Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Iraq

OPEC Continues to Unravel

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 13, 2014:

With oil production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota now exceeding one million barrels a day and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin oil fields in Texas producing more than three million barrels per day, prices for crude are dropping worldwide and pushing gasoline prices down along with them.

Crude oil prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit a 52-week low of $83.59 a barrel last Friday, while Lundberg just reported average prices for gasoline across the country have dropped to $3.26 per gallon. As recently as May 2, gas in the United States cost $3.72 a gallon.

In response to these falling prices, Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in OPEC, earlier this summer

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Gas Prices Ease as U.S. Oil Production Soars

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 7, 2014: 

English: $4.06 Gas Prices, Lewiston, Maine, Cu...

Despite predictions to the contrary, the price of gas over the July 4 weekend dropped by two cents per gallon, confounding seers who were looking at gas approaching $4 a gallon. Those prognosticators were guilty of “straight-line thinking in a curvilinear world” — meaning that since gas this year was 20 cents a gallon more than a year ago, they believed it would continue to go up steadily for the foreseeable future.

With political disruptions in Iraq and Syria seriously reducing their contributions to the world’s oil supplies, one would think that prices would have to go straight up.

One would be wrong.

On July 4, Bank of America reported that U.S. production of crude oil (along with the liquids separated from natural gas) “surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels [per day] in the first quarter.” Francisco Blanch, BofA’s head of commodities research, told Bloomberg,

The U.S. increase in supply is a very meaningful chunk of oil. The shale boom is playing a key role in the U.S. recovery [from the Great Recession].

If the U.S. didn’t have this energy supply, prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable.

The nearly exponential growth in oil production, thanks to the free market’s invention and development of fracking technology, has put the United States firmly on the path of energy independence. As we become energy independent, disruptions in the supply chain from the Middle East will matter less and less.

Texas and North Dakota — which Professor Mark Perry calls “Saudi Texas” and “Saudi Dakota” respectively — are now producing almost half of all U.S. oil, and would rank as the fifth largest oil producing country as a separate nation. The growth in production is astonishing, according to Perry:

A decade ago the combined conventional crude oil production in the states of Texas and North Dakota … represented less than 21% of total U.S. crude oil output.

By 2008, the combined crude oil output in the two states … were producing one-third of all U.S. crude oil.

In eight out of the last nine months, their combined share exceeded 47% of all U.S. oil.

Perry predicts that it will exceed 50 percent sometime before the end of the year. And that prediction could come back to embarrass him, if the International Energy Agency (IEA) is correct. The IEA is estimating that total U.S. crude oil production (currently at 8.4 million bpd) will continue to soar, exceeding 13 million barrels per day in less than five years. That 50-percent increase in oil production would mean that the United States could be producing nearly 80 percent of its domestic needs for energy, closing in on energy independence.

In the very short run, gas prices will remain higher than they should be, thanks to the disruptions of supply in the Middle East, but with the continuing success of fracking making shale oil deposits now available with current technology, prices may reasonably be expected to decline further over time. Blanch admitted as much to Bloomberg:

The shale production story [in the United States] is bigger than Iraqi production, but it hasn’t made the impact on prices you would expect.

Typically such a large energy [production] growth should bring prices lower but in fact we’re not seeing that because the whole geopolitical situation outside the U.S. is dreadful.

Those involved in capitalizing on the fracking revolution, however, are taking a much longer view. The annual investment in oil and gas development and production hit a record $200 billion this year, one-fifth “of the country’s total private fixed-structure spending for the first time,” said Blanch.

The explosion in the oil patch is doing much to offset the otherwise nearly stagnant economy. In the last 10 years, direct jobs in the patch have almost doubled, while “indirect” jobs that support the industry have almost tripled in that same time period. As Professor Perry noted: “No other sector … has added as many jobs for American workers or made as much of an overall economic contribution to the US economy as the oil and gas sector.”

Citizens often don’t know how well they have it here. At present the average cost of gasoline is $3.69 a gallon for regular. In Norway it’s an astounding $9.79 a gallon, while in Germany it’s $8.50, and in England a gallon of petrol is $8.25.

The only thing that will keep the price of gas from continuing its two-year decline is government, either through restrictions on energy development or through increased taxation. At present about $2.37 of that $3.69 represents the cost of crude oil. Refining costs are about $.45 a gallon, while distribution, marketing costs, and profits (estimated to be between eight and 15 cents per gallon) cost another $.33 a gallon. Taxes (federal and state) take up the balance: $.42 a gallon. Federal excise taxes are $.184 cents a gallon, while state taxes average about $.24 cents a gallon. If gas continues to drop in response to the natural laws of supply and demand (greater supply means greater demand thanks to the lower price), the temptation to raise state and federal excise taxes will become overwhelming.

