Friday, February 06, 2015

Could Texas and Oklahoma finally learning humility?

February 5, 2015
By Doug Murtaugh 

...Standing inside her shop in Cuero, Texas, (click here) surrounded by industry wrenches the size of T-Rex femurs, she spoke on a recent morning of seeing fewer trucks rolling through the Eagle Ford shale field and about how clients have become more price sensitive. Broken items that oil workers were quick to replace before are now being repaired in the field. 

“I didn’t realize it was going to be this big of a ...” Potts said, stopping mid-sentence to compose herself. “It’s much more impactful than I thought it would be."...

Where are the Democrats and their response to the faux oil boom? There are reports stating the cost of drilling a well were indulged rather than managed. There is no planning for the use of oil anywhere in the USA. These are our natural resources simply treated as a place where greed is allowed to live.

The oil well services industry has over charged for it's part in drilling and cementing wells by 30% to 50%. No lie. Halliburton is dumping employees as if it were facing the end of time. 

This is a national shame. Our lands are exploited by the petroleum industry without regard to our water and air. Americans have been made sick, some have died because of this industry. They have been merciless in their pursuit of greed and now they have so over estimated it's power over a global industry their businesses are reorganizing simply to survive the day.

Where did this industry ever find the gall to disregard an entire global community of petroleum concerns in belief they could strong arm their demands for price and market share? This entire disaster was very predictable and they persisted anyway. 

The Texas Democrats should be demanding an investigation into this disaster of the Texas economy. 

While Baghdad is now enjoying a night life, Kurdistan is ignored in it's security needs.

February 6, 2015

A curfew imposed in 2004 (click here) in Baghdad will end this weekend, under orders from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The premier also unblocked many streets long cut off for security reasons, and declared two Baghdad neighborhoods as demilitarized zones.
"The prime minister ordered that the curfew in the city of Baghdad be completely lifted starting from this Saturday," said Brigadier General Saad Maan, spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Command.
Al-Abadi wants there "to be normal life as much as possible, despite the existence of a state of war," said the prime minister's spokesman Rafid Jaboori, in reference to the battle against the militant "Islamic State" ("IS") group.
An offensive from the jihadists overran large areas north and west of Baghdad last year, as well as parts of neighboring Syria. Iraqi forces are battling to regain ground, assisted by Shiite fighters, Sunni tribesmen and a US-led coalition conducting air strikes. Forces in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region are also making gains against the IS.
Al-Abadi's statement did not elaborate on what the plan for the two demilitarized neighborhoods - the mainly Sunni Adhamiyah and the Shiite Kadhimiyah - would be....

I knew there was a reason for a new Prime Minister. "Evenings in Baghdad" The Kurds aren't waiting to be noticed.

February 6, 2015

...“The Finance Committee (click here) has sent a report to the parliament presidency. We are waiting for the legal committee for their report. After that report the question of loans will be placed in the parliament’s agenda and will soon enter voting phase,” Sabir explained.

“This loan will be an international loan and it is not meant to replace any other income,” he said. “This loan is to strengthen economic infrastructure,” he said, explaining that the budget received from the central government for the next three years was insufficient for investments in infrastructure.

“The budget does not allow the Kurdistan Region to build railroads, metro lines, dams and airports,” he added.

According to Sabir, if approved, the loans are to be borrowed from the German Deutsche bank and a US banking institution.

Although Baghdad has always objected to any moves by Erbil that would grant the KRG greater economic independence – citing fears that would encourage a bid for independence from Iraq – Sabir said that the central government was not objecting to possible loans.

“The Iraqi government has told the Kurdistan government that the KRG can take up loans, on condition that the Kurdish government will have to repay the loans on its own,” Sabir said.

Baghdad is experiencing a severe financial squeeze from a plunge in oil prices, the war with Islamic insurgents who control a third of the country – including some oil installations – and billions in missing funds due to years of corruption....

Will the Defense Department please put evidence of Gitmo as a propaganda tool on the front page of the Washington Post? Thank you.

