Will Estonia be next?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2014 7:30 PM GMT
    As Puter rebuilds what used to be the USSR.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/19/us-russia-estonia-idUSBREA2I1J620140319
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    Mar 19, 2014 7:57 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree saidAs Puter rebuilds what used to be the USSR.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/19/us-russia-estonia-idUSBREA2I1J620140319


    Simple solution:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/03/03/its-time-to-drive-russia-bankrupt-again/

    I just hope they're willing to pursue it versus this:
    http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/03/18/environmentalists-challenge-obama-on-natural-gas-exports/
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    Mar 19, 2014 8:43 PM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    riddler78 saidSimple solution:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/03/03/its-time-to-drive-russia-bankrupt-again/

    That's a solution I'd agree with, but I don't see a "Ronald Reagan" or "Bill Clinton" waiting in the wings to enact these policies. As the author says, Bush and Obama have both had "weak dollar" policies that have exacerbated this situation.

    And regardless, we've got 3 more years of Obama to get through. Where one of my criticisms of Bush was that he hired a bunch of "cold war experts" to try to deal with terrorism (which was wholly ineffective); Obama is now in the reverse pickle: he's demonstrated some ability to protect America from threats of terrorism (even though "personal privacy be damned"), but I don't see him or anyone in his administration having the skills to deal with Putin or Russia.

    This is worrisome. America is weak right now --as much (if not more, imo) due to the clusterfuckery on the right for the last couple of decades. The country has been divided for so long, it was really only a matter of time before some other nation sought to benefit from America's internal distractions. In past times, this threat from outside would have united left and right, but I don't see that happening today.


    Putin is a very skilled, tough, negotiator and those same skills are some that I believe Obama is sorely lacking.

    From the middle east to Russia, there's a very unique way you have to deal with these folks, whether its Obama in the realm of the geopolitical or me with my commercial real estate deals. Being nice with these folks is not an option as they take it as a sign of weakness that you'll pay dearly for. I've learned.

    "In past times, this threat from outside would have united left and right, "

    If it gets serious enough, it will unite us again.
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    Mar 19, 2014 8:49 PM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    riddler78 saidSimple solution:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2014/03/03/its-time-to-drive-russia-bankrupt-again/

    That's a solution I'd agree with, but I don't see a "Ronald Reagan" or "Bill Clinton" waiting in the wings to enact these policies. As the author says, Bush and Obama have both had "weak dollar" policies that have exacerbated this situation.

    And regardless, we've got 3 more years of Obama to get through. Where one of my criticisms of Bush was that he hired a bunch of "cold war experts" to try to deal with terrorism (which was wholly ineffective); Obama is now in the reverse pickle: he's demonstrated some ability to protect America from threats of terrorism (even though "personal privacy be damned"), but I don't see him or anyone in his administration having the skills to deal with Putin or Russia.

    This is worrisome. America is weak right now --as much (if not more, imo) due to the clusterfuckery on the right for the last couple of decades. The country has been divided for so long, it was really only a matter of time before some other nation sought to benefit from America's internal distractions. In past times, this threat from outside would have united left and right, but I don't see that happening today.


    Honestly, I don't get it. Obama has everything to gain by pushing natural gas - granted, there is a lot of controversy with how waste water is treated (especially when it's injected back into the ground). Let's say though you are concerned about the problems with waste water:

    a. there is so much natural gas right now in the US that is viable because of fracking that it can displace the energy from insane despots/dictators. Surely, this alone should be a consideration to encourage their exports. Based on what we know of, if the US switched entirely to natural gas tomorrow, it would be able to power itself for something like 100 years. The thing is, there's more discoveries being made and that's not including what's offshore or even in Alaska.

    b. why not fund a manhattan-style project that reduces the use of waste water or "open sources" what's in it so it can can be more easily treated and disposed of? (I don't think it's necessary but if it means he can get in front of the issue politically so be it). You already have advances in filtration technology, even environmentally friendly fracking inputs (http://theadvocate.com/news/business/5091304-123/energy-industry-develops-environmentally-friendly), create a prize to push these advances faster to commercialization. Offer a million dollar prize, or a few hundred million - it's still cheaper than the costs of any new war and the decreased threats will increase trade/wealth for Americans (and everyone else).

    c. fund prizes instead of directly funding favorite companies when it comes to alternative energy sources. In everything from batteries to solar - these things have the potential to be very viable and there's already billions poured into them by VCs, but maybe a few new prizes would help to raise the political profile, help show that he's in front of the issue, etc. without appearing like a crony capitalist (like all those loans that just happened to go to founders or companies funded by friends who helped to fund him). These alternatives are probably where we are going anyway given that the incremental cost to produce is effectively zero... we just need to bring down the initial investment costs.

