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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Superstorm aftermath: Video of damage, flooding in New York in Sandy's wake

Sid Roth... Revelation of America's Future

Tony Blair: the EU needs a president

In a move interpreted by some as a job application, the former prime minister said the EU could do with a strong leader approved by the people.

He also warned that too deep a political divide between Britain and the core eurozone countries could lead towards a break-up.

"Out of this European crisis can come the opportunity finally to achieve a model of European integration that is sustainable," said Mr Blair. "A Europe-wide election for the presidency... is the most direct way to involve the public."

Europe's millions of residents might feel "alienated" unless they have a direct say in who is governing them, Mr Blair told the Nicolas Berggruen Institute on Governance.

"An election for a big post held by one person - this people can understand," he said. "The problem with the European Parliament is that though clearly democratically elected, my experience is people don't feel close to their MEPs."

Speaking in Berlin, he said the EU must not allow too big a divide to grow up between Britain, which wants to claw back powers from Europe, and countries like France and Germany opting for more political union.

"I would give a stark warning: if eurozone structures end up with a Europe that is fundamentally divided politically as well as economically; rather than a Europe with one political settlement that accommodates different levels of integration within it, the EU as we know it will be on a path to break up," he said.

In a thinly veiled warning to David Cameron, he said playing "short-term politics" is not in Britain's interest and urged the UK to take "a constructive role in shaping this new union".

The Prime Minister is currently under pressure to call a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU from eurosceptics in his party. Other European states, such as Finland, have expressed fears that the UK is waving "bye bye" to the EU.

Mr Blair today made it clear that forgng Britain's role in the EU as it changes will be a "tricky task".

"But it is an essential one if the UK is not to be sidelined and Europe to be without the active participation of such a large and significant member of the existing union," he said.

The Telegraph

MSNBC Entertains Possibility Of Delaying Elections Due To Hurricane Destruction

ANDREA MITCHELL: We've seen in the past situations where power is not restored, in our own region here, for days, for more than a week -- for ten days. What happens if we get to election day and they don't have power? Which you need for many of these election booths, for the voting booths, which you need for people to get to the polls. Is there any precedent for doing something such as postponing a national election?

CHUCK TODD: Well, look, elections are run by state and local officials. The federal government does not run the elections as it is. Look, there is some precedence to this. During 9/11, on 9/11, was the New York City mayoral race and they delayed everything. You know, it would have to be up to a local authority to do that but that local authority -- I think, look, you're going to be getting into provisional ballot issues.

I think -- I think that that's the more likely scenario. You don't postpone the day itself, but maybe you expand the types of ballots, maybe you're more lenient on checking people in, but forcing provisional votes so it's going to take longer to verify the voters and all of those things. I think that that's the most likely scenario that you would have some localities that would have to move, change positions, maybe even delay, but that would seem the least likely option. But to come up with some way to deal with what you just said now, if you have an election voting machine and no power, do you deal with that?

Real Clear Politics

National security to be tested on Halloween in simulation using zombies

Move over vampires, goblins and haunted houses, this kind of Halloween terror aims to shake up even the toughest warriors: An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.

"This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party," said Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, a security firm hosting the Oct. 31 training demonstration during the summit at a 44-acre Paradise Point Resort island on a San Diego bay. "Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn't happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we're having a little fun with."

Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.

In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bit by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.

"No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do," Barker said. "If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, 'Freeze, get your hands in the air!' What's the zombie going to do? He's going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he's not going to react to you."

The keynote speaker beforehand will be a retired top spook — former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it's going to be a federal incident, so we're making it happen," Barker said. Since word got out about the exercise, they've had calls from "every whack job in the world" about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.

Called "Zombie Apocalypse," the exercise follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign launched last year that urged Americans to get ready for a zombie apocalypse, as part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.

The Homeland Security Department jumped on board last month, telling citizens if they're prepared for a zombie attack, they'll be ready for real-life disasters like a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. A few suggestions were similar to a few of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out."

San Diego-based Halo Corp. founded by former military special ops and intelligence personnel has been hosting the annual counterterrorism summit since 2006.

The five-day Halo counterterrorism summit is an approved training event by the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which provide funds to pay for the coursework on everything from the battleground tactics to combat wounds to cybersecurity. The summit has a $1,000 registration fee and runs Oct. 29-Nov 2.

Conferences attended by government officials have come under heightened scrutiny following an inspector general's report on waste and abuse at a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference that led to the resignation of General Services Administrator Martha Johnson. The Las Vegas conference featured a clown, a mind-reader and a rap video by an employee who made fun of the spending.

