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          Their Kind of Town   

NEW YORK—Zell Miller will be the most notable apostate at the Republican National Convention, but Ed Koch gets to be the first. At the first GOP convention ever held in New York City, the first speaker after the opening remarks by Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and RNC Co-Chair Ann Wagner is the former mayor, a Democrat. "Why am I here?" the jovial Koch asks the smattering of assembled delegates at the sparsely attended Monday morning session. "I'm here to convert you. But that's for the next election. This year, I'm voting for the re-election of President George W. Bush." The small crowd gives Koch a huge cheer.

Koch is followed by another New York mayor, the current one. At the first GOP convention ever held in New York City, Republican Michael Bloomberg declares, "Welcome to America's New York." It's a strange choice of words, one that makes it sound as if the Republican delegates suspect they somehow landed in Russia's New York. (Perhaps that was the New York that Koch presided over.) But Bloomberg's choice of words is telling. The picture of New York painted during the convention's morning session is a city in tune with the rest of the country, the South, Middle, and West that most Republicans hail from. Maybe Bloomberg should have said, "Welcome to Red America's New York."

After Bloomberg speaks, a video produced by the History Channel tells the political history of the capital of Blue America, but it's really the history of the Republican Party in New York. We hear about the birth of Teddy Roosevelt, for example, but not, say, the Stonewall riots. (The video also contains the first bit of disinformation at the convention: It calls TR "our second-youngest president" when in fact he was the youngest president, taking office as a 42-year-old after the assassination of President McKinley. JFK, at 43, was the youngest man elected to the presidency.) "America's New York" is where the Bill of Rights was written, not where the gay rights movement began. It's where Abraham Lincoln, the most beloved Republican, denounced the spread of slavery at Cooper Union. It's also home to the machinery of global capitalism: the New York Stock Exchange and the headquarters of more major corporations than any other city.

Long before we get to Rudy Giuliani, New York Mayor No. 3 of the day, the message of Day 1 couldn't be clearer: Don't worry, nervous visitors. Despite what you may have heard from your friends (or seen from the protestors), this is your town!

But the Big Apple love-in doesn't last all that long. No one denounces the city, of course, but the disconnect between the majority of New Yorkers and the majority of Republicans comes across during the succession of speeches by GOP congressional candidates. In the most Jewish city in America, Mississippi congressional candidate Clinton LeSueur strays from President Bush's carefully inclusive religious rhetoric. Instead of making the nonsectarian statement in his prepared text—"The very foundation of this country is faith"—LeSueur says, "The very foundation of this country is Christianity and faith in Jesus Christ."

Ted Poe, a congressional candidate from Texas, goes even further. He compares Upper West Side liberals, at least implicitly, to the nation's enemies in the war on terror. The country is currently fighting for freedom abroad in Iraq, Poe says. But it's also fighting for "basic American principles" at home. "This threat is real," he continues. Don't "complain and criticize as the French did in the war in Iraq." No, this dangerous "threat" must be stopped with a fierce barrage of smaller government and lower taxes. "Sitting on the sidelines is not an option," says Poe, sticking with his hilariously inappropriate analogy. "Now is not the time to be a French Republican" (or, as the official transcript of his piece has it, an all-caps "FRENCH REPUBLICAN").

Who screened Poe's speech? Sure, it's not prime time, but certainly someone pointed out (or someone should have pointed out) that it wasn't a good idea to compare Democrats, by far the majority in New York, to Baathists.

Maybe Poe was more shocked by the scale of the anti-Bush protests in the streets than he should have been. He expected the Republicans to be greeted in Manhattan as liberators.

          Go for Gold: Leveraging Social Media During the Winter Olympics   
As everyone dissects the results of the Super Bowl and Seattle’s impressive win over the Denver Broncos, the next big social media sports event is fast approaching with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As we have said previously, the Olympics are an incredibly...
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LOST 6.9 : Ab Aeterno Recap, summary and commentary by Evie Ab Aeterno is Latin for “From the Everlasting”, or “From the Eternal”. Richard Alpert, the advisor on the island for a very long time, has concluded that his entire life has no purpose. He is angry at Jacob and thinks that he has lied about everything. Jacob’s visit to, and subsequent conversation with, Ilana in the Russian hospital is further revealed. Jacob did not ask her to protect himself as was previously implied, but to protect the remaining six candidates. I have a hard time believing that Ilana is a bad guy, but it’s getting easier and easier to believe that Jacob could be the villain and not the Man in Black. Jacob tells Ilana, who is all bandaged up in the hospital bed, that this is what she’s been preparing for. Ilana seems very anxious. Jacob tells Ilana to go to the ...
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          India and the Balance of Power   

India is arriving on the world stage as the first large, economically powerful, culturally vibrant, multiethnic, multireligious democracy outside of the geographic West. As it rises, India has the potential to become a leading member of the "political West" and to play a key role in the great political struggles of the next decades. Whether it will, and how soon, depends above all on the readiness of the Western powers to engage India on its own terms.


India's grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighborhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over the actions of outside powers. In the second, which encompasses the so-called extended neighborhood stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance the influence of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests. In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great powers, a key player in international peace and security.

Three things have historically prevented India from realizing these grand strategic goals. First, the partition of the South Asian subcontinent along religious lines (first into India and Pakistan, in 1947, then into India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, in 1971) left India with a persistent conflict with Pakistan and an internal Hindu-Muslim divide. It also physically separated India from historically linked states such as Afghanistan, Iran, and the nations of Southeast Asia. The creation of an avowedly Islamic state in Pakistan caused especially profound problems for India's engagement with the Middle East. Such tensions intertwined with regional and global great-power rivalries to severely constrict India's room for maneuver in all three concentric circles.

The second obstacle was the Indian socialist system, which caused a steady relative economic decline and a consequent loss of influence in the years after independence. The state-socialist model led India to shun commercial engagement with the outside world. As a result, India was disconnected from its natural markets and culturally akin areas in the extended neighborhood.

Finally, the Cold War, the onset of which quickly followed India's independence, pushed India into the arms of the Soviet Union in response to Washington's support for Pakistan and China -- and thus put the country on the losing side of the great political contest of the second half of the twentieth century. Despite being the largest democracy in the world, India ended up siding with the opposite camp on most global issues.

The last decade of the twentieth century liberated India from at least two of these constraints; state socialism gave way to economic liberalization and openness to globalization, and the Cold War ended. Suddenly, New Delhi was free to reinvent its foreign policy -- positioning itself to face the rise of China, shifting its strategic approach to its other neighbors, and beginning to work closely with the world's existing great powers.


India's recent embrace of openness and globalization has had an especially dramatic effect on the country's role in the region. As the nations of the subcontinent jettison their old socialist agendas, India is well positioned to promote economic integration. Although the pace has been relatively slow, the process has begun to gain traction. The planned implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement this summer signals the coming reintegration of the subcontinent's markets, which constituted a single economic space until 1947.

At the same time, optimism on the economic front must be tempered by an awareness of the problematic political developments in India's smaller neighbors. The struggle for democracy and social justice in Nepal, interminable political violence and the rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh, and the simmering civil war in Sri Lanka underscore the potential dangers of failing states on the subcontinent. There are also the uncertain futures of Pakistan and Afghanistan: defeating religious extremism and creating modern and moderate states in both countries is of paramount importance to India. A successful Indian strategy for promoting peace and prosperity within the region would require preventing internal conflicts from undermining regional security, as well as resolving India's own conflicts with its neighbors.

In the past, great-power rivalries, as well as India's own tensions with Pakistan and China, have complicated New Delhi's effort to maintain order in the region. Today, all of the great powers, including the United States and China, support the Indian objective of promoting regional economic integration. The Bush administration has also started to defer to Indian leadership on regional security issues. Given the new convergence of U.S. and Indian interests in promoting democracy and countering extremism and terrorism, New Delhi no longer suspects Washington of trying to undercut its influence in the region. As a result, it is more prepared than ever to work with the United States and other Western powers to pursue regional goals.

Meanwhile, the external environment has never been as conducive as it is today to the resolution of the Indo-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir. The conflict has become less and less relevant to India's relations with the great powers, which has meant a corresponding willingness on New Delhi's part to work toward a solution. Of particular importance has been the steady evolution of the U.S. position on Kashmir since the late 1990s. The support extended by President Bill Clinton to India in its limited war with Pakistan in 1999 removed the perception that Washington would inevitably align with Islamabad in regional conflicts. But India remained distrustful of the Clinton administration's hyperactive, prescriptive approach to Kashmir. It has been more comfortable with the low-key methods of the Bush administration, which has avoided injecting itself directly into the conflict. The Bush administration has also publicly held Pakistan responsible for cross-border terrorism and has extracted the first-ever assurances from Pakistan to put an end to the attacks. New Delhi does not entirely believe these promises, but it has nonetheless come to trust Washington as a source of positive of influence on Islamabad.

These developments have opened the way for a peace process between the two governments. With the growing awareness that the normalization of relations with Pakistan would end a debilitating conflict and help India's regional and global standing, New Delhi has begun to negotiate seriously for the first time in decades. Although the pace of talks has not satisfied Pakistan, the two sides have agreed on a range of confidence-building measures. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected the idea of giving up territory, but he has often called for innovative solutions that would improve living conditions and for common institutions that would connect Kashmiris across the Line of Control. Singh has made clear that the Indian leadership is ready to risk political capital on finding a diplomatic solution to Kashmir.

India's recent effort to resolve its long-standing border dispute with China has been just as bold. New Delhi decided in 2003 to seek a settlement with Beijing on a political basis, rather than on the basis of legal or historical claims. As a result, during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi in April 2005, India and China agreed on a set of principles to guide the final settlement. The two governments are now exploring the contours of mutually satisfactory territorial compromises.

India's search for practical solutions to the disputes over Kashmir and its border with China suggests that the country has finally begun to overcome the obsession with territoriality that has consumed it since its formation. Ironically, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan in 1998 may have helped in this regard: although nuclearization initially sharpened New Delhi's conflicts with both Islamabad and Beijing, it also allowed India to approach its territorial problems with greater self-assurance and pragmatism.


Progress on the resolution of either of these conflicts, especially the one over Kashmir, would liberate India's political and diplomatic energies so that the country could play a larger role in the world. It would also finally release India's armed forces from the constraining mission of territorial defense, allowing them to get more involved in peace and stability operations around the Indian Ocean. Even with all the tensions on the subcontinent, the armies of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have been among the biggest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. The normalization of Indo-Pakistani relations would further free up some of the best armed forces in the world for the promotion of the collective good in the greater Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Even as the Kashmir and China questions have remained unsettled, India's profile in its extended neighborhood has grown considerably since the early 1990s. India's outward economic orientation has allowed it to reestablish trade and investment linkages with much of its near abroad. New Delhi is negotiating a slew of free- and preferential-trade agreements with individual countries as well as multilateral bodies including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Southern African Development Community. Just as China has become the motor of economic growth in East Asia, a rising India could become the engine of economic integration in the Indian Ocean region.

After decades of being marginalized from regional institutions in different parts of Asia, India is also now a preferred political partner for ASEAN, the East Asian Summit, the GCC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the African Union. Moreover, it has emerged as a major aid donor; having been an aid recipient for so long, India is now actively leveraging its own external assistance to promote trade as well as political objectives. For example, India has given $650 million in aid to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Meanwhile, the search for oil has encouraged Indian energy companies to tail their Western and Chinese counterparts throughout the world, from Central Asia and Siberia and to western Africa and Venezuela.

On the security side, India has been actively engaged in defense diplomacy. Thanks to the strength of its armed forces, India is well positioned to assist in stabilizing the Indian Ocean region. It helps that there has been a convergence of U.S. and Indian political interests: countering terrorism, pacifying Islamic radicalism, promoting democracy, and ensuring the security of sea-lanes, to name a few. The Indian navy in particular has been at the cutting edge of India's engagement with the region -- as was evident from its ability to deploy quickly to areas hit by the tsunami at the end of 2004. The Indian navy today is also ready to participate in multinational military operations.


The end of the Cold War freed India to pursue engagement with all the great powers -- but especially the United States. At the start of the 1990s, finding that its relations with the United States, China, Japan, and Europe were all underdeveloped, India moved quickly to repair the situation. Discarding old socialist shibboleths, it began to search for markets for its products and capital to fuel its long-constrained domestic growth. Economic partnerships were easy to construct, and increasing trade flows provided a new basis for stability in India's relations with other major powers. India's emergence as an outsourcing destination and its new prowess in information technology also give it a niche in the world economy -- along with the confidence that it can benefit from economic globalization.

Barely 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, India's omnidirectional engagement with the great powers has paid off handsomely. Never before has India had such expansive relations with all the major powers at the same time -- a result not only of India's increasing weight in the global economy and its growing power potential, but also of New Delhi's savvy and persistent diplomacy.

The evolution of Sino-Indian ties since the 1990s has been especially important and intriguing. Many see violent conflict between the two rising Asian powers as inevitable. But thanks to New Delhi's policy of actively engaging China since the late 1980s, the tensions that characterized relations between them from the late 1950s through the 1970s have become receding memories. Bilateral trade has boomed, growing from less than $200 million in the early 1990s to nearly $20 billion in 2005. In fact, China is set to overtake the European Union and the United States as India's largest trading partner within a few years. The 3,500-kilometer Sino-Indian border, over which the two countries fought a war in 1962, is now tranquil. And during Wen's visit to India in April 2005, India and China announced a "strategic partnership" -- even though just seven years earlier New Delhi had cited concerns over China as a reason for performing nuclear tests, prompting a vicious reaction from Beijing.

India has also cooperated with China in order to neutralize it in conflicts with Pakistan and other smaller neighbors. In the past, China tended to be a free rider on regional security issues, proclaiming noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations while opportunistically befriending regimes in pursuit of its long-term strategic interests. This allowed India's subcontinental neighbors to play the China card against New Delhi when they wanted to resist India's attempts to nudge them toward conflict resolution. But now, Beijing has increasingly avoided taking sides in India's disputes, even as its economic and security profile in the region has grown.

China is not the only Asian power that India is aiming to engage and befriend. Japan has also emerged as an important partner for India, especially since Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has transformed Japanese politics in the last few years. During a visit to New Delhi just a couple of weeks after Wen's in April 2005, Koizumi announced Japan's own "strategic partnership" with India. (This came despite Japan's harsh reaction to India's nuclear test in 1998, which prompted Japanese sanctions and an effort by Tokyo to censure India in the United Nations and other multilateral forums.) Amid growing fears of a rising China and the incipient U.S.-Indian alliance, Japan has elevated India to a key player in its long-term plans for Asian security.

Recognizing the need to diversify its Asian economic portfolio, Tokyo has also, for political reasons, begun to direct some of its foreign investment to India (which has overtaken China as the largest recipient of Japanese development assistance). Since the start of the Bush administration, Japan has also shown increasing interest in expanding military cooperation with India, especially in the maritime domain. India, too, has recognized that it shares with Japan an interest in energy security and in maintaining a stable balance of power in Asia. Japan actively supported India's participation in the inaugural East Asian Summit, in December 2005, despite China's reluctance to include New Delhi. Neither India nor Japan wants to base their political relationship exclusively on a potential threat from China, but both know that deepening their own security cooperation will open up new strategic options and that greater coordination between Asian democracies could limit China's impact.

India's relations with Europe have been limited by the fact that New Delhi is fairly unimpressed with Europe's role in global politics. It senses that Europe and India have traded places in terms of their attitudes toward the United States: while Europe seethes with resentment of U.S. policies, India is giving up on habitually being the first, and most trenchant, critic of Washington. As pessimism overtakes Europe, growing Indian optimism allows New Delhi to support unpopular U.S. policies. Indians consistently give both the United States and the Bush administration very favorable marks; according to a recent Pew Global Attitudes poll, for example, the percentage of Indians with a positive view of the United States rose from 54 percent in 2002 to 71 percent in 2005. And whereas a declining Europe has tended to be skeptical of India's rise, the Bush administration has been fully sympathetic to India's great-power aspirations.

Still, India does have growing economic and political ties with some European powers. Although many smaller European countries have been critical of the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal, the continent's two nuclear powers, France and the United Kingdom, have been supportive. Paris, in particular, bet long ago (well before Washington did, in fact) that a rising India would provide a good market for high-tech goods; with this in mind, it shielded New Delhi from the ire of the G-8 (the group of eight highly industrialized nations) after India tested nuclear weapons in May 1998. In the last several years, the United Kingdom has also started to seize economic opportunities in India and has been generally accommodating of New Delhi's regional and global aspirations.

In the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, India also worked to maintain a relationship with Russia. The two states resolved residual issues relating to their old semi-barter rupee-ruble trading arrangements, recast their 1971 peace and friendship treaty, and maintained military cooperation. When President Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin, in 2000, India's waiting game paid off. A newly assertive Moscow was determined to revive and expand its strategic cooperation with India. New Delhi's only problems with Moscow today are the weakening bilateral trade relationship and the risk of Russia's doing too much to strengthen China's military capabilities.


At the end of the Cold War, the prospect of India's building a new political relationship with the United States seemed remote. Washington had long favored Pakistan and China in the region, India had in turn aligned itself with the Soviet Union, and a number of global issues seemed to pit the two countries against each other. Yet after the Cold War, India set about wooing the United States. For most of the Clinton administration, this sweet-talking fell on deaf ears, in part because Clinton officials were so focused on the Kashmir dispute and nonproliferation. Clinton, driven by the unshakable assumption that Kashmir was one of the world's most dangerous "nuclear flashpoints" and so needed to be defused, emphasized "preventive diplomacy" and was determined to "cap, roll back, and eventually eliminate" India's nuclear capabilities. Of course, Clinton's approach ran headlong into India's core national security concerns -- territorial integrity and preserving its nuclear option. Pressed by Washington to circumscribe its strategic capabilities, New Delhi reacted by testing nuclear weapons.

But even as it faced U.S. sanctions, New Delhi also began to proclaim that India was a natural ally of the United States. Although the Clinton administration was not interested in an alliance, the nuclear tests forced the United States to engage India seriously for the first time in five decades. That engagement did not resolve the nuclear differences, but it did bring Clinton to India in March 2000 -- the first American presidential visit to India in 22 years. Clinton's personal charm, his genuine empathy for India, and his unexpected support of India in the 1999 war with Pakistan succeeded in improving the atmospherics of the relations and in putting New Delhi on Washington's radar screen in a new way.

It took Bush, however, to transform the strategic context of U.S.-Indian relations. Convinced that India's influence will stretch far beyond its immediate neighborhood, Bush has reconceived the framework of U.S. engagement with New Delhi. He has removed many of the sanctions, opened the door for high-tech cooperation, lent political support to India's own war on terrorism, ended the historical U.S. tilt toward Pakistan on Kashmir, and repositioned the United States in the Sino-Indian equation by drawing closer to New Delhi.

India has responded to these sweeping changes by backing the Bush administration on missile defense, the International Criminal Court, and finding alternative approaches to confronting global warming. It lent active support to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan by protecting U.S. assets in transit through the Strait of Malacca in 2002, agreed to work with the United States on multinational military operations outside of the UN framework, and, in 2005 and 2006, voted twice with Washington against Iran -- an erstwhile Indian ally -- at the International Atomic Energy Agency. India also came close to sending a division of troops to Iraq in the summer of 2003 before pulling back at the last moment. Every one of these actions marked a big departure in Indian foreign policy. And although disappointed by India's decision to stay out of Iraq, the Bush administration recognized that India was in the midst of a historic transformation of its foreign policy -- and kept faith that India's own strategic interests would continue to lead it toward deeper political cooperation with Washington. New Delhi's persistence in reaching out to Washington since 1991 has been driven by the belief that only by fundamentally changing its relationship with the world's sole superpower could it achieve its larger strategic objectives: improving its global position and gaining leverage in its relations with other great powers.

But India's ability to engage everyone at the same time might soon come to an end. As U.S.-Chinese tensions grow and Washington looks for ways to manage China's influence, questions about India's attitude toward the new power politics will arise: Can India choose to remain "nonaligned" between the United States and China, or does India's current grand strategy show a clear bias toward the United States?

The nuclear pact unveiled by Bush and Singh in July 2005 -- and consolidated when Bush went to New Delhi in March 2006 -- was an effort by Washington to influence the ultimate answer to that question. Bush offered to modify U.S. nonproliferation laws (subject to approval by Congress, of course) and revise the global nuclear order to facilitate full cooperation with India on civilian nuclear energy. New Delhi, in return, has promised to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs, place its civilian nuclear plants under international safeguards, and abide by a range of nonproliferation obligations. India's interest in such a deal has been apparent for a long time. Having failed to test weapons before the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was drafted, in 1968, India was trapped in an uncomfortable position vis-à-vis the nuclear order: it was not willing to give up the nuclear option, but it could not be formally accommodated by the nonproliferation regime as a nuclear weapons state.

India's motives for wanting a change in the nuclear regime are thus obvious. But for the Bush administration, the deal is less about nuclear issues than it is about creating the basis for a true alliance between the United States and India -- about encouraging India to work in the United States' favor as the global balance of power shifts. Ironically, it was the lack of a history of mutual trust and cooperation -- stemming in part from past nuclear disputes -- that convinced the Bush administration that a nuclear deal was necessary.


Many critics argue that the Bush administration's hopes for an alliance are misplaced. They insist that the traditionally nonaligned India will never be a true ally of the United States. But such critics misunderstand India's nonalignment, as well as the nature of its realpolitik over the past 60 years. Contrary to a belief that is especially pervasive in India itself, New Delhi has not had difficulty entering into alliances when its interests so demanded. Its relationship with the Soviet Union, built around a 1971 peace and friendship treaty, had many features of an alliance (notwithstanding India's claim that such ties were consistent with nonalignment); the compact was in many ways a classic response to the alignment of Washington, Beijing, and Islamabad. India has also had treaty-based security relationships with two of its smaller neighbors, Bhutan and Nepal, that date back to 1949-50 -- protectorate arrangements that were a reaction to China's entry into Tibet.

In fact, there is no contradiction between India's alleged preference for "moralpolitik" (in opposition to pure power politics, or Machtpolitik) and the Bush administration's expectation of an alliance with India. New Delhi is increasingly replacing the idea of "autonomy," so dear to Indian traditionalists, with the notion of India's becoming a "responsible power." (Autonomy is thought appropriate for weak states trying to protect themselves from great-power competition but not for a rising force such as India.) As India starts to recognize that its political choices have global consequences, it will become less averse to choosing sides on specific issues. Alliance formation and balancing are tools in the kits of all great powers -- and so they are likely to be in India's as well.

That India is capable of forming alliances does not, however, mean that it will necessarily form a long-term one with the United States. Whether it does will depend on the extent of the countries' shared interests and their political capacity to act on them together. The Bush administration expects that such shared interests -- for example, in balancing China and countering radical Islam in the Middle East -- will provide the basis for long-term strategic cooperation. This outcome is broadly credible, but it is by no means inevitable, especially given the United States' seeming inability to build partnerships based on equality.

When it comes to facing a rising China, India's tendency to engage in regional balancing with Beijing has not come to an end with the proclamation of a strategic partnership between the two nations. Indeed, preventing China from gaining excessive influence in India's immediate neighborhood and competing with Beijing in Southeast Asia are still among the more enduring elements of India's foreign policy. Despite Western concerns about the military regime in Myanmar, New Delhi has vigorously worked to prevent Yangon from falling completely under Beijing's influence, and India's military ties with the Southeast Asian nations are expanding rapidly. In 2005, when Pakistan pushed for giving China observer status in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India acted quickly to bring Japan, South Korea, and the United States in as well. Given India's deep-seated reluctance to play second fiddle to China in Asia and the Indian Ocean region -- and the relative comfort of working with a distant superpower -- there is a structural reason for New Delhi to favor greater security cooperation with Washington.

In the Middle East, too, India has a common interest with the United States in preventing the rise of radical Islam, which poses an existential threat to India. Given its large Muslim population -- at nearly 150 million, the third largest in the world -- and the ongoing tensions stemming from the subcontinent's partition, India has in the past acted on its own to avert the spread of radical Islam. When Washington aligned with conservative Islamic forces in the Middle East during the Cold War, India's preference was for secular nationalist forces in the region. When the United States acted ambivalently toward the Taliban in the mid-1990s, India worked with Russia, Iran, and the Central Asian states to counter the Taliban by supporting the Northern Alliance. Now, although some in India are concerned that alignment with the United States might make India a prime target for Islamist extremists, there is no way India can compromise with radical Islam, which threatens its very unity.

But shared interests do not automatically produce alliances. The inequality of power between the two countries, the absence of a habit of political cooperation between them, and the remaining bureaucratic resistance to deeper engagement in both capitals will continue to limit the pace and the scope of strategic cooperation between India and the United States. Still, there is no denying that India will have more in common with the United States than with the other great powers for the foreseeable future.

While New Delhi has acknowledged that U.S. support is necessary for India's rise to be successful, Washington has recognized India's potentially critical role in managing emerging challenges to global order and security. As a major beneficiary of accelerating globalization, India could play a crucial role in ensuring that other developing countries manage their transitions as successfully as it has, that is, by taking advantage of opportunities while working to reduce the pain of disruption. Given the pace of its expansion and the scale of its economy, India will also become an important force in ensuring that the unfolding global redistribution of economic power occurs in an orderly fashion. Meanwhile, India could become a key player in the effort to modernize the politics of the Middle East. If nothing else, India's success in ensuring the rights and the integration of its own Muslim minority and in reaching peace with Pakistan would have a powerful demonstration effect.

To secure a long-term partnership with India, Washington must build on the argument of "Indian exceptionalism" that it has advanced in defense of the recent nuclear pact, devising a range of India-specific policies to deepen cooperation. India is unlikely, however, to become a mere subsidiary partner of the United States, ready to sign on to every U.S. adventure and misadventure around the world. It will never become another U.S. ally in the mold of the United Kingdom or Japan. But nor will it be an Asian France, seeking tactical independence within the framework of a formal alliance.

Given the magnitude of the global security challenges today, the United States needs more than meek allies. It should instead be looking to win capable and compatible partners. A rising India may be difficult at times, but it will act broadly to defend and promote the many interests it shares with Washington. Assisting India's rise, then, is in the United States' own long-term interest.

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          Death toll from bus crash rises   
An injured woman rests at Koh Kong provincial hospital on Tuesday following a bus crash that left one dead and 46 injured. A second passenger died yesterday before he could be transported to Thailand. Photo Supplied

Thursday, 01 March 2012
Tep Nimol and Bridget Di Certo with additional reporting by Cheang Sokha and Mom Kunthear
The Phnom Penh Post

The death toll from Tuesday’s tour bus crash in Koh Kong climbed by one yesterday when an Austrian man died at the provincial hospital, while the man behind the wheel was detained by authorities.

Koh Kong Provincial Hospital director Mat Ly Hsai Song said the 72-year-old Austrian man who had been traveling on the bus from Sihanoukville to Koh Kong was due to be evacuated to Thailand for medical treatment yesterday.

Before getting in the car to go to Thailand, the Austrian man, who had high-blood pressure, walked into the bathroom, where he fell down dead,” Mat Ly Hsai Song said. “He died instantly from a blood clot and was unable to be saved.”

The Austrian is the second fatality after a 23-year-old Russian woman was killed on Tuesday when the Paramount Angkor Express bus sustained a punctured tyre and rolled over, injuring all 46 passengers – most of them foreign tourists.

Another Austrian man and an American man were evacuated to Thailand for medical care yesterday, Koh Kong Provincial Hospital deputy director Suon Samit said, adding the men were seriously wounded, with broken bones, head injuries and shortness of breath.

A Finnish woman who sustained a serious back injury and a 5-year-old Cambodian girl who had her arm amputated at the shoulder directly after the crash were evacuated to Thailand on Tuesday, Suon Samit said.

The Finnish Embassy in Bangkok told the Post that seven Finnish nationals had been involved in the crash.

All were being treated in Bangkok, but only one was seriously injured.

A Swedish woman was transported from Koh Kong by ambulance yesterday afternoon to Royal Rattanak Hospital in Phnom Penh, hospital staff said yesterday.

She was undergoing operations last night and would be in hospital for seven to 10 days, staff said.

