Tajik authorities seek to protect youth from the “Western influence”

Tajik authorities seek to protect youth from the “Western influence”

Khairullo Mirsaidov

In the photo: student from Tajikistan – the commemorative ceremony with President

The authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan have intensified the “struggle for the soul” of young people, which makes up a large part of the population. The methods used in this case are different: illegal inspections and elimination of non-governmental organizations, the ban on attending seminars and workshops, as well as the involvement of mass events and forced to join the party in power.

From 27 to 30 November this year for an event devoted to the visit of Emomali Rahmon at the north of the country were involved in several thousand schools and universities. They were forcibly taken away to the opening of different objects to create extras, distributed on the streets, where he was to pass the head of state, involved in the preparation of the grand concert numbers. All this happened with the separation of the training program. In this case, students who were to appear on stage, did not learn from the beginning of the school year is not a single day, rehearsing every day. What they are fed and watered – a separate issue. In this case, all students, despite the cold weather, forced to wear only dresses and national costumes. As a result, according to witnesses, two students passed out right during the official opening of the tunnel “Shahristan.”

All these events took place against the background of a controversial decision by the Ministry of Education of Tajikistan, which now promised to limit the participation of students in seminars, trainings and conferences organized by international organizations. It was officially stated that the involvement of students in such activities contradict the legislation of Tajikistan, but no one can say – what is the law. Leaders of most universities already acquainted with the Ministry of Education decision and try to implement this practice. Representatives of international organizations in Tajikistan gets confused by such steps the government. Several of them have already faced problems in carrying out its activities and was forced to cancel them.

According to co-National Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (OSDPT) Shukhrat Kudratova, Ministry of Education of the actions violates the constitutional right of citizens to freedom of choice. “Ministry of Education has the right to restrict or prohibit students to attend events and seminars, if they do not go to the detriment of teaching time – he said. – This prohibition Education Ministry questioned the legal activities of international and other organizations. ”

Students are driven to open artificial ice rink, as the ceremony takes place with the participation of President Rahmon

After a stormy media coverage Deputy Education Minister Farhod Rahimov yet commented on the decision, saying that it was against the activities that distract students from their studies. According to him, according to law “On Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education”, the student in the case of missing 36 hours of classes excluded from the university. ” However, the Education Ministry does not comment on the involvement of students through classroom time for activities involving the president. If you follow the letter of the law, then they should already be expelled from universities and even more excluded from schools.

Photo for memory – in anticipation of President

Meanwhile, the problems faced not only the international organizations working in Tajikistan, and community organizations.According to the head of the Association of Young Lawyers “Amparo” Dilrabo Samadov, authorities in northern Tajikistan in the summer of this year, has hindered the summer school age students on human rights. “We have sent a letter of notification to the local authorities and began to contract with the camp, but after a while we were told that they could not provide the camp, because they themselves have to get a permit – said Samadov. – Some time later we received a letter from the local authorities, which stated that they do not favor a similar summer camps. ”

“Amparo” protects the rights of young men of military age, hazing in the army, and raids into the death of soldiers. “After this incident, we were first to come with us” meet “National Security Committee, and following them with check raided the representatives of the Ministry of Justice” – said Samadov. At the same time, she said, checking on the part of the Ministry of Justice conducted with violations, starting with the fact that the Ministry of Justice to carry out such checks do not have the right. ”

Immediately after the so-called check Sogdian representative of the Justice Ministry filed a suit in court to liquidate the public organization “Amparo” on the basis of the identified violations. Last week, the court upheld the claim of Khujand and the Ministry of Justice has ruled on the Elimination of “Amparo” in one month. Junaid Ibodov – a lawyer who defended “Amparo” in court, immediately after the meeting said that disagrees with the court’s decision, as all the allegations made by the Ministry of Justice have no legal or moral justification. “Justice itself actually broke the law by conducting illegal check without prior notice,” – he said.

