Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NWS: Oil spill could reach Lake Michigan by Sunday

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) - Battle Creek area residents are being warned to stay away from the Kalamazoo River because of a major oil spill.

An estimated 840,000 gallons of oil leaked into a creek Monday that feeds into the river.

Area media were reporting that odor from the spill hung heavy over Battle Creek this morning.

"It is unknown at this time how far the spill has traveled and exactly what areas have been affected. It is assumed due to the current level of the Kalamazoo River and the speed of the current that the entire Emmett Township area and beyond has been affected," according to an advisory issued today by the Emmett Township Public Safety Department.

Wayne Hoepner, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, said oil from the spill could reach Lake Michigan as early as Sunday, although numerous variables could affect the flow rate.

The NWS has been getting reports of oil on the eastern edge of Battle Creek. Hoepner said the oil is likely to reach Comstock, a township in Kalamazoo County, tomorrow.

Calls to Chicago-based Enbridge Liquids Pipelines were not immediately returned today. A message on a company hotline set up for the spill said "we regret any inconvenience this has caused to the community."

The oil leaked Monday from a 30-inch pipeline that carries about 8 million gallons of oil per day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.

The oil spilled into Talmadge Creek, which flows northwest into the Kalamazoo River. The site is in Calhoun County's Marshall Township, about 60 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.

Authorities evacuated two homes near the leak.

According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, an impromptu animal rescue of wildlife affected by the Marshall-area oil spill will begin at noon today.

Organizers said in a posting on Facebook that volunteers should gather at Squaw Creek, scene of the spill, at noon.

They said volunteers should bring fish nets, leather gloves, large tubs, Dawn dish soap and watering cans for rinsing off the animals.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., issued a statement today indicating he is "deeply concerned about the effects of the oil spill near Marshall, including the environmental impact and the disruption to residents and businesses. It is also deeply worrisome that the oil from the spill has made its way into the Kalamazoo River."

Levin said his office has been in contact with federal agencies "to make sure that those carrying out the cleanup have all the resources they need to complete the cleanup job as quickly as possible."

While the focus now is on limiting damage and clean-up, Levin said it is "vitally important" that the company responsible for the spill bear the costs of clean-up and compensate anyone suffering financial damages related to the spill.

Obama Missing Historic Boy Scout Jamboree for Fundraisers, 'View' Taping

President Obama will make history as the first sitting president on a daytime talk show when he visits with the ladies of "The View." But he'll be missing out on another historic occasion -- the Boy Scouts' Jamboree marking the group's 100th anniversary, right in the president's backyard.

The Jamboree kicked off this week at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, where organizers had invited the president to speak to the 45,000 scouts in attendance. All three of Obama's predecessors have made it to one Jamboree while in office.

But the president will instead be traveling Wednesday to New York for a taping of the ABC show, as well as Democratic fundraisers and a stop in New Jersey. The talk show appearance comes as campaign season moves into full swing, but also amid efforts to cap the Gulf oil spill for good, contain the damage from an unprecedented leak of Afghanistan war documents and battle Arizona over its immigration law -- set to go into effect Thursday. Obama also has an out-of-town event planned for Friday in Detroit.

But while the Jamboree lasts until next Tuesday, the president is sending his regards via a videotaped message.

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said the organization knew Obama's invitation would hinge on his schedule and found out two months ago that he would not be able to attend.

"It just depends on his schedule," he said, adding that "there's always a spot" available for the president during the Jamboree. Obama also serves as honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America.

The White House said Tuesday that the fundraisers, not the TV appearance, prevented the president from attending.

"We were always going to be out of town that day," Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told in an e-mail. "It was never canceled."

The Boy Scouts released a statement acknowledging that Obama has hosted Boy Scouts groups in the Oval Office twice since taking office.

"We thank the president for his effort to recognize scouting and look forward to working with his administration as we work toward accomplishing our mission of preparing young people to become exceptional adults," the group said.

The Jamboree is held once every four years. This year's festivities mark the organization's 100-year anniversary -- scouts are scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., and other regional attractions in connection with the celebration.

Every president is typically invited, though not all are able to attend. Obama's three predecessors each made it to one Jamboree in person. President George W. Bush spoke in 2005, President Bill Clinton in 1997 and President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

Though Obama typically reserves his exclusive interviews for network and cable news shows, he appeared on "The View" as a candidate. "The View" is hosting the president as part of its "Red, White & View" series highlighting political guests. Creator and co-host Barbara Walters said Obama's appearance, along with the past appearance of First Lady Michelle Obama, shows "The View" can play the role of news source.

"This shows that both the president and first lady feel that our show is an influential and important source of information and news," she said in a written statement.

But Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a fellow Democrat, scoffed at the idea of a president appearing on such a show.

“I think the president should be accessible, should answer questions that aren't pre-screened, but I think there should be a little bit of dignity to the presidency,” Rendell told MSNBC, at one point comparing "The View" to "The Jerry Springer Show."


WikiLeaks - What Leaks?

[Excerpt; see link to article, below]

Julian Assange’s recent comment in the Belfast Telegraph about 9/11, however, may be a more tangible source of concern for me. I know Assange isn’t an idiot, so I see three other possibilities:

1. He is profoundly ignorant of the vast body of material that demonstrates that the 9/11 spectacle was a false flag operation.

2. He’s “picking his battles” and not wanting to have to deal with the inevitable conspiracy theory stigma that could threaten his media access

3. He’s running a limited hangout/honeypot

Of these three options, I doubt that it’s number two.

We just saw the WikiLeaks release of the Afghanistan information. Does Assange forget the pretext that was used for the invasion? 9/11 remains the elephant in the room.

Read the article here:

"All this 'whistleblowing' does little other than serve the interests of the US possibly expanding their war... We know that the powers-that-be are determined to control both sides of every argument. They lead the opposition against themselves. That's why "Stop The War" will not even MENTION 9/11 Truth and exclude from the ranks of their leadership anyone who wants to raise reasonable questions about the events of 9/11... Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is 'annoyed' by 9/11 truth. That there IN ITSELF makes him, to any sensible person, a placeman of the security services."

by Kevin Boyle

So Wikileaks has exposed the truth about the Afghan/Pakistan war? 91,000 leaked documents expose the fact that war is a nasty, two-faced, dishonorable business with even (shock horror) covert operations set up to assassinate leaders of the enemy.

