- GOP Bare Knuckle Debate; Cain Fruit Salad
- Fraud Uncovered in 2008 Obama Election
- Cain Lead Obama Before Debate
- New Army Weapons Can (Almost) Shoot Around Corners
- Obama’s 1,000 - Days
- By 2 to 1 America Blames Government For Bad Economy
- Did Avian Flu WipeOut Dinosaurs?
- Turkey Aspires to Reprise Ottoman Empirre
The GOP debate in Las Vegas turned into the verbal equivalent of a bare-knuckled brawl Tuesday evening, as candidates jettisoned the 11th commandment against attacking a fellow Republican. but in reality the curve need not be singled peaked nor symmetrical at 50%.”]
“They brought boxing back to Las Vegas,” former presidential adviser David Gergen sourly remarked on CNN following the heated debate among the seven candidates who participated.
Several times, candidates drowned each other out as they shouted at and over each other, and CNN host Anderson Cooper even seemed a bit flustered in trying to maintain order as they vied for a chance to speak.
Some of the exchanges were so hostile that, toward the end of the debate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had fired his own salvos at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s healthcare reforms, remarked: “Maximizing bickering is probably not the road to the White House.”
Cain’s 9-9-9- proposal took a beating and he had more trouble defusing its counter intuitive nature over adding a 9% sales tax on top of local sales taxes ranging from no local or state sales tax in New Hampshire, Delaware and Oregon to 9.44% in Tennessee. Cain explanation of why his proposal isn’t a new and regressive tax falls flat. Cain kept insisting it was apples and oranges- despite his fruit salad analogy he failed to explain the objections to adding a new national sales tax.
Former Regan adviser and economist Arthur Laffer says Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan is a good one.
“(The) plan was designed to be what economists call ’static revenue neutral,’ which means that if people didn’t change what they do under his plan, total tax revenues would be the same as they are under our current tax code,” Laffer writes in The Wall Street Journal, adding that he believes that with the boost Cain’s plan would give to economic growth it would bring in even more revenue than expected.
“Once the dynamics take hold, many of those below the poverty line will find good jobs and thus will rise above the poverty line and start paying taxes,” says Laffer.
Steve Moore, the man who helped wrote 999 for Cain is backing away from the new 9% after the latest debate.
Overnight polling kept Cain on top on the pile.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich emerged at the most statesmanlike cautioning against bickering My hunch is he’ll get the biggest bump in the polls.
Perry and Romney bit chunks out of each other’s hide and frankly looked petulant.
There are 2.5 trillion (give or take) of red blood cells in your body at any moment. To maintain this number, about two and a half million new ones need to be produced every second by your bone marrow.That’s like a new population of the city of Toronto every second. A single blood cell can circumnavigate your body in 20 seconds.
Minus suspected fakes, then Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama likely fell short of the number of signatures needed to appear on the 2008 Indiana primary ballot, and it’s possible his opponent, Hillary Clinton, did as well, according to information obtained by The Tribune as part of an investigation into suspected ballot petition fraud.
Trent Deckard, Democratic co-director of the state Election Division, in an e-mail Thursday told The Tribune Obama’s 2008 petition for primary ballot placement in the state contained just 534 certified signatures in the 2nd Congressional District. Clinton’s petition contained 704 certified signatures, he said.
Presidential candidates must collect at least 500 signatures in each of the state’s nine congressional districts to appear on the statewide primary ballot in Indiana.
Warren Buffett’s company reportedly owes the IRS a billion dollars in back taxes. When he said he wasn’t paying enough taxes, he wasn’t kidding. - Leno
Rasmussen Reports puts Hermann Cain ahead of Obama 43% to 41%, and although he has few dollars he has no debt and is raising $1 million a day but he only has $2 million in the bank. His biggest deficit appears to be no money and poor on-the-ground organization and of course that takes lots of money to hire and pay people. U. S. Senator Marco Rubio (R) Florida and Cain are the most often mentioned VP candidates regardless of who is the GOP nominee the exception is Cain being the nominee and picking Rubio thereby isolating whites.
