Friday, March 13, 2015

There needs to be plans to assist the small island nations of the world.

The Southern Hemisphere is being pummeled by consecutive storms. This image is from NASA and a fourth storm has developed since this picture.

Cyclone Pam (click here) was heading in a southwesterly direction when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image at 1:30 p.m. local time (2:20 Universal Time) on March 13, 2015. Not long after the image was acquired, the storm struck the island of Efate, which is home to Vanuatu’s capital city, Port Vila.

The eastern side of Efate likely took the strongest hit from the cyclone’s eyewall, but Port Vila, which is on the southwestern side of the island, faced extremely destructive conditions. As the storm approached the city, it had sustained winds up to 265 kilometers (165 miles) per hour, making it the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane. Dozens of people are feared dead and forecasters expect flooding and catastrophic damage in the city.

On the same day, another major tropical cyclone—Category 3 Olwyn—made landfall in Western Australia near the city of Carnarvon. The lower image was acquired at 10:55 am local time (2:55 UTC) by the MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite. Thousands of people in Carnarvon lost power as a result of the storm, which weakened as it pushed inland....

Below is the current satellite. (click here)

Vanuatu needs a rescue mission. They aren't ready for anything that even comes close to a Category 5 cyclone. Why weren't they evacuated or at least provided some kind of shelter?

Evacuations of these small islands isn't that difficult. They don't have to be removed to a different land mass, they simply need to be put on Navy Ships until the storm passes over. Once they are returned to their island a crew can accompany them with food and supplies. Please. There are children.

A humanitarian operation has to be carried out ASAP when cyclones are first picked up on radar. No Navy should put themselves in the way of such a storm, so any rescue BEFORE THE FACT has to occur. But, it doesn't matter if it is only a tropical storm, they can't sustain for long even with a minor storm.

CYCLONE Pam has intensified as it hits Vanuatu, with dozens feared dead in the outer islands.(click here)

This is Australia after Cyclone Olwyn blew throught. It was a Category 3 when this occurred.

March 13, 2015
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) (click here) is also warning of a very dangerous storm tide for residents between Carnarvon and Denham.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has confirmed there have been reports of damage to homes in Carnarvon but has been unable to send crews out to assess the damage because of strong winds.

Storm surges are more dangerous than a low category storm because of sea level rise. 

I don't know how realistic it is to move an entire nation of people to Navy ships, but, Vanuatu Island has approximately 250,000 people.  They never asked for this and have no idea how to save their own lives.

I guess not.

Royal Caribbean International on Monday ordered the world’s largest and most expensive cruise ship, a $1.24 billion vessel that will hold up to 6,400 passengers.

New Zealand is already being effected. Expect Pam to be a strong storm. It has a high rain content as well. Over ten years ago a cyclone traversed the circumpolar circulation to land directly on the Antarctica peninsula. There were huge amounts of ice both surface and sub-aquatic destroyed and melted. 

Normally, storms lose their punch at higher latitudes, but, don't count on it. I have seen differently. I think the year was 2002 or 2003. 

NASA has records of it.

March 13, 2015
..."There's still a fair (click here) bit of uncertainty as to how that system will move. But it does look like we are going to find some pretty damaging conditions as we head through to the start of next week," meteorologist John Law told TV3 this morning.

MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths last night said the eastern North Island could possibly get "the full trifecta" of impacts, these being damaging seas along the eastern coastline, gale to severe gale south-easterly winds, and the possibility of heavy rain. reported yesterday evening that winds around the upper North Island, north of Auckland, were already caught up in the flow of Cyclone Pam, a few thousand km away.,,

It is baffling to understand why Republicans can't get a Loretta Lynch's nomination to the floor for a vote.

March 12, 2015
By Joan McCarter

Hand it to Mitch McConnell, (click here) whether he's in the minority or the majority, he leads Republicans in setting all sorts of records for obstruction. It's particularly impressive, now that he's in control of the Senate, that he's breaking new records with just one non-vote: Loretta Lynch's nomination to be attorney general....

