Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,995
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,995
Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald
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Solar power has been declared a winner before, only to flounder. It’s easy to remain skeptical today, given that solar power accounts for less than one percent of the global energy supply. But it is also expanding faster than any other power source, with an average growth rate of 50 percent a year for the past six years. Annual installations of photovoltaic panels increased from a capacity of less than 0.3 gigawatts in 2000 to 45 gigawatts in 2014—enough to power more than 7.4 million American homes. This time really is different: solar power is ready to compete on its own terms.
The momentum behind solar power is a result of innovations in regulation, industry, technology, and financing. In a number of markets, it no longer needs public subsidies to compete on price with conventional power sources, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. The International Energy Agency, which has historically taken a conservative approach to evaluating solar power’s prospects, has projected that by 2050, in the best-case scenario, solar energy could be the single biggest source of power, generating as much as 27 percent of electricity worldwide.
If that happens, the consequences will be profound. Electricity will reach places that have never known what it means to get light or heat on demand. The price of electricity could fall, and utilities will have to figure out how to adapt. But the environmental gains, in terms of lower emissions of particulates, sulphur, and greenhouse gases, would be profound.
THE POWER OF POLICY
Four factors lie behind the rise of solar power. The first is regulatory support. Around the world, governments have enacted a range of pro-solar policies, including requirements that utilities generate a given fraction of their electricity from solar power, feed-in tariffs (a guaranteed price per kilowatt of solar power), and subsidies to manufacturers of solar panels and the households that buy them. Policymakers have supported solar power for a number of reasons, including a desire to reduce emissions, diversify their countries’ energy supplies, and create jobs. Perhaps most important, they recognized the long-term potential of solar power and wanted to foster a market for it.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Sun Mar 22, 2015, 02:08 PM (3 replies)
Major journalistic scoops are judged by their impact on society at large, but they can also impact with unintended effects the news organizations that pursue them.
With the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA spying in 2013, Britain's Guardian newspaper and its U.S. Web presence became a major player in American journalism. But the selection of a new editor Friday at the Guardian — Katharine Viner — can be read as, in part, a deeply equivocal response on the part of the paper's staff, with its unusual power in the process of selecting a new editor, to the Snowden story. (Disclosure: I have written for the Guardian for many years....)
....The Snowden story was owned by a small circle at the paper: primarily, Rusbridger, who became its most public face; Janine Gibson, the Rusbridger acolyte with a reputation for sharp elbows imported from London to run the New York office; and Glenn Greenwald, the freelancer who had brought the story to the Guardian (and who discontinued his relationship with the paper shortly after the story broke). What's more, the story, which Guardian management believed would be a financial boon, attracted little advertising revenue and instead became a cost center — and other parts of the paper had to absorb the hit.
There developed, too, a sense of journalistic queasiness around Snowden, difficult to express at the party-line Guardian. Questioning Snowden's retreat to Russia and his protection by Vladimir Putin was internally verboten. There were Gibson's efforts to carefully monitor staff tweets, making sure Guardian journalists toed the line in support of Snowden and Greenwald. Then there was Rusbridger's interview with Snowden in July, which made Rusbridger seem, to many, like something of a fawning groupie — and left a sense of embarrassment among many staffers.
I'd heard similar stories, but it's always good to see someone else confirm it...Just one more tick in the column of "things I was right about all along"
Posted by Blue_Tires | Fri Mar 20, 2015, 07:38 PM (24 replies)
Over the last year, since the Russian theft of Crimea, I’ve unambiguously warned that Vladimir Putin means what he says and he will not shy away from confrontation with the West, even at the risk of major war. Opportunities to deter this resurgent Russia, which I counseled many months ago, were punted on by the U.S. and NATO, so we now face a serious risk of war with Putin over his mounting hegemony in Eastern Europe. Ukraine is just the beginning.
As I’ve long made clear, Russia does not play by Western rules, and Putin and his Kremlin, being Chekists to their core, place great value on what I term Special War, meaning a shadowy amalgam of espionage, propaganda, and terrorism that Western states are poorly positioned to counter. At the end of the last year I predicted that the Kremlin’s Special War against the West was sure to rise, and so it has in the first quarter of this new year.
