Saturday, May 27, 2017

The area where the landslide took place is not yet stable.

Images taken by NASA's (click here) Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 reveal the extent of a massive landslide that has blocked off Big Sur's Highway 1. On the left, an image taken prior to the landslide (April 20), in the middle, an image taken after a smaller landslide that preceded the current one (May 17), and on the right, an image of the bigger landslide (taken on May 22)

The top of the hill increased it's instability.

..."This is a large slide preceded by smaller slides, which is not uncommon," Thomas Stanley, a geologist and researcher for NASA, said in a statement. “Much of the California coastline is prone to collapse, so it’s fortunate that this landslide happened in an unpopulated location.”...

It looks to me as the top of the hill became more unstable over that MONTH, the more and more debris carried down to the landslide area. 

There is a reason this area of California is unpopulated for the most part.


May 27, 2017
By Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad

What a mess: (click here)

The landslide that closed Highway 1 south of Big Sur is shaping up to be a major challenge for engineers. They’re looking at 1.5 million tons of rock and mud over the highway and into the ocean. The landslide was a third of a mile wide and 40 feet at its deepest. What once was a steep drop into the Pacific is now a broad, sloping bench extending almost 250 feet beyond the shoreline. By some estimates, the collapse had added 15 acres to the coast, a little more than 11 football fields including the end zones. And the worst might not be over, said field inspectors who had just returned from the slide. Listen closely, and you’ll hear a sound of water running like rain through the rocks and dirt. The slide at Mud Creek is still moving....

Big Sur 360 degree view (click here)

M 4.1 - 12km W of Isla Vista, California (click here)
2017-05-17 04:42:25 UT1c34.419°N   120.002°W2.3 km depth
So long as Donald Trump is president there is nothing his family can do wrong.

It is always for the good of the country.

Zbigniew Brzezinski (click here)

He lived long with a rewarding life of work.

My sincerest sympathies to his family and friends at a difficult time.

"The Washington Post" is incredibly engaged in this offense to the American people.

May 27, 2019
By Callum Borchers

...Three months later, (click here) it is increasingly clear that the powers of the president to stop leaks are rather unsubstantial and will be questioned almost daily.

The Washington Post reported Friday — based on information from U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports — that President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, discussed setting up a secret communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin using Russian facilities in Washington when he met in December with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States....

If Mr. Trump wants to continue as the first President from the Tea Party he should be grateful the leaks exist.

May 26, 2017
By Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous and Greg Miller

...Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador (click here) to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser....

I won't comment on the facts known to date, except, the reporting in the Post stated Mr. Kushner was insisting on a secret connection with Russia only after there was a transition team. "Salon" reported some time ago there was a secret communication line discovered by a group of professional hackers linking Moscow and the Trump Organization. This relationship with at least Kushner has existed for some time and outside the law.

The idea President Trump is more an ideologue when it comes to China and Russia is convenient for him and it may be his focus, but, he enlisted Russia to help during the campaign. I believe it was after the DNC was hacked and reported. That puts into question his real intent about his "shout out" to Russia and whether or not it was simply a rhetorical statement or a command.

Jared Kushner's father wasn't afraid of the law and he was caught and sent to prison. This is what really should be focused on socially. The wealthy never get enough. They always want more and more and entertain bankruptcy as a means to keeping their wealth while ridding themselves of debt they can never realistically pay. Mr. Trump ran his empire like that. He contracted enormous debt to build. Then, when cash was running short he simply declared bankruptcy with the company while he held a good deal of Trump Organization's FORMER wealth as personal earnings.

As to whether that is legal or not is not for me to assess, however, it is highly immoral and places "The Working People" of the USA in direct opposition of enhancing economic growth. The more the Middle Class has in wealth, while still the Middle Class, the more growth of the USA economy takes place. 

