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Blame Rising Oil Prices on Bush

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Posted on Jun 10, 2008
Bush on energy
AP photo / Rich Pedroncelli

President Bush talks about reducing the country’s dependence on oil after touring the California Fuel Cell Partnership facility in West Sacramento in 2006.

By Robert Scheer

Wow, a lot of people must have bought Hummers last week. How else to explain the spike in oil prices? No, I’m not being silly: They are, and by they I mean the gaggle of media pundits and other administration apologists—abetted by some green zealots—who want to explain our energy crisis by reference to profligate consumers.

Sure, in the long run we consumers, particularly the most wasteful ones who happen to reside in the good old USA, and who have become accustomed to consuming many times our population’s worth of the world’s resources, do need to shape up. But that has little to do with the fivefold rise in the price of oil since George Bush became our president. Yep, he did it; Bush’s deliberate roiling of world politics is the key variable in the run-up of oil prices. No president has been more brilliant in destabilizing the politics of oil-producing countries from Venezuela to Russia and on to the key oil lakes of Iraq and Iran.

This last will go down in our nation’s history as one of the dumbest escapades ever, rivaling even the madness of the Vietnam War. But this time the neoconservatives bet their smart money on oil as the decisive missing ingredient for success. Vietnam was always absurd on its face as an imperial adventure because, as American consumers who check their labels must know, the Vietnamese dominate the market only in the provision of farmed shrimp.

I won’t bother here to dignify the canard that Vietnam, any more than Iraq, ever represented a serious threat to U.S. security, John McCain’s sacrifice in the former war and his apologetics for the current one notwithstanding. After the most ignominious defeat in American history, Communist Vietnam did not have to be fought on the shores of San Diego, as the hawks at that time predicted, but rather went to war with Communist China, the country that had occupied Vietnam for a thousand years. The Vietnamese later made their peace and now compete successfully in the capitalist marketplace without controlling anyone else’s resources.

Something similarly unexpected is likely to occur if we get out of Iraq and permit the people of that region to make their own history. Events upon our departure will follow the vagaries of a historical script centering on religion, ethnicity and nationalism, which the talking heads in media and political circles are united in ignoring. As Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki demonstrated the other day with his third visit to his former safe haven in Iran, the politics of the region have already been sorted out in ways unpredicted by the neocons.

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One need only note the words of advice extended to Maliki by Iran’s “supreme leader,” the Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, that the Iraqis must “think of a solution” to free themselves from the U.S. military. Maliki nodded, ever grateful for an audience with the man who holds Iraq’s destiny in his hand, thanks to the Americans’ overthrow of Tehran’s nemesis, Saddam Hussein. As I said, Bush was brilliant.

But to be fair, the administration did finally get something right last week when Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired both the civilian and military chiefs of the Air Force. They were being punished in part for being in charge of an Air Force defense system that lost track of a nuclear-loaded B-52 that flew over the U.S. without anyone in the chain of command aware of its dangerous cargo. Then there was also the matter of ballistic-missile fuses that were erroneously shipped to Taiwan.

The Air Force has been particularly egregious in exploiting the hysteria over 9/11 to commit to hundreds of billions in future spending for high-tech weapons that make no sense with the collapse of the Soviet Union. One issue in the firings was the Air Force’s pushing for hundreds more F-22 fighter jets, a $65-billion program that Gates had concluded was not needed as there has been no role for the existing force in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Gates rejected the argument that China, or any other nation, was on the way to providing the F-22 with a worthy opponent. Given his sudden commitment to logic, Gates may not survive long even in this lame-duck administration.

Better get someone in there fast who is content that we taxpayers pay the interest on the loans from China to pay for building up an arsenal to counter weapons that the Chinese show no sign of building. Hey, it’s only money. Yours.


Robert Scheer is the author, most recently, of “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America,” to be published this week by Twelve Books.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By ECU Remapping, June 24, 2011 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

Bush’s fault or not, I think the rising petrol and diesel prices are inevitable, they are after all natural resources which could run dry one day.

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By geowizard, July 13, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have been in the oil and gas business since 1980.  Before Phil Graham pushed through oil futures deregulation, the price of oil and natural gas generally maintained parity by BTU content.  Today, natural gas is less than $12 an MCF.  BTU parity with a barrel of oil suggests that oil should not be more than $72 a barrel.  I believe we now know where all that money distorting the real estate market has ended up.

People who continually reject market speculation as a major factor for the horrendous run up in the price of oil are either ignorant or shills for the financial industry.

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By Conservative Yankee, June 20, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By me3tv, June 19 at 12:21 pm #

Yay, all was fine under Clinton. He was able to raise taxes in a strong economy and nobody crashed into NYC and Washington DC. Surplus budget. nice.  Bush did not have that good fortune. He got Al-Qaeda’s vote for a changed world. 

Us Citizens and their apologists have memories about five minutes long!  Al-Qaeda’s voted for a changed world in 1993 (when Clinton was president) The budget surplus was a “smoke and mirrors” fraud, and

Where we MIGHT agree is that One DLC government and one Republican government did not put us where we are today. we have been headed downhill for many years,

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By me3tv, June 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yay, all was fine under Clinton. He was able to raise taxes in a strong economy and nobody crashed into NYC and Washington DC. Surplus budget. nice.  Bush did not have that good fortune. He got Al-Qaeda’s vote for a changed world.  Now here we are - in a financial and oil meltdown all related to a necessary Keynesian spending spree designed to counter the Al-Qaeda vote. Keynesian solutions are normally a Democrat solution but this time even Republicans joined in. It may have been the only effective tool available at the time. By 2005 some restraints needed implementation but nobody wanted the pain that would come with that. In the end - Al-Qaeda’s vote broke the tie and here we are 7 years later with a mess. I am not overly fond of many of Bush’s actions in this time, but I can’t accept them as the root cause. Bush’s biggest problem is his inability to articulate his visions and inspire confidence.

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By Louise, June 16, 2008 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage

Great comment!

“In an effort to establish ourselves as eternal masters of the universe, we pulled the rug out from underneath ourselves.  Debt, currency defacement, and destabilizing the world’s largest oil producing region are the culprits.  So long as we insist on paying for oil with a worthless currency, why would producers want to put more on the market? “

They really don’t need to put more on the market. Right now, there’s enough oil to go around. Producing more would create a glut in reverse, and wouldn’t do anything to change the price, just place more demands on the industry to refine, store and distribute. Hence would probably increase the price even more. You notice, we only see lines at the pumps that are cheapest. We see no lines because of shortage. Except maybe in Iraq. [Go figure] And that is more related to your observation about what happens when idiot masters pull the rug out from underneath themselves.

As long as we can meet the multiplier of loss of dollar value versus value of oil in the barrel, they’ll produce on a need/demand basis. And in spite of the fact that so many nimble minds in congress [usually labeled “R”] insist this is all because of a shortage and “our” glut, as you so correctly point out, the shortage is in dollar value and the glut is in ... well ... maybe politicians who have a cash cow in potential rule dropping so they can bleed oil out of our National Parks. Yeh, I find that easy to believe.

However, the three direct contributions to the cost of oil can easily be broken down. And even, with a little effort understood. I’m no economist, but even a dummy like me can figure this out.

So, OK. Everyone repeat on the count of three:

One, two, three,

One third for the oil that goes in the barrel, one third for the guys who sell the oil that comes in the barrel, and one third for the gamblers who bet on the oil that don’t do shit to put the oil in the barrel.

One more time:

One third for the oil that goes in the barrel, one third for the guys who sell the oil that comes in the barrel, and one third for the gamblers who bet on the oil that don’t do shit to put the oil in the barrel.

And just between you and me and the post in the road, if I were a gambling man I’d bet George and Dick and their buddies are making a killing from that “don’t do shit to put the oil in the barrel” third man in the tub.

Now the other big culprit, that you so correctly identified.

Three dollars for every one dollar worth of oil [and climbing] that goes in the barrel.

Gilded Age redux, or, how to bring a nation to the edge of depression without even trying.

It’s the republican way.

By the way, those other nations that pay as much or more and always have, are nations with a long-standing problem with inflation. The scary thing is, so many nations are hinged to the dollar, as the dollar continues to drop, they all drop with us, and how long is anyone going to put up with that?

