Saturday, July 19, 2014

Coming to you soon: Night of the Russians

It's the newest horror movie. Vodka-swilling Russian wannabes steal bodies from a commercial jet they shot down. After all, human flesh may go well with Russia's favorite food, cabbage.

The government-controlled Moscow Times said some of the gunmen appeared intoxicated.

Can a dead body be a hostage?

In a clever twist, others in President Vladimir Putin's army of disinformation specialists go to Wikipedia and try to introduce lies into the article on the shooting down MH17. It doesn't work because Wikipedia is not in territory held by the "Russian specialists."

This is the world turned upside down. Russians use to flee to the West.

Putin’s proxies are accused of stealing bodies from the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner they are charged with shooting down.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a Vienna-based group that includes Moscow as a member, says its observers have been blocked from entering the site two days in a row. Some warning shots were fired at them, the group said.

The Ukrainian government said not only were bodies being removed, but the rebels were tampering with other evidence.

The Malaysian government has sent experts to the area, and they were expected to arrive this weekend. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong-Lai said it would be "inhumane" if Malaysian experts were not given access to the crash site.
The Malaysian Chronicle said Russians were caught trying to introduce lies into the Wikipedia entry on flight MH17.

A missile fired by the separatists is believed to have brought down the Boeing 777, and killed all 298 aboard. Half were Dutch nationals as the plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Some of the world’s leading AIDS researchers were on board, headed to an international conference that began Friday night in Melbourne.

US President Barack Obama has said there is considerable evidence the rebels shot down the plane.

Obama said, “Their deaths are [an] outrage of unspeakable proportions.”

Kiev says they even bragged about it on Tweeter, until they realized they had hit a commercial jet, not a Ukrainian military plane.

The Russian separatists have shot down half a dozen Ukrainian military aircraft and helicopters, using weapons the White House says were supplied by Putin’s security forces.

Putin has responded by saying it is the fault of the Ukraine government for creating the conditions that resulted in the plane being shot down.

The action has drawn worldwide condemnation, with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott accusing the Russians of lying. Nearly 30 Australians were on board, including one member of a family that lost family members when a Malaysian flight disappeared over the Indian Ocean.

Theories offered from Moscow have included that Kiev was trying to hit a plane carrying Putin or that the plane was carrying a load of corpses.

Kiev and Washington have provided intercepts and Tweets supporting their view that the separatists shot down the plane.

NATO or US forces may have to secure the area, if asked by Ukraine. It is on land still considered part of Ukraine by everyone but Russia.


Washington Post



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Russia accused of shooting down Malaysian airliner with 300 on board

The Ukraine says Russia-backed rebels have shot down a Malaysian passenger plane carrying 295 people over the eastern Ukraine.
The flight manifest carried the names of 23 Americans, but it was not confirmed how many were on board. 

The Ukrainian security agency released documents to the Kiev Post showing that the rebels had talked about shooting down the commercial jet. Intercepts showed it was shot down by the “Chernukin” rebel control point.

Associated Press quoted Anto Gerashenko, an adviser to the Kiev interior ministry, saying the plane was hit while flying at 33,000 feet.
It would have been squawking a signal to the ground in the countries it was flying over identifying itself. Eurocontrol closed civilian air space over the eastern Ukraine.
The author had predicted in a story on Allvoices earlier this week that Russia’s arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine had become a threat to world aviation after the separatists shot down several Ukrainian military planes, including one flying at 21,000 feet.
The wreckage was in an area controlled by Russian separatists.The BBC said separatists had tweeted earlier in the morning that they had shot down another Ukrainian plane, before it became known a commercial airliner was hit.
Gerashenko said the passenger plane was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, a Russian weapon.
If the report is confirmed it will step up pressure for sanctions on Russia for failing to control the separatists and trying to stop the new Ukrainian government from consolidating its rule.
Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed that it “has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow,” AP reported.
The plane was a Boeing 777.
Russian TV, a part of the Russian media that has been made servile by Russian President Vladimir Putin [Unlink], was still occupied Thursday morning with denials that Russia was involved in the shooting down of Ukrainian military planes this week.
The BBC said it was unlikely the jet could have been brought down except by a sophisticated missile working with radar, the kind of equipment only Russia would have in the area where the plane went down.
Russia has twice shot down airliners, both operated by Korean Airlines. Both were off course. Russian jets could see that they were commerical airliners but shot them down anyway.

