Friday, February 17, 2012

I don't know if anyone can legitimately make the Bird Flu more deadly than it already is...

Women selling chickens at a market in Ha Giang Province, Vietnam. The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus still poses a threat.

...but, certainly the USA will try to convince Geneva any documented research should be limited to strict standards to protect sovereign nations from aspirations of international criminals.

Interesting article by the New York Times.

...The announcement, (click title to entry - thank you) made on Friday by the World Health Organization, follows two months of heated debate about the flu research. The recommendation to publish the work in full came from a meeting of 22 experts in flu and public health from various countries who met on Thursday and Friday in Geneva at the organization’s headquarters to discuss “urgent issues” raised by the research....

I am confident any release of data would be to facilitate other research institutions who might help or have more resources.  But, certainly safety should not be sacrificed.

What happened to bird flu? Deaths continue, new strain outsmarts poultry vaccine in Vietnam (click here)

HANOI, Vietnam — Thought bird flu was gone? Recent human deaths in Asia and Egypt are a reminder that the H5N1 virus is still alive and dangerous, and Vietnam is grappling with a new strain that has outsmarted vaccines used to protect poultry flocks.
Ten people have died in Cambodia, Indonesia, Egypt, China and Vietnam since December during the prime-time flu season when the virus typically flares in poultry....
...The H5N1 virus has killed 345 people worldwide since 2003, when it rampaged across large swaths of Asia decimating poultry stocks before later surfacing in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The number of poultry outbreaks has greatly diminished since then, but the virus remains entrenched in several countries and continues to surface sporadically, resulting in 20 to 30 human deaths globally in recent years....
This is the second time the global medical community has successfully contained outbreaks of very serious viruses, the first being SARS.  They are to be commended.  That community may have their own ideas about releasing data as well.

After attempts by Russia to accomplish what the Arab League could not, it has returned to the UN.

Smoke billows in Homs after the city is shelled by what activists say were Syrian troops, February 17, 2012.  (click here)

Moscow would have preferred to hold both the rebels and the government responsible for the circumstances in Syria, but, in the end Russia came on board with other nations in the UN General Assembly.

Moscow Ready to Seek Syria Solution with UN (click title to entry - thank you)

MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti)
Russia is ready to seek a compromise formula together with other UN member states to settle the months-long political crisis in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry Official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.
His statement follows passage by the UN General Assembly on Thursday of a non-binding resolution condemning Syria’s authorities for human rights violations and calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. The measure passed with 137 votes in favor, while 12 countries voted against, including Russia and China. Seventeen others abstained.
“We are ready to seek a compromise formula to resolve the Syrian crisis on the basis of the UN. But the interests of the Syrian people, peace and security in the whole region must be paramount,” Lukashevich said in a statement issued on the website of the ministry....

He joins a list of many currently imprisoned in the USA for the rest of their lives.

In a courtroom sketch, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man who tried blowing up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day 2009 is sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmonds in federal court in Detroit, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. (AP / Jerry Lemenu)

...Delivering judgment Thursday, (click title to entry - thank you) almost 26 months after he embarked on the botched suicide mission, US District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds slammed four life sentences plus 50 years on the Nigerian.
The judge, who said, "This was an act of terrorism that cannot be quibbled with", noted that, "the defendant has never expressed doubt or remorse about his mission."
Judge Edmunds said: "To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission."
The judge had earlier struck out a motion by Abdulmutallab's standby lawyer, Anthony Chanbers, that the mandatory life sentence against him was unconstitutional, cruel and unusual punishment.
Also at the sentencing, where five of the 289 passengers aboard Northwest Airline Flight 253, were allowed to give their remarks, a 52-second videotape of the explosion of 200 grammes of Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) - the explosive substance concealed in his underwear - was played to show the kind of harm it would have caused had his mission been successful....

