Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Monday, March 30, 2015



Xi eyes China-Australia FTA this year


There's a Reason the Big Banks Aren't Mad with Hillary And Why Those Emails Matter by John Atcheson

Right now in Hillary’s camp, they’re going through tortuous spin doctoring – with advisors like Larry “repeal Glass-Steagall” Summers exerting huge influence.  How and why this guy or anyone like him has any clout is a mystery – unless, of course, your real intentions are to continue to treat Wall Street as your patron.  And Hillary is doing everything she can to avoid answering that question. She consistently tries to keep us from knowing who she is and what she stands for.  She campaigns by “listening” and speaks only after developing a spinned up version of her “positions” designed primarily to give her flexibility to do whatever the hell she wants to do.


TPP: Wyden Shows Connection Between Rigged Trade and Rigged Government


fracking and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, et al

last week, in reporting on the push in the Senate to overturn the 40 year ban on crude oil exports, we stated that if there's one policy change that will bring fracking back with a vengeance, it would be to allow domestic drillers to sell their crude overseas, and then cited the two trade deals currently being negotiated in secret by the Administration as the greatest threat that that might come about, because not only will these agreements allow for oil and gas exports, they effectively mandate those exports, giving the signatories equal claim to our oil and gas resources as our own citizens, and superseding domestic energy policy and protections currently in was pure coincidence that a draft chapter of one of those secret agreements, the Trans Pacific Partnership (usually just "the TPP"), being negotiated with Japan and 12 other countries was released by Wikileaks this past week, with the NY Times acting as their media agent in the US...

the Wikileaks page to access the document is here, and the purpose of the chapter they released is to establish the means by which a multinational corporation can get compensation from a signatory government if one of that government's laws interferes with the corporation's sets up a supra-national court under the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body, whereby foreign firms can sue governments and obtain taxpayer compensation for whatever "expected future profits" that the government's law encumbered...the adjudication of these disputes would not be by elected officials of any of the signatory governments, but by a tribunal of international trade attorneys representing the multinational effect, this trade agreement, and the similar trade agreement that we are negotiating with Europe, gives these world trade tribunals trump power over federal, state or local financial and environmental regulations, patent law, labor laws and worker safety rules, public health, anti-smoking legislation and drug laws, or any law that could be construed as interfering with corporate profits...

now, none of this is really new...even though congress has been kept out of the loop, this secret agreement has been in the works for 5 years, and rumors of the associated investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms have been kicked around the blogosphere for at least a couple of those early as June 2012, these provisions led this agreement to be referred to by Lori Wallach at the Nation as 'NAFTA on steroids', a characterization that has stuck with many of the others who've written about it fact, i thought these provisions were so well known that when i first saw the initial article about this in the New York Times this week, i wrote my favorite trade correspondent asking "did the NY Times just find this out?", not realizing that Wikileaks had actually released a new chapter about the creation of this mechanism and these tribunals...FYI, an earlier TPP chapter on the environment released by Wikileaks is here...

it's worth noting that similar investment protection mechanisms have also been applied under other trade agreements as well...under a trade agreement between Hong Kong and Australia, Philip Morris Asia successfully sued the Australian government over a law mandating plain cigarette packaging; under a Netherlands / Czech trade agreement, the Czech Republic was sued for refusing to bail out an insolvent bank that a Dutch investor had an interest in, and in an example the most relevant to our situation, Lone Pine Resources, a mostly Canadian fracker incorporated in Delaware, sued the government of Quebec under NAFTA for potential profits lost when they banned fracking under the St Lawrence River...under the provisions of this chapter of the TPP, the state of New York could be sued by the natural gas leaseholders in the Southern tier of the state who've been economically encumbered by the state fracking ban, Pennsylvania frackwater disposal operations could sue Ohio after being shut down for causing earthquakes in Trumbull county, and California oil companies could sue the counties who passed fracking bans last November...

