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Selected News For The Week July 7 – July 13

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    This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 6th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

    12 Responses to “Selected News For The Week July 7 – July 13”

    1. canary says:

      AP: California OKs funding for high-speed rail line

      Judy Lin – July 6 2012

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

      The move marked a major political victory for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration. Both have promoted bullet trains as job generators and clean transportation alternatives.

      “No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement applauding the legislative vote.

      The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $4.5 billion in voter-approved bonds that includes $2.6 billion to build an initial 130-mile stretch of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. That will allow the state to collect another $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.

      “The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again,” Brown said in a statement. .

      The first segment of the line will run from Madera to Bakersfield. The final cost of the completed project from Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $68 billion.

      “It’s unfortunate that the majority would rather spend billions of dollars that we don’t have for a train to nowhere than keep schools open and harmless from budget cuts,” Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, said in a statement.

      “This is a courageous step forward for California’s future,” said its president and CEO, Jim Wunderman.

      The bill now allocates a total of $1.9 billion in bonds for regional rail improvements in Northern and Southern California. The upgrades include electrifying Caltrain, a San Jose-San Francisco commuter line, and improving Metrolink commuter lines in Southern California.

      Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is managing the project, said California would have lost billions of dollars in federal aid if the Senate fails to pass the bill before adjourning Friday for a monthlong recess. California entered a contract that called for the federal government to provide money for building the Central Valley segment if the state also put up its share, he said.

      California was able to secure more federal aid than expected after Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin turned down money.


      • Anonymoose says:

        Has anything having to do with rail taken off in the US? Don’t get me wrong, I think trains area valid means of transportation, but why built if there’s no money and no demand.

      • Chase says:

        CA voted on this in order to secure federal funding that would have gone away? In other words, more re-distribution of our money to a state with a Moonbeam for Governor, and lots of electoral votes that might be bought for the promise of a few (union) jobs. Business as usual. Where are our representatives in Congress who put up this funding for the highest bidders? And if it isn’t to be used in States where applied for or granted, then cancel it out, return the monies to general funds, and don’t allow for shifting to the most erratic or spurious ends.

      • canary says:

        California is also getting federal stimulus money from the states that gave theirs back. Strings attached, projects end in the state couldn’t afford and didn’t need. Strings attached.

        Even China has halted their bullet trains, wrecks, costs. No doubt we’ll be getting used parts from China.
        Let’s see if Nancy Pelosi take the train.

    2. Anonymoose says:


      DHS Labels Liberty-Lovers as Potential Terrorists

      “It defines “right-wing” as one who “believes that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” It states that right-wing terrorists include those who revere liberty and are suspicious of a centralized government.”

      It’s nice to know that our tax dollars go to creating a report that might as well have been written in 1995 under Clinton about militias. Two things really get me; one is are they even making a difference between a “terrorist” and someone who is legitimately concerned about the course of the country? Or is the only Hope-n-Change allowed Obama’s?

      Second–how many right wing terrorists make the news for mass murders, bombings, and the like? Their behavior is defensive and tends more to run to the hills and hole up. More often the government goes after them for weapons violations and not paying taxes. So really, who is the greater threat? Them, or left wingers like The Weathermen or the Symbionese Liberation Army?

      Lastly, this is notable, “…..one third of all terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2008 took place in five metropolitan counties run by Democrats.”

    3. Anonymoose says:


      China’s Ghost Cities

      Produced by an Australian current affairs program, this is something everyone should be aware of. China is building enormous cities at the rate of 10 a year, able to hold up to half million people, and is even building them in places like Africa. The trouble is they’re EMPTY, no one is living in them!

      Two different theories seem to be popular about this. One is that it’s part of China’s plan to take over the world; stop the one child per couple program, lead a massive population boom, and that’s it. The trouble with this is you build cities last, you want first want more factories roads, and power plants–and you don’t want to waste time on letting things sit, build them as needed.

