MH17 – Too Much Evidence Withheld

¬– Reader Supported News

MH17 Shoot-Down Mystery Deepens since July 17


“Black Boxes Show Shrapnel Destroyed Malaysia Airlines Plane, Ukraine Says”
That headline in the Wall Street Journal of July 28 creates the immediate false impression that there is new information: shrapnel destroyed plane! Before the headline is over, the WSJ begins backtracking – “Ukraine Says” ¬– a reference that yellow-flags a less than credible source. As the story continues, it reveals that there’s no actual news here, starting with the sub-head: “Older Flight Recorders on Plane Likely to Provide Limited Data” – so is there reliable data or not? Then the story reverses direction again, with this riddle-filled lede:

MOSCOW—Ukrainian authorities said Monday that data retrieved from the black boxes aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 showed the plane was destroyed by “massive explosive decompression” caused by shrapnel from a missile.

Moscow? Nothing about the story relates to Moscow, except perhaps the location of the reporter. He does not say where the “Ukrainian authorities” are, and identifies only one: “Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.” The reporter says Lysenko “revealed” the evidence of a missile explosion, although there is little possibility Lysenko has any direct knowledge of the black box contents, since the black boxes have never been in the possession of Ukraine officials.
Continue reading MH17 – Too Much Evidence Withheld

Weekend Jukebox: Laid Back

The Eagles


or Jimmy Buffett

Friday Cat Blogging: Math!

Continue reading Friday Cat Blogging: Math!

Gloom and Doom

I’ve been accused of being a doomer. Perhaps.

Allow me to state my case. I fully expect my argument to anger some of you. (Wonder how many Facebook “friends” will disappear? Oh well…)


Continue reading Gloom and Doom

Today, I Am the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth

No, I’m not dying…well, not yet. A series of events have conflued and I am able to take an extended sabbatical from all forms of wage-earning to pursue some things in my personal and artistic life. I anticipate at least a month off, but more likely, I will be off work until the end of the year.

It’s a beautiful opportunity to write, shoot photos, dive and vacation, and release some of the stress that working some 40 years (since sophomore year of college) has built into my body. Mostly, I get to clean up the rat hole I live in and ride my bike to boot.

I’m excited and terrified, at the same moment. This is now on me. I don’t have a boss to complain about – the Bag of Salted Rat Dicks was fired, altho his tenure will outlast mine, but only by dint of some legal wrangling on his part – and while I don’t have a routine, I have to put one into place until I’m comfortable being busy doin’ nothin’, as the old Beach Boys tune put it.

As events have unfolded over the past four months, it seems more and more likely that I picked the perfect opportunity to walk out, because my suspicion is I would eventually have been carried out on my shield.

I paid attention, and the world told me what to do, is the message.

I’ll still be blogging, perhaps even more frequently and at more places. One cannot tell these things in advance. My first adventure awaits in two weeks, and then the looking glass is entered upon my return.

Wish me luck, gang!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off To War MEE Go!

Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests..

(Palmerston, who was no slouch when it came to Imperialism).

Let’s examine the evidence:

  1. Middle East in Chaos
  2. US Pushing NATO to Russian Borders
  3. US Oil & Gas Production rising sharply
  4. Russia major energy supplier to Europe & China
  5. Middle East Oil Production at or past peak

This is a theory, constructed to fit the set of facts listed, and to try to provide an Hypothesis which meets the facts, explains the US’ behavior, lists the possible outcomes and discusses the probabilities of those outcomes.

It’s about “MEE”: Money, Energy and, Empire.
Continue reading Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off To War MEE Go!

Oil Bombs

This is an interesting link about the growing presence of oil tank cars routed through your backyard.

North Carolina recently voted to permit fracking (and its attendant secrecy) after a panel presents regulatory recommendations.

I hope (but seriously doubt) they know anything about railroad safety and the movement of oil. They need to see this. Maybe you do too.

UN against War Crimes, US not so much

– Reader Supported News
Carte Blanche for War Crimes Passes Senate Unanimously
U.S. alone in vote against investigation of crimes against humanity

Is there any doubt that Israelis and Palestinians have been committing war crimes and crimes against each other’s humanity for decades?

Objectively, that seems to be a plain fact, with particular relevance to Israel, whose existence was made possible by, among other things, acts of terror. Nowadays Israel objects, with no apparent sense of irony, when Palestinians seeking their own state also resort to acts of terror. Terrorism is a tactic of the relatively weak (as is non-violence) that sometimes seems to produce the desired result, as did Irgun’s bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 that left 91 dead.

Continue reading UN against War Crimes, US not so much

Russia Will Only Get Worse. Maybe.

Putin is on the horns of a dilemna. For the first time since the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Russia faces a severe economic crisis – after enjoying years of relative prosperity – and she has a warmongering chief executive. This is a nexus of events that will shape and define Russia for at least the next decade.

Continue reading Russia Will Only Get Worse. Maybe.

Ebola : alert level increasing.

The popular version inducing fear

A MAN collapses at an international airport: It’s a hackneyed scene from almost every plague film ever made. But now it has happened — airports around the world are on high alert as fears mount that the deadly Ebola virus is on the move.

Nigerian health authorities are racing to stop the spread of the flesh-eating Ebola virus after a man sick with one of the world’s deadliest diseases carried it by plane to Lagos, Africa’s largest city with 21 million people.

Nigeria is so concerned it has ordered the establishment of “disease isolation centres” at international airports across the country to prevent any further entry of the untreatable disease.

But the horse may have already bolted.

cont at link. My son notes that “Not the most trusted news source, would be interested in what others think about it…” :D

Latest from WHO.

