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Shell Game * Oil * Griffin * ReGen * SolarFest

16 March 2008

"The difference between genius and
stupidity is that genius has its limits."

-- Albert Einstein

1) Shell Game potential & Griffin 9/11 Contradictions
- - Retaking the moment, The Shell Game potential
- - Why Steve Alten is Winning the Shell Game Debate
- - In Honor of Anthony and Mary Guarisco
- - Cost of Freedom tour/Day 5/Waco by Mike Palecek
- - Griffin Takes Powerful New Approach to 9/11 Truth
2) World Oil Food Crisis and Worst Places to Vote
- - The Fading of the Oil Economy
- - Rules of Engagement ‘Thrown out the Window’ US Occupation
- - Food Crisis Will Take Hold Before Climate Change, Warns Chief Scientist
- - Best and Worst Places to Vote – Ohio 2008
3) ReGens Stirling idea: Power from waste heat
- - Clothesline Rule Creates Flap In New England States
- - SolarFest 2008 Vermont – July 11, 12, 13

Editor’s Notes:

I finally finished reading The Shell Game, and item one includes my review, and an article by Kevin Barret, Why Steve Alten is Winning the Shell Game Debate Last Thursday there was a closed session of Congress. It was only the fourth time this happened in 176 years. They were most likely not discussing the newest book by David Ray Griffin: 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress & the Press, or thinking of Anthony and Mary Guarisco, or discussing the journeys of Mike Palecek. Such are the adventures in this issue with item two bursting with sobering news. Food issues based on the shrinking oil economy is driving a hard bargain; one that is looking into a dismal future. In contrast, the third item has more on Stirling engine development, a clothesline debate, and on SolarFest.

Valley 9/11 Truth
The Reflecting Pool
The first investigative drama to
challenge the official version of 9/11

Revealing the Sources
Media Education Foundation
April 30, 2008; 7:00pm

For Independent Investigations

New York Times Best-Selling Author's 9/11 Truth Novel

1) Shell Game potential & Griffin 9/11 Contradictions

- - Retaking the moment, The Shell Game potential
- - Why Steve Alten is Winning the Shell Game Debate
- - In Honor of Anthony and Mary Guarisco
- - Cost of Freedom tour/Day 5/Waco by Mike Palecek
- - Griffin Takes Powerful New Approach to 9/11 Truth

- - Retaking the moment, The Shell Game potential
By Jonathan Mark

Retaking the moment is exactly what’s behind the exhausting tale of The Shell Game, a novel by Steve Alten. This tale takes facts from 9/11 research; and then jumps ahead into the future. A second false flag action is looming, this time the stakes are higher. This action thriller takes an emotional toll. You feel yourself living in the adventure, with spurts of agony in torture, and a nuclear or chemical holocaust lurking in the darkness. George Orwell in his classic, 1984, wrote: “Those who control the present control the future. Those who control the future control the past.” The lies will come back to haunt us, unless we can retake the moment. The Shell Game gives us such an opportunity, as well as the NYC ballot initiative, to regain a foothold in science and objectivity, justice, and peace. The Shell Game is a Hollywood classic, or destined to become alive in a nightmare of epic proportions. The cautionary tale includes us if we like it or not.

- - Why Steve Alten is Winning the Shell Game Debate

Kevin Barrett’s article, “Why Steve Alten is Winning the Shell Game Debate” concludes: “The Shell Game is an amazing, unexpected gift to the 9/11 truth movement. Like many gifts, it may not be exactly what you yourself would have bought. But it is an extraordinary gift nonetheless. Steve Alten has put his own gift, his creativity, in the service of 9/11 truth. He has done what he can, knowing what he knows, feeling what he feels. He has given it his best shot. Even if you're not a fan of genre fiction, even if you think Israel or empire or disaster capitalism was a bigger 9/11 motive than peak oil, even if you find his portrayal of Arabs and Muslims questionable (as I do) you owe it to yourself, and to the future of the planet, to do what you can to make The Shell Game a success. That success would open the door to a wide-ranging mainstream discussion of 9/11 and related issues. For whatever the full truth of 9/11-and none of us yet possess that full truth-the first step to figuring it out, and healing our wounded Republic, is to have the discussion. For that reason, and for his courage, I salute Steve Alten and pray for his book's success.”