The Occupy Wall Street crowd appears to be hurting Obama and helping Republicans - at least in funds raised. The limosine liberals are much less willing to open their checkbooks fpr Obama as they were in 2008, and for evey dollar dnied Obama almost that much is going to Republicans and most of it to Romney.
A new U.S. Army rifle the XM-25 uses radio-controlled 25 MM exploding bullets. The shooter can laser range a target about a half mile a way then add our subtract distance and order it to explode over a target hiding behind a barrier. It will be deployed late this month.
The Army wants to buy 12,500 of the rifles for $30,000 each. The patented bullets have a micro chip embedded that calculates how far it has gone and then explodes exactly as ordered with the force of a hand grenade. Each bullet cost $15.50. Heretofore multi-tens of thousands of dollar missiles did the job.
The bullets look like a miniature version of the Viet Nam era 40 MM rifle fired grenade but is more powerful and of course accurate.
ObamaCare would require Catholic Colleges and Universities to provide birth control services to students; or forgo providing healthcare and pay a federal fine. Critics says this is overt interference in religious beliefs by the state.
Don’t look for champagne, party horns, and confetti to mark President Barack Obama’s 1,000th day in the White House today.
Indeed, some might be forgiven for feeling that these thousand days of “hope and change” seem more like a thousand years.
Partisan discord - fueled by a president who seems unable to find any common ground with the opposition party - is rife and rancorous.
The economy is seeing its worst times since the Great Depression. Internationally, the country is bogged down in two major wars, while competitors such as China and Brazil take advantage of the mayhem to seize crucial economic terrain and key industries.
The president whose approval rating stood at a stellar 69 percent on Inauguration Day has seen his popularity dip deep into the cellar on several occasions, dropping below 40 percent. Independents have left him in droves, contributing to a midterm drubbing for Democrats that was among the worst in political history.
As the nation struggles with a Carter-esque malaise, Democratic pollster and Fox News commentator Doug Schoen tells Newsmax: “There is no ‘hope and change,’ no high-minded politics. It is just politics as usual: gridlock, dysfunctionality, and impotence. Sadly, you see it on both sides of the aisle.”
Consider the facts:
- Jobs: The president has presided over the loss of 2.2 million jobs.
- Debt: Obama has increased taxpayer debt by $4.2 trillion. Every day, the nation runs a deficit of $4.2 billion.
- Foreclosure and Bankruptcy: 2.4 million homes have been foreclosed on. Homeowners and businesses have declared 4 million bankruptcies.
- The Stimulus: Obama promised that his $787 billion stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. He came up 7.3 million jobs short of his goal, according to the Heritage Foundation.
- Healthcare: Obamacare did not reduce healthcare costs as promised and is in fact responsible for increasing costs in 2011. Health insurance premiums are up 13 percent.
- Poverty: Nearly 3 million more Americans live in poverty than did before Obama took office.
On Friday, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly summed up the situation perfectly for Republicans in his “Talking Points Memo.”
“On the economic side, things remain dismal,” O’Reilly said. “The president will try to convince the folks that things could be a heck of a lot worse had he not spent all that money, that his economic policies saved the banks and some car companies.
“Democrats will also say they saved the country from another great depression because the Bush administration was so bad. Some Americans will buy that, even though none of it can be proven.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Salena Zito reports that, after a recent jobs speech by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in the Steel City, an audience member shouted “Let’s go Obama!”
What followed, Zito reports, was an awkward, prolonged silence - among a crowd of Democrats, no less.
“It was a reaction you’d expect at a Republican rally,” Zito writes, “not from Pittsburgh unionists, elected Democrats, and other party faithful gathered to support Barack Obama’s jobs bill.”
Of course, it has long been a maxim of American politics that presidents campaign in poetry and govern in prose. On the hustings, Obama’s political verse seemed more euphonious than most. But in governance his prose at times has seemed encrypted, as far as the American people are concerned.
