- Syria Sends Special Forces Against Protesters
- Bahrainian Boondoogle
- CSU–Cut Tuition Paying Students In Favor OF Blood SUCKERS
- Sarkosy Snatches World Leadership From Bumbling Obama
- Half Give “Moonbeam” Nod Say Legislature “Awful”: Field Poll
- Helen “Crazy Lady” Thomas At It Again
- Most Flunk Legal Immigration Test
- Chrystal Cathedral Covanent Brouhaha
- Hummingbird Drone Launched
- Inflation Returns With Vengeance
- Medical Lab-on-Chip Breakthrough
Syrian President Assad’s regime has deployed the 4th Battalion in the southern city of Dera amid unprecedented clashes between security forces and protesters. The battalion has been reserved for operations against regime opponents, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood.
“When this unit arrives, there is usually bloodshed,” an opposition source said.
The military and security forces, under the command of Assad’s cousin, Zuelhelma Shalish, a senior officer in military intelligence, have arrested scores of suspected Syrian opposition activists in Dera, with a population of 100,000. The sources said authorities were preventing civilians from entering Dera to ensure that the opposition would not be reinforced. One of those detained was identified as Syrian parliamentarian, Soufok Al Nojrous, a tribal chief in Dera, about 100 kilometers south of Damascus and near the border with Jordan.
On March 23, the brigade and other security forces stormed a mosque in Dera, and the sources said at least six people were killed. Syrian state television reported four dead and blamed an “armed gang” for the early-morning violence.
The sources said the battalion was accompanied by Russian-origin T-72 main battle tanks and armoured BMP infantry fighting vehicles. They said the armored units have been deployed in the center of Dera, where clashes have taken place this month.
Anti-regime demonstrations have so far been reported in at last six Syrian cities. They included Aleppo, Dail, Damascus, Nawa and Qamishli, where protests sparked a violent response by security forces.
The government has acknowledged rising unrest against Assad. But officials said most of the protests were organized by foreign elements and what they termed troublemakers.
“They are foreigners and using such slogans as ‘freedom,’ ” Syrian parliamentarian Khaled Al Aboud, a regime supporter, said.
The question is how soon Libya will receive more effective surface to air missiles (SAM) from U. S. enemies tp kill U. S. aircrews.
Increasingly Libya looks like an enormous sideshow and mistake. Apparently Obama was dragged into action by France and Hilary Clinton and the confusion there has increased as Obama struggles to hand it off to a reluctant NATO, UK, France or the Girl Scouts - anybody in fact — all the while Bahrain is being bungled.
Kuwait, with a population that is nearly 50 percent Shi’ite, has decided not to send troops to Bahrain to help quell the Shi’ite revolt. Instead, Kuwait has sent a naval force to patrol Bahrain’s territorial waters.
The Kuwaiti deployment comes amid reports that Iran was smuggling weapons to the Shi’ite opposition in Bahrain. “There is a Shi’ite plot to control Bahrain,” Jamaan Al Harbash, a Kuwaiti parliamentarian and a Sunni, has said.
Officials did not specify the size of the Kuwait Navy force sent to Bahrain, Middle East Newsline reported. The GCC sheikdom has not provided details, and the announcement of the Kuwait force came from Manama.
It is ironic that Kuwait would send Naval Forces to the homeport of the U. S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet.
Saudi Arabia (soon to be known only as Arabia) deployed troops from its national guard with light armor to Bahrain reportedly at it King’s invitation.
“We welcome the arrival of Kuwait Navy units,” Bahraini military chief Air Marshal Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said.
Kuwait has been divided over the Gulf Cooperation mission in Bahrain. Both Shi’ites and Sunnis have held large demonstrations, with the former against Kuwaiti deployment and the latter in support.
Officials said the Shi’ite revolt in Bahrain has divided Kuwait along religious lines. They said Emir Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah has sought to avoid a Sunni-Shi’ite war in Kuwait amid increasing Iranian intervention in the sheikdom.
