Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It is time to end the poverty in Cuba with opportunity for business growth and tourism.

Before Sandy became Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it was Hurricane Sandy. 

Off topic, NASA has an incredible file on Sandy (click here) if anyone is interested.

Cuba received winds and rains from that hurricane. The rain fell in Cuba at a maximum of 40 mm or one and a half inches per hour. 

The Cuban people are regularly in the path of such storms. They don't necessarily get loans from FEMA. They have to live the best they can and move forward to better repairs as the government can carry them out.

The Cuban people need an economy that brings them out of poverty and into a 21st century country of opportunity. The oppression by the USA to force Cuba to change their policies regarding prisoners and otherwise has not worked. The Cuban people do not have the power to change their country's path. It is time to get out of the way of unproductive policies and improve the opportunity for the people's quality of life.

I know there are issues. President Obama knows there are issues. As Americans we continue to work on them. 

Below is a short film that shows the outcome of Hurricane Sandy and Sandy was mild for a hurricane when it hit Cuba. Do we really want to continue to punish the people for power they do not have? I think it is immoral to continue on that path.

The Republicans need to stop complaining and do something for the people of Cuba, including the people that live in Guantanamo.

One more Republican Assault against higher education in the USA. Amazing.

Alternative Crediting Model

Marco Rubio wants to call the current college accrediting bureaus a monopoly. Is everything the Republicans talk about a business?

There always has been alternative crediting opportunities to people in the USA. 

Alternative Methods of Earning College Credit (click here)

The Republicans always want to tear the country down and rebuild it into their own ideology. Will the new accrediting model require the worship of Christianity as a primary qualification into college?

The goal of accreditation (click here) is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Here you will find lists of regional and national accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as reliable authorities concerning the quality of education or training offered by the institutions of higher education or higher education programs they accredit.

Colleges and universities have gone through a great deal to achieve accreditation. It is not easy to move into a position where universities' graduate credentialed individuals accepted into a profession. Currently, the Universities and the Colleges of the USA have a solid footing on producing a COMPETENT brain trust. It would be an enormous mistake to even begin to break down the accreditation system of universities and colleges in the USA. 

It isn't just about the standards of colleges and universities. It is about THE PROFESSIONS. When a university graduates a medical doctor it is because that student has performed exceptionally well in their studies and have demonstrated they are competent to sit for exams and enter internships to become an MD and then move on during their years of practice to specialize as they choose.

The standards for graduating a person into the medical profession is NOT decided by the university, it is decided by the profession of medical and surgical practice. The universities that carry the curriculum to achieve these incredible standards in the USA have to meet the scientific basis for their studies. There is no taking it apart. Engineering is engineering. Psychology is psychology. Agronomy is agronomy. Zoology is zoology. Any idea by a presidential candidate that believes they can simply tear apart the accrediting of colleges and universities to serve their own priorities has NOTHING but an ego so inflated he can probably float without helium.

Invest in Financial Market to pay for college in the future

Marco Rubio's top funding source is Goldman Sachs. (click here) End of discussion. 

Why not simply take the entire paycheck of any person and invest it to pay for college and pay for the house they want to buy and pay for their retirement and ultimately pay for the kids when they are born.  This is such nonsense and I am being nice. 


There is nothing stopping Goldman Sachs from developing an investment model for PARENTS to invest monies to pay for their children's college. Nothing is standing in the way. For companies like MetLife, they are called Life Insurance and cash value at the time a child is ready for college. 

To think there has to be a federal program to invest in the financial industry to pay for college is nothing but hot air. There is no reason for it. Currently, some states have programs that contributions are paid into on behalf of a child as they grow that at the time of entering college pays for tuition and costs. 

"Michigan Education Savings Program" (click here) It is my opinion these state programs are far more secure than any investment Wall Street can offer.