...For essentially the first two centuries under our Constitution, senators afforded the president free rein to stock his Cabinet as he chose, except in the most extraordinary circumstances. Getting over the "advice and consent" hurdle was about proving competence for public service, demonstrating good manners and keeping your moral nose clean. […]

There is a lawsuit about the President's Executive Order so there is no reason to hold up her nomination. First it was DHS and now this. Are the Republicans finished making money after the nomination? They are most definitely out of any cash flow with the letter to Iran's Ayatollah.
This time, there's been an important additional twist: The single biggest reason Republicans oppose Lynch is that she disagrees with them on a single matter of public policy. They say her sticking up for the president's immigration executive orders reveals one of two larger problems: that she won't steer Justice in some fundamentally new and centrist direction (as if that was ever going to happen) and she can't be counted on for the independence an attorney general sometimes needs to pursue the rule of law over the pull of politics....

The President needs to chill in being 'out there.' The Republican need to focus.

Jeb is baffled? Really?

This topic is over. The public isn't interested in the emails of the former Secretary. The emails will come to focus one other time when the State Department releases them to the public. The former Secretary stated, something about...'...It will be interesting for the public to realize the life of a Secretary of State....' The former Secretary is happy to have the public appreciate her work. It probably will be very interesting.

March 6, 2015

(Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful (click here) Jeb Bush on Friday stepped up his criticism of Hillary Clinton, calling it "baffling" that she stored official U.S. State Department emails on a personal server rather than safer government systems....

But, this thing with Bush is a bit troubling. Granted his life as Florida governor was never the life the former Secretary has lived, but, baffling? Ya know, he is giving me more and more reason to doubt his ability to handle the job. If Bush becomes the Republican nomination it will be a coronation and not a legitimate primary process. I am not impressed.

2014 provides record harvests. Emergency storage approved.

This is one of the odd realities of a high amount of greenhouse gases. Anything with chlorophyll grows better, stronger and faster with dense amounts of CO2. I am not surprised there are record harvests. The worries regarding drought is still real.

The USA has always been able to feed the world. We need to maintain our agricultural output to continue to do exactly that. USDA is doing a great job. Thank you.

March 11, 2015
By Farm Service Agency

...USDA’s (click here) Farm Service Agency (FSA) also works with grain elevators to help ensure the proper storage of harvested crops, which – during record harvests as seen in recent years – can save millions of bushels of grain from spoiling.

Corn harvested in 2014 reached a record high of 14.21 billion bushels and soybeans a record 3.96 billion bushels, which made grain storage an important issue across the Great Plains and Corn Belt regions this winter....

Support systems for farmers facing losses due to weather or fluctuating commodity prices. This is a really good idea. The farmers need to plan for the next years crop harvest regardless of any hardship they may have faced. 

I hope these programs apply to the small family farm as they reestablish their presence in markets as a return of the most productive farm practices in the country. Sometimes the small family farmers are left out of the big picture until there are problems with large farm operations. When the larger farm operators find they had a fall in production, what shows up as a benefit to the country are the small farms and their ability to contribute to the country's agricultural output.

March 7, 2015
By Farm Service Industry

Phoenix, AZ – USDA Farm Service Agency (click here) Administrator Val Dolcini took an important message to one the largest gatherings of agricultural stakeholders in the nation, the recent 20th Annual Commodity Classic. He met with corn, soybean and wheat growers to urge members to complete their decisions on the safety-net options offered by the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program by the deadline of March 31, 2015.

ARC and PLC were created by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill to help farmers avoid financial losses caused by price or revenue declines brought on by weather or an unexpected downturn in markets. The one-time election of ARC or PLC remains in effect through the 2014 – 2018 crop years.  If an election is not made by March 31, the farm will not be eligible for 2014 crop year payments and will default to PLC through 2018....

Disney has discovered a new breed of heroine.

The girls love her, dress like her and sing along with the songs in the movie. That is basically the way the popularity of the movie heroine grew. 

First the younger girls were introduced to Elsa and Anna in the movie and then came the "Frozen Sing-a-Long" with young girls coming to the sing-a-long fully prepared to participate dressed in the Elsa or Anna costumes. Now, Disney recognizes a phenomena too tempting to leave alone.

