Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is Cuba in the Western Hemisphere the moral equivalent to Palestine in the Middle East?

The map helps define what exactly is considered Latin America.

It Cuba the one card that tumbles a house of cards once relationships change with the USA?

Will the USA have better relations with all the nations involved with Cuba once diplomatic efforts resume?

I think so. I think Cuba has been as much a Palestine in the Western Hemisphere. It was the one country that others in Latin America could not turn their backs on. It doesn't matter if the Cuban government has a different government than the USA. The USA has relationships with other countries that practice communism.

ie: China

During the Bush White House the countries lining the near shores to the USA of the Caribbean became increasingly focused on the estranging acts and values of the USA policies.

Today, Cuba has begun a far more open and hopefully better and prosperous relationship with the USA. It is the beginnings of such change to say the very least.

What occurred today in Latin America was hope the Cuban people would have better lives. When that hope becomes reality, there will be better relations with all the countries of Latin America.

Morally, what occurred with Cuba during the Bush White House was nothing short of contempt with no answer of any measure. Bush floated nuclear missile subs into the Caribbean to intimidate the nations that exist on it's borders. There is only one outcome to more and severe embargoes against Cuba and that was confrontation and possibly war that would invite all the nations of the Caribbean and beyond to defend that small country.

There was no path forward with the policies of Republican presidents. It was war or nothing, so nothing existed for decades.

When the tensions of an entire hemisphere are relaxed and greater trust is met with peace and open relations including trade, history will write about what happened today as the turning point to hemispheric peace.

Former Secretary and First Lady Hillary Clinton has been speaking out about the problems in the USA. No one covers it though.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to singer Tony Bennett during the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award ceremony, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

I like the way she carries her maiden name within her legal name. It is a matter of honoring her mother and father as well as her husband. Nice.

December 17, 2014
NEW YORK — Hillary Rodham Clinton (click here) said Tuesday she's proud to have been part of an administration that "banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations" and said the U.S. should never be involved in torture anywhere in the world.
Clinton spoke about the importance of the nation acting in accordance with its values after receiving an award from The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights at a gala in New York.
"Today we can say again in a loud and clear voice that the United States should never condone or practice torture anywhere in the world," Clinton told the audience. "That should be absolutely clear as a matter of both policy and law, including our international treaty obligations."

The remarks marked Clinton's first on the subject since the release of a Senate report last week investigating the CIA's interrogation techniques after 9/11. The report has sparked questions about the appropriate use of force in the war against terrorism....

...She declared, "yes, black lives matter," a mantra of demonstrators around the country who have been protesting recent grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers involved in the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York.
She wondered what Kennedy would say about "the thousands of Americans marching in our streets demanding justice for all," and "the mothers who've lost their sons."
"What would he say to all those who have lost trust in our government and our other institutions, who shudder at images of excessive force, who read reports about torture done in the name of our country, who see too many representatives in Washington quick to protect a big bank from regulation but slow to take action to help working families facing ever greater pressure," Clinton said....

There is an answer for the US Postal Service to survive and US Senator Tom Carper has a bill for reform.

Click here for graph.

It is a travesty of this country it is letting the only constitutionally mandated postal delivery company deteriorate under the weight of a hostile Congress.

A couple of things. Can states mandate protections for the United States Postal Service to deliver to the USA Congress to bring about relief for this invaluable part of our American landscape?

December 15, 2014
By J. T. Fellows

CHICAGO (WTVM) - Federal Express, (click here) The United Parcel Service and The United States Postal Service are gearing up for what is known as the busiest shipping day of the year.
With the uptick of sales from online retailers and great Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, the big three shipping carries are making adjustments to prepare for the shipping storm.
FedEx expects Monday, Dec. 15, to be their biggest shipping day in history, predicting that more than 22 million packages will be sent across the world....
Did you catch that? The across thing.

Think about that a minute.

The USA Postal Service is limited in it's ability to conduct business because of the USA's sovereignty. USPS doesn't have offices or hubs around the world. UPS and FexEx, both Wall Street companies, does.

When the US Postal Services receives packages to ship overseas it is handed off to the receiving postal service in places in Europe or otherwise. USPS might even provide those packages to FedEx and UPS for overnight delivery. But, the US Postal Service, mandated in our US Constitution was never defined as an international service.

I want to know where the morality went when it came to valuing a postal service exclusively designed for the USA within it's constitution?

Where is the flag waving Sarah Palin now? Where is the USA CONSTITUTION OR DIE rhetoric from the Koch's extremist right candidates? 

