THE ANGRY MIDGET SPIKE LEE TOOK TIME AWAY FROM HIS TWITTERING DUTIES -- WHERE HE LIKES TO SEND ATTACK MOBS TO THE HOMES OF INNOCENT PEOPLE -- TO VENT AND FROTH ON CNN BECAUSE APPARENTLY HIS DICK'S TOO SMALL TO BOX WITH GOD OR BEAT AN INCH WORM IN A SIZE CONTEST.
SPIKE SAID OF HIS ALLEGED LOVER BARRY O, "EXPECTATIONS WERE TOO HIGH."
SPIKE WENT ON TO DECLARE THAT THE PROBLEMS FACING THE COUNTRY ARE THE REPUBLICANS DOING BECAUSE THEY SAID:
'Whatever you do, we're blocking that. We're blocking, and every breath we take, we're going to do what we can that you don't get a second term. Bottom line. And if it hurts America in the process, tough business.'
POOR SPIKE. AS USUAL, THE ANGRY MIDGET MOUTH WASN'T CONNECTED TO THE BRAIN. BARRY O WAS SWORN IN AS CELEBRITY IN CHIEF IN JANUARY 2009. UNTIL JANUARY 2011, DEMOCRATS CONTROLLED THE HOUSE AND SENATE. WHAT'S THE EXCUSE AGAIN, LITTLE MAN?
AND DEMOCRATS STILL REMAIN IN CONTROL OF THE SENATE.
POOR SPIKE. HE SHOULD STICK TO DIRECTING HIS SEXIST FILMS WHILE THE COUNTRY WONDERS HOW LONG A WHITE DIRECTOR WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH MAKING ONE TRASHY, SEXIST FILM AFTER ANOTHER?
GO, LITTLE MAN, GO.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting in the United States. Mark McCarter (Huntsville Times) reports, "Russell Keith, who served as a paramedic in civilian life and during two tours of duty in Iraq, died Wednesday at age 53. He suffered from Parkinson's disease that he believed was related to his exposure to burn pits while serving in Balad." Services will be held tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at Laughlin Service Funeral Home with the burial at Jefferson Memorial Gardens.
November 6, 2009, we covered the Democratic Policy Committee hearing that Russell Keith testified at. He explained, "While I was stationed at Balad, I experienced the effects of the massive burn pit that burned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ten-acre pit was located in the northwest corner of the base. An acrid, dark black smoke from the pit would accumulate and hang low over the base for weeks at a time. Every spot on the base was touched by smoke from the pit; everyone who served at the base was exposed to the smoke. It was almost impossible to escape, even in our living units,"
Then-Senator Byron Dorgan was the Chair of the DPC and he stated at that hearing:
Today we're going to have a discussion and have a hearing on how, as early as 2002, US military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan began relying on open-air burn pits -- disposing of waste materials in a very dangerous manner. And those burn pits included materials such as hazardous waste, medical waste, virtually all of the waste without segregation of the waste, put in burn pits. We'll hear how there were dire health warnings by Air Force officials about the dangers of burn pit smoke, the toxicity of that smoke, the danger for human health. We'll hear how the Department of Defense regulations in place said that burn pits should be used only in short-term emergency situations -- regulations that have now been codified. And we will hear how, despite all the warnings and all the regulations, the Army and the contractor in charge of this waste disposal, Kellogg Brown & Root, made frequent and unnecessary use of these burn pits and exposed thousands of US troops to toxic smoke.
Dire warnings were ignored. Service members and contractors came back to the US with sicknesses resulting from that exposure and they have had to fight continually to try to have their illnesses and conditions recognized. Russell Keith was part of those who came forward and spoke out. He also was part of the class action lawsuit against KBR. KBR has still not had to pay for their actions.
The US government has thus far refused to create a burn pit registry. When we speak to veterans groups, I note that 2013 might be a good year for that registry. Senator Jim Webb refused to allow it to come out of Committee back when then-US Senator Evan Bayh proposed it and appeared before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to advocate for it. June 13th, Senator Mark Udall appeared before the Committee advocating on behalf of a registry:
Senator Mark Udall: Sitting in the audience today is Master Sergeant Jessey Baca a member of the New Mexico Air National Guard and his wife Maria. [to them] Just give everybody a waive here, you two. Master Sgt. Baca was stationed in Balad, Iraq and exposed to burn pits. His journey to be here today was not easy. He has battled cancer, chronic bronchitis, chemical induced asthma, brain lesions, TBI, PTSD and numerous other ailments. Maria has traveled that difficult road with him. They know first hand the suffering caused by burn pits and they need to know the answers. It is because of them and so many others like them that we are here today. Last year, I introduced S. 1798, the Open Burn Pits Registry Act with Senator Corker. Representative Todd Akin introduced it in the House. It is not a partisan issue. We have each met with veterans and active duty members of the military and they have told us how important it is that we act now. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, open air burn pits were widely used at forward operating bases. Disposing of trash and other debris was a major challenge. Commanders had to find a way to dispose of waste while concentrating on the important mission at hand. The solution that was chosen, however, had serious risks. Pits of waste were set on fire -- sometimes using jet fuel for ignition. Some burn pits were small but others covered multiple acres of land. Often times, these burn pits would turn the sky black. At Joint Base Balad Iraq, over 10 acres of land were used for burning toxic debris. At the height of its operations, Balad hosted approximately 25,000 military, civilian and coalition provision authority personnel. These personnel would be exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals released into the atmosphere. According to air quality measurements, the air at Balad had multiple particulates harmful to humans: Plastics and Styrofoams, metals, chemicals from paints and solvents, petroleum and lubricants, jet fuel and unexploded ordnance, medical and other dangerous wastes. The air samples at Joint Base Balad turned up some nasty stuff. Particulate matter, chemicals that form from the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas garbage or other organic substances, volatile organic compounds such as acetone and benzene -- benzene, as you all know, is known to cause leukemia -- and dioxins which are associated with Agent Orange. According to the American Lung Association, emissions from burning waste contain fine particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs. All of this was in the air and being inhaled into the lungs of service members. Our veterans have slowly begun to raise the alarm as they learn why -- after returning home -- they are short of breath or experiencing headaches and other symptoms and, in some cases, developing cancer. Or to put it more simply, by Maria Baca, when she describes her husband's symptoms, "When he breathes, he can breathe in, but he can't breathe out. That's the problem that he's having. It feels like a cactus coming out of his chest. He feels these splinters and he can't get rid of them." The Dept of Army has also confirmed the dangers posed by burn pits. In a memo from April 15, 2011, Environmental Science Engineering Officer, G. Michael Pratt, wrote an air quality summary on Baghram Airfield. And I would respectfully ask that the full memo be included in the record. Referring to the burn pits near Baghram Airfield, he said there was potential that "long-term exposure at these level may experience the risk for developing chronic health conditions such as reduced lung function or exacerbated chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, atherosclerosis and other cardio pulmonary diseases. Many of our service members are coming home with these symptoms. I believe, like you do, Madam Chair, that we are forever in debt for their service, so we must ask the question, "How did these burn pits impact the health of our returning heroes?" This bill is a step towards finding the answers we owe them. The legislation will establish and maintain and Open Burn Pit Registry for those individuals who may have been exposed during their military service. It would include information in this registry that the Secretary of the VA determines is applicable to possible health effects of this exposure. develop a public information campaign to inform individuals about the registry and periodically notify members of the registry of significant developments associated with burn pits exposure. It is supported by numerous groups including BurnPits 360, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Association of US Navy, Retired Enlisted Association, the Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees and the National Military Family Association. Madam Chair and Ranking Member Burr, thank you for your attention to this important issue. I look forward to working with both of you and members of your distinguished Committee on this important legislation. Thank you and a pleasure once again to be with you today.
In 2013, Webb will be gone. His war on veterans -- he lashed out at VA Secretary Eric Shinseki for Shinseki's efforts to recognize all who were suffering from Agent Orange exposure during Vietnam and his penny-pinching opposition to a Burn Pit Registry -- is why Webb didn't run for re-election. He did not have the votes in his home state, largely due to his actions against veterans. With Webb gone, I believe Senator Jon Tester's opposition to the registry crumbles (I could be wrong) and that it's much easier to get it passed. The problem with that is, not only can you not take back the years where they were ignored or lied to, you also can't bring back those who've died from those burn pits. This is the Laughlin Service Funeral Home's obituary for Russell Keith:
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Vickie Keith; daughter, Renatta Keith of Huntsville; sons, Chad Keith of Decatur, Chris Keith (Rachel) of Decatur and Carlton Keith of Huntsville; granddaughter, Isabella Wood; mother, Geraldine Lowe of Morrison, CO; sister, Wendy Greene of Florida and brothers, Howard Keith of Morrison, CO and Jimmy Keith of Boston, MA.
Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home chapel with Pastor I.V. Marsh officiating. Burial will be in Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Trussville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. (www.michaeljfox.org)
Javier Blas (Washington Post) reports, "Iraq has overtaken Iran as the second-largest OPEC oil producer for the first time since the late 1980s, a symbolic shift that signals the huge impact of Western sanctions on Tehran and the steady recovery of Baghdad's energy industry." Steve Hargreaves (CNN Money) adds, "Iraqi oil production inched over the 3 million barrel a day mark in July, according to numbers released Friday by the International Atomic Agency. That's 300,000 barrels per day higher than the country's average output in 2011." And that has to pass for progress in Iraq. Not that the Iraqi people see any monies. Nouri's Cabinet just announced that there would be no surplus oil revenues to divide among the people. Moqtada al-Sadr rebuked that claim publicly but you know Nouri never share what he can steal. So this is another example of no progress in Iraq. The US State Dept says "no progress" as well. Yesterday they issued a travel warning on Iraq which included:
Some regions within Iraq have experienced fewer violent incidents than others in recent years, in particular the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR). Although violence and threats against U.S. citizens persist, reported instances have lessened in the past six months. U.S. citizens in Iraq also remain at risk for kidnapping. Methods of attack have, in the past, included roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including explosively formed penetrators (EFPs); magnetic IEDs placed on vehicles; human and vehicle-borne IEDs, mines placed on or concealed near roads; mortars and rockets, and shootings using various direct fire weapons. Numerous insurgent groups, including Al Qaida in Iraq, remain active throughout Iraq. Although Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) operations against these groups continue, terrorist activity persists in many areas of the country. While terrorist violence occurs at levels lower than in previous years, it occurs frequently, particularly in the provinces of Baghdad, Ninewa, Salah ad Din, Anbar, and Diyala.
