Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

31 August 2017

Inconvenient Truths For Those That Cheered #HurricaneHarvey's Impact On The O&G Industry

Can Cenk really handle the truth?

If, like @CenkUygur, you celebrated #HurricaneHarvey's impact on the O&G industry, you should probably know:

1. 42% of the jet fuel used in the US comes from Texas.

Those red-eyes from NYC to LA are going to get much more expensive.

Cenk can probably afford it. You, on the other hand, not so much.

2. Texas accounts for 29% of total US refining capacity. More than one-fifth of U.S. refining capacity has been shuttered and it will be weeks or longer to fully come back on line. 

Have you noticed the spike in gas prices? 

Consider: Gas prices in cities across the US soared by as much as 40% after Hurricane Katrina due to supply interruptions.

Gas up? Everything else up.

3. Renewable energy accounts for only 10% of the nation's consumption so, whether you like it or not, you are an oil and gas consumer.

Harvey will probably cost you more to, say, charge your electric car, iPhone or laptop.

How can you tweet your anger about the O&G industry with a dead device???

4. Texas produces 36.5% of the nation's crude oil supply, which makes it the country's number one supplier. Currently, 22% of the oil produced in the Gulf, 379,000 bpd is offline.

Use anything with plastic? Use cosmetics, film, ink, ballpoint pens, nail polish, antiseptics, vitamin capsules, deodorant, antihistamines, refrigeration, tape, eyeglasses, anesthetics, golf balls, heart valves, artificial limbs, paint, tires?

Yep, petroleum is looking at you...and, Houston alone accounts for over 40% of the nation's base petrochemical capacity.

5. 34% of the nation's energy comes from natural gas. Texas produces 29% of that.

How will you help poor families pay for the increase in prices that will result from the decrease in supply that you cheered? 

6. Dreaming of a white Christmas in New England? 60% of the region's energy comes from NG...and, NE has no natural supply.

52% of New England's NG supply comes from the Gulf Coast.

7. No, wind and solar can't power the Northeast. Wind produces only 1.9% of the region's power and a mere 1.5% comes from solar. 

Massachusetts is consistently ranked as the nation's 'most energy efficient state'; yet, since 2000, it has doubled its reliance on NG, which now accounts for 50% of power generation. The state's NG power generators have nearly 20 times more capacity than wind and solar capacity combined. 

A winter powered by wind and solar will give a whole new meaning to 'Baby, it's cold outside!'

8. Are you against pipelines? Well, consider this: New England already pays the highest prices for electricity in the continental US and the region's pipeline capacity is maxed out.

Remember the polar vortex of 2014? The lack of pipeline capacity for the region's NG supply resulted in PRICES MORE THAN DOUBLING.

During the 2013-2015 winters, residents of the Northeast paid a ridiculous $7 BILLION more than neighbouring regions for electricity.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom of many, your protests do not hurt the O&G industry. It makes more money as an increase in demand is coupled with stagnant or reduced supply.

You only hurt the ones you claim to love...because they are the ones footing the bill.

9. The nation's second largest refinery (25 miles east of Houston) processes 584,000 B/D & employs 7,000 people, who make on average more than $95,000 a year, plus excellent benefits.

Remember when you loved the poor and blue-collar workers and their families? What happened?

10. Presently, energy from renewable sources accounts for only 12-15% of the nation's energy supply and is insufficiently reliable causing power plants to often have to switch to fossil fuel sources.

If you cheered the damage to the O&G industry, you lack foresight. If you want to see what happens to a country when it's O&G production is severely curtailed, then look at the country that you used to loudly praise as a model for all to follow. Of course, I'm talking about VENEZUELA.

* 1998 oil production: 3.5 million barrels per day (BBL/D/1K); 2017 oil production: 2.2 BBL/D/1K. That's a reduction of 37%...and Venezuela has the world's largest proven reserves

* Venezuela is ranked as one of the most miserable economies in the world on the 2017 Global Misery Index

* According to Freedom House's 2017 Freedom in the World index, the country is 'not free' and has a freedom ranking of 30/100

* Infant mortality increased 30% last year

* One-third of the nation’s citizens are now only eating two or fewer meals per day

* Maternal mortality shot up 65% last year

* Malaria cases soared an astonishing 76% last year

* Food inflation is 315%

* The consumer price index is 2,146%, an increase of 782% since last year alone

* 75% of the population lost an average of 19 pounds in weight last year

* The Consumer Price Index for transportation is 1,995%

* Public sector employees can only work 2 days per week. This was done to SAVE ELECTRICITY EVEN THOUGH VENEZUELA IS SITTING ON ALL OF THE OIL THAT IT COULD NEED. It just can't produce it because of its Socialist corruptocrats.

