Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The face of the 'Arab Spring'


53 comments:

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Broblem?

Sounds like a Russian accent.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Btw, Zeyad, if you run into Abbas tell him I like the border he put on his blog.

Marcus said...

"Sounds like a Russian accent."

I'd say it's a wordplay Lynnette, nt the guy's name. The guy is from the Muslim BROtherhood and the question asked that would normally be "Problem?" is therefore posed as "Broblem?"

Yeah, they got broblems in many of the arab-spring nations I'd say. Serious broblems and very unfortunate broblems. Pity the youths who started the protests and demostrations to get to see them hijacked by that lot.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

The guy is from the Muslim BROtherhood and the question asked that would normally be "Problem?" is therefore posed as "Broblem?"

My guess is you're right, Marcus. I'm still stuck in Syria and seeing the Russian government's actions in supporting Assad. Zeyad would be coming at it from another direction.

Pity the youths who started the protests and demostrations to get to see them hijacked by that lot.

Anytime one's dreams and aspirations are hijacked is a disappointment, but in their case it is also dangerous.

Marcus said...

Sure it's dangerous. Just imagnine how dissapointing it must be though.

Say you were a normal young person in Tunisia or Egypt or Libya. You were under the thumb of some repressive regime. You saw little opportunities for yourself in life. Once these feelings came to a boiling point you and your friends took to the streets clamoring for change. The regime actually fell, despite all its might, and you were extatic for a while. Only to learn repressive assholes worse than the previous regime hijacked your protests and now roam the streets armed and ready to impose their midevil way of life on you and yourse. And the international community and media that so supported your "spring" once you were fighting the old regime is now silent and withdrawn.

Freddie Starr said...

Bilderberg ate my hamster

Zeyad said...

PeteS what were you doing hanging around the Bilderberg group's meeting?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hrmph...now I will have to google "Bilderberg".

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Marcus,

You were under the thumb of some repressive regime. You saw little opportunities for yourself in life. Once these feelings came to a boiling point you and your friends took to the streets clamoring for change.

Aaaaaannnnnd? What? Did they think that was it? March a little and everything would magically be all right? There is more to real change than raising your voices. That's just the start. Did they think we had it easy? Did they think America became a functioning democracy overnight? They should read some of our history.

Believe me I can sympathize, but as so many people have been intent on telling us over and over, we do not understand the inner workings of Middle Eastern culture as well as those who are living in it. The problems they are having should have been considered, especially after the Iranian example. Outside powers and media can only do so much. You need to get influential people within your country to back your reforms. And you have to understand that change, real change, comes from within the culture itself. Look at United States history. That may be where your best help lies.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bilderberg Group, a conspiracy theorist's wet dream, got it.

In 2001, Denis Healey, a Bilderberg group founder and, for 30 years, a steering committee member, said: "To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing."[35] In 2005 Davignon discussed these accusations with the BBC: "It is unavoidable and it doesn't matter. There will always be people who believe in conspiracies but things happen in a much more incoherent fashion... When people say this is a secret government of the world I say that if we were a secret government of the world we should be bloody ashamed of ourselves."[32] Wiki


Petes said...

Does Alex Jones really have 40 million listeners in the States? If so, could you please take him back a.s.a.p. :)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22832994

Petes said...

Veggie bombers keeping up the carnage :(

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oh, that's so weird. I could have sworn I was here...

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Pete,

Here's a telescope for you. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Within Pete's veggie bomber link there was another story about Marwa, the war, and Iraq 10 years after the invasion. A reality we may not always see.

Petes said...

Thanks Lynnette. I actually still subscribe to the San Jose Mercury News, but hadn't seen that story. The Lick observatory is very famous. Unfortunately I know a lot of US observatories by reputation but have not until recently wondered precisely where many of them actually are. So when a friend who went to UC Berkeley mentioned the Lick a couple of years ago, I realised I'd been within 20 miles of it on a dozen different visits to Apple's HQ in Cupertino and my own company's American HQ in Los Gatos. It's on my growing list of observatories to visit. It's still the second biggest refracting telescope in the world used for astronomical work, and famous for many surveys, catalogues, and astronomical calibration work.

