Open Thread – April


Don’t Break the China
We need Beijing as an ally against anarchy.
By WILLIAM S. LIND • March 28, 2013

If this proposal seems radical, it in fact reflects the way Britain accommodated a rising United States. The possibility of war between America and Britain was taken seriously by both sides well up into the 20th century. But instead of clashing, as British power weakened after World War I and, more dramatically, after World War II, London incrementally passed the task of maintaining order to the United States. Britain eventually did this even in areas she had long regarded as vital to her interests, including the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.

Just as a return to spheres of influence can replace conflict with alliance between the United States and China, so it can harmonize relations elsewhere, again with the goal of allying all states against the forces of the Fourth Generation. We should recognize Russia’s “near abroad” as her sphere of influence. We should work actively to bring Afghanistan into Pakistan’s sphere of influence. While contested spheres of influence can exacerbate conflicts, agreed spheres reduce them. By acting as an honest broker to facilitate such agreement—including between China and Japan—rather than joining either side, the U.S. can do more for her real interests, including her vital interest in maintaining the state system.

As the abominable snowman of foreign-policy idealism, made up of Wilsonians, globalists, and moon-gazers melts in the sun of serial failure, realism awakens from hibernation. The destruction of states in the name of “democracy” and “human rights” may not be an unmixed blessing. Results matter—not merely intentions.

Syria says rebels set fire to three eastern oil wells


Syria has produced heavy-grade oil from fields located in the northeast since the late 1960s. In the early 1980s, light-grade, low-sulphur oil was discovered near Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. Syria’s rate of oil production has decreased dramatically from a peak close to 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d) (bpd) in 1995 down to less than 140,000 bbl/d (22,000 m3/d) in 2012.

Syria exported roughly 200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d) in 2005, and oil still accounts for a majority of the country’s export income. Syria also produces 22 million cubic meters of gas per day, with estimated reserves around 8.5 trillion cubic feet (240 km3). While the government has begun to work with international energy companies in the hopes of eventually becoming a gas exporter, all gas currently produced is consumed domestically.


Prior to the uprising, more than 90% of Syrian oil exports were to EU countries, with the remainder going to Turkey. Oil and gas revenues constituted around 20% of total GDP and 25% of total government revenue.


Oil Wells Set Ablaze in Eastern Syria: Govt Blames Rebels
Rebels Reportedly Fought Over How to Split Revenue

by Jason Ditz, March 31, 2013

Syria says rebels set fire to three eastern oil wells

Top general urges caution on Syria options, rebels

More Calls for Intervention in Syria
MARCH 21, 2013

Syria – April 2013


Why the U.S. Has Stayed Out of Syria (So Far)
By DANIEL LARISON • March 30, 2013

Crisis? What crisis? Let’s hit Syria
By Pepe Escobar

Syria’s Civil War and its Unintended Consequences

Kerry Hypocritically Chides Iraq for Meddling in Syria’s Civil War

US Training Syrian Rebels in Jordan

75 Replies to “Open Thread – April”

  1. Seriously though, for someone supposedly so inexperienced he sure knows how to get the US spending a shit-tin of cash on moving military gear around.

  2. if you think we’re spending money now, just wait until someone does something stupid, and we get korean war II. it doesn’t take much. sinking a ship or taking out some town or base with a rocket bomb should do the trick.

    i call it the “argentina manuever”, in honor of their goverment’s past stunts.

  3. oh, and if it involves a nu-cu-lar weapon, it doesn’t even have to hit the target to get the same effect. that’s why we brace ourselves on east oahu for a pearl harbor attack. it’s kinda like horseshoes that way.

  4. Well we do have a lot of bombs in storage best we use them some way to get our moneys worth. The are of war? An unused weapon means less work and money for the industrial war machine.

  5. I caught a boo boo over on Guy McPherson’s post to his blog. here it is, FYI:

    Guy, I think that there is a mistake in the link regarding depletion of atmospheric oxygen. It claims that increasing CO2 is displacing O2 in the air. The oxygen content of normal air is 21% by volume. CO2 is only about 400 ppm (or 0.040%), both measured by volume. The O2 levels may indeed be dropping in cities, etc., but there is no way they are being displaced by increasing CO2. One is a major component of normal air, and the other is minor to trace in abundance. You address many worrisome trends, but O2 depletion of the air is simply not among them.


  6. How much oxygen is needed to remain in the air before a person goes unconscious?

    This would vary greatly depending upon the condition of the person.

    The following site offers an approximation:

    * 20.9-23.5 percent: Maximum permissible oxygen level. No effect.

