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I agree 100 % with this article. Government needs to repeal the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which allows for speculators that drive up the price of oil. Oil changes hands so many times on paper/electronic trading before it reaches the refinery that it is ridiculous and it is all to make a buck at the expense of the consumer. People need to write their representatives, not emails, about this unless you like paying $4 a gallon of gasoline and high heating costs.
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Drill Now? Try Regulate Now.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A13 Write to thomas@wsj.com.
Thomas Frank
By the standards of Washington, President Obama’s decision last week to open new areas off the nation’s coasts to oil drilling was something of a master stroke. With one deft move he both swiped a strong Republican issue from 2008 and defied environmentalists, an element of his coalition that is roundly despised on the right. The president also extended a hand to the people he trounced in the health-care debate, setting the stage for possible acts of bipartisanship in the future.

For a city that regards this kind of calculated “pivot” as the noblest form of statesmanship, the announcement was almost Clintonesque in its brilliance. Triangulation is back and the cherry trees are a-bloom as though in celebration.

The actual results of the offshore drilling itself are secondary considerations, if they come up at all. Essentially, we are going to allow drilling off the coast because “drill here, drill now” was a slogan that polled well during the last presidential campaign—which unfolded, you will recall, as gasoline prices were hitting $4 a gallon.

Now, I don’t know whether offshore drilling will be an environmental catastrophe; maybe if it’s done carefully everything will be fine. And while ending our dependence on OPEC would be a marvelous thing, I have no idea whether offshore drilling will do much in that regard.

But I have my doubts. “Drill here, drill now” was itself a purely political gesture, not a real solution to the problem. It was a way of pinning blame for the insane price of gasoline on liberals, who, according to legend, hold squishy pink ocean creatures in higher esteem than American consumers. Those who popularized the phrase were not asking us so much to resolve the energy question as to spit a little hate at an ugly stereotype.

But if what the president wants to do is to make sure that another oil shock of the 2008 variety doesn’t happen again, this is not the way. After all, oil didn’t zoom to $147 per barrel in ’08 and then plummet to $35 the next year because OPEC declared an embargo and then suddenly lifted it. Nor did it happen because Chinese motorists decided en masse to junk their cars.

We may never know for sure the combination of circumstances that brought on the energy crisis of that year. But one factor was almost certainly the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which allowed unprecedented levels of speculation in oil futures by investment banks and pension funds, bringing the familiar boom-bust cycle home to the gas pump.

To understand this we need only turn to the business section of the Washington Post on the very day that Mr. Obama’s new offshore drilling policy was announced. There, reporter David Cho described the history of the deregulatory measures, their probable effect on the zany oil-price swings of recent years, and the low-profile battle that is currently under way at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to re-regulate energy markets. If the Obama administration succeeds in bringing oil prices under control, this is where they will do it.

“Wall Street failed America,” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told Mr. Cho. That comment could apply to countless aspects of the economy these days. “And Washington’s regulatory system failed America. And if we don’t fix it, it’s going to happen again.”

The essential similarities between the oil fiasco and the larger financial crisis are striking. Both episodes showed us the same cast of characters—Goldman Sachs, AIG and the rest—taking advantage of deregulation.

And the whole rotten thing was then defended by the same bunch of free-market wise men, who brushed off doubts with a condescending laugh and a snort of indignation. How little critics know about the fantastic complexities of markets. And how arrogant they are as they threaten our freedom to speculate.

But the heyday of that perfect faith is behind us now. Today we must answer this question, put to me by hedge fund manager Mike Masters, a well-known critic of commodity-market deregulation: “How long is the lady in Maine supposed to pay higher prices for her heating oil to accommodate the asset allocation needs of the world’s pension funds?”

And how long are the rest of us supposed to sit passively as we watch gas prices zoom up again? Countries have fought wars for oil, but what is required of us is that we dump the shibboleths of the last 30 years. We should drill if we must, but the best slogan would be: Regulate here, regulate now!

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This video explains how the Fed and the Bankers have rigged the game to screw the taxpayer!

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The article below I found interesting and wanted to share with anyone who is concerned about happenings in our world today.
We should all be worried about this company and the stuff they are “genetically engineering” that appears to be killing us a little at a time every time we eat something. I’m glad the Obama administration is at least investigating them and the FDA needs to get off of their asses and check into this. It always seems the government, who we rely on to protect us, is always the last ones to act on something. One can only hope the media will get in on this and report it to the public using every media outlet. Yeah, right.
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Monsanto: The evil corporation in your refrigerator
Bob Cesca Feb 4th 2010 at 7:30PM

When we consider the rogue’s gallery of devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporations, we generally come up with outfits like Microsoft, Bechtel, AIG, Halliburton, Goldman-Sachs, Exxon-Mobil and the United States Senate. Yet somehow, Monsanto, arguably the most devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporation in the world has been able to more or less skulk between the raindrops — only a household name in households where documentaries like Food Inc. are regarded as light Friday evening entertainment. My house, for example. But for the most part, if you were to ask an average American for their list of sinister corporations, Monsanto probably wouldn’t make the cut.

It should.

Founded by Missouri pharmacist John Francis Queeny in 1901, Monsanto is literally everywhere. Just about every non-organic food product available to consumers has some sort of connection with Monsanto.

Anyone who can read a label knows that corn, soy and cotton can be found in just about every American food product. Upwards of 90% of all corn, soybeans and cotton are grown from genetically engineered seeds, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These genetically enhanced products appear in around 70% of all American processed food products. And Monsanto controls 90% of all genetically engineered seeds. In other words, Monsanto controls — and owns patents on — most of the American food supply.

