Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An electrical arch? How big was the arch? Enough smoke to fill a train tunnel is not simply a minor arch.

An underground fire (click here) that caused commuting problems Tuesday morning has been ruled accidental.

The fire marshal reports the cause was electrical in area of temporary wiring used for lighting construction sites.

The third-alarm fire under Penn Station in Midtown started in construction sheds two floors beneath Eighth Avenue and West 33rd Street. It broke out just after 2:30 a.m., but Penn Station remained open. The construction area is under the West End Concourse.

The fire raged out of control for more than an hour, as 150 firefighters struggled to put it out, two stories beneath the street.

Heavy smoke filled the subway station on the A, C and E subway lines. A and E subway trains bypassed the 34th Street station for a period, and the subway station was evacuated of all MTA employees....

I don't want to hear anything about budget problems. Do you know what is at the heart of New York City? Wall Street. How many commuters work on Wall Street? Wall Street is raking in the big bucks, they need to be prepared to spend their money on their employees safe transportation to and from work back to their families. It is called taxes from those easiest to pay. If Wall Street complains, we'll throw them a pity party. Everyone on New Year's Eve we'll take a moment before Midnight to have a Pity Party for them. End of discussion. 

Hasan Nasrallah, a Shi'ite Cleric, takes a rare public stand. He is not alone. Many other Muslim Holy Men are upset with the attacks in Paris. But, this is Nasrallah.

How many journalists stop to realize the attacks in Paris reach beyond the West? The Islamic State wants to end the lives of all others, except, than those the caliph finds worthy. I can understand why the third caliph was assassinated.

The Islamic State is genocidal. If the caliph had nuclear weapons today, there would be very few people living.  

January 10, 2015

Islamic extremists (click here) following a ‘takfiri’ ideology are more offensive to the Prophet Mohammed than Western satirical cartoons, chief of the Lebanese military faction Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, said following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.
"The behavior of the takfiri groups that claim to follow Islam have distorted Islam, the Koran and the Muslim nation more than Islam’s enemies ... who insulted the prophet in films... or drew cartoons of the prophet," the Hezbollah leader said in a televised speech to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.

Militant Islam practices a ‘takfiri’ doctrine that allows it to brand other Muslims apostates for allegedly going against the faith’s true teachings.
A tragic attack on Wednesday took the lives of 12 people, when armed gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, prompting a citywide manhunt. The magazine had printed cartoons that mocked the Prophet... 

Add to that Saudi Arabia is establishing diplomatic relations with Iraq again and a very clear picture of the radicals of the Islamic State begins to emerge. The attacks in Paris is a global concern. There is no doubt in my mind where Muslims globally stand on such heinous murders.

The man with the big gavel and a lawsuit is assaulting the Executive Branch again. It is all politics.

The fuss about immigration is always a Republican problem with control. Republicans since the year 2010 aren't Republicans unless they are mean.

Speaker of the House John Boehner wields the gavel for the first time after being re-elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the start of the 114th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 6, 2015.

January 13, 2015
By David Lawder

(Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives (click here) will vote to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security this week while blocking President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday.
The $39.7 billion spending bill was expected to pass by Wednesday, when House Republicans leave Washington for a two-day policy retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
But its fate in the Senate was uncertain, and it may draw a White House veto. Republican lawmakers leaving a closed-door strategy meeting on Tuesday said the House would seek to pass amendments to the core funding bill to deny money to implement Obama's November executive order lifting the threat of deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants. Republicans claim the order is illegal....

Republicans can't be grateful for the difficult and necessary work the Undocumented performs in this country. They can't recognize the families living within our borders that now have grown children in our colleges after being educated by the USA public school system. There is no compassion for the young people having an allegiance to the USA as the only country they have ever known. No, no, none of that. Politics first, always first.

The playbook is fairly obvious right? The US House passed the need for a lawsuit to the President. That was in the past Congress. I ponder the validity of the lawsuit with the beginning of the new Congressional session. I think the lawsuit would have to be passed again because there are different members in the House with the most recent election. A parliamentarian could answer that question. But, why tell public. It is much better for the public to believe the Republicans have this huge movement to spawn impeachment, right? It makes for good right wing media propaganda.

Why would Boner. Oh, excuse me, Speaker Boner. Why would Speaker Boner include the first Executive Order with his objection to the second?

The first one has already expired. ???????????? Like does Boner. Oh, sorry, Speaker Boner have a clue? Right?

Add to that the second Executive Order encompassing 5 million people hasn't even gone into effect yet, so like what is the issue already, right?

Allow me.