    * 20.9 percent: Percentage of oxygen found in normal air. No effect.

    * 19.5 percent: Minimum permissible oxygen level. No effect.

    * 15-19 percent: Decreased ability to work strenuously. May

    impair coordination and may induce early symptoms with individuals that have coronary, pulmonary, or circulatory problems.

    * 12-15 percent: Respiration and pulse increase; impaired coordination, perception, and judgment occurs.

    * 10-12 percent: Respiration further increases in rate and depth; poor judgment and bluish lips occur.

    * 8-10 percent: Symptoms include mental failure, fainting, unconsciousness, an ash-colored-face, blue lips, nausea, and vomiting.

    * 6-8 percent: 8 minutes – 100 percent fatal; 6 minutes – 50 percent fatal; 4-5 minutes – recovery with treatment.

    * 4-6 percent: Coma in 40 seconds, convulsions, respiration ceases – death.

    Steve Sample

  7. Actually, one can live in a pure oxygen atmosphere, for awhile, i.e. O2 tents in hospitals. Beides the danger (recall Apollo 3–“fire in the spacecraft!”) there are long-term effects from too much O2 and all the free radicals it can make. O2 is actually a toxic gas.

  8. CO2 at very high concentrations (e.g. greater than 5000 ppm) can pose a health risk. Refer to Appendix B, Summary of Selected Air Quality Guidelines in ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010, “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality”. However, in most buildings, concentrations almost never rise to these levels. CO2 at the concentrations commonly found in buildings is not a direct health risk, but CO2 concentrations can be used as an indicator of occupant odors (odorous bioeffluents) and occupant acceptance of these odors. At the activity levels found in typical office buildings, steady-state CO2 concentrations of about 700 ppm above outdoor air levels indicate an outdoor air ventilation rate of about 7.5 L/s/person (15 cfm/person). Laboratory and field studies have shown that this rate of ventilation will dilute odors from human bioeffluents to levels that will satisfy a substantial majority (about 80%) of unadapted persons (visitors) in a space. CO2 concentrations in outdoor air typically range from 300 to 500 ppm. Thus indoor CO2 concentrations of 1000 to 1200 ppm in spaces housing sedentary people is an indicator that a substantial majority of visitors entering the space will be satisfied with respect to human bioeffluents (body odor). Note however that CO2 concentration is not a good indicator of the concentration and occupant acceptance of other indoor contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds off-gassing from furnishings and building materials. Thus CO2 concentration is not a reliable indicator of overall building air quality.

    So, CO2 above 5000 ppm (0.50%) is toxic. The normal air range is 300 to 500 ppm. CO2 can reach 1000’s of ppm levels in occupied, poorly ventilated buildings. If CO2 is too low, probably around 100 ppm or less, you will stop breathing, because you use CO2 to trigger the lung ventiiation process. That is why humans faint at high altitudes and need O2 respirators above about 15,000 feet.

    Safe range for CO2: about 100 to 5000 ppm, also a very narrow range.

  9. some scientists think that dragonflies are cool because they have big eyes that provide many convenient sites to stick electrodes into them. wow, those sure are cool scientists, huh?

  10. er, it’s the blood levels of co2 that trigger ventilation, not atmospheric levels. blood levels are a function of respiration.

  11. What we have here is L-shaped recession and deeply structural unemployment. Lot of permanently stranded assets. There’s really not much left to say or talk about. There’s just repetition.

  12. He said “permanently stranded assets”. Is that like gold and silver at the bottom of the various lakes and bays, shadow housing inventory or those Euro’s in a Greek bank?

  13. “Lot of permanently stranded assets.” anything with the word “ass” in it is going to be dirty for dave, i guess.

    bif, no response from guy. i got one from an anthony in east central asia, who claims to be monitoring the air O2 and CO2 there. i think he forgot to correct for varying barrometric pressure with altitude. this shit’s not rocket science, but one does have to pay attention to the details.

    ur, good to see you posting again. do you find time to keep up with the previous comments here?

  14. “What we have here is L-shaped recession and deeply structural unemployment.”

    replace the word recession with depression and we are in complete agreement. the sorta good news: WWIII or even Korean War II might pull us out of this greater depression. wars seem to be the only cure for deep depressions. of course, surviving WWIII to enjoy the later economic boost might be problematic.

  15. Sooo, what are those guys in flight suits going to fly? I mean, it takes more than just a costume to get flight pay and the implication is all the aircraft got the flock out of Dodge. TAC guys never did have much of a clue.

