Thursday, March 12, 2015

It is interesting to note life at Fort Hood seems to be returning to an interesting balance.

I am assuming all the lady Senators will be interested in this article.

March 11, 2015

An Army officer (click here) admitted to a military tribunal Wednesday that he betrayed his role at Fort Hood as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by organizing a prostitution ring at the sprawling Central Texas base.

Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen under questioning by a military judge explained how he recruited three cash-strapped female soldiers to join the ring.( One was told she could make plenty of money at "swinger parties, stripper parties," the Austin American-Statesman reported.

He admitted to Judge Lt. Col. Rebecca Connally that he also betrayed the trust of commanders who appointed him as a victim advocate at the base north of Austin that covers about 170 square miles and is home to more than 40,000 soldiers. "I was fully aware I violated those duties," said McQueen, who's a noncommissioned officer.

He pleaded guilty to 15 counts as his court-martial began Wednesday, including charges of pandering and conspiracy to solicit prostitution. As part of his plea arrangement, other charges were dismissed, but McQueen still faces one count of assault that may be considered by the court later....

The Republican agenda for student loans is far different than one might believe.

Rick Perry wants to give student loans back to the private sector to facilitate better interest rates for the banks. The complaint is that the FIXED student rate is killing the banks.

Can you imagine blaming student loans for the failure of banks. (click here)

Here we go. The right wing media will spin this in any direction conceivable to attempt to find a foothold that workds.

March 11, 2015

At least three (click here) of Hillary Clinton’s top aides – including one with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – used emails hosted on Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state, according to several reports.

At a news conference Tuesday at the U.N., Clinton directly addressed media about the revelation that she conducted her business as secretary of state using a private email account instead of the secure and archived government system....

...Weekly Standard senior writer Stephen Hayes told Fox News, “Two of Hillary Clinton’s top aides used personal email while they were employed at the State Department.”
Hayes specifically named Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, who served as Clinton’s longtime deputy chief of staff. Abedin and Clinton worked closely together for nearly 20 years.... 

So, it seems as though the former Secretary didn't police her assistants because she trusted them. Ms. Abedin is married to an American, she is not working with the Muslim Brotherhood.

There seems to be an idea that Europe is getting paranoid regarding Russia.

I hope there isn't paranoia that would escalate tensions in Ukraine. That would not be good. I realize when a major power steps outside a treaty process that is plenty reason to be paranoid, however, this according to the speaker at the link inside the article is more or less Russia stepping outside this treaty to allow a former Warsaw Pact country a direct roll in the talks.

March 10, 2015

...Moscow has asked Belarus (click here) to represent Russia's interests in the group starting from Wednesday, the statement said.

According to the Ministry, the move does not mean that Moscow refuses to continue further dialogue on control of conventional armed forces in Europe - "if and when our partners are ready for it," the Ministry official said in the statement, adding that future work on the project should serve the interests of both Russia and other European states. 

The original CFE Treaty, signed in 1990 by 16 NATO and six Warsaw Pact, set equal ceilings for each bloc on key categories of conventional armaments, with tanks, combat armored vehicles, artillery, assault helicopters and combat aircraft among them. For instance, under the treaty, each side is supposed to have no more than 16,500 tanks or 27,300 armored combat vehicles in active units.... 

The treaty was originally between the Warsaw Pact countries and Europe. By allowing Belarus an important role at the continued negotiations it relieves any political tensions that might scuttle this treaty.

Russia recognizes the relationship with Europe is nearly absent from any diplomatic efforts. That should not increase paranoia or added tensions. It is going to take a great deal of patience and time to bring about a regional peace. I sincerely hope the current ceasefire holds, because, the deaths already amount to at least 6000 people. That better not be a down payment on more violence.

I think Belarus is a good choice. The Post Soviet countries are looking to have a role in their own sovereignty. Belarus coming forward as a leader to their own autonomy only validates there is no happiness with Russia in escalating tensions with The West. 

Russia has been guilty of attempting to put back together the USSR or at least appearing to be doing so. This is a promise of the future whereby Russia is not "Mother Russia," but, an autonomous country as the other Post Soviet countries have realized. The new role by Belarus solidifies that autonomy. It is a good thing.   

A Canadian news agency carries the same concern regarding tensions in Europe. Europeans probably believe it is easy to be a Western nation of people when an ocean provides a buffer, well, we are all worried about the peace.