What is getting most attention, however, is the allegation that the ISI (the Pakistani Secret Service) is secretly backing the Taliban and other documents demanding that the Pakistani government turn decisively against the militants, creating a justification for US operations inside Pakistan and a possible pretext for full-on invasion of the country.

A few months ago we were reading that the US were funding the Taliban. There are many other stories of this kind from people like Webster Tarpley and Wayne Madsen.


All this 'whistleblowing' does little other than serve the interests of the US possibly expanding their war. No establishment figure is seriously compromised by these 'leaks', nor is policy undermined in any new way. The war is wicked? The people who care already know that and this 'new' information makes little difference to that perception one way or the other.

Why do the 'leaks' contain no embarrassing whistleblowing. Why is there no exposition of the betrayal felt by many soldiers and their officers who know the war(s) have got nothing to do with protecting America or the UK (....I have spoken to one British army officer who is acutely aware of the betrayal of his troops and of wider British interests and is waiting for [and working towards] the same revolution as myself. Meeting this man was the most encouraging moment of the last six months for me).

Wikileaks made its name with this footage.

Again, innocent people get murdered by coalition troops. Evil...embarrassing....but tell us something we didn't know.

We know that the powers-that-be are determined to control both sides of every argument. They lead the opposition against themselves. That's why "Stop The War" will not even MENTION 9/11 Truth and exclude from the ranks of their leadership anyone who wants to raise reasonable questions about the events of 9/11.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is 'annoyed' by 9/11 truth. That there IN ITSELF makes him, to any sensible person, a placeman of the security services.

This, like the StopTheWar position, is called a 'limited hangout'. There is no end of this kind of maneuvering out there as in, for example, Chomsky's indefatigable support of Israel ("America" is the problem, not the international bankers who own it nor the Jewish Lobby who control it.....criticism most definitely never goes THERE. These are simply NOT issues).


'Limited hangout' is making a pretense at protest in order to disable genuine protest.


It is the Hegelian dialectic in action.

Many good people are led down futile paths when they trust and follow these people.

Even the name for the operation, 'Wikileaks', tells a story.

Here we see one CIA/Mossad operation supporting another. We are supposed to see 'Wiki' and think 'truth' as in that honourable internet encyclopedia 'Wikipedia'(......whose 'Mossad' entry, by the way, does NOT include their famous motto, "By way of deception thou shalt make war"). There is a lifetimes work for somebody exposing the spinning and obfuscation in support of establishment narratives on this lousy site.

For a more detailed look at the 'Wikileaks' operation see here.


Uh-O. Lookee here....Wikileaks 'reveal' that Bin Laden was being tracked through Pakistan:

"In August 2006, a US intelligence report placed Bin Laden at a meeting in Quetta, over the border in Pakistan. It said he and others - including the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar - were organising suicide attacks in Afghanistan."

So there it is. That evil fiend, Bin Laden, is not dead (as most people who follow the information believe). He is alive and well and organising Al Qaeda, or is it the Taliban, to carry out suicide bombings against our boys in Afghanistan.

Well, now we know.

Don't we?


A New Source? flyover

Two US Resolutions – One World War

The following is a PoliticalTheatrics Exclusive

“Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.”
- George Orwell

On July 22nd a House Resolution was proposed by 47 US Representatives – led by Rep. Louis Buller Gohmert,Republican Representative from Texas’s 1st congressional district; House Resolution 1553.

The resolutions main proposal reads as follows:
“Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel.”

Here are the decisive points found in the resolution which has since been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs:
Whereas the United States does not want or seek war with Iran, but it will continue to keep all options open -
1. Condemnation of Iran based “for its threats of annihilating the United States and the State of Israel”

2. Support of using “all means of persuading the Government of Iran to stop building and acquiring nuclear weapons.”

3. Reaffirming the United States’ unshakable bond with Israel.

4. Expresses support for Israel’s right to use “all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by Iran”

Iran and Nuclear Weapons

The United States and Israel have been accusing Iran of having nuclear weapons long before 2010 – In 2007 Mohamed El Baradei, who was then leading the International Atomic Energy Agency vehemently contended that not only was there no evidence that Iran had nuclear material but that there was no active weaponization program.

That same year The National Intelligence Council, a center of strategic thinking within the US Government which provides the President of the United States and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign policy issues has stated, clearly that “…with moderate-to-high confidence…Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.”

On February 27th, 2010 Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavro, while speaking against sanctioning Iran, stated that “There is no evidence that Iran has made a decision to produce nuclear weapons”

Ironically Israel, the largest finger-pointer and promoter of a war on Iran, is one of three states - including India and Pakistan – which has declined to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); The three main pillars of the NPT are non-proliferation, disarmament, and the right to peacefully use nuclear technology. India and Pakistan are confirmed nuclear powers, and Israel has a long-standing policy of “deliberate ambiguity”.

The NPT was ratified by the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the United States, and 40 other signatory states. Iran is one of the signatories.

The resolution presented by Rep. Gohmert along with 46 other US representatives is brief and fairly vague in terms of providing a time-table for finding a ‘peaceful solution’ but it is certain that Resolution 1553 is flagrantly providing explicit support for military strikes against Iran.

Rep. Louis Buller Gohmert of Texas is leading this nefarious proposition and this is one of the most important facts concerning Resolution 1553.
Rep. Gohmert has taken at least two trips to Tel Aviv,Israel both of which were sponsored by The American Israel Education Foundation – a “supporting organization” of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which provides grant monies to educate opinion leaders about the U.S.-Israel relationship.

From 8/5/2007 to 8/12/2007 Rep. Louis Buller Gohmert and his wife Kathy Gohmert traveled to Tel Aviv on a budget of $21,449.26 in order to attend the American Israel Education Foundation Republican congressional mission to Israel.

