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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Syrian Capital under siege... by Syrian Government?

Interesting... if that were the U.S. fighting to retake Washington D.C. from some interior rebel force, it seems like we would want to say "U.S. fights to retake capital" or "U.S. fights insurgents to secure capital" or some such other title where it's clear that the territory is the legitimate property of the Government that owns it.  Amazing that a 'News Organization'  can claim to report NEWS and not EDITORIAL when they make such blatantly biased statements in the very TITLE of the article.  Further on in the article, Voice of America reports that

     "Feltman also accused Iran of supplying Syria with weapons, backing charges by Western officials that.  Tehran is providing funds, arms and intelligence support to Assad in his bid to crush the opposition. Syrian rebels also say the Islamic Republic has sent Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah fighters to Syria."

but earlier in the article VoA says

"In Ankara, Turkish and U.S. officials are holding their first "operational planning" meeting aimed at bringing about the end of Assad's embattled regime. Thursday's deliberations are expected to coordinate military, intelligence and political responses to the Syrian crisis."

Notice the differnece between language like "accused, charges, crush the opposition"  and "bringing about the end of... regime"  Pretty huge difference. 

It's OK for the U.S. and it's 'allies' in the U.N. to plan BOMBING campaigns and other military action to aid the rebel forces, but not OK for a clearly dominated military power in Iran to help its allies? 
I mean, I'm not necessarily in favor of the Assad government, don't get me wrong, but I'm not necessarily in favor of a Sunni Muslim government either.  And I'm all for countries dealing with their own civil wars internally.  It's absolutely ridiculous that in one paragraph the VoA 'News' organization can implicitly SUPPORT foreign intervention on behalf of the rebels, but almost EXPLICITLY condemn foreign intervention on behalf of the previously internationally recognized government.   They don't even pretend to be unbiased, citing multiple cases of 'humanitarian violations' by the Syrian Government, but citing NO violations by the rebels, implying, thereby, that there ARE none, which can hardly be the case in war.  Also, laying the blame for the condition of the people of the country solely at the feet of the Syrian Government, forgetting that, without the rebels, there would be no war, be no refugee situation, and be no war-like increase in humanitarian necessity. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Obama warns Assad of US military action in Syria

The Jerusalem Post, that famously unbiased publication, reports today that Assad leaders threaten that if Western Powers intervene that they'll use some bio or chemical WMDs against the rebels.  Obama doesn't like that much.  It's OK to kill people with bullets, shrapnel and fire, but nothing else, of course.   Mostly because the bullets and bombs were probably purchased from us at some point, on one side or the other.  God forbid one side do something to definitively end the fighting.  Not that chem or bio weps are cool or anything, but damn, I really don't wanna pay for more wars, you know?  I mean, yeah, agonizing death results from a gut shot from a bullet, and can take days longer than death from chemical or biological weapons, but that's irrelevant.  Dying in agony is dying in agony, I would think. 

Anyway, it's clearly a threat to Israel if Assad uses them within it's own borders.  Somehow.  I don't know why we even keep up pretenses of being a 'global force for good' as the navy propaganda would have us believe.  Cause you know the first thing that will happen is cruise missiles from our fleet in the Mediterranean will start flying around, followed by navy pilot flyovers.  How many times will they bomb the wrong force based on shaky intelligence from questionable informants?  once or twice more than is reported probs. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We're so screwed: National GeographicSee realtime coverage Soft-Shell Robot Comes Complete With Cloaking Abilities

Muaha.  Here they come.  Cloaking robots.  RevModo Reports that Harvard made some neat-o robots that can cloak, kind of like octopus and other cloaking sea creatures. They do basically the same stuff to blend in to.  Mmmm, military applications abound, eh?

I want ten. you?

The future is here, I can totally see these in some sci-fi book from the seventies, or even eighties, or even now, but much more malicious.  They've even made them 'soft shelled'.  Add slime for fun times on Halloween?

Good for Harvard. 

Hiatus over? Global Climate Change

OK, so things have been interesting.  Financial issues, change of location, work, and... a distinct abundance of apathy in the whole thing required me to take a significant break from my various rants.  But perhaps, just perhaps, we'll give this a try again, just for kicks. 

I recently became a 'believer' in Global Climate Change.  That is, I came to believe the thesis that our climate is currently changing in a significant manner, and that this change, is, in fact, due to human activities increasing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.  However, this all fits neatly together with other things I have believed for quite a while, like, nuclear power should replace all other forms of power immediately to solve the 'energy crisis' as well as most of our other problems as the most efficient form of power on the planet.

Here's the jist of the "Global-Climate-Change-due-to-Human-Activity" argument, I guess

The planet earth has, as part of it's atmosphere, CO2
Various biological and geological processes on the planet create and utilize CO2
Until humans began burning vast amounts of fossil fuels during the industrial revolution, the CO2 circulated in a system much like the water system, in relative balance.  Actually, it may have even been reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Even though humans produce a very very small portion of the overall CO2 released into the atmosphere, the planet's natural carbon circulation system was not designed to incorporate that amount into the balance. 
As a result, there is now a net gain in overall CO2 in the atmosphere, overall.
Here's the website that convinced me that this is the case:
They did a pretty good job, really.

However convincing they are, though, they haven't really proposed any sort of feasable solution.  I definitely would like to see people educated correctly about CO2 production and global climate change, but I don't want to see that education go hand in hand with alternative energy indoctrination. 

What it comes down to, basically, is that no combination of solar power, tidal power, wind power, or any other non-carbon producing or non-nuclear-reaction utilizing source of power can even come close to satisfying global energy needs, even assuming NO growth.

Nuclear power can do it though, no problem.   With new  breeder reactor technology we can have an almost endless source of fuel for the reactors, and with new storing and decomissioning technology, waste is becoming less and less of a problem.  New primary reactor design even makes them safer, eliminating concerns that arose from the Japan 'crisis.'

It's important to remember that it's not just a one step fossil fuel for power problem, we also use oil for almost all of our plastics.  To convert to entirely bio-lipid based plastics we would have to convert giga-acres of farmland to growing hemp for the oil, and it still wouldn't come close to satisfying our plastics needs.  Right now there is no alternative to plastic, either..

SO use oil for plastic, but don't BURN the oil (and then we can even recycle the plastic efficiently maybe, cause we won't have to use fossil fuels to run the recycling plants), use nuclear reaction for energy, problems solved, all electric cars, no worries!

Some few of the things I find interesting: