Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 30, 2014

Open Thread 2014-29

News & views ...

Posted by b on November 30, 2014 at 19:05 UTC | Permalink

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Your leaving us all alone, are you sure that's a good idea? Enjoy your time away;)

Posted by: jo6pac | Nov 30 2014 19:12 utc | 1

Interessting reading about Merkel:

The Astonishing Rise of Angela Merkel

The Quiet German The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world.

Posted by: Fran | Nov 30 2014 19:22 utc | 2

lol jo6pac..

here is what i said on the other thread.. maybe someone else would like to offer some alternative viewpoint on this :

was blackwater viewed as anything then a group of terrorists to the iraqi people? com'n with the bs about what is or isn't a terrorist as opposed to a moderate.. they are all terrorists to the people who are being murdered or terrorized by there presence, even if it is state sponsored terrorism which the usa does has engaged in for eons.. the cia is a terrorist organization.. if they want to label some group as 'moderates' - they can go ahead, but only a complete sucker would believe that bs. if the usa was to want to get rid of terrorism, start by getting rid of the cia and it's interventionist, and constantly meddling role in international affairs.. otherwise - the usa is ripe for acts of terror on it's own soil.

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2014 19:24 utc | 3

@2fran - here is a good article from the german paper spiegel titled "Summit of Failure: How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine". although it doesn't single out merkel the whole time, she doesn't come out of this article unscathed either! no mention of us meddling in the article though, which is an obvious fault of an otherwise good article..

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2014 19:34 utc | 4

@James - thanks for the Spiegel story, I missed that one. Looks like slowly the German media is letting out what happend and what is going on, though it still looks reluctantly.

Posted by: Fran | Nov 30 2014 19:40 utc | 5

@2: Anyone interested in my review of Merkel's New Yorker profile can find it at Naked Capitalism.

Posted by: OIFVet | Nov 30 2014 19:45 utc | 6

The color revolution in Mexico, safely out of sight of the Western media, but every bit as much a security state as Egypt.

"In December 2013, Peña Nieto pushed through historic reforms to Article 27 of the constitution that broke up the state monopoly over the oil industry and opened the floodgates to speculation and vast private investment by international oil giants. The majority of Mexicans adamantly rejected these reforms, but they were steamrolled through the National Congress and passed by a majority of the state legislatures in only 10 days without debate and in flagrant violation of the democratic process."

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 30 2014 20:26 utc | 7

SEVERAL witnesses admitted they lied about Michael Brown shooting

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Nov 30 2014 20:29 utc | 8

@JohnH: Are you referring to the protests happening now in Mexico as a US Color Revolution? If so, for what reason?

It seems to me to be a genuine revolution - after all, the target of the protests are the pro-US Mexican government and President Peña Nieto - a man who is certainly a lap dog of the USA.

The protests, IMHO, are aimed at ending this nexus of corruption and murder (the governments and the drug gangs) which have kept the Mexican people from joining the other countries of Latin America in the move towards social democracy and away from fascism.

The real start of Mexico's current troubles was the fraudulent victory of Calderon in 2006. Calderon, in the face of massive protests questioning the legitimacy of his election victory, donned a camouflage uniform and declared an internal "war on drugs" which has killed by some estimates as many as the conflict in Syria but has also turned Mexico into a country where anybody can murder with impunity - some 95% of murders in Mexico go not only unsolved, but simply uninvestigated. It has turned Mexico into a place where a corrupt mayor can hire the local mafia to have his local opposition murdered by the score: all for questioning social "reforms". Not to mention the rampant unchecked violence that occured in places like Ciudad Juarez - a city that represents the worst aspects of neoliberal "reform" - a poison stew of free trade, drug violence, and social problems that turned it - for a few years -into the murder capital of the world.

The fact that neoliberal "progress" and inequality have brought wealth to a few in Mexico has caused the usual suspects in the USA to declare the country a success story, but the Mexican people - who live with the fear, the daily violence, and the weight of corruption - know better. The neoliberals in America even have the gall to lump Mexico into a mini-BRICS like bloc with Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey, giving them the cute acronym "the MINT" - most likely because certainly the hedgefunds and multinationals are cashing in off of the labor and resources of the countries. But the fact is that - though the MINT countries might look like successes when viewed through the portfolios of investors - all of the countries on that list are deeply, deeply troubled.

The fact is that the Drug War - every bit the invention of the Mexican Government and the United States - has turned Mexico is one of the modern world's true horror stories. Something has to change there, and I hope this is the revolution - the real revolution - that does it.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 30 2014 22:13 utc | 9

PressTV is reporting today that the Iraqi Army has cleared Diyala Governorate of ISIL completely, is making big progress in Anbar and Ninevah as well. The defense of Baghdad has been returned to the police there - the army is no longer needed because ISIL is no longer a threat to the city. Presumably they now have the initiative to move against ISIL anywhere they choose.

Today, the Iraqi Prime Minister said, rightly, that ISIL victories came not from force of arms, but through media manipulation and fear: fear instilled by ISILs own gruesome tactics ("coincidentally" those same gruesome tactics that seem to pop up in so many CIA inspired campaigns). But the main fear-mongers seemed to be the Western mass media - interesting that.

Why did so many in the US put so much effort into making this obvious paper tiger into a grave threat? Remember when Oklahoma Senator Inhofe claimed: “We're in the most dangerous position we've ever been in as a nation”)? When all the Generals were talking about how "powerful" ISIS was?

The answer is clearly that the US wants to use the ISIL threat to get back into the region. To put the governments of Iraq and Syria into a helpless position. And to convince the American people that "something must be done".

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 30 2014 22:54 utc | 10

It is astonishing to read both these articles, neither of which mentioning the US neo-cons while implicitly taking the neo-con view. Imposing the neo-con view. "Fuck the EU".


The Quiet German

In early 2008, when President George W. Bush sought to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, Merkel blocked the move out of concern for Russia’s reaction and because it could cause destabilization along Europe’s eastern edge. Later that year, after Russia invaded two regions of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Merkel changed her position and expressed openness to Georgia’s joining NATO. She remained careful to balance European unity, the alliance with America, German business interests, and continued engagement with Russia. Kaiser Wilhelm I is supposed to have remarked that only Bismarck, who tied Germany to a set of countervailing alliances, could juggle four or five balls. Bismarck’s successor, Leo von Caprivi, complained that he could barely manage two, and in 1890 he ended Germany’s treaty with Russia, helping set the stage for the First World War.


How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: ""We should ask ourselves ... whether we have overlooked the fact that it is too much for this country to have to choose between Europe and Russia."

One would have thought that it was too much for the German political class to choose between Germany and the USA, but that's exactly what happened, and the 'EU' went along in their train. Merkel couldn't even juggle one ball.

It is the Ukrainians, of course, who have to pay the price for the greed of the US and the cowardice and stupidity of the so-called 'EU' ... the US' European Unit.

I imagine the temperature is dropping ... 5 below in Kyiv, 4 below and snowing in Donetsk.

Gaza, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine ... all devastated by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, with the help of his European Unit.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 30 2014 23:51 utc | 11

Is this article valid?

I hope not.

Posted by: ben | Dec 1 2014 1:37 utc | 12

The moves of the empire are so tattered and threadbare. Any empire that routinely has to execute its citizens in cold blood has passed the respectability of any decent person. The gruesome repast reaped from the peripheral souls who lie in our way, well-- may god bless our soul.

Posted by: Jay M | Dec 1 2014 1:49 utc | 13

Here's fun one: "Important Italian Study" from July to October of Tweets shows ISIS losing support among tweeters ... without mention that ISIS ordered a black-out on the use of social media a couple months ago iirc.

pepe escobar mentions this:
"" The ISIL Takfiri group has deprived residents in Mosul of all mobile phone communications over accusations that some informants in the city have been tipping off the US-led coalition forces on the militants’ whereabouts.""


:: In Syria, Isis appears to be dramatically losing the battle for hearts and minds with more than 92% of tweets, blogs and forum comments hostile to the militants who have rampaged through the east of the country and western Iraq, seizing large tracts of territory and declaring the establishment of a religious state.""

""Form 1 July until 22 October, the study tracked shifts in sentiment over some of the most dramatic events of Syrian conflict this year, including Isis’s attack on the Yazidi minority and its swift advance across western Iraq, the publication of videos showing the beheadings of hostages, the bombings of Isis positions by the US and a consortium of other Arab countries, and the siege of the Kurdish town of Kobani.""

