Monday 26th of January 2015

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-01-26 12:55

The Gus picture at top should give a few clues about the article written at top. Lights, advertising and zero. 

Of course this advert is about zero sugar (glucose) but Gus sees a zero energy sum in the entire universe for it to exist. If this sum was not "zero", the universe would disperse itself or destroy itself in a jiffy. It would be unstable.

As well, why is the question we should ask without accepting ready made answers — especially the simplistic answers of dogma. 

See also: George Negus... Now why did Prince Philip get a gong from the Englishman?

princes of bel air...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-01-26 10:42

 

OUR galaxy, the Milky Way, is home to almost 300 billion stars, and over the last decade, astronomers have made a startling discovery — almost all those stars have planets. The fact that nearly every pinprick of light you see in the night sky hosts a family of worlds raises a powerful but simple question: “Where is everybody?” Hundreds of billions of planets translate into a lot of chances for evolving intelligent, technologically sophisticated species. So why don’t we see evidence for E.T.s everywhere?

The physicist Enrico Fermi first formulated this question, now called the Fermi paradox, in 1950. But in the intervening decades, humanity has recognized that our own climb up the ladder of technological sophistication comes with a heavy price. From climate change to resource depletion, our evolution into a globe-spanning industrial culture is forcing us through the narrow bottleneck of a sustainability crisis. In the wake of this realization, new and sobering answers to Fermi’s question now seem possible.

Maybe we’re not the only ones to hit a sustainability bottleneck. Maybe not everyone — maybe no one — makes it to the other side.

Since Fermi’s day, scientists have gained a new perspective on life in its planetary context. From the vantage point of this relatively new field, astrobiology, our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/opinion/sunday/is-a-climate-disaster-inevitable.html

 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2015-01-26 08:08

It's time for Toxic Tony to relinquish his British citizenship and resign from parliament. Today is Australia Day.

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2015-01-25 14:24

World leaders are converging on Saudi Arabia to offer condolences following the death of King Abdullah, including US president Barack Obama who is cutting short a trip to India to pay his respects.

Foreign aircraft landed at a Riyadh military base on Saturday where leaders from Africa, Europe and Asia were welcomed by officials and served a traditional tiny cup of Arabic coffee.

Since Abdullah ascended the throne in 2005, Saudi Arabia has been a prime Arab ally of Washington, and last year joined the coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group.

The White House said Mr Obama "called King Salman bin Abdulaziz from Air Force One today to personally express his sympathies" ahead of his trip to Riyadh on Tuesday to meet the new king, the White House said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-25/world-leaders-converge-on-saudi-arabia-after-death-of-king/6044954

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Yep, the flotsam and jetsam of the world leadership follows the dead ones, from one Charlie to another... Another photo op is in the bag...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2015-01-24 20:10

 

There is a real danger that by a process of incremental tactical adjustments, Australia ends up committing to a multi-year military campaign in the Middle East without articulating a strategy, writes James Brown.

There's a lot to be concerned about in the way Australia is approaching the decision to intervene militarily in the civil war engulfing northern Iraq and Syria.

There has been scant debate of the decision to go to war in Parliament: traveling war memorial exhibitions were more closely examined in Question Time last week than the war ADF personnel are now risking their lives in.

etc...

 

Fallacy 1: There will be no boots on the ground

 

Fallacy 2: This is solely a humanitarian mission

 

 

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-02/brown-the-five-fallacies-of-our-thinking-on-iraq/5713044

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So far so good 

The author of this piece, James Brown, is a "military fellow" for the Lowry Institute (a mostly right wing organisation)... But then, Brown makes some claims that are not true.

 

Fallacy 3: This is just an extension of the 2003 invasion of Iraq

 

Bronw is wrong on this assessment. We know this conflict is directly a resultant from the Iraq war, in all possible shape or form, even should the "coalition of the willing" not be the same... Since the war in Iraq, that country has been divided along sectarian lines and the dynamics of ISIL is the continuation of the failure by the US to secure the peace in that country. Wahhabism has seize the opportunity to galvanise the Sunnis — even if some Sunnis don't fancy the extremism of ISIL.