Most recently,8/1/2009 to 8/9/2009, Gohmet and wife Kathy Gohmert traveled to Tel Aviv on a budget of $19,303.74 in order tolearn more about the U.S.-Israel relationship

As of late,Gohmert defended and attempted to rationalize Israels attack on the Gaza Flotilla headed to the besieged strip wherein 8 Turkish nationals and an American,Furkan Dogan,were slaughtered by members of the Israeli Occupation Forces in international waters.
Resolution 1553 is damning on its own but along with an earlier proposition mandating uniformed and civilian services during times of war it is lethal. H.R. 5741, cited as the
Universal National Service Act; proposed by Congressman Charles Rangel, a Democrat from New York, on July 15th, 2010 to the US House of Representatives:

To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.

On July 15th the ‘Universal Service Act’ is introduced to the US House of Representatives and only 7 days later House Resolution 1553, which blatantly supports a military strike against Iran, is proposed.
Michael Hayden, Former CIA director under President George W. Bush, says military action against Iran is more likely; Both Israeli and U.S. officials have said military action remains an option if sanctions “fail to deter Iran”. Another verifiable truth is that a
majority of Americans support an Israeli strike against Iran, according to TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence; At least 56 percent of Americans approved of a military strike.

We have our target and we now have our army.

We are now witnessing the legalization and industrialization of another war, one which will set the entire region ablaze.

Irish Firm Gambles on Animal Extinction of Animals Effected by the BP Oil Disaster

The life, luxury, and mind-set of an "Irish Suicide Banker" and "Suicide Speculator".

Here's the site that has the "Animal Extinction Index" on it. Speculate away, you sick fucks.

Is it poor taste or a harsh statement against the most recent oil spill to devastate the Gulf Coast? Paddy Power, an Irish online gambling
site, is taking bets on which species will become extinct as a result of the British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.

The site lists a number of animals (Kemp's Ridley turtle, bluefin tuna, brown pelican, etc.) that were already stressed, putting the U.S.
among the top 20 countries with the most endangered species.
The site gives the odds that each animal will meet its demise and
betters can cash in on the aftermath. For instance, Paddy lists the
Ridley turtle as having 4/5 odds of dying because the animal is
"already critically endangered" and, according to Paddy's press
release, "In what must be considered spectacularly bad luck, this
particular species of turtle migrates to the Gulf of Mexico at this
exact time of year."
To explain the motives behind the betting pool, the site says, "We hope this betting will highlight the environmental catastrophe unfolding right now as a result of the BP oil spill. It’s a sure bet
we’ll lose some marine species, the only question is which ones.” They
do not mention what will become of the proceeds from the species
Wall Street Journal blogger Quentin Fottrell finds the gimmick to be in poor taste, but quotes Paddy refuting this claim, saying, "The oil spill seems to be going from bad to worse with no end in sight ... Hopefully our odds
will bring home the imminent danger to such a varied mix of species
dependent on the ocean.”
Citing an earlier response to the idea of betting on non-sport, newsworthy events, Online Casino Reports quotes Paddy Power as saying, "People should be allowed to back up their opinion with some cash."
Paddy Power is also running a pool to determine who will become the next CEO of BP.

When Globalism Runs Its Course ... The Year America Dissolved

It was 2017. Clans were governing America

The first clans organized around local police forces. The conservatives’ war on crime during the late 20th century and the Bush/Obama war on terror during the first decade of the 21st century had resulted in the police becoming militarized and unaccountable.

As society broke down, the police became warlords. The state police broke apart, and the officers were subsumed into the local forces of their communities. The newly formed tribes expanded to encompass the relatives and friends of the police.

The dollar had collapsed as world reserve currency in 2012 when the worsening economic depression made it clear to Washington’s creditors that the federal budget deficit was too large to be financed except by the printing of money.

With the dollar’s demise, import prices skyrocketed. As Americans were unable to afford foreign-made goods, the transnational corporations that were producing offshore for US markets were bankrupted, further eroding the government’s revenue base.

The government was forced to print money in order to pay its bills, causing domestic prices to rise rapidly. Faced with hyperinflation, Washington took recourse in terminating Social Security and Medicare and followed up by confiscating the remnants of private pensions. This provided a one-year respite, but with no more resources to confiscate, money creation and hyperinflation resumed.

Organized food deliveries broke down when the government fought hyperinflation with fixed prices and the mandate that all purchases and sales had to be in US paper currency. Unwilling to trade appreciating goods for depreciating paper, goods disappeared from stores.

Washington responded as Lenin had done during the “war communism” period of Soviet history. The government sent troops to confiscate goods for distribution in kind to the population. This was a temporary stop-gap until existing stocks were depleted, as future production was discouraged. Much of the confiscated stocks became the property of the troops who seized the goods.

Goods reappeared in markets under the protection of local warlords. Transactions were conducted in barter and in gold, silver, and copper coins.

Other clans organized around families and individuals who possessed stocks of food, bullion, guns and ammunition. Uneasy alliances formed to balance differences in clan strengths. Betrayals quickly made loyalty a necessary trait for survival.

Large scale food and other production broke down as local militias taxed distribution as goods moved across local territories. Washington seized domestic oil production and refineries, but much of the government’s gasoline was paid for safe passage across clan territories.

Most of the troops in Washington’s overseas bases were abandoned. As their resource stocks were drawn down, the abandoned soldiers were forced into alliances with those with whom they had been fighting.

Washington found it increasingly difficult to maintain itself. As it lost control over the country, Washington was less able to secure supplies from abroad as tribute from those Washington threatened with nuclear attack. Gradually other nuclear powers realized that the only target in America was Washington. The more astute saw the writing on the wall and slipped away from the former capital city.

When Rome began her empire, Rome’s currency consisted of gold and silver coinage. Rome was well organized with efficient institutions and the ability to supply troops in the field so that campaigns could continue indefinitely, a monopoly in the world of Rome’s time.

