Monday, November 19, 2018

Finland Trolls trump .. Calling it..'Make America Rake Again'

 

Mr Trump told a wee lie (what else is new?) while he was visiting the California sites of devastating wildfires. He claims the fires are due to the neglect of the forestry department. He stated that Finland clears and rakes the debris, that could cause fires, out of their forests. Finland was very amused and has been posting photos like this on social media all week.

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Image result for photos of people raking forests in Finland

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Image result for photos of people raking forests in Finland
 
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Trump attacks retired Navy SEAL Admiral Bill McRaven....who captured bin Laden

Admiral Bill McRaven

President Donald Trump showed Sunday where his deferential respect for military officers stops: -when they criticize him.
In a wide-ranging interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Trump insulted retired Navy SEAL Adm. Bill McRaven, who commanded the 2011 raid that took down Osama bin Laden and was a leader in the operation which defeated Saddam Hussein, calling him “a Hillary Clinton backer and an Obama backer” and asking “wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that?”
Trump was responding to ongoing criticism from McRaven, who in August resigned from the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board over his disapproval of Trump. McRaven also wrote an open letter in the Washington Post in which he asked Trump, who had recently revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, to revoke his own, “so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.” McRaven has previously called the president’s anti-media sentiment “the greatest threat to democracy in [his] lifetime,” according to the Daily Texan.
Trump went on to suggest that finding bin Laden should have been easy: “You know, living — think of this — living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”
Others — from former soldiers to political commentators — have stepped in to defend McRaven on Twitter, calling him “a patriot and true hero,” as well as to correct the record. (McRaven never endorsed Clinton and maintained the military’s traditional apolitical stance while serving under Obama, though was at times criticized for his being too open with his opinions.)


Karen Tumulty
Bill McRaven was NOT a Clinton “backer.” He never endorsed her or anyone for president. He was also on the short list that Chris Christie (then transition planning) put together of people who should be sought out for top natsec posts in a Trump administration.
 
Mark Hertling
FWIW, having served with Bill McRaven in Europe and Iraq, he is one of the best leaders and selfless servants of our nation I have ever met. Not a political bone in his body.

It’s not the first time Trump has insulted a war hero

These comments are part of a pattern for Trump, who has repeatedly disparaged veterans from the late Sen. John McCain — whom he once mocked for being captured in Vietnam — to slain US Army Captain Humayun Khan — whose mother Ghazala he implied had been kept from speaking because of her gender and religion.
Trump, who says he has the utmost respect for the troops, has also recently been criticized over his failure to attend military cemeteries in DC and France on important commemorative days, due to calls and rain respectively.
According to a transcript, Wallace later went on to press Trump on why he hasn’t yet visited any American troops stationed in war zones, to which Trump replied that he was “unbelievably busy,” echoing his excuse for why he failed to go to Arlington for Veterans Day.
TRUMP: I don’t think anybody’s been more with the military than I have, as a president. In terms of funding, in terms of all of the things I’ve been able to get them, including the vets. I don’t think anybody’s done more than me.
I’ve had an unbelievable busy schedule and I will be doing it. On top of which you have these phony witch hunts. On top of which -- I mean, we’ve just been very busy. But I will be doing that.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Trump blames forestry services for California wildfires


                           
President Trump has blamed "poor forest management" in California for the wildfires that have swept across the state.
In a couple of tweets, he has suggested that the state has not managed its forests properly, despite receiving "billions of dollars" each year. The comments came shortly after he issued an emergency declaration to allow US federal government funds to be used to tackle three blazes in the state.
 
President Trump tweet

There was an angry response from firefighters, including the president of the California Professional Firefighters, who said the assertion forest management policy was to blame was "dangerously wrong".
The International Federation of Firefighters - which represents members across the US and Canada - attacked President Trump for suggesting he might cut off funding. Some of those fighting the recent fires have also pointed out that fires have started in open scrub or grassland rather than in forests.
The comments have also been criticized by some experts who say they ignore the bigger picture of climate change and population shifts in the state. But is there any substance in the president's remarks about forest management?

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Some people were trapped in their vehicles by the flames as they were trying to evacuate.
 

Who manages California's forest?

Nearly 60% of California's forested areas are managed by national agencies such as the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks service.
And there's a significant amount in private hands as well.
The actual amount managed by the California state authorities is small - but the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection is responsible for putting out fires and prevention measures in privately owned areas.

