Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How The Bible Undermined The Concept Of Empire In Favor Of Nations - By Yoram Hazony

The Bible put a new political conception on the table: a state of a single nation that is united, self-governing, and uninterested in bringing its neighbors under its rule.

For centuries, the politics of Western nations have been characterized by a struggle between two antithetical visions of world order: an order of free and independent nations, each pursuing the political good in accordance with its own traditions and understanding; and an order of peoples united under a single regime of law, promulgated and maintained by a single supranational authority.
In recent generations, the first vision has been represented by nations such as India, Israel, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland—and of course by Britain, in the wake of its turn toward independence. The second vision is held by much of the leadership of the European Union, which reaffirmed its commitment to the concept of an “ever closer union” of peoples in the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, and has proceeded since then to introduce EU laws and currency into most member nations, as well as requiring the free movement of populations among most member states.
The United States, committed from its founding to the ideal of an independent national state, was for the most part able to maintain this character until the Second World War. But in the face of competition with the Soviet Union, and especially after the end of the Cold War, it has deviated from this model of national independence and has increasingly sought the establishment of a worldwide regime of law that would be enforced upon all nations by means of American power.
The conflict between these two visions of the best political order is as old as the West itself. The idea that the political order should be based on independent nations was an important feature of ancient Israelite thought as reflected in the Hebrew Bible (or “Old Testament”). And although Western civilization, for most of its history, has been dominated by dreams of universal empire, the presence of the Bible at the heart of this civilization has ensured that the idea of the self-determining, independent nation would be revived time and again.
Why the Bible Supports National Independence
Why is the Bible so concerned with the independence of nations? The world of Israel’s prophets was dominated by a succession of imperial powers: Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia, each giving way to the next. Despite their differences, each of these empires sought to impose a universal political order on mankind as a whole, the gods having sent them to suppress needless disputes among peoples and to create a unified international realm in which men could live together in peace and prosperity.
“None hungered in my years or thirsted in them,” Pharaoh Amenemhet I wrote a few centuries before Abraham. “Men dwelled in peace through that which I wrought.” And this was no idle boast. By ending warfare in vast regions and harnessing their populations to productive agricultural work, imperial powers were in fact able to bring to millions a relatively reliable peace and an end to the threat of starvation.
No wonder, then, that the imperial rulers of the ancient world saw it as their task, in the words of the Babylonian king Hammurabi, to “bring the four quarters of the world to obedience.” That obedience was what made salvation from war, disease, and starvation possible.
Yet despite the obvious economic advantages of an Egyptian or Babylonian peace that would unify humanity, the Bible was born out of a deep-seated opposition to this very aim. To Israel’s prophets, Egypt was “the house of bondage,” and they spared no words in deploring the bloodshed and cruelty involved in imperial conquest and in the imperial manner of governing, its recourse to slavery and murder and its expropriation of women and property.
All of this, the Israelite prophets argued, stemmed from Egypt’s idolatry—from its submission to gods who would justify any sacrifice so long as it advanced the extension of the imperial realm of peace and kept the production of grain running at maximum capacity.
A Viable Alternative to Universal Empire
Was there a viable alternative to universal empire? The ancient Near East had much experience with localized political power in the form of city-states. But for the most part, these were helpless before imperial armies and the ideology of universal empire that motivated them. It is in the Bible that we find the first sustained presentation of a different possibility: a political order based on the independence of a nation living within limited borders alongside other independent nations.
