Posted by Charles II on May 19, 2013
Jamie Doward, The Guardian:
European governments and the Obama administration are this weekend studying a “gamechanging” report on global drugs policy that is being seen in some quarters as the beginning of the end for blanket prohibition.
Publication of the Organisation of American States (OAS) review, commissioned at last year’s Cartagena Summit of the Americas attended by Barack Obama, reflects growing dissatisfaction among Latin American countries with the current global policy on illicit drugs.
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Posted by Charles II on May 19, 2013
Via commenter DeDude at Ritholtz, David Horsey in the LAT.
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Posted by Charles II on May 18, 2013
Via Jay Ackroyd, an article from The Economist:
IT IS a lesson of the past five years that benchmarks in unregulated markets can fall victim to the incentives they create. Subprime mortgages bundled into securities often won high scores from ratings agencies that stood to profit in a busy market. The London Interbank Offered Rate, LIBOR, was sometimes underestimated by banks which were cast in a healthier light by lower interest rates. Has something similar been going on in energy?
That is the suspicion after a series of raids on May 14th by the European Commission’s competition authorities. The commission declared that it feared oil companies had “colluded” to distort benchmark prices for crude, oil products and biofuels. Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Norway’s Statoil and Italy’s ENI (which was not raided) all said that they were co-operating with the commission.
. At least 200 billion barrels a year, worth in the order of $20 trillion, are priced off the Brent benchmark, the world’s biggest, according to Liz Bossley, chief executive of Consilience, an energy-markets consultancy. The commission has said that even small price distortions could have a “huge impact” on energy prices. Statoil has said that the commission’s interest goes all the way back to 2002. If it is right, then the sums involved could be huge, too.
Posted in corruption, crimes, Oil | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Charles II on May 17, 2013
UCS has sponsored a competition here.
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Posted by Charles II on May 17, 2013
A belated tip of the hat to Quentin Compson at Eschaton.
What is wrong with this picture? A major American city is becoming a dumping ground for toxic waste. Ian Austen, NYT:
WINDSOR, Ontario — Assumption Park gives residents of this city lovely views of the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit skyline. Lately they’ve been treated to another sight: a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block on the other side of the Detroit River.
Detroit’s ever-growing black mountain is the unloved, unwanted and long overlooked byproduct of Canada’s oil sands boom.
And no one knows quite what to do about it, except Koch Carbon, which owns it.
Coke, which is mainly carbon, is an essential ingredient in steelmaking as well as producing the electrical anodes used to make aluminum.
While there is high demand from both those industries, the small grains and high sulfur content of this petroleum coke make it largely unusable for those purposes, said Kerry Satterthwaite, a petroleum coke analyst at Roskill Information Services, a commodities analysis company based in London.
“It is worse than a byproduct,” Ms. Satterthwaite said.“It’s a waste byproduct that is costly and inconvenient to store, but effectively costs nothing to produce.”
and coincidentally, Detroit has been deprived of its municipal government by the emergency manager.
Posted in Oil, environment, Michigan, koch brothers | 4 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 16, 2013
Minnesota’s right-wing contingent has gone into Self-Stinging Scorpion Mode over the passage of marriage equality in the North Star State. Senate Republicans are so ticked off about it that they actually maneuvered to prevent Democrats from temporarily adjourning the Senate so some of the senators could attend Governor Dayton’s signing the marriage equality bill into law. (This sort of twistiness from the Minnesota GOP legislative set isn’t all that surprising: House Republicans spent part of the previous month attacking House Democrats for spending measures that the House Republicans signed off on when they controlled the chamber in 2011.) But for the true fork-in-the-forehead craziness, one must leave the legislative chambers — where as demented as some of their denizens may be, still operate according to a certain level of decorum — and visit the inner heart of Michele Bachmann’s fan base.
Yes, gentlefolk, I speak of Bradlee Dean.
The Bullshit Artist Formerly Known as Bradley Dean Smith has been sent into transports of word-salad generation, as Sally Jo Sorensen reports:
It used to be that Bluestem could depend on local sources for news of toxic metal preacher Bradlee Dean’s latest rantings and not have to listen to his radio show ourselves. But since his lawyer initiated yet another lawsuit (we’ll let Wonkette explain), those heroes of fee speech have been silenced while the legal eagles work things out.
Funny how a guy like Dean who describes himself as a son of liberty works that way.