The Sunni fundamentalist opposition in parliament said it would question Prime Minister Nasser Al Ahmed Al Sabah regarding the decision not to contribute ground troops to Bahrain. So far, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were said to have deployed more than 5,000 troops in Bahrain.
“The Kuwaiti people will not accept the orders of the Iranian leaders and is demanding that [Kuwaiti] troops are dispatched soon to Bahrain,” Sunni parliamentarian Mohammed Hayef said.
Parliamentarian Faisal Al Mislem, a Sunni, suggested that Kuwait had already sent troops to Bahrain but recalled them to avoid a crisis at home. Al Mislem, who has questioned major defense and energy deals, asked whether the sheikdom has already secretly sent military units to Bahrain under the GCC’s Peninsula Shield force.
For their part, Shi’ite parliamentarians warned that the debate could increase tensions with Sunnis. They said they opposed pressure by Saudi Arabia for Kuwait and other GCC states to deploy their militaries in Bahrain.
“If they [Sunni parliamentarians] love Saudi Arabia, they can leave the country and I’ll pay for the ticket,” Ali Al Rashed, a Shi’ite deputy, said.
In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrain’s small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community. Shia political societies participated in 2010 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shia discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.
Effulgent (i-FUHL-juhnt, i-fool-) adjective: Shining brilliantly; radiant. Etymology From Latin effulgere (to shine out), from ex- (out) + fulgere (to shine). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhel- (to shine or burn), which is also the source of blaze, blank, blond, bleach, blanket, and flame. Earliest documented use: 1737.
California State University campuses may cut enrollment by 10,000 students for the 2011-12 year as part of a larger plan for dealing with budget cuts, officials told trustees during a board meeting today in Long Beach.
Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed cutting the CSU budget by $500 million, or 18 percent, if legislators and voters approve a series of tax extensions. At the board meeting, CSU officials presented some big-picture strategies for handling the cuts. In addition to cutting enrollment, they said they’ll ask CSU’s 23 campuses to collectively cut $281 million and the chancellor’s office to reduce its budget by $10.8 million. Staff reductions appear likely, though few specifics were given.
“Because 84 percent of CSU’s operating cost is for personnel, the CSU will need to reduce expenses in that area by at least $250 million,” a statement from the university says.
CSU will not consider furloughs unless the budget cuts are deeper than $500 million, said CSU Chancellor Charles Reed. That could happen if Brown’s proposed tax extensions don’t get on the ballot or are rejected by voters. In that case, Reed said, the CSU could see cuts of $1 billion.
Let me see. The plan is: KIill the money producing student tuition in favor of the blood sucking faculty-btilliant.
Turns out Libyan “rebels” are backed by the anti-America, anti-west radical al Qaeda terrorists. Syrian forces are known to be fighting on the side of Ghaddafi including pilots for his now grounded warplanes.It will soon be apparent that absent spotters on the ground allied airpower will be less and less effective.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy told Obama we’re going with you or without you.
“What you now have is very clearly an effort now to support the rebel movement in a civil war to get to Tripoli and unseat Moammar Gadhafi - this brutal despot - who has ruled the country for 40 years and killed thousands of people,” Lt. Col Ollie North told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday.
“Nicolas Sarkozy has no doubt about the mission - he is now the leader of the free world.
“It doesn’t bother him what [Russian Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin says or anybody else for that matter.
Gadhafi’s forces infiltrtrted along the coast and lambasted ‘rebels’ along the coast.
34% of Likely U.S. Voters now think the United States should get more directly involved in the Libyan crisis, up 12 points from 22% two weeks ago. Forty-eight percent (48%) say the United States should leave the situation alone, down from 63% in the previous survey. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure which course is best.
About half of California voters like the job retread Governor Jerry Brown is doing, according to a new Field Poll.
The poll comes as Brown continues negotiating with the Legislature to close a $26.6 billion budget deficit.
