Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It would seem Senator Feinstein has an unlikely ally.

Feinstein, (click here) the California Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that the CIA had searched the committee's computers and that the search was potentially criminal and may have violated the Fourth Amendment.

"It's clear the CIA was trying to play 'keep away' with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that's a serious constitutional concern,” said Snowden in a statement to NBC News. “But it's equally if not more concerning that we're seeing another 'Merkel Effect,' where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it's a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them."...

I thought the days of Pittsburg was over.


Contact: Tony Montana

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union will host a food and relief drive from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 21 and Sat., Feb. 22 for members of Local 5724 who are laid off at Ormet’s aluminum smelter in Hannibal, Ohio.

In addition to distributing groceries, the USW has arranged presentations about a variety of benefits and services available to workers and their families who have been impacted since the smelter was idled.

Topics will include options for health insurance through Get Covered America, tax services offered to low income households through United Way-affiliated GMN Tri-County, as well as private and anonymous mental health services.
USW staff will also be on hand to help workers find information and answer questions about pensions and health insurance.

This is skilled labor. Working in these environments are not simple jobs. How is it that a manufacturing plant like this simply closes it's doors? It doesn't make sense. The administration and country need to be worried when this occurs.  

The melting point of Aluminum is 660.32°C, 933.47 Kelvin or 1220.58 °F. That is one dangerous job. The environment is extremely hot. The factory that can achieve that process is not a minor asset and neither are their employees. 

The United States needs these industries. I hesitate to mention the words national security, except, it is true. The USA was able to tool up for war under President Roosevelt because there were industries just like this within it's borders. I think the country needs to pay attention and realize the unfair competition the USA industries receive are more costly than the jobs they provide.


Minority Leader McConnell still doesn't get it. The Senate floor is not a campaign platform.

This morning on the Senate floor after the climate change session, the minority leader used the Senate to demean the Senators that sincerely know they are correct and the urgency of this problem.

Senators Sander and Boxer Climate Legislation (click here)

Senator McConnell stated the US Senator Democrats talk-a-thon had no purpose and the Dems had no legislation they ere bringing to the floor. 

Last night the leadership in the Senate made it clear their comments were to get the facts into the Congressional Record that had 20,000 subscribers. Now, while that seems like a small number, those recipients represent 10s of thousands of people that work with the information within in it every day.

The US Senate already has a climate bill. It is stalled and won't seek to move it because there is no sense to waste the time. So, Senator McConnell, while attempting to elevate himself by demeaning his colleagues knew full well there was existing legislation.

I am still waiting for the miracle whereby the GOP actually cares about the country more than the petroleum industry. 

Kentucky has taken a very pragmatic approach to climate change, which should be congratulated. 

...After detailing the historic climate of Kentucky, (click here) the report provides an overview of current climate change models, and climate predictions for future temperature and precipitation variation in Kentucky.  The potential impacts to the 'Habitats of Greatest Conservation Need' are described, listing conservation threats from climate change to specific habitat guilds. The potential impacts on the 'Species of Greatest Conservation Need' are also detailed and categorized by effects on fish and lamprey, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, freshwater mussels, and crayfish. 

The "Strategy of Resilience" provided supports the main goal of this report - to outline actions designed to enhance ecosystem resilience to climate change. This action plan provides a strategy to restore and maintain habitats and populations of conservation concern, increase the ability of populations to adapt to climate change-driven stressors, and reduce known stressors such as habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, invasive species, and disease threats.

I never knew so many words could be stated without saying a thing.

...DIR. BRENNAN: (click here) I am confident that the authorities will review this appropriately, and I will deal with the facts as uncovered in the appropriate manner.

I would just encourage (some ?) members of the -- of the Senate to take their time, to make sure that they don’t overstate what they claim and what they probably believe to be the truth. These are some complicated matters. We have worked with the committee over the course of many years. This review that was done by the committee was done at a facility where CIA had the responsibility to make sure that they had the computer wherewithal to -- in order to carry out their responsibilities....

To begin with Senator Feinstein appeared on the Senate floor today to dispel the reports in the media about her staff breaking into CIA computers. The reporting about this had gotten out of hand and she was compelled to respond. This was not the oversight committee putting the CIA between a rock and hard place.

I realize Director Brennan believes it best to rush to the cameras and hang on to the status quo, but, his remarks only prove he has no clue. There is no way he could have sought information within the agency from the time the Senator appeared on the floor until his public SPEECH.

