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Total number of comments: 47 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:27)


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  • Does Fracking give you Cancer?
    • Gregg Spindler 03/10/2016 at 6:29 am

      Fracking is a political problem. While it is a good thing to reduce burning of coal for electric power generation, it has been almost exclusively displaced by gas fired generation, not by renewables. Without this massive shift increasing natural gas consumption, the fracking industry would have collapsed because of low prices -- as it is, natural gas remains near historic lows.

      Very soon the US will begin exporting liquefied natural gas and that will increase prices considerably. LNG export facilities are nearing completion. The US will become the third-largest EXPORTER of LNG. It will be "Springtime in America" for the frackers, and consumers will pay far more to heat their houses.

      Had their been a massive shift towards renewable energy this would not be happening. We can thank the Obama Administration policies for its enthusiastic encouragement of fracking and ignoring the pollution associated with it because of the "all of the above" energy policy.

  • Anger Translation: Why Obama was Ranting against GOP Climate Policy at Press Dinner
    • Obama is join at the hip to fossil fuels. Just look at fracking, which he frequently boasts about, or opening new areas for drilling. He's on-board with "clean coal" boondoggles and guaranteeing loans for new nuclear plants.

      It is marginally true that he does not favor coal, but it probably has more to do with electoral politics and campaign contributions.

      If Obama truly favored renewals, in 2009 he would have had in place a program for renewable energy like Germany's. Instead we got a tiny tax credit. More recently they have slapped on high tariffs on imported solar panels.

      We don't have a strong national policy for "net metering"; instead states set their own rules and some rules are written by the Koch brothers.

      This is Obama's policy on renewables.

  • Fox News Contributor: Fifty Shades of Grey Heralds the End of the World
    • Robert Jeffress and his ilk are the vanguard of an American Taliban theocracy.
      But Fifty Shades of Grey is filth and degrading to women. Hollywood will serve up any sort of garbage so long as (1) it makes money and (2) does nothing to inform the public about politics and the economy.

  • Why Martin Luther King would support Pres. Obama's Tax on Super-Rich
    • Obama's proposals are theater -- and he knows that.

      Obama had a congressional majority in both houses of Congress when he took office. He did not do anything to improve the financial condition of the middle class when he had the ability to do so. Instead we got Obamacare (corporate welfare to prop up a dying industry selling defective products).

      Obama is a handmaiden for the bankster class. They bankrolled his 2008 campaign and he delivered by not prosecuting anyone.

  • Top 5 Planks of 2016 GOP Platform? Torture, War, Bank Corruption, Paid-For Elections
    • When Obama was elected he said he was going to look forward not backward. As a consequence Eric Place-Holder didn't prosecute anybody for financial crimes, nor for torture.
      Obama and most of the Democrats is as much complicit in financial and war crimes as the Republicans. I think Yves Smith characterized the Democratic Party as a "roach motel for progressives". That surely is the case!

  • Thanksgiving was always about Climate and Adaptation: Let's Make it Green Again
    • Excellent Thanksgiving essay, Prof. Cole!
      If only the elites would cooperate with your vision of a sustainable world.

  • Will growing gap between rich and poor influence midterm elections?
    • Surely the growing gap between rich and poor will influence the election -- it will boost the right wing Republican vote. This is the same thing that is happening in the EU -- ultra-right parties are the biggest beneficiaries of the depression.

      It is a logical trend -- the Obama administration has presided over the largest transfer of wealth from the 99% to the 1% in modern times. The vast majority of people have NOT seen things get better. The opportunity of the 2008 meltdown was squandered by Obama. When he appeared with Larry Summers and Robert Rubin right after winning the 2008 election I knew it was "game over".

  • Is Egypt's Sinai going the Way of Syria? 30 Troops Killed by Militants
    • Doesn't the US have troops in Sinai monitoring the border?

      Regardless, one can only expect "boots on the ground" given the relationship between the US and Egyptian oligarchies.

  • Right Wing on Holder: al-Qaeda, Black Panther, Stalinist
    • Bankster facilitator is the only description of Place-Holder that needs to be said. Not one prosecution from the melt down happened.

