Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Mean Index – Profit Over Jobs In U.S. – Opposite In Europe & Japan

 Empty - Ghosts of the Middle Class

There was a time when recessions caused employers in the United States to figure out ways to keep employees busy in order to keep from losing them. Now laying off workers seems to be the first, not last option for U.S. companies compared to the rest of the world.

In the past when economic downturns would hit, U.S. companies would do everything it could to keep from losing employees. Employees would be assigned cleanup tasks, filing and straightening up the storeroom. It seems that something has dramatically changed in the United States. An article titled “Unlike competition, U.S. values profits over jobs” by Paul Wiseman March 31, 2011 and published on the MSNBC website shows the difference in how some foreign country based companies treat employees in a recession versus United States based firms.

In the United States worker productivity is up as fewer employees are producing more output after companies shed workers during the recession. According to the article that is not the case in Japan and Europe. Productivity actually went down during the height of the recession during 2009 by 3.7 percent in Japan and 2.2 percent in Europe while U.S. productivity growth doubled from 2008 to 2009 and again in 2010. Now that U.S. corporate profits are at record levels, U.S. firms are hiring a pace far lower than businesses in other recovering nations.

It seems that companies in other developed nations kept more of their employees during the downturn, even at the cost of profits and productivity. Something has changed in the United States as employees are not seen as being as valuable as they once were. Downsizing and trimming the workforce seems to be the first strategy to deal with a downturn as opposed to keeping more employees and sacrificing some level of profitability. Earnings per share and bottom line profits have won out over retaining skilled employees throughout a downturn. Pumping every ounce of output from the remaining workers is seen as a better strategy than hiring new employees as profits bounce back, employee morale and well being take a back seat.

I guess the United States is firmly entrenched in the “employee as a unit of labor input” formula as opposed to an individual with respect, responsibility and loyalty if treated well. This should be no surprise when the action that are taking place in some states towards professionals such as teachers and firefighters as they are hammered down into the roles of “just shut up and work.”

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iman al-Obeidi – The Face Of Oppressed Women In Libya And Worldwide

Iman al-Obeidi is the woman that burst into a hotel in Tripoli, Libya and passionately yelled out what she said happened to her while she was being held by 15 soldiers for 2 days, before escaping. This was in full view of microphones and camera from around the world. In that moment, Iman al-Obeidi may have become the face of oppressed women around the world.

As she told of horrific acts of gang rape she was then berated and roughly dragged away by hotel staff and others loyal to Gadhafi’s regime. Foreign journalists were tackled, roughed up and camera equipment smashed in an effort to keep this event off the visual record. It was captured and broadcast worldwide. Images of incredible real drama unfolded as this woman had a cloth bag thrown over her head, she was pulled outside and forced into the back of a waiting vehicle and spirited away.

Some of her final words were, “If you don’t see me tomorrow, then that’s it.” An article titled “The silence is deafening: Where is Iman al-Obeidi?” by the Star-Ledger editorial board and published in goes into further detail.

Things like this are the family secrets and dirty laundry of a regime known for brutality. It also shows the gulf between the treatment and freedom of women around the world. Now questions abound of her location and condition. Her family says they have not seen her, but offers of bribes in exchange for a retraction of allegations have come their way. Iman al-Obeidi is supposedly a lawyer and student, but she is being called a whore in an effort to smear her name and reputation.

The images of a woman being berated, having her head covered and then whisked away in a vehicle to parts unknown seemed to be the most indelible symbol of this conflict. No orchestrated theatrical play could match the reality of what happened to Iman al-Obeidi in real life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

California’s Diablo Nuclear Power Plant Reactor Shut Down For Pump Repair

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo, California has shut down one of its two nuclear reactors because of a problem with a pump that supplies water to the steam generators on the non-nuclear side.
 Diable Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

This plant has been the subject of much discussion because it is located near the San Andrea fault located in California. This is an example of the heightened level of attention given to something that never would have made headline if not for the ongoing nuclear power plant disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

An article titled “Diablo nuke plant reactor shuts down to fix pump” by the Associated Press March 29, 2011 and published in SFGate details the issue. Sensitivity to everything nuclear is at a high in the United States not seen since the Three Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania.

