Saturday, January 31, 2015

This would never happen in the USA.

February 1, 2015
By Susan Edmonds

New Zealand's first Islamic KiwiSaver fund (click here) has been launched with a promise not to invest in alcohol, Western entertainment or pornography. The Amanah KiwiSaver Plan was registered last year and, ahead of yesterday's official launch, has about 200 members.
It will invest in line with Sharia law, ruling out many investment funds, and also requiring interest "purification payments".
"It's a very back-to-basics investment style," said barrister Brian Henry of Goldman Henry(click here), which operates the fund. "We invest in companies making something people want, real estate that is debt-free, and farming."
Henry said the fund's biggest difference was that it did not deal in interest-based products.
Investors do not have to have any connection to Islam to join the Government-approved fund, but need to know it has an ethical mandate not to invest in companies that produce pork, alcohol, tobacco or pornography. It also avoids derivatives because of the Sharia prohibition on gambling....

Think about that. These are the years of investing in moral stocks, yet, a fund based in Islamic values would be viewed as a threat. There is nothing threatening about it. I suppose very dollar is going to a terrorist, right? "W"rong. That is illegal. This is an investment portfolio providing an option for moral investors. That is all this is.

Women Rock

Lydia Ko has become the youngest golfer - male or female - to be ranked No1. Photo / Getty Images

February 1, 2015

Lydia Ko (click here) has ascended to the top of world golf faster than any player in the game's history.
The 17-year-old from Auckland tied for second in the season-opening LPGA event in Florida on Saturday, which was enough to climb to No.1 in the world rankings.
Korean Na Yeon Choi won the tournament.
Ko leapfrogs Korean Inbee Park, who finished tied for 13th at the $US1.5 million ($A1.93 million) tournament to become the youngest player, male or female, to hold the top status.
The previous youngest woman was Korean Jiyai Shin, who was 22 when she rose to the top in 2008, while American great Tiger Woods set the men's record aged 21 in 1997.
Ko, who turns 18 in April, won three LPGA titles in her rookie season last year and her gutsy triumph at the Golden Ocala course is her sixth in total....

Amazing. The petroleum industry is toxic and radioactive so why is this industry tolerated at all?

January 28, 2015
By Earnest Scheyder

(Reuters) - North Dakota's oil industry (click here) is pushing to change the state's radioactive waste disposal laws as part of a broad effort to conserve cash as oil prices tumble.

The waste, which becomes slightly radioactive as part of the hydraulic fracturing process that churns up isotopes locked underground, must be trucked out of state. That's because rules prohibit North Dakota landfills from accepting anything but miniscule amounts of radiation.

The most common form of radioactive waste is a filter sock, a mesh tube resembling a sandbag through which fracking water is pumped before it's injected back into the earth. Tank and pipeline sludge are also radioactive.... 

These oil fields were never profitable in the first place. Texas dried up and the new technology of horizontal drilling opened up every inch of land in the world as the new profits of this horrible industry. The so called, 'savior of carbon fuel extraction' has proven to defeat it's own purpose and now the people of North Dakota is suppose to set a new standard for radioactive pollution.

The petroleum industry stated it would provide at least one hundred years of carbon based energy. The truth is once every ounce of natural gas and condensates is extracted from the USA natural resources the best estimate is 53 years and then it's over anyway. That came out in the Senate hearing on LNG exports.

What also came out in the Senate hearing on LNG exports is the fact the USA will be providing cheaper LNG to countries that outsource American jobs. Amazing. The assault on USA wage labor won't end for at least another 53 years. But, then the labor can go to work at cleaning up the toxic and radioactive mess left behind while the American taxpayers continue to subsidize the petroleum industry in hopes they will find a way to make a comeback.

This form of energy is not the future. In no way is it the future. It is not the future for the USA or other countries. We all need to move on and leave dead dinosaurs in the ground rather than waking them to cause earthquakes and liquefaction so we can join them. 

And get this. The best course forward for building LNG facilities will take at the very least 5 and a half years to even begin the foundation of the facility. So, that means there will be less than 4 decades for this industry to export. Why do this? 

The fact is the industry will never recoup the cost of the facility and will ultimately bankrupt. This is the petroleum industry. Profits at any cost, subsidies to insure the profits and bailout on the people of the USA whenever possible.  This is NOT an industry the USA should value as an employer because the fact of the matter is, it's finally feeling the pain of it's own research and reckless attempts at profiteering. There are people without jobs TODAY in the USA because of the politics of oil.

VOTES. The oil industry promises to deliver votes as well as money to politicians. This is a corrupt industry and it needs to end. And that is the truth. 

Cheney's energy committee was corrupt and it was the last chance attempt at continuing a source of energy that was over in 2005. 

The Kurdish Pesmerga have been warriors all their lives.

