Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Current History

I know what I said, but....

"Contamination fears grow after China chemical blast; Firm may have illegally stored toxic chemicals" by Andrew Jacobs New York Times   August 15, 2015

BEIJING — The authorities in the port city of Tianjin in northern China struggled to contain contamination from an enormous chemical fire Saturday amid mounting frustration from people demanding information about missing loved ones.

If that is what it is/was.

Orders for a large-scale evacuation of the neighborhoods closest to the blast were quickly rescinded, underscoring the government’s halting efforts to cope with one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent memory.

Explosions and fires late Wednesday at a warehouse at the city’s Binhai New Area port killed at least 112 people, though the death toll is expected to rise considerably as more victims are discovered in the rubble of burned-out port buildings and the piles of toppled shipping containers.

Among the missing are scores of firefighters who presumably were overcome by two fireballs so huge they were captured by satellite cameras.

Just reading through the propaganda pre$$ fallout makes me think.... 

The percussive force of the blasts damaged buildings and blew out windows nearly 2 miles away, injuring hundreds of people in their apartments in Tianjin, China’s third-largest city and about 90 miles from Beijing.

The company that owned the warehouse where the blasts originated, Rui Hai International Logistics, appears to have violated Chinese law by operating close to apartment buildings and worker dormitories.

Residents say they were unaware that the company was handling dangerous materials.

On Saturday morning, distraught relatives holding up handwritten lists of names stormed a news conference in Tianjin and demanded information about dozens of firefighters whose names do not appear on official lists of the missing and dead.

“They’re only 18, 19 years old,” yelled one woman. “The oldest is only 20 years old. They’re only children.”

A police official at the news conference, seeking to calm the crowd, expressed empathy.

More doctor than cop.

More than three days after the blasts, the authorities have still been unable to identify the toxic chemicals smoldering at the site of the destroyed warehouse. 

I saw the white smoke pouring out, indicating some extreme temperature down below the pile.

Investigators have confirmed only the presence of sodium cyanide, a highly toxic substance that has seeped into drainage pipes beneath the port facilities.... 

That's nice to know, but it looks to me like a mini-nuke.

Experts have expressed concern about forecasts of rain, saying precipitation could spread the contamination beyond the immediate blast zone. In addition to sending a team of hazardous materials experts, the authorities have been trying to prevent rain from falling on the area, the state media said, presumably by firing silver-iodide rockets into approaching storm clouds. 

Weather manipulation, too?

Among those reportedly sent to help identify the chemicals were employees of the agency that manages the sprawling port. In a posting on WeChat, a popular messaging app, one man expressed alarm that his wife and her co-workers were being trained to survey areas outside the disaster’s epicenter for stray chemicals.

“It was ordered by the chairwoman of Tianjin Port, who is betting the health and lives of ordinary employees just for her political career,” wrote the man, who declined to give his name during a brief phone conversation, saying he did not want to endanger his wife’s job.

On Saturday morning, according to The Beijing News, volunteers with loudspeakers roamed Binhai’s residential areas telling people to move beyond a radius of nearly 2 miles from the blast site. Evacuees were reportedly told to wear masks and long pants.

“Out of consideration for toxic substances spreading, the masses nearby have been asked to evacuate,” the state Xinhua news agency said in a Twitter post.

But shortly afterward, local officials described the evacuation orders as a misunderstanding, perhaps prompted by a shift in wind direction that forced emergency workers to move their temporary command headquarters.


Now they are blowing the idea of the “possibility of smuggling” to explain the amount and kind of chemicals.

Related: World War III: Confronting China

I did mention it, and I'm still chewing on whether to shoot over an e-mail (Aquarian, you know) while I'm still digesting the incredible range of stuff provided regarding Tianjin (going back for a second look after posting this). 

Good thing Partners is helping out with the health care and that China is anti-union.

No stranger to a nuclear blast:

"The war in Asia was largely overlooked by a country that was focused on the struggle against Nazi Germany. Pauline Simpson, one of the organizers, said, ‘‘In actual fact for all of the men still in the Far East in captivity, many of them didn’t even know that the war had ended in May 1945. . . .

In many ways, it never has.

Also see: Unexploded ordnance linger long after wars are over

Maybe it was a leftover Japanese bomb from WWII that went boom in China. 

Better get the land invasion going:

"North Korea stages pro-unification rally along border as tensions rise" by Eric Talmadge Associated Press  August 15, 2015

PANMUNJOM, North Korea — North Korea held a loud but peaceful mass rally inside the Demilitarized Zone on Saturday, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Koreas from Japanese colonial rule.