Data pic of forest ownerships

The national agencies have funds set aside for managing the land they own:
  • The US Forest Service has a budget of $4.73bn for 2018, of which $2.4bn is for "fire suppression and preparedness"
  • The Bureau of Land Management had a budget of $1.3bn in 2017, although it's not clear how much was for forest management or fire prevention
  • The National Parks Service's anticipated budget for 2019 is $2.2bn, with $289.2m for "resource stewardship"
It isn't known exactly what amounts are spent on measures to reduce fire risk on land they manage in California. But concerns have been voiced about whether there's been enough emphasis on longer-term fire prevention.
Scott Stephens, a leading authority on wildfires at the University of California, has for some years been questioning forest management priorities. He believes more focus needs to be put on more on sensible management of the environment and better land use to avoid "catastrophic burning".
He has also pointed to the large number of dead trees in parts of the state, due to drought and disease, as a serious fire risk that needs to be addressed.
Tom Bonnicksen, professor of forest science at Texas A&M University, says the real issue is that there are too many trees in California's forests, which he said was the "underlying cause of the wildfire crisis".  He believes forests need to be thinned out.

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About ninety percent of the homes in the town of Paradise California were totally destroyed.
The death toll from the fires has risen to 56 and 100 people are still missing.
 
 A man delays his evacuation to watch everything he owns burn to ashes
 

How could forests be managed differently?

Prof Stefan Doerr, at Swansea University, says the modern policy of putting out all fires in wild areas may have been misguided. For centuries, Native American peoples would burn parts of the forest so they could hunt or gather plants that grow in the cleared areas and that would thin out the more flammable vegetation and make forests less dense.
"But in the recent century or so, the emphasis has been on putting out any fires - and with climate change this has now created a tinderbox of vegetation," Prof Doerr said.
The case for allowing controlled fires to clear out vegetation also applies to other types of landscape such grass and shrub land, according to another expert. Even though they have no trees, these areas would also benefit from burning out potentially flammable material, the argument goes.

Is the problem getting worse?

There's little doubt fires have been getting worse in California in recent years, both in terms of their destructive power and their size.  The ten biggest fires in American history have happened here.
And in terms of loss of life and damage to property, the data shows the worst fires have all been in the past 10 years or so - except for one fire in 1991 in Alameda County.
Many experts point out that climate change has made things worse, leading to higher temperatures, lower humidity and changes in wind and rainfall patterns. Drought conditions for three years in California have led to vegetation drying out and becoming more flammable. Add to that the fact that winter seasons when it rains or snows are getting shorter.
California is also one of a number of US states where more and more people are moving out of the main urban centres and into rural or semi-rural areas.

A report by the US Department of Agriculture in 2010 noted that by that year more than 11 million people out of a population of some 37 million in California were living in such areas - and flagged the fire risks this posed.
Also, houses are often built of combustible materials such as wood. California state law does require homeowners to take steps to protect their properties from fire hazards, including clearing or reducing vegetation near properties. However, research by the Hoover Institute earlier this year raised concerns over public awareness, enforcement and the availability of up-to-date information about the areas at most risk.
There's little doubt that unless some of these issues are addressed, the costs to California - as well as to Washington - will grow. California's own fire service is estimated to have spent more than $770m in the past fiscal year on putting out fires. Its budget was just under $443m.
And as of September 2017, the US Forest Service said it had spent more than $632m on fighting fires in California and that nationally the costs of fighting fires were increasing by $100m each year.

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Some volunteer fire fighters are convicts who are rewarded with reduced sentences
 
Exhaustion overtakes firefighters

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A Savage and merciless blaze brought on by climate change for the most part, not by the incompetence of forestry agencies. However, since the citizens never seem to be prepared for this almost annual event, it would be prudent for state government to educate people on how to protect themselves and how to evacuate quickly and orderly. And perhaps the gov't should organize a huge force of  standby volunteer firefighters and devise a few new methods for getting a blaze  under control more quickly. Under the circumstances, it's a pretty good way to spend taxpayer dollars.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

France's Macron speaks out ... Armistice could be undone by nationalism

French President Emmanuel Macron greets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he arrives at the Palais de l'Elysee in Paris, France Sunday November 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
 French President Emmanuel Macron greets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he arrives at the Palais de l'Elysee in Paris, France Sunday November 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

France's president used a global commemoration of the end of the First World War to remind leaders today that the peace forged a century ago can be easily undone by rising nationalism wrapped in the mask of patriotism.
Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of more than 60 world leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that those among them who call themselves nationalists threaten to erase the moral values a nation has by putting their own interests first regardless of the effects on others.
The message seemed directed at U.S. President Donald Trump, who in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist.
Trump and Macron said during a meeting Saturday that they had calmed stormy waters after the two sparred over a trans-Atlantic military alliance, better known as NATO, and the American president's continual unease about spending by member countries.
But Macron appeared to stir the seas anew in his speech, given as a cold rain pelted the French capital.