... the prior stream of "positive tweets" and selfies, etc, from ISIS held areas are a no-more, a dead parrot.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 2:00 utc | 14

oh, and Afghanistan is hotting up -- first Obama extends the war (described differently on different sites), then the president allows night raids (the banning which was one of Karzai's better successes) and now the new president Ashraf Ghani has fired all the ministers -- and the Kabul chief of police is expected to be fired next. The bastardized co-presidency (one's president, one is "CEO" isn't working well either...

Thanks so much for the article on Mexico -- will add to my check-daily list. Thanks also for Merkel which will wait for bedtime reading.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 2:17 utc | 15

Another Merkel write up in Deutsche Welle, I think Merkel has gone mad if she thinks that Putin is actually scared of her.

Posted by: OIFVet | Dec 1 2014 3:24 utc | 16

Russian Spring


Summary from fronts by combatant Prokhorov:

In Chernukhino (near Debal`tsevo) a battle is being fought for two hours already.

Ukrainians were hit near Stanitsa-Luganskaya and in proximities of Valuyskiy and Ol`khovoye (northern part of Lugansk front).

In attempt to enter airport before noon, Ukrainians again suffered casualties (by intercepted radio, at least 1 200th (killed)). From yesterday, 95th lost 8 fallen, 72nd – 2; having fallen are 93rd and a repair brigade from Zaporozh`ye.

Also yesterday, Opitnoye (little north of Donetsk airport) was rid of Ukrainians.

In proximities of Avdeevka, Ukrainians were pushed off headquarters of a military unit.

Russian Spring


Daily summary by Council of National Security of Ukraine:

“The combatants shelled by tanks, artillery, and grenade launchers, shot firearms and attacked twice positions of Ukrainian troops on the territory of airport…

… Incessantly shelled was area of Bakhmutka. Here artillery targeted bases near hamlets Trekhisbenka and Sokol`niki…

… Towards Mariupol`, artillery, mortars and grenade launchers fired at bases and checkpoints near Novolasta, Granitnoye, Chermalik, Nikolayevka.

By the end of the day, 3 Ukrainian troops fell, 15 were wounded”

Remark of combatant Prokhorov:

“Ukrainians launch “Grads” right from Lisichansk downtown. Are not they scum? What if we fire back? No bit of concern about civilians.”

Posted by: Fete | Dec 1 2014 3:25 utc | 17

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 30, 2014 5:13:21 PM | 9

I'm sure JohnH meant the opposite, but his way of saying it was kind of confusing. That article he links to is excellent. Mexico under attack by the neoliberal borg.

Posted by: fairleft | Dec 1 2014 4:30 utc | 18

check this out:

Posted by: ben | Dec 1 2014 4:48 utc | 19

The Saker's latest:

Posted by: ben | Dec 1 2014 5:10 utc | 20

The Geopolitical Impact of Cheap Oil makes the same feckless mistake as other 'strategic analysts' have in the past, of approaching crude oil as a 'supply and demand' market condition.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. W

hen Bonnie Prince Bandar stated in 2003 that the KSA regime 'would like to see crude oil trading at $25 a barrel', he set up Cheney's Operation Bake Me A Yellow Cake, that spiked crude from $15 a barrel under Saddam, (net zero profit to KSA), to $150 a barrel, giving the Saudis an instant 700% profit margin sustained, renewed, rolled over, and making them TRILLIONAIRES over the course of the last decade, at one billion dollars a day in excess profits, just based the US demand alone.

This much Hot Black Blood chasing investments must also cause Great Evil, as for example, I$I$, created, armed and funded for the express purpose of driving Iraqi oil production back below pre-war production levels, and capping for now Iraq's dream of achieving 8MMB/D crude production by 2015-2016, as they had announced in June. That much Hot Black Blood can also be used to quash the Alberta Tar Sands, now that the Republican Right has taken over the US Congress, and is sure to lobby State for approval of the KXL pipeline. Alberta Tar Sands cease to be profitable at $80. The Saudis know this. Fracking for the most part, except in the East, also ceases to be profitable. Wells are being abandoned by the 100s in the US West (leaving taxpayers with the cementing, capping and cleanup...zing!).

There has never been a 1000% spike in a crucial strategic mineral or energy source in global history, and yet there is NOTHING written about the Yellow Cake Oil War. NOTHING!

'It just happened', with 3rd-person passivized language substituted into 'market dynamics' trope to conceal what was, and remains, a HIGH LEVEL CIA-STATE COLLUSION ON BEHALF OF KSA,
the same folks who slammed two planes into the WTC, the same folks who made up the largest part of the Iraq resistance to US occupation (60% Saudi fighters is the best estimate), the same folks now who are holding production high to crush Iraq, crush Canada, crush USA, and subversibly enable the illegal CIA-STATE sanctions against Venezuala, Iran and Russia.

That's all that Hot Black Blood does. Much Death. Many Kill.

The 'geopolitical impact of cheap oil' has absolutely nothing to do with market forces, but with hot money monopolies, in collusion with corrupt state apparatus. It's the essence of 'Trotskyism for the Royals', the REAL Royals, not those limp-wrist fops in US, UK and EU. What will come of this can ONLY be a global depression, once competing oil supplies are quashed, once investments are cancelled, once 'pipelines in the pipeline' are pushed off for the decade it will take fracking to boom and fizzle. Then the Saudis and Qataris and their OPEC royals will cut supplies and the world will hit a brick wall.

At that point, the greatest revolution in human history will occur, as the corrupt bloated bureacracies and war machines steal 100% of budgets and leave nothing for health and human services for soon billions of unemployed, starved of energy, utilities, heat, transport. Just look around you at the massive waste of energy in transport for the food 'cold chain'.

It all began with Operation Bake Me A Yellow Cake, leading to a trillionaire plutarchy, and has nothing to do with The Geopolitical Impact of Cheap Oil 'invisible hand of the market'.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Dec 1 2014 5:54 utc | 21

guess who's the master in stoking ethnic unrest and inciting separatists violence ?
[hint] venezuela, libya, syria, kosovo, tibet, xinjiang, ukraine, hk....
ferguson has its finger print written all over it. !

Posted by: denk | Dec 1 2014 6:32 utc | 22

Landmarks of Loss and Love: Being Human in Horrible Times By Chris Floyd

This is worth the time spent to read. Although it spotlights the serious issue of silencing political critics in the US and Russia, I still maintain that foreign policy wise Russia is currently a better and more responsible actor on the world stage.

Posted by: really | Dec 1 2014 8:04 utc | 23

why is boyle so cock sure that ebola outbreak is an *accident* ?
based on what my i ask....could it be uncle sham's proven track record of *good intentions* ?

thanks to this *accident*, the evil trio fukusf[rance] now has combat troops , 101 airborne no less, in all their respective ex colonies.. seria lone, liberia, guinea.
a feat that they couldnt achieved with africom for all these yrs, not even with the boko haram assets creating havoc to stir up the pot.
ebola is some *accident* indeed !

does prof boyle also reckon mh17, mh370, isis, bin laden etc were mere *accidents* that somehow just happen at the right time ?

Posted by: denk | Dec 1 2014 8:20 utc | 24

"...Clearly, President Obama is no more his own master than was George W. Bush, and there is every reason to believe that he has gradually rallied behind the secret policies of his own administration. Thus, the man who had proclaimed the end of nuclear deterrence, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and pledged to abandon the war on terror, is in actual fact taking the opposite course: he is poised to modernize and expand nuclear weapons, to send soldiers back to Afghanistan and Iraq, and to rekindle the threadbare concept of the war on terrorism..."
Does Obama still have a military policy? by Thierry Meyssan

Although I usually agree with the aurhor on most of his subject matter, I think Obama may not be on board with all the war mongering that is going on in his name. The powers that be who currently are the financial overlords of the empire and its political apparatus have carte blanche and currently reap whatever their blackened hearts desire. So I would not be so quick to jump in Obama's head and say he is totally in favor of all the drone strikes and proxy war mongering. We must Remember what happens to presidents and activists who lock horns with the old gray ashy skinned white men who make up the powers that oversee the empire. Just look at what happened to MLK, Malcolm X and JFK.

