الاثنين، ديسمبر 31، 2012

Iraqi Deputy PM almost lynched

Iraqi Deputy PM Salih al-Mutlag gets chased away by angry protesters with stones and shoes at an anti-government demonstration in Ramadi this morning. The video is crazy. It clearly shows the crowd getting riled up with some people shouting, "Kick out the traitor," "Slaughter the bastard," "Kill him," and the obligatory "Allahu Akbar" and then shots are heard, probably from Mutlag's bodyguard. At this point, Mutlag and his entourage quickly withdrew from the protest site with the crowd in hot pursuit. They ran and dragged themselves for a good distance with bodyguards shooting in the air until they got to their vehicles. The cameraman runs beside them the whole time. What's funny is that these people are supposed to be Mutlag's constituents. More here.

Another video showing the moment Mutlag was chased away from the protest.

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Freddie Starr يقول...

Justin Bieber Forgiven For Giving Hamster To Screaming Fan

Hamster activists acknowledge the fan's excellent care for the pet

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Hmmm...there are some US politicians who really could use a few shoes thrown at them too.

Marcus يقول...

Looks like Anbar is approaching the boiling point again. I've read that a lot of former AQI fighers are currently in Syria. It occurrs to me they could swing back into Iraq from an even stronger base across the Syrian border some day. There may be violence and instablity for years to come. :(

Marcus يقول...

On a more positive note:

Happy new year, everyone!

or:

hny evr1!, as the kids today would say.

Marcus يقول...

Here's an interesting story from Syria:

http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/happened-syrian-town-aqrab/3426

I don't doubt the regime there is reluctant to send militia to terrorise civilians, but more and more stories are leaking out where the "rebels" are actually the perpetrators, yet claim the regime did the deeds.

Marcus يقول...

"don't doubt the regime there is reluctant"

That came out all wrong. I don't doubt they would be ready to send in militia is what I meant.

Petes يقول...

Marcus, I saw the original broadcast of that on Channel 4. It's the latest of many incidents where Syrian rebels appear to be the bad guys. There is no doubt the Syrian uprising has got a distressingly sectarian aspect ("Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin" was a chant among the opposition, early on). I have a bad feeling about the aftermath.

Speaking of aftermaths, it looks like a bad time to be even a Sunni politician in Ramadi according to Zeyad's video.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      يقول...

 
      "…but more and more stories are leaking out where
      the ‘rebels’ are actually the perpetrators…
"

But, which ‘rebels’?  There are several players in the game, and the official program seems to contain significant errors and omissions.

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "But, which ‘rebels’? There are several players in the game"

True. But according to some sources it seems the Al-Nusrah Front is gaining both influence and strength, and that's an Al-Qaida like outfit of hardcore salafists, or so I hear. Like Pete I have a bad feeling about any aftermath in Syria.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "…it seems the Al-Nusrah Front is gaining both
      influence and strength, and that's an Al-Qaida like
      outfit of hardcore salafists…
"

They're showing up with trained, hardened fighters, and bringing their own weapons when they come.  The locals take notice.  Our State Department has been trying, without notabe success, to get the Free Syrian Army to shun them; the rebels want the help.
We have an unreconstructed neo-con element that's nevertheless trying hard to get us more intimately involved with the on-the-ground Syrian rebellion.   The front men are the traditional three musketeers; John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman (with freshman Senator Kelly Ayotte auditioning as replacement musketeer for the soon-to-be-retiring Lieberman).
So far nobody's taking them too seriously, and the right-winger talk media can't get far enough away from the fight over the economy to give the three musketeers the megaphone they need.  But they're still tilting at it.

It's giving the fundies another leg into the area though, and is likely helping fuel Sunni unrest in the next-door Anbar province of Iraq.  (No sooner do the locals get Al-Qaeda gone then they're back again.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Re:  American politics

Initial rumors are that the House Republicans are gonna tank the agreement reached last night (actually early this morning, 2:00 am, Washington time) in the U.S. Senate.  Speaker of the House, Boehner's first deputy, Erik Cantor (who'd like to have Boehner's job and everybody knows it), is leading the rebellion

Petes يقول...

Any fiscal cliff agreement had a day's grace with most stock markets closed today. I wonder how the markets will react tomorrow if there's no deal. It could be carnage, although second-guessing the markets these days is a fraught endeavour.

Petes يقول...

Violence and protests continue across Iraq

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Re:  American politics

The temporary (emphasize temporary) ‘fiscal cliff’ deal passed in the House of Representatives by a substantial margin; 257-167.  Republicans voted against the bill by a spread of 151-85.  Democrats voted in favor by a spread of 172-16.
I don't mean to play cassandra, but I'm not encouraged by the shenanigans in the House surrounding passage.  I believe the Republicans are gonna be looking to pay Obama back for having ‘won’ this round, and I'm thinking they're gonna double down when it comes to the debt-ceiling legislation here in a couple months.
The United States is apparently unique among civilized nations in that it provides the legislature with an invitation to intentionally default on the government's debts after the expenditures have been approved by the legislature and actually incurred.  More ‘American Exceptionalism’ at work here I suppose.
Obama says this matter is non-negotiable.  They cannot in good conscience do that, and he will not offer them concessions to bribe them out of it.  I don' t think they believe him.  And I don't think they'd be deterred if they did believe him.  They have adopted a scorched earth policy.  If they don't get their way they're willing to default on our national debt and burn the economy down.  Maybe they'd back down, scare themselves out of that decision at the end, but first he has to make them believe him.
If I were him I'd have my speech-writers already at work on the speech he needs to give to remind them, and the nation, that it's U.S. policy to not negotiate with terrorists, nor to pay blackmail to extortionists.

This is a much bigger deal than the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ we just passed over
 
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Re:  Violence and protests in Iraq

2012 marked the first time since at least 2006 that violent civilian deaths in Iraq went up from the previous year, an increase of about 10%, about 400 deaths, over 2011.    That can't be considered good news.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
A piece from Der Spiegel about the Syrian rebels, including conclusions regarding the ‘al-Qaeda’ elements.

RhusLancia يقول...

Did Lee just equate republicans in congress to terrorists? Encourage Obama to not work with them?

Happy New Year!

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Not so much equate as analogize.  Think of it as something of a sliding scale.  Terrorists > Extortionists > teabagger Republican Congressmen.
However, your eagerness to be offended illustrates the need for Obama to have his speech-writers workin’ on this already. 

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Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Happy New Year everyone!

JG يقول...

Happy New Year, Lynnette. And to everyone else too!

Marcus يقول...

Lee, what do you make of the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defence secretary? From what I've read about him he comes across as reasonable and competent. In fact the more I read about him the better I like him, but I might be reading from one sided sources here. What's your take on him and where he stands politically and what sort of defence secretary he'd make?

ahmet cakar يقول...

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ahmet cakar يقول...

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   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "What's your take on him and where he stands
      politically and what sort of defence secretary he'd
      make?
"

I've known who he was for years now, but I've never looked him over real close, not even here lately.  I didn't think he'd get the nomination.  I didn't think Obama would take the heat over that for a Republican.  That said, what I know of him is this:

‘Reasonable’ is a good description of him; he's pretty non-ideological.  He's pragmatic, seems intelligent and quick on the uptake (not necessarily the same thing).  And he was on the right committees during his 12 years as a senator to gather a pretty good working knowledge of strategic and military matters.  He is not particulary diplomatic; he can be blunt and doesn't seem to mind if that goes over not so well with some folks sometimes, not if he thinks he's right. 
Couple being not particularly diplomatic with being not being particularly ideological eiher, and he's managed to piss off ideologues and one-issue partisans of all stripes all across the political spectrum.
I think Obama wants him because the next Secretary of Defense is going to have to deal with a downsizing at the DoD.  Obama thinks Hagel's competent (I express no opinion of my own on that one) and, most important to the current situation, Hagel's not the sort to get captured by the generals as they fight to keep their pet projects.  There's a feeling among some Democrats that the retiring Leon Panetta was ‘captured’ by the system after he went to head the DoD.  Nobody's ever gotten Hagel to wear a collar, or a muzzle.  Obama thinks that makes Hagel the right guy for the coming job of downsizing at Defense.  The generals aren't gonna be able to put a collar on him either.  He'll order them, not the other way around.  I think that's why Obama picked him.

(I didn't take you up on the invitation to delve into his politics, which I think I could probably judge better than his ‘competence’ for the job ahead of him.  I skipped that part on account of I don't think his politics matter as much as you think it does.  I think Obama expects him to be fairly non-political in his administration of the department.  I think he got the offer on the assumption that's how it's gonna be.  He's got the brains and enough of a background to know the subject matter goin’ in, and Obama thinks he'll be competent, and even better, independent minded--probably loyal only to his oath of office, maybe a little bit loyal to Obama, maybe not so much.  He can't muster up a little loyalty there if and when it's needed, Obama can always can him when that time comes.)

Marcus يقول...

Interesting comment Lee. It seems to confirm much of what I've already read but one thing, perhaps the most important one, was new to me:

"Nobody's ever gotten Hagel to wear a collar, or a muzzle. Obama thinks that makes Hagel the right guy for the coming job of downsizing at Defense. The generals aren't gonna be able to put a collar on him either. He'll order them, not the other way around. I think that's why Obama picked him."

That's something I've not read about before. At least not put that way. But it seems to make sense.

I came across an article about the neo-con's opposition to Hagel:

http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/OA08Ak01.html

Also quite interesting I thought.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I'd add a caveat to that article:

      "Hagel, a consistent conservative on social and
      domestic issues, was personally popular with his
      colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
"

Hagel was a fairly consistent conservative, but no extremist.  He's a pragmatic fella at heart.
And, then again, that was then, and this is now.  He'd be considered a ‘RINO’ in today's teabagger dominated Republican Party.  (I'm sure you're familiar with the term and it's derogatory implications.)
Also, his habit of saying what he thinks pissed off a bunch of his collegues too.

Marcus يقول...

"I'm sure you're familiar with the term and it's derogatory implications."

Nope. But I am now, a quick Google saw to that.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...
أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...


Note re:  American politics
 
I hadn't been paying much attention to this anti-Hagel movement because I didn't much care.  It appeared to me to be a made up fight, being engaged in by the Republicans for the sake of having a fight (still appears that way to me).  What I didn't catch on to early on was that they're serious about having this fight; they want it.  They think they can maybe win it.  Fallback position:  They think they can maul Obama some even if they lose the fight.  Worth it to them either way..
And that, friends, tells us much about how they think they're gonna handle the tragedy of Obama's re-election.

I don't know if they'll really be able to gin up a good fight over this; they may get leaned out to far forward and fall on their collective faces.  But they're sure as hell gonna give it a try.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I see it's been kind of quiet in here since I was here last. My Mom's been in the hospital since New Years Day, so I haven't had much time to check in. I guess I didn't miss too much.

Hi JG!

RhusLancia يقول...

Hope she's feeling better, Lynnette!

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Thanks, Rhus. I just got the word that she can come home, so I will be picking her up after lunch. Kind of a scary thing. Hopefully we'll have her around for quite a while longer.

Petes يقول...

Hope your Mom's recovering well, Lynnette.

Petes يقول...

Maybe the US should start with restricting gun licences for dangerous delusional windbags like Alex Jones.

Marcus يقول...

I thought he was funny! Not saying I agree with him but funny he was.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Re:  American politics

      "I don't know if they'll really be able to gin up a good
      fight over this
[the Hagel nomination]."
      Lee C. @ 12:10 AM, supra

It's beginning to look like that's petered out on them.  They're not gonna be able to gin up a good fight after all; they couldn't quite achieve critical mass.  Unless they go for a filibuster of the nomination (not bloody likely) or he blows his job interviews, the fight over Hagel will trail away to end not with with a bang but with a whimper.

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   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Note re:  American politics (and economics)

      "House Republicans are seriously entertaining
      dramatic steps, including default or shutting down the
      government, to force President Barack Obama to
      finally cut spending by the end of March.
      "The idea of allowing the country to default by
      refusing to increase the debt limit is getting more
      widespread and serious traction among House
      Republicans than people realize, though GOP
      leaders think shutting down the government is the
      much more likely outcome of the spending fights this
      winter.
"
      Politico.com

I might point out that these same ‘GOP leaders’ just recently discovered that their troops would not be led.
Boehner's own economic ‘Plan B’ just recently went down to defeat at the hands of his own troops.
Obama's supposedly making a statement and giving a press conference afterwards at 11:15 AM Eastern Standard Time today.

