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Speculation: Conspiracy or Corincidence?

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posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by donwhite
 


Well I am still digesting my latest lesson on the US political landscape. I am not saying that the US is helpless . What I am saying is that there is no instant fix to the problem , compromise somewhere along the line will be needed and that increasing the amount of tax Oil company's wont help . The situation will only become hopeless if nothing is done .




posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



How do you [Don] respond to those who would say that no government has a claim on what they earn? We do have a segment of the population here on ATS which argues that the Federal income tax is illegal. I'd be curious to know what your perspective is on that?


Well, some people are pleased to believe there is life after death but there is no proof of that. Those who deny the legality of the 16th Amendment are out there and even though we toss them a life line by explaining reality to them, they prefer to remain adrift. Somewhat akin to the “grassy knoll” second shooter in the JFK drama, which we can date from Mark Lane’s “Rush To Judgment.” We believe it because it is fun to do so, not because it has any substance.

Amendment XVI “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Sent to the states in 1909 and declared adopted on Feb. 25, 1913.

The anti-16th Amendment thinking got started in 1953 when Ohio was celebrating its sesquicentennial. It was discovered that the paperwork for statehood had not been signed.

That thinking led to the equally shallow claim the admission of West Virginia on June 20, 1863 (during the Civil War) was unconstitutional. US Con. Article IV Section 3. “New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state . . without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.”

Those provisions in turn led to the notion that when the 16th Amendment was declared adopted on Feb. 25, 1913, it was NOT. It would have lacked approval of the requisite 3/4ths of the states IF you remove Ohio (approved Jan. 9, 1911) and West Virginia (approved Jan. 31, 1913) from the list of approving states.

The Supreme Court has dealt with the questions raised in both states. In the case of Ohio, the Court said signing of the paperwork was merely a clerical function and not substantive. In the case of West Virginia, it stated the obvious, that Virginia had attempted to withdraw from the Union. Virginia cannot claim after the fact rights they gave up. What else is there to say?

All Federal District Courts now dismiss any 16th Amendment claim related to Ohio or West Virginia summarily and without comment. Aside: Most states have a SAVING clause in respect to marriages. The law requires anyone performing marriages to obtain a license. If the couple are married by a person without a valid license, they are nevertheless legally married if that was their intent and if they believed the person performing the ceremony was legally authorized to do so. It is the parties intent and not the legal qualifying of the person performing the ceremony that governs. End.

I assure anyone if the IRS say you owe and you exhaust your legal appeals, you will then either pay it or see your property taken or you put into jail or both. History: Joan Baez, a 1960s anti-war folk singer of considerable talent, publicly refused to pay the part of her taxes which she said went to support the Vietnam War. However, what she did not tell her audience was that she deposited the tax money along with penalties and interest in a special bank account which the IRS periodically levied on. Maybe you can have it both ways?


reply to post by xpert11
 


I am not saying that the US is helpless. What I am saying is that there is no instant fix to the problem [high oil prices]. Compromise somewhere along the line will be needed and that increasing the amount of tax [on] Oil company's wont help.


It is not worth trying to prove but the oil companies have gotten us into this situation when they should have known better and done better. True, the excess profits tax is punitive. But it is legal. The oil companies are killing us. We need to give them an incentive to do better by us.

I also remind that Bush43 runs a HALF TRILLION DOLLARS deficit every year. Any responsible government would ask the citizens to pay more taxes to offset that deficit. I can’t think of anyone better able to pay EXTRA taxes than the OIL GIANTS.



The situation will only become hopeless if nothing is done.


Short Term.
Well one thing for example, we could draw 2-3 mbd - million barrels per day - out of our 900 million barrels Strategic Reserve if Bush43 really gave a dam and wanted to help out. If we did that until the end of August, the BUBBLE would burst and we would still have 750 million barrels in our Strategic Reserve.

Medium Term.
Another thing we could do is FIX the mess in Nigeria which is in large part due to Shell and BP oil companies supporting the tyrant in office there to get sweetheart royalties deals.

Long Term.
Put Iraq oil back on line. Assist Russian Federation revamp their worn out infrastructure with guarantees of so much daily production. Help Venezuela also which is suffering from worn out oil filed machinery. Help Iran which is suffering from worn out oil field machinery. We could probably get a commitment from each country to ADD 1-2 mpd as needed, for say, 10 years. But that would BUST the BUBBLE!



[edit on 6/15/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 03:35 PM
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I'm struck by how much media coverage there has been this weekend of the floods in the Mid-West. It's understandable that they're focusing on teh human toll of this mutli-State disaster. Even so, I'm wondering about the losses to wheat and corn.

Googling suggests to me that speculators are oging to bid corn and wheat prices through the roof in very short order. I myself am shocked at how much we've lost in crops and homes to this disaster. All I can say is, "wow."

Then, again, I live in Anchorage (Alaska). One big earthquake like what we had in 1964 will destroy this town, and me along with it.

Now that we face teh twin hits of agro and oil, what's going to happen in the world of futures speculation? A lot of our oil problems can be solved with new refineries, which will take years to come on line. Do we need to bring new farm land in to production? This, and the other infrastructure needs that have to be addressed suggest to me that we're in for a decade of "reconstruction."



