Smoking bans have a new powerful foe………labor unions

Clearing The Air: Smoking bans have a new powerful foe………labor unions

This time the special interest funded smoking ban activists (Nicoderm
marketing department) may have met their match.

Smoking Ban at Caterpillar Fires up Unions (story link)

Two unions have filed unfair labor practice charges against
Caterpillar Inc. for a smoking ban on company property that went into
effect June 1.

The United Auto Workers and the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers both allege that Peoria, Illinois-
based Caterpillar violated the terms of their contracts by
unilaterally banning smoking on the company's property. The unions,
which filed their charges separately, say employees have had the
smoking privilege detailed in their contract for 60 years.

Additionally, I would encourage the unions to challenge the validity
of the state smoking bans altogether; which were implemented
to "protect the health of workers from secondhand smoke".

However, air quality testing proves that secondhand smoke levels are
2.6 - 25,000 times SAFER than OSHA workplace air quality
regulations…….clearly then, not a workplace health hazard.

Air quality test results by Johns Hopkins University, the American
Cancer Society, a Minnesota Environmental Health Department, and
various researchers whose testing and report was peer reviewed and
published in the esteemed British Medical Journal……prove that
secondhand smoke is 2.6 - 25,000 times SAFER than occupational (OSHA)
workplace regulations:

All nullify the argument that secondhand smoke is a workplace health

Especially since federal OSHA regulations trump, or pre-empt, state
smoking ban laws which are not based on scientific air quality test

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)


You can blame the evil management and stupid designers for making gas-guzzling cars that Americans can no longer afford, but the fact is IF FORD, GM AND CHRYSLER cannot sell their gas-guzzling cars:

And people, if they can still afford it, will continue buying a Toyota Prius.
And the THOUSANDS of other American manufactured products made from oil WILL NEED TO LAY OFF WORKERS ALSO.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

Toyota is actually going to start manufacturing the Prius in the US.

Too bad its going to happen in Mississippi and not in our region...those things are flying off the lots and could keep a lot of Michigan/Ohio people working.

Once again...I'll type slowly for you.

Gas is expensive because of Bush's weak dollar policy and an energy market with little regulation and even less oversite. It is not a supply and demand issue.

It is typical of SensorG to make some supposedly "intelligent' statement preceded by an insult to try and appear like his "facts" are undisputed law.

HERE are the facts and supporting documentation, SensorG. PLEASE try and educate yourself before typing YOUR OPINION and trying to pass it off as "fact".

Here is the FACTS on why your statement "Gas is expensive because of Bush's weak dollar policy" cannot be fact.

Using your opinion, let's say that the ONLY reason that gas is so expensive in America is because of a weak dollar policy. That, in a nutshell, means it takes more dollars to purchase the same item than it would take Yen to purchase that exact same item.

In other words, since the Yen has more "buying power" than the US Dollar, it takes more dollars to equal the buying power of the Euro or Yen. Can we agree on that? It's like inflation. The product has not changed; it just takes more dollars to pay for the same item.

IF the ONLY reason for high crude oil prices were due to the lack of "buying power" of the US dollar, then the price for crude oil WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED if I were to purchase the same product using either Euros or Yen since, according to your premise, it would take more "weak dollars" to purchase the same item.

Therefore the price of crude oil (from which gas is made) would NOT HAVE CHANGED ON THE EURPEAN AND JAPANESE STOCK MARKET. After all, the Euro and Yen are not "weak" like the dollar is.

That is NOT the case. Even though the US Dollar has less buying power today than the Euro or Yen (compared to historical exchange rates), THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL HAS GONE UP even when purchased in the Euro OR the Yen.
Here, for your convenience, is a chart explaining the price of crude oil expressed in both Yen and Euros. Notice that the price of crude has gone up the same way it has gone up in America.

In a nutshell, if your statement were correct, the price for crude oil on the European and Japanese stock markets would not have gone up since those markets are based on different currencies that GW Bush has no control over.

Please, before you try and pass off your opinion as some sort of divine "fact" again, at least try and read the TONS of information available on the internet and not what your bowling buddies tell you.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

Stephen Simon, senior vice president of ExxonMobil, testified in Congress that the price of oil would be $50-$55 per barrel if normal supply-demand were the only thing affecting the price.

Unfortunately other factors are speculation, geopolitical risk (wars and threats of more war), and a WEAK DOLLAR policy. Our weak dollar was deemed necessary due to our huge budget deficit and trade imbalance. And, yes, you can blame Bush for this.

