GOT GAS?

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Posted on 2nd September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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What It’s All About: Russia, China Begin Construction Of World’s Largest Gas Pipeline

Tyler Durden's picture

If after months of Eurasian axis formation, one still hasn’t realized why in the grand game over Ukraine supremacy – not to mention superpower geopolitics – Europe, and the West, has zero leverage, while Russia has all the trump cards, then today’s latest development in Chinese-Russian cooperation should make it abundantly clear.

Overnight, following a grand ceremony in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, Russia and China officially began the construction of a new gas pipeline linking the countries. The bottom line to Russia – nearly half a trillion after China’s CNPC agreed to buy $400bn in gas from Russia’s Gazprom back in May. In return, Russia will ship 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually over a period of 30 years. The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world’s largest fuel network in the world.

As BBC reports, “the deal will lessen Russia’s dependence on European buyers, who have imposed economic sanctions because of the crisis in Ukraine.” That is not news and has been known for months ever since the long-anticipated Holy Grail deal was signed in May. More importantly, as Zero Hedge reported last week, one awaits as the invoices become increasingly less denominated in USD, and more in CNY or RUB. Most importantly, and confirming the significance of Russia’s pivot away from Europe, which ultimately can have Qatar’s gas it so very desires, irrelevant how many thousands of innocent people have to die, the construction ceremony was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.

China will start work on the construction of its side of the pipeline in the first half of 2015, Mr Zhang said.

 

The first gas will be pumped from Siberia to north-east China in early 2019.

 

Over the past 10 years, China has used other gas suppliers. Turkmenistan is now China’s largest foreign gas supplier. Last year, it started importing piped natural gas from Myanmar.

Increasingly it appears that China will defer to Russia when it comes to cementing bilateral commodity deals, especially if it means further distancing both sides from what has emerged as a natural foe to both aspirational nations: the United States.

Here is what Putin had to say about the latest gas pipeline, soon to be the world’s largest, during the groundbreaking ceremony outside the city of Yakutsh, via RT: “The new gas branch will significantly strengthen the economic cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and above all – our key partner China.”

Once we create a gas pipeline network here in the Far East and Siberia, we will be able to connect European pipeline system to the East. And this, in terms of export opportunities and expanding Russia’s ‘gasification’, is very beneficial. Depending on the situation in world markets, we can more effectively implement gas flows- either more to the West or to the East,” Putin told students at North-Eastern Federal University earlier on Monday.

More:

 Both President Putin and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli signed the freshly-welded pipeline in a time-honored Russian tradition. The ‘Power of Siberia’ was welded together by workers from Chayanda gas field, overseen by CEO Aleksey Miller.

 

“Gazprom is always a reliable supplier of gas to its customers – which also applies to the ‘Power of Siberia,” Miller said.

 

The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world’s largest fuel network in the world. Both Putin and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli have called the project the world’s largest construction project, as investment from both countries will be more than $70 billion.

 

“The gas pipeline ‘Power of Siberia’ will increase energy security and ensure Russia’s ability to fulfill export obligations,” Putin said in the opening remarks.

 

Starting in 2019, Power of Siberia will pump gas from Siberia to China’s populous northeast region as well as to Russia’s Far East. The Chinese side will start the construction of its part of the pipeline in the first half of 2015, the Vice Premier of China said.

 

Last year, China consumed about 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas and expects to consume 420 billion cubic meters per year by 2020. Europe still remains Russia’s largest energy market, buying more than 160 billion meters of Russian natural gas in 2013.

So while the west is no longer able to find any growth opportunities, with the marginal free cash flow dollar increasingly going in stock buybacks, Russia has no such problems: running from the Chayanda gas field in the Republic of Yakutia, the cost of construction is estimated at more than $20 billion (770 billion rubles), which includes other investment in the region of $7.5 billion (283 billion rubles). Russia’s largest steel pipeline manufacturer, TMK, will provide materials for the project.

