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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

Journal Archives

Why power generators are terrified of solar--electricity dramatically cheaper in SOLAR Germany

This is a pretty good indication of how our energy debate in America is driven by oil, gas, and coal public relations bullshit not reality.

While our government has been licking around the edges of alternative energy and politely nodding when oil company execs tell us it's not cost competitive yet, Germany has jumped into it in a big way.

The result?

The peak price of electricity over the course of a day dropped 40%, and 25% of their gas generators may be closed.

Why are we still talking about deep water drilling and pipelines for tar sand and shale oil, which are a half step above turning coal into gasoline? Because only big money can drill oil or turn asphalt into usable fuel, so they can control the supply and therefore price. Once PV's are in place, it's a hell of a lot harder to explain price fluctuations when the ''fuel,'' the sun rays, are constant.

Obama is doing more on this than past presidents, but we need to catch up to Germany, and the sooner we do, the less of a stranglehold big oil will have on our economy and foreign policy, and the harder it will be for power companies to blackmail us for billions and even turn out the lights as they did here in California at the beginning of the Bush administration.

We need to demand that our government get out in front, not just in research and demonstration projects, but in getting these kinds of power plants online and displacing fossil fuel NOW.

Tell the White House and your corrupt Congress critters to build it fast and build it NOW.

The first graph illustrates what a typical day on the electricity market in Germany looked like in March four years ago; the second illustrates what is happening now, with 25GW of solar PV installed across the country. Essentially, it means that solar PV is not just licking the cream off the profits of the fossil fuel generators — as happens in Australia with a more modest rollout of PV — it is in fact eating their entire cake.

Deutsche Bank solar analyst Vishal Shah noted in a report last month that EPEX data was showing solar PV was cutting peak electricity prices by up to 40%, a situation that utilities in Germany and elsewhere in Europe were finding intolerable. “With Germany adopting a drastic cut, we expect major utilities in other European countries to push for similar cuts as well,” Shah noted.

Analysts elsewhere said one quarter of Germany’s gas-fired capacity may be closed, because of the impact of surging solar and wind capacity. Enel, the biggest utility in Italy, which had the most solar PV installed in 2011, highlighted its exposure to reduced peaking prices when it said that a €5/MWh fall in average wholesale prices would translate into a one-third slump in earnings from the generation division.


What if Trayvon Martin had been Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon or some other Wall St. sociopath?

and someone used that ''stand your ground'' self-defense law to justify shooting them?

A couple of questions:
  1. How different would the police and media treatment of the shooter be?

  2. Would it be more justifiable?

    The intent of those laws is to deal with street crimes and either scare off, injure, or kill potential attackers.

    But even if you used normal self-defense guidelines when you saw Blankfein or the others and ran away, that would be zero protection from the harm they can do to you, your family, your community, and even the world.

    And like the conservative argument for having a gun in the home, that the police don't get there fast enough sometimes, we know that the police and prosecutors aren't coming for the economic terrorists on Wall Street at all.

I do not advocate that kind of vigilante action precisely because I know how different the response of authorities would be and it wouldn't take a single petition, demonstration, or call to the justice department to get that response, which would be a SWAT team, a hail of bullets, and vilification in the media forever, or just as likely, the media wouldn't mention it at all and history would swallow it up without a ripple, depending on which served the interest of the peers of the ''victim.''

But it's ironic that we have been conditioned to accept one kind of vigilanteism and not even imagine the other.

Schultz and Hartmann are cooperating on scheduling

This must be great news for East Coast listeners, but we don't get either in LA now.

Schultz and Hartmann are cooperating for the greater good!

That’s right, get this!

It is no secret that the progressive branch of the news/talk world has had its share of obstacles to overcome – weak-signaled outlets, poor business strategies (Air America), a slow start jumping into the modern talk era fray and a less sharply-defined target audience than conservative talk has been able to galvanize — just to name a handful.

Then there has been “The Great Ed Schultz-Thom Hartmann Scheduling Conflict” – otherwise known in the laws of physics as two objects not being able to occupy the same space at the same time. (Well, I’m not really sure if that actually is a law of physics – especially with String Theory and all that far out stuff that Michio Kaku talks about on the Science Channel – but you get my drift.)

For years, station programmers wanting to cobble together a decent progressive talk radio line-up and create a time-spent-listening feeding frenzy have had to deal with the inconvenient fact that the genre’s two biggest players both broadcast their midday programs live at the same friggin’ time! They are both in the studio between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET. How frustrating that must be for the good folks at Dial Global who represent both of these acts (and have for years been earnest supporters of the progressive talk radio movement).


Google: rush limbaugh sex tourism dominican republic

If he's still on the air that is. I'm surprised the slut comment is what did him in, but this earlier controversy largely slipped under the radar.

Since he went to the Dominican Republic with a bunch of guys, the only question is who he needed the viagra to party with: male or female prostitutes or one of his golf buddies?

Letter to former Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith: keep writing until you put them out of business

I sent this as a letter to to the editor at the New York Times:

I just have one question for Mr. Smith: since your column cost Goldman Sachs $2.2 billion, could you keep writing until you put these sociopathic economic terrorists out of business? They have done more damage to America and the world than the regular kind of terrorists could ever hope to in their wildest dreams.

Since it is clear the Obama administration is not going to prosecute Goldman Sachs and others like them (and certainly no Republican replacement would either), we need insiders like you to speak up until their money, a gun they hold to the head of the world economy, is gone.

Council on Foreign Relations: Questions We Dare Not Ask About Iran

The most surprising thing about this is that it comes from an establishment source like the CFR. They are usually purveyors of inside the Beltway talking points that rarely rise above the level of a Steven Segal movie.