When hubris sent America in pursuit of overseas empire, the venture coincided with the offshoring of American manufacturing, industrial, and professional service jobs and the corresponding erosion of the government’s tax base, with the advent of massive budget and trade deficits, with the erosion of the fiat paper currency’s value, and with America’s dependence on foreign creditors and puppet rulers.

The Roman Empire lasted for centuries. The American one collapsed overnight.

Rome’s corruption became the strength of her enemies, and the Western Empire was overrun.

America’s collapse occurred when government ceased to represent the people and became the instrument of a private oligarchy. Decisions were made in behalf of short-term profits for the few at the expense of unmanageable liabilities for the many. Overwhelmed by liabilities, the government collapsed.

Globalism had run its course. Life reformed on a local basis.

Paul Craig Roberts

Audit: U.S. Can't Account For Billions In Iraqi Funds

A U.S. audit has found that the Defense Department can't properly account for how it spent about 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil money earmarked for rebuilding the war-ravaged country.

The U.S. Special Investigator for Iraq Reconstruction report released Tuesday said there was shoddy record keeping and a lack of oversight of the $8.7 billion. The Pentagon cannot account at all for $2.6 billion spent between 2004 and 2007.

The money comes from the Development Fund for Iraq, set up in 2004 by the U.N. Security Council and made up of oil revenues, Iraqi assets frozen before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and surplus funds from the Saddam Hussein-era, oil-for-food program.

The audit highlights the continued problems over how the U.S. is handling Iraqi funds.

US Treasury Running on Fumes

The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents "puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk."

What nonsense. Obama’s war puts the lives of American soldiers at risk, and the craven puppet state behavior of "our partners" in serving as US mercenaries is what puts their troops at risk.

Keep in mind that it was someone in the US military that leaked the documents to WikiLeaks. This means that there is a spark of rebellion within the Empire itself.

And rightly so. The leaked documents show that the US has committed numerous war crimes and that the US government and military have lied through their teeth in order to cover up the failure of their policies. These are the revelations that Washington wants to keep secret.

If Obama cared about the lives of our soldiers, he would not have sent them to a war, the purpose of which he cannot identify. Earlier in his regime, Obama admitted that he did not know what the mission was in Afghanistan. He vowed to find out what the mission was and to tell us, but he never did. After being read the riot act by the military/security complex, which recycles war profits into political campaign contributions, Obama simply declared the war to be "necessary." No one has ever explained why the war is necessary.

The government cannot explain why the war is necessary, because it is not necessary to the American people. Any necessary reason for the war has to do with the enrichment of narrow private interests and with undeclared agendas. If the agendas were declared and the private interests being served identified, even the American sheeple might revolt.

The Obama regime has made war the business of America. Escalation in Afghanistan has gone hand in hand with drone attacks on Pakistan and the use of proxy forces to conduct wars in Pakistan and North Africa. Currently, the US is conducting provocative

naval exercises off the coasts of China and North Korea and instigating war between Columbia and Venezuela in South America. Former CIA director Michael Hayden declared on July 25 that an attack on Iran seems unavoidable.

With the print and TV media captive, why doesn’t Washington simply tell us that the country is at war without going to the trouble of war? That way the munitions industry can lay off its workers and put the military appropriations directly into profits. We could avoid the war crimes and wasted lives of our soldiers.

The US economy and the well-being of Americans are being sacrificed to the regime’s wars. The states are broke and laying off teachers. Even "rich" California, formerly touted as "the seventh largest economy in the world," is reduced to issuing script and cutting its state workers’ pay to the minimum wage.

Supplemental war appropriations have become routine affairs, but the budget deficit is invoked to block any aid to Americans--but not to Israel. On July 25 the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that the US and Israel had signed a multi-billion dollar deal for Boeing to provide Israel with a missile system.

Americans can get no help out of Washington, but the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, declared that Washington’s commitment to Israel’s security is "not negotiable." Washington’s commitment to California and to the security of the rest of us is negotiable. War spending has run up the budget deficit, and the deficit precludes any help for Americans.

With the US bankrupting itself in wars, America’s largest creditor, China, has taken issue with America’s credit rating. The head of China’s largest credit rating agency declared: "The US is insolvent and faces bankruptcy as a pure debtor nation."

On July 12, Niall Ferguson, an historian of empire, warned that the American empire could collapse suddenly from weakness brought on by its massive debts and that such a collapse could be closer than we think.

Deaf, dumb, and blind, Washington policymakers prattle on about "thirty more years of war."

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

Oceanic Time-Warner: all service now restored after undersea cable break

MILILANI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A rare break in an undersea fiber-optic cable Tuesday morning, left around 400,000 people without Internet, phone and TV service, for 12 hours in some cases.

The cable's still broken, but by late in the afternoon, service was back up.

The break happened just after 1 a.m., 30 miles from Kihei, 3,000-feet below the surface. It could take up to five weeks to find out the exact cause.

"It's a pretty sturdy cable, but anything could've gone wrong and so we look to finding that solution," Oceanic Time Warner Cable Vice-President of Operations, Norman Santos said.

Until that time, Oceanic has re-routed its services through different undersea cables throughout the state and back to Los Angeles.

"This has certainly been a frustrating experience for us, something that's out of our control," Santos said. "Here at Oceanic, we sympathize with our customers but we're working towards a solution."

And despite the many headaches it caused, Oceanic says it presented a unique opportunity for them.

"We never had a situation like this happen to us before, so now as we find these secondary routes, we're going to work to at least keeping them active, so that we will have alternative cables out there," Santos said.

Oceanic says they aren't sure yet if they'll give any refunds at this time.

Its normal policy is to not give any, unless services are out for more than 24 hours.

TW Telecom, a local communications company, owns the cable. Oceanic rents space from them.

"We take this very seriously and I just hope that our customers bear with us," Santos said.

For those still having trouble with Internet services, officials recommend you unplug the cable for 20 seconds then plug it back in. Service should return.

Oceanic trouble line: 625-8282

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

How long should a hard drive last?

This article's not borne out of a question, per se. This one's my own experience that I want to share.