I don't believe there was a reason for him to respond at all. His defense of the CIA and it's covert activities need to be defended to the President and the oversight committees after some preparation, not the public. I would think it would take a few weeks to get up to speed on these statements by Senator Feinstein and respond intelligently. 

The entire document dump is ludicrous. Over millions of pages were given to the Senator's staff in complete disarray without a method to find topics within them. The Senator had to ask for a computer program that could scan through the pages for keywords. Now, she has a smaller file that makes sense to at least her staff of something like 9000 files. 

My first impression when she spoke was disrespect. Disrespect first by the CIA of the Senator and her staff and then disrespect by the media whom only made things worse. I never got the impression she was on a witch hunt or interested in discrediting the CIA, but, she and her staff were sincerely impressed by the volume of documents the agency had. 

Director Brennan is overreacting to this revelation by Senator Feinstein. The amazing thing about her presentation of her concerns today is that it didn't change a darn thing in the media which was her purpose in the first place. There must be a lesson in there somewhere.

I think the legal circumstances within the agency should be reviewed by the Justice Department. I think that is called procedure when there is reason to be concerned. I don't know why Director Brennan felt compelled to make a speech today, but, it has come across as a manufactured mind speak moment of which no American is interested. It makes him look phony, unprepared and a puppet to public pressure. Is that the image he sincerely wants for himself as director? I know it isn't the one I want. I would find it far better to have the CIA cooperate with the Justice Department to clear up any concerns of the country. The oversight committees are doing their job even though the CIA is attempting to make it impossible.

All Director Brennan had to do was to put forward a press release stating he was as surprised as the rest of the nation at Senator Feinstein's statements today on the Senate floor, but, he was taking them seriously. In taking them seriously he and the agency will cooperate with the Justice Department to clear up any misunderstandings and/or validate in any wrong doing. That is all he had to do and we all would feel more confident in our government.

The governments and airline need to try before the batteries are completely drained.

Tracking someone else’s phone without their permission (click here)

Greg Toppo
USA Today
1:40 pm EDT
March 11, 2014

Family members (click here) of a few passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are pushing the airline to search for the GPS location of their loved ones' cellphones after saying they'd successfully placed calls to missing passengers' mobile phones....          


FOX is reporting the turnout is very low for this special election.

FOX is stating there is a district with 35 votes as of now. That is a lie and they are trying to state the illegal actions by Republican state congressmen to limit voter turnout is working. Give me a break. No one in this country is that stupid except perhaps John Roberts.

...Whitlock (click here) noted that two days before the Jan. 11 primary for the congressional race, a total of 18.7 percent of the voters had turned out.

She said that the turnout is also greater than the last special congressional election in Florida, which was held in April 2010 in the Fort Myers area. During that election for the 19th Congressional District seat, 15.2 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, she said.

The race has garnered national attention. The district is considered a tossup between the two major political parties, and ads for Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly have inundated mailboxes and airwaves in recent weeks.... 

There is reason for the electorate to take their vote seriously today. Her decision to run for office was a personal triumph after the loss of her husband, Bill.

September 27, 2013
Lane DeGregory

...Throughout (click here) their 26-year marriage, Bill had been Sink's political partner, her sounding board, her fundraiser. And cheerleader. As recently as last Thanksgiving, he was encouraging her to run in 2014.
Then, just before Christmas, he suddenly died.
Friends and family sustained Sink through the first numb weeks, but it wasn't long before her admirers began tugging at her. They cornered her at the airport, the post office, the gym: "Please, Alex, we need you! Florida needs you!" They wanted to contribute to her campaign, plant signs, work the phones.
"I understand all the tough times that you have been through personally," someone wrote on her Facebook. "But please think of the young people, the future of Florida and our country."...

David Jolly is a lobbyist? They better get out to vote. This is no joke.

Janelle Irwin
...During a protest Wednesday (click here) at Jolly’s campaign headquarters across from St. Pete-Clearwater Airport the group waved signs at passing motorists cautioning them against what they see as a plan that would gut Medicare. Dave Dovar, a retired computer programmer, said if Jolly had his way, the senior safety net would be hawked off to the private sector....

It is more than obvious why David Jolly wants governmental power.

This is his lobbying registration. The abbreviations states where his focus was for his client.