  • Elon Musk's Nevada Gigafactory may Save the World
    • Gregg Spindler 09/06/2014 at 7:30 am

      I believe all that can be said about EVs is they are "less bad" than automobiles fueled by fossil fuels.

      Ultimately the "auto"-mobile should be replaced by mass transit. The suburban sprawl created by cars has as much to do with the 16 tons of CO2 emitted by Americans as the cars themselves. A bit of walking and cycling would go a long way to improve health, also.

      EVs should be viewed as a temporary stopgap measures to reduce the carbon footprint, not an end-all.

  • America Has Gained Almost 1 Million Healthcare Jobs Since Obamacare Was Passed
    • Probably a lot of these jobs are insurance clerks and IT people to administer the monstrosity of Obamacare.
      Single payer would never have had such a Rube-Goldberg contraptions of administration.

  • Student Debt: Blame Law-Makers, Tax-Shirking Rich, War on Drugs, not Universities
    • Gregg Spindler 06/09/2014 at 7:01 am

      I agree the drug war and criminal justice profoundly effects state budgets. But legal drugs will come with significant public health costs.
      Maybe the federal government should cut "defense" spending (all aspects, not just DOD -- "intelligence", VA, DOE) to 2% of GDP. Have single payer, so total healthcare spending could be 9% of GDP like Canada instead of 17% of GDP like the US.

  • Faced w/ Global Warming Threat, Obama fudges EPA Carbon Reduction
    • Gregg Spindler 06/04/2014 at 8:05 am

      Unfortunately, this in an election year ploy to shore up his poorly informed base. It is like his response to the financial crisis, wind down the wars, the commitment to close Gitmo or raise the minimum wage -- just a bunch of PR and soundbites to fool people that he is doing something.
      The man came to office with a mandate. The country was tired of war and voted for change. Instead we got the Manchurian candidate. I knew "game over", when he appeared days after the election with Rubin and Summers.
      His environmental policies are brown, not green.

  • Is Rand Paul right that Cheney invaded Iraq for Halliburton Profits?
    • I will vote for Paul if he runs. He is the only likely candidate that would rein in the national security state.

      Can you imagine what we'll get if Amazon Hillary Clinton became president? She'll make chicken-hawks like Obama, Bush and husband Bill look tame and controlled.

  • Obamacare Enrolls 7.1 Million: But Will the haters ever stop hating?
    • ObamaCare numbers are inflated hype.

      I am self-employed. We had a PERFECTLY GOOD high-deductible health insurance policy which was cancelled because of ObamaCare. As a result we were forced into the Exchange and all we found were policies which were both more expensive and had many more restrictions than our old policy. There are millions of people like us that were kicked off of good small business or professional association plans and into the Exchanges.

      Having an adult child with a disability, we had been able to keep him on our small-business plan. Under ObamaCare he was thrown off the plan. Because he cannot work, he ended up with Medicaid as the only option. Prof. Cole, I'm sure UMich has good insurance... would you consider swapping it for Medicaid? I think not -- it is the worst coverage one can have.

      Obama is a disingenuous about healthcare and insurance. He goal was to prop up a dying industry with mandates and subsidies.

      We should have gotten single payer Medicare for all. Hopefully ObamaCare collapses under its own inefficient weight.

  • Solar would be Cheaper: US Pentagon has spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil
    • Another factor of having the US "protect" Persian Gulf oil is that it has the ability the shut the oil flows down to countries such as China.

      Thank you Jimmy Carter for the Carter Doctrine... a gift that keeps on giving!

  • Ted Cruz and America's Super-Rich say "Let them eat Cake"
    • Prof. Cole: When you have a few moments, go on to the Michigan Health Exchange and shop for a Silver or Gold policy and see what it costs.

      Then consider what a Platnium plan costs a resident of nearby Ontario.

      Obamacare and virtually everything Obama does is for the benefit of corporations and the ultra-rich. He has said and done NOTHING appreciable to restore progressive taxation (Clinto era rate are hardly "progressive"). When the democrats had control of both houses, Chuck Schumer personally blocked taxing hedge fund and private equity payouts as ordinary income (this benefited people like Mitt Romney).

      What is happening now is theater; it has nothing to do with Obama defending the human rights of working families.

