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11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

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11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

11.13 Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona Senate race in breakthrough for Democrats

11.12 When Obstruction of Justice Is Glaringly Obvious

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11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

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11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

11.11 Tax reform: down with the ‘stepped-up basis’

11.08 Canada is richer than the US, according to a new wealth ranking — in fact, the US doesn't even make the top 10 [Graph of richest countries based on median wealth per adult]

11.05 Under Trump, Corporate Giants See Massive Drop in Penalties: NYT [Mafia-government...]

11.02 Los Angeles’ Measure B Is a Moonshot Aimed at Creating a Public Bank [Could save the public $Billions if setup smartly]

International & Futurism

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

11.12 With Trump sitting nearby, Macron calls nationalism a betrayal [Trump was confused...; video]

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  Thinking About Accelerants


Thinking About Accelerants

by Fred Cederholm

What will fund the Mexican “War on Drugs” when oil revenues dry up? Will border violence increase? Will Mexican domestic “stability” cease? Will illegal emigration into the US accelerate?

I’ve been thinking about accelerants. Actually I’ve been thinking about the US economy, gasoline/diesel, trade deficits (the quick deficit), energy imports, Mexico, and Cuba/Russia. The November 2009 trade statistical recaps of our imports and exports and our energy imports for the month of October 2009 were made public a week ago. It used to be that the two monthly recaps for a given month came out at the same time. Not anymore... the lag in the energy numbers is growing to be now over two months. Things ( or delays in the reporting) like this do not happen on good news. Trust me...

You see we are being told how our current recession/depression is over and that the now two year old slowdown/decline is behind us. I heartily doubt any solid recovery is in process, we are on the verge of a new boom, or that Uncle $ugar has really “fixed anything.” Washington D.C. loves to make their case with statistics and numbers even if the stats and numbers are being delayed in publication and defy the rational. Any US need to buy things (and energy) from the rest of the world has not diminished. The “just out” figures for November (trade) and October (energy) raise much for consideration.

November exports of goods and services ($138.2 billion) were the highest since November 2008 ($141.5 billion). November imports of goods and services ($174.6 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($174.8 billion). November exports of automotive vehicles and parts ($8.6 billion) were the highest since November 2008 ($9.2 billion). Exports of goods and services have increased for seven consecutive months, but our imports levels have increased at even greater and faster levels – thus we STILL have a growing deficit. Given our largest deficit of imports exceeding exports is crude oil and distillates, these dismal numbers are not be as bad as when the energy deficits are included.

On a per country basis the results for November are mixed. The November deficit with Mexico ($5.1 billion) was the highest since August 2008 ($5.8 billion). November exports to China ($7.3 billion) were a record. The November deficit with Japan ($5.4 billion) was the highest since October 2008 ($6.1 billion). The November deficit of Advanced Technology Products ($8.3 billion) was a record. The November import average price per barrel of crude oil ($72.54) was the highest since October 2008 ($91.73). The November quantity of crude oil imports (245 million barrels) was the lowest since February 1999 (234 million barrels). (Note: these energy numbers are not the stats from the Energy Information Agency of the US Department of Energy, which I normally cite.)

Our largest October 2009 imports of crude oil came from Canada (1.858 million BPD), Mexico (1.015 million BPD), Saudi Arabia (0.938 million BPD), Venezuela (0.879 million BPD), and Nigeria (853 million BPD). It should be noted that in October our sixth largest supplier of crude oil was IRAQ (0.499 million BPD)! Our five largest suppliers of October 2009 total petroleum—crude oil and distillates—were Canada (2.360 million BPD), Mexico (1.136 million BPD), Venezuela (0.955 million BPD), Saudi Arabia (0.943 million BPD), and Nigeria (0.869 million BPD). Remember also, that such energy consumption occurred during a time of diminished economic activity within the US.

The global media (not the US press or TV broadcasts) have raised questions as to the continued viability of Mexico’s oil industry. The Cantarell Field is the largest in Mexico and one of the largest on the planet. It was discovered by fishermen Rudesindo Cantarell in 1976 approximate 80 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Its production peaked at 2.1 million BPD in 2000. In 2009, production had fallen to 0.772 million BPD. Continued production declines are expected to accelerate in 2010 and 2011. The lion’s share of revenue for the Mexican government comes from its oil and gas dealings. What will fund the Mexican “War on Drugs” when oil revenues dry up? Will border violence increase? Will Mexican domestic “stability” cease? Will illegal emigration into the US accelerate?

Last summer, the global media had numerous reporting of mammoth energy discoveries around Cuba, within Venezuela, around Brazil, and a few other nations in the Caribbean and in South America. Exploiting such reserves is exceeding costly! Venezuela has primarily funded its own oil and gas development, but recently the Caracas government of Hugo Chavez has experienced significant set backs in electricity production and distribution. The Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, was very recently devalued by 50%! Will these newly discovered energy riches be developed by the BIG oil companies of the US and Europe? Or... will they follow the Cuban example and be developed by Russian oil interests? Hummm...

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at

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This story was published on January 18, 2010.


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