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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, January 8th, 2012.

Top 10 Threats of 2012

U.S. News, World & News

Friday, 06 Jan 2012 08:29 PM

By Arnaud De Borchgrave

On Dec. 18, 2010, a police slap of a vegetable-cum-fruit peddler in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid triggered an “Arab Spring”that no one had forecast and that quickly spawned a long, dark Arab winter.

Before the end of January 2011, violent unrest had spread to Egypt. By Feb. 11, after 18 days of riots, the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak ended. Less than a week later, Libya exploded. And on Oct. 20, Moammar Gadhafi, Libya’s dictator for 42 years, was mauled and killed by angry revolutionaries.

The top military man in Tripoli is Abdelkrim El Haj, the former al-Qaida operative in Libya who was captured during Gadhafi’s regime, turned over to the United States, renditioned to, and tortured by, Thai authorities. He now says he isn’t holding the United States accountable but expects “those responsible to be brought to trial.”

Former close U.S. ally Egypt will soon fall under the sway of an Islamist Parliament (40 percent Muslim Brotherhood, 25 percent Salafist, or Muslim extremist). Liquor is already out of Cairo stores and can now only be sold to foreigners from locations yet to be determined. Tourism, once 15 percent of national revenue, is down to 5 percent.

The outlook for a Palestinian state is darker still than before. Palestinian extremists are in the ascendancy again as some 340,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank keep expanding and strengthening defenses. They have no intention of leaving or of living under Palestinian sovereignty. A good bet for 2012: a third intifada.

In Iraq, the last U.S. troops have left but some 14,000 Americans remain — half of them assigned to the largest U.S. Embassy in the world with diplomatic passports and the other half, private security contractors. Already, the threat of sectarian civil war looms between Sunni and the Shiite Muslims now in power.

In today’s Iraq, Iran and its Shiite allies, have more influence than the United States. And 2012 should tell whether the $1 trillion U.S. war effort and its 4,400 killed in action and 33,000 wounded (plus an estimated 100,000 Iraqis killed) was the disaster forecast by some prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion.

The end of 2014 is also the end to U.S. military involvement in the Afghan war. What happens after that is the big unknown.

The United States has the clock and Taliban have the time. The Afghan army will require $7 billion-$10 billion a year in U.S. aid to fight on. Will Congress continue to vote such big numbers? It didn’t in Vietnam in 1975 — and resistance to a Communist takeover folded.

Iran is the big unknown in the black swan aviary.

U.S. President Barack Obama, his new generals at the Department of Defense and intelligence chiefs at 17 agencies are firmly aligned against Israeli pre-emption against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The key ones are underground and even with Israel’s new, U.S.-made deep penetration ordnance, nothing is less certain than the ability to set Iran’s nuclear timetable back by more than a year or two.

Some — e.g., Henry Kissinger — argue that we should be engaging Iran in a multilateral international solution, along with Russia, China, India and Pakistan, for ending the Afghan war.

The estimated $1 trillion-$3 trillion in precious minerals, including uranium, that lie deep underground in Afghanistan could form the centerpiece lure to accelerate an end to hostilities with a coalition government in Kabul.

In light of the rapidly unfolding crises of 2011, the reluctance of U.S. intelligence agencies to forecast beyond the next five years is understandable. As Robert Gates, serving as U.S. secretary of defense, noted two months into NATO’s intervention in Libya, “If you’d asked me four months ago if we’d be in Libya today, I would have asked, ‘What were you smoking?’”

Al-Qaida has vanished from news media and most have assumed that the killing of its leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs May 2 put an end to the threat of a terrorist weapon of mass destruction in a major U.S. city.

The killing of major underground leaders is frequently a spur to followers to avenge their death. Terrorism has been the weapon of the weak against the strong from time immemorial. Today, the arc of instability, from West to east Africa to Pakistan to Bangladesh has any number of al-Qaida copycat sympathizers.

Al-Qaida ceased to be centrally directed long before bin Laden’s death. Tomorrow, an unmanned drone, launched from a cargo ship a few miles off New York could be the carrier of deadly pestilence.

The Preventive Action’s annual report for 2012 is designed to overcome the lack of forecasting ability in the intelligence community by developing a list of plausible human-generated contingencies of relative importance to U.S. national interests, grouped according to levels or categories of risk associated with various types of instability or conflict into three tiers:

The 30 contingencies were sent to a wide selection of more than 300 government officials, policy analysts, academics and journalists for their confidential feedback.

These are the top 10 that directly threaten the U.S. homeland and are likely to trigger U.S. military involvement:

  • A mass casualty attack on the U.S. homeland or on a treaty ally.

