdoctor, February 17, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Check this out:

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By Leefeller, February 17, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Looking a little deeper, the whole special interests, lobby screw the slob on the street thing is quite alive and real. 

Funneled control of our taxes and blood to support the games of these elite has been ongoing since the dawn of man. 

Control from the FDA to the military complex is done with a good old boy mentality, we have seen it from the contracts in Iraq, the rules made by the FDA to the lead in toys from China. 

Money drives, we ride.

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By jackpine savage, February 17, 2008 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Condoleeza Rice is nice, but a prefer A-Roni…

This is not a new phenomenon.  Once upon a time it was timber that fueled international cartels.  Think ancient Cyprus at the dawn of metal smelting…all the way through the New Forest laws of Medieval England.

Google the Hostmen of Newcastle and their stranglehold on the coal trade.

The Robber Barons of the great locomotive age also come to mind.

Or the great electric cartels at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th, when the decision between petroleum and electric to power the dawning automobile age was being made.  General Electric had plans (and operational prototypes) to install electric hydrants for battery recharging along city streets.  Early electric vehicles outperformed internal combustion, and the polluting effects of internal combustion were well known.

Henry Ford made his name by taking on the ALAM trust (operated by the electric cartel).  Around 1914, he and Edison were near their grand plan to give America an inexpensive electric vehicle…they saw clearly the stranglehold that the oil economy would put on America.  Edison even envisioned an America of decentralized power.  His West Orange home became a working prototype, operated by batteries and recharged with a small generator.  He hoped to replace the generator with a windmill, but never got that far.

The oil companies of today are direct descendants of every other energy cartel; their allegiance is to profit.  And their willingness and ability to manipulate government is hardly new.  It is the same story, told over with a new cast of characters.

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By amunaor, February 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Who the hell knows now days? Perhaps the CI of A ‘black ops’ magicians even encouraged it!

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By amunaor, February 16, 2008 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

* By manonfyre, February 16 <And to have exploited our collective shock, and grief, and outrage in the wake of the monstrous savagery of 9/11—cloaking this out-and-out oil grab behind the ruse of “fighting terror” . . .  Every epithet of disgust and outrage falls short.>

Very brilliant elucidation for how the ‘shock and awe’ of 9/11 was hijacked into a ‘psychodrama’ cover for invade and plunder. Ironically, it was from the decade-plus, continued U.S. occupation and pounding, which caused the puss filled boil to erupt in the first place; so euphemistically colored by the CI of A as: Blowback!


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By Marshall, February 16, 2008 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

“the oil giant quietly renamed the ship in 2001 to avoid controversy after Rice became part of the Bush administration. “

How wierd!  Normally, those ship renamings are such noisy public affairs!  I’m glad they kept this one on the down low for once.

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By Marshall, February 16, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

So I guess 9/11 was just an accident?

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By cyrena, February 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment


This post is worth it’s weight in gold. (for anybody who can recognize it as such).

It’s excellent, and the sources you’ve provided are right on the bullseye for my own work.

Ooo, what a treasure.

Thanks again…

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By amunaor, February 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, I’m afraid that your correct on all points. They demonize those who oppose their goals, while they themselves are caught in the clutches of their own delusional madness.

Not only does McCain wish to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran, but his ears ring to the strain of ‘Bombs Bursting In Air’ while he and his anti-social republican party of monopoly have similar designs on Chavez. No doubt, it is this very same dark genii that is currently striking the hearts of the Russian people with paranoia; Putin is getting worried that the American Empire will start to eye their oil fields with a similar drooling lust. As for the poor Cuban hostages, what decades of shame we have to bear; our ‘high’ hallmark is stamped plainly on their island in the form of an odious prison camp.

It’s always been about control through a central metered dependence; not just with oil, but all marketing strategies seek to pull a life time dependant from the sea of flesh. Any competitive element that emerges to face this psychotic ego trip becomes an enemy. Why else do you suppose we haven’t seen a really brilliant innovative break through for the past 7-8 decades that would liberate the mass of human suffering from the drudgery of the elements? Sure, we have magic tricky cars; with GPS; radios that tune by voice commands, we have the friendly neighborhood pharmaceutical pill pushers, capable of masking any symptom; we have the energy companies and the financial tricksters, fishing for debt slaves as they pass out their eye-candy bait.

What is the current population for the planet; 6-8 billion? How much do the Americans alone contribute yearly to the ‘Merchants of Death’ budget; 500-550 billion? Looking at this lopsided equation should reveal one terrible, beastly psychosis.

We can kiss what ever blind hopes we may have placed onto the material wizards of science for saving us; these misguided self-seekers sold their souls to the devil decades ago, when they allowed themselves to become an appendage to the military industrial complex, whose misappropriated display of universal forces as weapons of power, demonstrated to the world, the marvelous population incinerations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We should not hold our breath for any illumination to shine forth from this entrenchment.

As Douglass Chalmers mentioned elsewhere, under the guise of The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is a move afoot to monopolize the uranium mines, as the Middle East oil fields go beyond peak performance and begin to decline.

It’s nothing new! Look what they did to Nikola Tesla. When Tesla financier, JP Morgan, discovered Tesla’s intentions to demonstrate the broadcasting of free energy to the public would bypass his model of a metered dependency, Morgan pulled the plug. (Read Margaret Cheney’s – Tesla, Man Out of Time) No relationship to shotgun Cheney! Do a search on ‘Angels Don’t Play this HAARP – related to the weaponization of Tesla technology and weather wars.