Smiley's People Trump Karla

Russian stocks and the ruble fell sharply Thursday after US President Barack Obama [Unlink] imposed tougher sanctions for Moscow’s support of rebels trying to bring down the Ukraine government.
The shooting down of high-flying Ukrainian planes most likely by Russian soldiers was the last straw.
“The ruble-traded MICEX stock market dropped 2.5 percent in early deals, its dollar-traded cousin, the RTS index .IRTS, fell 3.2 percent and the rouble RUB= dropped as much as 1 percent against the dollar,” said Reuters.
For a country go up ahead against a cyber-rich and cyber-savvy with Tandy Radio Shack gear is the path to national suicide, or to the overthrow of the Russian government.
"From the West's perspective they could not have chosen a better time to intensify sanctions," said Societe Generale strategist Regis Chatellier. "Until a few weeks back Russia was in a position of relative strength because there was massive pressure on oil but that is not the case any more."
The European Union still has to spell out its new sanctions, but at the very least European investors will be blocked from spending money in Russia.
The sanctions got the usual reaction from Soviet President Vladimir Putin [Unlink], who is still living in dream world in which US and European allies can be sepated and Russian oil can buy the country’s way out of any problems.
The US and others in the West have had more than 30 years to tweak and refine sanctions, and numerous countries to test them new ones on. Mineral-rich South Africa never had to face sanctions that put targets on the backs of white government and corporate leaders. They had to endure being pariahs, but the rich could still live a life of luxury.
Targeted sanctions in this cyber connected world might well have ended apartheid years earlier.
Companies close to Putin are going to have most methods of funding cut off to them. Exit ramps are being offered to Western investors to limit their losses from pulling out.
“What we are expecting is that the Russian leadership will see, once again, that its actions in Ukraine have consequences, including a weakening Russian economy and increasing diplomatic isolation,” Obama told reporters.
The Wall Street Journal said Putin “bristled” at the new sanctions. "They tend to have a boomerang effect, and without a doubt, in this case they have driven Russian-American relations to a dead end, causing very serious damage," he said. "I am convinced that is to the detriment of the long-term national interests of the American government and its people."
It was clear that Putin’s day-to-day strategies were no match for what the capitalist world can bring to bear on an economy. The days of a paper-pusher KGB agent in Dresden being able to tell the world to take it or leave it appear to be over.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dutch nation shamed by soldiers' failure to stop Serbian massacre of Bosnian Muslims

The Dutch government has been held liable for the worst massacre on European soil since World War 2, the Serbian slaughter of Bosnian Muslims.
It is estimated that Serbian forces killed 8,000 Bosnian men who had been under the protection of a Dutch peacekeeping unit.
The court held the Dutch government responsible for only 300 of the deaths.
Dutch social media was full of people critical of the soldiers for handing the men over to Serbian Gen. Ratko Mladić, even though they were outnumbered.
US and French jets were in position to defend the Dutch unit if they had been attacked.
A court in the Netherlands on Wednesday found the Dutch government liable for some, but not all of the deaths.
"Today we got justice for one group, that's good," said Munira Subasic, one of the representatives of the Mothers of Srebrenica group who were in court. "But how do you explain to a mother that the Dutch are responsible for the death of one son that stood on one side of the fence, and not for the one on the other side?" she said tearfully.
Mladić has been on trial in the Hague since 2012, but the case has been delayed by his lawyers’ claims that he is in very poor health.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense had no immediate comment on the ruling in the Hague. There is likely to be pressure from Dutch citizens for the government to accept full blame, and not try to save money by taking advantage of the ruling.
It has taken since 1995 for the Mothers of Srebrenica to get this far. Court after court denies their claims.
The Serbian government was accused of numerous war crimes, not just the Srebenica case. Russia attempted to block the NATO intervention in Serbia, but was blocked by a French general.
NATO, acting without the direction of the United Nations, NATO “launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs” on the former Yugoslavia [Unlink] to stop the ethnic cleansing that began after the death of former President Joseph Broz Tito.
Many Serbs have escaped any punishment for the ethnic cleansing, and continue to hate NATO for intervening to stop it from being even worse.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Obama worst president ever, including future

