OPEC Floors Oil Price (Or Does It?)

OPEC Has Just Put A Floor Under Oil Prices

Inside Opportunities with Martin Tillier - Oil Price.com

September 30, 2016

The stunning news of a tentative OPEC agreement out of Algiers caught just about every trader flat-footed.

Speculative short positions in oil had been growing, and oil markets and oil stocks rallied spectacularly on the news to rip the guts out of any trader who’d bet on nothing happening at this meeting, as had been the case the four previous times.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but first things first: I wouldn’t be fading this move – OPEC is back.


Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC)

Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo (R)
Image: China.org
We haven’t been short names in the energy space, quite the opposite – but we had been looking for a retreat in some U.S. shale names for the opportunity to add to core positions. That opportunity is gone. The OPEC agreement, despite its many, many holes, puts a floor under oil I don’t think will ever again be breached.


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Beating the Spread: Hillary Ropes a Dope, Trump Still Standing

The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate

by Ted Rall - CounterPunch

September 28, 2016


trump debate 1He won the debate.

I know it runs counter to conventional wisdom – that’s so rare for me! – but I award the first 2016 presidential debate to Donald Trump. This isn’t to say that I disagree with what the mainstream men and women of the pundit class said they witnessed. Like them, I watched a well-prepared Clinton outmaneuver a political amateur who showed up to class after a night of partying following a year of refusing to crack open a book. Trump rambled, repeated himself, interrupted and bullied. He conflated NATO and the EU. He even unleashed a fat joke.

All things being equal, I would agree with the corporate media consensus that Hillary won. But that’s the thing – things are far from equal.

Hillary Clinton is a pro. She should have wiped the floor with Trump. Instead, she delivered a performance on the line between a B+ and an A-. Trump gets closer to a C-. That’s much closer than it ought to have been. As they say in sports, Trump beat the spread.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ben Isitt, Rick Sterling, Janine Bandcroft Sept. 28, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

September 28, 2016

While the election spectacle south sucks most of the political air from the media universe, British Columbia too is poised to begin its own democracy circus, and it's with an eye to the Spring vote here issues from across the province are being aired at the Union of BC Municipalities meetings currently going on at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Monday, Victoria Councillor, Ben Isitt joined Metchosin Councillor Andy MacKinnon, Cowichan Valley Regional District Director, Sonia Furstenau, and Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee on the steps of the VCC demonstrating to have MacKinnon's Vancouver Island old-growth logging moratorium proposal included on the UBCM’s resolutions committee agenda.


Listen. Hear.


It's a busy time for Isitt, who presented Monday night with Andy MacKinnon 'The Future of Forests and Communities on Vancouver Island' a draft policy statement at the Public Presentation and Discussion on the Future of Forests and Communities on Vancouver Island at the Victoria Event Centre, presenting the findings of the group he's been working with, Island Forest Futures.


Ben Isitt in the first half.


And; hopes for the tremulous peace agreement in Syria were blown to smithereens last week by a sustained American air attack against Syrian army units protecting the town of Deir ez-Zor from ISIS/Daech. The blitz, which US officials later said was all a case of mistaken identity, killed more than sixty soldiers outright, and was followed by what seemed a coordinated ISIS incursion. The result is an end to the peace deal and ratcheting up of the propaganda battle for the hearts and minds on the home front.

To that end, prepare to hear lots more about Syria's famed 'White Helmets' organization. Already recipients of a prestigious Right Livelihood Award, the shadowy group are also being promoted for a Nobel Peace prize.

Rick Sterling is an independent researcher, writer, and member of Syria Solidarity Movement, an organization who has mounted an online campaign to pressure the Right Livelihood Foundation to reverse its award decision. Sterling's articles can be found online at CounterPunch, ConsortiumNews, Dissident Voice, and at Pacific Free Press. Rick's also an active member of the Task Force on the Americas at the Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center.

Rick Sterling and helmets of another colour in the second half.


And, Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good goings on planned for our streets and beyond in the coming week. But first, Ben Isitt and what future the forests of Vancouver Island?


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Setting the Table for Hillary's War Presidency

The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch

September 26, 2016

If the British Empire was built on the playing fields of Eton, United States world hegemony gets its training in Hollywood studios and advertising agencies. Selling your product, or yourself, by looking sincere is a cultivated American art.
Current top U.S. leaders are expert practitioners.
In the space of a few days, Samantha Power, John Kerry, and Barack Obama all turned in war-winning performances.


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Lethal First Resorts: A Plague of Police Killings

Police too often shoot to kill as a first resort: The Key Thing about the Latest Police Killing in Charlotte, NC is that It Was Totally Gratuitous

by Dave Lindorff  - This Can't Be Happening

September 25, 2016

Now that the Charlotte, NC Police Department has reluctantly released the body cam and squad-car videos in its possession of the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott, which make it clear that nobody knew whether or not Scott even had a gun in his SUV with him, and that he apparently didn't have one in hand when he exited his vehicle, and did not appear to be threatening anyone, one thing is abundantly clear: Whether he had a gun or not, there was absolutely no reason for police to kill him.