By nation, I mean a number of tribes with a common cultural inheritance, especially a language or religion, and a past history of acting as a body for the common defense and other large-scale enterprises. The Bible systematically promotes the idea that the members of a nation should regard one another as “brothers,” and Mosaic law offered the Israelites a constitution that would bring them together in what would today be called a national state.
The king of such a state would be drawn “from among your brothers.” Its prophets, too, would be “from among you, from among your brothers.” And so would its priests, appointed to guard the traditional laws of the nation and teach them to the king “so that his thoughts should not be lifted above his brothers.” Moreover, Moses sets boundaries for Israel, instructing his people to keep their hands off the lands of neighboring kingdoms like Moav, Edom, and Ammon, which deserve their own independence. As he tells them in God’s name:
Take good heed of yourselves therefore. Meddle not with [the children of Esau], for I will not give you of their land. No, not so much a foot’s breadth. Because I have given Mt. Seir to Esau for a possession. . . . Do not harass Moav, nor contend with them in battle, for I will not give you of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession. . . . And when you come near, opposite the children of Ammon, harass them not, nor contend with them, for I will not give you of the land of the children of Ammon any possession, for I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession.
Nor are these passages unique. Throughout the Bible, we find that the political aspiration of the prophets of Israel is not empire but a free and unified nation living in justice and peace amid other free nations.
The Bible thus puts a new political conception on the table: a state of a single nation that is united, self-governing, and uninterested in bringing its neighbors under its rule. This state is governed not by foreigners responsible to a ruler in a distant land but by kings and governors, priests and prophets drawn from the ranks of the nation itself—individuals who are, for just this reason, thought to be better able to stay in touch with the needs of their own people, their “brothers,” including the less fortunate among them.
Israelite Kings Ruled Under Law, Not Above It
In addition, because the Israelite king is one of the people, and not the representative of some abstract universal ambition, his powers can be circumscribed to prevent abuse. Unlike the kings of Egypt or Babylonia, the Israelite king under the Mosaic constitution is not empowered to make the laws, which are the heritage of his nation and not subject to his whim.
Nor does he have the power to appoint the priesthood, thereby making law and religion subservient to him. Moreover, the Mosaic law limits the king’s right to tax and enslave the people, just as the limitations on Israel’s borders prevent the king from embracing the dream of universal conquest.
It is important to notice that the Israelites’ conception of the nation has nothing to do with biology, or what we call race. For biblical nations, everything depends on a shared understanding of history, language, and religion that is passed from parents to children, but which outsiders can join as well.
Thus the book of Exodus teaches that there were many Egyptians who attached themselves to the Hebrew slaves in fleeing Egypt, and that they received the Ten Commandments (more accurately translated as the “Ten Precepts”) at Sinai with the rest of Israel. Similarly, Moses invites the Midianite sheikh Jethro to join the Jewish people. And Ruth the Moabite becomes part of Israel when she is ready to tell Naomi “your people is my people and your God is my God,” her son being the forefather of King David himself.
But the ability of Israel to bring these foreign-born individuals into its ranks depends on their willingness to accept Israel’s God, laws, and understanding of history. Without embracing these central aspects of Israelite tradition, they will not become a part of the Israelite nation.
Adapted excerpt from “The Virtue of Nationalism,” by Yoram Hazony. Copyright 2018. Available from Basic Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Dr. Yoram Hazony (@yhazony) is president of The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem and author of “The Virtue of Nationalism.”

