Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Happy Birthday, Yellowstone.

On this day 145 years ago, the world’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park, was created. For anyone who has visited this incredible land of fire and ice and marveled at the amazing wildlife and unique geologic features, there’s little doubt why Yellowstone is considered one of our nation’s greatest treasures. Even if you weren’t one of its more than 4 million visitors last year, you can still discover fun facts about the park.

1. Half the world’s (click here) hydrothermal features are found at Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park preserves more than 10,000 hydrothermal features -- an extraordinary collection of hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles, travertine terraces and -- of course -- geysers. Microorganisms called thermophiles -- meaning “heat loving” -- live in these features and give the park its brilliant colors....

Trump made teleprompters an icon to victory. Really?

His staff can't get him to be civilized unless Donnie takes his new favorite pet to the speech.

The Houthis are resorting to children for their reinforcements.

March 2, 2017

An estimated 1500 boys (click here) have been verified as child soldiers in Yemen, but the actual number of children who have been drawn into the war is probably far higher, a United Nations spokeswoman said yesterday.

Most of the boys were recruited by Houthi rebels over the past three years, spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said at a press briefing in Geneva.

Recruiters often entice the boys by promising them financial rewards or social status. "Many are then quickly sent to the front lines of the conflict or tasked with manning checkpoints," Shamdasani said.

All child soldiers in Yemen must be immediately released, the UN human rights office demanded.

Meanwhile, Yemen has food reserves for only two to four months, bringing it to the brink of famine as fighting escalates, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on his return from the country, which is on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula....

There is growing concern for the escalating famine in Yemen. Hungry children cannot be that difficult to defeat. Drop humanitarian aid from the sky and tell the children in pictures who is their friend. Given their age I doubt many can read.

27 February 2017

For almost two years, (click here) the United States has backed—with weapons, logistics and political support—a Saudi-led war in Yemen that has left over 10,000 dead, 40,000 wounded, 2.5 million internally displaced, 2.2 million children suffering from malnutrition and over 90 percent of civilians in need of humanitarian aid....

...This AP report (2/21/17) (Left) notes that “in Yemen’s conflict, nearly half a million children have ‘severe acute malnutrition’”–but it doesn’t mention the US government’s contribution to that conflict....

...A separate Guardian editorial (2/23/17), while briefly mentioning the war was“fueled in part by British and US bombs” in the text of the article, insisted in the headline the UK was “sitting by” as “disaster unfolded.” The UK is, of course, not “sitting by.” The British government has provided £3.3 billion in arms sales—as well as logistical support, surveillance assistance and political cover—to the Saudi regime primarily responsible for the disaster in question....

...Like the US, the UK has not been “sitting by” but actively contributing to famine in Yemen.
One notable exception was the New York Times (2/22/17), which expressly mentioned the US and Saudi role in the war in its report on the UN’s findings.
Over the past six months, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen—to say nothing of the US’s role in it—has been virtually nonexistent on cable and broadcast news. NBC NewsFox News and MSNBC have all neglected to cover the story. When it was covered on TV news, as with CNN (10/7/16) and ABC News(10/28/16) last October, the role of the United States in fueling the crisis was omitted altogether.
The US’s role in the war in Yemen is even more urgent of late, with President Donald Trump ramping up support for Saudi Arabia’s harsh tactics, including possibly cutting off access to the critical port of Hodeidah on Yemen’s west coast—an act that the Huffington Post (2/22/17) insists could “spark a full-blown famine in Yemen.”

A first step to putting political pressure on Trump to mitigate the suffering in Yemen is for the US public to speak out about their government’s role—a condition unlikely to be met if corporate media never bother to mention it.

1 March 2017
By Samuel Osborne

Children have died (click here) as a result of Saudi Arabia delaying aid for Yemen by months, a children's rights group have warned.

Save the Children said shipments of aid are being delayed for months, denying hundreds of thousands of people access to urgently-needed medical aid.

