2016 year-end news summary (3)
Since the Second World War, world civilization has been rebuilt on a foundation of petroleum… oil, that is… black gold… texas tea… the foundation of modern society.
Lately the foundation has gotten slick and shaky as oil starts to run out and everyone’s tryin’ to ‘get it while the gettin’s good.’
Countries with lots of cars and trucks have become addicted to oil.
What does it all mean in a world of nations?
It means that world peace and stability in the coming years will balance largely on five simple questions:
- Who has the biggest conventional oil deposits under their land? (the suppliers)
- Who needs oil the most? (the users)
- What will the users do to get the oil they want?
- What will the suppliers do to protect themselves and the oil they have?
- What’s the noble path through this quagmire?
Here’s a snapshot of the world oil situation, which answers the first two questions:
As long as hormones ooze below our skin and oil oozes below the ground and there’s no higher authority to regulate world oil supplies, there’s a good chance that the main oil users will become more dependent on and more aggressive toward the main oil suppliers. In particular, countries that appear prominently in the right-hand map might rob and swindle and brutalize countries that appear prominently in the left-hand map… especially if users on the right are in the clutches of oil addiction… if they haven’t had the foresight and responsible stewardship to phase out or at least minimize the use of gas-guzzling vehicles.
That tenuous condition has been apparent in the past 15 years:
- The Middle East has the most oil,
- The USA uses the most oil,
- The USA’s high-tech military has devastated the Middle East, and
- Middle Easterners have fought back with “terrorist” tactics.
It’s also apparent that the world situation will get much worse very quickly because of what is happening just in the past few months, since November 2016.
That’s when, I believe, oil interests in the USA took over the government with a savage agenda.
Uncle Sam’s Oil Agenda for the Twenty-First Century
When a tank of crude oil goes to be processed, about half of it becomes gasoline (petrol) for cars, and the other half is used to create other fuels, lubricants, solvents, fabrics, plastics, medicines, cosmetics, building materials, and countless other products that provide form or fuel for the infrastructure of modern civilization.
The oil industry is among the top producers of billionaires.
Badness in the Bidness
That’s largely because big oil is driven largely by a simple, three-point formula:
- Locate the remaining oil reserves in the world.
- Determine the obstacles (political, social, legal, geographic, environmental…) that stand in the way of those reserves.
- Pay “fixers” big cash to overcome the obstacles by any means, whether illegal… or immoral… or disruptive to societies… or devastating to the environment.
It’s easy to imagine a dialog like this between oil billionaires and their fixers:
Get me that oil.
Well, you know, there are some problems, people aren’t going to like it….
Don’t bother me with details. Figure it out.
We’re going to have to break some laws, people are going to get hurt….
Just get me my damned oil. You’re getting paid. Do it.
As oil becomes harder to get, the oil billionaires give more money to their…
… and voilà!… they get what they want.
It’s an old story, and apparently we’ve come to accept the dirty truths behind big oil. After all, we love our cars and our plastics and our dramas… and we’ve blurred the line between what’s noble and what’s savage on this often god-forsaken planet.
Refresher: What’s Noble and What’s Savage?
In a nutshell…
- Noble values include love, honesty, trust, good will, concern for the less fortunate, service to the community, and the betterment of humanity;
- Savage values include fear, deception, mistrust, contempt, selfishness, thievery, and callousness.
It’s the savage side of human nature that has been driving the oil industry, with its insatiable appetite for oil and wealth, its disregard for the environment, its disdain of noble values… and its fixers.
But what happens when the fixer formula oozes out from oil acquisition into politics to shape a toxic fate for the planet?
When Oil Spills Into Politics
That’s what’s been happening with a vengeance here in the USA since the year 2000 and, I believe, has come to fruition in full force during the past six months.
Here’s the fixer formula as it seems to have been adapted by the Republican Party, which has gotten itself into a choke-hold by conservative think-tanks, the military, probably the CIA, and certainly uber-rich revolutionists, especially oil billionaires:
- Determine the most critical government positions needed to control power (especially the Presidency, a Congressional majority, and a Supreme Court majority).
- Determine the obstacles (political, social, democratic, legal…) that stand in the way of securing those positions.
- Pay “fixers” big cash to overcome the obstacles by any means, whether illegal… or immoral… or disruptive to society.
Again, it’s easy to imagine a dialog like this between America’s ruthless, right-wing power brokers and their fixers:
We need control of the government. Get it.
Well, you know, there are some problems, this is a democracy, people aren’t going to like it….
