Re: [Biofuel] Anybody wants the biofuel gear of Journey to Forever?

2015-02-23 Thread Keith Addison

Dear biofuel friends,

This is Midori. Sorry for not having followed up this issue. I've 
received a few respondents to this message on- and off- list, but I have 
not decided to whom I'd like to send the processors.

More people showed interest in Keith's library - sorry if there was 
misunderstanding, but even before I posted the message, I had decided to 
donate the library to an organization, who had been old collaborative 
with Keith and is ditigalizing important books.

Soil And Health Library

So what concerned are: JTF biodiesel processors (90L, 15L, and 
mini-processors), and the ethanol still.
I want to donate them to somebody or an organization who really value 
them and make good use of them.
It may sound emotional, but I'd rather destroy them rather than giving 
them to might as well take them persons. They are made from scratch by 
Keith, and worked on again and again by Keith - hope you understand.

The uncertainty is also an issue - I cannot guarantee the condition of 
the processors and the still because of the reason below; I cannot find 
the transport cost beforehand either. I need somebody who can share the 
risk and the cost with me.

Time is running out. I'm going to Cork, Ireland, to sort Keith's 
possession in the first week of March. We need to sort everything in one 
week, and chuck everything else by 8th March.

I really hope Keith's works be useful to somebody rather than wasted, 
but the situation is like this.
If you really care about the processors and the still, please email me 
at as soon as possible.

Many thanks,


On 2014/12/16 21:40, Keith Addison wrote:
Dear biofuel friends, This is Midori, Japanese partner of Keith 
Addison. I'm looking for somebody who wants to have the biofuel gear 
of Journey to Forever, made by Keith. Because of many complications, 
they are still packed in a warehouse in Oxford, UK, together with 
Keith's 300+ books and other personal possessions. I really hate to 
dump them, but as a poor PhD student living in a small flat, I cannot 
keep them. So I hope somebody on the list to accept them and make good 
use of them. The gear should include the disassembled JTF biodiesel 
processors (90L, 15L, and mini-processors), and the ethanol still. They are 
disassembled, and might be missing tanks or some parts. I cannot 
guarantee because I didn't see how they were packed when Keith shipped 
them out before he died. Still, there should be enough to help you 
easily start biofuel project. We need the recipient to bear the 
expense of transfer and related cost. Some additional donation for the 
gear is also appreciated too because there's been lots of difficulty 
to retrieve Keith's possessions. I and Keith's close friends have been 
bearing the cost and trouble because we care of Keith and hate to 
waste his efforts. We plan to retrieve them from the wharehouse first, 
and sort them out (maybe in Cork, Ireland), then will ship the biofuel 
gear to those who want them. (IF somebody near Oxford UK could provide 
a storage place for about 70 boxes/220Cuft of goods including the JTF 
biofuel gear and Keith's library until March 2015 and help me sort 
them out, that would be really appreciated too - but I suppose I'm 
asking too much so don't worry about this bit). Please email me at (specify to Midori in the title) if you 
are interested. I really appreciate for your support and contribution 
for Keith over these years. Thank you so much. I hope we all remember 
Keith and what he taught us. Many thanks and best wishes, Midori 
Kyoto, Japan ___ 
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[Biofuel] Anybody wants the biofuel gear of Journey to Forever?

2014-12-16 Thread Keith Addison
Dear biofuel friends,

This is Midori, Japanese partner of Keith Addison.
I'm looking for somebody who wants to have the biofuel gear of Journey
to Forever, made by Keith.

Because of many complications, they are still packed in a warehouse in
Oxford, UK, together with Keith's 300+ books and other personal possessions.

I really hate to dump them, but as a poor PhD student living in a small
flat, I cannot keep them. So I hope somebody on the list to accept them
and make good use of them.

The gear should include the disassembled JTF biodiesel processors (90L,
15L, and mini-processors), and the ethanol still.
They are disassembled, and might be missing tanks or some parts. I
cannot guarantee because I didn't see how they were packed when Keith
shipped them out before he died. Still, there should be enough to help
you easily start biofuel project.

We need the recipient to bear the expense of transfer and related cost.
Some additional donation for the gear is also appreciated too because
there's been lots of difficulty to retrieve Keith's possessions. I and
Keith's close friends have been bearing the cost and trouble because we
care of Keith and hate to waste his efforts.

We plan to retrieve them from the wharehouse first, and sort them out
(maybe in Cork, Ireland), then will ship the biofuel gear to those who
want them.
(IF somebody near Oxford UK could provide a storage place for about 70
boxes/220Cuft of goods including the JTF biofuel gear and Keith's
library until March 2015 and help me sort them out, that would be really
appreciated too - but I suppose I'm asking too much so don't worry about
this bit).

Please email me at (specify to Midori in
the title) if you are interested.

I really appreciate for your support and contribution for Keith over
these years. Thank you so much. I hope we all remember Keith and what he
taught us.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Kyoto, Japan

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[Biofuel] Keith Addison passed away

2014-11-05 Thread Keith Addison

Dear biofuel friends,

Keith, who contributed so much to the handmade biofuel movement and 
related appropriate technology and organic movements, died of pneumonia 
in August 2014.

This is Midori, Japanese partner of Keith Addison.
My apology for being late to tell you this sad news. It took a while for 
me to recover from his death and rearrange related matters. Still 

I'd like to maintain his projects available online, in which Keith 
devoted so much - literally he devoted more than 10 years of his life to and biofuel mailinglists. I cannot contribute to it 
anymore, but at least I will keep them as they are, available to the 
public for coming years.

Regarding to this mailinglist, I suppose he left the managing to 
somebody else around 2013 - please advise me how this is arranged now, 
off-list if it's more suitable. I now manage his emails at and I see more than 100 moderator requests 
piling up (most of them are Post by non-member to a members-only 
list). I also manage the domain name Do we 
still need it for the list? Please advise.

There have been so many issues on and around these mailinglists over the 
decade. Keith used to tell me hours about what's going on on the list, 
both happy and annoying issues. No matter what - I really appreciate for 
your support and contribution for Keith over these years. Thank you so 
much. I hope we all remember Keith and what he taught us.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Kyoto, Japan
- I can be reached at Please specify to 
Midori in the title. Thanks.

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[Biofuel] Fwd: WVO car fuel cartoon and song.

2014-07-22 Thread Keith Addison

Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 11:20:13 -0700
From: Nancy Ibsen
Subject: WVO car fuel cartoon and song.

I thought you or people you know would be interested in seeing this 
animated video. Please enjoy and pass on the link.

Nancy Ibsen Car
View on www.yo...
Preview by Yahoo

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2014-07-22 Thread Keith Addison

Hannah Levitt +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 235;

PETA US Releases Footage Shot Secretly at Farms and Shearing Sheds 
in US and Australia From First Undercover Investigation of Its Kind

London - PETA US' exposé of the 
wool industry in the US and Australia - the source of 90 per cent of 
merino wool in the world - shows workers violently punching scared 
sheep in the face, stamping and standing on the animals' heads and 
necks and beating and jabbing them in the face with electric 
clippers and a hammer. Some sheep even died from the abuse, 
including one whose neck was twisted until the animal died. 
Investigators also documented that large, bloody wounds were left on 
the sheep's bodies and that workers stitched gaping wounds closed 
using a needle and thread without administering any pain relief.

The video highlights just some of the cruelty observed by 
investigators at each of the 19 shearing sheds visited in Australia 
and at 14 US farms in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. In one 
incident in Colorado, a shearer who was muttering, F***, over and 
over killed a sheep by repeatedly twisting, severely bending and 
breaking her neck. As he kicked the dying animal head-first down a 
chute, he said, I might have killed it. He admitted that he had 
previously injured another sheep by bending the animal's neck back, 
excusing himself with the words, I get angry.

Sheep are gentle prey animals who are petrified of even being held 
down, yet these sheep were punched in the face, kicked and stamped 
on and had their heads slammed into the floor by unsupervised, 
impatient shearers, causing them great distress, injury and even 
death, says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. PETA is 
calling on shoppers around the world to reject cruelty to animals - 
and that means never buying wool.

PETA is sending the video to UK retailers that sell wool, with a 
unique appeal to them to end their sale of wool products, citing the 
abuse of sheep during shearing, live export and mulesing (flaying of 
live lambs) as three reasons to avoid wool.

PETA US has asked state and local law-enforcement agencies to 
investigate and file criminal charges against the workers, as 
appropriate, for what are believed to be violations of 
cruelty-to-animals laws.

Photographs from the investigations are available 
Broadcast-quality video footage from the US investigation is 
here, and broadcast-quality video footage from the Australian 
investigations is available 

For more information, please visit

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[Biofuel] Fwd: tests of FAME

2014-07-22 Thread Keith Addison

From: Allan Barberio
Subject: tests of FAME
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:19:02 -0400

We are currently doing research on detection of bio in diesel. I 
have attached the results of our first tests. It appears you have an 
interest in all things bio.

Your website is incredible.

Allan J Barberio, CPA
General Manager
Emcee Electronics Inc

520 Cypress Ave.
Venice, Fl. 34285
941-485-1515 Ex 119
941-356-6522 Cell

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[Biofuel] Biodiesel question

2014-07-21 Thread Keith Addison

Hi all

Sorry I'm not around more (but I still read a lot at the list).

I received this email:

... last night I found some discouraging information that suggests 
that modern diesel cars (from 2007 forward) will have problems with 
running B100 and furthermore that running B100 is discouraged by the 
major car manufacturers. I had hoped to run B100 in a 2015 
Volkswagen Golf or Jetta, but now I'm concerned that I'll only be 
able to run B5 or B20 at best. Am I understanding this correctly?

The answer, as I'm sure we all know, is that B100 can be used in ANY 
diesel, as long as it's top-quality biodiesel, which is easy to make 
as long as you follow the method correctly, and that car manufacturer 
discouragement or warrantees mean nothing unless the fault can be 
directly related to the fuel.

What I don't know is this: Is there anything different about 2015 VWs?

All best


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[Biofuel] Hungry for land: small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland

2014-05-29 Thread Keith Addison

Hungry for land: small farmers feed the world with less than a 
quarter of all farmland

GRAIN | 28 May 2014 | Reports

It is commonly heard today that small farmers produce most of the 
world's food. But how many of us realise that they are doing this 
with less than a quarter of the world's farmland, and that even this 
meagre share is shrinking fast? If small farmers continue to lose the 
very basis of their existence, the world will lose its capacity to 
feed itself.

GRAIN took an in depth look at the data to see what is going on and 
the message is crystal clear. We need to urgently put land back in 
the hands of small farmers and make the struggle for agrarian reform 
central to the fight for better food systems.

Download the PDF version of this report here

Download a printer friendly dataset in PDF format here.

Download a fully-referenced dataset as a spreadsheet here.

Governments and international agencies frequently boast that small 
farmers control the largest share of the world's agricultural land. 
Inaugurating 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, José 
Graziano da Silva, Director General of the United Nations Food and 
Agriculture Organisation (FAO), sang the praises of family farmers 
but didn't once mention the need for land reform. Instead he stated 
that family farms already manage most of the world's farmland1 - a 
whopping 70%, according to his team.2 Another report published by 
various UN agencies in 2008 concluded that small farms occupy 60% of 
all arable land worldwide.3 Other studies have come to similar 

But if most of the world's farmland is in small farmers' hands, then 
why are so many of their organisations clamouring for land 
redistribution and agrarian reform? Because rural peoples' access to 
land is under attack everywhere. From Honduras to Kenya and from 
Palestine to the Philippines, people are being dislodged from their 
farms and villages. Those who resist are being jailed or killed. 
Widespread agrarian strikes in Colombia, protests by community 
leaders in Madagascar, nationwide marches by landless folk in India, 
occupations in Andalusia - the list of actions and struggles goes on 
and on. The bottom line is that land is becoming more and more 
concentrated in the hands of the rich and powerful, not that small 
farmers are doing well.

Rural people don't simply make a living off the land, after all. 
Their land and territories are the backbone of their identities, 
their cultural landscape and their source of well-being. Yet land is 
being taken away from them and concentrated in fewer and fewer hands 
at an alarming pace.

Then there is the other part of the picture: that concerning food. 
While it is now increasingly common to hear that small farmers 
produce the majority of the world's food, even if that is outside of 
market systems, we are also constantly being fed the message that the 
more efficient industrial food system is needed to feed the world. 
At the same time, we are told that 80% of the world's hungry people 
live in rural areas, many of them farmers or landless farmworkers.

How do we make sense of all this? What is true and what is not? What 
action do we take to deal with these imbalances? To help answer some 
of these questions, GRAIN decided to take a closer look at the 
facts.5 We tried to find out how much land is really in the hands of 
small farmers, and how much food they produce on that land.6

The figures and what they tell us

When we looked at the data, we came across quite a number of 
difficulties. Countries define small farmer differently. There are 
no centralised statistics on who has what land. There are no 
databases recording how much food comes from where. And different 
sources give widely varying figures for the amount of agricultural 
land available in each country.

In compiling the figures, we used official statistics from national 
agricultural census bureaus in each country wherever possible, 
complemented by FAOSTAT (FAO's statistical database) and other FAO 
sources where necessary. For statistical guidance on what a small 
farm is, we generally used the definition provided by each national 
authority, since the conditions of small farms in different countries 
and regions can vary widely. Where national definitions were not 
available, we used the World Bank's criteria.

In light of this, there are important limitations to the data - and 
our compilation and assessment of them. (See Annex 1 for a fuller 
discussion of the data.) The dataset that we produced is fully 
referenced and publicly available online and forms an 

[Biofuel] List down

2014-05-09 Thread Keith Addison

testing... testing...

Er, Houston?

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] List up again

2014-05-09 Thread Keith Addison

Hi all

Sorry the list's been down. My records said the domain name was paid 
up to April 2015, but, um, it should have been 2014. I've renewed it 
now, and all is well.


Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

The Russians are coming � again � and they're still ten feet tall!

2014-05-09 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #128

By William Blum - Published May 9th, 2014

The Russians are coming Š again Š and they're still ten feet tall!

So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the 
United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But 
not in Ukraine. That's the good news. The bad news is that in Ukraine 
the United States is on the same side as the neo-Nazi types, who - 
taking time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols 
and calling for the death of Jews, Russians and Communists - on May 2 
burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of 
people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were 
beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; 
ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded. Try and find an 
American mainstream media entity that has made a serious attempt to 
capture the horror.

And how did this latest example of American foreign-policy 
exceptionalism come to be? One starting point that can be considered 
is what former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates 
says in his recently published memoir: When the Soviet Union was 
collapsing in late 1991, [Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] wanted to 
see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian 
empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to 
the rest of the world. That can serve as an early marker for the new 
cold war while the corpse of the old one was still warm. Soon 
thereafter, NATO began to surround Russia with military bases, 
missile sites, and NATO members, while yearning for perhaps the most 
important part needed to complete the circle - Ukraine.

In February of this year, US State Department officials, 
undiplomatically, joined anti-government protesters in the capital 
city of Kiev, handing out encouragement and food, from which emanated 
the infamous leaked audio tape between the US ambassador to Ukraine, 
Geoffrey Pyatt, and the State Department's Victoria Nuland, former US 
ambassador to NATO and former State Department spokesperson for 
Hillary Clinton. Their conversation dealt with who should be running 
the new Ukraine government after the government of Viktor Yanukovich 
was overthrown; their most favored for this position being one 
Arseniy Yatsenuk.

My dear, and recently departed, Washington friend, John Judge, liked 
to say that if you want to call him a conspiracy theorist you have 
to call others coincidence theorists. Thus it was by the most 
remarkable of coincidences that Arseniy Yatsenuk did indeed become 
the new prime minister. He could very soon be found in private 
meetings and public press conferences with the president of the 
United States and the Secretary-General of NATO, as well as meeting 
with the soon-to-be new owners of Ukraine, the World Bank and the 
International Monetary Fund, preparing to impose their standard 
financial shock therapy. The current protestors in Ukraine don't need 
PHDs in economics to know what this portends. They know about the 
impoverishment of Greece, Spain, et al. They also despise the new 
regime for its overthrow of their democratically-elected government, 
whatever its shortcomings. But the American media obscures these 
motivations by almost always referring to them simply as 

An exception, albeit rather unemphasized, was the April 17 Washington 
Post which reported from Donetsk that many of the eastern Ukrainians 
whom the author interviewed said the unrest in their region was 
driven by fear of economic hardship and the IMF austerity plan that 
will make their lives even harder: At a most dangerous and delicate 
time, just as it battles Moscow for hearts and minds across the east, 
the pro-Western government is set to initiate a shock therapy of 
economic measures to meet the demands of an emergency bailout from 
the International Monetary Fund.

Arseniy Yatsenuk, it should be noted, has something called the 
Arseniy Yatsenuk Foundation. If you go to the foundation's website you will see the logos of 
the foundation's partners. Among these partners we find NATO, the 
National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, Chatham 
House (Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK), the 
German Marshall Fund (a think tank founded by the German government 
in honor of the US Marshall Plan), as well as a couple of 
international banks. Is any comment needed?

Getting away with supporting al-Qaeda and Nazi types may be giving US 
officials the idea that they can say or do anything they want in 
their foreign policy. In a May 2 press conference, President Obama, 
referring to Ukraine and the NATO Treaty, said: We're united in our 
unwavering Article 5 commitment to the security of our NATO allies. 
(Article 5 states: The Parties agree that an armed attack against 
one or more of them Š shall be considered an attack 

Re: [Biofuel] Autism Nation: America's Chemical Brain Drain

2014-05-05 Thread Keith Addison

Hi Zeke

Great... so the same chemicals that are killing the bees and the monarch
butterflies  (and probably frogs and who knows what else) are also killing
us.  And someone said that humans are intelligent life

You think Monsanto is a human?



On Sun, May 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM, Darryl McMahon wrote:

 [image and multiple links in on-line article]

 Autism Nation: America's Chemical Brain Drain

 Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:04 \
 By Dr Brian Moench, Truthout | News Analysis

 While autism rates in Europe have remained virtually flat for the last
 decade, in the US, they have risen from 1:10,000 in 1981 to 1:68 in 2014.
 Many studies point to the prevalence of toxins in our environment as the

 As flowers burst on the scene, blossoms unfold, and lawns awaken from
 winter's sleep, nature's spring rituals are joyful to watch.


 Unfortunately, many home owners, gardeners, landscapers, farmers and state
 agencies launch an anti-nature spring ritual - mounting an arsenal of
 poisons to kill insects and weeds. This ritual comes at a tremendous cost.

 Last month, leading scientists warned of a silent pandemic, citing
 strong evidence that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized
 toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting
 behaviors, truncating future achievements and damaging societies. These
 brain toxins - heavy metals, fluoride, chemicals like PCBs, toluene,
 solvents, flame retardants, BPA, phalates and pesticides - are found in the
 furniture you sit on, the clothing you wear, the air you breathe, the food
 you eat and soil your kids play in.

 And this short list of chemicals and compounds is just the tip of a very
 large toxic iceberg.

 It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for
 the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California, said Irva
 Hertz-Picciotto, an epidemiology professor at University of California,

 In 1981, the autism (ASD) rate in the United States was 1:10,000. In 2007,
 it was 1:150. In 2009, it was 1:100. In 2012, it was 1:88. In 2014, it is
 1:68. At this rate of increase, by 2025 it will be 1:2, or 50 percent. For
 those of you tempted to think this is just greater awareness and expansion
 of the criteria for diagnosis, the CDC says that since the 2012 estimate of
 1 in 88 children identified with ASD, the criteria used to diagnose, treat,
 and provide services have not changed, but the rate has increased another
 30 percent.

 Meanwhile, autism rates in Europe have remained virtually flat for the
 last decade. Recent estimates in European countries range from 1 in 5,000
 in Germany to 1 in 700 in Portugal. So what are Americans doing to harm
 themselves and their children's brains that Europeans aren't, besides
 watching Fox News?

 No one knows for sure, but one thing to consider is the massive increase
 in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the concomitant upsurge in
 pesticide and herbicide use.

 David Vogel, professor at the Haas School of Business and in the
 Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley,
 points out that between 1960 and 1990, American health, safety, and
 environmental regulations were more stringent, risk averse, comprehensive,
 and innovative than those adopted in Europe. Vogel's book, The Politics of
 Precaution, explains that since around 1990, global regulatory leadership
 has shifted to Europe.

 With many types of environmental risks, extreme conservative ideologues in
 the US have brought regulatory protection of public health to a screeching
 halt. America's failure to deal with the climate crisis is probably the
 most conspicuous casualty. But what is happening to the brains of our

  children may be just as important.

 In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan,
 and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant
 restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the
 US, federal agencies have approved the GMO/pesticide industrial agriculture
 system based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created
 them and profit from their sale.

 The best-selling herbicide in the world is glyphosate, originally patented
 and sold by Monsanto as Roundup. Glyphosate is a potent endocrine
 disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the production, release,
 transport, metabolism, or elimination of the body's natural hormones, which
 are the most potent biologic substances known to science. Fetuses and
 infants are particularly at risk, as any disruption of endocrine systems
 can affect brain development. Last week a study was done that proved yet
 again Monsanto has been lying to the public. Monsanto has defiantly
 proclaimed all along that Roundup breaks down quickly and doesn't
 accumulate in the human body. Not so. Moms 

Re: [Biofuel] Autism Nation: America's Chemical Brain Drain

2014-05-05 Thread Keith Addison

LOL... you have a point there.  More like one of those aggressive flesh
eating bacteria.

Yes - probably special GMO'd aggressive flesh eating bacteria. :-)

On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 9:47 AM, Keith Addison 

 Hi Zeke

  Great... so the same chemicals that are killing the bees and the monarch

 butterflies  (and probably frogs and who knows what else) are also killing
 us.  And someone said that humans are intelligent life

 You think Monsanto is a human?



  On Sun, May 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM, Darryl McMahon



  [image and multiple links in on-line article]

  Autism Nation: America's Chemical Brain Drain

  Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:04 \
  By Dr Brian Moench, Truthout | News Analysis

  While autism rates in Europe have remained virtually flat for the last
  decade, in the US, they have risen from 1:10,000 in 1981 to 1:68 in
  Many studies point to the prevalence of toxins in our environment as the

  As flowers burst on the scene, blossoms unfold, and lawns awaken from
  winter's sleep, nature's spring rituals are joyful to watch.


  Unfortunately, many home owners, gardeners, landscapers, farmers and
  agencies launch an anti-nature spring ritual - mounting an arsenal of
  poisons to kill insects and weeds. This ritual comes at a tremendous

  Last month, leading scientists warned of a silent pandemic, citing
  strong evidence that children worldwide are being exposed to
  toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting
  behaviors, truncating future achievements and damaging societies. These
  brain toxins - heavy metals, fluoride, chemicals like PCBs, toluene,
  solvents, flame retardants, BPA, phalates and pesticides - are found in
  furniture you sit on, the clothing you wear, the air you breathe, the
  you eat and soil your kids play in.

  And this short list of chemicals and compounds is just the tip of a very
  large toxic iceberg.

  It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible
  the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California, said Irva
  Hertz-Picciotto, an epidemiology professor at University of California,

  In 1981, the autism (ASD) rate in the United States was 1:10,000. In
  it was 1:150. In 2009, it was 1:100. In 2012, it was 1:88. In 2014, it
  1:68. At this rate of increase, by 2025 it will be 1:2, or 50 percent.
  those of you tempted to think this is just greater awareness and
  of the criteria for diagnosis, the CDC says that since the 2012
 estimate of
  1 in 88 children identified with ASD, the criteria used to diagnose,


  and provide services have not changed, but the rate has increased
  30 percent.

  Meanwhile, autism rates in Europe have remained virtually flat for the
  last decade. Recent estimates in European countries range from 1 in
  in Germany to 1 in 700 in Portugal. So what are Americans doing to harm
  themselves and their children's brains that Europeans aren't, besides
  watching Fox News?

  No one knows for sure, but one thing to consider is the massive increase
  in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the concomitant upsurge in
  pesticide and herbicide use.

  David Vogel, professor at the Haas School of Business and in the
  Department of Political Science at the University of California,
  points out that between 1960 and 1990, American health, safety, and

   environmental regulations were more stringent, risk averse,

  and innovative than those adopted in Europe. Vogel's book, The Politics
  Precaution, explains that since around 1990, global regulatory
  has shifted to Europe.

  With many types of environmental risks, extreme conservative ideologues
  the US have brought regulatory protection of public health to a
  halt. America's failure to deal with the climate crisis is probably the
  most conspicuous casualty. But what is happening to the brains of our

   children may be just as important.

  In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan,
  and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant
  restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the
  US, federal agencies have approved the GMO/pesticide industrial
  system based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created
  them and profit from their sale.

  The best-selling herbicide in the world is glyphosate, originally
  and sold by Monsanto as Roundup. Glyphosate is a potent endocrine
  disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the production, release,
  transport, metabolism, or elimination of the body's natural hormones,
  are the most potent biologic

[Biofuel] Police State and Mounting Poverty in Britain: David Cameron's Concept of a Big Society is Continuing Jesus' work

2014-05-04 Thread Keith Addison

Police State and Mounting Poverty in Britain: David Cameron's Concept 
of a Big Society is Continuing Jesus' work

Prime Minister Finds God, Bans Bishops, Priests, the Poor - and Crutches

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, May 03, 2014

When Prime Minister David Cameron pulls a stunt, or indeed, announces 
a ground breaking new policy, it is pretty well guaranteed to back 
fire. Indeed, his coalition government policy U-turns are heading for 

Is he opportunistic, spineless - or a lethal combination of the two? 
In opposition, to prove his green credentials he headed for the 
Arctic for a photo-op with Huskies, leaping: aboard a Husky-powered 
sled to visit a remote Norwegian glacier to see first hand the 
effects of global warming. As the (UK) Telegraph put it at the time: 
Cameron turns blue to prove green credentials.(2)

In office, the environment is an inconvenience rather than a concern. 
Protected historic sites of natural beauty, ancient woodlands and 
sites of special scientific interest are to be sacrificed to 
quick-build homes in their thousands and a multi billion £ train line 
that cuts mere minutes off journeys hours long. Homes are needed, but 
the country is filled with sturdily built abandoned office blocks, 
warehouses, large homes, smaller ones, which could be restored, 
converted, refurbished and landscaped at a fraction of the cost, 
without destroying the irreplaceable.

Ironically, homes across the country are anyway at threat. Cameron 
has thrown the country open to fracking with the manic enthusiasm of 
an alcoholic given the run of a liquor warehouse. Never mind that 
there have already been a few earthquakes linked to fracking and that 
the scientific evidence of the massive dangers are ever mounting.

Public and scientific concerns are to be over-ridden to the extent 
that Cameron is to rule that fracking companies can drill on 
privately owned land and even under people's homes, with the land and 
home owners having no say. Huskies and green are a distant memory 
for the Prime Minister.

Last year Downing Street denied reports that David Cameron ordered 
aides to get rid of all the green crap in policies. Never believe 
anything until it has been officially denied, advised the late, 
great journalist, Claud Cockburn.

However, Husky stunts long forgotten, his new prop is God. And it is 
not going too well. Following an Easter reception for Christians at 
his Downing Street residence (3) he wrote an article in the Church 
Times (4) in which he argues that: Š faith Š compels us to get out 
there and make a difference to people's lives Š the Christian values 
(include) charity, compassion Š Christians Š are the driving force 
behind some of the most inspiring social-action projects in our 
country (playing) a fundamental role in our society. So being 
confident about our Christianity we should also be ambitious in 
supporting faith-based organizations to do even more.

Cameron urged:

Š  supporting local projects. I welcome the efforts of all those who 
help to feed, clothe Š the poorest in our society (inspiring) belief 
we can get out there and change people's lives Š to improve our 
society Š tackle poverty Š

He also welcomed: the debate with church leaders on the issues, 
especially in the desire: not to write anyone off and anticipated 
seeing: our churches as partners. If we pull together, we can change 
the world and make it a better place. The article was entitled: My 
Faith in the Church of England.

As ever with Cameron words and deeds are a parallel universe. In his 
rural Oxfordshire constituency, on the day the article was published, 
the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard and the Revd Keith 
Hebden were absolutely committed to helping feed, clothe, tackle 
poverty and making Britain, their part of the word, a better 
place. Indeed, Revd Hebden had fasted for the forty days and nights 
of Lent in solidarity with those who find themselves in the direst 
straights, often as the result of the Cameron led government's 
ferocious welfare cuts.

In context, the cuts are cited as being largely responsible for 
nearly a million people, including over 300,000 children, having been 
given charity emergency food in the last year, by one charity alone, 
the Trussel Trust.

Shockingly, at least 4.7 million people living in food poverty in the 
UK, roughly one in thirteen - yet London has the fifth largest city 
economy in the world, is the world's leading financial centre, 
regarded as a command centre for the global economy. (Economy of 
London, Wikipedia.)

The Trust cites the reason for people turning to food banks as the 
result of impoverishment by the welfare changes, with some recipients 
having had their only income completely severed. Ironically this by a 
Prime Minister and 

[Biofuel] What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis

2014-03-06 Thread Keith Addison

US and Russia fail to reach Ukraine deal on day of frantic diplomacy
John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov to resume talks on Thursday as pressure 
grows on EU to pass punitive measures against Moscow

No War, says Putin as US Threatens Sanctions over Ukraine
As US Secretary of State arrives in Kiev with 1 billion dollar loan 
package, Putin explains Russian intentions in Crimea

Published on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 by Common Dreams

The fascist danger in Ukraine
6 March 2014
A politically sinister propaganda offensive is underway in the media 
to either deny the involvement of fascists in the US-backed coup in 
Ukraine or present their role as a marginal and insignificant detail.

Leaked phone call suggests opposition snipers killed Maidan protesters
6 March 2014

Amid Ukraine crisis, US launches military escalation in Eastern Europe
6 March 2014


Published on Monday, March 3, 2014 by Consortium News

What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis

by Robert Parry

President Barack Obama has been trying, mostly in secret, to craft a 
new foreign policy that relies heavily on cooperation with Russian 
President Vladimir Putin to tamp down confrontations in hotspots such 
as Iran and Syria. But Obama's timidity about publicly explaining 
this strategy has left it open to attack from powerful elements of 
Official Washington, including well-placed neocons and people in his 
own administration.

The gravest threat to this Obama-Putin collaboration has now emerged 
in Ukraine, where a coalition of U.S. neocon operatives and neocon 
holdovers within the State Department fanned the flames of unrest in 
Ukraine, contributing to the violent overthrow of democratically 
elected President Viktor Yanukovych and now to a military 
intervention by Russian troops in the Crimea, a region in southern 
Ukraine that historically was part of Russia.

Though I'm told the Ukraine crisis caught Obama and Putin by 
surprise, the neocon determination to drive a wedge between the two 
leaders has been apparent for months, especially after Putin brokered 
a deal to head off U.S. military strikes against Syria last summer 
and helped get Iran to negotiate concessions on its nuclear program, 
both moves upsetting the neocons who had favored heightened 

Putin also is reported to have verbally dressed down Israel's Prime 
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Saudi intelligence chief Prince 
Bandar bin Sultan over what Putin considered their provocative 
actions regarding the Syrian civil war. So, by disrupting neocon 
plans and offending Netanyahu and Bandar, the Russian president found 
himself squarely in the crosshairs of some very powerful people.

If not for Putin, the neocons - along with Israel and Saudi Arabia - 
had hoped that Obama would launch military strikes on Syria and Iran 
that could open the door to more regime change across the Middle 
East, a dream at the center of neocon geopolitical strategy since the 
1990s. This neocon strategy took shape after the display of U.S. 
high-tech warfare against Iraq in 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet 
Union later that year. U.S. neocons began believing in a new paradigm 
of a uni-polar world where U.S. edicts were law.

The neocons felt this paradigm shift also meant that Israel would no 
longer need to put up with frustrating negotiations with the 
Palestinians. Rather than haggling over a two-state solution, U.S. 
neocons simply pressed for regime change in hostile Muslim 
countries that were assisting the Palestinians or Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Iraq was first on the neocon hit list, but next came Syria and Iran. 
The overriding idea was that once the regimes assisting the 
Palestinians and Hezbollah were removed or neutralized, then Israel 
could dictate peace terms to the Palestinians who would have no 
choice but to accept what was on the table.

U.S. neocons working on Netanyahu's campaign team in 1996, including 
Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, even formalized their bold new plan, 
which they outlined in a strategy paper, called A Clean Break: A New 
Strategy for Securing the Realm. The paper argued that only regime 
change in hostile Muslim countries could achieve the necessary 
clean break from the diplomatic standoffs that had followed 
inconclusive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In 1998, the neocon Project for the New American Century called for a 
U.S. invasion of Iraq, but President Bill Clinton refused to go 
along. The situation changed, however, when President George W. Bush 
took office and after the 9/11 attacks. Suddenly, the neocons had a 
Commander in Chief who agreed 

Re: [Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #125

2014-02-09 Thread Keith Addison

Hey, Dawie, howzit?

The problem here is, of course, not that industrial secrets are 
being stolen, but that industrial secrets are being kept in the 
first place. -D

Would you care to expand on that a little? Or even a lot? Not picking 
a squabble, I'd like to know how you see it. I didn't think it was an 
of course. Also, I've never managed to find anything I'd argue 
about with William Blum.




 From: Keith Addison
Sent: Saturday, 8 February 2014, 0:52
Subject: [Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #125

William Blum writes:

... So what do we have here? The NSA being used to steal industrial
secrets; nothing to do with fighting terrorism. And the NSA stealing
money and otherwise sabotaging unnamed financial systems, which may
also represent gaining industrial advantage for the United States.

Long-time readers of this report may have come to the realization
that I'm not an ecstatic admirer of US foreign policy. But this stuff
shocks even me. It's the gross pettiness of The World's Only
A careful search of the extensive Lexis-Nexis database failed to turn
up a single American mainstream media source, print or broadcast,
that mentioned this revelation. I found it only on those websites
which carried my report, plus three other sites: Techdirt, Lawfare,
and Crikey (First Digital Media). ...

The EU has been complaining about the US using its spy network to
steal industrial secrets for a long time.

The NSA and Britain's GCHQ started construction of the Echelon global
wide area network surveillance system in 1981, soon joined by
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. Europe was excluded.
Europe started complaining about industrial eavesdropping in the 80s.

British journalist Duncan Campbell has covered this story from the start:

Somebody's listening
Duncan Campbell
New Statesman August 1988

Interception Capabilities 2000 (report written for the EU)
Duncan Campbell

Up to now:

Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin'
Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out
Tuesday 05 November 2013

UPDATE: Germany calls in Britain's ambassador to demand explanation
over 'secret Berlin listening post'



Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

Re: [Biofuel] Injector pumps Jetta TDI

2014-02-09 Thread Keith Addison

Hi Ken

I have been mostly a lurker in this group but lost interest when it 
became a political group rather than a DIY on biofuel.

Well, that didn't happen. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but 
there's MUCH less politics (whatever that might be) now than there 
was when the group was at it's height, between 2001 and about 2009. I 
could easily prove that, but I'm sure there's no need. We said, quite 
a number of times, that politics is in the eye of the beholder, and 
it usually means stuff I don't agree with.

Never mind - what happened was that by 2009 the list had covered the 
ground as far as DIY biofuels is concerned. Good job, well done. What 
would it be about DIY biofuels that you won't find in the list 
or at the Journey to Forever website's Biofuels section, or, even 
better, in JtF's two books on biofuels, Make your own ethanol fuel 
( and The Biodiesel 
BIble (

Anyway, most of the the posts now are about biofuels or energy 
issues. (Thanks Darryl!)

I like the content of the posts but there is just too much to read. 
Anyhow I have a technical question. Previously I had read disputes 
about whether biodiesel or SVO could be used in a Jetta. I bought my 
Jetta with the expressed desire to use biofuel but it because 
difficult because most of the sources of vegetable oil dried up so I 
just wound up using regular diesel.

There are solutions to that.

Anyway recently my injector pump broke and needed to be replaced. My 
repair guy said that he could not find a used or reliable reman pump 
because the veggie crowd is buying them all up because they are 
ruining them and having to replace them too often. I would like to 
hear comments on this. Is there any truth to this.

No offence mesnt, but there are a couple of sad truths about SVO 
users, or many of them. First is that, though biodiesel is much 
better fuel, a very common reason for taking the SVO route instead of 
biodiesel is that people are afraid of titration. They often say it's 
all those dreadful poisonous chemicals they're afraid of, but usually 
it's because they don't want to learn titration (and as we know, the 
chemicals are perfectly safe when you know how). So they get an SVO 
kit (usually a half-assed kit), LOTS of filters, and use SVO - 
blithely unaware that you have to titrate the SVO anyway. If it 
titrates at more than 2.5 ml of 0.1% NaOH solution it's no good for 
SVO. This is spelled out loud and clear at the JtF SVO page 
( But they think 
filtering it will solve the problem. It won't. And hence, methinks, 
the run on ruined fuel pumps.

All best


After about a month my repair guy managed to find a used one in 
North Carolina.


Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #125

2014-02-07 Thread Keith Addison

William Blum writes:

... So what do we have here? The NSA being used to steal industrial 
secrets; nothing to do with fighting terrorism. And the NSA stealing 
money and otherwise sabotaging unnamed financial systems, which may 
also represent gaining industrial advantage for the United States.

Long-time readers of this report may have come to the realization 
that I'm not an ecstatic admirer of US foreign policy. But this stuff 
shocks even me. It's the gross pettiness of The World's Only 
A careful search of the extensive Lexis-Nexis database failed to turn 
up a single American mainstream media source, print or broadcast, 
that mentioned this revelation. I found it only on those websites 
which carried my report, plus three other sites: Techdirt, Lawfare, 
and Crikey (First Digital Media). ...

The EU has been complaining about the US using its spy network to 
steal industrial secrets for a long time.

The NSA and Britain's GCHQ started construction of the Echelon global 
wide area network surveillance system in 1981, soon joined by 
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. Europe was excluded. 
Europe started complaining about industrial eavesdropping in the 80s.

British journalist Duncan Campbell has covered this story from the start:

Somebody's listening
Duncan Campbell
New Statesman August 1988

Interception Capabilities 2000 (report written for the EU)
Duncan Campbell

Up to now:

Revealed: Britain's 'secret listening post in the heart of Berlin'
Claims that GCHQ has maintained spying operations even after US pulled out
Tuesday 05 November 2013

UPDATE: Germany calls in Britain's ambassador to demand explanation 
over 'secret Berlin listening post'


The Anti-Empire Report #125

By William Blum - Published February 4th, 2014

Bias in favor of the orthodox is frequently mistaken for 
'objectivity'. Departures from this ideological orthodoxy are 
themselves dismissed as ideological. - Michael Parenti

An exchange in January with Paul Farhi, Washington Post columnist, 
about coverage of US foreign policy:

Dear Mr. Farhi,

Now that you've done a study of al-Jazeera's political bias in 
supporting Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, is it perhaps now time for a study 
of the US mass media's bias on US foreign policy? And if you doubt 
the extent and depth of this bias, consider this:

There are more than 1,400 daily newspapers in the United States. Can 
you name a single paper, or a single TV network, that was 
unequivocally opposed to the American wars carried out against Libya, 
Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam? Or even 
opposed to any two of these wars? How about one? In 1968, six years 
into the Vietnam war, the Boston Globe surveyed the editorial 
positions of 39 leading US papers concerning the war and found that 
none advocated a pull-out.

Now, can you name an American daily newspaper or TV network that more 
or less gives any support to any US government ODE (Officially 
Designated Enemy)? Like Hugo Chávez of Venezuela or his successor, 
Nicolás Maduro; Fidel or Raúl Castro of Cuba; Bashar al-Assad of 
Syria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran; Rafael Correa of Ecuador; or Evo 
Morales of Bolivia? I mean that presents the ODE's point of view in a 
reasonably fair manner most of the time? Or any ODE of the recent 
past like Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, 
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, or Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti?

