Monday, January 09, 2017

July 9, 2017
By Bethan McKernan

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (click here) has said he is prepared to negotiate on "everything" in proposed peace talks with rebels later this month, despite the shakiness of the current ceasefire.

Talks brokered by Syrian ally Russia and rebel supporting Turkey are supposed to take place in Kazakhstan before the end of January, but last week opposition groups said they had frozen the process in light of continued government strikes across the country.

In comments made to French media published on Monday, Mr Assad said that the nationwide truce had been violated by rebels several times. He also defended the army's push to recapture Wadi Barada, a rebel-held valley near Damascus where the main water supply to the capital has been turned off....

I am speaking out of turn since I don't know all the details about the demographics of Syria today as opposed to before the civil war, but, it is my opinion Syria is not governable without the rebel groups.

Most in the West don't understand Syria. To the West there is the idea there is one governing structure that controls a country's sovereignty. That is not, nor ever has it been the case in Syria. 

it is called the Shia Crescent, but, it isn't really a crescent, so much as a demographic.

All the Neocons want to say Iran is causing problems in the Middle East because they are backing extremists and terrorist organizations. That is true from a Western perspective, however, that is very, very false from an on the ground view of the Middle East, primarily where the Shia are concerned.

I have to take a call. Sorry.


Let me set a scene from USA history. Okay? I think this will bring a far better understanding of Syria.

In the late 1890s and early 1900s there was great immigration of people to the USA. They came with their culture intact in their hearts and a will to live in peace with others out of the strength of their religious faith. Do to that time in USA history the country came to be called "The Melting Pot."

What if there was no melting (assimilation) by all these peoples that came to the USA with hopes of a better life. If you can imagine that then it is completely transposed over Syria.

I am going to go through this one more time. Assad is an Alawite. Alawites are Syrian. They comprise about 11 percent of the Syrian population. They also have a significant population in Turkey and northern Lebanon. One has to pay attention to the GEOGRAPHY of the sovereign ETHNICITY when discussing the Middle East.

Now, 11 percent of a population is not the majority, however, the leadership in Syria has been Alawite and that leadership has protected the Alawites in both Syria (along the coast) and in Northern Lebanon.

Now, how can President Assad be president of Syria and claim to also rule and protect the Alawites in Northern Lebanon? Lebanon is a sovereign country. Now, ask oneself how long Lebanon was met with violence that murdered some of it's most open minded, non-violent leaders. A long time. Beirut was always in the news media at one time because of the violence between the WARRING SECTS for control.

Interesting, Beirut which is the capital of Lebanon is very near Damascus, the capital of Syria. However, the area in Lebanon where Alawites are located is north of Beirut.

The AGENT for the Alawites in northern Lebanon is Hezbollah. Hezbollah is viewed by the West as a terrorist organization. It is not. Hezbollah is a military arm of the Shia. Hezbollah is not only a military arm of the Shia, it is a political party in Lebanon.

The West, including Great Britain, has a very bad habit of drawing lines and calling LAND within those lines a sovereign country. That is not the way people in the Middle East see sovereignty, especially in Syria.

Sovereignty in the Middle East is guided by God, Allah or however the ethnicity identifies it's higher power. Sorry if that sounds disembodied from god. ie: Palestinians and their nomadic heritage. The Palestinians are not the only nomadic people in the Middle East in history or today. 

Now, come forward from about 20 years ago and today Syria appears to be in complete disarray and suffering because it has no ruling power/leader. The civil war in Syria should never have occurred, BUT, then came "W." Let's not forget the 'idea' for democracy in the Middle East spawned the "Arab Spring."

So, today President Assad is coming forward and stating he is ready to negotiate with the rebels. I believe President Assad has an appreciation of HOW Shia leaders secure their people. Let me state that again. I believe President Assad has an appreciation of HOW (the same three letters of WHO) secure their people.