* After averaging 32.42% between 1973 and 2017, inflation is 741%

* The Bolivar was devalued by 64% in May and now is worth .099 of $1 USD

* Unemployment is 25%

* Rolling blackouts lasting at least 4 hours have been imposed to save electricity

* The country scored 17 points out of 100 on the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International

* Reporters Without Borders scored press freedom in the country at 42.94, which translates to a ranking of 137 out of 180 countries in 2017 and violations continue to increase

* The country's murder rate is the second highest in the world. In the last two years, the homicide rate has risen to an average of 60 a day, up from about 45 a day in 2015

* Child prostitution and sex trafficking have soared

* Education, healthcare, and infrastructure are gravely underfunded 

And, no, Venezuela didn't get to this point because of the fall in oil prices. Norway's economy is also based, in large part, on oil and gas. How many protesters are in the street or starving at home?

11. If Climate Change caused Hurricane Harvey, please explain:

* The Cat 3 of 23 August 1851

* The Cat 3 of 26 August 1852

* The Cat 4 of 11 August 1856

* The Cat 3 of 8 September 1854

* The Cat 3 of 16 August 1855

* The Cat 3 of 11 August 1860

* The Cat 3 of 7 October 1873

* The Cat 3 of 12 August 1860

* The Cat 3 of 8 September 1869

* The Cat 3 of 16 August 1871

* The Cat 3 of 10 September 1882

* The Cat 3 of 16 September 1875

* The Cat 3 of 3 October 1877

* The Cat 3 of 1 September 1879

* The Cat 3 of 25 August 1885

* The Cat 4 of 20 August 1886

* The Cat 3 of 16 August 1888

* The Cat 3 of 28 August 1893

* The Cat 4 of 2 October 1893

* The Cat 3 of 13 October 1893

* The Cat 3 of 9 October 1894

* The Cat 3 of 29 September 1896

* The Cat 4 of 2 October 1898

* The Cat 3 of 18 August 1899

* The Cat 4 of 9 September 1900

* The Cat 3 of 21 July 1909

* The Cat 3 of 20 September 1909

* The Cat 3 of 11 October 1909 

* The Cat 3 of 18 October 1909

* The Cat 4 of 17 August 1915

* The Cat 4 of 18 August 1915

* The Cat 3 of 6 July 1916

* The Cat 4 of 18 August 1916

* The Cat 3 of 29 September 1917

* The Cat 3 of 7 August 1918

* The Cat 4 of 10 September 1919

* The Cat 3 of 14 September 1919

* The Cat 3 of 25 October 1921

* The Cat 3 of 21 August 1926

* The Cat 3 of 26 August 1926

* The Cat 4 of 18 September 1926

* The Cat 4 of 17 September 1928

* The Cat 3 of 28 September 1929

* The Cat 4 of 14 August 1932

* The Cat 3 of 5 September 1933

* The Cat 5 of 3 September 1935

* The Cat 3 of 21 September 1938

* The Cat 3 of 23 September 1941

* The Cat 3 of 30 August 1942

* The Cat 3 of 19 October 1944

* The Cat 3 of 15 September 1945

* The Cat 4 of 17 September 1947

* The Cat 4 of 21 September 1948

* The Cat 4 of 26 August 1949

Did the United States or, indeed, the world have more or less emissions between 1851 and 1949 or from 1950 until today?

12. If Climate Change caused Hurricane Harvey, please explain the following keeping in mind carbon emissions were much lower:

* The 1880s were the most active decade for the United States, with a total of 25 hurricanes affecting the nation.

* The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, a Cat 5, was the most intense hurricane to make landfall in the US on record, as well as the 3rd most intense Atlantic hurricane ever. It had sustained winds of 185 mph, a 20 ft storm surge, barometric pressure at landfall of 892 mbar, and killed 408 people.

* The least active decade was the 1970s, with a total of only 12 hurricanes affecting the American coastline

* The Great Galveston Hurricane, a Cat 4 that made landfall on 8 September 1900, remains to the present day the deadliest natural disaster in US history. It had sustained winds of 145 mph, a 25 ft storm surge, barometric pressure at landfall of 936 mbar, and killed between 6,000 to 12,000 people.