I know my regular readers are probably sick and tired of me evangelizing (really just a nice term for "harping on") the need for regular and complete backups. (Perhaps almost as tired of that as they are Hotmail password articles Smile.)

But if you're not backing up or you think it just doesn't apply to you - it's time to rethink and back up. The end is nearer than you think.

The end of your drive, that is.

My 1.5 Terabytes of Woe

This morning I woke up to failing hard drive: the primary hard drive on my primary machine ... again. It had been working just fine since I installed it as a replacement for a prior hard disk failure a few months ago.

As I type this, the repair and recovery software (SpinRite) is doing it's magic, with a projected completion of ... 5 days from now.

SpinRite's initial estimate of completion - an hour later it was  ... an hour LONGER

Did I mention that this is a 1.5 terabyte drive?

The replacement will be here and installed before the repair operation is completed.

That's just one of several new ways of thinking about hard drives that I think is important to cover.

Hard Drive Lifespan

How long should a drive last? I have no idea. All I know is that if it contains something that matters Murphy's Law means that a hard drive probably won't last as long as you want.

The drive I'm having troubles with was around four months old. That seems young, but then again it was also my primary drive - the drive used the most, and it's on my primary machine - the machine I use the most.

And it's the largest drive I own - 1.5TB.

In researching its replacement, I read some very interesting and insightful comments expressing ideas that I think are worth repeating here - if for no other reason than to put the fear of failure in front of you to get you to start backing up.

Drives are Huge

I don't mean just big, I mean frakkin' HUGE! I mean, really, one and a half trillion bytes in a single small enclosure? Using my "Bible as a somewhat more understandable measurement of size" approach - that hard drive could hold the full contents of 300,000 copies of the Bible.

Capacity comes at a price, however.

The drives have gotten larger in capacity, but the actual drives are physically the same size. If anything, as the capacities have gotten larger the drives themselves have become smaller. That means that hard drive manufacturers are squeezing more bits per inch on the media putting them right on the bleeding edge of readability.

It's a well known fact that today's hard drives have incredible error rates - but you typically don't see that because of all the error detection and correction techniques that are involved. It's only when the errors exceed a certain severity or quantity that you and I as users start to see things actually fail.

The important take away? Drives are always closer to failure than you think.

Drives are Cheap

I don't mean inexpensive, I mean frakkin' CHEAP! I ordered a replacement drive (downsizing to "only" 1 terabyte) for $70 - including next-day shipping. Seventy dollars. All the major brands were comparably priced.

High capacity disk drives have become a commodity. More importantly: a replaceable commodity.

If your hard drive dies, it's incredibly cheap to replace it. Heck, you'll probably get a larger capacity drive as part of the bargain. Such a deal.

Hard drive manufacturers are struggling - not just to stay ahead of each other, but to continue with a viable approach to making money. With drives being as cheap as they are, you know that the manufacturers can't spend a ton of effort in QA and test on each device. My suspicion is that the number of drives that arrive dead is much higher than it used to be. I'll also bet that "infant mortality" rates (drives, like mine, that experience a problem within the first few months of use) is also much higher than in the past.

The important take away? Drives are allowed to fail more often because they're so cheap to replace.

But What About the Data?

Aye, there's the rub.

The drives may be cheap and easy to replace if they fail - even if they fail often.

But your data? Not so much.

Which leads me to the inevitable and quite expected conclusion: back up.

I may recover my 1.5 TB drive, and I may not. When the replacement arrives I'll restore my most recent backup and carry on. Absolute worst I'll reinstall from scratch, but in no case will any meaningful data be lost.

Now, you may never experience a failure. You may have a drive that's in fantastic shape that'll last for years.

Or not. You don't know. And if you think you know, you're wrong.

If your data is stored in only one place, then it's not backed up.

If that one place is a hard drive, it may well be more vulnerable than you think.

The solution is simple.

Russia says sea mine sunk Cheonan: report

The daily newspaper Hankyoreh reported yesterday that Russia has concluded the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan was a sea mine accident, not a torpedo attack by North Korea.

If the report is true, Russia will be the first nation to try to absolve North Korea for the incident, which is considered the most deadly attack on the South’s military since the Korean War.

The Defense Ministry denied the newspaper’s report.

The Hankyoreh report was based on what the vernacular paper claimed is an official document from the Russian government. Titled “Russian Navy experts group’s review of the cause of the sinking of the South Korean ship Cheonan,” the document claimed the explosion that sunk the Cheonan was an accident.

The document was cited as saying that the Cheonan was cruising in a shallow area close to the shore when its propeller got tangled in a net. As the corvette was trying to get into deeper sea, the ship touched an antenna-shaped detonator of a mine, which triggered the explosion. It did not say whether the mine was North Korean.

A Seoul-led multinational investigation in May concluded that the sinking, which killed 46 sailors, was a torpedo attack by the North.

The ministry refuted the Hankyoreh dispatch and the Russian report it supposedly described. “There is no possibility that the Cheonan was exploded after hitting a mine,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae at a news briefing held yesterday afternoon. Won said Russia has not informed Seoul of the result of its own investigation into the Cheonan case, which he said is still ongoing. “Currently, the Russian team is reviewing materials it collected on their visit to Korea,” he said.

A group of Russian scientists visited South Korea between May 31 to June 7 as a part of the Russian investigation into the Cheonan tragedy. A spokesman of the Russian Embassy in Seoul also told the JoongAng Ilbo that the Russian government has yet to inform Seoul of the result of its investigation.

By Moon Gwang-lip []

Roman Polanski faces another rape allegation

Roman Polanski, who has successfully avoided prosecution on a 33-year-old child-sex charge in California, is facing another rape allegation. The “Chinatown” director is under fire after former model Edith Michelle Vogelhut reported to police in May that Polanski sodomized her in 1974 at Jack Nicholson’s house. Polanski was freed on July 12 by Swiss authorities after they decided not to extradite him to Los Angeles for the 1977 rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer . Geimer, now 45, told the New York Daily News last year that she has “gotten over it a long time ago,” and even went so far as to discuss the case in the 2008 documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.”

