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: Libya

Questions for President Trump on Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 14, 2017:

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro

Inquiring minds are asking: what on earth is the US doing meddling in the affairs of Venezuela? The media has broadcast the rolling and accelerating disaster taking place there, with some even properly blaming it on socialist practices unleased by Marxist Hugo Chavez (they are called “Chavism” and its supporters are called “Chavists”) and his protégé, Nicolas Maduro.

Those policies, enforced with increasing vengeance upon a powerless citizenry, have all but destroyed a country that once was one of the most prosperous in South America.

Grant the point. But does this justify in any way U.S. interference? Does it justify sanctions, freezing of assets of Maduro and his henchmen, and removing the freedom of Americans to do business with him, or them? Notice please that the sanctions only apply to about 30 of Maduro’s people and not to any of the 20 or so American oil refineries currently supporting Maduro’s Marxist regime to the tune of a billion dollars a month.

Here are some other questions:

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OPEC Members Continue Non-compliance

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 11, 2017:

English: Flag of the Organization of Petroleum...

The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) noted in its latest report released on Friday that non-compliance among OPEC’s members, and those non-members who also agreed to cut oil production, increased again in July. Non-compliance is the death knell for any cartel, and OPEC is no exception.

Specifically, non-compliance among the cartel’s members rose to 25 percent in July, the highest since the agreement was inked in January. Among non-OPEC members who signed on to that agreement, non-compliance was at 33 percent in July.

Put another way,

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Supreme Court Grants Trump Partial Victory in Ongoing Travel ban Controversy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 20, 2017:  

U.S. Supreme Court building.

The terse two-paragraph Supreme Court order issued Wednesday was self-explanatory: President Donald Trump’s effort to ban immigrants from six countries was upheld, with modifications. As the first paragraph stated:

The Government’s motion seeking clarification of our order of June 26, 2017, is denied. The District Court order modifying the preliminary injunction with respect to refugees covered by a formal assurance is stayed pending resolution of the Government’s appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

President Trump’s first ban, issued in January, resulted in chaos at the nation’s airports until it was blocked by the courts. The administration reissued the ban in March but that one was also blocked by the courts. In June the Supreme Court overruled lower courts’ decisions and allowed Trump’s ban to proceed, adding the proviso that his ban wouldn’t apply to people who have “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

An Obama-appointed judge in Hawaii thought that the administration’s reading that that “bona fide relationship” only included spouses, children, parents, fiancés and fiancées was far too restrictive:

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Crude Oil to Climb to $60 a Barrel, Claim Aramco’s CEO, Citi, and Goldman

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 10, 2017:  

English: Flag of the Organization of Petroleum...

Claiming that the worldwide demand for crude oil will jump by 20 million barrels of oil per day over the next five years, Amin Nasser, the CEO of Saudi Aramco, said, “Investments in smaller increments such as [U.S.] shale oil will just not cut it.” Speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul last week, Nasser said:

If we look at the long-term situation of oil supplies, for example, the picture is becoming increasingly worrying.

 

Financial investors are shying away from making much-needed large investments in oil exploration, long-term development and the related infrastructure….

 

New discoveries are also on a downtrend. The volume of conventional [non-shale] oil discovered around the world over the past four years has more than halved compared with the previous four.

Speaking to his own interest, Nasser is trying to talk up the value of his company, which remains on schedule to sell five percent of itself in what some are calling “the world’s largest IPO [initial public offering].” To stress the point, Nasser said

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Crude Oil’s Bear Market Is Crushing OPEC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 3, 2017: 

Map of the territory and area covered by prese...

Map of the territory and area covered by present-day Saudi Arabia.

The world’s price of crude oil fell farther in the first six months of 2017 than in any six-month period in the last 19 years. From its peak in January it dropped by more than 21 percent by the middle of June, qualifying it in Wall Street jargon as a “bear market.”

This isn’t part of OPEC’s plan. The once-influential cartel was sure that by taking 1.8 million barrels a day of crude oil production off the world markets, the world price of oil would shortly hit its target of $60. And it almost made it, rising to $57 a barrel before beginning its long and crushing decline.