Normalcy Bias and the Fourth Turning – The Burning Platform

Hat tip The Feral Irishman
There is an article on Zerohedge discussing the Fourth Turning which places America in the same 80-100 year cycle, or what is called a “saecula”  as it was during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. This is something I had been thinking about for some time, not the saecula, I’m not that smart.
I was thinking about how we are in a time that seems natural. Okay, getting here required a lot of manipulation over generations of the average working folks first indoctrinated into the concept of communism through labor unions. Labor unions are about the only functional thing a communist can produce and its success is often used to transition the working person into the communist ideology, i.e., the collectivist urge, but it never acknowledges the ultimately corrosive nature of the relationship between employer and employee. Eventually, the rising costs of avoiding strikes prices the goods beyond the point where the employee can afford to purchase it, except out of loyalty and all consumers do not share that loyalty, so they find cheaper alternatives, killing the host.
While the adults were being indoctrinated into the collectivist fold as a means to better their lives, the children were indoctrinated into the concept of the “goodness” of the state, because they were being taught in state-run schools by teachers who benefited from the collectivist notion of labor unions. The media swung hard left to back up and substantiate this indoctrination.
Where the sense that this is all natural, despite the manipulations employed, is that everything in nature is in the process of growth or decay. In 1776 the British Empire was reaching its apex of growth and was beginning the process of decay. In 1860 the United States had grown from a fledgling republic to a world power, but the Constitution adopted in 1787 was at that 80 year mark and had taken as many assaults as it could stand and something had to break.
Everything has its own set of hypocrisies. Free speech is great, but through free speech comes the weapons with which to abolish free speech, so it cannot be completely free, but when it is restrained enough to guarantee it, it is essentially lost. The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms works until the proliferation of arms puts too many in the hands of those who would use them to overthrow the system that guarantees it, but the minute that right is diminished in any way, it establishes the means to regulate it out of existence. Assisted fully by a communist dominated media.
Eventually, these hypocrisies on enough levels and concerning enough areas of life leads naturally from freedom to bondage. Everything that makes us free costs us freedom, there is no way around it because human nature is a process of progression, it is never static. The minute one group can get another group to accept any concession whatsoever, it becomes the starting point for decline of one group and the starting point of ascension for the other. When the group that is ascending reaches its apex, it will come under attack and eventually fall by the same dynamics that it rose.
This is America in 2018. The communists in America have been growing stronger and stronger, using the institutions of the republic against itself, demanding more and more concessions. The communists feel they are at their best and can topple the republic. The manifestations of this truth are groups like BLM that call for the assassination of police officers with the support of some in government; Antifa that aggressively assault Trump supporters does so with support from some of those in government; caravans of illegal immigrants seeking to break down the border between Mexico and the United States with the support of some of those in government signal that the destruction of America is being abetted by those in government.
That belief comes from the concessions already made by normal Americans, who do not generally see aggressive actions being taken against them individually. They don’t recognize an assault on their institutions for what it is, a crumbling of the republic on a piece by piece basis. They accept some reductions of free speech as a means to keep the peace in their relations with other Americans who might come from different cultures or backgrounds. They accept some reductions in the right to keep and bear arms as a means to keep peace with authorities. They accept some reductions in their right to privacy as a means enhance their security.
But, when none of these concessions keep the peace with others, with authorities or make them safer, they begin to question the wisdom of those concessions. This is evident in 2018 on a number of levels. The effort to avoid labels of racist, bigot, homophobe, Islamophobe have not worked. They are still labeled as such no matter how compliant they are to the new dictates of the communists behind them and a growing rebellion is the result.
While there is no way to unravel the complex and interconnected web of deceit and insurgency behind the communist putsch through peaceful means, there is a chance to swing the balance of power more into line with the republic and away from the communists. That chance is offered up in the 2018 election. The communists have put their best foot forward, but a way to kick that foot out from under them would be a resounding defeat in the 2018 election; not as a solution, but as a statement and encouragement to others to resist the communist narratives
The election will solve nothing other than to deal a defeat to the communists who have been on a winning streak for a very long time. It would be one small defeat, but at this point they have suffered none. The Bret Kavanaugh confirmation was but the result of a skirmish. It was like a scaled down version of Fort Sumpter. It hardened hearts and clearly marked the divisions, the tactics and the winning response to those tactics.
The communists will use false flags, they will use deception and they will use the power of government to punish their enemies and reward friends. But, the election of 2018 could (I don’t say would, because that is unclear) enable Trump to go after the deep state in a way that exposes some of the communists as actual traitors and subject them to punishment as such. That is an optic that could result in others choosing to defect rather than suffer the same punishment.
Even unraveling some of the diabolical actions of deep state actors will not solve the institutional problems America has with countering communism. That is a long and difficult road that cannot rule out that violence might be inflicted upon the republic on the idea that some have been brought to justice. In fact, that might drive violence for which the republic must be prepared to counter. Communism has to be engaged aggressively and in every arena encountered up to and including victory in a civil war.
Therefore it is vital that Americans recognize that the attacks upon their institutions are not individual issues, but are coordinated to appear that way while the overall strategy of complete destruction is implemented.

Vox Popoli: Darkstream: In Defense of the US Border

From the transcript of the Darkstream:

The problem is that Americans don't understand that the frontier closed over one hundred years ago. These people are not coming to America to become Americans, they're invading America to demand tribute. There's an old saying about the Danegeld: once you pay the Danegeld you'll never be rid of the Dane. The United States brought in immigrants, brought in refugees, and all they did was encourage more. And that's why the United States is falling apart.

The average IQ has fallen by as much as eight points. The country is literally stupefying itself, enstupidating itself, however you want to describe it, the country is actively lowering its standard of living and its ability to maintain its infrastructure. It is not sustainable. Trump understands what is politically possible better than me, that's true, but it's not about politics. War is not about politics. When Clausewitz talks about war being politics by other means, that's the whole point, it's about other means. Once you're in the realm of defending borders, that's not something that you need to win support for, you either do it or you don't, and if you don't do it then you have failed. It's that simple.

Gordon says the entire West is infested with that mentality. That's absolutely true and it's not an accident. It's a mentality that has been pushed systematically on the West by a coalition of peoples whose interests are intrinsically anti-Western. It's not a single group of people. It's not just the Jews, it's not just the socialists, it's not just the various immigrant peoples,  it is a coalition of peoples whose interests are in general opposed to the interests of the Western people.