There is no one single leader that can control all the ethnicity in Syrian nor should any ONE try because that would be genocide. There is a way of governing Syria and the rebel groups are intricate to that governance. Al Nusra Front has been around for as long as I can remember, but, they are not a terrorist group, although the West identifies them as such. Al Nusra Front is a governing sovereign.

Long about now Israel (A member of The West) is cursing the idea there is not one governing structure and SHIA terrorist groups are not terrorists. Israel sees itself and always has as a sovereign country that has specific borders, even though their ideology demands those boundaries are fluid.

Did I say fluid? I did, didn't I. Hm? So, if Israel sees it's borders as fluid can it be called nomadic no different than Palestinians or simply a more comfortable term known in The West as an expansionist power?

So, back to Syria. 

President Assad is intricate to the sovereign protections of Alawites. That has been a fact for decades and involves his family. The Alawites always have their presence on Earth identified as secure through President Assad. He is not going anywhere. 

The rebel groups that are SOVEREIGNS in Syria have to be identified. They have to prove to be a sovereign with a benevolent presence among an ethnicity served by them in both security and day to day needs. Those sovereigns exist and are assisted by Imams and Clerics such as the Lebanon Shi'ite Cleric Nasrallah. I don't know why, but, Shi'ite Clerics tend to use a bully pulpit while the Imams and Ayatollahs are more resolved in their demeanor. It is interesting if one pays attention. 

At any rate, what Assad has to do is welcome the other sovereign leaders in Syria in a governing council. I don't see any sovereign being replaced by some ideology of The West, so much as recognized for their power and influence among the people. A peace council has to come together in recognition of their common reality and resolved to bring Syria peace and prosperity.

The prosperity part is the tough part. See, the UNDERLYING reason for Syria's civil war began with DROUGHT. 

March 3, 2016
By Elaisha Stokes 

The Drought that preceded Syria's civil war was the worst in 900 years. (click here)

...The drought caused 75 percent of Syria's farms to fail and 85 percent of livestock to die between 2006 and 2011, according to the United Nations. The collapse in crop yields forced as many as 1.5 million Syrians to migrate to urban centers, like Homs and Damascus.

The drought had displaced Syrians long before the conflict began," said Francesco Femia, president of the Center for Climate Security. "And what is frightening is that analysts who study the region completely missed it."

More hungry and homeless families in Syria's big cities created stress, said Femia. "There are only so many resources to go around."...

It is my opinion The West completely missed it because of a narcissistic idea men have control of Earth. It ain't so, especially when the country is Syria where many of the people live in poverty.

May 1, 2016
By Pavitra Dwibhashyam

Poverty in civil-war (click here) hit Syria is growing exponentially with a majority of the population now living below the poverty line, a report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia says. According to the report, the percentage of people below the poverty line has risen from 28% in 2010 to 83.4% in 2015. Extreme poverty has also increased from 14% in 2010 to more than 50% in 2015.

By the last half of 2015, a reported 13.5 million people were in need of humanitarian aid, of whom 12.1 million needed access to water and sanitation. More than four million of them were based in Aleppo and Damascus....

See, in The West people in poverty don't have power and are undeserving of it. Of course, one's living circumstances has nothing to do with it and the global economic collapse occurred because of the abuse of power of the wealthy, but, who's counting dollars?

So, in recognizing the peace among the sovereigns in Syria, there also has to be recognition the poverty rate in Syria in 2010 was 28 percent.

The USA left Iraq in 2009. The Arab Spring was early 2011 and has nothing to do with water replenishment. It is believed the Syrian civil war began May of 2011. The invasion of Daesh is a more diffuse beginning AND is not a sovereign. Daesh identifies with no particular ethnicity. It's members are global. So, Daesh is a militia and genocidal regime. They have no place at the peace table in Syria.

Today the poverty rate in Syria is over 84 percent in 2015. That poverty is profound and has to be addressed as one of the most important factors in the peace. There needs to be more sophisticated water sources in Syria because the climate crisis is not relenting. The people need water.