The pathetic failures of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama [Unlink], probably will mean he is not only the worst president the country has had, but the worst one it will ever have.
Some would say that is unfair to Hillary Clinton. Only time will tell.
Every day web sites are full of stories about how Obama has failed even blacks.
Instead of stopping shootings in Chicago, Obama wants to spend America’s money on taking care of illegal immigrant children. One TV video showed a US border sign saying: "Now Entering the United States of America, the Country with the Most Candy."
Germans were angry with Obama for spying, though it didn’t stop them from winning the World Cup.
Unable to preserve the great work done in Iraq by former President George Bush, Obama is in danger of handing it over to Al-Qaeda or terrorists even worse.
Instead of having Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl shot in Afghanistan, Obama ordered that he be allowed to rejoin the military. Apparently he was recaptured by the Taliban after wandering off his Texas post, the Onion reported.
Obama also was being criticized by gays and marijuana lovers because he had not made same-sex marriage and weed both legal in every state in the country. Even though he had ordered federal cops to ignore laws legalizing weed in Colorado and Washington, Obama was roundly slammed for not using his influence with Congress to lift all laws making marijuana illegal.
The decision of Obama’s justice department to not support court challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage was considered lame.
Republicans said that Obama was not only a fascist dictator, but also a weakling. The GOP praised a Supreme Court decision saying Obama did not have the constitutional power to act when Congress didn’t.
The NRA criticized Obama for trying to steal guns from people, under the guise of trying to limit massacres at schools, theaters and homes. Court decisions, including in Illinois and Chicago, declaring unconstitutional laws limiting guns, were praised by gun toters.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Google Glass can warn against incoming Gazan rockets

Google Glass can warn against incoming Gazan rockets

Does this mean Israelis really are safe under that Iron Dome. Now when it apparently briefly opens Google Glass has an app that receives rocket warnings.

The Times of Israel says The Rustybrick is offering them.

“The alerts will provide the (predicted) time and location of the attack, giving Israeli Glass users time to head for shelter,” said Barry Schwartz, CEO of RustyBrick Software, author of the app and a pioneer in Jewish and Israel-oriented Google Glass apps. “Be it bomb shelters, safe rooms or covering up on the highway as they drive home from work, this app will allow them to get notifications of those missile attacks so they can seek shelter.”

Shouldn’t android phones offer them?

Is 3D next?

Israelis willing to risk it could wear 3D glasses to watch Israel interceptors blow Arab J-80s from the sky, though remember what they say about things that go up. They must come down.

Will the Gaza rocket warheads be destroyed before their pieces land? Some scientists say that could be as much a matter of luck than science.

Arguments still rage about how effective the far more advance U.S. Patriot missiles were. At least one Iraqi Scud got through during the Persian Gulf War, killing 29 U.S. soldiers.

To bring the current Gaza-Israel War up to date is going to take much more than Google Glass.

Should there be a Stylebook with three editions. In one of the Arabs are land-grabbing terrorists, in the second the Israelis are U.S.-backed land-grabbing Holocaust-descended settlers and the third, terms are neutral.

Here is where the recently used, and widely adopted term, “militants.” comes in handy. War correspondents say it is especially useful when it is impossible to say whether the people killed were really warriors or just happened to be at a jihadi site.

The U.S. Army was so desperate to distance itself from the disaster in Vietnam it has embedded the word “asymmetrical” in the lexicon. Anything to avoid the term “guerrilla war.” That brings back memories of tunnels. Wait. There are tunnels in Gaza.