 

Fallacy 4: Military action will increase the domestic threat of terrorism in Australia

Brown thinks that military action in Iraq has no domestic repercussions... Who knows. This is an assessment that even ASIO cannot make. But on the score of probability, The present war in Iraq is likely to increase the number of nutcases doing what they thought they could not do before. 

 

Fallacy 5: This problem can be solved without a strategy for Syria

 

Fallacy 5 is near the mark but to some extend we're about to repeat the same mistake that was done with Iraq. THIS DEPEND OF WHAT THE STRATEGY IS. So far the West has no idea on how to deal with a SECULAR  despotic regime that is being fought against by "religious lines" that are far more despotic than the present government... So the clear strategy here is whether we like or not, we cannot but protect a "legitimate" government against "moderate" terrorists we call in this occasion "freedom fighters". The situation is a mess mostly due in the greater part of the Sunnis from the Arab states supporting the "rebellion" from which ISIL was born.

See also:

... ISIS was never in control of more than 25 percent of Kobani, but ISIS dominates Raqqah in northern Syria, one of Syria's largest cities, which is around 70 miles from Kobani. Some US-led airstrikes hit areas near Raqqah, but there were many days, at least 20, where Kobani was the sole target. Many strikes only damaged, or "struck," targets in and around Kobani, including "fighting positions" and "tactical positions," according to Pentagon press releases, which a coalition official tells me are exactly the same thing. He did not clarify how large these areas were, nor if they included buildings or infrastructure. One target could be as small as a motorcycle (US airstrikes have hit two) or as big as a large building.

read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/airstrikes-syria-kobani-statistics-operation-inherent-resolve


Australia has no war business to do in Iraq nor Syria.

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2015-01-24 16:46

 

World leaders are due to arrive in Saudi Arabia to pay their respects in person after the death on Friday of King Abdullah.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande will be in Riyadh. The US delegation is led by Vice-President Joe Biden.

King Abdullah died aged 90. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Riyadh after Friday prayers.

King Salman, 79, pledged continuity after his accession to the throne.

He also moved swiftly to appoint heirs and ministers, including one prince from the ruling dynasty's third generation.

Why Saudi matters - in 90 seconds

New appointments

On Saturday, Mr Cameron, Mr Hollande and Mr Biden will take part in official ceremonies in the Saudi capital.

Iran will be represented by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

These visitors will be looking to take the measure of the character, mood and intentions of the new monarch, BBC Arab Affairs editor Alan Johnston reports.

King Abdullah died weeks after being admitted to hospital with a lung infection.

His body was wrapped in a shroud, and buried in a public cemetery after prayers attended by Gulf heads of state and some foreign leaders.

read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30962740

See toon at top...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2015-01-24 16:40

Brazil's Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira has said the country's most populous region is experiencing its worst drought since 1930.

The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais must save water, she said after an emergency meeting in the capital, Brasilia.

Ms Teixeira described the water crisis as "delicate" and "worrying".

Industry and agriculture are expected to be affected, further damaging Brazil's troubled economy.

The drought is also having an impact on energy supplies, with reduced generation from hydroelectric dams.


'Poor planning'

The crisis comes at a time of high demand for energy, with soaring temperatures in the summer months.

"Since records for Brazil's south-eastern region began 84 years ago we have never seen such a delicate and worrying situation," said Ms Teixeira.

read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-30962813

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2015-01-24 16:34

 

Fairfax duly, breathlessly – almost immediately – reported Andy’s insights:

'Liberal voter Andrew McNabb makes second attack on 'world's worst salesman' Tony Abbott'

Mr McNabb hit the airwaves again on Friday, telling Fairfax radio station 3AW it was time for a change in leader.

He said the Government should make a leadership change as soon as Parliament returns, and it should be Julie Bishop who replaces Mr Abbott, with Malcolm Turnbull as treasurer.

That’s it then. Andy from Officer has spoken. A bit like Paul the World Cup octopus. It’s to be the Julie and Malcolm show. Tell that to Scott Morrison.

