Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Where have the anti-aircraft guns come from?

This was one of the pictures of his capture. I know why I wasn't paying attention to it, it was Christmas Eve. I was with family from early afternoon.

December 24, 2015
RMC published a photograph (click here) said to be of the pilot who appeared wearing a white shirt as he was surrounded by 11 fighters, some of them masked. Another photograph published by the group showed the man — naked from the waist down and soaking wet — being captured by three gunmen as he was taken out of what appeared to be a lake.
RMC later posted a photograph of the Jordanian military identity card of the pilot identifying him as Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh who was born on May 29, 1988.
In Jordan, the pilot's cousin Marwan al-Kaseasbeh confirmed by telephone with The Associated Press that the photos are of his cousin. He added that the Jordanian government has so far not contacted the pilot's family.
There was no immediate comment from Jordanian authorities....

His parachute landed in a lake. He was trying to prevent himself from drowning and was getting out of his flight suit because it was filling with water.

March 11, 2014
By Michelle Nichols

(Reuters) - Shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles (click here) have been trafficked out of Libya to Chad, Mali, Tunisia, Lebanon and likely Central African Republic, with attempts made to send them to Syrian opposition groups, according to a U.N. report on Tuesday.
An independent panel of experts monitoring U.N. sanctions on Libya, that include an arms embargo imposed at the start of the 2011 uprising that ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi, reported that the weapons, known as MANPADs, that were found in Mali and Tunisia "were clearly part of terrorist groups' arsenals."
"Despite efforts by Libya and other countries to account for and secure MANPADs in Libya, Panel sources state that thousands of MANPADs were still available in arsenals controlled by a wide array of non-state actors with tenuous or non-existent links to Libyan national authorities," the experts said in their final report to the U.N. Security Council....

Libya. How did I guess? They have to be destroyed. 

The USA took out the main batteries of missile launchers, but, no one bothered with this. Gaddafi had stockpiled huge amounts of munitions. The rebel groups in Libya are not only arming every other radical group in the region they are making money that is sustaining their fight against the government.

..."Over the past three years, Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons," according to the U.N. report.
The U.N. experts said Libya has been a key source of arms for Syria opposition groups due to "popular sympathies for the Syrian opposition, large available stockpiles of weapons, the lack of law enforcement and a new generation of domestic arms dealers who appeared during the Libyan uprising."
"Sources indicated to the Panel that the Syrian Arab Republic is also becoming a source of onward proliferation itself, including to Iraq and Lebanon," according to the report, which covers the past year....

The UN is harboring the intelligence. No wonder Assad is out gunned.

US Senator Paul sets an example. Well done.

No one else is getting publicly vaccinated to motivate parents and adults alike.

February 3, 2015
By Jerry W. Peters

Senator Rand Paul, (click here) facing a backlash over his comments that cast doubt on whether he believes vaccines can pose a health risk to children, asserted on Tuesday that he believes vaccinations are indeed safe and that all parents should have their children inoculated.
To prove his point, Mr. Paul invited a reporter with him to watch him get his booster vaccination for Hepatitis A.
“It just annoys me that I’m being characterized as someone who’s against vaccines,” Mr. Paul said as he settled into a chair in an examination room in the Capitol physician’s office.
“There’s 400 headlines now that say ‘Paul says vaccines cause mental disorders,'” he added. “That’s not what I said. I said I’ve heard of people who’ve had vaccines and they see a temporal association and they believe that.”...
This is the woman Jordan has as a prisoner. The suicide bombers claim to be martyrs as well. Evidently, the Islamic extremists use propaganda without an understanding the meaning of martyr.

The event in Amman is on the blog.

November 13, 2005
Police in Jordan (click here) say they have arrested a woman suspected of having wanted to blow herself up in a series of suicide bombings in Amman.
Police say the Iraqi woman is the wife of one of three Iraqi male suicide bombers who attacked three hotels on Wednesday, killing 57 people.
Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said she was also the sister of a dead key aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The three Iraqi bombers, who died in the attacks, were identified as Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, from Anbar province, Rawad Jassem Mohammed Abed, 23, and Safaa Mohammed Ali, 23....

Muath Safi Yousef Al-Kasasbeh is a martyred hero in defense of his country and faith.

I had no idea martyrdom was recognized by the Catholic Church. But, then there is Jesus, right?

Francis is a great Pope. 

