Monday, March 24, 2014

Today has been a horrible day for continually bad news in the USA and throughout the world. My thoughts with those effected.

Families are missing.


There are 176 reports of people missing as the search continues in the mile-wide mudslide in Snohomish County. 

Associated Press
Updated 6:56 pm, Monday, March 24, 2014 

...Authorities said (click here) they were looking for more than 100 people who had not been heard from since the disaster about 55 miles northeast of Seattle. They predicted that the number of missing would decline as more people are found safe. But the startling initial length of the list added to the anxieties two days after a mile-wide layer of soft earth crashed onto a cluster of homes at the bottom of a river valley.

"The situation is very grim," Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said, stressing that authorities are still in rescue mode and are holding out hope. But he noted: "We have not found anyone alive on this pile since Saturday."...

USGS has programs as well Washington State to seek the potential for landslides. Often the Washington State landslides coincide with deforestation. Deforestation has been a severe issue in Washington State for a long time.

This is a map from a 2011 study. The deforested areas are noted in dark green dots.

Landslide Occurrences in Logged Areas of Washington State (click here)

The picture above of the landslide area shows significant forest cover, however, it also shows significant amounts of dead pines in the area of the slide. Given that, it appears less like deforestation so much as insect damage.

Influenceof Landscape pattern (click here) on Regional Distribution of Mountain Pine Beetle: Application of Terrain Analysis in the Rocky Mountain Foothills of Northeastern British Columbia.

The Mountain Pine Beetle is not the only pest to these forests that would cause pine tree death.

Trees are one of the strategies to stabilize hillsides. The biggest indicator of potential landslides are large rain storms. Last year was a bad year in Colorado. There were torrential rains and landslides resulted more than once in that state.

The USGS has been conducting assessments of the land in hopes of creating a prediction potential.

Landslide Inventory Pilot Project (click here)

Currently, the preliminary framework consists of a website featuring both technical and socioeconomic landslide information, from individual state surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey and relevant information from other sources. The primary organizing entity is The Landslide Inventory Steering Committee, composed of members of USGS and State Geological Surveys and other state agencies, which will guide the growth, development, and oversight of a national landslide inventory database website....

This is an example of the outcome to the study.

Landslide danger in Bay Area high, new map reveals (click here)

Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer 
Published 4:00 am, Thursday, May 19, 2011

...The map of California's most landslide-prone areas is an attempt by the Geological Survey to determine the most vulnerable spots in the event of an epic superstorm, known as an ARk storm, which scientists warned about earlier this year.

"The goal in this was to develop a scenario for a major storm," said Chris Wills, the Geological Survey's supervising geologist. "We felt it was important to get this basic information out so people can look at what are the most susceptible areas."

The map is the most detailed analysis of landslides that has ever been compiled in California. It shows that the North Coast between Sonoma County and Oregon and the Coast Range between San Francisco and Los Angeles are the most susceptible areas in the state. About two-thirds of Marin and Sonoma counties are categorized as high-hazard areas. The Santa Cruz Mountains and the East Bay hills are also highly susceptible to landslides, according to the map....

To the credit of Washington State Forests and Fish there is a active advocacy for responsible forest practices.

Using modern scientific methods, (click here) private forest landowners have developed ways to identify areas of greatest risk and avoid timber harvest in these areas. Landslides are detrimental to private forest landowners, resulting in lost trees and damage to property. Forest landowners have a vested interest in preventing landslides....

There are other methods of stabilizing a hillside, but, in all honesty in cases like this the retaining wall would be tumbled in the landslide. This was massive.

Rainfall is mostly probably the culprit, however, the degraded pine forest due to possible insect infestation and damage was the precursor to this tragedy. Landowners and homeowners need to decide if the hillside near their home appears to be suspect to instability. If hillsides have degraded forests there needs to be awareness to the community in public service announcements. THEN in the case of severe rain, the people need to take shelter until the storm is over. Just because there isn't flooding to damage homes and endanger the lives inside; it doesn't mean there isn't danger. 

