Monday, February 09, 2015

This editorial in the Arab News reminds us of the fact extremism preyed on the poor.

Mr. Barai reminds us the road to success in removing the very real dangers of extremism from their countries requires a battle for hearts and minds at home. The poor fall victim to these predatory groups and offer their finest sons to die in a perverted idea of righteousness. 

It is important for the leaders of these lands to embrace the poor and find solutions for their condition. Their children need schools to be a help to the family. In properly educating the sons and daughters of the poor they offer hope to a future beyond the devotions they have to Allah. Their devotion has to realize the love of their faith and their countries. 

Young sons grow into adult sons who can work and bring relief to the family with the use of their education. Adult sons grow into men with a family that will know lives very different than the poverty he leaves behind. Adult sons' families will no longer be a victim to the methods of hate and will be educated as well to end the cycle of poverty and victimization.

February 10, 2015 
Hassan Barari

Apparently in an attempt to scare Jordan (click here) and perhaps other Arab countries, which are part of the US-led coalition to battle the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS), the latter released a video last Tuesday showing Jordanian pilot, Maaz Al-Kasaasbeh, burned to death.

Stunned by the brutality of the militants, Jordanians called on the regime to avenge the death of the pilot. The following morning, Jordan executed Sajida Al-Rishawi, who was convicted for being involved in the terrorist attacks on three Jordanian hotels in 2005, and Ziad Al-Karbouli, a top lieutenant of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Additionally, Jordan stepped up its air raids against IS.

Indeed, the release of the video has had the opposite effect. First, it raised fresh alarm over IS’ ruthless tactics. But, far from being scared, Jordanians demonstrated a high sense of patriotism. Indeed, IS failed to drive a wedge between the regime and the people or among people themselves over Jordan’s participation in the international coalition against IS. And yet, the public opinion in Jordan shifted dramatically after the killing of the captured pilot....

...While Jordan is most likely to continue its war on militants, there is a need to think thoroughly about the internal scene and how to deprive militants from sympathy inside Jordan. It is no longer a secret that some disgruntled poor and unemployed youth sympathize with militants. Hence, it is the duty of the government to create the necessary conditions in the countryside for proper and sustainable development. Short of doing that, it will be hard for the government to integrate the poor and unemployed youth into the wider society....
The Quran and Islam were never the discipline of violence until two men took it out of context with the help of a the one eyed Mullah Mohammad Omar. 

The Islamic State is a descendant of these men. It isn't difficult to state the true defenders of Islam are Kings such as King Abdullah of Jordan. His place in this effort to end the dreadful reign of death and violence is historic and inspiring others to fight for their rightful place as the leaders of Islam and the protectors of the Quran. There isn't anything standing in the way of the people of the Middle East reclaiming their religion away from heretics of violence.

Greece has been planning a military base?

February 9, 2015

ATHENS, February 9 (Sputnik) – The agreement on Russian-Cypriot (click here) military cooperation that is planned to be signed by Greek President Nicos Anastasiades later in February in Moscow does not foresee creating a Russian military base in Cyprus, RIA Novosti reported Monday, citing a diplomatic source in Athens.
“The issue of creating a Russian military base is not being discussed. We’re talking about providing the possibilities of using an airbase in Pathos that other countries such as Germany and France use,” the diplomatic....

There is a lot more to the difference between the EU and Greece. More Russian Speaking people?

February 9, 2015
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia (click here) could engage in a dialogue with the Turkish-controlled northern area of Cyprus even if the the self-proclaimed republic is a mere "state formation," a member of the local parliament told Sputnik Turkey radio on Wednesday.
"If Russia merely admits the existence of a state formation in northern Cyprus, it will be able to engage in a dialogue with the North's representatives without recognizing it officially [as a state]," Mehmet Hasguler, a member of the Turkish Cypriot parliament, said.

China is still growing. They need to adjust to a Middle Calls to be sure they are competitive.

