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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 41,983

About Me

Blocked on Twitter by that rat bastard fuck @ggreenwald

Journal Archives

Syria: Death from Assad’s Chlorine


Bad Chlorine

Though barely recognizable after four years of one of the worst conflicts since World War II, Syria used to be a middle-income country. For decades, chlorine was routinely used for safe water, sanitation, and the manufacture of medicines for both domestic consumption and export. But for several years before the beginning of the popular uprising in March 2011, and in part contributing to it, the Syrian government denied many public health measures to areas of the country that were politically unsympathetic to it, selectively withholding not only chlorine for treatment of water contaminated by sewage, but also routine childhood vaccinations. That continues today, with widespread denial of chlorine to Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, Daraa, the outskirts of Damascus, and other areas outside government control. A few drops of bleach would be sufficient to disinfect water and hands, but it is simply unattainable. In besieged areas, such as Ghouta, water is frequently cut off altogether as a punitive measure.

The consequences of this deprivation are magnified by mass displacement, with ten million civilians having been forced to flee their homes, often leaving three or four families together in households of appalling and unhygienic conditions. 642,000 Syrians live under siege, in even worse conditions. Myiasis—a maggot-ridden wound infection associated with lack of water—appeared in Ghouta last year, at the same time as a water cutoff. In Deir Ezzor, untreated tap water comes directly from the Euphrates River, two hundred yards downstream from a sewage pipe. As a result, there were more than 30,000 cases of hepatitis A across the country in 2014, with several fatalities in young children. This disease is rarely seen in the US, and hardly ever in fatal form.

On February 24 of this year, WHO issued an alert on the risk of cholera in Syria, a concern heightened by the sudden outbreak in Hama in mid-March of more than five hundred cases of acute watery diarrhea. The combination of inadequate surveillance, the absence of laboratories to test for cholera, and previous cover-ups by the Syrian Ministry of Health of cholera in 2005 and 2009 and polio in 2013 suggests that cholera may indeed be back. Even my colleagues in Damascus, where most water is still chlorinated, have suffered from hepatitis; others have succumbed to typhoid. Typhoid is now endemic in southeastern Deir Ezzor—the same area where polio first reappeared in 2013.

The governorate of Daraa has just reported more than two hundred cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease, which spreads easily to children exposed to unchlorinated water that has been contaminated by the stool of an infected child. Scabies and lice are everywhere. Many other water-related diseases, such as polio, giardia, schistosomiasis, and Legionella, are difficult to diagnose and treat without specialist doctors, well-equipped health facilities to collect blood, stool, skin, and urine samples, and labs for isolation of the pathogen—most of which the Syrian government has destroyed in opposition-held areas.


China is way ahead of us....WAY ahead!

3 goats went airborne in China as part of an elaborate stunt with a giant kite

What has happened to the United States? We used to be the world's pioneer in outrageous stunts

Texas Governor Deploys State Guard To Stave Off Obama Takeover

Since General Sam Houston executed his famous retreat to glory to defeat the superior forces of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Texas has been ground zero for military training. We have so many military bases in the Lone Star State we could practically attack Russia.

So when rookie Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was ordering the Texas National Guard to monitor a Navy SEAL/Green Beret joint training exercise, which was taking place in Texas and several other states, everybody here looked up from their iPhones. What?

It seems there is concern among some folks that this so-called training maneuver is just a cover story. What's really going on? President Obama is about to use Special Forces to put Texas under martial law.

Let's walk over by the fence where nobody can hear us, and I'll tell you the story.

You see, there are these Wal-Marts in West Texas that supposedly closed for six months for "renovation." That's what they want you to believe. The truth is these Wal-Marts are going to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners. The prisoners are going to be transported by train cars that have already been equipped with shackles.


Tejas DUers: Straighten out your boy...

Don’t use the apps Muhannad used, and a Question on “reporter privilege”

Last Wednesday The Intercept, an adversarial news site, published an article on the life and death of their — and several other media outlets — AQAP source. The source “Muhannad Ghallab” was a spokesman for AQAP, the terrorist organization responsible for Charlie Hebdo.

On April 22, Muhannad was killed by a missile fired by a drone. It’s unknown how his location was identified, but a “possible scenario is that a data trail from his communications with Western journalists gave away his geolocation”.

Some of the communication apps that Muhannad asked to use journalist were shared by The Intercept with Matthew Green an expert in cryptography. However noteworthy to state that it isn’t mentioned or implied that The Intercept used any of these apps in communication with the source, although other contacts may have. Green found that the apps provided no protection against tracking and could have been used by NSA/CIA.

Intel on the apps AQAP uses could be useful for the intelligence agencies. Information that Green now has. Journalists are protected by “Reporter privilege”, but fall external consultants like Green also under the same protection? A question I tweeted to Orin Kerr (Law Professor) and Jay Rosen (Journalism Professor), Kerr didn’t reply, and Rosen replied “Don’t know the answer to that well enough to answer”.


Time to jack your johnson

Perhaps even a bit more often than usual for some...



The Intercept's love affair with AQAP continues...

They aren't even trying to hide it anymore...Such a flowery and sympathetic profile:


And this shamelessly wonderful 2+2=5 tweet:


Ted Cruz: 'I don't think I've ever seen an Hispanic panhandler'

Presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Wednesday that he has never seen a Hispanic person begging for money on the street.

"I don't think I've ever seen an Hispanic panhandler. And the reason is: In our community it would be shameful to be begging on the street," Cruz said, recalling a conversation he once had with a Latino businessman on the topic.

Cruz, who is of Cuban descent, made the point while speaking in Washington at a question-and-answer session with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

He used the example to argue the Republican Party should be able to compete for the Latino vote. Hispanics, Cruz said, share many of the same values that are championed by GOP leaders.



Snowdenista emoprogs take a break from whitewashing Russia to whitewash China instead...

“The perceptions of China don’t meet the reality,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like an oppressive surveillance state. China has been demonized by the West.”

Appelbaum realized he’d praised an authoritarian regime, and added a caveat.

“Sure, they have mobile death vans that harvest people’s organs,” he said, “but they’re not overtly restrictive.”


The complete lack of self-awareness from these mooks boggles the mind...

[eng subs] Interview with "Texas" -- NAF volunteer from US, Donetsk airport area


How to seem smart in meetings without really trying

I've personally done number 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10

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