Conspiracy Brews 11.22.14

If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday. Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting. For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact: ConspiracyBrews@aol.com.

Conspiracy Brews

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

Benjamin Franklin

Not your average political discussion group!

November 22, 2014

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.

*** Quotes of the Week ***

“Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.”

Thomas H. Huxley

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

Thomas Jefferson

Suggested Topics

— The US keeps dropping in freedom ratings…why?

— So what is the latest good news for our area?

— Government lies no longer matter to most. Integrity is irrelevant. Ex. Bernco Treasurer Ortiz and APD where a Lt provides information in his official email for classes at a company where his wife works with military lessons on how to effect a good kill. Where are we heading?

(Light Quotes of the week)

“When I was kidnapped, my parents snapped into action. They rented out my room.”

Woody Allen

“Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.”

Ogden Nash

“Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man.”

Leon Trotsky

——-

Kerry & Obama: Hammering Out The Ukraine Problem

PaperCoversRock2WebCR-3_25_14

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Conspiracy Brews For 3/22/14

If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday.  Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting.   For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact:  ConspiracyBrews@aol.com.

Conspiracy Brews  

 

Not your average political discussion group!

March 22, 2014

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center

10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.

 *** Quotes of the Week ***

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of there are and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

Pablo Picasso

“Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”

Mark Twain

 

Suggested Topics

 

— Since we never talk about education, should we have a discussion?

http://www.schoolchoices.org/roo/fried1.htm

 

 — Russia has placed sanctions on John McCain & Boehner?  Are you worried?

 

— Is there really no outrage over the Feds spying on US Citizens or is it just a lot of hullabaloo over nothing?

 

 (Light Quotes of the week)

“I’m kind of jealous of the life I’m supposedly leading.”

Zach Braff

“If you believe everything you read, better not read.”

Japanese Proverb

 

“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”

H.L. Mencken

 

“God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board, and then he made school board voters and He laughed.”

 

Conspiracy Brews paraphrase of Mark Twain
——-

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Get Your Coverage From Grigori

Grigori Potemkin and his Potemkin Village with all its facades and pretense reminds me of another Field Marshall type and the fake empire he is trying to build.

Read from Wikipedia:

….. In 1774, Potemkin became the governor-general of Russia’s new southern provinces. An absolute ruler, he worked to colonize the wild steppes, controversially dealing firmly with the Cossacks who lived there. He founded the towns of Kherson, Nikolayev, Sevastopol, and Yekaterinoslav (nowDnipropetrovsk). Ports in the region became bases for his new Black Sea Fleet. His rule in the south is associated with the “Potemkin village“, a largely fictional method of ruse involving the construction of painted façades to mimic real villages, full of happy, well-fed people, for visiting officials to see. Potemkin was known for his love of women, gambling and material wealth; he oversaw the construction of many historically significant buildings, including the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg. A century after Potemkin’s death, his name was given to the Battleship Potemkin, which featured in the 1905 Russian Revolution and was fictionalized in The Battleship Potemkin by Sergey Eisenstein.

See if this grand web site reminds you of another failure. Hint: ObamaCare

PotemkinWebsite2WebCR-12_16_13

Syria … a summary

I did not know the analysis by Roger Mickelson was waiting for me while I worked on my last post about the same subject.  My piece was amateurish at best, Roger’s is full of facts and educated reasoning.  Read about Roger’s qualifications or bona fides  at the end of his article.

Syria…a summary                               by Roger Mickelson      09/07/2013

Background. The Fertile Crescent has hosted wars throughout written history. Adversaries sought wealth, power, and, since the beginnings of Islam, ideological domination. Islam, as with most religions, has been subject to schisms, most notably the Sunni-Shia fundamental belief systems…and there are many more splinter groups, particularly those fundamentalist and extremist religious sects that seek to return to the Muslim foundations 1300 years ago.

