We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, September 1. 2022
Killing the Eagles with 'Climate Change' Malice Aforethought
Restoring Notre Dame the Old Way
Columnist calls for 'gardening' to be cancelled as word is 'full of cultural baggage'
Despite public acceptance, today's highly potent marijuana can be dangerous
WaPo: Online creators are de facto therapists for millions. It’s complicated.
Russia Officially Halts Natural Gas Flows Via Nord Stream 1
Just Days After Phasing Out New Gas Cars, California Says "Avoid Charging EVs" Amid Grid Emergency
Why Americans turned on Dr. Fauci
The Student Loan Debate Shows How the ACLU Has Lost Its Way. The venerable champion of civil liberties is increasingly indistinguishable from myriad progressive advocacy groups.
Critical Race Theory, Anti-Racist Math Pollutes Kentucky School District Teacher Training Materials
Ohio Supreme Court declines to take up Oberlin's appeal, college will now have to pay Gibson's Bakery
The Short Life (And Amazingly Fast Death) Of The FBI’s Mar-A-Lago Play
Former Gorsuch Law Clerk Goes Scorched Earth on Latest FBI Trump Raid Development
Evidence of Democrats' conspiracy to sway 2020 election getting too big to hide
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Russia Officially Halts Natural Gas Flows Via Nord Stream 1 So why isn't America on a crash course to build LNG terminals?
U.S. liquefied natural gas export capacity will be world’s largest by end of 2022: U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity has grown rapidly since the Lower 48 states first began exporting LNG in February 2016.
Given our own fuel crisis and that our government is responsible to us and not to the rest of the world why should we allow any NG to be exported?
This is a more complicated issue than would appear on its face. Petroleum markets are extremely complex, and the persvasive use of hydrocarbons throughout our economy, in many different forms, is a vast market format that is so complex it defies accurate measurement, which is why the price of petroleum products often fluctuates wildly based on simple sentiment.
While we were a net exporter during Trump's term, in reality there was still an ebb-and-flow of virtually every crude and refined product across borders, and this is necessary to prevent market interruptions, shortages. A 'net' exporter is just a virtual condition. We are still actively importing many things that we don't produce here, or can't produce competitively. If we were to stop all petroleum exports, consumer costs would skyrocket.
And I understand that, but why should we allow any petroleum or NG to be exported period? Cut through the "complication" and simply make it illegal.
We both no the answer. Because money! Some very rich people get richer by exporting our energy when that increases our cost of energy they get richer from that as well.
But I did give you an answer: The markets would freeze up and prices would skyrocket. Do you think the countries that currently export to the US would look favorably on us if we just choked off exports unilaterally? Do you have an idea of how much gas & oil goes across national boundaries in pipelines for the purpose of refining and powergen? Look a little closer. I understand the 'America first' principle just fine, and believe sometimes that open markets for hydrocarbon exports should not necessarily be wide open, but A does not equal B in this case. It's much more nuanced and complicated.
I think you are wrong. We use more oil than we export so why would any country care if we choose not to export? Japan never exports oil and the oil exporting countries are happy as hell to sell their oil to Japan. It literally makes no sense for us to export oil or NG. It clearly is in limited supply and it clearly is what modern society and good economies are created from. Exporting can only accomplish two things for us: hasten the day when we no longer have oil and NG, and lower our standard of living (which we see today because of lack of or the expense of energy). The one single thing that our government could do to save our economy and explode our GDP would be to unleash our domestic oil production and reduce taxes on oil and oil companies. And in that calculation, no where would the idea of exporting more oil or NG help and in fact it hurts.
We are about to go through very rough economic cycle. Far worse than 2008 and perhaps rivaling the 30's. Why? A lot of different reasons but mostly mismanagement and stupid agendas. But the point is we could avoid it or at the least soften it by stimulating our economy at every level and the single common denominator in every facet of that goal is energy and more specifically oil and NG. But we won't do it, we will instead opt for possibly a generation long great depression because our lawmakers are "blessed" with zero economic sense and ability AND corrupt greed which makes them put their donors first and the fellow citizens last.