Employees “Amparo” in court

It is noteworthy that one of the charges was that the Ministry of Justice that the association “Amparo” illegally conducted seminars and workshops for schools and universities. Although, according to the law on public organizations, this direction is the most important in their work. Lawyer “Amparo” also said that under the government-adopted educational program is the Ministry of Justice should conduct such seminars and workshops for students. “Not only is he the Justice Department does not implement this program, so also prevents legitimate activities of other organizations in this direction,” – he said. Head “Amparo” Dilrabo Samadov stated that they intend to fight to the end in the near future to appeal the decision to the higher courts.

Co-chair of the National Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan Shukhrat Kudratov believes that all the current situation related to next year’s presidential election. “International organizations usually a year before the elections begin to conduct seminars on the election of the students, explaining to them their rights and are familiar with the political situation in the country – said Kudratov. – Therefore, the main task of the authorities and the reason for this decision – not to admit students to these workshops. ”

According to the politician, in addition, the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan are forced to enroll in their ranks of university students. “In addition, by the authorities put pressure on members of the opposition, they are forced to leave the party – said Kudratov – Such work authorities are not only among adults but also among students. And just before the elections themselves with students actively work with the explanation which party or candidate should vote, “- he said.

Participants gala concert in Istravshan

Khairullo Mirsaidov

International news agency “Fergana”

$100 Million Wahhabi Mosque In Kabul Will Undermine Entire War Effort

[If the United States or NATO were actually serious about fighting a war against terrorism, then this proposed Wahhabi monstrosity would have zero chance of ever being built.  Since Wahhabi/Salafism has been at the core of US foreign policy for over thirty years, the Saudis are now apparently, indispensable.  This religious aberration, which, through British and American patronage, successfully masquerades as “Islam” for the purposes of furthering Imperial policies.   The Wahhabi penetration of Afghanistan and Central Asia has given us both “al-CIA-da” and the Taliban (both varieties), not to mention Jundullah (MEK) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Bosnian terrorists, and so many other outright terrorist armies.  If there was a single genuine “Christian” in the entire US Congress, he would sacrifice himself on the steps of the Capitol, to prevent Saudi Arabia from interfering further in either Afghanistan or Pakistan.]
 

Saudi Arabia funding $100m Kabul mosque and education centre

Saudis move to bolster influence in Afghanistan with hilltop complex due to be completed two years after Nato withdrawal

Faisal mosque

The new mosque in Kabul will be similar to the Faisal mosque (above) in Islamabad that was also built by Saudi Arabia in 1980s. Photograph: Mian Khursheed/Reuters

Saudi Arabia is funding a $100m mosque and Islamic education centre in Kabul that will teach thousands of students a year and help bolster Saudi influence in Afghanistan as the west withdraws.

Work on the sprawling 30-hectare (75-acre) hilltop complex is due to be completed by early 2016, when Afghan security forces will likely be trying to hold off the Taliban with little Nato support.

“This Islamic centre has several aims, one is to ensure good relations between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia,” said the acting Saudi minister of hajj and Islamic affairs, Dr Dayi al-Haq Abed.

Afghanistan’s neighbours and allies have been jostling for power in the country for years; spending millions of dollars on aid, education, TV and radio channels.

Efforts to secure a stake in Afghanistan’s future are intensifying with the 2014 Nato withdrawal deadline looming, and a presidential election to chose the first new leader in more than a decade set for April that year.

But Abed said the centre was a decade-old project conceived by Saudi Arabia’s late King Fahd, not a hasty effort to bolster the Gulf state’s role in Afghan affairs.

“It’s not a political centre, its an independent centre,” he told the Guardian. “This centre will never try to work against the interests of Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. It is firstly a place for prayer and secondly for education.”

A university with a library, lecture halls, gym and dormitories for 5,000 students will sit on a hill overlooking Kabul, next to the tomb of the last Afghan king, Mohammed Zahir Shah. The nearby mosque will hold up to 15,000 worshippers, making it one of the largest in the country.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the key players in the turbulent decades since the Soviet invasion at the end of 1979, influencing both religionand politics in Afghanistan.

The Saudis were a major funder of mujahideen in Afghanistan, sending millions of dollars to Pakistan-based groups to pay for weapons and other supplies. When civil war broke out it helped sponsor a peace deal, even bringing top Afghan commanders to Mecca to swear they would respect the agreement – although it fell apart almost immediately.