The president’s hard-core supporters remain confident he will prevail over GOP primary contenders. As Team Obama awaits the survivor of the struggle between the buttoned-down political competence of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and whichever grass-roots standard-bearer finally prevails, they know they will have to rewrite political history to win re-election: No president since FDR has won re-election with unemployment above 8 percent.
Critics of the administration complain that President Obama seems to speak a different tongue when it comes to connecting with everyday Americans. To be fair, Obama’s shining achievement was giving Seal Team Six the green light to take out Osama bin Laden. But the one-term presidency of George H.W. Bush demonstrates how brief the half-life of foreign-policy success is for a president presiding over a poor economy.
However, the 7.4 percent unemployment rate that Bush-the-elder presided over in November 1992 would look like veritable boom times, compared to the economic circumstances of today.
One thousands days into his presidency, Obama’s own economists project that unemployment will still be about 9 percent on Election Day 2012. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is slightly more sanguine, projecting 8.5 percent joblessness. The fractious tea parties have established formidable get-out-the-vote machines in some congressional districts, as Obama’s “summer of recovery” gave way to a long economic winter of discontent.
Obama’s difficulties transcend economics, however. His “signature legislative achievement,” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is so unpopular that Democrats rarely mention it on the campaign trail.
On Friday, the reforms known as “Obamacare” sustained yet another blow, as the administration pulled the plug on the disability-insurance entitlement known as CLASS, admitting it has no path to economic viability.
Republicans had warned all along that the voluntary program, whose premiums would skyrocket to $3,000 a month by some estimates in return for a $50-a-day payout if you become disabled, was a budgetary gimmick that defied common sense.
Canceling the program after its approval in the Democratically controlled 110th Congress put Obamacare another $80 billion in the red, because the administration had counted on advanced premiums payments to help finance providing insurance to another 35 millions souls.
The administration continues to say the Affordable Care Act will save Americans $120 billion over 10 years, but the CBO is expected to rescore the entire Act now that CLASS is defunct.
Perhaps even more worrisome for the administration: The expected June 2012 time frame for the Supreme Court to rule whether the individual mandate, the sine qua non of the program’s viability, is constitutional. If Obama loses, he will have only 120 days to explain to American voters why his No. 1 legislative proposal would violate the founding covenant that Obama in 2001 told a Chicago radio station was “a charter of negative liberties” limiting federal power.
“Americans are less free than they were 1,000 days ago,” Obamacare foe and former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey says. “Many of the Obama administration’s acts, and initiatives without legislation, have reduced American freedom and the rule of law.”
She cited the granting of thousands Obamacare waivers granted by the administration to unions and companies as an example of actions she says have pushed the United States closer to “rule by cronyism.”
Allegations of insider favors to supporters are fueling the congressional probe into the loss of 1,100 jobs when the politically connected solar-panel firm Solyndra shuttered its doors after it received a $535 million loan guarantee President Obama hailed as a model green-jobs “investment.”
The administration and Attorney General Eric Holder also find themselves dogged by a flurry of congressional subpoenas stemming from the Operation Fast and Furious program that allowed automatic weapons to “walk” across the border and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, which used them in scores of crimes including the December 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near Rio Rico, Ariz.
None of the setbacks appear to have discouraged Obama, who at times appears happiest on the campaign trail trying to score tactical points against Republicans. A recent Washington Post editorial by Scott Wilson portrayed Obama as “The loner president.”
Wilson noted that former President Bill Clinton had an army of loyal surrogates - James Carville, Lanny Davis, Dee Dee Myers - to carry his water to the national media. Wilson calls Obama “a political loner who prefers policy over the people who make politics in this country work.”
Although polls show Obama remains well-liked on a personal level, he recently conceded himself that Americans are not better off than they were four years ago, then proceeded to imply that Congress and President George W. Bush bear the blame.