      The second is it’s a way of “storing wealth,” that China has so much money now they’re investing it in cities. I don’t buy this either–to invest in wealth you buy foreign companies or assets like natural resources–stuff you can put to use for you when you need it, or sell if things go bad. Cities have to be powered and maintained, and apartments selling for $100-300,000 aren’t much good is the buyer is in New York and the apartment is in Mongolia.

      Here’s what I think is going on: China has only allowed private ownership of homes and land since the 1990’s. There has been a big boom in real estate in general in places like Beijing–lots of farmers and poor people have been displaced by housing for the new wealthy.

      OK, but China is also still a very centralized country, where people hide a lot of things to save face and honesty takes a back seat to honor and pride. The government wants this big growth to continue, and dictates it to the bureaucrats. The local politicians want this growth to also keep going, and so do these semi-capitalists who are making lots of money all of a sudden.

      Leaders dictate what they want to see, followers fall over themselves to make it happen. So what do they do? Copy the success of South China and assume it will work for them, with hardly any thought of demand for these new cities. It’s probably that simple–build it and assume they will come.

      Much like Obama and the Democrat’s Keynesian economics have brought us to the brink of disaster with spending, and the credit default swaps brought down the real estate market here by selling million dollar homes to people who could barely afford them, and then marketing that resulting mortgage as if was as good as cash in the bank, China has bought into it’s own pending disaster.

      Building the cities looks good on paper at first as it’s “growth” and new buildings and jobs, but in the end someone has to pay for all of it. They have some wealthy people but most Chinese are poor and overworked; the process that worked so well selling products outside of their country doesn’t work inside, as it all comes down to people producing a lot for very little money–and using the value of currency in different countries to make Chinese products a bargain.

      China has avoided a credit crisis like we have by demanding cash up front for most things, so that $100,000 apartment needs half down up front and the remainder in three years. That’s why the cities are sitting empty–otherwise they’d be full and things would look normal on the outside, just everyone would be up to their eyeballs in debt and about to default.

      Now here’s the scary part–China is the biggest holder of our debt, something like 1 trillion dollars. How did they afford all that? By putting up all this overpriced real estate as collateral. This is a bomb waiting to go off. The best case scenario is China implodes and becomes like another Japan–stagnant and aimless. Anyone remember in 1989 when their output exceeded ours and for awhile people were talking about them taking us over? Does the news even notice Japan today except when a tsunami hits?

      We can survive by writing off the debt, bringing manufacturing back home, and realizing we need to look our for our own country first. We could continue, but not have all these endless cheap goods coming in from China and the economy would be much slower–which would be better in the long run.

      The worst case, especially if it happens under Obama or the Democrats, is to try and maintain business as usual but keep raising debts until it just simply breaks. Inflation goes out of control, China drags everybody down into an worldwide depression, and of course it’s all still somehow Bush’s fault.

    4. canary says:

      Al-Qaida cholera targeting children in northern Mali

      Telegram.com : UN says children being targeted in northern Mali

      AF UN MALI July 6 2012

      GENEVA — The level of violence against children and cases of cholera in northern Mali are rising at an alarming rate since the area was seized by al-Qaida-linked Islamist fighters and Tuareg rebels following a March coup, U.N. officials said Friday.

      UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said school closures in Mali have affected 300,000 children, making them more vulnerable to violence and recruitment as child soldiers.


    5. canary says:

      News3: World donors pledge $20B in aid to Afghanistan

      08 Jul 2012 – By Bradley Klapper

      The American official travelling with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke ahead of the event on condition of anonymity and said $US4 billion ($NZ5 billion) per year would be promised from 2012 through 2015.

      The US portion is expected to be in the decade-long annual range of $US1 billion ($NZ1.25 billion) to this year’s $US2.3 billion ($NZ2.88 billion). Officials declined to outline the future annual US allotments going forward, but the Obama administration has requested a similarly high figure for next year as it draws down American troops and hands over greater authority to Afghan forces.