February 5, 2015

Brian McKeon, (click here) Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (aka Defense Department Dufus), basically said in his opening statement that terrorist are using GITMO as a propaganda tool:

The President has determined that closing this detention facility is a national security imperative. The President and his national security team all believe that the continued operation of the detention facility at Guantanamo weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies, and is used by violent extremists to incite local populations.

It is no coincidence that the recent ISIS videos showing the barbaric burning of a Jordanian pilot and the savage execution of a Japanese hostage each showed the victim clothed in an orange jumpsuit, believed by many to be the symbol of the Guantanamo detention facility....

This is an example of one on the net:

It has now been forty days (click here) since inmates in the notorious Guantanamo prison commenced their strikes. The strikes started in protest of desecration of the Holy Quran and abuse of prisoners by the American wardens. The demands of the inmates have not been yet been answered and neither has the media or the humanitarian organizations inquired about their plight despite the continuation of barbaric and inhumane treatment of the prisoners.  The Islamic Emirate strongly urges all human right organizations and media outlets spread awareness about the plight of the destitute inmates in accordance with their due obligation. Inhumane treatment of prisoners is crime against humanity which should never be overlooked and neither should its perpetrators be helped in its cover up.

That example was within an article in "The Atlantic."

...While these human rights issues (click here) are egregious in their own right, and a vigilant minority continues to pressure the Obama administration on the situation, in the bigger picture, the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay is damaging our national security on a daily basis.
Guantanamo Bay has often been the focus of jihadist media and propaganda. Just recently, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan--the mouthpiece of the Taliban-- put out a statement calling attention to the ongoing hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay. The brief message claims that the hunger strike at the prison has been going on for forty days (as of March 24) and calls for international rights organizations to "spread awareness about the plight of the destitute inmates." Guantanamo Bay has become a salient issue used in jihadist propaganda.
In 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the first issue of Inspire , their English language recruitment magazine. To date, AQAP has released 10 issues of Inspire, and the plight of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has been featured prominently in several issues.... 

I understand what Mr. Cotton is saying there is no direct analogy between Gitmo and the lead up to September 11, 2001. No clue. But, that does not eliminate the FACT Gitmo is a hideous installation with POWs that should have disposition out of the facility. It is used as propaganda to RECRUIT jihadists. It is as though the USA is accommodating escalation of jihadist recruitment when it should be eliminating all forms of threat. While the history of terrorist attacks upon the USA in distant lands is interesting and noteworthy it has absolutely nothing to do with Gitmo and it's insult to the integrity of The West.

Before 911 were there attacks on Madrid and London? Hello? 

The Washington Post has caught the essence of the danger. It is abrupt and rapid change.

February 20, 2015
By Angela Fritz

Friday (click here) arrived with an icy slap as Arctic air surged into the eastern United States. The cold snap caused long-standing records to tumble across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard.
A new, all-time record low for any month was set in Lynchburg, Va., on Friday morning, when the city dropped to minus 11 degrees. The previous all-time low was minus 10, set in 1985 and 1996.

Flint, Mich., has tied its all-time record low for any month when the temperature dropped to a brutal minus 25 degrees on Friday morning. The last time it was so cold in Flint was on Jan. 18, 1976.

Cleveland broke its all-time record low for the month of February when the thermometer bottomed out at 17 degrees below zero on Friday morning. The new record surpassed the previous by one degree, set more than a century ago on Feb. 10, 1899....

When temperatures change this rapidly and severly don't be caught unaware.

February 22, 2015
0007 gmt
The Weather Channel 24 temperature change map

In the eastern USA temperatures rose positively while they dropped in the midwest. However, the rising temperatures would not necessarily relieve the cold. It is rather amazing to realize southwest Pennsylvania rose 22 degrees in 24 hours only to achieve a temperature of 33 degrees F.

February 22, 2015
0045 gmt
The Weather Channel current temperature map.

There are side effects to vaccines.

...On rare occasions, (click here) GBS can develop after a person receives a flu shot or another vaccination such as Gardasil, Tdap, Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Treatment

Plasma exchange removes the blood from the body and processes it to separate red and white blood cells from the liquid portion of the blood and then return them to the patient’s body. Immunoglobulin therapy involves protein injections that the immune system uses to attack invading organisms. High doses of immunoglobulins to GBS patients can lessen the immune attack on the nervous system....