Leaky Vessels: Wikileaks "Revelations" Will Comfort Warmongers, Confirm Conventional Wisdom

"I am shocked -- shocked! -- to find gambling is going on in here" -- Captain Renault at the gaming tables in Casablanca.

The much ballyhooed dump of intelligence and diplomatic files concerning the Afghan War has been trumpeted as some kind of shocking expose, "painting a different picture" than the official version of events -- revelations that are sure to rock the Anglo-American political establishments to their foundations.

The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel were given 92,000 reports by Wikileaks, including thousands of pages of raw "human intelligence" (i.e., uncorroborated claims and gossip from interested parties and anonymous sources pushing a multitude of agendas), and diplomatic notes passed between the promulgators of the occupation in Washington and their factotums "in country" -- reports which you might imagine also purvey a multitude of agendas ... not least the supreme agenda of all officials involved in a dubious enterprise: ass-covering.

Yet these reports are being treated as if they are the "grim truth" behind the shining picture of official propaganda. But what do these stories in the NYT and Guardian actually "reveal"? Let's see:

  • That the occupation forces kill lots of civilians at checkpoints and botched raids, then lie about it afterward.
  • That these killings make Afghans angry and fuel the insurgency.
  • That elements of Pakistani intelligence are involved with some elements of the many resistance groups known collectively (and incorrectly) in the West as the Taliban.
  • That the Americans are using more and more robot drones to kill people.
  • That the Americans are running death squads in Afghanistan aimed at Taliban leaders.
  • That Afghan officials are corrupt, and that Afghan police and military forces are woefully inadequate.

Is there anything in these breathless new recitations that we did not already know? For example, the NYT offers a few short vignettes from the leaked documents concerning botched raids and errant missiles that slaughter civilians. But in almost every case, these have already been extensively reported -- in the Times itself and other mainstream venues -- in much greater detail, with quotes and evidence from the victims and local eyewitnesses, and not just the self-interested, ass-covering perspective of official occupation reports. And the "revelation" that occupation forces are killing "an amazing number of people" who have "never proven to be a threat" at checkpoints was confirmed months ago by no less than Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the erstwhile commander of the whole shebang.

Likewise, the entanglement between Pakistani intelligence services and some elements of violent resistance in Afghanistan has been a constant theme of mainstream reportage on the Afghan War since the very beginning -- not to mention a relentless drumbeat of official "concern" in Washington. It is a rare week indeed when some Washington bigwig is not hinting darkly -- or declaring outright -- that Pakistan needs to "get with the program" in one way or another.

The increasing use of drones is also no secret; indeed, it is frequently featured in giddy press reports about these neat gizmos our boys are using to bravely blast villages on the other side of the world from comfortably padded chairs in Nevada control rooms.

And America's assassination squads have also been loudly proclaimed and hailed; scarcely a week goes by without a story about yet another "top-level" Taliban or al Qaeda dastard meeting his doom. And of course, the Peace Laureate's administration recently "leaked" the news that America is running hit squads, secret armies and other covert operators in more than 75 countries around the world -- with the Peace Laureate also proclaiming his right to assassinate American citizens when he feels like it.

As for the corruption and incompetence of the Afghan "government" installed by the foreign occupiers, and the untrustworthiness of the Afghan police and military being trained by the foreign occupiers to do their dirty work for them -- again, this too has been a running theme not only of media coverage but a plethora of official pronouncements. Has a month gone by in recent years when some top-level Washington figure has not scolded the powerless Afghan government for its manifold failings? Has a month gone by without long, detailed stories -- usually in the New York Times itself -- outlining the venality and brutality of the warlords, gangsters, religious extremists and corruptocrats that the United States has empowered in the occupied land?

Where then are the "revelations"? Anyone who has regularly read, well, the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel could not remotely be surprised by any of the facts (as opposed to the oceans of spin and supposition) buried in this mountain of leakage. These are not the Pentagon Papers or the Downing Street Memos; they do almost nothing to alter the public image of the war, and tell almost nothing that we don't already know.

In fact, the overall effect of the multi-part coverage of the documents is to paint a portrait of plucky, put-upon Americans trying their darnedest to get the job done despite the dastardly dealings and gooberish bumblings of the ungrateful little brown wretches we are trying to save from themselves. The NYT is quite explicit in this spin:

[T]he documents sketch a war hamstrung by an Afghan government, police force and army of questionable loyalty and competence, and by a Pakistani military that appears at best uncooperative and at worst to work from the shadows as an unspoken ally of the very insurgent forces the American-led coalition is trying to defeat.

So you see, if our noble enterprise is failing, it’s because the Afghans are idiots, the Pakistanis are backstabbers ... and the Iranians are behind it all, training Taliban fighters, making their bombs and bankrolling the political opposition to America's appointed satrap, Hamid Karzai.

Ah, here we get down to it. Here's metal more attractive for our militarists. The treachery of Iran is a constant theme in the leakage -- both in the raw, unsifted, uncorroborated "humint" and in the diplomatic cables of puzzled occupiers who cannot fathom why there should be any opposition to their enlightened rule. It must the fault of those perfidious Persians!

One can only imagine the lipsmacking and handclapping now rampant among the Bomb Iran crowd as they pore over these unsubstantiated rumors and Potomac ass-coverings which are being doled out -- by the "liberal" media, no less! -- as the new, grim truth about Afghanistan. The Guardian helpfully compiles the incendiary material for them:

Iran is engaged in an extensive covert campaign to arm, finance, train and equip Taliban insurgents, Afghan warlords allied to al-Qaida and suicide bombers fighting to eject British and western forces from Afghanistan, according to classified US military intelligence reports contained in the war logs.

The secret "threat reports", mostly comprising raw data provided by Afghan spies and paid informants, cannot be corroborated individually. Even if the claims are accurate, it is unclear whether the activities they describe took place with the full knowledge of Tehran or are the work of hardline elements of the semi-autonomous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, ideological sympathisers of the Taliban, arms smugglers or criminal gangs ....