The Syrian children have to return to the very essence of the peace table and the future of the country. Syria must see it's children as the growth and future of the country, cherish them, nourish them and educate them to be great people capable of great things in peace.

With that said, I believe the Syrian peace table has great promise and after all the basic five pillars of the Muslim faith do not differ between any ethnic or religious identity. I wish all members of the peace process great success. I sincerely want this to work and the Syrian people finding common ground for mutual respect with a promise of tomorrow.

I would like to think the USA is going to play a vital role in solving the deep seated problems of poverty and water sources for the Syrian people.

No drones this time. No complaints? No UN anything?

Whenever there is a river involved that is transportation and escape. The USA may have pre-empted any movement/escape by Daesh to Iraq where USA troops are assisting Iraqi troops to protect their homeland.

 U.S. Special Operations troops (click here) carried out a ground operation in eastern Syria aimed at capturing an Islamic State militant, U.S. officials said Monday.

The raid took place Sunday near a small town along the Euphrates River valley, in the vicinity of the city of Deir al-Zour and deep in the heart of Islamic State territory, according to the officials and Syrian activist groups.

The troops, who landed on helicopters, spent about 90 minutes in the area, then left carrying Islamic State captives and bodies, according to witnesses quoted by the website Deir al-Zour 24, which monitors Islamic State activity in that province.

According to U.S. defense officials in Washington, the U.S. forces intercepted a vehicle carrying an Islamic State militant who the U.S. military hoped to capture and interrogate. One official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an operation whose details have not been publicly announced, said that a firefight broke out, and the suspect, along with another person in the car, were killed. No Americans were injured....

Real good. This is the growing brain trust of Daesh. This is the great legacy to the children of the caliphate. Just take the children out of there. I know there are DSS workers with waiting and hopeful parents in the USA.

 A 4-year-old boy from the ISIS-led "Cubs of the Caliphate" shooting an alleged pro-Kurdish spy in Syria's Deir ez-Zor in a propaganda video.

January 9, 2017

Deir Ezzor The Islamic State (ISIS) (click here) extremist group on Sunday executed three young men in Syria’s northeastern Deir ez-Zor city.
The victims, who were accused of spying for the Kurdish YPG forces, were executed at the hands of ISIS child soldiers–known as ‘Cubs of the Caliphate’.
The ISIS media office of Deir ez-Zor released a propaganda video showing the three men confessing that they’ve been spying for the Kurdish troops against the so-called Caliphate. Later in the video, ISIS child soldiers brutally execute the victims and shout “Allahu Akbar”.
The execution took place in a deserted playground in rural Deir ez-Zor....        

Why did the State of Michigan spend the money for a study to improve the tourism experience? That is "Pure Michigan," Snyder isn't.

May 19, 2014
By Danielle Kelly

An analysis of garbage (click here) found on five Lake Michigan beaches finds that most trash comes from visitors instead of offshore sources, according to the Holland Sentinel.

Hundreds of thousands of pieces of trash were collected for the analysis, all by volunteers. Shorelines from West Side County Park, Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, Marquette Park Beach, Sand Bay Beach and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore were included.
At West Side County Park beach, 60 volunteers collected 3,234 pieces of trash totaling about 92 pounds. At North Avenue Beach, 1,817 volunteers collected more than 170,000 pieces of litter....

More of the Snyder wayward death spiral. When all the Governor's former experience is balance sheets, there is little there to actually govern.

December 30, 2016
By Chelsey Harvey

A new law in Michigan (click here) will prohibit local governments from banning, regulating or imposing fees on the use of plastic bags and other containers. You read that correctly: It’s not a ban on plastic bags — it’s a ban on banning plastic bags.  

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed the new public act into law on Wednesday, along with 11 other bills. Gov. Rick Snyder is currently on vacation out of state, local news sources reported, and Calley has the authority to sign bills into law in his absence.  

