Showing posts from April, 2011

Not in Texas

Image via Wikipedia From the NY Times:

Government’s Disaster Response Wins Praise
Obama and his administration continue to ignore the Texaswildfires which have destroyed millions of acres and killed at least two fire fighters.  The fires have also destroyed hundreds of homes, but Gov. Perry can't get a response from the federal government for his disaster request.  I suspect it is just the Chicago way of dealing with someone who is perceived as a political opponent.

There are still a few Democrats left in Texas for us to vote against and this would be a good enough reason.
Related articlesTexas Wildfires Getting No Federal Aid, Gov Rick Perry Blasted Obama Admin ( Playing Politics With Disaster ( US handle historic Texas wildfires? - Christian Science Monitor ("Gov. Perry Requests Major Disaster Declaration as Extreme Wildfire Danger Continues" and related posts (

Nano antenna solar collectors on the way

Current solar technology is not very efficient and its costs can rarely be recaptured over the live of the product or the owners life for that matter.  If they can figure out how to harness the energy produced by this new development perhaps we may someday have efficient solar technology that does not need transmission lines.
Related articlesU.S. Offers $2.1 Billion Backing for Solar Power Plant ( Improvement In Solar Cell Efficiency ( Solar: Green tech for the geek set (

Air attack kills Qaddafi's son, grand children, but misses him

Image via Wikipedia Dawn:

Sayf al-Arab Qadhafi, embattled Libyan leader Muammer Qadhafi’s youngest son, and three of his grandchildren were killed in an air-strike on Saturday, a government spokesman said.

“The house of Mr Sayf al-Arab Muammer Qadhafi … who is the youngest of the leader’s children, was attacked tonight with full power. The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives,” Moussa Ibrahim told a news conference in Tripoli early on Sunday morning.

“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Sayf al-Arab Muammer Qadhafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” Ibrahim said.

“The leader himself is in good health; he wasn’t harmed. His wife is also in good health; she wasn’t harmed, (but) other people were injured,” he said.

“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country.” Ibrahim had earlier taken journalists to the remnants of a house in Tripoli. Given the level of destruction, it is unclear that anyo…

Syria shoots those who refuse to shoot

Image via Wikipedia Daily Mail on Sunday:

Syrian army units opened fire on each other yesterday in clashes over the crackdown on demonstrators.

Soldiers who refused to fire on demonstrators were executed on the spot, according to reports on Al Jazeera.

Four soldiers were shot dead and two captured at a military post in Deraa, where the pro-democracy uprising started six weeks ago.

Syrian state TV blamed the attack on ‘armed terrorists’. The regime has consistently blamed the unrest on armed gangs.

But despite the unrest within army ranks, security forces fired on tens of thousands of protesters who had defied the regime to take to the streets yesterday.

...The Syrian military must feel the situation is pretty desperate if they are engaging in summary executions for those who refuse to kill non combatants. It seems to be a situation where war crimes are piled on top of each other in the hops of saving Assad's ass of a government.
Related articlesDeaths in Syria as protests reach D…

Syria 'reformers' increases repression in Deraa

Image by PanARMENIAN_Photo via Flickr Sunday Telegraph:

For six turbulent weeks, its minaret has been a landmark of rebellion, emboldening the faitfhful in their demands for democracy. As the besieged Syrian city of Deraa has come under ever more ferocious siege from government troops, the stone tower of the Omari Mosque, peering out over Deraa's ancient Roman quarter, has served as an august focal point for protests.

Yesterday, though, as Syrian security forces drew their stranglehold ever tighter, helicopters backed by tanks dropped troops onto the mosque's grey ramparts, in what seemed to be a symbolic move to stamp their authority on the town. After spraying the Roman quarter with shellfire, and killing a mother and two children in the process, the soldiers converted the Omari's minaret to a different purpose - as yet another snipers' nest from which to terrify the city.

"There are snipers on the roof of the mosque," said one eyewitness, sobbing over the ph…

Romney not letting others decide his schedule or issues

Image via Wikipedia Dan Balz:


Four years ago, Romney was setting a frenetic pace. Then, as a little-known candidate, he was scurrying from state to state, running television ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, and doing everything he could to prove he deserved to be in the same league as the likes of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

This year, he runs as if he couldn’t care less what others are doing. He has chosen the issues on which he wants to speak — mostly the economy and national security — rather than feeling the need to respond to the cable catnip of the day. Four years ago his team wanted to win every news cycle. This year they operate with seeming indifference to whatever may be trending politically on Twitter.

