Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Truimph for Obama...

Hora-aah for Pres Obama & for all those in the nation who for many years were getting bilked by the greedy insurance and pharmaceutical companies!
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Obama comments on the Supreme Court ruling at the White House Rose Garden. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the provision of tax subsidies under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
It was the second time in three years the nation’s highest court has handed the Obama administration a key victory in its fight to defend the law, which has been under unremitting attack from conservatives since its passage.

“The Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” Obama said in a statement from the White House Rose Garden after the court ruling. “This is a good day for America.”
Shortly after the court’s decision was handed down, those hailing the ruling — and hating on it — lit up Twitter.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Could it be the End?...

Talk about the movie "Armageddon."
-Daniel aka Obsidian

NASA Working With National Nuclear Security Administration On Plan To Use Nukes On Doomsday Asteroid

If NASA has its way, the human race won't be going the way of the dinosaurs anytime soon.
The space agency is teaming up with the National Nuclear Security Administration to work on a planetary defense plan to deflect a potential doomsday asteroid so it doesn't strike Earth, according to The New York Times.

Last week's announcement came ahead of the first official "Asteroid Day" on June 30, a day scientists hope will raise awareness of the threat posed by near-Earth objects and encourage governments to develop a better plan to detect and track them.

June 30 is the anniversary of the 1908 impact of an asteroid in Siberia that wiped out some 800 square miles of forest. The surprise impact of the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor, which caused a 500-kiloton airburst over Russia, shows potentially threatening space rocks are still out there.
There are swarms of them orbiting between Mars and Jupiter,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, said at a 2013 panel discussion of asteroids. “And some of them have orbits that come in a little too close, and cross the orbit of Earth around the Sun.”

Dealing with a threatening near-Earth object isn't as simple as aiming a nuclear weapon at it.
In 2013, researchers at the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University came up with a plan to use a two-section spacecraft to first smash a hole in the asteroid, then dump a nuclear weapon into the crater to blow it up.

Bong Wie, the center's director, told Space.com that 99 percent of the pieces left would miss Earth, and most of the rest would burn up in the atmosphere. However, NASA said those smaller pieces could still pose a problem, and the best approach is to deflect rather than destroy. "The trick is to gently nudge the asteroid out of harm's way and not to blow it up," the agency states on its Near Earth Objects website. Setting off a nuclear weapon above the surface of the asteroid would cause a slight change in velocity without damaging the asteroid itself. It's not exactly the big Hollywood finish, but it might be the most effective option.

"A very modest velocity change in the asteroid's motion (only a few millimeters per second), acting over several years, can cause the asteroid to miss the Earth entirely," the agency said.
NASA has also said that some asteroids may be deflected without the use of a nuclear weapon.

"For the far more numerous asteroids that are smaller than a few hundred meters in diameter, if we have adequate early warning of several years to a decade, a weighted robotic spacecraft could be targeted to collide with the object, thereby modifying its velocity to nudge the trajectory just enough that the Earth impact would be avoided," the space agency wrote in another report.
The problem, the agency said, is that we may not have "several years to a decade."

"Since the number of near-Earth asteroids increases as their sizes decrease, we are most likely to be hit by the relatively small objects that are most difficult to find ahead of time," the agency said. "As a result, consideration must also be given to the notification and evacuation of those regions on Earth that would be affected by the imminent collision of a small, recently-discovered impactor."
Although researchers are working to change that, at least one expert isn't convinced we're ready.

Retired astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweickart, who was was part of the Apollo 9 mission in 1969, is co-founder of the B612 Foundation, an organization dedicated to planetary defense against asteroids. B612 is hoping to launch Sentinel, a privately funded spacecraft that would be able to detect and track potentially hazardous objects in space.

In an interview with Newsweek, Schweickart didn't sound especially positive about the ability of nations to unite against a global threat. “I fear there’s not enough of a collective survival instinct to really overcome the centrifugal political forces,” he said. “That is, in a nutshell, the reason we’ll get hit. Not because technically we don’t know it’s coming, or we can’t do something about it.”

