Saturday, August 03, 2013

Celebrating 30 years of Progressive Ideas and Technology that works.

The NCSU Solar House (click here) serves as a resource for industry, citizens and students by demonstrating renewable energy possibilities, clean transportation technologies and energy efficient design principles.

Dedicated and opened to the public in 1981, the Solar House at North Carolina State University is one of the most visible and visited solar buildings in the United States. Over the last two decades, more than 250,000 people from around the world have toured the facility.

Robert Stone has a very desperate agenda. He wants a politically viable solution to CO2 emissions.

I feel bad for him. The film doesn't explore all the facts available. The graph I thought examined energy alternatives wasn't about energy at all it was about deaths within the energy industry. He points to the lowest death rate being in the nuclear energy arena and points to industrial deaths of solar panels.

Mr. Stone knows very well China produces most of the solar panels in the world within a communist country where there are no unions or OSHA or lacking human rights violations. It was last week Siemens has shut down it's solar production industry because China under sells their product. So, the point about solar causing industrial deaths amounts to 'consider the source,' because there are none affiliated with USA production.

Stone is attempting to reinvigorate the nuclear power plant as a Democratic answer to the Climate Crisis. His premise is that providing nuclear power will eliminate the need for hydraulic fracturing. He tries to dispel any myth that all nuclear plants are bad things. He states the "Breeder Reactor" is not the horrible machine everyone makes it out to be and would be the best bridge to sanity because of the corruption of the Political Right Wing and the petroleum industry. Basically, that is what this film is about. If the Democrats can sell nuclear power to the electorate we have half a chance at actually having a planet to live on.

He believes the Liberals of the USA have been stupid and allows negative ATTITUDES about nuclear power to cause a growth in other forms of more dangerous energy such as hydrofraking. Quite possibly. But, all I know is that when President Obama stated the EPA was going to regulate CO2 emissions, the following week an oil plant was demolished including four stakes.

Oil plant demolition in Port Everglades part of a nationwide trend to decommission inefficient, costly, and polluting facilities. (click here) 
July 16, 2013 
Anyone who happened to be scanning the skyline in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday witnessed a startling transformation. In the space of a minute, the four towering 350-foot-high, candy cane-striped smokestacks at Florida Power & Light's Port Everglades oil-burning power plant—a local landmark for the past half-century—abruptly imploded and crumbled into rubble.... 

Mr. Stone wants to roll back all the negativity about Breeder Reactors and there is plenty and make them the savior of us all. What Mr. Stone forgets is that is nothing short of passing on the problem to the next generation, it resolves nothing. There is so much money spent on energy plants in the USA, to make these enormous investments in the billions upon billions in nuclear energy knowing that new and better sources of completely benign energy won't be realized for another half century or more is waving the white flag of political defeatism.

If those monies are spent on nuclear plants the Great Lakes will never be harnessed.

...Fast-breeder technology (click here) is almost as old as nuclear power. But after almost two decades in the wilderness, it could be poised to take off. The U.S. corporation GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is promoting a reactor design called the PRISM (for Power Reactor Innovative Small Modular) that its chief consulting engineer and fast-breeder guru, Eric Loewen, says is a safe and secure way to power the world using yesterday’s nuclear waste.... 

GE. Jeffery Immelt. No wonder. 

Mr. Stone sat in a film festival venue about a mile maybe from a lake known as Lake Michigan that has some of the best wind maps for wind power in the nation making light of all the sins of the past of the nuclear energy with some SUIT from DC in the audience.

Do I have to state how completely ludicrous this is? The only reason Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes aren't harnessed for their wind capacity is the petroleum industry while Snyder plays footsie with the Koch Brothers and their natural gas profiteering that will fund their political agenda for the next three generations.

Mr. Stone has given up on the fact Americans are capable of actually making good decisions and only sell out to what is lucrative for Wall Street to harness the USA Treasury for funding. Basically, Americans are the fools Wall Street believes them to be. Honestly, sir? You have given up on any integrity left in the American citizen? That is a very sorry state to find oneself in a relationship with the American public. I would think that especially sad for a filmmaker. A documentary no less.

Alternative energies do not include Breeder Nuclear Reactors. Alternative Energies have finally gotten a foothold and now they should take a back seat to this idiocy once again. The Alternative Energy Industry has to be developed and when one takes the billions upon billions to build a Wall Street Breeder Reactor, the USA could have more than enough funding for real changes to the source of it's electrical grid from alternative sources.

To say I was not impressed by this ? agenda ? is an understatement. I think I am ready to give up on Robert Stone now. 

I hope the Canadian side of the Great Lakes will move forward without the permission of the USA to harness the wind energy available. Canada can sell their electricity to the USA and Michigan will finally have what it wants rather than waiting for a dysfunctional political agenda to continue to fail. Canada should not wait and simply get on with it.

I need to cover two other films, but, I'll do that tomorrow.

This is profound film. There is no other word for it. It goes places where films don't ever go.

