Twelfth Edition

August 20, 2014

The Empire's Bumpy Ride
A Failed US System Held Hostage


If you are one of those defeatist-type Americans, always alarmed over the dire fate of the US economy, actually believing 2 + 2 = 4, it may be best not to shift your glance to the state of US foreign policy today.

Obamaville's geopolitical stance is harder to grasp than a BLS formula for unemployment is.

And if the thought is, quaintly, of defending the US shores and citizens you are decades behind the curve. Full Story

The Alaska Oil Propaganda War

A Scenario Being Sold

By listening to this summer's political commercials, Alaskans could rejoice that a job-friendly atmosphere has been restored to the Alaska oil slope due to the end of the ACES pricing structure now replaced by the pre-ACES lower tax rates. So, Vote No on Ballot Measure 1 to create Alaska jobs!

According to that legend, the magic free market crashed Alaska oil production in the face of the "higher taxes" on oil production created by ACES. The storied ending of the tale is now the free market has rebounded greatly due to the restoration of low taxes. The oil companies are drilling and hiring in Alaska again.

So now, by the Legislature's discarding ACES at this year's session, when the worldwide price of oil goes up, the ones to profit from a higher price will be the global oil companies alone.

According to a study relied on by the legislature at the time ACES was enacted, the government share of revenues was expected to rise from 56 percent to 61 percent. Instead, according to unaudited oil industry figures submitted to the legislature this year, the government share at the present oil price of $100 barrel has risen to 69 percent due to higher than expected oil prices and a supposed increase in production costs. With the Alaska share now headed back down to 56 percent, in contrast the nation of Norway manages to capture 78 percent of oil revenues for its citizens as shown by the same chart. Full Story

The CIA Through the Looking-Glass

The Central Intelligence Agency was established in 1947. For the first time, a separate civilian organization became the command center for all US intelligence rather than the Pentagon. Covert operations were explicitly authorized by the new law.

The CIA was always intended to be the global eyes and secret means of the Western political elite, as directed by the United States from the White House. That remains the central role of the CIA today.

The creation of the CIA was a reversal of sorts by President Harry Truman. Truman had dissolved the highly successful US Army WWII Office of Strategic Services in 1945. The war was over making the office no longer necessary. Full Story


Convention of the States:
Doomed Republican Power-Play

A Populist Force

A little-known provision of the US Constitution has become a hot topic for state legislation, especially from the Red States.

Article V of the Constitution provides for two procedures for amending the Constitution. The only route ever used is a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress followed by ratification of the proposed Amendment by at least two-thirds of the state legislatures.

It is the never yet used method though that has recently come into the limelight.

Conservative radio talk-show host Mark Levin, the person who has somehow come to the forefront of this new political venture, has a recipe for saving the nation, called his "Liberty Amendments". At the centerpiece of his constitutional overhaul is the proposed method of enactment, a Convention of the States to amend the Constitution, largely without the participation of Congress, something always allowed under Article V, but a method never used throughout US history. Full Story

Iraqi Warriors: Scattered Sand

Reverse Evolution

The geographical region of Iraq is the place in the world most credited with starting human civilization, circa 3100 B.C., along the Euphrates Valley. Ancient Mesopotamia was the very tip of modernity at the outset of recorded history.

Now it seems Iraq is bent on undoing civilization altogether with a return to the chaos of a state-of-nature, where warlords, religious and secular, terrorize the population.

The northern desert of Iraq is a place overrun by Iranians in 1982, overrun by Americans in 2003, seized by Al-Qaeda in 2006, then retaken by Sunni militants with Americans, then terrorized by Shiite gangs and Shiite rule and now overrun by ISIS while threatened with invasion from both Iran and America. Just about every military force that has tried to seize this desert has succeeded, over the past forty years anyway. Full Story

An Infamous Advisor for Obama and Putin


Unusual Villain

Some people develop an undeserved bad reputation. It is typically the work of past enemies or the consequence of harsh fortune.

It is quite the unusual person though who develops a bad moral reputation only long after his life has ended, never considered so during his life. In the case of today’s main protagonist his reputation for calculating power-lust and purposeful deceit was earned by the reading of his texts centuries later; not due to any evil deeds of his own. The truly wicked seldom leave confessions of their hidden crimes and thoughts. Full Story