Think about the long list of petroleum products, starting with the thousands of different crude oils that are produced, each of them with widely-varying compositions and properties. Now they're transported and refined into both market and intermediate industrial products, so consider the enormous list of those products, and finally consider the import/export breakdown to their ultimate destination of consumption. Crude oils are refined into fuels, into petroleum products, into plastics, into fertilizer, into chemicals, into industrial feedstocks. None of this refining process is undertaken with just a barrel of crude as the raw material. Feedstocks are blended with other petroleum products, such as distillate and other fractions, to achieve desired yields. Many of these are imported because we don't produce them here. We make the raw materials for plastics and other industrial polymers from crude oils, but not just crude oils. Are you going to stop export of all the products that come from hydrocarbons too? Close the plants down, stop producing? Do you have an idea of how much trade this represents? Are you imagining that the import of the raw materials we need would continue if we closed the taps? Are you imagining that Canada and Mexico would be happy to accept that we shut down their imports without trade repercussions? Why?
You seem to be determined to take a simplistic executive-overview type of stance on something that cannot be properly interpreted by that method - it would be like trying to forecast the economy by choosing your favorite color. Go to https://www.eia.gov/ and look around a little. the hydrocarbon economy is huge, multi-variant, and so complicated that intelligent, well-seasoned professional economists that do it for a living usually get it wrong, but are happy when they're even close.
I think you are over thinking this, perhaps just searching for something to use to refute it. It really is simple: Energy is what makes us productive and makes a strong economy. We need energy and we import it. We also have a good supply of domestic energy and exporting it only accelerates our journey to insufficient energy to sustain our society. Those "alternatives" being offered today as a replacement for fossil fuels will not work as they are currently configured and honestly we don't even know if they will ever work. We need something in the future to replace fossil fuels and missing that deadline, i.e. not having a sustainable energy source when fossil fuels run out means our society and our economy crashes. With that in mind it makes no sense to export oil or NG from this country. You can talk about the many by products and nuances but it does not change the fact that we are on the clock to either find a sustainable energy source or total collapse with no conceivable road to recovery to life as we know it. Simple as that.
Nope, sorry. Multiple degrees in geology and petroleum engineering, ran drilling programs all over the world for 40 years. Started in 1980, working drilling rigs. I know a little bit about what I speak of.
I read this blog every day and all the comments. I can say that your comments are always well reasoned and well written. I can also accept that with your background that you do indeed know more about petroleum than I do. However simple logic tells me that I am correct that we should not be selling our oil and NG (especially from the reserve) and i see nothing to change that opinion. I could be wrong but at this point I don't think that I am.
In truth complex markets work best when they are left to find their own equilibrium. When people refer to energy policy they call our reliance on oil & gas 'the elephant in the room'. But they are wrong. Oil & gas is the room itself, and most of the house too. People have no idea how much hydrocarbons touch each and every aspect of their daily modern life, not just as a source of dense, transportable, fungible energy, but as a raw material. No idea; Oil & gas is ubiquitous. In this sense I agree with you - Oil & gas is not managed as an irreplaceable resource, and with this wide spectrum of uses in mind, and it should be.
When it comes to energy policy though, the world has been led down a Green garden path to a culdesac swamp full of quicksand. It's madness when food is converted to gasoline or diesel instead of using it to feed people. It's crazy when the cleanest, most carbon-free form of energy is demonized using fear propaganda, when in fact it carries the best safety & environmental record of any energy source. Our country should be moving with all of its renowned talents toward nuclear, and targeting using it to meet at least 70% of its power gen requirements in 10 years. It can be done, but not by dithering - and not with politics as usual. It will prolong our use of hydrocarbon reserves for things that nuclear power cannot provide (plastics, fertilizer, chemicals, transportation fuels etc.)
On these things, where the leadership class uses policy to play politics for private profit, the political will to change society's direction needs to come from the populace. After this winter, I am thinking that people in the US and Europe will be mad enough at the failures of their politicians to provide a large and vocal surplus of the requirement for direction, and maybe even the will to use shows of force to make sure they get the message. This winter, if it's not a mild one, is going to be painful, especially for Europe. People are going to die of energy poverty, if predictions are correct.