Last week I explained how Russian espionage against the Czech Republic — no congenital hater of the Russians like, say, Poland or the Baltics — had become so serious that Prague had expelled three Russian spies in recent months, amid warnings from Czech counterintelligence that at least a quarter of the outsized number of Russian diplomats in the country were actually spies posing as diplomats.
Over the last year I’ve explained in detail how Russian intelligence abroad, encompassing the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and the military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), have increased the scope and intensity of their operations against many NATO countries, including France, Germany, Hungary, and Poland. Most of these operations are undertaken by SVR or GRU officers serving under what the Russians term Legal cover, meaning they are pretending to be diplomats, trade representatives, and whatnot.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Thu Mar 19, 2015, 06:39 PM (1 replies)
Imagine the pride American Airlines pilot Scott Byrne felt when he realized his co-pilot for the next few days would be someone he knew well. Very well.
And imagine the excitement Jen Byrne felt sitting next to a man she called her "hero" as the plane she was piloting took off.
The dad-and-daughter duo, both pilots for American Airlines, had the opportunity to fly together Wednesday for the first time as First Officer and Captain. The flight was from Chicago to Dallas and then on to Orange County.
"It also marked the one-year anniversary since I've joined American," said Jen Byrne.
Scott Byrne said they were so busy with the pre-flight requirements and then take off that he almost forgot who was sitting next to him.
EDIT: it's more commonplace than you'd think--
Posted by Blue_Tires | Thu Mar 19, 2015, 06:14 PM (1 replies)
The Kremlin’s war on the Russian opposition has now become so savage it has torn up its own rulebook. Russian dissidents struggling against Vladimir Putin used to be sure of two things. The security services would not shoot them and they would not come after their families. Not any more.
Vladimir Ashurkov is one of Russia’s most notable dissidents after Alexei Navalny – and his right-hand man. But he could not be more different from the moralists and street protesters that make up most of the opposition. Ashurkov was one of the country’s leading investment professionals: a well-off, successful, Western-educated top manager who switched to politics.
With soft-spoken manners and corporate efficiency, Ashurkov helped turn Navalny from a blogger into a national politician with a highly-professional team able to run for mayor of Moscow. Ashurkov brought two important assets to Navalny – one of the best policy minds in Moscow and elite respectability. With Ashurkov behind him, it was clear Navalny was a serious politician with a policy agenda discussed at the most moneyed tables in Moscow.
The Russian authorities are now out to get him, he says. But not only him. They are also trying to inflict pain on his family by persecuting his partner Alexandrina Markvo, a leading figure in the arts in Moscow, and mother of his nine-month-old baby – with a politically motivated case. “Russian authorities are trying to make an example of us,” says Ashurkov. “They want to punish me for supporting Navalny in a way that will discourage others from doing the same. That’s why they are not only coming after me. They are now coming after Alexandrina. This is new. The authorities never used to hunt down family members of its enemies. When Putin went after Mikhail Khodorkovsky he never touched his wife and children during his 10-year jail sentence. Khodorkovsky even thanked Putin for not touching them. But these rules are now over. The authorities are consistently increasing the degree of repression following the crisis in Ukraine and the economic decline of recent months. This is why they have already jailed Navalny’s brother, who was never involved in politics. Now they want to do the same to my partner.”
Greenwald and Snowden unavailable for comment, as usual
Posted by Blue_Tires | Wed Mar 18, 2015, 04:30 PM (6 replies)
United Airlines Flight Returns to Washington DC Airport After Passenger Runs Toward Cockpit
A United Airlines flight was forced to return to Washington, D.C., after a passenger failed to comply with crew instructions, a spokesman for the airline said today.
Flight 1074, en route to Denver, returned to Dulles International Airport shortly after takeoff late Monday. The pilots told air traffic controllers the passenger became violent but was restrained by passengers, according to LiveATC.net.
"He ran forward towards the cockpit and he is being restrained by passengers," one of the pilots said. "Cockpit is secure and we would like to return to the airport and have the authorities meet him."
Donna Tellam, a passenger on board the flight, said two men grabbed him and held him down.
"One held his feet and the other one kind of laid on top of him and then the flight attendants went and got some plastic restraints for his arms," she said. “At one point when his head was down he said there were jihadists in the cargo hold and he did say jihad a couple times."