Just get us the Presidency and the Congress, we’ll handle the rest. Don’t bother us with details. Figure it out.
We’re going to have to break some laws, people are going to get hurt, American democracy will be corrupted….
Just get us the White House and Congress, dammit. You’re getting paid. Do it.
Here’s a somewhat detailed outline (along with some backstory and some speculation) of some of the highlights of what’s been happening in American politics and world relations since the year 2000.
2000 – George Bush Jr wins the presidency (as his father George Bush Sr did in 1988), but it’s one of the closest and most controversial elections in US history. Mainly, it’s decided by the right-wing US Supreme Court justices, who interrupt a vote recount underway in Florida that is pointing to left-wing Al Gore as the winner. Also of controversy, the Bush family have made their fortune in the Texas oil business, and the junior Bush selects oilman Dick Cheney as his vice president. So the new USA will be less interested in improving America’s communication, transportation, education, and health infrastructure (which were among Gore’s plans), and more interested in grabbing oil in the Middle East (which would become the Bush-Cheney legacy).
2002 – Bush Jr and Cheney pass HAVA in 2002, which eliminates federal oversight of federal elections throughout the 50 states, making it 50 times easier for savage forces to corrupt elections.
Backstory: The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is one of many examples of smokescreens and doublespeak employed by the Republican fixers to mislead the public… coining noble names for savage acts. Others examples include:
- Medicare Reform (Giving tax money to drug companies; preventing the government from negotiating lower drug prices for senior citizens; locking in high costs of prescription medications.)
- Compassionate conservatism (Ignoring the poor.)
- Exploring for energy (Drilling for oil.)
- Freedom Act (Replacing freedom with national security.)
- War on Terror; Keep America Safe (Stirring public fear and hatred toward Middle Easterners, falsely insisting that they hate Americans because Americans are free…not because Americans are destroying the Middle Easterners’ homes, killing their people, and taking their oil.)
- Patriot Act (Violating civil rights, due process, habeas corpus and other protections provided by the US Constitution… all for reasons of “national security”; giving more power to the President so as to more closely resemble a dictatorship than a democracy.)
- Homeland Security (Giving government contracts to the party faithful; opening safety loopholes for cargo, nuclear plant and aviation industries; protecting the chemical industry from expensive security standards.)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom! (Violating International Law and the Geneva Convention; controlling Iraqi oil reserves and pipelines; abusing and torturing prisoners; killing Iraqi civilians indiscriminately; stirring chaos, confusion, death and destruction in Iraq; building the largest US embassy in the world and 14 permanent US military bases in Iraq; reaping massive profits for Cheney’s Halliburton oil business, Carlyle Group, and other US contractors.)
- No Child Left Behind (Cutting state and local funding for implementation of a mandated testing program that is unrealistic, educationally unsound, and under-funded , resulting in dissatisfied teachers, parents, administrators, and students.)
- Clear Skies (Giving power plants, factories and refineries more time to reduce their toxic emissions and allowing for more mercury, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide to be emitted by industry.)
- Healthy Forests (Allowing the logging industry to cut down trees across 31,250 square miles of National Forests; removing protections against shrub land fires on private lands in southern California, the site of more than 90 percent of all fires in the state.)
- Americans for Prosperity Foundation (Minimizing taxes for the rich.)
- Right to Work Laws (Banning trade unions.)
2002 – Liberal Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone dies in a mysterious plane crash.
Backstory: In 1990, as a new senator attending a White House introductory meeting, Wellstone blurted a warning to then-president Bush Sr (former head of the CIA) against invading the Middle East and urged, instead, spending more money and effort on noble causes like education. Bush Sr whispered to an aide, “Who is this chickenshit?” The Bush elders are known to hold grudges for years.
2003 – Bush Jr and Cheney start the war in Iraq to get a foothold in the region.
2004 and 2006 – Far right political fixer Karl Rove employs software designer Mike Louis Connell to build front-end applications and user interfaces in order to rig the electronic voting system in key state Ohio, to ensure Republican victories during the US congressional and presidential elections. This is the first documented, successful use of cheat-easy voting machines to steal American elections for far-right politicians.
2008 – Republican whistleblower Stephen Spoonamore tells a federal court that Connell has confided in him about Connell’s election-hacking software and that Connell is worried (but with a blind eye) that his software would be used by some of the more ruthless conservatives (perhaps their political fixer Karl Rove and those who paid him?) to steal elections. Connell is subpoenaed to testify about the cheating, Rove threatens Connell, and attorneys seek protection for Connell before the hearing… but Connell is killed in a mysterious small plane crash before he can testify. Republican vote-riggers apparently lay low that year (maybe to keep out of the sights of angry prosecutors), and the highly popular Barack Obama wins the presidency.
