Thursday, June 09, 2016

Where Bernie leads, a nation of some of the finest Americans follow.

The USA has been divided into factions of population. The USA is one country, but, it has many nations of people within it. 

The next President of the USA has to heal those nations of people to find common ground we all call the USA.

There are no takers and makers. We are all Americans. Quality of life is the desire of every American. We need to get there. Poverty is not an answer for an economy.

Is every ally back in Iraq again? They had conclude their activities in Iraq when the USA left in December 2011.

June 9, 2016

An explosion (click here) within two to three kilometres of Camp Taji in northern Baghdad where 106 NZ Defence Force personnel are currently deployed has resulted in a number of casualties, but all New Zealanders are safe.
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed reports of an explosion this evening.
"Open source reporting suggests the blast resulted in a number of casualties, however all New Zealand personnel at Taji are safe," Mr Brownlee said.
"Reports from Taji are that at 5.58pm New Zealand time a car bomb was detonated close to a checkpoint outside the south-western secure perimeter of the camp.
"It is estimated the blast occurred between two and three kilometres from where New Zealand and Australian troops are accommodated," he said....

12 April 2015
By Daniel Hurst

Tony Abbott has confirmed (click here) the deployment of 330 Australian personnel to help train the Iraqi army and refused to rule out the mission lasting longer than the planned deadline of two years.
The prime minister said on Tuesday his cabinet had approved the move as part of the fight to reclaim territory from Islamic State.
Abbott has also left the door open to potential involvement in air strikes in Syria.
The departure of trainers for Iraq follows the government’s decision in March to start preparing for such a mission, which he said at the time would be subject to final signoff.
Abbott said the personnel, largely drawn from the army’s 7th brigade based in Brisbane, would work alongside 100 New Zealand military personnel at the Taji military complex north of Baghdad....

18 August 2014

British troops have been (click here) back on the ground in Iraq for the first time since 2009, as the Government said the UK's mission "was not simply humanitarian".

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire regiment were sent to Irbil, as RAF aircraft continued reconnaissance missions to help the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.
They were in the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region for 24 hours to prepare the ground for a possible rescue operation by Chinook helicopters.
But Defence Minister Michael Fallon told pilots and other service members taking part in the UK's general Iraq mission that it was likely to last "weeks and months".
But David Cameron insisted this morning that troops would not become involved in another war in Iraq....

This Marine is at least the second American soldier killed in Iraq. The other was killed on a hostage raid. (click here) This was in March 2016. The Iraqis are abandoning their post, still yet.

After a U.S. Marine was killed (click here) defending a position abandoned by Iraqi troops, they were supposed to have toughened up. … Nope.

March 26, 2016
By Wladimir von Wilgenberg

TEL REEM, Iraq – At first, Iraqi soldiers involved in an operation to capture villages close to Mosul on Friday were in good spirits. “Allah Akbar,” Arabic for “God is Great,” they shouted after they hit an alleged Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomber with US-provided mortars. But just one hour later many of them fled, fearing ISIS would strike back.

Early in the day, there were already signs of trouble. A sergeant named Hussein from the artillery battalion told The Daily Beast, “There has been some delays in what we expected, but it’s mostly because of their heavy use of sniper fire and of IEDS. We have not been really advancing today, but that is not part of our plan as of yet, but in coming hours, we are planning to move forward.”

The first challenge was to capture the strategic little village of Nasr that would open the road for the Iraqi military to take the rest of the area. The ultimate short-term aim is to cross the Tigris River and take Qayarrah. This would open the road to the city of Mosul for future operations.

Government officals should not have Twitter accounts. The accounts are being used as moment by moment popularity. That is a problem.

John Kasich states Donald Trump is trending down on Twitter so he doesn't think he can endorse him. Twitter? Really?

He isn't going to endorse Hillary Clinton. That's okay. Not needed in spite of her positive trending.

OMG. Kasich keeps saying that, "...he keeps trending the wrong way..."

Kasich needs a 12 step program:

2010-06-29 - There has been an intervention. (click here) I've finally freed myself from the Twitter addiction. Listed below are the 12 Steps that I followed to become Twitter Free. Failwell my fine feathered friends....