even Frack Free Geauga discussed this agreement as early as April and May of 2013, when the Sierra Club released a statement on Japan's participation, warning that this trade pact would result in automatic exports of natural gas to countries in the trade bloc, when Asian prices at the time were five times US prices, hence raising domestic prices and resulting in an explosion of fracking for gas for gas in our area...despite lower prices overall, not much about that has changed since; as of this week, Japanese LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) import prices were at $13.77 mmBTU, and European Union natural gas import prices were at $8.27 mmBTU, while benchmark US natural gas prices at Henry Hub in Louisiana were $2.64 per mmBTU, and well head prices in some parts of Pennsylvania were below $1.50 don't need to be a Harvard MBA to understand that US companies that are now shutting down rigs at those low domestic prices would ramp up drilling for the chance at unrestricted exports to those countries at their prices, and that when they're able to command more than 5 times as much overseas as here, domestic shortages will develop until such time as US gas prices rise to meet the international not only will this agreement negate our environmental regulations, it will also be the impetus for higher domestic prices for oil and gas and increased fracking in even the thinnest bands of shale that have been ignored up till now...

as it stands now, the TPP is still being negotiated by the 605 corporate advisers to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and their counterparts from the other 12 nations, and as of Thursday Froman was quoted as saying "we can close this out in a very small number of months." stumbling block with Japan, New Zealand and possibly other countries is the possibility that any signed agreement might be altered once congress gets a look at avoid that possibility, Obama has asked congress for "trade promotion authority" aka TPA or "fast track", wherein congress would allow the trade agreement to be completed and signed without any knowledge of what's in it...although Democrats in congress held this up last year, fast track has been used in the past to pass other agreements, such as NAFTA, so it's not out of the question...right now, the Republican leadership is lining up behind giving Obama the go-ahead, while some fringe tea party Republicans and progressives in Congress such as Sherrod Brown have voiced fast track appears to be the line in the sand...if Obama gets that, a majority vote to approve the agreement without debate will likely be relatively easy...if he doesn't get fast track, then what's in the trade agreements will be exposed for public debate, and once it becomes known what's in it, it will be nearly impossible to pass with the 2/3rds vote needed for a trade this is the time to call or write your senators and congressmen, if you're into that sort of thing, and demand they have a full hearing on these trade agreements, so we can find out what's hidden in the other 24 secret chapters written by the multinationals that have not yet been seen by congress or the public....because we strongly suspect that if these agreements pass, we'll be transitioning into a new era where governments are completely subservient to the global corporate oligarchy in a way that will make what we've seen with Citizen's United seem like child' s play in comparison...

NB: since there's more to this trade agreement than i could cover in my brief comments here,  i will include a few selected links to more below..


a few quick notes on the other news of the far as we know, there were just two derailments involving fossil fuels this week, and neither of them resulted in an explosion or loss of human the first derailment incident, a train hauling methanol derailed outside of Valley Mills in central Texas, and a dozen cars, including 5 of the methanol tank cars, left the tracks, and two of those started leaking....ten nearby homes were evacuated, and Hazmat teams were called in to handle the cleanup...we have been unable to determine if the cars that leaked were the old DOT-111s or the newer, “safer” CPC-1232s...later, 27 cars of a coal hauling train derailed next to I-76 near Hudson Colorado and dumped tons of coal, making a terrible mess...cleanup crews were still working on the BNSF tracks a day and a half later when three cars of a 23 car Union Pacific train carrying fertilizer jumped the track nearby and damaged another 200 feet of Weld county track...

also as far as we know, there was only one fracking related oil spill this week, and once again it was in North Dakota, where a failed valve resulted in the release of 630 gallons of oil & 29,500 gallons of brine on to the site of an injection disposal well..both were said to be contained on the site, and all but five barrels (200 gallons) of the oil was recovered...

we had previously discussed West Virginia's plan to lease their land under the Ohio River for fracking, and hat deal has apparently been completed, as the Norwegian oil giant Statoil has agreed to pay an average price of $8,732 per acre to drill and frack under 474 acres of state-owned land under the river in Marshall and Wetzel counties; as you'll recall, the state boundary is on the Ohio side of the river...on the plus side for Ohio, Chesapeake Energy, who drills more wells in Ohio than the next 5 Utica shale operators combined, is cutting their 2015 capital spending budget by $500 million due to low prices for natural gas and liquids; that means they'll operate 25 to 35 rigs in 2015, down from the 64 rigs they ran in 2014..

it was only two months after gasoline prices fell following the Thanksgiving day OPEC meeting that American car drivers managed to return to their old gas guzzling driving habits...the latest report from the Department of Transportation found that vehicle miles driven increased by 4.9% to 237.4 billion vehicle miles in January over January from a year ago...this means that the 85 month American hiatus brought on by high oil prices in 2008 has ended and we have now set a new record for driving, covering 3.050 trillion miles on U.S. highways in the 12 months ending in a similar vein, 40% of the increase in American's consumption of durable goods in the 4th quarter was for recreational vehicles and equipment..

