Elon Musk Calls Out “Corporate Journalism” Over Twisted Coverage Of His ‘Twitter Files’

Elon Musk Calls Out “Corporate Journalism” Over Twisted Coverage Of His ‘Twitter Files’

Authored by Frank Fang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Elon Musk has criticized mainstream media outlets over their coverage of the so-called “Twitter Files.”

Why is corporate journalism rushing to defend the state instead of the people?” Musk wrote on Twitter on Dec. 27, in response to a tweet from journalist and documentary filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse. The latter was sharing his new Substack post about how corporate media rushed to defend the FBI and the state instead of exposing them.

“The Hunter Biden laptop story shows the extent to which the corporate media has become the propaganda arm of the state,” Woodhouse wrote in his Substack, pointing to the recent release of the seventh installment of Twitter’s internal documents.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway, on Aug. 29, 2022. (Carina Johansen/NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

Independent author Michael Shellenberger published the seventh installment on Dec. 19, revealing how there was an “organized effort” by federal law enforcement agents to discredit the 2020 Hunter Biden laptop report, by targeting social media and news companies.

Other installments of Twitter’s internal communications have shown how the media giant placed certain individuals on “secret blacklists,” debates over how to handle former President Donald Trump’s account before it was suspended in January 2021, and how the FBI allegedly flagged accounts and tweets for Twitter to take action against.

The FBI has dismissed the “Twitter Files,” alleging that “conspiracy theorists” are attempting to discredit the bureau.

A Twitter user responded to Musk’s question by writing, “Simple… it’s Corporate Journalism… Not Journalism.”

To which Musk replied: “Exactly. Why would anyone trust corpo journalism?”


In the same thread, Musk also said that he was “open to the idea” of buying the Substack platform, while responding to a tweet from Wall Street Silver.

The latter wrote, “Twitter plus Substack creates instantly massive competition for obsolete legacy corporate media.

Substack allows independent writers and podcasters to publish directly to their audiences and get paid through subscriptions, the platform’s website says.

Tuesday was not the first time that Musk has expressed an interest in buying Substack.

On Dec. 8, conservative commentator Dave Rubin started a thread by alleging that Google and YouTube’s “manipulation for political purposes is FAR worse than Twitter’s.”

A Twitter user continued the thread and recommended Musk buy Substack.

The Twitter user wrote: “You would have the information layer with Twitter and the narrative layer. Corporate media would then have [to] specialize on reporting government leaks, from ‘people familiar with the matter.’”

“I’m open to the idea,” Musk wrote in response to the recommendation.


On Dec. 28, Musk responded to a Twitter clip posted by CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” during which Axios reporter Hope King said the new Twitter chief’s reputation was “in danger.”

“All of the macro conditions are against his favor. Market-share for $TSLA is down year-over-year. His reputation with Twitter is impacting his reputation when it comes to all of his companies,” she said.

In response, Musk wrote: “The legacy media should worry about its reputation. We have only just begun.”

Musk has promised to promote free speech after acquiring Twitter and his decision to release the company’s internal documents is tied to his promise.

“The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Dec. 28, just days before the first batch of the “Twitter Files” was released by independent journalist Matt Taibbi.

The first installment exposed how the social media giant’s efforts to suppress the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story published just weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

Emails from the laptop’s hard drive and Treasury records revealed how then-Vice President Joe Biden, his brother James, and Hunter Biden were involved in various foreign business ventures, in countries such as Ukraine, Russia, and China. At the time, many media outlets discredited the revelations as “Russian disinformation” and the news was blocked by social media platforms.

Hunter Biden recently hired high-profile defense lawyer Abbe Lowell to his legal team, as House Republicans plan to launch probes into his overseas business interests.

Congressional Probe

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said Congress needs to probe “Big Tech” companies, following the revelations made by the “Twitter Files.”

“These explosive revelations show the enormous power that a handful of liberal tech executives have over our public discourse,” Wicker wrote in his weekly report published on Dec. 26.

We should be grateful that new leadership is lifting the hood on Twitter, but Congress needs to follow up with wider investigations into Big Tech companies, including Facebook and Google,” he said.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 17:30

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Visualizing The Smartphone Effect On The Camera Market

Visualizing The Smartphone Effect On The Camera Market

The smartphone camera has come a long way since the early 2000s, and its impact on the overall camera market cannot be understated.

In fact, modern smartphones have become so sophisticated that the CEO of Sony’s semiconductor manufacturing company predicts that smartphone cameras will soon produce better quality images than DSLR cameras.

Whether smartphones will be able to completely replace standalone cameras is still a contentious debate topic, but one thing is clear—while smartphone sales have skyrocketed over the last decade, digital camera sales have plummeted.

As Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes, this animation by James Eagle compares annual sales data for film cameras, digital cameras, and smartphones over the years to show just how much smartphones have impacted the camera market.

Charting the Smartphone Effect on the Camera Market from Visual Capitalist on Vimeo.

A (Brief) History of Standalone Cameras

Below, we’ve broken down the history of cameras into three overarching periods: early cameras, film cameras, and digital cameras.

Early Cameras

Cameras have been around for thousands of years, with descriptions of camera-like devices found in historical writings dating back as far as the 4th century:

  • 330 AD: Ancient Chinese texts describe a device known as a camera obscura. Similar to pinhole cameras, these didn’t produce actual photographs, but rather reflected light onto screens which could then be traced to produce a lasting image.