I remember reading an article a few years back, where the author predicted this is exactly what Bush would do to reduce the value of the national debt, to the lenders. Even at the risk of destroying the dollar to do it. Which he seems quite content to do.

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By mackTN, June 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

This was the country that would pay for its own democratization, according to our fearless leader, with its oil revenues.  Whatever happened to that?

No country can “invest” hundreds of billions of dollars yearly in a sandtrap and think its economy is going to thrive as a result.  \\\

After all, the return on this “investment” isn’t in dollars. 

Ironic that not even the military in Iraq can take advantage of the oil there—you think at least our fearless leader would set up some gas stations to fill up all the humvees and jeeps.

We may never recover from this fool.

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By jackpine savage, June 15, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

A recent article in The Economist points out that oil speculators don’t buy/sell actual oil deliveries, but rather contracts which must be bought and sold regardless of deliveries.  They are, essentially, placing/taking bets which need not align with reality in any way. (except by coincidence)

And for all the talk about how tough the rise in oil prices is on the US, many countries still pay far more than us for a liter of gasoline.  In fact, our price is the same as the price in Russia (a leading oil producer).

In an effort to establish ourselves as eternal masters of the universe, we pulled the rug out from underneath ourselves.  Debt, currency defacement, and destabilizing the world’s largest oil producing region are the culprits.  So long as we insist on paying for oil with a worthless currency, why would producers want to put more on the market?

The exponential rise in oil prices fits far too neatly with the fall of the dollar to be unrelated.  That fall hurts the American consumer, but it erodes the value of our compounding debt. (unlike other third world countries, our debt is denominated in our currency)

As an aside, budget surpluses are meaningless…they are nothing but numbers on paper.  Clinton produced a budget surplus, but at the same time our trade deficit exploded…essentially erasing any gains made by producing a budget surplus.

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By Paracelsus, June 15, 2008 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

@Concservative Yankee

“Your 1% margin is incorrect, the margin was always 3% (to growth) but as in the 80’s speculators seem to be doing too much cocaine again.”

Yes, it is legal to trade 3% margin, but it is nuts. I said 10% was usual as I will quote from Mr. Michael Covel, author of Trend Following, “In cases in which the stop is very close to the entry price, this position would result in very high positions. In these cases, large overnight gaps woud produce higher losses than 2%. To avoid this risk, we additionally retrict the exposure of each position to 10% of our current equity.”

Addtionally, I knew a fellow who traded currencies who warned me to not over leverage, and he used no more than 10% margin of the cash account on his positions. What maybe confusing the issue is that you can use 33.3 to 1 leverage on a position as allowed by the exchange but you do not buy up to the extent that you have 33.3 to 1 on the cash account.

Speculators are easily cooled out by trend changes and margin rules. If they do account for 20% to 40% of the price appreciation, then the the huge low margin the investor accounts must provide the essential balast to the price action. The other factor to consider is that there must have been a huge short covering from the short sellers. They must have swallowed the propaganda that oil was in bubble about to burst. So when there was too much pain the shortsellers bought back their positions thus thrusting the price upward. Every postion in the futurss market has a counter party. You can’t go long without someone going short.

Another factor to consider is that May has always been an inventory build up month for petrol. This May inventory was drawn down, a startling event. This is physical oil, not paper oil. I refer you to Jim Puplava and his latest show on financialsense.com.

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By Conservative Yankee, June 15, 2008 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Paracelsus, June 14 at 1:15 pm #

“I don’t blame speculators for the run up in oil.”

Neither do I, BUT they have their share of responsibility.

It has been stated in the Wall Street Journal, The Lamp, and in industry fly-sheets that current “speculation” is adding 20 to 40% to the price of petroleum products.

Your 1% margin is incorrect, the margin was always 3% (to growth) but as in the 80’s speculators seem to be doing too much cocaine again.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 15, 2008 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

What is so hard to understand?  If you spend 7 years undermining the foundation of your currency both at home and abroad by burying it year after year in every increasing unimaginable debt, sooner or later people lose confidence in your currency and your system.  That’s when the smartest ones get out, the followers panic, and your currency plummets.

That factor alone: Bush’s reversing the budget surplus to a deficit, then exploding that deficit on the financial world like The Big Bang is enough to explain most of our economic woes. 

Sure, there are other idiot policies.  But under Clinton and a budget surplus the economy flourished DESPITE them.  Now, those GOP-inspired de-reg policies add fuel to the fire, but that fire is perfectly capable of burning on its own.

By July 4th all the country will be looking at $5 gas.  By the end of the summer it will be $6.

Yes, it’s all the fault of George W. Bush. The economics is simple and clear.  The man never saw a bolus of money that he didn’t get a hard-on for to pass on to his scurrilous friends, like Kenny Lay.  That goes back to his raiding the Univ of Tex endowment fund, so it went from the richest endowment in the nation (even more than Harvard) at over a billion $, to $400 million virtually overnight.

Then he went for the budget surplus, Medicare, and the GIANT prize: Social Security—only on this last was he stopped. Otherwise ALL our retirement safety nets would be gone, landing in offshore accounts of a few cronies.

Yup. It’s Bush’s fault.

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By Paracelsus, June 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

@Yankee Conservative

“Actually the commodity “crude oil” was regulated and safe from speculators until James Earl Carter deregulated the industry in 1977.”

I don’t blame speculators for the run up in oil. Speculators trade on 10% margin (or less if they are crazy). Therefore they must must close out losing postions in a hurry. They have no staying power as they are more likely to mark to market their positions. If one really wanted to impose positions that had real bite on the price to oil, he would be best advised to trade oil onto a 1:! basis with his cash account, or 2:1 if he is adventourous. ETF’s are more suited to holding long positions for long periods of time as they are not easily whipsawed like the speculators. Also the ETF can roll over its position before the delivery date of the contract. If anything can be said about Oil ETF’s on the positive side. It does give small investors an opportunity to hedge against inflation in their personal lives.

If we wanted to get rid of the overhang of permabull contracts in oil we could retrict trading to only speculators and hedgers and ban etf and longterm hedge fund investing in crude oil.

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By Arabian Thoroughbred, June 13, 2008 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

DrNoon said:
“Sorry Mr. Expert but ARAMCO no longer exists and hasn’t since the Saudi’s nationalized the oil fields back in the late 70’s.”
=======================
ARAMCO stands for Arab-American (Oil)Company. It still exists now under Saudi ARAMCO, with the word “Saudi” prefixed to it, but is still jointly owned by both parties on the basis of 51% Saudi-owned and 49% American owned. This was a mutual amicable arrangement as a public relations scheme. This process took place in the late 70’s, but cannot technically be called nationalization. The word nationalization is a big taboo word in Saudi Arabia, since it’s related to socialism, which the Saudi regime actually fears and abhors. That’s why they were enemies of the late Egyptian President Jamal Nasir who was pursuing socialist economic policies, for which he was very popular among the masses in the Arab World. I was an eyewitness to these developments, so I speak from first hand information and not from rumors from here and there.

Moreover, Israel receives its main supplies of oil from ARAMCO, through exporting commercial gimmicks to deceive the Arab masses which would be very angry if Saudi Arabia was seen openly as helping the “enemy.” 

I hope with this piece of information to settle the exchange between DrNoon and Conservative Yankee!

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By Conservative Yankee, June 13, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By DrMoon, June 12 at 6:32 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry Mr. Expert but ARAMCO no longer exists and hasn’t since the Saudi’s nationalized the oil fields back in the late 70’s. The only way to lower the price of oil is to drill, drill, drill. If we start drilling in ANWR, just the threat of over production will lower the price by $40 per barrel. Sorry but it’s not Bush’s fault for the rise in prices of gasoline. In fact the price has risen most since the good old democrats took over Congress and eliminated any threat of drilling for new oil. The current suppliers say that and said we can raise the price as much as we want and the stupid democrats won’t allow new American production.
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No actually you are incorrect. ARAMCO lasted under that name until 1988, when the Saudis changed the name to “Saudi ARAMCO. Today as the worlds second largest oil company it exists still.

