Friday, July 19, 2013

The ring of fire is causing New Zealand problems.

July 20, 2013

A 4.3 quake (click here) hit the east coast of New Zealand tonight, following a 4.5 magnitude quake in central New Zealand this afternoon, and a 5.7 earthquake that rattled people in Wellington and Blenheim this morning.
Geonet reported tonight's quake was 20km east of Te Araroa, a settlement on the east coast of the north island, near the southern edge of the Bay of Plenty. The quake was 62km deep and hit at 11.42pm. 

GeoNet reported this afternoon's was of a "strong" intensity, 35km east of Seddon, at a depth of 15km. The quake hit at 3.21pm...

July 20, 2013
Wellington was shaken by more aftershocks (click here) overnight following a "severe" magnitude 5.7 earthquake that rocked the capital and the upper South Island yesterday.

People screamed and dived under desks when the first quake hit at 9.06am yesterday, causing multi-storey office buildings in the central city to sway for at least 30 seconds.

GeoNet said the earthquake struck 30km east of Seddon, in Marlborough, at a depth of 8km.

It was followed by a flurry of smaller aftershocks, with more than 20 in the five hours after the quake.

The biggest aftershock overnight, a magnitude 3.4 tremor, struck at 11pm....

July 19, 2013

TRUMANN (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey (click here) has recorded two small earthquakes near Trumann in northeast Arkansas.
The USGS reports a 3.2 magnitude quake struck about 3:10 p.m. Wednesday three miles southwest of Trumann — about 17 miles southeast of Jonesboro. The second quake was a 2.4 magnitude tremor recorded about 6:10 p.m. about four miles southwest of Trumann.
Police told reporters there were no reports of damage or injury.
The quakes come after a 3.9 magnitude quake and several smaller tremors were recorded in the same area in February....

This is John Fenton. His isn't from New Zealand. Mr. Fenton is from Wyoming. Why do I believe Mr. Fenton's concerns will be disregarded if the Senators from Wyoming don't do something about it?

Photo: John Fenton with the group Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens holds up a sample of water he believes was tainted by hydraulic fracturing. Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica]

In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped a bombshell. It had preliminary evidence that hydraulic fracturing had contaminated an aquifer deep below the Wyoming town of Pavillion, the first time fracking had been positively linked to water pollution. State officials and industry experts heaped criticism on the study, and the agency vowed to look into the issue further. 
That look ended last month, without any conclusions, when the EPA quietly announced it was wrapping up its work. No final report came out.  
For investigative reporter Abrahm Lustgarten, this wasn't an isolated incident of the agency changing course, but part of a larger trend. Recently, in several recent high profile drilling investigations, the agency has abandoned its work before releasing conclusive findings.
Lustgarten wrote about this for ProPublica, the investigative news service, and he talks with host Ryan Warner about what he's finding.

And of course we all know the Oklahoma Senators are in the petroleum industry back pocket, so I would expect much here either. Well, you have to know the Oklahoma doesn't consider manmade earthquakes from hydraulic fracturing anything to worry about. Oops, there goes another rumbler. Nothing to fear.

Hydraulic Fracturing Linked to Earthquakes: Oklahoma Lacks Response (click here) 
July 18, 2013  
by Cindee Talley

Injection wells are linked to earthquakes in a handful of states like: Texas, Wyoming, Arkansas, Ohio, and Colorado.  Impact Oklahoma reported the largest earthquake connected to a disposal and injection well occurred on November 2011 in Prague, Oklahoma.  However, Oklahoma has not responded with significant regulations.
On the other side of the coin, Ohio has taken stronger action banning disposal wells in areas with higher earthquake risks, reviewing seismic risks prior to issuing permits, and requiring operators to install sensors to record and track well data....

Tornadoes, earthquakes and the Climate Crisis is just another day in Oklahoma. After all the worst TO DATE is only 5.7. Minor detail. Cash receipts are great, though. American Dream, what American Dream? I thought the country was all about Obamacare and Food Stamps. There is no more American Dream. "Drill, babe, drill and give a boost to the chemical industry while your at it." Water shortage? The oil people don't seem to think so.

...The 5.7-magnitude quake (click here) that shook near Prague, Oklahoma in November 2011 is the largest earthquake linked to disposal and injection wells, but Oklahoma’s regulatory response has been almost nonexistent....

July 19, 2013 
USGS Study Connects Earthquake Risk To Wastewater Injection, 
Fracking Advocates Say, "Who Cares?" (click here)

If there was a morality that needed the President to address it; it is the death of Trayvon Martin.

