Russia Behind Bulgarian Anti-Fracking Protests?

By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com

Pity the poor Eastern Europeans. Fifty years under the domination of their massive Soviet eastern neighbor then the collapse of Communism there two decades ago offered undreamed of opportunities to join both the European Union and NATO.

But they still remain dependent on the Russian Federation for the majority of their oil and gas needs, and the new capitalists in Moscow do not hesitate to charge the highest prices possible.

According a number of East European nations, particularly Poland and Bulgaria, are actively investigating the possibility of establishing hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations on their territory to develop an indigenous natural gas industry and undercut the Russian Federation’s state-owned natural gas monopoly Gazprom.

Mindful however of the possible negative environmental effects of fracking last month 166 members of the Bulgarian National Assembly’s 240 parliamentarians voted to impose an indefinite ban on shale gas exploration and extraction in Bulgaria using hydraulic fracturing or other similar technology.

Now a hard-hitting editorial in the Trud newspaper by Ivan Sotirov entitled, “Russian Lobby Against Shale Gas,” accuses pro-Russian Bulgarian supporters of fomenting protests against shale gas operations in the country.

Commenting that “nightmare” protest rallies against fracking have taken place in the capital’s Sofia streets Sotirov wrote of their effects, “The ostensibly rightist majority at the National Assembly has capitulated, without any serious arguments, to this pseudo-civic pressure, and has adopted a moratorium on prospecting and extracting shale gas in Bulgaria. In other words, the National Assembly has banned Bulgaria from learning whether it has shale gas deposits – information which could have released us from the total energy dependence on Russia. The majority in the National Assembly has allowed the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), and several semi self-disintegrating mini-parties to insult the Minister of Energy (Traycho Traykov), who has been appointed by the same confused and helpless majority… It has been inadmissible for the chairman of the Union of Democratic Forces (Martin Dimitrov) and rightist deputies to support this decision, which contradicts the Bulgarian national interest and protects our total energy dependence on Russia. In addition, all this has been done without any serious motivation because the campaign against the shale gas prospecting has been based on cheap manipulations and lies. This has been an attempt to disguise a political issue as a purely ecological matter.”

Writing about the campaign as one of disinformation Sotirov continues, “The first lie has been that experiments with a new technology will be conducted in Bulgaria. This is totally untrue… Second – the so-called defenders of environment protection among the politicians have not cited even a single example of a serious case of pollution after fracking.”

Finally, Sotirov names names: “Noted chiefs of the Sixth Department (of State Security – the Communist era secret service), led by Dimitur Ivanov – Mityo the Gestapo and the supporters of (former President) Georgi Purvanov’s Grand Slam (the ‘Belene’ Nuclear Power Plant construction, the ‘South Stream’ (natural gas pipeline to export Gazprom gas) project, and the ‘Burgas-Alexandroupolis’ oil pipeline project, are among the protestors against shale gas prospecting…

Sotirov concludes, “The most shameful fact is the realization that after 22 years of democracy Bulgaria’s policy continues to be dictated by oligarchic pro-Russian circles, which, hiding behind nationalistic and ecological rhetoric have not allowed a single serious strategic Western investor to set a foot in Bulgaria. The question is when somebody will finally stop them.”

Why would Bulgarian pro-Russian interests do such a thing?

Could it be that because of a long-term contract, Gazprom delivers more than 90 percent of the natural gas consumed in Bulgaria?

Or that last November it was announced that Gazprom will enter Bulgaria’s retail fuel market by buying gas stations in the country through its Serbian unit Naftna Industrija Srbije?

Or that, according to Gazprom CEO Aleksei Millter, addressing Gazprom’s Annual General Shareholders Meeting on 30 June 2011, during his presentation “Gazprom: New Horizons,” outlined a series pf projected natural gas pipelines across Bulgaria to deepen Gazprom’s market share in Eastern and Central Europe?

Or that in December 2010 Gazprom acquired a 50 percent stake in the South Stream Bulgaria AD pipeline project?

Or the fact that the natural gas contract between Bulgaria and Gazprom expires later this year?

Or that Gazprom is forecasting its consolidated net profit for 2011 at $40 billion, or 25 percent more than in 2010?

