Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Radio station in the sky warns Haitians not to attempt boat voyage

Talking about lack of priorities. They are more concerned about Haitians coming to America than saving lives.

in reference to:

"A U.S. Air Force plane serving as an airborne radio station is broadcasting messages to Haitians urging them not to attempt ocean voyages to the United States, saying they will be intercepted and turned back home if they do. The plane is broadcasting recorded messages from Raymond Joseph, Haiti's ambassador to the United States, and announcements of where earthquake victims can go for food and aid. "Listen, don't rush on boats to leave the country," Joseph says in Creole. "If you do that, we'll all have even worse problems. Because, I'll be honest with you: If you think you will reach the U.S. and all the doors will be wide open to you, that's not at all the case. And they will intercept you right on the water and send you back home where you came from." The EC-130J Commando Solo, a large transport aircraft, is flying and broadcasting five hours a day over Haiti, authorities said. In addition to the message from Joseph, it is broadcasting news from Voice of America and instructions on hygiene procedures to prevent disease."
- Radio station in the sky warns Haitians not to attempt boat voyage - CNN.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Black Hawks bring relief from above for desperate Haitians

This is what I argued that should have been done days ago. Why did it take so long?

in reference to:

"American Black Hawk helicopters swooped down onto the grounds of the ruined presidential palace in Port-au-Prince yesterday to disgorge combat troops and humanitarian supplies as both the United States and the United Nations pressed the pace and scope of their relief operations in Haiti. In Washington, officials said the US presence in and around the ruined Haitian capital had reached 11,000, including 2,200 Marines who arrived with earth-moving equipment, helicopters and medical aid, all intended to ease bottlenecks in the supply chain of food, water and medicines and increase the capacity of medical teams to cope with the numbers of sick and injured. One week after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the already impoverished country, governments and aid agencies were still struggling to maximise the impact of their aid efforts while tackling problems associated with risks of spreading disease and deteriorating security."
- Black Hawks bring relief from above for desperate Haitians - Americas, World - The Independent (view on Google Sidewiki)

Israel accused of silencing political protest

Doesn't sound like a democracy to me. And you won't get much reporting on this in the United States. There is no freedom to criticize Israel in the U.S.

in reference to:

"Israel is arresting a growing number of prominent opponents to its policies toward the Palestinians, say critics who are accusing the government of trying to crush legitimate dissent. In the most high-profile case yet, Jerusalem police detained the leader of a leading Israeli human rights group during a vigil against the eviction of Palestinian families whose homes were taken by Jewish settlers. Since the summer, dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists have been picked up, including those organizing weekly protests against Israel's West Bank separation barrier as well as others advocating international boycotts of Israeli goods. Some of the Palestinians were released without charge only after weeks and months of questioning."
- Israel accused of silencing political protest - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Republican Brown wins Massachusetts Senate seat

Tonight was a victory for Independent voters. Even Brown in his victory speech acknowledged that fact. Independents refused to be in the pocket of the Democrats, just as they weren't in the 2008 national elections. The next time it will be a Republican that will suffer the same consequence..

in reference to:

"Republican Scott Brown has won the Massachusetts Senate seat held for nearly a half-century by Democrat Edward Kennedy. Brown's victory in the special election gives Senate Republicans the 41st vote they need to block legislation favored by majority Democrats and President Barack Obama."
- Republican Brown wins Massachusetts Senate seat (view on Google Sidewiki)

8 killed in central Va. Shootings

Another mass shooting, another gun state. And again silence from this worthless administration. I will repeat again: those states with strict gun laws are far less likely to have gun murders than lax states like Virginia.

in reference to:

"A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation tells The Associated Press that eight people have been killed in shootings in central Virginia. The official asked for anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about the investigation. State police say there were multiple deaths and injuries Tuesday and that a lone shooter was responsible. They say more than 100 law enforcement officials had the suspect circled in woods where they believe he is hiding."
- AP source: 8 killed in central Va. shootings (view on Google Sidewiki)