The gas pipeline will become a common transit center for gas production centers in the Yakutia and Irkutsk regions.

 

The first stage of the project will be to transport gas from the Chayanda deposit in Yakutia and connect to the town of Blagoveshchensk on the Chinese border. The 968 km pipeline should be completed by 2018.

 

The Chayanda field, which will begin production in 2015, is estimated to have reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters in gas and 93 million tons of liquid hydrocarbons. Each year the field is expected to produce up to 25 billion cubic meters of gas and at least 1.5 million tons of oil.

 

Putin also said that China can become a shareholder in the Vankor oil and gas fields in the Krasnoyarsk region in Eastern Siberia. China will enter into a strategic relationship with Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, which owns the field.

But, Obama keeps repeating Russia is isolated by the entire world… Is he once again simply, gasp, lying?

To summarize all of the above: while Europe will continue to depend on Russia for its gas imports indefinitely, Russia will no longer depend on Europe for its experts.

Germany’s Merkel Needs To Ask Tough Questions at NATO Summit

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Posted on 1st September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Anti-War

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift.”

 

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were “increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence” and told him flatly, “Powell’s presentation does not come close” to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to “widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can “shock and awe.” In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available “proof” of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of “fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.” Burns gave his cable the unusual title, “NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES,” and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that “Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO.”

Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. “Yats is the guy,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, “Fuck the EU.”

Timing of the Russian “Invasion”

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

According to the “press service of the President of Ukraine” on August 18, Poroshenko called for a “regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives,” said Poroshenko, adding, “we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances.”

If the “new circumstances” meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to “regroup,” to “rearrange” the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.” That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.” (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

  • William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
  • David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
  • Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
  • Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
  • Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)
  • Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
  • Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

Stucky Aims To TAKE DOWN an $11 Billion Company, the evil NUTELLA

26 comments

Posted on 1st September 2014 by Stucky in Economy

An article appeared three days ago — “All-Nutella Restaurant Coming to New York City”. YIKES!! They MUST be stopped!!

http://time.com/3195773/nutella-restaurant/

My mom’s favorite nut (besides me) for baking is the hazelnut; various hazelnut tortes and cookies out the wazzou when I was growing up. So, it’s no surprise that my parents would return from their weekly trip from the German butcher with a jar of Nutella …. the one major crap-food screw-job they forced upon me.

Nutella was founded in Alba, Italy, in 1946 by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing, nut hazelnuts were locally abundant. So using that as a base … plus a whole bunch of SHIT … he turned that into the best-selling sweet spread in the world.

This made him, and his offspring, the 33rd richest billionaire on earth. His grandson, also named Pietro, died at 47 years old when he fell off his bike, they say because he suffered a massive heart attack. Probably from eating his shit product … a product shittier than any McShits burger.

What’s in it? Here ya go;

nutella_jar_ingredients

 

Lemme translate that for ya:  Nutella is 55% sugar and 15% fat.

And don’t be fooled by the “vanillin flavor”.  It’s not the same as real vanilla extract you use at home.  Vanilla is expensive so they use a 100% synthetic extract.  This truly horrible product costs, on Amazon, seven bucks for a 13 oz jar.  Are you friggin kidding me?? Seven bucks for thirteen ounces of basically sugar and fat?? Good lord!

Those dirty rotten sonsofbitches should be tried in criminal court for poisoning countless human beings, and for theft.

.

But, I have a solution!  Make your own!  It’s fast, easy, infinitely better not only in taste, but nutritional value.  As an added bonus, you can help bring down a multibillion dollar enemy of humanity.

————————————————————

INGREDIENTS

— 4 oz (1 cup) hazelnuts – Roasted & blanched

— 1/2 can (8 oz) of sweetened condensed milk

— 4 oz dark chocolate  (70% cocoa)

— 4 tablespoons honey

— 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven at 350F for 4 minutes.

2. Pulse the toasted hazelnut for about 3 minutes, until they are very finely ground. Scrape down the sides and the blade and process until there are no lumps remaining.  Then, continue processing until it becomes a paste.

