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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 27th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

ISIS is to America as Hamas is to Israel

by Alan M. Dershowitz

President Barak Obama has rightfully condemned the ISIS beheading of American James Foley in the strongest terms.  This is what he said:

“There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of the kind of a nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is group like (ISIS) has no place in the 21st century.  Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security a set of values opposite of what we saw yesterday. We will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and stability.”

At the same time that President Obama has called for an all-out war against the “cancer” of ISIS, he has regarded Hamas as having an easily curable disease, urging Israel to accept that terrorist group, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction, as part of a Palestinian unity government.  I cannot imagine him urging Iraq, or any other Arab country, to accept ISIS as part of a unity government.

Former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop Desmond Tutu have gone even further, urging the international community to recognize the legitimacy of Hamas as a political party and to grant it diplomatic recognition.  It is hard to imagine them demanding that the same legitimate status be accorded ISIS.

Why then the double standard regarding ISIS and Hamas?  Is it because ISIS is less brutal and violent than Hamas?  It’s hard to make that case.  Hamas has probably killed more civilians—through its suicide bombs, its murder of Palestinian Authority members, its rocket attacks and its terror tunnels—than ISIS has done.  If not for Israel’s Iron Dome and the Israeli Defense Forces, Hamas would have killed even more innocent civilians.  Indeed its charter calls for the killing of all Jews anywhere in the world, regardless of where they live or which “rock” they are hiding behind.  If Hamas had its way, it would kill as least as many people as ISIS would.

Is it the manner by which ISIS kills?  Beheading is of course a visibly grotesque means of killing, but dead is dead and murder is murder.  And it matters little to the victim’s family whether the death was caused by beheading, by hanging or by a bullet in the back of a head.  Indeed most of ISIS’s victims have been shot rather than beheaded, while Hamas terrorists have slaughtered innocent babies in their beds, teenagers on the way home from school, women shopping, Jews praying and students eating pizza.

Is it because ISIS murdered an American?  Hamas has murdered numerous Americans and citizens of other countries.  They too are indiscriminate in who they kill.

Is it because ISIS has specifically threatened to bring its terrorism to American shores, while Hamas focuses its terrorism in Israel?  The Hamas Charter does not limit its murderous intentions to one country.  Like ISIS it calls for a worldwide “caliphate,” brought about by violent Jihad.

Everything we rightly fear and despise from ISIS we should fear and despise from Hamas.  Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas—at the very least until it rescinds its charter and renounces violence.  Unfortunately that is about as likely as America rescinding its constitution.    Violence, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are the sine qua non of Hamas’ mission.

Just as ISIS must be defeated militarily and destroyed as a terrorist army, so too must Hamas be responded to militarily and its rockets and tunnels destroyed.

It is widely, and in my view mistakenly, argued by many academics and diplomats that there can never be a military solution to terrorism in general or to the demands of Hamas in particular.  This conventional wisdom ignores the lessons of history.  Chamberlain thought there could be a diplomatic solution to Hitler’s demands.  Churchill disagreed.  History proved Churchill correct.  Nazi Fascists and Japanese militarists had to be defeated militarily before a diplomatic resolution could be achieved.

So too with ISIS and Hamas.  They must first be defeated militarily and only then might they consider accepting reasonable diplomatic and political compromises.  Another similarity between ISIS and Hamas is that if these terrorist groups were to lay down their arms, there might be peace, whereas if their enemies were to lay down their arms, there would be genocide.

A wonderful cartoon illustrates this:  at one end of the table is Hamas demanding “death to all the Jews!”  At the other end is Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu.  In the middle sits the mediator, who turns to Netanyahu and asks:  “Can’t you at least come half way?”

No democratic nation can accept its own destruction.  We cannot compromise—come half way—with terrorists who demand the deaths of all who stand in the way of their demand for a Sunni caliphate, whether these terrorists call themselves ISIS or Hamas.  Both are, in the words of President Obama, “cancers” that must be extracted before they spread.  Both are equally malignant.  Both must be defeated on the battlefield, in the court of public opinion and in the courts of law.  There can be no compromise with bigotry, terrorism or the demand for a caliphate.  Before Hamas or ISIS can be considered legitimate political partners, they must give up their violent quest for a worldwide Islamic caliphate.

==================================================

What Barack Obama Can Learn from Richard Nixon on Israel and Foreign Policy.

August 26, 2014  -  3 comments

Richard Nixon and Barack Obama are rarely compared.  But the way these two presidents have dealt with crises in the Middle East provides instructive contrasts on the nature of leadership.

This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the resignation of President Nixon, a man more associated with skullduggery than leadership.  But in October 1973, when his Vice President was resigning in disgrace and the congressional investigation into his own misconduct was moving to its fatal conclusion, Nixon demonstrated how a leader can take command, master events, and shape history.

His example provides a contrast to the current President, whose concept of leadership involves “leading from behind.”  To the extent it involves taking initiative, it is the initiative of “avoiding doing stupid shit.”

President Obama has not abandoned Israel, nor has he declared himself neutral in its current struggle against Hamas. But time after time, he has undercut Israel’s position, in an effort to curry favor with a hostile world.

His Secretary of State tried to involve Turkey and Qatar, two implacable foes of Israel, in the cease-fire negotiations, even though their financial support enabled Hamas to amass the missiles and build the tunnels that threaten Israel. After an Israeli shell landed close to a UNRWA school in Rafah, his Administration joined the global anti-Israel chorus. Before any investigation could be conducted, the State Department immediately declared itself “appalled” by Israel’s “disgraceful” act – even though Hamas rockets have been found in UNRWA schools at least three times, and even though the U.S. armed forces conducted similar attacks against schools used by hostile forces in Afghanistan. (The Israeli 4-year old boy killed on Friday was the victim of a missile fired from a site near a UNRWA school.)

Most disturbing, Obama’s White House has recently changed the military-to-military relationship by which American weaponry has been transferred to Israel, to require White House and State Department approval. Now these are U.S. weapons, and it is of course up to the U.S. government to set the protocols for their transfer. But to change the rules so abruptly, while Israel is under daily bombardment, is unprecedented.

Once again, it represented the Obama Administration’s tendency to placate the world, rather than stand by a lonely ally. This emerges from an observation by a “senior Obama Administration official” to the Wall Street Journal:

“We have many, many friends around the world. The United States is their strongest friend,” the official said. “The notion that they are playing the United States, or that they’re manipulating us publicly, completely miscalculates their place in the world.”

In other words, the Administration was telling Israel by these leaked remarks: We have many friends.  You do not. Don’t ever forget it.

Sniping at friends to placate their enemies is not leadership. It is not even shrewdness. The United States has won no new friends from undercutting Israel.

To see a different kind of leadership, travel back in time and consider the performance of Richard Nixon in October 1973.

Israel faced a military crisis. Egypt and Syria, backed by nine Arab states and lavishly supplied by the Soviet Union, attacked on Yom Kippur. Israeli forces were thrown back in the Sinai and on the Golan Heights. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told Prime Minister Golda Meir that Israel faced imminent defeat. The situation was so dire, that the Israeli government considered resorting to a last ditch nuclear option.

In this crisis situation, Richard Nixon ordered a massive airlift of military supplies to Israel. During a 32-day period beginning October 14, jumbo U.S. military aircraft touched down in Israel 567 times, delivering some 22,300 tons of material.

Conducting such an operation was a complicated task. Then, as now, Israel was not popular on the international scene. Fearful of the Arabs’ oil weapon, NATO allies refused to allow U.S. transport planes to refuel in their countries – even while NATO members Turkey and Greece were allowing Soviet supply planes to overfly their territory. Ultimately, the U.S. managed to pressure Portugal to allow landing in the Azores for refueling.

Meanwhile, in Washington, bureaucratic hurdles threatened to delay the airlift. Nixon took charge personally. White House counsel Leonard Garment recalled:

It was Nixon who did it. I was there. As [bureaucratic bickering between the State and Defense departments] was going back and forth, Nixon said, “This is insane….He just ordered Kissinger, Get your [behind] out of here and tell those people to move. “

Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, concerned by the reaction of the Arabs and Soviets to the airlift, advised sending just three transports. Nixon responded: “We are going to get blamed just as much for three as for 300…Get them in the air, now.”

Nixon worked closely with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the airlift. When Kissinger gave him a list of the type and quantity of weaponry sought by the Israeli military, Nixon ordered him to double it, then added: “Now get the hell out of here and get the job done.” Informed of a delay caused by disagreements in the Pentagon over which planes to use, Nixon shouted at Kissinger: “[Expletive] it, use every one we have. Tell them to send everything that can fly.”

The airlift helped turn the tide. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat proposed a ceasefire enforced by Soviet and U.S. troops on the ground. The U.S. rejected the proposal. Soviet leader Brezhnev then threatened to send Russian troops to the Middle East unilaterally. Nixon ordered that U.S. military to be put on high alert. Air Force strike units were prepared for attack, and two aircraft carriers were deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean. Brezhnev backed down.

Richard Nixon neither sought nor received any political gain for his decisive leadership. The Watergate investigation intensified, culminating in his resignation ten months later. American Jews, who voted overwhelmingly for Humphrey in 1968 and McGovern in 1972, remained, and remain today, hostile to the man.

But Golda Meir never forgot Nixon’s leadership. For the rest of her life she referred to him as “my president.” She once said, in tones reminiscent of the Passover haggadah: “For generations to come, all will be told of the miracle of the immense planes from the United States bringing in the material that meant life to our people.”

It is doubtful that any Israeli, of any political persuasion, will ever remember Barack Obama as “my president.”

It is also doubtful that friends of the United States in other parts of the globe will remember him that way. When Iranian populists remember Obama, they are likely to remember him as the President who reached out to the regime’s theocratic dictators, but failed to support the courageous demonstrators of the Green Revolution. When the Poles and Czechs remember Obama, they are likely to recall him as the President who reneged on the promise to build a missile defense shield in Europe, to avoid irritating the Russians.  When Ukrainians remember Obama, they are likely to recall him as the President who, after the non-irritated Russians annexed the Crimea, responded by airlifting, not weapons, but 300,000 ready-to-eat meals.

The irony of leadership is that it often proves a more effective tool to win over foes than supplication.  Obama’s forbearance has won the United States no points from Russia or Iran, or any of our other opponents.  It has only disappointed our friends. In contrast, Richard Nixon steadfastly supported Israel during wartime – and was lionized by Egyptians in the aftermath of that war after brokering a ceasefire.

In June 1974, just weeks before his resignation, Nixon visited Egypt and rode in an open railway car from Alexandria to Cairo with President Sadat. An estimated 6 million Egyptians lined the route, cheering him. Sadat saluted Nixon with these words:

Since the 6th of October, and since the change that took place in the American foreign policy, peace is now available in the area. And President Nixon never gave a word and didn’t fulfill it; he has fulfilled every word he gave.

Richard Nixon was a man of many flaws, not least of which was a strong strain of anti-Semitism. But he was also a leader. The current President, driven to make America liked again, may have more charity in his heart, but he has far less spinal fluid in his backbone.

——————————-

Lawrence J. Siskind is a San Francisco attorney, who blogs on issues of politics, foreign policy, law, and culture, at ToPutItBluntly.com.

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 20th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 AUSTRIA, SINCE  THE MAY 11, 2014, CROWNING IN COPENHAGEN, HAS A QUEEN -
HER EXCELLENCY IS KNOWN AS CONCHITA WURST.

 

Original Lyrics

Eurovision Song Contest 2014 The winner
Flag of Austria Austria (ORF)

Performer: Conchita Wurst
Song title: Rise Like a Phoenix
Song writer(s): Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski, Julian Maas
Song composer(s): Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski, Julian Maas

Rise Like a Phoenix

Waking in the rubble
Walking over glass
Neighbors say we’re trouble
Well that time has passed

Peering from the mirror
No, that isn’t me
Stranger getting nearer
Who can this person be

You wouldnt know me at all today
From the fading light I fly

Rise like a phoenix
Out of the ashes
Seeking rather than vengeance
Retribution
You were warned
Once I’m transformed
Once I’m reborn
You know I will rise like a phoenix
But you’re my flame

Go about your business
Act as if you’re free
No one could have witnessed
What you did to me

From the fading light I fly
Cause you wouldn’t know me today
And you have got to see
To believe

Rise like a phoenix
Out of the ashes
Seeking rather than vengeance
Retribution
You were warned
Once I’m transformed
Once I’m reborn

I rise up to the sky
You threw me down but
I’m gonna fly

And rise like a phoenix
Out of the ashes
Seeking rather than vengeance
Retribution
You were warned
Once I’m transformed
Once I’m reborn
You know I will rise l the Israeli Dana Internationalike a phoenix
But you’re my flame.

—————————–

Eurovision 1998, that was held in  Birmingham, the UK,  was won by someone very similar to To Tom Neuwirth  / Conchita Wurst.

That person was the Israeli performer of  Yemenite and Romanian Jewish parentage, named Dana International, whose real registered name was Sharon Cohen born February 2, 1972 as Yaron Cohen.  She was a clear trans-gender woman that was born a man.

Dana was chosen to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest  with the song “Diva“.   Orthodox Jews and others with conservative views were opposed to her appointment and attempted to void her participation in the contest. However, in May 1998, Dana performed “Diva” at the Eurovision final and won the contest with 172 points.

Conchita Wurst, a transvestite dressed in woman’s closing but sporting a beard to match in color her long black hair wig, won the Copenhagen 2014 Eurovision getting the smashing 290 points result. Indeed – in these last 16 years the world made tremendous progress in recognizing the human diversity as stressed by Tom Neuwirth when he chose to himself the name “WURST” which in German signifies – “it does not matter – all is equal to me.”

I am talking here politics and must notice that despite tremendous progress – nevertheless not every thing has changed. This is signified by the fact that nobody in the media has remembered Dana International. Is this because of her Israeli origin? Also, so far as I know, our website was the only example in the media that linked the Mauthausen Memorial of Sunday May 11, 2014 with the Eurovision Song Contest that gave such acclaim to Wurst – the person – and let us also say – the concept.

Further, let me stress that Austria is in the forefront of these achievements – the same Austria that it’s people were responsible for running the Mauthausen extermination plant in the 1940′s established to wipe out all diversity  has now a Chancellor, the Honorable Werner Faymann, Who sat for four hours on May 11th, and watched the march of memory at Mauthausen and gave recognition to the honored documentary journalist  Arnold Schwarzman who in 1981 helped prepare the Mauthausen documentary GENOCIDE and now was the US Representative at the 2014 Memorial. We wrote this up at:

Arnold Schwarzman
Arnold Schwarzman

 www.sustainabilitank.info/2014/05…

One week later, on Sunday May 18, 2014, the Chancellor and his Minister of Culture, Dr. Josef Ostermayer, and their wives, stood in the official halls of Austrian Government, in front of the Nation’s cameras – or all to see, and with 10,000 people gathered in front of his windows facing the Balhausplatz, and acclaimed Conchita Wurst’s victory saying this was a victory for Austria. We say – this was a recognition that not only Tom Neuwirth and his friends have risen from the Mauthausen ashes – but all of Austria ought to consider itself as risen from its ashes. Yes, we know that there are exceptions also in Austria – but at least the leadership is stating that the change is welcome.

