Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Japan's Recovery

To enter the exclusion zone represented by a 20-km radius around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, one must wear a protective uniform made of a papery fibre called Tyvek, consisting of gloves, mask, boot covers, and suit, all of the same protective, disposable material. Along with that protective clothing, a dosimeter is carried to register exposure to radiation.
White hot: Two fires glow like molten lava amid the devastated houses in Yamada town

White hot: Two fires glow like molten lava amid the devastated houses in Yamada town

Fully 78,000 people were evacuated from eight towns and villages, forced to leave their homes. People have been permitted to temporarily go back from time to time, to look for their abandoned pets, to gather personal papers, jewellery, expensive items that they would like to retrieve and take back with them to their temporary quarters.

And it's just as well that they do. Sometimes they enter their homes to discover that others have been there before them. That someone - who knows who? - has already assumed possession of things that they left behind in their desperately hasty departure, in the wake of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan's northeast on March 11, 2011, and then that disastrous tsunami.

Over 100,000 homeless refugees were taken from schools and gymnasiums to temporary homes, awaiting permission to return to their towns and villages and homes. In some areas there will be no return. Looters have been busy in the absence of the usual inhabitants of those towns and villages. Smashing cash machines, emptying them of their cash.

People eager enough to enrich themselves at others' unfortunate expense that they breached the heavily radioactive fallout despite the warnings, soon after the evacuation leading from the breakdown of the nuclear power plant. Japan is known and celebrated for the overall respect for law in its population.

This is clearly a miserable anomaly in social breakdown.

Clandestine opportunity awaiting the bold opportunists willing to enrich themselves at others' misfortune. And no one will ever know. At night there is an eerie silence, and dense, darkness that envelopes the area. When the sight of crumpled buildings, washed-ashore boats and smashed vehicles cannot be seen.

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Syria's New Constitution!

Well, that's all right then. Clearly, democracy has returned to Syria. Who could have doubted it would? President al Assad promised a new constitution and a free vote, did he not? As good as his word, he is. And popular as ever. A large majority of eligible Syrian voters - 60% - turned out for their country's free election, and cast their ballots.

Overwhelmingly for the status quo, actually. So who was it that said you cannot please all of the people all of the time, anyway? He was right; some Syrians are displeased, but most - over eight million voters - are extremely pleased, and they voted 89.4% approval of their president. He is assured continuity for his regime until 2028.

Stands to reason that outsiders sneer at the sheer farce of the proceedings, as they put it. Their interference is what has led to this situation of terror groups defying the government, to begin with. It is vile and despicable foreign sources who are responsible for unleashing terror in the streets of Homs and other incidental places of unrest.

Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani has a wicked agenda he has placed front and centre, as expected from a Sunni toward a Shiite regime. "I think we should do whatever is necessary to help them, including giving them weapons to defend themselves"; no not the defense of the regime, but arming the rebels in defiance of the regime.

Russia and China may have blocked the Security Council's wish to sturdily smite President al Bashad with words of condemnation, hugely offending the Arab League and particularly Saudi Arabia, but this standoff of obvious misunderstanding of the role of the typical Arab/Muslim benevolent ruler does typify the convoluted machinations of the region.

Still, the regime remains unconcerned. It will more than adequately look to its own resources to clear up the little imbroglio that has erupted between dissatisfied Syrians and the majority that love him. To celebrate his great victory at the polls the President has instructed his troops to talk some sense and national pride into the Syrian rebels.

And his military has responded with enthusiasm and love for their fellow Syrians. Shells and rockets crashed into Sunni Muslim districts of Homs, softening them up a little further after earlier bombardments, to the prospect of apologizing for their flagrant disregard for authority and childish demands for 'freedom' and 'justice', whatever those are.

And the opposition, still awaiting rescue from their desperate plight, by the Arab League, by NATO, deliver their messages:
"Intense shelling started on Khalidiya, Ashira, Bayada, Baba Amro and the old city at dawn. The army is firing from the main thoroughfares deep into alleyways and side streets."

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Advice, Freely Proffered

Top US General Grilled on Iran Strike
by Gavriel Queenann Top US General Grilled on Iran Strike

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey on Tuesday told a Senate panel he did not counsel Israel against attacking Iran over its nuclear program.

“We’ve had a conversation with them about time, the issue of time," Dempsey said, referring to his visit to Israel a month ago.

Grilled during a Senate Budget Committee meeting, Dempsey also defended his comment that Iran was a rational actor from Senator Lindsey Graham.

“We can’t afford to underestimate our potential adversaries by writing them off as irrational,” Dempsey said.

Asked pointedly by Graham if a military strike by the US was off the table, Dempsey responded, “Absolutely not."

He stressed the danger of nuclear weapons reaching terrorist groups and the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East involving countries threatened by Iran.

Observers say Graham's decision to corner Dempsey in committee and on the record on Israel and Iran wasn’t surprising.

Earlier this month, Dempsey said in a CNN interview that an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would be imprudent, destabilizing and would not achieve Israel's long-term objectives.

Those comments led Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to charge Dempsey as being "unwilling to aid Israel" in ensuring Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu said Dempsey's comments "served Iran."

Within hours Graham and fellow Senator John McCain, who had just met with Netanyahu, took Dempsey to task.

