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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

16 February - News Notes

White House Wants Authority to Reorganize Federal Government

President Obama has asked Congress to provide him with the authority to consolidate multiple federal agencies, the next step on a plan announced earlier in the year to reconstitute the Commerce Department and several other agencies as a trade and economic competitiveness department.

( That's what happened to FEMA. An agile agency became subsumed in a lumbering behemoth : DHS )

Data Crunching Is the New Science 

The plummeting cost of data storage hardware means massive amounts of datareally massive amountscan be analyzed for patterns and compared to other fields. An algorithmic analysis of a power grid can be applied to a water distribution scheme. Even traffic, which works best when it flows easily, can be analyzed using the same mathematics.

 Humans have about 100 broken genes each

Iran Is Not Cuba

need to find a compromise that is safe for America and its allies but allows Iran to freeze its nuclear program without believing it has simply surrendered. To give diplomacy time to work, Netanyahu and Barak could plug the leaks threatening an Israeli attack.  

  Iran is protecting its domestic energy supplies for transportation, hospitals, water supply, sewage treatment, etc. Another in the endless supply of jerks.

 Is the Iran threat an illusion ?

Spies instead of help - CIA sent operatives into Pakistan after Kashmir quake 

After a massive quake centered near Kashmir devastated the eastern world, the United States was one of dozens of nations that offered aid in the immediate aftermath. Within a month, the US Defense Department had deployed nearly 1,000 personnel to respond to the disaster and the United States Agency for International Development sent millions worth of monetary assistance.
Also deployed, according to a new book, was a stealth team of spies.
Authors Marc Ambinder and DB Grady explain in their latest joint collaboration that as the US rushed to respond to the Kashmir quake, America took advantage of the disturbance. Under the guise of a humanitarian effort, spies were deployed into Pakistan with the mission of infiltrating both al-Qaeda and the Pakistani intelligence network. The revelations are published in the duo’s new book, The Command: Deep Inside the President's Secret Army, and in it they reveal to the public for the first time allegations over how the Joint Special Operations Command has done much more than the world realizes.

Obama’s new Pentagon strategy: strip benefits and buy more weapons

Pensions and health care plans for US troops will be drastically reduced under a new budget presented by US President Barack Obama on Thursday. Not all aspects of the DoD will be annihilated, however.
( There must be a jingle. The previous enlightenment was to deny benefits and give wounded vets the runaround in multiple departments playing 'not my problem' without outside assistance  while the infrastructure of the DVA disintegrates. )


An undated U.S. Air Force handout photo of a RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. (Reuters / U.S. Air Force / Bobbi Zapka) 30.01, 23:10 5 comments

Iraqis terrified of US drones

America’s War in Iraq has finally ended, but the same can’t be said about the United States’ presence overseas. Iraqis are now outraged that the US is operating a fleet of surveillance drone aircraft planes over the country.

London conference communique on Somalia is leaked

Here is the leaked version.
The leak has been a propaganda gift to Al Shabaab and its allies who have already been busy accusing the London conference of having a "colonial" agenda aimed at a carving up of Somalia by foreign powers.
Now they are crowing that the conference, far from being a "Somali-led" initiative as Britain insists, is in fact a done deal even before the Somali representatives turn up next week.

UN re-establishes a presence in Mogadishu after a 17-year hiatus

Amnesty finds widespread use of torture by Libyan militias

Since the former regime's collapse, the militias have rounded up thousands of suspected Gaddafi loyalists, together with soldiers and alleged foreign mercenaries, the report says. Militias have also looted and burned homes, forcibly displacing tens of thousands of people, and meting out collective punishment against communities seen as having supported Gaddafi during the fighting.
In Misrata, the coastal city that saw some of the worst battles, families who fled have returned to discover that their apartments have been given to other people. Locals have accused them of being traitors and have expropriated or burned down their properties. The Misrata militias have also razed the regime-loyal town of Tawargha, 18 miles (30km) east of Misrata, forcing the entire population of 30,000 to flee.

Médicines Sans Frontières (MSF), which quit treating tortured prisoners last month in protest at continuing mistreatment of detainees, said it occurs at several militia bases elsewhere in Misrata, with the victims returned, wounded, to the former school, and in some cases taken out again for fresh torture. MSF said it has treated 112 detainees who were the victims of torture, some more than once, prompting its decision to quit Misrata in protest.

Hundreds of armed militias operating independently of central authorities, according to report by human rights group

Congress: NGO chiefs testify on Egypt aid (VIDEO)

The heads of four NGOs under investigation in Egypt testify in front of Congress. 
More than 40 NGO workers, including 19 Americans, were recently referred to a Cairo court for their work with politically-minded organizations one Egyptian official said had tried to "hijack" the Egyptian revolution.
Fayza Aboul Naga, the Mubarak-era Minister of International Cooperation, was named by the head of the International Republican Institute (IRI), Lorne Craner, as the "ringleader" of the NGO crackdown, but said the issue now goes much further than her and is calling into question the entire US-Egypt relationship.
Investigating judges said there will likely be criminal charges, and staffers could face prison time, Craner said.

Demand Action For Seventh Grader Benched For Speaking Her Own Language

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/demand-action-for-seventh-grader-benched-for-speaking-her-own-language.html#ixzz1mZsE64og

Badgeville Uses Klout to Enhance Brand Loyalty 

Will the US go paperless i the next 10 years ?

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