Macron warned how fragile peace can be in an age where the tensions that gave rise to four years of bloody battle, costing millions of lives, appear to be festering again. He told the assembled masses that the "traces of this war never went away."
He urged the leaders present to promise their peoples that the resurgent "old demons" would not be able to return, sowing "chaos and death."
"New ideologies manipulate religions, push a contagious obscurantism," he said. "Sometimes, history threatens to retake its tragic course and threaten our heritage of peace that we believed we had definitively settled with our ancestors' blood."

Macron, Trudeau and other leaders came to Paris hoping to use the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War to renew calls to quash festering tensions across the globe.
"There is a general sense and desire among many countries, including Canada to do whatever is possible to sustain the institutions of the international order and practical, multilateral co-operation. And so you see that in Canada, you see that in Germany," said Roland Paris, Trudeau's former foreign adviser.
"Macron (is) essentially making that point: that we can sustain co-operation, we must sustain co-operation."

Trudeau, who is on a 10-day trip across Europe and Asia, will come face-to-face with three of the nations sowing some of that tension: Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.Trudeau sat beside Putin and the pair briefly chatted at the opening session of a peace summit organized by Macron on Sunday afternoon. 
Trudeau spoke with Trump at a dinner Macron organized on Friday night — although government officials wouldn't say the exact topic of conversation. Trudeau will also attend summits this week in Asia that Putin and Xi are scheduled to attend.

Trump did not shake Trudeau's hand when he arrived with wife Melania at the iconic Arc de Triomphe. Neither Trump nor Putin walked a bit of the Champs-Elysee with other leaders after church bells rang out as the hour turned to 11 a.m. local time, marking the moment the guns fell silent across Europe a century ago.
Trudeau has had to navigate the mercurial American president, and on Sunday afternoon he will navigate that line again when he takes part in a panel discussion about freedom of the press — another group with whom Trump has frequently sparred.

The panel is part of Macron's peace forum, described by France's ambassador to Canada as intended to amplify the voices of non-governmental organizations and prod political leaders present to commit to Macron's call for peace.
"If you're not backed up by the highest political authority, nothing will happen," Kareen Rispal said in an interview Friday.
"You have to get the real commitment from the political leaders."
Rispal also said Trudeau's appearance at the Arc de Triomphe ceremony would be a reminder of Canada's contributions during the war.

Canada has a special relationship with France. It has always been a close friendship. Britain has always seemed like family and the rest of  the European countries have warm relations with us. A happy situation we would like to maintain. The United States has always been our closest ally and trading partner. We have enjoyed comradeship and trust between the two nations. We  have always admired their ideals, sense of justice and spirit of co-operation. We find we are moving away from them now as those things are changing and the US is becoming more militarized and nationalistic ( not to be mistaken for patriotic). It is more difficult to maintain our stand as peace makers, globalists and Paris Accord supporters with our neighbor moving in a different direction. Sad but true. America has lived the dogma of protectionism and /or isolationism in times past and found it does not work. It works even less in the 21st century.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Canada's epic battle you may never have heard of

In the foreground, a German machine gunner killed by the Canadians as they captured the French city of Valenciennes in early November, 1918.
 In the foreground, a German machine gunner killed by the Canadians as they captured the French city of Valenciennes in early November, 1918.
 
Canadian memories of the First World War generally stick to Vimy Ridge. Vimy Ridge is the site of Canada’s official First World War memorial, and it’s the only battlefield that’s made its way onto our currency and passports.
But while Vimy may have represented a rare victory in the war’s darkest depths, historians, military commanders and First World War veterans themselves were more inclined to believe that Canada’s greatest triumph would come at the war’s end.

Below, a quick primer on the Last Hundred Days, the epic Canada-dominated finale to the Great War.
The Last Hundred Days began on August 8, 1918 with an all-out attack on German positions in Amiens. By day’s end, Canadian soldiers had obliterated German defenses and advanced an incredible 13 kilometers. It was the most jaw-dropping allied victory ever seen in the First World War up to that point. For context, it had taken months of fighting and 500,000 dead to gain only eight kilometers of ground at Passchendaele. Up until this point, many First World War battles had followed a predictable pattern: A lengthy artillery barrage followed by fixed-bayonet human wave attacks across no-man’s-land.