First, if Iran’s regime was anti-Semitic by nature, then why has it not eliminated or “self-deported” the 30,000 Jews who live inside Iran? They are Iranian and Jewish, and proud of being both.

Second, Iran funds Hamas and is a self-declared champion of Palestinian peoples. How, then, can it attack Israel without harming the more than 1.5 million Arabs who live inside Israel? How can an Iranian nuclear warhead “eliminate” Israel without removing the populations of Gaza and the West Bank, too? Iran will destroy Palestine to save it?

Third, Iran’s Green Movement is not the West’s savior. Thanks to relentless threats against Iran, developing nuclear capability has become a symbol of Iranian national pride and defiance of the West. Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi is committed to maintaining the country’s nuclear program, saying “we have to have the technology.”

The ugly fact is that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is unstoppable. The consequences for regional weapons proliferation are severe, but Iran’s mullahs are not always “irrational actors,” as they’ve often been portrayed. Unlike Sunni Islam, Shia Muslims embrace ration and logic as key tenets of their creed, an inheritance from early Mutazalite thinking.


Goldman Roiled by Op-Ed Loses $2.2 Billion for Shareholders

Source: Bloomberg via Washington Post

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. saw $2.15 billion of its market value wiped out after an employee assailed Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein’s management and the firm’s treatment of clients, sparking debate across Wall Street.

The shares dropped 3.4 percent in New York trading yesterday, the third-biggest decline in the 81-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index, after London-based Greg Smith made the accusations in a New York Times op-ed piece.

Smith, who also wrote that he was quitting after 12 years at the company, blamed Blankfein, 57, and President Gary D. Cohn, 51, for a “decline in the firm’s moral fiber.” They responded in a memo to current and former employees, saying that Smith’s assertions don’t reflect the firm’s values, culture or “how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, 84, whose “Volcker rule” would limit banks like New York-based Goldman Sachs from making bets with their own money, called Smith’s article “a radical, strong” piece. “I’m afraid it’s a business that leads to a lot of conflicts of interest,” Volcker said at a conference in Washington sponsored by the Atlantic magazine.

Read more: http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-M0WH081A1I4H01-1J9RKCOP50FETDN5HDJHDN150C

Two thoughts reading this:

One, this is how the corporatocracy dies--one whistleblower, hacker, or monkey wrencher at a time.

Two, can this guy Smith write follow up op-eds until Goldman goes bankrupt?

Okay, maybe three thoughts: can this shame Obama into prosecuting Blankfein and other top execs?

The war on teachers: Why the public is watching (and not stopping) it happen

This was a tough one to snip down to four paragraphs, but it had some crucial ideas.

There are huge profits to be made in the testing industry, in educational technologies that replace teachers, and in constructing and managing charter schools, so it is not hard to see why some people in the corporate world would benefit from attacking public education and teachers unions.

That's the motive for the push, but why has it gotten farther than other corporate snake oil like privatizing Social Security? Why has a significant percentage of the public bought into it?

Large numbers of people are losing their jobs and homes, earning sub-standard wages and taking in their children who can’t find jobs. All the while, they see teachers, 80 percent of them women, who make better salaries than they do, have better health plans and pensions, and get two or three months off in the summer!

Many say to themselves: “Who do teachers think they are? Why should they live so well on my tax dollars when I can barely keep my head above water? At the very least, they should feel some of the insecurity I feel every day and face the kind of performance assessments workers in the private sector deal with all the time.”

That is the same sentiment that America’s unionized blue collar workers faced in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and ‘90’s when big corporations started closing factories and slashing wages and benefits. The non-unionized work force in big industrial states refused to rally to the defense of their unionized counterparts, and industrial unions lost battles to maintain their wage and benefit levels that allowed them to live a middle-class life style or prevent plants from relocating.


In short, big business takes the hard won gains of one group of workers and convince those not doing as well to pull them down rather than try to gain the same benefits for themselves.

Iran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon

TEHRAN—Amidst mounting geopolitical tensions, Iranian officials said Wednesday they were increasingly concerned about the United States of America's uranium-enrichment program, fearing the Western nation may soon be capable of producing its 8,500th nuclear weapon.

"Our intelligence estimates indicate that, if it is allowed to progress with its aggressive nuclear program, the United States may soon possess its 8,500th atomic weapon capable of reaching Iran," said Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, adding that Americans have the fuel, the facilities, and "everything they need" to manufacture even more weapons-grade fissile material.

"Obviously, the prospect of this happening is very distressing to Iran and all countries like Iran. After all, the United States is a volatile nation that's proven it needs little provocation to attack anyone anywhere in the world whom it perceives to be a threat."

Iranian intelligence experts also warned of the very real, and very frightening, possibility of the U.S. providing weapons and resources to a rogue third-party state such as Israel.


Santorum wants prima nocta, nobles' right of wedding night sex, back

After his success energizing Republican voters with his attack on contraception, presidential candidate Rick Santorum has reached even deeper into traditional Catholic sexual edicts to add prima nocta, also known as droit du seigneur, the right of nobles to sexual relations with brides on their wedding nights, to his women's issue platform.

To underline his embrace of this tradition, Santorum announced it during a campaign even at Dark AJ's Medieval Dinner Park in Hannibal, Missouri, going as far as to dress in Middle Ages attire himself.

"You know our critics on the loony left often say they can't see how the Christian wing of the Republican Party can co-exist with the free market wing, as if there was some conflict of values between the two," Santorum began.

"But in the ancient tradition of prima nocta, these two wings become one beautiful bird, perfectly illustrating God's hierarchy for all living things, and the economic superior embodying God's love as he fills the inferior."

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