"Right to know before you go"

Roughly a year ago, (click here) U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced Senate Bill 2098, "The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act," which quickly gained Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as a co-sponsor. I posted an extensive review of the bill at that time, but the introductory paragraph from that post, which I've included at the end of this piece, covers the basics. Essentially, the bill would greatly increase the role of state longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) in higher education data collection and reporting, with the explicit goal of providing to the public employment and income data on recent graduates by not just institution, but by specific majors and programs within institutions....]
In other words, it isn't difficult enough deciding where to attend college and what to study, now the federal government wants a future student to understand there is no need for their educational passion anywhere in the world.
This idea has to be defeated, because, the next step is to penalize students that attend degree programs that do not necessarily lead to a job at graduation in the current job market. That is nonsense. A career destiny is not the same today as it will be in four years or six years or eight years. This is harassment. There is no place for it in the educational system in the USA.
The legislation does not guarantee your choice in earning. It is nothing but a history of past performance of the American economy. There is no need or place for it. Currently, GUIDANCE COUNCILORS can be invaluable to young people in their decisions in high school courses and their choice of higher learning for applications. This is all baloney and UNNEEDED and expensive infrastructure.
This is the kind of nonsense passed by Congress in order to get other more controversial legislation to pass, like Early Childhood Education or Restructuring of the Student Loans. This empty legislation is to gain leverage in other areas of public policy. There is no need for it. It proves NOTHING to a student and is not a crystal ball. 
The graduates of 2008 didn't expect to be in Zuccotti Park demonstrating to bring attention to Occupy Wall Street and their complete lack of appreciation for their birth right to a job in the USA. A job of their choosing called A PROFESSION.

The global economic recession of 2008 is PROOF such legislation is nothing by appeasement by Democrats of Republicans to pass legislation VITAL to our young people. KNOCK IT OFF. Stop the appeasement and become leaders in legislation. Let the American people KNOW exactly the facts and how Republicans simply hate Americans rather than elevate their birth right. 

I am glad Marco Rubio found his sweetheart. I am curious. Did she require a financial statement before or after the first date?

The USA Air Force needs to get a clue.

This the White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster).

The bird is perching on a branch and has one foot raised to rest it. It is not injured. This eagle has a great number of white feather and they are on the underside of the bird.

Why would such a powerful bird ever need anything except feathers that covers it's body for warmth and mating. The bird is a hunter. It is a raptor. In order to capture it's prey it has to be a stealth approach.

So, that doesn't really explain the white feathers, right? Well, actually it does.

Imagine being a fish, a good sized fish, one that can put up a fight for escape. Fish do look through water to see what is on top. What is often on top of the water the fish are looking through are insects, flies, spiders and all sorts of interesting dinner items.

So, let's just say, the white bellied eagle is searching for dinner for the kids at the very same time the fish is looking for it's dinner. Who is going to be successful in the ability to catch dinner and live through it? The answer is the white bellied eagle.

The fish won't see the eagle coming. Even if the fish comes to the surface water to swallow the insects on top. But, the fish will never see the bird because the SKY IS LIGHT in color, pale blue and white clouds. I am sure there are times fish will see approaching birds and that lends reality to the time the eagle's talons come up empty.

The truth about US Air Force jets is the fact they are usually made of metal and the color is silver. Does silver act as a camouflage? It sure does. It not only acts as a camouflage, it also reflects sunlight into the sees of any enemy if the angle is right.

Why does the USA have a stealth fighter that isn't really stealth?

See, the White-bellied eagle has dark feathers on it's back. Why would that be? For the very same reason fish and marine mammals have dark color of their skin even though their bellies are white? Camouflage.

Natural selection over hundreds and thousands of years have protected these species with camouflage from beneath and above. If one is flying above the eagle, it may not see the raptor because it is looking down on a color scheme that is there to confuse the eye of any predator.

The expression 'eagle eyes' indicating exceptional ability to discern all the details of a view; comes from the fact eagles have very keen eyesight to carry out predatory hunting.

It just seems to me a covering that provides stealth movement of USA jets without detection on radar only does half the job.

