Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Zealand is receiving severe weather.

Overnight windspeeds:

Whangaparoa - 104km/h
Auckland Harbour Bridge - 90km/h
Auckland Airport - 87km/h
Mercury Islands, Hauraki Gulf - 141km/h
White Island - 133km/h
Channel Island, Coromandel - 154km/h
Napier - 72km/h

By Teuila Fuatai
9:51 AM Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

...Auckland Civil Defence (ACD) (click here) said the extreme weather resulted in 65 flood incidents, 39 downed trees and nine damaged properties.
One person had to be evacuated in Wellsford, several roofs had lifted off homes and broken windows were reported, the agency said.
Further south, police confirmed residents had been evacuated from the Tolaga Bay area.
The storm also cut power to hundreds of homes. Lines company Vector said 1200 customers in Oratia and Hunua were without power, down from 6600 during the night....

September 24, 2013
9:00 NZST
Infrared Satellite of New Zealand (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)


(click here for 12 hour loop for Australian infrared)

Congress's current approval rating is 18.5 percent with disapproval at 74.2 percent.

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24 2013 4:49 p.m. MDT
Updated: 13 minutes ago

...“Moments (after the luncheon), (click here) Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told reporters that he disagreed with Lee's assertions that there is considerable grass-roots support to defund the health-care law,” the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and Paul Kane wrote.

Specifically, Hatch said, “There’s a lot of people upset on both sides, and I just don’t believe anybody benefits from shutting the government down, and certainly Republicans don’t. … We’re in the minority, we have to find a way of standing up for our principles without immolating ourselves in front of everybody, in a way when we don’t have the votes to do it.”...

When the Republicans used to state, "Repeal and Replace," there were many Americans that the replacement would be Single Payer. They never supported no health care law. The Affordable Care Act is a compromise. It includes the private sector which Single Payer does not. The extremists on the Republican side of the aisle have got it all wrong. They changed their message to "Repeal Obamacare" because they had no intention of replacing it with Single Payer or anything else.

It is unfortunate the political extremists in the Congress are wasting the nation's time and money with chronic politicking. At some point in time a reasonable Senator has to look at the facts and what is best for the country and do the right thing. That sort of reasoning is dearly removed from the dialogue of the country and it would seem the Congress as well. 

Senator Cornyn asked, "Why aren't Red State Democrats voting with Republicans on defunding Obamacare?

While Cornyn ponders the question of all questions, there is a reality in Texas he might want to ponder as well.

The number of Texans who lack health insurance is the biggest challenge hospitals face, health care system executives said at a recent panel discussion.
"It's a fundamental challenge for every hospital in Texas," Stephen Mansfield, president and CEO of Dallas-based Methodist Health System, said at a Dallas Business Journal roundtable.
Ultimately, employers are picking up most of the cost for the care of the uninsured, because hospitals shift those costs to those who do have insurance, said Joel Allison, president and CEO of Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System....
Stephen Mansfield, president and CEO of Dallas-based Methodist Health System, said Texas' number of uninsured is the state's biggest health system challenge.

...Texas continued to have the highest rate of people without health insurance in 2012 at 24.6 percent, according to the estimates released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau's Current Population Survey indicated that the national uninsured rate declined in 2012, to 15.4 percent from 15.7 percent in 2011.
Overall, 48 million Americans, including more than 6 million Texans, were uninsured in both 2011 and 2012....

Now, Senator Cornyn needs to ask himself how any COST CONTAINMENT is going to happen in health care if the nation is not insured. As long as the uninsured continue to add costs that most American should not have to pay cost containment cannot happen. Why?

Because the Republicans have measures that enforce profound poverty without a chance at upward movement and LOCKS the health care system in the USA into adding costs to the bill of others in order to survive. 

I thought the Republicans wanted the best health care in the world. If they do, under these circumstances, then it is a direct assault on the "ethics of medicine' as less and less will be able to access health care as one hospital after another will close as they can't pay their bills. 

One of the complaints about the Affordable Care Act is the surge of patients it will propagate in 2014 putting stress on the American Primary Physician capacity. The Affordable Care Act provides for these reality while building a bigger and better number of Primary Care Physicians in the future.

