Monday, August 25, 2014

There are probably plenty of Democrats right now that wouldn't mind the idea of impeachment, but, the alternatives are really lousy.

22 August 2014

Poland's economy (click here) ministry wants the nation of beer and vodka lovers to drink more cider.
The ministry, which is struggling to help apple producers hurt by a Russian embargo on European foods, has proposed exempting cider from a law that bans advertising any alcohol other than beer.
Poland is a major global apple exporter and had previously sent half its output to Russia.
But the Health Ministry and other health advocates are fighting the proposal. They say it is dangerous to encourage any alcohol consumption at all in a society that does not share the Mediterranean tradition of simply savoring small amounts of wine or beer at mealtimes.
"Poles are not light drinkers - it's the Eastern European model," said Krzysztof Brzozka, director of the State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol Related Problems....

Unless this is coordinated with Russia, it is pure unadulterated foolishness.

The USA is walking right into a trap. Why object to any actions by the USA when the aggression justifies war?

August 25, 2014
By Mark Landler and Helene Cooper

Washington - President Obama (click here) has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there, but a mounting concern for the White House is how to target the Sunni extremists without helping President Bashar al-Assad.Defense officials said Monday evening that the Pentagon was sending in manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights over Syria, using a combination of aircraft, including drones and possibly U2 spy planes. Mr. Obama approved the flights over the weekend, a senior administration official said...

Russia isn't North Korea whereby other nations mitigate non-proliferation and war. Intimidation won't work.

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - The recent sighting (click here) of a Japanese submarine off Russia's Pacific coast is a rare one, unlike the presence of the US Navy’s subs, Admiral Viktor Fyodorov, former commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet, told RIA Novosti Thursday.
“There have hardly been any sightings of Japanese submarines near Russia’s maritime border, unlike American ones, which have been on routine patrol missions off the Kamchatka [peninsula] shore and the main base of Russia’s Pacific Fleet in Vilyuchinsk,” Adm. Fyodorov said.
This comment came after a report by Russia’s Kommersant daily, which cited a senior military official from the General Staff as saying earlier in the day that a Japanese submarine had been detected Wednesday in the La Perouse Strait, in between the southern part of the Russian island of Sakhalin and Japan's northern-most home island of Hokkaido....

It isn't the same thing. This is the USA sending spy planes to bomb Syria or worse, occupy it? There is a Russian naval base and the President, the legitimately elected President regardless of how anyone disapproves of the election he is still the legitimate President of Syria. 

...The reconnaissance flights would not be the first time the United States has entered Syrian airspace without seeking permission. In July, American Special Operations forces carried out an unsuccessful rescue attempt for hostages held by ISIS, including the journalist James Foley, whose death was revealed last week in an ISIS video....

This isn't about a group of hostages that, BY THE WAY, wasn't there. This is about as stupid as it comes. Russia couldn't stop ISIS if it wanted to? Seriously? Russia couldn't come to Assad's rescue? Who's inflated ego is kidding who's inflated ego?

I ain't up for this war and neither is the rest of the nation.

There is no UN Security Council convening to draw up a resolution and the Republicans are silent for a very real reason. 

Ya, know, peace is never spoken by Republicans and the USA military would love to re-engage Iraq and prolong Afghanistan. This is pure idiocy. I suppose the USA military is going to have a field day until Congress comes back, huh? 
Was it General Dempsey who stated ISIS/L is nothing like they have seen before in that they act as if a trained military.


That is because some of them were trained by USA military and/or NATO forces.

Like I said, ISIS/L is the newest warlord on the block. Don't understand what that means? Then you don't understand your battlefield. I think another expression is "Which ever way the wind blows so long as I have food on the table and am alive to enjoy it."

General Dempsey HAD to know as soon as he saw ISIS/L members pulling donuts in the streets with USA tanks there were DEFECTORS from Iraq into Syria and/or former homeland military that entered the fray on behalf of Allah. 