Yes, no doubt there are a great many "ideological sympathisers" of the Taliban's Shiite-hating Sunni extremists among the, er, Shiites in Iran. But such nuances don't matter; all that matters is that you get some headlines out there about "Iran's covert operations in Afghanistan." [Because, as we all know, it is an unmitigated evil for any nation to conduct covert operations in another country -- unless, of course, that nation is run by nice, clean, English-speaking people.]

The Guardian details a number of raw humint reports on Iranian dastardy, then makes a curious claim for its other sources:

Summaries of US embassy diplomatic cables and situation assessments contained and distributed through the war logs offer firmer ground than some of the raw intelligence data, given that they are evidently written by American officials and represent an official record, or official evaluation, of high-level meetings.

Why should the "situation assessments" of ass-covering bureaucrats necessarily be "firmer" than the gossip and denunciations being retailed in the "humint" reports? Especially if they are telling Washington exactly what it wants to hear: the Iranians are behind our manifest failures, both militarily and politically. The Guardian:

Summaries of classified diplomatic cables produced by the US embassy in Kabul, contained in the war logs, reveal high-level concern about Tehran's growing political influence in Afghanistan. Senior US and Afghan officials appear at a loss over how to counter Iran's alleged bribery and manipulation of opposition parties and MPs whom Afghan government officials dismiss as Tehran's "puppets"....

"Over the past several months Iran has taken a series of steps to expand and deepen its influence," says a secret cable sourced to the US embassy in Kabul and written in May 2007 by CSTC-A DCG for Pol-Mil Affairs [combined security transition command deputy commanding general for political and military affairs]. The cable cites the creation of the opposition National Front and National Unity Council, which it claims are under Iranian influence.

Wow, that's heavy stuff, man. An apparatchik in the US embassy says that the political opposition to America's man in Kabul is just Iranian puppetry. Obviously, those Afghan ragheads couldn't possibly put together an opposition by themselves. (It's just like that Civil Rights stuff back in the day; it was all a Communist front. You know our docile darkies would never have tried to get above their raising if the Commies hadn't stirred them up.)

We see here a reflection of one of the enduring principles of the American power structure: that no one could ever have any reasonable objections to the enlightened hegemony of our elites. Any opposition to their dominance and privilege has to come from "outside agitators," sinister troublemakers driven by motiveless evil to destroy all that's good and holy in this world.

So in the end, what really is the "takeaway" from this barrage of high-profile "revelations" dished up by these bold liberal gadflies speaking truth to power? Let's recap:

Occupation forces kill lots of civilians. But everybody already knew that -- and it's been obvious for years that nobody cares. How does this alter the prevailing conventional wisdom about the war?

Pakistan is pursuing its own strategic interests in the region: interests that don't always mesh with those of the United States.
Again, this has been a constantly -- obsessively -- reported aspect of the war since its earliest days. How does this alter the prevailing conventional wisdom about the war?

The Afghan government installed by the occupation is corrupt and dysfunctional. Again, this theme has been sounded at every level of the American government -- including by two presidents -- for years. How does this alter the prevailing conventional wisdom of the war?

There is often a dichotomy between official statements about the war's progress and the reality of the war on the ground. Again, has there been a month in the last nine years that prominent stories outlining this fact have not appeared in major mainstream publications? Is this not a well-known phenomenon of every single military conflict in human history? How does this alter the prevailing conventional wisdom about the war?

Iran is evil and is helping bad guys kill Americans and should be stopped.
It goes without saying that this too has been a relentless drumbeat of the American power structure for many years. The occupation forces in Iraq began blaming Iran for the rise of the insurgency and the political instability almost the moment after George W. Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished" and all hell broke loose in the conquered land. The Obama administration has "continued" -- and expanded -- the Bush Regime's demonization of Iran, and its extensive military preparations for an attack on that country. The current administration's "diplomatic effort" is led by a woman who pledged to "obliterate" Iran -- that is, to kill tens of millions of innocent people -- if Iran attacked Israel. The American power structure has seized upon every single scrap of Curveball-quality "intelligence" -- every rumor, every lie, every exaggeration, every fabrication -- to convince the American people that Iran is about to nuke downtown Omaha with burqa-clad atom bombs.

So once again, and for the last time, we ask the question: How does this alter the prevailing conventional wisdom about the war?

It doesn't, of course. These media "bombshells" will simply bounce off the hardened shell of American exceptionalism -- which easily countenances the slaughter of civilians and "targeted killings" and "indefinite detention" and any number of other atrocities anyway. In fact, I predict the chief "takeaway" from the story will be this:

American forces are doing their best to help the poor Afghans, but the ungrateful natives are too weak and corrupt to be trusted, while America's good intentions are also being thwarted by evil outsiders.

For our many War Machinists across the political spectrum, getting this mythological message out via "critical" stories in "liberal" publications will be much more effective than dishing up another serving of patriotic hokum on Fox news or at a presidential press conference. (And in fact, on Tuesday Obama claimed that the leaks actually supported the need for his two death-dealing, destabilizing, terror-exacerbating, corruption-oozing "surges" in Afghanistan.) The way the narrative is being framed at the outset -- the small selection of stories being offered as the first "face" of the leaks from the mountains of material as yet unmined -- evokes the age-old question: in the end, cui bono?

The war chiefs are assuming that these 92,000 files about the Afghan war were obtained by an American private serving in Iraq, the unfortunate Bradley Manning. (Wikileaks denies that this particular cache comes from Manning.) Manning is already under arrest for the "crime" of leaking something far more disturbing than any written document: a video showing the slaughter of Iraqi civilians by American Apache helicopters in 2007. Washington knows that a couple of moving pictures on the tee-vee have a far greater potential to disturb the moral sleep of the American people than tens of thousands of newspaper reports -- or leaked documents -- detailing similar killings. (That said, in the end the Apache video has had zero effect on public perceptions of the Iraq War, which most people believe is "over," or on public support for the murderous machinations of the Terror War in general, which most people believe needs to continue in one form or another, to "keep us safe.") The only kind of grim truth attended to by anyone in America these days is that which can be shown in moving pictures. (Although the number of people who are upset even by that seems to be rapidly diminishing. That's why Manning had to be put away.