January 4, 2011
...Starting in 2011, (click here) as many as 10 million Medicaid patients who have at least one chronic condition could have a “health home” to help them manage their condition. An estimated 8 million newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries with at least one chronic condition could have a health home by 2014. 

A 10 percent bonus will be paid to primary care practitioners who see Medicare patients (2011–2015). 

Payment rates for primary care physicians who see Medicaid patients will be increased to Medicare levels for two years (2013–2014). 

The Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the so-called stimulus package) will together support the training of more than 16,000 new primary care providers over the next five years. 

The capacity of community health centers will double, serving 15 million to 20 million more people by 2015, to help meet the demand of the newly insured....

Senator Thune calls The Keystone XL Pipeline good USA energy policy.

...Human activities (click here) can also influence climate. The human influence that is most responsible for recent changes in global temperature is the burning of fossil fuels which increases the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Increases in greenhouse gases contribute to a general warming of the Earth because as their concentrations increase so does the temperature....

Thune is from South Dakota. He plays footsie with the petroleum industry while South Dakota roasts in the sun. The facts reflected in the newsletter of the High Plains Regional Climate Center are facts and not rhetoric. Thune is completely inappropriate in calling for the Keystone Pipeline to be built in the face of the facts of his own constituency.

Climate records in the High Plains date back well over 100 years, into the 19th century. A look into these historical datasets reveals the variability and trends in climate over time. The trend in average annual temperature for the six-state region shows a warming trend of 1.9°F over the 118-year period analyzed....

The South Dakota Governor's Task Force also includes a mental health component. Ya can't make this stuff up.

Some common signs of distress are:
Irritability and anger
Feelings of anxiety & worry
Headaches or gastrointestinal complaints
Increased risk-taking behavior
Changes in eating & sleep habits
Increased alcohol or drug use
Sense of helplessness
Lack of concentration
Avoidance or denial

Farmers and their families should remind themselves that these are common stress reactions and that It is important to recognize that these are normal responses to a difficult situation.Easing Disaster-Related Stress Talk to someone and seek professional help for disaster-related stress. The following are ways to ease disaster-related stress:...

There is a threat of well being to his constituents rattled to the point of high risk behaviors, yet Thune sees no reason to end the idea the Keystone Pipeline will add to the distress of his constituents. He simply doesn't care about the people of his state, he is more interested in crony politics with plenty of money to line his political war chest. He is irresponsible and dismissive. Rather than demanding the Keystone Pipeline and project of this dangerous magnitude be ended, he is advocating for it.

...We activated the South Dakota Drought Task Force (click here) on July 17 to create a formal group to closely monitor weather, precipitation and fire danger and to be responsive to the needs of our farmers, ranchers and other citizens. We cannot change the weather, but we can step up our communications and our information gathering and sharing. The Drought Task Force is the channel through which the communications and information will flow. It brings together all levels of government and all sources of information. Through the Task Force, we can communicate directly with each other, gather the most current and most accurate information available and share that information quickly with our citizens as they respond to drought conditions....

Extension hosts drought management workshops (click here)

13 hours ago

In Hot Springs Oct. 8

BROOKINGS - SDSU Extension will host four Drought Risk Management Workshops for cattle, sheep and other livestock producers. The first of the workshops will take place at the Nature Conservancy’s Whitney Preserve, south of Hot Springs on Cascade Road, on Oct. 8.
The other workshops will occur in Lemmon Oct. 9, in Gettysburg Oct. 10 and in Winner Oct. 11.
Each one-day workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"These workshops are designed for ranchers to help them develop and write drought management and mitigation plans for their own operations," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist. "We are planning a hands-on workshop that will give ranchers the tools they need to create a drought plan that fits their own needs and goals."...

Senator Thune can't state there is no Climate Crisis. He entered into crop insurance programs in the Farm Bill.

...I am pleased that key (click here) conservation and crop insurance provisions, which I supported in previous Senate-passed Farm Bills remained strong....

So, the American people get to support South Dakota agriculture when it fails due to anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases, but, they don't have the right to regulate the Greenhouse Gases providing for crop failure. That is talking out both sides of his mouth.