Romney has managed to avoid engaging his rivals, meaning he can concentrate his fire on the president. “They haven’t been forced out into the open yet, which I think is unexpected and remarkable,” said Fergus Cullen, a former New Hampshir…

Many eager for Daniels to join GOP Presidential field

Image via Wikipedia NY Times:

Republican leaders, activists and donors, anxious that the party’s initial presidential field could squander a chance to capture grass-roots energy and build a strong case against President Obama at the outset of the 2012 race, are stepping up appeals for additional candidates to jump in, starting with Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana.

“I’m getting letters from all over the damn country, and some of them are pretty moving,” Mr. Daniels said in an interview last week at the Capitol in Indianapolis, where his friends believe he is inching closer to exploring a candidacy. He added, “It can’t help but affect you.”

The first contests of the primary are about eight months away, and most of the candidates have yet to fully open their campaigns. But some party leaders worry that Republicans are making a bad first impression by appearing tentative about their prospects against Mr. Obama and allowing Donald J. Trump to grab headlines in the news vacuum of the race’s ea…

Syria did not have enough tanks in Daraa to subdue it?

Image by PanARMENIAN_Photo via Flickr WSJ:

Syria sent more military tanks and troops into the southern city of Deraa on Saturday, a day after a crackdown on protests across the country killed 66 people, despite a condemnation from the United Nations and a U.S. asset freeze on members of President Bashar al-Assad's family.

Tens of thousands of people defied a government ban on protests on Friday and marched across Syria, including the largest demonstrations yet in the major cities of Damascus and Latakia, according to witnesses and activists. An opposition group also on Friday called on the military to lead a transition to democracy, in one of the first attempts by protesters to bridge the widening gap between backers of the regime and those demanding its end.

In Homs, Syria's third-largest city, thousands of people marching out of Friday prayers were dispersed first by security forces firing rubber bullets, and then by heavy rainfall in the afternoon, a resident said. Security f…

Taliban plan a bloody spring in Afghanistan

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Globe and Mail:

The Taliban rarely warns of attacks in advance, but on Saturday the group issued a statement proclaiming the start of its spring military offensive on May 1 and said it planned to assassinate the Afghan government’s peace envoys as well as foreigners and any Afghans working for foreign contractors.

... the latest proclamation is a clear sign of the Taliban leadership’s disdain for all the diplomatic overtures of the past weeks appealing for reconciliation talks. Several members of provincial and national peace councils have already been killed by the Taliban in recent months.

Intimidation and threats are weapons as powerful as suicide attacks and roadside bombs in a guerrilla war. So the Taliban’s new promise to target “places of gatherings,” and to murder Afghan government officials and anyone providing goods or services to foreign forces, is meant to terrify all Afghans.

...The Taliban is a much weaker force this spring, so what we …

Administration looks for stable enemy in Syria?

Image via Wikipedia NY Times:


... with the Syrian government’s bloody crackdown intensifying on Friday, President Obama has not demanded that President Bashar al-Assad resign, and he has not considered military action. Instead, on Friday, the White House took a step that most experts agree will have a modest impact: announcing focused sanctions against three senior officials, including a brother and a cousin of Mr. Assad.

The divergent American responses illustrate the starkly different calculations the United States faces in these countries. For all the parallels to Libya, Mr. Assad is much less isolated internationally than the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. He commands a more capable army, which experts say is unlikely to turn on him, as the military in Egypt did on President Hosni Mubarak. And the ripple effects of Mr. Assad’s ouster would be both wider and more unpredictable than in the case of Colonel Qaddafi.

“Syria is important in a way that Libya is not,” said Ste…

The high price gas Democrats

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Victor Davis Hanson:

Are high gas prices a good thing?

That is not as dumb a question as it sounds. Examine a few revealing past remarks from President Obama and the cabinet officials who are now in charge of the nation's energy use and oil leases on federal lands. Then decide whether the current soaring gas prices are supposed to be good or bad.

In 2008, Sen. Ken Salazar (D., Colo.) - now secretary of the interior, in charge of the leasing of federal oil lands - refused to vote for any new offshore drilling. In a Senate exchange with minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), Salazar objected to allowing any drilling on America's outer continental shelf - even if gas prices reached $10 a gallon. We can now see why the president appointed Salazar, inasmuch as Obama recently promised the Brazilians that he would be eager to buy their newfound offshore oil - while prohibiting similar exploration here at home.

From 2007 to 2008, Steven Chu, now se…

Designating the cartels as terrorist organizations

Image via Wikipedia Joan Neuhaus Schaan:

Recent legislation introduced in Congress focuses on the violent criminal organizations operating in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the porous border through which they travel. A bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, would classify six Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and allow the United States to more harshly punish those who provide the cartels with material support. U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., introduced a bill that prohibits the secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from interfering with Border Patrol enforcement activities on federal lands. Together, these two bills are a step in the right direction as the United States deals with the grim realities of an often lawless border region.