Graham told reporters that, while he respected Dempsey, “Obviously it’s not helpful if there is a well-publicized tension between the US and Israel. We would like to see the United States and Israel agree on a course of action that will lead us toward a goal we both share.”

"People are giving Israel a lot of advice here lately from America,” Graham said. “I just want to tell our Israeli friends that my advice to you is never lose control of your destiny."

"Never allow a situation to develop that would destroy the Jewish state," he added.

Standing next to Graham, McCain said, “There should be no daylight between America and Israel in our assessment of the [Iranian] threat.”

“Unfortunately there clearly is some,” added the Senator.

Over the weekend, McCain lashed out at the Obama administration’s handling of rising tensions between Israel and Iran.

McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the administration intentionally leaked to the media the reason for the US national security adviser’s trip to Israel – to try to persuade the country not to attack Iran.

“The prime minister has every reason to be upset,” McCain said. “I can understand why relations are in very bad shape right now.”

In recent months Obama administration officials have leaked secret strategy meetings with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo on Iran, as well as Israel's theoretical timetable for an Iran strike.

They have also taken the unprecedented step of siding with Iran in accusing Israel of supporting the People's Mujahadeen of Iran in an assassination campaign targeting Iranian nuclear scientists.

More on this topic

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WikiLeaks: Russia Gave Israel Codes for Iran’s Missiles
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu WikiLeaks: Israel Has Codes for Iran’s Missiles

Russia gave Israel codes for breaking Iran’s missile defense system in return for codes of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Israel sold to Georgia, WikiLeaks claims.

The information was among 5 million emails released this week by WikiLeaks, which said it worked in cooperation with the Anonymous hacker group. The leaked information focused on the U.S.-based Stratfor global intelligence company.

A source identified as “A” was quoted in an e-mail from a Stratfor employee as having heard from a “former Mexican cop” and military analysts that "the Georgians are frantically looking for a replacement for the Israeli UAVs that were compromised.”

The Israeli-based Elbit company had sold UAVs to Georgia since 2007, and earlier this month Georgia said it is replacing the Hermes UAVs.

“Met with my Mexican source/friend again today and dude is getting shadier by the day. We followed up on our past discussion on Russia compromising the Israeli-made Georgian UAVs prior to the August war,” said one e-mail.

“I inquired more about the compromised Israeli UAVs,” it continued. “What he explained was that Israel and Russia made a swap -- Israel gave Russia the 'data link' code for those specific UAVs; in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Iran's Tor-M1s [missile defense system].

“I asked about the S-300 (source tracks a lot of defense deals for Jane's). He doesn't think the Russians will give it to the Iranians. Besides, he said... Israel and Turkey have been collaborating very closely on the S-300s….The gist of what he said is that Turkey has been cracking the S-300 since the Crete sale and has been sharing intel on the S-300 with the Israelis to ensure that they retain an advantage over Iran should Iran get them from the Russians.

“SOURCE DESCRIPTION: MX301 - Former Mexican cop, Latam military analyst, writes for Jane's; SOURCE RELIABILITY: A

“The Russians got the data link for the UAV (there is some suspicion that the Israelis after the war may have given this to them…. So, since the Georgian UAVs were compromised, they then tried to sell them to the Azerbaijanis. I don’t know if that deal went through.”

As published online at ArutzSheva, 29 February 2012

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pakistan's People's Party

The United Nations recently issued a desperate call for assistance for last fall's victims of Pakistan's disastrous floods caused by heavy rains. Flood waters once again inundated large stretches of southern Pakistan killing hundreds, destroying or damaging millions of houses. It was estimated to have affected almost nine million people who are still living in temporary shelters, facing famine and disease.

The Pakistan People's Party, the current government, is as hopeless as its predecessor governments in caring for its people, and looks for assistance to the United Nations, its emergency and food programs. This is the same country that opted to spend its treasury - which was never exorbitant for a poverty-stricken country - to develop nuclear weaponry instead of building protective infrastructure against floods, and feeding its people.

Pakistan's burning hatred for India informs everything that it does; fomenting and inciting to violence in Kashmir against India's presence, arming and supporting the Taliban against the Government of Afghanistan, launching attacks against India. Pakistan is a net exporter of terror. Its countless madrasses teaching Saudi-style fundamentalist Islamism churns out eager jihadis.

Pakistan's National Army and its Secret Services aid and support extreme and violent tribal groups whose hatred for kuffar, for India and for the West in general ensures that the world will always be well supplied with terrorists eager to perform their sacred duty to Islamism; political, fascist Islam, the only kind that seems to exist in Pakistan.

This is the country that convinced the United States that it should be trusted as an ally in the battle against 'terror', because it too was battling its own internal terrorists. And the United States, wanting to believe Pakistan despite abundant evidence to the contrary, dispenses billions of dollars annually in support of the Pakistan military.

None of that funding goes in any way, shape or form to alleviating the dreadful plight of the Pakistan public, that three-quarters of a million living in temporary relief camps, let alone the greater majority of the internal refugees living in the open with no shelter whatever. Over three million people are in desperate need of food assistance and medical care. They haven't even recovered from the floods of the year before.

