Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The people of Syria need relief from war.

UN spokeswoman (click here) puts estimate at around 35,000 people as US and Russia announce ‘memorandum of understanding’ to ensure air safety.

20 October 2015

Tens of thousands (click here) have fled new regime offensives in Syria, according to the UN, as the total number of casualties from Russian airstrikes so far was reported to have reached 370, many of them civilians.
With the Russian bombing campaign now in its fourth week, Moscow and Washington announced on Tuesday that they had agreed to measures to ensure air safety over Syria, where a US-led coalition is also carrying out strikes.
The exodus was focused south of second city Aleppo, one of five areas where loyalist forces have launched offensives since Russia began its air war on 30 September.
“Around 35,000 people are reported to have been displaced from ... the south-western outskirts of Aleppo city, following government offensives,” said Vanessa Huguenin, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs....

As major powers in the world move together against Daesh as a common enemy one thing has to be realized about President Assad.

One of the reasons President Assad was facing civil war is because of the unequal ethnic distribution through Syria. There was oppression, but, it can be said Syria was oppressed as well. Syria lacked a strong conventional military and fell into the use of chemical weapons for lack of the ability to do otherwise. That can't happen anymore. Chlorine is not a good defense of any government. 

President Assad ruled the coastal area of Syria where the Alwites lived. I can understand that and I can understand how Assad has a mission for Hezbollah as well, but, that has to end. Syria has to be stabilized. The Syrian people need to come home. 


There needs to be infrastructure projects that build dams and provide irrigation to farmlands. 

But, President Assad has to come to terms of the incredible diversity of people that call Syria home. Oppression is not an answer. Setting up the Shia Crescent for chronic battles in order for the Shia to survive is completely wrong.

This is a premature discussion, but, Russia knows in order to have a strong stable government there has to be satisfactory lives for all those that live in Syria. Once there is stability in Syria, Russia and the UN have to engage in discussions that will bring about an inclusive government for Syria. If that doesn't happen Syria will repeat it's mistake and no one wants that.

It matters who is in the White House.

Representative King is stuck in rhetoric about the attacks of September 11, 2001. The attacks of September 11th have enjoyed toxic rhetoric for so long the politicians can't find their way out of it.

"The German Cell." That isn't the correct name. ????? The Hamburg Cell. It consisted of ten men, all were Arabs. All were involved in the September 11th attacks. The Hamburg Cell was known two full years before the attacks on Lower Manhattan.

Germany told the USA about the frequent trips by Atta to the USA. It was Atta that was in Lower Manhattan before the attacks taking information about GPS. There was a lot of information that the USA intelligence were aware of. Add Moussaoui to that common knowledge about The Hamburg Cell and what have ya got? A direct route to the September 11, 2001 attacks. There are FBI that states that as well. 

OBVIOUSLY, the Bush executive branch was oppressing any confrontation of the evidence for their own reasons. Cheney. He completely obstructed Senator Feinstein in her attempts to move the knowledge of the attacks into urgency.

It is all there. The rhetoric was used for a successful re-election and has been the bastion of the GOP ever since. It will take a long time to dissolve it.

If this really is going to be a dialogue to clear up the mess, there are members of the Bush White House that stated when there was a meeting regarding counter terrorism on September 12th, Bush and Rumsfeld wanted Saddam implicated. Rumsfeld's cabal didn't care about the attacks into lower Manhattan. And in a way the rhetoric has to be cleared up otherwise the USA will be at risk all over again. 

No one involved with the truth regarding September 11, 2001 are scared of the foot stampings, name calling or slanderous politics. Most everyone interested in the truth are great Americans. The truth can't be denied. This is NOT simply a strange cartoon paradigm. It is real and real people in power know the truth.

I strongly agree with US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in ending the ideology of arming Syrian rebels.

April 10, 2015
By Kathy Ehrich Dowd

In an outdoor affair (click here) that concluded as the sun was setting behind the mountains on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard wed cinematographer Abraham Williams Thursday in a Vedic ceremony that the bride deemed "literally just perfect."