In the first two months of the year, the Saudi-led coalition has prevented three of the charity's shipments of medical supplies from landing at the country's main group of Hodeida, the group said, forcing them to be rerouted and delaying their arrival by up to three months.

The shipments were carrying enough aid to help around 300,000 people, including antibiotics, surgical equipment, medicine to treat diseases like malaria and cholera, and supplies to support malnourished children....

Where is the money going? All the monies from some time ago coming from Saudi Arabia is going into investments that will increase the financial relationship between the two countries, but, it does nothing for the people, yet alone ends any famine. These monies in the billions were given to Yemen in 2012. There has been nothing that came in the way of changes for the people.

Jeddah: Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Salman (click here) yesterday held talks with Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa at his office in Al-Salam Palace on major regional and international issues.
Prince Salman and Basindawa also reviewed bilateral relations and explored ways of strengthening cooperation between the two countries. Basindawa thanked Saudi Arabia for its support to Yemen in all areas. “The Yemeni government and people appreciate this continuous Saudi support,” the prime minister said.
Basindawa, who was in the Kingdom to attend a meeting of global donors in Riyadh, later flew back to Yemen.
The Riyadh meeting mobilized $ 6.4 billion aid for Yemen’s reconstruction.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf signed three agreements with Yemeni International Cooperation Minister Mohammed Al-Saadi detailing Saudi aid package, which includes a $ 1 billion deposit in Yemen’s Central Bank, a $ 1.75 billion grant, and $ 500 million to finance and guarantee Saudi exports to Yemen.

Throwing money into Yemen has never done anything to stabilize the country. Saudi Arabia tried and failed to elevate Yemen with such efforts. The people are never the focus and that leaves them in poverty and opens victimization by radical factions such as the Houthis.

Today, there is profound famine and child soldiers. This has to end otherwise the people will die in far larger numbers than they have already. There needs to be air drop shipments to the people. The ports won't be open because those in control are worried about arms shipments. 

Air drop the relief to the people and the children and provide information to them as to who is sending the aid and why. Ask them to end any aggression and allow the fighting to stop.

11 January 2017
By Ahmed al-Haj

Sanaa, Yemen: Yemeni security officials (click here)  say heavy fighting continues to rage near the strategic Red Sea strait of Bab Al-Mandab in western Yemen, leaving dozens dead and wounded.
The officials say that, since Monday, fighters aligned with Yemen’s internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have been making advances and seizing more territory from Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition provided air cover for Hadi’s forces, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The war in Yemen is entering its second year after Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and forced Hadi to flee the country. The Saudi-led coalition has waged an extensive air campaign since March 2015 aimed at restoring Hadi’s government. The northern region remains under Houthi control.

Famine can certainly end a war. It just seems to me the war is already over and no one is realizing it.

Yemen security officials is an oxymoron.
February 27, 2017
By Amy O'Connor

Insurers have paid out (click here) more than $31.6 million on 2,801 claims from tornadoes that hit Mississippi last month.
The Mississippi Insurance Department reported the figures through Feb. 3. Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said immediately after the storms he expects insured damages could reach the $100 million mark, with $50 million in uninsured losses.
Chaney said on Feb. 22 MID is continuing to assist people in Lamar, Forrest, Perry and Lauderdale counties who were affected by one of the three tornadoes that struck the state on Jan. 21. The most powerful tornado, categorized as an EF-3, tore a 31-mile path across south Mississippi killing four people and destroying more than 1,100 homes, with the most significant damage in the towns of Hattiesburg and Petal.... 

The tornadoes also last longer. This is the May 7th tornado of 2016.

Ottawa, Illinois saw at least one death.

Tornadoes (click here) driven by warm spring-like conditions have killed at least three people and caused extensive damage across the US Midwestern states.

That is a very powerful tornado.