Given the continuing history of landslides in states with these types of hillsides, with or without previous history of landslides, the public awareness is prudent and not trivial. I am thinking the "Emergency Warning Service" can be accessed when severe weather and large rain fall is expected. There needs to be safe shelter to move people to leave their homes until all is clear. If the states are so inclined they have to keep in mind people often have pets that are part of the family and need accommodations with or near them, too.

This phenomena is not a one time occurrence. This tragedy will continue with the severe conditions currently being experienced in the USA. Vulnerable places need to develop strategies for dangerous times.

She met M.L.K. when he was only 15 years old. In 1963, she she stood next to him during his famous address.

To President Obama and First Lady Michelle, she was living history. She passed in 2010 and today would have been her 102 Birthday.

I believe something was troubling President Obama for that past year about Russia.

This didn't happen in a vacuum, I am sure the outcome was part of the intelligence of The West, regardless of any estimate that may have stated it was a remote outcome. But, it did occur abruptly with large shifts of power accompanied by deaths. That was alarming. 

If the leadership in the Ukraine had not taken a calm and logical path with the Crimea during this time it would have sparked a civil war that would have destabilized the region. Perhaps that is exactly what Russia was hoping for that would begin a confrontation with The West. There is no other reason to believe differently, except, the passion for communists carried more brevity than Russia's fiscal stability. If there wasn't enough forethought about that it opens the possibility Russia believed it would not be challenged due to it's nuclear capacity. If President Putin is that naive about aggression and outcomes, then Russia has a lot to do before it's credibility can be trusted again.

I really think Putin expected The West to look the other way and allow things to proceed as if this was normal and expected due to ethnic ties. Being Russian is no reason to break up the sovereignty of an independent nation.

It also leaves G7 without a representative country for communist nations. More than representative of communist nations, Russia is a leading communist nation. It may reflect how communist nations are unable to adapt to agreed values of peace and sovereign rights of nations. That is worrisome, however, I think Mr. Putin is more the problem and hopefully the future will reflect Russian leadership that is far more moderate. 

The international organization is down to seven. (click here)  

By Teresa Welsh
March 24, 2014

Russia has been suspended from the Group of 8 by the other seven Western nations, which cited President Vladimir Putin’s recent annexation of the Ukrainian republic of Crimea as “not consistent” with the group’s shared beliefs and responsibilities. A G-8 summit scheduled for June in Sochi, Russia, has been relocated to Brussels — and Russia is not invited.

The G-7 — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — are removing Russia from the group after 15 years of participation from the former Soviet country. The countries affirmed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and denounced Russia’s “illegal attempt” to annex Crimea.

“We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russia changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion and will meet again in G-7 format at the same time as planned, in June 2014, in Brussels,” said a joint statement released by the countries....

I am sure some of the justification Mr. Putin used to take Crimea from the Ukraine was that Andropov was born in Nagutskaya, Stavropol Region on 15 June 1914. 

That is not enough reason to disturb the borders of a sovereign nation. Why? Because Yuri Andropov was also a Don Cossack. What is the difference between a Russian and a Don Cossack? The Don Cossacks were actually from the Western part of North Caucasus. This area is not within the Crimea. It is the Ukraine. As a matter fact there is a watershed that runs into Eastern Europe from that point. The Dnieper River located in that region is considered the fourth longest in Europe. So, simply because Yuri Andropov was born in Stayropol there was no sincere ethnic ties to the Crimea.

Then there is the matter of eliminating hostilities in the region while honoring borders and working to grow viable economies. It is known that when Russia enters as an authority the economy doesn't do well. 

But, what gets really strange is the parallel identity of Andropov and Putin. Andropov was the first former head of the KGB to become General Secretary. Interestingly, when he was chairman of the KGB Andropov opposed plans to occupy Poland after the emergence of the Solidarity movement. He aligned himself with Gorbachev rather than the more fundamental communists. As a KGB chairman he brought knowledge of corruption with the Soviet Union. Andropov with alliances like Gorbachev focused on the economy. In seeking a better economic strategy, Andropov made sweeping changes within the leadership of the Soviet Union charging them with corruption.