Seven foreigners and five Cambodians who were in stable condition remained at Koh Kong Provincial Hospital yesterday, Suon Samit said, adding that those who had been discharged from hospital had been sent to stay at the Ear Aun guesthouse in Koh Kong district near the hospital.

Provincial governor Bun Loert paid for the accommodation and food expenses for those crash victims who had sought refuge in the guesthouse.

Bun Loert said yesterday that all the crash victims with the exception of one Japanese man had already left the guesthouse.

“We will check to find out the reason for this traffic accident, strengthen the traffic law and the vehicles, and look after the victims until they are better,” he said by telephone yesterday.

The driver of the bus had initially fled the scene of the accident and escaped into a nearby forest, however Koh Kong authorities said yesterday that Phnom Penh police had apprehended him at the central office of Paramount Angkor Express.

The driver will be detained while police complete their investigation of the accident, Koh Kong traffic office chief Uk Sopha said.

“We anticipate handing our investigation over to the court next week because such a big crash takes a long time to investigate,” Uk Sopha said.

“According to the traffic law, if the court finds the driver guilty of provoking the accident, he can be sentenced for between one and two years and the company will have to take some responsibility, too.”

Representatives from Paramount Angkor Express could not be reached yesterday.

Paramount’s insurer, Caminco Insurance Company, said their investigators had visited the hospital and the scene of the crash yesterday.

“The company has third-party liability and passenger liability insurance,” Dy Len, a planning officer at Caminco told the Post.

“This is the biggest case we have ever had,” he said, adding that other concerned parties such as embassies and ministries were also conducting their own investigations.

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          China unveils first domestically-built bullet train    

The first high-speed train designed and manufactured entirely in China debuted on the Beijing-Shanghai line on Monday. It boasts a top speed of 400 kilometers per hour (kph).
The high-speed train is called ‘Fuxing’ which means 'rejuvenation.' There are currently two models, CR400AF and CR400BF, operated by China Railway Corporation.

A CR400AF model departed from Beijing South Railway Station at 11:05 am local time for Shanghai. At the same time, a CR400BF model left Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station for Beijing.
The trains will run at a steady 350 kph meaning it takes three and a half hours to travel between Shanghai and Beijing. Currently, the travel time between the two cities by rail is around five hours.
The Beijing-Shanghai railway line is China's busiest, used by more than 50,000 passengers daily.

The Fuxing train has a sophisticated monitoring system which checks its performance in real time and automatically slows the train in case of emergencies or abnormal conditions.
The bullet trains provide free Wi-Fi and more legroom in all carriages.
According to Lu Dongfu, the general manager of the China Railway Corporation, the new train models were developed according to China's railway standards and technologies.

Beijing plans to export Fuxing trains to foreign countries, including Russia.
A senior researcher with the Chinese high-speed rail program, Jia Limin told China Daily the Fuxing Bullet Trains would operate on the Chinese network as well as on the Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line in Russia.


          China launches another direct rail freight service to Europe - China's Jiangxi Province, Russia and Kyrgyzstan.   

          First freight train sets off for China from UK    
First freight train sets off for China from UK
A train loaded with British goods, has started a 12,000 km journey from England to China, opening a regular direct service between the countries.
It pulled away from Stanford-le-Hope in Essex on Monday to arrive in China in three weeks.
Whisky, soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products are among the items in 30 containers carried by train.

The locomotive will travel through the Channel Tunnel, and then seven countries - France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan – before arriving on April 27.
The rail journey to China is cheaper than sending freight by air and faster than a voyage by ship, operators say.

The route is part of China’s "one belt, one road" program aimed at reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes between the East and the West. In January, the first freight train from China arrived in the UK.
"This new rail link with China is another boost for global Britain, following the ancient Silk Road trade route to carry British products around the world,” UK International Trade Minister Greg Hands said, adding that the rail link "shows the huge global demand for quality UK goods.”

The freight service makes London the 15th European city to have a direct rail link with China.
"This is the first export train and just the start of a regular direct service between the UK and China,” said Xubin Feng, chairman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment which is organizing the service.
"We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster," he added.
Restoring the Silk Road route was "an important and exciting initiative,” according to Feng.


The UK’s first-ever freight train for China started its long haul on Monday along a modern-day “Silk Road” trade route, as the UK cements a new golden age of trade with China and prepares to leave the EU.

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     E é ela que eu quero postar aqui hoje. Não. Não a Marianne. A música. Vou postar a letra original (sem traduções) Pros canadenses poderem ler de boa... Há sim. Hoje eu descobri russos no Rick! Uma pessoa da Russia nos visitou... Fico feliz em poder estar (talvez) criando algo diplomático que vai unir todas as nações um dia em paz e amor. Hahahaha. Bom. Agora dou a palavra ao tio Bob. Fiquem todos na paz e que Deus esteja com todos nessas noites frias de junho. Shalom!

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark.
She looked at him and he felt a spark
Tingle to his bones.
It was then he felt alone
And wished that he'd gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate.

They walked alone by the old canal.
A little confused, I remember well,
And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burning bright.
He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate.

A saxophone someplace far off played
As she was walking on by the arcade
As the light bust through a beat up shade
Where he was waking up.
She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate.

He woke up; the room was bare.
He didn't see her anywhere.
He told himself he didn't care ;pushed the window open wide;
Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate.

He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks.
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks
Where the sailers all come in.
Maybe she'll pick him out again. How long must he wait
One more time for a simple twist of fate.
People tell me it's a sin
To know and feel too much within.
I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring.
She was born in spring, but I was born too late.
Blame it on a simple twist of fate.
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          The Cold War Kabuki   

Well, you all know what the big story was this past week. I wasn't going to post on it but enough people have asked and it seems germane to the ongoing Reality Show we're all unwitting (and unwilling) extras in. In case you've been on media blackout or a vision quest, here's a brief thumbnail sketch:
The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week. 
On President Donald Trump's orders, US warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks, US officials said.
As it happens, the airstrikes apparently didn't even seem to have the desired deterrent effect. The air base was up and running soon after the strikes:
Syrian warplanes took off from the air base hit by US cruise missiles yesterday to carry out bombing raids on rebel-held areas, in a defiant show of strength. 
Just hours after the al-Shayrat airfield was bombed with 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from warships in the Mediterranean, aircraft struck targets in the eastern Homs countryside, according to a monitoring group. 
The airstrikes were carried out on Khan Sheikhoun - the same town Bashar al-Assad’s regime is accused of attacking with chemicals - and seven other towns around eastern Homs, some of which controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
This rebound seemed to catch the War Party off guard, since CNN reported on the same story but appeared to ascribe the airstrikes to phantom warplanes. I mean, it couldn't be the Syrians or the Russians, right?:
(CNN) New airstrikes targeted a town in Syria that was hit by a chemical attack earlier this week, activists said, less than a day after the US bombarded a Syrian air base to "send a message" to the Assad regime. 
It wasn't immediately clear who conducted the strikes on Khan Sheikhoun, which was hit on Friday and Saturday, though only Russian and Syrian regime aircraft have been bombing that area of rebel-held Idlib province.
CNN, who've been hammering Trump around the clock since he humiliated their network head in a post-election tantrum, suddenly changed their tune when he started raining bombs on Syria. Sam Kriss reports:
The media was kind to Trump’s attack on Syria. Every pompous outlet that has spent the last five months screaming incessantly about the threat to democracy, the inevitable deaths and the terror of wars, had nothing but applause as soon as the wars and the deaths actually got going. 
 A fleshy and dangerous idiot, a vulgarian, an imbecile – until those first perfect screaming shots of Tomahawk missiles being fired were broadcast – that’s our guy, you show them Donny! This is when, as Fareed Zakaria put it on CNN, Trump ‘became the president.’
The same mainstream media, which has become a hornet's hive of conspiracy theorizing since the election, was quick to shoot down any conspiracy theories about the Syria Bombshow.
A volley of US cruise missiles had barely been launched into Syria before the internet filled up with fact-free theories about the real reason for the international crisis.
A popular one on the right-most fringes: the US government actually carried out the chemical weapons massacre in Syria last week - a "false flag" to trick President Donald Trump into retaliating, thus entangling himself in a foreign war. 
A slightly more convoluted strain on the left: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the chemical weapons massacre to help Trump - distracting Americans from an investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia by provoking the missile strike.
Alt-left conspiracy theorists prefer the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the chemical weapons massacre to help Trump - distracting Americans from an investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia.
Ron Paul, whose son Rand is now a rising star in the Senate, was perhaps the most prominent public figure to cast shade on the Syria op:
“Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions,” the former Texas congressman stated. “Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run.” 
“It looks like, maybe, somebody didn’t like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can’t let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad.”
For his part, Doctor Bones speculates that the real mark for a possible elaborate sting wasn't Assad or Putin, but in fact another player altogether. The timing seems hard to argue with:
A gas attack launched by the fleeing Syrian rebels, a side quickly losing it’s CIA-sponsorship and well aware it’s continued health depends on American funds, sure has a shit-ton more to gain from wide swathes of civilians dying on camera. Even better if they die particularly gruesomely and in a way the rebels claim they couldn’t be responsible for despite being photographed with all the tech to do so. 
How does Trump’s seemingly pointless explosion-show play into this? The answer: perfectly...
Consider also that the Chinese President was in Mar-a-Largo when the strike was underway, that Trump not only told him it was going to happen but actually ate dinner with him as it went on and the event spirals into even greater significance. A show of force full of technical prowess in a contested warzone while the Russians stood back and watched sends a powerful message to a foreign leader currently dining in enemy territory.
Is this just swivel-eyed speculation? Is there any reason to believe this wasn't all some improbable coincidence, that Xi Jinping was indeed dining with Trump while the Bombshow began? Because if it's not a coincidence then it's one hell of a psyop; running a mindfuck on your most dangerous frenemy during a state visit. What's this all about then? Joseph Farrell reports:
While there have been a spate of articles recently about growing Russo-Chinese defense and security ties, matching their growing financial and economic ties, this one left me stunned, for there was a statement within it that caught my eye, and Mr. B's as well, and I'm sure the reader saw it as well. As one can imagine, this one fueled my "high octane speculation" mode to the nth degree. Here's the statement, and a bit of surrounding context:
Russia and China are tired of Washington's "defensive" military installations in their backyards — and they're already taking action. 
According to the Atlantic Council and other responsible thinkers, the Untied States reserves the right to park its missile shields anywhere it wants, whether it be in Europe, East Asia, or the dark side of the Moon.  
I guess we should have seen all this coming, no? Shortly before the Bombshow, Trump's top Praetorian removed Trump's assumed consigliere from the NSC:
President Trump on Wednesday removed controversial White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the National Security Council, part of a sweeping staff reshuffling that elevated military, intelligence and Cabinet officials to greater roles on the council and left Bannon less directly involved in shaping the administration’s day-to-day national security policy. 
The restructuring reflects the growing influence of national security adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army three-star general who took over the post after retired general Michael Flynn was ousted in February and who is increasingly asserting himself over the flow of national security information in the White House. 
Do yourself a favor and set a news alert for "McMaster." That's a name you're going to be hearing more of in the days ahead. Or you won't. Which is probably the more troubling scenario.

And with Bannon off the NSC there's apparently an effort to shuffle him off to some fat-salaried thinktank glue factory.  The not-news of Bannon's interest in The Fourth Coming was dragged out yet again, this time by The New York Times. But the article planted a helpful hint of why Bannon is on the elbow list and might be giving us a grim preview of the year ahead:
Bannon’s Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, ‘Winter Is Coming’

WASHINGTON — Stephen K. Bannon has read the book three times. He still keeps a copy of it — one that’s creased and copiously underlined — in a library with the rest of his favorites at his father’s house in Richmond, Va. 
The book, “The Fourth Turning,” a 1997 work by two amateur historians, Neil Howe and William Strauss, lays out a theory that American history unfurls in predictable, 80-year cycles of prosperity and catastrophe. And it foresees catastrophe right around the corner. 
It also leads to unavoidable questions about war and whether Mr. Bannon, who has recommended the book to countless friends and made a film about it in 2010, is resigned to catastrophic global conflict. He says he is not. 
And he remains unconvinced that the United States can effectively intervene in overseas conflicts like the one unfolding in Syria. As one of the voices in the administration who expressed skepticism about a military strike in response to the Assad regime’s chemical attack on its own citizens, Mr. Bannon insists he is no warmonger.
Well, there you have it.

Is the Syria proxy war threatening to heat up again, or is this all just another dance in the Cold War Kabuki? Have actions like the Bombshow  become like sacrificial actions in ongoing magical actions? Or is the real war is for your mind and is playing out in thousands of manufactured headlines, blizzards of 30 second videos with deceptive text crawls and the endless babbling of overpaid talking heads?

I feel stupid even asking the question.

Just in case you're worried that this is all leading to nukes raining down on American cities,  the cognitive warriors seem to be trying to defuse any expectations of impending Armageddon: 
White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster says that while the U.S. would push for regime change in Syria, “We’re not the ones who are going to effect that change.” 
“What we’re saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions,” McMaster said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." “Russia should ask themselves, ‘What are we doing here?’ Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population and using the most heinous weapons available?’”
Translation: No way in Hell we have the readiness needed for a hot war with a military superpower.

And since the mindfuck is the mother's milk of Cog-War, the careful inoculation of mixed messages into the mediafeed becomes just as vital a weapon as a cruise missile. Scratch that- much, much more so.
Trump Administration Is Contradicting Itself On Regime Change In Syria 
The Trump administration appears divided on whether the U.S. is pursuing a policy of regime change in Syria, days after the first direct American military attack against the Syrian government. 
Thursday’s strike “was related solely to the most recent horrific use of chemical weapons,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. The goal of the attack was to send a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad and its ally Russia that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate the use of chemical weapons, he continued. “Other than that, there is no change to our military posture.”
But United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said there can be no peace in Syria with Assad in power. “There’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria.​”​
Though Haley stopped short of indicating the U.S. would take military action to overthrow the Syrian dictator, her comments reflect a sharp change from the administration’s previous position.
The difference here, of course, is that Tillerson sets and executes policy and Haley sits in a glorified debating society and blows smoke and fairy dust for a bunch of bored bureaucrats wishing they had their real government jobs back, the ones they enjoyed before being pushed upstairs to their present posts. The media only pays attention when bombs are falling.

It's all black magic, make no mistake about it. There are different terms and epithets for it all now,  but when you strip all the twenty-dollar words and the credentials and the technology away the intent and the effect is no different than a witch doctor's curse. 

William S. Burroughs understood this, since his uncle Ivy Lee was the creator of one of these modern strains of black magic, so-called "public relations." Burroughs considered his uncle a bonafide "evil genius." And Lee was a piker compared to the algorithm-fired masters of the dark arts striding the globe today.

Here's a story that probably won't pop up on your Facebook feed. Anyone paying attention to the Russia hacking story probably knows how incredibly weak the hacking evidence actually is,* but now Wikileaks is teasing out the Seth Rich mystery again.
‘Guccifer 2.0’ Chat With Nude Model Sparks New Conspiracy Theories About Murder of DNC’s Seth Rich 
New chat logs between alleged Democratic National Committee hacker Guccifer 2.0 and a Playboy centerfold model surfaced today via Wikileaks on Twitter, throwing more fuel on the conspiracy theories surrounding murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. The Twitter conversation, conducted via direct messages, purports to reveal Rich as the primary leaker of the DNC e-mails that proved highly disruptive during the 2016 presidential election. 
In direct messages dated August 25, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 mentioned having a whistleblower at the DNC, and said he was looking for a “person of trust who can be a guarantee in case anything happens.”
When Young suggested trusting Julian Assange, Guccifer 2.0 called him “unsafe” and that he “may be connected with Russians” despite being his hero. 
“I’d like to find a journalist who can do an investigation and teel [sic] the real story of his life and death,” he said, and revealed that the whistleblower he was referring to was none other than a person named “Seth.” 
“I suppose u know who I’m talking about,” he said, adding that he felt sorry about the murdered DNC staffer’s parents and that he wished for journalists to uncover the truth of his murder.
Seth Rich, a 27-year-old mid-level DNC staffer, was shot and killed in the early morning of July 2016 in Washington DC, while he was walking home from a bar and talking with his girlfriend on his mobile phone. Rich’s killers left his watch and wallet untouched on his body. 
This wasn't floated by Alex Jones or David Icke, it popped up on Heat Street, which is owned by the Dow Jones Company and Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp. This story looks like it's going to grow some legs yet.

So are you sick of the Cog-War and the Cold War Kabuki yet? Tired of your social media hijacked by proxy warriors fighting battles for cliques within the Intelligence community? Burnt out on the whole Reality Show Presidency and its discontents altogether?

Start looking into ashrams in Sri Lanka, then. This machine is just getting warmed up. 

*Maybe some bright young spark should see if maybe the hacking an inside job by intel people who correctly judged a Trump White House would be easier to dominate than a bloated, top-heavy Clinton one. Just throwing that out there for giggles and grins.

          Spy vs Spy: Stuck in the Funhouse   

Funhouses are only fun when you can leave them. When the distorting mirror images become your new, day-to-day reality construct, then it's not so much fun anymore. 

I dreaded the 2016 Election because I had a very strong feeling that no matter who won we'd be plunged into a dystopian paradigm in which major power blocs would erupt into all-out warfare. And I sensed that neither Trump nor Clinton possessed the political skills or the communicative powers to keep the carnage fully out of our view. Or our path.

And I was right.

Trump's only been in office for a little over two months and I'm exhausted already. I'm certainly not alone in this. It all feels like a TV sitcom in its seventh season, well after the writers ran out of story ideas. The shark has been good and jumped. And the ratings (the approval ratings, in this case) are plunging too.

What is truly demoralizing though is the utter transparency of the secret war playing out, the seemingly endless spy vs spy thrust and counter-thrust, and the obvious deceptions. Even more so is the Animal Farm-like metamorphosis of the Democratic Party into a full-blown, funhouse mirror of McCarthy-era Republicans, but with Glenn Beck-worthy conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure.

I don't know about you but all of a sudden the world seems especially cold, hard, gray, harsh. Masks are coming off, velvet gloves tossed into wastebins. It doesn't seem to matter who wins the scorpion fight, you're still stuck with a scorpion.  

We can't call out the play-by-play because it's largely being acted out behind closed doors. But we can look at the collateral damage and make certain speculations. There's no doubt that it would all be just as bad-- probably worse-- if Hillary won. Even so, this all feels especially grating.

You've probably seen this story:
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Friday apologized to the owner of a Washington pizzeria that became the subject of a conspiracy theory about human trafficking last year. 
Pizza shop Comet Ping Pong was thrust into the spotlight last year after a gunman allegedly fired a shot inside the restaurant. The suspect said he was investigating the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, were operating a child sex trafficking ring out of the restaurant. 
The theory, which became known as Pizzagate, had circulated among far-right conspiracy theory websites and social media accounts. 
“In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones, who runs Infowars, said in a video. James Alefantis is the owner of Comet Ping Pong. 
Jones said his website relied on reporters who are no longer employed by Infowars and that video reports about Pizzagate were removed from the website. He also invited Alefantis onto the show to discuss the incident.
It was preceded by this story:
According to McClatchy News, the FBI’s Russian-influence probe agents are exploring whether far-right news operations, including the pro-Donald Trump sites Breitbart News and Infowars, “took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives.”  Trump’s ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, a member of the Trump transition team, were among those who boosted the so-called “PizzaGate” pedophile conspiracy theory.
I doubt this will quell the fervor among the Pizzagaters on sites like 4chan and Voat. Given the suspicion many on the fringes regard Jones with it may in fact give the flagging movement a fresh jolt. Jones' apology may also have to do with the drive to purge YouTube of "extremist" content and the controversy over the use of advertising on videos corporate clients find objectionable. A World without Sin, as our Gordon might put it. 

Washington Post headline, pre-election.

So much for theories that the FBI was ready to make mass arrests of prominent Washington figures related to Pizzagate.  Has any "mass arrest" Internet story ever panned out?  

Maybe it has:
Donald Trump became president on Jan. 20. And in one short month, there were more than 1,500 arrests for sex crimes ranging from trafficking to pedophilia.  
Big deal? You bet. In all of 2014, there were fewer than 400 sex trafficking-related arrests, according to FBI crime statistics. Liz Crokin at TownHall.com has put together a great piece on the push by the Trump administration to crack down on sex crimes. And she notes that while "this should be one of the biggest stories in the national news... the mainstream media has barely, if at all, covered any of these mass pedophile arrests. This begs the question – why?
This may have nothing to do with Trump-- in fact, it's likely it doesn't-- since these kinds of actions are planned out months in advance. The arrests continue, in case you were wondering, with major busts going down on a near-weekly basis. Someone's cleaning house. 

For what it's worth, I always reckoned that Pizzagate was in fact cover/distraction for a more hidden struggle, one that would take place under the radar*. As I noted back in November:

No one is saying as much but this very much feels connected to a deeper, more covert war. 
Why would I say such a thing? Because at the same time the Pizzagate story went dark we've seen major strikes taken against international pedophilia, which actually is a global conspiracy, with its own networks, secret codes and moles within established centers of power such as schools, police departments and governments.  
With such combustible accusations-- and such potential for a scandal that could quickly spread out of control (ie., involve political figures you're not trying to destroy)-- you'd naturally expect the action to go dark and the fall guys to be placed pretty far down the foodchain. (Remember that a prior investigation bagged one of the most powerful people in Washington at one time, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert).†


It may be sheer coincidence, but James Alefantis' former partner suffered a major heart attack this week
Media Matters for America founder David Brock was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack. 
According to a press release from MMA, the founder of the liberal media watchdog and analysis website was rushed to the hospital early Tuesday afternoon and received treatment.
Sure, it may be coincidence. But I couldn't help but remember this story, published soon after the election
Dems to David Brock: Stop Helping, You Are Killing Us 
Democrats know they need someone to lead them out of the wilderness. But, they say, that someone is not David Brock.

As David Brock attempts to position himself as a leader in rebuilding ademoralized Democratic Party in the age of Trump, many leading Democratic organizers and operatives are wishing the man would simply disappear.
"Disappear." Huh. 
Many in the party—Clinton loyalists, Obama veterans, and Bernie supporters alike—talk about the man not as a sought-after ally in the fight against Trumpism, but as a nuisance and a hanger-on, overseeing a colossal waste of cash. And former employees say that he has hurt the cause.
It's worth remembering that Breitbart.com Andrew Breitbart died of a heart attack at the age of 43. A year before he'd posted a cryptic tweet that some have since linked to the Pizzagate imbroglio.  Just before his death he hyped some revelation about Barack Obama's past. 

A coroner in the office handling Breitbart's body subsequently died of arsenic poisoning. The day Breitbart's autopsy results were revealed, in fact.


We also saw James Comey revive Russiagate, which had been flatlining after Vault 7. Any illusions among Trump fans that the FBI was secretly on their side were ground into powder, between this revelation and the Pizzagate conspiracy investigations. 

One can't help but wonder if the New Praetorians (I've noticed that the Praetorian meme has been picked up by more prominent commentators, but you heard it here first) are losing their last shred of patience with Donald Trump's shenanigans and are planning imminent regime change: 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether Donald Trump’s associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats. 
In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.
How surreal is the world in which you know live in? So much so that mainstream political site The Hill is comparing the action in Washington to a Stanley Kubrick film, one which has become notorious for the conspiracy theories that have been projected onto it (and is well familiar to Synchronauts):
On the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Shining, Stephen King must be wondering if Washington is working on its own sequel. For the last couple months, Washington has been on edge, like we are all trapped in Overlook Hotel with every day bringing a new “jump scare,” often preceded by a telltale tweet. Indeed, a Twitter whistle has replaced suspenseful music to put the entire city on the edge of their seats. 
In this Shining sequel, however, people are sharply divided on who is the deranged ax-wielding villain in this lodge, the president or the press. Ironically, with the recent disclosure that some of the Trump campaign may indeed have been subject to surveillance, the president is looking more like Danny Torrence, a character dismissed for constantly muttering “redrum, redrum” until someone finally looked in a mirror at the reverse image to see the true message.
Yeah, I'm not really feeling that metaphor there, but whatever. It's been that kind of year.

Now the Internet is burning up with theories that disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has "turned" and is going to testify against the Trump Administration, or at least figures attached to it. 

It's hard to imagine a three-star general can be stupid enough to be guilty of things Flynn's been accused of but that may speak to a culture of impunity in Washington, in which your misdeeds are only punished if you get on the wrong side of the wrong people.


One wonders if the secret war has spread outside Washington. Car service giant Uber seems to be having a major run of rotten luck lately: 
Uber Technologies Inc. is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises. 
In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber’s Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows. An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the incident, and the veracity of the photo, and added that the ride-hailing company is suspending its autonomous tests in Arizona until it completes its investigation and pausing its Pittsburgh operations.

The incident also comes as Uber, and Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, are currently under scrutiny because of a series of scandals. The ride-hailing company has been accused of operating a sexist workplace. This month, the New York Times reported that Uber used a tool called Greyball to help drivers evade government regulators and enforcement officials. Kalanick said he needed "leadership help" after Bloomberg published a video showing him arguing with an Uber driver.
So who did Kalanick piss off? 

Coincidentally- there's that word again- the crash comes soon after Wikileaks revealed that CIA hackers had the ability to override the computer systems in automobiles. From Mashable:

WikiLeaks has published a trove of files it says are linked to the CIA's hacking operations — which apparently includes efforts to hack into cars.  
The first in a series called "Vault 7," "Year Zero" supposedly comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.  
"Year Zero" details the CIA's malware arsenal and "zero day" exploits against Apple iPhones, Google's Android operating system, Microsoft Windows and even Samsung TVs.  
 According to a document from 2014, the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. 
Oh, that's reassuring. Speaking of control systems, apparently pimps are controlling prostitutes with RFID chips:
It turns out this 20-something woman was being pimped out by her boyfriend, forced to sell herself for sex and hand him the money. 
 “It was a small glass capsule with a little almost like a circuit board inside of it,” he said. “It's an RFID chip. It's used to tag cats and dogs. And someone had tagged her like an animal, like she was somebody's pet that they owned.” 
This is human trafficking. It’s a marginal issue here in the U.S. for most of us. Part of that is because the average person isn’t sure what human trafficking – or modern day slavery – actually means.
Technology is our friend, right? And now this: 
Turkish Hackers Threaten To Wipe Millions Of iPhones; Demand Ransom From Apple 
Today, courtesy of CIO, we learn that a group of hackers referring to themselves as the "Turkish Crime Family", has been in direct contact with Apple and is demanding a $150,000 ransom by April 7th or they will proceed to wipe as many as 600 million apple devices for which they allegedly have passwords. 
The group said via email that it has had a database of about 519 million iCloud credentials for some time, but did not attempt to sell it until now. The interest for such accounts on the black market has been low due to security measures Apple has put in place in recent years, it said.

Since announcing its plan to wipe devices associated with iCloud accounts, the group claimed that other hackers have stepped forward and shared additional account credentials with them, putting the current number it holds at over 627 million.

According to the hackers, over 220 million of these credentials have been verified to work and provide access to iCloud accounts that don't have security measures like two-factor authentication turned on.
Of course, if credible, with an ask of just $150k, this is the most modest group of hackers we've ever come across.
Given the war that's erupted between the increasingly aggressive Turkish government and the EU, money may clearly not be the object here. Turkish PM Erdogan is clearly set on reconstructing the old Ottoman Empire and shivving Apple might just be part of the march.

Besides, Turkey is taking that recent coup attempt-- which is almost universally blamed on the CIA-- very personally.

Speaking of the EU, we've seen stories that Trump advisor Steve Bannon wants to dissolve the union. Which may be why Trump-adversary John McCain announced his unalloyed support for it- and the "New World Order" (his words, not mine):
The world "cries out for American and European leadership" through the EU and Nato, US senator John McCain said on Friday (24 March). 
In a "new world order under enormous strain" and in "the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved," said McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate. 
Speaking at the Brussels Forum, a conference organised by the German Marshall Fund, a transatlantic think tank, he said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity". 
"I trust the EU," he said, defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete". 
He said that the EU was "one of the most important alliances" for the US and that the EU and Nato were "the best two sums in history", which have maintained peace for the last 70 years. "We need to rely on Nato and have a Nato that adjusts to new challenges," he said.
Would McCain speak this way to a domestic audience? Of course not. Or maybe he would- I can't tell which way is up anymore. But either way it's good to know where he really stands.

