Daily Archive: 07/03/2013

Jul 03 2013

Egypt: Military Deadline Has Passed: Up Date: Morsi Removed

Up Date: 15:15 EDT: Al Jazeera is reporting that Pres. Morsi has been removed from office by the military. An interim government with the head of constitutional court to be interim leader until new elections and constitution written.  

The deadline issued by the Egyptian military for a resolution to the current uprising has passed and President Mohammed Morsi refused to step down offering a consensus coalition government to oversee next election as a way out of crisis. The General command of the is meeting with leaders of a number of religious, national, political and youth groups. The military has also issued a travel ban on Pres. Morsi and leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Pres. Morsi’s national security adviser Essam El-Haddad said in a statement that a military coup was underway and to expect considerable bloodshed.

Military chiefs, vowing to restore order in a country racked by protests over Mursi’s Islamist policies, earlier issued a call to battle in a statement headlined “The Final Hours”. They said they were willing to shed blood against “terrorists and fools” after Mursi refused to give up his elected office. [..]

There was no immediate sign of military action to remove the president. However, security sources told Reuters that the authorities had imposed an international travel ban on Mursi and at least 40 leading members of the Brotherhood in a list sent to airport police.

In a somewhat ironic statement, the Syrian government called for Morsi to recognize that the Egyptian people do no want him and he should step down:

Relishing the possible downfall of one of Assad’s most vocal critics, Syrian television carried live coverage of the huge street demonstrations in Egypt demanding Mursi’s departure.

“(Egypt’s) crisis can be overcome if Mohamed Mursi realizes that the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people reject him and are calling on him to go,” Information Minister Omran Zoabi was quoted as saying by the state news agency SANA.

He also called on Egyptians to stand against the “terrorism and threats” of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

The Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most powerful factions behind the mostly Sunni Muslim uprising against Assad, who belongs to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, and is being helped by Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah militia.

Democracy Now! correspondent, Sharif Abdel Kouddous reported from Cairo on the showdown:

“The more important struggle is the one that is coming from the ground up – and that is a rejection of authoritarianism and a paternalistic form of government,” Kouddous says. “We saw a rejection of Hosni Mubarak that threw him out of office, a rejection of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruling Egypt, and now a rejection and a revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood. [The people] are revolting against these authoritarian elements that deny them political and economic agency.”



Transcript can be read here

Also, Egyptian writer and activist Ahdaf Soueif spoke from Tahrir Square telling Amy Goodman that the refusal by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to run an inclusive government has sparked the massive uprising now seen in the streets.



Transcript can be read here

 

Jul 03 2013

Icebergs and Unsinkability

James Clapper, EU play-acting, and political priorities

Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

Wednesday 3 July 2013 09.34 EDT

Defending the Obama administration, Paul Krugman pronounced that “the NSA stuff is a policy dispute, not the kind of scandal the right wing wants.” Really? In what conceivable sense is this not a serious scandal? If you, as an American citizen, let alone a journalist, don’t find it deeply objectionable when top national security officials systematically mislead your representatives in Congress about how the government is spying on you, and repeatedly lie publicly about resulting political controversies over that spying, what is objectionable? If having the NSA engage in secret, indiscriminate domestic spying that warps if not outright violates legal limits isn’t a “scandal”, then what is?

For many media and political elites, the answer to that question seems clear: what’s truly objectionable to them is when powerless individuals blow the whistle on deceitful national security state officials. Hence the endless fixation on Edward Snowden’s tone and choice of asylum providers, the flamboyant denunciations of this “29-year-old hacker” for the crime of exposing what our government leaders are doing in the dark, and all sorts of mockery over the drama that resulted from the due-process-free revocation of his passport. This is what our media stars and progressive columnists, pundits and bloggers are obsessing over in the hope of distracting attention away from the surveillance misconduct of top-level Obama officials and their serial deceit about it.

What kind of journalist – or citizen – would focus more on Edward Snowden’s tonal oddities and travel drama than on the fact that top US officials have been deceitfully concealing a massive, worldwide spying apparatus being constructed with virtually no accountability or oversight? Just ponder what it says about someone who cares more about, and is angrier about, Edward Snowden’s exposure of these facts than they are about James Clapper’s falsehoods and the NSA’s excesses.