For the complete Kevin Barrett article, see:
“Why Steve Alten is Winning the Shell Game Debate”

For more on Kevin Barrett's Radio Shows

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- - In Honor of Anthony and Mary Guarisco
(A Son’s Tribute to his parents' many accomplishments in life)
by Vincent L. Guarisco

March 3, 2008

Anthony Guarisco: a severe Alzheimer’s patient whose memories are quickly drifting away . . .
A WWII and Korea Navy Combat Veteran who founded and directed the International Alliance of Atomic Veterans (IAAV with AAV here in the US).

Mary C Guarisco: 1934 – 2007
AAV Cofounder, Executive Secretary, Board Member, loving mother and OZ protector for us kids.

"The secret of a good life is to have the right loyalties and hold them in the right scale of values."
~ Norman Thomas 1884 – 1968

Over the years, I have written many essays on a whole variety of subjects, all of which I felt were important. But none came remotely close to hitting home as this one has. Undeniably, the following pages are the hardest I will ever attempt to write in my lifetime.


Anthony Guarisco enlisted in the Navy in 1944, serving one year of WWII in the Pacific and the early days of the Korean War. It changed his life forever. In 1947, Anthony was attached to the 32nd Destroyer Division and conducted Special Forces combat operations from Fusan, Korea, to the Manchurian border, aboard the USS Buckley, DD808. But before his Korean experience, the full impact of nuclear weapons became part of his big picture at Bikini Atoll in 1946 in "Operation Crossroads."

For those of you not familiar with this hideous event, Operation Crossroads was a series of two 23-kiloton plutonium atomic bomb tests in which the US government used 42,000 of its own uniformed citizens as guinea pigs. Each bomb was twice the size of the one that destroyed Hiroshima. My father was six to seven miles away from the B-29 airdrop of "Able," which exploded at 520 feet above a target array of 80 vessels. Troops entered the lagoon immediately after. Damage assessment took several weeks, then "Baker" was detonated underwater, producing a radioactive mushroom cloud 6,000 feet high. My father had been two to four miles away from ground zero on LST388. Within a few days, post-Baker, he experienced what is now recognized as a radiation sickness. He remained in the lagoon 67 days within a mile of the epicenter of both explosions.

Upon his return to Pearl Harbor, my father was ordered aboard the hospital ship USS Haven for examination, evaluation and treatment for skin rashes, and severe symptoms similar to influenza. It’s worthy to note, LST388 was too "hot" with radiation to enter port so, after transferring the men, a decision was made to sink the ship outside of Hawaii.

In 1948, he entered Hines VA Hospital in Maywood, IL, with the same symptoms plus a swelling resembling elephantiasis from the knees down. Interestingly, my father found himself in a room with three other Crossroads vets at Hines with similar radiation symptoms: bone deterioration leading to a leg amputation, complete hair loss, fever and welts. After treatment, therapy and release, his spine began to progressively fuse from Ankylosing Spondylitis and persisting urological disorders. In 1979, my father helped formulate the National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV) as an organization. Later, he became national research director.

Among my parents studies was the Stanford Warren Papers on Operation Crossroads that contained one of the big smoking guns of the nuclear weapons industry. Working with then Illinois congressman Paul Simon, they participated in the original writing of PL9772: legislation that allowed atomic veterans to enter any VA hospital for treatment. Anthony and Mary Guarisco established outreach to atomic veterans in Canada, Britain, and Australia and they founded the International Alliance of Atomic Veterans (IAAV with AAV) in the United States. Working with Greenpeace in 1984, they organized a cross-country tour for veterans, widows and children to many major cities, which culminated with joining other radiation victims worldwide. The action drew national attention to the Nevada Test Site and the beginning of major opposition to all atomic testing. In 1986, IAAV made contact with the Soviet War Veterans Committee in Moscow and my father returned several times, afterwards.

Mary accompanied Anthony, who testified numerous times in the US Congress and the parliaments of Canada and Great Britain. In fact, Calif. Sen. Alan Cranston, then chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, recognized that AAV was "extremely instrumental" in the groundbreaking 1988 legislation that granted presumption of cause-effect to all atomic veterans. Anthony spoke out at anti-nuclear demonstrations in the US, Netherlands, Canada, Japan, Germany, UK, and former USSR. Both Anthony and Mary organized with other radiation victims from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Four Corners Uranium Mines, Southwest Desert Downwinders, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Commonwealth Edison of Illinois. Much of their work was with other veterans' organizations, such as Veterans for Peace, Veterans Peace Action Teams, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They collaborated with Agent Orange fighters like Maude De Victor, a courageous famed whistleblower.