The founders of Asteroid Day, which include Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, have created the 100x Asteroid Declaration, which calls on governments to increase by a hundredfold the discovery and tracking of near-Earth objects. Along with May, backers of the declaration include Bill Nye, Carolyn Shoemaker, Brian Cox, Chris Hadfield, Mark Kelly, Lord Martin Rees and Richard Dawkins, as well as Schweickart and his fellow B612 cofounder Ed Lu.

A Piece of Rag...

That's because only the flags that count were flown @ 1/2 mast. If you posted a flag of Mars on the state capital building, you wouldn't be required to lower such a silly piece of rag on such an important day. Your opinions, please.
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Confederate flag, despite massacre, still flies high

Charleston (United States) (AFP) - Flags were flying at half-staff Thursday in South Carolina after the cold-blooded killing of nine black people in an historic African-American church in Charleston -- with one notable exception.

Related Stories

Outside the legislature in the state capital Columbia, the racially divisive Confederate battle flag still flies high, renewing debate over its symbolism more than 150 years after the Civil War defeat of the slave-holding rebel South.

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white male suspected of carrying out the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church bloodbath, was one of many southern Americans who identified with the 13-star saltire in red, white and blue.

In a photo posted on Twitter by a South Carolina television journalist Thursday, Roof is seen astride a 1990s Hyundai sedan that bears a "Confederate States of America" ceremonial bumper tag that prominently features the flag. Roof was apprehended Thursday in North Carolina in the same vehicle and returned to Charleston to face charges.

By coincidence, the US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-4 that Texas did not violate the Constitution's free-speech provision when it denied a request from the 30,000-member Sons of Confederate Veterans group for a state-approved Confederate flag license plate.

 The South Carolina and American flags fly at half mast as the Confederate flag unfurls below at the State Capital. "This is a sad day for the First Amendment and for mutual respect and bridge-building among Americans of different viewpoints," the organization said in a statement.

Others focused outrage on the South Carolina state house, where the Confederate flag remained at full height even as the US and South Carolina flags were lowered in mourning. "Moral cowardice requires choice and action," wrote Ta-Nehisi Coates, an African-American national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, blogged on Thursday. "Take down the flag. Take it down now."
Alas, that's easier said than done. By law, state officials say, only the entire South Carolina legislature can decide if and when the flag can be lowered.

Barbara Owens casts a shadow on a memorial message board outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. One of the victims of Wednesday's attack on the Emanuel church's evening Bible class was its senior pastor Clementa Pinckney, 41, a state senator since 2000 and a lower-house member before that. Supporters of the Confederate flag consider it a valued token of enduring Southern pride and heritage, while critics see it as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.

- 'Regardless of race' -

"The Confederate Battle Flag represents all Southern, and even Northern, Confederates regardless of race or religion and is the symbol of less government, less taxes and the right of the people to govern themselves," says Dixie Outfitters, a Virginia-based retailer of Confederate-themed merchandise.

A nationwide poll by the Pew Research Center in 2011 indicated that nine percent of Americans felt positive upon seeing the Confederate flag, against 30 percent who said they reacted negatively and 58 percent who felt neither way.

But among blacks, 41 percent told Pew said they reacted negatively to the sight of the flag -- such is its power to invoke the memory of antebellum slavery and the decades of harsh racial segregation that followed the Civil War.

Sentiments are even stronger in South Carolina, where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired in April 1861 at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. (The city itself was the American capital of the transatlantic slave trade, with 40 percent of enslaved Africans passing through it.)

In a 2014 poll for the State newspaper in Columbia, three out of four white South Carolina residents said the Confederate flag should keep flying outside the state house -- compared to 61 percent of blacks who wanted to see it go.

- Banned in California -

In California, since January this year, the Confederate flag cannot be displayed by state authorities, under a law initiated by a black state legislator whose mother once came across the banner for sale in a state house gift shop.

