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By Chris Hedges, from Truthdig.com
May 10, 2013
A tiny tip of the vast subterranean network of governmental and intelligence agencies from around the world dedicated to destroying WikiLeaks and arresting its founder, Julian Assange, appears outside the red-brick building on Hans Crescent Street that houses the Ecuadorean Embassy. Assange, the world’s best-known political refugee, has been in the embassy since he was offered sanctuary there last June. British police in black Kevlar vests are perched night and day on the steps leading up to the building, and others wait in the lobby directly in front of the embassy door. An officer stands on the corner of a side street facing the iconic department store Harrods, half a block away on Brompton Road. Another officer peers out the window of a neighboring building a few feet from Assange’s bedroom at the back of the embassy. Police sit round-the-clock in a communications van topped with an array of antennas that presumably captures all electronic forms of communication from Assange’s ground-floor suite.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), or Scotland Yard, said the estimated cost of surrounding the Ecuadorean Embassy from June 19, 2012, when Assange entered the building, until Jan. 31, 2013, is the equivalent of $4.5 million.
Britain has rejected an Ecuadorean request that Assange be granted safe passage to an airport. He is in limbo. It is, he said, like living in a “space station.”
By Chris Hedges, from truthdig.com
May 12, 2013
"Murder is our national sport. We murder tens of thousands with our industrial killing machines in Afghanistan and Iraq. We murder thousands more from the skies over Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen with our pilotless drones. We murder each other with reckless abandon. And, as if we were not drenched in enough human blood, we murder prisoners—most of them poor people of color who have been locked up for more than a decade. The United States believes in regeneration through violence. We have carried out blood baths on foreign soil and on our own land for generations in the vain quest of a better world. And the worse it gets, the deeper our empire sinks under the weight of its own decay and depravity, the more we kill.
There are parts of the nation where the electorate, or at least the white electorate, routinely and knowingly puts murderers into political office. Murder is a sign of strength. Murder is a symbol of resolve. Murder means law and order. Murder keeps us safe. Strap the criminal into the gurney. Plunge the needles into veins. Haul away the corpse. It is our Christian duty. God Bless America! And one of the next on the list to be murdered in Florida—a state that has decided, under its new and cynically named “Timely Justice Act,” that it needs to accelerate its execution rate—is William Van Poyck. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. June 12 at Florida State Prison. He is a writer who has spent years exposing the cruelty of our system of mass incarceration. On June 12, if Gov. Rick Scott has his way, Van Poyck will write no more. And that is exactly how our political class of murderers wants it.
“Only God can judge,” Matt Gaetz, a Republican who sponsored the Timely Justice Act in the Florida House of Representatives, said during the debate. “But we sure can set up the meeting.”
Continue reading ...
By Matt Spetalnick and Jane Sutton, Reuters
“An independent task force issued a damning review of Bush-era interrogation practices on Tuesday, saying the highest U.S. officials bore ultimate responsibility for the "indisputable" use of torture, and it urged President Barack Obama to close the Guantanamo detention camp by the end of 2014.
In one of the most comprehensive studies of U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects, the panel concluded that never before had there been "the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody."
"It is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture," the 11-member task force, assembled by the nonpartisan Constitution Project think tank, said in their 577-page report.”
By Candice Bernd, Truth-out.org
Monday, 29 April 2013 09:23
"The Keystone I pipeline is already pumping Canadian crude across seven states and tar sands are already being stored in tanks in Cushing. Julia Trigg Crawford's farm is one of the only legal gray areas standing in the way of that tar sands crude getting to the Gulf to be refined and exported for profit.
The pipeline became a flashpoint in the climate justice movement after leading NASA climate scientist James Hansen called the project "the fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet." He stated that if all the carbon stored in the Alberta tar sands is released into the atmosphere, it would put us past the carbon parts-per-million tipping-point, calling it "game over" for the planet."
Robert Hirsch, from OilPrice.com
April 16, 2013 22:00
"I was fortunate to be among the few westerners invited to attend and speak at this first-of-its kind “peak oil” (PO) conference in a Middle East. The fact that a major Middle East oil exporter would hold such a conference on what has long been a verboten subject was quite remarkable and a dramatic change from decades of PO denial. The two and a half day meeting was well attended by people from the GCC as well as other regional countries.
