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dixiegrrrrl

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, for half my life
Home country: USA
Current location: Sw corner of Ala. for the rest of my life
Member since: Wed Feb 27, 2008, 01:09 PM
Number of posts: 37,318

About Me

Being the "Queen of Everything" (Mr. dixie is the Prince of What's Left) but................ Golden Retrievers RULE!!!

Journal Archives

To understand today's global conflicts....take a hard look at a map

Worth the read, it is not long.
Just found it, it was written in 2012, now seems very prescient.
I would also add that geography AND history provide the lens thru which we observe global conflict.



Geography Strikes Back
To understand today's global conflicts, forget economics and technology and take a hard look at a map, writes Robert D. Kaplan

If you want to know what Russia, China or Iran will do next, don't read their newspapers or ask what our spies have dug up—consult a map. Geography can reveal as much about a government's aims as its secret councils. More than ideology or domestic politics, what fundamentally defines a state is its place on the globe. Maps capture the key facts of history, culture and natural resources. With upheaval in the Middle East and a tumultuous political transition in China, look to geography to make sense of it all.

Snip......Why, for example, are headlines screaming about the islands of the South China Sea?
As the Pacific antechamber to the Indian Ocean, this sea connects the energy-rich Middle East and the emerging middle-class fleshpots of East Asia. It is also thought to contain significant stores of hydrocarbons. China thinks of the South China Sea much as the U.S. thinks of the Caribbean: as a blue-water extension of its mainland. Vietnam and the Philippines also abut this crucial body of water, which is why we are seeing maritime brinkmanship on all sides. It is a battle not of ideas but of physical space. The same can be said of the continuing dispute between Japan and Russia over the South Kuril Islands.

snip.....Why does President Vladimir Putin covet buffer zones in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, just as the czars and commissars did before him?


and what about Europe, and the Balkans, and Greece, and..........lots of good info. at the link.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443819404577635332556005436

Pipeline politics in Syria

Much of the media coverage suggests that the conflict in Syria is a civil war, in which the Alawite (Shia) Bashar al Assad regime is defending itself (and committing atrocities) against Sunni rebel factions (who are also committing atrocities). The real explanation is simpler: it is about money.

In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Assad forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run a pipeline eastward, allowing those Shia-dominated countries access to the European natural gas market while denying access to Sunni Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latter states, it appears, are now attempting to remove Assad so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.

The standard Shia-Sunni conflict is little different from many other socio-ethnic-economic-political-religious (SEEPR) conflicts that originate in competition for resources, but in Syria it has a lucrative twist. The pattern of SEEPR control in Syria is similar to that in many other Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan Africa countries (and is arguably common in every country, but more so in traditional societies): Who controls the government controls the state’s resources, and by extension, the wealth derived from them. In Syria, the Sunnis have tried to unseat the Alawites ever since France installed them during the French mandate that ended in 1943. But now the stakes are higher, thanks to natural gas.

Any review of the current conflict in Syria that neglects the geopolitical economics of the region is incomplete. (Nearly all media reports fit this description.)
Take “The Geopolitics of the Syrian Civil War,” published in January by STRATFOR’s Reva Bhalla, which provides an effective Syria-specific revision of Robert Kaplan’s “Geography Strikes Back,” complete with historical acuity, but without mentioning the pipeline. Reports such as these shed little light on current geopolitical economic developments that are at the heart of the issue. Oil and natural gas pipelines bring large amounts of wealth to states which control them, thus attracting international attention, intrigue, and in many instances, terrorist activity.
http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/pipeline-politics-in-syria/

We are now bombing TWO groups in Syria, for TWO different reasons.

We are bombing both ISIL AND a "new" Al-Quada "affiliated" group in Syria.
That was the happy headline that greeted me this am.

Just to be clear...here is the WH reasons for bombing ISIL in Syria:
Senior Obama administration officials: Airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria are legal because they were done in defense of Iraq

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/syria/

and here is the WH reason for bombing another group in Syria:
The White House this morning is confirming that airstrikes against the al-Qaida-affiliated Khorasan Group in Syria were carried out due to its plotting of an 'imminent' attack against the US. This information was also confirmed earlier today by the US Central Command.


same source as above

"Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on."

Kurt Vonnegut

Why are western health workers with Ebola flown out, but locals left to die?

Skin color, perhaps?

Dr Olivet Buck was a doctor in Sierra Leone who treated Ebola virus sufferers.
She caught the virus, WHO refused to evacuate her to a western hospital that agreed to take her.
Other ( Western) medical personnel had been evacuated with no problem.
She died.