The security situation in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), which includes the governorates of Sulymaniya, Erbil, and Dohuk, has been more stable relative to the rest of Iraq in recent years, but threats remain. U.S. government personnel in northern Iraq are required to be accompanied by a protective security escort when traveling outsidesecure facilities. Although there have been significantly fewer terrorist attacks and lower levels of insurgent violence in the IKR than in other parts of Iraq, the security situation throughout the IKR remains dangerous. Increasingly, many U.S. and third-country business people travel throughout much of Iraq; however, they do so under restricted movement conditions and almost always with security advisors and teams.
U.S. citizens should avoid areas near the Turkish or Iranian borders. The Turkish military continues to carry out operations against elements of the Kongra-Gel terrorist group (KGK, formerly Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK) located along Iraq's northern border. Additionally, extensive unmarked minefields remain along the same border. The Governments of Turkey and Iran continue to carry out military operations against insurgent groups in the mountain regions. These operations have included troop movements and both aerial and artillery bombardments. Borders in these areas are not always clearly defined. Iranian authorities previously detained, for an extended period, U.S. citizens who were hiking in the vicinity of the Iranian border in the IKR. The resources available to the U.S. Embassy to assist U.S. citizens who venture close to or cross the border with Iran are extremely limited. The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone (IZ) in Baghdad. The IZ is a restricted access area. Iraqi authorities are responsible for control of the IZ. Travelers to the IZ should be aware that Iraqi authorities may require special identification to enter the IZ or may issue IZ-specific access badges. Individuals residing and traveling within the IZ should continue to exercise good personal safety precautions. The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. government personnel in Iraq to be serious enough to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines. All U.S. government employees under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission must follow strict safety and security procedures when traveling outside the Embassy. State Department guidance to U.S. businesses in Iraq advises the use of protective security details. Detailed security information is available at the U.S. Embassy website.
The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services to U.S. citizens throughout Iraq, including Baghdad, is particularly limited given the security environment. The U.S. Consulates in Basrah Erbil, and Kirkuk cannot provide routine services such as passport applications, extra visa pages, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. U.S. citizens in need of these services while in Iraq must travel to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The Embassy's website (http://iraq.usembassy.gov) includes consular information and the most recent messages to U.S. citizens in Iraq. U.S. citizens in Iraq who are in need of emergency assistance should call 0770-443-1286. For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Emergencies and Crisis link at www.travel.state.gov. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
They have to issue that warning because there is still no progress in Iraq. On the violence front,Alsumaria notes that a suicide bomber drove a car up to a mosque in Muwafaqiya (east of Mosul) and detonated, taking his/her own life and the lives of 5 worshipers while leaving twenty-five more injured. Reuters updates that to 5 dead and seventy injured. Al Jazeera adds that "part of the mosque building collapsed over the heads of the worshippers as they were leaving." KUNA notes that the statement from Niniveh Province Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi "condemned that deadly attack of the Shiite place, warning that the attack is meant to instigate tension between Iraqis of different sects." The governor is the brother of Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) notes a Dujail attack in which 4 Sahwa ("Awakenings," "Sons Of Iraq") were shot dead and a Muqdadiyah roadside bombing which claimed the lives of 3 police officers and left two more injured. AFP adds that Haditha city council member Nabil Shaakar was shot dead with his two brothers left injured.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Nouri's Iraq: No progress"
"Veterans Jobs Corps Bill, California sues veterans..."
"Caribbean Casserole in the Kitchen"
"Curiosity lands on the cover of Time!"
"Mars and Curiosity"
"4 men, 3 women"
"8 men, 0 women"
"curiosity makes cover of time!"
"Drought = inflation"
"Brand new Laura Nyro information"
"Liza and Michael"
"Matthew Rothschild, White boy, buy a damn clue"
"Women grab the gold for 3rd Olympics in a row"
"So I get a sandwich at Subway and . . ."
"Shutting Down the Domestic Arts Czar"
"Women who run for office"
"Idiot of the Week"
"The corporations get away with everything under Barack"
"Where are the crowds? Maybe next year."
"THIS JUST IN! WHERE ARE THE CROWDS?"