Monday, January 07, 2008


How to solve America's water problems

Hey, Sun Belters, move to the Great Lake states. You can have all the water you want and stop worrying about droughts. Besides, we're not piping our water south.

By Edward McClelland

Jan. 7, 2008 | As his state endures its worst drought in a century, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is praying for rain. Lake Lanier, the reservoir that waters the endlessly growing colossus of metro Atlanta, is receding from its banks, shriveling to a shiny puddle. Georgia has restricted car washing and lawn watering. It has shut off its outdoor fountains.

In San Diego, which just experienced its driest summer in recorded history, the hills are charred from October's wildfires. The state of California is so tapped out that the pumps that carry water from the Sacramento River to San Diego were tightened in December. Water authorities are urging San Diegans to tear up their grass and replace it with cactus and succulent.

Bill Richardson, governor of arid New Mexico, had his region's plight in mind when he told the Las Vegas Sun that Northern states need to start sharing their water: "I want a national water policy. We need a dialogue between states to deal with issues like water conservation, water reuse technology, water delivery and water production. States like Wisconsin are awash in water."

Sun Belters, there's a man in Detroit with the answer to your water problems. "They can have all the water they want," says Hugh McDiarmid Jr. of the Michigan Environmental Council. "All they have to do is move here." There's plenty of room. Some Detroit neighborhoods are so bereft of houses that pheasants hide in the vacant lots. And the cost of living is unbeatable. Earlier this year, an auctioneer was trying to unload a bungalow for $18,000. When no one would bid, he reminded his audience, "You get the land under the house, too."

OK, so Detroit's a tough place to find a job. How about Cleveland? It's half the size it used to be, which means 500,000 people are driving on freeways built for a million. Commuting is a breeze. Syracuse would love to have you, too. They've lost a higher proportion of young people than any other city in the U.S., perhaps because they engineered their own demise, being the headquarters of Carrier Air Conditioning, the appliance that made the Sun Belt possible. But they still have Syracuse Orange basketball. And Dinosaur Barbecue, which has the best ribs in Upstate New York, and the funniest bathroom graffiti anywhere.

Thanks Micki!

Move to Duluth? Sheesh! I just left! (6 years ago).


DEN said...

Mondays I need a helping hand getting my brain in gear, thanks Micki!

Political stuff dominates as does the Stock Market as the first part of 08 is turning out to be a real smoker!

MICKI said...

Seven days into the New Year...

I can't wait for this year to be over!

micki said...

Another vintage MICHIGAN postcard, water location, the locks at Sault Ste. Marie

micki said...

Fishing on LAKE MICHIGAN, North Shore

micki said...

Before 1992 the person elected president had always carried the New Hampshire primary, but Bill Clinton broke the pattern in 1992, when he lost. (Came in 2nd.) George W. Bush didn't win NH in 2000, either.

The winner in NH has not always gone to win his party's nomination -- GOPers John McCain in 2000 and Pat Buchanan in 1996, and Dems Estes Kefauver in 1952 and 1956 and Paul Tsongas in 1992.

Maybe NH should stop claiming, "as NH goes, so goes the nation." Oh, that's right...I guess they have already.

º¿carol said...

I just looked at the Cab Calloway video posted yesterday. That was great! Thanks, Den.

DEN said...

Stole it from C&L, Carol, i cannot take all the credit.

º¿carol said...

Well, if you didn't steel it I would never have seen it. You still get all the credit. :)

º¿carol said...

We had a meltdown here. In one day all 14 inches of snow melted. Mud-bogged now. :(

To think I shoveled all the way out to the bonfire pit eight feet wide, in case I had trash to burn....for nothing! I haven't needed to burn the trash yet! Heh, proves I'm no psychic. (I'm sure glad we finally got the basement waterproofed a couple years ago because this melted snow would certainly creep in once the ground thaws)

DEN said...

Aw heck, you probably needed the exercise anyhow, HA!

Alan said...

hold on to your hats...

Pentagon says ships harassed by Iran

WASHINGTON - Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to explode the vessels, U.S. officials said Monday, calling it the most serious such incident in years.

U.S. forces were taking steps toward firing on the Iranians to defend themselves, said the U.S. naval commander in the region. But the boats — believed to be from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy — turned and moved away, officials said.
deja Tonkin Gulf vu

DEN said...

