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  1. 9 points
    I was working on the Sedco 135D back around 1985. For those of you not familiar with this rig type, it was a three-legged semi-submersible with the control room located in the center of the rig UNDER the main deck (easier to watch the draft marks on each leg). The rig had been on floating production for a few years and we were going through her to get her ready to go back drilling as Petrobras wanted us to drill two more wells. Anyhow, I was on deck when the PA system announced that I was needed in the control room. When I got there the Barge Engineer asked me to watch the control board for awhile (I had previous Watchstander experience on the old Staflo). As this was easy duty out of the sun, I gladly accepted. After about half an hour I felt that the rig was strangely quiet - rigs are never quiet! I went up to the main deck and not a soul in sight! I looked over under the starboard crane and saw everyone leaning over the handrails looking down at the water. Being human, I walked over and did the same. Lying alongside the rig was a HUGE shark (sea life seems to like the heat and vibration). This thing was at least 25’ long and probably 4’ between the eyes! Now I knew that there were whale sharks off of Brasil, and thought this might be one. The Brasilian divers on board assured me that this type of shark ‘ate people’. I thought that they may be ‘shining me on’ so I told them that I wanted them to launch their boat and check out our production mono-buoy, to which they replied, in very colorful Portuguese, that there was no way on earth that they were getting in the water! I have no idea what type of shark this was, but I really can’t blame the guys for not wanting to get in the water! Working the offshore rigs you used to see some amazing sea life.
  2. 8 points
    Maybe, just maybe, the Iranian people are back on track to take back control of their lives and their country. Obviously they will need outside support. I wonder ‘who’ will have the cajones to step up to the plate and give it to them?
  3. 7 points
    I don’t mind trying to get this going, my first Derrickmans job for Santa Fe Drilling onboard Rig140 this is late 1980s. Santa Fe were a great company who fully embraced the promote from within policy, very rarely they would hire above a roughneck position. Santa Fe were merged with Global Marine and soon after GSF was engorged by Transocean. The saying at the time was “all the way with Santa Fe” Great guys, great memories and a swift learning curve for a young man on how to go to work.
  4. 6 points
    Ya think ! ? ! ? Once again, ordinary people are not going along with the narrative being forcibly shoved down their throats by the globalists. The Climate Armageddon folks are gonna need a scarier plan for Doomsday, to get them to accept coughing up loads more tax money and ceding more control to Big Brother Government. 'Costly Blow in the Air': Swedes Think Climate Policy Worst Waste of Taxpayers' Money in 2019 - Poll The authors of the poll explained the Swedes' vote as being due to the fact that while the Swedish government has invested loads of money into climate action policies, the actual amount of carbon dioxide emissions has slightly increased. Swedish citizens have voted for climate policy as the worst waste of taxpayers' money, a poll conducted by the Swedish Taxpayers' Association revealed earlier this week. Out of 18,000 citizens who took part in the poll, about 30 percent voted against national climate policies. The poll says that in Sweden's budget for 2020, 12.6 billion krona ($1.3 billion) has been allocated to climate action, compared with 5.2 billion krona ($547 million) in 2014. Back in 2017, the National Institute of Economic Research even said that the government's budget risked becoming "a costly blow in the air". Given the amount of money and lack of actual positive results for the environment, Gustafsson suggested that it would be more beneficial if the government's funds would be diverted into something valuable. Sweden is one of the leading nations in advocating for environment-friendly initiatives, including trends like electric bicycles and solar cells.
  5. 6 points
    After a discussion with @Douglas Buckland we thought it may be interesting to try something which relates to our industry at grassroots, the forum could use some diversion from constant ego based discussion, let’s see if we can add some nostalgia to a thread. It would be interesting to hear stories from all our OP crew mates past and present. Please add your favorite oilfield story or experience, photos and memories. Lets have a bit of fun for once. See you in the smoke shack.... James
  6. 6 points
    Never been offshore, which is a shame because with the new rules I don't think I can even visit without doing the helicopter training in the dunk tank etc. I even invented some tech that's being deployed offshore and I don't get to watch, just hope the guys I trained do everything right. Lots of roughneck stories. We were drilling in Montana and there'd been a lot of push back because people were worried we were going to harm the wildlife. The first day we saw a couple of cute antelope standing there watching us from about 200 feet away. The next day there were about 10. The next day there were at least 40. By the 4th day there were so many we couldn't even count them. Of course the reason they were hanging with us was predators. No coyotes, bears or wolves or whatever else wanted to eat them wanted any part of our drilling rig or us I suppose. The people crying about the wildlife weren't on our friends list so they never knew. I was living at an outfitter's log cabin because it beat the 60 or so miles to the nearest hotel. He didn't believe me so I took him out there. I don't know if his jaw ever recovered from being agape so long. He didn't bring a camera either since he didn't believe me. When we took the rig down they all moseyed away, like the show was over.