Robert E. Moffit, senior fellow at the Center for Policy Innovation at The Heritage Foundation, tells Newsmax that Team Obama has displayed a penchant for repeating its talking points even when facts no longer support them.
“I think one of the reasons why the president’s approval ratings are so low is not just the economy, but the backdrop of saying things over and over and over again that nobody seriously believes,” Moffit says.
He cites the administration’s ongoing insistence that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will reduce the federal deficit as just one example.
“It gets tiresome and I think at some people start to just simply shut it out. I’m not talking about Republicans,” he says. “I’m talking about Independents - there is very strong evidence that it this is true. Even Democrats are starting to say, ‘I hope he doesn’t say that again. Please don’t say that.’ - and he says it.”
While the Occupy Wall Street protest movement has gained rapid notoriety, a new poll from The Hill indicates that Americans might be more supportive of an Occupy Washington movement. The survey shows that 56 percent of likely voters blame the country’s economic and financial woes on the government, compared with 33 percent who view Wall Street as responsible.
Not surprisingly, more than 70 percent of likely voters who call themselves conservatives blame Washington, and more than 50 percent of liberals blame Wall Street. Among centrists, almost half blame Washington. To be sure, among those who said they’re “not sure” about President Barack Obama, 55 percent blame Wall Street for the economic and financial suffering, while only 23 percent blame Wall Street.
The poll also indicates Obama and his fellow Democrats should be careful about what they wish for in supporting the Occupy Wall Street protests. Only 28 percent of likely voters see the movement helping Obama and fellow Democrats in next year’s elections, while 38 percent expect the movement to hurt them. Even among liberals, only half expect the protestors to be helpful.
On another subject, 49 percent of likely voters expect Mitt Romney to win the Republican presidential nomination, 15 percent expect Herman Cain to win, and 9 percent expect Rick Perry to win. No one else scores more than 2 percent.
Stars twinkle because their light passes through various levels of our atmosphere, as the air moves at different levels or layers, the light is bent, which looks like twinkling to those of us on the ground? From space, stars do not twinkle.
Here’s a theory for a comedian to consider: dinosaurs done-in by avian flu. Silly as that may be, we imagine that viruses have been infecting organisms since life first appeared on Earth, but this is mostly just a hunch. New research is studying whether special environments (not related to dinosaurs) could potentially preserve vestiges of ancient viruses.
A census of all the current living organisms would show that viruses outnumber everything else 10 to one. Whether this was true long ago is uncertain.
“There is no known evidence of viruses in the rock record,” says Jennifer Kyle, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA Ames Research Center and Portland State University. “Due to their small size and lack of a metabolism, many scientists assume that [viruses] would not be preserved.”
However, viruses have distinct morphologies and chemistries that could be distinguished from those of their hosts. The trouble is where to search for these viral remnants.
With funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Kyle and her colleagues will test whether viral bio-signatures can survive in high-silica hydrothermal ecosystems and evaporative brines. These areas are known to be good for preserving microbe remains.
Moreover, these particular environments may be the first place we look for life on other planets, so it would be worthwhile to know if a Martian virus (if such ever existed) could have left a trace of its existence.
Comprised of a small amount of DNA or RNA wrapped in a thin protein coat, viruses would seem to be needles in the ecological haystack. They do not even clearly qualify as “life,” since they are entirely dependent on a host to provide them with energy and biological building blocks.
They really are little more than a set of plans for hijacking a cell’s own life-support mechanisms. Whether alive or not, viruses are quite effective, and they’ve probably been so for a long time.
“We believe the first viruses evolved around the time that life evolved,” Kyle says.
Kyle and her colleagues recently found evidence of viruses associated with minerals in the water of the Rio Tinto in Spain, but no one has yet dug up a fossil of an ancient virus.
There are, however, many historical examples of parasitism. Parasite eggs have been isolated from preserved human feces, and lice have been found in mummified tissues. Going back further in time, some insects trapped in amber carried parasites with them to their grave. And certain plant fossils show signs of galls, which are tissue growths in response to a parasite.
