Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Revealed: Secret Plan to Keep Iraq Under U.S. Control
"the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney has been trying to force it through."
BAE Detained in U.S. Over Saudi Case
Saudi Aramco/Conoco Move Forward on Refinery
In "Spies for Hire" U.S. Security Gets Outsourced
Office of the Vice President 1955-2007

DOD Directive on Defense Operations
from Steve Aftergood, of the Federation of American Scientists:

The New York Times reported on April 20 that the Pentagon had mobilizednumerous former military officials, some with unacknowledged financialinterests in Department programs, to help generate favorable newscoverage of the Bush Administration's war policies. It is not clear(to me, at least) how this practice comports with the declared Pentagonpolicy on public affairs, i.e. whether it violates the policy, orimplements it.

Senate on Orwellian Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
What is "homegrown terrorism" but a catchall for citizens who deviate from the party line?
A First Responder's Story
Steve Centore's bitter and tragic tale
Robotic Suit Could Usher in Super-Soldier Era
Veteran Suicides
Bush Praises Demand Destruction
Huffington Post on McCain Tax Proposal



Rice Farmer said...

"Secret Plan to Keep Iraq Under U.S. Control"

Ha! This is not "secret" at all to us. FTW people knew from the very outset that this would happen. In truth, one would have to be brain dead not to have seen this coming.

Tyler Havlin said...

Fund Manager: Why $200 Oil Would Be a 'Good' Thing'Good'-Thing?tickers=WMT,BJS,COST,USO,DUG,GM,SNE

"99% of investors need to focus less on the big picture and more on what their stocks are doing," says fund manager Howard Lindzon.

But Lindzon does have some thoughts about the "big picture," particularly the endless debate about oil. Here, he gives the rationale for why $200 oil would be a good thing, because it might finally force America to get serious about alternative energy and get U.S. automakers to really innovate.

"Maybe it's important oil finally goes to $200 so we do something else," he says.

From an investor's perspective, "you can't be ashamed to be making money in oil stocks," Lindzon says. Noting that assets in commodity funds have risen to $260 billion today from $13 billion just a few years ago, Lindzon says it's crazy to bet against oil's rise: "If you're trying to top-tick oil, you are in front of a steam roller and could go broke."

Tyler Havlin said...

Energy chief: Flat production behind oil prices

Samuel Bodman, attending two days of meetings in northern Japan among energy chiefs from Group of Eight industrialized countries and other top economies, said the surge in world oil prices was largely a simple problem of supply and demand.

Production has stalled since 2005 at 85 million barrels a day, while economic growth -- particularly in China and India -- has pushed demand ever higher, Bodman said before a meeting of ministers from the U.S., Japan, South Korea, India and China.

"We're in a difficult position where we have a lid on production and we have increasing demand in the world," he told a small group of reporters, dismissing the effects of speculation and unclear inventory levels and other factors on oil prices.

"I would devoutly hope we ... see a reduction of the use of oil in the world on the one hand, and an increase in the supply so we can see some mitigation in the pressure on price," Bodman said.

Oil prices made their biggest single-day surge on Friday, soaring $11 to $138.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, an 8 percent increase. That followed a $5.50 increase the day before, taking oil futures more than 13 percent higher in just two days.

While demand has increased as supply has stalled, analysts have also cited the decline of the U.S. dollar, fears about the long-term supply of oil, and aggressive speculation as factors in rising prices.

Rice Farmer said...

Oil prices seep into asphalt costs, detour road work

The road maintenance situation has gotten worse even faster than I had anticipated. And this article deals only with the price of asphalt. Also getting more expensive is the fuel used by road construction machinery and trucks. Soon the US government will have to subsidize road construction and fuel costs. But the US government is broke... Oh well, have a nice day!

gaelicgirl said...

Precisely as predicted by FTW and other Peak Oil visionaries:

gaelicgirl said...

Cynthia McKinney on the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate:

Eddie Willers said...

I have been a regular reader of FTW for about three years. I regularly cite Mr. Ruppert's research and analysis during conversations with my friends/family about 9/11, CIA drug operations smuggling operations, and the emerging police state.

I'm not sure I can side with FTW when it comes to Peak Oil, however, because I have been unable to find any research refuting the claim that the reason gas prices are so high is because the value of the dollar is so low. When priced in gold--a true store of value--gas prices have declined (or remained stable) since the first oil wells were drilled.

Can anyone on this blog shed some light on this topic for me?

Mr. Ruppert always warned us to watch the Fed, yet it appears he's overlooked the Fed's role in increasing the price of oil. In my mind, the argument that market forces are driving up oil prices is much more credible than quoting unchanging oil production figures since 2005. If there truly were a shortage of oil, wouldn't we start seeing gas stations close because they'd run out of gas?

FTW admin said...

a very brief answer to your question, eddie, is that the peak oil argument has never been that we're 'running out' of oil. it's that after peak, oil becomes harder and more expensive to produce.

Eddie Willers said...

Thanks for the input, FTW Admin (I assume it is still Jenna?)

I guess what I was getting at is, based on the price of gold, the Peak Oil argument appears rather suspect (i.e. price has remained stable throughout entire oil-production years). While it may appear we are approaching peak based on dollar-denominated price increases, I think it would be a mistake to cite increasing costs as justification for the argument...especially in light of the weakened dollar.

gaelicgirl said...

Eddie, if you read regularly on this site:

you will find the answer to your question, plus much more. The guys (mostly guys!) on this site have been researching Peak Oil for years, and know the topic in great depth.

Chris XVX said...

One of the most unreported stories is the nightmare that is Morgellon's "disease".

Morgellons Research Foundation Action Alert:
Contact your Congressperson:

So far it looks like it's nano technology, high-tech artificial life that is delivered via chem trails. Scary stuff...

Tyler Havlin said...

Global forecasters cut non-OPEC oil supply growth

The dimming outlook for world production will keep the market on edge even as high prices hit consumers and cut into the pace of global demand growth.

The International Energy Agency, adviser to 27 industrial economies, cut its expectations for supply growth from countries outside OPEC to 460,000 barrels per day above 2007 levels, down from 680,000 bpd a month ago.

The U.S Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, cut its forecast for non-OPEC output growth nearly in half to 310,000 bpd from 600,000 bpd.

Both groups have consistently over-shot on non-OPEC supply growth in recent years, as soaring field costs and geopolitical constraints have wreaked havoc on official timelines.

Partly due to the dearth of supplies outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the EIA raised its projections for 2008 oil prices by nearly 12 percent. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil prices will average $122.15 a barrel, up from its previous forecast of $109.53 a barrel, the EIA predicted.

Oil prices hit a record near $140 a barrel last week, a seven-fold increase since 2002 that has been driven by surging demand from China and other developing countries.

bavarian said...

Peak oil as started to become closer and closer, what will it take for everyone to understand that you don't have to lose from the situation.

Rice Farmer said...

Eddie, thanks for your question. The bottom line is that oil production and consumption are nip and tuck. OPEC continues to say that “the market is well-supplied,” but with hardly any of each day’s oil production left over, concerns about tight supplies are going to drive the price higher. So it is indeed market forces driving up the price of oil. When supplies are tight, people suddenly realize that without oil, there is nothing. So naturally panic ensues among consumers and traders.

Speculation and the weak dollar are widely blamed for high oil prices. While they do play a role, it’s important to keep in mind that many oil producers are in decline, while growing economies are demanding more and more oil. That is the bottom line. “Speculators” are a convenient target for oil producers, who either can’t or don’t want to raise production, and for politicians, who want to appear as though they are doing something instead of admitting they are helpless.

And finally, as Jenna points out, peak oil does not mean we are running out. That is just a specious claim used by debunkers to discredit peak oil.

Eddie Willers said...

Thanks, everyone, for your inputs. I've done some reading on to balance my research...there's certainly no shortage (no pun) of analysis on the issue of Peak Oil, that's for sure.

Rice Farmer, the whole idea behind a market economy is to keep supply and demand "nip and tuck" as you stated. If OPEC were to maintain a surplus every day it would be bad for business as unsold oil benefits no one.

Similarly, if a supermarket maintained a surplus of, say, lettuce, the result of such practice would be bad for the economy as over-produced lettuce would rot on the shelves. When you consider the excess energy used in producing surplus lettuce as well as the inevitable economic hit the farmer takes when surplus lettuce is left unsold, the result is a shortage of lettuce for the entire community. Wasted energy--be it literal in terms of oil or figurative in terms of human energy--is detrimental to everyone. The free market is the best mechanism we have to combat shortfalls.

The most convincing argument I've read that explains the present spike in oil prices is from Mr. Frank Shostak, and his argument ties in perfectly with Rice Farmer's above statement. Mr. Shostak argues that the present oil price is a bubble, not unlike the housing and dotcom bubbles from days past. His analysis includes an examination of the Federal Reserve's (as well as other central banks in countries with emerging economies like China and India) loose monetary policies as suspect number one in creating high prices.

Shostak's argument is that increased demand is made possible by easy credit in the banking world, which in turn gives rise to the economic boom in other regions of the world (like China and India).

In short, the best way to combat "high" oil prices is to work to curb inflation (i.e. by tightening the money supply). Failing that, we can expect oil prices to steadily rise as the quasi-free world market seeks to strike the delicate balance between supply and demand.

That said, I still maintain that the price of oil has remained steady vis-a-vie the price of gold. The best way to measure true prices and value of commodities (like oil) is to measure that commodity's value against another commodity (like gold). When examining the price of oil in terms of gold, one is forced to deduce that oil-producing nations are indeed meeting demands. Attributing high prices to "shortage of supply" is a ruse designed to distract citizens from the real culprit: irresponsible policies set forward by the central banks.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks again for the references - please continue to challenge my arguments!

Here's the link to Mr. Shostak's article for those interested:

Rice Farmer said...

There has to be some surplus in the market. If supply appears not to be keeping pace with demand, prices will rise accordingly. And the more vital the commodity, the greater the market reaction.

Let's take your example of lettuce, for example. You say that if there is too much lettuce, a lot of it will rot. Let me clue you in to how the system works. I once helped run the produce department for a grocery store in a major US grocery chain. We threw out a lot of lettuce, not to mention lots of other produce, because it became dated or just rotted before sale. It's clear that much more is being produced than is sold. But without that slack in the system, produce would have been much more expensive for the consumer, despite our hefty markups.

Of course if there is too much slack in the system, prices will plummet from oversupply. You are right about that. Here in Japan they sometimes plow under whole fields of cabbage to support prices (that will stop in the near future, believe me).

But you can see from this that there has to be a certain amount of slack -- oversupply -- or prices will skyrocket. People need food and petroleum products, and if they feel their supplies are the least bit threatened, we see rice riots and gas station rage.

The bottom line is, there is not enough oversupply of oil to allay fears of shortages. And with good reason.