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Earthquake Hit Indonesia Monday, Measured 7.5 Magnitude

On Monday a large 7.5 earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, leveling approximately 10,000 homes, and injuring about 150 people. Also reported are six deaths at this time, though reports are still coming in. The quake was originally give a magnitude of 7.8 before being downgraded.

It seems that the large quake is not getting much attention due to the world wide Financial Crisis.

While there was an initial tsunami warning it was canceled a short while after the quake. I beleive they have had two aftershocks measuring around 5.5 in magnitude though I can only confirm one at this time.

I will make some updates if I can get more information soon.

Here is a post I did this past spring with some earthquake safety tips, it is always good to keep these in mind when living in or visiting an earthquake prone area.

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Privacy Concerns Raised With Google Flu Tracking

Last Week we did a post (Google Announces Flu Tracking Capabilities, May Predict Outbreaks Before CDC) on tracking flu trends after Google publicly announced their capabilities of tracking the flu, and possibly warning of outbreaks weeks ahead of what was once possible using other current modeling methods.

A few days later privacy concerns were raised in the news, though these concerns are not really warranted since personal data is not relayed to anyone.

Basically Google uses specific search terms in geographical locations and uses the search terms to populate a map based on how many other searches for related terms are occurring in that area. Though there is slightly more complicated than this, this is how it works in a nutshell.

Google, in now way makes the data of those performing the actual search available and this technology is much needed, especially with the possibility of an outbreak of avian flu occurring.

The CDC is on board and assisting with the use of this tracking technology and if it has the potential to possibly stop an outbreak from spreading unchecked then I am all for it.

Here is the privacy statement from Google on this technology:

Protecting User Privacy

At Google, we are keenly aware of the trust our users place in us, and of our responsibility to protect their privacy. Google Flu Trends can never be used to identify individual users because we rely on anonymized, aggregated counts of how often certain search queries occur each week. We rely on millions of search queries issued to Google over time, and the patterns we observe in the data are only meaningful across large populations of Google search users. You can learn more about how this data is used and how Google protects users' privacy at our Privacy Center.


Use of WMD's Specifically Chemical Weapons By Terrorists Inside The United States May Be Imminent

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are in the hands of terrorists and have been used for some time in attempts to cause wide spread destruction and instill fear.

May 16,2004 marks an ominous day in the war on terror. For that is the day that terrorists first used a chemical weapon in battle, and used by a non state or in other words not by a direct Government.

Though this incident only caused a "slight exposure" to two Unites States, explosives ordinance disposal technicians, it was designed to kill thousands. Had this weapon gone off as intended it would have spread a fatal cloud of GB (Sarin) over a dozen city blocks and would have caused the death of Iraqi civilians, and 3,000 coalition troops stationed nearby at camp Victory. The 155mm shell contained one gallon of the agent, though it was not known at the time.

Since May 16 2004 there have been at least six other attacks against coalition forces in which some chemical agent was involved. All were WMD's of Saddam Hussein's pre-Gulf War arsenal.

In 2005 U.S. troops conducted a raid on a warehouse in the city of Mosul. During the raid they discovered a weapons factory that held 1500 gallons of chemical agents and precursors to create more weapons.

On February 23, 2008 truck bombs containing chlorine gas were detonated inside Baghdad. The poison gas and blast effects killed more than a hundred people.

Al-Qaeda is determined to use these agents against the United States and many security experts and myself feel that such an attack is inevitable.

The terrorists have been experimenting and using various chemical weapons in attacks and are honing their skills and studying the effects of these attacks as well.

Off-line Source: Pfarrer, C. (2008) Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction In The Hands Of Terrorists. The Counter Terrorist, 1(4) 16 Nov. 2008

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President Elect Obama Warned to "Brace Himself" For An Attack

President Elect Obama has been warned by leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to "brace himself for an early assault by terrorists."

General Michael Hayden, director of the CIA, this week acknowledged that there were dangers during a presidential transition when new officials were coming in and getting accustomed to the challenges. But he added that no “real or artificial spike” in intercepted transmissions from terror suspects had been detected.

Britain and the US are sharing all intelligence on suspected terrorist activity because of the high risk of a plot involving transatlantic flights. Al-Qaeda is understood still to be obsessed with mounting an attack using passenger airliners. There have also been warnings of al-Qaeda interest in developing a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) device. The US has anti-CBRN units on constant patrol in main cities.

Al-Qaeda is known to be experimenting with biological agents, particularly anthrax, which they acquire from dead animals and then create cultures. The key man involved in these experiments is Abou Kabbah al-Masri, who was engaged in the biological trials including tests on rabbits that were uncovered in Afghanistan when the Taleban were overrun after the US invasion in 2001.



Important Books You MUST ADD To Your Reading List, To Understand Where America May Be Headed Next.

If you're looking for some fine reading, and what the future of the Country may look like I have two great books I am recommending for you. The first one is the new book by Bill Gertz, The Failure Factory: How Unelected Bureaucrats, Liberal Democrats, and Big Government Republicans are Undermining America's Security and Leading Us to War.

The other is a book by Robert J. Shapiro is called Futurecast and is a very telling book, especially if you consider what it says about European Countries like France and the economic crisis they have been facing and the path we are about to head down in this Country. If you are interested in learning about what will happen in the future as we make current policy changes today this book is a MUST READ.