Monday, October 12, 2015

This is an absolutely spectacular auroa in Finland.

Photographer's caption is: nortern lights finland 7,10 22,00 -3,5c (click here)

There are reports of the auroras at lower latitudes of Scotland and Great Britain. If there is a chance of viewing any, it will be now. This is expected to last for weeks. 
The latest from Gowdy is that he knew nothing about the firing of Podiska over an exclusive investigation of Hillary Clinton in relation to Benghazi until this past Friday. He states the Podiska lawyers will not allow him to have a public dialogue with their client regarding the investigation.

Gowdy basically is saying Podiska is not a reputable person, can't be trusted or believed and the lawyers are hiding the truth.

It is a political smear campaign against Mr. Podiska no different than the one conducted against the former Secretary. I suppose when there is a media service willing to run with it; it works.

Gowdy is also believing his own lies when it comes to the emails. He stated none of the seven previous investigations called for the emails from the State Department. 


See, there were wires between members of the State Department and the Ambassador. The wires showed an Ambassador who was concerned about security in Tripoli and was moving to Benghazi that would be more secure. So, the emails were the the least of the record. 

The emails at this point is the best outcome for Gowdy in relation to Benghazi. He is looking to make a huge discovery in the emails that will indict the former Secretary. I doubt emails are more convenient or effective communication than the wires. Not all places on Earth have internet services and that is why wire services are vital to the State Department. I would think that would be the case with the US DOD as well. 

Trey Gowdy states the reason Mr. Podiska was unacceptable as an investigation expert was because he was shifting Hillary Clinton to lesser staff members for the investigation. Isn't that what Mr. Podiska is stating? Mr. Podiska was relieved from his investigation because he didn't handle Hillary Clinton himself? What's the issue then? 

On one hand Trey Gowdy states Mr. Podiska was an investigation expert and on the other hand Trey Gowdy states Mr. Podiska was mishandling Hillary Clinton's part in the investigation. It can't be both ways. If Mr. Podiska is an expert, then I guess Mr. Gowdy's opinion of his work really isn't a part of this picture. Mr. Gowdy disliked Mr. Podiska's work for reasons, but, they weren't legitimate reasons. They were Mr. Gowdy's own reasons.

Is Gowdy used to being in the US Government yet? This isn't the civil court of the back hills of South Carolina's 4th district. This investigation is of the federal government. There is a difference. A very big difference. When Trey Gowdy states he knows how to run an investigation, he is referring to civil practice.  

I am telling you these Republicans have no idea how to handle power. They are already disqualifying a federal investigator simply because he has a methodology that works for government investigations. They are going to end up disabling this country for the sake of their own agenda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Podiska didn't get where he is by doing things the wrong way.

Actually, Trey Gowdy needs to be charged with interference in a federal investigation. Trey Gowdy really should stop talking to news agencies and complete his report. Trey Gowdy's public discourse in regard to the eighth Benghazi investigation can only be viewed as political. Why do it then?

I really doubt Hillary Clinton would be a successful fugitive from justice. There is no reason to be discussing a federal investigation with the public, correct? I doubt urgency is required in estimating the outcome of a federal investigation about Benghazi, it is the eighth investigation for cryin' out loud. I think the public has been patient enough with this mess called the US House.

The policy of training foreign fighters to defend their own countries is a Bush policy.

It is a Bush policy that doesn't work, but, hey you broke it, you bought it. Senator John McCain was demanding support for Syrian rebels. Hello? The IDEA of training foreign rebels as if they were Americans is a failed Republican policy. It is now proven to be defunct and should never be tried again!

I'm not sure stating there is a war on women wins elections. It didn't matter in 2014.

September/October 2015 Issue
Mother's Jones

When she was 20 years old, (click here) Renee Chelian began every Friday with a predawn drive to an airplane hangar outside Detroit. There she met an abortion doctor, and a pilot who flew them to Buffalo, New York.
This was 1971. Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion, was still a year and a half away, and New York was one of the few places in the country where abortion was legal. Chelian was the doctor's assistant. She cleaned instruments and made appointments for women who hitchhiked or drove from all over the Midwest and New England to reach the clinic....