Drilling in the Anwr is not a solution, nor would a short term “threat” accomplish anything. The Oil minsters of the middle east attend Harvard, Yale, M.I.T.  Any oil expert knows that under a best case scenario there may be 6 months of oil at current rates of consumption in the reserve. Oil shale from Canada is a short term solution.

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By Conservative Yankee, June 13, 2008 at 5:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Foreign Debt causes Weak dollar,causes Oil High Prices,causes Commodity Speculation”

Actually the commodity “crude oil” was regulated and safe from speculators until James Earl Carter deregulated the industry in 1977. 

We live in a capitalist country. The people controlling the National purse believe strongly in supply and demand. This system helps their contributor friends, but is not progressive, nor does it take into account that the primary PRIMARY duty of government is to make life for ordinary citizens better.

As I see the oil situation we have only two ways to proceed. both of those ways hurt (to some degree) ordinary citizens.

We can (short term) re-regulate the crude industry which over time would mean a regulation of all energy sources. This would hurt regular folks, because the value of securities (funding 401-k’s personal retirement accounts, stock issues, and Union health care funds) would decline precipitously.

People should know we have been living on the benefits of a regulated industry for the last 25 years, BUT the lack of (regulated) spending on inferstructure, while speculators bleed the life out of companies is taking a toll. PG&E;will need over 100 BILLION dollars to keep service to their current customers. Ditto Con-Ed in New York. The Northeast power-grid is an antique, and very close to complete collapse. This Grid extends from northern Maine south through Washington D.C. and west to Ohio, and eastern Indiana.

The weather this week tore huge holes in the mid-west grid, and without a massive infusion of dollars it will never be restored to even what it was last month.

the second way of handling this problem is to have people stock up on candles and burn the tires off their automobiles to keep warm.

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By DrMoon, June 12, 2008 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry Mr. Expert but ARAMCO no longer exists and hasn’t since the Saudi’s nationalized the oil fields back in the late 70’s. The only way to lower the price of oil is to drill, drill, drill. If we start drilling in ANWR, just the threat of over production will lower the price by $40 per barrel. Sorry but it’s not Bush’s fault for the rise in prices of gasoline. In fact the price has risen most since the good old democrats took over Congress and eliminated any threat of drilling for new oil. The current suppliers say that and said we can raise the price as much as we want and the stupid democrats won’t allow new American production.

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By dihey, June 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Sharkie: you and all other armchair oil-amateurs who believe that Saudi Arabia is still sitting on an infinite ocean of gas-propelled oil need to read “Twilight in the Desert” by the oil-expert Matthew R. Simmons who predicted in 2005 that the day would come soon when ARAMCO could not again keep the price of crude from rising out of the pan as it had done in the past because ARAMCO can no longer safely increase its oil production by much without seriously reducing the gas pressure of its super-fields. Every known super-field such as for example Brent in the North Sea (and every smaller field)has gone through peak-production and declined. I am not a friend of OPEC but calling them liars on peak oil is contradicted by known facts.
One of the major factors of the rise in crude price is the weakening dollar. The most effective and possibly only way in which our next president can reduce the price of crude and thereby the cost of gas at the pump is by substantially reducing the government’s budget deficit to something close to zero. There are, in my opinion, only two socially acceptable ways of doing that. Reduce the military budget by at least 30% (hence get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, and Europe as fast as possible and dismantle much of the military/industrial/Congressional complex) and/or a permanent increase in taxes but not the inheritance tax (a stupid measure at a time when property values drop and the stock market remains constant). Neither McCain nor Obama seem to understand this. They are like the blind leading the blind. Blaming Bush for the oil crisis is good fun but is close to useless demagoguery. Leadership must now come from one of the two candidates or, even better, both. Do not hold your breath. Both are politically what in the sport of boxing is known as flyweights.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Honorary small j jews I should have said. Idolators can not be Jews.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

So if this vision of the Kali Yuga is authentic, what is the dynamic of the dissolution of this latest giant step in the concentration of wealth. Maybe something about that if only a few people have all the wealth it becomes worthless. If hardly anyone has any money the money economy is moot. But if the money economy blows out it will be a pretty rough transition I guess. Please Yahweh, I know you can do better than that.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

And lets remember where the Klintons Treasury Secretary came from. Forget the honorary Brother b*ullcrap. They are obviously honorary Jews.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

And when you think about it, it seems like anyone with a big enough pot can set up their own Index Fund. So I guess the bulk of the ‘Traditional Investers’ are by now actually Index Funds held by Individual and Family owned Investment Trusts.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Thanks so much GoldenT for this hideous bombshell. Those of us who dont (and cant?) hold Commodities Index Funds are Motley Fools indeed.

And I in particular, going them one better, am a Total Idiot. Many years ago in a moment of depressive funk I shifted a very significant portion of my savings to the TIAA Traditional Investment Fund. You can retrieve your money from this gray hole of constant 5% returns only via a ten year pay out schedule. By now I have pretty much written off the remaining 50%. By the time I recoup the rest I will be lucky if it buys a Chinese car.

And I’m sure some jackels somewhere are having a good time picking my bones, while chortling crazily at my prediciment.

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By GoldenT, June 12, 2008 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

Read what Michel Masters said in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on May 20, 2008. The entire document is a cogent, easy read. However, if you are pressed for time, read the 1st paragraph on p.4. This will tell you all you need to know about the rise in commodities prices, particularly crude oil.

What we are seeing here essentially is this: a bailout of Wall Street at everyone’s expense.

Much effort is being made to explain the rise in energy prices on shifts in supply and demand. These shifts, however, are minuscule in comparison to Index Fund speculation.

Get to know how the real world works. Understand the power of leverage. Lo! There’s Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs benefiting to no end ... just as they did off the backs of millions of Americans ... displaced by a mortgage market turned into a real estate casino.

Someone remind me… where’s that Treasury Secretary of ours from?

Too many so-called public servants are tools of the City of London and its brainchild: Wall Street ... doing the bidding of deranged European oligarchs who have always hated the United States. With smiling faces, these soldiers lie through their teeth and wage war on the People.

Thus, those who not only apologize for a wildcat, free market’s destruction of “the general Welfare,” but likewise aid and abet the awful mess being perpetuated to no good end will one day soon be known by their true name. It’s called TRAITOR.

Take strength from Congressman Kucinich. He is showing a way on the path of Justice.

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By Sodium, June 12, 2008 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Subject:It is an Entropic Consecutive Reaction,stupid.

Conservative Yankee,

Thank you for an excellent post(June 11) whose content defines the cause for the high prices for oil reasonably well. With your permission,I wish to explore the complexity of the issue a little bit further.If I am wrong,please correct me.Thank you:

As CY has stated in his/her June 11 post,the main reason(there are other reasons)for the the rapid price increases for oil is,indeed,the rapid fall of the value of the American dollar.

The question arises:what has been the reason for the
free fall of the value of the U.S. dollar??? The
answer can be pin pointed to the massive and huge
debt the American government keeps borrowing from
foreign countries,mainly from China,Japan and Germany
The more foreign debt,the weaker the dollar.

The oil producing and exporting countries import from
the U.S. and the rest of the major Industrialized
countries a range of living necessities:foods,cars,
medicines,cloths,appliances,chemicals,construction equipments,even bottled water etc…With the exception of Iran,all oil producing and exporting
countries pay in American dollars for the necessary
imports they have to import for their people.As the value of the dollar decreases,the price of oil must
increase accordingly.Hence,it is an inverse relationship between the value of the dollar and the price of a barrel of oil.

Who have jumped to cash in and take advantage of the
inverse relationship between the dollar and price of oil are the COMMODITIES SPECULATORS.This factor has
just made the increasing entropy(disorder) more
severe.

Based on the reasons/causes as outlined in the foregoing,one may conclude that an Entropic Consecutive Reaction is going on,currently,in the
international and national market places,which may be
summarizes as follows:

Foreign Debt causes Weak dollar,causes Oil High Prices,causes Commodity Speculation,causes Even higher Oil Prices.In short,an Entropic Consecutive
Reaction does,indeed,exist in the national and international markets.And humanity has to endure for a while until honest reformers and people of integrity challenge of what is going on and stop the
Entropy of the Consecutive Reaction from doing more
damages to the whole globalized human societies.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the nod, Compton Stokes, and I appreciate your summary on McCain. I kind of doubt though that preparing for war with China would be helpful. In fact I doubt that anything the government could do would help. Let me explain.