Who in the mainstream media supports Hamas of Gaza? Or Hezbollah of 
Lebanon? Who in the mainstream media is outspokenly critical of 
Israel's treatment of the Palestinians? And keeps his or her job?

Who in the mainstream media treats Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning 
as the heroes they are?

And this same mainstream media tell us that Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, 
et al. do not have a real opposition media.

The ideology of the American mainstream media is the belief that they 
don't have any ideology; that they are instead what they call 
objective. I submit that there is something more important in 
journalism than objectivity. It is capturing the essence, or the 
truth, if you will, with the proper context and history. This can, as 
well, serve as enlightenment.

It's been said that the political spectrum concerning US foreign 
policy in the America mainstream media runs the gamut from A to B.

[Biofuel] Fwd: Farming Matters - Family farming: a way of life

2014-01-09 Thread Keith Addison

Subject: Farming Matters - 29.4 - Family farming: a way of life
From: Farming Matters magazine
Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 18:32:24 +0100

If you are having trouble viewing this newsletter, click here for an 

Farming Matters - Family farming: a way of life

December 2013 | Vol. 29 no. 4

The United Nations declared 2014 as the International Year of Family 
Farming, recognising the multiple social, economic, environmental 
and cultural functions of family farmers. Many family farmers have 
proven to be innovative and resilient under the right 
socio-political framework and conditions - especially when supported 
by the right policies.

Using agro-ecological practices, family farmers can exert a large 
degree of autonomy and still be part of the global economy - working 
with, rather than against nature. They pool their labour and 
resources, and increase their yields. They organise themselves and 
make their voices heard. They build their own educational spaces 
where they learn from each other and teach others. Women play a key 
role in these strategies.

This issue of Farming Matters highlights inspiring experiences of 
strengthening family farming, while maintaining the values and 
knowledge that characterise this particular and resilient type of 

The mother of our breath

Palauan traditional farming shows how agriculture, family values and 
culture are interconnected. Facing challenges, family farmers 
selectively adopt and adapt new approaches while trying to maintain 
their values. To strengthen their voice and their position, the 
small-scale family farms of these islands are collectively standing 
up for their rights and calling for support to maintain important 
(agri)cultural customs. 

We are a political and economic force

In countries where big businesses receive favourable treatment, 
peasants, indigenous peoples and pastoralists fight for their 
survival. Deo Sumaj, one of the leaders of the Peasant Movement of 
Santiago del Estero Via Campesina in Argentina, talks about this 
struggle against threats such as land grabbing, and about ways the 
peasant movement builds food sovereignty. 

From conflicts to profitable alliances

In the North-West Region of Cameroon, conflicts have been increasing 
between sedentary family farmers and pastoral communities as 
pressure on the available land increases. Farmer-pastoralist 
alliances are helping to resolve the conflicts by transforming the 
relationships between these families. By engaging in dialogue, both 
groups can benefit from synergies between their different farming 


in Focus

[Biofuel] Conservative Donors Pump $1 Billion A Year Into Climate Denying Groups, Study Finds

2013-12-23 Thread Keith Addison

Conservative Donors Pump $1 Billion A Year Into Climate Denying 
Groups, Study Finds


Organizations that actively block efforts to address climate change 
are funded by a large network of conservative donors to the tune of 
nearly $1 billion a year, according to the first in-depth study into 
the dark money that fuels the denial effort.

The study, 
published Friday in the journal Climatic Change, analyzed the income 
of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups, and industry associations, funded 
by 140 different foundations, that work to oppose action on climate 
change. The study's author, Robert Brulle, refers to these 
organizations as the climate change counter-movement, and concludes 
that their outsized influence has not only played a major role in 
confounding public understanding of climate science, but also 
successfully delayed meaningful government policy actions to address 
the issue.

It is not just a couple of rogue individuals doing this, Brulle 
told the Guardian. This is a large-scale political effort.

From 2003 to 2010, the organizations had a total income of more than 
$7 billion, averaging out to over $900 million per year. Over the 
eight year span, their funding has increased by 13 percent and in 
2010, total funding for the organizations was nearly $1.2 billion. An 
important caveat, as Brulle notes, is that many of the organizations 
are multi-purpose, so not all of the income was devoted to 
anti-climate change initiatives.

Brulle defines the climate change counter-movement as the organized 
effort to prevent policies that will limit the carbon pollution 
emissions that drive man-made climate change. Their efforts cover a 
range of activities, from lobbying to political contributions to 
media campaigns that attempt to discredit the scientific consensus 
around global warming.

The 91 groups include trade associations, think tanks, and advocacy 
organizations. The vast majority of the groups - 78 percent - were 
registered as charitable organizations and enjoyed considerable tax 

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Heritage Foundation, 
two of the best-known conservative think tanks in the U.S., were also 
among the top recipients of funding. AEI received 16 percent of the 
total grants that were made to organizations active in the climate 
change counter-movement and Heritage was close behind, receiving 14 
percent of total grants.

The largest and most consistent funders of organizations leading the 
charge on climate change denial are a number of well-known 
conservative foundations, such as the Searle Freedom Trust, the John 
William Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation and the 
Sarah Scaife Foundation.

A key shift Brulle uncovered is that traditionally high-profile 
funders of climate denial, such as the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil, 
have moved away from publicly funding organizations that oppose 
action on climate change. The single-largest funders are the combined 
foundations Donors Trust/Donors Capital Fund, providing more than $78 
million in funding to the groups over the eight year span. These 
donor directed foundations make grants on behalf of an individual or 
corporation, thereby funding their preferred causes while keeping 
their identity a secret. As a result, writes Brulle, these two 
philanthropic organizations form a black box that conceals the 
identity of contributors to various CCCM organizations.

The Donor Trust/Capital giving increased dramatically over the period 
of time Brulle examined, from just 3.3 percent in 2003 to 23.7 
percent in 2010. At the same time, the funding from Koch Affiliated 
Foundations and ExxonMobil Foundation declined significantly, with 
Exxon effectively ending public funding of climate change 
counter-movement groups in 2007.

Just as it's impossible to know whether Koch Foundations and 
ExxonMobil are channeling their climate-denying funds through third 
party groups such as Donors Trust, most funding for denial efforts is 
untraceable. Despite extensive data compilation and analyses, only a 
fraction of the hundreds of millions in contributions to climate 
change denying organizations can be specifically accounted for from 
public records. According to Brulle, approximately 75 percent of the 
income of these organizations comes from unidentifiable sources.

Despite the significant amount of dark money being funneled into 
efforts that seek to obstruct action on climate change or misinform 
the public, Brulle concludes that sufficient evidence exists that a 
number of major conservative foundations have clearly played a 
crucial role in the development and maintenance of the [climate 
change counter-movement].

The result is not just an obfuscation of fact and 

[Biofuel] NSA Program Stopped No Terror Attacks, Says White House Panel Member

2013-12-23 Thread Keith Addison

NSA Program Stopped No Terror Attacks, Says White House Panel Member

By Michael Isikoff

December 20, 2013 Information Clearing House - NBC News - A member 
of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was 
absolutely surprised when he discovered the agency's lack of 
evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had 
thwarted any terrorist attacks.

It was, 'Huh, hello? What are we doing here?' said Geoffrey Stone, 
a University of Chicago law professor, in an interview with NBC News. 
The results were very thin.

While Stone said the mass collection of telephone call records was a 
logical program from the NSA's perspective, one question the White 
House panel was seeking to answer was whether it had actually stopped 
any [terror attacks] that might have been really big.

We found none, said Stone. 

Under the NSA program, first revealed by ex-contractor Edward 
Snowden, the agency collects in bulk the records of the time and 
duration of phone calls made by persons inside the United States.

Stone was one of five members of the White House review panel - and 
the only one without any intelligence community experience - that 
this week produced a sweeping report recommending that the NSA's 
collection of phone call records be terminated to protect Americans' 
privacy rights.

The panel made that recommendation after concluding that the program 
was not essential in preventing attacks.

That was stunning. That was the ballgame, said one congressional 
intelligence official, who asked not to be publicly identified. It 
flies in the face of everything that they have tossed at us.

Despite the panel's conclusions, Stone strongly  rejected the idea 
they justified Snowden's actions in leaking the NSA documents about 
the phone collection. Suppose someone decides we need gun control 
and they go out and kill 15  kids and  then a state enacts gun 
control? Stone said, using an analogy he acknowledged was somewhat 
inflammatory. What Snowden did, Stone said, was put the country at 

My emphatic view, he said, is that a person who has access to 
classified information -- the revelation of which could damage 
national security -- should never take it upon himself to reveal that 

Stone added, however, that he would not necessarily reject granting 
an  amnesty to Snowden in exchange for the return of all his 
documents, as was recently suggested by a top NSA official. It's a 
hostage situation, said Stone. Deciding whether to negotiate with 
him to get all his documents back was a pragmatic judgment. I see no 
principled reason not to do that.

The conclusions of the panel's reports were at direct odds with 
public statements by President Barack Obama and U.S. intelligence 
officials. Lives have been saved, Obama told reporters last June, 
referring to the bulk collection program and another program that 
intercepts communications overseas. We know of at least 50 threats 
that have been averted because of this information.

But in one little-noticed footnote in its report, the White House 
panel said the telephone records collection program - known as 
Section 215, based on the provision of the U.S. Patriot Act that 
provided the legal basis for it - had made only a modest 
contribution to the nation's security. The report said that there 
has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the 
outcome [of a terror investigation] would have been any different 
without the program.

The panel's findings echoed that of U.S. Judge Richard Leon, who in a 
ruling this week found the bulk collection program to be 
unconstitutional. Leon said that government officials were unable to 
cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA's bulk 
collection metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, 
or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was 
time-sensitive in nature. 

Stone declined to comment on the accuracy of public statements by 
U.S. intelligence officials about the telephone collection program, 
but said that when they referred to successes they seemed to be 
mixing the results of domestic metadata collection with the 
intelligence derived from the separate, and less controversial, NSA 
program, known as 702, to intercept communications overseas.

The comparison between 702 overseas interceptions and 215 bulk 
metadata collection was night and day, said Stone. With 702, the 
record is very impressive. It's no doubt the nation is safer and 
spared potential attacks because of 702. There was nothing like that 
for 215. We asked the question and they [the NSA] gave us the data. 
They were very straight about it.

He also said one reason the telephone records program is not 
effective is because, contrary to the claims of critics, it actually 
does not collect a record of every American's phone call. Although 
the NSA does collect metadata 

Re: [Biofuel] The great biofuels scandal - Telegraph

2013-12-18 Thread Keith Addison

Hi all

Bjorn Lomborg is, was, or used to be into various shades of global 
warming denial, depending, I think, on which way the wind's blowing. 
Recent big winds may have deepened his apparent shade of green. 
Professional contrarian, author of the infamous The Sceptical 
Environmentalist. He's a statistician, without environmental 
qualifications. At a promotional reading of his book in London in 
2001 he had a cream pie thrown in his face by none other than Mark 
Lynas - he who recently changed coats to become a supporter of 
nuclear power. Maybe they deserve each other. I don't think we 
deserve either of them.

More here:

All best


On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Bjørn Lomborg wrote:

 The costs of global climate policies is running at about $1billion every
 day. Wind turbines cost 10 times the estimated benefits in terms of
 emissions cuts, and solar panels cost close to 100 times the benefits. Yet,
 with spending on these technologies of about £136 billion annually, there
 are a lot of interests in keeping the tap open.

 But opposition to the rampant proliferation of biofuels also shows the way
 to a more rational climate policy. If we can stop the increase in biofuels
 we can save lives, save money, and start finding better ways to help. This
 is about investing in more productive agriculture that can feed more people
 more cheaply while freeing up space for wildlife.

It seems to give a fairly rational explanation of how bad mega-biofuels
are. then concludes with these two paragraphs which all of a sudden
attack wind turbines and solar panels without giving any data to back up
their fairly wild claims.  And gives a fairly vague sentence about more
production agriculture.   Does that mean urban farms, edible landscapes or
more intensive chemical use and GMO crops, or what I was pretty on
to agreeing with everything he said till the end, but now I kind of
question exactly where he's coming from and what his agenda is...

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] Plastic forest

2013-12-13 Thread Keith Addison

The Great Annual Christmas Tree Debate: Real vs. Artificial (aka Fake)

December 9, 2013

By Richard Kujawski, Managing Editor

Decorating for the holidays often involves a Christmas tree.  Each 
year, Americans buy about 30 million real trees and about 13 million 
fake ones.  However, since artificial trees are usually reused, the 
number of artificial trees actually strung up each year is about 50 

But which choice is greener-cutting down a living tree that 
sequesters carbon, or buying a plastic one from China that could last 
6 or more years but still end up in a landfill?  The right 
environmental choice may not be clear-cut.

Brief History of the Artificial Tree

The first artificial tree, according to some source, is the wooden 
tree-shaped pyramid with candles built by a church in Bethlehem, 
Pennsylvania in 1747.  But much more attention was paid to the 
feather trees first built in the 1880s in Germany, where 
deforestation encouraged an alternative to the traditional 
tannenbaum.  Feather trees were made of green-dyed goose feathers 
attached to wire branches around a thin wooden post that served as 
the tree trunk.  Candles and ornaments were also hung.

Then in 1930 the Addis Brush Company created an artificial Christmas 
tree made from the same animal-hair bristles used for their toilet 
brushes, but dyed green.  The bristle trees were less flammable and 
sturdier than feather trees.

Aluminum trees showed up around 1958 and were sold for about 20 
years.  Ironically, they were most popular in 1965, when A Charlie 
Brown Christmas aired for the first time.  The negative treatment of 
the tree and poor Charlie Brown changed the public's mind about their 
cool factor.

Today, most artificial trees are made of petroleum-based PVC, with 
carcinogens produced during production.  Fake trees may also contain 
lead that can be spread indoors.  If pre-decorated, they can't be 
recycled at the end of their lifecycle.

What the Trade Groups That Represent Christmas Trees Have to Say

Both trees have plusses and minuses in the eco-footprint department.  
And who better to talk about each tree's strength (and point out the 
shortcomings of the other) than their respective trade associations.

The National Christmas Tree Association ( 
represents the farms and growers of real tree.  The website doesn't 
say much about artificial trees except that Real Christmas Trees are 
not just fragrant and beautiful, they are also better for the 
environment than fake trees, inexpensive, safe, easy to care for, and 
an excellent choice for your family's traditional Christmas 

The White House Christmas Tree is real, as the site points out, and 
the nonprofit supports Trees for Troops, which will provides18,000 
free, farm-grown Christmas Trees to armed forces members and their 
families in the U.S. and overseas.  The selecting, caring for, and 
recycling of a real tree is explained on the site.

The American Christmas Tree Association 
( represents the interests of the 
artificial trees in this country-which have about an 85 percent 
chance of having been made in China.  Their site has lots of scare 
content about real trees catching fire, and making sure bugs aren't 
in that real tree you were just about to buy.  What is not mentioned 
is the fact that nearly all fake trees are made from harmful plastics 
that are non-recyclable.

(To find an artificial tree made in the USA, do an internet search 
for Artificial Christmas trees made in USA.

Pros and Cons

So which tree is naughty and which is nice?  Many experts point out 
that the carbon footprint and overall environmental impact is minimal 
compared to what's caused by our daily driving.  So you could do 
penance for a few days by biking or carpooling and then enjoy the 
rest of the holiday season.

Perhaps the real choice to make is:  Which will bring more enjoyment 
and happiness.  For some, the guilt of cutting down a tree drives 
them toward fake needles, which can also be more convenient.  For 
others, the thought of replacing natural with artificial is not their 
idea of a joyous noel.

However, for those ruled by their head and not their heart, here are 
some factoids gathered from various sources, including the New York 
Times, EarthTalk, and Earth911.

* Real trees are primarily grown on farms to minimize deforestation.  
These farms are often marginal for crops but work for trees, and 
preserve green spaces.  However, pesticides and chemicals are used to 
some amount.

* Real trees generate oxygen and absorb carbon from the air while 
alive.  Artificial trees create factory pollution.

* Real trees are often recycled into mulch.  They also leave a mess 
of needles, and require regular watering-especially if you want to 
minimize needle 

[Biofuel] Journal Retracts Independent Study Linking Monsanto GMO Corn to Cancer in Rats

2013-12-11 Thread Keith Addison

Argentine Protesters vs Monsanto: The Monster Is Right on Top of Us
Monday, 09 December 2013 13:41
By Fabiana Frayssinet, Inter Press Service | Report


In Depth: Journal Retracts Independent Study Linking Monsanto GMO 
Corn to Cancer in Rats

Monday, 09 December 2013 13:19

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

Last September, an alarming study rocketed through media and 
unleashed a storm of controversy. French researchers appeared to have 
uncovered a link between a Monsanto genetically engineered corn 
variety and cancer in lab rats. Now, more than a year later, a 
respected American scientific journal has taken a black eye and 
retracted the study, reigniting a global debate that raises serious 
questions about the media's coverage of biotechnology research and 
the deep divisions between industry-backed researchers and 
independent scientists. 

The two-year study, conducted by a team lead by French biotech critic 
Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, found that groups of 
lab rats fed a lifetime diet of either Monsanto's NK603 corn (NK603 
is treated with Roundup herbicide) or exposed to varying levels of 
Roundup herbicide in drinking water died earlier and had higher rates 
of tumors and organ damage than controls. NK603 is a genetically 
modified organism, or GMO, that is bioengineered to tolerate Roundup.

On November 28, the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology 
officially retracted the study, effectively removing Séralini's 
findings from the realm of accepted science. In a statement, chief 
editor, A. Wallace Hayes, echoed critiques from scientists around the 
world who pointed out that Séralini did not experiment on enough rats 
to support his explosive cancer claims, and the Sprague Dawley lab 
rats used in the study are prone to developing tumors if allowed to 
live long enough.

Independent scientists, however, say the Sprague Dawley breed is an 
industry standard for toxicity research, and while the Séralini study 
is not perfect, there is no legitimate reason to remove it from 
scientific debate. Séralini and his team refused an offer from Hayes 
to voluntarily retract the study and continue to publically defend 
their findings.

Inconclusive, But Not Incorrect 

Hayes said that he found no evidence of fraud or intentional 
misrepresentation of the data, but after reviewing Séralini's raw 
data, determined the results were not incorrect, but 
inconclusive, and therefore not suitable for publication.

Séralini's supporters were quick to point out that Hayes' journal is 
a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics and guidelines issued 
by the committee state that editors should only consider retracting a 
study if there is evidence of plagiarism, unethical research, or 
unreliable findings based on misconduct or honest error. Simply being 
inconclusive does not make the cut.

You don't get papers retracted for this, said Michael Hansen, a 
biotechnology analyst for Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer 
Reports. Hansen added that plenty of published scientific studies are 
inconclusive, and the retraction borders on scientific censorship. 

Here's where the Séralini Affair gets tricky. The French team never 
definitively concluded that Monsanto products caused bulging tumors 
in the rats; his team simply reported the high tumor rates along with 
its analysis of kidney and organ damage. The project was a long-term 
toxicity study model of a 90-day Monsanto safety study, which also 
used Sprague Dawley rats, not a carcinogenicity study, which would 
have required a larger number of lab rats. In response to heaping 
criticism, Séralini's team members said they had simply pointed out 
the alarming tumor data and called for further research on the safety 
of GMO corn.

While ANSES, the French food safety authority, joined other European 
food regulators and scientific academies in dismissing the study, the 
French officials also called attention to the originality and 
agreed that more research should be done on the long-term health 
effects of consuming GMO crops and the pesticides associated with 
them. The European Commission has also considered funding a long-term 
feeding study on Monsanto corn.

Séralini did hype the cancer findings in the media while 
simultaneously releasing a book on his GMO research. The study was 
initially released to journalists under a heavily criticized embargo 
and included grotesque images of rats with giant tumors. The breaking 
news generated alarming headlines around the world, setting off a 
general panic among politicians and regulators in several countries 
where GMOs are unpopular. France launched an investigation into the 
findings, and Russia declared a temporary ban on NK603 while food 

[Biofuel] Skyrocketing energy prices increase Britain's winter death rate

2013-12-11 Thread Keith Addison

Skyrocketing energy prices increase Britain's winter death rate

By Zach Reed

10 December 2013

An estimated 31,100 excess deaths occurred in Britain last winter 
according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS)-a rise of almost 
a third.

Excess winter deaths are the number of additional deaths occurring 
between December and March in comparison with the rest of the year. 
March 2013 was the coldest recorded since 1962, with an average 
monthly temperature of 2.6°C (36.7°F)

Most of the deaths, some 25,600, were of people over 75 years of age 
and largely the result of cold-related illnesses affecting the heart 
and respiratory systems.

The ONS figures show that there has been a tendency for excess winter 
deaths to increase since 2005, reversing a statistical decline over 
the previous 60 years.

Studies have shown that excess winter deaths are primarily the result 
of social and housing conditions. Both England and Wales witness a 
higher winter death rate compared to other European countries where 
weather conditions are much more severe.

A report by the World Health Organisation estimated that a third of 
excess winter deaths are due to people living in poorly heated homes. 
The skyrocketing cost of gas and electricity has been a big 
contributory factor.

Government guidance in Britain advises living rooms should be heated 
to at least 21°C (70°F) and bedrooms to 18°C (64°F). It warns that 
sustained lower temperatures cause physiological effects on the body 
that drastically increase the chance of death in people who are 
physically at risk.

Research has found that lower indoor temperatures cause increased 
blood pressure, thickening of the blood leading to clots 
(thrombosis), and increased risk of respiratory infections and flu 
due to lowering the body's immunity system, which can lead to more 
serious health issues such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Most telling 
of all, research has linked lower indoor temperatures to increased 
cardiovascular disease, which accounts for almost half of all excess 
winter deaths.

The number of people becoming ill due to cold homes has also led to 
increased pressure on hospitals and contributed to the crisis that 
has engulfed the Accident and Emergency service. The Herald reported 
that hospital wards were so short of beds to treat patients that 
hundreds were forced to wait 12 hours for one to become available, 
further raising the chance of death.

The ONS report does not probe the link between cold homes and excess 
winter deaths. Over the last few years, there has been an 
ever-increasing rate of fuel poverty in Britain-from just under 1.5 
million people in 2003 to 6 million today. It is expected that in the 
next three years, this will increase by another 3 million.

There is every reason to believe that this is a gross underestimation 
of the real situation. A recent survey by the Trussell Trust found 
that 37 percent of British families are forced to choose between 
eating or heating during the winter period.

At the same time, the energy industry regulator Ofgem reported that 
the Big Six energy suppliers saw their profits rise by 75 percent 
last year after raising prices by almost 20 percent. Prices have 
increased tenfold in the last four years.

The situation is compounded by the huge number of houses that lack 
adequate insulation and efficient heating. Ed Matthew of the Energy 
Bill Revolution organisation points out that in Germany 250,000 homes 
were insulated in just one year, whereas in the UK only 219 homes had 
been insulated through the government's Green Deal, despite 
collecting £1.5 billion a year from carbon taxes.

Calling the deaths unnecessary, preventable and a damning 
indictment of our failure to address the scandal of cold homes in 
this country, Age UK's charity director, Caroline Abrahams, blamed 
the deaths on poor insulation and high energy costs. She added that 
those living in the coldest homes are three times more likely to die 
a preventable death than those living in warmers ones.

The only sustainable solution to the scourge of fuel poverty and 
escalating energy prices is a major overhaul of our poorly insulated 
housing, to ensure that cold homes are a thing of the past. In 21st 
Century Britain, older people's lives should not be at the mercy of 
the weather, Abrahams concluded.

Abrahams's pleas will fall on deaf ears. They are diametrically 
opposed to the programme being carried out by the 
Conservative/Liberal-Democrat coalition. The dire situation facing an 
ever-increasing proportion of society is the direct outcome of the 
attacks on wages, jobs and welfare while the privatised energy sector 
is given a free hand to extort millions for private profit.

This situation is set to worsen. The government is clearing the way 
for the energy giants to increase their profits further by cutting 
Green levies on power companies and 

[Biofuel] Seymour Hersh exposes US government lies on Syrian sarin attack

2013-12-11 Thread Keith Addison
Seymour Hersh: Obama Cherry-Picked Intelligence on Syrian Chemical 
Attack to Justify US Strike

Monday, 09 December 2013 12:30
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Video Interview

New Yorker, Washington Post Passed On Seymour Hersh Syria Report
By Michael Calderone
December 09, 2013


Seymour Hersh exposes US government lies on Syrian sarin attack

10 December 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has 
published an article demonstrating that the US government and 
President Barack Obama knowingly lied when they claimed that the 
Syrian government had carried out a sarin gas attack on 
insurgent-held areas last August.

Hersh's detailed account, based on information provided by current 
and former US intelligence and military officials, was published 
Sunday in the London Review of Books. The article, entitled Whose 
sarin?, exposes as a calculated fraud the propaganda churned out day 
after day by the administration and uncritically repeated by the 
media for a period of several weeks to provide a pretext for a 
military attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The article also reveals sharp differences within the state apparatus 
over the launching of an air war that one high-level special 
operations adviser said would have been like providing close air 
support for [Al Qaeda-affiliated] al-Nusra.

In the end, internal differences over the launching of direct 
military action, compounded by massive popular opposition to another 
unprovoked war in the Middle East, led the administration to pull 
back and accept a Russian plan for the dismantling of Syrian chemical 
weapons. This was followed by the opening of talks with Syria's main 
ally in the region, Iran.

Hersh's account of systematic manipulation of intelligence aimed at 
dragging the American people into yet another war based on lies 
underscores the fact that Obama's retreat in Syria by no means 
signaled a turn away from militarism. Rather, it reflected a 
provisional change in tactics in relation to US hegemonic aims in the 
oil-rich Middle East, and a decision to focus more diplomatic and 
military resources on Washington's drive to isolate and contain what 
it considers more critical antagonists: Russia and, above all, China.

Barack Obama, Hersh writes, did not tell the whole story this 
autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was 
responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 
August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in 
others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed 
to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that 
the Syrian army is not the only party in the country's civil war with 
access to sarin, the nerve gas that a UN study concluded-without 
assessing responsibility-had been used in the rocket attack.

In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies 
produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a 
formal Operations Order-a planning document that precedes a ground 
invasion-citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group 
affiliated with Al Qaeda, had mastered the mechanics of creating 
sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.

When the attack occurred, al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but 
the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike 
against Assad.

Hersh cites Obama's nationally televised speech on September 10 in 
which he categorically asserted, We know the Assad regime was 
responsible for a sarin gas attack on Eastern Ghouta that reportedly 
killed hundreds of people. In that speech, Obama claimed that US 
intelligence had tracked Syrian government preparations for the 
attack for several days before it occurred.

As Hersh documents, citing his intelligence and military sources (who 
are not named for obvious reasons), the US government had no advance 
warning of the sarin attack. Instead, it used intelligence on a 
previous Syrian nerve gas dry run to concoct a scenario and present 
it as real-time intelligence of the August 21 attack.

Hersh cites one of his sources as comparing this falsification of 
intelligence with the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which the 
Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security 
Agency intercepts to justify the launching of bomb attacks on North 

Perhaps even more damning than the cherry-picking and falsification 
of intelligence was the decision to ignore and conceal a series of 
intelligence reports the previous spring and summer that had 
concluded the Western-backed and jihadi-dominated rebels had the 
capability to acquire and use sarin. These included CIA 

[Biofuel] The Hijacking of Mandela's Legacy

2013-12-11 Thread Keith Addison

If Nelson Mandela Really Had Won, He Wouldn't Be Seen as a Universal Hero
Mandela must have died a bitter man. To honor his legacy, we should 
focus on the unfulfilled promises his leadership gave rise to
Published on Monday, December 9, 2013 by The Guardian

Mandela: Hero Thwarted
Posted on Dec 8, 2013
By Alexander Reed Kelly


The Hijacking of Mandela's Legacy

By Pepe Escobar

December 09, 2013 Information Clearing House -  Beware of strangers 
bearing gifts. The gift is the ongoing, frantic canonization of 
Nelson Mandela. The strangers are the 0.0001 percent, that fraction 
of the global elite that's really in control (media naturally 

It's a Tower of Babel of tributes piled up in layer upon layer of 
hypocrisy - from the US to Israel and from France to Britain.

What must absolutely be buried under the tower is that the apartheid 
regime in South Africa was sponsored and avidly defended by the West 
until, literally, it was about to crumble under the weight of its own 
contradictions. The only thing that had really mattered was South 
Africa's capitalist economy and immense resources, and the role of 
Pretoria in fighting communism. Apartheid was, at best, a nuisance.

Mandela is being allowed sainthood by the 0.0001% because he extended 
a hand to the white oppressor who kept him in jail for 27 years. And 
because he accepted - in the name of national reconciliation - that 
no apartheid killers would be tried, unlike the Nazis.

Among the cataracts of emotional tributes and the crass marketization 
of the icon, there's barely a peep in Western corporate media about 
Mandela's firm refusal to ditch armed struggle against apartheid (if 
he had done so, he would not have been jailed for 27 years); his 
gratitude towards Fidel Castro's Cuba - which always supported the 
people of Angola, Namibia and South Africa fighting apartheid; and 
his perennial support for the liberation struggle in Palestine.

Young generations, especially, must be made aware that during the 
Cold War, any organization fighting for the freedom of the oppressed 
in the developing world was dubbed terrorist; that was the Cold War 
version of the war on terror. Only at the end of the 20th century 
was the fight against apartheid accepted as a supreme moral cause; 
and Mandela, of course, rightfully became the universal face of the 

It's easy to forget that conservative messiah Ronald Reagan - who 
enthusiastically hailed the precursors of al-Qaeda as freedom 
fighters - fiercely opposed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act 
because, what else, the African National Congress (ANC) was 
considered a terrorist organization (on top of Washington branding 
the ANC as communists).

The same applied to a then-Republican Congressman from Wyoming who 
later would turn into a Darth Vader replicant, Dick Cheney. As for 
Israel, it even offered one of its nuclear weapons to the Afrikaners 
in Pretoria - presumably to wipe assorted African commies off the map.

In his notorious 1990 visit to the US, now as a free man, Mandela 
duly praised Fidel, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Col. Gaddafi as 
his comrades in arms: There is no reason whatsoever why we should 
have any hesitation about hailing their commitment to human rights. 
Washington/Wall Street was livid.

And this was Mandela's take, in early 2003, on the by then inevitable 
invasion of Iraq and the wider war on terror; If there is a country 
that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the 
United States of America. No wonder he was kept on the US government 
terrorist list until as late as 2008.

From terrorism to sainthood

In the early 1960s - when, by the way, the US itself was practicing 
apartheid in the South - it would be hard to predict to what extent 
Madiba (his clan name), the dandy lawyer and lover of boxing with 
an authoritarian character streak, would adopt Gandhi's non-violence 
strategy to end up forging an exceptional destiny graphically 
embodying the political will to transform society. Yet the seeds of 
Invictus were already there.

The fascinating complexity of Mandela is that he was essentially a 
democratic socialist. Certainly not a capitalist. And not a pacifist 
either; on the contrary, he would accept violence as a means to an 
end. In his books and countless speeches, he always admitted his 
flaws. His soul must be smirking now at all the adulation.

Arguably, without Mandela, Barack Obama would never have reached the 
White House; he admitted on the record that his first political act 
was at an anti-apartheid demonstration. But let's make it clear: Mr. 
Obama, you're no Nelson Mandela.

To summarize an extremely complex process, in the death throes of 
apartheid, the regime was mired in massive corruption, hardcore 

[Biofuel] Shooting the Messenger

2013-12-11 Thread Keith Addison

Chickens Coming Home To Roost
By Charles P. Pierce at 10:15am

The Guardian Falls Under the Shadow of McCarthyism
The persecution of the UK newspaper over the NSA espionage case shows 
how the Cameron administration has moved away from moderation

By Walter Oppenheimer
December 09, 2013


Shooting the Messenger

Posted on Dec 8, 2013

By Chris Hedges

There is a deeply misguided attempt to sacrifice Julian Assange, 
WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond on the altar of the 
security and surveillance state to justify the leaks made by Edward 
Snowden. It is argued that Snowden, in exposing the National Security 
Agency's global spying operation, judiciously and carefully leaked 
his information through the media, whereas WikiLeaks, Assange, 
Manning and Hammond provided troves of raw material to the public 
with no editing and little redaction and assessment. Thus, Snowden is 
somehow legitimate while WikiLeaks, Assange, Manning and Hammond are 

I have never understood it, said Michael Ratner, who is the U.S. 
lawyer for WikiLeaks and Assange and who I spoke with Saturday in New 
York City. Why is Snowden looked at by some as the white hat while 
Manning, Hammond, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as black hats? One 
explanation is that much of the mainstream media has tried to pin a 
dumping charge on the latter group, as if somehow giving the public 
and journalists open access to the raw documents is irresponsible and 
not journalism. It sounds to me like the so-called Fourth Estate 
protecting its jobs and 'legitimacy.' There is a need for both. All 
of us should see the raw documents. We also need journalists to write 
about them. Raw documents open to the world give journalists in other 
countries the chance to examine them in their own context and write 
from their perspectives. We are still seeing many stories based on 
the WikiLeaks documents. We should not have it any other way. Perhaps 
another factor may be that Snowden's revelations concern the 
surveillance of us. The WikiLeaks/Assange/Manning disclosures tell us 
more about our war crimes against others. And many Americans do not 
seem to care about that.

The charge that the WikiLeaks dump was somehow more damaging to the 
security and surveillance state because it was unedited, however, is 
false. Snowden's revelations to the journalist Glenn Greenwald, which 
are ongoing, have been far more devastating to the security apparatus 
than the material provided by Manning. Among the four larger data 
sets released by Manning-collectively 735,614 documents-only 223 
documents were charged against the Army private first class under 
reason to believe such information could be used to the injury of 
the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, as 
stated in the Espionage Act. Specifically there were 116 diplomatic 
cables, 102 Army field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, and five 
Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, as the journalist Alexa 
O'Brien has reported.

As O'Brien points out, many of the individual documents that resulted 
in charges have not been identified and those that have been are 
turning out to be very, very benign. For example, the government 
prosecuted the soldier, then known as Bradley Manning, for three 
detainee assessment briefs from Guantanamo Bay that were nothing more 
than profiles of the Tipton 3, British citizens who were held for 
years without trial or charges before finally being released. The 
information Manning made public was not top secret. There was much in 
the WikiLeaks release that was already public or unclassified. All 
the leaked material had been widely circulated to at least half a 
million military and government officials as well as private 
contractors. It had no serious impact on U.S. operations at home or 
abroad. Even then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in a letter to 
the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, admitted that a 
Department of Defense review of the leaked Manning documents had not 
revealed any sensitive intelligence source and methods. But what the 
leaks did do was expose the deep cynicism of U.S. policy, especially 
in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the plethora of government lies about 
what was happening under U.S. occupation. The WikiLeaks material 
documented several important war crimes that the government had 
covered up. Manning wrote, correctly, in a letter last October to The 
Guardian newspaper:  ... [T]he public cannot decide what actions and 
policies are or are not justified if they don't even know the most 
rudimentary details about them and their effects.

Manning, whose material was published by WikiLeaks as the Iraq War 
Logs and the Afghan War Diary, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 

[Biofuel] Report: One in Four 'Activists' May be Corporate Spies

2013-12-07 Thread Keith Addison

Report: One in Four 'Activists' May be Corporate Spies

By Nafeez Ahmed,

December 2nd, 2013

How corporations and spy agencies use security to defend 
profiteering and crush activism

A stunning new report compiles extensive evidence showing how some of 
the world's largest corporations have partnered with private 
intelligence firms and government intelligence agencies to spy on 
activist and nonprofit groups. Environmental activism is a prominent 
though not exclusive focus of these activities.

The report by the Center for Corporate Policy (CCP) in Washington DC 
titled Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage against Nonprofit 
Organizations draws on a wide range of public record evidence, 
including lawsuits and journalistic investigations. It paints a 
disturbing picture of a global corporate espionage programme that is 
out of control, with possibly as much as one in four activists being 
private spies.

The report argues that a key precondition for corporate espionage is 
that the nonprofit in question:

Š impairs or at least threatens a company's assets or image sufficiently.

One of the groups that has been targeted the most, and by a range of 
different corporations, is Greenpeace. In the 1990s, Greenpeace was 
tracked by private security firm Beckett Brown International (BBI) on 
behalf of the world's largest chlorine producer, Dow Chemical, due to 
the environmental organisation's campaigning against the use of 
chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics. The spying included:

Š pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant 
undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone 
records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings.

Other Greenpeace offices in France and Europe were hacked and spied 
on by French private intelligence firms at the behest of Électricité 
de France, the world's largest operator of nuclear power plants, 85% 
owned by the French government.

Oil companies Shell and BP had also reportedly hired Hackluyt, a 
private investigative firm with close links to MI6, to infiltrate 
Greenpeace by planting an agent who posed as a left -wing 
sympathiser and film maker. His mission was to betray plans of 
Greenpeace's activities against oil giants, including gathering 
information about the movements of the motor vessel Greenpeace in 
the north Atlantic.

The CCP report notes that:

A diverse array of nonprofits have been targeted by espionage, 
including environmental, anti-war, public interest, consumer, food 
safety, pesticide reform, nursing home reform, gun control, social 
justice, animal rights and arms control groups.

Many of the world's largest corporations and their trade associations 
- including the US Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank of 
America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, 
McDonald's, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown  Williamson and E.ON - have 
been linked to espionage or planned espionage against nonprofit 
organizations, activists and whistleblowers.

Exploring other examples of this activity, the report notes that in 
Ecuador, after a lawsuit against Texaco triggering a $9.5 billion 
fine for spilling 350 million gallons of oil around Lago Agrio, the 
private investigations firm Kroll tried to hire journalist Mary 
Cuddehe as a corporate spy for Chevron, to undermine studies of the 
environmental health effects of the spill.

Referring to the work of US investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, 
the report points out that the notorious defence contractor 
Blackwater, later renamed XE Services and now Academi, had sought to 
become the intel arm of Monsanto, the agricultural and 
biotechnology corporation associated with genetically modified foods. 
Blackwater was paid to provide operatives to infiltrate activist 
groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.

In another case, the UK's Camp for Climate Action, which supports the 
decommissioning of coal-fired plants, was infiltrated by private 
security firm Vericola on behalf of three energy companies, E.ON, 
Scottish Power, and Scottish Resources Group.

Reviewing emails released by Wikileaks from the Texas-based private 
intelligence firm Stratfor, the report shows how the firm reportedly 
conducted espionage against human rights, animal rights and 
environmental groups, on behalf of companies such as Coca-Cola. In 
one case, the emails suggest that Stratfor investigated People for 
the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) at Coca-Cola's request, and 
had access to a classified FBI investigation on PETA.

The report uncovers compelling evidence that much corporate espionage 
is facilitated by government agencies, particularly the FBI. The CCP 
report examines a September 2010 document from the Office of the 
Inspector General in the US Justice Department, which reviewed FBI 
investigations between 2001 and 2006. 

[Biofuel] John Pilger: Apartheid Did Not Die

2013-12-07 Thread Keith Addison
John Pilger: Apartheid Did Not Die
Apartheid Did Not Die is a 1998 Carlton Television documentary, 
written and presented by John Pilger, which was directed and produced 
by Alan Lowery, which provides analysis of South Africa's then new, 
democratic government.

