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  • On 22 Oct 2014 in We can survive without Russian gas now, says Lithuania's president, thunderlips11 said:

    Straw Man says

    Because they didn't buy any "Russian gas from before WW2" : the first gas pipelines in USSR were built during and immediately after WWII (Dashava-Lviv in 1941 and Saratov-Moscow in 1946). But these were for domestic use only. The first export gas pipelines were built in late 70s-early 80s.

    My bad - make that "Oil". One of the reasons the Germans were so interested in synthetic coal to fuel (and buying some key patents from Standard Oil/Esso) was because their main source of energy before the war was the Soviet Union. Ploesti was barely enough in peacetime for Germany. They knew once Barbarossa began, no more Russian Oil.

    In any case, the region has been dependent on Russian energy for a long time.

    That one lone LNG facility in Norway ain't gonna cut it, and fracking won't either, especially if the price of a barrel of oil keeps dropping. That's because the Nat Gas from Fracking operations is a secondary product of the oil production itself.

    According to Deutschewelle, 130 Billion Cubic Meters of Nat Gas is consumed by Europe each year, which Germany alone using 90bcm. While Norway and Holland provide a big chunk of it, the rest is Russian. Lithuania's cute little LNG transit facility is slated to open handling half a billion. Even if full output was 10 times that, it's a drop in the bucket. Maybe enough for Lithuania, but not for the EU generally.

    http://www.dw.de/germanys-russian-energy-dilemma/a-17529685

    From the link:

    But the problem is that liquefied natural gas costs almost twice as much on the global market as when sourced from Russian suppliers. And there are long-term LNG export contracts, which means that short-term changes to supplies would be difficult. The European attempt to decrease its dependence on Russian gas imports supplied via the Nabucco pipeline, which was supposed to run through the Caspian Sea, recently failed for economic reasons. Overall, it will be a Herculean task - both logistically and financially - for Europe, and especially for Germany, to free itself from its current dependence on Russian natural gas imports.

    A poorish little country like Lithuania paying twice the price for LNG instead of Piped Gas - 90% of it's energy consumption - and not suffering a hit to it's economy? Not likely.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in We can survive without Russian gas now, says Lithuania's president, thunderlips11 said:

    If it was so easy, how come Central and Eastern Europe has been buying piped Russian gas from before WW2, throughout the Cold War, right up to today?

    There's only one production plant in all of Europe, in Hammerfest, Norway.

    LNG isn't a brand - new idea or technology, it dates back to WW1.

    I'd wait and see how this works out, first.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in The "Canadian way" of responding to terrorists, thunderlips11 said:

    The only way he would have been more awesome is if he smacked the fundie convert over the head with that thing.

    Coolest moment in North American politics since President Jackson caned his assassin.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    FortWayne says

    There was no alliance. The only alliance, and a shaky one at that was in common defense/military between Europe, US, and Russia. It wasn't even a political allience, Stalin was pretty clear about taking over territories after they defeat Germany.

    Fort Wayne, good point. Just to add to that, it also wasn't the first time the two Germanic States - Prussia and Austria - split Poland with Russia. They did it in three partitions.

    Poland was only a free country because the Allies made the Germans give it independence after WW1 - before that, most of what is today Poland was run by the Prussians and later the successor state, Germany.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    socal2 says

    - Existing WMDs (since found per NYTimes article)

    - Risk of new WMD development

    - Human Rights

    - Saddam's history of attacking his neighbors

    - Risk of Saddam harboring Sunni jihadis

    - Saddam funding suicide bombers in Palestine making ME peace impossible

    #1 Those WMDs did not exist. No WMDs were found, only rusty stockpiles, long rendered ineffective by the desert heat and forgotten, in depot locations along the Iran-Iraq border.
    #2 This is rich coming from the a Country - one where his own father was Veep and then President -which had no problem with him developing WMDs which he used against Kurds and Iranians.
    #3 With our approval and support. If the Iranians had pranged the Stark by mistake instead of Saddam, we'd be bombing. We shot down an Iranian airliner and dismissed the whole thing and gave the Captain a medal.
    #4 We've discussed. No concern for his treatement of people before the Gulf War. Our sanctions in the 90s killed innocent people and destabilized Saddam not at all. We also encouraged the Kurds and Shi'a to revolt, promising support - and then let Saddam butcher them in 1991. Don't think guys like Muqtada al-Sadr don't remember this, as do most Kurds and Shia'.
    #6 Saddam was a secular ruler like Assad and Mubarak and Ghaddafyi. It is the Gulf States that support Wahabi Terrorists from Madrassah Education to Armaments.
    #7 Debatable.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    socal2 says

    There is no hypocrisy, just trying to make the best choice out of a series of bad options.