The parallel between Putin and Andropov doesn't end there. Putin was born in Leningard. Today, Leningard's name is St. Petersburg. So, Putin was also Eastern Europe as was Andropov. I think it is more than odd they should share so many personal histories and agendas.

The ancestry of Putin and Andropov is very different. Andropov as a Don Cossack had a status, whereby, Putin has been described as a mystery with no records surviving of any ancestors of any people with the surname "Putin" beyond his grandfather Spiridon Ivanovich. 

The picture to the right is of Putin with his mother and humble beginnings he describes in his autobiography. 

Given the progressive agenda Mr. Putin was seeking for Russia, there was every reason to believe he would not fall back into old communist patterns. But, perhaps, the pull was too strong for reasons that can only be his own. It is unfortunate this has come to pass, but, lives are important and borders are important and peace is a high priority with The West. 

I look forward to the next President of Russia and perhaps with less passion for regressive policies. I also expect The West to continue to eliminate the characteristic of Russia as "The Evil Empire," a title assigned by Ronald Reagan; unless the country continues to march into independent and sovereign nations. I still hold hopes this trend will end and civilized agendas return between The West and Russia. 

The Former General Secretaries of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Gorbachev and Brezhnev cannot be ignored. They were seeking peace with The West and they meant it. They wanted it for the Russian people along with the post soviet states.

The Changing Sovereignty. (click here) A Comparison Between the Brezhnev and Clinton Doctrines and the Way They Reflect the Change in the Use and Understanding of the Concept

"The Peace" is not as delicate as political rhetoric in the USA would like to have it realized. It has been studied and written about with this episode with Putin being a sad episode rather than a destruction of "The Peace."

There was another flight that was lost in the Indian Ocean in 1987. Controversy surrounded it as well.

The Boeing 747-244B Combi was a variant of the aircraft that permits the mixing of passengers and airfreight on the main deck according to load factors on any given route and Class B cargo compartment regulations Flight 295 had 140 passengers and six pallets of cargo on the main deck. The master waybills stated that 47,000 kilograms (104,000 lb) of baggage and cargo were loaded on the plane. A Taiwanese customs official performed a surprise inspection of some of the cargo; he did not find any cargo that could be characterized as suspicious.

The flight crew consisted of:

49-year-old Captain Dawid Uys (who had 13,843 flight hours)
36-year-old First Officer David Attwell (who had 7,362 flight hours)
37-year-old Relief First Officer Geoffrey Birchall (who had 8,749 flight hours),
 45-year-old Flight Engineer Giuseppe Bellagarda (who had 7,804 flight hours), 34-year-old Relief Flight Engineer Alan Daniel (who had 1,595 flight hours). 

This was the cockpit recorder. (click here) The reason I thought this particular jet relevant is because this is the deepest a recorder that has been recovered at 4,900 metres (16,100 ft). The flight recorder reasonably survived that depth of ocean.

I also thought it relevant because even after the aircraft was found there continued to be controversy regarding this crash. There is a website dedicated to that controversy itself.

The Helderberg: Mystery (click here) 

 ...So the existence of a cover-up is almost without question - and a judicial cover-up by Judge Margo at that. However don't confuse this aftermath intrigue and threats to persons with the cause of the accident itself. It could very likely have been a wiring-initiated fire but the ramifications of it having brought the plane down necessitated an emergency concealment of not only the type of cargo, but the fact that SAA had been sanctions busting for years in this way. If this had been publicly revealed, then SAA would have lost many of its routes and destinations. A very similar cover-up was carried out by Air NZ after the Mount Erebus DC-10 disaster - simply because they quickly became aware that the accident had been caused by the airline's latest navigation software upload...

The ultimate cause of the crash of the Helderberg was fire that was smoldering for some time before it actually took the aircraft from the sky, but, the political controversy still continued. 

When the Prime Minister makes his statement later today regarding  Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the jet is considered officially lost the inquiry won't end. The search won't end. The investigation won't end. It can't. Deaths of human beings require conclusion and until that is satisfied the loss of these people will remain on the radar for decades if not centuries. Someday the evidence of it's final hours will be realized. The oceans are mysterious structures of Earth, but, rarely do they ever conceal it's mystery forever.