"It was a deeply spiritual, traditional ceremony that held great meaning for Abraham and I," Gabbard, the only Hindu member of Congress, tells PEOPLE the morning after the wedding. "It brought all the important elements of our life together."

"It really was a Hawaiian-style Hindu wedding, from the palm trees to birds of paradise flowers, to the birds chirping in the background," she also says while en route to a yoga session with friends who had flown in for the wedding....

Rep. Gabbard is absolutely correct in that the attempt for a Free Syrian Army while admirable in ideology, is failed due to the inability of candidates for the army unable to pass vetting. 

Most major powers in the world have a common enemy and that is Daesh. Europe, Russia, China, Middle East allies of the USA and the USA through any domestic terrorism. Add to that list Australia who saw significant violence within it's own domestic terrorism due to Daesh. It is vital Daesh is defeated and stability in Syria is returned. 

North Africa is beginning to stabilize. The credit for that is the new democracy in Tunisia and a return of stability and strength in Egypt. Saudi Arabia is a strong country and the uprisings in Yemen were badly timed. If the Houthis wanted to combat human rights abuses by the then Yemen government, the United Nations is the place for that. 

Over throwing a government with extreme instability in Syria and Iraq due to out of control Ba'athists known as Daesh was a really bad idea. Iran has to remind it's crescent diaspora the United Nation's is the first venue of unrest before any arms are taken up against anyone. Without the recognition of the global community any uprisings are mostly viewed as terrorist rather than grievances of a population of Shia.

Iran has a profound responsibility with it's diaspora. The plight of the Shia in the crescent has to be recognized in search of human rights and viewed as a people and not terrorist organizations. If Iran cannot find a way to address the United Nations about it's diaspora, who will? It is important to bring them out of the shadows of violence to people with a right to exist and prosper. 

If I recall it was only a short time ago that Russia stated to Iran all the extremism needs to stop. Iran has a friend that is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and together they can find a way to address the crescent. But, for now the major powers have their hands full and while the Shia Crescent needs recognition, without addressing Daesh first, there may be no Shia Crescent to recognize.

When do the other Republican candidates get equal time as a Bush?

I don't see Donald Trump, Marko Rubio, Chris Christi, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasick, Mike Huckabee or the others being given an Op-Ed in rebuttal of this opinion. Believe me they have plenty room to make a good point.

October 20, 2015

In the latest episode (click here) of the reality show that is Donald Trump’s campaign, he has blamed my brother for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation. That Trump echoes the attacks of Michael Moore and the fringe Left against my brother is yet another example of his dangerous views on national-security issues.
This is a man who has previously stated he would prefer Hillary Clinton had led negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has expressed a willingness to allow Vladimir Putin to dominate the Middle East by aligning with Iran and propping up the ruthless Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad — an action that would only worsen the existing refugee crisis and endanger our national-security interests and those of Israel. And he has been ignorant and dismissive of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations, saying that we shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan to hunt al-Qaeda and end the safe haven for terror provided by the Taliban, only to retreat from that stance this week....

Bush is an empty suit with a rubber stamp. OMG, he still hates "Fahrenheit 911."

It must be Bush Brother animosity. Anything else is the problem except their abuse of power. Come on Jebby, say you never abused power as Governor of Florida when your Secretary of State disentranced Southern Florida in the elections of 2000. 

Oh, wait. Jebby had NOTHING to do with it.

That is not what Fahrenheit 911 is about. 911 is about the downed Towers in Lower Manhattan and a war that was never fought while subverted into Iraq for "W"'s own ideology. Fahrenheit 911 didn't address the war into Afghanistan. So, it is just pure hate of people that see the world differently. That is a shame.

Entitlement must be a bitch.

Here is a question for you, JEB!, Where is material production of U-235 in the USA? And why is U-235 used instead of U-238?

The fact of the matter is, other than President Obama and Dr. Moritz, there are very few Presidents that understand the USA military programs. So, while Jebby has advisors approved by Daddy, his actual working knowledge of the USA military is rudimentary at best. He just has to put on a good show, just like "W."

