Pump It Up: Pandemic Demand Pushing Gas Prices Higher

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A slow but steady pull from consumer demand and the inability of refineries to keep up are pushing gasoline prices above pre-pandemic levels, analysts said Tuesday.

Automotive club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.47, which is a few cents higher than the price at the pump this time last year. Because of higher state taxes, California has the highest price in the continental United States at $3.47 per gallon, while drivers in Mississippi are enjoying the lowest price at $2.15 per gallon.

States in the U.S. South that border the Gulf of Mexico tend to have lower gasoline prices because of their proximity to the dense refinery network in the area. However, much of the gasoline imported into the country comes into the northern East Coast.

Matthew Kohlman, an associate editorial director for Platts, said from Houston that tight market conditions in the Northeast is part of the reason why the price at the pump is so high.

“Whatever the reason, gasoline demand has increased a bit faster than production, as refineries have shut or still slowly returning from greatly reduced rates,” he told Zenger News.

Rough winter weather in the Midwest and Northeast may have crimped road demand, a situation that may still play out this week given the arctic blast hitting the area.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, part of the Energy Department, reported last week that total petroleum products supplied, a proxy for demand, was down 4.3 percent from the same period last year. But that’s an improvement from early-year levels. The agency on Wednesday publishes data on gasoline supply and demand, reported largely as inventories.

An increase in gasoline supply levels for last week would, despite the overall improvement in demand, indicate that winter weather is causing many would-be travelers to stay home.

“I think that the arctic blast and snowstorms that much of the country has had should depress already seasonally low demand,” Patricia Hemsworth, a senior vice president at Paragon Markets, said from New York.

Consumer demand is pushing gasoline prices above pre-pandemic levels. (Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons)

The post-holiday winter is typically a slow travel season.

Patrick DeHaan, the senior analyst at GasBuddy, said the restraint from a handful of oil producers working alongside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is keeping the price of oil elevated, and thereby at the gas pump. But some of it may be about the mood, he said from Chicago.

“What’s driving the market?” he asked. “A healthy dose of optimism that vaccines are working and/or cases are starting to drop.”

Looking ahead, DeHaan notes that refiners by March or April start to make a different blend of gasoline that has more stability in the warmer summer months. That gasoline is more expensive to make and that cost trickles down to consumers.

“I know amidst a pandemic it’s not a popular opinion to even say $3 per gallon is possible, but you can’t ever say anything is impossible,” he added.

(Edited by Bryan Wilkes and Kristen Butler)



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Shovel Ready Meets Climate Ready — Anticipated Infrastructure Bill Expected To Have Climate Change Focus

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As Congress considers how to help advance President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s agenda for the next four years, climate change figures to play a major part, as he pledged moving the U.S. to a “Net Zero” greenhouse gas emission economy during his campaign.

However, instead of pushing a major climate or energy bill, the first steps in pursuing a climate-focused agenda may come in legislation dealing with infrastructure, agriculture and other concerns.

Unlike legislation with a central focus on climate issues, a broader infrastructure legislation can attract wider support and potentially bridge political divides, said Washington-based business and labor advocates.

Public pronouncements foreshadowing such a move gained greater attention in the days just before and after Biden was inaugurated Jan. 20.

In its annual State of American Business speech last month, U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donahue said that a comprehensive infrastructure legislative package can help promote clean energy and boost economic growth while also potentially providing some much-needed political common ground.

A climate-focused agenda may come in legislation dealing with U.S. infrastructure and construction. (Cullen Jones/Unsplash)

Two days later, the chamber joined with more than 140 organizations to launch the “Build by the 4th of July” campaign, urging Congress to take up major infrastructure legislation before Independence Day. Renewable energy groups and environmentalists are echoing the U.S. business community in pressing for an updated infrastructure plan to help boost economic recovery while also addressing climate change concerns.

“Infrastructure aligns with everything; it checks all of the boxes,” said Thomas Smith, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, during a U.S. chamber event last month. “We think it’s key to our economic recovery and also to uniting a divided nation, giving people something we can work for as a nation.”