The Kurds have never had a modern day country. As a result violent extremists grew and have become known as the PKK. Turkey knows they are vicious fighters. They have been guarding the boundaries of the invisible Kurdistan all their lives.

January 31, 2015
By The Associated Press
Members of the Islamic State (click here) group have acknowledged for the first time that they were defeated in the Syrian town of Kobani. 
In a video released by the pro-ISIS Aamaq News Agency late Friday, two fighters said airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition were the main reason why they were forced to withdraw from Kobani. 

On Monday, activists and Kurdish officials said the town was cleared of ISIS fighters, who once held nearly half of the town. Jubilant Kurdish fighters raised their flag on a hill that once flew the Islamic State group's black banner. On Kobani's war-ravaged streets, gunmen fired in the air in celebration, male and female fighters embraced, and troops danced in their baggy uniforms....

The Kurds have been ready to take their lands back for decades if not centuries. They were a regular topic in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. To read about them, their ethnic roots and culture was to know them. Their own struggle for land and the right to be only brought an endemic compassion for other ethnicities in their own struggle. The Kurds under the Northern No Fly Zone in Iraq became strong and the defenders of the land.

The Peshmega Kurds and the defense of land and people is simply a natural state for them. Both men and women understand their place in protecting life and land as a great ally.

This is not the enemy. This is the PKK. The wrist watch is interesting. Prayer time no doubt.

...In recent weeks, (click here) fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who’ve waged guerrilla war in Turkey for generations and been branded terrorists by much of the world community, have overcome differences with the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq that is heavily supported by the United States, several European countries and, indeed, by Turkey. Along with the PKK’s Syrian-Kurdish offshoot, the Democratic Union Party, they have joined forces to fend off an ISIS advance threatening Kurdish territory; they have come to the rescue of thousands of Yazidi refugees, besieged by ISIS fighters in the nearby Sinjar Mountains; and they are helping defend the many Americans in the Iraqi Kurdish capital....

The PKK can no longer be considered a terrorist group. They are among the best allies The West has in the Middle East whether anyone wants to realize it or not. I can't help but believe the NYTimes kept them alive to be the victors in a land where no other authority can last.

May 1, 2013
Recent comments from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (click here) leader Abdullah Öcalan puzzled groups that have long been allied with his party. In a letter that was read out to crowds gathered for the Kurdish New Year in Diyarbakır a few weeks ago, Öcalan emphasized the role of Islam as forming a strong bond between Kurds and Turks: “Turkish people who know ancient Anatolia as Turkey should know that their coexistence with Kurdish people dates back to a historical agreement of fraternity and solidarity under the flag of Islam.” His proclamations threw off some groups in the Turkish Left and the liberal Left, Armenians and Alevis that sympathized with the PKK and supported its progressive-secular agenda.

How did Islam rise as a way of organizing resistance around the world.  The USSR fell and no longer was a guiding belief to bring about loyalists. Not only did Islam provide a basis for common belief, it also carries with it a judicial system.
Originally founded as a Marxist organization in 1978, the PKK had to revise its ideology in the early 1990s. Like many other Marxist–Leninist organizations in the world, the PKK lost its main source of ideological legitimacy when the Soviet bloc disintegrated and capitalism appeared to have won an absolute victory. Furthermore, Öcalan, as well as others within the PKK leadership, gradually came to the conclusion that Islam was too important for a Kurdish party to ignore, given that many Kurds are devout Muslims....

How did IS take hold? The Ba'athists that were ostracized in Iraq became invisible in Syria, until the their strength and organization grew and they were ready. The Ba'athists were quite used to thinking as a nation and not just a group. They would also become ready with hostages for ransom.

September 11, 2014
By Reuters

Sometimes they came pretending to buy things. (click here) Sometimes they texted, sometimes they called, but the message was always the same: "Give us money."
Months before they took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul in June, Islamic State militants were already busy collecting money to finance their campaign of setting up a 7th century-style caliphate.

The owner of a Mosul grocery store recounted how, when he hesitated to pay, militants exploded a bomb outside his shop as a warning. "If a person still refused, they kidnapped him and asked his family to pay ransom," he said....

The Kurdish leadership need to find a way to recruit rebels to a purpose that will provide a greater stability to the region.

January 30, 2015

INJAR, Iraq (AP) — Kurdish forces (click here) in recent weeks have retaken parts of the strategic Iraqi town of Sinjar, whose Yazidi population was driven out in a humanitarian disaster last year that triggered U.S. intervention. But sniping among Kurdish factions makes the hold on the town seem shaky and is threatening the wider fight against Islamic state militants.

 Overlooking the strategic northern Iraq town of Sinjar, peshmerga fighters representing the recognized authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan fume against what they see as the recklessness of their supposed allies in militias drawn from neighboring Syria and Turkey....