Posted by: really | Dec 1 2014 12:10 utc | 25

hands up thos who think sweden is the 2nd last place for Snowden to go to?
now the supposedly leftist Greens of Sweden, the country that wants to arrest Julian Assange, demands sweden give Snowden asylum....he already has asylum in russia, but here is what this dodgy party has to say about that:
'"It’s a disgrace, not only for Sweden but for the whole of the European Union, that Vladimir Putin, a democratically questionable leader is the only one that grants a hero like Snowden asylum," said Mutt, adding that he will discuss the plan with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom.
snowden is a hero, while Putin is 'democratically questionable'. and as they admit EU wont give him asylum. But why trust Sweden? Id say the Greens are democratically and morally questionable

Posted by: brian | Dec 1 2014 12:33 utc | 26


' So I would not be so quick to jump in Obama's head and say he is totally in favor of all the drone strikes and proxy war mongering. '

Tell me it ain't so, Joe! It's so. Really, it's so. Some people die still believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, I guess.

Barack Obama is demonstrably the best liar I've ever seen, even people at MoA still believe in him. Being in favor of drone strikes and war mongering is like being pregnant ... you are or you're not. Obama is.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 12:44 utc | 27

Arab states are really stupid for not curbing production.
Oil price down, again

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 1 2014 13:46 utc | 28

re oil , you know low price is exactly what they currently want, right ?
now the chances of success putting Iran & Russia on their knees is still quite low, but it doesn't hurt (Saudi/Qatar) too much (for now) to try

Posted by: zingaro | Dec 1 2014 14:05 utc | 29

yes, they want the low prices to punish Russia and Iran, and secondarily check fracking's momentum.
Today's morning laugh: NYT: Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests
you have to click to discover these are Fracking Protests in ROMANIA and Easter Europe more generally.
Hey, enemy of my enemy ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 14:19 utc | 30


Yes I agree on Russia/Iran but why would arabs want less money? That doesnt make any sense?

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 1 2014 14:57 utc | 31

...Snowden is a hero, while Putin is 'democratically questionable'. and as they admit EU wont give him asylum.But why trust Sweden? Id say the Greens are democratically and morally questionable
Posted by: brian | Dec 1, 2014 7:33:55 AM | 26

Guided by Sweden's refusal to deal willingly and transparently with the trumped up charges against Julian Assange, the Greens are the least of Sweden's problems. Sweden is as democratically, morally and legally questionable as that other shitty little country, and Good Friend of America, "Israel."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1 2014 15:06 utc | 32

@31 Supply and demand. It's not the 'arabs'. It's not even OPEC. The Saudis are the only ones who can make a difference to the price. Yes they can cut production....but they will lose market share and sell less.

Posted by: dh | Dec 1 2014 15:20 utc | 33

The Saudi's want market share. They have enough oil to make enough money -- even at lower prices -- indefinitely. Russia and Iran don't. It's a temporary thing. Russia, in particular, has contracts it has to honor that were written when oil prices were higher, so not only is it not making money, it's losing money, and tax revenues that keep people fed ...

Low oil prices will put a dent in enthusiasm for fracking -- both actual fracking, but importantly proposed fracking and American exports of fracking technology. For the Saudi's it's turf protection and a bit of cracking the whip. American jobs will probably be lost to layoffs and massive investment in fracking infrastructure will not be paying dividends, etc.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 15:20 utc | 34

Low oil prices will also put a dent in pursuing alternative energy sources and conservation, which will also benefit oil producers over the long term.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 1 2014 15:54 utc | 35

It is past due that the United States get on with modernization of the electric power grid. This is not a matter of convenience, it is a matter of national security. The more digitized each household and industry becomes, the more perilous our vulnerability to massive breakdowns in the grid becomes. I know there have been advocates and activist who have been yelling at the top of their lungs to try and tell the government that the United States is playing with fire by neglecting and brushing under the rug the poor condition of the electric power grid, but now is the time to act on their warnings and suggestions while the grid is still holding up to the current demand. Below is an analysis from 2008 which points out the problems, causes of those problems and offers solutions. If you are not living off the grid I suggest that you read the piece and familiarize yourself with the deteriorating power grid issue and the ramifications of system wide failure.

US electric grid: Will it be our undoing?

Posted by: really | Dec 1 2014 17:49 utc | 36

The Saudis can withstand the low ppb better than any other producer. My understanding is that it is a dicey game tacitly approved by the US to wreck the Russian economy, but at the cost of over-leveraged fracking and investment reliant extraction operations in the US. The domestic independents and small producers will be the first to fold, but how long can the US support this price war when the multi-nationals start clamoring for a rebound in prices. They presumably hold a lot of sway, so they are either being promised something in the long run (contracts, drilling rights, policy changes...) or heads will roll if this goes on for too long.

To me, the Saudi/US connection is about to run its course and these types of drastic measures look like desperate last gasps. I'm curious what you folks think?

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Dec 1 2014 17:59 utc | 37

Ben wrote: Is this article valid?

I hope not.


As far as I can make out, more or less, yes.

There were certainly demos, and 5,000 may be exagerated, but in any case a small number.

Consolidation of hospitals has gone on all over Europe, S. America (US and others different case) in an attempt at, yes, cutting costs and improving ‘efficiency’.

This can be viewed as either ‘decimating local health care’ (bad), or ‘providing better, more experts services to all’ (good, but with transport costs, pain for families..) The whole story is due to professionalization of health care, new discoveries, the need for very expensive ‘centers’ with top class equipment. Balancing the two is very difficult, Russia is obviously struggling with that. The important point here I feel is how many ppl could be fired. No idea if the docs /nurses who demonstrated are really at risk. Usually in these scenes ppl object because they find it difficult to move (family, etc.)

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 1 2014 18:30 utc | 38

Just in:

The little brown people are fighting for all of us.

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 1 2014 18:34 utc | 39

@27--Yes, indeed. "Tell me it ain't so, Joe! It's so. Really, it's so. Some people die still believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, I guess.

Barack Obama is demonstrably the best liar I've ever seen, even people at MoA still believe in him. Being in favor of drone strikes and war mongering is like being pregnant ... you are or you're not. Obama is."

It's truly amazing to me how many people are willing to cut Obama slack and give him the benefit of the doubt. In fact, lots of folks have no doubt at all about Obama's good intentions (as if they had some magical power to read Obama's hidden values!)

Unfortunately, by cutting Obama so much slack and failing to criticize him along with his policies, they are hurting the causes that they support. The only hope for change is for these naive folks to wake up and loudly put pressure on Obama and his Democratic ilk.

Unfortunately, that should have happened five years ago...

Posted by: JohnH | Dec 1 2014 18:43 utc | 40

Please Mr. Putin drop some huge bomb on the pedophile royalty that rules KSA.
I'm under the impression that they think can get away with anything. Wrecking economies, flying planes into buildings, backing up the Iraqi resistance in a big way, no doubt funding and providing people for ISIS/ISIL...though it will not happen unless last resort please set their palaces and their oil wells on fire and give them the massive punch in the nose they have had coming for a long time.
The Troika of Twats: Hebrew Klansmen State of Israel, The USSA and their child molesting Saudi apes.

Posted by: farflungstar | Dec 1 2014 18:46 utc | 41

Between Saudi secrecy and the United States claiming that KSA is acting "with our approval" (iow, "We're in charge here!!!!) -- as with Syria -- we'll have to see where this ends up ... unless someone can hack KSA (since the Americans seem willing to tell the most appallingly transparent lies, likely because they are desperate to keep up pretenses, at last for the domestic audience).

I've run into any number of adamant denials that "Saudis" are funding DAESH or have ever funded DAESH (or Al-Qa’ida) because the funding was (1) done by unknown private individuals, (2) was aid to "rebels" hijacked to DAESH, (3) KSA officials would have stopped it if they had been aware.
Each of these declaimers is to some degree -- but unknown what degree -- likely true.

Relations with KSA are very bad, which means they're largely invisible to the American press -- oh, and likely that intra-KSA factions are likely fighting it out (again) I've not seen any improvement since

Apparently, Saudi Prince Miteb was in the U.S. last week insisting on the need to remove Syrian regime to eradicate IS ... (the arab press is very hard to trust since so much is state controlled) ... because IRAN.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 18:57 utc | 42

The Saudi move has got to be USG inspired. It's a facet of total war against Russia. I think they have miscalculated. China needs Russian oil and gas and a US/EU takeover of Russia would cause too much insecurity to the regime there. Together Russia and China can prove that TIAA, there is an alternative, to the US' financial World War.

Who knows, maybe the US is setting up the Saudis for a little shock and awe of their own. How long would it take the US to turn Saudi Arabia into Iraq?

