President Bush’s Cabinet: White House Government (February 2005)
The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. One of the principal purposes of the Cabinet (drawn from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution) is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of their respective offices.
The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments – the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, and the Attorney General. Under President George W. Bush, Cabinet-level rank also has been accorded to the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Director, National Drug Control Policy; and the U.S. Trade Representative.
Department of Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns
Department of the Interior
Secretary Gale Norton
Department of Commerce
Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
Department of Justice
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Department of Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Department of Labor
Secretary Elaine Chao
Department of Education
Secretary Margaret Spellings
Department of State
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Department of Energy
Secretary Samuel W. Bodman
Department of Transportation
Secretary Norman Mineta
Department of Health &
Secretary Michael O. Leavitt
Department of the Treasury
Secretary John Snow
Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Tom Ridge
Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary Jim Nicholson
Department of Housing &
Secretary Alphonso Jackson
Cabinet Rank Members
The Vice President
Richard B. Cheney
President’s Chief of Staff
Andrew H. Card, Jr.
Office of Management and Budget Director
Joshua B. Bolten
United States Trade Representative
Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick
Office of National
Drug Control Policy
Presidents of United States of America (A Journey through History)
Bush, George H.W.
Bush, George W.
Clinton, William J.
Grant, Ulysses S.
Harrison, William Henry
Hayes, Rutherford B.
Kennedy, John F.
Roosevelt, Franklin D.
Taft, William H.
Truman, Harry S
Van Buren, Martin
(This thread was dispatched by me to twelve individuals including firstname.lastname@example.org and many organizations as part of “The Nose of The News” on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 8:50 P
China’s Hidden Game (Excerpts from Military.com website between April-5, 2005)
On April 1, 2001, Chinese J-8 fighters intercepted a U.S. Navy VQ1 squadron surveillance aircraft, the EP-3, in the skies over the South China Sea. A mid-air collision involving one of the J-8s and the EP-3 sent the Chinese jet into the ocean and forced the U.S. plane to make an emergency landing in Chinese territory — the island of Hainan, just off the southern coast of China.
The 24 crew members of the EP-3 were eventually returned to the U.S. after being held on Chinese soil for 11 days, but other issues, including the return of the EP-3 aircraft and whether China is was appropriating its technology, turned out to be stickier.
Revisit this incident through the timeline and news articles below, and check the Media Center links to keep abreast of the latest developments involving the U.S. and China. You’ll also find more background on U.S.-China relations over the years.
China Threat, Round Three
Does China’s People’s Liberation Army have the teeth to chomp down on Taiwan? Responding to a twitchy New York Times story from last week, China-watcher Jeffrey Lewis said no. But Jane’s Defence Weekly thinks the answer may soon be yes.
An emerging consensus among long-time PLA observers, including within the US intelligence community, is that the Chinese military has successfully achieved a far-reaching qualitative advancement in its war-fighting capabilities since the beginning of this decade. The PLA is quickly becoming an increasingly credible threat against Taiwan and could even begin to pose a challenge to US military preponderance in East Asia in the next decade if the momentum is sustained.
The country’s leadership has given strong backing to the PLA’s transformation and force-regeneration efforts, which has translated into a hefty and sustained increase in military spending over the past few years. The officially published defence budget has risen on average by 15 per cent over the past five years from ¥121 billion ($15 billion) in 2001 to ¥220 billion last year…
The Pentagon and US intelligence community estimates that these published figures represent between one-third and one half of actual Chinese military expenditures.
The PLA is engaged in a rapid build up of necessary assets that includes amassing a sizeable short- and medium-range ballistic missile force, cruise missiles and special operations units, and strengthening its strategic surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capabilities. The Taiwanese Defence Ministry in March 2005 reported that the PLA had deployed around 700 ballistic missiles in the vicinity of the Taiwan Strait and was also quickly building an arsenal of at least 200 Hong-Niao cruise missiles within the next year…
To be able to fight high-tech wars, the PLA is shifting its recruitment system from a reliance on poorly educated conscripts, who now serve only two years, to emphasise the development of a professional long-serving cadre of troops…. The PLA will reduce its manpower from 2.5 million to 2.3 million soldiers by the end of this year. This comes on top of a reduction of 500,000 troops in the late 1990s….