At Amiens, Canada rolled out a strategy that prioritized speed and unpredictability above all else: Tanks, motorized machine guns, cavalry, storm troopers and intricately timed artillery barrages all thrown at the enemy in a dizzying tidal wave of force. Erich Ludendorff, who by this time had become the effective military dictator of Germany, referred to August 8 as the “black day” of the German army. As the Canadian breakout continued relentlessly into the autumn, Canadian Corps commander Arthur Currie would estimate that one quarter of all Germans on the Western Front were being shot at by Canadians. When German troops would sweep back into France in 1940, their new strategy of Blitzkrieg would be an eerily close carbon copy of the tactics that Canadians had used to evict them from France 21 years earlier.

The Germans may have explicitly avoided fighting Canadians until the very end. In the spring of 1918 Germany launched a last-ditch series of assaults designed to capture Paris and win the war before the United States army could show up in force. They devastated British lines to the Canadians’ north and French lines to the Canadians’ south, but the Canadians themselves eked out the offensive relatively untouched. This may have been intentional: Canadian soldiers were so fanatically committed to killing Germans. The British and French may have shared bread and chocolates with German troops during the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, but as soon as Canadian troops joined the war in 1915 they pursued Germany with “a vendetta which did not end until the war ended,” wrote the British war correspondent Philip Gibbs.

Instead of winning the war, Germany’s “Spring Offensive” had cost them tens of thousands of their best troops and had the unintended consequence of leaving Canada as one of the strongest armies left standing on the Western Front.

a group of people riding on the back of a horse drawn carriage: A tank used in the Battle of Amiens, the opening engagement of the Last Hundred Days.
Library and Archives Canada A tank used in the Battle of Amiens, the opening engagement of the Last Hundred Days. 
 
The Canadian Corps at the end of the First World War is still the deadliest fighting force ever fielded by Canada
As historian Jack Granatstein said in a recent lecture about the Last Hundred Days, the Canadian Corps in World War One’s final months “played the greatest role that any Canadian army has ever accomplished in any war we have participated in.” For one, Canada showed up to the Last Hundred Days with more of everything: More tanks, more artillery, more machine guns and more men. Even as hundreds of Canadians were claimed daily by machine guns or shellfire, they were able to constantly keep the ranks filled with fresh conscripts. Canadians also brought more poison gas. After the war, Arthur Currie estimated that at one point 90 per cent of all the poison gas deployed on the Western Front was being used by Canadians. By mid-1918, Canadians were also expertly seasoned by four years of war, something that gave them a notable advantage over allied armies just joining the war. In the war’s final months Canada would defeat 47 German divisions to the Americans’ 46, despite suffering less than half the casualties.
 
 
 
a group of people standing in front of a building: Canadians and Germans at a wound dressing station in the Battle of Amiens.
Library and Archives Canada Canadians and Germans at a wound dressing station in the Battle of Amiens. 
 
The cost in lives was worse than anything yet seen
The standard image of the First World War is of men leaping out of a muddy trench to seize the muddy trenches of the enemy. And this was indeed the general gist of World War One for most of its duration. But the Last Hundred Days looked more like the Second World War: Troops moving over open French countryside to seize towns, bridges and canals. The stalemate was over, but open warfare was far deadlier than trench warfare.
In the Last Hundred Days Canada suffered 45,835 killed, wounded or taken prisoner. It was equivalent to one fifth of Canada’s total casualties for the war, more than the 10,602 casualties suffered to take Vimy Ridge. More Canadians would be killed in the Last Hundred Days than in Korea or in the Second World War Canadian army from D-Day to VE Day. On September 1, 1918 alone, nearly 1,000 Canadians were killed in action. And these were coming from a largely agrarian country of eight million: 1000 casualties could represent an entire prairie city’s worth of young men.

A poetic symmetry overlay the end of the First World War. For one, the war ended at the easily remembered 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. And for Canadian soldiers, that war would end by retaking Mons, the Belgian town at which British forces had first encountered German troops in 1914. But both symbols would come at a terrible cost: Even with Canadian commanders knowing that the armistice was signed, troops would continue to be thrown into battle right up into 11 a.m.

And while the Canadians’ victory parade through Mons would provide stirring fodder for war artists, it did indeed kill men who would have otherwise returned home if the Canadian Corps had simply taken the morning off. The most notable was Saskatchewan conscript George Price, who was fatally hit by a German sniper at 10:58 a.m., becoming the last British Empire soldier to be killed in combat. “Hell of a note to think that would happen right when the war ended,” wrote his company commander.
We are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice to protect us and keep us safe and free.
 
a group of people standing in front of a building: Canadians in the centre of Mons on the morning of November 11, 1918. 
Canadians in the center of Mons on the morning of November 11, 1918. 