A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets.

Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office.

She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.

Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Sibel Edmonds sings and wow what a voice!

DEN said...

Brad Blog has more here

Marc Grossman is the evil-doer.

º¿carol said...

I spelled steal, steel. Ugh.

Yes, I DID need the exercise! That's what I keep telling myself.

carey said...

Clinton's tears? Real or staged, it doesn't matter, the poor girl. I wonder if the Obama surge doesn't start to wane a bit.

I'm swamped right now. Can't chat.

Gerald said...

GIVE ME A BREAK!!! How can an Iranian boat harass a US warship?

Nazi America is trying to provoke Iran into war or find an excuse to bomb Iran.

Michigan's water is being diverted throughout many states. The Great Lakes shoreline is widening and tons of gallons of water is diverted to other states and the depth of the Great Lakes is shrinking. Times are not that jolly in Michigan.

DEN said...

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

The California Majority Report reports that Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), one of the long-time subjects of the Jack Abramoff investigation, "will announce that he will not seek re-election." That could come as soon as this week, reports John Bresnahan of The Politico. Back in September, Doolittle proclaimed "I am running again. Period."

Ever since Doolittle refused to plead guilty, the Justice Department has evidently been building a bribery case against him. Doolittle, meanwhile, has made quite a pastime of demanding that the DoJ fish or cut bait. All that tough talk hasn't helped his fundraising, and his campaign has increasingly been drained by payments to his wife for her purported fundraising work. Things just aren't like they used to be during the glory days before Abramoff's downfall.

Gerald said...

We, Nazi Amercans, keep hearing that our air force and navy are second to no one. Now we hear that Iran's naval armada of dingies are challenging Nazi America's battleships and our naval armada. Iran's dingies are as relevant as a pimple on my behind in taking on the US navy.

Gerald said...

We keep hearing about change. I guess change is the 2008 buzzword. Change justs happens. If there is one thing certain in life, it is that change will happen.


Gerald said...

Hillary is on the verge of becoming irrelevant. A loss in New Hampshire and in South Carolina will doom Hillary's chances for her party's nomination.

That would be unfortunate because Barack is riding hide high without offering me his clear vision of moving Nazi America forward and of making Nazi America a great nation. Barack doesn't really say much and John Edwards will let his wife fight his battles.

Gerald said...

It is also unfortunate that Kucinich and Dodd have not made any traction with their hat in the ring for president.

Gerald said...

Personally, I like Hillary's credentials. Let us not forget that she was for CHANGE in health care services but the Nazis would not let her have a say. 64% of our media is conservative and that put a silence on any of Hillary's ideas for CHANGE.

David B. Benson said...

Some think US$ 200 per barrel will take a bit longer than Micki does:

Leading European Institute warns for oil price surge to $200

Gerald said...

Let us study CHANGE in Nazi America!

In 1993 Hillary want CHANGE for our health care but Nazi Americans did not want CHANGE in health care.

In 1998 a BJ is considered an impeachable act.

In 2008 Nazi Americans do not consider mass murders and war crimes against humanity as impeachable acts. NOW, HOW IS THAT FOR CHANGE???


Gerald said...


I tried a longer post but my computer just shutdown and I had to re-type my comments and I decide to offer shorter posts.

Gerald said...

Why is Hillary on the verge of irrelevancy?

Let me offer two reasons!!!

The first reason is that Hillary back up Spitzer's plan for driver licenses to illegal aliens.

The second reason is huge. Bill Clinton and George Bush, one, sitting together and trying to encourage donations for victims of various disasters on television leaves the viewer that Hillary is part of the ESTABLISHMENT and she is not for the average American.

Let us never forget that the Bush family is part of the elitists in Nazi America!!!

micki said...

I'm sticking to my $200 per barrel prediction.

Let 'er rip. Let's get this shit over and done with.

Change is the mantra.

If we're still f**king around with oil prices in 15 to 20 years, we sure didn't learn any lessons in all that change, did we?

micki said...

I meant to say 5-10 years.

Everything else in my post is stet.

Gerald said...

Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.
– George W. Bush

Gerald said...

Micki, it is interesting that you should mention $200 per barrel for oil. I was at the gas station and putting gas into the tank when a man and I started talking about oil going up to $200 per barrel.