It seems we are in the final stages of the Kali Yuga, when everything comes apart. We are entering
the regime of exponential decay, when ‘the cloud capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples ... shall dissolve ... and melt into thin air’. For ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’, and the old dream is just about done, and a new one is getting ready.

Clearly the era of market capitalism is done for, since it depends on economic growth, and we have
finally reached the limits of growth. But even beyond that, the reductive materialist view of the person as a productive unit has reached its absurd limit, plunging us into an ontological crisis. The
culmination of our rationalist philosopy has cut us off from the roots of our animal nature, and we are
beyond any basis for our values, directionless, radically inauthentic.

So what seems to need to happen in our culture, and what is in fact happening, is a process of return
to Eden, to the pre-civilised state, before the Fall. Before social power structures were organized as multiply layered hierarchies. Before religion was reorganized in the image of the bureaucratic State,
and its primary function became to support the State. Before the imposition of the superego as the
tree of knowledge of good and evil, before morality was conceived of as a legal code. What we need
is not the creation of the New Human, but the retrieval of the old one.

If I had to give this movement a name I would call it neoshamanism.

I tend to think it is inevitable. But the challenge is how to usher it in with a minimum of uncontrolled
population collapse.

Our government is so utterly dysfuctional that I am very skeptical that it can do much more than refrain from harm. Maybe the proper fuction of politics as we know it is to dissolve itself. Or maybe not, but I have nothing to say about that.

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By Dragonbrain, June 12, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a very silly column. 

First, the world is actually more stable now than it was immediately after 9/11 by any rational measure. 

Second, and most importantly, all commodities have gone up dramatically because of scarcity caused by the exploding Chinese economy.  Copper, for instance, has gone up MORE than five fold; molybdenum has gone up by an order of magnitude! 

The real culprit in the US is regulation—regulation has stopped all new drilling/mining and refining for roughly thirty years and we are just beginning to pay the price.  If the regulations weren’t so ridiculous, the pace of production would have kept much better pace with the demand and the price of all commodities would be significantly lower.  Heck, go back thirty years and remove the roadblocks to just one industry, Nuclear Power, and we’d be floating in cheap fuels despite the regulations on the other industries.

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By freecell, June 12, 2008 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The End of Dollar Hegemony
using force to compel people to accept money without real value
http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul303.html

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

samosamo needs to realize that it *is* entirely nice to fuck with mother nature. mother nature is *negentrophy*. entrophy is wrong-thinking such as *yours*.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Dont worry Sullen Suzy, after the Chinese buy US they will have every interest in preserving law and order. And our Ruling Class can stay on as the local Management Class, as is customary in neoimperialism.

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By paul easton, June 12, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

A big Oley to Purple Girl. Conservative Yankee needs needs to realize that the Ruling Class is not as rational as him, and in fact has degenerated at least as much as the average White American.

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By J Hall, June 12, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That way we get both the F-22 fighter jets and a new fleet of nuclear attack submarines. Thus assuring the stratosphere and ocean depths are secure for democracy.

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By MattKline, June 12, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Does anyone know what kind of deal the oil companies have to drill in the U.S.?  Do they pay the government a cut of the sale price of “our” oil?  I assume if varies depending on whether they are drilling on private land or public land?

They say price would go down if we drill on ANWAR, but they’d just sell this oil on the international market for the going rate, right?  It’s not like we require domestic oil to be sold domestically.

MK
http://www.militaryintelligenceandyou.com

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By littlebruno, June 12, 2008 at 4:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1.Don’t Drive—Walk! Bike! ... or just don’t go.
2.Support local, sustainable agriculture and business systems.
3.Don’t over-eat.
4.RRRR. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & REVIVE!
4.It’s o.k. to blame Bush.

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By GW=MCHammered, June 11, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tell Congress To Impeach Now:
http://www.usalone.com/impeach_both.php

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By 911truthdotorg, June 11, 2008 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

AZ State Senator Karen Johnson reads 9/11 Truth speech on Senate Floor. She starts at 2:40

http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=3855&publish;_id=
&event;_id=

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By AT, June 11, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The corporate version of the save the planet campaign has turned into a campaign to sell efficient-gas-automobile and other green products . and yet, according to one estimate” if you allow to drill the artic now, in ten years, it will yield a total of the equivalent of 2 days of gas consumption in the US. Venezuela want to send oil to the US but Bush says no. Let’s make Cheney forced Bush to say yes.

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By BlueEagle, June 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

Well… I guess that depends on how you define price. The Federal Reserve Note (FRN) to gasoline ratio is definitely going up. It takes more FRNs to exchange for the same amount of gas.


This video will explain further…

Gas prices are NOT going up (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEsEvb1WsIY

A quarter (made of silver) in 1947 is worth 4.55 FRNs today.

The fact is that the oil/FRN ratio is decreasing rapidly, proving that debasement of the currency is in full swing. Like the hard money advocates have said all along the oil/gold and gas/silver ratio remains the same. A gallon of gas still costs $0.23, as it did in 1947, that’s when a quarter was still made of silver, something of value.

This has nothing to do with Bush, it has everything to do with the Federal Reserve,Ben Bernanke and the Banking Cartel.

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By Sharkie, June 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Peak oil is the BS supplied to you by big oil. It’s always been about peak oil. Commentors above concede that, yeah, if they say so then it is. This probably won’t be well received in a nation swindled by Enron, now big oil and keeps electing “oil men” to the highest political offices in the land, but a very large part of the world beleives oil comes from an anbiotic source deep within the earth that was created when it was formed. To beleive as westerners do, that oil is from fossil orgin with finite supply, there would have to be a thirteen square mile cube of fossil or vegative matter lying beneath the the largest known reserves in Saudi Arabia, (Gawhar Field) This simple illustration alone makes the peak-oil theory look ridiculous and spoon fed to a populace with the intentions of creating shortages and supply concerns to effect price. It is not by accident Russia has the largest natural gas supply in the world. They are expert at using anbiotic geology methods for locating new reserves.

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By Bentley Ptythylhlyl, June 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Internal combustion engines at best are only about 30% efficient: 70% of the energy you buy as gasoline is literally thrown away.  The planet has plenty of oil, we just use it exceptionally poorly.

We are, however, literally surrounded by clean energy: not just from the sun, but also from the mechanical energy exerted by the moon in the form of the tidal pull, and from the rotation of the earth itself which causes the molten core of the planet to behave as an enormous dynamo (thus producing the planets magnetic field).

Bush isn’t the first to mismanage energy, and so long as the auto industry is subsidzed he won’t be the last; and I don’t just mean direct subsidies to corporations, but also all the tax money spent on highways, for instance, which enables long, wasteful commutes and promotes suburban sprawl.  Poor people with their sales tax pay for roads to the suburbs while wealthy people refuse to pay for effective mass transit because roads are viewed as an entitlement while busses are viewed as a handout.

The whole energy crisis is fabricated—and I don’t mean fake, but rather engineered.  These people won’t have control over you if you stop giving them money and political power.

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By calibpatriot, June 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush, Cheney and the other criminals in their administration must not be allowed to get home free after the past criminal eight years.  Those bastards are responsible for the horrendous deaths of over 4,000 Americans not to mention over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians in an unprovoked and unlawful “pre-emptive” invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has been proven never have had anything to do with 9/11, based upon lie after lie after lie. 100,000s of men, women and children will have to live with horrendous injuries for the rest of their lives.  On top of all of this their irresponsible and greedy economic policies are driving this country into the ground.

There must be redress for these crimes directed against America and the world.

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By BruSays, June 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Nino,

You wrote: “What is going on is a lot bigger than the stupidity of one administraton.” 

As an intelligent, liberal-thinking mind all I can think is, like, I mean, “Duh.”

Oil is a finite source of energy. We are running out of oil. It’s a huge concern.

We get it.

But although the problem IS bigger than the stupidity of one (this) administration, we can’t even begin to scratch a meaningful dent in our use of this finite source until this administration is history. 

