Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Canadian Olympic organizers to truck in white stuff as warm temperatures wreak havoc on venues -

Reading - Canadian Olympic organizers to truck in white stuff as warm temperatures wreak havoc on venues -

VANCOUVER–VANOC CEO John Furlong put a positive spin on the dastardly weather situation at Cypress Mountain, where organizers are worried about the lack of snow.

After all, there are six outdoor venues where VANOC could be facing the same challenges, Furlong said. But just one – Cypress, where the snowboarding events will take place – is the problem right now.

"Our team is up there working 24/7 dealing with the situation that is unfolding," Furlong said on Wednesday.

He said organizers are optimistic enough snow can be trucked in, moved down the mountain and even helicoptered in to help bolster the snowpack. And some of the thousands of cubic metres of snow safeguarded since November for such a turn in the weather are stockpiled under tarps.

"Of all the tools we have, the technology we have, the ability we have to move snow, to protect and look after it – we feel we're in a good place," Furlong said.

The biggest headache for VANOC 22 days before opening ceremonies is the weather. This is an El Nino winter, where the temperature is expected to be higher than average. In Vancouver, just 30 minutes away from Cypress, it reached 12C Wednesday and, despite closing off the North Shore mountain earlier than planned to preserve the snow, crews are still working around the clock to keep it all from melting.

Last February, a World Cup snowboard event was cancelled at Cypress because mild weather made the terrain unsuitable. And that despite a very cold December and January with record snowfall in the region. Organizers say a winter event has never been cancelled because of snow problems.

"I wouldn't say this kind of temperature is normal but it's not not normal, either," said snowboarder Kasia Jasinowski, a manager at The Boardroom Snowboard Shop in North Vancouver. "It's definitely unfortunate that it's one of those years when the Olympics are coming. The mountain has been closed before because the snow has been a problem."

A bigger worry is the fog situation and visibility at Cypress, she said.

Snowboard ticket-holder Howie Leung, who is attending the women's finals and has two extra tickets he's trying to sell, said it's not looking good.

"I am somewhat worried. They say they're not going to have to cancel it, but there's not much they can do. They can try and make snow but if the temperature doesn't co-operate, there's not much they can do about it," he said.

Cathy Priestner Allinger, executive vice-president of sport and games operations with VANOC, said it looks like the weather is not going to get cold any time soon.

"The forecast is not looking to be in our favour as we head into the next week-and-a-half. We're planning that we will not have snow and temperature may not be agreeable to where we need to make snow," she said Wednesday.

Organizers are resorting to another stage in their contingency plan – bringing in straw and wood to help build up the base of the course.

"We believe there is enough snow on the mountain. Our job is to move it where we need it," Priestner Allinger added.

Trucks are hauling it in and helicopters are flying snow in from the higher elevations, where the trucks can't reach.

Snow preparation for alpine events up in Whistler, north of Vancouver, have not been a problem, organizers said.

Read more - http://olympics.thestar.com/2010/article/753644--mother-nature-needs-to-chill-for-olympic-games

Dr. Ron Paul: “The CIA Runs Everything” -

Watching - Dr. Ron Paul: “The CIA Runs Everything” -

The CIA was created at the behest of the bankers on Wall Street. OSS spook and Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner was recruited by Dean Acheson to work under Charles Saltzman, at the State Department’s Office of Occupied Territories in 1947. The CIA’s first director, Allen Dulles, was a Wall Street lawyer.

The CIA is Wall Street’s finely honed tool for the neoliberal agenda of the banksters. “A considerable proportion of the developed world’s prosperity rests on paying the lowest possible prices for the poor countries’ primary products and on exporting high-cost capital and finished goods to those countries. Continuation of this kind of prosperity requires continuation of the relative gap between developed and underdeveloped countries – it means keeping poor people poor,” former CIA agent Philip Agee wrote. “Increasingly, the impoverished masses are understanding that the prosperity of the developed countries and of the privileged minorities in their own countries is founded on their poverty.”

“Throughout its entire history, the CIA has set up an elaborate shell game of ‘proprietaries’ (front companies), money-laundering operations and off-the-books projects so complex that no outsider — and few insiders — could ever keep track of them. BCCI was neither the first nor the last of these,” writes Mark Zepezauer.

Excerpt from the Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference in Atlanta, GA.

As the crowd begins to cheer, Ron Paul states, “We need to take out the CIA”.

“They are a government unto themselves. Their in buisnesses, their in drug buisnesses… and… they take out dictators. We need to take out the CIA.”

Also, the CIA have infiltrated the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign:


From Raw Story:

US House Rep. Ron Paul says the CIA has has in effect carried out a “coup” against the US government, and the intelligence agency needs to be “taken out.”

Speaking to an audience of like-minded libertarians at a Campaign for Liberty regional conference in Atlanta this past weekend, the Texas Republican said:

There’s been a coup, have you heard? It’s the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything, they run the military. They’re the ones who are over there lobbing missiles and bombs on countries. … And of course the CIA is every bit as secretive as the Federal Reserve. … And yet think of the harm they have done since they were established [after] World War II. They are a government unto themselves. They’re in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators … We need to take out the CIA.

Paul’s comments, made last weekend, were met with a loud round of applause, but they didn’t gather attention until bloggers noticed a clip of the event at YouTube.

Paul appeared to be referring to news reports that the CIA is deeply involved in air strikes against Al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A suicide bombing late last year against Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan took the lives of seven of CIA operatives, including two contracted from Blackwater. The event highlighted the CIA’s deep involvement in the war effort.

Paul’s reference to the CIA being “in the drug business” refers to long-running allegations that the CIA has funded some of its covert operations with proceeds from drug-running. That claim was most famously made in a 1996 investigative report from the San Jose Mercury-News, which alleged that cocaine from the Contra-Sandinista civil war in Nicaragua was making its way to the streets of L.A. via the CIA.

Read more - http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-the-cia-runs-everything/

USDA Designates 5 Counties in Tennessee as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

Reading - USDA Designates 5 Counties in Tennessee as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated five counties in Tennessee as primary natural disaster areas due to excessive rainfall that began September 1, 2009, and is continuing.

The five counties are: Claiborne, Cocke, Rutherford, Sevier, and Union.

"President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to the area and serious harm to farms in Tennessee and we want to help," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to a wide variety of crops, including corn, cotton, forage, soybeans, tobacco, as well as specialty crops such as pumpkins."

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Tennessee also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:


Farm operators in the counties listed below in the adjacent states of Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Kentucky: Bell, Whitley

North Carolina: Haywood, Madison, Swain

Virginia: Lee

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Jan. 19, 2010, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online athttp://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.