  • Early 1800s: It’s generally accepted that Joseph Nicéphore Niépce invented the first photographic camera in 1816. Using silver chloride, Niépce managed to develop an image that’s still around today.

  • 1840s: Early cameras produced negative images which had to be color corrected, until mirrored cameras were invented. Alexander S. Wolcott was the first person to patent a mirrored camera in 1840.

  • 1871: Richard Leach Maddox came up with an invention that led to instantaneous exposure, meaning cameras only needed to be exposed to light for a few seconds before producing an image.

These early inventions were critical milestones in the development of the modern-day camera. However, cameras and film weren’t available to the masses until Kodak’s Brownie camera made photography relatively cheap.

The Emergence of Film Cameras

Released in 1900, the Kodak Brownie was a handheld, inexpensive roll film camera invented by George Eastman.

When it first launched, the camera sold for $1.00, equivalent to about $35.48 in 2022 dollars. With more than 100,000 cameras sold within the first year, Eastman is often credited for making photography accessible to the masses.

Fast forward a few decades, and technological advancements led to features in cameras like viewfinders, different shutter speeds, and detachable lenses. These features were possible on what’s known as twin lens reflex cameras, or TLR for short, but they were soon replaced by single lens reflex cameras (SLR).

Digital Cameras Enter the Scene

By the late 1990s, digital cameras were invented and began quickly outselling film cameras.

Unlike their film counterparts, digital cameras feature a digital sensor, and store images on a memory card which could store thousands of pictures.

Digital camera sales grew throughout the early 2000s—in 2005 the Photo Marketing Association International even estimated that 52% of households would own a digital camera by the end of the year.

The Smartphone Camera Changes the Game

In the early 2000s, camera phones were far less powerful than their standalone counterparts.

For instance, one of the first camera phones to hit the market, Samsung’s SCH-V200, could take 20 pictures at 0.35-megapixel resolution. In contrast, Canon’s EOS D30 digital camera released the same year had a resolution of 3 megapixels.

But the advent of the iPhone, and the rollout and accessibility of modern smartphones with powerful cameras, quickly saw many non-enthusiasts switch to smartphone cameras only. In 2022, Google’s Pixel 7 has multiple built-in cameras, with both a 50 megapixel wide rear camera and a 12 megapixel ultrawide rear camera. In comparison, Canon’s ​​enthusiast EOS 850 has a 24.1 megapixel sensor.

The animated chart above highlights the direct impact on the digital camera market after its 2009/2010 peak:


So does that make a modern smartphone camera better? Not at all, as there are other a multitude of factors to consider when assessing a camera’s quality besides resolution. But in an article in Wired Magazine, tech journalist Sam Kieldsen explains how the market has shifted:


[Smartphones have] effectively killed off the cheap pocket point-and-shoot camera already, but there’s still so much they can’t do in comparison to a true purpose-built mirrorless or DSLR camera. Low light image quality, convincing bokeh effects and extreme close-up macro photography are all still significantly better on a real camera.

Smartphones may not be fully replacing DSLR cameras anytime soon, but they’ve certainly changed the industry and game in which it plays.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 16:55

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28-Year-Old Charged in Killing Of 4 Idaho College Students

28-Year-Old Charged in Killing Of 4 Idaho College Students

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Authorities in Pennsylvania arrested a suspect in the killings of four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death in their beds in November, authorities announced in a Friday news conference.

Bryan Christopher Kohberger was taken into custody by police in Pennsylvania on Dec. 30. (Monroe County Correctional Facility)

Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, was arrested early Friday morning by the Pennsylvania State Police at a home in Chestnuthill Township, authorities announced. He is being held for extradition to Idaho on a warrant for first degree murder, according to arrest paperwork filed in Monroe County Court.

Latah County prosecutor Bill Thompson confirmed in the Friday press conference that a criminal complaint was filed against Kohberger with four counts of murder and other charges in connection to the case. An affidavit has been sealed until Kohberger returns to Idaho to be served with a warrant, Thompson said.

The prosecutor said that Kohberger is being held without bond in Pennsylvania, also confirming earlier reports that he was a graduate student at Washington State University. In the news conference, few details were given about the suspect, including a possible motive.

Once he gets here, he will have an initial appearance with a magistrate,” Thompson said.

Officers investigate a homicide at an apartment complex south of the University of Idaho campus on Nov. 13, 2022. (Zach Wilkinson/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP)

Earlier Friday, a mugshot of Kohberger was released to various news outlets by the Monroe County Correctional Facility in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Reports indicated that he was arrested near the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania

Kohberger graduated from Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania with an associate of arts degree in psychology in 2018, according to college spokesperson Mia Rossi-Marino. A Ph.D. student by the same name is listed in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, which is a short drive across the state line from the University of Idaho.

DeSales University in Pennsylvania confirmed that a student by that name received a bachelor’s degree in 2020 and completed graduate studies in June 2022.

In a post that was deleted from Reddit after his arrest, a student associated with DeSales University named Bryan Kohberger sought participation in a project “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime.”

“In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience,” the post read.

