Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Carbon Cycle

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The amount of carbon on planet Earth by definition remains pretty much the same.  Man has been burning fossil fuels, which puts carbon into the atmosphere.  Where did the carbon in the fossil fuels come from?  It mostly came from plants and bacteria that got buried underground due to geological processes.  Over millions of years natural processes turned the plants and bacteria into fossil fuels.  Where did the plants and bacteria get their carbon from?  They got it from the atmosphere.  The carbon that we are now putting into the atmosphere originally came from the atmosphere.

To better understand this, we have to understand the complete history of atmospheric carbon dioxide on planet Earth.  The original earth atmosphere was an amazing 47% carbon dioxide compared with the roughly .04% that we have now.  That original atmosphere had so much pressure that it could crush a man flat.  About 2.5 billion years ago, cyanobacteria began using photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into free oxygen, which lead to the creation of our oxygen rich "third atmosphere" 2.3 billion years ago.  At that time the carbon dioxide levels were about 7,000 parts per million, but it went into a somewhat steady but uneven decline because geological processes would sequester carbon underground.  The decline was uneven because as part of the "carbon dioxide cycle", sometimes geological processes like volcanoes would cause massive amounts of carbon dioxide to be released back into the atmosphere.

Thirty million years ago during the Oligocene Epoch, the average temperature of the earth was about 7 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now.  There was no ice on the poles, but the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was in rapid decline during this epoch.  About 23 million years ago, at the beginning of the Neogene period, ice began to form on the poles.  About ten million years ago, a series of intermittent ice ages began that continue to this day.  I found one source that said that we are still technically in an ice age because we still have ice at the poles.

These ice ages helped create human evolution.  The ice ages caused Africa to dry up which lead to some deforestation.  This forced some arboreal (tree dwelling) apes to venture onto land.  About 7 million years ago, the first apes that could comfortably walk upright appeared.  They had evolved a new type of pelvis that allowed upright locomotion, which is about three times more efficient when trying to cross land.

The first tool making ape that resembled modern humans, Homo habilis, arose 2.5 million years ago.  It would be soon followed by Homo erectus, and then about 200,000 years ago, modern humans, Homo sapiens would arise.   However, Homo sapiens almost died out.  About 50,000 years ago an ice age in Europe had caused Africa to almost completely dry up.  The total  human population had dropped to 7,000 individuals living on the southern coast of Africa.  During this period humans learned how to fish, make new tools, and create permanent dwellings.  When the ice age abated, these humans with their new tools spread out to rest of the world at a pace of about a mile per year.  This was the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic (Late Stone Age) period.

More ice ages would follow, and during each ice age human population would decline.  It is no coincidence that all of human civilization (i.e. agriculture, use of metals) would arise during a "brief" warm period between two ice ages starting about 10,000 years ago.  I have heard that no matter what we do, we will enter a new ice age in about 10,000 years from now, but I have also heard speculation that the next ice age will be delayed by global warming.  This actually should be our goal, since humans have always declined during the ice ages and always prospered during the intermittent warm periods.

During the geological time period of the earth, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been on an uneven decline and mostly disappeared.  Atmospheric carbon dioxide is necessary for plant growth, and I have read that we were running dangerously low on atmospheric carbon dioxide, about 00.02%, before mankind at least temporarily reversed the trend.   I just read a wikipedia article that said that atmospheric carbon dioxide will eventually get so low that all plants and animal will die off.  What mankind has done is put carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere that was previously there, thus possibly delaying the next ice age.  Currently the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 00.04%.

Carbon dioxide by itself cannot cause significant global warming.  There are diminished returns.  Carbon dioxide has to double again to produce the same effect as the last doubling.  The effect is not linear but logarithmic.  What the alarmists are worried about, and they could be correct, is positive feedback.  The warming of the earth causes more water vapor to enter the atmosphere, and water vapor is a much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, thus causing more warming.  If this were true, however, the last warming period around the year 2000 should caused a continuous positive feedback,  a runaway greenhouse, which didn't happen.  Instead temperatures went into a major decline and hit a really big low point in the year 2007.

The skeptics believe that increased cloud cover reflects sunlight back into space thus causing a negative feedback.  The skeptics are not "global warming deniers", which is a pejorative phrase used by global warming theorists to make the skeptics sound like holocaust deniers.   These skeptics actually believe in global warming.  The legitimate skeptical scientists do.  They just think that global warming is happening at a rate slower than predicted by the theorists.  I can point you to an article that shows that the positive feedback models have been contradicted by the actual temperature data which has been has been closer to the negative feedback models.

The worst case scenario is that the polar ice caps will melt.  If that happens we will lose some coastlines and all of Florida due to sea level rise.  However, according to what I just read, it will take 5,000 years for the polar ice caps to melt.  In other words, these are processes that take a very long time to happen.  In this century we are only looking at modest temperature increases.  In the meantime, humans are very adaptable.  We are only five to ten years away from creating the first workable prototypes of nuclear fusion.  It  might take 25 years for this to be practical, but at that point if we wanted to get rid of fossil fuels altogether, we could.  I think that we will also see advances in solar power, which is already happening, and battery technology to store the energy created by solar.  In other words, we have it within our means to avoid any possible disasters that might be coming.