DEN said...

AW HELL!! Blast the Iranians to Allah! Peg gas at $10.00 a gallon, make the poor quadruple in size, then, reduce the masses!

Sounds rather Hitleresque doesn't it.

Didn't we(American people) go through this once already?

Neo-fascism? as if there is anything to add to a failed theory.

We are mere specks of sand to the forces that would do us harm and can count on being treated as such.

Definitely Love and goodness needed here, REAL love and goodness, not TV evangelististas, just to get us through, but fatchance of it ever happening, we will have to fail miserably in a money addled world to really learn in order to reset priorities for humanity.

Oh well, I'll be long gone.

Stay tuned............

micki said...

I'm at the point where I'd love to see Hillary win just to stick it to all the hate-filled jerks out there who get their kicks by trashing her.

Obama is not my candidate, but I thought his comments about the incident today were civil.

Edwards, on the other hand, who I have supported, is doing a great impression of an asshole lately.

micki said...

All this crapola that's going on in the Straits of Hormuz (or wherever) is Justadinnerjacket flexing his muscles at the mighty Preznit of the USofA who's going to go to the ME and flex his muscles.

Two bullies showing off for the sheeple, trying to out-macho each other. Some day, one of these manufactured "close calls" is going to result in a nuclear fiasco of the highest order.

David B. Benson said...

What did Edwards do/say lately?

DEN said...

Anyone taking bets on if he will make it back here in one piece or some of them el-kaydas git 'im first.

Could be a deadeye dick setup.

Time to loose the chimp?

Stay tuned..........

DEN said...

These are mighty crazy times,

big money boys committing crimes.

Why can't we all just get along,

our lives it would surely prolong.

Somewhere out in the night,

is a person able to set it right.

We hope he will be found soon,

without him we are doomed.

He is the goodness in you and I,

without it you will wither inside.

So help your brother in need,

and help me stomp out the greed.

David B. Benson said...

Den --- Are you sure you are not paranoid?


Anyway, anybody mocing to the locations in your main post today ought to think about increasing thundery storm and tornado likelihoods.

DEN said...

Nope, I'm not sure, I'm old.

David B. Benson said...

moving, not 'mocing'.

And I even previewed this post. :-(

DEN said...

You are old too.

DEN said...

With age comes freedom, freedom to screw something like that up and not give a hoot that particular moment.

Quite refreshing.

Harriet the Historian said...


Navy Missile Downs Iranian Jetliner

By George C. Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 4, 1988; Page A01

A U.S. warship fighting gunboats in the Persian Gulf yesterday mistook an Iranian civilian jetliner for an attacking Iranian F14 fighter plane and blew it out of the hazy sky with a heat-seeking missile, the Pentagon announced. Iran said 290 persons were aboard the European-made A300 Airbus and that all had perished.

"The U.S. government deeply regrets this incident," Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference.

The disaster occurred at mid-morning over the Strait of Hormuz, when the airliner, Iran Air Flight 655, on what Iran described as a routine 140-mile flight from its coastal city of Bandar Abbas southwest to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, apparently strayed too close to two U.S. Navy warships that were engaged in a battle with Iranian gunboats.

The USS Vincennes, a cruiser equipped with the most sophisticated radar and electronic battle gear in the Navy's surface arsenal, tracked the oncoming plane electronically, warned it to keep away, and when it did not fired two Standard surface-to-air missiles.

Navy officials said the Vincennes' combat teams believed the airliner to be an Iranian F14 jet fighter. No visual contact was made with the aircraft until it was struck and blew up about six miles from the Vincennes; the plane's wreckage fell in Iranian territorial waters, Navy officials said.

Iranian vessels and helicopters searched for survivors, but there was no indication last night that anyone survived what apparently is the sixth worst aviation disaster. Iranian television broadcast scenes of bodies floating amid scattered debris.

It was the first time any U.S. military unit had shot down a civilian airliner. It occurred almost five years after a Soviet fighter pilot shot down an off-course Korean Air Lines Flight 007, killing 269 people.

Iran accused the United States of a "barbaric massacre" and vowed to "avenge the blood of our martyrs."

