Appearing for the first three hours, business and energy journalist Jim Norman argued that the United States manipulates the price of oil as a kind of economic weapon against countries such as Russia and China. In the futures exchange, an unlimited amount of money was used to overwhelm sellers of crude oil, as a way of running up the price, he explained. China is hurt by high oil prices much more than the United States, and has experienced reduced exports, the closing of factories, and massive unreported unemployment, he noted.
The opposite technique, the lowering of oil prices, is currently wrecking the Russian economy, Norman suggested. Russia has little besides its natural resources, and the softening of the crude market could eventually force regime change there, he said.
The real reason we went to war with Iraq was because of China, Norman asserted. As sanctions were lifting in 2003, Saddam was going to cut a deal with China so they could acquire ownership of underground oil fields, and the US sought to prevent this, he said. While the US is propping up India as a foil to China, Russia is now moving in a direction of realigning with China, against the US and the West, he added.
Appearing in the last hour, geologist Jim Berkland commented on the recent swarm of quakes at Yellowstone. "We should be concerned but not panicked," as such swarms aren't always meaningful, he said. A 5.2 quake did trigger the eruption at Mount St. Helens in 1980, but this eruption would have occurred eventually anyway, he pointed out. Berkland also noted that a seismic window along the Ring of Fire is occurring between Jan. 8th and the 15th.