I think women like to CHOOSE for themselves. I think women love their life partners. I think women love their children. Where love intercepts sex, a warm and cozy relationship, keeping a husband at home and economic survival for the couple and the family is very important.

I think women understand women. I also believe women respect the decisions of other women about Choice and family. I believe women want to protect other women from rape, from abuse and certainly from an uncertain future that brings quality of life to their children.

I also believe the idea there is a war on women is repulsive. Women are cherished in the USA. They are admired. They are endeared to celebrations such as Mother's Day and Grandparents Day and Happy Birthday. Children celebrate their mothers. I don't believe there is a war on women. What I do believe is that the Republican Party wants to remove Choice from women when they seek contraception and unfortunately abortion.

Abortion is a concern of any woman. Women do not want to have abortions, but, they breath a sigh of relief when they realize "I just can't have this baby now." 

When one examines the use of abortion in the USA, the majority occur at six or less weeks. Women know what they are doing and other women don't question that decision. For those that do, they are interfering with privacy rights of women. For those that do, they are politicizing such decisions between a woman and her doctor. I thought that relationship was considered sacred, even by Republicans.

Contraception prevents abortions. The USA is working very hard to stem the demand for abortions and limiting contraception is not the answer. Those issues are between the woman and God. 

Republicans have wrongfully injected their politics into a topic where the USA is doing just fine.  

98.4 percent of abortions are conducted before 20 weeks. Many of those women seeking abortions after 6 weeks have to save money to get their abortion. Yes, sometimes it takes as late as 20 weeks to put together enough money to have their abortion. It isn't about ambivalence. It is completely wrong to expect any teen carry out a pregnancy.

The abortions after 20 weeks are by advise of the physician to save the woman's life or save the couple from a painful birth with little to no chance for the child to survive or have a reasonable life. I think physicians deserve the respect of the government when they make these recommendations for their patients. The patient already has the right to refuse treatment if they are dedicated to the pregnancy that is their own reason.

When Americans hear Planned Parenthood is under attack, the first thing that comes to mind is women's health. We already know there are women that count on Planned Parenthood for their health care and many their complete health care. There is absolutely no reason for a women to be turned away from a Pap Smear and/or mammograms. It is unthinkable to realize women die of cancer when there is very viable methods of detection and treatment.

It is Un-American to deprive women from health care and those that want to should consider themselves shameful to the majority of Americans. It is unconscionable to deny women health care and I can only think of one religion that frowns on health care and when it comes to children the professionals take control of that young life. 

Women have dignity in the USA. They are highly esteemed and have many rights that other women on this Earth could only hope for. So, there is no war on women in the USA. What there is a very foolish political agenda that alienates women from their political message.

In the USA, supporting women is known as EMPOWERMENT. I suggest the Democratic Party continue to empower women to make their own decisions that effect their life, happiness and the outcomes of their families.
October 12, 2015

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, (click here) the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, has been released from the hospital after having a pacemaker installed to regulate his heart.
The office of Dingell's wife, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, says the 89-year-old man left the hospital on Sunday after the procedure was performed last week.
A post from Debbie Dingell on her Facebook page says there is work  ahead but he remains at my side for wisdom and strength."
A pacemaker can help control abnormal heart rhythms.
John Dingell, a Democrat, served 59 years in Congress. His wife was elected to his Detroit-area seat last year after he didn't seek re-election....

Who gets the movie rights?

October 11, 2015

(CNN) The U.S. military officer (click here) in charge of last month's hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has recommended he not do any jail time, Bergdahl's legal team says.
In a memorandum dated Friday, the legal team said it agreed with Lt. Col. Mark Visger's conclusion that their client be referred to a special court-martial and receive neither jail time nor a punitive discharge.
The recommendation, which hasn't been announced publicly by the U.S. military, is a significant development for Bergdahl, who in March was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
But Visger's recommendation isn't "the final say," according to CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos.
"The case still has to go up to command where another decision will be made whether to accept that recommendation," he said....

Russia has a conflict of interest. That should not be a surprise to Moscow.