...With his sentencing, Abdulmutallab, who had been detained at a federal prison in Milan since his arrest, may be moved to federal super-maximum prison in Florence, Colorado, where other convicted terrorists are serving their time.
The 37-acre facility, called USP Florence ADMAX, which is located in Fremont County, opened in 1994 and was established to house high profile prisoners who are deemed the most dangerous and in need of the tightest control of all the prisoners in US federal prison system....

The Religious Bigots turned out in full self-righteous regalia, including Humpty Dumpty.

The New Jersey House and Senate did NOT pass Civil Union legislation and the Governorship is not a dictatorship.  The VETO by Christi was completely based in hatred for equality of all citizens of New Jersey.  The citizen's legislature represents the State's people.
Just that simple.
The VETO had absolutely no valid justification and stands as testament to the Govrenor's self-righteous political ambitions as a Tea Party Darling.  If the Governor actually had reasons backed by facts for such a veto there would be reason to give it a second thought, but, this?  This is nothing but a Governor espousing and validating hatred.  There is nothing else to discern from his actions.  The veto had no basis for its use and he was inflicting pain on those that worked so hard to pass the legislation in the New Jersey State House and Senate.  If Humpty Dumpty feels pain at the insult to his physical appearance, then he now knows what he did to all the citizens of New Jersey that would have benefited from legislation passed by THE PEOPLE.   He should FEEL IT and learn exactly what a bully he is.
...Christie conditionally (click here) vetoed the bill six hours after it reached his desk, a day after the state Assembly gave the final legislative approval that he said he would not support.
"I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples — as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits,’’ Christie said in a prepared statement.
"Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen’s right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied."...
Darrel Issa should be admired for his overt bigotry and mysgyny.  He is working as hard as he can to defame the President.  What a guy.

4. Chairman Issa’s decision (click title to entry) to hold hearing on whether contraception rule violates religious liberty but only inviting people to testify who already believe said rule violates religious liberty.

The panel crafted by Issa consisted of four people followed by another panel of about the same number.  All were religious bigots and under represented the many, many religions and faiths in the USA.  Of course, Issa knew including any non-religious testimony was unnecessary as it is only the 'religious exception' needed to oppress women into servitude that was important.  He has his priorities straight.  You can tell he is a Glen Beck and Murdoch media icon.  His abilities to hold everyone's attention with hideous use of federal committee time is a tribute to his camera savvy ability.  No cost is too great to be heard as the Right Wing Zealot that can take the heat from California liberals.  So long as Issa can command the bully pulpit for the GOP others can be camera shy and out of ridicule of their constituency.

I don't know that there is sincerely more to say, it was all a Dog and Pony Show to political fervor of men that appear to hold power over others.  The Show was at taxpayer expense, accomplished nothing and caused sincere pain across the spectrum of citizens it victimized.  They aren't capable of governing.  If it wasn't obvious today, don't know when it ever will be.

While the media hype is on these jokers, they appear to have influence and power which is intended to diminish the authority of the President and the office.  It is all gamesmanship at the cost of others.  I do believe there are huge ethical issues here if anyone care to investigate them.

The Replay (click here)

Immorality -- or Empowerment?
At the core of the sexual revolution was the concept -- radical at the time -- that women, just like men, enjoyed sex and had sexual needs. Feminists asserted that single women had the same sexual desires and should have the same sexual freedoms as everyone else in society. For feminists, the sexual revolution was about female sexual empowerment. For social conservatives, the sexual revolution was an invitation for promiscuity and an attack on the very foundation of American society -- the family. Feminists and social conservatives quickly clashed over morality of the "sexual revolution," and the Pill was drawn into the debate.

The Testimony Chairman Issa Doesn't Want You to Hear

The church needs to work on its own problems before it causes sovereign nations any.

Piero (left) and Claudio Savi (click title to entry - thank you) hold the sceptre that the Pope will carry during the Feb. 18 ceremony when Archbishop Timothy Dolan is elevated to Cardinal.

VATICAN CITY - (click here) A scandal over leaked Vatican documents and reports of political infighting, financial mismanagement and administrative chaos in the Holy See's frescoed halls have cast a cloud over this weekend's ceremony to create 22 new cardinals....