Both female characters in "Frozen" are strong women. They grow up challenged by their own separate realities. Elsa becomes a Queen in her homeland, but, her strongest characteristic emerges when she flees her kingdom supposedly in the best interest of the people. Anna, Elsa's sister, braves all to return her sister to her rightful place.

These characters are not Snow White or Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella; they don't have to be rescued by men; it is the men that have to be rescued by them. 

For the first time in Disney history a Prince Charming is a real louse. The young people in the audience witness a loss of love when Anna realizes she is the pawn in a wicked scheme fashioned by her prospective husband. Elsa ultimately is the one with the most wisdom in warning her sister about ill intentions of quickly established love relationships.

At one point Elsa even has her own militia man when a "Frozen Yeti" is conjured to fight invading forces from her homeland. There is no misunderstanding that this one time princess grows into a self-assumed woman that masters her life challenges along the way.

This is the theme through the entire action packed "Frozen." One sister stumbling and the other the heroine. Ultimately, Elsa's wisdom wins out and the true sisterly love the two heroines share proves the truest love that existed.

It is truly a departure of Disney's passive and dependent heroines of the past. It is a welcome change.

March 13, 2015 
Patrick Kevin Day

During (click here) a call with investors on Thursday, Disney made official its intention to produce a sequel to the $1.2-billion-earning "Frozen." That film's massive success may finally show the entertainment giant that its princesses don't always have to play second fiddle to the male characters. Here's a quick look at how past Disney princesses have reflected their times....

Some call it a calmity there are lower producer costs. I think it is normalizing. Energy has been ridiculously high.

How much impact does energy cause on this index? As soon as it is removed from the formula the index takes a positive track. The fall in oil prices has been huge. It has reduced costs of products and put more money into the hands of consumers. There should be an uptick in the economy for every month energy costs have fallen.

The only people that actually like increases in energy costs is Wall Street investors. There is no else that treasures the increased costs of energy. The cost of energy is on the wrong side of the ledger. The less it costs the more the profit side of any business will increase.

What is really great about alternative energies such as solar and wind is that it is more of a standard. The expense is realized when the infrastructure is built. The cost of the energy coming off the alternatives is consistent. There is no fall in quantity available or a glut of supplies; the alternatives are built to supply a need. There aren't too many wells, too many or too few employees. Alternative fuels are consistent in their delivery of energy at a consistent cost. Once local businesses write their energy costs into their production prices or cost to consumer it won't change to astronomical costs that will put them out of business. 

Utilities should not be troublesome because they have a profound impact on an economy. That is why utilities are regulated. But, they should not be the star performer in the portfolio. The businesses producing or selling consumer commodities should be the star investments.

March 13, 2015
By Bloomberg News

...Estimates in the Bloomberg survey (click here) ranged from a 0.2 percent decline to a 0.7 percent gain. Prices excluding food and energy were projected to rise 0.1 
percent after falling 0.1 percent the month before, the survey median showed.
Compared with a year before, producer prices fell 0.6 percent, the first 12-month decrease since records began in 2009. The core index increased 1 percent in the 12 months ended February, after a 1.6 percent gain. 

Eliminating food, energy and trade services, which some economists prefer because it strips out one of the most volatile components of PPI (Producers Price Index), costs were unchanged last month after falling 0.3 percent in January....

China's new infrastructure bank is given boost by the UK.

There are many implications in this, but, Asia is going to need ready cash to continue it's movement in building quality of life into their societies. This is an effort to become autonomous in funding rather than relying on grants and loans. 

The primary worry at this point by the USA is the quality of the banks infrastructure.

...China’s official answer (click here) is that Asia has a massive infrastructure funding gap. The ADB has pegged the hole at some $8 trillion between 2010 and 2020. Existing institutions cannot hope to fill it: the ADB has a capital base (money both paid-in and pledged by member nations) of just over $160 billion and the World Bank has $223 billion. The AIIB will start with $50 billion in capital—hardly enough for what is needed but still a helpful boost. Moreover, while ADB and World Bank loans support everything from environmental protection to gender equality, the AIIB will concentrate its firepower on infrastructure. Officially at least, ADB and World Bank officials have extended a cautious welcome to the new China-led bank, saying they see room for collaboration....

