Will oil prices pop a derivatives bubble

It’s time to revisit an old prediction. Years ago I speculated that the structure of the derivatives market was inherently inflationary. The premise was that the massive run up in commodities prices between 2002-07 and right after the crash was a function of the market structure not market forces.

If I was right, then the collapse in oil prices we are experiencing now should be enough to cause an economic avalanche as over-leveraged derivatives reverse that inflationary trend very suddenly. In other words, over the next couple of months we should see a surprising collection of otherwise healthy major financial institutions announcing losses that start relatively minor and keep adjusting higher and higher until they become incalculable.

At first glance it looks like I was probably wrong. For starters, the collapse in gold prices this year should have been enough to expose this problem, though gold is certainly a more niche market with fewer broad economic implications.

Also, there are no early warning signs of trouble. No banks adjusting their earnings projections or major hedge fund collapses. At least not yet.

We have seen a remarkable increase in hedge fund failures, but those appear to have more to do with consolidation than bad bets. It looks like lots of people are abandoning smaller hedge funds for larger ones.

We’ll see, but at first glance it looks like my take on the structure of the derivatives market may have been off.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

Posted in Uncategorized
261 comments on “Will oil prices pop a derivatives bubble
  1. rightonrush says:

    WOW, just look how that Keystone XL pipeline lower the price of gas…..OH WAIT! LOL

  2. tuttabellamia says:

    You guys are my “online in-laws.” You are part and parcel of Cap’s baggage, his inheritance. You come with the territory. Cap is tethered to y’all, for better or for worse — mostly worse.

    • rightonrush says:

      Sorry Tutt but I’m not going to let you unload Sternn’s baggage onto my shoulders as a blog participant here. I’m not your in-laws nor out-laws. Sternn has major problems and I refuse to be considered part of those problems. IMO he’s nuts, so get him some help if you can. If not, remember you are not his mother and he is a big boy now.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        So by your opinion, most of America is nuts since all ideological thinkers like you have been thrown out of office. The latest one Saturday. But you stick by that opinion of yours. It can only help the GOP.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:


        Why are so many Tea Party types given to such hackneyed, half-wit hyperbole?

        If you want a sign of simplistic thinking, there it is.

      • rightonrush says:

        Catsuit, you witless wonder, this has nothing to do with politics.

      • objv says:

        Owl, when Jonathan Gruber spoke of “the stupidity of the American voter,” he was not referring to either Cap or Kabuzz. Neither of them fell for the untruths told to get Obamacare passed. Who do you think he had in mind? Just a thought.

      • objv says:

        ROR, I gave my dear mother-in-law a big smooch because you told me to. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        This little sub-thread is nothing more than a family squabble. Or a sanity hearing, depending on whom you ask.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I think the stupidity of the American voter easily hits both sides of the political spectrum, and to the extent Buzz or Stern believes much of anything coming from a GOP/TP candidate with regard to abortion, taxes, or the economy (or most other topics), then I think it certainly would apply.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        objv, I suspect he was referring to the many, many voters who don’t pay all that much attention to the news, and don’t strongly identify with one party or the other. In other words, no-one here.

        Kabuzz exhibits a stupidity that is all his own.

      • rightonrush says:

        Tutt wrote “This little sub-thread is nothing more than a family squabble. Or a sanity hearing, depending on whom you ask”

        LMAO, well played Tutt. Sternn should kiss your feet and buy you at least a 10 K. Diamond ring for Christmas. I wish you were in my family altho I would pass on Sternn.

      • Sixers#2001 says:

        @kabuzz61 – No, the reason so many of them were thrown out of office and GOP’ers won was because of the “lack” of turnout this year (36.7% nationwide) and this was the only way some of these loons could get elected (i.e. Ernst, Tillis, Gardner, Cassidy, etc). Even their strategists and supporters bank on low voter turnout to help them win…..

  3. CaptSternn says:

    So much for talking about oil, but no real surprise that it stops being about oil and becomes all about race. Article after article, entry after entry, is all about race. The left is promoting racial divide, advocating it, excusing violence towards police, excusing rioting, looting, burning and killing because of race.

    The left needs it, promotes it, advocates it, demands it, excuses it, justifies it. It is all they have for they have nothing else. They cannot stand on their actions, their policies, their legislation. If they tried that, it would be shown that they are the real racists and that their policies and legislation is against the very concept of individual liberty and rights. majority rule, except when they disagree with the majority. Hypocrites one and all.

    We can’t talk about immigration because the left can only speak of racism. We can’t talk about anything because the left can only talk about racism. We can’t talk about the integrity f the vote because the left can only talk about racism. We can’t talk about equal rights because the left can only talk about racism.

    The left sees nothing beyond the color of a person’s skin, or maybe occasionally the person’s sex. The left does not want unity, unless it means that everybody else shut up and sit down, and according to Obama, “those people” should be forced to sit in the back. Where have we heard that in the past?

    And y’all call me a troll. Go find some mirrors.

    • kabuzz61 says:


    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Although I certainly cannot take credit for it, the quote seems applicable here:

      “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

      • CaptSternn says:

        Poor HT. How many links do you want? Then again, it wouldn’t matter. Facts and reality are not your friends.

      • texan5142 says:

        Do not respond to the fool.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Links? I love links…missing, sausage, golf, letter…all sorts of links.

        However, with regard to facts and reality, you seem to be a bit confused in that you appear to think your screed above includes anything but opinion. I do guess we should all just come to the realization that for you, your opinions are your facts.

        Man, the ability to see everything as black and white, right and wrong, with no nuance and no complexity must make life interesting. Never having to hold conflicting thoughts in one’s mind must be an absolute luxury or incredibly boring.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, although I certainly cannot take credit for it, the quote seems applicable here:

        “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    • flypusher says:

      How about you answer the question that both Homer and I posed below?

      • CaptSternn says:

        On second thought, never mind. You are trying to make the point that I thought you were trying to avoid. That’s what it is all about, promoting racism, promoting racial divide. The left needs it now more than ever. It’s all you have at this point.

      • flypusher says:

        As predicted, you are 100% wrong. It’s about getting at the truth about police use of force, wherever that truth may lead. You have been bitching and wailing and moaning and caterwauling about a requirement to buy health insurance for years now, but the issue of whether police are properly using their societal permission to use deadly force doesn’t get the same rise out of you. Your priorities are so fucked up it’s all funny and pathetic and scary in one big ignorant package.

        The reason we speculate about you being a troll is because it’s actually the option that is the most redeeming.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fly, just like your democrat party, you are grasping. No one said police shooting shouldn’t be investigated. They are, every time. What you can’t grasp is your refusal to live by the decision. Why? Because you believe racism is tied to everything that happens. You are more interested in counting colors at a gathering then the gathering itself.

      • flypusher says:

        What are you afraid a comprehensive analysis of a COMPLETE data set is going to show, Buzzy? You accuse me of grasping, yet the ONLY thing I advocated was putting together a database. Not any of the stuff you just accused me of.

        Fortunately good people will do that end run around head-in-the-sand ignoramuses like you, and the truth will come out despite your ilk and their obstructionist ways. That’s the power of the internet, used for a righteous cause.

    • Crogged says:

      So there’s this thing, called the ‘left’, which supposedly is in the way of us understanding just what the hell it is you think your talking about every single f___g day?

      Thank you Left.

  4. flypusher says:

    OT, but a very current topic, the lack of a database on police shootings:


    It really is disgraceful that there is no national database. How can one realistically expect to solve a problem, when one cannot even accurately define a problem? Of course, if CYA is the real objective, then it makes sense. Good for the citizens who are doing an end run around the obstructionists.

    “This is the most most heinous thing I’ve learned in my two years compiling Fatal Encounters. You know who dies in the most population-dense areas? Black men. You know who dies in the least population dense areas? Mentally ill men. It’s not to say there aren’t dangerous and desperate criminals killed across the line. But African-Americans and the mentally ill people make up a huge percentage of people killed by police.

    And if you want to get down to nut-cuttin’ time, across the board, it’s poor people who are killed by police. (And by the way, around 96 percent of people killed by police are men.)”

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Most densely populated cities are minorities.

      As far as the reference to the mentally ill, I would have to see what they consider as being mentally ill. Now if being liberal is mentally ill, you shouldn’t be shot for it.

      I think overall, the police do an incredibly good but very dangerous job. It is so easy to second guess. The officer in MO was no billed according to the evidence but that isn’t good enough for the so called ‘do gooders’. Now there’s the real problem. Fly, you give them kudo’s but I think they are a bigger part of the problem.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Well, there is probably no national database because there is no national police force. Police forces, as well as fire departments and EMS services, are locally run.

      You might want to tread very lightly here, because the statistics might show something you don’t want shown.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…what do you think fly doesn’t want them to show?

      • flypusher says:

        “Well, there is probably no national database because there is no national police force. ”

        By that “logic” there’d be no justification for national fingerprint or DNA databases either, since so many crimes get investigated by local authorities. That’s narrow-mined, provincial, and obstructionist thinking.

        And HT isn’t the only one who wants to know what you imagine that I don’t want shown. I already know with the same certainty that I know that the sun will rise in the east that you will be 100% wrong, but I suspect that it will be good for a laugh for some of us.

        No, I want to tread here as hard as humanly possible. And then some.


        “The officer in MO was no billed according to the evidence but that isn’t good enough for the so called ‘do gooders’.”

        And what about the 12 year kid shot by police just seconds after the squad car pulled up to within feet of him (not very bright to get that close to a possibly armed suspect, was it?)? What about Eric Garner getting the life choked out of him on video for all to see? What about the man in SC who got shot by the trigger happy state trooper for doing just what the trooper told him to do (produce some ID)? What about all the other incidents that didn’t get all that publicity? I suspect it’s people like you who really don’t want to let the sunlight in on this. If the cops really are doing their job properly, then the truth isn’t going to harm them.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Fly, case by case basis as should be applied to everthing. You are advocating judging the officer as guilty until he is proven innocent.

        Also, the man in NYC did not die from the choke hold. He was very much alive. The twelve year old was brandishing a gun will the orange tip removed to make it look real. What would you have done?

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, case by case basis as should be applied to everthing. You are advocating judging the officer as guilty until he is proven innocent.”

        Buzzy, I know you habitually make these superhuman leaps across logic, but seriously, exactly WHO am I saying is guilty here. The ONLY thing I said is that we need a database. I didn’t even use the word “gullty” until just now, and not in reference to any individual.

        Are we really asking so much in expecting you to actually comprehend what you read?

        “Also, the man in NYC did not die from the choke hold. He was very much alive.”

        The corroner ruled it a homocide. Do you understand what that means?

        “The twelve year old was brandishing a gun will the orange tip removed to make it look real. What would you have done?”

        Ooooo, thanks for asking. How about, if you’re approaching a suspect who looks armed, you DON’T drive up to within a few feet of him and force yourself into a split second life or death decision? How about you keep a safe distance, get under some cover, get on your speaker, and actually give the person a real chance of complying with the orders of “drop the gun/ show your hands”? How about, if you outnumber your suspect 5 to 1, and at worst that person is passively resisting, you don’t use chokeholds? Even better, if he complains about breathing problems, how about you get him IMMEDIATE medical attention? How totally clueless can you be?

  5. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    A random post about oil prices and derivatives has managed to generate more “you all are communists” comments than just about any posting we have ever had.

    Look, I go to all the meetings, and I never see any of you guys there. You all are some piss-poor comrades.

    I know I rock my kids to sleep each night chanting, “From each according his ability, to each according his need”, but it seems that all of the others here are happy little capitalists, despite the ever so tiring accusations of folks being marxists/communists/socialists.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Long distance lullaby?