Have a better day.

E-cigarettes used by teens leads to tobacco use.

E-Cigarette vapors have one third the amount of nicotine. E-Cigarettes develop dependency no different than tobacco.

A whole new vocabulary for parents and educators. We have seen similar trends with caffeine as well. There are hyper-caffeinated beverages today that would never have been on the market 15 years ago.

February 3, 2016
By Consumer Reports

Teens who vape—use an e-cigarette (click here) —were almost three times more likely to have started smoking tobacco cigarettes a year later than those who had never vaped, according to a recent study in the journal Tobacco Control.
“That’s worrying news,” says Consumer Reports chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D. “Although the long-term safety of e-cigarettes and other nicotine vaporizers is still unknown, there’s no question that nicotine in any form is an extremely addictive drug and that tobacco products can be deadly,” he says.
To find out how vaping affected teen’s cigarette smoking habits, researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center asked 2,338 9th and 10th graders at six Hawaiian high schools in 2013 about their vaping and smoking habits. One year later the scientists quizzed the teens again. The upshot: 20 percent of the e-cigarette-using teens had started smoking traditional cigarettes. By contrast, 2 percent of the non-vapers had started smoking tobacco cigarettes, 10 percent had tried vaping, and 4 percent were both smoking and vaping....

The conversation among those seeking safer lives for teens talk about e-cigarettes as a gateway drug to tobacco.

The compromise of lung immunity is not unique to teens only.

February 16, 2016
By Yvette Brazier

As evidence emerges that e-cigarettes (click here) are not as safe as advertisers claim, a new study shows that flavorings classed as "Generally Recognized as Safe" by the US Food and Drug Administration are best avoided in smoking. The findings are presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, DC...

...Jaspers, who is also deputy director of the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology, explains:

"The digestive systems and respiratory systems are very different. Our stomachs are full of acids and enzymes that break down food and deal with chemicals; this environment is very different than our respiratory systems. We simply don't know what effects, if any, e-cigarettes have on our lungs."

Researchers studied the effects on smokers of cinnamon-flavored e-liquids and cinnamaldehyde, the chemical that gives cinnamon flavor to an e-cigarette.

Results showed that the cinnamaldehyde e-liquids had a significant negative impact on epithelial cells that could set off a chain of cellular mechanisms potentially leading to impaired immune responses in the lung.

Jaspers elaborates: "The chemicals compromise the immune function of key respiratory immune cells, such as macrophages, natural killer cells and neutrophils."...

Lung physiology

Innate immunity (click here) is a primordial system that has a primary role in lung antimicrobial defenses. Recent advances in understanding the recognition systems by which cells of the innate immune system recognize and respond to microbial products have revolutionized the understanding of host defenses in the lungs and other tissues. The innate immune system includes lung leukocytes and also epithelial cells lining the alveolar surface and the conducting airways. The innate immune system drives adaptive immunity in the lungs and has important interactions with other systems, including apoptosis pathways and signaling pathways induced by mechanical stretch. Human diversity in innate immune responses could explain some of the variability seen in the responses of patients to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in the lungs. New strategies to modify innate immune responses could be useful in limiting the adverse consequences of some inflammatory reactions in the lungs...

Americans can raise the morality of countries unrecognized and victimized.

February 17, 2016
By Ian Urbina

Palau v The Poachers (click here)

Late on a January 2015 evening in Shepherdstown, W.Va., a data analyst named Bjorn Bergman, surrounded by whiteboards scribbled with computer code, was orchestrating a high-stakes marine police chase halfway around the world. Staring at his laptop in a cramped ground-floor office, he drank from his sixth cup of coffee and typed another in a long series of emails: ‘‘Try and cut them off rather than making for the last known position.’’ Nearly 9,000 miles away, the Remeliik, a police patrol ship from the tiny island nation Palau, was pursuing a 10-man Taiwanese pirate ship, the Shin Jyi Chyuu 33, through Palauan waters. Bergman, working for a nonprofit research organization called SkyTruth, had mastered the use of satellite data to chart a ship’s most likely course. Instead of pointing the police to where the pirate ship was, he would tell them where it was about to be. He took another sip of coffee, studied his screen, then typed again: ‘‘It may be advisable for the Remeliik to turn southeast.’’...