Posted December 07, 2013

A Dissenting Opinion on Nelson
By Jonathan Cook
December 07, 2013

Mandela Will Never, Ever be Your Minstrel
By Musa Okwonga
December 07, 2013

The real Mandela: Don't let his legacy be abused
By John Wight
December 07, 2013

US government considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist until 2008
By Robert Windrem, Investigative Producer, NBC News

Nelson Mandela funeral: George W. Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton to 
attend Mandela memorial


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[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #123

2013-12-04 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #123

By William Blum - Published December 3rd, 2013

- If nature were a bank, they would have already rescued it. - 
Eduardo Galeano

What do you think of this as an argument to use when speaking to 
those who don't accept the idea that extreme weather phenomena are 

Well, we can proceed in one of two ways:

* We can do our best to limit the greenhouse effect by curtailing 
greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) 
into the atmosphere, and if it turns out that these emissions were 
not in fact the cause of all the extreme weather phenomena, then 
we've wasted a lot of time, effort and money (although other benefits 
to the ecosystem would still accrue).

* We can do nothing at all to curtail the emission of greenhouse 
gases into the atmosphere, and if it turns out that these emissions 
were in fact the cause of all the extreme weather phenomena (not 
simply extreme, but getting downright freaky), then we've lost the 
earth and life as we know it.

So, are you a gambler?

Whatever we do on a purely personal level to try and curtail 
greenhouse gas emissions cannot of course compare to what 
corporations could do; but it's inevitable that the process will 
impinge upon the bottom line of one corporation or another, who can 
be relied upon to put optimization of profit before societal good; 
corporate personhood before human personhood. This is a barrier 
faced by any environmentalist or social movement, and is the reason 
why I don't subscribe to the frequently-voiced idea that Left vs. 
Right is an obsolete concept; that we're all together in a common 
movement against corporate and government abuse regardless of where 
we fall on the ideological spectrum.

It's only the Left that maintains as a bedrock principle: People 
before Profit, which can serve as a very concise definition of 
socialism, an ideology anathema to the Right and libertarians, who 
fervently believe, against all evidence, in the rationality of a free 
market. I personally favor the idea of a centralized, planned economy.

Holy Lenin, Batman! This guy's a Damn Commie!

Is it the terminology that bothers you? Because Americans are raised 
to be dedicated anti-communists and anti-socialists, and to equate a 
planned economy with the worst excesses of Stalinism? Okay, forget 
the scary labels; let's describe it as people sitting down and 
discussing what the most serious problems facing society are; and 
which institutions and forces in the society have the best access, 
experience, and resources to offer a solution to those problems. So, 
the idea is to enable these institutions and forces to deal with the 
problems in a highly organized and efficient manner. All this is 
usually called planning, and if the organization of it all 
generally stems from the government it can be called centralized. 
The alternative to this is called either anarchy or free enterprise.

I don't place much weight on the idea of libertarian socialism. 
That to me is an oxymoron. The key questions to be considered are: 
Who will make the decisions on a daily basis to run the society? For 
whose benefit will those decisions be made? It's easy to speak of 
economic democracy that comes from the people, and is locally 
controlled, not by the government. But is every town and village 
going to manufacture automobiles, trains and airplanes? Will every 
city of any size have an airport? Will each one oversee its own food 
and drug inspections? Maintain all the roads passing through? Protect 
the environment within the city boundary only? Such questions are 
obviously without limit. I'm just suggesting that we shouldn't have 
stars in our eyes about local control or be paranoid about central 

- We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference 
between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause. - 
William James (1842-1910)

So, George W. Bush is now a painter. He tells his art teacher that 
there's a Rembrandt trapped inside this body. 1 Ah, so Georgie is 
more than just a painter. He's an artiste.

And we all know that artistes are very special people. They're never 
to be confused with mass murderers, war criminals, merciless 
torturers or inveterate liars. Neither are they ever to be accused of 
dullness of wit or incoherence of thought.

Artistes are not the only special people. Devout people are also 
special: Josef Stalin studied for the priesthood. Osama bin Laden 
prayed five times a day.

And animal lovers: Herman Goering, while his Luftwaffe rained death 
upon Europe, kept a sign in his office that read: He who tortures 
animals wounds the feelings of the German people. Adolf Hitler was 
also an animal lover and had long periods of being a vegetarian and 
anti-smoking. Charles Manson was a staunch anti-vivisectionist.

And cultured people: This fact Elie Wiesel called the greatest 
discovery of the war: that Adolf 

[Biofuel] Syria conflict: Children 'targeted by snipers'

2013-11-26 Thread Keith Addison

Unspeakable Horrors in a Country on the Verge of Genocide
Militias in the Central African Republic are slitting children's 
throats, razing villages and throwing young men to the crocodiles. 
What needs to happen before the world intervenes?

By David Smith Bossangoa
November 23, 2013

Number of child soldiers in CAR has nearly doubled since March: UN
By Jonathan Fowler (AFP) - 22 November 2013


24 November 2013

Syria conflict: Children 'targeted by snipers'

More than 11,000 children have died in Syria's civil war in nearly 
three years, including hundreds targeted by snipers, a new report 

Summary executions and torture have also been used against children 
as young as one, the London-based Oxford Research Group think tank 

The report says the majority of children have been killed by bombs or 
shells in their own neighbourhoods.

It wants fighters trained in how not to put civilians' lives at risk.

Their report, Stolen Futures - the Hidden Toll of Child Casualties in 
Syria, examines data from the start of the conflict in March 2011 to 
August 2013.

Of the 11,420 victims aged 17 and under, 389 were killed by sniper fire.

Some 764 were summarily executed, and more than 100 - including 
infants - were tortured, the report says.

Boys outnumbered girls among the dead by around two to one. Boys aged 
13 to 17 were most likely to be victims of targeted killings, the 
report says.

The highest number of child deaths occurred in the governorate of 
Aleppo, where 2,223 were reported killed.

Report co-author Hana Salama said that the way children are being 
killed is disturbing.

Bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day 
activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school.

Shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily 
executed, even gassed and tortured, she said.The data was provided 
by Syrian civil society groups recording casualties.

The report only considers the deaths of named victims, and only cases 
where the cause of death could be identified.

But it stresses the figures are incomplete as access is impossible in 
some areas.

The figures should be treated with caution and considered 
provisional: briefly put, it is too soon to say whether they are too 
high or too low, the report says.

The conflict in Syria has had a catastrophic effect on children in 
Syria, the report says, and calls for all sides to refrain from 
targeting civilians and buildings such as schools, hospitals and 
places of worship.

Amongst its recommendations, the Oxford Research Group also calls for 
access and protection for journalists and others contributing to the 
recording of casualties.

More than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict.

More than two million Syrians have fled the country; around half of 
those are believed to be children.


Lyse Doucet

Chief international correspondent

This report is the first major examination of how children are being 
killed in Syria. It confirms what has long been regarded as one of 
the most disturbing aspects of this brutal conflict.

Syrian children are not just being caught in crossfire. They're 
being deliberately targeted, and even tortured. The very start of 
this uprising is usually traced to the arrest in March 2011 of 
schoolboys in Daraa who were reportedly tortured for painting 
anti-government graffiti.

Nearly three years on, this report urges all sides in this conflict 
to spare the children, and calls for the threat of prosecution 
against those who commit the most egregious of atrocities.

Casualties are only one part of what this report calls the war's 
catastrophic effect on children. With so many schools and 
neighbourhoods in ruin, and children making up half of the refugees, 
Syria's conflict is also a war on childhood.

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[Biofuel] Robert Fisk: He may huff and puff but Benjamin Netanyahu is on his own now as nuclear agreement isolates Israel

2013-11-26 Thread Keith Addison

Robert Fisk: He may huff and puff but Benjamin Netanyahu is on his 
own now as nuclear agreement isolates Israel

Sudden offer by Tehran to negotiate a high-speed end to this 
cancerous threat of further war was thus greeted with almost manic 

By Robert Fisk

November 25, 2013 Information Clearing House - The Independent -  
It marks a victory for the Shia in their growing conflict with the 
Sunni Muslim Middle East. It gives substantial hope to Bashar 
al-Assad that he will be left in power in Syria. It isolates Israel. 
And it infuriates Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait and other Sunni 
Gulf States which secretly hoped that a breakdown of the Geneva 
nuclear talks would humiliate Shia Iran and support their efforts to 
depose Assad, Iran's only ally in the Arab world.

In the cruel politics of the Middle East, the partial nuclear 
agreement between Iran and the world's six most important powers 
proves that the West will not go to war with Iran and has no 
intention - far into the future - of undertaking military action in 
the region. We already guessed that when - after branding Assad as 
yet another Middle Eastern Hitler - the US, Britain and France 
declined to assault Syria and bring down the regime. American and 
British people - those who had to pay the price for these monumental 
adventures, because political leaders no longer lead their men into 
battle - had no stomach for another Iraq or another Afghanistan.

Iran's sudden offer to negotiate a high-speed end to this cancerous 
threat of further war was thus greeted with almost manic excitement 
by the US and the EU, along with theatrical enthusiasm by the man who 
realises that his own country has been further empowered in the 
Middle East: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. Assad's 
continued tenure in Damascus is assured. Peace in our time. Be sure 
we'll be hearing that Chamberlonian boast uttered in irony by the 
Israelis in the weeks to come.

But there's no doubt that Geneva has called Israeli Prime Minister 
Netanyahu's bluff. He may huff and puff, but if he wants to bash Iran 
now - on the basis that Israel must remain the only nuclear nation in 
the Middle East - he's going to be on his own when his planes take 
off to bomb Iran's nuclear plants. The Aipac attack dogs can be sent 
up to Congress again by that most infamous of Israeli-American lobby 
groups to harry Republicans in support of the Likudist cause, but to 
what purpose? Did Mr Netanyahu really think the Iranians were going 
to dismantle their whole nuclear boondoggle?

When he said yesterday that the most dangerous regime in the world 
took a significant step towards obtaining the world's most dangerous 
weapon, many Arabs - and an awful lot of other people in the world, 
including the West - will have wondered whether Israel, which long 
ago obtained the world's most dangerous weapon, is now - in rejecting 
the Geneva deal - the world's most dangerous government. If Mr 
Netanyahu and his clique in the government decide to twit the world's 
major powers amid their euphoria, he may bring about - as several 
Israeli writers have warned - the most profound change in Israel's 
relations with the US since the foundation of the Israeli state. It 
would not be a change for Israel's benefit.

But six months - the time it takes to solidify this most tangential 
of nuclear agreements - is a long time. In the coming days, 
Republicans in Washington and the right-wing enemies of President 
Rouhani will demand to know the real details of this febrile game at 
Geneva. The Americans insist that Iran does not have the right to 
enrichment. Iran insists that it does. The percentages of enrichment 
will have to be examined far more carefully than they were yesterday.

Mr Rouhani - or Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader whose dark 
wings hover over every elected Iranian leader - says that the fear of 
an Iranian nuclear weapon will be seen by future generations as a 
historical joke. Netanyahu says the whole shenanigans in Geneva 
will prove to be a historic mistake. The Sunni Saudis, always 
waiting to spot the winner before opening their mouths, have already 
sat down with their Sunni Qatari and Kuwaiti allies to commiserate 
with each other over Shia Iran's new victory. In Damascus, I suspect, 
Bashar, himself an Alawite-Shia, will tuck the kids into bed and 
share a glass with wife Asma and sleep well in his bed tonight.

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[Biofuel] How Factory Farms Are Pumping Americans Full of Deadly Bacteria and Pathogens

2013-11-24 Thread Keith Addison

By Kathy Freston

How Factory Farms Are Pumping Americans Full of Deadly Bacteria and Pathogens

January 12, 2010  |  

We're getting sicker and sicker, thanks to gruesome conditions in 
animal agriculture nationwide.

After reading [3], by Dr. Michael Greger, I was 
stunned to realize the extent to which we have endangered our health 
by allowing factory farms to flourish and produce 99 percent of the 
meat, dairy and eggs we eat. Not only are dangerous flu viruses 
mutating because of these concentrated animal feeding operations 
(CAFOs), but we are also being exposed to some other very serious 
bacteria and pathogens. Things have gotten out of hand in our food 
production, especially in the livestock sector.

In Part I of my interview [4] with Dr. Greger, he explained the 
growing potential of deadly flu viruses. In Part 2 of the interview, 
we discuss E. coli, salmonella and other worrisome pathogens.

Kathy Freston: Where does E. coli come from and how does it get into 
food? Why is it often found on vegetables?

Michael Greger: E. coli is an intestinal pathogen. It only gets in 
the food if fecal matter gets in the food. Since plants don't have 
intestines, all E. coli infections-in fact all food poisoning-comes 
from animals. When's the last time you heard of a person getting 
Dutch elm disease or a really bad case of aphids? People don't get 
plant diseases; they get animal diseases. The problem is that because 
of the number of animals raised today, a billion tons of manure are 
produced every year in the United States-the weight of 10,000 
Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Dairy cow and pig factories often 
dump millions of gallons of putrefying waste into massive open-air 
cesspits, which can leak and contaminate water used to irrigate our 
crops. That's how a deadly fecal pathogen like E. coli O157:H7 [5] 
can end up contaminating our spinach. So regardless of what we eat, 
we all need to fight against the expansion of factory farming in our 
communities, our nation and around the world.

KF: What percentage of the population gets hit by the bacteria? How 
many of them die? Could that number increase?

MG: While E. coli O157:H7 remains the leading cause of acute kidney 
failure in U.S. children, fewer than 100,000 Americans get infected 
every year, and fewer than 100 die. But millions get infected with 
other types of E. coli that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) 
that can invade the bloodstream and cause an estimated 36,000 deaths 
annually in the United States.

KF: We only occasionally hear of the very few fatal E. coli cases; is 
it really a widespread problem?

MG: When medical researchers at the University of Minnesota took more 
than 1,000 food samples from multiple retail markets, they found 
evidence [6] of fecal contamination in 69 percent of the pork and 
beef and 92 percent of the poultry samples. Nine out of 10 chicken 
carcasses in the store may be contaminated with fecal matter. And 
half of the poultry samples were contaminated with the UTI-causing E. 
coli bacteria.

Scientists now suspect that by eating chicken, women infect their 
lower intestinal tract with these meat-borne bacteria, which can then 
creep up into their bladders. Hygiene measures to prevent UTIs have 
traditionally included wiping from front to back after bowel 
movements and urinating after intercourse to flush out any invaders, 
but now women can add poultry avoidance as a way to help prevent 
urinary tract infections.

KF: Are there any long-term problems for people who ingest E. coli 
and have a bad day or two with diarrhea, or is the problem over once 
out of the system?

MG: Last month the Center for Foodborne Illness Research  Prevention 
released a report [7] on the long-term consequences of common causes 
of food poisoning. Life-long complications of E. coli O157:H7 
infection include end-stage kidney disease, permanent brain damage 
and insulin-dependent diabetes.

KF: Is E. coli a problem if the meat is cooked?

MG: With the exception of prions, the infectious agents responsible 
for mad cow disease and the human equivalent-which can survive even 
incineration at temperatures hot enough to melt lead-all viral, 
fungal and bacterial pathogens in our food supply can be killed by 
proper cooking. Why then do tens of millions of Americans come down 
with food poisoning every year? Cross-contamination is thought to 
account for the bulk of infections. For example, chicken carcasses 
are so covered in bacteria that researchers at the University of 
Arizona found [6] more fecal bacteria in the kitchen-on sponges and 
dish towels, and in the sink drain-than they found swabbing the 
toilet. In a meat-eater's house it may be safer to lick the rim of 
the toilet seat than the kitchen countertop, because people aren't 
preparing chickens in their toilets. 

[Biofuel] Why TEPCO is Risking the Removal of Fukushima Fuel Rods. The Dangers of Uncontrolled Global Nuclear Radiation

2013-11-24 Thread Keith Addison

Why TEPCO is Risking the Removal of Fukushima Fuel Rods. The Dangers 
of Uncontrolled Global Nuclear Radiation

By Yoichi Shimatsu

Global Research, November 24, 2013

After repeated delays since the summer of 2011, the Tokyo Electric 
Power Company has launched a high-risk operation to empty the 
spent-fuel pool atop Reactor 4 at the Dai-ichi (No.1) Fukushima 
Nuclear Power Plant.

The urgency attached to this particular site, as compared with 
reactors damaged in meltdowns, arises from several factors:

- over 400 tons of nuclear material in the pool could reignite

- the fire-damaged tank is tilting badly and may topple over sooner than later

- collapse of the structure could trigger a chain reaction and 
nuclear blast, and

- consequent radioactive releases would heavily contaminate much of the world.

The potential for disaster at the Unit 4 SFP is probably of a higher 
magnitude than suspected due to the presence of fresh fuel rods, 
which were delivered during the technical upgrade of Reactor 4 under 
completion at the time of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 
The details of that reactor overhaul by GE and Hitachi have yet to be 
disclosed by TEPCO and the Economy Ministry and continue to be 
treated as a national-security matter. Here, the few clues from 
whistleblowers will be pieced together to decipher the nature of the 
clandestine activity at Fukushima No.1.

Accidents happen

The delicate rod-removal procedure requires the lowering of a steel 
cylinder, called a transfer cask, into a corner of the pool and then 
using the crane to lift the 300-kilogram fuel assemblies 
(4.5-meter-tall bundle of fuel rods held inside a metal cage) one at 
a time from the vertical array of rods up and then down into the 
cask. The container can hold 22 assemblies for transfer to a 
temporary cooling unit built next to Reactor 4 before these are moved 
to a storage building.(1)

Lifting the 1,533 fuel bundles out of the pool is fraught with 
danger. If an assembly breaks away and falls, the impact could 
shatter other rods below, triggering an uncontrolled nuclear 
reaction. Compounding the threat, many rods are not intact but were 
fragmented into loose shards by a collapsing crane. In addition, many 
of the rods likely lost their protective cladding during the two 
fires that engulfed the spent-fuel pool on March 14 and 15, 2011.

The urgency of this transfer operation is prompted by the warping of 
the supporting steel frame by the twin fires that followed the March 
11 quake. The pool is also tilting. If the unbalanced structure 
topples, the collapse would trigger nuclear reactions. A cascade of 
neutrons could then ignite the nearby common fuel pool for Reactors 1 
through 6. The common pool contains 6,735 used assemblies.(2)

The Reactor 4 spent fuel pool contains an estimated 400 tons of 
uranium and plutonium oxide, compared with just 6.2 kilograms of 
plutonium inside Fat Man, the hydrogen bomb that obliterated Nagasaki 
in 1945.  (While predictions are bandied about by experts and 
bloggers, there exists no reliable method for calculating the 
potential sum or flow rate of radiation releases, measured in 
becquerel or sievert units, after an accident. The tonnage involved, 
however, indicates only that a large-scale event is likely and a 
cataclysm cannot be ruled out.)

More than 1,700 tons of nuclear materials are reported to be on site 
inside Fukushima No.1 plant. (My investigative visits into the 
exclusion zone indicate the existence of undocumented and illegal 
large-scale storage sites in the Fukushima nuclear complex of 
undetermined tonnage.)  By comparison Chernobyl 's reactors contained 
180 tons of fuel not all of which melted down.

Despite the looming threat to residents in Fukushima, surrounding 
provinces and the capital Tokyo, the office of Prime Minister Shinzo 
Abe along with TEPCO hews to the tradition of risk denial and 
blackout of vital information. No contingency plan has been issued to 
Fukushima residents or to the municipalities of the Tohoku and Kanto 
region in event of a nuclear disaster during the SFP clearance 
effort. A concurrent drive to impose a draconian law against 
whistleblowers on grounds of national security is reinforcing the 
cover-up of data and testimony related to nuclear power plants, 
including the Fukushima complex.

Mystery of MOX super-fuel

A Mainichi Shimbun editorial mentions in passing that the Reactor 4 
pool contains 202 fresh fuel assemblies.(3) The presence of new fuel 
rods was confirmed in the TEPCO press release, which described the 
first assembly lifted into the transfer cask as an un-irradiated 
fuel rod. Why were new rods being stored inside a spent-fuel pool, 
which is designed to hold expended rods? What threat of criticality 
do these fresh rods pose if the steel 

[Biofuel] Is a Global Green Revolution Coming?

2013-11-19 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Monday, November 18, 2013 by

Is a Global Green Revolution Coming?

Is an international energy revolution on the march?

by Michael T. Klare

A week after the most powerful super typhoon ever recorded pummeled 
the Philippines, killing thousands in a single province, and three 
weeks after the northern Chinese city of Harbin suffered a 
devastating airpocalypse, suffocating the city with coal-plant 
pollution, government leaders beware!  Although individual events 
like these cannot be attributed with absolute certainty to increased 
fossil fuel use and climate change, they are the type of disasters 
that, scientists tell us, will become a pervasive part of life on a 
planet being transformed by the massive consumption of carbon-based 
fuels.  If, as is now the case, governments across the planet back an 
extension of the carbon age and ever increasing reliance on 
unconventional fossil fuels like tar sands and shale gas, we should 
all expect trouble.  In fact, we should expect mass upheavals leading 
to a green energy revolution.

None of us can predict the future, but when it comes to a mass 
rebellion against the perpetrators of global destruction, we can see 
a glimmer of the coming upheaval in events of the present moment.  
Take a look and you will see that the assorted environmental protests 
that have long bedeviled politicians are gaining in strength and 
support.  With an awareness of climate change growing and as 
intensifying floods, fires, droughts, and storms become an 
inescapable feature of daily life across the planet, more people are 
joining environmental groups and engaging in increasingly bold 
protest actions.  Sooner or later, government leaders are likely to 
face multiple eruptions of mass public anger and may, in the end, be 
forced to make radical adjustments in energy policy or risk being 
swept aside.

In fact, it is possible to imagine such a green energy revolution 
erupting in one part of the world and spreading like wildfire to 
others.  Because climate change is going to inflict increasingly 
severe harm on human populations, the impulse to rebel is only likely 
to gain in strength across the planet.  While circumstances may vary, 
the ultimate goal of these uprisings will be to terminate the reign 
of fossil fuels while emphasizing investment in and reliance upon 
renewable forms of energy.  And a success in any one location is 
bound to invite imitation in others.

A wave of serial eruptions of this sort would not be without 
precedent.  In the early years of twentieth-first century, for 
example, one government after another in disparate parts of the 
former Soviet Union was swept away in what were called the color 
revolutions -- populist upheavals against old-style authoritarian 
regimes.  These included the Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003), the 
Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004), and the Pink or Tulip 
Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005).  In 2011, a similar wave of 
protests erupted in North Africa, culminating in what we call the 
Arab Spring.

Like these earlier upheavals, a green revolution is unlikely to 
arise from a highly structured political campaign with clearly 
identified leaders.   In all likelihood, it will erupt spontaneously, 
after a cascade of climate-change induced disasters provokes an 
outpouring of public fury.  Once ignited, however, it will 
undoubtedly ratchet up the pressure for governments to seek 
broad-ranging, systemic transformations of their energy and climate 
policies.  In this sense, any such upheaval -- whatever form it takes 
-- will prove revolutionary by seeking policy shifts of such 
magnitude as to challenge the survival of incumbent governments or 
force them to enact measures with transformative implications. 

Foreshadowings of such a process can already be found around the 
globe.  Take the mass environmental protests that erupted in Turkey 
this June.  Though sparked by a far smaller concern than planetary 
devastation via climate change, for a time they actually posed a 
significant threat to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his 
governing party.  Although his forces eventually succeeded in 
crushing the protests -- leaving four dead, 8,000 injured, and 11 
blinded by tear-gas canisters -- his reputation as a moderate 
Islamist was badly damaged by the episode.

Like so many surprising upheavals on this planet, the Turkish 
uprising had the most modest of beginnings: on May 27th, a handful of 
environmental activists blocked bulldozers sent by the government to 
level Gezi Park, a tiny oasis of greenery in the heart of Istanbul, 
and prepare the way for the construction of an upscale mall.  The 
government responded to this small-scale, non-violent action by 
sending in riot police and clearing the area, a move that enraged 
many Turks and prompted tens of thousands of them to occupy nearby 
Taksim Square.  This move, in turn, led 

[Biofuel] UN Climate Chief Slammed for Pushing Coal as Solution in Poland

2013-11-19 Thread Keith Addison

'Who Rules the World? Fossil Fuel Industry or the People?'
Global coal conference targeted by climate activists in Warsaw
Published on Monday, November 18, 2013 by Common Dreams


Published on Monday, November 18, 2013 by Common Dreams

UN Climate Chief Slammed for Pushing Coal as Solution in Poland

Once again campaigners are forced to remind world leaders: There is 
no such thing as clean coal

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Speaking before an assembly of lobbyists and corporate heads at a 
global coal industry conference in Warsaw, Poland Monday, United 
Nations Climate Chief Christiana Figueres has spurred the ire of 
environmentalists as she characterized the leading greenhouse gas 
emitters as possible leaders in a clean energy future. 

The coal industry has the opportunity to be part of the worldwide 
climate solution, Figueres said in her keynote address before the 
summit of the World Coal Association.

Complimenting the knowledge and experience of the gathered coal 
executives as an asset to be utilized in the effort to keep global 
warming beneath the two degree Celsius limit agreed to by the 
international community, Figueres vowed that her position was not a 
call for the immediate disappearance of coal.

Figueres' address defied the request of green groups who asked that 
she boycott the summit. As Sophie Yeo of reports, climate 
campaigners have repeatedly said the presence of the coal groups is a 
provocation and a distraction from the COP19 UN climate conference 
that is also being held in Warsaw this week.

During the address, Figueres recommended a set of fundamental 
parameters for what she described as green transition for coal. 
Her recommendations included closing all existing subcritical 
plants and implementing safe Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) 
technology on all new plants, which environmental groups have been 
long-critical of.

In a turn that environmentalists such as spokesperson Jamie 
Henn heralded as a step in the right direction, during the speech 
Figueres also called upon the coal industry to leave most existing 
reserves of coal in the ground.

The good news about the speech is that if you read it closely, it 
basically spells the end of coal, Henn told Common Dreams in an 
emailed statement. The Secretary told the industry to shutdown dirty 
plants and keep coal in the ground. The bad news is she softened the 
blow with fantasies about carbon capture and so-called 'clean coal.' 

Henn added that her presence at the coal summit legitimized what he 
called an industry greenwashing extravaganza in an unnecessary 

Following the speech, John Gummer, chair of the UK government's 
climate advisers and former UK environment minister, tweeted:

And outside the summit, protesters donned face masks of Figueres' 
image and held banners reading, There is no such thing as clean 
coal. They also carried a pair of large, inflatable lungs to 
highlight the huge health impacts and costs to climate.

The conference is a desperate attempt by the coal industry to 
greenwash their industry, writes's Hoda Baraka, who took 
part in the action along with representatives from groups including 
the Polish Youth Climate Network, CEE Bank Watch, Corporate Europe 
Observatory, Klima Allianz,, Tools For Action, and the 
#Cough4Coal Initiative.

Our movement's demand is clear: an immediate phase out of all coal 
technologies and a shift of investments towards energy technologies 
that respect peoples' health, the climate and environment, Baraka 
continued. Dirty fuel sources like coal have no place in a 21st 
century clean energy economy; this reality can no longer be ignored.

The protest was part of a day of action in Warsaw which began with 
Greenpeace dropping a banner which read, Who rules the world? Fossil 
Industry or the People? on the Polish Ministry of Economy building 
where the coal industry summit is being held.

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[Biofuel] TEPCO risks all at Fukushima

2013-11-19 Thread Keith Addison

Fukushima operators begin risky nuclear fuel rod removal
Published time: November 18, 2013


TEPCO risks all at Fukushima

By Victor Kotsev
Nov 18, '13

On Monday, by far the most dangerous nuclear operation attempted in 
human history was set to begin in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi 
power plant in Japan, the removal of more than 1,300 spent fuel rods 
and some 200 unused rods from a reservoir on top of Unit 4.

While the undertaking is necessary, the worst-case scenario would 
pale in comparison the triple meltdowns of 2011 and necessitate the 
evacuation of the capital Tokyo.

Experts are unanimous that the engineering challenges are on a scale 
unseen to date, given that the fuel pool was damaged in a fire caused 
by a cooling failure and a subsequent explosion during the meltdowns. 
If the fuel rods, some of which may be damaged, come too close to 
each other, there is a chance that the nuclear chain reaction would 
resume, which would be catastrophic in the presence of so much 
fissile material, as well as extremely difficult to stop.

If, on the other hand, a fuel rod breaks or is exposed to air and 
ignites, this would release into the atmosphere a massive amount of 
radiation, likely necessitating the evacuation of the plant. The 
total amount of radiation present in the pool is estimated at 14,000 
times that released by the atomic bomb dropped at Hiroshima, or about 
the same as in the combined cores of the three reactors that melted 

[F]ull release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any 
containment or control, could cause by far the most serious 
radiological disaster to date, states The World Nuclear Industry 
Status Report 2013, compiled by two independent nuclear energy 
consultants. [1]

In several recent interviews with different media, Arnie Gundersen, a 
former nuclear industry executive and chief engineer of the 
Fairewinds Energy Education non-profit, cautioned that there was no 
system to stop a nuclear chain reaction, if one should occur, at the 
pool, and recommended that the operators throw all sorts of boron 
into the water (boron captures neutrons and slows down chain 
reactions) before they start pulling the rods out.

I ran a division that built fuel racks, and these high density fuel 
racks like they have at Fuksuhima are very close to going critical 
anyway. ... Normally its 0.95, and it can get as high as 0.99; that 
means there's a 1% margin before a self-sustaining chain reaction can 
occur. [2]

Gundersen said in a separate interview with Radio Ecoshock, 
expressing his opinion that the Japanese government rather than Tokyo 
Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the plant's operator, should take 
charge of the operation: I suspect come November-December-January we 
are going to hear that the building has been evacuated, they broke a 
fuel rod, the fuel rod is off-gassing, we have to wait a couple of 
days and then go back in. [3]

But even the most vocal critics of TEPCO's and Japan's response to 
the crisis so far acknowledge that the fuel has to be removed because 
the danger of doing nothing far outweighs the dangers of doing 
something wrong.

If there is another earthquake and building four collapses ... I am 
going to evacuate my family from Boston, Dr Helen Caldicott, an 
influential Australian anti-nuclear advocate, said during a recent 

While the other exploded buildings hold less nuclear material than 
Unit 4, moreover, the challenge of removing molten and spent fuel 
from them is far greater. At least some of the reactor cores are 
believed to have melted through the containment vessels, and possibly 
into the ground, contaminating groundwater with unprecedented levels 
of hot particles.

Some of the buildings are off limits to workers due to the deadly 
levels of radiation inside, and TEPCO does not even plan to start 
working there until a few years to a decade from now. Engineers say 
the present undertaking will be a learning experience and a practice 
test for that work.

The effort to secure and decontaminate the site has run into numerous 
snags recently, with critics claiming mismanagement (a story about 
how the Japanese mafia runs many of the low-paid workers at the plant 
recently made headlines [4]) and attempts to cover-up the real 
severity of the situation. Over the summer, it emerged that the 
Pacific Ocean was being continuously contaminated with highly 
radioactive groundwater and that some of the hundreds of make-shift 
water tanks on site were leaking.

Workers are pumping out some 400 tons of water a day from the reactor 
basements and the ground nearby, to a total of almost 500,000 tons at 
present stored at the plant, while another 300 tons a day are running 
into the ocean. The three molten cores require constant cooling with 
water, most of which escapes the breached reactor vessels. To 

[Biofuel] Guardian Editor Discusses Snowden Leaks and a Security State Run Amok

2013-11-19 Thread Keith Addison

Guardian Editor Discusses Snowden Leaks and a Security State Run Amok

Posted on Nov 17, 2013

Alan Rusbridger, the editor of Britain's Guardian newspaper, has an 
in the new issue of The New York Review of Books that stands out as a 
reasoned explanation of the role The Guardian has played in bringing 
Edward Snowden's revelations to light, and why the full-throttle 
pursuit of data by governmental security apparatuses is an affront to 
individual freedoms.


The Snowden Leaks and the Public

Alan Rusbridger
November 21, 2013 Issue

It is harder than you might think to destroy an Apple MacBook Pro 
according to British government standards. In a perfect world the 
officials who want to destroy such machines prefer them to be dropped 
into a kind of giant food mixer that reduces them to dust. Lacking 
such equipment, The Guardian purchased a power drill and angle 
grinder on July 20 this year and-under the watchful eyes of two state 
observers-ripped them into obsolescence.

It was hot, dusty work in the basement of The Guardian that Saturday, 
a date that surely merits some sort of footnote in any history of 
how, in modern democracies, governments tangle with the press. The 
British state had decreed that there had been enough debate around 
the material leaked in late May by the former NSA contractor Edward 
Snowden. If The Guardian refused to hand back or destroy the 
documents, I, as editor of The Guardian, could expect either an 
injunction or a visit by the police-it was never quite spelled out 
which. The state, in any event, was threatening prior restraint of 
reporting and discussion by the press, no matter its public interest 
or importance. This was par for the course in eighteenth-century 
Britain, less so now.

In our discussions with government officials before July 20 we had 
tried to impress on them that, apart from being wrong in principle, 
this attempt at gagging a news organization was fruitless. There 
were, we told them, further copies of the Snowden material in other 
countries. We explained that The Guardian was collaborating with news 
organizations in America. Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first 
dealt with Snowden, lived in Rio. The filmmaker Laura Poitras, who 
had also been in contact with the former NSA analyst, had more 
material in Berlin. What did they imagine they were achieving by 
smashing up a few hard drives in London?

The government men said they were painfully aware that other copies 
existed, but their instructions were to close down the Guardian 
operation in London by destroying the computers containing 
information from Snowden. At some level I suspect our interlocutors 
realized that the game had changed. The technology that so excites 
the spooks-that gives them an all-seeing eye into billions of 
lives-is also technology that is virtually impossible to control or 
contain. But old habits die hard-hence the appeal of using the courts 
to stop publication. Both the 1917 US Espionage Act and the 1911 
British Official Secrets Act-each with roots in wartime sedition and 
spy fever-cast a long shadow.

America has its own difficulties with journalists and their sources. 
But it is, nevertheless, a kinder environment for anyone trying to 
inform the sort of public debate regarding security and privacy that, 
post-Snowden at least, everyone seems to agree is desirable. The main 
advantage in the US is that it is, I hope, unthinkable that the 
American government would try to prevent publication in advance. A 
written constitution, the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court 
judgment in the Pentagon Papers case in 1971 have all played their 
part in establishing protections that are lacking in the UK. Jill 
Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, is not going to be 
buying drills and angle grinders anytime soon.

And so the reporting goes on, much of it edited out of New York, as 
before, by our US editor, Janine Gibson. What's gradually being 
revealed is that in the last ten or so years the US and UK 
governments, working in close collaboration, have been seeking to put 
entire populations under some form of surveillance. The apparent aim 
is to be able to collect and store all the signals all the 
time-that means all digital life, including Internet searches and 
all the phone calls, texts, and e-mails we make and send each other.

Some of it is data, some of it is so-called metadata-information 
about who sent a communication to whom, from where to where, not 
about specific contents. But as Stewart Baker, the former general 
counsel of the NSA, said in a recent discussion in New York, these 
are tricky 

[Biofuel] Feeding the Flame of Revolt

2013-11-19 Thread Keith Addison

Jailed Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond: 'My days of hacking are done'
Hammond calls his 10-year sentence a 'vengeful, spiteful act' by US 
authorities eager to put a chill on political hacking

Ed Pilkington in New York, Friday 15 November 2013


Feeding the Flame of Revolt

Posted on Nov 17, 2013

By Chris Hedges

NEW YORK-I was in federal court here Friday for the sentencing of 
Jeremy Hammond to 10 years in prison for hacking into the computers 
of a private security firm that works on behalf of the government, 
including the Department of Homeland Security, and corporations such 
as Dow Chemical. In 2011 Hammond, now 28, released to the website 
WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone and other publications some 3 million 
emails from the Texas-based company Strategic Forecasting Inc., or 

The sentence was one of the longest in U.S. history for hacking and 
the maximum the judge could impose under a plea agreement in the 
case. It was wildly disproportionate to the crime-an act of 
nonviolent civil disobedience that championed the public good by 
exposing abuses of power by the government and a security firm. But 
the excessive sentence was the point. The corporate state, rapidly 
losing credibility and legitimacy, is lashing out like a wounded 
animal. It is frightened. It feels the heat from a rising flame of 
revolt. It is especially afraid of those such as Hammond who have the 
technical skills to break down electronic walls and expose the 
corrupt workings of power.

People have a right to know what governments and corporations are 
doing behind closed doors, Hammond told me when we met in the 
Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan about a week and a half 
before his sentencing.

I did not hope for justice from the court. Judge Loretta A. Preska is 
a member of the right-wing Federalist Society. And the hack into 
Stratfor gave the email address and disclosed the password of an 
account used for business by Preska's husband, Thomas Kavaler, a 
partner at the law firm Cahill Gordon  Reindel. Some emails of the 
firm's corporate clients, including Merrill Lynch, also were exposed. 
The National Lawyers Guild, because the judge's husband was a victim 
of the hack, filed a recusal motion that Preska, as chief judge of 
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, was 
able to deny. Her refusal to recuse herself allowed her to oversee a 
trial in which she had a huge conflict of interest.

The judge, who herself once was employed at Cahill Gordon  Reindel, 
fulminated from the bench about Hammond's total lack of respect for 
the law. She read a laundry list of his arrests for acts of civil 
disobedience. She damned what she called his unrepentant 
recidivism. She said: These are not the actions of Martin Luther 
King, Nelson Mandela Š or even Daniel Ellsberg; there's nothing 
high-minded or public-spirited about causing mayhem-an odd analogy 
given that Mandela founded the armed wing of the African National 
Congress, was considered by South Africa's apartheid government and 
the United States government to be a terrorist and was vilified, 
along with King and Ellsberg, by the U.S. government. She said there 
was a desperate need to promote respect for the law and a need for 
adequate public deterrence. She read from transcripts of Hammond's 
conversations in Anonymous chat rooms in which he described the goal 
of hacking into Stratfor as destroying the target, hoping for 
bankruptcy, collapse and called for maximum mayhem. She admonished 
him for releasing the unlisted phone number of a retired Arizona 
police official who allegedly received threatening phone calls 

The judge imposed equally harsh measures that will take effect after 
Hammond's release from prison. She ordered that he be placed under 
three years of supervised control, be forbidden to use encryption or 
aliases online and submit to random searches of his computer 
equipment, person and home by police and any internal security agency 
without the necessity of a warrant. The judge said he was legally 
banned from having any contact with electronic civil disobedience 
websites or organizations. By the time she had finished she had 
shredded all pretense of the rule of law.

The severe sentence-Hammond will serve more time than the combined 
sentences of four men who were convicted in Britain for hacking 
related to the U.S. case-was monumentally stupid for a judge seeking 
to protect the interest of the ruling class. The judicial lynching of 
Hammond required her to demonstrate a callous disregard for 
transparency and our right to privacy. It required her to ignore the 
disturbing information Hammond released showing that the government 
and Stratfor attempted to link nonviolent dissident groups, including 

Re: [Biofuel] UN Climate Chief Slammed for Pushing Coal as Solution in Poland

2013-11-19 Thread Keith Addison


Of course there is clean coal.  It's the stuff we leave in the 
ground and don't disturb, let alone burn.

But Darryl, what earthly use would that be to the likes of Charles 
and David Koch (pronounced coke)? Or Sasol? Et al?

Sasol - Clean Coal

Can Poland turn coal into a green energy source?
19 November 2013

Poland: Can country shake off 'coal land' label?
18 November 2013

Haven't we heard all this before somewhere?