US oil production saw the smallest increase in oil production in two months this week, as our oil production for the 3rd week in March averaged 9,422,000 barrels per day, up from the 9,419,000 barrels a day rate of the prior week, and 15% higher  than the 8,190,000 barrels per day that we produced in the 3rd week of March last year...nonetheless, our inventories of crude oil in storage reached yet another record, increasing by 8.2 million barrels from the previous week to 466.7 million barrels, 22% more than the 382,471 barrels of oil stored commercially in the US in the 3rd week of March a year ago, and more than 25% over our 5 year average...the weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf) also showed that US crude oil imports averaged 7.4 million barrels per day last week, down by 104,000 barrels a day from our imports in the 2nd week of March, and that in the four weeks ending March 13th, US crude oil imports averaged over 7.3 million barrels per day, 1.0% lower than the same 4 week period last year...

in the week just ended, the count of rigs drilling for oil in the US fell by 12 to 813, while the number of active gas rigs fell by 9 to 233...with two miscellaneous rigs still active, that left the rig count as reported by Baker Hughes at 1046, down 21 from the week of March 20th and representing the least number of rigs shut down in any week since the week of December 5th...of those that were idled this week, 17 were engaged in horizontal drilling and 4 were vertical drilling rigs; over the past year, American drillers have stacked 761 rigs, and they're now operating 829 horizontal rigs, 399 less than a year ago, 148 vertical rigs, 240 less than a year ago, and 92 directional rigs, 122 less than the same week last year ...this week's shutdowns were widespread; of the major basins, only the Niobrara Chalk, which stretches over 5 states under the Rockies front range, saw as many as 3 rigs idled, while of the states, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alaska each saw 3 rigs idled, while Pennsylvania and Kansas both added a rig...north of the border, Canadian drillers shut down another 20 rigs, leaving them with just 120 rigs active..that's down from the 300 rigs they were running just 3 weeks ago...this week they idled another 12 oil rigs, leaving them with just 18, while they shut down 8 of the 110 gas rigs they ran last week, leaving 102...

additional references:

Wikileaks releases Trans-Pacific Partnership investment chapter

Thoughts About the Trans-Pacific Partnership - Joe Firestone

Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.

Corporate Sovereignty Provisions Of TPP Agreement Leaked Via Wikileaks: Would Massively Undermine Government Sovereignty -

TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab

The secretive TPP scam -

TPP Corporate Insiders - (a list of 605 corporate advisers who have been allowed access to the TPP text, while the public and members of congress have been kept in the dark)

Thoughts About the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- Yves Smith

The New York Times Covers the TPP: A Commentary -- Joe Firestone


(the above was from my newsletter to our local fracking group emailed Sunday morning and was first posted at Focus on Fracking)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Juche in the United States: The Black Panther Party’s Relations with North Korea, 1969-1971 by Benjamin R. Young

In 1969, the Black Panther Party (BPP) established a relationship with the North Korean leadership that was based upon the principle of self-reliance (under the rubric of the Juche ideology), the transnational goal of Third World revolution, and a mutual antagonism toward American intervention around the world. Although the U.S. government forbade its citizens from travelling to North Korea, BPP leader Eldridge Cleaver along with other Panthers bypassed travel restrictions and visited North Korea to join anti-imperialist journalist conferences in 1969 and 1970. In North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Panthers found a new ideology and a government that was critical of the U.S. government. The Panthers established an alliance with North Korean leaders who they recognized as an independent force within the world communist movement. They believed that the “Black colony” inside the United States could learn from the DPRK’s self-reliant stance in political, economic, and cultural matters. This study adds to recent scholarship on the global influence of the BPP and opens a new field of inquiry, as the BPP-North Korean relationship has not been analyzed in-depth.