The going-in assumption was that “peak oil” will occur in the near future. The timing of the impending onset of world oil decline was not an issue at the conference, rather the main focus was what the GCC countries should do soon to ensure a prosperous, long-term future. To many of us who have long suffered the vociferous denial of PO by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and OPEC countries, this conference represented a major change. In the words of Kjell Aleklett (Professor of Physics at Uppsala University, Sweden), who summarized highlights of the conference, the meeting was “an historic event.””
Continue reading ...
April 30, 2013
"The federal government is doubling its estimate of how much oil might be discovered and harvested in the booming area of the Dakotas and Montana, a region that’s already helping to drive the United States’ dramatic shift into a role as the world’s leading oil producer.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday in a conference call.
The surge comes primarily because of the Three Forks shale formation, which lies mostly in North Dakota and crosses into South Dakota and Montana. It was considered to have little potential for productive drilling the last time federal geologists launched an estimate of the area, four years ago. But advances in drilling techniques and growing activity by oil companies caused the U.S. Geological Survey to take a closer look."
Is the Typical NDIC Bakken Tight Oil Well a Sales Pitch?
By Rune Likvern, from TheOilDrum.com
April 29, 2013
"In this post I present the results from dynamic simulations using the typical tight oil well for the Bakken as recently presented by the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), together with the “2011 average” well as defined from actual production data from around 240 wells that were reported to have started producing from June through December 2011.
This post is an update and extension to my earlier post “Is Shale Oil Production from Bakken Headed for a Run with “The Red Queen”?” which was reposted here.
The use of the phrase “Typical Bakken Well” by NDIC as shown in Figure 01 is here believed to depict what is to be expected from the average tight oil well.
The results from the dynamic simulations show:
By David Kirby, TakePart.com
April 22, 2013
"Every three to four weeks, a cycle of horror repeats itself across Steve Kolian’s face. First it becomes itchy. Then the bumps appear. Then a raw, irritating redness sets in before the skin peels away in patches. Finally, it all disappears for a while.
Other parts of his body, however, seem to be in perpetual disrepair. Dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, bloody stools and cognitive issues surface intermittently, painful reminders of the toxic assault he and untold others endured following the April 2010 explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
It reminded me of Dante's Inferno. The fumes were choking folks along the coast. Then you add the Corexit, and communities felt their lives became a laboratory, only they were the living experiment."
By Matt Taibbi, from RollingStone.com
April 25, 2013
“Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything…
…If you can imagine paying 20 bucks for a crappy PB&J because some evil cabal of agribusiness companies colluded to fix the prices of both peanuts and peanut butter, you come close to grasping the lunacy of financial markets where both interest rates and interest-rate swaps are being manipulated at the same time, often by the same banks.
"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."
By Ralph Nader, from HuffingtonPost.com
April 25, 2013
"The Boston Marathon bombings killed three and injured more than 180. The West, Texas industrial explosion killed at least 14 and injured more than 180. Guess which one drew the greater media and law enforcement response?
If it turns out that the West, Texas explosion is the result of a "terrorist act," expect federal law enforcement officials and the mass media to fly to Texas from Boston. But until then, don't expect much.
One reason -- our two tier criminal justice system. One tier for individuals. Another for corporations."
By Jason Leopold, Truthout
April 22, 2013
"By late August 2002, I found that of the initial 742 detainees that had arrived at Guantánamo, the majority of them had never seen a US soldier in the process of their initial detention and their captivity had not been subjected to any meaningful review," Wilkerson's declaration says. "Secretary Powell was also trying to bring pressure to bear regarding a number of specific detentions because children as young as 12 and 13 and elderly as old as 92 or 93 had been shipped to Guantánamo. By that time, I also understood that the deliberate choice to send detainees to Guantánamo was an attempt to place them outside the jurisdiction of the US legal system."
He added that it became "more and more clear many of the men were innocent, or at a minimum their guilt was impossible to determine let alone prove in any court of law, civilian or military.""
How Resource Scarcity and Climate Change Could Produce a Global Explosion
By Michael T. Klare, from HuffingtonPost.com
April 22, 2013
"Brace yourself. You may not be able to tell yet, but according to global experts and the U.S. intelligence community, the earth is already shifting under you. Whether you know it or not, you’re on a new planet, a resource-shock world of a sort humanity has never before experienced.