A study that explores "The Village Dog."

This is a fun study. It is sort of similar to the DNA footprint of humans. Dogs have been partners in survival in human history since the extinction of dinosaurs.

As a side note, I once had a Doberman who was a dream of a pet. Gretal came from a wonderful kennel in Pennsylvania called Kimbertal Kennels. We chose them because of their strong breed heritage to it's original German origins. But, what is sincerely interesting and could be a class trip for local schools, is the rescue effort they conduct for wolves (click here).

But, the idea of 'The Village Dog" is a tribute to the relationship people have had with dogs. There is the idea there are climates that are more kind to specific breeds, but, dogs adapt, too. 

The real reason I find the study interesting is because in the past decade there has been exploration into hybrid vigor as families look for a great pet for their children. 

This great dog, to the right, is an Aussie Labradoodle. It is a hybrid cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Poodles are really smart and Labradors have great temperaments. The cross produces a dog with a happy heart. 

They have proven for at least ten years they are successful in preserving the best quality of the breed when two Labradoodles are parents.  

There is an interesting genetic side effect in litters of this new hybrid. Poodles have several sizes recognized by the American Kennel Society. Well, it works out that one litter of Labradoodles can have puppies that grow to be either small, medium or large. 

Now that was some time ago and I know the breeders of this dog want to standardize the breed to present it to the AKA for recognition. I don't think they have gotten close yet. But, they are great dogs and they are good family pets and one breeder can cater to families that want a small, medium or large dog.

"The Village Dog" takes a peak at the basis of dog breeds and how they adapted to their climate and food source. So, the question that comes to mind, is will this study prove to add more insight into hybrids that can be great pets, too?

Dogs (click here) were the first domesticated species, but the precise timing and location of domestication are hotly debated. Using genomic data from 5,392 dogs, including a global set of 549 village dogs, we find strong evidence that dogs were domesticated in Central Asia, perhaps near present-day Nepal and Mongolia. Dogs in nearby regions (e.g., East Asia, India, and Southwest Asia) contain high levels of genetic diversity due to their proximity to Central Asia and large population sizes. Indigenous dog populations in the Neotropics and South Pacific have been largely replaced by European dogs, whereas those in Africa show varying degrees of European vs. indigenous African ancestry.

Please be safe. Make sure the Christmas trip to "Star Wars" happens to the best outcomes of everyone. Talk to firemen.

Safety from fires in the face of smoke alarms no longer exist because of the poor quality of housing. Not the availability. But, the lack of regulation to insure a house won't kill it's occupants. Why buy a new home?

Substandard building codes. I am sure any builders organization explains away the need for quality standards SINCE everyone has a smoke alarm after all.

February 23, 2015

Tina Ware (click here) woke up early that morning to the sound of her smoke alarm.
She had no idea how fast the fire would grow. Sparked by a faulty plug in another room, flames spread quickly, filling the house with smoke. “It was so thick,” she says. “We were coughing — you couldn’t breathe.” It was clear she had to get the kids to safety. “It was panic. We didn’t know what to do,” she says. “We had to get out of there.” She and her family escaped into the chilly February air, only to watch their 15-year-old home in Church Hill, Tenn., go up in flames....

Local firemen and their unions when they have them can speak to citizens regarding what matters in having strong and effective building codes. There are cities and towns across the USA that still have a volunteer fire department. They have moral character to be respected.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) (click here) and our National Fire Academy (NFA) are working to advance the professional status and expand the knowledge and skills of fire and emergency services personnel. Our free training and education programs support fire departments and emergency services organizations in preparing for, preventing and responding to fires and other hazards....

Here is a good laugh for everyone. The petroleum industry wants President Obama to write an Executive Order to remove the ban on oil exports.

The Undocumented can't move forward under the President's Executive Orders, but, the petroleum industry should have the right to completely crash the oil market. Amazing.

They don't learn. I don't know if it's methane gas with the profound effect of diminished capacity or what the problem is, but, the petroleum industry expects Americans to be as stupid as they are.