The chamber’s campaign has brought aboard several groups that represent a broad swath of the political spectrum, including the National Wildlife Federation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the North America’s Building Trades Unions and the National Association of Home Builders. And addressing climate change is a key point that the chamber makes in its materials that promote the legislation.

Next, a top congressional Democrat said on Jan. 25 that early efforts to address climate change will likely come through infrastructure legislation that includes funding to build roads, bridges, airports, water pipelines, healthcare facilities and broadband fiber optic cables. However, this legislation will also likely include significant funding for energy transmission lines and other energy and environmental provisions that could promote climate change measures that environmental advocates have been seeking.

Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said that after the House of Representatives approves legislation to focus on COVID-19 recovery, it would likely turn its attention to major infrastructure legislation.

Renewable energy advocates have said that infrastructure upgrades, particularly with the nation’s electricity grid, are key to promote widespread deployment of wind and solar power.

In an interview with Zenger News, Amy Farrell, American Clean Power Association senior vice president of government and public affairs said that a build-out of higher-capacity electrical transmission lines was a critical step to meet the group’s ambitious goal of making renewable energy 50 percent of the nation’s power supply by 2030. Renewable energy currently supplies around 17 percent of the nation’s electricity.

In fact, a report from the association and Wood Mackenzie concludes that much of the progress toward this goal can be done through presidential action, with little need for legislation, though Ferrell said legislation was crucial for the necessary infrastructure upgrades to make hitting the goal possible.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to address climate change in the infrastructure space,” Ferrell said.

When included in other legislation, Republicans have tended to keep provisions that focused on climate action, one congressional staffer said during an Atlantic Council forum last November. For example, Republican leaders in the Senate kept climate change provisions in a highway funding bill that was under consideration by the then-Republican-controlled Senate in 2020.

“That gives me optimism that in a new Congress we can craft an infrastructure package that will have significant climate benefits,” said Ana Unruh Cohen, staff director for the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. “I foresee investing in the electric grid, investing in electric vehicles, additional renewable tax incentives, and continuing some of these policies that has helped keep the U.S. federal government supporting clean energy and climate.”

Congress is expected to take up infrastructure and construction legislation after the COVID relief bill. (Christopher Burns/Unsplash)

One union representative said that prior efforts to address climate change, like the controversial Green New Deal, “demonized” certain projects, such as pipeline construction.

“Climate change is real, but let’s not be unrealistic when addressing it,” said Yvette Pena-O’Sullivan, executive director of Laborers’ International Union of North America. “Congress will need to stay away from issues that only divide, like the Green New Deal. Let’s build a clean economy and create good jobs along with it.”

Another area where climate change may be addressed is through agricultural policy. The Environmental Protection Agency said that the agriculture industry produces 10 perent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. During his campaign, Biden indicated that the agriculture industry would be included in climate change policy, while advocates for the sector hailed the progress it has already made.

“Agriculture will continue to play an important role in helping the world adapt to and mitigate climate change, but U.S. farmers and ranchers can’t do it alone: partners are needed to help balance economic sustainability with environmental sustainability,” wrote John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

(Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Bryan Wilkes)



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The Heroes Within Us

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by Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., Pres//CEO, National Newspaper Publishers Association

Each February in schools across the nation, pictures of well-known Black historical figures are mounted on bulletin boards in commemoration of Black History Month.

These figures are presented to young American minds as Black heroes to be noted during the shortest month of the year, and then tucked away for the next 11 months.

As long as this annual exercise creeps along from year to year in its present form, it will inhibit the recognition of the “Black character” of America. Black History Month, as it exists today, continues the practice of “othering” Black people in America.

To make sense of this, we need to consider the nature of heroes. Heroes, like many things in our lives, are social constructs. They are created to act as building blocks in our “nation building.” The hero defines who we are as a people and exemplifies our best and most desirable characteristics. Heroes, in this sense, are not the builders of a nation; they are the building blocks of the “national spirit” or the “volksgeist” of a people. 

George Washington has been so venerated as an American hero that the dome ceiling in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol depicts his deification in a painting titled “The Apotheosis of Washington.” He receives this hero worship despite the fact that he bought and sold human beings as chattel slaves. Many well-documented instances exist where he treated Black men and women as less than human.