[With the troops that are left] “the PLA has shifted focus towards amphibious operations for a significant part of the ground forces”, Dennis Blasko, a former US Army attaché in China, points out. This has included the reorganisation of two motorised infantry divisions in the Nanjing and Guangzhou Military Regions into amphibious infantry divisions and the transfer of another infantry division to the navy to form a second marine brigade in the late 1990s.
Blasko estimates that around a quarter of all PLA manoeuvre units, which number around 20 divisions or brigades, plus supporting artillery and air-defence units, have participated in training exercises for amphibious operations…
[Meanwhile] The PLA Navy (PLAN) is rapidly transforming itself from a coastal force into a bluewater naval power with a force modernisation drive that is unprecedented in the post-Cold War era. “The range and number of warships the Chinese navy is acquiring can be compared to the Soviet Union’s race to become an ocean-going navy to rival the US in the 1970s,” said a China-based foreign naval attaché.
The US intelligence community has reported that since 2001, the Chinese shipbuilding industry has produced 23 new amphibious assault ships and 13 conventional attack submarines.
The current top priority for the PLAN is the replacement of its fleet of outdated Soviet-era conventional and nuclear submarines with five new advanced models of domestically developed and imported Russian vessels…
The long-awaited Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) is also close to entering into service, with the lead vessel already undergoing sea trials and expected to be accepted by the navy this year. There are reports that three hulls of this new class have already been laid…
The Type 094 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, said to be an elongated version of the Type 093 and equipped with JL-2 sea-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles, is reported to have been launched last July and could be operational within the next couple of years. This is well ahead of Pentagon forecasts, which had previously estimated that the Type 094 would not enter service until towards the end of this decade.
(This thread was dispatched by me to seven individuals including email@example.com and many organizations as part of “The Nose of The News” on Thursday, 14 April, 2005 4:40 PM)
The Year Bypassed: The Terror and Blood
London-In the second half of the year 2005, and perhaps in the worst manner, terror hit one of the world’s finest cities, London. A coordinated blast ripped through of the whole city of most civilized British people, at three different places. London was shaken. An Al-Qaeda supported terror outfit took the responsibility; investigations are still on. The Tony Blair government is thinking of strengthening its ties with its old partner the USA in the War on Terror.
July 5, 2005: The disputed pilgrim town of Ayodhya in a northern province of India suffered with one of the worst terror attacks in history ,when the 3.5 acres makeshift Ram Temple compound was attacked by five terrorists of Jaish-E-Mohammad/Lashkar-e Taiba in 3.5 acres makeshift Ram temple compound. In a two hour battle with security forces all five terrorists were gunned down.
Deepawali, 2005: A series of coordinated blasts hit India’s capital, New Delhi in a crowded market. Festivity turned in to a dark night. 70 people were killed.
Baghdad: Baghdad is burning. Despite an election under the shadow of the US military the insurgents and looters kept challenging US forces in Baghdad.
Kashmir Valley- The terrorists kept bombing India’s beautiful valley while getting support from across the border.
The Superescape: The Al-Qaeda boss Osama Bin Laden’s next in command Abu Musab Zarkavi and Mulla Umar narrowly escaped and survived death while coming under attack by US bombardment.
Abu Salem: One of the most wanted terrorists and aid of Dawood Ibrahim, was deported by Indian investigative agency officials from Portugal. He was wanted in many killings including that of music King Gulshan Kumar and also for the Mumbai bomb blasts of January 2003.
Indian Institute of Science: Towards the last days of 2005, when most of the people were bidding farewell to 2005 a terror groups, Jaish–e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e –Taiba attacked Indian’s finest institution killing two professors and four employees.
Hollywood also came under threat when Russell Crowe, a New Zealand born actor received threats from Al-Qaeda.
France: Witnessed one of the worst riots in its history when more than 5,000 motor vehicles were set on fire by rioters.