Marcus يقول...

The French got involved in a hurry in Mali. I think that might prove to be a real challenge for them. But there weren't exactly any good looking options.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "The French got involved in a hurry in Mali."

Seems to me that's mess in Mali's been brewin’ for better than a year now.  Don't seem all that hurried to me.

Marcus يقول...

The mess has been brewing long, agreed. But the French direct involvment came pretty quick. The French have been trying for some time to get some kind of west african force in there to assist the Mali military and only got directly involved themselves after it became apparent that the jihadists threatened the capital and no other forces would materialize in time to stop them. Putting a french flag on the operation wasn't exactly their first choise.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "But the French direct involvment came pretty quick."

Yeah, but they could do that quick.  Those bombers flew out of mainland France.
And it ain't only the French involved.  They're just the folks out front.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

PeteS,

Thanks, Pete. She seems to be on the mend. Things are still a bit muddled though. Hopefully that too will get better. I am keeping my fingers crossed. *sigh* It would have been a little easier if this had happened in the summer, instead of my busy time at work.

Marcus يقول...

Yes, there are others involved too even if the french are up front. Just like in Libya. A lot is like Libya in fact. The main difference is that in Libya it was extremely urgent to assist Al Qaida et al. to overthrow a non-compliant regime, in Mali it's extremely urgent to fight Al Qaida et al. so they cannot overthrow a compliant regime. Same goal in the end I guess.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "A lot is like Libya in fact."

I hadn't thought of that before, but I can see that.  I do have one point of disagreement…

      "…in Libya it was extremely urgent to assist Al
      Qaida et al. to overthrow a non-compliant regime…
"

Can't go there with ya.  Al-Qaeda wasn't the driving force in the Libyan uprising, wasn't much of a force there at all.  They were taken as much by surprise in Libya as was everybody else, and were not organized for local action nor even prepared to take advantage of the situation.  This is not to say that they weren't involved; of course they got their guys involved.  They had a presence in Libya already, and their guys were getting in on the action, but they weren't in a position to do much more than show up and pick a side to fight on as support personnel.  (You may note that Libya is one place where Islamists didn't win the resulting elections.  They got caught flat-footed in that one.  And they're still playin’ there, tryin’ to improve their position, but that wasn't an al-Qaeda uprising, and, unlike in Syria, they didn't have time to organize and mobilize as al-Qaeda before it was over.  They had to play a minor supporting role in somebody else's revolution.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Post Script; Different subject:  American politics…

What's the European press' first take on Obama's news conference from yesterday?

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "Can't go there with ya. Al-Qaeda wasn't the driving force in the Libyan uprising, wasn't much of a force there at all."

I know, you're right. I wasn't really serious when I posted that. But there is something of a point in that AQ and affiliated jihadi groups are deemed more or less of an enemy depending on the theatre of conflict. But the conflict Mali does not have much at all in common with the one in Libya.

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "What's the European press' first take on Obama's news conference from yesterday?"

I haven't seen any reaction in Swedish media. None. I didn't even know he held a press conference yesterday. What was it about? (I'll look around for myself but a summary would be appreciated)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "But the conflict Mali does not have much at all in
      common with the one in Libya.
"

Some similarities in the reaction though.  That hadn't occurred to me before.

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Summary of Obama's news conference:  He ain't bluffin’.  He's not going to negotiate spending cuts for an increase in the debt-ceiling.  That's a weapon they never negotiate away; they'll use it over and over and over again, so he's callin’ their bluff.  This stuff ends here; ends now; ends this time.  No ransom.  So he says. 

(I don't know that they believe him.  I think some of them don't care.  Burn the house down around us all is fine with them.)

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "Some similarities in the reaction though. That hadn't occurred to me before."

Post-colonialism. France still sees that part of the world as their "backyard". They have interests there and they have quite large groups of people from there now french citizens. That's my take on it at least.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "That's my take on it at least."

Or maybe jihadis in Afghanistan plottin’ agin the Evil Merkins is one thing, jihadis just across the Mediterranean plottin’ agin Europe is another thing entirely.  Or maybe a bit of both.

Marcus يقول...

Now now Lee, don't go getting all martyr on us. The french were in in Afghanistan from the get-go. They were part of the initial "operation enduring freedom". Hell, even Sweden, a "neutral" country that hadn't fought a war without blue UN helmets in over 200 years are presently in Afghanistan under NATO command helping ya'll out. OK, so those swedes are in one of the quieter corners but that still relieves your troops from being there as well and they have suffered a few KIA:s even there.

Marcus يقول...

My point is: your attack on Afghanistan (on the Taliban and Al Qaida) was sanctioned and very, very much supported throughout the world. So much that even a pacifist country like Sweden commited troops there. Russia supported it and opened up supply routes. The whole world basically supported it. The french certainly did, politicias and people alike.

Iraq was a whole other thing, if we're on the topic of "french opposition" to US military adventures. Most, not only the french, still believe it was unfounded, illegal and counter productive. And that'll include a fair share of Americans as well is my observation.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "The french were in in Afghanistan from the get-go."

Yeah, I think there were two of them, maybe it was three.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "And that'll include a fair share of Americans as
      well is my observation.
"

I don't think the ‘illegal’ argument gets much support here in the states; some, not much.

Marcus يقول...

On the topic of that. If Zeyad is here and reading. Zeyad:

I believe most countries and most people view the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a disaster. Also that it was illegal since there was no UN mandate. Also that it was based on fraud because there were allegations that Saddam had WMD:s and that he had (loose) ties to Al Qaida. None of which proved true.

Most people think it was a disastrous war and that it shouldn't have happened. But what's your opinion?

I would be very interested in your opinion as an Iraqi who made it out of there. Was it worth it? (I realise your answer will have to be speculation to a large degree since we will never know what would have happened if the war had not taken place)

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "I don't think the ‘illegal’ argument gets much support here in the states; some, not much."

Some, OK. But the rest of it has more support. That it was basicallly a dumb fucking thing to get into.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "That it was basicallly a dumb fucking thing to get
      into.
"

I don't know ‘bout that.  Maybe the French were right; maybe Iraq just wasn't ready for ‘democracy’.
Then again, there are those among us who still believe that it could have worked, but that the Bush Administration just friggin’ blew it.  Hard to argue that they didn't screw up the occupation phase of it big time.  Especially hard for me to argue that seein’ as how I started howlin’ ‘bout how they were screwin’ it up from about 09 April ‘03 on.

Whether it would have worked if we'd been ready for the day after Saddam fell, we'll never know for sure, seein’ as how they so obviously were so unready.

Petes يقول...

[Marcus to Zeyad]: "Was it worth it? (I realise your answer will have to be speculation to a large degree since we will never know what would have happened if the war had not taken place)"

Uh huh. I see you're giving Zeyad some wiggle room that you never afforded me! ;-)

Also, as the troll pointed out, we'll never know what would have happened had the aftermath been properly conducted.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Jihadi types in Algeria are claiming to have taken 41 westerners as hostages at a BP oil facility.  Supposedly seven (7) Americans among them (and an indeterminate number of Irish).  This in ‘retaliation’ for Western interference in Mali.  At least one fatality so far.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Debt Ceiling Debacle 2.0

Obviously, if there are bills to be left unpaid, salaries of members of Congress should be at the top of that list. Perhaps a penalty for non-performance of duties should also be thrown in.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

If Zeyad is here and reading.

Ahh, I'm thinking Zeyad is still in that dark place and not taking much of an interest on our scribbles. I'm not on Facebook so I can't check up on him. But then, perhaps he wouldn't like me peering over his shoulder anyway. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Those French, they do get around.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Obviously, if there are bills to be left unpaid…"

One thing your article didn't cover:  The Treasury Department has recently noticed that they have no statutory authority to ‘prioritize’ payments even if they wished to do so and were capable of pulling it off.
The Republicans, who're urging that we slam up against the debt ceiling, are insisting that the Treasury must prioritize payment of our debts, hold money back if necessary to see to it that the Chinese get paid on time in full, but they don't seem to listen when the Treasury officials ask them ‘by what authority are we allowed to do that’?
One Republican is trying to fix this, trying to push through a bill setting priorities, but so far Boehner isn't showing any interest in taking that up.
So, it's possible that Treasury would simply have to pay the bills in the order in which they come due.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
The Republicans' attempts at holding the economy hostage on the debt-ceiling deadline is not polling well.  They just keep pickin’ losin’ fights.
They're gonna lose this one too, and then they're gonna be blind with rage when it comes to the sequester and the government shutdown.  There'll be no negotiating with them at that point.
It's a few weeks out yet, but, I'd reckon it a 75% chance that the sequester takes effect ‘cause they'll not be calm enough to negotiate.  Slightly less chance, maybe 70%, that they shut down the government too.
They just keep pickin’ losers.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Perhaps a useful review for those of us who can't keep the players straight without a scorecard:  This guy's giving us a brief rundown of most of the national players in the game in Syria.  He's leaving the non-state freelancers out, but he's got the national players and semi-nationals (i.e. Hezbolla and Hamas) in their respective positions in the lineup.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

It might be ineresting to read his book that is coming out later, "Assessing the War on Terror".

Petes يقول...

We had the accusation that the US intervention in Iraq was all about oil.

So is France's intervention in Mali all about uranium?

Marcus يقول...

Well, Pete, probably not ALL about Uranium but that'd be one part of it. It's about France's interests in Mali and the surrounding West Africa, and Uranium is but one part of it. Also it's probably about a genuine fear of how a Jihadi tide in Mali could end up igniting the whole of West Africa and cause serious damage*. But this too ties in to how such damage would impact France itself. What it's less likely to be about is 'fweedom&mocwacy for them poow afwicans'.

(*I have said before that the next big slaughter is likely to be in West Africa. But I was guessing Nigeria was the likely candidate for rivers of blood. Then again the whole region has that combination of tribal populations, religous animosity, exploding populations, poverty, corruption and natural resources that benefit only the few.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I strongly suspect that the French, and the Brits, would seriously object to having al-Qaeda Central moved to North Africa even if there were no uranium in the neighborhood.

      "What it's less likely to be about is 'fweedom&
      -mocwacy for them poow afwicans'.
"

I have to wonder here if you're being intentionally simple or if you're just being simple.
Either way, might as well get one thing straight:  ‘Freedom and Democracy’ for Iraq was intended to redound to our benefit here in the states.
The theory was simple, so you should be able to grasp it even as you insist on simple.
  a)  Radical Islam was increasing all across the Islamic world.  (Corollary notion:  This is a bad thing.)
  b)  One doesn't kill an idea merely by killing the people who believe in it.
  c)  To successfully overcome a noxious idea (i.e. radical Islam) one needs to propose and perhaps promote a better idea (i.e. freedom and democracy for Arabs)
  d)  Among the available sites for promotion of freedom and democracy for Arabs, Iraq seemed to have the best potential.
You should be able to get to the ‘therefore’ part of the calculation yourself from ‘d)’.

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "I have to wonder here if you're being intentionally simple or if you're just being simple."

Neither. I have to wonder if you're limited in your thinking because you feel so forced to root for the 'home team' that you feel a need to come up with scenarios you don't even believe in yourself; or if you're plain stupid. But given your sometimes sharp analysis in other matters I doubt you're stupid. So you must be sticking to an agenda despite knowing better.

a, b, c, d, - bullshit!

Start with Iraq having the second largest oil reserves in the world and Iraq being a geopolitical grand prize, then go d, c, b, a, for the justification - there you have it.

It's pretty evident and about 90% of the world's (literate) polulation see it clearly for what it is. Don't go thinking you have a majority opinion here, or that you have the correct one. It's you, the neocons and one Irish dude that you can't agree on anything else with. That's about it.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Neither."

Ah, so it would be the latter then.

      "Start with Iraq having the second largest oil reserves
      in the world…
"

Start rather with the fact that we didn't need Iraq's second largest reserves, having long ago cut our deal with the first largest oil reserves in the world, and having secured solid lines into the third largest reserves, and more after that.  Dabble around a little in the middle with the notion that we had so much in the way of suppliers that we had voluntarily cut Iraq off from the largest market in the world (that would be us) on account of we didn't need Iraq's oil, having secure supplies elsewhere.  Whilst dabbling around there in the middle consider also that we'd long ago discovered that it is much easier and cheaper to just buy needed import stuff from the local bad guy than it is to try to control the local population.  (Slavery hasn't been profitable since we first developed a mechanical cotton-picker to go with the mechanical cotton-gin..)  So, if we actually wanted Iraq's oil the most dependable and cheapest way to get it was to just buy the damn stuff and keep him and his in power as long as possible.  Finish with the notion that, if getting the oil were the goal, then the means would have been to install our own guy in Baghdad, not try to set up a hard to direct from outside ‘democracy’.