Davy Crockett also is counted among the pantheon of American heroes even though he met his death at the Alamo in 1836 trying to preserve slavery in Texas when it was still a part of Mexico. Mexico had officially abolished slavery in 1829 and Gen. Santa Anna marched to Texas – and the Alamo – in 1836 to finally rid it of that abomination.

I will abbreviate this list by lastly naming Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose statue still stands in glory in Richmond, Virginia, a city where, in 2003, condemnation of a statue erected to honor Abraham Lincoln reached a fever pitch by Confederate sympathizers.

Nations are built in the shadows of mythic heroes. White heroes who populate American mythology are legion. But they are men who are feted for slaughtering Indians, building infrastructure with Black labor under the lash and oppressing the Latinx people of our Southwest. 

In the ethos of America, there has been little tolerance for heroes who promote true justice and equality. And Black folk are seldom raised up as “national” heroes because people of color are believed to have nothing to do with the building of the American spirit that most white people recognize.

Regardless of their courage or contributions to American society, Black heroes are constructed by America’s dominant social class to be figures who merely pleaded for the recognition of the humanity of Black people. But this construct denies these Black icons the one defining characteristic of a hero. A true hero faces, and strives to overcome, adversity. Our greatest adversity, which is the core problem in America, is the denial of our humanity. A true Black hero does not plead for white people to stop denying our humanity. Our true heroes have faced this problem and struggled to overcome it. 

Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois and Ida B. Wells, just to name a few, stood courageously against our greatest adversity and struggled mightily trying to end it in the face of condemnation and demonization. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., because of his courageous struggle, has been raised up as a Founding Father of the new America that can be.

But America is still a work in progress. And as we build this nation, there is still a need for new heroes. We must keep in mind that the construction of heroes is a social choice. For America to become the liberal democracy we pretend it to be, this country must admit that it has had a problem in choosing its national heroes.

It is easy for Black folk to see that America’s choice of heroes is a problem. We know what kind of nation we want. And we know what kind of hero we need to bring that nation into being. We want a nation that not only allows us to live, but one that allows us to BE. 

Unfortunately, it has always been the talent of the elites of this country to shape the narrative of the political question of the day to serve their needs. And this requires a denial of the existence or severity of the problems of Black folk. For the past four centuries, Black folk have been so preoccupied with staying alive, precious few of us have engaged in the struggle to defend our right to BE.

The task before us now is to remove America’s toxic heroes and to construct our own and see to it that they are given their rightful place in the pantheon of our nation.

In order to ensure that we have heroes to raise up, it is important that we all become the type of courageous, self-sacrificing person that should be honored and emulated. We have plenty of role models to go by, so we must become the heroes upon which our nation is to be built.

It is up to each of us to confront the adversity oppressing us all, be the heroes we are meant to be and make this nation what it can become. 

Oscar H. Blayton is a former Marine Corps combat pilot and human rights activist who practices law in Virginia.

COMMENTARY: Fearing the Political Babayka

By Lucius Gantt, The Gantt Report

When I was a little boy, my parents used to tell me “Jesus loves the little children” and if I was good, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and others would bring me gifts, toys and good things to eat like cookies and candy.

     If I was bad, devilish demons and beastly monsters would come into my bedroom and kidnap me to take me away!

     Today, I have no fear of the devils or the beasts. I believe my God is on my side and God protects his messengers and soldiers.

      However, too many of the people that you voted for in recent elections and most of the people you voted against are afraid of the political babayka!

      Federal, state and local elected officials praise the babayka, honor the babayka and totally believe what the political babayka tells them to believe!

      Politicians can’t pass bills, won’t debate legislative proposals and refuse to govern while parroting and rubber stamping the wicked and deceitful lies of the political babayka.

     Donald Trump is the babayka, the Russian Bogeyman!

     No matter how educated they are, no matter how experienced they are and no matter what the residents and voters in the United States say about how they want elected officials to conduct themselves, far too many Republicans and Dixiecrats, Democrats that believe in, admire and bow down to the political babayka, are on a mission to destroy what you call Democracy.

      We know the majority of “Republicans” are basically foxes in sheep’s clothing but why would any member of the Democratic Party resort to being “Dinos”, Democrats in name only?