If elected officials play with the USA national treasury by paying off things like crop losses while NOT addressing the problems that cause the crop failures. That is not denial, that is taking with both fists. Thune reaches into the pockets of his petroleum industry cronies while reaching into the USA Treasury to compensate his constituents for the problems the petroleum industry causes.

I have to add here, that while crop insurance ASSISTS farmers with their losses, it does not solve it completely NOR does it provide food for the nation.

Senator Thune is negligent of his constituents to benefit his political aspirations. 

98 to 0. His nomination is confirmed.

By Chris Johnson on September 20, 2013
The U.S. Senate (click here) is poised to make history on Tuesday when it may confirm an openly gay man for the first-time ever to a seat on a federal appeals court.
The Senate is set to vote on the confirmation of Todd Hughes, whom President Obama nominated in February, to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
After proceeding to the nomination at 11:15 am, the Senate will engage in up to 30 minutes of equally divided debate prior to the vote. If all time is used, at around 11:45 am, the Senate will vote on the nomination....

This is a historic event. Unfortunately, the first gay nomination was disregarded twice by the Senate.

posted on
...Hughes is the second out gay attorney Obama has nominated (click here) for the Federal Circuit. The first, Edward DuMont, was nominated in the 111th Congress and renominated in the 112th Congress, but DuMont withdrew his name when it became clear that his nomination was not going to proceed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.... 

The fact Mr. DuMont was disregarded twice and ultimately withdrew his nomination only goes to prove there are still decisions made by the US Senate in judicial nominations that are partisan and discriminatory rather than based in qualifications and what is best for the country.

...This hold-up is a shame. (click here) DuMont is eminently well qualified. He has spent years as a top litigator at Wilmer Hale, Sullivan & Cromwell, and the Solicitor General's Office within the Department of Justice. He graduated from Yale, Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude with the highest standing of any humanities student. At Stanford Law School, DuMont graduated with distinction and was honored with membership to the Order of the Coif. After law school, he clerked for conservative thought leader Richard Posner on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit....

This is getting to be a bad habit by the UK.

Is he making an independent film, because, that happens a lot within the USA at border crossings.

Rather than leaving the UK should arrive not just 2 hours ahead of schedule to make it through security, but, 12 hours to allow for detention under oppressive laws. Bring a good book to read, just make sure it's isn't political.

...He was detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (click here) – recently used to controversial effect in the detention of David Miranda – last night (23 September), and questioned about his views on human rights abuses in Yemen.

When he informed the border agent that he did not think his views on the issue were relevant to security, Mr Shibaan was threatened with being detained for the full nine hours available under the law.

Mr Shibaan also works for legal charity Reprieve as project coordinator in Yemen, and visited the UK without being detained earlier this summer.  In May this year, he gave testimony to a US Congressional hearing on the impact of the covert drone programme in Yemen....

As of today, when people, like Baraa Shiban, carry out their lives in cooperation with Western Institutions they have to be skeptical to the purpose of the invitation.

Baraa is a Business Administration graduate and was involved with a number of civil society organizations in Yemen from 2006-2011. In 2011, he played a significant role in peaceful demonstrations against the dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh, helping run a media centre in Sana’a’s Change Square.
As Reprieve’s Yemen Project Coordinator he has interviewed witnesses and civilian victims of US airstrikes around Yemen, including people from Rada’a, Khashamir, Wessab, and towns in Ayban and Marib. Baraa speaks Arabic and English.

February of 2011 was the Yemeni Revolution. It was a series of demonstrations following the Tunisani Revolution that would ultimately lead to a change in leadership in Yemen. For the West, Baraa was part of the Arab Spring. There is a movement now in Egypt to reject an extremist group within the country, namely the Muslim Brotherhood. The UK wants to know if Baraa is UNPOPULAR in leading Yemen to democracy. In other words, is he an extremist as if a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The UK wants to discern whether or not the organization(s) he is a member will be causing less democratic stability.