The passenger list was primarily Dutch. I don't think I've heard of any Russians on the jet either. With Minsk 2 and eastern Ukraine the place of the incident, there is definitely a concern for safety to the investigation and securing the best intelligence. I don't recall any reference to the downed passenger jet in Minsk 2.

12 October 2015

...The spokesperson (click here) noted that certain leaks from the report that emerged earlier could not be verified and proved authentic.
Peskov called on the media to wait for the official report’s release and promised that the document is going to be “most thoroughly examined” by Russian experts.
According to a report in the Malaysian media, Russia’s Roasaviation flight authority handed over to the Netherlands some “serious remarks” in response to the abstract of the final report on the reasons for the MH17 crash on July 17, 2014, which killed all 298 passengers and crew members onboard.
Malaysian newspaper New Straits Time cited the deputy head of Roasaviation, Oleg Storchevoy, who wrote a letter to the International Civil Aviation Association (ICAA), accusing the Dutch-led joint investigation group of ignoring “comprehensive information delivered by Russia.”...

Ah, come on, this is negligence.

October 13, 2015

A baby giraffe born (click here) at a Central California zoo last month has died after running into a fence in an exhibit.

KFSN-TV reports that the male giraffe born Sept. 9 at the Chaffee Zoo died Sunday afternoon.

It happened during a special preview event for the new African Adventure exhibit that is set to open on Thursday.

A zoo spokeswoman says a necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

The giraffe weighed 188 pounds at birth and was the twelfth reticulated giraffe birth in the zoo's history.

Ya know, when Kentucky thoroughbreds are turned out for exercise the handlers FIRST walk the fence line and the entire pasture to be sure a stick doesn't impale any of them. 

What is so difficult about this? 

"Bring Jason Home"

For all those that believe negotiations of Americans in Iranian prisons such be different, I have a scenario for you.

What if the Iranian nuclear talks fell apart? What then happens to the Americans hanging on that agreement to come home?

I completely understand the frustration journalists are feeling about Jason's status. There are appeals courts in Iran that will no doubt lower his sentence. It has worked that way in the past. But, if Jason is expected to be a part of a prisoner swap then his wellness and status is very important to Iran. The journalist community has some reassurance through his importance to international relations.

For as much as the community wants to decompress over Jason's detaining, it is important to negotiate human beings for human beings and not human beings for nuclear capacity. It would be nice if it was all over by now, but, it is better to have negotiations separately from other international affairs.

October  12, 2015
By Carol Morello and William Braigin 

Jason Rezaian, (click here) the Washington Post correspondent in Tehran imprisoned for more than 14 months, has been convicted in an espionage trial that ended two months ago, Iranian State television has reported.
News of a verdict in Tehran's Revolutionary Court initially came early Sunday, but court spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei did not specify the judgment. In a state TV report late Sunday, Mohseni-Ejei said definitively that Rezaian was found guilty.
But many details remained unknown. Rezaian faced four charges — the most serious of which was espionage — and it was not immediately clear whether he was convicted of all charges. Rezaian and The Post have strongly denied the accusations, and his case has drawn wide-ranging denunciations including statements from the White House and media freedom groups.

The 5.8 quake in New Zealand shows an interesting fact about the country.

My knee jerk reaction when I hear or read about a quake in New Zealand is the city of Christchurch. The quakes there have been merciless at times.

The map below is where the calls came from people effected by the quake. Those phone calls are important to scientists. The scientists are always seeking how people are doing when such events occur. No one experiencing a quake no matter how minor should call their government geologists. 

I haven't look at USGS site yet.

A quake (click here) that rocked the lower North Island this evening has been upgraded to magnitude 5.8.
GeoNet said the "severe" intensity quake struck 15km east of Pongaroa, on the east coast near the border between Wairarapa and Manawatu, at 9.05pm....
...The quake was 24km deep....

...No one has reported damage or injury at this stage.
"A lot of them (reported) a lot of rattling but we don't have any reports of damage and we don't expect any either."
Dr Holden said there had been about 10 "really small" aftershocks so far, mostly around 2 and 3 magnitude.
She said it wasn't unusual to have an earthquake in the area.
"The region is prone to very slow earthquakes so it's not a surprise"....