Parasitism may indeed be synonymous with life. “Almost all life-simulations generate parasites relatively rapidly,” says Ken Stedman, also from Portland State University, who is the PI of this research project.
We do have circumstantial evidence that viruses existed long ago. All organisms today are infected by at least one type of virus, which would argue that they have been our “evolutionary companions” through time.
Sometimes two different species carry viruses that are very similar (like human small pox and cow pox), which suggests that the common ancestor of these hosts was infected by a common ancestor of the viruses.
Another clue to the long history of viruses is that many organisms have incorporated viral DNA sequences into their genetic codes. For example, the human genome is made up of at least 8% viral DNA. This sort of genetic “co-mingling” wouldn’t happen overnight.
If direct proof of past virus activity could be found, biologists might begin to unravel where viruses came from.
“Did viruses function the same way millions of years ago or did they evolve to more modern forms of replication?” wonders Kyle. “What kind of massive die-offs did viruses cause and is there a record of this?
One way to explore the history of Earth’s microbial communities is to look for their chemical remains. For example, when geochemists find an organic compound called hopane in rocks, they can assume it comes from ancient cyanobacteria.
To increase the probability of a viral marker being preserved, Kyle and her colleagues will focus their attention on lipid-containing viruses. Lipids are molecules with long carbon chains that can survive for millions of years in geologic settings. Kyle says that many viral lipids are distinct from their host’s lipids, thus improving the chances of a unique identification.
The team will test how well lipid-containing viruses hold up in microbe-preserving environments, such as evaporative brines. These dried-up salt beds are known to trap biological material in tiny liquid reservoirs called crystal fluid inclusions. Bacteria have been recovered from these inclusions and revived after having been “salt-cured” for thousands of years. The same may be true for viruses. Viruses are highly abundant in the hypersaline environments out of which evaporative brines form.
Moreover, “the fact that viruses do not have metabolism and therefore lack the dependence on external nutrients and energy sources may enhance their chances of survival,” Kyle says.
To check for viral survival in these brines, the team will place a “salt-loving” virus in a saline solution and then evaporate the water. They will then search with a microscope to see if any viable viruses remain in or on the surface of the salt crystals.
The second environment the team will study is around hot springs that are high in the element silica. Silica deposits have been found to entomb microbial cells. Over time, these glassy graves preserve morphological or chemical signatures of the cell and its contents. So if one of the contents happen to be a virus, then presumably it will be preserved as well.
“We just need to figure out what type of biological signature the viruses are leaving behind,” Kyle says.
The group will be going to Boiling Spring Lake in California to search for lipid-containing viruses that may thrive there.
Jack Farmer of Arizona State University, who is not involved with the project, believes Kyle and her colleagues have picked good places to hunt for viral biosignatures.
“Geological environments, which sustain rapid mineral precipitation that is contemporaneous with biological activity, provide an optimal circumstance for capturing and preserving fossil biosignatures,” Farmer says.
Hot springs and high-salt brines are both swimming with viruses, so he thinks there’s a good chance that something will get “stuck” when the local minerals form.
The same may be true on other planets. Farmer is a strong advocate of micro-fossil hunting as part of future Mars exploration. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which is scheduled to launch in November, will carry instruments that can find carbon compounds in rocks. But Farmer believes this is only the first step.
“Where viruses are concerned, there is still much work to be done, experimental and otherwise, to understand the preservation potential and instrumental sensitivities needed for detection,” Farmer says. “Finding viral biosignatures in ancient deposits on Earth will be an important step in assessing the potential for Mars.”
As anti-Wall Street protests crop up around the nation, many of the bankers and traders at the center of the storm are focused on a more immediate concern: keeping their jobs. The financial industry shed 8,000 jobs in September, and 10,000 more are expected to be cut by the end of 2012. Some of it can be blamed on automation.