I am sure the UK sees the need to assist Asian countries with their upstart of this added bank. There are other banks in the region, all with initials used to name them ADB, AfDB, CAF, EBRD, IADB).

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank agreement was signed in October by 21 countries, including China

13 March 2015

The US has expressed concern (click here) over Britain's effort to become a founding member of a Chinese-backed bank that could rival the likes of the World Bank.
The UK is the first big Western economy to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The AIIB will fund Asian energy, transport and infrastructure projects.
However, the US has raised questions over the bank's commitment to international standards on governance.

In a statement, UK Chancellor George Osborne said the UK had "actively promoted closer political and economic engagement with the Asia-Pacific region" and that joining the AIIB at the founding stage would create "an unrivalled opportunity for the UK and Asia to invest and grow together".

The hope is that investment in the bank will give British companies an opportunity to invest in the world's fastest growing markets....

The lies of Daehs (ISIS) is being told by those that have returned from the Middle East.

March 13, 2015
By David Wroe

...Reformed jihadists (click here) who have been to the Middle East and returned home disillusioned could be used as poster boys and girls to combat the tidal wave of extremist propaganda on the internet.
As the federal government prepares to ramp up a counter-messaging campaign against up to 100,000 pieces of propaganda per day by the Islamic State terror group and its supporters, Fairfax Media has been told that one option is to encourage former extremists to speak out.
The approach has been used in Britain, where several high-profile disillusioned extremists have tried to dissuade others from joining jihad and travelling abroad. One has even created the online cartoon character Abdullah X, who considers going abroad to fight but realises the futility of it and the hypocrisy of jihadist leaders.
Attorney-General George Brandis recently announced $18 million to combat extremist propaganda online – a task whose urgency was grimly underscored this week when Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi was believed killed while carrying out a suicide bombing in Iraq....

Bird flu in China is refining itself to human victims.

March 13, 2015
By Larry Bernstein

...While it's much too early (click here) to predict whether that might happen, one of the scientists said there was cause for alarm because the H7N9 virus jumps to humans more quickly than its predecessors and previously has been found in mammals.

"This virus is more dangerous," said Yi Guan of the University of Hong Kong, one of the authors of a research letter online in the journal Nature.

It's not clear why the outbreak, which began in late 2013, has re-emerged after fading. But by September 2014, it had infected 318 people and killed more than 100 of them, twice as many as the first wave, the scientists reported. Many people suffer severe pneumonia if infected by the flu, which also has spread to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Canada, according to the World Health Organisation....

The bird flu in Arkansas hasn't mutated to human transfer.


Where things stand (click here) 

Liberia, once the hardest-hit country in the Ebola outbreak, released its last Ebola patient on March 5. It has now begun a 42-day countdown and if no new cases are found in that period, it will be declared Ebola-free according to WHO standards. To mark the epidemic's downturn, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf re-opened the country's borders with neighboring countries. Ambulances in Liberia have also been dispatched to help stop Ebola in Sierra Leone and the government recently bought a 25-acre plot of land outside the capital to bury Ebola victims

Both Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reporting dozens of new cases every week and the number of Ebola deaths taking place outside of hospitals remains high, suggesting that people are wary of seeking help or are hiding cases. In both countries there are still regular attacks against Western aid workers and officials are unable to track where the Ebola virus is spreading.

Guerrero is the province of Alcapulco.

The drug gangs are very bold because they know their own power.

March 13, 2015

A Mexican woman (click here) running for mayor in a town in the state of Guerrero (click here)has been found decapitated, less than a fortnight after starting her campaign.
The body of Aide Nava Gonzalez, 42, was discovered on Tuesday night on the outskirts of Ahuacuotzingo - the town she was hoping to represent. She had been decapitated, and a "narcomanta" - a drug-gang message, written on a sheet - was draped over her body.

"This is what will happen to all the ------- politicias who don't want to sign up, ------- turncoats. Yours sincerely, Puro Rojo ZNS."