  

Friday, November 09, 2018

12 Dead in California Bar Shooting


Twelve people have died after a “maniac" gunman burst into a country and western bar in California and opened fire on hundreds of young revellers.
A police spokesman said 12 people died in the shooting, including one sergeant who rushed to the scene to confront the shooter.


The gunman, 28, was named by police as Ian David Long. He is said to be a veteran of the US Marine Corps.
Sheriff Geoff Dean said local police had previously had "minor interactions" with Long, who lives near the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.
"We have no idea what the motive was at this point," he said.
Police said he wielded what appeared to be a legally-purchased, .45-caliber Glock handgun.

Ian David Long

 
Long was also found dead inside the bar after apparently turning his gun on himself, a Ventura County Sheriff spokesman said.
The gunman, clad from head to toe in black, opened fire on a crowd of people at the student bar with the handgun after setting off smoke bombs inside. Long, is said to have shot a bouncer before opening fire inside the bar

 
He is described as being be proficient with weapons, according to witnesses who fled the scene in terror. Sheriff Dean addressed reporters and said "this is an ongoing investigation and a tragic, tragic situation".
 He said the force received "multiple calls of shots being fired", and their first unit arrived within three minutes.
 
 
Upon entering the bar, sergeant Ron Helus, who had been on the force for 29 years and was due to retire, was struck multiple times with gunfire. Sheriff Geoff Dean of Ventura County hailed his deputy as a hero saying he went in to the bar to save lives.
He said: “Losing Ron is horrific and terrible. There are also parents of the 11 victims in there whose hearts were ripped out tonight. There is no way to describe this.
“Ron was a hard working, dedicated sheriff’s sergeant. He was totally committed. He gave his all and, as I told his wife, he died a hero. “He went in to save lives - to save other people.”
The officer was hit by “multiple shots” as soon as he entered the bar. His partner managed to drag him out of the restaurant.

In an earlier press briefing, Mr Dean said: "11 victims have been killed. The suspect was also dead inside and there were multiple other victims of different levels of injury who were rescued from the scene and taken to local hospitals.
"The numbers are upwards of 10 to 12 who, with minor injuries, fled the scene on their own.
"We have no idea if there is a terrorist link to this or not."
The Los Angeles Times reported that at least 30 shots were fired.

Tayler Whitler, 19, said she was inside the bar when a man walked in with his face partly covered by something resembling a ski mask, opened fire on a person working on the door, then began to shoot people at random.
Terrified victims hid under tables and in toilets, smashing windows to escape during the attack.
One witness said: “This maniac came in. Threw in smoke bombs to confuse people and opened fire on the dance floor. He’s taken many young lives.”

Witnesses ran to a nearby service station for help after shots were fired by the gunman, who reportedly threw smoke grenades around the dance floor area.
Reports suggest that some survivors of the deadly Las Vegas shooting, at Route 91 Harvest music festival, were in attendance during the shooting.  Imagine  how they must have felt to be present at another mass shooting.
A man outside of the bar said he had not heard from friends just yet, but was not too worried.
He said: "A lot of my friends survived Route 91. If they survived that, they will survive this."
Local media are reporting that the gunman walked up to a security guard and shot him before he opened fire in the building.
A statement from Ventura County Fire Department said: "Ongoing active shooter incident reported at
Borderline. Please stay away from area.
"Active law enforcement incident. Multiple injuries reported. Details still being determined. Multiple ambulances requested."

Police responded to the incident at 99 Rolling Oaks Drive at around 11.30pm local .  Borderline bar, a western-style bar with a dance floor, was holding a college country night on Wednesday night.
Nick Steinwender, student body president at nearby California Lutheran University, rushed to the scene when he heard about a shooting at the bar where he knew friends and fellow students were inside.
"It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, people hopping over gates to get out."
He said he heard from people inside that they were hiding in bathrooms and the attic of the bar.

Shootings of any kind are very rare in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 people about 40 miles north west of Los Angeles. Rare perhaps in Thousand Oaks...but happening with great regularity in the United States in it's present environment of divisiveness, confusion and hate.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Orange Monkey's Sheep

Cheeto's Sheep headed to slaughter .
Come on Democrats  let show  the fools what and who we are  and what we stand for .
Together we stand  and we will take our country back .
The PIC's