Millenials are not building wealth for their retirement.

February 17, 2016
Contact: Nina Smith

Lack of Access to Savings Tools Threatens Millennials’ Retirement Prospects

Less Than Half of Low-Income Millennial Workers Have Access to an Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan

Washington–In part thanks to the Great Recession, (click here) more Millennials are finding work in industries that offer lower wages and fewer benefits. But we know less about how this is affecting Millennials ability to save and what tools they use to maximize their nest egg for retirement. Today, Young Invincibles is releasing a new scientific opinion poll of 800 Millennial voters (ages 18 to 34 and with an oversample of African-Americans and Latinos) that provides insight into Millennials’ access to retirement plans through work, savings behaviors, and how the generation would spend additional earnings....

There is a federal government program. President Obama announced it during his State of the Union speech. I think that was last year.

You have to know as well, unions do conduct pensions for their members.

As you approach retirement, (click here) there are many things to think about. Experts advise that you will need about 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to continue your current quality of life. The exact amount, of course, depends on your individual needs. Some important factors to consider include:

    • At what age do you plan to retire?
    • Can you participate in an employer's retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) plan, or a traditional pension plan? 
    • Will your spouse or partner retire when you do?
    • Where do you plan to live when you retire? Will you downsize, rent, or own you home?
    • Do you expect to work part-time?
    • Will you have the same medical insurance you had while working? Will your coverage change?
    • Do you want to travel or pursue a new hobby that might be costly?...

    This is a very significant problem for the country. The American people are impoverished in many instances and even working multiple jobs to make ends meet does not meet with enhanced retirement benefits.

    At this point, the Americans over the past two decades have been robbed of their Social Security when they reach retirement. The retirement benefits issued by Social Security is based in the amount contributed over the working years.

    As Millennials ask for their report on benefits from Social Security they will see a disaster occurring to their lives as they age. This is like a very bad joke in their lives. It has to be addressed and raising the minimum wage is a good place to start.

    Hillary Clinton is sincere in all her words regarding minorities in the USA. She has never taken them for granted in a voting block. Her loyalty to the community is long standing. President Bill Clinton's office is in Harlem.

    I think what Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has to show the community where they can lead to end the horrible practices that plague them.

    The Republicans like to call this "Identity Politics." That is a defaming statement to the impacts on real lives in this community. Seeking support from this community has to be more than superficial identification of them and pledging support. The approach has to provide where solutions can be found and policies written.
    Donald Trump should not entertain a lawsuit against Ted Cruz. It is waste of good money.

    Cruz has dug a hole for himself while in Congress. He won't be elected nationally. Cruz is too radical.

    North Korea needs quality of life for it's people.

    It was only recently South Korea pulled out of the joint operation of a factory area shared by both countries. I think North Korea moved into the factory city last week or so.

    We know about the poor quality blast of some kind that shook the region and the missile launch that left a satellite tumbling out of control in space. And this was the reaction of South Korea.

    14th February 2016
    Seoul, South Korea (AP) — South Korea (click here) says most of the money it paid to North Korea for the now-shuttered jointly run industrial park was channeled into weapons programs and used to buy luxury goods for the impoverished nation’s elite.

    I'd like to know who makes up the North Koran nation's elite, I think most are dead now, yes?

    In a brief Sunday statement, the South Korean Unification Ministry says about 70 percent of the 616 billion won (US$560 million) paid to the North since the park was established in 2004 was used to develop nuclear weapons, missiles and for luxury goods. It did not explain how it arrived at that percentage.
    The industrial park, which Seoul shut last week after Pyongyang’s rocket launch, employed some 54,000 North Koreans in more than 120 South Korean companies....