    None of this addresses why WMDs were ignored - the US certainly knew about them - with Saddam. Or why the US ignored his atrocities against the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, and Shi'a, either, in the 80s.

    Realpolitik is fine - I'm not that much of an idealist about Global Politics - It's lying bullshit to the public about human rights being the driving force that I can't stand.

    socal2 says

    I guess we can forget that Russia was allied with the Nazis as Russia invaded Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? Russia only turned against the Nazis after Germany double-crossed them and invaded with Operation Barbarossa. Otherwise, Stalin would have been more than happy to carve up Europe with Hitler.

    And of course, that the Germans are the ones who put Lenin on a train to Russia and gave him funds in WW1, too, in order to get Russia out of the war. Stalin the Georgian (born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili) was their offspring.

    We can also forget that the US, Britain, Japan, and others intervened on the side of the Whites, and so from the beginning established their anti-Red credentials. Then refused most trades with the Soviets - no exports of metal, timber, and especially gold were allowed from the Soviet Union to most Western Countries..

    Blowback is a bitch. The founders were right - armed neutrality is best. At least then you don't end up fighting the force you helped create later.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Will Millenials ever buy a house?, thunderlips11 said:

    Well, when your underemployed and lucky to have even that job below your skill level, marrying, having kids, and buying an overpriced ticky-tack shack would be being a slave to Tradition.

    "C'mon, buy my $300k home that's about 5x you and your girlfriend's gross combined income."

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    Source is Niall Fergusson, who is a good Neoliberal and no leftie.

    http://ghb67.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/prisoner-of-war-holocaust/

    The Russians didn't go eye-for-an-eye.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    socal2 says

    When Stalin's Soviet Union was starving hundreds of thousands of German soldiers in POW camps, raping thousands of German women, and enslaving parts of Eastern Europe, they were our buddy too. America even gave Stalin tons of weapons, trucks and food aide!

    About 2 years later, we changed course and were threatening Russia with nukes. We were such hypocrites - right?

    Are using chemical weapons en masse against both soldiers AND your own civilians something the US supports? Because before Saddam invaded Kuwait the US not only didn't give a shit, but facilitated it.

    Switching sides over time isn't hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is "It's okay when we or our buddies do it."

    Saddam's use of WMDs weren't a problem until he was our enemy. Then he was a bad guy who used WMDs, even though we (and the Europeans) enabled it.

    socal2 says

    When Stalin's Soviet Union was starving hundreds of thousands of German soldiers in POW camps, raping thousands of German women, and enslaving parts of Eastern Europe, they were our buddy too. America even gave Stalin tons of weapons, trucks and food aide!

    Whereas the Germans and their East European volunteers treated the Russian Civilians and POWs like gold, right? You do know that very few Russian POWs made it out of German hands alive - less than half. Millions of them, and most of them were taken in the first year from Barbarossa. Russians were killed in about the same numbers as Jews, but in a shorter period of time. No food was to be expended on subhumans. The Russians gave it back - but not to the same degree.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in McDonald's Vows Fresh Thinking After Revenues Decline 30%; Mish Offers Advice, thunderlips11 said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    They care more about what some piss ant Liberal jack Ass that filmed "Supersize Me" and wouldn't eat there normally on a BET! They changed their whole formula, decor, recipes and aesthetics to appease these petty shit talking assholes. And what did it get them? Empty stores and dismal sales that's what.

    The hilarious thing about Super Size Me is that the director has never released his journal detailing what he ate there.

    The other hilarious thing is the a McDonald's Big Mac combo is 90% carbs. The only thing meat in there is the two silver-dollar sized, 1/10th inch thick patties, containing maybe 5-10% of the calories in the entire Big Mac Meal.

    Everything else, the rest of the 90-95% of the calories, is Corn/Soy Fake Cheese, Potatoes, Vegetable Oil, Carbonated Water with Sugar or Aspartame, and Bread. The meat is mostly grass-fed free range beef from Brazil or the rest of South America.