February 9, 2015

...“Along with rising labor costs, (click here) these factors will pressure the profitability of Chinese port operators in the next two years.”
Moody’s has just-released a report on the Chinese port sector in which it says operating efficiency and the ability to provide comprehensive and high-quality services along the supply chain will become more important to Chinese ports’ standalone credit quality.
“As China’s growth model shifts the contribution of low-value-added manufacturing to domestic consumption and higher-value-added industries, throughput growth will progressively shift from commodities to containerized and high-value goods,” said Zhang.
Moody’s says core ports in the three prosperous economic regions – Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim – are well equipped to benefit from this shift.
“While overcapacity will dampen the need for capacity additions, the growth in ship size and the structural change in the cargo mix handled by Chinese ports will drive port operators to improve their infrastructure in order to remain competitive,” said Zhang.
As such, Moody’s expects that port operators will incur relatively high capex, making deleveraging unlikely over the next two years.
Further, Moody’s notes that government support remains key to the overall credit quality of major port companies in China....

There is a lot changing. Patience is a better idea. Everything is rebalancing in preparation for increased trade, but, it isn't there yet and won't be for awhile.

...But China’s slowing economic growth since 2011 has caused total cargo throughput growth to drop to 9.2% in 2013 and 4.9% in the first 11 months of 2014.

Everyone is rebalancing. 

February 9, 2015
The mega container ships (click here) raising concerns among vessel operators, insurers and regulators about the potential for catastrophic accidents. 
Shipping lines have sought to stay competitive by running larger, more fuel-efficient container ships in major shipping lanes, holding down the cost of ocean shipping and reducing their cost per container.

But the gigantification of container ships and tanker vessels, as well as more particular stability problems of car carrier designs, need to be addressed from an insurance risk perspective, says Dieter Berg, president, International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI).

There are huge security issues.

February 9, 2015
Government officials (click here) are refusing to release details of how many stowaways were discovered at Felixstowe, Harwich and Parkeston Quay – because it could give criminals an insight into security and resources at the ports.

Nationally, 1,463 illegal immigrants were found hiding aboard vessels arriving at UK ports last year – twice as many as in 2013....

Nothing is in place. There is a lot of work to do to have an infrastructure that works. I really don't understand how any trade agreement can exist without all these challenges being met. Every country's tariffs should be in place. What is in this agreement? Certainly nothing that is appearing in the news today. All this should have been done already and part of any agreement. This is ridiculous. There is no agreement, there is a wish list.

February 9, 2015
Port News

Efforts to reform tariff-setting practices (click here) at the 13 ports owned by the Indian government have gathered speed. Two key developments in the last fortnight bear this out. First, India’s attorney general, the government’s chief legal advisor, agreed with a shipping ministry plan to move private cargo handlers operating under a tariff guideline framed in 2005 to a new market-linked tariff regime announced in July 2013 for new projects. Secondly, the government issued policy guidelines to set rates for services provided by the government-owned port trusts, which had thus far been governed by the 2005 guidelines. These two developments are significant in many ways. But, more importantly, it shows how the shipping ministry has moved smartly to dilute the role of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), the port tariff regulator, even while it braces to introduce an amendment to the Major Ports Trusts Act in Parliament to transform TAMP from being a rate setter to a performance monitoring and grievance redressing authority....

Fast tract what? No one is ready!
There are port worker strikes in several countries. The wheels are coming off everywhere. Sydney's mayor is replacing the entire shipping board by April and have no clear way to replace empty seats on the board. India has strikes. The USA just got back on line on the West Coast. Libya is having security issues.

February 9, 2015
Sydney (AFP) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef (click here) could be "severely damaged" if the government does not completely ban the dumping of dredge waste in the World Heritage-listed waters, a report commissioned by conservation group WWF said Monday.
The Australian government in January ordered a ban on dumping dredge spoil in the marine park as part of a push to stop the United Nations declaring the site in danger....

The world is not ready for the trade agreements. I have no doubt Wall Street is ready, but, the infrastructure in the Third World is not up to par. It is too much too fast. These countries are developing their people who are part of their infrastructure. They shouldn't be pushed into it, they should be leading the interest in trade and not experiencing disaster in it's face.

Africa doesn't want to be left out.