After the rise of the Taliban, Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries to recognise the hardline regime, but since its fall in 2001 it has remained a generous donor to the western-backed government of Hamid Karzai. More recently it helped lay the groundwork for efforts to negotiate an end to the war. Saudi diplomats have kept a lower profile than others though.

The new centre will likely have a large pool of applicants. Religious schools mostly funded by private individuals and Saudi institutions have spread the kingdom’s strict Wahhabi branch of Islam inside Afghanistan and Pakistan – and all Afghans hope to travel there on the hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.

The Afghan government has donated the land, and basic engineering work is already completed. A joint committee of Saudi diplomats and Afghan officials from the ministry of Islamic affairs will oversee the centre once it is up and running.

“Its a big achievement for the Afghanistan government and the ministry of hajj and Islamic affairs,” Abed said, adding that he hoped it would pave the way for more Afghan students to further their education in Saudi Arabia.

Additional reporting by Mokhtar Amiri

US Congressman Pushing Another Terrorist Army In Another Plan To Cause Another Civil War

[If American and NATO legislators can openly advocate the sponsorship of terrorist groups, then there is no longer any fear of public exposure of America’s countless war crimes.  Rohrabacher has been running all over Asia, trying to find some war/revolution that he can successfully sponsor in the American Congress (SEE:  Congressman Rohrabacher’s Balochistan Hearing/Political Stunt).]  

Azerbaijan: American Neo-Con Meddling Threatens to Bring Balkan-Style Mess to Iran

Profile of a Police State

Profile of a Police State

By Stephen Lendman

 

For years, America has been on a fast track to tyranny. Duopoly power runs things repressively. Government of, by, and for the people never existed and doesn’t now.

 

Homeland repression is policy. Police state laws target resisters. Elections are farcical, rigged, and illegitimate. People have no say. Corporate controlled electronic voting machines decide for them.

Money power is firmly in charge. Democracy is illusory, not real.

 

Corporate/party boss-run Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) members exclude alternative voices. Money power operates secretly with no public oversight. A sham process repeats each electoral cycle.

 

Alternative party presidential candidates risk arrest for showing up to watch debates. Participation is out of the question.

 

On October 16, Green Party presidential and vice presidential candidates learned firsthand. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were arrested, detained, and held handcuffed uncomfortably to metal chairs in a remote police warehouse for hours.

 

They were charged with “obstructing traffic.” None at the time was visible. That’s how tyranny works. Challenging authority risks prison or worse. Many are tortured and abused. Some end up dead.

 

Obama appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He decides who lives or dies. Romney won’t change a thing. No matter who wins, expect police state America to be more repressive than ever post-election.

 

If presidential challengers can be arrested and abused, what chance have ordinary people. Step out of line and expect the worst. Stein learned firsthand a second time. Herweb site explained.

 

She supports activists opposing the environmentally destructive Keystone XL (KXL) project. More about it below.

 

In east Texas, she was arrested and handcuffed for bringing food, Halloween candy, and supplies. She was detained in Wood County jail. Authorities charged her with criminal trespassing. She and others were involved.

 

“They were not warned of imminent arrests; and the arresting officers did not self-identify as police.” Stein said she’s willing to face arrest in support of blocking KXL.

 

It’s a controversial 1,661-mile Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, TX pipeline. Earlier, hundreds of environmental activists protested in front of the White House against it.

 

If completed, it’ll carry toxic tar sands oil from Western Canada to refineries on America’s Gulf coast. It’ll pass through environmentally sensitive areas in six states.

 

They include waterways and the Ogallala Aquifer. It’s one of the world’s largest. In America, it supplies about 30% of the nation’s irrigation ground water. It’s also used for human consumption.

 

Friends of the Earth says Keystone XL “will carry one of the world’s dirtiest fuels: tar sands oil.” Moreover, its route “could devastate ecosystems and pollute water sources, and would jeopardize public health.”

 

If completed, it’ll double America’s dirty tar sands oil supply. At the same time, environmental toxicity will increase exponentially. No matter the stakes, Big Oil wants it. So do Republicans and many Democrats. Obama once again conceded.

 

TransCanada Corporation is building it. It’s spill-prone construction record assures trouble. It promised its Keystone I pipeline would leak once every seven years. In year one, it leaked 12 times or once a month on average. It was unprecedented in US pipeline history.