The new public act prohibits local ordinances from “regulating the use, disposition, or sale of, prohibiting or restricting, or imposing any fee, charge, or tax on certain containers,” including plastic bags, as well as cups, bottles and other forms of packaging. This means individual cities and municipalities are not allowed to ban plastic bags or charge customers a fee for using them.  

Bans and restrictions on the use of plastic bags are widespread in other parts of the country and around the world. The rationale is simple: Plastic bags are infamous non-biodegradable sources of pollution — although they will eventually break down into tiny pieces, scientists believe this process can take hundreds of years, or even up to a millennium, in landfills....

This was one year ago in the USA. Over 30 Americans died.

I am not interested in "The Trump Daily Show." I really am not.

Backdropped by the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions, a child plays with in the snow, in Istanbul, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. (Depo Photos via AP)

The temperature fell (click here) to minus 30 C (minus 22 F) in Moscow on Saturday, about 17 degrees C (30 degrees F) below normal. The Orthodox Christmas Eve on Jan. 6 was the coldest since 1987, according to the Russian Meteorological Service.
Two deaths were reported in Russia due the cold, according to the Associated Press.
Warsaw reported a low temperature of minus 19 C (minus 3 F) on Saturday, the coldest air to settle over the city since February 2012 when the temperature fell to minus 23 C (minus 10 F).

Ten people were killed by the cold in Poland on Sunday, bringing the total to 65 since Nov. 1 according to the Government Center for Security.

This is Belgrade, Serbia.

The lowest temperature since February 2012 was also reported in Minsk. The mercury bottomed out at minus 25 C (minus 13 F). Five people have been reported dead as a result of the cold air by the government since the beginning of the year.

Temperatures plummeted below minus 25 C (-13 F) in eastern Czech Republic over the weekend where at least six people died from the cold.

The Associated Press reported that the cold blast has resulted in frozen water pipes across Croatia, leaving thousands without running water.
California and Arizona are not facing freezing temperatures. It could have been worse.

Unseasonable low temperatures would have made power an absolute concern and people would have been facing problems without the benefit of knowing what the public service announcements were stating other than perhaps radio.

January 9, 2017
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES West Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

There are two systems and the worst is probably already delivered. But, the second punch out of the Pacific could bring unwelcome water vapor.

The ICTZ is gone and the turbulence affiliated with that movement of a standard climate structure is considerable. Oddly, the southern hemisphere is hot. There are parts of Australia on fire and cities are under severe heat advisories.

No Video, but, audio at this link.

The Colorado floods took eight lives and did $2 billion in damages.

The Big Thompson River experienced peak flow rates near Loveland, CO of 4,500 CFS (CFS - Cubic Feet per Second) or (127.43 cubic meters per second) before the measuring gauge was destroyed by floodwaters.

September 13, 2013

...JUDY WOODRUFF: Thousands of people in Colorado (click here) faced a flooded landscape today, after days of heavy rain that triggered flash floods. The casualty count stood at three dead and 17 others still unaccounted for.
We get a report from NewsHour producer Mary Jo Brooks.

MARY JO BROOKS: Walls of muddy brown water poured down mountainsides today. That added to floods that have already inundated towns along Colorado’s Front Range.

WOMAN: We have lived in this area for 32 years. Never has the creek gone. It’s gone over, but it’s never flooded. This, I would consider a 100-year flood for us.

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER, D-Colo.: A foot-and-a-half or two feet of water doesn’t look like it’s life-threatening, but it is. It’s different than normal water.

MARY JO BROOKS: Governor John Hickenlooper had those words of warning this morning for residents of his drenched state, where roads are washed out, communities are cut off and thousands are being urged to leave.

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER: You have got to recognize that this — this water is filled with debris and sand, and it is almost like liquid cement. And it can — even just a foot-and-a-half of water can knock people over and you can be swept away....

Governor Brown and Governor Ducey needs to consider the PREDICTIONS and declare a State of Emergency now.

