Category Archives: Government

The Oil Crisis That Can’t Be Stopped, by Nick Cunningham

As they always do, the socialists are usaying that the latest socialist disaster, Venezuela, is not “real” socialism. According to them, the world is still waiting for “real” socialism, which will be milk and honey for all. Meanwhile, Venezuela suffers from “unreal” socialism, and unreal inflation, unreal currency depreciation, unreal output reduction, and an unreal decline in the standard of living for the average Venezuelan. From Nick Cunningham at, via

Venezuela is “suffering the worst economic depression ever recorded in Latin America.”

Venezuela’s oil production fell by another 52,000 bpd in February from a month earlier, according to OPEC’s secondary sources data.

That put Venezuela’s oil output at 1.548 mb/d for February, down 100,000 bpd since December, down 600,000 bpd from 2016, and down 1 mbd from 2004. Output will almost certainly continue to head south for the foreseeable future. The uncertainty, then, is only over how bad things might get.

“Production is collapsing in a way rarely seen in the absence of a war,” Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American Energy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, wrote in a new report published by the Atlantic Council. “The country is also suffering the worst economic depression ever recorded in Latin America.” GDP shrank by 16.5 percent in 2016 and 12 percent in 2017. The IMF predicts the economy will contract by another 15 percent this year.

The Atlantic Council report points out the roots of the country’s oil production problems. Former President Hugo Chavez sacked thousands of workers after a strike in 2003, decimating much of the company’s technical expertise. He partially nationalized some oil projects a few years later, leading to the exodus of ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips from the country. Meanwhile, revenues from state-owned PDVSA were diverted for social policies, which, while they helped reduce poverty, left little for the oil company to reinvest in its operations. Output eroded steadily over time.


‘Our Boys’: 50 Years After the My Lai Massacre, by Christian Appy

Eventually there was too much evidence for people to pretend that My Lai was anything but a slaughter of innocents. So those inclined to pretend just tried to forget. Fifty years later, it’s worthwhile to remember, question, and analyze. From Christian Appy at

Excerpted from American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

Americans, including GIs, were losing their once reflexive faith that the U.S. military, with all its skill and firepower, would prevail in Vietnam as it had so often throughout history. Also shattered was the faith that America’s fighting forces were inherently more virtuous than their enemies. The unraveling of that conviction began in earnest in 1969 with the revelation that American soldiers had murdered hundreds of unarmed and unresisting women, children, babies, and old men in the village of My Lai.

For many people, the shocking news came first in the form of several horrifying photographs. One shows almost two dozen dead Vietnamese bodies on a dirt road. Many have fallen in a twisted pile; some are partially naked. Another photograph shows a woman lying in a field with her legs drawn up under her body. Her conical straw hat has flipped off her head. If you look closely you can notice that a large portion of her brain lies exposed beneath the hat.

A third photograph shows a group of six Vietnamese women and children huddled together. At the center an old woman stands, stooped over, with a look of unspeakable terror on her face. Behind her a young woman clutches her around the waist with her head buried in the older woman’s shoulder. A young girl stands wide-eyed and openmouthed, with disheveled bangs. She is pressing into a balding woman, barely visible, who is lifting an arm over the head of the young girl, perhaps to embrace her. On the other side of the photograph, a young woman holding a small boy in one arm uses her free hand to button the bottom of her blouse. In some magazines and newspapers a caption tells readers that American soldiers are about to kill the people in the photograph. We are looking at the final seconds of their lives.

Some of the My Lai photographs were published first in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A few weeks later a larger selection was published in Life (December 5, 1969). Then they appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world. They were taken by Ronald Haeberle, an army draftee who was sent to Vietnam as a military combat photographer. He had taken the pictures some twenty months earlier on March 16, 1968, while accompanying an infantry company from the Americal Division.

To continue reading: ‘Our Boys’: 50 Years After the My Lai Massacre

America’s Phony War Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland, by William J. Astore

The government and MIC don’t allow anyone on the home front to be inconvenienced by their wars. From William J. Astore at

Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced. Yet here at home, there’s nothing real about those wars.  Here, it’s phony war all the way. In the last 17 years of “forever war,” this nation hasn’t for one second been mobilized. Taxes are being cut instead of raised.  Wartime rationing is a faint memory from the World War II era.  No one is being required to sacrifice a thing.

Now, ask yourself a simple question: What sort of war requires no sacrifice?  What sort of war requires that almost no one in the country waging it take the slightest notice of it?