     They vote to derail Democratic Congressional proposals because, like a child, they are afraid of the political babayka.

      Politicians know that at least a third of Americans are ultraconservatives, closet klansmen, white nationalists and white racists and they wrongfully believe if they don’t make political and governmental criminals accountable they will be reelected every year and every year after  that!

     If you love your country, defend the United States Constitution and prefer a political democracy, you have to fight for what’s right.

     What is good for the Republican goose is also good for the Democratic gander!

     The political babayka’s minority Leader, Mitch McConnel, is not going to be sensitive to the people’s desires, compassionate about the people’s needs and he’s damn sure not going to be a political partner with Democrats that should be pursuing the political changes that voters voted for.

      Democrats can put a stop to Senate filibusters if they wanted to but why won’t they?

     Well, it’s a sad day in government when political pimps can’t control their political Hos. It’s a worst day when politicians can’t expel members of Congress that support domestic terrorism, that spread lies about election results and despicable fake pubic servants that only care about what the political babayka wants them to care about.

     Babayka is the Russian word for bogeyman. It’s only fitting that Americans that are influenced by Russian propaganda, Russian misconduct and Russian aggression would use their positions in government to discredit and disavow progressive proposals desired by the majority of Americans.

     Donald Trump has to continue to ruin the America you always thought you knew. Trump wants to copy Russian tactics, he wants to favor Russian oppression and exploitation and the political babayka loves being the most promising asset of the Soviet Union.

     It is easy for Donald Trump to guide the ignorant and lead the misinformed but righteous Americans must fight to put, and keep, the political beasts like Donald Trump and his followers down in their political holes! Be smart Democrats and use your new political power to get things done to benefit the people. 

    Political devils and babaykas don’t go together.

Freelance Platform Sets Super Bowl Pitch

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TEL AVIV, Israel — Online freelancer platform Fiverr International will run its first Super Bowl ad during this year’s game on Feb. 7, joining an elite group of Israeli-founded companies to advertise during one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

The annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) drew 102 million viewers last year, and may well top that number due to COVID-19 restrictions that might keep home viewers glued to the broadcast on CBS, according to published reports.

That expectation is apparently one of the reasons behind even higher ad rates during this year’s event. The price tag for a 30-second commercial with associated online streaming has been pegged at $5.7 million, which sets a Super Bowl record, according to Sportscasting.

“It doesn’t get any bigger than the Super Bowl from a branding and marketing perspective,” said Fiverr Chief Marketing Officer Gali Arnon.

“We believe this is a major opportunity for us to introduce the world to Fiverr in a unique and creative way. The spot will get to the very heart of how Fiverr supports businesses around the world. We can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve created.”

For more than a decade, Fiverr has connected businesses with skilled freelancers offering digital services in more than 500 categories including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video and animation.

This new ad is part of the company’s “It Starts Here” campaign, which went live in September 2020 and focused on small and medium businesses as they navigated digital transformation with support from freelancers on Fiverr.

This Super Bowl ad will highlight Fiverr as a critical resource for companies navigating new business techniques and models throughout the pandemic.

The company was founded in Israel and still holds a large presence in Tel Aviv. As a privately held company, it reached unicorn status in 2019 and then went public in 2019 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Other Israeli companies that have advertised on the Super Bowl are Wix and Sodastream.

Fiverr’s Super Bowl ad is expected to run during the third quarter of Super Bowl LV and will include campaign extensions across marketing channels throughout the remainder of the year.

Fiverr to debut its first Super Bowl LV ad appeared first on ISRAEL21c.



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Clay Pots Add A Tasty Accent To Mexican Cuisine

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“When a dish is not cooked in clay, it doesn’t taste the same,” Mexicans say. Housewives and well-known chefs in Mexico claim that clay pots enhance the flavor of their recipes.

Clay was the main component of the first kitchen utensils in pre-Hispanic Mexico, and it is still an essential material in the country’s cookware.

Now, people cook with gas or electricity, and they can do it on stainless steel, cast iron or a wide variety of materials.