February 9, 2015
IMPROVEMENTS at the Dar es Salaam Port (click here) have enabled Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to host MSC Martina, one of the largest container vessels, to dock at the country’s major port.
TPA Acting Director General, Madeni Kipande said in Dar es Salaam that the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s container vessel with an overall length of 244 metres and width of 32.2 metres and carrying capacity of 2,411 containers docked without any problem.
“The arrival of such large vessels is a major achievement to be recorded by the Tanzania Ports Authority,” noted the TPA boss. Eng Kipande explained that the MSC Martina is one of the largest container ships owned by the Geneva-based Italian Company to dock and offload consignment at the port....

Countries want to develop a Middle Class. Please don't hurt them. This is vital to a vibrant economy for every country willing to practice democracy and improve the quality of life of their people.

Excuse me? The President of the USA is expected to sign the TPP and there is no infrastructure to support it?

So, Wall Street got together with "W" at a table and/or conference of some kind and decided all that was needed to increase trade in the Pacific was a signature? Why does that sound right to me?

February 8, 2015

Insufficient port capacity and productivity (click here) are looming large as restraints on trade growth, with Asia likely to suffer the most if delays in upgrading infrastructure threaten the sustainability of thriving intra-regional trade.
For many working in the logistics industry, last year will be remembered as one of gridlock on the docks, with a number of ports around the world, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Qingdao, Manila, Rotterdam and those on the US west coast, suffering from congestion.
Tim Wickmann, the chief executive of MCC Transport, the intra-Asia container shipping arm of AP Moller-Maersk Group, was among those who dealt with delayed shipments on a daily basis. "In my 25 years' experience in shipping, 2014 was the worst I've seen in terminal congestion in Asia," he said. "Congestion in Manila and Hong Kong was a huge problem for us."
Wickmann estimated trade growth would create three million extra handling moves for Asian terminals.... 

Maybe the business world hasn't kept up with what is happening in ship building? 

For perspective, this is that little tiny man in the picture.

This is just an example and maybe the best example of the LACK OF PREPAREDNESS Wall Street practices while believing they are making the deal of the century with the White House. While Wall Street is playing with all it's exotic instruments the potential to reality isn't there.

Trade Agreements like the TPP or the Atlantic Ocean version is suppose to happen BECAUSE there are problems to iron out, NOT, because there is reason for political pledges of money. 

The potential to the ability of trade for the countries involved in these so called agreements has already been realized. Why do you think so many ports along these trade agreements are on strike? The entire reality hideous. The ability of the countries involved to handle the increased trade is not there. It is already maxed out.

I am curious what the injury incidents have been with the USA ports seeing all these ships coming in ?

There have been some deaths on foreign ships (click here).

This probably says it all. The video below occurred about ten months ago. The treaties aren't attached to reality. They are more than likely being touted as a way to higher job numbers and better economic growth. It just isn't there and won't be until all the ship routes and docks are ready. There are videos of ships within the shipping lanes colliding. Over crowding the shipping lanes themselves.

There is too much stress in the system. Yes, the shipping industry is a system. It has infrastructure and is a system. When stressed there are problems that manifest. More demand on the lanes, more potential to accidents and ship incidents. All the statistics go through the roof along with the lust for greed on Wall Street. So, while big box stores in the USA are promising lots of new opportunity to jobs, the liability all along the way is increasing and causing losses unmeasured at Walmart. Companies that utilize international commerce don't have their own fleets and have no clue what is occurring there.

More is not better. Better is better.

Only $28,000 fine for a company that caused the death of an employee.

Dangerous work environment and the company only is fined $28,000 dollars. A human life is only taken remotely seriously by industries that have employees working in dangerous circumstances? Really? I don't think this is acceptable. As a matter of fact, a fine of $28,000 is criminal.

I am sure the supervisor is sickened over the death, but, this isn't satisfactory. There is nothing here to make the company take this man's death seriously. Ohio liability laws might bring a lawsuit, but, OSHA isn't taking human deaths nearly serious enough to deter same in the future.

The fail safe system should be automated and difficult to turn off in order to begin production of the product. After a period of time when the machines aren't producing a product the fail safe system needs to automatically kick in to prevent use again until it is unlocked. This isn't at all acceptable.

