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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Get the US military out of the oil protection racket in the Middle East

The Oil Paradox: U. S. Exports vs. Persian Gulf Imports

Ever since the Arab oil embargo in 1973 the US has professed a strong desire for energy independence.  After two Iraq wars essentially over Persian Gulf oil we still are importing oil from the Gulf.  This is occurring at a time when the US is significantly reducing its overall oil imports; however imports from the Gulf have remained at historic levels.  Now it appears that US oil companies and Congress are looking at lifting the decades old ban on exporting US oil.

“So the U.S. spends as much or more protecting our oil interests in the Persian Gulf than the oil is worth, up to several times more.”

Apparently the two Iraq wars were insufficient motivation to reduce our imports from the Persian Gulf.  But now that Congress is opening the door on the export ban this would be an opportune time to start making the call to reduce Gulf imports before we significantly increase exports from our own shores.  Energy independence should still be of paramount importance to the US, and linking increased exports to eliminating Persian Gulf imports may be just the paradigm to make that happen.  Reducing or eliminating our use of Persian Gulf oil will give the US one less reason to maintain such a significant presence there, saving lives and US tax dollars.  Eliminating our use of Persian Gulf oil should also be seen as a vital national security issue.
In this essay I will explore this issue further and put some broad numbers to imports vs. exports, the cost of protecting our oil interests in the Gulf, and also look at the overall paradox of increasing our exports and while still importing oil from the Persian Gulf and elsewhere (including countries to which we export).

The Original Ban and Exports

First some facts about the export ban I mentioned earlier.  There have been several, but the most salient law governing oil exports is the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which banned the export of crude oil from the U.S. except under select circumstances. It’s the “…except under select circumstances” that has allowed exports to increase steadily since 2001 (Figure 1).  The ban was in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and was designed to increase production in the US, thus furthering our long-standing goal of energy independence.
Figure 1. US Annual Crude Oil Exports
Figure 1. US Annual Crude Oil Exports
As you can see in this figure it took a few years for the ban to take effect, but exports did drop sharply after about 1979-80.  Oil companies and many in congress on both sides of the isle are now pushing for increasing oil exports as a means of increasing oil production in the US.  Others in congress however have pressed to slow the increase in order to avoid price volatility that the original ban was supposed to control.  Environmental groups are also concerned about any increase in fossil fuel production as it relates to global warming. These are all valid issues relating to increasing exports, however my concern here relates to the disconnection between increasing exports while imports from the Persian Gulf proceed unabated.

Imports

So let’s look at the import picture.  Figure 2 shows the imports of crude oil from various sectors around the world.  The very good news is that overall imports are declining. However, the one main U.S. import sector that seems to hold fairly steady is the Persian Gulf.  Many analysts believe the global nature of the world oil market makes oil pricing somewhat disconnected from its place of origin. “Anybody who follows the oil industry will tell you that it doesn’t make any difference where the oil comes from,” according to Keith Crane of the RAND Corporation (Flintoff, 2012).  Or does it?  Is the cost of a $100/barrel of crude from the Persian Gulf really the same as a $100/barrel of Canadian crude, or any other crude? Let’s take a look.
Figure 2. US Oil Imports
Figure 2. US Oil Imports

Costs vs. Value: How the US subsidizes Persian Gulf Oil

The unstable political landscape of the Persian Gulf has long since required a U.S. military presence there to protect our strategic national interest as it relates to oil.  Over the years several economists have calculated estimates of just how much that military presence costs the U.S. taxpayer to protect those oil-related interests.  A study by Delucchi and Murphy (2008) looked at the value of our imports from the Persian Gulf compared with the cost of our military presence there as a function of only protecting our oil interests.  This study excluded war-time and non-oil related military costs.  The estimated value of our Gulf imports for 2004 (the year on which the study focused) was roughly $33 billion.  The military cost of protecting those imports was estimated to range from $27 – $73 Billion.  A similar study in the prior year by Copulos (2003) estimated a 2003 oil value of $25 Billion compared against a military cost ranging from between $52 – $62 Billion.  Delucchi and Murphy (2008) also concluded that the cost of military protection in the Gulf was highly correlated with the value of those imports.  Therefore as the value of those rose, the military costs of protecting those Gulf oil interests also rose accordingly.

“Why do we continue to significantly subsidize, through our military engagement, oil imports from one of the most unstable and costly parts of the world, and reduce imports from everywhere else?”

So the U.S. spends as much or more protecting our oil interests in the Persian Gulf than the oil is worth, up to several times more.  Now that $100 barrel of Persian Gulf crude really costs us up to $300/barrel, so where the oil comes from really does matter.  In essence the U.S., by its military presence in the Gulf, is not only subsidizing Gulf oil for US companies who purchase it, but for any company or country that purchases it.
It’s true that even if we no longer import oil from the Gulf the US will still have a strategic interest in the Middle East, namely a nuclear Iran and our alliance with Israel, among others.  But without the Gulf oil interest future conflicts in the Middle East are far less likely to result in a “Boots on the ground” type of response.  We will likely always need some military presence in the Gulf, but eliminating or at least reducing our oil interests in the Gulf region will also make it easier for the US to more fully pivot towards Asia in terms of our foreign policy and pursuing our broader economic interests.  It seems that recently every time the US is about to fully turn its attention to Asia, something in the Middle East pulls us into a new conflict there and away from pursuing our mutual interests with Asia.