Like McCain, China continues to sound a similar note of support for globalization, on which its very economic survival so desperately depends:
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli told a gathering of Asian leaders that the world must commit to multilateral free trade under the World Trade Organization and needs to reform global economic governance. 
“The river of globalization and free trade will always move forward with unstoppable momentum to the vast ocean of the global economy,” Zhang said. China will remain a strong force in the world economy and for peace and stability, he said, adding that countries must respect one another’s core interests and refrain from undermining regional stability. 
I suppose this is why China is off the target list for our new Cold (?) Warriors.

I've resisted posting on all this because it's all so depressing. I've actually written a few pieces on this chicanery that I ended up roundfiling. But I suppose I just wanted to go on the record about all this skullduggery, for posterity's sake.

UPDATE: Sex trafficking arrests and trials continue to proliferate. Most recent bust, an international ring in Minnesota. There is way too much activity going down in too short a time for this to be spontaneous.

* Which is exactly why I refrained from commenting on it here for the most part, instead noting that it had become a kind of memetic virus in much the same way that the Franklin/Boy's Town scandal had in the 90s. (Note that prior to the election-- and Pizzagate-- Trump nemesis the Washington Post was all over the issue of sex trafficking in the nation's capital). 

† The ongoing legal and police actions coinciding with the moves to shut down the Pizzagate fringes on the Web seem like the exact kind of action one would expect if there were a serious operation at work. Shutting down the Internet chatter makes perfect sense in this context because it can only complicate cases made by prosecutors. 
          The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past   

2017 might seem like the hangover after a particularly-nasty meth, glue and Thunderbird bender, but it's actually a year of major anniversaries. We're coming up on the 70th Anniversary of Kenneth Arnold and Roswell (as well as the National Security Act), the 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper and the Summer of Love and the centennial of the Russian Revolution. But there are a lot more observances, all kinds of 'ennials to observe. 

I thought I'd dig into a few anniversaries germane to The Secret Sun and the topics we look at here. Readers are encouraged to weigh in with their own (observations that can be counted in multiples of five and ten, that is) in the comments.

December will see the fifth anniversary of the 2012 apocalypse/ascension/ absurdity (depending on your point of view). Needless to say, most of us are still here and the skies didn't open and Nibiru didn't come crashing into the moon. So there goes another apocalypse. 

I can't help but wonder about the 2012 meme, though. As I wrote a couple years back, it certainly seems like something changed that year, that the bottom fell out somewhere but no one seemed to notice it at the time. 

I mean, Donald Trump is sitting in the White House, isn't he? If even you're a Trump supporter you have to admit this would have seemed impossible five years ago.

Maybe the Apocalypse works on a different timeline than it does in the movies. Maybe we're living in one only we can't see the forest fire for the burning trees. History can only be written from a distance.

2007 was the year Our Gods Wear Spandex was published and the year I began actively blogging on this site, so Happy Ten Year Anniversary to me. It's also the year that a newly-elected Senator - with a weird, oblique connection to the Council of Nine - announced his candidacy for President.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Heaven's Gate suicides, an event I've gone into some detail on this blog. Whatever the media might have you believe the Gate were a bonafide modern Gnostic sect, were serious and rigorous about their work and were deeply troubled by the emergence of the techno-surveillance state they saw emerging at the time. 

This week also marks the 20th anniversary of the last of the Order of the Solar Temple "suicides" ( rendered in quotes since many investigators suspect foul play by outside parties with the OST mass deaths). I wrote in some detail about the OST and their influence on pop culture here (the X-Files writers seemed especially fascinated with the OST and their unique status and history and the lingering questions over their deaths).

Postmortem reports claimed that the OST committed ritual suicide in order to spiritually ascend to Sirius, where they believe their souls originated from. If this is true this is another troubling link to the "Walk-Ins from Sirius" theme from Ruth Montgomery's seminal Aliens Among Us, which has also been linked to the Heaven's Gate suicides.

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the Phoenix Lights flap, a controversial UFO sighting that caused a major media meltdown and has been the focus of a growing mythology ever since. What is particularly interesting about the Phoenix episode- however you view it-- is that it took place right down the highway from the Heaven's Gate compound in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. 

It may have been seen as the final sign that their ride was here, seeing as how the web-savvy cult was monitoring all kinds of infostreams for omens and portents. 

Next week also marks the 20th anniversary of the Outer Limits episode "Double Helix," which plays out like an idealized fantasy world version of Marshall Applewhite's most cherished beliefs. 

Seeing as how the suicides were discovered before its airing it plays like an elegy, a bizarre epitaph for the cult, its leader and their beliefs. How the hell that happened is anyone's guess.

Speaking of double helixes, 1997 saw the announcement that the first major cloning had been done, of "Dolly" the sheep. The news was broken in Roslin, Scotland, of all places (Dan Brown fans take note). More ominously it was also the year IBM's Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in chess. 

Coincidentally or not, Steve Jobs returned to Apple a few months later and changed the world as we knew it. One of his last projects was designing the Apple HQ, which looks like a friggin' flying saucer.

Why do all those events feel so closely entwined? We can't say we weren't warned.

1987 is the 30th anniversary of the publication of Whitley Strieber's seminal autobiography Communion, which brought the concept of alien abduction out of the fringes and into book store in America and other parts of the world. 

It's hard to explain to younger people what a phenomenon this book was, the controversy it engendered, and the effect it had on the culture. Strieber was a well-known author of best-selling horror novels, a couple of which had been adapted into movies (Wolfen and The Hunger) but never enjoyed a success like Communion, which stayed on the New York Times best-sellers list for months and sold millions worldwide.

Daytime talkshows were suddenly fora for abductees, whether real or imagined, as were popular tabloid TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries. The craze made celebrities out of Strieber, abduction researchers like Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs and later, Harvard psychologist John Mack. 

Oldline UFO researchers stewed on the sidelines, having traditionally regarded abduction reports with suspicion, if not contempt. Communion would lead to other projects, the Travis Walton biopic Fire in the Sky, The X-Files (which became an even greater phenomenon than Strieber's book), and the Steven Spielberg maxi-series Taken (which would be the SciFi Channel's most-watched series at the time of its airing).

1987 was also the year New Age seeped into the mainstream and has been insidiously rewriting its host body like a computer virus ever since. Pop culture was the medium yet again- a miniseries based on Shirley MacLaine's "spiritual authobiography" Out On a Limb was aired on ABC and planted the seeds for the Me Generation's catch-as-catch-can Theosophy 2.0. 

1987 saw "Ramtha" go wide with the publication of JZ Knight's autobiography, A State of Mind. Channeling soon became a multimiilion dollar industry, with hundreds of mini-Ramtha's popping out of the woodwork dispensing greeting card homilies for a spiritually-indiscriminate polity.

All you needed to do was squint, loll your head around meaningfully, adopt a weird quasi-British accent and learn to spout pseudo-profoundities and you were in clover.

Again, the New Age craze is hard to explain today, though in large part because the New Age is so ubiquitous today it's woven into the cultural fabric of most Western- and many non-Western- cultures. 

Yoga studios can be found in every sizable American town. Acupuncture and other "alternative" modalities are often covered by health insurance programs. Health food stores are slowly displacing conventional supermarkets and many more traditional houses of worship offer New Age programs (meditation, yoga, self-actualization) to their congregants.

1987 also saw the Harmonic Convergence (aka the "New Age Woodstock"), meant to act as the movement's big hop over the cultural fence. But its organizers (which included the original 2012 guru, Jose Arguelles) deeply misjudged the true nature of the movement and how it actually existed in the ideational biosphere. 

This wasn't a revolution, it was a slow-moving insurrection, one that subverted culture from within, all the while denying its very existence (the hallmark of a true New Ager is that they deny actually being a New Ager). Big, showy events weren't going to do the work. Tenacious, relentless but quieter actions were going to insinuate New Age into the mainstream.

1987 saw the Iran-Contra Affair- in which arms were sold to Iran in exchange for American hostages held by Iran-controlled radicals and the profits then diverted to anti-Sandinista militants in Nicaragua- become the major news story, dominating the headlines and Sunday talk shows for the entire year and into the next. 

Iran-Contra is also arguably the impetus for the true mainstreaming of conspiracy theory (just in time for the dawning of the Internet Era). Conspiracy research wasn't a fringe hobby then, it was front page news all across the world. It's just that the virus escaped from the lab and filtered down into places the mainstream media would have rather it hadn't.

But the real groundwork for the rise of conspiracy culture would be laid ten years earlier when the first fully-functional home computer, the Commodore PET was debuted at a trade show. 

Conspiracy theory may have thrived on talk radio (and short wave and ham radio, not to mention mail order) but it would explode on the Internet, even in the crudest venues of the BBS dial-in days.

At the same time the Commodore was unveiled, a new President from Plains, Georgia took office who swore to tear the lid off government corruption (and significantly, UFO secrecy) in Washington. 

Things, predictably, wouldn't work out so well for him.

1977 saw the commoditization of the modern Hollywood blockbuster-- already having birthed itself in 1975 with Steven Spielberg's Jaws. 

George Lucas' spiritual SF epic Star Wars and Spielberg's UFO fantasia Close Encounters of the Third Kind changed the rules forever (you can throw in Saturday Night Fever if you like, as it spawned the rise of the blockbuster soundtrack as well) and, as many would argue, planted the seeds for the eventual creation empoverishment of the Hollywood they created.

In today's market, doubles and triples are no longer be enough, you need to either write a movie off as a tax loss or score a grand slam blockbuster, complete with merchandising and ancillary rights.

But Star Wars and Close Encounters were such monsters because they filled a genuine void in the culture, a need for miracle and transcendence in a rapidly-secularlizing culture. In their wake the movies would become the dream theater of the masses, in the same way the great cathedrals were to the peasants of the Middle Ages.

Both films struck at the right time- NASA tested its first space shuttle at the beginning of the year, promising a new era in space exploration. One that has yet to come to pass, 40 years later. Even so the mood was right at the time.

On the other end of the ritual spectrum 1977 also saw the arrest of David Berkowitz, whom the media named as the sole "Son of Sam" killer despite the fact that witnesses had cogently and explicitly described other shooters not matching his description. 

Berkowitz himself would later claim he was a member of a sect of the Process Church of the Final Judgement, he was not the only shooter and that the killings were human sacrifices. And as fate would have it two of the men he claimed as his accomplices would die under mysterious circumstances not long after Berkowitz was arrested. 

And their father was named Sam.

Also in the summer of 1977, Elvis Presley died after a long struggle with obesity and prescription drug abuse. 

It was poetic in a Greek tragedy kind of fashion since '77 not only saw the precipitous rise of Disco as an all-consuming craze (Donna Summer had the first hit with a totally-synthesized record, "I Feel Love," that year) but also the breakthrough of punk rock and first-wave New Wave (the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Elvis Costello and Talking Heads all released their debuts), which took the basic, four to the floor rock 'n' roll Presley cut his teeth on and wed it to postmodernism, Dada and other weird, Continental theories that old-timers like the King would never have anything to do with.

Not that most of America even noticed. The Eagles' Hotel California, Pink Floyd's Animals and Fleetwood Mac's Rumors were albums most of the public were actually buying. Punk bombed bad in its first assault on American record stores and most of the first wave bands would soon break up or radically water down their styles in a bid to make it to the US Top 40. 

New Wave, which began as a marketing ploy to ease punk into the American market, would become the musical equivalent of New Age, a contagion that would insinuate itself into the host and rewrite the matrix from within. 

40 years later New Wave concepts are so dominant (irony and sarcasm not the least among them) in pop they're no longer recognized as distinct or unique. But that process began in earnest over 35 years ago, when MTV began beaming art school weirdos from England into a growing number of American living rooms. 

In short order even Jethro Tull and Bob Dylan- the onetime crunchiest of the crunchy- were recording with drum machines and sequencers.

There's more to come. 

          Helen Gahagan Douglas: She Who Must Be Waylaid   
“Helen Gahagan Douglas … had not the slightest interest in politics until the late 1930s. Her conversion was as dramatic as a first-act curtain in the theater.”
  Eleanor Roosevelt

Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, a former movie star and opera singer, was a principled beacon of liberal light following the death of FDR.
She had once played She Who Must Be Obeyed, and when she ran for Senate in California, Congressman Richard Nixon regarded her as She Who Must Be Waylaid.
Helen Gahagan Douglas
“While sitting in a Viennese coffeehouse with an English music critic who was a friend of several colleagues, the two discussed her new contract,” wrote Sally Denton in The Pink Lady: The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas. “Suddenly, the man leaned in conspiratorially and whispered, ‘Of course, Miss Gahagan, you are pure Aryan?’
“Helen felt sick to her stomach as the man attempted to recruit her to the Nazi cause. ‘Aryans such as we,’ he told her, ‘(have) a duty to defend the superior race against Jews.’ At first she couldn’t speak. Until that moment the perspective of Jews in the world was a purely abstract notion. Now, as the Englishman spouted the familiar rantings of Hitler and Goebbels while asking her to enlist the support of fellow Nazi sympathizers in America, she felt forever changed. Her ‘Irish blood at the boiling point,’ she tore up the contract and left for home.”
It didn’t help the English critic’s case that her husband, the film actor Melvyn Douglas, was a Jew.
But it was the Dust Bowl that really blew Helen Gahagan Douglas into politics.
Once upon a time, specifically in California during the Dust Bowl 1930s, those much-despised “illegal aliens” were American citizens who’d fled West.
“Confined to filthy camps, thousands of starving families were ‘herded about like animals,’ living without toilet or showers, while local officials and growers fought to keep the federal government from supplying the migrants with food and medical supplies, fearing that they would form permanent communities, join unions and, most significant, interfere with the cheap Mexican laborers they were shuttling across the border and paying slave wages,” wrote Denton.
 “Importing labor was far cheaper than establishing schools and health-care clinics for American migrant workers, so the growers used every method possible, including force, to get the migrants to move on.
“Helen and Melvyn had attended dinner parties at which the subject of the ‘Okies’ was raised and they were frequently appalled at the lack of compassion shown by many of their peers. They ‘listened with astonishment to people making comfortable statements about how the situation was exaggerated or that the migrants should stop being so lazy and dirty.’”
Guided by Eleanor Roosevelt, she became more involved in politics even as she became less involved in her marriage. After Melvyn started a serious affair with a co-star, they separated, but would never divorce.
“I suppose it is commonplace that most long-time couples divide areas of emotional response, even as they share responsibilities and material goods,” Melvyn said years later. “Certainly our friends, the Roosevelts, had done something like that.”
Rising in politics, Helen had few illusions about it. “I was raised in a household of dominating men, and I learned early that men guard their authority over women jealously,” Helen said. “As for politics, they sincerely believe public life to be a male bailiwick. They reason that men have been running the country for the past two hundred years and are meant to do so for centuries to come. In short, men would never share power with women willingly. If we wanted it, we would have to take it.”
Fighting a conservative tide to keep the liberal Henry Wallace vice president in 1944, Douglas gave an eloquent speech at the Democratic National Convention.
“The Democratic party is the true conservative party,” she said. “We have conserved hope and ambition in the hearts of our people. We are the conservative party. We have conserved the skills of their hands. We have husbanded our natural resources. We have saved millions of homes and farms from foreclosure and conserved the family stake in democracy.
“We have rescued banks and trust companies, insured crops and people's savings. We have built schools. We have checked the flooding rivers and turned them into power.
“We have begun a program to free men and women from the constant nagging fear of unemployment, sickness, accident—and the dread of insecure old age. We have turned a once isolated, flood-ravished, poverty-stricken valley, the home of four and a half million people, into what is now a productive, happy place to live—the Tennessee River Valley. We have replanted the forest, re-fertilized the soil. Ours is the conservative party.
“We have guarded children, protected them by labor laws, planned school-lunch programs, provided clinics. Ours is the conservative party. Ours is the party that has created laws which have given dignity and protection to the working men and women of this country. Ours is the party that has made the individual aware of the need for his participation in a true democracy. We are the conservative party.
“We have conserved the people's faith in a people's government—democracy.”
Elected to Congress in 1944, Douglas was often compared to her glamorous right-wing counterpart there, Clare Booth Luce, the playwright and wife of Time Inc. founder Henry Luce.
“Driving cross-country with her secretary Evie Chavoor, and a friend, Jarmila Marton, having decided to make the move to Washington by automobile, the women tuned the radio to a morning news broadcast,” Denton wrote. “They listened with amusement to the announcement that Helen had defeated Luce as one of the 10 best-dressed women in public life.
“The rookie congresswoman had broken a cap on her front tooth, leaving a gap and stump when she opened her mouth to smile. Evie ‘turned around and looked at Helen, and there she was in the back seat with her terrible sloppy pants on … huddled in a blanket, her hair all streaming down.’ The women howled with laughter, wishing a photographer could see her in such a state.”
Douglas understood, though, that the trivial focus on women’s looks was a means of undermining their power. “Congresswomen’s ideas should rate above their clothes and looks,” she said. “Why this emphasis on the sexes anyway, in a serious thing like government?”
“I never felt I left the stage,” Douglas said, and her clipped, powerful, theatrically trained voice was a great asset in politics.
But there was nothing phony about her, nothing fake. She was a proponent of what philosophers call “virtue ethics,” giving a fair summary of it in this quote: “Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains.”
The liberal and idealistic Douglas was waylaid by the rising, conniving and unprincipled Nixon, sounding an ugly theme that has echoed in American politics right into the 21stcentury.
Nixon’s dirty tactics — among them smearing Douglas as a Communist and sponsoring calls to ask voters if they were aware that her movie star husband was “a Jew” — earned him the apt, lifelong nickname Tricky Dick. But Douglas was also hampered by her own lofty idealism and California’s Chinatown-like civic corruption. And the times were against her, the 1950 election coinciding with both the rise of McCarthyism and the height of the Korean war.
“There was the United States fighting communism and I was the person who said we should limit the power of the military and try to disarm the world and get along with Russia,” Douglas said.
“The worst moment, a sight I couldn’t shake, was when children picked up rocks and threw them at my car, at me. I knew that in order to survive I would have to accept the rocks and the Nixon campaign, shrug them off and move on. I wondered if I would be able to do it.”
She was, finding herself exhausted but strangely calm after Nixon’s huge victory. “I was so pleased that I had escaped the terrible burden of hating Richard Nixon that I was almost elated,” she said.
Nixon, in later years, at least feigned regret over his behavior in the campaign. “Years later, asked by British publisher David Astor to explain his campaign tactics, Nixon reportedly ‘cast down his eyes with a look of modest contrition’ and explained, ‘I want you to remember that I was a very young man,’” wrote Anthony Summers in The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon. “In 1950, (Nixon) was 37 and a veteran of four years in the House of Representatives.”
Douglas summed it up simply: “There’s not much to say about the 1950 campaign, except that a man ran for Senate who wanted to get there, and didn’t care how he did it.”
After Nixon revealed his true character to the world in Watergate, and was driven from office in shame, Douglas had the last laugh. But she didn’t laugh. She mourned.
“If the national security is involved, anything goes,” she said in 1973. “There are no rules. There are people so lacking in roots about what is proper and improper that they don’t know there’s anything wrong in breaking into the headquarters of the opposition party.”
After Nixon’s resignation, a bumper sticker started appearing on vehicles throughout California: “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas.”
Her secretary Nan Stevens said, “People rather expected that she would be gloating over Richard Nixon finally being found out, but she was only said. She thought it terrible for the country and for America’s reputation abroad. I know that makes her sound almost too good to be true, but she was good. I’m not saying Helen didn’t have feet of clay. But you had to look awfully hard to find her tiny clay feet.”
Douglas and her husband often led separate lives. She had an affair with, among others, Lyndon Baines Johnson, but became estranged from with him during his presidency over her support for disarmament and opposition to the escalating Vietnam War.
But Douglas and Melvyn were always good friends, and he made an impassioned radio speech for her during her doomed Senate campaign. “It is easier — as a matter of fact it is the easiest thing in the world — to call people of good will dirty names, to call them Communists,” he said.

Melvyn was at her side when she died of cancer in 1980, and he wrote, “She was entranced always by the light. In every house we ever occupied, she wanted the windows to be wider. She always thought no room could have too many windows … She was always saying, ‘Look at the light! Isn’t it beautiful? Shewas the light. And she was beautiful.’”

          Comment on Matthew Bate Allegedly Murdered in Russian Hill Altercation by Michael Deaton   
It's funny how all of these reports keep saying there have been 2 suspects arrested but none are posting pics or even naming names. Gee...I wonder why.
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          BP's $24B Sale Doesn't Mean a Russian Retreat   

Updated to reflect Morgan Stanley, UBS analyst estimates.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Although BP is selling its stake in Russia's TNK-BP, in a deal that amounts to the British oil giant's largest ever asset sale, the company looks to be doubling down on its investment in Russia's oil and gas resources where political squabbles have hindered previous efforts.

On Monday, BP said it will sell its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $17.1 billion in cash and a share stake in the Russian driller worth $7.13 billion, as of Oct. 18. BP will then use $4.8 billion of the cash to build its stake in Rosneft to 19.75%. ...

Click to view a price quote on BP.

Click to research the Energy industry.

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          A.I.type Keyboard Plus   
A.I.type Keyboard Plus is the best keyboard on the Android Market! Trial version - text prediction will be available for 14 days only (other great features are unlimited!). If you are a tablet user, download FloatNSplit Tablet Keyboard and get a whole new experience in typing! Buy this to get unlimited use with ALL A.I.type keyboard features! So, what makes A.I.type Keyboards ‘SIMPLY THE BEST’? * It’s smart! The keyboard suggests your next word, completes your current word and corrects your typos based on the context of what you are writing. * It gets smarter! As you type, the keyboard learns your common words, phrases and style, and improves its text prediction accordingly. We call it – MyType. * It’s accurate! You don’t have to be very precise with the keys you hit. Even if you miss keys frequently, the keyboard will understand and correct you. * It’s cool! You can change colors, themes, background images, fonts! You can resize the keyboard by dragging the resize key! You can make you keyboard look exactly like iPhone4, Windows Phone 7 or ICS (and more!)…It has lots of FREE Skins for you to choose from. * It is totally customizable! You can control just about anything and every behavior. You can edit and store your own shortcuts for you to use while typing. You also can download Emoji for FREE ! * It’s efficient! You have navigation buttons, you can undo and redo your changes, copy, cut and paste from the keyboard and more. *It’s easy to use! Drag it all the way down to expose the screen, and back up. Just swipe your finger up to get a numeric / navigation / symbols row! Another swipe – eliminate it! * It supports so many languages! The keyboard has over 35 keyboard layouts, and other than in English, text prediction is provided in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Dutch, Korean, Greek, Swedish, Polish and Hebrew. * It’s safe! A.I.type never collects, analyzes or sends your personal information, passwords, credit card numbers etc. Text stays encrypted and private. * It warns you when it corrects your text! Get a visual indication before auto-correction is applied, and a beep after the correction. Privacy notice: while installing A.I.type Keyboard, you will receive a warning message about collecting sensitive data. This is the standard general-purpose Android message issued for any downloaded keyboard and it does not pertain to A.I.type. Our keyboard DOES NOT COLLECT YOUR SENSITIVE DATA. Psychic word completions and predictions are generated by A.I.type’s servers on the Cloud. When the device is offline or Internet connection is too slow, or if you disabled Cloud-based prediction, word suggestions will be generated by the device only. Because A.I.type keeps improving, it’s recommended that you enable auto-update from Google Play so you always have the latest version. Please contact support@aitype.com with any feedback, issue or suggestion. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aitype.android.p&hl=en Download: A.I.type Keyboard

          Unstoppable Petya Ransomware CyberAttack Hits Networks and Computers in Over 65 Countries   
Yesterday saw the second major ransomware outbreak in a matter of less than two months. Countless big and small organizations including financial and government institutions, media, Russia’s Central Bank, Airports in Kiev, the shipping giant Maersk, and a number of other companies working in a variety of industries had their computer systems locked. Microsoft says […]
          Neuer Bundesliga-Spielplan: Vorstellung auf SPORT1    

Die Bundesliga-Saison 2017/18 wirft ihre Schatten voraus:

Am Donnerstag gibt die Deutsche Fußball-Liga (DFL) nun die Spielpläne der 1. und 2. Bundesliga bekannt. SPORT1 zeigt die Vorstellung ab 11.45 Uhr im LIVESTREAM auf SPORT1.de, bei Youtube und auf der Facebook-Seite von SPORT1.

Bestandteil der Spielplanveröffentlichung sind die detaillierte Darstellung der ersten beiden Spieltage der 1. Bundesliga sowie des ersten Spieltags in der 2. Bundesliga. Anschließend ist der komplette Spielplan der beiden Bundesligen auf SPORT1.de abrufbar.

Im Eröffnungsspiel der Bundesliga tritt wie in den vergangenen Jahren der amtierende Meister FC Bayern an - anders als bisher ist ein Heimspiel für den FCB allerdings nicht garantiert.

Der erste Spieltag ist für den 18. bis 20. August 2017 angesetzt, die zweite Liga beginnt drei Wochen früher am 28. Juli. Der letzte Spieltag steigt am 12. (Bundesliga) bzw. 13. Mai 2018 (2. Bundesliga).

Bereits vor der Bekanntgabe des Spielplans steht fest, dass Schalke 04 und Hertha BSC mit einem Heimspiel in die Saison starten. Die Stadien der beiden Bundesligisten sind am 2. Spieltag belegt, demzufolge treten die Klubs dabei auswärts an.

Durch das Heimspiel von S04 am ersten Spieltag muss Revierrivale Borussia Dortmund zu Beginn auswärts antreten.

          Sunday, June 18, 2017 - Corpus Christi - The Body and Blood of Christ - What is Eucharist for you?   
To read the texts click on the texts :Deut 8:2-3, 14-16; 1 Cor 10:16-17; Jn 6:51-58

A team of Russians and Americans were on a common expedition. Among their cabin foodstuff was Russian black bread. It was tasty but hard on the teeth. During a meal an American bit into a piece and snapped a tooth. He threw the bread overboard and growled: “Lousy Communist bread.” The Russian countered: “It is not lousy communist bread, but a shaky capitalist tooth.” Some of us may complain in a similar manner about the Eucharist being useless. However, if we do not experience the transforming power of the Eucharist it is not on account of the Eucharist but on account of our shaky faith and lack of understanding of what the Eucharist really means.

The feast of Corpus Christi is usually thought to be the feast of the Eucharist and while this is certainly true, it would be a mistake to restrict the understanding of the feast to the ritual of the Eucharist. The feast goes beyond the ritual to life itself, just as the Eucharist does.

The Eucharist is both a sacrament and a sacrifice. The Eucharist is a sacrament, an outward sign in and through which we meet Christ who shares his life of grace with us. Through signs of bread and wine he nourishes and strengthens us for our journey through life. We see with human eyes what looks like bread and wine. We see with eyes of faith, not bread and wine, but the risen, living Lord Jesus.

The Eucharist is a sacrifice, the representation or reliving of Christ’s sacrificial death on Good Friday and of his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The scripture readings today stress how God made a covenant with His people, first through Moses and then, finally and forever, through Christ, a covenant sealed and ratified by his blood. This covenant or bond of love between God and us is renewed and deepened through and in every Eucharist or Mass.

The second reading today, from Paul, is the earliest recorded story of anything Jesus did. And that earliest story is about a meal, the Last Supper, which Jesus shared with his disciples. In a very particular way, he made that meal a way to remember him. It brings forward his sacrifice and death and resurrection, his fellowship and unity with us, and everything he taught us. And he did not want his followers to eat it just once that night but to do it again and again, so that we continue to remember.

St Augustine often stressed to his parishioners a unique quality of the Eucharistic food. The ordinary food we eat, he says, becomes part of us. We are what we eat. But partaking of the Eucharist, we become part of Jesus, We become more Christ like, more patient and kind, more forgiving and understanding. We still live our ordinary daily lives, but it is Our Lord who inspires our attitudes and actions.  We begin to see people and events through his eyes, to think as he did. When Jesus was on this earth, he used his own hands to reach out to people, but when he wants to feed the poor today, he uses my hands, your hands to do this.

