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Total number of comments: 21 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:33)


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  • The Age of Total War in Syria
    • International law was dealt a fatal blow with the illegal USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the Bush Cheney regime. It vividly taught the world that the only law on this planet is that the most powerful win. The weaker ones, no matter their morals or integrity, loose. Bush and team are all enjoying their retirements while the world burns. We've been here before and know where it leads.

  • Nearly a year after Trump bombed Syria, al-Assad and Russia extend control
    • I agree. In addition, international law is meaningless without consequences for those states which violate a law. There has been zero consequence (punishment) for Bush and the USA after the illegal invasion of Iraq where hundreds of thousands of innocent lives were lost. Instead the USA is experiencing a boom time. I had hoped that at least Bush wouldn't be re-elected in 2004, but he easily won the election. And enjoys a luxurious retirement today while Iraq continues to burn. International law has been shown to be meaningless. No wonder Assad behaves as he does. No consequence if a few poor farmers are blown to bits.

  • The Criminals who amplified Harvey: Trump & Cabinet must Resign
    • Thank you for the subtle but true insight in your comment. I say there are two kinds of people in the country, with a few exceptions. Those who deny climate change so they can continue to rob carbon from the earth without guilt. And those who believe what the science tells us, but have a million reasons why they have to continue a high carbon lifestyle. Many of my colleagues moan about the horrors to come with climate disruption, but do not hesitate to fly from California to Paris for a nice two week vacation. We are all to blame.

  • Top 10 Ways Americans judge Trump in the Comey Covfefe
    • Nuclear is not renewable and it is not carbon free. A considerable amount of diesel fueled truck and tractor activity is required to mine the fuel. Then additional energy is required to refine the uranium to fuel grade. And then energy is required to cool the waste material for generations to come.

      Uranium is not renewable . It will run out just like coal, oil, and natural gas.

  • "Can you believe the World we Live in?" Trump doesn't understand "Classified"
    • The issue is that the Russians in the room do not have USA security clearances. Who knows who they will tell. People just talk. When the word is out, it will eventually get to ISIS, maybe not directly by anyone at the meeting, but via people who tell people etc.

  • Russo-Turkish Conflict over Syria & Iraq Boils: "Manifestations of impotent Rage"
    • Hi Juan,

      Great analysis as usual. But I've seen the following error twice in the past few days:

      -> You wrote "At the same time, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan said his country would not withdraw 150 Russian military trainers from a town north of Mosul. "

      -> It should say "At the same time, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan said his country would not withdraw 150 Turkish military trainers from a town north of Mosul. "

      You don't have to post this but you might want to fix the mistake.


  • 14 Years after 9/11, US, Israel Tempted to ally with Al-Qaeda in Syria
    • Don't you think Saudi Arabia should be at that table too? If not for their under the table financial support, the very extremists you referenced in Syria would be weakened substantially. Stop this proxy war between the Saudis and Iran, and we have a chance to scale down this human tragedy.

  • Netanyahu slips, Reveals reason for Opposition to Iran Deal
    • Juan, have you tried to get a spot on the PBS Charlie Rose program. I would cherish an interview with you about the Iran deal and what it means to the middle east. And Charlie is known for interviewing people on all sides of an issue. The truth about this hopeful Iran deal must get out there before it is hijacked by right wing Israeli and USA Republican interests.

  • NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies that had no Effect
    • Forty percent of the total carbon footprint of a petroleum powered car is manufacture, tires, required road maintenance, and disposal at the end of life. All of this applies to electric cars too. Electric cars have the added issue of the rare earth materials required to make batteries.

      One more very important transportation option you forgot to mention is bicycling. While bicycles also have a carbon foot print associated with manufacture, tires, roadways, and disposal too, they represent a fraction of the cost of a car. How many bike tires can be made from the synthetic rubber in one car tire? Probably at least 100.

  • Candidates flee East Coast as Frankenstorm takes Revenge for their Ignoring Climate Change
    • Great commentary as usual.

      However, you are too easy on Obama and the Democrats. I read the following comment a few days ago, I adlib: The Republican party has been hijacked by extremists while the Democrat party has proven to be ineffective. Republicans aren't afraid to express their extreme views and indeed we may get an all Republican government in a few weeks, in spite of their now open views on banning all abortion, embryo personhood, and limiting the availability of birth control. Democrats are "afraid" to stand up for their values and instead focus on positions that will win elections.

      Climate change could have been an issue in this election, brought forth by the Democratic platform. It could have been a rare opportunity to hear both sides out. I think the data would speak for itself in such a setting as most Americans still respect the discipline and processes utilized in scientific studies. Of course there was no hope that Romney and team would endorse any of this. He is effectively anti-science and anti-evidence on any issue where the party idealism is threatened by real data. But the democrats??? I am very disappointed indeed.