What great scientists, in our blindness, we so lamely proclaim to be, who squander the entire planets resources, in effort to secretly out maneuver the other; weaponizing the most brilliant thoughts that bubble to the surface into methods of killing, stealing, deceiving, then celebrating and crying about it; calling it enlightenment. Why, we as a nation, haven’t all fallen down on our knees in shameful agony and disgust, is beyond me!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, February 16, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

*By ocjim, February 15 <“But who will back up Uncle Sam except ordinary American soldiers and taxpayers who sacrifice to fight and fund battles that have nothing to do with their national interest?”

Scheer does indicate here the extraordinary fleecing that our fighting men and women and we the taxpayers take at the hands of the plutocracy.>

ocjim, form follows function. It flows from the decades of false psychological indoctrination. If we were to peel back the layers of onion skins, we would arrive at the irritant.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By GW=MCHammered, February 16, 2008 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need an anti-Mount Rushmore to monumentalize leaders We The People never want to see again in history. Perhaps Mount Crushmore, a wad of cheap faux rock Made in China covering a couple dozen feet in the middle of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Now there’s a Bu$hCo project “we” can get behind. Exile the neocons in ‘08.

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By manonfyre, February 16, 2008 at 1:47 am Link to this comment

And yes: Thank you once again, Mr. Scheer!

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By manonfyre, February 16, 2008 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

If we peel back the whole GWOT overlay, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan reveal themselves for what they actually are: the titanic clash of Oil Giants co-opting State powers and vying for control of our planet’s oil—“market penetration” by military means (nothing new).

The real, true “strategic” objectives in Iraq and Afghanistan:

- de-nationalize their oil industries

- expel “foreign suitors”

- hand-over control to “our” Giants (and their related service and subsidiary companies: Exxon, BP, Haliburton, Bechtel, etc., etc.)

Unravel the tapestry of lies in which these military conquests are cloaked, and examine how control of oil (in Iraq) and “the pipeline” (in Afghanistan) has changed as a consequence.

This (latest) US/British conquest of Iraq, in particular, then reveals itself for what it is: one of the biggest armed robberies in all of human history (the biggest, thus far, of this nascent new century).  What is the “2nd-largest oil reserve” on the planet worth?

And to have exploited our collective shock, and grief, and outrage in the wake of the monstrous savagery of 9/11—cloaking this out-and-out oil grab behind the ruse of “fighting terror” . . .  Every epithet of disgust and outrage falls short.

And yet . .  Just as McCain is catching flak, in some quarters, for his “anti-torture” rhetoric; just as there is a political block in this country that is “down” with torture — so, too, many are tacitly “down” with the unvarnished oil-grab aims of Bush/Cheney & Company.

“So we had to launch an aggressive war (‘the supreme international crime’) — with as many as one million dead; several million ‘displaced;’ a-trillion-dollars-and-counting spent — in order to maintain our lighted, heated, air-conditioned, TV-watching, web-surfing, SUV-driving, plastic-and-pesticide-laden lifestyle. So what?”


Terrorized by “War on Terror,” by Zbigniew Brzezinski

The So-Called “War on Terror,” by Richard Behan

Crude Designs, by Greg Muttitt

Slick Connections, by Erik Leaver and Greg Muttitt

Cheney’s Energy Task Force

“Bridas, Unocal, Afghanistan”

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By Marshall, February 15, 2008 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

...except that there ISN’T a finite number of dollars in the economy.  That’s what investment, from foreign countries for example, is all about.  No modern economy lives in a vacuum - there’s a fluid flow of capital among nations.

But even if your premise were true, your facts are still mistaken.  Median income has risen over the last several years, to $48,200 for households.  The gap between rich and poor has widened precisely because of upward income mobility, not because poor people are getting poorer.  Which would explain why the poverty rate has been dropping.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

#By kath cantarella, February 15: “I have always thought there was a major hole in the ‘trickle-down’ theory… or am i missing something…”

That’s why it was eventually renamed the “dribble-down” theory, KC.

#By G.Anderson, February 14: “Bush, was supposed to restore, morality to The White House…”

Uhh, was that the name of a play, GA????

#By Frank Cajon, February 14: ”...I am sleeping better in the knowledge that… Congress is swinging into prompt action to save our economy…”

You must be joking, Frank. All that money doesn’t go to the US government….... better just go back to sleep!

#By Lefty, February 14: “I’ve been saying this… for years!  And Robert Sheer finally figured it out…”

Yes, Lefty, even the “governator” realized too, duh. Thus, Scheer has permission to speak…..

#By Tim F., February 14: “As long as the majority of Americans believe they’re members of a “middle class” they will be content with their implied security…”

You must mean people who have a job - and a living wage, Tim?

#By Bill Blackolive, February 14: “Obama nor anyone can make change till this grandest crime gets addressed inside US news.  For ye timid… many bigger boys speak in courage…”

Worried about the size of yer dick too, Bill? People speak out here too. Scheer tried censorship once - and only once.

Still, that’s the new world order. Obama not only can’t but won’t “change” anything. He will soon find out why its to his advantage if he does make it all the way…...

Both you and he will have to learn what courage really is, I think.

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By cyrena, February 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Namomi’s book is excellent, and indeed it does speak to this and so much more. I highly recommend it.

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By ocjim, February 15, 2008 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

“But who will back up Uncle Sam except ordinary American soldiers and taxpayers who sacrifice to fight and fund battles that have nothing to do with their national interest?”

Scheer does indicate here the extraordinary fleecing that our fighting men and women and we the taxpayers take at the hands of the plutocracy.

Case in point: our blood and our taxes support the imperialistic adventures engaged by our purchased politicians. For the oil companies, we fight for their advantage and pay the bill for the fighting. The result, we pay them inflated prices for the privilege. To add insult to injury, our children and our grandchildren pay well into the future for the privilege of supporting oil interests.