  7. 6 points
    Heh heh, the Climate Armageddon crowd's desperation is palpable. ZOMG THE WORLD IS GONNA END BECAUSE ORANGE MAN BAD !!!!! Oh, and what the heck was the job of Climate Negotiator in Obama's State Department? How bad can the climate crisis get if Trump wins again? Climate pollution in the US is up under Donald Trump and threatens to undermine international efforts to stall the crisis, especially if he wins re-election this year and secures a second term in the White House. ... ... Andrew Light, a climate negotiator for President Barack Obama’s state department, said the world is taking note of those efforts, but if Trump is re-elected “you are going to see a lot of people who are worried anew about what the US can do.” Americans choosing Trump would send the signal that they don’t care about the climate, Light said. ... ... Under Trump, the oil and gas industry contributing heavily to the climate crisis is thriving. Oil and gas-related industries in the US are planning to build 157 new or expanded plants and expand drilling over the next five years – releasing as much greenhouse gas pollution as 50 new coal-fired power plants, according to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project. ...
  8. 6 points
    Papillon, you have it bass ackwards. For 3 years Trump has been endlessly vilified by Mainstream Media and Hollywood, and Obama held up as a paragon of saintliness. Many Americans are totally fed up with neverending attacks against Trump and against Conservatives in general, while Obama, Clinton and their buddies get a free pass. This is an oil & gas site. Most likely, since many liberals and leftists generally dislike the oil & gas industry, there may be more conservatives on this site than liberals. While I would indeed likely poke fun of the mistake if Pelosi made it, that is an outlier as far as the media in general is concerned. Media says Obama / Clinton / Democrats are wonderful and faultless and Trump / Conservatives evil, ignorant, racist, subhuman garbage. I push back. You are free to poke fun of Trump here. You are free to voice your opinions here. Others are free to poke fun of Pelosi or Obama or whover they want. Remake it is free to continue voicing his / its pro-China (and more recently, pro-Iran) comments. Nobody is actually stopping anyone else from voicing their opinions here. And calling something hypocrisy can be correct, or it can be partially correct, or it can be a deliberate distraction, a Straw Man head fake. I've been a Freedom of Speech activist for many years, long before coming to this site. I encourage dissent. And I also tend to call out BS when I see it. If one's viewpoints and beliefs are incapable of a bit of poking and prodding and questioning by others who have differing viewpoints, then perhaps it might be a good idea to step back and look at the bigger picture and see if some re-evaluation is needed. Memes work, just like a good joke gets others to laugh. A good meme is mostly visual, with minimal text, and a jarring and amusing idea. I'm not very good at making memes, but getting better. And I steal and spread good memes by others. This one was made yesterday by someone else. Pointed.
  9. 5 points
    Ok let’s step away from polarised positions for a moment. do I think Trump is fantastic in everything he does or says? NO. however with what has happened in Iran/Iraq I think he has done very well in the actions and subsequent comments following the missile attacks. there has been no civilian casualties from any US actions. There has been no escalation where previous administrations would most likely have troops on the ground now. No US military have lost their lives. Iranian people are angry with their own administration for the accidental shooting down of a civilian plane. Criticise Trump all you like but I think he has come out of this with a lot of credit, so far.
  10. 5 points
    We used to go whale watching while choppering back to Pointe Noire at the end of the hitch...back when you could get away with it. Did you ever see those big rafts of reeds coming out of the Congo River and heading out to sea during the rainy season in the mountains? Occasionally they would have pigs, goats or even cattle on them! When the light was right you would see hammerhead sharks circling under these reed mats as if they knew it was only a matter of time before the reed mat disintegrated and it was dinnertime.
  11. 5 points
    If only we had cell phones back then, I also saw some amazing natural beauty. While on the Ocean Liberator taking her from Congo to Ivory Coast we were somewhere near a vulcanic island near São Tomé, this island was off limits due to probable canabalism still being practiced. Anyway I stepped out of my office heading to the moon pool and did what everyone is guilty of and leaned on the hand rail for a while looking directly at the ship towing us and my left eye closely at that “island”. After some minutes I started to notice the water on the surface was acting strangely from the ship towing us some 500 meters away an arc from the ship towing us stretching 100s of meters to both port and starboard side of the rig, this is a huge area. The water started to bubble and shimmer, I was thinking gas etc from a Sea Vulcano and then at once from the ship to the rig the ocean just erupted with white Pygmy Dolphins hundreds of thousands jumping out of the water following the rig playing with the towing bridle and just having fun. It’s was a migration phenomenon which has been rarely documented. They appeared for about ten minutes and then as quick as they appeared they were gone. Amazing white dolphins about a foot and a half long filling the ocean. It blew my mind and I was alone who was going to believe me, but luckily the Bridge watch had seen it also as had the ship towing us, but none had a camera, one of the most amazing natural sights I have had the honor of seeing. I tell this story from time to time but most think I am exaggerating , if you have seen normal dolphin or whale migration patterns you will know these things happen, but Pygmy White Dolphins I never knew they existed. Africa never failed to surprise me.