Research dollars should continue to be spent on further alternative sources of energy, especially with respect to battery technology. And a balanced, holistic approach must be adopted to understand true full-cycle environmental impact of alternative energy concepts.
"In truth complex markets work best when they are left to find their own equilibrium."
That may in general be true but it begs the question; is it right for Americans. For example we could with very little effort buy all the food available in some third world country and I'm pretty sure there would be a handful of businessmen in that country who would be happy to have our business. And as you say "complex markets work best when they are left to find their own equilibrium.". But I suspect that for the citizens of that country who would then watch their children die of hunger all the theory in the world wouldn't make that acceptable.
The difference between selling off a countries food and selling off a countries oil is simply this; everyone with two or more brin cells could easily see the harm in selling off the food, but since the problem that will stem from selling off the oil isn't immediate many people will miss identifying this as a problem until it actually causes shortages and then it is too late to correct the problem.
Time will tell.
IdahoBob: Cut through the "complication" and simply make it illegal.
Another small government conservative. As Aggie points out, that could actually lead to higher prices and disruptions in supply. Not to mention, U.S. allies are in need of fuel.
Aggie: We are still actively importing many things that we don't produce here, or can't produce competitively.
And importing things even when there is surplus production. For instance, it may be cheaper to transport a product by sea than move it across country.
"Another small government conservative."
No an effective government conservative. I believe our government should be looking out for Americans not Europeans, Chinese, Mexicans, etc. "Give" them nothing. Put America and American's first. I am opposed to allowing illegal aliens to live or work here and in favor of laws that would prevent that and punish anyone who helps them in any way. End the H1B programs, deport anyone here illegally. Make it illegal to spend one red cent on anyone who is not a citizen; I mean illegal as in put the government employee in jail if they give any benefit to someone who is not a citizen. Require that all illegals who enter or are caught here to be deported within 24 hors no exceptions and no judge orders to the contrary.
Make it a law that no property, business or assets within the U.S. can be owned or controlled by foreigners (anyone not a U.S. citizen). That no foreigner can spend more than 6 months in this country out of any consecutive 12 months. That all non-citizens must register when they enter our country and when they leave and failing this should be a felony.
Immediately deport all Chinese nationals and ban them from entry. Stop all business with China. China intends to go to war with us and they are filling our country with spies and saboteurs so they can destroy us from within.
Do much more, too much to list here...
IdahoBob: I believe our government should be looking out for Americans
Sure, but interfering in markets will often have unintended consequences. Global prosperity is very much tied to international trade, and America will be poorer if it tries to shut out the world, and will cause other countries to retaliate.
Regardless, while regulation of trade is still reasonable, telling businesses they can't do business with Europe or Asia is not small government.
Some markets are critical and should be managed.
I would also be in favor of ending the practice of colleges providing education to non-citizens. It has been a scam for decades.
I would favor ending all immigration legal and illegal. We already have more citizens than we can take care of we don't "need" more.
We also need to bring back all manufacturing especially critical products.
I would be in favor of ending labor unions, they have outlived their need. You could still have a union it just wouldn't have any rights or laws favoring it.
I would also like to see us require that all elected, appointed and hired government personal be audited every year and the full result and their tax return available publicly.
Yeah! I know none of this will happen instead we will go bankrupt because of all the corruption. Our country will go the way of Rome with the Chinese at our gates instead of the Huns and we will all be slaughtered or enslaved and it will all be because the left wanted all the power.
The big problem with attempting to reconstruct Notre Dame to its original state is that there are not enough old-growth oak trees left in Europe to supply the timbers for the roof, even if environmental concerns would allow what remains to be harvested. While my preference would be for some sort of engineered wood product to be used, It is likely that steel will have to be used extensively, and marrying this to the existing and remaining structure will be the key engineering challenge.