We are not going to post our notes from the Balhausplatz event, which I watched on location as media,  and the Chancellor’s speech. Those were covered by the media in general. Watching the debates towards next Sunday’s elections for the European Parliament we are aware that not all Europe has not overcome the disease of excessive Nationalism and hatred of diversity. We will get back to this after the results of the elections are in and do not want to preempt this.

 

For now, trying to contribute here something the rest of the media does not focus on to their discredit,
I will post  about DANA INTERNATIONAL’s Career:

 

Career

1990–93: Dana International

At 18 years of age, Cohen (still legally male) earned a living as Israel’s first drag queen parodying many famous female singers. During one of her performances, she was discovered by Offer Nissim, a well-known Israeli DJ, who produced her debut single “Saida Sultana” (“My Name is Not Saida”), a satirical version of Whitney Houston‘s song “My Name Is Not Susan“. The song received considerable exposure and helped launch her career as a professional singer.

In 1993, Dana International flew to London for male-to-female sex reassignment surgery and legally changed her name to Sharon Cohen.Returning home with her new name, that same year Cohen released her first album, titled Danna International, in Israel. Soon after, the album was also released in several other countries including Greece, Jordan, and Egypt (In Jordan and Egypt the album sold illegally). Sharon’s stage name Dana International comes from the title track of the album, and was originally spelled with two n:s. Danna International soon became a gold record in Israel.[6]

1994: Umpatampa and Best Female Artist

In 1994, Dana released her second, Trance-influenced album Umpatampa, which built on the success of her debut and provided further hit singles. The album went platinum in Israel and has sold more than 50,000 copies to date. Because of her popularity and the success of this album, she won the award for Best Female Artist of the Year in Israel.

1995: Eurovision song contest

In 1995, Dana attempted to fulfill her childhood dream of performing in the Eurovision Song Contest.[8] She entered the Eurovision qualifying contest in Israel with a song entitled “Layla Tov, Eropa” (“Good Night Europe”) which finished second in the pre-selections, but became another hit single.

In late 1995, Dana released an E.P. called E.P. Tampa with three new songs and four remixes and special versions of her earlier songs.

1996–97: Consolidating popularity

In 1996, Dana released her third album, Maganuna. Although this album was less successful than her previous efforts, it still reached gold record sales in Israel and included the hits “Don Quixote,” “Waving,” and the club smash “Cinque Milla.” In 1997, Dana collaborated with the Israeli artist Eran Zur on his album Ata Havera Sheli, and together they sang the duet “Shir Kdam-Shnati (Sex Acher)” (“Pre-Bed Song (A Different Kind of Sex)”) which became a huge hit.[9]

1998: Diva and mainstream spotlight

Dana was chosen to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 in Birmingham with the song “Diva“. Orthodox Jews and others with conservative views were opposed to her appointment and attempted to void her participation in the contest. However, in May 1998, Dana performed “Diva” at the Eurovision final and won the contest with 172 points. She became an international superstar, and was interviewed by CNN, BBC, Sky News, and MTV among others mostly focusing on her life as a transsexual person before winning the contest. Dana’s own words “the message of reconciliation” were; “My victory proves God is on my side. I want to send my critics a message of forgiveness and say to them: try to accept me and the kind of life I lead. I am what I am and this does not mean I don’t believe in God, and I am part of the Jewish Nation.”

Dana released “Diva” as a single in Europe[11] and it became a hit, reaching number 11 in the UK charts and the top ten in Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

1999–2001: Stage falling, Streisand cover and new albums

In 1999, Dana released Woman In Love, a Barbra Streisand cover, but it was not the hit that “Diva” had been. In May 1999, Dana again participated in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Jerusalem. Dana was a part of the interval act and sang the Stevie Wonder song “Free”. She also presented the award to the winners of the contest but accidentally managed to steal their thunder. Whilst she was carrying the heavy trophy, one of the composers of the winning Swedish entry by mistake stepped on the long trail of her dress and she fell over on stage – in front of a television audience estimated be to one billion or more, making it one of the most memorable moments in the 50-year-long history of the contest.

She released her next album Free in Europe in 1999, which enjoyed moderate success. A few months later Dana moved back to Israel and started to work on different projects. Israeli and Japanese editions of Free were released in 2000. That same year, an Israeli documentary film was made about Dana called Lady D.

In 2001, after a break, Dana released her seventh album Yoter Ve Yoter (More and More).[12] The album put her career in Israel back on track and provided two hits called “I Won” and “After All”, which eventually both went gold.

2002–06: Fading from the scene and Sony incident

Dana was about to sign with a major label, Sony/BMG, for an international recording contract but something went wrong in negotiations. These were disagreements that led to Sony cancelling the deal before it was completed. In 2002, she released another album, HaHalom HaEfshari (The Possible Dream), which was a minor chart success. In 2003, she released an exclusive 8-CD box set, containing all singles from The Possible Dream and a new house version of the hit single “Cinque Milla”, titled A.lo.ra.lo.la. A few years later, in 2005, Dana participated in the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision song contest, held in Copenhagen, after “Diva” was selected as one of fourteen songs considered to be the best Eurovision songs. The song did not make it into the final top five but, Dana got the chance to perform both “Diva” and an old Eurovision favourite of hers; Baccara‘s 1978 entry “Parlez-Vous Francais?“. She also recorded the song “Lola” (sung in French), to which she released a video. This video can be found on the CD Hakol Ze Letova, released in 2007 as a bonus CD-rom video.

In 2005, Dana was voted the 47th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet, to determine who the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis.

2007–11: Return to music and Eurovision comeback

Dana International, alongside Boaz Mauda (2008)

After a few years away from show business, together with the relaunch of her official website, a first single of the upcoming album was released in March 2007: “Hakol Ze Letova” (“It’s All For the Best”). The second single to be released from the album, “Love Boy”, became the most played song on Israeli radio in a decade.[13] It also gained a respectable place on the airplay of the Greek radio station FLY FM 89,7. The following album, also titled Hakol Ze Letova, was released on August 15, 2007. “At Muhana” was the third single and “Seret Hodi” (feat. Idan Yaniv)[14] the fourth to be released from the album, which became a bestseller in many online stores. The next single released from the album was “Yom Huledet”.

On February 26, 2008, Dana gained an additional achievement when the song “Ke’ilu Kan” written and composed by her and performed by Boaz Mauda, was chosen on Kdam Eurovision to represent Israel at Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia. It came 5th in the semi-final and gained 9th place in the final rank.

Dana International in 2008

Dana also recorded the song “Mifrats Ha Ahava” (“The Love Bay”) for an Israeli version of the TV-show “Paradise Hotel”. She also collaborated with the Ukrainian duo NeAngely (Not Angels), recording “I Need Your Love” and releasing a video. In 2009, Dana starred in a mock reality show called Dana Kama/Nama for cellphone provider Cellcom

Dana campaigned for Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni shortly before 2009 legislative elections in Israel. At a women’s political rally in Jerusalem Dana performed a disco song alongside Livni onstage, announcing “I now formally invite you to the diva sisterhood.”

In April 2009, Dana performed in the opening concert of Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Year. She performed a cover version of Danny Robas‘ song “Lo nirdemet Tel Aviv” (Tel Aviv Doesn’t Fall Asleep) in front of 250,000 people.

Also in 2009, Dana International joined the 7th season of “Kokhav Nolad” (the Israeli version of Pop Idol) as a judge, also joining the 8th one in 2010.

Dana made a guest appearance, as herself, in an episode of the second series of UK sitcom Beautiful People, which was set around her Eurovision appearance.

On March 8, 2011, Dana International won the Israeli National Final for Eurovision with the song Ding Dong, and represented Israel at Eurovision for a second time.  However, she did not make it into the final; she was the first Eurovision winner not to do so.

2013–present: new singles, TV show and album

In April 2013, after a two-year break, Dana released a new single, “Ma La’asot”. It was released digitally worldwide on April 24, 2013. On May 29, Dana released a video clip for the song Loca, to promote the Gay Pride Tel Aviv 2013. Dana will perform on the main event for the Gay Pride on June 7. Her third single for that year, “Ir Shlema”, was released in July. Late in January 2014, Dana’s new music reality show “Yeshnan Banot” premiered. Dana is the main judge on the show, attempting to find Israel’s next girl group.

THE WORDS OF THE SONG “DIVA.”

 

She is all
you’ll ever dream to find
On her stage
she sings her story
Pain and hurt
will steal her heart alight
Like a queen
in all her glory

And when she cries
Diva is an angel
When she laughs
she’s a devil
She is all beauty and love

Chorus:
Viva Maria
Viva Victoria
Aphrodite
Viva le Diva
Viva Victoria
Cleopatra

Silent tears
drop from these eyes tonight
Tears of prayer
for all those aching hearts

And when she cries
Diva is an angel
When she laughs
she’s a devil
She is all beauty and love

Chorus

Songwriters
POLLOCK, NICK

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 15th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

The Opinion Pages  — Op-Ed Contributors to the New York Times

 

Global Warming Scare Tactics.

 

Photo

Credit Leigh Guldig

Ted Nordhaus is the chairman and Michael Shellenberger is the president of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research organization.  (?? – our own note – the ST.info editor)

 

OAKLAND, Calif. — IF you were looking for ways to increase public skepticism about global warming, you could hardly do better than the forthcoming nine-part series on climate change and natural disasters, starting this Sunday on Showtime. A trailer for “Years of Living Dangerously” is terrifying, replete with images of melting glaciers, raging wildfires and rampaging floods. “I don’t think scary is the right word,” intones one voice. “Dangerous, definitely.”

Showtime’s producers undoubtedly have the best of intentions. There are serious long-term risks associated with rising greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from ocean acidification to sea-level rise to decreasing agricultural output.

But there is every reason to believe that efforts to raise public concern about climate change by linking it to natural disasters will backfire. More than a decade’s worth of research suggests that fear-based appeals about climate change inspire denial, fatalism and polarization.

For instance, Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” popularized the idea that today’s natural disasters are increasing in severity and frequency because of human-caused global warming. It also contributed to public backlash and division. Since 2006, the number of Americans telling Gallup that the media was exaggerating global warming grew to 42 percent today from about 34 percent. Meanwhile, the gap between Democrats and Republicans on whether global warming is caused by humans rose to 42 percent last year from 26 percent in 2006, according to the Pew Research Center.

Other factors contributed. Some conservatives and fossil-fuel interests questioned the link between carbon emissions and global warming. And beginning in 2007, as the country was falling into recession, public support for environmental protection declined.

Still, environmental groups have known since 2000 that efforts to link climate change to natural disasters could backfire, after researchers at the Frameworks Institute studied public attitudes for its report “How to Talk About Global Warming.” Messages focused on extreme weather events, they found, made many Americans more likely to view climate change as an act of God — something to be weathered, not prevented.

Some people, the report noted, “are likely to buy a SUV to help them through the erratic weather to come” for example, rather than support fuel-efficiency standards.

Since then, evidence that a fear-based approach backfires has grown stronger. A frequently cited 2009 study in the journal Science Communication summed up the scholarly consensus. “Although shocking, catastrophic, and large-scale representations of the impacts of climate change may well act as an initial hook for people’s attention and concern,” the researchers wrote, “they clearly do not motivate a sense of personal engagement with the issue and indeed may act to trigger barriers to engagement such as denial.”  In a controlled laboratory experiment published in Psychological Science in 2010, researchers were able to use “dire messages” about global warming to increase skepticism about the problem.

Many climate advocates ignore these findings, arguing that they have an obligation to convey the alarming facts.

But claims linking the latest blizzard, drought or hurricane to global warming simply can’t be supported by the science. Our warming world is, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, increasing heat waves and intense precipitation in some places, and is likely to bring more extreme weather in the future. But the panel also said there is little evidence that this warming is increasing the loss of life or the economic costs of natural disasters. “Economic growth, including greater concentrations of people and wealth in periled areas and rising insurance penetration,” the climate panel noted, “is the most important driver of increasing losses.”

Claims that current disasters are connected to climate change do seem to motivate many liberals to support action. But they alienate conservatives in roughly equal measure.

What works, say environmental pollsters and researchers, is focusing on popular solutions. Climate advocates often do this, arguing that solar and wind can reduce emissions while strengthening the economy. But when renewable energy technologies are offered as solutions to the exclusion of other low-carbon alternatives, they polarize rather than unite.

 

One recent study, published by Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project, found that conservatives become less skeptical about global warming if they first read articles suggesting nuclear energy or geoengineering as solutions. Another study, in the journal Nature Climate Change in 2012, concluded that “communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society” rather than “on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.”

Nonetheless, virtually every major national environmental organization continues to reject nuclear energy, even after four leading climate scientists wrote them an open letter last fall, imploring them to embrace the technology as a key climate solution. Together with catastrophic rhetoric, the rejection of technologies like nuclear and natural gas by environmental groups is most likely feeding the perception among many that climate change is being exaggerated. After all, if climate change is a planetary emergency, why take nuclear and natural gas off the table?

While the urgency that motivates exaggerated claims is understandable, turning down the rhetoric and embracing solutions like nuclear energy will better serve efforts to slow global warming.

Some Comments

Alan Gregory

All the polling and surveying and such described in this op-ed does not change the reality: Humans’ propensity to pollute and foul the…

—-

Elaine Bergstrom

Some ten years back, I had the opportunity to interview a Canadian climatologist while covering a, excellent 3-part series “The Great…

Jan

We are most likely to believe what we are told — which depends on what news programs and which e-mails we attract. It’s hard for mere facts…

————————————–

We are not going to debate this article – it speaks for itself when it comes to reveal the intentions of the two authors that hide in the corridors of a main university and spew their stuff in the public domain that a major newspaper offers them.
Pincas Jawetz

 

 

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 24th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

We pay a price for weakness.

The Post reports: “The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved a resolution demanding that Syria immediately halt attacks on civilians and allow unfettered humanitarian access to besieged areas and across neighboring borders, threatening unspecified ‘further steps’ if the government does not comply. The action marked the first time Russia has agreed to a binding resolution against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime since the conflict in his country began nearly three years ago. China, which vetoed three previous resolutions along with Russia, joined in approving the measure.” This is a cruel joke, and for Russia which has supported Bashar al-Assad, a cynical one.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, talks to his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, prior to the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, talks to his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, prior to the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January. (Michel Euler/Associated Press)

Mind you — to reach this empty gesture took “lengthy negotiations over the past week.” In order to accommodate the Russians, in fact, the agreement had to be as tough on the rebels as it was on Assad. (“To secure Russia’s agreement, sponsors of the resolution agreed to include specific demands for opposition fighters to cease their own violations of human rights international law, to condemn terrorism and to drop a demand that government violators be referred for prosecution to the International Criminal Court.”) The last is an abomination; if ever a pack of murderers should be prosecuted for war crimes it is Assad and his cohorts.