July 7, 2015
By John Sicilano

Oil producers are pressing President Obama (click here) to use his executive authority to lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, which would not require the approval of Congress.
Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, sent a letter to the president on Tuesday asking him to adjust the export control measure and open up a new global market for U.S. crude oil.
"To continue growing as an energy superpower, America must have policies that reflect modern energy markets, rather than policies based on a market that existed in the 1970s," Russell said. "Current law provides authority to the administration to approve oil exports without requiring any action from Congress."...

This is an article from Christmas 2012. North Dakota was undergoing an increase in population with lower unemployment and immigration of average Americans into the state for employment. 

December 20, 2012
By Ben Casselman 

Unemployment in the U. S., at 7.7%, remains high. (click here) Unemployment in North Dakota, at 3.1%, is about as close to zero as a state ever gets. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that people are moving there in droves.

North Dakota’s population grew by 2.17% between July 2011 and July 2012, making it the fastest growing U. S. state, according to new Census Bureau data released today.

The rapid growth is a big turnaround for North Dakota, which was just the 37th-fastest growing state between 2000 and 2010. But by last year, its growth had picked up to make it the sixth fastest. This year, it wasn’t even close; no other state grew by even 2%....

It is true that couples will grow families when times are good.  But, in this case I am confident the population growth has slowed in North Dakota with the failure of the petroleum industry. There have been layoffs with the collapse of oil prices in the commodities market.

Now, considering by now the people are impoverished and winter is coming; what are they going to do when there aren't food stamps, heating subsidies and housing vouchers? What are those wonderful families who settled in North Dakota and went into debt with their new found fortunes with the complete trust in believing their future was set for a long time? What are they going to do? 

The blatant foolishness of the petroleum industry in the USA should be a best seller on a bookshelf. And what would make it a real phenomena is the inclusion of the equally foolish Republicans that pandered to their every breath and word.

I think I posted the deaths occurring in North Dakota on the oilfields. Young men with or without families are perfectly healthy when they report for work and after a few hours at work succumb to fumes and are found dead.

I have been of the generation raised by men who fought on the Korean Peninsula, used the GI bill to buy a home for his family and worked proudly as a union member. Those men believed in PROTECTIONS. They believed in the protections the government, primarily the federal government, could provide to them and in turn their families. 

This 'age of human exploitation' in the USA is disgusting. It is completely disgusting to me. We have families called "The Working Poor." What? This is America? It sure isn't mine. I think I rode the wave of good paying jobs with benefits provided by employers that provided a single parent family a real life in a democracy we loved.

The Millennials found it necessary to organize a movement called "Occupy Wall Street." An entire generation of Americans dropped in life without a safety net or a future while the economy was supported by their student loans and high hopes for their education.  

What happened to my country? Everywhere I look these days I find reasons to find fault with the USA. Victimization of citizens in their RIGHTS is a complete abhorrence to me. 

Prolonged and meaningless wars, for what? 

The political extremists in the USA holding on to the OLD COATTAILS of Wall  Street while allies go forward with the hopes of their people for a moral life including that of a heating planet. To have scientists scoffed at while historically violent weather destroys homes and lives is alien to me. My life dictates my country is moral and strives to 'set the leading edge' of what is moral and best in this world. 

I'm tired of the old Republican paradigm that says wars are good and high profits of companies at the cost of American health, well being and hopes is the best of all worlds.

And to think the petroleum industry with it's imploding market would actually want a USA President to insure their demise for short sightedness or what? Why would an industry slated for extinction actually see their own demise as manageable? 

There are no more morals in the USA. This is a prime example. 

NYC Police Commissioner Bratton is an innovator. He has stood by the laws while pointing to wrongful actions of police.

It is absolutely hideous to listen to Senate Republicans talking about public safety in committee hearings when it comes to sentencing guidelines while completely ignoring the fact they don't regulate guns. Wow.

I thought Senator Cornyn made a valuable contribution in noting prisoners released from Texas prisons do so with marketable skills. 