* The Okeechobee hurricane, a Cat 4, which made landfall on 6 September 1928. It had sustained winds of 160 mph, a storm surge of 20 feet, barometric pressure at landfall of 929 mbar, and killed more than 4,000 people

* In the 1850s, there were 17 hurricanes making landfall in the US; in the 1860s, there were 15; in the 1870s, there were 19; in the 1880s, there were 25; in the 1890s, there were 20; between 1900 and 1909, there were 17; in the 1910s, there were 21; in the 1920s, there were 15; in the 1930s, there were 18; in the 1940s, there were 23; in the 1950s, there were 20; in the 1960s, there were 15; in the 1970s, there were 12; in the 1980s, there were 17; in the 1990s, there were 15; between 2000 and 2009, there were 19; and there have been 7 so far in the 2010s.

Did we use more oil and gas in the 1880s or 1970s?

If you answered the 1970s, then explain why there were more hurricanes in the former than the latter. I mean, if climate change due to fossil fuels is driving more and larger storms, one would expect that the 1970s would have dwarfed the 1880s. Why didn't it?

13. If the oil industry in Texas is responsible for Hurricane Harvey, answer this question:

Question: Which came first: The greatest natural and deadliest disaster in American history, i.e., the Galveston hurricane, or Spindletop, which marks that start of the modern petroleum industry and was the first successful well drilled in Texas?

Answer: The hurricane (8 September 1900) hit Texas 125 days before Spindletop (10 January 1901).

If the oil industry is responsible for killer hurricanes, why did the nation's most deadly storm precede the modern oil industry?

30 August 2017

Pic of the Day: 'Russians, NorKs, And Nazis, Oh My!'

The Left v ISIS v Nazism v Stalinism v Maoism: A Checklist

The Left v ISIS:

* Believes in Ideological Supremacism (I ✓; L ✓)

* Subscribes to the catechism of "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that the state (or mobs) should regulate every part of life (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that there is only one true religion (I ✓ - Islam; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Believes that the slightest deviation from its orthodoxy is heresy (I ✓; L ✓)

* Elevates an elite clerical class (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Demands confessions for real, imagined, and orchestrated 'crimes' (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that violence is justified to further its cause (I ✓; L ✓)

* Uses intimidation and violence to enforce its orthodoxy (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes that the state (or mobs) should punish heretics (I ✓; L ✓)

* Supports 'blasphemy' laws (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes the ends justify the means (I ✓; L ✓)

* Suppresses or bans speech (I ✓; L ✓)

* Punishes dissent and WrongThink  (I ✓; L ✓)

* Prohibits the free association, assembly and expression of out persons (I ✓; L ✓)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a black uniform, head to toe (I ✓; L ✓)

* Engages in iconoclasm (I ✓; L ✓)

* Rewrites and/or erases history (I ✓; L ✓)

* Believes children should be indoctrinated (I ✓; L ✓)

* Separates society by groups, i.e, race, religion, class, intellectualism,etc. (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Controls the media and other forms of communication (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Uses propaganda (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Supports censorship (I ✓; L ✓)

* Burns books, artwork or other information or demands that they be banned/destroyed (I ✓; L ✓)

* Demands absolute conformity (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Uses government, communications, regulation, taxation, manipulation of the money supply, culture, societal pressure, and mobs to enforce conformity and compliance (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Believes in the perfectability of man (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Believes that Utopia can be achieved on Earth (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Believes in an utilitarian view of the individual and that 'defectives' should be removed from society (I ✓; L ✓) 

* Marks dissenters, non-conformists, and members of 'out' groups as enemies of the state (I ✓; L ✓)

* Holds that the collective always trumps the individual (I ✓; L ✓)

* Hates Western Civilisation (I ✓; L ✓)

* Hates Capitalism (I ✓; L ✓)

This poster (circa 1938) reads: "60,000 Reichmarks is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money, too. Read '[A] New People,' the monthly magazine from the Bureau of Race Politics of the NSDAP."

The Left v Nazism:

The above, but with slight changes...

* Believes that there is only one true religion (N ✓ - National Socialism; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a brown or black uniform, head to toe (N✓ (SA, SS); L ✓)

Revisionist History, Stalinist-style

The Left v Stalinism:

The above, but with slight changes...

* Believes that there is only one true religion (S ✓ - National Communism as opposed to Marx/Trotsky International Socialism; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a brown or black uniform, head to toe (S✓ ; L ✓)

Mao's Red Guards...and their victims

'[A]ll the experience... accumulated through several decades teaches us... to deprive the reactionaries of the right to speak and let the people alone have that right.'

- Mao Zedong

 The Left v Maoism:

The above, but with slight changes...

* Believes that there is only one true religion (M ✓ - Communism ; L ½✓ - Global Warming, Islam)

* Has a paramilitary wing, which wears a brown (khaki w/ red star) or black uniform, head to toe (M ✓ (Red Guards); L ✓)

The Left loves totalitarianism. Period.

