Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Morning Papers" - Its Origins

The Rooster


The death toll of all soldier in Afghanistan this year is 396.

The number of soldiers to have died since the Afghan insurgency began in 2001 at 1,964, with 1,204 of them Americans.

The Pakistani 'thing' about assisting the Taliban?  It is probably related to intelligence operations that appear to assisting the Taliban for purposes of infiltration.  I'll leave it there until more is actually known. 

,,,The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.

Taken together, the reports indicate that American soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through southern Afghanistan, and all the way to the capital, Kabul.
 Much of the information — raw intelligence and threat assessments gathered from the field in Afghanistan— cannot be verified and likely comes from sources aligned with Afghan intelligence, which considers Pakistan an enemy, and paid informants. Some describe plots for attacks that do not appear to have taken place.

But many of the reports rely on sources that the military rated as reliable....

The problem is that the ISI doesn't always report the operations they plan with the Taliban to stop the insurgency.  That is not 'intelligence,' it is sabotage.

The 'planned' events with ISI and the Taliban are suppose to expose the enemy,but, all to often the ISI have proven to be a good ally to the enemy.

Since 2001, the Afghanistan War alone has garnered a cost of $300 billion. 

James Jones, the US national security adviser, said the US "strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk and threaten our national security".

"These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people."

Chicago has something like ten town in Cook County, Illinois declared disaster areas from flooding.

...The heavy rains — which dumped an estimated 60 billion gallons of water on Chicago and parts of Cook County — filled all 190 miles of the Deep Tunnel system, said Terry O’Brien, president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The district opened floodgates in Wilmette and on the Chicago River to release stormwater into Lake Michigan....

The NIGHT (10:30 PM EST) of July 24, 2010, this is the temperature map of the USA. It is HOT !

(Reuters) - Large swathes of the United States suffered another day of extreme weather on Sunday, with hot temperatures in the nation's capital and Southeast coastal areas giving way to thunderstorms later in the day.
Powerful thunderstorms stretched through the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia on the Atlantic Coast, Accuweather said.
There were numerous reports of damage from wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour across the mid-Atlantic, including in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Temperatures reached close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in some parts of the Carolinas and Virginia during the afternoon, but storms in the region sent the steamy temperatures plunging. In Wilmington, Delaware, the temperature dropped 17 degrees in 15 minutes.
In Milwaukee, where heavy rains shut the city's main airport on Thursday night, the body of a 19-year-old man who disappeared on Thursday evening as floodwaters peaked was recovered from a creek....

July 25, 2010
Greenview, California
Photographer states  ::  What started out as a great day transitioned into anything but by late afternoon. An anticipated thunder and lightning storm arrived in our area about 4:30PM. With the thunder and lightning came strong winds and unexpected golf ball sized hail. The outside temperature went from 100 degrees to down the 50’s in about half an hour. I’ve already heard of several wild fires being started in the area from this storm. On the plus side, the dust is settled.

Oklahoma City is relocating State Office due to, 'repeated storm damage?'


Some darn dangerous weather.

July 24, 2010
Mayville, New York

Photographer states ::  tornado over Chautauqua Lake

Tornado Leaves Path of Damage. See a Funnel Cloud Form  (click title to entry - thank you)

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - One tornado has been confirmed -- and three more are suspected -- late Saturday affternoon in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties. 

"If it was confirmed that there were four tornado touchdowns, that would be very unusual," says National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Ansuini. 

The girls are really growing up. Malia has changed so much in such a short time.

Obama Family To Vacation in the Gulf Coast  (click title to entry - thank you)

July 22, 2010 3:49 PM

The First Family has changed their vacation plans and will “spend the weekend” in the Gulf Coast the weekend of August, 14th, the White House announced today. Both the president and the First Lady have made a big public pitch encouraging people to vacation on the region’s beaches that have not been directly impacted by oil spill even as they planned their own vacations in the Northeast.
“There’s still a lot of opportunity for visitors to come down here, a lot of beaches that are not yet affected or will not be affected,” President Obama said last month in Gulfport, Mississippi, “ And we just want to make sure that people who have travel plans down to the Gulf area remain mindful of that, because if people want to know what can they do to help folks down here, one of the best ways to help is to come down here and enjoy the outstanding hospitality.”
Similarly during her first visit to the region last week First Lady Michelle Obama also encouraged people to visit the unaffected areas of the region....

