“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Look at The Middle East - Creating an Infrastructure Around Renewable Energy Makes Sense With or Without Global Warming

The Question isn’t of Saving the World via Renewables but of how Much can be Saved

Humanity is not abandoning fossil fuels fast enough to avoid some massive changes to our world’s climate, with all the implications that change has for sea level, coastal erosion, extreme weather, and desertification and drought. There have been impressive advances in adoption of solar and wind technology in 2015, but compared to the crisis, it is not nearly enough. I say this not to provoke despair but simply to underline that the crisis can be bad, or worse, or the absolute worst. We get to decide for future generations the kind of world they will live in.
The overriding question is how bad it will get. I am going to talk to an American audience, because the US is the one place where all this is still controversial (!), and this country produces 5.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, among the highest per capita emissions in the world. I am therefore going to use Fahrenheit, since the Centigrade system confuses the 315 million Americans and downplays the threat.
All this is on my mind because I’ve been teaching history and climate change, and I think a historical sense of relative change over time is useful here. There is no point in talking absolutes.
Basically, and despite the more optimistic goals adopted in Paris at COP21, the world is locked into a rise of 3.6 degrees F. (2 degrees C.) already. Note that that is an average rise of surface temperature, including Antarctica, the cold oceans (most of the world’s surface area), etc. So if you are on land in a warm place like Arizona or California, it isn’t just that instead of a hot summer day being 115 F. in the shade, it will be 118.6 F. in the shade. The 3.6 degrees increase on average could take you into the 120s F.
The only question is, will we go on up from there– to 7.2 degrees F or 12 degrees F. average increase? Because that could make Arizona south of Flagstaff uninhabitable in the summer. 
So, will we keep to a 3.6 degrees F. average increase, or go on up to 5 degrees, 7 degrees (click on this link to see what that would mean), 10 degrees? That’s the question.
James Hansen, the founding father of contemporary climate change science when he was at NASA, believes that a 3.6 degrees F. increase is already potentially deadly– and that is what we are bequeathing to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; more would be deadlier yet.
The problem is that there are potential tipping points into new, complex or chaotic climate systems, and the hotter we make it the more likely we are to set off a tripwire. If we warm up the frozen methane clathrates on the sea floor of our continental shelves, they could burp up the most potent warming gas known, and lead to a one-two punch of warming, as may have happened in the distant past. Paleo-archeologists in Sweden found evidence in the soil of a 10,000-year-long stationary storm during a very warm period of the earth’s past. That might be hard on your roof.
Likely Miami and New Orleans are already gone. New York and Washington D.C. substantially gone. Don’t bequeath your grandchild a house in West Palm Beach. Southern Florida is where most of the state’s groundwater comes from, but the soil down there is limestone and porous, so rising sea water is going to seep up into the aquifers. Miami will be submerged, because no dike system can keep the water from welling up underground. A lot of Floridians will have to move north or the state will have to put in a lot of solar desalinization plants (but those will gradually be submerged, too, so you’d have to keep rebuilding them in each generation).
But then the question becomes, whether we will also lose cities at higher elevations– 10, 15, even 30 or 40 feet above sea level. 
So I am arguing for a sliding scale. The more emissions we avoid now, the less bad it will be in the future. 
There is no economical way to remove carbon from the atmosphere once it is there. About half of it will go into the ocean over the next few hundred years, causing increased salinity and a die-off of probably half of marine life, the fish on which many humans depend. The rest will be washed out of the atmosphere by binding with igneous and other rocks, over 100,000 years. If, because of celestial mechanics, we had another peak glaciation period in our future over that 100,000 years, as happened 40,000 to 12,000 years ago, it has been forestalled. The species homo sapiens sapiens is probably about 120,000 years old and largely evolved in relatively cold conditions. We have now set up a future as long as our own past of Hot World, a world very unlike the one we evolved to be adapted to.
Every ton of carbon dioxide we avoid now (and Americans put out on average 16 metric tons of CO2 a year per person) is a temperature increase that doesn’t happen. When I moved into my present home in the early 1990s I put in insulation, which substantially cut my natural gas heating bill. I put solar panels on my roof and got an electric car a couple of years ago. I figure in just those 2 years I’ve avoided something like 7 or 8 tons my household would otherwise have emitted. And the insulation was more carbon avoided. A gift to my, and your, grandchildren. Not everyone can do this; some people are renters or take public transportation and are probably already more virtuous than I. The task before us can’t be accomplished anyway by individuals, but that is no reason for us each not to do our part. That is part of my argument for scalability.
Germany shows that a mature, growing economy can move relatively rapidly to renewables for electricity generation. In 2015 about a third of German electricity came from renewables. While some complain that its price for electricity is high, that is a trick. Germans put in insulation and got more efficient appliances, so they actually spend less on electricity than Texans even if their cost per KWh is higher. Anyway those price comparisons always leave out the environmental impact of fossil fuels. Coal looks like it can generate electricity for 5 cents a kilowatt hour. The real cost if you look at lost real estate, health costs in cities like Beijing and Delhi, etc., is probably closer to 48 cents a kilowatt hour. So Germany’s electricity from renewables is much cheaper in reality.
Germany did it by providing financing for the soft costs of renewables– installation, etc., which are increasingly the bottleneck in the US. The state of Michigan gave me no help whatsoever with my panels and in fact apparently wants to punish me for putting them in. Michigan has lost a million people since I moved there in the early 80s, and could benefit from an enlightened energy policy. This situation shows that Mark Twain was wrong when he said, “Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.” Fleas would have the sense to respond to being cooked by high temperatures.
My own university, the University of Michigan, has among the more backward energy policies of any major university in the country. Ohio State leased a wind farm that will supply 25% of its electricity. The University of Hawaii is going completely green by 2045. The University of Michigan still plans on emitting like 510,000 tons of CO2 a year in 2025, down only slightly from today’s amount (there is a greenwashing element in the story, since this projected amount is a 25% decrease from 2006 levels– but the baseline should be 1990, since emissions increased enormously after Kyoto). If even universities, which ought to be centers of enlightened thinking and innovation, feels no more urgency than this, what can we hope from everyone else?
So, this thing is on a scale. We are going to a 3.6 degrees F. average increase. We could go to 5 degrees F or 10 degrees F. You or rather your great-grandchildren won’t like a 10 degrees F. increase. You won’t even like 3.6 degree F. very much (it won’t kick in for a while). It is up to you how bad it is going to get.
Related video:


