This is interesting.
The author paints a picture of a very grim future for oil reliant economies. The long and the short of it is that fracking and shale are the doom of the Saudis and likely a few others.
The Saudis have no price floor from an extraction standpoint but they do have a domestic funding problem with prices below a certain value. (That value seems to be in dispute.)
If Mr. Maudlin is correct, there isn't even anything the Saudis can do to stave this off. Looking at the list presented shows more than a few nations that would crumble into anarchy but for oil funding. Saudi Arabia, Venezuela (already well on their way), Russia, Iran, Nigeria, Algeria. I think their demise would be dependent on how much of their GDP is on oil. I don't know much about most of them and how tied into oil they are but I can tell you the Saudis and the Iranians are in big big trouble if he's right.
Moreover, I'm afraid of what comes after. What happens to Saudi Arabia when the petrodollars dry up? Mass riots, topple the government and ISIS takes over. Frankly the laws the Saudis live under aren't too far off of what ISIS has in mind.
If he's right, we're about to get on a very very rough rollercoaster for the next few decades and I don't think its going to be fun. Let's hope he's wrong and I am too.
That's what you do to people who rely on your cash for their living ... but for some reason feel the need to piss all over you if you have different opinions.
You may have read about the nonsense at this year's Hugo Awards. Check out Larry Correia's take on it all if you want to get caught up. Basically, science fiction has been hijacked by those of similar mind to college campus nuts who go out of their way to label anyone who disagrees with them as "racist, sexist, homophobic, etc." All in the name of "diversity," you see.
Scifi author John Scalzi is one of these nuts, unfortunately. Scalzi jumped onto the scifi map with the awesome Old Man's War a decade ago, and while his tale borrows heavily from greats Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers) and Joe Haldeman (The Forever War), he makes his own mark.
Unfortunately, his subsequent stories went downhill from there. As did Scalzi's relationship with approximately half of his audience due to his smug, I-know-better-than-you elitist style of "progressivism."
One article to which Scalzi links is sadly funny. Seriously, who freakin' cares about the gender/race/sexual orientation of a writer ... as long as the story is damn good?? Not to mention, what has stopped women, minorities and/or gays from entering the field ... if their tales are good ones?
Oh, but guys like Scalzi care. There are now, it seems, gender/race/sexual orientation quotas for science fiction quality. And if you disagree, "[fill in '-ist' epithet]."
John has his latest book out set in the Old Man's War universe, titled The End of All Things. But y'know what? Despite having read (bought) all the previous entries in the series, I'll be skipping this one. Because why should I give my money to a person who openly sh**s on people for (honest) political and cultural disagreements? He's the same as comicbooks guys Dan Slott, Ron Marz, Mark Waid, Gail Simone, and Kurt Busiek.
Remember, Delaware conservatives, when in
2008 2010 many of you actually thought that Christine O'Donnell could beat out Chris Coons in the general US Senate election -- even though every poll showed her getting beat, most by double digits?
And remember how every poll showed that O'Donnell's primary opponent, Mike Castle, beat Chris Coons? Remember??
You voted for O'Donnell anyway.
Now look -- I get digging Donald Trump. I really do. He gives it right back to people, most especially the mainstream media, and that is incredibly appealing.
But he won't win the general election. The only chance he would have is if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee, and he won't be. Even Hillary "What, Wipe It Clean With A Cloth?" Clinton still beats Trump head-to-head despite her criminal behavior. If things get too tough for Hill, the Dems will pull the plug, and someone like Joe Biden will jump in.
I remember O'Donnell beating Castle very well. I knew it would be a disaster. Thus, I worry about the Trump craze. I wanna grab people by the shoulders like Cahill (Oliver Platt) did to Grant (Kurt Russell) in Executive Decision and yell "LISTEN TO ME! LISTEN TO ME!!"
Maybe another time I'll address some of his head scratchers, like repealing the 14th Amendment and making Mexico pay for building a border wall.
Two predictions today, one near term and one far term.