When you consider, as Walletpop originally reported, that one-in-four food labels is inaccurate, that the F.D.A.’s testing is weak at best, then how can we trust one corporation to have so much control over our produce? The answer is, we can’t.

Recently, a study by the International Journal of Biological Sciences revealed that Monsanto’s Mon 863, Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 in corn caused kidney and liver damage in laboratory rats. Scientists also discovered damage to the heart, spleen, adrenal glands and even the blood of rats that consumed the mutant corn. A “state of hepatorenal toxicity” the study concluded.

This hasn’t slowed down Monsanto’s profit machine. In 2008, Monsanto cleared over $2 billion in net profits on $11 billion in revenues. And its 2009 is looking equally as excellent.

Author and food safety advocate Robyn O’Brien told me, “Monsanto is expecting gross margins in Q2 2010 of 62%, its corn and soy price mix to be up 8-10% and its glyphosate revenue to expand to an estimated $1 billion in gross profit by 2012, enabling Monsanto to further drive R&D into seeds and to price those seeds at a premium – further driving price increases on the farm and in the grocery stores.”

This, O’Brien says, in the same year when farm income declined by around 34%.

Because Monsanto claims that its GMOs create higher yields and therefore comparatively higher revenues per acre for struggling American farmers, they’re certainly a tempting option. On the surface, that is. Monsanto controls its seeds with an iron fist, so even if you happen to own a farm next to another farm upon which Monsanto seeds are used, and if those seeds migrate onto your land, Monsanto can sue you for royalties.

Additionally, if you use seeds from crops grown from Monsanto seeds, a process known as “seed cleaning,” you also have to pay royalties to Monsanto or it will sue you. All told, Monsanto has recovered $15 million in royalties by suing farmers, with individual settlements ranging from five figures to millions of dollars each.

Back in 2004, farmer Kem Ralph served eight months in jail and was fined $1.3 million for lying about Monsanto cotton seeds he was hiding in his barn as a favor to a friend. They weren’t even his seeds (yeah, that’s what they all say!). By way of comparison, the fine in Ralph’s home state of Tennessee for, say, cocaine possession, is $2,500.

In keeping with the Orwellian nature of modern marketing, one of the first phrases you see on the front page of the Monsanto website is “we help farmers.” Funny. In a cruelly ironical way, that is.

In fairness, the argument in support of Monsanto is generally “it makes more food for lower prices.” Of course this is a red herring. Basic economics proves that choice and competition create lower prices. Not monopolies. This applies not only to American grocery stores, but also in terms of feeding developing nations where food is scarcer. Moreover, stronger Monsanto herbicides, compatible with herbicide resistant seeds, are giving rise to mutant Wolverine-ish super weeds that have adapted and are rapidly spreading through the air to farms that don’t use Monsanto GMOs, destroying obviously vulnerable crops. Say nothing of the inevitable mutant bugs that will adapt to the pesticides that are implanted into the Monsanto Mon 810 genetic code. And if further studies indicate similar organ damage in humans, the externalized costs to health care systems will begin to seriously out-weigh the benefits of cheaper food.

Ultimately, there are better, healthier ways to make cheaper food. Until then the best thing we can do is to demand further investigations and buy organic products whenever practical.

And if you can’t afford to buy organic, O’Brien recommends, “A great first step, given how pervasive these ingredients are in processed foods that often use these ingredients to extend shelf life, is to reduce your exposure to processed foods and stick with pronounceable ingredients and foods that your grandmother would have served her kids.”

Meanwhile, let’s endeavor to make Monsanto a household name. But not in a good way.

On January 15, the Obama Justice Department launched an anti-trust investigation against the corporate behemoth over its next generation of genetically modified “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds. The very next day, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, which challenges the safety of genetically modified agricultural products — the centerpiece of the Monsanto empire. If the investigation fails, farmers will have to switch over to the next generation of Roundup Ready seeds in 2014. And the cycle of corporate abuse and monopolization will continue.

Source

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Had enough ?


What has our government done to our country? Do you trust the Repbulican and Democrat parties? People need to start looking at a third party choice otherwise our country will continue to go to hell quickly while the Dems and Repubs care only about dissing each other and winning. None of them give a shit about us. The things they do cost us billions and does little if anything. Here are some headlines (links included in the headline) just from recent events in our country regarding our illustrious do nothing but make money at our expense leaders. After the $912 billion price tag for the latest health reform bill, it is expected to only cover 2 percent of those without insurance and those on welfare will have expanded benefits, meaning more free rides by ambulance to the hospital at our expense. I am so sick of politics as usual in Washington. We need a change that both major parties cannot provide us. Please, consider voting for someone other than the status quo in the next election or we may not have a country left or maybe will have one with the flag of China flying over us. Save the stars and stripes before it’s too late.
Check our these headlines and give some serious thought to what is going on in our country today and over the last decade. I for one am tired of Washington greed.

Geithner says banking system now ‘more stable’

Geithner: Deficit too high, but avoids tax talk

As jobs vanish, factory towns slow to see stimulus

After all the fuss, public health plan covers few

Republicans aim for rival health plan in House

Third party challenges in NJ, NY are warning sign

CIT files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Flex spending accounts face hit in health overhaul

Republicans eye Obama revenge in off-year elections

Future of GOP and moderate Republicans uncertain

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