Surely, we hunger and thirst for something new, when we share in the grief, anger, misery and neglect of the impoverished, the unjustly accused, and victims of violence caused by religious intolerance, ethnic hatred, terrorism and racism. We are hungry indeed for peace and thirsty for reconciliation in this our troubled world. We are hungry and thirsty for a new world, a world where we will look one another in the eye and recognize the kinship of sisters and brothers who are all children of God. The promise of this new world is set forth in the strongest possible terms when Jesus declares, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them…”

This feast, then, of the Body of Christ, sums up three important confessions of our faith. First, and most important, God became physically present in the person of Christ – true God and true Man. Secondly; God continues to be present in His people as they form the Mystical Body of Christ in his Church. And, thirdly, God becomes present in the form of bread and wine on the altar at Mass. Eucharist, then, should not remain simply a “going to” or “taking of” that begins and ends in the sanctuary. It should become the deepest expression of our communion with Christ.

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          Kagawa torehkan hattrick Asia pertama di Liga Primer   

Shinji Kagawa

Kagawa kemungkinan akan ikut tur United menghadapi klub lamanya ke Jepang pertengahan tahun.

Shinji Kagawa menjadi orang Asia pertama yang berhasil menorehkan tiga gol sekaligus alias hattrick di arena Liga Primer Inggris saat membela Manchester United mengalahkan Norwich di stadion Old Trafford Sabtu (2/3) malam.

Wayne Rooney kemudian menyempurnakan kemenangan dengan satu gol sehingga skor akhir pertandingan menjadi 4-0 dan membuat klub asal kota Manchester itu unggul 15 poin dibanding rival terdekatnya, klub satu kota Manchester City.

Permainan cemerlang Kagawa ini disambut antusias pendukung United, termasuk manajer Alex Ferguson yang menjanjikan permainan bintang asal Jepang ini akan makin bersinar dalam laga-laga mendatang.

Pemain 23 tahun ini dibeli dari Borussia Dortmund Juni tahun lalu dan mengawali masa merumput di Manchester dengan kurang beruntung karena harus menjalani pengobatan untuk cedera lututnya lebih dulu.

"Sangat brilian. Anak ini adalah pemain pamungkas yang handal dan gol keduanya sangat terencana dan hasil akhir yang sangat cerdas sementara gol yang ketiga adalah tendangan yang amat sangat brillian," kata Ferguson penuh puja-puji pada stasiun televisi Sky Sports.

Kagawa harus istirahat merunmput sepanjang Oktober dan November dan selanjutnya masih jarang dimainkan kata Ferguson mengakui, namun Selasa besok (5/3) Kagawa mungkin akan kembali diturunkan Sir Alex saat anak asuhnya berhadapan dengan Real Madrid di babak 16 besar Liga Champions.

"(Cedera) itu membuatnya sedikit terpukul tapi pada akhirnya dia bangkit kembali dan saya kira Anda akan lihat pemain yang sangat bagus tahun depan."

Selain Kagawa pemain Liga Primer asal Jepang lainnya adalah Ryo Miyaichi, yang sekarang berstatus pinjaman kepada Wigan Athletic dari Arsenal, serta pemain Southampton, Maya Yoshida.

United memiliki banyak penggemar di Jepang dan seperti sebuah kebetulan, klub raksasa ini dijadwalkan akan menjalani tur ke negeri Matahari Terbit itu sebelum dimulainya laga musim depan. Disana nanti United akan berhadapan dengan klub yang pertama merekrut Kagawa di arena profesional, Cerezo Osaka dalam sebuah pertandingan persahabatan.

          Grosjean Tercepat, Alonso Terpuruk   

BARCELONA – Sesi tes kedua di Sirkuit Katalunya, menampilkan kejutan di mana driver Lotus, Romain Grosjean tampil tercepat. Tapi bagi para fans Ferrari, sepertinya mesti gigit jari lantaran Fernando Alonso, tampil buruk dan hanya menempati posisi 11.
Dari 88 lap yang dijalani, Grosjean mencatat waktu tercepat 1 menit 22,716 detik. Di tempat kedua, disusul Jenson Button di kokpit McLaren, dengan torehan waktu 1 menit 23,181 detik dari 72 lap yang dilahapnya.
Pilot asal Venezuela di mobil Williams, Pastor Maldonado, juga jadi kejutan berikutnya sebagai pembalap tercepat ketiga. Menghabiskan tiga lap lebih banyak dari Button, Maldonado menempuh waktu paling cepat, 1 menit 23,628 detik.
Duo driver asal Jerman, Sebastian Vettel dan Nico Hulkenberg, masing-masing menghuni tercepat keempat dan kelima. Sang juara bertahan menorehkan waktu 1 menit 23,743 detik, sementara Hulkenberg di kokpit Sauber mendulang 1 menit 23,744 detik sebagai catatan tercepatnya dalam 79 lap.
Alonso yang sedianya tampil di ‘rumah sendiri’, malah terpuruk dan terlempar dari 10 besar. Pembalap utama tim kuda jingkrak itu meski melintasi sirkuit lebih dari 100 putaran, hanya sanggup mengumpulkan waktu tercepat, 1 menit 27,878 detik.
Hasil Lengkap Sesi Tes Katalunya Hari Kedua:
1. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1min 22.716secs 88 laps
2. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1min 23.181secs 72 laps
3. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1min 23.628secs 75 laps
4. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1min 23.743secs 65 laps
5. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1min 23.744secs 79 laps
6. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1min 24.215secs 62 laps
7. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1min 25.483secs 61 laps
8. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1min 25.598secs 75 laps
9. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1min 26.316secs 48 laps
10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes-Mercedes 1min 26.655secs 120 laps
11. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 27.878secs 102 laps.

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          Download Puns of Steel (Argyle Sweater Collections) Ebook Free Online   

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Gratuit St. Patrick's Day Jokes, Riddles and One Liners ... Funny St. Patrick's Day jokes. Enjoy these hillarious jokes on St. Patrick's Day, and share them with a friend. Best Puns Of All Time! Forever Young Blog Best Puns Of All Time! June 8, 2011 Stay Positive best puns, have fun, humor, puns, stay positive Phil Santa Maria. Here they are. The best 25 puns of all time! St. Clare and the Greatest Puns of History The Slave of ... Today, the feast of St. Clare, I am reminded of some of the greatest puns in history. In Latin, Clares name means clear. As someone who loves puns ... Joy In The Rain: St. Patrick's Day Puns... St. Patrick's Day Riddles and Puns What is out on the lawn all summer and is Irish? Paddy O'Furniture. What do you call a fake stone in Ireland? Pun of the Day Funny Puns, Jokes, One Liners, Word Play ... Archive of puns in categories such as food, transportation, families, education, and work. Plus a one liner pun every week day. 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St. Patricks Day puns :: PunGents.com Dear Pun Gents, I need a name for a bowling team. The event is St. Patricks Day and our team works for a power electric utility. Tricia, Sanford, FL Pastor's Puns wogmbc.org Pastor's Puns and Humorist Things to Lighten Your Day. ... St. Peter tells them that they can enter the gates if they can answer one simple question. PUNS Program Brochure (English Version) DHS 4309 PUNS Program Brochure (English Version) ... (PUNS) form, and will put your ... St Clair County 618 236 7957 Madison County 618 656 9663; Irish Jokes for St. Patrick's Day theholidayspot.com A good laugh always helps, and more so when it is celebration time. On the eve of St. Patrick's Day, enjoy n forward these Irish jokes, for jokes are for sharing. Pun Jokes Funny Puns! Welcome to the best funny puns. Submit you favorite pun jokes, vote, leave comments and share your funniest puns with your friends. Please enjoy our punny site! Pun Define Pun at Dictionary.com Pun definition, the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, ... St. Ronan's Well Sir Walter Scott Golf Puns Pun Jokes List of golf puns. Here is our list of the best puns about golf. Be sure to share your favorite golf puns in the comments section on this page. DHS: Understanding PUNS DHS 4313 Understanding PUNS A Guide to Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services About the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Developmental Disabilities Funny Puns Clever Pun Jokes Reader's Digest Read enough of our funny puns, and you'll ... Get a print subscription to Reader's Digest and instantly enjoy free ... Why did the children call St. Nick ... Math Puns For St Patrick's Day FreeServers On this page you will find a selection of some of the more popular math worksheets with a St. St. Patrick's Day Jokes Funny Clean Jokes about St. Patrick's Day Puns Funny Puns Pun Pictures Cheezburger Funny pictures of really horrible, and terribly lame puns that will make you regret the day you Googled it. 231 Puns One Liners Funniest Puns Jokes OneLineFun.com Absolutely hillarious puns one liners! Large collection of best puns one line jokes rated by viewers. Valentines Day puns :: PunGents.com Dear Pun Gents, Im having a meeting to discuss the analysis of mouse mating calls. The meeting is on Valentines Day. Any quirky pun suggestions?Emma 10 Funny St. Patricks Day Jokes Boys' Life magazine Even if you remember to wear green on March 17, youll still get a pinch of humor from these funny St. Patricks Day jokes submitted by Boys Life readers. St. Patrick's Day Jokes You Can Tell Over Beers St. Patrick's Day arrives Tuesday (March 17). Originally a Catholic feast day, it has become an occasion in which people all over the world celebrate Irish culture ... A history of the world in funny puns Comedy Martin Chilton guides you through the history of the world, including the Battle of Waterloo, in funny puns. Pun Wikipedia Visual puns are sometimes used in logos, emblems, insignia, and other graphic symbols, in which one or more of the pun aspects is replaced by a picture. Dumb.com Jokes Silly Puns Silly Puns Read this joke and thousands of other funny jokes at Dumb.com Funny St Patrick's Day Jokes LaffGaff, Home Of Laughter Funny St Patrick's Day Jokes. St Patrick's Day takes place annually on the 17th March, on the anniversary of the death of Ireland's most famous saint. puns The Slave of the Immaculate Today, the feast of St. Clare, I am reminded of some of the greatest puns in history. In Latin, Clares name means clear. As someone who loves puns, I would ... 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          Download Ebook A Modest Proposal and Other Satires (Konemann Classics) Free PDF Online   

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          Caps Draft Pick Shane Gersich Lights Up USHL, Ranks Third in Goals   

Photo: Omaha Lancers Washington Capitals fifth-round pick Shane Gersich is off to a terrific start and has dominated the USHL so far this season. The speedy forward, who is expected to attend University of North Dakota beginning next fall, scored four goals in his last two games and now has five goals in six games overall. RMNB has got your video. Gersich’s Goals against Cedar Rapids Last weekend, Gersich had his first multi-goal game in the USHL. His first goal was a one-timer from the right faceoff circle on the power play. On the second goal, Gersich batted a rebound home after his own sharp-angle shot, scoring a game-winning goal as Omaha defeated Cedar Rapids 2-1. Gersich’s Goals against Des Moines On Tuesday, Gersich added two more goals. To score his first, he took away the pass in the offensive zone and ripped a wrist shot past the goalie. On his second goal, Gersich capitalized on a 2-on-0 breakaway after a pass from another Caps prospect, sixth-round pick Steven Spinner. Omaha lost to Des Moines 5-3, falling to a conference-worst 1-4-1 record despite a league-high four NHL drafted prospects on the roster. With his goal-scoring surge, Gersich is currently tied for third in the league in goals, behind only Brock Boeser, a player who was recently ranked in the first round of stacked 2015 Draft by The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy and 20-year-old Matt Iacopelli. He also sits third in shots on goal, after 19 in his last three games. The Capitals may have found another late-round gem.

The post Caps Draft Pick Shane Gersich Lights Up USHL, Ranks Third in Goals appeared first on Russian Machine Never Breaks.

          Caps Prospect Brian Pinho Scores Late Third-Period Championship-Winning Goal (GIF)   

Ice celebrate the victory (Photo: USHL Images) The Indiana Ice, featuring Washington Capitals draft pick Brian Pinho, have won the Clark Cup. In game five of a best-of-five series, the Ice rallied to beat Waterloo Black Hawks 3-2 to win the USHL championship. Pinho scored the game-winning goal with just over two minutes to go in the third period.  Pinho is in white, wearing #26. Pinho also had an assist in the first period. Pinho’s shot from the high slot was stopped by Waterloo’s Cal Petersen, but Mitch Hults was first on the rebound. Pinho scored the game-winner after Aldan Muir made a drop pass to him. Petersen was caught off-guard by the sudden change of angle and left part of his net wide open. Following the game, Pinho told USHL’s official site, “We battled so hard all year, went through so much adversity, to play a good third period like that was unbelievable.” “I just got the puck, passed it on to my linemate in the neutral zone,” said Pinho about the championship-winning goal. “I hopped up on the rush and he kicked it out on the wing for me and I just took a quick shot on net looking for a rebound and it actually went in, pretty fortunate.” Another Caps prospect, Zach Sanford of Waterloo, scored a second-period goal that gave his Hawks an early 2-1 lead. Sanford is in red, wearing #12. Jake Horton picked off Indiana’s breakout pass and fed the puck to Sanford who tipped it in front of the net. The Ice are coached and managed by Jeff Brown, a veteran of more than 700 NHL games who finished his career with the Capitals during their Stanley Cup run of 1998. With the Caps, Brown appeared in nine regular season games and two in the playoffs. The speedy center […]

The post Caps Prospect Brian Pinho Scores Late Third-Period Championship-Winning Goal (GIF) appeared first on Russian Machine Never Breaks.

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          Old Trafford   
30 Ekim 1996'da, daha 3, 4 yıl öncesine kadar Türk takımlarından yiyebileceği belkide en büyük acılardan birisini tadan ve Şampiyonlar Ligi'nin formatının değişmesine sebep olan Manchester United, tam 40 yıl boyunca yani 56 maç Avrupa'da evinde kaybetmeyen Man Utd'ın bir geleneğini bozmuştu Fenerbahçe. Gel zaman git zaman Man Utd evini kale gibi kullandı yine az yenildi Old Trafford'da. Bu akşamda Cluj galip geldi İngiltere'de. Aklıma geldi gece gece. 1996'dan bu yana bi bakalım kimler düdüklemiş ManU'yu evinde.

30 Ekim 1996
Manchester United 0 x 1 Fenerbahçe
23 Nisan 1997
Manchester United 0 x 1 Borussia Dortmund
19 Nisan 2000
Manchester United 2 x 3 Real Madrid
3 Nisan 2001
Manchester United 0 x 1 Bayern München
17 Ekim 2001
Manchester United 2 x 3 Deportivo la Coruna
23 Şubat 2005
Manchester United 0 x 1 AC Milan
25 Kasım 2009
Manchester United 0 x 1 Beşiktaş
8 Mart 2012
Manchester United 2 x 3 Athletic Bilbao
5 Aralık 2012
Manchester United 0 x 1 CFR Cluj

16 yılda 9 mağlubiyet sadece. Ama yinede süper istatistik sahibi bi takım, ya 1-0 yada 2-3. Başka türlüsü yok.
          Gruplar Biter, Şubat Beklenir   
 * Gruplarda en çok puanı PSG aldı, 15 puan.
 * 0 puan alan hiçbir takım yok, en az puanı Dinamo Zagreb aldı, 1 puan, o tek puanda son maçta geldi 1-1 berabere biten Dinamo Kiev maçında.
 * En az golü atan takım Dinamo Zagreb, 1 gol. Ne olduysa son maçta olmuş işte Zagreb'in.
 * 16 gol atıp devler ligine devam edemeyen Chelsea'nın bu alandaki birinciliği pek işe yarayamadı.
 * Nordsjaelland 22 gol yiyerek son sırada grubu tamamlayarak Avrupa defterini kapattı.
 * Bir başka son sıra takımıda Anderlecht 9 gol gördü kalesinde ve onlar içinde Avrupa bitti. Nerde 22, nerde 9 gol adalet işte.
 * Anderlecht 9 gol atıp son sırada bitirdi grubunu ama Manchester United ilk 4 maçında 9 gol atıp 12 puan toplayıp gruptan çıkmayı garantilemişti. Kalan 2 maçtada gol atamadan ikinci tura kaldılar, adalet işte.
 * En az yiyen takım PSG, 3 gol. İkinci sırayı işe Porto ve Juventus paylaşıyor 4'er golle. PSG ve Porto aynı gruptaydı.   
 * Grup bazında en büyük süprizi BATE yaptı diyebiliriz belkide. Bayern, Valencia ve Lille'den oluşan grupta Lille'i geçip Europa League'e kaldılar. Rüya gibi başlamıştı onlar için grup. 3-1'lik Lille ve Bayern galibiyetleriyle kendilerini bi anda ilk sırada bulmuşlardı.
 * Aslında süprizlerin en büyüğü, en büyük hayal kırıklığı tabikide Manchester City. Ölüm grubunda Borussia Dortmund herkeze peşkeş çekerken, Premier League'in son dakika şampiyonu City son sırada galibiyet yüzü göremeden evinde aldığı 3 puanla kapattı sezonunu.
 * Burak Yılmaz ve Cristiano Ronaldo'nun 6'şar golünüde bi kenara yazalım.
6 gol atıp sevinilemeyen bi maçta gözüme çarpan en büyük ayrıntı. 3 penaltı var 1 tanesi ağlarla buluştu sadece. Bütün kafaların Donbass Arena'da olmasına rağmen 7 defa top çerçeveden içeri girdi. Juventus'un işini sağlama alıp bahis firmalarının beraberlik kokan maçında galip gelmesi ki golüde Shakhtar kendi kalesine attı, 2. tur kovalarken bir anda grubuda lider bitirdiler. Gruplarda ikili averaj değilde genel averaja bakılsaydı Chelsea ikinci turda, Shakhtar Europa League'de yoluna devam edecekti. Juve maçına değinecek olursak, Shaktar'ın maç genelinde sadece 2 önemli pozisyonu var birisi direkten nasıl döndüğünü herkezin şaşırdığı garip bi pozisyon diğeride serbest vuruş ve dışarıya çıkan ikinci hamlesi. Juve maçı isteyen taraf olmuduğu girdikleri pozisyonlardan belli galibiyet golünün kendi kalesine atılan bi gol olduğuna bakmayın. Chelsea maçında Mata'nın golünü izleyin, top öyle bir sektiki Mata'nın önüne doğru beni gol der gibi.
Manchester United yine her zamanki gibi işini erkenden halledip, bundan sonra bebelere forma şansı vereyim yenilirlersede canları sağolsun minvalinde takılmaya devam ediyor. Yedek geldikleri İstanbul'dan sonra kendi evlerindeki Cluj maçına Giggs, De Gea ve Rooney takviyeli kadrosuyla çıktı. Biz ManU'dan kıyak beklerken Cluj'da kendi işini kendisi halletme çabasındaydı. 3 puanı harika bi golle aldılar.
 Ayın 20'sinde kuralar çekiliyor. Ben Juventus'u istiyorum millet twitter'da PSG'ye takmış durumda anlamadım. BVB, Barça, Bayern gelmesinde. Gidenler ve kalanlar;
2. Tur
  • Paris Saint-Germain FC *
  • FC Porto 
  • FC Schalke 04 *
  • Arsenal FC
  • Malaga CF *
  • AC Milan
  • Borussia Dortmund *
  • Real Madrid CF
  • Juventus *
  • FC Shakhtar Donetsk
  • FC Bayern München *
  • Valencia CF
  • FC Barcelona *
  • Celtic FC
  • Manchester United FC *
  • Galatasaray
Europa League
  • FC Dynamo Kyiv
  • Olympiacos FC
  • FC Zenit St. Petersburg
  • AFC Ajax
  • Chelsea FC
  • FC Bate Borisov
  • SL Benfica
  • CFR 1907 Cluj

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          August 30th with guest Justin Blair.   
G&D 08-30-09 Across the Forest Tales from Transylvania, A film by Justin Blair and Matthew Vincent www.acrosstheforest.com Justin Blair received his BA in History from the University of Florida in 2004. He attended the Russian and East European Institute MA program from the summer of 2007 to 2008 (Romanian Studies). He has taught English in […]
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          Cold War Spy Series 'The Americans' Taps Into Today's Concerns About Russia   
Last week, when news surfaced about various meetings between the Russian ambassador and members of Donald Trump's campaign, Huffington Post editor Howard Fineman appeared on MSNBC and said, "If you think the Russian ambassador is just an ambassador, you haven't been watching The Americans." Well, I have been watching — and it's been fascinating from the start. But now, with Cold War intrigue hotter than it's been in decades, many curious new viewers are likely to flock to this series. At first, they may be quite surprised, because The Americans, more than anything else, is a family drama, in which the parents just happen to be Russian spies living in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. The husband and wife, Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, were paired by mother Russia long ago to emigrate to the United States and have a couple of kids and run a small travel agency, while taking on serious and sometimes dangerous spy missions. Their kids are now teens, and their daughter Paige is old
          Aliens Attack And Congress Goes Extreme In CBS' Political Satire 'BrainDead'   
Remember that meteorite that smashed into Russia a few years ago, with enough people filming it as it came to Earth to cause a brief Internet sensation? Robert and Michelle King certainly do. The creators of The Good Wife use some of those images in the opening moments of their new CBS series, BrainDead, to set up a bizarre but very enjoyable hypothetical scenario. Here's the weird what-if: What if a meteorite like that one is recovered by Russians and forwarded to the United States for further study and eventual display in the Smithsonian? And what if that happens right at the start of a government shutdown, allowing the outer-space rock to burst open undetected, spilling out a veritable army of ant-like space bugs? And what if those bugs have the power, and the inclination, to creep around inside the Beltway and into the ears of politicians and their staffers, eating and mutating their brains? And what if those brain mutations result in politicians who are partisan in the extreme —
          Russian Election Meddling in Europe Growing Bolder, Officials Say – Morning Consult   

Morning Consult Russian Election Meddling in Europe Growing Bolder, Officials SayMorning ConsultRussian hacking efforts leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election were part of a broader influence campaign aimed at countries across Europe and the Balkans, meant to disrupt pro-North Atlantic Treaty Organization candidates and parties …Senate Intel asks 21 states to publicize election…

link: Russian Election Meddling in Europe Growing Bolder, Officials Say – Morning Consult

          Keeping Elections Safe From Hackers – Chicago Tonight | WTTW   

Chicago Tonight | WTTW Keeping Elections Safe From HackersChicago Tonight | WTTWAmid the array of investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 election, the director of the Illinois State Board of Elections testified last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Illinois was the target of a hack that exposed … Source link

link: Keeping Elections Safe From Hackers – Chicago Tonight | WTTW

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          Senate Intel putting Russia probe on fast track – Politico   

Politico Senate Intel putting Russia probe on fast trackPoliticoThe Senate panel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election aims to finish its work by the end of this year and plans to double the number of witness interviews to nearly 90 before lawmakers break for the August recess, the Republican leader of … and more »…

link: Senate Intel putting Russia probe on fast track – Politico

          Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort belatedly registers as foreign agent – USA TODAY   

USA TODAY Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort belatedly registers as foreign agentUSA TODAYWASHINGTON – Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort belatedly registered as a foreign agent for a pro-Russia group in Ukraine, disclosing that his firm was paid slightly more than $17 million over two years, according to documents filed with the … and…

link: Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort belatedly registers as foreign agent – USA TODAY

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          Burr: Senate Intel Has 'Aggressive' Schedule to Finish Russia Probe   
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has an aggressive timeline for the Senate panel to finish its investigation into the Russia probe, Politico reports.
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          North Korea Buys Russian Oil Via Singapore, Senior Defector Says   
North Korea is likely buying diesel from Russian oil companies via trading companies in Singapore, and should the U.S. cut off all oil flows to Pyongyang, it would sever the regime’s lifeline, senior-level North Korean defector Ri Jong Ho told Voice of America Korean Service in his first interview since he defected in October 2014. For 30 years, Ri had supervised North Korea’s production and trade, and his last role was head of Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation, managed by Office 39. This Office 39 is a secretive branch of the…
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Should we try to make ourselves better physically, mentally, morally? Should we try a eugenics program? We could alleviate so much suffering - of the "thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to" we could get rid of maybe 900.

We have always been able to alter human nature, but recent discoveries have considerably enhanced our abilities. We could make people more intelligent, more creative, more athletic. We could make people better suited to monogamy. No one would have to be born with a propensity for addiction or excessive weight gain. We could make people who are more altruistic - who wouldn't commit crimes, who wouldn't allow anyone to go hungry, wouldn't permit war, wouldn't tolerate cruelty of any kind, or even indifference. We could banish inherited disease of all kinds. Why wouldn't we bestow these benefits on our children? Do we like suffering? Should we get busy sticking pins in each other?

Of course playing about with human nature can be dangerous. Here are some objections:

Objection - What if the program fell into the wrong hands - some sinister cabal? Would they manufacture a race of soldiers, obedient and deadly? Or make a herd of pig-people, self-satisfied and pleasure-oriented? Or build a monster like Frankenstein's? Or, conversely, will their creation be so tepid, so dull, so unable to give offense as to drown us all in a (luke-warm) sea of blandness. We'll all perish of insipidity.
Response - These mistakes are not inherent in a eugenics program and can be avoided.

Objection - It is impious to alter our nature.
Response - (Just as it was impious to rise above our station or invent the airplane.) We were made by our Creator to aspire and improving our nature is one of our grandest aspirations.

Objection - A eugenics program requires coercion.
Response - Coercion is not unknown at present. Have they stopped writing regulations? Making arrests? Dropping bombs? At present all the manipulation, all the force only brings about the apotheosis of certain unworthy individuals.

Objection - A eugenics program favors aristocracy.
Response - A eugenics program and democracy can coexist. The program should be entirely meritocratic, and everyone, regardless of their genetic endowment, should be cared for and respected.

Objection - A eugenics program is racist.
Response - There is no necessary connection between eugenics and racism. Personally I look forward to a time when everyone is kind of tan.

Objection - In the wake of eugenics life will be boring.
Response - Is it really necessary for so many children to die of leukemia or war (for instance) to provide us with entertainment? A desperate, never-resting search for drama does not find happiness. If some thinkers hold that a dearth of evil or suffering exists they can always (with the best motives) drive nails into their friend's eyes.

Objection to a eugenics program that aims at improving our morals - We are already pretty good, or at least capable of becoming pretty good. If only the political or economic system was fixed, we would approach Utopia, which is just around the corner.
Response - Both the French and Russian Revolutions descended into terror and despotism, destroying the hopes of naive humanists. Even the most successful countries are plagued with suicide, divorce, addiction and other social ills. Many nations still suffer war, police oppression, ethnic conflict, etc.

Objections to a eugenics program that aims at improving our morals - If the conflict of man vs. man vanishes, if the conflict of man vs. himself disappears as well, we will be diminished. If soldiers are no longer required to charge the foe, nor ascetics to trek into the desert, the necessary result will be mere lassitude.
Response - Life will still be worth living even if we neglect to torment our neighbors or ourselves. The conflict of man vs. the physical world will remain, and this struggle will be enough (sometimes too much). We will not run short of obstacles: To create we will have to contend with physical objects that are not always plastic. We will have to contend with the law of gravity also. To explore we will have to battle mountains, ocean currents, steaming jungles, frozen continents. I do not know which will challenge our understanding more - infinitely large distances of space or infinitely small particles. Accidents and finally death will frustrate our deepest desire for permanence. Obstacles will remain, only now we will go out to meet them with an undivided heart.

Why does science always have to serve such ridiculous ends? Thanks to the genius of our scientists we can now build amazingly destructive bombs. Thanks to remarkable improvements in microprocessors and materials we can now buy products that will never benefit us at all in any way.

In the wealthy countries many are alive only because of massive medical intervention. If these people reproduce defective genes could be passed on to the children. We are faced with a long-term problem: succeeding generations will be less and less healthy.

The religious hope God's grace will help us become better. Humanists think we already have become better. Conservatives favor vigorous punishments (stoning?, the rack?) to force us to become better. So why would any of them object when we actually become better? Is it really so necessary to maintain our precise current levels of rottenness?