Thousands of years ago, firewood and clay casseroles were the only options. . In Mexico, using them is a matter of tradition. But people also say they add a particular quality to food.

Mexicans use clay casseroles to prepare the simplest dishes, such as rice or beans, and the most complex ones, including mole — a pepper-and-nuts sauce.

“Even if one follows the same steps in a certain preparation, clay will enhance the flavors, creating a unique combination. Presenting dishes in clay pots when bringing them to the table is very showy, too,” said Emanuel Cansino Aguirre, a private cook and a gastronomy graduate from the Universidad de Oriente, Veracruz campus.

Besides adding a special flavor to food, clay utensils are decorative. *** Además de dar un sabor especial a los alimentos, el barro es un elemento decorativo. (Marymar Álvarez Coba/ Café Words)

Making clay casseroles is complex.

Artisans knead the clay by stepping bare feet on it until it has the consistency they need. Once the clay is ready, they shape it into a ball; the size varies according to what they want to mold. Then they shape it with a baked-clay stone. Finally, artisans leave the piece to dry for two months, and finally, they fire it in a wood oven for the final touch.

Unlike some artificial materials that have hit the market and could be harmful or toxic, clay is natural. There are ways to process it that make it safe for cooking. Once, artisans used lead or other toxic materials to glaze clay casseroles. But environmental and health regulations encouraged them to find ways to finish their pieces without adding them.

Today, government programs guarantee the pieces’ origin and certify when their production is free of toxic agents.

Good clay casseroles withstand high cooking temperatures. Cooks can place them safely in gas or electric ovens or on wood stoves, and the pots won’t deform or break. However, clay can be quite fragile, so people should know how to handle their cookware. Clay casseroles shouldn’t get accidentally hit or be forced to cool down too quickly.

“When I buy a clay casserole, I first cure it with lime,” said Clotilde Vera Rascón, a housewife. “This process seals its pores and prevents the juices of what I am cooking from leaking. When I use a casserole, I let it cool for a whole day because the temperature change might cause it to break while washing it. One needs to know this if one wishes clay casseroles to last a long time.”

(Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos. Edited by Fern Siegel.)



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Cuando los sueños alcanzan los cielos

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Jacqueline Ruiz es de esas personas que se toma muy en serio la frase socorrida de que el límite de las oportunidades es el cielo.

A sus 37 años, es empresaria, escritora con editorial propia, conferencista, fundadora de una agencia sin fines de lucro, madre de dos hijos y una mujer cuyos sueños vuelan muy alto.

En 2016, cuando se convirtió, oficialmente, en una latina piloto, la dueña de JJR Marketing cumplió uno de sus mayores anhelos, algo extraordinario para ella, pero no sorprendente para quienes la han visto escalar uno y otro peldaño de su vida.

La pasión de Jacqueline Ruiz por el pilotaje llegó un día en que escuchó el sonido de su corazón, según dijo.

“Lo hago porque mi corazón suena”, dijo al narrar la historia detrás de esta aventura. “Como nací en México, jamás pensé en ser piloto, ni siquiera en categoría de sueño. Pero vine a vivir a los Estados Unidos cuando tenía 14 años, y aunque no hablaba inglés, pude comprobar que aquí los sueños se hacen realidad”, dijo.

Para Jacqueline, quien ya registra más de 400 aterrizajes exitosos, lo más difícil de aprender a pilotear una nave ha sido la cantidad de información que debe manejarse y la cual aprendió en solo un año de estudios y dedicación.

“Hay que estudiar mucho: entender el clima, los espacios aéreos, el patrón de aterrizaje; chequear el avión, el aceite, la gasolina, las alas, y así tantas cosas más”, dijo.

Durante todo el proceso de aprendizaje, Jackie experimentó altibajos en sus emociones; sin embargo, asegura que la experiencia superó sus expectativas.

“He tenido días muy frustrantes, en los que me he sentido inepta, pero también otros muy espirituales, en los que me he sentido como un pájaro”, dijo.

Aunque decidió hacerse piloto a manera de pasatiempo, Jacqueline cree que detrás hay una misión muy importante. “Me interesa compartir la idea de que no hay límites en lo que uno se proponga; no porque lo leí en un libro, sino porque lo estoy haciendo”, dijo.