They cannot look to their government to bring them relief, for there is none to be had from that source. So Pakistan, with its institutionalized policy of teaching its young at the schools they attend, that jihad is the duty of every Muslim, and violent jihad is a requirement of the faith, has nothing to offer to succour its people at their time of existential need.

Islam, in Pakistan, informs every second of every day. And it is the duty of every Muslim to struggle, for submission is not enough, given the world that is hostile to Islam, and which must be challenged with the supremacy of Islam and the Koran. The Koranic verse which gives command to the believer to "kill the pagans, the infidels, the unbelievers, where you find them" is beyond dispute.

Which is why the Pakistan public unanimously supports the jihad they observe occurring in Afghanistan, and fervently denounces U.S. drones targeting jihadists in the North West Territories, and are ragingly inflamed when Navy SEALs successfully infiltrate to visit Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, a mile from an elite Army garrison.

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Lethally Fantacizing

It is more than a little puzzling to muse upon the obvious trust in rationality that U.S. President Barack Obama displayed when he ascended to the White House, confident that simply by replacing George W. Bush as president, the international community would be reassured that America had no designs on their territory, and wished only to extend the hand of friendship and co-operation.

His presidency, he felt - and he wanted everyone else to believe as he did - would usher in a new era of international relations, of diplomacy not belligerence, courtesy not arrogance, trust not defiance. Under his authority and his gentle guiding hand, countries that were hostile to the United States would suddenly become welcoming and all would be well.

It seems that enough people did believe his belief in the healing powers of rational intelligence and peaceful ideology, to bring a new era of international relations to the world scene. There was the triumphant revelation that he had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and then he was gloriously presented with that prize. For he had extended an open hand to the world.

His open hand of greeting was thwarted by a fist extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, was not impressed by President Obama's address to the Muslim nations from Cairo. He had no intention of trusting any Westerners for he distrusted even his neighbours, reflecting in fact how each of the sheikhs, monarchs, dictators in the MidEast interacted among themselves.

The latest report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency warns that Iran's increasingly active enrichment of uranium to 20% grade, when 5% is sufficient to run a domestic atomic reactor, clearly indicates Iran's intention to engineer and construct nuclear armaments. The Fordow installation, securely installed at the foot of a mountain is working overtime.

But not to worry, because the Obama administration sees a silver lining where the IAEA, the Arab League and Israel see silver lightning prepared to whoosh down on them under a mushroom cloud. Iran's belligerent rantings and threats against one of its neighbours in particular, leads that neighbour to the conclusion that it must act, with regret, not haste.

The sanctions that have bitten deep into Iran's treasury and which have embittered its population have only served to strengthen the resolve of the Ayatollahs who feel now, more than ever, theirs is a righteous and fully Islamic course of action; they seek only to take what is rightfully theirs, just as other nations have.

Other nations, with the notable exceptions of those supporting Iran, Pakistan and North Korea, who present enough of a concern to a world that is nuclear-vulnerable. What the world does not need is another lunatic theocracy drunk with its power-ideology and so infused with its belief in the end of days and their singular reward, that there is nothing to suppress its vicious determination.

Simply because there is, for Iran, no fear of a disaster that cannot be contained, for that disaster to them appears as a release for which they have eagerly and too long waited.

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What Jewish Jerusalem Heritage?

Even 'Peace Now' Getting Fed Up With Arab Officials?
by Rachel Hirshfeld Peace Now Getting Fed Up with Arab Officials?

Americans for Peace Now's Director of Policy and Government Relations Lara Friedman has expressed her discontent and dissatisfaction with the failure of Arab officials to acknowledge Jewish rights to Jerusalem.

While Friedman is vehemently against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, military action against Iran, and advocated on behalf of freeing the Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan from Israeli administrative detention, she nonetheless laments that the Arab League’s Conference on Jerusalem in Doha on Sunday did not give voice to Jewish perspectives.

“When I was invited to this conference, I took this as a sign that the Arab League wanted to capture the full complexity of the issues related to Jerusalem, including openly pro-Israel, pro-peace voices," she wrote Monday in the Forward. "However, it seems that virtually every conversation I am having here involves me, to a greater or lesser degree, having to defend the two-state solution and having to assert and defend the Jewish stake in Jerusalem..

“[I]t seems to me that by not having more pro-two-state solution, Jewish voices here, the Arab League is doing a disservice to the cause it is ostensibly concerned with — the health and status of Jerusalem — and missing an opportunity. The Arab world, and activists around the globe concerned with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do themselves no favors when they listen to voices that tell them only a piece of the story that is comfortable to their ears.

“Speakers at Sunday’s opening session, including Palestinian [Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas, one after another laid out laundry lists of criticisms of Israel — many of them regrettably marked with exaggerations. All also spoke a great deal about Muslim and Christian attachments to Jerusalem and the importance of defending the holy sites and communities associated with both religions. However, only one speaker, Michel Sabbah, formerly the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, mentioned any Jewish connection to the city,” she added.

“This is a serious problem,” Friedman proclaimed. “If President Abbas cannot acknowledge Jewish claims in Jerusalem, even as he asserts Palestinian claims (a problem Yasser Arafat suffered from), he should not be surprised if it is more difficult for Israelis and Jews, wherever they are, to believe that he can be trusted in a peace agreement that leaves Jerusalem sites precious to Jews under Palestinian control.