Nude centerfold: Scott Brown, U.S. Senator

Once again style wins out over substance. The press will have you believe he won on the issues. To some extent that's true. But photogenic counts too much. He contrasted dramatically with Coakley. Remember this is the days ahead when the press makes it sound like it was all about Obama losing. Also notice the double standard. If Brown had been a woman and a Playboy Centerfold we won't even talking a Republican winning the Senate in Massachusetts.

in reference to:

"We're pretty sure that, as a young law student some 20 years ago, Scott Brown didn't have the slightest inkling that taking his pants off for Cosmopolitan magazine might come back to bite him in the, uh, rump.But here it is, the naked centerfold he posed for in 1982.And it's been making the rounds on the Internet in recent days as Brown tries to win Ted Kennedy's seat in the U.S. Senate. The election is today.In the June 1982 edition, Cosmo named Brown "America's Sexiest Man." The magazine reported on this picture way back in September, but apparently it's just making the rounds now."
- Nude centerfold: Scott Brown, U.S. Senate candidate - KansasCity.com (view on Google Sidewiki)

Offshore Clinic's Medical Officer: No Orders From Captain To Treat Haitians

Here is another case in where rather than treating the desperately ill of Haiti, we have instead bureaucracy. Why isn't this Katrina all over again?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Transcript: Anderson Cooper Denounces Slow Aid Response in Haiti

I think CNN reporters Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta (whose saved lives by performing surgery) are heroes for the work they've done in Haiti. Cooper, in particular, has not been objective in his reporting. Thankfully. He thinks enough is not being done to rescue and aid the people of Haiti. And he's right.

COOPER: Well, I mean, you sort of wonder, I mean, there is some sort of Haitian government. You kind of wonder where they are. Are they in a bunker somewhere?

Because I mean, they could put -- they could start compiling a list, they could start putting together some photographs. Everyone is sort of like pretending like, you know, oh, you can't say anything about the Haitian government because, you know, they can't be expected to actually do anything.

But I mean, you know, they're adults. They know how to do this. You would think they could at least come out and make some announcements to these people in the park about where to go, what to do.

I haven't heard any sort of official government -- even if the President drove around in a pickup truck with a microphone and a speaker I think an awful lot of people here would be happy. A lot of Haitians would be glad to see their president and glad to hear that you know -- get some actual information because there's not a lot of information being disseminated.

...COOPER: Inflatable that they deploy. I mean of all the people who need surgery out here, they employ these inflatable units to conduct surgery save people's lives. That plane wasn't allowed to land here in Port-au-Prince. Had to land in Dominican Republic then be driven over land here. That must have taken -- I don't know -- six hours or at least eight to ten hours extra not including flight time and organization time.

People die because of these decisions and then you hear that, you know, others sorts of planes are getting in taking out, you know, groups of people. I just don't understand how decisions are being made when the most important thing right now besides search-and-rescue teams is getting doctors on the ground here operating, saving lives, stopping infections from spreading, getting medicine to those who need it.

GUPTA: You know, usually when you ask me a question I have an answer for you.

COOPER: Right. I didn't have a question, that was just like a rant.

GUPTA: I know but I don't know what to say. I mean, it's incredibly frustrating.

And I think that, you know, as a doc and you and I have been on the ground longer than most and seen this happen. We're not making this up. I just don't understand how people cannot -- I'm not saying they don't understand it but they're not making the right decisions. COOPER: Again, I don't want to come off as someone who's criticizing, you know, getting orphans out of here and to parents who desperately need them and will love them. That's an important thing. But just in terms of saving sheer numbers of lives. You could send in -- you could send in a plane load of doctors to go out to every orphanage in Haiti and live with orphans for the next week, you know, making sure everybody has their medical attention and that would still bring in -- get in more supplies than having a plane load, you know, plane loads of people flying out. I mean it would take up less airspace.

GUPTA: The impact would be so dramatic. I mean as doctors we relish this opportunities to have that kind of impact. And I'm sure the Doctors without Borders that are watching these reports or somehow hearing about them have got to be saying we're so irritated by what's happening.