All this talk of Saudi rather that Israeli involvement in 9/11 seems to be preparing the American sheeple for yet another of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's adventures in furthering 'the peace process'.

Long cold winter ahead.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 19:59 utc | 43

I can't claim to understand it. To me, the US has a vested interest in distancing the Saudis. Yet the oil surplus play, likely aimed at the Russians, in the long run may hollow out US production, thereby ensuring a reliance on Saudi supply. Seems schizophrenic.

Maybe the domestic majors are playing the long game, by allowing the gutting of future domestic supply by independents. These corporations do hold massive reserves of cash.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Dec 1 2014 20:18 utc | 44

US drone strike claims eight lives in eastern Afghanistan

Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial police department, said the unmanned aerial vehicle fired a missile at a compound in Sherzad district of the province, situated about 90 kilometers (50 miles) east of the capital, Kabul, at around 1:00 p.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Monday.

He further noted that the assault targeted a Taliban hideout and those killed in the airstrike were members of the militant group.

On November 27, a drone attack in the troubled southern province of Helmand left at least seven people dead. A similar attack in the Chak district of Afghanistan’s central-eastern province of Maidan Wardak killed three people earlier in the day.

On November 19, at least four people lost their lives when US forces mounted a drone strike in the Ghaziabad district of the northeastern province of Kunar.

Washington claims the targets of the drone attacks are militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of such airstrikes over the past few years.

Not only are the USA's physical assassination machines without human pilots, the entire USA is without one as well. I wonder if there are handrails in the White House the occupants can cling to, to avoid slipping and falling in the blood that flows so freely there.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 20:46 utc | 45

" the long run may hollow out US production, thereby ensuring a reliance on Saudi supply."

Keep in mind that the US has the disgusting Canadian tar sands to provide an inexhaustible supply of oil.

Posted by: chet380 | Dec 1 2014 20:46 utc | 46

The Saudis seem to be genuine loose cannons when it comes for foreign affairs. They are building a multimillion dollar "Islamic center to fight terrorism" in Kabul ... which was speculated, I read, to be "trying to counter Iranian influence" ... which is ridiculous since Iran shares an extensive border which it maintains along with roads to Afganistan's benefit, houses about a million Afghan refugees and has "traditional ties" ... The Saudi's and their madrassas and the mujahadeen brought the Taliban. I'm doubtful that Iran's Shiia influence much needs to be countered with the Taliban so ever present in everyone's life.

If Afghanistan were not such an utter basketcase of an economy, normal rules of influence might make sense, but this like trading baseball cards or playing paperdolls. Haven't heard much from Pakistan (that I recall anyway) and/or their intense rivalry/providing war in "providing aid to Afghanistan" either. (Oh, a bunch of Indian Maoists killed a bunch of Indian border guards) [13 CRPF men killed in Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh close to Odisha border;]

Hah, I can barely still find it on the map:,86.310284,8z/data=!3m1!4b1

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 20:56 utc | 47

Bring Snowden to Sweden, Says Green Party

The Greens in Sweden want to turn Snowden over to the Imperial Executioners, the Greens in Germany are cheering for war ... was the Green Party always a mob front, or has it just recently 'changed'?

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 20:56 utc | 48

@12 ben

Yes, there was a medics demonstration in Moscow, 2nd in two weeks actually. They are trying to roll back the downsizing by embarrassing the government. The government is somewhat sensitive to such demos when they come from "real people" whose agenda is not political, so they might succeed.

In other news, South Stream was cancelled today. Basically, Putin admits that negotiations with Europe failed and long-term economic cooperation no longer feasible. Logically, more confrontation should follow

Posted by: Andrey Subbotin | Dec 1 2014 20:59 utc | 49

Good background article:

"Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism

Although IS is certainly an Islamic movement, it is neither typical nor mired in the distant past, because its roots are in Wahhabism, a form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century."

Posted by: Lisa FOS | Dec 1 2014 21:17 utc | 50

@49 andrey.. further to andreys comment, gazprom has announced plans to build a new pipeline across the black sea to turkey which will serve, turkey, greece and southern europe.

Posted by: james | Dec 1 2014 21:20 utc | 51

@46 'Keep in mind that the US has the disgusting Canadian tar sands to provide an inexhaustible supply of oil.'

Indeed it does. With a break even cost of $64 a barrel.

Posted by: dh | Dec 1 2014 21:48 utc | 52

@ 46

' the disgusting Canadian tar sands to provide an inexhaustible supply of oil '

That's like saying that Prometheus has an inexhaustible supply of liver. I guess it's correct. Hadn't looked at it that way before.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 22:31 utc | 53


I guess that means that Turkey's next on the list of Islamic countries to be devastated and laid waste? What the hell, Obama kills Americans, why not destroy NATO countries that haven't accepted that TINA? Look for the Americans and Germans to arm and encourage the poor long-suffering, endlessly-betrayed Kurds, again?

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 22:40 utc | 54

Today, Turkey ... tomorrow Greece,Italy, and Spain!

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 22:41 utc | 55

US rules out Syria border no-fly zone

The United States has rejected the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria along the border with Turkey to deny the Syrian military the ability to launch airstrikes there.

The US was "open to discussing a range of options with the Turks" but that a no-fly zone over Syria was not on the table "at this point," President Barack Obama's spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday.

Turkey has requested the US to establish a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border.

Iran Warplanes Target ISIS in Clearest Sign Yet of US Cooperation

But a video released today shows that their “anti-ISIS coalition” isn’t the only ones, as an Iranian F-4 Phantom is seen backing Kurdish fighters in trying to retake a pair of lost towns.

The US is desperate to the point of paranoia to say they “control the airspace” in Iraq, and having other nations’ warplanes just flying around willy nilly would make no sense, and would almost certainly make those planes a target. Iran would not be sending warplanes into Iraqi airspace in mid-US war, and in the vicinity of several US warplanes, without the US having confirmed that it was okay with them.

Today, Turkey ...

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 22:55 utc | 56

@46 Posted by: chet380 | Dec 1, 2014 3:46:30 PM

Keep in mind that the US has the disgusting Canadian tar sands to provide an inexhaustible supply of oil.

(1) They are called Oil Sands. Only people who know zip about them call them Tar Sands.

(2) The outdoor air quality in Fort McMurray, where the Oil Sands activity is headquartered, is better than the city of Montreal. Download Environment Canada "Air Quality Health Index" for both Fort McMurray and Montreal, and watch them daily. I did. I was shocked.

(3) Dilbit is apparently known as "Access Western Blend."

(4) The dirtiest oil in North America is not Access Western Blend, Dilbit. Peter Burn, senior advisor in the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Directorate in Environment Canada, and as an advisor to Environment Minister Jim Prentice, reported this on July 18, 2014.

Researchers for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard have recently released new data measuring the carbon intensity of various crude oil blends, including diluted bitumen (a.k.a. ‘dilbit’) and upgraded synthetic crude oil (‘SCO’) from the Canadian oilsands. [...]

• There are 13 oil fields in California, plus crude oil blends originating in at least six other countries, that generate a higher level of upstream greenhouse gas emissions than Canadian dilbit blends;

• Crude oil from Alaska’s North Slope, which makes up about 12 per cent of California’s total crude slate, is actually “dirtier” than the Canadian dilbit known as “Access Western Blend”;

The “dirtiest oil in North America” is not produced in Canada, but just outside Los Angeles, where the Placerita oil field generates about twice the level of upstream emissions as Canadian oilsands production; and

• The title of “world’s dirtiest oil” goes to Brass crude blend from Nigeria, where the uncontrolled release of methane during the oil extraction process generates upstream GHG emissions that are over four times higher than Canadian dilbit.