You're clueless.  You're too committed to your prior notions is the problem, keeps you from getting your head around the clues.
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Post Script:

The author of the article I cited earlier (4:36 AM) tells us that the pride of place, the ‘geopolitical grand prize’, goes to Syria not to Iraq.  I could probably get you dozens of cites for the notion that it goes to Iran instead.  Probably that many more would tell us it's Turkey.  Sorry dude, but Iraq ain't the central grand prize.  It's the outter edge of Arab country, butted up against the Persians, and even there hedged in by the Saudi.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Let's fix some bad editing up there:

      "So, if we actually wanted Iraq's oil the most
      dependable and cheapest way to get it was to just
      buy the damn stuff and keep him and his in power as
      long as possible.  Or, on failing to come to a deal
      with Saddam, then the next best thing
would
      have been to install our own guy in Baghdad, not try
      to set up an undependable and hard to direct
      from outside ‘democracy’.
"

Yeah, that's better.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Second Post Script:

      " It's you, the neocons…"

You do realize you just gut-shot your own argument right there, don't you?

if not…
You should probably consider that Dubya was known to be more than a little thin on foreign policy when he was first elected.  It was the neo-cons who got his ear and filled him with notions.  The fact that the neo-cons did actually believe that stuff is indeed relevant here, but apparently the significance of this has escaped you.  It was them was directing the foreign policy choices..  Yes, their idea was to counter the ideology of al-Qaeda with something better; they actually believed in that stuff.  That's what it was all about.  They were runnin’ the show.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Not sleeping tonight for some reason.  Make a note to Marcus while I'm waiting for the zzz's to come.
Europeans generally have a skewed notion of how rare and precious oil actually is.  Marcus is probably payin’ three or four times what I'm payin’ for petrol (about 70¢ a liter for the stuff here and now) and the differential in natural gas prices is likely even worse.  (And, I might point out that even our government makes more on a liter of petrol than the oil companies do.)  Oil is a necessary and vital commodity to be sure, I don't want to be seen to deny that.  But it ain't nowhere near as rare and precious as the artificially tax reinforced experiences of Marcus makes it seem to him.
It ain't near worth going to the trouble he thinks it's worth.  At least, not to us.  We have ample suppliers eager to gain access our large and dependable market, and access to both major oceans and both global hemispheres, and we got the navy and the military necessary to protect those supply lines.
Oil is a big deal; I'm not denying that; don't wanna be seen to be claimin’ otherwise.  But it's only about a quarter as precious as Marcus’ daily experiences makes it seem to him.  We wouldn't go to near the trouble he thinks it's worth.
We'd just go somewhere else for it instead.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Note re:  American politics

Our Republican Congressmen have come up with the notion that they should increase the debt limit in tiny, three-month increments.  This means they'll get a chance to lose that fight over and over and over again, once every three months.
Very soon it will also occur to them (or more likely it will have to be pointed out to them) that when they run for re-election in 2014 they'll be vulnerable to challenges from folks even further out on the right-wing who'll be running advertisments counting the number of times they voted to increase the debt-ceiling limit just in the past couple of years.

This bright idea won't live a long time.  It's horrible economic policy, but that probably won't impress them.  They tend to be attracted to horrible economic policy, like moths to a flame or lemmings to a cliff edge.  But, it's also horrible politics, the equivalent of a self-inflicted wound, and that'll likely occur to them before too long.

(Okay, the ol’ wive's tale ‘bout lemmings isn't really true, it's just a myth, but, the moths thing is true.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

We'd just go somewhere else for it instead.

Canada and North Dakota being a couple of somewheres. There is also the invent an alternative fuel option in the effort to make a fortune choice. Also, invading countries to snatch their natural resources isn't our MO. Buying their natural resources is.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Canada and North Dakota being a couple of
      somewheres.
"

The horizontal drilling and fracking techniques opening up North Dakota were still experimental in 2003.  But, in addition to Canada, we had good enough relations with Kuwait that we probably could have gotten first in line for their oil if we'd wanted or needed it.
Then there were Mexico, Nigeria, the several Gulf States, not to mention Brazil and even Venezuela.  And that's just a few of them.

      "Also, invading countries to snatch their natural
      resources isn't our MO. Buying their natural
      resources is.
"

What Marcus can't bring himself to admit is that buying is proven to be cheaper and more dependable.  He's got the old European colonial dynamic in his head and can't seem to think outside that box.

Petes يقول...

Well, the troll had me mostly in agreement until the last couple of posts. It's true that the Iraqi oil story is by now an unassailable dogma in the invincibly ignorant European popular imagination. Everyone know the Yanks were there to steal the oil exceptin' that it somehow didn't work out the way they intended. Everyone knows about the top secret documents (usually garnered from some American think-tank's public website) that showed how the Americans coveted Iraqi oil. So far so delusional.

However, that stuff about oil bein' less rare and precious in the US ain't true. Yes, you Yanks pay about a third of European prices at the pump. But you burn a lot more of it per capita. In particular, you burn about twice as much of it per dollar of GDP generated as Europe. And the extra price at the pump in Europe is not lost to the economy. It is getting recycled via taxes ( -- to be sure, not as efficiently as we might like).

Also, you are more prone to oil price shocks than Europe. When prices go from $3 to $4 at the pump, Americans are cryin' into their soup. Price rises at the pump in Europe for the same underlying increase in crude oil prices are more moderate.

Finally, as regards horizontal drilling and fracking, it's not as new as you seem to think. You may remember that one of Bruno's old chestnuts was the validity of Saddam's case against the Kuwaitis, who he accused of slant drilling in Rumaila. That was before the first gulf war. The fracking revolution is facilitated plain and simply by high oil prices -- less than $80/bbl would probably kill it. In inflation adjusted dollars that's twice the price that oil had ever been before 2005, with the sole exception of the second Arab oil embargo and its aftermath, between about 1979 and 1985.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "However, that stuff about oil bein' less rare and
      precious in the US ain't true.
"

That'd be probably because that's not what I said.  It's less rare and precious than Marcus tends to think it is.  He gets a repeatedly reinforced false opinion of the value of petrol, and from that of oil in general, on account of the artificially high prices he sees at the pumps day after day after.  The prices are artificially high because the tax bite is so huge; it's not priced that high because it's so rare and precious.  He's getting repeatedly exposed to an ‘artificially tax reinforced valuation.  (Lee C. @ 12:58 AM, supra.)   Try to actually read next time.

      "Finally, as regards horizontal drilling and fracking,
      it's not as new as you seem to think.
"

I wrote that it was experimental, not that it was new.  Fracking proponents are eager to establish its safety record here in the states.  To that end they tend to sometimes want to stress, if not inflate, how long they've been working on it, pretending that's how long it's been working for them.  Although that last connection is a little less firm than they like to pretend.

If there are more things I didn't say that you want to take exception to anyway, floor's all yours. 

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
@ Lynnette

I'm getting convinced that they're not gonna get a federal assault weapons ban through this congress, probably won't get one in the foreseeable future.  (I'm still in favor of one, but I'm still ‘soft’ on that.  I would listen to and consider a rational, logical argument against such a ban.  (So far nobody's given me one.)  But I don't think it'll pass congress.  The rural states have disproportionate representation, enough to kill the weapons legislation.  Maybe Obama can get the large magazines ban; I'm still in favor of that even if the assault weapons ban is currently a lost cause.)  With that as preamble…

Perhaps the next best thing is to enact weapons bans on a state level in the states where such bans would have popular support.  The problem, of course, is that e.g. New York would pass a ban; Virginia would not; and New Yorkers take the Amtrack to Virginia and buy themselves an assault rifle anyway.  And, there's no customs inspection, so the guy gets it back home to New York with no problem.
I'm thinkin’ that last step oughta be a problem.  I'm thinkin’ that if a New Yorker buys a weapon in Virginia that's outlawed in New York, then the local New York cops ought to know about that before the guy even gets home.  They ought to be empowered to drop by his house and ask him for proof that he didn't bring that thing back to New York, ask things like ‘If it ain't here, then where did it go?  And we will check, so it better check out.
What's your thinkin’ on that?  (You can pipe in Rhus, if you want.)

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "That'd be probably because that's not what I said. It's less rare and precious than Marcus tends to think it is."

LOL. Didn't take more'n' a single post from me for the Jesuitical parsing to begin. I guess that's what makes a troll a troll. Of course, there's several things wrong with this protestation. Firstly it makes Marcus out to be a brain dead moron. We know from past threads that Marcus is quite familiar with the subject of oil supply and the possible physical resource constraints. Probably would have a reasonable idea of the history of crude price fluctuations over the last decade. He's driven in the States too, so to suggest his entire perception is based on the price at the pump in Sweden is either petty or asinine (but probably both).

Further, if perceptions are so skewed in Europe (oil bein' "only about a quarter as precious as Marcus’ daily experiences makes it seem to him"), then it should be the opposite in, say, Iraq with prices at the pump under one USD per litre. In fact, based on Iraqi data, oil is only about a quarter as precious as the troll's daily experience makes it seem. But then, the average Iraqi is probably well aware that the country's GDP is overwhelmingly based on oil. Otherwise they wouldn't be smuggling it, or fighting each other over it. So prices at the pump don't drive perception there either.

Thirdly, for a traded commodity like oil, with a futures contract, perception isreality. If there is a perception that supply will tighten, prices go up. If there is a perception that demand will lessen, prices go down. So this Jesuitical nitpicking over perceived and actual value is baseless. If you want to see the relative values attached to oil you can go and look at the benchmark prices that are used world wide. Since it is a broadly fungible commodity, you find that the global prices are, well, global (albeit with certain variations based on quality and deliverability). No doubt there are people who have no understanding of prices beyond those at the pump ... but I don't think any of them are here.

With that out of the way, we may look at another piece of illogical trollery, to wit:

[Troll]: "It ain't near worth going to the trouble he thinks it's worth. At least, not to us... we got the navy and the military necessary to protect those supply lines.

So, in an argument about how the US doesn't need to go on a military expedition for oil, a chief point is that it's got the military might to do so. Is anyone else baffled by the logic here? I don't think you'll find Sweden has an army at the ready to protect its oil supply. Does that mean Swedes value oil less after all? Probably not. But it might be because Sweden's next door neighbour has been building a very substantial sovereign wealth fund based on oil revenues for years. The US, by contrast, is anxious to avoid the political pain of high gasoline prices, and so adopts policies that encourage the profligate use of oil. The bottom line is that the American perception of the rarity and preciousness of oil is skewed to the low side, and not just in perception but in actuality at the pump. It's true of most oil producing countries -- don't know why the troll thinks that a major oil producer like the US would be different.

(cont'd)

Petes يقول...

And for an additional piece of trollery:

[Troll]: "I wrote that it was experimental, not that it was new."

That would be wrong too, although nothing that couldn't be countered with a bit more Jesuitry. Of course it's possible to argue that something (fracking) that had been done (literally) a million times by 1988 was still experimental in 2003.One could argue that the addition of horizontal drilling was the breakthrough. But that's also decades old and perfected by the early 90s. Nope, there ain't no gettin' away from the fact that oil price was the single most important driver of North Dakota fracking. Technology was there already. As soon as prices started to explode in 2005, land leases were snapped up. Are we to believe that a technology that was "experimental" in 2003 led to to a land buying bonanza in 2005? Fracking was "experimental" a century and half ago, slant drilling seventy years ago. But then in the space of two years those technologies went from "experimental" to rock solid in time to buy up North Dakota land? And then inside five years it got to the stage where flared gas from Dakotan oil fields was so extensive that it was visible from space? Uh, yeah, that sounds likely.

Petes يقول...