Of course there is clean coal.  It's the stuff we leave in the 
ground and don't disturb, let alone burn.

Darryl McMahon

On 19/11/2013 10:55 AM, Keith Addison wrote:

'Who Rules the World? Fossil Fuel Industry or the People?'
Global coal conference targeted by climate activists in Warsaw
Published on Monday, November 18, 2013 by Common Dreams


Published on Monday, November 18, 2013 by Common Dreams

UN Climate Chief Slammed for Pushing Coal as Solution in Poland

Once again campaigners are forced to remind world leaders: There is no
such thing as clean coal

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Speaking before an assembly of lobbyists and corporate heads at a global
coal industry conference in Warsaw, Poland Monday, United Nations
Climate Chief Christiana Figueres has spurred the ire of
environmentalists as she characterized the leading greenhouse gas
emitters as possible leaders in a clean energy future.
The coal industry has the opportunity to be part of the worldwide
climate solution, Figueres said in her keynote address before the
summit of the World Coal Association.

Complimenting the knowledge and experience of the gathered coal
executives as an asset to be utilized in the effort to keep global
warming beneath the two degree Celsius limit agreed to by the
international community, Figueres vowed that her position was not a
call for the immediate disappearance of coal.

Figueres' address defied the request of green groups who asked that she
boycott the summit. As Sophie Yeo of reports, climate
campaigners have repeatedly said the presence of the coal groups is a
provocation and a distraction from the COP19 UN climate conference that
is also being held in Warsaw this week.

During the address, Figueres recommended a set of fundamental
parameters for what she described as green transition for coal. Her
recommendations included closing all existing subcritical plants and
implementing safe Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) technology on
all new plants, which environmental groups have been long-critical of.

In a turn that environmentalists such as spokesperson Jamie Henn
heralded as a step in the right direction, during the speech Figueres
also called upon the coal industry to leave most existing reserves of
coal in the ground.

The good news about the speech is that if you read it closely, it
basically spells the end of coal, Henn told Common Dreams in an emailed
statement. The Secretary told the industry to shutdown dirty plants and
keep coal in the ground. The bad news is she softened the blow with
fantasies about carbon capture and so-called 'clean coal.'
Henn added that her presence at the coal summit legitimized what he
called an industry greenwashing extravaganza in an unnecessary way.

Following the speech, John Gummer, chair of the UK government's climate
advisers and former UK environment minister, tweeted:

And outside the summit, protesters donned face masks of Figueres' image
and held banners reading, There is no such thing as clean coal. They
also carried a pair of large, inflatable lungs to highlight the huge
health impacts and costs to climate.

The conference is a desperate attempt by the coal industry to greenwash
their industry, writes's Hoda Baraka, who took part in the
action along with representatives from groups including the Polish Youth
Climate Network, CEE Bank Watch, Corporate Europe Observatory, Klima
Allianz,, Tools For Action, and the #Cough4Coal Initiative.

Our movement's demand is clear: an immediate phase out of all coal
technologies and a shift of investments towards energy technologies that
respect peoples' health, the climate and environment, Baraka continued.
Dirty fuel sources like coal have no place in a 21st century clean
energy economy; this reality can no longer be ignored.

The protest was part of a day of action in Warsaw which began with
Greenpeace dropping a banner which read, Who rules the world? Fossil
Industry or the People? on the Polish Ministry of Economy building
where the coal industry summit is being held.

Darryl McMahon
Failure is not an option;
  it comes standard.

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] Electric superbike creators chosen to represent British cleantech innovation by UKTI

2013-11-14 Thread Keith Addison
You live and learn - I just didn't realise that ecosystem means an 
industrial infrastructure for entrepreneurship and innovation. Sigh. 
Sorry, allergic to PR-speak, and thus to those who created this 
message rather than simply writing it. mumblemumble... Nice bike, I 
guess. - K.

Agility Global

From: Lyndon-Marc Adade
To: Lyndon-Marc Adade
Subject: Electric superbike creators chosen to represent British 
cleantech innovation by UKTI

Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:43:10 +

Good afternoon,

The manufacturers of the world's first high-performance electric 
motorcycle have been selected by UK Trade  Investment (UKTI) to 
represent Britain on a trade mission to Colorado to showcase UK 
innovation in clean technology.

Agility Global created Saietta R, which is set to launch in January 
2014. Please see images attached.

For further information, please see the full press release below.

Please email should you have any further 
enquiries or wish to speak with Agility Global CEO, Lawrence Marazzi.



Agility Global, the London-based cleantech SME has been selected 
amongst a handful of start-up companies to represent the UK in a 
trade mission to showcase British innovation in green technology.

Agility is designer and manufacturer of world's first 
high-performance, clean tech motorcycle, Saietta R. The Saietta R, 
capable of achieving 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, will be one of the most 
energy efficient vehicles on the road - equivalent to 386 miles per 
gallon. The motorcycle is set to launch in 2014, and is currently 
available for pre-order while a prototype of the Saietta R is 
currently on display at The National Motorcycle Museum, having 
previously exhibited at The London Science Museum.

Agility CEO, Lawrence Marazzi said: We are delighted to have been 
chosen to represent Britain at such a prestigious event. The UK is 
at the forefront in key areas of research and development that solve 
the global pollution and emission problems that larger cities face. 
Increasing levels of investment are channelling into the sector - 
this presents an obvious and significant market opportunity for 
businesses like ourselves to create tangible solutions to shape a 
more energy-efficient future.

We are passionate about design and technological innovation, which 
we aim to transmit through our products. The Colorado Mission 
represents an ideal outlet to further our networks and business 
relationships - principally with the US, but also the wider 
international marketplace.

Clean and Cool Mission, which will be held in Colorado in December 
is a showcase for Britain's best cleantech innovators to explore 
business opportunities associated with tackling climate change. The 
Mission will see sixteen UK cleantech companies learn from key 
leaders in the field and network with potential investors in 
Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins - they will participate in the 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Industry Growth Forum, 
the premier clean energy investment event in the U.S.

Discussing the Mission, David Bott, Director of Innovation 
Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said: The U.S has one 
of the most innovative and dynamic cleantech ecosystems. The Mission 
will provide the participants with the opportunity to establish 
partnerships, secure investment and help launch their business to a 
large, continually expanding and thriving technology market.

Simon Carter, Deputy Director, Head of Renewable Energy at UKTI, 
added: We are delighted to sponsor the Clean and Cool Mission to 
Colorado and support UK innovation internationally. Colorado is a 
fast and reliable gateway to the U.S and to global markets and the 
Mission will allow the firms to learn how to turn their innovations 
into tangible business opportunities.

Colorado is the fastest-growing cleantech ecosystem in the United 
States and was recently ranked the second best state for 
entrepreneurship and innovation, according to CNBC. The week-long 
Mission was organised by the UK's innovation agency, The Technology 
Strategy Board, together with The Long Run Venture and UK Trade and 


About Agility Global
Agility Global is a British automotive designer and manufacturer of 
sustainable transport and electric vehicle powertrain components. 
Agility was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur and aerospace engineer, 
Lawrence Marazzi.  Headquartered in London, Agility's mission is to 
successfully shape the future of transportation. It aims to 
introduce 'smart progress' to transportation infrastructure by 
applying F1 design and aerospace technology to increase product 
efficiency.  Agility is designer 

[Biofuel] Adbusters: Gift the limited-edition Epic Human Journey Box Set!

2013-11-14 Thread Keith Addison

Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 20:13:41 +
From: Adbusters Media Foundation
Reply-to: Adbusters Media Foundation
Subject: Gift the limited-edition Epic Human Journey Box Set!

Hey all you wild spirits out there,

In a few short weeks, Adbusters #111 - the final installment of our 
Epic Human Journey series - will hit newsstands worldwide! We're all 
very excited as we've never created anything like this Š it's a 
futuristic and imaginative foray into one of the many possible 
scenarios that lie ahead for humanity, and an invaluable guidebook 
that everyone will need to navigate both the dark times and the 
opportunities which lie ahead.

With the holidays just around the corner, we've bundled all five 
parts of this Epic Human Journey into a box-set in time for the 
season of gifting. The Epic Human Journey series is a, 
one-time-only Adbusters collectible item. Taking up two inches on 
your bookshelf, this series will keep you riveted throughout the 
holiday season and beyond with over 500 full-color pages of human 
history, revolution, geopolitical game-changers and spiritual 

Is it the fate of every successful species to wipe itself out? Will 
we use our strongest talents, resources and gifts to draw back 
before the abyss of self-inflicted eco disaster? 
first-ever five-issue series faces these questions and digs deep 
into the enigmas of the human experienceŠ. Who are we? Where did we 
come from? Where are we going? Can we summon the wild human spirit 
to avoid nightfall?

This box-set makes a great collector's item for yourself or gift for 
it now online or call Wendee at 1.800.663.1243. We have only two 
hundred sets, so don't miss out! $125 includes shipping. You will 
also receive two complimentary copies of Adbusters full-color Year 
of the Horse 2014 wall calendar. 
the plunge!

From all of us here at CJHQ 
to the magazine

IMPORTANT: To ensure our messages reach your inbox,
please add to your address book.

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] 4 Foods That Could Disappear If New Food Safety Rules Pass

2013-11-13 Thread Keith Addison

4 Foods That Could Disappear If New Food Safety Rules Pass

-By Tom Philpott

| Wed Nov. 6, 2013

When President Obama signed into law an overhaul of the nation's food 
safety regime in early 2011, it was clear that the system needed a 
kick in the pants. Recent salmonella outbreaks involving a dizzying 
array of peanut products and a half billion eggs had revealed a 
dysfunctional, porous regulatory environment for the nation's 
increasingly concentrated food system.  

The law, known as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), was a 
pretty modest piece of work when it came to reining in massive 
operations that can sicken thousands nationwide with a single day's 
output. No surprise, since Big Food's main lobbying group, the 
Grocery Manufacturers Association, notes on its web site that GMA 
worked closely with legislators to craft the FDA Food Safety 
Modernization Act and will work closely with the FDA to develop rules 
and guidance to implement the provisions of this new law. (Food and 
Water Watch summarizes FSMA here; Elanor Starmer lists some of its 
limitations here.)

Even for many supporters of food safety reform, one persistent 
question has long been whether the new rules would steamroll small 
and midsize farms. Obviously, what would be a light burden for a 
multinational giant like, say, Kraft Foods, could be a crushing one 
for a farm that sells its produce at a farmers market. To allay fears 
of one-size-fits-all regulations-which swirled in sometimes-wildly 
paranoid forms during the FSMA debate-Congress exempted most 
operations with sales of less than $500,000 from most of its 
requirements. But the proof of is in the rule-making-the process by 
which federal agencies, in this case the Food and Drug 
Administration, translate Congressional legislation into enforceable 
law. Congress intended its exemption to save small farms from overly 
burdensome regulation, but the question remained: How would the FDA 
put it into action?

Finally, more than two years after Obama signed FSMA, the FDA's 
rule-making process appears to be nearing an end. And I'm 
disappointed to report that, according to decidedly nonparanoid, 
noncrazy observers, the proposed rules as currently written represent 
a significant and possibly devastating burden to small and midsize 

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), a highly 
respected lobbying and watchdog outfit, has come out with a list of 
Top 10 Problems with the Food and Drug Administration's Proposed 
Food Safety Regulations for Farmers and Local Food Businesses.

If you'll excuse the gimmick, here are four foods that could go 
missing if the FDA sticks to the current version of its food-safety 

1. The local, organic carrots in your kid's school lunch program. 
Many farm-to-school programs are facilitated by what the US 
Department of Agriculture calls food hubs-operations that gather 
produce from small farmers and sell it, usually to buyers like 
schools, restaurants, and retailers. The USDA actively promotes them 
as strong and sound infrastructure support to producers across the 
country which will also help build a stronger regional food system. 
The USDA lists more then 100 active food hubs nationwide.

The new rules imperil food hubs in two ways. The first is through the 
farms that supply them. The new law's less-than-$500,000 exemption 
applies only to farms that sell more than half of their produce 
directly to consumers. But a growing number of small farms earn a 
significant amount of their income selling to third-party local 
enterprises like food hubs and food co-ops-and if revenue from those 
sources exceeds half of total revenue, these farms would lose their 
exemption and become subject to costly requirements. NSAC points to 
the FDA's own economic analysis (see page 27) showing that more than 
30,000 small and very small farms would be subject to regulation. 
The cost of compliance for these farms, USDA shows, will be 4 percent 
to 6 percent of total gross sales-enough to knock out half or more of 
a small operation's profits, and turn an operation that's scraping by 
into one that fails.

Then there's the problem that the FDA's proposed rules have not 
settled upon a definition of very small business. If such a 
definition isn't spelled out, NSAC warns, operations like food hubs 
could be regulated well beyond their risk and with compliance costs 
too high for them to stay in business.

2. The kohlrabi in your farm-share box. You might be annoyed by the 
amount of kohlrabi (a grievously underrated vegetable) in your CSA, 
but probably don't want it to disappear altogether. But because the 
current proposal doesn't narrowly define manufacturing facilities, 
CSAs and other direct farmer-to-consumer farms that do light 
processing activities or include produce from another farm in their 
boxes will be 

[Biofuel] Scientists Warn of Extreme Risk: Greatest Short-term Threat to Humanity is From Fukushima Fuel Pools

2013-11-13 Thread Keith Addison

Scientists Warn of Extreme Risk: Greatest Short-term Threat to 
Humanity is From Fukushima Fuel Pools

By Washington's Blog

Global Research, November 08, 2013

We've long said that the greatest short-term threat to humanity is 
from the fuel pools at Fukushima.

The Japanese nuclear agency recently green-lighted the removal of the 
spent fuel rods from Fukushima reactor 4?s spent fuel pool. The 
operation is scheduled to begin this month.

The head of the U.S. Department of Energy correctly notes:

The success of the cleanup also has global significance. So we all 
have a direct interest in seeing that the next steps are taken well, 
efficiently and safely.

If one of the pools collapsed or caught fire, it could have severe 
adverse impacts not only on Japan Š but the rest of the world, 
including the United States. Indeed, a Senator called it a national 
security concern for the U.S.:

The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the 
event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. 
That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this 
spent fuel a security issue for the United States.

Award-winning scientist David Suzuki says that Fukushima is 
terrifying, Tepco and the Japanese government are lying through their 
teeth, and Fukushima is the most terrifying situation I can imagine.

Suzuki notes that reactor 4 is so badly damaged that - if there's 
another earthquake of 7 or above - the building could come down. And 
the probability of another earthquake of 7 or above in the next 3 
years is over 95%.

Suzuki says that he's seen a paper that says that if - in fact - the 
4th reactor comes down, it's bye bye Japan, and everyone on the West 
Coast of North America should evacuate. Now if that's not terrifying, 
I don't know what is.

The Telegraph reports:

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant Š 
will begin a dry run of the procedure at the No. 4 reactor, which 
experts have warned carries grave risks.


Did you ever play pick up sticks? asked a foreign nuclear expert 
who has been monitoring Tepco's efforts to regain control of the 
plant. You had 50 sticks, you heaved them into the air and than had 
to take one off the pile at a time.

If the pile collapsed when you were picking up a stick, you lost, 
he said. There are 1,534 pick-up sticks in a jumble in top of an 
unsteady reactor 4. What do you think can happen?

I do not know anyone who is confident that this can be done since 
it has never been tried.

ABC reports:

One slip-up in the latest step to decommission Japan's crippled 
Fukushima nuclear plant could trigger a monumental chain reaction, 
experts warn.


Experts around the world have warned Š that the fuel pool is in a 
precarious state - vulnerable to collapsing in another big 

Yale University professor Charles Perrow wrote about the number 4 
fuel pool this year in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

This has me very scared, he told the ABC.

Tokyo would have to be evacuated because [the] caesium and other 
poisons that are there will spread very rapidly.

Perrow also argues:

Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are 
perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear 
reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from 
all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, 
would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. 
Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common 
storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission 
and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.

Former Japanese ambassador Akio Matsumura warns that - if the 
operation isn't done right - this could one day be considered the 
start of the ultimate catastrophe of the world and planet:

(He also argues that removing the fuel rods will take decades rather 
than months.)

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen and physician Helen Caldicott have 
both said that people should evacuate the Northern Hemisphere if one 
of the Fukushima fuel pools collapses. Gundersen said:

Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that's 
probably the lesson there.

Harvey Wasserman wrote two months ago:

We are now within two months of what may be humankind's most 
dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Should the attempt fail, the rods could be exposed to air and catch 
fire, releasing horrific quantities of radiation into the 
atmosphere. The pool could come crashing to the ground, dumping the 
rods together into a pile that could fission and possibly explode. 
The resulting radioactive cloud would threaten the health and safety 
of all us.


A new fuel fire at Unit 4 would pour out a continuous stream of 

[Biofuel] Global Fail: Govts Pour $500 Billion Into Fossil Fuel Subsidies

2013-11-13 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Common Dreams

Global Fail: Govts Pour $500 Billion Into Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Governments are 'subsidizing the very activities that are pushing the 
world towards dangerous climate change,' states new report

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

While greenhouse gas emissions reach record levels, governments 
across the world are pouring hundreds of billions into fossil fuel 
subsidies, fostering perverse incentives to continue the race 
towards climate doom, a new report details.

The report, Time to Change the Game, 
from the UK-based think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI) 
explains how the subsidies-amounting to over $500 billion globally in 
2011-are thwarting a switch to a low-carbon economy.

The rules of the game are currently biased in favor of fossil 
fuels, stated report author Shelagh Whitley.

The status quo encourages energy companies to continue burning 
high-carbon fossil fuels and offers no incentive to change. We're 
throwing money at policies that are only going to make the problem 
worse in the long run by locking us into dangerous climate change, 
stated Whitley.

Though the subsidies pad the pockets of the industry, the report's 
Executive Summary states that if governments'

aim is to avoid dangerous climate change, [they] are shooting 
themselves in both feet. They are subsidizing the very activities 
that are pushing the world towards dangerous climate change, and 
creating barriers to investment in low-carbon development and 
subsidy incentives that encourage investment in carbon-intensive 

In addition to the U.S., the countries with the greatest fossil fuel 
subsidies include Russia, Australia, Germany and the UK.

The inconsistencies between climate goals and energy policies are 
becoming increasingly stark, writes ODI director Kevin Watkins. 
Germany is providing lavish support for the construction of new coal 
plants. Britain offers generous tax concessions for oil and gas 
exploration, including bumper deals for companies involved in 
fracking. The United States spends heavily to subsidize gasoline and 
other fossil fuels. In all of these cases, bold climate-change 
targets are being undermined by business-as-usual subsidies.

In some countries, including Pakistan, Venezuela and Bangladesh, 
fossil fuel subsidies are significantly greater than domestic health 

And while some renewable energy subsidies exist, they're no match for 
those of fossil fuels. From the report:

At a global scale, today's fossil fuel subsidies dwarf support for 
renewables. The IEA has estimated that for every $1 of support for 
renewables in 2011, $6 was spent on fossil fuel subsidies.

Among the reasons the report lists for why subsidies exist are 
special interests.

In the US, individuals and political-action committees affiliated 
with oil and gas companies have donated $239 million to candidates 
and parties since the 1990 election.


The benefits of these subsidies are often concentrated among 
specific actors, while the costs are spread across the general 

Eliminating the fossil fuel subsidies would not only be a better 
investments and climate approach, it would also have economic and 
social benefits, according to the report. To realize those benefits, 
the G20, responsible for 78% of global carbon emissions from fuel 
combustion in 2010, should end all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

The report urges nations at the upcoming UN climate talks in Warsaw 
to take up the issue and to agree on a timeline for the phase-out.

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies would be the mother of all win-win 
scenarios, ODI director Kevin Watkins told the BBC.

You'd have a win for taxpayers, a win for governments north and 
south and you'd have a win for the planet as well.

* * *

In tandem with the report, the ODI released a series of infographics 
including the ones below:
Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] The Founding Fables of Industrialised Agriculture

2013-11-13 Thread Keith Addison

The Founding Fables of Industrialised Agriculture

October 30, 2013

by Colin Tudge

Governments these days are not content with agriculture that merely 
provides good food. In line with the dogma of neoliberalism they want 
it to contribute as much wealth as any other industry towards the 
grand goal of economic growth. High tech offers to reconcile the 
two ambitions - producing allegedly fabulous yields, which seems to 
be what's needed, and becoming highly profitable. The high-tech 
flavour of the decade is genetic engineering, supplying custom-built 
crops and livestock as GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

So it was that the UK Secretary of State for the Environment and 
Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, told The Independent recently that the 
world absolutely needs genetically-engineered Golden Rice, as 
created by one of the world's two biotech giants, Syngenta. Indeed, 
those who oppose Golden Rice are wicked: a comment so outrageous 
that Paterson's own civil servants have distanced themselves from it.

Specifically, Golden Rice has been fitted with genes that produce 
carotene, which is the precursor of vitamin A. Worldwide, 
approximately 5 million pre-school aged children and 10 million 
pregnant women suffer significant Vitamin A deficiency sufficiently 
severe to cause night blindness, according to the WHO. By such 
statistics a vitamin A-rich rice seems eminently justified.

Yet the case for Golden Rice is pure hype. For Golden Rice is not 
particularly rich in carotene and in any case, rice is not, and never 
will be, the best way to deliver it. Carotene is one of the commonest 
organic molecules in nature. It is the yellow pigment that 
accompanies chlorophyll in all dark green leaves (the many different 
kinds known as spinach are a great source) and is clearly on show 
in yellow roots such as carrots and some varieties of cassava, and in 
fruits like papaya and mangoes that in the tropics can grow like 

So the best way by far to supply carotene (and thus vitamin A) is by 
horticulture - which traditionally was at the core of all 
agriculture. Vitamin A deficiency is now a huge and horrible issue 
primarily because horticulture has been squeezed out by monocultural 
big-scale agriculture - the kind that produces nothing but rice or 
wheat or maize as far as the eye can see; and by insouciant 
urbanization that leaves no room for gardens. Well-planned cities 
could always be self-sufficient in fruit and veg. Golden Rice is not 
the answer to the world's vitamin A problem. As a scion of 
monocultural agriculture, it is part of the cause. Syngenta's 
promotion of it is yet one more exercise in top-down control and 
commercial PR. Paterson's blatant promotion of it is at best naïve.

For Golden Rice serves primarily as a flagship for GMOs and GMOs are 
very big business - duly supported at huge public expense by 
successive governments. It is now the lynch-pin of agricultural 
research almost everywhere. The UK's Agriculture and Food Research 
Council of the 1990s even had the words 'Agriculture' and 'Food' 
air-brushed out to become the Biotechnology and Biological Research 
Council (BBSRC). We have been told that GMOs increase yields with 
lower inputs and have been proven beyond reasonable doubt to be safe. 
Indeed, journalist Mark Lynas has been telling us from some 
remarkably high platforms that the debate on GMOs is dead; that 
there is now a consensus among scientists worldwide that they are 
necessary and safe.

In reality, GMOs do not consistently or even usually yield well 
under field conditions; they do not necessarily lead to reduction in 
chemical inputs, and have often led to increases; and contra Mark Lynas, 
there is no worldwide consensus of scientists vouching for their 
safety. Indeed, the European Network of Scientists for Social and 
Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) has drawn up a petition that 
specifically denies any such consensus and points out that a list of 
several hundred studies does not show GM food safety. Hundreds of 
scientists are expected to sign. Overall, after 30 years of concerted 
endeavour, ultimately at our expense and with the neglect of matters 
far more pressing, no GMO food crop has ever solved a problem that 
really needs solving that could not have been solved by conventional 
means in the same time and at less cost.

The real point behind GMOs is to achieve corporate/ big government 
control of all agriculture, the biggest by far of all human 
endeavours. And this agriculture will be geared not to general 
wellbeing but to the maximization of wealth. The last hundred years, 
in which agriculture has been industrialised, have laid the 
foundations. GMOs, for the agro-industrialists, can 

[Biofuel] The Founding Fables of Industrialised Agriculture

2013-11-13 Thread Keith Addison

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] The Village Against the World

2013-11-13 Thread Keith Addison

The Village Against the World

Posted on Nov 8, 2013

By Nomi Prins

The Village Against the World

A book by Dan Hancox

The most expensive government on the planet-ours-was shut down over 
budget concerns, health insurance and passive-aggressiveness. The 
inane partisan squabbling most acutely affected those with the most 
to lose-the people at the bottom of the economic pile. Meanwhile, 
grossly unequal division of wealth and power is a growing blight on 
the face of humanity. Dangerous mechanisms of financial ruin are 
nurtured by governments while they spew rhetoric about helping 
citizens. A future in which reckless economic exploitation will 
diminish seems highly unlikely.

But what if another world were possible? One in which the spoils of 
predatory capitalism, subsidized by central banks and federal policy, 
aren't rapaciously consumed by a tiny minority at the expense of the 
vast majority of global citizens?

In his captivating new book, The Village Against the World, Dan 
Hancox shows, in lyrical and penetrating prose, that not only is it 
possible, but an observable fact. And so begins his tale of the 

Nestled in farmland about 60 miles from Seville, Spain, in the region 
of Andalucía, exists Marinaleda, a village of 2,700 people. The cry 
OTRO MUNDO ES POSSIBLE-another world is possible-adorns a metal arch 
over its main avenue. For 30 years, the citizens of this tiny pueblo 
have fought and won a struggle to create a utopia in which everyone 
has a job and a home. Communism seems too dismissive and combative a 
term for Marinaleda's ability to exist in defiance of a system that 
has shattered surrounding towns, and entire countries around the 

The year 2016, Hancox writes, will mark the 500th anniversary of 
Thomas More's Utopia Š But Š how do you go from a fevered dream, an 
aspirational blueprint, to concrete reality?

The answer unfolds as Hancox takes us on a trip that inspires one's 
visual senses as he depicts the white-washed beauty of the village, 
one's taste buds as he describes simple meals capped with thick bread 
doused in fresh local olive oil, and invites us to envision a 
collective life freed-as much as possible-from global crises, 
acquisition and power plays.

In Marinaleda, the Che Guevara stadium houses sporting events, 
oversized placards of doves decorate streets named for left-wing 
idols like Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda, and profits from the 
local vegetable canning factory or olive oil co-op are used to 
enhance the village. Marinaleda's main housing development consists 
of 350 casitas-modest homes self-built by their inhabitants, with 
materials furnished by the village. Mortgages are 15 euro per month. 
The village has, and needs, no police force.

For eight years, Hancox was fascinated with Marinaleda's miracle 
struggle, transforming from abject poverty in the late '70s (60 
percent unemployment, and people going without food for days at a 
time) to the functioning utopia that it became.

Beyond Marinaleda, the economic suffering of Spain at the hands of a 
speculative overdrive unleashed by big U.S. banks and adopted by 
European ones, remains acute. It is made worse by austerity measures 
that punish citizens, while providing banks and bondholders with EU 

Youth unemployment sits at a sickening record high of 56.1 percent, 
second only to Greece's 62.9 percent. Spain's adult male unemployment 
at 25.3 percent tops all other EU countries.

The Spanish housing market remains in tatters, after catastrophic 
levels of overbuilding and leverage, complementing America's housing 
bubble before it burst in 2007-2008. Just as in the U.S., Spanish 
banks foreclosed on slews of properties for which the population had 
been forced to overpay during the bubble, increasing homelessness.

The current economic crisis has left Spain with 4 million empty 
homes, and ghost towns on the outskirts of Madrid. In contrast, 
Marinaleda brims with excitement and festivity during its famous 
annual ferias and carnivals, though most of the time, it is 
incredibly peaceful. No one there has experienced a foreclosure.

Even before the crisis descended on Spain, the wealth gap in 
Andalusia was a chasm, Hancox informs us. It has been so forever. 
It is a region where mass rural pauperism exists alongside vast 
aristocratic estates-the latifundios. It's an oft-repeated bit of 
southern rural mythology that you can walk all the way from Seville, 
the Andalusian capital, to the northern coast of Spain without ever 
leaving the land of the notorious Duchess of Alba, a woman thought to 
have more titles than anyone else in the world. While 22.5 percent of 
her fellow Spaniards survive on only ¤500 a month, the duquesa is 
estimated to be worth ¤3.2 billion-and still receives ¤3 million a 
year in EU farm subsidies.

It's important to note, as Hancox does 

[Biofuel] Going Nuclear: An Environmentalist Makes the Case

2013-11-09 Thread Keith Addison

Going Nuclear: An Environmentalist Makes the Case -- This week on 
Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The director of Pandora's 
Promise pitches nuclear power. Also: Bringing quality food to the 
poor, and bullying in sports.

Pandora's Promise (2013)
Documentary - 15 November 2013 (UK)
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 161 users
Director: Robert Stone
Writer: Robert Stone
Stars: Stewart Brand, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas
A feature-length documentary about the history and future of nuclear 
power. The film explores how and why mankind's most feared and 
controversial technological discovery is now passionately embraced by 
many of those who once led the charge against it. Operating as 
history, cultural meditation and contemporary exploration, PANDORA'S 
PROMISE aims to inspire a serious and realistic debate over what is 
without question the most important question of our time: how do we 
continue to power modern civilization without destroying it?

A Conversation With Director Robert Stone of Pandora's Promise
Posted: 11/07/2013 10:05 am
Govindini Murty
Filmmaker and Co-Editor of Libertas Film Magazine

Robert Stone goes nuclear
November 06, 2013 7:00 am  *  DOUG MOE

'Pandora's Promise' director defends his controversial nuclear energy film
By Robert Stone, Special to CNN
November 8, 2013


Scientist: Film hypes the promise of advanced nuclear technology

By Edwin Lyman, Special to CNN

November 7, 2013

Editor's note: Edwin Lyman, a physicist, is a senior scientist with 
the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. For more of his 
critique of Pandora's Promise, see his blog post, Movie Review: Put 
Pandora's Promise Back in the Box. For more on the future of nuclear 
power as a possible solution for global climate change, watch CNN 
Films' presentation of Pandora's Promise, airing on CNN on 
Thursday, November 7, at 9 p.m. ET/PT

(CNN) -- In his zeal to promote nuclear power, filmmaker Robert Stone 
inserted numerous half-truths and less-than-half-truths in his new 
documentary Pandora's Promise, which CNN is airing on November 7. 
One of Stone's more misleading allegations was that scientists at a 
U.S. research facility, the Argonne National Laboratory, were on the 
verge of developing a breakthrough technology that could solve 
nuclear power's numerous problems when the Clinton administration and 
its allies in Congress shut the program in 1994 for purely political 

Like the story of Pandora itself, the tale of the integral fast 
reactor (IFR) -- or at least the version presented in the movie -- is 
more myth than reality. In the final assessment, the concept's 
drawbacks greatly outweighed its advantages. The government had sound 
reasons to stanch the flow of taxpayer dollars to a costly, flawed 
project that also was undermining U.S. efforts to reduce the risks of 
nuclear terrorism and proliferation around the world.

Read what Robert Stone has to say

In the film, scientists who worked on the IFR program unsurprisingly 
sing its praises. For example, Charles Till, a former program 
manager, claimed that the reactor can't melt down and would 
therefore be immune to the type of catastrophes that occurred at 
Three Mile Island in 1979 and Fukushima in 2011.

Others told Stone that the reactor, by recycling its own used, or 
spent, fuel, would conserve uranium resources and produce much less 
nuclear waste than conventional reactors. But the reactor's advocates 
didn't tell the whole story, and Stone did not include anyone in the 
film who could have provided a more balanced and realistic assessment.

What did Pandora's Promise leave out? First, it does not clearly 
explain what a fast reactor is and how it differs from the 
water-cooled reactors in use today. Most operating reactors use a 
type of fuel called low-enriched uranium, which cannot be used 
directly to make a nuclear weapon and poses a low security risk. The 
spent fuel from these water-cooled reactors contains weapon-usable 
plutonium as a byproduct, but it is very hard to make into a bomb 
because it is mixed with uranium and highly radioactive fission 

Fast reactors, on the other hand, are far more dangerous because they 
typically require fuels made from plutonium or highly enriched 
uranium that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

In fact, fast reactors can be operated as 

[Biofuel] Climate Summit: Don't turn farmers into 'climate smart' carbon traders!

2013-11-07 Thread Keith Addison


Climate Summit: Don't turn farmers into 'climate smart' carbon traders!

La Vía Campesina | GRAIN | ETC Group | 07 November 2013

Climate Summit: don't turn farmers into 'climate smart' carbon traders!

Farmers produce food, not carbon. Yet, if some of the governments and 
corporate lobbies negotiating at the UN climate change conference to 
be held in Warsaw from 11-22 November have their way, farmland could 
soon be considered as a carbon sink that polluting corporations can 
buy into to compensate for their harmful emissions.

We are directly opposed to the carbon market approach to dealing 
with the climate crisis, says Josie Riffaud of La Vía Campesina. 
Turning our farmers' fields into carbon sinks - the rights to which 
can be sold on the carbon market - will only lead us further away 
from what we see as the real solution: food sovereignty. The carbon 
in our farms is not for sale!

Carbon trading has totally failed to address the real causes of the 
climate crisis. It was never meant to do so. Rather than reducing 
carbon emissions at their source, it has created a lucrative market 
for polluters and speculators to buy and sell carbon credits while 
continuing to pollute. Now the pressure is increasing to treat 
farmland as a major carbon sink which can be claimed as yet another 
counterbalance to industrial emissions. The governments of the US and 
Australia, the World Bank and the corporate sector have long argued 
for this, and for the creation of new carbon markets where they can 
purchase land-based offsets in developing countries. Agribusiness is 
well positioned to profit from these, and some developing country 
governments hope that offering their forests, grasslands and farmland 
to polluters in the North could earn them revenue.

The November United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change 
(UNFCCC) conference in Warsaw risks pushing us deeper into this 
carbon market mess. Marcin Korolec, Poland's minister of the 
environment and main organiser of the event, proudly announced that 
for the first time ever, representatives of global business will be 
formally part of the negotiations. A look at the list of official 
partners of the conference shows that they are amongst the most 
polluting industries of the world.

Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, but Henk 
Hobbelink of GRAIN points out that: It is the industrial food system 
- with its heavy use of chemical inputs, the soil erosion and 
deforestation that accompanies monoculture plantation farming, and 
the ever-growing drive to supply far away export markets - which is 
the main culprit behind the climate crisis. Rather than promoting 
this with carbon markets, the world's leaders should support peasant 
farming and agroecology as the solution. GRAIN's research has shown 
that a sustained focus on peasant-based agroecological practices 
oriented toward restoring organic matter to soils could capture 
24-30% of the current global annual greenhouse gas emissions.

A week after the climate negotiators have flown home from Warsaw, 
most likely without having agreed to any meaningful action on the 
climate crisis, the World Bank and the governments of the Netherlands 
and South Africa will convene an international conference in 
Johannesburg to promote climate smart agriculture, and set up a new 
alliance to achieve it.

But a look at the proposals on the table shows that it entails 
nothing more than business as usual: new genetically modified seeds 
developed by biotechnology corporations, more chemical fertilisers 
and pesticides by the agrochemical giants, and more 'bio-intensive' 
industrial plantation farming. Climate smart agriculture has become 
the new slogan for the agricultural research establishment and the 
corporate sector to position themselves as the solution to the food 
and climate crisis, says Pat Mooney of the ETC Group. For the 
world's small farmers, there is nothing smart about this. It is just 
another way to push corporate controlled technologies into their 
fields and rob them of their land.

At the same time, these very corporations are developing other 
high-risk technologies, ranging from synthetic biology, to 
nanotechnology and geoengineering. There is no clear understanding of 
their impacts and these new dramatic technologies will wreak more 
havoc on our already fragile planet than cure the climate and 
environmental crises.

Agriculture's central role of feeding people and providing 
livelihoods to smallholders around the world should be defended, says 
Elizabeth Mpofu, from Vía Campesina. Rights over our farms, lands, 
seeds and natural resources need to remain in our hands so we can 
produce food and care for our mother earth as peasant 

[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #122

2013-11-07 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #122

By William Blum - Published November 7th, 2013

National Security Agency - The only part of the government that 
really listens to what you have to say

The New York Times (November 2) ran a long article based on NSA 
documents released by Edward Snowden. One of the lines that most 
caught my attention concerned Sigint - Signals intelligence, the 
term used for electronic intercepts. The document stated:

Sigint professionals must hold the moral high ground, even as 
terrorists or dictators seek to exploit our freedoms. Some of our 
adversaries will say or do anything to advance their cause; we will 

What, I wondered, might that mean? What would the National Security 
Agency - on moral principle - refuse to say or do?

I have on occasion asked people who reject or rationalize any and all 
criticism of US foreign policy: What would the United States have to 
do in its foreign policy to lose your support? What, for you, would 
be too much? I've yet to get a suitable answer to that question. I 
suspect it's because the person is afraid that whatever they say I'll 
point out that the United States has already done it.

The United Nations vote on the Cuba embargo - 22 years in a row

For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling 
Cuba an international pariah. We haven't heard that for a very long 
time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations 
General Assembly on the resolution which reads: Necessity of ending 
the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United 
States of America against Cuba. This is how the vote has gone (not 
including abstentions):

YearVotes (Yes-No)  No Votes
199259-2US, Israel
199388-4US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay
1994101-2   US, Israel
1995117-3   US, Israel, Uzbekistan
1996138-3   US, Israel, Uzbekistan
1997143-3   US, Israel, Uzbekistan
1998157-2   US, Israel
1999155-2   US, Israel
2000167-3   US, Israel, Marshall Islands
2001167-3   US, Israel, Marshall Islands
2002173-3   US, Israel, Marshall Islands
2003179-3   US, Israel, Marshall Islands
2004179-4   US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
2005182-4   US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
2006183-4   US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
2007184-4   US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
2008185-3   US, Israel, Palau
2009187-3   US, Israel, Palau
2010187-2   US, Israel
2011186-2   US, Israel
2012188-3   US, Israel, Palau
2013188-2   US, Israel

Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not 
completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not 
completely control the opinion of other governments.

Speaking before the General Assembly, October 29, Cuban Foreign 
Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: The economic damages accumulated 
after half a century as a result of the implementation of the 
blockade amount to $1.126 trillion. He added that the blockade has 
been further tightened under President Obama's administration, some 
30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due 
to their interaction with Cuba.

However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other 
countries to oppose the resolution, said:

The international community Š cannot in good conscience ignore the 
ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, 
disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, 
despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from 
leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues 
its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and 
police violence against Cuban citizens. 1

So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only 
guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 
people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy 
Movement's first 8 months of protest 2 ; that their encampments were 
violently smashed up; that many of them were physically abused by the 

Does Mr. Godard ever read a newspaper or the Internet, or watch 
television? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer 
shooting to death an unarmed person?

As to independent journalism - what would happen if Cuba announced 
that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? 
How long would it be before CIA money - secret and unlimited CIA 
money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba - would own or control 
most of the media worth owning or controlling?

The real reason for Washington's eternal hostility toward Cuba? The 
fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a 
fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as Third World 
countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.

How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American 

[Biofuel] Scariest Christian Movie Ever?

2013-11-04 Thread Keith Addison
I got sent this spam puff for a new end times movie, below, courtesy 
of its Email Marketing campaign.

It has already scared several people to Christ which is good, the 
puff says. A movie that _scares_ people to Jesus? And it's good? My 

God ls love it says in the Bible. It only says it twice, but that's 
enough - it's all you need to know, IMHO. It's in the first epistle 
of St. John the Revelator, so beloved of end-timers, but there you 
go, consistency not required. I don't think it says anywhere that God 
is a scary terrorist (apart from nuking the odd ungodly city, but 
that was BC).

