Friday, November 27, 2015

Even the UK Guardian understands that Erdogan is being provocative in shooting down the Russian fighter jet.. Once again Obama stands with the Islamist Turkey

Why did it take Turkey just 17 seconds to shoot down Russian jet?

Even if Turkey is right that a Russian fighter jet strayed into its airspace, the plane was within Ankara’s borders for just 17 seconds before being attacked – and was making no hostile moves against the Turks.
Airspace incursions, granted usually in less politically tense contexts, happen all the time, and generally you’d expect warning shots to be fired and then attempts to force the intruder to leave or to land. 

That the Turks shot down the jet and did so within 17 seconds – with the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying he gave the order to fire himself – suggests very strongly they were waiting for a Russian plane to come into or close enough to Turkish airspace with the aim of delivering a rather pyrotechnic message.

Shouldn't this program be considered a political contribution?

NY Post: Colbert's 'Late Show' on CBS 'Has Become Propaganda for Democrats'

Since Stephen Colbert took the reins from David Letterman at The Late Show on CBS, he’s been proving to be serving comedy and commentary for the blue half of America. Kyle Smith of the New York Post penned a piece titled “Colbert’s Late Show has become propaganda for Democrats.”
The large amount of advertising spent on the buildup to Colbert taking over Letterman’s coveted spot brought a decent jolt in ratings at the beginning of the show, but have since plummeted, mainly because Colbert has turned off a significant portion of that audience – the conservative audience.
Colbert’s audience primarily consists of 47 percent who identify as Democrats, while 17 percent identify as Republicans.  That’s a huge gap compared to his competition, considering 33 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Republicans watch Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, and 36 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of self-identified Republicans watch Jimmy Fallon on NBC. [Photo illustration by the Post]
Colbert Nation is filled with wealthy, socially liberal men who overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana and want Bernie Sanders to be president,” pollster Jon Penn explained to The Hollywood Reporter. Some 30 percent of Colbert viewers report that they are atheists, which is the No. 1 “religion category” choice for “Late Show” viewers.
As opposed to the other late-night shows, Colbert’s show caters to a certain demographic versus a broad one, and for this reason alone, makes Colbert different from his competition.
Why? Smith blamed the host for his interviews: “The pattern is familiar: When a Democrat is the guest, Colbert is Barbara Walters. When a Republican is on, he turns into Tim Russert.” Smith cited The Atlantic:
Even by Colbert’s standards, his interview with [Ted] Cruz featured much tougher treatment than any of his other political interviews to date . . . Colbert steered almost completely clear of politics in his moving interview with [Joe] Biden. And when Bernie Sanders appeared on the show last week, Colbert gave him space to deliver his campaign talking points with little interruption.
Just as Brent Baker at NewsBusters recounted, The Atlantic noted "The tension in the Cruz interview came during the second segment, when Colbert laid a bit of a trap for him by asking how the modern Republican Party could hold Reagan in such high esteem given that he raised taxes and signed legislation granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. 'Neither of those things would allow Ronald Reagan to be nominated today,' Colbert said. 'So how can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan?'”

With Cruz, it was “Almost as if he was trying out a third personality — a parody of a know-nothing liberal pundit” as he made a complete ass of himself by saying Cruz essentially likened his opponents with Satan. “You’re a religious man, right, you’re a religious man? . . . What about your opponents politically, are they diabolical?”
It was nothing like Colbert's treatment of ultraliberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He compared her to Batman.
Smith, who trashed the selection of Colbert to replace Letterman in 2014, concluded: "Colbert is so unremittingly hostile to Republicans that he will shortly find conservative invitees declining to appear. (Except Ted Cruz, who would argue with a tree stump.) That means the Colbert show risks turning into an echo chamber in which viewers doze off as Colbert and his liberal guests beam lovingly at each other like a mother and child."

Obama's rigid ideology dooms our policy in Syria and Iraq.

Barack Obama plan to defeat Isil dismissed by US intelligence experts

Former and serving diplomats and intelligence officials tell the Telegraph that President Obama's hopes of defeating Islamic State are based on "smoke and mirrors"

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama  Photo: EPA
President Barack Obama's attempts to destroy Isil have been derided by Western diplomats and his own former intelligence officials. 
Mr Obama has insisted that the United States will not change the strategy that he said was already “containing” Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and would work eventually to “degrade and destroy” it. 
But in a series of candid interviews with the Telegraph, Western diplomats and intelligence officials - current and former - have angrily dismissed the approach as a “smoke and mirrors” public relations exercise founded on little substantive or effective action. 
“It’s smoke and mirrors and that is the dirty little secret,” said Derek Harvey, one of Mr Obama’s senior former intelligence officials, a Middle East specialist, who said he resigned from his job in frustration at the administration's handling of the conflict. 
“The president’s plan never had a chance to work because he has never supported his own strategy.” 

