Thursday, May 29, 2014

He needs to win the war.

29 May 2014
President Goodluck Jonathan (click here) on Thursday directed the security forces to launch a full-scale military operation to put an end to the impunity of terrorists in the country.
The president gave the directive in his democracy day broadcast.
Jonathan said that Nigeria's unity and stability as well as the protection of lives and property were non-negotiable.
He restated the determination of his administration to protect the nation's democracy, national unity and political stability, by waging a total war against terrorism....
The violence is on the rise on the continent.
28 May 2014
There have been deadly clashes (click here) at a Catholic Church in the Central African Republic. Thousands of people had been seeking refuge in the compound when Muslim fighters attacked with grenades and gunfire.
Wednesday's attack happened at the Church of Fatima in the capital Bangui, following clashes in a nearby neighborhood between Muslim and Christian fighters.
At least 10 people were killed. The bloodshed is largely blamed on Muslim rebels, who sprayed bullets and hurled grenades at those sheltering in the Church, which was home to thousands of Christians displaced by the country's violence. One of the dead was a 76-year-old priest....
They will fight for their profiteering. They believe they have to and use the strength of religious beliefs to empower them. I am worried this is just the beginning of escalation.
Poverty is the vicious cycle that empowers the militias. There isn't going to be any living with them now.

The radicals never consolidate around parties. If one party is as ineffective in relieving poverty than the other, they will seek their own power and define it with militia movements.

Kano is Nigeria's (click here) second largest city and the biggest in the northern half of the country. Traditionally a PDP stronghold, since its governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso decamped to the insurgent All People's Congress the ruling party has been struggling to make inroads in the state.
The result of council polls announced on the 18th of May saw the APC sweeping all the votes in the 44 local councils. And it is results like this that have made the PDP court former governor of Kano State and ex-presidential flag bearer Ibrahim Shekarau to try to combat the frenzied following enjoyed by Kwankwaso.
Down in the country's South West the political scene is abuzz with the upcoming elections in Ekiti and Ondo States - the party's first major test. The incumbent APC gubernatorial candidates in two states have been involved in a fierce campaign to outshine their PDP co-contenders....
The fact political parties in Africa have to mean something. They have to bring quality of life and opportunity, otherwise this will never end.

Thousands of villagers (click here) found refuge in camps near Nyala, while thousands more are still trapped in the desert.

The pie is only the beginning.

May 29, 2014
By Anne Cook

GRAND TRAVERSE CO. -- Locals (click here) have long known the power of a Grand Traverse Pie Company pie, but now the legend has grown.
Alison Spiegel of the Huffington Post Taste recently reviewed the company's Chocolate Stout Pie and claimed it is worth relocating to Traverse City.
The pie has four layers containing chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, a flaky crust and meringue drizzled with chocolate stout ganache.
Drooling, yet?
The stout in the pie is also a Traverse City delicacy - the CEO Stout from Right Brain Brewery....
Not unlike other Michigan towns, Traverse City has mastered the are of 'local economy.' For every major national brand there is a local merchant outclassing them.
Just for example, the "Pie of the Month" is the one reviewed by Ms. Cook, "Chocolate Stout Pie." (click here)The ingredients are all wholesome and natural. 
There are pie shops all over Michigan now. (click here) These shops do not mass produce their pies and receive refrigerator trucks full of pies for sale that day. The pies are baked on site and 'same day fresh.' The company is excited to be reviewed by Huff Post and so are their customers.

Poverty gripped Michigan for a long time and the minimum wage was a part of the reason.

But, in a year when a referendum for the November ballot is being met with success state wide, this move by the Michigan legislature is an attempt to keep their seats.

Snyder has a significant lead over his opponent, but, it isn't double digits nor close to 50% and Snyder is worried about his election day luster. He is coining the minimum wage law as a bipartisan compromise from the legislature. With the federal government on lock down by the Republicans the state's new law is welcome, however, the petition was to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour with future increases based on cost of living. This law pre-empts the November referendum and nearly accuses the petitioners of unilateral focus rather than appreciating a bipartisan solution. 

Governor Snyder is also portraying himself as the man who saved Detroit. Not. I can't count the number of lawsuits filed in order to have the legislature 'do something.'