The map to the right is the location of Christchurch. It is just south of the quake today. There are no reports of an earthquake.

The map to the left (click here) is the seismic activity of the plate movement of New Zealand. The arrow is instructive to know the direction of the potential quakes. This is an issue for New Zealand. Realizing Christchurch has no 'felt quakes' is good news. The tension along the fault zone might be moving north and the worst is over for that city for awhile at least.

Latest developments in ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

4:33 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (click here) says Palestinian accusations that Israel is plotting to take over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site are an "absolute lie."
The Palestinian claims against Israel have been a driving force in the wave of violence sweeping through Israel and the Palestinian territories in recent weeks.
In a speech to parliament Monday, Netanyahu dismissed the claims as "incitement" and said a series of stabbings of Israelis "stems from the desire to annihilate us."
He called on the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to condemn the violence.
The holy site in Jerusalem is sacred to Jews and Muslims, and has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....

Finally, a win against racism.

The legislation needs to go further. The icon of the Washington Redskins can still be marketed. This is really to address bullying. It is about young people and hatred. Sports venues at any level is a place of intense competition. That competition can become very ugly. At least California's public schools will be safe from such hatred.

October 11, 2015
By M. Alex Johnson

California (click here) became the first state to ban schools from using the "Redskins" team name or mascot Sunday, a move the National Congress of American Indians said should be a "shining example" for the rest of the country. 

The law, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed Sunday morning, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017. It's believed to affect only four public schools using the mascot, which many Indian groups and activists find offensive, but its impact is significant symbolically — California has the largest enrollment of public school students in the nation, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. 

The state Assembly overwhelmingly approved the California Racial Mascots Act in May, about a month before the Obama administration went on record telling the Washington Redskins that they would have to change their name before they would be allowed to move to a stadium in Washington, D.C., from their current home in suburban Maryland....

Pope Francis would be interested in talking with this Nobel Prize Winner in Economics. He is a MICROeconomist.

Local economies are what the academics call a "microeconomic environment."

I am the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics (click here) and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. My main current research areas are in health, wellbeing, and economic development.
I hold both American and British citizenship. In Britain I taught at Cambridge University and the University of Bristol. I am a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Econometric Society and, in 1978, was the first recipient of the Society's Frisch Medal. I was President of the American Economic Association in 2009. In 2012 I was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award. In April 2014 I was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society. I was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences on April 28, 2015.
My current research focuses on the determinants of health in rich and poor countries, as well as on the measurement of poverty in India and around the world. I also maintain a long-standing interest in the analysis of household surveys. To view information about my research on India and world poverty, health, or household surveys, click each corresponding link.
To view my working papers and publications and my letters published every six months in the Royal Economic Society Newsletter, click each corresponding link.

13 October 2015
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2015 to
Angus Deaton
Princeton University, NJ, USA

"Consumption Great and Small" (click here)

To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices. More than anyone else, Angus Deaton has enhanced this understanding. By linking detailed individual choices and aggregate outcomes, his research has helped transform the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics.
The work for which Deaton is now being honored revolves around three central questions:

How do consumers distribute their spending among different goods? Answering this question is not only necessary for explaining and forecasting actual consumption patterns, but also crucial in evaluating how policy reforms, like changes in consumption taxes, affect the welfare of different groups. In his early work around 1980, Deaton developed the Almost Ideal Demand System – a flexible, yet simple, way of estimating how the demand for each good depends on the prices of all goods and on individual incomes. His approach and its later modifications are now standard tools, both in academia and in practical policy evaluation.

How much of society's income is spent and how much is saved?
To explain capital formation and the magnitudes of business cycles, it is necessary to understand the interplay between income and consumption over time. In a few papers around 1990, Deaton showed that the prevailing consumption theory could not explain the actual relationships if the starting point was aggregate income and consumption. Instead, one should sum up how individuals adapt their own consumption to their individual income, which fluctuates in a very different way to aggregate income. This research clearly demonstrated why the analysis of individual data is key to untangling the patterns we see in aggregate data, an approach that has since become widely adopted in modern macroeconomics.