 

TarSandsBlockade.org asks “Why Oppose KXL?”

 

For many reasons, it states. NASA scientist James Hansen calls it “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.”

 

All pipelines spill. Avoidance is impossible. Large-scale environmental damage is too great a price to pay. TransCanada said up to 700,000 gallons of tar sands crude could leak without detection. In other words, safeguards are weak and ineffective.

 

Pipeline construction abuses eminent domain. TransCanada “intimidated landowners” along its route to contractually accede to its demands. In addition, the company “fraudulently steals land from private citizens through eminent domain.”

 

Water contamination is certain. The Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer (CWA) is threatened. In March 2011, water resources & environmental engineer/consultant Lawrence Dunbarsaid CWA spillage would be environmentally disastrous. Human and natural resources would be impacted.

 

Release of enough tar sands contaminants would make affected water resources unfit for human consumption. CWA “is one of the greatest assets of the East-Central region of Texas. It provides water for agriculture, industry, and human consumption and use.”

 

It’s far too valuable to contaminate. KXL assures it. Remediation would be hard to impossible to achieve.

 

According to Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute, KXL will also destroy more jobs than it creates. Its September 2011 “Pipe Dreams?” report said job creation claims lack credibility.

 

At best up to 4,650 temporary ones will be created. In two years or less they’ll be gone. “KXL will not be a major source of US jobs, nor will it play any substantial role at all in putting Americans back to work.”

 

Moreover, diverting tar sands oil “now supplying Midwest refineries, so it can be sold at higher prices to the Gulf Coast and export markets (means) Midwest (consumers) could be paying 10 to 20 cents more per gallon for gasoline and diesel fuel.”

 

Doing so will adversely impact other spending and cost jobs. KXL will also have “a chilling effect on green investments and green jobs creation.”

 

Thus far, green economic spending generated “2.7 million jobs in the US and could generate many more.”

 

In addition, “Tar Sands oil and energy independence really do not belong in the same sentence.”

 

Cornell, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other independent assessments say KXL assures higher gas prices.

 

Exporting tar sands oil won’t reduce US dependence on foreign supplies. Prioritizing exports is planned. At issue is selling at the highest possible price.

 

KXL violates tribal sovereignty. The Indigenous Environmental Network’s “Mother Earth Accord” supports and urges opposition to tar sands development. At issue is preserving the integrity of US and Canadian First Nations and tribal lands.

 

TransCanada won’t disclose an analysis of chemical dilutants used to facilitate transporting tar sands oil through KXL. At issue are human and environmentally destructive substances.

 

The Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration told Congress that pipeline regulations weren’t crafted with tar sands oil in mind. They’re woefully inadequate and require strengthening. At a time of deregulatory extremism, don’t expect it.

 

The State Department, not EPA, conducted KXL’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Hillary Clinton has close ties to TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliot. He was one of her main 2008 presidential campaign officials.

 

EIS analysis was rigged. Its methodology lacked credibility. Results claimed minimal environmental contamination risk.

 

KXL’s southern area “Gulf Coast Project” failed to conduct its own environmental assessment. Issues related to the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, wild fires, droughts, and others weren’t examined.

 

Connect the dots. Omnipotent money power, permanent imperial wars, corporate empowerment, rigged elections, homeland repression, and government of, by, and for the privileged few characterize today’s America.

 

Even independent presidential candidates challenging a system this corrupt, venal and dysfunctional risk arrest, abuse, and possible imprisonment.

 

On November 6, consider your options. Boycott America’s duopoly. Vote independent or stay home. Change depends on ordinary people struggling long-term. Nothing else works. Not now! Not ever!

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

 

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

 

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

 

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Survivalist Wisdom–Voices from the Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

[Prepare for the worst, pray that you never need it.  Pray even harder if you do need it, for protection from those whose only survival plan has been to take what they needed.]

Six Letters Re: Hurricane Sandy After Action Reports

SurvivalBlog.com

James,
I’m located in central New Jersey not far from the Delaware River. In the days prior to the hurricane hitting, everyone packed the supermarkets, warehouse clubs and home improvement stores to stock up.