President Xi meets with Bill Gates


Saturday, March 28, 2015

China welcomes Netherlands, Brazil, Georgia to AIIB


Australia Has Decided to Join AIIB: PM


Clinton tells House panel she wiped her email server clean

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advised a House Select Committee on Friday that she permanently deleted all emails from the private server she used to conduct official business, apparently after she was first asked by the State Department to turn them over, the panel’s chairman said Friday.
In response to a congressional subpoena, Clinton also said she would not allow an independent third party to analyze the server.


Read more here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


One top-secret 2008 document features an interview with the NSA’s Global Capabilities Manager for Countering Foreign Intelligence, entitled “Which Foreign Intelligence Service Is the Biggest Threat to the US?” He repeatedly names Israel as one of the key threats.
While noting that Russia and China do the most effective spying on U.S., he says that “Israel also targets us.” He explains that “A NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] ranked [Israel] as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US.” While praising the surveillance relationship with Israel as highly valuable, he added: “One of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel.” Specifically, the Israelis “target us to learn our positions on Middle East problems.”

My Lai Revisited 47 Years After

Israel Spied on US-Iran Talks

My Lai Revisited: 47 Years Later, Seymour Hersh Travels to Vietnam Site ...

Coricancha, the Incas' temple of the sun

Coricancha, the Incas' temple of the sun – a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 3

Original Inca masonry inside Coricancha.

Another Likud Republican: Jeb Bush Pledges “Unwavering” Support for Bibi


Sunday, March 22, 2015

new Federal fracking rules and a push for oil exports in an otherwise quiet week

it almost seems odd that there were no oil bomb train explosions in the news this past week to report on, while the only 2 oil spills that turned up in the news were of about 10 barrels that occurred on a Ute reservation in southwest Colorado in February and was only reported this week, and that of a spill of about 100 gallons from a cargo ship at Wilmington on the Delaware River...earlier, there was a derailment of 13 rail cars & spill of some oil in southern Manitoba late last week, apparently with no fire or explosion, that slipped under the news coverage of the larger derailment and explosion in northern Ontario that dominated last week's news...and there was also a derailment of 2 cars of an 86 car freight train near Beacon New York that didn't involve an oil spill...

even North Dakota, which usually has a major oil spill or two hit the wires each week, seems to have escaped the week relatively unscathed, with just two brine spills of under 500 barrels the first spill, a pipeline owned by Continental Resources leaked nearly 19,000 gallons of brine after it was struck by excavating equipment about 16 miles north of Tioga, a fairly remote location in northwest N. Dakota...the brine, which is several times saltier than seawater, was said to be contained on the site and did not threaten any waterways or wildlife...the second spill occurred at the site of a wastewater injection well in Bottineau County, about six miles north of Maxbass, when a piping connection failure resulted in a spill of 11,970 gallons of saltwater, which was also contained on the site...

now, just because we didn't hear of any other spills doesn't mean there weren't any...for instance, we rarely hear of any spills in Texas, where nearly half the US wells are located, likely because it goes with the territory in a state where the industry owns the regulators and is hence Colorado, where they have strict reporting and remediation rules written into law, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission requires a written report within 24 hours of any spill greater than 5 barrels, and of any spill off site greater than 1 barrel...hence, in their Oil and Gas spill report of March 16, they reported 8 spills that occurred in between March 4th and March 12, most of them minor, with the largest being of 18 barrels of produced oil that leaked when a valve was left open at the back of a production tank at a well outside of Greeley...with requirements for such reporting being enforced, we know that more than 700 oil and gas spills occurred in Colorado in 2014, a total we can only guess at for other states...

the major fracking-related news of the week came on Friday afternoon, when the Interior Department released new rules for fracking on Federally owned and American Indian lands ....the key provision of these regulations is a requirement that frackers must now disclose the fracking chemicals used on such sites to the Bureau of Land Management through the website FracFocus within 30 days of completing their fracking operations; other rules include stricter specifications for well bores and casing, requirements to ensure that flowback, produced water, and other fluids are safely contained, and detailed record keeping and reporting requirements about each fracking operation that takes place on public lands...covering roughly 100,000 oil and gas wells on Federal and Indian lands, there were hundreds of reports on these new regulationsin the media Friday afternoon, but i doubt that many reporters had any more time to read through the 395 page pdf from the Department of the Interior than i did...