    SAC baby. One-stop shopping for glass parking lots and “Stone Age on Demand” (Copyright Curtis LeMay – Way Back When)

    (TAC & SAC command names are no longer used, IIRC)

    “Even in former days, Korea was known as the ‘hermit kingdom’ for its stubborn resistance to outsiders. And if you wanted to create a totally isolated and hermetic society, northern Korea in the years after the 1953 ‘armistice’ would have been the place to start. It was bounded on two sides by the sea, and to the south by the impregnable and uncrossable DMZ, which divided it from South Korea. Its northern frontier consisted of a long stretch of China and a short stretch of Siberia; in other words its only contiguous neighbors were Mao and Stalin. (The next-nearest neighbor was Japan, historic enemy of the Koreans and the cruel colonial occupier until 1945.) Add to that the fact that almost every work of man had been reduced to shards by the Korean War. Air-force general Curtis LeMay later boasted that ‘we burned down every town in North Korea,’ and that he grounded his bombers only when there were no more targets to hit anywhere north of the 38th parallel. Pyongyang was an ashen moonscape. It was Year Zero. Kim Il Sung could create a laboratory, with controlled conditions, where he alone would be the engineer of the human soul.”
    ― Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

  16. “that’s not what I meant”, she blushes and demurs. “okay, but it’s what you really need and I’m ready to deliver”, he replies. “okay, then, I want a case every week and you can start bringing them today”.

  17. I’d like to ask StePHen Hawking what if you stuck your dick in a black hOle but he’s probally saY GO aX mAJIC jOhNSON.

  18. Dick Cheney had his chance in the game and blew it. Plus he shot a guy in the face. His attempts at elder statesman are lame and embarrassing.

  19. I can’t find the japanese/english lesson on anymore – y’know, the one that teachs japanese women to say “I hava bad case of diarrhoea”
    maybe they had a bad cok.

  20. Bif-
    Apologies for the critique but this black background sucks, bites and chews. Nearly impossible to read–can you switch it back to something a little less headache-inducing?

  21. The following is from the former Website, in which someone from ZK originally got me interested:

    Calculations show that the market is not efficient! When economists claim the market is “efficient,” they actually mean “the efficient distribution of benefits”—NOT “the efficient use of materials.” In fact, Americans could be wasting something like two billion tonnes (metric tons) of oil equivalent energy each year! The market system is the most-inefficient social system in the history of the planet!

    I assume that capitalism has now become illogical. We are destroying the natural world and consuming the remaining resources in exchange for fiat money —which will be worthless when the resources are gone. Moreover, the ongoing planetary destruction is making most Americans unhealthier and unhappier.

    I assume that we should make every peaceful effort to prevent our countries from disintegrating into anarchy or engaging in new global wars over resources.

    I assume that it is technically possible to make minor changes in the structures of our governments thereby avoiding anarchy and civil war. The key paradigm change here is to realize that goods and services do not need to be mediated by money. In other words, all-powerful government can deliver goods and services directly to citizens (as it’s done to civilians in wartime, and to military personnel during peacetime), which would make our society much more energy and materials efficient. Government can apply science and engineering to social problems without economic concerns. The only reason we live as we do now is because banking interests established the paradigm. As far as I know, my proposal is the ONLY one that has the potential to avoid a new series of world wars over resources by intentionally moving from complexity towards simplicity.

    I dedicate this web site to the handful of individuals who desire to understand how the inexorable decline of net energy, combined with the use of the market system as a political system, will lead to global nuclear wars over the remaining natural resources—unless minor changes are made to the structure of our government to prevent them. As you shall see, we must move from a capitalistic form of government, which requires endless resource depletion, to a democratic form, which does not.

    As you shall see, we must move from a corporate form of government, which requires endless resource depletion, to a human form, which does not.

  22. Oh, and you should also “google” (or “bing”–my preferred search engine these days) Patch Disturbance and the Human Niche by John M. Logan while you’re on the site. I printed it out six years ago and finally got to read it the other day for the first time.

  23. EE, always a treat to read you here even in the dark!

    dave and i may have you give some kind of award for sickest post of the week with that eel struck in man’s colon and body cavity story. right out of Alien, that one, with a dash of anal porn to boot, so to speak!

  24. WTF! i just paid $8.40 for 3 spanish onions and 3 red potatoes. Guess I should be glad to be able to go to a store and buy them. Almost time to start my own potatoes

  25. Hi EE. FYI I am only a semi-authorized editor here (with very limted privaleges), which means I can post articles and screen comments. Thats about it. And as far as the banner, sidebar content, format (e.g. the new bat cave background) I have no control over the functionality or look and feel of ZK. This is JR’s show. Whoever he is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s