  12. 5 points
    You do realize that the President has the Emergency Powers Act (I believe that is the formal name, Jan will know) that allows him to do what he did, when the opportunity presented itself, without seeking Congressional approval. The Act is good for 30 or 60 days I believe. Trump was essentially trying to prevent a much more dangerous situation, but there is absolutely no way that you would consider this possibility so please do not waste our time responding in your usual fashion....
  13. 5 points
    One picture taken during the inauguration, the other taken hours before. Compared to This picture the audience in attendance is vastly larger. But that didn't fit the narrative. Again your propaganda needs work. Sure Taiwan going with the Nationalist Party was your plan?
  14. 4 points
    Since you are obviously a communist party agent then I am sure you know the history. So for those who don't, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_People's_Republic_of_China War on Tibet and annexation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_Tibet_into_the_People's_Republic_of_China The takeover of S Vietnam Cambodia and Laos in the Vietnam war and installation of puppet regimes in each. Khmer Rouge run a Maoist policy and kill more than half of Cambodia's population. Vietnam goes rogue from under Chinese control, and are "punished" in the 1979 war with China. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_genocide War over Sikkim with India. That Nixon sought to normalize relations with China is insane. They should have had a permanent naval blockade instead and let the commies destroy themselves. .
  15. 4 points
    I stand by what I said Trump reacted to the MURDER of a US citizen and took retaliatory measures against the person who he believed gave the order for said murder. since those actions Iran have shot down a passenger plane killing hundreds of innocent people, that was all started by the original murder! Since the Soleimani killing Trump has tried to diffuse tensions from that moment on. i know you won’t agree on any of the above as anything pro Trump or USA you find abhorrent for some reason, I guess maybe some self reflection on this would serve you well for a balanced opinion.
  16. 4 points
    Russia is being sanctioned. The US is not reacting militarily because it doesn't care, as per Peter Zeihan. At least not enough to fight back, or even to provide timely support in arms that were promised. The Black Sea is a writeoff anyway, since Turkey turned towards Russia. . China is doing what it will and Japan got a year's exemption. It is too big to care what the US thinks since sanctioning it is still off the table because of how intertwined the economies still are, and because retreating back inwards is considered a perfectly fine solution for the Chinese so long as they have an oil and gas supply, which they can get from Russia, to a point. The "international community" wants a global tax cartel of governments with a non compete agreement as US domestic oil and gas put it back into position as it was before WWI with the lowest cost production and oil, which ended up with the US sitting on the largest stash of gold reserves, and after WWII when it took all of them. They are afraid of what the capital flows and brain drain would look like when their demographics catch up with them. Before that they were trying to do the same thing expecting the US will protect their oil sources for free because the US needed the oil too. That is why the EMU formed, why the World court came about, it was an attempt to circle the wagons against the perceived empire of the US, then, as now, viewed as dangerously overpowering but then vulnerable due to oil dependence. The US during the cold war accepted EU and Japanese and other exports with little restriction or tariff to bribe the countries into NATO so as to fight the Soviets. Cooperation was real, and they were more afraid of the Soviets than the US. But that didn't stop Europeans from criticizing the US at every turn. All of the former great empires and all of the former colonies recently independent viewed the US through a colonial lens, Europeans envious and angry since they didn't get to keep their empire's holdings after Suez, and suspicious of the US on the former colonial side. . In doing calculations of US trade deficits they didn't realize that the actual US borders are around US corporations and they have a much larger surplus than the official US trade numbers. Thus they misread the US dollar reserve system as a means for the US to fleece the world, while it could be so at times, the reality is that this view expired in 1979. The US maintained near the highest interest rates among OECD persistently, who used the Eurodollar system to suppress their currency and gain exports and thus oil, which would happen either with or without a dollar reserve system. Their shenanigans with the Eurodollar system caused the US to receive 10% of its GDP in annual capital flows 2004-2007 due to their pumping their low rate currencies into the system, the overwhelming capital flows drove the US mortgage bubble. The way the US did use its reserve currency after 1979 was to create debt traps on emerging markets or overleveraged OECD countries and then slam them shut with high US rates to suck the dollars back out and leave behind cheap assets for Eurodollar and US capital to buy. The Eurodollar system included all the major EU banks and Japanese banks, Saudi & Co and its sovereign funds. Your Eurocentric view is wrong in interpreting motives. The European administrative class is ruthlessly suppressive of criticism and will even take legal action against critical opinions published by credible writers or publications. Free speech in Europe died with the Maastricht treaty and the European Court decision to allow governments to prosecute "blasphemy", interpreted by prosecutors as particularly against the EU institutions, i.e. Lèse-majesté. So you need to look more carefully at actual motives and facts in Europe than you do when reading the US. Redo your research from an American liberal and conservative point of view and from both a corporatist and administrative class point of view. Don't assume that there is any allegiance to truth or justice in any international organization if you don't see it in the domestic ones more beholden to their people. The EU is not a national organization. It was not created by "Europeans" it is a cartel of the administrative classes of European governments against their own people.