Pink Slip

What?!? My old Econ professor is turning over in his grave. I'd explain it to you but I truely doubt your ablity to understand.

Try this:*&...

Look at this wake up call from 2005...

Also, I didn't say that the weak dollar was the only reason. The lack of regulation and no oversite in the energy industry is also to blame.

Try these:*&ie=UT...,2933,166038,00.html*&sa=X&oi=spell&res...

I think the key sentence from one of Sensor's links in this:

"Energy companies are directly benefited by a weak dollar since the value of their domestic reserves increase in proportion to the dollars decline"

Pink Slip

Check this out:

Starting bid: C $69,900.00
(approximately US $69,255.94)

When the Canadian Dollar is stronger than the US Dollar, then the US Dollar is weak.

Please explain to me how a "weak dollar" causes the price of a barrel of oil to rise at the same rate, at the same time in Dollars, Euros, and Yen? It is like saying that George Bush controls the price of tea in China.

It is such an outrageous statement that it would be laughable if that "I Hate Bush" crowd didn't actually live in America.

Although a "weak dollar" will raise the price of a barrel of oil FOR AMERICANS IN AMERICA USING THE AMERICAN DOLLAR, a "weak doller" would have very little if any effect what-so-ever on the price of oil purchased on the Japanese stock market (Nieke), purchased with Japanese dollars (the Yen) and would have no effect what-so-ever on the price of oil purchased in Europeon stock markets, using the Euro.

How can Bush's "weak doller policy" cause the price of oil to rise for both the Asian and Eurpoeon stock markets when BOTH OF THOSE MARKETS ARE NOT BASED ON THE US DOLLAR? Both of those markets CANNOT BE CONTROLLED BY BUSH or even anyone else in America.,tokyo-stocks-open-lower-o...

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

the octane rating for regular gas in the UK/Euro market is 95 and the premium is 99.

You're paying $4.50/.75 for a gallon of shit gas on the world market.

But you can turn around with that British Sterling for 2/1 on the dollar.

So in Europe, expect to pay roughly $20 a gallon with your American currency for a gallon of ultimate kick-ass supreme that you cannot even bring into this country.

Combine that with the $144,000,000 in overprinting of our currency, and you can better understand the concept of a "weak dollar".

I'm not talking about the refined products made from a barrel of oil, I am talking about THE barrel of oil.

I understand the "weak dollar" concept. But don't you understand that a "weak dollar" would NOT raise the price of oil if you purchased that oil in Euros?
I'm not talking about trading dollars for Euros, but natively buying oil futures in the Europeon markets, with the Euro while in Europe.

For instance, imagine you live in Germany. Imagine you watch the Belgian markets. You want to buy a barrel of oil WHILE IN EUROPE, WITH THE EURO FROM THE EUROPEON MARKET.

The value of the US dollar would have no effect on what you pay for that oil.

Yet the price of crude has gone up the same rate, the same percentage at the same time ACCROSS ALL THREE MAJOR CURRENCIES. Agreed that, with a weak dollar, the price expressed in American Dollars is more, but as a percentage of value of the three major currencies, the price has gone up for all three of those major currencies.

A "weak dollar" would have no effect on the price of a barrel of crude in Europe.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

Although a "weak dollar" will raise the price of a barrel of oil FOR AMERICANS IN AMERICA USING THE AMERICAN DOLLAR, a "weak doller" would have very little if any effect what-so-ever on the price of oil purchased on the Japanese stock market (Nieke), purchased with Japanese dollars (the Yen) and would have no effect what-so-ever on the price of oil purchased in Europeon stock markets, using the Euro.

One small problem with that---you CANNOT buy oil from OPEC unless you use the US dollar. Back in the 70's when we decided to abandon the gold standard, we made a deal with the Saudis that they would only sell their oil in US dollars. In return, we protect them.

Edit---Iraq decided to trade it's oil for euros back in 2000. But we took care of them. Iran decided to sell it's oil in euros too. But we'll bomb their asses as well if our brave warrior-politician kings have anything to say about it.

Pink Slip

That is my point. I guess I don't know how else to try and explain it.

Look at this chart of the price of oil expressed in Dollars, Euros and also Yen.

ALL prices for oil in ALL currencies have risin the same percentage in ALL countries.

How can a "weak dollar" force the price of a barrel of oil to go up when purchased in Euros or Yen?

Answer: It can't. A "weak dollar" can ONLY raise the price of gas for AMERICANS IN AMERICA.

Once again, I direct you to this chart of oil prices expressed in Euros and Yen.