March 12, 2015
By Lucas Powers

'Everyone is paranoid' (click here)

..."When a ceasefire fails, things can move very quickly and forces need to be in a position where they can control that situation," says Sim Tack, a military analyst at Stratfor, a global intelligence and advisory firm based in Austin, Texas. 

"Everyone is paranoid and no one wants to be the first to completely commit to the ceasefire and drop all of their strategic capabilities only to find themselves betrayed later."...
March 12, 2015
By Fares Akram

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli authorities (click here) allowed the import of Gaza produce on Thursday for the first time since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007, a move that will aid Gaza's battered economy and help pious Jews observe a biblical farming sabbatical.

Some 27 tons of tomatoes and five tons of eggplants were cleared to leave Gaza for Israel, Palestinian officials and Gaza merchants said.
"Exporting to Israel is better, but insufficient," said Gaza merchant Hosni Shehada, who oversaw the preparation of half-ripe tomatoes and large eggplants for export at his warehouse....

The ceasefire is holding, but, some are concerned it may be a lull.

March 12, 2015
By Lucas Powers

The current lull in fighting in Ukraine, (click here) the result of a ceasefire signed in February, is a temporary reprieve from a protracted conflict that will likely end with the country's eastern regions becoming de facto Russian satellite states, according to military experts.

Signed in the Belarusian capital of Minsk and brokered largely by Germany and France, the ceasefire went into effect on Feb. 15. It was the third agreement to be implemented in the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and separatist fighters backed by Moscow that has claimed nearly 6,000 lives and displaced 1.8 million people.

Both forces have begun pulling back artillery and heavy guns from the front line in accordance with the ceasefire conditions. Despite being an encouraging development, both sides continue to report deaths, mainly from small arms and rocket fire....

The concern is Russia will only reassess the region during this lull and plan to reenter the country of Ukraine. I don't know why that doubt exists as it may be more fear than fact.

I hope the politics of Russia and Ukraine aren't interfering with the ceasefire and much sought after peace.

The politics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not simply approve or disapprove.

Republicans want a full repeal of the bill, but, when the questions are examined in these generalized polls that is not what the people want.

People want the subsidies maintained. They want most of the aspects of ACA maintained. They want exchanges that work. 

Independent voters will state they don't like the bill, but, their answers to these question favor every aspect in parallel to Democrats.

Even Republicans answer favorably to these questions with the exception the requirement that every citizen has to purchase health care insurance. They don't necessarily understand to have the rest of what they like about the bill every citizen has to purchase into it with subsidies or through exchanges or through the employers. There is no aspect to the political landscape that flatly wants the ACA repealed, not even Republicans. 

This issue with low favoribility ratings for requiring all Americans to purchase health care speaks to the lack of information the public has about the bill. Democrats are not talking enough to constituents to be sure they understand the law. Getting Republicans to understand that means finding a way through pamphlets or otherwise stating to have this law means purchasing insurance.

This question shows where the misunderstanding of the law exists. The highest total is "The government should have a limited role in providing healthcare insurance. There is a political commercial circulating in the country that is the same exact commercial as last year stating, "Write you legislator to prevent cuts in hospital care. " Now that is a lie or it is Republican political cuts to the budget. Which is it?

The total above stating 25% of responders are UNSURE tells the tale. 


The ACA is a great law and not enough Americans have experienced it's benefits yet.

Americans don't have to purchase health care insurance, but, if that is the case they have to pay taxes so the government can assist hospitals that provide care to the uninsured through the emergency room.

It's the Climate Crisis. Kansas and Nebraska are crop producing states. Irrigation to keep the fields moist.

There are fire risks in March? 

Extreme Draught Leads to Wildfires, Mudslides (click here)

Deforesting no matter how it occurs causes mudslides. 

It's the climate crisis. This is a summer time occurrence normally. 

This is part of the negative feedback loop Earth is experiencing. The worse this plays out, the worse it gets.

There will be grassland fires in the Midwest states. They have to be prevented in spreading to crop lands. Irrigation is the best method to avert drought and maintain moist soils.

Moist soils are best achieved in 'drip trickle' irrigation. It also preserves water rates used in irrigation. The infrastructure to farmers can best help them take care of their soils and crops. Perennial species are best as they hold moisture to the deeper parts of soil, rather than annuals that chronically open the land to parching sun and atmospheric heat. 