But as I said before, time catches up with everyone. And as their health progressively got worse Anthony and Mary Guarisco both retired from activism in 2001, closing IAAV/AAV. In 1935, Will Rogers said: "We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." I speak for my whole family when I say we hope that all those clapping on the sidelines will read this essay and become inspired enough to actively participate in doing everything they can to improve our nation and society. I like what Bob Dylan said, "I think a hero is someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom." I couldn’t have said it better myself.

For the complete essay, see:

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- - Cost of Freedom tour/Day 5/Waco by Mike Palecek

"They will roll tanks on your ass."

— Dick Gregory

Why isn't Mt. Carmel on my AAA traveler's discount planner?

AUSTIN, TEXAS — "Move, you idiot!"

It's happening. Life on these interstate racetracks is getting to me.

I read the bumper sticker on the maroon van.

Jak Se Mas.


"What kind of g.d. thing is that? Indonesian? Move! You Sampan, Tibetan, Waco Turban Cowboy."

I pass on the left, look out the corner of my eye, "Jak Se Mas."

"Yaksay Mash."

It's Czech. My people. Hello in Czech.

I wave and smile.

We recognize each other. Hi. Hi.

We are idiots. My people are idiots.

Yesterday I was in Stephenville, got gas, asked about the guy who saw the UFOs. The girl says he lives in Selden and points the way I'm going.

Selden. And I live in Sheldon.

A sign.

At the sign, with all the inhabitants also listed on the sign, I turn left.

I wave at a guy in his driveway, sitting and reading. I turn around in the church lot and come up behind the guy. He waves backward. He already knows I'm there. I ask about the other guy, who saw the UFOs.

He acts as though he is used to being asked, then directs me to the hill, turn right at the church.

There are several houses, farms, ranches, spreads on the road. I pick out three that have dogs, many dogs, and I decide not to get out. I pick one with no dog and the couple comes out, smiling, used to being asked the question, and point me up to Mike Odom's place.

Up on another hill

I go up there, down the long lane. More dogs, but one is tied and the others are in the kennel.

I knock and knock. Nobody around.

Back in January it was reported worldwide that right here, in this backyard with the scrub and the hot tub and the children's toys and the sitting chairs, at about six in the evening, Mike Odom, Steve Allen and Lance Jones saw something big in the sky, perhaps a mile long and a half-mile wide.

It headed toward Stephenville, then ten minutes later, it headed back, like a little brother sent to town for smokes.

I wish I could have talked to Mike. But just standing here with the dogs tied up is pretty good too.

On my way out of town I wave at the guy in the chair in his driveway. He waves back.

I also stopped at Mt. Carmel, outside of Waco.

Remember the Branch Davidians?

To me this is holy ground. I don't care what those people believed, that's not what's important to me.

But I feel a connection. I saw these buildings burn on TV back in 1993. Ruth and I were operating the Byron Review, a small newspaper in a small town in southeast Minnesota.

It wasn't too long after I had gotten out of jail for protesting against the U.S. military. I guess that being in prison, encountering Americans in their courts and justice system, their military, you come to understand that this is not really "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

We all saw it, the flames, nobody coming out of the buildings.

They all burned. We burned them. Our government, our FBI, our ATF.

Later there was a trial. But it was not the FBI on trial, it was the surviving church group members, guilty of not being burned alive.

This place is not a national monument. There is no large sign, no camper parking facilities, no gift shop. There are no smiling families with arms around each other's waists asking Oriental strangers to take their photo with the big mountain in the background.

But it should be. You have to want to find this place, on the Double EE Ranch Road, way out in the country.

There are three of us standing here. Right at our feet is the burned, buried bus, the underground passageway, the underground storm shelter.

You can touch it. It is not glassed-in, not guarded, no surveillance cameras, no maintenance man waiting nearby to wipe up any mess you might leave behind.

There are gold fish in the water in the remains.

Right here eighty-two people died, eighteen under the age of ten. Standing right here you can see their charred bodies, while America stands a few feet away, with guns, and the rest of us sit in front of television sets, watching.

At the entrance to the land there are gravestones for each of the eighty-two.