Many members of both the American and the European intelligence and diplomatic apparatus say the chaos in Iraq and Syriais caused by Mr Obama’s determination to press on with an “exit strategy” from the region, signalled by the withdrawal from Iraq. 
The intelligence official said this had created a sense of apathy, with departments feeling they were being judged by how much they were focused on “detaching” from the Middle East, rather than on the success of the policies they were actually implementing there. 
Experts in the region had also been withdrawn in case they concentrated on achieving results. 
“Who is in charge?” Mr Harvey said. “Where is the intelligence community? It is totally broken on this.” 
Two active intelligence sources told the Telegraph that there was a sense of disarray inside the various intelligence agencies. 
Official policy is to defend the strategy of gradual disengagement and limited military action against Isil, saying that more direct options might have a “satisfying” immediate visible effect, but would prove damaging in the long run. 
That policy depends on American “containing” Isil, as Mr Obama claimed shortly before the attacks in Paris, co-ordinated by Isil, which claimed 130 lives
“Isil have expanded geographically to eight other countries, taking advantage of civil wars in Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and so on,” the intelligence source, who served in Baghdad at the height of the post-invasion period, said. “They are taking advantage in places where there is lack of effective governance and highly tribalised societies. 
“We have not done anything to really hurt them. Even in the areas they have been formerly pushed out of, they continue to operate covertly and they mostly control the largest Sunni Muslim cities outside of Baghdad.” 
US President Barack Obama US President Barack Obama   Photo: EPA
Diplomats privately agree that a campaign of relatively sporadic air strikes alone cannot be the road to success. 
“Isil is not the homogenous block they want us to believe it is,” one very senior Western diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “If you look at military tactics it’s clear that it’s not just one entity, so you cannot have one answer.” 
Another diplomat said Mr Obama had allowed the idea to become prevalent that taking on Isil was a separate issue from countering the Assad regime, which could be left till later - even though that was not American or European policy. 
The diplomat said it was not possible to rationally separate Isil from the Syrian regime. He said they were two mutually dependent evils. 
Diplomats and analysts have been arguing for years now that the survival of the regime and its bombing of civilian areas drive support from the less successful Western-backed rebel groups to jihadists like al-Qaeda’s branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Isil. 
Meanwhile, Damascus has itself remained a key funding source for Isil as it buys up black-market oil produced in wells under the extremists’ control. 
President Barack Obama meets with President Francois Hollande of France in the Oval OfficePresident Barack Obama meets with President Francois Hollande of France in the Oval Office  Photo: AP
A key problem remains that the current rules of engagement limit the US in what it can legally do militarily. Under the current authorities, it “takes months” to close down bank accounts belonging to Isil jihadists when they are discovered. 
It also limits the US ability to fight against the jihadists’ powerful propaganda: “Why is the hacking group Anonymous able to take down 5,000 Isil Twitter accounts and the government not? It’s an authority issue," Mr Harvey, the former official, said. 

The Obama administration’s legal authorisation for the use of military force against Isil derives from measures passed by congress in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. 
White House officials sought a new authorisation from Congress earlier this year that would allow it to better tailor rules of engagement and strategy to combat Isil, on and off the battlefield, but it was blocked by Republicans. 
Whether any strategy that is envisaged by any side will do more than send an ever-increasing number of bombs on to an enemy that has shown itself capable of “sucking up” long-range attacks with relative ease so far is another question.

Let's raise the nullification process to a new level. The people must defend themselves from the burdens imposed by the Federal government

Feds: Georgia must process food stamps for Syrian refugees

Published: 11/25 5:56 pm Updated: 11/25 5:56 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal officials are ordering Georgia to process food stamp applications for Syrian refugees.
Jessica Shahin, associate administrator of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, sent a letter Wednesday to Bobby Cagle, director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, which administers the food stamp program in the state.
Gov. Nathan Deal last week issued an order directing state agency heads to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state.
Subsequently, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services sent a memo to agency staff instructing them not to take or process new applications for any benefit assistance for Syrian refugees. The Division of Family and Children Services is part of the Department of Human Services.
Shahin wrote that refusing applications because of national origin violates federal law. 

These are the people the police have to deal with every day.

Ethical Culture Fieldstone School says Swastika is symbol of peace. More proof liberalism is a mental disorder. Do you think they'd say the same for the Confederate flag?