Other Details

Four Idaho students identified as Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death at a rental home near the campus sometime in the early morning of Nov. 13. Investigators were not able name a suspect or locate a murder weapon for several weeks, triggering widespread online speculation about a possible suspect and motive.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 16:20

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Here’s A List Of Biden Tax Hikes Which Take Effect Jan. 1

Here’s A List Of Biden Tax Hikes Which Take Effect Jan. 1

When the Democrats finally passed the “Inflation Reduction Act” in 2022 (how’s that going?), they included several tax hikes set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Americans for Tax reform‘s Mike Palicz has conveniently compiled a list of them, along with his take on their intended effects:

$6.5 Billion Natural Gas Tax Which Will Increase Household Energy Bills   

Think your household energy bills are high now? Just wait until the three major energy taxes in the Inflation Reduction Act hit your wallet. The first is a regressive tax on American oil and gas development. The tax will drive up the cost of household energy bills. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the natural gas tax will increase taxes by $6.5 billion.

And of course, this tax hike violates Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans making under $400,000 per year. According to the American Gas Association, the methane tax will slap a 17% increase on the average family’s natural gas bill.

$12 Billion Crude Oil Tax Which Will Increase Household Costs

Next up – a .16c/barrel tax on crude oil and imported petroleum products which will end up on the shoulders of consumers in the form of higher tax prices.

The tax hike violates President Biden’s tax pledge to any American making less than $400,000 per year.

As noted above, Biden administration officials have repeatedly admitted taxes that raise consumer energy prices are in violation of President Biden’s $400,000 tax pledge.

As if it weren’t bad enough, Democrats have pegged their oil tax increase to inflation. As inflation increases, so will the level of tax.

$1.2 Billion Coal Tax Which Will Increase Household Energy Bills

This one increases the current tax rate on coal from $0.50 to $1.10 per ton, while coal from surface mining would increase from $0.25 per to to $0.55 per ton, which will raise $1.2 billion per year in taxes that will undoubtedly be passed along to consumers in the form of higher energy bills.

$74 Billion Stock Tax Which Will Hit Your Nest Egg — 401(k)s, IRAs and Pension Plans

Democrats are now imposing a new federal excise tax when Americans sell shares of a stock back to a company.

Raising taxes and restricting stock buybacks harms the retirement savings of any individual with a 401(k), IRA or pension plan.

Union retirement plans will also be hit.

The tax will put U.S. employers at a competitive disadvantage with China, which does not have such a tax.

Stock buybacks help grow retirement accounts. Raising taxes and restricting buybacks would harm the 58 percent of Americans who own stock and more than 60 million workers invested in a 401(k). An additional 14.83 million Americans are invested in 529 education savings accounts.

Retirement accounts hold the largest share of corporate stocks, accounting for roughly 37 percent of the outstanding $22.8 trillion in U.S. corporate stock, according to the Tax Foundation.

In 2017, corporate-sponsored funds made up $4.45 trillion in market value; union-sponsored funds accounted for $409 billion; and public-sponsored funds, which benefit teachers and police officers, added up to $4.25 trillion.

A tax on buybacks could dissuade companies from doing so, and US companies will face significant compliance costs, which will – again, be passed along to consumers.

$225 Billion Corporate Income Tax Hike Which Will Be Passed on to Households

American businesses reporting at least $1 billion in profits over the past three years will now face a 15% corporate alternative minimum tax, which will be passed along in the form of higher prices, fewer jobs and lower wages, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

Tax Foundation report from last December found a 15 percent book tax would reduce GDP by 0.1 percent and kill 27,000 jobs.

Preliminary cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office found the provision would increase taxes by more than $225 billion.

According to JCT’s analysis, 49.7 percent of the tax would be borne by the manufacturing industry at a time when manufacturers are already struggling with supply-chain disruptions.

Which industry will likely be most affected? According to the Tax Foundation, “the coal industry faces the heaviest burden of the book minimum tax, facing a net tax hike of 7.2 percent of its pretax book income, followed by automobile and truck manufacturing, which faces a 5.1 percent tax hike.”

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 15:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/1bYWziI Tyler Durden

The 10 Most Influential Figures In The History Of Oil

The 10 Most Influential Figures In The History Of Oil

Authored by Josh Owens via OilPrice.com,

Oil has been the single most influential resource in modern history, driving industrialization, building nations, and deciding the outcome of wars. It has been responsible for raising millions of people out of poverty and for razing entire cities to the ground. From technological advancements to environmental disasters, few, if any, industries have left as large a mark on the earth.

While the history of oil can be traced back as far as 3000 BC, when builders in Mesopotamia began to use bitumen to strengthen bricks, the story of the modern oil industry really began in the 1850s. Since then, explorers, investors, kings, journalists, spies, and scientists have all attempted to leave their mark on the industry. This is a list of the ten people who, for better or worse, are responsible for shaping the oil industry as we know it today.

10. Winston Churchill

Churchill may be best known as the stubborn wartime Prime Minister of Britain, but it was in his role as the First Lord of the Admiralty that he transformed the oil industry forever. In 1911, as tensions between Germany and Britain were mounting ahead of the First World War, Churchill made the fateful decision to convert the British fleet from coal power to oil power. While today such a decision may seem an obvious one, at the time it was considered both reckless and wasteful. 

The conversion was not only expensive and experimental, but it left the British navy vulnerable as it would now have to rely on oil from Persia rather than coal produced at home. In 1914, in order to secure a reliable oil supply for the navy, Churchill convinced the British Government to buy 51% of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (which would later become BP).

When the First World War broke out in July 1914, Churchill’s decision was vindicated, the new British navy was faster and more efficient than its counterparts. It was now accepted that oil would indeed be the fuel of the future, and securing it was a matter of national security. Thanks to Churchill, the international oil industry would now forever be intertwined with foreign policy. The battle for control over both the production and trade routes of this critical resource continues to this day.

9. T Boone Pickens

For the oil industry, the 1980s were a time of great upheaval. In the aftermath of the 1979 oil crisis, Ronald Regan completely deregulated oil, boosting competition and leading to consolidation across the industry. In 1983, the New York Mercantile Exchange introduced a futures contract in crude oil. Up until the creation of a futures market, the price of oil had been set by oil companies like Standard Oil, by regulators such as the Texas Railroad Commission, and by OPEC. Now, the price of oil was decided by traders on the open market. These events combined to mean efficiency and value were the two most important traits for oil companies, and one man more than any other would take advantage of this new age in oil.

T Boone Pickens positioned himself at the intersection of the oil industry and Wall Street, styling himself as a servant of shareholder value. He was a master of mergers and acquisitions in the industry and would play a key role in making the industry leaner and more efficient. His strategy involved finding a company whose stock price did not reflect the value of its oil and gas reserves, acquiring a significant block of its stock, and then forcing the company’s management to act to increase its share value. His most famous deals included Gulf Oil,  Phillips Petroleum, and Unocal. Every corporate raider and activist investor in the industry today owes a debt to T Boone Pickens, the man who showed investors how to take power back from the oil giants.

8. Harry St John Bridger Philby

While he isn’t even the most famous person in his family (his son Kim was the notorious British intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the Soviet Union), Harry Philby played an integral role in the development of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, helping to form what would ultimately become the largest oil company on earth, Saudi Aramco. 

Philby was born in modern-day Sri Lanka, studied at the University of Cambridge, and in 1915 was recruited to the Indian Civil Service where he helped to organize the Arab Revolut against the Ottoman Empire. This first posting marked the beginning of his life-long obsession with Arabic culture and languages. In 1917, he was chosen to lead a mission to the Arabian Peninsula where he would meet a tribal chieftain by the name of Ibn Saud – the future founder of Saudi Arabia. His meeting with Ibn Saud would ultimately lead Philpy to leave the Indian Civil Service, convert to Islam, and play a central role in negotiating what could be considered the biggest oil deal of all time.

By 1930, Philby was convinced that Ibn Saud and his government were sitting on a great untapped natural resource, but the King was more interested in drilling for water than oil. It was only in 1932 when Standard Oil of California made a discovery in Bahrain that the King began to consider his country’s oil potential. Standard Oil of California had already approached Philby in the hopes of gaining an introduction to the King, but Philby, in order to drive the price up, reached out to Anglo-Persian and started a bidding war. Ultimately, in May 1933, Standard Oil of California managed to outbid Anglo-Persion, marking the United State’s entry into Saudi Arabia, a decision that would have far-reaching consequences for both the oil industry and the geopolitical dynamics in the region.

7. Mohammad Mosaddegh 

The Prime Minister of Iran from 1951-1953, Mohammad Mosaddegh was the first leader of a Middle Eastern oil nation to exercise the ‘nuclear option’ of nationalizing its oil concessions. In response to this nationalization, Britain implemented an embargo on Iranian oil that saw the country’s production plummet from 660,000 barrels per day in 1950 to just 20,000 barrels per day in 1952. 

Despite the growing economic pressure, Mosaddegh refused to relent, infuriating negotiators from both Britain and the U.S. In August 1953, the CIA and MI6 initiated Operation Ajax, an operation designed to overthrow Mosaddegh in a coup. The operation was a success, but the dynamics of the oil industry had already changed forever.

Even with the Shah back in power, there was no reversing the nationalistic fervor regarding oil that Mossadegh had fanned. Resentment towards the British government and the Anglo-Iranian oil company was as strong as ever in Iran. Meanwhile, U.S. companies were reluctant to get involved in what they saw as a high-risk venture. Without pressure from governments, it seemed that there was no way back for Iran’s oil industry.

In the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. government was worried that Iran would fall into the Russian sphere of influence if its oil industry wasn’t resurrected by Western companies. In the end, seven companies, supported by the U.S. and British governments, agreed to form a consortium in Iran. Critically, the consortium was forced to acknowledge that the National Iranian Oil Company now owned the country’s oil resources and facilities. Mosaddegh may have been overthrown and would spend the rest of his life under house arrest, but he had earned a vital victory for oil nations. The concept of foreigners owning an oil concession had now changed forever, and the Middle East would never be the same.

6. Wanda Jablonski

Referred to as “the most influential oil journalist of her time” in Daniel Yergin’s The Prize, Wanda Jablonski founded Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, the journal which came to be known as “the bible of the oil industry”. Yet it is not her remarkable journalism nor her legacy as a trailblazer for women in the industry that gets her on this list. ‘Wanda’, as she was referred to in the industry, played a critical role in the formation of one of the world’s most influential oil organizations: OPEC.