    • Crogged says:

      It’s not name calling if it isn’t true

    • Crogged says:

      And I’m barely a liberty lovin’ American too-(wasn’t that a Led Zeppelin chorus–‘liberty, lovin, she’s just a liberal’)?

    • Turtles Run says:

      Fun fact

      Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong aka – the Little Red Book is the second most published book in history

      I know I bought by fair share.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      My favorite communist song:

      There’s an old country road
      Leads to a river
      An old wooden fence
      Surrounds all the sinners
      Who stand by their graves
      Wondering what they’ve done wrong

      There’s a train whistle blown’
      Across a fiery dessert
      In search for the new land
      There treacherous weather
      Is headed for the mountain
      To preach a brand new way

      And it’s full of politicians
      Bankers and lawyers
      A fast talkin’ men
      Been armed to destroy us
      And keep us from the truth
      Consume, consume, consume

      Lies, lies
      Don’t believe them
      Don’t believe them

      And Westward they head
      Ravaging the villages
      They burn all the dead
      Their world is for the privileged
      And you’re not one of them
      You’re just a number

      So they came up with races, borders and fences

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      And job occupations and classifications
      Their aim, to conquer
      Divide, divide, divide

      Lies, lies
      Don’t believe them
      Don’t believe them

      We’re just one race
      One color, one number
      We’re just one man
      One father, one mother
      We must unite
      Before they take our lives

  6. bubbabobcat says:

    Yup, more “proof” the Southern Democrats of 30-50 years ago are the same as the current Southern Democrats.

    ““When the Democratic Party and its candidates become more liberal on culture and religion, that’s not a party that’s advocating what these whites [in the South] value or think.”


    • CaptSternn says:

      That’s almost funny, percentage of democrats that don’t win elections in the South, not counting those that do. D’oh!

      • CaptSternn says:

        There is a lot to be said when democrats are so ashamed of what they are and what they stand for that they start denying the fact that they are democrats, liberals, progressives, etc..

        Much like the PPACA, they are so ashamed of it they try to blame republicans for it, even for the very concept of it.

        And now you show that you are so ashamed of it all that you denounce FDR, even though the current president you support wants to be just like FDR.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        No point to be had. Like looking at a green light and stating it’s a green light.

      • johngalt says:

        Did you even read the article? It directly refutes your oft-made claim about why the switch from Dem to Rep occurred in the south.

        Some Dem strategist crunched some numbers and decided that running away from Obama and the ACA was the right move. The ACA has pretty good support amongst the Dem base and amongst independents that they need to get out. This was a stupid plan, epitomized by the dingbat in Kentucky who wouldn’t even admit to voting for Obama, and the outcome was obvious.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thaaaaat’s right buzzy, no point to be had at all….

        From just this blog post alone:

        kabuzz61 says:
        December 4, 2014 at 10:29 am

        “You democrats [sic] refuse to change. In the 50’s and sixties there were huge barriers for blacks put up by white, especially white democrats [sic] in the South. Policies were put in place to assure blacks would have the exact same rights as whites. Fast forward 57 years later and you guys have the same opinion of blacks.”

        CaptSternn says:
        December 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm

        “And democrats [sic] then are still democrats [sic] today, John.”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You are trying to use this article to prove a point that isn’t there when even the author says race probably has NOTHING to do with it. Lamo!

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, John, democrats are generally still democrats as they have always been, and republicans are generally still republicans as they have always been, though both have continued to move farther to the left. Democrats held the South by default because of Reconstruction. We are far removed from that time now, The memory has faded to the point that we put aside the animosity against republicans and voted democrats out because of the mess they have made.

        But the policies and positions and attitude about government has generally remained the same. Republicans were against slavery and wanted equal rights for all, republicans are against abortion and want equal rights for all. Democrats favored slavery, and when that was taken away, they came out with Jim Crow laws. Democrats favor abortion, the same denial of humanity to certain human beings and treat them as nothing more than property, denying them their basic human rights.

        Democrats favored socialism back in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Germany pretty much squashed that idea for a while, as did the USSR afterwards, but they never stopped pushing for it. They are still pushing for it more and more these days. Republicans have stood against socialism and communism, and are still standing against it today, for the most part. Progressives say the democrats are not pushing hard or fast enough, while conservatives say the republicans have given too much.

        Republicans have always been to the right and democrats have always been to the left. That’s why conservatives that value individual liberty and rights have generally been with the Republican Party, and progressives that value big government and socialism have generally been with the Democratic Party. There are those that go off to the Libertarian Party, the Green Party and so on. And while a person may not be a Democrat or a Republican, they will still vote for the democrats or republicans because the platform of the other is not something they agree with or support.

        Own what you are and what you support. Because if you can’t, if you are ashamed of what you are and what you support, then maybe you should rethink who and what you are along with who support and what they are and what they support.

      • johngalt says:

        And you once again demonstrate a view of political history as seen through rose-tinted glasses.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Reality and facts are not your friends, John. You are the one with the rose tinted glasses. Maybe you are also ashamed to be a U.S. citizen, ashamed of these United States in general?

      • johngalt says:

        Where the f* did that come from? Questioning the patriotism of those who disagree with you is a desperate tactic of someone with nothing constructive to add.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, are you proud of 89 years of slavery? Are you proud of the way American Indians were and are treated? Are you proud of the Jim Crow laws the party you support passed? Are you proud of the way people of Japanese descent were treated in WWII? Isn’t that what the whole “white guilt” is all about, what Lifer has been preaching about keeping people down by race? Blockbusting and redlining?

        Isn’t that what calling me a “neo-Confederate” is all about? Calling people that disagree with you “racists”? That was the whole point of Obama’s apology tour.

        Seems to me you are once again ashamed of what you believe in, what you stand for. Then you want to get offended when the mirror is held up in front of you.

      • johngalt says:

        That is not what you asked and is an utter and complete straw man.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Having a bad day, John? Democrats are still democrats, republicans are still republicans. Both have moved more and more to the left, but the core principles are still the same. Embrace your past and your present, don’t try to blame others or pretend that one party became the other.

      • CaptSternn says:

        All that being said, there is one caveat, something another person on this blog has said, and I am sorry that I cannot remember who said it to give due credit, and that is that republicans have in fact become the democrats of old, and democrats have become outright socialists/communists.

        I don’t really agree with that statement as a whole, but you can claim it, or you can claim democrats of old, people that still promote socialism and still view people that are not white males as being inferior.

        But what you cannot claim is that the Democratic Party has become the Republican Party of old.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sternn – If the GOP started advocating civil rights, single-payer, and a national income. If Democrats started to give a greater voice to Ted Cruz clones would you still remain a Republican.

        Because basically what you are saying is that ideology does not matter only party loyalty. Do I have your premise down correctly because that is exactly what you are claiming about the ideological shifts of the two major parties in the South.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ideology counts, Turtles. And the Republican party still supports individual liberty and rights, federalism, capitalism and equal rights for all. Democrats still support socialism, anti-federalism, that “minorities” are inferior and that some human beings are not really human beings but should be treated as nothing more than property.

        The ideology has not changed, other than both parties moved more and more to the left. Hence, the tea party movement that got started around 2003 or 2004, and people like me that voted for the Libertarian Party starting in 2002 and didn’t care for republicans even as far back as Reagan.

        Now if the platforms and ideology actually reversed, we would be voting for the other party. But that has not happened and I don’t see it happening, not in the past, not in the present, and not in the future.

        Seriously, if democrats started calling for individual liberty and rights, repealed the PPACA, minimum wage, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare at the federal level, abortion, and republicans suddenly started supporting such things, would you still vote for democrats?

        Thing is, democrats have traditionally supported socialism and treating some people as property, and republicans have traditionally denounced such things. Democrats have traditionally viewed people that are not white males as inferior, and they still do, republicans traditionally view all as being equal.

        I will stand with individual liberty and rights, and the capitalism that such things enable. You will continue to stand against them. Labels are not relevant other than the fact that those labels have been consistent.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Equal…as long as you aren’t a gay person wanting to get a marriage license.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Equal…as long as you aren’t Hindu, Muslim, atheist, or anything other than Judeo-Christian (and we are going to have to keep an eye on the Jew part of Judeo) since we have a whole boat load of Bible and Christian stuff in the GOP platform and positions.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Equal…unless you are a Black dude from Kenya who happens to get himself elected president, because then, we are going to have to see your papers.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Equal, as long as you choose KFC over Chick-Fil-A. Equal as long as you choose Michael’s over Hobby Lobby.

        You want your right to discriminate,but to deny others the same. You demand involuntary servitude of others, but want the freedom to not serve others involuntarily.

        For you slavery is freedom, freedom is slavery. Only you demand the slavery of others, force them to serve you, but not that you should be forced to serve them.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Equal when you can force a black person to kneel and serve you when that person does not choose to do so.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And most interesting that you suggest our current president was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I think you have said more than enough, HT. Probably too much.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        “For you slavery is freedom, freedom is slavery.”

        You know, I have that cross stitched into a little throw pillow.

        I’m just going to let Dr. Freud handle your awfully vivid and quick to come to mind imagery of forcing “a black person to kneel and serve you” flying in out of the blue and out of context.

        Buddy…you are kind of on a wacky little streak today.

        But hey, if you are speaking the truth to us wacky liberals and wanting us to own all the mis-deeds of the Democrat party of the past, you get to embrace being a whole lot of really current anti-gay stuff from your peeps.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Well Sternn – If your version of individual rights includes the ability to discriminate against people in the public marketplace then sign me up for the servitude. Unfortunately, for you the free world does not see “freedom” in your insane warped vision.

        Human rights will always take priority over property right in the public square to me. But I am a commie like that. I do not give two squirts about parties, I support the party that advances human rights and presents rational economic plans – something not found within the teapublicans. I really do not know why you support Libertarians because they seem to oppose everything you support. True Libertarians support a social safety net (federal level), minimum universal income, socialized healthcare, an end to the endless foreign wars, and support abortion. Eight years ago you would have been a neo-con but they started to pretend to be libertarians. . I know you you call them liberals but frankly they are actually radicals.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Sure, HT, we all know that a solidly blue state like California would never vote against same sex marriage.

        Turtles, you discriminate against people every day, all the time, but you don’t want others to have that same right. You are not for equal rights at all. And I am not a Libertarian, I am a libertarian leaning conservative. I disagree with them on abortion and isolationism. But you don’t have a clue what a true Libertarian is nor what they stand for. Let me help you out with that problem, here is your link …


      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        And while we all rightfully discriminate each and every day for any number of reasons and regarding any number of topics, as a society we decided that we would not allow businesses open to the public to discriminate based on race, gender, religion, and a few other key factors.

        As a society, we found the actions against some groups so outrageous and harmful, that we enacted legislation to help obtain equal access to the public marketplace.

        90% of the folks in the country, most of which could never agree on whether the sun was going to rise in the east on any given day, have decided this is a good thing for our country and for our people.

        The remaining 10%?

        Well, there is a chunk of unpleasantness in that 10% with which no one wants to be associated.

        The other small groups in there are college freshmen and sophomores who are taking their first econ or philosophy courses but who have not yet learned to keep two conflicting thoughts in their heads without misfiring synapses.

        Then we have Rand Paul in there.

        And Stern and Buzz round out that 10%.

        This is no principled stand you are taking for a philosophy. This is a foolish consistency devoid of recognition of atrocities and bereft of ability to walk a mile in another’s shoes.

        A where’s Waldo: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, HT, you just made the argument that there should be no state recognition of same sex marriage in states that voted against it. Tyranny of the majority. Legislating morality. You argue based on emotion. Inconsistent and against logic. Nothing new coming from the left.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Lovely writing there, HT.

        I’m appalled that Sternn has actually made this discussion *worse* during my latest hiatus.

        One wonders, with all his praise for private discrimination, how Sternn would respond to a bit of Amish-style shunning. If no sensible person on the blog responded, directly or indirectly, to Sternn’s ravings, then he and Tutt and kabuzz could gibber all they liked, but the lack of food for the fire might avoid these kinds of conflagrations of insanity, and indeed lessen them enough that it’d be easier to follow and enjoy the reasonable viewpoints and contributions of others.

        I speak this while acknowledging that I’ve blown Sternn’s fire (eww) more than just a time or two. But he and Tutt have made it clear that it’s just a troll thing; he has no intention of ever making sense, nor of accepting any.

      • flypusher says:

        “One wonders, with all his praise for private discrimination, how Sternn would respond to a bit of Amish-style shunning. If no sensible person on the blog responded, directly or indirectly, to Sternn’s ravings, then he and Tutt and kabuzz could gibber all they liked..”

        Sternn and Buzzy certainly shovel the BS, but Tutt has contributed many a thoughtful post. I also don’t think it’s up to her to tell Sternn what to do; he’s supposed to be an adult, so ownership of his bad behavior is entirely his.

        So yes, we could ignore, or have some fun and make a game of out it. I propose logical fallacies bingo, like this:


        If people are interested, I’ll compile a complete list, and randomly generate some cards. First person to post a quote of one of Sternn’s or Buzzy’s little gems with the correct definition of the type of fallacy claims the square. Of course we’d have to play blackout, as these guys often give you two-fers and three-fers in each post.

        Any takers?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Bless your heart Stern…your reading comprehension is willfully low today. At the time CRA 64 was passed, certainly the tyranny of the majority would have been against it. However, it was the right thing to do, and much like what will happen over the next several years with gay marriage, the people accepted it because it was the right thing to do.

        The cries of legislating morality require a chuckle when those cries are coming from the right.

        As has been pointed out to you a few thousand times, legislating for the ability for gay folks to have their marriage recognized by the state is not affecting your morality (or lack thereof).

        Although we wanted to put such provisions in there, no one is going to require you to kiss another boy. Heck, Buzz can continue to view gay folks as an abomination. Your lack of morality is not affected.

        Owl…actually, on this issue, Tutt is not with Stern. This is only the Buzz and Stern show, with Rand Paul.

        I can be pretty hard headed, but when people I like, trust, and respect have the diametrically opposite opinion from mine, I have found that it might be time to at least consider the extremely unlikely possibility that I could be mistaken about an issue, especially when the folks who agree with my position are people with whom I would not want to associate.

        It must be interesting to go through life without feeling such need for reflection. That would be the whole hobgobbling consistency stuff.

        Stern…I get that you are here for your jollies rather than for discussion, but on the off-chance that you have any of these discussion in real life where you are attempting to affect peoples’ opinions, I’ll offer a suggestion (that I have no doubt will be ignored).

        When you call requiring a restaurant to serve food to a Black person “slavery”, you have lost your audience and your argument. It is rhetoric reserved for college freshmen, college sophomores, and Fox News talking heads.

        You know what is like slavery? Slavery is like slavery. Requiring a restaurant owner to serve a Black person is not slavery, and to characterize it as such belittles slavery (in the US and throughout history) and it belittles the descendants of slaves.

        When folks who do not know you suggest that you might be a tad on the racist side, it is this rhetorical lack of perspective into others that fuels their perception. At least in the US, when you equate the requirement that Denny’s serve food to Black people to mass enslavement, torture, and murder of a race people, folks might suggest you do not take Black people’s history seriously.

        The above sentiment also holds any time someone wants to talk about being raped by taxes.

        Look at that…HT being all helpful to people today.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Fly and HT, thanks for the kind words about Tutt. Seems that the bird is so far gone that the fowl can’t see that Tutt is far less abrasive than myself and doesn’t share all my views nor agrees with me on everything.

        HT, do you know what involuntary servitude is like? It is like involuntary servitude. If you force somebody to serve you or anyone else against their will, when they do no voluntarily serve a person or people, it is involuntary servitude.

        Amendment XIII
        Section 1. – Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
        Section 2. – Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

        Should I also quote other amendments that oppose assumed and automatic guilt, or should we just deal with one at a time so you can keep up?

        You argue that the majority should rule over the minority, except when you argue against it. You argue that we should legislate morality, except when you don’t want morality to be legislated. I am consistent across the board, backed up by the U.S. Constitution and the founding principles of this state and nation, though it is a fact that those founders didn’t exactly apply those principles as they should have.

        I do find it amusing that y’all are now reduced to calling me insecure and a troll. That is a sure sign of weakness on your part. I suppose it should be expected from people that are incapable of being consistent and base all arguments on their emotions. I am secure and I have no intention of saying things just to get people emotionally upset.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I’ve been wondering what to get your for Christmas, but I think I’ve decided that a dictionary (and a tranquilizer) would be the perfect gift.

        In the spirit of Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other:
        A. Slavery
        B. Indentured Servitude
        C. A Denny’s in Alabama not being able to refuse to serve pancakes to Black folks

      • CaptSternn says:

        Involuntary servitude, HT. Can you understand it? You certainly do everything you can to avoid the subject. You can’t even spell it properly.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Yes Stern…let us critique spelling and word choice.

        Hey buddy, let that libertarian freak flag fly and start ranting about forced schooling for seven year olds, the draft, and jury duty. Heck, we can probably even lump in alimony into the evils of involuntary surfing-tude.

        I might note that your typical rant includes “freedom is slavery, slavery is freedom”, you might want to revise that.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Willfully missed the point again.

      Just shocked, absolutely shocked….

  7. CaptSternn says:

    Speaking of oil prices, and maybe fuel prices, maybe sort of on and also off topic, what is the deal with diesel prices? Some years ago diesel prices were lower than regular gasoline, now it is higher than premium gasoline in some places. I see the price of diesel anywhere from $3.09 to $3.99. Gasoline prices vary, but not by that much. Any ideas?

    • Turtles Run says:

      I do not deal with blends or retail level trading but from a quick search I found. Local prices are literally set by the downstream retail groups for fuel stations. The operators of these stations have no or little voice in the setting of prices. Diesel is more of an international fuel for autos and in the winter months must also compete with heating oil in the north (dang Yankees) so the issue with price is more of a component of supply constraints..


      • johngalt says:

        I’ll take your word for it, on retail pricing, but I’ve been surprised at how much local variation there is. There is a Shell at Holcombe and Kirby that is consistently 15-20 cents more expensive than the Shell at Holcombe and Greenbriar, less than a half-mile away. How does that happen? The Kroger on South Main undercuts everyone, even before the loyalty card discounts.

      • Turtles Run says:

        JG – There really is no logic I can understand. The stuff comes from the same refineries so how Shell, BP, and others set the local prices is a mystery other than – that is the price people will pay in that area. The gas prices on Washington Avenue are obscene. I fill up at my local Sam’s Club because the price is generally lower especially on Super Unleaded.

        I worked at Shell for years and when I asked the very same question the answer wass that local operators do not set prices. They are contacted daily on the price point.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Some stations are owned by the company and the company sets the price. Others are franchises and the owners have more independence.

        Turtles, I didn’t consider the heating oil issue, but then diesel has come down from the summer prices. I forgot that diesel is more popular in the rest of the world than it is here. But I guess the real point you have is that fuel will be priced based on what people in that area will pay. the $3.99 per gallon in close to River Oaks, the $3.19 per gallon price is usually found in small rural towns away from the interstates. I am not sure about that one place that was priced at $3.09 per gallon. Probably can’t move diesel, which means it is old stuff they can’t get rid of. Think I will pass on that one.

        Owning a diesel makes me more aware of those prices and what they do to the trucking industry. Diesel prices at truck stops along the interstates are some of the highest, almost as high as that place near River Oaks. The lower prices tend to be at stations that an 18-wheeler could never fit.

      • Turtles Run says:

        What my retailers told me the most important thing to look for when buying fuel – How busy is the station. Busy stations turn over inventories quicker so the stuff has less chance for contamination.

        In other words stay away from the fuel at slow stations. NO MATTER the price.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “In other words stay away from the fuel at slow stations. NO MATTER the price.”

        Good advice. That is why I think I will avoid that place that has diesel at $3.09.

  8. BigWilly says:

    You know that the US has its priorities in order when you can buy a big screen TV with all the bells and whistles for a couple of hundred dollars, but your cancer treatment will bankrupt you if it saves your life.

    Bubbles? The bubbles are deliberate. Remember “Irrational exuberance?” Where did we end up as a result of liberal banking laws? We got looted and then we got a kick in the backside to boot.

    Don’t mess with Chris Rock, he’s telling you straight.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Um, a TV is a lot less that advanced health care. There are some simple reasons for that. It has nothing to do with priorities, unless of course the person is spending too much on stuff and not health.

      • BigWilly says:

        I’m stumped.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Not sure I understand. A TV doesn’t mean doctors with advanced degrees that spent years in college and learning to evaluate each person, diagnose the problem, create a unique treatment program for each patient, a nursing staff, a hospital, pharma companies doing research and development, high end lab equipment, months of services rendered, …

        TVs are mass produced. Maybe it would be like me saying that a life saving treatment can cost just a few thousand dollars, but some cars cost millions and can bankrupt a person? Does it really compare? Is it about priorities?

        And I will apologize beforehand about this next bit, but when I read “bubbles”, I couldn’t help but think of …

      • BigWilly says:

        Nope, I’m not getting it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Willy, you mean the bubbles video didn’t help clear things up?

      • “Or freely associate and bitch about freedom and rights and endless philosophical arguments about basic principles. Some people get some shit done, the philosophers still get to ramble.”

        Indeed, Crogged. The overarching narrative of the vast majority of our nation’s history has been about people getting, ahem, “stuff” done *without* the federal government telling them (via incredibly obtuse 2,000 page bills) how to do it.

        Above I suggested a *simple* change in tax law that would encourage people to get things done on their own. Contrast this with the hundreds and hundreds of pages in PPACA that tell people exactly what they *must* do, and exactly *how* they must do it. That, in a nutshell, is the difference between liberty-loving Americans and statist socialists. The former have faith in the American citizenry, and understand that fewer, simpler, carefully crafted laws set the stage for Americans to prosper by getting stuff done on there own. The latter, as embodied by people like Jon Gruber, have *no* faith in the American citizenry, and basically think we’re all too stupid and/or morally corrupt to tie our own shoes. Thus the justification for a vast administrative state to govern the very minutiae of our daily lives, all for our own good of course. 😉

        Only question is, Crogged, where do you want to come down? As a liberty-loving American who believes in the fundamental goodness and plain common sense of the overwhelming majority of your neighbors? Or as a totalitarian socialist elitist who despises the common man, despises our history and achievements, and who thinks the only way to ameliorate the inevitable warts of a free society is to put us all on the road to serfdom as minions of a leviathan administrative state? Here’s the cool thing: you get to make the call! 🙂

      • Sorry, Crogged, meant to post that below.

        BTW, when you make your call, please choose wisely. Behind door ‘A’ is a future where you get to keep making your own choices. Behind door ‘B’ is a future where you don’t have any choices at all:

      • johngalt says:

        “Contrast this with the hundreds and hundreds of pages in PPACA that tell people exactly what they *must* do, and exactly *how* they must do it.” – Tracy

        This is largely not the case. The law tells individuals that they must have some insurance coverage that meets minimum standards or pay a penalty. Much of the rest of it addresses how companies have to meet those minimum standards. If you think that is an unconscionable increase in government intrusion into the private market, then you’ve never dealt with a state insurance regulator.