Once, tens of thousands of years ago, we shared the earth with other hominid species. we helped exterminate them, however, and gained dominion over the world. Someday the more advanced humans created by eugenics will succeed us. What could be more fitting?
          The End of an Era?   
At the end my last post, I wrote briefly about some signs I noticed that seem to signal the general decline in the American spirit. The economy is in the crapper, unemployment is high, many people have lost their life savings and the government is more unresponsive and corrupt than I have ever seen. I saw first-hand on my trip last month how these things have a negative effect on the individual citizen's and the national collective psyche. The whole country is in a blue funk.

An event happened last week that twisted the knife of despair a bit more; the last US manned space flight mission ended as the Space Shuttle touched down at Kennedy Space Center. It was a good 50 year run that I personally thought would never end.

Final Space Shuttle Landing at Cape Canaveral

I have enough years under my belt to remember most of the manned space program, it was always an interest of mine and I assumed it would always be around to innovate, explore and inspire. Mercury, Gemini and Apollo......those names were known by all and generated excitement all over the world. Obviously, the lunar landings were the pinnacle of the manned missions.

Schematic of Mercury Spacecraft

Original Mercury Astronauts
Gemini Space Capsule
Apollo Schematic
Lunar Excursion Module. Your mobile phone has more computing power than this thing did! Yet they pulled it off!
The Eagle has Landed
Us Americans just HAD to get a car up there

The moon shots would prove hard acts to follow. The Space Shuttle was already on the drawing board during the Apollo program. It was conceived as a vehicle to usher in the next phase of space exploration, sustainability.. The design was to contain many reusable parts. Compared to the sleek Saturn V rockets of the Apollo program, the Shuttle was chunky and utilitarian as befitted its mission of hauling stuff into low Earth orbit.

The Space Shuttle failed to captivate the imagination of the public.The mission was boring but ended up productive.
Saturn V used in the Apollo Program

Saturn V Liftoff, Loud and Sexy!

Predictably, as the excitement and danger of the previous far reaching missions gave way to a "space truck" taking lab rats into low orbit, public interest waned even though a lot of valuable research was done that resulted in many things we take for granted today. The Shuttle program, although productive, just wasn't sexy.

The Space Shuttle needed to be retired. It was old technology even when it was new and proved to be way more troublesome and expensive than imagined. It never achieved the goal of almost monthly launches as envisioned by its architects.We lost two of them, Challenger and Discovery.. Challenger from brittle O rings and Discovery from some bad ceramic heat tiles. Time to put the old girl back in the barn.

Challenger Explosion

What upsets me is that there is no replacement on the horizon. For the first time in 50 years, the US is incapable of sending a human into space. Now we have to hitch a very expensive ride on Russia's Soyuz capsule that was designed in the 1960's. The Soyuz is currently the only game in town.

Russian Soyuz in Orbit
Soyuz Schematic
A Not so Subtle Soyuz Landing in Kazakhstan, Hey, But It Works!!!

Soyuz Post Landing. Vodka consumption  is part of the re-entry checklist.

If they pull the plug on that relic, I hope the last astronaut leaving the multi-billion dollar International Space Station remembers to turn the lights off as it will be awhile before anyone steps foot aboard again.

International Space Station, hide the keys under the doormat when you leave..

The rocket scientists at NASA knew the Shuttle retirement was coming at least 15 years ago and just sat on their hands. Oh, they did waste $9 billion trying to develop potential replacements such as the Constellation and other programs but when things got too difficult for them, progress was not made and the money dried up, they just said "screw it" and went back to whatever rocket scientists do when they are not making rockets. There was much motion but little progress.

Once an Icon,  but has recently lost their way.

NASA has become as bloated and inefficient as the US government so I am not surprised talent and innovation do not thrive there anymore. Too bad, that wasn't the case at one time. It looks like as the NASAsaur fades into irrelevance, we have to look toward the movers and shakers in the private sector to pick up the baton to keep manned space flight alive, Profit is a strong motivator and if there is money in it for these entrepreneurs, they will make it happen. There are already some bright spots on the horizon.

Well, to make a long story short (I know, too late), America's abandonment of its manned space flight program is just another symptom of a general malaise that is lingering in the country.  For 50 years these programs were a source of pride, inspiration, and a large part of America's identity.. The manned space programs motivated people from all over the world to look up to the night sky and maybe forget for a time the dreary details of daily life. We dropped the ball.

It doesn't bother me so much that the Space Shuttle program is no more, its that there were no replacement vehicles seriously considered.  This indicates an abandonment of the pioneer and "can do" attitudes of the past that the US and Americans are known for. Lately it has seemed we are just consumers of Chinese imports, producers of dodgy financial instruments, whiny wards of the State, world policemen and contemplators of our own belly button lint. Not a good path to follow. Remember what happened to Rome when Emperor Nero was plucking his fiddle

 In general, the US has been declining in spirit and purpose for awhile now. Maybe it is the inevitable maturing of a society. We have seen this before with other countries and empires in the past. America's heyday of the 1800s -1900s are over and maybe it is time to take a breather and hopefully we will rediscover the values and drive that made the US and Americans a unique country and culture. I am intolerant of mediocrity and hope that I can see a positive change in my country soon. There is still so much potential there.

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          Ukraine Goes On Anti-Russia Pipeline Offensive As Europe Goes Nuts   
          US Calls On Russia To End Violent 'Intimidation' In Eastern Ukraine   
          Russia Cancels Talks After US Imposes New Sanctions Over Ukraine Conflict   
          Ukraine Is Russia's Testbed For Launching Devastating Cyberwar Attacks With Total Impunity   
          Russia Calls US Statement On Eastern Ukraine 'Inappropriate And Incorrect'   
          Terrified Russian Teen Gets Brutally Violated By Ex Bf In Her Own Home   
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          Trump Hits Russia, Ukrainian Separatists With Sanctions   
          Health Educator (RD, IMG, RHN) - Russian Speaking - DoctorCare Inc. - Toronto, ON   
Designation (RD, Nutritionist, IMG, RN). We are seeking dynamic Professional Health Educators (e.g., Registered Dietitians, Nutritionists) to work with family...
From Indeed - Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:53:36 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
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          Moscow prepares retaliation for U.S. seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds   

Moscow prepares retaliation for U.S. seizure of Russian diplomatic compoundsMoscow is preparing retaliatory measures to Washington's decision to seize two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States in 2016, Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday. In December, U.S. seized two Russian diplomatic compounds as then President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russians over what he said was their involvement in hacking to interfere in the U.S. presidential election campaign. Moscow, which denies such allegations, did not retaliate immediately, saying it would wait to see if relations improved under President Donald Trump.

          YouTube - Former KGB Agent Yuri Bezmenov Explains How to Brainwash a Nation   


I just made an account here to post this very interesting interview.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve long been skeptical of Sam’s hard line on all things Russia. This interview has gone a long way to convincing me personally.


Una fiaba colorata che parla dell'importanza di prendersi cura dei propri cari, incontrare veri amici, crescere forti e credere nei propri sogni con tutto il cuore

Regia di Max Fadeev.
Genere Animazione - Russia, 2015. Durata 85 minuti circa. Da giovedì 20 luglio al cinema.

La storia di un ragazzo di 10 anni che vive in un piccolo villaggio in una foresta. Una volta protetto dai regali lupi bianchi, il villaggio ora è facile preda di una banda di spietate iene. Savva riesce a fuggire nel bosco, dove viene salvato da Angee, un maestoso lupo bianco, l'unico sopravvissuto alla scomparsa di massa della sua specie. Angee confida a Savva che un potente mago racconta che vi è un guerriero in grado di liberare il suo villaggio. Sfortunatamente, però, il mago vive su una montagna completamente circondata dalle forze di Mom Jozee, la malvagia Regina Scimmia a tre teste. Di fronte ad insormontabili prove, Savva e Angee iniziano il lungo e pericoloso viaggio verso la montagna. Durante il lungo viaggio si aggiungono altri compagni: Puffy, una strana e pelosa creatura rosa; Fafl, un presuntuoso e antiquato francese che è di fatto un barone mancato vittima di un incantesimo e costretto a portare con sè sulla spalla il Re delle Zanzare; la principessa della palude Nanty e altri. Tutti hanno una ragione personale per incontrare il Mago. Alleandosi contro il nemico comune, il piccolo gruppo combatte contro l'esercito di Mom Jozee per raggiungere l'obiettivo.

Scheda | Critica | Trailer | Locandina

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          How the Media Wastes Our Time During Political Campaigns   

Have you ever watched coverage of political campaigns on television and wonder, “Why does this sound so much like ESPN?

The experts on politics on cable news channels, on Meet the Press, This Week, and Face the Nation sound more like they are talking about a NASCAR race than a political race – who is out in front, how the guy trailing can gain on the leader, strategies for moving up and past the leader, strategies for saying in the lead. When the public is in desperate need for thoughtful analysis on public policy issues, the media instead focuses on other things.

Now we know why. A new report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (reported at journalism.com) examined in detail the media’s coverage of the Republican primary race.

“The media often focus heavily on tactics, strategy and the numbers of the horse race. On top of that, during the primaries the policy differences between candidates are sometimes fairly minimal as rivals contend for the favor of party primary voters. In 2012, horse race and strategy dominated, but not to the degree they had in 2008.

From November 2011 to April 15, 2012, the coverage devoted to the strategic elements of the GOP primary fight (horse race, tactics, strategy, money and advertising) outnumbered the combined attention to all foreign and domestic policy issues by about 6:1.


Overall, 64% of campaign coverage examined was framed around polls, advertising, fundraising, strategy and the constant question of who is winning and who is losing…

Over the last five and a half months, the candidates’ policy proposals and stands on the issues accounted for 11% of the campaign coverage. The vast majority of these focused on domestic issues…[which] accounted for 9% of the coverage…

There was far less attention paid to foreign policy issues such as Iran’s nuclear program, negotiations with Russia, and relations with Israel, all of which accounted for just 1% of the campaign coverage…

The candidates’ public records accounted for 6% of the overall campaign coverage studied.”


So, only 17% of the media’s campaign coverage was focused on the issues: the candidates’ stands on issues and their records.

We Christians are complicit in this demise of political public discourse in the media.

Instead of taking the time to read deeply and widely about policy, we watch the claptrap that the media serves and parrot it back to each other. We rarely seek to understand the opposition’s arguments. Instead, we act like simpletons, watching only the shows that we think we already agree with so that we don’t have to think too deeply.

Instead of debating with civility with others about issues, we mimic the talking heads on our favorite cable talk shows by attacking the opposition’s character. We take this easy route since it is so much easier to dismiss those we disagree with by portraying them as utterly evil.

Instead of demanding that mass media coverage dive deeper into public policy issues, we continue to watch the junk the media shows, providing them with high ratings and little incentive to change their ways.

          CNN’s Van Jones on Trump: “The Russia Thing Is Just a Big Nothing Burger”   
(ANTIMEDIA)  — Project Veritas has released the second installment of its “American Pravda” investigative series aimed at exposing “the real motivations behind the decision-making process at our dominant media corporations.” Part One, released early Tuesday morning, caused chaos on social media as Donald Trump and his camp took to Twitter to gloat while major news […]
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          Turns Out New Petya Is Not A Ransomware It S A Destructive Wiper Malware   

What if I say the Tuesday s devastating global malware outbreak was not due to any ransomware infection Yes the Petya ransomware attacks that began infecting computers in several countries including Russia Ukraine France India and the Unite...
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          Press: Uriel Salas in Vogue Russia   

Uriel Salas necklace in Vogue Russia August 2012


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          NVIDIA sponsoring World of Tanks International Open tournament   
NVIDIA has announced plans to host a World of Tanks International open tournament. It will be held in Asia Pacific, China, Europe, Russia and the Americas where the best seven-member teams will compete for with the best out of three games the winner. The tournament will last for four weeks before Grand Finals where up […]
          My Impressions Of My First FGS Conference   
Last week I attended my first FGS Conference. Having worked for my dad since I was a child on internationally attended conferences and seminars, I know exactly how much work goes into them. In my opinion based on my experience at the FGS Conference they worked very hard and it showed. Aside from a fire alarm that went off Thursday all went extremely well. The sessions and their speakers were all outstanding. Of course, my favorite speakers were Elizabeth Shown Mills who inspires us all to be the very best and thorough as we can be as well as how to properly conduct research, document and of course, site those sources. I cannot forget to mention Judy Russell (AKA The Legal Genealogist) whose passion and humor not only teaches but inspires and entertains. I think if Judy wanted to, she could add professional comedienne to her list of professions. In addition to that, Judy keeps us out of trouble. Based on her session on copyright law, I think I had better go through my websites and check those images! I was also impressed with Laura Prescott's obvious passion. But all the speakers were great and they had quite a list of speakers that represented the best genealogy has to offer. I attended this conference to learn and with their impressive list of speakers, I certainly did that. I also had the opportunity to meet many people, network and have fun.
The exhibits in the exhibit hall were all great and several book and map vendors were there. I had been to their booths every day looking through their collections of books and maps. They had books on everything you could imagine. I found books on researching every state in the United States, African American, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Scandinavian, Slovakian, Czech, Serbian, Russian, Jewish even several Caribbean Islands. What I did not find was anything related to Italian Roots. One vendor had a map of Sicily and Naples. That was all for Italian resources! I have been aware for years that the genealogy community in general has mostly ignored the Italians. But not a single session included anything Italian related and even the vendors have ignored those with Italian roots. Family Search understands well how many people with Italian roots are looking which probably explains why they have put so many Italian records online. I think the time the genealogy community begin to offer at least something for the Italian community is long overdue. My experience at the conference did not entirely lack an Italian experience though. Thanks to Dr. John Phillip Colletta and the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Italians did have some representation. Dr. Colletta was the speaker for the APG luncheon and did an outstanding, extremely funny speech regarding the keepers of the records and his experiences in Sicily. His presentation was very funny and he rocked an awesome imitation of the Italians.
Lessons Learned
If you want it buy it now: I found several books I wished to purchase in the exhibit hall, however, because I found them on short breaks between sessions and did not wish to carry these heavy volumes around, I waited. When I returned to purchase them, they were gone. One of these books was a 2 volume set on Colonial Virginia printed in 1906. The set was offered for an extremely reasonable price of $50 for the pair and was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. Next time, I will at the very least ask if they can either hold them until the end of the day after I purchase them or have them shipped. At least one of the book vendors did offer free shipping for purchases.
Carry light: I have a huge bag I use all the time when visiting repositories, etc. It is a huge heavy thick leather bag with big brass clips. Empty this bag weights about 5 pounds. Next time, I leave that bag home! By the time I packed everything I needed into that bag, it felt like it weighted 50 pounds! I doubt it did but by the end of the conference my back and shoulders were hurting quite bad.
Book the hotel early! By the time I committed to go, the venue hotel was booked, as was the hotel across the street. In fact, my top 4 choices were all booked. Next time I will book the hotel before the conference - as soon as the dates are announced.
Come early, stay late! This particular conference was held in Fort Wayne. Located here is one of the largest genealogy libraries in the country. Next time I attend a conference (particularly one with a genealogy library I can use) I will book a hotel at least a day early and stay a day after the conference so I have more time for research. Roots Tech will be held in Salt Lake City, the Mecca of genealogists. Booking an additional week still would not be enough time to go through the amazing collections of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I need to choose a few lines to concentrate on and be super organized for this visit.
Overall it was a great experience that I cannot wait to repeat.

          Talented Tuesday - Mattia Preti of Taverna, Cosenza, Calabria   
Mattia Preti was born in the Cosenza Province Comune of Taverna on 24 February 1613. Both Mattia and his brother Gregorio had a passion for art early in life and sometime before 1630 Mattia followed his brother Gregorio from his small town of Taverna for Roma to pursue his dreams. While in Roma, Mattia studied art and was greatly influenced by the art of the great master Caravaggio. Both Mattia and his brother Gregorio studied at Accademia di San Luca while in Roma. It was in Roma, Mattia's artist abilities began to blossom. Mattia sold his first painting here also. Between 1640 and 1646 Mattia made several trips to Florence after which he returned to Roma.
In 1656 Mattia left Florence for Naples where he stayed until 1659. He studied here under Luca Giordano (1634-1705). While in Naples, what was considered to be among Mattia's greatest masterpieces were painted. They were are series of frescos painted on the seven city gates depicting the plague. Painted throughout these frescos were images of the Blessed Mother and saints delivering people from the plague. Time has destroyed these frescos, however, some of Mattia's sketches have survived and can be seen today in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples.
Mattia was often called "Il Cavalier Calabrese" (The Knight of Calabria) which was a reference to his place of birth. During his time in Naples, he was made a Knight of Grace in the Order of St. John. This order was headquartered in Malta so in 1659 Mattia left to visit there. He never left Malta. While in Malta in 1661 Mattia was commissioned to paint a new altarpiece for the chapel of the Aragonese Langue by Grand Master Martin de Redin. After that was completed more commissions followed. His work adorns the Cathedral of St. John. His work there would not complete until 1666. The result was stunning and these wonderful masterpieces can still be seen there today. If you cannot afford to travel to Malta to view his amazing work, you can view these stunning masterpieces at the official website of St. John's Co Cathedral.. Mattia Preti died in Malta on 3 January 1699 and is buried in the same chapel at St. John's that bears his greatest surviving art.
Most of Mattia Preti's art survives today in some of the world's greatest museums. The Lourve in Paris holds at least 15 works. The National Gallery in London hosts his painting The Marriage At Cana. Further works can be seen in art galleries and museums throughout the United States, Canada, Italy as well as Copenhagen, Romania, Madrid, France, St. Petersburg, Russia, Australia, and Vienna. His portrait of a Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Martin de Redin done in 1660 can been seen in Chicago's Art Institute. It was Martin de Redin who commissioned Preti to paint the alter at The Cathedral of St. John in Malta. This beautiful art can still be viewed there. A list of museums that hold Preti masterpieces can be viewed at Art Encyclopedia with links to images of his art on the museum websites.
If you are interested in other artists born in Calabria, you can view a previous blog post about Giuseppe Naso of Tropea here.

          ФотоСреды возвращаются!   


ФотоСреды возвращаются!

Журналы Russian ZOOM и ФОТОtravel
и студия профессиональной фотографии LÚNA STUDIO
объявляют о возобновлении ФотоСред


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's black labrador dog, Koni, Friday was given a collar that will allow her master to track her movements by satellite. ... "She looks sad," Ivanov said. "Her free life is

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          Cyber Attack Hits European Countries, Ukraine Power Grid, US Official Blames Russia   
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          Yuan's trip to Sweden   

(originally aired September 22)

Any Saab North American turnaround would involve new leadership and new thinking.

First in a series of 4 articles covering Saab's; Products, Market Share, Revenue and Cost Structure.

1. Products:

9-5 (D.O.A.) Cancel the new 9-5 carline (including the estate/wagon) – consolidated gross profits on this carline is likely not sufficient to sustain $12,000 PNVR market support (exception to limited Russia and China sales). This car is a failed execution for the brand, has very limited appeal to current/former Saab owners and is way over-priced for a Buick LaCrosse. This action would demonstrate a serious commitment towards a new business approach (its ok to admit to mistakes and save money too).

9-4X (reposition – keep it simple – conquest Japanese - seek volumes – do it quickly) Re-position the new 9-4X – offer one variant for US sales:

* 3.0 Liter AWD (kill the 2.8 Liter Turbo)
* Aero Badge (with all Aero trim - exception to seating surfaces)
* Standard equip.: sunroof, Aero styled front end (w/fog lamps), 19" alloys and Bose system.
* Only option is NAV.
* Priced at $39,995
* Plan 1,200 units per month. If the price point of $39,995 can’t be achieved then abandon the 9-4X carline as well.

9-3 Sedan (depreciated cash cow – conquest Japanese – seek volumes - do it quickly) Continue through MY2013 – conquest and bridge carline - offer one variant for US sales:

* 2.0 Liter (auto or manual)
* Aero Badge (with all Aero trim - exception to seating surfaces)
* Standard equip.: sunroof, pwr seats, 17" alloys, rear spoiler, Aero trim, and fog lamps.
* Only option is NAV.
* AWD platform abandoned.
* Priced at $24,995
* Plan 2,000 per month.

Aggressively target owners of Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima with trade incentives. At the same time increase the warranty coverage to 6 years / 100,000 miles (similar to the older CPO warranty once offered – bumper to bumper).

Factory note: Forget silly 30 day money back guarantees - these are negative selling propositions (sales people spend more time promoting what happens if you don’t like the car.. rather than selling the product).

Current 9-3 Combi (discontinue) Feel good carline (with no following) needs to go.

Current 9-3 Convertible (discontinue) Historic transaction price (after market support) is $29,995 – rather than build a car you lose money on .. end it and place all engineering and design efforts on the new 3 Convertible - very quickly.


New 3 Convertible (launch spring 2013) First launch as image car and prelude to the new 3 Sedan. Similar to what Saab did for MY2003 only the convertible is launched first. MSRP should not exceed $10,000 from the highest priced sedan (sub assembly type production volumes – 800 per month to start).

New 3 Sedan (launch January 2014 as MY2015) (Think retro 1985 Saab 99) This car must be a functional hatch back design - priced at $29,995 – with MPG of 35 – 40 MPG. Forget the Phoenix, forget attacking BMW or Audi. Moving people upscale from Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and domestic brands should be the goal. Small chips into their volumes and Saab can easily sell 50,000 units. The new 3 needs to be affordable, function, and durable - European price leader. AWD should not be in the program. Hybrid should be considered. Advanced technologies (features) should be abandoned. Quality fit, finish, and use of high touch, high quality feel is most important. Warranty period 6 years / 100,000 miles. The new 3 should be assembled in China, production savings would allow higher quality / efficient drive line components. After 6 months launch New 3 VIGGEN as a zero to 60 offer in time for spring orders.

New 1 Coupe (retro Saab 96) – I’ll leave this up to the profitable new organization (suicide doors are a must however). So is a diesel engine with 50+ MPG.


So there you have it. Push volumes for price leading models for 2 years. Trim overall offerings, make it simple to communicate. Go after large volumes of customers and make Saab exciting and affordable till new models arrive. Position new products as price leading European offer - assembled in China.

Of course the above is created without consolidated financial statements, however I believe most (if not all) recommendations can be implemented. Likely typical in most major markets - exception toRussia and China where almost anything goes with volumes less than 1000 units per year.

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          Future Editorial September 22, 2020   
“Your Shoelace is untied”

It’s a famous line, you're looking ahead and something takes you off track and wallops you down.

That’s what happened to GM, Ford and the former Chrysler Corporation in CY 2008 when suddenly without notice the price of crude oil sky-rocketed towards the $150 per barrel mark, as brokers (based in London) speculated short positions on oil indexes without any regulation - other than those of greed.

Thus with the cost of oil rising almost out of control, Detroit’s big 3 slashed truck production, planned smaller fuel efficient cars and laid off thousands of workers.

Former President Obama’s “Big 3 Bail or Fail” plan of 2009 accelerated the demise of US auto makers by providing tax credits for smaller unprofitable cars at a time when US and Global oil production started its steady rise as China, India and Russian economies slowed during the mid 10’s.

US Alaskan Oil (symbol “USAO”) and former Vice Presidential candidate Sara Palin stated “back in 2008 US politicians sold the American public on global warming scams and sheer oil shortages because of increasing world demand. We now know the gas crisis of 2008 was nothing more than manipulation and unfortunately the former Big 3 automakers suffered the worst”.

Kia Motors (Ford's Parent Company) CEO Mark Fields stated today that “as long as large US cars and trucks get over 35 MPG and the price of gas stays at $5.95 per gallon we see no need to plan smaller car and truck platforms for the US market any time soon. We learn by our mistakes”.

Brent crude oil closed today at $125 a barrel – its lowest levels since 2014 this at time when wind power tax credits have peaked with little or no new wind energy farms on the horizon.

Well its possible!!!
          Diamond filigree ring made from yellow gold, filigree wedding band, unique, diamond ring, anniversary, filigree wedding band, lace ring by TorkkeliJewellery   

1,450.00 USD

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*** This ring is designed and made by Pasi Torkkeli ****
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Tämä kaunis 14k Keltakullasta valmistettu pitsisormus on herkkä ja yksilöllinen valinta niin kihla- kuin vihkisormukseksi. Sormuksessa on yksi 0.025ct Timantti ja kaksi kappaletta 0.015ct timantteja. Kaikki timantit ovat Wesselton-Vs timantteja. Tämä sormusmalli on 5.00mm leveä, mutta sormus on myös saatavilla 4.00mm leveänä.

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          Mikhail Bulgakov   
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891–1940) was one of the most popular Russian writers of the twentieth century, but many of his works were banned for decades after his death due to the extreme political repression his country enforced. Even his great novel, The Master and Margarita, was written in complete secrecy during the 1930s for fear of the writer being arrested and shot. In her revelatory new biography, J. A. E. Curtis provides a fresh account of Bulgakov’s life and work, from his idyllic childhood in Kiev to the turmoil of World War One, the Russian Revolution, and civil war. Exploring newly available archives that have opened up following the dissolution of the USSR, Curtis draws on new historical documents in order to trace Bulgakov’s life. She offers insights on his absolute determination to establish himself as a writer in Bolshevik Moscow, his three marriages and tumultuous personal life, and his triumphs as a dramatist in the 1920s. She also reveals how he struggled to defend his art and preserve his integrity in Russia under the close scrutiny of Stalin himself, who would personally weigh in each time on whether one of his plays should be permitted or banned. Based upon many years of research and examining previously little-known letters and diaries, this is an absorbing account of the life and work of one of Russia’s most inventive and exuberant novelists and playwrights.
          25 Raksasa Penghasil Minyak Terbesar Dunia   

Minyak dan gas (migas) sudah menjadi bagian kebutuhan energi bagi masyarakat di dunia sejak dahulu kala. Mulai dari kebutuhan rumah tangga, hingga pasokan energi bagi industri.

Komoditas alam ini ikut menjadi pusaran prioritas bisnis pencetak uang di dunia. Suka tidak suka, perusahaan-perusahaan penggali migas yang ada di seluruh dunia membuat bumi tetap berputar dan akan terus berjalan selama beberapa tahun ke depan. 

Di antara perusahaan-perusahaan tersebut bahkan ada yang mampu memproduksi minyak hingga jutaan barel setiap hari.

Ingin tahu perusahaan minyak mana saja yang menjadi penopang kebutuhan energi dunia. Berikut 25 perusahaan  minyak terbesar di dunia, mengacu pada kapasitas volume produksi per hari seperti melansir laman Forbes, Rabu, (12/6/2013):

1. Saudi Aramco 
Produksi: 12,5 juta barel per hari

Sejauh ini, Saudi Aramco merupakan perusahaan energi terbesar di dunia dengan pendapatan lebih dari US$ 1 miliar per hari. Lahan tambang terbesar Saudi Aramco bisa menghasilkan 5 juta barel per hari.

2. Gazprom

Produksi: 9,7 juta barel per hari

Gazpum, perusahaan asal Rusia merupakan produsen gas alam terbesar di dunia. Keuntungannya bisa mencapai lebih dari US$ 40 miliar per tahun.

3.  Iranian Oil Co

Produksi: 6,4 juta barel per hari

Iran dipaksa menghentikan produksi minyaknya menyusul sanksi internasional.  Meski begitu, Iran tetap menjadi produsen minyak dan gas terbesar di dunia.

4. ExxonMobil 

Produksi: 5,3 juta barel per hari

Keuntungan tahunan Exxon sebesar US$ 40 miliar terlihat sedikit dibandingkan transaksi penjualan yang melambung hingga US$ 400 miliar. 

Exxon saat ini tengah membahas kerjasamanya dengan produsen minyak raksasa Rusia, Rosneft.

5. PetroChina 

Produksi: 4,4 juta barel per hari

Perusahaan minyak milik negara ini merupakan yang ketiga terbesar di China. PetroChina juga memiliki catatan pasar tertinggi dibanding penjualan dari produsen lain. 

Saat ini China sudah memproduksi lebih banyak minyak daripada ExxonMobil.