President Reagan in a statement said he was "saddened to report" that the Vincennes "in a proper defensive action" had shot down the jetliner. "This is a terrible human tragedy. Our sympathy and condolences go out to the passengers, crew, and their families . . . . We deeply regret any loss of life."

Reagan, who was spending the Fourth of July holiday at Camp David, said the Iranian aircraft "was headed directly for the Vincennes" and had "failed to heed repeated warnings." The cruiser, he said, fired "to protect itself against possible attack."

News of the downing of the plane began with sharply conflicting accounts from Iran and from the Defense Department of what had transpired in the Persian Gulf. Early yesterday, Tehran broadcast accusations that the United States had downed an unarmed airliner.

The Pentagon at first denied the Iranian claims, declaring that information from the fleet indicated that the Vincennes, equipped with the Aegis electronic battle management system, had shot down an attacking Iranian F14 jet fighter. But after sifting through more detailed reports and electronic intelligence, Reagan directed the Pentagon to confirm there had been a tragic case of mistaken identity in the war-torn gulf.

Crowe, in his hastily called news conference at the Pentagon, also backed up the skipper of the Vincennes and faulted the Iranian airline pilot. Crowe said the Airbus had flown four miles west of the usual commercial airline route from Bandar Abbas to Dubai and that the pilot ignored repeated radioed warnings from the Vincennes to change course.

Why and how the Vincennes mistook the bulky, wide-bodied Airbus A300 for a sleek, supersonic F14 fighter plane barely a third the transport's size will be the subject of "a full investigation," Reagan promised. A military team under the command of Rear Adm. William N. Fogarty of the U.S. Central Command will leave this week to begin that investigation, Defense Department officials said.

The shootdown of the Airbus represents the biggest loss of life on the strategic waterway since the U.S. warships began escorting Kuwaiti tankers in and out of the Persian Gulf last July. Pentagon officials then said the increased U.S. naval presence would have from a "low to moderate risk" of provoking confrontations with Iran.

But in the past year, although the United States and Iran are not in a formal state of war, there have been a series of brief but fierce sea battles in the gulf between the two countries' military forces. Vigilance and readiness among U.S. forces intensified after the near-sinking of the patrol frigate USS Stark by an Iraqi fighter-bomber on May 17, 1987, in a missile attack that killed 37 sailors.

Yesterday started out as another sea battle, and ended with what the Vincennes commanders misinterpreted as a "Stark profile" attack on the high-tech cruiser. Crowe in his briefing and other Navy and Defense Department officials offered a detailed version of how the shoot-down occurred.

At 2:10 a.m. EDT, the Pentagon said, three Iranian Boghammar gunboats fired on a helicopter that had flown off the Vincennes on a reconnaissance mission. The helicopter flew back to the cruiser unscathed. The Vincennes and a smaller warship, the frigate USS Elmer Montgomery, a half-hour later closed on the gunboats and put them under fire with 5-inch guns, sinking two and damaging the third.

At 2:47 a.m. EDT, the Iranian Airbus with almost a full load of passengers took off from Bandar Abbas, a big Iranian naval base on the northern coastal elbow of the Strait of Hormuz. The field at the base is used by civilian and military aircraft and recently had become the center for Iran's dwindling force of F14s, a twin-engine, two-place fighter that the United States sold to Iran during the rule of the shah.

Two minutes after the Airbus took off, the far-reaching radars of the Vincennes Aegis cruiser saw the plane was coming its way. The skipper of the ship, operating under liberalized rules of engagement that call for U.S. captains in the Persian Gulf to fire before being fired upon to avoid another Stark disaster, warned the approaching aircraft to change course, according to the Pentagon.

The Vincennes and most airliners are equipped with identification of friend or foe (IFF) electronic boxes that query each other across the sky to establish identities. The Vincennes' IFF questioned the Airbus IFF via telemetry, but received no response. A response would come in radio pulses that would be deciphered and displayed as an identifying number on the ship's combat information center consoles.

Failing to raise the Airbus by IFF, the Pentagon said, the Vincennes broadcast its warnings by voice radio, using the emergency UHF and VHF channels that aircraft crews would hear if they followed standard practice of monitoring those frequencies. Crowe said three warnings were sent over the civilian emergency channel and four over the military one, called "Guard." The Pentagon said the Vincennes could have issued the warning over the air traffic control channel but did not.