"Let's see should I sign the non-proliferation treaty? How is it trending on Twitter?"

Yes, indeed, the country has been very negative these days, "Bombs away."

Did I wake up from a dream on a bad day? I have to pinch myself. Yeah, it's real.

Does Ohio vote on Twitter about everything? The man is strange. Ohio Republicans actually voted for him at the nomination vote? They did, right? In large numbers. The USA is in trouble, real trouble.

This is a real issue. When an elected Governor checks Twitter to find trending before making a move politically, there are problems that have to be solved. That is outrageous. John Kasich can't talk about anything until he checks 'trending on Twitter." That is pathetic.

I hope troop movements aren't on Twitter. Twitter is a multi-national media. No one knows where the opinions on Twitter are coming from. It is absolutely insane to think Twitter is a good source of information when acting on issues of government.

I can understand how vibrant opinions can be interesting, but, the fact of the matter is Twitter is not a substitute for polling. This is completely insane. Kasich is checking Twitter for trending to make his decisions as a Republican. Ain't no way that is competent government.

The Twitter environments are not controlled. There can be access to a lot of danger on trending with Twitter. I still can't believe state governors are using Twitter as a decision tool.

March 5, 2016
By Rick Gladstone and Vindu Goel

The Islamic State, (click here) the violent extremist group that espouses a return to a seventh-century caliphate, has been astonishingly successful at spreading its message using 21st-century social media, according to a study released Thursday.

Despite repeated attempts by Twitter to thwart the Islamic State’s threats, propaganda and recruiting by suspending accounts linked to the group, sympathizers have maintained thousands of active accounts on the social network, the study said. The users include a disciplined core group that sends messages frequently and understands how to maximize its impact.

“Jihadists will exploit any kind of technology that will work to their advantage,” said J. M. Berger, an expert on online extremism who was the lead author of the study, which was published by the Brookings Institution and financed by Google Ideas. But the Islamic State, he said, “is much more successful than other groups.”

The release of the study came as Twitter, the San Francisco-based social media giant with more than 288 million active users worldwide, has moved more aggressively to suspend accounts linked to the Islamic State....

I realize Donald Trump makes use of his Twitter account in his campaign. He even held up a tablet once to indicate to journalists that was the best way to continue any questions and discussions because he had to leave the hall and follow a campaign schedule.

That is an appropriate use of Twitter. Answering questions and posting opinion in real time is valid, but, to use Twitter as a way to gauge an electorate is highly inaccurate with a high margin of error. I think that is foolishness. If I am not mistaken Donald Trump hired a statistician for his campaign. He does not use Twitter as anything except dialogue with the public and media.

I am worried to realize a governor is checking trending on Twitter to make decisions. That is not appropriate use of a multi-national media. That degree of influence over people in government is at least an ethics violation and their decisions should be reviewed during the time such media had influence.

I listen to radio and cable news and C-Span, but, I also critically think about what my opinions will be. I never take anything for granted either.

Fire sale at Yahoo!

June 9, 2016
By Wire Reports

Sunnyvale, Calif.  — Yahoo (click here) is hoping to auction off most of its technology patents as part of a purge that also could culminate in the sale of its internet operations.

More than 3,000 patents that have already been issued or are under approval review are on the sales block.

The Sunnyvale, California, company says it hasn’t set a minimum bid for the patent portfolio that it calls “Excalibur.” Analysts have estimated that Yahoo Inc.’s patents are worth more than $1 billion.

Yahoo says it intends to retain more than 2,000 other patents that have been issued or awaiting approval in the U.S. and abroad.

The patent auction comes at the same time that Yahoo is weighing offers for Internet operations that include its email service and digital sports, finance and news sections.

A report published earlier this week by The Wall Street Journal said Verizon Communications has offered $3 billion for Yahoo’s Internet operations, below the $4.4 billion that it paid to acquire AOL last year. The report, which cited an unidentified person familiar with the negotiations, said Verizon isn’t interested in owning Yahoo’s real estate or patents....

Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma. I hope there is at least one newspaper there.

June 9, 2016
By Staff

The Tulsa World and The Oklahoman (click here) announced a partnership Wednesday in which the Oklahoma City media company’s printing and packaging operations will be moved to Tulsa.
The announcement means an additional 27 full-time jobs and 56 part-time positions will be added to the Tulsa World’s operations, said Bill Masterson, president and publisher of Tulsa World Media Co.
“I’m extremely excited about this partnership with The Oklahoman,” said Masterson, who also is vice president of the South Region for BH Media Group, which purchased the Tulsa World in 2013. “The Oklahoman is where I started my career. I have an affinity for it and am excited to be working with them.”

The World will begin some printing of The Oklahoman, including comics and advertising inserts, in September. In early October, the World will begin printing all of The Oklahoman’s products seven days a week....

Clear sky flooding will ultimately become permanent water flows in the way of streams, creeks and tributaries to rivers.

City officials have to keep in mind, clear day flooding can become stagnant and invite mosquito populations. Here again, the Zika virus has to be considered a public health concern.

Pedestrians stroll past standing water in Alexandria, Va., in May 2016 after high tides from the Potomac River inundated the street.

June 8, 2016
By Doyle Rice
...William Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer, (click here) said the historically high waters aren't anything new. "Last year we broke several records, and trends show that we'll likely continue to do so in the future," he said.
Nuisance flooding leads to road closures, overwhelmed storm drains and damaged property. It occurs with high tides in many locations due mainly to climate-related sea-level rise.
The loss of natural barriers and land subsidence — a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth's surface due to underground movement of soil, rock and other materials — also contribute.
Heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels causes glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to melt. Warmer water takes up more space that cooler water or ice, causing sea levels to rise as a result.
Since 1880, the ocean has risen nearly 8 inches worldwide, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, but it doesn't do so evenly. In the past 100 years, it's climbed about a foot or more in some U.S. cities.
Flooding increased on all three U.S. coasts between 300% and 925% since the 1960s, with the biggest increases in the Mid-Atlantic. This year, NOAA predicts cities such as Annapolis, Md., Wilmington, N.C., and Washington, D.C., will see the most days with nuisance flooding.

Southern border security isn't the issue it once was.

The problem that exists today are people that enter the USA legally and overstay their visas. There is also the issue of illegals and the deaths of Americans. But, the idea there are streams of people coming across the US southern border is somewhat contained.

The money thrown into the effort has to have some impact.

May 27, 2015
By Jerry Markon 

...As the Department of Homeland Security (click here) continues to pour money into border security, evidence is emerging that illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades. The nation’s population of illegal immigrants, which more than tripled, to 12.2 million, between 1990 and 2007, has dropped by about 1 million, according to demographers at the Pew Research Center.
A key — but largely overlooked — sign of these ebbing flows is the changing makeup of the undocumented population. Until recent years, illegal immigrants tended to be young men streaming across the Southern border in pursuit of work. But demographic data show that the typical illegal immigrant now is much more likely someone who is 35 or older and has lived in the United States for a decade or more.
Homeland security officials in the Obama and George W. Bush administrations — who have more than doubled the Border Patrol’s size and spent billions on drones, sensors and other technology at the border — say enhanced security is driving the new trends.
“We have seen tremendous progress,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. “The border is much more secure than in times past.”...
Nyquist isn't running in the Belmont. (click here)

The contest at the Preakness wasn't even close between the two. Nyquist finished three and a half lengths from Exaggerator. 

That is today's thoroughbred. The earnings don't really matter so much as a few wins at stake races and then retired to stud.

What is with the cow?

The GOP doesn't care about the racist gaff. It is an election strategy the GOP exercises over and over.

June 8, 2016
By Ian Millhiser

...Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), (click here) by contrast, told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday that Trump’s racism is no more troubling than widely reported comments made by Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court. “I think that you don’t have any more trouble with what Trump said than when Sotomayor said that . . . ‘a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male,'” Grassley claimed.
Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” remark came as part of a lengthy speech she delivered discussing how judges’ life experiences shape their decisions, and how they should balance their unique perspectives with their obligation of fairness to litigants. “I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely,” Sotomayor said, “and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires.”