    This is a nice picture of Kim talking to his space employees or communists or dictates, but, it is no indication of American safety at this time.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a banquet for contributors of the recent rocket launch, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on February 15, 2016.

    President Barack Obama's top national security adviser Susan Rice (click here) said on Monday that she expects China will support new international sanctions on North Korea for its recent rocket launches.

    "I think it unlikely that China wants to be seen by the international community as the protector of North Korea given its recent outrageous behavior," Rice told reporters at a briefing.

    This space thing in North Korea has been on the agenda a long time, starting with Kim, Sr. So, before the war mongers get out of control that North Korea now has a renegade leader, the idea of a space presence by North Korea has existed for some time; at least for seven years that the rest of the world knows of. And there is nothing preventing China to bring on North Korean scientists with their space program to bring pride to half of the people of the Korean peninsula.

    North Korea really needs to consider setting up nuclear controls again with the United Nations. Removing them was a reaction to a very wayward speech by Bush at the power seat of the USA Congress. Many Americans did not appreciate the language or implications for any of the countries he mentioned nor the USA. The USA was far more powerful than those three countries and it only alarmed them and that was unnecessary and completely unwise. 

    The North Korean people were far better off with UN seals on the nuclear program. China is sincerely North Korea's ally and it is important because China can reassure North Korea of a safe progression through the future. As long as China is strong and can protect North Korea it is best to provide that alliance to dominate North Korea's nuclear program. Kim can do his country a huge favor by eliminating the nuclear program, except, for peaceful energy no different than Iran.

    The tensions that exist today on the Korean peninsula and between the USA, Russia and China can be easily reversed by providing a good answer to Kim and his people. The world awaits for these five countries to find peace on the peninsula and a return to balance in the Pacific.

    While China is having some issues with it's economy and the wealth of the middle class it should not inhibit improvements in not just communication between these two allies and perhaps Russia as well; but; North Korea is still attempting to manufacture their products for sale. I think China has a more than excellent position to bring about peace again on the Korean peninsula. China could provide a platform for economic engagement with North Korea and incentives to better living conditions of the people of North Korea. China could develop an economic incentive to allow North Korea to move away from it's fear of invasion and threat.

    The Korean War ended in 1957. The Axis of Evil speech sent my late veteran father into a tirade. Most soldiers involved with that war fully expected the differences between the North and South to improve and resolve any hostility. My father finished his four year volunteer service to the country in 1954. He married later that year after courting my mother. This level of tension was expected in 1954, but, he never thought it would ever take over sixty years only to have ill will return again. My father felt violated by Bush's speech and had no patience with any war by the USA after that point.

    North Korea, China, Russia and South Korea should know there are Americans that do not consent to any tensions that have resulted over decades. I think the United Nations should encourage resolution of these tensions and bring about better quality of life for the people of both countries on that peninsula. 


    It isn't stealth anymore. Really? What kind of disclosure is this?

    February 17, 2016
    Four U.S. F-22 stealth fighters (click here) are flying over South Korea amid growing tensions following North Korea's rocket launch.
    The high-tech planes capable of sneaking past radar undetected were seen flying near a U.S. air base near Seoul on Wednesday.
    Pyongyang will likely view the arrivals of the planes as a threat as they are a clear show of force against the country.
    The United States often sends powerful and sophisticated warplanes to South Korea in times of tension with North Korea.
    Last month, the United States sent a powerful nuclear-capable B-52 bomber to South Korea following North Korea's fourth nuclear test.
    I thought it was a bird at first. But, the more I thought I'd miss the best photo of the year I realized I was looking at a us stealth jet fly over my house in a wooded area. The darn things are black and easily seen against the sky. I didn't need radar and now everyone in the region is sending up jets to find out where they are because the radar wasn't picking them up.
    The US military is this negligent in it's efforts to keep South Korea safe? And our pilots are at risk as of now that they weren't 12 hours ago. This disclosure is outrageous.

    The tensions on the Korean peninsula started with "Island Mania." The reason North Korea did this supposedly is due to hunger within the country and this island provided additional fishing waters. The USA used to provide significant supplies of food and heating fuel to the North Korean people, but, that ended when Bush decided North Korea needed more of an incentive to peace. Taking food and heat away from the North Koreans was a strategy. 

    November 23, 2010
    By Mark McDonald

    Seoul, South Korea — The South Korean military (click here) went to “crisis status” on Tuesday and threatened military strikes after the North fired dozens of shells at a South Korean island, killing two of the South’s soldiers and setting off an exchange of fire in one of the most serious clashes between the two sides in decades....

    Then with tension rising, a larger presence of the USA and communications with North Korea; China began to push it's national borders into international waters. Now, we have disclosed stealth fighters that provide no edge to USA presence in the region.

    Sympathizers to violence could begin in The West.

    I am not accusing anyone, but, where there is curious money, there could be dire danger.

    February 17, 2016

    Auckland International Airport (click here) has sacked an employee and called in Police after finding more than a million dollars as been spent in unexplained transaction.
    In an announcement late this afternoon afternoon the Airport said the "non-executive employee" was also being pursued through the courts over the transactions which added up to at least $1.84 million.
    The revelation marks the third high-profile case of alleged financial misappropriation to hit large listed companies following earlier cases at SkyCity Entertainment Group and Mighty River Power.
    Phil Neutz, the Airports' chief financial officer, said in the statement the company's auditors EY had been tasked with probing the matter and their investigation was still ongoing.
    "It is important for investors to note that while this is a very serious matter, the sum of money involved does not impact our current financial statements or previous reported results," he said....

    February 17, 2016
    A Virgin Australia flight (click here) from Sydney to Los Angeles was diverted after the airline received a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax, the airline said.
    The plane was forced to land in the eastern city of Brisbane on Wednesday after the threat was called in.
    Australian Federal Police searched the plane and determined there was no danger, the airline said in a statement. A spokeswoman declined to release further details of the threat.
    The plane will resume its flight to Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

    Dozens of schools around Australia have been receiving threats warning of bombings or shootings over the past month in what police believe is a hoax largely being orchestrated by a person or group overseas. Schools across the world " including the U.S., Europe and Japan " have received similar threats in recent months.

    Corruption is not exclusive to Africa or communist countries. It is real and it has real dangers.

    Chen Shui-bian, the former president of Taiwan, was prosecuted for corruption after leaving office in 2008. CreditBobby Yip

    Chen Shui-bian, (click here) the former president of Taiwan, forfeited his Manhattan condo and his home in the scenic hills of Virginia’s wine country, just outside Charlottesville. The government said both were purchased with bribes paid to Taiwan’s then-first lady, Wu Shu-chen, by a Taiwanese financial services company seeking to expand its business.
    Money from the bribes traveled through shell companies in the British Virgin Islands and Nevis and into Swiss bank accounts controlled by the couple’s son and used to conceal the family’s purchase of properties in the United States.
    Both Mr. Chen and his wife were sentenced in 2009 in Taiwan to 20 years in prison for bribery, embezzlement and money laundering. Mr. Chen was granted a medical parole in 2015. Wu Shu-chen received a similar medical release in 2011....

    Corruption at this level can create paid militias that will deny citizens their human rights. It is completely wrong to allow such corruption to exist no matter the country or social standards.

    February 16, 2016

    By Leslie Wayne

    ...The turnabout in Mr. Obiang’s fortunes (click here) is part of an effort by the federal government to recover assets it says were stolen by foreign officials — dictators, politicians and ruling elites — and laundered in the United States. Since its start in 2010, the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative has grown to include a dozen government lawyers and teams from the F.B.I. and Homeland Security....