"The suspect aircraft was outside the prescribed commercial air corridor," Crowe told reporters. Defense Department officials said later that the Airbus was four miles west of commercial air corridor. "More importantly," Crowe continued, "the aircraft headed directly for Vincennes on a constant bearing at high speed, approximately 450 knots."

Without becoming specific, Crowe said there were "electronic indications on Vincennes" that led the U.S. crew to conclude the approaching airliner was an F14. "Given the threatening flight profile and decreasing range, the aircraft was declared 'hostile' " at 2:51 a.m. EDT. The airliner at that crucial moment was on a course of almost due south, 185 degrees, and descending toward the Vincennes from an altitude of 7,800 feet, according to Crowe. Visibility was no more than five miles, Crowe said.

Three minutes later, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the Vincennes launched two Standard surface-to-air missiles from its deck. The missiles whooshed toward the twin-jet airliner, which was nine miles away and not visible to the naked eye because of the haze hanging over the gulf. The Standard missiles homed in on the heat of the quarry's engines and at least one of them exploded when it pulled abreast of the Airbus. Such a missile hit usually slices an aircraft apart and turns it into a fireball of burning fuel.

"At least one hit at an approximate range of six miles," Crowe said. "We do have some eyewitness reports that saw the vague shape of the aircraft when the missile hit, and it looked like it disintegrated."

Asked if the Vincennes' skipper had been prudent or impetuous by firing at a plane he could not see, Crowe replied: "The commanding officer conducted himself with circumspection and, considering the information that was available to him, followed his authorities and acted with good judgment at a very trying period and under very trying circumstances . . . . Not only was he following this aircraft and concerned about it," but he also "was engaged on the surface with Iranian units."

Crowe said it was "logical" for the skipper to assume an aircraft that was coming down from the sky at high speed and would not respond to radio warnings was putting the Vincennes "in jeopardy."

At another point in the news conference Crowe broadened his defense of the Vincennes skipper, declaring "the No. 1 obligation of the commanding officer of a ship or units are the protection of his own people. We deeply regret the loss of life here, but that commanding officer had a very heavy obligation to protect his ships, his people. We've made that clear throughout the Persian Gulf mission . . . . "

Crowe, who used a chart of the Strait of Hormuz that displayed the approximate positions of the vessels and the route of the airliner, said he did not have enough data to explain fully why the multiple kinds of detection gear aboard the Vincennes mistook a wide-bodied jetliner for a fighter.

But he noted that the Vincennes' radar was focused on a plane coming at it head-on, reflecting a smaller dot on the console screens than would be the case from a side view. Also, he said, no Air Force Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) or Navy Hawkeye sentry planes were aloft over the Strait of Hormuz to provide additional identification data to the Vincennes at the time of the shootdown.

Navy leaders said Iranian commercial aircraft had flown over U.S. warships in a threatening manner at least eight times before the Stark was hit by two French Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi jet. Ever since the Stark attack, skippers in the gulf have been less tolerant of such apparent threats.

Asked if the skipper of the Vincennes would have held his fire under the interpretation of the rules of engagement followed before the Stark was attacked, Crowe replied: "I don't know. Certainly the rules of engagement would not have been as specific as the authorities granted him." He said another review of the rules of engagement would be part of the general investigation of the shootdown.

Crowe said there were "fundamental differences" between the actions of United States in this incident and the Soviet Union in the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which strayed into Soviet airspace on the night of Sept. 1, 1983, during a flight from Alaska to Japan. The Soviet airspace was not a war zone like the Persian Gulf, Crowe said, "and there was not combat in progress" as was the case yesterday. "It was at very high altitude" and no Soviet warnings were issued.

"In the Persian Gulf," Crowe said, there is very little time or maneuver room when ships are put at risk. "We're fighting in a lake."

micki said...

Obama arouses passions.

Obama is now preaching to the choir. He's got 'em rolling in the aisles. Hallelujah and pass the ballot!

Clinton is sinking because she talks about her passion for the work of a president. No one wants to hear that.

One more day down.

micki said...

If I read one more article praising Obama as though he's the second coming, I think I'll request Gerald's bucket.

I for one, am sick of the panegyrics set forth by the pundit class.

Too bad they're not spending more time, before the opportunity passes, to fully vet him.

I think you can tell I am not amused.