6. BP

Produksi:  4,1 juta barel per hari

Saat ini BP tengah kewalahan mempertahankan jumlah produksi 4,1 juta barel per hari. Perusahaan tengah membahas penjualan 50% sahamnya di TNK-BP Rusia atau setara dengan sepertiga hasil produksi.

7.  Royal Dutch Shell 

Produksi : 3,9 juta barel per hari

Shell berharap musin panas ini bisa mulai mengebor minyak di pantai Chuckchi Alaska. Selama bertahun-tahun Shell terus menyempurnakan rencana pengeboran minyaknya di beberapa lokasi tambang.

8. Pemex

Produksi: 3,6 juta barel per hari

Hasil produksi lahan tambang terbesar di Mexico, Cantarell anjlok sebanyak 2 juta barel per hari. Sisanya saat ini hanya sekitar 600 ribu barel per hari. 

Pemex berperan menutupi kelangkaan akibat kurangnya pasokan minyak dari pertambangan lain.

9. Chevron

Produksi : 3,5 juta barel per hari

Chevron membeli Atlas Petroleum pada 2010 seharga US$ 4,3 miliar untuk menambah lahan di Marcellus dan shale Utica. Dengan harga gas yang rendah, sebagian mengharapkan kesepakatan yang lebih besar.

10. Kuwait Petroleum Corp

Produksi: 3,2 juta barel per hari

Perusahaan minyak Kuwait ini berdiri pada 1934 oleh perusahaan yang saat ini dikenal sebagai Chevron dan BP. Pada 1975, perusahaan kemudian dipatenkan menjadi milik negara. 

Saat ini, operasi tambang di Burgan yang merupakan lahan terbesar Kuwait dilanjutkan Chevron.

11. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co
Produksi: 2,9 juta barel per hari

Abu Dhabi merupakan pusat kekuatan Uni Emirat Arab. Posisinya yang strategis dimanfaatkan untuk membangun saluran pipa minyak ke Fujairah guna memudahkan ekspor ke luar.

12. Sonatrach

Produksi; 2,7 juta barel per hari

Gas alam mendominasi hasil produksi perusahaan energi nasional Algeria ini. Kebanyakan hasil produksinya di ekspor ke Eropa.

13. Total

Produksi:  2,7 juta barel per hari

Presiden Prancis Francois Hollande mengenakan jenis pajak baru pada inventasi minyak terhitung Juli 2012. 

Dalam tanggapannya, CEO Total Christophe de Margerie mengatakan, tindakan ini akan menguras US$ 200 juta pendapatan Total pada 2012 dan mengganggu sektor penyulingan minyak yang sedang tak baik.

14. Petrobras 

Produksi: 2,7 juta barel per hari

Mantan CEO Petrobas Sergio Gabrielli menyerahkan jabatan pada bos baru Maria das Gracas Silva Foster Februari lalu. 

Perusahaan sedang berupaya untuk mengembangkan lahan minyak raksasa dengan kedalaman tinggi di luar negeri.

15.  Rosneft 

Produksi: 2,6 juta barel per hari

Sama dengan Gazprom, Rosneft adalah perusahaan minyak milik Russia. Presiden Rusia Vladimir Putin terlihat menghadiri diskusi yang menandakan kerjasama Rosneft dan ExxonMobil untuk mengeksplorasi pantai-pantai di negaranya.

16. Iraqi Oil Ministry 

Produksi: 2,3 juta barel per hari

Peringkat Irak sebagai produsen minyak terbesar di dunia bisa terus meningkat karena lahan-lahan tambang raksasanya terus berproduksi.

Pengeboran tahap 2 di Qurna Barat, proyek yang dioperasikan Lukoil milik Rusia menghasilkan sekitar 13 miliar barel.

17. Qatar Petroleum
Produksi: 2,3 juta barel per hari

Mayoritas produksi Qatar adalah gas alam yang tersebar ke seluruh dunia sebagai gas alam cair (LNG).  Qatar menyediakan lahan gas alami terbesar di dunia yang di bawah tanah Persian Gulf dengan Iran.

18. Lukoil 

Produksi: 2,2 juta barel per hari

Lukoil didirikan tahun 1991 oleh Mantan Wakil Menteri Vagit Alekperov yang masih menjalankan perusahaan hingga saat ini. Dirinya memiliki 20% saham perusahaan seharga US$ 13 miliar.

19. Eni 

Produksi: 2,2 juta barel per hari

Eni adalah produsen minyak unggul di Italia. CEO Eni Paolo Scaroni dalam beberapa tahun menyusun landasan kerjasama dengan perusahaan-perusahaan seperti Pdvsa, Venezuela dan Rosneft, Rusia.

20. Statoil 

Produksi:  2,1 juta barel per hari

Pemerintah Norwegia memiliki 67% saham di Statoil. Investasi perusahaan di Amerika sudah mencapai lebih dari Us$ 20 miliar termasuk akuisisi Bakken-focused Brigham Exploration sebesar US$ 4,7 miliar pada 2011.

21. ConocoPhillips 

Produksi: 2 juta barel per hari

Tahun ini ConocoPhillips meluaskan bisnis kilang minyaknya menyusul keinginan Phillips 66 untuk fokus pada operasi-operasi di permukaan.

22. Petroleos de Venezuela

Produksi: 1,9 juta barel per hari

Perusahaan minyak Venezuela yang lebih dikenal dengan sebutan Pdvsa ini, lebih terlihat sebagai bank pribadi Presiden Hugo Chavez yang membuat perusahaan menderita karena harus membayar program-program sosialnya. Hasil produksi sendiri sudah menurun sejak 1998.

23. Sinopec 

Produksi: 1,6 juta barel per hari

Sinopec merupakan kilang minyak terbesar China. Tahun ini Sinopec menghentikan usaha shale-nya dengan Devon Energy.

24. Nigerian National Petroleum 

Produksi: 1,4 juta barel per hari

Di tengah-tengah kehancuran ekonomi akibat korupsi di industri minyak negara Nigeria, Presiden Goodluck Jonathan juga diketahui melakukan korupsi pada beberapa eksekutif.

25. Petronas 

Produksi: 1,4 juta barel per hari

Perusahaan minyak raksasa Malaysia membangun markasnya di menara kembar Petronas. Petronas belakangan melebarkan sayap bisnisnya ke luar negeri dan saat ini sedang dalam proses negosiasi dengan perusahaan gas Progress Energy Kanada untuk memperoleh dana sebesar Us$ 5,4 miliar. (Nur)

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          Bayern Münih- Borussia Dortmund maçını canlı izle 8 nisan 2017 yazısına Melek tarafından yapılan yorumlar   
Siirt merkezden ben Melek. merhaba arkadaşlar siten inan ki hayran edici, facebookta paylaştım 28-06-2017 23:43:52
          Russia Should Embrace Its Religious Diversity   
How will Europe's human rights court respond to a government that treats a pacifist religious group as a dangerous extremist cell? The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will answer that question this summer when it rules on whether Russia's...
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          MSV patzt - Magdeburg holt auf    

Der MSV Duisburg hat nach zuletzt zwei Siegen in Folge im Aufstiegsrennen der 3. Liga wieder einen kleinen Dämpfer erhalten. Die Zebras mussten sich am 30. Spieltag im Spitzenspiel gegen Jahn Regensburg mit einem 1:1 (1:0) begnügen.

Verfolger 1. FC Magdeburg feierte unterdessen einen 2:0 (0:0)-Erfolg im Ostderby gegen Rot-Weiß Erfurt und verkürzte den Rückstand auf den MSV (54) auf vier Punkte.

Relegationsplatz drei behauptete Holstein Kiel (47) durch ein 2:0 (1:0) bei Werder Bremen II vor dem VfL Osnabrück (45), der am Sonntag gegen Hansa Rostock spielt. Regensburg, das beim MSV nach einer Roten Karte für Marcel Hofrath (41.) mehr als eine Stunde in Überzahl spielen musste, ist mit 44 Punkten ebenfalls noch gut im Geschäft.

Wirbel um Magdeburgs Führungstreffer

Vor dem Platzverweis hatte Stanislaw Iljutschenko (35.) die Zebras in Führung geschossen. Die Gäste wehrten sich anschließend aber auch mit einem Mann weniger nach Kräften und kamen durch einen verwandelten Foulelfmeter von Andreas Geipl (57.) zum Ausgleich. Tugrul Erat hatte den Strafstoß mit einer unfairen Attacke gegen Marco Grüttner verursacht.

In Madgeburg erzielten im Duell der ehemaligen DDR-Meister gegen Erfurt Manuel Farrona-Pulido (46.) die Führung für die Hausherren. Nach Meinung der Gäste war der Treffer aber irregulär, da der Ball bei der Flanke von Michel Niemeyer auf den Torschützen bereits klar im Toraus gewesen war. Beim 2:0 durch Christian Beck (74.) gab es keine Diskussionen.

Lotte weiter auf Talfahrt

Für Kiel machte Kingsley Schindler mit einem Doppelpack (42./72.) den zwölften Saisonsieg perfekt. Die Störche sind bereits seit fünf Spielen ungeschlagen und feierten dabei vier Siege.

Weiter aus dem Tritt sind die Sportfreunde Lotte, die seit dem Pokal-K.o. gegen Borussia Dortmund (0:3) Mitte März durch ein 0:2 (0:2) gegen den VfR Aalen auch das fünfte Spiel in Folge sieglos blieben und sich mit 42 Zählern aus dem Aufstiegsrennen verabschiedet haben dürften.

Im Tabellenkeller erkämpfte der FSV Frankfurt beim torlosen Unentschieden bei Fortuna Köln einen Punkt, während Mitabsteiger SC Paderborn durch ein 1:2 (1:2) gegen die SG Sonnenhof Großaspach im Kampf um den Klassenerhalt immer mehr an Boden verliert.

          Lotte nach Pokal-Aus weiter sieglos    

Favoritenschreck Sportfreunde Lotte tritt im Aufstiegsrennen der 3. Liga nach dem Pokal-Aus auf der Stelle.

Die Ostwestfalen verloren bei ihrem zweiten Auftritt nach dem Cup-K.o. im Viertelfinale in der Vorwoche gegen Vizemeister Borussia Dortmund im Nachholspiel bei der SG Sonnenhof Großaspach mit 0:2 (0:1) und verpassten damit den Sprung auf den Relegationsplatz.

Nach der Nullnummer vom vorigen Wochenende gegen den Halleschen FC hat Lotte auf Rang sechs weiter zwei Punkte Rückstand auf den Tabellendritten Jahn Regensburg. Zum 1. FC Magdeburg auf dem erstmöglichen Aufstiegsplatz fehlen Lotte drei weitere Zähler.

Großaspach ging schon nach zwölf Minuten durch Nicolas Jüllich in Führung. Nach einer Gelb-Roten Karte gegen Matthias Rahn (49.) wegen wiederholten Foulspiels musste Lotte in Unterzahl kurz vor dem Abpfiff die Entscheidung durch Lucas Röser (89.) hinnehmen.

          MSV überwindet Tief gegen Erfurt    

Spitzenreiter MSV Duisburg hat in der 3. Liga sein Zwischentief offenbar überwunden und wieder Kurs in Richtung Aufstieg genommen. Die Zebras feierten nach zuvor vier Spielen in Serie ohne Sieg gegen Rot-Weiß Erfurt trotz eines 0:1-Rückstands noch einen 3:2 (2:1)-Sieg und haben damit sieben Punkte Vorsprung auf den neuen Tabellendritten Jahn Regensburg.

Die Bayern verschärften durch ihren 2:0 (0:0)-Erfolg beim kriselnden Zweitliga-Absteiger SC Paderborn die Nöte der Ostwestfalen massiv und schoben sich selbst an den bisher punktgleichen Sportfreunden Lotte auf Rang drei vorbei.

Lotte tritt nach seinem Aus im Pokal-Viertelfinale gegen Vizemeister Borussia Dortmund erst am Sonntag (14.00) gegen den Halleschen FC an und kann durch einen Sieg den Relegationsplatz zurückerobern.

Gleichzeitig will der frühere Europapokal-Gewinner 1. FC Magdeburg seinen Rückstand auf Duisburg durch einen Sieg gegen den SV Wehen Wiesbaden wieder auf zwei Zähler verkürzen.

Chemnitz verliert Anschluss zur Spitzengruppe

Vorerst den Anschluss zur Spitzengruppe abreißen lassen musste der Chemnitzer FC durch seine 0:3 (0:1)-Pleite beim VfL Osnabrück. Der CFC fiel hinter Holstein Kiel (3:0 bei Schlusslicht FSV Mainz 05 II) und Osnabrück auf Platz sieben zurück.

Im Tabellenkeller musste neben Mainz und Paderborn auch der FSV Frankfurt einen schweren Dämpfer hinnehmen. Im Abstiegsduell beim VfR Aalen musste sich der Tabellendrittletzte mit 0:2 (0:0) geschlagen geben und hat wie die punktgleichen Paderborner dahinter nun schon sechs Punkte Rückstand auf das rettende Ufer.

Ex-Bundesligist Fortuna Köln unterdessen dürfte durch seinen 2:0 (0:0) gegen die SG Sonnenhof Großaspach die letzten Zweifel am Klassenerhalt beseitigt haben und verbesserte sich in die obere Tabellenhälfte.

          Russia's Election Interference: Cummings Wants 9/11 Commission-Style Probe   
          MSV patzt - Overtime-Krimi beim Jahn    

Der Vorsprung von Spitzenreiter MSV Duisburg in der 3. Liga schmilzt. Nach zwei torlosen Unentschieden kassierten die Zebras beim 0:1 (0:0) gegen den SV Wehen Wiesbaden ihre dritte Saisonniederlage und liegen nur noch fünf Punkte vor Verfolger 1. FC Magdeburg.

Auch die Sportfreunde Lotte mischen drei Tage vor dem Viertelfinale im DFB-Pokal gegen Borussia Dortmund munter im Aufstiegsrennen mit. Der Aufsteiger gewann gegen Hansa Rostock 2:0 (1:0) und ist mit einem Nachholspiel in der Hinterhand Dritter.

Wichtige Zähler vergab dagegen Jahn Regensburg. In der zehnten Minute der Nachspielzeit kassierte der Drittliga-Rückkehrer aus Bayern das 2:2 (1:0) bei Fortuna Köln und rutschte auf Platz vier ab. Marco Grüttner (44./76.) hatte die Gäste mit einem Doppelpack in Führung gebracht, Boné Uaferro (90.+6) und Markus Pazurek (90.+10) trafen spät für Köln. 

Wird Paderborn durchgereicht?

Unbeeindruckt vom Neun-Punkte-Abzug durch den Spielausschuss des Deutschen Fußball-Bund (DFB) infolge des Insolvenzantrags setzte sich der VfR Aalen gegen die SG Sonnenhof Großaspach mit 2:0 (2:0) durch und kletterte in der Tabelle mit 29 Zählern auf die Nicht-Abstiegsplätze. Noch hat Aalen allerdings die Möglichkeit, Einspruch gegen die Strafe einzulegen.

Während sich der VfR gegen den Abstieg stemmt, droht der SC Paderborn mehr denn je in die Regionalliga durchgereicht zu werden. Die Ostwestfalen unterlagen dem direkten Rivalen Rot-Weiß Erfurt 0:1 (0:0) und bleiben Vorletzter. Ebenfalls in höchster Not befindet sich Mit-Absteiger FSV Frankfurt, der 0:1 (0:1) beim Halleschen FC verlor. Schlusslicht bleibt Mainz 05 II, das Werder Bremen II 0:1 (0:1) unterlag.

In Duisburg erzielte der Wiesbadener David Blacha (52.) das Tor des Tages. Moritz Heyer (17.) und Kevin Freiberger (55.) erzielten die Treffer für Aufsteiger Lotte, bei Rostock sah Michael Gardawski (56.) sah Gelb-Rot. Magdeburg hatte bereits am Freitag Preußen Münster mit 1:0 geschlagen.

          Lotte rückt an Aufstiegsplätze heran    

Pokalschreck Sportfreunde Lotte ist in der 3. Liga zurück in der Erfolgsspur.

In einer Nachholpartie des 24. Spieltags besiegte der Aufsteiger den Chemnitzer FC mit 3:0 (1:0) und verdrängte die Sachsen dank der besseren Tordifferenz vom vierten Tabellenplatz.

Ein direkter Aufstiegsrang ist für beide Teams nur zwei Punkte entfernt, Lotte hat allerdings ein Spiel weniger bestritten als die Top 3.

Gerrit Nauber (23.), Nico Neidhart (63.) und Kevin Pires-Rodrigues (76./Foulelfmeter) trafen für die Gastgeber im heimischen Frimo-Stadion, in dem nach zuletzt drei Spielabsagen erstmals wieder gespielt werden konnte.

Lotte, das am Samstag bei Jahn Regenburg 0:2 verloren hatte, trifft am kommenden Dienstag im Nachholspiel des DFB-Pokal-Viertelfinals auf Vizemeister Borussia Dortmund.

In der Vorwoche war die Partie wegen Unbespielbarkeit des Platzes im Frimo-Stadion abgesagt worden. Aus Sorge um die Beschaffenheit des Rasens findet das Spiel im Stadion von Lottes Liga- und Lokalrivalen VfL Osnabrück statt.

          Vor Duell mit BVB: Sorgen um Lottes Platz    

Die Generalprobe von Favoritenschreck Sportfreunde Lotte für das Pokal-Viertelfinale am Dienstag (20.45 Uhr im LIVETICKER) gegen Borussia Dortmund fällt aus.

Das für Samstag vorgesehene Punktspiel des Drittligisten gegen den Chemnitzer FC musste am Freitag wegen Unbespielbarkeit des Platzes abgesagt werden. Grund ist die schlechte Witterung der vergangenen Tage. Ein Nachholtermin für die Begegnung steht noch nicht fest.

Inwieweit die Austragung der Pokalpartie gegen den BVB gefährdet ist, ist offen. Wegen starker Schneefälle stand bereits das Achtelfinale gegen 1860 München (2:0) Anfang Februar auf der Kippe. Dank zahlreicher freiwilliger Helfer konnte die Partie schließlich stattfinden. Die wenige Tage später angesetzte Ligapartie gegen Holstein Kiel musste allerdings aufgrund der schlechten Platzverhältnisse abgesagt werden.

          Is the West Risking Financial Blowback From Sanctions on Russia?   
So to the extent that European officials rouse themselves to address these alarming results, they will administer the wrong medicine. And remember, these faltering results came in before the so called Tier Three economic sanctions against Russia went into effect. A new article …
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          Trump Toady: Jeff Sessions Remix   

Trump Toady: Jeff Sessions Remix

Trump Toady: Jeff Sessions Remix (2017)


The tell-both-sides media attitude that generally works in the free world falls apart completely when dealing with a dictatorship that doesn’t operate in good faith, that lies and actively fabricates constantly.
--Garry Kasperov


          Roberto Cavalli boutique, Moscow, 2004   
Roberto Cavalli boutique, Moscow, 2004 The first Roberto Cavalli boutique in Russia opens on May 26 on the Tretyakovskiy Passage.
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          Was Stalin Necessary for Russia's Economic Development?   
Some of the he-was-a-baddie-but-at-least-he-modernized-the-place say "yes"*. New research by a team of Russian economists says "no":
This paper studies structural transformation of Soviet Russia in 1928-1940 from an agrarian to an industrial economy through the lens of a two-sector neoclassical growth model. We construct a large dataset that covers Soviet Russia during 1928-1940 and Tsarist Russia during 1885-1913. We use a two-sector growth model to compute sectoral TFPs as well as distortions and wedges in the capital, labor and product markets during the two periods. We find that most wedges substantially increased in 1928-1935 and then fell in 1936-1940 relative to their 1885-1913 levels, while TFP remained generally below pre-WWI trends. Under the neoclassical growth model, projections under these estimated wedges imply that Stalin's economic policies led to welfare loss of -24 percent of consumption in 1928-1940, but a +16 percent welfare gain after 1941. A representative consumer born at the start of the Stalin's policies in 1928 experiences a reduction in welfare of -1 percent of consumption, a number that does not take into account additional costs of political repression during this time period. The projected performance under both Tsarist' and Stalin's wedges is much worse than the economic performance of Japan, which in 1885-1913 had similar levels of per capita GDP and distortions as Tsarist Russia, but experienced a rapid acceleration of non-agricultural TFP during the interwar period. Relative to this benchmark, the welfare loss of Stalin's policies are about -31 percent of consumption.
Via Cheap Talk, who notes that one of the economists -- Sergei Guriev -- has just left the country under duress from public officials.

The story that Russia's development was impossible or unlikely absent Stalin's repression always seemed unlikely to me. Other places have developed without those levels of repression (e.g. Japan, as the authers note, but not just), or have had repression without growth. The repression-growth relationship is not strictly positive and linear, in other words, so any story about Stalin and development has to be particular to Russia. And, frankly, I've yet to hear one that's had any solid theory behind it. (Perhaps someone could point one out to me in the comments.) I've heard mumblings that "Russia was a backwater hellhole" -- this was more or less Marx's view, although it's not true that Marx believed that socialism could not work there -- but every place is a backwater hellhole before they develop. Yes, Tsarism was bad, but plenty of regimes were bad in the 19th century.

I'd never really considered the possibility that all those supposed gains under Stalin didn't actually happen and in fact made things worse. It puts a new spin on the Cold War races for economic, military, and technological superiority.

I'm not sure I fully believe the two-sector growth model the authors use, which is pretty standard as these things go, but even the descriptive evidence is useful.

P.S. Here are some pictures of Soviet life in the 1950s.

*Terry Eagleton is of this sort, in his execrable recent book which manages to both misunderstand Marx and his critics at the same time. One relevant bit is quoted here.
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          Решение проблемы сохранения модельного трафика при обновлении коллекций.    


Страницы моделей крупного интернет-магазина велосипедов Mag-russia.ru.


После ежегодного обновления каталога товаров моделями нового сезона посетители из поиска попадают на страницы устаревших моделей. К тому же, теряются все предыдущие наработки в области SEO.


Необходимо сохранять прежние url-адреса страницам моделей с одинаковым названием на протяжении лет. Это позволит поддерживать стабильно высокие позиции по соответствующим запросам в результатах поиска и не терять посетителей из поиска, вынужденно попадающих на страницы архива.


Ежегодно на сайте появляется большое кол-во новых страниц обновлённых моделей велосипедов. Это специфика данной тематики. При этом год от года названия моделей остаются прежними, меняются некоторые компоненты, цвета рам и некоторые другие малосущественные детали. Покупатели в большинстве своём не уточняют в запросах год модели велосипеда. По умолчанию их интересуют актуальные модели в продаже. По этим причинам смена url-адреса актуальной модели с соответствующим названием нежелательна по нескольким причинам:

  • Для индексации новых страниц поисковой системой требуется некоторое время;

  • Новые страницы заведомо менее авторитетны для поисковой системы, чем страницы прошлых модельных годов уже присутствующие в базе поисковика, с возрастом и наличием естественной внешней ссылочной массы;

  • По старым адресам из поиска посетители попадают на страницы уже неактуальных моделей.

Поэтому потребовалось внедрение жесткого регламента формирования URL-адресов для новых страниц моделей.


При обновлении каталога товаров адреса страниц моделей стали формировать по следующим правилам:

  • Если в каталоге производителя присутствуют модели велосипедов нового модельного года, то url страниц должен выглядит как:


Cube Acid 2016


  • Адреса страниц моделей предыдущих годов должны формироваться как:


  • Если же на сайте нет моделей нового модельного года, то адреса страниц моделей предыдущего года изменять не нужно. Они должны оставаться прежними.

Внедрение данного алгоритма формирования url-адресов позволило решить следующие проблемы:

  • Возраст сайта и продвигаемых страниц существенно сказывается на эффективности поискового продвижения. Именно поэтому внедрение данного алгоритма позволило в начале каждого нового велосезона начинать продвижение новых моделей на страницах уже находящихся в индексе поисковых систем и имеющих определенное доверие.

  • В течении прошлых сезонов на страницы моделей появлялись естественные ссылки с различных тематических ресурсов, соцсетей и пр. источников. Внедрение алгоритма позволило аккумулировать всю ссылочную массу предыдущих лет и в последствии использовать её для продвижения актуальных товаров.

Также реализован процесс внутренней перелинковки страниц товаров разных модельных годов. Страницы товаров прошлых модельных годов не удалялись из базы сайта, а переводились в так называемый "Архив", доступный для всех посетителей сайта и существующий для ознакомления с техническими характеристиками моделей прошлых лет.

На страницах архивных моделей кнопка "Купить" была заменена текстом "Модель снята с производства. Аналогичные товары в наличии" со ссылкой на раздел с товарами в наличии.

Cube Acid 29 (2015)



количества посетителей из поисковых систем по модельным запросам.


среднего времени просмотра страниц.

7 333

варианта поисковых запросов с переходом на товарные страницы сайта за период 1 год.

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Описанные в этом кейсе работы кажутся достаточно очевидными для многих специалистов в SEO. Ничего секретного в таком подходе не кроется, всё на поверхности и доступно для изучения. При этом, изучение магазинов велосипедов в результатах поиска показывает, что подобным приёмом пользуется меньшая часть сайтов. О причинах этого можно только догадываться.

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          This is how it ends.    

Our flight landed in Seattle at 1:35 in the afternoon. Ty and I claimed our duffels in the International Baggage Terminal and accompanied them through Customs. As he was connecting to another flight and I was not, we would part company at this point. It caught me by surprise that this was Goodbye. I felt like I should have had something memorable to say, but my sleep-induced stupor left me as groggy and confused as Ty had looked when we met below the Hilary Step. 
"Let's get together again some time and not do this," he quipped. 
"Yeah," I agreed. 
We hugged and turned separate ways. 

I was riding the escalator up from the satellite tram when it occurred to me Lin would almost certainly be waiting at the top.  I felt my senses lurch to life.  I had spent so many hours imagining this moment, hoping it would not be diminished by the baggage of failure on the climb, and now I was seconds away from seeing her sweet smile. I tried to improve the horrific state of my hair, but my hand trembled too much to accomplish anything. She would be in costume, as has been her custom meeting me upon my return from each prior climb.  What would it be? A Yak? That would be fair after my dressing as a Penguin the last time I picked her up at an airport.  The stairs began curling over the top and I could see the faces of the first few people.  Then straight ahead, a few feet back, she stood draped in pink veils and exotic shawls. It was Lin's interpretation of a Sherpa woman, and though it looked more "Genie in a bottle" I could not have been more taken. Lin held a sign announcing my accomplishment, OUR accomplishment. I gathered her up in my arms while the people next to us speculated aloud as to  what "7 Summits" stood for, and in that instant all we had risked and any rewards that may follow did not matter.  We were together and safe and done. 

I have some links I would like to share with you. 
Here are three short videos from the incredibly talented Elia Saikaly. 
The Trek to Everest Base Camp.  This was filmed last year. 
Everest Base Camp.  Also filmed in 2012, this is footage of Base Camp only. 
Time Lapse of climbing Everest. This was filmed throughout the 2013 Everest Season. It is AWESOME! The second frame is of our Camp 2 site. The American flag is the same one raised by our Air Force Team Members at the summit. 

Three of our Air Force Team members appearing on Fox.  I feel so much pride when I watch these guys. 
Myself, doing an interview on The Zone sports radio show. Sorry about the sound quality, we did this over the phone. 
Ty appearing on Anchorage TV  Who would have thought he owns a suit?!
Myself crossing a ladder in the Everest Icefall The Dave-cam returns!
POV shot while I crossed a crevasse.
Above the Icefall. Me. Note the reassuring self-talk. 

So many thank you's; 
My family; Lin, Trevor, Chase, Mom, my Step-Dad, Dad, and sisters Michelle, Noelle and my climbing partner Ty. You believed in me. You believed in my journey. You sweated the moments. You celebrated the summit. I can never thank you enough. 

My Friends; Sonia Alexis, who led the cheer and kept the practice in order while I was away. Chuck Blair, who added much needed levity. John Hanrahan and Rick Kaiser, who convinced me to keep writing.  Carol Masheter, who helped me believe I could do it. Pastor Mike Unverzagt, who provided spiritual counsel.  Phil Drowley, who coached my mental preparation. Mike Locke, who designed my physical training. Dr. David Netboy, who consulted on various physiological aspects of the climb.  Acupuncturist Timothy Lamb, who stuck needles in my person to remedy the various self-inflicted wounds I suffered throughout training and the climb. 