  • Why Ted Cruz Should sit down and Shut Up: Countries with Social Safety Net Happiest
    • Yes, Ted Cruz should shut up.

      But Obamacare is not a social safety net. It was conceived to bail out a failing industry -- private health insurance, using public money and mandates on individuals.

      Countries where private insurance plays a role in truly universal health care (e.g., Japan, Germany, Switzerland) have very tight regulation and the private insurers are non-profits. That isn't what we got from Obama.

      Obamacare creates a monstrosity where private corporations to extract further rents from the public with a public subsidy.

      Think about the sad fact the the US and state governments already spend as much per capita on healthcare that it could fund a Canadian type of single payer. Instead we're going to subsidizing corporate fat cats.

      Obamacare is a safety net for corporations.

  • Solar Car of the Future: Sunswift Solar Two-Seater looks like an ordinary Coupe
    • While EV's are somewhat better than gasoline powered cars, ultimately if you want to have meaningful reductions in CO2 and other pollutants it makes more sense to develop electrified mass transit -- rail, light rail and buses.

      The automobile (electric or not) is perhaps the single most environmentally destructive invention in history.

      We have 5KW of solar panels which produces our annual electric consumption in cloudy upstate NY, but the load drawn from charging a car would far exceed the output.

  • The World after the Kerry-Lavrov accord on Syria
    • I believe the agreement, if implemented, will tilt the balance for Assad.

      The chemical weapons are guarded and maintained by his best troops, no doubt. Once armed UN forces come in to take over that role, Assad will have many thousands of loyal, fresh, well trained troops to enter the battle.

      The areas where the weapons have been kept become "off limits" to the opposition and jihadis by the UN forces.

      Assad couldn't use the weapons in a manner like Saddam did against the Iranians (with US wink-wink, nod-nod). Taking them off the table doesn't change much, except the balance of battle-ready troops.

      Blowback from the Carter doctrine, as Baecevich has written. Thanks, Jimmy.

  • Is the US Government the Managing Committee of the Pirate Banks?
    • Prof Cole,

      You hit the nail on the head with this one!

      The lack of alternative political parties with some sort of cohesive ideology or vision (i.e., socialist) and cooption of labor unions serves the interests on the ultra-rich's political duopoly.

  • Sanjay Gupta: We have been Systematically Misled on Dangers of Marijuana
    • While cannabis probably causes fewer problems than alcohol or meth, it is hardly benign.

      It is highly correlated with psychotic disorders. People that have such disorders that continue to smoke have more frequent and severe psychoses. Research has not been well-funded. See:

      link to

      link to
      (see section on cannabis)

      The problem with cannabis is the wild-west approach of illegal sales and high-THC "medical marijuana". If the product is to be legal it should be highly regulated and of known purity and properties.

      There are components of cannabis that might be useful in treating mental illness, but research again is poorly funded and very early.

      Let it suffice to say that cannabis has a negative role in severe mental illness. The costs of such illnesses are very significant.

  • And you Want to transport More Oil across America by rail, pipelines? Canadian Town destroyed by Railroad Oil Cars
    • Automobiles -- electric or gasoline -- are both environmentally destructive. EV's are only marginally less destructive.

      Why not re-develop our rotted public transit and rail infrastructure and run them with renewable electricity?

      Go to a country like Switzerland and see what conventional rail and good public transit functions.

  • PRISM: The US Government is mad at Bradley Manning for doing to it what it is Doing to All of us
    • We have a president that was supposedly a constitutional law professor.

      While Holder is the AG, ultimately the buck stops on Obama's desk. It is Obama's shameful responsibility for PRISM and Patriot Act renewal and expansion.

      The fish rots from the head.

  • Romney Praised Individual Mandate in 2010
    • The mandate is a tool that was supported by corporatists like the AEI, Romney and Obama to bail out the private insurance industry.

      The private health insurance business is on the verge of collapse because of the greedy gluttony of the private health care industry.

      Forcing 30M people into the system kicks the can down the road and allows "business as usual" for another decade or more.

      The worst part about it is if also means single-payer remains a distant hope.

  • Congress Wants the Department of Defense to Propagandize Americans
    • I am not sure we need an office of propaganda at the Pentagon.