Joe Newman, spokesman of the watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight, said he does not see the zombie exercise as frivolous.

"We obviously are concerned about any expenditure that might seem frivolous or a waste of money but if they tie things together, there is a lesson there," Newman said. "Obviously we're not expecting a zombie apocalypse in the near future, but the effects of what might happen in a zombie apocalypse are probably similar to the type of things that happen in natural disasters and manmade disasters. They're just having fun with it. We don't have any problems with it as a teaching point."

Defense analyst Loren Thompson agreed.

"The defining characteristics of zombies are that they're unpredictable and resilient. That may be a good way to prepare for what the Pentagon calls asymmetric warfare," Thompson said.

Organizers can also avoid the pitfalls of using a mock enemy who could be identified by nationality, race or culture — something that could potentially be seen as offensive.

"I can think of a couple of countries where the local leaders are somewhat zombie-like," he joked. "But nobody is going to take this personally."

Fox News

U.S. Forces to Bring 'Smart' Artillery Shells to Korea

The U.S. Forces Korea is planning to introduce precision-guided artillery shells which could pulverize North Korea's long-range artillery batteries near the demilitarized zone.

The South Korean military considered buying the XM982 Excalibur shells after the North shelled Yeonpyeong Island in November 2010, but put off the decision due to their high price.

The Second U.S. Infantry Division already test-fired Excalibur rounds at the Anheung test site of the Agency for Defense Development in late May, a military source said Thursday. It will deploy them properly together with additional Patriot PAC-3 missiles and ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles by year's end.

The Excalibur is the world's first GPS-guided "smart" 155 mm shell. It is capable of hitting targets within a radius of less than 10 m. Excalibur rounds fell within less than 4.5 m of targets in about a dozen tests conducted in the U.S. until 2006.

Because they strike targets nearly vertically, they would be effective in hitting North Korean long-range artillery batteries positioned behind mountains, which are difficult to strike with K-9 self-propelled guns or multiple-launch rocket systems.

Excalibur rounds proved effective in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each shell costs W50-100 million (US$1=W1,114).

The Chosunilbo

Nation's Oldest Nuclear Power Plant, New Jersey's Oyster Creek, Declares Alert Following Water Surge


As a reminder, the biggest catastrophe that resulted from last year's Tohoku earthquake in Japan was not the earthquake itself, nor the infrastructure destruction from the susbequent tsunami, but the impact of the soaring water wall on the nuclear power plants in the coastline, namely Fukushima, and its aftermath, by now known all too well to all. So tonight too, all along the east coast, the biggest threat is not the wind, nor the rain, but the impact of the storm surge on the tens of nuclear power plants located in the vicinity of the rapidly rising tide. Such as Oyster Creek in New Jersey which just went on alert due to the surging water level.

From AP:

The nation's oldest nuclear power plant is on alert after waters from a colossal storm reached high levels.

Oyster Creek in Lacey Township, N.J., was already offline for regular maintenance before Sandy, a superstorm downgraded Monday night from a hurricane, slammed the East Coast.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says an "unusual event" was declared around 7 p.m. when water reached a high level. The situation was upgraded less than two hours later to an "alert," the second-lowest in a four-tiered warning system.

Federal officials say all nuclear plants are still in safe condition. They say water levels near Oyster Creek, which is along the Atlantic Ocean, will likely recede within a few hours.

Oyster Creek went online in 1969 and provides 9 percent of New Jersey's electricity.

Zero Hedge

Iran able to defend Gulf, ensure its security: Ahmadinejad

Iran has the ability and the power to provide security and ensure stability for the Gulf region, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday, as the Islamic Republic continues its militarization efforts.

“The Islamic republic of Iran can provide the security for this region through its regional capabilities,” said Ahmadinejad during a ceremony to honor Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari and several other navy officials in Bandar Abbas on Monday.

“This region has enjoyed complete security in all times where there has not been any foreign intervention,” Ahmadinejad said.

“Iran has been the provider of security in the region,” he added, responding to U.S. and regional accusations to Tehran that its nuclear program and involvement in Syria and Lebanon was destabilizing to regional security.

“The security of the Gulf has only been altered in the past when there was foreign intervention,” he said. “However, no foreign [power] will succeed regardless of their motives” he added.

His statements come amid rising tensions between Iran and Israel and speculations of a possible war between the two countries.