Speaking of that view from space ... it's quite pretty. In this sequence, the Calgary-Edmonton corridor is centre screen at 31 seconds, the Twin Cities at 36 seconds, and Chicago at 37 seconds. But wait ... rewind to 33 seconds. That splodge of light doesn't look like those other cities. And it's not -- that is flared North Dakotan gas. Now that we know what we're looking for, you can see it in an earlier sequence too ... between 14 and 16 seconds the same fields appear on the horizon near the left, and disappear off to the left.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "LOL. Didn't take more'n' a single post from me…"

I'd hazard a guess you were fairly deep into the bottle about 11:56 PM eastern time; this is not how you ought to open up an argument to the effect that I am supposedly trolling you

Just a high point or two; not gonna bother with all the inconsistent and outright contradictory ramblings…

      "…so to suggest his entire perception is based on…

I think the ‘entire perception’ notion is one you dreamed up.  I will leave you to fight that one by yourself, for yourself, and with yourself.  Have fun with that.
I was saying his mis-perception was a ‘repeatedly reinforced’ and suggesting he re-think the gut assumptions he apparently brought to his argumentum ad numerum fallacy at 7:18 PM, supra.  Let's face it, if he'd actually been thinking his position through it's unlikely he'd have offered ‘about 90% of the world's (literate) polulation’ as his proof.  Why go for an obviously fallacious argument on purpose?

      "Thirdly, for a traded commodity like oil, with a
      futures contract, perception isreality.
"

We're talking about going to war here, not beating the munchkins in the futures market.  Going to war for economic reasons--that will tend to prompt a real acounting, one where reality is reality.  The notion of unfavorable publicity, evening newscasts of caskets under flags and like that, and especially of getting voted out of power next go-round tends to make ‘em look at the real economic numbers.

      "With that out of the way, we may look at another
      piece of illogical trollery…
"

That got a real laugh here.  You've got more a bit of pot and kettle thing going here for yourself, having voluteered yourself into this one, apparently for the purpose of claiming that I am trolling you.  Really thought you could pull that off?  You were drunk, weren't you?

      "So, in an argument about how the US doesn't
      need to go on a military expedition for oil, a chief
      point is that it's got the military might to do so.
"

I suggested we had the military might to protect our commercial, civilian ocean supply lines.  I'd further suggest that we were pulling a substantial amount of our oil through the Suez Canal, then the Somali pirates would not still be a problem these days (but, I digress here…).  That is, however, quite a different animal from a long term military occupation of hostile foreign ground in order to extract their resources over time.  The one animal does not suggest the other.

      "That would be wrong too, although nothing that
      couldn't be countered with a bit more Jesuitry.
"

Decided to just give up on the ‘new’ thing and go to ‘experimental’, did ya?  That was probably a wise retreat from your prior position.  But, this one I actually expected.  I figured you'd not be willing to pass up the opportunity to argue about the definition of what was or was not ‘experimental’ drilling in North Dakota in 2003.  However, I will decline the invitation.  Just not interesting enough a topic; you don't have enough of an argument there to make it interesting.  You'll probably agree when you sober up.

So, back to you, floor's yours again.  I figured to just hit on a few of the high points in there.  Don't intend to get too involved in the minutia of your rants ‘bout how I'm supposed to be trolling you here.  That would tend to bog down your ranting, which is actually more amusing to observe than to comment on.
Do carry on, floor's back to you.  Maybe you can up your game a little bit with a little more distance from the drink.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Typo correction:

      "I'd further suggest that were we pulling a
      substantial amount of our oil through the Suez Canal…
"

That's better.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Second typo correction:

      "You've got more than a bit of the
      pot and kettle thing going here for yourself…
"

That's also better.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Third typo correction:

      "Just not interesting enough a topic on its own,
      and
you don't have enough of an argument there to
      make it interesting.
"

And that's also better.

(I probably should have waited until the coffee was done and had myself a little coffee first.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[PeteS} Yes, you Yanks pay about a third of European prices at the pump. But you burn a lot more of it per capita.

True, true. But our consumption is actually declining. We may always use more than Europe, but there is hope that we will find our way out of the oil swamp we are currently in.

US Oil Consumption Decline

And we have been living with high (relatively speaking) prices for so long, that we are almost used to the shocks. The highs, as you pointed out, only encourage alterantive methods of oil extraction. As well as alternative fuels and conservation.

I don't think you'll find Sweden has an army at the ready to protect its oil supply.

I would guess it would depend upon where their main supplier is and the delivery method, if they would need that. They may have friends with the capability to help out in a pinch.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[Lee] The problem, of course, is that e.g. New York would pass a ban; Virginia would not; and New Yorkers take the Amtrack to Virginia and buy themselves an assault rifle anyway.

That's how it worked for us when Minnesota banned fireworks but Wisconsin sold them. We just went to Wisconsin and brought them back.

I'm thinkin’ that if a New Yorker buys a weapon in Virginia that's outlawed in New York, then the local New York cops ought to know about that before the guy even gets home. They ought to be empowered to drop by his house and ask him for proof that he didn't bring that thing back to New York, ask things like ‘If it ain't here, then where did it go? And we will check, so it better check out.’

I'm thinkin' that the cops are gonna put this as a low priority and you'll still get people falling through the cracks. Especially if the guy isn't so easliy found.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[PeteS] Speaking of that view from space ... it's quite pretty.

That was way cool. Are the white flashes in the clouds thunderstorms?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I'm thinkin' that the cops are gonna put this as a
      low priority and you'll still get people falling through
      the cracks.
"

And again, I'm not looking for the one thing that's gonna solve all our gun problems.  I don't believe that one thing exists.  I'm thinking about things that'll help incrementally, that are constitutional, i.e. that recognize an individual 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and that might conceivably get past a congress.still very much afraid of the gun lobby.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "So, back to you, floor's yours again."

?!
But y'all didn't say anything! Leastways, nothin' remotely sensible or worth commentin' on.

Petes يقول...


[Lynnette]: "US Oil Consumption Decline"

Thanks for that. Fascinating analysis. I wonder does it gloss over the US's current slump as most of the explanation for the reduction in consumption? Perhaps not. The graphs confirmed what I knew -- that the fuel efficiency of American cars improved in the second Arab oil embargo from 79 to 85, but that when oil prices stagnated for fifteen years thereafter, average efficiency decreased slightly. I guess this time the oil price is unlikely to slump because China and India are taking up all the slack. US consumption may have fallen but global consumption is up 5 million barrels a day since the peak oilers told us we'd peaked in 2005. Also, while US car efficiency gains were reversed post 1985, there were other efficiencies in houses and businesses that, as you would expect, were not reversed.

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: That was way cool. Are the white flashes in the clouds thunderstorms?

Yep. There are about 2,000 thunderstorms ongoing around the planet at any one time.

I've just noticed the sequence starting at 2:50 has it all. It's on a steep north west to south east track. Calgary and Edmonton flash past briefly, the Dakotan gas flares can almost be seen individually, Minneapolis to the east (which is up) lies at the edge of one huge cloud bank, and Chicago beyond it is at the edge of another. At the far southern edge of these clouds we see a big thunderstorm, which I think is in the southernmost Appalachians around Birmingham, Alabama, which sits at the edge of the cloud. Atlanta, Georgia, is up and slightly left and both coasts of Florida can be seen in the distance. Then, down the east coast of Florida, over the Bahamas, and possibly Dominica. That's my guess anyway.

Marcus يقول...

Ah, I maybe shouldn't have gone back to the "reasons for invading Iraq" again. I have my opinion on that and I have heard the other opinion(s) so many times I feel we might just as well cut and paste from previous years threads instead of typing it all out anew. Let's just say I have Alan Greenspan and a vast majority of the world population on my side and call it quits. Ya'll hang on to your minority opinion if you really believe in it, or if it makes you feel better, or if you can't stand not to. Agreed?

Lynnette: "And we have been living with high (relatively speaking) prices for so long, that we are almost used to the shocks."

Pete: "global consumption is up 5 million barrels a day since the peak oilers told us we'd peaked in 2005"

Fact is that Peak will come one of these days. I'm no fundamentalist on the issue and I believe, in contrast with the most hardened "peakers", it could be some decades ahead*.

But when it does strike us, and that is inevitable, the price shocks Lynnette is speaking about will be on a whole other level than anything we've seen before, including during the 70's oil shock. If we haven't prepared, and I'm almost certain we won't have prepared, it'll be very, very bad. At some point.

* I believe most "peakers" who say Peak is now or that it has passed (which is impossible since like Pete showed us it demonstrably hasn't) have neglegted the importance of at least 4 major (short term) game changers:

1. Fracking. When Hubbert made his famous curve this way of extraction was not considered. Evidently it's of importance and can delay Peak for some time.

2. Iraq. Iraq, if it comes online could in the "best" scenario almost equal KSA in production capacity. It's at least possible, because the reserves are there.

3. Iran. Also a vastly under utilized hydrocarbon reservoir. Both in terms of oil and in terms of gas. If those are combined Iran may be a bigger potential energy source than Iraq is.

4. The Arctic. There the main problem is high cost and high risk, but the potential is great.

(Then of course there are less researched possible sources such as fracking in China, new possible fields in the vast landmass of Sibberia, etc. But I' focusing on the places where we more or less know we have additional reserves)

And, I might add, any superpower or regional power or even national power will be sure to think strategically about these things. Which is why an argument that a superpower would base its actions on what the price at the pump is, in the US or Sweden or whereever, today - well that's just folly.

The REAL price of petrol is not whhat you pay for it. It's what it would cost you if you were denied it. I can say with about 100% certainty that's how a Pentagon strategist would look at things. But of course a dude from the backwaters of inland USA who drinks too much coffee would know better.

Marcus يقول...

Pete: "We know from past threads that Marcus is quite familiar with the subject of oil supply and the possible physical resource constraints. Probably would have a reasonable idea of the history of crude price fluctuations over the last decade. He's driven in the States too, so to suggest his entire perception is based on the price at the pump in Sweden is either petty or asinine (but probably both)."

Of course this is true. I don't expect you to agree with my (correct) view that the war on Iraq was largely about oil.

I don't even expect you to agree with me on the Peak Oil scenario we have ahead of us and how institutions like the Pentagon or various state powers might be negotiating this.

But I do give you credit for squashing the absurd idea that I would be basing my opinions in these matters on the curent price at the pump in Sweden, which of course is completely irrelevant.

And I do give you credit for giving me enough credit that I would never even consider the price at the pump in Sweden as a basis for the value of oil in a grreater context.

Absurd allegations, are what they are.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Let's just say I have Alan Greenspan and a vast
      majority of the world population on my side and call it
      quits.
"

That logical fallacy is named ‘argumentum ad numerum’.  I don't suppose there's much point in even a partial list of the things ‘the majority of the world’ once thought true that turned out to not be so.
‘Nuff of that though.
You seem to be laboring under the misguided notion that I figure on changing your mind.  That's certainly not the case.  This has proven over time to be as close to a religious conviction as you're likely to generate.  I have no illusions that I'm going to shake your faith.  Nor do I much care 'bout that.  I'm not looking for you to conced the point.  Rather, I'd point out that it's a matter of faith for you, not something reasoned.  (Your misplace presumption of an alliance here with Alan Greenspan notwithstanding.)

We already know America's paradigm for securing the oil fields against our global enemies, and ensuring that we could get at the supply if we needed it.  It's a seventy year old paradigm.  We guarantee whatever ruler arises that we will defend them against external enemies, and we don't meddle in the nation's internal affairs (except so far as those internal forces might seek to ally themselves with our global enemies)
The examples of Saudi Arabia and the Shaw's Iraq are the model.  There are earlier examples here in the Americas when we were securing other supplies before the age of oil.  (Latin Americans have not forgotten.)  Supporting potentially erratic new ‘democracies’ are not part of that scenario.

I think you know that much, probably as well as I do, but you can't pursue that line of thought without it raising a set of unsettling questions that strike at what you hold dear as a matter of faith.
That's also the reason you got bent when I questioned the faith.  And now you just want the faith to be left unquestioned.  But you can't explain why we'd have abandoned the paradigm that works in favor of giving the locals a real voice over their own destiny and their own assets.  And you know you don't wanna try; the very existence of the question unacceptably threatens the faith.  Better (for you) to go with the ‘argumentum ad numerum’ fallacy even though you know it to be a fallacy. 

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "It's what it would cost you if you were denied it."

We have our supplies secured elsewhere.  Middle Eastern oil goes mainly to Europe and Asia.  We cut off purchases from Saddam's Iraq.  How the hell was he gonna deny us oil?  You should probably just stick with proclaiming the faith; trying to get it to actually fit to the real world just ain't gonna work out for ya.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I can say with about 100% certainty that's how a
      Pentagon strategist would look at things.
"

Well, you're about a 100% wrong.  We still got our nukes.  The next war big war, one big enough to be a threat to us, isn't gonna last long enough for anybody to do much threatening of our overseas oil supplies.  The boys at the Pentagon got that one covered already, even though it's apparently escaped you entirely. 