This underlying conflict environment, the failure of the Caliphate, and the arbitrary creation of national borders after World War I that were and are inconsistent with ethnic and tribal concentrated populations led to increasingly violent conflicts over the last century. Kings and autocratic dictators used internal oppression to maintain what looked like stability, but the most recent eruptions of insurrection, violent overthrows of despotic leaders, and the covert instigation by Islamic extremists (e.g., al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood) led to the so-called Arab Spring series of supposedly sectarian revolts that morphed into ideological civil wars. Some of these have been localized; others involve external actors and allies.

Situation. Syria was and is yet another case of minority-governed, oppressive regimes in the region. It has been a key ally in the region, aligned with Iran to support Shia-influenced Islamic extremists (e.g., Hizb ‘Allah, Hamas) throughout the region with weapons, supplies, political and military advice, and promises for more of the same. Influenced in part by other nations (e.g., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar) with economic and other concerns in the area, Syria plays a central role in the Mid-East. An unstable Syria is a problem for everyone. And it isn’t a simple problem.

The outbreak of the armed conflict by insurgents, economically repressed citizens, and subtle religious ideologues led to the deaths of more than 100,000 civilians, the exodus of 2,000,000 people, and the displacement within Syria of another 1,000,000 or so refugees out of the country. Revolts naturally trigger violent responses by threatened governments, and “President” Bashar al-Assad harshly responded to the uprising by “the people.”

Aside from the political posturing and appeals to emotion in the current debate,

  • No vital US national interests are at risk; this is a fully sufficient reason to refrain from any US military action against Syria.
  • Any US military action in reaction to the internal Syrian civil war is an act of war against a foreign, sovereign nation.
  • The American public does not support US military action against Syria.
  • There are no stated objectives in proposed military actions.
  • The supposed Allied support is eroding daily; no one else wants to use their military forces against Syria.
  • Any limited US unilateral military action will be ineffective and escalatory.
  • Support of dissident factions constitutes US support of some Islamic extremists, our enemies throughout the world.
  • Collateral casualties will result from long-range strikes, causing a worldwide outcry against the US.
  • Iran, Russia, and Arab nations friendly to Syria are likely to retaliate.
  • Syria will respond with cyber and terrorist attacks on the US at home and abroad.
  • The alleged use of lethal chemical weapons violates international agreements.
  • Therefore, international, multi-national sanctions are needed, but Russia will block UN actions against Syria.
  • The United States continues to ignore the earlier 100,000 civilian deaths in Syria, similar to the avoidance of action in Africa, where more than a million have been killed.
  • There is a humanitarian “feeling” that the US should “do something,” but delaying consideration of any action violates the principle of war about surprise and proposing a very limited military action violates the principle of war about mass.
  • The vast preponderance of circumstances, history, sovereignty, and facts show that the United States must take no unilateral or even allied military actions. If the “feel good” pressures to act must be sated, political, economic, and social elements of national power should be brought to bear; military power is a last resort, not an easy, knee-jerk first resort.
  • This is clearly and simply a distraction from looming US domestic issues (e.g., budget, health care, debt, unemployment, elections), diverting the public from more relevant topics.

Colonel Roger Mickelson (US Army, Retired) is President of The Military Conflict Institute, an international group of experienced foreign affairs, national security strategy, diplomatic, and military experts who seek to foster public understanding of the nature of military conflict. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the institute.

Do You Remember This Gift From Russia

This video presentation is self-explanatory.  Have you ever read or heard of this monument?  It is a gift from The Russian artist, the Russian people and Russia’s then President (who was recently returned to office).  Click on the link below which should open to a You Tube video explaining the gift:

The Gift

Marita Noon: The “Yes, you can” vs “No, you can’t” energy plan Marita Noon

The “Yes, you can” vs “No, you can’t” energy plan 

Marita Noon

President Obama’s energy policies have kept investment and jobs out of America; Romney’s energy plan can bring money and jobs back. Analysts are picking apart Romney’s 21-page energy plan that was introduced in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Thursday. Is energy independence by 2020 possible, or is it, as the Financial Times posited, “an act of hubris?” More important than whether or not his energy play is realistic is the international implications of his “independence” assertion and how he plans to get there.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in Ashland today

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in Ashland today (Photo credit: tvnewsbadge)

As the news coverage reminds us, “Every US president since Richard Nixon has set an objective of reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil, and most of them have failed.”