Monday, December 14, 2015


'The Times breathlessly reveals to us that ISIS "bases its ideology on prophetic texts stating that Islam will be victorious after an apocalyptic battle to be set off once Western armies come to the region. Should that invasion happen, the Islamic State not only would be able to declare its prophecy fulfilled, but could also turn the occurrence into a new recruiting drive at the very moment the terrorist group appears to be losing volunteers."

The newspaper often used by the White House to distribute public relations narratives, then directly tells us, "It is partly that theory that President Obama referred to in his speech on Sunday …"

Now all the bizarre nonsense spewing from Mr. Obama's henchmen and sycophants makes perfect sense, if you're being driven by Koranic prophecy, that is. We've been told for over a year now that we can't confront ISIS directly because … that's what they want!

The singular talking point has been so absurdly pushed, the folks over at the online investigative magazine, Free Beacon, have produced a video titled, "The Islamic State Wants Us To Destroy It," within which they lampoon a litany of talking heads, politicians and academics moving the White House's narrative:

"Dozens of thought leaders familiar with the terrorist group say that its members yearn for the day that close air support from an A-10 Warthog cuts them in half while coalition soldiers storm Raqqa," notes the Beacon. "They are begging for U.S. troops on the ground," former Obama administration official Van Jones said. "That's what they want."

"The one thing ISIS wants the most: American boots on the ground," CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria said. "As long as we're relying on military force, this is the kind of terms [sic] that ISIS wants. This is what strengthens them," Institute for Policy Studies scholar Phyllis Bennis said. "More war is exactly what ISIS wants," Sen. Angus King, Maine independent, said.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Re: Wake up America


Population growth will eventually stretch our resources.  At what point do we say that we have enough people in this country?  Say 400 million?  500 million?  How about a billion?  That is how population dense Europe is, which is equivalent to a United States with a billion people.

I have no doubt that population can grow slowly, because technology will allow us to support a larger population.  Some people say we have plenty of land, but if that is so then why do houses sell for $800,000?  The fact is that the best and most preferred areas are already taken.

The greater our population is, the thinner our resources we be.  We can cope, but land, food, water and other resources will be in higher demand making the cost go up.  If it costs more to live, then we are more impoverished.

Some say that immigrants contribute to our economy, and many of them do, but I have heard that around 60% are getting government subsidies.  There is a limit to how fast we can absorb people because our economy has to grow to support the extra population.  I feel especially bad about legal and illegal immigration when so many people are out of work.   

I also think that immigration the way it is now is importing poverty.  I have personally seen crime by immigrants and threats toward me.  Go to court in Salt Lake City and you will see that the vast majority of criminal cases are hispanic.

There are two factions in the United States that support increased immigration:  Democrats who know that immigrants who become citizens will likely vote Democrat, and business owners who want cheap labor.

On Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 5:24 PM, Bob wrote:
John, what's your take on this?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Fwd: Corbyn

'In 2010, Miliband won the leadership from his brother David by promising an end to the compromises of power and a return to the traditional left-wing comfort zone. Yet the narrative of his tenure was of an uneasy accommodation with electoral reality — a drift to the Left marred by lurches to the Right.

Labour's younger supporters, aghast at the cuts being inflicted by the Tory government in the name of balancing the budget, do not want someone who will make the party electable. They want someone who will articulate their outrage. And it is here that Corbyn has an advantage over his rivals: He is untainted by compromise.

Now aged 66, Corbyn was first elected to parliament in 1983. That year, Labour stood on a far-left platform promising unilateral nuclear disarmament and the nationalization of swathes of British industry. It was described by one of its own MPs as "the longest suicide note in history."

Over the next decade, Labour embarked on a gruelling march back toward the center ground. That reached its apogee in 1994, when Tony Blair rebranded the party as "New Labour" and declared it the natural home of the aspiring middle class. His MPs shaved off their beards, stopped singing "The Red Flag," revoked their symbolic commitment to "the common ownership of the means of production" and promised not to raise taxes. The result was three landslide victories.

A handful of MPs, however, kept both their beards and their beliefs — chief among them Jeremy Corbyn. And where Miliband promised in 2010 to "turn the page" on New Labour, Corbyn wants to go back and tear out the entire chapter.

The result is a policy platform which makes Hillary Clinton look like Grover Norquist. Corbyn would nationalize the railways, most of the energy companies and at least one of the banks. He would abandon austerity, raise taxes on the rich and force the Bank of England to print money to pay for houses, railways and wind farms. He would return schools to state control (undoing Britain's version of the charter school program, set up under Blair). He would slash defense spending and abolish Britain's nuclear deterrent. He might bring in a "maximum wage" to cap executive pay, or reopen the coal mines, or withdraw from NATO.