... "Theresa Nobregg, age 19; Gregory A. Summers, age 19; Vanessa Henry, age 19; Raymond Friesen, age 77; Mayanah Schneider, age 2; Melissa Morrison, age 6; Lorraine Sylvia, age 40. ...

Each of the stones has the same day of death: April 19, 1993.

It says that for fifty-one days these people were able to hold off the United States.

I think this is really America.

This is where tourists should go, along with Ruby Ridge, the motel in Memphis, the Ambassador Hotel, the Jumping Bull Compound.

To hell with Mount Rushmore.

It's a long way to Amarillo. If I get there, then maybe I'll see ya.

— Mike
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For more on Mike Palecek and “IOWA TERROR” – his new novel
Published by 7th Street Press – see:

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- - Griffin Takes Powerful New Approach to 9/11 Truth

An Open Letter to Congress and the Press
By David Ray Griffin Review
Submitted by Tod Fletcher Thu, 03/13/2008 -

9/11 CONTRADICTIONS by David Ray Griffin is the fifth of his books to examine the official account of the events of September 11, 2001. This brilliant and highly readable book takes a new yet simple approach to the truth about 9/11. It focuses entirely on contradictory statements made by members of the Bush administration, government departments and agencies, and official bodies such as the 9/11 Commission. All the statements that Griffin examines are official claims in direct conflict with other official claims. How could this be? Why would the government keep changing "the official story"? The public, of course, is expected to take all the statements as incontrovertibly true, yet they directly conflict with one another.

And why, if the government pronouncements are contradictory, haven't members of Congress and the mainstream media launched investigations to determine which are true and which are false, and to ask why are obvious falsehoods about the events of 9/11 being promulgated by the government? I say "obvious falsehoods" because, as Griffin explains in the Preface, "If [Transportation Secretary Norman] Mineta said "P," that is a fact. If the 9/11 Commission said "not P," that is a fact. And it is a fact that "P" and "not P" cannot both be true" (p. viii). The subtitle, "An Open Letter to Congress and the Press," indicates Griffin's hope that the juxtaposition of the contradictory claims the book provides will stimulate such investigations. But the book is really intended for the public at large, and its clear focus makes it the easiest to read of all Griffin's books on 9/11. Because of its relative simplicity it is a perfect introduction to the subject.

Drawing on government publications, media reports, testimony from the 9/11 Commission hearings, oral histories from the Fire Department of New York, and other official sources, Griffin documents masterfully 25 of the most serious contradictions, divided into five parts:

"Part I. Questions about Bush Administration and Pentagon Leaders," reveals the contradictory claims about the activities of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Richard Myers, Donald Rumsfeld and Ted Olson. In this part Griffin shows that Bush's long stay at the Florida school was initially confirmed and later denied by the White House, that various government spokespersons and the 9/11 Commission could not agree on where Cheney, Myers and Rumsfeld were at key times that morning, and that DOJ Solicitor General Ted Olson's claims to have received phone calls from his wife on Flight 77 were directly contradicted by the DOJ's FBI.

"Part II. Questions about the US Military," explores the many contradictions within government claims about when the military was alerted to the emergencies on the flights, whether the military could have shot down Flight 93, and whether it had envisioned 9/11-type attacks prior to that day.

"Part III. Questions about Osama bin Laden & the Hijackers," examines the contradictions in official claims about the religious devotion of the alleged hijackers, where the luggage with the Arabic-language flight manuals, attributed to Mohamed Atta, was found, whether cell phone calls from the flights provided evidence of hijackers, and the existence of hard evidence for Osama bin Laden's responsibility.

"Part IV. Questions about the Pentagon," spotlights contradictions in the official account of Hani Hanjour's flying skills, what caused the large hole in the interior C Ring wall of the building, and whether a sophisticated US military reconnaissance plane was overhead during the attack.

"Part V. Questions about the World Trade Center," exposes the contradictions in Rudy Giuliani's account of his foreknowledge of the catastrophic collapse of the Twin Towers, in the official claims about explosions in the towers and WTC 7 before they disintegrated, and in official statements concerning the presence of molten steel in the subbasements after the buildings came down.