President Obama’s approach has been to “end the age of oil.” To that end, he has poured billions of dollars into green energy projects–many of which were risky investments that have now failed or are headed for failure. His approach has done nothing to reduce our reliance on foreign oil–though we are importing less due to the bad economy and high prices, and the new oil boom presently centered on North Dakota. To companies looking to invest in any kind of extractive endeavor, his policies have screamed “You can’t!”

Romney’s plan is to open up US resources off the east coast and in Alaska; make it easier to obtain permits for oil and gas production, and other energy projects; transfer control of development from the federal government to state authorities; approve the Keystone XL pipeline; and ensure that environmental regulations do not prevent the use of coal. The Romney plan, shouts “You can!”

How will Romney’s plan invite global investment back to America, while Obama’s approach chased it away? The Gulf of Mexico saga offers a simple example.

Drilling rigs cost millions of dollars a day to operate. Following the Deepwater Horizon accident, the Obama administration put a moratorium on activity in the Gulf. Rigs sat idle; people were laid off; and companies lost billions. Ultimately, many of the rigs left our shores for countries that welcomed them–taking the potential jobs and revenues with them, and adding to the economic damage in the region.

Like the rig owners need to have their assets working, all companies need to have growth. If they cannot work in the US, they are virtually forced to do business in other countries. Those countries often have governments that do not respect the rule of law, making doing business there more risky than similar activities in the US. But, at least they can do business there. In America, they can’t. Additionally, the cheaper labor and lower taxes made the risk/reward ratio attractive.

However, recent history tells us that the reward may no longer be worth the risk.

Russia

A few days ago, ConocoPhilips announced that it is retreating from its position in Russia by disposing of its 30 percent stake in the NaryanMarNefteGaz joint venture to its partner Lukoil, the Russian oil group, and is now focusing mainly on developed countries and on North America in particular. Last month, a Russian decision against BP “demonstrates the perils faced by foreign investors in Russia.” The Financial Times reports: “the ruling has sent a chill through Moscow’s foreign investment community” and shows “the uncertainties faced by western companies that go into business with powerful local partners.”

Nigeria

Also last month, Shell shed its prolific onshore Nigerian oil assets for $850 million, less than the estimated $1 billion value. Shell is now refocusing its Nigerian efforts offshore, “where rigs are better insulated from oil theft, militancy, and the legal constraints of operating in an area that is vulnerable both environmentally and economically.” Shell’s appetite for Nigerian exploration has been waning for months. In February, Ian Craig, Shell’s director for sub-Saharan Africa, said: “The greatest challenge, however, is the massive organised oil theft business and the criminality and corruption which it fosters. This drives away talent … increases costs, reduces revenues both for investors and the government and results in major environmental impacts.”

Argentina

In April, the Argentinian government under, President Cristina Kirchner “nationalized” Spain’s flagship oil company, Repsol’s YPF unit and caused Repsol’s stock to plummet. The relationship between Repsol’s YPF and Kirchner’s corrupt government has been troubled for at least four years, and the fate is now in the hands of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in New York.

South Africa

In South Africa a different verse of the same song is playing out, as apartheid-era type violence plagues mining operations. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Investors already have been worried this year by a debate about nationalization of South African mines.” WSJ reports: “Mining accounts for about 9% of South Africa’s gross domestic product. But despite the country’s rich resources, South Africa has failed to ride the global commodity boom due to lack of investment in infrastructure.” Addressing the violence at a platinum mine, owned by London-based Lonmin (one of the world’s largest primary producers of platinum group metals), that claimed 44 lives, Mathews Phosa, the treasurer general of the ruling African National Congress, said: “The incident at Lonmin has had a very negative and a very devastating impact internationally. It has created a lot of uncertainties for investors. We need to assure investors that this will never happen again.”