It does say this though (also BC): For that which befalleth the sons 
of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one 
dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a 
man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto 
one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who 
knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the 
beast that goeth downward to the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3 19-21)

Maybe they didn't read that bit, but what I'd like to know is, when 
all these faithful pre-Millennial Rapturist eschatological 
dispensational tribulationist nutters get themselves wafted on up to 
Heaven, leaving their clothes (and hopefully their wallets) behind, 
as allegedly promised by God the Scary, will their dogs and so on get 
wafted on up with them, leaving their collars behind, or will they 
all just crumble to dust like Dracula? Or will it be yet another 
re-run of the Mayan 2012 prophecy? (Excellent odds on the last bet.)


Anyway, I've said it here before and I'll say it again, sorry if it 
offends anyone: this is not Christianity, they got the wrong guy, 
it's an evil cult, and it's caused a huge amount of damage and 
suffering, a tribulation if ever there was one. A self-fulfilling 
prophecy, as usual, in exactly the opposite sense to what they 
believe, typical of neurotics.

The movie gets top ratings at the Internet Movie Database - 8.6:

MRQE though, the excellent Movie Review Query Engine, while 
acknowledging its existence, has no reviews at all: [0 articles]. 
Rotten Tomatoes: No Reviews Yet... The movie was released nearly 
two months ago, so it probably isn't going to get any press reviews, 
good news.

The Houston Chronicle's review that Pastor Mark quotes is no longer 
to be found online without a subscription, and the quote The 
filmmakers want to scare the living daylights out of non-Believers 
draws a blank at Google, but the Chronicle's review started like 
this: 13 Sep 2013 ... Instead of a new installment of the infamous 
Left Behind series from the past decade, Final: The Rapture is...

Infamous. Methinks Pastor Mark isn't very honest.




From: Final Outreach
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2013 01:35:52 -0400
Subject: Scariest Christian Movie Ever? Trailer is inside

The Rapture Discussion

	WARNING: This trailer for a new movie shows a very realistic 
portrayal of the Rapture. It has already scared several people to 
Christ which is good. The trailer ahas over 29,000 views! See it 

	When this film was released last month in the theaters in 
Houston, it had the #3 highest per-screen average in the nation 
according to Box Office Mojo!

	I was at the theater where people were being SAVED in the 
LOBBY OF THE THEATER. I've never seen a more powerful, frightening, 
and realistic portrayal of the Rapture.

	'Final: The Rapture' was shot in 6 countries and it's an 
EPIC, BIG-BUDGET look at what many pastors and leaders believe will 

	Please support the film and the filmmakers! They have an 
advanced screener of the film that you can get now.

	The filmmakers have been supported by Campus Crusade for 
Christ, YWAM, Youth for Christ, Greg Laurie, Kay Arthur, Precept 
Ministries, Philip Yancey, CMA, Hillsong, and churches all over the 
world of all denominations.

God bless,

Pastor Mark

	To view the trailer, go here:

Here is the poster: 

Some Reviews I've collected:

Scariest Christian movie ever. Maranatha News

'Scariest Christian movie of the decade - Christian Post

	The filmmakers want to scare the living daylights out of 
non-Believers' - Houston Chronicle

	The most realistic Rapture movie ever - Pastor Steven Kay, 

[Biofuel] GMO Wars: The Global Battlefield

2013-11-04 Thread Keith Addison

GMO Wars: The Global Battlefield

The case against GMOs has strengthened steadily over the last few 
years, even as the industry has expanded all over the world.

By Walden Bello, October 28, 2013.

This article is a joint publication of Foreign Policy In Focus and 

The GMO wars escalated earlier this month when the 2013 World Food 
Prize was awarded to three chemical company executives, including 
Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer, 
Robert Fraley, responsible for development of genetically modified 
organisms (GMOs).

The choice of Fraley was widely protested, with 81 members of the 
prestigious World Future Council calling it an affront to the 
growing international consensus on safe, ecological farming practices 
that have been scientifically proven to promote nutrition and 

Monsanto's Man

The choice of Monsanto's man triggered accusations of prize buying. 
From 1999 to 2011, Monsanto donated $380,000 to the World Food Prize 
Foundation, in addition to a $5-million contribution in 2008 to help 
renovate the Hall of Laureates, a public museum honoring Norman 
Borlaug, the scientist who launched the Green Revolution.

For some, the award to Monsanto is actually a sign of desperation on 
the part of the GMO establishment, a move designed to contain the 
deepening controversy over the so-called biotechnological revolution 
in food and agriculture. The arguments of the critics are making 
headway. Owing to concern about the dangers and risks posed by 
genetically engineered organisms, many governments have instituted 
total or partial bans on their cultivation, importation, and 

A few years ago, there were 16 countries that had total or partial 
bans on GMOs.  Now there are at least 26, including Switzerland, 
Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, 
Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico, and Russia. 
Significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about 60 other countries.

Restraints on trade in GMOs based on phyto-sanitary grounds, which 
are allowed under the World Trade Organization, have increased. 
Already, American rice farmers face strict limitations on their 
exports to the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and the 
Philippines, and are banned altogether from Russia and Bulgaria 
because unapproved genetically engineered rice escaped during 
open-field trials on GMO rice. Certain Thai exports-particularly 
canned fruit salads containing papaya to Germany, and sardines in soy 
oil to Greece and the Netherlands-were recently banned due to threat 
of contamination by GMOs.

The Case against GMOs Gains Strength

The case against GMOs has strengthened steadily over the last few 
years. Critics say that genetic engineering disrupts the precise 
sequence of a food's genetic code and disturbs the functions of 
neighboring genes, which can give rise to potentially toxic or 
allergenic molecules or even alter the nutritional value of food 
produced. The Bt toxin used in GMO corn, for example, was recently 
detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, with 
possibly harmful consequences.

A second objection concerns genetic contamination. A GMO crop, once 
released in the open, reproduces via pollination and interacts 
genetically with natural varieties of the same crop, producing what 
is called genetic contamination. According to a study published in 
Nature, one of the world's leading scientific journals, Bt corn has 
contaminated indigenous varieties of corn tested in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Third, a GMO, brought into natural surroundings, may have a toxic or 
lethal impact on other living things. Thus, it was found that Bt corn 
destroyed the larvae of the monarch butterfly, raising well grounded 
fears that many other natural plant and animal life may be impacted 
in the same way.

Fourth, the benefits of GMOs have been oversold by the companies, 
like Monsanto and Syngenta, that peddle them. Most genetically 
engineered crops are either engineered to produce their own pesticide 
in the form of Bacillus thurengiensis (Bt) or are designed to be 
resistant to herbicides, so that herbicides can be sprayed in massive 
quantities to kill pests without harming the crops. It has been 
shown, however, that insects are fast developing resistance to Bt as 
well as to herbicides, resulting in even more massive infestation by 
the new superbugs. No substantial evidence exists that GM crops yield 
more than conventional crops. What genetically engineered crops 
definitely do lead to is greater use of pesticide, which is harmful 
both to humans and the environment.

A fifth argument is that patented GMO seeds concentrate power in the 
hands of a few biotech corporations and marginalize small farmers. As 
the statement of the 81 members of the World Future Council put it, 
While profitable to the few companies producing them, GMO seeds 

[Biofuel] Our Invisible Revolution

2013-11-04 Thread Keith Addison

Our Invisible Revolution

Posted on Oct 28, 2013

By Chris Hedges

Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and 
capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble 
they are causing in the world? the anarchist Alexander Berkman wrote 
in his essay The Idea Is the Thing. 
If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the 
people support those institutions, and that they support them because 
they believe in them.

Berkman was right. As long as most citizens believe in the ideas that 
justify global capitalism, the private and state institutions that 
serve our corporate masters are unassailable. When these ideas are 
shattered, the institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate 
and collapse. The battle of ideas is percolating below the surface. 
It is a battle the corporate state is steadily losing. An increasing 
number of Americans are getting it. They know that we have been 
stripped of political power. They recognize that we have been shorn 
of our most basic and cherished civil liberties, and live under the 
gaze of the most intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in 
human history. Half the country lives in poverty. Many of the rest of 
us, if the corporate state is not overthrown, will join them. These 
truths are no longer hidden.

It appears that political ferment is dormant in the United States. 
This is incorrect. The ideas that sustain the corporate state are 
swiftly losing their efficacy across the political spectrum. The 
ideas that are rising to take their place, however, are inchoate. The 
right has retreated into Christian fascism and a celebration of the 
gun culture. The left, knocked off balance by decades of fierce state 
repression in the name of anti-communism, is struggling to rebuild 
and define itself. Popular revulsion for the ruling elite, however, 
is nearly universal. It is a question of which ideas will capture the 
public's imagination.

Revolution usually erupts over events that would, in normal 
circumstances, be considered meaningless or minor acts of injustice 
by the state. But once the tinder of revolt has piled up, as it has 
in the United States, an insignificant spark easily ignites popular 
rebellion. No person or movement can ignite this tinder. No one knows 
where or when the eruption will take place. No one knows the form it 
will take. But it is certain now that a popular revolt is coming. The 
refusal by the corporate state to address even the minimal grievances 
of the citizenry, along with the abject failure to remedy the 
mounting state repression, the chronic unemployment and 
underemployment, the massive debt peonage that is crippling more than 
half of Americans, and the loss of hope and widespread despair, means 
that blowback is inevitable.

Because revolution is evolution at its boiling point you cannot 
'make' a real revolution any more than you can hasten the boiling of 
a tea kettle, Berkman wrote. It is the fire underneath that makes 
it boil: how quickly it will come to the boiling point will depend on 
how strong the fire is.

Revolutions, when they erupt, appear to the elites and the 
establishment to be sudden and unexpected. This is because the real 
work of revolutionary ferment and consciousness is unseen by the 
mainstream society, noticed only after it has largely been completed. 
Throughout history, those who have sought radical change have always 
had to first discredit the ideas used to prop up ruling elites and 
construct alternative ideas for society, ideas often embodied in a 
utopian revolutionary myth. The articulation of a viable socialism as 
an alternative to corporate tyranny-as attempted by the book 
Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA and the website Popular 
Resistance-is, for me, paramount. Once ideas shift for a large 
portion of a population, once the vision of a new society grips the 
popular imagination, the old regime is finished.

An uprising that is devoid of ideas and vision is never a threat to 
ruling elites. Social upheaval without clear definition and 
direction, without ideas behind it, descends into nihilism, random 
violence and chaos. It consumes itself. This, at its core, is why I 
disagree with some elements of the Black Bloc anarchists. I believe 
in strategy. And so did many anarchists, including Berkman, Emma 
Goldman, Pyotr Kropotkin and Mikhail Bakunin.

By the time ruling elites are openly defied, there has already been a 
nearly total loss of faith in the ideas-in our case free market 
capitalism and globalization-that sustain the structures of the 
ruling elites. And once enough people get it, a process that can take 
years, the slow, quiet, and peaceful social evolution becomes quick, 
militant, and violent, as Berkman wrote. Evolution becomes 

This is where we 

[Biofuel] China, Gold Prices and US Default Threats

2013-10-27 Thread Keith Addison

Gold Wars
Kelly Mitchell's Pathbreaking Book
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Global Research, October 25, 2013


China, Gold Prices and US Default Threats

By F. William Engdahl

Global Research, October 23, 2013

RT Op-Edge 21 October 2013

In the very days when a deep split in the US Congress threatened a US 
government debt default, the gold price should normally jump through 
the roof, yet the opposite was the case. It is worth a closer look 

Since August 1971, when US President Richard Nixon unilaterally tore 
up the Bretton Woods Treaty of 1944 and told the world that the 
Federal Reserve 'gold window' was permanently closed, Wall Street 
banks and US and City of London financial powers have done everything 
imaginable to prevent gold from again becoming the basis of trust in 
a currency.

On Friday, October 11, when there was no sign of any deal between US 
Congress members and the Obama White House that would end the 
government shutdown, the Chicago CME Group, which operates Comex - 
the Chicago Commodity Exchange, where contracts in gold derivatives 
are traded - announced that at 8:42am Eastern time the trading was 
halted for 10 seconds after a safety mechanism was triggered because 
a 2-million-ounce (56.7 million grams) gold futures sell order was 

Something rotten in gold market 

The result of that huge paper gold sale was that at just the time 
when a possible US government debt default would send investors in a 
panic rush to the safety of buying gold, instead, the price plunged 
$30 an ounce to a three-month low of $1,259.60 an ounce. Market 
insiders believe the reason was direct market manipulation.

David Govett, head of precious metals at bullion broker Marex 
Spectron, calls the sudden huge futures sale suspicious.

These moves are becoming more and more prevalent and to my mind have 
to either be the work of someone attempting to manipulate the market 
or someone who really shouldn't be trusted with the sums of money 
they are throwing around. There are ways of entering and exiting a 
market so that minimum damage is caused and whoever is entering these 
orders has no intention of doing that, Govett said.

UBS gold trader Art Cashin echoed the suspicion.

Šif that happens once it could be an accident of technology, or it 
could be a simple error. But when it happens five times over a period 
of months, it does raise questions. Is it being done purposefully? Is 
somebody trying to influence the market? 

That 'someone' market sources believe is the Obama White House, in 
league with the Federal Reserve and key Wall Street banks that would 
be ruined were gold to really rise.

In March 1988, five months after the worst one-day stock market 
plunge in history, President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 
12631. Order 12631 created the Working Group on Financial Markets, 
known on Wall Street as the 'Plunge Protection Team' because its job 
was to prevent any future unexpected financial market panic selloff 
or 'plunge'.

The group is headed by the US Treasury Secretary and includes the 
chairman of the Federal Reserve, the head of the Securities  
Exchange Commission, and the head of the Commodity Futures Trading 
Commission (CFTC) which is responsible for monitoring derivatives 
trading on exchanges.

Numerous times since 1988, reports have surfaced of secret 
interventions by the Plunge Protection Team to prevent a market panic 
selloff that could threaten the role of the US dollar. Former Clinton 
White House staff chief George Stephanopoulos admitted in 2006 that 
it was used to support the markets in the 1998 Russia/LTCM crisis 
under Bill Clinton, and again after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 

He said, They have an informal agreement among major banks to come 
in and start to buy stock if there appears to be a problem.

Clearly stocks are not the only thing the government manipulates. 
Gold these days is a prime focus. The price of gold in recent 
years-since the eruption of the US IT stock bubble in 
2000-has exploded from around $300 an ounce to a recent record high 
above $1,900 in August, 2011. Gold rose an impressive 70 percent from 
December 2008 to June 2011, after the Lehman Brothers collapse and 
the start of the Greek crisis in the eurozone.

Since then, with no clear reason, gold has reversed and lost more 
than 31 percent, despite the fact that talk of a unilateral Israeli 
military strike on Iran and the US financial debacle combined with a 
euro crisis, and now, threat of US government default, created 
overall huge demand for investment in gold.

This past April 10, the heads of the five largest US banks, the Wall 
Street 'Gods of Money' - JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of 
America and Citigroup - requested a closed door meeting with Obama at 
the White House. Fifteen days later, on April 

[Biofuel] Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

2013-10-27 Thread Keith Addison
Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of 
Worldwide Nuclear Radiation Global Research, October 25, 2013

Fukushima - A Global Threat That Requires a Global Response
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Global Research, October 25, 2013

Melted Nuclear Fuel Sank into the Ground under Fukushima Reactors. 
Irradiated Groundwater Flowing into Ocean, it's too Late to do 
Anything about This : Japan Journalist

By Global Research News
Global Research, October 24, 2013

How Accurate Are The Instruments in Nuclear Reactors?
By Maggie Gundersen, Lucas W Hixson, and David Lochbaum
Global Research, October 22, 2013

Fuel Removal From Fukushima's Reactor 4 Threatens 'Apocalyptic' Scenario
In November, TEPCO set to begin to remove fuel rods whose radiation 
matches the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs

ublished on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by Common Dreams

Tsunami Hits Fukushima Š No Reported Damage: Nuclear Reactors 
Worldwide Vulnerable to Earthquakes  Flooding

By Global Research News and Washington's Blog
Global Research, October 26, 2013

Fukushima Fraud and Corruption: Japanese Organized Crime Involved in 
Recruitment of Specialized Personnel

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 25, 2013

Special Report: Help wanted in Fukushima: Low pay, high risks and gangsters
By Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito
October 25, 2013

28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear 
Radiation From Fukushima

By Michael Snyder
Global Research, October 23, 2013

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] The Real Reason U.S. Targets Whistleblowers

2013-10-27 Thread Keith Addison

The Real Reason U.S. Targets Whistleblowers

By Washington's Blog

Global Research, October 27, 2013

Washington's Blog

Hypocrisy as a Weapon

U.S. leaders have long:

* Condemned China for spying and hacking our computers Š But the 
Snowden leaks show that America is doing the same thing - on a much 
larger scale

* Considered waterboarding to be a war crime and a form of torture, 
including when the Japanese did it in WWII (and see this). But when 
we did it, we insisted it was not torture

* Proselytized other countries to follow free market capitalism. But 
we no longer follow free market capitalism in America. Instead, we 
have socialism for the rich and sink-or-swim capitalism for everyone 
else.  Whether you call it crony capitalism, fascism, communist style 
socialism, kleptocracy, oligarchy or banana republicanism Š it ain't 
real capitalism

* Labeled indiscriminate killing of civilians as terrorism.  Yet the 
American military  indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and see 
this),  calling it carefully targeted strikes.   For example, when 
Al Qaeda, Syrians or others target people attending funerals of those 
killed - or those attempting to rescue people who have been injured 
by - previous attacks, we rightfully label it terrorism.  But the 
U.S. government does exactly the same thing (more), pretending that 
it is all okay

* Lambasted those who do not follow a rule of law as tin-pot 
tyrants.  But the rule of law has broken down in America, and we now 
have less access to justice than in many parts of the world

* Blasted oppressive regimes which do not allow free speech, a free 
press and other liberties for their people Š But have discarded most 
of those same liberties in our homeland

* Scolded tyrants who launch aggressive wars to grab power or plunder 
resources. But we ourselves have launched a series of wars for oil 
(and here) and gas

* Said that those who support terrorists should be treated as 
terrorists.  But the U.S. government has long supported terrorists 
for cynical political purposes.

* Sought to spread democracy around the world.  But democracy is 
not being honored at home (more here and here)

* Said that we must stamp out terrorism.  But we are doing the exact 
same things we accuse the terrorists of doing (or worse)

Can you spot a pattern of hypocrisy?

Indeed, the worse the acts by officials, the more they say we it must 
be covered up Š for the good of the country.

For example, Elizabeth Goitein - co-director of the Liberty and 
National Security Program at New York University School of Law's 
Brennan Center for Justice - writes:

The government has begun to advance bold new justifications for 
classifying information that threaten to erode the principled limits 
that have existed - in theory, if not always in practice - for 
decades. The cost of these efforts, if they remain unchecked, may be 
the American public's ability to hold its government accountable.


The government acknowledged that it possessed mug shots, videos 
depicting forcible extractions of al-Qahtani from his cell and videos 
documenting various euphemistically termed intelligence debriefings 
of al-Qahtani. It argued that all of these images were properly 
classified and withheld from the public - but not because they would 
reveal sensitive intelligence methods, the traditional justification 
for classifying such information. The government did not stake its 
case on this time-tested argument perhaps because the details of 
al-Qahtani's interrogations have been officially disclosed through 
agency reports and congressional hearings. Instead, the government 
argued that the images could be shielded from disclosure because the 
Taliban and associated forces have previously used photos of U.S. 
forces interacting with detainees to garner support for attacks 
against those forces. Even more broadly, the government asserted that 
disclosure could aid in the recruitment and financing of extremists 
and insurgent groups.


The government's argument echoed a similar claim it made in a lawsuit 
earlier this year over a FOIA request for postmortem photographs of 
Osama bin Laden. A CIA official attested that these images could aid 
the production of anti-American propaganda, noting that images of 
abuse at Abu Ghraib had been very effective in helping Al-Qaeda to 
recruit supporters and raise funds. The appeals court did not address 
this argument, however, resting its decision on the narrower ground 
that these particular images were likely to incite immediate violence.

The judge in al-Qahtani's case showed no such restraint. She held 
that the photos and videos were properly classified because it (is) 
both logical and plausible that extremists would utilize images of 
al-Qahtani Š to incite anti-American sentiment, to raise funds, 
and/or to recruit other loyalists. When CCR pointed out 

[Biofuel] America's Secret Wars in Over 100 Countries Around the World

2013-10-27 Thread Keith Addison

America's Secret Wars in Over 100 Countries Around the World

By Andrew Gavin Marshall

October 25, 2013 Information Clearing House -  Obama's global terror 
campaign is not only dependent upon his drone assassination program, 
but increasingly it has come to rely upon the deployment of Special 
Operations forces in countries all over the world, reportedly between 
70 and 120 countries at any one time. As Obama has sought to draw 
down the large-scale ground invasions of countries (as Bush pursued 
in Afghanistan and Iraq), he has escalated the world of 'covert 
warfare,' largely outside the oversight of Congress and the public. 
One of the most important agencies in this global secret war is the 
Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC for short.

JSOC was established in 1980 following the failed rescue of American 
hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Iran as an obscure and secretive 
corner of the military's hierarchy, noted the Atlantic. It 
experienced a rapid expansion under the Bush administration, and 
since Obama came to power, appears to be playing an increasingly 
prominent role in national security and counterterrorism, in areas 
which were traditionally covered by the CIA.[1] One of the most 
important differences between these covert warfare operations being 
conducted by JSOC instead of the CIA is that the CIA has to report to 
Congress, whereas JSOC only reports its most important activities to 
the President's National Security Council.[2]

During the Bush administration, JSOC reported directly to Vice 
President Dick Cheney, according to award-winning investigative 
journalist Seymour Hersh (of the New Yorker), who explained that, 
It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been 
going on and on and on. He added: Under President Bush's authority, 
they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or 
the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing 
them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us.[3]

In 2005, Dick Cheney referred to U.S. Special Forces as the silent 
professionals representing the kind of force we want to build for 
the future... a force that is lighter, more adaptable, more agile, 
and more lethal in action. And without a hint of irony, Cheney 
stated: None of us wants to turn over the future of mankind to tiny 
groups of fanatics committing indiscriminate murder and plotting 
large-scale terror.[4] Not unless those fanatics happen to be 
wearing U.S. military uniforms, of course, in which case committing 
indiscriminate murder and plotting large-scale terror is not an 

The commander of JSOC during the Bush administration - when it served 
as Cheney's executive assassination ring - was General Stanley 
McChrystal, whom Obama appointed as the top military commander in 
Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, JSOC began to play a much larger role 
in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.[5] In early 2009, the new head of 
JSOC, Vice Admiral William H. McRaven ordered a two-week 'halt' to 
Special Operations missions inside Afghanistan, after several JSOC 
raids in previous months killed several women and children, adding to 
the growing outrage within Afghanistan about civilian deaths caused 
by US raids and airstrikes, which contributed to a surge in civilian 
deaths over 2008.[6]

JSOC has also been involved in running a secret war inside of 
Pakistan, beginning in 2006 but accelerating rapidly under the Obama 
administration. The secret war was waged in cooperation with the 
CIA and the infamous private military contractor, Blackwater, made 
infamous for its massacre of Iraqi civilians, after which it was 
banned from operating in the country.[7]

Blackwater's founder, Erik Prince, was recruited as a CIA asset in 
2004, and in subsequent years acquired over $1.5 billion in contracts 
from the Pentagon and CIA, and included among its leadership several 
former top-level CIA officials. Blackwater, which primarily hires 
former Special Forces soldiers, has largely functioned as an 
overseas Praetorian guard for the CIA and State Department 
officials, who were also helping to craft, fund, and execute 
operations, including assembling hit teams, all outside of any 
Congressional or public oversight (since it was technically a private 

The CIA hired Blackwater to aid in a secret assassination program 
which was hidden from Congress for seven years.[9] These operations 
would be overseen by the CIA or Special Forces personnel.[10] 
Blackwater has also been contracted to arm drones at secret bases in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan for Obama's assassination program, overseen 
by the CIA.[11] The lines dividing the military, the CIA and 
Blackwater had become blurred, as one former CIA official 
commented, It became a very brotherly relationship... There was a 
feeling that Blackwater eventually become an extension of the 


[Biofuel] Another Nobel Peace Prize - Another Farce?

2013-10-23 Thread Keith Addison

Another Nobel Peace Prize - Another Farce?


Felicity Arbuthnot

The Nobel Peace Prize brings another surprise - or farce, depending 
on your view. In relatively recent history, there has been Henry 
Kissinger (1973) architect supreme of murderous assaults on sovereign 
nations; the United Nations (2001) whose active warmongering or 
passive, silent holocausts (think UN embargoes) make shameful mockery 
of the aspirational founding words.

In 2002 it was Jimmy Carter, whose poisonous Carter Doctrine of 
1980 included declaring the aim of American control of the Persian 
Gulf as a US vital interest, justified by any means necessary. 
2005 saw the Award go to the International Atomic Energy Agency, 
which promotes nuclear energy, creating the most lethal pollutants to 
which the planet and its population has ever been subjected. The 
nuclear waste from the industry the IAEA promotes, is now turned in 
to conventional, but never the less, nuclear and chemical weapons, 
by a sleight of hand of astonishing historical proportions.. 

Barack Obama (2009) has since declared himself executioner, by 
assassination in any form, any time, any place, anywhere, of anyone 
deemed by him (not judge or jury) connected to that now catch all 
phrase terrorism - half a world away.

The Guantanamo concentration camp to which he unequivocally committed 
closing (17th November 2008,60 Minutes) asserting: I have said 
repeatedly that I will close Guantanamo and I will follow through on 
that. I have said repeatedly that America does not torture. And I'm 
gonna make sure that we don't torture ... those are part and parcel 
of an effort to ... regain America's moral stature in the world. 
Gulag Guantanamo remains with its prisoners, pathetic, desperate 
untried, or those ordered released, languishing year after year. 
America's moral stature has plummeted lower than the Nixon years, 
Libya lies in ruins, Syria barely survives, with the terrorists' 
backers aided via Washington's myriad back doors - and in global 
outposts, US backed or instigated torture thrives.

2012's Nobel lauded the European Union, which, since its inception, 
has crippled smaller trading economies, put barriers, unattainable 
conditions, or indeed, near extortion on trade with poorer countries 
(often former colonies.)

EU Member States have also enjoined punitive embargoes against the 
most helpless of nations and enthusiastically embraced the latest 
nation target to be reduced to a pre-industrial age (correction: be 
freed to embrace democracy and the delights of rule by imposed 
despots, or a long, murderous, unaccountable foreign occupation and 
asset seizure.) Eminent International Law Expert, Professor Francis 
Boyle, called the EU Award: A sick joke and a demented fraud.

This year's Peace Prize awarded, on Friday, 11th October, went to the 
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) the 
Netherlands based organization, founded only in 1997, unheard of by 
most, charged with ridding the world of chemical weapons.

The Award came ten days after an OPCW team arrived in Syria to 
eliminate the country's chemical weapons stock. A brief visit in 
August had them scuttling out, an apparent courage free entity, 
within days. President Assad had requested their investigations back 
in March, after it was claimed terrorist factions had used chemical 
weapons - insurgents now believed to be from some eighty three 
countries, backed primarily by the US, UK, Quatar and Saudi Arabia.

The OPCW's return, on 1st October, is now touted as a breakthrough 
with an intransigent regime who had previously blocked them at every 
turn - rather than had the door open for them since March - the team, 
now billed as brave souls, working in a war zone - in which the 
Syrian people and government live - and die - every day - in a 
blood-soaked insurgency of that that famed international 
community's making.

Is the annual Nobel justified anyway to an organization which has, in 
spite of the nightmare hazards to an entire population, agree to 
destroying an alleged 1,000 tons of highly dangerous chemicals (if we 
believe what we are told) in just months?

In context, the US still has over three times as much chemical 
weaponry (estimated at over 3,100 tons) and has defied the specified 
April 2012 deadline for their disposal, on the basis that the dangers 
are so great that they cannot complete building the appropriate 
facilities until 2020 (some reports state 2023.) For the same reasons 
of technical and safety obstacles, Russia has a believed five times 
the US amount left to destroy.(i) Shameful double standards rule 

Wade Mathews, who worked on the U.S. chemical stockpile destruction, 
is uncertain that Syria can meet the deadline. He states that the 
U.S. disposal took billions of dollars, the cooperation of many 
levels of government - including 

[Biofuel] US government, media silent on sacking of top nuclear officers

2013-10-23 Thread Keith Addison

US government, media silent on sacking of top nuclear officers

By Thomas Gaist

19 October 2013

A week has passed since the unprecedented back-to-back firings of two 
top US nuclear commanders, and the silence of the political and media 
establishment on the matter is deafening.

While expert sources acknowledge that the firings of Vice Admiral Tim 
Giardina and Major General Michael Carey constitute an unprecedented 
crisis in the US military, the media have accepted the US military's 
presentation of it a matter of the two officers' personal problems. 
Air Force General Robert Kehler's assertion that both firings were 
the result of vaguely defined unfortunate behavioral incidents has 
been accepted, and the matter largely dropped.

Such accounts are not only not credible, they entirely evade the 
issues involved in the sudden cashiering of officers controlling the 
most powerful nuclear arsenal on the planet, capable of destroying 
humanity many times over. As military sources or specialists of 
military affairs acknowledge, the firings reflect a deep crisis of 
the US military. In such a situation, neither the possibility of 
potentially catastrophic technical problems with the US nuclear 
arsenal nor of threatened military action against the US civilian 
government can be ruled out.

A report on the firing of Vice Admiral Tim Giardina in the Marine 
Corps Times noted that such an event is exceedingly rare and perhaps 
unprecedented in the history of U.S. Strategic Command, which is 
responsible for all American nuclear war fighting forces, including 
nuclear-armed submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.

Speaking to the WSWS, Peter Feaver, Professor of Political Science at 
Duke University and Director of the Duke Program in American Grand 
Strategy, observed: If you look over the last 4-5 years there have 
been quite a few senior officers who have been relieved for cause, 
quite a number of those in the last several yearsŠ The military has 
been struggling to come to terms with why there are so many firings.

Feaver's remarks point to anger in the military over the 
extraordinary number of high-ranking officers who have been sacked 
with little or no public explanation. Other top officers removed from 
command positions under Obama include General James Mattis, Maj. 
General Mark Gurganus, Maj. General Gregg Sturdevant, General Stanley 
A. McChrystal and General David Petraeus.

McChrystal was removed as commander of US occupation forces in 
Afghanistan after making fun of Vice President Joe Biden in an 
interview with Rolling Stone, while Petraeus-a former commander of US 
forces in Iraq-was replaced, ostensibly due to a sex scandal.

Carey was fired by the US Air Force on October 11. He commanded the 
20th Air Force, including 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles 
(ICBMs) in silos across the northern US. Carey was on an unspecified 
temporary duty assignment at the time of the alleged infraction. 
Though US officials suggested alcohol was involved, they also denied 
that Carey had an alcohol problem. It remains unclear why he was 

Vice Admiral James Giardina was second in command of the US Strategic 
Command, having previously commanded a squadron of 10 Trident 
submarines armed with nuclear warheads. He allegedly was dismissed 
for playing at a casino with $1,500 worth of fake gambling chips.

As for Mattis, the commandant of the Marine Corps who infamously 
declared in 2005 that it was a lot of fun to shoot Afghans, he 
stepped down as head of US Central Command earlier this year, 
reportedly over differences with the White House over US war policy 
against Syria and Iran. Known for advocating an aggressive US 
strategy against Iran, he pressed for aggressive moves to cut off 
Iranian aid to the Syrian regime, declaring: Absent Iran's help, I 
don't believe [Syrian President Bashar] Assad would have been in 
power the last six months.

It is significant that the sudden cashiering of Giardina and Carey 
follows the Obama administration's decision to postpone a war with 
Syria, which it nearly launched last month.

More broadly, a decade of escalating US imperialist interventions 
across the Middle East and Africa has placed rising strains on the US 
military and its relations with civilian authorities. At the same 
time, the weight of the US military and security forces in the 
country's political life has grown immensely, as the White House 
relied on them to fight wars and promote the hysterical atmosphere of 
the war on terror.

The risk of military rule in the United States was underscored by the 
unprecedented lockdown of the entire city of Boston by US security 
forces in April, after the Boston Marathon bombing.

In a 2008 article Coming Soon: A Crisis in Civil-Military 
Relations, University of North Carolina Professor Richard Kohn 
bluntly wrote: The president elected in November will inherit a 

[Biofuel] Monsanto's pesticides poisoning Argentina - report

2013-10-23 Thread Keith Addison

Monsanto's pesticides poisoning Argentina - report

Published time: October 21, 2013

Pesticides sold by Monsanto are behind health problems ranging from 
birth defects to elevated rates of cancer in Argentina, a report has 
revealed. A lack of regulations has led to widespread misuse of 
Monsanto's products in the Latin American nation.

The Associated Press carried out a report that found a clear link 
between the use of pesticides sold by Monsanto and growing health 
problems in Argentina. Absence of regulations and their enforcement 
has led to widespread misuse of Monsanto's chemicals across the 
country. In turn, this has caused multiple health problems in the 
rural population.

AP documented a number of occasions when toxic pesticides were used 
close to populated areas and consequently contaminated the water 
supply and caused health problems.

Santa Fe Province, which is Argentina's number one producer of 
cereals, forbids the use of pesticides less than 500 meters from 
populated areas. However, AF uncovered evidence that toxic chemicals 
were used as little as 30 meters from people's homes.

Schoolteacher Andrea Druetta who lives in Santa Fe told AP that her 
children had been covered in pesticides recently while swimming in 
the garden pool.

In addition, studies show that cancer rates in the province are two 
to four times higher than the rest of the country, while in the 
neighboring province of Chaco birth defects have quadrupled since the 
introduction of biotechnology in the agricultural industry around a 
decade ago.

Researchers also found high rates of thyroid disorders and chronic 
respiratory illness in Santa Fe.

Deadly cocktails

Monsanto's chemical pesticide, Roundup, contains a substance called 
glyphosate. While the substance has been deemed harmless, AP found 
that it is being used in a number of ways in Argentina that are 
unanticipated by regulatory science or specifically banned by 
existing law.

Doctor Damian Vernassi from the Faculty of Medicine of the University 
of Rosario told RT's Spanish channel, Actualidad RT, that these 
chemical mixes could be responsible for the drastic increase in 
health problems.

It could be linked to pesticides, he said. There has been analysis 
of the primary ingredient, but we have never investigated the 
interactions between the different chemicals that are being mixed.

AP interviewed Argentine farmhand, Fabian Tomassi, who worked 
preparing a cocktail of chemicals to spray crops for three years. He 
now suffers from the debilitating neurological disorder, 
polyneuropathy, and is near death.

I prepared millions of liters of poison without any kind of 
protection, no gloves, masks or special clothing, he said. I didn't 
know anything. I only learned later what it did to me, after 
contacting scientists.

In response to the study, Monsanto issued a statement saying that it 
does not condone the misuse of pesticides or the violation of any 
pesticide law, regulation, or court ruling.

Monsanto takes the stewardship of products seriously and we 
communicate regularly with our customers regarding proper use of our 
products, said spokesperson Thomas Helscher in a written statement.

Argentina was one of the first countries to adopt Monsanto's 
biotechnology to increase its agricultural output. The 
multinational's products transformed Argentina into the world's third 
largest producer of soy.

At present Argentina's entire soy crop is genetically modified, as is 
most of its corn and cotton. In addition, AP found that Argentine 
farmers use about 4.5 pounds of pesticide concentrate per acre, which 
is over double the amount used in the US.

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[Biofuel] The NSA Isn't Foiling Terrorist Plots

2013-10-11 Thread Keith Addison

The NSA Isn't Foiling Terrorist Plots

There's still no credible evidence that the NSA's massive digital 
surveillance has disrupted any terrorist plots.

By Teun van Dongen, October 8, 2013.

U.S. officials claim that the government's massive data collection 
has protected the country from terrorist attacks. After The 
Guardian's first revelations about the National Security Agency's 
digital surveillance programs, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the 
Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Mike Rogers, head of the 
House Intelligence Committee, jumped to the NSA's defense by pointing 
to two terrorist plots supposedly foiled by the organization's 
digital surveillance programs. Lawyers and policemen involved in 
these cases disputed these claims, but this did not keep NSA chief 
Keith Alexander from taking it up a notch by raising the number of 
foiled attacks to more than 50, and later to 54.

These numbers are crucial for an informed debate about the digital 
surveillance programs. If the NSA's digital surveillance indeed 
prevented 54 terrorist attacks, the public can decide whether these 
54 attacks are worth their privacy. This number would suggest that 
the NSA's programs are actually keeping the United States and Europe 
safe from terrorism.

It is far from certain, however, that the NSA is getting its numbers right.

Who Stops Terrorism?

Contrary to what one would expect given the secretive nature of 
intelligence operations, we actually know quite a bit about how 
terrorist plots in the United States and Europe are foiled. Several 
attacks, for instance, were discovered after law enforcement agencies 
picked up on suspicious (non-digital) behaviors of the plotters. 
Samir Azzouz, the most prolific jihadist terrorist in the 
Netherlands, attracted the attention of the Dutch secret service when 
he tried to travel to Chechnya to join the jihad against the Russians.

Other plotters gave themselves away by associating with known 
terrorists. For instance, a 2009 plot to attack the New York Stock 
Exchange came to light after one of the perpetrators contacted a 
Yemeni extremist who was under FBI surveillance. The plans of Mohamed 
Osman Mohamud, who was arrested just before he could execute his 
attack against a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, were 
detected in a similar manner. The FBI started following Mohamud after 
he e-mailed a known terrorist recruiter. Since the FBI does not have 
mass digital surveillance capabilities, the person Mohamud contacted 
was likely already under surveillance.

Najibullah Zazi's plans for an attack against the New York subway 
were thwarted this way, too. British intelligence informed their U.S. 
counterparts that Zazi had had e-mail contact with a Pakistani 
radical who was being watched for involvement in a British terror 
plot. A fourth example involves Abdullah Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of 
the cell that prepared the liquid bomb attacks against transatlantic 
flights in 2006. He first came to the attention of MI5 after he was 
seen interacting with known radicals.

In other cases, the police uncovered terrorist activities after 
having arrested the perpetrators for unrelated crimes. A cell in 
London, for instance, attracted the attention of the police after its 
involvement in skirmishes with right-wing extremist youths. A more 
bizarre example concerns Ahmed Ferhani, who, apparently deeply 
enraged after an arrest for petty crime, told the police about his 
ambition to join the jihad. Several months later, he was arrested for 
planning an attack against a New York synagogue.

Sheer luck sometimes plays a role as well. UK police disrupted a 
terrorist attack against a rally of the English Defense League, a 
right-wing extremist organization, after pulling over the 
perpetrators because of a problem with their car insurance. Sometimes 
it's not even the police that uncover terrorist plots. In the cases 
of planned attacks against the Fort Dix Army base in 2009 and against 
a shopping mall in Bristol in 2008, alert members of the public 
tipped off the police.

What about the NSA?

Admittedly we do not know how all terrorist plots have been detected. 
But going by what we do know, the conclusion is simple: terrorist 
plots have been foiled in all sorts of ways, few of which had 
anything to do with mass digital surveillance. True, in the case of 
the dismantlement of the Sauerland Cell in Germany in 2007, NSA 
information played a role. But whether the authorities got this 
information from digital dragnet surveillance or from more 
individualized and targeted monitoring is hard to tell.

