The 9/11 attacks were planned in Hamburg, Germany and, apparently, Madrid, Spain, not by al-Qaida in Afghanistan, as the US claimed. The planners and executors of the attacks were mostly Saudis, not Afghans.
The more the corrupt western politicians and media whores demonized [Hugo] Chavez, the more Venezuelans loved him. They understood completely that anyone damned by Washington was God’s gift to the world.
The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.
In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.
Let us then come to a preliminary finding, to the effect that the past lends itself all too readily to use by those who have a political axe to grind. Nothing works better to further a cause—good or bad—than to lend it legitimacy by supplying it with a long heritage.
I am frankly opposed to this war criminal stuff. It is not cricket and is Semitic. I am also opposed to sending POW's to work as slaves in foreign lands (i.e., sent by the US to the USSR's Gulags, France), where many will be starved to death.
Genl George S Patton, Sep 14, 1945 (The Patton Papers, vol 2, p 750)
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) hammered outgoing IRS interim head Steven Miller on Friday, demanding to know why Miller did not reveal details about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups in a July hearing despite having known about it since at least last May and despite having been asked specifically about it in Capitol Hill two months later.
“The law … requires you to not only tell the truth, but to tell the whole truth,” an annoyed Ryan said. “You ‘cannot conceal or cover up, by any trick scheme or device, any material fact.’ How was that not misleading this committee? You knew the targeting was taking place. You know the terms ‘Tea Party’ [and] ‘Patriots’ were being used. You just acknowledged a minute ago they were outrageous. And then when you were asked about this after you were briefed about this, that was the answer you gave us? How can we not conclude that you mislead this committee?”
Yeah, sure. Global warming is a joke. Greenland, frozen for a millennium, is turning green again. For the first time in recorded history there is an unfrozen passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic at the north pole in the summertime. Glaciers across the globe are disappearing; some have completely melted. Frozen ice shelves--one larger than Delaware--have warmed and fallen off of Antarctica. Oceans are warming dramatically, even to their deepest regions. The low lying island nation of Tuvalu is one foot from being covered with water and is asking Australia to let its 10,000 people move there as an independent nation. Yet none of these realities is a really valid sign that global warming is actually happening, right? Wrong. Most of the people in the world today accept that climate change is a reality. The European Union, China, and Japan are all aggressively dealing with it. Why is our City producing county and regional plans that assiduously ignore it?
Within the lifetimes of current young adults and children, rising seas will erode our beaches, and flood low-lying streets and roads around the island. By the latter part of this century, portions of Waikiki, Mo’ili’ili, Ala Moana, and Kaka’ako will stand in sea water at high tide. Key thoroughfares and intersections in urban Honolulu and around the island will be below sea-level. (See map.)
But Sea Level Rise is just the start of our problems.
Areas flooded by the ocean with sea level rise of 1 foot, 2 feet, and 3 feet
The coastal plains of each island, created by lava flows and ancient coral reefs and then covered by layers of sediment, are a massive array of porous geology. In low-lying areas, the water table (the sub-surface level below which the ground is completely saturated with water) lies just below the surface. There, fresh water, which has seeped down, floats atop salt water which has worked its way in from the ocean. This salt water, which is generally at the same height as sea level, rises and falls with the tides. As the sea level rises in the future, it will cause this salt water to also rise permanently, pushing the fresh water above it up through the ground. Once the water pushes up above the surface, it will have nowhere to go, and will just sit there. Rain will add to the problem. As the accompanying map shows, groundwater flooding will put far greater parts of Waikiki, Mo’ili’ili, Ala Moana, permanently under water, along with much of Kaka’ako where the 700 foot high rises are planned. Low-lying areas in Leeward, and in numerous other places around the whole island will also be flooded. This groundwater inundation will begin to be a problem before mid-century and will continue to grow and spread as the seas rise, for centuries to come. Being inland groundwater, pushed up through the land surface, it cannot be stopped by dikes.