As a side note, MOST if not all, union workers are not millionaries. They work. They earn their living by working. If the unions were taking AS WAGES AND BENEFITS such high percentages of monies made by a business, there would no longer be workers, so much as entrepreneurs and wealth management day traders passing through the money machine of unions. THAT IS NOT HAPPENING! Hello, America!

But, as to Kushner and his brothers-in-law, we know they are guilty of harnessing the powers of the USA for their own purpose. There is no doubt about that. That closed meeting in China was enhanced by a USA budget which included VISAS that will be used to provide wealthy Chinese a path to USA citizenship.

May 15, 2017

By Miriam Valverde

A widely criticized immigrant investor program (click here) is back in the spotlight after the sister of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, courted investors for a family real estate project.

Nicole Meyer, Kushner’s sister, earlier this month was in Beijing seeking $150 million from Chinese investors for Kushner Companies’ One Journal Square, a Jersey City housing development, according to media reports.

The Kushner business seeks to raise funds for the project through the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which allows wealthy foreigners to invest at least $500,000 in American projects and in turn, if conditions are met, get lawful permanent residence in the United States.

Critics say the program is a conduit for fraud and abuse....

It was all planned. The presidency and all that followed, while ridiculing The Western Press, was planned by the family and the Kushner family to resolve their greed and DEBT. The country was not the top priority. It was the ACCESS to bend the laws of the USA that was the goal. There is no doubt about it.

The EB-5 Visa program needs to be eliminated. It is a crutch to Wall Street.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (click here)

...Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program. This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

It is all there concerning Trump and the Kushners. It is the extent of the legality and whether it reflects treason or not. Add to that all the breaches in national security by President Trump and there is a real problem for him and his continued time in office.

This is just me, but, I found the Russian Foreign Minister, when at the White House after Comey's directorship was terminated, more jovial than any other time I witnessed him publicly. There is a side to this that theorizes the fact that Russia may have acted in willingness to contain the threat. That is the work normally found in allies. Russia would do that. Russia could not care less about the USA and would have gone along with the secret communications anyway. But, there is no doubt in my mind Vladimir Putin is grateful it was Russia the Kushners and Trump came to.

For the Kushners and Trumps, it is time to pay the piper.

I really feel as though I need to defend her, even with a $51,000+ jacket. She is not Jared Kushner. At all.

Melania Trump's first official White House portrait

To begin, every woman in power can take lessons from the lovely First Lady.

This picture is very soft, but, very powerful. She is making eye contact with the camera and that comes from her TALENT as a model. She can connect with emotions expected at the other end of the camera.

I think the back drop is brilliant. She is obviously in a house (which most women identify with) and the house has windows to the world.

She is lavishing her diamonds, but, she is allowed. I am certain she is a millionaire several times over all by herself. Her engagement ring is loud and that is her spouse and she is willing to display his love of her.

I also want to bring to the surface the fact she is a very autonomous woman. She criticized her husband for his brackish behavior in the interview where he said he could fondle any woman he cared to because of his enormous wealth. She wasn't putting up with it.

As far as walking behind her husband; she wears high heels for crying out loud. She doesn't feel insecure and if one remembers the announcement for President; Mr. Trump was behind her as she descended the elevator. And about the way she gets in and out of "The Beast," so what! She likes getting out on her side of the car because she'd probably catch a heel on the carpet to move to Donald's side. 

Now, if you want to rip Donald to shreds, I really don't mind. He probably deserves to be ripped to shreds as he pays little 'gentleman like' attention to his spouse. He rarely is seen waiting for her or holding the door, but, maybe that is the point. We simply don't do that anymore. In my experience, men feel the need to do that more than women stand in belligerent offense of the fact they didn't hold the door.

May 26, 2017
By Rachel Lubitz

We learned (click here) a whole lot about Melania Trump this week. 

Apart from those awkward hand-holding debacles, this was Melania Trump's week to shine, making more appearances during her first trip abroad with her husband than ever before, which also means we got more outfits from Trump than ever before.