The Turkish Government of Prime Minister Reçep Tayyip Erdogan has demonstrated that it becomes more politically and verbally aggressive - to the point where it generates incredulity among non-Turkish analysts - when it faces, or prepares to face, major challenges.
It also tends to state arguments which reflect the opposite of reality on these occasions. The escalation of rhetoric from Ankara in the second half of 2011 indicates the fact that Mr. Erdogan and his AKP Government feel themselves to be presently in the middle of a titanic, even existential, battle.
The constant Turkish rhetoric has disguised the reality in Turkey, and the region, and has to a large degree minimized a true understanding of the extent to which the danger that instability within Turkey and in the Eastern Mediterranean could easily, and accidentally, move from political into kinetic warfare.
Indeed, domestically, Turkey is already facing a substantially revived war with much of its Kurdish population. Turkey is ill-equipped, however, for the eventuality of major inter- state warfare - whether with Israel, Greece, or even Cyprus (which would automatically engage both Greece and Israel) - and those affected by such an occurrence would suffer considerably.
Having said that, Turkish bellicosity - some of its played out as physical theater with military deployments - is very real and important, despite being a strangely antique style of brinkmanship. The Turkish moves, including its international rhetoric, are designed to:
Bolster the internal control which the AKP has over political life in Turkey, in particular vis-àvis the Turkish Armed Forces (and while the Armed Forces are presently in disarray, to increase the dependency on, and authority of, the General Gendarmerie Command and the Special Operations units of the National Police Department to suppress dissidence);
Reverse the present obeisance which Ankara must pay to Moscow, and, ideally, attempt to force Moscow to be dependent on Ankara;
Gain a measure of Turkish control over some energy assets not under Moscow’s control;
Gain domination of the political process in Syria - replacing the Alawite leadership with Sunni leadership - as part of a regional strategy which eliminates the prospect of Iran dominating the Eastern Mediterranean (and therefore Turkey’s southern littoral);
End any semblance of European Union (EU) interference in the AKP’s control of its domestic and regional situation in such a fashion that it does not look like Turkey was rejected by the EU, but rather the reverse;
Gain control over Kurdish and other dissident groups - particularly the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the organization believed to be controlling or politically orchestrating the PKK and affiliated groups - even if this means cooperating in some respects with Iran on mutual sweeps against Kurdish groups. [Significantly, the need to temporarily sideline the military - because it has been effectively neutered by the Prime Minister, has led to a rise in rivalry between the Gendarmerie and the National Police.]
Within this framework, the AKP - despite earlier indications that it would take a more diplomatic line on a settlement of the Cyprus issue - cannot, in its own terms of reference, allow itself to be seen to have lost the strategic advantage on Cyprus. Indeed, as with the historic Turkish approach, the time to be most intractible is when the situation is untenable. Significantly, Ankara, because of its apparent wish to become part of the EU, was gaining traction for de facto recognition of the Turkish-occupied “state” of Northern Cyprus, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The U.S. government, because of its own creation and recognition of an independent Kosovo, carved through fiat out of an unwilling Serbia, had been disinclined to punish Turkey for not withdrawing its 40,000 or so troops from northern Cyprus, even 37 years after their invasion and occupation.
But that is changing. Turkey is now losing U.S. political support at a rapid rate, even as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has attempted to keep the auld alliance patched together. Turkey, indeed, remains important to the U.S. as it represents one of the few links which the U.S. retains into the energy business of Central Asia, the Caspian, and the Greater Black Sea Basin (GBSB).
The fiction that the Nabucco pipeline could remain a viable, U.S.-dominated investment continues to color U.S. judgment on the region. The new oil and gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean - offshore Israel and Cyprus, as well as offshore Greek islands and Egypt - may well, ultimately, render Nabucco even more unappealing than it already is. Indeed, these energy sources may feed into Europe at the expense of the South Stream pipelines, and transform the economies of Cyprus and Greece in the process.