At the home improvement stores, the people who had best luck getting generators were those who purchased them online and selected in-store pickup. There were lines of people 100+ deep from the front of the store to the back waiting for new shipments of generators to arrive. The only people who were guaranteed anything were those who had already purchased and paid online.

For those lucky enough to get a generator, they’d have a hard time fueling it if they didn’t already have gas cans and gas stored at home. The shelves were cleared of gas cans days before the storm hit.

The warehouse club that we are members of sold out of water the day before the storm hit. They normally have pallets of water on shelves up to the ceiling along the length of an entire aisle. That aisle was completely bare. They also sold out of most fruits/and vegetables that could store for a little without power. The displays that normally hold bananas and apples were bare.

Flashlights and D batteries were gone days before the storm too. The only ones that were left were plug-in rechargeable flashlights that would be of little use after the first discharge in a power outage.

My sister had luck finding a huge display of batteries at a big chain baby store. Most people went straight to the supermarkets and home improvement stores, not thinking that many other types of stores also kept basic supplies.

The winds really started to pick up Monday afternoon. There wasn’t much rain, even at the height of the storm, but the winds were very strong. Our house, which is only 4 years old, shuddered a couple of times in the highest gusts. We didn’t sustain any physical damage to the house, but a couple of small trees tilted over but didn’t uproot or break. Some sections of vinyl fencing in our neighborhood blew out and shattered from the force of the wind.

Sections of our neighborhood started to lose power around 6 PM not long after the hurricane made landfall. Street lights were out and the power to houses across the street were out. From our upstairs windows, we watched the sky glow blue and pink in all directions as transformers blew. Every minute or so another one would blow.

Finally, around 8:30 PM, we watched a transformer light the sky up for about 30 seconds. When it finally darkened, we and the rest of our neighborhood were out of power.

I had filled our spare refrigerator in our garage with cases of water and the spare freezer with bags of ice. I also took every empty plastic jug and bottle out of our recycling bins and filled them 3/4 of the way with water and froze them in our main/spare freezers. Every inch of freezer space that wasn’t packed with food was packed with an ice bottle.

I knew our refrigerator wouldn’t keep food cold long, so we immediately transferred our most critical food (milk for the kids, etc.) into ice filled coolers. The main freezer with most of our frozen food and frozen water bottles was never opened. It stayed perfectly cold until the power came back on, and most of the ice bottles had barely started to thaw. The food in our ice-filled coolers also was fine. We did sacrifice non-critical food that we didn’t have space for in the coolers to the garbage bin.

We lit the house with long-lasting led lanterns that definitely did the trick. We hunkered around an old battery power radio to keep up with storm news, and gave our two-year old son a spare lantern to play with, which kept him happy. With no power and little news expected until morning, we turned in early (for us) at around 10 PM.

Our furnace was out and we don’t have a fireplace, so the temperature dropped to the low 60s in our house overnight. It was a little chilly, but we were comfortable enough. We were definitely lucky it wasn’t colder outside.

By the morning the storm had passed and a family that we are very close friends with down the street had their generator running. We and several of our friends congregated there for the day. They had enough power for their refrigerator, several lights, a tv and cable box, and a power strip for charging phones.

Although the power was out, the cable stayed on until around noon so we were able to see the first images of storm damage. After the cable went out, most of us switched to our web-enabled smartphones and social media to stay informed and reach out to friends.

We grilled outside for lunch and dinner, with everyone pitching in food that would go bad if unused. Everyone with spare gas stored was prepared to pitch in whatever they had until the power came back on to keep the generator running. We brought over 10 gallons that wasn’t needed.

Cell phone service was spotty. People who were subscribers of one the two major cell providers in our area had no problem making/receiving calls and surfing the web. Subscribers of the other major service had a signal, but couldn’t make calls and their data service only worked intermittently.

The day after the storm, most traffic lights remained out. All gas stations and most stores were closed. One home improvement store opened under emergency power. They only let a limited number of people into the front part of the store where they had set up displays with their remaining emergency supplies (flashlights, batteries, power cords, and a new supply of gas cans). They surprisingly even accepted credit cards. Some other stores we checked out only accepted cash if they were open at all.