What we see here, yet again, is this authoritarian strain in US political life that the most powerful political officials cannot commit crimes or engage in serious wrongdoing. The only political crimes come from exposing and aggressively challenging those officials.

Clapper under pressure despite apology for ‘erroneous’ statements to Congress

Dan Roberts in Washington and Spencer Ackerman in New York, The Guardian

Monday 1 July 2013 16.16 EDT

The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has attempted to head off criticism that he lied to Congress over the extent of government surveillance on American citizens, with a letter to senators in which he apologised for giving “erroneous” information.

Two weeks after telling NBC news that he gave the “least untruthful answer possible” at a hearing in March, Clapper wrote to the Senate intelligence committee to correct his response to a question about whether the National Security Agency “collected data on millions of Americans”.

But the US senator who asked the question, Ron Wyden, said on Monday that Clapper’s office had admitted in private that his answer was wrong, after the March hearing. Yet the intelligence chief only corrected the record on 21 June, when disclosures by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden prompted weeks of intense public pressure.

Clapper: I gave ‘erroneous’ answer because I forgot about Patriot Act

Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

Tuesday 2 July 2013 15.59 EDT

In the full letter, Clapper attempted to explain the false testimony by saying that his recollection failed him. “I simply didn’t think of Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” he wrote to committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California) on 21 June, referring to the legal provision cited to justify the mass collection of Americans’ phone data, first disclosed by the Guardian.



In his newly released letter, Clapper told Feinstein that his remarks were “clearly erroneous,” and he issued them because he was thinking instead of a different aspect of surveillance, the internet content collection of persons NSA believes to be foreigners outside of the United States.

“I apologize,” Clapper wrote. “While my staff acknowledged the error to Senator Wyden’s staff soon after the hearing, I can now openly correct it because the existence of the metadata program has been declassified.”

In statements for the past month, Wyden and his staff have said they told Clapper before the fateful hearing that he would face the question, and contacted his staff afterward to correct the record.

“The ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] acknowledged that the statement was inaccurate but refused to correct the public record when given the opportunity. Senator Wyden’s staff informed the ODNI that this was a serious concern,” Wyden spokesman Tom Caiazza said on Monday.

Clapper’s letter does not acknowledge that he had earlier told Andrea Mitchell of NBC News that he provided Wyden with the “least most untruthful” answer he could publicly offer, likening the question “in retrospect” to a “stop beating your wife kind of question.”

NSA officials ‘not always accurate’ in public statements over surveillance

Spencer Ackerman in Washington, The Guardian

Tuesday 2 July 2013 18.50 EDT

Two US senators on the panel overseeing the National Security Agency said intelligence officials were “unable” to demonstrate the value of a secret surveillance program that collected and analyzed the internet habits of Americans.



“We were very concerned about this program’s impact on Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights, and we spent a significant portion of 2011 pressing intelligence officials to provide evidence of its effectiveness,” Wyden and Udall said in a statement late Tuesday, the first senators to acknowledge the internet metadata collection. “They were unable to do so, and the program was shut down that year.”

Shawn Turner, the chief spokesman for director of national intelligence James Clapper, who is currently under congressional fire over the truthfulness of his testimony on the surveillance efforts, told the Guardian last week that the Obama administration unilaterally ended the program for “operational and resource reasons”.



“In our judgment it is also important to note that intelligence agencies made statements to both Congress and the [Fisa] Court that significantly exaggerated this program’s effectiveness,” Wyden and Udall said. They did not elaborate.

“This experience demonstrates to us that intelligence agencies’ assessments of the usefulness of particular collection programs – even significant ones – are not always accurate. This experience has also led us to be skeptical of claims about the value of the bulk phone records collection program in particular.”

Barack Obama seeks to limit EU fallout over US spying claims

Ian Traynor in Brussels and Dan Roberts in Washington, The Guardian

Monday 1 July 2013

Barack Obama has sought to limit the damage from the growing transatlantic espionage row after Germany and France denounced the major snooping activities of US agencies and warned of a possible delay in the launch next week of ambitious free-trade talks between Europe and the US.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, François Hollande, demanded quick explanations from Washington about disclosures by the Guardian and Der Spiegel that US agencies bugged European embassies and offices. Berlin stressed there had to be mutual trust if trade talks were to go ahead in Washington on Monday.