Swastika is a symbol of peace, elite school tells sixth-graders

Sixth-graders at an elite Bronx private school have been caught drawing swastikas in art class, so administrators met with the kids — talking mainly about how the symbols represent peace in some cultures. 
One parent who wishes not to be named said Jewish students have felt unsafe since the images began popping up three weeks ago at Ethical Culture Fieldston School, where tuition costs $45,100 a year. 
In addition to the swastikas, a notebook was found at the middle school campus with the words “Hitler Rocks!” scrawled on the front, the parent said.
Administrators decided to address the apparent anti-Semitism by holding a grade-wide meeting. 
Parents say teachers spent nearly 12 of the 15 minutes on a PowerPoint presentation on how the swastika was still considered a sacred symbol — while only briefly mentioning how the Nazis had adopted it in the 1920s. 
School officials never once mentioned the Holocaust, a parent said. 
When asked what they learned, the kids simply said, “It wasn’t a good idea to draw” the swastikas. 
“It’s a failure of an institution to educate,” one parent said. “Teachers and administrators were calling for a town hall meeting, but instead, they chose to do just sixth grade.
“Some of the teachers are really irate,” she added. “It’s kind of a hate crime and a crime against all of the community, and not to address it is horrible.”
Despite parents’ allegations that at least eight of the Nazi symbols had been seen on campus, school spokeswoman Meredith Halpern would confirm only that one had been drawn in art class.
But she refused to call it a swastika — and instead said that the student “drew a symbol that represents peace.” 
Halpern added that the art teacher had approached the child and told him that the image could also mean hate to some people.
“The student was unaware of that meaning and promptly erased that image from the artwork,” she said.
Halpern also claimed that the presentation for the sixth-graders was meant to “educate them about the history of this symbol.”
“The adults in our community understand the horrific context of this symbol and our responsibility to teach our students what this image evokes,” she said. “At ECFS we have zero tolerance for any actions, including speech, that violate our humanist philosophy.”

Coal's future

Will coal be on the dole after COP21?

Coal-fired plant generating powerImage copyrightPA
Image captionMany countries still rely on coal-fired power
For coal, COP21 is meant to be the start of the long goodbye. 
This is the conference that's supposed to consign the black stuff to the ash heap of history. 
The world will finally tilt definitively towards windmills and a future filled with sunbeams and smiles.
Perhaps not.
Coal has certainly been on the back foot. 
recent report from the International Energy Agency showed that in 2014 renewables accounted for half of the world's new power generation capacity and they have already become the second-largest source of electricity after coal.
The UK, the home of the coal-fired industrial revolution, recently announced that power generation from unabated coal would end within 10 years. 
"Let me be clear: this is not the future," said Energy Secretary Amber Rudd. 
Well, it's not the future, unless you live in India or a host of other emerging economies around the world. 
Global energy demand is growing rapidly, and according to the IEA is expected to increase by a third by 2040, with the main demand coming from China, India, Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. 
Look at India - the world's third largest economy but only accounts for 6% of global energy use. Some 240 million people still lack access to electricity. 
The country is determined to address this, and they are going on a coal binge to do it. 
Top coal producing nations
By 2020, India will be the world's second largest producer of coal, overtaking the US. And it will be the world's largest importer. 
They are not alone. As my colleague David Shukman has been reporting, the Philippines is set to establish 23 new coal fired plants by 2020. 
In fact 40% of the 400 gigawatts of generation capacity to be added in Southeast Asia by 2040 will be coal-fired. 
And while coal use will decline in the developed economies of the EU and the US, the whiff of sulphur will be rising in Japan, where coal's share of the energy mix by 2030 will increase to 30%.
According to Benjamin Sporton from the World Coal Association, a bit more honesty about coal's role in the future is needed at COP21. 
"I think that we need to recognise that there is a role for coal going forward," he told me. 
"Many countries are using coal and are going to use it for decades to come so we ought to be talking about how the outcome of Paris can support countries to use the best coal technology. And ultimately we need to be talking about carbon capture and storage (CCS) as well."