    The United States can and should enforce every opportunity to litigate corruption, in the private sector as well as government. It is the best prevention of government instability while lives are protected. It takes money to purchase small arms and such weapons as machetes.

    Starve the dark market of arms and munitions. There needs to be a permanent understanding internationally, the USA will seek out and prosecute corruption at all levels of government and the private sector. The idea the initiatives should stop at the borders of the USA is not correct either. If there is knowledge of corruption that does not effect the USA, there needs to be further initiatives through international organizations capable of carrying out the same outcomes.

    Additionally, when the USA passes on information to international corruption and it is not acted on, there should be public disclosure to the American people. Such lethargy in the international realm won't be tolerated by the American people at large. Transparency is the best weapon to end corruption, illegal weapon sales and the deaths of innocent people. The American people will bring an understanding to their governing representatives to bring action against such heinous dynamics.  

    Currently, China is struggling to elevate their people into a large middle class. The Oligarchs are more interested in buying American companies and property than elevating the Chinese people. I consider that as much corruption as the sales of weapons to militias. There are many ways the populations of the world can be elevated into happy and healthier middle class people. 

    Think about it. It has been decades power players have denied quality of life to nations of people. It has to end and in a better understanding the American people can bring pressure to bring about the result we all seek.

    Disrupting peace both domestically and internationally is the enemy. Peace provides human rights, war promotes spending away from citizens and their quality of life. We know that is the truth. 
    April 22, 2015
    By G. Mandela Fernández-Grandon1¤ , Salvador A. Gezan2 , John A. L. Armour3 , John A. Pickett4 , James G. Logan1 

    Abstract (click here)

    Female mosquitoes display preferences for certain individuals over others (click here), which is determined by differences in volatile chemicals produced by the human body and detected by mosquitoes. Body odour can be controlled genetically but the existence of a genetic basis for differential attraction to insects has never been formally demonstrated. This study investigated heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes by evaluating the response of Aedes aegypti (=Stegomyia aegypti) mosquitoes to odours from the hands of identical and nonidentical twins in a dual-choice assay. Volatiles from individuals in an identical twin pair showed a high correlation in attractiveness to mosquitoes, while non-identical twin pairs showed a significantly lower correlation. Overall, there was a strong narrow-sense heritability of 0.62 (SE 0.124) for relative attraction and 0.67 (0.354) for flight activity based on the average of ten measurements. The results demonstrate an underlying genetic component detectable by mosquitoes through olfaction. Understanding the genetic basis for attractiveness could create a more informed approach to repellent development.

    From the article in "The New Zealand Herald." The above abstract was published in 2015.

    February 17, 2016
    By Tim Spector

    Everyone (click here) who has ever been camping or walking in the wild with friends can't have failed to notice how insects seem to prefer some people's flesh to others. Some unlucky souls are totally covered in itchy red blotches and others are miraculously spared. Sometimes only some family members are affected. My mother has never been bitten by a mosquito (though fleas like her) while my brother and I are often the targets.
    Previous observations have shown a higher mosquito preference for larger people(who produce more CO2), beer drinkers and pregnant women, and although diet was often suspected as a factor, nothing in what we eat (even garlic) stood up to scrutiny....

    The capacity to serve food on a flight is vital to Qantas.

    February 17, 2016
    By Matt O'Sullivan

    Cardboard meal boxes (click here) for Qantas economy passengers have been found smouldering in ovens at the back of planes and on one occasion caught alight.
    In an incident just over two weeks ago, flight attendants discovered flames in an oven on a Qantas 737 aircraft just 5 minutes after they had begun heating cardboard boxes full of food such as meat pastries and sandwiches. 
    The cabin crew used a fire extinguisher on the food which they had heated at the correct temperature of 275 degrees Celsius....

    I am sure there is a better answer to Qantas' problems with their meal preparation. Qantas travels long miles on a regular basis out of Australia. The company requires the ability to provide good food to passengers. Serving free bags of nuts is not a good answer for Qantas.