Sobreviviente de cáncer

Estar al mando de un avión Remos no es el peor riesgo que ha corrido esta mujer incansable que emigró de niña de su natal México. Es también una sobreviviente de cáncer, una amarga experiencia que dio blindaje a su carácter de emprendedora.

Quizás la enfermedad también le sirvió de impulso para abrir su empresa JJR Marketing, en 2006, cuando tenía 23 años, y para ser una prolífica escritora, una excelente oradora motivacional y hasta una corredora de autos en circuito cerrado.

“Inicialmente, la compañía estaba orientada hacia la rama de los restaurantes, pero como ese sector se vio afectado por la recesión, decidimos enfocarnos en tecnología, servicios profesionales y manufactura. El objetivo es convertir a empresarios en líderes de sus respectivas industrias”, dijo.

Jacqueline Ruiz has reached the top in everything she has undertaken. *** Jacqueline Ruiz ha llegado a la cima en todo lo que ha emprendido. (Negocios Now)

JJR Marketing crece ininterrumpidamente gracias al trabajo de esta empresaria, el de su equipo y las referencias que brindan sus clientes, dijo ella.

No es la única empresa que conduce Jackie. En 2014, creó su propia casa editorial, partiendo de que es autora de 24 libros, la mayoría sobre negocios y motivación personal.

Jacqueline cuenta que la animaba “la idea de ofrecer a otros una manera rápida y directa de convertirse en escritor”. Confiesa que, al principio, estaba un poco desconectada de la comunidad latina, pero le llegó la inspiración de crear un vehículo para ayudar a las hispanas a convertirse en autoras.

Así surgió Today’s Inspired Latina, una colección de 8 volúmenes de libros con 190 inspiradoras historias de Estados Unidos y todo el mundo.

Seleccionada entre las 40 jóvenes de Negocios Now Latinos 40 Under 40, Jackie no se cansa de inspirar con su pasión por el pilotaje.

Recogió sus vivencias de aviadora en tres libros, El asombroso mundo de la aviaciónLas aventuras de Pilotina, y Latinas en la aviación, cuyo lanzamiento digital reunió a 15,000 personas.

Los fondos reunidos por sus libros de aviación han servido para financiar la PILOTINA Scholarship, una de sus iniciativas, que otorga una beca de $5,000 a una joven latina en la industria aeronáutica.

“A veces, no veo el impacto de las cosas que hago. Nunca imaginé que podría ser una inspiración, principalmente para mujeres y jovencitas”, dijo.

La nota Cuando los sueños andan por los cielos se publicó primero en Negocios Now.

(Editado por Melanie Slone)



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Domestic Terrorist blames Trump for assault on Capital: ‘I was just following orders’

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Garret Miller apologizes to Ocasio-Cortez for threatening her assassination

Garret Miller, charged with invading the Capitol and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), said Monday that he was just following then-President Donald Trump’s orders when he joined the terrorists who attacked the Capitol Building on Jan. 6.

Miller, 34, had written “Assassinate AOC”  in a Twitter post, and also threatened a Capitol Police officer who fatally shot a fellow terrorist, saying he planned to “hug his neck with a nice rope.”  After his arrest, as he was being ordered detained without bail pending trial, Garret apologized to Ocasio-Cortez and indicated he would be willing to testify in court or to Congress about the terrorist assault.   

Bail was denied because the judge found that Miller was both a danger to the community and a flight risk.

MIller is one of dozens of people charged with participating in the terrorist attack, which began shortly after Trump urged supporters to pressure Congress to reject the election of Joe Biden as president.

We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about. And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.

“You will have an illegitimate president. That is what you will have, and we can’t let that happen. These are the facts that you won’t hear from the fake news media. It’s all part of the suppression effort. They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to talk about it. …

“We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.

According to Miller’s lawyer, Miller said he had been motivated by Trump’s false claims that he had been cheated out of reelection by voter fraud. 

“I was in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, because I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump and he was my president and the commander-in-chief. His statements also had me believing the election was stolen from him,” Miller said.

“Nevertheless, I fully recognize Joe Biden is now the President of the United States and that the election is over. Donald Trump is no longer president and I would not have any reason to continue to follow his lead.