Hollande went further, indicating the talks could be called off unless the alleged spying was stopped immediately and US guarantees were provided.



As Washington desperately sought to contain the diplomatic fallout from the bugging controversy, Obama acknowledged the damage done by the revelations and said the NSA would evaluate the claims and inform allies about the allegations.

After the Guardian’s disclosure that US agencies were secretly bugging the French embassy in Washington and France’s office at the UN in New York, Hollande called for an immediate halt to the alleged spying.

“We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies,” he said. “We ask that this stop immediately … There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union … We know well that there are systems that have to be checked, especially to fight terrorism, but I don’t think that it is in our embassies or in the European Union that this threat exists.”

Merkel delivered her severest warning yet on the NSA debacle. “We are no longer in the cold war,” her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said. “If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable.”



“This is a topic that could affect relations between Europe and the US,” said the French trade minister, Nicole Bricq. “We must absolutely re-establish confidence … it will be difficult to conduct these extremely important negotiations.”

“Washington is shooting itself in the foot,” said Germany’s conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

“Declaring the EU offices to be a legitimate attack target is more than the unfriendly act of a machine that knows no bounds and may be out of the control of politics and the courts.”



Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, likened the NSA to the Soviet-era KGB and indirectly suggested a delay in the talks. Greens in the European parliament, as well as in France and Germany, called for the conference to be postponed pending an investigation of the allegations. They also called for the freezing of other data-sharing deals between the EU and the US, on air transport passengers and banking transactions, for example, and called for the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, to be granted political asylum in Europe. French Greens asked Hollande to grant Snowden asylum in France.

Schulz said: “I feel treated as a European and a representative of a European institution like the representative of the enemy. Is this the basis for a constructive relationship on the basis of mutual trust? I think no.”

NSA revelations: why so many are keen to play down the debate

Nick Hopkins, The Guardian

Tuesday 2 July 2013 12.51 EDT

This week there have been more revelations about the way the US spied on the EU, which followed the Guardian’s disclosures about how the British snooped on diplomats from Turkey and South Africa, among others, at the G20 summit in London four years ago. This has caused genuine fury among those targeted, particularly the Germans and the French. But their anger has been met with shoulder-shrugging indignation from former British diplomats and security experts, who say this sort of thing happens all the time.

They would hardly say anything different. In all likelihood, they have either authorised or benefited from such covert intelligence gathering, so the lack of biting analysis was entirely predictable. For those in the media unsure how to deal with Snowden, and rather hoping the complex saga would go away, this was another easy escape route: “No story here, let’s move on.”

But there is a story. It gets lost, all too conveniently, in the diplomatic rows and the character-assassinations, but ultimately it is the legacy of the Snowden files. The documents have shown that intelligence agencies in the UK and the US are harvesting vast amounts of information about millions of people. This is fact, not fantasy. They are doing this right now, on a scale that could not have been envisaged five years ago, let alone when the laws covering the collection and retention of data were drafted. They are also sharing this treasure trove of intelligence with each other, and other close allies.



Those who wail about the leaks affecting national security might consider the words of Bruce Schneier, a security specialist, who wrote in the New York Times: “The argument that exposing these documents helps the terrorists doesn’t even pass the laugh test; there’s nothing here that changes anything any potential terrorist would do or not do.”

Jul 03 2013

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Wednesday is Ladies’ Day.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Katrina vanden Heuvel: The US Should End the Cuban Embargo

Is there a greater example of utter folly than America’s superannuated policy toward Cuba? During more than 50 years corrupted by covert actions, economic sabotage, travel bans and unending embargo, the United States managed to make Castro and Cuba an international symbol of proud independence. Intent on isolating Cuba, Washington has succeeded only in isolating itself in its own hemisphere. Intent on displacing Fidel Castro, the US enmity only added to his nationalist credentials.