Even copyright can become an issue. That video that may or may not have been involved in the deaths in the Benghazi U.S. consulate has been taken down by Google. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said an actress who appeared for only a few seconds in “Innocence of Muslims” technically has copyright ownership of it.

How about a new video game where users get points for killing civilians, like in the cult movie “Death Race 2000.” Some present games punish users for killing those not involved in the fighting.

Perhaps Google could create a daily listing of violent deaths that could include gun massacres in the U.S., deaths in places like Gaza, and funerals associated with them.

Lastly, how about T-Shirts. Some whites who fought in the Rhodesian Civil War against black majority rule created one that said: “Rhodesian War Games: 2nd Place.” And then there was “Come to Umtali and Get Bombed.”

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Israel Dome strategy leaking, Gaza invasion likely

Once again Israel’s vaunted military may not be living up to the reputation it earned with successful but risky missions that made good movies.

Ultimately, it may force them to invade Gaza.

First, although many of the rockets jihadists are using are primitive by many standards they are using tungsten instead of metals like iron used in years past. Tungsten is heavier _ its name comes from the Swedish words tung sten or heavy stone _ and causes far more damage to victims of shrapnel.

The metal is three times denser than iron.

Just as evolution occurs in humans and other life, the weapons industry also evolves. Arms manufacturers figured out what tungsten could do. They found tungsten bullets went right through existing armor.

Ironically, concerns about the lingering effects of depleted uranium and other metals used in weapons resulted in the weaponization of tungsten.

Another problem with Israel’s Iron Dome strategy is that the jihadistists firing the rockets can quickly flee. No matter how good Israeli radar is, even if aided by US intelligence, it will be firing at a location that the jihadists have fled.

In the Iraq War, rebels would go into a house occupied by civilians, fire on American troops and flee. The US soldiers would fire back, and in many cases civilians died. Washington quickly developed rules of engagement to limit the effectiveness of this strategy. Some times it meant just not firing back.

The third, and probably most dangerous premise of the dome strategy is that it hits most targets that appear to approaching urban areas.

David Talbot, writing  for MIT Technology Review, said Israel’s rocket-defense interceptors are probably not destroying the warheads of the rocket sin most cases.

“As a result, rockets fired from Gaza are probably plunging to the ground with intact explosives. The fact that they aren’t causing injuries or deaths in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities is mainly a matter of luck, the analysts add,” wrote Talbot.

Military commanders have know for years that airpower cannot win most conflicts without ground troops. The US dropped more bombs on Vietnam than it had on Europe during World War 2.

That makes an Israeli invasion more likely, though it will face an entirely different set of problems. Previous invasions have done no more than gain Israel time for negotiations to end the conflict, but they always stall. And the killing always begins again.


Friday, July 11, 2014

The real question about the mishandling of anthrax and smallpox

The closing of labs at the nation’s premiere medical science labs is a big story but is anyone asking why government seems to be failing so often?
Even the world is asking about the Centers for Disease Control, a world treasure and reference library.
Start with cost-cutting. Since it became popular to cut government spending, more and more problems are reported from coast-to-coast from agencies people used to trust.
The Tea Party and others have made it an article of faith that government is bad, has no reason to exist or job to do, and therefore should be made as small as possible.
At the same time, the federal government has had to pay for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while cutting taxes.
The simultaneous collapse of the economy under President George Bush has meant governments all the way down to the village level have less money to spend.
For a lesson from history, watch the film version of Randy Shilts’ “And the Band Played On.” It shows in detail how even when the US and French governments realized that AIDS could become a health monster the doctors and researchers trying to deal with it, even identify it, had to fight to get money.
Blood banks fought early efforts to prevent AIDS from getting into their supplies.
So no one should be surprised by what has happened now.
“After potentially serious back-to-back laboratory accidents, federal health officials announced on Friday that they had temporarily closed the flu and anthrax laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and halted shipments of all infectious agents from the agency’s highest-security labs,” the New York Times reported.
This is the real definition of “trickle down.” Labs and doctors throughout the nation will find it harder to get the services and tests they need from federal labs.
Luckily, no one became ill, so far, from the fiascos at the CDC that exposed workers to deadly diseases. Who knows what lies ahead?
“These events should never have happened,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden said Friday in a conference call with reporters. The American people “may be wondering whether we’re doing what we need to do to keep them safe and to keep our workers safe,” he said. “I’m disappointed, and frankly I’m angry about it,” the Washington Post reported.
How could live samples of smallpox have been left unattended in a room at the National Institutes for Health? Follow the money.
Washington Post
New York Times