Why are western health workers with Ebola flown out, but locals left to die?
The death of Dr Olivet Buck after the WHO refused to fly her out of Sierra Leone is not just wrong: it’s making the Ebola epidemic worse.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/15/ebola-doctor-death-olivet-buck-sierra-leone

Story here:

Dr Olivet Buck died late Saturday, hours after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it could not help medically evacuate her to Germany, Sierra Leone's chief medical officer Dr Brima Kargbo confirmed to the Associated Press.
Sierra Leone had requested funds from WHO to transport Buck to Europe, saying the country could not afford to lose another doctor. WHO said it could not meet the request but instead would work to give Buck "the best care possible" in Sierra Leone, including possible access to experimental drugs.

So far, only foreign health and aid workers have been evacuated abroad from Sierra Leone and Liberia for treatment.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/14/ebola-outbreak-fourth-doctor-dies-sierra-leone


55% Of Scottish People Suffering From Stockholm Syndrome

FOLLOWING a momentous day of voting in Scotland on the issue of independence, it has been revealed that as many as 55% of the population are suffering from what is commonly referred to as Stockholm Syndrome.

Held captive since the 1700s many Scottish people confessed that the had grown fond or their captors despite many people cautioning them that they had fallen into the trap of Stockholm Syndrome.

Symptoms include believing English people really like Scotland, not being able to properly identify when a politician is lying, and failing to see that English people saying ‘I really like Whiskey and shortbread’ is completely disingenuous.


More:
http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2014/09/19/55-of-scottish-people-suffering-from-stockholm-syndrome/

A working car has been 3D-printed out of carbon fiber plastic

See pics at link
I have not been paying much attention to 3D printing...looks like I need to.

This is a car that is made almost entirely out of plastic. The Strati took 44 hours to make, and it's completely driveable. It's lighter and, if you believe its creators, also stronger than its metal counterparts. And it just might be the future of automotive technology everywhere.

Local Motors, the Phoenix-based 3D-printing company that built the car with help from Oak Ridge National Lab and the manufacturing company SABIC, says it's the first to 3D print both a body and chassis together. Other models, such as the Urbee, also use 3D-printed parts, but with a more traditionally manufactured frame.

Everything in the Strati that could be made as part of a single piece of plastic, was. This isn't your standard milk jug plastic, however. It's been mixed with carbon fibers for extra strength.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/09/19/so-this-exists-a-working-car-has-been-3d-printed-out-of-carbon-fiber-plastic/?tid=pm_business_pop

Virginia sues 13 big banks, claiming mortgage securities fraud

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring on Tuesday announced a $1.15 billion lawsuit against 13 of the nation’s biggest banks, accusing them of misleading a state retirement fund about the quality of bonds made up of residential mortgages.

The lawsuit, unsealed in Richmond Circuit Court, is the largest financial fraud action ever brought by the state of Virginia.
It mirrors legal actions being taken across the country by attorneys general seeking redress for state pension funds that were ravaged by the financial crisis.
“These securities were financial time bombs that a lot of banks tried to get off their books as soon as possible,” Herring said during a news conference.
“And some of them provided . . . investors with information they knew or should have known was false in order to lure them into buying these new investments.”

Herring said the banks — including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Credit Suisse — knowingly packaged faulty home loans into securities they sold to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). The pension fund, which counts 600,000 members on its rolls, purchased 220 residential-mortgage-backed securities starting in 2004. When the financial markets tanked and the value of those bonds took a nose dive, the fund was forced to sell the vast majority of the securities and lost $383 million
.http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/virginia-sues-big-banks-for-mortgage-securities-fraud/2014/09/16/6314e4d2-3dc1-11e4-b03f-de718edeb92f_story.html

I am really surprised it is taking the states this long to figure out the scam.
But, states need money now, and banks have it.

Free pdf download of The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America

For those who like to hear info from the horse's mouth, so to speak.


Document: The 2014 National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, unveiled by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper today.
http://www.odni.gov/files/documents/2014_NIS_Publication.pdf

" law enforcement is concerned the post will give people a chance to..*self-radicalize*. "

Heads up, DU.......do NOT attempt to "self radicalize"......

Here's a little non news item which appears to be propaganda for The Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism center:

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police announced Wednesday it was aware of an online post by a group sympathetic to the militant group ISIS that suggests tourist destinations in the United States as potential attack locations.

The post named Las Vegas as one of the cities.

According to police, the post has been taken down. Police also say they have no information of planning or operational phases to carry out any attack.

However, law enforcement is concerned the post will give people a chance to self-radicalize.

The Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism center works 24-hours a day seven days a week to stay ahead of threats. Metro also works with federal, state and local governments, along with hotels and casinos to keep locals and tourists safe.
Metro is asking people to remember to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
http://www.8newsnow.com/story/26560904/breaking-news-metro-aware-of-online-isis-threat-to-las-vegas

Need dates for a Syria timeline, DU.

Pres. Obama wanted to go after Assad, tried to get the country/Congress behind the idea, but it did not work.( except for McCain, of course)
When was this, exactly?

ISIS popped up in Iraq ...when?



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