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Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 26, 2007, 04:26 PM
Number of posts: 5,877

Journal Archives

Obama to deploy 300 US troops to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram

Source: The Guardian US edition

Senior administration official says deployment is part of efforts to fight Boko Haram as militant group expands beyond traditional base in Nigeria.

Barack Obama on Wednesday notified US Congress that he intends to deploy 300 troops to Cameroon to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

In a letter released by the White House, the president said 90 personnel had already been deployed, and would be armed for self-defense.

A senior administration official told AFP the deployment was “part of the counter Boko Haram effort”.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/14/obama-deployment-us-troops-cameroon-boko-haram

"Organic" farming can fill an economic and food quality niche.

Until 2006 I leased (as lessor) an 8 acre organic farm in Humboldt county, CA (a local who shops at the Arcata or Eureka farmers markets would recognize various tenants from the 1980s to 2006). Prior to the coming of the "organic farmers" the site had been used by my family (since 1869) for family garden, irrigated pasture, and in the 70s to mid 80s part was in alfalfa. The alfalfa was for our own calves and horses and the excess sold locally. The alfalfa was not viable in and of itself.

The last tenant specialized in "heirloom" varieties of perishables (tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, herbs, greens, etc.) and sold at the coastal farmers markets, restaurants (local and San Francisco Bay Area), and bulk to non-corporate groceries (Arcata Coop).

In 2003 I had reason for a real estate appraisal and the tenant provided me his Schedule C tax form. In 2002 the small farm and marketing by the tenant netted $103,000 to the tenant farmer. The product was unprocessed fresh vegetables retail at the farmers markets or wholesale to the restaurants and groceries. Costs included wages, insurance, water (irrigation and sanitary), tractor, irrigation equipment, refrigerator truck, waxed boxes, seeds, manure and compost, bookkeeping, portapotty, and, of course, payment to the landlord. I would guess 5-6 FTE employees (more individuals but seasonal) besides the proprietor.

The "heirloom" vegetables are more perishable and flavorful that run of the mill corporate product. They also sold for a considerable higher price. Because of the intensity of farming, the per acre production was comparable or exceeded that of corporate farming with pesticides The vegetables were more perishable and also more attractive and flavorful than fresh vegetables available at the typical markets. The "heirloom" vegetables were also seasonal. There was a considerable wastage in produce that was flawed in appearance for market or returned unsold from farmers markets and this was used by the farmer and employees or given away locally and was in an amount that most ended up as compost.

One issue I had with the tenant was that he was by contract required to get the farm certified and maintain certification by the California Certified Organic Farmers Association and never did.


Yet during part of his tenancy he was an officer in the North Coast Growers Association. Some of the farmers at this site and another farm owned by my family were founding members of NCGA.


Links to US Central Command and CIA websites.

Here are two "official" sources about what is happening in the Middle East.



My gut feeling is that the recent Russian actions in Syria indicate a watershed moment of policy failure in the Middle East.

Friends of the S.S. United States Send Out a Last S.O.S.

Another article from the NY Times.

A Titanic-sized supership that once ferried presidents, Hollywood royalty, actual royalty and even the Mona Lisa has a place in the history books as the fastest oceanliner in the world. The owners are now racing to avoid having the ship, the S.S. United States, relegated to the junk heap.

A preservationist group, the S.S. United States Conservancy, saved the vessel from being scrapped a few years ago. Its members are working with a developer to give the mothballed vessel a new life as a stationary waterfront real-estate development in New York City, the ship’s home port in her heyday.

Their big dreams, however, now face a financial crisis: Short of money, the conservancy in recent days formally authorized a ship broker to explore the potential sale to a recycler. In other words, the preservationists might have to scrap their vessel.

It came down to hard numbers. The preservationists have struggled for years to raise the $60,000 a month it costs to dock and maintain the ship, known as the Big U, which is longer than three football fields and once sailed the Atlantic with three orchestras on board. A developer only recently started shaping plans to fill the ship with tenants, an undertaking of the kind that can stretch for years even when it is not this unusual.

More and pictures at:


US Pulls Spies from China After Hack

Source: CNN

The United States is pulling spies from China as a result of a cyberattack that compromised the personal data of 21.5 million government workers, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The U.S. suspects that Chinese hackers were behind the breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which exposed the fingerprints of 5.6 million government employees.

Because the stolen data includes records on State Department employees, the hackers could, by process of elimination, identify embassy personnel who are actually intelligence agents.

Employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency assigned to China are at risk of being exposed, U.S. intelligence officials determined in recent months. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CIA has pulled a number of officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

The hack is expected to have a major impact on U.S. national security, in part because the stolen data includes information from U.S. government forms used for security clearances, known as SF86 questionnaires.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/30/technology/china-opm-hack-us-spies/index.html?iid=ob_article_topstories_pool&iid=obnetwork

Woman, boyfriend file claim against Vallejo for calling abduction a hoax

Source: MSN / LA Times

Soon after Denise Huskins' boyfriend told the Vallejo Police Department that she had been abducted in late March, police officials called her disappearance part of a hoax.

More than two months later, in early June, the FBI arrested a Harvard-educated former attorney, Matthew Muller, 38, of Orangevale, Calif., in connection with Huskins' kidnapping.

Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, filed a legal claim Thursday against the city of Vallejo over what they call "false and unfair accusations" made by police that the couple faked the woman's kidnapping.

"Instead of focusing on finding the true perpetrator... and protecting the community from a violent predator, [police] instead intentionally destroyed the lives and reputations of these two innocent victims," the claim said.

Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/woman-boyfriend-file-claim-against-vallejo-for-calling-abduction-a-hoax/ar-AAerSAi?li=AAa0dzB

The woman was kidnapped and raped in a Vallejo home invasion.

She was released.

Vallejo PD called the crime a hoax.

The FBI arrested the perp.

The Vallejo PD still questioned if the crime a hoax.

There is great sickness and incompetence in our LE community.

Can someone sort out for me the "rebels" we support in Syria? Who are the refugees?

The factions I perceive within Syria:

1, Current government headed by Assad that are Alawite Shia heading Ba'athist secular government backed by Russians (who have a navy base at Tartus).

2. Rebels that are predominantly Sunni that are ISIS.

3. Rebels that are predominantly Sunni and are not ISIS such as the Free Syrian Army of defectors from Assad.

4. Kurdish nationalists that are primarily Sunni but also Shia and other religions that are the largest minority in Syria.

5. Various Christians, Druzes, other Syrian minorities that may or may not support Assad.

The rebels we are now trying to support are in faction #3 and we are more or less neutral towards factions #4 and #5.

Four years or so ago when the Syrian civil war started we showed acknowledged little separation between factions #2 and #3. Then and now our Sunni Arab allies from the GCC primarily back faction #2.

Turkey does not like the Kurdish nationals faction #4 nor factions #1 nor #2.

Assad and faction #1 probably had enough support to continue in power if there had not been outside influence during the period of the Arab Spring in the region.

France wants to bomb somebody, I assume faction #2.

Who are the refugees?

I assume that the refugees are from faction #5 but are dominated in number by primarily rural Sunnis who have loss their means of livelihood from drought and war. I imagine that there are some actors that think it great that the nations of Western Europe have problems because they accept the refugees.

According to the article we are having problems finding rebels, I assume from faction #3. Syria is a cluster fuck.

What am I missing? Am I correct about the refugees?

Who should we bomb?

Excellelent video of Valley Fire, fire update.


On Monday the spread of the 67,000-acre Valley fire 62 miles north of San Francisco was slowed by temperatures in the low 60s, relative humidity above 80 percent, and 0.01″ of rain that fell in the late afternoon, according to data from a weather station south of the fire in Calistoga.

CAL FIRE reported Tuesday morning that their latest damage assessment shows that 585 homes and hundreds of other structures have been destroyed. The surveys are continuing and the numbers will likely change in the coming days. Approximately 9,000 structures are threatened. Evacuations are still in place, affecting 23,000 people.

In addition to the homes that burned in Middletown and Cobb, a geothermal plant that produces electricity, The Geysers, was damaged. Five of the 14 plants were affected, including power lines and wooden cooling towers.

Air tankers have not worked the fire since Saturday, grounded by poor visibility caused by smoke and clouds. Tuesday’s weather is expected to make it possible to use them again. The forecast calls for a 35 percent cloud cover, a high temperature of 73 degrees, relative humidity in the 40s, and winds out of the west at 8 to 13 mph.

more and many pictures at link: http://wildfiretoday.com/2015/09/13/valley-fire-in-california-burns-40000-acres-in-less-than-24-hours/

Zappa Sy Borg

Tom Cruise movie crew members in plane crash that kills 2 in Colombia

(CNN)—A small plane carrying crew members from a Tom Cruise movie crashed Friday in foggy and cloudy conditions in the Colombian mountains, killing two people aboard, including a prominent Hollywood stunt pilot.

The crew members had just wrapped up work on the new film "Mena," Universal Pictures said in a statement.

"On behalf of the production, our hearts and prayers go out to the crew members and their families at this difficult time," the statement said.

Killed were Hollywood stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin and Carlos Brel, according to Colombia's Civil Aviation Authority.

Purwin wrote about working with Cruise two weeks ago, saying on his Instagram page that he was "pushing the envelope in every way. Working on a super interesting, true story film with Tom Cruise."

More at:


PS Would have posted in LBN but too old.
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