    • Crogged says:

      Collective action can free every individual, granted, not every collective action. Read your Hayek and open your mind. Insurance isn’t free, but a powerful tool.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Collective action usually destroys freedom in the end. Read Rand’s “We the Living” and open your mind.

        Insurance, like just about everything else, should be a free choice.

      • BigWilly says:

        Read Ayn Rand? It makes me gives the hives just thinking about it. I’m busy finishing off Special Reports, and it’s about all of the excitement I can handle.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Read Hayek? I know I said I would, but I haven’t gotten around to doing so yet. Notice I no longer post a link to the “Illustrated Road to Serfdom” these days?

        And I am still not getting your point about a TV costing less than some health care treatments.

      • Crogged, I think you are confusing collective action as performed through a free association of individuals with collective action as performed by government. With the former, all such collective action is entirely voluntary and freely entered into by consenting parties. With the latter, the coercive might of the state is always in play and all parties are subject to that coercion. Some parties are inevitably forced to participate in government-enforced collective action against their will.

        With respect to healthcare, the former is embodied in a private market for health insurance (which we haven’t really had for decades). The latter is embodied in PPACA, and in more extreme forms, single payer government provided healthcare. I submit to you the latter is incompatible with a nation founded on the principles of individual liberty, and that’s why Obamacare remains so persistently unpopular.

        The left likes to call healthcare a ‘right’ (not a natural right mind you, but rather a social justice benefit, which is to be proffered by a benevolent state to deserving sectors of the populace). I think it’s actually more useful to think of healthcare as a necessity, on a par with food and housing. Because of the way the left thinks about healthcare, the left is entirely comfortable with ending tax breaks for employer provided insurance and thus subjecting *everybody* to an additional tax burden. However, we don’t typically tax food and other necessities. If we treated healthcare like a necessity, it would actually make sense to extend the employer-provided health insurance tax breaks to *all* healthcare insurance, thus enabling *all* citizens to purchase health insurance with pre-tax dollars. (You will note that such a change would actually benefit *citizens*, rather than the state. Chew on that for a bit.)

        We have a long tradition in this country of subsidizing necessities for the low income segment of the populace; people are comfortable with this idea. Food stamps are in effect vouchers for an important necessity. Low income insurance vouchers could play the same role in healthcare.

        The above notions are just two of the ways that minor “swerves” in the way we think about things could have a major, positive impact on the populace. Open your mind, my friend, to the power of collective action through free association. It’s what liberty is all about.

      • BigWilly says:

        A Free Choice. Who can disagree with that? I’m with you on sentiment, but I’ll use Professional Skepticism regarding the rest. I will test, and I will analyze, and sift and winnow the results, and then I will make a call.

        With the PPACA, so far, I think my outcome has been largely positive. It’s really just an old idea who’s time has come. Why not just work with the President for the remainder of his term to make it better?

        Without it I’d be free to not be able to not choose with health insurance.

      • CaptSternn says:

        TThor, there are times you aggravate me. Reminds me of the line Willis said in the movie “The Siege”, the difference between the scalpel and the broad sword. You being the former, me being the latter.

      • johngalt says:

        Tracy writes: “I think it’s actually more useful to think of healthcare as a necessity, on a par with food and housing.”

        And of course, government does not provide citizens with food and housing, except that we do at the very lowest, subsistence level. The thing is that health care is not a normal good. With housing, someone’s level of wealth and income determines to a large degree the housing in which they live. You make a lot of money, you live in a really nice house with satellite TV, a Nest thermostat, and a pool out back. If you’re poor you live in a shotgun shack whose roof leaks and rats crawl in from the abandoned house next door. The true liberals would complain that this is social injustice, but it’s reality. The rich eat sea bass and arugula, the poor eat rice and beans (or they should, because at least they’re nutritious).

        Now health care is different. While there are certainly behaviors that lead to ill health, there are health problems that are simply bad luck – if your wife gets breast cancer at 35 or your kid gets leukemia at 6, there is nothing they did to “deserve” it. Some kids have asthma, some adults have autoimmune diseases. These do not happen more often in people who can afford to consume more health care. The poor can seek low cost alternative to treatment, but they are inefficient and not particularly affordable anyway.

        Health care is not a normal good. The need to consume it does not scale with income, unlike essentially everything else in this economy. Comparing it to housing or food, or anything else, is apples to oranges. This is why it should be treated differently than other economic activity. The costs to our economy from lost productivity, lost lives, and simple inefficiency are staggering. We spend nearly twice as much as the next most profligate developed economy for outcomes that are no better than anywhere else.

      • Crogged says:

        The PPCA to healthcare is the CFTC to the commodity markets. There is no ‘government’ running NYMEX or CBOT, but there are rules to the market enforced by further government regulation-the participants freely buy or sell, or hedge with swaps the positions they take on these exchanges, under the rules of the exchange. They buy a fungible product-a contract which represents a sum certain of an amount of the underlying commodity, one contract is x thousand barrels of y grade of oil.

        Each state in the PPCA can set up an exchange (or as we see now-not set one up), by which some of the mechanism of how a true ‘free market’ operates can be applied to health care insurance. It’s an imperfect means of trying to use real world free market economic principles to a very imperfect market where buyers will never have the market power of sellers. So, make insurance a fungible, allow the states to have their ‘own’ NYMEX of insurance products. Increase the number of people in the market via tax credits.

        Or freely associate and bitch about freedom and rights and endless philosophical arguments about basic principles. Some people get some shit done, the philosophers still get to ramble.

      • johngalt says:

        Tracy – my comment may have seemed directed at you but that was not my intention. It was just a general observation (starting from an offhand comparison you made) that health care is not like most of the rest of the things we spend money on.

      • Crogged says:

        Well I suppose if we make everyone have a job with adjoining tax credits in order to get medical care we aren’t slaves……..

        Why not use the risk sharing mechanism of insurance with private enterprise in order to provide medical care to the population as an entirety. There will be some ‘winners’-real sick people who don’t pay as much in as benefits they receive. The rest of us will have to suffer and live forever.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “We spend nearly twice as much as the next most profligate developed economy for outcomes that are no better than anywhere else.”

        We spend more because we are allowed to spend more. The government is not yet able to legally deny us health care, nor are insurance companies. Ad we get more, more in quantity and better quality. Then again, tanning beds are now considered health care expenses.

        Interesting that you also suggest that a kid living in poverty has done something to deserve it.

        What you are missing is personal responsibility. A responsible parent will have insurance for their child, even if not for themselves. That was actually an option before the PPACA destroyed that free choice. And adult makes their own choice, they might reap the rewards or they might suffer the consequences. That is their right to make such a free choice, except the democrats have violated that right and taken it away.

        That’s what the left is all about, destroying our liberty and rights and inserting control over the individuals.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Well I suppose if we make everyone have a job with adjoining tax credits in order to get medical care we aren’t slaves……..”

        From each according his ability, to each according his need.

      • johngalt says:

        “We spend more because we are allowed to spend more.”

        That is one of the most staggeringly bizarre analyses of the U.S. health care system that I’ve ever read. We spend more because we have an inefficient system of paying for health care in which literally thousands of companies negotiate with providers on costs, in which pricing of services is completely opaque, in which consumers have no idea what their insurance actually costs because it does not directly come out of their paycheck, in which providers are paid for individual services provided rather than outcomes, in which cost-effectiveness of treatments is never considered, in which we cannot even have a conversation about end-of-life issues without referring to death panels, and in which government-funded programs are not even permitted to negotiate drug prices with companies.

        The complexity of the system is beyond belief. Every procedure has an insurance code, which differs from company to company. I’m not an M.D., but I get a dozen emails a week from companies offering to train my (nonexistent) staff on proper insurance coding or offering to do it for me on a contract basis.

        Obamacare is intended to cover more people. It does nothing to solve any of the problems I mentioned (although there is some money for comparative effectiveness research, which is good), but nothing that preceded it solved the problems either.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        John Galt, now we have more insurance than ever, and health care is even more complicated and bureaucratic.

        Call me naive, but I wish we could go back to just dealing directly with health care providers, and taking out the bureaucratic, bloated middleman. “Tell me what it costs, and I will pay you in installments. We can work this out between ourselves.” Is that so out of line and unheard of?

        I was thinking similarly about immigration, how perhaps we see it as more complicated than it has to be. As Kabuzz says, legal immigration is possible. Legal immigration may take years, but that’s preferable to waiting for 20 years for amnesty to magically appear, to have to depend on a bunch of fickle lawmakers to take action. Better to take matters into one’s own hands.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I find that the best way to live is to take matters into one’s own hands, quietly, keeping a low profile and not allowing oneself to get caught up in public hysteria about how complicated things are.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        However, I AM in favor of CATASTROPHIC health coverage.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I don’t know, John Galt. I don’t have any final answers, any concrete policy that would work for everyone. Just some ideas to consider.

      • BigWilly says:

        Political discourse has largely devolved into “suggestive selling,” something I was unable to master during my brief run at McCootchies.

        Would you like some Commie Sauce with your order?

        The Free Individual, in all of His Glory, is not what the GOP (or any sociopolitical entity) is trying to create here.

        They want you to respond to the Commie Sauce suggestion with a yes and then, in a fit of inspiration, you’ll impulsively add the Real American Cheese.

        Do I get the preferred customer discount if I mention the Racist Pickles?

        Ah the Pavlovian slobberiness of it all.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Meh, getting long winded in the last few comments. I just deleted seven paragraphs from this one

        John, bottom line, why not change the system to one where people have the option to buy catastrophic plans, or no plans at all? For the general office visits, have the customer pay, and if they have a policy that covers such things, have that customer submit their own claims to their insurance company after paying the doctor up front?

        You have some very good and valid points in your comment, and some that are not. To be short, yes, we are allowed to spend more. The government, as of yet, does not have the power to deny care. Nor do private insurance companies. Part of the spending more is because people do not understand the system or what is being spent or even what they are paying or what is being paid.

        You have a great point about the cost of employer provided insurance taken out of the pay before a person sees it, so they don’t really understand what is being taken or what it covers or on what it is being spent. I would make that same argument against federal income taxes.

        Obamacare, the PPACA, is intended to take away more of our liberty and rights, it is intended to be a step in the destruction of the private health care system. Obama has said it, his supporters have said it, supporters of socialism have said it, supporters of the “single payer” government run health care system have said it. And yet when confronted by that truth, they all turn away in shame and deny it, much like denying that democrats of today are the same as democrats of old.

        And yes, the left really wants those “death panels”. Why treat old people that are no longer productive? Why not just kill people that might be born with birth defects? My mom is already being denied health care because of it. One of my younger cousins was almost sentenced to death because of it.

        Aaaaaand I am still long winded.

    • Crogged says:

      Really, the PPACA represents the leviathan state and sends us to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago and loss of all freedom and light in the world. Or is it a modification of the last fifty years of a haphazard and hodgepodge provision of insurance in the US via employers, which product the insurance provides has drastically changed in scope and quality.

      Insurance works, the bigger the pool the better it works. Sorry about that, loss of freedom and all.

    • Crogged says:

      Yes, federal legislation has changed since we no longer dig our own water wells or have to kill our own supper.

      I like the soldiers on the wall, looking for the next invader who would take our way of life and I read what you say in the same vein, but to claim that reorganizing the provision of health care in this country using private enterprise insurance companies is the next to last step before ‘totalitarian socialist elitist’, well, good luck with writing the legislation replacing it.

      Never will I defend Gruber, or Schumer, to hell with them. More people who had a hard time getting medical care because of the cost of insurance can now have it. Sorry that sucks for you.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And more people are denied health care because of it. Gruber and the rest use you. They say you are too stupid to know what is best for you and your family, and you agree with them.

