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Friday, June 23, 2017

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Oscillating Ozzie 1953

North Korea Is A Dangerous Place To Visit

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/insider/dangerous-exploits-otto-warmbier-and-the-risks-of-travel-to-north-korea.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Finsider&action=click&contentCollection=insider&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

India To Be The Most Populous Country By 2050

Growing, and Growing

The world’s population will increase from today’s 7.6 billion people to 9.8 billion by 2050, as India surpasses China as the world’s most populous country and Nigeria eclipses the US for the number three spot.
Half of the world’s population growth over the intervening period will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the US, Uganda and Indonesia, Al Jazeera cited a new United Nations report as saying.
India will overtake China, which currently has a population of 1.4 billion, as early as 2024, the report said. Meanwhile, the populations of some 26 African countries will “at least double” by 2050.
NPR notes that around 800 million people already go to bed hungry around the world, mostly because a third of the food produced across the globe goes to waste. That’s enough to feed the entire 800 million with some left over. But the prospect of adding a full 2 billion more people raises serious questions about what it will take to feed them – and the environmental damage the effort will require.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trump's War Plan For North Korea

 Trump needs a war to draw attention away from his other problems. (it appears that Flynn is already cooperating with the FBI). You have been to South Korea and understand the people, etc. Trump will freeze the money in Chinese banks. He will let General Mattias plan the attack. If I was the general I would do the following:

1) Two primary goals are to protect Seoul and prevent the firing of a nuclear or chemical-biological weapon on South Korea,Japan, and US bases in the Pacific. He has an Ohio-class submarine in place with nuclear-armed cruise missiles. That submarine will fire nukes at the mountains facing the DMZ to take out the artillery positions. Tactical nukes will hit all nuclear weapons facilities, North Korea Air Force bases and naval facilities. The other Ohio-Class submarine on patrol near North Korea with the very deadly Trident missiles will be on "ready to fire" status. Trump will got to DefCon 2. He will warn North Korea to stop now or the large and very deadly nuclear weapons will be employed.

2) All sorts of efforts will be made to kill Kim Jun Un and his management team. Massive cyber attacks will be unleashed on North Korea.

3) Trump and his management team will take cover in the shelters out in the countryside.

4) Seriously look for a declaration of marshal law from Trump.

"High Noon" In North Korea

FINAL SHOWDOWN

High Noon in North Korea: Is Trump Ready for War?

Pushed by the horrific death of Otto Warmbier, Trump has begun America’s final campaign to disarm North Korea. Will it involve going after Chinese banks—or war with Kim?


The horrific death of Otto Warmbier looks like it forced the hand of President Trump.
A day after the 22-year-old student passed away, the American leader, in what may end up as the world’s most consequential tweet, signaled that the United States will soon act on its own to disarm North Korea.
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“While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out,” Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “At least I know China tried!”
The announcement, considered in the context of Trump’s other comments on the subject, appears ominous. Trump on April 11 said America would defang North Korea by itself if China did not do so. “North Korea is looking for trouble,” he tweeted then. “If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
On Tuesday, Trump in effect declared it was time for the U.S. to act on its own.
Many had assumed that Trump would wait until at least the middle of July before going after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Japanese newspapers reported that the American leader at the early April Mar-a-Lago summit gave his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, 100 days—until July 16—to deal with Pyongyang. That timeframe, by the way, matched up with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s “100-day action plan” on trade, announced at the end of the Trump-Xi meeting.
Yet the outrage over the brutalization of Warmbier looks like it accelerated Trump’s timetable.
Now the administration will have to act. What will it do?
There are many “non-kinetic” options. The most effective of them restrict the flow of funds to the Pyongyang regime. The U.S. can, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested Tuesday, prevent Americans from traveling to North Korea. The administration can also tighten sanctions on the North. Moreover, it can do a far better job of enforcing existing measures designed to stanch the flow of funds into Kim regime coffers.
All of these measures would help, of course, but the big flows of cash to North Korea originate from China or pass through Chinese financial institutions. Bank of China, one of China’s “Big Four” banks, was named in a recent U.N. panel report for its active participation in a conspiracy to hide illicit money transfers for North Korea.
Chinese banks in the border city of Dandong have regularly handled funds for suspicious transactions involving the North.
And Chinese banks were almost certainly involved in the February 2016 cybertheft of $81 million from the account of the central bank of Bangladesh at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. U.S. officials think North Korea was the mastermind but that Chinese middlemen helped “orchestrate the theft.” If Chinese middlemen orchestrated, Chinese banks were almost certainly participants in the crime.
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So to starve Pyongyang into disarming, Trump will have to go after China.
He already has the tools to do so. By doing nothing more than enforcing U.S. law, Trump could put Chinese banks out of business by denying them access to their dollar accounts in New York.
Trump administration officials, to their credit, have talked about unplugging Chinese banks, but there is no indication they have now summoned the considerable political will necessary to act.
The failure to summon political will to impose costs on China means Trump, if he honors his promise to disarm North Korea, will eventually have to resort to “kinetic” options, perhaps soon.
Eric Bolling will not be surprised if Trump uses force. “It may be time for a preemptive strike,” the Fox News anchor, obviously angered by the North’s treatment of Warmbier, said Monday on air.
Is war really the next step? Perhaps so, if for no other reason than the Kim regime has looked unstable for some time. If it is in fact unstable, it will not be able to deal with the international community in good faith. If it cannot deal with the international community in good faith, the chances for any negotiated settlement with the Trump administration appear slim.
Warmbier is the first detained American civilian known to have been killed by the North Koreans. His killing suggests, among other things, that something is wrong in Pyongyang. Kim Jong Un, at the very least, now looks reckless and dangerous.
So any decision by Trump to use force could trigger history’s next great conflict. Decisions on North Korea are about to become extraordinarily consequential.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trump Bringing Jobs Back To America???????