Mark Cousins made a voyage to the Kurdistan, Iraq town of Goptapa (click here). The film hit me at so many levels I have to state as profound as this film is I don't completely consent to it, except I know, or I at least think I know why Mark did this.

To begin I had had enough of war documentaries and avoiding stupid films like The Hurt Locker. So, I made a promise to myself I was not going to view anymore documentaries about any war from anywhere. Then, I made this exception. I am glad I did. 

I have to start by recognizing the pure genius of Mark Cousins. His very rich life of experiences has come alive in this film. He achieved the most incredible reaches into the human spirit with this film. He has to know what he did here. It is so pure, innocent and wonderful at one level; it is safe to say that nothing like this has been achieved before.

At the end of the film after being enamored with the people and their experiences with Mark at Goptapa I realized the film was made in 2009. Those folks have changed a bit since then and some have grown a bit, but, there is also a continuing civil war in the region. So, becoming attached to the subject of Mark's film is not an option for me. Those folks are in danger, regardless, of this being Kurdistan, Iraq.

This film never intended or edited to provide an appreciation of militias, but, I found an appreciation in it. I thank that militia, for as nearly invisible as they are in the film, for the safety of Mark and his crew even through they had their own security guards. If the local militia didn't consent to strangers in their town during Ramadan I am not sure what would have occurred with this film venture.

The local militia are very trusted by the children. The children love them. But, they are there for very practical reasons and not reasons of war. Let me state that again, "The militia in Goptapa are there for very practical reasons and not reasons of war." Their invisible presence reminded me of the town in Israel where every house has a gun in the closet and it is not unusual for members of each household to band together to protect their interests, including their families. 

This is a species of Jackle found in Iraq. The Jackles could be heard at night in Goptapa. The children were in their beds while the Jackles were howling and prowling. Hence, purpose to the militias. The nitch this species  belongs to in Iraq is similar to the American Coyote. 

Before I criticize any of the content of Mark's work I want to first state the film is delightful. It has so much wonderful content and I am more than pleased these people are safe, somewhat happy and alive to tell their stories and experience "Mark's World." The people are so enriching. Their world so scoured with sorrow and yet they are so brave and wonderfully engaged in their reality. They don't deny it. Their past lives are with them, but, to some extent that is more human than Iraqi or Kurdish, but, also very Muslim.

Mark chose wisely in his location. This was more safe than not within Iraq. The Kurds are less worried about folks from The West than other regions of Iraq. He did exceptionally well in his own bravery in choosing Goptapa.

My only problem with the film, is not the reference to the 'chemical rain' and the days of people suffering from exposure to Saddam's chemical weapons, but, the contextualized history of those deaths are left to justify the invasion into that country by the USA. Mark does not seek to justify it, but, the relief one finds for those people provides that understanding.

What is not contextualized about Goptapa is the very real fact the chemical rain was our fault. The West provided those people with Saddam Hussein and it was The West that ultimately had to remove him. 

What also is not contextualized in the reality of Goptapa was the real reason Iraq was invaded by Bush and Cheney. It was not to relieve the suffering of the people, but, it was for the oil.

The exploitation of the future of this land is all too evident. The petroleum industry has plans to build an oil processing facility next to the river. A river I might add that feeds these people with irrigation water. Not just ordinary irrigation water, but, clean irrigation water. This land will eventually be submerged for a reservoir which will take the oil processing plant's future pollution to a new height.

So, while I delighted at the film, the process in creating this masterpiece and it's many emotional highs and lows, there were some real worries about the context of the film and the permission it gives for people that want to find a reason to carry out illegal and immoral wars.

The other aspect of history not covered by a Northern Ireland native was the reality that Iraq's current civil war can be traced back to the empire building of Great Britain. The Brits came into the Middle East and drew lines in the sand. Literally, "This is Iraq, this is Kuwait and may the two never meet on any reasonable and peaceful ground." When the Brits drew lines in the sand they corralled there distinct ethnicities into the borders of one country. It was that reality followed by the "Saddam Hussein Assignment of Power," that now has Iraq torn and waring against itself. 

Hussein was put in Iraq to indulge The West it's oil. 

I love the film. I have never experienced anything like it and anyone who denies it is unmatched in it's complete indulgence of beauty of the land and the people; are lying. The entire film is indulgent of spiritual beauty of the land and the people. I have never witnessed such profound innocence and joyfulness before.

I thank Mark Cousins for this experience. I thank the people of Goptapa for their wonderful peaceful lives as captured in this film and I thank the children for every bit of innocent beauty they all have compliments of their families and the city called Goptapa. Everyone without exception should see this film. It does have subtitles at times, but, Mark narrates much of this film, even teenagers would appreciate it. Perhaps, it is the innocence of teens that might appreciate it the most in a world of USA performance pressure and early abandonment of their innocence.

It was a military incident.

It is obvious. The initial explosion happened outside the aircraft. Nothing else dictates the evidence still available. There was tampering with the evidence by the FBI. The tampering of evidence is on closed circuit camera footage. That is an automatic breach in forensic evidence and nullifies the NTSB findings.