So now the message to rogue states is: If you use WMD’s against your own people, you might have to very sloooowly give part of your treasure trove back. And if you continue to kill thousands by other means, you need not worry about prosecution for war crimes. The complete lack of seriousness –  geopolitical and moral — is quite striking:

The United States and other strong advocates acknowledged a lack of specific enforcement tools in the resolution, which instructs U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report back on compliance within 30 days. But U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and others noted that the threat of “further steps” is far stronger than language in previous, vetoed measures and said it commits the council to take action.

What happened to Power’s doctrine that the United States should use force to stop mass human rights atrocities? You need more than words, she acknowledges but actions now can be just words. No, really: “‘A resolution is just words. It is implementation that matters, and that’s what we are starting to measure right now.’ Language committing the council to further actions, she said, is a ‘significant hook, a significant commitment by the parties on the Security Council.’” You wonder if even she can believe such double talk.

And in calling for further political negotiations, this following the failed Geneva talks, the Obama administration itself signals that it has lost touch with reality. Reality, of course, does not include the fantasy that a decade of war is “ending.” It does not permit the United States to shrug its shoulders and declare it merely wants to “nation build at home.” And reality means that when you dawdle for three years, do not take swift and forceful action to back nonjihadi rebels and do not exact a price for use of WMD’s, the country will descend into chaos, sending a stream of refugees pouring into surrounding countries.

Even more troubling than the lack of a Syria policy that could pass the laugh test is the impression this certainly makes with the mullahs in Tehran. They by now consider the United States to be gullible and all too eager to make a deal that will mask Iran’s status as a nuclear threshold state. Seeing the Syrian sideshow must convince Iranian negotiators that any fig leaf will do for the United States to end remaining sanctions.

Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams this week warned that we should be wary of just such a deal with Tehran. In a press call he explained, “My biggest worry is that the administration is desperately committed to the appearance of a foreign policy success and that they will therefore agree to a deal and claim that it’s a great deal, but it will not actually do much to retrain and limit the Iranian program.” If that wasn’t obvious before, surely our farcical approach to Syria would leave little doubt that the United States is unwilling to back up what it says with hard power. We seem to be systematically undercutting what credibility we have, first with the interim deal and now with our feckless approach to Syria. Abrams worries, “The more immediate problem is, there’s very strong Iranian rhetoric now suggesting that any terms like those that, for example, [Iran experts] seem to me to be talking about would be acceptable to Iran, and Iran may think that it is seeing a weakened P5-plus-1 unity, it is seeing a weakened American determination to maintain the sanctions, in which case we’re in for, at the very least, an extremely tough negotiation and, at worse, no deal.”

So there you have it. “Smart diplomacy” detached from a willingness to use U.S. power (economic and military) serves as a green light for rogue regimes to continue their bad behavior. To the extent there are any “moderates” in Iran (I personally think the notion is absurd, but let’s assume so for purposes of discussion), then our weakness only undercuts them and enhances the stature of so-called hard-liners. (“I think that you need to show that bad behavior on the part of the Iranians will hurt Iran. I don’t think that, for example, weakening our position so that we give gifts to the so-called moderate [President Hassan] Rouhani or the so-called moderate [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif, who just visited the tomb of Imad Mughniyeh. I don’t think that’s the way to do it. I think the way to do it is to show that we have a united front at least of the E.U.-3 plus the United States and that Iranian refusal to compromise will be punished by very heavy additional sanctions.”)

All of this suggests the administration, having lost its credibility, will find it difficult to get it back, which in turn will make the situations in Syria and Iran worse. It should also serve as a reminder to opponents on the right and left of a muscular foreign policy that refusal to confront real dangers when they are manageable results in fewer options and greater threats to U.S. security down the road. This is no way for  a super power to behave.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 22nd, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 


Israel News

 

‘Jew’s ear juice’ anyone?

Israeli consul-general in Shanghai says name of canned beverage sold in local supermarkets not case of anti-Semitism, but likely desire to make profit.

Itamar Eichner

Published:  08.29.10, 12:57 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai recently was surprised to discover on the shelves of a local supermarket chain a canned beverage called “The Jew’s Ear Juice.”  

The drink is made of a black mushroom which does resemble a wrinkled ear.

 

Israel’s Consul-General in Shanghai Jackie Eldan stressed that this was not a case of anti-Semitism, as Judaism is considered in China a synonym of success.

 

According to Eldan, the juice’s manufacturer must have thought that linking it to the Jewish ear would be profitable.

============================================

 

But why this noise – all what they had to do is google “Jew’s Ear” and find it listed as an edible fungus.

Jew’s-ear – definition of Jew’s-ear by the Free Online Dictionary …

n. 1. (Bot.) A widely distributed species of edible fungus bearing some resemblance to the human ear and growing on decaying wood. Thesaurus Legend: …

  • Auricularia auricula-judae
  • Auricularia auricula-judae, known as the Jew’s ear, wood ear, jelly ear or by a number of other common names, is a species of edible Auriculariales fungus found worldwide. Wikipedia
  • Scientific name: Auricularia auricula-judae

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 20th, 2014
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    From – ShermansTravel Deals

    From its breathtaking countryside, iconic heritage and modern culture, Britain is a country full of uniquely authentic experiences. And, this is your chance to win an air-inclusive guided vacation for two to Britain with Trafalgar.*

    Travel beyond the expected on a value-packed Britain vacation with Trafalgar. Meet the locals who share their stories and even home-cooked meals, get VIP entry at the sights and local insights from your very own Travel Director.

    Then From – U.S. Department of State we got:

    Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman Travels to Jerusalem, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

    WE WONDER IF THESE ARE UNDER THE SAME TRAVEL DEAL ARRANGEMENT?  No denigration intended here of good lady Wendy Sherman – just simply we wish her a really pleasant trip rather then potholes oil barrels caused on her Middle East path.

    Why cannot the Arab Monarchs just do quietly what is indeed their self-interest – and must always inopportune outsiders that have already – a long time ago – decided to try to wash their hands of the oily slime.

     

    Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman Travels to Jerusalem, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

    Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman Travels to Jerusalem, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

    Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman Travels to Jerusalem, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 17th, 2014
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

     

     

    Polar Bears, Grizzlies to Merge.

    By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

    16 February 14

     

    The article below is satire.

    Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, “The Borowitz Report.”

     

    n what observers are calling the largest merger ever between two species of mammal capable of mauling humans to death, polar bears and grizzly bears announced on Friday that they were joining forces in a friendly acquisition.

    If the merger goes through, the polar bears and grizzly bears would together be able to terrorize a much larger landmass than ever before, experts said.

    Speaking at a packed press conference in New York accompanied by their investment bankers from Goldman Sachs, the jubilant bears gave their spin on the unprecedented deal.

    “To say that we’re excited would be an understatement,” said a spokesman for the grizzlies. “For years, we’ve admired the way polar bears have dismembered hikers who’ve encroached on their territory. To be on the same team with talent like that—whoa. It’s a dream come true.”

    While critics of the merger have argued that it is anticompetitive, a spokesman for the polar bears disagreed.

    “I think working with the grizzlies is just going to push us to savage more human flesh than ever before. Speaking for myself, I’m ready to start mauling,” he said, underscoring his point by eating a reporter.

    The merger is not expected to face regulatory hurdles.

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 16th, 2014
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

      Environment  February 15, 2014

    The Ultimate Guide to Shutting Down Climate Trolls.

    Next time someone tells you that snowy weather means global warming isn’t real, you’ll know exactly how to respond.

    The Southern U.S. has been  paralyzed by a historic ice storm, and the Northeast is  well on its way to another foot-plus of snow. If all that wasn’t bad enough, the climate trolls are coming out.

    This time, top honors goes to the  Federalist, which can’t get over the irony of Senate Democrats scheduling a hearing on global warming right as a blizzard is expected to hit D.C. In fact, there’s good reason to believe that  global climate change is linked to extreme weather like this, but arguing that is an advanced move. Demonstrating that cold and snowy weather in no way disproves global warming? Anyone can do that.

    Below, three tried-and-true retorts to climate deniers. You can try a fast and simple zinger, back it up with a blunt chart or, if you’re tired of explaining, let one of these smart videos do it for you. Why not try a healthy combination of all three? And, as a last resort, there’s always the  weather report for Australia.

    The zingers

    – SkepticalScience, a reliable font of detailed information, also breaks it down into this one-sentence explanation:

    “A local cold day has nothing to do with the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures.”

    Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy is something of an evangelist for the cause. He recently tweeted:

    In one sentence: “Warming things up means the atmosphere can hold more moisture.” Science!

    – Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer  sums up the current reality of climate change:

    “Shorter snow season, less snow overall, but the occasional knockout punch. That’s the new world we live in.”

    – And, courtesy of the NRDC, a simple analogy:

    “The effect of global warming on our climate is not unlike the effect of steroids on an athlete’s performance: It supercharges storms; it causes abnormal conditions like drought and heat and ultimately, it causes damage.”

    The charts

    Here, data  from the NOAA and NASA clearly shows that global temperatures have been higher than average for the past 37 consecutive years:

    This one,  courtesy of Skeptical Science, plots the annual numbers of record high maximum temperatures (the red dots) along with the record lows (the blue dots), averaged over the U.S. That black line — the one that doesn’t line up with what’s plotted — shows where the dots would theoretically lie should no global warming or cooling be taking place. You can see how, over time, we’ve ended up with more record highs than lows:

    Heavy precipitation (Oppenheimer’s “occasional knockout punch”) is also becoming more common, as this next map from the  Global Change Research Research program shows:

    US Precip Trends p32_Dec11

    As to the less overall snow,  SkepticalScience has this nice breakdown of seasonal and annual snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere. It demonstrates how earlier and more extensive melting in the spring and summer more than makes up for the smaller increase in fall and winter precipitation. The total decline in snow extent between 1972 and 2010 was a full 1.3 million square kilometers:

    This last one’s actually a comic, courtesy of the fantastic  XKCD, but it’s got a chart drawn in. And it once again makes the  important point that extreme cold is becoming less and less common:

     

    The Videos

    Chris Hayes, an ironic sparkle in his eyes, asks climate scientist Michael Mann how it’s possible for snow and global warming to be happening at the same time. His reply: “Well, we climate scientists actually have a technical term for this phenomenon. It’s called winter” (you can file that one away with the other zingers):

    Peter Sinclair of  ClimateCrocks delves deeper into the science with this 2009 video response to that infallible argument: ”I looked outside, and it was snowing, therefore, there is no climate change”:

    The Climate denial crook of the week said that The White House released this  “propaganda” in honor of the infamous polar vortex, which received a fair amount of  trolling. Featuring John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, it’s notable both for its acknowledgment that man-made climate change could actually be responsible for patterns of extreme cold, and for its reminder that no single weather event can either prove or disprove global warming.

    To see the videos go to original - www.alternet.org/environment/ulti…

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 12th, 2014
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

     

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/999616_10202388763616882_869598898_n.jpg

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 11th, 2014
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

     

     

     

     Gibson Bible Atlas   –  Canaan before Abraham

    Copyright 1927, 2003

    The land of Canaan before Abraham

    Annexation and the return of the one-state solution.

    Monday, January 6, 2014 – published by the Palestine Center, The Jerusalem Fund, Washington DC – Written by Jack LeVine it was previously posted by Al Jezeera.www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/43942/pid/895

     

    From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article is by Mark LeVine was published by Al Jazeera on 2 January 2014.

    Mark LeVine writes what he writes – and we like to extend it to its logical target – the establishment of an Abrahamic State that is neither Jewish nor Muslim, in parts of the pre-Abraham Land of Canaan,  and to allow our readers the right to think for themselves and decide if this albatross can fly:

    “Annexation and the return of the one-state solution

    It was yet another slap in the face of the United States, Israel’s main patron without whom its existence, never mind its ability to maintain an ever intensifying occupation without fear of mentionable consequence, would be very much in question.

    In direct response to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt to establish a set of “security arrangements” that would, some day (Kerry apparently is suggesting after another decade), allow some level of Palestinian control over the security of the West Bank (wasn’t that supposed to happen during Oslo?  And isn’t it in fact already the de jure arrangement in Areas A and B?),  the Ministerial Legislative Committee voted to annex the Jordan Valley permanently to Israel.

    Modus operandi

    This is, by no means, the first vote or decision taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government to challenge the Obama Administration’s attempts to play at peace-making in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    In fact, announcing settlement expansion plans whenever a senior US official is visiting Israel to “jumpstart” or “save” the “peace process” has long been standard operating procedure for the Israeli government, as the Obama Administration learned early in 2010 when Vice President Joe Biden was greeted upon arriving in Israel with the “highly inflammatory announcement” of plans for 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem. The Americans feigned anger at the “brutally contemptuous rebuff” to their good-faith efforts to resuscitate Oslo, but no one should have been surprised at the actions of  Netanyahu then, or now. Indeed, Netanyahu has been outmanoeuvering Obama since day one of the relationship.

    This latest slap in the face comes after PA President Mahmoud Abbas once again “renounced claims” to Israel within its 1967 borders, this time singling out the one-time Palestinian-populated towns of Jaffa and Haifa, and accepted on-going settlement construction in return for freeing Palestinian prisoners. A few hundred Palestinian “detainees” are wonderful bargaining chips to play in lieu of actual policy changes whenever negotiations get serious.

    Not surprisingly, the vote on annexation provoked the usual outcries by Palestinian officials, who decried the “indifference” to and “disrespect” for international law the vote represented.

    Falling on deaf ears

    This evaluation is certainly true, although the PA attacking Israel for disregarding international law is about as meaningful as the US criticising Saudi Arabia for refusing to let women drive. That is to say, it’s utterly devoid of meaning as long as they continue business as usual, which for the PA means doing whatever is necessary to keep the foreign aid, and salaries, flowing through its coffers.

    But this latest attempt to annex the West Bank, as 2013 came to a close, offers both a tantalising glimpse of the future of Israel/Palestine and a good opportunity for Palestinians to start the New Year off in a way that throws the Israeli government back on its heels.  It could also turn the tide in the century-long conflict over the territory of Mandate-era Palestine.  It was not the PA, however, but the liberal Zionist Party Meretz that have taken the lead in doing so however.

    Rather than denouncing the latest attempt to annex the West Bank as marking yet another nail in the coffin of a long rotted Oslo peace process, Meretz publicly declared it would no longer oppose votes to annex the Jordan Valley, which increases the likelihood such a vote could in fact pass the Knesset.

    Meretz leaders have neither suddenly become territorial maximalists nor have they joined the one or bi-state camp that most self-described Zionists, regardless of how comparatively liberal their politics (from an Israeli perspective), still broadly refuse to support. But I don’t buy the refusal of Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Galon even to discuss a one-state future as reflecting the true nature of the shift inside Israeli liberal politics.  As the Israeli right becomes ever bolder in asserting territorially maximalist policies, and the religious establishment more blatantly bigoted, there is simply less space for liberal Zionists to operate as both liberal and Zionist.

    The fact is that soon Israeli liberals, who are still a sizable minority of the population, are either going to vote with their heads or their feet – if the mainstream of Israeli political culture keeps moving to the right. A democratic state with rough demographic parity with Palestinians suddenly would offer a more positive alternative than an ultra-chauvinistic Jewish state that holds them in almost as much scorn as it does “Arabs” and “Africans”.

