Thursday, December 22, 2016

Michael Moore is wearing a tie? Really?

Michael Moore (click here) shared his plan to save the country on Facebook Wednesday following Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election. Titled his “Morning After To-Do List,” the “Trumpland” director listed five things voters should do if they’re feeling upset about Trump’s win on Tuesday. 

1. “Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people.”

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". 

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Let's try to get this all done by noon today. -- Michael Moore

The DNC needs new leadership with a vision of the future. I sincerely believe the Labor Secretary is perfect. Seriously. Labor has always been the center of gravity of the DNC or at least it used to be.

The Democrats in the USA need to return unions to the landscape. We know for a fact the Middle Class is strongest when there are unions involved where they work.

Senator Bernie Sanders was amazing. He has the message the people of this country need to hear. His policies and agenda is very doable. The only thing that needs to be done with the ACA is a public option. The increase in health care insurance premiums is directly related to Americans with chronic and severe illness, such as kidney failure. Those folks should be back on Medicaid, hence a public option. Those folks need their own focus. It will relieve the continuing increases in premiums across the country.

I think Senator Sanders has the best message for the country. We need to continue to refine that message into policies and make that part of the DNC platform. 

I do agree Americans need to be more involved with their elected officials.

The popular vote is the wave of the future. We need to move in that direction. 

Mr. Trump, the campaign is over.

Donald J. Trump (click here)

The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capacity until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.

There is absolutely no way to know what the USA nuclear weapons look like. Donald Trump cannot possibly know what the USA nuclear capacity needs or doesn't need in the short period of time he has been President-Elect.

With this departure from sincere knowledge by Donald Trump and simply a statement of uninformed status of the USA, there is something far more disturbing than this statement alone.

My understanding is President Putin wants to increase it's nuclear arsenal in cooperation with the USA's increase capacity.

December 22, 2016
By Paul Mclear

In a year-end speech (click here) to his top military officers on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin threw down the gauntlet, declaring that the Russian military, emboldened by recent adventures in Syria and Ukraine, is ready to defeat any country that dares challenge it. “We can say with certainty: we are stronger now than any potential aggressor,” he proclaimed. “Anyone.”

He also made a pitch for bigger and badder nuclear weapons. Putin said Moscow must “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems.”...

This is about Ukraine. President Putin wants the USA to be a partner in securing and growing the war capacity of the nuclear Russia. This pandering to Trump and being his partner in facilitating the 2016 election is about replenishing Russia as a Superpower. President Putin is scared of Ukraine. He knows the capacity of that country and recent missile tests has Putin extremely insecure about his country.

Putin said something very odd, "If you elect Hillary Clinton there will be nuclear war, but, if you elect Donald Trump that won't happen." That won't happen because Putin fully expects Trump to be manageable.

President Putin is a foolish man. He believes increased nuclear capacity will solve Russia's problems with Ukraine. There cannot be a nuclear exchange across borders between the two countries. A nuclear exchange between Ukraine and Russia would destroy both countries.

President Putin and his own rebels in Crimea and at the border between Ukraine and Russia need to return to MINKS II.

The post Soviet states have been stating they believe President Putin wants to reclaim the Soviet Union. The would seem to be correct. There would be no other reason for Russia to escalate nuclear capacity. The USA is interested in non-proliferation and not increased danger to the world. When non-proliferation began the USA and Russia had incredible stockpiles that would destroy the entire population of the world many times over. It is unreasonable and foolish to return to that status. 

Mr. Trump is going to have to receive a sincere briefing about Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible IF HE WILL. The tensions that exist between Russia and the post Soviet states are real and palpable. I have no doubt Russia would rather 'feel secure' by invading lands that were once the Soviet Union, but, it is highly imprudent. 

Russia needs to stop being paranoid about the world in general. It's politics are horrible and highly nationalistic. Russia needs to return to treaties and peace priorities and not a return to war and nuclear proliferation.

During the "W" years, there was a refit to the USA nuclear capacity. That is not a return to proliferation. This demand for escalation of nuclear confrontation by Russia has to stop and peace agreements and non-proliferation returned to guarantee the lives of Russians inside and outside of Russia.

Donald Trump NEEDS an education as soon as possible. His statements are outrageous and hideously dangerous.

I hope the turning point in this civil war will now return humanitarian support to the people.