U. S. Production is on the Rise

Oil production in the U. S. has steadily climbed since 2009 increasing from 5.2 million barrels/day to 7.2MB/D in 2013, a steady 38% increase (Congressional Research Service, 2014). The CRS projects that US oil production will continue to increase to 9 MB/D by 2025, which translates to over 3 Billion barrels/yr..  Additionally, the CRS projects US natural gas production to steadily increase through 2040.  Now I’m not suggesting that all these increases in home-grown oil and gas can just be switched across the board and replace our Gulf imports, but unless someone begins to focus on reducing our Gulf imports it certainly will never happen.  In addition, because Gulf oil value directly affects the cost of protecting those reserves, any significant reduction in Persian Gulf oil will also result in lowered military costs.  We need to look closely at US production and how it can help wean us off Gulf oil. This needs to part of any discussion of lifting the US ban on oil exports.

The Paradoxes

So with such dramatic decreases in US oil imports from around the world, why have Persian Gulf imports remained virtually unchanged?  Why do we continue to significantly subsidize, through our military engagement, oil imports from one of the most unstable and costly parts of the world, and reduce imports from everywhere else?  If in 2005 Persian Gulf imports into the US were prohibited, there would have been more than enough oil elsewhere, including from our own increased production, to meet our oil needs in the US.
Let’s look at the issue of the cost of protecting our oil interests in the Gulf in a more practical way. The capacity of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, established after the 1973-74 OPEC oil embargo, is 727 million barrels.  It is the largest stockpile of government –owned emergency crude oil in the world.   At a current cost of $97.65/barrel, the value of the SPR is roughly $70 Billion, a value that falls well within the cost of what the US taxpayers currently pay every year merely to protect our strategic oil interests in the Gulf. I merely point this comparison out to show that we have choices and that there are far better ways to spend our tax dollars.
Finally, why do we still talk about the oil market as if it were a truly ‘free’ market when we provide such a significant subsidy, at great cost and risk to American lives, to keep this market operating?
As a postscript to the above discussion I have to also include another somewhat related paradox: Canada is the largest buyer of US exported oil. So why are we pushing the Keystone XL pipeline for Canada to export its low-grade tar sands crude into the US while we are shipping oil back to Canada?

Conclusions

I believe that what’s really missing here is a long-term energy policy. Such a policy should also include a plan to significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.  However, I believe that there is a unique opportunity now for a more thorough discussion of how to extricate ourselves from at least one major US operation in the Middle East…oil.  There needs to be a direct linkage made between further increasing US oil exports and a mandatory reduction of Persian Gulf imports.  We need to stop treating the oil market as a free market; actually it is a “free” market for everyone else who buys Gulf oil because we heavily subsidize it, but not for the US.
As policy matters go, I see this as a twofer; we have a chance to take a step forward on a significant Middle East national security issue while at the same time bringing us a step closer to a broader and more long-term energy policy.  It appears to me that the US energy market can move forward without the need of Persian Gulf oil which in itself could also further simplify our Middle East national security profile.

Other Oil-Related Questions

I’ve raised many questions here, and perhaps over time I’ll find the energy to delve into them more deeply. One significant question that bears further analysis is the relationship between the House of Saud (Saudi Arabia is the largest Persian Gulf Exporter to the US) and the US.  But first I felt it was important to at least raise the issue of connecting further U. S. exports to Persian Gulf Imports.  There may be a window of opportunity to have an honest dialogue on this issue as Congress weighs the pros and cons of removing the oil export embargo.

Literature Cited

Congressional Research Service. 2014. U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas.(http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/20140410CRS-US-crude-oil-natural-gas-production-federal-non-federal-areas.pdf)
Figure 1 – Export Data from Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_exp_dc_nus-z00_mbbl_a.htm
Figure 2 – Import Sources Data from Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_a.htm
Flintoff, Corey 2012. Where does America get oil? You may be surprised. NPR, April 12, 2012. (http://www.npr.org/2012/04/11/150444802/where-does-america-get-oil-you-may-be-surprised)

© Phil Wendt, August 2014

58 comments:

  1. This is the time to normalize US relations without the use of aircraft carriers, increase US jobs and really achieve US energy independence.

    Bring the fifth fleet home. Refurbish the carriers, Scrap them, turn them into fishing reefs. Nothing else needs to be done to subsidize or protect the US energy industry. Nothing would increase real US security interests more dramatically.

    You want to thank a “wounded warrior”, quit producing more of them in the Middle East.

    Opec opened the opportunity, help them find their own oil independence and pay for it themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wendt couldn’t control himself and had to throw in this line:

    It’s true that even if we no longer import oil from the Gulf the US will still have a strategic interest in the Middle East, namely a nuclear Iran and our alliance with Israel, among others.