The flag waving right wing is a farce. They do not wave the red, white and blue of the USA, they wave the golden flag of Wall Street and this is proof.

The cuban embargo spans six different acts of Congress. It began in 1960.

Does anyone believe for one minute extending the embargo is helpful? There is nothing the embargo did, except, putting Cubans into poverty while the leadership was comfortable.

Rubio's position on Cuba is hate. The USA has spent an incredible amount of money to enforce an embargo on Cuba including a TV Marti.

December 13, 2014
By Marc A. Caputo
Nicaragua's president (click here) is banning U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from traveling to the Central American country because, he says, he is protesting the Venezuela sanctions the Republican lawmakers helped pass Wednesday in Congress, according to The Tico Times.
"Just like they [U.S. officials] have their lists, we can make our own lists in Latin America of those who shouldn’t enter our country,” Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega told Costa Rica-based Tico Times during a meeting with Venezuelan officials in his country.
Rubio, via Twitter, mocked Ortega's decision: "Oh no! My summer vacation plans are ruined!" The sanctions, primarily aimed at Venezuelan officials and proxies involved with violently suppressing pro-democracy activists, would ban them from traveling or staying in the United States and would freeze any U.S. assets. President Barack Obama plans to sign the legislation, S2142.
The sanctions legislation Ortega is protesting does not mention Nicaragua or really involve the country, which has received as much as $3 billion in Venezuelan aid since the Sandinista government returned to power in 2007. Venezuela is also a top ally of Cuba's government, of which Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen — Cuban-American legislators — have been outspoken opponents....

Read more here:
The conditions of the embargo is old and have never proven to work. This embargo is to satiate the hatred of the Cubans in Florida. It is all political, including TV Marti (click here). It is all a circus for Florida's politics.

The Cuban population in Florida are big donors to the Republicans in Florida and in return they get many, many favors; this is just one.

There are many Americans that want to be able to travel to see family and provide gifts that make their lives easier under the embargo. This has gone on too long to call it effective. It's nonsense.

Read more here:

Before there was Earth there was a nebula.

Earth is considered 4.54 billion years old. That is when it solidified as a planet and the third rock from the sun. The established scenario regarding the development of life on Earth begins with comets bringing water and particles that would spawn life.

What if the components of life existed in every corner of the Milky Way Nebula before they settled into being planets orbiting Sol? I think that potential is more viable in the understandings of chaos. Our solar system within the Milky Way as it exists today is far older than the planet Earth.

Why not expect Earth to be more than this egocentric beginning of life that people like to assign to it's existence. Earth is one of many planets with varied sizes and composition. The four planets closest to Sol experienced their formations differently than the planets on the opposite side of our solar system's asteroid belt. Why would the components of life be limited to Earth?

As our solar system spun out over billions of years the heavier particles closest to the sun became a very different type of planet than those at the outer extremes. It makes sense, doesn't it? Sol has gravity and trapped heavier particles closest to it while the lighter more gaseous particles organized differently opposite the asteroid belt.

Earth's orbit around Sol deteriorates a minuscule amount every year. But, that deterioration is continuous and not on a timed departure. Considering that deterioration only proves Sol has gravity in a very profound way.

Recently we learned comets can transmit sound. That is an atmosphere, not a void. And what is it about the asteroid belt? Is the asteroid belt a region of transition and collision of these different types of particles? A transition so great it partially developed solid rocks while moving toward a more gaseous composition. And what is it with the comets and their consistent orbits? Are the comets caught in a relationship with Sol no differently than Earth? Isn't a comet a comet because of it's tail and that tail being water?

December 17, 2014

Since William Herschel (click here) spotted polar ice caps on Mars in the mid-17th century, astronomers have speculated that life could exist on a planet which seemed so similar to Earth.
But when probes began to beam back images of a barren wasteland in the Sixties and Viking 1 failed to find organic chemicals in 1976, hopes faded.
Now, however, Nasa believes it has found the first hint that life could exist on the Red Planet. It is just possible that unusual clusters of methane might be being produced by biological organisms.
Up to now there have only been tantalizing hints that Mars once had a climate which could support alien life....

Outside our solar system it is estimated there are 88 billion planets (click here) similar to Earth in the habitable zone around their suns.

No one is disproving religion when they explore the possibilities to our planet's reality. There are 103 naturally occurring elements on Earth. There are more elements but they are primarily synthetic elements found during experiments. Why is it the only place 103 naturally occurring elements is Earth? When one stops to realize the enormity of the Milky Way Galaxy and the potential for more galaxies; the simplicity of thinking Earth's life is unique becomes more and more estranged from a far different truth.

