November 7, 2022

Posted by orrinj at 6:32 PM


Smart energy dream team builds all-electric, solar powered communities (Joshua S Hill, 11/08/22, Off the Grid)

Each home built in these two locations will be equipped with smart technologies as well as a backup battery and community microgrid connectivity.

Designed to work together, the technologies will deliver a self-supporting energy system that powers a community battery which has the capability to operate independently during a grid outage.

More than 200 of these homes will be built as part of what KB Home and its partners hope will serve as a blueprint for future sustainable and resilient home development. [...]

Each of the 219 homes is being built to meet the Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home criteria. Amongst the criteria, the homes must be compliant with Energy Star, WaterSense, and Indoor airPLUS, all of which could help homeowners reduce average energy use by up to 40%.

Additionally, each home is equipped with a SunPower Equinox solar system, a 13kWh SunVault Storage battery, high efficiency appliances, flexible loads such as electric heat pump water heaters and HVAC systems, and other smart technologies.

All the homes will also be pre-wired to be smart EV charger ready, while some of the homes will also demonstrate bidirectional charging.

Posted by orrinj at 5:49 PM


Why Bolsonaro Is Going Quietly: And what comes next for Brazil. (Francisco Toro, 11/07/22, Persuasion)

Bolsonaro's allies got elected, he didn't. [...]

None of Bolsonaro's key allies had an interest in blowing up elections that he had lost but they had won, and their early concessions pulled the rug from under their leader's feet. ​​As Brian Winter, the prominent Brazil-watcher and editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, put it, "Brazilian conservatives performed so well in this election that they [wound up] pleading with Bolsonaro not to destroy the movement by encouraging mass civil unrest--by burning the house down on his way out." In a strange way, Bolsonarismo's stronger-than-expected showing made contesting the election harder, not easier.

Institutions were ready, both at home and abroad.

By being fully transparent about the danger he presented to democracy, Bolsonaro created every incentive for Brazil's state institutions to be fully on their guard against him. Prominent members of Congress, the Supreme Court and the military moved immediately to congratulate the president-elect, closing down many of the institutional avenues he might have used to contest the results. Lula fielded congratulatory calls from everyone from Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron to Nicolás Maduro and Vladimir Putin, with only a MAGA rump led by a jail-bound Steve Bannon urging him to contest the election. By moving quickly, this broad coalition made the hopelessness of Bolsonaro's position clear to him.

All of this must have brought the real stakes into focus. Bolsonaro's immediate future was never really a toss-up between prison, death or victory; it was just prison, because:

Brazil has no taboo against throwing former presidents in jail.

Perhaps the most unexpected factor here is also the most ironic. Lula, a former president himself, spent much of 2018 and 2019 in prison following a conviction (later overturned) for corruption. Bolsonaro could not, therefore, console himself that the authorities would show restraint about putting a former leader in jail: they'd already done so. In fact, he'd appointed the man who had prosecuted Lula to be his justice minister. There's a glorious cosmic irony in Bolsonaro being deterred by a precedent some of his most prominent supporters had engineered.

Posted by orrinj at 4:19 PM


Detroit judge dismisses Karamo lawsuit, calls it 'false flag of election law violations and corruption' (Jack Nissen, November 7, 2022, FOX 2) 

A Detroit judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to prevent the city's absentee ballots from being counted in the 2022 midterm election, calling the lawsuit by Kristina Karamo a "false flag of election law violations and corruption."

In a blistering opinion authored by Judge Timothy Kenny, the chief official said an attorney for Karamo, who is running for secretary of state in Michigan, failed to show "any shred of evidence."

"No exhibits, no testimony from any of the plaintiffs, no evidence...indicates the procedures for the November 9, 2022 election violate Michigan election laws," read an opinion on the lawsuit, which was filed two weeks ago. 

The lawsuit filed by the Republican candidate had attempted to overturn election practices in the city of Detroit by claiming the city was corrupt and incapable of counting mail-in ballots. But arguments to "shed light in a dark place" "failed dramatically," the opinion read. 

Facts are fatal to the Right.

Posted by orrinj at 11:20 AM


On Eve Of Voting, 'Putin's Chef' Prigozhin Admits To U.S. Election Interference (Radio Free Europe, 11/07/22)

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin -- both of whom have been sanctioned by Washington and European countries -- has admitted Moscow interferes with U.S. elections and vowed to continue to do so.

In a post on his Telegram social media channel on November 7, Prigozhin, widely known as "Putin's Chef" for his company's catering contracts with the Kremlin, responded bluntly to a question from a follower asking about Russian efforts to influence elections in the United States by saying, "We interfered, we interfere and we will interfere."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Everyone thought this Republican would be easier to beat. He may win anyway. (Emma Platoff, November 6, 2022, Boston Globe)

Hassan was always expected to be one of Democrats' most vulnerable incumbents this cycle. But many in her party breathed a sigh of relief when Republicans nominated Bolduc, a rough-around-the-edges candidate whose campaign has been marked by outlandish claims and missteps. For a time, in September and October, polls showed Hassan with a consistent, if modest, lead.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said earlier this year that Bolduc was "not a serious candidate"; establishment Republicans were so worried that Bolduc would be easy to beat that they spent millions boosting his more traditional GOP primary opponent, Chuck Morse. Democrats were so sure Bolduc would be a softer target that they spent millions against Morse in hopes of drawing the more favorable opponent. [...]

