Can Norway Save America, The Gulf, Our Shrimp?

A COMPANY IN NORWAY has invented a machine they call the OS-1 estimated to separate a million gallons of toxic oil and sea water a day. Does the Oil Swallow work as hyped? Will the President heed the call to send it into the Gulf? Will America be saved. Stay tuned. There's no government mistake worse than overlooking the obvious...

Day 50 of this devastation hovers as we recall the haunting countdown during Iran hostage crisis of the Carter administration. Will the White House respond to the outreach, or continue to bumble through? Word is they are turning down help from foreign entities because of the Jones Act, but the truth is the Jones Act has been waived several times already, including by the Bush administration. This is absolutely NO RATIONAL POINT to limit our clean-up opportunities, only political points. Keep an eye on the fall-out in the coming days, weeks, and months. It won't be pretty.

Blood For Oil Gone Awry

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Iraqi Oil, American Blood

Isn't this the sorriest of outcomes with the loss of American blood and treasure in Iraq—to be scooped by the yen-manipulating Chinese and the increasingly belligerent Islamic Turks? Can someone tell us how much oil are we now getting from Iraq? Word is China has also bought into the Alberta Oil Sands, a major supply to the US, while the libs scream for a boycott of Canadian "dirty" oil..

Fred Kagan writes in No Blood For Oil:

One would have thought that leading Democratic senators who claim to be interested in finding other sources of funding to replace American dollars in Iraq, in helping Iraq spend its own money on its own people, and in lowering the price of gasoline for American citizens, would have been all for it. Instead, Senators Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condi Rice asking her "to persuade the GOI [Government of Iraq] to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq." The Bush administration wisely refused to do so, but the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts, and helps to explain why Iraq is doing oil deals instead with China.

Go figure...

CNOOC Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp. has partnered with the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO) to win a contract with Iraq to develop the lucrative Missan oil-field in southern Iraq, marking CNOOC's first upstream access to Iraqi oil following its two major rivals, CNPC and Sinopec.

According to CNOOC, the 20-year contract includes an increase of Missan's production capacity to 450,000 barrels per day from the current 100,000 barrels a day within six years. CNOOC has agreed to price every additional barrel of oil produced after capacity rises by 10 percent at US$ 2.30.

CNOOC will be the operator and hold 63.75 percent of the interest. TPAO will have 11.25 percent interest while an Iraqi drilling company will hold the remaining 25 percent....

The other two major Chinese oil companies, CNPC and Sinopec, have also gained a foothold in the Iraqi oil industry. In November 2008, CNPC and China North Industries Corp. set up a joint venture and signed a 20-year development contract for Al-Ahdab Oilfield....

Big Oil's Long Goodbye To The Dollar

In an article by Robert Fisk published in THE INDEPENDENT, the crisis of the American dollar in oil dealings is explained a little deeper than was known the last time we visited this topic. More former allies have agreed to leave the dollar, thus hastening its demise.

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Rise Of A Superpower

IN THE MOST PROFOUND financial shift in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning—along with China, Russia, Japan and France—to end all dollar purchases for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar. Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place—although they have not discovered the details—are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China's former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. "Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable," he told the Asia and Africa Review. "We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security."

This sounds like a dangerous prediction of a future economic war between the US and China over Middle East oil—yet again turning the region's conflicts into a battle for great power supremacy. China uses more oil incrementally than the US because its growth is less energy efficient. The transitional currency in the move away from dollars, according to Chinese banking sources, may well be gold. An indication of the huge amounts involved can be gained from the wealth of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who together hold an estimated $2.1 trillion in dollar reserves.

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Can't Print Enough To Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

The decline of American economic power linked to the current global recession was implicitly acknowledged by the World Bank president Robert Zoellick. "One of the legacies of this crisis may be a recognition of changed economic power relations," he said in Istanbul ahead of meetings this week of the IMF and World Bank. But it is China's extraordinary new financial power—along with past anger among oil-producing and oil-consuming nations at America's power to interfere in the international financial system—which has prompted the latest discussions involving the Gulf states. After a while, familiarity breeds contempt, and thus allegiances tend to change. And we are seeing that sort of thing here.

Read it all.

But here is a more sober take from a poster whose handle is Solomon2, posting on Debbie Schussel's blog covering the same story within the context of a book review. This leveled advice smiles upon the survival of dollar, but cautions that all is not well. Read on...

It is possible for these parties to destroy the dollar, but by doing so they would sacrifice a great deal of their own wealth (in dollar-denominated assets) and future income (because of the worldwide depression caused by such a crash.)

After WWII the U.S. accounted for 50% of the world’s GNP. Thus there was really little alternative to using the dollar—that the British pound held its own for two more decades can be attributed to the economic influence of its fading Empire. Now the U.S. represents under 30% of world GNP and is no longer the world leader in providing capital, so it makes sense to revive the 1970s mechanism of the SDR for capital growth. Eventually the dollar will come down and manufacturing revive compared to the financial and services sector. It’s all quite natural—though we will have to get used to the fact that we cannot enjoy the benefits of great seignorage much longer.