Now, go ahead and tell the USA citizens that driving a tank is simply a turn key operation that anyone could learn without killing everyone in the near vicinity. Go ahead. Honestly. I was born yesterday, too.

I would have given my chocolate ice cream sundae topped with walnuts, whipped cream and a cherry on a hot Sunday afternoon for the very moment the Joint Chiefs said, "Oh shit we trained those guys!"
The reason Westerners are in Syria is because of all the reasons for sympathy carried in the media. The body count and The West's backing of an alternative to Assad's governance. No Western country is going to get away with any propaganda about young men estranged from their country into radical Islam. That is not the case and The West knows it. It did not recruit these young men themselves, but, the reasons are not as simple as the fact they are all wildly ideological radical Muslims. That is the truth.

The truth is they are ideological and they thought they had a cause their countries approved of.

It is no different than any other Western young man who went to fight jihad as a result of his devotion to his faith. It could be John Walker Lindh for that matter. They go to find the fulfillment of manhood as dictated within the teachings of the faith. What they find is a radical Islamic culture that kills. It is their willingness to kill that is exploited and they are among those that will kill them if they don't perform.

The journalist was beheaded because of the retaliatory air strikes against ISIS/L.

I wouldn't expect their families to know much. Obviously, they are estranged from their Western society and relatives as was exampled by Bergdahl. The family wanted him rescued, he didn't care about the rescue in order for it to lead back to his family.
The New York Times stated, "Michael Brown, Jr. was no angel."

Well, he is now and that is exactly the problem.

I do not care what Michael Brown, Junior did everyday of his life for 18 years. What I do care about is he died a cruel and brutal death at the hand of a law enforcement officer while being unarmed. 

The money donors of Snyder wants the Governor of a state surrounded by fresh water lakes with 11,000 inland fresh water lakes to accept radioactive waste disposal.

August 25, 2014
By Keith Methany

Saying (click here) he remains “deeply committed to protecting public health and Michigan’s precious water resources, ” Gov. Rick Snyder today announced plans to form a panel of experts to look at the state’s standards for disposing of low-level radioactive materials.

The announcement follows a Free Press article Tuesday on a Pennsylvania oil and gas development company’s plans to ship to a Belleville area hazardous waste landfill up to 36 tons of low-level radioactive sludge that’s a byproduct of the fracking process. The sludge was rejected by landfills in western Pennsylvania, and its later shipment to a landfill in West Virginia was halted by the state and voluntarily discontinued by the company, Range Resources, as West Virginia reforms its laws for handling such waste.... 

The substance Snyder wants to bury in Michigan is referred to as TENORM (Technologically-Enhanced, Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials)

Technologically-Enhanced, Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) is produced when activities such as uranium mining, or sewage sludge treatment, concentrate or expose radioactive materials that occur naturally in ores, soils, water, or other natural materials. 

TENORM is classified as a radionucleotide.

Radionuclides (click here)

Increased risk of cancer and in the case of uranium kidney toxicity.

Parents aren't suppose to bury their children.

Lesley McSpadden reacts during the funeral services for her son Michael Brown at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, August 25, 2014. Family, politicians and activists gathered for the funeral on Monday following weeks of unrest with at times violent protests spawning headlines around the world focusing attention on racial issues in the United States.
REUTERS/Robert Cohen/Pool

August 25, 2014
By Edward McCallister and Nick Carey

Brown's body (click here) lay at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in a black and gold casket, topped with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap he was wearing when he was killed on Aug. 9 in nearby Ferguson by a white police officer.

Thousands of people jammed inside the modern red-brick church and gathered outside on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis for the service, a markedly different scene from the violent protests that rocked the St. Louis suburb after the shooting of the unarmed 18-year-old....

Russia is fueling the conflict in Ukraine.

There is obviously no quick end to this. The West needs to decide it's position as there is increased support from Russia for the rebels. No one needs to remind Europe of the dangers that lie ahead if such invasion continues and Ukraine's people become another wayward annexation decision. 

Would Russia engage NATO? 

