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Sunday Train: The Era of Reverse Pumped Hydro

Crossposted from The Sunday Train

In a sense, Sunday Train has been mentioning reverse pumped hydro before the Sunday Train actually existed. In 2007 at Daily Kos, in "Driving Ohio on Lake Erie" (reprinted in 2012 at Burning the Midnight Oil), reverse pumped hydro was mentioned as one technology for smoothing the variability of Lake Erie offshore wind. In 2008 on Docudharma, talking about what we could do if we pursued serious goals, as opposed to "predicting" what "they" are "likely to do", I mentioned it again. I mention it again in The Myth of Baseload Power. And it features in the description of where Biocoal would fit into among dispatchable renewable energy in Unleashing the Political Power of Biocoal.

But one thing that Sunday Train has not done is to give a closer look at the current state of play of reverse pumped hydro in the United State, what are the regulatory obstacles that stand in the way of greater development of reverse pumped hydro, and what can be done to sidestep or overcome those regulatory obstacles. Evidently, I must have been saving all of that for today, for placement below the fold. Read below the fold...

"Hillary Clinton blames rise of ISIS on Obama 'failure' to intervene in Syria civil war"

Yikes.

During a long and in-depth interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, former secretary of state and likely future presidential candidate Hillary Clinton distanced herself from President Obama’s foreign policy, implying the Islamist extremist group ISIS would not be so powerful had the president listened to her advice and thrown American power more forcefully behind “moderate” Syrian rebel forces.

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad — there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle — the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

So, today Obama snags an interview with Tommy Friedman, and Clinton does Jeffrey Goldberg. Both the loathesomest of loathesome hawks. It's like a tag team! Read below the fold...

In the garden: Beneficial weed

Goldenrod is a beneficial weed (er, self-seeded annual) because pollinators really like it (and the bees make excellent honey from its nectar).

And pollinators like Queen Anne's lace too, including butterflies[1], who we should support. Read below the fold...

Speaking of the Credibility Trap: Thomas Friedman interviews Obama on Iraq, Putin and Israel

That's right, the Moustache of Understanding interviews The Lightbringer. You know, this guy:

I highly recommend that you listen to that video (from 5/29/2003). Nothing has changed; "suck on this" expresses the nature of the "Credibility Trap" perfectly. It's like Friedman doesn't just represent the Id of the American ruling class; he represents the Ego, and the Superego (such as it is) too. No recognition from Tommy whatever that American policies might be part of the problem[1], not even in the most simplistic form, like blowback.

So fast forward to the present day. Here's the interview. I'm just going to post the link and I'd be interested to know what you, readers, think. There are two reasons I'm bugging out of offering instant analsysis: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

Cops whack black kid: Film at 11 in #Ferguson, MO ("nine shots")

KMOV TV:

FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Tensions are high in Ferguson, Missouri and a large police presence is on hand after a teenager was shot to death by a police officer.

The incident happened in a roadway Saturday afternoon near the Canfield Green Apartments in the 2900 block of Canfield.

Witnesses tell News 4 that Mike Brown, 18, was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by a Ferguson police officer. Police have not confirmed those claims and have not released any details of the incident other than an officer was involved and that he has been placed on administrative leave.

Dorian Johnson tells News 4 he was walking with Brown when the officer confronted them and drew his weapon.

“He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said Dorian Johnson, a friend Brown’s. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood told News 4 that Brown was shot once by the officer and then an additional nine times as he lie in the street. Police have not confirmed [heh] that account.

“He was a good kid. He didn’t live around here,” said Desuirea Harris, grandmother of the victim. “He came to visit me and they did that to him for no reason.”

Ferguson Police called for assistance from St. Louis County and nearby municipalities as large, emotional [no doubt!] crowds gathered at the scene. In all more than 100 officers from 15 departments responded to the area. Tactical teams in riot gear were also called in. At one point, a dumpster was set on fire in protest of the shooting. A section of West Florissant Avenue near the scene was closed for a time on Saturday evening.

Through the afternoon and evening some among the crowds were yelling profanities at police demanding justice. At one point gun shots rang out in the area as investigators gathered evidence. That prompted numerous police canine units to move in and move the crowds back. At least one trash dumpster was set on fire.

The St. Louis County NAACP says they have launched their own an investigation and plan to “get to the bottom of what has occurred and will work to ensure that justice is served for all victims involved.”

Here's a selection of tweets from #Ferguson. (It's incongruous to scroll back and see other small town news.) Read below the fold...