Mississippi, on the other hand, remains the only state that features the Confederate saltire on its official state flag, where it appears in the canton. An attempt to change it was soundly defeated in a 2001 referendum.

The Anti-Defamation League, best known for tackling anti-Semitism, says the Confederate flag is popular among white supremacists in both the United States and abroad. But it adds on its website: "Because of the continued use of the flag by non-extremists, one should not automatically assume that display of the flag is racist or white supremacist in nature. The symbol should only be judged in context."


Sunday, June 21, 2015

After Reading This You Can Go Back to Sleep...

If anyone is NOT paying attention to this. All I have to say is: That the Mets are leading their division, until after the All Star games, and September rolls along, which is when they historically go downhill & the Kardashians made an announcement that they will not be pre-broadcasting the name of their 2nd baby... & you know, i had a funny dream last night that i was kissing Mary Mc Gillacutty ... (Go back to sleep)
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Russia to add 40 new intercontinental missiles this year

Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, arrive for the opening of the Army-2015 international military show in Kubinka, outside Moscow, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The show features the latest Russian weapons. Putin said Tuesday the Russian military will receive 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles this year capable of piercing any missile defenses, a blunt reminder of the nation's nuclear might amid tensions with the West over Ukraine. (Vasily Maximov/ pool photo via AP)
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's military will add over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles this year alone that are capable of piercing any missile defenses, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday in a blunt reminder of the nation's nuclear might amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.

Putin spoke at the opening of an arms show at a shooting range in Alabino just west of Moscow, a huge display intended to showcase Russia's resurgent military.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused the Russians of "nuclear saber-rattling," and said that was one of the reasons the western military alliance has been beefing up its ability to defend its members.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, briefing reporters via teleconference from Boston, where he is recovering from surgery on a broken leg, called Putin's announcement concerning.

"We're trying to move in the opposite direction," Kerry said. "We have had enormous cooperation from the 1990s forward with respect to the structure of nuclear weapons in the former territories of the Soviet Union. And no one wants to see us step backwards."

He said Putin could be posturing.

"It's really hard to tell," Kerry said. "But nobody should hear that kind of an announcement from the leader of a powerful country and not be concerned about the implications."

Russia-West relations have plunged to their lowest point since Cold War times over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. and the EU have slapped Russia with economic sanctions, and Washington and its NATO allies have pondered an array of measures in response to Russia's moves.

The three Baltic members of the alliance, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have asked NATO to permanently deploy ground troops to their nations as a deterrent against an increasingly assertive Russia. And Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak says he and U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter have held talks about placing U.S. heavy army equipment in Poland.

The NATO chief said he expected Carter to brief other alliance members on the proposal to stockpile tanks and other weapons and supplies in Eastern Europe during a NATO defense ministers meeting next week.

"I welcome all efforts to defend and protect allies," Stoltenberg said in Brussels.
Moscow bristled at the plans, warning Washington that the deployment of new U.S. weapons near Russian borders would foment dangerous instability in Europe.

"The United States is inciting tensions and carefully nurturing their European allies' anti-Russian phobias in order to use the current difficult situation for further expanding its military presence and influence in Europe," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We hope that reason will prevail and it will be possible to save the situation in Europe from sliding toward a military standoff, which could entail dangerous consequences," the ministry added. The NATO chief said the alliance had to respond to Russia's actions by "increasing the readiness and the preparedness of our forces."

"We are responding by making sure that NATO also in the future is an alliance which provides deterrence and protection for all allies against any threat," Stoltenberg said.

In his speech at the arms show, Putin vowed to continue a big arms modernization program despite the nation's economic downturn. He specifically mentioned the Armata tanks and other new armored vehicles, which were first shown to the public during a Red Square military parade last month.

The Russian leader also noted the military was to start testing its new long-range early warning radar intended to monitor the western border and later will deploy another one in the east."Over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating any, even the most technologically advanced missile defense systems, will join the nuclear forces in the current year," he said.

Last year, the military received 38 ICBMs, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Modernizing the nation's nuclear forces is a top priority for the military, which needs to gradually decommission its aging Soviet-built ICBMs.