In Germany, for instance, half the cost of a gallon of gas is due to taxes. In Great Britain the tax take on a gallon of gas is more than 60 percent. In Sweden it’s even higher.

At present, however, the laws of supply and demand are providing an enormous advantage to American drivers compared to their counterparts abroad. And they continue to confound the experts predicting ever higher prices at the pump as well.

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at badelmann@thenewamerican.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Supreme Court Refuses to hear case on Reporter’s Privilege

 

Cover of "State of War: The Secret Histor...

By refusing to hear an appeal from New York Times’ investigative journalist James Risen last week [not to be confused with Fox analyst James Rosen] that his sources for a controversial chapter in his book State of War are protected under the First Amendment and reporters’ “privilege”, the Supreme Court has de facto endorsed its controversial decision from 1972. In that decision, the Court determined that the First Amendment does not give reporters like Risen any reportorial “privilege” in protecting their confidential sources.

If the government moves ahead with its subpoena of Risen to testify or be held in contempt in its case against former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, Risen said he would go to jail rather than reveal his sources.

In a strange comment following the Court’s decision not to hear Risen’s appeal, Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the department bringing the suit against Sterling, said:

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The Rise of “Saudi America”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 6th, 2013:

 

Back in early February Citigroup apologized for missing the huge explosion of oil and natural gas occurring in Texas, North Dakota, and elsewhere. Its report, entitled “Energy 2020: Independence Day” began:

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“Saudi Texas” is changing the world’s economic and political landscape

The virtual explosion in Texas’ production of natural gas and oil, thanks to fracking, caught even Citigroup off-guard. In February it apologized for so widely missing the mark in its report the previous year entitled “Energy 2020: Independence Day”:

Momentum toward North American energy independence accelerated last year [2012] well beyond the wildest dreams of any analyst and

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More Good News: The Failing Syrian Strategy is Weakening the Imperial Presidency

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 9th, 2013:

A remarkable change is taking place, and most “conservative” pundits are failing to see it. As Obama stumbles determinedly forward in promoting his Syrian strategy while his supporters bail out along the way, few are seeing any benefits.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough admitted, after some tough grilling, that

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Spending on Surveillance by US Spy Agencies is Vastly Larger than Previously Thought

Thanks to the efforts of whistleblower Edward Snowden and the reluctant cooperation of the Washington Post, American citizens are now able to see just what their half-trillion dollars have bought them over the last ten years:

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Whistleblower Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 years

Reactions to the sentence handed down on Wednesday by Military Judge Denise Lind were immediate: “We’ll keep fighting for you, Bradley! You’re our hero!” exclaimed many in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.

Others were less vocal, expressing disappointment that Manning was

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Michael Hastings, author of The Runaway General that ended McChrystal’s career, dead at 33

Most obituaries about Hasting’s untimely death in a high-speed fiery single-car crash at 4:30AM on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles dwelled on his primary and most visible contribution to investigative journalism, his authorship of The Runaway General in Rolling Stone magazine which led almost immediately to the

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The Boston Bombers have a very nasty background

I’ve seen precious little about this in the MSM and no wonder. These boys come from Chechnya which has a history of unspeakable violence for years. If I can find out about this, why can’t they?

Last Friday David French exposed the connection and I tracked down his sources just to confirm. Wrote French:

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Inspector General says Much of Taxpayers’ Money for Iraq Reconstruction was Wasted

In his final report on how $63 billion of American taxpayers’ money was spent in reconstructing Iraq after the end of the Iraq war, Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen asked two questions: “What happened to the money?” and “What effect did it have?” The next 185 pages of his report reviews

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The 10th Anniversary of the Whistleblower Who Almost Stopped the Iraq War

It was just 10 years ago that a shy, introverted British translator with skills in Mandarin received an email at her desk at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHC) in Cheltenham, England, which nearly changed the course of history and came close to ending the Iraq War before it started. The memo, sent from Frank Koza, chief of staff at the US National Security Agency (NSA), was essentially

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Book Review: “The Citizen’s Last Stand: Are YOU Ready?”

Everything author Jeff Wright does is deliberate, including the title of his latest book. It is singular, not plural. It is pointed, not generalized. And it asks the reader if he is ready, or not.