      The total amount of international civilian support represents a slight trailing off from the current annual level of around $US5 billion ($NZ6.27 billion), a number somewhat inflated by US efforts to effect a “civilian surge” for Afghan reconstruction, mirroring President Barack Obama’s decision in 2009 to ramp up military manpower in the hopes of routing the Taliban insurgency.

      Still, it is a large sum of cash designed to allay fears that Afghanistan will be abandoned when NATO and other international soldiers leave the country.

      Some highly placed Afghan officials have been investigated for corruption but seldom prosecuted, and some of the graft investigations have come close to the president himself.

      Afghanistan has received nearly $US60 billion ($NZ75 billion) in such aid since 2002. The World Bank says foreign aid makes up nearly the equivalent of the country’s gross domestic product.

      Those funds, which are needed for basic services such as health care, education and infrastructure, are expected to sharply diminish after international troops withdraw even as the country faces continued threats from the Taliban and other Islamic militants.

      Clinton, who briefly visited the Afghan capital yesterday before heading to Tokyo, had breakfast with Karzai and acknowledged that corruption was a “major problem.”

      Clinton also declared Afghanistan as the newest “major non-NATO ally” of the United States, a gesture of political support for the country’s long-term stability and aimed at solidifying close defence cooperation after American combat troops withdraw in 2014.

      “We see this as a powerful commitment to Afghanistan’s future,” Clinton said. “We are not even imagining abandoning Afghanistan.”

      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/World-donors-pledge-20B-in-aid-to-Afghanistan/tabid/417/articleID/260524/Default.aspx#ixzz203YkPnfc

      Hillary Clinton should just sell Karzai her book it takes a Village.

      Why aren’t the democrats raising heck over this.

    6. canary says:

      NPR: Yemen Airstrikes Punish Militants, And Civilians

      by Kelly McEvers July 8 2012

      For the first time in more than a year, the sites of the escalating U.S. air war in southern Yemen are becoming accessible, as militants linked to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have withdrawn from the area. This retreat follows the sustained American air campaign and an offensive by the Yemeni government forces on the ground.

      And it also means that for the first time, the casualty figures and the reactions of local residents can be checked against the official version of events.

      The witness says the second strike killed at least 12 people instantly. “They were cut … in pieces,” he says. A wall where the second strike hit is still covered with blood.

      The witnesses claim the plane that did this was American. We ask them how they know it was American, and not part of the Yemeni Air Force.

      Some of the 26 children of Saleh Qaid Toayman, who was killed with one of his sons in an airstrike on Oct. 14, 2011. The family says the eldest son, Azzedine, has joined an al-Qaida-affiliated group to avenge the father’s death. The group’s black banner hangs in the family’s home. The family says the militant group gives them a monthly stipend.

      The plane was gray, says one man. “It looked like an eagle. We don’t have planes like that,” he says.

      In the escalating air war in Yemen, it’s extremely difficult to figure out who is responsible for any given strike. There are four possibilities: It could be a manned plane from the Yemeni Air Force or the U.S. military. Or it could be an unmanned drone flown by the U.S. military or the CIA.

      All are being used in the fight against al-Qaida and other militant groups in Yemen. But no matter who launches a particular strike, Yemenis are likely to blame it on the Americans.

      When asked about this story, a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Jack Miller, said, “While we acknowledge that the U.S. conducts targeted strikes against al-Qaida terrorists, we cannot confirm specific counterterrorism operations. We take great care to avoid civilian casualties. Our counterterrorism operations are precise, lawful and effective.”

      The Yemeni government does acknowledge its role in airstrikes, though it typically provides only limited and piecemeal information.

      At a hospital where some victims are treated, entry to the facility is highly restricted. We sit and wait for a boy named Abdullah. He survived the second strike on May 15. A tall, thin, ghost of a boy limps into the room.

      Huge pink blotches cover Abdullah’s legs, arms, face and head. He’s been badly burned and is now undergoing painful skin grafts. We tell him Yemeni officials said the first house that was hit that day was a haven for militants. He says the man in the house was just an ordinary citizen.