  • A severe North Korean crisis (e.g., armed provocations, internal political instability, advances in nuclear weaponry).

  • A major military incident with China involving U.S. or allied forces.

  • An Iranian nuclear crisis (e.g., surprise advances in nuclear weapons/delivery capability, Israeli response).

  • A highly disruptive cyber-attack on U.S. critical infrastructure (e.g., telecommunications, electrical power, pipeline output, transportation and emergency services.

  • A significant increase in drug trafficking violence in Mexico that spills over into the United States.

  • Severe internal instability in Pakistan triggered by a civil-military crisis or terror attacks.

  • Political instability in Saudi Arabia that endangers global oil supplies.

  • A U.S.-Pakistan military confrontation, triggered by a terror attack or U.S. counter-terror.

  • Intensification of the European sovereign debt crisis that leads to the collapse of the euro, triggering a double-edged transatlantic crisis.

Happy New Year!

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Read more on Newsmax.com: Top Threats to Watch in 2012
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Comment on National Park Service Sneak Attack – posted Jan. 7, 2012

American Land Rights, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: This opinion is well worth posting. Thank you Donald L. Fife. We posted the article from Chuck Cushman, American Land Rights, who is asking everyone to write their Congressmen, women and Senators to vote AGAINST the expansion of the Rim of the Valley National Park. You can find the article here:  http://pienpolitics.com/?p=7315 — Editor Liz Bowen

Comment:

” Rim of the Valley Park” is a job killer for southern California. The mineral rich San Gabriel Mtns. contain on the order of a trillion dollars in mineral wealth. World class aluminium, tungsten, and titanium deposits are at risk.  Construction aggregates to maintain our highways and streets, public buildings and schools to say nothng of the  Bullet Train and housing.

 Southern California uses on the  order of 50 million tons a year just to maintain our standard of living. Much of this comes from sources in the San Gabriel Mtns. Every man, woman and child in California requires about 5 tons of  aggregate per year. Each new home requires more than 60 tons of sand and gravel.   Many other important minerals will be locked up, this includes rare earths which Communist China controlls about  95% of the worlds supply.

Gold in the San Gabril Mtns was imortant in the pasted and is even more importantf with gold at $1,500 per ounce.   Just one million ounce deposit of gold discovered by a major mining company along the Vincent thrust has become economic with the price of gold at $1,500/oz. This one deposit has a potential of more than a BILLION DOLLARS.

The “San Gabriel Watershed an Mountains Draft Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment”  has beautiful graphics, but has no real professional value when it come to the economic impact of this proposal,  in my opinion it lacks any understanding of the long term impact on jobs and the economy of southern California.   It appears to be part of the wildlands Project of the U.N. toern 50% of America into wilderness and reduce the population by 50% over the next Century (www. takingliberty.us).

This report  deserves a failing grade. it is junk science at its best.   I suggest the authors and the public review the South Coast Geological Soceity’s “GEOLOGY AND MINERALS WEALTH OF THE CALIFORNIA TRANSVERSE RANGES” that documents only a portion of the minerals wealth such as the world class 2 billion year old San Gabriel Mts Anorthosite( Alunium) deposits 21 miles long and 7 miles wide, probably the largest aluminium deposit in the U.S.A.

As state and local governments are facing bankruptcy Rim of the Valley Park appears to be a foolish venture, especial ssince the Angeles Nations Forest has donea good job with multiple use management

Donald L. Fife American Institute of Professional Geologists CPG 4735 Profesiona Geologist CA-0245; Ceg CA-0132

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County-college pact sought; Siskiyou partnerships to help farmers and ranchers

Forestry & USFS

County-college pact sought; Siskiyou partnerships to help farmers and ranchers » Redding Record Searchlight

http://www.redding.com/news/2012/jan/07/county-college-pact-sought/

County-college pact sought; Siskiyou partnerships to help farmers and ranchers

By Joe Szydlowski

Record Searchlight

January 7, 2012

During the summer, Bob Rice was touring the vast area of Siskiyou County that he represents on the College of the Siskiyous’ board of trustees.

He sat in with ranchers from the Klamath River who got together to coordinate on land use, and again when Scott Valley farmers came together.

Rice, an 80-year-old retired rancher from Shasta Valley, said he heard many of them say the same thing — they need more skilled people in natural resource management and agriculture. He decided to get the college involved.

“Of the 75 (California) community colleges, only seven are engaged in natural resource programs, less than 10 are engaged in agricultural programs,” Rice said. “There’s opportunity for a rural college, like College of the Siskiyous, to introduce these programs and therefore get more people interested in (them).”