Nah, surely none of the above – Bulgarian parliamentarians are only being good custodians of the country’s environment, surely.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Russia-Behind-Bulgarian-Anti-Fracking-Protests.html

By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com


Obama Punishes Banks–Now, How About Dodd and Frank?

By: Jeffrey Klein

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his boss, President Barack Obama, both took “victory laps” all over the media today, because the awesome force of the United States government, along with 49 state Attorneys General, and Obama’s “class warfare” mantra, allowed them to squeeze five of the largest banks in America for a $25 billion mortgage foreclosure “abuse” settlement, according to a FOXNews article today.

The heights of audacity and hypocrisy have finally reached the ionosphere.

As the resulting financial and emotional agony was spreading among millions of voters across the land, federal and state Democrat lawmakers, led by President Obama, and aided by the mainstream media, were swift to paint “big banks” as the “evil boogeyman,” whose unethical actions caused the devastating financial crisis since the Great Depression.

But, this is total fiction, delivered through self-serving political theatre.

False premises are at the heart of this fiction, made up to fit an emotional narrative, articulated perfectly in Dunstan Prial’s FOXNews article today.

First, that many thousands of Americans were wrongly thrown out of their homes as a result of shady foreclosure practices.

Second, providing financial reparations to the “victims” of these supposedly shady practices, will “right” the grievous wrongs, and the housing market–specifically the mortgage lending process, making it somehow operate more efficiently in the future.

Finally, as Anthony B. Sanders, finance professor George Mason University, pointed out in Prial’s article … “There’s no economic purpose to this settlement. It’s not going to undo the damage done by people defaulting.”

According to research firm, CoreLogic, 3.2 million people had lost their homes by foreclosure since September 2008–but under the settlement, checks of just $1,800 each will be sent to the estimated 750,000 borrowers who are deemed victims of these fraudulent foreclosure practices.

“Do we owe money to people asked to leave premises they weren’t paying for?” asked Sanders. “And is $1,800 going to get that house back?”

Sanders holds the view of most people who know the facts regarding the real origin of this financial catastrophe, because they don’t rely on the mainstream media for news and information, saying … “It’s been a witch hunt from the start. This has been driven by [Democrat] politicians and a desire for blatant retaliation or revenge against the banks.”

Many of these Democrat politicians taking the fight to the banks, were led by President Bill Clinton, to legislate new Community Reinvestment Act regulations in 1995, which “forced” these same banks, under penalty of law, to make these mortgage loans to low income, high risk residents of formerly “red-lined” (unstable and dangerous) neighborhoods.

Following that, many ACORN “boots on the ground” representatives, funded by the federal government as community outreach organizers, were behind every dissed low income borrower, threatening to file complaints with bank regulators.

So, sub-prime mortgages and debt-swap derivatives were designed by mortgage lenders and Wall Street respectively, so the government’s will could be done.

And the problem quietly grew to biblical proportions.

Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who was chairman of the Senate Banking and Finance Committee, and soon to be former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who was chairman of the House Banking and Finance Committee, both blocked several Bush Administration efforts to audit and investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest purchasers of these mortgages.

In fact, Barney Frank, whose boyfriend was a marketing executive at Freddie Mac, testified before Congress, as recently as the mid 2007, that ‘there is no danger of a financial problem’ with either of these entities.

Six months later the rapid real estate market collapse began.

The late Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, both vaunted investment houses of world renown, were large holders of such assets–both of which collapsed into the largest bankruptcies of all time.

This necessitating the creation of the now famous trillion-dollar bailout fund T.A.R.P.–Troubled Asset Recovery Program, the effectiveness of which is still being decided.

As far as the current settlement goes, it was intentionally dressed up as “social justice,” with President Obama describing the deal as a “landmark settlement” that would “begin to turn the page on an era of recklessness,” while speeding relief to hard-hit homeowners.

Someday soon, a real justice might prevail–by applying the same ruthless effort shown by Eric Holder against the banks, to arrest and criminally prosecute Dodd and Frank–who both, ironically, sponsored the Financial Reform Act of 2009.