      Mainstream media is already doing such an excellent job, there really is no reason to spend more money.

  • Legalize Pot, Save Public Education, and end Student Indebtedness
    • See NIMH for the incidence of schizophrenia. Read Whittaker, "Anatomy of and Epidemic". Full-blown schizophrenia is incredibly disabling. 1 in 100 has it. Many homeless are afflicted.

      If you had a family member affected (after smoking high-test pot for the freshman year at college), maybe you would study the linkages.

      As I said above, people should not be jailed for marijuana use. Pot should be legal, SAFE, and heavily taxed. It is none of that today.

      We should not fool ourselves that the pot we smoked in the 1970s is anything like the product sold to kids today. Even if the odds are 1 in 10 of being intolerant to cannabis, is it worth the societal risks and costs?

    • Continued cannabis use and risk of incidence and persistence of psychotic symptoms: 10 year follow-up cohort study

      link to

    • Legalization of cannabis is something that should be done. Nobody should be in prison for pot.

      However, it is NOT the innocuous drug that most believe. It has been definitively linked to psychotic disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia. These mental illnesses are severely disabling; The majority of 3M schizophrenia victims are wards of the state on SSI and Medicaid.

      If pot is legalized it needs to be regulated and safe. The current "medical marijuana" industry is anything but "medical" -- it is a business that competes on the basis of maximum THC (i.e., the component which makes you high).

      The beneficial effects of cannabis are believed to come from Cannabinoids, not THC. This has been poorly researched and funded.

      Any taxes on marijuana should be spent on addiction treatment and medical research, not for student aid.

      Shut down the national security state and make universities free.

  • The Generals try to stop an Iran War
    • Prof Cole said: "Obama wants to get the US out of fruitless Middle East wars, not plunge the US into new ones."

      I wish you were right, but I think Obama will do anything his Wall Street and AIPAC masters tell him to do.

      With the exception of Iraq, where the SOFA expired and we HAD to leave, Obama has more troops doing more bad things in more places than Bush.

      The FT had an exit interview with Condi Rice in January 2009. She said that she did not see Obama's foreign policies diverging significantly from Bush's. I didn't believe what I was reading...

      How wrong I was.

  • Dear Republican Candidates, You Have us all Wrong
    • Prof Cole,

      You need to write a "Dear Barack Obama" column also. How about some of these as starters:

      No indefinite military detention and military prisons

      Withdraw all troops from ME/NA/CA and how about Japan, Korea, Germany, Uganda, Nigeria, et. al.

      Cut national security spending to the OECD average

      Start doing something for the 99% instead of the 1% for a "change". Bailing out banks (including Fannie/Freddie) does not solve any problem, it is kicking the debt can down the road.

      Single payer health insurance.

      Abolish health care profiteering with reimbursement models like Canada or Europe.

      ...Need any more ideas?

      Unfortunately, Prof. Cole, there is a continuum of most policies from Bush to Obama.

      And ultimately there is going to be little difference for most Americans between Obama's policies and these republican nut-jobs, unless you think things like Rick Santorum's gay marriage policies really make than much of a difference.

  • 2011: End of US Hyperpower & its War with Islamdom
    • Unfortunately Obama will NEVER give a speech marking the end of the “War on Terror”, any more than he is going to prosecute torturers or Wall Street banksters.

      The supporters of GWOT and the bankster class are the people that have bought and paid for Obama. He is their loyal employee.


  • No War Crimes Trial for Bush/Cheney, While Chirac Convicted on minor Fraud
    • The current lack of prosecution of any perps from the GWOT for war crimes lies at the feet of Barak Obama. Even before taking office he stated that he was going to "look forward, not backward".

      He has the same attitude for crimes from his bankster benefactors.

      Based of 3 years of Obama, it is clear that he could be similarly charged with war crimes.

  • US out of Iraq, but Peace remains Elusive
    • The best way to work for peace is to reject "demopublicans" like Obama and "republicrats" or wing nuts. It was clear from Obama's statements in 2007-2008 he was going to ramp up the "good wars" and provide Israel with a blank check.

      The two parties have consensus on feeding the fat pig of the DoD and the national security state. Just like they have consensus on feeding the fat pigs on Wall Street.

