Saturday, February 04, 2017

Thank you, President Trump. The view from inside the Oval Office is different than from outside of it.

February 3, 2017
By Tracy Wilkinson and Noah Bierman

...The sanctions are largely symbolic (click here) since they target groups that are unlikely to have U.S. assets or business dealings. They were announced a day after the Trump administration also appeared to show restraint on two other foreign fronts where the new president previously had suggested he would order a sharp shift.

On Thursday, the White House publicly appealed to Israel not to expand construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying doing so “may not be helpful” in achieving peace.

That suggested a far less radical approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict than Trump has staked out in the past, and it set clear limits for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled visit to the White House on Feb. 15.

The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, similarly presented the  establishment view of Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea and armed intervention in Ukraine during her debut speech Thursday to the U.N. Security Council.

Although Trump has previously refused to condemn the Russian intervention, and suggested he might ease U.S. sanctions on Moscow, Haley said the United States would not lift sanctions until Moscow stopped destabilizing Ukraine and withdrew from Crimea....

Now, the pivot is to Cuba? Yes?

3 February 2017
By Tom Batchelor

Donald Trump (click here) is to conduct a "full review of America's foreign policy towards Cuba, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has announced.

He said the President planned to look at "all" aspects of how the US deals with its historic enemy, which lies just 90 miles south of Florida.

Human rights would be a key part of Mr Trump's revised policy towards Cuba, the press secretary said. 

During the final years of the Obama administration, the US softened its stance towards its communist neighbour....

If I may?

Cuba is not a national security risk. There is no weaponry Cuba harbors that will cause citizens harm in any way. I consider Cuba a country centered on it's citizens and it's government.

Cuba is somewhat of a leader to the Caribbean Sea countries as well as the near border countries of Latin America. Most South American leaders regard the Late Fidel Castro and the current President Raul Castro as friends and great leaders. The Castro leadership is regarded very similarly as the Late President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias. These men are legendary.

There are many books to read about these men, but, the fact remains they have been primarily peaceful in the Western Hemisphere.

The imprisoned rebels in Cuba are brave men, no different than the men of the Ukraine Maidan (Proper name "Maidan Nezalezhnosti" of in translation, "Independence Square."). They are men who have freedom on their minds and wish to move their governments to a different level of citizen value.

I sincerely believe the Cuban rebels have a dialogue the Cuban government needs to hear. There are many Cubans that embrace different ideas for their country and their government should care about those thoughts and prayers, too.

I think President Trump will find strong religious bonds with the people of Latin America. They love God and want the freedoms that come with the values of their religious leaders. 

So often Third World leaders think they have no control except what can be garnered at the end of a gun, but, that is not the case. The people are usually magnificent people with very good values. If these leaders would only see their people differently they could move them forward to a different economic plane. I believe the USA diplomatic mission in Cuba is desirous of such movements. It wants to open doors of opportunity to the Cuban people and that is reflected in the ideals of the rebels in Cuba currently in prison.

I think the best outcome today for Cuba and the USA is for diplomats to allow meetings with the prisoners, the prisoners family and bring them together. The Cuban government can begin to roll back the sentences of these brave men who have seen a different Cuba that benefits the people more than today. There is no reason for the current government in Cuba to fear the USA or the eventual release of prisoners that loved the same country as the Castro family, but, with a better economy and less poverty.

We have come close to conflict in decades past with Cuba. But, that is over and 50 years of isolation is far too long. Cuba has much to offer the greater Western economy and it should be engaged in that market place. 

South America counts on Cuban leadership and that can be a drag on the Cuban governments directives. In realizing the pride Latin America has of it's countries and it's people, it is time to carry out diplomatic meetings that move all these countries forward. 

A Third World country is an excellent place for power structures, such as the drug cartels, to exert force over governments. The drug cartels kill and misdirect the lives of young people used to transport drugs and/or use for prostitution and perverted pleasures. The Latin American countries must be strong enough to defeat these cartels and protect their people. They must have a loyalty to better economies that are safe and nurturing to a far better quality of life for all their people. Children must have schools and higher learning. That is not accomplished by allowing organized crime to rule their lands. 

These countries are capable of having vibrant and beautiful tourist economies, but, instead their jungles are used to conceal dangerous international criminals that send their heroine to the USA tainted with fentanyl or worse to kill "Sniffer dogs" in the USA. The USA's dogs at our ports of entry have been very successful in the past to the point where South American drug cartels declared war on the dogs and one sniff of heroine/fentanyl and the dogs die immediately. It was a successful campaign that made our police think twice about the use of these well trained animals.

The war against the dogs spills over into USA streets and the fentanyl was being sold without dealers necessarily knowing it was there. It could be the dealers didn't care as well. It was the merchandise they had to work with and money is their game. American deaths are caused due to the blind and ruthless ambitions of drug money and it has to stop.

So, in thinking about Cuba there needs to be a larger picture that also answers the problems of Latin America.

I wish everyone success.

What color is lead?

Remember this?

No? That is okay I doubt many people would.

Figure 1: Samples of lead (click here) solder connected to copper pipe in Flint River water with orthophosphate (left) and Detroit water (right). The white suspended particles visible in the Flint River water are tiny lead particles while the Detroit water remained clear

This picture came from an e-page of the "Flint Water Supply Study." (click here)

How many people remember this, the dirty colored water below? Two different collections of water by a Flint resident. Everyone remembers that, right? How can we forget, it is etched into our memories.

What is similar between the labs water and the water held by a resident?

The leached out lead in the lab water is white. Yes? Does lead rust? I am not the only one to ask that question. Other people wonder about that. It is a reasonable question.

This question was asked on a website by Jevyod. (click here)

I am about to venture into the world of casting! I have a friend who gave me a jar of old lead fishing weights. Out of the jar, there are several pcs that show a bit of rust. Is this lead? Also, it scratches harder than the others. So should I just chuck them?

This was the answer by Doyle.

The answer is "sort of". Many (perhaps most) metals will oxydize. Iron oxide is what you normally know as rust. Aluminum oxide is what happens to the surface of untreated aluminum. Lead oxide is a grey powdery substance that will form on the surface of uncoated lead. 

If what you are seeing is grey lead oxide, then the melting process will take care of that. If you are seeing some other color then you have some impure lead and it is the other impurities that are giving it the color. 

As to suitablitiy for casting, I'll let the experts answer that.

The blue background to the answer was removed to make it easier to read.

What leached out of the pipes in Flint, Michigan was lead. Above in the lab picture is the color of lead. White. The lead is in suspension in the water. This white particle formed in a reaction resulting in a precipitate.

Got that? Lead when exposed to a process of leaching results in white particles of lead in suspension. This white particle is called a precipitate. 

Why is the water held by the Flint resident colored other than white?

Because the brown to tan color found in the Flint water was not ONLY lead, it is a quality in water called "turbidity." I think I mentioned that last week or the week before. Turbidity happens due to water turbulence. Those bottles do not contain discernible precipitate, but, raw substances dragged into the water treatment plant from the Flint River.

It is the color of this water that alarmed not just the residents, but, me. The fact the government was not concerned about the color of the water is an attempt to side step a detailed investigation of the negligence of Governor Snyder. 

The color of the water told me the river was not capable of supplying the people of Flint a water supply without a great deal of turbulence before the water entered the inflow pipe.

The investigation of the Flint River is ongoing. There is something very wrong here. This turbid water carried organic particles that allowed the Legionnaires disease to grow and populate where people were exposed and died. 

The Flint River Water Project is ongoing.