  1. Digging holes in the earth, and then fighting over what comes out is so 20th Century.

  2. It is not quite so satisfying to say OOrah to a solar panel.

  3. Maybe, we can schedule the Olympics on a year-round basis.

    1. Add a few "live-fire" events. :)

    2. We could have a “Congressional Solidarity With The Troops Lottery” whereas all members voting for a war will place their name in a helmet with an American Flag on the back, and three names will be drawn for having a right leg, a left arm and a right hand amputated. This will demonstrate to the country and the World that the war is necessary and the US Congress proves it with their heroic sacrifice.

    3. Al Gore, while not my favorite politician, got one thing right:

      The more fossil fuels you use, the more expensive they are, while

      the more Renewable Energy you use, the cheaper it becomes.


  4. Is There Any Value In SodaStream After Its 8% Drop?

    With the SodaStream International (NASDAQ:SODA) share price dropping 8% and still trading at a level far lower than its IPO levels, we look to see if there is any value to be found in the stock today for investors.


    Will there be a turnaround?

    One thing we can say for certain is the future of the company is uncertain. Whilst a rise in CO2 Refill units of 10% in Q3 shows that existing customers are still using its makers, a light at the end of a very dark tunnel, the downward trend that both revenue and its margins has taken is worrisome.

    1. Don't call back the devil. Some of us would rather be bored.

    2. Jan 5 12:40 PM EST
      Sodastream is now trading at 15.68 Price decrease 0.28 (1.75%)

      We had ben told that Sodastream was "undervalued" when trading at $29.11 on 19JUL2014.
      Obviously, the person that told us that ... was wrong.

    3. Why a savvy investor would have waited the 15 months that has passed and bought twice as much equity in the company. But then, our commentator nas not ever been very savvy.

    4. Come on, Rat; you're just bored, and trying to bring the asshole back.

      Leave him be. Your boredom is our contentment. :)

    5. Nah, it's just that the Boycott, Sanction, Divest Movement let the public know just who and what Sodastream was, and the market value of the company collapsed, along with retail sales in the US.

      A much better tactic than stabbing policemen, one that should be encouraged in the cause of peace in the Middle East.

      Which is why the EU's decision to require labeling of products made in the Occupied Territories is so important, even while being hidden from US.

    6. The only thing that the Israeli really care about is making money from their apartheid program.
      If the money dries up, so will they.

      Cut off ISIS ability to transport oil to the market, it will strangle their ability to wage war.
      Same goes for the Zionists, those that are using the monies exploited from the Occupied Territories to buy that ISIS oil.

    7. It's not really about oil, it is about power and profits.

      The reality of the Zionist vulnerability, seen when the Palestinians were able to shut down the Ben Gurion airport. The Zionists wailing over the loss of income was instructive.

      The success of the BDS mMovement with regards to Sodastream, a lesson that informs us of what the US public really thinks about Israel.

    8. Aug 5, 2015 - SodaStream reported bad news on the sales front almost across the ... in each of its geographic markets, led by a 44% fall in the U.S. region.

  5. Speaking of Stocks, First Solar is up a ton this morning.

  6. SOUTHWEST ASIA, January 5, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strike in Syria

    Fighter aircraft conducted a strike near Ayn Isa, destroying three ISIL fighting positions.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Coalition military forces using rocket artillery and fighter aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Ramadi, two strikes denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Haditha, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, wounded two ISIL fighters, and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, three ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL vehicles and two ISIL heavy machine guns.

    -- Near Kisik, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, suppressed an ISIL mortar position, and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, six ISIL bunkers, two ISIL-used culverts, an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Mosul, six strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, suppressed three separate ISIL mortar positions and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL mortar positions, five ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 11 ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL weapon caches, an ISIL command-and-control node, nine ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL mortar positions.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

  7. A group of 38 members of the European Parliament sent a letter to the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker, concerning Commission’s contract with British-Danish security company G4S that equips Israeli checkpoints, detention centers, military and police forces, and helps Israel run prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held without trial and tortured.