USA, India, Indonesia and Baluchistan all suffered with major losses due to tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes, which took over more than a million lives in all kind of calamities.
The Success of Science:
Amidst many terror attacks and natural calamities, sciences kept taking steady steps across the globe. NASA over came with the traumatic loss of the Colombia STAS 117 tragedy. Jet Propulsion Laboratory peeped in to the center of the universe and searched out for new solar systems and also looked for facts about the origin and expansion of the universe. TARA spacecraft looked deep in to the tsunamis of India and Indonesia, while the Cassini space craft Cassini discovered new facts and a new moon about of Saturn.
Here are few great stories from JPL:
December 6, 2005
NASA’s Cassini Images Reveal Spectacular Evidence of an Active Moon
Jets of fine, icy particles streaming from Saturn’s moon Enceladus were captured in recent images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The images provide unambiguous visual evidence that the moon is geologically active.
“For planetary explorers like us, there is little that can compare to the sighting of activity on another solar system body,” said Dr. Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. “This has been a heart-stopper, and surely one of our most thrilling results.”
The Cassini images clearly show multiple jets emanating from the moon’s south polar region. Based on earlier data, scientists strongly suspected these jets arise from warm fractures in the region. The fractures, informally dubbed “tiger stripes,” are viewed essentially broadside in the new images.
The fainter, extended plume stretches at least 186 kilometers (300 miles) above the surface of Enceladus, which is only 186 kilometers wide. Cassini flew through the plume in July, when it passed a few hundred kilometers above the moon. During that flyby, Cassini’s instruments measured the plume’s constituent water vapor and icy particles.
Imaging team members analyzed images of Enceladus taken earlier this year at similar viewing angles. It was a rigorous effort to demonstrate that earlier apparitions of the plumes, seen as far back as January, were in fact real and not due to imperfections in the camera.
The recent images were part of a sequence planned to confirm the presence of the plumes and examine them in finer detail. Imaging team member Dr. Andrew Ingersoll from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said, “I think what we’re seeing are ice particles in jets of water vapor that emanate from pressurized vents. To form the particles and carry them aloft, the vapor must have a certain density, and that implies surprisingly warm temperatures for a cold body like Enceladus.”
Imaging scientists are comparing the new views to earlier Cassini data in hopes of arriving at a more detailed, three-dimensional picture of the plumes and understanding how activity has come about on such a small moon. They are not sure about the precise cause of the moon’s unexpected geologic vitality.
“In some ways, Enceladus resembles a huge comet,” said Dr. Torrence Johnson, imaging team member from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. “Only, in the case of Enceladus, the energy source for the geyser-like activity is believed to be due to internal heating by perhaps radioactivity and tides rather than the sunlight which causes cometary jets.” The new data also give yet another indication of how Enceladus keeps supplying material to Saturn’s gossamer E ring.
November 29, 2005
NASA Rover Helps Reveal Possible Secrets of Martian Life
Life may have had a tough time getting started in the ancient environment that left its mark in the Martian rock layers examined by NASA’s Opportunity rover. The most thorough analysis yet of the rover’s discoveries reveals the challenges life may have faced in the harsh Martian environment.
“This is the most significant set of papers our team has published,” said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He is principal investigator for the science instruments on Opportunity and its twin Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit. The lengthy reports reflect more thorough analysis of Opportunity’s findings than earlier papers.
Scientists have been able to deduce that conditions in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars were strongly acidic, oxidizing, and sometimes wet. Those conditions probably posed stiff challenges to the potential origin of Martian life.
Based on Opportunity’s data, nine papers by 60 researchers in volume 240, issue 1 of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters discuss what this part of the Martian Meridiani Planum region was like eons ago. The papers present comparisons to some harsh habitats on Earth and examine the ramifications for possible life on Mars.
Dr. Andrew Knoll of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., a co-author of the paper, said, “Life that had evolved in other places or earlier times on Mars, if any did, might adapt to Meridiani conditions, but the kind of chemical reactions we think were important to giving rise to life on Earth simply could not have happened at Meridiani.”