A recent visit reveals a Cuba that is already beginning a new, post-Castro era. That only highlights the inanity of the continuing U.S. embargo, a cruel relic of a Cold War era that is long gone.

Cuba is beginning a new experiment, driven by necessity, of trying to build its own version of market socialism in one country. Just as populist movements in the hemisphere looked to Castro and Cuba for inspiration, now Cuba is learning from its allies as it cautiously seeks to open up its economy.

Mairead Maguire: Bradley Manning Should Win the Nobel Peace Prize

As a peace prize winner myself, I am nominating Manning for this honor for his work to help end the Iraq War and other conflicts

Peace is more than simply the absence of war; it is the active creation of something better. Alfred Nobel recognized this when he created alongside those for chemistry, literature, medicine and physics, an annual prize for outstanding contributions in peace. Nobel’s foresight is a reminder to us all that peace must be created, maintained, and advanced, and it is indeed possible for one individual to have an extraordinary impact. For this year’s prize, I have chosen to nominate US Army Pfc Bradley Manning, for I can think of no one more deserving. His incredible disclosure of secret documents to Wikileaks helped end the Iraq War, and may have helped prevent further conflicts elsewhere.

Caroline Arnold: Putting Liberty at Risk in the Name of Order and National Security

In 1792, James Madison published a little dialogue between a “Republican” and an “Anti-republican” entitled “Who Are the Best Keepers of the People’s Liberties?” defending the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

In this playlet, the “Republican”-clearly Madison himself-is a proponent of Liberty. His answer is unequivocal: “The people themselves. The sacred trust can be no where so safe as in the hands most interested in preserving it.

The “Anti-republican” opponent, an advocate of Order, replies: “The people are stupid, suspicious, licentious. They cannot safely trust themselves. When they have established government they should think of nothing but obedience, leaving the care of their liberties to their wiser rulers. [..]

In the past twenty years we have seen “message control in our media displace dissenting views on war, terrorism, foreign policy, the environment, education and drugs. We have seen privatization and deregulation empower multinational corporations selling oil, weapons, drugs and natural resources. We have seen the prophets of Order decree that national security demands the suspension of rights of due process.

Bryce Covert: How America Makes Having a Baby a Nearly Impossible Expense

Americans pay far more for maternity care and delivery than our peers in the developed world, as described in a lengthy article The New York Times published yesterday. But while the stories of the women in the piece end with delivered babies and enormous bills, the costs of having a child in this country continue after the hospital. All along the way, this country has made the cost of having children nearly prohibitive.

The costs of pregnancy have spiraled out of control in the United States. Charges for delivery have nearly tripled since 1996. Out-of-pocket costs have risen fourfold. The total price tag for a pregnancy and newborn care with a vaginal delivery is about $30,000, while it comes to $50,000 for a C-section. Women with insurance pay an average of $3,400 out of pocket, a large sum as it is. Yet over 60 percent of women with private plans that aren’t through their employers lack maternity coverage. Not to mention that nearly one in five women between the ages of 18 and 64 are uninsured. As one woman paying for private insurance told the Times, “I know that a C-section could ruin us financially.”

Medea Benjamin: How You [and President Obama] Can Close Guantanamo Prison

Yesterday, July 1, marked the first day in office for Clifford Sloan, newly appointed Guantanamo closure envoy. Shortly after his May address on counterterrorism, President Obama appointed Sloan to the Office of Guantanamo Closure in the State Department, a position that had been vacant since January. The appointment and reopening of the office is the only concrete step the President has taken concerning Guantanamo since his May speech. With over 100 of the 166 remaining prisoners on a hunger strike and over 40 being brutally force-fed, great hopes are being placed on Mr. Sloan to break the impasse.

A key first step in closing Guantanamo is releasing the 86 prisoners who have already been cleared for release. This is something the President can do by invoking the waiver system that Congress put in place. The Secretary of Defense must determine that risk of the detainees returning to militant groups is low and that the transfer is in the interest of national security, then notify Congress of the release 30 days in advance. So far, the Obama administration has never exercised this authority.

Cecile Richards: Dispatch from Austin

The Texas Legislature is back at the Capitol today, trying to pass a bill that would wipe out access to safe and legal abortion for millions of women in the state. [..]