“While I never intended to harm Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez nor harm any members of the Capitol police force, I recognize that my social media posts were completely inappropriate. They were made at a time when Donald Trump had me believing that an American election was stolen,” he said.

Miller said: “I want to publicly apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and the Capitol police officers. I have always supported law enforcement and I am ashamed by my comments.”

He also said in the statement that he was not armed when he entered the Capitol and stayed in its rotunda.

“[W]hat Donald Trump had been saying about the election really got to me and I felt I had to support him. Still, I recognize that I am solely responsible for my actions and that there are no excuses for what I did,” he added.

“I come from a good and supportive family. My parents and brothers do not deserve the pain I have caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions and I am prepared to testify at any trial or Congressional proceeding,” Miller said.

Miller is charged in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., with: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; obstructing or impeding any official proceeding; certain acts during civil disorder, and threats in interstate commerce.

Fast-Charging Electric Car Battery Could Replace Internal Combustion Engine

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An Israeli startup has produced 1,000 extra-fast-charging electric car batteries that could be the future for automobiles.

StoreDot‘s XFC proprietary lithium-ion batteries can be charged up to full capacity in just five minutes, compared to 30 to 40 minutes for other electric car batteries, including those made by Tesla. If the company’s batteries can be mass-produced over the next three years, it could mean gameover for the internal combustion engine.

StoreDot replaces the graphite used in traditional lithium-ion batteries with germanium-based nanoparticles, into which ions can pass quickly and more easily. The company plans to transition to silicon, which is less expensive than germanium, next year to make the cost equal to lithium-ion batteries.

“The number one barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles is no longer cost,” StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf said in a statement this week. “It is range anxiety. You’re either afraid that you’re going to get stuck on the highway or you’re going to need to sit in a charging station for two hours. But if the experience of the driver is exactly like fueling [a gasoline car], this whole anxiety goes away.”

StoreDot is also working with British petroleum company BP to repurpose thousands of existing gasoline service stations into charging stations for the car batteries.

For fast-charging batteries to be economically viable, however, they must be able to be recharged at least 500 times without degrading. StoreDot’s batteries can be recharged for 1,000 cycles while retaining 80% of their original capacity, according to Myersdorf

The sample battery cells, which will now be distributed to electric vehicle manufacturers for testing, were produced by StoreDot’s strategic partner in China, EVE Energy. The batteries are designed to be produced on existing lithium-ion production lines, which should further keep the price down.

The new batteries are designed to be produced on existing lithium-ion production lines, which should further keep the price down.(Mika Baumeister/Unsplash)

Founded in 2012, StoreDot has raised $130 million from investors, including Daimler AG, TDK Corporation, Samsung Ventures and BP Ventures.

At the 2019 Ecomotion conference in Tel Aviv, StoreDot showed off a live five-minute recharge of a motorcycle. And last year, the company revealed that it had adopted its fast-charging battery technology to work with autonomous drones.

Fast-Charging Electric Car Battery Could Replace Internal Combustion Engine appeared first on ISRAEL21c.

(Edited by Carlin Becker and David Martosko)



The post Fast-Charging Electric Car Battery Could Replace Internal Combustion Engine appeared first on Zenger News.

A Foolish Fantasy?

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by John Wood, Jr., National Ambassador, Braver Angels

We have stepped into the first days of a new presidential administration. Americans across the landscape of our national life are reflecting on the time behind us. So too are we all looking forward, making our individual and group decisions on how we will proceed through the mists of uncertainty as we embark upon this new day.

Some of us look forward with great hope. Others look forward with great apprehension. Perhaps most of us are somewhere in between.

For myself at least, I was fairly heartened by the substance of President Biden’s inaugural address and the general spirit of the gathering.

Shadows loomed of course. Due to COVID-19 and a heavy security presence amid fears of violence, this event would not be attended by the mighty crowds of citizens and patriots who have made pilgrimage to the swearing in of presidents a long tradition in American life. But the grand tradition of our Republic prevailed and endured, in altered form, amidst our perils.