24 hours after the power went out, it came back on for most of our neighborhood. We’re definitely lucky since of the 2/3 of our state that was without power, only about 15-20% of homes had been restored when we were reconnected.

It was an interesting experience for a day, but something that none of us would have been happy to have continue. We all realized, individually and as a group, what things we were missing that could have made us more comfortable.

Although we were lucky that our part of the state suffered little more than downed trees and power lines, New Jersey is very small so we all have friends in the hardest hit parts of the Jersey Shore and we are very familiar with the popular vacation spots that have been destroyed.

I’ve been in contact with friends who live just blocks from the beach who have raised homes and still have standing water lapping at their front doors. A few other friends live in beach neighborhoods that have essentially become islands with bridges, highways and other access roads out of service and surrounded by water. Others left some of the very hardest hit communities before the storm hit and don’t know if their homes are still standing.

Some neighborhoods devastated by storm surge and flooding are now burning. Along some of the barrier islands, emergency services from the mainland are cut off and fires will likely be left to burn themselves out. Some entire towns are expected to burn.

There are a lot of people who have lost everything and many who are still in harm’s way. Keep them in your prayers. Thanks, – Brad S.

 

James,
I have family from Pennsylvania to Maine.  I tried to encourage my family and cousins who I knew would be affected by Sandy to visit me in the mountains of New England, but they were all so sure that they could survive the storm.

Only one family had a generator.  It wasn’t wired into the house, so plenty of extension cords are in use there.  The others had nothing at all setup.  So I briefed them on filling the tub, freezing extra containers for ice, etc.  And all were briefed on staying put during and after the storm.

Of course, some don’t listen so well.  While all survived in some fashion, here is the latest and worse from my cousin on Long Island:

“Pumping out water all day.
We had absolutely not a drop of [drinking] water. Storm surge at 830 p.m. and we were seeing it force its way in at the rate of a foot a minute!! I have never witnessed anything like that in my life!
Scary stuff!!!

We tried to hold it back just no way hydraulic pressure was just too much.
Total 10 feet of water. We jumped ship when it got to 6 feet. Then couldn’t get to [deleted for OPSEC]’s house… Every path home and on every road trees were down, we didn’t plan for that. We slept at a friend’s aunt’s house. She welcomed us (dog and all) with open arms and we are total strangers. The walls all cracked assuming will be a total loss.

We are going to call it quits soon will be back at it again tomorrow. No [phone] service so can’t call our insurance company. Friends are coming from all over to help. No big deal–It is just a material asset. Insurance hopefully covers hurricanes. We are fortunate, as it could’ve been much worse.”

He was right.  They were fortunate.  They could have drowned leaving during the night.  They could have been injured trying to leave that location to their ‘safe’ house.

I suspect that the next time they will evacuate in a timely fashion.  I doubt that they will ever disparage a prepared mindset again.

We can’t save folks from themselves.

I will head into New York and New Jersey when possible to reach them with support.  I expect to have to wait until after this coming Tuesday.

Thank you for your SurvivalBlog site! Regards, – Mike A.

 

Good Morning to You!
Our area of the East coast was spared the worst brunt of the storm.  Massive snowfalls to our west, and massive flooding to the east.  We were very fortunate.

We live on top of a hill, and by Monday morning, we had water filling our basement.  I went outside with middle son, and we found a deep hole filled with water next to the foundation of our house.  We dug a ditch from the edge of the hole far, far away from the edge of the hole and down the hill well past the fall line.  I would estimate we dug at least 30 feet of mud.  While I dug, my son took the shovels of dirt that I pulled out of the ground and put it back into the hole by the foundation.  Once we were finished, we moved the drainage pipe from the gutters so that it, too, fed into the ditch we had dug away from the house.  10 more inches of rain fell over the next 24 hours, but no more of it ran into our basement.

I understand now what you mean when you say you need to be physically fit!  I’m a 40 something mother of three, and my 17 year old son and I put in a good two hours worth of physical work in the driving rain, diverting water away from the house.  Maybe insurance would have covered the damage if we hadn’t done the work, but I prefer the effort of digging a ditch in the rain to the effort of clearing a basement of water and carpets and furniture.  Best two hours worth of work I’ve ever done, and our house is still in one piece!