Israel have recently said that it is prepared, alone, if necessary, to send warplanes, to destroy Iranian nuclear sites. Iran says it can defend itself and accused Israel of standing behind the bombing of a weapon factory in Sudan.

“The Iranian people have never been an aggressor but at the same time history has proven that they can defend themselves very well. If anyone wants to attack the unity of Iran we will deter them,” Ahmadinejad said

Sources close to the Iranian military told Al Arabiya that the country will “soon” announce “an important marine achievement which would enhance its deterrence powers.” No further details were provided.

Al Arabiya News

Police tear gas & water cannon Turkish secularists

Troika wants 150 reforms in Greece - now!

1990s East Coast Hurricane Drill Named “Sandy” with same path


Back in the late 90s, the National Hurricane Center in Miami conducted a drill based on a fictional hurricane named Sandy. In the drill, the storm strikes the East Coast.

The fictitious storm was modeled after the Hurricane of 1938. The “Long Island Express” was a Category 3 hurricane that hit Long Island and killed nearly 800 people cause nearly $5 billion in damages.

The hurricane now projected to hit the New Jersey coast is being compared to the Long Island Express.

A web page has surfaced from 1996 (the date is timestamped on the page’s source code) with “texts of the simulated bulletins, forecasts, discussions and strike probabilities along with the hurricane’s track were sent home with the seminar attendees. We named the simulated hurricane after Sandy, who incidentally was nine years old during the real Hurricane of 1938.”

The page is posted on the Westchester Emergency Communications Association website. It received an update by Alan Crosswell on Friday, October 17, 1997.


By Kirk Cameron

I’d never dug a grave before. It’s exhausting work. My arms are tired. My back is sore. And when I was finished, it didn’t give me a great sense of accomplishment. The fully dug grave just left me feeling – sad.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting with Glenn Beck in a private room at a very swanky hotel in Beverly Hills. He was gracious. He was kind. He asked about my family. We talked business, faith and the future of America. It was an impromptu coffee conversation that I will not soon forget. I like Glenn Beck. We discussed things that chilled my temperature to the core and then raised it back up to the boiling point.

Last evening, my wife and I enjoyed a quiet dinner for two, discussing the conversation I had with Glenn, when our daughter brought us news that something was wrong with our family dog. We went outside and found her lying in the backyard grass, unable to move. I literally felt her heart stop beating and her lungs deflate. It was an eerie feeling to watch something die. Tears and sobs flowed for the next hour while we all said “goodbye” to Sadie.

This morning, between soccer games, my son and I manfully dug Sadie’s grave. I wanted to dig it myself to honor “Old Faithful” for 14 years of companionship. When the kids return from their soccer games this afternoon, we’ll bury her.

I was happy to see my son with a shovel in his hands, eager to help me with the hard work. He did this because he loves Sadie.

It’s weird. The whole thing made me think about our country. I look around my neighborhood. I see bumper stickers on cars, political signs planted on street corners, and I hear conversations at the coffee shop and soccer field that leave me feeling so – sad.

I have the eerie feeling that I’m watching my community and country dig their own graves. And they’re really killing themselves to do it. They’re putting a ton of effort into their work. They’re exhausting themselves to keep abortion legal. They think raising taxes and spending other people’s money is a good idea. They tirelessly work to be “loving and tolerant” of things that will hurt their own families and dishonor God. And the crazy thing is, I think most of them really do love America. But they don’t realize that in all their misguided efforts, they’re actually digging her grave.

On Nov. 6, those who vote will choose life or death for many of our freedoms in this land. This presidential election outcome will have huge consequences. We have two men with very different ideas about what America should be. The right man could provide the fuel to get our country back on track, and the wrong man could prove to be the final nail in her coffin.

I can now speak from experience: Digging graves is hard work, especially when the name on the tombstone belongs to someone you love. Please don’t dig America’s grave. Learn the principles that have resulted in freedom, blessing and God’s protection for 400 years. If we love America, we can avoid her early death through personal repentance, family prayer and community action.

A wise president once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. … If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

On Nov. 6, get off the couch and vote for the man you believe will most protect the lives of unborn babies, will defend God’s design of marriage between a man and a woman and is most likely to hold back the flood of evil longest, to give you and I, as dads and moms, the most time to rebuild our country from the bottom up and the inside out, through the faithful training of our children.

May God bless you with wisdom during this critical time in our nation’s history.


Hamas Terrorists Firing Rockets on Israel from Houses in Gaza