    Wrong. We have no alliance with Israel. We have an unnecessary liability with Israel. It is the single worst one-sided relationship in US political history with no political or military benefit. Leave Israel alone and relieve them of their meddlesome duties of manipulation of US policy. Let the religious wackjobs of all stripes pay their homage as they see fit and with their own non tax subsidized money.

    Let Israel and Saudi Arabia, minus the US, deal with Iran as they see fit and have the stomach for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrong Deuce,

      But I can't convince you of that about Israel.

      However IF America didn't provide 33 BILLION a year in support to the nations that are committed to the destruction of Israel you would have a much more honest policy.

      America, since the days of Prescott BUSH and Dulles have been screwing the Israelis.

      Maybe you finally have turned 1/2 the page....

      congrats...

      As for Israel? decouple America from the saving the opec assholes and Israel alliance will become more and more valued and transparent.

      As for now?

      You are still 1/2 blind

      Delete
    2. Deuce: Wrong. We have no alliance with Israel. We have an unnecessary liability with Israel. It is the single worst one-sided relationship in US political history with no political or military benefit. Leave Israel alone and relieve them of their meddlesome duties of manipulation of US policy. Let the religious wackjobs of all stripes pay their homage as they see fit and with their own non tax subsidized money.


      Deuce, but you said just a few weeks ago you LOVED Israel.

      Interesting, a world traveller such as yourself has never been.

      Amazing.

      But honestly, your hatred is dripping...

      "Wrong. We have no alliance with Israel. We have an unnecessary liability with Israel. It is the single worst one-sided relationship in US political history with no political or military benefit. Leave Israel alone and relieve them of their meddlesome duties of manipulation of US policy. Let the religious wackjobs of all stripes pay their homage as they see fit and with their own non tax subsidized money."

      truly a hateful statement...

      Delete
    3. Wrong. We have no alliance with Iran. We have an unnecessary liability with Iran. It is the single worst one-sided relationship in US political history with no political or military benefit. Leave Iran alone and relieve them of their meddlesome duties of manipulation of US policy. Let the religious wackjobs of all stripes pay their homage as they see fit and with their own non tax subsidized money.

      Delete
  3. "Scrap them, turn them into fishing reefs"

    All we really need is a few rusty coastal patrol boats, after all, to protect the two hundred mile limit.

    Scrap the boomers too, those force projection devices.

    ReplyDelete
  4. An ethanol refinery in every county, and they can kiss our rusty red asses.

    Unfortunately, those that own the stock in General Dynamics, and Grumman, are the same ones that own Exxon, and BP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Backed by their number 1 cheerleader Rufus with his favorite cheer "They are daid men walking - easy peasy!"

      Delete
    2. Followed up by "We are hero's, spreading democracy,fighting EVIL, sweeping the innocents from mountain tops, OH HA"

      Delete
    3. The low cost, small footprint and low maintenance US program being implemented does not suit you, Ash?
      Letting the local populations take the lead, not to your liking?

      Is it correct to assume you would endorse a complete withdrawal from the region, with no regard to the immediate social and economic disruptions this would cause across the world. That instead of applauding incremental improvement in the application of US power, you advise that there is no need to project power, at all?

      Delete
    4. Stop waging was for oil!

      Delete
    5. And if your wish is not Barack Obama's command, what is the next best thing, Ash?

      Delete
    6. What wimpy little toady you are Jack. Your hero Obama dies something and you are compelled to support it.

      Delete
    7. Not at all, Ash. I was in favor of the current program, long before it was the program.
      Was in favor of the program, way back in 2003.
      I think that 'desert rat' was, too.

      Local forces, working in concert with US air superiority.
      A winning combination.

      Has almost next to nothing to do with Barack Obama, personally, other than he came to see the wisdom of ...
      "Rat Doctrine"

      Delete
    8. Yeah, you have always been gung ho in favor of waging war for oil.

      Delete
    9. The policy has finally shifted to the one that was always supported by those that are knowledgeable of the successes of the Kennedy Era "Special Forces" those fellas in the Green Berets.

      Not many people are.
      Military mythology better known than the realities of the tactical history.

      Vietnam in 1963, much like Afghanistan in 2003.
      Once the "Regular Army" takes the field, there is no going back.

      The disbanding of the Iraqi Army merely the most illustrative example of how far the US was from what I ercive as the premier strategy, of merely supporting local allied forces, in as limited a means as possible.

      Delete
    10. ... from what I perceive as the premier strategy, of merely supporting local allied forces, in as limited a means as possible.

      Delete
    11. And, for some absurd reason, you seem to think a particular tactic makes it good.

      Delete
    12. .

      Come on, Ash. Consider two issues at one time? You are asking a lot of the rat.

      :o)

      .

      Delete
    13. Rookie mistake, jack, confusing tactics and strategy.

      Delete
  5. “Why do we continue to significantly subsidize, through our military engagement, oil imports from one of the most unstable and costly parts of the world, and reduce imports from everywhere else?”