  17. 4 points
    Daniel - you have, in fact, put your finger on exactly the point about why climate theory remains in doubt, despite activists and scientists who may or may not be activists claiming that its all settled and certain. When Newton proposed the force of gravity it explained a lot - tides for example - and enabled other scientists to make solid, useful forecasts. Remember Halley's comet? Astronomers can forecast the position of planets many years in advance and be proved right. Hence no argument. There is nothing like that in climate. Are we looking at natural changes or man-made changes? Go back and look a the forecasts made by the IPCC in 1990 (its first report) and compare them with actual changes in temperatures. Sorry! Anyway, this has nothing to do with renewables.. you should go to an climate activist site for more agreeable companionship..
  18. 4 points
    If I could put my intentions and views in a few sentences it would be: China is formidable opponent of US and EU and current world order I acknowledge that current world order is not fair for developing countries, but I do not mind cause I am part of this order as from EU and NATO country. I observe that this order is being actively and succesfully changed mainly by China I observe that US has important economic political and societal problems of systemie nature. US needs to sort them out and ally with EU to be counter weight to Chinese expansion.
  19. 4 points
    I guess I have to remind some members about our guidelines. Like it's not enough to have a constant discussion about pro-US and anti-US, now we started with personal attacks and insults. Some members are warned for this behavior. I would kindly ask all of you to continue discussion in a decent way. "We believe debate and disagreement are constructive, but personal attacks, trolling, and abuse will not be tolerated. The key to a great community experience is an engaging and inclusive space where everyone can learn and grow." "We understand that people often feel strongly about issues discussed in the Oilprice community, but we may remove any posts or comments that others might find offensive or threatening. Not everyone has a thick skin, so please consider the impact your posts and comments can have on others." Thank you!
  20. 4 points
    My part was supervising sending out millions of Phillips 66 credit cards from a Tishman building on Wilshire Blvd.in Los Angeles next to the Coconut Grove Hotel and across the street from a Brown Derby Restaurant. Unfortunately, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated at the Coconut Grove a couple of days after I saw him arrive at the Burbank Airport. He had refused LAPD protection just as his brother JFK had refused to keep the top up on his presidential limousine. Neither one would be welcome in the Demoncrat Party of today.
  21. 4 points
    Not quite Ron We don't need to arm untrained civilians we have our own military and nuclear weapons to defend our nation, so hardly defenceless. I think the days of an uprising as you suggest are long gone, we live in a democracy where the incumbent government can only stay in power if its the will of the people. I thought that was the same in the USA? but you still somehow arm everyone just in case?? you cannot be very confident in your own political system if you still need to do that! Can Americans honestly see a day when the people will have to take up arms against their own government in the modern era??? If so WOW just WOW.