He has a right not to cooperate with the UK. He has to return to his home in Yemen and live to see tomorrow. There is more reason for him to protect his interests in Yemen than inform the UK about his personal views. He is being detained AGAINST HIS BEST INTERESTS.

Detaining Baraa is actually interfering with Yemen sovereignty when it is political in content. 

In actuality, this is 'intelligence gathering.' It is an act of aggression against Yemen.

"...A peace process (in Syria) is stillborn..."

Obama wants Chapter Seven.


There is no reason to believe the removal of the chemical weapons in Syria is not going forward. There is no reason for Chapter 7.

In reality it does not matter whom deployed the weapons, whether or not it was authorized by the Syrian President, except, if there are to be charges by the World Court. In REALITY, the chemical weapons are out of the appropriate use of them and they need to be destroyed. The safety of the Syrian people has to come first and the circumstances can be determined by those that can determine that. The finger pointing can come after the fact finding missions are conducted. But, foremost, is the importance of securing the safety of the people and the region. That isn't done with American bombs.

Russia's government (click here) says UN chemical weapons inspectors are expected to return to Syria on Wednesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said they would investigate alleged chemical weapons attacks at Khan al-Assal, Sheikh Maqsoud and Saraqeb.

The inspectors had been preparing to do so when chemical weapons were fired at suburbs of Damascus on 21 August, killing hundreds of people.

Last week, they confirmed the nerve agent sarin was used in that attack.

The inspectors were not asked to ascertain who fired the artillery rockets which hit parts of the Ghouta agricultural belt, but Western powers have claimed that it could only have been Syrian government forces.

The Syrian and Russian governments have challenged them to present firm evidence, and instead alleged that rebels were responsible....

"The World Cup" is occuring at the United Nations this week.

The eyes of the world (click here) will be fixed on a six-block patch of New York City this week as dignitaries and envoys gather at United Nations Headquarters for one of the most pivotal General Assembly meetings in recent history.

Leaders from nearly 200 member states from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe are slated to convene Monday for a high-stakes conference fraught with equal parts promise and peril. The crisis in Syria casts a large shadow over the plenary, as the U.S. and Russia press for a diplomatic disarmament deal even as Washington and Moscow remain deeply divided over how to make sure President Bashar Assad keeps his end of the bargain.

And yet as the General Assembly gets underway, the debate over Syria may not get nearly as much attention as a single handshake in a hallway or nod across a conference table: Analysts and observers will likely watch closely for any encounter between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — no matter how fleeting — after the recently-elected moderate leader's friendly overtures to the U.S....
President Rousseff of Brazil at the UN is correct in that the NSA's probes are an assault on a nation's sovereignty. It is spying. 

She brought this topic up at the G20 within the same content.

This is what is so laughable about the 'so called' national security of the USA. This electronic nonsense is not national security, it is an assault WITHOUT A TREATY against other nations. It is Pre-emption. It can lead to war and not prevent it.
President Kennedy continued a conservation focus for the USA. His speeches regarding the natural world would take flight in 1972. It is that focus all great leaders need to achieve a path for the USA that is sustainable with it's vision mired in heritage.

...The Forest Legacy Program (FLP), (click here) a Federal program in partnership with States, supports State efforts to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands. Designed to encourage the protection of privately owned forest lands, FLP is an entirely voluntary program. To maximize the public benefits it achieves, the program focuses on the acquisition of partial interests in privately owned forest lands. FLP helps the States develop and carry out their forest conservation plans. It encourages and supports acquisition of conservation easements, legally binding agreements transferring a negotiated set of property rights from one party to another, without removing the property from private ownership. Most FLP conservation easements restrict development, require sustainable forestry practices, and protect other values....

This program is so incredible there is absolutely no reason for a private forest owner to turn away from it. If land is now in use for forest, it needs to continue to produce that precious resource and be held in esteem into the future of this nation.

...In addition to gains associated with the sale or donation of property rights, many landowners also benefit from reduced taxes associated with limits placed on land use....

Today, conservation and our precious public parks are under siege by the climate, but, also by industry. The USA has reached it's limit of exploiting natural resources without causing our beautiful country to become ugly. The beauty of nature has a purpose and it is that purpose that needs to be the most honorable of our resources. 