February 3, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis (click here) decreed Tuesday that slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed in 1980 out of hatred for his Catholic faith, approving a martyrdom declaration that sets the stage for his beatification.
Francis, the first Latin American pope, approved the decree honoring one of the heroes of Latin American Christians at a meeting with the head of the Vatican's saint-making office.

Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was gunned down by right-wing death squads March 24, 1980,...

Archbishop Romero was internationally recognized.

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 - March 24, 1980) (click here) was a prominent Roman Catholic priest in El Salvador during the 1960s and 1970s becoming Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. After witnessing numerous violations of human rights, he began to speak out on behalf of the poor and the victims of repression. This led to numerous conflicts, both with the government in El Salvador and within the Catholic Church. After speaking out against U.S. military support for the government of El Salvador, and calling for soldiers to disobey orders to fire on innocent civilians, Archbishop Romero was shot dead while celebrating Mass at the small chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived....

He was a post humerous Nobel Peace Prize winner. Not to give the wrong impression of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Romero was saving lives. He was ministering to the poor in El Salvador during a time when government corruption, land abuses and combat altercations between those that were powerful. The USA was backing the official government in arming the troops when El Salvador was in civil war. El Salvador had been in conflict for decades. But, this was different this time.. 

The problem arose that the poor became homeless. Land was taken over to insure the standing government had control. The removal of El Salvadorians from the land was named "The Football War." The people were nameless and faceless and they literally had no place to be. It was a four day maneuver with wide ranging impacts including adversity in the El Salvador and Honduras. The years was 1969. The poverty of the people became institutionalized and was permanent from that time forward.

The Archbishop placed himself at the center of the poverty and asked for help. He asked the Vatican and when the Vatican had no answers, he criticized the USA to end the conflict that was being fueled by munitions coming from USA contractors. He didn't have help from anyone. He was at the center of the poverty and his only ally was the poor.  He took his position and told the people where they were in the eyes of God. He instilled faith in their hearts, but, also talked about the reality of their conditions so they knew this was not their fault, but, that of the government and powers they had no method to act against. He made people with power angry. Their anger ended his life.

Oscar visited the Pope in Rome (click here) and outlined to him, with evidence, the injustices which were part of life in El Salvador. He did not have much support within the church, and was under threat from those outside it. He spoke out against the USA-financed security forces, and became too much of a threat to the government.
He was shot dead while celebrating mass. His last words were: 'May God have mercy on the assassin.' 
Oscar Romero was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (having been nominated in 1978). 

There are many lessons from the death of Archbishop Romero. His frustrations were obvious and his power vacuum too much to bear. He was in a country he loved that had been removed from it's moorings. No one listened, except, the people he ministered to and they were powerless to change their outcomes. Did his life count?

...Just weeks before his murder, (click here) Archbishop Romero published an open letter to President Jimmy Carter in the Salvadoran press, asking the United States not to intervene in El Salvador’s fate by arming brutal security forces against a popular opposition movement. Romero warned that U.S. support would only “sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their fundamental human rights.” Despite his plea, President Carter moved to approve $5 million in military aid less than one year after the archbishop’s murder, as Carter was leaving office in January 1981.

Included in the posting are documents reporting on a secret, behind-the-scene effort by the United States to enlist the Vatican in pressuring Romero over his perceived support for the Salvadoran left; an account of the archbishop’s powerful March 23, 1980, homily, given the day before his assassination; a description of the murder by the U.S. defense attaché in El Salvador; and an extraordinary embassy cable describing a meeting organized by rightist leader Roberto D’Aubuisson in which participants draw lots to determine who would be the triggerman to kill Romero....

The Archbishop was completely disregarded among any authority that influenced the civil war. The Archbishop wanted the violence to stop. He was actually seeking a power sharing government, but, that concept wasn't considered a valued aspect of any peace settlement. In those years there was war or no war; but, nothing in between. The Archbishop wanted the killing to end and in his own way without official definition was calling the people to come together and for the powerful to have mercy on the poor.

... In 1980 a series of failed military juntas took power, (click here) but none were able to quell the violence. By 1981, leftist guerrillas and political groups jointed forces, forming the FMLN. Then, throughout the 1980s civil war was waged between the FMLN and the U.S.-backed Salvadoran military forces. Increased international attention to the fighting led to an investigation by the U.S. Congress into the conflict and, eventually, the UN intervened to help mediate a resolution upon request of the two warring parties. The Commission on the Truth for El Salvador was mandated by the January 16, 1992 U.N.-brokered peace agreements that ended the war. The commission was set up in July....