The truth matters.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 1 2014 22:58 utc | 57

@lisa FOS - interesting article -- I did not know this:

"" But tension soon developed between the two because Ibn Abd al-Wahhab[founder of Wahabism] refused to endorse Ibn Saud’s [his main patron] military campaigns for plunder and territory, insisting that jihad could not be waged for personal profit but was permissible only when the umma was attacked militarily. He also forbade the Arab custom of killing prisoners of war, the deliberate destruction of property and the slaughter of civilians, including women and children. Nor did he ever claim that those who fell in battle were martyrs who would be rewarded with a high place in heaven, because a desire for such self-aggrandisement was incompatible with jihad. Two forms of Wahhabism were emerging: where Ibn Saud was happy to enforce Wahhabi Islam with the sword to enhance his political position, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab insisted that education, study and debate were the only legitimate means of spreading the one true faith. ""

so the schism within Wahhabism began with Ibn Saud ... and became more violence (and territory seeking) after al-Wahhab's death and is totally tied to the KSA creation story.

and I had mostly attributed the violence and territory seeking to their "generation X" who were second or third generation with "no future" and no piece of the Saudi pie (and nepotism, etc.etc.etc.) and the spread of jihad to a more innocent (except I'm an atheist) Islamic evangelistic missionary movement (alms for the poor plus bible, rather Quran schools)

And the article is by Karen Armstrong who .... was last seen promoting her new book by lambasting Sam Harris as an Islamophobe, because there's nothing violence about Islam or something ... all very "a few bad apples" theory. There are too many good muslims in the world to consider Islam "rotten at its core" ... but the Pew polls really do give one pause, as does the apparent remarkable appeal of Daesh to young Muslims worldwide.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 1 2014 23:00 utc | 58

@52 dh.. i thought the break even cost for getting it was higher then 64$ a barrel. interesting..

@54 jfl.. lol... i suppose... the msm has worked hard to pain erdogan as a monster since about the time of the boat flotilla.. this will be more traction for their agenda.

@57 mrw.. that may be true, but it doesn't change the fact these oil or tar sands are a nightmare for the people in the north. the athabasca river is an important part of the health of a very large eco-system and is being seriously undermined by this mega project.. another stamped and sealed deal by the oil corps in association with our idiot leader harper who never misses a chance to exploit the environment at the expense of the environment and people..

Posted by: james | Dec 1 2014 23:28 utc | 59


The Canadians call them Tar Sands ...

The Tar Sands Disaster

Canadians don’t universally support construction of the pipeline. A poll by Nanos Research in February 2012 found that nearly 42 percent of Canadians were opposed. Many of us, in fact, want to see the tar sands industry wound down and eventually stopped, even though it pumps tens of billions of dollars annually into our economy.

The most obvious reason is that tar sands production is one of the world’s most environmentally damaging activities. It wrecks vast areas of boreal forest through surface mining and subsurface production. It sucks up huge quantities of water from local rivers, turns it into toxic waste and dumps the contaminated water into tailing ponds that now cover nearly 70 square miles.

Also, bitumen is junk energy. A joule, or unit of energy, invested in extracting and processing bitumen returns only four to six joules in the form of crude oil. In contrast, conventional oil production in North America returns about 15 joules. Because almost all of the input energy in tar sands production comes from fossil fuels, the process generates significantly more carbon dioxide than conventional oil production.

... couldn't let a driveby by a Tar Sands Texan go unrefuted. He's only counting burning the synthetic product, which you'd have to count more than once since it's diluted, and not counting at all the fuel expended in creating the fuel, from tar, that he's miscounting in his emisions tally.

The truth does count ... he counts wrong. But he's a troll paid to count wrong.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 23:35 utc | 60

"The Saudis can withstand the low ppb better than any other producer."

Of course. All unimaginable oil wealth with only a small royal family having to be kept up. The rest of their population can be pampered, deluded and/or repressed as needed. Any dissent ends in death. Truly the most reactionary, regressive, and backwards society on the face of the earth. And it only exists because of US power. To buy the products of the MIC. And to be a bulwark against whatever force happens to threaten US interests in the region.

There would be no more positive geopolitical development in the world than the fall of the Saudi Royal family. All else would come from that:

1) the elimination of global terrorism
2) the smashing of the petro-dollar
3) Racist Israel reigned in and friendless in the region
4) the end of the genocide being carried out against the Shia
5) oil being produced for the benefit of the people in the countries that produce it instead of to feed the US MIC and the US dollar
6) freedom in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen...not to mention Saudi Arabia.

On and on and on. The benefit to world peace and prosperity would be immediate.

The Saudi Royals - with their unmatched wealth and accountable to few outside the highest halls of power in the United States - are the lynchpin of nearly every political and economic problem which manifests itself in our world today.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 1 2014 23:47 utc | 61

@fairleft, @JohnH yes, of course. Sorry to misread that.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 1 2014 23:47 utc | 62

See Global Price Comparison for Oil Supply for an interesting table of production and transportation costs of 'oil' and profit per $70 barrel. Russia 'onshore' is right up there at $40, although Russia 'arctic' is at -$55. Canada 'Sand' is at -$35. Saudi Arabia 'onshore' is at $65.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1 2014 23:49 utc | 63

@59. $64 seems to be an average figure for oilsands. It's hard to figure excactly because there are so many different projects. Some have higher costs than others. Suncor, one of the biggest, say they can produce for less. The Saskatchewan Bakken field is quite a bit less.

Nobody is talking about layoffs in Fort McMurray quite yet.

Posted by: dh | Dec 1 2014 23:54 utc | 64

Further down the same page as above ...

by ian807 » Fri 28 Sep 2012, 17:01:15

The fact of the matter is that oil shale or not, we’re in a position of running as hard as we can just to stay in place. Remember, it’s all about net energy. If you’re not getting more energy from the oil, than it takes to extract the oil, what’s the point? And you have to get a lot more. It has to be enough to support extraction, refining and distribution PLUS the economic activities for which it’s intended, mostly transportation.The first Pennsylvania oil wells were getting estimated energy returns of 1000:1. In West Texas in the 1960s, estimates ran to 100:1. These days, even the Saudi’s are only getting estimates of 30:1 and oil sands in Canada have nice low returns of 4:1. Bottom line?

The total net energy in first half of the conventional oil (energy return x quantity) was much greater than the total net energy remaining in the second half of the conventional oil. Imagine a battery that lasted 10 hours, but on the first hour, you got 1000 watts, the 5th hour, you got 100 watts, and at the 10th hour, you’re pulling barely a watt. That’s roughly analogous to our situation with oil. The oil is there, for sure, but we got the high net energy stuff first (i.e. light sweet crude, close to the surface). What’s left is, for lack of a better word, crud. Yes, we can get it. Yes, it’ll work, but it just takes more energy to get it out and refined than it used to, increasing the price and decreasing the utility forevermore. There will be price fluctuations as with any commodity, but the long term price trend-line goes up from here on out.

There is an alternative ... photosynthetic Hydrogen.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 2 2014 0:09 utc | 65

@65 At what point will photosynthetic Hydrogen become a viable alternative do you think? Do you have any figures on the cost of production, conversion and distribution?

Posted by: dh | Dec 2 2014 0:32 utc | 66

"...If there was a way the United States could achieve its long-term strategic objectives and, at the same time, avoid a war with Russia it would so. Unfortunately, that is not an option, which is why there’s going to be a clash between the two nuclear-armed adversaries sometime in the near future..."

I can't believe that any rational and self preserving individual could think there could somehow be a winner in a war between the Russian Federation and the United States of America. I will tell you this, war between Russia and the United States over fiat currency dominance would be akin to global suicide for the most asinine of reasons.

Posted by: really | Dec 2 2014 1:12 utc | 68

NEW VIDEO: SEVERAL Michael Brown Witnesses Admitted They Lied about Shooting!: #HandsUpWalkout #FergusonDecision

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Dec 2 2014 1:12 utc | 69


Hydrogen may someday have a role in energy storage but it will never replace oil. You can't lube a bearing, pave a road, tar a roof or wrap a sandwitch with hydrogen.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Dec 2 2014 1:12 utc | 70

Netanyahu's proposed bill against both Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs:

Israeli Arabs caught engaging or cooperating with terror will automatically lose their citizenship – or Palestinian Authority residency, in the case of Palestinians.

After completing their prison term, terrorists will be deported from Israel.

Those killed during their attempt to conduct a terror attack will not receive a funeral.

The body of terrorists will not be transferred to their families, and will be buried in an unknown location, without ceremony and without future access for their families

Terrorists’ houses will be destroyed within 24-hours of the attack

Masked stone throwers and those inciting for terror and violence participating in illegal protests in which firebombs or fireworks were thrown will be arrested and held in remand until the completion of legal procedures against them. The same measures will be taken against those who waved an ‘enemy flag’ during the protests, including the Palestinian flag. Anyone convicted at the end of their remand will lose their social welfare benefits and driving license for a 10 year period.

Families of terrorists will lose their citizenship and will be deported to Gaza should they express support for their relative’s deed. Support, according to the bill, can be expressed through public or social media.