Our solar system is a very small place in the corner of the Milky Way, yet there is life on Earth because of it's exact place orbiting Sol. Is life on Earth actually that unique to exclude it from every other corner of any galaxy anywhere? I personally don't think so, but, that reality still leaves room for god as well. To be so arrogant as to think science can disprove god is more than any scientist should consider. The reality of any form of life is expressed differently for each species. There are an enormous number of species still unknown to human study. There are species facing extinction due to the Sixth Extinction. But, to think bibles written by men or women limited in their understandings of the times they lived only becomes as silly as the next discovery of unknown facts about our place in this universe.

Science is important. Discoveries are important. But, to place the belief in god outside the realm of science is complete foolishness considering the diligence needed in the most minor of human discovery.

In time for the holidays. I hope this is the beginning of a better relationship between the USA and Cuba.

Supporters rally on behalf of imprisoned U.S. citizen Alan Gross, calling for President Barack Obama to help free Gross, who has been in a Cuban prison for 4 years, during a rally in Lafayette Park December 3, 2013, across the street from the White House, in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

...Gross, 65, was on an American government plane bound for the U.S. Wednesday morning after being released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the Obama administration. As part of the secret negotiations to secure his release, the U.S. was releasing three Cuban jailed in Florida for spying.
Obama administration officials have considered Gross’ imprisonment an impediment to improving relations with Cuba....

President Raúl Castro
President of the Council of State
and the Council of Ministers
Palacio de la Revolucion
Havana, Cuba

His Excellency Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba
Havana, Cuba

Mr. Jorge Bolaños
Chief of Mission
Cuban Interests Section
Embassy of Switzerland
2639 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Dear Sirs:
We, the undersigned, (click here) urge the immediate release of Alan P. Gross from a Cuban jail on humanitarian grounds.  
We understand that Alan’s actions may have offended the Cuban government. But we believe that after nearly two years in prison, Alan and his family have paid an enormous price for Alan's work in helping the Cuban Jewish community improve its access to the internet. As Alan, himself, has stated, he never intended any harm to the Cuban government or the Cuban people, and he would never involve himself in the domestic politics of a foreign country in which he was a guest.
Our request is based on the following:

Alan’s physical and emotional state is deteriorating. While imprisoned, he has lost over 100 pounds and has suffered from various ailments, including partial paralysis. We are deeply concerned about his well-being.

The health of Alan’s family has also deteriorated since he has been in prison. His 27-year old daughter and 89-year old mother are battling cancer, and his wife recently underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness. The financial burdens on the family are becoming insurmountable, due to the growing medical and legal bills and the loss of Alan’s income.
In conclusion, we believe Alan’s case deserves a compassionate approach. We call for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds and would consider it a significant humanitarian gesture by the Cuban government.

Thank you,
The lesson learned regarding the break in at Sony Pictures is that the entertainment industry is under appreciated in its importance. There have been huge amounts of money given to different organizations in the USA to improve security of citizens. Yet, this threat is able to exist within this industry.

The U.S. film industry posted $31 billion in revenues in 2013, a modest increase over 2012, (click here) according to data from Price Waterhouse Coopers.  The industry consists of multinational umbrella corporations, major studios, and independent studios or “indies.” Many of the leading motion picture studios are part of larger media conglomerates that often include television, newspaper, cable and magazine segments, and much of this is online content. Both film and music represent America’s diverse culture.   The industry enjoys high popularity in foreign markets, but also high rates of illegal downloads.  U.S. exports of film and entertainment media often attain shares in international markets in excess of 90 percent due to high global interest in U.S. filmed entertainment....

The film industry is also sought by many states to create jobs and bring commerce to local governments, so this is not a minor matter. Some of the most interesting aspects of the film industry in all it's forms is the entertainment of people as young as 5 years old upto the age of 90 or more. The industry seeks to be a part of the culture of the USA and the people's participation and interest in their product.

The film industry in the USA expands our understanding of other people, different cultures, but more than that, it adds dimension to the American imagination. The economy of the film industry is interesting and important enough, however, the fantasy of this industry spawns and encourages each and every person attending the showing of a film to think. The reason people go to the movies is because it brings opportunity for fantasy and gives permission of new truths and laughable realities. It is an intricate part of the American Landscape that encourages people to think.

I find this episode of revealing Hollywood as very sad. It showed the underbelly of Hollywood and it's petty imperfections. The industry has to be better than they are in appreciating the talent they hire, the equal right to equal pay and appreciation of their audience. The film industry is about the patron more than it ever was about the film stars pay. I don't recall any credits with salary listed after them. Patrons don't go to the movies to have more reality dumped on them at the close of every picture, they go for escape.