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:56 PM
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The problem is more along the lines of those who profit the most from rising Oil or even Corn prices probably control the supply of those products . This could extend to increasing the amount of produce grown on current farms or adding new agricultural areas . Whether or not speculation is outlawed on food and oil my concern is that criminal elements and terrorist organisations(SP?) are or will be involved speculation .

If laws are put in place to control or outlaw speculation look for the Federal Reserve to be the regulator .

[edit on 15-6-2008 by xpert11]



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



I'm struck by how much media coverage there has been this weekend of the floods . . I'm wondering about the losses to wheat and corn. Googling suggests to me that speculators are going to bid corn and wheat prices through the roof in very short order. All I can say is, "wow."


In the 1980s, I knew only one lawyer who had actually made over $1 million practicing law. Aside: Many lawyers are millionaires but they usually made their money in property investments. Shopping malls and apartments were the most common ways. Being a lawyer gave them “inside" opportunities and not infrequently, ready cash. GOOD criminal lawyers require fee payment in CASH and up FRONT. How much of that the IRS learns about is a trade secret. End.

But alas, my friend got greedy! And dumb, too. Operating OUT of his field of expertise, in much less than one year, he LOST all his money, LOST his house, and LOST his fine M-B car all in the Futures Market. He moaned to me that once he was up $5 million but he kept on in the market and by the end of the year, he was FLAT BROKE. He went back to work as a lawyer. I have always likened Futures trading as equal to a trip to Las Vegas!

WE DO NOT HAVE TO PUT OUR LIVES IN THE HANDS OF INVETERATE GAMBLERS!

History: Railroads were king in the last half of the 19th century. Every railroad LED to Chicago. It was America’s rail center. 300,000 miles of track. Today we have less than 50,000 miles. All the states that touch the Mississippi River down to and including Missouri formed America’s (and the world's) bread basket. Minnesota, the two Dakotas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. Thrown in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and eastern Colorado and you have got GOD'S grand gift to America. Gold was the standard for finance. Money was scarce. Money was expensive! The era became known as the Gilded Age.

It was the Republican times that produced Democrat William Jennings Bryan and his famous Cross of Gold speech! "We will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." WJB, 1896. Farmers live on a roller-coaster ride money-wise. Farmers have to borrow to buy seed in the spring. Farmers have to work their butts off for 90-100 days, the usual growing period for plants. Then comes the harvest, 5-10 days of the most intense labor anyone can imagine. Then the crop goes to market and in November and December, it is bought by flour mills and cattle feed-lots. Until the end of December, the farmer is CASH poor.

But down in Chicago at the Board of Trade, there is a bulletin board where a farmer can post a contract to deliver so many bushels of corn, wheat or oats to such and such an elevator. Each Wednesday at 12 noon, the Board of Trade auctions off those contracts. After deducting their commission, they forward the cash to the farmer. If bad weather has ruined the harvest, the farmer must buy enough produce on the open market to fill his contact. And thus began the trading in FUTURES commodity contracts. The Futures Market is inherently unregulatable. It can only be described as volatile. It depends on the unpredictable vagaries of the weather. BEFORE 1933 this seemed to be the way GOD had organized life. But now we know better. And we can do better. OR we can leave the very staff of life - bread and oil - in the hands of others unknown to us and for all we know, Columbian coc aine or Afghan heroin merchants.

IT IS OUR CHOICE TO MAKE.


[edit on 6/16/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



If laws are put in place to control or outlaw speculation look for the Federal Reserve to be the regulator. The problem is who profit the most from rising Oil or even Corn prices probably control the supply of those products. This could extend to increasing the amount of produce grown on current farms or adding new agricultural areas. Whether or not speculation is outlawed on food and oil my concern is that criminal elements and terrorist organizations are or will be involved speculation.


The Federal Reserve System originally performed as the transfer agency between banks or the "clearing" function. It has MORE than enough work to keep its GUTTED staff busy. Today private contractors fly between a 100 cities every day - sort of like UPS at its 2 distribution centers allots packages. Say you live in Seattle, go to Orlando and write a check to your hotel. The check must - before eft - make its way back to your bank in Seattle before the hotel knows for sure it has been paid or scammed. EFT - electronic fund transfers. The present system usually does that in 36 hours or less. This is overseen by the Fed.

Besides we already have the GUTTED Commodities Futures Trading Commission - CFTC - to “watch over” the futures market. The CFTC has 405 employees per their website. They need more than 4,000! Much like the GUTTED FDA “watches over” our food supply including our tomatoes. And our foreign made medicines! Sooner or later you all will get the picture that Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave us all the tools necessary to regulate our society for the greater good, but Ronald Reagan destroyed that system. He knew NO one would vote those watchdog agencies out of existence, so he (the 1st Neo Con) concocted his brilliant idea - GUT the agency's enforcement staffs so it cannot interfere with greedy quick buck PROFIT makers. And here we are. Reagan's Neo Con Paradise! Say Hello Mortgage Meltdown!