Governor Perry and his allies couldn’t pass these dangerous restrictions during the regular session. And even after they bent every rule, silenced the very constituents whose lives would be affected by the bill, and voted in the middle of the night when they hoped no one was watching — they couldn’t do it on take two. The entire country saw how that ended: with Texas Senator Wendy Davis on her feet, hundreds of thousands of people on the edge of their seats, and the rest of us cheering like crazy in the Capitol rotunda.

So Governor Perry decided that if at first you don’t succeed — and if on the second try, you still don’t succeed — just cross your fingers and hope no one will notice that you’re going for a hat trick.

Unfortunately for Governor Perry — we noticed.

Jul 03 2013

On This Day In History July 3

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 181 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1863, Battle of Gettysburg ends

On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

Third day of battle

General Lee wished to renew the attack on Friday, July 3, using the same basic plan as the previous day: Longstreet would attack the Federal left, while Ewell attacked Culp’s Hill. However, before Longstreet was ready, Union XII Corps troops started a dawn artillery bombardment against the Confederates on Culp’s Hill in an effort to regain a portion of their lost works. The Confederates attacked, and the second fight for Culp’s Hill ended around 11 a.m., after some seven hours of bitter combat.

Lee was forced to change his plans. Longstreet would command Pickett’s Virginia division of his own First Corps, plus six brigades from Hill’s Corps, in an attack on the Federal II Corps position at the right center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. Prior to the attack, all the artillery the Confederacy could bring to bear on the Federal positions would bombard and weaken the enemy’s line.

Around 1 p.m., from 150 to 170 Confederate guns began an artillery bombardment that was probably the largest of the war. In order to save valuable ammunition for the infantry attack that they knew would follow, the Army of the Potomac’s artillery, under the command of Brig. Gen. Henry Jackson Hunt, at first did not return the enemy’s fire. After waiting about 15 minutes, about 80 Federal cannons added to the din. The Army of Northern Virginia was critically low on artillery ammunition, and the cannonade did not significantly affect the Union position. Around 3 p.m., the cannon fire subsided, and 12,500 Southern soldiers stepped from the ridgeline and advanced the three-quarters of a mile (1,200 m) to Cemetery Ridge in what is known to history as “Pickett’s Charge”. As the Confederates approached, there was fierce flanking artillery fire from Union positions on Cemetery Hill and north of Little Round Top, and musket and canister fire from Hancock’s II Corps. In the Union center, the commander of artillery had held fire during the Confederate bombardment, leading Southern commanders to believe the Northern cannon batteries had been knocked out. However, they opened fire on the Confederate infantry during their approach with devastating results. Nearly one half of the attackers did not return to their own lines. Although the Federal line wavered and broke temporarily at a jog called the “Angle” in a low stone fence, just north of a patch of vegetation called the Copse of Trees, reinforcements rushed into the breach, and the Confederate attack was repulsed. The farthest advance of Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead’s brigade of Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s division at the Angle is referred to as the “High-water mark of the Confederacy”, arguably representing the closest the South ever came to its goal of achieving independence from the Union via military victory.

There were two significant cavalry engagements on July 3. Stuart was sent to guard the Confederate left flank and was to be prepared to exploit any success the infantry might achieve on Cemetery Hill by flanking the Federal right and hitting their trains and lines of communications. Three miles (5 km) east of Gettysburg, in what is now called “East Cavalry Field” (not shown on the accompanying map, but between the York and Hanover Roads), Stuart’s forces collided with Federal cavalry: Brig. Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg’s division and Brig. Gen. Custer’s brigade. A lengthy mounted battle, including hand-to-hand sabre combat, ensued. Custer’s charge, leading the 1st Michigan Cavalry, blunted the attack by Wade Hampton’s brigade, blocking Stuart from achieving his objectives in the Federal rear. Meanwhile, after hearing news of the day’s victory, Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick launched a cavalry attack against the infantry positions of Longstreet’s Corps southwest of Big Round Top. Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth protested against the futility of such a move but obeyed orders. Farnsworth was killed in the attack, and his brigade suffered significant losses.