      Out with the two party system.

  • News that Makes you Go 'Hunh'?
    • The reason Obama gets blamed for the economy is simple -- he is in charge.

      When he was elected, within days he appeared with Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, architects of the Clinton-era financial "reforms". Rubin was quickly dropped, but Rubin's rancid policies were implemented by Summers and Geithner.

      Instead of using his mandate and high public support in 2009 to restore banking and finance to their proper roles (i.e., as regulated utilities, not TBTF casinos), Obama viewed his role as restoring the pre-Lehman excesses, which were largely successful.

      Look at what happened last December -- large democratic majorities voted to extend Bush tax cuts. "Negotiated" by Obama... July and August were sick jokes on the public and the supercommittee promises more of the same (corporate tax cuts, huge national security spending, social welfare cuts).

      Healthcare is another example -- the public option was quickly dumped and never really an option at all.

      Wars are expanded, new ones started. Civil liberties are taken as seriously by Obama as they were by Cheney.

      The best thing that could happen in 2012 is for Obama to get kicked out by anybody -- left or right. At least with the republican nut jobs, they do as they promise and the democrats in congress are forced to grow a little bit of a spine.

      We really need third party alternatives, across the board, at all levels of government. Hopefully OWS continues through the winter and is not co-opted by corporatist hacks like Obama.

  • Ten Years after 9/11, Do the Arabs value Democracy more than We do?
    • Prof Cole,

      I understand Stiglitz and Bilmes estimated included everything going out 60 years. But then isn't this how the repubs and Obama account for Social Security and Medicare in order to justify their shredding of the social safety net?

      link to has the MARGINAL cost (i.e., what has been directly appropriated by Congress for the wars, in excess of the DoD base budget) as approximately $1.25T. This is just the expense of having the troops and contractors over there blowing stuff up, killing people and paying protection money to warlords.

      Can we believe that if 9/11 had not happened, or the invasion(s) not proceeded on such a grand scale, that the DoD budget would have more than doubled in the past 10 years? What would the DoD budget look like if it had been handled as a police action instead?

      What about the budgets of the "intelligence" services? The sticker price in the budget is not what is actually spent. The black budgets are embedded in literally every other federal department. Is it $100B a year? What would those numbers be if not fo5 9/11? Would the NSA be building multiple $2B data centers for domestic spying which rival Google's if not for 9/11?

      We can also directly attribute the ultra-loose monetary policy of the Greenspan Fed from 2001-2005 directly as a response to 9/11 -- which in turn led to subprime and the financial crisis. How much has the financial crisis cost "developed" economies?

      On a fully-allocated basis, the number spent on wars far exceeds the $1.25T marginal cost.

      Ultimately the point is 9/11 accelerated process of the decline of the US. The country is on the road to bankruptcy. Let's wait until the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and compare notes then.

    • Prog Cole said: "Some critics trace the debt and budget crisis to the Bush wars, but in a $14.5 trillion a year economy, the $1 trillion spent on the wars over a decade was not decisive."

      I disagree. First, I subscribe to the Stiglitz-Bilmes cost estimates of the war(s) which are considerably higher than $1T.

      In addition to the marginal cost of the invasions in Asia, Homeland Security spending has increased dramatically. The cost of compliance with the new rules is millions of wasted hours each day by airline passengers in the security theater. Local, state and federal police departments have become paramilitary organizations -- i.e., one local city of 15,000 even has an armorer hummer with specially trained skin head cops with automatic weapons. These people are not fighting crime, that are pretending to be special ops using tax money, addding to societal costs and decay.

      The US spending has become even more militarized and "securitized" than during the cold war in inflation-adjusted dollars. There is an enormous opportunity cost to having half of the engineers and computer scientists employed in these wasteful "industries". The USSR spent something like 15% of GDP on the military/security state and it broke them. If we believe the fictional GDP numbers of the US, we are closing in on that value (I do not believe the US GDP or DoD numbers are accurate).

      The local, state and federal resources sucked into the post 9/11 hole have been at the margins. These is far less left for crumbling infrastructure, education at all levels, social welfare which would make the US more competitive in the global economy.

      The loss of civil liberties is appalling and can go without further comment.