No other media organisation found Andy’s thoughts – or 3AW – worth mentioning, so all those who consume their news with an egg and bacon McMuffin were none the wiser.

So, Fairfax is cross-promoting Fairfax and what’s wrong with that? Nothing, providing it’s not a gratuitous beat up.

read more: https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/pm-on-the-rocks-tony-abbotts-insider-revolt,7290

 

Even if this is a "gratuitous" beat up, it is still on the money. 

 

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2015-01-24 10:34

From Chris Floyd

Let's be clear about this. The Putin regime is odious. What it is doing to the Russian people -- the degradation of their liberties; the imposition of Tea Party-style willful ignorance, false piety and bellicose nationalism on the culture; the crippling corruption of its klepto-capitalism (which almost, but not quite, approaches the level in the US and UK, where trillions of dollars have been transferred from working people to a tiny sliver of politically connected elites on Wall Street); its brutal prison system (which, while rivalling the American gulag in its harshness, lags far behind it in the proportion of citizens it imprisons and the racial disparities of the captive population) -- all of this is insupportable.  I hold no brief for the oft-seen stance that soft-pedals the Putin regime's domestic depredations in order to play up the egregious sins of America's foreign policy. You don't have to do that in order to condemn the murderous poltroonery of the Potomac imperialists, any more than you had to pretend that Saddam Hussein was an enlightened statesman in order to condemn America's Nazi-like military aggression to destroy his regime.

But as Patrick Smith 
notes in a recent column, America’s media and political elites are colluding to obscure the realities of the most volatile and dangerous situation in world politics today: Washington's insane drive to destroy the Russian economy and force "regime change" in the Kremlin.

As Smith reports, Americans -- and to barely lesser degree, the Brits -- are being sold an extremely fetid bill of goods in regard to the New Cold War in general, and the situation in Ukraine in particular. One major aspect of this snow job is the fierce -- not to say hysterical -- dismissal in the West of any idea that repulsive neo-fascists factions played a decisive role in the final overthrow of the previous government and are playing a leading role in many aspects of Ukrainian policy today, particularly in the war against Russian-leaning eastern Ukraine. (And again, you don't have to pretend that the pro-Russian separatists are all noble freedom fighters free of any ideological taint or criminal activity in order to criticize the sinister nature of the neo-fascist militants now in ascendancy in Ukraine.) As Smith points out, any Western media references to the neo-fascists in Ukraine -- most of whom are proud to publicly proclaim their association with right-wing extremism, even national socialism-- are always put in quotes, e.g., "the so-called 'neo-fascist' groups," etc. Their point, of course, is that only conspiracy-theory nuts and Kremlin apologists would use such terminology to label these very important factions in the new Washington-backed (and Washington-picked) Ukrainian government. 

read more: http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2462-necks-and-nostrils-the-murderous-folly-of-the-new-cold-war.html

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2015-01-24 10:31

 

It may sound like an ironic joke, but it isn’t. Less than a week after the massive rallies in defense of “free expression,” following the murders of the Charlie Hebdocartoonists, French authorities have jailed a youth for irony.

The arrest is part of a harsh crackdown on free speech in the country that has prompted criticism from national and international human rights organizations.

A 16-year-old high school student was taken into police custody on Thursday and indicted for “defending terrorism,” national broadcaster France 3 reports.

His alleged crime? He posted on Facebook a cartoon “representing a person holding the magazine Charlie Hebdo, being hit by bullets, and accompanied by an ‘ironic’ comment,” France 3 states.

The teen lives at home with his parents, has no prior judicial record and, according to prosecutor Yvon Ollivier quoted by French media, he does not have a “profile suggesting an evolution toward jihadism.”

The boy told prosecutors that he posted the cartoon because he thought it was “funny.”

The media reports do not include the drawing – presumably that could put journalists afoul of the law. So we do not know for sure what the youth is accused of sharing.

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/france-begins-jailing-people-ironic-comments

not so charlie

Translation: Charlie Hebdo: it is shit. It does not stop the bullets...

Meanwhile it appears that the Charlie Hebdo website has disappeared from the net...