These are just a few examples of the risks multi-national companies are taking–nationalization, theft, corruption–by doing business in countries with unstable governments. The increased risk results in lower rewards. Yes, the extractive industries do have to go where the resource is located, but all things being equal, they’d rather, as ConocoPhillips has acknowledged, do business with “developed countries”–if they can.

Romney’s energy plan is the equivalent of rolling out the red carpet and inviting the global investment community to America, where, despite Representative Maxine Waters’ suggestion, we do not “nationalize” private industry–and we do have the resource.

A soon-to-be-released report from Noble Royalties Inc. and Netherland, Sewell and Associates Inc., based entirely on data from US federal government sources, reviews the potential of oil and gas development on Federal Lands in Alaska, the lower 48 onshore, and the Gulf of Mexico and offers insight into how the Romney energy plans could totally change the dynamics of America’s economy.

The report states that leasing on federal lands is at a 30-year low–50 percent of what it was under the Clinton administration. The report points out that allowing drilling in Alaska, just enough to fill the pipeline back up to historic levels, would generate $318.1 billion in gross revenue–which would result in $39.3 billion in new royalty revenues to the federal government. Combining the Alaskan numbers with oil and gas extraction from the lower 48 onshore and the Gulf of Mexico, bringing leasing on federal lands back to historic levels would generate $785.4 billion in new revenue for the federal coffers. Note: this figure does not include potential development from the east and west coasts or leasing beyond historic levels. The report finds that new activity on Federal lands will create $5.02 trillion in taxable revenue and significantly increase jobs (think North Dakota with the lowest unemployment in the country).

Not only will increased development on federal lands create new wealth and new revenue streams, but not adding to the current low-level of leasing will cause a loss of $40 billion over the next five years, due to declining reserves in Alaska.

The numbers from this new report are conservative. Remember they are based on known historic results (91 percent of undiscovered resources on onshore federal lands are either inaccessible or restricted), and do not include potential development. Additionally, the report only addresses oil and gas development on federal lands. It doesn’t include development on private land–which will also create new revenue streams for the federal government, development on either coast, and it doesn’t address other resources, such as coal, uranium, copper, tungsten, or rare earth elements that are all in demand in a global market and are found in abundance in the US.

If a President Romney uses the benefit of the bully pulpit to tout the new access to American resources, even half as much as President Obama has done to push green energy, companies could come flocking back to do business under the stable, rule-of-law, American government. Good paying jobs would be created, local economies would be stimulated, and new wealth would be developed–all without a penny of government investment.

This, not “independence by 2020” is the true benefit of the Romney energy plan–though as the WSJ states, “the ‘independence’ trope polls well.” Instead of “You can’t!” the Romney energy plan says: “You can!” It opens up a third option to solve America’s economic stagnation. There are more options than just raising taxes or cutting spending, the Romney energy plan has the potential to bring investment back to the US and introduces “wealth creation” that is like finding a pot of gold buried in the American backyard.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy

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Big – Mouth Grape

by Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Some of you may remember that the folks who make Kool-Aid© had a flavor they named Big-Mouth Grape©. The foregoing recollection came to me as I read a story in the Washinton Post (click for story) regarding statements made by VPOTUS Biden during an interview.

It appears that Biden pulled out all stops when it came to denigrating all things Russian when he opened his big mouth. This certainly gained us no friends in Russia and it was disingenuous. Disingenuous, especially since POTUS recently traveled there and received less than presidential treatment while there. Perhaps this is POTUS’s method of getting his digs in after his less than stellar performance while he was in Russia. Say, a tit for tat … sort of. If the Russians didn’t trust us before, they sure don’t trust us now.

Whatever it may have been, I would feel much safer if VPOTUS tucked his ample tongue inside his cheeks and never again let it fall over his silly lips. Big-Mouth Grape© or Kool-Aid© either moniker will suffice for VPOTUS.

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