February 4, 2015

NILES, Ohio. – A 49-year-old machine operator (click here) was fatally crushed while reaching into an extrusion press to remove unprocessed aluminum parts because his employer, BRT Extrusions Inc., failed to ensure the machine's power was fully off so that it would not turn on during maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout. An investigation into the Aug. 6, 2014, incident by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration resulted in citations for the Niles, Ohio, facility for six serious safety violations for exposing workers to dangerous machinery and other hazards.
"This death was preventable, BRT Extrusion should have properly trained their workers on lockout/tagout and ensured the extrusion press had adequate guarding," said Brigitte Frank, OSHA's acting area director in Cleveland. "Failure to protect employees from dangerous machinery all too often leads to catastrophic injury or death. These violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA."
The investigation found that the press had been placed in automatic mode by a supervisor while the employees working the press took a lunch break....
...OSHA proposed penalties of $28,000 for the company, which specializes in the manufacture of aluminum extrusion components and employs about 200 workers....

Four employees of DuPont in Texas died from poor design of gas pipeline.

February 5, 2015

Federal regulators (click here) say design flaws with a network of pipes and valves at a Houston-area DuPont chemical plant contributed to the leak of a poisonous gas that killed four workers in November.
U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigator Dan Tillema said in a news briefing Thursday that the events leading to the deaths of the workers Nov. 15 in La Porte began days before....

Shipping Channel continues to be polluted by chemical spill that occurred last year.

Paraxylene (click here) is a basic raw material used in the manufacturing of many plastics, containers and packaging, films and clothing fabrics.
Darcy Schroeder, a spokeswoman for Wichita, Kansas-based Koch, says in an email Sunday the company was recommending that traffic no longer be restricted on the ship channel as the spill was contained to a small area around one of the docks near the refinery....

Is there anything still alive in the Texas intracoastal waterway? My guess is no and even if there were fish I am sure none of that makes the retail market for man or beast.

This photograph from the International Space Station shows 18 kilometers (11.2 mile) of the Intracoastal Waterway, the 4,800 kilometer-long (3,000 mile) barge channel that lies on the protected inshore of coastal islands of the southern and eastern United States, including coastal Texas. 

Cleanup continues (click here) at the Corpus Christi Ship Channel after a chemical leaked from a refinery.
Vacuum trucks with Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Companies, were working on Sunday to clean the water after an undetermined amount of paraxylene leaked a day earlier from the company's West Refinery....

Things are a bit of a mess.

UNISYS West and North Hemisphere (click here for 12 hour loop)
February 9, 2015

There are many manifestations of 'stalled air masses' in this satellite.

There is also one over Europe. The reason for these stalled air masses is due to the fact the Jet Stream has little influence in our troposphere. Why? Because on October 4, 2002 two tropospheric vortexes manifested, one in the north Atlantic and one in the north Pacific. On the very same day, a team of scientists in Antarctica reported the reversal of flow of an entire ice river named C-0 (zero). 

The number of vortexes increased over the years while the Jet Stream was forced to the background. The heat since the vortexes manifested that first day has been moved around the planet. It is physics. In that is a realization the planet is experiencing extreme changes in the climate.

In that reality of the climate changing includes changes in air pressure and air mass volume. It is far more difficult to move air masses by any jet stream if they are less dense and diffuse into the troposphere and tropopause and stratosphere. It doesn't take much heat in a surface area the size of Earth to change the dynamics of  air circulation around the planet.

This is a European satellite from today. There are stalled air masses here as well. That means the air masses over Europe has to move before the one over the Atlantic and North American can move. That dynamic is what dictates weather because of climate change of a heating planet. 

To note in the satellite picture at the top of the page is the absence of the ICZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone). The ICZ is the air mass normally at the equator. There are always clouds within that zone under a normal troposphere. The clouds are gone and carried north by the strong air movement offshore of North America. The dark white vertical cloud mass. That same vertical cloud mass is noted in this satellite of Europe at the edge of Greenland and Iceland.

So, with things that completely terrible, the cat is going to have snow to dig for awhile until Earth reorganizes it's physics. The end of the video tells the tale really. The cat just wants out of the house. I can completely understand that.

WWBD - What would a Bush do?