Ultimately, I suppose on balance it is better to have this material than not to have it. But I still question the usefulness of rolling out mountains of raw "human intelligence" -- precisely the same kind of unfiltered junk that was "stovepiped" to build the false case for the mass-murdering invasion of Iraq -- about Iran, al Qaeda, Pakistan; even North Korea gets into the mix. None of this can be checked -- but all of it will be extremely useful to those who want to build cases for more and more military action, death squads and covert actions around the world.

And it seems very odd that intelligence reports and bureaucratic memos by forces carrying out a prolonged, brutal military occupation of another country are now being treated by "liberal" media outlets as holy writ which paints a "true" picture of the war -- a picture that omits any reference to American war-related corruption, for instance, not only in Afghanistan but more especially in Washington, or to America's wider "Great Game" machinations in Central Asia, involving pipelines, strategic bases and "containing China," etc.

If I believed anything would come of this document dump, if I believed it would actually lead to, say, the prosecution of even one single person for a war-related crime, or to a genuine debate over the morality of the war in the political and media establishments, or even a 5 point rise in public opposition to the Terror War project, then I would rejoice, and embrace the flashy packages of the NYT, Guardian and Der Spiegel at their own self-inflated valuation.

But I honestly believe that the net effect will be simply to entrench the conventional wisdom about the war in the halls of power -- and in the echo chambers of opinion -- on both sides of the Atlantic. We have already seen far too many atrocities, brutalities and acts of criminal folly countenanced, when they are not actually praised, far too many times -- over and over and over again -- in the course of the last decade to believe that these disgorgings of junk intelligence and apparatchik memos will make any difference.

Any difference for the better, that is. For I believe they will supply plenty of ammunition to those bent on further murder and plunder.

(*NOTE: A few sentences have been rewritten today (July 27) to reflect new information and to clarify a couple of points in the original.**)

Deadly landslide as China rains continue

Landslide in Shuanghe village in Hanyuan county, Sichuan province
Shuanghe village stands at the foot of a mountain

Twenty-one people are missing feared dead after heavy rain triggered a landslide which flattened part of a village in Sichuan, southern China.

Dozens of houses in Shuanghe village were engulfed early on Tuesday morning after huge amounts of rock and mud slid down Ermanshan Mountain.

Police rescued three survivors from the rubble including an 80-year-old, state media reported.

Thousands of villagers have been evacuated from their homes.

News has also emerged of a bridge collapse in central China on Saturday in which 33 people died.

Recent bad weather has killed 1,250 people in China, government officials say. The economic losses across the country are estimated to be more than $22bn (£14bn).

China suffers monsoon-type rains every year but this year's rainfall has been the heaviest in more than a decade.

Journalists film as water is released from the Three Gorges Dam in  Yichang, China (20 July 2010) Vast amounts of water have been released from behind the Three Gorges Dam to ease pressure

Water levels in one tributary of the Yangtze river were reported to be the highest in 30 years at the weekend.

Flood waters at the Three Gorges Dam are expected to peak on Wednesday, after torrential rain further up the Yangtze river over the weekend.

Since Sunday night, officials at the Three Gorges Dam have been pumping increased amounts of water through the sluices in anticipation of the coming flood.

The authorities say it is likely to be slightly smaller than that seen at the dam last week though.

Bodies recovered

In one village in Henan province in central China, 33 bodies have now been recovered after a bridge collapsed.

Local government officials say the water in the river under the bridge was usually less than a metre high.

But the area had been lashed by the heaviest rain in 100 years.

Water levels rose substantially and the river was flowing 63 times faster than normal when the bridge was washed away completely.

The accident happened on Saturday but has only just been reported by the national media.

Are you in China? Have you been caught up in the floods? Send us your comments using the form below:

Send your pictures and videos to or text them to 61124 (UK) or 0044 7725 100 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here.

Local Synagogue Vandalized With Words of Hate

As parents arrived early Monday morning to drop their kids off for summer camp at the B’Nai Shalom Synagogue in Olney, Md., they were greeted by a derogatory name for Jews spray-painted on the building.

“I started welling up with tears and tried to conceal it from our 3-year-old,” said concerned parent Laurie Blumstein.

But the anti-Semitic vandalism didn’t stop there. Swastikas were spray-painted across the entire building and sidewalk and German references to the Holocaust were found on lampposts even parking spots.

“The words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei,’ which translate to 'work will set you free,'” said Rabbi Ari Sunshine. “Those are the words that are written above the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp.”

“The remarks about Jews, the German writing, this was done by someone who knew German or was copying it from something," said synagogue member Elaine Senter. "I don’t think it was done by kids. It just was too perfect.”

Rabbi Sunshine believes the vandalism happened sometime overnight. Montgomery County police are investigating more than a dozen different slogans and symbols as a hate crime, including change found at the door, which Rabbi Sunshine believes insinuates Jews are money hungry.

As hurtful as the images and words are, the rabbi said, he decided not to have them painted over early Monday morning. He wanted his congregation and members of the community to see what happened to try to use the act of hate to bring the community together.

“If we just cover over the words and the symbols and get rid of it in the next hour or two hours, without a chance for people to come together and work at that and symbolically stand together as we remove these words, then a great teaching opportunity will have been lost,” the rabbi said.

The synagogue planned to hold a special service Monday night at 7:30 p.m. where the public is invited to talk about what happened and help with the clean up process.

Also in Olney, mailboxes of two residences in the 18500 block of Rolling Acres Way were spray-painted red. Several swastikas, the symbol “14/88,” and the symbol “SS” were spray-painted on the yards and trees at those residences. The “88” is sometimes a coded reference to Heil Hitler, as each word begins with the eight letter of the alphabet, and the “14” is thought to stand for the number of words in a white supremacist credo.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should contact police at 240-773-5330.