    Personally, I am really skeptical that the invasions in privacy have made us more secure. You look at the boston marathon bombers and they had all this information available to them before hand - even before 9/11 - there were intelligence failures. The combination of Homeland Security was supposed to force inter-agency cooperation but instead it seems like such a bureaucratic mess.

    I don't think things are hopeless... I think the solutions can be pretty simple. Especially given how dependent Putin is on high energy prices.
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    Mar 19, 2014 9:06 PM GMT
    More here:
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Putin-Plays-Down-Russias-Deadly-Dependence-on-Oil-Gas-Revenues.html

    Russia’s federal budget is reliant on commodities revenues - according to official data, commodities contribute around 60 percent of the federal budget; in reality, that number is closer to 75–80 percent as much of the service sector depends on money from oil and gas.
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    Mar 19, 2014 9:33 PM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    freedomisntfree saidPutin is a very skilled, tough, negotiator and those same skills are some that I believe Obama is sorely lacking.

    From the middle east to Russia, there's a very unique way you have to deal with these folks, whether its Obama in the realm of the geopolitical or me with my commercial real estate deals. Being nice with these folks is not an option as they take it as a sign of weakness that you'll pay dearly for. I've learned.

    "In past times, this threat from outside would have united left and right, "

    If it gets serious enough, it will unite us again.

    I agree. We have quite a few Russian immigrants in Van and when I was in electronic sales I saw exactly what you mean. They lead with their "asshole", imo: they get in your face, act belligerent, and really try to bully their way to getting what they want. I found that if you capitulated, you were just in for a world of hurt of more and more angry requests...and frankly plenty of times they weren't buying anyway: it was just "negotiating to pass the time". But be an equal asshole to them right out of the gate and suddenly "Oh, I can relate to this guy...he's okay". icon_rolleyes.gif

    And yeah, if I can take my "social liberal" hat off for a sec, as 'good' as Obama has been for gay issues of the day (which is great, but really he was dragged kicking and screaming to our side), I think he's one of the most inept negotiators to ever lead a nation (and with the tenor on the right, it's bad time for that). And Kerry even more inept than O. With everyone pulling together (left and right), there would be a chance, but if the GOP tries to make political hay with this, it could be good for their bases' interests but bad for the US and the world as a whole.

    I kinda wish Hillary was still Secretary of State...she has bigger balls than both O and Kerry combined, lol. (To be clear, I don't think Romney would have been any better in this situation either....the polarized environment down there isn't getting the best candidates to the podium lately, imo).


    "They lead with their "asshole", imo: they get in your face, act belligerent, and really try to bully their way to getting what they want"

    Exactly. Example .... back in my LA residential days, my seller asks $1,000,000 for a property, which let's say is a fair market price in line with most comps. 'They' offer $500,000 and want seller financing. I counter with $1,500,000 and full cash at close and deposit goes hard at the end of the contingency period.

    I could go into example after example of what I've gone through with the Iranians, Armenians and Russians with arguably the Armenians being the worst by a hair or two (speaking San Fernando Valley with the epicenter being in Glendale).

    Then if we somehow got together on a signed deal the negotiating never stops. Then they'd call the night before closing (just guaranteed that this would happen) and demand another $100,000+ off or they won't close. I say fine, deal is off and we're not closing. So then they'd refuse to sign the escrow cancellation thereby tying up the property. They'd file a lis pendens with no pending legal action. we'd file a slander on title action. Now sometime in the middle of all this the buyer would 'stop by' with four or five of their thug friends in their stolen Mercedes with the airbag wires handing out and they'd meet my .357 or .44 in my shoulder holster. Didn't ever brandish in SoCal, but certainly made sure they saw it.