We liberals DO get it. We just don’t have the numbers to do it alone. Not until we have an administration (and veto-proof legislature) that is not in the back pockets of the oil companies can we begin to take significant steps to wean ourselves from fossil fuels.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, June 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

This is sightly off topic, but it’s a fascinating link:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7901430605984970588&q=blood and oil&hl=en

What’s clear after looking at this:

1. Our dependence on oil has developed over many many administrations, and has been encouraged, if not nurtured, by both reps and dems alike.

2. We are not going to leave all the oil in Iraq to our enemies, nor to anyone who might use it as a weapon against us. No matter who gets into the white house.

3. Our economy is modeled on the availability of cheap oil, so we’re going to have to retool the system, with all the economic pain this entails.

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By Arabian Thoroughbred, June 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Painful and hurting as it is, blaming Bush and his cohorts for rising oil prices is the least of his crimes against humanity.

This man has practically great amounts of blood on his hands, plus the total ruin of three countries; so how can we have the minimum measure of justice short of trying him for horrible crimes against humanity. America’s failing to bring this evil man to justice is indeed the most serious travesty of justice in human history, and this will put America as a whole on top of the list of failing justice systems in the world.

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By samosamo, June 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

““By ocjim, June 11 at 9:29 am #

I think that what hurts democracy-loving Americans the most about Bush is seeing him around,mindlessly cavorting before the cameras, an un-prosecuted criminal in a country formerly dedicated to fair and equal treatment before the law. It is one of the basic principles of democracy, but apparently not of our eroding democracy.”“

That is absolutely positively correct and I am the first on the list of those wanting to see these criminals, doing as you say most especially w but along with dick cavorting around on camera and in public, wanting and demanding they be arrested and tried for their crimes.
Any time I see any of the whole gang on tv with their act of being concerned about their beloved country or just plain serious acting as if they are the only ones capable of leading this country, their body language screems of taunting arrogance and the behind the eyes thoughts of how they have just become unimaginably rich at the cost of a whole class of people at the edge of loosing everything they have because of a bunch of elected pricks that are for some reason not going after them. Think congress and attorney general, fbi… anybody.
It is after all, all about the money. Everything.

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By felicity, June 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

When gas-guzzling Hummers first hit the market, our government put in place a $75 thousand tax write-off per/Hummer for a company purchasing one for business use.  Nothing like promoting gas-guzzling.  (What oil man not to mention the prostituting members of Congress wouldn’t jump at the chance to increase oil/gas consumption.)

That said, I have always doubted that “the politics of the region (ME) have…been sorted out in ways unpredicted by the neocons.”  I suggest what the ME has become is exactly what the neocons intended it to become.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 11, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Bob asks overall the right questions, but he’s off the mark.

Yes, we can blame the defeat of Carter by Reagan and the subsequent abandonment of oil alternatives for the current crisis.

But the real burden falls back on ol’ Dip$#!t himself.  It started with his pre-9/11 conversion of the budget surplus into a deficit—a $200 billion deficit.  The US government is the largest single economic actor in the world, so its entry into the borrowing market sooner or later has an effect on credit.  It took a LOOOONG time for the effect to be felt, and the borrowing for the Iraq war (of which 4 years would have been financed by his pre-9/11 artificial deficit) accelerated it.

So…you have the US government borrowing more and more money in insane quantities—to fight a war nobody believes in. Eventually the credit markets followed the Conservatives’ creed “Supply and demand”.  Demand for money (by the US Gov) forced the price of money (interest rate) to rise…at the same time the Fed, tried to keep interest rates down domestically…so foreign investors lost interest in investing here…but when that didn’t work and the foreclosures happened, the house of cards came down and the dollar collapsed.  All this goes back MAINLY to Bush’s tax-cut and pointless war.  Making it worse was the 28 year pattern of TOTAL dereg despite the late 80’s banking crisis.

Republicans: If it’s good for the nation it’s bad for our big donors, so let’s ALWAYS take care of the donors.  Remember: It’s better to be part of a the few ultra-rich than the growing poor—who cares about them, Darwin’s Losers?

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By Ed, June 11, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The U.S. consumes too much oil and should be paying more. The government should have put a large tax on oil imports and gas-guzzlers 30 years ago to force conservation. Anyone with any foresight knows this rate of consumption of oil is unsustainable and it would eventually cause an energy crisis if alternatives were not found in time.

So the U.S. ignores the problem and acts like oil is an infinite resource instead of investing heavily in alternative energy solutions. “Let’s make quick profits now and push the problem off on our grandchildren.” That’s not very intelligent for a society that is so arrogant.

The U.S. government and the powers that be better come up with some quick solutions otherwise there’s going to be a revolution akin to France in the late 1700’s. History tends to repeat itself and it looks like the American Empire is starting to crumble.

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By omop, June 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Lets not overlook the machinations of the New York Mercantile Exchange and the hustlers on Wall Street.

Doubt very much that any of the oil exporting countries actually receive $126 dollars a barrel when it is supposedly quoted as selling for $126. in the US.

Why does no one mention the reason or jsutification as to why the Canadain dollar when exchanged with the US dollar now costs more than the US dollar? Or why it now cost $1.40 to buy a Euro when five years ago the Euro could be bought for .85 Cents?

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By Louise, June 11, 2008 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

I suggest you ALL take a look at this:

Tuesday, June 03,2008

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell chaired a Senate Commerce Committee hearing investigating whether market manipulation is behind today’s skyrocketing oil and gas prices.

“With gasoline prices well over four dollars a gallon in some regions, and diesel topping five dollars, consumers no longer have the confidence that the prices they are paying at the pump are fair or even linked to underlying supply and demand forces,” said Cantwell.  “We have learned from painful experience that energy markets can be manipulated when federal regulators are asleep at the wheel or market rules aren’t strong enough to protect consumers.” 

“According to a number of oil industry executives and market analysts, around a third of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds, and much of it on electronic futures exchanges free from U.S. oversight.  To the extent that prices do not reflect market fundamentals, the federal government has an obligation to ensure that prices are not being manipulated.”

[You read that right! Approximately ONE THIRD of today’s crude oil price is PURE SPECULATION driven by large trader banks and hedge funds. Did someone mention ENRON?]

“Recently, [oil market] spot prices have risen far above the marginal cost of production and far-out, forward contracts have risen much faster than spot prices.  Price charts have taken on a parabolic shape which is characteristic of bubbles in the making,” said George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management”
~~~
“Excessive speculation on energy trading facilities is the fuel that is driving this runaway train in crude oil prices,” said Gerry Ramm, Senior Executive, Inland Oil Company of Ephrata, WA.  “This rise in crude oil prices in recent weeks has dragged with it every single refined petroleum product, especially heating oil…Large purchases of crude oil futures contracts by speculators have created an additional demand for oil which drives up the prices of oil for future delivery…Reliable futures markets are crucial to the entire petroleum industry.”
~~~
http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=298699

Recent investigative reports by Congress and the Government Accountability Office, corroborated by substantial Congressional testimony from market users and experts, make clear the tight correlation between futures and spot prices; that is the prices consumers actually pay for energy.

This is why it is also critical for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to be an aggressive cop on the beat to fulfill its Congressional mandate to protect American energy consumers from fraud, manipulation, and excessive speculation in all FUTURES markets that trade U.S. products.We saw Enron game the futures market to drive the futures price higher so electricity customers would be forced to sign higher priced long-term contracts in the physical market.

