Virginia Democrats Condemn Trump’s Military Transgender Ban; Republicans Predictably, Pathetically Silent
Fuel supply convoys are a frequent target for insurgent attacks, with attacks on fuel convoys being responsible for over 3,000 American soldier or contractor deaths between 2003 and 2007 in Iraq and Afghanistan. Considering over 10,000 U.S. soldiers and contractors have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, fuel convoy deaths make up a sizable percentage of total casualties.
The military has responded with a furious effort to cut its need for fuel convoys increase fuel efficiency and deploy clean energy. To cut its dependence on fossil fuel-powered generators and slash fuel costs, the military is developing everything from large solar tents to provide both power & shade to small, foldable solar panels that troops in the field can use to recharge their laptops and other electronic devices.
I joined CCTV's The Heat this weekend to talk about the impacts of global warming and what to do about it. Alongside me was longtime science denier Steve Milloy, who's moved from taking money from Phillip Morris and denying the link between cigarettes and cancer to taking money from Exxon and denying the link between man-made carbon pollution and global warming. Milloy dismissed the military's clean energy efforts and called for the fuel convoy status quo to continue.
By this standard, the Washington Post's coverage of Romney's trite militaristic speech the other day fell miserably short.
First of all, can someone please tell me exactly what a "muscular" foreign policy is? Does it mean we invade other countries at will, even say, when it costs us a trillion dollars with no benefit?
Was Hitler "muscular"? Is it a good thing to be? I guess it must be, since its apparent opposite, a "flaccid" policy, doesn't sound too great.
"Muscular", in this context, is an utterly meaningless adjective used simply to make warmongers like Romney sound cooler and sexier. It is in short, a marketing term -- not a journalistic one.
Beyond such phony packaging, the Post story failed to challenge Romney's muscular manhandling of the facts on at least 4 key points.
The Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit 2 in Virginia has been testing five prototype lightweight field power kits that include solar cells as a key component. The kits replace fifty pounds of equipment with a compact system that weighs only about nine pounds.The idea is just one of several developed thanks to suggestions given to the Office of Naval Research's TechSolutions program:
The heart of the kit is a one-pound device called a Soldier Power Manager. The Power Manager functions like a smart micro-mini-grid. In contrast to a portable generator that runs only on diesel fuel, the Power Manager can receive energy from various sources including solar panels and fuel cells. It recharges other devices by cable attachments, eliminating the need for individual battery chargers.
Though the concept is basically the same as an old fashioned employee suggestion box, a single request can have a profound effect on operations. In one recent example, TechSolutions has been testing high efficiency LED bunk lights in response to a sailor's complaint about noisy, outdated fluorescent fixtures. Aside from improving readiness and health the new lighting system has already yielded significant savings in energy, maintenance, storage and disposal logistics, and it may soon go fleetwide.For the military, clean energy isn't about politics - it's about saving lives with fewer fuel convoys & more mobile soldiers. And as nice added benefits, clean energy also saves money and cuts the oil dependence & carbon pollution that threaten our national security.
A company of U.S. Marines recently conducted a remarkable three-week patrol through southern Afghanistan, replacing hundreds of pounds of spare batteries in their packs with roll-up solar panels the size of placemats to power their battle gear.In addition to making the Marines safer, the solar panels cut the need for having to buy oil from countries that don't like us and cut down on global warming pollution. What's not to like?
By allowing the troops to recharge their radios, GPS devices and other equipment, the green technology freed the Marines of India Company from constant resupply by road and air. And by carrying fewer batteries, they carried more bullets.
The full transcript is here. A few key points:
*"the United States should not-and cannot-intervene every time there's a crisis somewhere in the world."
*"Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused. Along with our allies and partners, we're enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council. We're protecting the Libyan people from Qaddafi's forces. And we've put in place a no fly zone and other measures to prevent further atrocities."
*"This military effort is part of our larger strategy to support the Libyan people and hold the Qaddafi regime accountable."
*"...people in Libya and around the world are seeing that the United States of America stands with those who hope for a future where they can determine their own destiny."
The Senate is planning to vote Tuesday on whether to end debate on a $725.7 billion annual defense policy bill, a measure that includes a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bans gays from serving openly in the armed forces.Look, this policy was a bad idea even when it was first put in place, in 1994. At least back then, there was a semi-plausible excuse, that the public wasn't ready to go any further. Well, that's not true today, not in the least bit. To the contrary, a recent CBS/New York Times poll found that 75% of Americans favor "permitting gay men and lesbians to serve in the military," with just 19% opposed to doing so. That's a huge, overwhelming majority of Americans for doing the morally correct, military smart, and progressive thing on this one. If you're one of those 75%, call Sen. Webb's office (202-224-4024 or 1-866-507-1570), tell him you want an end to this policy, and tell him you want it now! Thanks.
The vote is expected to be close but is almost certain to pass if Democrats can break a Republican-led filibuster...
...Attention is focused on a handful of moderate senators, including Susan Collins (R-Maine), George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) and James Webb (D-Va.).