Monday, March 28, 2011

What Happened to the High Tech President?

By: Dr. E. Eugene Webb

All during the election campaign we saw Candidate Obama with an I phone. He held it embraced it and used it. He probably did as much for the I phone as all the advertising. The campaign Tweeted, Face Booked and used every social media opportunity to communicate with donors, campaign workers and citizens. What happened? I haven't seen Obama lately with anything that resembles an I-Phone, I-Pad, Droid or anything else high tech for that matter. Security? Leaks? What's up? Does any one else at senior level Tweet? Hillary?, ……

When a revolution in Egypt, then Libya and all through out the mid east an maybe even in China is all but fomented by social media the High Tech Prez is no where to be seen. Scared and wounded by WIKI Leaks, cautioned at every turn about possible ramifications it seems like Obama has crawled into the political equivalent of a radio wave proof screen room. It looks like old time politics have slowly replaced the tech savvy staff that got the President elected.

Like it or not social media are pushing the envelope and becoming the thread that weaves the global culture together. Maybe the President of the United states should not be Tweeting or responding on Face Book, but then when an entire society rises up in the call of freedom and risks everything using social media as the primary method of communication and motivation then just maybe he should.

Monday, March 14, 2011

20th Century Diplomacy Tackles a 21st Century Global Crisis

By: Dr. E. Eugene Webb

In case you haven’t noticed Governments all over the globe are playing catch up in the current Egyptian Libyan revolutions. All governments, including the Obama administration, are proceeding with dealing with these modern day revolutions like they would have in 1980. While the news media continually report that these revolutions are being fueled by the internet, social media and the ability to rapidly communicate, the political elite chooses to meet in closed door sessions evaluate with committees and fly around the world to talk. Meantime people are dying, oil prices are going through the roof and almost every leader in the major capitals of the free world has a puzzled look on their face.

Today the oil companies, oil speculators and every one else with their finger in the oil pie are watching in real time and making their decisions based on instantaneous information. One can only guess that big oil has operatives on the ground in every one of these crisis areas reporting moment by moment what is going on. How is it that gas prices rise within hours of events occurring? Simple, Big oil and the commodities markets are not waiting for the US government or anyone else to make a decision they are going on the facts from the ground in real time.

Political correctness, diplomatic protocol, and respect for the borders of a tyrant are no longer the guiding principals for decision making. It is just possible that the Obama administration is missing the launching of an all out war on the US economy by the petro rich, a petro jihad, that is using all of the modern tools of communication to quickly manipulate the one force that can sink the current US economic recovery. Moammar Gadhafi is a madman. We have known that for several decades. But in the interest of diplomacy and Big Oil we have coddled this tyrant and now we are reaping the rewards of our actions. Obama seems stumped. His economic recovery may be oozing way in a flood of oil price increases, yet he is reluctant to step and lead. Let’s start talking about nationalizing the oil industry, fixing oil prices, taking Big oil out of the equation. The president of Exon says $4.00/gal oil won’t hurt the US economy. Certainly not his economy as Exon will likely post the biggest profits in its history. $4.00/gal gas will sink Obama’s presidency if the economy slips back over the edge.

We look to the UN, long for partners to help us so we can share the responsibility for action, talk and talk and talk while the US economy is bleeding at the rate of 1 billion dollars for each 1 cent in gasoline price increase. On the ground in Libya people are dying from bombings inflicted by their own government while our Secretary of Defense bemoans even the thought of a no fly zone. The Secretary of State wrings her hands, the UN drones on while people who long for some hint of freedom are murdered by a madman. Sounds more like the late 1930s when another madman ruled than the twenty first century with all of its technology.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Who Really Benefits When Oil Prices Go Up

Dr. E. Eugene Webb

Here we are once again, political upheaval in the mid east and immediately gas prices in the US take off. The question remains why? The answer is unmitigated greed. There is no shortage of oil. It is very unlikely there will be a shortage of oil. Believe me, if it looks like oil supplies are seriously threatened you will see all of the UN mumbo jumbo thrown out the window and the major oil consuming countries will move in politically and yes militarily to keep the black juice flowing. Why then is uncertainty the reason for rapid and unjustified increases in consumer prices. Answer same as above GREED. Everyone in the supply chain sees a chance to make a lot of money really fast based on fear not the reality of the cost of oil.

As long as oil trades on the open market as a commodity, speculators will use these events to artificially inflate oil prices for their own profit. Oil does not cost one penny more to produce today that it did three weeks ago. The pipe line is full and there is plenty of refined product. You might think all of this increase flows back to the oil sheik in his tent, but not so. Most of it ends up as profit for the Big Oil and the speculators who drive the futures market. Watch Big Oil’s profit reports in the next few quarters and futures divisions of the major brokerage houses. They will continue to sky rocket. Big oil loves all of this chaos. They are the ones who profit the most.

Given the strategic importance of oil to all economies, it is time put the futures traders who suck billions out of the economy, while adding no real value, out of the oil business. Oil producing and oil consuming nations need to take oil out of the futures trading market, establish a global crude oil management system and fix crude oil prices to a unique currency made up of a combination of the Euro, Dollar and Yen. Nothing would do more to stabilize the global economy and give emerging nations economic and political stability.