Does anyone remember 2 months ago when Continental Airlines was “caught” going 2 years over the manufactures recommended inspections? TWO years. Does anyone recall 1 month ago when American Airlines cancelled 100s of flights because THEIR aircraft were PAST DUE for recommended inspections? Does anyone recall also 1 month ago that the FAA has just learned that a basic material suppler to airplane manufacturers has failed to maintain set standards and that every airplane in the entire FLEET has safety issues? Does anyone recall the LEAD paint in our children’s toys? The GUTTED Consumer Product Safety Commission cannot do its work. 1 inspector for toys. ONE!

IS SMALL GOVERNMENT REALLY THE PANACEA TO OUR PROBLEMS?



[edit on 6/16/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 09:31 PM
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Okay, I'll bite. For the sake of discussion, HOW does a larger Federal government with more power put things right? Obviously, keeping them that way is a different matter. For the moment, let's look at what has to be done. WHAT inspires the bureaucracy to be more aco#able when it is currently not so accountable for the laws it is supposed to be enforcing?

The situation we find ourselves in today might be different if many of the laws on the books were actually enforced. Bear in mind that Democrats nad Republicans have BOTH been a little too chummy with big business in recent years.



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 02:24 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 


Who ever is at the top level investigating this matter needs to keep a level head and not succumb to demands for more or less regulation off the bat .
The following questions need to be asked and answered .


  1. Are current regulations sufficient to deal with the problem at hand ?
  2. Are new laws and regulations needed ?
  3. Who is able to enforce current or any new regulations ?


Since most of this has been discussed already I wont cover old ground again . IMO the chance of getting a thou(SP?) and unbiased investigation into this matter is very low .



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



Okay, I'll bite. (1) WHAT inspires the bureaucracy to be more accountable when it is currently not so accountable for the laws it is supposed to be enforcing? (2) The situation we find ourselves in today might be different if many of the laws on the books were actually enforced. (3) Bear in mind that Democrats had Republicans have BOTH been a little too chummy with big business in recent years.


1) Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. Soon to be eight years on the job. Talk about putting the fox in to watch the hen house. Do you know who her husband is? None other than the talented and ambitious Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, of Louisville, Ky. Need I say more about her MISSION in the Department? Like a cancer, she’s worked 24/7 to destroy the American labor movement. I pronounce her successful!

Historically the Dems had freed labor from common law bondage imposed by the courts, with the 1933 Wagner Act. But alas, the Republicans never gave up! The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act passed by the notorious 80th Congress, over President Truman's veto, was the FIRST nail nail in labor's coffin. Ms Chao was helped along by Richard Nixon’s second nail, his unholy alliance with Teamster’s president Jimmy Hoffa which gave the labor movement pneumonia. That was followed by GOP icon Ronnie Reagan who drove the third nail, dealing to labor the coup de grace by firing the PATCO workers en masse. The Republicans have spit on the grave of Williams Jennings Bryan!

2) War Two is the watershed event. Prior to 1940, the US Army numbered about 140,000. On September 2, 1945, there were 13 million men in uniform! 3 million had already been discharged as having completed sufficient duty to deserve to be released. The Sixteenth Census determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569. TEN PERCENT of our whole population was UNDER ARMS.

Post War Two the US underwent an ECONOMIC miracle never equaled before or after anywhere, including China 1977-2008. IMO. All the regulatory agencies put in place in the depths of the Great Depression were ready to do their assigned missions. The Federal bureaucracy was the BEST large bureaucracy anywhere in the world, EVER! Rationing had forestalled consumerism like it would never be again. Savings - not forced - were encouraged every day. Billboards, street car ads, movie trailers, all said the same thing - PUT 10% of your pay to BUY US War Bonds. Every employer had a payroll deduction plan. I still recall buying FIVE CENT stamps at my elementary school to paste into a booklet which when filled could be turned in for a $25 War Bond.

Unmet consumer demand. No cars had been built after February 1942. The first cars rolled off the assembly lines in early 1946 and were, until 1947, re-runs of the 1942 models. Studebaker brought out the first postwar car in 1947. Employers were FORCED to pay overtime if incurred. Paid vacations were required. Henry J. Kaiser began the first large health insurance program in California. Him of Liberty Ship fame.

The 1943 GI Bill provided a living stipend to 13 million GIs to go to college or tech school. The FIRST time America treated its veterans fairly and with appreciation. EVER! Plus, every ex-GI who had more than 90 days honorable service go to buy a new house with NO MONEY DOWN. But the FHA combined with the GI Home Loans Agency to AVOID mortgage meltdowns. We never had one of those until the present one. NEVER.

I could go on. But I won’t. I’ll spare you more of my trip to nostalgia land. Old people tend to do that you know. Re-live the past.

OK you say, how do I in 2008 bring back this Earthly Paradise you are describing to me?


First, quit bad-mouthing the ONLY agency that can do that. The US Government.

Second, stop shooting yourselves in the foot by genuflecting to the empty call for STATE’S RIGHTS. The primary tool of the backward looking agenda people. Is it not bad enough that 650,000 men died between 1861 and 1865 to establish the Federal government and disestablish the state governments? Talk about winning the war and losing the peace!

