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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,741

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100b invested in wind & solar produces more energy than oil.


Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

The implications, needless to say, are dramatic. It would signal the end of Big Oil, and the demise of an industry that has dominated the global economy and geo-politics, for the last few decades. And the need for it to reshape its business model around renewables, as we discuss here.

“If we are right, the implications would be momentous,” writes Kepler Chevreux analyst Mark Lewis.

“It would mean that the oil industry faces the risk of stranded assets not only under a scenario of falling oil prices brought about by the structurally lower demand entailed by a future tightening of climate policy, but also under a scenario of rising oil prices brought about by increasingly constrained supply. “

Senator Bernie Sanders Votes No on War Funds


Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday voted against the United States training and arming Syrian rebels. Bernie said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria “is a brutal and dangerous extremist organization which must be defeated, but this war cannot be won by the United States alone.”

“There needs to be a real international coalition led by the countries most threatened – Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and Iran,” the senator said. “The worst thing that we can do now is allow ISIS to portray this struggle as East vs. West, as Muslim vs. Christian, as the Middle East vs. America. That is exactly what they want and that is exactly what we should not be giving them.”

I have to agree with Sanders. This is a great opportunity to force Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Syria, et al, to come together.

Meet ‘the Elizabeth Warren Wing of the Democratic Party'


Suppose an insurgent movement with a sharp critique of Wall Street and a determination to end the Democratic Party's compromises on core economic issues was taking shape across the country. Suppose the candidates associated with this movement were winning tough primaries and developing the outlines of a fifty-state strategy that rejects the self-interested calculations of party elites. Would that count as big news? Not yet, perhaps, since most mainstream pundits are still obsessed with the wrangling over which extremes the Republican Party will embrace. But while GOP insiders were busy beating back their Tea Party wing, the progressive populist tendency within the Democratic Party was going from strength to strength.

This developing movement, now often referred to as "the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party" (a variation on the late Senator Paul Wellstone's declaration, "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party", is focused on many of the issues that Warren raised in her electrifying July speech at Netroots Nation, where she vowed to fight for wage hikes, fair trade, pay equity, affordable education, and ironclad protections for Social Security and Medicare. "This is a fight over economics, a fight over privilege, a fight over power," the Massachusetts senator said. "But deep down, it is a fight over values. These…are progressive values. These are America's values. And these are the values we are willing to fight for."

Democratic Party elites—who dream of a return to the triangulating days of Bill Clinton, perhaps with another Clinton in the White House—still resist this kind of values-based politics. But the party's base is yearning—and voting—for something bolder. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who, like his Massachusetts colleague, has been talked up as an alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016, has taken an economic-populist message to every corner of the country—including the red states of the Deep South. "When you get outside the Beltway," Sanders notes, "and when you get outside political gossip and speculation, what you find is massive frustration and anger at both the political and economic establishment."

That sentiment has led to the rise of candidates like Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey legislator who won a hard-fought June primary with an economic-justice campaign that talked not about raising the minimum wage, but about the need for a living wage. Refusing to soft-pedal her determination to address "the gap between the wealthiest and [those] most in need," Coleman says "the equivocation of Democrats has created confusion for people. People need to know what their choices are and why."

DAY 7: War may make hundreds of thousands of young Syrians stateless (Reuters)

Some three million Syrians have left as refugees and 3.5 million are displaced within the country. More than half of Syrian refugees are children, but many families were unable to register them before fleeing abroad.

Some 51,000 Syrian babies have been born in exile. Three quarters of those born in Lebanon have not been registered and experts believe the proportion is similar in other countries hosting Syrian refugees.

“It should really alarm us that we have 77 percent of refugee births unregistered in one country, that we have nationality through the father only, that we have so many missing fathers,” Sen told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Also at risk of statelessness are the 8,000 refugee children who are unaccompanied or separated from their families.


Like state sponsored child abuse.

In my view, we are the problem, not the solution in the middle east.

ISIL completely fabricated enemy by US: Former CIA contractor

PressTV... For what is worth:

"Former CIA contractor Steven Kelley says that the ISIL terrorist group is a completely fabricated enemy created and funded by the United States.

“This is a completely fabricated enemy,” he said in a phone interview with Press TV from Anaheim, California on Thursday.

“The funding is completely from the United States and its allies and for people to think that this enemy is something that needs to be attacked in Syria or Iraq is a farce because obviously this is something that we create it, we control and only now it has become inconvenient for us to attack this group as a legitimate enemy,” Kelley added."