US House Speaker Boner (sp) wants to eradicate the first Executive Order along with the second. I am sure it is impressive. A House Speaker able to reach back in time to pull an Executive Order forward to legislate against it must be very, very powerful. That is nonsense. Legislation can do exactly what it wants without reaching into the past. But, by including the Dreamers in the objection by the House Speaker he is looking to completely assault the Undocumented and not just those working for a living.

In addition to assaulting both Executive Orders the US House Speaker is stating they are Presidential overreach. Unconstitutional even. This is an attack on President Obama and has little to do with the Undocumented and their circumstances and how they add to the country's stability and productivity, it's brain trust and the future of the USA. So, let's get that much correct. This is about assaulting President Obama. Why?

The President has worked diligently in handling the Undocumented without any help from Congress. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill, but, it was completely ignored in the US House. So, why would a House Speaker that has never dealt with the Undocumented see the work by the Executive Branch as an overreach? Some would say The House doesn't have to do anything. They are constitutionally correct, but, the argument can be made the Undocumented's status is a concern to the USA. Quite frankly, seeking a legal standing is not doing their job. A legal standing is setting up a bigger picture for the Republicans. The picture is bigger than the current Congress. 

At least 11 million Undocumented are in the USA. Those are 2008 or earlier numbers. I am sure there are more now. But, this belligerence by Republicans reaches back to the Bush White House as well. The Republicans have an interest in their base voters and is why they aren't conducting the country's business. Immigration can't be handled by the states because it is about crossing borders. The Republicans will let a Wall Street Oil Dump cross the northern USA border, but, not hard working people at the Southern Border.

What if I said, this so called overreach isn't really about President Obama either? Would you believe me? This isn't really about winning the elections of 2016 so much as what occurs afterward.

President Obama's executive order takes effect in a few months. It will exist for two years. What if the USA Congress can't or won't pass a COMPREHENSIVE Immigration Bill before November of 2016? What happens then? It falls to the new President to write another Executive Order after taking office.

Would Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders write that order? Most probably. Would Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney write that order? Jeb, possibly; Romney, no. Other potential Republican candidates? Rand Paul, I think he would. Chris Christy, unknown and he probably likes to keep it there. All the others, seriously doubt it.

So, if Speaker Boner (sp.) pursues the idea President Obama is overreaching his priority and carries through with some kind of obstruction he will have achieved a great thing for the year 2017. There will be no reason for someone to vote for Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders because the President can't do anything for the Undocumented. There would be a Constitutional challenge by President Obama if the Republicans try to leverage power against millions of people, including children, in this country. That is the way I see it. If anyone is overreaching it is the House Speaker.

What I asked for as a Christmas Gift was the end of Republicans playing politics with our democracy or the lives of people, be those people citizens, the Undocumented or those in other nations through war.

It is so reassuring that everything US government is secure, isn't it? I love the excuses more than anyone knows.

WASHINGTON — Hackers claiming (click here) to be working on behalf of the Sunni militant group known as the Islamic State took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the United States Central Command on Monday, sending out a series of posts far different from the American military’s standard fare.
“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad,” one post on Twitter said. “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back,” said another.
The Defense Department scrambled against the attack. By early Monday afternoon, Central Command had taken down its Twitter account and suspended its YouTube feed. A defense official said that no classified material had been breached and that the military was taking steps to address the matter. The F.B.I. was also investigating....

Indeed. Our American tax dollar at work, right Mr. Clapper? When Target was hacked the American people were outraged, but, somehow when an American government site is hacked it is all in a day's work. I don't think so.

The American people look to their government for security, services and a life full of potential, safety to pursue their ambitions and happiness. This is not a happy moment!

I am outraged that EXCUSES are even part of the venue of apologies to the American people for allowing such a mess of their websites. Now, the potential for the USA government to have really lousy websites is known to the American people. So, I strongly suggest all intelligence agencies and government offices take this OPPORTUNITY to improve on the failed security that has occurred.

I AM TIRED OF THE EXCUSES that facilitates "One Man Risk." I really am. This indifference to the security of all government websites is not appreciated. It is not appreciated AT ALL.

Mohammad was not a violent leader.

Well done.

I am quite confident that is the absolute truth. Mohammad was not a murderer. He was not filled with hate. In actuality, he was a survivalist. A leader. A moral icon. He would not consent to such actions and he is most probably shedding more than one tear over the violence within the people he loved.

January 13, 2015
By William M. Welch and Kim Hjelmgaard

Meanwhile, (click here) as many as six terror-cell members may still be at large after the Paris terrorism attacks, French police say.
Two French police officials, who were not identified by name, said one of the at-large cell members has been spotted driving a car registered to the widow of one of the slain attackers, Associated Press reported from Paris.
Paris police are searching for a Mini Cooper car registered to the widow, Hayat Boumeddiene, who Turkish officials say is now in Syria....