Scott's only "crime" -- a common one for frightened or confused people when suddenly confronted, initially in this case by armed plainclothes officers who may not even have identified themselves as policeman, and later by a bunch of shouting, angry armed cops with weapons aimed at him -- was to stay put in his seat with the doors locked when ordered to exit the vehicle.

Sequence of still images from video taken on a cellphone by Keith Scott' wife show his killer, officer Brentley Vinson, tossing (perhaps a gun?) onto the pavement near his dying victim (MSNBC video)

Sequence of still images from video taken on a cellphone by Keith Scott's wife show his killer, officer
Brentley Vinson, tossing (perhaps a gun?) onto the pavement near his dying victim (MSNBC video)


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General Warns: Imposing Syria No-Fly Zone Will Lead to War with Russia

Top US general warns Syrian “no-fly” zone means war with Russia

by Bill Van Auken - WSWS

24 September 2016 

The enforcement of a “no-fly” zone in Syria would mean a US war with both Syria and Russia, the top US uniformed commander told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spelled out the grave implications of the policy advocated by both predominant sections within the Republican Party as well as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton amid rising violence in Syria and increasing pressure by Washington on the Russian government to unilaterally agree to grounding its own aircraft as well as those of the Syrian government.

Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly demanded that Russia adhere to what would essentially be a one-sided “no-fly” zone under conditions in which US warplanes would continue carrying out airstrikes. Kerry presented his proposal as a means of reviving and restoring “credibility” to a ceasefire agreement that he and the Russian Foreign Minister negotiated on September 9.


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From Bach to Slim Shady: The Evolution of Torture Chamber Music

Torture Chamber Music

by David Yearsley  - CounterPunch


September 23, 2016 

With the transfer last month to the United Arab Emirates of fifteen prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and with word yesterday that one of two long-term Malaysian detainees may be headed home to continue “de-radicalization” in a maximum security prison there, Obama lurches towards bitter fulfillment of his long-ago campaign pledge to close the notorious prison and torture center. He has 118 days to deal with the last 61 detainees.

In thinking musically about the grim legacy of Guantanamo’s torturous regime the obvious place to start is with the hits—ones that leave no bruises—the CIA used in its “enhanced interrogations.”

Among the weaponized pop deployed was Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” played so relentlessly, reported Binyam Mohamed, who was released in 2009 after seven-years detention, that he could hear other inmates “screaming and smashing their heads against walls.”



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No Kidding: America Losing Its Sense of Humor

You Must Be Kidding! Adventures in an American World of Frustration
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch
September 22, 2016
Recently, sorting through a pile of old children’s books, I came across a volume, That Makes Me Mad!, which brought back memories. Written by Steve Kroll, a long-dead friend, it focused on the eternally frustrating everyday adventures of Nina, a little girl whose life regularly meets commonplace roadblocks, at which point she always says... well, you can guess from the title!
Vivid parental memories of another age instantly flooded back -- of my daughter (now reading such books to her own son) sitting beside me at age five and hitting that repeated line with such mind-blowing, ear-crushing gusto that you knew it spoke to the everyday frustrations of her life, to what made her mad.
Three decades later, in an almost unimaginably different America, on picking up that book I suddenly realized that, whenever I follow the news online, on TV, or -- and forgive me for this but I’m 72 and still trapped in another era -- on paper, I have a similarly Nina-esque urge.
Only the line I’ve come up with for it is (with a tip of the hat to Steve Kroll) “You must be kidding!”
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Robert Hunziker, Richard Atwell, Janine Bandcroft September 21, 2016

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

September 21, 2016


It's hard to believe, five and a half years have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Fukushima prefecture. Harder to believe still is the International Olympics Committee buying prime minister Abe's assertion that Fukushima will be ready to host events at the 2020 games. Or maybe it wasn't the IOC doing the buying?

That in recent years the Olympic Games, both Winter and Summer, has become less associated with sporting excellence and the upper limits of human achievement than with deceit, base corruption, and unparalleled venality - where the purity of amateur athleticism, and ideal of international cooperation, if only on a playing field and for a short while, is entirely transmogrified by a corporatist, win-at-all-cost ethos - is news to no-one; hardly worth mentioning, but what is interesting is the accelerating sense of doom the five-ringed circus has come to forebode.


Listen. Hear.


Whether the tremendous environmental price of industrial hyper-development, as glimpsed through Beijing's choking smog shroud, the spectres of Sochi's ethnically cleansed original inhabitants, or Rio's erased favelas and emergent Zika contagion, it's almost as though those rings carry a curse. If that's so, nothing seen so far can compare with the horror potential currently lurking just below the surface of the next planned Olympics in Japan.

Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He's also appeared in a variety of media to talk about global climate change and has written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Robert Hunziker in the first half.

And; now they've done it! Last week, Capital Regional District directors voted to fund a new sewage treatment plant to be located at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. The controversial issue of how best to handle the region's effluent has livened council meetings, and the local press for years now, but is the CRD greenlighting of the McLouglin Point plant an end to the contentious project, or just another log on the fire?

Richard Atwell is Mayor of Saanich, the region's largest municipality, and represents the sole dissenting vote on the CRD board's "almost unanimous" sewage vote. It was Atwell's advocacy for an alternative sewage plan for the region that led him into politics, and a stunning political upset rookie win against the near two decades-old administration of incumbent mayor, Frank Leonard in 2014.

Richard Atwell and finding a lasting regional pollution solution in the second segment.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio host, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news of good things going on in and around our town and beyond in the coming week. But first, Robert Hunziker and the Fukushima disaster past, present, and forever.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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The Right Kind of Terrorists: Shielding Colombia's Paramilitary Criminals from Justice

Our Terrorists in Colombia: Death Squads as “Freedom Fighters”

by Dan Kovalik  - CounterPunch

September 20, 2016
aucA recent article in The New York Times entitled, “The Secret History of Colombia’s Paramilitaries & The U.S. War on Drugs,” contains useful clues as to the U.S.’s true views towards the Colombian death squads and their massive war crimes and human rights abuses. [1]

In short, it reveals a high-level of tolerance of, and condonation by, U.S. policy-makers for the suffering of the Colombian people at the hands of our long-time friends and allies, the right-wing paramilitaries. The gist of the NYT story is that, beginning in 2008, the U.S. has extradited “several dozen” top paramilitary leaders, thereby helping them to evade a transitional justice process which would have held them accountable for their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

They have been brought to the U.S. where they have been tried for drug-related offenses only and given cushy sentences of 10 years in prison on average. And, even more incredibly, “for some, there is a special dividend at the end of their incarceration. Though wanted by Colombian authorities, two have won permission to stay in the United States, and their families have joined them. There are more seeking the same haven, and still others are expected to follow suit.”


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Long Day at Standing Rock: Unreserved Resistance to Dakota Access

Indians and Cowboys: The 2016 Version of an Old Story on a New Planet
by Chip Ward - TomDispatch 
September 20, 2016

Ward DownwindCowboys and Indians are at it again. Americans who don’t live in the West may think that the historic clash of Native Americans and pioneering settlers is long past because the Indians were, after all, defeated and now drive cars, watch television, and shop at Walmart. Not so.
That classic American narrative is back big time, only the Indians are now the good guys and the cowboys -- well, their rightwing representatives, anyway -- are on the warpath, trying to grab 640 million acres of public lands that they can plunder as if it were yesteryear. Meanwhile, in the Dakotas, America’s Manifest Destiny, that historic push across the Great Plains to the Pacific (murdering and pillaging along the way), seems to be making a return trip to Sioux country in a form that could have planetary consequences.
Energy Transfer Partners is now building the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion oil slick of a project. It’s slated to go from the Bakken gas and oil fracking fields in northern North Dakota across 1,100 miles of the rest of the Dakotas and Iowa to a pipeline hub in Illinois. From there, the oil will head for refineries on the Gulf Coast and ultimately, as the emissions from fossil fuels, into the atmosphere to help create future summers so hot no one will forget them.
Keep in mind that, according to global warming’s terrible new math, there’s enough carbon in those Bakken fields to roast the planet -- if, that is, the Sioux and tribes allied with them don’t stop the pipeline. This time, in other words, if the cavalry does ride to the rescue, the heroes on horseback will be speaking Lakota. 
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A Planet of Another Colour: Reflecting on the Loss of Sea Ice

Loss of Planet Reflectivity an Impending Catastrophe

by Robert Hunziker - Pacific Free Press

September 19, 2016

The planet’s air conditioning system is on the blink, working intermittently, losing its glinting, lustrous white reflectiveness, as it turns deep blue, absorbing 90% of sunlight rather than reflecting it back into outer space. The repercussions of Arctic sea ice loss are immense.“Our planet has actually changed colour,” Peter Wadhams, A Farewell to Ice (Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books, 2016). Loss of Arctic sea ice has such an overriding powerful impact on the planet, it warrants this 206-page book.
“It is Man’s first major achievement in reshaping the face of his planet, and it is of course an unintended achievement, with dubious and possibly catastrophic consequences to follow.” (p.3)

“There is no period in Earth history that we know about where the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 is as great as it is today.”


Professor Peter Wadhams brings fresh insight to the dynamics behind the interrelationship of Arctic sea ice and climate change/global warming. The conclusions by this preeminent ice scientist are sobering.


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