stuartbramhall:

 

 

Excellent article by Pepe Escobar about the inspiring experiment in direct democracy in Kobani and the rest of Rojava (the 3 Kurdish provinces in Syria). Decision making via multicultural and multi-religious popular assemblies and workers’ cooperatives – allowed to flourish in return for their neutrality towards the Assad government. The Kurds call it “libertarian muncipalism.” The corporate elite and their puppets don’t like it one bit – which is why you won’t read about it in the corporate media. Is this why Kobani is under siege from ISIS/ISIL and their US, Saudi and Turkish backers? According to John Kerry, Kobani has no strategic military value for ISIS/ISIL.

Originally posted on Counter Information:

By Pepe Escobar

October 24, 2014 “ICH” – “Asia Times” – The brave women of Kobani – where Syrian Kurds are desperately fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh – are about to be betrayed by the “international community”. These women warriors, apart from Caliph Ibrahim’s goons, are also fighting treacherous agendas by the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan. So what’s the real deal in Kobani?

Let’s start by talking about Rojava. The full meaning of Rojava – the three mostly Kurdish provinces of northern Syria – is conveyed in this editorial (in Turkish) published by jailed activist Kenan Kirkaya. He argues that Rojava is the home of a “revolutionary model” that no less than challenges “the hegemony of the capitalist, nation-state system” – way beyond its regional “meaning for Kurds, or for Syrians or Kurdistan.”

Kobani – an agricultural region – happens to be at the epicenter…

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 diablocanyon

Bye Bye California

Whistleblower Michael Peck, a senior member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), is calling for the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor to be shut down — pending an assessment of its ability to withstand a major earthquake. Peck, who was Diablo Canyon’s lead inspector for five years, asserts the NRC isn’t applying its own safety rules for the plant’s operation. Unlike other federal whistleblowers, who Obama and the FBI are busy locking up, Peck is participating in an NRC review process that permits employees to appeal a superior’s ruling.

Located on the Pacific Coast halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Diablo Canyon is California’s last nuclear power plant. It’s located adjacent to four seismic faults, the Shoreline, Hosgri, Los Oso and San Luis Bay. The Shoreline fault was only recently discovered; the Hosgri, located three miles from the plant, is the largest and most dangerous. It was discovered in the 1970s, after construction on Diablo Canyon was nearly complete. According to Peck, a 2011 Pacific Gas and Electric (PG& E) seismic study indicates all four faults are capable of producing significantly more “peak ground acceleration” (75% more in the case of San Luis Bay) than previously believed.

Citing these findings, Peck concludes that Diablo Canyon, based on the NRC’s own safety standards, lacks justification to continue operating. He’s asking the NRC to shut it down until PG&E can demonstrate that its piping, cooling and other systems can withstand higher stress levels than called for in its original design.

In 2012 when the NRC ruled Diablo Canyon could continue operating without reassessing its seismic safety, Peck filed a formal objection. In it he called for PG&E to be cited for violating safety standards. When his supervisors overruled him, he filed a second objection, triggering the current review.

Dave Lockbaum, from Union of Concerned Scientists, supports Peck’s position. He has researched four decades of records when the NRC, and its predecessor the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), faced similar situations. In all prior cases, the NRC/AEC disallowed nuclear facilities to operate with similar unresolved earthquake protection issues. For example, in March 1979—two weeks prior to the Three Mile Island accident—the NRC ordered a handful of nuclear power reactors to shut down and remain shut down until earthquake analysis and protection concerns were corrected.

Diablo Canyon Up for Re-licensing

Diablo Canyon is currently licensed to operate until 2025. In 2009, PG&E applied for a 20 year license extension. The re-licensing process was suspended immediately following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Japan’s magnitude 8.9 earthquake, which was far larger than believed possible, knocked out Fukushima’s power and cooling systems, causing three core meltdowns. This led the NRC to require US nuclear power plants to re-evaluate seismic risks. These reports are due by March 2015.

Friends of the Earth has petitioned the NRC  to intervene in the Diablo Canyon’s re-licensing proceedings.