Total flooded areas by the ocean and by groundwater inundation at sea level rise of 1 foot, 2 feet, and 3 feet
In light of all of this, does it make sense to build skyscrapers in the Kaka’ako floodlands? Should we really construct more buildings in Waikiki? Is it logical to build a rail line from Kapolei to Ala Moana, if much of the route, and all of the Ala Moana area, lie deep in the future flood zone? Are we currently set to spend billions on rail, sewers, water mains, and roads, that need to be re-directed in the future?
There are other devastating facets to climate change. Changes in sea temperature are also affecting fish, causing those that thrive in cool water to move north. Meanwhile, acidification from carbon dioxide is imperiling reefs, and also plankton, a crucial food source for fish. These changes are disrupting the whole food chain in the ocean, as well as our food supply.
Wind patterns are changing. Over the last forty years, we have gone from 291 days of trade-winds, which bring clean air and rain, to 210 a year. Vog, all but unknown on O’ahu until the last few years, will become much more common.
With trade wind loss, rainfall has decreased in recent decades. Experts predict a continuing trend of declining rain, and an increase in frequency of drought. Rain is the only way to replenish our aquifers. With far less rainfall seeping down, there will eventually be far less to drink, and to irrigate crops. Experts warn us to not expect that desalination will save us. It is far too expensive and greatly pollutes the environment.
The first concern in the old O’ahu General Plan was the need to control population growth. Given our projected future, is it moral to invite, and build homes for, unsuspecting malihini, as we are now doing? Is it wise to keep expanding tourism? Is it fair to our own descendants to bring in more people who will draw down their declining supply of drinking water?
Worldwide, costs to accommodate sea rise will push up prices on everything, making imports, including food, far more expensive. We will need to grow much more, if not all, of our own food. Isn’t it suicidal to sacrifice today’s highest producing farmlands for unnecessary housing projects?
We will also need to save vast tracts of open space for possible farming of bio-fuels. And we must begin to manufacture many of our essentials
Where are the county plans to guide all of this?
In 2012, the State legislature passed Act 286, which directed that all county general plans (like the O’ahu General Plan) and county development plans (like the ‘Ewa Development Plan) must engage in focused research to produce models of future climate changes and their impacts, and must include in the plans steps to address those impacts. That is not happening.
Developers, construction unions, banks, landowners, and others who profit directly from development have enough friends in the right places that, instead of addressing climate change, the City is moving to get as much anticipated development through the approval gate as possible, before the populace wakes up.
It’s time to stop all County plan approvals, to take all the plans back to the drawing boards, and to spend the necessary time to really study the intermediate and long-term ramifications of sea level rise and groundwater inundation for the whole island, and to work out steps to address them, as Act 286--state law--requires.
__________________________ Professor Ira Rohter (d. 2009) is regarded as the “Father of Sustainability” for the islands. I had the honor of publishing his major work: A Green Hawai’i Sourcebook for Development Alternatives. As early as 2002, he was teaching that the two most important forces to address during the rest of our lifetimes are rising seas and peak oil. This article is dedicated to his genius.
Obama, IG Report refuse to touch powerful Treasury Employees Union headed by ex-IRS agent.
“My question is who is going to jail?”
— House Speaker John Boehner on the IRS Scandal
The President couldn’t even bring himself to breathe a word of the truth.
He could fire some hapless Acting Commissioner, but last night Mr. Obama never came close to discussing that which must never be discussed.
It’s about a union: the National Treasury Employees Union. The NTEU. A left-wing union representing 150,000 employees in 31 separate government agencies, including the IRS. A union that not only endorsed President Obama for election and re-election, but a union whose current president, Colleen Kelly, was a 14-year IRS agent and now is both union president and Obama administration appointee (of which more in a moment).
Honolulu, Hawaii - Today, Hawaii Republican Party Chair David Chang called on Hawaii's Congressional Delegation to condemn politically motivated Internal Revenue Service abuses and support any necessary investigations to hold all those involved accountable.