The year was 1959, and tensions between international oil companies and oil-exporting countries were soaring. Russia had just returned to international oil markets and supply was climbing faster than demand. This led to a price war that saw oil companies cut the posted price of oil – unilaterally reducing the national revenues of oil-exporting nations. At the same time, the first Arab Oil Congress was taking place in Cairo, with 400 people in attendance, including, of course, Wanda. At the conference, she invited two of the most ardently anti-oil company individuals in the world to her room for a meeting. This was the first time that Saudi Oil Minister Abdullah Tariki met Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso, Venezuela’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. As Wanda had predicted, the two men immediately established a rapport and went on to organize a secret meeting with other oil ministers on the side of the Cairo conference. It was at this meeting that the concept of an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was first established.

5. Nick Steinsberger

Now, this could be a controversial one. Frequently, it is George P. Mitchell who is credited with solving one of the most consequential problems in the history of oil: how to economically extract oil and gas from shale rock. But it was Nick Steinsberger, an engineer at Mitchell’s company, who in 1997 first successfully applied the slickwater fracturing technique that ultimately led to the U.S. shale boom. Mitchell already has the moniker “father of fracking”, so it seems only fair that Steinsberger should have his place on this list.

Technically, the fracturing of rock to stimulate oil wells can be traced all the way back to 1864 when Edward A. L. Roberts developed the first torpedo as a way of boosting production. Hydraulic fracturing, using a pressurized liquid to fracture rocks, can be traced back to an experiment in 1947. But it wasn’t until Steinsberger’s 1997 well that it was proven to be economically viable. U.S. oil production, which had been in terminal decline, began to soar on the back of this technological breakthrough. In 2018, thanks in large part to the shale boom, the United States became the largest oil producer in the world. At the same time, fracking came to the attention of environmental groups as it was seen to poison groundwater, induce earthquakes, and emit huge levels of methane. To this day, it remains a controversial topic, with some countries banning fracking altogether while others see it as a path to economic independence. Whatever you think of it, there are few technological breakthroughs that have had the same geopolitical, environmental, and economic impact as hydraulic fracturing.

4. Ida Tarbell

No history of the oil industry would be complete without the woman who took on the wealthiest American of all time, John D. Rockefeller. Ida Tarbell was an investigative journalist, or muckraker as they were then known, who was determined to hold the oil industry to account. Every anti-trust lawsuit or environmental claim that has been brought against the oil industry since her time is building upon her legacy.

In her illustrious career, Tarbell wrote biographies of both Napoleon and Lincoln, but is most famous for her 1904 book titled “The History of Standard Oil”. The book, described by historian J. North Conway as a “masterpiece of investigative journalism”, detailed how Standard Oil would use its wealth, power, and an expansive intelligence network to put immense pressure on independents and other competitors. She wrote that Rockefeller had “systemically played with loaded dice” and painted him, in the words of Daniel Yergen, as an “amoral predator”. Ultimately, Tarbell’s work led to the dissolution of the world’s largest oil company and, in time, the birth of the U.S. oil majors that we know today.

3. John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller’s career in the oil industry began in 1865 when he bought his business partner out of their produce-shipping firm and slowly but surely refocused it on refining oil. Five years later, in an effort to consolidate the industry during a price crash, he joined with four other oilmen to form what would become the most powerful oil company in history, Standard Oil. In the following years, as kerosene and gasoline became a cornerstone of life in America, Rockefeller used his profits to buy up more and more of the industry – reportedly controlling 90% of U.S. oil by 1880.

Rockefeller’s main goal was to tame the new and out–of–control oil industry in order to ensure it was as efficient and healthy as possible. In pursuing that goal, Rockefeller created the first-ever integrated oil company, initiated price wars to crush competitors, and, as Tarbell uncovered, ultimately built an oil monopoly. 

When Standard Oil was broken up in 1911, the sum of its parts ended up being worth more than the company as a whole, and Rockefeller became even wealthier. While his focus largely shifted to philanthropy in the 20th century, the shadow of Rockefeller still looms large over the oil industry. In fact, the modern oil giants Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Marathon Petroleum can all trace their origins back to the 1911 breakup of Standard Oil.

2. Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo

Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo’s list of achievements in the oil industry is as long as it is impressive. He is perhaps best known as one of the two founders of OPEC, an organization he later described as “my little idea that has changed the history of the world.” But OPEC was simply the logical conclusion of work he had started years earlier. 

One of the most intractable problems in the oil industry is the division of ‘rent’. In economic terms, oil rent is the difference between the value of crude oil produced and the total cost of production. From 1943 to 1948, Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo played a key role in shaping what would become the global norm for dividing these rents between companies and countries. Under the 50/50 deal that he helped shape, Venezuela and the international oil companies agreed to divide that rent evenly. The deal resulted in Venezuela’s oil income increasing by 600% between 1942 and 1948. 

Yet Perez Alfonzo wasn’t done. He recognized that low-cost producers in the Middle East posed a threat to Venezuela’s market share, and so had the documents translated into Arabic and brought to the Middle East by a Venezuelan delegation. Suddenly, Saudi Arabia wanted a 50/50 split of rents, while Iran’s Mosaddegh wanted to go further still. Once the concept of dividing the oil income equally between countries and companies had been established, it was near impossible for oil companies to fight it. The 50/50 formula remained the global norm until the 1973 oil crisis disrupted markets once again.