Sorry, I have a very difficult time taking seriously those that want to continue to imprison people because it is a less costly alternative to crime in society. Also, the people calling for continued imprisonment as a means to making the American street safer, have no priority to gun control. Call me crazy but I do believe the two go together. 

I realize the prisoner release is focused on non-violent offenders. I can't help but wonder what these former prisoners find interesting about the violent culture they now call home. Then there is the realization of the "Dead Black Man Culture" resulting in incarceration of police. I am fairly sure they are at confused by the juxtaposition of police and law in the year 2015.

What also comes to mind is the return of voting rights to those released. The current change in law does not change the reality these former prisoners will not have their voting rights returned to them necessarily.

October 16, 2015
By Mark Kennedy
New York (AP) — The New York City Police Department (click here) is turning to a new tool in its effort to teach its future officers about tolerance and understanding — drama.
The city's Police Academy has added the one-act play "Anne & Emmett" by Janet Langhart Cohen to its recruit training this fall. The play is an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank, who died in a Nazi concentration camp, and Emmett Till, who was killed by racists in Mississippi in 1955.
The play will be performed for some 1,100 recruits at their academy in Queens over two performances on Thursday, part of a push by the department to prepare future police officers to overcome community mistrust and their own bias.
"Sometimes you can't get it in a text book. Sometimes you can't get it in a lecture. But you can get it when human emotions are played live on the stage and that humanity can connect," Cohen said Friday.
"If the play can reach one man or woman with a badge and a gun, I'm happy. Their training can take them only so far. The body cams will only cover so much. At some point, I'm hoping their humanity will kick in and hopefully this play with revive that humanity."...

Sensitivity training is part of the issues facing police today, but, it is not a 100 percent fix. I think there is a great deal of concern for the prisoner releases. We are asking a lot of our police who serve and protect the public. They are fair demands of the police and their unions should be looking to education as a way of supporting there members as the country moves forward with better sentencing laws.

In the case of New York City, I would expect police and even fire personnel union leadership to be in touch with Commissioner Bratton to find ways to serve the best interest of their members and the public. Unlawful deaths of citizens of any race does not make for a public willing to consider their police as vital members of the community. The unions need to move into a less confrontation profile to one concerned for the community as well.

Typical. Reagan Republicans chronically want the USA to be turned into a business. This time it is the Strategic Energy Reserve.

Congress is completely obtunded to reality. There was a time in the USA when people elected to office wanted to know the FACTS and act on them rather than giving a 95 percent priority to political funding parties.

To begin there is no reason to sell the Strategic Energy Reserves to fund the USA budget.  Funding short falls can be realized by ending the bloated OCO funds and returning it to an Executive Branch budget.

Secondly, there are several reasons to uphold the US Oil Export Ban. Does the USA actually appreciate the relationship it has with other countries that do export oil? Or is the idea of the USA exportation of oil to further degrade any fiscal stability of Russia? Because further degrading of the global oil markets hits many more countries than Russia. As a matter of fact there are USA allies that are densely dependent on that oil market such as Norway and the Netherlands that offshore oil in the North Atlantic.

The USA Congress is on an all time high to pander to the petroleum industry before their dual house majority fades away. That is cronyism. There is no need for the USA to export oil or any other petroleum product. There is less and less demand for petroleum/fossil fuel energy every day. It is by far the worst time to allow oil exports from the USA. It would only serve to completely destroy the global oil markets. It is hideous. The export ban would serve to completely fail any of it's purpose. If the idea is to support jobs and pay for the national budget that is completely absurd. 

July 23, 2015
By Timothy Gardner

...Furthermore, (click here) a 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports has already helped lead to a domestic oil glut, pushing down U.S. prices to more than $6 per barrel lower than the global Brent benchmark .
"Tapping the SPR and not allowing exports of domestic oil would be a catastrophe," said Amy Myers Jaffe, head of Energy and Sustainability at the University of California at Davis, and a consultant who advises governments on energy. "Oil would be trapped here and you'd hurt domestic production." Selling oil to raise cash for projects unrelated to bolstering energy security also has stiff opponents in Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate energy committee. It is uncertain whether the drugs bill and the highway bill will pass both chambers of Congress, but idea of tapping the SPR is unlikely to fade....

It isn't enough to have the oil market glut occur while the petroleum industry financed it's greed in North Dakota by 90% of it's projected income. The projected income was a completely idiotic estimate. Now the USA petroleum industry is failing and the banks bought into the idea they would be bailed out when such things as the oil export ban was upheld.


The banks may very well have to eat this one. And why? Because they didn't learn the from 2008. 

Banks don't understand or are selective in their understanding of what supply and demand does to a product? Is the idea that the 'buy-hold-sell' of Wall Street is short sighted is more than obvious. There is no reliable expertise in the global financial markets as evidenced by the oil markets and the greed merchants of the American petroleum industry.

The winters of the USA require the strategic oil reserve be maintained intact and perhaps expanded. This while the expansion of alternative energies are being built as quickly as possible to bring a reasonable solution to the demand of the American people. Did the strategic energy reserve ever picture being needed to the point of protecting the people from freezing to death? Of course, that doesn't occur to Republicans. Republicans only react to the dangers of living in America due to the climate crisis until the dramatic damages are done and the deaths counted. Then there is that very sad "State of Emergency" that requires federal monies. 

Decades of neglect by the Republicans and their pandering to their cronies have brought the American people to the point where tragedy is served up daily. If it isn't heat, drought and water rationing, it is freezing temperatures and failing infrastructure that requires snow trucks to dump the snow into the Atlantic. The gross negligence of the Republican Party and now it's majorities is immoral and a complete pander to the petroleum industry.

I'll end this with a picture all too real to the obtunded rule of Reagan Republicans. 

Here we do again with the Republicans UNABLE to grow the USA economy except for oil world ideas. I don't think so.


Space exploration had a great day.

President Obama hosted 300 students, 11 astronauts and Bill Nye at the White House for the second Astronomy Night. Among the students was Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas boy whose clock project was mistaken for a bomb. WBIR

This study reflects on the future of nuclear technology post Fukushima Daiichi.

It is worth reading, because, the public opinion globally of nuclear energy has changed with the exception of countries such as Iran. The public matters. Republican legislators like to claim there are jobs in every aspect of energy and it should be exploited to the maximum. That is counter culture to the American public. I think it is time the American Public's opinion matters and the end of cronyism brought to reality.
Anticipating the future (click here) is difficult in any situation, but assessing the prospects for nuclear power in the next fifty years presents especially complex challenges. The public perception of nuclear power has changed and continues to change. Once viewed as a miracle of modern technology, nuclear power came to be perceived by many as a potential catastrophe; now it is viewed as a potential, albeit potentially still dangerous, source of green power. Conventional wisdom in the 1960s held that nuclear power could dominate the electricity sectors of developed countries, while less than twenty years later, many predicted the complete demise of the U.S. nuclear industry following the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. Yet neither attitude fully forecast the situation today: a nuclear industry that is not dominant, but is far from dead. Indeed, the history of long-range planning for nuclear power serves as a caution for anyone wishing to make predictions about the state of the industry over the next half-century. Nonetheless, it is critical to assess its role in the future energy mix: decisions taken now will impact the energy sector for many years. This assessment requires both a review of past planning strategies and a new approach that considers alternate scenarios that may differ radically from business as usual....

Any nuclear contamination site should receive priority.

I am sure Senator Brown of Ohio can provide help in continuity with employment of workers and accomplish completion of this important mission.

July 11, 2014

...“We recently received correspondence from workers (click here) at the site and local community leaders expressing concern with the funding situation for the project,” the senators wrote. “They indicated they have been told that WARN Act notices could shortly be issued to employees at the site due to a lack of funds. We find these rumors incredibly disturbing because Congress provided DOE the funds it requested for Fiscal Year 2014.”...