Panic inducing notes from Nursing World Nigeria:- hattip Sue from Canada.

Although unlikely airborne transmission is possible.

Middle History

Whereas the novelist creates characters to drive his narrative and arranges plot steps into a dramatic arc toward some sort of resolution, the historian is given his characters and tries to find a plausible narrative to support an unfolding record of events and outcomes. He searches the record to identify the circumstance, interpret the motive.

It might seem like an “objective” pursuit, but there is a built-in bias.

Historians value history because they believe the forgetters of history are the condemned repeaters. They usually acknowledge the companion idea that the “winners” in history also record it for posterity’s “losers”. The temptation is strong, therefore, to construct a dramatic narrative to make history both purposeful and instructive. Put another way, history is often told as a story organized to make a point.
Continue reading Middle History

Who Shot Down MH17 over Ukraine?

– Reader Supported News

U.S. Government Backs Some War Crimes, Not Others
Ukriane Plane Photo Gallery
Are Ukraine and Gaza both part of the same war?

The same day that Israeli tanks crossed into Gaza, to continue killing civilians and the occasional Hamas fighter, MSNBC decided to ignore the Israeli invasion in favor of wall-to-wall coverage of the presumed shoot-down of Malaysian Airliner MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Why would MSNBC make a choice that looks so much like propaganda?

The last time the Israelis invaded Gaza, in 2009, more than 100 Palestinians died for each Israeli killed. The 13 dead Israelis were soldiers on the attack, the 1,400-plus dead Palestinians were mostly civilians with nowhere safe to go. That hasn’t changed much.
Continue reading Who Shot Down MH17 over Ukraine?

Field School Update #3

Monday begins the fourth and final week of the Belize archeology field school. This has been an enormous amount of hard work. On Monday my digging technically ended. I am now in the lab analyzing the enormous hoard of ceramics we excavated. As I know nothing of Mayan ceramics it’s been a crash course in analysis and learning. I can now distinguish between Mt. Maloney Late Classic I and II and Terminal. Add to that some Belize Red Ash Ware, a boatload of Cayo unslipped (huge elegantly curved jars) the occasional Alexander’s Unslipped, Dolphin Head Red, Garbutt Creek and a few other and I’m actually learning.

On the last active day of digging our efforts were interrupted when a troupe of Howler Monkeys came in to inspect what we were doing. There were eight of them, just swinging around in the trees right above our excavated units, tossing poop and peeing where ever they wanted to. One almost pissed on my dig partner. He’s a douche and would have deserved it.

Random thoughts: having spent the better part of three weeks looking inside the innards of a Mayan pyramid I am not terribly impressed with their architectural prowess. It’s very rudimentary and ad hoc. On the medial terrace we were excavating, we were looking for and found what they call ‘construction pins’ which serve as a kind of support pier to keep the downward thrust of the pyramid from imploding. They do what they are supposed to do and have held up well. But as architecture goes they’re ugly and asymmetrical. That’s the weird thing about Mayan pyramids, or any city/group structure in general: they are accretive. Few were built in just one building spree like contemporaneous works, take the Samanid mausoleum for example. Elegant, symmetrical and nothing ad hoc about it.

One thing I am aware of every time I dig here in Belize is that the Mayans had no metal weapons, nor did they have beasts of burden like the horse. This had a lot to do with the construction techniques they employed. There are no large dressed stones like the pyramids in Egypt. Every stone in this pyramid could have been carried by one man. And the labor that went into their construction?

The heat is abominable. I am going to sleep in a refrigerator when I return home. The humidity is terrible too.

It’s been an interesting experience, alas, what little curiosity I had in the Maya has been fully satisfied. I’m a desert guy. Jungles are too hot, have too many bugs and are way too loud. There is never any silence in the jungle. Not like that you find in the desert for sure.

You can find the photos and videos of the Howler Monkey invasion here.


You Gotta WATCH This One…,

yeah…, the transcripts of Moyers is usually enough…, and I usually don’t watch the “web extras”…, but I did tonight. I have never seen Moyers as worked up or agitated as this. I thought he was ready to throttle the guy…, I would have.

Moyers Takes on a “Compassionate” Conservative

Full Show: The Conscience of a Compassionate Conservative
July 25, 2014

Politicians in Washington, DC, seem to have stopped talking — and listening — to their colleagues across the aisle, contributing to our virtually deadlocked Congress. While Washington appears to have stopped their conversations, Bill decided to start a new one.

This week he speaks with the American Enterprise Institute’s president Arthur C. Brooks, whose political views in large measure differ from his own, on how to fight America’s widening inequality.

Brooks says that despite the heated rhetoric of the far right, the compassionate conservatism once touted by George W. Bush isn’t dead. It’s alive and well at the conservative AEI, where Brooks became president in 2009. Residing now at the top of the conservative pecking order in Washington, Brooks advises Republican leaders in Congress and spreads AEI’s message to a wider audience. His specialty, as Newsweek describes it, is “translating ideas from policy speak into soaring moral prose.” One of his key ideas: The endgame of free enterprise is not to preserve wealth but to create opportunity for the poor.

“Republicans could come screaming out of the gate going forward and say, ‘We’re the ones who will fight for the poor. We’re the ones who will fight for workers,’” Brooks tells Bill. “You might not agree with what we’re gonna– how we’re gonna do it, but let me tell you, you will not doubt what’s on our hearts.”

Moyers presses Brooks on why companies like Target, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart don’t pay a living wage to their employees who then have to rely on public programs to support themselves – in Walmart’s case, about $4,000 per worker. Brooks argues the market doesn’t support higher wages and agrees that the country needs public policies that make work profitable for workers.

TGIF- Friday catblogging