“If representatives of the organization that sponsored the Arab Peace Initiative cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the legitimacy of Jewish equities in Jerusalem, they should know that they discredit their own professed interest in peace.

“All throughout the day, it was unfortunately the same story. Participants talked about Jerusalem as if Jewish history did not exist or was a fraud — as if all Jewish claims in the city were just a tactic to dispossess Palestinians.”

She concluded by saying that she “regret[s] that the conference so far has not taken the issues related to Jerusalem more seriously. Much of the discourse here thus far has been personally objectionable and even painful to me, but I believe my presence here is important for the cause of peace.”

Friedman, like Norman Finkelstein, among others, seem to be disheartened and disillusioned by the liberal, leftist and anti-Israel groups which they espouse. Finkelstein recently admitted that the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which he so closely aligned and supported in the past, is “a cult.”

Peace Now ,Arab league

As published online at ArutzSheva, 28 February 2012

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Israel's Options: Few

U.S. Official: Israel Won't Warn Us Before an Attack on Iran
by Elad Benari U.S. Official: Israel Won't Warn Us Before Attack

Israeli officials have made it clear they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, a U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press on Monday.

The official said the pronouncement was delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations.

According to the AP report, Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack.

The report said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of top-level U.S. visitors to the country, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, the White House national security adviser and the director of national intelligence, and top U.S. lawmakers.

The U.S. official, who spoke to the news agency on condition of anonymity, said that Netanyahu delivered the same message to all the Americans who have traveled to Israel for talks.

According to AP, the apparent decision to keep the U.S. in the dark also stems from Israel's frustration with the White House. After a recent visit by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, the report said, Israel became convinced the Americans would neither take military action, nor go along with unilateral action by Israel against Iran. The Israelis concluded they would have to conduct a strike unilaterally, a point they are likely to hammer home in a series of meetings over the next two weeks in Washington, the official told the news agency.

Barak will meet with top administration and congressional officials during his visit, while Netanyahu arrives in Washington on March 5 for meetings with President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu recently said publicly that sanctions against the Islamic Republic are "not working," a sentiment supported by U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess in a testimony given to U.S. lawmakers.

Netanyahu is widely believed to back Barak, who believes a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear program must be made before Tehran enters "the immunity zone."

Barak's so-called "immunity zone" is a theoretical point of no return after which Iran's nuclear program would be so diffuse and well protected that an Israeli strike could not sufficiently delay Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, who recently visited Israel and met with officials on the Iranian issue, was quoted as having told CNN on Monday, “I got the sense that Israel is incredibly serious about a strike on their nuclear weapons program.”

Rogers added, “It’s their calculus that the administration ... is not serious about a real military consequence to Iran moving forward. They believe they're going to have to make a decision on their own, given the current posture of the United States.”

The White House did not respond to AP’s requests for comment on the anonymous official’s remarks, and the Pentagon and Office of Director of National Intelligence declined to comment, as did the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

The remarks seem to back recent reports, according to which Israeli officials told Dempsey that Israel would give President Barack Obama no more than 12 hours notice if and when it attacks Iran.

The report said that the Netanyahu government also will not coordinate with the United States an attack on the Islamic Republic.

Despite the latest reports, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro insisted last week that the United States and Israel are "coordinated" on steps being taken to confront Iran's nuclear program.

As published online at ArutzSheva, 28 February 2012

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Substances Deleterious To Your Dog's Health - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Guest writer - Karen Rosenfeld, Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Saturday, 18 February, 2012


The following provides an extensive list of foods / plants that dogs should never eat. These items when ingested by a dog can cause minor to major illness, organ failure and even death.

The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Alcoholic Beverages
Any type of alcohol can be poisonous to your dog and aside from intoxication, can cause a coma or even death.

Employ caution when giving bones to your dog. Some bones can be very dangerous - as they can splinter and cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system. Bones from many types of fish are dangerous for dogs just as they are for people. The cooked bones of salmon are not harmful.

Candy containing the sweetener Xylitol
Xylitol can cause liver damage and even death.

Dogs should never have any type of chocolate. Milk chocolate is not as dangerous for dogs as semi-sweet or unsweetened bakers chocolate. Chocolate poisoning can cause irregular heart rate and rhythm, restlessness, hyperactivity, diarrhea, vomiting, panting, muscle tremors, abdominal pain, bloody urine, increased body temperature, seizures, coma and death.

Can result in increased breathing and heart rate, restlessness and affects the central nervous system.

Dairy Products - in large amounts, small amounts are OK for most dogs
If consumed in large amounts may cause diarrhea. Some dogs are lactose intolerant. If your dog is not lactose intolerant, plain yogurt is good for your dog. A little hard cheese or cottage cheese is also good.

Fat - in large amounts, small amounts of good fat are beneficial
Butter, margarine, lard, fat trimmings and excessive amounts of oil. Ingesting any substantial amount of these fats can cause failure of the internal organs such as the liver. I do feed my dogs a small amount (1/2 tablespoon for the really little guys like Carmen and Jacob; 1 tablespoon for my dogs who weigh 15lbs to 30lbs and 2 tablespoon for all the larger dogs) of oil. A good quality oil (containing Omega fatty acids) in these small amounts is as good for the dog's health as it is for humans, when ingested in proper quantities on a daily basis. Coconut Oil in small daily amounts is also good for dogs.