Thursday, July 10, 2014

AIDS plays another nasty joke on world

Few diseases, at least in modern times, have created as much heart-break as AIDS. Artists couldn't escape it, including he-man actors or gay singers and pianists. Not even world champion athletes who were completely heterosexual.
It is hard to believe that the pain it caused so many in the artistic community and gay community did not cause people to think of them differently.
"You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony,' Warwick remembers. 'I am tired of hurting and it does hurt.,'" said singer Dionne Warwick.
The late Randy Shilts was condemned and insulted by fellow gays when he told them to shut down the bathhouses and practice safe sex.
In the past couple of years the effectiveness of so-called cocktails of medicines and the apparent cure of at least one child, gave the world hope.
Treatments still promise longer lives for victims, but the false hope of a cure was exposed as a cruel joke Thursday.
The day started with the Mailonline reporting
doctors at an international conference in Melbourne in 10 days woulld hear reports that three babies had been cured of AIDS. Thursday the air burst out of that balloon.

“Three babies have been declared HIV-free after being treated with a revolutionary new drug only hours after they were born,” the Mail Online said in its scenesetter for the conference that begins July 20.
Unfortunately it crossed digital communications lines as reports of the cure failure hit the news.
These cases and others had been seen as breakthroughs in care for HIV and AIDS.
One of the most noteworthy cases was in Mississippi, where an infant was put on anti-AIDS treatments shortly after birth. It appeared to have caught the disease in time, and the treatment was stopped.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that 46 months after the baby was born it tested positive for the AIDS virus. The news was described as “very disappointing” by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
“It felt very much like a punch to the gut,” said Dr. Hannah Gay of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
“The sad news, upsetting for the family of the 46-month-old girl, also dashed the hopes of clinicians who believed a cure for babies born with HIV may be within their grasp,” said Scientific American.

The New York Times said the end of the child’s remission put into question the entire theory that early interventions with newborns can make a big differ.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a leading AIDS expert who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Times:
“It’s obviously disappointing, but I was not surprised. I’ve been chasing these reservoirs for the last 25 years, and I know this virus has a really uncanny way of hiding itself.”
 The baby was said to be responding well to anti-retroviral treatment. reported that from the start there was a huge problem with the declaration that the baby was AIDS-free. The No. 1 reason was that the doctors didn’t know why it was.
Even though the news means the struggle to prevent the onset of the disease must continue, through a vaccine or early treatment when the first traces of it appear, there has been huge progress in treating the disease since it exploded on the world scene in 1983, and claimed the lives of rich and poor, including macho men like Rock Hudson [Unlink] and quirky pianist Liberace [Unlink], and was initially described as an illness that only affected gays.
The late journalist and author Randy Shilts, who campaigned to persuade fellow gays to avoid unprotected sex, himself died of the disease, but at least knew the secret was out.
It was determined the disease could be transmitted in ways other than anal sex, such as blood transfusions. Tennis [Unlink] star Arthur Ashe [Unlink] contracted the disease when he received multiple transfusions for heart surgery.
Washington Post
Mail Online
The Daily Beast

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Obama plays pool & turns down weed as Supreme Court twiddles thumbs on same-sex marriage

Hillary Hall

Sometimes it seems that if Colorado isn’t the center of the universe, at least it is the center of the United States. Take same-sex marriage or marijuana.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama beat the mayor of  Denver, John Hickenlooper, in a game of pool. While Obama was in a brewery owned by Hickenlooper someone jokingly offered the president a joint.