  22. 4 points
    @James Regan For your perusal sir. Some US Bank and large US Companies funded the Germans in World War 2. One of these banks,The Union Bank run by Prescott Bush owned by George Herbert Walker was seized by the U.S in 1942 for trading with the Germans, under the trading with the enemy act. Despite the depth of the World War II true causes, many people have unfortunately a very simple picture for WWII: Hitler was the bad guy and all the others the good guys trying to stop him. Could that be true? Unfortunately things are not so simple even in fairy tales. The truth is much more complicated. In fact, many industrialists from all over the world, especially from countries that were at war with the Third Reich (e.g. USA), helped Germany and Adolf Hitler both prior and during the War. The biggest companies in USA were willing to give more to Germany than to their own country during the war! And the greatest German industrialists were practically left untouchable after the war despite of being found guilty by court of laws for crimes. Money does not care if you are German or American, money is money… Specifically, the USSR received 2,586,000 tons of aviation fuel, an amount equal to 37% of what was produced in the Soviet Union during the war, plus almost 410,000 automobiles, making up 45% of the Red Army’s vehicle fleet (not counting cars captured from the enemy). This support also included machine tools, railway tracks, locomotives, rail cars, radar equipment, and other useful items without which a war machine can make little headway. Of course this list of lend-lease aid looks very impressive, and one might feel sincere admiration for the American partners in the anti-Hitler coalition, except for one tiny detail: US manufacturers were also supplying Nazi Germany at the same time … For example, John D. Rockefeller Jr. owned a controlling interest in the Standard Oil corporation, but the next largest stockholder was the German chemical company I. G. Farben, through which the firm sold $20 million worth of gasoline and lubricants to the Nazis. And the Venezuelan branch of that company sent 13,000 tons of crude oil to Germany each month, which the Third Reich’s robust chemical industry immediately converted into gasoline. But business between the two nations was not limited to fuel sales – in addition, tungsten, synthetic rubber, and many different components for the auto industry were also being shipped across the Atlantic to the German Führer by Henry Ford. In particular, it is no secret that 30% of all the tires produced in his factories were used by the German Wehrmacht. The full details of how the Fords and Rockefellers colluded to supply Nazi Germany are still not fully known because those were strictly guarded trade secrets, but even the little that has been made public and acknowledged by historians makes it clear that the war did not in any way slow the pace of the US trade with Berlin. One of the top profiteers from the Iraq War was oil field services corporation, Halliburton. Halliburton gained $39.5 billion in "federal contracts related to the Iraq war". Many individuals have asserted that there were profit motives for the Bush-Cheney administration to invade Iraq in 2003. Do you see a pattern Mr Regan? If not may I remind you of the name of this very website. The above are just a few examples of America funding both sides. Now remind yourself of the thread title sir. Respectfully, Papillon.
  23. 4 points
    Take note that the captions on the university protest crowd say dozens, while the photos show upwards of 400 people in the frame (assuming they only have one head each). Again mainstream media downplaying the broad outright disgust of the Iranian people with the theocracy.
  24. 4 points
    @James Regan & @remake it - This all depends on how you want to define the words 'Declare War.' By the Constitution, the US Congress retains the sole power to declare war, however the President retains power to initiate hostilities without consulting congress and can conduct limited military strikes and operations without seeking any approval. What's the limit to 'hostilities' and 'limited military strikes and operations' you ask? Well, essentially 90 days. As long as he notifies Congress within 48 hours of (read: after) the military action, he has 60 days to complete said action, and an additional 30 days to 'withdraw' forces. There's also ample ambiguity and precedent to get around this by structuring military actions as distinct and not part of a longer campaign. With that, yes, Congress has to officially 'declare war' to have a war, but the president still has a lot of room to maneuver, and is well within that room now. @Douglas Buckland - War Powers Act. Points for the history knowledge!
  25. 4 points
    I actually was not aware that Trump has dyslexia. Although as a dyslexic myself, it seems fairly obvious now that he is dyslexic. How dyslexia affects a child's work ethic and future success People with Dyslexia have a brain the functions slightly differently. And very often, they have a right hemisphere that is very strong and while that makes it more difficult to read, that may also result in increased creativity and abilities to solve nonverbal sorts of problems. In addition, people with Dyslexia often have to work really hard because they are compensating for the fact they cannot read as well. And so, that hard work ethic can often result in people being very successful. So you see people with Dyslexia who have been successful in many different areas. So for example, science, Albert Einstein is a great example. In business, in entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Donald Trump have all been reportedly diagnosed with Dyslexia. And then in sports, a successful person is Magic Johnson. And then of course in entertainment, Jay Leno, Henry Winkler, Channing Tatum have all been diagnosed with Dyslexia. =================================== Here is the example I usually give to non-dyslexics to kinda help explain a bit of what dyslexia can be like. It's not the same as dyslexia, but imagine trying to read the colors all the time instead of reading the words, and you can generally get some of the frustration that dyslexic kids tend to have with reading. Say the COLOR and not the word. Say the colors out loud: Not as easy as it looks, for many people. Happily, I mostly overcame my dyslexia decades ago, although certain triggers in combination can cause my dyslexia to slam back hard with a vengence. I have learned to avoid those triggers.
  26. 4 points
    Sweden has one of the lowest Carbon footprints and intensity per capita in the western world. Their Carbon footprint per capita is 1/4 of that of the USA.