Until now, much of the public debate has focused on whether the problems facing Mexico have spilled over into the United States. The focus of the debate must change. Of course there has been spillover — spillover of crimina…

Border post skirmish leads to capture of Qaddafi forces by Tunisia

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Guardian:

The Libyan civil war briefly spilled into Tunisia yesterday as the west of the country saw heavy fighting on two fronts and Nato reported that Muammar Gaddafi's forces were laying anti-shipping mines in the sea off Misrata.

Pro-Gaddafi troops made incursions over the border into Tunisia in a battle to retake a key crossing from rebel hands, drawing condemnation from Tunis.

Libyan soldiers were captured by Tunisian forces after firing indiscriminately in clashes that lasted about 90 minutes, according to reports. Witnesses said three Tunisians were injured.

Any sign of the Libyan conflict stretching into Tunisa would have serious regional implications.

"Given the gravity of what has happened … the Tunisian authorities have informed the Libyans of their extreme indignation and demand measures to put an immediate stop to these violations," the Tunisian foreign ministry said.

Rebels later claimed the Wazin-Dehiba crossing was back i…

Spain's 'clean energy' economy yields 21.3 % unemployment

The Scotsman has the story, but unfortunately it does not describe the role played by the green energy sink hole investment.  Perhaps that is because Scotland also has seen higher unemployment since it made its own investment in "clean energy."

Libya caught trying to mine Misrata harbor

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Telegraph:

Misurata has been under siege by forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi for several weeks and though rebels have managed to expel regime forces from the city itself, the enclave is isolated and remains dependent for much of its food and supplies on the sea link with the rebel capital Benghazi.

It appeared to be the first time sea mines have been used in the Libyan conflict.

“We have just seen Gaddafi forces floating anti-ship mines outside Misurata harbour today,” said British Brig. Rob Weighill, director of Nato operations in Libya.

“It again shows his complete disregard for international law and his willingness to attack humanitarian delivery efforts.

He added that Nato crews were disposing of the mines.

...You get the feeling that strategic decisions made by Libya are the results of someone asking "What have we got in our inventory that we have not used yet?" This looks like another futile gesture that will only stir more sentime…

Syrians military continues Its war against Syrians

Image via Wikipedia BBC:


At least 62 people have been killed across Syria as thousands of anti-government demonstrators rallied in several cities, activists say.

Witnesses and human right groups say many died when troops opened fire on protesters in the city of Deraa, where the unrest began in mid-March.

The security forces swamped the streets of the capital Damascus and tear gas was reportedly fired as prayers ended.

Protests shook a number of other cities including Homs, Latakia and Baniyas.

Witnesses said troops opened fire on villagers marching on Deraa, which has been under military blockade since Monday.

At least 33 civilians were killed in the southern city, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP news agency.

Twenty-seven civilians were killed in and around the northern city of Homs, and two more in the Mediterranean port of Latakia, said the group.

...The Syrian government must really be frightened of its unarmed civilians who are protesting in the str…

Marine General given command in Afghanistan

Image via Wikipedia NY Times:

Lt. Gen. John R. Allen was called to the White House on Thursday for the formal announcement that he would take custody of the war in Afghanistan, now the focus of attention as the Obama administration moves toward withdrawing troops and handing over responsibility to the government in Kabul.

General Allen is not well known beyond the Marine Corps and national security circles. But he was President Obama’s first choice to succeed Gen. David H. Petraeus, easily the most recognizable officer in the American military, in no small part for his work enticing Sunni tribal elders in the restive Anbar Province of Iraq to turn their backs on the insurgency and foreign fighters and to join the American cause during 2007 and 2008.

Mr. Obama described General Allen as “the right commander for this vital mission” in Afghanistan. “As a battle-tested combat leader, in Iraq he helped turn the tide in Anbar Province,” the president added.

To be sure, Afghanistan is not Ira…

Allen West is a conservative star

Image via Wikipedia NY Times:

Often, the most interesting thing about a person is the characteristic that lies beneath, that hidden thing that bobs up along the waves of time.

But the most compelling part of Representative Allen B. West of Florida is his own biography, there for all to see: an African-American Tea Party activist Republican congressman and ally of hard-right Israelis who, after his beloved career in the Army ended under a cloud, defeated the sitting Democrat in a largely white, politically polarized district here and quickly became one of the right’s most visible spokesmen.

Mr. West’s fans in his district, which stretches over two counties along the east coast of Florida, are both numerous and loud; hundreds fill his town hall-style meetings, many of them favoring T-shirts bearing his image. At a recent Tea Party rally in Washington, supporters flocked to him like sea gulls to a crust of baguette. Among the 87 House Republican freshmen, he ranks third in the latest fund…

Republican field has candidates who can beat Obama

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Jay Costs:

The conventional wisdom is that the emerging Republican field for 2012 is a very weak one. However, like so much else in the topsy-turvy age of Obama, the conventional wisdom on this one is completely upside down. The idea of a weak GOP field is almost as ridiculous as a debate about a fifty-year-old birth certificate just as the economic recovery comes grinding to a halt. Almost.

