Shaking out the oil industry, and maybe a few financiers as well

“If I reduce [oil production], what happens to my market share?” Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi asked. “The price will go up and the Russians, the Brazilians, U.S. shale oil producers will take my share.”[1] My feeling is that the Saudis aren’t laying all their cards on the table, but if al-Naimi is in fact telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, oil prices might be going down for a while. Read more

  1. [1]Clifford Krauss and Peter Eavis, “Oil’s Fall Continues Into 2015, and Stock Markets Shudder,” New York Times, January 5, 2015,

If it were only human folly

Note, January 5, 2015: This post has been modified since its original publication, amplifying an argument and correcting a reference from Russian nuclear carriers to Russian nuclear submarines.

It’s been entirely bad enough that governments have failed to meaningfully address climate change, leaving humanity exposed to an existential threat.[1] But at least I had a couple decades where I was a little less worried about nuclear holocaust. Read more

  1. [1]Mark McDonald, “U.N. Report from Rio on Environment a ‘Suicide Note’,” New York Times, June 24, 2012,; Eugene Robinson, “Our politicians are flunking the vision test,” Washington Post, November 3, 2014,; Roberto Savio, “The Future of the Planet and the Irresponsibility of Governments,” InterPress Service, November 21, 2014,; Roberto Savio, “The Sad Future of Our Planet,” InterPress Service, December 15, 2014,

Time to take the guns away

See updates through September 24, 2022, at end of post.

Fig. 1. “Hundreds of NYPD cops turned their backs when Mayor de Blasio spoke at the funeral for slain Officer Miosotis Familia.” Photograph by Todd Maisel, July 11, 2017, via the New York Daily News,[1] fair use.

Patrick Yoes, a national secretary of the Fraternal Order of Police insists, “We are public servants. We are not public enemies.”[2] Really? Police in the United States have been uniquely entrusted with a license to employ deadly force. It is amply evident that they are not accountable for this use and that they kill people pretty much whenever they feel like it. Read more

  1. [1]Graham Rayman, Jillian Jorgensen and Larry McShane, “Hundreds of NYPD cops turn backs to de Blasio in protest as he speaks at funeral for slain Officer Miosotis Familia,” New York Daily News, July 11, 2017,
  2. [2]Jonathan Lemire and Mike Balsamo, “NYPD officers turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio at cop’s funeral yet again,” Grio, January 4, 2015,