It isn't fire fighters this time. "Heads Up!"

CalTrans worker Wendy Payne clears debris after heavy rains caused flooding along Highway 89 near Truckee.

Landslides are a guarantee in areas where there have been sincere drought.

Storm system moves into Northern California (click here)

Nevada is being hard hit, too. The people were looking forward to some storms,but, welcomed the idea that the drought could be broken. These storms will make a dent in some of the drought, but, may not end all of it. There is a lot of top soil that is being washed downhill. One might remember the Colorado floods a few years back when the upper elevations were drenched and it loosened all the soil and drove not just silt but dislodged trees downhill. The people were completely unprepared for what came off those mountains. This isn't just the creek rising, this is enormous amounts of water running off higher elevations. 

Don't shoot the messengers. The USA has the best forest managers in the world, but, they don't give orders to Earth.

Link to Map (click here)

January 3, 2017

The week was rather cold and tranquil, (click here) with precipitation totals of 1.5-4 inches in the Cascades, 1-2 inches along the Oregon and northern California coasts, 1-2 inches in the Sierra Nevada, and 0.5-2.5 inches across the Southwest, including southern California and Arizona for the second consecutive week. Downtown Los Angeles recorded its wettest month (4.55 inches in December) since December 2010 (10.23 inches). Temperatures averaged below normal in the West, with anomalies of -10 to -16 deg F in eastern Oregon, southern Idaho, northern Nevada, and western Utah. As of January 3, NRCS basin average precipitation for the Water Year (since Oct. 1) was above normal in much of the West, with below-normal basins (70-99%) limited to parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Basin average snow water content was also faring well, with most basins near or above normal as of Jan. 3. Some basins, however, in southern New Mexico, western Montana, northern Idaho, eastern Washington, and California were below normal. As a result of the wet start to the Water Year in southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southwestern Arizona (and supported by indices and lack of negative impacts), a 1-category improvement was made there. In southern Utah (San Juan and Kane counties), with snowpack levels above normal and indices near normal, the D0 was removed. Elsewhere, status-quo was maintained in the rest of the West after several improvements were made the previous 2 weeks.


January 8, 2017
By Paige St. John and Matt Hamilton

The toll (click here) from the powerful winter storm rolling through Northern California included one of Calaveras County's oldest residents, a giant sequoia called the Pioneer Cabin.

The tree, named for the tunnel that had been carved into its broad base 137 years ago, was located in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park and toppled Sunday.

"We lost an old friend today," wrote county resident Jim Allday, who posted a picture of the fallen titan on his Facebook page.

His photos show the tree trunk splintered heavily at its base.

I want my country back. Stay home Vladimir, it isn't you.

The Trump Effect in American media. No, don't be silly, there are no racists among them, it is only about ratings and keeping their jobs, that's all.

Silly people, journalism in the 21st century is all about "Show me the money" and they'll give their employers "Donald Trump." It doesn't matter if the ratings are based in exceptional programming, so long as it pays the bills. We all know saturation exposure sells nearly everything from rain gutter screens to "finely upholstered high end luxury sedans.

Now we know for a fact, capitalism is color blind. It just happens that the poor in the USA are African American. Who knew? The minorities in the USA are exposed to the same darn media as the white folks, it just doesn't seem to matter to them that's all.

January 8, 2017
By Christina Lopez G.

In 2016, (click here) major environmental crises that disproportionately affect people of color -- such as the Flint water crisis and the fight over the location of the Dakota Access Pipeline -- were undercovered by the national media for long periods, despite being reported by local and state media early on. The national media's failure to spotlight these environmental issues as they arise effectively shuts the people in danger out of the national conversation, resulting in delayed political action and worsening conditions....