    A new coalition?

    The question is: When will the majority of Palestinians, who long ago lost faith in Oslo and in their hearts would prefer a one-state solution, give up the two-state illusion and come out in force demanding precisely what the Ministerial Legislative Committee voted to do – be annexed to Israel, and have the same voting rights as their fellow Palestinians across the quickly evaporating Green Line. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned of just this eventuality as the doomsday scenario facing Zionism, which is why a man who did more than almost anyone to create a Jewish-dominated Jerusalem became a firm supporter of two-states.

    The PA will never go down this route because it would mean its dissolution and the loss of jobs, money and power for the entire political class, and perhaps the fatal weakening of Fatah along with it. Neither, strangely, would Hamas accept it as it would become moot in a one or bi-national solution.

    Of course, while the Israeli right would actually welcome Palestinian acquiescence to the annexation of the West Bank, whose population can be absorbed into Israel without creating a Palestinian majority, their plan for a Greater Israel specifically excludes Gaza, whose incorporation would tip the demographic balance immediately, and permanently, in the Palestinian’s favour. A test of wills and political strategisation would emerge between the two sides as to whether Israel could convince West Bank Palestinians permanently to separate their fortunes from benighted Gaza, or Palestinians once “inside” Israel would constitute a large enough force with 1948 Palestinians and liberal/left Israeli to push, however fitfully, for a bi-national or even parallel states solution.

    This leads to a final question:Will 2014 be the year Palestinian and Israeli exhaustion with Oslo and fear of a bleak and chauvinistic future creates the unstoppable force that finally buries Oslo and moves both peoples, and the land they inevitably share, towards a common future?

    The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.

    Click here for more Reports and Commentary of the site we tapped.

    To view this article online, please go to:
    www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/01/annexation-return-one-state-solution-2014125435732443.html.

    ==================================================

    And an Israeli description of what it looks like now in the Israeli political arena – the Uri Avnery article of this week –
    that in the “Gush Shalom” publication was titled more to the point as BIBI & LIBI & TIBI – referring to Dr. Ahmad Tibi, Currently a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, who defines himself as  Arab-Palestinian in nationality, and Israeli in citizenship – thus trying to make sense in a situation that he sees himself as directing his party Arab Movement for Change (Ta’al), an Arab party in Israel, to full rights within Israel.
    He is for the two State solution but wants to be an Israeli as well. Can he be the bridge to a One-State solution as well?

     

    Uri Avnery

     

    January 11, 2014

     

     

     

                                                 Bibi & Libie

     

     

     

    PERHAPS I am too stupid, but for the heck of me I cannot understand the sense of the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

     

    On the face of it, it seems like a clever trick by Binyamin Netanyahu to divert attention from the real issues. If so, the Palestinian leadership has fallen into a trap.

     

     

    Instead of talking about the independence of the putative State of Palestine and its borders, its capital in Jerusalem, the removal of the settlements, the fate of the refugees and the solution of the many other problems, they quarrel endlessly about the definition of Israel.

     

     

    One is tempted to call out to the Palestinians: what the hell, accord them this damn recognition and be done with it! Who cares!?

     

     

     

    THE ANSWER of the Palestinian negotiators is twofold.

     

     

    First, recognizing Israel as a Jewish State would be an act of betrayal towards the million and a half Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, If Israel is a Jewish State, where does that leave them?

     

     

    Well, that problem could be solved by a provision in the peace treaty stating that irrespective of anything else in the agreement, the Palestinian citizens of Israel will enjoy full equality in every respect.

     

     

    Second, that the recognition of Israel’s Jewishness would block the return of the refugees.

     

     

    That argument is even less valid than the first. The solution of the refugee problem will be a central plank of the treaty. The Palestinian leadership, at the time of Yasser Arafat, already tacitly accepted that the solution will be an “agreed” one, so that any return will be at most symbolic. The recognition issue will not affect it.

     

     The debate on this Israeli demand is entirely ideological. Netanyahu demands that the Palestinian people accept the Zionist narrative. The Palestinian refusal is based on the Arab narrative, which contradicts the Zionist one on practically every single event that happened during the last 130 years, if not the last 5000.

     

     Mahmoud Abbas could just come forward and announce:  OK, if you accept our practical demands, we shall recognize Israel as whatever you want – a Buddhist State, a Vegetarian State, you name it.

     

     On September 10, 1993 – which happened to be my 70th birthday – Yasser Arafat, on behalf of the Palestinian people, recognized the State of Israel, in return for the no less momentous recognition of the Palestinian people by Israel. Implicitly, each side recognized the other as it is. Israel defined itself in its founding document as a Jewish State. Ergo, the Palestinians have already recognized a Jewish State. 

     

     By the way, the first step towards Oslo was made by Arafat when he told his representative in London, Said Hamami, to publish in the “Times” of London on December 17, 1973,  a proposal for a peaceful solution, which stated among other things that “the first step must be the mutual recognition of these two sides. The Jewish-Israelis and the Palestinian-Arabs must recognize each other as peoples with all the rights of peoples.”

     

     I saw the original draft of this statement with corrections in Arafat’s hand.

     

     

     

     THE PROBLEM of the Palestinian minority in Israel – about 20% of Israel’s eight million citizens – is very serious, but it has now acquired a humorous twist.

     

     Since his acquittal from corruption charges and return to the Foreign Office, Avigdor Lieberman is at it again. He has come out supporting John Kerry’s peace efforts, much to the chagrin of Netanyahu, who does not.

     

     Why, for heaven’s sake? Lieberman aspires to become prime minister some day, as soon as possible. For this he has to (1) unite his “Israel Our Home” party with the Likud, (2) become leader of the Likud, (3) win the general elections. But over all these there hovers (4): obtain the approval of the Americans. So Lieberman now supports the American effort and peace.

     

     Yes, but under one condition: that the US accept his master plan for the Jewish State. 

     

     This is a masterpiece of constructive statesmanship. Its main proposal is to move the borders of Israel – not eastward, as could be expected from an arch-nationalist, but westward, slimming Israel’s narrow hips even further, to a mere 9 (nine!) km.

     

     The Israeli territory that Lieberman wants to get rid of is the site of  a dozen Arab villages, which were given Israel as a gift by the then king of Jordan in the armistice agreement of 1949. Abdallah I, the great-great-grandfather of the current Abdallah II of Jordan, needed the armistice at any price. Lieberman now wants to give these villages back, thank you.

     

     Why? Because for this stalwart of Jewish Israel, the reduction of the Arab population is a sacred task. He does not advocate expulsion, God forbid. Not at all.  He proposes attaching this area, with its population, to the Palestinian state. In return, he wants the Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank to be joined to Israel. A transfer of areas with their populations, reminiscent of Stalin’s redrawing the borders of Poland, except that Lieberman’s borders look completely crazy.

     

     Lieberman presents this as a peaceful, liberal, humane plan. No one will be displaced, no property expropriated. Some 300 thousand Arabs, all of them ardent supporters of the Palestinian struggle for statehood, will become Palestinian citizens.

     

     

     

     SO WHY do the Palestinians in Israel cry out? Why do they condemn the plan as a racist assault on their rights?

     

     Because they are far more Israeli than they care to admit, even to themselves. After living in Israel for 65 years, they have become accustomed to its ways. They don’t love Israel, they don’t serve in its army, they are discriminated against in many ways, but they are deeply rooted in the Israeli economy and democracy, much more than is generally recognized.

     

     “Israeli Arabs”, a term they hate, play a significant role in Israeli hospitals and courts, including the Supreme Court, and in many other institutions.

     

     Becoming citizens of Palestine tomorrow would mean losing 80% or 90% of their standard of living. It would also mean losing the social security net enjoyed in Israel (though Lieberman promises to continue payments to those currently eligible(. After being used for decades to fair elections and the lively give-and-take of the Knesset, they would have to get used to a society in which, as of now, important parties are forbidden, elections are postponed and parliament plays a minor role. The place of women in this society is very different from their role in Israel.

     

     The situation of the Palestinians in Israel is unique in many respects. On the one side, as long as Israel is defined as a Jewish State, the Arabs will not be fully equal. On the other side, in the occupied Palestinian territories, these Israeli citizens are not accepted as fully belonging. They straddle both sides of the conflict. They would like to be mediators, the link between the two sides, bringing them closer to each other. But this has remained a dream.

     

     A complicated situation, indeed.

     

     

     

     IN THE meantime, Netanyahu and Lieberman are hatching another plan to make Jewish Israel even Jewisher.

     

     There are today three factions in the Knesset which derive their votes from the Arab population. They constitute almost 10% of the Knesset. Why not 20%, to reflect their part in the general population? First because they have many more children, who have not yet reached voting age (18 years). Second, their rate of abstention is significantly higher. Third, some Arabs are bribed to vote for Zionist parties.

     

     The part of the Arab MKs in enacting laws is negligible. Any bill they introduce is almost automatically voted down. No Jewish party ever considered including them in a government coalition. Yet they have a very noticeable presence, their voice is heard.

     

     Now, in the name of “governability” (a trendy new term that can be used to justify any attack on human rights), Bibi & Libie, as someone called them, want to change the minimum share of votes that any election list needs to enter the Knesset.

     

     I was elected three times to the Knesset when the threshold was 1%. Later it was raised to 2%. Now the plan is to raise the threshold to 3.25%, which in the elections a year ago would have equaled 123,262 votes. Only one of the three “Arab” parties crossed this line – and then only barely. There is no assurance that it could do so again.                                                             

     

     In order to survive, they would have to unite and form a large Arab bloc. Many would think that this was a good thing. But it is very difficult to accomplish. One party is communist, another Islamist, another secular-nationalist. Also, competing extended families play an important role in Arab electoral politics.

     

     The Arab lists may disappear altogether. Or two may unite, eliminating the third.

     

     Some Israeli leftists fantasize about a dream party – a united parliamentary bloc that would include all the Arab parties with the Labor party and Meretz, turning it into a formidable challenger of the right wing.

     

     But that would be too good to be true – no chance at all of this happening in the near future.

     

     

     

     IT SEEMS that Kerry and his Zionist advisors already identify with the Israeli demand for recognition as a Jewish State or, worse, the State of the Jewish People (who were not even consulted).

     

     The Palestinian side is unable to accept this.

     

     If the negotiations come to naught on this point, Netanyahu will have achieved his real aim: to abort the negotiations in a way that will enable him to blame the Palestinians.

     

     As long as we have a Jewish State – who needs peace?

     

     

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 23rd, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

     

     

    Senior Israeli officials have demanded an end to US spying on Israel. (photo: James Emery)
    Senior Israeli officials have demanded an end to US spying on Israel. (photo: James Emery)

    Israelis Demand End to US Spying.

    By Associated Press

    22 December 2013

     

    enior Israeli officials on Sunday demanded an end to U.S. spying on Israel, following revelations that the National Security Agency intercepted emails from the offices of the country’s top former leaders.

    It was the first time that Israeli officials have expressed anger since details of U.S. spying on Israel began to trickle out in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The scandal also spurred renewed calls for the release of Jonathan Pollard, a former American intelligence analyst who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for nearly three decades for spying on behalf of Israel.

    “This thing is not legitimate,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio. He called for both countries to enter an agreement regarding espionage.

    “It’s quite embarrassing between countries who are allies,” Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said. “It’s this moment more than any other moment that Jonathan Pollard [should] be released.”

    Documents leaked by Snowden and published in The Guardian, Der Spiegel and The New York Times last week revealed that British intelligence agency GCHQ worked with the NSA from 2008 to 2011 to target email addresses belonging to the offices of then-serving Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    Amir Dan, a spokesman for Olmert, played down the revelations. He said the email address targeted was one meant for queries from the public and was not used for sensitive communications. “There is no chance there was a security or intelligence breach caused from this email address,” Dan said.

    Barak could not immediately be reached for comment.

    But top Israeli officials work on the assumption that they are being monitored. Officials use special secure lines for certain types of communications, and for the most sensitive matters, issues are discussed only face to face in secure rooms.

    Even so, Israeli officials reacted with uncharacteristic anger toward the U.S., Israel’s closest and most important ally.

    Lawmaker Nachman Shai, a member of the parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee, which deals with intelligence matters, called for an urgent intelligence briefing on the reported spying.

    Shai called for a “full report about what we know, what we have done, and just to find out.”

    He added that he was “really surprised that my government, which is very easily responsive on any given issue, on this we keep silent, which is not the right policy and right behavior.”

    Espionage is a sensitive subject between Israel and the U.S. because of the Pollard affair.

    Pollard, a former civilian intelligence analyst, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for passing classified material to Israel. Israeli leaders frequently call for his release and say his nearly three decades in prison are punishment enough, but stiff opposition from the American military and intelligence community has deterred a string of American presidents from releasing him.

    Since Pollard’s conviction, Israel has promised not to spy on the U.S. Ministers stressed Sunday that Israel does not spy on the U.S. president or defense secretary. “I think we should expect the same relations from the U.S.,” Steinitz said.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a more subdued reaction, saying that Israel continues to press for the convicted spy’s release.

    “This is not conditional and not connected to the latest events, even though we gave our opinion about these developments,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet, presumably referring to the reported U.S. spying.

     

    Comments   

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    +5 # RMDC 2013-12-22 17:31

    Israel is the one nation that I think we should be spying on. Israel is creating most of the problems in the middle east and Africa.Many have been calling on Israel to stop its occupation of Palestine for a very long time. It has ignored the calls.

    So Israel says it does not spy on the US president or secretary of Defense. Of course not. The Israelis don’t need to. they write the talking points for the president and Sec of Def,

    +4 # John S. Browne 2013-12-22 19:26

    Well, this is one of the biggest pieces of hypocrisy that I’ve heard in a while. The Israeli govern- ment constantly spies on the U.S., knowing that the U.S. government is also spying on them, and the latter lets them get away their spying on the U.S.; and they have the gall to call on the U.S. government to stop spying on them?! Please!! They’ve both been spying on eachother for at least sixty-five, probably more like one hundred or more, years; and, with the advent of computers, more sophisticated computers, and increasing technology, it has only expanded over the decades. Hell, the Israeli government has stolen U.S. secrets, and the U.S. government has let them get away with that as well.Then you add in the evidence that Mossad agents were caught in New Jersey across the harbor from New York City, observing and literally celebrating the collapse of the two World Trade Center Towers, obviously having, at the very least, advance knowledge that the 9-11 was going to happen, were kept jailed for only three months, were then released and granted return to Israel, bragged about it on Israeli TV, and were allowed to get away with that, also!! Clearly this is an insane world, isn’t it?!

    (Continued)

    +2 # John S. Browne 2013-12-22 19:28

    The Israeli government, or factions of same, were involved in perpetrating 9-11, and the U.S. government gives them a pass, as the U.S. government has done for many years about many things, including the Israeli government and military’s unprovoked attack on the U.S. naval vessel, the U.S.S. Liberty; but we’re not supposed to question any of this. Heck, the “dancing Israelis” point to the fact that the U.S. government, or factions thereof, were also involved in 9-11, but we’re just supposed to ignore the truth.
    +3 # MidwesTom 2013-12-22 21:17

    We should demand to see the missing 28 pages for m the 9/11 report. They detail the involvement of foreign governments.
    -1 # BobboMax 2013-12-22 21:45

    “They’ve both been spying on each other for at least seventy, probably more like one hundred or more, years”Israel was founded in 1947.