    This cross-party initiative is the second time when MEPs from across the political spectrum have called on the EU not to award money to G4S. In March 2011, MEPs wrote to the President of the European Parliament asking him to ensure that the security company G4S ended all activities in the illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as well as all activities in Israeli jails both in Palestine and in Israel and, failing this, to terminate the Parliament’s contracts with G4S. Shortly after this initiative the Parliament in Brussels ended its contract with G4S

    "We are deeply concerned about the fact that the Anglo-Danish group G4S provides security to the European Commission/European External Action Service in several European countries” – the MEPs from the 5 biggest parties in the European Parliament stated.

    “It is indeed unacceptable for the European Commission/European External Action Service to have contractual relations with a firm that is engaged in providing support for activities that constitute war crimes and have many times been condemned by the international community and the EU itself. We therefore urge you to take action to that end” – the letter adds.

    - See more at:

  8. BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The European Union on Wednesday adopted measures to label products from Israeli settlements, considered illegal under international law, in a move welcomed by the Palestinian leadership.

    The EU Commission, the executive branch of the EU, said the body had adopted an interpretative notice on the “indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.”

    The notice is based on pre-existing EU legislation and will ensure that when the indication of origin on products is mandatory, settlement goods cannot be labeled “Made in Israel.”

    “Since the Golan Heights and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are not part of the Israeli territory according to international law, the indication ‘product from Israel’ is considered to be incorrect and misleading in the sense of the referenced legislation,” the EU said.

    Products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or Golan Heights must include the term “Israeli settlement,” the notice added, and could either be labeled “product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)” or “product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement).”

    Palestinian products could be labeled “product from the West Bank (Palestinian product),” “product from Gaza,” or “product from Palestine.”
    The labeling will be mandatory for fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic products and cosmetics, and voluntary for industrial products and pre-packaged foodstuffs.
    However, the EU added that the regulations were not aimed at a boycott of Israeli exports from the settlements, which it said it does not support in “any form.”

    It said instead that “the indication of origin will give consumers the possibility to make an informed choice.”

    1. Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida, does not want the consumers of Europe or the US to be informed.
      When they are, sale of products from the Occupied Territories plummet.

      The Israeli government and its allies in Congress pilloried the new guidelines released Nov. 11 as a discriminatory assault that borders on anti-Semitism. The EU for its part insists that the guidelines are nothing more than a technical clarification to 15 years of trade relations with Israel.

      The spat highlights the chasm between the EU and the United States over how best to pressure Israel over its expansion into the territory of a would-be Palestinian state, with potentially deep ramifications for bilateral relations.

      “Future administrations should vigorously oppose [the guidelines] through legal challenges to this politically motivated barrier to trade,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a top-tier Republican candidate for president, said in a statement. “This should also be treated as a significant problem in US-EU relations.”
      The EU counters that it has in fact been differentiating between Israel and its settlements for more than a decade, with nary a peep from Congress. The new guidelines, the European Commission asserts, merely ensure that European consumers aren’t being misled about what they’re buying.

      “Since the Golan Heights and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) are not part of the Israeli territory according to international law, the indication ‘product from Israel’ is considered to be incorrect and misleading,” the guidelines state. “In such cases the expression 'Israeli settlement' or equivalent needs to be added, in brackets, for example. Therefore, expressions such as 'product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)' or 'product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement)' could be used.”

      Read more:

    2. The GOP candidate, Marco Rubio, is afraid of the consequences to the Zionists if consumers can make an informed choice.

      His idea that ignorance is best, not a sterling commentary on his trust in the people.

  9. Mr Assad of Syria claime that the Europeans were exporting terrorists to Syria. The NYTimes report that the opposition in England agrees.

    New York Times - ‎

    LONDON - Opposition members of Parliament criticized the British government Tuesday for failing to prevent a man charged with serious crimes from traveling to Syria to join Islamic State extremists.

  10. I do recall that our "Draft Dodger" claimed that only US troops could defeat ISIS, The reality of the situation proves he was wrong.


    BAGHDAD — ISIS has lost an estimated 40 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria, the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group said Tuesday.

    1. Counter-offensives by Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces, supported by the U.S.-led coalition, and by Iran-backed Shiite militias have forced ISIS out of several cities — including Tikrit, north of Baghdad, and Ramadi, to the west last month.

      In Syria, ISIS is fighting the army of President Bashar Assad and other rebel groups opposed to his rule.

      It is facing air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition and by Russia which has sent warplanes to support its ally, the Syrian government. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last month said 2016 will be the year of "final victory" on the hard-line group.

  11. .

    I do recall that our "Draft Dodger" claimed that only US troops could defeat ISIS, The reality of the situation proves he was wrong.

    This seems to imply that you think ISIS is being 'defeated'.

    I don't recall Bob ever saying that.


    1. You often do not recall what has been written, sometimes what you, yourself, have put up.

      Do you want me to go find the quotes?
      It'd take abut 30 minutes, maybe an hour.

    2. Bob OreilleThu Sep 25, 11:51:00 AM EDT

      What the hell was it?

      I may have fallen asleep.
      Bob OreilleThu Sep 25, 11:54:00 AM EDT

      You love that word:


      It makes you think you actually know something when pissing in the last 'stream'.


      I have yet to hear an actual order from General Q.

      I would put the First Airborne Division up there on the southern borders of the New Kurdistan and let support the losing side of the rest of it so they may kill one another for as long as possible.

      I'll find some more

    3. .

      I would hope so. I don't see anything about 'defeating' ISIS in that one.