Stoltenberg described the Russian arms buildup as destabilizing. "They are developing new nuclear capabilities and they are also using nuclear rhetoric more in the way they are messaging their defense strategy and defense posture," Stoltenberg said. "This nuclear saber-rattling of Russia is unjustified. It's destabilizing and it's dangerous."

Putin said the re-armament program should help encourage the nation's economic growth and spearhead innovations. Independent experts warn, however, that a weapons upgrade that envisages spending 22 trillion rubles (over $400 billion) on new weapons through 2020 would be an unbearable burden now when the Russian economy has plunged into recession.

Despite the gloomy economic outlook, Russian arms makers used the arms show to publicize costly new weapons that even the Soviet Union couldn't afford. The navy revealed a project of an aircraft carrier capable of carrying 90 aircraft. It also showed a mock-up of a new amphibious landing ship, a vessel similar to the Mistral-class ship built on Russian orders in France, whose delivery has been suspended over the Ukrainian crisis.

Amid the current spike in Russia-West tensions, Washington accused Moscow of violating its obligations under a landmark nuclear arms control treaty by flight-testing a ground-launched cruise missile with a range prohibited by the treaty. Russia rejected the accusations, and, in its turn, alleged that some elements of the U.S. missile defense shield violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty.

The RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday quoted Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that Moscow is ready to hold consultations to discuss the mutual complaints.
John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels and Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pope Puts Koch Brother back in Place...

i bet you the Koch (pronounced "cock"-Lol) Bothers are piping mad. They already spent a lot of $$ trying to convince us that global warming isn't happening, so that they won't have to spend million of $$ conforming o environmental standards.
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Whodunit playing out as Vatican reels from encyclical leak

Associated Press
Pope Francis delivers his message on the occasion of an audience with participants of Rome's diocese convention in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, June 14, 2015. Francis engaged in some self-promotion during his weekly blessing, alerting the thousands of people in St. Peter's Square that his first solo encyclical is coming out on Thursday and inviting them to pay attention to environmental degradation around them. 
© AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia Pope Francis delivers his message on the occasion of an audience with participants of Rome's diocese convention in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, June 14, 2015. Francis engaged in some self-promotion…
VATICAN CITY — There's something of a whodunit going on in the Vatican to discover who leaked Pope Francis' environment encyclical to an Italian newsweekly, deflating the release of the most anticipated and feared papal document in recent times.

L'Espresso magazine published the full 191 pages of "Laudato Si" (Be Praised) on its website Monday, three days before the official launch. The Vatican said it was just a draft, but most media ran with it, given that it covered many of the same points Francis and his advisers have been making in the run-up to the release.

On Tuesday, the Vatican indefinitely suspended the press credentials of L'Espresso's veteran Vatican correspondent, Sandro Magister, saying the publication had been "incorrect."
Magister told The Associated Press that his editor, not he, obtained the document and decided to publish it.

"I just wrote the introduction," Magister said in a text message, adding that he had promised the Vatican to keep quiet about the scoop.

In the draft of the encyclical, Francis says global warming is "mostly" due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels. He calls for a radical change in behavior to save the planet for future generations and prevent the poor from suffering the worst effects of industry-induced environmental degradation.

Several Vatican commentators hypothesized that the leak was aimed at taking the punch out of Thursday's official launch of the encyclical, in which the Vatican has lined up a Catholic cardinal, an Orthodox theologian, an atheist scientist and an economist to discuss the contents.

They noted that conservatives — particularly in the U.S. — attacked the encyclical even before it was released, chiding the pope for talking science in a church document and insisting that global warming isn't a scientific reality. It would be in their interest, the argument goes, to fudge the pope's message.
Italian daily La Stampa suggested that the leak might have come from "conservatives" inside Vatican, noting that Francis' reform plans for the Vatican bureaucracy have been resisted by the more conservative old guard who would have an interest in sabotaging Francis' labor of love.