The event was replete with an all-female brass band, flag-waving, and fist-pumping. South Korean and US soldiers stood watch just yards away on their side of the truce village of Panmunjom.

Though staged to mark the anniversary of Japan’s World War II defeat, the rally came just after Pyongyang said the South had committed an act of war by broadcasting anti-North propaganda across the border.

North and South Korea failed to agree on any joint celebration of the landmark anniversary of the liberation of their peninsula from Japan.

Instead, the North brought in select groups of Koreans living abroad and small numbers of foreigners who support Pyongyang. They attended marches, rallies, and meetings calling for the Koreas’ reunification, with speeches praising the North Korean leadership.

Recently the North also suddenly announced that it was altering its time zone, moving it 30 minutes behind Japan’s, to sweep away another legacy of Japan’s colonization of the Koreas from 1910 to 1945. The time change went into effect amid celebrations in Pyongyang after midnight Friday, though South Korea is sticking with the previous time zone. 

I'm trying to get through this as fast as I can.

While there were no incidents during the rally in the DMZ, North Korea has threatened to attack South Korean loudspeakers that are broadcasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda messages across their shared border, the world’s most heavily armed.

No agent provocateurs?

The broadcasts follow accusations from Seoul that Pyongyang had planted land mines on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone that maimed two South Korean soldiers last week.

Seoul retaliated by restarting the loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts for the first time in 11 years.

North Korea’s army said in a statement that the broadcasts are a declaration of war, and that if they are not immediately stopped ‘‘an all-out military action of justice’’ would ensue.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye urged Pyongyang to ‘‘wake up’’ from the delusion that it could maintain its government with provocation and threats.

Tell that to the AmeriKan government!

Pyongyang claimed Friday that Seoul faked the evidence and demanded video proof.

You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to fool a North Korean.


Brief skirmish in South Asia:

"Cambodian authorities arrested an opposition senator Saturday, two days after Prime Minister Hun Sen accused him of treason for comments posted on Facebook. Armed police handcuffed Hong Sok Hour, who was the subject of a two-day manhunt as a result of the comments that criticized a 36-year-old border agreement with Vietnam." 

That is ancient history to Americans now.

Also see: Five wounded in violent incidents in Boston, Chelsea

Like a war zone over there.


"A big blast in Tianjin China that levels a chemical factory while killing some 100+ people, and even I have had to stop and say "hmmmmmmm...".... I have seen many of the reports about this being an "accident" and I am not buying it... Something very sinister is afoot here, and I do believe we have just witnessed an attack or sabotage on a very large scale..... And yes, I have read the recent reports about the possibility of this being the first attack from a weapons system that almost borders on science fiction, called "Rod from God".... Many people are unaware that the United States has indeed been covertly developing a weapons system based upon a space platform armed with high explosive heavy tungsten "rods" that on commands from another orbiting platform can launch these "rods" back towards Earth at high velocity.... These "rods" could conceivably hit a target at a very high rate of speed, and would cause a blast similar to a small scale nuclear device going off..... The result would be a crater much like we are seeing as a result of the blast that just occurred in China.... OK, many may laugh or say "Oh come on now, NTS", but all I ask of the critics is to actually read up on "Rod from God" for themselves, and not dismiss this just yet.... There is more to this Chinese "blast" than we are being told.....


See: Spy Satellite Shit and Rods From God 


"Area of Chinese chemical blast blocked over contamination; Death toll hits 112; inquiry pursued" by Paul Traynor Associated Press  August 17, 2015

TIANJIN, China — Angry relatives of the missing firefighters and local residents whose homes were destroyed by the blasts showed up at a government news conference Sunday to demand information and accountability.

The public has raised concerns as to whether firefighters were put into harm’s way in the initial response to the fire and whether the hazardous material — including compounds combustible on contact with water — was properly taken into account in the way the firefighters responded.

The massive explosions late Wednesday night happened about 40 minutes after reports of a fire at the warehouse and after an initial wave of firefighters arrived and, reportedly, doused some of the area with water.

Outside the Mayfair Hotel, where the authorities hold regular news conferences, a woman pleaded Sunday for information on her husband.

‘‘They have said nothing. We know nothing,’’ the woman said. ‘‘We’ve been told nothing.’’

Another man demanded information from a government official. ‘‘We’ve been here for three days, and we’ve not had one piece of information,’’ he said.