Published On: May 27 2014 06:17:54 PM EDT
Updated On: May 28 2014 12:17:59 PM EDT

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed (click here) legislation Tuesday to raise the state's minimum wage by 25 percent gradually over the next four years to $9.25 an hour, as Republicans controlling the state government moved to head off a November ballot measure that could have raised pay even more.
The House and Senate passed the bill Tuesday, one day before a group of labor and community organizers planned to submit hundreds of thousands of petition signatures calling for a Michigan ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
The current hourly minimum wage is $7.40....

The facts of the matter is that the Governor should have acted to bring about a state rescue package before he began hacking away at Detroit's assets. The measure to provide Detroit with rehab funding is far to long overdue. The fact is Detroit was addressing it's problems long before Snyder arrived. There is no denying corruption played a role in some of Detroit's problems and to that end there were investigations and prosecutions. 

Gov. Snyder simply came in with his emergency manager and started to hack away at the city more than already had deteriorated. What is left now is for the city to receive the funding it was due years ago to protect it's pensions and the city's assets.

If anyone believes Michiganders like the Emergency Manager laws, there is this that disputes Snyder's draconian episodes.

Published On: May 28 2014 06:32:52 PM EDT
Updated On: May 29 2014 02:54:59 AM EDT

According to an exclusive Local 4/Detroit News poll, (click here) just 36.8% of Michigan voters would support a tax increase to fund improved road maintenance.
A plurality of voters, 45.5%, would not support a tax increase to pay for roads because they believe enough money is already budgeted for road maintenance but it needs to be more wisely spent. Another 15% of voters also oppose a tax increase, saying lawmakers need to find money somewhere else to fix roads, even if it means less money for other priorities like schools or health care....

Most citizens of Michigan want their public schools back and will pay higher taxes to achieve it. The Emergency Manager laws should be eradicated considering the citizens are this interested in supporting public schools.

By a 59.5%-26.2% margin, voters chose schools over roads as the greater priority.

Who ever runs for office in Michigan this year, if they promise to repeal the Emergency Manager laws and refund public schools they will win elections. 

10:40 AM, May 3, 2014
Lawmakers are balking at plans (click here) to give Common Core-based exams to kids in Michigan schools next school year, pushing for a pause of the tests expected to replace assessments the state has used for nearly 45 years.

The legislative pushback against Gov. Rick Snyder, the state Education Department, business community and some education groups leaves in doubt what standardized test will be given to some 800,000 students in grades 3-8 and 11th. And there’s little time to resolve the conflict before legislators finalize the next state budget in a month....

Parents and bipartisan government alike also reject funding of Common Core tests for all grades. If they are willing to invest in education infrastructure, pay and benefits for teachers, they aren't will to spend megabucks on annual exams for over 800,000 students. I don't blame them. I think they have a good focus. 

...After vigorous debate last year, the Republican-led Legislature let Michigan continue transitioning to the new standards despite multi-dimensional opposition from conservatives and some liberals. But lawmakers hesitated over funding the Smarter Balanced tests expected to replace Michigan Educational Assessment Program exams. Their concerns remain....

Maya Angelou is a legacy. Ambassador Andrew Young is most correct.

Thursday 29 May 2014 06:20

Sherwin Bryce-Pease, New York

Civil Rights leader (click here) and former United States Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young says late author and poet Maya Angelou has left a legacy that will never die.
He was speaking after her passing at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Wednesday. Tributes have poured in from the White House to Oprah Winfrey, who saw Angelou as a close friend and mentor....

Maya Angelou interview (click here)

The World Health Organization doesn't know what disease and it's causes are? Really?

This gets real easy from here. The disease in question is what exactly? Lung cancer? Habitual reliance on 'vapors?' What exactly is the disease? Preying on children to create a customer base for Wall Street? What is the disease? Then what causes it?

There are many reasons for lung cancer and as the poisons of cigarettes were revealed it went from primary tumor causation to secondary causes and the inhalation by children within a home environment. There are other causes of lung cancer, but, cigarettes and their PROOF of the cause out numbered any other cause in epidemiological studies. The validity of the concern of these diseases returning to tobacco dependent individuals that find cigarettes are cheaper than the vapor dispenser they BEGAN their nicotine addiction is sound. 