Why do we insist on mocking both GOD and COUNTRY in one Pledge of Allegiance? You know what I’m referring to: I pledge allegiance to the FLAG of the UNITED STATES, one nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible and with liberty and justice for all. Q. How many LIES can you count in that one phrase?

Yet we propagandize our children buy making them utter it every day. WOW! Then come our politicians and WRAP themselves in the flag! Out of which we get Guantanamo Bay and Rendition. And torture authored in the Oval Office - Scooter Liddy’s ticket out of jail.

Third. You REVERSE this perverse PRIVATIZING of the US Government. I’ve already mentioned the Department of Energy website. At one place it says, we have 18,000 employees to sere you and at another it says we have 114,000 contract employees. So how many people does the US Treasury PAY? 18,000 or 132,000?

3) every time capitalism is allowed to run amok or “regulate” itself as in the perverse teachings of Milton Friedman advocate. It never has, it is not now and it never will. Capitalism must be tempered with humaneness - some call it socialism - to be the servant of ALL the people rather than the strongest, smartest and best placed amongst us.

Taming capitalism is also known as regulation. NO lead paint in our children’s toys. NO e-coli in our tomatoes. NO skipped inspections for our commercial airplanes.
NO jeopardizing the whole econo9my so a few real estate brokers can get rich along with internet mortgage makers and bankers blinded by 10% return on the dollar! NO more permitting a few 100 out of industry to SET THE PRICE of essential commodities.
Food and oil.

Every one of those things and more can be done if the people are aware it can be. Ceaseless GOP anti-government propaganda encouraged by beneficial if not intentional incidents like Katrina and the gutted FEMA inept response only go to convince the people that indeed we are helpless. Which is where the NEO CONS want us and have so far, put us. Instead, the CEO ought to have been FIRED!

Have I made myself “perfectly clear” to quote another famous figure from the past?


[edit on 6/19/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 04:40 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
OK you say, how do I in 2008 bring back this Earthly Paradise you are describing to me?

First, quit bad-mouthing the ONLY agency that can do that. The US Government.


As a former civil servant, I'm willing to admit that there are some good sections, divisions, and deparmtents in government. No agency is untainted. Good citizenship means recognizing these failings, and calling them what they are.


Originally posted by donwhite
Second, stop shooting yourselves in the foot by genuflecting to the empty call for STATE’S RIGHTS. The primary tool of the backward looking agenda people. Is it not bad enough that 650,000 men died between 1861 and 1865 to establish the Federal government and disestablish the state governments? Talk about winning the war and losing the peace!


We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. As I read the Constitution, Federal authority was intended to be limited. I don't want to bore this audience, but the case can be made that the individual States were never intended to act as one. They were expected to play nice with each other, and no more.


Originally posted by donwhite
Why do we insist on mocking both GOD and COUNTRY in one Pledge of Allegiance? You know what I’m referring to: I pledge allegiance to the FLAG of the UNITED STATES, one nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible and with liberty and justice for all. Q. How many LIES can you count in that one phrase?


I, personally, count none. The phrase"under God" was added some time after the establishment of that pledge. I would think that as a Federalist, you'd be in favor of a statement of proclamation that affirms the union. Even if the original pledge is preserved a sectarian affirmation, it still serves a purpose.


Originally posted by donwhite
Yet we propagandize our children buy making them utter it every day. WOW! Then come our politicians and WRAP themselves in the flag! Out of which we get Guantanamo Bay and Rendition. And torture authored in the Oval Office - Scooter Liddy’s ticket out of jail.


Good citizenship is hard. Its our job as individuals and as a body politic to udnerstand that Patriotism can be abused. I have said many times that politics nad patriotism are two sides of the same coin. We get what we pay pay for when we allow ourselves to be misled. It has been said that perpetual vigilance is the price of freedom. When we fail to be aware and judicious...we suffer from the sins you've just enumerated.


Originally posted by donwhite
Third. You REVERSE this perverse PRIVATIZING of the US Government. I’ve already mentioned the Department of Energy website. At one place it says, we have 18,000 employees to sere you and at another it says we have 114,000 contract employees. So how many people does the US Treasury PAY? 18,000 or 132,000?


Too much of anything is bad for you. that includes privatization. When abused, privatization can become piracy. This 'sin' is not exclusive to American government. There's a definite distinction to be made between purchasing goods from the private sector at competitive prices, and hiring contractors to perform services. Our government becomes notoriously ineffecient when it hires too many contractors. It's one thing to contract for exotic skills that may not be needed on a permanent full time basis. It's something else to contract for services that can and should be performed by civic-minded servants of the people.


Originally posted by donwhite
3) every time capitalism is allowed to run amok or “regulate” itself as in the perverse teachings of Milton Friedman advocate. It never has, it is not now and it never will. Capitalism must be tempered with humaneness - some call it socialism - to be the servant of ALL the people rather than the strongest, smartest and best placed amongst us.