NOTICE how the price of oil, even in "strong currencies" like the Yen and Euro, has risin?

By the way, America's leading oil supplying countries are (in order of amount imported and NOT counting the 40% production from American fields)
1) Canada
2) Saudi Arabia
3) Colombia
4) Nigeria
5) Angola
6) Iraq

Of those leading suppliers to America, only two are members of OPEC

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

How can a "weak dollar" force the price of a barrel of oil to go up when purchased in Euros or Yen?

Oil isn't purchased in euros or yen. It's purchased in US dollars (those graphs you referenced were hypotheticals based on converting dollars to euros and yen). And it might be easier to think about like this---a large percentage of the rise in oil prices isn't due to "supply/demand". It's due to a weakening dollar. The value of the dollar goes down, so it takes more of them to purchase the same amount of oil.

Pink Slip

"Oil isn't purchased in euros or yen."

Umm, if you if you LIVE in Europe, you use Euros.
If you LIVE in Japan, you use Yen.

Now try and imagine there is a whole big world out there outside of Toledo, OH. And in that whole big world, the US Dollar is NOT the only currency. Remember, the world is NOT flat and if you go past the Lucas County line, you won't fall off the earth.

What is so damn hard to understand about that? The price of crude has gone up IN ALL THREE MAJOR CURRENCIES IN ALL COMMODITIES TRADING MARKETS WORLDWIDE.

Therefore, although the weak dollar has magnified the problem only in America, IT IS a "supply/demand" issue, otherwise the price of crude in Europeon and Asian commodities markets would not have changed BECAUSE THE EUROPEONS AND ASIANS DO NOT USE THE US DOLLAR. THE EUROPEONS AND ASIANS DON'T LIVE IN AMERICA, THEY LIVE IN EUROPE AND ASIA. Get it?

Here, look up the price of crude from Yahoo Ireland as expressed in Euros.
The close on Friday:

And the historical data IN EUROS FROM A EUROPEON WEBSITE.


If the ONLY issue was a "weak dollar" the price of crude purchased on Europeon markets, with the Euro, would NOT have gone up SINCE THEY DON'T USE DOLLARS IN EUROPE, ON THE EUROPEON MARKETS.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a


They do if they want to buy oil. Only the US dollar is accepted as payment for oil. So if Europe or Japan want to buy oil, then first they have to acquire US dollars (mostly in exchange for goods).

Pink Slip

... a small child come up to you with a nerf gun and proceed to assault you with it?

Yeah, that's what the UAW looks like in this case. "Powerful" and "union" just don't go together anymore. If they throw a real stink about it, Caterpillar will just move the plant.

I support the workers' case, BTW. But it's the wrong fight to pick at this time.

Actually, LCBM, their jobs depend on providing the vehicles that fit the energy profile of the nation. As gasoline soars, their jobs should transition over into making energy-efficient vehicles.

Oh, but of course, the OWNERS of the corporation don't want that. Neither do the MANAGERS of the corporation. I've never heard of the unions designing cars. Have you?

"As gasoline soars, their jobs should transition over into making energy-efficient vehicles"

Which are just now starting to be designed and are years away from production.

Looks like the American Auto industry is screwed. High gas prices=no gas-sucking American cars being sold. And no gas-sucking American cars being sold=AMERICAN AUTO WORKERS OUT OF WORK.

UAW members, I strongly suggest you move to where the new energy-efficient cars are going to be built.
Maybe you'd like China or Mexico.

Then you could visit ANWR, look at the "pristine" wilderness and try to figure out where your next meal will come from.

You could shoot a caribou while you are at ANWR....

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

" A demand effect: Oil prices have been rising for consumers around the world. But this, too, has been partially offset in many nations by changes in currency rates. Europeans are buying more oil than they would if the US dollar were their currency.

"Because the dollar can't fall against the [government-managed] Asian currencies, it falls too much against the euro," says Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland in College Park. "That gives Europeans more" to spend on oil.

A different effect is at work in China, which he says has been holding its currency artificially low as a way to boost exports. The result, Professor Morici argues, is a greater shift of manufacturing jobs out of the United States and into China. And because US factories use much less energy than those in China, this affects demand for oil.

"Every time a job leaves Indiana for Shanghai, oil consumption goes up," Morici says.

Moreover, in his view, China's resulting trade surplus has enabled the country to afford the artificially low fuel prices it sets for consumers – prices that China adjusted upward last week.