             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "But I do give you credit for squashing the absurd
      idea that I would be basing my opinions in these
      matters on the curent price at the pump in Sweden.


I was thinking, still think, that it was an unquestioned element; something you hardly even think of, I wasn't supposing it to be a part of a logically thought out position.
My guess is that when you bough gasoline in America you though something along the lines of, ‘gas is cheap over here’.  Bet you didn't think for a second about how much you were saving on your taxes.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
And, just by the way, there's a real good chance that Mother Nature will upend things long before we run outta oil to suck outta the ground.  She may make the ‘Peak’ into a minor matter, something that passes mostly unnoticed.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Note re:  American politics

The House Republicans are now thinking novel thoughts.  They're considering enacting a three-month ‘suspension’ of the American government's ‘debt-ceiling’.  (The idea is that the Republicans can then later deny that they voted to increase the debt-ceiling on account of there is no money value attached to the three-month ‘suspension’.)  At some point somebody besides me is gonna figure out that there's nothing to prevent the Obama adminstration from borrowing a year's worth of money from the Fed during those three months and slipping that one right on by them.  When they figure that one out I'm bettin’ this idea bites the dust.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "The examples of Saudi Arabia and the Shaw's Iraq are the model... Supporting potentially erratic new ‘democracies’ are not part of that scenario"

Correction: they were the model. Then 9/11 happened. Remember Bush the Younger saying:

"It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

Or his Secretary of State saying:

"Our experience of this new world leads us to conclude that the fundamental character of regimes matters more today than the international distribution of power. Insisting otherwise is imprudent and impractical. The goal of our statecraft is to help create a world of democratic, well-governed states that can meet the needs of their citizens and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system. Attempting to draw neat, clean lines between our security interests and our democratic ideals does not reflect the reality of today's world. Supporting the growth of democratic institutions in all nations is not some moralistic flight of fancy; it is the only realistic response to our present challenges".

Now, it may have all been pious claptrap, but I actually don't think so. I believe it contains the key to the strategy in Iraq. But it seems that even if Iraq was about coveting oil, the model was still never going to be like the Saudi or Iranian monarchies.

Petes يقول...

[Marcus]: "I believe most "peakers" who say Peak is now or that it has passed (which is impossible since like Pete showed us it demonstrably hasn't) have neglegted the importance of at least 4 major (short term) game changers".

Well actually, some of the peakers would still claim we've hit the plateau. They're reminiscent of the Jehovah's Witnesses who, after Jesus failed to materialise on foot of several embarrassingly wrong predictions of the date of his glorious return, they declared that he had, in fact, returned ... invisibly!

So the peak oilers might still claim that 2005 was the peak of conventional oil extraction, and that new conventional oil in places like Iraq are not offsetting declines elsewhere. The reason the overall numbers are going up is because of unconventional (and therefore expensive) oil, and especially because of natural gas liquids and condensates from the gas fracking boom.

Petes يقول...

While I'm on the subject -- I see that the WTI benchmark has been creeping up. Whereas, a few months ago it was threatening to slip below $80/bbl, it now looks set to threaten $100/bbl for the first time in a long time. And the gap with Brent is reducing too.

I haven't yet read up on why this is happening. Surely can't be the American economy!

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "and we don't meddle in the nation's internal affairs [...]
The examples of Saudi Arabia and the Shaw's Iraq are the model."

First of all, I take it we're not actually talking about any Shaw's Iraq but about the Shah's Iran, right? Second, are you freaking kidding me?!

"Mohammad Mosaddegh or Mosaddeq [a] (Persian: مُحَمَد مُصَدِق‎; IPA: [mohæmˈmæd(-e) mosædˈdeɣ] ( listen) [b]; 16 June 1882 – 5 March 1967), was the democratically elected[1][2][3] Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953 when his government was overthrown in a coup d'État orchestrated by the British MI6 and the CIA." [BECAUSE HE NATIONALISED IRANIAN OIL FOR IRANIANS! -Marcus]

So much for the non-medddling paradigm. Shot down in flames straight away for all to see. And you're the one talking about sticking to a storyline with religious conviction?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...
أزال المؤلف هذا التعليق.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Correction: they were the model.  Remember
      Bush the Younger saying:
etc.
                                    ***
      "Or his Secretary of State saying: etc."

‘Fraid I'm not going to be able to accept that ‘correction’ as valid.  As I mentioned earlier (Lee C.  @ 10:29 PM, supra):

      "You should probably consider that Dubya was
      known to be more than a little thin on foreign policy
      when he was first elected. It was the neo-cons who
      got his ear and filled him with notions. …
[T]he
      neo-cons did actually believe that stuff…
"

And Dubya came to believe in it too.
Whether Colin Powell was totally committed to the new theory is perhaps questionable.  But, he was Secretary of State, and it was his duty to carry out the policies of the President, and to pretend he was on board, in spite of any reservations he may have had.  That or offer his resignation if he could not, in good conscientious, publicly support and follow the President's policy decisions.
You're simply documenting the switch from the Cold War ‘security and stability’ model prior administrations had followed to the Bush era realization that the old policy was no longer providin security nor stability.  (I'd say the old model didn't still work largely on account of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of alliances that had been entered into as a consequence of our long Cold War with same.)  Your observations do not ‘correct’ my explanation of the theory; they document my explanation instead.
 
              ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "Second, are you freaking kidding me?"

First, yeah, the Shaw was an Iranian.  That was a typo.
And second, hell no I'm not kidding you.  They didn't tag Mohammad Mosaddegh for ‘nationalizing’ Iranian oil companies but rather for nationalizing (i.e. stealing) the assets of the British company then known as the ‘Anglo-Persian Oil Company’, now known as British Petroleum.  Forcefully seizing foreigners assets doesn't quite fit the description of strictly ‘internal affairs’, never has.  That's bound to involve foreign affairs.  (Also, Churchill worked hard to convince Eisenhower that Mosaddegh was drifting towards the Soviet sphere of influence; I already noted that dalliances with our global enemies triggered an exception to the general practice non-interference in strictly local politics and power struggles.)

Marcus يقول...

"Forcefully seizing foreigners assets"

The ol' "our oil under their sand"-argument.

Are you actually saying that the CIA acted as a global policeman, overthrew a democratically elected leader and imposed dictatorship on Iran to safeguard the rightful property of the Brits? And that you think this is OK?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "The ol' “our oil under their sand”-argument."

From the Brits' point of view, more like expensive hardware and infrastructure Brits' built.  And expensive wells Brits drilled.  And contract rights (‘personal property’ in a capitalists' view of the world) freely negotiated for and fully paid for, payments made to the Iranian government, which kept the payments and then announced it was seizing all those contract rights back again anyway.  And, as I understand it, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was still figuring to have to pay the agreed royalties for the oil they extracted.

      "…to safeguard the rightful property of the Brits?"

Backing up ones allies, especially when they're in the right, is often a consideration in international affairs, but you cheerfully ignore the other point

      "Also, Churchill worked hard to convince Eisenhower
      that Mosaddegh was drifting towards the Soviet
      sphere of influence; I already noted that dalliances
      with our global enemies triggered an exception
      to the general practice non-interference in strictly
      local politics and power struggles
"
      Lee C.  @ 3:21 AM, supra (emphasis in original)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Passing unnoticed here so far, Israel had national elections yesterday.  Netanyahu's Likud Party did rather worse than had been expected (Yea!).  And, his ultra-conservative hyper-nationalistic partner parties did much worse than expected (Again, ‘Yea’!) while a centerist/moderate party I'd never heard of before called Yesh Atid, lead by one Yair Lapid whom I'd also not heard of before, did remarkably well, coming in second to Likud.  Most analysts seem to think all this will drag Netanyahu reluctantly back from some of the more inflamatory policies he's been espousing lately.  (Again, ‘Yea’!)

Petes يقول...

Netanyahu's first mouthful of air after the results were announced was used to say that a nuclear Iran was Israel's first concern. Obviously setting the tone for the coalition negotiations.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "You're simply documenting the switch from the Cold War ‘security and stability’ model prior administrations had followed to the Bush era realization that the old policy was no longer providin security nor stability... Your observations do not ‘correct’ my explanation of the theory; they document my explanation instead."

Now, trolls will be trolls, so there ain't probably no point in repeatin' this:

[Troll]: "The examples of Saudi Arabia and the Shaw's Iraq are the model... Supporting potentially erratic new ‘democracies’ are not part of that scenario"

So the troll admits there was a new model, and still insists that the old model pertained. He's demonstrated his lack of grasp of logic many times, but I'm not sure if there was such a blatant disregard for the law of non-contradiction before. Anyway, another troll hallmark is thrashin' about changin' the topic to something -- anything -- different when backed into a corner, so that'll be the end of this leg of the argument.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "So the troll admits there was a new model, and
      still insists that the old model pertained.
"

Ah, I see.  Well, ‘No.’  Ya got that figured wrong.
Iraq was supposed to be a one-off; they hoped it would lead to a self-sustaining ‘virtuous’ cycle,  It was not intended to be a model for further military occupations in the middle east.  (Nice try though.)

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "From the Brits' point of view, more like expensive hardware and infrastructure Brits' built. And expensive wells Brits drilled."

Pales in comparision to the wealth of the actual oil. The Brits were offered a 50/50 share like ya'll had with Saudi (very unpopular treaty with said Brits, that) but declined. The Brits were asked to open up the books of AIOC but refused. Hell, the US were virtually siding with Iran early on in these matters. Face it: the Brits were actig as hard core colonialists against Iran, and refused to re-negotiate a "deal" struck with a prior dictator that left Iran with a pittance of their own oil wealth.

Lee: "And contract rights (‘personal property’ in a capitalists' view of the world) freely negotiated for and fully paid for, payments made to the Iranian government, which kept the payments and then announced it was seizing all those contract rights back again anyway."

A witewash if there ever was one. The deal was struck with an autocrat for one thing, not with a legitimate ambassador for Iran and its people. Further Iran received very, very little and Britain cashed in big time.

Lee: "And, as I understand it, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was still figuring to have to pay the agreed royalties for the oil they extracted."

16% of the gross profit was the lousy agreement. But they never allowed their books to be scrutinized to prove they even payed that, which is in serious doubt that they did.

Lee: "Backing up ones allies, especially when they're in the right, is often a consideration in international affairs"

But they weren't "in the right", and for quite some time this was even ya'll's opinion.

Lee: "Also, Churchill worked hard to convince Eisenhower that Mosaddegh was drifting towards the Soviet sphere of influence"

It was the Brits themselves who facilitated the Iran/Soviet partnership when it suited Britain in its struggle against Nazi Germany. In fact there was nothing that really pointed to a red threat when it came to Iran. Iran was muslim, nationalistic and out to control its own affairs. The Soviets were atheists, imperialists and ruled from Moscow. What bedfellows they'd make.

No, this was about oil, geopolitics and economic colonialism. And ya'll helped out and became the future villain for Britain's past crimes.



   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "The Brits were offered…blah, blah, blah, and etc.
      "16% of the gross profit was the lousy agreement. "

Better than ranchers in Texas were getting at the time I think.  I think they were getting 12% of the gross.
In any case, you're wandering rather far afield here.  Re-arguing the argument over that agreement doesn't shed any light on the issue at hand.  (I knew you were gonna just keep wanderin’ ever further and further from the subject at hand.  Eventually I'd have to drag you back.  Now's as good a time as any, as you're now plowing entirely new ground.)

You were going to explain why we'd have decided to install an Arab democracy as our new means of neo-colonial seizing of their oil rather than stick with the working paradigm (which survived the replacement of Mosaddegh with the Shaw Pahlavi I might point out.).  Let's get ya back to that rather than wandering off into renegotiating the old BP/Iranian contract.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[Lee] ...that might conceivably get past a congress.still very much afraid of the gun lobby.

Does anything get past Congress nowadays?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Note for Lynette,

This is a good article on the debt.  Clear and consise.  The author is an unabashed liberal, so you'll have to overlook his tendency to label his policy choices as ‘right’ in opposition to Republicans' policy choices as ‘wrong’.  But the analysis is clear and concise.  Easy to get your head around.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Does anything get past Congress nowadays?"

The Republicans might get their new debt-ceiling maneuver through the House as early as today.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[PeteS] I guess this time the oil price is unlikely to slump because China and India are taking up all the slack. US consumption may have fallen but global consumption is up 5 million barrels a day since the peak oilers told us we'd peaked in 2005.

Yes. And that's going to be a huge factor in the future when it comes to quality of life for everyone on the planet. While you can't blame other countries for wanting a lifestyle a little more consumption heavy, it will play havoc with resources if they are aspiring to American levels of consumption. It will take conservation on our part and restraint on others to find a decent balance, I think.

Also, while US car efficiency gains were reversed post 1985, there were other efficiencies in houses and businesses that, as you would expect, were not reversed.

It's interesting some of the things people have come up with to make buildings more energy efficient. From adjusting temps, having lights shut on and off automatically when people walk by, to growing grass and plants on roofs. I suppose these are old ideas, but at least they are being implemented. Every little bit helps. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

lol! I notice that "might" was in both bold and italics, Lee. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[Lee] And, just by the way, there's a real good chance that Mother Nature will upend things long before we run outta oil to suck outta the ground. She may make the ‘Peak’ into a minor matter, something that passes mostly unnoticed.

While we may speculate on the future nothing is ever assured.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

Note re:  American politics
  
It turns out that Boehner couldn't get his debt-ceiling ‘suspension’ passed through the House after all.  He needed 218 votes and only got 199 Republicans for it.  The Democrats had to put it over the top for him.  (Now why would they do that one wonders?)  Harry Reid has already said he'll get through the Senate as is.
I get the feeling the Democrats don't think the Republicans are nearly as clever with this move as the Republican leadership seems to think they are.

Marcus يقول...

Lee: "You were going to explain, Blablablah"

Nope. I wasn't. You might wish for that but it ain't happening and I have already said as much:

"Ah, I maybe shouldn't have gone back to the "reasons for invading Iraq" again. I have my opinion on that and I have heard the other opinion(s) so many times I feel we might just as well cut and paste from previous years threads instead of typing it all out anew."

Ya'll just feel free to scroll through the archives for that debate if you want to read it again.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Ya'll just feel free to scroll through the archives
      for that debate if you want to read it again.
"

Ah, well, that's dishonest, inasmuch as you imply that you have, at some time in the past, ever developed or laid out any coherent theory (or even incoherent theory for that matter) explaining how establishing a democracy in Iraq was supposed to contribute to the U.S.A. gaining access or control over Iraq's oil supplies.  You've never dealt with the question of how giving the Iraqi population a voice in and control over their own destiny and their own national assets was supposedly gonna result in the Iraqi population ceding that control to us.

And, before you make the accusation, ‘no’, I'm not just trying to taunt you into explaining your theory again.  You've never filled in such a theory to begin with.  You've never come up with such a theory in the first place, never dealt with that (probably never occurred to you to think that far into it); I've got the right to point that out.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Ya'll just feel free to scroll through the archives for that debate if you want to read it again.

Have any of the comments sections in the archives been restored?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I had earlier sort of wondered aloud, (Lee C. @ 4:01 PM, supra), about why the Democrats bailed Boehner out of the box he'd put himself in over folding (for now) on the debt-ceiling fight.  Seems they had a plot afoot.  They wanted to force as many Republicans to vote for it as possible before they pocketed a win here, but they wanted the win.  To wit:

      "There was never any doubt that the measure the
      GOP dubbed “No Budget No Pay” would pass,
      putting off a potential debt crisis until mid-May, but
      Democrats held off casting their yes votes until nearly
      the end of the scheduled vote period to force Repub-
      licans to step forward with their votes to support the
      bill. ‘We wanted to make it as difficult as possible for
      them,’ says a Democratic leadership aide, who
      added, ‘It helps with primaries.’
"

Translated:  They're talking about Republican primaries there.  They expect this will get several House Republicans a primary challenge from tea-bagger types who'll prove to be unelectable in the general elections.  (The Democrats may be too clever by half here, but we'll see.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[Marcus] In fact there was nothing that really pointed to a red threat when it came to Iran. Iran was muslim, nationalistic and out to control its own affairs. The Soviets were atheists, imperialists and ruled from Moscow. What bedfellows they'd make.

Just a small point in regards to this. We have seen other muslim, nationalistic nations who prefer to control their own affairs attempt, with varying degrees of success, to work with the Soviet Union. That is really not an argument that would necessarily prevent Iran from hooking up with the Soviets back then.

But I do agree that they would be strange bedfellows. Just as Iran/China would be today.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I see North Korea is rattling its sabers again. Just like a little kid wanting attention.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

They expect this will get several House Republicans a primary challenge from tea-bagger types who'll prove to be unelectable in the general elections.

They may find the electorate just sees this as kicking the can down the road again.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Just like a little kid wanting attention."

My thought exactly.  Our presidential election is over, they think they've waited patiently for that to happen.  Time for waiting patiently is over now.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "They may find the electorate just sees this as
      kicking the can down the road again.
"

All the better from the Dems point of view.  Having the Republican incumbents vulnerable to attack from both the left and the right.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Note re:  American politics
Final note on American politics for the day: 

It appears that the Republicans, having folded (for now) over forcing a debt-ceiling induced stock-market and economic crash, are warming up to the idea of having the sequester kick in.  (They seem bound and determined to sabotage the economic recovery some way or other.)
It's early in the fight yet, but I still predict that the sequester will happen.  I figured it for a 75% chance a week or so ago; I figure it's still that hight today.  Probably a 70% chance or so that they'll shut down the government after that by refusing to pass a budget or even a ‘continuing resolution’, that latter being the means of financing the federal government since 2011.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "This is a good article on the debt. Clear and consise (sic). The author is an unabashed liberal, so you'll have to overlook his tendency to label his policy choices as ‘right’ in opposition to Republicans' policy choices as ‘wrong’."

Clear, concise, and nonsensical in several essential aspects. First it acknowledges that revenue must be raised above historical averages. That means more taxes.

Is the liberal FT guy in denial about the batshit crazy loons in the US congress to whom a single cent rise in taxes confirms their worst suspicions that the black Muslim lovechild of Josef Stalin has been installed in the White House?

Similarly on cost reductions in health care -- was he asleep for the death panels, the employer funded contraception and the unconstitutionality of enforced insurance?

But the biggest problem with his argument is not right wing road blocks. It is his GDP growth projections. The sustainability of debt for any country -- even the mighty USA -- is fundamentally premised on GDP growing faster than the debt. Mister FT guy says that 4% nominal GDP growth is a "pessimistic assumption". Well, there's no way of knowing what the hell he means without an estimate for inflation. Right now, even zero interest rates cannot generate inflation, so is nominal GDP growth the same as real? If so, is HE for real?

The last time real US GDP growth was consistently above 4% was the few years of the dot com boom in the late 90s... and that ended in tears. Before that it was a brief spurt in the early eighties. Basically, twice in the last 25 years.

The danger here is that with high levels of debt and uncertain growth, the economy is like a spacecraft drifting near the gravitational balance point between the earth and the moon. Both bodies are tugging on the craft, but nobody's quite sure which has the upper hand. Slowly, slowly, things pick up pace. By the time you figure out that you're hurtling towards a crash, it's much too late to change course. Similarly with hovering at the limits of debt sustainability -- you better be damn sure you're inching in the right direction because if you're not you are on the way to hell in a hand basket.

Petes يقول...

Serious question. Is Hilary Clinton hoping to win an Oscar for her performance in front of the Senate committee? Her blubbin' wasn't exactly the death scene from Love Story ... must be from the Obama school of dry sobbin'.

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Have any of the comments sections in the archives been restored?"

Not to my knowledge. I offered to collaborate with Zeyad on it, but would need him to do some stuff.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "That means more taxes."

Indeed it does. 

      "Similarly on cost reductions in health care…"

The particular supposed similarity to which you think you refer is not readily apparent, but we are gonna need to contain the rise in overall health-care costs.

So what do either of these realities do, in your opinion, to invalidate his analysis?

      "…so is nominal GDP growth the same as real
      [GDP growth]?
"

Most econmists would answer that in the negative.  That's why one's designated as ‘nominal’ and the other is designated as ‘real’.  One would think this would be self-evident, even to you.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 

Post Script:

        "The sustainability of debt for any country -- even
        the mighty USA -- is fundamentally premised on
        GDP growing faster than the debt.
"

That's not correct.  Flat debt is sustainable without growth (although why anybody would want that I can't imagine).  You're confusing the question of sustainability of constant annual deficits with the question of the actual debt.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "Most econmists (sic) would answer that in the negative. That's why one's designated as ‘nominal’ and the other is designated as ‘real’. One would think this would be self-evident, even to you."

Yes, they would, if the question was whether the definitions of real and nominal GDP growth were the same. Of course, in your determination to troll this forum, you didn't consider the obvious -- that I was asking if the FT guy was assuming zero inflation (mentioned in the previous sentence) so that the values of real and nominal GDP were the same under the circumstances.

[Troll]: "That's not correct [that the sustainability of debt is fundamentally premised on GDP growing faster than the debt]. Flat debt is sustainable without growth"

I note that "GDP growing faster than debt" would imply the assumption of increasing debt to anyone not decked out in a Jesuit's smock.

[Troll]: "So what do either of these realities do, in your opinion, to invalidate his analysis?"

I'm guessin' y'all are not seriously expectin' answers to yer trollery, so I'll treat all questions as rhetorical.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
All the obvious effort you're putting into generating a fight here, and you're still thinkin’ you can pull off the claim that I am trolling you here?  You are hilarious at times (sometimes it gets tedious).  You're bordering on tedious this time, but I'll play along anyway.

      "I'm guessin' y'all are not seriously expectin'
      answers to yer trollery, so I'll treat all questions as
      rhetorical.
"

That was a bad assumption; that question was not rhetorical.  However, you are bordering on being tedious already, so I'll just withdraw the question.

      "…you didn't consider the obvious -- that I was
        asking if the FT guy was assuming zero inflation
        (mentioned in the previous sentence) so that the
       
values of real and nominal GDP were the same
        under the circumstances.


That's not what you asked.  And what you wished you'd asked wasn't obvious.  (You should have read on if you were going to read the article--which I did not suggest to you--with the idea that you were then going to ask questions about his assumptions.)  However, he does get to that in the paragraph following the specific language you quote to us here.  I presume you still can find the article and read it for yourself.

      "I note that ‘GDP growing faster than debt’ would
      imply the assumption of increasing debt…
"

And that's where you conflated things.  ‘The assumption of increasing debt’ is the assumption of continued deficits.  Too many of our Republican politicians cannot intelligently distinguish between the debt itself and the deficit problem.  (Including, specifically, Paul Ryan, who's supposed to be their golden boy on fiscal issues.)   You seem to be making the same hash of it as they do.  (The Democrats, on the other hand, too cavalierly assume that since their economists keep telling them we don't have really have a debt crisis on our hands (it is a modest threat at worse at this point in time) then it must mean we don't have a looming deficit problem on our hands.  And that's not true either.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Note to Lynnette:

The size of the deficits we're running now is almost entirely attributable to the loss of tax income resulting from the economic slowdown that resulted from the crash of 2008.  When the economy picks back up to pre-crash levels (assuming that happens), the deficits should drop back into the low hundreds of billions at worse.   Might even show a surplus again for the short run, given the recent modest tax hikes and budget cuts.  (Too many variables for me to pick where exactly it'd drop back to.)
The ‘looming debt crisis’ is another matter entirely; it's almost entirely attributable to projected cost increases in health care costs.  These costs were spiraling out of control in the private sector even before Obamacare was conceived of.  So far Obamacare's not done near ‘nuff to deal with cost containment, but sending the costs back to the private sector merely transfers the problem, it doesn't deal with it.
In point of fact, private sector medical costs were rising faster (steeper level of rise) than were Medicare or Medicaid costs, so it's not at all clear to me that the private sector would handle the ‘looming deficit crisis’ any better.  (In fact, I'm pretty much convinced this is one of those areas where the private sector is not the proper place to deal with the necessary economics of the activity.  Like roads and bridges, or controlling pollution, ain't well left to the private sector either.  Which is not to say that Obamacare isn't seriously flawed; it still needs some serious fixin’.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
‘Nother note to Lynnette:

Paul Krugman in the NYT just happens to be going over what I just mentioned 'bout the distinction between cause of the current large deficits (the ‘economic (not fiscal) crisis’) and the longer term fiscal problem we have comin’ at us down the road.  (Unfortunately, he doesn't get into the latter problem hardly at all--havin’ too much fun and gloating (probably premature gloating) pouncing on the Republicans' faerie tale economics in today's context.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Seems the NYT link didn't work for me the first time.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "That's not what you asked."

Yep, it was. It just translated differently from behind yer Jesuit smock. Boringly predictable, as ever.

Petes يقول...

I mentioned that world "oil" production is up five million barrels per day since 2005. I also mentioned that this is not attributable to an increase in conventional crude. On checking I see that fully half of it is in the form of natural gas liquids. (I mentioned before that this might also account for different reports on whether Russia or Saudi Arabia was the world's biggest producer).

Depending on the source, "oil" supply may include conventional crude, and non-conventional crude such as "tight oil" (from shale and other formations) and deep-sea oil - both of which are a similar mix of hydrocarbons to conventional crude. Then there are crude oil condensates, which are hydrocarbons that are gases at reservoir temperatures (oil comes out of the ground hot) but can be separated out as liquids at the well head. And there are refinery gains, which are increases in the output over input volume of hydrocarbons due to the fact that some of the heavier fractions are cracked to lighter ones in the refinery.

That's it for fossil oils, but there are also biofuels -- alcohols from plant fermentation and esters (referred to as "biodiesel") from vegetable oils or animal fats. And there are natural gas "liquids" which are components heavier than methane which can be separated out of natural gas production. These are not actually liquids at room temperature -- the large majority are ethane and propane. The latter can be used as a fuel but the former is almost entirely used for making ethylene, on the way to making plastics and other petrochemicals.

It's is not surprising, given the massive increase in natural gas fracking, there there is a corresponding increase in NGLs. In the US the increase in "oil" since 2005 (up to March 2012) as reported by the EIA is 2.5 mbpd. But only 40% of that is "core" production of crude plus condensates and refinery gains. The rest is biofuels and NGLs. So while the EIA reports 10.8 mbpd of US "oil" production, it will still be some time before the US threatens its highest ever production of 10 mbpd of crude achieved in 1970. Indeed, it may never do so, although - amazingly - the US had its biggest ever increase in oil production in 2011, and may have done so again in 2012.

Petes يقول...

Folk Furniture

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Yep, it was."

Nope, wrong again.  I answered the question you asked, without doing any ‘translating’ at all.  And what you apparently thought you wanted to ask was not obvious (especially considering that the very next paragraph of the article dealt with the question you now claim you wanted dealt with).  But, with this, my last defense of self on this question, I'll leave the judgment to the readers.
I'm confident in the outcome of that.

(Which mean, you got squat, so it's probably about time for you to start howlin’ ‘bout I've been supposedly trolling you.  That's where you generally go when you run outta shit to spin.  So, knock yourself out, and, ciao for now.)

Petes يقول...

LOL. I don't have to "howl" about trollin' ... one doesn't have to look beyond these threads to see that trollin' is the sum total of everything you do. You'd think you'd pick a bridge with a greater number of passersby to bellyache at. Y'all must be a specialist troll. (That might be a more generous term for a one trick pony).

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Okay, now that ya got that outta your system…  I've been wonderin’:  Are you a good, loyal Irish Catholic on the subject of gay marriage, or does your inclination to interfere in other people's sex lives extend only to telling women what to do?

Petes يقول...

Lemme count ... one ... two ...

Yep. Two posts since he complained about my allegations of trollin'. Troll's an amnesiac to add to his other defects.

Petes يقول...

"Sunni leaders in Anbar have threatened to launch attacks against the army in the western Iraqi province after five protesters were shot dead in Fallujah.

The anti-government demonstrators were killed and 60 others injured in clashes with soldiers after Friday prayers.

Tribal leaders say they have given the government one week to arrest those soldiers responsible for opening fire on the crowd.

They say they will then attack army units and posts across the province."

More...

Marcus يقول...

On gay-marriage.

I'm an agnostic (and I do NOT invite a debate on agnosticism/atheism, call me an atheist if you wish) and fairly liberal on most social issues. I have no problem with gays, I have friends who are gay, I believe gays should be allowed to enter into partnerships that have the same legal status as conventional marriage, BUT: I do not believe gays have a right to insist to be married in any church before any priest.

If a church or a priest is OK with marrying gays then fine. But they should not be forced to do so if they feel it goes against their beliefs. I don't know exactly how the debate in this matter goes in other countries but here in Sweden priests who are not "going with the program" are villified. To me that's a kind of oppression, a bad one.

Marcus يقول...

Further: If a priest wouldn't marry me because I was not a person of faith I would be OK with that. I surely wouldn't want the priest to be forced to reluctantly marry me. But I would insist that I and the person I chose as a life partner could enter into a formal partnership with all the legal implications of marriage. I believe anyone has that right. (However, personally I would go for a church wedding if I could. And presently I could. Mostly because the setting of it all, not based on any personal faith)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I do not believe gays have a right to insist to be
      married in any church before any priest.
"

The 1st Amendment (separation of church and state) forbids government interference in the practice of religion.  If a church or any preacher or priest thereof refuses to perform a gay marriage on religious grounds it's inconceivable that our government would ever step in and insist that they must perform the ceremony.  (Military chaplains might be an exception to this; they're expected to officiate at ceremonies outside their religion if that's allowed by the other religion; e.g. a Catholic priest/Army chaplain might be expected to officiate at a gay marriage, but nobody would expect him to suffer any pretense that it's a Catholic wedding.  And I'm not even sure he'd have to do it in his role as Army chaplain if he didn't feel right about it.  They worked out the protocols for this sort of thing back when some religions came late to allowing interracial marriage, but I'm not sure what those protocols are.)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Have any of the comments sections in the archives been restored?"

[Pete4S]: Not to my knowledge. I offered to collaborate with Zeyad on it, but would need him to do some stuff.


I know he expressed some reservations about the comments sections before, but I thought he had said he wanted to restore them. Of course that was before he started popping in and out and stopped talking to us.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

The ‘looming debt crisis’ is another matter entirely; it's almost entirely attributable to projected cost increases in health care costs.

The one sure way of lowering the cost of something is to lower the demand. And in the long run I think that is the only way we will solve our health care crisis.

I have a feeling that 2050 or thereabouts will be a pivotal time period for all sorts of things. Climate change and demographics change being two of those things.

So far Obamacare's not done near ‘nuff to deal with cost containment...

We may find that whatever they are doing to encourage a more healthy lifestyle, through good eating habits or being more active, may be the most important thing they could have done. At least long term.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

...it will still be some time before the US threatens its highest ever production of 10 mbpd of crude achieved in 1970. Indeed, it may never do so, although - amazingly - the US had its biggest ever increase in oil production in 2011, and may have done so again in 2012.

Hmmm...never say never. :)

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "e.g. a Catholic priest/Army chaplain might be expected to officiate at a gay marriage, but nobody would expect him to suffer any pretense that it's a Catholic wedding"

Whether pretending or not, a Catholic priest is categeorically banned from presiding over such a ceremony.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Well, we're talkin’ hypothetically anyway.  So far it's a problem yet to be squarely faced.  DOMA (the in-aptly named Defense of Marriage Act)  is coming up before the Supreme Court here soon.  Until that decision comes down the military doesn't yet recognize gay marriage, and so they won't be expecting any chaplain to officiate at such events.  Oddly enough, not recognizing such marriages doesn't mean they don't allow them.  Whether they'll expect the Catholic Church to lift this ‘ban’ sufficiently to allow Catholic priest/chaplains to act in their capacity as officers of the U.S. military is a question yet to be faced.

Petes يقول...

The 'ban' isn't a matter of rule or discipline. It would be considered 'anathema', or heretical. Ain't nobody in the Catholic Church -- the Pope included -- who could lift it.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
No such rule?  Ah, I see; so it isn't actually ‘banned’ after all.  Well, they'll work something out, I'm sure.

(And I do believe we've flushed out Petes’ position on gay marriage to boot.)

Petes يقول...

Yes, in spite of yer weak attempt at sophistry, there's no such rule... in the same sense that there's no rule that a cow can't be a pig. It just ain't, as a matter of definition. There's other stuff about not legitimising, through actions or apparent assent, a simulacrum of a sacrament, but it would likely be futile to try to explain it to y'all.

[Troll]: "And I do believe we've flushed out Petes’ position on gay marriage to boot"

What y'all believe is a matter for y'all's self.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Personally I am inclined to lean toward Marcus' views on gay marriage. That would seem to fit more closely with our Constitution, as Lee pointed out. And it is simply a fair resolution.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I decided to look it up.  Apparently Catholic priests don't actually marry people anyway.  They do not ‘preside’ over a wedding; they might ‘witness’ the wedding to make it official with the Catholic Church, (although folks not priests can do that part too) and they might perform a ceremonial wedding mass in conjunction with the wedding (gotta be a priest to do the mass), but they don't actually officiate the actual wedding.
Seems to solve that problem.  Or, at the very least, it offers the solution.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Apparently Catholic priests don't actually
      marry people anyway.
"

At least, not at a proper ‘Catholic’ wedding.

Petes يقول...

I'm not at all inclined to lean that way. Suppose we decide that the legal trappings of marriage should apply to a gay couple who make certain public commitments because such a treatment is "equitable". Then consider this: I've got a sibling who might leave me a property in their will. The tax treatment of inheritance between spouses is different from that between siblings. So I want to avail of the preferential treatment given to spouses under the law by marrying my sibling.

But hang on, the civil partnership bills that already exist in several countries -- and you can bet this will apply to "gay marriage" -- has the same restrictions on consanguinity as applies to traditional marriage. Can anyone explain to me why I am subject to such inequitable treatment? Indeed, why shouldn't I be able to marry my great grandmother or my one month old nephew for the sake of legal convenience?

What, then, is it that makes the State's treatment of me and my sibling "fair" and that of a gay couple "unfair" by denying both couples the same thing?

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "Seems to solve that problem."

I see the troll carefully avoided saying what problem it seemed to solve.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
It appears that an Army chaplain officiating at a gay wedding is not performing a ‘simulacrum of a sacrament’, there being no equivalent function in whatever it is that constitutes the Catholic sacrament of marriage.
A Catholic priest doesn't preside over the Catholic wedding.
You were just wrong.
That was the problem.
Now we know you were wrong.  Problem solved.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "A Catholic priest doesn't preside over the Catholic wedding. You were just wrong. That was the problem. Now we know you were wrong. Problem solved."

LOL. Try to say it a bit more spitefully. It still won't make me have said what I didn't say. Y'all's not even wrong. Y'all's just lyin'.

And y'all's still not sayin' what problem y'all think is solved.

Petes يقول...

[Troll]: "It appears that an Army chaplain officiating at a gay wedding is not performing a ‘simulacrum of a sacrament’"

Am I supposed to have said that too? Y'all is soundin' quite delusional at this point.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
And, just in case Petes being wrong about the ‘simulacrum of a sacrament’ thing wasn't enough of him gettin’ his Catholic all mucked up in a single thread…
It turns out that there is, or at least was (probably still is), is indeed a rule against Catholic priests officiating military gay marriages.  It was pronounced by one Archbishop Timothy Broglio, of the Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, back in 2011, when he announced there'd be no same-sex weddings at West Point.  (strike two Petes)
Turns out that West Point's Holy Trinity chapel is a Catholic parish, unlike most military chapels which are non-denominational.  Also turns out the Archbishop was wrong ‘bout what was and was not gonna happen at West Point--there's another, non-Catholic chapel on the grounds.

It's worth noting that the Archbishop founded his edict on his reading of American Constitutional law, and not on Catholic theology, thereby avoiding the errors we've seen from Petes on the subject so far.  (Although the Archbishop made some errors of his own in his reading of the civil law.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Fixing the link to 2011.

Petes يقول...

It seems we are to be regaled with abnormal levels of trollery on this topic. Perhaps it stands to reason that a troll in a Jesuit smock gets especially excitable about all issues Catholic.

No, Archbishop Timothy Broglio did not "pronounce a rule against Catholic priests officiating military gay marriages". He said (and I quote): "...unions between individuals of the same gender resembling marriage will not be accepted or blessed by Catholic chaplains". (Emphasis mine).

In this he was merely citing Canon 1379 of the Code of Canon Law regarding the simulation of a sacrament. Pity the troll only asks questions in order to find causes for disagreement -- if he bothered to listen to the answers instead of inventin' what he wants to hear, he might actually learn something.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

  
I'm sure Archbishop Broglio has probably quoted the Cannon you mention at some time in his life.  But, I'm not particularly interested in pursuing the details of the occasion with you, or, at least not from you.
On the subject of gay weddings in the American military what came out was:

        "…no Catholic chaplain is authorized to perform
        a same-sex marriage under any circumstances.
"
        via spokesman--but that counts for our purposes
        about a quarter way down the page

(Technically, "not authorized" isn't the same thing as "banned", but I think the Archbishop intended the latter to be understood.  I'm confident enough of that to call it close ‘nuff.)