When examined under Griffin's microscope, it becomes clear that the "official story" has kept changing over time, just like the stories criminals tell as they are interrogated. As holes in the government's explanations of the incomprehensible events opened up under questioning, to some degree from the press but primarily from the 9/11 truth movement, they were plugged by new claims. And virtually all of the new claims have been accepted by the press and Congress without asking how they could be true in light of the earlier, contradictory claims. You don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to see that when the story keeps changing, doubt is cast on all of its versions. Any police investigator knows this, as should investigative journalists and elected representatives.

Of course, if Congress and the press won't do their jobs, it's up to the rest of us. With this authoritative dissection of the conflicting statements of the principal suspects, Griffin has done much of the pre-trial legwork already. The American public should not allow his selfless devotion to truth and justice to be squandered by inaction. This may be one of those things that representatives just cannot do for us.

For article, plus comments, see:

9/11 CONTRADICTIONS: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press

2) World Oil Food Crisis and Worst Places to Vote

- - The Fading of the Oil Economy
- - Rules of Engagement ‘Thrown out the Window’ US Occupation
- - Food Crisis Will Take Hold Before Climate Change, Warns Chief Scientist
- - Best and Worst Places to Vote – Ohio 2008

- - The Fading of the Oil Economy
Transition of the industrialised countries of the temperate zone into a post-fossil-fuel world
Published by Sustainable Living Organisation, version 3

"The first half of the oil age now closes...It lasted 150 years and saw the rapid expansion of industry, transport, trade, agriculture and financial capital, allowing the population to expand six-fold. The second half now dawns, and will be marked by the decline of oil and all that depends on it, including financial capital."
- Colin Campbell, co-founder of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre

Using internal combustion engines, we in the industrialised countries have unleashed huge 'horsepower' to create our oil based economy. Today, we burn over 700 000 barrels of oil every 10 minutes. We burn about four times more oil than is being discovered to replace it. We haven't run out because of the truly enormous reserves in the Middle East. Within 5 to 10 years from now, we will have used over half those reserves. Oil will become permanently expensive as supply diminishes and demand continues to grow.

Eventually it will become prohibitively expensive for all but the most essential purposes.

Oil prices have risen recently, and some people have complained bitterly about oil company 'price gouging'. The prices seem to have been pushed up by futures traders. Traders only push a price upward if they reasonably expect prices to continue to rise. Why should they believe that?

Probably because they have followed the analysis of the depletion of finite oil reserves in an industrial world whose demand for increased output has gone up year on year.

World oil consumption has increased to levels which in theory will empty all reserves within 40 years
The world consumed 25 billion barrels of oil in the year 2000. By 2004 the figure had risen to about 30 billion barrels consumed. At this rate of consumption, all existing global oil reserves will be gone in less than 40 years.

As oil can't be produced as fast as the world wants it, there will be a shortfall. The laws of supply and demand say this will increase the price. Recession inevitably follows. Demand drops. Price per barrel falls again. Demand increases. Slowly falling pumping capacity at some point once more means demand - even lower demand - can no longer be met. Prices rise again. And so the cycle continues. But at each point, there is less and less oil to in the reservoirs. While prices of oil rise dramatically and then fall, they will not fall right back. Every price fall is to a higher plateau than previously. Eventually, oil will be available to anyone who wants it. But relatively few will be able to afford it. Oil will never run out. But the ability of most people in the world to pay its ever-increasing scarcity value will certainly run out.

For the complete article, see:

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- - Rules of Engagement ‘Thrown out the Window’ US Occupation

Published on Saturday, March 15, 2008 by Inter Press Service
US/Iraq: Rules of Engagement ‘Thrown out the Window’
by Dahr Jamail

SILVER SPRING, Maryland - Garret Reppenhagen received integral training about the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of Engagement during his deployment in Kosovo. But in Iraq, “Much of this was thrown out the window,” he says.

“The men I served with are professionals,” Reppenhagen told the audience at a panel of U.S. veterans speaking of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, “They went to Iraq to defend the U.S. But we found rapidly we were killing Iraqis in horrible ways. But we had to in order to remain safe ourselves. The war is the atrocity.”

The event, which has drawn international media attention, was organised by Iraq Veterans Against the War. It aims to show that their stories of wrongdoing in both countries were not isolated incidents limited to a few “bad apples”, as the Pentagon claims, but were everyday occurrences.

