Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quick Hits - November 26, 2011

Celebrating Small Business Saturday....

We open with the latest on the OccupyWallStreet movement, which was largely unsuccessful yesterday in their efforts to disrupt Black Friday retailers and shoppers.  The majority of Occupy Chicago activists and protesters support the use of violence against the government as can be justified.  75% of those in this group polled also said that President Barack Obama was too far to the right of the political spectrum - fully embracing the Bill Ayers model...

So far in these 'occupations', the cost to local taxpayers as a direct result of the Occupy movement is nearly $20 million.  Police overtime, vandalism / destruction of property, clean-up costs - all stress local governments that are already fiscally challenged as a result of their own mismanagement / embracing of progressive policies.  As we transition into the full fledged 2012 election season, this cartoon is particularly appropriate...

The Washington Times is reporting that that brick and mortar retailers are rapidly lining up to support Congressional efforts to start taxing commerce on the Internet - permitting state and local governments to collect sales tax on eCommerce sales.  They are claiming the exclusion on the collection of sales tax for internet commerce, unless the internet merchant has physical operations in the tax entity, is an unfair advantage for those merchants.  Consumers can save 5% to nearly 10% depending on where they live on their online purchases from pure eCommerce retailers.  This was widely seen as 'compensation' to the consumer for the need to wait for the delivery of the merchandise, but with the fiscal challenges of state and local governments, they want every penny possible from the taxpayer.

In today's World View, we have reports that Turkey is threatening Syria over the continued abuses and military action against Syrian civilians, but also reports that it will not intervene to stop the Syrian military.  Vietnam is increasing it's military presence in the South China Sea to confront Chinese actions there and Greece is now demanding that private investors take a 75 cents on the dollar loss on their investments as part of the latest Greek bailout.  The original deal was that private investors would lose half their investment as opposed to the nation defaulting and risking 100% loss.

The biggest international news comes from the NATO helicopter and jet attack on two Pakistani military outposts near the Afghanistan - Pakistan border in the Pakistani NW territories.
NATO helicopters kill 24 Pakistani troops in an attack on checkpoints in the NW territories – Pakistan retaliates by closing logistical routes from Pakistan into Afghanistan…Much of the violence in Afghanistan is carried out by insurgents that are based just across the border in Pakistan. Coalition forces are not allowed to cross the frontier to attack the militants. The militants, however, sometimes fire artillery and rockets across the line, reportedly from locations close to Pakistani army posts.
American officials have repeatedly accused Pakistani forces of supporting — or turning a blind eye — to militants using its territory for cross-border attacks. The border issue is the major source of tension between Islamabad and Washington, which wants to stabilize Afghanistan and withdraw its combat troops there by the end of 2014.
Pakistan army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani "strongly condemned" the alleged attack on the two checkpoints, calling it a "blatant and unacceptable act," according to an army statement. It said the "unprovoked" attack was carried out by NATO helicopters and fighter jets, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 13 others.
 Today we wrap up with more information coming out from the reviews of the materials that were contained in Climategate 2.0....

Watts Up With That reports that there is an 'Easter Egg' [a special gift / treat] within the zip file that contains almost a quarter million new messages locked behind an encryption system.  As they report, there is considerable speculation around what is contained in this segregated / protected messages (something really damning?), but regardless, there is far more to Climategate than we've seen thusfar.

Climategate 1.0 and 2.0 have provided us with some clear and direct evidence that politics and political / ideological agendas are taking precedence over the science as I detailed in my commentary from earlier this week.  We are seeing mails that have climate scientists asking others to delete data and emails to avoid any required accountability via Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] requests.  

In another, we have a BBC reporter saying to Dr. Phil Jones of East Anglia University and the IPCC that "they really have no impartiality at all" when it comes to climate issues and claims - an accusation that is not disputed.  The UK's Daily Mail also is reporting that climate scientists DID collude with government officials to hid research that didn't fit or advance their global warming disaster scenarios - and also these same scientists were financially rewarded for doing so.

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