      Whether, you find anything or not I guess I will still take exception to your comment

      You often do not recall what has been written, sometimes what you, yourself, have put up.

      While there is a possibility with the first part of your statement, I am usually pretty good at remembering what I have put up. Now, I am not saying that I couldn't do it or even that I haven't done it; however, what I do recall is that you have made the claim before and have yet to prove it, whereas, on the other hand you have been caught out a couple of times.

      Also, just a clarification, are you saying that

      1. ISIS is being defeated.


      2. In your opinion ISIS is being defeated.


      3. Neither.


    4. ISIS is being driven back, geographically.
      It is losing terrain. Fact on the ground

      So, yes, the Islamic State is being defeated, the ideology behind, probably not.
      So, it depends upon what the reader thinks ISIS is. If it represents the "Caliphate" an "Islamic State", yes it is being defeated. If you think it is "Radical Islam", no it is not.

      As for you forgetting what you write, we are still waiting for your blog and it's first story.
      You later said that you 'forgot' about it, Legionnaire. Maybe, maybe not, first liar doesn't stand a chance.

      Quirk Wed Oct 08, 12:34:00 PM EDT\

      "How is the new promised Quirk's Deep Thoughts Blog coming along, Quirk?" (Question from Robert)

      I will title my first blog stream, The rat, Ex-Post Facto Prognosticator to the EB.
      It may take a while to pull the piece together. The examples are legion and the editing will be a bear.

      As for Robert's remarks, they'll be coming, soon enough.

    5. .

      I'll be waiting.

      As for

      As for you forgetting what you write, we are still waiting for your blog and it's first story.

      You later said that you 'forgot' about it, Legionnaire. Maybe, maybe not, first liar doesn't stand a chance.

      once again you come up short.

      You'll recall (well maybe not) the childish campaign you waged over those remarks until I finally provided you with examples. They centered mainly on the lies you spread about WiO.
      One example was the way you edited his remarks on the Gaza war proving that you are either deficient in the English language in that you have no appreciation for the importance of context or, more likely, as you have admitted before you are just a habitual liar.



  13. ( Anbar – On Tuesday, Anbar Provincial Council announced, that the ISIS organization has prepared its elements to attack Haditha District west of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad) from two axes, while emphasized that the Iraqi Army backed by the international coalition aircrafts are working to shell the convoys of ISIS convoys before reaching their goal.

    Anbar Provincial Council’s spokesman Eid Ammash Karbouli said in a statement followed by, “The security forces reinforced its military presence in the axes of Haditha District, due to the preparations of ISIS to attack the front lines of the Iraqi ground forces from two axes including Khasfa area and Barwana Island west of the province, while the international coalition aircrafts intensified its sorties in order to shell ISIS gatherings.”

    Karbouli added, “The Iraqi army backed by the international coalition aviation, is working to bomb ISIS conveys and vehicles before reaching the security forces gatherings.”

    1. Security forces kill 134 terrorists in Anbar and Salahuddin, says Joint Operations

      ( Baghdad – The Joint Operations Command announced on Tuesday the killing of 134 terrorists during security operations in the provinces of Anbar and Salahuddin.

      The Operations Command said in a statement obtained by, “The security forces, with support from the Iraqi aviation and warplanes belonging to the international coalition, had managed, during the last 24 hours, to kill 134 terrorists and destroy vehicles, weaponry and other targets in the provinces of Anbar and Salahuddin,” pointing out at the same time to, “The arrest of a wanted individual in the capital Baghdad.”

      The statement added, “The commandos brigade of Basra Operations Command carried out an operation in the the areas of Ghamaj River and Hor al-Saad, resulting in the arrest of nine wanted individuals.”

    2. The last time (after Tikrit) that the Iraqis were making noises about going to Mosul ISIS exercised their vote, and moved the action to Ramadi. This time they seem to be pushing for a battle in Haditha.

    3. ( al-Anbar – On Tuesday the leader of Albu Nimir clan, Naeem Gaood, announced calling up the tribes as well as the security forces after ISIS had launched a violent attack on Haditha and Bruwana from four axes.

      Gaood said in a brief statement obtained by, “The tribes and security forces began a major call up after the ISIS had launched a violent attack on the district of Haditha and the area of Barwana from four axes,” adding that, “The ISIS carried out the attack after receiving large reinforcements from Mosul, Syria, Heet and areas in western Anbar.”

    4. U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi warplanes bomb ISIS conveys near Bruwana, Haditha

      ( al-Anbar – The head of Haditha District Council announced on Tuesday, that the U.S.-led international coalition aviation as well as the Iraqi Air Force have begun intensively bombing ISIS conveys near Haditha and Bruwana, pointing out to the killing of tens of elements of the organization.

      The head of the council, Khaled Salman, said in a statement received by, “The international coalition aviation and Sukhoi warplanes belonging to the Iraqi Air Force as well as the army’s artillery forces began bombing the ISIS conveys near the areas of Haditha and Bruwana.”

      Salman added, “The bombing resulted in killing tens of ISIS elements in addition to destroying their vehicles,” pointing out that, “Three booby-trapped vehicles had been detonated before reaching their targets.”">Iraqinews

  14. Abu Fahad al-Nimrawi, a tribesman opposed to the Islamic State, said he fled with his family as soon as word spread that the group’s fighters were arriving in Barwana on Tuesday morning. He took them to the Haditha city center, which is still largely protected from the violence.