Fortunately, People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch is listening to Dean’s show so we don’t have to. In Bradlee Dean Has Epic Meltdown over Minnesota’s Gay Marriage Law, RWW’s Brian Tashman reports:
Minnesota-based Religious Right activist/rock star Bradlee Dean went ballistic on his radio show yesterday in response to his state’s new marriage equality law. Dean warned that Gov. Mark Dayton, who signed the
same-sex marriage bill into law, is at “war with God” and is “about to find out what it’s like as to what the fallout is when you throw rocks towards God, he’s going to learn how gravity works.” He added that
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who backed his state’s marriage equality law, and other pro-gay rights “criminals” will face divine justice as well.
Listen to the audio at RRW. Tashman points to some classic Dean schtick:
Dean even seems to believe that every gay person in the country showed up for yesterday’s celebration of the marriage equality law in order to “push their propaganda and their agendas on the American people,” just as Saul Alinsky commanded.
“They come from all over the country to do this so what you’ve seen was probably the whole lump of the population of the homosexual community in the United States of America,” Dean said. . . .
Dean really needs to get out more.
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Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2013
Unlike the Benghazi and IRS Fauxgates, the DoJ’s probe of the AP is truly troublesome. But as Will Bunch explains, don’t hold your breath waiting for Congressional Republicans and their fellow Koch largesse recipients in the Tea Party, John Birch Society and Minutemen factions of the GOP to call for hearings (aside from today’s pro-forma joke of a hearing):
If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen America’s right-wing sweetheart Michelle Malkin front and center on this scandal, maybe that’s because Malkin has spent years calling the multiple-Pulitzer-winning journalists of the AP “the Associated (with terrorists) Press.” And the rest of the right-wing media world was right behind her. What’s more, the Right is not going to go after Obama’s Justice Department for investigating its 2012 article about CIA and
other U.S. activities in Yemen — because regrettably Eric Holder was doing exactly what Republicans wanted him to do.
Here’s Malkin targeting the AP back in 2006:
The Associated Press proudly calls itself the “essential global news network” and a “bastion of the
people’s right to know around the world.” But when it comes to the “people’s right to know” whether Associated Press employees are cooperating with terrorists overseas, the “essential global news network’s” motto is: Bug off.
The case that Malkin is so worked up about is the matter of Bilal Hussein (pictured at top), an Iraqi photographer who was inspired by the possibility of a free press after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, hooked up with the AP and helped them win a Pulitzer, and then found himself detained by the U.S. military and held for months without a hearing. I know the case well because I blogged about it frequently in those years; Malkin and a host of other right-wing bloggers were on the other side, opposing the press freedom — and Americans’ right to get “unfettered” photos from Iraq — that Bilal Hussein represented.
Res ipsa loquitor.
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 14, 2013
I expected to see the world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking come under an intense and hateful firestorm of attacks from the Israel-Can-Do-No-Wrong Lobby. But what is surprising is not that they are lying about him, but that the lies are so ridiculous.
Take this lie, for example:
if one decides to Boycott Israel, then one must be consistent, if Mr. Hawking decides to boycott us he should also refrain from using his means of communications as he is using products that were invented and produced in Israel. it is very interesting though that we continue to hear him isn’t it.
Really now? Professor Hawking’s voice machinery and software were “invented and produced in Israel”? That’s the first I’d ever heard of that. And guess what — that claim is a lie:
The i7 was designed by Intel’s architecture design team in Hillsboro Oregon. The claims the i7 was designed in Israel are also lies.
For the i7 in particular, the Sr. Principal Engineer’s name is Ronak Singhal. He is an Indian. The design team does not consist of Israelis and is not located in Israel.
Hawking’s sentence construction software, EZ Keys, was designed and built by an american company, Words Plus, which was based in Palmdale, California. Hawkings speech synthesizer, NeoSpeech, is produced by a company based in Fremont, California and backed by Voiceware Co of Korea. It has nothing to do with Israel either.
Hawking’s laptop which ran the software used AMD chips. This was an embarrassment to Intel. Intel’s CEO at the time Gordon Moore (now retired) personally negotiated with Prof. Hawking to participate in a marketing arrangement where Hawking would use Intel provided off-the-shelf laptops.
The YouTube video above shows Ronak Singhal himself in 2008 talking about the work of his Hillsboro, Oregon design team in creating the Intel i7 chip. Not a word about Israeli involvement, which apparently was limited to stitching together the chip cores that the Oregon team had created.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: BDS, Intel i7, Israel, Palestinians, Ronak Singhal, Stephen Hawking | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 13, 2013
In belated honor of Mothers’ Day, courtesy of Bluestem Prairie, here is a Minnesota mother honoring and defending her daughter and her daughter’s quest for marriage equality in the state of Minnesota.
As of today, with a 37-30 vote in the Minnesota State Senate, Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state to pass marriage equality and make it stick. All that’s needed to make it officialy is Governor Dayton’s signature, and that comes tomorrow.
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »