The link below takes you to the excellent analysis of current Middle Eastern violence by 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jose Ramos Horta, the former president of East Timor.
"It has been more than 200 years since America won its independence -- long enough to forget that fragile countries coming out from under decades of oppression have a long walk to real democracy. Incidents and explosions happen along the way."
Benghazi Was Not the Beginning of the End
"I echo the words of others that there is simply no justification. The Libyans would be still fighting a vicious civil war, slaughtering each other as the Syrians are today, if it weren't for the strong support from the US and others in the West that helped to bring about a speedy end of the Gaddafi regime.
But the tragedy of Benghazi and riots in Yemen do not signal the end of the Arab Spring. Nor is it an indication of any "failed policies," any more than it is justification for the shameful practice of political candidates in the US attempting to make points from a US Ambassador's death."
The point here is that Obama has been kicking Al-Qaeda's ass, but this hateful, stupid video from a right-wing con man gave a bunch of these monsters a chance to try and reassert their power. It won't work, but it is a terrible thing for the Middle East, and for the US Consulates in these areas, and it emphasizes how much we must prevent these forces from fighting their way back into control. Most importantly, Horta confirms how essential it is to continue Obama's policies to help these young democracies take the first hesitant steps toward creating democratic institutions that have the education, care and elevation of their people as their underlying principle--so their upcoming generations may evolve into the active, educated, healthy participants necessary to create fully functioning Middle Eastern democracies.
The problem, repeatedly stated, with the renewable energy revolution is that energy production from wind and solar does not meet the demand curves of the energy grid. The corollary to that is that there are no battery technologies evolved enough to store and release power in a timely manner. Really?
Um-m-m, except for Planet Earth, which has been successfully capturing solar energy and releasing it for about the past 3 billion years. It's called photosynthesis....
And the tirck is to emulate Momma Earth's methods and then do them more quickly....
The biggest battery on Earth is the Planet Earth--
In addition to the huge amounts of energy stored in biomass by photosynthesis, the Earth also stores large amounts of energy in evaporated water in the atmosphere, in the water temperature of the oceans, in the movement of the tides, in water that is upland and has not made its way downhill to the ocean, in the wind, in the carbon- and microbes in the soil and in the underground temperature of the Earth itself. So the batteries are already there, we just need to step back and adopt a biomimicry perspective to figure out how to help Earth safely store more energy for us--and how to safely (and sustainably) extract that energy when we need it. What might that look like? Well, this bio-integrated energy storage and extraction system has many faces since, as Buckminster Fuller once said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Here’s what they're doing at a newly developing solution, The Green Power House [TM], that had its dedication just yesterday in Columbia Falls, Montana. It is using "stacked" renewable energy technologies to create a self-energized, organic soil amendment/fertilizer factory. The event was even attended by Montana's Governor Brian Schweitzer, (who's one of the most technically sophisticated politicians in the country). Here's the news report on Brian Schweitzer's visit from Kalispell television station KAJ...
On the One Mitt, But On the Other Mitt
Mitt Romney (R-Money) presents a problem. The problem with trying to define the vast savanna of Mitt Romney's lies is that there are so many of them.
RMoney's lies are of such a rich and ever varying complexity that they are almost overwhelming--and they are spread over so many years, that tracking them is heavy work indeed.
So we're gonna' need all your help, and our plan follows after the fleur de Kos:
The AP just reported five minutes ago that 22 states and the District of Columbia have joined Montana's challenge to Citizens United.
22 States and DC Join Montana's Challenge to Citizens United
By Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, May 20, 7:00 PM
HELENA, Mont. — Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending.
The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana’s state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief written by New York’s attorney general’s office and obtained by The Associated Press. The brief will be publicly released Monday.
The point made by Montana was that its rules apply to elections other than just the Presidential and Congressional elections and that Montana has a long history of excess corporate influence--which led to the implementation of campaign finance laws in 1912 that have been in effect ever since.
Beyond Montana's limited challenge, the other 22 states asked that several of Citizens United's core findings be reconsidered, and said that state campaign finance laws are necessary since the ability of corporate money to influence state elections is far higher than in federal elections. In addition, both Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have joined the appellants in asking that Citizens United be overturned.
I'm from Montana. As you all know, Montana has minimal population. It's the fourth largest state by size, but only this year, after 123 years of statehood, did its population hit a million. That tiny number of people is an important detail in the story of what happened to me when Rasmussen called to poll me last Monday. On Monday, there were at least two polls conducted by Rasmussen. As always, they conducted their daily tracking poll on the presidential race--and, a second poll was conducted about the Montana Senate race. The polls were published last Tuesday.
At six-forty PM on Monday night, (the night before they released their Montana Senate poll), during the time they were polling for the Montana Senate race, on my way to yoga, I got a call from Rasmussen Reports.
More intrigue below the fold,...
This is a very brief intro. What follows, with permission to use, are the running emails from Peter Ness, a geologist living in Tokyo, who holds Masters in Finance, Business and Science. Peter is a member of a professional organization I’m involved with, and his insights offer both a first-hand look at what people in Tokyo experienced, as well as the geological, financial and institutional insights of how Japan is responding to this compounding crisis.