Taming capitalism is also known as regulation. NO lead paint in our children’s toys. NO e-coli in our tomatoes. NO skipped inspections for our commercial airplanes. NO jeopardizing the whole econo9my so a few real estate brokers can get rich along with internet mortgage makers and bankers blinded by 10% return on the dollar! NO more permitting a few 100 out of industry to SET THE PRICE of essential commodities.
Food and oil.

The Federal government is Constitutionally mandated to be a steward, or a guardian. The Founders never intended for it to be a a social engineer. Capitolism does have its failings. No man made economic system can be perfected. Human nature clashes with academia, which manifests as philosophy or social science.

Our country has experienced periods in which few laws were enforced. We've also experienced decades in which laws were too stringently applied. We are a work in progress, with no possible way of knowing when, where, or how we get it right.


Originally posted by donwhite
Every one of those things and more can be done if the people are aware it can be. Ceaseless GOP anti-government propaganda encouraged by beneficial if not intentional incidents like Katrina and the gutted FEMA inept response only go to convince the people that indeed we are helpless. Which is where the NEO CONS want us and have so far, put us. Instead, the CEO ought to have been FIRED!


In my youth, I had the priviledge of meeting a defected Soviet Spy. I also met a defected Soviet Diplomat. I later met a former Soviet Commissar. All three said the same thing to me. "We had too much control. You do not have enough."

Our volatility is our blessing, and our curse. We've been tempted to think that "authority" is the answer. We've been teased with this panacea many times in the past, and we will no doubt be seduced by it again. Our social challenge is to somehow find the middle ground.


Originally posted by donwhite
Have I made myself “perfectly clear” to quote another famous figure from the past?


Your point is well stated. Even so, I would point out just one thing. Socialist countries are 'managed' by a permanent ruling class that never changes. Invention, inovation, and intellectual property are what these elites decree. If their vision for the future is stunted or myopic, that's just too bad...because...there's nobody in a position to challenge them.

It's true that we are today 'controlled' by a small number of people with immense power and wealth. It's also true that people like you and I (and the people reading this thread) are in a position to challenge those elites. That power hasn't been taken away from us...yet.

Need proof? I can't speak for anyone else, but I can speak for myself.

I object to big government. For the moment, I can say why I object to big government without being "renditioned." My challenge, as a citizen, is to take the chance that I might one day be picked up by the kids from Department of Homeland Security. My risk is a stay at Club Gitmo, or some place like it. My reward could be the hearts and minds that I win over to my point of view.

I object to political dynasties. I have not approved of the Bush dyhasty. I have, in fact, campaigned avidly against a Clinton dynasty. I have gone so far as to write books and blogs that back up my position as they relate to these matters. I may not change your mind about any of these things, but I do have an obligation to make my case in a civil tone.

I think that the people who beleive as you do ARE going to get their way. I think it'll happen in my lfietime. We've gone too far to the Right. It's only natural that the social penduulum should swing back the other way. Because I still hope for a happy medium to be found some day, I'll gamble that the multi-media foot print I leave behind might be useful to future generations who might be searching to find the words to speak out against too much government.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



Taming of capitalism is also known as regulation. The Federal government is Constitutionally mandated to be a steward, or a guardian. The Founders never intended for it to be a social engineer.


Inasmuch as the Founding Fathers never agreed among themselves what their words really meant when put to paper, I am at a loss how people 2 centuries removed can so confidently rely on the “intent” of the Founders to support a contemporary POV. And that usually over issues that did not exist in 1787. Wow! See Note 1. I have just finished a book describing the FFs sharply differing attitudes (say understandings) in the first decade of the new United States. See Note 2.

Social engineering was an unknown science in the 18th century. We know a lot more today about the interactions between people and cultures than we did then. Andrew Jackson was very popular when he force-marched the peaceful and “civilized” Cherokee off their land in the Carolinas - gold had been discovered - and put them into the open plains of Oklahoma then called the Indian Territory. 10,000 Cherokee died on the 1,100 miles ‘Trail of Tears’ march but got no sympathy from Americans! (And yet we labeled the Japanese as barbarians for killing 3,000 men on the 135 miles 1942 Bataan Death March?)

We owe it to ourselves to get over the Founding Fathers.
They did their best and while it was not all that good, it worked for them until 1861. Slavery was the unacknowledged elephant in the room. The word itself is not found in the US Constitution. It appears only one time. In the 13th amendment. As modified, the 1787 Constitution has worked, more or less, for us post 1865. With a lot of tweaking. But it is breaking now. A document meant for 3 million people is plainly unable to cope with 300 million! Much like the Holy Bible, it is often better ignored than obeyed. The wisdom in any society is to know when to do which.



I object to big government. For the moment, I can say why I object to big government without being "renditioned." My challenge, as a citizen, is to take the chance that I might one day be picked up by the kids from Department of Homeland Security. My risk is a stay at Club Gitmo, or some place like it. My reward could be the hearts and minds that I win over to my point of view.


B-I-G. Hmm? Not a very specific term. Much in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I could paraphrase “One man’s big is another man’s small?” I’m so old I remember when the Panama Canal was called the “Big Ditch.” Ops, that calls to my mind remembering that Manuel Noriega is still being held in a basement prison cell in Miami. The FBI traitor James Henson is being held in solitary confinement. For life. Talk about medievalism! What can be done to one person can be done to another. Hey! STFU! This is America! Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! (Leave me alone to wallow in my ignorance).