Brown’s approval rating could factor heavily in an election campaign to extend tax increases - a major part of his budget plan - but only if he can first persuade lawmakers to put the matter to a vote.
A majority of voters support Brown’s proposal to hold an election on taxes, and a series of largely symbolic spending-reduction measures seem to have resonated, too. They include Brown’s recall of thousands of state-issued cell phones and cars, and his ban on state purchases of knickknacks. He also reduced the numbers of state owned vehicles and banned state employees from using them as personal vehicles.
Voters still hold a dim view of the Legislature. Just 16 percent of registered voters approve of the job lawmakers are doing; 70 percent disapprove. Still, those marks are an improvement from September, when 80 percent of voters disapproved of the job the Legislature was doing.
Five years ago Katie Couric was hired to resurrect CBS Nightly News since then Couric has lost 3,000,000 daily viewers not good considerintg her reported $15 million annual salary. He contract expires this Fall and there is a lot of talk iot will not be renewed.
Journalist Helen Thomas, 91, said that Jews have “total control” over the White House and US Congress, telling Playboy magazine in an interview to be published in April, “Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies.” Thomas is of Lebanese extraction and was raised in a Greek Orthodox household.
Thomas, who covered the White House for more than six decades, was forced to resign from her position at Hearst Corp. last year, after saying in an interview that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home to Poland, Germany and the United States.”
Thomas had been the crazy lady in the Whie House attic for years, and the very idea of her in Playboy is as absurd as her anti-Simitic comments. Reportedly Thomas says in the Playboy interview she is “fed-up with Israel.-Linking Thomas with Playboy is the ultimate oxy-Moron.
Turns out Egypt was illegally sharing U.S. defense technology with adversaries including China. The department has reported that Egypt relayed U.S. defense technology to unauthorized parties at least six times from 2006 through 2009. A department cable said one of the parties that gained access to U.S. combat platforms was China.
A shocking 38 percent of a representative sample of Americans failed the test that all immigrants applying for citizenship are required to pass. For instance:
- Nearly nine in 10 ( 88 percent) can’t name two of the rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.
- Only one in 10 Americans (10 percent) knows the name of even one author of The Federalist Papers.
- Only one in five (20%) knows who was president during World War I.
- And only one in four knows what the Cold War was about.
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the TEA Party wants to hire Jack Kovorkian as White House physician.
The financially troubled Crystal Cathedral mega-church in Garden Grove is involved in another controversy, this time over a covenant that choir members were asked to sign stating that God intends sex to be between married heterosexuals.“Crystal Cathedral ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view,” reads the paragraph in the Crystal Cathedral Worship Choir and Worship Team Covenant that has raised the ire of some choir members. “I understand that Crystal Cathedral Ministries teaches that sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman.”
In a statement Tuesday, Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman, daughter of the churshs founder, said the covenant is meant to clarify expectations placed on choir members as ministry leaders. But she also offered an apology.
Church founder Robert H. Schuller said he strongly disapproved of the covenant because it goes against what he has built his church upon.
“I have a reputation worldwide of being tolerant of all people and their views,” he told the Orange County Register. “I’m too well-educated to criticize a certain religion or group of people for what they believe in. It’s called freedom.”
Diplomacy is telling someone to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
A pocket-size drone dubbed the Nano Hummingbird for the way it flaps its tiny robotic wings has been developed for the Pentagon by a Monrovia, California company as a mini-spy plane capable of maneuvering on the battlefield and in urban areas.
The battery-powered drone was built by AeroVironment Inc. for the Pentagon’s research arm as part of a series of experiments in nanotechnology. The little flying machine is built to look like a bird for potential use in spy missions.
The results of a five-year effort to develop the drone are being announced Thursday by the company and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)..Equipped with a camera, the drone can fly at speeds of up to 11 miles per hour, AeroVironment said. It can hover and fly sideways, backward and forward, as well as go clockwise and counterclockwise, by remote control for about eight minutes.