He stood up at Sandy Hook. I would not expect him to step back from it now. He has seen more gun violence that has brought personal tragedy to this nation than any other President in history. 

July 19, 2013
By Teresa Welsh
President Barack Obama (click here) Friday made unexpected remarks about the state of race relations in the United States, nearly a week after a ruling was delivered in the case of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Obama released a statement immediately following the announcement last weekend that George Zimmerman was not guilty, but said he felt the need to expand upon his thoughts....

Governor Snyder was in a very big hurry. Imagine that.

The publisher of the Bond Buyer, Mike Stanton, said in a tweet, "This fact will stand up: Speed of filing took bond creditors by surprise."

These proceedings can take up to two years or longer and the bond holders can find they lost between 20 and 85 percent. 

A judge is stating it violates the Michigan State Constitution. Why does that not surprise me.

GM's CEO believes it was the decline of the auto industry that caused the decline in Detroit. No doubt that played into the current problems of Detroit, but, they need not blame the unions. There were many cities dependent on the tax base provided by union workers. GM abandoned the American worker. It ought to reflect on that rather than blaming unions. It was the loss of employment to the American workforce when GM outsourced that impacted these cities and towns.

The unions had nothing to do with outsourcing. Those were decisions by CEOs seeking to close the wealth gap between themselves and the 1 percent. 

It was Detroit that was irresponsible and corrupt to cause all this? I don't think so. I would think GM would have learned a lesson about their employees and that link to their success. Do I remember right? The American people closed the real gap to GM's success. I think I have that correct.

Greed instead of real insight to macroeconomics of a country devoted to the Middle Class is what impacted the auto industry. Greed, consumer products outdated, multi-national interests and lousy management finally returned GM to the bargaining table. Over two decades of impoverished corporate priorities brought Detroit to where it is today. Some of us have a long memory, it doesn't seem to be the case in the Board Room of GM.

I should clarify my point of view. Sometimes the meaning gets lost in the sarcasm.

The NSA methodology does nothing about the abuse of power of Wall Street equity firms.

Adding redundancy at the level of access only creates two whistleblowers instead of one. 

The best methodology is to require AUTHORIZATION of access by two staffers in the NSA followed by two witnesses to the access. The Authorization has to comply with 'Best Interests of USA National Security" and NOT the wealth of the few. 

That access should require a sufficient enough fee to pay for the needed man hours for evaluation of the access by the NSA. The duplicity at the time of access is the expense of those seeking it.

The NSA has to bring the redundancy up at least to the level of government authority and on a 'single use' basis. Then and only then can I expect the security of the USA to be intact.

That would reduce the abuse of the use of citizen data to sole use of USA National Security. 

Most government contract information can be well served in the form of paper documents and not wireless. 

FISA can be policed from within the government by a board of the anonymous comprised of civil rights attorneys.

Problem solved.

Mr. Snowden has brought change to the USA. Can the collapse of Wall Street be far away?

General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) said Friday that the NSA was tightening security to prevent further leaks like those by Edward Snowden.

Sometimes it takes a whistleblower.

July 19, 2013

...The head of the NSA, (click here) Keith Alexander, said that the agency was implementing the "two-man rule" in which analysts could only access classified information in the presence of a colleague....

Now, about that spying nonsense that goes on....

July 19, 2013
...More than one generation (click here) has been brought up hearing that Carter was one of the worst presidents of all time, that his administration was egregiously corrupt and grossly incompetent, and that he made America a laughing-stock among nations. The fact that Carter was and is a man of extraordinary personal character and integrity, and that he has displayed these qualities in abundance since leaving the White House, has made no difference. Every time he makes the news, he is denounced by a chorus of yahoos who remind us that he is, after all, Jimmy Carter, the man who made us all look stupid, the man we couldn’t wait to be rid of.

What a curious consensus this is.

For President Carter started no wars, bombed no civilians, and committed no crimes against the Constitution. He did not sell weapons to terrorists or spy on his political opponents. The handful of “scandals” associated with his term in office seem hilariously trivial in our age. He was, certainly, far from perfect—but perfection is a fairly useless standard to apply to any elected official. If we can move past the automatic associations that spring to mind when we think of Carter—the “malaise” speech, the killer rabbit, the hostage crisis—his presidency may be relevant for us in an entirely different way....