Another Guy named Dave: The big problem with attempting to reconstruct Notre Dame to its original state is that there are not enough old-growth oak trees left in Europe to supply the timbers for the roof
France has enough old oaks, many of which were planted specifically to be harvested at a much later date. They will be replanted.
"We know it's the end of something, but it's also the beginning," said Pauline Delord, a 15th-generation forest guardian responsible for protecting and managing the forest.
The irony is funny. Europe is a museum. People visit Europe to see things that are a thousand years old. There isn't a whole lot that has come out of Europe in the last few centuries other than death, decay, and destruction.
When Notre Dame was built they were using the latest innovations in architecture. It was completely new and groundbreaking stuff. Now, they're restoring a nearly thousand year old building using the same methods as in the 12th century. Archeological recreations are interesting, but they aren't innovative. I don't think the origianl designers would do things the same way they did back then, if they were here today building a cathedral.
Notre Dame was built to seat a bishop. It was designed to draw our eyes to Heaven and our minds to God. It's not being built as a church now, but as a tourist destination, a curiosity. Not many Parisians will go to Sunday Mass at Notre Dame Nouveau. But they claim this isn't nostalgia. I hope I'm wrong about that. Maybe it will spark a French Awakening and bring them back to the Church.
jack walter: There isn't a whole lot that has come out of Europe in the last few centuries other than death, decay, and destruction.
The Statue of Liberty.
The ACLU, along with their counterparts in the SPLC, have morphed into an anti-Christian lobbying firm.
Dr. Fauci lied about everything. He was America's Bagdad Bob/ He lied about the masks and knew they were useless. BUT they represented obedience, compliance and that was their value. It allowed the government to further scare the people which in turn allowed them to pass legislation and implement emergency decrees that would never have been allowed otherwise.
The big lie was that the masks helped. In fact the masks didn't help. It was like telling pedestrians to wear soccer shin guards to cross the street against the traffic light because an accident might kill you but the shin guards would help.
"Democrats' conspiracy to sway 2020 election"
The evidence of a massive voter fraud is overwhelming. Everyone needs to see the documentary 2000 Mules. They actually discovered 40,000 mules. You would have to agree 40,000 mules (people stuffing the ballot boxes) is an unbelievable and massive number. And yet those mules were a small part of the overall effort to steal the election. It doesn't include the voting machines switching Trump votes to Biden or the shenanigans in the counting process many of which were caught on video and audio. The steal was massive, probably 25 million votes were manufactured or switched to get Brandon elected.
As others have pointed out elsewhere, Oberlin's endowment is in the billions, and it operates more like a hedge fund than an educational facility grounded on principles of scholastic achievement and excellence, and open intellectual inquiry.
They can pay the fine without noticing any impact to their wealth, it's that small of an impact. The same rancid administrators that perpetrated this holocaust on the Gibson family and their business continue on in their roles at the campus.
While being handed a defeat, they will carry on with their message and communicate it outwardly as if it were a validation. In that sense, the courts have failed to render justice in a way that would force Oberlin to admit it did something wrong, and force it to commit to constructive change.
Former Gorsuch Law Clerk Goes Scorched Earth on Latest FBI Trump Raid Development . . . materials so sacred and top secret they threw them on the floor and took a photo.
Standard procedure. It's what they do with other such contraband, such as drugs. Note the evidence marker, ruler, and the box the documents were found in.
Meanwhile, Trump's TV attorney, Alina Habba, admits that there are frequent visitors to Trump's office where he kept documents marked classified. By the way, that's why they took the passports. They were in the same drawer as the classified documents, which is evidence of possession.
The President has the power to declassify records and take personal copies when he leaves office.
Citizen Trump has no right to government records. His access is dependent on government approval.
Presidential Records Act doesn't differentiate between classified and unclassified.
All presidential records are government records, and must be surrendered to the Archivist of the United States.
The law treats Presidents differently than everyone else.
Trump isn't president.
He declassified them.
There is no evidence of that.
In any case, Trump is claiming he declassified Top Secret documents. Top Secret means it would cause "grave danger" to national security if disclosed. Markings include Top Secret/SCI for compartmentalized access and Top Secret/HCS for human intelligence sources. Even if declassified, they remain government documents, and, if they are relating to the national defense, are covered by the Espionage Act.