Turning Oil Into Salt

Found this online, fitting enough for the thought of the day...

Fire From The Mouth of the Dragon

Fire From The Mouth of the Dragon

Early in our country's history, in response to the Barbary pirates, the halls of Congress were filled with Congressmen shouting "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute!" How things have changed! Now it is "Billions for jizya, not a penny for self-respect!"

But just as the afternoon follows the morning, here is an even more profound and rewarding find called Turning Oil Into Salt:

One hundred and fifty years after the discovery of oil in the U.S. gave rise to the global oil industry, two of America’s leading energy security experts present a compelling plan to diminish the strategic value of oil through competition, fuel choice, removal of trade barriers on alternative fuels and other domestic and international free-market-based solutions.

In their provocative book Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice, Gal Luft and Anne Korin, co-directors of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and co-founders of the Set America Free Coalition, argue that energy independence is not a function of the amount of oil we consume or import; it's about turning oil from a strategic commodity second to none (as salt once was) to just another commodity (as salt is today.)

As the sole means of food preservation, salt once determined the course of world affairs. Technology—canning and refrigeration—stripped salt of its strategic status turning it into just another commodity, something to be bought and sold that no longer has geopolitical importance. Turning Oil into Salt describes how we can do the same to oil, whose strategic status stems from its virtual monopoly over transportation fuel. The book addresses the following questions:

  • Why can’t we drill or conserve our way to independence?
  • How are China, Brazil, and Iran leapfrogging to energy independence and leaving America behind?
  • Why do competition and the free market—rather than Soviet style central planning—hold the key to independence?
  • How can we bring down the cost of batteries?
  • Ethanol: scam or panacea?
  • How can we run our cars on CO2?
  • What will be the strategic energy commodities of the post-oil era?

Have I just stepped into a large steaming pil eof liberal largesse? I frankly don't know. The propagandists still hold sway on both ends of the spectrum. Boom or bust. Info, it's the key. To order click HERE.

"The Bible for everyone who is serious about energy and national security. A seminal work." Robert C. McFarlane, former National Security Adviser

"A small masterpiece—right on the money both strategically and technically, witty, far-sighted, and barbeques a number of sacred cows. Absolutely do not miss this." R. James Woolsey, former CIA Director

New Trains, Planes, And Automobiles

All Americans, right or left, Dems, or Republicans, should deftly ponder this letter I received from Sean Brodrick who has described precisely what I would like to see happen to all that disappearing BIG money that the Obama administration, AKA the Obamanation, is trying to shovel to its ACORN cronies after already flushing the toilets of that host of bankers, thieves, and swindlers who continue to live lifestyles of the rich and famous while pillaging the American landscape of every industry and value American was once famous for...

Brodrick's suggestions just make sense in this time of rising joblessness and economical collapse. President Barack Hussein Obama (it's okay to admit, honor, apotheosize that now, right?) promised this great nation an American way out but is delivering chaos and continued crisis instead. Did I mention the slippery slope towards Marxist and Islamic values? No, but I should have.

Solution? Muster those thousands upon thousands of hyperactive ACORN shock troops into the business of real work instead of repeatedly putting them into situations where it is too easy to succumb to temptation and face being hauled into jail for voter registration fraud and other illegal activities, so we can energize this country with righteous industry, and get moving again. Just maybe these folks would feel good enough about themselves after an honest day's work to quit hating America. The psychological warfare going on within the Democratic Party is sad, sad how the party perpetuates the same dysfunctional thinking generation after generation upon its own constituents. Corruption is its own reward. By their fruits ye shall know them.

But rebuilding this country as a first priority is a deserving and capital idea on so many fronts. I applauded these ideas when I first heard Lyndon Larouche suggest them in a long detailed speech I heard off the television from the next room unaware of who I was hearing, about five years ago, but I was cheering nevertheless, and I applaud them now when I read them in an email from a Wall Street market analyst.

By the way, all you guttersnipes lurking in the tall tender grass of assimilation waiting to target my references and arguments with smear jelly, let you be reminded that La Rouche was bulls-eye dead-on in predicting this crisis, complete with critical numbers and important names. He knew about the economical doom headed our way years, even decades before we crashed, not unlike the Soviet splat two decades earlier, so why didn't our entrenched leadership class take heed and siphon off some intelligence in the matter instead of piling on with greed and redirection?

It is important to note that Congressman Ron Paul was also warning us years ahead of time, the lone harbinger of economic truth in Washington it appears, but did we listen, did our bankers listen, did our government listen? For all their conspiratorial and isolationist faults, both of these marginalized men of great knowledge and critical powers were right on the mark in this money game, and several other things, too, but let's stay on track, and keep to the topic at hand—trains, planes, and automobiles, oh, and infrastructure, too!

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Will America ever readjust to the train...

WE'RE ALWAYS HEARING THAT TRAINS can't survive in this country without public subsidy. That may be true. But you can say the same thing about the big banks, can't you?