Perhaps they did it as a final act of penance.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Jeffrey Klein


The Human Condition

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Sometimes you can tell by a person’s voice that they’re going to be fun to meet; today was that kind of day. A woman called wanting work done on her Ford Explorer; something about how when it came back from being worked on the ignition key no longer worked in the doors or the storage cover. There was a familiar ring to her voice which I pegged right off as being similar to a character in the movie, Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin was autistic and certain aspects of life were a major challenge, things you and I take for granted. She was deathly afraid of automatic sliding doors, to the point of avoiding shopping at stores where she’d have to go past the guillotine-like devices. On one such occasion, Temple entered a grocery store and found herself trapped, unable to leave once she realized her only exit was through an automatic sliding glass door.

A sweet woman approached Temple, started a conversation and recognized an opportunity to assist the petrified young girl past the automatic doors. Her voice was that of a long lost friend even though they’d never met; this was the voice I heard over the phone. I mentioned this to the customer upon first meeting to work on her key issues.

Turned out all she needed was some spray lubricant in her locks, there was nothing wrong other than they’d become dry from the elements. Most of the time she used the remote “clicker” to open or lock and so the key hardly ever was used. She had a sense of humor and got a good laugh for not having tried something so simple herself. I did make her a duplicate transponder key and programmed it so she’d have a back up key; not like it was a wasted call.

While lubricating the locks and testing her keys to make sure they worked, I told her about a woman, many years ago, who’d called because, as she explained, she’d locked herself out of her car one very hot August day. It was late on a Saturday and I was still an apprentice locksmith working for free; well, not quite free. I got paid in knowledge and every now and then I was given a job at the end of the day, something not too difficult where I could keep the money; mostly jobs the boss didn’t want, too far in the wrong direction or not worth the effort.

It was a typical Houston summer afternoon, about 97 degrees with high humidity, when the lady called about her Cadillac being locked with the keys inside. Almost an hour’s drive and the lady was sitting on the trunk deck waiting when I drove up.

She wore a professional three piece business suit; but her makeup had “slid” down and was dripping onto the jacket portion, that’s how hot it was. I walked around the vehicle testing all the handles; it never hurts to try the simplest thing, the passenger side rear door opened.

“That’s not possible, I always lock the doors,” she blurted out as a smile crept onto my face. I tried to hide it, but it was already out there. The lady was perplexed and beside herself as my sense of humor rose to the occasion.

“I’m not going to charge you for the lock out; however, not telling anyone your name is worth the price of admission, wouldn’t you say?” She paid in cash and was embarrassed to look me in the face. That’s the human condition; some have it worse than others. Today’s customer only needed a little spray lubricant to get her locks working, nothing to feel too bad about.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”


The Rivolis made it out of Egypt.. alive.

By: Andrea Shea King
The Radio Patriot

Tonight on The ANDREA SHEA KING Show at 9pm ET


While 16 Americans, including US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son Sam LaHood are being detained by the Islamist factions in Egypt, two of our American friends made it out alive.

The Rivolis — Kay and Ron — recently made it home from a “vacation” destination that not everyone would dare travel to — Egypt.

It was during the recent TPX tour of Florida that we learned the alarming news that the musical duo had been in Egypt since January 24th. We knew what is happening in Egypt, and worried for the Rivolis’ safety and prayed they’d get out of there alive.

They did, but not without some harrowing tales to tell. And tonight they’ll share those with us, in an exclusive interview on The ANDREA SHEA KING Show. You don’t want to miss this. Kay wrote on Feb. 6th,

Thank you for your prayers for our safety. After arriving in Cairo on January 24th, we returned home at midnight last night after 30 hours of travel (several delays). When I stepped out of the car in the driveway of my home, I knelt to my knees and kissed the ground. I was so blessed to have been born in the United States of America and so grateful to be back home, that it no longer bothered me that the kitchen was torn out, still awaiting remodeling. I will never look at life quite the same after this trip. While outside the doors of our hotel, an armed guard with an AK47 was in my shadow throughout the trip.

We were reminded a million times of what we have all been fighting for. If you ever had any doubts we can assure you, this country is well worth fighting for. As we all continue forward may we always remember that God blessed America!

The Rivoli Review performs at Beaufort, SC Tea Party Rally, Sept. 2011