Besides the obvious water and wind damage around here, there is one thing that stuck out more and more:  The number of people killed by falling trees.  Tall trees close to the house really do need to be trimmed back so that damage is lessened if a tree or limb falls on a house.  One gentleman told the story of how he and his father had a conversation on Saturday about how they needed to trim or cut down the tree next to the house.  Then on Monday, his father was killed instantly when the tree fell on the house during high winds.

Peace to you all. – B.L.W.

 

James,
The report from Delaware. With the exception of flood prone and some beach front areas we dodged the bullet.

It was an excellent exercise for our small family. The preparation for with this sort of an event turns on do you stay or leave. Different priorities for equipment supplies and staging following from each of those two choices. However what this storm brought home to us (since we have a shelter in place default ) is that within the shelter in place paradigm is,”suppose that tree falls on your house and you must leave in a hurry anyway’ sub-plan. Since for us in our location Sandy was forecast to be a wind event, this latter sub-plan rose up from the back burner rather forcefully.

Now, we had to pull out and check the go bags (not seen since last year’s windy scare) marshal water, food rations, range bags (did I restock those mags after the last week) , document case, comms and other take-with items by the door while preparing to deal with prolonged electrical outage (potentially weeks) therefore check generator, water reserves, fuel, etc etc..

I found that while our shelter in place preps and SOP were fairly well in hand, the “Yikes, we got-a-go now” end was pretty confused. Part of the reason for this is that we really need to have more duplicate gear stashed in the “Go now” configuration, and it was clear from this go round that we ain’t there yet. I also know as I write this that I have all sorts of essential items stowed carefully labeled clearly that I will want to toss in the vehicle, but it will take me days to think through the inventory. Not something to be doing as water is cascading through a rent in the building.

So I tell you to tell me, “build the list now while it is still fresh.”

One side note: We were “powerless” for only 8 hours, but as a result I am looking to replace my noisy old Generac (such a headache! The thing just roars. I must be getting old) with newer quieter Yamaha or Honda digital. While researching I found this very useful worksheet for calculating loads on the Yamaha web site.

Blessings… Pray for the folks in New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey…. They have a long way to come back. – Dollardog

 

JWR:
As per your request for info out of the New York City area: Having grown up in Florida, I kind of knew what to expect. Needless to say, I was well provisioned and my powder, so to speak, was high and dry and at the ready well in advance of Sandy’s final approach…

My wife and I rode out the storm in our “Brooklyn Bunker,” a fourth-floor apartment in a solid pre-war building. We spent a long night watching for the flashes of transformers exploding in the wind, and darkness encroaching as lights went out in the homes all around us. Luckily, the lights managed to stay on in our neighborhood, and we didn’t lose power once. After the storm passed, we emerged to discover no major damage, some trees down on cars and roofs, limited cell phone service, but that’s about it…

The same can’t be said for lower Manhattan and parts of Staten Island, though. The six-foot security fence around some rental property I own there came down, right into my truck. A violent storm surge turned most of the coastal communities on the island into what looks like a war zone, with the National Guard deployed to keep order. No working street lights, no stores open, no gas. People are attempting to drive into northern New Jersey to find gas stations that have power, with little luck. Con Edison now says power will be out to 60% of the island for more than a week. My tenants are in the dark with no heat…

Looking across the East River into Lower Manhattan at night, I am reminded of my time as a journalist in New Orleans during Katrina, where I witnessed another entire American city abandoned, darkened, and brought to its knees by Mother Nature (combined with a healthy dose of human stupidity). The entire subway system here is paralyzed, and along with it commerce, and most of the city’s inhabitants. There are already some rumblings on blogs and other social media platforms about the “lack of government response,” like this one here, but for the most part, people have remained unusually calm and accommodating to each other, at least for New Yorkers.

As with Katrina, Sandy reminded me of just how fragile the veneer of civilization that most most city-dwellers often take for granted truly is. During the final 24 hours leading up to Sandy’s arrival, lines at every major grocery store in Brooklyn and Manhattan were several blocks long, with hours-long wait times just to enter the stores and clerks taking small groups of people in to shop, just a few at a time.