usually the Friday announcement of a policy initiative such as this is intended to bury the news and catch the opponents offguard, but the outline for these new regulations were telegraphed well in advance, so the oil industry was ready to respond, while their puppets in congress already had their lobbyist-supplied scripts written and Friday afternoon, the Republicans in the house were already speechifying about blocking these regulations, without being clear how, while 27 Senate Republicans already introduced a bill to overturn them...meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Western Energy Alliance were already filing a lawsuit against the Interior Department, apparently on the disclosure requirements which they maintain are trade secrets...that the oil industry was unhappy does not mean that environmentalists were pleased, however, as groups such as Greenpeace and Americans Against Fracking called the new regulations a giveaway to the oil and gas industry...

in an issue we should start paying more attention to, the push to allow for exports of US crude oil seemed to be getting more traction this past week as you'll recall, the export of US crude is prohibited by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which was passed on the heels of the Arab oil embargo, and except for the earlier administration approval of the export of ultralight oil from US shale wells, US exports of heavier grades of crude have generally been restricted to Canada and Mexico, both of whom we import more from than we export while it's been a ongoing wet dream of the oil industry to get that export ban overturned, and it hasn't been uncommon to see an industry official advocate that the ban be lifted, there were several such calls this week leading up to and in the wake of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on oil exports Thursday...while most of the arguments in favor of exports have previously suggested that allowing them would add gazillions of jobs to the 198,300 who work in oil & gas extraction now, oil companies packed this hearing with experts who testified that allowing exports would reduce the prices of gasoline in the US, and those pushing a host of geopolitical factors, suggesting we could use oil exports as a weapon against Iran and Russia...

let's be clear; if there's one policy change that will bring fracking back with a vengeance, it would be to allow domestic drillers to sell their crude overseas...over the past 5 years, WTI (West Texas Intermediate), the US benchmark price for crude oil, has generally been trading for about $10 a barrel less than the price of Brent oil, the similar international oil benchmark price...if we allow exports, that price gap will close, most likely to the upside, because it's been the domestic glut of oil that has been holding US oil prices in addition to tearing up more of our countryside with the kind of industrial activities we've seen are associated with fracking, we'll be seeing even more oil and brine spills, more oil bomb trains crisscrossing the country, more injection well and fracking induced earthquakes, and higher prices for all the oil based products most of us still buy, all so that the oil companies can extract a few more bucks of profit out of each barrel...and this applies not just to the current push in Congress to allow for exports of US crude, but it also applies to the two trade agreements being negotiated in secret by the administration at the behest of 600 multinational corporations...if Obama gets trade promotion authority (TPA) from Congress, also known as "fast track", which the Republicans tend to support, these two trade deals, which would mandate oil and gas exports to Asia and Europe in the same way that NAFTA clears them for Mexico and Canada, can be passed without a public hearing or debate, on a simple majority yes or no vote of Congress...even worse, draining America first will leave us vulnerable to higher prices and the whims of international oil producers in the future, after our fracking boom runs its course; in the most recent forecast from the Energy Department, US oil production is expected to peak in 2020 and gradually decline from there...meanwhile, they also project the average price for oil to rise to $234.53 a barrel by if we let the oil companies drain our oil basins to sell that oil at $50 to $60 a barrel now, we'll be paying them 4 to 5 times as much to import whatever oil we still need 25 years into the future...


otherwise, this week's story on oil production, inventories and rig count was pretty much the same as it's been...our oil production for the 2nd week in March averaged 9,419,000 barrels a day, up .57% from the 9,366,000 barrels per day rate of the prior week, and 14.7% than the 8,215,000 barrels per day that we produced in the 2nd week of March last year...similarly, our inventories of crude in storage reached yet another record. increasing by 9.6 million barrels from the previous week to 458.5 million barrels; that's 22% more than the 375,852 barrels of oil stored commercially in the US in the 2nd week of March a year ago...the weekly Petroleum Status Report (62 pp pdf) also showed that US crude oil imports averaged 7.5 million barrels per day last week, up by 703,000 barrels a day from our imports in the first week of the four weeks ending March 13th, US crude oil imports averaged over 7.2 million barrels per day, 0.6% higher than the same 4 week period last you see that despite our record production, our imports of oil are still rising to cover the contango trade...