      • Crogged says:

        Did I stutter(er)? Tell you what–tell us how many other web pages you read have advertisements for investing in gold on them. Some good ideas have come from people who are scared of people like you and the constant calls of ‘communism’, ‘Marxism’ and worst of all, ‘liberalism’. Or they believe people on the fence really wonder if modification of health insurance laws might be ‘communism’ and worry when small elections with bad candidates are emblematic of something other than what they are, bad facts make bad conclusions. I am a ‘totalitarian socialist elitist’, who will never be scared of your inability to articulate any coherent idea without resorting to infantile over generalization.

      • johngalt says:

        I know that if my family had a pre-existing condition, pre-ACA it would have essentially been impossible to buy insurance on the private, individual market. I would have had the freedom of choosing where I worked eliminated, having to accept a job someplace that would cover me – usually after a waiting period – even with the pre-existing conditions. Loss of freedom, such as it is, is not one-sided. There were plenty of people trapped by the system before the ACA returned their ability to make the best choices for their families.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, why would you wait until you or a member of your family gets sick and then seek health insurance? Wouldn’t you be more responsible to have health insurance before the fact instead of demanding coverage after the fact? Or maybe you just can’t handle the concept of personal responsibility and reap the rewards or deal with the consequences?

  9. kabuzz61 says:

    Chris Ladd:

    I know you had DanMan banned for very inappropriate behavior which is your call to make. But there is also a commenter that goes by the name of Bubba that is equally if not more inappropriate then DanMan, yet you give him free reign. Why is that? Isn’t bad behavior bad behavior? I request you revisit this subject.

    • johngalt says:

      Frankly, I’d enjoy these discussions more if a number of posters would dial back the personal invectives.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I try not to speak to someones character as I do not know them, but sometimes it ekes through. But some just go nuts right out of the chute.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Kind of proving the point. You are inferring I am whining when you neither know me or my motive. Read my post. DanMan was inappropriate, no doubt and Bubba is tied or exceeding the cruelty. Fairs fair. I am not asking Chris to reveal Bubba’s employment IP.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I also didn’t openly taunt and disobey the owner of this blog and log in under different ID’s buzzy. But typical of the “all about the world according to me” right wing mantra, “fair” is getting your way no matter what the reality is. Methinks you have an unhealthy obsession/vendetta just because your favorite troll has been banished.

    • flypusher says:

      So it’s not that Dan was a SOB troll, but rather that he was YOUR SOB troll. Yeah Bubba is partisan, and yeah he gets snarky, but no one else here is in Dan’s (lack of) class. If anyone else ever sunk that low again, I’d have no complaints about them getting banned, but fortunately it hasn’t happened since.

      Also let me get my nano-violin out for one of the snarkiest posters complaining about getting snarked at in return.

      • lomamonster says:

        No points have been proven, nor will any of them at this rate… Haven’t even seen a point anyway.

  10. johngalt says:

    This has nothing to do with oil prices, but I’m trying to help Chris keep the comments up :). Chris Rock has a wide-ranging interview in this month’s New York Magazine that is a pleasure to read. He makes one of the best comments on race I’ve heard in a long time:
    “When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”

    Most of it is about other things, but he hits on race, politics, Obama, other comedians, etc.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I always found this to be the best Chris Rock line: “If you’re black, you got to look at America a little bit different. You got to look at America like the uncle who paid for you to go to college, but who molested you.”

      The article is really good. His comment on his kids and race relations are especially interesting.

    • CaptSternn says:

      I almost quit reading the interview when he said that colleges were too conservative, too socially conservative, that refusing to keep score in games kids played was a conservative issue, that political correctness was a problem that conservatives created. But I kept on reading because I think I should do so if I am going to comment on it.

      The part that jumped out at me was his view that his daughters didn’t understand racism, they would have to be taught racism. He didn’t come out and directly say it, but he did suggest that he would try to teach them racism. Later generations just don’t have it naturally. I am going on 50 and I didn’t grow up with it, was never taught it. Lifer has to go back to times before he was born to try to bring out the “white guilt”, unless he is in his 70’s or older.

      Rock doesn’t want to or wouldn’t want to interview black people about racism or Ferguson, only white people. Seems to me he is very afraid of what black people would say, the racism some have been taught.

      Rock doesn’t believe that people can better their lot in life by working to better their lot in life, and he claims that his ability to provide a better life for his own children is unfair while working to achieve and give his own children better chances, which he claims is unfair.

      Or maybe he was just trying to be funny and make people like me either laugh or just shake our heads. After all, he is a comedian. That’s his job. That’s his profession.

      • johngalt says:

        I should hardly be surprised that you missed the points he was trying to make by a country mile.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I understand the point he actually made, John, which seems to be over your head.

        The left needs racism, they thrive on it, they depend on it. It is their very core principle. It is why the left promotes it so much, it is why they can’t have honest and intelligent discussions on anything from the weather, the climate or even immigration. When it doesn’t happen naturally, they will go forth and teach it, just as Rock said he would have to do with his daughters.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I read this article before you posted it. I find it to be whiny and full or judgements he tries to pull off as wisdom. Which is unfortunate as I was a big fan of his.

        I do not except the principle of inheiriting my ancestors actions. I take full responsibility to my actions today but the past is the past. Total BS to equate leaving an estate with leaving bad behavior. When a lawyer reads the will to the remaining family he doesn’t say “and I leave all the problems I caused with society to my children.’

        The Captain hits it on the head. White guilt is running amok in the democrats mind as is racism. Guilt is not a motivator, it is a hinderence to success.

        “Hey man. Why are you carrying all those suitcases around?” Let it go. Both sides. Let.It.Go.

      • johngalt says:

        The responses from Sternn and Kabuzz are not surprising, but they are ironic, because they are exactly the white people Rock would want to interview about race.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, that is a very lame response. Why is it you and your buddies here carry such a guilt for being white when you had no choice? Why do you think minorities are so inferior that white people have to lower standards and give preference because you think they are not able to compete with whites on an even playing field?

        Conservatives on the other hand believe everyone who wants to can achieve whatever success they are working towards. Conservatives encourage all people to study, work hard and apply yourself. Only democrats think they are not able to. Why is that?

      • johngalt says:

        Why is what, Kabuzz? Why do you and Sternn have such a pollyanna view of the world that is at odds with every shred of evidence? I mean, seriously, if this is how you view the world, you are sufficiently distanced from reality that any comments from me are not going to show you the light.

      • flypusher says:

        “Why do you think minorities are so inferior that white people have to lower standards and give preference because you think they are not able to compete with whites on an even playing field?”

        The recent discussion here has been about the fraudulent practices of blockbusting and redlining. Somehow, with buzzy’s mysterious logic, saying that these practices are wrong, prevent the generational accumulation of wealth, and need to be stopped is somehow the same as saying that non-whites can’t compete. I really am curious how that transmutation takes place.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mr. Rock does seem to be confusing the political labels, but it doesn’t matter. He makes the point that he doesn’t like those who call for “taking back our country,” nor is he a fan of those who insist on politically correct speech.

      • flypusher says:

        To me, one great indicator of a NJ ( be it right or left) is seriously using the phrase “take our country back.”

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, there’s a difference between a sense of personal guilt and a sense of personal responsibility, about as profound as the difference between the negative and positive poles of a battery.

        But apparently Tea Party conservatives are incapable of comprehending or expressing either. And they are increasingly being recognized as just such depleted, worn-out cells.

    • flypusher says:

      I like this particular line:

      “It’s about white people adjusting to a new reality?

      Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.”

      I didn’t make this country, or any of its racial problems, but I have inherited them. As GOP-lifer Chris said in a previous post, there is an important difference between guilt and responsibility. I don’t feel any guilt for bad things that I didn’t do. But I have the responsibility that comes with what I have inherited, the good and the bad.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      John Galt, what got my attention was the similarity to something Kabuzz brought up in the past, about whether it was Jackie Robinson who was responsible for breaking through the color barrier in baseball, or the White “owner” who opened the barrier. After all, it’s not as though Jackie Robinson was THAT much better than previous players toiling in the Negro Leagues for years. Timing had a lot to do with it.

      As Chris Rock points out, it’s not that Blacks have become better people, it’s that Whites have become better people, the scales have fallen from the eyes of White people with respect to Blacks, and this is what has “allowed” the situation of Blacks to improve over time.

      The sad thing is how the state of Black society still hinges on the actions of Whites.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Reality is still somehow defined by Whites, from a White perspective. I kind of like the idea of a reality, an environment defined and run by Blacks, where Blacks have the power; however, this could too easily venture into a world of segregated environments, and the last thing we need is more segregation.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Tutt, as long as democrat’s continue to have a mind set of minorities being inferior and can’t achieve unless helped by the white man, it will continue. The amazing thing is how the black people consistantly side with the party that thinks they are unable to compete with whites.

      • johngalt says:

        “Black society,” whatever that means, still hinges on the action of whites, because whites own all the capital in this country. Chris (Ladd, not Rock) has posted data previously that document the accumulated wealth in this country by race, with striking (or shocking) disparities between white and black. A big part of the explanation for this is that my parents and grandparents were able to build wealth, largely through home ownership and middle class jobs, while institutional barriers prevented Rock’s family from doing so. He has an angrier column, I believe in the Hollywood Reporter, in which he described his mother and other blacks in his hometown in South Carolina, having to go to a veterinarian to have teeth pulled because the only dentist in town wouldn’t treat them. The vet. That kind of indignity, and so many others on top of it, leaves a very long hangover.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Kabuzz, keep in mind, though, that there are racist White people from the OTHER party who would do everything in their power to keep Black people down. So neither side is perfect.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        John Galt, he does mention the vet/dentist in the link you posted as well.

      • flypusher says:

        “That kind of indignity, and so many others on top of it, leaves a very long hangover.”

        That’s what the forces of ignorance just don’t get. You can’t simply wave a magic wand and say”the playing field is now level!” It takes time and hard work to purge that poison from our society.

        And not just the vet, but sneaking into the back door at the vet’s. Jeeeeesh!!!!

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You democrats refuse to change. In the 50’s and sixties there were huge barriers for blacks put up by white, especially white democrats in the South. Policies were put in place to assure blacks would have the exact same rights as whites. Fast forward 57 years later and you guys have the same opinion of blacks. It is you that has not made progress as Rock mentioned. It is you that keeps thinking blacks are incapable. There can be no other reason for you to have the 1960’s mindset in today’s time.

        I think a good self analysis of you and your party is in order to see what is really driving your view.

      • flypusher says:

        Buzzy, I’m not a Dem, and I’d bet a fair amount that JohnGalt isn’t either. There’s a much broader spectrum of political thought than just Tea party and liberals.

        This discrimination by race crap isn’t magically gone, like you delude yourself into thinking. Redlining still happens.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “Fast forward 57 years later and you guys have the same opinion of blacks.”

        buzzy rails so firmly against the idea of inherited guilt, and yet here he is foisting it upon others. That’s why hypocrisy is a Tea Party value.

        Never mind that it’s quite clear, when looking over the demographics in the area, that many White Democratic voters from then, or their children, are now White Republican voters.

        Reality has a liberal bias; that’s why so many conservatives like kabuzz and comic-boy prefer to spend their time elsewhere.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Fly, you’re not a democrat like I’m not a republican.

      • johngalt says:

        “…white democrats in the South…”

        And here we go again. Buzz, you have said that you were born in Pennsylvania, but I absolutely guarantee that if you were a white guy who believes what you appear to believe in Texas in 1950 you would have been a Democrat. You and Stern can delude yourself otherwise, but the rest of us know some history.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And democrats then are still democrats today, John.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Excellent interview, JG. Thanks.

      I particularly liked this:

      It’s about white people adjusting to a new reality?

      Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Hey, as long as two middle-aged White guys in Texas feel that racism is not a problem, then I guess that should be good enough for Black folks to just quit whining about it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        You’re not being very helpful this morning with your “gentle sarcasm and faux bewilderment.”

      • flypusher says:

        “Hey, as long as two middle-aged White guys in Texas feel that racism is not a problem, then I guess that should be good enough for Black folks to just quit whining about it.”

        It doesn’t inconvenience me, ergo, it cannot exist and must be a deranged construct of liberals.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        It is hard to be helpful when two middle-aged White dudes are pretty explicitly saying that racism has ended except for Democrats and liberals.

        Minorities represent 50% of the NYC population, but make up 80% of stop and frisks. Once stopped, Whites were actually frisked 8% of the time. Minorities were frisked 85% of the time.

        Whites and Blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales, at roughly comparable rates. While African Americans comprise 13% of the US population and 14% of monthly drug users, they are 37% of the people arrested for drug offenses.

        U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that in the federal system, black offenders receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders for the same crimes.

        University of Wisconsin found that 17% of white job applicants with criminal records received call backs from employers while only 5% of black job applicants with criminal records received call backs.

        Job applicants with “Black-sounding” names were 50 percent less likely to get a callback than applications with “White-sounding” names with comparable resumes.

        Undoubtedly, there are extenuating circumstances that would affect the results for some individuals, but to ignore all of these (and a few hundred other examples) requires an incredible amount of mental gymnastics or some really thick blinders.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        How many of the arrests of blacks were by a black officer or other minority. You cherry pick data to force a point that is not there.

        No one said racism is gone. You put words in peoples mouths because you can’t defend your position. Racism happens by all colors. It is not nearly comparable with the 60’s like you guys think.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Tuttabella, HT’s “gentle sarcasm and faux bewilderment” is really the only civil response to Sterrn’s vacuousness. I mean, I can be more impolitic and blunt and just state that your boyfriend is a self-deluded asshole. You’ve taken some earlier notice of that with your gentle reproofs to his rhetorical excesses, for which I thank you. But I hope you at least privately, if not publicly, acknowledge the obvious problem that HT is subtly addressing.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ow, I was actually teasing HT. I often describe his posting style as “gentle sarcasm and faux bewilderment,” and I was stealing a phrase from Stephen, the new kid on the block, who the other day, not knowing HT was just being sarcastic, scolded him for “not being helpful.”

      • flypusher says:

        Undoubtedly, there are extenuating circumstances that would affect the results for some individuals, but to ignore all of these (and a few hundred other examples) requires an incredible amount of mental gymnastics or some really thick blinders.

        kabuzz61 says:
        December 4, 2014 at 11:18 am
        How many of the arrests of blacks were by a black officer or other minority. You cherry pick data to force a point that is not there.

        Right on &$@%-ing cue. How does race of an arresting officer affect conviction rates, or lengths of sentences, and job application call backs? Got any data?

        You are so lame buzzy.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl, and Cap reserves his rhetorical excesses for the online world. His beef is with liberals, not with minorities. His scorn is not race-based, it’s totally partisan.

        In private he is mild-mannered. He doesn’t have a vulgar bone in his body, doesn’t cuss, doesn’t use the N word (nor is he tempted to). He’s not loud, obnoxious, or boorish, as some people here seem to think.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Thank you my dear lady.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “His beef is with liberals.”

        No, it isn’t. His beef is with his imaginary, self-delusional FANTASIES of liberals, as is revealed with every backwards, straw-man tangent he throws down. Perhaps he’s genuinely clueless about both history and present events; perhaps his mild manner day-to-day requires an online refuge as a trollish boor; but the sickness expresses itself in the same fashion, either way.

        Again and again, in debate after debate, on topic after topic, he’s deeply insecure and willfully dishonest. If that doesn’t come out in his off-line life, then you are insanely lucky. For now.

      • flypusher says:

        “Again and again, in debate after debate, on topic after topic, he’s deeply insecure and willfully dishonest. If that doesn’t come out in his off-line life, then you are insanely lucky. ”

        Another reason we could hope it’s just some sort of troll-ish performance art.

      • texan5142 says:

        “Again and again, in debate after debate, on topic after topic, he’s deeply insecure and willfully dishonest. If that doesn’t come out in his off-line life, then you are insanely lucky. ”

        “Another reason we could hope it’s just some sort of troll-ish performance art.”

        Agreed! Especially since he is armed.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I wouldn’t call it performance art. I’d call it a game, a sport, a pastime.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Texan, you’re funny, in an absurd sort of way. Just my style of humor, remember?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Cry me a river. History, reality and facts are not your friends. We see exactly what the left stands for every day, at least those of that are not in denial.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I tend to be rather serious, but Cap makes me laugh with his posting style.

        He just needs to realize that some people may take him at face value, that his words can hurt, and come to think of it, THOSE people may be armed.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, in other words, he’s a deeply unserious Internet troll who gets his kicks out of gratuitously annoying and insulating other people. You, Tutt, approve of and enjoy it, too.

        I’m sorely disappointed. Apparently you aren’t the woman I thought you were, and I wonder how much of your presented image is just as much a flakily false, slickly cynical ruse as Sternn’s.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Tutt, according to the bird, you have no idea who The Captain is. Isn’t that nice. Believe me, don’t defend The Captain because all these alleged friends you have here will turn on you in a minute. They are liberals after all.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Actually, Owl, I think the only way to get by in the online world is NOT to take things too seriously.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Tutt is an intelligent, thoughtful and caring lady, bird. She has more class in her little finger than you would ever manage. It is telling that you behave towards others the way you behave here, spouting your vile hatred not just here but everywhere you go. No wonder you are such an unhappy person.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Tutt – You and Sternn may get your jollies out of him making a complete fool of himself but it gets old and frankly the fact that you enjoy it speaks badly for you.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I see Cappy is projecting his own insecurities again. The only unhappy person I see is a paranoid delusional fact challenged wingnut who imagines scary, powerful dangerous liberals hiding behind every corner, bush, alley, etc.

        You may see a different side of hime Tutt, but I judge by what I see and what he presents here. Performance “art” trolling or otherwise. He presents himself as a rational, thoughtful, respectful intelligent person, I will treat him as one. Otherwise, I will treat him as he presents himself to us, your character testament notwithstanding.

      • goplifer says:

        The next time you feel the urge to tell us what someone else is really thinking, feeling, coping with psychologically, etc, please resist that urge.

        You’re doing no one any favors.

        Thank you.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “Actually, Owl, I think the only way to get by in the online world is NOT to take things too seriously.”

        Then why join in on a blog that discusses serious issues? Sure we like to joke around here as well but it seems you and Sternn find the urge to play “turd in a punch bowl” is too tempting. At least Buzzy appears to believe his own bullshaite.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You can turn that around, Turtles. I started off just posting my opinion without being insulting to anybody. This is how you and others respond. Probably because it is all you have since you don’t seem otherwise to come up with anything else or show any respect to people you disagree with.

      • johngalt says:

        Tutt has always been very measured and thoughtful in her posts. She’s the only one who actually knows Sternn, and I’m sure as hell not going to psychoanalyze that. There’s a long philosophical (and political) tradition of taking a position more extreme than you really believe so that the line of compromise falls closer to your side than the other, but if that is what Sternn is doing then he sinks himself with the nonsensical claims that controlling Congress gives a party complete control of the federal government or that today’s liberal and mostly urban Democrats have anything to do with yesterday’s rural Southern Democrats. Of course, if he’s just trolling to get a rise out of others, then that’s exactly the kind of thing he’d say.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I mean what I say, John. I do not say it just to get a rise out of people. Maybe you should work on practicing what you were preaching up above?

        I never said controlling both houses of congress give a party “complete control”, I said it gives that party control over the federal government. Complete control is what democrats had when they passed the PPACA. Republicans haven’t had that kind of control since probably right after the War between the States.

        I am not really interested in compromise with the left. The left always wants us to compromise more and more of our rights away. You would not be interested in compromise with me because my idea of compromise would be to return more of our liberty and rights.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Thanks, JG. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned to laugh at what goes on online not from disrespect, but as a coping mechanism. Otherwise it would be utterly demoralizing.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Way too much drama for my sensibilities.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Tutt has always been very measured and thoughtful in her posts.”

        And yes, that is very true. Thank you for pointing that out. The first time she an I crossed paths at Chron.com I wasn’t very nice to her at all, actually rather demeaning. She has helped me understand how people can take the words that are posted about and towards them. She was very new to the whole thing about posting comments on-line and didn’t have the thick skin that so many of us have. While she now has some experience, she still doesn’t have the thick skin that I and others have.

        My dad was my first mentor in learning to debate and discuss things with people, Tutt is my second and current mentor. It actually helps me to know that she is going to see what I write and post. not that it keeps me from using foul language because that is not in my nature (except for very special occasions, like the time somebody busted out the window of our truck to steal the GPS, but I got over it quickly). Nor does it keep me from saying what I think and believe, but it keeps me from going back to autopilot and just being rude at times, responding in a demeaning tone without actually reading what it is I am responding to or about.

        I wonder how others here and on the net in general would feel if their significant other saw what they write and how they behave? That would probably do a lot more to calm people down than requiring people to expose our real identities.

      • johngalt says:

        I meant what I said, Sternn. Disputing what you write is not the same as a personal attack. You do your arguments a disservice by clinging to some claims that are clearly not accurate, whether this be about party affiliation, Congressional control of government or others. You may believe them to be correct, but that does not make it so.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You may believe that to be correct, John, but it does not make it so. Calling a person a troll is a personal attack.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And just for the record . . . my point about humor and not taking things too seriously is not about the subject matter. I take the blog entries that Chris posts very seriously. His posts are always thoughtful and well-researched.

        I use humor as a way of coping with all the negativity that abounds on this blog, all the insults that fly back and forth, and the absurd, outrageous behavior of many, including my very own Captain Sternn. Otherwise, this place would be depressing as hell.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        CaptSternn says:
        December 5, 2014 at 9:08 am

        “Calling a person a troll is a personal attack.”

        Then you admit to initiating personal attacks Cap.

      • objv says:

        My dear, Tuttabella, please do not listen to THEM. You, as always, remain a delight. It seems odd that those who hold Jon Stewart and Chris Rock in high esteem (and post vulgar pictures as Turtles did below) would chide you for your gentle humor and adamantly proclaim that one should not joke about serious issues. My bewilderment is genuine.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Excellent call, OV. Thank you for the kind words about my dear lady and words of encouragement and support for her.

  11. Chris, I’m no expert in derivative funds, but as I understand it they are used (when properly utilized) to mitigate (“hedge” on) unanticipated price swings in either direction. Thus they ought to have no net inflationary effect.

    With respect to oil prices, I rather suspect they’ll be with us for quite some time. We enjoy no special advantage of geology, only a fleeting edge in technology. The same types of shales we are now drilling domestically underlay every significant petroleum basin in the world. As fracking/horizontal drilling technology proliferates, we can realistically expect jumps in production around the world. That’s not good news for Iran, Russia, Venezuela or al Saud, but it’s good new for just about everybody else.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Tracy, what is your take on the depleted deposits refilling?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well I’m not a geologist or a petroleum engineer, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn so let me take a stab at it.

        Last I checked, dinosaurs went extinct “66,038,000 years ago, plus or minus 11,000 years”.


        Other than refilling with water or Corvettes from the Kentucky museum, I’d say don’t bet any spare derivatives on it.

      • Turtles Run says:


        So Sternn finds a single oilfield that at one point geologists could not figure out why it was refilling and would seem to have us believe that this is a normal occurrence. However, Sternn has neither the intelligence nor ability to understand that oil refilling EI330 came from older deeper fields were seeping into EI 330 and since the 90’s the production at this field has declined.