It was not terrorism. The fault lies in understanding where the ships were in the area from the nearby military facility and whether or not TWA 800 was in commercial airspace or wandered outside of it. The place where the missiles were fired from is known to have ship in that exact place. That fact was discovered during the 15 year investigation, is documented from valid sources and was discovered after the eyewitness evidence.

There is redundancy in the evidence, too. It was a cover up. The media wanted to bury the incident as a failure of the aircraft and support the airline industry. That is more than obvious.

Recently, the filmmakers were approached by CNN to put their documentary in the same discussion with "Sole Survivor" and out of context to the film. Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer were asked why they did NOT fact check the statements by the government at that time and Blitzer stated, "It is not our responsibility to fact check so much as report their POINT OF VIEW."

The media has been completely negligent to the facts surrounding this incident. The public bought the media reports and that investigation was closed to any real DISPLAY of PROOF of what the government was stating. 

The filmmaker has been investigating this airline crash for 15 year. There is significant information in that 15 year investigation. The filmmaker made no speculations about the military involvement. That was me. They did not propagate that POINT OF VIEW.


...The effort to reopen the probe (click here) is being made in tandem with the release next month of a documentary that features the testimony of former investigators who raise doubts about the NTSB's conclusion that the crash was caused by a center fuel tank explosion, probably caused by a spark from a short-circuit in the wiring.

In a petition seeking to reopen the probe, they say they have "reviewed the FAA radar evidence along with new evidence not available to the NTSB during the official investigation and contend that the NTSB's probable cause determination is erroneous and should be reconsidered and modified accordingly."...

The current MIND SET by the media and this is from "abc News" is that the reopening of the investigation has something to do with the release of the film. YA THINK. There is NO collusion by the government with the filmmakers. That was obvious as well in the post screening Q&A.

The NTSB has to accept the 15 years of investigative information when they re-evaluate the case. The 15 years includes actual scientifically based tests on the materials of this aircraft type. This INDEPENDENT study has documented proof of their conclusion. 

The federal government doesn't have to agree with the conclusion, but, 15 years is a long time and to think the same tests were never performed by the FBI or CIA or the NTSB is worrisome. There is documented and scientifically based evidence that supports this INDEPENDENT study of the crash. It would be wrong to exclude it and allow everyone to continue to speculate about further findings in regard to this case.

This case cannot be dismissed as public hysteria. That is not the case here.

Ya know, when I attend film festivals and I've been to others besides TCFF; the people one meets is nearly as interesting as the film itself. 

In the case of "God Love Uganda," it was not all anti-Bush/Cheney folks rooting for the completely incompetent practice of extremist NGOs. There were Christians in the audience that had volunteered for these missions. There were also parents of teenagers and young people that worked for these NGOs, "Doing God's will and work." They wanted to know more than I did about the film. They wanted to know the lies and understand what actually 'went on.' See, the young people were building resumes, so the reports home were nothing but flowery and positive. 

In the case of the TWA 800 film, the most interesting person was not in the theater, she was outside. After I came out of the theater I was standing at the driveway waiting for a ride, when she stepped next to me. I started talking about MY POINT OF VIEW of the film and she stated "I didn't see it." I was surprised and then she explained why she was standing there, but, she didn't leave. As a matter of fact another man came to stand on the other side of me that had seen the film. He and I started to talk about what we had witnessed inside and we noticed an emotional reaction from the woman next to me. I asked her if she was alright and she stated, "I lost both my parents in an airline crash." She was older with gray hair. I apologized to her and she stated she avoided this film for that reason. She stated she was interested in what we were discussing, so the gentleman and I continued.

When the discussion waned and we were going our own way to our next films, she stated she never was confused about the death of her parents. When I asked her to explain she stated, "My parents' flight crashed off Nova Scotia. Canada did a magnificent job of obtaining evidence from everywhere and answering every question we had. We were not neglected and our peace of mind was vitally important to them. The loss of my parents still effects me, but, I know how and why they died. I have never doubted the cause."

Most of the people at film festivals are not politically motivated. They are interested in the topic. They aren't looking for an edge to gossip, they are average Americans that want to know what they didn't know before. They are truth seekers. It is easy to find people 'of the same mind' at a film festival and if that means it has political content then it is, but, they or I are not there for political reasons. We are there for the truth and we celebrate each other with the truth as we understand it. The conversation is as important as the film.

If you don't understand that, too bad.

It is important the NTSB completely re-investigates this case and provides peace of mind to the families and friends of the dead. The NTSB didn't do that last time, but, they need to do it now. The jet is still in the hanger, tampered evidence and all. I am sure the FBI agents can still be found that tampered with the evidence and gave false information to the investigators and obstructed the NTSB from taking photos and basically doing their work. It all needs to brought forward to set the record straight. The federal government can offer the wayward agents immunity to get to the truth if necessary.

There needs to be information from the military regarding all the activity in the area. It MUST be included, in detail, in the final report on this case.They also need to include the closed circuit television tapes of the evidence tampering, too. I am sure the filmmaker will have some helpful information to make it easier to get all that straighten out since it all seems like yesterday to them.