Still, it's hard to gauge how much oil demand has been affected by China's currency-managing methods. "Given the rapid economic growth rate, ... I would argue that demand from China would still be relatively robust" regardless of the exchange-rate policies, says Paul Ting, who runs an energy consultancy in Short Hills, N.J. "

"NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Crude oil futures hit a new record high Monday, after the market reacted to movement by the dollar and a pair of stark reminders of the fragile state of world supply capacity.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery traded $2.25, or 1.6%, higher at $142.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded $2.42, or 1.7%, higher at $142.73 a barrel.

Futures hit an intraday record of $143.67 a barrel in European trading, after ending at all-time settlement highs on Thursday and Friday. The market appears primed to hit $150 a barrel by the end of the week, a milestone forecast by Morgan Stanley earlier in June.

The dollar is expected to be an especially potent force in the market this week, as there are indications that the European Central Bank will raise a key interest rate on Thursday. This will likely cause the dollar to weaken, which would spur investors to buy oil and other commodities as a hedge."

"This will likely cause the dollar to weaken, which would spur investors to buy oil and other commodities as a hedge"

"Hedge Funds and Banks driving oil prices

In the most recent sustained run-up in energy prices, large financial institutions, hedge funds, pension funds, and other investors have been pouring billions of dollars into the energy commodities markets to try to take advantage of price changes or hedge against them. Most of this additional investment has not come from producers or consumers of these commodities, but from speculators seeking to take advantage of these price changes. The CFTC defines a speculator as a person who “does not produce or use the commodity, but risks his or her own capital trading futures in that commodity in hopes of making a profit on price changes.”

The large purchases of crude oil futures contracts by speculators have, in effect, created an additional demand for oil, driving up the price of oil for future delivery in the same manner that additional demand for contracts for the delivery of a physical barrel today drives up the price for oil on the spot market. As far as the market is concerned, the demand for a barrel of oil that results from the purchase of a futures contract by a speculator is just as real as the demand for a barrel that results from the purchase of a futures contract by a refiner or other user of petroleum."

Since the other commodities markets in the world (those outside the US) need to use American dollars to buy oil, since the US Dollar is "weak" the following MUST be true.

1) It takes more American dollars to exchange for the Euro or Yen since that evil Bush has a "weak dollar" policy. I.E. Today the exchange rate on Dollars to Euros is 1 Euro = 1.5859 U.S. dollars. If it USED to take $1 American to get €1 Euro, now it takes $1.58 to get €1 Euro (not an accurate rate, just for explanation).

2) The price of a barrel of oil closed at $145.08 on Friday.

3) Since it takes less Euros to buy the same product than it takes Dollars to buy that product, then the price of a barrel of oil in Europe SHOULD HAVE REMAINED THE SAME, when purchased in Euros, compaitively. I.E. Higher oil price+weaker dollar should offset the price of a barrel of oil.

Price of oil IN DOLLARS on Friday's close: $145.08
Exchange rate (€ to $ on Friday): 1.5859
Therefore the price of a barrel of crude in Euros on Europeon markets was € 91.48
And, since the "weak doller", is what (supposedly) is driving the price of oil up, that price )€ 91.48) should not have changed in the past year. Therefore, IF the "weak dollar" were the only issue, the price of oil in Europe SHOULD be the same as it was at the beginning of the Bush Presidency, right?

The ONLY way the price of oil on Europeon markets could have gone up is IF THERE WAS A SUPPLY PROBLEM.

Now, once again, I direct you to the chart I convinently gave the link to:

According to your thoery, THAT LINE SHOULD BE FLAT. The exchage rate changes, the Euro gains value, the price of oil IN DOLLARS GOES UP, therefore what you pay in Euros SHOULD remain the same.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a


But again--a senior VP from Exxon Mobil testified in Congress that if supply/demand were the only factor affecting oil prices right now, they would be about $50-$55 per barrel.

Pink Slip

Speculation on every thing from the problems with Iran, labor strikes in South America to labor strikes in the U.K. influence the cost of oil, globally.

Countries subsidize the gas and oil industries in their countries and some have been dropping the subsidies.

The dollar is weaker because speculators are selling it and buying oil as a hedge against world troubles, which is a big reason for the oil price jumps in the last year.

Consumption has even been reported to have declined and yet the speculators keep the price high.

"Oil prices hit fresh record highs Friday, boosted by weakness in the dollar and simmering tensions over key producer Iran which pushed the London Brent contract above 147 US dollars.

Brent North Sea oil for August delivery jumped as high as 147.25 US dollars, beating the previous record of 146.69 US dollars set on July 3.