Personally, I'm wondering how much of a public transportation system we could buy if we took the money we're spending bailing out Wall Street banks—$70 billion on AIG, $52.5 billion for Bank of America, and $50 billion for Citigroup, just to name three—and spent it on passenger rails.

Still, $8 billion isn't much when we're spending $50 billion propping up a single bank. And that's small potatoes compared to the $79 billon spent on highways and bridges in 2008 and the $80.2 billion spent on highways in 2009, not including spending from the stimulus package.

And sure, we drive a lot more than we ride trains, so more should be spent on highways. But public policy has pushed us away from trains and into cars for the past 60 years. If we start funding trains more, people will start riding more trains.

Now for the really bad news: If Amtrak spends that money on new railcars, it's going to have to go shopping outside our borders. Amtrak only has about 630 usable rail cars. Some are more than 30 years old. Dozens more are worn out or damaged but could be reconditioned and put into service.

But there aren't any U.S. companies that build passenger rail cars. While there are some subway car makers and trolley car makers in the United States, for passenger rail cars you have to buy from Canada's Bombadier, Germany's Siemens or France's Alstom.

Do you think maybe GM could retool and start building passenger trains? Sure, GM knows nothing about building railcars. Well, it didn't know anything about building tanks in World War II, either, and GM learned that pretty quickly. It could always partner with foreign firms—Uncle Sam didn't have a problem forcing Chrysler into a marriage with the Italians.

It's also true that GM's assembly lines are set up to put out cars at a high volume. Well, I'm sure the quarries on Easter Island were designed to turn out Giant Stone Heads as fast as possible—but sometimes, you have to change with the world before the world comes crashing down on you.

Cars Should Be Only Part of GM's Future...

It's not like I want GM to stop making cars. I just think GM should probably make a lot fewer automobiles, but much better ones. Anyone who wants to pay the giant stone head tax can still drive a gas-sucking SUV.

But GM can also make small cars, with a focus on quality, good mileage, and multiple power sources. The Japanese, Europeans, Koreans and Chinese will be making these cars, too, so GM will have its work cut out for it.

In fact, I have news for President Obama and GM: Detroit has already lost the battle over who is going to build cars. Check out this chart from Clusterstock, showing the sources of auto production in the United States:

The "transplants" are Toyota, Honda, and Nissan factories here in the United States. They may be called transplants, but they employ American workers, pay U.S. taxes and have plenty of American shareholders.

In 2002, the Detroit Big 3 produced 80 percent of 12 million cars, or 9.6 million vehicles. In 2009, they will build just over 50 percent of a total production of 5 million cars, or roughly 2.6 million vehicles. That is a plunge of about 73 percent in 7 years.

So yes, I think maybe GM should find something else to make besides automobiles.

Start Building the Transportation System of the Future...

Do you notice how oil and gasoline prices are going back up again? The recent plunge in oil was short-lived, and we're probably heading for another oil crisis by 2012 at the latest — and maybe by as early as next year.

The United States consumes around 20 million barrels of oil a day and imports roughly 65 percent of it. The amount of oil our country consumes is equal to the output of the world's two largest oil producing nations (Saudi Arabia and Russia) combined. It is absurd for a country that has less than 3 percent of the world's oil reserves to consume 25 percent of the world's produced oil—buying much of it from people who hate us!

At some point, we're going to have to move beyond oil. Maybe electric cars or alternative fuels will be the answer for some people. But trains are a cheap solution for most people.

Yeah, GM's Volt and other electric cars will be rolling off the production line in 2010 (so we're told). In the meantime, how many of Detroit's new muscle cars — the new Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang — will also be rolling off the production line? The Challenger gets 13 mpg in the city, 19 on the highway. That sucks ... gas!

I'm not trying to dictate what kind of cars people should drive. I just think gas guzzlers should pay a tax — let's call it the "giant stone head" tax, because when it comes to the energy problem this country faces, gas guzzlers are part of the problem, not the solution.

So for our $60 billion, I'd like to see GM start to build things we really need—passenger rail, as well as electrified streetcars and hybrid streetcars/buses.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs...

It's also true that a factory that makes trains won't employ as many people as a factory that makes cars. Canada's Bombardier employs 34,000 people to make trains.

On the other hand, trains don't run themselves. France's national rail company employs about 200,000 people, and France has only one-fifth the population of the United States in an area the size of Texas. Amtrak has only 18,000 employees. So a push into rail would potentially create a lot of good, middle-class jobs.

Rebuild Infrastructure...

Meanwhile, the railroad tracks themselves are a mess. Again, highways are publically funded, railroads aren't. This makes it cost far more to ship things reliably in the United States, since you have to use air or trucks, both of which are very inefficient compared to rail. I think it's time to change that.

A problem with rail is that sharing the tracks with current passenger trains is iffy at best, and virtually impossible with high-speed trains. We need to build new railroads. Building new rail would keep America's steel makers busy.

The railroads and local trolley services will need to be electrified, of course, so we can tell OPEC where they can stick their oily thumbs. Electrification is work that can be done by U.S. companies and U.S. workers.

And there's something else we need to do that will help ALL U.S. manufacturers, including GM...