It's been Russia's habit to practice brinkmanship in hopes it would meet with a weakness in any resolve.

August 25, 2014

The Ukrainian military (click here) says it is battling rebel armoured vehicles that crossed from Russia and headed to the south-eastern city of Mariupol.
It said the column was halted near the town of Novoazovsk.
One military commander said pro-Russian rebels might be trying to open up a new southern front.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he not heard the reports but complained of regular "disinformation about our 'incursions'".
He also said Russia planned to send another humanitarian convoy into eastern Ukraine "in the next few days" as the humanitarian situation there was "deteriorating"....

...Ukraine's military said border guards had halted the column about 5km (3 miles) north-east of Novoazovsk, which is about 10km from the frontier in the far south-east of Ukraine....

Is Sisi inspiring more coups?

August 25, 2014
By Kate Hodal

..."Our country (click here) has accumulated many problems … which need to be urgently solved," he said. "To do this we must not create future problems."
Prayuth, 60, is the first coup leader to serve as prime minister in nearly 60 years and his appointment was condemned by opponents.
The ruling junta, named the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), has also come under fire both at home and abroad for cracking down on dissidents; detaining politicians, journalists, critics and activists; shutting down newspapers, radio and TV stations; imposing martial law; and handpicking a military-dominated parliament that now has more officers in it than Burma's.
In a statement, the overseas-based Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy described Prayuth's appointment as "a political farce and in violation of the rule of law". Prayuth himself has promised a "Thai-style" democracy and has staged various "happiness festivals" around the capital Bangkok in order to "bring happiness back to the Thai people"....

The problem as I see it is that when a national leader comes from within the military ranks it usually backfires for democracy.  Sisi is such a figure and even in the USA Eisenhower instilled the Military Industrial Complex which spanned wayward wars at least twice that we know of. 

But, one of the more menacing such instances occurred with Pervez Musharaff whoch carried out a coup against Benezir Bhutto in Pakistan in 1999. He became the President-General after the fact. He is known to have been affiliated with bin Laden during his years as General. 2001 followed.

March 21, 2014

...Musharraf (click here) is currently facing treason charges in a Pakistani court, besides other cases. 

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the book is scheduled to go on sale in April 8. 

"One day as he sat at home in Islamabad, the retired general Talat Masood was watching an interview with Musharraf on television, Masood was struck by something the general said. Musharraf was talking about (Osama) bin Laden and as was often the case, he was talking too much," she writes. 

"It dawned on Masood that the former army chief had known about bin Laden and where he was hiding. It was a statement he made in the interview," he told me. 

"I got a feeling that he knew," Gall said in her book that makes startling revelation and runs into over 300 pages....

Musharraf, during his years in power had a very close relationship with the ISIS. He also was directly responsible for the support of the Taliban against the Northern Alliance when Afghanistan's governing royalty failed to maintain a sovereign nation. Musharraf is guilty as so many others of seeking the power within Pakistan's nuclear warehouse and for what reasons can be questioned.

August 25, 2014
Aged Correspondent, Islamabad

...The persistent political crisis in Pakistan (click here) has given hope to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to make a political comeback, close aides said.
Mr Musharraf, who was until recently making efforts to fly out of the country, is now pinning his hopes on the crisis to linger on so that he can make room for his party, the All- Pakistan Muslim League.
A close aide said Mr Musharraf wanted to stay in Pakistan and he has put aside the option of going abroad even if he is allowed to fly.
He pointed out that the present political situation provided an opportunity to Mr Musharraf to live in the country and try to make inroads in Tahir-ul-Qadri led Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT).
“That is why APML distributed breakfast among the PAT marchers”, he added.
On the directions of Mr Musharraf, APML delegation headed by Rashid Qureshi on Saturday reached PAT’s sit-in at Constitution Avenue and distributed more than 20,000 breakfast packets among the marchers....

It was the War in Kargil, India which provided Musharraf his clout to oust then Prime Minister Bhutto and send her into exile to protect her own life. Today, the Kargil region is still in question, but, Pakistan has little to no influence in the outcomes because of the political crisis there.