How do we best measure and analyze welfare and poverty? In his more recent research, Deaton highlights how reliable measures of individual household consumption levels can be used to discern mechanisms behind economic development. His research has uncovered important pitfalls when comparing the extent of poverty across time and place. It has also exemplified how the clever use of household data may shed light on such issues as the relationships between income and calorie intake, and the extent of gender discrimination within the family. Deaton's focus on household surveys has helped transform development economics from a theoretical field based on aggregate data to an empirical field based on detailed individual data.

Local economies are best for the USA economy. When Wall Street dominates the economic picture the trends into poverty AND economic contraction has to be far larger to be considered significant than it does in local assessments.

When cities and towns carry out regular assessments of it's wealthy engine and measures of homelessness and/or poverty, trends in decline can be discerned far earlier than Washington, DC will ever know. Literally, things like taxes can be adjusted on a micro scale to ward off poverty and increase advocacy at state and federal levels. When towns pick up their trends the local government can act to reverse that trend.

Mayors are important folks. They meet regularly with other mayors and talk about their economies. Mayors can measure their local economy success during these meetings. Meetings of Mayors can bring changes to improve economic growth far earlier than waiting for statistics to be large enough for Wall Street and Washington to finally pick it up.

Being a mayor of a town is being sophisticated and not just being nice to old ladies and kissing babies. 

A Canadian truck owner/operator complains infrastructure negligence costs him real money.

He compares the roads in North Dakota to Manitoba. It is colder for a longer period of time in Manitoba, but, the point he makes does apply to US infrastructure as well.

In the heat of a federal election campaign, (click here) where infrastructure has been a key issue for all parties, trucking company owner Dave Tyrchniewicz would like politicians vying to form government to know something.

Our roads suck.

"The roads all over Canada are deplorable," Tyrchniewicz said...

Bad roads cost money. It costs for repairs of trucks and cars. Roads are dangerous when out of repair because they can cause tire rupture and accidents.

Legislators in the US Congress need to pay attention. Just because the South has better weather than the North, there is no excuse for putting American lives at risk. What absolutely astounds me is the permission to travel at high speed to 70 mph or more while the infrastructure is really bad. And let's talk about how far we have gotten with our bridges from the Recovery Act. States were taking it seriously, some with a motto "The Worst Goes First." 

...Truck drivers are uniquely qualified to report anecdotally on road conditions. Tyrchniewicz said big rigs are more sensitive to bumps in the roads than a smaller vehicle. Each crack, dip and pothole will reverberate though the trailer and into the cab with teeth-rattling intensity, he said.
"There is no doubt that we feel it more," he said. "And when you’re driving on those Canadian roads, you know that it’s going to cost you more money."...

Americans travel on Canadian roads as well.

The average concrete road is expected to last about 50 years before it has to be completely dug out and reconstructed. This takes the road through a variety of life stages....

...The golden years
(40-50 years)

When a road gets this old, even repeated asphalt overlays and repairs to the underlying concrete cannot produce a smooth, level surface for very long.
At this stage, cracks, bumps and sinkholes begin to appear as the underlying base shifts and fails.
At some point, realizing that even the most expensive rehabilitation will not improve the overall condition, the road is scheduled for reconstruction.
Currently in Manitoba, that costs about $1.7 million per two-lane kilometre.
October 10, 2015

Charleston, S.C. -- More deaths have been reported (click here) from the massive flooding in South Carolina.
At a press conference on Saturday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that the death toll had risen to 19 in the state.
She urged residents to stay at home since flash flood watches had been issued Saturday morning, saying it was "a good day to stay in and watch football and not get out on the roads."
Portions of the Carolinas could see 1 to 2 inches of rain within the next 24 hours, and it may cause issues for already-damaged roads.
The governor said the state could see a slow decline of the larger rivers, but possibly some flooding in small creeks.

This death toll is different from deaths caused by heat.

This figure (click here) shows the annual rates for deaths classified as "heat-related" by medical professionals in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The orange line shows deaths for which heat was listed as the main (underlying) cause.* The blue line shows deaths for which heat was listed as either the underlying or contributing cause of death during the months from May to September, based on a broader set of data that became available in 1999.