Colorado became the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana on Jan. 1, and Obama has had his attorney general turn a blind eye to the opening of more than 200 marijuana stores in Denver alone. There already were dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries.

A Colorado report released Wednesday said it appeared the demand for marijuana was much larger than expected when the law took effect on Jan. 1. Nearly 500,000 of 5,000 million people in the state use marijuana once a month, and it was very popular with tourists.

Obama, who was on a campaign trip to Colorado, where he was first nominated as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, turned down the free weed.

This is where the story gets interesting. On the same day, a judge in the Denver area ruled the state’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

The decision of Distrit Judge C. Scott Crabtree wasn’t that unusual. After all, his was the 16th decision in state or federal courts to make same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

Crabtree’s decision vindicated the decision of Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week based on a decision overturning Utah’s ban.

Hall said although the decision of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver didn’t even cover Colorado, judges around the had made it clear same-sex couples shouldn’t have to wait a day longer, while the Supreme Court twiddles its thumbs and allows Hobby Lobby to deny insurance for contraception to its female employees.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito may have given a  hint of the court will rule when he refused without comment an appeal to suspend a federal judge’s decision knocking down Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban. 

While it was clear enough to Hall, Colorado’s Republican attorney general was trying to get a judge in a different district court to stop her from issuing more licenses.
"We are ecstatic. There is much cheering in our house," Sandra Abbott said after Crabtree's ruling. She and her partner, Amy Smart, were one of the nine couples in the lawsuit. "We waited a long time for this ruling."

Colorado Atty. Gen. John Suthers, a Republican in a state Democrats now dominate, said it could create confusion if judges decided against allowing gay marriages, which is highly unlikely.

Hall has said her office is computerized and she knows who is getting the licenses and won’t have any problem asking for their return.

Suthers said he will appeal the decision, just what the country needs, another time- and money-wasting lawsuit. On Thursday a Boulder judge may have driven a nail in the coffin of the ban. He refused Suthers' request to temporarily stop the issuance of licenses.

Denver's city clerk began issuing same-sex marriage licenses Thursday.

For Boulder, one of the most liberal cities in the nation, it was déjà vu. A previous clerk had tried to issue same-sex marriage licenses in 1975. A judge’s decision quickly stopped that.

At the moment the question is, “who’s on first.”

Life in the fast lane surely makes you lose your mind

Santa Cruz police say instead of calling 911 when a Silicone Valley exec overdosed on heroin, a high end hooker stepped over his body, drank a glass of wine and left him to die on his yacht.
Police have arrested 26-year-old Alix Catherine Tichelman after a video revealed she had injected the heroin into the arm of Google executive Forrest Timothy Hayes. The video shows Hayes passed out but Tichelman just left him to die, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.
She was arrested Friday and being held on $1.5 million bond.
Life in the fast lane
It wasn’t clear why police had waited so long to arrest the Georgia resident. Hayes died Nov. 23 and his body was found the next day on his 50-yacht, the “Escape.”
A news release said, “Tichelman had an "ongoing prostitution relationship" with the victim. The San Francisco Chronicle says she met Hayes the night he died and injected him with heroin a security camera showed. The video showed Hayes "suffering medical complications and going unconscious.”
Tichelman met Hayes on the Internet, at a site called “SeekingArrangement.” She boasted of having 200 clients.
Police reports said she graduated from Duluth, Ga., high school and studied journalism at Georgia State University before a model and dancer.
Police said Tichelman was being investigated in a case in an unnamed second state.
Hayes had worked at tech companies including Sun Microsystems, Apple and finally Google. He was born in Dearborn, Mich., was married 17 years and had five children, according to his obituary.
"I was really devastated when I heard about it," Todd Zion, who worked at Google for a short time under Hayes, told The Chronicle on Wednesday. "He was a great boss. I never had a chance to thank him."
Another person, who did not give a name, also had words of admiration for Hayes.
"It is incredible to see the number of people Forrest touched. There are simply no words to describe this. I had the unique opportunity to work for Forrest at Apple and Google. He is one of the best bosses I have had - caring and thoughtful."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 3,036 people died in 2010 from heroin overdoses. Digital First Media reported the CDC estimates its tally is at least 25 percent short, possibly more, because like suicide families resist reporting such deaths.
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman [Unlink] died of a heroin overdose earlier this year.
San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Israel still has a vision of peace through guns