Over time, interest in this issue will decrease and routine maintenance issues will not be news, but some of that depends on how the situation in Japan is eventually resolved.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Abercrombie & Fitch Padded Bikini Top For 8-Year Olds – Massive Fail

Edgy retailer Abercrombie & Fitch somehow figured there was a buying demographic of 8-year old girls that wanted padded bikini tops. Silent pause, excuse me, I think this is where Hell swallows us.

National retailer Abercrombie & Fitch introduced through their kid’s division a padded bikini top aimed at girls as young as 7-8 years old. An article titled “Padded Bikini Top For 7-Year-Olds Draws Parents' Ire” by Claire Shipman March 28, 2011 and published on the ABC News website goes into the details of the story.

You have think of the board room discussion that led to the conclusion that padded bikini tops for sub double digit aged girls was something the market was ready to embrace. How many 7 and 8-year old girls walk around shopping malls with their own debit or credit cards, none. The logical conclusion has to be that this company thought that the parents of these young girls would walk into their stores and buy their young daughters padded bikini tops, they were wrong.

Abercrombie & Fitch grossly misread were the public was on this issue. What it may have ignited is a blow back on the company as a pied piper in pushing younger people towards far too early towards older sexual dress and behavior. Now the company has tried to retrench by increasing the target age for the exact same product, but the damage has been done.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Radiation Found In Massachusetts Rainwater

 Massachusetts State Flag

Small amounts of radiation have been found in rainwater in the United States as far east as Massachusetts. The measured levels of radioactive iodine 131 are considered harmless.

An article titled “Radiation In Massachusetts Rainwater Likely From Japan” by the Associated Press March 27, 2011 and published in the Huffington Post details the issue. The measured amounts of radiation found in rainwater across the country are at very low levels and not a threat to human health or drinking water.

What the discovery of radioactive iodine in rainwater falling in the United States tells us is how widespread the distribution of radiation can be once it is in the environment. It is 6,551 miles between the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan and Boston, Massachusetts.

What this also allows others to understand is the uproar taking place in Germany where massive protests against the continued use of nuclear power have been taking place. Germany was in the path of nuclear material that spread across the country when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in the Ukraine region of the former Soviet Union.

There is no reason to panic, but this is food for thought.

Gaddhafi Moving Bodies Around To Fake Bombing Deaths

Muammar  al-Gaddhafi

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted that Gaddhafi’s forces may be moving the bodies of those killed by their regime to sites bombed by the coalition in order to claim civilians were killed in the strikes.

If this is true, it is the most macabre stagecraft, but not out of the realm of reality when engaged with someone who seems to be in a state of mind not understood by most people. Are we really dealing with someone with conventional ideas of what it means to win or lose?

An article titled “Robert Gates On Libya Violence: No Proof Of Civilians Killed In U.S. Strikes” by the Associated Press and published in the Huffington Post details an interview Gates gave on Meet The Press.

Most individuals don’t think about a propaganda war at this level. Gaddhafi could be inflicting violence on his own people and then use those poor souls’ remains to point fingers at the United States and its partners. There may be almost no way Gaddhafi concedes defeat regardless of the outcome. He will claim martyrdom, a stalemate or simple survival as victories.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Japan Earthquake, Tsunami & Arab Wars, Some Consult Bible & Other Holy Texts

Holy Bible                     Holy Quran

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

The prior passage is from Matthew 24, verses 6 and 7 in the New International Version of The Holy Bible. This is what Jesus said when referring to events that would be a precursor to the end of days. In verse 8 he said that these were the beginning of birth pains.

Whenever there are upheavals on a worldwide basis, whether they are natural or man made, there is talk and speculation of the end of the world and Armageddon. A simple internet search using the terms earthquake, tsunami and the end of the world will show how much chatter is taking place regarding this subject.

Adding to the undercurrent of speculation is that the location of much of the unrest in the world is centered in North African and the Middle East all around the nation of Israel where the final battle is to take place.

We have had numerous earthquakes over the past several years of large intensity including Indonesia, Haiti and Japan events. We have had numerous wars, but what about the current unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. The unrest in those countries is primarily from citizens revolting against oppressive leaders versus countries attacking each other. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain are internal struggles of people wanting more opportunity within their own nations.

Yes we have conflicts with other nations with a coalition waging a campaign in Libya to protect its citizens from the country’s own government. In Afghanistan the war is against a terrorist group and the Taliban, not the nation. It would seem that the nation against nation portion of this passage has not been fulfilled. It is also said that man will not know when that time comes and that is probably the part of this we can count on the most.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Westboro Baptist Church Was To Protest Elizabeth Taylor’s Funeral

The Westboro Baptist church has plans to picket Elizabeth Taylor’s funeral. This is the same group that pickets the funerals of fallen United States service members and recently won a Supreme Court decision to continue their protests.

It is hard to think of anything more disrespectful than picketing a funeral to make a political point. An article titled “Elizabeth Taylor funeral to be protested by Westboro Baptist Church” by Edicio Martinez March 24, 2011 and posted on the CBS News website details the communication sent by Westboro indicating their intentions.

This organization seems to have no regard for the family members of soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice. Now this Kansas based group is trying to grab the ultimate headline by protesting at its highest profile funeral yet. Elizabeth Taylor's funeral was March 24, 2011 and no mention was made of Westboro being there.

Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of the Constitution, but respect for other is a cornerstone of human decency.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Germany Will End Use Of Nuclear Power For Renewable Energy

Atomkraftwerk Gemeinschaftskraftwerk Neckar
Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant

In the wake of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster, Germany has decided it will move away from nuclear power. Germany is no small player in nuclear power with 17 reactors providing 23 percent of it power needs.

Germany plans to transition completely away from nuclear power and replace that need with renewable energy sources. While Germany obtains less than one quarter of its energy needs from nuclear, France relies on nuclear power for 70 percent of its energy. It would not be easy for France to replace nuclear and it has no intention of doing so. The United States gets 20 percent of it power from nuclear from 104 nuclear reactors located in plants around the country.,

To be honest this is a bold decision as nuclear power has a laudable safety record, but those instances of crisis have been grand. An article by the Associated Press titled Germany set to abandon nuclear power for good details Germany’s planned migration. The article even quotes how much easier the switch would be if Germany had some of the advantages of certain areas of the United States with sun and wind.

Nuclear power has not been very popular in Germany after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster spread radioactive material over Germany. This is an example of how politics are affected by events around the world and managed to push a nation in a new direction.

Breitbart Says Presidency ‘beneath’ Sarah Palin, She Should Be Like Oprah

Sarah Palin

Andrew Breitbart, of the Shirley Sherrod saga, stated that the White House is ‘beneath’ Sarah Palin and she should become like Oprah and become a king maker for 20 years.

Before you grab your reading glasses, an article titled “Andrew Breitbart says White House 'beneath' Sarah Palin” by Jed Rosche March 23, 2011 and published in the Politico detail Breitbart’s complete statement. Let’s really examine the thought process behind the thought. Being Preisdent of the United States has always been thought of as one of the ultimate achievements available on the planet. There is only one President as a time, the maximum term is 8 years and awesome responsibility rest on this person’s shoulders.

Being a powerful media figure like Oprah Winfrey is also a lofty achievement and Oprah is the one and only of her kind. The real question is whether Sarah Palin could be either President of the United States or achieve the media status of Oprah Winfrey. To become President requires an appeal to and support from an electorate beyond a small core of fervent supporters. To become Oprah Winfrey requires and appeal to and support from the public beyond a small core of fervent supporters. Wow those things seem to be astonishingly similar.

According to the Politico article, Breitbart’s dream Republican Presidential ticket for the 2012 election is Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Florida Congressman Alan West.

Fresh Crude Oil Washes Ashore In Louisiana In March 2011

BP Oil Spill
Fresh crude oil is washing ashore in Grande Isle Louisiana and must have triggered flashbacks of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill disaster.

Sources report that the slick was two miles offshore during the weekend of March 19 and 20, then it begin to wash up on beaches and other parts of the coastline. In actions that mirror activities during many oil spills the coast guard said it would deploy oil booms.

It appears at least on source of the spill has admitted responsibility. An article titled “One Gulf Oil Spill Source Found But Slicks May Be Spreading” by Rocky Kistner March 23, 2011 and published in The Huffington Post discusses the details of the cause. Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners is a Houston based company and admitted that a nonproducing well was the source of the spill.

This is just a reality check after many days of reports about the real nuclear power disaster in Japan that our primary source of energy, fossil fuel, is not a poster child for safety. What it really points out is there has to be a better way for man to meet his energy requirement that does not involve on method or another that can unleash forces that can destroy the environment and lives.

