Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It is unconstitutional as well as internationally illegal.

The War Powers Act carves out a 90 day period for the President to act constitutionally by himself. This measure by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations attempts to legislate Executive powers.

By 10-7, the Committee on Foreign Relations (click here) moved the measure to a full Senate vote, expected next week.
The proposal allows the use of force in Syria for 60 days with the possibility to extend it for 30 days. It prevents the use of US troops on the ground.
President Barack Obama is battling to build support at home and abroad for military action.
Despite Wednesday's vote, the bill's ultimate fate in the wider Senate is unclear. And the US House of Representatives must also approve the measure....

The only place found in our Constitution for the Commander and Chief is the Executive Branch. The Congress can't tie his/her hands. This bill is bad law. This is not Megan's Law. It is not a specialized situation that will spawn a policy that will apply universally to a specific set of circumstances. This is the USA military. This law is not only bad law, it is a dangerous precedent. This bill re-legislates The War Powers act and limits the actions of the President to 60 days with a 30 day review.

It also encourages mission creep. When the President comes back after about 30 to 45 days to review the actions of the military and there is need for that extension; there is also the question what will resolve in thirty days that could not be resolved in 60 days. Either the last 30 days is to clean up the actions of the 60th day or it is an extension into a greater war.

It takes almost that long to turn a battle ship fleet around yet alone carry out a war.

Since when does the Legislature of the USA break international law? Simply because Bush/Cheney ran their own war without end, doesn't mean the legislature should go along with it. Illegal is illegal.

This is just wrong. From start to finish it is wrong from every aspect of it.

This is ridiculous. Paragraph One is too broad, HOWEVER, it DOES cover Paragraph 4 if left as is because it allows troops on the ground to prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups or other non-government groups, etc. 

This is a declaration or war, well masked, but impossible to carry out as it is sculpted without a USA invasion into Syria.

Either that or there will be drones carrying out strikes without any intelligence to know who exactly is being killed. 

Paragraph Four demands either troops, drones or both and does not guarantee those targeted are soldiers which makes it a complete affront to the Geneva Conventions.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves a resolution authorizing 
the limited use of force against the Assad regime in Syria. The senators 
respond to reports of a chemical weapons attack against Syrian citizens.

McCain is the only one that remotely makes sense. He knows this legislation is 
political nonsense. What McCain doesn't care about is the illegal reality to
those actions by the USA. He believes the sheer power of the USA military
should go unquestioned, regardless, of international law and countries. McCain
is wrong, but, he doesn't see it that way. He believes the USA is above reproach
in every policy and action it takes.

Japanese Tornado has injured 63, one seriously.

Tornadoes are very rare in Japan. There was one in May of 2013 and in September and November of 2006, but previous to that it goes back to 1999. Besides these tornadoes there have been eleven in Japan since 1838. Tornadoes in that area of the world are fairly rare in general, but, when they occur there are usually fatalities.

September 4, 2013
Yusuke Tomiyama and Hiroyuki Oyama, Yomiuri Shimbun, Staff Writers
Tornadoes are relatively uncommon in Japan, (click here) but they have hit the nation with increasing frequency amid global warming.
A tornado ripped through Saitama and Chiba prefectures on Monday, blowing roofs off of buildings and injuring dozens of people. The tornado was spawned by huge cumulonimbus clouds that rapidly developed in the Kanto region on Monday afternoon.
It went on a 10-kilometer rampage, affecting an area from Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, and moving northeast to Noda, Chiba Prefecture. According to reports by local governments including those of the two prefectures, more than 600 buildings were damaged, and 64 people had been reported injured as of Tuesday morning.
In Saitama Prefecture, 63 people were injured, seven seriously, while one person was injured slightly in Noda.
In Koshigaya and Matsubushi in Saitama Prefecture, 458 houses and other buildings were damaged, with eight completely destroyed. In Noda, 153 buildings were damaged....

Japan is to be noted northwest of the tropical storm. The storm itself never reached Japan. It was the heat transfer system attached to the storm, NASA calls an outflow that caused the tornadoes.

The outflow from Tropical Storm Toraji spawned tornadoes that caused injuries and property damage in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, just northeast of Tokyo, on September 2, 2013. This image was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument around 0425Z on September 2, 2013.

The Weather Channel has a video

Tornadoes Tear Across Northern Japan; Dozens Injured (click here)

How much of the National Debt is the USA military spending?