3.  Melt the chocolate, condensed milk, and honey. I do this quickly via a stove top double boiler. Add the vanilla. (You can do this in the microwave, but be careful. Cooking to long and your microwave will be splattered.)

4. Add the above chocolate mix to the nut paste in the food processor, and mix briefly until well combined.

Note: Lots of flexibility in this recipe as you can increase or decrease each of the ingredients to your liking.

That’s all there’s too it.  The taste is phenomenal. If you like hazelnuts you will love this, and you will never ever be able to even stomach Nutella  again.

Now go grab your nuts and try it out.

ISIS DRIVING IN STYLE

2 comments

Posted on 1st September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Busybody Nation

12 comments

Posted on 1st September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Guest Post by Jim Kunstler

If anyone above a kindergarten pay-grade has figured out America’s vital interest in the Ukraine, it has not been reported — or even leaked from the foundering vessel that is the US State Department. In fact, when you consider the results, it’s hard to understand the rationale behind any recent US foreign policy endeavor. Mr. Putin of Russia summed it up last week, saying, “Anything the US touches turns to Libya or Iraq.” Vlad has a point there, and what he left off the list, of course, was Ukraine, which entered the zone of failing states a few months ago when the US lubricated the overthrow of its previously-elected government.

What complicates things is that Ukraine is right next door to Russia. For many years it was even part of the same nation as Russia. Russia has a lot of hard assets in Ukraine: pipelines, factories, port facilities. Because they were recently part of the same nation, a lot of Russian-speaking people live in the eastern part of Ukraine bordering Russia. The casual observer from Mars might easily discern that Russia has a range of real interests in Ukraine. Especially if the central government of Ukraine can’t control its own economic affairs.

The US claims to have interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. These nations are respectively 11,925, 11,129, 10,745, and 10,072, miles away from America — not exactly neighbors of ours. All of them, one way or another, and partly due to our exertions, are checking into the homeless shelter of failed statedom. Afghanistan was, shall we say, a special case, since it was being used thirteen years ago explicitly as a “base” (al Qaeda) for launching attacks on US soil. But that was then. No other war or “war” in US history has lasted as long. And it remains unclear whether our presence there yet today is a “nation-building” project or a mere occupation, in the absence of some better idea of what to do.

President Obama has made noises about pulling US troops out of Afghanistan, but we’re still there. How is the nation-building project working out? With Mr. Osama bin Laden dead and in his watery grave, and the Islamic extremist action moved to other venues, how significant is Afghanistan’s role as a strategic base for Jihad?

How many educated, media-marinated professors in their Ivy League turrets can explain in one paragraph what the necessity of overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi was, exactly? Anyone remember? I suppose, like many actions in history, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. If the idea was to keep the oil and gas flowing to western nations — i.e. the “Carter Doctrine” —well, excuse me while I cough into my sleeve. Production is about one-eighth what it was before Mr. Gaddafi exited the scene. That really worked.

Then, of course, there is ISIS (or the Islamic State or the Caliphate), the most visible outcome of a decade of US foreign policy endeavors in Iraq and Syria. Good show, ladies and gentlemen! You have managed to give the world a political movement arguably more barbaric than even the Nazis. On Sunday, The New York Times stood back in breathless admiration for the accomplishments and skills of that organization in the headline: ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Varied Media. Like a mad scientist in thrall to his own creation, the Times appears dazzled by the political Frankenstein monster we have loosed upon the world.

Considering all the current mayhem in the Middle East, and the potential for deadly mischief from it spreading even into the US and western Europe, do we really have any business hassling Putin and Russia about its feckless, floundering next-door-neighbor, Ukraine? In fact, is any other nation in a better position to prevent Ukraine from descending into full-blown failure? Why don’t we just shut up and mind our own business?

The new World Made By Hand novel
!! Just Published !!

Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

HistoryoftheFuture_Thumb

My local indie booksellers… Battenkill Books (Autographed by the Author) … or Northshire Books
or Amazon

To Harass And Impose

32 comments

Posted on 1st September 2014 by harry p. in Social Issues |Technology

It was a beautiful August Saturday night; high 70′s, low humidity and mostly sunny.  A local restaurant on the main strip of our town (honestly it’s not that much of a strip) hosted a small car show.  The owner of the restaurant is also the owner of the developed & undeveloped lots and mini-malls in the area that surrounds the restaurant.  There is a rowdy bar a couple hundred yards away on the hill and the closest residential home is about 1/2 mile away (the ones visible below in the distance behind the trees on the left side).  I cleaned up my MR2 and headed over with the family.

supercharged aw11

The proceeds from this particular get-together went to the Wounded Warrior Project.  The majority of the cars fall into the category of hot rod, classic muscle cars and modern muscles cars.  These small local shows are nice because these are real people who do the work themselves instead of paying someone to do the work for them.  All enthusiasts are accepted and appreciated; even if you show up with a 25 year old car from Japan with only half a v8 powering it.

Some cars are nicely restored like this Plymouth ‘Cuda;

cuda

while others like this mid-engine Corvair with a v8 in the back seat are a bit more wild.

mid engine corvair1mid engine corvair2

Around 7:15pm the burnout contest started.  Kids and grandkids got excited as their dads and grandpas get their trucks and cars warmed up.  This was to be done on the section of the privately owned road that connects the parking lots, all of which are owned by restaurant owner (who was also OK with his property being used for the burnout contest).  There were staff coordinating it to make sure there was only one vehicle going at a time and that the area was safe before each exhibition of power.

I had seen this firebird’s engine compartment earlier and figured it would be a put on a good display; it didn’t disappoint.

firebird burnout

Fun was being had in a safe manner by consenting people with a common interest on private property so the only thing missing was the friendly neighborhood storm troopers.

first cop shows up

The thunderous burnout must have scared Officer Friendly because shortly a second car arrived:

second cop shows up

2 weren’t enough to handle this riotous behavior of a middle-aged family man doing a burnout on a private drive so a third rallied to their position.

third cop shows up1

All this for a burnout; a burnout on private property with the property owner’s consent.  There must not be any actual crimes being committed (crimes being someone rights being infringed).  If the crime is so low that 3 cars can be spared to respond to a burnout contest on private property I don’t think the resources allocated to the police dept match up with the needs of the community.  Then again it is the 30th of the month and quotas don’t fill themselves.

Why is it that these so-called public servants impose themselves on our lives?  The staff and property owner even went to bat for the owner of the firebird.

discussion with cop

The police officer’s presence and interference was unnecessary, unwarranted and unwanted.  There wasn’t a single person there not visibly annoyed by their nuisance.  This was private property, no harm was being done to anyway and the closest thing to property destruction would be the heavy black marks left on the pavement that will persist until the next heavy rain.  Why do these Dudley Do-Wrongs storm into wreck the day?  Why is this driver likely being charged with reckless driving (or similar violation) and the LEO isn’t being charged with trespassing?  Mind your own business.  We are treated as children even when we are grown adults; we are not provided the freedom to simply be left alone from the harassing, meddling, do-gooding and revenue milking.

The third LEO did not even join his brothers-in-arms, instead he drove around the parking lot and grass field looking for violations for which to add funds to the local coffers like non DOT tires, window tint etc…  I wanted to investigate so I headed over and while doing so I stoked the fire a bit by loudly commenting that I wondered “…when the SWAT team was going to show up with tear gas to force everyone to disperse?”  People chuckled but also nodded their heads in agreement and wanted to know why they aren’t minding their own business, this was not racing nor was it on a public road.