From the peace agreement. This was the military the USA built. I was dismantled into a peaceful force to protect the sovereignty of the country that insured the well being of each citizen.

Reduction (click here)
The new situation of peace shall include the reduction of the armed forces to a size appropriate to their doctrine and to the functions assigned to them by the Constitution within the framework of the constitutional reform resulting from the Mexico Agreements. Accordingly, pursuant to the New York Agreement, the Government has submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations a
plan for the reduction of the armed forces, which the Secretary-General
has made known to FMLN. The implementation of the plan must have the pr
actical consequence of making reductions in the various branches of the armed forces.
Chapter 2 established a national civil police, Chapter 3 and 4 are not in the digital record, Chapter 5 addresses the problem with the land and how farmers needed to work the land to feed the people, Chapter 6 recognizes the political party FMLN and removed all political prisoners to a citizen status and Chapter 7 ends the conflict. Chapters that follow outlines the enforcement of the peace agreement by the United Nations.
Did life matter? Ultimately the Archbishops demands were met by intervention of the United Nations. He gave his life to bring awareness and urgency to the need for peace. His life mattered. His impact is immeasurable. He deserves the recognition by Pope Francis. 
Archbishop Romero is among the modern day recognition of a martyr that changed the face of an entire country. He is a controversial figure, because he took the challenge of the poor to a higher level than simply supporting them through faith. He is no less a saint for the life and passions he had against a superpower and the government it backed that caused the deaths of innocent civilians in El Salvador.  

This is the right wing of the GOP. Wackos. North Carolina has a wacko Senator for the next six years.

See, market pressures take care of everything. Certainly the country knows that, right? So, Tillis is a flyin' genius. The private sector doesn't need government and regulation; they need to be left alone. Did I get that right? The only thing the private sector needs is freedom to completely do what they want. Like, "No Blacks May Enter" or "No Single Women Allowed." Right? So, this time it is handwashing.

Children are going to be asking "What's Soap?" Even the vaccinated ones. 

February 3, 2015
By Colby Itkowtz

Once we’re done debating (click here) whether children should be vaccinated, we can move on to other pressing public health questions, such as whether eateries can force their employees to wash their hands after they use the bathroom.
At least one freshman U.S. senator thinks, “nah.” Because freedom.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), at the end of an appearance Monday at the Bipartisan Policy Center, volunteered a story about “his bias when it comes to regulatory reform.”...

Mr. Tillis is a moron. Merrium Webster defines a moron as a very stupid or foolish person.

What Mr. Tillis never bothers to realize is that if one restaurant doesn't require employees to wash their hands, there will be others that don't require their employees to wash their hands. As a matter of fact, McDonald's would save millions of dollars in hand washing soap to add to their profit margin to pay Mr. Tillis a higher stock dividend. 

So, there you have it. The Republicans obsess about government regulation and how it robs Wall Street of profits. They don't care about people. 

I have a better idea. Why not federally mandate all employees everywhere have to supply their hand soap to wash their hands. Not bad, right?

But, is the federal government going to monitor the employer to be sure they are washing their hands and does the federal government allow the employer to fine an employee if they don't wash their hands? Is the employer federally mandated to file the collected fines with the federal government in their taxes or are they actually a tax credit for being good girls and boys?

Barbaric. The Islamic State has no value of human life.

Muath al-Kasaesbeh was a POW. He was protected by the Geneva Conventions. IS can't be tolerated as they assassinate POWs.

A Jordanian girl holds a poster of pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh earlier this week. Kasaesbeh has purportedly been burned alive by his ISIS captors. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters) 

The Assad forces have been hitting IS hard. One strike was just outside Damascus. 

February 3, 2015
By Thomson Reuters

A video released (click here) by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Tuesday purported to show captive Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh being burned alive.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the video, which showed a man resembling the captive pilot standing in a black cage before being set ablaze. Kasaesbeh has been in ISIS captivity since his plane crashed over Syria in December.
The head of the Jordanian armed forces told his family he had been killed, a member of the family told Reuters....

I think he is leaving some areas in the region to the Kurds and other groups such as Hezbollah. It would appear his military is primarily stripped of any conventional forces and are relying on IEDs. Whether or not that is a wise decision by The West is questionable. Assad was not capable of this level of cruel killing. I know there are many stating he is a cruel and dangerous dictate. That doesn't appear to be the case. No one is saying he is a Boy Scout, but, he isn't IS. He was cooperating and then abandoned. 

February 3 ,2015

...Another 17 people were killed (click here) and tens of others were injured when regime planes attacked the Casim region in Deraa.
Yusuf Bustani, a local activist, told The Anadolu Agency that regime planes attacked residential areas in Douma, about 10 km north-east of the capital.

Bustani said that among the dead were many women and children. Houses, commercial buildings and vehicles were also destroyed in the attack.

Syria has been gripped by constant fighting since the regime launched a violent crackdown in response to anti-government protests in March 2011, triggering a conflict, which has spiraled into civil war....

The voice heard round the world.

Appeared in The New Zealand Herald this morning.

The Homeless are people, too. It isn't unusual to find artists among this community.

Saved by a cat named Bob, James Bowen now has a movie portraying his life starring Daniel Radcliffe.

February 4, 2015
By Linda Morris

Ten years ago, James Bowen (click here) had a methadone habit, no fixed address and no real job. He is now the co-author of five books, a children's book series and, in a film of his life story, he is set to be played by Daniel Radcliffe, the one-time boy wizard.
The life-changing transformation comes down to the unlikely pairing of Bowen with a wily green-eyed tom cat named Bob. Together, they must count as the oddest of London literary couples.
Bob was a stray Bowen adopted in 2007 after finding him curled up on a doormat outside a ground-floor flat in Covent Garden, malnourished and with an abscess on his back leg.
After spending all of his busker's wages to buy a course of antibiotics, Bowen brought the cat home and named him after a character in his favourite television series, Twin Peaks.
The two became local celebrities selling The Big Issue outside Angel tube station, eventually coming to the notice of literary agent, Mary Panchos.
"If I was to go busking now I would probably cause a street hazard," says Bowen on his first publicity tour to Australia, where he once lived....

The Russian separtists have called for a large number of troops to escalate the war.

The conflict is beginning to take on a problematic tone. The negotiations are worth anything because the rebels doesn't listen to Russia. I never thought they did actually. The Russian military on the border with Ukraine have proven an ineffective influence with the rebels.

February 2, 2015
Bloomberg -- Eight top former U.S. officials (click here) urged the White House to start sending lethal weaponry to Ukraine in its battle against pro-Russian rebels, adding to the pressure on the administration as fighting there has escalated again. Administration officials say they are focused on a diplomatic solution but are examining all options.
The call by the eight former officials came in a report on Monday that urges the administration and NATO to send $3 billion of military aid, including anti-armor missiles, to bolster Ukrainian forces over the coming three years... 

Now, the rebels want fresh recruits. The events in eastern Ukraine are completely out of control. If there was ever a major confrontation it would destabilize the region. There are currently at least 5000 dead. That is a burgeoning crisis with major powers in the middle of it.

February 2, 2015

...Mr. Zakharchenko, (click here) the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said mobilisation was "urgent" and that the call-up would take place in the next 10 days.

"This is to increase our army to 100,000 people," he said. "It does not mean we will take in 100,000, but the joint army of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics' army should be 100,000."

However, the rebels' ability to raise large numbers of forces is unclear...

If Russia enters Ukraine with troops they will keep on going. They won't some at the western Ukraine border either. There is always the possibility the people in Kiev and other cities will suffer unbelievable outcomes, if the rebels prove successful.

This was never a matter of if, it has always been a matter of when does The West send Ukraine the armaments they are looking for. We always hope there will be a break through with talks, but, Russia has no influence with the rebels. 

Strike Two, Third Strike and the Airlines will be looking for a bailout.

February 2, 2015
By Ben Mutzabaugh

...More than 4,560 flights (click here) had been canceled through Monday. Additionally, most big airlines had issued weather waivers that allowed passengers flying to airports in the storm's path to change their flight plans without paying the standard change fees. Carriers issuing weather waivers included American, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, United, US Airways and Virgin America. Details, dates and cites covered by the waivers varied by airline....

Right now, the House Speaker and the Senate Majority leader is trying to find a way to define a storm as a terrorist to cover everyone in terrorist insurance.

It doesn't get easier from here.