    Why does the US lead the drive to take millions of barrels of crude oil off of the global market place, each and every day?

    ReplyDelete
  6. ... the US will still have a strategic interest in the Middle East, namely a nuclear Iran and our alliance with Israel, among others.

    "‘When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone,
    ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

    - Lewis Carroll

    An alliance without any basis in Law is no alliance at all.
    It is nothing more than sloppy language, utilized for purposes of agitprop.




    ReplyDelete
  7. In the area of continuing education ...

    Here we have a piece that touches not only on Economics but the apropriateness of Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions in modern international politics.

    The SodaStream business model is failing but has the BDS Movement contributed to the cratering of asset value, or was it purely bad management based out of Israel?


    Summary


    1. SodaStream retailer inventories have declined by as much as 33% YOY.
    2. Television commercial advertising returns are limited due to inventory levels not being able to meet incremental increases in demand.
    3. Poor social media implementations have delivered meaningless returns in the past as customer engagement has been found waning.

    As we head into the all-important holiday selling season for vendors and retailers, there is greater optimism in the retail world. ...

    So the question is, with this optimism for the holiday shopping season, will SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) witness improved results?

    First let's put the aforementioned question into its most appropriate context. On a year-over-year basis, the company is not expecting its revenue results to grow; in fact, they are going to shrink mightily. Sure, some investors believe they are low-balling expectations, but clear that thought clean out of your head.

    It's not a slight decline the company is forecasting for revenues. The company is looking for roughly $139mm in revenues during Q4 2014 versus last year's revenues of $168 million. That's a pretty big drop; and just how did SodaStream get to this decline in its sales forecast?

    SodaStream's U.S. retailers will be carrying their lightest inventory levels of sparkling beverage makers since 2012 this holiday season which is directly correlated to the company's most recent Q3 2014 results.

    Retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), Sam's Club, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) will all carry fewer units of SodaStream sparkling beverage makers on a year-over-year basis.

    Even if SodaStream sales in the U.S. were to improve during the holiday season, the retailers' inventory levels won't support an increase in sales of any significant magnitude.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SodaStream recently began airing its latest television commercial campaign in the United States, which was viewed on major television networks such as Fox and CBS, and during NFL game day presentations. Unfortunately, it did not air during the Denver Broncos' victory against the Miami Dolphins, but you can't win them all.

      More importantly, the commercial aids in delivering the company's new marketing message surrounding its health & wellness product offerings.

      ... when taken in combination with the already noted low levels of inventory of sparkling beverage makers at North American retailers, it seems wasteful as not much can be recouped for the television commercial expenditure.

      As investors, the commercial would need to be viewed as a forward looking strategy with limited if any near term benefits as the inventory level simply isn't there to support the desired increase in sales or "green shoots" from the commercial spots.

      Of greatest concern with regards to the latest television commercial, the company continues to promote a product, absent the explanation of what the product's benefits are for the consumer. In other words, "Why does the consumer need this product"?

      The bottom line
      SodaStream is certainly cheaper than it was at the start of the year after a double-digit decline to-date in 2014. That being said, there is a reasonable basis for that price action, given the company's decline in operating profit in FY2014.

      More importantly, there doesn't appear to be much improvement on the horizon, with management forecasting a continuation of weak profitability going forward. As such, there seems to be little momentum to drive a higher market valuation at SodaStream and investors should probably avoid the story.


      http://seekingalpha.com/article/2713375-resist-the-urge-to-fish-for-gains-at-sodastream?uprof=45&dr=1
      http://seekingalpha.com/article/2711175-sodastream-holiday-2014-inventories-cap-year-end-performance?uprof=45&dr=1

      Delete
    2. At great time to purchase SodaStream, buy low sell high…

      The PE ratios are quite attractive.

      And to boot?

      SodaStream is a cash machine…

      Delete
    3. Even if SodaStream sales in the U.S. were to improve during the holiday season, the retailers' inventory levels won't support an increase in sales of any significant magnitude.

      The US market is but a tiny fraction of the world.

      I guess this is why you are an expert in horse shit not business.

      Delete
    4. Soda Stream leaving the West bank will save the Company over 2%

      Company’s decision to relocate from West Bank will leave hundreds of Palestinians out of work.


      Excellent…..


      Delete
    5. Here is the 5 year gross sales…

      Gross Income 2009 79.47M 2010 112.27M 2011 166.42M 2012 232.64M 2012 281.18M


      Wow, even if they took a 50% drop in retail sales? It's still $100,000,000 a year for CO2 to make seltzer…

      I'd take a business that ONLY sold 100 MILLION a year in sales… Making seltzer and soda…..

      LOL

      I should be such a failure.

      Delete
    6. I looked up the value of horse manure on the net…

      Most places give it away for free…

      Great economic model you got there...

      Delete
    7. Those people that give away such a fabulous bio-mass as horse manure, must be the same people that give you advise on your other financial dealings, too?

      What is "Occupation"Fri Oct 03, 10:16:00 AM EDT
      I have been turned down repeatedly for a REFI.
      The system is screwed.


      The truth is, "O"rdure, the system is working fine, for those of us that know how to use it.

      {;-)

      Delete
    8. SodaStream is going to "Make Water Exciting", but does not have stock in the stores to sell the shopper.
      Even if the commercials are a hit, there is no product on the shelves.

      Delete
    9. "O"rdure would have the reader look at falling retail sales as just an aberration.
      But there is more to the story of SodaStream's equity collapse than just the competition from Coca-Cola.

      Either the SodaStream management team is inept, or the BDS Movement has struck down a healthy company with a solid management team. "O"rdure tells us that the basics of the company, SodaSream, are sound. That the management team is solid.

      So, the only other plausible reason for why their asset value has evaporated ... the vulnerability of lightly capitalized small companies to a persuasive media campaign.

      Delete
    10. Jack HawkinsSat Nov 29, 03:43:00 PM EST
      SodaStream is going to "Make Water Exciting", but does not have stock in the stores to sell the shopper.
      Even if the commercials are a hit, there is no product on the shelves.



      Sold out again?

      when you do 200 million a year?

      you do a lot of store shelf stocking..
      you really have no concept of reality do you?

      Delete
  8. The estimated value of our Gulf imports for 2004 (the year on which the study focused) was roughly $33 billion. The military cost of protecting those imports was estimated to range from $27 – $73 Billion.

    Deuce, you complain that Israel gets a huge amount of help from the USA. Currently 3 billion a year, with MOST being spend in the USA on products.

    How do you align your vitriol against AID to Israel with the one time mention of the above ten fold dollars given free to those who are aligned against the USA?

    Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you bomb and kill people, they tend to align against you.

      Delete
    2. Sure but who killed WHO 1st?

      The moslem arabs of the middle east for centuries killed christians and jews...

      Delete
    3. The moslems of arabia STOLE the lands of the Jews, the Christians and others..

      The moslems of the now conquered middle east STARTED and invaded Europe that caused the Crusades

      Delete
  9. It is nothing personal about religious whack-jobs:

    The slaughter of more than 5,000 buffaloes at the Gadhimai Hindu festival in Nepal has drawn global condemnation from animal charities.

    Many more buffaloes and farm animals including chickens, goats and pigs are due to be killed as part of what is thought to be the world’s largest animal sacrifice ritual.

    Devotees believe the event brings good luck and will encourage Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power, to answer their wishes.

    Several charities had worked to stop the slaughter – the first of its kind since an estimated 200,000 animals and birds were sacrificed in 2009 – but only succeeded in pressuring the Indian Government into stopping animals being transported across the border.

    Joanna Lumley is among the celebrities opposing the festival and led a protest in London last month with the charity Compassion in World Farming.


    ReplyDelete
  10. As to the aircraft carriers: China has one sort-of carrier and trades all over the World making money hand over fist. When was that last time China attacked any of its customers? Does China have a jihadi problem of consequence? Is China under threat from anyone? No, because China is not telling everyone how exceptional they are and attacking country after country.

    Leave them alone. Mind our own business. Solve our own problems, Quit surrounding them with military bases. Quit bombing them. Quit killing them and after a while, we will not need the TSA, the NSA, Robo-cops, thought police, ten aircraft carrier groups and a fifth fleet.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We really needed aircraft carriers to attack Kosovo, Libya and Iraq. All of those countries were in desperate need of being attacked.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Appalachian State 31

    Idaho 15

    Start of the third quarter, Vandal Fans.

    I'm thinking of investing in Soda Stream.

    Beats stock in the Vandals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Though Vandal stock is really really low right now, with no where to go but up.

      Trouble is, it will never go up.

      Delete
  13. Egypt court drops murder charges against Mubarak............drudge

    As is proper.

    He's still serving a little time for corruption, as is proper too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pamunkey tribe under scrutiny for past interracial marriage ban

    posted at 4:01 pm on November 29, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

    Earlier this year the Interior Department fielded a request to recognize the Pamunkey tribe of Virginia, a proposal which will eventually be decided by Obama’s Interior Secretary. This would not only give the members access to the usual benefits received from Washington and the complicated relationship with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but also allow them to get moving on putting up a casino on their land. However the Congressional Black Caucus and other Democrats are fighting the move due to allegations that the tribe has a history of discriminatory practices.

    Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus are urging the Obama administration to withhold federal recognition of a Virginia Indian tribe because of its history of banning intermarriage with blacks…

    The Congressional Black Caucus members urged Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Attorney General Eric Holder to hold off until the Justice Department investigates any discriminatory practices by the tribe. Neither department has responded to the request, made in a Sept. 23 letter, according to a spokeswoman for Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, who signed the letter.

    The letter cited a report by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs that quoted tribal law: “No member of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe shall intermarry with anny (sic) Nation except White or Indian under penalty of forfeiting their rights in Town.”

    The bureau said it had no indication the tribe had changed its ban, but Pamunkey Chief Kevin Brown responded in a letter to the CBC that the ban has been repealed. He said in an interview that the change was made in 2012.