OPEC was sabotaged not only by noncompliance among its members and production from those to which it gave a pass (Libya and Nigeria), who produced more than was expected, but also by

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OPEC Continues its Descent into History as an Unlamented Footnote

Embed from Getty Images

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 3, 2017: 

Two weeks ago, the world price of crude oil officially entered a bear market, down more than 21 percent from its high early in the year. OPEC’s plan appeared to be on track, taking enough production off the market to drive the price to $60 a barrel. That decline has enormous implications for the cartel’s members, as nearly all of them need the revenues to keep their welfare and warfare states fully funded. The decline must be especially painful for Saudi Arabia, the leader of the pack, which announced plans last year to sell part (estimated to be between five and ten percent) of its precious Saudi Aramco oil company. The company, thanks to deliberately opaque disclosures, was estimated to be worth, depending on the price of oil, between $2 trillion and $10 trillion.

That’s the operative word: “depending.” OPEC had big plans for the funds it hoped to raise, encapsulated as its “Vision 2030.” As Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the nation’s Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, wrote:

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OPEC Increasingly Irrelevant as Cartel Seeks to Extend Output-cut Deal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 3, 2017: 

English: Flag of the Organization of Petroleum...

Gregory Brew’s statement from Oilprice.com on Tuesday was spot on: “OPEC Begins to Unravel.” Except that the unraveling began years ago as entrepreneurs in the United States found a way to tap underground shale profitably.

OPEC faces an essentially insurmountable task. On May 25, oil ministers from all 13 of the cartel’s members will meet in Vienna to decide whether or not its present oil output cut agreement should be extended. Either way, OPEC’s doom as the prime determiner of world crude oil prices is likely sealed.

If they decide not to extend the output cut, the world will know that OPEC is finished. The ministers will depart Vienna and tell their governments that

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OPEC’s Influence Wanes as Members Cheat on Production Cuts

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 13, 2017:

OPEC’s report on how its members are complying with the production-cut agreement hammered out last fall came out on Monday. As expected, it reported cheating among its members.

Per the November 30 agreement, members allegedly agreed to cut production to 32.5 million bpd (barrels per day) of crude. Iraq, Venezuela, Angola, and Algeria cut their production modestly but less than they agreed, while Nigeria, Libya, and Iran produced more. Because Nigeria and Libya are exempt from the production cuts, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE (United Arab Emirates) were forced to over-comply. The total produced by the cartel in January came in just below the target of 32.5 million bpd at 32.1 bpd.

Accompanying the report was a statement that crude oil price “gains were capped by increased drilling activity in the US.”

Those crude oil prices are likely to continue to drop despite OPEC’s best efforts to force them higher. The headwinds the cartel faces are monumental:

First, U.S. rig counts jumped to 591 last week, the highest since October 23, 2015 and an increase of 114 since the OPEC agreement.

 

Second, the Department of Energy announced it will be reducing the U.S. strategic oil reserve later this month through the sale of 10 million barrels.

 

Third, crude oil inventories jumped by nearly 14 million barrels last week, bringing the stockpile of private oil inventories close to an 80-year record level at 508 million barrels.

 

In addition, U.S. oil and gas companies are raising new money through Wall Street equity offerings at rates not seen since at least the year 2000. In January alone, 13 different offerings raised $6.64 billion. And they are using that new money not only to develop existing oil fields, but to acquire additional reserves through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Last year, M&A activity totaled $24 billion. For 2017, oil and gas companies have already invested half that much and it’s only February.

All of this illustrates the decreasing influence of OPEC in directing the price of crude oil on the world market. Aside from the cheaters, OPEC is also faced with other forces over which it has no control, mostly in the oil industry of the United States.

Crude Drops 10 Percent; Price Decline Just Beginning

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 2, 2016:

Midday last Thursday, the price of crude oil for delivery in December touched $50, and it’s been all downhill since then. At noon on Wednesday crude oil futures touched $45 a barrel on news that inventories soared last week by the most in 34 years.

The market wasn’t expecting that. It was bad enough that the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a supply increase nine times greater than analysts and observers were expecting last week. Those market seers were betting on an increase of a million barrels. Instead the API reported the increase was 9.3 million — a miss of gigantic proportions.

On Wednesday, however, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the API’s estimate was far too low:

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Reality Sets In: OPEC Ready to Cut Production to Raise Oil Prices

This article appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 30, 2016:  

Wednesday’s announcement from OPEC about an agreement to cut production to shore up crude oil prices was met with both delight and scorn by observers. Exuded Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at Price Futures Group:

This is the first OPEC deal in eight years! The cartel proved that it still matters even in the age of shale. This is the end of the “production war” and OPEC claims victory.

