Jun 172013

I’m writing early, as usual.  Day two is proving more difficult.  In spite of the Chantix and a 21 mg. patch, I’m Jonesing big time.  nevertheless, I remain committed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:20 (average 4:47).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Virginia, has shot into the news recently over two of its former employees:  Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has just revealed the extent of  US global spying on electronic data of ordinary citizens around the world, and James Clapper, US director of national intelligence.

Clapper has  come out vocally to condemn Snowden as a traitor to the public interest and the country, yet a review of Booz Allen’s own history suggests that the government should be investigating his former employer, rather than the whistleblower.

Clapper worked as vice-president at Booz Allen from 1997 to 1998, while Snowden  did a three-month stint at their offices in Hawaii in spring 2013 as a low-level contract employee. Both worked on intelligence contracts, which are estimated to make up almost a quarter of the company’s $5.86bn in annual income. This past weekend, Clapper condemned Snowden’s leak…

I’m going to disagree with this author, in part. Because Snowden, by his own admission has leaked US sources and methods to China regarding electronic surveillance of that nation, he should certainly be investigated, and in all probability prosecuted. However, I agree with the author that Booze Allen Hamilton should be investigated for criminal negligence, and Clapper should be fired and criminally investigated for corruption.

From Common Dreams: An interactive database allowing users to search more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore tax havens including the British Virgin Islands has gone online.

The data, part of a cache of 2.5m leaked files that has already led to a series of exposes of the offshore financial sector by the Guardian and other global media organisations, has been launched by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The ICIJ, a non-profit organisation that has analysed the files with more than 100 journalists in dozens of countries and is continuing to do so, hopes the Offshore Leaks web app will trigger further investigations and revelations by making the information more widely available.


This resource may be difficult to use, but I consider it an extremely valuable tool to ferret out the 1% vulture capitalists that the Republican Party represent exclusively.  Major kudos to the ICIJ!!

From Huffington Post: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) criticized President Barack Obama while speaking at the annual meeting of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Saturday, saying the United States should not intervene in Syria while he’s in office.

“Until we have a commander in chief who knows what he is doing… let Allah sort it out!” Palin told the conservative crowd, according to The Hill.


God forbid that I I should ever be perceived as agreeing with Blood Libel Barbie, aka Drill Baby Dingbat, aka Mooseolini. I think intervention in Syria is a mistake for different reasons, and it should be noted, the ones who are pushing hardest for it are Republicans, but Obama painted himself into a corner when he threatened increased US involvement if Assad was proven to have used chemical weapons.



Don’t tell Republicans it’s from France, or they’ll send it back!!


  25 Responses to “Open Thread–6/17/2013”

  1. 3:11 Anchors aweigh!

  2. Be as persistent in your attempt to quit smoking as you are about keeping those damn RepublicanTs in line. Saturday, I got into my car to come home from grocery shopping and the craving for a cig was tremendous. It was a year on May18 this year. It never stops, Tom. You can do it with your determination.

    Alternet  All defense contractors and the Government officials with whom they have dealings should be investigated.    Heed Ike's advice when he left the Office of President.

    Common Dreams ~ I sure hope this leads to some legal action being taken against these money launderers who call themselseves "businessmen".

    HuffPo ~ As long as we don't send our people over to Syria, I think Pres. Obama did the right thing. Using chemical weapons against the citizenry of your own country is just plain wrong.                                                                                            Is it just me, or does "Failin Palin" look like she had some work done on her face? Definitely injections into her lips!

    Cartoon ~ The lovely lady and what she symbolizes were and still are shining beacons to so many in this dark world.





  3. Keep at it TomCat – you are being heroic in your rejection of nicotine, and you know you are supported by all your friends good wishes and prayers and visualisations seeing you as smoke free and relaxed! 

    On the subject of Snowden – what is one to do if one goes into a job honestly – then sees the employers being dishonest?  Its a dilemma many of us have to face – but not usually with such consequences!  As I think you pointed out yesterday in a news item, less than half of the Congress members turned up to an official meeting on the subject – thus giving away any input into policy and any vote on the matter – and basically letting down (said she VERY mildly) every last one of their constituents!