Trump made a big deal, and Ford let him, about him causing Ford to cancel a plant in Mexico.
However, it was part of Ford's plan all along.

Next Ford Focus will be imported from China


Newly-minted Ford CEO Jim Hackett hasn't been on the job long, but he's already signed off on a major manufacturing decision: the next Ford Focus will be imported to the United States from China.

The original plan was to import the car, due next year, as a 2019 model, from a new plant in Mexico. The current Focus is sourced from Ford's plant in Wayne, Michigan for the U.S.

Ford was going to build a $1.8 billion plant in Mexico to produce small cars, but the plant's location was ultimately changed to China. By exporting the next Focus from China, Ford is estimated to save $500 million, Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations at Ford, told Reuters.

It's not necessarily less expensive to ship a car from China than Mexico, but Ford saves millions by foregoing the Mexican plant. The Chinese plant was already scheduled to start production of the next Focus.



"This was not a variable cost decision," Hinrichs explained. "It allows us to free up a lot of capital."

Discussions to move future Focus production from Mexico to China began a couple months ago under ex-CEO Mark Fields, Hinrichs said. On the political front, the capital saved in the decision outweighs the potential cost of a border tax imposed by the Trump administration, he added.

Ford reiterated no U.S. jobs will be impacted by the decision to move Focus production to China—the Wayne assembly plant will instead gear up to build the new Ranger and Bronco. As more Americans continue to skip small cars like the Focus, the segment has become less profitable.

The next Ford Focus RS will likely still come from Germany, just like the current model, but the days of an American-made Focus will be long gone.