    “All of them were armored vehicles. It was in the morning,” said Nimrawi, who returned to Barwana to fight.

    “I took my family and we ran. The people who couldn’t leave, they were killed.”

  15. Aerial bombardment kills 250 ISIS elements, destructs 100 vehicles in Ramadi

    ( Anbar – A security source in Anbar Province announced, that 250 element of ISIS organization were killed, while 100 vehicles belonging to the organization were destroyed in an aerial bombardment west of Ramadi.

    The source said in a statement followed by, “The security forces and the tribal fighters, backed by the international coalition aviation, Iraqi Army Aviation, Iraqi artillery, as well as a rockets brigade were able to bombard many convoys of the ISIS organization that previously attacked Hadaytha District and Barwana area west of Ramadi.”

    The source added, “The bombardment has killed more than 250 elements of the organization, while destructed over 100 vehicles belonging to them, including booby-trapped vehicles,” pointing out that, “The Iraqi Army Aviation has bombarded dozens of vehicles belonging to ISIS.”

    1. Peshmerga forces repel ISIS attack, kill 18 elements north of Mosul

      ( Nineveh – On Tuesday, a security source announced, that the Peshmerga forces managed to repel ISIS attack on al-Khazer axis north of Mosul (405 km north of Baghdad), while emphasized that 18 elements of the organization were killed during the attack.

      The source said in a statement followed by, “Today, the Peshmerga forces were able to repel an attack carried out by the elements of ISIS on Safiya village in Khazer axis (40 km north of Mosul), killing 18 element of the organization.”

      The source added, “The clashes between the elements of ISIS and the Peshmerga forces lasted nearly for four hours, while the international coalition warplanes intervened to back up the Peshmerga forces.”


  16. A former Army officer who operates under the alias "Kat Argo", and five other volunteers make up “Qalubna Ma'kum,” translated from Arabic to mean, “Our hearts are with you.


    Argo and her team believe they are risking their lives for the greater good. The Defense Department has not weighed in on former service members fighting the Islamic State on their own, but the State Department has repeatedly tried to discourage U.S. citizens from doing so.

    In the next few weeks, Argo hopes to train more Peshmerga fighters in basic medical assistance; with too many obstacles on the Syrian front, Qalubna Ma'kum plans to work solely in Iraq, and is asking for donations so they can effectively acquire more medical equipment, and a truck they anticipate will be their ambulance. They will provide evacuations from front lines to the Kurdish base, where they have three rooms to use as their clinic.

  17. Juan is full of shit.

    Rufus is full of shit, and doesn't pay his gambling debts.

    jack is back and is full of shit, and is a liar.

    ------- is full of shit too.

    Ash is mostly full of shit, though he hits one now and then.

    That leaves only Quirk who is worth reading here. And me, of course.

    And Sam.

    1. jack is back thinks he's the first person that thought of using air craft in support of grounds troops.

      It had been done before jack is back was even born.

      j is b is really full of it.

    2. Meanwhile, the Norwegians have given up without a fight -

      Police in Norway proclaim 'Oslo is lost' January 5, 2016 We are witnessing the wholesale collapse of Europe due to self-destructive decisions and a lack of any will to defend the homeland. More

      From that racist blog, American Thinker.


      Hillary Clinton vows to investigate UFOs January 5, 2016 Move over, “war on women.” UFOs have arrived. More

      All Hillary has to do is ask Quirk. He's already been into Area 54, errr, Hillary's mistake, Area 51.

      Went in on his ultra light, got his ass shot up, but not before getting the low down.

      Hillary is toast. She's campaigning now for the UFO vote. She sees the writing on the wall.

      Also there was a great article by another black writer, one of those folks Rufus thinks of as 'Negroes', at AT a couple days ago.

      Was going to post it but got distracted, and can't find it now.

      He's one of their many 'minority' writers.

      Hadn't noticed he race before.

  18. Juan seems never to have heard the phrase 'out of Africa' which is not a reference to a book by a woman named Isak Dinesen of whom Ernest Hemingway thought highly.

    The flood waters wanted to go to Mombasa, and that's exactly what they did. After that she gave it up and went back to Europe.

    Ernie had a better idea.

    Instead of trying to farm in Kenya, he went there and shot big game while the hunting was still good.

    You can see the proof on the walls of his last home in Ketchum, Idaho.

    1. O'bozo's father, if we can believe O'bozo, was from Kenya, and drank himself to death, the final act being crashing a car while loaded, having earlier lost both his legs in other accidents.

      He was a short little dude, and I've always wondered where O'bozo got his height.

      He mom was squat too.

      Frank Marshall Davis, though, was quite tall, which might account for it.

      Both Davis and the fellow from Kenya were commies.

      Both were worthless pieces of shit.

    2. The fellow from Kenya was even shorter than his normal short height after he lost both his legs.

  19. David Cameron: 'Shakespeare made English the world's language'

    William Shakespeare’s words, his plots and his characters continue to inspire much of Britain’s culture and wider society hundreds of years after his death
    David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain, Special to Gulf News
    Published: 00:01 January 5, 2016

    This year’s 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare is not just an opportunity to commemorate one of the greatest playwrights of all time. It is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary ongoing influence of a man who — to borrow from his own description of Julius Caesar — “doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus”.