Marcus said...

Pete, since you've got an interest in the oil prices, where are they today and where are they heading in the next year or so? Do you foresee any long term trend? I am aware it's guesswork but try your best.

On the same topic: I saw an article claiming the US "possible reserves" of shale oil could amount to 4 times the "proven reserves" of oil in Saudi. The same article claimed Israel could have shale deposits equalling those of the "proven reserves" in Saudi. What do you make of those lofty promises? Have you heard anything along those lines? If they were true then for sure they would be complete gamechangers in many areas: energy and geopolitics to name the most important. (sorry, no link - it was a paper paper)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Pete,

One of the things I found interesting is when the Lick Observatory was built. It's a pretty sophisticated operation for the time period. It wasn't all just a "horse and buggy" world. :)

Petes said...

Lynnette, yeah, telescope construction has always pushed the limits. It's a great combination of pure research focus, and pragmatic engineering.

My latest favourite is the KMOS spectrograph at the VLT in Paranal, Chile (another challenging environment -- less than half an inch of rain per century!). How do you split the light from multiple objects in the telescope's field of view so that they can be individually analysed? Previously you did one at a time, or made special purpose plates (only good for one image) into which you drilled fibre optic wires. For the KMOS spectrograph they built a fourteen-armed robot, with mirrors on its hands. Automatically positioned at precise points in the telescope's focal plane, they carve up the image for sampling.

Petes said...

Marcus, my summary would be: short term, oil is going down, medium term it's going up, long term in anyone's guess.

In the short term I would say oil will average a lower price this year than it did last year. WTI has already nudged lower than $90 a couple of times, and Brent is equally lacklustre. Causes are the perception of stagnant demand and anticipation of new supply.

In the medium term (one to five years), the global economy will not stay this depressed forever. I don't know when it will pick up -- right now even developing economies are showing signs of catching the same disease as the developed ones. But eventually, demand will pick up, and meanwhile depletion rates for oil and costs of extraction are only going one direction.

Long term, we must transition away from oil. Shale oil is a mirage. It can only produce oil at costs which are a multiple of "easy" oil in the middle east and Russia. The giant fields there are in decline, and no amount of tinkering around with expensive, low extraction rate endeavours will compensate. Iraq is the great hope for the next couple of decades. But it continues to defeat itself. The latest I read is that it is a year behind schedule with a 120km water pipeline network from the Persian gulf to the southern fields, which is vital to maintain water-driven well pressures.

Regarding Israel's shale deposits, I've always been under the impression that they are oil shale, not shale oil -- the confusing distinction meaning that what Israel has is semi-combustible rocks. You might run a dirty power station of them (and they've tried) but you won't run your BMW. Israel might have some offshore oil, but in the main what I've read about Israel's extraordinary resources are from enthusiastic Semitophile authors who don't understand the technical details. I'm open to correction.

Same goes for the U.S. Reserve comparisons with KSA only work when you are comparing like with like. If the extraction rate cannot be ramped up, it doesn't matter how much is there -- it'll just take longer to produce it. And I don't think anyone is predicting 11 mbpd from the Bakken or Eagle Ford. The increase in output is impressive, and it's more than a mere drop in the ocean ... but it's not vastly more.

Those are my thoughts, which could be very, very wrong.

Marcus said...

Thanks Pete. That was an informative answer.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

In the medium term (one to five years), the global economy will not stay this depressed forever.

We are seeing some upturn in demand not only for houses but for cars. Both sectors that have a huge impact on various areas of the economy. Americans can only go so long without replacing something.


P.S. It finally stopped raining!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

US to acknowledge Syria used chemical weapons

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The guy is from the Muslim BROtherhood and the question asked that would normally be "Problem?" is therefore posed as "Broblem?"
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Sounds like a Russian accent

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