First, Hillary will not be criminally charged with anything regarding the classified emails. She will pin it on either the company that set up the system or one of her underlings that was to blame. The key here is that she used the following words again and again:
Marked. That's the key. The emails with classified materials were not marked as such. That's her out. She's going to plead ignorance that she didn't know the material therein was classified. Sadly, this excuse will fly with everyone and sure as hell Obama is not going to let Justice go after her even if they wanted to. (Spoiler: they don't)
This will turn on who took the classified stuff out of JWICS and moved it to a lower environment. That is the origin of the crime. (Yes, it's a crime)
Having worked in classified environments I can tell you that even the lowest PII data is very closely guarded. When I worked at TLA I had two laptops. One was Secured. It would not print. It had no USB or external storage capabilities. It was audited regularly and I could not pass information from the unclassified network to the classified one. (NB: development and testing occurs in non-classified networks but prod environments are classified, housed in hardened data centers) When I had to do software updates I had to physically drive to the secured data center that was protected by armed guards and I was searched and even had to leave my cellphone in a locker before entering the facility. I was escorted the entire time and wasn't allowed to use the phones there because I didn't have a STE phone back in my office that I could call. So if I had a problem, I had to sign out of the facility and make a call from the parking lot. All this for PII data that was just for SECRET level. I cannot imagine how much more stringent they are for TOP SECRET or TS/SCI.
Beyond near term:
If the GOP manages to win the election next time around and starts undoing the damage Obama has done with, well, everything, there will be a turnaround in the economy that his supporters will give him credit for. That's right, it took a mere 9-10 years for his policies to bear fruit.
Monsters are real. I mean that in a literal sense. What other word fits?
Sick? Yes but it's not enough. Sick is too passive. It passes the blame elsewhere. Sick people cannot be blamed for their actions. It's not their fault. There is a word for this. Evil. What this man did was evil.
You want to know the worst part? I knew this guy. His kid and mine were friends. My son went to his birthday party at their house. What do they always say? "He seemed like a nice guy, kinda quiet." That's exactly what I would say. He was originally from Staten Island. My family is originally from there. In fact, most of them still live there. Once when I was picking the kids up from school, I introduced my mom to this monster and they talked about Staten Island. Think of all the Delaware Questions you get when you first meet someone from here. What neighborhood? What High School? Did you know this family or that? That whole thing.
Neither of us, nor my wife ever, ever had the slightest inkling that this guy was evil. I always assumed I'd get that creepy, "somethings wrong here but I can't quite put my finger on it" thing. I didn't. Not once.
This bastard forced me to ask my son all kinds of things I didn't want to ask him. He has shattered my trust in my own judgement and now I'm suspicious of anyone who comes anywhere near any of my kids. Any idea what it's like to have a non-verbal child you have to entrust to the care of others? Now imagine what that's like after this story.
If this story has any glimmer of a silver lining it's that this fucker is 71 years old and will be in prison for no less than 15 years. Not too many people make it to 86 in prison. I hope the judge gives him at least the recommended 25 years. Either way I hope he dies cold and alone. He doesn't even deserve that and his victim should be able to take some comfort however miniscule in knowing she will never see him again and he will never hurt her or anyone else ever again.
How delightfully delicious.
Dan Slott, writer of Spider-Man and more hypocritical than a Bill Clinton-loving feminist, sniveled before the social justice warrior crowd a week and half ago after he supposedly was "insensitive" -- insensitive to an apparently gay comicbook fan who stated he was metaphorically "bleeding" (because of lack of progress on the comics diversity front. I guess.)
It seems Danny Boy was defending Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso who had also taken issue with the race/gender/sexual orientation SJW bean counters in an interview.
Of course, Alonso incurred that group's wrath -- for the "crimes" of giving creator chores for Blade to white guys, and stating that Hercules would be straight (not gay or bi) in his new upcoming series.
But, after Slott's initial defense of his editor, check out his mewling apology to the SJW snowflakes:
An apology to any & all LGBTQ readers and fellow geeks and fans.
I screwed up. I was so focused on seeing a situation from my side of the equation, I didn't come to the table with enough empathy for others. That's all on me.