In 1948, following the coup that toppled President Rómulo Gallegos, Perez Alfonzo obtained political asylum in the United States and spent years studying the Texas Railroad Commission and how it had dealt with the oil crash of the 1930s. It was during this period that many of his first thoughts of how OPEC should operate were formed, ideas that he then shared with Abdullah Tariki when Wanda introduced them in Cairo. 

It may surprise some that a man who was so central to shaping the oil industry considered himself an ecologist and was primarily focused on the conservation of energy. He believed that OPEC would ultimately lower the use of energy around the world. 

1.  George Bissell

Commonly referred to as the “father of the American oil industry”, George Bissell was the spark that ignited the inevitable march of oil from a relatively unimportant liquid that oozed from rocks to the most important resource on earth. 

Bissell recognized that ‘rock oil’, which he had seen being gathered with rags in order to make medicine, could actually be used as an illuminant. If he and his business partner James Townsend could only extract the liquid in sufficient quantities, it could compete with the whale fat and ‘coal oils’ that were then being used in lamps. After confirming that this ‘rock oil’ had the desired chemical characteristic, Bissel and his business partners launched the first-ever oil company, the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company.

The Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company decided that the best way to go about extracting the oil would be to drill for it using the same technique that had been developed to bore for salt. The company employed Edwin L. Drake, an out-of-work railway conductor who was staying in the same hotel as James Townsend, to carry out the project. Drake traveled to the tiny village of Titusville, secured the title to the land, and employed William A. Smith to help him drill. On August 27th, 1859, the two men hit oil for the very first time in history. Bissell immediately rushed to Titusville to buy up and lease as many farms as he could, becoming the first of many who would make their fortune off an industry that was about to change the world forever.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 15:10

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/hVeIE1w Tyler Durden

Home Depot Co-Founder Rails Against Socialism And “Woke People,” Warns ‘Capitalism In Dire Straits’

Home Depot Co-Founder Rails Against Socialism And “Woke People,” Warns ‘Capitalism In Dire Straits’

The 93-year-old billionaire co-founder of Home Depot railed against “socialism” for why nobody wants to work and warned capitalism is in dire straits. 

In an interview published Thursday, Bernie Marcus told Financial Times that “nobody works, nobody gives a damn,” blaming socialists and “the woke people” for the country’s troubles. 

“‘Just give it to me. Send me money. I don’t want to work — I’m too lazy, I’m too fat, I’m too stupid,'” Marcus said, adding if he founded Home Depot in today’s toxic environment, it might not succeed. 

On a video call for the interview, Marcus spoke from his home in Boca Raton, Florida, warning that he’s “worried about capitalism … it’s the basis of Home Depot [and] millions of people have earned this success and had success. I’m talking manufacturers, vendors and distributors and people that work for us [who have been] able to enrich themselves by the journey of Home Depot.” 

“That’s the success. That’s why capitalism works,” he added. 

Marcus then called President Biden “the worst president in the history of this country,” noting that former President Trump’s policies were “spot on,” but “it’s going to be very interesting in ’24 because I think that DeSantis will challenge him. And may the better man win.”

Marcus was unapologetic for his support for Republicans:

 “I give money to them because I hope they’re going to do the right thing.” Since 1978, he has donated $63,801,322 to political campaigns, according to Bussiness Insider. 

Insider reached out to Home Depot about Marcus’ FT interview. They said:

“Our co-founder Bernie Marcus left The Home Depot more than 20 years ago, and his views do not represent the company.”

Marcus’ warning is similar to co-founder and retired CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, who recently warned “socialists are taking over” and ‘capitalism cannot be replaced with disastrous socialism‘. 

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 14:35

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/4Up3C1T Tyler Durden

2022 Same Shit, Different Year: 55 Years Of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions

2022 Same Shit, Different Year: 55 Years Of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions

Authored by Myron Ebell and Steven Milloy via CEI.org,

Thanks go to Tony Heller, who first collected many of these news clips and posted them on RealClimateScience


Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today.

None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true.

What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.

While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.

1967: ‘Dire famine by 1975.’

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, November 17, 1967

1969: ‘Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam by 1989.’

Source: New York Times, August 10 1969

1970: Ice age by 2000

Source: Boston Globe, April 16, 1970

1970: ‘America subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980.’

Source: Redlands Daily Facts, October 6, 1970

1971: ‘New Ice Age Coming’

Source: Washington Post, July 9, 1971

1972: New ice age by 2070

Source: NOAA, October 2015

1974: ‘New Ice Age Coming Fast’

Source: The Guardian, January 29, 1974

1974: ‘Another Ice Age?’

Source: TIME, June 24, 1974

1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life’

But no such ‘great peril to life’ has been observed as the so-called ‘ozone hole’ remains:

Sources: Headline

NASA Data | Graph

1976: ‘The Cooling’

Source: New York Times Book Review, July 18, 1976

1980: ‘Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes’

Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, IN) April 9, 1980

But 10 years later, the US government program formed to study acid rain concluded:

Associated Press, September 6, 1990

1978: ‘No End in Sight’ to 30-Year Cooling Trend

Source: New York Times, January 5, 1978

But according to NASA satellite data there is a slight warming trend since 1979.

Source: DrRoySpencer.com

1988: James Hansen forecasts increase regional drought in 1990s

But the last really dry year in the Midwest was 1988, and recent years have been record wet.