We know nicotine is an addictive agent in which lies the danger of cancer. It is not the nicotine that causes the cancer, but, it is the 'behavior' which causes cancer. E-cigarettes are just as much a threat to a person's health as any other vapor if it deposits the user at the doorstep of the tobacco industry.

I realize scientists are seeing a savoir within the vaporizer industry, however, that may very much not be the case and they need to be more thorough in their focus. 

When smokers enter cessation processes there is a recognition of nicotine as a vital aspect to remove the HABIT. But, the nicotine is addictive and is ALWAYS tapered off. There are few medical doctors that would recommend anyone to smoke vapors for the purpose of a nicotine addiction. There is also a side effect of e-cigs no one wants to talk about and that is the legitimate presence of cigarettes in social circles again. There are cigarette smokers today believing they're vindicated because of the presence of e-cigarettes.

So, scientists are stating e-cigs combat disease. Where? Within whom? Why? And what are the dangers of e-cigs? What is the point where vapors are inconsequential to social interaction? How do they limit social interaction? The list of questions is lengthy and none are simple to answer. What I am hearing is how scientists are stating there is a physical disease resolved by e-cigs. But, they speak nothing to dependency and/or the potential of ending such aspects in a society. What are the statistics saying and what direction do we need to move?


(Reuters) - A group of 53 leading scientists (click here) has warned tedhe World Health Organization not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, arguing that doing so would jeopardize a major opportunity to slash disease and deaths caused by smoking.

The UN agency, which is currently assessing its position on the matter, has previously indicated it would favor applying similar restrictions to all nicotine-containing products.

In an open letter to WHO Director General Margaret Chan, the scientists from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia argued that low-risk products like e-cigarettes were "part of the solution" in the fight against smoking, not part of the problem.

"These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted," the experts wrote....

Sisi needs to admit defeat.

Three days of voting and the world is suppose to see this election as legitimate? The Egyptian people have spoken, "Open the prisons and release the captives!" Extended voting is not written into the contract with the Egyptian people. A low voter turnout speaks it's own priorities and Sisi lost the election. 

Sisi didn't know Russkies didn't have the answer? Really? Overflowing prisons that can't be maintained to human rights standards are not what a civilized people value. Oppressing the Egyptian people to RETURN to "THE OLD WORLD" comfort standard is not where the world exists in the 21st century. 

Once a dictatorship fails, the way forward is very turbulent, but the people prefer the path ahead than the path abandoned. It took a long time for Lebanon to move through the maize of hatred and retaliation, but, it managed just fine with fragments remaining. 

Sisi hasn't mastered, "The Liberator's Voice." My guess is he never will.

The court's findings are illegitimate and the prisoners are being held against international standards of human rights. Prisoners on the verge of death due to their captors are human rights violations.

By Erin Cunnigham and Sharaf al-Hourani
May 27

CAIRO — Egypt’s government (click here) announced late Tuesday that it was extending voting in the presidential election to a third day amid widespread reports of low turnout. The move could call into
question the legitimacy of front-runner Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

Many polling stations in normally crowded neighborhoods of the capital were empty Tuesday, the second day of a two-way election seen as a referendum on
Sissi’s rule. A former defense minister and army chief, Sissi led a coup against President Mohamed Morsi — an Islamist who was Egypt’s first democratically elected leader — last July in the wake of protests that demanded his ouster, gaining broad popularity....

CNN loses credibility.

Specialists prepare to deploy the towed ping locator on the Australian vessel Ocean Shield. Photo Reuters

May 30, 2014
Anne Davies

The exposure of a false trail of pings (click here) has led to experts abandoning a search area identified as the final resting place of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, calling into question two months of search efforts.

The area in the Indian Ocean became the focus of international attention on April 11 after the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced he was confident signals had been detected from MH370's black box, narrowing the search to an 850-square kilometre zone.

But on Thursday Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss went before Parliament to say the ''pings'' were the best information the government had at the time but "the area can now be discounted."...

That is all countries have been doing is deploying assets wherever someone BELIEVES there is a possibility to the remains of the aircraft. I realize there was a timeline, but, evidence would have been good and the oceans don't give up proof all that quickly.