The bill also includes a clause that would close businesses and printing presses that print posters that support terror or terrorists.

- See more at:

Posted by: sleepy | Dec 2 2014 2:08 utc | 71

Noirette @ 38: I was hoping the "austerity" bug hadn't landed in Russia. Thanks for the bit of enlightenment.

AS @ 49:Thanks for the response. I haven't seen a story on it anywhere.

jfl @ 60: "But he's a troll paid to count wrong." Excellent course correction!

Posted by: ben | Dec 2 2014 3:24 utc | 72

Putin has abandoned part of the European gas pipeline to Turkey per the nyt

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin said Monday that he would scrap Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline, a grandiose project that was once intended to establish the country’s dominance in southeastern Europe but instead fell victim to Russia’s increasingly toxic relationship with the West.

It was a rare diplomatic defeat for Mr. Putin, who said Russia would redirect the pipeline to Turkey. He painted the failure to build the pipeline as a loss for Europe and blamed Brussels for its intransigence.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Dec 2 2014 3:35 utc | 73

Russian Spring


Night summary from fronts by combatant Prokhorov:

There are clashes again around Stanitsa-Luganskaya; reported skirmishes around Gorlovka.

In Donetsk, the negotiated truce is such that the devil is sick. Especially the airport – the termination of the eternity.

Besides the airport, battles take place in area of Peski and Avdeevka as well as Novobakhmutovka (north of Avdeevka) and near Novokalinovo (?), and also next to Nevel`skoye (little west of Donetsk).

In Lugansk Republic, except Bakhmutka, positions of Ukrainian troops were hit near valley Mirnaya (next to Lisichansk) – several wounded, and near hamlet Muratovo (?) (2 wounded – taken to Lisichansk).

About Mayorsk (north outskirts of Gorlovka), information was that the town is divided.

Russian Spring


Overview of combat situation by combatant Prokhorov:

… Counting losses, for Ukrainians, the airport is a second Ilovaysk. Even according to their data, from September 5, armored hardware loss in area of the airport (including Peski and Avdeevka) is twice of that in other parts of the front…

Noisy again in the airport at the moment.

Succession of ambulances has flown toward Bakhmutka from Lisichansk and Severodonetsk.

Posted by: Fete | Dec 2 2014 4:01 utc | 74

Hugh Mann
*There's a saying that goes: The more you stir shit, the more it is going to stink*

rest of the world dont call uncle sham the *shit stirrer* for nuthin u know !

for yrs divide n conquer has been used extensively to destabilise foreign countries , witness ukraine, tibet, xinjiang, venezuela, exyugo, libya, syria, hk...just to name a few.

conversly, when deployed at the homeland, it'd stengthen the police state and usher in martial law eventually.

jon rapoport for prez 1

Posted by: denk | Dec 2 2014 4:27 utc | 75

James Howard Kunstler writes on his blog: A week after the grand jury decision and the riot that followed, the Michael Brown incident is already disappearing down the national memory hole. Why? Mainly because anyway you cut it Michael Brown was a poor candidate for martyrdom. The generous view of his fate is that he made a series of very poor choices one summer’s day. So now CNN is shopping for a replacement. As of Sunday night, they seemed to have settled on 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot while brandishing a BB gun in Cleveland, Ohio. The media insist on calling it “a toy gun,” though photos depict a BB gun obviously designed to look like a regular automatic pistol. Poor Tamir Rice was foolishly acting out a childish mime show, pretending to shoot at passers-by. Someone in the neighborhood might have advised him that this was a good way to get himself shot. But no one did. Now, why was that?

Posted by: Lukas | Dec 2 2014 5:46 utc | 76


Ok, first, 'bitumen' is 'tar', another word for TAR. The reason the TAR SANDS have to be steamed or open-pit mined, then solvent stripped, is it's TAR and not 'oil'. Get real. Even when it's dissolved in Asian condensate, it's still Diluted Bitumen; 'dilbit', not 'oil'.

Second, there is no "upgraded synthetic crude oil (‘SCO’) from the Canadian oilsands", the Canadians have twice defeated multi-billion dollar Upgrader refineries because they clearly understand the HUGE difference between refining sweet crude and refining 'bitumen'.

Third, 'dilbit' is STEAM STRIPPED TAR combined with FOREIGN IMPORT LIGHT ENDS, a mixture of naptha, benzene and gas field condensates, whatever's the cheapest solvent of the TAR. The light ends are by their nature TERATOGENIC. Benzene is lethally toxic. Three of the four men on my refinery crew, who went into the oily-water sewer system without adequate filters, developed cancers and died WITHIN THE YEAR.

So 'dilbit' is LOW ENERGY, HIGH EXTRACTION COST, TERATOGENICAL DISSOLVED tar sludge, being transported entirely across the USA, from north to south, to Texas refineries capable after retrofit of refining 'bitumen' oils, such as those from Venezuala. The refining process for 'dilbit' however, will have an additional cost. The 'dil' part of the 'bit', because it varies and can't be adjusted for in the refining process, will not be recovered to the same extent as sweet crude light ends. Also, there is a global glut of condensate and low AP solvents. Nobody is going to want the 'dil', so it will either be flared off, or leak into the air as a massive 100,000 square mile smog belt across the Gulf Area.

The oily-waste water from 'dilbit' can't be treated by the same API650 separators used for crude, which skims the oily floatables off, then either 'air farms' the aromatics out of the wastewater by dumping it on the ground, or dumps the effluent 'legally' into the ocean.

Finally, 'dilbit' contains by its nature a large percentage of unusable sludge, which is refined into 'coke', pure carbon granules stripped of aromatics, used for iron refineries, or if pure enough, used for aluminum and copper smelting anodes. There is always a shortage of high-grade coke, but a surplus of low-grade, especially with the Global Slow Down. So the coke is left simmering in the tropical sun, mountains of it, EVERESTS of it, with rain-water leaching through it, untreated, running off into streams, and then the Gulf.

At the end of the day, Canada and the Kochs are violating NAFTA by incorporating Asian diluents into the 'dilbit' stream, then pumping it at higher temperate and higher pressure in a pipeline measurably THINNER than the Alaska Pipeline to Houston, where it's refined in a way that leaves MASSIVE air, water and solid waste pollution for TAXPAYERS TO CLEAN UP.

And it's all going to China! The KXL Pipeline Proposal to US State says exactly that. The 'syncrude' processed from the diluted bitumen TAR SANDS is all meant for the China market, the China market where it's burned INEFFICIENTLY and WITHOUT POLLUTION CONTROLS.

Your entire screed is the Big Lie, the Corporates United, here, Drink This Fracking Water Big Lie used by Corporate since oil and gas was first developed to avoid paying THEIR SHARE of the waste and despoilation costs, so their profits can go to the UberMenschen.

Take a hike. Go peddle your schmaltz to the rubes in the cheap seats.

Having rebutted all that, the world is now more than ever since 1986 in thrall to the House of Saud, (when it fell from $27 to below $10, the equivalent of $108 to $40 today), because global demand is so much higher, and the 'knockoff' effect on emerging economies is so severe, not now, not a lower oil prices, but when prices REBOUND after the juniors are bankrupted and gone. All the recent plays were invested with the assumption of $100+ a barrel oil on. At $70, they're not only 'uneconomical', they're inverted in flat spin.

Kinda like the -18$T American National Debt, once the Fed raises interest rates again. There is no 'invisible hand of the market', only the 'iron claw within the velvet glove'. And now the gloves are coming off....

Posted by: ChipNikh | Dec 2 2014 9:04 utc | 77


"The generous view of his fate is that he made a series of poor choices one summer’s day."
You've clearly never run with Black or Hispanic kids on a typical MidWest summer evening.

The REAL view of his fate is that he grabbed a cigar without paying for it, at the same moment that Mil.Gov.Sci.Edu was burning through $30,000,000 every minute without paying for it. Then he walked home down the street, like everyone does in every small town anywhere in the world with or without sidewalks, until Office Opie told them to GTF onto the shoulder, and they explained politely that they were almost home.

From there, accounts differ. The Furgeson Cop Shop CLAIMS (without supporting tapes or any other evidence) that Officer Opie "Received the call for 'Strong Arm Robbery'", ...for one fracking cigar? From a Korean store owner? I DON'T FRACKING THINK SO! Then Officer Opie slams it into reverse and grabs Brown through the window of his car! WTF!! Rambo Junior?