The Whiners really need to examine their loyalty to their country.

Let's just reflect for one second on the fact CHURCH DOCTINE is not the law of the land, then realize how damn lucky every faith in this country is allowed to practice their doctrine freely. Then add up all the doctrinal differences with EVERY faith in the USA and find out where the hell in the US Constitution does it say this country is suppose to bend a knee to every one of those doctrines before putting the well being of the citizens first.

Oh, forgive me if I am not polite, but, freedom of speech wins out over 'Thou shalt now take the Lord's name in vain."

This crap is nothing but bullshit.  The USA is the most protective nation on Earth of the allowance of church doctrine and the right for it to exist in full force among its members.  This is a country based on diversity and it is up to the church member to adhere to its doctrines and teaching.  This is NOT a legislative issue, it is a political 'hail mary' the GOP is hoping will land in the end zone in November!

And the GOP has no right, no right to even approach the issue of 'sanctity of life,' until they solve the problems surrounding The Death Sentence and the racial divide in this country that lands a higher percent of minorities in prison.  Don't even try it!

The USA sovereignty allows for Freedom of Religion but NOT EQUALITY of authority. That concept is the tail waging the dog and is Anti-American.  Providing health insurance to all employees of EQUAL STANDING faith is the least any church can do for the freedom and acceptance they find in the USA.

Just because Republicans only see their own immorality in their allegiance to wealth doesn't mean those insuring the faiths will actually demand monies to make up any perceived in fraction in their spotless souls.  

Republicans don't have faith in insurance companies to follow the law as written and they also see them getting away with it. Interesting. Very interesting.  Because the law requires the services to be paid by the insurance companies, yet, to hear Republicans cry about their ideology one would think there is no justice department that won't look the other way when infractions occur.

Why is that?  Why do the ideologues always see ENFORCEMENT of injustice in the USA rather than the rule of law?  Now.  That would be an even more interesting realization for the elections in November than this ever could be.  And what gets more interesting is that Republicans believe health insurance companies are untrustworthy.  Well.  Over half the country has been saying that for years now.  "Death by Lack of Health Insurance Coverage," due to a newly diagnosed disease.

The OXYMORON of the GOP.  Untrustworthy, but, worthy of financial exploitation of the citizens of the USA.  Profits over people and the law that is suppose to protect them.  The GOP really needs to search their souls before they rant about their dedication to decency.

Give him points for cleverness.(click title to entry - thank you) President Obama’s birth control “accommodation” was as politically successful as it was morally meaningless. It was nothing but an accounting trick that still forces Catholic (and other religious) institutions to provide medical insurance that guarantees free birth control, tubal ligation and morning-after abortifacients — all of which violate church doctrine on the sanctity of life.
The trick is that these birth control/abortion services will supposedly be provided independently and free of charge by the religious institution’s insurance company. But this changes none of the moral calculus. Holy Cross Hospital, for example, is still required by law to engage an insurance company that is required by law to provide these doctrinally proscribed services to all Holy Cross employees....

It would seem, STILL AGAIN, the majority GOP in the State House and Senate can't facilitate work in North Carolina.

I sincerely believe now is not the time to continue pandering to the construction lobby in North Carolina, so much as looking toward new opportunities for many people.

...Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and the chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. announced Friday morning that Caterpillar will build a new manufacturing plant in Georgia, bringing about 1,400 new employees to that state.
The news marks another loss for North Carolina in industrial recruitment competition. Caterpillar had considered a site on the Brunswick-Columbus county line for the project.
The plant will be built in the Athens area, according to a news release from the governor’s office. It will break ground in March and begin operations by 2013.

Georgia officials credited a state job training program and transportation infrastructure with helping to lure Caterpillar....