A leak, however, was to be expected, given that drafts of the document have been circulating for months and that the text had been translated into multiple languages before its official release.
Not to mention that the Vatican has had a long and storied history of leaked documents: The last big scandal in 2012 resulted in the pope's butler being put on trial for stealing his private papers and passing them off to an Italian journalist. He was convicted but was eventually pardoned by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

In the aftermath of the "Vatileaks" scandal, the Vatican City State updated its criminal code to include severe penalties for anyone who leaks a Vatican document or publishes news from it: Up to two years in prison and a 5,000 euro ($5,600) fine.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Missing Passenger Jet Conspiracy...

You think he has something here? I myself prefer the alien abduction theory. But that's how i roll. Lol
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Mathematician May Have Just Solved The Mystery Of Missing Flight MH370

Mathematician May Have Just Solved The Mystery Of Missing Flight MH370

Relatives of passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing on March 8, 2014. (Photo: AP Photo/Andy Wong)

A mathematics professor may have solved the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared without trace last year with 239 people on board. 
Conspiracy theorists have suggested various outlandish theories including the idea that the flight was abducted by aliens. 

But the reality may be a little more prosaic, according to applied mathematician Dr. Goong Chen of Texas A&M University.

His computer models suggest that the flight entered a vertical dive over the Indian Ocean, entering the water cleanly and without breaking up.

The simulated crash solves some of the mysteries surrounding MH370 — such as the lack of debris and spilled oil on the surface.

Dr. Chen suggests that the plane’s body and wings sank rapidly — explaining the lack of an oil slick on the surface.

Dr. Chen says, “The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until someday when its black box is finally recovered and decoded.

“But forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.”

Asteroid Armegeddon?...

My sister likes to refer to me as "The Master Blaster of Disaster." Perhaps she's right. Anyway, I thought I'd share this one with you.
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Conspiracy theorists are convinced that a giant asteroid will hit Earth in September

Ah, conspiracy theorists. You've gotta love them.

As part of a training exercise for the US military, areas in the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado are being used to simulate different types of terrain for soldiers to participate in. Although the plans haven't been made available to the public, the increase in military activity in the region has sent bloggers, theorists and whack-jobs spiralling off into all sorts of outlandish theories about what's happening.

The prevailing theory is that the training exercise - known as Jade Helm - is actually a front for the US military's plan to invade Texas. In fact, that theory has become so widespread that the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, issued a statement warning Texans to "know their safety, constitutional rights, private property right and civil liberties will not be infringed."

However, there are also a good number of theories suggest that a massive asteroid is due to hit the Earth between September 22nd and September 28th, resulting in a post-apocalyptic scenario in that region - hence why all the army people are there, getting ready for the end of the world

Those same theorists believe that the asteroid was brought forth thanks to the Large Hadron Collider, which (in their words) meddled with the cosmic forces and dragged the asteroid out of its path. While some scientists have admitted that the LHC could cause a black hole to form, they have stated that there is no evidence that it can have an effect on the path that asteroids travel but hey, why should facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory? Plenty of vloggers and bloggers have taken to the internet to give us the official, 100% true version of what's definitely happening. 

The growing concerns online has lead NASA to release a statement where they have had to tell people when the next asteroid is due to be anywhere near Earth, and it turns out we're safe for a few hundred years yet. 

That hasn't stopped people coming up with plenty of theories about what's going on, with one blogger saying that the end of the world is nigh because "the CERN logo is 666 - the sign of the beast - in a circle. The CERN collider looks like the all-seeing eye or stargaze we see so much of", and another on the site Whistleblower 800 has said that they've figured out exactly what's going on with the training exercise: "This (asteroid) is why the military is deploying Jade Helm this summer, because it may no longer be possible to cover it all up. Jade Helm is an insurance policy. If we make it to fall, JH will just be a training exercise". Of course, the military would never admit that, because it would cause complete anarchy, so that's why no one is talking about it of course.
Our theory? We thinks this is all just a promotional exercise for The X-Files.