    But then people say "It's the Meat that makes it unhealthy and fattening!"

    If somebody ate there every day at least once, and took the meat off the big mac, but ate the rest of the meal including the sandwich bread and "cheese", I guarantee they would gain a ton of weight.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in We can survive without Russian gas now, says Lithuania's president, thunderlips11 said:

    We'll see. Still gotta get through this winter, and LNG is more expensive than piped gas.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, thunderlips11 said:

    You guys might be interested in this talk, which is all about tax cuts and deficits in the Western World. The Prof makes the key point: It wasn't Democracy that broke the Great Expansion in the post WW2 era, it was Capital.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=2642

    Countries world wide will need to choose between screwing the public and screwing capital, who lends them the money needed after the governments slashed taxes on the wealthiest while simultaneously "Broadened the Tax Base" mostly by not adjusting tax brackets.

    So the wealthy made out two ways: Lower taxes, and interest lending to governments. Actually, three, since the spending didn't fall and corporations captured much of that in the era of privatization also.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    socal2 says

    How many countries did Saddam attack in the Region when he was in power (Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel....?) You call that stability?

    You realize when he attacked Iran, he had our help.

    He also asked for permission to "do something" about Kuwaiti side drilling into Iraqi Fields. We said we had no objections - could be we underestimated what that "do something" was.

    We also sold dual-use Chem and Bio Equipment to Iraq with full knowledge of what it was going to be used for, half a billion dollar's worth.

    When he gassed the Kurds, he was our pal. When he used gas against Iranian Soldiers, he was our pal. Even when he struck the Stark, we blew it off because we liked him invading iran.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    socal2 says

    Where is the lie in the video?

    He's making a joke about not finding the WMDs, and showing a picture of himself bending down looking for something in the Oval Office.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Psychopaths become managers, thunderlips11 said:

    Voight-Kampff Test would help. Speed it up, Neuroscientists.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in The 2014 housing market and my prediction for 2015, thunderlips11 said:

    New Renter says

    You are looking for a Groom of the Stool:

    Often heard at Court:

    "Groom of the stool, my ass!"

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in O'Neill: Bush planned Iraq invasion before 9/11, thunderlips11 said:

    A Republican who refuses to support tax cuts in the face of mounting deficits, one war, and another war being planned? Whoever heard of such a thing?

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Hmmm... Looks Like There Were WMD in Iraq After All!!, thunderlips11 said:

    socal2 says

    Where is the "lie" in Condi's quote Blurtman?

    Right here from the Decider's mouth at 5 minutes in:

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Russia offered to split Ukraine with Poland in 2008, thunderlips11 said:

    zzyzzx says

    Radek Sikorski, now the parliamentary speaker, was quoted as saying in Sunday's issue of Politico Magazine that Russian President Vladimir Putin "wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine."

    Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, described Sikorski's comments as a "fable."

    Sikorski is a noted Russophobe who is married to American Neocon Anne Applebaum, who churns out book after book about the necessity of intervening in the Middle East and the Evil Russians..

  • On 20 Oct 2014 in In praise of the dragging down Boomers, thunderlips11 said:

    marcus says

    IT's not an indictment of the entire group, and it's not information upon which an interesting generalization cane be made, nor does it make sense to talk about blaming boomers collectively.

    Not this strawman again. The debate is whether boomers share responsibility for where we are.

    marcus says

    This still means that you are talking about making generalizations about

    each 100 boomer voters (and the other 100 that didnt vote), based on what a few people did. If 4 of those 100 voters voted the other way, you would not be making this generalization.

    The thing is, there is no evidence offered. You're assuming that the non-voters would have voted against Reagan or Bush the First. If the margin of victory among boomers was much narrower, I'd be more inclined to believe that was a possibility.

    Assuming your assumptions are correct, then it doesn't absolve responsibility for the outcome, because not voting changed the outcome.

    marcus says

    But oh no, 3 percent more are republicans than democrats, even with the Christian right etc, they get it up to just a few percent more than democrats in some big elections, and you you say boomers as a group need to own up to that.

    A few big elections? There was a damned big election recently with an extremely high turnout. Bush-Gore 2000.

    This actually doesn't help your case, because you've been arguing there is a large non-voting contingent of boomers that leans left. High turnout elections have traditionally favored the democrats in the past century.

    What was the result of that election?

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