INFRASTRUCTURE.  North Carolina has had a rail network on the books for decades.  When will progress be made to that goal?  A project that helps out people of lower income and without unsightly orange cones.  North Carolina has a very poor public transit system.  To travel form Greensboro to Wilmington using public transportation, which is about 200 miles and about four hours driving time, it takes over 12 hours and multiple transfer points to achieve that goal.  The NC Coastal Plain relies heavily on tourism.  So, like, where are the priorities already?

No tourist, either in state or out of state would endure such inconvenience to arrive at Wrightsville Beach.  This is the age of high fuel costs and public transit is much less expensive than driving.  Those less fortunate that live in state don't even know what the NC Coast looks like.

GTIB Program Overview (click here)

The Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank (GTIB) is a revolving infrastructure investment fund, much like a bank, provides loans with attractive terms to eligible state, regional, and local government entities to fund eligible transportation projects. The GTIB is also authorized to administer grant money for specific programs related to transportation....

While visiting a friend living in Wilmington in early January I realized there was a lot more activity in and around the city.  I asked what's up?  She stated occupancy rates on short term housing rentals were up.  She cited the warmer weather in the OFF SEASON.  This trend in climate will continue and the NC Coast will have an inviting coastal economy year round.  No one cares about opportunity anymore?

Marco Rubio voted against an established El Salvador ambassador when her term was to be renewed.

Like what?

Mari Carmen Aponte is a Washington DC-based Puerto Rico-born attorney who served as the United States ambassador to El Salvador from August 2010 until December 2011.  She was given a recess appointment to the post in August 2010 that expired at the end of 2011.

And according to "Latino Partership for Conservative Principles" the reason she was not reinstated is because Majority Leader Harry Reid and others...and I quote from Alfonso Aguilar, executive director:

"This blatant attempt at racial identity politics is offensive and condescending to all Latinos," he said in a statement Thursday....

... Aguilar, who is Puerto Rican, said he opposed Aponte for her advocacy of gay rights issues in El Salvador, "not because she is a fellow Puerto Rican." ...

Right.  It is so good to know Senator Rubio is part of mainstream America.  Senator DeMint is the genuinely decent guy I would follow example.  I am sure the majority of Americans would agree those violent uprisings she has been leading is completely against State Department policy.

DeMint: El Salvador Ambassador Has “Gay Agenda” (click here)

Sen. Jim DeMint says U.S. ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte wants “to impose a pro-gay agenda” on El Salvador — but she’s merely praising the Salvadoran government’s own pro-LGBT...

Well, I'll tell you one thing, I wouldn't trust the USA military in her hands.  I guess Senator Menendez is one of THE OTHERS conspiring to make Gay a national referendum to defeat the sovereignty of White America!

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., (click here) called her an “excellently qualified Latina who is being politically discriminated against.” But her chief foe, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said Republicans had pressed for months for details on her background to no avail. “Why did she refuse to take a lie detector test? Why did she withdraw her nomination under (President Bill) Clinton?” he asked.

So, tell me Senator DeMint have you ever taken a lie detector test?  Did they actually REQUIRE Ms. Aponte to take one or is this a statement about how it was never a requirement in the first place.  There would need to be a reason to require one, like DRUG CARTEL AFFILIATES.

Now run Senator DeMint as fast as those legs can take you, to a Murdoch affiliate or Glen Beck to reassure the trembling nation you are still a Tea Party member.  Run, hurry, don't wait there is air time for you when you 'drop in' like a good friend or neighbor and take Rubio with you and explain how this women is the worst thing that ever happened to the USA State Department in El Salvador.

It is such a relief to know DeMint and Rubio are standing the line on never sending qualified Hispanic Lawyers to Central America, just like the elite panel of men discussing women's health in a House meeting room without one woman there to assist. Amazing.  So very complete in their thought processes to realize Hispanic representatives in Latin America and women with health concerns are their own problem. Most admirable.

