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Reader Selected News For Week Jan 18 – Jan 24

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

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This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 19th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Reader Selected News For Week Jan 18 – Jan 24”

  1. canary says:

    The National Review: Obama’s Half-Brother ‘Floored’ About President’s Lying About Meeting Him

    By Andrew Johnson – Jan 2, 2014

    Mark Obama Ndesandjo said he was surprised to hear his half-brother President Barack Obama say they had only recently met for the first time.

    “I was floored by it — I don’t know why he said it,” Ndesandjo said to Laura Ingraham, adding that he had met the president several times over the years and still isn’t sure what his motivation was for making the claim.

    “I think he was being president and was not being my brother,” Ndesandjo said.

    From their first meeting, which took place in the 1980s in Kenya, where he lived as an American ex-pat, Ndesandjo​ said both he and the president had different views: Ndesandjo was trying to distance himself from his father and his father’s name, while Obama was looking to further embrace his father’s roots.

    When Ingraham pointed out that Obama doesn’t spend very much time with his extended family and seems to prefer the company of celebrities such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé,

    Ndesandjo said she “had a point.


    Mark Obama Ndesandjo ‘Floored’ About The President’s Lying About Meeting Him
    January 18, 2014 by Allison Martinez

    Barack Obama’s half brother, Mark Obama Ndesandjo doesn’t understand why the President lied about meeting him. Barack Obama had said they had met only one time. Mark Obama Ndesandjo said that was not correct, that they had first met in 1988.

    His comments were on the Laura Ingraham on her show via telephone on January 2, 2014. In addition, he indirectly sheds some light on the authorship of Dreams from My Father, which is alleged to have been written by Barack Obama.

    The President is none too happy about the book.

    While not intending to do so, it shows how much Barack Obama has lied about his past and about his family.

    A partial transcript of the section of the interview is below:

    Mark Obama Ndesandjo: We are family. I see him as my brother, I don’t see him as the President most of the time. That is where the book actually comes from. Now I’ve had very intense meetings with him. Some have been very elating and very inspiring and some have been intense and disappointing …. I am really trying to be as honest as I can in my book, because I believe that it is important because it is history.

    Laura Ingraham: Why did he say he only met you once, you’ve met him on a number of occasions. Why once did he say he only met you?

    Mark Obama Ndesandjo: I heard that after the meeting we had in Beijing, and I can tell you I was floored by it — I don’t know why he said it.

    There is another half sibling with another mother living in a dirt hut in Kenya that he has spoken to like once I think.

    But your family not talking to you and not acknowledging you is, that is kind of tough.

    Mark Obama Ndesandjo: Well, the ironic thing is that meeting we had in 2008, which was one of the first we had in about 20-25 years, was actually one of the most elating experiences of my life.

    But I also think my brother has got tremendous pressures, and I hope that at some point, that my writing doesn’t alienate him. That is something we must do, because we owe it to ourselves and future generations….

    Mark Obama Ndesandjo has a forthcoming book that he wrote to correct the record.

    His book, Cultures, My Odyssey of Self Discovery, is something he wrote, not something someone else wrote for him.

    This sounds like an allusion to the claim by Jack Cashill and others that William Ayers wrote Dreams of My Father, and not Barack Obama.

    The book has an appendix that corrects Dreams of My Father

    It is unclear why Barack Obama would lie about his brother. Unlike other Presidential relatives that have plagued past presidents, he seems like a successful business man. He spends his time trying to help orphans around the world.



    Jan. 2, 2014 By Sharona Schwartz

    President Obama’s half-brother told an Israeli newspaper that when he first met Barack, he was struck by his sibling’s rejection of Western culture.

    “He was an American citizen on a journey in search of his African roots, while I was a resident of Kenya seeking to find his white roots.”

    “I remember that when I spoke with him about the heroes of Western culture he rolled his eyes impatiently.

    My feeling was that, here is an American who in many ways is trying to be a local Kenyan youth.

    This is something I tried to flee my entire life,” Ndesandjo said of the brothers’ first meeting in Kenya, which Obama described in his 1995 best-selling memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”

    The siblings have met since that first meeting in Kenya, including in 2007 before then-candidate Obama’s debate with rival Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    “A few months ago I asked him to contact his relatives in Kenya.

    I told him that even one phone call would propel them to the sky with such happiness, but he didn’t like what I asked, and that moment broke off the connection with me,” Ndesandjo said.

    Note that in Hebrew – the language in which the interview was published – the same word is used for “connection” and “relationship” so it’s unclear if Ndesandjo meant that his brother Barack cut off the telephone conversation or their relationship.

    “And yet, we were like two Siamese twins who looked in the direction of the other, and we were unable to see each other.”

    He also runs the Mark Obama Ndesanjo Foundation which promotes cultural exchanges between Asia, Africa and the U.S. and provides instruments and music teachers to needy children in China.

    When his parents divorced, Ndesandjo moved to the U.S. where he studied physics at Brown University and Stanford and earned an MBA from Emory University.