  27. 4 points
    I remember flying Air France back to Houston the year they introduced the IWCF well control requirement. I had to attend Randy Smith’s school. I can’t even remember where I was flying from anymore. Anyhow, I was in jeans and a polo shirt. Everyone else in business class was in a suit. I was sitting by the window and had just finished reading the paper and had spread it out on the aisle seat to look at later. The good looking little French stewardess had just brought my dinner (for some reason I can still recall it was a shrimp dish). As she leaned over to put it on the tray, the plane hit turbulence and the shrimp dish went right into the aisle seat. Okay, some got on me, but nothing a few napkins couldn’t sort out...and I was wearing jeans! I thought that the poor little French girl was going to have a heart attack as she scampered back to the galley to get the stuff required to clean up the mess. But remember, I had spread out the newspaper on that seat for further reading. The shrimp dish had landed on the newspaper. By the time the girl got back I’d folded everything into the paper, cleaned off my jeans and handed the newspaper and napkin to the girl and never thought anything of it. When I cleared Customs in Houston, all of the stewardesses met me and gave me a bottle of champaign. When I asked why, they said that most people flying business class would have pitched a fit if this had happened to them. If I had made a scheme, Air France would have fired the stewardess! As the old adage says, ‘It’s nice to be nice’.
  28. 4 points
    Man! I think back to some of the things we did ‘back in the day’ to get the job done. Nowadays the HSE gurus, who likely never set foot on a working rig, would be screaming for us to get run off.
  29. 4 points
    And a surprisingly thoughtful opinion piece from the New York Times: Trump Has Made Us All Stupid Donald Trump is impulse-driven, ignorant, narcissistic and intellectually dishonest. So you’d think that those of us in the anti-Trump camp would go out of our way to show we’re not like him — that we are judicious, informed, mature and reasonable. But the events of the past week have shown that the anti-Trump echo chamber is becoming a mirror image of Trump himself — overwrought, uncalibrated and incapable of having an intelligent conversation about any complex policy problem. For example, there’s a complex policy problem at the heart of this week’s Iran episode. Iran is not powerful because it has a strong economy or military. It is powerful because it sponsors militias across the Middle East, destabilizing regimes and spreading genocide and sectarian cleansing. Over the past few years those militias, orchestrated by Qassim Suleimani, have felt free to operate more in the open with greater destructive effect. We’re not going to go in and destroy the militias. So how can we keep them in check so they don’t destabilize the region? That’s the hard problem — one that stymied past administrations. In the Middle East, and wherever there are protracted conflicts, nations have a way to address this problem. They use violence as a form of communication. A nation trying to maintain order will assassinate a terrorism leader or destroy a terrorism facility. The attack says: “Hey, we know we’re in a long-term conflict, but let’s not let it get out of hand. That’s not in either of our interests.” The attack is a way to seize control of the escalation process and set a boundary marker. These sorts of operations have risks and rewards. A risk is that it won’t cease the escalation, just accelerate it. The radicals on the other side will get enraged and take to the streets. Their leaders will have to appease that rage. A reward is that maybe you do halt the escalation. The other side implicitly says: “Message received. We’ll do some face-saving things to appease the streets, but we don’t want this to get out of hand, either.” Another reward is that you’ve managed to eliminate an effective terrorist like Soleimani. Talent doesn’t grow on trees. The decision to undertake this sort of operation is a matter of weighing risk and reward. And after the Soleimani killing, you saw American security professionals talk in the language of balancing risk and reward. Stanley McChrystal, a retired general, and Michael Mullen, a retired admiral, thought it was worth the risk. Susan Rice, a former national security adviser, thought it wasn’t. But in the anti-Trump echo chamber, that’s not how most people were thinking. Led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, they avoided the hard, complex problem of how to set boundaries around militias. Instead, they pontificated on the easy question not actually on the table: Should we have a massive invasion of Iran? A great cry went up from the echo chamber. We’re on the brink of war! Trump is leading us to more endless wars in the Middle East! We’re on the precipice of total chaos! This was not the calibrated language of risk and reward. It was fear-stoking apocalyptic language. By being so overwrought and exaggerated, the echo chamber drowned out any practical conversation about how to stabilize the Middle East so we could have another righteous chorus of “Donald Trump is a monster!” This is Trump’s ultimate victory. Every argument on every topic is now all about him. Hating Trump together has become the ultimate bonding, attention-grabbing and profit-maximization mechanism for those of us in anti-Trump world. So you get a series of exaggerated fervors — the Mueller report! Impeachment! The Steele dossier! — that lead ultimately nowhere. Most of this week’s argument about the Middle East wasn’t really about the Middle East. It was all narcissistically about ourselves! Democrats defend terrorists! Republicans are warmongers! Actual Iranians are just bit players in our imperialistic soap opera, the passive recipients of our greatness or perfidy. The world is more complicated than this cartoon. Love him or hate him, Trump has used military force less than any other president since Jimmy Carter. When it comes to foreign policy, he is not like recent Republicans. He is, as my colleague Ross Douthat put it, a Jacksonian figure, wanting to get America out of foreign entanglements while lobbing a few long-distance attacks to ensure the crazy foreigners stick to killing one another and not us. ...