Another example, we pay for regulatory agencies that represent the companies they’re supposed to regulate. We get lead in our children’s toys. Tainted meat is sent to our schools. Toxic drugs are approved by our FDA.

Our national forests are sold to Bush buddies. Drilling destroys our public lands. Again we pay for the cleanup.

FEMA gives the middle finger to the poor in New Orleans, those still alive anyway. Mobile homes are bought at high prices with toxic materials in them. FEMA knows this from the beginning and after two years begins to do something.

All this traces back to Bush who will never lose a nights sleep over any of it and who will never be prosecuted for any of his corruption, numbering in hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions in our money.

Is anyone mad yet?

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By cyrena, February 15, 2008 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment


Thanks for confirming this on the Saddam intentions to switch to the Euro. This is exactly what I’ve been told by others, at least a few years back.

In fact, there was apparently much talk about it in Congress as well. In short, the total collapse of the dollar, sinking us into a major depression. (I don’t think printing up a whole lot of new currency would have done the trick).

There is the other side to it though. The transnationals have made obscene profits in Iraq, and that WAS part of the plan early on, when the war on Iraq was initially planned in the PNAC, because ANY nation state that has ever defied the US by nationalizing their natural resources, has met a similar fate. It’s happened to Iran, (their oil) and it happened to Castro’s Cuba, when he took back control of some of that nation’s assets. We see the punishment to him…40 plus years of sanctions and isolation. It wasn’t about the Communism, but something like that is always used as a geo-political cover-up.

It’s been the same thing with so many Latin American countries, which is why they’ve been after Hugo Chavez for so long.

Anyway, I appreciate the corroboration on the defense of the dollar. Looks like all of this killing and dying and destruction hasn’t helped though. The dollar continues to fall, and by now, the thieves (Cheney et all) have converted all of their US dollars as well. (like before the fall of it).

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By Ed, February 15, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve recently read Naomi Klein’s, Shock Therapy. It speaks to a lot of this.

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By amunaor, February 15, 2008 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush’s Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.

Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can’t explain why Bush would want to seize those fields—he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq.

History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy
illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs. Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have went into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished—he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire.

As of December 2007, Iran began trading oil in Euros.

Please read the following link:
The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse

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By kath cantarella, February 15, 2008 at 1:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

gone to big corps every one… when will they ever learn? when will they ever learn?

I have always thought there was a major hole in the ‘trickle-down’ theory: if there is a finite number of dollars in an economy, when the rich get richer they can only take that money from people who are poorer… so when the richest are getting richer it should automatically mean that poorer people are getting poorer… right?

or am i missing something?

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By G.Anderson, February 15, 2008 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

Thanks for reminding me, I forgot about that. Bush, was supposed to restore, morality to The White House…

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By Steven, February 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have tried to find a link to this amazing response
by Condi to the WH press corps questions when the 1st
request for MORE MONEY FOR IRAQ was made by the Bush
Administration.I recall it was a ‘piddling’ 5 billion
dollars.Yet,the press seemed aghast,to which Condi
replied(essentially):“The United States will make
back 5 TIMES OVER what it spends in Iraq,with the emergence of a free and peaceful Iraq.” I’m amazed that no-one has ever asked her about that.

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By Frank Cajon, February 14, 2008 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know about everyone else, but I know I am sleeping better in the knowledge that with oil at this obscene level due to Bush/Cheney Reich being a member of the OPEC cartel, that Congress is swinging into prompt action to save our economy. By holding public hearings televised to millions about whether a dumb jock pitcher juiced himself up on steroids or not, and conducting an investigation into the NFL destroying tapes of a football team stealing signals of another team. Hallelujiah, we are saved by the Jackass party we put in there to clean up Washington.

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By tina, February 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The most important cause of $100 price of oil is the fact that the U. S. government now supports the cartel OPEC by being a de facto member of OPEC via the Iraq occupation”

No it’s the competition for a rarer resource, and the devaluation of the dollar which makes everything outside the USA more expensive.

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By Tim F., February 14, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

True…As long as the majority of Americans believe they’re members of a “middle class” they will be content with their implied security. Besides, the economy backbone of today (service) has hardly a slight remnant of the backbone of yesterday (manual labor). Service jobs can be so numbing mentally as opposed to numbing physically. It’s hard to identify a fruit sprouting from your labor by taking customer service calls for Sprint.

On a different note, do you think the majority would still believe themselves “middle” when Cargill has an agreement stemming from free trade that they are allowed to have a maximum of 11% sawdust in their wheat. That echoes something from the days of serfs and peasants. Its truly a different ball game…media being the commentators.


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By Bill Blackolive, February 14, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Indeed so what.  Start with the Monroe Doctrine, uh.  No, start with slavery, genocide, eh?
Ah, then the government promoted 9/11.  Obama nor anyone can make change till this grandest crime gets addressed inside US news.  For ye timid, see at patriotsquestion9/11 that many bigger boys speak in courage.

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By Allan Scheer, February 14, 2008 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s drill for oil in Alaska.
Let’s drill for oil off our coasts.
Let’s build some new Nuclear Power Plants.
Let’s continue to develop technology to utilize tar sands.
Let’s drill for more natural gas.
Let’s forget about ethanol , and keep food prices low.
Let’s replace diesel and electric trains with Magnetic levitation .

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By Louise, February 14, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

“The US is pushing the European Union to increase the pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme by stopping two Iranian banks from operating on European soil.”

Possibly proving the real issue is not nuclear weapons, but Iran’s Oil Bourse in euros, which threatens the dollar.