      IMO, Bin Laden may be dead but he will have won, as the US crumbles like all failed empires of the past.

  • Top Ten Myths about the Libya War
    • Your points regarding Libya are well taken. It is possible to agree with most of them. What emerges from the wreckage will be interesting to watch.

      Sure, the US and NATO can't root out evil everywhere it rears its ugly head. But they are selective in a sinister way where and when they use hard power.

      US (and NATO) duplicity is illustrated most clearly in Bahrain. The king there is a sonofabitch, but he's OUR sonofabitch. We could have been on the side of democracy but with a wink and nod, the Saudis came to "rescue" the monarchy. Hundreds, if not thousands have been murdered and the dirty war continues unabated.

      Like everything the US touches in MENA, it is all about oil.

  • Historical Question for Governor Perry
    • Rick Perry is an ignorant, dangerous politician. Texas is not my idea of paradise, given the massive social spending cuts. Perry's stupid comment about Bernanke is intended to peel off support from Ron Paul.

      But the Federal Reserve is a major problem in the current economy. Their mandate is to maintain stability of the currency and for full employment. They are a PRIVATE entity with the branches owned by banks. Their constituency is the banks, not the people of the United States.

      They have failed miserably on both accounts. They have ignored bubbles again and again.

  • Downgraded US Credit Rating: What comes of Coddling the Super-Rich
    • Prof. Cole, Regrettably, Obama and the democrats IMO are just as guilty as the republicans in this sordid matter.

      He was elected with a solid majority and mandate for change and he has systematically squandered whatever political capital he has had and his public support. In Q1-2009 he could have pushed through meaningful financial reforms, but he didn't. The reason he didn't is because Wall Street was his largest source of campaign funds.

      "Obama wanted to raise taxes on the multi-millionaires and billionaires" -- this is only partially true. He wanted to raise taxes on families with incomes over $250K. People at that level would pay the same rates as billionaires on earned income. Obama has not proposed anything approaching the graduated rates we had prior to Reagan.

      Obama has not proposed to tax hedge fund managers at ordinary income tax rates; those vultures pay 15% capital gains rates, or even worse, borrow against "retained earnings" and pay NOTHING at all.

      Face it, the democrats are equally guilty in this mess as the republican. Obama is simply less shrill than the Tea Party when he facilitates his Wall Street benefactors looting of our 401Ks and pension funds through limp regulation. Obama has explicitly put Social Security and Medicare on the sacrificial table, while DoD will be the sacred cow that is spares. Just watch.

      After last week, we are most likely on "the next leg down" of a depression. Just wait and see Obama's actions and which side he takes -- not the people's, but the billionaires'.

  • Dear Foreigner-Haters: Immigration is Good for You
    • I do not oppose immigration; I am the son of a DP from Eastern Europe. However, immigration, as practiced in the US or UK has mostly served as a conduit for cheap labor to benefit corporations.

      Prof Cole said: "Many immigrants do jobs that locals do not want to do, like pick strawberries or clean toilets in hotels."

      Perhaps Americans would perform these mundane chores if there were fair labor standards and wages paid in these "industries". For decades farms have been given a pass by the government to avoid clean and safe working conditions, bust unions, pay starvation wages, etc, etc. When the UFW finally got traction in California in the 1970s, the immigration tap was opened wide and the union collapsed. Much the same is true with the hospitality industry and home constructions before the financial melt down.

      But Con-gress never would pass laws mandating a change in these deplorable conditions -- their benefactors would never allow it. The same is true in the UK. There they have 4 million people on permanent welfare, while they import eastern Europeans for work.

      Immigration is a convenient wedge issue to whip up anxiety of the financially insecure middle class and get them the acquiesce to militarized borders and "homeland security". Corporations and the rich benefit from starvation wages paid to immigrants.

  • Ret'd. CIA Official Alleges Bush White House Used Agency to "Get" Cole
    • Business as usual. Those (i.e., the USG) who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

      I am not surprised at all.

      Unfortunately the current Administration, instead of being a wellspring of hope, seems to have embraced most of the worst aspects of Bush's policy.

      We need to have a post GWOT house cleaning much like the mid-1970s or a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" domestically and internationally.