Source: RealClimateScience.com

1988: Washington DC days over 90F to from 35 to 85

But the number of hot days in the DC area peaked in 1911, and have been declining ever since.

Source: RealClimateScience.com

1988: Maldives completely under water in 30 years

Source: Agence France Press, September 26, 1988

1989: Rising seas to ‘obliterate’ nations by 2000

Source: Associated Press, June 30, 1989

1989: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019

Source: Salon.com, October 23, 2001

1995 to Present: Climate Model Failure

Source: CEI.org

2000: ‘Children won’t know what snow is.’

Source: The Independent, March 20, 2000

2002: Famine in 10 years

Source: The Guardian, December 23, 2002

2004: Britain to have Siberian climate by 2020

Source: The Guardian, February 21, 2004

2008: Arctic will be ice-free by 2018

Source: Associated Press, June 24, 2008

2008: Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013

But… it’s still there:

Source: WattsUpWithThat.com, December 16, 2018

2009: Prince Charles says only 8 years to save the planet

Source: The Independent, July 9, 2009

2009: UK prime minister says 50 days to ‘save the planet from catastrophe’

Source: The Independent: October 20, 2009

2009: Arctic ice-free by 2014

Source: USA Today, December 14, 2009

2013: Arctic ice-free by 2015

Source: The Guardian, July 24, 2013

The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02550-9 (open access)

Gas hydrate dissociation off Svalbard induced by isostatic rebound rather than global warming


Methane seepage from the upper continental slopes of Western Svalbard has previously been attributed to gas hydrate dissociation induced by anthropogenic warming of ambient bottom waters. Here we show that sediment cores drilled off Prins Karls Foreland contain freshwater from dissociating hydrates. However, our modeling indicates that the observed pore water freshening began around 8 ka BP when the rate of isostatic uplift outpaced eustatic sea-level rise. The resultant local shallowing and lowering of hydrostatic pressure forced gas hydrate dissociation and dissolved chloride depletions consistent with our geochemical analysis. Hence, we propose that hydrate dissociation was triggered by postglacial isostatic rebound rather than anthropogenic warming. Furthermore, we show that methane fluxes from dissociating hydrates were considerably smaller than present methane seepage rates implying that gas hydrates were not a major source of methane to the oceans, but rather acted as a dynamic seal, regulating methane release from deep geological reservoirs.

2013: Arctic ice-free by 2016

Source: The Guardian, December 9, 2013

2014: Only 500 days before ‘climate chaos’


Sources: Washington Examiner

Since then the climate catastrophists have only escalated.

And bringing us up to date in 2022…

As CEI reports, climate alarmists and their media allies once again made a slew of claims about natural disasters being caused by man-made emissions in 2022. And once again, these claims clashed with reality and science.

Here are 10 fact checks of climate disaster claims made by the Associated Press and other media outlets in 2022.

The Bottom Line: There is not a single natural disaster, nor trend in any type of natural disaster that can be credibly linked with emissions or whatever gradual “climate change” may be occurring for whatever reason, including natural climate change. Attributing natural disaster damages to emissions and climate change is without a factual or scientific basis. And that certainly goes for 2022.

Regardless of one’s view of what passes as “climate science,” the good news is that even researchers who believe that “climate change” is a problem acknowledge that the number of weather-related deaths and the cost of weather-related damage are actually on the decline – despite ever-increasing emissions and whatever slight warming may be occurring.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 14:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/ZlvJD1a Tyler Durden

Russia Beefs Up Air Defenses Over Moscow For New Year Celebrations

Russia Beefs Up Air Defenses Over Moscow For New Year Celebrations

Russia says it has beefed up its anti-air defenses surrounding Moscow and other high population places across the country for the New Year’s weekend, given there’s expected to be large public gatherings celebrating the coming of 2023.

The defense ministry was quoted in TASS as saying that some 2,000 service personnel are currently manning Moscow’s air defenses while “on duty at combat posts on New Year’s Eve.”

Past New Year celebrations in Moscow, file image

“In total for the period of the New Year holidays and weekends, about 20 thousand military personnel of the air defense-missile defense formation of the Aerospace Forces will be on combat duty for air defense,” the TASS statement continued.

While there’s as yet to be any recorded Ukrainian missile or drone attack on Moscow (and the reality is that Ukrainian forces unlikely have this capability at this point), there has been a spate of recent attacks on Russian soil, especially in the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border.

Additionally, in December there’s been no less than three drone attacks on Engels airbase, which lies over 600km from the Ukrainian border.

Meanwhile, on Saturday the Ukrainian capital was rocked by more airstrikes. “Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said there had been several blasts in the capital, causing at least one death. A hotel has also been damaged,” BBC reports.

And in Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, which also witnessed large blasts, regional Governor Vitaly Kim stated: “The occupiers have decided to try to spoil the day for us” – in reference to New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Ahead of these Saturday attacks Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned the population that Russia was readying more attacks to make Ukrainians “celebrate the New Year in darkness.” Indeed much of the country is still without power, or else subject to rolling emergency blackouts. 

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 13:25

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/k0KfesN Tyler Durden

9 Controversial California Laws Taking Effect On Jan. 1

9 Controversial California Laws Taking Effect On Jan. 1

Authored by Sophie Li via The Epoch Times,

As Californians get ready to turn the page on 2022, hundreds of new laws will go into effect starting Jan. 1. From increasing the minimum wage to legalizing jaywalking to shielding criminal records, the new laws will impact employment, health care, housing, public safety, and consumer protection.