Now the West has brought it on itself, you know. The fact that the West colonized these other countries, the fact that the West imposed their economic systems and their currencies and their legal systems and everything else on other countries, is now coming back to bite the West. This is a normal reaction to empire. If you study the empires of the past, whether you study the Athenian empire, whether you study the Roman empire, whether you look at some of the Chinese empires, whether you look at the German empire, whether you look at the British empire, all of these empires were fundamentally weakened by the nature of their having established their rule over foreign nations because it's a relationship that goes both ways. When you set up a colony in another nation you obviously affect that nation, but that nation also affects you. That's why the Dutch have an issue with the people who obtain Dutch citizenship through living in the Netherlands Antilles.

This is a historical pattern that repeats itself over and over and over again, and the logic of empire is what is now destroying the United States empire
. People say, well, you know, the US is not an empire, we don't have an emperor. Well, who was the emperor of the Athenian empire? You can't name it,  there wasn't one, because an empire is not about what you call the ruler or rulers, it's fundamentally about whether one nation is ruling over a series of other nations or not.

A reader is reminded of the historical cycle described in the ancient Chinese classic:
The latest Darkstream immediately brought to mind the famous opening lines of Three Kingdoms:

“Here begins our tale. The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.”

The urge to unite speaks to man’s hubris and arrogance, and the eventual division, to the inevitable end of that folly and hubris.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

More Independent Media To Be Shut Down Prior To 2020 U.S. Presidential Election? – By Arjun Walia

·         The Facts:
The massive campaign to label credible media sources as 'fake news' has been happening for a while. More social media pages are being deleted as a result of this campaign. Expect to see many more before the 2020 election.
·         Reflect On:
Why should an authority figure have to decide what is real and what's not? Are we not capable of reading, examining sources, and deciding for ourselves what's plausible? What is going on here, and how is it possible that any justification exists?
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. – JFK

If you haven’t already heard, Facebook has completely shut down hundreds, if not thousands of Independent media pages over the last year.
Some of the biggest pages include The Free Thought Project and The Anti-media, with millions of followers each, and years of sourced journalism. These pages, among others, became targets a long time ago. Working directly in the field and behind the scenes, I can tell you that all of us have been aware of the censorship initiative for a long time because it started approximately three years ago now. The complete deletion of multiple pages kicked off by popular media figure Alex Jones, was followed by a massive campaign of “fake news” awareness.
One thing we need to remember here is, this isn’t about democrats vs republicans, it’s about the elite preserving their control, and at the moment, they are using the DNC as the mouthpiece for that. Thus, anything that slandered Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign, for example, was labelled as fake news, even if evidence and credible sources were used. This is because she is part of that elite.
This is cyber false flagging at its finest, where authority figures at Facebook and within government agencies decide for the people what is real, and what is not, These tactics are complemented by a large mainstream media campaign that created awareness about fake news. Monkey see, monkey do.
Many believed what media and social media did during that election, and still now, and take on the opinion that people cannot just say what they want on the internet. This has some validity, but ultimately, the fact that Facebook pages with credibility were deleted makes it quite clear what’s going on here. These pages presented declassified documents, information about corporations and mainstream media, real whistleblower testimony and more. Yet still, they were deleted. The population should be able to examine a source of information and determine for themselves if it’s credible, not have an authority figure do it for them.
We don’t need fact checkers, we ourselves should be those fact checkers! We have a responsibility to our planet to be those fact checkers, and not let authority figures with a tremendous amount of power, wealth, and conflicts of interests do it for us.
“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee, but rather because we as citizens, we as users of these services, help each other. We talk and we share and we point out what is fake. We point out what is true. The answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters, now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting more popular.” –Edward Snowden (source)
Facebook A Revolving Door
Facebook has become a revolving door like Monsanto, with high-ranking DARPA employees, like Regina Duggan, who has since left Facebook, and people from similar backgrounds now spearheading their mission. What is Facebook’s mission? Well at the moment it seems to be censoring of information. Their key strategy is to label everything as fake news to build an excuse to delete Facebook pages that are dissenting voices.
You see, independent media, like CE, became extremely popular, receiving many millions in website every single month, that traffic came from Facebook. Independent media outlets were greatly surpassing mainstream media in their power and voice. This is something people on the outside can’t really see as all of this happens, but I am on the inside, so I see exactly what’s taking place.
Eyes were shifting away from the small group of people who have controlled media since media’s inception. Independent media brought to light a number of facts that threaten the agenda of the global elite, like intelligence agency/government connections to mainstream media for example, and their plans in the middle east to basically invade, take-over, and establish a government that suits the Deep State’s best interests. There are several examples from all fields that surround human life, from healthcare to politics, and it all seems to be controlled by one massive conglomerate at the top.  We’ve been writing about this for nearly a decade now.
The Deep State Has Power Due To Our Unconsciousness
They (global elite) continue to do what they are able to do because of human consciousness. The more people who consider this a “conspiracy theory” and turn their heads away, the easier it is for them to continue and have power. I don’t understand how so much information can come to light, yet when it’s deemed a “conspiracy” theory” within mainstream media, everybody simply follows the rhetoric, without doing any investigation or research for themselves. If you don’t look into it, don’t share an opinion on it.