Deaths can happen more readily in cities because they are 'heat islands.' More concrete than green. Heat related deaths can be masked by statistics. Heat related deaths have to be discerned by the actual death certificate. If cities and states want to change the language for death by heat on death certificates, that is fraud. There is a way to discern fraud. Cities and states don't stand alone. The heat deaths can be regional as well as national. There are methods to extract accurate counts, but, may need investigation into when and how death certificates are recorded.

Many factors (click here) can influence the nature, extent, and timing of health consequences associated with extreme heat events. 12 Studies of heat waves are one way to better understand health impacts, but different methods can lead to very different estimates of heat-related deaths. For example, during a severe heat wave that hit Chicago* between July 11 and July 27, 1995, 465 heat-related deaths were recorded on death certificates in Cook County. 13 However, studies that compared the total number of deaths during this heat wave (regardless of the recorded cause of death) with the long-term average of daily deaths found that the heat wave likely led to about 700 more deaths than would otherwise have been expected. 14 Differences in estimated heat-related deaths that result from different methods may be even larger when considering the entire nation and longer time periods.

The safety standards should have been enacted when the Arab Coalition started their campaign. Why was there none then?

October 12, 2015

Berlin (AP) " The European Aviation Safety Agency (click here) has issued a safety bulletin to airlines and authorities regarding Iranian and Iraqi airspace after Russian warships in the Caspian Sea last week fired cruise missiles toward Syria.
EASA said in a bulletin dated Friday that "before reaching Syria, such missiles are necessarily crossing the airspace above (the) Caspian Sea, Iran and Iraq, below flight routes" used by commercial aircraft.
The agency says it has no specific recommendations at this point and was issuing the bulletin to inform airspace users about the potential hazard. EASA said it will be amended "if more specific information is received" about the situation.
Russia said on Wednesday that it was using warships in the Caspian Sea to target the Islamic State group in Syria.

Everyone knew about the air, land and water pollution, but, deaths?

Typical to the petroleum industry, they keep employees to a minimum. 


The petroleum industry steers away from government interaction at every turn. They do not want to be involved with government because any Washington administrations such as the Obama Administration will cost them money. Money from fines and money to support employee safety.

The petroleum industry ALWAYS hires contractors to eliminate the authority of OSHA over oilfield operations. So, they pay poorly, some contractors are in poverty because of the pay rates of the industry and the contractors take on enormous danger in their earnings. 

The contractors have a great deal of expenses. Their take home pay is far less than anyone could imagine. Now. They are dying in Dakota.

May 18, 2015
Dustin Bergsing was 21 years old (click here) when he was overcome by noxious fumes while working the overnight shift at a North Dakota oil well site. He was found dead just after midnight on Jan. 7, 2012.
For oil field workers, this is an all too familiar story. And for Todd Melby, the reporter and producer of "Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota, it was one he couldn't ignore.
More than 50 men have died in the North Dakota oil fields since 2008, Melby said, and each time the newspaper reports follow the same short format: name, age, cause of death. After a year of reading these notices while producing "Black Gold Boom," Melby decided to investigate further.
His new interactive documentary, "Oil To Die For," explores how North Dakota became the most dangerous place to work in the country. "The fatality rates are nearly seven times as high as fields in the rest of America," said Melby.
In the documentary's interactive format, users can watch interviews, access court documents and move through the story at their own speed. The project shows the human toll of the oil boom....
October 13, 2013

Paris (AP) " Lawyers for a Kazakh banker (click here) turned dissident accused of embezzling billions say they will appeal a French extradition order that would send him to Russia to face justice.

Mukhtar Ablyazov's legal saga began in 2001 and spans several countries, most recently France where he was arrested more than two years ago. He has fought extradition to Russia, which claims its citizens were defrauded in the collapse of the now-nationalized bank, BTA.

His lawyers on Monday disclosed France's extradition order and promised an appeal. BTA said the extradition order was an essential step in recovering the missing money.