In total, at time of publishing, this week gave us 16 outfits total — that's a record! — which shines a new light onto what her style is really saying. Over at the Washington Post, her early looks this week were described as "controlled" and "self-contained," which isn't inaccurate at all.

But that being said, she also took risks. She wore more patterns than ever before, as well as colorful coats and decorative shoes. Although a majority of her outfits were predictable — girl loves a black or white dress or coat — she experimented with designers on this trip abroad, not just wearing Ralph Lauren but people like Reem Acra and Stella McCartney....

I am not going to recant every detail where I believe First Lady Melania Trump is her own woman. She is. She has been autonomous and it is my estimation no matter what the future holds she always will be and then reflect on Barron. He has a great Mom that loves her son and is setting the absolute best example of "woman" that can be set. She is strong, autonomous and yet loving.

As far as the fashion she displayed while with her spouse on their first international trip, she was exceptionally appropriate in every setting. She wore a great deal of black from a particular designer. I am not surprised when she had a chance to break out of the color midnight black.

As to the price, it is exceptionally shameful and she needs to be aware of that. Americans far less able to obtain such a jacket will try. She should always be aware that she is in the one percent of the wealth in the USA. There is a social and political price that goes along with that.

I like her. I think she wears the pressure of public life exceptionally well. She has yet to really let the American people down and as pointed out by Rachel Lubitz this is her 18th week as First Lady. I wish her well.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Flint on PBS' "Nova."

May 24, 2017
By Monique Judge

The Public Broadcasting Service program Nova, (click here) the most-watched science series on American television, will air an episode looking at the chemistry and engineering behind the 3-year-old lead-contaminated-water crisis in Flint, Mich.

According to MLive, PBS issued a news release announcing the program, which will premiere May 31 at 9 p.m.

“In a money-saving maneuver, the city of Flint, Mich.—under the authority of a state-appointed emergency manager—switched its municipal water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River,” the news release reads.

“Unbeknownst to the city officials at the time, this switch would trigger a chemical chain reaction with devastating results: thousand of children exposed to lead poisoning, and very likely two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, claiming 12 lives.”...

Brilliant women. What becomes of their future?

I love dates. Yum.

Shoppers buy dates at a shop in Jeddah ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan.

25 May 2017

Jeddah: Saturday, May 27, (click here) is the start of holy month of Ramadan, the Supreme Court announced on Thursday.
The crescent moon was not sighted on Thursday and so fasting will start Saturday.
“The moon will be out/disappear on the entire Islamic world, Thursday and, based on this, there is no crescent,” astronomer Khalid Al-Zaaq, a member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences said in a series of tweets.
He added that this year’s Ramadan will begin and end on a Saturday, which makes it a 29-day month. “(Ramadan) will have four Fridays,” he added.
UAE also announced Saturday the first day of Ramadan as the moon-sighting committee failed to spot the new moon crescent on Thursday night.
Qatari Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs said on its Twitter account that “Due to the lack of a moon sighting this night, the committee announces that investigation will continue tomorrow.”
Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Ghana have, too, declared Saturday the first day of Ramadan.
More than 1.6 billion Muslims around the world will mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from dawn until sunset.

24 May 2017
By Mohammed al-Sulami

Jeddah: A group of Shiite scholars (click here) in the Eastern Province has condemned recent attacks on the Kingdom’s security officers and citizens. In a statement, eight senior clerics expressed concern over the violent incidents in Awwamiyah, condemning terrorism and the use of weapons.
They demanded terrorists put down their weapons and surrender.
They said the use of violence is neither legal nor is it a feasible way to solve problems. Terrorism only complicates matters, undermines stability and threatens the interests of the country and its people, they added.
They emphasized that the country’s security and governance are the responsibility of the state, and called on young people to abandon violence and resort to peace and dialogue to demand their rights....