America’s conflicts in distant lands rumble on, even as individual attacks flash like lightning in our news feeds.  “Shock and awe” campaigns in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, initially celebrated as decisive and game changing, ultimately led nowhere.  Various “surges” produced much sound and fury, but missions were left decidedly unaccomplished.  More recent strikes by the Trump administration against a Syrian air base or the first use of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the MOAB super-bomb, in Afghanistan flared brightly, only to fizzle even more quickly.  These versions of the German blitzkrieg-style attacks of World War II have been lightning assaults that promised much but in the end delivered little.  As these flashes of violence send America’s enemies of the moment (and nearby civilians) to early graves, the homeland (that’s us) slumbers.  Sounds of war, if heard at all, come from TV or video screens or Hollywood films in local multiplexes.

We are, in fact, kept isolated from Washington’s wars, even as America’s warriors traverse a remarkable expanse of the globe, from the Philippines through the Greater Middle East deep into Africa.  As conflicts flare and sputter, ramp up and down and up again, Americans have been placed in a form of behavioral lockdown.  Little more is expected of us than to be taxpaying spectators or, when it comes to the U.S. military, starry-eyed cheerleaders.  Most of the time, those conflicts are not just out of sight, but meant to be out of mind as well.  Rare exceptions are moments when our government asks us to mourn U.S. service members like Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, killed in an abortive raid President Trump ordered in Yemen in early 2017 in which children also died (though that was something just about no one here even noticed).  While the military has been deploying and striking on a global scale, we’ve been told from the very first moments of Washington’s self-proclaimed war on terror to go shopping or to Disney World and let the experts handle it.

To continue reading: America’s Phony War Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland


Acceptable Bigotry and Scapegoating of Russia, by Natylie Baldwin

Some groups cannot be disparaged in any way, shape, or form. For other groups, like white males and Russians, it’s open season. From Natylie Baldwin at

Exclusive: The scapegoating of Russia has taken on an air of bigotry and ugliness, based largely on Cold War-era stereotypes. In this article, Natylie Baldwin counters this intolerance with some of her positive impressions having traveled the country extensively.

Over the last year and a half, Americans have been bombarded with the Gish Gallop claims of Russiagate. In that time, the most reckless comments have been made against the Russians in service of using that country as a scapegoat for problems in the United States that were coming to a head, which were the real reasons for Donald Trump’s upset victory in 2016.  It has even gotten to the point where irrational hatred against Russia is becoming normalized, with the usual organizations that like to warn of the pernicious consequences of bigotry silent.

The first time I realized how low things would likely get was when Ruth Marcus, deputy editor of the Washington Post, sent out the following tweet in March of 2017, squealing with delight at the thought of a new Cold War with the world’s other nuclear superpower: “So excited to be watching The Americans, throwback to a simpler time when everyone considered Russia the enemy. Even the president.”

Not only did Marcus’s comment imply that it was great for the U.S. to have an enemy, but it specifically implied that there was something particularly great about that enemy being Russia.

Since then, the public discourse has only gotten nastier. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – who notoriously perjured himself before Congress about warrantless spying on Americans – stated on Meet the Press last May that Russians were uniquely and “genetically” predisposed toward manipulative political activities.  If Clapper or anyone else in the public eye had made such a statement about Muslims, Arabs, Iranians, Jews, Israelis, Chinese or just about any other group, there would have been some push-back about the prejudice that it reflected and how it didn’t correspond with enlightened liberal values. But Clapper’s comment passed with hardly a peep of protest.

To continue reading: Acceptable Bigotry and Scapegoating of Russia

Secret Debate Tip For GOP, by Ann Coulter

If kids are not corrected and punished when they act badly, they will continue to act badly and will often get even worse. That may be the most stunningly obvious news on SLL tonight, but apparently it is news to substantial numbers of “educators” to whom our kids are entrusted. Their refusal to act on that truism led to 17 dead in the Parkland shooting. From Ann Coulter at

On CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday night, Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about the “institutional racism” in school discipline.

It was like neither of them had ever heard of Nikolas Cruz. The Parkland, Florida, school shooter is our most recent case study of what happens when liberals start babbling about “institutional racism.”

There’s never been such an incredible paper trail as there is with Cruz, leading straight from idiotic liberal ideas directly to mass murder. We know that Broward County Public Schools knew about Cruz’s felonies. We know that his behavior wasn’t reported because it would negatively impact the record of a student of color. The school district bragged about the policy.

Perhaps having no criminal record would have helped Cruz get a good job someday. But it is a fact that one of the consequences of not reporting his crimes was that HE COULD GET A GUN.

Unless liberals are going to say that guns had nothing to do with the Parkland shooting, it was the racial bean-counting in school discipline that unleashed this psychotic on innocent students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School four weeks ago.

Stahl treated as cold hard fact the idea that schools punish “students of color more harshly than their white classmates,” citing this real-world example:

“Let’s say” — lots of serious journalism begins with “let’s say” — “there’s a disruption in the classroom and a bunch of white kids are disruptive and they get punished, you know, go see the principal. But the black kids are, you know, they call in the cops. I mean, that’s the issue: who and how the kids who disrupt are being punished.”

I remember this plot on “Law & Order,” but there aren’t many examples of it in real life.

To continue reading: Secret Debate Tip For GOP

The Pentagon and Hollywood’s successful and deadly propaganda alliance, by Michael McCaffrey

Hollywood has long been, with a few exceptions, a cheerleader for and in bed with the military. From Michael McCaffrey at

The Pentagon helps Hollywood to make money and, in turn, Hollywood churns out effective propaganda for the brutal American war machine.

The US has the largest military budget in the world, spending over $611 billion – far larger than any other nation on Earth. The US military also has at their disposal the most successful propaganda apparatus the world has ever known… Hollywood.

Since their collaboration on the first Best Picture winner ‘Wings’ in 1927, the US military has used Hollywood to manufacture and shape its public image in over 1,800 films and TV shows. Hollywood has, in turn, used military hardware in their films and TV shows to make gobs and gobs of money. A plethora of movies like ‘Lone Survivor,’ ‘Captain Philips,’ and even blockbuster franchises like ‘Transformers’ and Marvel, DC and X-Men superhero movies have agreed to cede creative control in exchange for use of US military hardware over the years.

It’s Sunday and did you know the works with to ensure the is correctly portrayed in films? Find out how these partnerships work: .

Be sure to follow our coverage over on @DoDOutreach!

In order to obtain cooperation from the Department of Defense (DoD), producers must sign contracts that guarantee a military approved version of the script makes it to the big screen. In return for signing away creative control, Hollywood producers save tens of millions of dollars from their budgets on military equipment, service members to operate the equipment, and expensive location fees.

Capt. Russell Coons, director of the Navy Office of Information West, told Al Jazeera what the military expects for their cooperation: “We’re not going to support a program that disgraces a uniform or presents us in a compromising way.”

Phil Strub, the DOD chief Hollywood liaison, says the guidelines are clear. “If the filmmakers are willing to negotiate with us to resolve our script concerns, usually we’ll reach an agreement. If not, filmmakers are free to press on without military assistance.

To continue reading: The Pentagon & Hollywood’s successful and deadly propaganda alliance

Merkel’s New Interior Minister: “Islam Does Not Belong To Germany”, by Tyler Durden

Angela Merkel has lasted as long as she has as Germany’s Chancellor because she knows how to pick up on winning themes and drop losing ones. Unlimited Islamic migration to Germany is a loser, and although she was its biggest proponent, she’s moving away from it. From Tyler Durden at

In a startling confirmation of the rising power of Germany’s populist movement, on Friday Germany’s new Interior Minister Horst Seehofer declared that “Islam does not belong to Germany” while setting out hardline immigration policies in an interview published on Friday, in an attempt to ward off rising anti-immigration challengers.

“Islam does not belong to Germany,” Seehofer said, contradicting former German president Christian Wulff who fueled a debate over immigration in 2010 by saying Islam was part of Germany. In 2015 Merkel echoed Wulff’s words at a time when anti-immigration campaign group PEGIDA – or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West – was holding marches.


Horst Seehofer

Closing the book on Merkel’s disastrous “open door” policies, Seehofer told Bild he would push through a “master plan for quicker deportations”, in his first major interview since he was sworn into office on Wednesday.

The minister – a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CSU Bavarian allies who are further to the right than her own Christian Democrats – said he would also classify more states as “safe” countries of origin, which would make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers. The statements – an obvious attempt to court populist voters – come after Merkel’s conservatives, and their coalition allies – the Social Democrats – lost ground to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in elections last year.

As Reuters notes, Seehofer is particularly keen to show his party is tackling immigration ahead of Bavaria’s October regional election, when the AfD is expected to enter that state assembly.

“Of course the Muslims living here do belong to Germany,” Seehofer said before going on to say Germany should not give up its own traditions or customs, which had Christianity at their heart.

“My message is: Muslims need to live with us, not next to us or against us,” he said.

According to the German government, between 4.4 and 4.7 million Muslims live in Germany today; most have a Turkish background and many of the more than a million migrants who have arrived in the country from the Middle East and elsewhere after Merkel adopted an open-door policy in mid-2015 are also Muslims.

To continue reading: Merkel’s New Interior Minister: “Islam Does Not Belong To Germany”