Archive for January, 2008

What Your High Gas Prices Pay For

This isn’t as good as putting in, oh…say Indiana. But it ain’t all bad either. Technology learned is technology transfered I say.

The government of Abu Dhabi has announced a $15bn (£7.5bn) initiative to develop clean energy technologies.

The Gulf state describes the five-year initiative as “the most ambitious sustainability project ever launched by a government”.

Components will include the world’s largest hydrogen power plant.

The government has also announced plans for a “sustainable city”, housing about 50,000 people, that will produce no greenhouse gases and contain no cars.

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Actor George Clooney has been made a United Nations “messenger of peace” to promote the organization’s peacekeeping activities around the world.

‘Cause as we all know Loony Clooney is such a “peaceful” guy towards his fellow man.

Except when he’s not:

“I believe he thinks this [war against Iraq is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can’t beat anyone anymore.”

“When the big one hit, we found we didn’t have a leader at all. What did Bush do on 9/11? He ran away and hid. Even Reagan knew more about leadership than that, and he was as bad a symbol of America as I can think of, off-hand.”

“I want to thank Jack Abramoff, you know, just because…I’m the first one out — let’s get this thing rolling. I don’t know why. Who would name their kid Jack with the last words ‘off’ at the end of your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up. Ahh-alright I just got bleeped. Thank you very much…”

Yep, classy, and peaceful guy that Clooney. He’ll fit right in at the “classy” U.N.

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NO! Say it Ain’t so Hillary!

Hill & Bill practicing the politics of personal destruction?

Hillary confidant and U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller advocating “smear campaigns against the opponents” of the “Hillary Care Health” plan?

Senator Rockefeller also suggesting news organizations “are anxious and willing to receive guidance [from the Clinton Administration] on how to time and shape their [news] coverage.” Would that be called the VLWC (Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy)?

Say it ain’t so Hillary? Oh excuse me, that should read Shillary. And it is true. All of it!

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The United States has been listed as a country where prisoners are at risk of torture in a training document produced by the Canadian foreign ministry.

It also classifies some US interrogation techniques as torture.

And a great big STFU also!

That’s it no more Canadian Bacon for me!

Labatts Blue? Forgetaboutit!

UPDATE: It’s a little late arsehole. The damage is done and this story has been plastered all over the foriegn press since it’s original publications.

And now, after the proverbial horse ass has left the barn you’re “apologizing:” The Canadian foreign minister has apologized for including the US and Israel on a list of states where prisoners are at risk of torture.

Maxime Bernier said the list, which formed part of a manual on torture awareness given to diplomats, “wrongly includes some of our closest allies”.

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John Edwards a Duplicitous Fool?

Why yes, glad you asked.

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If this doesn’t send Ted “Pass the Scotch” Kennedy into near fatal conniption fits nothing will.

The last environmental hurdle has been cleared and Fat Man Teddy’s “pristine” coastal environment is about to be sullied by the long planned wind farm:

The nation’s first proposed offshore wind-energy project cleared its most formidable hurdle yesterday as the US Minerals Management Service declared that the wind farm off Cape Cod would have little lasting impact on wildlife, navigation, and tourism.

The agency’s nearly 2,000-page draft environmental impact statement makes clear that the federal government is inclined to approve construction of the 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound, 5 miles from the nearest coastline, unless major new concerns arise during a public comment period. Federal approval would probably come late this year or early next year, and remaining state permits are not expected to be a major obstacle, given that Governor Deval Patrick is in favor of the project.

Poor Teddy!

To say nothing of Robert Kennedy Jr. who should be into his second or third brain aneurism after reading this story.

And BTW, unless Mitt Romney has changed his stance on this project he might want a cardiolgist on standby.

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Alternatively titled: “See what happens when someone sane is elected to the French Government?”

France and the UAE have signed a deal allowing France to set up a permanent military base, the first in the Gulf for a Western power other than the US.

The deal allows for the stationing of up to 500 permanent military personnel in the UAE’s largest emirate Abu Dhabi.

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Like that really needs to be said right?

Anyway, stating the obvious aside, General Motors announced at the Detroit Auto Show that it will be teaming with Coskata, Inc. — a biology-based renewable energy company based in Indiana — to produce ethanol using a new, environmentally friendly method.

The new system allows for the production of ethanol from sources other than corn. The new technology would make it possible to make bio-fuel from renewable resources — such as livestock waste, municipal waste or even old tires — eliminating the pitfalls of producing ethanol from corn.

And the Cost to the consumer? Projected to be about $1 per gallon, well below the $3 per gallon consumers are used to seeing.

Of course this, as many are aware (but not enough), is the “dumb side” of the Ethanol equation, certain U.S. politicians have been pimping corn based fuel.

Chief among them are Missouri Senator Jim Talent, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Norm Coleman, of Minnesota have been grandstanding for alternative fuels in an effort to help their farmer-constituents.

Their grandstanding through tax breaks and idiotic letters to auto racing sanctioning bodies has led farmers to curtail the production of corn for human use and switch to varieties normally grown for feeding cattle.

That has done two things, with decreased corn production prices of products using corn and corn itself has steadily increased. I’m still waiting for the blow-back when it’s announced shipments of surplus U.S. grown corn will be reduced and some, or all third world countries will suffer as a result.

Secondly, and despite increased feed corn production, the increase is being turned into ethanol and not into the stomachs our most delicious bovine friends. The obvious result being increased prices at the butcher shop.

Some have argued that the amount of corn needed to produce a tankful of ethanol could feed a person for year. I’m far from an expert, but basic common sense instructs to pull anything from the human food chain to reduce the amount of oil used to power the American economy is ludicrous, at best, and down right delusional at worst.

But that’s usually what you get when politicians are involved. The worst.

UPDATE: Oops, says the European Union. Europe’s environment chief has admitted that the EU did not foresee the problems raised by its policy to get 10% of Europe’s road fuels from plants.

See what I mean, when the politicians get involved you get the worst. Aren’t these the same EU NannyStaters that have failed to met mandated goals set in the Kyoto Treaty? Yes… I thought so. (And the Canucks ain’t doing so hot either [no pun intended] they’re about 8 years behind schedule)

Recent reports have warned of rising food prices and rainforest destruction from increased biofuel production. Sum bitch, I thought it was all us plywood consumers that have led to deforestation.

Who’d a thunk it, deforestation would be exacerbated by the ecco-wennies!

“We have seen that the environmental problems caused by biofuels and also the social problems are bigger than we thought they were. So we have to move very carefully,” EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told the BBC.

“We have to have criteria for sustainability, including social and environmental issues, because there are some benefits from biofuels.”

Dumb asses I tell ya. Dumb asses one and all.

UPDATE II: More on the Euro-Ecco-Weenies:

A survey of travel habits has revealed that the most environmentally conscious people are also the biggest polluters.

“Green” consumers have some of the biggest carbon footprints because they are still hooked on flying abroad or driving their cars while their adherence to the green cause is mostly limited to small gestures.

Identified as “eco-adopters”, they are most likely to be members of an environmental organisation, buy green products such as detergents, recycle and have a keen interest in green issues.

But the survey of 25,000 people, by the market research company Target Group Index, found that eco-adopters are seven per cent more likely than the general population to take flights, and four per cent more likely to own a car. The survey found similar trends in France and the United States.

Can you spell hypocrites?

They all must be taking lesson from Al Gore, a/k/a The Goracle.

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As the 2008 Presidential campaign gets underway in earnest it’s hardly surprising reports surface about past real or imagined election fiascos in America.

Such is the case highlighted by this BBC story.

According to the Asian American Legal Defence and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 34-year-old civil rights organization there were many Asian American voters that faced discrimination from voting officials during 2006 mid-term elections.

How so you ask? Well the AALDEF claims the following:

The group alleges that poll workers were hostile towards Asian American voters, particularly those not fluent in English, during voting in 2006.

Many voters complained of “rude or hostile behaviour” and an “unhelpful attitude about election procedures”, the report said.

Wow! That’s pretty bad. If true.

My first question was how pervasive was this behavior? It seems the AALDEF came to this shocking conclusion based on reports from 59 Asian American voters As the BBC points out there are , according to the 2000 census, “more than 10 million Asian Americans, comprising 3.6% of” America’spopulation.

Now I’m no math genius, and my abacus is in the shop for repairs, but it seems to me that is a mighty small percentage of complaints compared to the total population. That small of a data set could easily be attributed to over worked and unpaid poll workers having “a bad day” not anything related to race.

The report goes on to claim 83% of New York voters were asked to show identification, a state where it isn’t legally required to do so.

Why were these people singled out? Again, although not required, poll workers asked because some voters couldn’t speak enough English to be understood or those working didn’t feel confident the voter understood instructions given.

This appears to be a problem with voter ID, not a case of blanket discrimination. With the illegal immigrant problem (to say nothing of the terrorist threat) such as it is in the U.S. this study points out the importance of quick, easy to use and verified voter identification.

The so called civil rights group AALDEF should spend more time teaching the groups they represent the importance of speaking English rather than making complaints of racial bias based on what amounts to thin air.

Copies of the report and letters of complaint have been sent to the US Department of Justice for investigation, the AALDEF says.

I say lotsa luck with that. With so few complaints given the total population it will be given a cursory examination, a form letter sent, and then properly ignored.

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Snow fell on Baghdad Friday for the first time in memory. (say how’s that climate change meme going?)

“It is the first time we’ve seen snow in Baghdad,” said 60-year-old Hassan Zahar. “We’ve seen sleet before, but never snow. I looked at the faces of all the people, they were astonished,” he said.

“A few minutes ago, I was covered with snowflakes. In my hair, on my shoulders. I invite all the people to enjoy peace, because the snow means peace,” he said.

Must be Bush’s fault!

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