2009 –Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and other far-right Republicans begin a policy of total obstruction against Obama and the liberals, employing fixers to launch unrelenting character attacks against the Obamas and Clintons.
2012 – Karl Rove and the conservatives have by now deployed a vast network of cheat-easy voting machines through key states. Rove launches the ORCA program on election night (November 6), which allows Republican operatives with handheld devices at polling stations to monitor the voting very closely, voter by voter.
Speculation: I suspect that handheld ORCA devices in three key states also played a big part in vote manipulation on election night 2012, perhaps by quietly capturing data from the cheat-easy voting machines and sending it surreptitiously to central locations where it could be manipulated and falsified into a bogus, “official” vote count.
Or, it might have been an automated process developed around a simple algorithm:
- If the Republican candidate sustains, say, a 5-percent lead, then do nothing.
- Else (if the Democratic candidate is in the lead or if Republican lead falls below 5 percent), change votes as necessary to restore the Republican’s 5-percent lead.
These are just two of many possible ways that the cheat-easy voting machines could be used to rig an election. In any case, I suspect that vote manipulation of some sort allowed Republican candidate Mitt Romney to hold onto a slim lead in three key states—Florida, Ohio, and either Michigan or Virginia—and almost certainly to clinch the win. Amazingly, however, a team of anonymous hackers “beached ORCA” and stopped the cheating in the closing minutes of the election. Liberal Barack Obama, highly favored to win according to most polls, did indeed win the election, and he resumed his presidency. It’s as though a team of gifted, ethereal surgeons intervened to neutralize a toxic cancer that was killing democracy.
But it wouldn’t end there.
2013-2015 – Republicans, now chomping at the bit to unbridle their patrons’ oil agenda, ramp up their campaign of hate and fear against Muslims and liberals. They continue their vicious obstruction of President Obama and are determined to undo all of his accomplishments once they gain power… and gain power they will: The network of cheat-easy voting machines is still in place. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates receive massive funding from big oil. Ted Cruz gets $25 million, which accounts for 57 percent of his total campaign finances. Big oil also pays 39 percent of Chris Christie’s campaign, 26 percent of Jeb Bush’s, and 23 percent of Marco Rubio’s. (Read more… )
Closing Observations and Speculations
Speculation: By now the ORCA software with its vulnerabilities is permanently retired, and I suspect it’s been replaced by a more sophisticated, top-secret program that works seamlessly behind the scenes to manipulate votes through the cheat-easy voting machines. The stage is now set for the coup de grâce: stealing the 2016 presidential election and related congressional elections. It’ll be the deathblow to American democracy if they can pull it off without getting caught. Big oil will now own the US government.
2016 – As if by some cosmic prank pulled on the oil billionaires, all of the serious, ultra-right candidates they’ve groomed to be the next president… all succumb to the cruel jokes and taunts of self-financed billionaire candidate Donald Trump, who seems to live in a clown’s world in which myths and distortions and hate wash away fact and truth. In Donald’s world, the world revolves around Donald and whatever strange or paranoid notions are dancing in his head at the moment.
Still, Donald Trump is not deep in the pockets of big oil. That’s certainly an upside to his candidacy… but that’s about to change.
So the Republican party, stuck under a dark cloud of hate, fear, greed, and other savage values since the year 2000, has finally fallen apart amid chaos and conflict… and Donald Trump is the personification of the chaos and conflict. He becomes the top Republican candidate for president.
To maintain some order amid the chaos, big oil and the GOP make sure that Trump accepts Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Pence is a serious conservative politician who is deep in the pockets of big oil. (Read more… ) Also planted in the Trump administration are various Koch brother cronies, including Don McGahn, Marc Short, and Kellyanne Conway.
So… after losing all of the debates to his opponent—the bright, hard-working, richly experienced, liberal presidential candidate Hillary Clinton—and after lagging in all of the reasonable polls, Donald Trump wins the election, against all odds, to become the next president of the USA.
Observation and speculation: I was watching the 2016 election results closely on TV that night, with Donald Trump holding onto a small, stubbornly steady lead through the closing hours and minutes of the vote-counting, and from what I observed I have no doubt that the election was rigged electronically. (Nor do I have proof at this point, sorry to say.)
The result: Uncle Sam’s oil addiction and savage values of the far right pull the country ever deeper into chaos and conflict.