New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for August, hit another record peak of 146.90 US dollars after breaching 146 US dollars for the first time.

The oil price jumped back into record territory after the European single currency leapt as high as 1.5868 US dollars in afternoon trading on Friday.

The weak US dollars boosts demand for dollar-priced oil which becomes cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies, analysts said.

Oil also found solid support as traders monitored the latest newsflow on Iran."

"The weak US dollars boosts demand for dollar-priced oil..."

The key here is:
"The weak US dollars boosts demand for dollar-priced oil"
If I were in Europeon markets, I'd buy oil also and store it for when the Dollar bounces back. Then sell it back to Americans for profit.

However, this proves my main point several posts ago (before giving everyone a free lesson in overseas markets) which was:
To lower the price of oil, you must increase supply. To keep American auto manufactures IN BUSINESS and thereby keep American Unions EMPLOYED, we need more domestic oil production.

DRILL ANWR. Get Congress out of the way and STOP the 34% fees on profit for off-shore drilling.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

This is not a supply and demand issue. When your Nintendo Wii sells for twice what you paid for it at Christmas time, that's supply and demand.

When was the last time you went to a gas pump and they didn't have any gas?

Oil consumption has only grown by 1-2% per year for the last few years and is expected to grow by 1.1% next year, but the price of oil has doubled since 2007. So this isn't as supply and demand issue, this is a weak dollar/speculation issue.

Also – your charts showing cost of oil going up in the price of Euros doesn’t quite make since. In 2003 the price of a barrel of oil was $25 dollars and the Euro and the American dollar were equal, so a barrel of oil cost the French and Americas the same ($25).

Today oil is oil is around $150 per barrel and it takes around $1.50 to buy one Euro. So a barrel of oil today costs France 100 Euros and Americans $150. So yes the price of oil has gone up for Europeans (400%) but not as much as it has for Americans (600%).

So at least 200% of the raise in the cost of oil can be attributed to a weak dollar. A large chunk of the rest is nothing more then speculation in an unregulated market.

Once again - Google Enron loophole.

Today concludes your free lesson.

So oil HAS gone up for the Europeons.

It has also gone up for the Americans, but since we have a "weak dollar" the increase is more noticable. That is EXACTLY what I said in an earlier post.

Also, I suggest YOU Google "Enron loophole" so that you discover for yourself that the "Enron loophole" WAS closed in May of 2008.

"Washington, DC - The United States Congress has approved a measure to close the "Enron Loophole." The measure was included in the Farm Bill conference report. This legislation was sponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)..."

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

There have been comments from varied leaders in industry, government and other parts of the industry, that demand is not the point of the oil price rise, at least not in the dramatic jumps and spikes.

Speculators are the main, alleged culprit, of the price spikes, which is why the unregulated trading is drawing so much scrutiny.

"The scale of commodities futures trading on nominally regulated markets is more than 1,000 times the level three decades ago. In 1976, that figure was $4 billion. This vast increase is a concentrated expression of the growth of financial speculation and parasitism in the American economy.

The role of Democratic as well as Republican administrations in fostering this trend is reflected in the fact that the number of regulators overseeing exchanges has been cut back. Last year, the CFTC had a staff of just 437, 12 percent fewer than it employed in 1976, shortly after it began operating, according to the Journal.

The largest unregulated sector of the commodities market is the customized market for derivatives, known as swaps. Big Wall Street investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have set up swaps to allow hedge funds, pension funds and commodity traders to speculate on prices among themselves, outside of any scrutiny by federal regulators. Trades through swaps can be larger than those on futures exchanges. The majority of commodity swaps involve oil."

Some of these businesses are the same that have added to the mortgage debacle.

What happened yesterday:,8599,1822435,00.html
"In another push to deal with soaring gas prices, President Bush on Monday will lift an executive ban on offshore drilling"

And what is happening today:
"Prices dropped more than $10 a barrel from their highest point of the day. At midday, light, sweet crude fell $6.27 to $138.91 in an extremely volatile session."

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

Some reports, say yes, some say no.

The President lifted the Executive Order on the drilling ban. Congress must now act in a like manner.

The President also stated, there have been no new refineries since the 70's.

One is being built and Marathon is engaged in a multi billion dollar upgrade to improve refinery capacity.

This, Economic Letter—Insights from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, sets out all the components of the current surge in prices and it seems to be not issue, but many that influence the cost we pay and will pay in the future.

Some have also called for the free market to work, which also is pointed is, smaller cars, less consumption of gas, etc.

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