    This entire process goes deep in the weeds on matters which don’t often come up for discussion, and I’ve struggled to understand the process in similar cases up here in New York. First, I’m not entirely sure how they would quantify the additional layers of “recognition” being sought. The Pamunkey have been in Virginia since the first Europeans arrived and have a recognized reservation there. They also have a treaty with the state which they have honored for over 300 years, and it includes paying an annual tribute to the Governor in the form of wild game and pottery. (See image on front page.) But this does not, it seems, automatically translate over to federal recognition and the benefits associated with that.

    It would be interesting to see how diligently all the other tribes have been held to modern standards of law, civil rights and the like. The Pamunkey apparently had that ban (which was not just against “blacks” but any minorities who are not “white” or “tribal”) primarily as a means of keeping some sort of tribal ethnic purity. That’s not exactly unknown in other cultures, either officially or unofficially, and I’m unclear to what extent – if any – Washington can dictate the tribe’s laws to them.

    But for all of that debate, it looks like this probably has a lot more to do with that casino than any sort of social justice or racial purity questions. If they get approval for the project it will likely mean tens of millions of dollars flowing in to the tribe’s 200 current members. It will also mean yet more competition for Atlantic City, Vegas and the casino industry’s supporters in Congress. If the Pamunkey tribe loses this battle, I’d be willing to bet it won’t be because of some previous rule on interracial marriage. At least not entirely…

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/11/29/pamunkey-tribe-under-scrutiny-for-past-interracial-marriage-ban/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know any Pamunkeys, Rufus ?

      Delete
    2. If they get their way they'll all be multi-millionaires soon.

      Delete
  15. Here is a realistic article -

    >>>Of course, the masters of duplicity are the Arabs, who still want all of Israel destroyed.

    I have no illusions that the Arabs seek the genocidal destruction of Israel, which is why I limit my complaints about Israel to her pretenses, not her actions. But even those who acknowledge the Arab duplicity have to recognize that neither party has ever had any intention of recognizing the other as an independent state.<<<

    November 29, 2014
    Why Did It Take So Long?
    By Mike Konrad

    Recently Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made this statement:

    There cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan[.]

    Personally, I have no problems with that honest statement. I wish the Israelis had been upfront about this years ago; and it would have saved everyone a lot of heartache.

    An honest refusal to give the Arabs in Judea and Samaria open and free borders – while militarily wise – would also have let the world know that Israel had no real intention of the giving the Palestinians a state. It would have been suicidal. The Arabs would have been put on notice that no Palestine would ever exist. A people who do not control their borders are not free. There would have been no pretense, and over $100 billion in handouts – from America, Canada, and Europe – to a murderously corrupt Palestinian Authority could have been saved.

    That has been Netanyahu's position all along, even as his administration publicly claimed to be working towards a two-state solution, as was captured by this video, secretly filmed in 2001. Netanyahu bragged about sabotaging Oslo by twisting legal interpretations to prevent the Arabs from ever getting an open border with Jordan. Netanyahu would define the whole Jordan Valley as a military zone. To be fair, even Barak's "generous" offer at Camp David refused to give the Palestinians border control.

    Again, all of this was wise, but why doesn't Israel officially admit that it has no intention of giving the Palestinians a state? Why did Netanyahu, and others, say one thing to the press and another to the Likud base?

    Of course, the masters of duplicity are the Arabs, who still want all of Israel destroyed.

    I have no illusions that the Arabs seek the genocidal destruction of Israel, which is why I limit my complaints about Israel to her pretenses, not her actions. But even those who acknowledge the Arab duplicity have to recognize that neither party has ever had any intention of recognizing the other as an independent state.

    So while our American government and media were pushing a two-state solution, there were ample signals coming from both sides that neither side was going to recognize the right of the other to exist as a truly independent entity. It is not just the terrorists of Hamas who refuse to recognize Israel in any capacity; the 1999 Likud party charter refused to recognize Palestine in any capacity, which probably explains why Netanyahu does not call out Hamas's irrendentism more often.

    The Israelis wanted only to give the Palestinian limited autonomy on small Arab reservations, while the Arabs wanted to kick the Jews out of the Mideast altogether.

    Every dollar, every handout, every penny spent on this ridiculous goal for a two-state solution has been a total waste, and it should have been immediately evident in 1993, when the Oslo agreement was signed.

    I knew this as soon as I saw Rabin and Arafat shake hands on TV in 1993. The announcer said this was a start, and the difficult items would be hammered out later on.

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    1. Good luck! I thought at that time. There is no way that Jerusalem can be negotiated. There is no way Israel would surrender the sacred precincts, and no way Islam would insist on anything less. Twenty-one years later, Jerusalem has come home to roost. One cannot negotiate this level of conflict.

      So finally forgetting any pretense of a two-state solution, which neither side really wanted, and given that Israel will stay from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, what is Israel to do with the millions of disenfranchised Arabs under her rule?

      And they are under Israeli rule! Israel can enter Ramallah, Nablus, and any part of the Palestinian zones at will, as they did this July in retaliation for the kidnapping of three boys. I won't call it an occupation, but it is martial law.

      Zionists claim that Israel was given everything west of the Jordan by the San Remo Agreement of 1920. If so, that claim comes with a caveat. The Jewish state is obliged to act “without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” as part of the San Remo protocols.

      In plain terms, if Israel wants to claim Judea and Samaria, it has to enfranchise and tender full civil rights to a very hostile population. If not, Israel cannot lay claim to the area based on an international agreement that Israel refuses to abide by. So even San Remo cannot rescue Israel's claims.

      As should be obvious now, these people cannot live together. The Arabs are liars; we know this. But conservatives are being less than honest if they think Israel is totally egalitarian toward even Arab-Israelis. There is a real difference between how fast a Jew gets a building permit and how fast an Arab gets one. It may not be apartheid, but one group is more equal than others. Even the usually quiet Arab-Israelis are starting to get militant. While the demographics of Israel are not a dire as so many Chicken Littles claim, the situation is still not promising. There is no way that Israel can safely enfranchise the Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

      Israel has to make hard choices concerning this Arab demographic.

      There is also no way that Israel can continue the present situation, where Israel keeps so many people under martial law for so long. It cannot be done. Even were these people Danish Lutherans, there would be resistance, albeit not as violently pathological as with Islam. Israel controls all who enter or leave Judea and Samaria. No Arab has free access to leave or enter without undergoing a barrage of permits. Visitors are arbitrarily refused admittance. This may be a necessary tyranny for security's sake, but tyranny it is, and we should not hide it. This is not freedom. This is not a two-state solution, and according to Netanyahu, Israel has no intention of ever letting up.

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    2. Israel was faced with unpleasant choices and for decades refused to make a realistic decision. Oslo did nothing but permit this to continue, while subsidizing the murderous Arabs, and removing some of the economic burden from Israel. This can no longer be indulged.

      Israel must stop fudging, hedging, and obfuscating. Israel has to say what Kahane said: “They must go!” This reduces to one of two options: ethnic cleansing, or paying the Arabs to leave.

      Now, let's not pretty up the first option by calling it population transfer. Population transfer sounds sanitary, but it is just mutually agreed upon ethnic cleansing. Those who advocate the forced removal of Arabs should be honest enough to call it what it is. In a way, even compensated removal is ethnic cleansing, albeit of a kinder, gentler sort.

      The present situation has to change. I, along with others, have figured that the Arabs could be paid to leave at a cost of $100-200 billion – roughly what we have already spent on a two-state solution.

      Had that been offered in 1993, the problem would have been solved by now. We know the Arabs lie, but had the Israelis been honest – instead of pretending to go along with a two-state option – the option of removal would have been addressed instead of denied.

      Then the only thing to debate would have been method and cost, and the problem would have been solved by now.

      Mike Konrad is an American who writes on various issue from time to time.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/11/why_did_it_take_so_long.html

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    3. Israel should pay all the west bank arabs to move to Philadelphia.

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    4. .

      The guy is saying the same things I have been saying all along albeit with a couple of exceptions. First, he blames both parties for the impasse on a two-state solution. True enough, but then he accuses the Arabs of being liars while he accuses the Israelis of what? Just kidding?

      He indicates that had the Israelis been honest from the beginning the issues would have been resolved by now. Again, true enough; however, he has the timing wrong. Had the Israelis driven the Arabs out early on, there would have been additional conflict for awhile but by now the world would have moved on.

      He suggests that in the 90's a couple hundred million would have been enough to pay the Arabs to leave. Too optimistic, IMO. While it would have been easy to buy off Arafat and his cronies there wouldn't be enough money left to get the rest of the Palestinians to agree to leave. The reason for the 2nd Intifada wasn't only the failure of the Oslo Accord process and the Israeli part in that failure but also the Palis dissatisfaction with their own leadership. They might have been able to force the Palis out but they would have continued the fight from wherever they were sent.

      While the author argues that forced population transfer is the likely answer, I think he's wrong. It might have been the answer fifty or sixty years ago but now its too late. Unlikely, the world would stand for it these days. IMO.

      Not sure what Israel can or will be able to do at this point. All the options are bad.

      Oh, what tangled webs we weave...

      .

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  16. Appalachian State 38

    Idaho 15

    Vandal Fans, we are getting clobbered.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Vandals fight back !

    TD !

    Appalachian State 38

    Idaho 21

    Two point conversion fails.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Final:

    Appalachian State 45
    Idaho 28

    Thanks the gods, God, G-d, Allah, the nature of things and passage of time that this miserable season is finally over.

    Season:

    1 win
    10 loses
    1 game called due to weather

    Tune in next year Vandal Fans across our Great Nation, and around our Wonderous Blue/Green Globe.

    Have a good year.

    And remember, it's tough being a Vandal, but it builds character !!

    ReplyDelete
  19. By Juan Cole

    It is clear that among the major losers in the fall in the price of Brent crude petroleum from $115 a barrel last summer to about $75 a barrel today are Russia, Iraq and Iran. Petroleum sales are 50% of Russia’s income, and are also central for Iran and Iraq.

    But the big loser will likely be shale oil producers and prospectors in the US, who probably cannot make a profit if the price falls into the 60s.

    The cause of the fall, by $40 a barrel, in petroleum prices since last summer is almost completely on the demand side. Asian economies, especially China, are dramatically slowing, and won’t be requiring as much petroleum to fuel trucks, trains and cars to deliver people and goods around the country. Most petroleum is used to fuel transport. Some is used for heating or cooling, as in Saudi Arabia and Hawaii, but that practice is relatively rare. US journalists seem to feel it obligatory to mention US shale oil production as a contributor to the price fall, since prices are a matter of supply and demand, and US supply has increased by a couple million barrels a day. But frankly that is a minor increase in world terms– global production is roughly 90 million barrels a day. Between Iran, Iraq (Kirkuk), Libya and Syria, enough oil has gone out of production to more than offset the additional American oil. It isn’t that there is more oil being pumped, it is that the world doesn’t want it as much because of cooling economies.

    The Russian and Iranian governments are said to be panicking , because both need high prices to support their bloated government budgets and popular subsidies.

    The value of the Russian ruble against the dollar has fallen 19% this fall.

    {...}

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    1. {...}

      The Iraqi government of Haydar al-Abadi will also have much less income with which to fight Daesh/ ISIL.
      While the fall in petroleum prices is hurting government budgets in Russia and Iran, ironically it may actually help workers. Iran’s economy has improved in the past year despite US sanctions on Iranian oil sales, which have reduced exports from 2.5 mn bpd to 1.5 mn bpd in the past three years.

      One silver lining for the Iranian economy of lower oil prices is that they will weaken the value of the riyal and make Iranian manufactures, handicrafts and agricultural produce cheaper to export. This development will benefit millions of Iranians. It is mainly the government, and recipients of government subsidies, who are hurt by the oil price fall.

      Nor should it be assumed that reduced oil income will destabilize the ayatollahs in Tehran. Saddam Hussein in 1990s Iraq faced much more severe oil sanctions, and the price fell steeply in 1997, but the Iraqi Baath elite cushioned themselves and survived handsomely until George W. Bush invaded and overthrew them.

      Russian made goods may also benefit over time from the lower ruble and a smaller oil income. Putin may become less powerful, but Russian factory workers may see a rise in income because more in the global South can afford to import their products.
      As for North Dakota and other fracking states, some of their production may continue because of sunk costs in drilling and infrastructure. But it is likely that new investment in fracked oil will dry up for the next year or so.

      Saudi Arabia did not cause the oil price fall, though since 2011 it has been flooding the market to offset the decrease in Iranian exports because of US sanctions. Riyadh, however, is the main geopolitical winner here, which is why the Saudis stopped the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries from reducing country production quotas. (That step would have reduced supply and put up prices). As it is, the Saudis can afford to wait as fracked oil is driven out of the market because too expensive, so that they regain their market share.

      The Saudis must enjoy punishing Iran and Russia for defying them by propping up the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus and the Da’wa Shiite regime in Baghdad.

      {...}

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    2. {...}




      The lower oil prices are unlikely to hurt electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids, because they are still such a tiny part of the auto market that there is room for sales to grow a great deal. And, even if US prices average out at $2.70 a gallon, that can’t actually compete with free fuel, which is what a lot of electric auto owners get, via their rooftop solar panels or subsidized parking in cities or at work.
      Natural gas and petroleum are dead men walking– they are worthless but the markets just haven’t realized it yet. By 2016, solar and wind will be grid parity everywhere in the US with coal and natural gas for heating and cooling buildings. That means it will be as cheap or cheaper to build a solar or wind facility as to build a new coal plant (the latter won’t likely even be allowed because of anti-pollution laws finally being implemented by the Obama administration).

      Because it is harder and more expensive to replace petroleum for transportation than to replace coal and natural gas for heating buildings, oil may have a longer run than the other hydrocarbons. But as auto battery costs come down and as more and more buildings have solar panels or are supplied with electricity by wind, gasoline-driven autos will also, over the next 10-15 years, become uneconomical. (Not to mention that Asian demand will revive and even possibly go into overdrive, as India, e.g. turns to automobiles from bicycles.)

      That is, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and North Dakota are all up the creek in the medium term. But for the latter three, which have complex economies and in the case of Russia and Iran, sizeable populations, the economic benefit of inexpensive renewable electriicity will likely outweigh the loss of oil income. Everywhere, renewables are likely to put money and power in the pockets of ordinary people and workers, and may spell a weakening of the oil-based rentier state.

      Saudi Arabia should enjoy its brief moment of triumph. Its business model is actually a dinosaur, as is that of the rivals it is punishing.

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  20. It's a joy to be buying gas at $2,80/gal.

    Means a lot to the average guy.

    ReplyDelete