...Thirteen years ago, when Clinton nominated Aponte, reports surfaced that a former live-in boyfriend, Roberto Tamayo, had ties to Cuban intelligence in Fidel Castro’s regime and that Cuban intelligence agents had tried to recruit her. The head of the Foreign Relations Committee at the time, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., signaled he would question Aponte about the allegations at her confirmation hearing; she withdrew her nomination. In the end, the FBI cleared her. On two occasions, Aponte has received top-secret security clearances....

Jessie Helms?  DeMint and Rubio are still living the bigoted lie of Jessie Helms? Amazing. They are men who can think for themselves. What a fine example of American greatness.

Sen. Jesse Helms Dead at 86 (click here)

...Called "Senator No" by some, Helms consistently argued against the United Nations, communism, government spending, welfare, arms control and foreign aid. He was pro-military, and often derisive on topics and people he opposed, including Martin Luther King Jr. and homosexuality....

So, Senator Rubio is a wolf in sheep's clothing when it comes to promoting minorities. He is just in the Senate to continue to pander to Wall Street like the rest of his peers at the GOP. Helms was a Bible Toting Bigot and Racist though and though and this is the man the GOP aspires to as a hero.  Wow.  Long live the KKK!

AP Legal Affairs Writer

First Posted: February 16, 2012 - 10:49 am
Last Updated: February 16, 2012 - 4:12 pm

BOSTON— A former Salvadoran military officer (click here) accused of colluding in the 1989 slayings of six Jesuit priests pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of fraud and perjury for allegedly lying on U.S. immigration forms.

Inocente Orlando Montano, 69, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on eight charges related to the alleged immigration fraud.

Montano has lived near Boston for about a decade. He was among 20 Salvadorans separately indicted in Spain last year in connection with the slayings during El Salvador's 12-year civil war.

Montano was arrested on the immigration charges last year. He signed a plea agreement with prosecutors but later informed the court that he would not plead guilty....

Quite the contrary to popular beliefs among the GOP, the division of the people of El Salvador has stemmed from religious divisiveness. The USA needs an ambassador that can understand the place the USA plays and has played with the people of that nation. The problem in El Salvador is the same as any other country experiencing violence based in religion and ethnicity, THEY ARE IMPOVERISHED.

The GOP adheres to Reagan Era foreign policy.  The fact of the matter is the Salvadoran government was unable to establish itself because of the power of the Contras.  You know the Contras, "Iran-Contra Affair."  Reagan and those that adhere to his policies even today like to 'play god' in countries like El Salvador with huge power vacuums.

Catholic missionaries get caught up in taking sides, primarily for their own survival. The last thing El Salvador needs is another divisive religious figure as ambassador from the USA.

Placing a well established lawyer in El Salvador as a USA Ambassador with an open door to all the oppressed, including the gay community, is our best representation in that country.  It will allow stability and insight to the most dire needs of the population.  

There is a global effort, not by the USA, but by the gay community at large to empower the homosexual community to protect their lives in every country.  The global gay community again has risen to maintain the safety of their community as they did during the HIV eruption.  The gay community are often scapegoats in highly charged religious ethnic movements/violence.  When scapegoats exist in a country it empowers the violence and increases instability.  

Her appointment and position on gay empowerment is one reflected by global interests and it is not about destroying faith, it is about stabilizing countries and rooting out the cartels while ending the power vacuum.

The USA is very, very lucky to have such a lawyer to ask to serve this country and stand up for what is 'the best of values' when every country in Latin and South America is facing in some form the assault of drug cartels that seek to flourish through the USA southern border.  Her denial of continued service to the State Department is an assault on the sovereignty of the USA and adds to the power vacuum in Latin and South America while providing more opportunity for drug cartels to flourish.

DeMint is typical of the 'old world' under Reagan.  It is a lot more than opportunistic economic strategies through inappropriate government deregulation.  Reagan never had an economic strategy, he simply deregulated.  That is not a strategy or a sustainable economy.  

One other thought, the USA Embassies are there to serve the USA and those Americans that find themselves abroad for whatever reasons are their own.  The citizens the State Department concerns itself with are Americans.  All Americans, including minorities and gays.  Got a problem with that?