oil field activity continued to slow, however, as the number of US rigs drilling for oil this week fell by 41 to 825, and the count of rigs drilling for natural gas fell by 15 to 242; this leaves 648 less oil rigs operating than a year ago, and 48 less gas rigs than the same week in 2014 ...the Baker Hughes weekly rig summary also showed that of the 1069 rigs operating as of March 20th, 829 were engaged in horizontal drilling, down 20 from the prior week, 148 were drilling straight down, 18 less than the prior week, and 92 were engaged in directional drilling, again a drop of 18 rigs from the week of March 13th count...and in an oddity, 11 of the 46 Gulf of Mexico platforms that were working last week and 6 of the 8 rigs drilling on inland lakes were shut down; in prior weeks, most of the closures had been land based...nonetheless, this week also saw 39 fewer land based rigs operating, with just 1030 operating as of March 20th...once again, the Permian Basin in west Texas saw the greatest decrease in activity, with 19 rigs taken out of service there; combined with losses of 8 rigs in the Eagle Ford and more elsewhere, that left Texas with 465 active rigs, 36 fewer than last week...with the Gulf shutdowns, Louisiana's rig count fell by 18 to 75; in addition, New Mexico's count dropped by 5, while North Dakota and Ohio both saw 3 rigs shut down...Ohio now has 28 rigs operating, down from 35 two weeks ago...

while the number of rigs actively drilling for oil and gas in the US fell for the 15th consecutive week, the rig count story that everyone seems to be missing is occurring north of the the past two weeks, Canadian drillers have shut down 160 rigs, more than half of the 300 they had running on March 6th, leaving them with just 140 operating...moreover, 120 of the rigs idled in Canada over this period were drilling for oil, so now they only have 30 oil rigs left up, meaning that drilling for oil in Canada has just about stopped...while their gas drilling operations are also down, it's not as severe a cutback, as they shut down 15 gas rigs last week and another 25 this week, leaving them with 110 gas rigs still in use...this leaves Canada down 249 rigs from last year's 389, with oil rigs down from 210 to 30 and gas rigs down from 135 to 110...quite interestingly, that Canadian oil would shut down first was one of the first things we discovered when we compared the breakeven prices for production in various US and worldwide oil fields the weekend after the Thanksgiving OPEC oil meeting...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~more at Focus on Fracking~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jim Crow in the Holy Land - FPIF

Jim Crow in the Holy Land - FPIF

(Photo: gnuckx / Flickr)
The last days of the campaign sounded an awful lot like the Jim Crow South, when African Americans had officially won the right to vote but still faced massive discrimination.
On election morning, a powerful white official running for re-election urged his followers to get out and vote, warning that minority voters were turning out in large numbers — and those trouble-making civil rights agitators, he complained, were busing them to the polls.
But this wasn’t Mississippi or Alabama circa 1965. It was Israel in 2015.
And the candidate wasn’t some protégé of Bull Connor or George Wallace shouting into a bullhorn. It was Israel’s prime minister writing on his Facebook page.
Naked Racism
The leader of Washington’s closest Middle East ally — the storied “only democracy in the Middle East” — was pushing his right-wing supporters to get out and vote. “The right-wing government is in danger,” he warned, because — in his words — “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”
The naked racism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute electioneering was repellent. But more horrifying was the fact that it worked.
The language aimed to frighten right-wing Israeli Jewish voters with the specter of a large turnout among the Palestinians who make up 20 percent of Israeli citizens. The gambit brought back to Netanyahu’s Likud Party the far-right voters who otherwise might have voted for one of the even more extreme right-wing parties.
It worked. Likud trumped its challengers from the right as well as the left, and Netanyahu swept to victory.