Back to work.

Workers remove a modular house for oil spill relief workers from a marina in Port Fourchon, La., ahead of the arrival of Bonnie, which was downgraded to a tropical depression Friday after lashing Florida.  (click title to entry - thank you)

This week work will resume to close the well.  I remain hopeful, but, skeptical all at the same time.  The history of this kind of measure in the Gulf of Mexico has not been a promising indication of its potential success. 

We have a Coast Guard dedicated to its purpose through all this and if that alone is proof of the 'promise' to close the disasterous well, then we have every reason to believe the USA will be safer in a week.  Yes, I see this as a National Security issue.

Turning to the perils of the people of Louisiana?  They desperately need new government and new hope in that state.  I will not change my mind.  I have heard some of the most desperate pleas coming out that state and it is profoundly because of the impoverishment of the people even before this disaster sent their lives into complete chaos.

The 'so called' Oil Service Industry that is suppose to exist to reduce economic hardship by opposing the moritorium is the saddest story of all.  The folks we thought were losing their shirts because of the moritorium (Which I believe is necessary.) turns out to be some of the poorest people in Louisiana.  They live, even when employed or working in 'self-employment' one pay check away from having their utilities turned off.  That isn't tragic, that is insensitive and poor government that simply doesn't care about their citizens so much as manipulating their votes.

No lie.  The Federal Government needs to 'investigate' the dynamics of the Louisiana economy before and after the oil disaster.  There is something profoundly wrong here.  The impoverishment of the people that are hurt the most by a necessary moritorium has to be understood.  The oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico are making profits hand over fist and their 'service workers' are living 'hand to mouth.'

I don't think so. 

I remain grateful to the Obama White House and its excellant handling of this disaster and the brilliant resolve of its closing of the well.  We all look forward to a great outcome this week.

...On Sunday, crews took to sea and air to renew work on driving a cement stake into BP's botched well, and to assess how the remnants of the foul slick it spewed may have shifted after a few days of rough seas and blustery winds brought by meek Tropical Depression Bonnie.
Meanwhile, on Sunday aboard a U.S. Coast Guard plane, nearly 12,000 feet above the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zunkunft looked out from a small window and saw signs of progress where there had once only been continued set backs.

``It's presenting itself in the last phase of its life,'' said Zunkunft, the federal site commander for the spill site, told a handful of reporters, referring to the oil streams below.
From initial reports, the most serious damage was to the time table for permanently plugging the well. Earlier, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said it would add seven to nine days to work on two relief wells and push back a planned interim step for a ``hydro-static kill,'' which will pump heavy drilling mud through a new cap on the existing leaky well, until after Aug. 1.
``Generally the next week will be preparations, making sure everything is ready to go,'' said Allen during a conference call Sunday....

There is far more to the security of the USA than simply outnumbering any other country in Secret Networks.

I really congratulate the Washington Post for the investment in the USA by taking on an out of control, and in many ways, out of reach 'security network.'

Like, who knew? 


All I can say is that the Republicans since 911 used the 'fear' of the nation to 'entertain' their political ambitions.  I am sure much of this resulted due to blotted legislation that was aimed at buoying an American economy that did not exist in reality.

So, what is really interesting now is, what will be done about this?  I would expect Homeland Security and Mr. Panetta to take this all very seriously and rein in this monstrosity created out of fear.

I wouldn't be surprised if the USA is supporting the Taliban at this point.  To me this spells a lot of loose information and a lot of loose change that is better left in the national treasury to reduce the debt. 

One way of 'bring out the beast' from hiding is to stop the funding to these networks while supporting the 'infrastructure' we know works and is 'known' to the intelligence agencies of the country.  Once the 'rouge agencies' are unfunded we will find out exactly who they are what they have been up to.