Nor can I ever forget that 13 men on the Illinois Death Row were found to be INNOCENT. Not one by the courts, but all by Northwestern University Law School. The Illinois Republican Governor Ryan commuted all the death sentences. “Until the system can be fixed” he said. In one case, the convicted person was only freed when one of the 4 cops who had framed him responded to the pangs of conscience and confessed their foul deed. And George W Bush has ordered the death of 154, commuted ONE in Texas. One of the worst states for criminal justice in the US. I cannot but believe Bush43 sheds only crocodile tears when he speaks of America’s DEAD in Iraq. Of which he does not speak often. But I digress.

A society is known by how it treats the helpless among it.



I object to political dynasties. I have not approved of the Bush dynasty. I have, in fact, campaigned avidly against a Clinton dynasty. I have gone so far as to write books and bogs that back up my position as they relate to these matters.


Well, first off, there are dynasties and then there are dynasties. I share your disdain with the Talmadges of Georgia, for example. I share your disdain with the Longs of Louisiana, for example. But I have no such compunctions against the Kennedys of Massachusetts for example. And I must say, I have no quarrel with the Rockefellers of WV and NY and AR. As an aside, the current generation of Rockefellers was urging ExxonMobil at its last stockholders meeting to adopt GREEN policies. But see my comments on ExxonMobil below.

While I can see it is legitimate to call the Bushes a dynasty - Prescott Bush was Bush 41s father and a leading GOP senator from Connecticut - I do not believe electing Hillary would either create or amount to a Clinton DYNASTY. Unless that is if you are really worried about Chelsea. As political dynasties go, not all have been bad for the country - John Adams, John Quincy Adams for one example and maybe the two Roosevelts for another. But I expect no one will ever claim the Bush dynasty to have been a good thing for America!

Monopoly History 101:
Exxon is the conjured name for the old ESSO, which was phonetic for Standard Oil of New Jersey, S - O, the flagship company of the old Rockefeller busted up monopoly Standard Oil Company. Mobil was the brand name for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. The flying horse. SOCONY is an acronym made from Standard Oil Company of New York. Despite anti-trust laws still on the books, the merger of those 2 former monopoly companies was “handily” approved in W-DC. Teddy Roosevelt where are you when we need you?


Note 1.
I think we are living in an era similar to that in Christianity’s early church days. Everyone has his own opinion what Jesus said or did about this or that. Early bishops might be likened to the US Supreme Court. People like Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Sam Alito and that self assured messenger from God, Clarence Thomas, can tell you verbatim what the FFs meant on this or that subject! Just ask’em if you don’t believe me. Gradually we are sanctifying the Founding Fathers. Putting them into our pantheon of gods. Above rebuke!

We cannot bring ourselves to accept that they were just a bunch of RICH slave holders who saw no disconnect between asserting "all men are created equal" and them denying such equality to 20% of the population who came from Africa rather than from Europe. This merely shows what we ought to have known from the beginning, practicality prevails over the ideal. Doing right is a luxury when doing wrong is seen as a necessity.

Note 2.
“The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America” by Gary B. Nash, 2005. On tape, RC62119. Mr. Nash portrays the American Revolution through the eyes of recent immigrants, slaves, farmers, women and Native Americans. He demonstrates there was no uniformity among the Founders. Jefferson hated Adams. Adams was not enamored with Washington. Burr hated Hamilton and went on to kill him in a duel. When Jefferson became president, he tried to have impeached every judge appointed by Adams. And so on.

[edit on 6/23/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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I find myself being interested in the Founding Fathers becasue they did disagree on so much. Their persona lapers and correspondnece make for some very thoughtful reading. They couldn't have known what they were unleashing on the world. Some would say that they hadn't gone far enough. Others would no doubt argue that they really had gone too far.

What do we learn from this? Find the middle ground, and hold on to it. easier said than, done, to be sure. Even so, that's what I like to think.

How does this apply to the thread topic of speculation? today's trading environment has become too complicated for the best of speculator to understand. Too many things are tied to the pricing of volatile commodities. Some degree of reform is necessary.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



I find myself being interested in the Founding Fathers because they did disagree on so much. Their personal papers and correspondence make for some very thoughtful reading. They couldn't have known what they were unleashing on the world. Some would say that they hadn't gone far enough. Others would no doubt argue that they really had gone too far.


According to Mr. Nash in the book I mentioned in my post above, Jefferson wanted to “sundown” the constitution for 25 years. Madison discouraged Jefferson from making that public, him recalling the real difficulties they had in getting to the 1787 document. .



What do we learn from this? Find the middle ground, and hold on to it. easier said than, done, to be sure. Even so, that's what I like to think.


I think we actually do pretty well at that - compromise. It irritates me to have a social program financed at 50%, but then, the others are irritated to have it financed at all.



How does this apply to the thread topic of speculation? today's trading environment has become too complicated for the best of speculator to understand. Too many things are tied to the pricing of volatile commodities. Some degree of reform is necessary.