In reality the tear gas wasn’t necessary; they got what they likely wanted, people started clearing out early and heading home before plaques/announcement for best of show and best burnout (obviously) were even awarded.  Their presence was tear gas enough.  Just another day keeping everyone safe from inhaling smoke from tires and clutches; it’s for the safety of the chil’run don’tcha know…

More and more car shows are mostly attended by people whose hair is dominated by grey and white.  They remember the “good ole days” when a car represented a coming of age and entry into a new level of freedom.  The EPA, safety czars and increasingly aggressive and intrusive LEO’s have put a damper on this.  You actually felt as if you owned the car and could use it without being harassed by rules created for our own good.  The cars here and at most shows have heart, character and uniqueness but lack V2V communication, bluetooth, GPS, blackboxes and a baker’s dozen of dashboard claymores.

to punish and enslave

Car ownership isn’t a strong priority among millenials, they have recognized car ownership for what it is becoming; indentured servitude with overburdened rules from the state that increasingly look to those who dare to exercise autonomy as prime suspects that need to be taught a lesson, coerced and revenue milked.

So it goes in the former land of the free

http://thestrangestbrew.com/

Obama Has No Middle East Strategy? Good!

5 comments

Posted on 1st September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Ron Paul Institute for Peace

 

Written by Ron Paul

Last week President Obama admitted that his administration has not worked out a strategy on how to deal with the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a dominant force in the Middle East. However, as ISIS continues its march through Syria and Iraq, many in the US administration believe it is, in the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a threat “beyond anything we have ever seen.”

Predictably, the neocons attacked the president’s speech. They believe the solution to any problem is more bombs and troops on the ground, so they cannot understand the president’s hesitation.

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon made it clear that fighting ISIS is going to cost a lot more money and will bring US forces back to Iraq for the third time. The post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan peace dividend disintegrates.

Mr. McKeon said last week:

ISIS is an urgent threat and a minimalist approach, that depends solely on FY15 funding or pinprick strikes that leave fragile forces in Iraq and Syria to do the hard fighting, is insufficient to protect our interests and guarantee our safety in time.

What does this mean in practice? If the neocons have their way, the Federal Reserve will “print” more money to finance another massive US intervention in the Middle East. In reality this means further devaluation of the US dollar, which is a tax on all Americans that will hit the poorest hardest.

A new US military incursion will not end ISIS; it will provide them with the recruiting tool they most crave, while draining the US treasury. Just what Osama bin Laden wanted!

McKeon and the other hawks act as if they had only recently become aware of the ISIS. Or if they noticed it, they pretend US policy had nothing to do with its rise.

McKeon also said last week, “ISIS threat was allowed to build and fester over a period of time.”

In fact, US regime change policy in Syria was directly responsible for the rise of ISIS over these past three years. As journalist Eric Margolis observed recently, the emergence of ISIS is the “mother of all blowback.” The neocons who want us to get tougher on ISIS, including a US attack on Syria, are the same ones who not long ago demanded that we support groups like ISIS to overthrow the Assad government in Syria. US-trained and funded “moderates” from the Free Syrian Army joined the Islamist militias including ISIS, taking US weapons and training with them.

Three years of supporting any force that might overthrow the secular government of President Assad has produced a new monster in the Middle East that neocons insist the US must slay.

Why can’t they just admit they were wrong? Why can’t the interventionists just admit that their support for regime change in Syria was a terrible and tragic mistake?

If ISIS is as big a threat as they claim, why can’t they simply ask Assad to help out? Assad has never threatened the United States; ISIS has. Assad has been fighting ISIS and similar Islamist extremist groups for three years.

Why does the US government insist on aligning with theocracies in the Middle East? If there is anything that contradicts the US Constitution and American values it is a theocratic government. I do not believe that a majority in the Middle East wants to live under such a system, so why do we keep pushing it on them? Is that what they call promoting democracy?

A lack of strategy is a glimmer of hope. Perhaps the president will finally stop listening to the neocons and interventionists whose recommendations have gotten us into this mess in the first place! Here’s a strategy: just come home.

WHO IS ACTING LIKE A TRUE STATESMAN?

12 comments

Posted on 1st September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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