The panel on the “Rules of Engagement” (ROE) during the first full day of the gathering, named “Winter Soldier” to honour a similar gathering 30 years ago of veterans of the Vietnam War, was held in front of a visibly moved audience of several hundred, including veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Winter soldiers, according to U.S. founding father Thomas Paine, are the people who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours

Reppenhagen served in Iraq from February 2004-2005 in the city of Baquba, 40 kms northeast of Baghdad. He said his first experience in Iraq was being on a patrol that killed two Iraqi farmers as they worked in their field at night.

“I was told they were out in the fields farming because their pumps only operated with electricity, which meant they had to go out in the dark when there was electricity,” he explained, “I asked the sergeant, if he knew this, why did he fire on the men. He told me because the men were out after curfew. I was never given another ROE during my time in Iraq.”

Another veteran of the occupation of Iraq on the panel was Vincent Emmanuel. He served in the Marines near the northern Iraqi city of Al-Qaim during 2004-2005. Emmanuel explained that “taking potshots at cars that drove by” happened all the time and “these were not isolated incidents”.

Emmanuel continued: “We took fire while trying to blow up a bridge. Many of the attackers were part of the general population. This led to our squad shooting at everything and anything in order to push through the town. I remember myself emptying magazines into the town, never identifying a target.”

As other panelists nodded in agreement, Emmanuel spoke of abusing prisoners who he knew were innocent, adding, “We took it upon ourselves to harass them, and took them to the desert to throw them out of our Humvees, while kicking and punching them when we threw them out.”

Two other soldiers testified about planting weapons or shovels on civilians they had accidentally shot, to justify the killings by implying the dead were fighters or people attempting to plant roadside bombs.

Jason Washburn was a corporal in the marines, and served three tours in Iraq, his last in Haditha from 2005-2006.

“We were encouraged to bring ‘drop weapons’ or shovels, in case we accidentally shot a civilian, we could drop the weapon on the body and pretend they were an insurgent,” he said, “By the third tour, if they were carrying a shovel or bag, we could shoot them. So we carried these tools and weapons in our vehicles, so we could toss them on civilians when we shot them. This was commonly encouraged.”

Washburn explained that his ROE changed “a lot”.

“The higher the threat level, the more viciously we were told to respond. We had towns that were deemed ‘free fire zones’. One time there was a mayor of a town near Haditha that got shot up. We were shown this as an example because there was a nice tight shot group on the windshield, and told that was a good job, that was what Marines were supposed to do. And that was the mayor of the town.”

Jason Wayne Lemue is a Marine who served three tours in Iraq.

“My commander told me, ‘Kill those who need to be killed, and save those who need to be saved’, that was our mission on our first tour,” he said of his first deployment during the invasion nearly five years ago.

Lemue continued, “After that the ROE changed, and carrying a shovel, or standing on a rooftop talking on a cell phone, or being out after curfew [meant the people] were to be killed. I can’t tell you how many people died because of this. By my third tour, we were told to just shoot people, and the officers would take care of us.”

John Michael Turner served two tours in the Marines as a machine gunner in Iraq. Visibly upset, he told the audience, “I was taught as a Marine to eat the apple to the core.” Turner then pulled his military metals off his shirt and threw them on the ground.

“Apr. 18, 2006 was the date of my first confirmed kill,” he said sombrely. “He was innocent, I called him the fat man. He was walking back to his house and I killed him in front of his father and friend. My first shot made him scream and look into my eyes, so I looked at my friend and said, ‘Well, I can’t let that happen’, and shot him again. After my first kill I was congratulated.”

Turner explained one reason why establishment media reporting about the occupation in the U.S. has been largely sanitised. “Anytime we had embedded reporters, our actions changed drastically,” he explained. “We did everything by the books, and were very low key.”

To conclude, an emotional Turner said, “I want to say I’m sorry for the hate and destruction that I and others have inflicted on innocent people. It is not okay, and this is happening, and until people hear what is going on this is going to continue. I am no longer the monster that I once was.”

Source URL:
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- - Food Crisis Will Take Hold Before Climate Change, Warns Chief Scientist

Food Crisis Will Take Hold Before Climate Change, Warns Chief Scientist
Pressures from population growth and affluence
‘Profoundly stupid’ to cut down forests for biofuels
by James Randerson

Food security and the rapid rise in food prices make up the “elephant in the room” that politicians must face up to quickly, according to the government’s new chief scientific adviser.

In his first major speech since taking over, Professor John Beddington said the global rush to grow biofuels was compounding the problem, and cutting down rainforest to produce biofuel crops was “profoundly stupid”.