Farmers are going to have to make that change and the federal authorities have to help with GRANTS to achieve these outcomes. If not this year? When? 

I don't lie. This is not going to get easier in waiting to make that leap of faith. Farmers become their own authority. All they have to do is look at the tree lines that border their crops to know what works in perennials. 

If farmers don't feel secure in the investment they will make into perennial crops ask them to place only a small plot of their farmland in perennials with government subsidy to carry the sampling out so they understand what they are doing.

Every inch of farmland is unique and a farmer understands his own assets. I would also like to see more land returned to farmland. We are going to need it. Today, there is less farmland than only a couple of decades ago.

The Vitter Amendment is unconstitutional.

He justifies his amendment to deny "Birthright Citizenship" to the unborn as preventing Birth Tourism. The amendment is dangerous and should be defeated. Birth tourism is already against the law. There is even a tax introduced with this bill to increase more and more money to the Department of Homeland Security for training to prevent birth tourism at our borders. 


Most of those embarking on birth tourism are pregnant and entering the USA via plane flight.

The Louisiana Republican’s legislation would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent children born to foreign parents in the U.S. from gaining automatic citizenship. The exceptions to this would be if one of the parents is a US. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, or an immigrant serving in the U.S. military.

The wacko agenda that will blow up in their face. 

So, let me get this right. The men and women of foreign birth volunteering for the US military in order to gain citizenship will have children that are Undocumented.  

The word 'resources' will not mask the fact there are taxes being levied to provide for this wacko mess.

There is something you don't hear everyday.

The dryness of the Atacama desert (click here) is known for its ability to naturally preserve mummies, including this so-called black mummy created by the ancient South American Chinchorro people. Mummies like these were made between 7,000 and 4,800 years ago....

By Stefan Nicola
Bloomberg News

BERLIN — The world’s oldest mummies (click here) are at risk of disappearing because of man-made climate change, according to a group of Harvard University scientists.
Bodies mummified about 7,000 years ago in Chile are starting to degrade rapidly, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences said Monday in an e-mailed statement. Tests by Harvard’s Alice DeAraujo and Ralph Mitchell show that microbes that flourish in an increasingly humid climate are turning the preserved remains of Chinchorro hunter-gatherers into “black ooze.”
“Is there a scientific answer to protect these important historic objects from the devastating effects of climate change?” said Mitchell. “It’s almost a forensic problem.”...
The NRA and other gun groups have the country tied in knots and it all has to be unwound. 

But, the Republicans are ideologues that cater to cronies to score political points. That Republican dynamic goes on in most dysfunctions of the USA, but, especially in women's health.

Currently on the Senate floor is the "Trafficking of Women Act." The ideological Republicans have once again introduced an amendment limiting the help VICTIMS of this crime will receive.

March 12, 2015
Senate business (click here) slowed to a crawl this week when Republicans inserted anti-choice language into a popular human trafficking bill that Democrats are now blocking until the language is removed.

But abortion isn’t the only human rights issue Republicans are fighting a proxy war over, using the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act debate. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is pushing a radical amendment to the bill that would end the practice of granting automatic citizenship to all children born in the United States....

Victims of human trafficking don't have choices. They are rescued and had no moral say over their involvement. That involvement is the fault of law enforcement unable to end the abduction of these young people sometimes as young as 12 years old. As a result these young girls are going to face a full term pregnancy after they are rescued.

The USA has debated the issue of young children becoming pregnant that endangers their lives as well because they haven't completed their adult physical growth. There is no doubt a Hyde Amendment would cause a great deal of problems for this population of female victims.

Besides police labor union's inappropriately pre-teaching their members regarding police killings of unarmed citizens...

...the 2016 Law Enforcement Budget Requests Committee has some real insight to the passions of firearms corporations and radical advocates such as the NRA and how that translate to the militarization of the police departments.

Part of what is being discussed is the federal budget provisions for police force across the country. We know that young unarmed Black Americans are killed regularly by police force. The reason police force are being militarized is because of the military style weapons available to consumers, including any foreigners that come here to purchase weapons and drugs. (Which brings into focus the USA's policy on drugs and their criminalization. Criminalized drugs rather than regulated and accounted for drugs by prescription is a huge problem. Underground markets grow and have grown out of control for decades. Prescription drug abuse is no reason to maintain the same drug control policies when they benefit organized crime and drug cartels. The AMA needs to address their members in a meaningful way. The Heroine is coming from Mexico and not the hands of American physicians that can monitor people and seek to redirect their addictions. Heroine addicts are very difficult to rehab. In that reality, Americans are dying because the street heroine is contaminated and/or strong in it's content. Prescription heroine would have quality control to eliminate most of the deaths the USA is experiencing in this PANDEMIC in this country.)