Then there are his views on foreign policy. Corbyn is one of those Europeans who blames the West for the bulk of the world's evils — and who therefore believes that anyone who hates America or Britain or Israel probably has something going for them. He befriends Venezuela, Bolivia, Russia, Iran, Palestine, Hamas, Hezbollah. He blames the Ukraine crisis on NATO. He befriended Sinn Féin, the IRA's political wing, even as it was blowing up British civilians. He opposed the Falklands, Kosovo, the first Gulf War and the invasion of Afghanistan — and, of course, Iraq. He was recently asked if there were any circumstances under which he would deploy British troops abroad. "I am sure there are some," he replied. "But I can't think of them at the moment."'

Refugees: Another One for the “Not Our Problem” File

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Fwd: Russia

'During Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing this week, he will be at pains to downplay the ongoing chaos in Chinese financial markets, drop in global crude prices, and lackluster Sino-Russian trade figures. Taken together, these developments are a huge disappointment for a Kremlin that just a few months ago was betting on China to serve as an economic lifeline for the Russian economy in the wake of Western sanctions.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. After being frozen out of Western capital markets by waves of sanctions, a great many top Russian government and corporate players had loyally heeded the Kremlin's directive, "Go east, young man!" The Kremlin's pivot to Asia was intended not only to form a Russia-Chinese alliance of likeminded authoritarian states, but also to re-orient the Russian economy toward the East. This effort was intended to  provide Vladimir Putin with financial means to sustain himself in office and his current foreign policy course. Securing "a stable Chinese" alternative to Western capital markets was the key element in this game plan.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fwd: China

'In China, drivers who have injured pedestrians will sometimes then try to kill them. And yet not only is it true, it's fairly common; security cameras have regularly captured drivers driving back and forth on top of victims to make sure that they are dead. The Chinese language even has an adage for the phenomenon: "It is better to hit to kill than to hit and injure."'


"Double-hit cases" have been around for decades. I first heard of the "hit-to-kill" phenomenon in Taiwan in the mid-1990s when I was working there as an English teacher. A fellow teacher would drive us to classes. After one near-miss of a motorcyclist, he said, "If I hit someone, I'll hit him again and make sure he's dead." Enjoying my shock, he explained that in Taiwan, if you cripple a man, you pay for the injured person's care for a lifetime. But if you kill the person, you "only have to pay once, like a burial fee." He insisted he was serious—and that this was common.

Most people agree that the hit-to-kill phenomenon stems at least in part from perverse laws on victim compensation. In China the compensation for killing a victim in a traffic accident is relatively small—amounts typically range from $30,000 to $50,000—and once payment is made, the matter is over. By contrast, paying for lifetime care for a disabled survivor can run into the millions. The Chinese press recently described how one disabled man received about $400,000 for the first 23 years of his care. Drivers who decide to hit-and-kill do so because killing is far more economical. Indeed, Zhao Xiao Cheng—the man caught on a security camera video driving over a grandmother five times—ended up paying only about $70,000 in compensation.

Security cameras have regularly captured drivers driving back and forth on top of victims to make sure that they are dead.

In 2010 in Xinyi, video captured a wealthy young man reversing his BMW X6 out of a parking spot. He hits a 3-year-old boy, knocking the child to the ground and rolling over his skull. The driver then shifts his BMW into drive and crushes the child again. Remarkably, the driver then gets out of the BMW, puts the vehicle in reverse, and guides it with his hand as he walks the vehicle backward over the boy's crumpled body. The man's foot is so close to the toddler's head that, if alive, the boy could have reached out and touched him. The driver then puts the BMW in drive again, running over the boy one last time as he drives away.

Here too, the driver was charged only with accidentally causing a person's death. (He claimed to have confused the boy with a cardboard box or trash bag.) Police rejected charges of murder and even of fleeing the scene of the crime, ignoring the fact that the driver ran over the boy's head as he sped away.'

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fwd: welfare

"In 2012, 51 percent of households headed by an [illegal or legal] immigrant reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households," the report said.

The report found starkly different welfare rates among different groups, with 73 percent of immigrant households from Central America and Mexico and 51 percent of households from the Caribbean receiving welfare. Meanwhile, only 26 percent of immigrant households from Europe and 17 percent from South Asia received welfare in that period.



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Re: 09-01-15 Supreme Court Turns Down KY Clerk who Won't Marry Gays


No doubt the resistance here is a deliberate organized movement to test the court ruling.  That has failed.

I am for gay marriage but it was never a hot political issue for me.  I felt that our society has much bigger problems to worry about.   I thought that the Supreme Court overstepped its bounds, and I thought that this should have been best resolved through the political process as 37 states had already done.  However, I am glad that gay marriage is legal.

I like the radio talk show host I heard in Indianapolis who said that he was for gay marriage because they should suffer as much as the rest of us.  I got a really big laugh out of that one.

Seriously, I think that gay marriage will lead to more stable relationships and guarantee rights that would have otherwise been denied.