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking no chances with it's NGOs. It is distributing important meals to the Syrians in Turkey and along the border while remaining as safe as possible.

I think the Saudi National Campaign is setting a good example. If the NGOs cannot stay safe while delivering food to the Syrians, who is going to continue to be compassionate? The NGOs should first secure their safety in recognition of the importance of the missions they carry out.

26 May 2017

Jeddah: The office of the Saudi National Campaign (click here) to Support Brothers in Syria has signed an agreement in Turkey with Merkez Market to provide 300,000 iftar meals to fasting Syrian refugees in Turkey and those displaced in Syria via the Ramadan campaign “God will reward you the same.”
The total value of the meals amounts to over SR3 million ($800,000).
The head of the campaign’s office in Turkey, Khaled Al-Salama, said the best available food items have been chosen with the highest standards and specifications.
He said the office will provide the meals to Syrian refugees in Turkey and camps in Syria along the Syrian-Turkish border, in addition to displaced populations in the northern Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Idlib....

Saudi Arabia is really taking the lead in providing important humanitarian supplies and services to those in need in the region.

Yemen has been a place of concern for the Kingdom, both, in the health of the people, but, also the security of Saudi Arabia itself. The Houtis still control Sanaa. This is simply compassion that surpasses any expectations.

We all should be grateful for the generosity and dedication of Saudi Arabia to improve the lives of so many in the face of violence against the people of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is obviously interested in peace and not war.

24 May 2017

Riyadh: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, (click here) adviser to the Royal Court and head of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Assistance (KSRelief), inaugurated on Tuesday a convoy aimed at combating and treating the cholera outbreak in Yemen.

The 550-ton convoy is carrying medicine and supplies needed to diagnose and treat Yemenis suffering from the disease.

Al-Rabeeah thanked King Salman for directing and guiding the center to urgently respond to the need to combat and contain the outbreak.
“The inauguration for this convoy today comes in execution of the directives of the wise leadership to fight the outbreak of cholera, and as such the center has formed a rapid-response team to put in place programs for rapid intervention, diagnosis, treatment and containment of cholera, as well as prevention,” he said, adding that coordination is ongoing with specialized agencies and local partners and organizations to provide medicines, antibiotics and other needs.
Al-Rabeeah said the 25-truck convoy contains 700,000 units of IVs and required devices, and 500,000 doses of antibiotics, which will help treat 59,000 people throughout Yemen....


Approval ratingDates
Most recent weekly average38May 15-21, 2017
Term average to date41Jan 20, 2017-present
High point, weekly average45Jan 20-29, 2017
Low point, weekly average38three times; last on May 15-21, 2017
High point, three-day average46twice; last on Jan 23-25, 2017
Low point, three-day average35Mar 26-28, 2017

I think this is very telling of President Trump. He lends his name and expects money without supplying service.

I could put my nose in the air, too. It doesn't mean anything, except, I look like a Fox Hound on the way to finding the Fox. I always thought sniffing he wind was unattractive.

I only mention it since President Trump seems to be such a novice in the international theater.

I find the body language interesting, he is sniffing the wind in the direction of the women. "W" had a problem with massage. I don't know if this is the same thing.

May 25, 2017
By Catherine Stupp

US President Donald Trump (click here) stole the show at a meeting of NATO heads of state yesterday (25 May) when he doubled down on his demands for other members to pay more in an opening speech.
Trump lectured leaders from the 27 other NATO countries in his debut speech, demanding they “finally contribute their fair share” because it is “not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States” that they spend so much more on defence than the alliance’s other members.
The speech made no reference to the NATO pledge for members to defend each other if they’re attacked, which is set out in Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty. Diplomats were expecting to hear Trump mention his commitment to the “collective defence” clause in his remarks. But its absence may have instead compounded fears about Trump’s attitude towards NATO.
Trump’s behaviour seemed to puzzle other leaders and NATO diplomats involved in organising the meeting. He was caught on camera shoving Montegrin Prime Minister Dusco Markovic to reach the front of the crowd of leaders as they gathered for the pre-meeting ceremony. Montenegro is set to become a NATO member next month. It was both Markovic and Trump’s first NATO meeting....