It might be tempting to give the NSA the benefit of the doubt, given 
that the organization speaks on the basis of information that we do 
not have. But such dubious claims about the effectiveness of the 
digital surveillance programs fit seamlessly into a pattern of 
misinformation and deceit. The 

[Biofuel] Fukushima Workers Doused With Radioactive Water

2013-10-11 Thread Keith Addison

Radiation Levels in Seawater Near Fukushima Spike to Two-Year High
TEPCO admits cesium levels measured Wednesday were 13 times higher 
than day before

Published on Thursday, October 10, 2013 by Common Dreams

No one at Fukushima seems to have any idea what they're doing

Through Fukushima Lense, a Look at Looming US Nuclear Crisis
Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Common Dreams

DOE Reveals Delays in Plutonium Disposition Program
October 9, 2013
Friends of the Earth


Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Common Dreams

Fukushima Workers Doused With Radioactive Water

Second mishap in a week marks ongoing nuclear disaster

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

In what was just the latest in a long series of mishaps at the 
Fukushima nuclear power plant, six workers were splashed with 
radioactive water, plant operator TEPCO said on Wednesday.

A leak occurred when workers accidentally detached a pipe connected 
to a desalination system and as much as 10 tons of radioactive water 
may have spilled, hitting workers and covering the floor. 

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan's nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear 
Regulation Authority, said that while he did not believe the workers 
were exposed to a seriously troubling dosage, he said that the 
fact that there has been a string of incidents occurring on a daily 
basis that could have been avoided-I think that is the large problem.

Wednesday's mishap was the second to hit the plant this week.

On Monday, a worker at Fukushima accidentally turned off power to 
pumps for a water cooling system.

And just days before that, on Thursday of last week, TEPCO announced 
another spill at the crisis-hit plant released water 6,700 times more 
radioactive than the legal limit.

The list of problems contributing to the ongoing Fukushima disaster 
are far from solved, as anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman 
recently wrote:

Massive quantities of heavily contaminated water are pouring into 
the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of huge, flimsy tanks are also leaking 
untold tons of highly radioactive fluids.  

At Unit #4, more than 1,300 fuel rods, with more than 400 tons of 
extremely radioactive material, containing potential cesium fallout 
comparable to 14,000 Hiroshima bombs, are stranded 100 feet in the 

All this more than 30 months after the 3/11/2011 earthquake/tsunami 
led to three meltdowns and at least four explosions.

A group of nuclear experts issued a letter in urgency to UN head 
Ban Ki-moon last month imploring him to coordinate international 
action to deal with the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

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[Biofuel] US Failing International Treaty as Chemical Weapons Stockpile Plagues Panama

2013-10-11 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Common Dreams

US Failing International Treaty as Chemical Weapons Stockpile Plagues Panama

As US maintains chemical weapons ultimatum over Syria, others point 
to US stockpiles

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

As the U.S. continues to hold the threat of war over the Syrian 
government if it doesn't destroy its chemical weapons, a McClatchy 
article published Wednesday highlights the hypocrisy of that 
threat-the U.S. has left one of its own chemical weapons stockpiles 
sitting on an island off the coast of Panama for over 60 years.

Following years of requests to the U.S. from Panama's government to 
abide by international law and clean up the chemical weapons mess it 
has left on the island of San Jose, as well as other parts of Panama, 
the Obama administration told McClatchy that it intends to send a 
team later this year to investigate the situation. But it remains to 
be seen if the U.S. will actually sign on to a proposed agreement 
that would tie them to that promise.

As McClatchy reports:

In May, Panama formally requested - through the Organization for the 
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international body based in The 
Hague, Netherlands, whose inspectors now are overseeing the 
destruction of Syria's arsenal - that the United States remove eight 
chemical bombs found there in a 2002 survey.

The Obama administration declined to say whether the outlines of an 
agreement have been reached.

We carried out a concerted effort to have these training sites 
cleaned up, recalled Jose Miguel Aleman, who was the foreign 
minister of Panama from 1999 to 2003-efforts that have thus far 

Ramon A. Morales, who served for five years as Panama's ambassador to 
the United Nations until 2004, said that buried U.S. weapons remained 
a serious problem throughout the country, not just San Jose.

Unofficially, it is known that there have been some 20 deaths by 
people who have handled this [unexploded ordinance], Morales said, 
referring to chemical and other weapons that have been left around 
the country during different eras of U.S. occupation.

San Jose Island is a mini problem compared to the rest of the 
country, he said. It's very hard for a little country like Panama 
to shake out the information from the world's most powerful country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to violate agreements of the 
intentional Chemical Weapons Convention treaty in other ways, as it 
continues to store well over 2,000 tons of chemical weapons within 
U.S. borders as well, including facilities in Kentucky and Colorado.

Syria is believed to possess approximately 1,000 tons of chemical 
weapons and has thus far met deadlines set by the U.S. and the U.N. 
to disclose them.

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[Biofuel] More Food Doesn't Guarantee Less Hunger

2013-10-11 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by OtherWords

More Food Doesn't Guarantee Less Hunger

Increasing the world's food supply won't end hunger unless we address 
inequality and injustice.

by Jill Richardson

Every October, world leaders and corporate executives gather in Iowa 
to present the World Food Prize. Intended to celebrate those who make 
the largest contributions to increasing the world's food supply, the 
recipients are announced each year by the U.S. Secretary of State.

On the same day that award is bestowed each year, so is another one. 
It's less well-known but, in my view, far more important.

This alternative accolade is called the Food Sovereignty Prize. Like 
the World Food Prize, it deals with food and hunger, but in a very 
different way.

The corporations that fund the World Food Prize may not entirely 
drive its agenda, but they certainly influence it. By focusing on the 
sheer volume of food in the world, they aim to reduce global hunger 
to a simple matter of science. Then they sell us on the idea that we 
need their products to increase the amount of food farmers harvest 
from each acre.

But producing more food doesn't always mean feeding more hungry 
mouths. The Food Sovereignty Prize recognizes that ending hunger is 
not a simple matter of growing more food. It involves social science 
as well as physical science.

When a farmer produces an extra ten bushels of crops from each acre 
of land, perhaps more people will eat - or maybe not. Americans don't 
have to travel around the world to see this, we must only ask our 
grandparents. During the Great Depression, farmers grew a great 
surplus of food, and food prices crashed. Both farmers and consumers 
suffered, as farmers went into bankruptcy while the urban poor 

Today, we grow more food than we need - and then throw 40 percent of 
it away. Meanwhile, many Americans can afford to eat enough calories 
but only by buying cheap junk food that will ultimately make them 
sick. And that's just in America, a wealthy nation. What about poor 

Smallholder farmers from around the world came together in 2007 and 
dreamed of a world where all peoples, nations and states are able to 
determine their own food producing systems and policies that provide 
every one of us with good quality, adequate, affordable, healthy, and 
culturally appropriate food. They called this idea food 

In the U.S., food sovereignty means that a North Carolina family 
won't wake up one day to find out their property value has tanked 
because a factory hog farm set up shop next door and the air smells 
like manure day in and day out. Or a small farmer in Maine who raises 
a few chickens for meat won't be told that she can't slaughter and 
sell them unless she first spends $30,000 on a government-approved 
facility for this purpose.

In the rest of the world, it means that peasant farmers who have 
farmed their family's land for generations but lack formal land 
titles won't have their land sold out from under them to a foreign 
corporation by their own government. And it means that indigenous 
farmers in the Andes will not suddenly find that they can't grow 
their traditional potato varieties because the climate changed.

This year's Food Sovereignty Prize goes to several Haitian groups who 
have together helped their nation's peasant farmers conserve 
traditional seeds, improve farming practices, recover from the 
country's massive 2010 earthquake, and alleviate poverty.

Why are world leaders rubbing elbows with corporate executives at the 
World Food Prize ceremony instead of the Haitian peasants who won the 
Food Sovereignty Prize? Perhaps because advocates of food sovereignty 
understand that achieving their goal will upset the social order in 
which the 1 percent holds all the cards and the rest of us hope to be 
trickled down upon.

And yet, if we aim to make any real progress toward ending poverty 
and hunger, we must start by challenging the inequality in our world 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share 
Alike 3.0 License

Jill Richardson is the founder of the blog La Vida Locavore and a 
member of the Organic Consumers Association policy advisory board. 
She is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is 
Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.

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[Biofuel] Are Utility Companies Out to Destroy Solar's 'Rooftop Revolution'?

2013-10-11 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Common Dreams

Are Utility Companies Out to Destroy Solar's 'Rooftop Revolution'?

In California, customers who install solar systems and battery arrays 
are finding themselves cut off from grid

- Jon Queally, staff writer

In the nation's largest state, California, the major utility 
companies are trying to limit growth.

Of rooftop solar panels, that is.

According to reporting by Bloomberg, the state's three largest 
utilities-Edison International, PGE Corp. and Sempra Energy-are 
putting up hurdles to homeowners who have installed sun-powered 
energy systems, especially those with battery backups wired to solar 
panels, in order to slow the spread of what has become a threat to 
their dominant business model.

The utilities clearly see rooftop solar as the next threat, Ben 
Peters, a government affairs analyst at solar company Mainstream 
Energy Corp., told Bloomberg. They're trying to limit the growth.

According to Peters, as the business news outlet reports, the dispute 
between those with solar arrays and the utility giants threatens the 
state's $2 billion rooftop solar industry and indicates the depth of 
utilities' concerns about consumers producing their own power.  
People with rooftop panels are already buying less electricity, and 
adding batteries takes them closer to the day they won't need to buy 
from the local grid at all.

Citing but one example, Bloomberg reports:

Matthew Sperling, a Santa Barbara, California, resident, installed 
eight panels and eight batteries at his home in April.

We wanted to have an alternative in case of a blackout to keep the 
refrigerator running, he said in an interview. Southern California 
Edison rejected his application to link the system to the grid even 
though city inspectors said it was one of the nicest they'd ever 
seen, he said.

We've installed a $30,000 system and we can't use it, Sperling said.

The utilities argue that customers with solar energy-storing 
batteries might be rigging the system by fraudulently storing 
conventional energy sent in from the utility grid, storing it in the 
batteries, and then sending it back to the grid for credit. The solar 
companies say there is no proof that this is happening.

What environmentalists and solar energy advocates see is the utility 
companies putting barriers up to a decentralized system they will not 
no longer be able to control or profit from.

As Danny Kennedy, author of the book Rooftop Revolution and 
co-founder of solar company Sungevity in California, said in an 
interview with Alternet earlier this year:

Solar power represents a change in electricity that has a 
potentially disruptive impact on power in both the literal sense 
(meaning how we get electricity) and in the figurative sense of how 
we distribute wealth and power in our society. Fossil fuels have led 
to the concentration of power whereas solar's potential is really to 
give power over to the hands of people. This shift has huge 
community benefits while releasing our dependency on the 
centralized, monopolized capital of the fossil fuel industry. So 
it's revolutionary in the technological and political sense.

As this Sierra Club video shows, the idea of a 'rooftop revolution' 
is fundamental to what many see as the most promising development in 
terms of undermining the dominance of the fossil fuel paradigm in the 

The tensions between decentralized forms of energy like rootop solar 
or small-scale wind and traditional large-scale utilities is nothing 
new, but as the crisis of climate change has spurred a global 
grassroots movement push for a complete withdrawal from the fossil 
fuel and nuclear paradigm that forms the basis of the current 
electricity grid, these tensions are growing.

As this segment from a PBS profile of the work of Lester Brown shows, 
a future of a society based on renewable energy shows what's possible:

But the resistance to these changes is coming strongest from those 
with a vested interest in the status quo. With most focus on the 
behavior of the fossil fuel companies themselves, the idea that 
utility companies will be deeply impacted by this green energy 
revolution is often overlooked.

Earlier this summer, David Roberts, an energy and environmental 
blogger at, wrote an extensive, multi-part series on the 
role of utilities in the renewable energy transition, explaining why 
understanding the politics and economics of the utility industry 
(despite the grand tedium of the task) would be essential for the 
remainder of the 21st century. Roberts wrote:

There's very little public discussion of utilities or utility 
regulations, especially relative to sexier topics like fracking or 
electric cars. That's mainly because the subject is excruciatingly 
boring, a thicket of obscure institutions and processes, opaque 
jargon, and acronyms out the wazoo. Whether PURPA 

[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #121

2013-10-08 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #121

By William Blum - Published October 7th, 2013

The War on Terrorism Š or whatever.

U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria's divided rebel 
movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions 
repudiated the Western-backed political opposition coalition and 
announced the formation of an alliance dedicated to creating an 
Islamist state. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a 
terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of 
the new group. 1

Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to 
understand the world and his country's role in it, wants to believe 
in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks 
to do good Š What is he to make of all this?

For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting 
the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil 
war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, 
logistics support, intelligence information, international political, 
diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial 
alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball 
game. Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict - 
Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - have not impeded the 
movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited 
from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, 
Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have 
supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure 
from the United States, as well as lots of what they have lots of - 

This widespread international support has been provided despite the 
many atrocities carried out by the jihadists - truck and car suicide 
bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs 
à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque 
beheadings and other dissections of victims' bodies (most charming of 
all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the 
chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood). All 
this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity - these 
Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle 
with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It 
has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American 
public as one of pro-democracy moderates locked in a 
good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in 
actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al Qaeda 
on repeated occasions before Syria. Here's a brief survey:

Afghanistan, 1980-early 1990s: In support of the Islamic Moujahedeen 
(holy warriors), the CIA orchestrated a war against the Afghan 
government and their Soviet allies, pouring in several billions of 
dollars of arms and extensive military training; hitting up 
Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which 
gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year; pressuring and 
bribing Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area 
and sanctuary.

It worked. And out of the victorious Moujahedeen came al Qaeda.

Bosnia, 1992-5: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal declared:

It is safe to say that the birth of al-Qaeda as a force on the world 
stage can be traced directly back to 1992, when the Bosnian Muslim 
government of Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport in their Vienna 
embassy to Osama bin Laden. Š for the past 10 years, the most senior 
leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden 
himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian 
surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated 
terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and 
money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, 
Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for 
a decade. 2

A few months later, The Guardian reported on the full story of the 
secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from 
the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims - some of the 
same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in the war against 
terrorism. 3

In 1994 and 1995 US/NATO forces carried out bombing campaigns over 
Bosnia aimed at damaging the military capability of the Serbs and 
enhancing that of the Bosnian Muslims. In the decade-long civil wars 
in the Balkans, the Serbs, regarded by Washington as the the last 
communist government in Europe, were always the main enemy.

Kosovo, 1998-99: Kosovo, overwhelmingly Muslim, was a province of 
Serbia, the main republic of the former Yugoslavia. In 1998, Kosovo 
separatists - The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) - began an armed 
conflict with Belgrade to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was 
considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for 
years, with numerous reports of 

[Biofuel] Cantaloupe vs. al-Qaeda: What's More Dangerous?

2013-10-08 Thread Keith Addison

Cantaloupe vs. al-Qaeda: What's More Dangerous?

Sunday, 15 September 2013 00:00

By Michael Meurer, Truthout | Op-Ed

One of the most important revelations from the international drama 
over Edward Snowden's NSA leaks in May is the exposure of a nearly 
lunatic disproportion in threat assessment and spending by the US 
government. This disproportion has been spawned by a fear-based 
politics of terror that mandates unlimited money and media attention 
for even the most tendentious terrorism threats, while lethal 
domestic risks such as contaminated food from our industrialized 
agribusiness system are all but ignored. A comparison of federal 
spending on food safety intelligence versus antiterrorism 
intelligence brings the irrationality of the threat assessment 
process into stark relief.

In 2011, the year of Osama bin Laden's death, the State Department 
reported that 17 Americans were killed in all terrorist incidents 
worldwide. The same year, a single outbreak of listeriosis from 
tainted cantaloupe killed 33 people in the United States. Foodborne 
pathogens also sickened 48.7 million, hospitalized 127,839 and caused 
a total of 3,037 deaths. This is a typical year, not an aberration.

We have more to fear from contaminated cantaloupe than from al-Qaeda, 
yet the United States spends $75 billion per year spread across 15 
intelligence agencies in a scattershot attempt to prevent terrorism, 
illegally spying on its own citizens in the process. By comparison, 
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is struggling to secure $1.1 
billion in the 2014 federal budget for its food inspection program, 
while tougher food processing and inspection regulations passed in 
2011 are held up by agribusiness lobbying in Congress. The situation 
is so dire that Jensen Farms, the company that produced the toxic 
cantaloupe that killed 33 people in 2011, had never been inspected by 
the FDA.

In the past 10 years, outbreaks of foodborne illness have affected 
all 50 states, with hundreds of food recalls annually involving many 
of America's leading brands, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, 
Taylor Farms Organics, Ralph's, Kroger, Food 4 Less, Costco, Dole, 
Kellogg's and dozens of others. There have been multi-state recalls 
of contaminated cheese, organic spinach, salad greens, lettuce, milk, 
ground beef, eggs, organic brown rice, peanut butter, mangoes, 
cantaloupe and hundreds of other popular foods.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, foodborne pathogens have killed an estimated 
36,000 people in the United States. During this same period, 
terrorism has killed 323 Americans worldwide. Imagine for a minute if 
food safety threats were marketed to the public in the same lurid 
fashion as terror threats. Here is a sample press release:

WASHINGTON, DC - Homeland Security announced today that America is 
under attack by deadly terrorist cells. These terrorists often 
originate overseas. The threat to our security is credible. They can 
destroy our way of life and must be stopped. They have no respect for 
individual life or democratic freedoms. They operate on a cellular 
basis and hide in darkened spaces. They kill over 3,000 innocent 
Americans each year and are likely to strike again at any moment. 
These deadly operatives are masters of disguise, often concealing 
themselves in peanut butter sandwiches, spinach salads, hamburgers, 
milkshakes or gourmet cheeses. Their leaders have code names such as 
E-coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Staph Bacteria and Hepatitis A. We urge 
all Americans to be alert.

With profound respect for the memory of the 2.997 people who lost 
their lives as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, 
Americans are 110 times more likely to die from contaminated food 
than terrorism, with 1 in 6 sickened every year at an annual cost to 
the economy of nearly $80 billion. Children and the elderly are the 
most vulnerable because their immune systems are weakest.

The disproportion in risk versus spending when comparing terrorism 
and food-borne illness makes it clear that US threat assessment with 
respect to terror is irrational. It distorts the entire federal 
funding process and needs to be overhauled.

Inflating the risk of terrorism is a $14 trillion business

With only a few thousand al-Qaeda members worldwide, and an 
ideological leadership core now reduced to 300 to 400 individuals, 
few of whom operate outside the Muslim world, it is not far-fetched 
to suggest that delusional paranoia is driving US policy and 
budgeting in the War on Terror. Excluding September 11, 2001, fewer 
than 500 Americans have been killed by terrorism in the past 40 years.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Michael Morell, 
deputy director of the CIA, listed the top three security threats to 
the US as Syria, Iran and North Korea, in that order.

Michael Cohen, a political and foreign policy fellow at the 

[Biofuel] Japan PM Seeks Overseas Help on Fukushima Leak

2013-10-08 Thread Keith Addison

Japan PM Seeks Overseas Help on Fukushima Leak

TOKYO October 6, 2013 (AP)

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that Japan is open to receiving 
overseas help to contain widening radioactive water leaks at the 
crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima, with leaks and mishaps reported 
almost daily.

Abe made the comments in a speech at an international science forum 
in Kyoto in western Japan.

We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from 
overseas to contain the problem, Abe said in his English speech to 
open the conference on energy and environment.

My country needs your knowledge and expertise, he said.

Despite Abe's reassurances to the International Olympic Committee 
last month that the leaks were under control, many Japanese believe 
he was glossing over problems at the plant.

Abe did not say whether he still thinks the leaks are under control, 
or give any specifics about foreign participation.

His comments come just days after the plant's operator acknowledged 
that highly contaminated water spilled from a storage tank as workers 
tried to fill it to the top.

Officials have acknowledged that the ground water contaminated with 
radioactive leaks has been seeping into the Pacific since soon after 
meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Recent 
leaks from storage tanks have added to public concerns.

Japan has been criticized for its perceived reluctance in accepting 
foreign assistance to fight the problems at the plant, where the 
ongoing water leaks are hampering decommissioning work that is 
expected to last decades.

Japan recently set up an organization among major utilities and 
nuclear experts to discuss decommissioning, including several 
advisers from countries such as France and Britain and Russia.

The industry and trade ministry last month started accepting project 
proposals from private companies and groups to tackle the 
contaminated water problem, but English version was added only after 
criticisms that the Japanese-only notice signaled exclusion of 
foreign participation.

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[Biofuel] Cruzonomics: The Problem of Free Market Psychology

2013-10-08 Thread Keith Addison

Er... re Adam Smith, see, e.g.,
- KA

Cruzonomics: The Problem of Free Market Psychology

Monday, 07 October 2013 09:39

By Douglas T Kenrick, Psychology Today | News Analysis

Senator Ted Cruz is a fan of the classic model of 
economic decision-making: sometimes called the Rational Man* view.  
On this view, every one of your decisions is designed to maximize 
utility - which translates loosely into personal satisfaction. If 
it feels good now, or will make you feel good later, choose it! 
Advocates of this position believe that we are, in general, pretty 
facile at processing information, and at coming to shrewd 
self-serving decisions. If you read the book Freakonomics, the 
authors explain how even seemingly senseless decisions, like changing 
one's occupation from computer technician to prostitute, or living at 
home if you are a drug dealer, are well explained by economic 
incentive structures. We are all, on this view, continuously 
operating like the high-roller in the movie Wall Street, who, while 
considering a shady deal, asks: What's in it for moi?

Ask NOT what you can do for your countryŠ 

On this view, selfishness is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is 
a virtue. The intellectual patron saint of free-market economics is 
Adam Smith, who argued that an invisible hand moves us toward 
mutually beneficial arrangements when everyone pursues his 
self-interest. For example, if consumers freely compare different 
fruit vendors at the market place, they will choose the one who 
charges the lowest price, but the price will not fall below the 
farmer's costs of production, or he will go out of business.

But there are a few problems with the Rational Man view. One is that 
people often fail to act in ways that economists regard as perfectly 
rational. For example, there is a laboratory game called the 
Ultimatum Game. Imagine that an experimenter hands you $100 and 
instructs you to divide it between yourself and a stranger in the 
next room. You can divide it any way you want, but there is one 
stipulation: If the bloke in the next room doesn't like your offer, 
nobody gets anything. What should you offer? 

And if you happen to be the bloke on the receiving end of such an 
ultimatum, how low an offer should you accept? 

If you are being completely rational, the answer is easy: When you 
control the deal, keep most of it for yourself, and offer the person 
in the next room a smaller portion - maybe $10. Why?  Because if the 
person in the next room says no, they end up with $0; whereas if they 
say yes, they are $10 richer. So it would be dumb of that person to 
refuse any offer. 

And yet, after watching thousands of subjects in countries all around 
the world play the ultimatum game, researchers find that players 
typically offer 40 percent of the pie (among American college 
students, a completely even 50-50 split is often the preferred 
choice). As Joe Henrich and his colleagues concluded after conducting 
ultimatum games in 15 different societies: We found Š that the 
canonical model - based on pure self-interest - fails in all of the 
societies studied. 

Not only do people in control typically make reasonably fair offers, 
but when the potential recipients are offered a small portion of the 
pie, they very often turn their nose up - walking away with $0 rather 
than taking the chance to make a free $10! 

Unfairness is naturally anger-producing

In fact, the mind is exquisitely sensitive to unfairness, and 
economic injustice naturally triggers a lot of angry feelings. In 
recent years, behavioral economists like Henrich and his colleagues 
have begun studying the phenomenon of costly punishment - in which 
people spitefully give up their own rewards if doing so can take 
rewards away from someone else who is treating other players 
unfairly. All completely irrational! Why get angry instead of simply 
moving on to the next vendor in the market? 

From an evolutionary perspective, there are interesting questions 
about how costly punishment evolves, but it is clear that anger in 
response to an unfair negotiator can be adaptive - it sends a message 
- do not try to cheat me again! 

People's anger at selfish negotiators helps us understand one rather 
ironic finding: Economics students at Cornell, who are trained in the 
rational self-interest model, do especially poorly in laboratory 
economics games (Frank, Gilovich,  Regan, 1993)! Why? Their 
selfishness pisses the other players off, and inhibits the 
cooperative spirit necessary to come to a mutually satisfactory deal.

Rationality and Irrationality in Political Negotiations

As Ted Cruz and the Tea Party have recently demonstrated, the 
rational model is alive and well in the political arena. The typical 
Tea Party member 

[Biofuel] Bigger Than That: (The Difficulty of) Looking at Climate Change

2013-10-08 Thread Keith Addison

Bigger Than That: (The Difficulty of) Looking at Climate Change

Monday, 07 October 2013 10:35

By Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch | News Analysis

Late last week, in the lobby of a particularly unglamorous downtown 
San Francisco building, a group of passionate but polite activists 
met with a bureaucrat who stepped forward to hear what they had to 
say about the fate of the Earth. The activists wanted to save the 
world.  The particular part of it that might be under their control 
involved getting the San Francisco Retirement board to divest its 
half a billion dollars in fossil fuel holdings, one piece of the 
international divestment movement that arose a year ago.

Sometimes the fate of the Earth boils down to getting one person with 
modest powers to budge.

The bureaucrat had a hundred reasons why changing course was, well, 
too much of a change. This public official wanted to operate under 
ordinary-times rules and the idea that climate change has thrust us 
into extraordinary times (and that divesting didn't necessarily 
entail financial loss or even financial risk) was apparently too much 
to accept.

The mass media aren't exactly helping. Last Saturday, for instance, 
the New York Times gave its story on the International Panel on 
Climate Change's six-years-in-the-making report on the catastrophic 
future that's already here below-the-fold front-page placement, more 
or less equal to that given a story on the last episode ofBreaking 
Bad. The end of the second paragraph did include this quote: In 
short, it threatens our planet, our only home. But the headline 
(U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions) and the 
opening paragraph assured you this was dull stuff. Imagine a front 
page that reported your house was on fire right now, but that some 
television show was more exciting.

Sometimes I wish media stories were organized in proportion to their 
impact.  Unfortunately, when it comes to climate change, there is not 
paper enough on this planet to properly scale up a story to the right 
size.  If you gave it the complete front page to suggest its import, 
you would then have to print the rest of the news at some sort of 
nanoscale and include an electron microscope for reading ease.

Hold up your hand. It's so big it can block out the sun, though you 
know that the sun is so much bigger. Now look at the news: in column 
inches and airtime, a minor controversy or celebrity may loom bigger 
than the planet. The problem is that, though websites and print media 
may give us the news, they seldom give us the scale of the news or a 
real sense of the proportional importance of one thing compared to 
another.  And proportion, scale, is the main news we need right now 
-- maybe always.

As it happens, we're not very good at looking at the biggest things. 
They may be bigger than we can see, or move more slowly than we have 
the patience to watch for or remember or piece together, or they may 
cause impacts that are themselves complex and dispersed and stretch 
into the future. Scandals are easier.  They are on a distinctly human 
scale, the scale of lust, greed, and violence. We like those, we 
understand them, we get mired in them, and mostly they mean little or 
nothing in the long run (or often even in the short run).

A resident in a town on the northwest coast of Japan told me that the 
black 70-foot-high wave of water coming at him on March 11, 2011, was 
so huge that, at first, he didn't believe his eyes. It was the great 
Tohoku tsunami, which killed about 20,000 people. A version of such 
cognitive dissonance occurred in 1982, when NASA initially 
rejected measurements of the atmosphere above Antarctica because they 
indicated such a radical loss of ozone that the computer program just 
threw out the data.

Some things are so big you don't see them, or you don't want to think 
about them, or you almost can't think about them. Climate change is 
one of those things. It's impossible to see the whole, because it's 
everything. It's not just a seven-story-tall black wave about to 
engulf your town, it's a complete system thrashing out of control, so 
that it threatens to become too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too 
wild, too destructive, too erratic for many plants and animals that 
depend on reliable annual cycles. It affects the entire surface of 
the Earth and every living thing, from the highest peaks to the 
depths of the oceans, from one pole to the other, from the tropics to 
the tundra, likely for millennia -- and it's not just coming like 
that wave, it's already here.

It's not only bigger than everything else, it's bigger than 
everything else put together.  But it's not a sudden event like a 
massacre or a flood or a fire, even though it includes floods, fires, 
heat waves, and wild weather.  It's an incremental shift over 
decades, over centuries.  It's 

[Biofuel] Syria

2013-09-07 Thread Keith Addison

An Israeli-Saudi-US conspiracy?
Saudi Arabia's 'Chemical Bandar' behind the Syrian chemical attacks?
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
The moralistic language coming out of Washington is despicable posturing.

Russia Will Help Syria In The Event of a Military Strike, Putin
Putin: Syria chemical attack is 'rebels' provocation in hope of intervention'

Hezbollah, Iran and Syria Prepare for Counterattack
By Mirella Hodeib
The three players have agreed on a specific course of action if 
American missiles smash into Syrian territory.

Yes, the Syrian Rebels DO Have Access to Chemical Weapons
By WashingtonsBlog
Multiple lines of evidence show that the rebels do have chemical weapons.

US Gambles on Syria with Empty Hand
By Finian Cunningham
The Americans have a choice: either present your supposedly 
incriminating evidence against the Syrian government, or proceed with 
your plans and face international wrath for committing the supreme 
crime of aggression.

Peace in Syria is Possible... Within The Week
By Thierry Meyssan
For a period of a little more than one week, there exists a window of 
possibility to stop the war.

The U.S. is Fighting for Al Qaeda in Syria.
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Barack Obama and John Kerry are not fighting terrorism. Quite the 
opposite: They are actively supporting Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria.

The US Government Stands Revealed to the World as a Collection of War 
Criminals and Liars

By Paul Craig Roberts
How can the American people and their representatives in Congress 
tolerate these extraordinary criminals?

Woman Informing Kerry, McCain's Opinions on Syria Also an Advocate 
for Syrian Rebels

By Charles C. Johnson
The woman whose opinion lawmakers are relying on to go to war in 
Syria is also a paid advocate for the war-torn country's rebels.

Senators Authorizing Syria Strike Got More Defense Cash Than 
Lawmakers Voting No

By David Kravets
Senators voting Wednesday to authorize a Syria strike received, on 
average, 83 percent more campaign financing from defense contractors 
than lawmakers voting against war.

Groundswell on Syria: The People Versus AIPAC
By Philip Weiss
We're at a defining moment in the history of the special relationship 
between the U.S. and Israel. Israel wants a war and the American 
people don't.

What Happened to the Anti-War Movement?
By David Sirota
This is red-versus-blue tribalism in its most murderous form. It 
suggests that the party affiliation of a particular president should 
determine whether or not we want that president to kill other human 

March on Washington to say Vote NO to War On Syria!
Saturday, September 7 @ 12 noon and Monday, September 9
Gather at the White House + March to the Capitol Building.

Act Now! - Say No To War On Syria
Here's the Best Way to Tell Congress Your Opinion on Syria.

Peter Certo: On the Fence About Syria? Read This!

Options for Peace Ignored, As Obama Plans for Expanded Syria War

At G20, Push For War Isolates Obama From World Leaders

Dennis Kucinich: Top 10 Unproven Claims for War Against Syria

Sarah van Gelder: Syria: Six Alternatives to Military Strikes

George Lakoff: Obama Reframes Syria: Metaphor and War Revisited

Iraq Veterans Against the War: Post 9-11 Veterans Oppose U.S. 
Military Strikes in Syria

Pentagon Involvement in Syria Likely to Ramp Up as US Role in War Deepens
Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Forget about those assurances 
that the White House is just going to punch Assad's nose and that 
will be it. Plans are already fully underway for long term Pentagon 
involvement in the Syrian civil war.

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[Biofuel] Freedom Is a Community-Based Economy

2013-09-03 Thread Keith Addison

Freedom Is a Community-Based Economy

We assume the existing hyper-structures of our centralized 
state-cartel economies will deliver us jobs, happiness, wealth, 
health and financial security. They will not.

By Charles Hugh Smith

Correspondent Simon H.'s insightful essay is not just a critique of 
our current centralized economies but an outline of a community-based 
alternative economy that offers freedom instead of dependence. Though 
his examples are drawn from the U.K., the dynamics are the same in 
America and other advanced state-cartel economies.

Here is his essay.
Freedom as infrastructural independence from existing institutions
By Simon H

Why is it so hard to be productive and useful? To be productive and 
useful in our contemporary societies involves having a 'job' and 
being paid wages in a fiat currency and paying taxes on them. To be 
either economically or socially productive means that one has to 
enter into contracts and obligations demanded by our existing 
infrastructures and institutions.

Looking at the very high levels of under and unemployment throughout 
Europe and the US some might say that the system is not working.

One can come up with a far more radical hypothesis on this point when 
one makes the assumption that the system does not care if you or even 
it are productive or not. It simply needs you to be dependent upon it 
and the matrix of its infrastructures, institutions and 
bureaucracies. Indeed the more people the system can make entirely 
dependent upon it, the more secure that system becomes as those 
dependents will seldom bite the political and bureaucratic hands that 
are feeding and 'enabling' them in very limited terms.

In the UK, if one is in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance, the system 
is constructed to compel you to be as unproductive as possible. In 
order to receive the allowance you cannot work in a voluntary 
capacity as you have to be permanently available for paid work if it 
should ever materialize, nor can you easily ease into self-employment 
in a piecemeal or transitionary way.

Only very limited, authorized forms of training are available and one 
certainly couldn't devise one's own training programme to learn 
computer programming or any other useful self taught skills or even 
set oneself a programme for studying one's own degree.

To be independent, self-reliant and self-educating is systemically 
unacceptable and this forces us into systemic dependency upon the 
hyper-structures of educational and training institutions and the 
bureaucracy or cartel that manage their accreditations to suggest to 
a potential employer that we might have achieved something worthwhile.

Welfare payments are only payable providing all your time is spent 
making a stipulated amount of job applications and the rest of the 
time you must be as unproductive as possible. Ideally you will sit 
morosely isolated in a cold room contemplating the existential misery 
of your hopeless situation. It will pay you benefits but it expects 
to extract the maximum amount of misery in return by making you 
socially useless and as parasitic and systemically meaningless as 

Essentially the system maintains an elevated level of difficulty to 
becoming productive or useful as being self-employed or acting as an 
entrepreneur. It places far too many barriers, legal requirements and 
obstacles in the way to stop people from becoming productive and 
useful on their own terms. The distinctions in our societies between 
being a private citizen and a businessman or trader is systemically 
constructed and the gulf between them is far too difficult for the 
majority to cross legally.

Consequently the easiest way to become entrepreneurial is to trade 
illegally. There is no red tape to stop one from setting up lucrative 
businesses as a drug trader, criminal or a prostitute. The 
persistence of crime in our societies is largely derived from the 
fact that it is so hard to bureaucratically establish oneself as a 
legitimate and fully regulated trader acting within all the rules and 

There are now, and there probably always have been, too many barriers 
to realizing and developing one's own productive potentials.

One reads numerous complaints about welfare dependency - yet no one 
poses questions as to how and why such dependencies actually come 

As suggested above, a radical hypothesis here is that we are educated 
and systematically constructed or suspended within the 
hyper-structure in terms of strict dependency. Many find themselves 
dependent on welfare simply because it is so hard to become 
independently productive and self-reliant.

The tendency in the media is to attack the non-productive as if they 
had brought this upon themselves but in reality it is a systemic 
construction. Why place any hurdles at all in the way of someone 
making themselves productive and 

[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #120

2013-09-03 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #120

By William Blum - Published September 3rd, 2013

Found at last! After searching for 10 years, the Iraqi weapons of 
mass destruction have finally been found - in Syria!

Secretary of State John Kerry: There is no doubt that Saddam 
al-Assad has crossed the red line. Š Sorry, did I just say 'Saddam'?

A US drone has just taken a photo of Mullah Omar riding on a 
motorcycle through the streets of Damascus. 1

So what do we have as the United States refuses to rule out an attack 
on Syria and keeps five warships loaded with missiles in the eastern 

* Only 11% of the British supported a UK military intervention; this 
increased to 25% after the announcement of the alleged chemical 
attack. 3

* British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote 
August 29 endorsing military action against Syria 285-272

* 64% of the French people oppose an intervention by the French Army. 
4 Before acting we need proof, said a French government 
spokesperson. 5

* Former and current high-ranking US military officers question the 
use of military force as a punitive measure and suggest that the 
White House lacks a coherent strategy. If the administration is 
ambivalent about the wisdom of defeating or crippling the Syrian 
leader, possibly setting the stage for Damascus to fall to Islamic 
fundamentalist rebels, they say, the military objective of strikes on 
Assad's military targets is at best ambiguous. 6

* President Obama has no United Nations approval for intervention. 
(In February a massive bombing attack in Damascus left 100 dead and 
250 wounded; in all likelihood the work of Islamic terrorists. The 
United States blocked a Russian resolution condemning the attack from 
moving through the UN Security Council)

* None of NATO's 28 members has proposed an alliance with the United 
States in an attack against Syria. NATO's Secretary General Anders 
Fogh Rasmussen said that he saw no NATO role in an international 
reaction to the [Syrian] regime. 7

* The Arab League has not publicly endorsed support of US military 
action in Syria; nor have key regional players Saudi Arabia and 
Qatar, concerned about a possible public backlash from open support 
for US intervention. 8

* We don't even know for sure that there was a real chemical attack. 
Where does that accusation come from? The United States? The al-Qaeda 
rebels? Or if there was such an attack, where is the evidence that 
the Syrian government was the perpetrator? The Assad regime has 
accused the rebels of the act, releasing a video showing a cave with 
alleged chemical-weapon equipment as well as claiming to have 
captured rebels possessing sarin gas. Whoever dispensed the poison 
gas - why, in this age of ubiquitous cameras, are there no photos of 
anyone wearing a gas mask? The UN inspection team was originally 
dispatched to Syria to investigate allegations of earlier chemical 
weapons use: two allegations made by the rebels and one by the 

* The United States insists that Syria refused to allow the UN 
investigators access to the site of the attack. However, the UN 
request was made Saturday, August 24; the Syrian government agreed 
the next day. 9

* In rejecting allegations that Syria deployed poison gas, Russian 
officials have argued that the rebels had a clear motivation: to spur 
a Western-led attack on Syrian forces; while Assad had every reason 
to avoid any action that could spur international intervention at a 
time when his forces were winning the war and the rebels are 
increasingly losing world support because of their uncivilized and 
ultra-cruel behavior.

* President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq's WMD, but Bush's 
bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike 
what the Obama administration released August 29 on Syria's alleged 
chemical attacks - no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no 
named sources, nothing but trust us, points out Robert Parry, 
intrepid Washington journalist.

So, in light of all of the above, the path for Mr. Obama to take - as 
a rational, humane being - is of course clear. Is it not? N'est-ce 
pas? Nicht wahr? - Bombs Away!

Pretty discouraging it is. No, I actually find much to be rather 
encouraging. So many people seem to have really learned something 
from the Iraqi pile of lies and horror and from decades of other 
American interventions. Skepticism - good ol' healthy skepticism - 
amongst the American, British and French people. It was stirring to 
watch the British Parliament in a debate of the kind rarely, if ever, 
seen in the 21st-century US Congress. And American military officers 
asking some of the right questions. The Arab League not supporting a 
US attack, surprising for an organization not enamored of the secular 
Syrian government. And NATO - even NATO! - refusing so far to blindly 
fall in line with the White House. When did that last 

[Biofuel] Climate Change Fueling Spread of Crop-Killing Pests and Disease: Study

2013-09-03 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Monday, September 2, 2013 by Common Dreams

Climate Change Fueling Spread of Crop-Killing Pests and Disease: Study

As planet warms global food security pushed further to the brink

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Diseases and pests that feed on crops are increasing at an alarming 
rate, decimating harvests in larger areas, adding to the long list of 
climate change factors that are threatening global food security, a 
study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change warns.