Burned to death alive after beating
Even now many Americans form their opinions on the Middle East on two things, the Six Day War and the Holocaust.
In nearly 70 years, limiting the historical discussion only to post World War II, the blood is still being spilled.
Israel can win the war on movie screens, where brave commandos like the colonel played by Charles Bronson [Unlink], can rescue passengers from Idi Amin. Bronson’s character died in that movie.
Tel Aviv must recognize that historical forces include evolution, whether you are talking about germs or insurgents. It is exactly the opposite of hunting where the elk with the big rack gets shot.
The guerrillas who die are often the weakest. The strong survive. Israel is building a new terrorist.
Israel will be held responsible for civilian deaths, even if they are unavoidable. Even video games punish users for killing civilians.
Newer and vastly more sophisticated weapons are available that can bring down even the fastest jets when they fly low. Communications are vulnerable. Egypt has lost the little credibility it had with other Arabs, if it does not loosen border restrictions with Gaza during this crisis then it could face its own Intifada.
The creation of the Internet has meant Israel no longer controls news about actions there. Twitter and Facebook are full of reports from the scene, many of them false, or even lies posted by one side or the other, but a picture is still worth a thousand words.
The brutal beating of a Florida Jewish teen by Israeli police who was in East Jerusalem to visit his dying grandmother was filmed on mobile phones.
Citizen journalism sites are especially vulnerable to phony stories or agitprop. Writers are not even required to use their own names or give their real locations.
Moscow’s propaganda machine is spewing out false reports full blast, using writers planted years ago for a time like this.
The info war appears lost. Non-Muslim volunteers are being drawn to the Arab conflicts, much like they were to the Spanish Civil War. Last week a young Denver woman, raised as a Christian converted to Islam and was arrested en route to help fighters in Syria.

As air raid sirens screeched through the night in all major cities in Israel, US President Barack Obama reminded Israel that America is its best friend.
But, in a column written for the Israeli Haa
retz newspaper, he warned “the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination. Palestinian children have hopes and dreams for their future and deserve to live with the dignity that can only come with a state of their own. And, in President Abbas, Israel has a counterpart committed to a two-state solution and security cooperation with Israel.”

New York Times

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dumbest story about viagra and Hobby Lobby

It might seem hard to be too critical of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow Hobby Lobby to deny its female employees insurance that covers contraception.
But wait. Some writers are claiming, with no proof other than unsourced Tweets, this same company and others provide coverage of Viagra, which men could use to get women pregnant. The problem is that very few, if any major insurers pay part or all the cost of the very expensive drug. Medicare does not.
Just like it doesn't pay for the hoax anti-masturbation kits that swept the Internet last week.
And the drug has to be taken month after month, it does not cure anything. In fact, it is an example of how bad American health insurance is. “Viagra is now being used to treat not only erectile dysfunction (ED) but also pulmonary hypertension. And the drug may have potential for treating several other conditions,” reports the August 2007 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch.
Doctors who prescribe Viagra — there is no generic substitute — to patients with persistent high blood pressure not helped by other drugs, find their scripts rejected. As for why the court ruled for the Southern Baptist Hobby Lobby: “We believe wholeheartedly that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has been successful,” David Green, said the company’s chief executive and founder. [url=[%22RI%3A11%22%2C%22RI%3A13%22] t=_blank]“We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.” What right is more important in America than sex, and for men to be able to get it up? The right to be able to make love preceded the 2nd Amendment. The refusal to make it cheap enough for the majority of men to buy it means they are less likely to enjoy many of Hollywood’s movies. Perhaps that is why violent movies featuring guns dominate screens so often. Many ignore sex altogether. Of course sex does continue to contribute to the extraordinarily high rate of murders in the U.S.