Just Trying To Keep Up

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tommclaughlin
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Just Trying To Keep Up

In regard to my understanding of the world — what is going on and why — the best I can do is maintain a “working hypothesis.” The “what” is easier. The “why” to explain the “what” is more daunting because as new information emerges, I have to modify.

My biggest challenge is understanding developments in what we broadly call the Middle East. When I taught 20th century US History and current events, I’d start the school year with the essential question: “Why do radical Muslims want to kill us?” Teachers back then were required to formulate “essential questions,” then plan lessons around them. We were at war and some former students were fighting it. Others would be. I wanted them to know what they were fighting.

That involved lessons going back almost four millennia to Abraham’s time, then relating those lessons to current events. I had to teach about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. There was so much information to take in that, without some kind of mental framework within which to arrange that information, it wouldn’t stick. So, I drilled them on regional geography as today’s national borders are drawn. I wanted them to be able to call up a Middle East map in their mind’s eye and know where Iraq was, Iran was, Syria was, Israel was, and so on. As they absorbed both historical and current events, they could mentally pin each onto their mental maps in its appropriate place. Babylon was in today’s Iraq and Persia is today’s Iran, and so on. Borders between land and sea were static, but national borders changed constantly.

Religion is only one dynamic. In my early teaching years, most students came with a basic understanding of Christianity. At the end, only a minority did and I’d have to start from scratch. I’d compare and contrast beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, then historical conflicts between them going back to 600 AD with the establishment of Islam. I’d explain that radical Muslims take Muhammed’s writings literally, especially those in the Medina Koran, which advocated converting Jews, Christians, and others at the point of a sword. Muhammed’s earlier writings in what is often called the Mecca Koran offered a reasoned approach. When some call Islam a “religion of peace,” they’re referring to the Mecca Koran.

ISIS, al Qaida, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood follow teachings from the Medina Koran.Judging from his actions, so, also, did Muhammed himself. Radical Muslims today more closely follow what Muhammed actually did when he conquered the Arabian Peninsula and imposed Islam. It’s also what his followers did for the next thirteen centuries. Only after the last caliphate — the Ottoman Empire — was defeated in World War I did forced conversion end, and then only temporarily.

The rest is here.

anonymous_coward
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Umm hello? How can you try to

Umm hello? How can you try to answer that essential question and not talk about operation Ajax? Or the petrodollar deal made with the Saudis?

pmconusa
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Tom: You pose the question

Tom: You pose the question incorrectly and too boot it is a question without a root. If we never encountered a Muslim and met one for the first time would your question be "why do you want to kill us"? The Qu'ran authorizes any Muslim to kill anyone who attempts to convert them to another religion or one who does not believe in Allah (God). It is why they have tolerated Jews and Christians and even revered their prophets. To them we are misguided and like homosexuals are to be tolerated but not punished. We will be if we try an convert them to our religion, be it Christianity or belief in Christ as the Son of God or democracy, totalitarianism, communism, fascism, that profess no god except themselves.

When I lived in Saudi Arabia, they admitted no representatives of such regimes except as diplomats and we couldn't do business with godless countries. That of course has all changed and they now look the other way because they found themselves becoming dependent on the few countries that could bring them to their knees if trade was cut off. They saw the error of their ways in the early 1970s when they tried to stop us from defending Israel with an oil boycott. The result was we were above to weather the storm without oil but they couldn't because their oil money bought them the food they needed to feed not only their own population but those they have bought into involuntary servitude.

If we really wanted to bring them around to our way of thinking all we need do is cut off their food supply or even threaten it with an or else ultimatum. We won't do that that for the simple reason it would put the world at peace and the military industrial industry out of business. The Book says one should help the poor and Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim countries with surplus oil are hardly poor, so that can't be the reason we don't cut off their food supply.

Roger Ek
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Before Henry Kissinger

Before Henry Kissinger established OPEC, the price of a bushel of wheat and a barrel of crude were the same, just as an ounce of gold and the price of a cow are the same. When Christ walked the earth the price of 400 loaves of the finest bread and an ounce of gold were the same. Today an ounce of gold will buy 400 loaves of the finest bread at Hannaford's or Shaw's at $3.00 a loaf. Nothing much changes in real terms.

Inflation is a tax. It is intentional. We have a huge barter economy in our nation..

Bruce Libby
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Maybe the easiest way to

Maybe the easiest way to catch up is just to undestand they want to kill us.
Understanding that requires us to act to prevent it ,particularly when there is evidence that is waht they want to do.
The why is nice but in the end ,immaterial .

Bruce Libby
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Maybe the easiest way to

Maybe the easiest way to catch up is just to undestand they want to kill us.
Understanding that requires us to act to prevent it ,particularly when there is evidence that is waht they want to do.
The why is nice but in the end ,immaterial .