I think I’m advocating immediate and forceful Federal intervention in all trading on FOOD and ENERGY. Maybe just BAN all further trading in those commodities. What worked well from 1933 to 2000 is not working now. We are not only talking biological life and death for 2-3 billion people - collateral damage only - but we are talking long term adverse consequences to our economy and by extension to the world’s economy.

We just don’t have to let this happen.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 06:48 PM
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I have a question .

Don by a ban on trading food and Oil do you mean something along the lines of price controls ?

Cheers xpert11.



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



I have a question. Don by a ban on trading food and Oil do you mean something along the lines of price controls?


Yes. Temporarily. But I’m not advocating fixed prices. The NYSE - New York Stock Exchange - Wall Street - has a rule that if the market index - DJIA - Dow Jones Industrial Average - falls 500 points, the NYSE closes for the remainder of that day. This is meant to slow or halt an hysterical sell-off that could bring on a panic. Here we are trying to stop just the opposite, unjustified price increases.

Action1) All trading in food and oil is suspended for 7 days.

Action 2) All future trading must be done by fully registered and vetted traders and their clients must be publicly known

Action 3) Only “industry” factors may buy or sell food and oil futures. I mean that only people or companies who grow food, or pump oil out of the ground, and all in the chain of processors and distributing down to the final retailer, only those are allowed to buy these very special commodities.

Action 4) No buying or selling outside the exchange. IE, no internet after hours buying and selling. We want to see your face when you buy or sell.

Action 5) We want to know where your money comes from and where it goes. I don’t want heroin or coc aine sellers involved in honest markets.

Future rules would halt trading anytime the price rose above a previously set percentage. For example, oil rose by $11 in one day. I’d have closed the Exchange at the $5 mark.

There are only 5 or 6 futures exchanges around the world. Once upon a time they were a valuable asset in the buying and selling of materials for future delivery. It is arguable whether such a need any longer exists. I see no reason why we should let a few 100 people in a few exchanges CONDEMN the world to starvation and shut down our economies.

OUR future is at stake!


[edit on 6/24/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



Now that we face the twin hits of agro and oil, what's going to happen in the world of futures speculation? A lot of our oil problems can be solved with new refineries, which will take years to come on line. Do we need to bring new farm land in to production? This, and the other infrastructure needs that have to be addressed suggest to me that we're in for a decade of "reconstruction."


I am still fascinated by the theory of PEAK oil and wonder to myself at least, if it has any relevance? Because it is not as easy to prove as a predicted solar eclipse, I have doubts even hitting it square on the head will be of any practical value. I am very much afraid we - the world's leaders - will not act until it is TOO late.

My fear of group hesitation applies as well to your question about agricultural products and the land to grow them. J/O, do you agree it means we will have to give up BEEF and shift to eggplant? We have neither the water nor the RIGHT to keep on keeping on. Aside: SELL your McDonalds and Burger King stocks.


Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. If global consumption is not mitigated before the peak, a world energy crisis may develop because the availability of conventional oil will drop and prices will rise, perhaps dramatically. Geophysicist M. King Hubbert first tested the theory in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970. It did.

His logistic model, now called the Hubbert peak theory, has since been used to predict the peak petroleum production of many other countries, and has also proved useful in other limited-resource production-domains. According to the Hubbert model, the production rate of a limited resource will follow a roughly symmetrical bell-shaped curve based on the limits of exploitability and market pressures. [The base line represents time and is logarithmic. That is, the time representing pre-peak increased production is arithmetical, whereas the time for depletion post-peak is as in Malthus, geometrical. Edited]

The world's oil supply is fixed because it is no longer being naturally produced. Several hundred million years ago, plankton and bacteria thrived in the oceans of the then carbon dioxide rich atmosphere. Those plankton and bacteria that settled in porous sandstone or limestone and those plankton and bacteria that were then capped by shale or salt were allowed to heat and become pressurized to form oil.

Some observers, such as petroleum industry experts Kenneth S. Deffeyes and Matthew Simmons, believe the high dependence of most modern industrial transport, agricultural and industrial systems on the relative low cost and high availability of oil will cause the post-peak production decline and possible severe increases in the price of oil to have negative implications for the global economy. Although predictions as to what exactly these negative effects will be vary greatly, a growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day.

If political and economic change only occur in reaction to high prices and shortages rather than in reaction to the threat of a peak, then the degree of economic damage to importing countries will largely depend on how rapidly oil imports decline post-peak. The Export Land Model shows that the amount of oil available internationally drops much more quickly than production in exporting countries because the exporting countries maintain an internal growth in demand.

Shortfalls in production (and therefore supply) would cause extreme price inflation, unless demand is mitigated with planned conservation measures and use of alternatives, which would need to be implemented 20 years before the peak.

Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast a peak will happen in the 2020s or 2030s and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, circumventing the need for major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.

Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that the peak has already occurred or will occur shortly and, as proactive mitigation may no longer be an option, predict a global depression, perhaps even initiating a chain reaction of the various feedback mechanisms in the global market which might stimulate a collapse of global industrial civilization. Throughout the first two quarters of 2008, there were signs that a possible recession was being made worse by a series of record oil prices. [Bold added by edit for emphasis.]
en.wikipedia.org...