    Shakespeare’s legacy is without parallel: His works translated into more than 100 languages and studied by half the world’s schoolchildren. As one of his contemporaries, Ben Jonson, said: “Shakespeare is not of an age, but for all time.” He lives today in our language, our culture and society — and through his enduring influence on education.

    Shakespeare played a critical role in shaping modern English and helping to make it the world’s language. The first major dictionary compiled by Samuel Johnson drew on Shakespeare more than any other writer. Three thousand new words and phrases all first appeared in print in Shakespeare’s plays. I remember from my own childhood how many of them are found for the first time in Henry V. Words like ‘dishearten’, ‘divest’, ‘addiction’, ‘motionless’, ‘leapfrog’ — and phrases like ‘once more unto the breach’, ‘band of brothers’ and ‘heart of gold’ — have all passed into the English language today with no need to reference their original context. Shakespeare also pioneered innovative use of grammatical form and structure — including verse without rhymes, superlatives and the connecting of existing words to make new words, like bloodstained — while the pre-eminence of his plays also did much to standardise spelling and grammar.

    But Shakespeare’s influence is felt far beyond our language. His words, his plots and his characters continue to inspire much of our culture and wider society. Nelson Mandela, while a prisoner on Robben Island, cherished a quote from Julius Caesar which said: “Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death but once.” While Kate Tempest’s poem My Shakespeare captures the eternal presence of Shakespeare when she wrote that Shakespeare “... is in every lover who ever stood alone beneath a window ... every jealous whispered word and every ghost that will not rest”.

    Shakespeare’s influence is everywhere, from Dickens and Goethe to Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Brahms; from West Side Story to the Hamlet-inspired title of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap — the longest-running theatre production in London’s West End today. While his original plays continue to entertain millions — from school halls across the world to the overnight queues as hundreds scrambled for last minute-tickets to see Benedict Cumberbatch playing Hamlet at London’s Barbican last year.

    But perhaps one of the most exciting legacies of Shakespeare is his capacity to educate. As we see from the outreach work of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe and the impact of pioneering British charities like the Shakespeare Schools Festival, studying and performing Shakespeare can help improve literacy, confidence and education.

    Educational resource

    So today, Twelfth Night, and every day throughout 2016, Britain is inviting you to join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Shakespeare. Today we are launching ‘Shakespeare Lives’ — an exciting global programme of activity and events to highlight his enduring influence and extend the use of Shakespeare as an educational resource to advance literacy around the world........

    His influence has spread all over the entire globe ?

    Hmmmm...this is simply not so.

    Consider certain areas in Northern Mississippi where the locals still speak caliban......

  20. Highlights

    There may be export-related weakness in the manufacturing sector but it has yet to spill over to the overall economy. ISM's non-manufacturing index did slow 6 tenths to 55.3 in December but the level is still very solid and details are positive.

    New orders are up 7 tenths to a very strong 58.2 while employment is also up 7 tenths, to 55.7. The sample is building up inventories which hints at expectations for solid business ahead.

    Another positive is the export index which, like the ISM manufacturing report issued Monday, bounced solidly higher and back into the plus-50 growth column, at 53.5.

    Input prices show very little change. This report continues to be consistent and solid, underscoring the strength of the nation's domestic-based economy.

    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

  21. Highlights

    ADP is calling for unusual strength in Friday's employment report, at 257,000 for private payrolls which is far outside Econoday's consensus at 190,000 and well outside the high estimate for 227,000.

    Strength of this degree would underscore the health of the labor market and would begin to seal expectations for a rate hike at the March FOMC. ADP isn't always an accurate barometer for the employment report but today's results could definitely affect the markets.

    ADP Employment Index

  22. :):):):):):):):):):)

    A former U.S. attorney thinks Hillary Clinton could face a criminal indictment from the FBI within the next 60 days.

    Joe DiGenova, a Republican U.S. attorney appointed by President Reagan, said Clinton's "biggest problem right now" is the open FBI investigation into the contents of her private emails.

    "They have reached a critical mass in their investigation of the secretary and all of her senior staff," DiGenova said Tuesday on the "Laura Ingraham Show" radio program. "And, it's going to come to a head, I would suggest, in the next 60 days."

    FBI Director James Comey has refused to answer questions about when his agents will wrap up a months-long probe into whether Clinton and her staff mishandled classified information on an unsecured network.
    More from the Washington Examiner
    Sanders: I'll do better against Trump than Clinton
    By Kelly Cohen
    • 01/06/16 9:04 AM

    Clinton's campaign has maintained that the investigation is not focused on Clinton herself and is not criminal in nature.

    "It's going to be a very complex matter for the Department of Justice, but they're not going to be able to walk away from it," DiGenova said. "They are now at over 1,200 classified emails. And, that's just for the ones we know about from the State Department. That does not include the ones that the FBI is, in fact, recovering from her hard drives."

    The former U.S. attorney noted Clinton has yet to be interviewed by the FBI, a step he said will likely occur before agents make their findings public.

    But DiGenova warned the decision to charge Clinton personally with a crime lies with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, putting the Obama administration in a difficult political position.