Jul 03 2013

Al Jazeera: Empire of Secrets

The technology and information revolution allows the government to cast its net wider than ever before; collecting data, watching, spying and analysing. As revelations of systemic snooping continue to hit the headlines, Empire asks: who is watching the watchers?



With more than 1,300 government surveillance and monitoring facilities in the United States, Empire looks to understand why so many government programmes are top secret. Why is secrecy and surveillance becoming such big business? And, is a national security state anything new?

We discuss whether state secrets really work, the rationale behind them, and examine what the world might be like without secrets.

As Empire explores the ultimate secret of secrets, the implicit conclusion that emerges is that secrecy in government is counterproductive. It is not only terribly damaging to the democratic process, but also, in the long-run, to the very objective of national security.



Who is watching the watchers is not simply questioning whether governments should surveil citizens, but also wonders when government secret-keeping crosses the line from democracy to dictatorship.

Jul 03 2013

Le Tour 2013: Stage 4

One of my favorite parts of Le Tour is the Team Time Trials because of the beautiful co-ordination of the riders.  Heck, if I had my way the race would be nothing but (except for mountain stages).  Alas U.S. Postal and Radio Shack domination of this event have led race organizers to de-emphasise it to the point where it is but a single stage.

Of the 22 teams competing this year, 16 were within a minute of the best time, so it’s a lot more competitive than it used to be nor did it bounce around the General Classification very much with 3 Orica team mates tied for first and race favorite Froome a mere 3 seconds behind in a 3 way tie for 6th place.

Tomorrow’s course from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille isn’t pancake flat (classed Medium Mountain) with 3 Category 4s and a Category 3, but most riders should find it of little difficulty except for those injured in the disasterous crash at the end of Stage 1 some of whom are expected to withdraw now that the Team Time Trial is over (they’ve basically been hanging on to support the team).  There will be one Sprint Checkpoint in addition to the finish.

After 4 Stages there are 39 riders within 30 seconds of the lead-

Rank Name Team Time
1 GERRANS Simon ORICA GREENEDGE 12h 47′ 24”
2 IMPEY Daryl ORICA GREENEDGE + 00′ 00”
3 ALBASINI Michael ORICA GREENEDGE + 00′ 00”
4 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00′ 01”
5 CHAVANEL Sylvain OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00′ 01”
6 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
7 FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
8 PORTE Richie SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
9 ROCHE Nicolas TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
10 KREUZIGER Roman TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
11 ROGERS Michael TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
12 CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
13 MILLAR David GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
14 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL + 00′ 17”
15 HANSEN Adam LOTTO-BELISOL + 00′ 17”
16 HESJEDAL Ryder GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
17 VANDE VELDE Christian GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
18 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
19 MARTIN Daniel GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
20 DANIELSON Thomas GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
21 VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
22 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
23 AMADOR Andrey MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
24 COSTA Rui Alberto MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
25 CUNEGO Damiano LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
26 NIEMIEC Przemyslaw LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
27 SERPA José LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
28 EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
29 GILBERT Philippe BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
30 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
31 MOINARD Amaël BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
32 BAKELANTS Jan RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 28”
33 VORGANOV Eduard KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”
34 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”
35 MORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”
36 MONFORT Maxime RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”
37 ZUBELDIA Haimar RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”
38 SCHLECK Andy RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”
39 KLÖDEN Andreas RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 29”

The sprinters are already starting to sort themselves out with 44 points separating the leader Peter Sagan from the 3 way tie for 10th.

Rank Name Team Points
1 SAGAN Peter CANNONDALE 74
2 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 57
3 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 48
4 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 41
5 BOOM Lars BELKIN PRO CYCLING 40
6 VAN POPPEL Danny VACANSOLEIL-DCM 39
7 ROJAS José Joaquin MOVISTAR TEAM 36
8 GERRANS Simon ORICA GREENEDGE 32
9 FLECHA GIANNONI Juan Antonio VACANSOLEIL-DCM 32
10 BAKELANTS Jan RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 30
11 MILLAR David GARMIN – SHARP 30
12 SIMON Julien SOJASUN 30
13 GREIPEL André LOTTO-BELISOL 30

