< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 268 OF 268 ·
|Feb-01-16|| ||heuristic: <energy prices>
my readings is that Saudi Arabia has NO choice. there is no other lever they have.
I see petroleum like whale oil and/or kerosene. There will still be a need for it; but it's declining.
despite it's enormous advantages as a fuel; the trend is to electrical consumption. we talked about this w.r.t. nuclear power generation; what's trending now is generation of electricity and temporal storage of it.
that's why this quote:
"The Stone Age didn't end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil"
resonates with me!
|Feb-01-16|| ||heuristic: <Syria-turkey>
1. middle east
from my limited perspective; this area is the "same as it ever was". never-ending regional conflicts. it's been this way throughout history.
the iran-iraq war was similar. no world war; just another regional conflict.
from my limited perspective; that's why this regional conflict will NOT escalate.
please don't confuse my terseness with denigration! you two have interesting perspectives and it makes for fascinating reading.
|Feb-02-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <heuristic> Yes like you I believe there won't be a 'collapse' in terms of a sudden massive plunge in the economy. What will happen IMO is that if the petrodollar loses its status as the currency by which the world trades in oil, it will do so gradually allowing US to make adjustments. However, US will lose a lot of geopolitical clout. With China already on the rise since the 1990s, it would soon overtake the US as the major economic power in the world.|
However, there is still a finite possibility of a rapid collapse, however small.
I believe that both China and Russia do not want the US economy to 'collapse'. In a way it's simple self preservation for them. From their perspective, a rapidly collapsing nuclear armed geopolitical power might act insanely and start a nuclear war that would destroy them. I have already expressed my fears that some US leadership factions might want to start a war with China even if only to erase America's massive debt to China. I believe that China fears that, and so is behaving conservatively.
Russia has also been behaving quite prudently in Syria in spite of the Turkish shoot down of its bomber, which the US probably indirectly enabled by providing the plane's flight itinerary.
<the trend is to electrical consumption>
Where will the electricity come from, coal? Most of China's electricity comes from coal AFAIK, but the Chinese are doing everything in order to create alternative sources of electrical power, from hydroelectric dams to nuclear reactors.
US an EU don't have a serious 4th generation nuclear program, nor building new nuclear reactors. The countries most heavily into this endeavor are China, Russia, India, maybe South Korea. I believe that the future of electrical power lies in the quick and cheap modular production of relatively safe 4rth generation nuclear reactors. The energy that lies within reach in relatively abundant and readily accessible thorium deposits alone have been estimated to be sufficient for hundreds of thousands of years even with today's world energy consumption.
<middle east from my limited perspective; this area is the "same as it ever was". never-ending regional conflicts. it's been this way throughout history... sunni/shia the iran-iraq war was similar. no world war; just another regional conflict.>
There is a big difference in that we are already in the nuclear age. Men who sincerely believe that God has promised them paradise for slaying and being slain for his cause will sooner or later use the Bomb. What do you think will happen if an organization such as Al Qaeda or ISIS obtains nuclear weapons? One realistic scenario is a troubled faction in the Saudi leadership obtains them from Pakistan, and passes them to jihadi groups.
Another difference is that mass communication and ways to transfer money rapidly has allowed rapid 'export' of intrinsically violent ideologies and recruits the men who would act on them.
These conflicts can rapidly become non local and quite destructive thanks to technological mechanisms today not present in past eras.
<NATO from my limited perspective; that's why this regional conflict will NOT escalate.>
I don't understand this. You mean NATO will prevent the mid east conflicts from escalating? I think it's the opposite. If Turkey were not part of NATO, it would never have the guts to shoot down a Russian plane. Already Turkey has been trying to get NATO involved against Russia. Recall that after Tukey shot down the Russian bomber, it immediately called for an emergency meeting with NATO, without communicating with the Russians.
|Feb-05-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Turkey might be gearing up for invasion of Syria – Russian Defense Ministry>|
Putin not planning new contacts with Erdogan — Kremlin
The Kremlin is watching the situation around alleged plans of Saudi Arabia to launch a ground operation in Syria in coordination with Turkey>
Both RT and TASS are now announcing that the Russian leadership thinks that Turkey has plans for invading Syria outright.
This must be the main reason why the Syrian Defense Minister flew in person to Moscow to talk with the Russian Defense Minister.
Russia has beefed up the RUAF presence in Syria by sending in Sukhoi 35 jet fighters.
<MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Media reports said on Monday that Russia had redeployed its new-generation Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E) to Syria.>
The article below indicates that the Russian leadership thinks that US is abetting any Turkish plan to invade Syria, and expresses open public disapproval. The Russian leadership is essentially asking the US government to stop the Turkish plan.
<Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security, commented on a US statement that the Turkish Air Force would comply with the provisions of the Russian-American memorandum on flight security if it joined the struggle against terrorists on the territory of Syria.
"Despite all the US assurances, provocations from Ankara are not ruled out completely if Turkish aviation is involved in Syria. In any case, tension over the Syrian skies will increase," the senator said.
In the expert’s opinion, "the Unites States should think twice before making such decisions.">
It's obvious that any Turkish warplane inside Syria would be there as air support for Turkish proxy armed groups; and also as preparation for an outright land invasion.
|Feb-06-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: On the one hand, we have semi official Russian press RT and TASS warning against a Turkish invasion to establish a safe zone. On the other hand we have Washington Post advocating a safe zone, soldiered by US troops, based on sectarian grounds.|
The same lobby groups pushing for a Turkish invasion of Syria might be paying off some of the MSM to release dangerous supporting statements as this:
<The diplomatic case for America to create a safe zone in Syria.
Our experience as diplomats suggests that the United States would have to deploy U.S. soldiers on the ground inside Syria along the Turkish border in order to recruit the majority of the zone’s soldiers from Turkey and other NATO allies, as well as the Sunni Arab states. Those countries could also contribute air power and missiles, to be organized by NATO from Turkish territory, to police the no-fly zone.>
Apart from the brazen way this article openly advocates the illegal invasion of a nation's sovereignty..
Active US soldiers inside Syria will sooner or later suffer KIAs from Russian Airforce bombings, artillery fire, or spetznaz operations, even if only inadvertently. It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. This sets the stage for a direct confrontation between US and Russian soldiers, something that both US and the Soviets have assiduously avoided during the entire Cold War.
Notice the alternative term the article uses- <no-fly zone>. Implicit in this statement is the right to shoot down Russian and Syrian warplanes.
The article goes as far as trying to get NATO directly involved into a conflict with Russia.
From an outsider's perspective, such propaganda is obviously idiotic and utterly dangerous for every one. Amazingly, many readers will swallow it like candy coated cyanide.
|Feb-07-16|| ||twinlark: <Apart from the brazen way this article openly advocates the illegal invasion of a nation's sovereignty..>|
and making it sound self-evidently sensible and sane.
|Feb-07-16|| ||twinlark: <Amazingly, many readers will swallow it like candy coated cyanide.>|
Accepting as rational reasons for backing up Erdogan's insane policies under the rubric of NATO's protection is also something that is taken and swallowed from that bag of candy.
|Feb-08-16|| ||perfidious: <visayan....The contradictions and dangers are so obvious as US foreign policy is running into paroxysms of idiocy.>|
There is a saying here: politics makes strange bedfellows, and nowhere is the truth of that aphorism more apparent in the alacrity with which various administrations have fallen over themselves to align with numerous power blocs everywhere, done so very often in the name of that amorphous--and often, in this usage, disingenuous--concept of freedom.
|Feb-10-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: As many people have predicted (not only me) the Geneva conference collapsed without even starting properly. Both the Syrians and Russians probably already knew that would happen, given the nature of the terrorists, but played the political game for all it was worth. There will be a military solution to this conflict.|
Saudi, Qatar, Turkey have lost billions of dollars in the Syrian conflict. The SAA and YPG are trying to close the Turkish border, and once that's effectively done, it's game over. It seems that there is now unprecedented cooperation between Syrian Arab and Kurdish ground forces. I believe that the Russians insisted on such before lending both the SAA and YPG air support in northern Syria.
<Kurds and Syrian Army in joint offensive>
In order to preserve their investment, Saudi, Qatar, Turkey will have to do something drastic. Russian is telling US not to support any such drastic action.
|Feb-10-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <perfidious: <visayan....The contradictions and dangers are so obvious as US foreign policy is running into paroxysms of idiocy.>|
There is a saying here: politics makes strange bedfellows, and nowhere is the truth of that aphorism more apparent in the alacrity with which various administrations have fallen over themselves to align with numerous power blocs everywhere, done so very often in the name of that amorphous--and often, in this usage, disingenuous--concept of freedom.>
I think that the US needs a good ideological leader at this time. Perhaps someone who idolizes Cincinnatus the way George Washington did and remembers the originally purposes for which the US was founded for.
|Feb-11-16|| ||heuristic: <the US needs a good ideological leader at this time>
not going to happen. my observation about the ascendency of "populist" leaders
twinlark chessforum (kibitz #6929)
is true for that country as well.
from my limited perspective; many folks desire security, and the populist leaders are all playing to that insecurity.
besides, ideology is personal! witness your comment to my observation about the elections :
twinlark chessforum (kibitz #6940)
my minor quibble with perfidious's comment is that in international relations, freedom is not the defining principle. something like accessibility is critical.
the US puts up with odious nations like Saudi Arabia and has strained relations with Iran & Syria due to this.
|Feb-11-16|| ||twinlark: <accessibility is critical.