Ever since leaving the Navy as a cryptologist and his position as managing general partner for an information technology consulting company, Wright has been a political activist. In 1992 he

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Navy Seal Sniper Shot by PTSD Ex-Marine He Was Trying to Help

Chris Kyle, a highly-decorated Navy veteran and a friend, Chad Littlefield, were shot and killed by an ex-Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome at a shooting range south of Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday.

Kyle was a Navy Seal who was considered the most lethal

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America Headed for Energy Independence! Unless…

English: Oil Rig, Cromarty, Scotland

Oil Rig (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just six years ago the US imported 60% of its oil. Today it’s down to 40%, and continuing to decline, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s really quite amazing what incentive, technology and freedom are able to accomplish.

U.S. crude imports fell 9.2% in October from a year earlier to 8.091 million barrels a day, the lowest amount of imported crude since January 2000, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released today .The data are the latest illustration of how the drilling boom in North Dakota and other states is remaking the U.S. energy picture.

Remaking, indeed. It’s a total restructuring of the world’s economy. In the past the US has been increasingly dependent upon the Middle East and other producers to keep the lights on. And this has had enormous

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Already Made Up Your Mind About Paul Ryan? Read This!

Chuck Baldwin: Paul Ryan is More of the Same

It has happened again. We go through this every four years, and every four years the vast majority of “conservatives” fall for it. This is such a broken record. What did Forrest Gump say: “Stupid is as stupid does”? And wasn’t it P.T. Barnum who said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”? Well, here we go again.

English: This is a photo of Dr. Charles "...

This is a photo of Dr. Charles “Chuck” Baldwin, the 2008 Constitution PartyPresidential candidate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re still with me, then you’re still open to talk about Ryan. Before we do, however, I need to tell you a little more about Chuck Baldwin. Once you know his background then you’ll understand why he is credible and why what he says is important.

I’m going to take a couple of quotes from Wikipedia’s entry about Baldwin which I think fairly presents the man. First, from Wiki’s general introduction:

Charles Obadiah “Chuck” Baldwin (born May 3, 1952) is an American politician and founder-pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004. He hosts a daily one-hour radio program, Chuck Baldwin Live, and writes a daily editorial column carried on its website, on News with Views, and on VDare.

As a Republican Party member, Baldwin was state chairman of the Florida Moral Majority in the 1980s. However, during the 2000 campaign of Republican George W. Bush for U.S. President, Baldwin left the party and began a long period of criticism of Bush. Baldwin endorsed U.S. Representative Ron Paul for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, and Paul in turn endorsed Baldwin for the presidency in the 2008 general election.

Baldwin supports ending U.S. involvement in the United Nations, reducing U.S. income taxes, and repeal of the Patriot Act. He would withdraw troops from Iraq and seek to end illegal immigration by enforcing immigration laws. He supports the gold standard, the right to keep and bear arms, homeschooling, and the proposed Sanctity of Life Act, which would define “human life” and legal personhood as beginning at conception, and prevent federal courts from hearing cases on abortion-related legislation.

This entry from Wiki illustrates his character. He quit his church in Florida and moved to Montana. He thinks he will be more effective in the freedom fight there.

Think about this: here is a successful pastor, highly regarded by his flock, who gives it up to get more involved in the fight to preserve our freedoms. Name another pastor like that. I can’t think of one. My own pastor never said one word about the freedom fight from the pulpit during his seven years of preaching. Talk about a disconnect from reality! I love the man and his message. And I miss him (he just left our church to teach young pastors how to preach). But he never said one word, ever, about the approaching totalitarian storm that is gathering about us. And neither will his students.

Here’s the Wiki entry about his move to Montana:

In 2010, Baldwin retired from his position as pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church and announced his intention to move to Montana, because he believed God had told him that the Mountain states were the “tip of the spear in the freedom fight…”

In a June 9, 2011 article, Baldwin outlined his reasons for choosing the Flathead Valley of Western Montana for his family’s home. He cited Montana’s freedom-loving people, its recognition of the right to keep and bear arms, and a feeling of strong conviction, following prayer.

That’s why, when he has something to say, I usually listen closely. Here’s what he has to say about Paul Ryan:

Let’s just get this on the record: since 1960, there have only been two Presidential nominees (from the two major parties) who were not controlled by the globalist elitists. One was a Democrat, John F. Kennedy; the other was a Republican, Ronald Reagan. Kennedy was shot and killed; Reagan was shot.

Every other President, Democrat or Republican, has been totally controlled, which is why none of them have done diddly-squat to make a difference in the direction of the country. On the issues that really matter, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are just more of the same!