Bunk, said David Petraeus, the former CIA director who was forced to resign under a cloud in November 2012 and who subsequently was hired by Wall Street firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to chair the firm’s newly created KKR Global Institute:

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George Mitchell: the one man most Likely Missing from Thanksgiving Day lists

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 28, 2014:

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

English: “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a safe bet that Americans, in compiling their list of blessings for which they were most thankful on Thanksgiving Day, didn’t put George Mitchell at the top. It’s even safer to bet that most Americans don’t even know who he was, or how his life has made life better for nearly every American today.

The Economist had it right: “Few businesspeople have done as much to change the world as George Mitchell.” The founder of Mitchell Energy & Development Company located in Galveston, Texas, Mitchell was responsible for drilling more than 10,000 natural gas wells and, in the process, resetting the world’s energy equation.

Although he passed away over a year ago at the age of 94, Mitchell’s advances in fracking technology are continuing to delight American drivers with

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Oil Market: Lower Gas Prices not the Only Reason to be Thankful

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014:

When news from Vienna arrived on Wall Street early Thanksgiving morning that OPEC wasn’t going to cut its production quotas to stabilize crude oil prices, those prices immediately fell even further, touching lows not seen in four years. West Texas Intermediate briefly touched $70 a barrel while Brent crude was close behind, at $73.

Oil hit a high of $147 a barrel in July 2008, so Thursday’s drop represents an astonishing 52-percent decline in just over six years. This coincides with an 80-percent increase in crude oil production by the United States over that same period. As economies around the world struggle to regain their footing, thanks to failing Keynesian policies, the demand for crude remains about where it was 10 years ago. With flat demand and increasing supply, it was only a matter of time before prices started to fall.

American consumers are benefitting enormously,

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Another bad day for Haliburton

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 26th, 2013:

In its announcement that Haliburton, the huge international oilfield services company, was found guilty of destroying evidence and is being fined $200,000, the New York Times mentioned in passing that,

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Jesse Jackson Provides One More Reason to Get Us out of the UN

On Wednesday, following the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin murder trial, liberal black political activist Jesse Jackson expressed his opinion that, despite protestations from both the prosecution and the defense to the contrary, the trial was all about race:

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Who is Grover Norquist, Really?

English: at CPAC in .

English: at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was brought to my attention yesterday that I’ve been perhaps too generous in my praise of Grover Norquist. the founder of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the man responsible for getting huge numbers of Representatives and Senators to sign his Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Indeed I, like many others, have enjoying quoting his most favorite saying: “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

I also like what ATR stands for: it “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” So if so many credible people over such a long period of time think Norquist is OK, then who am I to argue?

Except that I’ve discovered there’s more to the man than just what is published at Wikipedia, although that’s a good place to start. Wiki states that he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) about which I know more than the average bear, having read several exposes of it and have watched its influence expand over the past 40 years. I agree with those who consider the CFR the center of the Anglo-American establishment that Carroll Quigley has written about, as well as James Perloff.

Wiki also notes that Norquist founded something called the Islamic Free Market Institute where Wiki provides us with this chilling bit of information: 

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Libya Coverup Pours Gasoline on Obama’s Funeral Pyre

President Barack Obama and Vice President Jose...

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Judge Andrew Napolitano has, bless his soul, added to our understanding of what happened in Libya on September 11th. And it adds considerably to the evidence that Obama is corrupt, and that he has surrounded himself with similar types.

Initially Obama (his state department, intelligence network, etc.) blamed the attack on our ambassador and the other three staffers who were murdered on a group of unruly, undisciplined thugs who were upset over the showing of a YouTube video about their prophet Mohammed.

This was a deliberate coverup, says Napolitano:

The clip shows actors in dubbed voices portraying the prophet Mohammed and  others in an unflattering light. The Obama  administration seized upon the temporary prevalence of this clip to explain the assault on the consulate. Indeed, the administration sent U.N.  Ambassador Susan Rice to represent it on five  Sunday morning TV talk shows on September 16th, to make the claim that the  attack on the consulate was a spontaneous  reaction to the YouTube clip, that it could not  have been anticipated, and that the perpetrators were ordinary Libyans angry at  the freedom moviemakers in America enjoy.

