Saturday, February 07, 2015

Well, isn't this special.

February 7, 2015
By Louise Story and Stephanie Saul
...Last fall, (click here) another shell company bought a condo down the hall for $21.4 million from a Greek businessman named Dimitrios Contominas, who was arrested a year ago as part of a corruption sweep in Greece.

A few floors down are three condos owned by another shell company, Columbus Skyline L.L.C., which belongs to the family of a Chinese businessman and contractor named Wang Wenliang. His construction company was found housing workers in New Jersey in hazardous, unsanitary conditions....

New York City has become a place where fugitives gather. And the new Undocumented Workers. That is some of the most creative outsourcing of American jobs I have ever heard about. The Chinese come with their own impoverished workers class.

So, while sequestration is reversed for the military, domestic programs are suffereing all the more.

February 7, 2015
The NYT Editorial Boards

...The Obama administration (click here) in its 2016 budget requested $534 billion for the Pentagon, a funding level that would untether the Defense Department from automatic spending cuts known as sequestration and usher in an era of increased spending, even as the uniformed force is pared down. While Republicans on Capitol Hill are expected to block many of the key initiatives the White House put forward in its proposed budget, there appears to be bipartisan support for giving the Pentagon a bigger budget, as it tackles challenges that include the bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Russia’s expansionist moves and the proliferation of cyberattacks....

This is called wasteful spending. I sincerely object to returning funding to the USA military so long as there are options to scale back in other ways such as obsolete real estate.

Closing out sparsely used military bases is a matter of national security. I can only imagine the munitions sitting around with minimal supervision or inventory. The land can be used better by citizens. Enough already of the military indulgence when political agendas cause wasteful spending with minimal number of jobs.

Bring military spending down the right way and not with indulged methodology that maintains unnecessary military costs. The Joint Chiefs have a focus for our military and indulging political agendas is not part of it. Get over it already and reduce the cost of the military!

Get rid of the pork and replace hardware. But, trimming the fat has to occur first or simultaneously to make room for a better military and not an aged one. Ending this waste will build ships and jets badly needed to modernize the military. What is everyone thinking?

This type of political indulgence is really infuriating. Return this land to public lands and there will be uses found for it. Uses that may even spawn new jobs. These are artificial jobs. They serve no real purpose. Everything military has to be transported off the land including fences and buildings. It was an abandoned airplane hanger that housed Eric Frein while a manhunt was being conducted. Get rid of it all and cart it off to the recycle or hazardous waste landfill. 

And get rid of all the concrete and pavement. We don't need drug smugglers using abandoned landing strips into their profit margins. Where runways are removed and concrete removed the land can be restored. 

While the armed units that fight to protect their villages and families from the murderous Islamic State need not focus on each other so much as their common enemy.

Shiite militia fighters of the Badr Organization celebrating in Diyala Province after defeating Islamic State militants. The militias are feared by Sunnis who accuse them of summary killings. Credit Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images  

February 7, 2015By 
Kareem Fahim 

CAMP ASHRAF, Iraq — At their victory rally, (click here) the Shiite militiamen used poetry, song and swagger to sweeten their celebration of an ugly battle.

More than a hundred fighters from the militia, the Badr Organization, had been killed in the farms and villages of Diyala Province in recent fighting against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State. During the battle, thousands of residents had been forced from their homes — including Sunni families who accused Shiite paramilitary groups like Badr of forced displacement and summary executions....

The groups fighting IS should remain resolved to focus on the common enemy. The region does not need further civil war. People die in war and this certainly is a war. It might be in the best interest of all right now to allow the provinces to defend themselves and set aside the idea of one country so much as three provinces.

It is difficult to find what Americans would recognize as a cohesive Iraq military. The assessment of Americans first deployed into Iraq were that few groups were recognizable as the units brought together years ago. If the ethnicities are the strongest method of bringing men together in a common enemy, then there is no sense in demanding they respect one commander to organize under one Iraqi flag. 