    0 # John S. Browne 2013-12-22 22:51

    Officially, yes, but the Jews were there and seeking to take that land back over quite a while before that.
    +6 # Agricanto 2013-12-22 20:55

    Israel should let Mordechai Vanunu live in any country he chooses and they can have Pollard. The heroic person who provided evidence of Israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile should be able to live where he wants and not kept under a house arrest that means he’s cannot leave Israel. The Mossad abducted him and took him to Israel where he was imprisoned.Pollard sold secrets that weakened the United States with respect to one country, Israel. Vanunu revealed the truth about a nuclear Middle East that is central to the saber rattling over Iran. Vanunu is a hero, Pollard is a snake.

    -3 # Rick Levy 2013-12-22 22:28

    “Heck, the “dancing Israelis” point to the fact that the U.S. government, or factions thereof, were also involved in 9-11, but we’re just supposed to ignore the truth.”Why can’t you moronic anti-Semites get your stories straight? You are conflating this myth with the actual incidence of Muslims dancing in the streets after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. See
     www.barenakedislam.com/2013/04/16…

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 11th, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    ENJOY AND BE MERRY – ONLY IN MODERN BIZANTINE WASHINGTON DC OF 2013 CAN THIS FLY AS AN ALLIANCE OF INTERESTS.

     

    You are invited

    To the
    THE NATURAL GAS ROUNDTABLE HOLIDAY RECEPTION!

    Cocktails, Hors D’oeuvres
    Thursday, December 12, 2013
    6:00 – 8:00 pm
    at the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
    1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW
    Washington, DC, 20036
    Sponsored by:
    American Gas Association (AGAthat when dominated by Mobil Oil used to fight the introduction of the Natural Gas that they were established with intent to support – i.e. they did not support use of CNG motor-vehicles), American Petroleum Institute (API – Washington DC based – all out oil), American Public Gas Association (regulated utilities), America’s Natural Gas Alliance, Ballard Spahr LLP, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (Geneva based – so far positive industry lobby established for the Rio UNCED in 1992), Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (a shipping interest), Chevron, Concentric Energy Advisors, Deloitte Services LP, Edison Electric Institute (established by the nuclear lobby), Embassy of Canada (with pipeline interests), Independent Petroleum Association of America, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (clearly not a decentralization proponent), National Ocean Industries Association (?fisheries?), National Propane Gas Association (petroleum refinery dependent – no relative of natural gas or biogas), Natural Gas Supply Association, NGVAmerica (Natural Gas or CNG motor-Vehicles), NiSource Inc, North American Energy Standards Board, Shell Oil Company, Williams, World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADEbased in Edinburgh – wind-mill operators or renewable energy proponents?).

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 28th, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

     

    True to our motto – “Basta, Enough – We interpret all that is worthwhile to be said” and with the closing of the 5th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals for the post-2015 era at the UN in mind, we post this as an observation and holiday fun.

    We will be reporting in other postings on the good work of many delegates to the UN and as well point out how insiders at the UN undermine that work. That is our job – both – as Sustainable Development media and as stakeholders at the UN because many of us at the World Association of Former UN Interns and Fellows (WAFUNIF) have invested their time and money in the UN organization. Myself, I have not received those single dollars per year that the UN contracted to pay me while a Fellow of the organization on a One Dollar per year basis. Neither did I get those $3000 the UN contracted me for work on an issue paper for the 1982 Nairobi UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy. Those are clear motivations to tell things as they are.

    We understand that Saudi Arabia is leading now the Arab States to a position of disregard of the UN. We may share their evaluation of the situation as it is today, but we keep pointing out that it is crystal clear that they are a main reason why the UN is incapable to live up to its intended goals.

    This week I had the opportunity to watch those sitting side by side in the seats of Egypt and Saudi arabia – their hugging and kissing and disinterest in what went on in the room. Then the Saudi wished a Happy Christmas holidays at the breaking up of the meeting which led to the dry remark from the chair that the meeting will restart in two weeks – on December 9th – that is prior to Christmas. The delegate from the Netherlands then made sure that all get the correct notion that the break is for the Thanksgiving and Chanukah holidays.

    Furthermore, when the chair asked specifically that the delegations speak only to topics that were the subjects of panels, and to leave National statements to a different timing which he programed for that purpose, the Tunisians had a lower level member of their delegation read a statement in the name of the Arab States that was old boiler-plate stuff that had nothing to do with the topic of the meeting. On the other hand, Iranian Mission’s Councelor Mr. Taghi M. Ferami, whatever his country’s position in other matters may be, he tried to show that he is on board with the topics dealt with.

    The UN may sometimes be likened to a urkey or a camel – being that seem to be the result of planning by committee – so let us at least follow now with the fun that was dished out to us in the New York Times of today – an edition full as well with serious matter about the meaning of giving thanks.

     

    The Turkey’s Turkey Connection.

    By MARK FORSYTH who wrote this for the New York Times
    Published: November 27, 2013

    Thanksgiving is the all-American holiday. Turkey is the all-American bird. It was here long before Columbus or the Pilgrims. Early explorers reported vast flocks of turkeys nesting in the magnolia forest. Turkeys are a lot more American than apple pie. But they’re named after a country 4,429 miles away.

    It’s not a coincidence. It’s not that the two words just sound alike. Turkeys are named after Turkey. But there is a connection. You just have to go to Madagascar to find it. Let me explain.

    Once upon a time, English mealtimes were miserable things. There were no potatoes, no cigars and definitely no turkey. Then people began to import a strange, exotic bird. Its scientific name was Numida meleagris; its normal name now is the helmeted guinea fowl, because it’s got this weird bony protuberance on its forehead that looks a bit like a helmet. It came all the way from Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa, but the English didn’t know that. All the English knew was that it was delicious, and that it was imported to Europe by merchants from Turkey. They were the Turkey merchants, and so, soon enough, the bird just got called the turkey.

    But that’s not the turkey you’ll be serving with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. As I said, that’s an American bird. When the Spanish arrived in the New World they found a bird whose scientific name is Meleagris gallopavo. But the Spaniards didn’t care about science. All they cared about was that this bird was really, really delicious. It tasted well, it tasted just like turkey, only better.

    They started exporting the birds to Europe, and soon enough they arrived on English dinner tables at just about the same time that the English were setting up their first colonies in America. The Pilgrims didn’t care about any subtle distinctions. They just tasted this great bird and thought, turkey. That’s the way the English language goes.

    That’s why the bird you’re going to eat is named for a country on the Black Sea. Other languages don’t make the same mistake. They make different ones. In France it’s called dinde, because they thought it was from India, or, in French, d’Inde. And in Turkey a lot of people thought that, too, so it’s called Hindi.

    There was a 19th-century American joke about two hunters — an American and a Native American — who go hunting all day but only get an owl and a turkey. So the American turns to his companion and says: “Let’s divide up. You get the owl and I get the turkey.” The Native American says: “No. Let’s do it the other way round.” So the American says, “O.K., I’ll get the turkey and you get the owl.” And the Native American replies, “You don’t talk turkey at all.”

    That’s where the phrase let’s talk turkey comes from. Let’s do real business. Then, in the early 20th century, people got even tougher and started saying “Let’s talk cold turkey.” And then when people tried the toughest way of giving up drugs they went cold turkey.

    It’s got nothing to do with the leftovers you’ll be eating for weeks and weeks and weeks. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Mark Forsyth is the author of “The Horologicon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language.”

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 18th, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    The Journalist says:
    Thank you for discussing this. Anybody that has been to New Haven can tell Woolsey Hall is open to whoever wish to get inside. I asked for information to the policeman and followed him when I was told to. I did not say I was a journalist, but did not hide my personal information. I gave him my passport, my address, my phone number. And I told him I was looking for Mr. Joaquim Barbosa and would wait for him outside the building. But I could not leave, because the policeman hold my passport and informed me I would be arrested. Video footage from the place can prove that what I am saying is true. My newspaper asked it to Yale Law School, but have not received a reply. 9/28/13 7:09pm

     

    The University says:

    A Brazilian reporter trying to interview Brazil’s Supreme Court President, Joaquim Barbosa, was arrested for trespassing after she allegedly entered a Yale Law School building on Thursday.

    O Estado de S Paulo correspondent Claudia Trevisan claims the University was trying to keep quiet Barbosa’s participation in the 2013 Global Constitutionalism Seminar (one of the University’s “signature international programs“), and denied her request to attend, saying it was held in a private building.

    Trevisan says she told Yale Law School communications director Janet Conroy that she would go anyway and wait for Barbosa on the sidewalk.

    According to Trevisan, she eventually entered Woolsey Hall, a Yale concert hall, where tourists, students, and pedestrians were walking around, to find out if she was in the right place. She asked a Yale police officer if the seminar was in that building, and he apparently recognized her as a journalist and began questioning her. She says the officer also took her passport, detained her for an hour inside a police car, then handed her over to New Haven Police, where she was held in a cell for more than three hours.   Trevisan was reportedly able to report her arrest over the phone to a diplomat at the Brazilian embassy.

    A second reporter for Folha de São Paulo, also there to talk to Barbosa, was apparently better received — a policeman escorted him outside of the building and warned him if he tried to enter again he would be arrested.

    A spokesperson for Yale gave a statement to the Guardian, saying that Trevisan was dishonest with police.

    “She came onto Yale property, entered the law school without permission, and proceeded to enter another building where the attendees of the seminar were meeting. When asked why she was in the building, she stated that she was looking for a friend she was supposed to meet. She was arrested for trespassing. The police followed normal procedures and Ms Trevisan was not mistreated in any way.

    No one answered at the Yale Police Department communications line, but according to the Yale PD website, there was an arrest for trespassing outside Woolsey at 6:44 p.m. Trevisan says she arrived at Yale at 3:30 p.m.

    Yale says that because the seminar was a private event closed to the public and the media, Trevisan was not permitted on Yale property. This raises an interesting question since Trevisan claims that the building was open to the general public — and that she was singled out as a journalist merely for entering to ask a cop if she was in the right place. Legally, she was probably fine on the sidewalk, while the building would probably be classified as a “limited public forum”. If other tourists and non-members of the seminar were permitted to ask the cop inside for help or directions, arresting Trevisan for engaging in the same behavior while being a journalist could be illegal.

    Either way, the argument will probably never be heard — Yale says it does not intend to pursue the trespassing charges.

    Wise Guys Say:

    Their statement is irrelevant. If those buildings offered general unrestricted access to the general public, they’d have a hard time justifying just escorting her out, let alone arresting her. She doesn’t need special permission simply because she happens to be a reporter. 9/28/13 9:55pm

    If you are in a place you aren’t supposed to be don’t   the authorities to ask. Ask someone that looks like a student not the cops.

    Since she had previously contacted them to ask for credentials, I think it’s quite likely (especially if they had give so far as to let cops know who she was) that she was in fact not welcome. She probably would have been better off never having asked ahead of time.   9/28/13 8:12pm

    Having said that, arresting, handcuffing and jailing a journalist under these circumstances is a ridiculous abuse of power. On the other hand, her stealth reporting skills need some honing.   9/28/13 8:45pm

    If you *bought anything* in the State of São Paulo you´ve paid a sales tax, and 10% of this sales taxes goes directly to the State Universities, including the Universidade de São Paulo.

    You – and everyone else – had the right to walk there.

    Universidade de São Paulo is a public university, where there is no tuition fees and where even the food is subsidized by the taxpayer. 9/28/13 9:07pm

    I was just at Yale recently and they didn’t bar me from entering this exact same space. 9/30/13 1:37am

    If it helps, Woolsey Hall is part of a complex. The central building, which is what you enter from the street, houses the War Memorial. It has doors on both sides, and is commonly used as a thoroughfare between Bienecke Plaza (part of the Yale campus) and the public streets that lead to other parts of Yale’s campus.

    Joaquim Barbosa, the Brazilian Supreme Court Justice, faces problems in his own country, and he did not wanted to talk with reporters. From what
    I read in Portuguese and from what understand of US Law and American universities, Yale would not have requested the arrest of the journalists had Barbosa not request it.  (I hope that´s not some kind of exchange program for SC justices or something like that). 9/29/13 1:10am

    Considering that The Guardian covered this story – this is saucy indeed and may fit the general view that US justice has dreated for itself overseas.

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 21st, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    Scalia Forms Search Committee for New Pope – writes Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker.

    20 September 2013

     

    The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, “The Borowitz Report.”

    Saying he was “sorry it had to come to this,” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said today that he was forming an “independent search committee” to select a new Pope.

    The visibly upset jurist appeared at a press conference with the sole other member of the newly formed search committee, Justice Clarence Thomas.

    Justice Scalia said he had “no other alternative” but to pick a new Pope himself after reading what he called a “disturbing” interview with Pope Francis today: “The Pope said he doesn’t want to speak out against abortion and gay marriage. Well, sorry, my friend, but that’s the entire job description. You should have thought of that before you let them blow that white smoke in Rome.”

    Justice Scalia acknowledged that only the College of Cardinals has the legal authority to choose a Pope, but added, “Quite frankly, those jokers got us into this mess. Right, Clarence?”

    Justice Thomas had no comment.

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 10th, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    Michael T. Klare does it again. He warns us that we are worshiping the old Golden Calf set up there by the Fossil Fuels Establishment.

    ———————-

    How to fry a planet.
    Michael T.Klare and Tom Engelhardt 9 August 2013

    Don’t for a second imagine we are heading for an era of renewable energy.

    Look at it any way you want, and if you’re not a booster of fossil fuels on this overheating planet of ours, it doesn’t look good. Hardly a month passes, it seems, without news about the development of some previously unimaginable way to extract fossil fuels from some thoroughly unexpected place. The latest bit of “good” news: the Japanese government’s announcement that natural gas has been successfully extracted from undersea methane hydrates. (Yippee!) Natural gas is gleefully touted as the “clean” fossil-fuel path to a green future, but evidence is mounting that the newest process for producing it also leaks unexpected amounts of methane, a devastating greenhouse gas. The U.S. cheers and is cheered because the amount of carbon dioxide it is putting into the atmosphere is actually falling. Then Duncan Clark at the British Guardian does the figures and discovers that “there has been no decline in the amount of carbon the U.S. is taking out of the ground. In fact, the trend is upwards. The latest year for which full data is available – 2011 – is the highest level on record.” It’s just that some of it (coal, in particular) was exported abroad to be burned elsewhere.

    In the meantime, the next set of articles come out of scientific circles suggesting that the results of all this are far from cheery. An example: a recent paper in the prestigious journal Scienceindicates that “climate change is now set to occur at a pace ‘orders of magnitude more rapid’ than at any other time in the last 65 million years,” and we should prepare for a wave of species extinctions. In other words, the much-ballyhooed coming of North American energy “independence” is an upbeat way of saying that we will continue to heat the planet till hell boils over. Of course, those who run the giant energy companies, the politicians in their pay, and their lobbyists and associated think tanks — the real global “terrarists” for their urge to make historic profits off the heating of the planet — will, of course, continue to cheer. Though it is notoriously hard to claim climate change as the author of any specific weather event, in theever-hotter continental U.S., the experience of what’s being called “extreme weather” — fromdrought to record wildfires, record heat waves to devastating tornadoes — is increasingly part of the warp and woof of everyday life.