    Apple is unwilling to assist the federal government in discovery regarding San Bernardino.

    Discovery is important for prosecution. Implications is a mysterious word. What kind of implications are there?

    The FISA Court is well established. This stance by Mr. Cook is strange and unwanted. When do Americans and the country's national security take an important place in the world of telecommunications.

    I don't see why opening a locked cell phone is a threat to that community. If there is ever a problem beyond opening this phone it is reasons to sue the federal government. The court order is to open one phone, not an entire industry.

    I think Apple is making a mountain out of a mole hill, but, in the USA today that is the fashion. Apple is opening itself up for confiscation of it's records and damage to it's reputation. Once the Apple records are removed by the US Government there is definitely no containing the ability of any search. Cooperating and allowing this phone to be opened is far better for the status of the companies exclusive security system and it's customers.

    Dangerous? Define dangerous.

    Apple can't obtain the password into the phone? Just give them the password. Providing the password is the reasonable thing to do and doesn't require handing over the encryption technology. Providing the pass word to open the phone is defensible in court. Once the password is provided the FBI has no right to demand the encryption technology and is overreaching. Offer to open the phone without compromising it's customer model. 

    To oppose the court is not dangerous, but, disastrous.

    February 16, 2016
    By Charlie Savage

    Washington — A newly declassified report (click here) by the National Security Agency’s inspector general suggests that the government is receiving far less data from Americans’ international Internet communications than privacy advocates have long suspected.

    The report indicates that when the N.S.A. conducts Internet surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act, companies that operate the Internet are probably turning over just emails to, from or about the N.S.A.’s foreign targets — not all the data crossing their switches, as the critics had presumed.

    The theory that the government is rooting through vast amounts of data for its targets’ messages has been at the heart of several lawsuits challenging such surveillance as violating the Fourth Amendment....

    The court is looking for a way to secure information the FBI needs, not the surrender of a company to government scrutiny into the future. This issue can be contained by opening ONE PHONE. If the FBI is pushing for relinquishing the technology it is definitely an action that is a STRATEGY against the industry and not a reason to obtain valuable information within the phone. A strategy is a reason to refuse cooperation and I would hope a court would uphold that fact as a government out of control, but, to not open ONE PHONE will only bring a greater compromise to the iPhone market. 

    February 17, 2016
    By Katie Brenner and Eric Lichtblau

    ...In his statement, Mr. Cook called the court order an “unprecedented step” by the federal government. “We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” he wrote.
    The Justice Department did not immediately respond publicly to Apple’s resistance.
    The F.B.I. said that its experts had been unable to access data on Mr. Farook’s iPhone, and that only Apple could bypass its security features. F.B.I. experts have said they risk losing the data permanently after 10 failed attempts to enter the password because of the phone’s security features.
    The Justice Department had secured a search warrant for the phone, owned by Mr. Farook’s former employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, which consented to the search.
    Because Apple declined to voluntarily provide, in essence, the “keys” to its encryption technology, federal prosecutors said they saw little choice but to get a judge to compel Apple’s assistance.
    Mr. Cook said the order amounted to creating a “back door” to bypass Apple’s strong encryption standards — “something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
    In 2014, Apple and Google — whose operating systems are used in 96 percent of smartphones worldwide — announced that they had re-engineered their software with “full disk” encryption, and could no longer unlock their own products as a result....

    I keeping hearing this and it is an invalid statement and a mute point.

    February 16, 2016
    By Mark Landler adn Jennifer Steinhauer

    ...But Mr. Obama (click here) — who defended his own role in an effort to block a confirmation vote on Samuel A. Alito Jr. in 2005 — said he understood the political stakes of a nomination that could change the balance on the court. “I understand the pressure that Republican senators are now under,” he said. “This would be a deciding vote.”...

    Alito is on the court. Unfortunately. When examining the Alito vote on the court, there was a strong reason for the filibuster that failed.

    You really want to debate Alito? I wouldn't go there. Really.