Local officials have been hard-pressed to explain why authorities permitted hazardous goods warehouses so close to residential complexes and critical infrastructure, in violation of the Chinese rule that storage of such materials should be 1,000 yards away from homes and public structures.

Homeowners of the nearby Qihang compound on Sunday unfurled banners demanding government accountability and proper compensations for their damaged homes.


On Sunday, Shi Luze, chief of staff for the Beijing region of the People’s Liberation Army, said authorities believed there were ‘‘several hundred’’ tons of sodium cyanide at the warehouse. He said that leaked chemicals were being neutralized and those still in packages removed from the site.

He also said that 3,000 soldiers had been dispatched to the disaster zone to clean up any leaks of hazardous materials.

Authorities temporarily detected the highly toxic hydrogen cyanide in the air slightly above safety levels at two locations, Tianjin environmental official Bao Jingling told a news conference Sunday morning. The contamination Saturday afternoon, at 4 percent and 50 percent above the safety level, was no longer detectable later Saturday, Bao said.

Yes, soon everything will be back to normal.


Not in Japan, though:

"Japan’s economy contracts, erasing recent gains" by Jonathan Soble New York Times  August 17, 2015

TOKYO — Burdened by weaker consumer spending and exports, Japan’s economy contracted in the second quarter, government data showed Monday, the first such setback since a short but painful recession last year.

Japanese growth rates have fluctuated wildly in recent quarters, and the latest downturn only partially erased gains from a strong expansion in the first quarter. The size of the contraction in the quarter through June was roughly in line with the expectations of private-sector economists.

Nothing to $ee here?


The slowdown is nonetheless a setback for the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which has been trying to pull the economy out of nearly two decades of deflation through a stimulus program known as Abenomics.

The program, under which the central bank injects vast amounts of cash into the economy, has kept borrowing costs low and weakened the yen. It has been a boon for global manufacturing companies like Toyota that earn much of their revenues abroad in currencies like dollars and euros.

That's what the Fed did here.

But while Abenomics has increased profits at big corporations and lifted the stock market, many ordinary Japanese say they feel few benefits.

Same here!

Jobs are plentiful — the unemployment rate is just 3.4 percent, close to an 18-year low — but the paychecks that go with them buy less than they used to. Adjusted for inflation and taxes, average wages have been stuck in a persistent decline.

AmeriKa's future that is happening now!

Pay has been increasing comfortably for some workers, but economists caution that gains have accrued disproportionately to those with permanent jobs at major companies — an elite but shrinking minority.

I even need type .01%?

Many of the jobs that have been created since Abe became prime minister at the end of 2012 have been part-time or temporary, with lower pay and fewer benefits.


Exports, which have been hurt by a weaker Chinese economy. China’s rapid development in recent years has had spillover benefits for Japan, where experienced manufacturers of industrial machinery have supplied much of the equipment used in China’s proliferating factories.

China supplanted the United States as Japan’s largest trading partner several years ago.


Thus the slowing pace of growth in China — and, in particular, a decline in demand for capital goods — has hurt important parts of Japan’s export economy.

The quarterly contraction in Japan could revive speculation about whether the central bank will step up its stimulus efforts.

That's right. Keep applying the same old failed $trategy so the bubble pyramid will last a wee-bit longer.

The Bank of Japan has been pouring money into the economy by buying government bonds from the market at a rate of 80 trillion yen a year, or close to $700 billion. Yet the sustained increase in consumer prices that it hopes to generate as a result has been elusive.


Btw, when the Fed stop buying, Japan stepped in. Those are some of the purchases.


Time to really get a war with China going:

"Obama warns Beijing about agents in US; Officials say raids target expatriates" by Mark Mazzetti and Dan Levin New York Times   August 17, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has delivered a warning to Beijing about the presence of Chinese government agents in the United States, who are secretly trying to pressure prominent expatriates to return home, according to US officials.

(Blog editor shakes head. WTF?)

The officials said Chinese law enforcement agents in this country are part of Beijing’s global campaign to hunt down and repatriate Chinese fugitives living abroad and, in some cases, recover allegedly ill-gotten gains. Some of the expatriates are wanted in China on charges of corruption.

China has Wall Street crooks and self-created terrorists, too? 

Related: Corruption is Good For An Economy 

That about says it all about our $y$tem, doesn't it?

The Chinese government has officially named the effort Operation Fox Hunt.

The US warning, which was delivered to Chinese officials in recent weeks and demanded a halt to the activities, reflects escalating anger in Washington about intimidation tactics used by the agents.