Monsanto made Agent Orange, PCBs, nuclear weapons components, pesticides, and with that diverse background in death, are now “doing” food.


Hillary, Will You Renounce Your Ties to Monsanto?
10/02/08 “Counterpunch”

“Dear Hillary,
By polling logic, I should be your supporter—Democrat, woman, white, liberal. But this past summer I saw a News Hour show on farmers committing suicide in Maharastra, India, which affected me deeply. I started learning what was happening to farmers and to food and how the Clintons are connected.”

“The News Hour piece said Monsanto, a US agricultural corporation, hired Bollywood actors to sell illiterate farmers Bt (genetically engineered) cotton seeds, promising they’d get rich from big yields. The expensive seeds needed expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto’s) and irrigation. There is no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had immense debt and couldn’t collect seeds to try again because Monsanto seeds are “patented” as “intellectual property”).”

“Since the late 1990s (as industrial agriculture took hold in India),166,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land (P. Sainath, The Hindu). Farmers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, South America, Central America and here, have all protested Monsanto and genetic engineering.”

“What does this have to do with you?”

“Your Orwellian-named “Rural Americans for Hillary” were Monsanto’s lobbyists. My greater concern, though, is your former-employer, Rose Law Firm, representing Monsanto, world’s largest GE (GE - genetic engineering) corporation; Tyson, world’s largest meat producer; Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. Rose is home to Industrial FOOD.”

“You take Monsanto donations. Blacks, our poorest group, have to eat Monsanto’s steroid/hormone/antibiotic-filled GE food. You take Monsanto donations.”

“Who are you protecting? National Black Farmers Association, boycotting Monsanto? Babies drinking rBGH milk? Women fearing breast cancer? Despairing farmers? Suffering animals? Children fed kidney-and-liver-toxic Bt-corn?

Or Monsanto?”


“Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one that feeds more people with better food. Nothing could be further from the truth. With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to increase sales of chemicals and bio-engineered products to dependent farmers.”
- David Ehrenfield: Professor of Biology, Rutgers University.


Read the whole article here:

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By thebeerdoctor, February 14, 2008 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer’s piece is an outstanding example of putting the truth to the powerful. It is devastating to realize that all those folks who complain about the price of gasoline can still not see who is behind all of this. I will never forget the interview a few years ago with ex-chairman Lee Raymond of ExxonMobil. He said that George Bush knew more about the baseball business than the oil business. The contempt was for a very useful tool.

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By Lynn Lindstrom, February 14, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just for clarity’s sake, which Mr TV Pundit are you talking about (or to)? There are so many, but what, and which one, inspired you to write this article, Mr Scheer? I’d like to understand better.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 14, 2008 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This country’s greatest strength also happens to be its greatest weakness. That we are a “superpower” in wealth, military might, and economic dominance, is pretty much undisputed, BUT we have been in La La land so long that we have become (most of us) fat and spoiled.

We sit in our houses and complain about everything.

We talk about the devastation of pollution, and buy more junk from Wal mart which we will dump in our landfills.  The plastic in these computers will out-last civilization unless recycled, but according to public citizen, only 4% of computer componants are r5ecycled. We dispose of enough cell phones every year to create a pile the size of the Empire State Building, and if you factor in the rest of the world the pile becomes large enough to cover Manhattan 4 feet deep!

We yammer about the price of Gas and buy SUV’s at a greater rate than any other nation, even though our transportation system is advanced enough to get along without them.

We have real problems to solve, this Country is like a luxury car with the dash lights flashing, but no one wants to stop long enough to make repairs.

I’m old enough to have seen this before. We have to hit a wall before people wake up.

Just a matter of time.

Sell stock… buy real estate, antiques, and gold!

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By Expat, February 14, 2008 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

^ was a 1953 2 Dr. Chevy Belair with a 235 6 cylinder engine; everything since has been 4 cylinders.  Here in S.E. Asia we own a 2 Dr. Mitsu diesel pickup.  4 cyl. and it gets over 30 miles per gallon/13 kpl.  But we ride our bicycles here in my village.  We spend about $100 US on fuel per month because my wife must drive to work to her school.  Before Iraq, it was closer to $50.  We pay over $3 American dollars per gallon here.  This is really hurting the economy and inflation is climbing…thanks so much George.
Enjoyed your right on comment.

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By G.Anderson, February 14, 2008 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

After reading this article there were so many things that I wanted to say. It was like a hurricane of emotion swirling around in my head.

I am grateful to Mr. Scheer, for putting this in writting, and for all the supportive comments of the other posters.

It made me feel as if the people have finally gathered in the town square with their pitch forks, and torches, about to storm Frankensein’s castle, in search of the monster who has killed their children.

Yes, there will be those in the mob, who will argue, that Frankenstein, is misunderstood, and too dimwitted to understand what he has done.

And their will be others, pockets buldging with gold coins, who could care less about what happened as long as there’s that big payday ahead.

The people may have listened to those voices in the past, but now their done listening.

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By G.Anderson, February 14, 2008 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

No better argument could be made that Capitalism is not always in the best interests of America.

However, America as a Capitalist country is failing, and soon it will be owned by foreign money. A testament to how indolent, and foolish the wealthy can be.

Maybe, our new owners will be better at managing us, than our old ones.

Under these new set of curcumstances, it is quite likely that no refuge will exist for anyone.

Oh, I suppose that what remains of the national guard could be withdrawn, from their corporate adventure else where in the world, to guard the gated communities of the wealthy.

However they may not be too happy about dying of depleated Uranium exposure, and looking for some pay back for themselves.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment

Excellent example lowlander…

•    “Oh, hell, while we’re at it, let’s give them $10 or $15 billion of our tax money to “help them out” like we did the airlines, who, by the way, had their hand out before the last piece of debris hit the ground on 9/11.”

