Tuesday, June 3, 2008

BREVITAS

Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock. - Ben Hecht

CREEPING COUP

U.S. Marine helicopters will land at the old Eastgate Consumer Mall, Brookside Park and other Indianapolis locations when the city becomes a mock battlefield next week. About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis. Most of the troops will be deployed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road, said Debbi Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion County Emergency Management Agency. "We don't want anyone thinking that there's an invasion happening or that we declared martial law or something like that," Fletcher said. . . The unit's commander promised to try to keep noise to a minimum and give neighbors plenty of warning. "Our aim in Indianapolis is to expose our Marines to realistic scenarios and stresses posed by operating in an actual urban community, thereby increasing their proficiency in built-up areas," Col. Mark J. Desens, commander of the 26th MEU, said in a statement. "While some of the activity will take place around Camp Atterbury, residents in many areas can expect to see helicopters flying overhead, military vehicles on the roads and Marines patrolling on foot," Desens said. The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons, according to a statement.

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, targeted Sen. Barack Obama again Monday over the Illinois senator’s approach to Iran and the Middle East. But a new poll released by Gallup suggests McCain may be out of step with the majority of Americans when it comes to U.S.-Iranian relations. Fifty-nine percent of Americans surveyed thought it was a good idea for the President of the United States to meet with the President of Iran. When Iran is taken out of the equation, an even higher percentage – 67 percent – responded that they thought it would be a good idea for the president to meet with leaders of countries considered enemies of the United States.

THE PRIMARY CAMPAIGN WORKED. . .
BUT NOT THE WAY THE CANDIDATES WANTED


MID EAST

John McCain to AIPAC - The threats to Israel's security are large and growing, and America's commitment must grow as well. I strongly support the increase in military aid to Israel, scheduled to begin in October. I am committed to making certain Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.

ECO CLIPS

Triple Pundit - Several cities around the globe have begun replacing their regular, sodium, streetlights by low energy lamps. This way they typically save 40-50% on [lighting costs]. In some cases streets get safer and maintenance is also lower. . . These are the findings of a recent study commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce . . . The study examines the potential of refurbishing the streetlights in the greater Washington DC area and concludes that a 50 percent reduction in electricity would save 30.4 million kWh annually. That translates into dollar savings of $1,824,000 and a reduction in carbon footprint of 23,635 metric tons of CO2.

MORE ON DISAPPEARING HONEY BEES

LATIN AMERICA

President Hugo Chavez has used his decree powers to carry out a major overhaul of this country's intelligence agencies, provoking a fierce backlash here from human rights groups and legal scholars who say the measures will force citizens to inform on one another to avoid prison terms. . . The new law requires people in the country to comply with requests to assist the agencies, secret police or community activist groups loyal to Chávez. Refusal can result in prison terms of two to four years for most people and four to six years for government employees. "We are before a set of measures that are a threat to all of us," said Blanca Rosa Mármol de Leon, a justice on Venezuela's top court, in a rare public judicial dissent. "I have an obligation to say this, as a citizen and a judge. This is a step toward the creation of a society of informers." Internatational Herald Tribune

MID EAST

William E. Odom, 75, a retired Army lieutenant general who was a senior military and intelligence official in the Carter and Reagan administrations and who, in recent years, became a forceful critic of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, died May 30 at his vacation home in Lincoln, Vt. An autopsy will be performed, but his wife said he had an apparent heart attack. . . He had a reputation as a military hard-liner who opposed any compromise with the Soviet Union, which made his vocal opposition to the current involvement in Iraq all the more cogent and surprising. . . Well before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Gen. Odom warned that military action in Iraq would be foolhardy and futile. He outlined his positions in The Washington Post's Outlook section Feb. 11, 2007, in the essay "Victory Is Not an Option." . . . "The president's policy is based on illusions, not realities," he wrote. "There never has been any right way to invade and transform Iraq." Washington Post

FURTHERMORE. . .