  • Creepy Israeli Planning for Palestinian Food Insecurity in Gaza Revealed
    • You can join Jewish Voice for Peace, link to and support them both financially and with activism. You don't have to be Jewish to be a member.

      This is a growing movement willing to stand up to AIPAC. While congress and the administration pay little attention to them at this time, that could change if enough of the electorate speak out.


  • California gasoline crisis shows Desirability of Hybrid, Electric Cars
    • It should be noted that the wind tends to blow more consistently at night when electric cars are being charged for use the next day. Wind power and electric cars are very compatible.

      I get around by bicycle and therefore don't need to own an electric car. My wife drives a Prius, a hybrid which we have contemplated upgrading to a plug in. I've even considered replacing it with a Nissan Leaf, and then renting a gasoline powered car when traveling out of town.

      I keep waiting for better battery warranties though. My laptop experiences have caused concern about the long term reliability of lithium ion batteries.


  • America’s new data center: The Biggest Big Brother of All (TBIJ)
    • True Lennart. But the NSA data center doesn't exist to serve the masses as the giant centers built by ATT, Google, etc. are. It is there to spy on us! And in that regard it is both disgusting and frightening. Even if the use today is legitimate, who knows how it will be employed in the future to frighten citizens away from activism. What risks to whistle blowers?

      The tragic consequence of us never having honestly examined 911 and facing the truth that either gross negligence or outright participation by our government at the time suppressed the ample warnings which were there. The ludicrous and extremely expensive Homeland Security procedures at airports, and all this dangerous and expensive spying infrastructure has resulted from us not assessing the real causes and addressing them appropriately.

  • 2010 Hottest Year Yet, 70 ft. Sea Rise Virtually Assured
    • Not True.

      Most if not all previous warmings also had significant increases in greenhouse gases preceeding the warmings. These increases were caused, however, by natural disasters such as violent volcanic activity or a shift in the poles which caused significant melting of tundra releasing methane.

      No one claims that damaging releases of greenhouse gases can't happen in nature. They have. But how does that justify us condemning future generations of ourselves to living with the consequences of such an event caused by "us" when it could have been avoided?

      I tend to listen to climate experts when talking about climate change, and on this issue there is strong consensus among climate experts that the current rapid increase of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is being caused by human activity and is responsible for the warming we have witnessed so far.

  • Big Coal and Big Oil Wipe Kiribati off the Face of the Map
    • If we could point to a few billionaire bad guys as the perpetrators of our carbon pollution, then I would be hopeful that activists can indeed stop the coming environmental train wreck, as your opening paragraphs suggest. But, unfortunately, the causes of climate change permeate the world's populations from the exceedingly wasteful Americans, to the careless burning of rain forests, to the exploding middle class in China and India and on and on.

      Here in the Bay area of California, every environmental meeting I attend has a parking lot full of over sized cars driven solo by attendees of the meeting. When the subject of transportation to a meeting comes up, everyone has what they consider overwhelming reasons why they had no choice but to drive. (Note that I bike everywhere under 12 miles. If a longer trip is required, I try to use transit. Otherwise, I generally don't go.)

      Our local transit agency is proposing closing down two lanes of a six lane boulevard to install Bus Rapid Transit and badly needed bike lanes. Even I am surprised by the negative momentum to stop the project in our "liberal" city. Solve climate problems but don't impact my driving rights is their chant.

      Last night I listened to a story on PBS about Chinese government and business officials buying European luxury cars with super sized engines for social status reasons. China's leaders have decided that these officials must buy China made cars from now on. The reason, to boost the local economy. No talk about gas mileage and the climate impacts of driving monster vehicles. It wasn't even mentioned.

      I think our only hope for stopping the worst progression of climate pollution is for a technical miracle which is about as likely as a god showing up to kindly end the world. Especially now in tough economic times when research dollars are not to be found.

  • Greek Lessons for the Arab Spring: Majid
    • Well said. A society which adheres to an "infallible spiritual document" such as the bible or Qur’an cannot foster open creative thought. After all, who can dare challenge the word of god? Religion should be a personal matter. Governments must be run on secular principles independent of any religion. Here in the USA in the 21st century it is frightening to me that there is increasing pressure to merge Christianity with government. The Arab spring has not yet shown that it can spring free from political Islam. Free thought and open debate based on facts and not beliefs are essential for a progressive society. And given the mega challenges facing all of humanity on this over stressed tiny planet in a sea of blackness, we need a world wide progressive people working together to solve these problems.