Just thought I’d add to the details on the results of the airline hand out. Indeed, they DID have their hands out before the last piece of debris hit the ground on 9/11. AND…they actually received the handouts in three installments.

More importantly though they the industry SHED about 30,000 employees at the same time, (like before the last piece of debris hit the ground…slips already prepared for mail) and over the next 18 months, they continued to shed, to the tune of over 100,000 workers. Those jobs have NEVER been replaced, at least not to my knowledge, and I was in the racket for 25 years. So, it seems like I would have heard something from a few of them. Instead, the hundreds that I knew are still out of work. Or, I should say they aren’t working in the airline industry any longer.

From what I’ve been able to determine, that purge…in the midst of all the taxpayer handouts, was probably bigger than the GM purge that has put so many on the street. Then again, I’m not certain, because the GM purge has continued over a longer period of time. With the airline industry, it was swift and brutal.

Proportionately, the largest portion of the handouts went to the largest of the carriers, American, United, and I can’t remember the others. (maybe Northwest was the 3rd, but I couldn’t swear to it) The first handout involved 37 airlines, but again, the bulk of the loot went to the top tier. American got the most on all of the deals. (they also had the largest of the employee purges). I’m not sure how the 2nd and 3rd hand outs went down.

I guess there’s no need to add that the stockholders never suffered any losses, the CEO’s quadrupled their earnings plus bonuses, and American Airlines at least, just recently posted record profits. Continental isn’t doing bad either. UA and Delta experienced a couple of set backs, but their fine now. Matter of fact, UA and somebody else recently attempted to gobble up Delta, but I don’t know how that worked out.

Like I said, none of the stockholders have suffered, but those 100,000 plus employees are mostly pretty hungry. The ones who DIDN’T get ‘purged’ are working more hours, for less pay, and next to no benefits. Retirements have become the same as the debris that fell from the sky on 9/11. GONE. Disappeared.

And of course there was Enron…same thing, at least for all of those employees. Now in that case, the stockholders suffered as well. But, didn’t the taxpayers bail them out too?

Seems like I remember we did.

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By KISS, February 13, 2008 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

This discourse is not about you and me, and all the little worker bees. It is about the corporation abuse and the electorate allowing this this to happen. Damn it’s hard to do this drunk but the drift is corporations are in x do the difference.
Go Independent!

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

My sister got one a Toyota Prius. (well, about 6 months ago).

I’ve never owned anything bigger than a 4 cylinder myself, (well, I had a hand-me-down Audi). But, it’s been 7 years since I owned ANY vehicle.

The bike doesn’t require any gas, and it’s safer than the skateboard.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

This is just a ‘rumor’ though I do have a colleague doing a publication that includes this information, and I know that he has extensive congressional records to apparently back up some of it.

According to him, (and I’ve sort of like ‘heard’ this before) a primary concern was not so much breaking up OPEC, (though the taking over of Iraq’s membership would follow with this rumor). RATHER, rumor has it that Saddam was about to break the stranglehold of OPEC himself, and basically flood the market with oil!!

Allegedly, he was going to make as much oil available as he could, to anybody who wanted to buy it, and he was switching to the Euro to do that business. So, it would appear that he was “going independent” which surely would NOT have pleased the Saudis..not one little bit. And, while others have argued that it wouldn’t have made a difference if he was dealing in Euros or the USD, the rumor has it that Congress was scared shitless, that it would cause an instant and debilitating depression, if OIL dropped to the price of a bunch of tea dumped in a bay.

So, that’s just another take. I guess we’ll never really know, since Saddam is dead. Then again, maybe my colleagues’ work will actually provide some corroboration for the rumor.

Meantime, the anti-trust laws have needed a revamping for decades. Not just to deal with the OPEC cartel, but the entire corporate oligarchy that is holding us all hostage.

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By Coleen Rowley, February 13, 2008 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Very serendipitously, we took a good photo that really fits with what Mr. Scheer is describing here.  Entitled “Blue Lights Fading of SUPERAMERICA”, you can go to:
to have a look.

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By Louise, February 13, 2008 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

It’s not that they wont take them, the calls and emails are coming in so fast, and in such non-stop volume the systems keep crashing!

Best thing to do is phone the in-state office. And be nice to that poor hired employee. She/he is getting inundated too!

I dont think ANY of them EVER thought they’d see the day when so MANY constituents would get so enformed!

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By Enemy of State, February 13, 2008 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Clearly the IOCs (International Oil Companies) are the clear winners here. IMO the invasion is not responsible for the runup of the oil price though, it woulda done it anyway. But the reality for the IOCs, is that they are so distrusted by the oil exporting nations, who fear political meddling -or even coups, that the IOCs are not allowed to operate in most of the world. But an least one major oil country is now available courtesy of Bush/Cheney. Not only is Iraq available for the IOCs, but the security situation in the country has been so bad for so long, that Iraq’s technical and engineering personnel are mostly refuges. Iraq will need foreign expertise for many years, and the internationals are there to get this business. So yes we have some winners:
International Oil companies, Military Industrial corps, and international engineering companies. The millions of Iraqi exiles are the big losers in this -even more so than the American taxpayers.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 13, 2008 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Quote: The lifeline of Exxon is not its oil drilling skills but rather the power of the U.S. government, particularly the military, that can be marshaled to intimidate those nations that would dare challenge Exxon’s right to profit exorbitantly. Whether it’s about pushing for a pipeline crossing Afghanistan or tying up Venezuela’s foreign assets in international courts, as Exxon managed to do last week, the U.S.-based oil giants strut with the full confidence that Uncle Sam will back them up…

Actually that was not so much about Uncle Sam backing up Exxon - but Exxon doing the Bush Neocon’s bidding. Its not to Exxon’s advantage in the short term but it will be made up tio them in other ways, like in Burma/Myanmar

In the meantime, Washington gets to screw whats-his-name in Caracas. Too bad he escaped the last coup. Back to bombing the presidential palace then - just like in Chile in the 70’s but this time with the USAF!