I look forward to more of good reporting and more insight by the Washington Post.  I sincerely believe this took more than a 15 second 'populous' news cycle to capture the audience.

Nice job !

National Security is measured by alliances, border security, policies that work, intelligence that matters, integrity of government, environmental stewardship and a USA military engaged in foreign policy that matters. 

Thousands upon thousands of agencies within the USA won't make the USA any more secure simply because it is 'the fashion.'

Why is Health Care Law feared by Wall Street?

Wellness in the USA is going to be scrutinized.  All forms of wellness are going to be scrutinzed, including, job related wellness.  OSHA's statistics are going to come into focus in a 'real way' to reduce accidents, injuries and all sorts of liability. 

Believe me, when Wall Street opposed the Health Care Law it wasn't simply to continue to exploit Medicare Advantage, it went far futher than that !

...After more than a year of intense debate followed by the passage of the national health-care reform bill in March, many people are anxious to see the landmark law's promised benefits.  (click title to entry - thank you)Fortunately, the wait is over for Alabama's small businesses. At a time when the communities around this state sorely need an economic boost, thousands of Alabama's small businesses are eligible for significant benefits.
For 2010, more than 50,000 Alabama small businesses with fewer than 25 employees are eligible for a tax credit to help pay the cost of providing employee health coverage, and nearly 16,000 of the state's smallest businesses, those with fewer than 10 workers, qualify for the maximum 35 percent credit. The maximum credit for non-profit small businesses, which already receive tax benefits due to their status, is 25 percent.
In all, approximately 88 percent of Alabama's small businesses with fewer than 25 employees are eligible for the credit. These figures are from a report recently released by the consumer health organization Families USA and the small business advocacy group Small Business Majority. Additionally, beginning in 2014, the maximum tax credit will rise to 50 percent for traditional small businesses and 35 percent for small non-profits, further buoying those businesses providing health coverage for their employees....

A Mosque Blooms at Ground Zero

“There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia,” Gingrich writes in a new blog post. “The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.”

More of the same spewing hate from the Republican Right Wing.  They will do anything to cater to 'any segment' of the electorate ready to believe they will find influence in the voter's booth.

...One of the notable things about the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero (click title to entry - thank you) is something that has somehow gone largely unnoticed: In the neighborhood where it would sit, the opposition has been minimal. The local community board approved it overwhelmingly, and Ro Sheffe, chair of the board's financial district committee, tells me that "the vast majority of the people who live here are for it."
Why would that be? Partly because the group behind it already has a mosque in the area, which has caused no problems. Partly because New Yorkers are accustomed to religious and cultural diversity. And partly because the building would be open to the public--non-Muslims as well as Muslims.
The plan at this stage is for the prayer space to occupy only one floor of a 13-story building. The rest would house a swimming pool, a concert auditorium, a gymnasium, a child-care facility, a library, a culinary school and a restaurant. Scheffe says it will bear a strong resemblance to Manhattan's 92nd Street Y.
All this is welcome because the area has attracted a lot of new people, tripling the population in just 10 years. Having been a commercial area for centuries, Sheffe says, "It has none of the residential amenities that urban neighborhoods take for granted."...

Still cleaning up the "Brinkmanship" of Bush's "Axis of Evil" Speech.

Now that the allies are conducting war games, the LA Times is stating there are some South Koreans stating the sinking of the ship that was supposed to have prompted this assertion of alliance was misrepresented.  Fine.  Let there be more information coming forth, but, the sinking of that ship is sincerely irrelevant to the War Games currently being engaged. 

The Pacific Alliance has a right to show its strengths and find purpose in that alliance.  North Korea has played brinkmanship long enough with the nations of the Pacific and quite frankly with its own allies in Russia and China.  North Korea has shown little to know trust in any other nation, except, its own demands for weapons beyond what it should have obtained.  The technology North Korea has in relation to nuclear capacity is also related to Khan's escapades.