Eggs - raw can be a hazard, cooked in small amounts are beneficial
Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella, although the chance of contamination for your dog is low as a dog’s stomach acids are very strong and dogs also produce a lot of bile. You can cook the eggs to avoid this issue. Due to the avidin it is best not to give eggs every day, but a couple of times a week is fine.

Fish - in large quantities are dangerous, small quantities are beneficial
If fed exclusively or in large amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. A small amount of cooked or canned fatty fish such as
anchovies, salmon, sardines, shad, smelt, mackerel are very good for your dog (on a daily basis is fine - in small amounts) as these types of fish are nutrient-rich and a good source of omega fatty acids.

Fish - Raw, can be dangerous, use caution
Raw fish can contain flukes, a parasite that infests the liver of animals including dogs. This parasite can cause liver damage and subsequently death. Granted, in some places around the world dogs are fed raw fish. Just be aware that in doing so you may put the health of your dog at risk. If you know for certain that the fish in your area is not infested then there is no threat to your dog's health. But remember, if fish is fed exclusively or in large amounts it can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. A small amount daily is fine.

Grapes, Currents
Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage. Grape seed extract is safe for dogs.

May cause panting, elevated temperature, increased heart rate, seizures and death.

Liver - in large amounts; small amounts are beneficial
In large amounts can cause Vitamen A toxicity, leading to kidney damage/failure.

Macadamia Nuts
Can cause vomiting, lethargy, hyperthermia, abdominal pain, stiff joints, lameness and tremors.

Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.

Meat - Raw can be dangerous, use caution
May contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death. Dogs are able to fight off Salmonella and E.coli much better than humans can, however some dogs are severely affected and do die. Raw pork can have worms that may be transferred to your dog by eating raw pork. Many people do feed their dogs raw meat and experience no issues. Working dogs such as sled dogs regularly consume raw meat without issue. Just take precautions - make sure the meat is fresh and has been kept in the refrigerator for no more than a few days or was frozen fresh. Reduce the risk of contamination and don't feed your dog raw pork.

Mouldy Foods
Can have varied effects on pets including vomiting and diarrhea.

Depending on the type of mushroom. The symptoms may vary - depression, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, tearing, hallucinations, defecation, liver failure, seizures, drooling, urination, kidney failure, heart damage, hyperactivity and in some cases, death.

Mustard Seeds
Can have varied effects on pets.

Onion, Chives, Leeks, Shallots are dangerous; garlic in small amounts is beneficial
Contain thiosulphate, the substance responsible for causing ‘Heinx Factor’ anemia in dogs. Can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. The amount of thiosulphate found in garlic is much lower than in onions, in fact the amount in garlic is barely traceable! When garlic is ingested in reasonable amounts there are no harmful effects, only beneficial ones! Garlic is known for its anti-cancer, diabetes, liver, heart, kidney disease-fighting properties as well as its use as a natural flea repellent and de-wormer for dogs.

Pits from Apricot / Cherry / Peach / Plum, etc.
Can cause respiratory difficulties such as breathing, coughing and sneezing.

Plants that are toxic if ingested by dogs
Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants (ASPCA)

Potato Leaves and Stems
Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.

Raisins and Currants
Can be poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage.

Rhubarb Leaves
Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.

In large quantities can cause electrolyte imbalances.

Seeds from Apples / Pears
Contain arsenic and can have a variety of bad effects on dogs.

Tea - non decaffeinated
Can have varied effects in pets.

Contains nicotine, which effects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Tomato Leaves and Stems are dangerous; tomatoes are fine
Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.

Vitamins made for human consumption that contain iron
Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as respiratory issues such as sneezing, breathing and coughing.

Yeast Dough - raw, not baked
Can be dangerous as it will expand and result in gas, pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol -- an artificial sweetener created from birch, raspberries, plums and corn. This sweetener is found in many human "sugar free" products, such as gum, candies and other sweets. Signs of toxicity can be seen as quickly as 30 minutes after xylitol ingestion in dogs. The xylitol causes a rapid release of the hormone insulin, causing a sudden decrease in blood glucose. The following are symptoms of Xylitol poisioning: vomiting, weakness, ataxia (uncoordinated movements), depression, hypokalemia (decreased potassium), seizures, coma, liver dysfunction and/or failure. Ingestion can be fatal.

If You Think Your Dog Is Suffering From Poisoning (food, chemicals, insect/snake bites)

The following provides a list of some of the interventions that veterinarians may ask you to do, they may also request that you bring your dog in ASAP.

To induce vomiting, give your pet 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (1 tablespoon per 15 pounds of the dog’s body weight) with an eye dropper, syringe, or turkey baster by dribbling the liquid onto the back of his tongue or into his cheek pocket until swallowed. Collect any vomit and take it, along with the poison container or other substance that you think your dog may have ingested and take it to the veterinarian

To dilute caustic poisons such as pine oils, detergents, bleaches, and swimming pool chemicals, feed your dog large quantities of water, milk, or egg whites. Activated charcoal (or even burned toast) may be recommended to absorb insect repellents like DEET.