The missing plane is still a worry. It was a large plane with capacity and as far as I am concerned there needs to be an understanding this plane is still a potential threat. For the USA that means NORAD pays attention. It won't have transponders or otherwise to identify it's flight. A little bit tricky I would say. NORAD has to be sure the planes they are monitoring are safe while being able to identify a potential rouge plane.

Additionally, there are 239 passengers and it's crew still missing. 

The governments involved in this search are not to blame for it's failure. The logistics of the airliner itself was compromised without proper tracking equipment before it even left the ground. This area of the world still lacks sophistication in aviation technology and within that reality lies danger to their national security. If there is to be a focus coming out of this attempt to bring comfort to families is the fact there are huge gaps in a nation's security that needs to be closed.

My sympathies to the families. Eventually, the fate of the aircraft will be known, but, until there is confirming evidence it remains a mystery. Mysteries happen. Earth is a planet and it's oceans vast and unknown in many ways. It only goes to prove what we don't know about our world and how it cannot be taken for granted in knowing the outcome of any human activity.

The new President needs to concentrate on Ukraine economy as a politcal focus rather than a war with Pro-Soviet Russians.

May 29, 2014

Pro-Russian separatists (click here) today shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter in eastern Ukraine and 14 people on board, including a general, were killed, acting President Oleksander Turchinov told parliament. 
“I have just received information that terrorists using Russian anti-aircraft missiles shot down our helicopter near Slaviansk. It had been ferrying servicemen for a change of duty,” Mr Turchinov said. 
Slovyansk has become the epicentre of fighting between pro-Russia insurgents and government forces in recent weeks....

Ukrainians know their liberation from the Soviet Union and now from communists like Viktor Yanukovich will cause Russia to intervene in creating hostilities. The downing of a helicopter patrolling the Ukraine border is a victory for those that want to end freedom in Ukraine.

This won't be easy and while Ukraine moves itself forward one more step away from the Soviet Union it needs to concentrate on it's economy and economic strength in the region. It is completely obvious for most observers to realize Mr. Putin in attempting to cause Ukraine fiscal harm. It is up to the new President to end that attack by the Russian President.

The new President needs to move his economy forward to greater strength and fiscal stability while continuing to enforce the Ukraine borders. If Ukraine enters
insolvency the Russia President will weaken it's ability to stand against Russia.

This is a very difficult thing to do. Ukraine is taking on Russian communists that want to see the return of the Soviet Union. There is no other country on Earth seeking to stand the tide against Russian communists. This is complicated by the fact there are ethnic movements desiring to slice and dice Ukraine into pieces to create their own nation/states. Crimea is an example and as predicted Crimea is not doing well. The emigration rate has increased and there is brutality in that Ukrainian state. The Crimean has been taken over by rebels and now that the voting is over and Russia has created a document stating it annexed this Ukraine state there is brutality to keep order and eliminate those that see themselves as Ukrainian. It is more than tragic in Crimea. The new President cannot allow this to occur in any other areas of Ukraine.

Get them busy with their liberated nation. Put them to work in the new economy and allow the people to realize the comfort found in the Middle Class while they build a strong and independent future for their children.  

The new Ukraine President needs to assemble his cabinet and assign strengthening the Ukraine military to his Defense Department Minister. He also needs his economic minister to travel with him to Europe, the US and to all the country leaders congratulating him on his election victory. The people should concentrate on their economy and what it takes to be one of the strongest economies in the region. I hesitate to see nationalism as a focus, that is playing the communists game. Ukrainians have a joy within their definition of life and it is that joy which can be infectious to the rest of the world. I have never witnessed a people so dedicated to a constitution which shuns human rights violations. There is a great deal of strength within the Ukraine identity that dictates global leadership. It is a magnificent country and we are looking forward to it's success.

These attacks could have easily been predicted. They aren't as unusual as one might think. There are such 'bad losers' as this in my nations and people do die. It only goes to prove how deep the desire for freedom and independence exists within the country of Ukraine.

No one is looking the other way and there are many nations that stand with Ukraine awaiting it's strength and contribution to the global market place.