But there was another shadow sweeping over the day, which President Biden named in an effort an effort to dispel it. “I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.”

He is right about this. To many conservatives the president’s calls for unity ring hollow at a moment where supporters of former-president Trump feel themselves targeted on social media, a moment where efforts are under way to impeach the former president and a moment in which many on the right feel that all Republicans are being lumped in with the extremists who stormed the Capitol.

On that subject, I highly recommend our most recent episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, featuring Braver Angels members Chrissy Koach and Tom Cook. Chrissy and Tom voted for Donald Trump and attended the protest. The stories of what they saw, their own reactions to it, and their reasons for being there took courage to share. They are well worth listening to.

Hosted by my friend and Braver Angels co-founder, David Lapp:

“What I Saw at the Capitol on January 6th:” Perspectives from Two Protestors

[To a fellow protestor outside the Capitol] “We have a permit to be here but we do not have a permit to hurt anyone, we do not have a permit to do anything illegal.” -Chrissy Koach

“Stop listening to people who yell at you…listen to people who talk calmly, and talk to people on the other side.” -Tom Cook

Across much of the right leaning landscape, conservatives and others are sounding forth calls to retreat from spaces perceived as run by the left. Major media personalities and activist leaders are looking to build new institutions, new online and in-person communities, in an effort to be free from social persecution and to continue the work of movement building. 

On the left meanwhile there is a fear that talk of unity will lead to the forgoing of accountability for those whom many democrats feel have corrupted our politics and our government. There is also the fear that “unity” implies the return to a status-quo wherein the struggles of marginalized communities is a marginal issue in the eyes of those in power. 

Braver Angels members Karen Ward and Karen Cotter are setting a different example. Red and blue respectively, a powerful article and short video appeared in Yes! Magazine and in Resolve Magazine recently about the friendship of Ward and Cotter and the work of Braver Angels. While it is possible that the differences between them have only grown in recent months the power of their bond has grown as well.

“I think it’s a mistake to think that we have to agree. That is not gonna happen and it shouldn’t have to happen.” -Cotter

“We do a pretty good job of separating our private and social life from political life.” -Ward

“We have developed this relationship and it’s something worth keeping.” -Cotter

(From An Unlikely Alliance, Resolve Magazine)

Braver Angels members do find common ground with each other and do often find cause to change their thinking in one direction or another, of course. But the power of our work together starts with the relationships we build.

This is worth keeping in mind in a moment where Americans are looking for ways to cut ties with each other, excommunicating each other or retreating themselves from shared public squares in media, politics, and even social life. 

Why? It is, in part, due to the sorting of the American people into their respective echo chambers, where we do not engage the same sets of facts, where we uncritically absorb dehumanizing narratives about the other side, and where we fortify ourselves against views that challenge our biases, that we have found ourselves in this perilous moment of division in the first place. Now we risk doubling down on that problem.

Cotter and Ward may disagree with each other’s politics. But they trust one another’s characters. When people trust each other they do not lie to each other. They will not cheat one another if they work together in a neighborhood block club, a PTA, a city council or in congress. People who trust one another do not wield insults and propaganda against each other because there are deeper values that we choose to honor in each other.

The politics of retreat and exclusion will not purchase us an America where we trust one another. They themselves are a product of our distrust. At Braver Angels we choose to do the painstaking work of rebuilding trust within society.

To be a part of Braver Angels is to be a part of this coming together. We do it because there is joy in relationship. But even more importantly, we do it because we have a responsibility to prevent the unraveling of American society.

It takes courage to do this work. It takes bravery. Our friends do not always approve or understand, to say nothing of those who oppose our points of view. But the community we are building at Braver Angels is one that is rich enough to allow us to support each other through any trials. It is one that is already inspiring people across the nation to walk the path towards a better tomorrow. And that is no foolish fantasy.

Amanda Gorman, America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, gave a stirring recital at the inauguration this week. She opened her poem by asking “When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” In the concluding verses of The Hill We Climb she answers:

-The new dawn blooms as we free it
-For there is always light,
-if only we are brave enough to see it
-if only we’re brave enough to be it

Let us be brave enough to free the light of tomorrow.

-John Wood, Jr., National Ambassador