Given the mentality of the average city-dweller, the run on grocery stores was to be expected. Perhaps more importantly for the SurvivalBlog readership at large, what’s transpired here over the past 48 hours is nothing short of an amazing exercise in the efficacy of state control circa 2012 (much better execution than what I witnessed during Katrina). I am at once somewhat pleasantly surprised yet shockingly dismayed by just how quickly the authorities were able to shut down and subdue the country’s biggest metropolis. Within a few hours, they were able to – successfully – deploy several thousand National Guard troops, shut down the country’s biggest subway system, 15 major bridges and tunnels, three major airports, and cut power to eight square miles of a world-class city…all with nary a whimper nor major objection from the populace.

New Yorkers in three major boroughs were – and in the case of Lower Manhattan, still are – effectively cut off from the outside world. Moving forward, most SurvivalBlog readers like myself who either choose or are forced to reside in cities should perhaps (re)consider their long term plans and preparations given the recent tactics on display here in NYC.

Thanks and best, – KTC in NYC

 

Dear Jim:
Sheeple no more here. Sandy came and went. Our area is Bucks County about an hour north of Philadelphia. We border the Delaware River. Power here went out early and and only came on today.

I think we weathered it well. I was one of the last minute “run to the store” folks. Bought a gallon of milk. Everything else was in place. As soon as the power went out, I fired up our generator and hunkered down for the 70 MPH winds.

We did lose a couple of shingles and some aluminum trim on the house. Those unprepared suffered flooded basements, many areas will not have power for a week or more. Lots of trees down, snapped telephone poles, sink holes in the road. The emergency services were running 24 hours for two days. Constant sirens all over the place.

Where did I come up short? I never got around to getting my ham radio license or programming my Baofeng UV-5R. It would have come in handy to keep in touch with the others in my group. I have some Uniden walkies and they proved worthless.

At the end of the storm my wife she thanked me for being prepared. Up until this happened she kind of went alone with my “hobby”. Always a little smile on her face. It’s different now.

What I need to do:

  • Get my ham license.
  • Run a dedicated electrical line to the crucial items in the house. Pumps, freezer, frig, security lights.
  • Replace my burned out chainsaw.
  • Read “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” for the 12th time and update my (your) lists of lists.

Take care and God Bless, – M.

Syrian Rebellion Faltering Before Planned Pep Rally In Qatar

Syria oppn slams US for undermining it

  • From:AAP 
Syrian rebel fighters

Syrian rebels have killed 28 soldiers during attacks on army checkpoints in Idlib province. Source: AAP

 

SYRIA’S main opposition group in exile has accused Washington of undermining the country’s revolution by seeking to overhaul how regime opponents are organised.

Two days ahead of key opposition talks in Qatar, the Syrian National Council (SNC) has lashed out at US criticism of the group for not being fully representative of Syria’s diverse dissident groups.

“Any discussions aimed at passing over the Syrian National Council or at creating new bodies to replace it are an attempt to undermine the Syrian revolution by sowing the seeds of division,” the SNC said in a statement on Friday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced frustration with the SNC this week, calling for a new more expansive opposition that would include more activists from inside Syria.

“There has to be a representation of those who are on the front line fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom,” Clinton said during a tour of the Balkans, insisting the SNC “can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition”.

Talk of an overhaul “is a sign of a lack of seriousness of the forces meant to support the Syrian people who are facing the murderous regime” of President Bashar al-Assad, the SNC said.

Reacting to accusations it is not inclusive, the group said it had grown from 280 to 420 members, that a third of its members are on-the-ground activists and that 15 per cent of its members are women.

The SNC said on Thursday it had received $US40.4 million ($A39.01 million) in international aid since it was set up a year ago, half of which came from Libya and the rest mainly from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Washington has accused the SNC of failing to unite the resistance to Assad’s regime beyond a small group of Syrian exiles, some of whom Clinton said have not set foot in their homeland “for 20, 30 or 40 years”.

Clinton also warned of radical Islamists trying to “hijack” the revolution, prompting SNC chief Abdel Basset Sayda to blame the international community’s failure to act for the rise in extremist sentiment.