Chelsea Manning breaks silence to criticise Obama's Isis strategy


Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier who worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq before being arrested for passing state secrets to WikiLeaks, says the only way to defeat Isis is to allow the group to set up its own contained “failed ‘state’” where over time its fire would “die out on its own”.

Writing in the Guardian, Manning says her experience as an all-source analyst near Baghdad in 2009-10 leads her to doubt the strategy being followed by the Obama administration. She warns that the US-led mission to destroy the extremist group is destined to failure because it will merely feed a “cycle of outrage, recruitment, organizing and even more fighting that goes back decades”.

Even with the support of non-western forces, attacking Isis directly from the air or with special forces on the ground risks mission creep and the repeat of past errors. “I believe that Isis strategically feeds off the mistakes and vulnerabilities of the very democratic western states they decry,” she writes.

Presenting a radical alternative blueprint for how to deal with the extremist group, Manning argues that the best way to degrade Isis is to allow it to set up a failed “state” within a clearly demarcated territory. There, Isis would gradually become unpopular and unable to govern, she predicts, and the ideology of its leadership would be discredited in the region, potentially forever.

27 Christians in Saudi Arabia Arrested for Using House As a Church

Public worship of any religion besides Islam is banned in the kingdom, where Sunnis make up more than 90 percent of the population.

A Washington-based Christian religious freedom advocate denounced the raid, saying that it has always been an official policy of Saudi Arabia to continue its "religious cleansing."

"It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches. This is enforced even though there are over 2 million Christian foreign workers in that country," FoxNews.com quoted Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, as saying.


Our allies in the war on ISIS extremists.



Harf implied that that the administration might claim the right to strike ISIS in Syria based on the principle of individual self-defense, a clear exception to the need for permission or UN Security Council. Such a rational might be applicable if the American government claims there’s an imminent threat to U.S. personnel in a state that is unwilling or unable to counter that threat. But if administration officials actually try to invoke individual self-defense as a justification, they would likely have to contradict repeated statements by top officials this week claiming ISIS does not present an immediate threat to the U.S. homeland.


Another possible international legal justification the administration might use is the right of “collective self defense,” under which the U.S. and its allies could claim that strikes inside Syria are part of the effort to defend the country of Iraq from ISIS. That justification would build on Kerry’s contention that the Assad regime is unable to control its own territory and therefore other states have a right to take action.

But this explanation has drawbacks as well. Namely, it would only justify actions to protect Iraq—not “destroy” ISIS, as President Obama has promised in recent days. Iraq would have to formally declare that it was threatened by ISIS forces in Syria, invoke its own right to self-defense, and then ask other states for assistance.


A third possible international legal justification by the Obama administration could be to invoke the same justification it is now using to explain the ISIS war on domestic legal grounds, the principle that the war against al Qaeda is an ongoing armed conflict and that ISIS is part of al Qaeda. That argument must be reconciled with the fact that ISIS and al Qaeda are publicly at war with each other and fighting on the ground every day in Syria.

Do you think the Republicans will back the President on this potentially illegal action, or throw him to the wolves? Do you think they will 'not look back' as Obama did if we get a Republican in the White House in 2016?

Obama is really putting himself out on a limb here.

In my view, he really needs to seek congressional approval for any military action, or the R's will come after him tooth and nail.

Obama: Assad Shooting At American Planes Would Lead To His Overthrow


President Barack Obama would seek to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad if American planes were attacked upon entering Syrian air space, Peter Baker of The New York Times reports .

If Assad's troops f ired at American planes entering Syrian airspace, "Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defense system," Baker reports. "He went on to say that such an action by Mr. Assad would lead to his overthrow, according to one account."

Taking out Assad is part of the neocons Playbook for the Middle East.

The chances our planes don't get shot at is zero. Knowing for certain who fired is not always possible.


“They are looking for the next big meal ticket and this could be it,” said Sean McFate, a former military contractor for Dyncorp and the author of The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order. “The things they will provide are logistical support, training or retraining security forces.”

McFate said contractors gave Obama the opportunity to accomplish tasks normally associated with the U.S. military without sending boots on the ground. He said the training missions in particular “would look like Iraqi military boots on the ground and not the U.S. military.” But he said, “It’s a political disguise. This is an industry that is a proxy, it is creating the environment of security and protection without too many U.S. soldiers on the ground.”

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