We saw the same thing with Amaranth in the natural gas markets. A large hedge fund drove up the futures price and natural gas customers were forced to pay higher prices for physical delivery.”
~~~

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By Louise, June 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

“Americans may be surprised to learn that our oil futures markets were substantially deregulated by CFTC staff decisions that were made behind closed doors. This “London-Loophole” and now the “Dubai-Loophole” is keeping important U.S. energy trading in the dark. And without proper light manipulators have free reign.

I understand that the Dubai Exchange, which also received a staff no regulatory action decision that was given behind closed doors, recently began trading U.S. oil products on U.S. trading terminals. Now we have a “Dubai-Loophole” to keep track of.”
*
There are four things wrong with the CFTC’s weak approach.

First, there is still no large speculation limits that are critical to preventing fraud, manipulation and excessive speculation.

Second, the CFTC will not collect the same kind of information that it would collect from other fully regulated exchanges. The information will be unaudited and unverifiable.

Third, unlike fully regulated U.S. exchanges like NYMEX, there are no enforcement mechanisms.

And fourth, the CFTC approach is partly just an agreement to agree – there are no firm commitments – so all of these measures may not even be put in place.”
*
We want federal oversight agencies to do their job.

We expect federal oversight agencies to actively police the oil markets for fraud, manipulation, and excessive speculation.
*
If the CFTC does not act, I am planning to introduce legislation that will force them to. For those of us who suffered Enron’s manipulations, we have plenty of perspective to share with the CFTC:” 
Senator Marie Cantwell
***

So that’s where WE come in. I’d say it’s time we let our Senators and Representatives know: Fix the manipulation, then come back and talk to us about shortages.

Aside from the fact that CFTC is a congressionally mandated agency with an interesting motto:

“Insuring the Integrity of the Futures and Options Markets”

... they seem to be operating under, “screw the people and enrich the rich” Bush administration policy, but this isn’t just Bush’s fault. An indifferent congress chose to look the other way when this started. And thanks to those left overs who still hold fast to the principles of, “wealthy first, everyone else goes down with the ship” policy, all we’ve heard is ... shortage, drill, shortage, drill ... and the chaos in Iraq has played well into that manufactured excuse.

And as could be expected, we haven’t heard a whole lot about the “One Third” market manipulation factor from mainstreammedia.

By the way. Testimony at the hearing pointed out, if we don’t regulate this kind of runaway speculation now, the same thing will happen to all markets involving “alternate” fuel sources. Which might explain why, right now there is very little difference between the price of conventional fuel and “renewable” fuel.

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By thebeerdoctor, June 11, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

To give you another perspective: I have a Lebanese friend who owns an independent gas station and convenience store. He now sells gasoline at 12 cents less per gallon than it actually costs. The current prices are set by the company owned gas stations, who receive their fuel allotment directly from corporate headquarters at a lower price. Thus, energy inflation is accomplishing at least two goals at once: huge profits for the corporations and elmination of independent dealers.
Depending on the convenience store side of his business, is no picnic either. There is the problem that many deliveries such as snacks and soft drinks will soon be curtailed. Why? You guessed it, the high cost of diesel fuel.

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By ocjim, June 11, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

I think that what hurts democracy-loving Americans the most about Bush is seeing him around,mindlessly cavorting before the cameras, an un-prosecuted criminal in a country formerly dedicated to fair and equal treatment before the law. It is one of the basic principles of democracy, but apparently not of our eroding democracy.

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By Rogelio, June 11, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Whether we like to admit it or not, we are being screwed by the oil cartels. It is an utter and complete embarassment what is transpiring. ‘w’ asks his buddies to increase oil production and they refused. The oil market has completely messed up our economy, and this lame (duck) president could care less.

This so-called oil hike is comparable to the electricity crisis in CA. years ago. We were given so many freakin execuses as to why electricity prices were so high. What more needs to be said.

Not to mention, isn’t ‘w’ an oil man?

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By nino, June 11, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Biologists use a term, “overshoot and collapse.” This refers to a species population exponentially growing until all the of natural resources that support its life are consumed. The species then collapses.

To falsely think that securing a country for its oil, which is why we are in Iraq after-all, will provide us with an “Everlasting Gobstopper” of energy is insane.

This US administration may be the worst in history, as seen by the world and finally now the American public, but in-fact they are only trying helping us to continue our mindless consumption of natural resources at an exponential rate.

Be glad… Just think, if it weren’t for the foresight of the administration (i.e. Exxon, Halliburtan, AIPAC, etc) we could already be paying $6, $7 perhaps $8 a gallon!

Iraq holds the last large sweet crude oil deposits known. Enough to keep the world cranking along for another, oh-say, 2-3 years (not counting the exponential growth factor of overshoot and collapse). This is not a plot to squeeze every last dollar out of our wallets by a greed administration. Although that side effect is well received by the elite few. It is to mindlessly keep the gas stations pumping and our consuming lives in the grow-grow-grow cheer-leading mode. Shhhh, don’t look over there at the numbers…

If we all really understood what Peak Oil means for the world, and for the US, we wouldn’t be pointing fingers at the people in charge - we’d be pointing them at ourselves. No one has bothered to stop long enough to see what the end of oil (and coal, and uranium, and trees, and…) means. Even the most intelligent liberal thinking people, like most of you here at truthdig, still fantasies about driving your hydrogen car to the Starbuck for a Mocha and life is great in a neo-con free zone.

Well it is not.

Please read up on Peak Oil at http://www.theoildrum.com and/or other sites that are discussing our energy future. Now is the time to act on the energy issue. Screw the politicians, lets get to work on a way to sustain ourselves so we don’t overshoot and collapse.

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By Ned, June 11, 2008 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The piece was less than your best Robert, sounding a lot more like a bar argument that a well-researched piece. 

“Bush’s deliberate roiling of world politics is the key variable in the run-up of oil prices.”

I am perfectly capable of making blanket statements like that myself.  We need people like you to provide the substance behind the statement.

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By Compton Stokes, June 11, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow! What a silly way to start an article Bob. First you start out by calling other media pundits “silly” and “Administration apologists” and then you proceed to do the same yourself by falling for the Admin’s spin on the Airforce shakeup. Paul easton’s comment is correct here, nothing these guys do is buy accident. The decks are being cleared for a more compliant group of Armed Forces leaders to replace the pesky Generals who keep asking the tough questions like, “What plan do we have for when the Iranians shoot back and come over the border into Iraq in force?”  Gee, the Airforce is now headed by some unknown General who was in charge of the transportation division and as far as I can see has had no combat experience at all. What a sucess!
Can you spell “pawn”? Oh yeah, Gates is an enlightened leader alright. Thank God he is there to temper that Crazy George Bush’s “escapades” as you call it Mr Scheer.
Why don’t you go after McCain in this article Bob? Instead of the brief reference to his “sacrifice” in Vietnam, you should be talking about how heroic he was while he dropped bombs indiscriminately on civilians ,women and children, in Vietnam, got shot down by a supposedly inferior force, and then came home and wrapped himself in the “War Hero” flag. How he wife swapped his way to the millions of dollars he would need to become a real presidential contender. Now theres a story.Your probably saving that one for later.
You say that the Air Force has been “particularly egergious” in exploiting the 9-11 hysteria. This is where you show that you have truly fallen into their trap,  supporting Gates cleaning house in the AF means you are blind to the pattern that is presenting itself. Realistic, principled military leaders being replaced by compliant underlings who are beholden to do as they are told by those who gave them there undeserved promotion.

Maybe you’d better take a look at your argument against arming up for a future conflict with China, Bob. The U.S. became complacent about the Japanese in the years leading up to WWII, got caught flat footed, even though it was apparent that the Japanese were growing in power and influence in East Asia. The same may very well be true regarding the Chinese, who have about as much love for us as a drug dealer has for the fool who is buying his wares.
They are building up their armed forces, are strategically positioning themselves to dominate the worlds salable resources, and are now getting very cozy with the Russians. Both perceiving that an a strengthened alliance will serve to counter the U.S. tendency to unilaterally throw its weight around in Asia.
By the way Bob, there have also been many reports that alot of the weapons confiscated in Iraq have been made in China. What a surprise! How about Truth Digging into that? Please try to help your readers see the Big Strategic patterns playing out on the World stage. They are right there in front of us and we need your help to point them out in that old “Dog with a bone” attitude you used to be famous for..

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By samosamo, June 11, 2008 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