      We ask if the government distributed fliers warning people to stay away from places known to house militants — as Yemeni officials claimed to have done a few days before the strike. Abdullah says he saw no such thing.

      Many strikes do hit their targets, including one on a hospital in Jaar that residents say was being used by the militants. As part of the same strike, a house in Jaar was hit, and neighbors say militants were renting it.

      “I got back inside, closed the door, and then the first rocket hit,” he says. He calls them rockets, but all he really knows is that there were explosions — and that the house next to his was flattened. Five al-Qaida-linked militants who lived there were killed.

      Saleh says the next day, more militants came and took the bodies and most of the rubble away. Then they paid the owner of the house several thousand dollars in compensation.

      Saleh says he’s mostly glad the militants are gone. He just wishes he could get something for the damage that the strike also caused to his house — not to mention regular electricity.

      Yemeni lawyer Haykal Bafana says al-Qaida does much to win the hearts and minds of poor Yemenis.

      Bafana says at the very least, Yemeni or American officials could investigate civilian deaths, acknowledge mistakes were made, and perhaps offer compensation. Or, even better, help build hospitals and schools, so local residents aren’t encouraged to join the militants.

      Azzedine Saleh Qaid, 15, witnessed the killing of his father and brother in an airstrike last Oct. 14. Azzedine says he now wants revenge against America for the deaths.

      Motivated By Revenge

      Inside the dingy sitting room of a mud-brick house in the poor desert province of Marib, we’re greeted by a wall of children whose father, Saleh Qaid Toayman, was killed in a strike on Oct. 14, 2011.

      One of the boys, Azzedine, was there when the strike hit. He says he and his father and his brother were grazing camels in an area known to be controlled by al-Qaida.

      Azzedine says his father fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s with men who would later join al-Qaida. The family says the father recently renounced ties with the group. They say he was even at one time on the payroll of Yemeni intelligence.

      “If they wanted to arrest him — or even kill him — they knew where he lived,” one relative says. “Why did they have to kill him like this?”

      Now Saleh’s sons have just one thing on their minds — revenge. Azzedine and the others say they want to fight against those who killed their father, namely against America.

      In fact, they say Saleh’s eldest son has already joined the al-Qaida-linked group, Ansar al Sharia. Hanging on the wall of the sitting room is the group’s signature black banner. The family says the group bought them a new car, to replace the one destroyed by the airstrike. They say the group even pays them a monthly salary.

      Another son is sitting to my right. He stares at me, hard. His name is Osama. He pulls out a crumpled piece of paper that he keeps in his pocket. He nudges me, urging me to look.

      It’s a picture of an American plane.


      “The plane was gray, says one man. “It looked like an eagle. We don’t have planes like that,” he says.”

      If NPR can’t give the people pictures of the variety of high-tech monster “grey” war planes and drones than Yemeni should paint logos on their planes of Jane Fonda so U.S. isn’t blamed.


      • canary says:

        I deleted most of the above article but it didn’t work. Sorry.

      • canary says:

        The google link above will also show Saudi War planes bombing Yemeni too.

        Start posting circulars so the family who harbor al-Qaida can tell the difference and quit blaming the USA with their poison.

        By gosh we need Jane Fonda over there meeting with al-Qaida in Yemeni. Jane Fonda didn’t mind the North chopping baby heads off. Vietnam will easily convert to Islam and take al-Qaida in. Tunnels already built.

        And let’s get Afghanistan on board that their new planes were given them to by Obama USA.
        Oh my gosh, I can’t believe our soldiers will teach those corrupt afghan thugs how to fly while we have troops there.

    7. canary says:

      Hillary hallucinates Syria defectors voting with their feet in non-existent elections after spiked beer in Kabul.

      The Telegraph: Hilary Clinton says Syria defectors are ‘voting with their feet’

      06 Jul 2012

      “If people like him, and like the generals and colonels and others who have recently defected to Turkey are any indication, regime insiders and the military establishment are starting to vote with their feet,”


      oooh. I was thinking she meant purple feet. I guess she calls running for their lives the same as voting.

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