Some New Hampshire political strategists believe that if Republicans had nominated more moderate candidates, the GOP slate would be polling even better. Arnie Arnesen, a radio host and former Democratic state representative in New Hampshire, said Bolduc and Leavitt are succeeding because "people don't know them."

With Governor Sununu at the top of the ballot, instead of Donald, the downticket GOP was always going to have a good year.  Funding the worst Republican nominees was an act of irresponsibility by national Democrats. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


How Political Violence Went Mainstream on the Right (RACHEL KLEINFELD, 11/07/2022, Politico)

[T]he problem we face is not solely the number of incidents. It's that violence has been mainstreamed on the right. It's effectively become another partisan tool for too many in the GOP. Changing the climate that fuels political violence won't be easy, but there are ways to do so, particularly by easing polarization so that mainstream Republicans step away from supporting a violent faction.

America has always had a high level of political violence compared to similar high-income, consolidated democracies. In the 1960s and 1970s, when such violence last peaked, it was committed by fringe groups, mostly on the left. In the 1980s and 1990s, extremist fringes on the right started growing. While violence was identifiably ideological, from left-leaning causes like the environment to anti-abortion activists on the right, it was not partisan. Supporting political violence could only hurt mainstream politicians, and it had nothing to do with the election calendar.

Today, violence on the left still looks like this. Progressives who support violence are disconnected from the Democratic Party and are generally disavowed by political leaders (though Democrats could do more to speak against the high levels of property violence that ravaged small businesses during the summer of 2020).

But on the right, support for violence is no longer a fringe position. Hate crimes remain the purview of the normal criminal demographic: unemployed and unmarried young men without kids. However, those joining violent political events like the Jan. 6 insurrection are more likely to be married middle-aged men with jobs and kids. Those most likely to support violence on the right feel most connected to the Republican Party according to a November 2021 Bright Line Watch survey. This is not a marginal movement: It is people who see violence as a means to defend their values, an extension of their political activity.

Donald Trump isn't entirely to blame for this shift, but he's clearly super-charged it. Since 2016, violence on the right has followed the election calendar -- rising and falling with predictability during periods when MAGA politicians fill campaign space with hate-filled, violent rhetoric to cement their base.

Many people who support violence would never actually commit it themselves. But when language that simultaneously depicts people as a threat and less than human becomes common, more aggressive and unbalanced individuals will act. Approximately 3 to 5 million Americans are willing to consider committing political violence, according to a poll conducted in the spring of 2022. Numbers like these mean that America is now at the point of what experts call stochastic terrorism -- a situation in which one can't predict who will commit violence, or exactly where or when, but it's highly predictable that someone, somewhere, will take the bait and act against the target.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Israel settlers escalate attacks against Palestinians in West Bank (MEMO, November 7, 2022)

On Sunday, at least 50 settlers placed illegal caravans in Khirbet Yanun, near Aqraba town, south of Nablus, as a prelude to seizing the land from its owners, a local official said.

The official in charge of the settlement file in the northern West Bank, Ghassan Daghlas explained that Khirbet Yanoun is already surrounded by five illegal settlements and outposts, erected on land seized from its Palestinian owners and that these outposts and settlements are expanding at the expense of Palestinians land.

In the Ein Fara area, southwest of Hebron in the southern West Bank, settlers have destroyed an irrigation network and destroyed agricultural crops.

Local resident, Nasr Hajja, said a group of settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Adora have destroyed agricultural fields in the Ain Fara area, irrigation networks and destroyed agricultural crops, explaining that Ain Fara is a natural spring used by Palestinians to irrigate their crops.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


After ISIS attacked Iran, journalists pushed false flag theory (Matthew Petti, 11/07/22, Responsible Statecraft)

Hamid Badakhshan walked into the Shahcheragh Shrine in Shiraz and murdered 15 worshippers with a gun last week. He was shot, and died in Iranian police custody. ISIS claimed the attack as part of its broader sectarian war on Shi'a Islam.

The reaction to the attack was eerily reminiscent of the early Syrian civil war, or Iran's 1979 revolution. People mistrusted the official line about unfolding violence, with good reason. But as more facts emerged, conspiracy theories served to obscure more than illuminate. Foreign journalists, instead of acting as a check on speculation, indulged in it themselves.

Given the circumstances, many Iranians doubted the ISIS claim in the Shahcheragh attack. Officials and regime supporters had immediately taken advantage of the tragedy to blame Iran's insecurity on the ongoing popular uprising. And there are precedents for the Iranian government egregiously lying in public, including its misinformation and obfuscation around the shootdown of Flight PS752 two years ago.

The evidence for a false flag at Shahcheragh, however, was circumstantial and weak. Opposition outlet IranWire scrutinized a government propaganda graphic about the massacre. The image file's metadata appeared to show that it was made before the attack, which could be evidence of foreknowledge, or a computer time zone error. IranWire also noted contradictions between two different alleged ISIS propaganda claims floating around.

ISIS eventually released a tape and photos of "Abu Aisha al-Umari" taking an oath of allegiance to the group, in front of the ISIS flag. He was the same Hamid Badakhshan photographed at the scene of the attack. Barring an unimaginably sophisticated conspiracy, the imagery proves that ISIS was the culprit.