Round And Round She Goes, Where She’ll Stop, Nobody Knows

Kang Nam may be heading back home

The Kang Nam, a North Korean ship suspected to be carrying illicit weapons or related material, may be headed back home, according to diplomatic sources here.

“The ship is near our waters. That is about all I can say,” said one diplomatic source on the condition of anonymity.

Experts said this could mean that the ship is on its way back to North Korea, indicating that the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions are taking a toll on the reclusive communist state.

“If the ship is on its way back, it would mean that Resolution 1874 is taking effect and causing the North to retreat,” said Kim Tae-woo, vice president of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.

It has been almost two weeks since the Kang Nam set sail on June 17, but Seoul has claimed it has no information on the whereabouts of the ship.

The Kang Nam is the first North Korean ship to come under international scrutiny since the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1874 that strongly recommends member states to help search and ground North Korean ships suspected of carrying illicit weapons or related material.

Some observers said the Kang Nam may have already unloaded such items, but others said the North would wait until the last minute, as the weapons and materials constitute a vital source of funds for the impoverished regime.

Myanmar, the alleged destination of the Kang Nam, has recently told the foreign press that it would not allow the ship to disembark if it is found to be indeed carrying such items.

The government of Myanmar already has an idea of the items on the ship as the Kang Nam must declare them in advance, according to Foreign Ministry officials.

“The fact that the Myanmarese government has spoken out, if it has as some of the news reports claim, it indicates that the resolution is working,” said one Foreign Ministry official.

The Myanmar Embassy here said it had no comment.

A United States destroyer – USS John McCain led by Capt. Jeffrey Kim – is reportedly close on the Kang Nam’s tail. But the destroyer is not authorized to forcefully search the North Korean ship.

See also:
North Korean Ship Turning Around
Source: Suspected NKorean ship changes course
US-tracked N Korea ship ‘changes course’
N.Korean ship tracked by U.S. Navy reverses course
Source: North Korean ship now going the other way
North Korea suspect ship has turned around: US official
Burma ‘Ready to Search N.Korean Ship’
Hey Obama, Thanks For The Naval Escort!

Now why would the Kang Nam, after almost two weeks at sea, suddenly decide to turn around and return to North Korea, without unloading her cargo? It just doesn’t make sense, something about this storyline doesn’t quite smell right.

/stay tuned, this saga isn’t over until the Kang Nam ends up in port somewhere

This Just Ain’t Right

Buzz must be baked from the contact high.

Buzz Aldrin and Snoop Dogg reach for the stars with Rocket Experience

It was probably one small step for Snoop Dogg but it was one giant leap for Buzz Aldrin when he teamed up with the hip-hop artist to record a rap single.

The white-haired astronaut, 79, has accomplished what he claims is his second great mission — becoming a rap star — with a track commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing next month.

The single, Rocket Experience, and accompanying video feature the second man on the Moon nodding his head and gyrating in time to the beat as he leans into a microphone to deliver lines such as: “I’m the spaceman, I’m the rocket man, it’s time to venture far, let’s take a trip to Mars, our destiny is to the stars.”

Snoop Dogg, who helped to make the track with the producer Quincy Jones and fellow rap stars Talib Kweli and Soulja Boy, is shown in the video commending Aldrin — who adopted the rap pseudonym Doc Rendezvous — on his vocal skills. “That’s hot right there, man. That’s gangsta,” he says.

The video switches between shots of Aldrin rapping — wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Buzz Aldrin, Rocket Hero” — and archive film of the Apollo 11 launch, his and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon and recordings of crackly radio exchanges between the astronauts and mission control.

Rocket Experience was instigated by Aldrin as part of his mission to reignite public interest in the US space programme and teach younger generations about space exploration.

“Young people have lost any interest in space that isn’t in a video game or a movie house. Many don’t really know that Man has stood on the Moon,” he said. “But these incredible rappers speak to the new generations and know how to reach them. The Americans who will take Man to Mars are already born and they don’t even know that space is Man’s fate.”

Proceeds from the song and video sales will go to Aldrin’s non-profit foundation, ShareSpace , which supports space education and advocacy programmes carried out by the National Space Society, the Planetary Society and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

It was released on the internet comedy website Funny or Die and is accompanied by a second behind-the-scenes video, which features Aldrin and the rappers giving tongue-in-cheek interviews about the venture.