Western media doesn't cover the plight of the Palestinians. The West's media is simple minded because Republicans are simple minded. There is black and white and good and bad. Therefore there are the good guys and there are bad guys.


In the Middle East there are the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The Shi'ites and the Sunnis. The group killing Shi'ites in the Middle East is IS, but, Shi'ite militias a problem. Why? Because as long as the Shi'ite militias, according to Richard Haas, are successful the USA and Europe can't land their militaries and TAKE OVER the fight against IS.

Where did that idiot get that idea? It certainly didn't come out of the White House. Oh, wait. It came out of Prairie Chapel Ranch, right? Or maybe Carlyle.

The OFFICIAL stance of the USA is to build the competency of the alliance and end the existence of IS in the Middle East. Gee, that seems like it might work and the West will lose control over the oil wells in the region. Since, the USA is bragging it has it's own energy sources there is no need for war in the Middle East to covet THEIR oil. 

There is such a thing as "The Palestinian Plight." It is because Israel continues to move settlements into the West Bank AND Hamas is completely resistant to giving up Gaza. Go figure, huh? 

February 9, 2015
By Marc Leras

(Reuters) - French police sealed off (click here) a housing estate in Marseille on Monday after hooded gunmen opened fire on a police car with Kalashnikov rifles in what a senior local official suggested was an incident related to drug crime.
France has been on high alert following Islamist attacks in Paris last month that killed 17 people. Last week, two soldiers protecting a Jewish organization and radio station were wounded in a knife attack in the city of Nice. The shooting in Marseille happened just as Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrived for a scheduled visit to hail statistics showing a fall in crime in France's second largest city. There was no immediate information on whether there had been victims. Elite police deployed following the incident on the north side of the city and residents of La Castellane neighborhood, home to some 7,000, were ordered to stay indoors. A crèche was evacuated as troops from the GIPN special forces unit were sent into the sealed-off estate, a police source said by telephone....

This is a problem for at least Europe. There are IS sympathizers all over world, including Australia. The MODEL used within Syria is the same model applied by SUNNI terrorists scattered throughout the world.

See, the real problem is that Sunni sympathizers all over the world are dispersed throughout The West no differently than they were in Syria. So, these outbursts of violence remains a problem for Western civilization.

Why are the Sunni sympathizers scattered throughout the West? Because it is freedom, not a strategy that places them there.

That was SUNNI sympathizers. Not Shi'ite sympathizers. The Shi'ites in the Middle East have a right to protect their lands and peoples. That is something else Richard Haas forgot to mention. If the words Palestine and Shi'ite and Kurds ever comes into the verbiage of Western media, it will take a small miracle.

It would seem as though Brian "WHO?" Williams is scratching only the surface.
February 9, 2015

...On Sunday, Kerry (click here) met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, European Union foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to review the situation in the region.
"The Quartet underlined the importance of the parties resuming negotiations as soon as possible with a view to reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive peace," a statement said.
The Quartet also "recalled the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative -- with its vision for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict -- and the vital role of Arab partners," it said.
"Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues."
The Quartet was set up in Madrid in 2002 as part of efforts to find a comprehensive settlement to the conflict, with the Arab Peace Initiative approved by the Arab League the same year....

In hopes of preserving land for Palestinian interests in the West Bank. Not Jerusalem. Not Gaza, but, the West Bank. The new city has no water. What will Prime Minister Netanyahu have to say about that to US Congress? "We ran out?"

That is hatred and nothing short of it.  

February 6, 2015
By Lyse Doucet and Jane McMullen
  Palestinian millionaire (click here) has built a totally new city from scratch in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, complete with a Roman amphitheatre and football stadium. But one thing is stopping people moving in - there's no water.
You know what they say about property: "Location, location, location."
What about building in the midst of one of the world's most intractable conflicts?
"It's the biggest ever project in Palestinian history," exclaims American-Palestinian multi-millionaire Bashar Masri, the driving force behind a new Palestinian city in the hills of the Israeli-occupied West Bank....

Brian who? I don't watch the nightly news.

Nothing threatens journalism (click here) so much as the demand for personal branding, as Brian Williams shows.