On Tuesday, the college trustees approved the fruits of his labor: a call to establish physical and digital connections between the college and the most remote parts of Siskiyou County, such as Tulelake and Scott Valley, that would encourage more agricultural and natural resources students to attend the school, get in-the-field experience while remaining in their communities and educate distant residents, he said. It would build on College of the Siskiyous’ natural resources program and begin its own agricultural program, which didn’t exist prior due to budget constraints.

“This is more vision than it is plan,” said college President Randall Lawrence, who accompanied Rice. “It’s 90 percent vision, 10 percent plan.”

Two concrete proposals involve creating field sites where the students, ranchers and experts can interact and share ideas, and establishing broadband connections at local libraries where new students and veteran farmers can attend College of the Siskiyous online to learn new skills.

Tulelake Chamber of Commerce President David Misso welcomed some proposals, but he questions whether local farmers or farmhands need or would participate in learning new skills.

“Honestly, I don’t see it as a benefit. Every job I’m aware of is non-skilled manual labor,” Misso said. “You could come in with a college degree and I could get you a job sorting potatoes.”

At the board meeting and during his trips around Siskiyou County, several community individuals spoke in favor of the plan, Rice said.

During their tour of the area Rice represents, Lawrence said community leaders told him they and their farmhands would benefit from “natural resource focused” farming information.

“(It’s) the difference between, ‘This is how you ride a tractor, this is the kind of crop you plant at this time of year,’ ” and, he said, ” ‘How do you preserve your water sources, soil quality? What soils will produce the best results with what kind of crops? How are you going to be able to comply with federal and state regulations if you’ve got streams coming across your area or if you’ve got a forest in your area?’ “

Rice said that doesn’t mean the college will be wading into any water wars — just talking about more efficient use of water and running a business.

To pay for the effort, the college would look for grants and community partnerships, Lawrence said. That may include working with a school district to turn a shuttered school into a field site, or combining two College of the Siskiyous goals.

“We’re a member of the Northeastern California Connection Consortium, taking money and planning out how we’re going to connect, with broadband, with these underserved and unserved communities in rural California,” he said. Using the money to establish fast Internet connections at the libraries would fulfill both goals.

Misso said Tulelake would benefit greatly from distance education at the local library, as about half of its residents don’t own a computer. It also would the aid non-English speaking population too, he said.

But farmers and forest personnel won’t likely sign on to education about their own practices, and many who go on to College of the Siskiyous from Siskiyou County already have strong backgrounds in farming and land management, he said.

Lawrence said he thinks bringing farmers, agriculture students, professors and Forest Service personnel to the field sites would foster idea growth.

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California Dist 4 Senator Doug LaMalfa responds to Governor Brown’s budget

CA Sen Doug LaMalfa, Politicians & agencies

LaMalfa’s Responds to Governor Browns Budget

(SACRAMENTO) – Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) responded to the early releases of Governor Browns new budget proposal that will spend $92.5 billion next year, $6 billion more than the previous budget. The plan would partially close the $13 billion deficit but unrealistically assumes voters will agree to tax increases.  The plan also fails to address any pension reforms that would save the citizens billions over the coming years.

“Governor Brown’s plan increases spending by $6 billion and taxes by $7.1 billion yet still leaves a multi-billion dollar budget deficit to deal with next year,” said Senator LaMalfa.  “Increasing spending is not a justification for increasing taxes and is not a responsible budget. 

Governor Brown holds hostage $4.4 Billion from education if his tax proposal fails.

“It is time for California’s Legislature to dispense with childish desires,” continued LaMalfa.  “Sacramento cannot continue to increase regulations, add entire new agencies of government, like this budget does, and throw more money at high speed rail while cutting funds to education and medical programs.   This budget purposely hurts Californians as justification for increasing taxes, then proposes to hurt them more if they don’t agree to the taxes.” 

 

“California would be better off enacting last year’s budget rather than increasing taxes and spending.”

 

Video clips of Senator LaMalfa’s reaction are available at http://vimeo.com/34636058

  Vimeo Download Instructions

1)      Go to the link provided.

2)      Look down the right side of the page under About This Video where it says “log in.” Click on it.

3)      Log in with this info:

            Account:  rbs@download.net

                    Password:  rbs

4)   You will be returned to the video page. On the right side of the page, part way    down, look for “Download this video.”

5)       RIGHT click on “Download this video

6)       From the drop down menu select “save target as” and download to your computer.

 

Senator Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing the fourth Senate District including Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Siskiyou, Sutter, Del Norte, Placer, Trinity, Yuba and Nevada counties.

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