See also:
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 79, Raps in New Video
It’s a rap, with ‘moon man’ Buzz Aldrin and Snoop Dogg
Buzz Aldrin, rapper?!
Buzz Aldrin Teams With Snoop Dogg For ‘Rocket Experience’
National Space Society
The Planetary Society
Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

/one thing’s for sure, Snoop Dogg is an expert on anything that involves a “Buzz”

Weekly Watch List

GMCR
NVEC
SNDA
PCLN
HMSY
CERN
QSII
CPSI
DIN
CTRN
CRI
CUB
MDAS
MFE
CMN

Additions:
CMN
DIN

Subtractions:
AAN
APSG
INT
TECD

Last week, only the Nasdaq ended in positive territoty, up 0.6%. All the other major indexes were down, the Dow fell 1.2%, the S&P500 wa off 0.3%, and the NYSE composite was down 0.5%. However, after Thursday’s broad, high volume runup on all the indexes, IBD changed their market outlook again from market uptrend under pressure to market in confirmed uptrend, a green light to buy stocks. There are two buy candidates this week, SNDA and MFE.

SNDA made it’s first pullback to it’s 10-week line after a March breakout and found support. It’s now in a buy range anywhere between $52.61 and $68.25. SNDA is currently trading at $60.63, up over $5.00 from last week.

MFE is currently trading at $40.16 with a $40.99 buy point. It needs to break out past the buy point on volume before it can be considered for purchase.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

Adding Insult To Injury

If this isn’t already illegal, it damn well ought to be.

On the House floor

By all appearances, the House is about to vote on a very long bill of which it has no completed official copy.

Texas Republican Reps. Joe Barton and Louie Gohmert have just asked the chair whether there exists a complete, updated copy of the Waxman-Markey carbon-cap bill.

“If a bill for which there is no copy were to actually pass this body,” Barton asked, “could the bill without a copy be sent to the Senate for its consideration?”

Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers’ amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk’s desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document.

But they cannot be simply combined, because the amendment contains 300 pages of items like this: “Page 15, beginning line 8, strike paragraph (11)…” How many members of Congress do you suppose have gone through it all to see how it changes the bill?

Global Warming is apparently so urgent that we can’t even wait until members of Congress know what they’re voting on.

See also:
Boehner: Climate bill a ‘pile of s–t’
Cap and Trade Vote Results Have Republicans Upset with Their Representatives
Waxman-Markey: Man-Made Disaster
Carbongate

219-212, one vote more than needed for passage.

/a total of 431 ignorant people who never read one page of what they voted on, is this government totally out of control or what?

Hey Obama, Thanks For The Naval Escort!

This is nationally embarrassing, can someone please check Michelle’s purse for her husband’s balls?

US will not use force to inspect NKorean ship

The United States will not use force to inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned goods, an American official was quoted as saying Friday.

An American destroyer has been shadowing the North Korean freighter sailing off China’s coast, possibly on its way to Myanmar.

Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy met with South Korean officials in Seoul on Friday as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing a U.N. sanctions resolution aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its second nuclear test last month. The North Korean-flagged ship, Kang Nam 1, is the first to be tracked under the U.N. resolution.

North Korea has in response escalated threats of war, with a slew of harsh rhetoric including warnings that it would unleash a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” and “wipe out the (U.S.) aggressors” in the event of a conflict.

On Thursday, the communist regime organized a massive anti-American rally in Pyongyang where some 100,000 participants vowed to “crush” the U.S. One senior speaker told the crowd that the North will respond to any sanctions or U.S. provocations with “an annihilating blow.”

That was seen as a pointed threat in response to the American destroyer.

Flournoy said Friday that Washington has ruled the use military force to inspect the North Korean freighter.

“The U.N. resolution lays out a regime that has a very clear set of steps,” Flournoy said, according to the Yonhap news agency. “I want to be very clear … This is not a resolution that sponsors, that authorizes use of force for interdiction.”

Flournoy said the U.S. still has “incentives and disincentives that will get North Korea to change course.”

“Everything remains on the table, but we’re focused on implementing the resolution fully, responsibly and with our international partners,” she said.

Flournoy’s trip came as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing the U.N. sanctions.

It is not clear what was on board the North Korean freighter, but officials have mentioned artillery and other conventional weaponry. One intelligence expert suspected missiles.

The U.S. and its allies have made no decision on whether to request inspection of the ship, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday in Washington, but North Korea has said it would consider any interception an act of war.

If permission for inspection is refused, the ship must dock at a port of its choosing, so local authorities can check its cargo. Vessels suspected of carrying banned goods must not be offered bunkering services at port, such as fuel, the resolution says.