December 22, 2016
By Elliot Hannon

...Syrian state TV broadcast (click here) an army statement declaring the defeat of rebels there was part of a "strategic transformation and a turning point in the war on terrorism and a deadly blow to the terrorist project and its supporters.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the victory was also one for Russia and Iran, whose air raids and militias helped boost the Syrian government and turn the tide in the besieged city.

Daesh is defeated. I am curious how al-Nursa is doing.

...Al-Nusra has, (click here) since 2012, been one of the largest and most influential groupings in the Syrian conflict....

It may be that rebels of all kind have been defeated. Al Nusra has been a law enforcement agent to the people that lived in Syria. It will be interesting what has occurred in Syria in relation to small militias such as al Nusra. I think Assad wanted to end the divisions in the country. It is a civil war.

“The rebel evacuations were set in motion last week after Syria's opposition agreed to surrender its last footholds in eastern Aleppo. Since then, some 35,000 fighters and civilians have been bussed out, according to the United Nations,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The departure of the last convoy paves the way for Assad to assume full control after more than four years of fighting over Syria's largest city. It marks his most significant victory since an uprising against his family's four-decade rule swept the country in 2011.”

“The arrival of thousands of refugees from Aleppo in Idlib aroused fears that the rebel-held city in northwestern Syria could be next,” according to Reuters. “Assad has said the war is far from over and his armed forces would march on other rebel areas.”...

What is Assad doing to secure Aleppo to prevent a return to fighting before moving on to Idlib? That has been the problem in Syria. The so called terrorist groups such as al Nusra were the law enforcement to communities across Syria. If the rebels are defeated and there is no power sharing agreement, where are the ground forces that will hold Aleppo to prevent the return to fighting and/or the return of crime.

Assad has to do more than kill with the assistance of Russia and Iran, he has to govern. What are his plans to return function to Aleppo so citizens can go home and begin rebuilding their markets and homes.

I am kind of wondering who Ms. Conway is meeting with to assume responsibilites in the White House.

Kellyanne Conway stated yesterday she knew Trump was going to win the end of October 2016. I believe her.

Ms. Conway went through a transformation with this presidential campaign. She left her anorexia appearance behind and instead decided to appear healthy. She realized she was at the center of something far bigger than she or even Trump and became serious about her image.

If one was paying attention she had a different posture at the end of October. Call it confidence or call it the realization of an achievement, but, her posture in public had changed and she was calm; far more calm than she expected.

However, tonight it seems obvious she needs to take her position in the White House more seriously and maybe she will, but, she needs to read newspapers on a regular basis and be informed about events important to the people of the USA. She needs to move past her right wing preferences and begin to realize she has a very important role with the Oval Office and should be relied upon to information the President of current concerns of the American people. That is usually reflected in their newspapers.

I am sure Donald Trump already reads newspapers, being a business man. The demands of the Oval Office is unique and requires expert opinion and not simply populous opinion. I am sure Kellyanne Conway will adapt to her new job as she did with her appearance of wellness in the campaign.

Unfortunately, nuclear weapons are still an issue. It should be, but, it is.

Allepo is finished. The rebels are gone as of today. Hopefully a balance will return and the humanitarian aid can be dispatched ASAP.

But, as to Ukraine. It was very dangerous at the time Russia broke the treaty with Ukraine. Chancellor Merkel was instrumental in de-escalating the situation. I remember her stating, "President Putin has been saying things that are outside the realm of reasonable in response to these circumstances."

That was a reference to nuclear weapons. Russia practices brinkmanship and in relation to Ukraine, Russia worries it will return to nuclear weapons. Ukraine, as a Soviet state, had the nuclear weapon launch sites for Russia due to it's proximity to Europe. The fall of Viktor Yanukovych (click here) was perceived as a profound threat to Russia. That is why President Putin was so willing to practice brinkmanship and possibly beyond. Annexing Crimea was about more then just protecting Russian people, it is about a strategy against Europe.

President Putin previous to the Ukraine revolution of 2014 (click here) used Ukraine as a political strategy. There was a reason for that. Putin, a former KGB, was worried about Ukraine and it's capacity as a global power. It is why the Ukraine national military was disarmed and Yanukovych placed militias throughout the country headed up by oligarchs. Russia is afraid Ukraine, especially, since there were missile trials by Ukraine.