He told the Govnet Sustainable Development UK Conference in Westminster: “There is progress on climate change. But out there is another major problem. It is very hard to imagine how we can see a world growing enough crops to produce renewable energy and at the same time meet the enormous increase in the demand for food which is quite properly going to happen as we alleviate poverty.”

He predicted that price rises in staples such as rice, maize and wheat would continue because of increased demand caused by population growth and increasing wealth in developing nations. He also said that climate change would lead to pressure on food supplies because of decreased rainfall in many areas and crop failures related to climate. “The agriculture industry needs to double its food production, using less water than today,” he said. The food crisis would bite more quickly than climate change, he added.

But he reserved some of his most scathing comments for the biofuel industry, which he said had delivered a “major shock” to world food prices. “In terms of biofuels there has been, quite properly, a reaction against it,” he said. “There are real problems with unsustainability.”

Biofuel production is due to increase hugely in the next 15 years. The US plans to produce 30bn gallons of biofuels by 2022 - which will mean trebling maize production. The EU has a target for biofuels to make up 5.75% of transport fuels by 2010.

But Beddington said it was vital that biofuels were grown sustainably. “Some of the biofuels are hopeless. The idea that you cut down rainforest to actually grow biofuels seems profoundly stupid.”

Before taking over the chief scientist post from Sir David King nine weeks ago, Beddington was professor of applied population biology at Imperial College London. He is an expert on the sustainable use of renewable resources.

Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, said at the conference that the world’s population was expected to grow from 6.2bn today to 9.5bn in less than 50 years’ time. “How are we going to feed everybody?” he asked.

Beddington said that in the short term, development and increasing wealth would add to the food crisis. “Once you move to [an income of] between £1 a day and £5 a day you get an increase in demand for meat and dairy products … and that generates a demand for additional grain.” Above £5 a day, people begin to demand processed and packaged food, which entails greater energy use. About 2.7bn people in the world live on less than £1 a day.

There would also be increases at the higher end of the wage scale, he said. At present there are 350m households on £8,000 a year. That is projected to increase to 2.1bn by 2030. “It’s tremendous good news. You are seeing a genuine prediction from the World Bank that poverty alleviation is actually working.”

But he cautioned that the increased purchasing power would lead to greater pressure on food supplies. Global grain stores are currently at the lowest levels ever, just 40 days from running out. “I am only nine weeks into the job, so don’t yet have all the answers, but it is clear that science and research to increase the efficiency of agricultural production per unit of land is critical.”

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- - Best and Worst Places to Vote – Ohio 2008 Update 3-4-08:
Will Ohio have its own 'Butch & Hoppy Show'? And: Best and Worst Places to Vote

In a stunning, and perhaps partisan, act of election administration oddness, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner exploited a good independent study of voting machine vulnerabilities (the (EVEREST study) to install mitigations that don't actually match the report's findings. Among these "mitigations": reduction of the number of polling places, and introduction of a high-risk central count model in Cuyahoga County.

Central count systems do not count ballots at the polling places, but instead transport all ballots to a central location for counting. The transportation phase is perhaps the single riskiest phase in the entire election, especially when there is no record of the count BEFORE the ballots are transported.

Truncated, for the complete article, and other resources, see:

3) ReGens Stirling idea: Power from waste heat

- - Clothesline Rule Creates Flap In New England States
- - SolarFest 2008 Vermont – July 11, 12, 13

- - ReGens Stirling idea: Power from waste heat
Published by Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology
ReGen's Stirling idea: Power from waste heat
By Efrain Viscarolasaga

March 7, 2008 –

In many manufacturing processes, waste heat is just that -- wasted. But a company in central Massachusetts has developed a way to turn that wasted (and free) heat into power using a centuries-old technology principle.

Last week, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative jumped on board with the company, providing a $500,000 loan to help the company build its first beta test unit in the Bay State.

Dick Meloy and Ricardo Conde, the founders of ReGen Power Systems Inc. of New Salem, plan to apply their modified Stirling engine technology to industrial power generation, creating a generator capable of producing between 250 kilowatts and 2.5 megawatts of power using only waste heat as fuel.