A meeting of 'Antifa' at the Third COMMUNIST International Congress in Moscow, 1921

If you believe that Leon Trotsky was a Fascist, you might be an 'antifascist', which is exactly what Stalin wanted.

The Communist Origins of the Antifa Extremist Group

German anti-fascists (Rotfront) give the clenched fist salute.

[Antifa] was initially part of the Soviet Union’s front operations to bring about communist dictatorship in Germany, and it worked to label all rival forms of government as “fascist.” 
The organization can be traced to the “united front” of the Soviet Union’s third Communist International, held at the World Congress in Moscow in July 1921, according to the German booklet, “80 Years of Anti-Fascist Action,” by Bernd Langer, published by the Association for the Promotion of Anti-Fascist Culture. Langer is a former member of the Autonome Antifa, formerly Germany’s largest Antifa organization, which was shut down in 2004. (...)
Benito Mussolini, a Marxist and Socialist who had been expelled from Italy’s Socialist Party in 1914 for his support for World War I, later founded the fascist movement as his own political party. He took power through his “march on Rome” in October 1922. 
In Germany, Adolf Hitler had formed the Nazi Party in 1920 and mounted a coup attempt in 1923. The KPD decided to use the banner of anti-fascism to form a movement. Langer notes, though, that to the KPD the ideas of “fascism” and “anti-fascism” were “undifferentiated,” and the term “fascism” served merely as rhetoric meant to support their aggressive opposition. (...)
The 2016 annual report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence service, notes the same point: from the viewpoint of the “left-wing extremist,” the label of “fascism” pushed by Antifa is often not actual fascism, but merely a label they assign to “capitalism.” 
While the leftist extremists launch attacks on other groups claiming they’re fighting “fascism,” the report states the term fascism has a double meaning under their extreme-left ideology, indicating the “fight against the capitalist system.” 
This held true from the beginning, according to Langer. For the communists in Germany, “anti-fascism” merely meant “anti-capitalism.” He notes the labels merely served as “battle concepts” under a “political vocabulary.”
A description of Antifa in the BfV report notes that the organization still holds this same basic definition of capitalism as “fascism.” 
“They argue that the capitalist state produces fascism, or at least tolerates it. Therefore, anti-fascism is directed not only against actual or supposed right-wing extremists, but also always against the state and its representatives, in particular members of the security authorities,” it states. 
Langer notes that historically, by labeling the anti-capitalist interests of the communist movement as “anti-fascism,” the KPD was able to use this rhetoric to label all other political parties as fascist. Langer states, “According to this, the other parties opposed to the KPD were fascist, especially the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany].”
Thus, in what would today be considered ironic, the group that the communist “anti-fascists” most heavily targeted under their new label of “fascism” was the social democrats. 
On Aug. 23, 1923, the Politburo of the Communist Party of Russia held a secret meeting, and according to Langer, “All the important officials spoke out for an armed insurrection in Germany.” 
The KPD was at the front of this call, and launched a movement under the banner of “United Front Action,” and branded its armed “anti-fascist” wing under the name of “Antifaschistische Aktion” (“Antifascist Action”) which it still carries in Germany, and from which the Antifa organizations in other countries are rooted. 
At this time, Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) had begun to emerge on the world stage. In late 1923, Hitler launched his failed coup in Munich, emulating Mussolini.
The Nazi Party employed a similar group for political violence and intimidation, the “brownshirts.” 
Antifaschistische Aktion, meanwhile began to attract some members who opposed the arrival of actual fascism in Germany, and who did not subscribe—or were potentially unaware—of the organization’s ties to the Soviet Union.
However, the violence instigated by Antifaschistische Aktion largely had an opposite effect. The ongoing tactics of violence and intimidation of all rival systems under the KPD’s Antifa movement, along with its violent ideology, drove many people towards fascism. 
“The Communists’ violent revolutionary rhetoric, promising the destruction of capitalism and the creation of a Soviet Germany, terrified the country’s middle class who knew only too well what had happened to their counterparts in Russia after 1918,” writes Richard J. Evans inThe Third Reich in Power.”
“Appalled at the failure of the government to solve the crisis, and frightened into desperation by the rise of the Communists,” he states, “they began to leave the squabbling little factions of the conventional political right and gravitate towards the Nazis instead.” 
Langer notes that from the beginning, the KPD was a member of the Communist Comintern, and “within a few years it became a Stalinist party”, both ideologically and logistically. He states that it even became “Financially dependent on the Moscow headquarters.” 
Leaders of the KPD, with Antifa as their on-the-ground movement for violence and intimidation of rival political parties, fell under the command of the Soviet apparatus. Many KPD leaders would later become leaders in the communist German Democratic Republic, including of its infamous Ministry for State Security, the Stasi. 
As Langer states, “Anti-fascism is a strategy rather than an ideology.”
“It was brought into play in Germany in the 1920s by the KPD,” he states, not as a legitimate movement against fascism that would later arise in Germany, but instead “as an anti-capitalist concept of struggle.”