Meanwhile, Russia has not stood idly by, waiting for Turkey to devise a way to escape Moscow’s embrace. Russia had made sure, by October 2011, that the Turkmenistan gas envisaged as a key product component of the 2,050-mile, $11.4-billion Nabucco pipeline, would not be provided to that network.
The U.S. and European Union would happily retain links to Turkey if Nabucco could be made to work, helping to reduce the EU’s dependency on Russia for gas. Russia currently, through Gazprom, provides 40 percent of the EU’s imports. EU gas consumption is projected to increase by as much as 61 percent from its current level of 502-billion cubic meters (bcm) to 815-bcm by 2030.
On Oct. 14, Russian Federation President Dmitri Medvedev gave notice that Russia would veto a proposed pipeline from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea to Baku. This would have provided the input of Turkemenistani gas to Nabucco. Essentially, apart from some gas flow from Azerbaijani fields near Baku, Nabucco would be without content. This not only drives a stake through heart of Nabucco - as Oilprice.com said - it also drives a stake through the heart of Turkish hopes for strategic independence from Moscow. And without that, Turkey’s role as the EU’s and the U.S.’s conduit into the major markets and resources of Central Asia is minimized.
Meanwhile, also causing concern to Ankara, is that it is even feasible that the new energy fields of the Eastern Mediterranean could be seen as the longer-term guarantor of the economic revival of Greece, and - if the eurozone can hold on - the euro itself. None of this necessarily pleases Turkey or Russia, or even Iran.
Meanwhile, reports are circulating in Turkey - aided by some U.S. speculation - that Turkish intelligence on the PKK is benefitting from “quality cooperation” with the U.S., and that Turkish-Israeli intelligence links have merely “gone underground”. Moreover, Turkey has been pressing NATO member states to ensure that NATO intelligence (including that from the U.S.) would not be provided to Israel.
The reality is that whatever Israel-Turkey intelligence links which survive do so through the military, which is now nursing its wounds after being politically decapitated by the AKP Government. Moreover, the recently-commenced (beginning in October 2011) reorganization of the Turkish intelligence community (IC) led by the Prime Minister’s chosen and loyal new director of the National Intelligence Organization (Milli Istihbarat Teskilati, MIT), Hakan Fidan, has been designed to reduce still further the military’s influence in the IC. And Fidan is a highly political, trusted supporter of Prime Minister Erdogan, and a confirmed anti-Israeli Islamist.
A report in the Hürriyet Daily News, of Turkey, on Sept. 28, said: “According to the statements made by the U.S. Administration, [the] U.S. shares all its intelligence on PKK with Turkey. However, when Turkey’s complaints are examined, one can easily see that the intelligence provided by the USA is far from meeting the needs of the Turkish side. Therefore, the government is trying to solve this problem by purchasing UAVs.”
The reality is that the PKK is not a key collection target of any U.S. intelligence agency, whereas it was of significance to the Israeli intelligence community, which has now ceased providing that intelligence to Turkey. Moreover, Turkey is concerned that Israel’s strategic cooperation with at least two major EU members, Cyprus and Greece (and Greece as a member of NATO as well as a signatory to a new security cooperation pact with Israel), means that there is a direct reduction in Turkey’s regional intelligence confidence level.
Another key factor for the AKP Government to consider is the reality that the Turkish economy is far from resilient, despite government claims that it is flourishing. Indeed, while foreign direct investment increased in the first part of 2011 over 2010, it is difficult to get real indications as to the capital outflow from Turkey.
There are strong unofficial indications that this is the measure of some instability in domestic - as opposed to foreign - investor confidence levels.
At the same time, Turkey is attempting to boost the pace of its investment in nuclear power, to compensate for the threats to its access to hydrocarbon imports. This, in turn, has highlighted the fact that the AKP Government has distinct concerns that it will not long remain under the nuclear umbrella of the U.S. and NATO, and is also working to build its capability to develop its own nuclear weapons.
In one square inch of our hand we have nine feet of blood vessels, 600 pain sensors, 9000 nerve endings, 36 heat sensors and 75 pressure sensors.