To remove absorbed poisons...absorbed poisons are substances that get on your pet’s paws and coat and are absorbed through the skin. This type of canine poisoning can happen through ingestion when the animal grooms himself. Wash the area with large quantities of water and visit your veterinarian to prevent long-term effects and discomfort. For oil-based toxins (petroleum products) use a gentle dish-washing liquid. Dust or vacuum powdery poisons away because water can activate certain toxins. If the poison is in your dog’s eye, carefully flush the eye with water or sterile saline solution.

‘Inhaled poisons’ include aerosol sprays, carbon monoxide, gases, and other fumes inhaled by your pet that you may not consider poison to dogs because you use them safely on a regular basis. Quickly get your dog into fresh air and administer Rescue Breathing if necessary.

For snakebites, carry your dog if at all possible, to prevent increased circulation of venom throughout his body via walking. Get him to an animal emergency centre ASAP.

For insect bites, administer 1 mg of Diphenhydramine (i.e. Benadryl), an antihistamine, per pound of your dog’s body weight—but do check with your veterinarian first. Applying a cold pack to the bite can alleviate swelling, but immediately seek professional medical help if you detect breathing problems. You can also wipe or spray the bite with Apple Cider Vinegar.

If you think your dog is suffering from symptoms related to poisoning from any of these foods, plants or chemicals call your veterinarian or contact a pet poison control centre right away.

Pet Poison Help Line 24/7 (800-213-6680)


The Assassin

"They called the Koran a bad book in the presence of (an Afghan colleague). After all this the guy had verbal arguments with the advisers and was threatened by them. He gets angry and shoots them. Eight rounds were fired at them. Then he sneaks out and disappears. No one knew about the incident for more than an hour because the room is soundproofed." Afghan government source
There it is, the whole story in a nutshell. Or so the enquiring are led to believe. By an Afghan government source who has it all neatly figured out. Because, of course, how else to explain it? A dishonourable deed has an honourable source. A devout Afghan defending the Koran against those who think nothing of desecrating it. They are degenerate and despicable, and his honour as a believing Muslim was challenged.

The two Americans were, according to this source, "scolding the protesters and calling them bad names", while viewing videos of protests in Kabul. Their manner irritated an Afghan colleague who happened to be present. Who, reasonably, remonstrated with them. In their turn the Americans, as Americans are wont to do, threatened the poor man. What option had he then, but to defend himself and in the process, defend the honour of Islam?

What, indeed. It has taken, let's see, about six-seven days, but President Hamid Karzai has finally called for an end to the 'protests' against American insensitivity, brutality, and unforgivable desecration of the holy text. He feels that the message has been amply received. NATO has pulled its advisers from Afghan government ministries - advisedly, but temporarily.

France is withdrawing its civilian mentors and advisers from Afghan institutions for "safety reasons", as is Germany, and Canada. For safety reasons, in fact, no Westerners should actually be in Afghanistan. The concealed fact of the matter is that quite a number of attacks have taken place, with trusted Afghan 'colleagues' turning their weapons on foreigners purporting to be allies.

The battle against the Taliban uppermost in the allies' minds, not so much that of the Afghan National Army and Police, who know full well they will soon be back in power, controlling all. The named suspect is said to have studied in Pakistan before joining the ministry. Anyone attending a school, a madrassa, an military academy in Pakistan has been well steeped in violent jihad and hatred of the infidels.

Not that Afghans themselves are strangers to the need of every devout Muslim to war with the enemy, the foreigners, the kuffar. Pakistan under General Musharraf convinced the American administration that it could be relied upon as an ally in the 'war against terror', without dwelling too deeply on the fact that Pakistan created that terror, and its military and secret service trained, funded and directed terror.

Paid for, amusingly enough, with American funding to the tune of billions invested by the U.S. Treasury in the Pakistan military.

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Canada's Sacrifices in Afghanistan

In 2001, the Government of Canada committed to participating in the NATO ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Canada would send 2,000 troops, six warships and six planes to Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. Western allies allied with the Afghan Northern Alliance marched on Kabul and rousted the Taliban and their honoured guests, al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Canada sent troops from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry to Kandahar, in early 2002, in Canada's contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom. They joined members of Joint Task Force 2 who had arrived in the country several months earlier. And for the next ten years Canada was deeply embroiled in the ongoing conflict, as the Taliban regrouped and resurged.

Since that time Canada lost 158 of its military, men and women, between 2001 and 2011. During that same period 636 soldiers were wounded in action, and another 1,412 injured in non-battle conditions. Eight percent of Canadian soldiers suffer now from Afghanistan-related post-traumatic stress disorder. And another 5.2% suffer from mental health issues related to their Afghanistan experience.

As additional military personnel leave the military within the next five years it is estimated that almost three thousand of those will report severe PTSD at some juncture. There are 39,558 Canadian veterans of the Afghan war, 4,181 of whom across the country are receiving disability benefits from Veterans Affairs.

Most of the Canadian military who lost their lives in Afghanistan met their death by exploding roadside bombs, IEDs. Canadians became adept at disarming these roadside bombs, but they were not always successful in locating their presence before they killed and maimed Canadian troops. The Taliban became ever more adept at building 'better' bombs.