According to the researchers, crop pests are spreading further 
towards the poles at an average rate of two miles per year.

Among the reasons for this trend, the researchers found that warmer 
temperatures towards the far north and south, and at higher 
altitudes, are creating conditions conducive to the crop killers in 
larger areas.

The researchers pointed to the global crop trade, which more easily 
spreads invasive species around the world as one of the main factors, 
but said that climate change has exacerbated the problem.

The most convincing hypothesis is that global warming has caused 
this shift, Dr Dan Bebber from the University of Exeter and lead 
author of the study told BBC News. We detect a shift in their 
distribution away form the equator and towards the poles.

One example is the Colorado potato beetle. Warming appears to have 
allowed it to move northwards through Europe to into Finland and 
Norway where the cold winters would normally knock the beetle back, 
said Bebber.

BBC News reports:

To investigate the problem, the researchers looked at the records of 
612 crop pests and pathogens from around the world that had been 
collected over the past 50 years.

These included fungi, such as wheat rust, which is devastating 
harvests in Africa, the Middle East and Asia; insects like the 
mountain pine beetle that is destroying trees in the US; as well as 
bacteria, viruses and microscopic nematode worms.

Each organism's distribution was different - some butterflies and 
insects were shifting quickly, at about 12 miles (20km) a year; 
other bacterium species had hardly moved. On average, however, the 
pests had been spreading by two miles each year since 1960.

Global food security is one of the major challenges we are going to 
face over the next few decades, Bebber added. We really don't want 
to be losing any more of our crops than is absolutely necessary to 
pests and pathogens.

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[Biofuel] U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show

2013-09-03 Thread Keith Addison

U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, 
documents show

By Barton Gellman and Ellen Nakashima


U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations 
in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the 
Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to 
top-secret documents obtained by The Washington Post.

That disclosure, in a classified intelligence budget provided by NSA 
leaker Edward Snowden, provides new evidence that the Obama 
administration's growing ranks of cyberwarriors infiltrate and 
disrupt foreign computer networks.

Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. 
computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be 
put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the 
$652 million project has placed covert implants, sophisticated 
malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and 
firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to 
expand those numbers into the millions.

The documents provided by Snowden and interviews with former U.S. 
officials describe a campaign of computer intrusions that is far 
broader and more aggressive than previously understood. The Obama 
administration treats all such cyber-operations as clandestine and 
declines to acknowledge them.

The scope and scale of offensive operations represent an evolution in 
policy, which in the past sought to preserve an international norm 
against acts of aggression in cyberspace, in part because U.S. 
economic and military power depend so heavily on computers.

The policy debate has moved so that offensive options are more 
prominent now, said former deputy defense secretary William J. Lynn 
III, who has not seen the budget document and was speaking generally. 
I think there's more of a case made now that offensive cyberoptions 
can be an important element in deterring certain adversaries.

Of the 231 offensive operations conducted in 2011, the budget said, 
nearly three-quarters were against top-priority targets, which former 
officials say includes adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and 
North Korea and activities such as nuclear proliferation. The 
document provided few other details about the operations.

Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed by the United States 
and Israel that destroyed Iranian nuclear centrifuges in attacks in 
2009 and 2010, is often cited as the most dramatic use of a 
cyberweapon. Experts said no other known cyberattacks carried out by 
the United States match the physical damage inflicted in that case.

U.S. agencies define offensive cyber-operations as activities 
intended to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy 
information resident in computers or computer networks, or the 
computers and networks themselves, according to a presidential 
directive issued in October 2012.

Most offensive operations have immediate effects only on data or the 
proper functioning of an adversary's machine: slowing its network 
connection, filling its screen with static or scrambling the results 
of basic calculations. Any of those could have powerful effects if 
they caused an adversary to botch the timing of an attack, lose 
control of a computer or miscalculate locations.

U.S. intelligence services are making routine use around the world of 
government-built malware that differs little in function from the 
advanced persistent threats that U.S. officials attribute to China. 
The principal difference, U.S. officials told The Post, is that China 
steals U.S. corporate secrets for financial gain.

The Department of Defense does engage in computer network 
exploitation, according to an e-mailed statement from an NSA 
spokesman, whose agency is part of the Defense Department. The 
department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, 
including cyber.

'Millions of implants'

The administration's cyber-operations sometimes involve what one 
budget document calls field operations abroad, commonly with the 
help of CIA operatives or clandestine military forces, to physically 
place hardware implants or software modifications.

Much more often, an implant is coded entirely in software by an NSA 
group called Tailored Access Operations (TAO). As its name suggests, 
TAO builds attack tools that are custom-fitted to their targets.

The NSA unit's software engineers would rather tap into networks than 
individual computers because there are usually many devices on each 
network. Tailored Access Operations has software templates to break 
into common brands and models of routers, switches and firewalls 
from multiple product vendor lines, according to one document 
describing its work.

The implants that TAO creates are 

[Biofuel] The Brief, Tragic Reign of Consumerism-and the birth of a happy alternative

2013-08-29 Thread Keith Addison

The Brief, Tragic Reign of Consumerism-and the birth of a happy alternative

by Richard Heinberg, originally published by Post Carbon Institute  | 
JUL 24, 2013

Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption 
our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into 
rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction and our ego 
satisfaction in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, worn 
out, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate. - Victor 
Lebow, Journal of Retailing, 1955

You and I consume; we are consumers. The global economy is set up to 
enable us to do what we innately want to do-buy, use, discard, and 
buy some more. If we do our job well, the economy thrives; if for 
some reason we fail at our task, the economy falters. The model of 
economic existence just described is reinforced in the business pages 
of every newspaper, and in the daily reportage of nearly every 
broadcast and web-based financial news service, and it has a familiar 
name: consumerism.

Consumerism also has a history, but not a long one. True, humans-like 
all other animals-are consumers in the most basic sense, in that we 
must eat to live. Further, we have been making weapons, ornaments, 
clothing, utensils, toys, and musical instruments for thousands of 
years, and commerce has likewise been with us for untold millennia.

What's new is the project of organizing an entire society around the 
necessity for ever-increasing rates of personal consumption.

This is how it happened

Consumerism arose from a unique historic milieu. In the early 20th 
century, a temporary abundance of cheap, concentrated, storable, and 
portable energy in the form of fossil fuels enabled a dramatic 
increase in the rate and scope of resource extraction (via powered 
mining equipment, chain saws, tractors, powered fishing boats, and 
more). Coupled with powered assembly lines and the use of 
petrochemicals, cheap fossil energy also permitted the vastly 
expanded manufacture of a widening array of commercial products. This 
resulted in a serious economic problem known as overproduction (too 
many goods chasing too few buyers), which would eventually contribute 
to the Great Depression.

Industrialists found a solution. How they did so is detailed a book 
that deserves renewed attention, Captains of Consciousness by social 
historian Stuart Ewen (1976). Ewen traced the rapid, massive 
expansion of the advertising industry during the 20th century, as 
well as its extraordinary social and political impacts (if you really 
want to understand Mad Men, start here). Ewen argued that 
Consumerism, the mass participation in the values of the 
mass-industrial market . . . emerged in the 1920s not as a smooth 
progression from earlier and less 'developed' patterns of 
consumption, but rather as an aggressive device of corporate 

In a later book, PR! (1996), Ewen recounts how, during the 1930s, the 
US-based National Association of Manufacturers enlisted a team of 
advertisers, marketers, and psychologists to formulate a strategy to 
counter government efforts to plan and manage the economy in the wake 
of the Depression. They proposed a massive, ongoing ad campaign to 
equate consumerism with The American Way. Progress would henceforth 
be framed entirely in economic terms, as the fruit of manufacturers' 
ingenuity. Americans were to be referred to in public discourse 
(newspapers, magazines, radio) as consumers, and were to be reminded 
at every opportunity of their duty to contribute to the economy by 
purchasing factory-made products, as directed by increasingly 
sophisticated and ubiquitous advertising cues.

While advertising was an essential prop to consumerism, by itself it 
was incapable of stoking sufficient demand to soak up all the goods 
rolling off assembly lines. In the early years of the last century 
Americans were accustomed to paying cash for their purchases; but 
then along came automobiles: not many people could afford to pay for 
one outright, yet nearly everybody wanted one. In addition to being 
talked into desiring more products, consumers had to be enabled to 
purchase more of them than they could immediately pay for; hence the 
widespread deployment of time payments and other forms of consumer 
credit. With credit, households could consume now and pay later. 
Consumers took on more debt, the financial industry mushroomed, and 
manufacturers sold more products.

Though consumerism began as a project organized by corporate America, 
government at all levels swiftly lent its support. When citizens 
spent more on consumer goods, sales tax and income tax revenues 
tended to swell. After World War II, government advocacy of increased 
consumer spending was formalized with the adoption of Gross Domestic 
Product (GDP) as the nation's primary measure of 

[Biofuel] Dr. Hansen, We Need You at Fukushima and Diablo Canyon

2013-08-28 Thread Keith Addison

Nuke Plant to Shut Doors: Environmental Victory But Vital Work Still Ahead
Communities celebrate, but demand corporate owners be held 
accountable for safe decomissioning process and 'just transition' for 

Published on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 by Common Dreams


Dr. Hansen, We Need You at Fukushima and Diablo Canyon

Posted on Aug 26, 2013

By Harvey Wasserman

The horrifying news from Fukushima worsens daily. It is an 
unparalleled global catastrophe that cries out for anyone and 
everyone with nuclear expertise to pitch in.

Topping this list should be Dr. James Hansen. Hansen is a climate 
scientist and a hero of the global warming movement. He has 
courageously engaged in civil disobedience against mountaintop 
removal and the Keystone Pipeline.

Hansen also claims some nuclear expertise, a credential he's used to 
justify his support for a new generation of Small Modular Reactors.

Many of us in the No Nukes campaign find this advocacy profoundly 
mystifying. Even under the best of circumstances, there will be no 
SMR prototype for as long as a decade or more. 

The SMR's primary customer, the Tennessee Valley Authority, has now 
pushed back to 2015 the target date for submitting its construction 
permit application. Even if wildly successful, the SMR could not 
meaningfully affect climate change for another 20 years-this in the 
midst of a crisis Hansen and so many others see as critical and 

The SMR blueprint hinges on technologies that have already failed. 
The leading candidate for SMR production at this point seems to be 
Babcock  Wilcox, which brought us Three Mile Island and Ohio's 
infamous Davis-Besse. It was there that boric acid ate through a 
pressure vessel to within a fraction of an inch of major disaster.

Big questions remain unanswered about the SMR's health and 
environmental impacts such as on water, vulnerability to terrorism, 
its effects on waste disposal and much more. 

But the most obvious deal killer is economic. Even by current 
calculations, any new reactor design would have difficulty competing 
with renewable energy sources, especially solar panels that can be 
installed on rooftops, thus avoiding transmission costs. 

With the nuclear industry's half-century history of massive delay and 
cost overruns, we can expect the SMR to come in very late and 
billions over budget. As climate activist Bill McKibben told The 
Rumpus in December: Nuclear power, I mean-it's just too expensive. 
It really isn't going to happen.

By contrast, the cost of renewables routinely drops, while rising in 
efficiency and speed of deployment. Germany has addressed the 
intermittency problem by balancing wind, solar and other sources into 
an effective baseload supply system. Every dollar diverted from that 
green-powered mix only worsens our vulnerability to climate disaster. 

Given all that, the sales pitch for new nuclear technologies is a 
dangerous diversion, like building an experimental garage while a 
raging radioactive fire forever contaminates our only home.

A multimillion-dollar dis-infomercial called Pandora's Promise 
apparently (the producers have refused to send a review copy) 
promotes the SMR much like Disney pushed Our Friend the Atom-as a 
too cheap to meter miracle with can't-miss guarantees. Soon to air 
on CNN (supposedly without a balancing green point of view), the film 
was partly financed by billionaire Paul Allen, whose Microsoft cohort 
Bill Gates has invested heavily in new nukes.

But even Pandora's mainstays waiver on today's reactors. In a 
riveting YouTubed debate, 
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls Pandora an elaborate hoax. Director 
Robert Stone, in turn, terms the current generation of reactors 
1960s technology. Hansen refers to it as that old technology and 
criticizes Japan 
for building Fukushima in a spot vulnerable to tsunamis.

But California has two old technology reactors-at Diablo Canyon in 
an earthquake/tsunami zone in San Luis Obispo County. (It recently 
had four, but citizen action thankfully shut two at San Onofre in the 
southern part of the state.)

Thousands of protesters practicing civil disobedience have been 
arrested trying to shut down Diablo. It's time Hansen joined us.

We also need Hansen on the emergency team at Fukushima. Some 1,300 
fuel rods are still stranded 100 feet in the air, threatening to spew 
thousands of times more radiation than was released at 
Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Fukushima's three melted cores have yet to be 
found. Steam bursts indicate 

[Biofuel] The Prince: Meet the Man Who Co-Opted Democracy in the Middle East

2013-08-28 Thread Keith Addison

The Prince: Meet the Man Who Co-Opted Democracy in the Middle East

Posted on Aug 27, 2013By Robert Scheer

Now that the Arab Spring has been turned into a totally owned 
subsidiary of the Saudi royal family, it is time to honor Prince 
Bandar bin Sultan as the most effective Machiavellian politician of 
the modern era. How slick for this head of the Saudi Intelligence 
Agency to finance the Egyptian military's crushing of that nation's 
first-ever democratic election while being the main source of arms 
for pro-al-Qaida insurgents in Syria. 

Just consider that a mere 12 years ago, this same Bandar was a 
beleaguered Saudi ambassador in Washington, a post he held from 1983 
to 2005, attempting to explain his nation's connection to 15 Saudi 
nationals who had somehow secured legal documents to enter the U.S. 
and succeeded in hijacking planes that blew up the World Trade Center 
and the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. How 
awkward given that the Saudi ambassador had been advocating that U.S. 
officials go easy on the Taliban government in Afghanistan, where 
those attacks incubated.

The ties between Saudi Arabia and the alleged al-Qaida terrorist 
attacks were manifest. The terrorists were followers of the 
Saudi-financed branch of Wahhabi Islam and their top leader, Osama 
bin Laden, was a scion of one of the most powerful families in the 
Saudi kingdom, which, along with the United Arab Emirates and 
Pakistan, had been the only three nations in the world to recognize 
the legitimacy of the Taliban government in Afghanistan that provided 
sanctuary to al-Qaida. Yet Bandar had no difficulty arranging safe 
passage out of Washington for many Saudis, including members of the 
bin Laden family that U.S. intelligence agents might have wanted to 
interrogate instead of escorting them to safety back in the kingdom.

But the U.S. war on terror quickly took a marvelous turn from the 
point of view of the Saudi monarchy. Instead of focusing on those who 
attacked us and their religious and financial ties to the Saudi royal 
family, the U.S. began a mad hunt to destroy those who had absolutely 
nothing to do with the assaults of 9/11. 

Saddam Hussein in Iraq came quickly to mind, even though he had 
brutally crushed the al-Qaida efforts in his own country. But Hussein 
had earlier made the mistake of attacking the oil sheikdom of Kuwait, 
an acquiescent ally of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Suddenly, a second 
war against Iraq was in order. The result was to vastly increase the 
power of Iran in Iraq and the region, but mistakes happen.

Now Iran is once again firmly established as the main enemy of 
freedom, despite the annoying fact that the Shiite leadership had 
nothing to do with those 9/11 attacks. And even though many of the 
folks attempting to overthrow the government in Syria are sympathetic 
to al-Qaida, the Assad government's connection with Iran trumps that 
concern for U.S. hawks. The Saudis have the wherewithal to buy our 
very expensive war toys; need we say more?

It is now time for the Saudi Spring, and as The Wall Street Journal 
on Sunday detailed the monarchy's well-financed effort to shape the 
region's politics to its liking, ... Saudi Arabia's efforts in Syria 
are just one sign of its broader effort to expand its regional 
influence. The Saudis also have been outspoken supporters of the 
Egyptian military in its drive to squelch the Muslim Brotherhood, 
backing that up with big chunks of cash.

That big chunk of cash, $12 billion from the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi 
Arabia, is not aimed at stopping terrorism, if by that we mean the 
sort of attacks associated with 9/11 and al-Qaida. As the Journal 
story reminded, A generation ago, Prince Bandar, in a role 
foreshadowing his current one on behalf of Syrian opposition, helped 
the CIA arm the Afghan rebels who were resisting occupation by Soviet 
troops. That's how the Saudi bin Laden came to be in Afghanistan. 
Earlier, Bandar had been involved in the CIA's effort to deliver arms 
from Iran to the Contras in Nicaragua.

Can you imagine the blowback from the prince's current efforts to get 
the United States to once again meddle madly in a region that we 
don't care to comprehend? Why not ask Republican Sens. John McCain 
and Lindsey Graham who, according to the Journal, met with Bandar in 
September to urge the Saudis to provide the Syrian rebels with more 
potent weapons. 

Or ask Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate 
Intelligence Committee, who was among those courted by Bandar. As the 
Journal described the Saudi junket by members of the congressional 
intelligence committees, They [the Saudis] arranged a trip for 
committee leaders to Riyadh, where Prince Bandar laid out the Saudi 
strategy. It was a reunion of sorts, officials said, with Dianne 
Feinstein (D., Calif.) warmly scolding 

[Biofuel] War on Syria: Twenty Pounds of Stupid in a Ten-Pound Bag

2013-08-28 Thread Keith Addison

Military strikes on Syria 'as early as Thursday,' US officials say

Doctors Behind Syrian Chemical Weapons Claims are Aiding Terrorists
By Tony Cartalucci
Global Research, August 25, 2013


War on Syria: Twenty Pounds of Stupid in a Ten-Pound Bag

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 09:16

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

I'm just going to throw this out on the stoop and see if the cat 
licks it up: instead of attacking Syria, how about we don't attack 

Crazy, I know; this is America, after all, and our presidents like 
nothing more than to flip a few cruise missiles at other countries, 
combined with a few bombing sorties for good measure, because it's a 
hell of a lot easier than actual statecraft. Besides, it looks good 
on television, and all those meanies in Congress can't accuse the 
Commander in Chief of not doing anything. Oh, also, cruise missiles 
and bombs cost a lot, so if we pull the trigger on Syria, someone 
will get paid handsomely.

What ho, this we call diplomacy, right? Flatten a few buildings, 
blow some children sideways out of their kitchens during breakfast, 
take a victory lap on the Sunday morning talk shows...what could 
possibly go wrong?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Once again, it is weapons of mass destruction at the crux of the 
matter. Unlike our Iraq debacle, however, there seems to be a fairly 
impressive body of evidence to suggest that chemical weapons were 
used in Syria. Doctors Without Borders seems pretty convinced it 
happened, despite the fact that the use of such weapons by Syrian 
President Bashar al-Assad doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of 
sense, given the fickle nature of chemical weapons and how closely 
concentrated his own forces were near the area of the attack. A rogue 
military commander, perhaps? The rebels themselves?

The answer to whether or not a chemical attack took place will soon 
be forthcoming, as UN inspectors have arrived at the scene to 
investigate after being greeted with sniper fire. If it is 
established that the Syrian government did this, enormous pressure 
will be brought to bear on President Obama to punish the Assad 
regime with a military attack of some kind.

The short version of why such a course of action is an invitation to 
catastrophe: Syria is no paper tiger, and is very much capable of 
both defending itself as well as attacking American interests in the 
region if provoked. Syria and Iran are strategic allies and are 
pledged to each other's mutual defense, which means all the Iranian 
missile sites in the mountains above the Persian Gulf coast could 
launch their missiles in retaliation...and those Iranian missiles, by 
the by, are advanced enough to spoof Aegis radar systems, which means 
thousands of American service members currently manning our warships 
in the Gulf could very quickly be delivered into a watery grave. 
Russia is also a staunch ally of Syria, and could also be provoked 
into getting involved by backing Assad even more forcefully than they 
have to date.

In essence, any attack on Syria could quickly escalate into a 
full-scale war that would further destabilize the region and quite 
probably lead to the kind of conflagration found in the last chapter 
of the Bible. Finally, and not for nothing, but if Mr. Obama and his 
generals manage to come up with the perfect military plan and 
successfully end the Assad regime, the folks who will take over Syria 
in his absence are exactly the kind of people we started this whole 
War On Terror to confront and destroy in the first place. Or so I 
was told. The story seems to change so often, doesn't it?

An article published in Saturday's New York Times makes it very clear 
the degree to which American military action against Syria is a 
no-win scenario:

Indeed, it would be disastrous if President Bashar al-Assad's regime 
were to emerge victorious after fully suppressing the rebellion and 
restoring its control over the entire country. Iranian money, 
weapons and operatives and Hezbollah troops have become key factors 
in the fighting, and Mr. Assad's triumph would dramatically affirm 
the power and prestige of Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, its 
Lebanon-based proxy - posing a direct threat both to the Sunni Arab 
states and to Israel.

But a rebel victory would also be extremely dangerous for the United 
States and for many of its allies in Europe and the Middle East. 
That's because extremist groups, some identified with Al Qaeda, have 
become the most effective fighting force in Syria. If those rebel 
groups manage to win, they would almost certainly try to form a 
government hostile to the United States. Moreover, 

[Biofuel] Your Steak Is Addicted to Drugs

2013-08-28 Thread Keith Addison

Your Steak Is Addicted to Drugs

-By Tom Philpott

Wed Aug. 28, 2013

Meatpacking giant Tyson recently grabbed headlines when it announced 
it would no longer buy and slaughter cows treated with a 
growth-enhancing drug called Zilmax, made by pharma behemoth Merck. 
Tyson made the move based on animal well-being concerns, it told 
its cattle suppliers in a letter, adding that there have been recent 
instances of cattle delivered for processing that have difficulty 
walking or are unable to move. According to The Wall Street journal, 
Zilmax (active ingredient: zilpaterol hydrochloride) and similar 
growth promotors are banned in the European Union, China, and Russia.

The news sent shock waves through the beef industry. Merck denied any 
problems with its drug, but announced it would temporarily suspend 
sales of Zilmax in the United States and Canada pending a scientific 
audit of the product, which generated $159 million in US and 
Canadian sales in 2012, Merck added.. Soon after, Tyson's rivals, 
JBS, Cargill, and National Beefpacking, announced that they, too, 
would stop accepting Zilmax-treated cattle for slaughter, pending 
Merck's review.

Together, Tyson, JBS, Cargill, and National slaughter and pack more 
than 80 percent of the beef cows raised in the US, according to 
University of Missouri researcher Mary Hendrickson (PDF). If they 
stick to their refusal to buy cows treated with the drug, it's hard 
to see how Zilmax has a future on America's teeming cattle feedlots. 
Is the US beef industry turning away from the practice of turning to 
drugs to fatten its cattle?

Not so fast. Rather than wean themselves from growth promoters, the 
companies that produce cows to supply the likes of Tyson and JBS are 
instead shifting rapidly to a rival beta-agonist, this one from 
pharma giant Eli Lilly, called Optaflexx. The suspension of Zilmax 
sales has caused such a surge in demand for rival Optaflexx that 
Lilly is telling some new customers it cannot immediately supply 
them, Reuters reports.

Close readers of this blog will recognize the active ingredient in 
Optaflexx: It's ractopamine, a drug wildly popular on factory-scale 
hog farms, and also highly controversial, as the excellent 
food-safety reporter Helena Bottemiller showed in a 2012 article 
Ractopamine mimics stress hormones, making the heart beat faster and 
relaxing blood vessels, Bottemiller reported. She added:

Since the drug was introduced [in 1999], more than 160,000 pigs 
taking ractopamine were reported to have suffered adverse effects, as 
of March 2011, according to a review of FDA records. The drug has 
triggered more adverse reports in pigs than any other animal drug on 
the market. Pigs suffered from hyperactivity, trembling, broken 
limbs, inability to walk and death, according to FDA reports released 
under a Freedom of Information Act request. The FDA, however, says 
such data do not establish that the drug caused these effects.

So why are the companies that fatten cattle for the big beef 
processors-known as cattle feeders-so intent on using controversial 
drugs like Zilmax and Optaflexx? The answer lies in meat industry's 
brutal economics. Cattle feeders are stuck between high recent prices 
for corn and soy feed-pushed up by last year's severe drought and 
also by high demand for corn from the ethanol industry-and the low 
prices offered to them for beef cows by the likes of Tyson and JBS.

According to a recent report in Reuters, citing figures from the 
Denver-based Livestock Marketing Information Center, cattle feedlots 
lost on average about $82 per head of cattle sold to the meatpacking 
industry, the 27th straight month of losses. Using growth promoters 
like Zilmax and Optaflexx, which cause cattle to put on muscle 
rapidly without increasing their feed needs, mitigated those losses 
an estimated $30 or $40 per head.

Apparently, Zilmax works a bit better than Optaflexx-both in terms of 
fattening cattle and helping feedlot operators trim losses. Quoting a 
feedlot operator, Reuters reports that Zilmax costs roughly $20 per 
head while generating between $15 to $30 worth additional meat for 
market ,while Optaflexx costs $8 to $10 but brings in just $10 to $12 
in extra revenue.

So why are the big meatpackers banning Zilmax when it hurts the 
bottom lines of their already-struggling suppliers?

Frankly, Tyson's claim that it's all about animal well-being 
strains credibility. Tyson is also a massive pork producer, and it 
has shaken off years of pressure to abandon the practice of housing 
pregnant pigs in tiny crates, even as rivals Smithfield, Cargill, and 
Hormel have taken steps to do just that. In terms of stress-causing 
feed additives, Smithfield recently declared it would soon ensure 
that half of its pork comes from cows [sic] not 

[Biofuel] Obama administration asks court to force NYT reporter to reveal source

2013-08-28 Thread Keith Addison
Exclusive Glenn Greenwald Interview: I Won't Be Kept Out of My 
Country for Doing Journalism!

Monday, 26 August 2013 10:14
By Jonathan Franklin, Truthout | Interview


Obama administration asks court to force NYT reporter to reveal source

Previous ruling said reporters have no privilege to safeguard 
confidentiality leaving Risen to reveal his source or go to jail

Ed Pilkington in New York, Tuesday 27 August 2013

The Obama administration is trying to dissuade federal judges from 
giving the New York Times reporter James Risen one last chance to 
avoid having to disclose his source in a criminal trial over the 
alleged leaking of US state secrets.

The Department of Justice has filed a legal argument with the US 
appeals court for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, in which 
it strongly opposes any further consideration of Risen's petition. 
Risen's lawyers have asked the court to convene a full session of the 
15-member court to decide whether the journalist should be granted 
First Amendment protection that would spare him from having to reveal 
the identity of his source to whom he promised confidentiality.

A three-member panel of the same court last month issued a 2-1 
majority ruling in which they found that reporters had no privilege 
that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in a 
criminal trial. The judgement leaves Risen, a prominent investigative 
reporter specialising in national security issues, facing the 
prospect of having to break his promise to his source or go to jail.

The legal crunch emerged from Risen's 2006 book, State of War, in 
which the author reveals details of the CIA's attempts to foil Iran's 
nuclear programme. James Sterling, a former CIA employee, is being 
prosecuted under the Espionage Act for the criminal disclosure of the 
information - one of seven officials to face the severe charges under 
the Obama administration including Chelsea Manning who has been 
sentenced to 35 years in military jail as the WikiLeaks source.

In a 26-page filing, the US prosecutor Neil Macbride and his team 
argue that Risen has no grounds to be offered a full hearing of the 
appeals court because there is no such thing as a reporters' 
privilege in a criminal trial. They insist that the New York Times 
journalist was the only eyewitness to the leaking crimes of which 
Sterling has been charged and under previous case law has no right to 
claim First Amendment protection.

Risen's eyewitness testimony is essential proof of the disputed 
identity of the perpetrator that cannot be duplicated or replaced by 
other evidence in the case, MacBride writes.

The DoJ's robust attempt to block any further legal discussion about 
Risen's plight will add to the impression that the Obama 
administration is determined to stamp on official leaking regardless 
of its implications for press freedom - a syndrome that some critics 
have dubbed a war on whistleblowing. Risen's lawyers argue that the 
hardline approach conflicts with the Justice Department's own recent 
guidelines in which it talks of a need for balance between pursuing 
leakers while safeguarding the essential role of a free press in 
fostering government accountability in an open society.

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[Biofuel] The FPIF Egypt Reader

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Foreign Policy In Focus

The FPIF Egypt Reader
Washington and the Egyptian Tragedy
Stephen Zunes
The vast majority of Egyptians killed since the coup have been 
unarmed protesters struck down with American-made weapons by soldiers 
transported in American-made vehicles provided by the American 
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood: Reform or Relapse?
Mohamed Yousry and Michael Gasper
If Muslim Brotherhood leaders think that this crisis is similar to 
others in their troubled history, they are badly mistaken.
Egypt's Treacherous Road
Adil E. Shamoo and Bonnie Bricker
Washington should refrain from its interventionist instincts and 
acknowledge that this is a fight for Egyptians.
The New Rules of the Game in Egypt
Sarah Gold
A look at Egypt's constitutional declaration suggests that the road 
out of military dictatorship is fraught with peril.
A Familiar Script in Egypt
Sarah Gold
Anyone who thinks military rule bends toward democracy in Egypt has 
misread the country's history.
Egypt's Military Brings Neither Stability Nor Democracy
Ben Luongo
Though the Egyptian military is painting itself as a guardian of 
stability and democracy, there is ample reason to believe it will 
bring neither.

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[Biofuel] FPIF - The Stormy Pacific

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Foreign Policy In Focus

The Stormy Pacific
Beneath the Surface, China Simmers
Cindy Hwang
China's broken and thuggish legal system is producing a new brand of 
Making Myanmar Work
Billy Tea
Although known for decades for its oppressive behavior, Myanmar's 
government is capable of very little when it comes to conserving 
natural resources, promoting development, and protecting citizens.
A Brewing Storm in the Western Pacific
Walden Bello
China's aggressive territorial claims, Washington's pivot to Asia, 
and Japan's hawkish bluster add up to a volatile brew in the 
Preventing the Next Battle of Okinawa
Jon Mitchell
As they rally against a planned military base on Henoko, the people 
of Okinawa need all the support they can get.

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[Biofuel] The People Take on Fracking Corporation in UK-Wide Actions

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Fracking - Britain's Next Revolution
By Lesley Docksey
Global Research, August 20, 2013

Cuadrilla Hit with Protests Across the UK, Campaigners Condemn 
Aggressive Policing

August 19, 2013

Is fracking all we have to worry about?
MEL KELLY 20 August 2013
As protests against fracking rage on, are protesters ignoring a much 
greater industrial threat to the British countryside?

Fracks and figures: the big questions about fracking
Advocates say it is a safe solution to our energy problems. 
Environmentalists think it is a disaster waiting to happen. But how 
much do we really know about hydraulic fracturing? We dig into the 
tricky terrain to find out the answers

John Vidal
The Guardian, Monday 19 August 2013


Published on Monday, August 19, 2013 by Common Dreams

The People Take on Fracking Corporation in UK-Wide Actions

Balcombe fracking protests spread nationwide as demonstrators shut 
down corporate headquarters, PR firm and drilling site

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

In a rapid-fire succession of civil disobedience actions across the 
United Kingdom, anti-fracking protesters came out in force Monday 
against drilling company Cuadrilla, shutting down their headquarters, 
their PR company and their drill site in Balcombe.

In an effort to suspend the sustained campaign of corporate 
misinformation being peddled by Bell Pottinger, beginning at 8 AM 
local time, six activists using superglue and reinforced arm tubes 
blocked the entrance company headquarters in London. Bell Pottinger 
is the PR company behind Cuadrilla's operation in Sussex where 
fracking already occurs.

Reporting on the action, the group No Dash for Gas writes:

Another activist climbed the building and unfurled a banner reading: 
'BELL POTTINGER - FRACKING LIARS'. The campaigners used a sound 
system to play an undercover recording in which a Bell Pottinger 
spin doctor admits the company's pro-fracking PR offensive 'sounds 
like utter fucking bullshit.'

By 9 AM, 20 activists in Lichfield-two hours north of London-shut 
down Cuadrilla's headquarters by blockading it with their bodies. 
According to No Dash for Gas, three people entered the building and 
successfully occupied 8 work stations using D-locks forcing the 
company to clear the entire floor of staff.

We need to reclaim our energy system from the hands of corporations 
that will frack our countryside, crash our climate targets and send 
fuel bills through the roof, declared protester Debby Petersen.

And in Balcombe, where Cuadrilla's test drilling site set off the 
nationwide protests, hundreds of protesters faced off with police as 
they locked arms around five activists who blocked the main gates by 
securing themselves with D-locks and superglue to a wheelchair. A 
larger group of activists reportedly blocked the surrounding road.

Meanwhile, No Dash for Gas reports, a double-decker bus with children 
from the camp toured the area with the slogan Don't frack with our 
future emblazoned on the side of the vehicle.

Elsewhere, activists placed a wind turbine blade on the roof of the 
constituency office of Balcombe MP and Cabinet member Francis Maude, 
who was targeted for his pro-fracking views.

Reports of aggressive police tactics being used at the Balcombe 
protest have already drawn criticism and a formally filed complaint 
after a video surfaced of officers arresting a peaceful protester by 
kneeling on his head and pushing his face into the ground as other 
officers restrain him. Other police had reportedly charged, pushed 
and shoved protesters and forced one protester's head down with a 
bicycle wheel.

Among the six demonstrators arrested by the Balcombe gates was Green 
Party MP, Dr. Caroline Lucas, who-along with her son-was forcibly 
removed from outside the test drilling site where she sat with her 
arms linked with other protesters.

I'm proud of the people around me who have put their bodies where 
the police are, Lucas said. They have tried to use the democratic 
processes, tried to raise the issue through those democratic panels. 
The government isn't listening. Climate change is the greatest threat 
that we face and I think that people are right to try and take action 
against fracking.

The actions follow three weeks of protests by the people of Balcombe 
against test drilling in the area which, protesters say, could lead 
to fracking to extract shale gas.

As others have taken up the local fight, a growing 'climate camp' in 
Balcombe housed and fed roughly 800 people over the weekend as they 
prepared for their multi-front battle against Cuadrilla and the gas 

[Biofuel] As 300 Tons of Radioactive Water Leak From Fukushima, Never Believe The Nuclear Crisis Is Over

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

'A Huge Amount of Radiation' as Fukushima Crisis Worsens
Fukushima crisis only continues to worsen as a new and separate leak 
of 'highly radioactive water' found

Published on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Common Dreams


Tuesday, 20 August 2013 15:51

As 300 Tons of Radioactive Water Leak From Fukushima, Never Believe 
The Nuclear Crisis Is Over


When it comes to getting the truth from corporations and governments 
on nuclear power, forget about it. There is too much money and too 
many political careers tied up in a radiocative future to believe any 
statement -- such as the ones about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear 
Power Plant: Don't worry, the crisis is over or We've got it all 
under control.

Mainstream media across the world today have blaring headlines, such 
as the New York Times: 300 Tons of Contaminated Water Leak From 
Japanese Nuclear Plant:

Workers raced to place sandbags around the leak at the site to stem 
the spread of the water, a task made more urgent by a forecast of 
heavy rain for the Fukushima region later in the day. A spokesman at 
Tokyo Electric Power, the plant's operator, acknowledged that much 
of the contaminated water had seeped into the soil and could 
eventually reach the ocean, adding to the tons of radioactive fluids 
that have already leaked into the sea from the troubled plant.

The leaked water contains levels of radioactive cesium and strontium 
many hundreds of times higher than legal safety limits, Tokyo 
Electric said. Exposure to either element is known to increase the 
risk of cancer

The latest leak comes from one of the site's 1,000 tanks, about 500 
yards inland, Tepco said. Workers discovered puddles of radioactive 
water near the tank on Monday. Further checks revealed that the 
1,000-ton capacity vessel, thought to be nearly full, only contained 
700 tons, with the remainder having almost certainly leaked out.

As the fossil fuel industry races to destroy the planet in order to 
swill champagne bottles of profit as the earth's nurturing eco 
systems erode into toxic destructive forces, the nuclear industry 
rushes to justify even more nuclear power as the deadly impact of its 
current plants is still literally leaking into our environment: the 
air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat from the oceans.

A Reuters article broaches upon a key debate that has been at the 
center of the Fukishima horror since the initial meltdown: should a 
private corporation be responsible for the clean-up? It's kind of 
like putting the banks too big to fail in charge of restoring the 
economy that they crashed, except that nuclear radiation can 
literally kill us:

Tepco has been criticized for its failure to prepare for the 
disaster and been accused of covering up the extent of the problems 
at the plant.

In recent months, the plant has been beset with power outages and 
other problems that have led outside experts to question whether 
Tepco is qualified to handle the clean up, which is unprecedented 
due to the amount of radioactive material on the site and its 
coastal location.

The government said this month it will step up its involvement in 
the cleanup, following Tepco's admission, after months of denial, 
that leaked contaminated water had previously reached the ocean.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato told an emergency meeting of 
prefectural officials on Tuesday it was a national emergency, and 
that the local government would monitor the situation more strictly 
and seek additional steps as needed.

Massive amounts of radioactive fluids are accumulating at the plant 
as Tepco floods reactor cores via an improvised system to keep 
melted uranium fuel rods cool and stable.

The water in the cooling system then flows into basements and 
trenches that have been leaking since the disaster.

This is not just a national emergency; this is an international 
crisis that like Chernobyl is a stop sign for the further development 
of nuclear power.

It's a bit disconcerting that we spend untold billions of dollars and 
lose lives in wars and violate our Constitution to allegedly chase 
down terrorists who might do us harm, but have our governments and 
corporations promote a form of energy that is clearly a longterm 
threat to our well-being. Furthermore, we have now seen that neither 
private industry nor governments are prepared to deal with the 
inevitable nuclear disasters that result from the annihilating genie 
in the bottle that they have and continue to create.

Meanwhile, the NSA and hundreds and hundreds of other US government 
agencies and private contractors monitor us and potential 
terrorists while a nuclear threat is being promoted by governments 
around the world, including 

[Biofuel] 'Ecological Debt Day' Reached: World in Resource Overdraft

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Published on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Common Dreams

'Ecological Debt Day' Reached: World in Resource Overdraft

We have now overshot the Earth's resources for the year, meaning all 
consumption from here borrows from future generations

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Tuesday, August 20 marks an unnerving annual milestone: Earth 
Overshoot Day-when humanity has used up all of the natural resources 
and waste absorption that the Earth can provide in a year, meaning 
that human consumption for the remaining 4.5 months of 2013 is 
borrowed from future generations.

It is like having a bank account, Juan Carlos Morales of the 
independent think tank Global Footprint Network told Common Dreams. 
If you don't have money available, you have to take out credit. We 
are depleting resources faster than Earth can regenerate.

The concept, originally developed by the New Economics Foundation and 
carried forward by the Global Footprint Network, reveals a disturbing 
trend.  Earth Overshoot Day, also called Ecological Debt Day, is 
arriving earlier each year since it was first calculated in 1987, 
roughly three days earlier each year since 2011. Global Footprints 
says this trend is unequivocal since Human consumption began 
outstripping what the planet could reproduce in the mid-1970s.

We are now operating in overdraft, reads a Global Footprints 
statement. For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological 
deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon 
dioxide in the atmosphere.

Global Footprints calculates the day of overdraft based on analysis 
of consumption and production patterns of each country. Every 
scientific model used to account for human demand and nature's supply 
shows a consistent trend: We are well over budget, and that debt is 
compounding, reads an organizational statement. It is an ecological 
debt, and the interest we are paying on that mounting debt-food 
shortages, soil erosion, and the build-up of CO? in our 
atmosphere-comes with devastating human and monetary costs.