If a person is strongly religious, their belief gives them no room to compromise.  Mildly religious people aren't as worried about it.  I think that it would be wrong to force someone to do something that they think would violate their religion.  That person thinks that they would go to hell, and would be forced to quit to avoid doing so.  And it won't make them any less bigoted.  It would probably make them more bigoted.   

​In the case of the instrangagent clerk, that person should be reassigned, or an alternate clerk should be made available.  

I don't believe in religion, but I do believe religious freedom.   I believe in all forms of freedom.  It is what makes us who we are.  To believe otherwise is to believe in some degree of dictatorship.


Fwd: Japan

'More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan's suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years.

The grim spike in the statistics is linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended.

"The long break from school enables you to stay at home, so it's heaven for those who are bullied," Nanae said. "When summer ends, you have to go back. And once you start worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide might be possible."..

Nanae thinks the Japanese education system's focus on collective thinking is at the root cause of the problem.

"In Japan, you have to fall in line with other people. And if you cannot do that, you're either ignored or bullied," she said. "You are required to have a unified opinion, and it crushes the uniqueness every person has. But that uniqueness is not something to destroy."

Some experts agree. Child psychiatrist Dr. Ken Takaoka said the suicide rate increases when school restarts because schools "prioritize collective (action). Children who do not get along in a group will suffer."'

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fwd: Russia

A Russian guard asked a political prisoner, "What is your sentence?" 

"Ten years." 
"What for?" 
"For nothing." 
"What a lie! For nothing they give only five years."...more

See More


A woman walks into a Russian food store. "Do you have any meat?" 
"No, we don't." 
"What about milk?" 
"We only deal with meat. Across the street there is that store where they have no milk."...more




A man walks into a Russian green grocer and inquires about the price of beets. When told that they cost 2 rubles, the shopper yells "you're a thief. Across the street they sell beets for 1/2 a ruble. 
The grocer tells the man that he can't match the price and tells the man to go across the street to shop. 
The man replies, "are you crazy? He hasn't had beets in months."


Have you heard about the new Obama diet? 
You let Putin eat your lunch everyday. 


Fwd: economics

'Since the dawn of capitalism, closed societies with repressive governments have — much like China — been capable of remarkable growth and innovation. Sixteenth-century Spain was a great imperial power, with a massive navy and extensive industry such as shipbuilding and mining. One could say the same thing about Louis XIV's France during the 17th century, which also had vast wealth, burgeoning industry and a sprawling empire.

But both countries were also secretive, absolute monarchies, and they found themselves thrust into competition with the freer countries Holland and Great Britain. Holland, in particular, with a government that didn't try to control information, became the information center of Europe — the place traders went to find out vital information which they then used as the basis of their projects and investments. The large empires, on the other hand, had economies so centrally planned that the monarch himself would often make detailed economic decisions. As these secretive monarchies tried to prop up their economies, they ended up in unsustainable positions that invariably led to bankruptcy, collapse and conflict.

In Spain, the result was a slow collapse, which has left it and its former empire suffering from perpetual economic crisis and political instability. In France, an open society would eventually be born through monarchial bankruptcy that pulled down banks around Europe, and ended in violent revolution and the vastly destructive Napoleonic wars.'

Fwd: Coming this April

"Peace is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading."
- Robert Ingersoll

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


'The letter, presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was signed by Tesla's Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis and professor Stephen Hawking along with 1,000 AI and robotics researchers.

The letter states: "AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high:'

Musk and Hawking have warned that AI is "our biggest existential threat" and that the development of full AI could "spell the end of the human race". But others, including Wozniak have recently changed their minds on AI, with the Apple co-founder saying that robots would be good for humans, making them like the "family pet and taken care of all the time".

Re: China

On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 7:05 PM, <larry.r.trout@l> wrote:

'To understand China's predicament, Mr. Dollar compared its experience with some of the best known stories of successful economic development of the last half-century: Japan, which reached China's income level per capita in the early 1970s; Taiwan, which passed this threshold in the early 1980s; and South Korea, which hit it around 1990.

What is most striking is not how all three countries followed quite similar paths, but how China's trajectory has diverged from the others'.

Household spending was always the main source of demand in all three, declining gradually to about 50 percent of gross domestic product when they were about as rich as China is today. Investment rates, which rose sharply in the early stages of their development, peaked at that time at around 35 percent of G.D.P.

By these metrics, China's economy is upside down: Consumer spending by households is only 35 percent of the nation's G.D.P. — one of the lowest levels in the world. Its investment rate — nearly 50 percent of G.D.P. — is extraordinarily high. And the productivity of this investment is dismal.'


​China is one of the worst countries in the world about letting workers keep the fruits of the labor.  Factories, many of which are owned by the military, pay low wages.  Farmers are paid for their commodities submarket prices fixed by the government.  The government is essentially stealing from the poor.

Fwd: Afghanistan

'The district of Musa Qala fell after the Taliban over-ran police and army posts in an offensive that lasted several days. Three U.S. air strikes on Saturday killed up to 40 militants, but they regrouped and chased government officials out of town.