BUD - Budget/Appropriations

GOV - Governmental Issues

HCR - Health Issues

LBR - Labor issues/Anti-trust workplace

MMM - Medicare/Medicaid

RET - Retirement

SMB - Small Business

TAX - Taxation/Internal Revenue Code. 

It isn't obvious why Jolly is running for office? He has NOT accomplished his mission for the private sector. He isn't interested in the people. He is on a mission for his clients.

David Jolly's client according to the application is Van Scoyoc Associates. Ready for this? I don't believe Mr. Jolly's first focus is the people.

By Megan R. Wilson 
01/21/14 01:08 PM EST

K Street’s Van Scoyoc Associates (click here) saw its lobbying revenue fall for the second consecutive year in 2013.

The firm posted total lobbying revenue of $21.39 million, according to figures obtained by The Hill. That’s a $1.13 million drop from 2012....

Handwriting was on the wall. It was time to provide real clout to his employer and their clients.

Monday, March 10, 2014 2:46pm
Release from Public Policy Polling:

A new Public Policy Polling survey (click here) for tomorrow’s special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District finds that Democrat Alex Sink is holding a 48-45 lead over her Republican opponent David Jolly, with Libertarian Lucas Overby at 6%....

So much for fear mongering.

Tuesday 11 March 2014
Adam Withnall
Andrew Buncombe 

...Officials in Malaysia (click here) held up photographs of the two men at a press conference this morning, and said one was a 19-year-old Iranian who was believed to be trying to seek asylum in Germany at the time he boarded the now-missing jet.
Interpol secretary general Ronald K Noble later named him as Pouri Nourmohammadi, and identified the other man as Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29 years old and also Iranian.  

Mr Noble said the men, both Iranian passport holders, had swapped them in Kuala Lumpur for the stolen Italian and Austrian documents....
Scientific research indicates sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5 millimeters) per year since the early 1990s. The trend, linked to global warming, puts thousands of coastal cities, like Venice, Italy, (seen here during a historic flood in 2008), and even whole islands at risk of being claimed by the ocean.

The Guardian
...Even with just a further 3C of warming (click here) – well within the range to which the UN climate science panel expects temperatures to rise by the end of the century – nearly one-fifth of the planet's 720 world heritage sites will be affected as ice sheets melt and warming oceans expand.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at how many Unesco sites would be threatened after 2000 years of rising sea levels, but the authors said the first impacts would "definitely" be felt much sooner without action on flood defences.

"It's relatively safe to say that we will see the first impacts at these sites in the 21st century," lead author Prof Ben Marzeion, of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told the Guardian. "Typically when people talk about climate change it's about the economic or environmental consequences, how much it's going to cost. We wanted to take a look at the cultural implications."

Marzeion said that in Europe, particularly vulnerable sites included the leaning tower of Pisa, which is not directly on the coast but would be affected by sea level rises as a result of even a low temperature increase because it is very low-lying. He also cited Venice, which "in a sense you can say is being impacted right now" and Hanseatic League cities including Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen in Germany....
This is how ocean acidification occurs. The amount of CO2 in the oceans is occurring in large enough amounts to shift the pH.

HCO3 is a biocarbonate ion that prevents calcification of shellfish.

Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is the building blocks for the skeletons and shells of many marine organisms. As the CO2 saturation increases there is less carbonate molecules available for ocean species.

Calcareous plankton are the primary producers of the fisheries. Reefs serve a vital part of many fisheries. Reefs are literally incubators and nurseries for fish species.

This plankton is the very basis of the food chain that feeds the fisheries. These vital organisms are also a carbon sink unto themselves. A different name for acidification of the oceans is decalcification of ocean organisms. When these species are lot, there will be no more fish.

Don't take my word for it.

By: Dan Vergano
Published: March 28, 2013

The tide rolls out on a chilly March evening, (click here) and the oystermen roll in, steel rakes in hand, hip boots crunching on the gravel beneath a starry, velvet sky.

As they prepare to harvest some of the sweetest shellfish on the planet, a danger lurks beyond the shore that will eventually threaten clams, mussels, everything with a shell or that eats something with a shell. The entire food chain could be affected. That means fish, fishermen and, perhaps, you.

"Ocean acidification," the shifting of the ocean's water toward the acidic side of its chemical balance, has been driven by climate change and has brought increasingly corrosive seawater to the surface along the West Coast and the inlets of Puget Sound, a center of the $111 million shellfish industry in the Pacific Northwest.