  30. 4 points
  31. 3 points
    Try explaining all this to Malaysia and Indonesia who are presently confronting China for escorting fishing fleets with Chinese Coast Guard vessels in disputed waters. How these waters can be disputed is beyond me. A cursory look at the map shows them to be far, far away from the Chinese mainland.
  32. 3 points
    It is just scary as hell for me when Donald Trump, President of the largest economy in the world gauges his successes by the size of asset bubble he was able to create, and which asset bubble he is actively further inflating with all the might of his political power, in the process destroying the independence of central bank (the FED). And when MSM of this country say all hurrah ! for this madman activity, all indicators of insanity are simply off the scale. Sometimes gloomy reflection sinks in, maybe this cunning Chinese dictatorship is not that bad at the end of the day, even if only not as suicidal as current US economic policy is ? Maybe the fate of the tribute nation of Middle Kingdom, which I think (with current US economic policies) is inevitable in 30 years, is sth young persons should already start to accomodate to. Well this certainly could not be that bad: China will not invade us, as long as we will be willing importers of all the crap they would like to sell us, no import tariffs allowed, together with imported dictatorship model of governance. This would be very bad.
  33. 3 points
    In reference to the accolades surrounding renewables, a curmudgeon lurker has emerged with this small message: Throughout the history of the earth, periods of upheaval--characterized by mass extinctions, changes in sea level and ocean chemistry, changes in prevailing climate patterns--have written their signature in layers of rock. That's the reason geologists tell us that there have been ~50 climate changes through the annals of time. It would appear, for example, that Florida has been under water more than under the sun. It should be noted that those cataclysmic epochs were not influenced by human activity: they are not our fault. We are currently in the Anthropocene Age, whereby the actions of 8 billion (misguided) Homo sapiens now influence all those things above. We shouldn't assume that, just by replacing fossil fuels with renewables, we will always change things for the better--as is currently preached. In a study (Nature Climate Change) of dense coverage of desert areas by solar panels, the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the earth was substantially reduced (because, obviously, it was instead being absorbed by solar panels, and transmitted away). This led to cascading effects on the local climate: 1) the temperature dropped by up to 2 degrees Celsius, 2) precipitation dropped by 20% (due to decreased cloud cover), and, 3) wind patterns changed. So, let's race to install hundred-thousand-acre solar farms in the Great American Southwest, cover all the buttes of the Plains with giant wind turbines, and see exactly what kind of climate change we get--it'll be a jim-dandy little science experiment. And what could possibly go wrong? If the past is prologue, there will be some unexpected consequences. There may be no one around to judge, but this one is on us.
  34. 3 points
    Nope I have never said I condone anything or any actions, I said the US retaliation was understandable! Please read what I actually write and STOP putting words in my mouth. You state my moral compass is broken when you misquote me and frankly don't know me as a person whatsoever! Enough of the personal bol*ocks thanks, I believe Selva has already warned some on here recently for that, and it just cheapens your argument. Again we aren't going to agree, no surprise there really, no point carrying on this nonsense anymore.
  35. 3 points
    I agree, if it wasn't for the Black Country then England arguably wouldn't be what it has become today. Certainly not as quickly.
  36. 3 points
    I will explain, in 1,000 years of its history since 966 Poland has never been in such a beneficial situation both in economic and defense terms. 70 years without wars on our territory. Fantastic economic conditions are ensured by EU membership and defence, safety conditions by being ally/vassal state of US ( not NATO, NATO without US is completely irrelevant). And notice that both partners could give us, what they are currently providing, and NOT the other type. EU would never be able to be defence partner, weak militaries of small Europeans countries, not in next 30 years. US would never be economic partner in EU meaning because of distance. We have bad geography between strongest European countries and No geographical barriers, tank can go all the way from Moscow to Calais on a nice, flat plain. And only country that EXIST that can give some probability of protection is US. Weak US would not be able to provide this type of protection. So at the end of the day I REALLY do not care about problems of China unless they harm everyone like their CO2 emissions. And I actually do not care about EU problems cause we can do with weak and divided EU and even without EU, much poorer but still can live decent life. We cannot live without US, that simple that is why I care .
  37. 3 points
    You realize that the 'death toll' you sited, isn't - in fact - due to the 'US Occupation' as you say? And let's compare for 2019 - 2,392 confirmed violent deaths in Iraq vs 738 in Chicago? Iraq has 38 milion people, Chicago has 2.7 million. Seems like Chicago is worse than Iraq! We should end the US Ocupation of Chicago!!! I realize this is a poor comparison, however I'm trying to point out how rediculous it is to cite statistics out of context and make conclusions. The vast majority of the deaths have nothing to do with US Forces being in Iraq if you read through the data. In fact, US forces don't have active operations in Iraq - it's a train and advise roll, so the vast majority shouldn't be due to the US 'occupation' (Not sure how you say it's an occupation at this point).