The US puts up with odious nations like Saudi Arabia and has strained relations with Iran & Syria due to this.>
Pretty much the defining criteria for US relations with any country.
|Feb-11-16|| ||Party Animal: <twinlark> When did you become such a buffoon? ; P|
P.S. What is good about Iran?? Do you want to get your head cut off or maybe you'd like to see Israel get Nuked in about 10 years, Einstein!
|Feb-11-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Party Animal> Your remark looks impolite and is out of the thread. If I may say so, it indicates that you haven't really followed the ongoing discussion well, and so I would suggest that you read the last few pages of posts (not all of the posts but even just the ones about the Syrian conflict).|
|Feb-11-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Saudi Arabia has made a 'final' decision to join the fight against ISIS>|
Compare the above article to:
<Russia’s PM Medvedev Warns of New War if US, Arab Troops Invade Syria>
The Russian leadership is obviously worried of possible Saudi/Turkey invasion plans, and now even the PM of Russia seems to be urging the POTUS to resist invade-Syria lobby groups that even now must be exerting enormous pressure on Obama.
|Feb-11-16|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <heuristic: <the US needs a good ideological leader at this time> not going to happen. my observation about the ascendency of "populist" leaders>|
'Populist' leaders need to be elected first. This means they need billions of dollars in campaign funds. This makes them susceptible to lobby by the groups that have funds.
An analogy. Suppose you <heuristic> want to run for mayor in your local town. Inside the town's territory is a company that fracks shale in order to get at the oil, but in so doing is polluting the town's water table. The company sends a representative who gives you a fat envelope of cash that will cover all of your electoral campaign expenses plus enough left over to buy yourself a mansion and a Ferrari, and to send your kids to the best schools in the world.
To whom will you owe your loyalty? To the company or to the long term welfare of the people of your town (whose votes you end up buying anyway one way or the other thanks to the generosity of the company)?
This is the fundamental paradox of the political system that we call representative democracy. The Romans already knew of this long before Julius Caesar became dictator. Some historians would argue that the Romans got so sick of it that they welcomed Caesar's dictatorship, and Octavian's subsequent Empire. It's called patronage politics. It has been an intrinsic thorn on the side of every polity that has practiced representative democracy throughout the ages.
But we digress; it's a related but separate topic. My point is that some or perhaps most of those 'populist' leaders may not have the welfare of their people as their primary concern.
|Feb-11-16|| ||twinlark: <This makes them susceptible to lobby by the groups that have funds.>|
Especially since the Citizens United decision by the SCOTUS legalised uncontrolled political bribery of candidates.
|Feb-11-16|| ||twinlark: <Party Animal: <twinlark> When did you become such a buffoon? ; P>|
I didn't realise you had been following my posts. Do I know you?
<P.S. What is good about Iran??>
Let's see, it is mildly democratic, has a sophisticated and highly educated civil society and is the direct descendant of one of the most ancient civilisations on the planet with a rich culture and the most amazing history extending back millenia.
They are an up and coming chess power with some dynamic youngsters of both sexes making their mark in the world.
It has traditionally been a non-aggressive country and has not threatened any other country in living memory. In this respect they are far more sinned against than sinning. The Jews in the country are not being threatened and in fact exercise a loyal and close relationship with the leadership- they are not second class citizens in their own country unlike Israeli Arabs.
Persian cuisine is varied and exquisite, again drawing upon a long and varied cultural history. Food hygiene is high and tap water is potable almost everywhere.
The people are friendly and courteous to tourists, such as they are since the Revolution and can see past the incessant demonising by the West and Israel.
<Do you want to get your head cut off >
I think you should be directing that opprobrium toward Saudi Arabia which leads the world in beheadings, sometimes for incredibly sparse reasons. Also ISIS.
Iran has the death penalty but these days it is mostly be hanging, with firing squads and stoning recently being phased out.
<or maybe you'd like to see Israel get Nuked in about 10 years,>
Was never going to happen. They're not that stupid.
|Feb-11-16|| ||twinlark: <Party Animal>
btw, I allow political discussions on my forum as long as they conform to the five posting guidelines.