...This crisis, despite media's waning attention, continues to affect Flint residents every day, meaning serious hardships for a population that's more than 50 percent black, with 40.1 percent living under the poverty line. Additionally, according to media reports, approximately 1,000 undocumented immigrants continued to drink poisoned water for considerably longer time than the rest of the population due in part to a lack of information about the crisis available in their language. Even after news broke, a lack of proper identification barred them from getting adequate filtration systems or bottled water....

More Republican genius at work. What do the Republicans do, stay up all night and brainstorm the best way to buffalo the public?

I thought this was another one of those teaching to the test that is the ground work for Florida schools, but, it is not at all about students. Ready for this? If a teacher, regardless of their student's achievement, had a SAT or ACT exam scores in the top 20 percent the year they took them, even if that was decades ago they will be awarded monies somewhere in the number of $10,000.
Senator John McCain needs to take a look at this one.

By Leslie Postal
Nearly 7,200 Florida teachers (click here) will get bonuses this year under a hotly debated program that ties the extra pay to scores on college admissions exams.
These teachers, including more than 1,400 in Central Florida, are eligible for the state's Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program and will earn bonuses of about $6,800 each, according to the Florida Department of Education. They are to be paid by April 1.
The program, fiercely controversial since its inception, is likely to get renewed scrutiny from state lawmakers this year.
The number of bonus-eligible teachers this year is about 1,800 more than last year and represents about 4 percent of Florida's public school teachers. The Orange County school district had the most "best and brightest" winners in the state, with 785, up from 672 last year....

It makes complete sense really, if the Florida Governor wants to confuse the public this certainly is the way to do it. Heck, if I were a teacher and receiving the "Best and Brightest Award" based on past academic performance, I would not bother teaching to the test and do exactly as I please to improve my student's learning. What a great incentive for teachers to "go rouge" and actually send students home that do more than pass a test. With Betsy DeVos (I spelled her name right, yes?) coming on in the Department of Education this qualification of teachers may take on a national standard. Exciting.

It is a real bummer it isn't provided in the pay check before Christmas Holidays.

Oh, heck. It is time for a change; just when I was getting all interested and everything.

...The education department and the State Board of Education this fall recommended the state scrap best and brightest and replace it with a bonus plan that would reward teachers who'd helped their students make the biggest academic gains and that would help recruit teachers to struggling schools and to hard-to-fill classes.

Gov. Rick Scott has signaled that he liked the department's idea, while leaders in the House have suggested some willingness to alter the program, perhaps by lowering the needed test scores, so more teachers would be eligible, the News Service of Florida reported....
The Trump administration is breaking all the rules and the Republicans are letting it happen. The Trump administration is about special interests and nothing more. It is a good show, but, our government is being sacrificed for billionaire wannbees.

The "If only" club!

What is Trump doing, cutting deals with McConnell to insure every one of his adult children have a position in the White House?

We've lost our government to special interests. The adult children of Donald Trump is a special interest group. I think I'll run for President next time, win and staff the entire cabinet with Sierra Club executives past and present.

January 9, 2016
By Aaron Blake

Donald Trump's son-in-law, (click here) Jared Kushner, will serve as a senior adviser to the Trump White House, The Post's John Wagner and Ashley Parker have confirmed.

The news isn't surprising, given Kushner's closeness to Trump and the fact that his potential role in the administration has been rumored for weeks. But it does open up a can of worms — both legally and ethically.

The big question looming over the selection is the question of whether Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, actually can work in the White House. To make it happen, he'll have to get around an anti-nepotism law that dates to Robert F. Kennedy. As I explained a while back:

After President John F. Kennedy appointed his 35-year-old brother, Robert, as attorney general — a basically unprecedented move at the time, involving an office for which few thought the younger Kennedy was qualified — Congress in 1967 passed an anti-nepotism law. . . .

This is oddly interesting. It would seem as though Mr. Jared Kushner has walked the same ground as the greats of public service.

All these wonderful people were members of the Harvard Fly Club (click here).