This is outrageous and genocidal to a culture known as The Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been known to be a political party in Egypt and while they have violated human rights themselves, this is NOT the venue for victimization.

Behind this sentence is a 'disposal' of human beings that perhaps should be sentenced at The Hague, but, this is not civilized nor appropriate for a government to carry out a mass execution.

This action carries huge issues of brevity implicating the current judicial system in oppressing the citizens of Egypt in fear of political descent. In many ways these people are political prisoners that are now going to be executed. The trial is a travesty to democracy and free will. 

Not to diminish the deaths of police officers, but, this sentence is not justice to those deaths. These executions pose a greater danger to Egypt and makes a mockery of the service these police officers gave to the citizens of Egypt. 

The murderers need to be weeded out and held individually responsible as reassurance murder will not be tolerated. This method of so called justice only erases the identity of the officers and their murderers and creates oppression where there should be none. 

Justice is about protecting the people, the individual while honoring the victim(s), their service they provided by putting their lives on the line and the victim's families that have suffered incredible loss. This mass sentence is not justice, it is a travesty that appears to be cultural genocide while using the deaths of police officers to carry it out.

The multitudes of victims has to be realized in ordering the execution of 529 Egyptians. These people are Egyptians, not a foreign nation called The Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian relatives (click here) of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi cry sitting outside the courthouse on March 24, 2014 in the southern province of Minya, after the court ordered the execution of 529 Morsi supporters after only two hearings. The unprecedented verdict, amid an extensive crackdown on Morsi supporters, is likely to be overturned on appeal, legal experts said

By Abigail Hauslohner 
Updated: Monday, March 24, 9:29 AM

CAIRO—An Egyptian court (click here) has sentenced 529 people to death, in the largest capital punishment case on record in Egypt, judicial authorities said Monday.
The alleged supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi were convicted on charges of killing a single police officer, the attempted murder of two others, and attacking a police station in the Nile Valley city of Minya last August. Sixteen others were acquitted.

I haven't read the companies involved in this. And it ISN'T the clean up that is blocking the shipping lane, it IS the necessity for it in the first place.

This is where the spill occurred. It is all environmentally sensitive land.

...significant areas (click here) of emergent wetlands still exist along areas bordering West Bay, south of FM 2004 and small patches of mixed evergreen and deciduous forest still exist in the mid west section of the County.... 

I ponder why any development is occurring along shorelines and waterways known to be underwater with the Climate Crisis.

This post has been updated and corrected, as indicated below.

“The real issue (click here) is that it’s in the ship channel, near environmentally sensitive areas. So there’s an economic impact and an environmental impact,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Crews were skimming oil and laying absorbent booms to contain the spread of the spill, which occurred in the channel that runs between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, Lambert said. Containing the spill is likely to take days, he said.

Coast Guard Port Capt. Brian Penoyer said at a Sunday news briefing that oil had been spotted a dozen miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
He said the spill blocked about about 60 vessels, including cruise ships, from using the channel.

Penoyer said all of the remaining oil had been removed from the damaged barge and the barge had been taken out of the channel. He did not say when the channel would reopen.

The spill comes almost exactly 25 years after the massive Exxon oil spill in Valdez, Alaska, that took a devastating toll on wildlife. That spill involved 10 million gallons of oil.

The last major spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the Deepwater Horizon, or BP oil spill, which dumped 210 million gallons four years ago.

“On the scale of the Valdez, this is not even a blip. It’s a lot of oil, but it’s not a Valdez or a Deepwater Horizon,” Lambert said....

How environmentally sensitive is this area?

That is a Kemp Ridley turtle that nests on Bolivar Peninsula in April.

How many dead Ukrainians are there? A thousand? Ten thousand?

The Associated Press  
Posted: Mar 24, 2014 7:45 AM ET Last 
Updated: Mar 24, 2014 7:45 AM ET

Ukraine's fledgling government (click here) ordered troops to withdraw from Crimea on Monday, ending days of wavering as Russian troops consolidate control over the peninsula.
Russian forces have been systematically seizing Ukrainian ships and military installations in Crimea, including a naval base near the eastern Crimean port of Feodosia, where two wounded servicemen were taken captive on Monday and as many as 80 were detained on-site, Ukrainian officials said....

Gee, what a shame President Obama decided to respect the Geneva Conventions and the potential a war in the Ukraine would start anew war in Europe. Why would he do that? He must be naive, huh?

Iraq Body Count (click here)  

So there is no confusion, those are the documented deaths of innocent civilians. Those burnt to death and indiscernible in identity as well as those blown apart and SIMPLY missing comes to what has been estimated to be over 600,000. I don't recall a NEW census in Iraq post USA occupation. Before the invasion the population was about 25 million including women, children and the elderly. I am quite confident the next time an Iraqi Census is performed the exact amount of dead due to American occupation for the years 2003 through 2011 will be known. The pre and post war census simply has to eliminate the births after the USA exited the country to determine the numbers of dead during the occupation. There will be some natural deaths, but, they will be minor compared to the deaths due to war.

And let's not forget the Ukraine government has not REQUESTED military occupation and help. NATO is bolstering it's presence in the area for the EXACT REASON the Geneva Conventions exist. 

I am sure Mr. Romney has many geopolitical adversaries in the dressage ring, but, offshoring made it possible.

He is being his usual rude self. The ENTIRE of The West was absolutely astounded by the invasion of The Crimea by Mr. Putin. So, if President Obama's policies and intervention is naive, then so was the all of Europe and the Southern Hemisphere. 

Mitt Romney: Russia not an enemy, it's 'our geopolitical adversary.' Huh? (+video) (click here) 

Mitt Romney condemned Obama's 'naiveté' and 'faulty judgment' of Russia after its invasion of Crimea, claiming the White House should've seen this coming. 

Russia is still a member of the G8 and the G20, unfortunately. Russia signed a Non-Proliferation Treaty with the USA. When a country makes very overt gestures toward peace, any leader would not expect a complete reversal of hostilities. And, yes, what occurred in the Crimea was because Russia was waiting for their new real estate in Moscow.

Oh, wait. That is just an "Ann thing." Right? You know how it is, women love animals and a sense of accomplishment of their own. No support from her husband except when the checkbook doesn't balance. 

By Amber Porter
Jul 26, 2012 1:00pm
Much is made (click here) during the Olympics of the robust support systems needed to send an Olympian into competition. The parents, families and employers who rally around their athlete to get them to the games. The village it takes to make Olympic dreams come true.
But for Mitt Romney, whose wife Ann’s horse Rafalca will compete in the Olympic event of dressage, he makes it clear it’s really not his thing.

In an interview with NBC News Wednesday night, Romney spoke of the experience of being in the Olympics with the disengaged tone and shrug of a husband who doesn’t quite get his wife’s hobby....

Gosh, what a great guy, "I'll meet you in bed, honey."

"Good Night, Moon"

Third Quarter

"Half Moon"

22.2 day old Moon

49% of Full

updated: Mar 22, 2014, 11:00 AM

By Chuck McPartlin 
As the Moon (click here) orbits the Earth, and the Earth and Moon travel together around the Sun, we get to see orbital mechanics in action. Every month (think moonth), we are treated to a beautiful sequence of phases as the illumination of the Moon's surface changes. Because we're dealing with multiple celestial bodies with multiple motions like rotation and revolution, it may not be obvious what's really going on. This leads to misconceptions like a permanently "Dark Side of the Moon", the Moon is "only visible at night", or that the lunar phases are caused by the shadow of the Earth. Let's take a look at why we see the Moon the way we do in our Santa Barbara sky.

Let's watch the phases of the Moon as seen from Earth, starting with what has traditionally been called a young or New Moon - the tiny sliver you see in the west near the setting Sun. As the sky darkens, you may see that the rest of the Moon's face is faintly illuminated, often called "the New Moon in the Old Moon's arms". This is Earthshine, light reflected from the bright clouds, snows, and oceans of the Earth.