The cost to NATO for prosecuting this war is held to be in the neighbourhood of $460-billion, while for Canada that cost is $22-billion, with an additional $3-billion estimated for the training mission of Afghan troops.

And the end result of all this sacrifice is ... not very much. Canadian soldiers met with village elders in Kandahar province, palavered at loya jirgas, built school houses and medical clinics, dug wells and interacted with villagers to demonstrate their friendliness and willingness to respect the customs and devout religious beliefs.

There were some inroads made, but foreigners will always be held with huge suspicion in Afghanistan, a country that has been invaded and occupied for most of its history, and because it is a poor country it will remain a backward society wedded to a strict interpretation of Islam. And because of its location it will be a target for Pakistan as a buffer against India.

And while the Taliban patiently awaits its entrance opportunity with the withdrawal of NATO, Iran too awaits its opportunity to spread its influence as well. All of this seems inevitable. And none of it represents the expectations that were uppermost in the minds of those who occupied the country to destroy the influence of the Taliban and bring civility and human rights to the country.

Once again Afghanistan will be abandoned to itself. And the sacrifice of countries like Canada has been for nothing, nothing at all.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

More WikiLeaks...?!?

Israel, Kurdish fighters destroyed Iran nuclear facility, email released by WikiLeaks claims

In exchange released by website, worker at Stratfor intelligence firm doubts validity of a source claiming an Israeli ground force had already wiped out Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

By Anshel Pfeffer and Ron Ben-Tovim Tags: WikiLeaks Iran nuclear Iran threat

The mega-leaks website, WikiLeaks, has partnered with the hackers cooperative Anonymous, to publish internal emails of the American strategic intelligence company Stratfor. In one of the hacked emails, Stratfor officials discuss information obtained from one of their sources who reports that Israeli commandos, in cooperation with Kurdish fighters, have destroyed Iranian nuclear installations.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, will hold a press conference today in London where he plans to reveal new details from the Stratfor emails, including details on the company's dealings with the American government and major corporations, and its network of paid sources.

The base in Parchin where Iran conducted nuclear tests - Google Earth, GeoEye

The base in Parchin where Iran conducted nuclear tests

Photo by: Google Earth, GeoEye

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In a WikiLeaks press release last night, the group said that it had obtained over five million emails generated by the Stratfor headquarters in Texas, from 2004 until the end of 2011. Though the organization does not specify the source of the emails, it has already been published that Stratfor was a target of the Anonymous hackers.

According to the emails, among Stratfor's clients are American government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Marine Corps, the Dow Chemical company, for whom Stratfor is alleged to have kept tabs on activists fighting the company for compensation over the Indian Bhopal chemical plant disaster in 1984, and defense giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

In addition, the WikiLeaks statement said Stratfor also "monitored" activists supporting the blight of the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster on behalf of the US chemical giant Dow Chemical.

In one of the emails from November 2011, Startfor officials discuss the explosion at an Iranian missile base near Tehran and quote a source who "was asked what he thought of reports that the Israelis were preparing a military offensive against Iran. Response: I think this is a diversion. The Israelis already destroyed all the Iranian nuclear infrastructure on the ground weeks ago."

One company analyst responded dismissively to the possibility of an Israeli attack having already taken place, asking: "How and when did the Israelis destroy the infra on the ground?"

"Would anyone actually accept that this could let the Europeans forget about the Euro crisis, something they have been experiencing every day for over a year?!" the analyst added, asking: "Do we attribute any credibility to this item at all? I don't even see what possible disinfo purposes this could serve."

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Some of the Stratfor analysts expressed the opinion that Israel had sent commandos into Iran, perhaps with the assistance of Kurdish fighters or Iranian Jews who had immigrated to Israel, to carry out these operations.

The emails also mention a plan to coerce an Israeli source into updating the firm on the medical condition of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control... This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase," Stratfor CEO George Friedman is quoted of instructing one of the firm's analysts.

According to the emails, many Stratfor operatives are former employees of the U.S. government and they routinely pay sources for information in cash.

The WikiLeaks press statement also mentions "private intelligence staff who align themselves closely with U.S. government policies and channel tips to the Mossad – including through an information mule in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yossi Melman, who conspired with Guardian journalist David Leigh to secretly, and in violation of WikiLeaks' contract with the Guardian, move WikiLeaks U.S. diplomatic cables to Israel."

Mr Melman who until recently covered intelligence affairs for Haaretz said in response that at the time "I worked for Haaretz and with the approval of my editors I obtained the WikiLeaks documents."

"Harretz published some of them. I am proud of my journalistic achievements which was praised by my editors and the readers. Julian Assang of Wikileaks tried to prevent the publication arguing that the documents belonged to him," he added, saying, "I and my editors rejected his claim and went head with the publication."

"Now [Assange] tries to take revenge on me by hinting that I was a channel to the Israeli intelligence community. This is a complete lie. He also by way of innuendo tries to create the impression that I was a source for Stratfor. This is another lie. I do not have any control whatsoever about what Stratfor personnel wrote about me in their private in house correspondence," Melman added.

In Novmber 2010, WikiLeaks published, along with a number of major media organizations, including the Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times, a cache of U.S. State Department diplomatic cables. American intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, is being court-martialed for allegedly leaking the cables to WikiLeaks.

As published online at Haaretz, 27 February 2012

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Explosive Paradise

Israel has been placed on notice. For that matter, so has the world, since the world too is watching, and waiting... Iran has succeeded on so many levels, to incur the wrath of the United Nations, and the censure of the IAEA, and unending condemnation from the United States and the European Union. It is none too beloved in the Middle East either, aside from Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

It has succeeded, despite stumbling across a number of roadblocks whose effectiveness has been temporary, inclusive of computer viruses, suddenly-dead nuclear scientists and explosive devices set for the most imaginative places, in continuing its enrichment of uranium. For peaceful purposes, of course, for Islam is a religion of peace.

Who might have imagined that the Grand Ayatollah and his Republican National Guard would become adept at mind-reading? But there you have it, another masterful milestone achieved. The deputy head of Iran's armed forces has put the world on notice - again, of course.
"We are no longer willing to wait for enemy action to be launched against us. Our strategy now is that we will make use of all means to protect our national interests. We enjoy the ability to show them all types of confrontation in case of a foolish act by the Zionist regime."
The Zionist regime, for its part, is slightly bemused with the state of preemption, presumption and advance warning. Of course the Zionist regime is of the opinion that it may just be possible that the Islamist Republic of Iran is making an effort to provoke the Zionists into first-striking its nuclear installations.

And the Zionist regime is most certainly intrigued with that invitation. The thought had occurred to them, absent the invitation. Particularly with respect to the Fordow installation where 700 centrifuges are in the process of refining uranium to a fissile concentration of 20% - almost, but not quite the grade for weapons production.

And time is a-wasting, that too is a concern of the Zionist regime, knowing that site to be buried deeply into mountain rock, said to be 80 metres in depth, so that's some impregnable bunker. Word from the IAEA, furthermore, is that with the refusal of Iran to permit entry to the Parchin military base to inspect that special explosive chamber, success is summer-nigh for weapons production.

Why wait until Iran generously shares its abundance of nuclear riches with militia-proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, after all? A three-pronged attack is slightly more than any small geographic area could tolerate, even a military giant like Israel. Assuming that Syria's government may succumb to the growing onslaught against the regime, its absence a relief.

Another part of the equation is how cold and hungry Iranians are, about now. And how susceptible the compassionate international community is to gut-wrenching stories of starvation and lack of medicines to save sick and dying infants in Iran while its government expends all it can on furthering its nuclear ambitions to bring itself to instant, explosive Paradise.

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Provocative at Best

The Kingdom of Qatar, under its Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, seems quite the anomaly in many ways. An oil-rich sheikdom, it is said to be the wealthiest per-capita country in the world. Unlike so much of the Middle East, it has a zero unemployment rate, and no one, whether Qataris or its million-and-a-half foreign workers, lives under a poverty line.

It is a tiny geography, ruled by the same family since the mid-1800s, albeit as a British protectorate for generations, until 1971.

Its indigenous population is well under a million people, and most labour is performed by a large imported work force, far outnumbering the Qataris themselves. Per capita income is twice that of the United States, at $84,000. It is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

The Emir attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, west of London, graduating in the year of Qatar's independence and concurrently when the first gas field was discovered.

His father became emir in 1972, and preferred to live extravagantly, on the French Riviera,leaving it to Sheik Hamad to oversee the development of the country's oil and gas industry, developing an economy that would become the envy of the Middle East. Qataris can depend on free education, free health care, housing and utilities. And they pay no taxes whatever.

Foreign universities were invited to establish campuses in Qatar where the country had invested $100-billion in an Education Campus in Doha. There is no elected parliament, it is left to the Emir to decide the disposition of the country's sovereign wealth fund of between $70-billion to $100-billion which has made the country a power to be reckoned with.

Huge sums have been invested in car manufacturing in Europe, the Agricultural Bank of China, Chinese oil refineries, French fashion, Brazilian banking, British department stores. One of the most notable investments made by the Emir though, was the encouragement and lavish funding of a free press, almost unheard of in the Muslim Middle East.

Al Jazeera, known the world 'round, has become a broadcaster of note for its mostly neutral world news coverage with its special emphasis on the Middle East. As though mimicking the purported neutrality of Qatari-funded-and-established Al Jazeera, the Emir maintains good relations with all Qatar's neighbours in the region, as well as globally.

Sheikh Hamad seems to be trying to achieve a balance of justice and fairness in his relations with other countries. He enrolled the Qatar military with NATO forces during the campaign to protect Libyan rebels, and he has been front and centre in the Arab League struggles to contain the damage that Syrian President Bashar al Assad is foisting on his beleaguered country.

So does this man's ascension on the regional and global scene promise some significant changes for the better in the Middle East? Seems far too much to hope for. Despite his wealth and his influence, his Western education and international connections, allied with regional respect, no one man however powerful, is capable of altering engrained tribal and religious customs.

Particularly when the region has always been a cauldron of boiling animosities and resentments, ready to spill over into violence at any provocation. And of late, there has been one provocation after another...unending.

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