Then Michael Brown and his friend, neither of them under arrest or read their rights, took off running, and Officer Opie lit off a round into the twilight, winging Brown, who turned around and GAVE UP, with his HANDS IN THE AIR, and vocally saying 'OK, I give up.'

Officer Opie CLAIMS then Brown 'bull-charged' him, head down, which is pretty hard to do, when you've been SHOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOREHEAD AND THE RIGHT EYE SOCKET, FROM 10 FEET, about the same distance as you are to your refrigerator. That's a 'two-tap' assassination. Just doing his duty.

Officer Opie had a HARD-ON, so he BLEW AWAY A BLACK KID. Happens across the USA even after Blacks were given the vote in 1960, 400 years too late, and even then, there was still a LYNCHING somewhere every year across the South.

GET THE N*GGER! Think about it, Luke, whatever you KKK merit badge says. The US is a cess- pool of White Supremacist Fascist National Police State in -$18T Squandered National Debt.

To paraphrase 'Kill Bill', America doesn't deserve to live. Neither does UK or IL, either. My forefathers fought barefoot in winter with flintlocks to purge America of these Royals and their Red Coats and Habsburg Banksters. But that's exactly where we're headed, again, even today, ironically, when all the wisdom of the world is freely available online, still IGNORANCE AND HATE PREVAILS.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Dec 2 2014 9:37 utc | 78


Photosynthetic hydrogen will 'never' become a viable alternative if we rely on the TNCs and their governments.They will continue to keep it unknown and research to develop it unfunded. There are 3 parallel lines of development needed : hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, and fuel cell development. The link I offered above was written by one of the Department of Energy people studying photosynthetic hydrogen at the DOE lab in Colorado. I think that that lab has been shutdown ... and what money was formerly appropriated diverted to 'hybrid vehicles'. Public funding to benefit private corporations.

The people that allocate such funds are up to their eyeballs in the status quo ... and that's why people are fracking our aquifers, devastating the Canadian north, and topping mountains in Appalachia. They are too goddammed lazy to use the vast funds they expend on those life-killing projects on life-preserving projects, and in fact see preserving life on planet earth as dangerous to their own status quo. They are junkies, incapable of curtailing the addiction that will kill not only themselves but all of us, too.

How long would it take to develop? How long did it take to develop the atomic bomb? I know that's cheating, there's always money and urgency for funding death and devastation, but building the atomic bomb required breaking a lot more new ground than will photosynthetic hydrogen.

What's required is a 'coalition of the willing' ... in 'the South', where the sun is. The work required to get it going will never be done by the overdeveloped economies. They are too heavily invested in doomsday and are full speed ahead. Using algae/cyanobacteria is a natural in the South, it's subsistence farming.

Where I live, well in the country side outside the city I live in, people ride motor scooters, farm rice with walk-behind tractors, and use electricity at home for lifting water from wells and lighting, primarily, and the internet. Those are the kinds of applications that photosynthetic hydrogen production could serve very well, and do so in a distributed way - subsistence energy farming to complement subsistence food farming. That's not at all to say it could not scale up, but it's a way to start.

That, and alternative financial arrangements, are what the BRICS need to embrace. Waiting for the 'smart money' to invest is death sentence. The 'smart money' is as dumb as a rock, and desperate to stay that way. The overdeveloped economies will never do anything they aren't doing - and literally making a killing at already. The oligarchs will not allow it.

It's in the South, where there are still real living breathing communities of human beings where a decent living is to be made. Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Kerala, Vietnam, South Africa, China ... these states have the incentive and are in position to benefit immediately from jointly pooling resources and dividing labor among themselves to go back to the future for energy production. The cyanobacteria and algae have been around for 3.5 billion years, they have a track record, they are our original benefactors in that they changed the atmosphere of our earth and enabled us oxygen breathers to 'advance' to where we are today. We ought to regress a little. And make an altar to our best friends in our backyard, and harvest the hydrogen they are willing and able to produce for us ... as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 2 2014 9:42 utc | 79

Russian Vice Premier Dmitriy Rogozin has said that Russia will pull out of the Internaational Space Station. Rogozin also said that Russia intends to initiate plans for building its own, independent space station. The USSR had its own space station – the Mir space station – but the US never did.

Posted by: Demian | Dec 2 2014 9:59 utc | 80

Oh, wait:

ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations, and Skylab from the US.
But Skylab wasn't modular like Mir: it was a converted second stage of a Saturn V.

Posted by: Demian | Dec 2 2014 10:22 utc | 82

Who is going to send supplies into space if the Russians pull out? Virgin?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 2 2014 10:34 utc | 83

The news article was very brief. It gave the impression that Rogozin didn't go into details. But yes, the US will not have the capability to send astronauts to the ISS for several years yet. And the US space program is almost entirely privatized now, so cost-cutting (profit maximization) may lead to safety issues.

Posted by: Demian | Dec 2 2014 10:47 utc | 84

US urges Ukraine ceasefire for crash probe

I...I...I can't.

Posted by: really | Dec 2 2014 10:56 utc | 85

Russian commitment to the ISS despite the brazen hostility from the EU and US, is truly commendable.

Russia's new federal space program will allocate a whopping 321 billion rubles ($8.2 billion) to the development and utilization of the International Space Station, a byword for global space cooperation that Moscow threatened to abandon earlier this year over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia's 2016-25 program, which is in the final stages of government approval, will heap extra funds on the $100 billion international project, "including new [space station] modules and the OKA-T automated spacecraft."

Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said:

Russia would exit the ISS program in 2020, rejecting a proposal by the U.S. space agency, NASA, to extend the life of the orbital outpost to at least 2024. Russia was no longer interested in working with an "unreliable partner that politicizes everything,"

... in the meantime

Russian government has boosted the budget of its Federal Space Agency by 1.8 trillion rubles ($52 billion) to modernize and expand its existing infrastructure and capabilities by 2020.

modernization effort will extend to the renovations to the old Plesetsk Cosmodrome and Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Russia is also busy constructing a brand new launch facility in the Far East — the Vostochny Cosmodrome

also see ...
the Vostochny Cosmodrome Video

Roscosmos to expand the existing constellation of orbiting satellites to 78 by 2015, and 113 by 2020 ... this will drive the program toward its goal of providing Glonass users with navigation data accurate to 1.4 meters by 2015, and 0.6 meters by 2020.

2020 plan also emphasizes the need for the development of the advanced hardware Russia will need to pursue ambitious lunar and deep space exploration projects beyond 2020.

Posted by: thirsty | Dec 2 2014 13:57 utc | 86

Now would be a good time for Putin to explain to the world that the Apollo Moon Landings were a hoax (as is the manned Int'l Space Station).

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Dec 2 2014 15:15 utc | 87

Oil sands/tar sands are very expensive - cheap oil prices mean they are not economic to recover.

As for algal biomass - zero credibility.

No one argues that algae can't grow to form biomass. The credibility gap is where the process can be scaled up to produce millions of barrels of liquid fuels per day. Just consider the water requirements. If that isn't an issue, then consider the nutrients - the algae doesn't grow on nothing. If THAT isn't an issue, consider the problem of pushing water and nutrients through the growth medium and then recovering the result.

If commercial crop ethanol isn't economic in most cases, it is simply impossible to think that algae would be.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 2 2014 15:16 utc | 88

farflungstar@41 "The Troika of Twats: Hebrew Klansmen State of Israel, The USSA and their child molesting Saudi apes."

Congratulations - you've done it again. Very funny, and very true. Although I would suggest changing the title to "Troika of Terror", or even "Twoika of Twhatz".

Posted by: lulu | Dec 2 2014 17:24 utc | 89

@59 Posted by: james | Dec 1, 2014 6:28:06 PM

I dont have time to write extensively, but the details you are getting about the Athabasca River are poorly reported EVEN THOUGH there is a 438-page document you could read yourself.

About six or seven years ago--doing this from foggy memory this AM--there was a gigantic scandal, which you probably remember, about Indigenous people 300 miles of km downstream of the Oil Sands, meaning near the Arctic, getting cancer. A pastor from the area claimed it was Oil Sands fault. The US movie director who did The Titanic and David Suzuki, among others, demanded action. What provoked it was the report of an upcoming study--later published in early 2010--by graduate students and their professor at the University of Alberta (Edmonton) called Kelly, et al, that claimed their samplings proved the high toxin rates in the Athabasca regions. Kelly, et al, was published in an American scientific journal.