Elsewhere in Helmand, two men in military uniforms opened fire in the former British base of Camp Bastion, killing two NATO soldiers.

In the first summer fighting season since foreign troops formally stepped back from combat roles in the Afghan war, the Taliban have pushed into a number of districts but have struggled to hold them when the Afghan army counter-attacks.'

Fwd: newborns

'According to the US Census Bureau data and the Pew Research center an estimated 340,000…were babies of unauthorized immigrants. That's 8 percent of the entire newborn population in this country…

Of the 1,130,818 immigrants who were granted legal permanent residency in 2009, a total of 747,413 were family sponsored immigrants -- 66 percent.'

Fwd: Russia

'Cheap oil, however, didn't destroy the Soviet empire: Communism did. Putin's Russia is more oil-dependent than its predecessor, but it isn't bound by ideology or principle, and that may help the regime stay in power.

The Soviet Union was a strange kind of petrostate. In 1985, fuel accounted for 52.7 percent of its exports. But only 24.7 percent of the exported crude, 61.6 percent of oil products and 45 percent of natural gas were sold for hard currency, in other words, at market prices. The rest was supplied to Comecon countries for "transfer rubles," the Soviet Bloc's common currency, or was bartered to other nations within the Soviet orbit. Satellite countries were able to obtain oil and gas in exchange for goods the Soviet Union didn't particularly need. This was, in effect, a system of subsidies.

Much of the hard currency earned by exports to the capitalist world was used to purchase grain. The collectivization of farming under Stalin and the subsequent decline of Soviet agriculture turned Russia from the No. 1 grain exporter into the biggest importer. '


Fwd: Britain

'IT IS hard to exaggerate the chaos of the Labour Party in the 1980s. It once held a press conference to announce that Michael Foot was still party leader. Visitors to Walworth Road, recalls Tom Watson, now a party grandee, were "met at the front door by two striking miners and their table full of Davy lamps and buckets of shrapnel" and treated to harmonica recitals of "The Red Flag". On Peter Mandelson's first day as head of communications one colleague tried to kill another with poison.

This was a time when the party strayed far into the electoral wilderness, then succumbed to years of infighting as modernisers like Mr Mandelson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown wrenched it away from the loony left and led it back to power after 18 years in opposition. Three decades on, however, one of the losers in that battle—Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left MP for Islington North—is on the verge of winning the party leadership. Once more a period of introspection and infighting looms.'

Fwd: streaming

'Annual U.S. sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs has fallen from a high of $20.2 billion a decade ago to around $10 billion, according to data from the Digital Entertainment Group, while the Recording Industry Assocation of America reports shipments of CDs fell from $13.2 billion in 2000, to $1.9 billion last year.

In response, the city of Chicago is experimenting with having local taxes collected on cloud computing services and streaming music and video. Other state governments like Tennessee and Idaho are experimenting with new taxes as well….

Yahoo Finance's Michael Santoli says while the Netflixs of the world may not like it, it's not surprising that these tax schemes are arising. "Many [local goverments] have done it under the guise of 'you can tax services as well,' so I do think that it's a very predictable thing when you see these municipalities losing revenue from a big consumer area and essentially trying to replace that."'

Fwd: 26%

'The latest analysis of the so-called "Cadillac tax" on rich medical plans projects one in four employers offering health benefits "could be affected" by the regulation in 2018 if they don't make changes to their benefit structures…

Starting in 2018, employers pay a 40% tax on costs of health plans that are above $10,200 per individual and $27,500 for family coverage.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, which looked at a sampling of nearly 2,000 employers that range in size from more than 5,000 workers to fewer than five employees, said the tax could impact even more employers as their costs rise. Kaiser researchers said nearly one-third, or 30%, of employers could be affected by 2023, rising to 42% of employers in 2028'

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


'Almost 80,000 people had by Monday signed a petition urging the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes when he visits London next month.


The petition was launched earlier this month by British citizen Damian Moran and is posted on the government's website.

"Under international law he (Netanyahu) should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014," Moran said, referring to the 51-day offensive by Israeli forces in Gaza last year.

If the number of signatories reaches 100,000, the petition can be considered for debate in Britain's parliament. '

Fwd: China

'China's central bank on Tuesday cut its benchmark interest rate and freed banks to lend more, the latest signs of the government's growing distress over slumping stocks and slowing economic growth.

The central bank's action came after a global stock market rout in which China's markets led the declines. The main Shanghai share index plunged another 7.6 percent on Tuesday, to its lowest level this year. That brought its three-day decline to 22 percent and signaled that two months' worth of attempts by the government to prop up stock prices had limited effects.

In an aggressive two-part move on Tuesday, the central bank lowered the benchmark lending and deposit rates by 0.25 of a percentage point. It also cut the so-called reserve requirement ratio for the amount of cash that banks are required to hold in reserve by 0.5 of a percentage point. It was China's fifth interest rate cut since November, and the fourth reduction of the reserve ratio since February. The central bank made a similar tandem cut to both rates in June, when the stock market first began to fall from its peak, but that reduction of the reserve ratio did not apply to the biggest banks.'

