Tagged Energy

Russia’s War Against Fracking in Europe

Covered here and here. It should surprise no one that Russia would do this, as realist theory predicts this behavior. Gazprom’s profits need to be protected, after all, and those profits would not be protected if Europeans were allowed to engage in hydraulic fracking. But just because the allegations against Russia are not surprising does not mean that they are any less alarming. As the stories I cite note, Russia is using soft power in Europe to expand its own strategic interests, and it is doing so at the expense of its neighbors. The neighbors in question are obliged to fight back in…

Quote of the Day

I stand by what I wrote today: the videos of [ISIL] beheadings need to be independently confirmed before they are part of the historical record. They may well be completely accurate but there are not yet independent confirmations that they are accurate. On a larger picture note: had an evening with a group of well-informed international attorneys and prosecutors. A Pakistani lawyer who is a fourth-generation scion of a major Pakistani political family explained what I keep hearing from many parts of the plugged in educated elite of the Middle East: ISIS, he said, is grassroots Wahabism – the extreme…

Naomi Klein: Hack

I have written in the past about Naomi Klein’s seemingly pathological need to commit massive amounts of intellectual fraud. I see that nothing has changed: Naomi Klein keeps coming up with fresh new ideas about how to spark an elusive mass social movement against capitalism and corporations. In her 2000 bestseller No Logo, the progressive journalist attempted to harness the nascent anti-globalization movement to unleash “a vast wave of opposition squarely targeting transnational corporations.” In 2007, her book The Shock Doctrine bogusly asserted that free market institutions spread only by taking advantage of coups, wars, and natural calamities. The book…

You Can Ask Me to Believe a Lot . . .

But I am afraid that you cannot ask me to believe that Hunter Biden, son of the Vice President of the United States, took a position with Ukraine’s largest gas producer without White House knowledge and approval. And you certainly cannot ask me to believe that Bursima Holdings gave the job to Hunter Biden without thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, it would help give them access to the Obama administration and influence the administration’s thinking on a variety of issues. I was led to understand that this kind of behavior is unethical and intolerable, so I would like to know…

The Koch Brothers Have a Lot to Learn if They Want to Be Genuine Villains

Maybe Tom Steyer can teach them a thing or two: The psychiatric world defines “projection” as the act of denying unpleasant qualities in yourself, while attributing them to others. Consider liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s riff this week about the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers. Mr. Steyer took exception in a C-SPAN interview to comparisons between his big-dollar funding of Democrats with the Koch brothers’ big-dollar funding of Republicans. The Kochs’ priorities “line up perfectly with their pocketbooks—and that’s not true for us,” said Mr. Steyer, who is fighting against the Keystone XL pipeline. Moreover, he insisted, his politicking is “completely open,” whereas…

The State of Speechmaking about the State of the Union

Last night’s State of the Union address was replete with platitudes, buzzwords, lame rhetorical tricks, and the same old same old. There was nothing, new, path-breaking or consequential that came out of it. Given former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’s admission that President Obama “stopped trying to change Washington years ago,” I suppose that none of this should come as any surprise, although we are left to wonder why we should have elected and re-elected a president who promised us Change We Can Believe In if he “long ago” decided to give up on delivering that change to the rest of…