“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.” – Einstein.
All of these media sources were operating normally until Donald Trump became president, and until Hillary Clinton, Obama, Bush, etc were outed as global elite puppets. Heck, the Clinton’s and John Podesta have even referenced Wikileaks before that became ‘fake.’ Despite operating with credibility for more than a decade before the accusations. What does the media operating normally mean? Still manipulating the public, but at least they were reporting on both sides as a whole. Now, it’s quite different.
Donald Trump is extremely vilified not because he allegedly is/was racist/sexist, but because he threatens neoliberalism and neoconservatism, the American empire, one that continues to try and push an Orwellian state type of existence, which seems to be ramping up every single year. Trump was not supposed to win, and no this isn’t about democrats vs republicans or that Trump is a saviour. The Deep State responded like they always do every time something ‘goes wrong,’ they blamed Russia, as well as media outlets like Collective Evolution and others. Some of which have now been deleted as mentioned above.
Trump is Not The Solution, We Are
Things are getting pretty ridiculous, but they’re too late. Even if they do succeed in deleting more independent media sites from social media, they cannot erase them from the internet. Yes, social media platforms were great for spreading information across the internet and for having more people become aware of it. It really showed what people were interested in, and what people wanted to see, but clearly, we do not live in a democracy and that doesn’t matter.
People are still going to search for information, and alternative forms of information, given the fact that what they see coming from the mainstream is usually highly suspect and questionable. More and more people see it this way because our consciousness continues to shift. Social media platforms do not control the awakening but have been a great tool to grow it, but it’s something that cannot be stopped. The more we awaken and truly see past the political games, the more we pull power from the power grid that keeps all this in place.
Now, all of this seems to be taking place with perfect timing before the 2020 election. No doubt that the Deep State will want to take back the presidency, but ultimately, we need to see the bigger picture here. We need to see what politics actually is, and the past few years alone have provided us with the opportunity to see.
It’s nothing but elite people, corporations and the financial elite that have become drenched with so much power that they have been able to direct human will and use it for their own selfish purposes. With powerful revelations that have come to light, like elite pedophilia and ritual abuse, and extreme corruption, why do we still participate? Why do we choose to elect these people? Why do we believe we live in a democracy when what people want to look at, and what the majority of people want to have done (like GMO-labelling), is completely censored? Why are harmful ‘things’ surrounding us constantly when we have science showing it’s not safe, like cell phone towers etc. It’s simply because power lies within the corporatocracy. Decisions aren’t being made with the best interest of humanity at heart, and this is why the system is failing because it’s not actually for the people.
Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means … We have a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state … It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government … This ruthless power-seeking elite is a disease of our century… This group … is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable. – Senator William Jenner  (source)
Before 2020, they’re going to want to silence anything that creates awareness about the corruption, deceit and lies that have dominated the presidency and the entire military-industrial complex for years.
The fact of the matter is:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” – Edward Bernays (“the father of public relations”), Propaganda, 1928 (note that Bernays’ book, Propaganda, begins with the above quote).
This is what’s unravelling, and the stronger the push the unravel it, the stronger the reaction and response from the deep state.
The Takeaway
Recognize what’s happening, the massive censorship of information, coupled with the ridicule or finger pointing, or even arrest of people who choose to voice an opinion in opposition to the rhetoric that’s constantly spewed by mainstream media, which in turn is usually believed by the masses.
At the same time, independent media represents a shift in consciousness. A shift in our perceptions, thoughts, feelings and general self-awareness about our own planet is changing, and thus, change has been sprouted in multiple different areas, including political corruption and the stranglehold it has over our world.
We are more aware, but there is still some ways to go…
A good chunk of work has been done. A massive transformation of consciousness has taken place and it seems that a global mass is growing closer to a critical mass. The censorship of independent media is irrelevant in a sense, because the shift will continue to happen, change will continue to happen, and information that the deep state does not want the public to become aware of will keep making its way into transparency.
Independent media will continue to have the opportunity to share information because of a lack of credible information and plain truth within the mainstream. People are hungry for it, and will seek it out themselves.
The thing is, independent media needs BIG support. Not just sharing the information, but also funding it. You can help support CE here.