The statement was, "The Chief of Police in Sandy Hook said he was relieved the gunman took his own life for the police he might have lost because of the weapons found with the gunman."

The advocacy groups need a writing campaign to the committee and bring pressure to reduce the militarization of the police department, ie: homeless in Albuquerque, New Mexico and otherwise. Along WITH the removal of militarization of the local police there has to be reductions of arms on the street. The lethality of guns are driven by more and more equipment available to consumers that are normally purchased by police and SWAT teams.

If the journalists that want to bring about a change in the country with minorities and children then write about the complicated cultures with guns. The cultures do not serve the country well. The fact of the matter is the NRA is as responsible for minority deaths as the police. These young men are unarmed and the methods used in police work is outrageous, but, the reason they exist is because of the toxic levels of guns in the USA.

Sorry, it is the truth.

FBI Director James Comey (click here) and counterparts from the U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the agencies' fiscal year 2016 budget requests.

The anti-gun advocates that seek to reduce the danger of guns on the street should be receiving monies from this budget to carry their message.

GUNS NEED TO BE REMOVED AS A POLITICAL DIRECTIVE. That is as much of the problem as the guns themselves. 

ATF's Todd Jones is extremely insightful. 

Senators Ofrin Hatch and Ron Wyden have a committee worth listening to regarding identiy theft.

March 12, 2015
By Stephen Ohlemacher

Fake IRS agents (click here) have targeted more than 366,000 people with harassing phone calls demanding payments and threatening jail as part of a huge nationwide tax scam.

More than 3,000 people have fallen for the ruse, Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration, said Thursday. They have been duped out of a total of $15.5 million. People in every state have been targeted.

"The criminals do not discriminate. They are calling people everywhere, of all income levels and backgrounds," Camus told the Senate Finance Committee at a hearing. "The number of complaints we have received about this scam make it the largest, most pervasive impersonation scam in the history of our agency."...

These scammers are predators on the Middle Class and Lower Middle Class. There folks are vulnerable because they don't have lawyers to protect them and are being threatened over the phone with immediate arrest knowing where they are at the time of the call. These folks are told if they immediately remit monies over the phone by purchasing prepaid cards they will avert arrest. Many of the victims are women often with children.

The loss to the families are as much as $15,000 and all they can do is report the crime to the police and hope to recuperate the monies.  Some others are the elderly and the scammers are overseas.

The possibility these overseas scammers of any kind are terrorists is fairly high. Why isn't the NSA catching these people? This is still yet another failure of the NSA and the idea spying on Americans are beneficial. There are millions of dollars moving out of the USA because of these international criminals. 

The federal government needs to stop spying on Americans and start listening to them instead.  

Two severe storms are heading for New Zealand. One right after another. This hasn't before in New Zealand. That country is more water than land.

It looks like the winds will diminish before reaching New Zealand, but, the small country could possibly receive a lot of rain. Right now both those observations are estimates.

March 12, 2015

A severe tropical cyclone, (click here) which could be reclassified as a supercyclone, is likely to be down-graded before it reaches New Zealand, but warnings are still being issued for residents to be prepared.
MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said the impact of tropical cyclone Pam would likely be limited to the east of the North Island.
"At this stage, the eastern seaboard of the North Island could possibly get the full trifecta of impacts - damaging seas along the eastern coastline, gale to severe gale south-easterly winds, and the possibility of heavy rain," Ms Griffiths said.
For Northland, northern Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, MetService said rain could become heavy overnight Sunday and during Monday and southeast gales could become severe....

Spring is here.

March 11, 2015

SHOREHAM, N.Y. (WABC) -- Melting snow triggered (click here) some major flooding on Long Island and officials say this may just be the beginning.
Officials say a frozen field melted quickly in Wednesday's warm weather, sending run-off onto a neighborhood in Shoreham.

The water flooded several homes, doing severe damage to one building.
Emergency crews helped residents pump out their houses and dug a trench to divert the water out onto the street.