I guess I have known a lot of people and long about now my personal knowledge of some truths may appear false; it is not. 

A friend worked as a pharmacist. He encouraged everyone to be vaccinated with the flu vaccine. I always held my prejudice about receiving vaccines on a regular basis, so I rarely took the flu vaccine and the same holds true today. I am probably only lucky or think in ways that removes hazard from my environment, but, I am successful in minimizing illness in my many decades of life.

My friend was in the middle of the flu season when he began to feel ill. He would succumb to Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He was ventilator dependent for nearly three months and the syndrome finally began to wane. Ultimately he would resume much of his independent movement from being completely paralyzed. He was married about three years when the paralysis hit. His wife is a pharmacist as well. The couple had a child. He would recover enough in rehab to go home to take care of their child while his wife supported the family.

My friends stated the paralysis was directly caused by a flu vaccine. No one else within the employer's generosity of supplying free flu shots that season succumbed to any such syndrome. It is just one of those instances when the perfect storm hits a person when it never had before. 

No one knows why he became ill. We all were relieved in his recovery. The odds of having any side effects from any vaccine is minor, but, it does happen. I think there is a perfect storm of genetics and vaccine resulting in problems. In examining the number of people that do well and are protected from disease, vaccines are more valuable than any side effect occurs. It is that reality professionals in public health embraces and they are correct to do it.  

Average citizen and celebrity alike celebrate "National Doodle Day" in the UK.

"National Doodle Day" is for charity. The sketches are auctioned.

6 February 2015
By Rachel Obordo
Sir Elton John’s doodle created for National Doodle Day in 2004 Photograph: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

In order (click here) to help raise money for the 600,000 people in the UK living with epilepsy, the charity Epilepsy Action are auctioning doodles created by celebrities such as Rick Astley, Joanna Lumley and Sir Ben Kingsley as part of National Doodle Day today.
To celebrate, we’d like to see your doodle creations. Whether it’s one from your days as as a child, or a quick sketch on a napkin as you sat in a café share yours with us. You can do so by clicking on the blue ‘Contribute’ button on this article. You can also use the GuardianWitness smartphone app or the Guardian app and search for ‘GuardianWitness assignments’....

It is a report AFTER the fact.

There is no doubt Kayla was a wonderful person. She was among the most compassionate in the world. She went abroad to be part of hope, not hate. She fell victim to foul humans that do not deserve our attention to detail.

Kayla was taken hostage. She has been compromised against her will and if she is dead, it is due to her hostage status. Her kidnappers did not secure her safety. They are the criminals. There is no Jordanian responsible for her death. If the criminals of the Islamic State could not protect her while hostage, they should have let her return to her family.

...She was returning from a Doctors Without Borders facility at the time of her abduction. (click here) 
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) issued a statement on Friday saying Mueller had not been working for the group but had accompanied a technician contracted to do repairs on a MSF building in Aleppo the day before she disappeared. The repair took longer than planned and Mueller stayed overnight in Aleppo.
"Upon completion of the repair work on Aug. 4, the MSF team organized transportation for Kayla and the technician to the Aleppo bus station, from where they were to depart for Turkey. Kayla’s detention occurred during the drive to the bus station," said the statement....

Her death is criminal along with all the other hostages and prisoners that have been killed. Her death occurred because of hostage status regardless of how it occurred. This is a crime against humanity.

The Democrats are missing a supporter to the opposition of the TPP, namely Libertarians.

"There is a lot of protectionism for corporations in both the Pacific and Atlantic trade partnership acts. That is not free trade."

"These trade agreements were partisan legislation after 911 for the purpose of closer relations between countries." 

"Economists do not project recessions. In 2008 CBO was hugely wrong and promising a rosey picture." Sorry, but, that backs the growth and investment in local economies. The more secure local economies are, the more resistant they are to recession.

Libertarians are also saying some very interesting things about our skewed political system. "Rather than investing in R&D companies are investing in politics on K Street. The reason for that is because competitors are using the political process to displace competition." It is the view of the research at Cato the monies used for political leverage is coming from the once valued Research and Development budgets in companies.

Companies such as Koch Industries use old world technologies and products for their profit. They have no use for R&D in the way progressive companies use it to expand and enter markets.

Local energy security.

A report by IOREC states off grid green energy producers are a place for accessing cheaper energy costs.

Universal electricity access (click here) – one of the targets of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative for 2030 – will remain unachievable unless countries adopt a market-based approach to off-grid renewable energy deployment. This report highlights key findings and recommendations of the Second International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC 2014), organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in partnership with off-grid and regional agencies....

There are larger green energy producers in solar and wind and let's' not forget hydroelectric as well, but, there are also many private owners with conversions to solar and/or wind energy. All those private owners also produce excess energy beyond their battery storage. They don't just flip a switch and turn off the wind or sun. In that is an understanding these private owners are also secure sources to contribute to the grid. It is in the best interest of any local government to explore the potential of private owners and harnessing their excess to reduce costs to customers.

There is no reason any local government can't build their own electric cooperative to build greater local capacity. In a time when the weather is becoming more and more disruptive to power, the commercial producer and vast power lines are becoming increasingly obsolete. 

The world is in a very dangerous place in relation to climate and weather patterns that have resulted. That is especially true of the First World nations including the USA. In the USA a single storm puts thousands if not tens and hundreds of thousands of people out of the reach of energy for hours and days at a time. Local authorities can explore the reality of having a back up power supply in harnessing the excess electricity produced by local owners.

There is a greater capacity for private owners of solar and wind to produce energy for their local communities. This potential should be explored by any local government on establishing a local authority and the potential to expand that capacity into the future.

It is amazing to realize the naivete' of a senior Senator. China doesn't need a visit to spy on the USA; it only needs a computer.

February 5, 2015
By Craig Whitlock

...Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), (click here) the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urged the Defense Department to scuttle the proposal in a letter dated Monday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work. Calling the Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers “one of the most sophisticated and lethal military tools in world history,” McCain said it would be a political and symbolic mistake for the Navy to accept a Chinese invitation for one of its massive flattop vessels to swing by for a visit.

“Sending such a platform to China would be seen as an international display of respect to China and it’s Navy, despite Beijing’s recent record of aggressive behavior in the East and South China Seas,” McCain wrote. “I believe it would also send the wrong signal to allies and partners throughout the region, including Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, who are looking to the United States for leadership in the face of China’s continued use of coercion to pursue its territorial claims.”...

Mr. Watt needs to be replaced. He is stalemated into a corner focused on profits to the treasury rather than homeowners.

He has established a committee in 2013 to resolve issues. The committee is not worth a wooden nickel. He has been playing with legal language to move the agency in a dysfunctional  methodology that has abandoned Americans in homes still underwater. There are members of the committee today that wants to defund the agency just to get rid of the dysfunction of the current administrator.

Whatever makes New Zealand think the TPP is a legacy issue? It is the most shameful grab for cash ever witnessed by the American people.

The American people have been promised to have a copy of the TPP agreement before the President signs it. Just because New Zealanders are lead around by the nose and don't care about their democracy, doesn't mean Americans are the same way.

New Zealand can be trading partners with whomever it wants. It shouldn't feel as though it has to wait for the US. After all there is the WTO.
February 6, 2015
By Jane Kelsey

Time is running out for the controversial (click here) Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). Negotiators in New York last week were under intense pressure to finalise the list of unresolved matters for ministers to decide in March.
The United States has a serious deadline. If the TPP is to form part of President Barack Obama's legacy, it must be concluded in the next three months. The text and a cost-benefit analysis by the International Trade Commission needs to reach Congress by around August. Once that window is past, Obama is likely to lose interest in spending political capital on pushing it through, knowing his successor would gain any kudos.
Whether the parties can achieve that is a political question. The technical work is largely over. One major obstacle to the political endgame is the reassertion of core democratic principles, evidenced by two recent developments....