Friday, May 06, 2016

It is so very nice to listen to Senator Sanders speak. He is very pragmatic approaching the convention. I am grateful for his dedication to recapturing our middle class. 

There is sincere anxiety over losing Senator Sanders from the national dialogue.

May 6, 2016
To the Editor:

I fear that the Democratic establishment (click here) may very well cost us the election with its exclusive support of Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump was ignored as a serious candidate month after month while he went on to win state after state. Today, with the Republican nomination wrapped up, he is still being dismissed as an opponent who can’t beat Hillary.
Bernie supporters and Hillary haters may very well stay away from the polls this November while Trump supporters will continue to show up in record numbers. Has Bernie’s candidacy taught the powers that be in the Democratic Party anything? I fear not. Democrats have little chance of remaining in the White House unless Bernie is on the ticket — something Hillary must be made to understand.

Wayland, Mass.

There is absolutely no sense to put insecticide in place to destroy the mosquito if the application expert doesn't know what a mosquito larva looks like.

Senator Nelson has a talk about the virus last week. The numbers are climbing. I understand his concern of course, but, even if there are 3 or 4 cases per week that is still not a resident source, so much as people returning from other countries. If there was a significant number per week, then I would believe it was a resident source in Florida.

That is only my opinion. I am sure the CDC would have a far more insightful and accurate opinion.

May 6, 2016
By Daniel Chang

Florida health officials (click here) confirmed three new Zika virus infections in Florida on Friday, including two cases in Miami-Dade and one in Seminole County — raising the statewide total to 105 people affected since January, more than any state.

Read more here:

This article is about Hawaii's request for funding, but, the number of Zika cases in Florida is growing.

Wasn't there some discussion of accelerating the research for a vaccine. But, there is an alternate strategy for Hawaii. The people of Hawaii won't like it. It's island. It is an island rather distant from any other island or mainland.

Hawaii should ask the CDC how to establish any migration of the virus to Hawaii including any merchandise that might carry the mosquito. Think Mediterranean Fruit Fly.

Hawaii has a far better chance to isolate any potential infections primarily because the virus is not likely to be blown in by wind. The over Hawaii is mostly from west to east.

May 3, 2016
By Timothy Hurley 

(TNS) - Gov. David Ige joined U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (click here) on Monday in urging the release of emergency federal funding that could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hawaii to prevent a major Zika virus outbreak.

“We really need to let the public know this is not something we should be sticking our heads in the sand over,” Hirono, D-Hawaii, said at a news conference at Hawaii Biotech in Honolulu.

Hirono said Republican members of Congress have blocked President Barack Obama’s $1.9 billion emergency funding request for nearly three months.

The funding was expected to pay for education and outreach programs, improve the health care industry’s response to Zika, bolster vector control programs and support the work of companies like Hawaii Biotech, which is working to produce a Zika vaccine.

Ige and others said the issue is especially important to Hawaii because of how vulnerable the state is. The Hawaii island dengue outbreak that saw 264 cases of the mosquito-borne virus over a seven-month period beginning in September is a wake-up call, they said....
I heard a brief sound bite today that said Mr. Trump wants to negotiate the USA Debt. It isn't exactly bankruptcy, it creates fluidity for the debt holder. It is similar to what the Fed did with Quantitative Easing.

That is my interpretation, of course there are no plans that I read; it was a sound bite.

But, the ONLY way I see anything like that happening is if there is an understanding between the debt holder and the USA government to reduce the debt owed in exchange for A LARGE PAYMENT.

I don't see any reasonable way to do it though. The USA has a national DEFICIT every year. Now, in the case of Bill Clinton's surplus there could be wiggle room to negotiate a larger payment. 

But, if there wasn't a large cash payment I don't know any country that would be interested in renegotiating the amount of monies owed. A large cash payment has inherent advantages a debt owner would weigh to it's merit. The merit of accepting a large cash payment vs upholding the entire debt owed over time. It would be negotiable as long as both parties sees the advantage. 

The other aspect is that Japan, which holds a considerable amount of the USA debt, would be able to negotiate their own debt if they were provided a large cash payment.

I think it is unreasonable to consider it as a reality. There is not enough tax income into the USA treasury to even approach such a concept.

I would love it if North Korea would disarm from it's nuclear weapons to become the FOURTH country on that chart with ever growing GDP in peace.

April 15, 2016

By Charles Riley
...Data from the Treasury Department (click here) released Wednesday show that Japan owned $1.2244 trillion worth of U.S. government securities at the end of February, compared to $1.2237 trillion for China.
Both countries unloaded U.S. debt during the month of January, but China sold more, making Japan the top U.S. creditor for the first time since the financial crisis.
The Treasury data should be taken with a grain of salt: Transactions carried out by other nations on behalf of China and Japan aren't included, making the final tally more of an educated guess....

The best reason for nuclear non-proliferation is that it never ends and neither does the price tag.

While North Korea digs those tunnels the sophistication of other countries continues to move forward. 