Besides being a large part of the National Debt, defense spending has more than doubled since 2000.

It is difficult to find information that actually attacks the national debt from the point of view of defense and military budgets. 

The Iraq War ended December 2011, yet the USA Defense Budget continued to increase.

The FY 2012 budget requests a total of $676 billion (click here) for the Department of Defense (DoD). The base budget for DoD includes $553 billion in discretionary funding and $5 billion in mandatory funding, and an additional $118 billion is requested for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The budget request also includes $19 billion for defense-related atomic energy programs and $8 billion for defense-related activities in other agencies, bringing the total national defense budget to $703 billion. Separately, the budget includes $129 billion for veterans’ benefits and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs....

How many knew the USA military actually has 'discretionary funding.' When do we ever hear those words attached to the USA military budget? Like, never.

Robert Johnson
July 19, 2011

Defense spending is at historic highs. (click here) And though it's the same size, the same shape, and has the same abilities, the U.S. military costs 35 percent more than it did a decade ago.
A 75 page report released last week, by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments also points out that the DoD spent $46 billion of that total on projects that failed, due to cost overruns or technical glitches....

This level of defense spending is indefensible. There is no reason for it. The War in Iraq has ended and yet the cost of the USA military continues to escalate. The American people have a profound problem and it their military. It is a profound problem in more than cost, it is a problem in it's size and scope and current focus. The military is taking their mission where it was never meant to go. The cost is not coming down either. The USA military wants more and more automation to their systems and operate more autonomously with drones at every turn, in the air, in the water, under the water and on the ground. It is time for the American people to say no to their military, it has taken on a life and sovereignty all it's own.

Is this his first trip to Sweden? Don't remember him being there before.

Obama opens 3-day foreign trip in Sweden (click here) 
AP White House Correspondent
President Barack Obama is opening a three-day overseas trip with a stop in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.Air Force One touched down Wednesday morning after an overnight flight from Washington. During his stay in Stockholm, Obama will meet with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and King Carl XVI Gustaf. He will also meet with other Nordic leaders from Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.
Obama's visit marks the first bilateral meeting of a U.S. president to Sweden. The northern European country was added to Obama's itinerary after he canceled plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow ahead of the Group of 20 summit.

Obama will still travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G-20 meetings after leaving Stockholm.

I would have expected the USA State Department to have laid down a productive base for a dialogue with the Swedish Prime Minister. Fairly young man who took the Prime Ministership in 2006 I believe. He faced the global economic collapse as one of this first crisis as Prime Minister.

This is an assessment of the Swedish economy by the University of Michigan.

The Swedish economy (click here) emerged from the financial crisis as one of the strongest in Europe. A high-tech economy and a comprehensive system of welfare benefits allow Sweden to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Sweden has one of the most globalized and competitive economies today....

The National Debt Ceiling of Sweden is $15,231.60 per capita. The National Debt Ceiling of the USA is $53,198.50 per capita and the USA lives up to every penny and then some.
Sweden recovered in 2010 after floundering a bit when the Great Recession first happened, but, it is doing quite well. Their GDP is 50% EXPORTS. Similar to that of China. The USA needs to take a lesson on what actually works to bring about growth and it is not being a consumer economy to cheap Chinese imports with diminished quality of life, no health care and poverty wages.

So, let get this right. The problem is NOT the USA National Debt Limit all by itself, it is THE ECONOMY of the USA that is robbing it's children of their future and the dignity of citizens today. The USA has to stop outsourcing it's economy and demand better quality of life for all of us.

The Debt Ceiling is a SYMPTOM of an economy that simply doesn't work anymore.

I hope the Sweds give President Obama a reality check about Syria. I am quite confident they are more than capable of passing judgement on the deaths USA intervention will cause. 

Sweden has a monarchy, hence, King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The Princess is no different than her peers, at the age of 31 she is having her first child. A sign of the times.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden, (click here) the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and her businessman husband Chris O'Neill are expecting their first child in March, the palace announced on September 3, 2013. AFP/ JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

...Public support for the ceremonial monarchy has weakened somewhat in recent years but remains fairly broad in otherwise egalitarian Sweden.

The wedding in 2010 of Madeleine’s eldest sibling, Crown Princess Victoria, to Daniel Westling and the birth of their daughter, Princess Estelle, have helped to counteract negative publicity around King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia....