  • Can Solar Energy in Mideast Stop a Gas War?
    • Hi Juan,

      I have been a strong supporter of renewable energy for years. Indeed I have solar panels on my own roof which produce the equivalent of all the electricity we use. But there is a fundamental unsolved technical problem to increasing dependence on solar and wind beyond about 30%. And that is this concept called baseline. Solar and Wind energy have to be used when generated. There are no cost effective ways to store this energy at a large scale. Batteries are expensive and come with their own set of political (rare earth minerals) and environmental problems. In some places energy can be stored as heat. But the underground geology has to be able to support it. Pumping water uphill is another technique but expensive and requires mountains. Sometimes the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine over large areas. Baseline power is needed to backup the renewable system in these cases.

      The 30% can be increased with a continent wide smart grid. This means new power lines potentially through urban areas or worse yet through wilderness. Plus there is considerable expense and much research still needed. Hydrogen based storage research is barely off the ground; let alone deployment.

      And thus the continued drive for natural gas and nuclear. Geothermal and hydro (except in major droughts) are great baseline sources. But these don't exist in many places either. As much as I hate fossil fueled and nuclear plants, I have to agree that they are very reliable and proven sources of electricity which won't shut down because the sun isn't shining.

      Your thoughts?

  • Al-`Awlaqi Should have been Tried in Absentia
    • A really well written assessment of the black hole of government lawlessness into which we are silently descending. If one looks back over the last 10 years, the most alarming trend is that of the people of this country becoming comfortable with king CIA. Whatever they do must be good simply because they are "good" guys going after "bad".

      I think the root of this rot stems from the fact that we as a nation have never objectively examined the 9/11 incident and never held anyone accountable even though there were numerous serious breaches of policy in the days leading up to and on the day of 9/11. These are so serious that conspiracy theories continue to thrive. The real crime in all of this is that our leaders since 9/11 have convinced the population that we have to act outside of constitutional law in order to protect ourselves from another terrorist event when indeed maybe all we have to do is enforce the laws and policies we had before 9/11. When no one is held accountable, then the door opens to our imagining an enemy so good at what they do that we have to give up who we are in order to fight them.

      I try to avoid airline travel as much as possible because I can't stand airport security. It screams of the insanity associated with the lawless black hole we are quietly descending into.


  • What if Everything Ran on Gasoline?
    • What Ken and others don't know is that wind turbines work best at night with consistent breezes. Because electricity usage is low at night, wind turbines are often turned off at night simply because the grid can't use the electricity and there is no way to store it. Electric cars are charged mostly at night. So Portugal, California, Texas, and others who have invested in wind power, can support millions of electric vehicles on the road with existing infrastructure. What we need is an intelligent grid which would enable electric car owners to sell excess electricity from their charged batteries back to the grid during peak usage times during the day at a higher price than they paid to charge the batteries at night. For example, on a heatwave day, bike to work and make money storing electricity with the car.

  • Ala. Governor Apologizes to Muslims, Hindus, Jews
    • Juan, you wrote: "It seems to me that the groups that protested Bentley’s statement have some international responsibilities. Would the governor of Gujarat in India be willing to say that Muslims are his ‘brothers and sisters’? Would Avigdor Lieberman in Israel accept Palestinian-Israelis as his ‘brothers and sisters?’ How many Pakistani Muslim politicians would speak of brotherhood and sisterhood with the country’s 3 million Hindu citizens? Maybe some letter-writing to those figures is in order, too.

      It isn’t just in Alabama that there is a problem."

      Of course we have religion poisoning politics all over the world today. But Alabama is in the United States and we at least pretend to keep religion out of our politics. If our religious discourse has degenerated to the point that we have to compare ourselves to Pakistan or right wing Israel to feel ok, then we really are in a bad state.

      As one who escaped religion years ago, I am increasingly worried about our politicians turning into preachers. I think Governor Bently should resign over these remarks. Anyone who wins a governorship of a state in this great nation should at least have a fundamental understanding of the separation on religion and state. He very well knew what he was doing and I for one do not accept his apology without some explanation. Fortunately, I don't live in Alabama.

  • Energy Committee Chairman Candidate Says God Promised no More Catastrophic Climate Change after Noah
    • I don't understand how you can make such statements about CO2 not being a major factor in man made climate change when the vast majority of climate experts worldwide disagree with you. The science is complex and the forecasts not exact. But to call it pseudo science demands proof. Please provide some.

      And if climate models are at all correct and governments chose to do nothing and no silver bullet technologies show up soon, then you had better tell you kids not to have kids. Cause the world will be hell. And when they ask you how you could ignore such overwhelming secular scientific opinion and modeling at a time when maybe something could have been done to mitigate it, you had better have a good answer. We aren't talking about politics here, we are talking about the future of modern human society as we know it.

Showing comments 21 - 1