    In this context, the latest TomDispatch post by Michael Klare, author of The Race for What’s Left, is singularly important, if also singularly unnerving. Klare, who has long been ahead of the curve in his work on energy and resources, offers a clear-eyed look at the energy road chosen, and the view to the horizon is anything but pretty.
    Tom Engelhardt

    —————

    The original article we got and was intended to disillusion us from belief that Washington is ready for switching to Renewables, was:

     www.truth-out.org/news/item/18060…

    —————


    The third carbon age.


    By Michael T.Klare

    When it comes to energy and economics in the climate-change era, nothing is what it seems. Most of us believe (or want to believe) that the second carbon era, the Age of Oil, will soon be superseded by the Age of Renewables, just as oil had long since superseded the Age of Coal. President Obama offered exactly this vision in a much-praised June address on climate change. True, fossil fuels will be needed a little bit longer, he indicated, but soon enough they will be overtaken by renewable forms of energy.

    Many other experts share this view, assuring us that increased reliance on “clean” natural gas combined with expanded investments in wind and solar power will permit a smooth transition to a green energy future in which humanity will no longer be pouring carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. All this sounds promising indeed. There is only one fly in the ointment: it is not, in fact, the path we are presently headed down. The energy industry is not investing in any significant way in renewables. Instead, it is pouring its historic profits into new fossil-fuel projects, mainly involving the exploitation of what are called “unconventional” oil and gas reserves.

    The result is indisputable: humanity is not entering a period that will be dominated by renewables. Instead, it is pioneering the third great carbon era, the Age of Unconventional Oil and Gas.

    That we are embarking on a new carbon era is increasingly evident and should unnerve us all. Hydro-fracking – the use of high-pressure water columns to shatter underground shale formations and liberate the oil and natural gas supplies trapped within them -is being undertaken in ever more regions of the United States and in a growing number of foreign countries. In the meantime, the exploitation of carbon-dirty heavy oil and tar sands formations is accelerating in Canada, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

    It’s true that ever more wind farms and solar arrays are being built, but here’s the kicker: investment in unconventional fossil-fuel extraction and distribution is now expected to outpace spending on renewables by a ratio of at least three-to-one in the decades ahead.

    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), an inter-governmental research organization based in Paris, cumulative worldwide investment in new fossil-fuel extraction and processing will total an estimated $22.87 trillion between 2012 and 2035, while investment in renewables, hydropower, and nuclear energy will amount to only $7.32 trillion. In these years, investment in oil alone, at an estimated $10.32 trillion, is expected to exceed spending on wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, hydro, nuclear, and every other form of renewable energy combined.

    In addition, as the IEA explains, an ever-increasing share of that staggering investment in fossil fuels will be devoted to unconventional forms of oil and gas: Canadian tar sands, Venezuelan extra-heavy crude, shale oil and gas, Arctic and deep-offshore energy deposits, and other hydrocarbons derived from previously inaccessible reserves of energy. The explanation for this is simple enough. The world’s supply of conventional oil and gas – fuels derived from easily accessible reservoirs and requiring a minimum of processing — is rapidly disappearing. With global demand for fossil fuels expected to rise by 26% between now and 2035, more and more of the world’s energy supply will have to be provided by unconventional fuels.

    In such a world, one thing is guaranteed: global carbon emissions will soar far beyond our current worst-case assumptions, meaning intense heat waves will become commonplace and our few remaining wilderness areas will be eviscerated. Planet Earth will be a far – possibly unimaginably – harsher and more blistering place. In that light, it’s worth exploring in greater depth just how we ended up in such a predicament, one carbon age at a time.

    The first carbon era

    The first carbon era began in the late eighteenth century, with the introduction of coal-powered steam engines and their widespread application to all manner of industrial enterprises. Initially used to power textile mills and industrial plants, coal was also employed in transportation (steam-powered ships and railroads), mining, and the large-scale production of iron. Indeed, what we now call the Industrial Revolution was largely comprised of the widening application of coal and steam power to productive activities. Eventually, coal would also be used to generate electricity, a field in which it remains dominant today.

    This was the era in which vast armies of hard-pressed workers built continent-spanning railroads and mammoth textile mills as factory towns proliferated and cities grew. It was the era, above all, of the expansion of the British Empire. For a time, Great Britain was the biggest producer and consumer of coal, the world’s leading manufacturer, its top industrial innovator, and its dominant power – and all of these attributes were inextricably connected. By mastering the technology of coal, a small island off the coast of Europe was able to accumulate vast wealth, develop the world’s most advanced weaponry, and control the global sea-lanes.

    The same coal technology that gave Britain such global advantages also brought great misery in its wake. As noted by energy analyst Paul Roberts in The End of Oil, the coal then being consumed in England was of the brown lignite variety, “chock full of sulfur and other impurities.” When burned, “it produced an acrid, choking smoke that stung the eyes and lungs and blackened walls and clothes.” By the end of the nineteenth century, the air in London and other coal-powered cities was so polluted that “trees died, marble facades dissolved, and respiratory ailments became epidemic.”

    For Great Britain and other early industrial powers, the substitution of oil and gas for coal was a godsend, allowing improved air quality, the restoration of cities, and a reduction in respiratory ailments. In many parts of the world, of course, the Age of Coal is not over. In China and India, among other places, coal remains the principal source of energy, condemning their cities and populations to a twenty-first-century version of nineteenth-century London and Manchester.

    The second carbon era

    The Age of Oil got its start in 1859 when commercial production began in western Pennsylvania, but only truly took off after World War II, with the explosive growth of automobile ownership. Before 1940, oil played an important role in illumination and lubrication, among other applications, but remained subordinate to coal; after the war, oil became the world’s principal source of energy. From 10 million barrels per day in 1950, global consumption soared to 77 million in 2000, a half-century bacchanalia of fossil fuel burning.

    Driving the global ascendancy of petroleum was its close association with the internal combustion engine (ICE). Due to oil’s superior portability and energy intensity (that is, the amount of energy it releases per unit of volume), it makes the ideal fuel for mobile, versatile ICEs. Just as coal rose to prominence by fueling steam engines, so oil came to prominence by fueling the world’s growing fleets of cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships. Today, petroleum supplies about 97% of all energy used in transportation worldwide.

    Oil’s prominence was also assured by its growing utilization in agriculture and warfare. In a relatively short period of time, oil-powered tractors and other agricultural machines replaced animals as the primary source of power on farms around the world. A similar transition occurred on the modern battlefield, with oil-powered tanks and planes replacing the cavalry as the main source of offensive power.

    These were the years of mass automobile ownership, continent-spanning highways, endless suburbs, giant malls, cheap flights, mechanized agriculture, artificial fibers, and – above all else – the global expansion of American power. Because the United States possessed mammoth reserves of oil, was the first to master the technology of oil extraction and refining, and the most successful at utilizing petroleum in transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and war, it emerged as the richest and most powerful country of the twenty-first century, a saga told with great relish by energy historian Daniel Yergin in The Prize. Thanks to the technology of oil, the US was able to accumulate staggering levels of wealth, deploy armies and military bases to every continent, and control the global air and sea-lanes – extending its power to every corner of the planet.

    However, just as Britain experienced negative consequences from its excessive reliance on coal, so the United States – and the rest of the world – has suffered in various ways from its reliance on oil. To ensure the safety of its overseas sources of supply, Washington has established tortuous relationships with foreign oil suppliers and has fought several costly, debilitating wars in the Persian Gulf region, a sordid history I recount in Blood and Oil. Overreliance on motor vehicles for personal and commercial transportation has left the country ill-equipped to deal with periodic supply disruptions and price spikes. Most of all, the vast increase in oil consumption — here and elsewhere — has produced a corresponding increase in carbon dioxide emissions, accelerating planetary warming (a process begun during the first carbon era) and exposing the country to the ever more devastating effects of climate change.

    The age of unconventional oil and gas

    The explosive growth of automotive and aviation travel, the suburbanization of significant parts of the planet, the mechanization of agriculture and warfare, the global supremacy of the United States, and the onset of climate change: these were the hallmarks of the exploitation of conventional petroleum. At present, most of the world’s oil is still obtained from a few hundred giant onshore fields in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Venezuela, among other countries; some additional oil is acquired from offshore fields in the North Sea, the Gulf of Guinea, and the Gulf of Mexico. This oil comes out of the ground in liquid form and requires relatively little processing before being refined into commercial fuels.

    But such conventional oil is disappearing. According to the IEA, the major fields that currently provide the lion’s share of global petroleum will lose two-thirds of their production over the next 25 years, with their net output plunging from 68 million barrels per day in 2009 to a mere 26 million barrels in 2035. The IEA assures us that new oil will be found to replace those lost supplies, but most of this will be of an unconventional nature. In the coming decades, unconventional oils will account for a growing share of the global petroleum inventory, eventually becoming our main source of supply.

    The same is true for natural gas, the second most important source of world energy. The global supply of conventional gas, like conventional oil, is shrinking, and we are becoming increasingly dependent on unconventional sources of supply — especially from the Arctic, the deep oceans, and shale rock via hydraulic fracturing.

    In certain ways, unconventional hydrocarbons are akin to conventional fuels. Both are largely composed of hydrogen and carbon, and can be burned to produce heat and energy. But in time the differences between them will make an ever-greater difference to us. Unconventional fuels – especially heavy oils and tar sands – tend to possess a higher proportion of carbon to hydrogen than conventional oil, and so release more carbon dioxide when burned. Arctic and deep-offshore oil require more energy to extract, and so produce higher carbon emissions in their very production.

    “Many new breeds of petroleum fuels are nothing like conventional oil,” Deborah Gordon, a specialist on the topic at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote in 2012. “Unconventional oils tend to be heavy, complex, carbon laden, and locked up deep in the earth, tightly trapped between or bound to sand, tar, and rock.”

    By far the most worrisome consequence of the distinctive nature of unconventional fuels is their extreme impact on the environment. Because they are often characterized by higher ratios of carbon to hydrogen, and generally require more energy to extract and be converted into usable materials, they produce more carbon dioxide emissions per unit of energy released. In addition, the process that produces shale gas, hailed as a “clean” fossil fuel, is believed by many scientists to cause widespread releases of methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas.

    All of this means that, as the consumption of fossil fuels grows, increasing, not decreasing, amounts of CO2 and methane will be released into the atmosphere and, instead of slowing, global warming will speed up.

    And here’s another problem associated with the third carbon age: the production of unconventional oil and gas turns out to require vast amounts of water – for fracking operations, to extract tar sands and extra-heavy oil, and to facilitate the transport and refining of such fuels. This is producing a growing threat of water contamination, especially in areas of intense fracking and tar sands production, along with competition over access to water supplies among drillers, farmers, municipal water authorities, and others. As climate change intensifies, drought will become the norm in many areas and so this competition will only grow fiercer.

    Along with these and other environmental impacts, the transition from conventional to unconventional fuels will have economic and geopolitical consequences hard to fully assess at this moment. As a start, the exploitation of unconventional oil and gas reserves from previously inaccessible regions involves the introduction of novel production technologies, including deep-sea and Arctic drilling, hydro-fracking, and tar-sands upgrading. One result has been a shakeup in the global energy industry, with the emergence of innovative companies possessing the skills and determination to exploit the new unconventional resources — much as occurred during the early years of the petroleum era when new firms arose to exploit the world’s oil reserves.

    This has been especially evident in the development of shale oil and gas. In many cases, the breakthrough technologies in this field were devised and deployed by smaller, risk-taking firms like Cabot Oil and Gas, Devon Energy Corporation, Mitchell Energy and Development Corporation, and XTO Energy. These and similar companies pioneered the use of hydro-fracking to extract oil and gas from shale formations in Arkansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and later sparked a stampede by larger energy firms to obtain stakes of their own in these areas. To augment those stakes, the giant firms are gobbling up many of the smaller and mid-sized ones. Among the most conspicuous takeovers was ExxonMobil’s 2009 purchase of XTO for $41 billion.

    That deal highlights an especially worrisome feature of this new era: the deployment of massive funds by giant energy firms and their financial backers to acquire stakes in the production of unconventional forms of oil and gas — in amounts far exceeding comparable investments in either conventional hydrocarbons or renewable energy. It’s clear that, for these companies, unconventional energy is the next big thing and, as among the most profitable firms in history, they are prepared to spend astronomical sums to ensure that they continue to be so. If this means investment in renewable energy is shortchanged, so be it. “Without a concerted policymaking effort” to favor the development of renewables, Carnegie’s Gordon warns, future investments in the energy field “will likely continue to flow disproportionately toward unconventional oil.”

    In other words, there will be an increasingly entrenched institutional bias among energy firms, banks, lending agencies, and governments toward next-generation fossil-fuel production, only increasing the difficulty of establishing national and international curbs on carbon emissions. This is evident, for example, in the Obama administration’s undiminished support for deep-offshore drilling and shale gas development, despite its purported commitment to reduce carbon emissions. It is likewise evident in the growing international interest in the development of shale and heavy-oil reserves, even as fresh investment in green energy is being cut back.

    As in the environmental and economic fields, the transition from conventional to unconventional oil and gas will have a substantial, if still largely undefined, impact on political and military affairs.

    US and Canadian companies are playing a decisive role in the development of many of the vital new unconventional fossil-fuel technologies; in addition, some of the world’s largest unconventional oil and gas reserves are located in North America. The effect of this is to bolster US global power at the expense of rival energy producers like Russia and Venezuela, which face rising competition from North American companies, and energy-importing states like China and India, which lack the resources and technology to produce unconventional fuels.

    At the same time, Washington appears more inclined to counter the rise of China by seeking to dominate the global sea lanes and bolster its military ties with regional allies like Australia, India, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea. Many factors are contributing to this strategic shift, but from their statements it is clear enough that top American officials see it as stemming in significant part from America’s growing self-sufficiency in energy production and its early mastery of the latest production technologies.

    “America’s new energy posture allows us to engage [the world] from a position of greater strength,” National Security Advisor Tom Donilon asserted in an April speech at Columbia University. “Increasing US energy supplies act as a cushion that helps reduce our vulnerability to global supply disruptions [and] affords us a stronger hand in pursuing and implementing our international security goals.”

    For the time being, the US leaders can afford to boast of their “stronger hand” in world affairs, as no other country possesses the capabilities to exploit unconventional resources on such a large scale. By seeking to extract geopolitical benefits from a growing world reliance on such fuels, however, Washington inevitably invites countermoves of various sorts. Rival powers, fearful and resentful of its geopolitical assertiveness, will bolster their capacity to resist American power – a trend already evident in China’s accelerating naval and missile buildup.