So, while media sources will try to discredit the USA military once again, there is no reason for it.  The USA has waited long enough to reassure South Korea and Japan of its loyalty.  These 'Games' are long overdue.

A large 4-day exercise involving U.S and South Korea forces is under way in the Sea of Japan.  (click title to entry - thank you)
It comes in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, four months ago. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo attack for the incident.
The war games off the east coast of the Korean peninsula were called to send a strong message of deterrence to Pyongyang.
The joint military exercise is known as "Invincible Spirit." And while the forces of the United States and South Korea routinely conduct drills together, this war game is considered unprecedented in scope.
For the first time, the most advanced fighters of the U.S. Air Force are participating. They are the F-22 Raptors. U.S. officials say four of the stealth technology jets are taking part, along with nearly 200 other aircraft....

Character Assassination in a 15 Second News Cycle.

AFTER A REUNION OF MORE THAN 20 YEARS, Roger Spooner and Shirley Sherrod walk up from touring a small cabin Friday after their lunch. In between them in the background is Eloise Spooner.

It was a small miracle for Ms. Sherrod that the farmers she helped so long ago were still around at the age of 87 to tell the story.  I am sure the malicious blogger that tried to exploit 'innocense' considered that potential before he attempted to destroy the focus on the vicious religious bigotry by Sarah Palin only a short time before.

It's all fine and good this is turning out to be an interesting statement on racism in the USA as it exists today and through recent history. 

It is interesting that Ms. Sherrod saw through the problems with survival among the farmers in her community and realized 'socio-economic' dynamics were as much a part of racism and fiscal falure at all levels in the USA.

What is more interesting is that the vicisouness of the Right Wing Media really does pay off because no sooner did Mayor Bloomberg criticize the comments Sarah Palin made regarding a Mosque to be built in New York City did this 'DISTRACTION' manifest 'at all costs' to anything except the dominance of the Tea Party and the Republicans.  Probably in that order.

Basically, Ms. Sherrod needs to write a book.  She is correct.  The President and she come from different worlds.  His 'story' is somewhat different from the story of racism in the Deep South that occurred with her father.  The President's story is more inner city, but, just as victimizing without the violence.  There is no doubt to me President Obama was effected by his race, but, he also overcame it in a way from different than Ms. Sherrod has overcome her confrontation of racism in America.

While the stories of racism are important, this one isn't about racism exactly.  It is about the way the media has attempted to capture the 'escalated' news cycle because of Twitter and Steve Jobs in order to survive and how that 'frantic' pace has become 'the way of life of politics.' 

See, the Right Wing Media can 'get away' with defaming anyone these days so long as they can find a way to CYA and apologize.  They don't suffer consequences when everyone involved can then breath a sigh of relief when 'the truth' is FINALLY known.  What isn't addressed is that there remains 'a shadow myth' within the 'mind think' of the political theater that was 'spun' by 'Rumpelskitskin' Gold through the 'trauma bond' with media clout.

This story about the Spooners and Ms. Sherrod while endearing is not the 'real story,' nor was it the 'tenor' of the 'culture' before the story was released for 'infotainment.'  The story was that the NAACP stated the Tea Party had racist elements and they need to rein in that aspect of their 'focus.' 

Well, guess what?  This story only proves beyond a shadow of a doubt EXACTLY how racist those elements are, Uncle Tom or no Uncle Tom.

It's Sunday Night

"Indifference" by Pearl Jam

I will light the match this mornin', so I won't be alone

Watch as she lies silent, for soon light will be gone
Oh, I will stand arms outstretched, pretend I'm free to roam
Oh, I will make my way, through, one more day in Hell...
How much difference does it make
How much difference does it make, yeah...

I will hold the candle till it burns up my arm
Oh, I'll keep takin' punches until their will grows tired
Oh, I will stare the sun down until my eyes go blind
Hey, I won't change direction, and I won't change my mind
How much difference does it make
Mmm, how much difference does it much difference...

I'll swallow poison, until I grow immune
I will scream my lungs out till it fills this room
How much difference
How much difference
How much difference does it make
How much difference does it make