There are other nations far more capable of carrying more of the burden for regional militaries, but, they won't if the USA continues being the global police.
Deepest sympathies to his family. This is not their fault, not the fault of the victims. Mr. Castro was unable to cope with life and has been unable for some time now. May he rest in peace.

Deficit is different than the Debt. The question is not whether to raise the National Debt Ceiling, but, when that need end?

The national deficit is growing smaller. It is still outrageous, but, the question is now that our tax base has increased, when will the need to increase the National Debt Limit end?

When will the USA tax base meet the nation's needs? There has to be an answer to that otherwise we will never move forward beyond a fiscal emergency every year. When is that going to happen and when can Americans have peace of mind about their government spending?

If the American citizen is going to have a sane dialogue with it's government there has to be reasonable questions to ask without fear of the answers. Reality and not rhetoric. Growth that meets the needs of the government and a payment of the National Debt. When does that happen without this disaster of political rhetoric? 

Please tell me this nation of people is capable of making good decisions about their government without resorting to lazy rhetorical postures within their own voting power. That rhetoric is where the people lose control of their government. They lose control of their vote as soon as they cast it if they are willing to be snuffed out with lies from their political choices. People have to understand their government and ask good questions to make good choices.

No more 'running game' on the American people.

Is everything Americans believe about their govenrment planned for political outcomes?

The Poor are Lazy.

The Public Sector is Lazy.

Teachers are not good enough for our children. 

Unions are corrupt and obsolete.

What is the default settings for elections?  

By Zahira Torres
The Denver Post

Posted:   09/02/2013 12:01:00 AM MD

Douglas County could be the first school district in Colorado (click here) to face a review of its teacher evaluation system under the appeals process of a new educator effectiveness law.
The Douglas County Federation, a teachers union, has asked the Colorado Department of Education to outline the process for challenging the district's implementation of a market-based evaluation system under the educator effectiveness law, known as SB 191.
Union leaders call the evaluation system implemented in Douglas County invalid and unreliable. District officials said they followed state law and suggested that the union's challenge will be fruitless.
Courtney Smith, vice president of the union, said the plan, which is tied to teacher pay raises, was rolled out in September 2012 after teachers had been in the classroom more than a month. She said district leaders did not adequately communicate to teachers what was expected of them.
"It would have been like me saying to the kids, 'I'm going to give you a grade but you are going to have no idea what's expected of you. I'm not even going to give you the information you need to be successful,' " Smith said.
Union leaders told the state's education department in a letter obtained by The Denver Post that they intended to officially challenge the district's evaluation system on grounds that it does not meet the new teacher evaluation standards for fairness and reliability, teacher input and the training of evaluators....

Are things THIS BAD with every teacher and every union in the USA? Is every incompetent teacher linked to a union? Is every union responsible for the educational system failures throughout the country? Are there actually failures of the education system in the USA? 

Isn't this phenomena in attacks on public employee unions a bit odd to be consistent across the country?

By Nathan Kowalski
There is a branch of economics (click here) that deals with the operations of the political process called public choice theory.
Often credited to the economist James Buchman who won a Nobel Prize in economics, it deals with a theory linking individual behaviour to ultimate political action.
In general, the political process works very well when there is a close and transparent relationship between the receipts of benefits and payment of costs.
There are numerous situations where sound economics and good politics fail to coincide.
I’ll briefly discuss one of these concepts: Inefficiency of Government Operations.
Inefficiency of Government Operations
First it’s important to clearly state that professional pride and the desire to do an excellent job exists in the public sector as well as the private sector. The argument on inefficiency within government is not one that assumes employees of the bureaucratic government are lazy or incapable...

There was a time in recent history when citizens were good citizens and believed everything they were spoon fed. Are we still willing, and that was willing, to be this lazy about the way we think about the government we elect?

Why aren't local government chambers packed with concerned citizens every week rather than when it is fashionable?

The absent American gets what they deserve. 

Public choice applies the theories and methods of economics (click here) to the analysis of political behavior, an area that was once the exclusive province of political scientists and sociologists. Public choice originated as a distinctive field of specialization a half century ago in the works of its founding fathers, Kenneth Arrow, Duncan Black, James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Anthony Downs, William Niskanen, Mancur Olson, and William Riker. Public choice has revolutionized the study of democratic decision-making processes....

When I think of education and higher education it is to bring about a responsible citizen and well educated employee or small business owner. 

The Public Trust.

Why does that price we pay for educating the citizens of the USA fall apart with graduation and why are our college grads unable to ACHIEVE STATUS they deserve in a well paying job without having to increase debt to move into a higher degree in order to achieve a poor paying job just to survive.

A Bachelor degree prepared person should mean something. Having spent four years of life and thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars to improve the education for a better life, why isn't happening? This is not a failure of our education system, it is a failure of our economy. Our children deserve jobs befitting to their hard work to achieve the status of an adult.
The striking prisoners are Abdullah Barghouthi, Alaa Hammad, Hamzeh Dabbas, Mohammad Rimawi and Muneer Merei

by Omar Obeidat and Zain Khasawneh
Aug 11, 2013

AMMAN – Four Jordanian prisoners (click here) in Israeli jails ended their hunger strike on Sunday after reaching a deal with Israeli Prison Service (ISP), said Fadi Farah, spokesperson of the National Committee for Prisoners in Israel.
Farah said the prisoners reached a deal to end their 102-day hunger strike as Israeli authorities agreed to meet some of the main demands of the prisoners.
On the details of the deal, Farah told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of a press conference on Sunday evening that a lawyer from a Palestinian foundation to defend prisoners in Israel represented the Jordanian prisoners in negotiations with the IPS and the Red Cross that ended the hunger strike of four prisoners.
On May 2, five out of the 26 Jordanian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons began a hunger strike to press the Israeli authorities to release them and to demand familial visits and healthcare provided by Jordanian doctors.
The prisoners decided to stop their battle of empty stomachs after Israelis agreed to allow regular visits for the families of prisoners, with the first visit to be on August 27, representatives from media team supporting Jordanian prisoners jailed in Israel, Fedaa, said at the press conference held at Professional Associations Complex in Amman....

‘Families of prisoners in Israel still waiting for promised visit’ (click here)

by Zain Khasawneh | Sep 03, 2013 | 22:41

AMMAN — Families of Jordanian prisoners in Israel are still waiting for their promised visit to their relatives to materialise, activists said on Tuesday.
In mid-August, four Jordanian prisoners in Israel ended their “battle of empty stomachs” strike that lasted for 102 days, after reaching a deal with the Israeli Prison Service (ISP).
The main demand that was agreed on by both sides was allowing regular visits from the detainees’ families, with the first visit scheduled for August 27.
Under the deal, each prisoner would be able to meet five members of his family during each visit that would last for an hour-and-a-half
“Unfortunately, September has started and we are yet to visit them,” said Shaheen Merei, brother of prisoner Muneer Merei, and head of the families of prisoners committee.
Shireen Nafe, spokesperson of the media team supporting prisoners in Israel (Fedaa), said the deal was made between the prisoners and the ISP without any intervention from the Foreign Ministry.
However, the ministry is now arranging for the visit, Shaheen noted, but added that the government has not announced a date for the visit....

Reuters | Sep 03, 2013 | 22:44

LONDON, — Scientists experimenting (click here) with rats have found that de-activating certain nerves in the neck can effectively treat high blood pressure — a discovery that could be an advance in tackling one of the world’s biggest silent killers.
Researchers at Britain’s Bristol University found that in rats with high blood pressure, when they removed nerve links between the brain and the carotid body — a nodule about the size of a grain of rice on the side of each carotid artery — the animals’ blood pressure fell and remained low.
The researchers’ results, published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, have already led the team on to conduct a small human trial of the technique, with results expected at the end of this year.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is referred to by the World Health Organisation as one of the world’s biggest silent killers because most people who have it can’t feel or see it.
It affects around one in three people worldwide and can cause stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure....

Newport loses it's battle against "The Mega-yacht." Some have it tough.

Babies crying, dogs barking, teens corrupted and local conservationists measuring the pollution, will the burden ever end? 
The city gives the billionaire developer (click here) a permit to moor the 216-foot yacht for 16 total days over two months. Neighbors have concerns about noise and safety.

Los Angeles conducts a clean up.

A similar initiative occurred a few years ago in the USA and included over 50 people in North Carolina. This is good news, with this many people arrested there is less opportunity for retaliation by a criminal network.

Law enforcement authorities Tuesday announced they had conducted a three-week crackdown on gangs. (Pomona Police Department / September 3, 2013)