Two nightmare scenarios -- a global scarcity of vital resources and the onset of extreme climate change -- are already beginning to converge and in the coming decades are likely to produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict. Just what this tsunami of disaster will look like may, as yet, be hard to discern, but experts warn of “water wars” over contested river systems, global food riots sparked by soaring prices for life’s basics, mass migrations of climate refugees (with resulting anti-migrant violence), and the breakdown of social order or the collapse of states. At first, such mayhem is likely to arise largely in Africa, Central Asia, and other areas of the underdeveloped South, but in time all regions of the planet will be affected.
To appreciate the power of this encroaching catastrophe, it’s necessary to examine each of the forces that are combining to produce this future cataclysm."
By Mark Fischetti, via Scientific American
April 15, 2013
"Three times now, Mark Jacobson has gone out on the same limb. In 2009 he and co-author Mark Delucchi published a cover story in Scientific American that showed how the entire world could get all of its energy—fuel as well as electricity—from wind, water and solar sources by 2030. No coal or oil, no nuclear or natural gas. The tale sounded infeasible—except that Jacobson, from Stanford University, and Delucchi, from the University of California, Davis, calculated just how many hydroelectric dams, wave-energy systems, wind turbines, solar power plants and rooftop photovoltaic installations the world would need to run itself completely on renewable energy.
The article sparked a spirited debate on our Web site, and it also sparked a larger debate between forward-looking energy planners and those who would rather preserve the status quo. The duo went on to publish a detailed study in the journal Energy Policy that also called out numbers for a U.S. strategy."
Tony Ingraffea and Mark Ruffalo, from the Huffington Post
04/04/2013 8:27 am
Our message to Illinois is this: look before you leap. In the nearly five years that we've been deliberating about shale gas fracking in New York, we've learned a few things that might interest you. Here's one that might surprise you: fracking itself is not the biggest problem. It's everything else that comes along with fracking that's truly troublesome.
The trouble starts with wellpad construction. Each wellpad -- and shale gas and oil extraction requires thousands -- chews up five to nine acres of land. The wellpad's attendant technologies -- pipelines, processing units, and compressor stations -- chew up even more. This clear-cutting of forests and destruction of farmland sends topsoil into rivers and streams. Meanwhile, the relentless noise, light and dust pollution during the many months of 24/7 drilling and fracking destroys quality of life in small towns.
Dylan Ratigan, from Huffington Post
04/05/2013 2:29 pm
A healthy relationship with the way we produce and consume our food is the foundation of our nation and determinative to the quality of our lives.
America's finest agrarian writer, Wendell Berry, once wrote, "Anybody interested in solving, rather than profiting from, the problems of food production and distribution will see that in the long run the safest food supply is a local food supply, not a supply that is dependent on a global economy. Nations and regions within nations must be left free -- and should be encouraged -- to develop the local food economies that best suit local needs and local conditions."
Reuters via Huffington Post
By David Roberts, Grist.org
April 10, 2013
"Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground.
That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves.
Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence..."
It's time to have the uncomfortable conversation...
By Wesley T. Miller, CollapseNet.com
Jan. 17, 2013
Everything I have to say on this topic comes from a place of knowledge, experience, and as I hope you’ll see, wisdom. I am going to cut through the crap on all sides, speak from the heart and tell it like it is. Feelings may get hurt and beliefs will be challenged, but it is necessary. This is a search for truth.
There are over 300 million guns in the United States including millions of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. The horse has left the barn. Anybody with sufficient money and Will can acquire virtually any kind of guns in any amounts with as much ammunition as they desire within a short period of time. That is the status quo. No new gun restrictions will change that fact, at least not in the short term.
But does that mean that sensible gun laws should not be put in place at all? Absolutely not. It is time to reverse the senseless drive toward more arms with more devastating effects destroying more lives in less time.
It is time to seek peace, at all levels of our society.
The stock market is to the 1% what food stamps are to the poor – Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge blog
By Numerian, from The Agonist
April 4, 2013
NEW! - Bye-Bye Baby Boomers,
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