The California State Capitol building in Sacramento on April 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Here’s a look at what to expect in 2023.

Minimum Wage (SB 3)

California’s minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $15.50 per hour, which will also expand to nearly all workers—regardless of the number of employees at a business.

This 3.33 percent increase is less than half of the 7.9 percent inflation increase between 2021 and 2022 calculated by California’s Department of Finance.

According to the law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016, if annual inflation increases by more than 7 percent, it triggers the minimum wage to increase.

Currently, the minimum wage is $15 per hour for companies with 25 or more employees and $14 per hour for those with 25 or fewer employees.

Jaywalking (AB 2147)

Under the new “Freedom to Walk Act,” pedestrians will no longer be fined for crossing the street outside of designated intersections or crosswalks unless the person causes a hazard on the street.

Supporters of the law state that it will reduce inequitable policing toward certain racial groups. Some also suggest that the law will encourage more people to walk instead of drive.

Opponents worry that it will lead to more accidents and ultimately cause more pedestrian deaths.

In California, the base fine for jaywalking is $25 and it can go up to $250 per ticket.

COVID Misinformation (AB 2098)

This law allows doctors to face discipline for spreading so-called misinformation or disinformation about COVID-19—including information about vaccine effectiveness and other treatments—and categorizes it as unprofessional conduct.

Physicians and surgeons are regulated by the Medical Board. Under current law, the board is required to act against any licensed doctor who is charged with unprofessional conduct.

Criminal Records (SB 731)

At least 225,000 Californians with prior convictions or arrests will be able to have their records automatically sealed from criminal background checks due to a new law.

While these records will be automatically sealed once people complete their sentence and go four years without new arrests, others will be able to petition a judge to have theirs sealed.

In California, there are around 8 million people that have criminal records, according to Californians for Safety and Justice.

Loitering (SB 357)

A new California law decriminalizes loitering for the intent to engage in prostitution.

Also known as the “Safer Streets for All Act,” the law was introduced last year by Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco). In a statement, Weiner said it “eliminates an anti-loitering offense that leads to harmful treatment of people for simply ‘appearing’ to be a sex worker.”

However, opponents said that the law will place the community at risk by encouraging higher numbers of prostitutes and “Johns” in public. Los Angeles Sheriff Department officials also stated it will take a major tool away from law enforcement, especially for targeting sex buyers.

Los Angeles Sheriffs Department (LASD) deputies patrol at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on June 16, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Parking Requirements (AB 2097)

The law will prohibit cities across the state from enforcing a minimum number of parking spaces on a development project if the project is located within a half-mile of public transit.

The law was established to support the development of affordable housing units by reducing the cost and land space required for development.

Critics of the law say that it will, instead, reduce developers’ efforts to build affordable housing, because many cities are already reducing parking requirements as an incentive for developers to include affordable units in their projects.

FAST Recovery Act (AB 257)

The new law applies to fast-food chains that have 100 or more locations nationally and would create a council that would set industry-wide minimum standards on wages, working hours, and other conditions.

Under the law, minimum wages could rise to as high as $22 an hour for 2023, with the option to increase further each year based on inflation.

Read the rest here…

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 12:50

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“Somebody Was Lying”: Biden Doesn’t Trust Secret Service Detail, Thinks They Fabricated Dog Biting Incident

“Somebody Was Lying”: Biden Doesn’t Trust Secret Service Detail, Thinks They Fabricated Dog Biting Incident

President Biden doesn’t trust members of his Secret Service detail, and thinks they lied about details of the dog biting incident involving his dog Major, according to a new book which covers the administration.

According to author Chris Whipple in his book “The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House,” Biden’s distrust stems from the fact that some agents are strong supporters of former President Trump.

“A bigger problem was Biden’s discomfort with his Secret Service detail; some of them were MAGA sympathizers. He didn’t trust them,” Whipple wrote, according to The Hill.

Biden’s detail as president is much larger than it was when he was vice president, and now many agents are “MAGA sympathizers” and “the Secret Service is full of white ex-cops from the South who tend to be deeply conservative,” Whipple wrote.

The Secret Service response to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol after Trump tried to politicize the agency and made Tony Ornato deputy White House chief of staff for operations added to the president’s concerns. -The Hill

“Surrounded by a new phalanx of strangers, Biden couldn’t help but wonder, Do these people really want me here?” wrote Whipple.

What’s more, when news emerged that the Secret Service had deleted most messages from Jan. 6, Biden allegedly felt that the “Secret Service had looked both incompetent and politicized.”

As for the dog – specifically, a March 2021 incident in which the president’s German shepherd, Major, allegedly bit a Secret Service agent – Biden was reportedly skeptical, and “wasn’t buying the details” – such as where the incident occurred, Whipple wrote. According to Biden, Secret Service agents are ‘never’ at the location of the incident – the second floor of the White House.

Somebody was lying, Biden thought, about the way the incident had gone down,” according to Whipple.

Except there were two dog biting incidents; one on March 8, 2021, and another one several weeks later which took place on the White House South Lawn.

Major, believed to be the first shelter rescue animal to live at the White House, received private training following the incident.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/31/2022 – 12:15

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/fzYaGw0 Tyler Durden