The principles of the Stirling engine have been around since 1816, when Robert Stirling first demonstrated a device that could move a piston based on the changes in air mass created through a variation in temperature. The result is a quiet, efficient engine, but one that needs drastic temperature changes (in the hundreds to thousands of degrees) and takes up a lot of space. Such requirements have limited modern Stirling designs to niche applications such as in submarines.

ReGen's proposed unit can work at temperatures as low as 390 degrees -- and that is what makes its unit unique, said company managing director Meloy. "There are no exotic materials here, it's strictly the design that is the secret sauce," he said.

Operating at 480 degrees, the unit is capable of converting about 25 percent of the waste heat into power, according to Meloy.

"Twenty-five percent sounds small, but when you're not burning any fuel to get it, the economics become pretty attractive," said Meloy. "We think, depending on what a site is spending on electricity, the unit will pay for itself in two to two-and-a-half years."

Given the number of manufacturing processes that generate or use heat, the U.S. market for waste-heat energy generation could be in the billions of dollars, according to Meloy and MTC officials.

While it was not a stipulation of the funding, ReGen has agreed to deploy the first unit in Massachusetts, according to Sissy Liu, who is an industry investment and development manager for the Renewable Energy Trust, which is managed by the MTC. A site has not yet been chosen, but ReGen is working closely to place the first test with a European manufacturer with a factory in Worcester. If that site does not work out, however, Meloy has vowed to keep the project in the state at another facility.

ReGen is not the only company looking at incorporating Stirling principles into modern technology. Another local company, Precision Combustion Inc. of North Haven, Conn., has been working for over a year with the U.S. Army on a catalytic burner for Stirling engines to be used in portable power applications. And at this week's CeBIT computer show in Germany, Taiwan computer component maker Micro-Star International unveiled a chipset cooler for computers that is based on the Stirling engine.

Executives at both ReGen and the MTC think that if their project is successful, it could move the Stirling engine from a little-known engineering niche to a common alternative energy option.

"(The Stirling engine) hasn't been extremely successful in the past, but if this is successful, I think you'll be hearing more about Stirling engines in the future," said Liu.

Converting Waste Heat Into Power -- ReGen Power Systems
is pioneering the development of a 1-megawatt low temperature Stirling power system to convert excess process heat and steam energy at industrial plants into electricity. The system will be powered by a novel Stirling engine designed to operate at the moderate and lower temperatures found in process heating at paper mills, steel mills, chemicals and petroleum refining facilities, glass ovens, cement plants and similar locations. In addition to high efficiency, the ReGen systems will produce additional power with no new fuel combustion. Not only will Industries save money, but they can produce electricity with no new pollution emissions, enabling companies to contribute in a positive way to the environment. For more information, see a Stirling solution for on-site electrical power generation..

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- - Clothesline Rule Creates Flap In New England States
Published on March 13, 2008 by The Boston Globe
by Jenna Russell

CONCORD, N.H. - They say they only want to protect their ³right to dry.² And in three New England states, advocates for clotheslines - yes, clotheslines, strung across the yard, draped with socks and sheets - are pushing for new laws to liberate residents whose neighbors won¹t let them hang laundry outside.

Homeowners¹ associations, which enforce bans on clotheslines at thousands of residential developments across the country, say the rules are needed to prevent flapping laundry from dragging down property values. But in an age of paper over plastic, as people try to take small steps to protect the environment, more residents are chafing at the restrictions. And some lawmakers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut are taking it a step further, seeking legislation that would guarantee the freedom to let one¹s garments flutter in the breeze.

Truncated, for the complete article, see:

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- - SolarFest 2008 Vermont – July 11, 12, 13

SolarFest is a nonprofit organization that blends art, education, and grassroots activism to inspire the conservation of Earth's limited resources, to promote renewable energy, and to support the creation of sustainable communities. Since its inception in 1995, SolarFest has built a reputation for promoting artistic excellence and community-building, and has raised more than a few eyebrows when people realize that our entire weekend festival is run on renewable energy, primarily solar with wind and bio-diesel in the mix.

SolarFest's reputation as New England's Most Entertaining Energy and Music Festival is growing just as it should: reasonably and sustainably. We combine superb family entertainment with presentations by some of the region's most knowledgable renewable energy experts. We thicken the mix with workshops on sustainable living, a special children's activity tent, and an assortment of craft, food, energy and sustainable living vendors. There is much room for serendipitous encounters, learning, relaxation, and celebration of the sun.

To learn more, visit:

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