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Here’s what Canada’s tar sands oil production looks like

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clipped from www.treehugger.com

tar sands before after national geographic march 2009
Before and after: the Alberta tar sands in the March 2009 issue of National Geographic (Photo: Peter Essick)
Oil sands represent a decision point for North America and the world,” says Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute, a moderate and widely respected Canadian environmental group. “Are we going to get serious about alternative energy, or are we going to go down the unconventional-oil track? The fact that we’re willing to move four tons of earth for a single barrel really shows that the world is running out of easy oil.
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Good point.

[h/t Deb2012]


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Written by Monte

March 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Selling snake-oil to the Christian right?

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Many of my colleagues are pretty sure that Muslim extremists are planning all-out war on the USA. Some have attended conventions (with names along the lines of “Conference on the Christian Family) where well-known guest speakers made the case that Islam is inherently against us. Some have 20th-century eschatological views that hold war to be inevitable, and a necessary step toward the return of Jesus Christ. John Hagee, a preacher who advocates that view, has had considerable influence in Washington, D.C.

Now it appears that three of the better-known authorities may be hucksters. Consider these excerpts from a story called Snake Oil Sellers of the Christian Right? from the Inter Press Service, reprinted in CommonDreams:

WASHINGTON, Feb 21 (IPS) – The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs came under heavy criticism earlier this month from Muslim and religious freedom advocacy groups after it invited to a conference three self-professed “former terrorists” with strong links to the Christian right. […]0222 06

Collectively known as the “3-X Terrorists”, Walid Shoebat, Kamel Saleem and Zacharia Anani are front line soldiers in the U.S. “culture wars” […]

To supporters, the 3-X represent “moderate” voices; they are self-professed Muslim extremists who converted to evangelical Christianity and are now exposing Islam for what it really is. To critics, they are frauds, accused of fabricating much of their past exploits as mass murderers in order to peddle their Islamophobia on the lecture circuit and on cable news networks, including Fox News Corp. and CNN. […]

The relationship between the evangelical Christian Right and 3-X runs deep, with connections to Reverend John Hagee’s Christian-Zionist Christians United for Israel (CUFI), as well as Focus on the Family, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

February 23, 2008 at 5:17 pm

If it wasn’t about oil, then why …

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The Independent reports:

Future of Iraq: The spoils of war

How the West will make a killing on Iraqi oil riches

By Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb, Published: 07 January 2007

 

Iraq’s massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days. The US government has been involved in drawing up the law… It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude …

Has the richest nation in the world slain hundreds of thousands in order to get richer? Or – I suppose this is a lesser crime – is the US merely taking advantage of its dominance to force Iraq into a business arrangement that will favor American corporations at the expense of the Iraqi people?

Sad and ugly, either way.  Why is it we no longer call this colonialism?

Thanks for this tip from Being Green in Iowa.

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Written by Monte

January 23, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Posted in Iraq

Creating more insurgents than we kill

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NORTH WAZIRISTAN, PAKISTAN - FEBRUARY 17:  A P...
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Quick: explain the US/NATO mission in Afghanistan.

“Well, um … to get Osama—9/11, you know.”

But Osama’s not there.

“Yes, well … there’s the Taliban—flogging women.”

But Taliban forces melt away into Pakistan during a US offensive, then return when our forces leave.

“But we send those missiles into Pakistan to get them.”

Exactly.

Those missiles do exactly what Al Qaeda needs done: they arouse anti-American hatred. They create a sense of helplessness. They make terrorism seem rational—even necessary—to a people whose families suffer sudden devastation from an untouchable, invisible foe.

Here’s how Chris Hedges writes it, in a post called War Without Purpose:

clipped from www.truthdig.com
Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We can bomb Afghan villages, hunt the Taliban in Helmand province, build a 100,000-strong client Afghan army, stand by passively as Afghan warlords execute hundreds, maybe thousands, of Taliban prisoners, build huge, elaborate military bases and send drones to drop bombs on Pakistan. It will make no difference
We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan
clipped from www.truthdig.com
The offensive by NATO forces in Helmand province will follow the usual scenario […]
The Taliban will withdraw … And [then] the Taliban will creep back […]
The only way to defeat terrorist groups is to isolate them within their own societies. This requires wooing the population away from radicals. It is a political, economic and cultural war. The terrible algebra of military occupation and violence is always counterproductive to this kind of battle
It always creates more insurgents than it kills
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None of us can identify a winning strategy currently at work in Afghanistan. Killing doesn’t win hearts. Once again, we trust force to accomplish something force has never done.  How long, this time?

Let’s stop it. And start over. With a strategy designed first to ruin Al Qaeda’s pitch, rather than provide its background music.

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Written by Monte

July 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Harkin: An Apology For Slavery

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Iowa’s Sen. Tom Harkin spoke on June 18th in support of a bill that made an official government apology to black Americans for slavery in the United States, and for the government’s long failure to act against it. I am proud that one of my state’s Senators was a key mover in the apology. Every time America honestly faces the dark sides of its past, we become a better people.

Does it end racial division? Of course not. But, as with all trauma, healing only happens in small steps. Words are always part of those steps.   Some may say “Talk is cheap, nothing is solved, this Senate didn’t cause slavery anyway.”  But we are responsible for our history, and I’ll take an apology over official silence any day.


Today, Senator Tom Harkin delivered remarks on the Senate Floor just prior to the passage of S. Con. Res. 26, which he introduced and co-sponsored. The transcript follows.

“Madam President, the clerk just read for the first time ever in this body what we should have done a long time ago. An apology for slavery and the Jim Crow laws which, for a century after emancipation, deprived millions of Americans their basic human rights, equal justice under law and equal opportunities. Today the Senate will unanimously make that apology. Read the rest of this entry »