A senior U.S. defense official said the ship had cleared the Taiwan Strait. He said he didn’t know whether or when the Kang Nam may need to stop in some port to refuel, but that the ship has in the past stopped in Hong Kong’s port.

To recap, we’ve had one U.S. destroyer or another shadowing the Kang Nam for more than a week now, ever since it left North Korea. We’re almost positive she’s carrying banned weapons or technology but we refuse to board her and find out because, the U.N. resolution says we can’t, China says no, and we’re scared to death that North Korea might retaliate.

In fact, our entire strategy is that we’re hoping that the Kang Nam has to stop to refuel in a port that will enforce the U.N. sanctions and inspect her cargo. Gee, don’t you think the North Koreans already know this and have factored it in, what if the Kang Nam doesn’t have to stop to refuel? There might be a reason she’s proceeding along at 10 knots, to conserve fuel, or maybe she has extra fuel aboard. And what if the Kang Nam does pull into, let’s say, Singapore, where she will be searched, might not the North Koreans respond in the same manner as if the United States had boarded her at sea? One thing’s for damn sure, if the Kang Nam makes Myanmar without having to refuel, there isn’t going to be any inspection of her cargo as per the U.N. sanctions.

Likely Destination of N Korean Ship Often Used for Weapons Deliveries

The Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT), believed to be the destination of the Kang Nam 1, a North Korean cargo ship being tracked by the US Navy, has often been used for deliveries of weapons, according to sources at the facility.

The Kang Nam 1, which left a North Korean port on June 17, is believed to be carrying weapons, missile parts or possibly even nuclear materials.

“There are two reasons to use Thilawa,” said an MITT operator. “First, it is not too close to Rangoon, and second, it is easy to increase security here so people don’t know what is being unloaded.”

The international multi-purpose container port, Burma’s largest deep sea port, is located about 30 km south of Rangoon.

According to other MITT employees, the facility has often been used for deliveries of weapons since it was built in the mid-1990s.

“Cargo ships carrying many kinds of weapons from Russia, China, North Korea and the Ukraine have docked at Thilawa,” said an MITT worker.

Normally, the source explained, the ships are offloaded around midnight to avoid attracting attention. Then, around 2 a.m., convoys of trucks deliver the weapons to a military depot at Intaing, about 25 km north of Rangoon.

“When cargo ships carrying military equipment dock at the port, naval personnel based near Thilawa take over port security and coordinate the unloading of the ships,” he said. “No unauthorized personnel are allowed near the port when cargo ships carrying weapons dock here.”

On Wednesday, officials from the Myanmar Port Authority, which operates under the Ministry of Transport, met with the Thilawa port authorities. It is believed that the meeting was related to the imminent arrival of the Kang Nam 1.

See also:
Whither the Kang Nam, North Korea’s suspect cargo ship?
Why Burma May Be North Korea’s Best Friend
Burma denies link to N Korea ship
Suspect North Korean Ship Has Been Detained Several Times for Maritime Violations
US needs to be able to search NKorea ships: Top lawmaker
Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

C’mon President Obama, grow a pair, we’re still technically at war with North Korea already, are you going to let them intimidate us at will too?

/unless we let our attendant destroyer board and search the Kang Nam, she’ll make Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa, we’ll never find out what her cargo was, and North Korea will just be that much more emboldened to push the envelope further

Crop Circle Mystery Solved!

At least in Tasmania, where wallabies and opium collide.

Tassie wallabies hopping high

WALLABIES are hopping into Tasmania’s opium poppy fields and getting high.

The revelation has also solved what some growers say has spurred a campfire legend about mysterious crop circles which appear in the state’s poppy paddocks. In true X-Files style, Attorney-General Lara Giddings said yesterday the drugged-up wallabies had been found hopping around in circles squashing the poppies, creating the formations.
The wallabies are increasingly entering the fields and eating the poppy heads.

That causes them to get high and run around in turns creating “crop circles”.

“The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” Ms Giddings told a Budget Estimates hearing.

“Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high.”

Tasmanian Alkaloids field operations manager Rick Rockliff said wildlife and livestock which ate the poppies were known to “act weird” — including deer in the state’s highlands and sheep.

“There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles,” Mr Rockliff said.

“But as growers we try our best to try and stop this sort of consumption, particularly by livestock, due to concerns about the contamination of the meat.

“There is also the risk to our poppy stocks, so growers take this very seriously but there has been a steady increase in the number of wild animals and that is where we are having difficulty keeping them off our land.”