    At the same time, other states will seek to develop their own capacity to exploit unconventional resources in what might be considered a fossil-fuels version of an arms race. This will require considerable effort, but such resources are widely distributed across the planet and in time other major producers of unconventional fuels are bound to emerge, challenging America’s advantage in this realm (even as they increase the staying power and global destructiveness of the third age of carbon). Sooner or later, much of international relations will revolve around these issues.

    Surviving the third carbon era

    Barring unforeseen shifts in global policies and behavior, the world will become increasingly dependent on the exploitation of unconventional energy. This, in turn, means an increase in the buildup of greenhouse gases with little possibility of averting the onset of catastrophic climate effects. Yes, we will also witness progress in the development and installation of renewable forms of energy, but these will play a subordinate role to the development of unconventional oil and gas.

    Life in the third carbon era will not be without its benefits. Those who rely on fossil fuels for transportation, heating, and the like can perhaps take comfort from the fact that oil and natural gas will not run out soon, as was predicted by many energy analysts in the early years of this century. Banks, the energy corporations, and other economic interests will undoubtedly amass staggering profits from the explosive expansion of the unconventional oil business and global increases in the consumption of these fuels. But most of us won’t be rewarded. Quite the opposite. Instead, we’ll experience the discomfort and suffering accompanying the heating of the planet, the scarcity of contested water supplies in many regions, and the evisceration of the natural landscape.

    What can be done to cut short the third carbon era and avert the worst of these outcomes? Calling for greater investment in green energy is essential but insufficient at a moment when the powers that be are emphasizing the development of unconventional fuels. Campaigning for curbs on carbon emissions is necessary, but will undoubtedly prove problematic, given an increasingly deeply embedded institutional bias toward unconventional energy.

    Needed, in addition to such efforts, is a drive to expose the distinctiveness and the dangers of unconventional energy and to demonize those who choose to invest in these fuels rather than their green alternatives. Some efforts of this sort are already underway, including student-initiated campaigns to persuade or compel college and university trustees to divest from any investments in fossil-fuel companies. These, however, still fall short of a systemic drive to identify and resist those responsible for our growing reliance on unconventional fuels.

    For all President Obama’s talk of a green technology revolution, we remain deeply entrenched in a world dominated by fossil fuels, with the only true revolution now underway involving the shift from one class of such fuels to another. Without a doubt, this is a formula for global catastrophe. To survive this era, humanity must become much smarter about this new kind of energy and then take the steps necessary to compress the third carbon era and hasten in the Age of Renewables before we burn ourselves off this planet.

    This piece, including a new Tom Engelhardt introduction, is reposted on UK’s OpenDemocracy.net from TomDispatch.com with the original site’s permission.

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 3rd, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    Courtesy of API “Saturday Morning Headlines–Presented by the American Petroleum Institute [Aug 3, 2013]” – The Washington Post says that there might be an Iran willingness now to accept limits that prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

    Where is the evidence? Why Should Anyone Believe API – specially after reading the Anti-Ethanol Posted Advertisement that bought The Washington Post?


    At the end we add also the way Bar Ilan University studies see the place of Mr. Rouhani in the bomb-making effort of Iran.

    At a June 17 news conference in Tehran, Iranian President-elect Hasan Rouhani criticized the outgoing administration, saying it has mismanaged the country’s economy.

    Now We Read: “Iran’s economic crisis deepens as Rouhani prepares to take office.”

    By Joby Warrick and Jason Rezaian, Published: August 2, 2013 – in print Saturday August 3, 2013.

    Iran’s economy is showing signs of foundering just as the country prepares to inaugurate its first new president in eight years, with Western sanctions cutting ever deeper into the Islamic republic’s financial lifelines and increasing pressure for a nuclear deal with the West.

    A welter of new data shows accelerated financial hemorrhaging across multiple sectors, from plummeting hard-currency reserves to steadily falling oil exports, Iran’s main source of foreign cash. U.S. officials and analysts say the tide of bad news will complicate the task awaiting Hassan Rouhani, the incoming president, but it could also increase Iran’s willingness to accept limits that would preclude it from developing nuclear weapons.

    Although many Iran experts think that the chances for a bargain remain small, recent warnings about the economy from within the regime suggest that the nation’s leaders may be looking for a way out, analysts say.

    “The Iranian elite now publicly admits that the economy is in serious trouble, and this president was elected with a mandate to do something about that,” said Clifford Kupchan, a former State Department official and a Middle East consultant with the Eurasia Group. “Despite Iranian rhetoric, that can only make the prospect of a deal more attractive.”

    Rouhani, a cleric and a moderate within the clique of conservative advisers to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, assumes the presidency Sunday at a critical juncture in the country’s decade-long struggle with the West over its nuclear policies. The Obama administration, which has imposed a succession of increasingly harsh economic sanctions on Iran in the past two years, hopes to find a more accommodating negotiating partner in Rouhani, who campaigned on a promise of a more pragmatic foreign policy.

    But the White House has been repeatedly outflanked by Congress, as lawmakers from both parties have pushed for still-tougher sanctions even before Rouhani takes office. Brushing aside warnings from U.S. diplomats, the House on Wednesday voted 400 to 20 to adopt measures intended to further decimate Iran’s economy by virtually shutting off the export of Iranian oil.

    “If President Rouhani truly has the will and authority to make a bold gesture on Iran’s nuclear program — such as suspending enrichment — he has a small window of opportunity before this bill becomes law,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), one of the sponsors of the legislation.

    An Iranian government spokesman on Friday called the punitive measures “counterproductive” and said they lessen the chance of a nuclear deal.

    “There is no doubt that such decisions will unnecessarily complicate the current situation between the two countries,” said Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York.

    The grim economic reports contrast with a relatively buoyant atmosphere in Tehran on the eve of inaugural festivities for Rouhani, who scored a surprise victory over a slate of more-conservative politicians in the June presidential election. In speeches after his win, the president-elect repeated his promises to expand political and social freedoms for ordinary Iranians, reversing policies that defined the eight-year tenure of his predecessor, the deeply unpopular Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Rouhani’s aides also have leaked the names of several key cabinet appointees, a slate dominated by veteran bureaucrats and pragmatists who, as a group, are more accustomed to dealing with the West. Rouhani in recent weeks has also repeated his campaign pledge to improve Iran’s economy. Yet his advisers have sought to temper expectations about how quickly relief could come, accusing Ahmadinejad of covering up the true extent of the economic crisis.

    “The main domestic issue will be dealing with a bad economy,” said Hassan Beheshtipour, a ­Tehran-based analyst. “Unemployment, high prices, inflation and domestic production are the challenges Rouhani will face.”

    Analysts in both Iran and the West agree that the key to improving the economy is finding a way to ease the pressure of sanctions. The only economic bright spot in recent weeks has been a stabilizing of Iran’s currency, the rial, which gained ground based on speculation that Rouhani would have a better chance of achieving a rapprochement with the West.

    Throughout Tehran, Iranians who voted for Rouhani said they expect him to honor his promises of “moderation” in diplomacy and in domestic politics.

    “I voted for Rouhani and think we have to give him at least three months to see how he is going to implement the promises he has made,” said Bahman Khalafi, 46, who works in marketing.

    The sanctions have been blamed for slashing Iran’s oil exports and undermining the value of the rial. But in recent months, new Western restrictions and tougher enforcement have significantly deepened the pain.

    Iranian officials last month reported an inflation rate of 45 percent — compared with 32 percent earlier in the summer — while also acknowledging that the economy is set to contract for the first time in three decades.

    Iran’s oil exports, which had declined nearly 40 percent by the end of last year, have taken a further hit in recent weeks as Tehran’s remaining Asian customers have cut back on purchases of Iranian crude. And a draft analysis by the economic research firm Roubini Global Economics estimated that Iran’s foreign currency holdings are declining at a rate of about $15 billion a year as Tehran is forced to tap into savings to meet its current budget needs.

    Worsening matters for Iran, banking sanctions are preventing the government from accessing some of its remaining overseas reserves, said Mark Dubowitz, director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank that co-sponsored the Roubini study.

    Iran is in serious trouble,” said Dubowitz, a sanctions expert who advised on congressional legislation that authorized some of the harshest measures. Noting that Rouhani won the election in part because of popular discontent over the regime’s economic policies, Dubowitz said the “burden now is on Mr. Rouhani to persuade the supreme leader to compromise.”

    Rezaian reported from Tehran.

    ====================================================================


    And the way The Times of Israel – Ops & Blogs – see Rouhani and the nuclear device:

    Iran’s New Leader and the Limits of Diplomacy
    Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg , August 2, 2013.

    Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president, may sometimes talk like a “moderate”, but he clearly knows how to maximize power in the international arena. Rouhani’s record as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator reflects his inner Clausewitz — behind the winks and nods, the opening and closing of “windows of opportunity”, diplomacy is simply warfare by other means.

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    So while the leaders of the international community and accompanying choir of pundits sing Rouhani’s praises, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu strikes a different note:

    “Fifteen years ago, the election of another president, also considered a moderate by the West, led to no change in these aggressive policies. Over the last twenty years, the only thing that has led to a temporary freeze in the Iranian nuclear program was Iran’s concern over aggressive policy against it in 2003.”

    As Yehuda Yaakov, an Israeli Foreign Ministry senior specialist in political-military affairs, has documented in detail, Rouhani successfully shepherded Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program through its greatest crisis in 2003-2004. Yaakov’s research was presented in his MA thesis for the Israeli National Defense College, and the English text was published in June. (Full disclosure — I served as his academic adviser.) The analysis is based on extensive interviews with key Western diplomats, as well as documents from this period and public records, including a revealing speech by Rouhani in 2004 and the 2012 memoir of his aide Houssein Mousavian.

    The case made by this evidence is compelling.

    A thorough analysis of Rouhani’s conduct and statements while chief negotiator reveals the cardinal goals he sought to achieve through diplomatic engagement with the “international community” to advance the nuclear program; to deflect the use of force and sanctions; to bolster Iran’s regional status in strategic terms; and to orient the country’s inter-agency dynamic to confronting an international crisis waged against it. In conceiving and implementing this strategy, Clausewitz would have given him high marks.

    In 2003, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic in Teheran had good reason to worry that their slow but steady progress towards becoming a nuclear weapons state, in blatant violation of their legal obligations, was about to be halted, and worse. US President Bush had recently overthrown Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq, citing the nuclear ambitions of this regime. As Rouhani admitted, throughout 2003 the Iranians greatly feared the possibility of an American military strike – and Rouhani job was to prevent this, while protecting their nuclear assets. As Yaakov’s analysis demonstrates, the chief negotiator did his job very well. Through carefully packaged diplomatic feints, he kept his country off of the Security Council’s agenda and away from America’s target list.

    Rouhani acknowledged that his model was Pakistan, whose leaders had managed to walk the tightrope of building nuclear weapons while avoiding becoming the target for a military strike. In his 2004 speech, he also discussed the North Korean experience of negotiating while producing weapons, and Brazil, which used diplomatic engagement for two decades to quietly progress towards a threshold nuclear weapons capability.

    With Washington busy attempting to create democracy in Iraq, the European Union claimed Iran as its chance to play a leading international role. But the Europeans, led by Britain, Germany and France, talked softly and instead of sticks, carried carrots designed to buy Iran’s cooperation. Rouhani saw his opportunity to gain from European naïveté, and played along, encouraging the facade of progress through agreements that were never implemented. In parallel, Iran provided deceptive evidence by hiding and slowing the visible production of weapons grade material.

    Rouhani’s strategy also took in the Bush Administration. A US National Intelligence Council Estimate in 2007 concluded: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” As consistently documented by IAEA reports, this slowdown was a temporary, tactical move; as soon as the immediate threat had passed, Iran made up the lost ground, and far more.

    Throughout this period, Rouhani navigated to maximize gains while minimizing the price Iran paid for keeping its nuclear ambitions alive during the period of greatest threat. The agreements that he negotiated, declared by European interlocutors as major diplomatic triumphs, were disposable political band-aids without substance. Iran’s commitments evaporated as soon as the immediate need had passed.

    Indeed, Rouhani himself repeatedly emphasized throughout the campaign that his greatest achievement as chief nuclear negotiator between 2003-2005 was advancing the nuclear program while preventing both force and sanctions.

    Clausewitz would have been proud. Using diplomatic skill, under Rouhani’s guiding hand, Iran not only preserved its power, but expanded it, particularly in progressing towards nuclear weapons. The only costs were economic, and the leadership was immune.

    For his service, Rouhani was rewarded, and after winning the Iranian version of a presidential election (closely supervised by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni), he declared that his “future government will protect Iran’s fundamental rights [code for nuclear weapons], while seeking to gradually remove sanctions." His previous experience suggests that this is not empty rhetoric, and his reported appointments to key positions suggest a rerun of the successful policies from the earlier decade.

    But much has changed since 2003, and Rouhani will find that the political environment that encouraged long negotiations towards meaningless agreements has changed. His European interlocutors have learned some lessons, hardened by years of Tehran's cat-and-mouse game at their expense. Despite the severe economic crisis, today’s European leaders are willing to pay the cost of increased sanctions to increase pressure on the regime. And Obama, although a very reluctant warrior, has shown that he is capable of ordering effective military strikes to protect vital US interests including international stability.

    At the same time, since Rouhani's term as chief negotiator, Tehran has made significant progress and is now on the verge of having a first-generation weapons capability. As Iran sprints towards the nuclear finish line, Rouhani faces an Israeli leadership that also understands Clausewitz. In some cases, diplomacy can serve as war by other means, but Netanyahu also knows that in the current Middle Eastern reality, credible military threats are necessary to ensure that international obligations are actually honored.

    ###

    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 2nd, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


    Here goes a main US Media – THE WASHINGTON POST. The posting of today says unashamedly the following:

    “Thursday Morning Headlines–Presented by the American Petroleum Institute [Aug 1, 2013]“

    Then comes an Advertisement that when we opened gave us all that what we post here, and which is old hat so far as we are concerned – clear US OIL INDUSTRY PROPAGANDA that was discredited years ago. We were then part of the research that went on in Washington about the dark alleys of the American Petroleum Institute – the API – that is the strongest lobby in Washington and a major source of the US Problematique.

    TO SEE THE WASHINGTON POST BEING BOUGHT UP BY THIS GIANT KNOCKED US OF OUR CHAIR THIS MORNING.

    JUST SEE – IT IS ALL THERE:

    FillUpOnFacts – Reform the Ethanol Mandate - filluponfacts.com/reform-the-etha… – is the ADVERTISEMENT that paid for –

    Did You Know? it says – More corn for fuel means less for livestock which raises your grocery bill on beef, milk and eggs.

    OH MY! THE WASHINGTON POST PART OF THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE’S SCARE TECHNIQUE?


    It is signed by THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA’S OIL AND NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY – the API – that want you to act
    filluponfacts.com/take-action/

    FillUpOnFacts says in “About Us” -

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry—an industry which supports 9.2 million American jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy. Our more than 490 corporate members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry.

    Although our focus is primarily domestic, in recent years our work has expanded to include a growing international dimension, and today API is recognized around the world for its broad range of programs:

    Advocacy
    We speak for the petroleum industry to the public, Congress and the Executive Branch, state governments and the media, through programs like Fuel For Thought. We negotiate with regulatory agencies, represent the industry in legal proceedings, participate in coalitions and work in partnership with other associations to achieve our members’ public policy goals.