They were guarded by the Secret Service.
No, they're not. The Secret Service protects the ex-president, not Top Secret documents hidden in his office or storage room.
Yeah, it's what's always been done when serving a warrant on a former president! You and Kevin Clinesmith really oughta get together and do a podcast about how to handle warrants!!
Educate us rubes!!! We need you!!!
Of course you're making an utterly disingenuous argument to deflect, which is your stock in trade. DOJ had no (legitimate nonpolitical) reasons to include the picture in their filing--no judge in the country would have changed his or her ruling based on its absence or presence. DOJ knew the picture was superfluous to the filing and so do you. Stop trying to make the argument about what it's not.
SK: Yeah, it's what's always been done when serving a warrant on a former president!
Taking pictures of contraband in the place where it is found is standard procedure.
SK: DOJ had no (legitimate nonpolitical) reasons to include the picture in their filing
The photograph supports each of the findings and contradicts the claims in Trump's motion: The documents are government records; they contain (in all probability) information relating to national security; and that all the documents marked classified hadn't been returned.
It comes down to this. Why the heck did Trump have highly classified national security information in his home? Why did his attorney provide false information to the government about it? And what did Trump intend to do with the Top Secret documents?
None of that supports the inclusion of the picture in the DOJ filing and its subsequent release to the public. Stop deflecting.
How's it coming with Kevin? Are your people in contact with his people? On the second podcast you could have good old Andy McCabe. Call it "How to lie and interfere in a presidential election, be the subject of a criminal referral by the IG, get fired on the recommendation of your fellow agents, and STILL get your pension and an nifty high paying job at a television network! (Answer--have the proper politics!)
You can probably find him having dinner with Jim Comey on a beach somewhere like Corfu!!!
Come on now! Get to it! You owe it to the next generation of partisan FBI agents! There are elections coming up!
SK: None of that supports the inclusion of the picture in the DOJ filing and its subsequent release to the public.
Of course it does, for the reasons just given. All you are saying is "Is not!" Then you deflect to Jim Comey. Nor did you answer the questions.
There are no answers to your silly questions because they are based on fantastic assumptions of which y'all have no proof.
(Kinda like RussiaGate, 'member?)
Nice try, ((Quibble-DickZ))).
As much as you try to deflect, you can't make the case that the pictures were included in the filing for anything other than political reasons. It's yet another partisan move by DOJ and you won't call them on it. It's revealing.
The questions? Really? Uh, they aren't germane to the discussion re the pictures. They're an attempt to distract from the fact that you don't have an argument showing why the pics were included the filing. It's not even up to your usual standard of trying to change the terms of a debate. Which isn't very high, but I've seen you do better.
Maybe you're distracted thinking about the podcast!
How's it coming with Kevin, Andy, and Jimbo? Maybe the title was a little awkward. You could just call it "How to Interfere in a Presidential Election for Fun and Profit...And Save Democracy at the Same Time!"
Do it for America and Democracy, Zach!!!
SK: you can't make the case that the pictures were included in the filing for anything other than political reasons
We provided our reasoning, which you ignored.
The photograph supports each of the investigation's contentions and contradicts the claims in Trump's motion: The documents are government records; they contain (in all probability) information relating to national security; and that all the documents marked classified hadn't been returned as promised by Trump's attorney.
Feel free to make an actual argument.
Z - please compare and contrast this circumstance with Sandy Berger’s secret removal of documents from a secure government repository.
Louie Miller: please compare and contrast this circumstance with Sandy Berger’s secret removal of documents from a secure government repository.
Sure. Sandy Berger was caught stealing and destroying classified material. He then cooperated, provided a detailed explanation of what he did, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. He was fined and given probation.
If Trump were to have cooperated, then charges probably wouldn't have even been considered, but the evidence strongly suggests he has obstructed the investigation. His attorney even provided a written assurance that there were no longer any documents marked classified in Trump's possession. But we know that's not true, as the picture attached to the latest filing shows.