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt - 32nd President of the United States
  • Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President of the United States
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. - Supreme Court Justice
  • Jay Rockefeller - U.S. Senator from West Virginia
  • James Roosevelt- son of Franklin Roosevelt, U.S. Congressman (CA)
  • Deval Patrick - 71st Governor of Massachusetts
  • William Weld - 68th Governor of Massachusetts
  • Tony Lake - President Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor 
  • Joseph Clark Grew - career diplomat, U.S. Ambassador to Japan 1932-1941
  • Charles Francis Adams III - skipper of America's Cup defender Resolute, 1920; inductee, America's Cup Hall of Fame; Secretary of the Navy, 1929-1932

Some members it would seem earn their entitlement to greatness in which ever form it takes. 

Osmosis I suppose. I thought reverse osmosis was good for brewing beer, but, I never knew it worked for government. If this is the way Republicans of Harvard prepare for their government work, rather than hard work, long hours and dedication to serving the people, it would explain a great deal. Come to think of it "W" was a C student, right?

There's our girl.

January 9, 2017
By Gena Mai

While Hillary Clinton (click here) has mostly been laying low since last November's election, she made a rare public appearance on Sunday afternoon to attend the final performance of The Color Purple on Broadway — and those in attendance couldn't have been happier to see her....

You can say what you want about Iran's politics and extremism, but, the "Axis of Evil Speech" changed the tone of the USA.

The Axis of Evil speech by "W" was given on January 29, 2002. It changed the tone of the USA. It brought hate to the forefront of USA policy. If there is any one person that handed Iran to the extremists it was "W." 

When the USA threatens another country there is no taking it back. The USA makes an indelible mark on history and the course of events with other countries. A USA President that openly incites hatred will receive it back again. 

I think the death of Former President Rafsanjani is a clear indication of the irresponsible hate speech of the USA right wing. When a country is acknowledging they appreciate the paradigms of freedom and economic growth with openness, it is nothing short of foolishness to turn the international dialogue to hatred. That is exactly what "W" did with that speech. The speech gave the extremists in Iran permission to take over the leadership.

Part of being a great leader is the insight to what not to say as well as what is said on behalf of the people of the USA. One of the reasons The Iran Deal was accepted as the way forward with Iran is because there was no other course to take. All the doors to diplomacy was closed by "W." By the time of the Iran Deal the USA would only speak to Iran through the Swedish Diplomats.

It is ridiculous to believe hate is a viable method of sustaining the world and it's requirement of peace. Why even bother recognizing the global community if it is not to sustain life in a reasonably peaceful political environment. Iranians are no different than Americans' value life and quality of life. Their hopes for their children exist.

Any USA leader has to recognize that hatred is met with hatred. 

...States like these, (click here) and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic....

States like what?

An article in USA Today makes note of a USA agent, George Piro. Agent Piro was the exclusive interrogator of the late Saddam Hussein. This is what Agent Piro knew as fact regarding Iraq's danger to the world.

January 8, 2017
By Curt Anderson

...Eventually, (click here) Piro said Saddam confirmed that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction prior to the U.S. invasion but might seek them in future to deter Iran and other threats. Saddam also denied any links to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, Piro has said....

You can talk about the "maybes" of the future from morning to night, but, Iraq was a disarmed country under Saddam Hussein and had nothing to do with al Qaeda. The entire tone of the USA changed under "W" and today the Republicans are still using fear, artificial fear to be elected to office.

...Saddam also liked to brag about how he escaped U.S. airstrikes and capture, according to Piro.

"What he wanted to really illustrate is how he was able to outsmart us," Piro told "60 Minutes." ''He got rid of his normal vehicles. He got rid of the protective detail that he traveled with, really just to change his signature."

Saddam was later tried and executed by hanging in December 2006.

Santiago, the airport shooting suspect, also served in Iraq in 2010 with the Puerto Rico National Guard as part of an engineering battalion, guard officials said. Santiago later served in the Army Reserves and Alaska National Guard....