Montenegro is an important ally to the USA and NATO in general. Location, location, location.

It is a multi-lingual country with many ethnicities, Montenegrin 45%, Serbian 28.7%, Bosniak 8.7%, Albanian 4.9%, Muslim 3.3%, Romani 1%, Croat 1%, other 2.6%, unspecified 4.9%.

It is a country that should be proud of it's history. It is one of struggle for autonomy, but, also as being a great ally of the USA through WWI. It was absorbed by monarchs in the years that followed, but, became a constituent of Yugoslavia after WWII which dissolved after 1992.

Montenegro in it's current sovereign state has existed since 2006. A young country with 11 years of consolidated government. Of course, this area of the world was somewhat similar with the struggles Ukraine has now. First separating from Russia and then ending any ethnic hatred to have a sovereign authority that is recognized by NATO as a strong and valuable ally. These people are of not minor importance to Europe or the USA.

Not unlike it's European friends, Montenegro is a spectacularly beautiful country. The geography of the country has contributed to it's autonomy over centuries as well.

Over the years leading to it's current sovereign nature, Montenegro has turned it's state owned companies. The banking industry is 100 percent privatized and it has the Euro as it's currency. There are many wise decisions here. The leadership knows what it is doing and there is a strong tourist economy that already exists. I am sure it would have benefited the Trump Company to take time to speak with the country's economic minister/secretary. Luxury hotels already exist there, but, an American hotel might be interesting to folks.

Montenegro is a member of the World Bank, IMF and the WTO. It's GDP is about $4 billion US and while 2008 didn't cause a decline in it's GDP, it stop the upward movement. I am sure the leadership is concerned about it's stagnant economy.

The country is planning major infrastructure changes that are mostly about moving people; planes, roads and rail. Montenegro is opening itself to more visitors to increase economic growth. Good thinking, but, NATO is vital to this country as it needs to provide security for it's people and control the influx of what might be charismatic infiltration of Daesh along with it's new economy. My guess is that Daesh has already taken notes about this beautiful country as it's President was so easily brushed aside by Trump; a moment of weakness and vulnerability. 

The USA/NATO military needs to look to Montenegro for it's sovereign security and protections of it's people.

The "Bully President," not the Bully Pulpit. Just stay out of his way and perhaps what is best is to roll out a red carpet for a "Red Carpet" Entrance of each leader.

I think the Saudis had the right idea. Simple allow a red carpet to be everywhere the leaders feet touch and make it plenty wide.

That strong arm mess is about appearing to be superior and inflicting a feeling of inferiority by the leadership of merely 600,000 people. It was a way of saying "My empire is billions and I doubt there is a place for Montenegro in it. Of course, the leader of Montenegro is concerned for his country and wants to know how to grow Trump's particular kind of corruption to benefit he and his country.

But, let's just say President Markovic is an honest broker and simply wants to be recognized for his status entrusted by 600,000 citizens. Then his persistence indicates he doesn't put up with bullies.

May 26, 2017
By Samatha Schmidt

...Let’s break it down. (click here)

A slow-motion viewing of the video indicates no words spoken by Trump as he approaches the group from behind. No “Excuse me” or “Pardon me.”

Trump reaches out his right arm, grabs Markovic’s right shoulder and pushes him aside. Markovic looks surprised. Trump doesn’t acknowledge his existence as he moves past him. It’s as if Markovic isn’t there.

Markovic abruptly looks back at Trump but gets no eye contact from Trump in return.

Then he pats Trump on the back, or perhaps the arm, displaying a slight grin as Trump, at the front of the group, stands tall and adjusts his suit coat. Trump begins conversing with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite as Markovic looks on from behind....      