August 23, 2014
India recently called off talks with Pakistan (click here) after the latter's high commissioner met with Kashmiri separatists. Fifteen years ago, relations between the two sides hit rock bottom as they fought an undeclared war in the Himalayan territory. Pakistan is struggling with internal strife, but what are things like now in Kargil—the theatre of battle in 1999. ET went there to find out....

At a time when the USA is leaving Afghanistan and there is significant American war hardware and munitions left behind the region is again becoming a focus of any power structure seeking to move forward with it's agenda.

...For travellers between Srinagar and Leh, the essential halt is Drass, the world's second-coldest habitation after Siberia—it can get as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius here. In the foothills of Tololing, one of the two peaks that became famous in the 84-day conflict in 1999, the Army has built Vijaypath, an impressive war memorial that's become a tourist spot.
The memorial features a museum and a sandstone wall with the names of soldiers who died. A large tricolour flutters overhead.
Whenever a group reaches the memorial, Vishal Chhetri of 9 Gorkha Rifles will provide an eight-minute, high-voltage briefing on the war. Both Tiger Hill, the other peak made famous during the Kargil war, and Tololing are visible from where Chitri delivers his monologue. "I usually make 10 presentations a day and on certain days, many more," he said....
Kashmir is among the areas of the world where mountain peaks meet adventurers from around the world. It is why it has interest to many that aren't necessarily interested in any power struggle. To say Earth conditions are hostile to anyone is an understatement. This area of the world is extremely hostile and quite frankly what contains war even for the USA. Spring's thaw returns the aggression of war.

My problem with all this is when realizing the coups surmounted followed by governing by "Former General" what becomes obvious is that democracy and freedom take a back seat to so called "order" in the country.

In the USA it was a weak and bizarre leader that would take the mantel of Commander and Chief deferring only to commander's on the ground to define his presidency. "The War President." If the global community is ever to pursue peace and a unified front to prevent deterioration of world order, it will take the elections of citizens and not generals to achieve it. Citizens with strong and powerful visions that move beyond the male dominated military identity of any leader. Peace is often defined as 'weak' and 'disorienting' because 'control' or the appearance of same 'appears' to be uninformed to the status of citizens' safety and potential to die without warning of an impending attack from a foreign government.

Peace always seems to be a void of control for nations used to a militarized facade for the purpose of elections.

March 19, 2014

...I would spend most of the next 12 years there, (click here) following the overthrow of the Taliban, feeling the excitement of the freedom and prosperity that was promised in its wake and then watching the gradual dissolution of that hope. A new Constitution and two rounds of elections did not improve the lives of ordinary Afghans; the Taliban regrouped and found increasing numbers of supporters for their guerrilla actions; by 2006, as they mounted an ambitious offensive to retake southern Afghanistan and unleashed more than a hundred suicide bombers, it was clear that a deadly and determined opponent was growing in strength, not losing it....

You can't talk about Afghanistan without talking about Pakistan. 

Pakistan's current political turmoil is as much a concern for democracy and freedom within Afghanistan as the Taliban. Basically, will Afghanistan become a province governed by the ruthless Taliban as previously or a country seeking stronger alliances with freedom and peace? 

The outcome in Afghanistan will have a direct impact on the region as a whole, but, will also begin to define Pakistan's governance. If Afghanistan is a strong country rejecting ruthless dominance of it's society by the Taliban (not an ethnic identity - it has no genetics - it is a militia) it will enforce same in Pakistan or there is a possibility for a military conflict between the two nations again. If the Taliban and the representative from the Karzai government dominates the governance in Afghanistan there will be a return to the previous danger within the region. In other words, "Musharraf's Return (either symbolic or literal) to the coupe of 1999."

Human nature is to control for purposes of safety and survival. It takes strong leadership to reduce that propensity and actually seek peace as the final military draw down. 