Here’s what you don’t want to know if you still think Ryan is a true conservative:

Jane Aitken wrote an excellent synopsis of Paul Ryan’s voting record that appeared on LewRockwell.com. She noted that Ryan voted for federalizing rules for driver licenses; voted to make the Patriot Act permanent; voted to allow electronic surveillance without a warrant; voted to authorize military force in Iraq; voted to spend an “emergency” $78 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; voted to declare Iraq part of the “War on Terror” with no exit date; and voted against redeploying US troops out of Iraq.

Aitken also wrote, “Congressman Ryan supports the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, federal bailouts, increased federal involvement in education, unconstitutional and undeclared wars, Medicare Part D (a multi-trillion dollar unfunded liability), stimulus spending, and foreign aid.”

There it is. Ryan is just one more kept politician working to fool conservatives into thinking he’s one of them. He’s not.

Drones: Newest Tool of the Surveillance State

English: Air Force officials are seeking volun...

Evidence that New York City is considering using drones to keep an eye on its citizens is growing, according to Don Dahler of New York’s CBS Channel 2. Dahler quoted an email it obtained indicating that a detective in the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism division asked the Federal Aviation Administration “about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] as a law enforcement tool.”

Dahler noted that NYPD commissioner Joe Kelly suggested that drones would be useful: “In an extreme situation, you would [then] have some means to take down a plane.” A spokesman for the NYPD admitted that “We’re always looking at technology. Drones aren’t that exotic anymore. Brookstone sells them. We’ve looked at them but haven’t tested or deployed any [yet].”

A retired officer from the department said that the use of drones would help protect the police from physical danger: “Not only would it be a form of surveillance gathering to protect the public, it also in many respects removes the officers…from harm’s way.”

UAVs, or drones, have benefitted enormously from advances in technology. Increasingly used in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to target terrorists, drones can take photographs of license plates and citizens’ faces from elevations of 10,000 feet. They are essentially silent and can be maneuvered by the operator located miles away in a small government cubicle. They can fly at night and take pictures using infrared and ultra-violet technology. They can stay in the air up to 20 hours at a stretch, with improvements using solar panels likely to extend such operations around the clock. The drones’ technology can see through dust storms and roofs and walls of buildings, and even below the earth’s surface. In other words, drones’ capabilities mean there is no place to hide.

This capability extends the reach of the surveillance state even beyond the

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Ron Paul Primary Results: the Rest of the Story

English: Texas Congressman at CPAC in .

The exit polls following the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary showed something remarkable that somehow missed the evening news: Paul consistently won the votes of the young, the disaffected, the independent, as well as discouraged Democrats. CNN’s exit polls in New Hampshire showed Paul winning almost half the voters aged 18-29 (compared to Romney’s 26 percent), and splitting the vote with Romney in the 30-to-39 age bracket. Paul also won 35 percent of unmarried voters, 40 percent of those who had never voted in a primary before, one-third of the independent vote, and nearly half of those with no religious affiliation. He also took a third of those who characterized themselves as “somewhat liberal” in their outlook.

These results were startlingly similar to the results of exit polls taken following the Iowa caucuses: Paul won the majority of voters under age 40. By age bracket, Paul won 50 percent of caucus-goers aged 17-24, 45 percent of those between age 25 and 29, and a third of those in the 30-to-39 age bracket.

Paul’s press secretary, Gary Howard, tried to explain this phenomenon: “Congressman Paul has a strong and consistent message that resonates with a wide range of people, but young people in particular appreciate his honesty and his character. They realize the mess that the establishment status quo politicians have put us in, and recognize that

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Trump Claims He was Blackmailed by Republicans

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s announcement on YouTube on Tuesday night that he was cancelling the Republican presidential candidate debate scheduled for December 27 tried to pin the blame on the Republican Party. A lot of the candidates aren’t coming to his debate “because they think I’m going to run for political office, something I can’t do now…. But around the middle of May I’ll be able to do whatever I want and I could run as an Independent. The Republican Party doesn’t want me running as an Independent. So they’ve made this debate pretty impossible…”

Trump claims he wants to keep his options open just in case the Republicans pick the wrong person to run against President Obama: 

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Romney’s Advisors Are Leftist Elites

Mitt Romney

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Late last week GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney released the names of his foreign policy and national security advisors just in time for his Friday address on America’s foreign policy. He effused over his selection:

I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st Century is another American Century.

His campaign continues to be plagued with an increasing chorus of doubters about his conservative posture. His claim to have balanced the budget of Massachusetts without raising taxes was

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.