  38. 3 points
    Now that is plain ignorant James! The standard of education in the UK full stop is no better than the US (including Scotland I might add!) Scottish exam rates fall for fourth year in a row
  39. 3 points
    As @Rasmus Jorgensen commented yesterday why do the moderators allow this guy to still post on here after his paedophile comments??? His comments clearly continue to be abusive, and many are personal attacks as he must lack the intelligence for serious debate. Moderators your thoughts???
  40. 3 points
    Probably a good move. Indeed, rather astute.
  41. 3 points
    You've obviously given up the pretense of blocking me. Got a little confusing managing your multiple identities there Sybil? Meanwhile why should I admit fault? I'm not Bush, Clinton, Obama, nor Trump, nor do I have the slightest position in government. In fact my company at the time fought Clinton concerning carnivore going into our location, where we had equipment as a Tier One internet provider. The government admitted they would most certainly lose in court, eventually but in the meantime had a friendly Federal Judge who was willing to place an injunction on us "until it is settled". Effectively the Clinton administration was going to shut us down, putting us out of business while we could go for our Pyrrhic victory. After some consideration, we did what everyone else did, and caved. I've despised Clinton and his Mafia ever since. Obama was just as bad, see what he did to Gibson Guitar among others. I haven't seen Trump do anything remotely similar, have you?
  42. 3 points
    Now, I will really date myself... While working on the STAFLO (look that one up!) off of Brasil, I walked out on the spiderdeck and saw a Brasilian welder (who, funny enough kinda resembled James Regan...😂) standing on a I-beam which extended over the water, cutting off the end of the beam. The more I looked, the more I thought ‘what’s wrong with this picture?’ About the time it became apparent that he was standing outboard of the cut he was making (that is, on the piece he was cutting off), he completed his cut and the welder and the cut off piece of beam headed towards the water! This was long before HSE became an issue. Thankfully the welder had not tied himself off on the piece of beam which joined him in the water and we fished him out.
  43. 3 points
    For the TL;WR crowd a translation: We (the MSM) have been saying Trump is a moron forever now but he keeps outsmarting us.
  44. 3 points
    Haha, I have a couple dozen 1911's....more than half of them have never been shot. Thats just 1911's though, I still have a bunch of other pistols, rifles, and shotguns. I collect 1911's that catch my eye and I collect fine woodworking tools. I think both represent finely crafted precision TOOLS and mostly I just admire the craftsmanship. So, it doesn't seem any more weird to me that you might own a couple dozen guns as, let's say, expensive pottery or nice paintings or whatever your thing is. Edit: If I lived in the UK, I'd probably still like fancy shotguns. I might also collect something more in line with English history....like medieval halburts, armor, a mace or two
  45. 3 points
    Hopefully the Iranian government will stop shooting protesting Iranians. The threat of open war seems to be de-escalated. Also, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7880951/Iranian-celebrities-turn-regime-Tehran-admits-downing-plane.html
  46. 3 points
    Nick W - minor suggestion. Instead of quoting the whole previous comment just highlight a couple of sentences. You'll find the quote option will come up and the original poster will be notified. It makes for shorter threads. As for your comment - what it means is that most of those who voted for the climate policies now consider them to be a colossal waste of money. The survey doesn't say anything about whether those being surveyed now want climate policies or not, only that the existing, costly policies aren't working. The Swedes will certainly still want climate policies of some sort, but a rethink is needed.
  47. 3 points
    The poll says that in Sweden's budget for 2020, 12.6 billion krona ($1.3 billion) has been allocated to climate action, compared with 5.2 billion krona ($547 million) in 2014. Back in 2017, the National Institute of Economic Research even said that the government's budget risked becoming "a costly blow in the air". Given the amount of money and lack of actual positive results for the environment, Gustafsson suggested that it would be more beneficial if the government's funds would be diverted into something valuable. Sweden is one of the leading nations in advocating for environment-friendly initiatives, including trends like electric bicycles and solar cells. Am I missing something here. 30% voted against climate policies. So the other 70% were broadly in favour (that doesn't mean they agree with every element) so do not view it as a waste of money.
  48. 3 points
    I saw that in the mid 2009 when I was touring the area. It is amazing. Have a video of it somewhere.
  49. 3 points
    This vast empty space? Or is that the space between your ears? Pappy needs to rescue you, again.
  50. 3 points
    https://twitter.com/ConflictsW/status/1216061642544418816 Protests over Iran’s shootdown of Ukrainian Airlines 752 continúe in Tehran tonight, crowds shout ‘death to the liar’ 1:17 PM · Jan 11, 2020 video clip attached below 4ad20808c747bf687c0154813b1af26eef830c20d81b404d8a53f07c29322353.mp4