I agree wholeheartedly about getting of Iraq will just about be the same as our getting out of Vietnam. There will be a period of turmoil and savagery but then again the fighting tribes or sects will have to sort that out.
I also agree that just like Vietnam, some other underdeveloped countries have risen above their proverty to become part of the world in wanting to improve themselves. But all this is not for free.
When a country or people come out of poverty that means they are putting a bigger demand on the natural resources to support all life on this planet. With the current 6.6 billion people living here and with religion, politics and economics systems in force today, it is no wonder that there are masses of people dying; dying from starvation, illegal wars and pure indifference. This should show that the human population is actually beyond the limits for all to be in a fullfilled life. And as mention in the article with the US being the example of the biggest consumer of natural resources and take the most impoverished nation and try to at the least bring them on equal levels of consumption is not doable.
For being the most intelligent species, whatever that may mean, it just is not in the cards for there to be a stability in the world where people are living side by side with plenty to eat and lots of fun things to do. Hell, the elites will not let that happen just as plain as day. And neither will good old mother nature, remember, it isn’t nice to fuck with mother nature.
So being so all fired up intelligent why can we NOT do the right thing and learn to control our population and to stop all the greed and hate? Why not? Because mother nature does not provide for such stable state. ENTROPY!

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By dick, June 11, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you are a member of the power elite you will thank JESUS 3 times a day for allowing Bush to be president. The masses——it does not matter what they think.

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By jatihoon, June 11, 2008 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Stop blaming the wholw world including wonder boy Bush, it is time for America to start looking inwards and start changing its wasteful habits. World is changing and changing fast,under developed countries are becoming developed, its consumption is going up, two third of world population lives in developing world,demand for oil and food is growing at a faster rate then Bush blunders.Change or pay higher and higher prices.

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By Jim Yell, June 11, 2008 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This entire mess was the logical product of every Republican Administration since Richard Nixon. The lawlessness, the arrogance, the wishful thinking that if business and investment were just not hamstrung by rules and regulations, business would take care of meeting our needs.

Well Reagan is as much responsible for this mess as the current administration, which has just brought the gangsterism of the right to its logical conclusion.

Compare President Carter’s response to energy, to the complete abandonment of the American people to corporate bottom lines. It wasn’t an accident that labor has lost their incomes to unearned wealth of the investment class. It was by design, gift to the already wealthy by Republican party and Democratic enablers. Who cares the poor don’t vote anyway? Right?

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By Jim Gaukroger, June 11, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In 1981, you and Capt. John J. Herrick DESDIV Commander of USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy on Desoto Patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin Aug 2-4,1964 re-examined Capt. Herrick’s accounts of what happened and determined there were many miscalulations that led to grave consequences. In 1984, Admiral Stockdale wrote in “Love and War”, he was ordered to keep quiet about the Tonkin Gulf incident. Admiral Fallon, recent commander of CENTCOM was recently fired because in an interview with Dr.Thomas P.M. Barnett,he spoke out against a war with Iran. As Dr. Barnett recently stated, “We need to deny connectivity that validates the revolution( a complete failure) and promote stuff that reorganizes the people/nation-state.” ” Why do we get so wobbly over Iran?” “We have met this package…twice before and finessed it nicely….”“Our problem remains the same.” “We are unable to see the strategic reality for what it is and we’re perplexed that our attempts at global gun control are not working.” “Now we live with the consequences of our choices.” “Leverage what you like and ignore the rest.”...IMHO it is obvious the goal of war with Iran will endure beyond the current administration. Will we provoke an October surprise ( OPS 34A attack just before Aug 2,1964) in the Gulf of Hormuz which will be called a serious provocation of Gulf oil shipments? Will a “Desoto Patrol” precipitate an attack by Iranian boats? Didn’t the USS Vincennes shoot down an unarmed Iranian passenger plane in 1988? Will history repeat itself? Did Mark Twain fudge facts about how far some frog jumped?

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By Arabian Thoroughbred, June 11, 2008 at 7:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In this article, Robert Scheer mixes up the spelling of the current spiritual leader of Iran, Seyyed Ali Khamene’i with the long-dead Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. Though the semi-similar last name and the sharing of “Ali” in both can be a reason for confusion, nevertheless it behooves a serious journalist to go the extra step to verify.

This would be like me confusing George H. Bush the father with George W. Bush the son! If I were a foreign journalist mixing up these two, I will be a subject of attack and ridicule. However, when it comes to understanding foreign names, cultures, values, and national concerns, Americans, in general, get very bad grades; and there is in this a partial explanation of why American foreign policy is always misguided!

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By Ed Harges, June 11, 2008 at 6:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The current unprecedented surge in oil prices cannot be explained by a sudden change in the fundamentals. Yes, world oil demand is going ever up, and supply ever down, but those are the fundamentals, and they don’t explain extremely high short-term lurches.

If you look over the last several years, the big price surges and plateaus have come when Israeli-fomented threats by the US and Israeli governments against Iran heat up. If there is war in the Persian gulf, the sinking of a single oil tanker could send insurance rates into the stratosphere, for example.

Last week, an Israeli minister said war with Iran was certain, and then we had the biggest one-day oil price rise ever.

In this as in so many other matters, Israel - with its slavish US backers -is the problem.

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By Sullen Susy, Proud Member of ARMY-M, June 11, 2008 at 6:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It just hit me like a ton of bricks…the neoconservative fear of China and it’s unchecked militarism has little to do with China’s belief that hey are the world’s up-and-coming dominate world power, over even a quarrel over foreign policy in Asia. They are afraid that China is going to come after us, when we are unable to pay back our debt. Now, thanks to Bush we might not have anything to give them…nice…

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By Purple Girl, June 11, 2008 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

We are not Addicted to Oil, Nor Do WE OWN Oil co’s, Nor is the blocking of Drilling in our Wilderness driving Up prices.
WE are being Conned and used as a Cash Cow.
It blew my mind that even Some People Voted for this Oil Regime in ‘00 (had to steal the rest to get in) and Even stupider to vote for them again in ‘04. I know he actually did earn some votes- I have friends and Relatives who were to blind to See the Reality no matter how hard I tried to smack them into reality.Truely their attitude seemed Drug induced,Bizarre.
We need a Crash course in Not Just history - but Logic in this country.Remember the ‘70’s when we Screamed to ge toff ME Oil not just becasue of the Prices and Shortage inconvenience- but because We had Citizens being Held hostage and Planes were being Highjacked???Doe sanyone remember how th eAuto indusry refuse and dragged it’s feet to build more fuel efficient cars,Sending our economy in to the Drink. It was like the Jews Exodus from Egypt in Michigan-en masse. Does anyone remeber Why they finally conceded- the Japanese started Kicking their Market sharing Asses!Can any one recall how quickly they went back to producing gas guzzling lead sleds Pushed as ‘Must have’ SUV’s. Putting more into Luxury then safety or Fuel economy? Gee why would they Do that ???As a way to increase OUR employment and Worker Benefits…Funny having a Union Husband We’ve watched our Benny’s and Wages stagnate or be depleted over the last few decades, my Friends in the Auto industry have been laid off or swithced around like the marble in a Shell game.
They have been Playing “blame the Victims” since 9/11- ‘they hate US for Our Freedoms’??? No they hate the MIC for Their Complicity with their own oppressive regimes and the crimes they have committed For Them.‘Do You Own an Oil Co?” NO!! Our Annuities and pension do not allow US any say in the matter. Not where Our money is invested, who it is lent to, how it is used. WE can’t even Use it when We need it- Our hard earned Money has been Highjacked and Use for Global Misdeeds and Crimes!
this administration and it’s Co conpirators shoudl not jsut receive a Slap on the Wrist by Impeachment or Corp ‘fines’ All Must Be Held Personally Responsible for their HIGH CRIMES against US and the rest of Mankind! 
We are Not addicted to Oil- We have been Waterboarded with it!
As for the Other industries in the Energy Sector stop trying to use your Propagnada about ‘clean energy and Jobs’ We see YOU Too Nuclear and Coal- and We are Over You too! We are fighting For Clean,Renewable and SAFE Energy resources. teh ones you have intentional ignored because they can’t earn Your Profits and Strangle Holds on mankind…Solar,Wind and Water Are the ONLY Solutions We will accept!WE can Do this - we just need to get rid of YOU who has blocked Our Progess for far too long- Criminals!

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By Conservative Yankee, June 11, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sheer got a smal part right, a small part wrong, then drifted into my generations propensity to link everything wrong with the USA to our incursion into Vietnam.

The price of oil (on the dock) would be 40% cheaper if Bush had not allowed the dollar to slide by that amount over the past 5 years, BUT The Price of oil could as well be blamed on our (every president since Wilson, and some before) policy to rid the world of all economic systems saving capitalism. IF China (Pop 1Billion five) and India (Pop 1billion) were not competing in the world market for the oil we once used without thought of replacement.