Monday, August 24, 2015

Trump’s immigration plan could spell doom for the GOP

It would be nice if we could live in a world with open borders.  However, in the current world, open borders would open the floodgates for people coming here.  We currently have about 50 million hispanics who have legally and illegally immigrated to the United States.  Maybe that this is O.K., but how many more would come if the border were completely open?  Would we say that another 50 million is O.K.?  How about another 100 or 200 million?  

In short, if we had open borders, people would flood here en masse until such time that the United States was no longer a more desirable a place to live than the places that these people are coming from.  It would strain our resources and make the competition for jobs so great that wages would be depressed.  It would import poverty and the problems associated with it.  It would also change our culture.

In short, you have to set some finite limit on immigration.  And what is the point of having laws if you don't enforce them?

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, August 21, 2015

Black Lives Matter Declares Minnesota State Fair Racist, Plans to Disrupt

Sale Of Aborted-Baby Organs Must Stop

Fwd: EW

'Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia's jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as "eye-watering."…

In contrast with the US, Russia has large units dedicated to electronic warfare, known as EW, which it dedicates to ground electronic attack, jamming communications, radar and command-and-control nets…

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fwd: Loophole

'The Tony Soprano Enabling Act

Labor gangsterism—mob-run labor unions that loot pension funds, make back-room deals with both politicians and companies that favor union management over workers, and support crooked big city machines as part of a strategy to keep law enforcement at bay—is one of America's oldest union traditions. How important has the mob been in labor history? Ask Jimmy Hoffa, if you can find him.

Now, a recent rash of minimum wage laws have created a huge new opportunity for mafia enrichment: laws that hike the minimum wage to utterly unrealistic levels, but allow companies to pay less than the minimum wage—if the low wages are part of a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union. WSJ:

More than 20 U.S. cities and counties, recently including Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo., have set minimum wages above state and federal levels. Some will eventually reach more than twice the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.

In at least a half-dozen of those communities, the pay-floor ordinances include a provision allowing unions to waive the wage mandates as part of a collective-bargaining agreement.…

the real answer is the exemptions create an incentive to force companies like hotels and fast food chains to recognize labor unions precisely so they can keep labor costs down..

One way to stop that would be for state governments to intervene and outlaw minimum wage laws that offer labor loopholes. There should not be two classes of workers in American states, and private organizations like labor unions should not be able to grant exemptions to public laws.'


Immigration excuses

Fwd: Iran

'Wednesday's bombshell from the Associated Press. The news service reports that Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors at the secret Parchin nuclear site under its secret side agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This is a new one in the history of arms control. Parchin is the military complex long suspected as the home of Iran's nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile development.

Fwd: 14th

'The author of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."'

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fwd: China

'Southeast Asian nations want China to stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, a regional official said Tuesday, but China insisted it has a right to continue the activity.

Le Luong Minh, secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said ASEAN foreign ministers expressed concerns in a meeting Tuesday over massive Chinese island-building activities that have escalated tensions in the area.

the amount of land reclaimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan in the disputed area over the last 45 years totals 40 hectares (100 acres), a fraction of the more than 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) reclaimed by China in the last 18 months alone.'

Fwd: Power

"Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is imposing the Clean Power Plan on all fifty states, requiring each state to close down coal-burning electric plants, and shift to other sources of electricity — natural gas burning plants, nuclear plants, solar and wind power generators — in order to reduce carbon emissions by one third... But nationwide, about 40 percent of electric power is produced by coal plants. Forcing these utilities to close will burn consumers with higher electric bills. It will also send hundreds of thousands of jobs a year up in smoke, as employers pay more to operate their businesses, according to Heritage Foundation economists.

And for what? The purported benefit is to avoid an imperceptible 0.02 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by the year 2100. That's the official EPA estimate of the benefits of this Clean Air Plan. You must be kidding.


Fwd: China

'The death toll from last Wednesday's multiple blasts in the New Binhai district remained 114 yesterday, but is expected to rise sharply over the next few days, with officials admitting it is unlikely any of the 60 missing people will be found alive.

A majority of those killed are understood to be firefighters first on the scene and engulfed by a much larger second explosion. Many were aged just 17 and earned less than 3000 renminbi ($640) a month.


'Deputy head Dong Shexuan is the son of a former police chief of Tianjin port.

"My connections is in police and fire. When we needed a fire inspection, I went to meet officials at the Tianjin port fire squad. I gave them the files and soon they gave me the appraisal," Dong said, according to Xinhua.

The warehouse was storing hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide, far more than legally allowed, it has emerged.

Ted Cruz’s Secret Trump Strategy

Fwd: Iran

'Despite a five-year ban on arms shipments to Iran under the nuclear agreement announced last month, Russia appears willing to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the country -- in a development triggering objections from the Obama administration.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fwd: Germany

'Germany to expect 750,000 refugees in 2015 - reports

The numbers are far higher than the record 438,000 asylum applications in 1992 during the Bosnian crisis.