Soon, U.S. intelligence reports were  leaked that revealed that the intelligence community knew the attack was not as  described by Ms. Rice…

The Obama administration has publicly  rejected the intelligence leaks and insisted as recently as last week during the  vice presidential debate that “we” did not know the assault was an act of  terrorism against American personnel and property.

The “we” was uttered by the imbecile Biden, and rejected by

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I’m Not Voting for Obama, Either

Conor Friedersdorf – Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama

I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I’d have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers.

Nope.

Señalización de lugar de votación en Californi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Conor Friedersdorf is an odd duck. He has written for the certifiably liberal Atlantic magazine since 2009, and yet, according to Wikipedia,

In an interview with journalist Matt Lewis, Friedersdorf stated that he has right-leaning views but that he does not consider himself to be a doctrinal conservative or a member of the conservative movement.

Which must drive his readers crazy. He doesn’t fit into the liberal box. But his refusal to go along with his liberal readers and vote blindly for Obama is worth exploring a little bit. He doesn’t like Obama for many of the same reasons that I don’t:

Some actions are so ruinous to human rights, so destructive of the Constitution, and so contrary to basic morals that they are disqualifying…

What I am saying is that Obama has done things that…go far beyond my moral comfort zone. Everyone must define their own deal-breakers. Doing so is no easy task in this broken world. But this year isn’t a close call for me…

And then Friedersdorf does the unthinkable: he lists the reasons why:

  1. Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis…America is ruining the lives of thousands of innocent people and killing hundreds of innocents for a small increase in safety from terrorists. It is a cowardly, immoral, and illegal policy, deliberately cloaked in opportunistic secrecy. And Democrats who believe that it is the most moral of all responsible policy alternatives are as misinformed and blinded by partisanship as any conservative ideologue.
  2. Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama’s kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did. It is as radical an invocation of executive power as anything Dick Cheney championed.
  3. Contrary to his own previously stated understanding of what the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution demand, President Obama committed U.S. forces to war in Libya without Congressional approval, despite the lack of anything like an imminent threat to national security.

Those are three pretty good reasons. I could come up with several more, but these three are a good start.

Friedersdorf is planning on voting for Gary Johnson.

The Oil Bubble is Good for U.S. Manufacturing

A bubble.

The rising oil production from North Dakota’s Bakken Formation now equals that of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay for the first time, according to the Wall Street Journal, due to technological breakthroughs such as fracking.

The recent surge in oil prices from under $80 a barrel last summer to over $110 per barrel in February has prompted a flurry of activity by oil producers to get in on the action. The price of leasing properties thought to hold millions of barrels of reserves has exploded, in some cases tenfold, in Pennyslvania, Texas and elsewhere. These are prices not seen since before the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, with Chinese, French and Japanese explorers committing $8 billion just in the last two weeks to secure oil leases.

Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese commodity trader, agreed to pay $25,000 an acre for a piece of Hunt Oil Company’s Eagle Ford shale property in Texas, while Marathon Oil closed on a lease nearby at $21,000 an acre. Leases in Utica shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania jumped ten-fold in just five weeks to $15,000 an acre.

Others, such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are reconsidering deep-water discoveries in West Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico now that

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Increasing Gas Prices: What’s Seen and Not Seen

Pumping Fuel

Image by Dottie Mae via Flickr

With the national average price of gasoline hitting the highest level in history for this time of the year, the impact of that increase reaches far beyond the pocketbook of the average worker driving off to work in the morning. For every 25-cent increase in the price of gas (which has increased almost 70 cents per gallon in the last year, and by nearly 30 cents in just the last month), consumers are forced to spend an extra $3 billion that

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Egypt: Did Anything Important Happen?

President George W. Bush and Egyptian Presiden...

Image via Wikipedia

When the Los Angeles Times confirmed that protests that started in January in Tunisia and then moved to Egypt were spreading to Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, Morocco, Cameroon, and Kuwait, many concluded that they were being driven by unhappy citizens connected via the internet. On Twitter, for example, protests set for Monday, February 14th, in Bahrain, can be found at #feb14, and #bahman for Libya. Algerian protest details can be found on #feb19, protests in Morocco at #feb20, Cameroon at #feb23, and Kuwait at #mar8.

Some commentators have concluded that there was no one single cause of the Egyptian protests, suggesting that modest exposures of indiscretion by various leaders through Wikileaks had driven disgust into outrage. Some respected writers offered proof that

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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.