I like this explanation of PEAK oil. In about 3,000 words.


Post Script.
Marion King Hubbert was a co-founder of a quasi-political group known as Technocracy Incorporated or the Technocrats. Technocracy Incorporated aims to establish a zero growth socio-economic system based upon conservation and abundance as opposed to scarcity-based economic systems like capitalism or the so called planned economic system (within a Price System) used by Communist states.

A core conclusion reached by Technocracy Incorporated is that a price system, or any system based on scarcity, is an illogical means of distribution in our technologically advanced world. The Technate design concept as explained by Technocracy Incorporated sees established economic, political, and administrative forms as relics of a traditional past. en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 6/25/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 01:34 AM
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Now that oil has hit $140 per barrel, I note that the 'argument' against off-shore drilling is that it's not enough. We have more untapped oil here in Alaska than we've pumped out of the ground so far. Opponents of new drilling (anywhere) tend to downgrade the estimates of what experts think they've already found. Oil, oil, everywhere, and nary a drop to pump.



posted on Jun, 29 2008 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



Now that oil has hit $140 per barrel, I note that the 'argument' against off-shore drilling is that it's not enough. We have more untapped oil here in Alaska than we've pumped out of the ground so far. Opponents of new drilling (anywhere) tend to downgrade the estimates of what experts think they've already found. Oil, oil, everywhere, and nary a drop to pump.


America owns Alaska. We paid the Russians $7 million for it in 1867. We citizens own much of the western United States. We bought that in 1803 from France for $15 million. A lot of Florida belongs to the United States. We paid $15 million to Spain for that. We took Puerto Rico from Spain, we took Hawaii from the Hawaiians. And the best of all that we took from others - not counting Native Americans - we took California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and part of Colorado from Mexico. The US Government holds all those lands in TRUST for the American people.

I caught the tail end of a Congressional hearing today. Under discussion was whether to rise the equity a buyer must have in the futures market. In1929 the unregulated market let people buy with 10% down. At times in the past the NYSE has (under SEC rules) required 80% to buy stocks. Your broker could "front" 20% for you as his or her customer. I gained the very distinct idea today the margin or equity may be as low as 20% in the futures markets. One fellow objected when asked if the margin should be raised to 50%. His answer sounded more like a tenant of the faith than a thoughtful reply in a time of national economic emergency. It would make me ever more angry than I am now if we learned our prices have been doubled in 12 months by people operating "on the cuff."

Now before the Democrats are berated for not allowing oil drilling in anyone's back yard or on Florida's 1,500 miles of pristine beaches - Alaska's Prince William Sound is still loaded with black oil tars since 1989 - say thank you ExxonMobil, you do right by us - I want to hear WHY the oil industry already has 68,000,000 acres under lease on which they have not yet drilled? So what's all this big hurry about? A VP Cheney type SCAM?

This rush to judgement sounds like a Rich Republican Evasion of Rules in Time of Need.

[edit on 6/29/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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The oil companies have their own form of speculation, which will soon be under Congressional investigation. They deliberately go out of their way to buy up all the oil leases so that smaller companies can't get them. The State of Alaska is currently in Federal court to ask that ALASKAN oil leases be "taken back" becasue none of the major petro corps are doing anything to develope those resources.

I expect the State to lose their challenge because a contract is a contract. Future oil lease contacts WILL have developement clauses in them, which will force the oil companies to dig or divest. We've been talking about this one for almost 20 years. It's just not something you hear about in the national news.



posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by Justin Oldham
 



The State of Alaska is currently in Federal court to ask that ALASKAN oil leases be "taken back" because none of the major petro corps are doing anything to develop those resources. I expect the State to lose their challenge because a contract is a contract. Future oil lease contacts WILL have development clauses in them, which will force the oil companies to dig or divest. We've been talking about this one for almost 20 years. It's just not something you hear about in the national news.


The legal hurdle is two pronged. First you have a Roberts Court that is pro Big Business and Anti populist. We could rely on getting relief from the Warren Court. But we almost as surely rely on NOT getting relief from the Roberts Court. Shucks, you got your HARD 4, Roberts, Scalia, Alito and that bad man who hates the little guy, Thomas. Add Kennedy who is getting TOO old and you can’t rely on any help from this Bench.

Second, Alaska - and maybe no other state - has STANDING. You must have STANDING to bring a suit. Standing is founded on INTEREST. Fortunately or unfortunately, the land under which the OIL is thought to be belongs to the US Government. So how is Alaska (or Louisiana) hurt by the oil companies?

I'm not so sure about the leases. Of course, the US oil industry wants to buy ALL the leases they can lay their hands on. Look at the EXTRA BILLIONS they have on hand. How much better to assure you economic dominance if you can buy ALL the oil rights with THEIR money?

I heard one congressman say the oil companies have 68 million acres under lease that have not been explored. In any case, I believe the lease are sold for the explicit purpose of development and there may be a time limit on the lease. In any case America is not Persia and unlike Hammurabi, Congress can change the law.

[edit on 7/7/2008 by donwhite]



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