    Learned long long ago and I became their worst geezerly white boi punk nightmare to negotiate with. Then and only then did things get done once in a while.
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    Mar 19, 2014 10:18 PM GMT
    YourName2000 saidRemember "T. Boone Pickens Plan"? I thought it was genius. If the US initiated a program to convert a significant number of gas powered cars to natural gas, it would be better for the environment and better for everyone's pocket book because the lightened load on oil demand would likely lower prices even for those still using gas cars. And if it did lower prices, then as you say it would gut Russia's wallet.

    It's painful when you've got such an amazing solution as the US's natural gas reserves and yet no real drive to take advantage of it (which is also because the oil and car companies have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo). The situation is so bizarre to me, it's as if France was sitting on huge amounts of amazing wine but decided that 'no, we should keep importing swill from India'.

    And I also agree with you regarding the NSA's invasion of privacy clearly not being effective if it can't stop something like the Boston bombers. Not to mention it's costing billions of dollars and has led to considerable egg on the nation's face with her own allies. The Utah data center alone is over 4 billion dollars just to construct. icon_eek.gif God only knows how much it costs to staff and operate these facilities. Personally I think it's information overload and they lack the ability to effectively data-mine so much chaff for a grain or two of "actionable intel".

    But that's probably enough 'agreeing with you' for one day, lol. icon_wink.gificon_razz.gif


    Haha - well, I think Pickens is still pursuing his natural gas plan with his investment in Westport. I think the wind energy component of his plan was a non starter though. Without a concerted national effort, because the difference in costs, we are going to see more and more natural gas/hybrid cars. In Toronto there are a lot more cabs being powered by natural gas simply because it's so cheap...

    The irony here though is that the biggest barrier is the costs to manufacturers to register and certify the conversions of cars... it costs something like 4k per car for the mechanic when the parts cost only a few hundred bucks. You don't need to spend billions in order to do this - just reduce the regulatory costs of what's there (they already do this in Brazil).
  • janu88

    Posts: 346

    May 30, 2014 7:09 AM GMT
    Don't you guys worry about Estonia icon_smile.gif attacking Estonia means attacking European union and NATO icon_smile.gif
    Worry about Ukrainians and belarussians ,moldovians.
  • Kazachok

    Posts: 415

    May 30, 2014 1:59 PM GMT
    Well I always thought Russia should have invaded Estonia right before it joined NATO. I mean, who wants their biggest enemy right on their border?
    Russians aren't stupid: they know that your missile "defence" shield is against them, not Iran. And Romania, Poland, Estonia, etc, are stupid enough to be the cannon-fodder.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 30, 2014 2:13 PM GMT
    I really don't think Putin wants the liability associated with taking over these bankrupt Eastern Euro countries unless he can exploit natural resources. Crimea just gave him access to all his naval bases. That's what he wanted.

    Ukraine is just a corrupt mess.
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    May 30, 2014 2:56 PM GMT
    all these countries, including Russia, are less than third world countries. We overestimate & demonise our enemy.
  • janu88

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    Aug 26, 2014 9:16 AM GMT
    tj85016 saidI really don't think Putin wants the liability associated with taking over these bankrupt Eastern Euro countries unless he can exploit natural resources. Crimea just gave him access to all his naval bases. That's what he wanted.

    Ukraine is just a corrupt mess.


    Bankrupt eastern Euro countries? Jesus you have seriously no clue about what goes on in Europe do you ? icon_biggrin.gif
    Ahh now I see your 54 of age, that generation. You need to get over the fact that even these "east" euro countries nowdays are doing much better than most american states.
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    Aug 26, 2014 11:56 AM GMT
    pellaz saidall these countries, including Russia, are less than third world countries. We overestimate & demonise our enemy.


    Except for the amounts of money (in the case of Russia) they spend on military relative to GDP and those pesky nukes.
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    Aug 26, 2014 12:00 PM GMT
    janu88 said
    tj85016 saidI really don't think Putin wants the liability associated with taking over these bankrupt Eastern Euro countries unless he can exploit natural resources. Crimea just gave him access to all his naval bases. That's what he wanted.

    Ukraine is just a corrupt mess.


    Bankrupt eastern Euro countries? Jesus you have seriously no clue about what goes on in Europe do you ? icon_biggrin.gif
    Ahh now I see your 54 of age, that generation. You need to get over the fact that even these "east" euro countries nowdays are doing much better than most american states.


    While I'd agree that a number of the eastern European states are doing better, it's relative - they're probably not doing better than most American states:
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/08/why-britain-is-poorer-than-any-us-state-other-than-mississippi/