Tasmania is the world’s largest producer of legally grown opium for the pharmaceutical market. About 500 farmers grow the crop supplying the market with about 50 percent of the world’s raw material for morphine and related opiates.

See also:
‘High’ wallabies blamed for Aussie crop circles
Opium-eating wallabies get high, make crop circles in poppy fields: Lawyer
Wallabies in Tasmania, Australia getting high on poppy plants, creating crop circles: report
‘High’ wallabies accused of making crop circles after eating poppies in Tasmania
Wallabies accused of opium abuse
‘High as a kite’ wallabies blamed for crop circles
Stoned wallabies make crop circles
Life is a party for some Aussie wallabies
THE POPPY INDUSTRY IN TASMANIA
Wallaby
Wallaby

This is your wallaby, this is your wallaby on drugs.

/marsupial friends don’t let their wallaby friends hop high

Hacking Back At The Chinese And Russians, The White Hat Cavalry

Gates Creates Cyber-Defense Command

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates issued an order yesterday establishing a command that will defend military networks against computer attacks and develop offensive cyber-weapons, but he also directed that the structure be ready to help safeguard civilian systems.

In a memo to senior military leaders, Gates said he will recommend that President Obama designate that the new command be led by the director of the National Security Agency, the world’s largest electronic intelligence-gathering agency. The current NSA director, Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, is expected to be awarded a fourth star and to lead the cyber-command.

Gates or his deputy had been expected to announce the command in a speech a week ago. Analysts said making the announcement by memo is in keeping with the Pentagon’s effort to tamp down concerns that the Defense Department and the NSA will dominate efforts to protect the nation’s computer networks.

“Is it going to be the dominant player by default because the Department of Homeland Security is weak and this new unit will be strong?” said James A. Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That’s a legitimate question, and I think DoD will resist having that happen. But there are issues of authorities that haven’t been cleared up. What authorities does DoD have to do things outside the dot-mil space?”

The command will be set up as part of the U.S. Strategic Command, which is responsible for commanding operations in nuclear and computer warfare. Gates directed that the command be launched by this October and be fully operational by October 2010.

In a speech last week, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn stressed that the command’s mission would be to defend military networks. However, he said, “it would be inefficient — indeed, irresponsible — to not somehow leverage the unrivaled technical expertise and talent that resides at the National Security Agency” to protect the federal civilian networks, as long as it is done in a way that protects civil liberties.

See also:
Military Command Is Created for Cyber Security
Pentagon approves creation of cyber command
Defense Secretary Orders Cyberspace Command
Gates approves creation of new cyber command
US Creates Military Cyber Command to Defend Computer Networks
Pentagon: New cyber command focuses on military network
US sets up anti-computer-hacking unit
Cyberspace: The New Battlefield
Welcome to the National Security Agency – NSA/CSS
National Security Agency
National Security Agency
U.S. Strategic Command
Strategic Command
United States Strategic Command
Air Force Cyber Command
Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional)
Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC)
Welcome to Fort George G. Meade
Fort George G. Meade
Center for Strategic and International Studies ( CSIS )
Center for Strategic and International Studies

/since you insist on [expletive deleted] with our networks, we’ll [expletive deleted] with yours, and we’re better at it

First Shot Fired In The Democrat’s War On Electricity

Remember Obama’s campaign promise, that he repeats to this day, that he won’t raise taxes on 95% of the American people? Well, raise your hand if you use electricity, because if the Democrat’s get their way, it’s going to cost more. How is that not a tax?

Climate Bill Set for Vote After Deal Is Reached

A deal on the climate bill has been reached with the head of the House Agriculture Committee, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled a vote on the legislation for Friday.

Late Tuesday, Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) said the accord with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D., Calif.) would allay the concerns of many Farm Belt lawmakers.

The legislation had stalled last week because of opposition from Farm Belt Democrats who were concerned their states will face heavier costs under the proposed law to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Under the agreement, Mr. Peterson said, rural electric cooperatives will receive more free emissions permits that power producers will be required to hold in order to emit carbon dioxide.

The legislation will also place the Agriculture Department — rather than the Environmental Protection Agency, as initially proposed — in charge of determining what kinds of agricultural practices will qualify as “offsets,” activities that avoid or reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The question was important to farm groups because the legislation would allow businesses to pay farmers to engage in activities like injecting the soil with seed rather than plowing the ground and causing the release of carbon. Many farm groups had feared the EPA would be less likely to approve such projects than the Agriculture Department.