March 1, 2017
By Kelly P. Kissel

Tornadoes touched down (click here) in the upper Midwest and northern Arkansas, killing at least three people as the spring-like storm system rumbled eastward on Wednesday.

Compact but strong storms known as supercells raked parts of the central U.S. on Tuesday and Wednesday, causing damage from Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Meanwhile, wind-whipped wildfires destroyed homes in Texas....

There could be additional casualties with at least two other people in serious and critical condition. Amazingly, the residents of a nursing home with significant damage in Ottawa.

March 1, 2017
By Kevin Barlow

Hail the size of baseballs fell in Ottawa, Illinois

...A second line of severe thunderstorms (click hereswept quickly through Bloomington-Normal about 11 p.m. with heavy rain, winds of up to 50 mph and hail. Police were investigating initial reports of blown-over semitrailer trucks near Goodfield and north of the Twin Cities, but no other serious damage was reported from that wave....

The high school is being used as a place for the homeless to find shelter after the storm.

The weekend in Massachusetts proved to have a record setting storm. The earliest such a storm occurred in that state was March 1st. This time an EF 1 took down a barn, closed a church indefinitely and did significant damage throughout the area.

This is the way things are now. There is no tornado season when A SINGLE MONSTER of a tornado could be expected to touch down somewhere in tornado ally. Today, the tornadoes come in "outbreaks" and the single tornado is a rarity. 

February 27, 2017

The National Weather Service (click here) confirmed a tornado touched down in Massachusetts during Saturday's storm...

There is also no rhyme or reason to the "tornado season." It is not a dependable measure of the voracity of the storms. The storms are occurring frequently and now with this Ottawa tornado it is proof of a far stronger and dangerous troposphere.

February 27, 2017
By Sarah Scinto and Jon O'Connell

A resident wheelbarrows a load of tree branches from the Kielb Property Sunday

Pittston Twp. (Pennsylvania) — Guy Fasciana (click here) was cleaning his saltwater fish tank Saturday when the sky grew eerily dark.
His wife, Patti, was in the kitchen of their home off Chapel Road.
They had just been joking about severe weather alerts that lit up their cellphones. They doubted a tornado would ever pass so close to their home.
Then, the patio furniture slid from one side to the other as Patti Fasciana watched from her kitchen door. Something didn’t feel right.
They took refuge in their basement while a sudden, thumping wind howled above. Their stay below lasted only few minutes.
When it ended, Guy Fasciana emerged to survey the damage. He found utter destruction.
A tornado swept through Plains Township, Pittston Township and Moosic Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said....

An overview from "The Weather Channel."

February 27, 2017
By Linda Lam
At least four tornadoes, (click here) one a February first on record in Massachusetts, tore through parts of the Northeast on February 25, 2017, also spawning damaging straight-line winds as far north as the Canadian border....

I didn't watch it and I won't. Trump is a farce and this is still more proof.

March 1, 2017
By James Fallows

...But because this was by Donald Trump, (click here) and because stylistically it was such a contrast to his other big-deal rhetorical presentations, it is in my view receiving a significant grading-on-the-curve benefit. For other presidents, sticking close to the pre-released text was a normal expectation. In Barack Obama’s case, it was the source of right-wing criticism that he was “slave to the teleprompter.” In Bill Clinton’s case, a prompter emergency gave rise to his policy-detail improvisation in a big speech on health-care policy in 1993. But before Trump, no one wondered or worried whether a president could stick to the text, or felt relief that he had....

No human being magically changes overnight as if a phoenix. The only way a person can change a perception is if they were first wrongly perceived. He was never wrongly perceived after he began his cabinet nominations. It was all too obvious.

The real Donald Trump finally stood up after the election, previous to the election he was a manipulated image to the American voter. Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannow created "Trump the candidate." Who he is as President is completely obvious and not at all resembling Trump the candidate.

I won't participate in the VALUE of his speeches since, they are not from the image he was when elected. He will always be a vicious power broker with a manipulated image as a populous candidate.