Petes يقول...

You are generally confident enough to talk complete bullshit about stuff you don't understand, so I won't take that as evidence of anything in this case.

Facts of the matter are:

a) he said they weren't authorised -- if you want to believe that constitutes him makin' up a rule off his own bat, fine, but let's not pretend that it's anythin' other than pure invention on y'all's part. NO priest is so authorised -- it doesn't need any pronouncement on the part of an archbishop to make it so.

b) perhaps y'all think that I am bound to only quote from y'all's own reference - y'all is certainly arrogant enough to suppose that. The quote I provided regarding "unions resembling marriage" is nevertheless a quote from said archbishop on the said occasion. Y'all may take that or leave it as y'all wish.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "…he said they weren't authorised -- if you want to
      believe that constitutes him makin' up a rule off his
      own bat, fine…
"

Actually, I wrote that he had ‘pronounced’ the rule.  I didn't bother to speculate as to how he got himself to that point, whether he'd come up with it himself or what else it might have been, ‘off his own bat’ as you put, or otherwise.  Perhaps I should have said ‘announced’ and maybe you'd not have mistaken my meaning.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Post Script:

Noticed another part I'd not dealt with…
 
      "…NO priest is so authorised…"

That's not true either.  Military chaplains are authorized by the military to preform such marriages where state law so authorizes such marriage, priests were not excluded from this authorization.  To wit:

      "A military chaplain may participate in or officiate
      any private ceremony, whether on or off a military
      installation, provided that the ceremony is not
      prohibited by applicable state and local law. Further a
      chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a
      private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with
      the tenets of his or her religion or personal beliefs.
      Finally, a military chaplain's participation in a private
      ceremony does not constitute an endorsement of the
      ceremony by DoD"
      PDF file

Petes يقول...

I can see the troll intends to be ridiculous. So be it.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[PeteS] Indeed, why shouldn't I be able to marry my great grandmother or my one month old nephew for the sake of legal convenience?

Suggesting that the effort to legalize gay marriage is merely a tool to facilitate financial benefits? I know there have been arguments against its legalization on the grounds of it costing the Social Security fund more in benefits paid out, because it would give more people(supposedly) the option of claiming benefits on the highest income earner in a marriage. But this benefit entails being married at least 10 years, I believe. As to the inheritance laws, well, is there any evidence that suggest that a gay couple would be more likely to be engaging in a marriage of convenience than a straight couple?

You will always have a risk of a marriage being used as a tool for financial/legal benefit. Is it fair to those people who are in a committed relationship to punish them for the transgressions of others? It's a bit like assuming someone guilty rather than innocent before it has been proven.

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Suggesting that the effort to legalize gay marriage is merely a tool to facilitate financial benefits?"

And one or two other legal conveniences, but broadly yes. What else could it be for?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I can see the troll intends to be ridiculous."

Ridiculous is you telling us there was no such rule (Petes @ 8:48 AM, supra) and then citing and quoting the rule (Petes @ 7:34 PM, supra).

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Suggesting that the effort to legalize gay marriage is merely a tool to facilitate financial benefits?"

[PeteS] And one or two other legal conveniences, but broadly yes. What else could it be for?


*shrug* Why does anyone choose to get married? Are all those married couples out there choosing to formally acknowledge their unions only for legal/financial reasons?

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Why does anyone choose to get married? Are all those married couples out there choosing to formally acknowledge their unions only for legal/financial reasons?"

But the question here is not why people get married. It's why the State should formally recognise it.

Petes يقول...

P.S. I see the last of the Andrews sisters from Minnesota died yesterday (Patty, the one doing the solo, here).

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

But the question here is not why people get married. It's why the State should formally recognise it.

Ahh, I see. Well, in the case of the United States there is that "Pursuit of happiness" clause we have. If there are people out there who are advocating legalizing gay marriage out of a genuine desire to formalize their committment to another person because of an emotional attachment, then I would think it would be covered under this. Familiy members would be excluded because of the risk of physical disability arising from the too close gene mixing, not just the "ick" factor.


Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I see the last of the Andrews sisters from Minnesota died yesterday (Patty, the one doing the solo, here).

I look at old clips like that and think of all the things accomplished by people back then and wonder what, if anything, we have accomplished that is comparable. That is, have we only concenctrated on building better things?

May she rest in peace.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "But the question here is not why people get married.
      It's why the State should formally recognise it.
"
      Petes @ 11:25 PM

      "Ahh, I see."
      Lynnette @ 12:45 PM

Or, maybe you don't see.  That's not the question presented; not even close.  He's slid a red herring in on ya.
That's not the question presented.
Rather:  Given that the State does formally recognize marriage, and given that the Constitution calls for equal rights and equal protection under the law…
The question relevant is:  Does the government have some compelling reason to deny gay couples who apply for recognition as a married couple the same formal recognition and status that it grants to hetrosexual couples?

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "Well, in the case of the United States there is that "Pursuit of happiness" clause we have. If there are people out there who are advocating legalizing gay marriage out of a genuine desire to formalize their committment to another person because of an emotional attachment, then I would think it would be covered under this."

Why does an emotional attachment entitle them to State recognition? Like I said, I want to marry my sibling, but it's for money reasons, not emotional ones. Why should I be descriminated against in my pursuit of happiness?

"Familiy members would be excluded because of the risk of physical disability arising from the too close gene mixing, not just the "ick" factor."

I guess the "ick' factor and the gene mixing factor are one and the same -- nature didn't make it icky by accident. However, the gene factor doesn't apply to same-sex couples. Nor to siblings who just want equal tax treatment.

P.S. Happy saint Brigid's day -- the start of what we euphemistically call "spring" in this country. Nine hours of daylight for the first time today (though I doubt we'll see much sun).

Petes يقول...

How to make a St. Brigid's Cross ... I'm lazy, I've had the same one hanging in the living room for eight years. Should be made afresh each year, and be green, not brown and twiggy.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Why does an emotional attachment entitle them to State recognition?

As I said it's that Pursuit of happiness thing, Pete. If we are true to our constitution we apply it to all.

However, the gene factor doesn't apply to same-sex couples. Nor to siblings who just want equal tax treatment.

No, two brothers marrying or two sisters marrying would not produce children, so the risk of physical disability would not apply. However, in most societies there is the taboo of incest to be taken into account.

But I really don't see your scenario of family members marrying as being applicable to the legalizing gay marriage debate. Just like I would not see it as applicable to an argument against heterosexual marriage.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Should be made afresh each year, and be green, not brown and twiggy.

Sounds like some Christmas wreaths I know. lol!

Petes يقول...

[Lynnette]: "But I really don't see your scenario of family members marrying as being applicable to the legalizing gay marriage debate. Just like I would not see it as applicable to an argument against heterosexual marriage."

Then I think that we have to consider what we mean by marriage. You're implying that it's not just a convenient arrangement between any two adults. You implied earlier that the State has an interest in discouraging the procreation of children from incestuous relationships.

I agree with all that. The State's view of marriage is one based on the common good of supporting and maintaining families, and the having and rearing of children. It has no interest in regulating friendships, romantic attachments, arrangements of convenience (such as cohabiting siblings) etc. That's why you don't need a license to go on a date or join a soccer club.

"As I said it's that Pursuit of happiness thing, Pete. If we are true to our constitution we apply it to all."

But you've made no argument for why the pursuit of happiness entails legalising gay marriage. It sounds like, for instance, you wouldn't agree with legalising polygamous or sibling marriages just because someone asserts that they can't be happy unless the State formally recognises polygamy or incest.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "Then I think that we have to consider what we mean
      by marriage.
"

Marriage includes (or at least is intended to include), but is not strictly limited to ‘long term pair bonding’.
See also discussion of social and sexual pair bonding in marriage in ‘Marriage and Pair Bonds’ at PsychologyToday.com

Jawed Ali يقول...

World's Most Latest Vehicles and Latest Cars pictures, Most speed and Expensive Cars with hot pictures
worldlatestvehicles.blogspot.com

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Merriam-Webster Online

      mar·riage noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\

      Definition of MARRIAGE
      1 a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the
      opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and
      contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the
      state of being united to a person of the same sex in a
      relationship like that of a traditional marriage < same-
      sex marriage >
      b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock
      c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a
      marriage
      2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married
      status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony
      and attendant festivities or formalities
      3: an intimate or close union < the marriage of
      painting and poetry — J. T. Shawcross >

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

[PeteS] It sounds like, for instance, you wouldn't agree with legalising polygamous or sibling marriages just because someone asserts that they can't be happy unless the State formally recognises polygamy or incest.

This is true. Both are situations that are outside the mainstream societal mores in the US. But also, in my opinion, they would be more likely to lead to unhappiness rather than happiness. So, no, I would not support legalizing either of those situations.

But you've made no argument for why the pursuit of happiness entails legalising gay marriage.

Perhaps that argument is simply because same sex relationships are not considered so far outside the mainstream of society as they once were. And, unlike polygamy or incest, it is hard to see what harm they could entail. For those people who are directly affected by this decision it does not seem to be unreasonable to afford them the same legal recognition as a heterosexual couple.

I believe the State has a certain obligation to be flexible in its laws as a society evolves. Because ultimately the people it serves are its support system. The same could be said for a religion. Without that flexibility the State or the religion will have trouble surviving, IMHO.

Petes يقول...

I agree that the State serves the people, but it serves them as a society, as well as individuals. I think that in formalising marriage it recognises the societal good that consists in creating unions that produce and sustain new members of the community. Outside of that, I don't see that the State has any interest in what a couple get up to. The State didn't invent marriage, and neither did lawyers or priests. It is undoubtedly as old as humanity.


I think that proponents of same-sex marriage have the insecure and mistaken view that the State has some role in validating the unions of same-sex couples.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
      "I think that in formalising marriage it recognises
      the societal good…
"

I think Lynnette had it right.  People been pair-bonding since before we evolved into people.  It's the natural order of things, and the State has to friggin’ deal with it; this is not a choice.  A government that doesn't recognize reality ‘will have trouble surviving’ to quote Lynnette’.  And I don't believe that the need to recognizing reality is limited to recognitions that ‘produce and sustain new members’.  Lots of people would figure the State has obligations to existing members as well.  I think I'd be one of them.

      "I think that proponents of same-sex marriage have
      the insecure and mistaken view that the State has
      some role in validating the unions of same-sex
      couples.
"

I think we can tolerate people's personal decisions, and their right to make their own personal decisions, without it necessarily being said that we (as a society) have ‘validated’ those decisions.  However, that's an open invitation to get down so far into the semantical weeds as to be arguing about pretty much of nothing.  Just the sort of argument that appeals to you, but not to me.  So, I'll take this one somewhere else instead.
We have 310 million people, no doubt some of them would agree with you about this ‘validation’ thing.  No doubt some small percentage among the proponents of same-sex marriage would also agree with you.  But, it's clear that the opponents of same-sex marriage are overwhelmingly in agreement with you.  That's why they oppose it.  This ‘validation’ thing is way big on the social-conservative side of things.  Not so much among the homosexuals though.  (Just for one instance, the federal law passed to require the federal government to not recognize same-sex marriage even in states where it was legal was named by its proponents as ‘The Defense of Marriage Act’.  Obviously, those folks somehow got the notion in their heads that they had to ‘defend’ valid marriages from the homosexuals.  Not that I could ever see any evidence that heterosexual marriage was under any sort of attack from homosexuals.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
Post Script:

      "I think that in formalising marriage it recognises
      the societal good…
"

We also probably ought to acknowledge that it's as much an exercise in asserting power and control as it is anything else.  The claim of an exclusive power to ‘formalize’ a marriage is actually little more than a demand that the participants get permission from the government.
Back in the day, the authority to grant a legal marriage was taken away from the Catholic Church in many countries largely because the secular government wanted the power to control inheritances, land and title being the basis of most wealth (as opposed to the commerce which drives modern capitalist economies).

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     يقول...

 
I'll confess to some poor editing before I wander off to something else for the day…

      "This ‘validation’ thing is way big on the social-
      conservative side of things. Not so much among the
      homosexuals though; they'd largely describe it as
      a demand for equality before the law, for an end to a
      pervasive and unnecessary hostility and discrimination.

      Lee C. @ 10:46 PM

That's better I think.This

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