It seems oranges are falling out of favor [in Britain] --because we're too busy to peel them. In the last 12 months, consumption of oranges has fallen by as much as 2 per cent, according to market researchers TNS. It is the third year in succession that the fruit has suffered a dip in popularity. Experts say that with the average worker spending only 15 minutes on their lunch break, they are shunning oranges because they are too time-consuming to peel and eat. By contrast the smaller citrus fruits such as clementines and tangerines, which are far more manageable, are enjoying a surge in popularity. 'They have grown by 3 to 4 per cent in the last year.' Daily Mail UK

A supervisor at Prosper, Inc., a "self-help and motivational coaching" firm, waterboarded an employee as an example to co-workers, Chad Hudgens claims in Utah County Court. Hudgens says his boss, Joshua Christopherson, ordered co-workers "to hold Hudgens by the arms and legs . . . then slowly poured a gallon jug of water over Hudgen's mouth and nostrils, thereby making it impossible for Hudgens (to breathe) for a sustained period of time. . . Christopherson (then) told the team that he wanted them to work as hard on making sales as Chad had worked to breathe while he was being waterboarded." Courthouse News

More than 300 American Indian languages flourished in North America at the time of Columbus, each carrying a unique way of understanding the world. And despite an often-brutal campaign to stamp them out, more than half of those languages have survived. . . Can they be saved? Last month, representatives from Indian groups around the country met with linguists and other academics in Philadelphia to see what they could accomplish. . . The situation in North America is part of a worldwide erosion of language diversity. At stake are not just words. For native communities, language embeds traditions, religion, medicine and geography, as well as a more general way of seeing the world. . . Some languages, for example, have no way to give directions using left and right, because their speakers navigate with a less self-centered view of the world than we do, said Leanne Hinton, a linguist at the University of California, Los Angeles. They think more in terms of local geography. . . Languages seem to be going extinct just like species of plants and animals. That comparison holds up pretty well, except that languages can occasionally be brought back to life. Philadelphia Inquirer




3 Comments:

At June 3, 2008 8:34 PM, Anonymous heard this tune before said...

"President Hugo Chavez has used his decree powers to carry out a major overhaul of this country's intelligence agencies, provoking a fierce backlash here from human rights groups and legal scholars who say the measures will force citizens to inform on one another to avoid prison terms." This is the same thing that happened in Cuba when the U.S. dispatched the mafia, Batista collaborators, the C.I.A. and other professional thugs to undermine legitimate order, then accused Castro of being repressive because he didn't want a Cuba wherein "opportunity " meant being a hooker in a casino.

 
At June 3, 2008 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given McCain's comments, and the identical comments of other U.S. leader that supposed represent the U.S. people, it's high time Israel started paying U.S. taxes, instead of bleeding the U.S. economy dry.

 
At June 8, 2008 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indianapolis is now the second place I am aware of where locals are being notified to expect to see and hear the enforcement arm of government practicing in June. Just outside Des Moines we have just been told not to worry about the gunfire we will hear coming from a surprising place right on our most heavily-traveled street at a very busy intersection where traffic backs up regularly. This is being conducted in the heart of a thickly commercial area that surrounds an exit off the Interstate where 80 and 35 are one road for a few miles. (Just outside town is the sprawling Camp Dodge National Guard Campus - USA tank-training HQ). Anyone from anywhere getting off at this very busy exit for gas, food, motels, etc. will see and hear the spectacle (but they, of course, will have no idea what is going on.)

Hmm...anybody else reading local news like this? Any RAIDs happening in your town?

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080603/NEWS/806030338/1130/COMM08

a snip from the article:
People passing by the now-vacant Best Western motel at 5055 Merle Hay Road in Johnston any given day this month might think something is amiss.

There will be police officers all over the lot. Special equipment and a command center will be set up outside the building. The sound of gunfire most likely will be heard.

What may seem like a standoff to someone will actually be police officers from seven Des Moines-area cities going through Rapid and Immediate Deployment training, also called RAID. The sounds of gunfire will be part of the training, as officers use guns loaded with simulated ammunition filled with a soapy water and dye, much like what is used in paintball guns.

 

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