    • I would agree about Palin, Patty, she does look like that – and she is also wearing a very obvious hairpiece on the back of her head – why I don't know as she appears to have an enviable amount of hair – but then logic has never been her strong suit has it. 

      I still remember with joy her taped interview when she was asked about the North Korean situation (then flaring up again) and she said 'Well obviously we should stand with our North Korean allies' and the interviewer (no doubt biting the inside of their mouth to stop howling with laughter) said politely 'South Korean allies' – to be faced with a blank stare!


    • I'm trying, Pat!

      I can only speak for me.  I did some contract work for people involved with covert matters in the 1980s.  I quit, because I was not mortally amenable to some of the things I saw, and there are things that I still will not talk about, because I gave my word.

  4. I thought you were setting a quit date too early.  Just keep working on it.  A few hits of medicinal pot helped me get off tobacco.  My lung doctor has no problem with pot; one must be careful about ashes and heat in the lungs.


    If you've cut down at all you are successful.

  5. I anxiously await the day Sister Sarah retires, so she can endlessly sit on her front porch and watch as the sun sets over Russia.

    (PS – What is with her hair?  Is she hiding small varmints in there?)

  6. Puzzle — 3:15  Throw me a tow rope!  I lost steam!

    Alternet — Snowden should be definitely investigated and with the results of that investigation, charged with sedition or theft or other appropriate charge.  When Snoden made the decision to leak information as a matter of conscience or civil disobedience, he knew there would be repercussion and accepted that.  if Snowden was a low level contact employee, how did he have such unfettered access to so much information.  Booz Allen should most definitely be investigated if for no other reason than their hiring practices.  But I do find it interesting that Clapper (OMG, what a name!) was also at Booz Allen, albeit 15 years ago.  Given the nature of the business, that certainly seems like a potential conflict of interest.

    I'm absolutely stunned that Issa hasn't opened his big mouth yet, at least not that I have seen in my reading.  Even though this is still breaking, that has not stopped him before.

    Common Dreams — I took a few minutes and looked at http://www.icij.org and found it interesting.  As a check I put in Willard Mitt Romney with no results.  However I am sure he is probably somewhere in there, just hidden.  Also, the ICIJ does say that there might be info missing or not up to date.  I can see the IRS might enjoy playing with this little data base.

    When I was a compliance manager, there was an international data base of terrorist, criminals, and politically vulnerable individuals.  Everytime there was an update, I had to check our mortgages against it.  Once we found a foreign banker who had embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars from a bank in his home country.  The mortgage was never approved because of that.  I can see this being another data base that will be searched.

    Huffington Post — Palin is such an embarrasment to the human race.

    Cartoon — I did some reading some reading about a year ago on Lady Liberty.  Did you know that she was so heavy, that she had to be shipped in several pieces and assembled in New York.  The US was responsible for the location and the pedestal construction.  The statue has been closed since super storm Sandy, but is to be re-opened on 04 July 2013.



    • For once you were last; :-O

      My point, exactly.

      LOL!  That's the same search I tried

      Excellent point!


      I did. 🙂

  7. TC, you asked for an update on the BC provincial election from May 2013.  The Premier was definitely defeated in her constituency by the NDP person, David Edy, that she narrowly defeated the previous election.  A newly elected member from Kelowna west (Okanagan) who won his seat with 58% of the vote, has stepped aside so that she can run in that constituency to regain a seat.  Apparently in the past, this has been the constituency of two previous premiers, both business oriented — WAC Bennett and son Bill Bennett.  The by-election is in August sometime.  Until then, Clark is still referred to as Premier.  If she loses that by-election, the provincial Liberals will have to pick a new leader to be the Premier.

    I haven't wanted to say anything too early, but I am really proud of you for quitting smoking.  Yes it is hard, but you can do it!

    I must say, I am really proud of all of you who have quit!

    • Thanks Lynn.  It's already emvbarrassing!  If she loses, it will be moreso.  We need NDP to take the province.

      Thanks!  I'm not out of the woods yet!

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