Angry enough to deploy a mini-nuke or hurl tungsten rods from space? 

And it comes at a time of growing tension between Washington and Beijing on a number of issues, including the computer theft of millions of government personnel files that US officials suspect was directed by China, China’s crackdown on civil liberties, and the devaluation of its currency.

Related: JP Morgan Was Hacked by Jewish Mafia

That sure is food for thought regarding jwhose behind the hacking.

Those tensions are expected to complicate the state visit to Washington next month by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.

Oh, I'm sure the propaganda pre$$ and Obama's office will put on a wonderful production.

The work of the agents is a departure from the routine practice of secret government intelligence gathering that the United States and China have carried out on each other’s soil for decades. The CIA has a cadre of spies in China, just as China has long deployed its own intelligence operatives into the United States to steal US political, economic, military, and industrial secrets.

Yeah, never mind "Israel, whose spy services have long been deeply dependent on their US counterparts — but also suspicious enough of US motives in the Middle East to regard America as an intelligence target" and their spies!

Of course, there really is no need for Israel to spy when the NSA is handing everything over so U.S. politicians can then be blackmailed by AIPAC.

In this case, US officials said, the Chinese agents are undercover operatives with the Public Security Ministry, China’s law enforcement branch charged with carrying out Operation Fox Hunt.

The campaign, a central element of Xi’s wider battle against corruption, has proved to be popular with the Chinese public.

You're kidding!?!

Since 2014, according to the ministry, more than 930 suspects have been repatriated, including more than 70 who have returned this year voluntarily, the ministry’s website reported in June. According to Chinese media accounts, teams of agents have been dispatched around the globe.

US officials said they had solid evidence that the Chinese agents — who are not in the United States on acknowledged government business and most likely are entering on tourist or trade visas — use various strong-arm tactics to get fugitives to return. The harassment, which has included threats against family members in China, has intensified in recent months, officials said.

Does anyone believe any evidence put forth by this government anymore? I don't.

The United States has its own history of sending operatives undercover to other nations — sometimes under orders to kidnap or kill. In the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the CIA dispatched teams abroad to snatch Qaeda suspects and spirit them either to secret CIA prisons or hand them over to other governments for interrogation.

Say what?

Special Forces are still out there, too. I know you don't read about them much in the propaganda pre$$, but....

Both China’s Public Security Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry did not respond to faxes requesting comment. But Chinese officials have often boasted about their global efforts to hunt economic fugitives.

Liu Dong, a director of Operation Fox Hunt, has said Chinese agents must comply with local laws abroad and that they depend on cooperation with the police in other countries, according to a state media report last year.

But in a telling admission, he added, “Our principle is thus: Whether or not there is an agreement in place, as long as there is information that there is a criminal suspect, we will chase them over there, we will take our work to them, anywhere.”

It is unclear whether the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security has advocated within the Obama administration to have the Chinese agents expelled from the country, but the White House decision to have the State Department issue a warning to the Chinese government about the activities could be an initial step in the process.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are in charge of tracking the activities of foreign government agents inside the United States, and US officials said both agencies had amassed evidence about the Chinese law enforcement agents by speaking to Chinese expatriates and by monitoring the agents themselves.

Like AIPAC!? 

Shouldn't have to go very far. Congre$$ is just across town.

US officials did not disclose the identities or numbers of those being sought by the Chinese in the United States. They are believed to be prominent expatriates, some sought for economic corruption and some for what the Chinese consider political crimes.

US officials declined to provide specific evidence of the activities of the agents, and they discussed details of the operation only on the condition of anonymity because of the tense diplomacy surrounding the issue.

That reluctance reflects divisions with the Obama administration over how aggressive to publicly confront China on a number of security issues.

How timely.

For instance, the White House has gone out of its way to avoid making any public accusations that the Chinese government ordered the computer attack on the Office of Personnel Management, which led to the theft of millions of classified personnel files of government workers and contractors. While James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, initially said that “you have to kind of salute the Chinese for what they did,” he avoided repeating that accusation when pressed again in public on the matter.

If it was even them, which I doubt.

China and the United States do not have an extradition treaty, and State Department officials would not say whether the warning carried any threats of penalties. Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, declined to comment about the diplomatic warning but said that “generally speaking, foreign law enforcement agents are not permitted to operate within the United States without prior notification to the attorney general.”

And you are, of course, notifying other countries about....


UPDATE: Now I'm being called a poisoner of the well for speculating and trying to understand what I saw and what happened. 

Needless to say, I'm not listening today.