The reason extremism has taken over the majority of politics in Iran is because extremism is also taking over the majority of politics in the USA. The USA has only itself to blame for it's failing in achieving world peace. There isn't enough profit in it.

January 8, 2016
By Thomas Erdbrink

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran, in Tehran in 2015.

...Mr. Rafsanjani was president from 1989 to 1997. (click here) But after his presidency, political rivals, jealous of his grip on the economy, seized on his support for reformists and labeled him an “aristocrat,” a “capitalist” and a supporter of “American Islam”
By 2002, his political stock had fallen so low he could not even muster the votes to win a seat in Parliament. He sustained a humiliating defeat against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential election.

After his election loss, Mr. Rafsanjani was propelled into the role of a critical politician, increasingly at odds with Mr. Khamenei over the direction the revolution should take.

Where Iran’s supreme leader backed the continuation of a harsh, anti-Western ideological line, Mr. Rafsanjani pleaded for an update of the political system, bringing it on par with Iran’s changing society.

His speech in favor of greater freedom during the enormous 2009 protests that followed a presidential election in which the results were widely seen as fraudulent alienated him from Iran’s conservative clerics and military commanders.

In 2013, attempting a political comeback at 79, he was barred from seeking the presidency by the Guardian Council, a decision that shocked Iranians. The disqualification seemed like an official repudiation of his ideas of a liberal economy and more freedoms....                 

Texans have egos that size of their state, unfortunately their brains aren't. I apologize to China for the moronic display of ego the world has ever seen.

Texans are wackos. There is no other description of a Texan. They believe they are the most power people in the world. Needless to say they have never seen the world in which they exist.

In a military confrontation (click here) between China and Taiwan who would emerge as being least devastation.

See that map. There's China and very little Taiwan, there is North and South Korea and Japan. 


January 1, 2019
By Li Haidong

...Trump and his team (click here) will realize that the biggest potential flashpoint in the Asian-Pacific region is "Taiwan independence."...

State-run Chinese (click here) tabloid Global times warned President-elect Donald Trump that China would "take revenge" if he rolls back the one-China policy, after Taiwan's president Tsai-Ing Wen made a controversial stop in Houston, 

It has become a general consensus among the international community that there is only one China in the world; Taiwan is a part of China; and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China.

However, the Taiwan independence secessionist forces have gained an upper hand on the island in recent years. Taiwan leader Tsai, who refuses to acknowledge the "1992 Consensus" and has taken steps in furthering the pursuit of de jure Taiwan independence, has become the source of disturbance in the regional order. If the Trump government supports Tsai's secessionist ideas, the Asia-Pacific region will, no doubt, become turbulent, which will set back Trump's goal of "making America great again."

Trump said earlier that he would reevaluate the one-China principle, which revealed his superficial understanding of Taiwan's sensitive and critical role in the Sino-US relationship....

There can never be a war over Taiwan REGARDLESS of their politics. There is a one China policy. If the USA ever posed a threat by actions with Taiwan and that threat was more and more real, China would be a first strike country. The USA's west coast would be in their sites along with other places in the USA.

North Korea would launch in combination with China. The West would have it's hands full immediately as deadly attacks would reach Japan and Taiwan long before any retaliatory strikes would reach China.

I personally feel uncomfortable even having this as a top of discussion. It is a hideously stupid idea and any shadow of a threat and China would take action. The entire idea is nonsense. The entire idea is a threat to The West. The entire idea is a humiliating assault on the lives of those in Taiwan. 

You want to know something, China is correct. A USA occupied Taiwan is a direct threat to China and it's people. This is the same dynamic we experienced with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Same thing. 

The Texans, including Cruz, needs to put their egos away and live in the same world everyone else does. Texans should get out once in awhile. The reason they don't become more worldly is because "There ain't no other place in the world besides Texas." The global community should breath a sigh of relief at that ideology. I mean what cultural iconography can they bring to any meeting or party? Think about it.

I haven't apologized for this country for the past nine years !!!!!!!