But, as to nuclear weapons, they are still a concern. And. A problem as recently as 2014. 

March 16, 2015
by Laura Smith-Spark, Alla Eshchenko and Emma Burrows

Moscow - Russia was ready (click here) to put its nuclear forces on alert over the crisis in Crimea last year, such was the threat to Russian people there, President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary that aired on state TV on Sunday night.

Asked if Russia was prepared to bring its nuclear weapons into play, Putin said: "We were ready to do it. I talked with colleagues and told them that this (Crimea) is our historic territory, Russian people live there, they are in danger, we cannot leave them.

"It wasn't us who committed a coup, it was the nationalists and people with extreme beliefs."

But this was the worst-case scenario, he added, in the documentary broadcast on state-run channel Rossiya One. "I don't think this was actually anyone's wish -- to turn it into a world conflict."

It wasn't known when the interview was originally taped. It aired even as speculation mounted about Putin's health, following an absence of several days from the public stage. He reappeared in public Monday.

Russia formally annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula last March, after Ukraine's pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted following street protests that turned bloody. Russia called his ouster a coup by radical Ukrainian nationalists.

Before Crimea was formally absorbed by Russia, unidentified armed men had taken control of its administrative buildings and key military sites. A referendum was held on March 16, 2014 -- a year ago to the day -- on secession from Ukraine....

The House and Senate Committees on Intelligence has a special place in the USA during the administration transition.

Advisory: (click here) NSA Director Rogers to Testify in Open Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing This Week

The Trump administration that is taking shape does not reflect seasoned personnel in the dynamics since 2001. 

The last time the USA experienced an attack on it's citizens was 2001. It was also an attack on the pentagon itself. September 11, 2001 was an attack on the USA brain trust more than any other segment of our countries.

During the September 11 attacks in 2001, there were 2,996 people killed and more than 6,000 others wounded. These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes, 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees need to be seeking information they know results in the best information for the country. The transition will bring novices to the current risk environment, no matter their credentials. 

I suggest if there is regression of expertise within the intelligence community to the USA the Committees speak out loudly to the American people. Americans have a right to be safe and to be educated to risks in their lives. I fully expect new appointees will try new strategies. That is probably the worst idea when it comes to protecting the American people.

When the incoming administration creates gaps in information the public needs to be addressed. What has occurred in recent years are better prepared cities. New York and now Boston have more intricate intelligence autonomous and blended with current federal infrastructure. That local investigative capacity should be viewed as a sincere continuity to protect local populations. New York City has it's own international agents.

I expect extremist policies that won't serve any purpose except spending monies for some kind of economic plan. I also expect less focus on White Supremacists. The committee members, if they are at all interested in the well being of the American people, should review non-government organizations that track dangerous organizations and people in this country, including those reviewing dangers to children as well as adults. 

I don't have confidence in the people being nominated and/or appointed to protect this country. 

The declaration by President Obama in defense of the waters of the USA is necessary.

The fisheries of the USA are under threat and the protected waters before this declaration are not enough to serve the people. Protections such as these will insure a safe margin for the future.

December 20, 2016
By Coral Davenport

President Obama (click here) announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban on portions of the ocean floor from Virginia to Maine and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts.

“It’s never been done before,” said Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School. “There is no case law on this. It’s uncharted waters.”...

Across the globe, especially the fisheries of the Pacific, there are threats to the quality and the quantity of fish in the oceans. The American people need a safety margin as a food source. This order by President Obama will insure that food source.

I thank him for finding a way to protect the USA waters, or should I say what are left of them, for the future generations of Americans. President Obama has dedicated himself and his administration to increase protections of the USA's natural world for the people of this country and their children. I think the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico caused him to assess the waters of this country and their potential to provide a food source.

The shellfish beds and the fisheries of the USA in the Gulf of Mexico have been tragically destroyed. There are vast areas of the USA's waters in the Gulf that are permanently damaged.

April 19, 2015
By Matt Smith

Tam Huynh (click here) hauls a blue crab trap over the side of his boat, shakes the catch out of it and tosses it back overboard. The results are disappointing.