    "I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable," DiGenova said.
    Also from the Washington Examiner
    Trump blames China for North Korean nuclear test
    By Sarah Westwood
    • 01/06/16 8:40 AM

    "The evidence against the Clinton staff and the secretary is so overwhelming at this point that if, in fact, she chooses not to charge Hillary, they will never be able to charge another federal employee with the negligent handling of classified information," he added. "The intelligence community will not stand for that. They will fight for indictment and they are already in the process of gearing themselves to basically revolt if she refuses to bring charges."

    1. Deuce might actually unbelievably get to vote for The Bern in the general.

      My daughter, who is for Dez Nutz for President, said the other day:

      "At least it's going to be an interesting year."

  23. Obammy deserves a Grammy or an Oscar or a Thespian Arts Award for pulling that wonderful tear jerker the other day during his anti-gun spiel.

    Haven't seen anything as good since that Southern preacher, you know his name, brother of the singer, great balls of fire or whatever, got caught a-whoring on the church's dime and confessed before the congregation.

    "Lord, I have sinned before thee !!"

    wail wail wail sob sob sob

    Tears streaming.....

    1. Jimmy Swaggart !

      Jimmy Swaggart went a-whorin'

      On the congregation's dime

      His bro Jerry Lee Lewis

      Sang away the crime

      Great balls o' fire !

      The Lady warnt for hire

      Wanted preacher man for sire....

    2. Dez Nutz/Jimmy Swaggart for Pres/VPres

      Jerry Lee Lewis for World Ambassador

      Be as good as what we've got.

      Secretary of State Kerry sent out a spokeswoman from the State Department who told us all that what ISIS needs is job opportunities, retraining, counseling, that sort of thing....

      At least Dez Nuts, Swaggart and Lewis aren't socialists.

      And know how to make a buck.

  24. Obama doesn't have an authentic tear in his entire system, the cold blooded narcissist.

    He's the guy, the only guy, that voted to kill babies that survive abortions, the scum bag.

    1. Obama the scum bag and 'constitutional scholar' seems to have forgotten or been unable to understand that a baby living outside the mother's womb and in the world and born here is an American citizen and has all the rights any of us have....the right to life....etc...

  25. Sarah at least is still on the job -

    Exclusive – Sarah Palin: Obama Wept


    by Sarah Palin5 Jan 2016Wasilla, AK3910
    Obama wept.

    America is forced to weep over Obama’s release of violent criminals into our communities – like the 121 illegal aliens who committed murders after they were released from custody by the Obama administration instead of being deported. And that doesn’t take into account the others we don’t know about.

    The whole world weeps waiting for American leadership in these troubled times as Islamic savages commit genocide against the Christians of the Middle East and terrorize innocent people in cities across the globe.

    Meanwhile, Obama wept as he blamed law-abiding patriots for the nation’s insecurity and sought to strip them of the Constitutional rights that generations of Americans shed blood to protect.

    Obama wept, while we all continue to weep for our country and the civilized world.

    Read More Stories About:

  26. Here it is !

    Just for Quirk-O, who has his undies on backwards when it comes to American Thinker -

    January 5, 2016
    The Nastiest Insult to Call a Black Man, According to Liberals
    By Derrick Wilburn

    When you're an outspoken black conservative like I am, you grow accustomed to vile names, hate mail, disdainful attitudes, snide comments, and the like. For reasons unknown, Caucasians espousing conservative values are not sellouts to their fellow white folk, but blacks and Hispanics are. So people like me, Star Parker, Allen West, Kevin Jackson, Niger Innis, and others develop our own methods of coping with our bullseye cardigans. Whether just laughing it off, addressing it head-on, or ignoring it, we either develop a thick skin or don't do what we do publicly.

    Pretty much all of these personal attacks come from self-described open-minded, inclusive, minority-loving liberal types who cannot see the blatant hypocrisy of their own positions. Such is the case with an emailer on one of my social media pages not too long ago.

    Little in life is more amusing than people who believe they are issuing an insult when in fact they're doing the exact opposite. Examples of such ignorant lunacy populate our inboxes on a regular basis, but weeks ago, I received an email from a gentleman calling himself Kent that is a classic example of a comment intended as an insult but was in reality a compliment – in fact, very high praise. Kent's email provides a unique teachable moment for those on the ideological left and right.

    At the end of a hate-filled rant about "self-loathing," "selling out my people," "acting against my own self-interests" (how he has any idea what's in my interest, I've no idea) and other such themes, Kent proceeded to – in very snide fashion – call me "Carlton," a reference to the fictional cousin of Will Smith's character, played brilliantly by Alfonso Ribeiro, on the 1990s situation comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Along with many other Americans, Kent views Carlton as somehow "not black" because he does not "act black."

    Kent views calling me "Carlton" as an insult. It's not. There are many things the Kents of the world do not realize.........

  27. heh

    Timothy Carney

    Ted Cruz changes position, embraces current ethanol mandate, ethanol lobby applauds

    Hot Air


  28. SOUTHWEST ASIA, January 6, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    -- Near Raqqah, fighter aircraft conducted one strike on an ISIL headquarters building.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Haditha, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL vehicles, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position and wounded six ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Kisik, five strikes destroyed two ISIL bunkers, nine ISIL fighting positions, 11 ISIL assembly areas, and suppressed a separate ISIL fighting position and an ISIL machine gun position.

    -- Near Mosul, one strike destroyed an ISIL rocket cache.