    Ndesandjo told Maariv he considers himself a member of the Jewish people: “I am a Jew not only because I have a Jewish mother but first and foremost because there exists in me great pride to be a part of the Jewish people. I feel great belonging to Jewish heritage, to Jewish culture, and to the Jewish philosophers.”


    In Dreams of Father Obama is jealous of his half-brother Mark because even though beaten by their father he grew up with him.

    So, Obama asks his half-brother to meet him at lunch, where Obama starts chewing his half-brother Mark for not sharing the dream of returning to Kenya after they graduate and follow in their father’s foot steps. So, basically Obama got irritated his half-brother did not share the dream to return to Kenya and make it a better country. Obama grudgingly makes a point of paying the bill even though it was he who invited the brother. He tells his half-brother he will keep contact with him, but to himself he has no intentions to contact his half brother because he isn’t following Obama plan to return to Kenya and make it better place. And of course Obama never did make his home country Kenya his home. He decided to stay in the US and pour his wrath.

  2. canary says:

    The Daily Caller: HOPE AND CHANGE: Obama uses racial politics to justify marijuana legalization

    Jan 20 2014

    President Barack Obama says he backs limited marijuana legalization because it could help reduce the number of African American and Hispanic men who are jailed for drug offenses.

    “African American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties,” Obama told the New Yorker’s top editor during a series of interviews published on Friday.

    The legalization efforts in Washington state and Colorado should be accepted and measured, Obama said.

    “It’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished,” he said.

    In 2012 state ballots, Colorado and Washington voters made marijuana consumption legal.

    Obama’s claim of a racial disparity likely stems from a 2013 assertion by the ACLU, in a report titled “The War on Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted onRacially Biased Arrests.”

    Enforcement of anti-marijuana laws has “had a staggeringly disproportionate impact on African Americans,” said the report.

    The report did not try to examine whether enforcement of other drug laws has resulted in disproportionate arrests of whites, blacks, Asians or Hispanics for other illegal drugs, such as amphetamine, cocaine or heroin, or for legal intoxicants, such as alcohol.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/20/hope-and-change-obama-uses-racial-politics-to-justify-marijuana-legalization/#ixzz2r0xwzSrD

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/20/hope-and-change-obama-uses-racial-politics-to-justify-marijuana-legalization/#ixzz2r0xlkGda

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/20/hope-and-change-obama-uses-racial-politics-to-justify-marijuana-legalization/#ixzz2r0xaoER8

  3. captstubby says:

    “global weirding,” ?

    Climate Change Might Just Be Driving the Historic Cold Snap
    Climate change skeptics are pointing to the record cold weather as evidence that the globe isn’t warming. But it could be that melting Arctic ice is making sudden cold snaps more likely—not less
    By Bryan Walsh Jan. 06, 2014 Time

    It’s polar bear weather today for much of the Midwest. Temperatures are in the -20sº F (-28º C) and -30sº F (-35º C) in eastern Montana, North Dakota, northeast South Dakota, Minnesota and northern Iowa. With the stiff wind, it’s even worse—wind chills in the -40sº F (-40º C) and -50sº F (-45º C) are common across Minnesota and North Dakota, cold enough for exposed skin to suffer frostbite in just five minutes. By tonight, the freeze will reach the East Coast, where temperatures from Florida to Maine are expected to be 30º F to 40º F (16º C to 22º C) degrees below normal, extremes that haven’t been seen in decades. The National Weather Service isn’t kidding when it calls the cold “life-threatening.”
    Unsurprisingly, the extreme cold has brought out the climate change skeptics, who point to the freeze and the recent snowstorms and say, essentially, “nyah-nyah.” Now this is where I would usually point to the fact that the occasional cold snap—even one as extreme as much of the U.S. is experiencing now—doesn’t change the overall trajectory of a warming planet. Weather is what happens in the atmosphere day to day; climate is how the atmosphere behaves over long periods of time. Winters in the U.S. have been warming steadily over the past century, and even faster in recent decades, so it would take more than a few sub-zero days to cancel that out.
    But not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles

    “The jet stream—the belt of fast-flowing, westerly winds that essentially serves as the boundary between cold northern air and warmer southern air—is driven by temperature difference between the northerly latitudes and the tropical ones. Some scientists theorize that as that temperature difference narrows, it may weaken the jet stream, which in turns makes it more likely that cold Arctic air will escape the polar vortex and flow southward. Right now, an unusually large kink in the jet stream has that Arctic air flowing much further south than it usually would.
    Still, this research is fairly preliminary, in part because extreme Arctic sea ice loss is a fairly recent phenomenon, so scientists don’t have the long data sets they need to draw more robust conclusions about the interaction between Arctic warming and cold snaps. In fact, the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that it was likely that the jet stream would shift towards the north as the climate warmed, and that the polar vortex would actually contract, even as a 2009 study found that sudden stratospheric warming events are becoming more frequent, which in turn seems to be driven by the rapid loss in Arctic sea ice.
    And while a muddle like that would seem to make the science less rather than more reliable, it’s actually one more bit of proof that climate change is real. Global warming is sometimes thought of more as “global weirding,” with all manner of complex disruptions occurring over time.”