The quick flight meets the goals set forth by the government to build a flying “hummingbird-like” aircraft. It also demonstrates the promise of fielding mini-spy planes. Industry insiders see the technology eventually being capable of flying through open windows or sitting on power lines, capturing audio and video while enemies would be none the wiser.
The Hummingbird would be a major departure from existing drones that closely resemble traditional aircraft. The next step is likely to be further refinement of the technology, officials said, before decisions are made about whether the drones would be mass-produced and deployed.
“The miniaturization of drones is where it really gets interesting,” said defense expert Peter W. Singer, author of “Wired for War,” a book about robotic warfare. “You can use these things anywhere, put them anyplace, and the target will never even know they’re being watched.”
The Mexican government admitted that it has allowed the United States to fly unmanned drones on its territory to help fight drug smuggling. Well, they’re unmanned when they fly over Mexico, but when they come back, they have a few hundred people hanging onto them. — Leno
The national debt jumped by $72 billion last Tuesday even as the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for just three weeks that will cut $6 billion from government spending.
Congress would need to cut spending by $6 billion every three weeks for approximately the next six and a half years (338 weeks) just to equal the $676.3 billion the debt has increased thus far this fiscal year ( October 1 through September 30)..
Americans are facing much higher prices at the grocery store, and the gas pump it’s about to get worse. Wendy’s, paying higher prices for tomatoes, now puts them on hamburgers only by request. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have raised prices because they pay more for coffee beans. Supermarkets warn customers that produce may be of lower quality, or limited.
“It has thrown the whole industry into a tizzy,” says a SuperValu stores principal.. Food prices rose 3.9 percent last month, a near 50% annual izedrate of increase, the most since November 1974. Most of the increase was because harsh winter freezes in Florida, Texas and other Southern states, which damaged crops.
At the same time, global prices for corn, wheat, soybeans, coffee and other commodities have risen sharply in the past year. That’s raised the price of animal feed, which has pushed up the cost of eggs, ground beef and milk.
Over everything is the catastrophic situation in the Middle East or more specifically the inept reaction to it by the White House. Oil temporarily eased due to the Japanese disasters that has pruned oil use there but went right back up.. West coast ports expect greatly reduced imports from Japan that could lead to layoff and shortages.
Last year’s drought in Russia pushed up corns and grain prices while corn in the U. S. was squandered on a foolish alcohol fuel boondoogle.
In sum American consumers will face rapidly rising fuel and food prices. and general inflation worries for almost everything.
Two fishermen who caught an endangered giant black sea bass off the Balboa Pier last year, making national ripples when videos of their catch went viral on the Internet, avoided possible jail time by settling their case Wednesday.
Jonathan Paul Apothaker, 46, of Valley Village, and John Francis Brady, 46, of Huntington Beach, will perform 120 hours of community service and pay $75 each in a plea deal that reduced their misdemeanor charges to infractions, authorities said.
A major milestone in microfluidics could soon lead to stand-alone, self-powered chips that can diagnose diseases within minutes. The device, developed by an international team of researchers from the Univ. of California, Berkeley, Dublin City Univ. in Ireland, and Universidad de Valparaíso Chile, is able to process whole blood samples without the use of external tubing and extra components.
The researchers have dubbed the device SIMBAS, which stands for Self-powered Integrated Microfluidic Blood Analysis System. SIMBAS appeared as the cover story in Lab on a Chip.
“The dream of a true lab-on-a-chip has been around for a while, but most systems developed thus far have not been truly autonomous,” said Ivan Dimov, UC Berkeley post-doctoral researcher in bioengineering and co-lead author of the study. “By the time you add tubing and sample prep setup components required to make previous chips function, they lose their characteristic of being small, portable and cheap. In our device, there are no external connections or tubing required, so this can truly become a point-of-care system.”
Russia’s oil ministry said oil could spike to $200 per barrel due to Mideast turnoil and the Japenese earthquake induced problems. In fact oil fell on news of the Libyan ceasefire.