Oil is also one of those items which feeds on its own price. When a barrel of oil increases in value, the cost of refining it increases geometrically. the cost of transporting it also increases. (See why a “windfall profits tax is not in our interest?) The cost of making the barrel the oil comes in increases, the cost of the polymer containers in which your engine oil arrives also increases the cost of power to pump the fuel, light the stations, and air condition office buildings Like ExxonMobil’s in Houston all increase exponentially. 

As costs rise, and the dollar (on which all world oil sales are based currently) falls, US citizens see the rise in prices.

I see two short term fixes for the price of oil debacle.

1. The government could pay (through tax-rebates, or as an outright grant) for conversion of all commercial vehicles from gasoline to natural gas. This solution would have a two-fold benefit. It would immediately drop the level of greenhouse gas put into the atmosphere from commercial vehicles by 70% natural gas DOES pollute, but at far lower levels than Diesel. This would also drop our dependency on foreign sources for fuel, as we have enough natural gas to run at current levels for 50 years.

A side effect would be that all those commercial vehicles being refitted would employee people in the blue collar sector where unemployment is at its highest. 

The Government would gross about the cost, BUT overall it would be offset by increased national security, more dollars staying onshore, and a drop in unemployment.

The second solution is more long term.  I would suggest a program of support for “energy entrepreneurs” as Germany does. folks there can get up to 100% reimbursement for converting high energy use devises to low energy use.

In any case we better get our asses in gear and stop blaming people… there is enough blame to cover EVERYONE who ever said “fill ‘er up!”

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By hippy pam, June 11, 2008 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

Okay…Blame “shrub”....NOW TRY HIM IN COURT FOR THE LOW-LIFE,LYING,MURDERING,CONNIVING,CHEERLEADING[hahhaaahaha]BAG OF “BULLSH*T” HE IS…..And while we are at it-BRING OUR WARRIORS HOME..NOW..RIGHT NOW..

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By omop, June 11, 2008 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

he must be blamed and brought to “account” for more than the rising price of oil.

His administration along with most of the nation were bamboozled by zionist/trotskyites into the worst calamity imaginable in the history of the USA. Continuing the good cop bad cop alliance with Israel and the likudniks can only worsen the descent of the US from its long held position as model world power.

It staggers the sensibilities and logic where only ten years ago the price of a barrel of oil was around $10 and now the Wall Street talk is that a barrel of oil by mid summer will be around $150.

The price of a barrel of oil long tied to the US dollar is naturally affected by the intrinsic value of the dollar. A society that engages in military actions that so far has cost it some 3/4 Trillion dollars and is in debt for billions can only mean that the leaders of that society are either imbeciles or bordering on treacherous acts in the sense that not enough intelligent and looking out for number one analysise was underaken to determine which options best benefit the health and welfare of the US.

Bush and his administration are to be blamed for all the negative and destructive impacts that 300 million Americans are experiencing and will continue to experience for the foreseeable future not only in rising oil prices, but in bankruptcies and mass unemployment.

As Richard Clarke in an interview with MSNBC stated. ” all those responsible for the death of over 4000 and close to 66,000
dead and crippled American young men and women” must be brought to account.

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, June 11, 2008 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

How, SamSnedagar? With what? The US military is already worn to a frazzle by Bush’s idiotic quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just this past weekend, I read a story online at Newsweek about US soldiers deliberately using self-inflicted harm (in rising numbers) to try and avoid further tours in the quagmires. We’re trying to fight two long, endless counter-guerrilla wars with a military designed for short, sweet, decisive “conventional” wars. One more stupid “war-for-oil” may push this country’s military over the brink, with horrendous consequences for all of us.

Peaceful commerce is always better than trying to conquer one’s way to prosperity.

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By SamSnedegar, June 11, 2008 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

(a) Vietnam had offshore OIL.
(b) if we don’t steal oil SOMEWHERE, our economic situation can only get far worse.

Scheer knows this as well as anyone, so just what he is up to is murky, but you can bet it is by way of pleasing his publishers, not his readers.

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By paul easton, June 11, 2008 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

Sorry Bob, but it seems you are having a very bad day. I am *most* disappointed with your super blooper about Gates cleansing of the Air Force.

Do you really think the USAF is confused enough to forget about a bunch of nukes? About as likely as that the USN would be confused enough to down an Iranian airliner by mistake. In other words, not likely.

Do you remember who appointed Gates? I suspect you do. It was GWB. Do you expect him then to be the good guy?

The loose nukes incident was widely interpreted at the time as a signal from someone saying no, we dont want to bomb Iran. It was around the same time as when Fallon pulled the 5th carrier from Persian waters. In other words, we would long ago have struck Iran if not for the opposition of key players in the military, who do not share the Rapture infatuation of their Boss the madman.

They got rid of Fallon and now they have got rid of some others. Do you think it is retaliation for the F22?

Sorry to belabor the point, but this is very serious.
They are clearing the decks and putting their own guys in on top, as they did with Petrius in the Army. (And God knows what is going on at lower levels.) At very least they are getting ready for a pre-election strike at Iran. At worst they might be contemplating a military coup, and suspension of elections. Beware the cornered rat who has nothing to lose. If you cant do better than this I think you should stick to lighter matters.

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By nino, June 11, 2008 at 4:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oil, for all it’s slippery nastiness is a finite resource. Actually, coal, wood, even uranium, are as well. When a closed ecosystem, like little Earth, has used up half or more of a know supply of a resource the result is a rapid run up in price. Followed of course by shortages and rationing.

What is going on here is a lot bigger than the stupidity of one administration. It’s a resource consuming lifestyle that even the most intelligent liberal thinking minds in the world don’t get… we are running out of oil. Or, us “doomers” say, we have hit “Peak Oil.” Our government (run by Exxon, Halliburton, the “military industrial complex”, etc) is strategically playing the “What’s our oil doing under their sand” game. All to ensure the “American way of life.” That is consume, consume, consume.

Yes even the most intelligent liberal thinking minds in the world still want to drive their Prius to the coffee shop and talk about what’s wrong with the administration.

In a world that needs energy to produces everything, and I do mean everything, to support the way we live running out of that energy is simply the biggest most impact-full event society will ever face - period.

One of the most informative website on the subject of Peak Oil is: http://www.theoildrum.com/

I have written about this as well: http://igrow.org

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By Nobody, June 11, 2008 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

Rising fuel prices……
Americans have been protected from the real cost of gasoline and diesel for longer than most of the, age-in-years, of the population now living.  Americans have lived accordingly.  Only in the states are there 6.8 liter V-8’s and V-10’s powering blatant ego trips proclaiming wealth and importance and the ability to proclaim freedom from responsibility towards their fellow citizens.  Because of a proclivity to provincialism the majority of Americans have no idea that our European neighbors are paying the equivalent of about $10/gal.  Third world and emerging economies are paying at least $5 USD/gal in economies where the average wage is less than $5.60 USD/day.  Most Americans are so completely clueless I’m surprised they can survive day to day living.  Most Americans are and have been living an unsustainable existence and a reckoning, unavoidable, is fast approaching.  Denial will kill more people than any other single cause.  One cannot blame Bush for the inevitable crash; only speeding it up.  I’ll tell you where to find the solution:  It’s the reflection in the nearest mirror.

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By troublesum, June 11, 2008 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

One thing we can blame ourselves for is the lack of public transportation.  There have been many warnings through the years about possible consequences of America’a love affair with the automobile.  We have nothing to fall back on now that the cost of gas has made driving prohibitive in many places.  Europe is way ahead of us in this regard.

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By Marshall, June 11, 2008 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

Was this article pieced together from unrelated parts of Robert’s book?  The headline accuses Bush of responsibility for the high price of gas, but the article gives not one iota of evidence to that end.  Then it veers off into Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, the Air Force, and high tech weaponry.  Is there a point here, or just as many shots as he can take in the space allotted?

Bizarre.

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By N, June 11, 2008 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

I apologize if the following has been addressed already. You mention, in your column,  “...Iran’s “supreme leader,” the Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, that the Iraqis must “think of a solution” to free themselves from the U.S. military.”  Am I mistaken in thinking that the supreme leader (velayat-e faqih) is Seyyed Ali Khamene’i and not Khomeini (who died in 1989)?

Thank you.

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