The notion that Fascism is alien to the Left is absurd. As Irving Louis Horowitz, 1929 – 2012, a radical left-wing sociologist, Fulbright lecturer, author of more than 25 books and articles, and a Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, wrote in The Decomposition of Sociology:

"Fascism will return to the United States not as right wing ideology, but almost as a quasi-leftist ideology. 
The content of left-wing fascism is heavily based on an elitist vision of the world. At every level of society, it juxtaposes its minoritarianism against majoritarianism. It may take libertarian or authoritarian forms, but it always defends its leadership vision over any populist vision. Some examples are the hip versus the square, the gay versus the straight, the individualistic free soul versus the family-oriented slave, those who believe in the cult of direct action versus the fools who participate in the political process, those who practise nonviolence over those who assert willfulness and violence as measures of human strength and courage, those who have strong affiliations with cults and cultism over the traditional non-believer (a marked departure from the anti-theological vision of most forms of leftist and socialist behaviour), those who argue the case for deviance over mainline participation in the working class or in segments of class society, those who choose underground organisations in preference to established voluntary organisations and, ultimately, those who choose some type of deracinated behaviour over class behaviour and participation. 
Historically, communists, like fascists, have had an uncomfortable attraction to both elitism and populism. The theory of vanguards acting in the name of the true interests of the masses presupposes a higher science of society (or in the case of fascism, a biology of society) beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. The superstructure of science, like culture generally, becomes a realm in which elites act in the name of the public. What happens to the notion of the people determining their own history in their own way? Here populism, or pseudo-populism, steps in to fuse formerly antagonistic trends. In some mysterious, inexplicable manner, these mass forces must be shaped or molded. Under communism, in sharp contrast to fascism, the stratification elements in the national culture are deemed unique or uniquely worth salvaging. But, in the anti-ideological climate of the "new world," people (class) and fold (race) blend, becoming the raw materials for fashioning the new society. 
Left-wing fascism does not so much as overcome this dilemma of elitism and populism as it seeks to harness both under the rubric of a movement. Having its roots in the 1960s, left-wing fascism views the loose movement, the foco, the force, as expanding the √©lan and the communist vanguard. It permits a theory of politics without the encumbrance of parties. It allows, even encourages, a culture of elitism and crackpot technocracy while extolling the virtues of a presumed inarticulate mass suffering under inscrutable false consciousness. The mystification and debasement of language displaces the search for clarity of expression and analysis, enabling a minuscule elite to harness the everyday discontent of ordinary living to a grand mission. Left-wing fascism becomes a theory of fault, locating the question of personal failure everywhere and always in an imperial conspiracy of wealth, power or status. 
Fascism requires a focal point of hatred behind which to unify. Thus, when fascists advocate anti-Semitism, they are simply using a tactic, one not opposed by communism. It becomes a modality of affixing the climate of a post-Nazi holocaust, a post-Stalinist Gulag, and the monopoly of petroleum wealth by forces historically antagonistic to Jewish ambitions. The new left-wing fascist segments, weak within the nation, can draw great strength from "world forces" deemed favourable to their cause. The unitary character of anti-Semitism draws fascist and communist elements together in a new social climate. Anti-Semitism is essential motor of left-wing fascism. The grand illusion of seeing communism and fascism as polarised opposites (the latter being evil with a few redeeming virtues, the former being good with a few historical blemishes) is the sort of liberal collapse that reduces analysis to nostalgia -- an abiding faith in the unique mission of a communist left that has long ago lost its universal claims to a higher society. This catalogue of polarities, this litany of beliefs, adds up to a lifestyle of left-wing fascism."

My three quibbles with this observation are 1) Fascism, like Communism, is based upon the collective, not the individual; thus, it isn't 'right-wing', at least not in the sense that Americans draw the political spectrum. Compare the platforms of various Fascists, Progressives, and Socialists for yourself; As we have seen, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt both operated governments and instituted policies that had Fascists around the world cheering; 2) The idea that Communism couldn't be nationalistic would be news to Josef Stalin; and, 3) Anyone, who believes that the Left cannot be Anti-Semitic hasn't read about Stalin and the Soviet Union nor ever met people like Linda Sarsour or members of the Students for Justice in Palestine.