And it will all be ‘justified’ because the federal court said so….....

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By jackpine savage, February 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Big indeed, maybe even the biggest.  And corn ethanol is all about benefiting Monsanto’s Bt, GM corn…since no one else will buy it.

You don’t want to know that much about Monsanto, Cyrena…that knowledge has the ability to crush whatever hope is left in you.

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By jackpine savage, February 13, 2008 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment


I had always assumed that one of the reasons for the invasion was to break up OPEC, but i see your point.  And while i’m ashamed to say it, had never looked into the fact that we would simply take on Iraq’s role in OPEC.

Dirty, dirty, dirty.

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By Carl Olson, February 13, 2008 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

The most important cause of $100 price of oil is the fact that the U. S. government now supports the cartel OPEC by being a de facto member of OPEC via the Iraq occupation
  You know that when the U. S. government occupied Iraq in March 2003, it took over all the functions of the government, including the membership in OPEC.  The US/Iraq delegate to OPEC has always voted for the price-raising oil production cutbacks.
  You may also know that the U. S. government in Iraq has contributed to these cutbacks by reducing the oil production from the pre-invasion level of 3 million barrels per day to the current level of less than 2 million.
      The U.S. government provides intelligence and enforcement support to OPEC and its allies—as a “duty” for its occupation.
  The antitrust laws need to be amended to prevent the U.S. government from helping any cartel anywhere in the world, including OPEC and its allies.  Without this cartel enforcement by the U. S. government, the price of oil will fall precipitously.
  The publics of the world are losing tens of billions of dollars monthly, and money is going to dubious regimes on the Persian Gulf and their allies such as Russia.
  Congress needs to investigate.  The antitrust laws need to be amended.  Who in Congress will speak up?  What Presidential candidate will speak up?

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By jackpine savage, February 13, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Excellent post, Conservative Yankee.

We complain about having some of the cheapest gasoline prices in the world. 

Our automakers gnash their teeth that they can’t possibly increase fuel efficiency by as much as Congress expects in such a short amount of time, while already meeting those same efficiency standards within their European operations.

And without a doubt, the possibility for denominating crude transactions in Euros must be the worst possibility that America could face.  Perhaps the real reason we are itching for war with Iran is that they are itching to establish an oil bourse not denominated in dollars.

(I remember a friend visiting me in England in the mid 90’s.  She told me that she had heard English gas prices were high, but they didn’t look so high to her…just the exchange difference.  I pointed out that the price was quoted in liters.  I shall never forget the dropping of that jaw, innocents abroad as Mr. Twain used to say.)

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By Frank Cajon, February 13, 2008 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

How many of you bloggers own an SUV? A car or SUV with a V8, or a small sports sedan with a mammoth V6 under the hood? Sure, Bush/Cheney Reich is in bed with the Saudi oil princes and have sold America down the toilet for oil profits-what did we expect from a scion of an oil millionaire family and an Enron exec? The amount of profits are obscene, but remember, this is what Americans want. They elected these guys and validated their War of Lies in 2004. They buy these gas guzzling, dangerous, environmental nightmares in huge numbers, and ignored the deliberate scuttling of a practical electric automobile two decades ago. This $40 billion is rich men’s money, the vanishing middle class does not own huge portfolios of Oil company stock, and the economy crumbles as this windfall is crammed into the pockets of the upper class, and they upgrade their Toyota SUV’s to Lexus SUV’s. I am a retired professional and am part of the vanishing middle class. Neither my wife of 34 years, myself or either of my sons have ever owned a vehicle with anything bigger than a 4 cylinder engine. Our next purchase will be a Toyota Prius, but our two sedans both get over 30 miles per gallon on the freeway and over 23 off and are in good working order. I am growing very tired of the way Americans let themselves be led like lemmings over the cliff into a culture that accepts the fascist excesses of the Reich as ‘Security’, the destruction of our economy as a ‘sub-prime loan crisis’, the jellyfish Congress as true ‘opposition’ to the dictatorship that has gripped our country, these and other War profits as a acceptable when the Reich has run up nearly $4 trillion on the national debt in seven years. Their strategy is simple: take from the middle class, give to the rich, fuck the poor. If you buy an SUV, you are a part of the problem. Try putting down you cell phone and doing something to be part of the solution.

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By Lester, February 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In theory, the way to send a message to corporate America is to stop buying their product.  The reality is that getting Americans to agree on a national boycott is a pipedream.  I for one though, will never drive my vehicle into an Exxon station again, and I haven’t since last years obscene year end profits by Exxon.

There’s been several attempted internet boycotts of oil companies over the yrs in an attempt to lower the price of gas but these have all had the premise of rotating from company to company as one lowered it’s price.  Maybe, just maybe, Americans, as dumbed down as we are, could be mobilized by their love affair with the car, to realize they’ve been exploited by Big Oil, and specifically Exxon.

Anyone out there want to get the ball rolling?


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By Blackspeare, February 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

In any society based on true Capitalism, the allegiance of any corporation is to their shareholders and not the consumers.  All the consumers are entitled to is a high quality product at whatever cost the market will bear.  And so for corporations to make huge profits is their way of thanking the shareholders and assuring their continuing investment in the company.  That’s business and like Calvin Coolidge said, “The business of America is business.”