We aren't in the stone age anymore in case no one noticed.

UN Rights Chief: Crimes against humanity in Iraq (click here)

GENEVA (AP) Islamic State fighters reportedly killed up to 670 prisoners in Mosul and committed other horrific abuses in Iraq that amount to crimes against humanity, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Monday.

The U.N.'s top human rights official said "grave, horrific human rights violations are being committed daily" by the Islamic State group and other fighters allied with it in an aggressive push to gain a firm grip on the northern and eastern provinces.

The group's violations as it expands the boundaries of its self-proclaimed caliphate along the Syria-Iraq border include targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, destruction of places of religious and cultural significance, and besieging entire communities for ethnic, religious or sectarian reasons, Pillay said.

"They are systematically targeting men, women and children based on their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliation and are ruthlessly carrying out widespread ethnic and religious cleansing in the areas under their control," she said. "Such persecution would amount to crimes against humanity."...

Ice Bucket Challenge - Olivia Wilde

The depth=8.9km (5.5mi) of the NAPA Valley earthquake tells the tale. More than likely the bay in San Francisco hardly rippled.

Well done, Qatar. This is an interesting time to realize there is a difference in the groups in Syria.

August 25, 2014

An American journalist (click here) kidnapped nearly two years ago has been freed in Syria following Qatari mediation and handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.
Peter Theo Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the village of al-Rafid, Quneitra, on Sunday. He has since been turned over to representatives from the US government after undergoing medical check-up, the UN said.
Curtis' family thanked both the governments of the US and Qatar, as well as others who helped negotiate his release.
According to a statement from his family, Curtis was captured in October 2012 and was reportedly held by the al-Nusra Front or by splinter groups allied with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group....

There are many so called splinter groups of al Qaeda. There are many Elk Lodges in the USA, too. Poor analogy, I agree, but it makes a point. The different groups are based in territorial claims because they do not have the capacity of a national organization.

Al Nusra has proven to be less of an aggressive force so much as a support to other organizations. It doesn't have an agenda as ISIS/L or the Free Syrian Army. Al Nursa has primarily attempted to 'take care of' their people. They will act more in defense of their 'piece' of the land of Syria, but, tend not to kill others to expand their 'land claim.' 

Al Nusra really is what occurred after the Assad regime collapsed regardless of a recent election. I have no doubt Assad is seeking to reconstitute his control in order to claim as a national leader, but, that has yet to occur.

There are actually 29 separate organizations within Syria governing their own piece of land. These organizations have mostly considered Assad the real terrorist, but, that was until ISIS/L has manifested as a source of genocidal ideologies.

If The West has to put a face to a movement it would most likely be Moaz al-Khatib, at least until that of ISIS/L. ISIS/L has not particular affiliation of a coalition. ISIS/L is sort of where all the young folks went. Ruthless, cruel and unaffiliated. 

November 12, 2014
Luke Harding and Martin Chulov

The new leader (click here) of the Syrian anti-Assad coalition has a big job ahead of him. But his moderation lends him credibility

When the Syria donors' conference begins on Friday in London, all eyes will turn to Moaz al-Khatib, the new leader of Syria's opposition. A religious moderate, with impeccable revolutionary credentials, and a geologist as well, the west will be looking to see whether Khatib is a man they can do business with.
Khatib was elected on Sunday in Doha as the head of Syria's new opposition coalition, emerging from negotiations many had predicted were doomed to failure.
He now has the unenviable task of trying to unite the country's feuding anti-Assad opposition at a time when the west is reluctant to give military aid to the rebels, jihadi groups are increasingly prevalent, and the war on the ground is a bloody and murderous stalemate....
They really aren't al Qaeda affiliated. Not really. They are seeking to unseat Assad. Being an al Qaeda affiliate is a nice scary name, but, not much more.
Moaz al-Khatib has served as an Imam at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. If there is any one person with the ability to speak about the interior environment within Syria it would be he. 

I actually wouldn't expect aftershocks with the 6.0 earthquake in Napa Valley yesterday.