Hillary's Campaign Faces Predictably Familiar Questions About Conflicts of Interest

Hillary's Campaign Faces Predictably Familiar Questions About Conflicts of Interest

​Ukraine oligarchs ‘top cash contributors’ to Clinton Foundation prior to Kiev crisis

​Ukraine oligarchs ‘top cash contributors’ to Clinton Foundation prior to Kiev crisis

What Terrorists Have Learned from One Another – And from Israeli Leaders Like Itzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin

What Terrorists Have Learned from One Another – And from Israeli Leaders Like Itzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin

“A man who goes forth to take the life of another whom he does not know must believe one thing only – that by his act he will change the course of history.” Thus Itzhak Shamir, a future prime minister of Israel, explained the strategy of assassination that the Freedom Fighters for Israel – known to Jews by its Hebrew acronym, Lehi, and to the British, as the Stern Gang – embraced in the 1940s.
Compared to contemporary terrorist groups, Lehi was unique. Its targets were not innocent civilians and its weapon of choice was not the bomb that maimed and killed indiscriminately but the handgun pointed at the chest of the colonial officials and police officers charged with governing Palestine under the League of Nations mandate awarded to Britain after World War I. So precious were the group’s few weapons and so profound its members’ belief in the power of individual assassination that the same pistol was used in six high-profile shootings during an especially febrile eighteen-month period.
It was last, and most consequentially, used on November 6, 1944 to assassinate Lord Moyne, the British Cabinet minister responsible for the Middle East during World War II. The murder, which Shamir had ordered, did change the course of history – but not for the better. Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s daring plan to resolve Arab and Jewish claims to Palestine by partitioning the country into separate states was abandoned with the killing of his life-long friend and political ally. And, three years later the first of many wars would be fought between Arab and Jew over that land’s political future.
- See more at:

Arizona Loves the Constitution, Hates the Government

Arizona Loves the Constitution, Hates the Government

The New Libya Explained

Embedded image permalink

Friday, March 20, 2015

Who’s Afraid of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?

Who’s Afraid of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?

 The U.S. is outraged that European governments are joining China’s alternative to the IMF and the World Bank, but America has no one to blame but itself

Peace Activists Block Hancock Drone Base

36 eye-opening facts about water

36 eye-opening facts about water

Water rationing may become a way of life in California drought | Al Jazeera America

Water rationing may become a way of life in California drought | Al Jazeera America

The History of The Salvation Army

Japan, Australia Signal Approval Of China-Based AIIB

Japan, Australia Signal Approval Of China-Based AIIB

China welcomes Switzerland to AIIB - Xinhua |

China welcomes Switzerland to AIIB - Xinhua |

Israel Votes Apartheid: The End of the Liberal Zionist Façade by NEVE GORDON


Thursday, March 19, 2015

China's Place in the New World Economic Order

Competition between the world's two greatest economic powers is both inevitable and (for the most part) beneficial. This is the case even when China and the U.S. are arguing over control of increasingly obsolescentinternational financial institutions.
China's effort to start the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank grows more popular by the day, despite U.S. resistance to the idea. The question is no longer whether the bank will fulfill an unmet need, but how best to ensure that it contributes to Asian growth -- and, not incidentally, draws China more deeply into the global financial order.

Australia to Invest 3 bln AUD in AIIB: Report


Obama Seeks Fast Track for TPP, Trade Deal that Could Thwart "Almost Any...

Joseph Stiglitz on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: "This Is A Big Deal"

Joseph Stiglitz on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: "This Is A Big Deal"

Netanyahu’s Victory Is Just as Bad as It Looks

Netanyahu’s Victory Is Just as Bad as It Looks

'Runnin' N--ger Target' Sold at North Dakota Gun Show

'Runnin' N--ger Target' Sold at North Dakota Gun Show - The Root

“You know there are some black people, and then there are some Negroes,” the vendor, who seems to fancy himself an expert in Negro-ology, argued. The vendor then went on to tell the photographer that he sold about 500 of the targets at the gun show over the weekend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Xi Meets with Kissinger, Calls for More Trust between China, U.S.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 17, 2015. [Photo: Xinhua/Wang Ye]
President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for more strategic trust and reciprocal cooperation between China and the United States.
Xi made the remarks as he met with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing. Xi praised the veteran diplomat as an "ice-breaker" for China-U.S. diplomacy in the 1970s and for his continuous contributions to the relationship over the past decades.

Levon Helm - "Chest Fever"

Opposing Two States, Netanyahu Unmasks GOP-Likud Agenda of Fake Diplomacy

Opposing Two States, Netanyahu Unmasks GOP-Likud Agenda of Fake Diplomacy

France and Germany have confirmed they’ll join China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Happy St. Pat's

NASA Shows Ireland From Space for St. Patrick’s Day
NASA PIC 17.3.2015