Ablyazov, a former Kazakh energy minister, turned against longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev and founded an opposition party. His lawyers say they fear Russia will hand him over to Nazarbayev.

He has his own website (click here).

Get the feeling he is guilty when he sold his mansion? (click here) Nothing like saying "Honey, I'm home." 

Maybe France should work out a trade for a Russian citizen with an affection for radiation poisoning?

July 29, 2015
Fugitive Kazakh tycoon Mukhtar Ablyazov's (click here) brother-in-law, Syrym Shalabaev, has been detained in Vilnius.
Media in Lithuania quoted the chief of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau, Rolandas Kiskis, as saying that Shalabaev was detained on July 28 and his possible arrest and extradition will be decided by a court.
Shalabaev is a brother of Alma Shalabaeva, who is the wife of former Kazakh banker and opposition figure Ablyazov.
Ablyazov is currently in French custody fighting a French court's ruling to extradite him to Russia....
Does Afghanistan want to get rid of the Taliban once and for all? Yes? Ask Malala to begin a movement in Afghanistan. The Taliban will finally go home to a life with a wife. The Taliban really don't want the violence. They were molded by Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Afghanistan needs a new reality for their girls. The potential for expanding the brain trust is endless. 

Malala does not have to go to Afghanistan, she just needs a "Fan Club."

Stike Two !

The USA has too much of a military footprint in Afghanistan.

October 12, 2015
By Alan Gomez

A coalition helicopter crashed (click here) in the Afghan capital of Kabul Sunday, killing five and injuring five in the latest mass casualty event in the country in recent weeks. Two American troops were among the dead.
Two British servicemembers and a French civilian contractor also died in what the NATO-led military mission described as a "non-hostile incident." The crash involving a British Puma Mk 2 helicopter happened at 4:15 p.m. local time at Camp Resolute Support in Kabul and an investigation is underway. .
"We're deeply saddened by the loss of our teammates," said U.S. Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, military communications chief in Afghanistan. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected in this tragic incident and we pray for the full recovery of the injured."...

Before "The Fed" changes anything there will be a complete analysis of the most recent currency manipulation by China.

October 13, 2015

New York (AP) " A survey of business economists (click here) finds that a majority still expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before the end of the year, with the broader economy expected to grow at a slightly faster pace in 2015 than previously forecast.

Economists now expect the gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, to rise 2.5 percent for the year, according to the survey by the National Association for Business Economics. That's up from the previous forecast of 2.4 percent in June.

The uptick is the result of a stronger-than-expected growth in the first half of the year, however. For the remainder of the year, economists lowered their forecast.

For 2016, the economists also lowered their forecast to growth of 2.7 percent, down from their prediction of 2.9 percent growth in June. The survey was based on forecasts by 50 economists and was conducted Sept. 16 to 23.

Panelists continue to expect the strong U.S. dollar and the economic slowdown in China to weigh on the U.S. economy, while lower crude oil prices and monetary policy easing in Japan and Europe are expected to help....

I stated China uses their currency as a national defense strategy. It does the same for an old friend.

The statement (click here) by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on 22 December 2014:  “If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity” – is a clear testimony that Russia and China have entered into an economic alliance which will be stronger than the incessant ruble and petrol devaluation manipulations by Washington, aided by the European puppets.

China, leading member of the BRICS, is lining up the bloc of the BRICS and that of the SCO – and their currencies – to support Russia in need. Currency swaps between Russia (ruble) and China (yuan) for an initial US$ 25 billion equivalent have already been implemented, to allow direct transactions between the two countries. Similar swaps are under way between China and Russia with other countries, primarily the BRICS and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) members – including the soon to become new members – Iran, Pakistan, India (also a BRICS member) and Mongolia – and possibly in some not too distant future also strategically located NATO member Turkey....