In fact, Obama and the Democrats have good reason to worry about the emerging Republican field. Here are four big reasons why.
(For background, check out this analysis I wrote a few weeks ago about why we should ignore the early polls on the GOP nomination battle, as well as this one on why it’s normal not to have a “perfect” candidate in the field.)
1. The GOP has several serious candidates. At the moment, most of the oxygen in the nomination battle is being sucked up by less-than-viable candidates, above all Donald Trump. However, there are at least four seriou…

Gov. Perry says Obama ignoring Texas wildfires

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Reuters:

Texas Governor Rick Perry on Thursday blasted the Obama administration for not responding to an April 16 request for a disaster declaration for the parched Lone Star State, where wildfires have scorched nearly 2 million acres this year.

"You have to ask, 'Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?' I know our letter didn't get lost in the mail," Perry, a Republican and frequent critic of the federal government, told reporters after addressing the Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio.

The White House said on Thursday that President Barack Obama will make a visit on Friday to Alabama, where storms -- including a tornado that ravaged Tuscaloosa on Wednesday -- have left about 200 dead this week.

Obama declared a state of emergency for Alabama and ordered federal aid.

"There is a point in time where you say, 'Hey, what's going on here?,'" Perry said.

Perry had requested a federa…

The economy and the failure of liberalism

Image by Getty Images via @daylife Opinion Journal:

For three long years, the U.S. has been undertaking an experiment in economic policy. Could record levels of government spending, waves of new regulation and political credit allocation, and unprecedented monetary stimulus re-ignite growth? The results have been rolling in, and they represent what increasingly looks like an historic mistake that deserves to be called the Keynesian growth discount.

The latest evidence is yesterday's disappointing report of 1.8% in first quarter GDP. At this stage of recovery after a deep recession, the economy is typically growing by 4% or more as consumer confidence returns and businesses accelerate investment as their profits revive. Yet in this recovery consumers are still cautious and business investment remains weak.

Some of the first quarter's growth slump is due to seasonal factors such as bad weather and weaker defense spending. In the silver lining department, the private economy grew f…

Boeing should have the choice of where to do business

Image via Wikipedia Nicki Haley:

In October 2009, Boeing, long one of the best corporations in America, made an announcement that changed the economic outlook of South Carolina forever: The company's second line of 787 Dreamliners would be produced in North Charleston.

In choosing to manufacture in my state, Boeing was exercising its right as a free enterprise in a free nation to conduct business wherever it believed would best serve both the bottom line and the employees of its company. This is not a novel or complicated idea. It's called capitalism.

Boeing has since poured billions of dollars into a new, state-of-the art facility in South Carolina's picturesque Low Country along the Atlantic coast. It has created thousands of good jobs and joined the long tradition of distinguished and employee-friendly corporations that have found a home, and a partner, in the Palmetto State.

This a win-win for South Carolina, for Boeing, and for the global clients who will see Dreamliner…

Al Qaeda on Twitter

Image via CrunchBase Washington Times:

Banned from Facebook and censored on YouTube, al Qaeda and Taliban jihadists are turning to Twitter to spread their propaganda in a new social media front in the terrorists’ war against America.

Extremist groups long have used the Internet to distribute videos, audio recordings and other messages. But this is the first time they have tried to establish a presence on the microblogging site Twitter, which has proved a valuable organizing tool to the young activists behind the revolutions in the Arab world.

“Up until now, we haven’t seen the [extremist] groups themselves active in this space,” said William McCants, an analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses and founder of the blog, which reports on extremist messaging.

“The question is: Is this the start of a trend, or is it an anomaly?” he said, adding that individual supporters of extremist groups appear to be using Twitter.

The Twitter feed @alemarahweb posts links to the official w…

Petraeus vs. Pakistan

Image via Wikipedia NY Times:

The appointment of Gen. David H. Petraeus as director of the Central Intelligence Agency puts him more squarely than ever in conflict with Pakistan, whose military leadership does not regard him as a friend and where he will now have direct control over the armed drone campaign that the Pakistani military says it wants stopped.

Pakistani and American officials said that General Petraeus’s selection could further inflame relations between the two nations, which are already at one of their lowest points, with recriminations over myriad issues aired publicly like never before.

The usually secretive leader of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has made little secret of his distaste for General Petraeus, calling him a political general. General Petraeus has privately expressed outrage at what American officials say is the Pakistani main spy agency’s most blatant support yet for fighters based in Pakistan who are carrying out attacks against American…