Monday, June 19, 2017

More Damning Evidence That US Is Directly Backing Al Qaeda-Linked Groups

More Damning Evidence That the U.S. Is Directly Backing Al Qaeda-Linked Groups

Qatar's former prime minister admits the U.S. and its Gulf allies backed Salafi jihadists in Syria.
:
Qatar’s former prime minister admitted in an interview that the United States and its Gulf allies supported Islamist extremists in Syria.
In CIA-run training sites located in Jordan and Turkey, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani explained, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Qatar, “all of us, we [were] supporting the same groups,” he said. Among them were extremists, al-Thani noted.
This testimony adds to the growing body of evidence that the U.S. government and its proxies backed hard-line Salafi-jihadists in order to weaken the Syrian government and its allies Iran and Hezbollah.
Qatar has recently come under fire by the U.S. and Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have condemned the country for its support of Islamist groups.
U.S. officials have internally acknowledged that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar aided ISIS and al-Qaeda, but in a diplomatic fracas, Qatar has become a scapegoat for the spread of violent extremism. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have suspended political and economic ties with Qatar and imposed a de facto blockade on the tiny country.
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who served as Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister until 2013, sat down for a June 12 interview with Charlie Rose to discuss the crisis. 
"What is the reason for this coming now?" Rose asked. “Questions have been raised about how much funding Qatar has done to some of the Islamic groups in Syria.” (The exchange begins at 7:30 in the video, which is embedded below.)
“In Syria, everybody did mistakes, including your country,” al-Thani replied.
When the war began in Syria, he went on, “all of us worked through two operation rooms: one in Jordan and one in Turkey.”
In Jordan, al-Thani continued, “There was countries, some of the GCC countries, among them the Saudis, the Emiratis, Qatar, United States, and other allies. And they [were] working from there. And all of us, we [were] supporting the same groups. In Turkey we did the same.” 
The former Qatari prime minister was referring to the U.S. government’s Operation Timber Sycamore, a covert CIA program in which thousands of militants were trained to fight to try to topple the Syrian government.
At its peak, the CIA was spending $1 billion per year training and arming what it claimed were “moderate” Syrian rebels — $1 of every $15 in its entire budget, according to documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Eventually, al-Thani said in the interview, it became clear that some of the armed groups “have other agenda, and we always eliminate them one by one.”
The U.S. also "supported the wrong groups sometimes," he emphasized to Rose. "It doesn’t mean that we did not do something wrong there.”
In one such example, Nour al-Din al-Zinki, a former “moderate” rebel group vetted by the CIA and armed with U.S. anti-tank weapons, joined a rebranded Syrian al-Qaeda-led coalition.
Growing Body of Evidence
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani’s comments are further substantiated by large amounts of evidence.
A 2014 email from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, citing U.S. government intelligence, states that American allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported ISIS in Syria.
In a speech at Harvard University in 2014, former Vice President Joe Biden also admitted that close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey had intentionally supported Islamist extremists in Syria.
“They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?" he asked. “They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world."
Turkey played a double game with ISIS, allowing thousands of Salafi-jihadists from around the world to cross its border into Syria to join the genocidal militant group. Biden added that his “old friend” Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told him, “You were right; we let too many people through. Now we are trying to seal the border.”
In 2013, former CIA director Mike Morell admitted that Syria's al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and the extremist group Ahrar al-Sham were "the two most effective organizations on the battlefield," and "moderate members of the opposition joined forces with them to fight the Syrians.” Yet weapons and support continued flowing in from the U.S. and its allies.
Moreover, a declassified 2012 document from the Defense Intelligence Agency shows that just over one year into the conflict, the U.S. government knew "Salafi[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The DIA report added that these rebel groups were likely to create a "Salafist principality in eastern Syria,” in the area ISIS eventually took over, “and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."
Despite this clear understanding, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey poured billions of dollars into the Syrian opposition, empowering these Salafi-jihadist groups.
The Qatar Controversy
The U.S. government’s acknowledgement that Qatar has supported Islamist extremist groups has not stopped the arms deals from continuing — suggesting that the longtime U.S. policy of using Salafi-jihadist groups to destabilize its enemies will continue.
On June 14, just days after Donald Trump castigated Qatar over its funding of extremist groups, the U.S. president signed a $12 billion deal to transfer F-15QA fighter jets to the country. This was part of a larger $21 billion U.S. arms package with Qatar.
The primary point of dispute in the conflict in the Gulf is over Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt strongly oppose the Muslim Brotherhood and consider it a terrorist organization.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which see Iran as their mortal enemy, have also accused Qatar of being too close to Iran, but Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani strongly rejected this claim.
"Qatar supporting Iran is a big joke," the former prime minister said in the interview with Charlie Rose. If Qatar and Iran were supposedly close allies, he added, “we would not fight with them in Syria.”
With Iran, Qatar has “a normal relation,” al-Thani stressed. He noted that other Middle Eastern countries have even larger economic ties with Iran than Qatar does.
Qatar is technically a constitutional monarchy, although there are few checks and balances on the absolute authority of the royal family.
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani is often referred to with the abbreviation HBJ. He was made foreign minister in 1992, and prime minister in 2007. A billionaire notorious for spending large amounts of money on luxury items like a $100 million New York City penthouse, he was one of the scores of politicians mentioned in the Panama Papers.
Though tiny, Qatar has enormous oil reserves, which have made it the richest country in the world, per capita. As al-Thani explained, it has used its vast wealth to punch above its weight on the international stage, including by backing some of the Middle East’s more unsavory actors.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Remembering My Father On Father's Day

Remembering My Father On Father''s Day:
My father left us in January of 1976 at age 60. He has been gone for 41 years but isn't forgotten
What stands out about my dad aside from the fact that he was a loving and a devoted father?
Most important to me is that he never taught my sister and I to be racists. For him, each person was not judged on the basis of gender, skin color, religion, political ideology, sexual orientation etc. Rather a person was to be judged on the basis of their character, talents, and personality. Over the decades I have worked around the world, Being in international business I had to deal with people of many races, religions, etc. Dad's teachings made the difference between success and failure for me in life.
I give equal weight to the fact that my father loved the United States. He believed that it was the only country in the world where one could begin life in abject poverty and go on to great success. Abraham Lincoln was always his hero. Dad joined the Texas National Guard in 1936 at age 21. In 1940, well before the US entered World War II, dad transferred to the regular US Army. Dad's first combat assignment was in 1942 on the island of New Herbides. He fought valiantly against fanatic Japanese soldiers.He caught malaria and the disease haunted him for the rest of his life.
Dad could have used his illness to obtain a medical discharge. Instead he recovered and was sent to General Patton's Third Army. He landed on Normandy Beach 6 days after D-Day. He was the commander of a self-propelled artillery tank. He rode with General Patton across France and into Belgium. He fought valiantly in the Battle of the Bulge where some 80,000-100,000 American soldiers were either killed, wounded or missing. Dad went into Germany. He was with General Patton on the day that Patton walked through a German death camp. (Dad could only talk about this day when he was drunk.) He ended the war in what was then known as Czechoslovakia. His unit met up with Russian soldiers. All of the men from both sides got along famously despite the differences of language and culture.
Dad was discharged from the US Army in 1946. He was 31 years old. At a somewhat advanced age, he started his life over. He married my mother and we two kids came along.
Dad was always a loving and a caring father. He didn't believe in hitting children. He devoted so much time to each of us, He developed emphysema from smoking. The rest of his life was a battle against violent coughing spasms and deep pain. He fought to stay employed so that our family would survive.
Dad you're always remembered with great love and admiration.