Radioactive Iodine Levels In Tokyo, Japan Water Supply Not Safe For Babies

Tap Water

Tokyo, Japan is the world’s most populous metropolitan area with over 12 million people in the metropolis of Tokyo. Tokyo is called a metropolis instead of a prefecture. The metropolis includes the wards formerly known as the city of Tokyo.

The distance from Fukushima Dai-ichi where the damaged nuclear power plant is located to Tokyo is 242 kilometers, approximately 150 miles, should send a message of how far this radioactive material travels. Obviously the question that must be asked is if and how much additional radioactive iodine is still entering the drinking water supply. An article titled “Tokyo Officials Say Radiation In Tap Water Twice Recommended Limit For Infants” describes the details.

Radioactive iodine is one of the more dangerous elements from nuclear contamination because it is something the body can’t distinguish from it nonradioactive version. The human body needs iodine for healthy functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid regulates growth in the human body. The thyroid will absorb iodine whether it is radioactive or not.

Radioactive iodine-131 is the reason potassium iodide is used to protect the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide is absorbed by the thyroid and since it will be full, the thyroid will not absorb the radioactive iodine. Infants and young children are particularly sensitive to radioactive iodine because they are still growing and their thyroids will respond to lower levels of radioactive iodine. High levels of radioactive iodine can cause thyroid cancer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chernobyl Cleanup Survivor Advises Japanese To Run Away, Now!

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

A woman that was dispatched to help clean up the aftermath of the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history, Chernobyl, has a word of advice to the Japanese anywhere near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Run!

An article titled “Chernobyl Cleanup Survivor's Message for Japan: 'Run Away as Quickly as Possible'” by Dana Kennedy March 22, 2011 and posted on AOL News tells the story of Natalia Manzurova. Manzorova was dispatched as part of a cleanup team after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster to clean up a town near the plants.

Manzurova is basically saying that everyone inside the radiation zone of the plant should protect themselves in spite of the official position coming from the government and other authorities. Her message lines up with the old adage of believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.

She may have a point if you consider how the Fukushima Dai-ichi nclear power plant disaster has slow walked itself into an ever more serious situation daily. Recall the 10-mile evacuation zone and radiation was found in food and milk 65 miles away. The United States Navy moved the aircraft carrier USS George Washington away from its base south of Tokyo to lessen radiation exposure risk. The U.S. has passed out potassium iodide pills to its personnel and family member in the area. Radioactive contamination has been found in sea water. Recently food imports into the U.S. from the affected areas have been banned. The latest is a report that levels of radioactive iodine has been measured in the tap water in Tokyo at twice the levels recommended for infants.

Manzurova speaks from a position of knowledge. She is still alive after her team coworkers died from various ailments, but wears the scar of having her thyroid removed by surgery to avoid cancer.

Could Libya Become Obama’s Iran Hostage Crisis For Next Election

 President Barack Obama

Could the military intervention in Libya do to President Barack Obama what the Iran hostage crisis did to former President Jimmy Carter? For those that don’t remember, former President Jimmy Carter ended his first term with U.S. hostages held captive in Iran as he ran for reelection against Ronald Reagan. Reagan won in a landslide.

The Iran hostage crisis came about as U.S. citizens and diplomats were taken hostage at the American Embassy in Teheran, Iran. This went on for 444 days and included a disastrous rescue attempt that included helicopter crashes in the desert. The crash of a United States F-15 Strike Force Eagle fighter jet in Libya was the first opportunity for this to spiral out of control for President Obama. A story titled “Libya: US fighter jet crash lands in field near Benghazi” by

Muammar Gaddafi it could have been the beginning of a nightmare for the airmen, the nation and President Obama. The symbolism of the Gaddafi holding two American military men and the propaganda he could have unleashed could have been the beginning of the end for President Barack Obama. Luckily the jet crashed near Bengazi where the rebel forces opposing Gaddafi have control.

United States F-15 Strike Eagle Down In Libya Near Bengazi – Pilots Are Well

United States F-15 Strike Eagle

In what appears to have been a crash, not a shoot down, a United States F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jet crashed in Libya. The United States military said that the two pilots are well.

A story titled “Libya: US fighter jet crash lands in field near Benghazi” by Muammar Gaddafi. It could have been a nightmare if these pilots had fell into the hands of Gaddafi and held captive.

Facts On the F-15 Strike Eagle

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather.