As for certain people outrageously enriching themselves assures them and their progeny a lifetime of comfort into the foreseeable future.  My daughter married into old money and believe me it’s a very nice way to live when those 6 figure endowment distributions are there year after year after year!

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By lowlander, February 13, 2008 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This morning I saw that GM had lost nearly $40 billion last year.

Exxon had a profit of $40 billion.

The price of gasoline is one of the major factors depressing car sales. 

Here’s my idea:  Let’s pass legislation forcing Exxon to fork over it’s $40 billion to GM.  That way both companies break even, and nobody gets put out of work.  The automobile industry is saved!!!

No, wait, what about this instead.  Let’s let Exxon keep the money, shut down half of the auto factories and throw thousands out of work, and give GM a gigantic tax break because it lost so much money.  Oh, hell, while we’re at it, let’s give them $10 or $15 billion of our tax money to “help them out” like we did the airlines, who, by the way, had their hand out before the last piece of debris hit the ground on 9/11.

Vote for Obama.  He won’t be perfect, and he won’t fix everything.  But he will be 150% better than McCain, 75% better than Hillary, and 40 billion percent better than His Moronocy, George II.

January 20, 2009 - The End of an Error

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By David, February 13, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our ‘representatives’ in congress won’t even take calls or emails any more.  It’s like they are hold up in a castle and no one can get to them.  Welcome to the police state.

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By yours truly, February 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regaining Popular Control Of Our Natural Resources

How are we going to do this?  By electing someone president who not only ends the Iraq war but turns things around here at home, whereupon, empowered by our having ended that war, it’ll be up to us, the what sort of world.

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By JimM72, February 13, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So the congressional spineless morons refuse to prosecute the telecom companies as they waste their time bothering Roger Clemens.

the Bush White House just gets more criminal, sickening and obscene on a daily basis.

Those that ignore them or even support them are complicit in their seven year long crime spree against the ordinary citizens of the U.S.

Notice also that magazines like Time and Newsweek often tell us how “we” are feeling or what “we” have become. I dont know what they have become, but certainly not more truthful. In Newsweek’s case, they have actually hired that criminal misfit Karl Rove as a contributing writer. that’s because “we” like fair and balanced.”

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By tomack, February 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

As it is with all the ills that befall us at the hands of the powerful, we have only ourselves to blame. And, Nobozos, we are not the only country to consistently allow it. 

Ask yourselves, and be truthful, how many people do you know who actually show their concern by way of action—as opposed to well intentioned bitching. When you look at it with a truthfull and unbiased eye—no self delusion by way of artificially inflating the altruism of your personal human sphere—you might be surprised by the percentage of those who care less that you.

Unfortunately this is a hard and slow game of education. I doubt we will see it entirely turned about in our lifetimes, but we do have our children, and their personal sphere of influence, to start on.

As a great Irishman once said, “Cheer up, as fooked as we are now, if we continue to act on our beliefs we will be less fooked tomorrow.”

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By Sarv, February 13, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

It’s about time WE started talking about the fictitious “We” that is put forth in the media. Ever since “we” invaded Vietnam and “We” invaded Iraq the “we” has been used to confuse a very clear “us” and “them”. I like the way Jim Hightower always talks about “We the People”. That does not include the oil barons and the minute minority that controls this government today.

Thank you Bob Scheer.

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By Trisha, February 13, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since the troops are fighting and dying for ‘Big Oil’, Halliburton, Bechtel et al - not to mention (who does, anyway) the million dead Iraqis - I believe these corporate scumbags should donate a minimum of one percent of their blood profits to care for the veterans. Not much chance of that, of course, but since America is so hell bent on replicating the brutal excesses of the Roman Empire, it should, perhaps, take care of it citizen warriors as they did. Of course, towards the end of the empire, the Romans used mercenaries (Blackwater)who, not being citizens, were disposable. I should point out that these very mercenaries eventually tuned of Rome, itself. Perhaps history will, indeed, repeat itself when Blackwater employees walk the streets of America, shooting ‘transgressors’ on sight? Works for me. I no longer live there.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

You’re so write here again Leefeller. I’m only just now scratching the surface of all of Monsanto’s crimes, because there are so many others out there like them. The FDA has certainly allowed for the same rape and pillage by Big Pharma, and I don’t know if there’s an agency in the mess, (and that was before 5 dozen others came to existence after 2001) who hasn’t assisted the corps and the oligarchy in the rape, whether it be the oil, the meds, or the banks, or…I could go on.

This Monsonto is really a bigger monster than I ever realized.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 13, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks use words like “deluded” “uninformed” and mislead to describe others, then they prove they are no more “informed” than the masses by posting this stuff.

The price of Oil is dependent on what the folks (mostly governmental entities in countries like Lybia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Canada) charge for the raw product. when Oil gets more expensive to mine (as in Yukon shale-oil) the price increases. When (as now) the raw product must be refined abroad (because the last US refinery built is 30 years old, and we’ve added 100 million people since then) when China and India are adding customers for refined gas and crude at a faster pace than the USA, a capitalist company with good management will sell there. 

Now, I don’t expect this post to win any converts, nor do I approve of the capitalist system, BUT that is the economic system we are currently using.

When GWB came to office in 2000, the price of gas down the street at my local store was 1.699 a gallon for self serve regular.  Since GWB came to office the dollar has lost about half it’s value. this means (because oil is an international product) it should cost $3.398 but it’s selling for $3.07.  The information above is faulty. Raw crude was at 17.98 in 1999 and then rose to $28.24 in 2000 before Clinton left office.