Posted by Blue_Tires | Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:45 PM (2 replies)
The lieutenant governor of Missouri says “there is more racism in the Justice Department” than in the St. Louis area, pointing the finger at President Obama and the Justice Department who, he says, often incited “the mob” in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown back in August of 2014.
“The whole blow up of this protest movement was based on the lie that never happened of ‘hands up don’t shoot,’” Peter Kinder, the Lt. governor told NewsMaxTV’s Steve Malzberg Show Monday. “But it’s bad enough the protestors were behaving that way but we have a right to expect more from the attorney general, the head of the Justice Department of the United States, and the president of the United States. And instead what we got too often from them was incitement of the mob, and, uh, encouraging disorder in Ferguson and distributing the peaceable going-about of our lives in the greater St. Louis region.”
Kinder added President Obama and Eric Holder “took one side” following the death of Michael Brown. Asked why, he said the Justice Department was “staffed with radical, hard-left radical, leftists lawyers.”
“Many of them have spent most of their careers defending Black Panthers and other violent radicals,” he added. ”
Just want to remind certain DUers about exactly what they've been defending as of late
Posted by Blue_Tires | Tue Mar 17, 2015, 03:32 PM (8 replies)
Cemil Bayık, the head of the Kurdistan Communities' Union (KCK), has reportedly said that Hakan Fidan, head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), admitted that a group within the intelligence body was responsible for the execution of three Kurdish women linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Paris in 2013.
In an interview published on Sunday in the Cumhuriyet daily, Bayık, who is also the “number two” man in the outlawed PKK, claimed that the Paris murders were committed by a faction consisting of ultranationalists and members of the "parallel state," in reference to the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet movement, within MİT, adding, "But he is the head of MİT, and it is impossible to think he is not aware of the assassinations."
Three Kurdish women, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, were found dead with gunshot wounds at a Kurdish information center in Paris in January 2013. The killing of the PKK-linked women is yet to be solved.
When asked whether MİT executed key members of the PKK while it was involved in the talks with the group, Bayık, who clearly expressed his lack of confidence in Fidan's argument that he was not aware of the killings, stated that besides MİT, other international actors took part in the murders to interrupt the Kurdish settlement process. The talks were initiated in 2011 in order to seek a solution to the country's decades-long Kurdish problem, which cost nearly 40,000 lives.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:06 PM (0 replies)
ST. PETERSBURG -- Last May, Tatiana N decided she wanted a higher salary than the average journalist can expect.
After responding to an advertisement in the popular HeadHunter job-search website, she became a Kremlin-paid Internet troll. Tatiana -- who, like others interviewed for this story, asked that her last name not be used -- worked out of a 2,500-square-meter warehouse in the suburbs of St. Petersburg.
The job paid 40,000 rubles a month, significantly more than the 25,000-30,000 most journalists make. But it came, she said, "with pain."
Tatiana joined a round-the-clock operation in which an army of trolls disseminated pro-Kremlin and anti-Western talking points on blogs and in the comments sections of news websites in Russia and abroad.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:04 PM (7 replies)
On September 3, 2014, US President Barack Obama stood in the centre of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and told the world that the defence and security of all the Baltic States is always guaranteed by the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Origination (NATO).
Less than 48 hours later, Russian agents crossed the border and abducted Eston Kohver, an Estonian Internal Security Service officer. This was a well-planned abduction. Communications-jamming equipment was used, as were smoke bombs and stun grenades. Perhaps most shockingly, Russian agents kidnapped Kohver at gunpoint not in Russia, but on Estonian soil in the quiet village of Miikse nine kilometres from the nearest border crossing.
After Kohver's abduction he was rushed across the border into Russia, whisked off to Moscow, and quickly paraded on Russian television. Today, he sits in Lefortovo Prison - a drab mass of concrete in Moscow built in 1881.
Lefortovo Prison served as torture chamber for the NKVD, Joseph Stalin's secret police. It served as a home to hundreds of political prisoners for the KGB. Today, the FSB - the successor to the KGB - operates the prison. Not a pleasant place to be, but Kohver has no choice.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:03 PM (0 replies)