The differences should be tolerated to end the heinous killing of IS. Their holy men are going to have to focus them. There holy men are more than capable of doing so.

The United States was foolish to believe Iraq could ever maintain it's sovereignty. The people have to survive the IS's Ba'athists. That has to come first otherwise there is no nation to protect. 

I don't care where it came from, it needs to be evaluated for toxins.

Don't let pets or children in or near the water. They should not drink it. Anytime anything like this happens a public alert should be posted on all forms of media as an alert until further facts are known.

February 7, 2015
By Amy R. Connolly

...The U.S. National Weather Service (click here) in Spokane, Washington said it recently started getting reports of a milky substance covering cars and homes. Since then, local residents have been posting pictures of murky water and dirty raindrops.
"While many have speculated on the origins of the residue, the truth is that we really don't know where it came from! We are continuing to investigate and have reached out to other offices for assistance in recreating atmospheric flows from the past several days," the weather service said in a Facebook post. "We've also reached out to other agencies that may have collected samples appropriate for testing."...

I don't think most people realize how strong the winds are lately. There are reports of all kinds of particles around the world. In Russia there were reports of orange snow. It was believed to be sand from Saudi Arabia. The vortexes in the upper troposphere could pick up anything and drive it half way around the globe before it falls to earth. The ash as they are calling it could have come from anywhere. It needs to be tested and reports of any odd reaction in emergency rooms should be reported to the local and state boards of health. The analysis should provide clues to it's origins.


February 7, 2015
By Tanya Campbell

As part (click here) of a comprehensive new study, researchers have gathered samples of micro bacteria in New York City's subway cars and stations. In the research project termed as 'PathoMap', DNA from more than 500 species of bacteria that included some from food items, and 67 species found were known to cause illness.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority runs the city's subways and as per their data, there is no threat to human health. Dr. Christopher Mason, assistant professor of computational genomics at Weill Cornell Medical College, stated that traces of pathogenic microbes have been found.

But their amount was enough to pose a threat to human health. "The presence of these microbes and the lack of reported medical cases is truly a testament to our body's immune system, and our innate ability to continuously adapt to our environment", affirmed Dr. Mason....

That is one of the most interesting assessmenst I have read on Ukraine's future.

February 8, 2015

MUNICH - US Vice-President Joe Biden (click here) said on Saturday that Washington wanted a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine but added that Kiev had a right to defend itself against Russia and that the United States would provide it with the means to do so.

"The president and I agree we must spare no effort to save lives and resolve the conflict peacefully. As Chancellor Merkel said today, it's worth the attempt," Biden told a security conference in Munich.

But he added: "Too many times President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, troops and weapons. So we will continue to provide Ukraine with security assistance, not to encourage war but to allow Ukraine to defend itself."

"Let me be clear we do not believe there is a military solution in Ukraine. But let me be equally clear, we do not believe Russia has the right to do what they're doing. We believe we should attempt an honorable peace. We also believe the Ukrainian people have a right to defend themselves," Biden said....

The outcomes are at the conscience of Russia. If the violence continues and the escalation is clear the responsibility belongs to Russia. If Russia presumes the rebels are in their best interest and support their outcomes with the potential of war, it is at the Russia doorstep we can place the brevity of the outcome.

Russia has yet to demonstrate a clear alliance with the rebels since the outcomes refuse agreed paths to peace. Basically, Russia is fueling violence without any clear outcome except that of escalation of the violence. The rebels ambitions are not abated by Russia's involvement. Russia has been completely ineffective in enforcing a peace agreement without punitive measures to bring the rebels within the peace accord. Rather than punitive measures, Russia indulges further brinkmanship by the rebels which is a standard known to be Russian. 

President Putin's statements about protecting Russia speaking people loses validity when realizing the rebels are advancing rather than establishing themselves within the peace agreement. Advancing where and to what extent? Is Europe and all the post Soviet states within the plans? Does President Putin view the post Soviet states as Russian speaking as well, even in their alliance with NATO?