One of the greatest reasons for the price increase (for crude) is the unfettered increases in fuel consumption.  Along with China and India (above) the US consumer has increased demand by 1/3 since the price rise began. 

This is a very complicated equation, and I have no desire or impetus to lay it out here, but folks doing the yelling about increased price need to get their facts in order.

The US enjoys a discount in the price of gas… just hope that crude producers do not decide to accept payment only in euros, instead of dollars as they do now.  If they decide to convert, our discount will evaporate, ...check what a gallon of gas sells for in Italy, France, or Israel.

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By Can 'O Whoopass, February 13, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter) matter WHAT the topic is, some clown brings Clinton into it.
WOW!  People really ARE controlled by Rove!

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By nobozos, February 13, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

If anyone can point me toward a more selfdeluded, arrogant and uninformed citizenry among this planet’s leading industrialized nations than here in the good old U S of A, please do so.

We’ve allowed ourselves to become so brainwashed, dumbed-down and side tracked by the corporate controlled media, we actually think it’s more important to know what Paris Hilton ate for lunch in jail than what our government is doing to us.

The founding fathers didn’t write the Constitution to keep us in line, they wrote it to keep our government in line. It’s sole purpose is to protect we the people from those who would enslave us. Most Americans don’t understand this because they’re more insistent we have prayer in school than decent civics education.

The Exxon profits are obscene, made horribly more so if one considers the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis who died at our hands to make that profit possible. But as a nation and a people we don’t. In fact, we don’t think about much of anything.

It’s nothing short of hilarious we paid so little attention those many times our government was screwing the rest of the world, we’re incapable of noticing when they’re screwing us. And it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

So keep casting your votes based on Trojan horse issues like gay marriage, flag burning, school prayer, abortion, immigration, ‘socialized’ medicine and the like, but be sure to lay in a large stock of K-Y jelly while you’re at it.

Oh, and learn to touch your toes.

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By KISS, February 13, 2008 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

As most repugs and dimmos like to say how Harry S. Truman was the great independent president, and try to con us in to believing they too are like Harry. Yet, none of them seem to remember one of Harry’s greatest mandates ” The Excess Profits Tax”. 90% was the price to be paid. “Outrage? Where is the leader with the courage to put into force what
Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II, “I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster”?
Harry Truman was not afraid to stand up to the Robber-Barron’s, such a shame our country now is under the control of these corporate unpatriotic scoundrels.
How very sad that in these primary elections how record turn-outs are occurring, The record turn-outs should be changing registration to Independent and not participating in this farce. Robert Scheer, I salute you.

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By Leefeller, February 13, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Yes, the handwriting is on the wall and we cannot see it.  Hillary is more of the same.  When Bill was President, he screwed up the FDA in the same way.  So folks like Monsanto get to rape the world. 

Experience is important for status quo.

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By Karen Miller, February 13, 2008 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is good to see Mr. Scheer writing here and of course to read his excellent work.  I am concerned for South America in general; they are kicking us out after years of supporting criminals, guerillas, training terriorist, cuos, etc. and I hear often that the US is to diversified but I am still concerned.  Maybe we are just going to send an army of Blackwater employees (I hear many are ex-Pinochet loyalist). 

With regard to the oil companies I am just exhausted from the hate and anger I feel.  I am constantly looking for a way to write and call them pigs, hendonists, whatever.  Most of them do not have a comments option, imagine. 

Can someone pass a bill that requires Exxonn to use the money they stole from Veneszula to clean up Alaska.  After all they did lose that law suit; really of course the people and eco systems lost.  I really want to do something, I wish I new what to do and how and could and yada yada.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

Ok SamSnedegger…if you’re out there and reading…

Here you are. Ya can’t accuse Robert Scheer of not addressing the real deal behind the war on Iraq any longer.

He does it extraordinarily well, and this part certainly brings it right down to the detailed nitty gritty..

•  The lifeline of Exxon is not its oil drilling skills but rather the power of the U.S. government, particularly the military, that can be marshaled to intimidate those nations that would dare challenge Exxon’s right to profit exorbitantly.

And then he delights me even more, by making the point –CLEARLY- that the soldiers and the taxpayers are the ones sacrificing and funding the battles to insure their profitability.

Of course there’s much more..Cheney being an out of work defense secretary, (though not a broke one by any means) before Halliburton picked him up to be a CEO.

Now that I think about it, he and Rumsfeld share that commonality as well…both are former defense secretaries, and both are signatories to the Project for a New American Century. Both with enormous personal wealth gained through the exploitation, rape, and murder of ‘we the people’.

Meantime, I didn’t know that Condi the Rice’s tanker had been quietly renamed. I remember seeing it frequently from the air, when it still had her name on it. I thought it was her daddy that had named it after her. Maybe that was just an urban myth. No myth about her being on the board of Chevron for all of those years though.

So, there we have it. Mr. Scheer has covered it well, from the pipelines in Afghanistan, to the latest harassment of Venezuela, (after all of those failed attempts to assassinate Chavez) it’s all about the oil and the standard gunboat diplomacy. Although, I think this gang has taken even gunboat diplomacy to a whole new level; well beyond the pale. I mean, it’s not just other nations and/or governments being held at gunpoint. Now it’s anybody that drives or pushes their vehicle into a gas station, expecting to acquire some fuel for the vehicle. I mean, it was apparently OK with everybody to look the other way when the US was robbing the rest of the world blind.

Now they’re doing it to us, and we’re feeling the same pain. As Mr. Scheer puts it so well, they used to share the loot, and now we’re paying for it on all ends. We pay them to steal it, and then we pay again to buy it back from them.

“We” being the average Joe and Josephine Blow that is…

Good show Mr. Scheer. No wonder you won all of those awards.

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