3/11/2011, 9:15 PM, PST
Update on Tokyo-Japan
The earthquake yesterday was terrifying, being around 8.9 on the Richter
scale, hitting the Sendai-Miyagi area 380km north of Tokyo. There were
several huge earthquakes in succession, each lasting for at least 10-15
minutes with no respite, then a 5 minute lull then another set began.
The buildings were banging and bouncing around and it was real scary
stuff. Then the Tokyo earthquake 6.8 (60km from the city with Japan
scale 6M) hit 15 minutes after the Miyagi earthquake. They really were
very severe, even in Tokyo we could not stand up. The Miyagi quake was
160X that of Christchurch and even in Tokyo it was 10-50X larger
depending on where you were. Severe aftershocks occurred all night, with
reactivation of the Niigata earthquake (6.7 this morning). There were
around 18 aftershocks of +6, but everyone is waiting for the second big
one of +8M (most major quakes have 2 big ones within 3 days and if the
second one does not come, then it will probably come within 6-8 months).
My wife & I were working from home (unusual) and we had to squat in the
garage outside ready to run if the house collapsed...we expected it to
at any moment......the houses were moving anything up to 1/2 meter or
more at the top......but it is designed to handle +7 at the end of the
day it appears to be largely unscathed. Electricity line were like twigs
swaying in the breeze......
This is a metaphor contest.
Since the Republicans have created $9.1 Trillion in U.S. Debt in twenty years of rule since 1980, what is the best metaphor to describe their egregious conceit that somehow, now, they are going to worry about the U.S. Debt? (See A Debt Is A Tax.com )
"It's like Mao Tse Tung wanting to protect intellectuals...?"
For twenty straight years of Republican Presidential rule, between Fiscal Years 1982 and 2009, Republican Presidents have increased the U.S. debt every single year. So them proclaiming they're worried about the debt is like...?
"PETA worrying about reduced beef consumption...?"
More after the fold...
Republicans 0 for 20 (0%) on U.S. Debt Reduction Since 1978
The Democrats have reduced the U.S. Debt 38% of the time during their terms in office--5 of 13 years.
U.S. Debt: Democrats $2.1 Trillion, Republicans $9.1 Trillion Since 1978
Everyone’s worried about the skyrocketing U.S. National Debt. The question is what should we do? Republicans insist that they're the only ones who can fix the U.S. Debt (and voters agree--Republicans are up 14 points in a Politico poll on who's better to fix the deficit). This, however, is 180 degrees from the truth.
Two nationally known financial and economic experts reviewed data from the Office of Management and Budget to assess the performance and track record of the administrations over the past 33 years. The results may surprise you.
Dr. Stephen Soft and Dr. Richard Barrett say that the data shows that Reaganomics created a $9+ Trillion Dollar U.S. Debt and that Pres. George W. Bush (’02-’09) Upped it $4.9+ Trillion.
A quiz to test your knowledge of the basics of U.S. Government debt can be found after the break:
Let’s keep it simple. The sucess of supply side economics is a lie, brought to you by Fox News and bankers everywhere, and here’s how you prove it to even the most unwilling listener.
Since 1978, Republicans have created over four-fifths of all U.S. Public Debt.
Republicans: $9.1 TRILLION in Debt since ’78.
Democrats: $2.1 Trillion.
In the last third of a century, over 81% of U.S. Public Debt has been created under Republican Presidents.
Only 19% has been created under Democratic Presidents--and most of that came last year as President Obama was trying to dig us out of the incredibly deep hole George Bush Jr. dug for us. The only "achievements" supply siders can legitimately claim are the massive bankrupting of the U.S. Treasury, the TRILLIONS of dollars of taxpayer guaranteed loans to the already very rich (often erroneously called tax cuts), and the bankrupting of the middle class.
Now, how do we convince a nation of disbelievers of this?
More after the fold.
This was the letter I just posted on Organizing for America.
Emanuel's reprehensible comments--like anyone couldn't figure out who the anonymous White house figure was--on unions after Blanche Lincoln's stay of electoral execution have convinced me to pull my support this electoral cycle for Organizing for America, the DNC, the DCCC and the DSCC--after all, they are now indistinguishable from the DLC anyway.
More after the fold.....
It needs your votes... Go for it! This is a chance to affect the immediate response the pundits are going to be reporting. The few early responses were not supportive--not surprising given AOL's makeup. Go Kossacks! I'm now writing extra words to make this diary long enough--as if the basic message will change as I do so. The truly profound insight is, of course, that it will serve us better if the poll numbers in support of his speech are higher.
While the counting of challenged ballots continues and there is still the issue of the inappropriately uncounted absentee ballots to be resolved by the Minnesota Supreme Court, it is VERY encouraging to see that the current Minneapolis Star-Tribune estimate for the result of the challenged ballots projects Franken to come out of the resolved challenges with a 171 vote lead. This is a big enough lead that the US Senate would probably seat Franken, pending the outcome of the court challenges.