USA TODAY traveled to the tendrils of Oyster Bay as the second stop in a year-long series to explore places where climate change is already affecting lives...

The Mojave Desert is the home of the Joshua Tree National Park.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

...By 2050, (click here) the annual mean temperature in the Mojave Desert could climb as much as 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The mean temperature in the Sonoran Desert could climb as much as 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Mean annual precipitation could fall  by as much as 2.6 inches in the Mojave, and 2.2 inches in the Sonoran Desert by 2050.

Hot spells in both deserts would be more frequent/prolonged, with up to 27 more days per year experiencing temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the Mojave Desert.... 

There is currently species considered threatened and endangered in these desert environments. The climate is not waiting for scientists to predict the future, in some areas it is already here.

...Those animals currently (click here) on the Endangered list include birds such as the Least Bell’s vireo and the Yuma clapper rail. There are some fish that are listed as endangered too including the Bonytail chub, the Colorado squawfish, the Devil’s Hole pupfish, the Mohave tui chub, the Humpback chub and the Razorback sucker.

Animals that are currently classified as threatened include the desert tortoise, the Mexican spotted owl and the the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard. The desert nesting bald eagle has recently been delisted as a threatened species because it has not been recognized as a separate species to other types of bald eagles....

The Lawrence Berkley Lab knows what Earth will look like as the climate crisis advances.

Berkeley Lab scientist develops way to predict where climates will go as temperatures rise (click here)

May 5, 2013  
Dan Krotz 510-486-4019  dakrotz@lbl.gov

It’s difficult to imagine how a degree or two of warming will affect a location. Will it rain less? What will happen to the area’s vegetation?

New Berkeley Lab research offers a way to envision a warmer future. It maps how Earth’s myriad climates—and the ecosystems that depend on them—will move from one area to another as global temperatures rise.

The approach foresees big changes for one of the planet’s great carbon sponges....

...But the Berkeley Lab research tells a different story. The planet’s boreal forests won’t expand poleward. Instead, they’ll shift poleward. The difference lies in the prediction that as boreal ecosystems follow the warming climate northward, their southern boundaries will be overtaken by even warmer and drier climates better suited for grassland.

And that’s a key difference. Grassland stores a lot of carbon in its soil, but it accumulates at a much slower rate than is lost from diminishing forests.
“I found that the boreal ecosystems ringing the globe will be pushed north and replaced in their current location by what’s currently to their south. In some places, that will be forest, but in other places it will be grassland,” says Charles Koven, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division who conducted the research.

“Most Earth system models don’t predict this, which means they overestimate the amount of carbon that high-latitude vegetation will store in the future,” he adds....

The carbon sinks of the north will shift north and the prairie land will take it's place. As the lands become more parched and ecosystems change, Earth's capacity to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide becomes less. 

The desert is not a carbon sink.

Every life is precious, but, one of the more tragic story that I recall about Sandy was this.

A parent deeply loves their children and are their custodian to safety. One of the worst violations to that mother or father is to realize they were unable to protect their children. This story was absolutely horrible to me.

Brendan Moore, 2, and Connor Moore, 4, were swept away from their mother by a surge of water. The police said the cause of death was drowning. Here, Glenda Moore, their mother, at their funeral. 
Published: November 17, 2012
At last count, (click here) officials were attributing 97 deaths to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath within a 65-mile radius of New York City, in an area that stretched across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, from Burlington County in New Jersey to Suffolk County on Long Island to North Salem, N.Y., in Westchester County, where Jack Baumler, 11, and Michael Robson, 13, died Oct. 29 when a tree struck Jack’s family home.

Some patterns emerged in mapping the deaths in the region. Elderly residents were hit especially hard, with close to half of the people who died age 65 or older. In New York City, 34 of the 43 deaths occurred in Queens and on Staten Island, and most people perished at the height of the storm, drowned by the surge. In more inland areas in New Jersey and upstate New York, downed trees were more often the cause of death, as they were on Long Island, where falling trees claimed the most lives — four in Suffolk County and one in Nassau — of a total of 13 in the two counties within the 65-mile radius. 

The days after the storm were also deadly, as people tried to clear away storm damage or used poorly ventilated generators to ward off the dark and the cold. 

Some victims’ names have not been released, as the authorities seek to reach their families....

Where is the morality in our global community? Do we not share the same future? Why the denial and lack of action?