Los Rojos is one of the drugs cartels that is currently fighting its rivals for control of the state of Guerrero - a valuable stretch of land encompassing the port of Acapulco, and trafficking routes from the coast inland to Mexico City and the north.

Guerrero is currently one of the most dangerous states in Mexico, with 42.7 murders per 100,000 inhabitants....

Paying defense fighters insures morale. Is Baghdad in charge or not?

BAGHDAD (AP) " Iraq's most influential (click here) Shiite cleric has urged the government to step up support for the Shiite militias battling the Islamic State group alongside the Iraqi military.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments, relayed by a representative during Friday prayers in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, come as Iraqi forces backed by the militias are carrying out a large-scale offensive to retake IS-held Sunni city of Tikrit.

Al-Sistani's spokesman Ahmed al-Safi also urged authorities to pay outstanding salaries to many Shiite militiamen, adding that such delays were "unacceptable."

The Iranian-backed Shiite militias have played a crucial role in regaining territory from the Islamic State group, supporting Iraq's embattled military and police forces in battle. U.S. officials estimate that as many as 20,000 militiamen may be involved in the ongoing Tikrit operations.

There is a call for humanitarian aid for refugees in Lebanon. 

March 11, 2015 
...Possessions of any kind (click here) for refugees and internally displaced people are few and far between; most fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back.
Possessions may no longer hold importance to the Syrians and Iraqis who've lost so much, but there is still plenty that they treasure....

Michigan needs to harness it's wind power this year.

The new wind maps (click here) are out for the USA. Michigan has a potential of capacity of 1,163 Megawatts of power. That was one thousand, one hundred and sixty-three Megawatts of electrical power.

U.S. nuclear power plants have net summer capacities between about 500 and 1300 MW.

Michigan has a law REQUIRING the state to generate 10% of their energy needs with alternative energy. The Green Groups are hoping to raise it to 20% while Snyder pushes natural gas on the state. 

Michigan's population as of 2010 was 9.9 million people.

Michigan's electricity use per year as of 2009 is 334.8 trillion BTU. That is the equivalent of 353.2 million Megawatts. 

Michigan is currently only using 2.4 percent of it's wind capacity, which is 27.9 Megawatts. Michigan law states the power generated has to be 10 percent each year. The Green Groups are asking for the maximum capacity to be raised to 20 percent. 

Ten percent of 353.2 million Megawatts is 35.3 Megawatts. Twenty percent would be 70.6 Megawatts. If Michigan were to invest in wind capacity for it's utilities from wind turbines produced in a Michigan assembly plant, it would surpass even 20 percent of the state's needs.

Currently, Governor Snyder is pushing natural gas exploration through fracking and ignoring the potential for green energy in Michigan. Someone needs to tell him there is plenty of green energy in Michigan.

Secretary of State Kerry stated the USA needs to move as much energy production to Green Sources to help the future generations recuperate from a warmed planet.

The State of Michigan borders four of the Great Lakes. 

The number of inland lakes in Michigan depends on the minimum size: there are: 

62,798 lakes ≥ 0.1 acres, 

26,266 lakes ≥ 1.0 acres 

6,537 lakes10.0 acres

1,148 lakes ≥ 100 acres

98 lakes ≥ 1,000 acres

10 lakes10,000 acres.

It seems as though Michigan should lead the way in harnessing wind power. Fracking is bad for Michigan. Michigan has water everywhere. Fracking will pollute any drinking water source and it would pollute the Great Lakes. 

Lake Superior is 1,335 feet deep and 350 miles long. It is the largest of the Great Lakes in both surface area and volume. Lake Superior could contain all the other Great Lakes plus three more lakes the size of Lake Erie.

Lake Erie is 210 feet deep

Lake Huron is 748 feet deep

Lake Michigan is 925 feet deep

Lake Ontario is 804 feet deep

The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep

The problems typically stem from poor cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid into water wells.

Michigan needs to harness it's wind power, meet the 20 percent that should be set this year and put an end to the idea fracking was ever viable in Michigan. The Great Lakes are federal and international jurisdictions as they border with Canada. The USA EPA has been revitalizing the Great Lakes since 2009. It is time the US EPA take a stand on fracking in Michigan.