Not all countries borrow equally, with Europe, North America, and 
Qatar consuming at notably destructive paces. According to Global 
Footprints, if everyone in the world consumed on par with the United 
States, it would take four Earths to sustain the international 

Regardless of consumption patterns, it is still a global problem 
that affects everyone, explains Morales. We all have responsibility 
to address it.

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[Biofuel] Mubarak to be Released Amid Growing Calls to Suspend Aid

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Egyptian military junta moves to free Mubarak
By Alex Lantier
20 August 2013

Prince Saud: Arabs to cover any foreign aid cuts to Egypt
Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Egyptians See Life Worse Now Than Before Mubarak's Fall
August 16, 2013

Military Madness: Has Our Species Become Insane?
By Jim McCluskey
August 19, 2013


Published on Monday, August 19, 2013 by Common Dreams

Mubarak to be Released Amid Growing Calls to Suspend Aid

EU officials meet Monday to 'urgently review' aid package to Egypt

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

As violence continues to rage across Egypt between the state-run 
military and the largely Muslim Brotherhood pro-Morsi factions, 
reports reveal Monday that ousted President Hosni Mubarak will be 
released in the next two days-a move likely to be interpreted by many 
as a political ploy in these very volatile circumstances.

Lawyers for ousted Mubarak announced Monday that he will be released 
from jail in the next 48 hours after being cleared in a corruption 
case, Reuters reports.

In reaction to the news, the Guardian's Middle East editor Ian Black 
noted that in these very, very volatile circumstances after the 
overthrow of Morsi, Mubarak's release will be interpreted as a 
political and not a judicial move.

It doesn't really matter what the legal reason is but the prosecutor 
who apparently made the decision is an old regime prosecution figure 
who had been replaced during the period that Morsi was in office, he 
continued. It's fairly clear that there's going to be some pretty 
angry reactions to the decision against the wider context of 
everything else that's going on.

Adding that it seems the country is back where it started, 
FireDogLake's Daniel Wright notes, So Mubarak will be free as 
protesters are being massacred in the streets and killed in custody - 
some revolution Egypt has had.

Correspondents on the ground continued to provide updates via Twitter:

Condemning the violence which has killed nearly 1000 individuals 
since Wednesday's military massacre of pro-Morsi protesters, European 
officials announced Sunday intentions to urgently review their 
support of the government in light of the ongoing tensions in the 

The Guardian reports:

EU foreign ministers are expected to meet in Brussels this week to 
discuss Egypt after the presidents of the European council and 
European commission, Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso, 
warned jointly on Sunday that further escalation could have 
unpredictable consequences. The EU had pledged almost ¤5bn 
(£4.2bn) in loans and grants for 2012-2013.

In a statement they said the EU would urgently review in the coming 
days its relations with Egypt.

We regret deeply that international efforts and proposals for 
building bridges and establishing an inclusive political process ... 
were set aside and a course of confrontation was instead pursued, 
they added.

As other western countries begin to speak out, the spotlight 
continues to intensify on the roughly $1.6 billion given annually to 
the country in U.S. aid, including $1.3 billion in sophisticated 

On Sunday, warhawk and former presidential rival Sen. John McCain 
(R-Ariz.) criticized President Barack Obama for not sticking to our 
values, for his failure to follow through on a threat to cut off aid 
if there was a military coup in Egypt.

Since the 1978 Camp David accords, the U.S. has continually funneled 
aid to Egypt as a means of maintaining a regional ally for Israel.

On Monday, following the EU's announcement, an unnamed Israeli 
official criticized the proposed aid withdrawal saying, The name of 
the game right now is not democracy.

Further, the Guardian reports, Sunday's [Egyptian] state TV 
broadcasts - tagged with an 'Egypt fighting terrorism' logo - ran 
repeated interviews with citizens agreeing with the government's 
rejection of foreign involvement.

Meanwhile, the military crackdown against Morsi supporters and 
members of the Muslim Brotherhood continues to intensify.

News Sunday night reported that 38 members of the Brotherhood were 
assassinated after taking a military police officer hostage during 
an attempted jailbreak from a transport truck headed to Abu Zaabal 
prison in northern Egypt.

Further, the Associated Press reports that hundreds of Brotherhood 
members were arrested Sunday throughout the country as security 
officials conducted home raids aimed at disrupting planned rallies 
in support of Morsi.

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[Biofuel] Songdo Fallout: Is Green Finance a Red Herring?

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Songdo Fallout: Is Green Finance a Red Herring?

With the latest green finance talks in Songdo, wealthy countries have 
taken another step toward financializing the world's response to 
climate change.

By Oscar Reyes, July 16, 2013.

From the 29th floor of Songdo, South Korea's jagged G-Tower, one 
can glimpse the endless construction sites and vacant parks of an 
emerging global business utopia, to use the city's adopted slogan. 
The newly built city, home to the UN's nascent Green Climate Fund 
(GCF), proudly promotes its green credentials, including an 
impressive network of underused bike lines. Unfortunately, these run 
alongside 10-lane boulevards ruled by Hyundai limos and Korean 
airline buses.

Songdo, in short, is a monoculture plantation of skyscrapers, shorn 
of the diverse ecosystem that characterizes living cities. And the 
G-Tower is the symbol that tops the lot: a skyscraper with a 
Pac-Man-like cutaway, as though the institution is running from the 
ghosts of the World Bank and other multilateral development banks. 
Like the Fund itself-a centerpiece of the international climate 
finance regime, designed to fund climate mitigation projects in the 
developing world-it is currently empty.

A few streets away from the G-Tower, Songdo's convention center 
recently played host to the fourth meeting of the GCF's governing 
board. There, the GFC's 24 board members (government officials 
selected on a regional basis) made several key decisions. These 
include how the Fund will be managed (should money ever arrive), by 
whom, and according to what rules.

The most widely publicized decision taken during the meeting was the 
appointment of Hela Cheikhrouhou, a Tunisian national, as the Fund's 
first executive director. She comes to the GCF from the African 
Development Bank, where she led its work on energy, the environment, 
and climate change. Prior to that she had a five-year stint at the 
World Bank working on private-sector investment and infrastructure in 
Latin America, and had spent eight years at Citibank before that.

Cheikhrouhou's biography reads like that of a candidate groomed by 
the multilateral development banks and private sector in the 
expectation that the GCF should become one of their own. But while 
her appointment is a conservative choice, it was arguably the 
least-bad option from a three-person shortlist that also included the 
Dutch former head of the European Climate Foundation and a Colombian 
official from the Inter-American Development Bank. The lack of 
high-profile candidates was notable, although not surprising, given 
the absence of any secured financing for the GCF and a requirement 
that appointees relocate to Songdo.

Which private sector?

New leaders win media headlines, but institutional design and rule 
setting tend to have more influence over time. The key structural 
decisions taken in Songdo concerned the GCF's Private Sector Facility 
(PSF), which was created to encourage private investment in projects 
that reduce both the causes of climate change (by mitigating 
greenhouse gases) and its impacts (by adapting to a warmer world). 
These decisions walked a diplomatic tightrope-advancing the creation 
of the institution while carefully avoiding debates over which 
private sector the Fund is actually meant to target.

On one side, the developed countries represented on the GCF board 
advocate a PSF that appeals to capital markets, in particular the 
pension funds and other institutional investors that control 
trillions of dollars that pass through Wall Street and other 
financial centers. They hope that the Fund will ultimately use a 
broad range of financial instruments.

There is a troubling circular logic underlying this, however. The 
complex repackaging of debt to hide systemic risk was a key 
contributor to the financial crisis in developed countries, resulting 
in huge bailouts that increased their indebtedness. As a result, many 
developed countries now claim that they have little money available 
for climate finance, and that the GCF should look to financial 
markets to make up this shortfall.

On the other side, many developing countries and non-governmental 
organizations have suggested that the PSF should focus on pro-poor 
climate finance that addresses the difficulties faced by micro-, 
small-, and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries. This 
emphasis on encouraging the domestic private sector is also written 
into the GCF's Governing Instrument, its founding document.

The purpose of the PSF remained unresolved in Songdo, but many of the 
rules needed to start its operations were agreed upon. A major 
dividing line related to whether or not the PSF would have its own 
governance structure. This was opposed by many developing countries 
amidst concerns that it would  give the private sector the largest 
voice in determining how this part of the Fund is 

[Biofuel] Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than You Think

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Movements Without Leaders: What to Make of Change on an Overheating Planet
Monday, 19 August 2013 10:32
By Bill McKibben, TomDispatch | Op-Ed


Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than You Think

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 14:44

By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed

The scientists are wrong, but not the way you think.

As global warming picks up, scientists and researchers are finally 
coming to grips with just how serious that problem is, and how 
quickly we're running out of time to solve it.

For example, when it comes to sea level increases, scientists have 
notoriously underestimated how fast the waters are rising.

As this chart shows, sea levels are rising much faster than IPCC 
projections over the last two decades.

Scientists also underestimated the extent of ice melting in the 
Arctic. It's disappearing at a much faster clip than even the direst 
of projections.

In just a few years, we'll have our first ice-free Arctic summer in 
roughly 700,000 years, well before the onset of humanity.

On top of all of that, scientists have also consistently 
underestimated just how much CO2 we humans are dumping into the 
atmosphere, again with actual measurements outpacing projections over 
the last few decades.

So what's with the history of underestimation?

A team of researchers at the University of Alberta recently published 
a paper in the journal Global Environmental Change characterizing 
this dangerous trend of low-balling estimates of global warming.

They note that, [T]he available evidence suggests that scientists 
have in fact been conservative in their projections of the impact of 
climate changeŠparticularly in IPCC assessments of the physical 
scienceŠ[S]cientists are not biased toward alarmism but rather the 
reverse: toward cautious estimatesŠWe call this tendency 'erring on 
the side of least drama.'

Why is this happening?

It's simple: When going up against a well-funded, ruthlessly powerful 
special interest like the fossil fuel industry, scientists know that 
if they rock the boat too much, they might be targeted and 

Just ask Michael Mann, whose infamous Hockey Stick chart shows the 
recent extreme uptick in global temperatures since the Industrial 

After releasing the hockey stick graph, he instantly became the 
target of smears and was mercilessly attacked by Conservatives and 
fossil-fuel industry shills.

For far too long, our climate change debate has been focused on not 
ruffling feathers, on finding economically viable solutions, on 
depending on the oil companies to lead the energy transition.

That hasn't worked, and the planet is getting hotter even quicker.

The latest IPCC projection shows at least a 5-degree Celsius 
temperature increase by 2100, and even if countries around the world 
reduce carbon emissions, the planet will still warm over 2-degrees, 
which will have catastrophic consequences for life on Earth.

But, given the history of low projections, the planet could be headed 
for even warmer temperatures.

Fortunately, over the past year, some scientists have said, To hell 
with the right wingers. I'm going to tell the truth even if it does 
mean they will attack me!

Now it's time for the rest of us, and our politicians, to also speak 
back to the big-money interests who don't seem to give a damn about 
planet Earth.

Global warming and global climate change, whatever you call it, is 
real. It's caused by us, in large part. And we can stop it, if we act 
quickly enough. The time for dithering is over. It's time to act.

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[Biofuel] What The US and Russia Are Really Quarreling Over: Pipelines

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

What The US and Russia Are Really Quarreling Over: Pipelines

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:18

By Steve Horn, Mint Press News | News Analysis

Nearly two months ago, former National Security Agency (NSA) 
contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden handed smoking-gun 
documents on the international surveillance apparatus to The 
Guardian andThe Washington Post in what's become one of the most 
captivating stories in recent memory.

Snowden now lives in Russia after a Hollywood-like nearly 
six-week-long stint in a Moscow airport waiting for a country to 
grant him asylum.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden leaves Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow 
on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, after being granted asylum in Russia for 
one year. (AP/Russia24 via Associated Press Television)

Journalists and pundits have spent countless articles and news 
segments conveying the intrigue and intensity of the standoff that 
eventually resulted in Russia granting Snowden one year of asylum. 
Attention now has shifted to his father, Lon Snowden, and his 
announced visit of Edward in Russia.

Lost in the excitement of this White Bronco Moment, many have 
missed the elephant in the room: the Great Game-style geopolitical 
standoff between the U.S. and Russia underlying it all, and which may 
have served as the impetus for Russia to grant Snowden asylum to 
begin with. What's at stake? Natural gas.

Russia, of course, has its own surveillance state and has been 
described by The Guardian's Luke Harding as a Mafia State due to 
the deep corruption that reportedly thrives under Putin's watch.

It all comes as the U.S. competes with Russian gas production thanks 
in part to the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic 
fracturing - fracking - transforming the United States into what 
President Barack Obama has hailed as the Saudi Arabia of gas.

Russia produced 653 billion cubic meters of gas in 2012, while the 
U.S. produced 651 billion cubic meters, making them the top two 
producers in the world.

Creating a Gas OPEC

Illustrating this elephant in the room is the fact that when, on July 
1, Russian President Vladimir Putin first addressed whether he would 
grant Snowden asylum, he did so at the annual meeting of the Gas 
Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Moscow, which unfolded July 1-2.

If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he must stop his 
work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that 
sounds coming from my lips, Putin stated at GECF's annual summit.

Paralleling the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) 
- The New York Times calls it a gas OPEC - GECF is a bloc of 
countries whose mission is to fend off U.S. and Western power 
dominance of the global gas trade. The 13 member countries 
include Russia, Iran, Bolivia, Venezuela, Libya, Algeria and several 

GECF has held informal meetings since 2001, becoming an official 
chartered organization in 2008 and dominated in the main by 
Russia. GECF Secretary General Leonid Bokhanovskiy is also the former 
VP of Stroytransgaz, a subsidiary of Russian oil and gas giant 

Depicting the close proximity between Putin's regime and GECF's 
leadership is the fact that Gennady Timchenko - a member of Putin's 
inner circle, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism 
- owns an 80-percent stake in Stroytransgaz.

A 21st-century gas Cold War has arisen between the U.S. and Russia, 
with Edward Snowden serving as the illustrative protagonist. 
President Obama, upset over Russia's asylum offer to 
Snowden, recently cancelled a summit with President Putin.

With access to the free flow of oil and gas resources a central tenet 
of U.S. national security policy under theCarter Doctrine, there's no 
guarantee this new Cold War will end well.

Fracked gas exports fend off Russia, but for how long?

Fracking is in the process of transforming the U.S. from a net 
importer of gas to a net exporter, with threeliquefied natural gas 
(LNG) export terminals on the Gulf Coast already rubber-stamped for 
approval by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Industry cheerleaders as well as President Obama and other 
like-minded politicians say there are 100 years of natural gas 
under the United States, a geopolitical game-changer to say the very 

But independent petroleum geologists and investors alike see it 
differently, concluding perhaps 15-20 years of gas exist at 
current diminishing, exploration treadmill rates of return.

More and more wells must be drilled and operated to maintain 
production as the average productivity per well is declining, David 
Hughes, a Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute explains in his report 
Drill Baby, Drill. Since 1990, the number of operating gas wells 
in the United States has increased by 90 percent while the average 
productivity per well has declined by 38 percent.

This means 

[Biofuel] The Day Agents Came and Smashed Our Hard Drives

2013-08-21 Thread Keith Addison

Outcry over detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner under terrorism legislation
By Robert Stevens
20 August 2013

David Miranda: 'They said I would be put in jail if I didn't co-operate'
Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald gives his first 
interview on nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow airport

Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro
The Guardian, Monday 19 August 2013

Glenn Greenwald Defiantly Hints of More Illegal Spying Revelations 
After Maladroit US/UK Effort to Intimidate Him

Monday, 19 August 2013 16:39

Greenwald partner sues Home Office as UK defends 'Miranda op'
Published time: August 20, 2013


Journalism Under Threat:

The Day Agents Came and Smashed Our Hard Drives

By Alan Rusbridger

Guardian Editor

David Miranda, schedule 7 and the danger that all reporters now face

As the events in a Heathrow transit lounge - and the Guardian offices 
- have shown, the threat to journalism is real and growing

August 20, 2013 Information Clearing House - The Guardian -  In a 
private viewing cinema in Soho last week I caught myself letting fly 
with a four-letter expletive at Bill Keller, the former executive 
editor of the New York Times. It was a confusing moment. The man who 
was pretending to be me - thanking Keller for not giving a shit - 
used to be Malcolm Tucker, a foul-mouthed Scottish spin doctor who 
will soon be a 1,000-year-old time lord. And Keller will correct me, 
but I don't remember ever swearing at him. I do remember saying 
something to the effect of we have the thumb drive, you have the 
first amendment.

The fictional moment occurs at the beginning of the DreamWorks film 
about WikiLeaks, The Fifth Estate, due for release next month. Peter 
Capaldi is, I can report, a very plausible Guardian editor.

This real-life exchange with Keller happened just after we took 
possession of the first tranche of WikiLeaks documents in 2010. I 
strongly suspected that our ability to research and publish anything 
to do with this trove of secret material would be severely 
constrained in the UK. America, for all its own problems with media 
laws and whistleblowers, at least has press freedom enshrined in a 
written constitution. It is also, I hope, unthinkable that any US 
government would attempt prior restraint against a news organisation 
planning to publish material that informed an important public 
debate, however troublesome or embarrassing.

On Sunday morning David Miranda, the partner of Guardian columnist 
Glenn Greenwald, was detained as he was passing through Heathrow 
airport on his way back to Rio de Janeiro, where the couple live. 
Greenwald is the reporter who has broken most of the stories about 
state surveillance based on the leaks from the former NSA contractor 
Edward Snowden. Greenwald's work has undoubtedly been troublesome and 
embarrassing for western governments. But, as the debate in America 
and Europe has shown, there is considerable public interest in what 
his stories have revealed about the right balance between security, 
civil liberties, freedom of speech and privacy. He has raised acutely 
disturbing questions about the oversight of intelligence; about the 
use of closed courts; about the cosy and secret relationship between 
government and vast corporations; and about the extent to which 
millions of citizens now routinely have their communications 
intercepted, collected, analysed and stored.

In this work he is regularly helped by David Miranda. Miranda is not 
a journalist, but he still plays a valuable role in helping his 
partner do his journalistic work. Greenwald has his plate full 
reading and analysing the Snowden material, writing, and handling 
media and social media requests from around the world. He can 
certainly use this back-up. That work is immensely complicated by the 
certainty that it would be highly unadvisable for Greenwald (or any 
other journalist) to regard any electronic means of communication as 
safe. The Guardian's work on the Snowden story has involved many 
individuals taking a huge number of flights in order to have 
face-to-face meetings. Not good for the environment, but increasingly 
the only way to operate. Soon we will be back to pen and paper.

Miranda was held for nine hours under schedule 7 of the UK's terror 
laws, which give enormous discretion to stop, search and question 
people who have no connection with terror, as ordinarily 
understood. Suspects have no right to legal representation and may 
have their property confiscated for up to seven days. Under this 
measure - uniquely 

[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #116

2013-05-04 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #116

By William Blum - Published May 3rd, 2013

Boston Marathon, this thing called terrorism, and the United States

What is it that makes young men, reasonably well educated, in good 
health and nice looking, with long lives ahead of them, use powerful 
explosives to murder complete strangers because of political beliefs?

I'm speaking about American military personnel of course, on the 
ground, in the air, or directing drones from an office in Nevada.

Do not the survivors of US attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, 
Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and elsewhere, and their loved ones, ask 
such a question?

The survivors and loved ones in Boston have their answer - America's 
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That's what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston bomber has said 
in custody, and there's no reason to doubt that he means it, nor the 
dozens of others in the past two decades who have carried out 
terrorist attacks against American targets and expressed anger toward 
US foreign policy. 1 Both Tsarnaev brothers had expressed such 
opinions before the attack as well. 2 The Marathon bombing took place 
just days after a deadly US attack in Afghanistan killed 17 
civilians, including 12 children, as but one example of countless 
similar horrors from recent years. Oh, an American says, but those 
are accidents. What terrorists do is on purpose. It's cold-blooded 

But if the American military sends out a bombing mission on Monday 
which kills multiple innocent civilians, and then the military 
announces: Sorry, that was an accident. And then on Tuesday the 
American military sends out a bombing mission which kills multiple 
innocent civilians, and then the military announces: Sorry, that was 
an accident. And then on Wednesday the American military sends out a 
bombing mission which kills multiple innocent civilians, and the 
military then announces: Sorry, that was an accident. Š Thursday Š 
Friday Š How long before the American military loses the right to say 
it was an accident?

Terrorism is essentially an act of propaganda, to draw attention to a 
cause. The 9-11 perpetrators attacked famous symbols of American 
military and economic power. Traditionally, perpetrators would phone 
in their message to a local media outlet beforehand, but today, in 
this highly-surveilled society, with cameras and electronic 
monitoring at a science-fiction level, that's much more difficult to 
do without being detected; even finding a public payphone can be near 

From what has been reported, the older brother, Tamerlan, regarded US 
foreign policy also as being anti-Islam, as do many other Muslims. I 
think this misreads Washington's intentions. The American Empire is 
not anti-Islam. It's anti-only those who present serious barriers to 
the Empire's plan for world domination.

The United States has had close relations with Saudi Arabia, Jordan 
and Qatar, amongst other Islamic states. And in recent years the US 
has gone to great lengths to overthrow the leading secular states of 
the Mideast - Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Moreover, it's questionable that Washington is even against terrorism 
per se, but rather only those terrorists who are not allies of the 
empire. There has been, for example, a lengthy and infamous history 
of tolerance, and often outright support, for numerous anti-Castro 
terrorists, even when their terrorist acts were committed in the 
United States. Hundreds of anti-Castro and other Latin American 
terrorists have been given haven in the US over the years. The United 
States has also provided support to terrorists in Afghanistan, 
Nicaragua, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iran, Libya, and Syria, including those 
with known connections to al Qaeda, to further foreign policy goals 
more important than fighting terrorism.

Under one or more of the harsh anti-terrorist laws enacted in the 
United States in recent years, President Obama could be charged with 
serious crimes for allowing the United States to fight on the same 
side as al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Libya and Syria and for funding 
and supplying these groups. Others in the United States have been 
imprisoned for a lot less.

As a striking example of how Washington has put its imperialist 
agenda before anything else, we can consider the case of Gulbuddin 
Hekmatyar, an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention 
in the 1980s by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to 
wear the veil. This is how these horrible men spent their time when 
they were not screaming Death to America. CIA and State Department 
officials called Hekmatyar scary, vicious, a fascist, definite 
dictatorship material. 3 This did not prevent the United States 
government from showering the man with large amounts of aid to fight 
against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan. 4 Hekmatyar 
is still a prominent warlord in Afghanistan.

A similar example is that of Luis 

[Biofuel] New biodiesel book

2013-04-12 Thread Keith Addison

Hello all

I just finished the job I've been working on. Here it is:

The Biodiesel Bible, by Keith Addison, Journey to Forever, 342 pages, 
217 illustrations.

Learn how to make top-quality biodiesel that will pass all the 
quality standards requirements every time. We haven't had a failed 
batch for 11 years! (But if you do have a failed batch we tell you 
how to rescue it - and how to improve your processing so it won't 
happen again.)

Anyone can learn how to make their own biodiesel. You don't need to 
be a chemist or an engineer, all technical issues are clearly 
explained in easily understood terms. There's a lot to learn, but 
it's a smooth learning curve, you won't go wrong.

The idea isn't that you should blindly follow the instructions and do 
what you're told, but that you should  understand what you're doing 
and why you're doing it. Then you'll be empowered.

This is the ONLY book that thoroughly covers the entire subject of 
making your own biodiesel. There's much more in it than at the 
Journey to Forever website.

It's a pdf e-book. Copy it onto a CD, take it to your local 
print-shop and have them print it out. It doesn't have to be in 
colour (you can check colour images on-screen if you need to). Ask 
for double-sided printing and have them put it in a ring-binder, 
ideal for your workshop - it won't matter if it gets a little smudged.

On-screen, you can use the search commands to find whatever you might 
be looking for much faster than with a printed book. The many blue 
underlined hyperlinks in the text are live: click on them and your 
browser will take you online to sources of chemicals and equipment, 
and resources on the Web that will make the whole job of making and 
using your own biodiesel fuel easier.

Web usage researchers have found that reading on-screen is more 
difficult and more tiring than reading print on paper. For real 
reading you need a real book.

If you send the pdf to a print-on-demand printer, you'll get a real 
book back, the same as you'd buy in a bookstore.

To buy The Biodiesel Bible, pay US$38.50 to my PayPal account and I will email you a download link 
within 24 hours.

Make sure to clear the email address in 
your spam filter, and add it to your address book.

All best


Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] Common Dreams 04.10.13

2013-04-11 Thread Keith Addison

News  Views |


Norman Solomon: Time to Bell the Obama Cat


Top Secret Intel Docs Betray Obama Claims on Drone Targeting

UN: Clean Energy Could Save Millions of Lives

'Time to Rise Up': Oklahoma Grandmother Bike-Locks Herself to KXL 
Pipeline Machinery

Tens of Thousands Descend on Capitol to Demand Immigration Reform

New Global Warming Education Plan Buries Role of Fossil Fuels, 

and more...


Legalizing Animal Abuse - Criminalizing Protest

The Way of the Knife: NYT's Mark Mazzetti on the CIA's Post-9/11 Move 
from Spying to Assassinations


Alleen Brown: At Occupy the DOE, A Push for Democratic, Not 
Corporate, Education Reform

Inna Shevchenko: We Are Femen, The Naked Shock Troops of Feminism

Robert Borosage: The President's Budget: A Misguided Mission Statement

Janet Redman and Antonio Tricarico: Wall Street's Climate Finance Bonanza

Katrina vanden Heuvel: 'There Are Now States Where It's Not Safe to Be a Woman'

William Pfaff: Anonymous Murder from a Safe Distance

Robert Reich: Bi-Partisanship We Don't Need: The President Offers to 
Cut Social Security and Republicans Agree


Food  Water Watch	 Obama Administration Caves to Poultry 
Industry By Proceeding With Privatized Inspection

PEER:Federal Pipeline Safety Vacuum Magnifies Risks

Center for Biological Diversity:	 EPA's Climate Change 
Adaptation Plan Falls Short: Groups Urge Three Key Actions

Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] News Views | 04.11.13

2013-04-11 Thread Keith Addison

News  Views | 04.11.13


Bill Moyers and Michael Winship: Dr. King's Two Americas Truer Now than Ever


22-Foot Gash in Pegasus Pipeline Puts Gaping Hole in Safety Claims

The State of Nuclear Power in US: Bad and Worse

Despite Compromise, Bipartisan Consensus Remains: Assault Weapons OK

Fourth Radioactive Water Leak Found at Disaster-Plagued Fukushima Plant

Rep. Nancy Pelosi Under Fire from Progressives Over Proposed Social 
Security Cuts

and more...


Obama's Budget: A Deal with the Republicans?

Leak Reveals Egyptian Army's Hand in Torture, Killing of Arab Spring Protesters


Amy Goodman: WikiLeaks' New Release: The Kissinger Cables and Bradley Manning

Russell Mokhiber: Avoiding Corporate Crime

Sadhbh Walshe: How America's Fast Food Industry Makes a Quick Buck

Robert C. Koehler: Drone World

Jeff Faux: Where's the Change?

Robert Parry: The Madness of NYT's Tom Friedman

Jamie Henn: Just a Few Reasons Why a Democratic Senate Hopeful is 
Backpedaling on Tar Sands


Bradley Manning Support Network: Military Decrees Media Access is a 
Privilege, Not a Right

Witness Against Torture: As Guantánamo Hunger Strike Continues, 
Activists Rally Nationwide for Day of Action to Close Guantánamo  
End Indefinite Detention

PIRG: 'Don't Frack Our Elections'

and more...
Sustainablelorgbiofuel mailing list

[Biofuel] Margaret Thatcher's Criminal Legacy

2013-04-10 Thread Keith Addison

Margaret Thatcher's Criminal Legacy

By Finian Cunningham

April 09, 2013 Information Clearing House - Hours after the death 
of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the history books 
are being re-written and the beatification of the Iron Lady is well 
Current British premier David Cameron praised Lady Thatcher for 
having saved Britain and for making the has-been colonial power 
great again.

Tributes poured forth from French and German leaders, Francoise 
Hollande and Angela Merkel, while US President Barack Obama said 
America had lost a special friend.

Former American secretary of state Henry Kissinger and former Russian 
leader Mikhail Gorbachev also lamented the loss of an historic world 
figure. Polish ex-president Lech Walesa hailed Margaret Thatcher for 
having brought down the Soviet Union and Communism.

Such fulsome praise may be expected coming from so many war 
criminals. But it is instructive of how history is written by the 
victors and criminals in high office. Obama, Cameron, Hollande and 
Merkel should all be arraigned and prosecuted for war crimes in Iran, 
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Mali, among 
other places. Kissinger has long evaded justice for over four decades 
for his role in the US genocide in Southeast Asia during the 
so-called Vietnam War in which over three million people were 
obliterated in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The British state is to give Thatcher, who died this week aged 87, a 
full military-honours funeral. The praise, eulogies, wreaths and 
ceremonies are all self-indictments of association with one of the 
most ruthless and criminal political figures in modern times.

So, here is a people's history of Thatcher's legacy.

She will be remembered for colluding with the most reactionary 
elements of Rupert Murdoch's squalid media empire to launch a war 
over the Malvinas Islands in 1982, a war that caused hundreds of 
lives and involved the gratuitous sinking of an Argentine warship, 
the Belgrano,

by a British submarine.

By declaring war, rather than conducting political negotiations with 
Argentina over Britain's ongoing colonial possession of the Malvinas, 
Thatcher salvaged her waning public support in Britain, and the 
bloodletting helped catapult her into a second term of office in 
Downing Street. Her political greatness that so many Western 
leaders now eulogize was therefore paid in part by the lives of 
Argentine and British soldiers, and by bequeathing an ongoing source 
of conflict in the South Atlantic.

It wasn't just foreigners that Thatcher declared war on. Armed with 
her snake-oil economic policies of privatisation, deregulation, 
unleashing finance capitalism, pump-priming the rich with tax awards 
subsidised by the ordinary working population, Thatcher declared war 
on the British people themselves. She famously proclaimed that there 
was no such thing as society and went on to oversee an explosion in 
the gap between rich and poor and the demolition of social conditions 
in Britain. That legacy has been amplified by both successive 
Conservative and Labour governments and is central to today's social 
meltdown in Britain - more than two decades after Thatcher resigned. 
Laughably, David Cameron, a protégé of Thatcher, claims that she 
saved Britain. The truth is Thatcher accelerated the sinking of 
British capitalism and society at large. What she ordered for the 
Belgrano has in a very real way come to be realised for British 
society at large.

During her second term of office in the mid-1980s, the Iron Lady 
declared war on the enemy within. She was referring to Britain's 
strongly unionised coal-mining industry. Imagine declaring war on 
your own population. That is a measure of her pathological 
intolerance towards others who did not happen to share her obnoxious 
ideological views - ideological views that have since become exposed 
as intellectually and morally bankrupt.

For over a year around 1984, her Orwellian mindset and policies 
starved mining communities in the North of England into submission. 
Her use of paramilitary police violence also broke the resolve and 
legitimate rights of these communities. Miners' leader Arthur 
Scargill would later be vindicated in the eyes of ordinary people, if 
not in the eyes of the mainstream media. Britain's coalmines were 
systematically shut down, thousands of workers would be made 
unemployed, and entire communities were thrown on the social scrap 
heap. All this violence and misery was the price for Thatcher's 
ideological war against working people and their political rights.

The class war that Thatcher unleashed in Britain is still raging. The 
rich have become richer, the poor decidedly more numerous and poorer. 
The decimation of workers' rights and the unfettered power given to 
finance capital were hallmarks of Thatcher's legacy and are to this 
day hallmarks of 

[Biofuel] The Anti-Empire Report #115

2013-04-09 Thread Keith Addison

The Anti-Empire Report #115

By William Blum - Published April 8th, 2013

Would you believe that the United States tried to do something that 
was not nice against Hugo Chávez?

Wikileaks has done it again. I guess the US will really have to get 
tough now with Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

In a secret US cable to the State Department, dated November 9, 2006, 
and recently published online by WikiLeaks, former US ambassador to 
Venezuela, William Brownfield, outlines a comprehensive plan to 
destabilize the government of the late President Hugo Chávez. The 
cable begins with a Summary:

During his 8 years in power, President Chavez has systematically 
dismantled the institutions of democracy and governance. The 
USAID/OTI program objectives in Venezuela focus on strengthening 
democratic institutions and spaces through non-partisan cooperation 
with many sectors of Venezuelan society.

USAID/OTI = United States Agency for International Development/Office 
of Transition Initiatives. The latter is one of the many euphemisms 
that American diplomats use with each other and the world - They say 
it means a transition to democracy. What it actually means is a 
transition from the target country adamantly refusing to cooperate 
with American imperialist grand designs to a country gladly willing 
(or acceding under pressure) to cooperate with American imperialist 
grand designs.

OTI supports the Freedom House (FH) Right to Defend Human Rights 
program with $1.1 million. Simultaneously through Development 
Alternatives Inc. (DAI), OTI has also provided 22 grants to human 
rights organizations.

Freedom House is one of the oldest US government conduits for 
transitioning to democracy; to a significant extent it equates 
democracy and human rights with free enterprise. Development 
Alternatives Inc. is the organization that sent Alan Gross to Cuba on 
a mission to help implement the US government's operation of regime 

OTI speaks of working to improve the deteriorating human rights 
situation in Venezuela. Does anyone know of a foreign government 
with several millions of dollars to throw around who would like to 
improve the seriously deteriorating human rights situation in the 
United States? They can start with the round-the-clock surveillance 
and the unconscionable entrapment of numerous young terrorists 
guilty of thought crimes.

OTI partners are training NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to 
be activists and become more involved in advocacy.

Now how's that for a self-given license to fund and get involved in 
any social, economic or political activity that can sabotage any 
program of the Chávez government and/or make it look bad? The US 
ambassador's cable points out that:

OTI has directly reached approximately 238,000 adults through over 
3000 forums, workshops and training sessions delivering alternative 
values and providing opportunities for opposition activists to 
interact with hard-core Chavistas, with the desired effect of pulling 
them slowly away from Chavismo. We have supported this initiative 
with 50 grants totaling over $1.1 million.

Another key Chavez strategy, the cable continues, is his attempt 
to divide and polarize Venezuelan society using rhetoric of hate and 
violence. OTI supports local NGOs who work in Chavista strongholds 
and with Chavista leaders, using those spaces to counter this 
rhetoric and promote alliances through working together on issues of 
importance to the entire community.

This is the classical neo-liberal argument against any attempt to 
transform a capitalist society - The revolutionaries are creating 
class conflict. But of course, the class conflict was already there, 
and nowhere more embedded and distasteful than in Latin America.

OTI funded 54 social projects all over the country, at over $1.2 
million, allowing [the] Ambassador to visit poor areas of Venezuela 
and demonstrate US concern for the Venezuelan people. This program 
fosters confusion within the Bolivarian ranks, and pushes back at the 
attempt of Chavez to use the United States as a 'unifying enemy.'

One has to wonder if the good ambassador (now an Assistant Secretary 
of State) placed any weight or value at all on the election and 
re-election by decisive margins of Chávez and the huge masses of 
people who repeatedly filled the large open squares to passionately 
cheer him. When did such things last happen in the ambassador's own 
country? Where was his country's concern for the Venezuelan people 
during the decades of highly corrupt and dictatorial regimes? His 
country'a embassy in Venezuela in that period was not plotting 
anything remotely like what is outlined in this cable.

The cable summarizes the focus of the embassy's strategy's as: 1) 
Strengthening Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez' 
Political Base, 3) Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US 
business, and 5) Isolating Chavez 

[Biofuel] BioDemocracy or Corporatocracy: The Food Fight of Our Lives

2013-03-30 Thread Keith Addison

BioDemocracy or Corporatocracy: The Food Fight of Our Lives

By Ronnie Cummins
Organic Consumers Association, March 27, 2013

If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well 
put a skull and crossbones on it. - Norman Braksick, president of 
Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City 
Star, March 7, 1994

Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. 
Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its 
safety is the FDA's job. - Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of 
corporate communications, quoted in the New York Times, October 25, 

For two decades, starting with the controversial introduction of 
Monsanto's recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) and Calgene's 
Flavr Savr tomato in 1994, polls have consistently shown that U.S. 
consumers are wary, indeed alarmed, about the new technology of 
genetic engineering (GE). Surveyed regularly, the overwhelming 
majority of Americans have repeatedly stated that they either want 
these Frankenfoods banned, or at least clearly labeled.

In a March 2012 national poll, conducted by the Mellman Group, 91% of 
Americans said they wanted GMO foods labeled. When asked whether 
gene-altered foods were safe, 34% of consumers said they believed 
that gene-altered foods were definitely unsafe; 41% said they were 
not sure; while 41% said genetically engineered foods should be 

Five counties and two cities in California and Washington have banned 
the growing of GE crops In 
addition, given the near total absence of FDA regulation, 19 states 
have passed laws restricting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

Millions of consumers are purchasing over $30 billion of organic 
foods, and $60 billion worth of so-called natural foods, every 
year, in part because organic standards prohibit the use of 
gene-altered seeds or ingredients. But many consumers believe 
mistakenly that natural foods are GE-free as well.

The biotech industry and Big Food Inc. are acutely aware of the fact 
that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are 
wary and suspicious of GE foods. Even though most consumers don't 
fully understand the science of gene-splicing foreign DNA into plants 
or animals, they instinctively understand that they don't want to be 
guinea pigs in a biotech food safety experiment. They don't want 
their family's health or environmental sustainability decisions to be 
made by notorious chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, BASF, 
Syngenta or Dupont-the same corporations who have poisoned our 
communities and our bodies with toxic pesticides, DDT, Agent Orange, 
dangerous pharmaceuticals and PCBs. GE crops and foods have 
absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards.

This is why biotech and Big Food corporations spent more than $46 
million to defeat Proposition 37, a November 7, 2012 California 
ballot initiative that would have required mandatory labels on GMO 
foods, and put an end to the routine industry practice of marketing 
GE-tainted foods as natural. In the wake of a scurrilous barrage of 
TV, radio and direct mail ads falsely claiming that GMO labels would 
significantly increase food costs, hurt family farmers, increase the 
scope and intrusiveness of state bureaucrats, and benefit special 
interest groups such as trial lawyers, California voters narrowly 
rejected mandatory GMO food labels 51.5% to 48.5%.

After Prop 37: Big Food Blinks

But Big Food apparently now realizes that Proposition 37 was a hollow 
victory, an inconclusive, albeit fierce, preliminary battle in a war 
against consumer antipathy and consumer choice, a war they will 
inevitably lose. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) 
immediately put a happy face on their narrow victory in California, 
reciting their standard propaganda: Proposition 37 was a deeply 
flawed measure that would have resulted in higher food costs, 
frivolous lawsuits and increased state bureaucracies. This is a big 
win for California consumers, taxpayers, business and farmers.

But Jennifer Hatcher, senior vice-president of government and public 
affairs for the Food Marketing Institute, came closer to expressing 
the real sentiments of the big guns who opposed Prop 37, a measure 
she had previously said scared us to death. In her official 
statement following the election, she said:

This gives us hope that you can, with a well-funded, well-organized, 
well-executed campaign, defeat a ballot initiative and go directly to 
the voters. We hope we don't have too many of them, because you can't 
keep doing that over and over again . . .

But we are doing it over and over again. More than 30 state 
legislatures are now debating bills on GMO labeling. Public awareness 
of the hazards of GE has increased significantly. Controversy 
surrounding a 

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