Few arrivals from Balkan countries such as Albania or Kosovo are granted asylum in Germany and the government in Berlin is currently considering measures aimed at discouraging Balkan migrants from arriving.'

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fwd: Temple Mount

'Palestinian religious leaders – both Muslims and Christians – signed a declaration stating that Jews have no right to enter the Temple Mount at a press conference in east Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The declaration, titled "the Blessed Aksa Mosque Document" and signed by scores of religious figures, expressed their objections to Israeli and Jordanian understandings that allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount and to claims that the two countries had agreed to jointly supervise archeological excavations at the holy site.

The declaration was initiated by the Islamic Supreme Commission, which is headed by former Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri.

The Israeli presence in Jerusalem, the sheikh emphasized, was an "illegal occupation," and added that Israel has no sovereignty over the Aksa Mosque.

Sabri told journalists at the press conference that the Aksa Mosque, as well as all the area surrounding it and above and beneath it, was "purely and exclusively sacred to Muslims."

Neither Jews nor any other party had any right to the site, "not even one grain of soil," he said, adding that entering the site is considered an incursion of Palestinian Muslim rights.'


Fwd: Iran

'Just two weeks after Western nations and Tehran struck a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, the Pentagon says Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 new Patriot missile interceptors.


The $5 billion-plus purchase is likely just the first of many more as America's Middle Eastern allies arm themselves in response to the nuclear deal, which would lift Iran's conventional-arms embargo sanctions in five years and sanctions on long-range missile projects in eight.


"We're going to see more of this," Karako said. "So long as the Iranian missile threat exists, GCC and other countries in the region are going to have to invest in counters offensive and defensive."




Fwd: China

'The Obama administration has warned Beijing about the presence of Chinese agents in the United States who are secretly attempting to pressure prominent expatriates to return home to China immediately.


The Obama administration's warning to Beijing is likely to increase tensions between the two countries ahead of an official visit by President Xi Jingping to Washington next month.'

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fwd: China

'One of the hottest reads among Washington national security experts this summer is not the latest White House policy document or a big report from an influential think tank, but a novel by two of the national security community's own: Peter Singer and August Cole. Their book, "Ghost Fleet," is a riveting thriller in the Tom Clancy tradition. Much of the attention it is getting is due to its explanation of cutting-edge military technology, but it is also captivating—and important—because its core scenario is one that every policymaker and policy expert fears: a major war between the United States and China.

Fwd: France

'In A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France, Emile Chabal, currently a chancellor's fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh, proposes that we look beyond the policy arena to the political culture. What he sees there is an opposition between two traditions, one "republican" and statist in orientation, the other "liberal" and focused on civil society. (American readers may be amused, not to say confused, by the association of "republican" with strong central government and "liberal" with society and the market.) Republicans, in Chabal's telling, insist that citizens must abandon all "particularistic" allegiances (pertaining to religion, ethnicity, and economic interest) when they enter the "universalistic" public arena. For republicans, the state shapes culture and society, especially through the public schools. By contrast, liberals accord primacy to civil society in shaping the state. Republicanism, as we will see, is therefore hostile to multiculturalism, whereas liberalism tolerates and even encourages it…'

Fwd: e-mail

'Chinese cyber-spies are reading the private email accounts of Obama administration officials and other "national security" figures, in an operation first code-named the "Dancing Panda", it has been revealed.

A National Security Agency briefing from 2014 showed that the intrusion was first detected in April 2010, and the attacks are still ongoing, according to a senior intelligence official who spoke to NBC.

Fwd: detainers

'A California toddler fighting for her life Thursday after a brutal beating at the hands of an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record is the latest case to rile California sheriffs and police against a U.S. immigration policy they say is forcing them to release dangerous criminals out on the street.

The issue, says Parkinson and dozens of other sheriffs and police chiefs across California and Arizona, is that, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement routinely asks departments to hold prisoners like Chavez until they can take custody of them for deportation, the local law enforcement officials believe doing so will expose them to lawsuits.


'Before her death earlier this year, American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped by the top leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to counter-terrorism officials.'

Thursday, August 13, 2015

All the President's Certitudes.

'One might have thought that, by now, the president and his advisers would be chastened by experience. Al Qaeda is "on a path to defeat" (2012). Bashar Assad's "days are numbered" (2011). "If you like your current insurance, you can keep that insurance. Period, end of story" (2009). Russia and the U.S. "are not simply resetting our relationship but also broadening it" (2010). Yemen is an example of a counterterrorist strategy "we have successfully pursued . . . for years" (2014).'

Fwd: China

'Global markets fell Tuesday after China unexpectedly devalued its yuan currency amid weaker economic growth.