"News that the IRS purposely targeted conservative groups claiming tax exempt status is very troubling. Even more troubling is the lack of action or even comment from our congressional delegation," said Chang.
At least two Hawaii organizations, the Hawaii Tea Party and Tea Party Maui, were subjected to unusual IRS scrutiny. Like many of the mainland organizations affected by the scandal, these organizations were inappropriately targeted to provide a wide range of details about their organizations, including information on individual Hawaii residents and copies of their training materials.
"The IRS should not be scrutinizing some organizations more than others for purely political reasons. The fact that two of our local organizations were subjected to this kind of unfair and possibly illegal targeting by a government agency should greatly concern our congressional delegation regardless of political affiliation," said Chang, "A government being improperly utilized to advance or stall a political agenda is a major bipartisan problem.
Russia Today YouTube introduction: Two wigs, a map, and a stash of money to lure Russian agents to defect. The [Russian] Federal Security Service says it's caught a CIA spy on a recruitment mission. Former CIA officer Ray McGovern gives his perspective.
Congressional hearings, White House damage control, endless op-eds, accusations, and defensive denials. Controversy over the events in Benghazi last September took center stage in Washington and elsewhere last week. However, the whole discussion is again more of a sideshow. Each side seeks to score political points instead of asking the real questions about the attack on the US facility, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Republicans smell a political opportunity over evidence that the Administration heavily edited initial intelligence community talking points about the attack to remove or soften anything that might reflect badly on the president or the State Department.
Are we are supposed to be shocked by such behavior? Are we supposed to forget that this kind of whitewashing of facts is standard operating procedure when it comes to the US government?
Democrats in Congress have offered the even less convincing explanation for Benghazi, that somehow the attack occurred due to Republican sponsored cuts in the security budget at facilities overseas. With a one trillion dollar military budget, it is hard to take this seriously.
It appears that the Administration scrubbed initial intelligence reports of references to extremist Islamist involvement in the attacks, preferring to craft a lie that the demonstrations were a spontaneous response to an anti-Islamic video that developed into a full-out attack on the US outpost.
Who can blame the administration for wanting to shift the focus? The Islamic radicals who attacked Benghazi were the same people let loose by the US-led attack on Libya. They were the rebels on whose behalf the US overthrew the Libyan government. Ambassador Stevens was slain by the same Islamic radicals he personally assisted just over one year earlier.
But the Republicans in Congress also want to shift the blame. They supported the Obama Administration’s policy of bombing Libya and overthrowing its government. They also repeated the same manufactured claims that Gaddafi was “killing his own people” and was about to commit mass genocide if he were not stopped. Republicans want to draw attention to the President’s editing talking points in hopes no one will notice that if the attack on Libya they supported had not taken place, Ambassador Stevens would be alive today.
Neither side wants to talk about the real lesson of Benghazi: interventionism always carries with it unintended consequences. The US attack on Libya led to the unleashing of Islamist radicals in Libya. These radicals have destroyed the country, murdered thousands, and killed the US ambassador. Some of these then turned their attention to Mali which required another intervention by the US and France.
Previously secure weapons in Libya flooded the region after the US attack, with many of them going to Islamist radicals who make up the majority of those fighting to overthrow the government in Syria. The US government has intervened in the Syrian conflict on behalf of the same rebels it assisted in the Libya conflict, likely helping with the weapons transfers. With word out that these rebels are mostly affiliated with al Qaeda, the US is now intervening to persuade some factions of the Syrian rebels to kill other factions before completing the task of ousting the Syrian government. It is the dizzying cycle of interventionism.
The real lesson of Benghazi will not be learned because neither Republicans nor Democrats want to hear it. But it is our interventionist foreign policy and its unintended consequences that have created these problems, including the attack and murder of Ambassador Stevens. The disputed talking points and White House whitewashing are just a sideshow.