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.
In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

US Shale Oil Industry: Catastrophic Failure Ahead | Zero Hedge

While the U.S. Shale Industry produces a record amount of oil, it continues to be plagued by massive oil decline rates and debt.  Moreover, even as the companies brag about lowering the break-even cost to produce shale oil, the industry still spends more than it makes.  When we add up all the negative factors weighing down the shale oil industry, it should be no surprise that a catastrophic failure lies dead ahead.
Of course, most Americans have no idea that the U.S. Shale Oil Industry is nothing more than a Ponzi Scheme because of the mainstream media’s inability to report FACT from FICTION.  However, they don’t deserve all of the blame as the shale energy industry has done an excellent job hiding the financial distress from the public and investors by the use of highly technical jargon and BS.
For example, Pioneer published this in the recent Q2 2018 Press Release:
Pioneer placed 38 Version 3.0 wells on production during the second quarter of 2018. The Company also placed 29 wells on production during the second quarter of 2018 that utilized higher intensity completions compared to Version 3.0 wells. These are referred to as Version 3.0+ completions. Results from the 65 Version 3.0+ wells completed in 2017 and the first half of 2018 are outperforming production from nearby offset wells with less intense completions. Based on the success of the higher intensity completions to date, the Company is adding approximately 60 Version 3.0+ completions in the second half of 2018.
Now, the information Pioneer published above wasn’t all that technical, but it was full of BS.  Anytime the industry uses terms like “Version 3.0+ completions” to describe shale wells, this normally means the use of  “more technology” equals “more money.”  As the shale industry goes from 30 to 60 to 70 stage frack wells, this takes one hell of a lot more pipe, water, sand, fracking chemicals and of course, money.
However, the majority of investors and the public are clueless in regards to the staggering costs it takes to produce shale oil because they are enamored by the “wonders of technology.”  For some odd reason, they tend to overlook the simple premise that…
Of course, the shale industry doesn’t mind using MORE MONEY, especially if some other poor slob pays the bill.
Shale Oil Industry: Deep The Denial
According to a recently released article by 40-year oil industry veteran, Mike Shellman,  “Deep The Denial,” he provided some sobering statistics on the shale industry:
I recently put somebody very smart on the necessary research (SEC K’s, press releases regarding private equity to private producers, etc.) to determine what total upstream shale oil debt actually is. We found it to be between $285-$300B (billion), both public and private. Kallanish Energy Consultants recently wrote that there is $240B of long term E&P debt in the US maturing by 2023 and I think we should assume that at least 90 plus percent of that is associated with shale oil. That is maturing debt, not total debt.
… By year end 2019 I firmly believe the US LTO industry will then be paying over $20B annually in interest on long term debt.
Using its own self-touted “breakeven” oil price, the shale oil industry must then produce over 1.5 Million BOPD just to pay interest on that debt each year. Those are barrels of oil that cannot be used to deleverage debt, grow reserves, not even replace reserves that are declining at rates of 28% to 15% per year… that is just what it will take to service debt.
Using its own “breakeven” prices the US shale oil industry will ultimately have to produce 9G BO of oil, as much as it has already produced in 10 years…just to pay its total long term debt back.
Using Mike’s figures, I made the following chart below:
(For charts and graphs link to website below)
The public and investors need to understand that “oil breakeven costs” do not include capital expenditures.   And according to Pioneer’s Q2 2018 Press Release, the company plans on spending $3.4 billion on capital expenditures in 2018.  The majority of the capital expenditures are spent on drilling and completing horizontal shale wells.
For example, Pioneer brought on 130 new wells in the first half of 2018 and spent $1.7 billion on CAPEX (capital expenditures) versus 125 wells and $1.36 billion in 2H 2017.  I have seen estimates that it cost approximately $9 million for Pioneer to drill a horizontal shale well in the Permian.  Thus, the 130 wells cost nearly $1.2 billion.
However, the interesting thing to take note is that Pioneer brought on 125 wells in 2H 2017 to add 30,000+ barrels of new oil production compared to 130 wells in 1H 2018 that only added 10,000+ barrels.  So, how can Pioneer add five more wells (130 vs. 125) in 1H 2018 to see its oil production increase a third of what it was in the previous period?  
Regardless, the U.S. shale oil industry continues to spend more money than they make from operations.  While energy companies may have enjoyed lower costs when the industry was gutted by super-low oil prices in 2015 and 2016, it seems as if inflation has made its way back into the shale patch.  Rising energy prices translate to higher costs for the shale energy industry.  Rinse and repeat.
Unfortunately, when the stock markets finally crack, so will energy and commodity prices.  Falling oil prices will cause severe damage to the Shale Industry as it struggles to stay afloat by selling assets, issuing stock and increasing debt to continue producing unprofitable oil.
I believe the U.S. Shale Oil Industry will suffer catastrophic failure from the impact of deflationary oil prices along with peaking production.  While U.S. Shale Oil production has increased exponentially over the past decade, it will likely come down even faster.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Putin's Orthodox Faith - Barnes Review - Matthew Raphael Johnson (Watch the 3 videos - I dare you! - CL)