        Sternn – Just so we are clear when a magician pulls a rabbit from a hat it is not really magic but a trick that can be easily explained. Oil does not appear out of nowhere.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That was one example, Turtles. How many links do you need to start to understand the concept?

        Oh, right, you reject the ideas of a few scientists about oil fields replenishing from deep reserves and surrounding geology while you demand that the ideas of a few scientists cannot be refuted when it comes to AGW.

        I am not even saying it is a fact or true, just posting a quick link about the concept. Feel free to post links against the concept and I will read and evaluate them and take them into consideration. After all, I want to hear from scientists, the very concept you totally reject. You just keep going with deliberate ignorance and rejection of science. You are pretty good with doing that.

      • goplifer says:

        I’ve wondered for years when that batshit crazy theory would finally get picked up by the fringe right. Ding. Here we are.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Oh come on Lifer, that *** crazy AGW stuff has been promoted for years by the left. No need to wonder when that *** crazy stuff would be picked up by the fringe.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Let me guess, next you will be wondering where the water of artesian wells comes from? Where do the rivers get their water? Where does the water of the oceans come from? Where does the ground under our feet come from?

        Does the sun revolve around our planet? Is our sun a star? Is the Earth flat?


      • bubbabobcat says:

        Keep driving that crazy train Cap. That is all you know how to do.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And to reiterate Turtles’ point, Cap you provided one SINGLE source from nearly 20 years ago with ONE SINGLE proponent of the abiotic oil replenishment malarkey as “proof” of its legitimacy? And yet you still cling to the obstinate wingnut fantasy that Global Warming is not impacted by human intervention despite the overwhelming evidence by the vast majority of the scientific bodies and scientists devoted to that field to the contrary? Really?

        What is it with wingnuts and their aversion for basic science and rational knowledge and their willingness to jump on every crackpot conspiracy theory as the “absolute truth”?

        And also as Turtles noted already, that one single instance has been debunked already as production has since declined (re: as in NOT “magically” replenished) in the ensuing 20 years since the publication of that discredited hypothesis.

        Where are all the other instances of magically replenished bottomless oil fields Cappy?

        And here is just one thoroughly researched and sourced debunking by a professional in the field:


        I guess Cappy is so starved for attention, he willingly embarrasses himself repeatedly just for that pathetic morsel of “validation” of being thoroughly debunked and discredited at every turn.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bubba, you really miss Dan, don’t you. There are many other examples of the theory, but you would ignore them and I never claimed it to be a fact. Kabuzz asked about it and I posted an example of the idea because many of you demand to remain deliberately ignorant and not even bother to look up what it was he is asking about.

        And down below, you assigned ownership of all that has happened since January 2007 to the democrats. I am not arguing against that claim. In fact, it is one of the few things you and I have agreed on.

      • flypusher says:

        “I’ve wondered for years when that batshit crazy theory would finally get picked up by the fringe right. Ding. Here we are.”

        It could be amusing to watch those who buy into this “refilling” and those who swear that Noah’s flood is responsible for all the oil deposits debate their respective POVs. The derp levels could be toxic to the standard human brain, though.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “There are many other examples of the theory, but you would ignore them and I never claimed it to be a fact.”

        If there are many other examples then why did you have to rely on a 19 year old article to prove your point. If you never claimed it to be a fact then what the heck is your point?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Wow! What a performance/demonstration of the genisus of snark. I ask a question of Tracy, the Captain adds his two cents, all non commital and you libeals go nuts. It is simply amazing.

        The reason I asked Tracy is because he would reply succinctly and kindly. I suggest you guys tempar your hate a bit.

      • Kabuzz, the charge systems in the deep water Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are actively producing oil right now. (One of the excellent clues we had back in the day that the deep water might be a good thing was the plethora of oil slicks at the sea surface visible on satellite imagery. Such slicks are indicative of hydrocarbon traps filled to spill, with oil still trying to migrate into the completely filled traps and instead working its way up to the sea floor.) While the deep water GOM charge system is active, and will eventually recharge depleted reservoirs, I very much doubt that will occur on any kind of time frame of interest to producing companies. Hydrocarbon migration in the subsurface is a geologic process operating over geologic time frames. Traps will refill over thousands, perhaps hundreds, maybe even tens of years in some extreme cases, but that’s not going to keep up with depletion rates in a producing field. (Because of the unconsolidated nature of deep water reservoir sands, deep water fields produce like gangbusters, but deplete rapidly.)

        I don’t have enough knowledge on the topic to state anything with certainty on the shale plays. Certainly the shales being drilled are still in the oil/gas window where they are being exploited. These shales are extremely impermeable; the thing that makes horizontal shale wells economic is the thousands of feet of well bore exposed to the producing formation. Even with fracking, the radial reach of each well bore is probably quite limited. I suspect we’ll see an awful lot of in-fill drilling in producing fields over time. I don’t think in-place recharge will be a significant factor. Again, it’s a geologic time frame issue.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        kabuzz61 says:
        December 4, 2014 at 9:55 am

        “Wow! What a performance/demonstration of the genisus [sic] of snark. I ask a question of Tracy, the Captain adds his two cents, all non commital [sic] and you libeals [sic] go nuts.

        The disingenuous (re: you lie! Again.) alternate reality and consummate faux victimization of the warped wingnut world.

        Yes buzzy, an “innocuous” question of a “theory”…propelled by Worldnut Daily “News” and the Rupert Murdoch mouthpiece Wall Street Journal. And I’m suuuuuuure that buzzy came up with this on his own and not from those sites or a wingnut chain mail.


        I am shocked, shocked I say that there is gambling going on in these premises.

        What did the great philosopher and thinker F. Gump once said?

        “stupid is as stupid does”.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        CaptSternn says:
        December 4, 2014 at 7:43 am

        “And down below, you assigned ownership of all that has happened since January 2007 to the democrats. I am not arguing against that claim. In fact, it is one of the few things you and I have agreed on.”

        Cap you really are that desperate for attention, negative or otherwise that you don’t mind perpetually dancing as a court jester for everyone else’s amusement? We agreed on squat you abject deliberately obtuse liar. You have been thoroughly debunked. Grow up already and own it like a man, little 50 year old perpetually insecure boy.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Is there more of a hater then Bubba? I mean, he is on par with DanMan for the invective but Ladd keeps the liberal hater but bans the conservative. Come on Chris. Play fair. Get rid of this blowhard.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “I am not even saying it is a fact or true”

        In other words, Sternn, you’re a hapless, attention-seeking troll.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, bird, it means I was giving an example of what Kabuzz was asking TThor about since Bubba didn’t seem to have a clue. Another concept that seems to go over your head, as well as that of Turtles. TThor came back with a good response and explanation of how he sees things, how it probably works in reality.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I see you have taken Chris’ advice to heart Cappy. [sarcasm off].

        I have posted several links, one agreeing with TThor debunking that obscure “theory” and a WND link as a proponent of the fake science to illustrate how comically illegitimate the view is from the right.

        YOU do not agree with TThor Cap.

        But I’m the one “without a clue”. Okaaaaay.

        And here comes buzzy next with his nails on a chalkboard faux victimization whine.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “YOU do not agree with TThor Cap.”

        Well, not on the abortion issue. And maybe he doesn’t agree with me on some other things. Your point?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You refuse to get my point Cap because your mind is closed like a steel trap. Troll on.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You have no point other than being a troll, Bubba. You really miss Dan. I am not Dan. Get used to that fact.

        Football now.

      • Cap and Buzz, I don’t think that bubba and Owl think of themselves as trolls, even though they sometimes strike us as type specimens of trollery. We conservatives tend to be rather phlegmatic/melancholic sorts, prone to dry arguments based on logic and immutable principles. No doubt we appear bloodless at best, and obstinately dense fools at worst to the likes of Owl and bubba.

        Lefties, on the other hand, tend to be sanguinary souls. Their arguments are based on emotional and narrative appeal. Faced with someone as implacable as Cap, and especially in a situation that lacks an effective emotional narrative counter, e.g., active hydrocarbon recharge in GOM salt mini-basins ;-), the default emotional response of an Owl/bubba type is a banally predictable ad hominem name-calling frenzy.

        Buzz, you’ll note that I mentioned recharge time frames that varied by several orders of magnitude. That wasn’t an accident. Hydrocarbon migration in the subsurface is much like water run off at the surface. Small trickles gather into mighty flows. Under just the right conditions recharge could be rapid. Interestingly, large salt basins bordered by salt piercements could provide such conditions. EI 330 may or may not fit the bill: geochem types like me have been arguing the point since I was active in the field (20+ years ago).

        My feeling is that there is simply too much play in reservoir estimates to make any kind of definitive statement based on the evidence available at EI 330. Seismic data has improved dramatically over the past few decades, with a concomitant dramatic impact on reservoir estimates. The fact that depletion at EI 330 hasn’t tracked with reservoir estimates should surprise no one. Reservoir geologists/geophysicists/engineers make their living by finding previously missed hydrocarbons in existing producing fields.

        My view is that the geological and geochemical evidence strongly points to a dominant role for vertical hydrocarbon migration in the GOM, facilitated by salt tectonism and growth faulting. Lateral hydrocarbon migration plays a role, too, but is less important in the GOM than in other producing basins.

      • CaptSternn says:

        TThor, that is why you are the leading conservative here.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Can’t face reality so you actively seek to have me banned buzzy?

      Can’t debate on the facts so you just shut them up by force.

      THAT is YOUR ‘Murica eh buzzy? Too bad for you it’s not everyone else’s.

      Deal with the crap you post. Own it and try to defend it instead of muffling the truth and reality.

      But your actions and “character” does not surprise me in the least buzzy.

  12. Crogged says:

    Interesting and unintended consequences abound……..

    Cheap energy is the new cheap labour


    So Germany wanted a larger portion of electricity to be renewable, hope you dumped the EoN, RWE stock long ago.

  13. stephen says:

    I watched a clip last night from T. Boone Pickens. He thinks that OPEC will eventual cut production and with in a year or so 100 dollar a barrel oil will be back. I am not so sure as shale oil is being produced on private lands with a bunch of smaller private entrepreneurs. Hard to make a monopoly in this situation. If they can make money at lower oil prices they will simple concentrate on lowering their cost to make their profit margins fatter. They may end up taking more market share from OPEC than they already have, which is why I think OPEC did not cut production. We shall see.

  14. fiftyohm says:

    Charles Ebinger at Brookings wrote last month that among several other factors, “Dumping of oil onto the marketplace by hedge fund managers who had gone long on oil prices (by some estimates as much as two million barrels per day) in anticipation of further price rises – the hedge funds had no alternative but to liquidate their positions when the market turned against them.”

    So while perhaps not a primary force driving the current situation, your observation was not without merit, Chris.

  15. johngalt says:

    Derivatives may be inflationary, but they weren’t the primary reason for the commodity boom between ’02-’07. This was largely the result of rapidly expanding economics in China, India, and Brazil, which between them had enormous infrastructure needs for their 2.7 billion people. Their economics expanded by >10% (China), ~9% (India) and ~5% (Brazil) per year during that period. Commodity production is notoriously slow to respond to demand increases, because expansion requires huge capital investments (to open new sources of supply, new mines or new oil fields, for example). Thus, demand drives higher prices for years until supply catches up and, inevitably, overshoots. From 2008, demand crashed in the rich world, now recovering slowly while the developing economies are slumping. Increased supply plus decreased demand equals much lower prices.

    • goplifer says:

      Maybe. Maybe not. It is very hard to say. For over a decade oil stockpiles have been growing far beyond the growth in demand. The interesting question has always been why hasn’t that dampened prices? My derivatives argument is a guess as to why. Clearly very complicated.