Bruce Libby
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Maybe the easiest way to

Maybe the easiest way to keep up is just to understand they want to kill us.
Understanding that requires us to act to prevent it ,particularly when there is evidence that is what they want to do.
The why is nice but in the end ,immaterial .

Jasper
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Bruce, you just demonstrated

Bruce, you just demonstrated that you are exactly 3 times more ignorant than I had originally thought.

Mike G
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well if they want to kill us,

well if they want to kill us, thus far they haven't done too well, we killed close to a million of them since 911.

But they have a better chance of catching up now that we destroyed their once prosperous nations and sent them streaming into Europe and here.

Maybe the Russians had this all planned out when they invaded and retreated from Afghanistan, knowing full well that the West had to prove again that we are the best at everything. Ali's rope a dope.

Roger Ek
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"Maybe the easiest way to

"Maybe the easiest way to catch up is just to undestand they want to kill us."

Except in Hawaii where a district judge wants to let them all in. I say, send them all to Hawaii where the court has officially declared that they will be welcome. As the newcomers arrive there will be lots of vacancies in hotels and every room has a bath tub where they can slaughter the goats.

Bruce Libby
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Smegma ,Roger, Mike G

Smegma ,Roger, Mike G

Three responses that entirely miss a point.
Smegma at least in his usual way doesn't even attempt to stay on a point ( except to use a derogatory label)
Roger this isn't about the immigration part of dealing with the issue.
Mike G per usual you dwell on the results of what has happened done so far.

The initial response to 911 appeared to accept that premise ( they want to kill us) and the response had positives and negatives.
Since then the entire thing has become a mash of attempting to understand the first act and Islam etc..
In my opinion there is no understanding beyond the very nature of Islam has subjugated the followers to a point they are easy targets for despots
who think they can restore agent cultures fro heir own reasons.

I am not advocating any specific response . I believe the over thinking of the" why " has enabled the failure of the response so far.

Bruce Libby
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Smegma ,Roger, Mike G

DELETED FOR SMEGMA

Bruce Libby
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Smegma ,Roger, Mike G

delete

Jasper
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Do you really not know how to

Do you really not know how to make a single post just once? Are you truly an imbecile or do you just play one on AMG?

Bruce Libby
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See i did it so I really knew

See i did it so I really knew how to do it !

pmconusa
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Henry Kissinger did not

Henry Kissinger did not establish OPEC, Ahmed Zaki Yamani did with the backing of the Saudi Royal family. When they saw their oil embargo backfire on them when they shut off the oil they decided that limiting the supply would succeed where shutting off supply would fail. The US companies that then owned ARAMCO benefited nicely because they were entitled to lift so much oil but the government got the bulk of the revenue from the crude sales with the exception of that need to run the company and expand production.

When I first arrived in Saudi Arabia oil was selling at $3.25 per barrel and 85% of that was going into the Kingdoms coffers. Now it all is and the price has been as high as $140 per barrel when the Saudis finally realized that were overworking the dollar printing machine. OPEC is coming apart because the cost of production in some of its poorer countries like Venezuela now have to be subsidized to produce. Its a no win game and as more countries need the subsidies they will lose their power to control the price.

In order to get more of the petrodollar Saudi Arabia is now embarked on expanding downstream by investing in foreign refineries supported by its control of the feedstock price which makes them dependent on their own output. Like our investment in sugar in Cuba, when the countries that have bound themselves to one supplier and can find a cheaper source they will nationalize these refineries and leave the Saudis without a customer.

As the man said, follow the money. The problem is you cannot stop until you find the source. The Progressives don't want you to know that the banks own the United States and the Politicians their minions who pass tax laws to insure you are happy and don't question that the Republicans are at fault. Man needs the devil to blame for your troubles because it isn't God who answers your prayers.

anonymous_coward
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OPEC is falling apart because

OPEC is falling apart because of U.S. shale:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-16/has-opec-underestimated-us-shal...

Oil refuses to go above $50, and the U.S. is the new Saudi Arabia. Certainly changes the dynamic a bit!

Melvin Udall
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What's the world price on

What's the world price on plowshares these days?

pmconusa
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anonoymous. Where is your

anonoymous. Where is your proof, other than what others think but give no hard evidence. As long as Europe, Asia, except Russia rely on oil,Saudi Arabia will control the world price. We are only producing shale oil because the Saudi's held the price high enough to keep their partners happy. When are we going to enter the export market with our shale oil?

Debating with some people is like debating with a rock, you don't even get an echo.

anonymous_coward
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My evidence is that 1) they

My evidence is that 1) they issued sovereign debt for the first time ever; 2) they instituted an income tax for the first time ever; 3) they are going public with Aramco - all to fund keeping the price of oil down, in an attempt to kill the burgeoning solar, wind, and shale industries here.