...Carter’s criticism of the NSA carries particular weight because he was the last president to date—and perhaps the only president of the entire modern era—who even tried to do something about the national security state. As investigative journalist Mark Ames recently wrote, President Carter attempted to clean up the CIA, firing almost 20 percent of its employees, focusing on the “clandestine operatives” whose cloak-and-dagger exploits were then fresh news. He also dispersed the Agency’s paramilitary arm, put legal restrictions on the Agency’s power to spy within the United States, and passed an executive order banning assassinations. All of this was entirely in keeping with Carter’s mandate, after Watergate and Vietnam and revelations of various CIA misdeeds, to restore the moral integrity and authority of the federal government.

But none of Carter’s reforms would last. President Reagan signed an executive order in December 1981 authorizing the CIA to collect “foreign intelligence” inside the United States—the first of many steps his administration would take to restore the power and prestige of the Agency. As Ames notes, it did not take CIA and military apparatchiks long to realize that the ban on assassinations could be circumvented quite easily as long as they could be framed as something other than “assassinations.”...

And now, today, we are spying on each other. How great is that? Not very.
Russia has an advantage over the USA. It can learn from it's mistakes. Huge mistakes. Ideology of capitalism drives the country and accumulated wealth nearly destroyed it. Some say it has destroyed it. Blockades of legislative fervor is the prime example. There is oppression by drawing blood and then there are other types of oppression that control the submission of the masses through economic dependency and silence.

Russians seeking freedom and positive economic outcomes should openly make example in speeches to the failure of the USA. There is much failure within the ashes of the USA economy. The increased poverty rate alone tells a tale most Russians would not want for themselves. The truth about capitalism. The deaths in the health care system. The list long and impressive to the destruction by worshiping the Money God. 

Now, the USA faces oppression of our children. Education. Politicians with umbilical cords to massive funding want to privatize public education and remove the hope of every child's birthright in the USA. That is not evil? That is definitely evil. 

The oppression of Voting Rights by a court corrupted with it's own importance. Every decision, regardless of the topic, throws embodied power of the Poor and Middle Class into fear while pushing for Constitutional Amendments. The Gay Community believes they have won a victory, but, in fact The Robert's Court threw the power to mayhem as to whom can win rights or oppression. It is a very hostile court we are facing in the USA. 

The so called State's Rights the Gay Community now enjoys may be short lived if the politicians of self-righteousness and oppression have their way. The God Awful Marriage Amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman.

Look at the functioning of the National Labor Relations Board. The USA Senate is oppressing the Middle Class and seeking further failure to insure the wealth of the country only remains in the hands of the few. The assault of the political Right Wing is palpable among the working people of the USA. A young woman who finally found employment at "Sam's Club" a large marketing enterprise was told if she joined a labor union she would be immediately fired. That is the USA? That is freedom? That is upward mobility? I think not.

The list is long and the truth abundant to the oppressive force of wealth. The Russian people are somewhat beginning anew after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is nothing to be ashamed of, but, quiet the contrary a new reality to master can lead to greatness in ways not expected.

The truth is a powerful force. It is also a force of dignity. The Russian people should cling to it and seek it.

Sometimes a culture and/or economy runs on corruption and the only way out is to get dirty.

MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti)
A Russian court released opposition leader (click here) and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny from custody Friday, as the five-year prison sentence handed down to him the day before will only come in force in ten days, after his appeal is heard.

Navalny was taken into custody Thursday after being sentenced by a court in the city of Kirov for masterminding a 2009 embezzlement scheme involving a state-owned timber supply company in the Kirov region. Navalny has denied the charges, claiming the trial was politically motivated and orchestrated by the Kremlin in response to his role in organizing a series of massive public protests against President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested Navalny be released from custody until his sentence comes into legal force. If Navalny does not appeal the verdict, he will have to go to prison in 10 days, it said....

Appeals have been known to work. So many of these oppositional cases are considered to be politically motivated. I would not discourage free and open speech in lieu of a revolt. These cases so seldom make the media until they appear to be seeking appeal it is nearly impossible to measure the sincere underground opposition of the current government.

October 10, 2012
One of the members (click here) of Pussy Riot jailed in Russia has been set free after an appeal. Her two band mates lost the appeal and must serve the remaining two years of their sentence for inciting religious hatred.
Yekaterina Samutsevich, pictured center above, was given a suspended sentence instead of jail time, but her band mates - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina - had their sentences upheld.
The appeals court in Moscow heard the appeal of the three women on Wednesday....

I suppose Alexei Navalny could have used an anti-corruption blog to hide any embezzlement, but, the two are separate. Embezzlement is one reality and the point he was making in his anti-corruption blog is another reality. One does not equate the other. There is nothing saying others cannot pick up with the blog posts should his appeal fail.

I did find this blog in English (click here)

There is an extensive biography on Wikipedia (click here)

It is common knowledge there is corruption in Russia. Some results in deaths within Moscow. For as progressive as Moscow likes to be, there is a very dark side. It isn't as through evidence doesn't exist to point a finger at oppression though.

Paul Klebnikov an investigative journalist was murdered July 9, 2004. There were accusations of three Chechen men being responsible only to be acquitted with one still missing.

It is difficult to blame the Russian leadership because it can be argued people who decent are safer in prison. That is not the case either. There is a pervasive insult to those that speak out even in prison and they die in a cell.

Opposition that is important such as engaged by Alexei Navalny has a place in Moscow media and otherwise. Someone willing to be intelligently involved in rooting out corruption which leads from the street to the prisons can't be ignored. Perhaps rather than Russia citizens risking their lives President Putin should have a blog about the deep seated corruption in the country. Bringing it out into the light is the best venue for adequately dealing with it. It removes the power the government has no control over and will ultimately punish the real enemy, the embezzlement of freedom.

I wish Mr. Alexei Navalny much success in his appeal. 

And to President Putin. Control at every turn is not the answer. He should remember how openness developed a trust of him among the Russian people.

I think I make my point when embezzlement includes selling a failing logging company. Sometimes the failure of the company can be arranged and that is what is at the heart of Mr. Navalny's charges. For if the company didn't fail there would be no sale, now would there?

I have to disagree with Mr. Prokhorov. He sounds so Wall Street with no empathy for the former owner of the logging company. Wouldn't you say? The New York Times might be right and this is a sincere opposition to capitalism, but, is that all that bad?

The point is that if Russia opposes the corruption of wealth within it's society that result in costs to the poor, what will it do?

If the logging company is found to be the victim of economic corruption in capitalistic take overs, where are the facts? If Russia finds poor economic leadership within it's younger political figures will the leadership actually take away the complaint of evil to again expose the drive of oligarchy oppressing a strong Middle Class economy? Where are the facts to support that issue. It can be very real. Corporations can be very dangerous to economies as we have witnessed.

If corruption is so deep a logging company can be oppressed into a disadvantaged sale, what does that say about protections and bankruptcy rather than corporate takeover. The younger political figures of Russia are simply biding their time. It is known to be a strategy that works. It has a cost. The Old Guard should consider the alternatives to oppression and deal with the corruption known to exist.

Where is the Middle Class and the legislation in the Duma to support them to grow in number and strength? Where are the leaders of the Middle Class because to date the real news coming from Russia is the fall of the wealthy and their facilitators. Where are the political figures coming from the Middle Class to seek political office? 

Much has to change in Russia, but, I am not convinced oppression is the path to seek, so much as exposure to eliminate it. 

Oh, by the way, labor unions frequently drive the growth of a Middle Class quite successfully. It is a fact. Known to work. I would have loved for the employees and owner of the logging company come together in joint ownership to make it work. It would be an interesting model for Russia. 

Sequestering wealth to a few is known to destroy itself over time. Every country needs a Middle Class to drive the economy with promise to their children. I think President Putin knows something about children and their future. He should build on it. Freedom of speech works both ways. It works for the unheard, the oppressed and the powerful.

Basis of charge (click here)
Navalny was charged with theft over a deal he arranged in 2009, when he was an assistant to the governor in Kirov — he found a middleman to buy timber from a struggling logging company. Because the middleman made a profit on the timber, the prosecution charged that Navalny had effectively deprived the lumber company of nearly $500,000 by getting it to agree to sell below market value.

If any business deal can lead to prison, Mikhail Prokhorov, the billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Nets and a former presidential candidate, wrote on Facebook, “I wonder how many talented young businessmen and lawyers right now, right here at this point, are mentally packing their bags?” 

Yevgenia Albats, editor of New Times magazine, tweeted that the court had overturned capitalism.

In contrast to what has happened to Navalny, the former head of a Moscow district who was convicted of embezzling $42 million was given five years of probation by a judge on July 7....

I am the King of "Damn It' and will not be questioned. If I want to taint a jury pool to favor the gun lobby, then 'damn it' I'll do it and no one can stop me!

Police officers should leave their personal preferences at home.