With the understanding there will be a completed mission to remove nuclear contamination, the reclamation of the land depends on the level of radiation that may still be evident even after the clean up. My concern is the clean up is driven by reclamation and not safety. Reclamation should not be the first promise regarding these sites.

Why Russia, Mr. McCain?

20 October 2015

After securing a beachhead in Syria, (click here) the terrorists wish to destabilize whole new regions, widen their expansion and recruit more fighters, including from Russia and former Soviet republics, the Russian president said at a meeting with the country's military top brass.
The extremists from the Middle East “have been recruiting militants and continue doing so in many countries, unfortunately including Russia and CIS countries,” Vladimir Putin said, adding that Moscow launched its air operation in Syria as a preventive action against Islamic State extremists....

Russia is more of an ally, than it ever is not.

The countries not part of NATO need the oversight of an ally that seeks to protect their borders and their people. Where The West leaves off Russia is always waiting in the wings. It is the way the world works.  

August 14, 2014
By Juan Cole
The list of powers eager to see Daesh Iclick here) (what Arabs call ISIS or ISIL) defeated grew larger this weekend with a report in the Financial Times that Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim Jaafari received a pledge from his counterpart Wang Yi that China would intervene against Daesh from the air. It was not clear whether China was offering to fly fighter jets or just programmed missile strikes....

Rarely does the global community find China involved in any military effort, except, perhaps in the Pacific. But, Daesh is a global threat and China has no taste for a civil war.


Steven Spielberg loves Christmas.

He likes to add dimension to being a kid at a special time of year and he is doing it again with Star Wars, The Force Awakens.

He is ingrained in the American fantasy culture and we love it. 

He released his tour of history with War Horse on Christmas, too.

SuperPacs are created as a business, a very nice business and not necessarily a political standard.

There is some talk about Donald Trump speaking to acquaintances about a SuperPAC while he was deciding his run for President. The argument is that Donald Trump's brand is self-funded.

He is self funded. He has an election organization that accepts donors because people like to contribute to candidates. It is all a very smart strategy to win. As far as a conversation about a SuperPAC before his announcement, what else is new? He would be a fool not to discuss the issue with people important to him. But, I think his reasoning as I understand it was to allow an official PAC to exist to allow people a channel for monies rather than allowing free lancing organizations to taint his political image.

It is reasonable to believe every candidate at some point in their announcement process will be talking to people that want to form a SuperPAC in their name. I think it was Bush this time that was called out on his fundraising while not yet announced. Donald Trump didn't do any of that.

PACs are very nice businesses. They have lots of money for lots of fun. I think they are among the worst aspects of politics and provide no benefit to the truth. Basically, the message I think political PACs carry is ruthlessness. They'll do anything to get their point or political leanings across. They do this without the benefit of a candidates' input while holding a degree of dignity, ie: the Swift Boaters which somehow "W" could not bring himself to rein in for the lies they told. 

So, when it comes to saying Donald Trump is a phony and isn't financing his own run or is pure in seeking to protect the loyalty to his constituents; perhaps the word isn't purity, but, legal and untarnished. Donald Trump has run a legal campaign for the nomination and has primarily sponsored himself in that run. I don't think the jet donates it's own fuel, does it? 

April 15, 2014
By Julie Patel

...Fewer than one in seven of the roughly 300 super PACs (click here) and “hybrid” PACs that spent money in 2013 put funds toward calling for the election or defeat of a federal candidate, according to the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis of recent FEC filings.

That was one in seven appropriated their funds for the election or defeat of.

Given that 2013 was not a regular election year, it's not surprising that super PACs weren't out buying ads. But critics say the groups could have used 2013 to stockpile cash ahead of midterm elections this November. Instead, they collectively burned through more than half of the $143 million they raised last year. Nearly two-thirds of super PACs and hybrid PACs spent more than they saved.

Many of these committees operated as piggy banks for golf expenses and steakhouse soirees or vehicles for filling the bank accounts of consulting firms and super PAC executives. Others have grown so big and sophisticated that they operate more like political party committees than independent outfits....