Rarely is China and Russia spoken of together in the same breath. It is error to ignore the strong ties these two countries have. In the article below is a time line previous to September 11, 2001. It reveals a strategic relationship

The third quarter (click here) began with the signing of a historic friendship treaty between Russia and China that was inspired, at least partiall y, because of their difficult relations with Washington in the post-Cold War years. But, the quarter’s end, however, both Moscow and Beijing found their foreign policy priorities significantly altered by the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11. Russia and China are now faced with the possibility of a strategic plunge by the world’s sole superpower into their highly volatile and sensitive “backyard.” Indeed, the Sino- Russian friendship treaty and the Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO) – the two pillars of Moscow and Beijing’s regional foreign and security policies – are subject to severe test by a fat changing security environment at both the global and regional levels....

I think it is fairly obvious the USA's relationship with China does not stand alone. China will never sign onto TPP. It is one with Russia in a strategic posture to balance the impact of The West.

That is simply a fact. The geo-political relationship between two of the permanent members of the UN Security Council is a fact of life. I think China proved to be a formidable ally in the rest currency adjustment that caused Wall Street spasms for a few days.

Got that? China or Russia are not readily at the mercy of The West. Consider that reality law. 

June 4, 2014
By Michael Pizzi

...“There is no reason (click here)  why you have to settle trade you do with Japan in dollars,” another Russian head of a large European Bank told the Financial Times. “There is nothing wrong with Russia trying to reduce its dependency on the dollar; actually, it is an entirely reasonable thing to do.”...
"Morning Papers"

The Rooster 


Tomorrow night might change all this. (click here)

"Good Night, Moon"

New Moon

28.7 days old

0.7 percent lit 

Most folks that want to see Mars inhabited would be hoping for this type of outcome.

Vol. 350 no. 6257 p. 167
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0902 

Marjorie A. Chan 

The martian lake chronicles (click here) 

Ray Bradbury's science-fictional archaeologist character, Hinkston, in The Martian Chronicles, thought: “Well, I think I'd rearrange the civilization on Mars so it resembled Earth more and more each day. If there was any way of reproducing every plant, every road, and every lake, and even an ocean, I'd do so. Then by some vast crowd hypnosis I'd convince everyone in a town this size that this really was Earth, not Mars at all.” Hinkston may have his way without the need for hypnosis, because the latest discoveries on Mars geology, reported in this issue on page 10.1126/science.aac7575 by Grotzinger et al. (1), reveal records of lakes and other environments that remarkably resemble Earth. These findings provide “a good read” through the stratigraphic record of Mars, with tales of moving sand and pebble grains from ancient rivers to past lakes.... 

But, reality is very different. Don't expect the bacteria entered into Mar's climate to remain the same either. I saw the movie "Martian" (click here). NASA has lessons on where Matt Damon was left behind (click here) And while all this is a lot of fun, the habitats and vehicles are some very expensive items. Why doesn't NASA come up with a fictitious budget for "Martian" homeland. I would really like to see that.

October 11, 2015
By Nicola Twilley

...NASA had an answer for that one, too. (click here) “We know there’s life on Mars already because we sent it there,” John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate, said during a press conference on Monday. It is a Faustian condition of space exploration that we cannot search for life on alien planets without bringing along very small amounts of very small Earth life. This process is known as forward contamination, and minimizing, if not preventing, its occurrence is the responsibility of Cassie Conley, a plant biologist who has served as NASA’s planetary-protection officer since 2006. “It’s basic common sense,” Conley told me. “We have to be careful not to blind ourselves with Earth life, the same way you can’t see the stars when the sun is out.”

In an ideal universe, the crewless spacecraft that we send to Mars would be sterile. (Humans are, by definition, contaminants.) In reality, for both technical and economic reasons, they are not. Rather, they are cleaned up enough to satisfy the Committee on Space Research, the international body that sets the ground rules for extraterrestrial exploration. The relevant COSPAR standard was conceived back in the nineteen-fifties, and it relies on an estimate of how likely Earth organisms are to survive on Mars. But, given how little scientists knew about conditions on the red planet at the time, Conley said, it “was pretty much a case of sticking their fingers in the air and saying ‘Hmmm.’ ” Still, the discussions were contentious, and they dragged on for more than a decade. Eventually, the committee settled on what it considered an acceptable level of contamination risk: one in a thousand. In other words, humanity must limit itself to one chance in a thousand of seeding another planet with terrestrial life in the course of exploring it....