Remember when y'all stated "the evidence" strongly suggested that Trump colluded with Putin to win the 2016 election?
Or didja forget that lie?
Louie Miller: And what was Sandy’s explanation?
Berger said it was a mistake. Evidence suggests it was to avoid possibly embarrassing information from coming out. It was a misdemeanor at the time, but it would be a felony under current law. He also avoided an obstruction charge by cooperating when he was caught.
"Why officer, I have no idea how those classified materials got down my pants and the other ones into my socks! It must have been some kind of a mistake! And those other classified materials that I removed from the facility on my previous trips, that are hidden outside in out-of-the-way place were a mistake too! No way was I going to pick them up later! Silly me! I'm so absent minded!"
Sure. Solid comparison.
“I am very sorry for what I did, and deeply apologize.” — Sandy Berger
Aggie: Solid comparison.
The plea deal required Berger's cooperation.
And the object of said potential “embarrassment” was President Bill Clinton, no? Embarrassing information written in his own hand so no chance to deflect.
Was the actual information stolen ever detailed?
Did Sandy make this “mistake” out of loyalty or was it at the direction of the ones who needed to avoid embarrassment?
“I’m sorry” seems like a pretty thin plea bargain element even though you say stealing classified information was a misdemeanor at that time.
Do you think anyone would accept such a light plea bargain
Louie Miller: And the object of said potential “embarrassment” was President Bill Clinton, no? Embarrassing information written in his own hand so no chance to deflect.
Possibly Berger himself.
Louie Miller: Was the actual information stolen ever detailed?
Yes. He stole copies. They may have had handwritten notes, however. Some copies were returned. Others were irretrievably lost. It's hard to prove a negative, but the Archives believe they didn't lose anything permanently.
Louie Miller: “I’m sorry” seems like a pretty thin plea bargain element even though you say stealing classified information was a misdemeanor at that time.
They wanted Berger's cooperation. Though he lied to the archivists, he admitted what he had done to the Inspector General and cooperated. They probably couldn't have successfully charged him under the Espionage Act or for obstruction. Still, some jail time might have been warranted.
Louie Miller: Do you think anyone would accept such a light plea bargain
Trump has improperly kept national security information in defiance of a subpoena, so he could be criminally liable under the Espionage Act and obstruction statutes. If he had just returned the documents when subpoenaed, the issue would almost certainly not have led to a search warrant under criminal statutes. His attorney claiming there were no additional documents marked classified only made the situation worse when the government gathered evidence otherwise (through witnesses and security video).
Even now, if Trump were to cooperate, he might be let off as too stupid to know better (though he certainly knows what a subpoena is). The problem is that people will make excuses for Trump's behavior, even when presented with photographic evidence of the crime.
No, you clown, Berger lied about and denied what he did until he accepted a plea bargain that forced him to confess to what he had done.
RJP: Berger lied about and denied what he did until he accepted a plea bargain that forced him to confess to what he had done.
That's right. The underlying crime was a misdemeanor, and the government wanted his cooperation, so a deal was struck.
If the Republicans are able to take over the house and senate I would suggest that after McCarthy is appointed speaker (I would prefer they appoint Trump) that they simultaneously impeach Biden and Harris.
Yeah I know it is crazy but everything for the last 14 years has been crazy and unconstitutional and we are in deep shit as a country and this might be the only thing that would save us.
I think it would be kind of fun to require that everyone who gets $10,000 taken off their student loan debt have their names placed in a national registry. AND create a national registry for everyone who gets a tattoo or piercing too. Then provide a simple app that would highlight the cross referenced people. You know! Just so we poor people out here who are going to pay off those loans can rest assured it was all worth it. Right.
Listening to Biden's speech it sounded to me like he was preparing the nation for "extra-constitutional" measures to be taken to fight the right. It was almost like he was declaring open war, not political war but bullet firing war and deaths to protect "democracy". Hope I'm wrong but I think within 24 hours or so the FBI is going to start busting down doors and shooting dissenters. If I were in Trump's family and friends I wouldn't be sleeping at my home tonight.