    Research and Statistics
    API conducts or sponsors research ranging from economic analyses to toxicological testing. We collect, maintain and publish statistics and data on all aspects of U.S. industry operations, including supply and demand for various products, imports and exports, drilling activities and costs, and well completions. This data provides timely indicators of industry trends. API’s Weekly Statistical Bulletin is the most recognized publication, widely cited by the media.

    FillUpOnFacts gives you FUEL FOR THOUGHT that starts with filluponfacts.com/terms-of-use/ and gives “TERMS OF USE”

    “Welcome to Filluponfacts.com, a website of the American Petroleum Institute (API). The following terms and conditions govern your use of this site. By accessing, viewing or using the material on this site, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, you are not granted permission to use the site and should exit immediately.API reserves the right to change the terms and conditions under which this site is offered. These changes are effective immediately upon posting. You are responsible for regularly reviewing these terms and conditions. Your continued use of this site constitutes your agreement to all such terms and conditions.

    Copyright
    This site and all of its content are protected by copyright pursuant to U.S. and international copyright laws. Unless otherwise noted in a specific location on this site, you may not copy or download any of the material contained on this site, in whole or in part, without the express authorization of API. On pages of this site where permission is given to copy or download material, you may only do so provided that: (1) the user includes API’s copyright notice on all copies, and (2) the materials are not used in any misleading or inappropriate manner. You may not publish, modify, transmit, reproduce, create new works from, distribute, sell, loan, nor in anyway exploit any of the material contained on this site in whole or in part, including such material permitted to be copied or downloaded, without the express authorization of API.

    Elements of API’s website are also protected by trade dress, trademark, unfair competition, and other laws and cannot be copied or imitated in whole or in part. No logo, sound or image from the site may be copied or transmitted unless expressly permitted by API.” There is much more if you care to go to the link.

    WE DID NOT MAKE THIS UP – IT IS ALL RIGHT THERE IN FULL SIGHT IN THE ADVERTISEMENT THAT GAVE US THE WASHINGTON POST OF THURSDAY AUGUST 1, 2013.

    Then on the issue at hand – the target of this advocacy campaign – “Reform the Ethanol Mandate”

    July 30, 2013 By FillUpOnFacts

    The federal corn ethanol mandate is prima facie evidence that the law of unintended consequences is always in effect.

    Once heralded as a way to help farmers, reverse climate change and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, the mandate to blend up to 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol into gasoline every year has hurt more farmers than it has helped, increased greenhouse gas emissions and been rendered irrelevant by new fuel efficiency standards. Plus, the mandate has driven up food and gas prices, worsened air and water pollution and may soon void the warranties of millions of cars.

    The mandate has driven up energy prices, the authors write.

    Few Americans imagined that the 2007 law to raise the amount of corn ethanol blended into gasoline would end up diverting 40 percent of the corn crop from feed and food to fuel. This diversion has dramatically increased the price of animal feed and pushed some livestock operators out of business. Although many factors influence commodity prices, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief economist testified last month that the corn ethanol mandate accounted for more than a third of the hike in corn prices from 2006 to 2009.

    High prices have encouraged farmers to plow up millions of acres of grasslands, releasing carbon stored in the soil and increasing fertilizer use, which has also swelled emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. When the Environmental Protection Agency studied the “life-cycle” impact of corn ethanol in 2010, its scientists found that the “carbon debt” created by plowing up so much land actually helped boost greenhouse gas emissions compared with gasoline.

    In particular, the EPA’s 2010 Regulatory Impact Analysis found that two of the most common ways of producing corn ethanol — in dry mill plants fired by either natural gas or coal — increased greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent and 66 percent, respectively, compared with gasoline.

    Most corn ethanol, unlike second-generation biofuels made from crop wastes and nonfood sources, is exempt from the renewable fuel mandate’s greenhouse gas reduction standards — a fact that corn ethanol advocates conveniently ignore.

    Moreover, a 2009 study cited recently by Growth Energy, a pro-ethanol group, that found corn ethanol significantly reduces greenhouse gases failed to properly account for the land-use change spurred by the mandate. Plowing up more land to grow crops has also increased water pollution and emissions of air pollutants, including particulate matter, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

    Blending corn ethanol into gasoline has also turned out to be a particularly inefficient way to reduce dependence on foreign sources of fuel. Simply improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles by just one mile per gallon would do as much to reduce demand for oil as blending 14 billion gallons of corn ethanol a year into gasoline.

    But the biggest problem with the current mandate is that the United States produces more corn ethanol than it can use. Although refiners can produce almost 15 billion gallons of ethanol a year, American cars can safely absorb only 13.4 billion gallons of ethanol a year, and the pool is shrinking as demand falls. Pushing the amount of ethanol in gasoline above 10 percent would void car warranties, damage boat and other small engines and require billions in costly upgrades to gas pumps. And because corn ethanol yields less energy than gasoline, increasing the ethanol content would cost consumers more at the pump, according to recent testimony by the Energy Information Administration.

    By contrast, reforming the corn ethanol mandate to accelerate the development of second-generation biofuels, such as switch grass — and capping the amount of ethanol in gasoline at 10 percent — could help combat climate change, lower food and feed prices and avoid damage to engines. That’s because second-generation biofuels — unlike corn ethanol — are legally required to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared with gasoline. Combined with limits on ethanol blends, reforms designed to accelerate the development of “drop-in” biofuels — hydrocarbons that do not require costly changes to engines and infrastructure — could meet the nation’s energy needs without compounding food or environmental challenges.

    In the short run, reforming — rather than repealing — the Renewable Fuel Standard would have little impact on corn ethanol production and use. The infrastructure to use corn ethanol is in place, and gasoline refiners will continue to blend corn ethanol to boost octane. But phasing out the mandate would create more room in the fuel mix for more promising fuels.

    Scott Faber is senior vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, a health and research advocacy organization. Alex Rindler is a policy associate at EWG.

    Source: Opinion Contributor Politico By SCOTT FABER and ALEX RINDLER | 7/29/13 9:25 PM EDT

    Read more: www.politico.com/story/2013/07/re…

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    We are furious as we were involved in the 1970s-1980s in debunking most of this rubbish that was also the subject of two studies of the US General Accounting Office – one of which looked how Mobil Oil at the time infiltrated a famous Professor/Consultant into the Department of Energy ERAB (Energy Research Advisory Board) whose report I had to rewrite for the GAO. Also, in Congressional Hearings, I had the honor to uncover a technical miles/gallon testimony by an important Professor emeritus who just misused Thermodynamics to get an untrue statement into the public’s mind.

    The subject of ethanol as an octane boosting additive to gasoline is complicated indeed, and is matter of not only energy policy but also of US farm policy – this when in the real Washington world enormous amounts of money were being dished out to agri-business in order to keep land out of cultivation of grains in order to “support prices.” On the other hand, the highest efficiency in using ethanol is when it replaced all other methods of bringing up the octane value of a first cut gasoline stream at the petroleum refinery – and quantitatively this is dependent on the crude used and the refinery equipment – thus it cannot be said that a 10% or 15% ethanol in the gasoline mix is preferable. It best be left open so that it is adjusted to the need for octane addition, Our goal was to maximize the savings in petroleum – but this is not what the API aims for – they would prefer to serve you a 100% petroleum product and pass all costs to the consumer. But this is a long story and not the reason why we bring this posting today.

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 25th, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    UAE- Norwegian woman who claimed rape pardoned.
    MENAFN – Khaleej Times – 23/07/2013

    0 comments ?

    (Khaleej Times) A Norwegian woman, who was jailed for having illicit sex and for giving a false report to the authorities about being raped, has been granted pardon, a prosecution source has confirmed.

    “Her case has reached authorities beyond the Public Prosecution including the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the source told Khaleej Times.

    Marte Deborah Dalelv, in a statement to a Press agency, said that she was given back her passport by the Attorney-General’s Office and the case was dropped against her which made her free to leave the UAE.

    The 24-year old woman, who works as an interior design executive, had been sentenced by the Court of Misdemeanours to 16 months in jail, followed by deportation, for falsely reporting a rape, having sex out-of-wedlock and consuming alcohol.

    Her lawyer has already appealed the sentencing and a hearing was scheduled for September 5. She told police and prosecutors that her Sudanese boss raped her in his hotel room in the Safa area in Bur Dubai in March, taking advantage that she was under the influence of alcohol. The man was sentenced to 13 months in jail and deportation. She had been on a business trip with him when the incident happened.

    Marte’s case has created media frenzy in the west after she told her story to the Press recounting her ordeal and shock over being held in custody for reporting a rape. She claimed that during the interrogation, she changed her testimony claiming to the investigators that she had consensual sex in a desperate bid to get a reduced sentence.

    In Oslo, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said that Dalelv was being allowed to leave the UAE.

    “Marte (Dalelv) is released! Thanks to everyone who signed up to help,” the minister wrote on Twitter, adding that she would be returning home soon.

    A spokeswoman from the ministry told AFP that Dalelv was not deported.

    “She hasn’t been deported, she has been pardoned. She can remain in Dubai if she wishes. Her passport has been returned to her,” said Ragnhild Imerslund.

    “She will travel home shortly,” the spokeswoman added.

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    UPDATED: We learn from BBC that the the pardon came from the ruler of Dubai himself and that part of the deal was that he pardoned the rapist as well – that is the RAPIST was PARDONED from having had EXTRAMARITAL SEX – as the language of the Islamic Prosecutor. Really – this makes it even worse.

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    Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 27th, 2013
    by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

    REVIEW & OUTLOOK —- The Wall Street Journal —- June 26, 2013.

    “The Carbonated President -
    Obama unveils a war on fossil fuels he never disclosed as a candidate.”

    That was the WSJ original title – this as if Obama did not truncate Romney at the polls ???

    President Obama’s climate speech on Tuesday was grandiose even for him, but its surreal nature was its particular hallmark. Some 12 million Americans still can’t find work, real wages have fallen for five years, three-fourths of Americans now live paycheck to check, and the economy continues to plod along four years into a quasi-recovery. But there was the President in tony Georgetown, threatening more energy taxes and mandates that will ensure fewer jobs, still lower incomes and slower growth.

    {But Mr. Murdoch please – this is because Obama bailed out your Street rather then the workers on whose shoulders this street is built – Pincas Jawetz of SustainabiliTank.info}

    The Wall Street Journal Editorial continues:
    “Mr. Obama’s “climate action plan” adds up to one of the most extensive reorganizations of the U.S. economy since the 1930s, imposed through administrative fiat and raw executive power. He wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020, but over his 6,500-word address he articulated no such goal for the unemployment rate or GDP.”
    {This sentence qualifies this editorial for our CARTOONS section – and that is where it goes.”
    ***

    The plan covers everything from new efficiency standards for home appliances to new fuel mileage rules for heavy-duty trucks to new subsidies for wind farms, but the most consequential changes would slam the U.S. electric industry. These plants, coal-fired power in particular, account for about a third of domestic greenhouse gases.

    Last year the Environmental Protection Agency released “new source performance standard” regulations that are effectively a moratorium on new coal plants. The EPA denied that similar rules would ever apply to the existing fleet, or even that they were working up such rules. Now Mr. Obama will unleash his carbon central planners on current plants.

    Coal accounted for more than half of U.S. electric generation as recently as 2008 but plunged to a mere 37% in 2012. In part this tumble has been due to cheap natural gas, but now the EPA will finish the job and take coal to 0%.

    Daniel Shrag of Harvard, an Obama science adviser, told the New York Times Monday that “Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” At least he’s honest, though in truth Mr. Obama’s target is all forms of carbon energy. Natural gas is next.

    The higher costs will ripple through the energy chain, which is precisely Mr. Obama’s goal. Only by artificially raising the cost of carbon energy can he make even heavily subsidized “renewables” competitive.

    In general every $1 billion spent complying with an EPA rule threatens 16,000 jobs and cuts GDP by $1.2 billion—and the agency is now writing scores of multibillion-dollar rules. Keep in mind that last month the Administration quietly raised the “social cost” of carbon by 60% in a regulatory filing related to microwave ovens. That means the EPA can jack up costs by 59.99% and still justify them by claiming the higher benefits. {But this is quintessential half-truth as it does not attempt to talk about jobs created by the new technologies that will replace the dying ones.}

    This regressive burden won’t merely be borne by average American consumers and utility rate-payers—especially in the Midwest and Southern regions that use the most coal. This also threatens one of the few booming parts of the economy, the energy revolution driven by shale gas and unconventional oil. The return of manufacturing to the U.S. depends on this cheap abundant energy, and it could as easily re-relocate overseas as the U.S. becomes less competitive.

    For good measure, Mr. Obama also declared that he will approve the Keystone XL pipeline “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Yet the oil in Alberta won’t stay in the ground if Mr. Obama blocks the route to the Gulf of Mexico. It will be shipped by rail and boat to China and elsewhere. The only question is whether America will benefit from this shovel-ready project that will create tens of thousands of jobs.

    {BRAVO – GOOD DEMAGOGUERY WE SAY !!}

    Speaking of futility, Mr. Obama’s ambitions will have no effect on global atmospheric carbon concentrations. Emissions are already falling in the U.S., thanks primarily to the shale gas boom, {not really – rather thanks to the Romney export of labor, production and jobs – to China and other over-sea locations} but emissions are rising in the developing world {clearly so – the Wall Street folks did it.}.

    Mr. Obama pandered to the climate-change absolutists by saying “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” But he never explained how his plan will reduce warming, or why climate models have failed to predict the warming slowdown of the last dozen or so years even as more CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere.
    ***

    Most striking about this Obama legacy project is its contempt for democratic consent. Congress has consistently rejected an Obama-style “comprehensive” anticarbon energy plan. That was true even when Democrats ran the Senate with a filibuster-proof majority in 2009-2010 and killed his cap-and-trade energy bill. The only legislative justification for Mr. Obama’s new plan is an abusive interpretation of the Clean Air Act, which was last revised in 1990 and never mentions carbon as a pollutant.

    So instead Mr. Obama will impose these inherently political policy choices via unaccountable bureaucracies, with little or no debate. Mr. Obama might have at least announced his war on carbon before the election and let voters have a say. Instead he posed as the John the Baptist of fossil fuels in locales such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia—taking credit for the shale fracking boom he had nothing to do with and running ads attacking Mitt Romney as anticoal.

    Now safely re-elected, Mr. Obama figures he can do what he pleases.
    {Why not? The article just said correctly that the Democrats did not help him either – it is only the large American public that voted for him that expect results – the President realizes that he mislead them by applying the Bail-out Wall-Street-First policy that did nothing for the public at large – and please do not tell us that this public owns the stock. We have heard that before. wall Street is not the answer to America’s woes}.
    The Americans who will be harmed will have to console themselves with 99 weeks of jobless benefits, food stamps and ObamaCare {that is the Journal’s conclusion – it is really thickening}.

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    A version of this article appeared June 26, 2013, on page A16 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Carbonated President.

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