According to FOE senior adviser Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth: “It’s now clear that Diablo Canyon could never get a license to be built at its current Central Coast site. The NRC must consider this seismic data as part of public licensing hearings.”

A Question of Magnitude

Predictably PGE, via their spokesperson Blair Jones, disagrees. Jones maintains the NRC has “exhaustively analyzed” earthquake threats for Diablo Canyon and demonstrated it’s seismically safe. According to Jones, the core issue involving earthquake ground motions was resolved forty years ago with seismic retrofitting (Diablo Canyon was originally designed to withstand a 6.75 earthquake – with the upgrade it can supposedly withstand a 7.5 earthquake). The obvious assumption being that none of the four faults surround Diablo Canyon could cause a 7.6 magnitude or higher earthquake.

PG&E’s position is understandable, as nuclear power plants aren’t cost effective to begin with. They only become profitable with massive taxpayer subsidies. If the NRC requires quire them to retrofit Diablo Canyon to current earthquake standards, a permanent shutdown is highly likely. In 1976, the Humbolt Bay nuclear power plant in northern California, which was within 3,000 yards of three faults, was shut down to reinforce its ability to withstand possible earthquakes. Retrofitting it became more difficult and costly than projected and it never re-opened.

Our Non-regulating Regulatory Agencies

A Fukushima-style earthquake and meltdown at Diablo Canyon could wipe out agriculture in California and parts of the Midwest for centuries. Yet like many federal regulatory agencies, the NRC is more concerned about protecting PG&E’s bottom line than the health, safety and food security of the American public.

Michael Peck, who holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering is presently a senior instructor at NRC’s Technical Training Center in Tennessee.

photo credit: NRCgov via photopin cc

stuartbramhall:

 

 

The next thing we’ll hear they have bought them Greyhound bus tickets to leave. The poor are just so damned inconvenient.

Originally posted on Dogma and Geopolitics:

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford


“The water department is determined to solve its financial problems – and change the city’s demographics – by ejecting the poor from the grid.”

The two United Nations Special Rapporteurs have seen human rights violations around the world, but Detroit’s massive water shut-offs are uniquely upsetting. “We were deeply disturbed to observe the indignity people have faced and continue to live with in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and in a city that was a symbol of America’s prosperity,” said Catarina de Albuquerque and Leilani Farha, in a joint statement. An “unprecedented” 27,000 households have been disconnected from the pipes that sustain life and dignity – most of them Black and poor, according to the rapporteurs’ observations, although the city doesn’t bother to maintain records on the race and income of those it casts into purgatory. The water department is deliberately…

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In the first video below, Australian permaculture guru Geoff Lawton challenges the energy intensive system of water management employed in the southwestern US and California.

He gives the example of the canal off the Colorado River, which presently transports water 300 miles to Tucson. Increasing evaporation has made the water so saline that it’s useless for irrigation – except for golf courses. A sinking water table means massive energy is required to elevate the water prior to transporting it. In fact, providing water to Tucson is the single biggest consumer of electricity in the state of Arizona.

Lawton contrasts this energy intensive approach to water management with a system of swales* built in the Sonora Desert 80 years ago under the Works Project Administration (Roosevelt’s New Deal job creation program). After 80 years, the swales are full of lush grasslands and trees that have self-planted.

This low-energy design approach, which works with nature rather than against it, can be used to transform any desert region into productive food forests.

The video has been censored from YouTube, but you can see it at http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/73485-an-oasis-in-the-american-desert

In the second video Lawton takes viewers through a food forest he built, by constructing swales, in the Jordanian desert.

*A swale is an artificial ditch on contour used to slow and capture water runoff by spreading it horizontally across the landscape, thus facilitating runoff infiltration into the soil

 

US AID STILL GOING TO ISIS!!!

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

stuartbramhall:

 

 

US paying ISIS head choppers to allow convoys of humanitarian aid into their territory.

Originally posted on Political Film Blog:

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U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS
truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “caliphate.”

Not only that, they’re paying cash bribes to the head chopping jihadists in order to allow the shipments through.

. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations.

Oh, yeah…

USAID-JIHAD-XPRESS PROGRAM-halfsize

“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article.

Paying off ISIS is technically “material support for terrorism” a crime here in the US. Anyone besides the government who does it goes to prison (or worse).Another indicator of the glaring fraud this entire fiasco truly is.

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In the following brief video, Indian activist Arundati Roy challenges the way the global elite has repackaged Mohandas Gandhi as a hero to be worshiped and adored. She delivered her talk shortly after the publication of The Doctor and the Saint, a book length introduction to a new edition of The Annihilation of Caste. The latter was written in 1936 by Dalit (aka Untouchable) lawyer and activist Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. Gandhi bitterly fought Ambedkar and his ideas during his lifetime. This, according to Roy, was based on Gandhi’s entrenched beliefs about racial superiority, both towards Dalits and black South Africans.

Under Hindu’s rigid caste system a Dalit is limited (by virtue of birth) to occupations regarded as ritually impure, such as those involving leatherwork, butchering, or removal of rubbish, animal carcasses, and waste. Because these activities are considered polluting and contagious, by tradition Dalits are banned from full participation in Hindu social life. Discrimination against Dalits is still prevalent in rural India, as regards access to eating places, schools, temples and water sources.

Prior to the 1900s, hundreds of thousands of Dalits escaped their caste roles by leaving the Hindu religion and converting to Islam or Christianity. With the move towards representative government that occurred in the early twentieth century, an upper caste Hindu reform movement formed to ensure that India’s fourteen million Dalits (about one quarter of India’s population) remained outside the political process.

Gandhi, a member of the higher Banias caste, was part of this Hindu reform movement. He specifically opposed the movement started in 1904 to guarantee Dalits access to education. In the following video, Roy reads what he wrote about the Dalits he encountered during his time in South Africa (1893-1914):

“Whether they are Hindus or Mohammadans, they are absolutely without any moral or religious instruction worth a name; they are not learned enough. Plus thus they are adapting to yield to the slightest temptation to tell a lie. After sometime lying with them became a habit and disease. They would be lying without any reason, without any proper, prospect of bettering themselves materially in deep whom knowing what they are doing. They reach a stage in life when the moral faculties has completely collapsed owing to neglect.”

Gandhi launched his first non violent civil rights campaign in South Africa to protest the treatment of Indian immigrants as second class citizens. In 1906, he took the side of the British government when they declared war against the Zulu Nation in Natal and encouraged Indians to enlist with the British. Here are his views on Kaffirs [black South Africans) following his first arrest for civil disobedience:

“We were all prepared for hardships, but not quite for this experience. We could understand not being classed with the Whites, but to be placed on the same level with the Natives seemed to be too much to put up with. I then felt that Indians had launched our passive resistance too soon. Here was further proof that the obnoxious law was meant to emasculate the Indians…Apart from whether or not this implies degradation, I must say it is rather dangerous. Kaffirs as a rule are uncivilized—the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals and scavengers.”

Roy goes on to describe the caste system in modern day India, where caste has merged with capitalism so that higher caste Hindus control all the major corporations and media outlets. Dalits continue to experience major discrimination and oppression, in both rural and urban areas. According to India’s National Crime Bureau, a crime is committed against Dalit by non Dalit in every sixty minutes. Every day four Dalit women are raped by upper caste men. Every week thirteen Dalits are murdered and six are kidnapped. In most cases, these crimes go unpunished.

Roy also points out that the Indian military is deployed on a daily basis to enforce the supremacy of upper caste Hindus:

“From 1947, whether the Kashmir, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Telangana, Punjab, Goa, every day of the year, the Indian Army is fighting its own people. And who are the people? Think about it. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Adivasis, Dalits.”

stuartbramhall:

 

 

Insanity alert: Pentagon believes their own bullshit.

Originally posted on ThereAreNoSunglasses:

NATO’s Move Towards Russia Makes Russia a Threat-Adm.Kirby

They actually seem to believe their own bullshit.  That is the problem with American Imperialist Militarism, it fights for a contradiction of reality and expects reality to conform to their manufactured, self-delusion.

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