  • Gates & NATO: Misery Loves Company
    • I think even more significant is the "opportunity cost" of the massive US national security state budget. OECD states spend 2% of GDP on defense; when you add in "all things military", the US spends over $1 trillion and 6% or 7% of GDP.

      Some of the best minds in science and engineering are used unproductively in the military-industrial complex and not in the broader economy solving real problems for real people.

      While China builds a high speed rail network, with a Beijing-Shanghai travel time of 5 hours (the equivalent of NY-Chicago), we consume foreign oil driving on crumbling interstate highways.

      It won't be until there is a complete bankruptcy of the US that the bloated military-industrial complex is finally reined in.

      Unfortunately we never hear of the true costs of the national security state in mainstream media.

  • Sea Water for Honolulu Air Conditioning
    • Cornell University did this on a smaller scale some years ago. Cayuga Lake is very deep and its bottom is 35 degrees year round.

      I read a recent report that Japan has the wold's 2nd or 3rd highest potential for geothermal. You have to wonder why they are using plutonium-based reactors.

      Ultimately a lot of the "problem" with energy is conservation. Interesting Lawrence Livermore graph on energy consumption. Most is wasted, no surprise.

      First link is a blog post, second is the graph

      link to

      link to

      The LLNL graph refers to "wasted energy" as "rejected energy". Orwellian double-speak is alive and well.

      As we can all infer, the corrupt politicians are doing absolutely nothing about this mess, it only gets worse and the clock is ticking.

  • On How War with Iran might Destroy the United States
    • David Broder is a member of the inside-the-beltway elite, Prof. Cole. You are not. Therein lies the difference. No economic study has ever identified "defense" as an effective economic stimulus. Broder's commentary is simply stupid.

      The Washington politicians, including virtually all the democrats, have been approving war funding for 10 years now and ever-increasing "defense" budgets.

      When you consider that the entire "defense" budget encompasses not only DoD, but also, all of "intelligence", Homeland "Security" and Veterans Affairs, large parts of DoE, State, plus the interest on the debt for past defense spending, we are probably wasting at least 10% of GDP for this so-called "defense"

      We also spend something like 17% of GDP on "healthcare".

      OECD countries spend a little over 1% of GDP on "defense" and most spend less than half of the US on healthcare.

      Is there any wonder why we have inadequate, crumbling, broken and filthy infrastructure? Any wonder why poverty is increasing? Or that US students are underachievers compared to other countries? The elite media never raises the issue of "defense" spending -- it is a sacred cow.

      "Defense" is slowly, but surely bankrupting the US. Just like it bankrupted the other superpower 20 years ago. Elite opinion is leading the US into the sewer of bankruptcy and poverty.

  • Obama's MacArthur Moment? McChrystal Disses Biden
    • Rahm Emmanuel won't let Obama fire McChrystal.

      Of course, Obama campaigned on expanding the war in Af/Pak and he has kept his word. Every US president aspires to be a "war president" because the public has been conditioned that war is good and the US is strong.

      Hopefully Af/Pak and GWOT revives the "Vietnam Syndrome" in the public. But I doubt it. Financial collapse will come first, like the USSR.

  • Obama Launches Green Equivalent of Moon Mission
    • GREGG SPINDLER 06/16/2010 at 7:20 am

      Sadly, Prof. Cole, I disagree that Obama has done anything even close to Kenndy's "man on the moon" speech... I watched the speech and was very hopeful because some green energy stocks went up yesterday.

      Obama's discussion of green energy was about as general and unspecific as possible. The energy bill he discussed in his speech is simply "business as usual", which give out carbon permits for free to the largest emitters, spends billions on "clean coal" and enthanol.

      You cite Germany as an example for green energy... keep in mind, that Germany has a functioning Green Party, which is not beholden to corporate interests, unlike the corporatist "Demopublican" party (including Obama). Germany uses 1/3 of the electricity and 40% of oil as the US on a per capita basis. Last time I was there, it seemed they have a pretty good quality of life.

      We installed a home photovoltaic system; the incentives are paltry when compared to Germany or Ontario. The US is simply NOT interested in green energy. Obama's credentials for energy are corporatist and status quo.

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