COOPER: I mean, it's not only those two planes from Doctors without Borders -- again worldwide recognized as one of the greatest relief organizations, have had their planes diverted and going to the Dominican Republic it just -- it eats up half a day at the very least.

GUPTA: Yes. And they have to drive this big equipment over the border. I'm sure they're going to arrange vehicles over there, they have to try and get across the border. That can be a challenge.

You and I have done this sort of stuff. We know the details and how hard it can be. Just landing here at Port-au-Prince, they probably could have been up and running today.

COOPER: There are probably doctors watching in the United States right now, who could get on a plane, fly to the Dominican Republic, get a van load of supplies at a pharmacy in the Dominican Republic if they wanted to, drive across here and start treating people faster than some of these aid organizations.

GUPTA: That's right. And you know, I've gotten so many e-mails from people saying exactly that. We can get into a DR and come across the border and do that stuff. Wouldn't it be so much faster if they could just start taking care of people now?

Again, going back to this measured in minutes and hours things as opposed to days and weeks.

COOPER: You actually performed surgery today on the USS Carl Vinson which is just incredible. They saw you were here and called.

GUPTA: That's incredible and everything, but you know what, that highlights the point actually. Why was I -- I was delighted and honored to do it. No question about it. But why isn't there a neurosurgeon? There could be by this point; it is a week later.

There could be a neurosurgeon on that carrier. There could be neurosurgeons within the country right now.

GUPTA: I'm delighted to be able to take care of patients, and I'm sure you're delighted to help people as well. At this point...

COOPER: Right. Seven days, tomorrow is the one-week anniversary, and I mean, I'm a broken record on this. But there are people dying from things that -- I don't even understand -- but they're incredibly simple to heal, an infection.

I didn't even know when I came here that if you break a leg, you have an open wound and it gets infected, it can spread through your body and you can die from that. And people have died from that and that's easily healed.

GUPTA: These are called preventable deaths. And that's the worst thing in medicine; a death that could have been preventable because it's something we know how to do. Sometimes it's easy things to do.

COOPER: I'd like to be able to start looking at who is making the decision about what gets to land. Everybody here is doing the best they can and trying as hard as they can. But it's interesting to me that, you know, a governor of a state gets a plane in no problem to take out a couple dozen kids who could be maintained here safely whose lives are not hanging in the balance and they're not dying of disease and they have enough rice and water and basic supplies to last. You could get food aid to them, sustain them for the next two weeks to a month and I know it would be tough for them.

But in terms of sheer number of people whose lives you would save, you would save more lives getting a plane in of cargo supplies for Doctors without Borders than almost anything else I can think of.

GUPTA: Who is making these decisions?

COOPER: I don't know. We should -- I'd like to be able to try to call.

GUPTA: Maybe we'll try to call.

COOPER: Yes. I'm not sure we'll have phone calls returned at this point.

Anyway, again, a lot of good people here doing incredibly hard work, working around the clock, doing touch logistical work and making tough decisions, but I don't know. We got to start asking these questions.

...GUPTA: Much in the way that happened after the tsunami.

Regarding the aid thing, you know, it was interesting because did sort of say, look, the United States is sort of picking up half the load of things that are going on here. I said, how can it be that the Israelis have already set up these operating tents with ventilators, with pain medications, real pain medications and instruments and we were so far behind?

That was sort of his answer. We're getting there.

COOPER: My sense is that -- what I've heard anecdotally, and we'll have to look into this more tomorrow is that the U.S. military and some of the assets in the United States were sort of waiting for assessment teams to assess what the overall needs are. And because groups are used to working with the host government, in fact there is virtually -- there is no real government here. Not a government that actually meets the needs of its people. You talk to most Haitians, they don't actually -- they've never had a government that actually met their needs or seemed to respond to the things that were important to them.

They've had, you know, generations of dictatorships and now it's a democratically-elected country -- democratically-elected government but it's still not a government that on a level that anyone viewing this program in the United States would expect it actually meets the needs of the people. You know, not enough gets done.