This is from 1983. DeMint and now Rubio are among the GOP that hang onto 'impetus' views to facilitate war rather than peace.

Celerino "Cele" Castillo III
Author: "POWDERBURNS" Cocaine, Contras & The Drug War

                                                       April 27, 1998

...We, ordinary Americans, can not trust the C.I.A. Inspector General (click title to entry - thank you) to conduct a full investigation into the CIA or the DEA. Let me tell you why. When President Clinton (June, 1996) ordered The Intelligence Oversight Board to conduct an investigation into allegations that US Agents were involved in atrocities in Guatemala, it failed to investigate several DEA and CIA operations in which U.S. agents knew before hand that individuals (some Americans) were going to be murdered.... 

Wall Street really is very corrupt. This is an example of how they are still trying to scam investors.

To begin with when a PRIVATE equities firm wants to develop an IPO to raise money from investors, all kinds of red flags should be going up.  I wouldn't trust this stock as far as I could spit.

If Wall Streets wants to jerk itself around and play nasty financial games within its own infrastructure then go ahead, but, mandatory arbitration standards to play investors for fools is simply outrageous.  Arbitration in a den of thieves is one thing, but, to bring it to the market place is quite something else entirely.
...So, let’s get this straight. (click title to entry -  thank you) It’s perfectly fine for investors and financial-firm employees who have a dispute with Wall Street to be forced into an arbitration process administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-regulatory organization.
Yet, when the Carlyle Group, a private-equity firm seeking to sell its shares to the public, tried to require its new investors to use that same arbitration process to resolve any potential disputes, the powers that be called foul. The Securities and Exchange Commission even threatened to block the initial public offering unless an arbitration requirement was removed from its registration documents.
So there is the question: How can a forced-arbitration process be acceptable for the millions of people who do business with or work on Wall Street and then be deemed unacceptable for people who choose to buy stock in Carlyle?
The answer, of course, is that the Wall Street arbitration process is not the least bit fair -- for anyone, including financial workers and Carlyle’s potential investors. What the Carlyle incident shows definitively is that financial firms’ kangaroo-court system -- Finra gets almost $1 billion a year from Wall Street -- must be ended, allowing those with disputes to use the judicial system like everyone else....

It has been a long road for Carlyle to get this far along in the process...

Carlyle to Pay $20 Million to Resolve Cuomo Probe (click here)

31st May 2009
By Karen Freifeld
June 1, 2009
May 14 (Bloomberg) — Carlyle Group agreed to end “pay to play” tactics in its public pension fund business and pay $20 million to resolve a corruption probe by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Under the agreement, Carlyle will adopt new a public pension fund “code of conduct,” which bans investment firms from using placement agents or other third parties to negotiate with public pension funds to obtain investments. It also prohibits firms from doing business with a public pension fund for two years after the firm or its employees make a campaign contribution to a public official who can influence the fund’s investment decisions.

“By banning campaign contributions to those who have sway over pension funds and eliminating the third-party intermediaries that have become dens of corruption, we will ensure reform,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I commend Carlyle for being the first to embrace the Reform Code and leading the industry toward critical change of the public pension investment system.”

Carlyle executives will not be subject to any criminal liability, Cuomo said at a press conference. Carlyle is the second-biggest private equity firm after New York-based Blackstone Group LP. Founded by David Rubenstein with William Conway and Daniel D’Aniello in 1987, it manages about $85.5 billion in assets. …

...and to realize now the slimeballs want to rook their investors out of their ability to hold them accountable when they are scammed through limiting investors to an arbitration process.  Well.  I mean, who do they think they are?  

Above the law.  Wall Street wants to be above the law and all powerful to control their own outcomes while leaving 'the losers' in their dust.

Arbitration.  I tell you what.  Why doesn't Carlyle write its first profit and loss statements to investors now so they know exactly how much they will lose in the not to distant future.  Sound like a plan?  At least it would be an honest one.