    -- Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL staging areas, three ISIL buildings, an ISIL front-end loader, six ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL rocket propelled grenade system, an ISIL recoilless rifle, three ISIL vehicles, and four ISIL heavy machine guns. The strikes also damaged an ISIL tactical vehicle and denied ISIL access to terrain and wounded three ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Sinjar, one strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and damaged an ISIL bunker.

  29. OIR Spokesman: ISIL Now in Defensive Crouch in Iraq, Syria

    By Cheryl Pellerin

    WASHINGTON, January 6, 2016 — Since May, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has steadily lost ground to Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said today.

    Briefing the Pentagon press corps via video conference from Baghdad, Army Col. Steve Warren offered battlefield updates and a status report on coalition efforts.

    In Iraq, ISIL has lost 20,000 to 22,000 square kilometers, or 40 percent of its taken territory, he said, and in Syria it has lost more than 310 square kilometers, or about 10 percent of its territory.

    Coalition members so far have trained and equipped 17,541 Iraqi security forces, Warren said, and the coalition continues to increase the pace and intensity of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

    Airstrikes and Ground Ops

    “When our airstrikes are coupled with local ground operations, we see ISIL having to react and move around the battlefield. This just makes it easier for us to strike them,” he said.

    An estimated 2,500 enemy fighters were killed in coalition airstrikes across Iraq and Syria in December, Warren added.

    “We believe that ISIL is now in a defensive crouch. … May is when they reached their culminating point of offensive operations. Since then, all they've really managed to do is lose ground,” he said.

    In an update on Operation Tidal Wave II, which targets ISIL's illicit oil infrastructure in Iraq and Syria, Warren said that coalition aircraft struck six gas and oil separation points and two ISIL crude oil collection points on Jan. 2 near Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria.

    1. Pressuring the Enemy

      “Since we began Operation Tidal Wave II the coalition has conducted 65 strikes against oil targets. We assess that this operation has reduced [ISIL] revenue by about 30 percent,” the colonel said, noting that ISIL’s production dropped from 45,000 barrels of oil a day to 34,000 barrels a day.

      “In addition to chipping away at their so-called caliphate and killing their leaders,” he said, “we're also hitting them in the pocketbook.”

      The operational objective is to put pressure across the entire breadth and depth of the battlefield, to pressure the enemy wherever he is, Warren said.

      Syrian Democratic Forces

      Over the past 10 days in the Tishreen area northeast of Aleppo, Warren said Syrian Democratic Forces have killed about 140 extremists while liberating dozens of villages and reclaiming more than 310 square kilometers of terrain.

      “Soldiers of the Shams al-Shamal battalion, a prominent Arab fighting group in the SDF, are holding the west side of that dam, demonstrating the continued integration between Arabs and Kurds within the Syrian Democratic Forces,” the colonel said.

      The SDF consists of groups of Syrian Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and other ethnic groups in northern Syria, all of whom are collectively determined to defeat ISIL, Warren added.

      “As the Shams al-Shamal battalion holds the [Tishreen] dam, other forces are advancing to the south in the vicinity of Ein Isa. These troops have experienced some counterattacks west of Tishreen,” he noted.

      To the north, the SDF are receiving harassing mortar fire, but in each case they have repelled all of ISIL’s attempts to regain territory or strongholds, Warren said.

      “We're seeing reports of ISIL fighters shaving their beards and trying to hide among the civilian population,” he added, “as they continue to lose ground in Syria and run back to Raqqa, Manbej or Jarablus.”

    2. Controlling Ramadi

      After a fight for control of Ramadi, which ISIL captured in May, the Iraqi army took back the city’s government complex on Dec. 27, incurring around 1,000 casualties and 100 deaths, Warren said.

      Last week, Warren told the Pentagon press corps that skirmishes continued in the city with small groups of enemy forces -- from five fighters to perhaps a dozen -- centered around a machine gun or several rocket-propelled grenades.

      “We see these squad-sized elements still able to operate in some of the neighborhoods that have not yet been cleared,” he said today, “and we still see that.”

      More than 60 ISIL fighters were killed inside Ramadi in the past 24 hours, Warren noted.

      “Counterterrorism Service forces continue clearing eastward into the core of the inner city,” the colonel said. “They've encountered enemy contact consisting of [bombs], machine gun fire, [rocket-propelled grenades] and sniper fire. Coalition airstrikes continued to enable their advance.”

      Decisive Battle

      Warren said ISIL’s defensive techniques include using tunnels and holes in the walls between buildings as cover and for attacks.

      “This is why the Iraqi security forces have to be very deliberate, very methodical and very carefully move through these neighborhoods to clear them,” he added.

      ISIL can still strike in spots and conduct raids, ambushes and [bomb] attacks and they still hold large swaths of territory, Warren said.

      “But the Iraqi security forces are now on the offensive,” he said. “The Iraqi security forces will pick where the next significant battle is [and] ISIL is now reacting to the Iraqi security forces.”

      In response to a question about the rules of engagement against the terrorist army in Iraq and Syria, Warren said, “If you're part of ISIL we will kill you. That's our rule.”

  30. If they are starting to shave their beards....

    The defection rate is low but growing....

    Not good signs....

    We should ship them free Harry's....

  31. Here's how to cut your electric bill by 75%:

    Want to know how to easily produce all of the green energy you could ever want right at home?

    And you’ll be able to make your home totally immune from power outages, blackouts, and energy grid outages
    so even if everyone else in your area (or even the whole country) loses power…you won’t.