It's a tactic they've used in the past, to great success (as I assume you know). However, this time, things are different - the technologies are different, China is keeping the cost of solar panels down, and our very own Federal reserve's policy of dumping truckloads of cash on us has made the cost of borrowing cheap enough to sustain those industries.

Mike G
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A coward,

A coward,

It could be the world economy is so bad that there is little demand for oil compared to previously.

Low demand low prices, the fact that the sauds have to float bonds, says a bit about their control over the prices. They have pissed away so much money projecting their perceived hegemony over the region that in a way they are US.

Their war against Yemen is a travesty, only able because of the biggest bully in the region the US, and Trump and previous Obama continues it.

Will Trump ever veer from the neocon and Saud/Israeli concept of the Middle East? I think not, the Clinton/Obama bureaucrats, otherwise known as the Deep State, otherwise known as those that get a daily/yearly pay check from the beltway will never yield until they drive this country right into the chaos of insolvency.

Only question is will Trump do it first/

Roger Ek
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The Saudis wanted us to give

The Saudis wanted us to give them squadrons of jet fighters. Kissinger said that we could not do it because Israel and its supporters in the USA would go nuts. Henry told them to just buy the jets. The Saudis said they could not afford as many as they wanted.

Henry said, "So raise the price of oil." That was around 1974.

anonymous_coward
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@Mike G: "It could be the

@Mike G: "It could be the world economy is so bad that there is little demand for oil compared to previously."

The demand for oil is pretty much inelastic, so the price is primarily controlled by supply. Sure, there are blips and bloops in demand that might move the price a bit here or there, but a sustained period of low or high prices is almost always because Saudi Arabia wants it that way.

pmconusa is correct that some OPEC members (Venezuela is the obvious one) are so screwed by low prices and bad economic practices that they cannot cut production, but the recent OPEC agreement (and lack of real upwards price movement) shows that even though the Saudis have cut production, they don't quite have a lock on the global supply that they used to... the shale production apparently is capable of continuing to function at $40-50 per barrel prices, owing to streamlined processes.

Roger Ek
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"pmconusa is correct that

"pmconusa is correct that some OPEC members (Venezuela is the obvious one) are so screwed by low prices and bad economic practices that they cannot cut production, "

Venezuela nationalized their oil industry. When they didn't pay the Americans, the Americans left. Nobody in Venezuela knows how to drill, frack, pump, ship or sell oil. Nobody will sell them even the paper upon which to print their inflated currency. Yes, they are so screwed. It happens to all socialized nations.

Roger Ek
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"pmconusa is correct that

"pmconusa is correct that some OPEC members (Venezuela is the obvious one) are so screwed by low prices and bad economic practices that they cannot cut production, "

Venezuela nationalized their oil industry. When they didn't pay the Americans, the Americans left. Nobody in Venezuela knows how to drill, frack, pump, ship or sell oil. Nobody will sell them even the paper upon which to print their inflated currency. Yes, they are so screwed. It happens to all socialized nations.

Roger Ek
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"pmconusa is correct that

"pmconusa is correct that some OPEC members (Venezuela is the obvious one) are so screwed by low prices and bad economic practices that they cannot cut production, "

Venezuela nationalized their oil industry. When they didn't pay the Americans, the Americans left. Nobody in Venezuela knows how to drill, frack, pump, ship or sell oil. Nobody will sell them even the paper upon which to print their inflated currency. Yes, they are so screwed. It happens to all socialized nations.

anonymous_coward
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@Roger: "Venezuela

@Roger: "Venezuela nationalized their oil industry. When they didn't pay the Americans, the Americans left. Nobody in Venezuela knows how to drill, frack, pump, ship or sell oil. Nobody will sell them even the paper upon which to print their inflated currency. Yes, they are so screwed. It happens to all socialized nations."

Iran nationalized their oil industry, endured a 30 year embargo, and are doing economically pretty good.

Nationalization is not why Venezuela is hurting, it's because they borrowed a ton of money to finance public entitlements, and then when the oil money dried up, decided to inflate their currency to pay off their debts. And then to combat inflation, they fixed prices, creating shortages.

Just about every wrong move that they could have made, they made. It's not like they are venturing into unknown economic waters - anyone with an undergraduate degree in economics could have predicted what was going to happen.

Mike G
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the shale production

the shale production apparently is capable of continuing to function at $40-50 per barrel prices, owing to streamlined processes.

The shale industry is functioning because of prior easy money allowed by the FED and is heavily in debt, every time that they can even break even or sell at a lesser loss they will do so just to keep the creditors placated for another month.

Bruce Libby
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I am not sure why they want

I am not sure why they want to kill us,but I am really not over thinking that , I have moved on to
the impact of synthetic oil on the house of Saud.

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