Scientists analyzed data about stacked sedimentary rock layers 23 feet thick, exposed inside “Endurance Crater.” They identified three divisions within the stack. The lowest, oldest portion had the signature of dry sand dunes; the middle portion had windblown sheets of sand. Particles in those two layers were produced in part by previous evaporation of liquid water. The upper portion, with some layers deposited by flowing water, corresponded to layers Opportunity found earlier inside a smaller crater near its landing site.
Materials in all three divisions were wet both before and after the layers were deposited by either wind or water. Researchers described chemical evidence that the sand grains deposited in the layers had been altered by water before the layers formed. Scientists analyzed how acidic water moving through the layers after they were in place caused changes such as the formation of hematite-rich spherules within the rocks.
Experimental and theoretical testing reinforces the interpretation of changes caused by acidic water interacting with the rock layers. “We made simulated Mars rocks in our laboratory, then infused acidic fluids through them,” said researcher Nicholas Tosca from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. “Our theoretical model shows the minerals predicted to form when those fluids evaporate bear a remarkable similarity to the minerals identified in the Meridiani outcrop.”
The stack of layers in Endurance Crater resulted from a changeable environment perhaps 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. The area may have looked like salt flats occasionally holding water, surrounded by dunes. The White Sands region in New Mexico bears a similar physical resemblance. For the chemistry and mineralogy of the environment, an acidic river basin named Rio Tinto, in Spain, provides useful similarities, said Dr. David Fernandez-Remolar of Spain’s Centro de Astrobiologia and co-authors.
Many types of microbes live in the Rio Tinto environment, one of the reasons for concluding that ancient Meridiani could have been habitable. However, the organisms at Rio Tinto are descended from populations that live in less acidic and stressful habitats. If Meridiani had any life, it might have had to originate in a different habitat.
“You need to be very careful when you are talking about the prospect for life on Mars,” Knoll said. “We’ve looked at only a very small parcel of Martian real estate. The geological record Opportunity has examined comes from a relatively short period out of Mars’ long history.”
(This thread was dispatched by me to fourteen individuals including firstname.lastname@example.org and many organizations as part of “The Nose of The News” on Thursday, 12 January, 2006 8:27 PM)
The Ayodhya and Banaras Attacks: The Shadow on a Dozen More Cities
15th April, 2005
Jaunpur, a city on the railway tracks between Ayodhya and Banaras, an old heritage town of the British and the Moughals)
Place – A cyber café of one of my students in OlanGanj, by the name of Maximus.
Time –1:15 PM Indian time.
One after another a series of terrorist attacks strikes in India when it is trying to stand on its feet on a global platform and is declaring its new nuclear policies. The Indian dream of India for a big gain with a civilian nuclear deal with the United States of America has suffered with a series of terror attacks on certain soft target cities. Amazingly, it appears that this city lies within a radius of 200-300 kms on both sides of the railway track that has now been targeted. This time a wave of terror attacks has been planned on religious cities to destroy India’s communal harmony. This may be due to India’s increasing relations with the USA, in a Sonia Gandhi led new government
Amazingly, the attacks on the Sankat Mochak Hanuman Mandir in the holy city of Banaras, in the twin town of Ayodhya and Faizabad, in a mosque in New Delhi and in India’s silicon valley, Bangalore are trying to point out that plenty of terror groups are active in India. They may be working with different/ changed names as their mother organizations have already been traced out and now they have adopted a new strategy.
India’s leap in space science along with NASA, and its nuclear deal with the United States of America is are visible both on the NASA and white White House websites.
Well the terror strike in these religious cities may be seen in the light of India’s will for an international collaboration with the US. The scientists and teachers at VBS Purvanchal University indicates this when I talked about the terror attacks in Ayodhya and Banaras.
The city is a heavily Muslim populous town and you may see many mosques and madarsas imparting fundamental and religious training to Muslim youths. You may see it in a broader light, but you have to think when you get to know that some of the young blood have been arrested and put behind bars on allegations of their involvement in such activities.
(This thread was dispatched by me to seven individuals including email@example.com and many organizations as part of “The Nose of The News” on Saturday, 15 April, 2006 2:08 PM)