Ted Rall And Energy Policy – Now here is a real leftie

Ted is no liberal. Ted is no kinda green peace leftie. He is an old school leftie. If there is a war, there must be an economic reason. Iraq was about oil and funding the military industrial complex. Afghanistan is about an oil and gas pipeline and funding the military industrial complex.

http://www.rall.com/rallblog/books

Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?
Essays and Graphic Novellas, 2006
NBM Hardback, 6?x9?, 304 pp., $22.95

“Ted Rall’s Silk Road to Ruin is a rollicking, subversive and satirical portrait of the region that is part travelogue, part graphic novel. It’s fresh and edgy and neatly captures the reality of travel in the region.”
—Lonely Planet Guide to Central Asia

Comprising travelogue, political analysis and five graphic novellas, SILK ROAD TO RUIN is the book Ted Rall wanted to write in lieu of TO AFGHANISTAN AND BACK: a comprehensive look at what he calls the “New Middle East”–the part of the world the United States will focus upon in the near future. SILK ROAD TO RUIN, featuring an introduction by “Taliban” author Ahmed Rashid, includes 200 pages of essays about everything from oil politics to the wild sport of buzkashi and 100 pages of graphic novel–format comics about five of his trips to the region.

Elderly Central Asians are starving to death in nations sitting atop the world’s largest untapped reserves of oil and natural gas. Looters are cavalierly ambling around in flatbed trucks loaded with disinterred nuclear missiles. Statues of and slogans by crazy dictators are springing up as quickly as their corrupt military policemen can rob a passing motorist. And on the main drag in the capital city of each of these profoundly dysfunctional societies, a gleaming American embassy whose staff quietly calls the shots in a new campaign to de-Russify access to those staggering energy resources.

CIA agents, oilmen and prostitutes mix uneasily and awkwardly in ad hoc British-style pubs where beers cost a dollar–a day’s pay and more than enough to keep out the locals. In an extreme case of the “oil curse,” wealth is being pillaged by U.S.-backed autocrats while their subjects plunged into poverty. Meanwhile Taliban-trained Islamic radicals are waiting to fill the vacuum.

It is a volatile mix. But does anybody care?

Transformed by what he saw being done in America’s name and eager to sound the alarm, Rall went back to remote Central Asia again and again. He returned to visit the region’s most rural mountain villages. He brought two dozen ordinary Americans on the bus tour from hell. He went as a rogue independent and as a guest of the State Department. He returned to cover the American invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, then went back again. Capitals moved, street names changed and the economic fortunes of entire nations turned on a dime from year to the next, but those changes merely reinforced Rall’s firm belief that Central Asia is the new Middle East: thrilling, terrifying, simultaneously hopeful and bleak, a battleground for proxy war and endless chaos. It is the ultimate tectonic, cultural and political collision zone. Far away from television cameras and Western reporters, Central Asia is poised to spawn some of the new century’s worst nightmares.

To order a copy inscribed by Ted to the person of your choice, click here (price includes shipping within the United States):

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More tomorrow.

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Joe Klein And Energy Policy – He is Pro Nukes

I think this idea is terrible until we solve the storage problems, the contamination in production problems and the energy deficit problems. Still i said this meditation was all about what “leftist” columnists think.

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2027941,00.html

A Bipartisan Energy Solution: Nuclear Power

By Joe Klein Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010

Yes, yes, I know that the idea of an Apollo program to make America energy-independent has been proposed so often that it’s become a cliche. Inevitably, such proposals collapse into arrant tree-huggery and eat-your-peasitude. A tax on fossil fuels, often camouflaged as cap and trade, inevitably lurks in the background. And yes, yes, I’m in favor of such a tax, but the public isn’t, and the Republicans certainly aren’t, and Kennedy never imposed a moon tax. But there are aspects of a clean-energy program that Republicans can support. Republicans are in favor of national security, which is where the Operation Free tactics may be of great use. And Republicans like nuclear power.

When Dwight Eisenhower wanted to build an expensive, national superhighway system inspired by the autobahns he’d seen in Germany during World War II, he proposed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. If Obama wants to get a major stimulus program through the next Congress, he should propose the National Defense Nuclear Power Act. And make it big: a plan to blast past the current financing and licensing quagmires and break ground on 25 new nuclear plants between now and 2015. (See why Obama’s nuclear bet may not pay off.)

Some environmentalists still see nuclear power as unclean, though their argument has been wilting over time as France and Japan, among others, have proved the safety and efficacy of such power and climate change has emerged as our most pressing environmental problem. There will be those who argue, correctly, that given the current abundance of natural gas, nuclear power is too expensive — but it won’t be in the future, and the price can be dramatically reduced if the government provides direct, no-interest construction loans rather than loan guarantees. The coal companies won’t like it either. After all, a robust nuclear-power program will have more impact on domestic coal than on foreign-oil consumption. But who cares? The program would be wildly stimulative: 25 new plants could produce more than 70,000 construction jobs. Nuclear energy produces about a fifth of U.S. electricity now; this could raise that figure closer to a third. And the loans will be paid back, over time, by utility customers.

The National Defense Nuclear Power Act isn’t the comprehensive energy plan we need. It’s classic eat-your-ice-cream governance. But it’s a start. And we need to get started.

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More tomorrow.

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Train Keeps Arolling All Night Long – Well part of the night anyway

Here is the invite for the next “Open House” for high speed rail.

www.springfieldrailroad.com

http://www.vectorstl.com/

Springfield Railroad Corridor Study
c/o Vector Communications
701 N. 15th Street, Mailbox 43
St Louis, MO 63103

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I know that the above image is not screen centered, but you can see the important stuff and you can go to the websites listed above to see the whole thing.  More tomorrow.

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Chinese Solar Company – Letter to me

From:
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“martina seamus” <martinaseamus@gmail.com>

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Environmental Cartoons – Funny man..not so funny topic

I love Dan’s work for many many many years…and big thanks for letting me put this up here. I have included part of his blog post too…he can be funnier in print more than pictures.

http://bizarrocomic.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eternal Life?

Bizarro is brought to you today by Reclaimed Souls.

To my surprise, there were quite a few readers who didn’t understand this cartoon. I didn’t get into a lengthy discussion with them so I don’t know if it was because they are so unfamiliar with recycling that they don’t recognize the triangle symbol, or if their minds were so anthropocentric that they could not make the leap between reincarnation/eternal life and recycling.

This cartoon idea came from my dandy buddy, Richard Cabeza, who has contributed some dandy ideas to Bizarro before. As I’ve mentioned on this blog in the past, my work is also offered in a strip format and since they usually don’t entail much extra art – just a reconfiguration of the panel version – I don’t bother posting them. This one, however, adds some punch to the church atmosphere, so I’m sharing it with you. Click it for a better view.

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More tomorrow

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