Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm looking for winter vacation homes in Alaska....

NOAA has updated their winter weather outlook based on the latest El Nino event.

The plains look warmer, the southeast cooler and central Alaska has a greater than 50% chance to see a warmer than average winter.
It looks like NNY has equal chances of being warmer or cooler than normal.
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Random website of the day: Did you know that Ft. Drum is constantly selling off surplus equipment? Some of these items are amazing on a number of levels....
1) Who would buy these things?
2) One of my favorites is the 20 year old truck with 5,000 miles that doesn't start and cost $50k when it was new. Opening bid -- $150.
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Again, I try desperately to avoid political issues, but I think the situation in Iraq is at least partially an economic issue because instability in Iraq can impact oil prices. Here is an analysis of the various competing forces that are looking to destabilize Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki's election plans. Via a middle east expert:
1. Maliki has parted ways with the Shiite establishment to form a broad coalition, pinning his hopes of an election victory on his high-handedness, backed by Iraq's military and security services. So the Baghdad attack may have been engineered by any of anti-Maliki's enemies in Iraq society in order to trip him up.
2. Saudi Arabia sees Shiite al-Maliki singling out its fellow Sunnis for discrimination or even persecution. Riyadh has enough with one powerful Shiite neighbor in Tehran and is strongly reluctant to see another strong Shiite ruler in Baghdad. Saudi intelligence officers are therefore helping Iraq's Sunnis build militias, some to engage in terror.

3. Even Tehran is anxious to cut the ambitious Shiite making waves in Baghdad down to size. Five months ago, US and Iraqi intelligence noticed that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards al Qods Brigades chief, Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani was actively feeding Iraqi Sunni networks across the country with logistical and intelligence assistance for shaking the prime minister with terrorist attacks.
4. Like Tehran, Syrian president Bashar Assad, is not keen to see a potent figure governing Iraq. He has therefore not lifted a finger to curb the passage of terrorists, arms and cash from Syria into Iraq, spurning every appeal from Washington, including one delivered by a special US military delegation on Aug. 13.
5. Two Sunni terrorist groups enjoying sanctuary in Syria for their cross-border operations profit directly from Assad's inaction. One is Saddam's old Baath, now led by his former deputy and strategist, Izzat Ibrahim Dura. The other is al Qaeda.
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, etc., all potentially working against our chosen man in Iraq. I think Secretary Clinton is going to rack up some frequent flier miles trying to smooth this out.

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