Beijing's devaluation of the yuan allowed it to fall by its biggest one-day margin in a decade. The central bank said the 1.9% decline was due to changes aimed at making the way it sets exchange rates more market-oriented. The U.S. dollar also gained against the yen, Indian rupee, South Korean and other Asian currencies.'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fwd: $100 million

'According to federal officials, the defendants made a combined $100 million in illegal profits. The group includes two Ukrainian men who are believed to be the hackers, plus 30 other people from the U.S. and elsewhere who made the stock traders

The SEC initially filed fraud charges under seal on Aug. 10 in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J. The Justice Department announced criminal charges against several of the same defendants, including the alleged hackers, Ivan Turchynov and Oleksandr Ieremenko.

The Ukrainian men are said to have led the scheme over a five-year period. They hacked at least two newswire services, stealing hundreds of corporate earnings announcements before they were released.

The two hackers created a secret location on the Internet to send stolen data to traders in Russia, the Ukraine, Malta, Cyprus, France, and three U.S. states: Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania. In some cases, the traders shared a portion of their illicit profits with the hackers.'


'The Islamic State group released a video Monday showing the brutal execution of Afghan tribesman by detonating explosives they had positioned earlier underground.

In the video, the men, wearing traditional tribal clothes and with blindfolds around their heads are made to kneel in front of machine gun-toting jihadists clothed fully in black.

A scene that was filmed earlier showed the Islamic State fighters burying explosives in mounds on which the captives would later sit.

The men were accused by the so-called Khorasan province of the Islamic State of collaborating with the Taliban and Pakistan's intelligence agency against the Sunni jihadist group that aims to establish a global caliphate'


Fwd: 5%

'"We Democrats believe that our economy can and must grow at an average rate of 5% annually, almost twice as fast as our average annual rate since 1953....We shall bring in added Federal tax revenues by expanding the economy itself." -- 1960 Democratic Party Platform

"We will continue to use tax policy to maintain steady economic growth by helping through tax reduction to stimulate the economy when it is sluggish." – 1968 Democratic Party Platform

"We reject ..the big government theory that says we and spend our way to prosperity..We honor business as a noble endeavor." -- 1992 Democratic Party Platform

"Today's Democratic Party knows that the era of big government is over. Big bureaucracies and Washington solutions are not the real answers to today's challenges. We need a smaller government." – 1996 Democratic Party Platform

"We have ended the era of big government; it's time to end the era of old government…Democrats believe in supporting the startups, the small businesses, and the entrepreneurs that are making the New Economy go." -- 2000 Democratic Party Platform

"We promise to cut taxes for 98% of Americans…We believe the private sector, not government, is the engine of economic growth and job creation."  -- 2004 Democratic Party Platform

"The American people do not want government to solve all our problems..We will shine a light on government spending." -- 2008 Democratic Party Platform

"What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist? I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think?"--MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)

"The difference between….the real question is what's the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican." -- Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), avoiding Matthews' question

Five years after the immaculate recovery declared by Vice President Joe Biden in the summer of 2010, the U.S. still faces dismal job and wage growth, with more small businesses shuttering than opening, a first for the U.S. economy since the Carter Administration.

What could fix all that?

For the Democrats to stop their identity crisis and return to their economic growth plans built on their small government, low-tax platforms.'

Fwd: Greece

'The Greek government said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal with its international creditors for a third bailout, though a number of European officials expressed caution.

The rescue plan, outlined in a 20-hour negotiating session in an Athens hotel, would provide aid worth up to 86 billion euros, or about $94.4 billion, to Greece in exchange for harsh austerity terms. It also acknowledged that the economy has been so severely damaged that it is now likely to wallow in recession through at least next year.

But whether the accord would satisfy Germany, or be ratified by other European governments in time to send Greece new aid to make a crucial €3.2 billion payment to the European Central Bank on Aug. 20, remained to be seen.

Martin Chaudhuri, a spokesman for the German Finance Ministry, said that Berlin had not yet been notified of an agreement. Should a deal emerge, "we are ready to evaluate it quickly," he said.

"What we have is a technical-level agreement," Annika Breidthardt, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, told a daily news conference on Tuesday, referring to the negotiations with the government in Athens. "What we don't have at the moment is a political agreement."'

Fwd: Nice Guys

'Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: "If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill." (2000)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region." (2001)

Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: "If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (2002)

Nasrallah: "Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: 'Death to Israel.'" (2005)

Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps: "With God's help the time has come for the Zionist regime's death sentence." (2008)

Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei's representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: "We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust." (2010)

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: "We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time while arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases." (2011)

Khamenei: "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed." (2012)

Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: "The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel." (2013)

Nasrallah: "The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world." (2013)

Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: "The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base." (2013)

Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's representative in the Revolutionary Guard: "The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction." (2013)

Khamenei: "This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated." (2014)

Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: "We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat." (2014)

Salami: "Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth." (2014)

Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: "The issue of Israel's destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader [Khamenei] on the issue of destroying the Zionists. The region will not be quiet so long as Israel exists in it ..." (2014)

Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: "The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime ... We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region's geopolitics." (2015)'