Saying the equivalent of "change is coming" and "can you cut us some slack" is a pretty awful thing to say to someone who's hurting-- to someone who wants, needs, and deserves change NOW. Not tomorrow. Now.
Not going to couch this in "Here's what I was thinking", "here's how you misread what I said", or "here's how I have been trying to bring diversity into comics". Because the word that keeps popping up in any of that is "I", "I", and "I". And, end of the day, "I" don't matter in any of this.
This is about the people who are being effected by the actual injustice and unfairness of it all. And the only thing you really need me to say that starts with "I" is:
I screwed up. And I am genuinely sorry.
(Um, you'd think a writer of a Marvel flagship title would know the difference between "effected" and "affected.")
Alas, Slott is attempting to maintain his "progressive" bonafides by getting on his knees and seeking forgiveness from a perpetually aggrieved group.
But he'll keep shitting on right-of-center fans who arguably make up a (much) larger percentage of comicbook readers and fans than the eternally angry SJWs.
And so it goes ...
Petition to paint the White House brown:
Look no further than CNN idiot Chris Cuomo lecturing Florida Senator Marco Rubio:
The author believes, and makes a good case that Saudi Arabia is toast. Not in the long term, in the medium term. They are up against the wall because tar sands and moreover fracking, have changed the game forever. The US is now the largest oil producing country in the world and it is not going to stop. The Saudis are very quickly burning through their cash reserve and while they have no practical price floor, they do have a political one. They are funding the spread of Sunni mosques around the world and those are expensive proposals. If they do hit a cash crunch, they'll have to reduce their funding of those efforts in order to keep the locals happy and keep the neighborhood quiet. With the pressure on them from Houthi rebels in the south and the high likelihood of ISIS growing in the near to medium term that spells disaster for them. ISIS has considerable support among the average Saudi citizens. If they are unable to diversify their economy (unlikely) or somehow change the oil markets to put themselves on top (similarly unlikely) they are going to consume their reserves even more rapidly. The hole in this theory is that no one really knows how much the Saudis have in reserve. It is certain that the royal family has billions and billions around the world not just in liquid assets but in real estate and other holdings and ongoing concerns.
The key question: What happens in the worst case scenario? What happens if they forgo maintenance on their infrastructure in favor of the price war and they burn through their reserves. I'd predict the royal family bugs out to France or Switzerland, ISIS rolls in and they go head to head with the Saudi Military who has taken over once the King and his ilk fled.
The darker alternative is that the Saudis use terrorist groups as proxies to wreak havoc on the fracking efforts around the US so as to slow or halt the yield. That is a very dangerous game and would be a measure of absolute desperation and would end very very badly for all involved.
Granted all of this is conjecture but I for one, would be very happy to see the end of Saudi rule both in their country and the oil markets. The upside of the US producing oil is that we would no longer be funding terrorists who are literally plotting to kill us.
Yesterday, a commenter named "mouse" -- a frequent guest at the LGOMB -- made three comments here at Colossus of a nature which you can probably guess.
Here's the deal: If you're associated with a site that allows no one of differing mind to participate, and bans such people just for their opinion(s), what makes you think you should be permitted to comment here?
... but such measures may actually be ineffective in preventing illegal voting.
How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.
If they mean 6.4 percent of 11 million illegal immigrants … we’re talking about roughly 700,000 votes being cast by non-citizens in 2008. Stunning.
We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted.
So, not only is the "progressive" claim that voter fraud not being a problem false, the main effort to combat is actually not very effective.
Just imagine if someone comes up with a better method to combat the fraud.
So much to say ... but why do so when the inimitable Doug Ernst does it so perfectly?
"We’re going to beat the hell out of you. And you’re going to crack. You’re going to fight back. And then we’re going to roll over every other moron on this street,” says Sergeant Binghamton to Superman.
So "edgy." So "relevant." So ... predictable. The only thing missing is Superman holding his hands up in a "hands up, don't shoot" gesture.
You want to be really "edgy," comic creators? Try something like Steve Englehart's Capt. America "Secret Empire" story from the early 1970s -- but replace Richard Nixon/Number One with Barack Obama.