No easy task

Others take a different line. 
The turbines on the River Don
Image captionHydroelectricity is a major source of renewable power
Tim Gore from Oxfam acknowledges that it won't be easy to wean emerging economies away from cheap coal. For the many developing countries that have not yet built electricity grids, leapfrogging to renewables makes a lot more sense. 
But if COP21 is serious about lightening the lignite, significant amounts of cash will have to be found to fund the move towards greener sources.
"I think it's right that developing countries are clear just how big a transformation is required to move away from fossil fuels," he said. 
"This is not a light undertaking. I think that sometimes the issue of a global transformation is presented as inevitable, but actually from most developing country perspectives it doesn't look like that."
In Paris you will have rich countries who are moving away from carbon rich fuel, telling the rest of the world who are moving towards coal, that they must stop doing that by an agreed date in the future. 
"It's problematic for us to make that commitment at this point in time. It's certainly a stumbling block," Ajay Mathur, a senior member of India's negotiating told news agencies this week.
"The entire prosperity of the world has been built on cheap energy. And suddenly we are being forced into higher cost energy. That's grossly unfair," he said.
How will negotiators square this circle? 
If an agreement in Paris pushes greater investment into renewables, the costs will fall further and that may encourage developing governments to go greener quicker. If fossil fuel subsidies are tackled this will also help, and an effective price or tax on carbon would certainly speed up the deployment of solar and wind.

Technology's vital role

The coal lobby argues that a critical component must be CCS technology. 
However industry and governments alike are waiting on the other to put up the cash and drive through the technology. 
In the UK this week the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) declared that it will fully remove the £1bn available for a pioneering Carbon Capture and Storage competition scheme for power stations. 

Carbon capture and storage:

Southern Co Kemper County power plant near Meridian, MississippiImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionCarbon capture technology is being perfected around the world
Carbon capture and storage is a way to prevent carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere. 
It is a rapidly evolving technology that involves separating carbon dioxide from waste gases produced in electricity generation and industrial processes. 
The carbon dioxide is then stored underground, for example in old oil or gas fields such as those found under the North Sea.

There is a feeling that the reluctance to invest in the CCS might spring from a fear that if industry spends hundreds of millions on proving it works, they may not recoup that investment. 
The big markets are likely to be in China and India. And both countries will want this technology, essentially for free, as part of a global deal. 
There is the potential in all this for compromises - but it is very complicated and may be beyond the scope of this year's conference. 
But Paris could give a clear signal that this process has to start - and fast!
Meanwhile many environmentalists are very wary of linking our ability to limit carbon to what they believe is an unproven, expensive, big boy's toy!
"We need to be a bit careful about thinking that CCS is a magic bullet," said Tim Gore. 
"It's a nice fairy tale, to make ourselves feel a bit better." 

The real story is the one the reporters exposed. Turkey is secretly arming rebels.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- In new blow to media freedoms in Turkey, a court on Thursday ordered two prominent opposition journalists jailed pending trial over charges of willingly aiding an armed group and of espionage for revealing state secrets for their reports on alleged arms smuggling to Syria.
The court in Istanbul ruled that Cumhuriyet newspaper's editor-in-chief Can Dundar, and the paper's Ankara representative, Erdem Gul, be taken into custody following more than hours of questioning.
In May, the Cumhuriyet paper published what it said were images of Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants.
The images reportedly date back to January 2014, when local authorities searched Syria-bound trucks, touching off a standoff with Turkish intelligence officials. Cumhuriyet said the images were proof that Turkey was smuggling arms to rebels in Syria.
The government had initially denied the trucks were carrying arms, maintaining that the cargo consisted of humanitarian aid. Some officials later suggested the trucks were carrying arms or ammunition destined to Turkmen kinsmen in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested the same recently saying: "what difference would it make if they were carrying arms?"
Dundar and Gul's detention come amid deepening concerns over deteriorating conditions for journalists in Turkey, including a spike in prosecutions and violence.
In August, Turkey detained three journalists reporting for Vice News in the country's restive Kurdish southeast. One of them, Mohammed Rasool, is still in custody. Rasool, an Iraqi citizen, had worked as a news assistant for The Associated Press and other organizations.
The office of the Turkish daily Hurriyet was vandalized following criticism of the newspaper by Erdogan. After the attacks, Hurriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan was chased and beaten. Recently, a business that owns several media outlets was placed under management.
Dundar and Gul's supporters chanted: "Free press cannot be silenced" inside the courtroom after court announced its decision, Dogan news agency video footage showed. Main opposition party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the decision marked a "black day" for democracy and freedoms.
Gul told reporters that he and Dundar are accused of helping the moderate Islamic movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has turned into his No. 1 foe. Government officials accuse Gulen's supporters of stopping the trucks as part of an alleged plot to bring down the government. The government has branded the movement a "terror organization" although it is not known to have been engaged in any acts of violence.
Prosecutors launched an investigation into the journalists after Erdogan threatened legal action against Dundar for publishing the images and said he would not let the issue go.
His comments prompted the media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists to call on Erdogan to stop "bullying journalists ... just because he doesn't like what they report."