Programs such as "The Forest Legacy Program" needs to be mandatory to end the urbanization and industrialization of our national lands. We cannot strip the potential of the future to the bone to profit today, that is stealing from future generations. These lands are not about managing them for optimal income, they are heritage lands and the people have a right to them.

Seeking the Greatest Good: (click here) The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot highlights the history and continuing value of Pinchot’s philosophy of natural resource conservation through sustainable use. In the wake of major wildfires, loss of forests to development, and other conservation concerns stakeholders of all kinds have come to realize that sustainable forest management will play a role in conserving forests for a wide array of values—water resource protection, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and climate mitigation as well as wood and bioenergy. The film shows how the work of the Pinchot Institute and Grey Towers National Historic Site are bringing people together to discover solutions to conservation challenges unimagined in Pinchot’s day.

Brazil has their own GM

In this Aug. 25, 2013 photo, (click here) members of the Sampa Kombi club, a group ofVolkswagen van owners, gather for their monthly meeting, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Brazil the VW van is known as the "Kombi," an abbreviation for the German "Kombinationsfahrzeug" that loosely translates as "cargo-passenger van." Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle, or "bus" as it's known by aficionados, but VW says production will end Dec. 31. Safety regulations mandate that every vehicle in Brazil must have air bags and automatic brakes starting in 2014, and the company says it cannot change production to meet the law. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

September 23, 2013 6:00 am 

...Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle, or "bus" as it's known by aficionados, but VW says production will end Dec. 31. Safety regulations mandate that every vehicle in Brazil must have air bags and anti-lock braking systems starting in 2014, and the company says it cannot change production to meet the law....

Was The Westgate Mall the wrong focus for economic growth in Kenya?

Hillary needs a make over.

Running as a candidate for the US Presidency isn't running for the US Senate in NY or conducting business as The First Lady, it is time she reflected on her defeat in 2008.

..."It's like when (click here) you meet somebody at a party and they look over your shoulder to see who else is there, and you want to talk to them about something that's really important; in fact, maybe you came to the party to talk to that particular person, and they just want to know what's next," she says. "I feel like that's our political process right now. I just don't think it is good."...

She can't be melancholy about what she believes is wrong with the country, because, that isn't going to win elections. She needs to look at her political organization and build it from the ground up. She doesn't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but, she needs to spend time making her political stand her own without coattails from her past.

She can't ask to be elected, she has to tell the nation she is competent, capable, full of the moral content they are looking for and how she is going to take the country onto that longed for path. She doesn't have to walk in the shoes of every American in personal choices such as abortion, their chosen careers or how they balance their household budgets, but, the morality the nation is looking for involves reduction of violence and death at home and globally. They don't want banks taking their American Dream to play on an international platform that shifts from Bear to Bull in the matter of seconds on the words of a Fed Chairman.

The American people want justice. They want major institutions held responsible for their egregious nature and willingness to treat the American people as pawns in a bigger game. The American people aren't pawns but their options to avoid these disasters as becoming more and more limited. The American educational system has been assaulted for over a decade now with a strategy to destroy unions. The entire assault about educating children has led to the fall off of our educational system. She was well educated all her life, she already has a model that works and it concludes professional unions that support the security of teachers. 

I have to criticize her meaningless award such as The 2013 Liberty Award. It is a meaningless organization that has no purpose except create a place holder for CEOs and politicians. It is more or less a mini-Trilateral Commission. As a matter of fact she has to reflect on her past affiliations with people that have caused exploitation of this nation and distance herself as far as is reasonable.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a power unto herself. She has the ability to turn corners on problems as no other woman has before. She is incredible and her credentials going in to 2016 has to reflect that. She has been sustainable in her own right providing leadership more concentrated in American civil morality than any American in this country. She has had incredible opportunity in her life that other Americans can't match and she has to bring all that talent to bear to make sure she is genuine.

She needs a make over and we want it. We want her to be as genuine and moral as she knows she can be. Her political organization has to reflect strength in character. 

The 2016 elections have to be based in policy and not personality. I am confident she is up to it.