As a result, around September 2009, the Canadian federal government ordered the Royal Society of Canada (your Academies of Arts, Humanities, and Sciences) to conduct an expert, independent study with scientists of their choice. The RSC took 14 months. This 438-page report was the result: The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel: Environmental and Health Impacts of Canada’s Oil Sands Industry, December 2010

Almost all of Chapter 8 is devoted to the Kelly, et al, study. The table on page 150 of the report was stunning to me, so I called the author of the chapter, Dr. Glen Van Der Kraak, in the summer of 2011 to talk to him. The table is called, "Table 8.8 Reported Concentrations of metals in the Athabasca River in relation to human health–based drinking water guidelines." You can look at it yourself. I told Dr. Van Der Kraak that I read the RSC report, which I had, and he snorted "You're probably one of the six who has."

Go ahead, james. Look at it. You can click on the report link above and navigate to page 150. Remember one thing, the "Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality" are almost twice as stringent as our American ones. Canadians do not allow the amounts of pollutants in their water supply that we do, although these amounts are tiny, so there is no reason for alarm on the part of Americans.

Don't have time? Kelly, et al, completely misrepresented the significance what they found in the Athabasca River, and to compound their lust to publish, did not publish their findings initially in Canada, where competent scientists would have laughed at them, only in the US where they could get sensational coverage. The title of their paper, which I can't remember at the moment, was a scientific lie. BTW, Dr. Glen Van Der Kraak, who teaches at the University of Guelph and has a huge publishing history in the science Kelly is pursuing her doctorate in, agreed with me.

I spent two months tracking this and other anomalies down over the course of the 2011 summer because I wanted to get to the bottom of it. (You know what I'm like from the MW blog. ;-))

I can tell you because I have done it, if you are upstream of Fort McMurray where the Oil Sands are--which means between the Rockies and Fort McMurray, about 400 miles--and you have a canoe in the Athabasca River, then pull over to the bank of the river and turn the canoe over, the hull is coated in oil. Natural oil. It's in the water. It's on the banks. It oozes out of the ground, and has for eons. The beginning of the RSC report mentions an early 1700s Hudson's Bay report describing how the Indians used the bitumen to waterproof their boats.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 2 2014 21:43 utc | 90

@60 Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 1, 2014 6:35:02 PM

John, you quote a policy guy pushing global governance as a scientific source? Believe what you want, but his assertion that "almost all of the input energy in tar sands production comes from fossil fuels, the process generates significantly more carbon dioxide than conventional oil production" is laughable. How do you think Saudi oil is created, or any other oil for that matter? By blowing on it with hot air?

Or biofuels. According to a Cornell Univ/Univ of CA-Berkeley study:

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

• corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced
• switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced
• wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced
• soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced
• sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

Further, the study found that "Ethanol production requires large fossil energy input."

As Peter Burn, former senior advisor in the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Directorate in Environment Canada, and as an advisor to Environment Minister Jim Prentice, wrote:

About 80 per cent of the emissions attributable to a barrel of oil occur during the downstream combustion of refined fuel in a vehicle – not during the upstream production of crude oil. These downstream emissions occur in equal amounts whether the fuel was made from light or heavy oil, or the crude oil was produced by conventional or unconventional methods.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 2 2014 22:09 utc | 91

ChipNik #78 - put down the Thunderbird and step away from the bong and assume the position.

Posted by: Lukas | Dec 3 2014 0:22 utc | 92

@90 MRW.. thanks.. i don't have the time right now to read such a thing, but even if i did, i would be hard pressed to make it thru. i respect your viewpoint which is worth a lot more then mine and appreciate your taking the time to articulate it here for me and others.. i did look at the table on page 150 (page 176 of page 440 using pdf page numbers), but i can't say i understand exactly what i am reading. it would probably be more beneficial if i were to at least read chapter 8.. it is interesting what you say here and i have to respect your viewpoint. thanks again for sharing.

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2014 2:14 utc | 93

@90 MRW. i wonder how much has improved or gotten worse since the report was issued in december of 2010? i suspect the increase in development of this area for this purpose has created a much bigger problem then what is a concern in the report at the time it was done..

taken from page pdf 7 - from the report "Tailings pond operation and reclamation:
Technologies for improved tailings management are emerging but the rate of improvement has not prevented a growing inventory of tailings ponds. Reclamation and management options for wet landscapes derived from tailings ponds have been researched but are not adequately demonstrated.

Impacts on ambient air quality:
The current ambient air quality monitoring data for the region show minimal impacts from oil sands development on regional air quality except for noxious odour emission problems over the past two years. Control of NOx emissions and regional acidification potential remain valid concerns.

Impacts on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG):
Progress has been made by the oil sands industry in reducing its direct GHG emission per barrel of bitumen produced. Nonetheless, increasing direct GHG
emissions from growing bitumen production creates a major challenge for Canada to meet our international commitments for overall GHG emission reduction that current technology options do not resolve.

Environmental regulatory performance:
The environmental regulatory capacity of the Alberta and Canadian Governments does not appear to have kept pace with the rapid growth of the oil sands industry
over the past decade. The EIA process relied upon by decision-makers to determine whether proposed oil sands projects are in the public interest has serious deficiencies in relation to international best practice. Environmental data access for cumulative impact assessment needs to improve.

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2014 2:23 utc | 94

@MRW #91
Tar sands almost certainly ARE more polluting in the sense of emitting more CO2 than regular drilled oil.
Consider a barrel of oil in an underground reservoir vs. a barrel of oil mixed in with 5 barrels of sand. The Tar Sands process effectively heats the mixture of sand and oil to precipitate out the hydrocarbons, but it requires a lot of additional effort to move the tar sands into the precipitation process, and the process itself requires considerable energy.
You can see this data here:

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 3 2014 7:11 utc | 95


It is past due that the United States get on with modernization of the electric power grid

US won't do it for the same reason they won't repair all the other crumbling infrastructure in America - it would create to many well paid jobs, plus the 1% don't depend on it anyway, they have their own power generation systems at home and corporate offices/plants etc, and don't use highways, bridges, etc, relying instead on their private jets and helicopters for travel.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 3 2014 17:29 utc | 96

@95 Posted by: c | Dec 3, 2014 2:11:10 AM

If the Oil Sands are more polluting than "regular drilled oil," then why are the CO2 emissions for the whole of Canada (larger country than the US) less per capita than Saudi Arabia? How could the whole of Canada's CO2 emissions (1.48% of the world's total in 2010) be effectively the same as Saudi Arabia's (1.36% of the world's total in 2010)?

"but it requires a lot of additional effort to move the tar sands into the precipitation process"

They use trucks to haul the sand, c1ue. (BTW, thanks for the pdf, much appreciated.) That's the "additional effort." Then steam to get the oil out of the sand. Then they put the steamed sludge back into a tailing pond to reclaim it back to where it was, which takes 15 years. Or they do it 'in situ', way below the ground, and nothing has to go into a tailing pond.

Our American companies then use upgraders (plants) we have up there to prepare it for transport.

I went up and saw the operations because all of this concentration on the Oil Sands doesn't pass my sniff test. Alberta oil has been supplying over 20% of US oil needs for 40 years, so why complain now? What's going on? Why aren't we bitching about the pipelines that crisscross Europe where the piped oil is FAR more fluid and corrosive? Or bitching about the oil tankers on the Atlantic? Why not the heavily polluting Nigerian oil refineries?

"Consider a barrel of oil in an underground reservoir vs. a barrel of oil mixed in with 5 barrels of sand." Remember the BP spill and how it landed on Florida beaches? Make that 'completely soaked the beaches' and you'll have an idea what Mother Nature's oil spill looks like in Alberta's boreal forest. The process they used to clean up the BP oil spill on Florida beaches is THE EXACT SAME PROCESS they use with the sand in Alberta. Exactly.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 3 2014 19:40 utc | 97


That's why I read the whole thing. ;-)

Posted by: MRW | Dec 3 2014 19:42 utc | 98

@94 and @95,

james and c1ue,

If you want to see the Canadian Air Quality Health Index (Environment Canada) for any spot in Canada, or compare two places, you can get a widget here.

I run comparisons between Fort McMurray and Montreal on my desktop. (So download the widget twice.)

Posted by: MRW | Dec 3 2014 19:58 utc | 99

@94 and @95,

No. (Sorry.) Don't download it twice. You can replicate on your desktop for any additional location. I forgot they changed how it worked about 3-4 years ago.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 3 2014 20:10 utc | 100

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