– – – –
As you can see, after all the evidence and research, the main point of this article (that oil interests and their right-wing fixers stole the 2016 presidential election with the use of cheat-easy voting machines) is still just speculation on my part at this point. I’ll try to dig up some solid evidence to include in the fourth and last article in this series… but unless some whistleblowers step forward in the coming weeks, this recent overthrow of the US government by the new Uncle Sam (big oil, the far right, and the legendary “military-industrial complex”) might become just another dirty little secret in American history books.
Meanwhile, here are some predictions of what might transpire based on what’s been happening lately.
1. Donald Trump will be replaced soon.
Uncle Sam’s likely reasoning: No way can we let this loose cannon mess up our oil agenda. He’s already cozying up to oil-rich Russia, whom we’re trying to vilify (read more…). Let Mr Trump enjoy the spotlight for a while. He’s got what he wants, after all: the presidency and a page in history books. In a month or two we’ll replace him, one way or another, with our boy Mike Pence.
2. More oil-rich countries will be targeted for US military intervention, and they’ll probably include…
Uncle Sam’s likely reasoning: The Kasakhs are a nomadic people who love free space and live in a country that’s bigger that western Europe. We’ve already invested billions of oil dollars there, but the problem is, it’s a Muslim-majority country sitting smack in the middle between China and Russia, two of our biggest oil competitors. Maybe we could get into some sort of shoving match with Russia and unsettle some of its neighbors, like Ukraine and Crimea… or Georgia or Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan. Apply some pressure in the region, get Russia off-balance, distract China…. Let’s just hire some fixers to work with the CIA and military and see what they can come up with.
Uncle Sam’s likely reasoning: Things are a mess in Venezuela since the death of Hugo Chavez (1954-2013), whose dream to unite Latin America and the Caribbean (as protection against North America’s corporate and oil interests) never came to fruition. Today the Venezuelans are being ground up by crime and murder, inflation, and government corruption and mismanagement. We certainly tried to tap into all that Venezuelan oil while Chavez was in power… without much success. This could be our chance. Let’s get some fixers involved….
Uncle Sam’s likely reasoning: Africa has long been a rough playground for our military, CIA, and big oil. Time to redouble our efforts. Call those fixers…..
- Canada? Uh-uh.
Uncle Sam’s likely reasoning: Attacking Canada would be like beating up Tom Hanks or the Dalai Lama or your favorite uncle that everyone loves. There are limits….
3. The USA might be pulled together briefly under authoritarian rule, but will eventually fall apart amid conflict and chaos, in both foreign affairs and domestic affairs, because of the underlying principle of life everywhere.
Noble values such as trust, good will, honesty, and serving humanity unite humans in peace and order over the long term.
Savage values such as fear, suspicion, deception, and greed eventually, inevitably divide humans amid conflict and chaos.
Solutions Along a Noble Path
Authorize a world authority to regulate oil use, oil production, and oil supplies. Keep the oil addicts, especially American ultraconservatives and big oil, completely out of the decision-making process.
Invest heavily in futuristic mass-transit systems, especially in sprawling countries such as the USA, Canada, Russia, China, Brazil, India, and Australia. (This has long been a dream of mine. As a kid growing up on the high plains of Colorado in the 1950s I’d envision massive maglev tracks criss-crossing the state and the country, east to west and north to south, whishing thousands of people and thousands of products across the land… day after day… coast to coast… border to border.)
Phase out petroleum-thirsty cars and trucks as quickly and as reasonably as possible. (Regina and I love the freedom to jump into our two Priuses and go where we need to go… but we’d gladly give them up if we could hop into a Jetson-esque, high-speed transit system that would get us there quickly and reliably.)
Finally, we in the States need to undo the political damage done by electronic vote-rigging in the 2016 elections (again, assuming it really happened):
- Whistleblowers need to step forward, describing in detail the technologies used to steal the votes…
- Name and prosecute those responsible… and
- Protect the whistleblowers…
That’s not an easy thing to do when savage forces take control. (Just imagine the fate of whistleblowers in Hitler’s Germany or in Stalin’s Russia.)
But it’s the right thing to do.
And doing it now, early in the toxic game, could successfully nip the problem in the bud. Four years from now it might be impossible, once Uncle Sam’s new authoritarian government has planted solid roots.
If the current oil-grabbing trend continues by an Uncle Sam who’s growing ever more dependent on gasoline, and big oil runs the show, there’s just one likely scenario: unprecedented global war.
(I included a few links to good source material in this article, but in the next (and final) article I hope to provide lots more source material. – MM)