"See, the crab like that, you can feel it's so skinny," he says, pressing on a spot just behind the spines that jut out of the crustacean's side. "It's got no meat.So Huynh (pronounced "Wynn") throws it over the side, where a small squadron of gulls and pelicans await. It was one of only three in his trap, one of about 300 he sets in the shallow waters of Mississippi Sound.

Huynh is one of the thousands of Vietnamese refugees who settled on the Gulf Coast for the fishing industry — but it's not much of a living these days. A few years ago, he was making upwards of $50,000 from the traps; now it's barely a quarter of that, he says. His wife works at a seafood processing plant onshore, but her hours are being cut back....

At the time of the Deepwater Horizon, Bligh Reef of Prince William Sound in Alaska (click here for audio of the grounding of the Exxon Valdez) where the Exxon Valdez ran aground on March 24, 1989 were still contaminated and exhibited far lower sea life than before the oil disaster.

The fact that waters contaminated with oil are difficult to recover demands protections where the waters exhibit productive fisheries. Below is only one of the continuing efforts in Prince William Sound to restore fisheries there. (click here)

Oil is a carbon based substance and organic in structure. When it is spilled in waters it creates long term problems. Pigeon Guillemots are shorebirds that once were innumerable in Prince William Sound.

President Obama is correct in protecting the waters of the Atlantic and Alaska. There are fisheries in these national waters that are still productive. 

In the northwest USA, some of the estuaries are seeing shellfish diminish in production because of sea waters becoming acidic. The estuaries are where shellfish begin their lives, but, due to lower pH the young are not producing the hard shells that protect them from predation. The decline in those waters is felt by the fishing community. 

President Obama is concerned about the national waters still producing fish and shellfish. The Atlantic Ocean shoreline of the USA beginning with the Chesapeake Bay and going north are vital to the people of the USA.

While each of the roughly 250 species of fish and shellfish (click here) in the Bay plays a unique role in the ecosystem, several species stand out for their ecological, historical, and/or commercial and recreational importance. These species include:...

Fish Watch (click here)

The USA's Pacific fisheries collapsed and are still recovering. So, with the west coast fisheries still closed and the Gulf Coast permanently damaged with a severe decline in commercial fishing there is every reason to thank President Obama for this level of vigilance of a vital food source for the USA.

April 12, 2016 (click here)

...According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) 2016 sardine assessment, the Pacific sardine population took a nose dive and dropped by roughly 90 percent between 2007 and 2016. In response to this crash, in April 2015 the federal Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to close the directed commercial fishery. This week, the Council voted to keep the fishery closed for another year....

Ocean Acidification of the USA Pacific Northwest fisheries has indisputable evidence of the reality and decline.

Prepared by Jan Newton and Terrie Klinger, University of Washington

Our growing understanding (click here) of the causes and consequences of ocean acidification in local marine waters has been reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and summarized in the Scientific Summary of the Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification (hereafter, Scientific Summary) released in 2012. The purpose of this short communication is to clearly and succinctly present the current scientific understanding of ocean acidification in the Pacific Northwest based on evidence from the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
The scientific evidence for ocean acidification in the Pacific Northwest is compelling. This evidence consists of numerous scientific papers, published over a period of many years, representing contributions from multiple scientists at multiple institutions. The scientific evidence comes from investigations of the natural and anthropogenic biogeochemistry Pacific Northwest waters, organismal sensitivity to relevant biogeochemical conditions, physiological mechanisms that determine sensitivity, and successful adaptation of culture practices in hatcheries....
The evidence of the decline of the USA's fisheries is overwhelming. President Obama acted in the only way possible when considering all the evidence.

A part of the problem with the Pacific fisheries of the USA is foreign vessel encroachment.

...The Coast Guard (click here) has four overall objectives in its living marine resources mission:

- To prevent illegal encroachment of the U.S. EEZ by foreign fishing vessels.

- To ensure compliance with U.S. laws and regulations. • To monitor compliance with international agreements. 

- To develop viable enforcement schemes to support marine resource managemen t plans. Enforcement of the fishery management plans that protect and manage our fish stocks and marine mammals falls to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Coast Guard. NMFS estimates 96 species of fish and shellfish are endangered or at risk in the EEZ....

The problems facing the fisheries of the USA are daunting, but, these new protections will assist in maintaining what is left. The protections will also increase the chance of the restoration of collapsed fisheries.