The CBS Evening News Is Losing A Great Man!

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/scott-pelley-signs-off-cbs-evening-news-1202469343/

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hardly-Noticed-South Africa's Brilliant Film Industry!

I spent 5 years of my life in South Africa. Every now and then television would produce some great shows including Snitch-the best series on nuclear terrorism anywhere in the world. The movies were never brilliant. Then I saw Shepherds and Butchers about the death penalty in South Africa and a murder case. At age 68.5 the film touched my heart. I rate it as one of the best 10 films that I have seen in my life. I was amazed at how good the film was. I was amazed that South Africa could pull such a thing off! Then I found out why:

SA film sector creates 21 000 jobs, contributes R5.4bn to GDP

Jun 16 2017 07:52 Lameez Omarjee
Large machinery on either side of the auditorium is used in the 4DX cinema to provide wind, sound and other effects. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – South Africa's local film industry is becoming a serious economic player, having contributed R5.4bn to the gross domestic product (GDP) during the 2016/17 financial year.
This is according to an Economic Impact Assessment study commissioned by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). The findings were released on Wednesday, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“We are not just here to entertain and influence society. We are here to contribute to economic growth in this country… We do not always want to be a sector begging for soft money,” said Zama Mkosi, chief executive of the NFVF.
The research was commissioned by the NFVF to create an understanding of the business of film and to ultimately help shape policy direction and strategy for the sector, explained Mkosi. “We want to show the film industry is a significant contributor to the economy of this country.”
The current study follows on from the baseline study conducted in 2013, which shows the film industry contributed R3.5bn to GDP. During the 2016/17 financial year, the film industry generated production worth R12.2bn.
For every R1 invested, it resulted in a multiplier effect of 4.9 jobs created. Over 21 000 jobs were created, the study showed.
“We want the film sector to be taken seriously, with investors clamouring over us to fund the projects we want to make,” said Mkosi.
Government remains the primary funder of projects through the Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Trade and Industry. However, there is increasing interest and investment by the private sector.
For the industry to grow and be sustainable, we can’t have the majority of the funding be from government, said Mkosi. 
Chika Chitambala, senior development economist at Urban Econ, which conducted the study, explained that government funding has been slightly declining and private funding has been increasing. “The government sector still remains the biggest funder,” she said.
Private sector funding increased at a 52% compounded annual growth rate, while the government funding increased 11% on a compounded annual growth rate.
The study showed that feature films and documentaries are the largest segments of the sector (27.3%). Animation is the smallest sector (3%) mainly because there is a lack of technology and skills to produce this content, explained Chitambala. The remainder of the sector is dominated by TV series and TV films.
Film industry segments


Film operations have been concentrated in the Gauteng province at over 55%. This is followed by the Western Cape with almost 25% of activity and KwaZulu-Natal, just under 10%. Filming activity is picking up in Limpopo, also just under 10%.
The remaining provinces, including North West, the Free State and Mpumalanga, have film activity taking place, however this activity is not income-generating, explained Chitambala.
Film activity across provinces in South Africa


Infrastructure development
Mkosi explained that there should be more investment, by government and the private sector to develop infrastructure in other provinces to shoot films. Once there is existing infrastructure, then the industry won’t have to “parachute” from the dominant provinces to shoot films.
“Most films which account for economic development in Gauteng are shot in those other provinces,” she said.
The study recommended that the film sector must focus on transformation as well as skills development among black film makers.

Mkosi explained that there were opportunities for entrepreneurs within the industry, not necessarily as directors or producers, but to provide other services such as accommodation and food for film makers. “There are gaps that can be tapped into.”

Actress Florence Masebe, who was part of a panel discussion, explained that another problem in the industry is that there aren’t enough exhibition platforms to make film accessible to South Africans. “We need to create different spaces to display South African film,” she said.

These audiovisual centres could be similar to the Fan Parks created during the 2010 FIFA World Cup where games were screened. Further, viewings could be hosted in community halls.

Masebe recalled a time where mobile screens were trucked into communities and were sponsored by businesses like Unilever. “We can go back to those models and see if they still work for South Africa.”


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