The aircraft uses two crew members, a pilot and a weapon systems officer. Previous models of the F-15 are assigned air-to-air roles; the "E" model is a dual-role fighter. It has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out.

The aircraft's navigation system uses a laser gyro and a Global Positioning System to continuously monitor the aircraft's position and provide information to the central computer and other systems, including a digital moving map in both cockpits.

The APG-70 radar system allows aircrews to detect ground targets from long ranges. One feature of this system is that after a sweep of a target area, the crew freezes the air-to-ground map then goes back into air-to-air mode to clear for air threats. During the air-to-surface weapon delivery, the pilot is capable of detecting, targeting and engaging air-to-air targets while the WSO designates the ground target.

The low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night, or LANTIRN, system allows the aircraft to fly at low altitudes, at night and in any weather conditions, to attack ground targets with a variety of precision-guided and unguided weapons. The LANTIRN system gives the F-15E unequaled accuracy in weapons delivery day or night and in poor weather, and consists of two pods attached to the exterior of the aircraft.

The navigation pod contains terrain-following radar which allows the pilot to safely fly at a very low altitude following cues displayed on a heads up display. This system also can be coupled to the aircraft's autopilot to provide "hands off" terrain-following capability.

The targeting pod contains a laser designator and a tracking system that mark an enemy for destruction at long ranges. Once tracking has been started, targeting information is automatically handed off to GPS or laser-guided bombs.

One of the most important additions to the F-15E is the rear cockpit, and the weapons systems officer. On four screens, this officer can display information from the radar, electronic warfare or infrared sensors, monitor aircraft or weapons status and possible threats, select targets, and use an electronic "moving map" to navigate. Two hand controls are used to select new displays and to refine targeting information. Displays can be moved from one screen to another, chosen from a "menu" of display options.

In addition to three similar screens in the front seat, the pilot has a transparent glass heads up display at eye level that displays vital flight and tactical information. The pilot doesn't need to look down into the cockpit, for example, to check weapon status. At night, the screen is even more important because it displays a video picture nearly identical to a daylight view of the world generated by the forward-looking infrared sensor.

The F-15E is powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 engines that incorporate advanced digital technology for improved performance. For example, with a digital electronic engine control system, F-15E pilots can accelerate from idle power to maximum afterburner in less than four seconds, a 40 percent improvement over the previous engine control system. Faster engine acceleration means quicker takeoffs and crisper response while maneuvering. The F100-PW-220 engines can produce 50,000 pounds of thrust (25,000 each) and the F100-PW-229 engines 58,000 pounds of thrust (29,000 each).

Each of the low-drag conformal fuel tanks that hug the F-15E's fuselage can carry 750 gallons of fuel. The tanks hold weapons on short pylons rather than conventional weapon racks, reducing drag and further extending the range of the Strike Eagle.

For air-to-ground missions, the F-15E can carry most weapons in the Air Force inventory. It also can be armed with AIM-9M Sidewinders or AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, or AMRAAM for the air-to-air role. The "E" model also has an internally mounted 20mm gun that can carry up to 500 rounds.

The F-15's superior maneuverability and acceleration are achieved through its high engine thrust-to-weight ratio and low-wing loading. It was the first U.S. operational aircraft whose engines' thrust exceeded the plane's loaded weight, permitting it to accelerate even while in vertical climb. Low-wing loading (the ratio of aircraft weight to its wing area) is a vital factor in maneuverability and, combined with the high thrust-to-weight ratio, enables the aircraft to turn tightly without losing airspeed.

The first flight of the F-15A was made in July 1972. In November 1974, the first Eagle was delivered to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where training began in both F-15A and B aircraft. In January 1976, the first F-15 destined for a combat squadron was delivered to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, Va.

The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory in 1979 and were first delivered to Kadena Air Base, Japan. These models were equipped with production Eagle package improvements, including 2,000 pounds of additional internal fuel, provisions for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks, and increased maximum takeoff weight of 68,000 pounds.

The first production model of the F-15E was delivered to the 405th Tactical Training Wing, Luke AFB, Ariz., in April 1988.

General Characteristics
Primary function: Air-to-ground attack aircraft
Contractor: McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 turbofan engines with afterburners
Thrust: 25,000 - 29,000 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 42.8 feet (13 meters)
Length: 63.8 feet (19.44 meters)
Height: 18.5 feet (5.6 meters)
Weight: 37,500 pounds ( 17,010 kilograms)
Maximum takeoff weight: 81,000 pounds (36,450 kilograms)
Fuel capacity: 35,550 pounds (three external tanks plus conformal fuel tanks)
Payload: depends upon mission
Speed: 1,875 mph (Mach 2.5 plus) 
Range: 2,400 miles (3,840 kilometers) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks
Ceiling: 60,000 feet (18,288 meters) 
Armament: One 20mm multibarrel gun mounted internally with 500 rounds of ammunition. Four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and four AIM-120 AMRAAM, or eight AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Any air-to-surface weapon in the Air Force inventory (nuclear and conventional)
Crew: Pilot and weapon systems officer
Unit cost: $31.1 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Initial operating capability: September 1989
Inventory: Total force, 223

Monday, March 21, 2011

U.S. Military Considering Mandatory Evacuation Of Naval Base In Japan Over Radiation

USS George Washington Nimitz Class Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier

The United States military is reportedly considering evacuating the largest naval base in Japan if radiation levels from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant continue to rise.The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington has already moved to avoid additional radiation exposure.

An article titled “U.S. military considering mandatory evacuations in Yokosuka” by Chris Lawrence March 21, 2011 and published on the CNN website goes into additional details. The naval base at Yokosuka is the largest for the United States in Japan. Yokosuka is just south of Tokyo.

The evacuation of a large naval base would involve moving thousands of troops and their families and would signal the severity of the radiation threat. What is unknown is what would be the long term effect of radiation contamination at a large United States military base. Certain types of radioactive elements do not go away very quickly. What could be the long term effects of radiation on a military facility?

The effects on the naval station are likely to be minor unless things spiral out of control at the nuclear power plant and if that happened, the city of Tokyo is closer to the power plant than the base. This nuclear accident crisis just seems to keep going and changing as time goes on.

President Obama Shows His Birth Certificate And …

Barack Obama Birth Certificate

The thing that so many have clamored for has finally been produced. President Barack Obama produces his long form birth certificate and the reaction to it was shocking.

One of the first responses was, “He’s still a Muslim.” Of course, this is a hypothetical situation, but is exactly the type of response that would come from those with 10, not 1 reason they don’t support President Obama. Those ingrained attitudes are also exactly the reason President Obama should not show his long form birth certificate.

Barack Hussein Obama is the legitimate President of the United States. He was voted in by the people and sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. President Obama met all of the requirements of the Constitution, election commission and every states requirement for inclusion on ballots for President of the United States.

The other reason the President should not buckle to calls to produce a long form birth certificate is that the satisfaction it would provide to the faction pushing the “He is an other” conspiracy theories. The satisfaction that group would get from having the sitting President complying with their requests would be immense. The symbolic damage of President Obama showing his birth certificate would be like he was pulled over and asked for his papers and that image would never go away. The individuals riding on the birther bandwagon are in a world of their own making and President Obama showing his long form birth certificate will not grant him acceptance into that club.  

Now some of these states have bills coming to the legislature that require a birth certificate as a part of qualification to be included on their ballot for President. It is questionable if any of these measures will become law. An article titled “Ga. latest state to propose "birther" bill” by the Associated Press March 2, 2011 and published on the CBS News website goes into the details on the measure in Georgia. These laws seems to like rules change imposed in some sports when a player comes along and takes a quantum leap beyond everyone else participating.

This is the state of American politics today with code words, finger pointing and fear mongering as the order of the day.

Japan Earthquake Caused Tsunami Damage In The United States Of America

Tsunami Damage In The United States

The United States is a long way from the power and destruction of the 8.9 earthquake and resulting tsunami that devastated Japan. We all send the Japanese people good wishes and prayers for a full recovery. Even with thousands of miles of ocean to cross the power of the tsunami still made an impact on the United States.

Initial reports said that the tsunami wave went around the Hawaii Islands, but video evidence show that a glancing blow was struck on the big island of Hawaii in the town of Kona over 3,850 miles from Japan. Unbelievably, cities in California were affected over 5,478 miles away.

Although the scale of damage in the United States can’t begin to compare with that in Japan, the tsunami managed to claim a life over 5,000 miles away from where it started. An article titled “NorCal man drowns trying to photograph tsunami ” by the

Michele Bachmann Says She Will Show Birth Certificate If She Seeks Presidency

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann, Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota, said the first thing she would do if she ran for President is offer her birth certificate. This could be considered a very transparent appeal to the birther crowd that she is on their side.