The religious impulse

As part of my personal Southeast Asian studies program, I follow a K-Pop boy band. Check this out:

America's dumbest Secretary of State, John Kerry, stays at blacklisted hotel in Myanmar

Myanmar Times:

US Secretary of State John Kerry touted the significance of what remains of his country's sanctions regime against Myanmar on Sunday, describing it as a sign that Washington is keen to avoid rushing its engagement with Nay Pyi Taw.

But the strength of his message, which talked up the importance of targeted sanctions, was tempered by the fact he spoke at a hotel owned by a blacklisted business tycoon where Mr Kerry and other members of his delegation had been staying since arriving in the capital yesterday.

"Sanctions now are very much focused on members of the junta and on key individuals who may still be representing a challenge to achieving some of these [Myanmar's] goals," Mr Kerry told members of the media gathered at Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw.

One of these sanctioned individuals is tycoon U Zaw Zaw, whose company Max Myanmar built the luxury Lake Garden last year. U Bo Chan Tun, project manager at Max Myanmar's hotel arm, confirmed to The Myanmar Times that Max Myanmar built and owns the recently opened Lake Garden property, which is managed by French hotel group Accor under its MGallery brand.

Both U Zaw Zaw and his Max Myanmar Group of Companies are on the Special Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. U Zaw Zaw and his companies were added to the SDN list in 2009, according to the Treasury Department's website.

"Tempered." That's good. Read below the fold...

Daily Kos War Coverage Rating: 4%

Of 12 front page stories, a major mention in one. No headlines. We'll give a headline 1 point; a major mention half a point. 0.5 / 12 = 4.16%. Here's a visual representation. (It's a thumbnail of the whole page, so please readers, let me know if it's too slow to load.) Read below the fold...

"West warns Russia against 'illegal' invasion of Ukraine"

That's rich.

US President Barack Obama, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Germany's Angela Merkel made it clear they would not brook any attempt by Russia to use humanitarian excuses to sneak troops and military equipment into the conflict-torn east of Ukraine.

"The Prime Minister and President are absolutely clear that such a so-called humanitarian mission would be unjustified and illegal," Downing Street said in a statement following a phone call between Obama and Cameron.

The mind reels. Read below the fold...

"The Credibility Trap"

This is an important post from Jesse's Cafe Americaine. Slightly re-arranged and edited:

What Is a 'Credibility Trap'
"A credibility trap is a condition wherein the financial, political and informational functions of a society have been [so] compromised by corruption and fraud, so that the leadership cannot effectively reform, or even honestly address, the problems of that system without impairing and implicating, at least incidentally, a broad swath of the power structure, including themselves.

The status quo tolerates the corruption and the fraud because they have profited at least indirectly from it, and would like to continue to do so. Even the impulse to reform within the power structure is susceptible to various forms of soft blackmail and coercion by the system that maintains and rewards.

And so a failed policy and its support system become self-sustaining, long after it is seen by objective observers to have failed. In its failure it is counterproductive, and an impediment to recovery in the real economy. Admitting failure is not an option for the thought leaders who receive their power from that system.

The continuity of the structural hierarchy must therefore be maintained at all costs, even to the point of becoming a painfully obvious, organized hypocrisy.

It always ends, often from external forces, and too often badly. But while the money is still flowing the band plays on.

Somehow, that seems awfully familiar. I would say "ruling class" rather than "power structure," and I'd think carefully about "the leadership," but I think Jesse's nailed and named a real phenomenon. Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

This actually looks like a keen travel tip and a fine example of lateral thinking.

Why didn't we just give the weapons to ISIS directly, and cut out the middleman?

Do I have to do all the Pentagon's thinking for it?

It appears that the US is destroying artillery the US paid for, after it was abandoned to its enemies by troops the US paid to train. Under Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi army had significant heavy weaponry, but much of it was destroyed or decommissioned in the 2003 US invasion. Efforts to provide American-made mobile artillery was seen as a key step toward making the new Iraqi military an independent force. In the past few weeks, millions of dollars of US weapons have fallen into ISIS's hands.

See, that's what I mean. Read below the fold...

Steve Israel to help defend Netanyahu against war crimes charges?

Wowsers:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked US lawmakers to help Israeli officials defend a projected Palestinian legal campaign over alleged war crimes committed against the Gaza population.

It is believed that attempts will be made to bring Israel's military and political leaders in front of international courts such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Read below the fold...

The Fertilization thru Harvest of Israeli Racism

Thread: 

EXCERPTS:

“Palestinians returning home find Israeli troops left faeces and venomous graffiti” by Harriet Sherwood:

When Ahmed Owedat returned to his home 18 days after Israeli soldiers took it over in the middle of the night, he was greeted with an overpowering stench.

Read below the fold...

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