GUPTA: And with medical stuff, you know, what you're alluding to is this idea that you can't wait that long. You know, we're not making -- reinventing the wheel here. We have some data based on previous natural disaster on what the needs are going to be. So to have to come in on the ground and assess for so long, it's simply too long.

And I think maybe people will learn something from this? I don't know for the next natural disaster which will inevitably occur.

COOPER: Again, the point is -- also we have to learn these lessons tomorrow and the next day because this thing is going on. This is not going away anytime soon, and there's still decisions that need to be made. The fact that, again, this plane from Doctors without Borders is denied permission to land tonight at 8:00 when it was supposed to land and apparently it was denied permission totally we're not sure where the planes going to go.

And yesterday this medical -- this surgical medical inflatable medical unit had to go to the Dominican Republic. Again, I just don't understand that decision, and allowing Democratic governor of a state to fly out a group of orphans who weren't severely injured but, you know, who God knows deserved to go to the United States and be united with parents.

France and Germany warn against Internet Explorer

France and Germany warn against Internet Explorer

'Tea party' activists feel slighted by GOP

They shouldn't surprised. Republicans want to use tea partyers for their own benefit without having to take their demands seriously. That's part of the arrogance of the two-party system.

in reference to:

"Just when the Republican Party appears poised for big pickups in the 2010 midterm elections, a ragtag band of grass-roots conservatives millions strong and fiercely motivated, but with no national leader, threatens to split the Grand Old Party in two. Leading figures in the burgeoning "tea party" movement complain they are being ignored by the Republican National Committee, despite having already shown their clout in taking down moderate Republicans in a New York special House race and the Florida Republican Party hierarchy. "I have called into the RNC many times, and they still haven't called me back," said Dale Robertson, head of TeaParty.org, which he claims has upwards of 7 million members. "I've called them, lots of times. I called them this morning. I called them yesterday. It's like they ignore you as they try to figure out a strategy on how to defeat you.""
- 'Tea party' activists feel slighted by GOP - Washington Times (view on Google Sidewiki)

Koreas hold 'serious' talks amid North's threats

Koreas hold 'serious' talks amid North's threats

Iraq says 50,000 former Insurgents in govt Jobs

Iraq says 50,000 former insurgents in govt jobs

Gang members in Haitian slum profit from disaster

If it weren't bad enough that food, water, and medicine are not getting to the people. But, additionally, they have to worry about being terrorized by gangs because the U.S. refuses to supply troops for protection.

in reference to:

""If you don't kill the criminals, they will all come back," a Haitian police officer shouts over a loudspeaker in the country's most notorious slum, imploring citizens to take justice into their own hands. The call for vigilantes comes as influential gang leaders who escaped from a heavily damaged prison during the country's killer earthquake are taking advantage of a void left by police and peacekeepers focused on disaster relief. In the sprawling Cite Soleil slum, gangsters are settling into the haunts they dominated before being locked up and resuming struggles for control that never really ended once they were inside the walls of the city's notorious main penitentiary. "The trouble is starting," said Jean-Semaine Delice, a 51-year-old father from Cite Soleil. "People are starting to leave their homes to go to others." As police urged residents to fight criminals themselves, Delice said, "I think it's a message we should listen to.""
- Gang members in Haitian slum profit from disaster - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Rep. Anthony Weiner: Health care may be 'dead' if Scott Brown wins

Democratic arrogance might have cost them this race. They underestimated the voters of Massachusetts. And this election is another victory for the independents. We are the new king makers.
Rep. Anthony Weiner: Health care may be 'dead' if Scott Brown wins

FBI Broke Law to Search Phone Records

Is anybody going to be held responsible?

in reference to:

"The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions. E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats. A Justice Department inspector general's report due out this month is expected to conclude that the FBI frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, bureau officials confirmed."
- FBI Broke Law to Search Phone Records - CBS News (view on Google Sidewiki)