Putin’s Orthodoxy: A Few Hints about His Religious Views
Matthew Raphael Johnson
Vladimir Putin is fairly mute about his own religious views. Being a member of the Communist Party is no evidence of atheism. Its evidence only of conformity. Party membership was essential for having any a career of any substantial kind, especially in the security services. Military and police careers were, as in all societies, attractive to patriots and nationalists, though it had to be a “Soviet” rather than a specifically Russian nationalism. However, he does say that he was secretly baptized by his mother at 18 months in Petersburg at the Cathedral of the Martyrs Alexandria and Antonia of Rome. From this, it is safe to say that Putin was secretly taught the faith from a young age.
According to his mother, it was the day of St. Michael and all the Angels, so it had to be November 21st. Putin’s views are, in his own words, to be internal, and never the subject of a show. The cross that his mother gave him at the Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem he wears always. In his house many years ago, a fire broke out from the heating unit of the sauna malfunctioning. Worried that the cross, which he had left near his bed, was gone forever, once of the workmen found it perfectly intact in the midst of all the rubble.
Putin stated on Larry King that he sees this event as a miracle and a “revelation.” His personal commitment to Orthodoxy never wavered afterwards. Normally he goes to obscure, rural churches to spend the holidays, wishing to avoid the cameras and distractions of the major cities. His natural constituency is the Orthodox population, who, as polls have stated since the mid 1990s, trust the patriarch more than anyone else in Russia, even more than Putin himself.
Unlike Slobodan Milosevic, Putin is clearly comfortable and at home in an Orthodox setting, and his ritual movements are smooth and comfortable, not jerky and artificial as might be expected for a hypocritical display. Milosevic was noted for his awkwardness in Orthodox churches in the 1990s, suggesting he had no experience in them. The only time he seemed slightly stiff is when, upon kissing an icon, the background noise was of hundreds of cameras taking pictures.

This is one of the videos in which Putin reveals the origin of his faith.
It shows us the following:
Putin first speaks about his Baptism: 02:00
He believes in the traditional Russian family: 04:03
Over 65,000 Russians defend the Church: 08:02
The Orthodox bikers in the new Russia: 10:52
Putin’s acknowledges the saints and martyrs murdered by the communists: 11:45