Third world countries cannot afford this, yet, the costs both in impoverishment of the people and the fiscal challenge to perfect nuclear weapons that won't explode in the silo continues. These lousy things have to be stopped. There are methods to put the genie back in the bottle and the global community should pursue it with vigor.

January 11, 2016
By William J. Broad

As North Korea (click here) dug tunnels at its nuclear test site last fall, watched by American spy satellites, the Obama administration was preparing a test of its own in the Nevada desert.
A fighter jet took off with a mock version of the nation’s first precision-guided atom bomb. Adapted from an older weapon, it was designed with problems like North Korea in mind: Its computer brain and four maneuverable fins let it zero in on deeply buried targets like testing tunnels and weapon sites. And its yield, the bomb’s explosive force, can be dialed up or down depending on the target, to minimize collateral damage.
In short, while the North Koreans have been thinking big — claiming to have built a hydrogen bomb, a boast that experts dismiss as wildly exaggerated — the Energy Department and the Pentagon have been readying a line of weapons that head in the opposite direction.
The build-it-smaller approach has set off a philosophical clash among those in Washington who think about the unthinkable....

The Beacon Hill (click here) neighborhood of Fort McMurray on Friday, where the wildfire had demolished hundreds of homes and vehicles. 

That is an incredible picture. There are still pines standing in the background while the neighborhood is severely burned to the ground.

In the picture below there are some pines different from the ones to the left. Those pines do tend survive fires because there pine leaves are in the canopy and not low to the ground. There is also pine cones that were open with this fire. But, the heat was really intense. There is white ash everywhere. 

Tyler Hicks was able to take this picture of "The forest along a highway in Fort McMurray." 

I would not recommend a visit to the site. Obviously Tyler Hicks knows what he is doing. The thing is that level of heat will provide dangers people won't expect. There is nothing to say those trees are going to stay standing. The ash can be kicked up into fine dust by simply walking through the area. It will effect the lungs. 

"I'm not voting for Trump."

Sour grapes make the best whining. 

Below is the Republican learning curve.


Another example of McCrory culture of hate.

May 6, 2016
By Jason Torchinsky

A disabled woman (click here) driving near Asheville, NC was involved in a minor fender-bender with a truck that left her Toyota Camry with a little damage, but unable to start. She called a towing company to get her back to her home in Travelers Rest, SC. When the tow truck arrived, though, the driver refused to tow her because she was a Bernie Sanders supporter. Why? You know, God told him to....

Let me see. A tow truck driver is stiffed for any fees because of socialism. That is not socialism, that is stupidity. I don't know a tow truck company that doesn't have a chain link fence with pad locks to insure the towed cars' fees are paid.

Natural gas has caused the bankruptcy of the coal industry.

It is wrong to politicize coal mining unless one is going to end the mechanization.

This graph is somewhat dated. But, we know for a fact in 2012 there were a little over 36,000 coal miners in the USA.

The coal companies put coal miners out of work. They aren't needed. It has nothing to do with global warming or the federal government. The federal government could have shut down every mine in the country if it wanted to. The safety violations even with mechanization are always ignored by the companies. Why are they ignored? Because the coal companies are corrupt and know the federal government won't force miners to accept unemployment. Just that simple. 

Sorry, but, if fines for legitimate violations is ignored, that is corruption.

There is not a coal company without enormous numbers of safety violations. The owners of the mines don't care about human safety. I think that is obvious. 

The current layoffs within the coal industry are not likely to be returned no matter what anyone says or does. The natural gas industry has taken over the energy place where coal has existed. 

It's over. The coal industry has no market. The Chinese produce their own coal and are actively seeking alternative fuels. The world has moved forward and coal has lingered in the past.

The current unemployed needs to be serious about retraining. When the unemployment runs out, they won't be recalled. The only chance at work today is retraining. Every unemployed miner needs to take their future seriously and move on. Any advise otherwise is fool hearty.

Coal has been the focus of politics to the extreme. The entire USA will sympathize if there are jobs lost, especially if the rhetoric states it is the evil federal government that did it. The country doesn't realize the silliness in their advocating for coal jobs. It is not the President that has closed down jobs, it is the industry itself. Americans needs to wise up about these MYTHS.

McConnell screams coal jobs in desperation of his own job. We need Mythbusters.

I have no information about the DC Shooter

I am assuming it is standard operating procedure to call all dispatched vehicles such as Uber. Airports. Buses. I would think if the transit system were notified it would benefit the search. I doubt if any driver or train platforms wants to help him leave the area.

Good luck.

Donald Trump is the rightful heir to the Republican nomination.

Donald Trump is one of the leaders to the subgroup of Republicans known as the Tea Party. It was fine to have Tea Party Republicans in the voter pool, but, now that they have locked in the nomination for President it is no longer desirable. The Republican Party needs to get over themselves.