There should be an ethics violation filed against Congressman Randy Weber,

His statements were inflammatory and politically motivated. There is room for either from the people that are suppose to be interested in the safety of the free world.

Weber tweeted, "Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn't do it for the right reasons,"

January  13, 2015
By Chad Merda
It seems (click here) to be the go-to insult, and on Monday, Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, was the latest to bring Hitler into the mix. This time, it came via Twitter, and the subject was the Obama administrations failure to have a high-level official at the weekend’s Unity March in Paris....

I take it Weber didn't feel compelled to join the march, right? This is typical of the Republican methodology for a plea for political funding. The more outrageous the words the more likely they will receive attention. It would seem to work, but, this is way out of line.

The statement is an expression of hate of the President of the United States of America. The State of the Union addressing is coming up. The American people don't need hideous outbursts from Republicans seeking political money. The ethics violation needs to go forward.

The travels of Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi were known, but, not acted on because of the Arab Spring and insufficient manpower in North Africa.

Firebombs and pig heads thrown into mosques. (click here) Veiled women subjected to crude insults in the street. The Internet awash with threats against Muslims. Europe's Muslims are feeling the heat of a fierce backlash following last week's terror attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

A climate of fear is taking hold in Europe, as ordinary people increasingly heed rightist rhetoric equating the millions of peaceful Muslims with the few plotting murder and mayhem.

Abdallah Zekri, head of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia, said that in a 48-hour period after the Wednesday massacre at Charlie Hebdo, 16 places of worship around France were attacked by firebombs, gunshots or pig heads — a major insult to Muslims who don't eat pork....

In the Arab papers it was known where and when the brothers learned their trade. They did not come from Syria, but, they did go abroad to learn to kill. The lack of manpower in relation to the Arab Spring vs. intelligence gathering is the reason they slipped through the intelligence gathering net. 

The travel of these men was realized after the attack in France. One has to realize the Arab nations take account of those inclined to violence against others. Saudi Arabia takes control of those suspected to be seeking violent measures. They have a terrorist list that is published every year with numbers between 20 to 30. They usually find them. The other countries in North Africa practice intelligence to know what may effect their government. 

The West's populations aren't very familiar with the way governments in Northern Africa operate. They are very concerned about violence. They are worried about flash points and what can cause chaos and deaths afterward. It isn't as though the brothers were not being counted as they came and went. Their movements were noted, but, the Arab Spring was the focus of the security forces. Because of that the brothers slipped through the intelligence net and successfully found their way back to Paris. The Arab nations are as surprised and concerned as any country of the West. 

I am confident China and Russia are equally as concerned. China's large population causes it to protect from any flashpoints because anarchy and chaos would cause far more deaths than one realizes. China has demonstrators and they are peaceful; these are not tendencies of violence.

While it is completely understandable how fear can increase with such violent events, the fact of the matter is there are strong intelligence networks in this part of the world.

I think these are good questions, however, being on a no fly list does not impede a person's way of life. The lists are detailed only for the airlines. The fact the brother's names were on the lists indicates the UK and US were attempting to limit their access to travel by air. There was a question about them for some time.

The attackers were MISSED by intelligence, they didn't have the level of covert abilities to be undetectable. The attacks in Paris were more or less opportunistic simply because of the distraction of the Arab Spring. The attackers didn't have abilities that defeated any nation's network to prevent their goals; they were among the 'odds' that exists in any attempt to stop attackers from being successful. It was a loophole no one expected.

12 January 2015
by Robert Hackwill
The Charlie Hebdo massacre (click here) has raised a number of questions in France pertaining not so much as to the why but as to the how ; how could such an attack have taken place, and how was it that it was not stopped?
As the killers were known to the police why were they not more closely monitored? Beyond any typical security service failings, where one agency does not inform another and opportunities are lost, the French are currently facing a wave of French-born Muslims turned Islamic militants returning from places like Syria and Iraq, where they have gained combat experience and military techniques. There are simply too many of them returning home for the security services to keep tabs on them all. However, the fact the Kouachi brothers were on US and UK no-fly lists suggests that at least Washington and London thought they were high-priority suspects. So why not Paris? That may be because, as often in the past, the French like to “turn” terrorists to do their bidding. The Kouachis may have been candidates for such treatment, but no-one in Paris is ever likely to admit that, even if it is a legitimate form of counter-espionage. Not now.
Charlie Hebdo had been attacked several times by various groups including the French far-right before, so why was it not better protected? Part of this may be due to the fact that some of the staff at Charlie were not keen on having police stationed outside, and also because the magazine had few friends in the establishment who were prepared to treat the threats seriously....