    By Kerry Sheridan | AFP
    2013 another unusually warm year across globe, US says – Yahoo
    Last year was among a handful of the warmest on record since 1880,
    according to US government figures out Tuesday that provide more evidence that
    the planet is heating up.
    Unless current trends change, scientists said the world should expect each of
    the coming decades to be warmer than the last, said NASA climatologist Gavin
    He described the warming of the past few decades as “unusual,” and urged people
    not to judge whether climate change is happening or not based on random weather
    events like cold snaps.”
    “The long-term trends in climate are extremely robust,” he told reporters.
    A key difference between last year and other top years of the past decade is
    that 2013 had no El Nino effect to warm the equatorial region, a weather
    phenomenon that would have been expected to cause an uptick in global
    Forecasters say El Nino could return in 2014, with the potential to make this
    coming year even hotter than last.
    While most of the world experienced above-average annual temperatures, a few
    small regions in the central United States, eastern Pacific and South America
    were cooler than average, according to NOAA.
    “People have a very short memory when it comes to their own experience of
    weather and climate, and the only way that we can have a long-term assessment of
    what is going on is by looking at the data.”

    For First Time in 20 Years, Cold Records May Beat Warm

    Published: December 2nd, 2013
    With a large chunk of the U.S. having endured one of the coldest Thanksgiving holidays in years and even more brutally cold weather in the forecast over the next few days, 2013 is poised to have daily record lows outnumber daily record highs for the first time in 20 years.
    That’s a stark reversal from last year — the warmest year on record in the U.S.

    NOAA announced on Tuesday that 2012 was officially the warmest year on record in the contiguous 48 states, based on 118 years of temperature records dating back to 1895. While not every state set a record, more than one-third (19 states) recorded their warmest years, and three-quarters of the lower 48 states recorded their first-, second-, or third-hottest years on record. Ninety-five percent — 46 states — had one of their top 10 warmest years ever recorded, and even in the coolest state, Washington, 2012 was warmer than 72 percent of the years on record.
    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2012 had an average temperature of 55.3°F, which eclipsed 1998, the previous record holder, by 1°F. That was just off Climate Central’s calculation in mid-December, which projected an expected value of 55.34°F, based on historical data.
    The 1°F difference from 1998 is an unusually large margin, considering that annual temperature records are typically broken by just tenths of a degree Fahrenheit. In fact, the entire range between the coldest year on record, which occurred in 1917, and the previous record warm year of 1998 was just 4.2°F.
    “Climate change has had a role in this [record],” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. He said it isn’t clear yet exactly how much of the temperature record was due to climate change compared to natural variability, but that it’s unlikely such a record would have occurred without the long-term warming trend caused in large part by emissions of greenhouse gases.
    With 34,008 daily high temperature records set or tied the year compared to just 6,664 daily record lows — a ratio of about five high temperature records for every one low temperature record — 2012 was no ordinary weather year in the U.S.


    “not to judge whether climate change is happening or not based on random weather
    events like cold snaps.”

    2013 in Central and Southeast Illinois

    2013 started off rather mild, but then turned cool, and finished rather cold. Some of the most impactful events occurred well out of season, with the largest snowstorm of the year in late March, and the largest tornado outbreak in the middle of November. Despite having one of the wetter springs on record, which caused record flooding on many rivers, severe drought established itself again during the late summer and early fall.

    The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season was the first Atlantic hurricane season since 1994 to end with no major hurricanes, and the first since 1968 to feature no storms of at least category 2 intensity
    All major forecasting agencies predicted an above-average season.

    “It is a shame that almost everyone blames bad events such as
    floods, droughts, fish kills and heat waves on El Niño. El
    Niño is a good dude!”
    James O’Brien
    Center for Ocean Atmosphere
    Prediction Studies,
    Florida State University

    What’s the fact and what’s the hype?
    El Niño has been and continues to be the most widely publicized
    weather event this year. However, not all of the things you have
    heard are true. El Niño is a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere
    system in the tropical Pacific. El Niño is not caused by global
    warming and does not necessarily portend the coming of severe storms
    to Southern California this winter. On the contrary, El Niño can
    also cause droughts.
    Here’s how it works.
    Normally, trade winds blow from east to west causing a pile up
    of warm surface water in the west Pacific so that the sea surface is
    about 1/2 meter higher at Indonesia than at Ecuador. To replace the
    water that has been blown to the west, cold nutrient-rich water
    rises up from the depths along the coast of South America. This
    nutrient-rich water supports a diversity of marine life, and, in
    turn, supports the fisherman in South America.
    When an El Niño event takes place (every four years or so),
    these trade winds relax and the water that once “piled up” in the
    western Pacific, sloshes back towards the west, causing the end of
    the nutrient-rich upwelled coastal water (and thus a downturn in the
    fishing industry as well).
    Because of the close coupling of the ocean and the atmosphere,
    these changes in warm water also brings rainfall. This results in a
    wide variety of changes in global atmospheric changes, which forces
    weather changes in regions far removed from the tropical Pacific.
    For instance, the presence of El Niño reduces the number of
    hurricanes over in the Atlantic Ocean.

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