In the past a Republican nominee for President of the USA would look for a Vice President to provide a political uptick due to the person's affiliation with a state or region of the country. But, Donald Trump has been a bit of a phenomena in that he has carried the north and south, the east and so far the west. His own brevity sets him free to choose any person he thinks is best to be Vice President.

Exactly. The current status of the American military in Iraq is illegal. It has been illegal from the initial invasion.

I have never understood the continued involvement in the middle east by the USA. President Obama has stated he was just carrying out Bush's exit strategy. Really. Bush was in Iraq illegally. 

"You bought it, you broke it;" is not a strategy. It is an excuse to continue presence in Iraq to be positioned against Iran.

The same obsession by the USA Hawks in supplying arms to the Syrian rebels is illegal. There is no legitimate reason for the USA in Syria. There is no AUMF. President Assad is the legitimate leader of Syria and he is not al Qaeda.

The Syria rebels have no consistent leadership that begins a sovereign authority to the peace table. The civil war in Syria is actually an ethnic war. It HAS BEEN a war between Sunnis and Shia. The USA has no place in that except to end the violence by putting economic pressure on Assad.

The involvement of the USA in Iraq and Syria is nothing of McCain's CIA mischief. It is illegal. 

...Enter the Supreme Court. (click here) Since the justices would deny standing to the bipartisan group of legislators on Capitol Hill who have failed to convince their colleagues to take their constitutional responsibilities seriously, everybody has assumed that the Court will remain on the sidelines as Obama’s war continues. This is a mistake.
Existing case-law establishes that individual soldiers can go to court if they are ordered into a combat zone to fight a war that they believe is unconstitutional. During the closing years of the Vietnam War, two federal courts of appeal carefully considered, and unanimously affirmed, the standing of soldiers to bring such complaints. Neither court backed those challenges on the merits, but the facts surrounding Richard Nixon’s escalation in Vietnam raised very different issues from those raised by the ISIS campaign. 
The Supreme Court never resolved the standing question in 1970s. But, the case law allows a single brave soldier to bring the issue before today's justices. How should they answer it?...
May 6, 2016
By Bruce Ackerman 

New Haven — IN May 2010, Nathan Michael Smith (click here) joined the Army, swearing an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” He took up this mission on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and is now serving as a captain in Kuwait at the command headquarters of Operation Inherent Resolve, the campaign against the Islamic State that President Obama initiated in 2014.
The president claims that Congress’s authorizations in 2001 and 2002 for the wars against Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein can be stretched to cover his current campaign. But many legal experts question his unilateral assertion of power. Captain Smith became increasingly troubled as he saw the president failing to persuade the House and Senate to stand up and be counted. Does the captain’s participation in this undeclared war involve him in a mission to destroy, not “defend,” the Constitution?
Captain Smith, 28, has now brought suit in federal court to request an independent judgment on whether he is betraying his oath....

The Fort McMurray fire is a global concern. This is far from over. There are still populations within clear danger.

Premier Rachel Notley is removing people to safe areas. She is focused on the people of Alberta. She is doing a great job. This fire is the nightmare from hell. I hope she will investigate the source of the fire after the emergency ends. It is not clear any evidence to the beginning of the fire can be discerned at this point, but, hopefully further ignitions can be prevented. 

It is my estimate open oil sands, drought and heat simply ignited the oil. It is going to be difficult to bring the fire under control.

May 6, 2016
They also hope (click here) that the only motorway to the south will become safe on Friday to move the remaining 17,000 people, who are in danger of becoming trapped.
The entire city - more than 88,000 people - was evacuated three days ago. Most fled south but some went north.
The fire in the province of Alberta has grown to 850 sq km (328.2 sq miles).
Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze using helicopters and air tankers.
The fire, which covers an area almost the size of Calgary, Alberta's largest city, has slowed down and is now heading away from Fort McMurray....

The first chance of any rain is Saturday night. The fire will create it's own weather system. The air is so hot the chance of any real rain is slim. The air will evaporate the rain. It has to be a substantial storm to extinguish this fire. The only way to extinguish an oil fire is to smother it. The area of this fire makes those efforts nearly impossible. The immediate emergency for the people being effected is the first concern. 

Exceptionally well done.

May 6, 2016
By Express Web Desk
To mark the 160th birthday (click here) of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Google put up a truly Freudian doodle.
While the psychoanalyst is most commonly represented sitting on a chair with the patient lying on the couch beside him, or as we’ve now come to perceive every clinical psychologist ever, Doodler Kevin Laughlin instead chose one of Freud’s most groundbreaking theories – the iceberg.
The iceberg theory, which explains the unconscious, pre-conscious and conscious and how they give birth to id, superego and ego which in turn shape a person’s identity.
Depicting the Freudian theory, the doodle shows most of the brain submerged and unknown, representing the pre-conscious and unconscious and shows only a part of the face above surface to represent the conscious....
I certainly don't have to comment on Freud, except, critics today have no response from the father that gave them flight in the first place. But, the illustration is wonderful. It is very well done.