The assault on the journalist boosted his support and probably won him votes.

I didn't write about it for that reason. I wasn't going to contribute more violence to the event. The apology made should be rejected. As a matter of fact the apology should be met with a lawsuit. If politicians are going to assault and abuse journalists as a political scheme then they need to pre-pay any medical assault in the way of insurance for the industry. Then they can avoid lawsuits for medical expenses at least and simply deal with the lost reputation of the journalist and future income lost because of this vicious political act.

May 26, 2017
With Breanne Deppisch

The Big Idea: Greg Gianforte (click here) admitted to attacking a reporter and apologized during his victory speech last night, as he kept Montana’s sole House seat in Republican hands. Now he and his party’s leaders are trying to move on.

On the eve of the special election, the wealthy technology entrepreneur flipped out when the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs asked him about the CBO’s score of the health care bill. He now faces misdemeanor assault charges for reportedly throwing Jacobs to the ground and breaking hiI made a mistake,” the congressman-elect said at his party in Bozeman. “Not in our minds!” yelled a supporter. David Weigel, who was there, reports that some in the crowd laughed.

-- After his comfortable six-point victory, Republican congressional leaders are making clear there will be no meaningful consequences for his behavior. “Elections are about choices and Montanans made their choice,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement this morning. "Rep.-elect Gianforte is an outsider with real-world experience creating jobs in Montana. He will bring that experience to Congress, where he will be a valuable voice in the House Republican Conference."...

Gianforte didn't win the election, corruption lost it. Voters have to pay attention what such actions by candidates imply. The 'tattle-tailing' of the Governor brought in the idea Gianforte is going to be a frugal public official and possibly more ideas on how to contain the cost of government. So, while the Governor lost because of the corruption of unofficial use of the plane, he also was seen as a person that didn't care about the money spent through taxes. The Governor lost the race for all the right reasons. Gianforte is simply a place holder at this point. The bar is set high for Gianforte from here forward.

August 25, 2017
By Lindsey Ford

...Gianforte claims (click here) that Governor Steve Bullock used the plane for unnecessary and personal events, like the Paul McCartney concert in Missoula, and for campaign stops.

“We have a governor who’s flying to rock concerts and campaigned events at taxpayer expense and then when he was caught, he only reimbursed taxpayers pennies on the dollar,” said  Gianforte....

Thursday, May 25, 2017

While portions of the USA are drenched with flooding and soil erosion, the rest of the world is not.

May 24, 2017
By Brian Lada

Drought (click here) may continue to grip portions of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil this winter.

Meanwhile, warm waters in the Pacific Ocean will help to spread rain across much of the western countries of South America.... 

May 25, 2017

Relief from the pre-monsoon heat (click here) across northwestern India will be short-lived as another round of dangerous heat is expected into this weekend....

I apologize for my President.

No offense to the Princess's memory. She was always magnificent.

The Trumps are used to being gawked at to help sell their fashion and jewelry lines. Their demeanor is probably different than most have come to expect. However, they will never measure up to the royals and the work they do. 

If the royals of the world did not take a stand on so many issues government leaders ignore, we would never realize civilization and the importance of focus of power.

Margaret who?

May 26, 2017

Tennis great Margaret Court (click here) is under fire for comments made about same-sex marriage.

In an open letter to the Western Australian newspaper, she says she will no longer fly with Qantas after its CEO Alan Joyce came out in support of gay marriage, which is still illegal in Australia.

"I am disappointed that Qantas has become an active promoter for same sex marriage," Court wrote.

"I believe in marriage as a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible. Your statement leaves me no option but to use other airlines where possible for my extensive travelling."

It's prompted calls for the Olympic Park tennis complex in Melbourne to remove her name from one of its arenas.

The Twitter account for Margaret Court Arena has posted a message saying it does not support her comments and they remain an organisation committed to diversity and inclusion....