In this context, she made the comment that Grassley criticizes: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Nevertheless, she added, “I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.”...          

This is the second time hospitals have been the focus of war violence. What happened to the cease fire?

8 June 2016

At least 15 people (click here) dare reported to have been killed and dozens wounded in a series of air strikes on rebel-held areas in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Three medical facilities were hit in the space of three hours, the UN says.
One of the hospitals targeted is one of the few that still provide paediatric services. Medics have had to take babies out of incubators, the UN says.
Another strike hit near the Bayan hospital in the eastern Shaar district, activists and a monitoring group said.
Video footage, purportedly of the aftermath, showed bodies being pulled from burning and destroyed buildings....

This is deliberate. There is suppose to be a ceasefire. There are reports of barrel bombs being dropped. Assad's forces can't get past using chemical weapons.

April 28, 2016
By Jason Beaubien
The al-Quds hospital in Aleppo, Syria, (click here) is the latest health care facility to get blown apart.
The 34-bed hospital was tucked into the lower floors of a five-story building in the Sukkari neighborhood of Aleppo. Sandbags blocked the windows and fortified the entrance. Concrete apartment buildings pressed on either side of it. Late Wednesday night, witnesses say, a low-flying fighter jet unleashed a missile that smashed directly into the hospital.
The airstrike killed at least 27 people, including Dr. Mohammed Wassim Moaz, a pediatrician who continued to work in Aleppo even as the Syrian civil war raged around him....
..."Increasingly [clinics] are forced literally underground," he says. "The only way these surgeons can work is in basements of hospitals, not normal facilities, bunkers practically, which is really restrictive and really difficult."
Sam Taylor, spokesman for Doctors Without Borders in Amman, Jordan, says al-Quds was a well-established hospital with an emergency room and an eight-bed pediatric ward.
"What this [attack] means in very practical terms is that one of the main facilities for women to give birth and children to receive treatment has now been destroyed," he says....

The borders have to be established to make the civil war aggression worthless. Attacks on hospitals is no mistake, it is a strategy to drive people out of the city. The aggression has to be ended. The borders where the rebels hold land has to be set by UN resolution. Assad cannot go on to believe such actions will result in more and more territory for his possession.

I am quite certain this is ethnic cleansing. Aleppo is at the northern border of Alawite coastal territory. There was an attack by rebels against the Alawite region within the past couple of months. The Alawite are known to be peaceful people and welcome all ethnicities and religions.

Aleppo is not a goal in itself, (click here) but territorial gains are limited to the aim of fragmenting the opposition forces before any political settlement is reached. The regime and its allies know that it would be impossible to defeat the armed oppositions and reclaim all the Syrian territory.

They have opted for a strategy which isolates rebel-held areas from one another. By consigning the opposition to “islands”- isolated pockets of rebel-held territory surrounded by regime-held territory - the regime makes opposition forces vulnerable to repression and siege and dependent on regime allies to access further humanitarian supplies.
This strategy is systematic and coordinated at the highest levels within the regime. A military headquarters, called the United Center of Operation for the North, is managing a variety of regime-affiliated forces, including militias led by regime figures and Iranian advisers. It leads operations in Idlib, Aleppo and the north of Latakia, with the help of Russian air strikes....

...Apart from Aleppo being the largest city in Syria and the economic capital, whose recapturing would be of a military and psychological significance, liberating this particular city would be a boost to the Syrian government’s popular legitimacy. The people of Aleppo, who are predominantly Sunni, had stubbornly refused to get dragged into the “revolution” and, as a consequence, have suffered a lot. Therefore, a win in Aleppo would not only vindicate their steadfastness and sacrifices, but would be a win against the alternative project that is backed by regional players.
A win for the government in Aleppo would convince the armed rebellion that its fall is not imminent. People on the opposition side would be bound to ask questions on the sanity of continuing a fight and a suffering with no achievable goal on the horizon, which should lead to them attending the negotiations table with more realistic demands....