discarded lies: sunday, january 21, 2018 10:45 pm zst
people in glass houses sink ships
daily archive: 10/17/2005
guest author: cba in Discarded Lies:
An Irish Blessing
I came across this Irish blessing a while ago and for some reason it came to my mind the other day:

May those who love us, love us
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn't turn their hearts
May He turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

Love to all my Bloggie Buddies
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What would we do without psychics?
A Brazilian psychic is demanding $25 million as a reward for supposedly directing US troops to the exact location of Saddam's hiding place. According to his lawyer, Jucelino Nobrega Da Luz has dreams about things and "sees situations, facts that will happen." And all this time I thought it was Madame Cleo who told the army about Saddam's hidey-hole.

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A little too close to home
Am I scared of the bird flu? I don't know, should I be? I feel that I should be panicking but I'm not panicking, which is sort of strange for me, so maybe this means that I *really* should be panicking. Seriously, is a flu pandemic around the corner? And are we prepared? Actually, forget the last question, I know we're not prepared. So, what do we do?

Greece tests bird for deadly flu strain
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Cinemas in Saudi Arabia! Does Osama know?
After a twenty year ban on cinemas, Saudi Arabia is going to allow a cinema to open! And they'll be showing cartoons! They might even be American cartoons! I just want to say that this is an outrage and I am outraged that spiritual people will be subjected to immoral western vices once again! What's next? Letting Jews in the country?!
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
'Public interest prevailing over piety'
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Syria's Mukhabarat Apparatus in Grave Jeopardy (Awwwwww)
Middle East Newsline has some interesting thoughts from Joshua Landis that don't seem to be on his blog yet.
NICOSIA [MENL] -- Syria's vast intelligence network in the Middle East could be jeopardized by a United Nations investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Western intelligence sources said the UN investigation headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis has sought to interrogate the chiefs of Syria's intelligence community. They said the interrogation could uncover Syria's vast network of insurgency and sleeper cells in such countries as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia.

On Oct. 12, Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan, a major target of the Mehlis investigation, committed suicide in Damascus. Kanaan, 63, headed Syria's military intelligence network in Lebanon from 1982 to 2002 and was said to have been one of the highest-ranking intelligence officers in the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Assad has denied any role in the death of Kanaan.

"If I was a CIA officer, I would certainly have the name Kanaan in my Rolodex," Joshua Landis, editor of Syria Comment, told an audience at the American University in Beirut on Thursday.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
The role of speculators in gas prices
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban blogs that banning speculators from the commodity futures markets would, in his opinion, reduce oil prices. He argues that only those who are actually using oil and gas should be allowed to participate in the futures market:
How to lower the price of gas.

Very Simple. Take out the speculators.

Make it a requirement that only those who actually are hedging their use and sale of oil and gas are able to buy and sell oil and gas futures.
In his comments, an interesting debate ensues as basically everyone there disagrees with him. I was more educated after reading it than I was before, which is why I proffer this link. Some of my favorite snippets from the comments:
You have two big misconceptions about commodity futures. First, without speculators there would be very little liquidity in the market--there are no market makers in commodities as there are in at the NYSE--without speculators, who would take the other side of the hedgers trades? Commodities are a zero-sum game--one side wins, one side loses.

Secondly, although there are finite amounts of commodities, there aren't limited amounts of futures contracts. If you want to buy an oil futures contract, no one will tell you that they're all gone. Now where it DOES come into play is if people decide to take delivery of the commodity. At that point, and speculators never want to get to that point, you must take physical delivery and there can be attempts to corner the market. The exchanges never let that happen (see the Hunt brothers and their attempt at cornering silver in the early '80s).
Also, if only producers were allowed to hedge, who would take the other side of those hedges??? That solution doesn't make any sense to me because it seems to take away the very liquidity that speculators provide.
I think big suppliers of oil, and major consumers of oil, know whats going on in the market, and the true supply and demand. They have all the information and the speculator really has very little. So any nice trades they can pick up pushing the market, and popping spec's stop/losses will just line their pockets all the more. And leave the gambling to the speculators. It's just a transfer of dollars, from people who don't have the facts, to people who do.
and my favorite:
The only way to have even a basic understanding of oil and the energy industry is to DO THE RESEARCH. It is obvioius that most posters, along with Mr. Cuban, feel qualified to explain the oil industry wihout doing the homework first. When I read Mr. Cuban's posts on digital music distribution, internet search engines, etc. I get the feeling his opinion is valuable because he has done the research/has the proper experience. I may not be as smart as Mr. Cuban or some of the responders, but I have done the research - hundreds and hundreds of hours worth. Here is what my research has taught me: Easily refinable oil is being pumped at close to capacity worldwide; the refining industry is close to capacity worldwide; the CENTRAL reason new refineries are not being built on a regular basis worldwide is because the future growth in supply likely isn't there.
(Emphasis mine). It didn't even occur to me before that one reason for the lack of new refinery-building is that there's nothing new to refine.
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zorkmidden in Bloggies Of Our Lives:
The Specialist
Taking advantage of Sine's conspicuous and protracted absence, evariste and zorkie have taken over the diner. Dirty pans are piled in the sink, tea stains decorate the placemats, and the hyperlinkopotamus is softly snoring on top of the kitchen counter after having eaten everyone's leftovers and the kitchen garbage. It's about midmorning, and while zorkie is furiously typing about things and evariste is hovering over the stove looking mysterious and dangerous, guess who walks in...
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Russian Perfidy Journal: Putin knows Iran's trying to get ballistic missiles to hit Europe, and he's helping them
Russians help Iran with missile threat to Europe -the heat is on. I think the strike is nearer than we might think, and will take us all by surprise.
Former members of the Russian military have been secretly helping Iran to acquire technology needed to produce missiles capable of striking European capitals.

The Russians are acting as go-betweens with North Korea as part of a multi-million pound deal they negotiated between Teheran and Pyongyang in 2003. It has enabled Teheran to receive regular clandestine shipments of top secret missile technology, believed to be channelled through Russia.

Western intelligence officials believe that the technology will enable Iran to complete development of a missile with a range of 2,200 miles, capable of hitting much of Europe. It is designed to carry a 1.2-ton payload, sufficient for a basic nuclear device.

The revelation raises the stakes in the confrontation between Iran's Islamic regime and the West - led by the United States and European countries including Britain.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, clashed with Russian officials over Iran's nuclear programme during a visit to Moscow yesterday, saying that Teheran must fulfil its obligations under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.

She was later expected to urge President Vladimir Putin to back a referral of Iran to the United Nations Security Council.

A senior American official said Iran's programme was "sophisticated and getting larger and more accurate. They have had very much in mind the payload needed to carry a nuclear weapon.

"I think Putin knows what the Iranians are doing."


Iran's longest-range missile is the Shahab 3, which, with an 800-mile range, could hit Israel. The North Korean deal will allow the Iranian missile to reach targets far into Europe - including Rome, Berlin, and much of France.

North Korea has developed a missile, the Taepo Dong 2, that could reach America's west coast, based on the submarine-launched Soviet SSN6. Modifications allow it to be fired from a land-based transporter and this technology is being smuggled to Teheran with Russian help.

Russians have provided production facilities, diagrams and operating instruction so the missile can be built in Iran. Liquid propellant has been shipped to Iran. Russian specialists have also been sent to Iran to help development of its Shahab 5 missile project, which the Iranians hope to have operational by the end of the decade.
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