      • lomamonster says:

        Collusion reigns supreme in all of the world’s economies, and even those countries claiming to have nothing to do with capitalism are just as subject to it as those who pretend to have some dominance in the field. But none have near the chance of success as those who have accepted and trade in the strongest monetary exchange in the world and it’s product – the U.S. Dollar.

        One only has to “follow the money” and ascertain how it is held and by whom to understand the reasons why certain commodities resist the constraints and/or liberties of supply and demand.

        The new found technology of fracking in the United States has truly thrown a wild card into previous arrangements of international oil pricing, and it is only one of the most unsettling technologies to expect in the near future. Whereas they used to bury electric cars in the desert in an attempt to not let that technology see the light, we now are going to evidence a great battery factory the likes of which the world has never seen before. Advances in nuclear generation will soon trumpet the arrival of sustainable and friendly power for the planet. Fuel cells will be built to power everything from autos to the home.

        All of these realizations of future technologies will have to be priced in and gamed into a practical capitalistic scenario before the world tears itself apart before figuring it out. That is the ultimate danger, and the starving minions will try everything they can to complicate the matter.

        So we have some time, but not much, and it’s not going to be quiet anywhere on earth.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Loma, electric cars were competing with steam, diesel and gasoline engines when cars were first being built and put on the roads. Then, as now, they are not the best, most efficient or convenient way to get around, the best technology won out.

        Electric cars do have uses, mainly on places like golf courses. They could work well for short city trips, if you live in a small city. But there are some very strict limitations. Tutt and I like to get out on the open road when I am not on call, and we have to refuel quite a bit. Many times it is not at the end of the trip, our final destination for that day. What takes me ten minutes with gasoline or diesel would take several hours with an electric vehicle.

        Nuclear plants are being closed instead of more being built. Sadly we are losing that option. They can be built to be safe and avoid some of the accidents that have happened. It just requires planning. But many are being shut down in places that don’t even face natural disasters like the one that happened in Japan.

        The rest of the technology is being developed. It will get used more and more as it becomes more competitive, and that should only happen when it is efficient and cheap enough to actually be competitive without government subsidies (tax breaks are not subsidies). But for now, oil, gas and coal are abundant, efficient and cheap compared to everything else that is out there.

  16. Crogged says:

    Commodity markets aren’t composed of devils and saints-there are commodity users and commodity speculators. When prices go up (bad for us) ‘speculators’ are blamed, when prices go down some of these same speculators still make gobs of money and retain our blessings in addition to the money.

    Derivatives are tools, hammers are good for nails and not for adjusting the contrast on your television. Risk is prices not being the same, not just going up and a derivative is used when you decide to call the hand based on your view of the market. You might be able to ride it up to a 100, but give at 80 so you don’t face the pain at 50 and dropping.

  17. CaptSternn says:

    Oil prices are dropping because there is a glut in the U.S. and because of the increased production here means global production is just slightly higher than global demand and consumption. This means we are going to find out what it actually costs to extract oil from shale and tar sands. When the price goes lower than the cost, the wells will be closed until the price goes back up and companies can make profits again.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Hopefully, Obama will get better at ruining the US economy and crippling the oil industry so that we won’t have these pesky problems going forward.

      • stephen says:

        This kind of statement is not helping. We have had a recovery under Obama and oil and other commodities have increase in supply under him. The deficit has decrease too. Anyone with a computer can find real data that contradicts what you said. Better to push policies that will improve our country and show how Republicans can better implement them.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT was being sarcastic, but you are short on reality. The “recovery” has been anemic at best. The last republican deficit was $161 billion. It exploded under the democrats and went to ten times that amount once Obama took office. It is still much higher than it was under republican control even though they did lose their way when Bush43 took office.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Stephen, I know you are new to this blog so it is understandable to take the post at face value, but Houston-stay-at-Homer was being sarcastic in mocking Sternn’s knee jerk non stop anti Obama hyperbolic histrionics. Which Cappy Pavlovianly obliged with his usual fact challenged Obama hate rant below.

      • Turtles Run says:


        Homer was speaking tongue in cheek towards our visitors that suffer from ODS.

      • stephen says:

        I stand corrected.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Welcome, Stephen. You will eventually learn to understand Houston-Stay-At-Homer’s gentle sarcasm and faux bewilderment. CaptSternn and I call him by his former name, HT, which stands for “Houston Traveler.”

    • goplifer says:

      There’s been a glut for a decade.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Not really for a decade, but for the last couple of years. There has been a glut with West Texas Intermedite for longer than that, but that has been more a local issue than global.

        HT, production is up in spite of the Obama administration. He has been taking leases away and production on federal lands has been dramatically reduced. Production on private land is up. Private enterprise stepped up to the plate where the federal government has failed.

      • goplifer says:

        That’s not correct. The glut goes back to the Bush years. Look at construction and capacity at Cushing, where oil traded on the exchanges is stored. Been maxed out for ages.

      • johngalt says:

        Ending the crude oil export ban would solve the local market glut.

      • goplifer says:

        It’s not a local market glut. You can find it globally. During the last boom companies were storing oil at sea on tankers. This is not a pure supply/demand issue.

      • johngalt says:

        You’re right that there is an oversupply globally, but there has also been a local market glut. There have been a number of articles highlighting the price spread between WTI and Brent, suggesting geographical supply-demand distortions, though this has narrowed recently.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        CaptSternn says:
        December 3, 2014 at 9:09 am

        “Production is up in spite of the Obama administration.” and “…production on federal lands has been dramatically reduced.”

        Nope you’re wrong again Cap. But that surprises no one. And deep down, I’m sure not even yourself.

        Crude production on Federal lands decreased from 2003 – 2006 and again from 2007-2008 (i.e. under Bush). Under Obama, it went up for from 2009 – 1010 and again from 2012 – 2013.

        In other words, it fluctuated up AND down under BOTH Bush and Obama.

        Click to access eia-federallandsales.pdf

        And the highest single year output for the past decade? 2010. Under Obama.

        Cap delusional hate narrative fails again under the scrutiny of reality and FACTS.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        So, Stern…what you are saying is that Obama pulled the federal gov’t aside and let private industry handle the situation?

        And you view this as a bad thing because……..?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Obama tried to shut private industry down. He is working at that same goal with health care, and he is having more success in that area. But soon he won’t have democrats running congress or even being able to block bills from being brought out for debate and votes.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        “Obama tried to shut private industry down.”

        If this was his goal, Obama is even worse at his job than anyone ever could have imagined.

        I’m tempted to find my Captain Hyperbole picture for you again, but I think it goes without saying.

      • fiftyohm says:

        The very idea that an American president can either destroy our commercial systems, (or improve them substantially for that matter), on his/her own is an inherently absurd premise. We have a codified separation of powers, (and the current screeching about traversal of that code notwithstanding), the POTUS is not a King, and cannot make himself one, no matter how he /she may try. Can the POTUS be an important factor? Sure. Are there others perhaps more difficult to pin down, point fingers at, or otherwise identify that are at least as significant? Yes there are, and the failure to recognize this fact is a startlingly simplistic and indeed immature mindset I have a very hard time taking seriously.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sternn blubbered: Obama tried to shut private industry down. He is working at that same goal with health care, and he is having more success in that area.

        Seems Obama is a failure there as well. In 2015 more insurance companies are entering into the exchanges.

        “In New Hampshire, the number of ObamaCare insurers is set to rise from one to five next year; from 13 to 18 in Michigan; and from six to 10 in Illinois.”


        “Participation in the 36 states using the federal enrollment Web site, HealthCare.gov, is expected to increase from a combined 191 insurers in the 2014 enrollment period to 248 in 2015, according a HHS report issued Tuesday. Eight states running their own marketplaces will see insurer participation increase from 61 last year to 67 in 2015”


        Obama the worse socialist marxist fascist anti-business President ever. No matter what he does the free market just continues to thrive under his detached micro-manager dictator absentee leadership style.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, thanks for the link, Bubba. It does show that oil and gas production on federal lands is lower now that it was in 2003, which is what I said in the first place.

        Fifty, the Obama administration has raised prices on leases and even shortened them or not renewing them. He did have quite a bit of help from congress when the democrats held a super majority with health insurance is concerned, but try explaining to him that he is not king and emperor. He is changing the PPACA as he goes and now doing on immigration exactly what he said he didn’t have the constitutional power to do.

        HT and Turtles, health insurance companies are now basically government agents. They are told what they must do, what they must cover, whom they must cover and even what profits they are allowed to make. Obama and supporters of the PPACA stated up front that the end goal was to do away with private insurance and care. Were you not listening, are is it that y’all do know that but stick in denial mode hoping to fool others?

      • CaptSternn says:

        And just for the record, Bubba, I have no problem with you pointing out that Obama is responsible for what has happened while he has been president, including the increase of oil production on federal lands in 2010.

        You could have resorted to the usual claims that it was Bush’s fault or it was the fault of republicans, but you didn’t. You put it all on Obama, and maybe you would like to include democrats in general. He and they are responsible for what has happened since democrats gained control after the 2006 elections, and more so when they won the oval office and a super majority in congress. All of it.

        Gotta give you some respect for being probably the only person on the left that has enough spine to admit that.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “Were you not listening, are is it that y’all do know that but stick in denial mode hoping to fool others?”

      • Turtles Run says:

        “HT and Turtles, health insurance companies are now basically government agents. They are told what they must do, what they must cover, whom they must cover and even what profits they are allowed to make.”

        No one is forcing insurance companies to join the exchanges. They are free to market their products on the individual market. Much like no one is forced to use Obamacare. If you do not want to use it just simply pay the fine and go about your way.

      • johngalt says:

        “health insurance companies are now basically government agents. They are told what they must do, what they must cover, whom they must cover and even what profits they are allowed to make.”

        Health insurance is, has been, and always will be one of the most heavily regulated industries in existence. The piecemeal, incoherent, and inefficient regulation by state authorities has long been recognized as an issue, and conservatives occasionally call for companies to be able to sell policies across state lines. The federal government adding another layer (on top of the 50 that already exist) for those companies that voluntarily choose to participate in exchanges is like pouring a bucket of water into the ocean.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “They are free to market their products on the individual market.”

        No, they aren’t. And we didn’t really need you to post a self portrait, or what many these days call a “selfie”.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “… is like pouring a bucket of water into the ocean.”

        Pretty much sums up the human influence on “climate change”.

        The exchanges are just another example of the attempt to destroy the private sector.

        Good points on both, John.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        CaptSternn says:
        December 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        “Well, thanks for the link, Bubba. It does show that oil and gas production on federal lands is lower now that it was in 2003, which is what I said in the first place.”

        Nooooooo, that is NOT what you said “in the first place” Cappy. Your self delusions and outright lies are getting worse by the day. We can all see what you originally posted. You attempted to cast aspersions without facts (again) claiming to the deleterious effects of Obama’s actions on oil production on Federal lands under his administration and I pointed out that under Obama’s administration you had the single highest year of oil production on Federal lands and way higher than under Bush’s peak in 2003. And that production had declined on FOUR separate occasions during the Bush administration since 2003.

        In addition, even Obama’s lowest year of production in 2012 exceeded at least 2 years of production under the Bush administration.

        Nice try Cappy but your lies are yet again proven to be WHOLLY flat out lies still.

        Aren’t you sick of your repeated Groundhog’s Day infinite loop of pathetic Kabuki theater YET Cap?

        Cappy spews his requisite delusional fact challenged anti Obama and anti Democrat hate rate.

        Cappy easily debunked with reality and hard facts.

        Cappy insecurely crabs to salvage his false pride and delusionally claims he was right all along.

        Lather, rinse. Repeat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 454 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: