FM newswire for June 16, interesting articles about geopolitics

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis. If you find this useful, please pass it to a friend or colleague.

  1. Rankings of power in the coming post-peak oil world: “The Role of National Oil Companies in the International Oil Market“, Congressional Research Service, 21 August 2007 — Western oil companies are in the second tier, and below.
  2. Recommended:  “The Pentagon Book Club“, Nick Turse, The Nation, 29 April 2010 — Battles about the past determine how we fight today.
  3. Recommended:  “China: where’s the inflation?”, Michael Pettis (Prof Finance, Bejing U), China Financial Markets, 15 June 2010 — Discussion of one of the 2 major imbalance in the global economy.
  4. Most bogus headline of the day:  “Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade, UN report warns“, Guardian, 15 June 2010 — Will rise vs. the 1997-2006 average, but remain below 2007-08 levels (see the actual report).
  5. Recommended:  “Call the Politburo, We’re in Trouble“, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, 15 June 2010 — “Entering the Soviet Era in America”
  6. Recommended:  “The Spill, The Scandal and the President“, Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 24 June 2010 — “The inside story of how Obama failed to crack down on the corruption of the Bush years – and let the world’s most dangerous oil company get away with murder.”
  7. Glenn Beck believes that New York is a high-crime area.  In fact it has low — and falling crime rates. See here and here.

Today’s feature stories

(8)  Of course it’s not your fault, poor babies:  “Big Oil’s Predations are not our Fault“, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 15 June 2010 —  Whining like Cole’s is part of the problem.  Instead of that, Cole ends with a bait-and-switch to climate change, and unrelated issue.  But since we’re sheep, that makes sense to us.   It’s only our weakness that allows these criminals to prosper. Patrick Henry and John Adams mock us from above.

(9)  Hegel and dating explain “The Very Angry Tea Party“, J. M Bernstein (Prof Philosophy at the New School for Social Research), blog of the New York Times, 13 June 2010 — “This is the rage and anger I hear in the Tea Party movement; it is the sound of jilted lovers furious that the other — the anonymous blob called simply “government” — has suddenly let them down, suddenly made clear that they are dependent and limited beings, suddenly revealed them as vulnerable.”

 This belief is nothing new in America.  See “The Myth of Rugged American Individualism“, Charles A. Beard, Harper’s Magazine, December 1931

(10)  New estimate by the Flow Rate Technical Group of the oil flow from BP’s well, Press release, 15 June 2010 — “U.S. government and independent scientists estimate that the most likely flow rate of oil today is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day.” — Key points:

  • This is the increased flow after the rise was cut, not the flow since April 20.
  • Unlike the 2 previous reports, this does not give estimates from each of the working group.
  • Note the wide range, probably reflecting their inability to agree on a consensus estimate.

(11)  That’s mighty white of you, Fred. The imperial Quote of the Day from “Fainting Spells” by Fred Kaplan, Slate, 15 June 2010 — Fred forgets that Afghanistan is a sovereign nation, not our colony:

Filkins and the Guardian‘s Jon Boone also reported that Karzai, sensing that the U.S. and NATO campaigns aren’t working, is turning to Pakistan to make some kind of deal with the Taliban to end the war.  In the face of this threat (if that’s what it is), it may be time to respond with two words: Go ahead. … And so, if Karzai wants to make a separate deal, maybe we should let him.

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