I was once told by a medical doctor who loves the industry's products that going to the movies is like a mini-vacation. I think that point of view is accurate. People go into the theaters to enjoy a slice of life that is different.

Sony needs to continue to make movies, after all "Godzilla" is one of my favorites and the recent 3-D version was excellent. I especially love the part where Godzilla was being escorted by the USA Navy. That was really cool.

Sony Pictures needs to take the lawsuits seriously and pay them to regain their credibility.

December 17, 2014
By Bernard Condon

NEW YORK (AP) — Threats of violence against movie theaters. (click here) The New York premiere of ‘‘The Interview’’ canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages.
The fallout from the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack that began four weeks ago exploded Tuesday after the shadowy group calling themselves Guardians of Peace escalated their attack beyond corporate espionage and threatened moviegoers with violence reminiscent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Department of Homeland Security said there was ‘‘no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters,’’ but noted it was still analyzing messages from the group, dubbed GOP. The warning did prompt law enforcement in New York and Los Angeles to address measures to ramp up security....

The USA has a new hate group. The GOP. And it's English isn't very good.
?...this is just a (the) beginning.
We will continue until our request be (demands are) met.
Determine what you will do, (Decide your fate) until...

...Twitter accounts associated (click here) with promoting several movies, including Starship Troopers, were briefly hijacked by the attackers. The attackers posted to at least three Twitter feeds, leaving the same message: “You, the criminals including [Sony Pictures CEO] Michael Lynton will surely go to hell. Nobody can help you.” The image posted with the message shows a digitally edited image of Lynton’s head in a dark, hellish landscape....

The focus is on sending people to hell? Really? 

Going to hell is a spiritual issue and I doubt that is a real threat. The GOP seems to understand the concept of religion though. Before anyone can credibly go to hell, I think there should be suggests on how they can improve and avoid hell.

I think the deal with hell and heaven is understanding that was wrong was committed. So, to state someone will go to hell is not really correct unless they willfully commit a sin. I think purgatory is more the likelihood of sins are committed without willfulness. Sort of like scaring people by putting a red skeleton on the website.

There was once a Red Skelton (click here) in Hollywood, but, he spelled his name differently. 

Hollywood needs to take this on the chin and get on with life. There is no sense in guest appearances if Sony is removing the movie from it's venues. But, the industry needs to focus on patron safety.

December 16, 2014
By Verne Gay Following a threat (click here) earlier Tuesday from the hackers who attacked Sony servers late last month, the studio, along with "The Interview" stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, have pulled out of a scheduled appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Wednesday. In addition, they've pulled out of a "Late Night with Seth Meyers' appearance Thursday. NBC has confirmed and said Paul McCartney will be the scheduled guest on Wednesday's edition....

It is important both Pakistan and Afghanistan end the violence.

December 17, 2014
By Plyasree Dasgupta...
Calling for peace, Nawaz Sharif said that he wanted peace not only in Pakistan, but also in Afghanistan.
He said, "We won't allow Pakistan to be used to attack others," and added, "We will seek Afghanistan's help to flush out terrorists."...

Pakistan has lifted the moratorium on the death penalty.
December 17, 2014
By Andrew Marszal
The full devastation of the Taliban attack (click here) in which 148 people – the vast majority children – were massacred in a Pakistan school yesterday is laid bare in images showing pools of blood and bullet-ridden walls.
Upturned desks and torn exam papers scattered across the floor give evidence of the unexpected terror that struck 500 children and staff on Tuesday morning as nine gun-wielding militants stormed the building.
The attack at the Army Public School and College in the city of Peshawar on Tuesday was the deadliest slaughter of innocents in the country and horrified a nation already weary of unending terrorist assaults.
Media, allowed inside the school today just one day after the attack, found pieces of clothing and children's shoes scattered amid the broken window glass....

Malala Tahira Qazi, Principal, Army Public School, PeshawarDecember 17, 2014Tributes (click here) from Tahira Qazi's former pupils on social media sites are a testament to the respect and affection she was held in. One, Rahim Khan, said his heart was bleeding and he tweeted: "my beloved teacher Ms.Tahira Qazi, you r a martyr!!" as he posted a picture of them together.
She was among nine teachers and staff believed to have been killed in the Taliban attack. Ms Qazi was known to be one of the most experienced head teachers in the city, running the elite school.
Witnesses quoted in local media say she ushered many students to safety, called up some parents urging them to come and collect their children. But the exact circumstances of Ms Qazi's death remain unclear....