There are only 3 Mountain Kings worth mentioning, Pierre Rolland, Simon Clarke, and Blel Kadri-

Rank Name Team Points
1 ROLLAND Pierre TEAM EUROPCAR 10
2 CLARKE Simon ORICA GREENEDGE 5
3 KADRI Blel AG2R LA MONDIALE 5

And 4 Young Riders-

Rank Name Team Time
1 KWIATKOWSKI Michal OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 12h 47′ 25”
2 TALANSKY Andrew GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 16”
3 QUINTANA ROJAS Nairo Alexander MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 19”
4 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 25”

19 Teams are within 2 minutes of the lead and 9 are under 30 seconds out-

Rank Team Time
1 ORICA GREENEDGE 37h 30′ 20”
2 SKY PROCYCLING + 00′ 03”
3 TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 00′ 09”
4 GARMIN – SHARP + 00′ 17”
5 MOVISTAR TEAM + 00′ 20”
6 LAMPRE – MERIDA + 00′ 25”
7 BMC RACING TEAM + 00′ 26”
8 RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 00′ 28”
9 KATUSHA TEAM + 00′ 28”

Sites of Interest-

The Stars Hollow Gazette Tags-

Jul 03 2013

Chronic Tonic- Green Pool Blues

Originally published at VOTS

Every Summer here at chez triv we put up a cheap above ground pool for me and my boys. The first year we did it, it was only 30 inches high and 12 foot in diameter. I would sit down and be in it up to my neck. Low rent paradise. As the boys grew, so did the pools, until we maxed out at 4 x 15 and I went from sitting on the bottom of the pool to a swimways lounge. And some years we’ve had problems with the pool taking on a green tinge, we’ve had to shock and clarify the pool, this usually happens late in the season.This year we put the pool up and it was beautiful. The biggest pool our yard could handle and sparkling crystal clear water? You bet. I waddled my keister up that ladder and frolicked with my kids.

Two weeks later and I notice the water is looking more aqua than it should and I mention this to Cleetus. He shocks the pool, but by the next day it is decidedly green. I begin to freak out. I immediately run to the internet and order some magic green-out elixir. He continues the routine we’ve used in the past while we await the elixir’s arrival. The pool continues it’s transformation and is now a brilliant shade of kelly green. When the elixir arrives, Cleetus follows the directions to the letter:  Balance, chlorinate, shock, dispense, wait overnight and sweep. I am confident this stuff will do the job, its customer reviews are awesome.

The next morning I go to look at the internet while I have my morning coffee and I see my loving husband’s facebook status:

“SNAKE OIL”; I have been spending my days (and money) trying to get my outdoor pool to the liking of my wife. No matter what I do, I end up with a hole in my yard that is slightly (or not so slightly) green. I have bought into every bit of smack that says”If I do this,I can get that. It ain’t happening. If any out there are suffering the same fate;please contact the Better Business Bureau, to let them know that there is a chemical fraud goin’ on. C.

Oh, no. I run out back. There it is. The green lagoon. I come back inside and start moaning online to my friends. Help! Help! My pool is green! It is hideous! Naturally, my friends being the great people that they are, they are right there to console and advise me. Now, to be helpful and apprise them of the exact nature of the greenness, I decided to nip back outside and snap a quick picture. As I am doing this, I notice Cleetus is by the pool, brushing away. I snap the picture and turn and head back towards the house only to hear Cleetus yelling at the back of my head, “Why? Why? To use against me?”

Yes.

So, poli advised me what she uses and I ask my Dad to stop at the hardware store on his way home from work and get us some of that, please! By this time we are oh, so green and murky.  If this doesn’t work, he’s going to have to take a sample to the dude at the pool place and ask him for a magic elixir. Once again, we follow the routine, only this time we’re going with the stuff poli uses. The next morning I could swear it looks much lighter. Fingers crossed, I think it’s working. Cleetus will not say a word–doesn’t want to put the malloik on it. Another dose I think will do it. By Sunday we are blue but cloudy, oh please keep clearing up!

Today I am happy to announce that my pool is again clear and clean. The forecast is rain for the entire week~