If one notes the earthquake was east of the fault. Why? In my opinion it was because the Pacific Plate was pushing against the land and transmitting the tensions along the fault further inland. The earthquake was just east of any body of water where there would be greatest resistance. If it were a 'fault quake' it would manifest differently.

News agencies relying on the opinion of residents to raise fear factors are going to be disappointed, but since when does that stop them.

I am curious as to what the waters in the bay was doing during the time of the earthquake.

August 25, 2014
By Laura Dudnick

San Francisco (click here) has been infamous for devastating earthquakes in its history, but Sunday morning’s magnitude-6.0 temblor near Napa that rocked much of the Bay Area appears to have left The City mostly unharmed.
Residents throughout the Bay Area were rattled awake when the largest earthquake to hit the Bay Area in nearly 25 years struck at 3:20 a.m., about six miles southwest of Napa. The quake sent dozens of those in California’s wine country to hospitals, ignited fires, damaged historic buildings and knocked out power to tens of thousands, authorities said.
However, no damages or injuries were reported in San Francisco, according to the Department of Emergency Management. Muni service remained unaffected Sunday, and the two major home sports games for the Oakland A’s and San Francisco 49ers took place as scheduled. And it appears no one lost power from the event in The City, according to PG&E....

Egyptian Holy Men are worried about symantics.

There is the point to make that ISIS/L is not a spiritual component to any Muslim's faith. They are international criminals and nothing less.
Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali , one of the landmarks in Cairo whose minaretcan be seen from any part of the city, the mosque was built very similar to the blue Mosque in Turkey .

August 24, 2014
CAIRO — The top Islamic authority in Egypt, (click here) revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched an Internet-based campaign Sunday challenging an extremist group in Syria and Iraq by saying it should not be called an "Islamic State."
The campaign by the Dar el-Ifta, the top authority that advises Muslims on spiritual and life issues, adds to the war of words by Muslim leaders across the world targeting the Islamic State group, which controls wide swaths of Iraq and Syria. Its violent attacks, including mass shootings, destroying Shiite shrines, targeting minorities and beheadings including American journalist James Foley, have shocked Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, previously said the extremists violate all Islamic principles and laws and described the group as a danger to Islam as a whole. Now, the Dar el-Ifta he oversees will suggest foreign media drop using "Islamic State" in favor of the "al-Qaida Separatists in Iraq and Syria," or the acronym "QSIS," said Ibrahim Negm, an adviser to the mufti.
This is part of a campaign that "aims to correct the image of Islam that has been tarnished in the West because of these criminal acts, and to exonerate humanity from such crimes that defy natural instincts and spreads hate between people," Negm said according to Egypt's state news agency MENA. "We also want to reaffirm that all Muslims are against these practices which violate the tolerant principles of Islam."...

China was very correct in warning the USA Spy Plane.

PHOTO: The crew of a US navy P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft took this photo of a Chinese fighter jet which is alleged to have done a barrel roll near the US plane. (AFP/ US Department of Defence 
Both jets were within their rights in international air space. Do we want 
another spy plane put on a Chinese tarmac? It was a warning. Chinese pilots 
are good at what they do. They were good at what they do when Cheney lost 
a USA spy plane and they are still good at what they do. If the USA doesn't 
like a Chinese jet pilot with an ego, then make a complaint. 

25 August 2014
The Defence Ministry (click here) says the claims are groundless and that its pilot maintained a safe distance from the US aircraft.
The statement was in response to a diplomatic complaint the Pentagon filed with Beijing which claims the Chinese jet came within metres of the US plane.
The Pentagon says the "very dangerous" incident happened 200 kilometres east of China's Hainan Island on Tuesday, near a Chinese submarine base.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby says the Chinese fighter jet made several passes at an P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane....

The P-8A Poseidon is being designed to replace the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations....

And while the USA is complaining about the Chinese pilot they might want to examine their own pilot roster to find those that are flying by the seat of their pants as well.