Officials say they expect more flooding as rising temperatures melt the winter's large snow pack.
Iran can do themselves a favor moving toward global acceptance by reviewing those currently in their prisons. There are a good number of political prisoners and that needs to stop.

Videos and pictures of two prisoners (click here) (Mohsen Beikvand and Bahram Tasviri) who testified about their torture and rape in Rajaee Shahr prison in Karaj. These videos have been recorded inside of the prison.

The fame of Iran's prisons is well documented and known. There is no reason for the USA media to carry out a campaign of hate against Iran. 

..."So when you're in Iran and in solitary confinement," (click here) asks my guide, Lieutenant Chris Acosta, "was it different?" His tone makes clear that he believes an Iranian prison to be a bad place....

The West can stop victimizing Iran over their political and religious prisoners and begin to help them sort through their own problems with understanding crime and punishment. The West has no room to victimize Iran, the CIA sites are plenty enough and set some of the worst examples of how a country handles it's power.

Put your hate words away. Put away the sad stories. Many on this planet are tired of the very dense double standard. It takes diplomacy to end this mess and victimizing Iran isn't going to a damn thing except make it worse.

Iraqi forces are on the ground in Tikrit and need help with advance.

The Daesh troops are surrounded and putting up a lot of resistance. There is INTELLIGENCE now on Tikrit and targeting bombing is possible. There is nothing saying the Daesh soldiers cannot surrender either.

March 12, 2015
By Qussim Abdul-Zahra

...Iraqi troops and allied Shiite militiamen (click here) entered Tikrit for the first time Wednesday from the north and south. The head of the military operation told The Associated Press on Thursday that troops would launch phase two of the offensive later in the day as they try to reach the city center. The militants were trying to repel security forces with snipers, suicide car bombs, heavy machine guns and mortars, he said, speaking anonymously as he was not authorized to brief the media....

I am assuming there are resources for POWs in Iraq. If not then there will be firefights to the death to end the occupation by Daesh.
The problem in Ferguson is the fact there is no one going to jail for Michael Brown, Jr's death. 

Officers’ injuries described as serious (click here)

The young Black men still feeling as though their lives are on the line when they live their lives are looking at white men leave their employment while bankrolling tens of thousands of dollars in their pocket and benefits to boot. They also don't believe they won't be back either.

There is a lot of anger because the fear in their lives are driving it. That young man was slaughtered. He wasn't alone in this country.

Then load those tensions with University of Oklahoma. They can call it a cancer all they want, but, the reality of racism is what these young man are hearing. They fear for their lives.

There needs to be sincere reform in our justice system and prison populations need to be reviewed and corrected. Part of what these young men are also looking at are those in prison that are innocent and the communities know they are innocent. The prison populations are so out of balance in ratios it reveals the past enforcement in the face of poverty. There is a lot wrong and the anger won't go away soon. 

They see themselves as Trayvon, too. He wasn't even killed by police officers. The young Black men in this country are ducking bullets in their mind all the time and the shootings last night while very serious is a result of those fears manifested in anger.

Killing is wrong, but, the fear they have in their lives is real.
Richard Haas needs to go home. If Iran wasn't leading the Shia militias the Sunnis in Tikrit would be dead.

Iraq is over for the USA. We are not going to be involved in that country again except in support of those that require assistance with the coalition.

If this is coming down to USA politics, the Republicans caused this complete disaster in Iraq. 

At least there is Iran. 

From the day good, ole "W" began to attack Shi'ite clerics and attempted to level their mosques it was over for the USA. This was going to happen and most that had intelligence in the region regardless of government affiliation knew it. There is no going back. The region is going to organize according to affiliation of their religious leaders directives.

The USA is not going back into that country and begin the killing all over again. 

What doesn't Haas understand about illegal and immoral war in Iraq. Is there confusion regarding the civilians killed in that country during USA occupation?

Maybe Haas needs it spelled out. "W" was commander and chief that was involved with Rumsfeld's cabal and Cheney's need for profits that lead the charge into Iraq. Halliburton improved it's stock price and it's profits after Iraq and not before. Before Iraq Cheney was being investigated for cooking the books at Halliburton when KBR was still a part of the profit scheme. Today, because Halliburton knows no end to the demand for profits, even without KBR, is shedding employees to the unemployment line because they are ruthless in their pursuit of profits above viability of the international market of oil. 

Put those facts together and there are a whole lot of dead people both American and Iraqi that have improved the bottom line of that company.

End of discussion.