Opponents and supporters of landmark climate legislation are ramping up their public-relations campaigns ahead of the planned House vote. The Obama administration is pushing the measure as a job-creator, while critics, including many Republicans, are portraying the bill as an energy tax that could slow the economy.

The bill aims to cut U.S. emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by midcentury, creating a market for companies to buy and sell the right to emit carbon dioxide and other gases. It also mandates a new renewable electricity standard and establishes new national building codes.

Mr. Obama on Tuesday said the House climate bill is “extraordinarily important for our country,” urging House members “to come together and pass it.”

Here’s the most recent “official” version of the bill: H.R. 2454 – American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. It’s 1200+ pages long, but even from a casual perusal of the table of contents, it’s quite obvious that this bill is one gigantic boondoggle that’s going to cost every American taxpayer at both ends, coming and going, through higher energy costs as well as a huge increase in government spending to subsidize and pay for all the Democrat pet projects stuffed into the legislation.

See also:
US Pelosi’s Office: House to Vote on Climate Bill By Friday
Vote Set on House Climate Bill
House aims for Friday vote on climate bill
Energy bill nears vote in House, but what’s in it for consumers?
Peterson gets his way with climate and energy bill
Word games could threaten climate bill
An Inconvenient Truth: Waxman-Markey climate bill in trouble
Climate Bill to Cost Average Consumer $175 a Year: CBO
CBO Grossly Underestimates Costs of Cap and Trade
Climate bill to pay hundreds of dollars in rebates
A Bad Bill For Cap-And-Trade

I can only hope that this monstrosity doesn’t make it out of the House and if it does, it somehow dies a slow death in the Senate. However, since the Democrat’s control Congress, I wouldn’t hold your breath, although that might help cut down on that evil carbon dioxide that was only just recently declared a nasty, poisonous pollutant, after previously being an essential element of life on Earth for the preceding millions of years since life on Earth first appeared.

/so, bend over and prepare to take it in the wallet for Al Gore and all the rest of the Loony Left Wailing Climate Banshees, because electricity is bad for us and Mother Gaea!

Not The Change We Were Hoping For

Slowly but surely, the American people are starting to figure out that Obama’s policies are not what he promised nd not what the electorate thought they were voting for.

President Barack Obama’s poll numbers start to wilt

Eroding confidence in President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and ability to control spending has caused his approval ratings to wilt to their lowest levels since he took office, according to a spate of recent polls, a sign of political weakness that comes just as he most needs leverage on Capitol Hill.

The good news for Obama is that his approval ratings — 57 percent in a Gallup tracking poll over the weekend — remain comfortably high by historical standards for presidents.

But the trend lines among a variety of polls over the past several days are unmistakable: Independents and even some Republicans who once viewed him sympathetically are becoming skeptical, and many people of all stripes are anxious about economic and fiscal trends.

Obama’s approval rating has dipped below 60 percent on other occasions, according to Gallup, but though those slumps lasted only a day, this one appears to be more persistent.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 33% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -1. Today is the second straight day the President’s rating has been below zero (see trends).

See also:
Confidence in Stimulus Plan Ebbs, Poll Finds
Public Wary of Deficit, Economic Intervention
39% Now Blame Bad Economy on Obama’s Policies
Health Care Will End Obama’s Honeymoon
How Obama could lose health fight

This is not what America voted for.

gr2009032100104

/it’s no longer funny or acceptable

Weekly Watch List

GMCR
NVEC
SNDA
INT
HMSY
PCLN
CTRN
CERN
CPSI
QSII
CRI
MFE
MDAS
CUB
AAN
TECD
APSG

Additions:
CRI
CTRN
MDAS
TECD

Subtractions:
None

Last week, the markets were down across the board with the Dow down 3%, the S&P
500 down 2.6%, and the Nasdaq down 1.7%. Also, last Monday, IBD changed their market outlook from market in confirmed uptrend to market uptrend under pressure. Like the yellow light on a traffic sidnal, this means you need to proceed with caution, think about booking some profits on winning stocks and think twice before making any new purchases. However, if you’re adventurous, there are three buy candidates this week, SNDA, HMSY, and MFE.

SNDA made it’s first pullback to it’s 10-week line after a March breakout and found support. It’s now in a buy range anywhere between $52.61 and $68.25. SNDA is currently trading at $55.08.

HMSY broke out past a $38.38 buy point last Tuesday and can be bought up to $40.30. HMSY is currently trading at $40.06

MFE is currently trading at $40.26 with a $40.99 buy point. It needs to break out past the buy point on volume before it can be considered for purchase.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

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