Personally I prefer collegiate discussions where people augment each others' knowledge rather than trying to convert them to their point of view, one reason I quit the Rogoff page which frequently consisted at the time of endless iterations and reiterations of the same old arguments.
I've allowed your impolite post to stand and have responded to your points.
But next time you come here, be assured that no further impoliteness will be tolerated.
|Feb-11-16|| ||twinlark: An interesting drama-documentary by the BBC called World War III. Inside the War Room: http://rutube.ru/video/8cd685c7ab44...|
It exhibits the usual meal of propaganda garnished with Russia-bashing, but also has some extremely interesting discussions as the war expands. The ending is surprising.
|Feb-12-16|| ||heuristic: <campaign financing>
your theme of big money needs to be revisited. the combination of computer communications and stiff regulations have made small donations by motivated groups viable and effective.|
note that in the current US campaigns, the two leaders do NOT have the most money but DO have the most small donors.
this was another aspect that I wanted to talk about when I yammered about "populist leaders". I disagree that leaders need to be elected and that leaders care about the welfare of people.
thanks to the current group of ecommerce startups; business analytics (aka "big data") has both uncovered and revealed aspects of behavior that challenge old-time themes.
|Feb-12-16|| ||heuristic: <iran>
your observant comments are appreciated.
Iranians I have worked with have a polarized feeling about their native country. this article is a small example :
it's not exactly what I've noted; but my sample space is neither large or wide!
|Feb-12-16|| ||twinlark: Fascinating article, showing how nuanced the behaviour of young Iranians has become in balancing competing and seemingly contradictory pressures.|
I suspect that life for women is still considerably more fraught for women than it is for men, as is ever the case throughout the world I suppose, but as depicted by Marjani Satrapi in her Persepolis story.
Maybe life in Iran for women has become more relaxed since Satrapi fled Iran.
|Feb-12-16|| ||twinlark: <the combination of computer communications and stiff regulations have made small donations by motivated groups viable and effective.>|
That's true to a certain extent but the jury is still out as to the long term effect of this decision.
While it's true that corporations have not stepped into the breach - at this stage - to buy off every candidate in sight, the potential for this action remains. And will be perfectly legal.
Also true about the extent of small donations.
But as the Brennan Centre for Justice (BCJ) recently pointed out, corporations have not become kingmakers - yet - but <it is now clear that wealthy individuals have been the biggest beneficiaries – driving huge increases in spending by super PACs and dark money groups, while often sponsoring candidates like racehorses.> https://www.brennancenter.org/publi...
Moreover, BCJ analysis also indicates that besides pumping dark money into the federal electoral cycle, Citizens United has undermined contribution limits and trashed shareholder rights when it came to shareholders having a say in how corporate money is spent.
Just because reportage of contributions is purportedly out in the open, doesn't mean it's all legit. Many major crimes and frauds, especially in the finance industry, have been out in the open.
Nevertheless the BCJ holds the ray of hope that:
<...nothing in the Court’s jurisprudence prevents measures to boost political participation through public financing of elections, expose dark money through new disclosure requirements, push for the actual independence of outside spending through tougher coordination laws, or protect the political rights of corporate and union employees.>
However, it's not something I would hold my breath about given the likes of Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Rick Perry controlling State legislative agenda. Grisham's "The Appeal" shows how easily the judiciary and the legislature can be suborned by wealthy interests.
Matt Taibbi shows the extent of corporate malfeasance in his wonderful but depressing book <The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap> (http://www.amazon.com/The-Divide-Am... - should be available at your local library), and the reasons why none of the perps that caused the GFC with their Ponzi schemes have been brought to justice.
When you have a significant number of people who are effectively above the law who can contribute unlimited amounts of money, how likely is it that presidential candidates who oppose this group will get significant funding outside of small donors.
I hope Bernie gets the nod, but I doubt he will make a significant difference as he himself has acknowledged in the video attached at this website: https://www.facebook.com/PeopleForB...
|Feb-13-16|| ||OhioChessFan: Xiangzhi:
<The following year, in 1999, he became the then youngest-ever International Grandmaster >
I think you can save 3 words by deleting "The following year"
<Bu won the 1999 German Open and in 2000, also in Germany, he won the International Neckar Open in Deizisau, Stuttgart.>
I think you can save another 3 words by deleting "also in Germany".
<He won the Antwerp (2008) in Belgium in August 2008 with a score of 7.0/9 (+5, =4, -0) and a performance rating of 2748, came third behind Veselin Topalov and Levon Aronian in the Pu Kou Chess Tournament, Nanjing 2008.>
I'd slightly prefer "with" a performance rating of 2748. It needs "and" in front of "came third".
More to come.
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