There is not a shortage of serious issues to be dealt with in the world today, but talk of presenting a birth certificate seems to be to of mind for Representative Bachmann in importance. Will the constant attempts to undermine the legitimacy of President Barack Obama never end? If an elected politician really does not believe that the President was born in the United States, then come out and say it in no uncertain terms and stop the wink and nods to the fringe elements. An article titled “'First thing I would do is offer birth certificate'” by Bob Unruh March 11, 2011 and published on the WorldNetDaily website goes into Bachmann’s statements to a talk radio show host.

As the time for candidates that will run for President of the United States to declare their intentions fast approaches, the field could range from veterans like Newt Gingrich,  mainstream types such as Mitt Romney and fringe candidates like Michele Bachmann. What is interesting is the prospects of televised debates with such a wide variety of personalities sharing the same stage. Will Bachmann present her birth certificate on live television and challenge the other candidates to do so as well.

In any event, veiled references that continue to challenge the validity of President Barack Obama should be replaced with direct statement or end altogether. Elected officials that feed into the paranoia for political gain without stating if they believe the President was born elsewhere are being dishonest and lowering the importance of their office.

Nancy Pelosi Hospitalized While In Rome

U S House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

U S House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi was hospitalized while leading a Congressional delegation there to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the nation. Pelosi was reported to have checked into an emergency room for a two hour period and later returned to her hotel room. Reported the former Speaker of the House suffered what was described as “fainting spells.”

This trip to Rome followed a stop in Afghanistan to meet with President Harmid Karzai and U.S. military personnel.

An article titled by ABC News details the incident.

U S Gives Out Potassium Iodide Pills In Japan And Workers Flee Smoking Nuclear Power Plant

Potassium Iodide
In a real life saga that seems to never end, workers fled from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power Monday March 21, 2011 as smoke rose from two reactors. In a separate action the United States made Potassium Iodide pills available to U.S. personnel and dependents in Japan.

These two events while separate certainly have an intersection. The intersection is the radiation coming from the damaged nuclear power plant and the potential harmful effects it could have on those exposed to it. An article titled “Workers flee Japan nuclear plant as smoke rises” by Eric Talmadge and Mari Yamaguchi March 21, 2011 and published on details a setback in efforts to brink the nuclear reactors under control as workers fled the Fukushima Dia-ichi nuclear power plant as smoke rose from two reactors.

Another separate article titled “U.S. makes potassium iodide available in Japan” by Arshad Mohammed and published on the Reuter website details the U.S. decision to make potassium iodide available to its personnel and dependents in certain parts of Japan.

One of the radioactive elements released into the environment from the nuclear power plant in Japan is radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine has been detected in the environment in Japan. The human thyroid, that regulates growth, will absorb iodine and can’t tell the difference between radioactive iodine and nonradioactive iodine. Iodine is needed in order for the thyroid to function properly. When you see the label of “iodized” on table salt it means that small amounts of iodine containing salts have been mixed with regular salt to help prevent iodine deficiency. The thyroid will absorb radioactive iodine and that is where potassium iodide comes in as a blocker. The thyroid will absorb the potassium iodide and become full. If the thyroid is full it will not absorb radioactive iodine.

Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid can cause thyroid cancer. There are many issues taking place in Japan and the longer it goes on, it seems the more serious things become.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Serena Williams Has Emergency Surgery For Pulmonary Embolism - Blood Clot In Lungs

Serena Williams had emergency surgery for a blood clot in her lungs according to an article titled "Serena Williams undergoes emergency surgery: report" by Reuters March 2, 2011. The medical term for a blood clot in the lungs is pulmonary embolism and is a serious condition.

NBC news reporter David Bloom died of a pulmonary embolism when he was embedded with United States fighting forces in Iraq during 2003. An article titled "NBC Newsman Dies In Iraq" by Dan Collins April 6, 2003 and published on the CBS News website details what happen with Bloom. It is thought that Bloom's condition may have been caused by enduring prolonged periods of immobility due to riding in cramped conditions while being embedded with the military. So why would a world class athlete like Serena Williams have such a condition. Serena has been struggling with a long standing foot injury that came from a cut from glass and that will probably be looked at as a contributing factor. An injury such as that could have complications that contributed to the far more serious condition.