Putin is far superior for the church than Peter the Great and many others. Non-Orthodox monarchs in Russia history include Peter I, who was a materialist Freemason. His successor, the mockery “Catherine I,” who was a former prostitute from Germany taken as war booty by Peter. She was placed on the throne in mockery, similar to the French Revolutionaries placing a prostitute on the throne of the Bishop of Paris during the terror. Lord Biron, a Freemason who ruled while the two “Empress Annas” tried on outfits), Peter III who was a Lutheran, soon murdered by, Catherine II, a Deist and vehemently anti-Orthodox and anti-Russian. Alexander I dabbled in the occult, while Alexander II was generally secular. At the same time, these and other monarchs placed atheists and masons as head of the synod on a regular basis. Putin is far more Orthodox than those monarchs.
Putin’s concern with ecumenism with Rome is puzzling. His constituency is Orthodox and nationalist. He has only to lose with this policy. Yet, no one else on earth right now has done more to strengthen and spread Orthodox than Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate. On February 13, 2012, Putin condemned the Red Army in the Russian Civil War. In 2012, 65,000 gathered at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow to defend the church against Pussy Riot and other attacks on it. This is the new Russia.
Back in 2001, Izvestia interviewed Putin’s spiritual father, the Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) of the Sretensky Monastery. This was December of 2001, probably prior to anyone really knowing too much about his policy agenda. The Archimandrite stated:
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is really an Orthodox Christian really, and not nominally. He confesses, receives communion and is aware of his responsibility before God for the ministry entrusted to him from on high and for his immortal soul. The burden and severity of the problems he is undertaking to solve and his responsibility for these is truly enormous. Anyone who really loves Russia and wishes her well can only pray for Vladimir Vladimirovich whom the Providence of God sent to deliver Russia.
The Archimandrite was himself sent to prison by the old KGB and had members of his family perish because of them. Thus, Putin’s background in this organization did not initially endear him to the President. However, he soon was convinced of Putin’s Orthodox mind. In his book, the Archimandrite writes:
Combining the modern Russian state with past forms, Putin has undertaken a huge effort to connect it to the heavens. The construction of churches, the reconstruction of destroyed parishes, monasteries and the revival of Russian shrines has become an urgent matter for Putin. For the dark, soulless landscape that was imposed on Russia after 1991 – one dominated by nihilism, anger, and nonsense mercantile scams – Russia was in a condition completely unsuitable for any future development. Anything built in this context, any laboratory or university, immediately plunged into the abyss of a toxic lifestyle. The restoration of churches and monasteries is truly the creation of huge sewage treatment plants which are to filter and processing the fetid waste of the 1990s. It is the construction of spiritual filters through which passes the poisoned spirit of the Russian people.
In his visit to Valaam, Putin stated that “without Orthodoxy, there would be no Russia.”
On the website of the Valaam monastery, they speak of the sincerity of the President’s faith. They state that visiting the northern shrines was a “turning point” for Putin and began a sincere conversion. He ensured that there was a minimum of meetings and no talk of politics. On August 16th of 2001 Putin first began his pilgrimage and acted like an “ordinary believer.” He walked the three kilometers to the main monastery to St. Nicholas’ skete. He then decreed that the island of Anzer be granted officially to the church and more specifically, the monastery of Solovki.
On the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Rus under St. Vladimir, Putin stated:
Today, when people are again looking for moral support, millions of our fellow citizens see their Russian Orthodox religion as a beacon. Trust the wise pastoral words of the Russian Orthodox Church. Her selfless, educational and social service demand respect. Her public authority and peacekeeping efforts aimed at strengthening the harmony and stability of Russia, as well as her efforts to restore the historical ties among peoples, and especially with our compatriots abroad, has been her legacy. It is also important that a new level of state-church relations has developed. We act as genuine partners and as co-workers in solving the most pressing domestic and international challenges in the implementation of joint ventures for the benefit of our country and people.
On the 90th anniversary of the restoration of the Patriarchate, Putin stated:
The Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church helped the people survive the agony of the 20th century. It helped defend the faith, to unite the flock and to save not just the church, but the ideas of Christianity. And later, already in a revival of religious life, the Church has helped continue his tireless service. And today, we appreciate the desire of the Russian Orthodox Church to return the ideals and values to Russian society that for centuries were our spiritual landmarks (Putin, 2007).
It is common to condemn Putin for being a “KGB agent.” the truth is that the security services of any nation attract nationalists. Few doctrinaire Marxists existed in the USSR. This is the exclusive domain of capitalist universities. Putin has condemned Marxism and communism. He has stated that the fall of the USSR was a great “catastrophe.” Indeed it was: Solzhenitsyn said the same. The destruction of the Soviet economy in a few years and its liquidation into the bank accounts of a few Jewish oligarchs is well known. The USSR was preferable to the 1990s in Russia. The life expectancy of the Russian male went down to under 60 years.
To be a career man of any kind in the USSR, one had to join the party. Spouting a few slogans that no one believed is a minor price to pay for the ability to feed one’s family. Putin clearly (albeit secretly) rejected the party’s atheism. He was and is a Russian nationalist. My book, Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin (TBR Press, 2012) shows this at great length. I’ve translated some speeches and writings that have not seen the light of day in the west. The revelations of Putin’s secret baptism make sense out of his post-soviet career and ideological development.
(NB: Readers should buy directly from The Barnes Review (the publisher of this book) due to the fact that Amazon and other retailers are deliberately charging outrageously high prices for it).
(Watch these videos and then imagine an American president saying the same things about America. - CL)

If you encounter any problems with the above videos, just link to the source website below: