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Welcome to my blog. Essays on my thoughts on anything and everything, original photography, philosophical musings, spiritual beliefs, political rants, and shameless promotion of things I think are good for us individually, collectively as citizens of the United States of America and good stewards of the planet Earth. We must honor our higher lights and face our inner demons in the diverse forms they appear in our world. The more people with whom we can share common awareness, regardless of our egocentric perception, the larger our personal share of the Human Spirit.

Many of the photographs on the blog are original photography taken by me with my trusty cell phones and now BlackBerry. Some others have been with an array of off the shelf digital cameras. The subtle double rainbow on the title was photographed east of my home on 10/15/2010 at 6:23 PM on my BlackBerry. For a campy, tongue in cheek look at the meaning or non-meaning of double rainbows, check this out, or if you're more interested this...

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Score One For Obama

President Blames Oil Speculators for Rising Gas Prices
And, he was right.
Gerard J. Zarella 2011
Photo Credit

      David R Baker of the SFGate home of the San Fransisco Chronicle reports today that researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst added some erudite credibility to President Obama's blame on oil market speculators for the rising gas prices we've been experiencing over the last several months. (The paper, How Wall Street Speculation is Driving Up Gas Prices Today is here.)  The researchers looked at oil prices over the last ten years and controlled for various market factors including the price increases caused by speculation in the market.

      As would be expected, the speculators were making out pretty good in their venture.  They added an additional $.83 a gallon at the peak of the price spike last spring.  In May 2011 the profit taken by speculators cost the average driver $41.00 additional on their monthly gas bill. The report goes on to say that the profit drive by speculators put a ONE BILLION dollar drag on an already sluggish economy.  What I find incredibly obnoxious about all of this is that even after Mr. Obama issued the warning to speculators in April, and of course the GOP-Tea Party tried to refute despite evidence to the contrary, the speculators kept up their attack on our wallets.  That takes some gall.  Money does strange things to people.  Greed is one of the Cardinal Sins.  Wonder why?

      So this is the market running freely?  This is what happens when markets run freely.  This is what happens when middlemen in insurance, health care, finances and oil gouge the American public in the name of free market profit.  Oil prices, being constantly driven up by greedy speculators, who have to be doing what they're doing intentionally and with design to make as much profit as they can (read greed), drives everything else up.  Why are food and other commodities going up.  It takes an awful lot of oil to get fresh produce and the rest of our consumer goods to market.  And don't forget.  Speculators are buying and selling futures in a lot of the other products we use.  What happened to good old American industry.  It flew out the window when the market started running itself.


  1. I don't think it's fair to blame oil prices solely on speculators. There are many factors that go into the price hikes, and one that can't be overlooked is OPEC and the problems in Libya.

    It's probably true that the speculators are contributing, but we have to take into consideration artificial shortages implemented by OPEC as well as inflation of the USD.

    Whether it's a free market or a government market, or whatever you want to call it, when humans are in control of things then greed will inevitably enter into the equation. We have plenty of historical examples of Communist countries in which the captains of industry are replaced by government thugs and things are no better.

    We have to stop thinking that government is some sort of benevolent entity unto itself, and remember that government is run by people with the same motivations towards money and power. It's like switching execution styles from the axe to the guillotine. Both will cut your head off and both are operated by a human. The only difference is in the method and technology.

  2. Good to hear from you again,Jack. It's not all the speculators. But most oil analysts say that the Middle East situation and Arabian Spring really haven't affected supply. It's causing some fluctuation, but guess who's doing the fluctuating. Don't forget that speculation and trading in toxic assets in the housing market killed the market. It's still not recovered. I read a conservative columnist or You-Tube thing one time about how oil is inflating the dollar not the other way around.

    Government isn't some sort of panacea for everything sweet and good. Of course not - but as a society we obviously need some kind of oversight on our behavior. On a whole, I hope we are better than what several sectors of humanity show us.

    Thanks for commenting.


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