From a man that has witnessed tragedy after tragedy in the world, brings a much needed focus to the climate crisis.

Former Secretary Annan has no reason to seek the movement of a global community. He is not running elections. 

Op-Ed Contributor

Climate Crisis: Who Will Act? (click here)

Published: November 24, 2013

Geneva — The last-minute deal at the United Nations Climate Conference in Warsaw keeps hopes for a comprehensive successor agreement to the 1997 Kyoto protocol alive. But let us be clear: Much more decisive action will be needed if we are to stand any chance at fending off the dangers of climate change.

We now have just one more shot, next year in Peru, to make more substantive progress toward a successor agreement before the crucial 2015 Paris conference. Even before then, it will be crucial for governments to put aside narrow national interests in order to ensure that the pledges made at the 2009 Copenhagen conference — to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to pre-industrial levels — are met....

...What now? If governments are unwilling to lead when leadership is required, people must. We need a global grass-roots movement that tackles climate change and its fallout. In Australia, one initiative aims at getting one million women to take small steps in their everyday lives to cut emissions. In India, there is a project to bring solar energy to slums, which also creates green jobs. In Guatemala, women farmers are planting trees to sequester carbon and improve cultivation techniques. In Mexico, the “ecocasa” program is unlocking funds to build energy-efficient housing.... 

These are actions by far less fortunate countries than the USA, although some would say they are more fortunate in their ability to act to end the impending climate danger. These nations take it on themselves to act when the First World is mired in financial interests by 1% of their populations.

One has to ask when reflecting on their First World country where the morality in the world sincerely exists and why it is not the leadership of the most wealthy.

The steadfastness of the Democrats is having an impact on the media regarding the climate crisis.

This is an editorial from the Kansas City Star. Not long ago this same media source would not consider the climate as an important aspect of the lives of the people they seek to serve. But, as year after year drought has robbed the crops from farmers harvests, it could no longer be denied. Those in the country that continue the consistent message about the climate crisis provides guidance to this reality.

There is a place to turn to understand why such tragedies are happening and there are people within our power structure that seek to change that reality. The federal agencies that report the facts do not have the power to change the course of the country.

February 27, 2014

...Time out. (click here)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration agrees that climates change all the time, as columnist George Will posited recently. But Will conveniently didn’t include this from NASA: “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.”
Using information from around the globe, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lays out compelling climate change evidence from the last century:

• Global surface temperatures are rising.

• The index ranking extreme weather events in the United States is at its highest level in 100 years. (Think polar vortex.)

• Sea levels are rising; oceans are getting warmer.

• Glacier volume is shrinking dramatically.

In a report this week, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of the United Kingdom said carbon dioxide greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in 800,000 years, caused by burning fossil fuels....

One of the most right wing papers in the country, The Washington Times, has raised speculation that global warming could be a call to awareness to potential virus. That is one of the potentials to the climate crisis; the rise of disease. Climate scientists fully expect that occurrence.

It is a very accurate article. There are profound dangers in this climate crisis and they cannot be dismissed as lacking in the foundations of science.

By Cheryl K. Chumley

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/27/4853924/editorial-dont-ignore-climate.html#storylink=cpy

What is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission doing to insure their reactors don't kill citizens?

The nuclear power plants pose a sincere danger to citizens in the USA dependent on them. It will take considerable amounts of money to begin to build cooling facilities to maintain the integrity of the reactor AND it's spend fuel pools. The summers aren't going to get any cooler.

When reactors fail and people are unable to cool their immediate environment they will succumb to heat.

C.M. Glover for The New York TimesA reactor ceased operations on Sunday at the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford, Conn.

August 13, 2012, 4:58 pm

A reactor (click here) at the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Conn., has shut down because of something that its 1960s designers never anticipated: the water in Long Island Sound was too warm to cool it. 

Under the reactor’s safety rules, the cooling water can be no higher than 75 degrees. On Sunday afternoon, the water’s temperature soared to 76.7 degrees, prompting the operator, Dominion Power, to order the shutdown of the 880-megawatt reactor.

“Temperatures this summer are the warmest we’ve had since operations began here at Millstone,’’ said a spokesman for Dominion, Ken Holt. The plant’s first reactor, now retired, began operation in 1970.

The plant’s third reactor was still running on Monday, but engineers were watching temperature trends carefully out of concern that it, too, might have to shut down....