My Readers; Sharing this experience was central to what I hoped to do.  As I left for Everest this blog had almost 500 page views. It is now approaching 30,000. You view this blog from the United States to China, Russia to South Africa, Australia to Finland, and many other countries around the globe. You have been generous with your comments. loyal with your visits, and watchful into all hours of the night. We climbed Everest together. You and I. And I am grateful to have had you on my Team.  

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          Comment on Baku Safety Car restarts “dangerous” – Sainz | Comment by Ian Mark Gondwe   
Mr/Mrs Baron, please direct me to the part of the post where I mentioned Russia or Monaco. Thanks!
          Vice President Pence Damages His Reputation in Conveying False Narrative About Comey Firing   
Probably no one has done a better job of remaining unscathed by association with the administration of Donald Trump than Vice President Mike Pence.  In that capacity, Pence has acquitted himself quite well in the aftermath of a rocky term as Indiana Governor.

That all changed with the Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, Pence and other Trump spokespeople went out to spread the narrative that Trump had acted on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to fire Comey because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.    Pence's mission was to convey that message to
members of Congress.

The problem was the Trump-Comey talking points were not true.   Journalists began digging and found that the Comey firing was because of every increasing Trumpian furor over the continued Russian investigation led by Comey.  Indeed, Comey had just requested it be expanded, with additional financial and personnel resources devoted to the investigation. The Rosenstein memo turned out to be after-the-fact cover for the decision.

The problem for Pence is that he was in the meeting during which Trump announced his plan to fire Comey, a meeting at which Trump requested Rosenstein write a memo to offer a false motive for his action.  So when Pence was on Capitol Hill he was knowingly offering a lie about how President Trump arrived at his decision.  The White House has since admitted the original tale spun by the Trump spokespeople, including Pence, wasn't true.

Pence's loss of credibility is a most unfortunate development.  I would rate the odds better than 50-50 he will be President before the official end of Trump's term and that he will lead the Republican ticket in 2020. His being damaged by his actions as Vice President further hurt GOP efforts to keep control of the White House and the Senate.

As far as the U.S. House, that most likely be won by the Democrats in 2018.  A Quinnipiac poll released yesterday showed that Americans by a 54-38 margin Americans want Democrats to win control of the U.S. House in 2018.  That 16 point spread is by far the widest margin ever measured on that question.
          More Flynn Foreign Payments Revealed; Trump-Friendly National Enquirer Labels Flynn a "Russian Spy"   
A few weeks ago it was revealed that General Michael T. Flynn, who advised President Trump on foreign policy, and briefly served as National Security Adviser in the Trump administration, was acting as an agent of of a foreign government, namely Turkey.  Flynn's company received $530,000 for 90 days of work to investigate and undermine a political opponent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who engaged in a political crackdown after surviving a military coup.

That's $5,889 a day that Flynn's firm was being paid by Turkish interests, all the while traveling around
General Michael T. Flynn
the country with the Donald Trump campaign.  It's a good gig if you can get it.

But it turns out, there were more payments. Recently, Flynn amended federal disclosure documents to show payments from Russian outfits, i.e. Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Kapersky Government Security Solutions, Inc, each of which paid him $11,250.  Flynn was also paid $45,000 by RT, the state Russian news agency, for a speech he gave in 2015, another payment he failed to disclose.

Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, indicated the payments might result in a referral to the General Accounting Office, which might ask for a return of all the money.  As Rep. Chaffetz notes, former military officers simply are not allowed to take these type of payments.  It is not a stretch to think there might be criminal liability involved with the payments, which might further explain why Flynn is requesting immunity for his testimony.

An interested and related development comes from of all places, the National Enquirer.  Last week's edition of the supermarket tabloid had blazened across the front page the headline:  "TRUMP CATCHES RUSSIAN'S WHITE HOUSE SPY!"    Here is a summary:

Add caption

Here is the start of the article inside the paper:

National Enquirer's CEO David Pecker is a good friend of President Trump.   Pecker's publication has enthusiastically supported his campaign for President.  During various points in the campaign, the National Enquirer published scandalous (and unverified) stories about Trump's opponents which Trump then used on the campaign stump.  These National Enquirer stories includes the bizarre piece claiming that Sen. Ted Cruz's father was involved in the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.  Despite the absurd stories that regularly appear in the magazine, President Trump has on several occasions said the Enquirer is a credible source of information..

While the Enquirer has zero credibility as a news source, the story calling Flynn a Russian spy is noteworthy for this reason:   The story almost certainly didn't go to print with Trump's direct or indirect blessing.  The story represents the beginning of the new spin that Trump wasn't personally complicit with Russian meddling in the campaign, that he was instead a victim from unscrupulous Russian agents like Flynn.

General Flynn take a look at the Trump bus.  You're going to soon find yourself underneath it.
          Trump Campaign May Have Coordinated with Russians on Release of Information Damaging to Clinton Campaign   
CNN reports:
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.   
This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.   
The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel,
business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.   
In his statement on Monday Comey said the FBI began looking into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives because the bureau had gathered "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."  
One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready." But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it's premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it's largely circumstantial. 
The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said.   
The FBI has already been investigating four former Trump campaign associates -- Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page -- for contacts with Russians known to US intelligence. All four have denied improper contacts and CNN has not confirmed any of them are the subjects of the information the FBI is reviewing.
Yesterday in a bizarre turn of events House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) briefed President Trump on intelligence he had seen in which names of the Trump transition team (of which Nunes himself was a member) had appeared in intelligence intercepts relating to foreign targets, intercepts he didn't bother to share with anyone else on the committee.   While this was in fact old news, Nunes held a press conference to claim that the information somewhat supported Trump's claim that Trump Tower phones were wiretapped by President Obama.  In the next breath, however, Nunes said that the information did not show Trump's claim was true.
The big development though may well be that Nunes has shown himself to be an agent of President Trump and, thus, unable to conduct a fair and impartial investigation of matters relating to the Trump campaign.  Nunes might lose his chairmanship as a result of the stunt he pulled yesterday. At the very least he made the appointment of a independent committee much more likely.

          A "Big, Gray Cloud" Descends Over the Trump Presidency   
Today, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that there exists a current FBI investigation into possible coordination between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian officials in the latter's interference into the 2016 election.  Fox News reports:
FBI Director James Comey said during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee today that there is an ongoing investigation into possible "coordination" between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.
Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016
FBI Director James Comey
presidential election. 
"That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts," he stated.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who was a member of the Trump transition team, complained that Comey's testimony created a "big, gray cloud" over the White House and urged a quick conclusion to the investigation. 

Comey also confirmed that Trump's tweets claiming former President Trump had ordered his phones "wiretapped" at the Trump Tower were simply not true.  Also confirmed as inaccurate was the new claim that British intelligence had wiretapped Trump at President Obama's request.

When the media begins examining more closely Trump campaign connections to Russian officials, , expect a few names to come to the forefront quickly, most notably Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Carter Page.  In an apparent attempt to head off damaging association, administration spokesman Sean Spicer today incredulously noted that Manafort had only a "limited role" with the Trump campaign.  A mighty strange way to characterize the former MANAGER of the Trump campaign.

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          Attorney General Jeff Sessions Met Twice With Russian Ambassador in 2016 While Member of Trump Campaign Team   
In what appears to be a direct contradiction to his confirmation testimony, it is now being reported that Attorney Genera Jeff Sessions twice met with a Russian ambassador in 2016, while a member of the Trump campaign. The Washington Post reports:
Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.
The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.   
When Sessions spoke with Kislyak in July and September, the senator was a senior member of the influential Armed Services Committee as well as one of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers. Sessions played a prominent role supporting Trump on the stump after formally joining the campaign in February 2016.
At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
In January, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Sessions for answers to written questions. “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Leahy wrote. 
Sessions responded with one word:  "No."
It is difficult to conclude that Sessions' testimony was anything but untruthful.  To complicate matters, it appears Sessions' himself could be a focus of an investigation into Trump's Russian ties.   These developments will only increase the push for the appointment of a special prosecutor to probe the Trump campaigns' interaction with Russian officials leading up to the 2016 election.
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* Al-Jazari, (12th century), Mesopotamia — Crankshaft
* Archimedes, (c 287 BC-212 BC), Greece — Archimedes screw
* Ami Argand, (1750-1803), France — Argand lamp
* Edwin H. Armstrong,(1890-1954), USA — FM radio
* William George Armstrong, (1810-1900), UK — hydraulic crane
* Joseph Aspdin, (1788-1855), England — Portland cement
* John Vincent Atanasoff, (1903-1995), United States — modern programmable computer
* Neil Arnott, (1788-1874), UK — waterbed


* Charles Babbage, (1791-1871), UK — Analytical engine
* Roger Bacon, (1214-1292), England — magnifying glass
* Leo Baekeland, (1863-1944), Belgian–American — Velox photographic paper and Bakelite
* Ralph H. Baer, (1922-), German born American — video game console
* John Logie Baird, (1888-1946), Uk — an electromechanical television
* Donat Banki, (1859-1922), Hungary — inventor of the carburetor
* John Bardeen, (1908-1991), USA — co-inventor of the transistor
* Anthony R. Barringer Canadian – American — INPUT (Induced Pulse Transient) airborne electromagnetic system
* Earl W. Bascom, (1906-1995), Canada and United States — side-delivery rodeo chute, hornless rodeo saddle, rodeo bareback rigging, rodeo chaps
* Eugen Baumann, (1846-1896), Germany — PVC
* Trevor Baylis, (1937-), UK — a wind-up radio
* Francis Beaufort, (1774-1857), France — Beaufort scale
* Arnold O. Beckman, (1900-2004), USA — pH meter
* Alexander Graham Bell, (1847-1922), Canada — telephone
* Karl Benz, (1844-1929), Germany — the petrol-powered automobile
* Emile Berliner, (1851-1929), Germany and USA — the disc record gramophone
* Tim Berners-Lee, (1955-), UK — with Robert Cailliau, the World Wide Web
* Bi Sheng (Chinese:畢昇), (ca.990-1052), China — clay movable type printing
* Laszlo Biro, (1899-1985), Hungary — modern ballpoint pen
* J. Stuart Blackton, (1875-1941), USA — stop-motion film
* Otto Blathy (1860-1939), Hungary — co-inventor of the transformer, wattmeter, alternating current (AC) and turbogenerator
* Katharine B. Blodgett, (1898-1979), UK — nonreflective glass
* Nils Bohlin, (1920-2002), Sweden — the three-point seat belt
* Joseph-Armand Bombardier, (1907-1964), Canada — snowmobile
* Robert W. Bower, (1936-), USA — self-aligned–gate MOSFET
* Seth Boyden, (1788-1870), USA — nail-making machine
* Walter Houser Brattain, (1902-1987), USA — co-inventor of the transistor
* Louis Braille, (1809-1852), France — the Braille writing system
* Karl Ferdinand Braun, (1850-1918), Germany — cathode-ray tube oscilloscope
* Harry Brearley, (1871-1948), UK — stainless steel
* John Moses Browning, (1855-1926), USA — automatic handgun
* Edwin Beard Budding, (1795-1846), UK — lawnmower


* C`ai Lun, (50 AD - 121), China — paper
* Marvin Camras, (1916 - 1995), USA — magnetic recording
* Chester Carlson, (1906-1968), USA — Xerography
* Wallace Carothers, (1896-1937), USA — Nylon
* Dennis Charter, (1952-), Australia — Secure Electronic Payment System
* Adrian Chernoff, (1971-), USA — GM Autonomy, GM Hy-wire, Rubber Bandits
* Niels Christensen (1865- 1952), USA — O-ring
* Samuel Hunter Christie, (1784-1865), UK — Wheatstone bridge
* Christopher Cockerell, (1910-1999), UK — Hovercraft
* Jacques Cousteau, (1910-1997), France — co-inventor of the aqualung and the Nikonos underwater camera
* Aeneas Coffey, (1780-1852), Ireland, heat exchanger, inventor of the Coffey still
* Holger Crafoord, (1908-1982), Sweden — inventor of the artificial kidney
* János Csonka, (1852-1939), Hungary — co-inventor of carburetor
* Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, (1725-1804), France — automobile
* Juan de la Cierva, (1895-1936), Spain — the autogyro
* William Cullen, (1710-1790), UK — first artificial refrigerator
* Glenn Curtiss, (1878 - 1930), USA — ailerons
* Corliss Orville Burandt, USA — Variable valve timing
* Joseph Constantine Carpue, (1764-1846), France — rhinoplastic surgery
* Joseph Bienaimé Caventou, (1795-1877), France — caffeine, chlorophyll, strychnine
* George Cayley, (1773-1857), (UK) — tension-spoke wheels, Caterpillar track
* Georges Claude, (1870-1960), France — neon lamp
* Josephine Cochrane, (1839-1913), USA — dishwasher
* Cornelis Corneliszoon, (1550-1607), The Netherlands — sawmill
* Bartolomeo Cristofori, (1655-1731), Italy — piano
* William Cumberland Cruikshank, (1745-1800), UK — chlorinated water


* Gustaf Dalen, (1869-1937), Sweden — AGA cooker; Dalen Light; Agamassan
* Salvino D'Armate, (?-?), Italy — credited for inventing eyeglasses in 1284
* Joseph Day, (1855-1946), UK — the crankcase compression two stroke engine
* Lee DeForest, (1873-1961), USA — triode
* Sir James Dewar, (1842-1923), UK — Thermos flask
* Miksa Deri (1854-1938), Hungary — co-inventor of transformer
* William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, (1860-1935), UK — motion picture camera
* Rudolf Diesel, (1858-1913), Germany — Diesel engine
* William H. Dobelle, (1943-2004), United States — first functioning artificial eye
* Karl Drais, (1785-1851), Germany — dandy horse (Draisine)
* Cornelius Drebbel, (1572-1633), The Netherlands — first navigable submarine
* Richard Drew, (1899-1980), USA — Sticky Tape
* Charles Brace Darrow, (1889-1967). USA — Monopoly
* Jacob Davis, (1868-1908), USA — riveted jeans
* Edmund Davy, (1785-1857), Ireland — acetylene
* Humphry Davy, (1778-1829), UK — Davy miners lamp
* Bryan Donkin, (1768-1855), UK — print industry composition roller
* John Boyd Dunlop, (1840-1921) UK — first practical pneumatic tyre
* Karl Drais, (1785-1851), Germany — velocipede


* George Eastman, (1854-1932), USA — film-roll
* Thomas Edison, (1847-1931), USA — phonograph, commercially practical light bulb, motion picture projector, stock ticker, etc.
* Willem Einthoven, (1860-1927), The Netherlands — the electrocardiogram
* Douglas Engelbart, (1925-), USA — the computer mouse [1]
* Rune Elmqvist, (1857-1924), Sweden — implantable pacemaker
* John Ericsson, (1803-1889), Sweden — the two screw-propeller
* Lars Magnus Ericsson, (1846-1926), Sweden — the handheld micro telephone
* Ole Evinrude, (1877-1934), Norway — outboard motor


* Samuel Face, (1923-2001), USA — concrete flatness/levelness technology; Lightning Switch
* Philo Farnsworth, (1906-1971), USA — electronic television
* James Fergason, (1934-), USA — improved liquid crystal display
* Reginald Fessenden, (1866-1932), Canada — two-way radio
* Adolf Eugen Fick, (1829-1901), Germany — contact lens
* Alexander Fleming, (1881-1955), Scotland — penicillin
* Sandford Fleming, (1827-1915), inventor of Standard Universal Time (1879)
* John Ambrose Fleming, (1848-1945), England — vacuum diode
* Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790), USA — the pointed lightning rod conductor, bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove, the glass harmonica
* William Friese-Greene, (1855-1921), England — cinematography
* Buckminster Fuller, (1895-1983), USA — geodesic dome
* Gerhard Fischer, Germany/USA — hand-held metal detector
* Augustin-Jean Fresnel, (1788-1827), France — Fresnel lens
* Jean Bernard Léon Foucault, (1819-1868), France — Foucault pendulum (earth rotation), gyroscope, eddy current
* Benoît Fourneyron, (1802-1867), France — water turbine
* Enrico Fermi, (1901-1954), Italy — nuclear reactor
* Michael Faraday, (1791-1867), England — rubber balloon, electric transformer


* Dennis Gabor, (1900-1979), Hungary — holography
* Elmer R. Gates, (1859-1923), foam fire extinguisher, electric loom mechanisms, magnetic & diamagnetic separators, educational toy ("box & blocks")
* William Henry Gates III, (1955-), Windows operating system, chief architect of Visual Basic
* Robert Goddard, (1882-1945), USA — liquid fuel rocket
* Heinrich Göbel, (1818-1893), Germany — first functional incandescent lamp
* Peter Carl Goldmark, (1906-1977), Hungary — vinyl record (LP)
* Gordon Gould, (1920-2005), USA — co-inventor of laser
* Richard Hall Gower, (1768-1833), England — ship's hull and rigging
* Bette Nesmith Graham, (1924-1980), USA — Liquid Paper
* Chester Greenwood, (1858-1937), USA — thermal earmuffs
* James Gregory, (1638-1675), Scotland — reflecting telescope
* William Robert Grove, (1811-1896), Wales — fuel cell
* Otto von Guericke, (1602-1686), Germany — vacuum pump, manometer, dasymeter,
* Johann Gutenberg, (c 1390s-1468), Germany — modern movable type printing press
* Hans Wilhelm Geiger, (1882-1945), Germany — Geiger counter
* Henri Giffard, (1825-1882), France — powered airship, injector
* Charles Goodyear, (1800-1860), USA — vulcanization of rubber
* Samuel Guthrie, (1782 - 1848), USA — discovered chloroform
* James Henry Greathead, (1844-1896), South Africa — tunnel boring machine, tunnelling shield technique


* John Hadley, (1682-1744), England — the sextant
* James Hargreaves, (1720-1778), England — invented the spinning jenny
* John Harrison, (1693-1776), England — marine chronometer
* Victor Hasselblad, (1906-1978), Sweden — invented the 6 x 6 cm single-lens reflex camera
* Rudolf Hell, (1901-2002), Germany — the Hellschreiber
* Avram Hershko, (1937-), Hungary — Ubiquitin
* Jozef Karol Hell, (1713-1789), Slovakia — the water pillar
* Joseph Henry, (1797-1898), USA — electromagnetic relay
* George de Hevesy, (1885-1966), Hungary — radioactive tracer
* Erna Schneider Hoover, (1926-), USA — computerized telephone switching system
* Frank Hornby, (1863-1936), England — invented Meccano
* Heron, Greece — invented Aeolipile
* Joseph Hon – book index thumb notch system for dictionaries Patent #561888
* Christopher Hansteen, (1783-1873), Norway — discovery of terrestrial magnetism
* William Harvey, (1578-1657), England — blood circulation in the human body
* Robert A. Heinlein, (1907-1988), USA — waterbed
* Henry J. Heinz, USA — tomato ketchup
* Joseph Henry, (1797-1878), Scotland — electromagnetic relay
* Heinrich Hertz, (1857-1894), Germany — radio telegraphy, electromagnetic radiation
* Rowland Hill, (1795-1879), UK — postage stamp
* Felix Hoffmann (Bayer), (1868-1949), Germany — Aspirin
* Herman Hollerith, (1860-1929), USA — mechanical tabulator based on punched cards
* Nick Holonyak, (1928- ), USA — LED (Light Emitting Diode)
* Robert Hooke, (1635-1703), England — balance wheel, iris diaphragm
* Coenraad Johannes van Houten, (1801-1887), Netherlands — cocoa powder, cacao butter, chocolate milk
* Elias Howe, (1819-1867), USA — sewing machine
* Christiaan Huygens, (1629-1695), Netherlands — pendulum clock


* János Irinyi, (1817-1895), Hungary — noiseless match
* Sumio Iijima, (1939- ), Japan — nanotubes


* Karl Jatho, (1873-1933), Germany — aeroplane
* György Jendrassik, (1898-1954), Hungary — turboprop
* Thomas Jefferson, (1743-1826), USA — swivel chair
* Steve Jobs, (1955-), Macintosh operating system
* Carl Edvard Johansson, (1864-1943), Sweden — Gauge blocks
* Johan Petter Johansson, (1853-1943), Sweden — the pipe wrench and the modern adjustable spanner
* Nancy Johnson, USA — American version of the hand cranked ice cream machine in (1843)
* Scott A. Jones, (1960-), USA — created one of the most successful versions of voicemail as well as ChaCha Search, a human-assisted internet search engine.
* Whitcomb Judson, (1836-1909), USA — zipper


* Dean Kamen, (1951-), USA — Invented the Segway HT scooter and the IBOT Mobility Device
* John George Kemeny, (1926-1992), Hungary — co-inventor of BASIC
* Charles F. Kettering, (1876-1958), USA — invented automobile self-starter ignition, Freon ethyl gasoline and more
* Jack Kilby, (1923-2005), USA — patented the first integrated circuit
* Fritz Klatte, (1880-1934), Germany — vinyl chloride, forerunner to polyvinyl chloride
* Margaret Knight, (1838-1914), USA — machine that completely constructs box-bottom brown paper bags
* Ivan Knunyants, (1906-1990), Ukraine — invented Nylon-6
* Willem Johan Kolff, (1911-), Netherlands — artificial kidney hemodialysis machine
* Gleb Kotelnikov, (1872-1944), Russia — knapsack parachute
* Stephanie Kwolek, (1923-), USA — Kevlar
* John Howard Kyan (1774-1850), Ireland — The process of Kyanization used for wood preservation
* Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, (1853-1926), Netherlands — liquify helium
* Theophilus Van Kannel, revolving door (1888)
* John Harvey Kellogg, (1852-1943), cornflake breakfasts
* Robert Koch, (1843-1910), method for culturing bacteria on solid media
* Willem Johan Kolff, Netherlands/USA, (1911- ) — hemodialysis, pioneer in the field of other artificial organs


* Hedy Lamarr, (1913-2000), Austria and USA — Spread spectrum radio
* Edwin H. Land, (1909-1991), USA — Polaroid polarizing filters and the Land Camera
* Irving Langmuir, (1851-1957), USA — gas filled incandescent light bulb, hydrogen welding
* Lewis Latimer, (1848-1928), — worked with Thomas Edison and patented an improved lightbulb manufacturing process
* Gustav de Laval, (1845-1913), Sweden — invented the milk separator and the milking machine
* Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev, (1874-1934), Russia — synthetic rubber
* Tim Berners-Lee, (1955- ) England — World Wide Web
* Justus von Liebig, (1803-1873), Germany — nitrogen-based fertilizer
* Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist, (1862-1931), Sweden — Kerosene stove operated by compressed air
* Archibald Low, (1882-1956), Britain — Pioneer of radio guidance systems
* Giovanni Luppis, (1813-1875), Austrian Empire (ethnical Italian) — self-propelled torpedo
* René Laënnec, (1781-1826), France — stethoscope
* Karl Landsteiner, (1868-1943), Austria — classification of blood groups
* Samuel P. Langley, (1834-1906), USA — bolometer
* John Bennet Lawes, (1814-1900), England — superphosphate or chemical fertilizer
* Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, (1632-1723), Netherlands — development of the microscope, discovery of bacteria, spermatozoa and celled organisms
* Jean-Joseph Etienne Lenoir, (1822-1900), Belgium — internal combustion engine, motorboat
* Willard Frank Libby, (1908-1980), USA — Radiocarbon dating
* Otto Lilienthal, (1848-1896), Germany — air glider
* Hans Lippershey, (1570-1619), Netherlands — telescope
* Auguste and Louis Lumière, France — Cinématographe


* Ma Jun, (c. 200-265 AD), China, South Pointing Chariot (for navigation, see differential gear), mechanical puppet theater, chain pumps, improved silk looms
* Charles Macintosh, (1766-1843), Scotland — waterproof raincoat, life vest
* George William Manby, (1765-1854), England — Fire extinguisher
* Guglielmo Marconi, (1874-1937), Italy — radio, transatlantic radiosignals
* John Landis Mason, (1826-1902), USA — Mason jars
* Henry Maudslay, (1771-1831), England — screw-cutting lathe, bench micrometer
* James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) and Thomas Sutton Scotland — colour photography
* John McAdam, (1756-1836), Scotland — improved "macadam" road surface
* Elijah McCoy, (1843-1929), Canada — Displacement lubricator
* Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, (1817-1880), France — margarine
* Antonio Meucci, (1808-1889), Italy — telephone (prototype)
* Edouard Michelin, (1859-1940), France — pneumatic tyre
* Narcis Monturiol i Estarriol, (1819-1885), Spain — steam powered submarine
* Robert Moog, (1934-2005), USA — the Moog synthesizer
* Montgolfier brothers, (1740-1810) and (1745-1799), France — hot-air balloon
* John J. Montgomery, (1858-1911), USA — heavier-than-air gliders
* Samuel Morey, (1762-1843), USA — internal combustion engine
* Garrett A. Morgan, (1877-1963), USA — inventor of the gas mask, and traffic signal.
* Samuel Morse, (1791-1872), USA — telegraph
* Jozef Murgas, (1864-1929), Slovakia — inventor of the wireless telegraph (forerunner of the radio)
* William Murdoch, (1754-1839), Scotland — Gas lighting
* Pieter van Musschenbroek, (1692-1761), Netherlands — Leyden jar, pyrometer


* Yoshiro Nakamatsu, (1928-), Japan — Floppy disk (world record holder for over 3,000 patented inventions)
* John von Neumann, (1903-1957), Hungary — Von Neumann computer architecture
* Isaac Newton,(1642-1727), England — reflecting telescope (which reduces chromatic aberration)
* Jun-Ichi Nishizawa, (1926-), Japan — Optical communication system, SIT/SITh (Static Induction Transistor/Thyristor), Laser diode, PIN diode
* Alfred Nobel, (1833-1896), Sweden — dynamite
* Carl Rickard Nyberg, (1858-1939), Sweden — the blowtorch
* John Napier, (1550-1617), Scotland — logarithms
* James Nasmyth, (1808-1890), Scotland — steam hammer
* Joseph Nicephore Niépce, (1765-1833), France — photography


* Theophil Wilgodt Odhner, (1845-1903), Sweden — the Odhner Arithmometer, a mechanical calculator
* Elisha Otis, (1811-1861), USA — passenger elevator with safety device
* J. Robert Oppenheimer , (1904-1967), USA — the father of the atomic Dome
* Hans Christian Ørsted, (1777-1851), Denmark — electromagnetism, aluminium


* Helge Palmcrantz, (1842-1880), Sweden — the multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun
* Les Paul, (1915-), USA — Multitrack recording
* Spede Pasanen, (1930-2001), Finland — The ski jumping sling
* Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, (1871-1922), Croatia — mechanical pencil
* Gustaf Erik Pasch, (1788-1862), Sweden — the safety match
* Arthur Paul Pedrick, England — chromatically selective cat flap and others
* Henry Perky, (1843-1906), USA — Shredded wheat
* Peter Petroff, (1919-2004), Bulgaria — digital wrist watch, heart monitor, weather instruments
* Christopher Polhem, (1661-1751), Sweden — the modern padlock
* Olivia Poole, (1889-1975), USA, — the Jolly Jumper baby harness
* Baltzar von Platen, (1898-1984), Sweden — refrigerator
* Mihajlo Pupin, (1858-1935), Serbia — pupinization (loading coils), tunable oscillator
* Tivadar Puskas, (1844-1893), Hungary — telephone exchange
* Daniel David Palmer, (1845-1913), Canada — Chiropractic
* Luigi Palmieri, (1807-1896), Italy — seismometer
* Alexander Parkes, (1831-1890), England — celluloid
* Blaise Pascal, (1623-1662), France — barometer
* Charles Algernon Parsons, (1854-1931), British — steam turbine
* John Pemberton, (1831-1888), USA — Coca-Cola
* Joseph Plateau, (1801-1883), Belgium — phenakistiscope (stroboscope)
* James Leonard Plimpton, USA — roller skates
* George Pullman, (1831-1897), USA — Pullman sleep wagon



* Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, (1845-1923), Germany — the X-ray machine
* Josef Ressel, (1793-1857), Czechoslovakia — ship propeller
* John Roebuck, (1718-1794) England — lead chamber process for sulfuric acid synthesis
* Erno Rubik, (1944-), Hungary — Rubik's cube, Rubik's Magic and Rubik's Clock
* Karl von Reichenbach, (1788-1869), paraffin, creosote oil, phenol
* Ira Remsen, (1646-1927), USA — saccharin
* Charles Francis Richter, (1900-1985), USA — Richter magnitude scale
* Ernst Ruska, (1906-1988), Germany — electron microscope


* Hassan Kamel Al-Sabbah, (1895-1935), Lebanon — solar power, cathode ray tube
* Kees A. Schouhamer Immink (1946- ), Netherlands Major contributor to development of Compact Disc
* Augustus Siebe, (1788-1872), Saxony&England Inventor of the standard diving dress
* Alberto Santos-Dumont, (1873-1932), Brazil — non-rigid airship and airplane
* Isidor Sauers, (1948- ), inventor of a process for measuring the degradation of SF6 in high-voltage systems
* Adolphe Sax, (1814-1894), Belgium — saxophone
* Christian Schnabel (1878-1936), German, designed simplistic food cutleries
* August Schrader, USA — Schrader valve for Pneumatic tire
* David Schwarz, (1852-1897), Croatia, — rigid ship, later called Zeppelin
* Bela Schick, (1877-1967), Hungary — diphtheria test
* Iwan Serrurier, (active 1920s), Netherlands/USA — inventor of the Moviola for film editing.
* Mark Serrurier, (190?-1988), USA — Serrurier truss for Optical telescopes
* William Bradford Shockley, (1910-1989), USA — co-inventor of transistor
* Werner von Siemens, (1816-1892), Germany — an electromechanical "dynamic"
* Sir William Siemens, (1823-1883), Germany — regenerative furnace
* Igor Sikorsky, (1889-1972), Ukraine — helicopter
* Charles Simonyi, (1948-), Hungary — Hungarian notation
* Aurel Stodola, (1859-1942), Slovakia - gas turbines
* Elmer Ambrose Sperry, (1860-1930), USA — gyroscope-guided automatic pilot
* Reverend Dr Robert Stirling (1790-1878), Scotland — Stirling engine
* Levi Strauss, (1829-1902), USA — blue jeans
* John Stringfellow, (1799-1883), England — airplane
* Almon Strowger, (1839-1902), USA — automatic telephone exchange
* Su Song, (1020-1101), China, invented the first hydraulic-powered astronomical clock tower that operated an armillary sphere with the escapement mechanism and chain drive
* Simon Sunatori, (1959-), Canada — inventor of Sunatori Pen
* Joseph Swan, (1828-1914), England — Incandescent light bulb
* Thomas Savery, (1650-1715), England — steam engine
* Marc Seguin, (1786-1875), France — wire-cable suspension bridge
* Henry Shrapnel, (1761-1842), England — Shrapnel shell ammunition
* Augustus Siebe, (1788-1872), Germany — standard diving dress
* Isaac Singer, (1811-1875), USA — sewing machine
* Percy Spencer, (1894-1970), USA — microwave oven
* George Stephenson, (1781-1848), England — steam locomotive
* Simon Stevin, (1548-1620), Netherlands — land yacht


* Bernhard Tellegen, (1900-1990), Netherlands pentode
* Edward Teller (Ede Teller), (1908-2003), Hungary — hydrogen bomb
* Nikola Tesla, (1856-1943), Serbian-Croatian-American — developer of the Tesla Coil and inventor of the induction motor, alternating current polyphase power distribution system, wireless communication, robotics, logic gates, the bladeless turbine, radio, VTOL aircraft, etc.
* Kalman Tihanyi, (1897-1947), Hungary — co-inventor of cathode ray tube and iconoscope
* Benjamin Chew Tilghman, (1821-1897), USA — sandblasting
* Alfred Traeger, (1895-1980), Australia — the pedal radio
* Franc Trkman, (1903-1978), Slovenia — electrical switches, accessories for opening windows
* Alan Turing, (1912-1954), England — the Turing machine


* Lewis Urry, (1927-2004), Canada — long-lasting alkaline battery


* Hub van Doorne, (1900-1979), Netherlands, continuously variable transmission
* Louis R. Vitullo, (1924?-2006), United States — developed the first sexual assault evidence kit
* Alessandro Volta, (1745-1827), Italy — battery
* Faust Vrancic, (1551-1617), Croatia — parachute


* Barnes Wallis, (1887-1979), England — bouncing bomb
* Robert Watson-Watt, (1892-1973), Scotland — microwave radar
* James Watt, (1736-1819), Scotland — improved Steam engine
* Jonas Wenström, (1855-1893), Sweden — three-phase electrical system
* George Westinghouse, (1846-1914), USA — Air brake
* Charles Wheatstone, (1802-1875), England — concertina, stereoscope, microphone, Playfair cipher
* Eli Whitney, (1765-1825), USA — the cotton gin
* Frank Whittle, (1907-1996), England — co-inventor of the jet engine
* Otto Wichterle, (1913-1989), Czechoslovakia — invented modern contact lenses
* Paul Winchell, (1922-2005), USA — the artificial heart
* Edmund Wingate, (c.1593-1656), England — straight slide rule
* A. Baldwin Wood, (1879-1956), USA — high volume pump
* Granville Woods, (1856-1910), USA — the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph
* The Wright brothers, Orville Wright, (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright, (1867-1912), USA — powered airplane
* Bruce Wydner, (1935-), USA — inventor of Cost-Effective Machine Translation
* Arthur Wynne, (1862-1945), England — creator of crossword puzzle
* Thomas Wedgwood, (1771-1805), England — first (not permanent) photograph


* Hidetsugu Yagi, (1886-1976), Japan — Yagi antenna
* Yi Xing, (683-727), China, invented the first hydraulic-powered armillary sphere that used the escapement mechanism
* Arthur M. Young, (1905-1995), USA — the Bell Helicopter


* Zhang Heng, (78-139), China, invented the first hydraulic-powered armillary sphere

Penemu Mesin uap Adalah James Watt Berasal dari Negara Inggris
Penemu Mesin 4 tak Adalah Nicolaus Otto Berasal dari Negara Jerman
Penemu Mesin diesel Adalah Rudolf Diesel Berasal dari Negara Jerman
Penemu Mesin cetak Adalah Johannes Guttenberg Berasal dari Negara Jerman
Penemu Mesin ketik Adalah Christopher Sholes Berasal dari Negara Amerika
Penemu Radio Adalah C. Marconi Berasal dari Negara Italia
Penemu Televisi Adalah J.L. Baird & C.F. Jenkins Berasal dari Negara Amerika
Penemu Telegrap Adalah Samuel F.B. Morse Berasal dari Negara Amerika Serikat
Penemu Telepon Adalah Alexander Graham Bell Berasal dari Negara Amerika Serikat
Penemu Dinamo Adalah Michael Faraday Berasal dari Negara Inggris
Penemu Elektromagnet Adalah Williarn Sturgeon Berasal dari Negara Inggris
Penemu Bola lampu Adalah Thomas Alva Edison Berasal dari Negara Amerika Serikat
Penemu Proyektor film Adalah Thomas Alva Edison Berasal dari Negara Amerika Serikat
Penemu Piringan hitam Adalah Alexander Graham Bell Berasal dari Negara Amerika Serikat
Penemu Batu baterai Adalah Volta Berasal dari Negara Italia
Penemu Termometer Adalah Galileo Galilei Berasal dari Negara Italia
Penemu Korek api Adalah Robert Boyle, John Walker Berasal dari Negara
Penemu Kapal api Adalah Robert Fulton Berasal dari Negara Amerika Serikat
Penemu Kapal selam Adalah Cornelius van Drebbel Berasal dari Negara Belanda
Penemu Sinar Rontgen Adalah Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen Berasal dari Negara Jerman
Penemu Stetoskop Adalah Rene Laennec Berasal dari Negara Perancis
Penemu Lensa Adalah Anthony Van Leuwenhook Berasal dari Negara Belanda
Penemu Mikroskop Adalah Zacharias Janssen Berasal dari Negara Belanda
Penemu Teleskop Adalah H. Lippershey Berasal dari Negara Belanda
Penemu Kamera Adalah Louis Jacques Monde da Guerre & Edwin Land Berasal dari Negara Amerika
Penemu Pesawat terbang Adalah Wilbur dan 0. Wright Berasal dari Negara Amerika
Penemu Kereta api Adalah Murdocks Berasal dari Negara Inggris
Penemu Sepeda Adalah Civrac Berasal dari Negara Prancis
Penemu Balon terbang Adalah Sir F. Whittle
Penemu Balon karet Adalah Josep dan J. Montgolfier
Penemu Ban karet Adalah Charles Goodyear Berasal dari Negara Amerika
Penemu Barometer Adalah Evangelista, Torricelli Berasal dari Negara Italia
Penemu Dinamit Adalah Alfred Nobel Berasal dari Negara Swedia
Penemu Lensa kaca mata Adalah Benyamin Franklin Berasal dari Negara
Penemu Mesin hitung Adalah Blaise Pascal Berasal dari Negara Prancis
Penemu Mobil Adalah Gottlich Daimler
Penemu Motor Adalah Nikola Tesla
Penemu Tank Adalah Sir Ernest Swinton Berasal dari Negara Inggris
Penemu Traktor Adalah Benyamin Holt
Penemu Tangga jalan Adalah Elis G. Otis Berasal dari Negara Amerika
Penemu Kawat pijar Adalah Irving Langmuir

Sadi Carnot 1796-1832/Prancis penemu Carnot cycle dan Hukum Thermodynamik II

Carl Friedrich Gauss 1777-1855/Jerman terlalu banyak utk disebutkan, paling banyak kontribusinya di teori2 matematika

Leonhard Euler 1707-1783/JermanSwiss sama kayak gauss, terlalu banyak kontribusinya dibidang ilmu pengetahuan alam dan matematik untuk disebutkan. yang paling kesohor, bilangan euler "e=2,71828..."

Max Planck 1858-1947/Jerman Quantum Theori.

Carl Benz bersama Gottlieb Daimler / dua2nya Jerman penemu Autocar
Karlheinz Brandenburg 1954 /Jerman penemu MP3 format yg di pake sekarang di MP3 Player
Heinrich Hertz/ Jerman penemu Gelombang Mhz, Khz...
Manfred von Ardenne /Jerman penemu Televisi
Albert Einstein /Jerman Teori Relativitas
          Tovarish Tour 2017! Vieni con noi in Russia   
AGGIORNAMENTO 23/06/2017 Carissime compagne, carissimi compagni, il viaggio per la celebrazione del 100^ anniversario della Rivoluzione Bolscevica si avvicina e… migliora la sua offerta! Dopo aver ricevuto nuove e più numerose richieste di partecipazione, e soprattutto dopo aver registrato un interesse più “mirato” alla storia della Rivoluzione Russa, abbiamo ritenuto più utile e interessante modificare ...
          Knesset speaker, decades after Siberia stint, addresses Russian parliament   

MOSCOW, Russia - Thirty years after his release from Soviet camps, where he was subjected to forced labor as punishment for clandestine Zionist activity, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday became the first Israeli politician to address Russia's upper chamber of parliament, in a triumphant turnaround for the one-time "Prisoner of Zion." "Even in my best dreams, I didn't believe I would reach this moment," Edelstein told Russian lawmakers in Hebrew, the language that in 1984 landed him a three-year forced labor sentence for covertly teaching.

          A Ukrainian officer killed in a car bomb was reportedly...   

The Ukrainian military officer who was killed in a car bomb Tuesday was investigating Russia's involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian news outlet Lb.ua reported on Tuesday. Col. Maxim Shapoval was driving a Mercedes Benz in Kiev when a bomb planted under the vehicle exploded, killing him instantly, according to Kiev police.

          Mike's Hat   

This hat is a birthday present for my son. He wanted something without "frills", and I honestly started with grey wool. The project grew, the colors kept coming, bringing along patterns inspired by Russian North. All colors of the wool  are natural, so nothing will "run" during washing!

          Mittens "Russian North"   
I knitted these with an insert, and used Russian goat down famous for its warmth for it.

I started a new craft hobby - needle felting! Here is the result: little Cheburashka, a favorite Russian cartoon character

          Greek Crafts   

This summer we traveled to various Greek islands including Crete. We were fortunate to visit a small Folk Crafts museum in Agios Georgios village in Lassithi Plateau. These images reminded me of Russian or even Scandinavian traditional embroidery. The figure of a woman represents life-giving forces of the Earth.
The rug comes from Agios Konstantinos village in Lassithi. The rich imagery includes animals and plants familiar to weavers.

Here is a small collection of various rugs in a local textile shop.

We also stopped at Lasinthos Eco Park in Lassithi, where visitors can see various craft demonstrations.

Cyprus has its own tradition of embroidery and lace making: Lefkara lace. It comes from Lefkara village, and has a very distinct look. We saw these samples in Larnaca airport on our way back home. There are plenty of machine-made imitations, but once you saw the original hand-made lace, there is now substitute. It is amazing!

In one of the villages near Akamas on Cyprus we saw some interesting examples of local weaving. Some of the motifs resemble designs from Northern Russia and even Scandinavia.

          Russian/Ukrainian traditions during my son's wedding   
We decided to include some Russian/Ukrainian traditions into my son's wedding celebration. I made wreaths for both bride and groom, and we greeted them with bread and salt - symbols of hospitality and plenty.
The rushniki (hand embroidered traditional towels) were also present; one of them was on the floor for newlyweds to step on. According to the old custom, whoever steps on it first will be the head of the family.

          "Art Nouveau" dress   

This is my favorite project so far. One of the reasons: I had to work under time constrains, the dress was needed for my son's wedding in the middle of July. Well, it was challenging, and until a few days ago I did not know if I could finish on time. Now I feel relieved and proud.

A little bit about the design. An inspiration came from my friend Nata Mohn, and from a very talented group of crocheters from Osinka (Russina knitting and crochet community). However, the design is my own, and I loved the process of assembling elements into something unique. The threads used are Kanebo linen and Cebelia crochet
#20 in white.
A little about technique. I used various Irish crochet elements (patterns can be found online, and in books similar to "
Irish Crochet: Technique and Projects" by Priscilla Publishing Co.) The net I used is irregular: combinations of chain and double crochet. I made a pattern for a dress out of fabric, and used it to pin the elements down. The black cord decorating the dress is called "shnur gusenichka" in Russian, here is a very good description of how to make it.
I deliberately used white thread for the net; I wanted it to disappear on white background, so only "Art Nouveau" type flowers and elements will be visible.

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          friendship and love with black guys   
i want to meet with black guys in Yaroslavl(Russia) for friendship and love
          Spitfires have high hopes for Russians Kozhevnikov, Starikov   
Russia has been pretty good to Windsor Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel over the years.
          Mature Russian Mother Gets Fucked By Her 2 Sons   
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          for black boys in russia   
i would like to meet black boys (students,sportsmen) in yaroslavl or in moscow.i like big cocks very much :oops: :oops: :oops:
          Russian guy seeks Black top in Moscow   
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          A Brief History of Santa Claus,   

Santa Claus has been called by several different names throughout the years. Traditions and legends of Santa Claus for the evolution of the modern-day Santa may have been based on the early Dutch legend of Sinterklaas, originating in the 1600's.

Santa Claus really started to get famous when American author Washington Irving published stories about Santa Claus, referring to him as Saint Nicholas who arrived on Christmas Eve bringing presents for children.

Santa Claus changed and became more famous when writer Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem in 1823 about a Christmas Eve visit from Saint Nicholas, better known as "The Night Before Christmas" (listed below). Millions of children now could have a consistent description of Santa Claus and his eight flying reindeer.

Around the world Santa Claus is known as:

English - Kris Kringle or Father Christmas = The Santa Claus name more likely evolved from the name of Saint Nicholas.

Belgium - De Kerstman (Christmas Man) is celebrated on Dec. 26th

note: Sinterklass (which is derived from the Dutch name Sint Nicolaas) is celebrated on December 6th

Italy - Babbo Natale

Germany - Weihnachtsmann or Sankt Nikolaus

Sweden - Jultomten, or Christmas Brownie

Hawaii - Kanakaloka

Chile - Viejo Pascuerro

France - Pere Noel

Japan - Hoteiosho - a priest who bears gifts or Santa Kurohsu

Russia - Ded Moroz - or Grandfather Frost who is accompanied by his grand daughter Snegurochka (Miss Snow or Snow Maiden) - note: "Babushka" or elderly woman does not appear in Russian Christmas stories.

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Information in Russian is given below. We are happy to present TBILISI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL!!! Let’s dance away and have a great time in the beautiful capital of Georgia! Instructors Magna Gopal (USA) David Zaslavskiy (Ukraine) Klimenko Pavel (Ukraine) Bugaiova Victoria (Ukraine) Monica Conde (Columbia) Yulia Teliya (Russia) Raul Blanco (Ukraine) Mary Pavlova (Ukraine) Mescheryakov...

The post TBILISI INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL appeared first on Latin Dance Calendar.

          BACHATA TROPHY   

Russian Bachata Festival

The post BACHATA TROPHY appeared first on Latin Dance Calendar.

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          Moscow Prepares Retaliation for US Seizure of Russian Diplomatic Compounds   
Moscow is preparing retaliatory measures to Washington's decision to seize two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States in 2016, Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday. In December, the U.S. seized two Russian diplomatic compounds as then-President Barack Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russians over what he said was their involvement in hacking to interfere in the U.S. presidential election campaign. Moscow, which denies such allegations, did not...
          Trump Criticized at Senate Panel Hearing on Response to Russian Hacking    
A former top diplomat in Republican U.S. president George W. Bush’s administration criticized President Donald Trump for being “unwilling to act against Russia” in retaliation for the Kremlin’s interference in last year’s election. Nicholas Burns, who served as undersecretary of state for political affairs in the Bush administration, told lawmakers, “I find it dismaying and objectionable that President Trump continues to deny the undeniable fact that Russia launched a major cyber attack...
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          By: delenn13   
I got this today from one of Kim Komando's emails so I am not going to question it's validity. She is well know in the tech circles. As Kosh would say, "And so it begins." <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2064283/Hackers-control-U-S-public-water-treatment-facilities.html" rel="nofollow">Russian Hackers take control of U.S. public water treatment facilities | Mail Online</a>
          Edward Snowden Seeks Temporary Asylum in Russia   
The link below is to an article reporting on the latest developments concerning Edward Snowden’s bid for asylum – now he wants temporary asylum in Russia. For more visit:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/12/edward-snowden-requesting-asylum-russia-nsa Filed under: Edward Snowden, news, Russia, USA, video
          Wie die Berlin-Liga in einen nordirischen Pub kam   
2000 Fans, Livestream, Ticker – das Sechstligaspiel zwischen Tennis-Borussia und Tasmania Berlin war ein großes Spektakel. Sogar in Bolivien und Nordirland.
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          Open Thread For June 26, 2017   
Kushner, Trump, Russia, Loans, Deutsche Bank.  Emoluments. Not just for the President any more. Kushner got a $285 mill lifeline loan month before election.  So many conflicts-of-interest, so little time (to secure that credit line). Great reporting from WaPo. British PM Theresa May Cuts Deal With RWNJ Fringe Party To Stay In Office.  Homophobia and […]
          Open Thread For June 23, 2017   
Yes, Vote Totals May Well Have Been Altered Due To Russian Interference. Besides, it’s written by Charles Pierce, so it’s a great read. But, it’s an essential read. A rare excerpt: We are creeping ever closer to actual evidence that there was Russian ratfcking of the vote totals in the last election. Not long ago, […]
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          Waiting for Galactica to discover Earth in October   
kitten_ms and I just finished the Battlestar Galactica season 2 finale.  I won't give anything away here except to say that everything changes and I like it!  I haven't enjoyed science fiction television this much since the Dominion War on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  Now I just have to wait until October for season 3.

If you have not tried Battlestar Galactica, I recommend checking out the miniseries and first two seasons on DVD.  Its relationship to the original series is minimal.  It takes the basic ideas and characters from the original series but plays out with a much higher level of sophistication.  I would characterize it as the Russian Literature of science fiction television, with serious morality plays, complex characters and plots, and a setting that is both fascinatingly alien and hauntingly familiar.
          Russian Classmatess Home Movie Theater End Up With Mass Fucking   
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          Un viaggio di carattere storico “In Russia ….sul Don”   
Riceviamo e pubblichiamo nell’interesse dei nostri associati Da Rossosh a Filonovo, da Meskof ad Arbuzovka visitando il campo di concentramento di Tambov. Un viaggio nella memoria della seconda Guerra Mondiale ripercorrendo quei luoghi dove...
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          FBI Questions U.S. Employees at Russian Cyber Firm Kaspersky Lab   
The FBI interviewed several U.S. employees of Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab this we
          California Enacts ‘Travel Ban’ on Some Red States   

Single-party dominance has made California a little crazy. After a “Calexit” secession effort failed when its leader decided to move back to Russia, the deep-blue... Read More

The post California Enacts ‘Travel Ban’ on Some Red States appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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          Parker Guitars - Ken Parker   
Ken Parker and Parker Fly

Ken Parker built his first archtop guitar in 1974. This was long before he rose to fame with his well known electric guitar; The Parker Fly.

Ken Parker

In regard to the origin of the Parker Fly, Parker, in his own words states, "Larry Fishman and I met in 1984 and began a playful but productive design partnership.

Larry Fishman
We shared techniques and technologies, and tried to envision some new tools for guitar players. Long story short, we founded Parker Guitars in 1991 in order to realize the Fly Guitar project. We created tools to build the guitars, and established our factory in Massachusetts, where we produced about 30,000 guitars and basses."

1993 Parker Fly Guitar

In doing so, Ken created a modern ultra-light guitar, and made use of some unusual materials. Official sales of the Parker Fly began around 1993.

1992 Parker Fly
The Parker Fly was made from a variety of woods, including poplar, basswood, and spruce. Once the unique shape of the body and neck were carved the instrument was coated with a composite of resin and carbon glass to reinforce the structure.

Parker Fly - custom marbled colour

The fretboard was also made of a composite material and the frets were made of stainless steel. The design process has given Parker Fly guitars the reputation of having the “fastest neck in the business”.

Due to their durability, these materials will pretty much last for the lifetime of the owner.

The electronics used in the instruments were very unique as well. The guitar used either coil split humbucking pickups or single coil pickups. Both had active circuitry. The Fly also had a piezo pickup for acoustic sounds.

Original Parker backside

The structure of the neck was unique since it used multiple finger joints for stability.

Parker Vibrato
The guitars vibrato was unique as well. Instead of using wound springs, The Fly utilizes a shaped flat steel spring that returns the guitar to pitch. It could be set for bend down down mode, balanced mode (full floating), or fixed mode.

Adjustment Wheel

The tension is controlled by a balance wheel. (The guitars manual cautions not to set it too tight as this could cause the spring to break). The vibrato was engineered in a way to bring the strings back to pitch. Sperzel locking tuners aided in maintaining the instruments pitch and eliminated the need for string trees.

Ken Parker and Larry Fisher set up their business and manufacturing facility in Wilmington, Massachusetts.

2002 Parker Fly Bass
In October 2002, Parker began offering the Fly Bass guitar in both 4 and 5 string versions. These basses were well received for their ease of use. They came with both magnetic and piezo pickup and the player could blend the two sounds together. The basses were also manufactured in the Massachusetts factory.

In 2003 Ken Parker sold his stake in the company to the U.S. Music Corporation.

2003 Redesigned Parker Mojo Flame
As he states, "In 2003, U.S. Music purchased Parker Guitars, and moved the production facilities to the greater Chicago area. Since that time, all of the new models produced by Parker Guitars, including any acoustic or semi hollow instruments, have been designed solely by Parker Guitars' design engineers. I have had no involvement with any of these new design projects.

Creating the Parker Fly, Nightfly, and the Fly Bass was a labor of love. I had a lot of fun designing them and then devising and building the production tooling to make them. These instruments have worn well,  and now the product line has been expanded by the new owners."

U.S. Music Corporation Home Page

The U.S. Music Corporation is a distributor of multiple products, including Parker guitars. This organization manufactured the guitars from their Illinois based factory. They developed the line and changed up a few things.

2003 Parker Fly Classic

U.S. Music took a different approach to Parker Guitars. Some Parker guitars were no longer made with the original composite finish, but were now made of wooden bodies. To be fair, by 2001, Ken Parker had offered some models with wooden bodies.

Also some of the new models appeared to be Parker guitars that had morphed with other popular guitar designs.

For instance, the Single Cutaway Fly Mojo may have been a wonderful guitar, but the Les Paul influence is obvious.

Parker Single Cutawy Fly Mojo Flame
This was a single cutaway guitar with twin Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups. The body and neck were made of mahogany and were joined by using Ken Parker’s multi-finger neck joint. This guitar featured a tune-o-matic style bridge and a stop tail piece. The neck was topped with an ebony fretboard that had no position markers and the unique Parker 6 on-a-side headstock.

Tuners were still made by Sperzel.

Fly Mojo Flame
The Fly Mojo Flame did have the body shape of a Parker Fly guitar. The literature suggests it was made of mahogany with a “unique AAA flame maple skin over a solid mahogany body allowing the sound of mahogany to fully resonate through.” I cannot determine if this means the body had a maple veneer or a maple photo-flame finish.

This guitar came with a mahogany neck topped with the Parker headstock and included one Duncan Jazz and one Duncan JB humbucking pickup. Once again the fretboard was ebony with no position markers.

The Fly Mojo Flame also had the Parker Fly vibrato, sans the adjustment wheel. U.S. Music eliminated the vibrato adjustment wheel on all models that they produced.

2006 Fly Mojo

The Fly Mojo was similar in all aspects of the previous guitar, but the body was made of natural unstained mahogany.

U.S. Music continued to build The Parker Fly guitar, but changes were made from the original design to correspond with their vision of this instrument.

2005 Parker Fly Classic
The body was now made of mahogany with a basswood neck. The Fly Classic weighed in at 5 pounds and had the features of the original Fly, except for the choice of body wood and composite finish.

The U.S. Music Parker Fly came with two Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups and included the Parker vibrato. The guitar was available with three colour options.

2005 Parker Fly Deluxe Ice Blue Burst

The Fly Deluxe was a similar instrument that apparently was voiced differently than the original. It came in different six different colour schemes.

The Parker Nitefly Series included two guitars with features in the same shape as the original Parker Fly model. However these both had solid mahogany bodies and bolt on mahogany necks.

NiteFly Mojo Flame
The NiteFly Mojo Flame guitar had the same style neck, with a plain ebony fretboard, topped with the Parker style headstock. The thing that stood out on this guitar was the two humbucking pickups that were topped with chrome covers. One pickup was a Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup and the other was a Seymour Duncan JB pickup. This guitar featured the Parker vibrato. The mahogany body came with what the literature called, “a flame with a traditional AAA flame maple top over the solid mahogany body.”This guitar was offered in cherry sunburst or transparent blue-burst.

NiteFly Mojo

The NiteFly Mojo guitar had the same accouterments however the pickups lacked the chrome covers and there was not a flame veneer topping the mahogany body. It was bare wood and available in a natural finish, a transparent cherry finish, or a dusky black finish.

Southern NiteFly
The Parker Southern NiteFly was Parker’s answer to the Fender Telecaster. The body on this guitar was made of swamp ash and the bolt on neck was maple. The guitar even had black plastic pickguard. The neck pickup was a single coil with a chrome cover that could have been right off of a Tele. The Powerbridge™, looked like the rectangular chrome plate on a Telecaster. It contained a second single coil, slanted pickup and the adjustable bridge saddles contained the Fishman™ piezo elements. There was no vibrato on this model.

What set this apart from a Telecaster was the Parker Fly body, and the Parker headstock. The chrome control plate featured a third knob for the piezo volume. Above it was a second toggle switch to activate the piezo pickup. It was available with blonde, butterscotch, or transparent red finish options.

There were other variants that U.S. Music came up with for their Parker guitars.

NiteFly M

The Parker Nite Fly was one of the models designed by Ken Parker in the late 1990’s. The U.S. Music version of this guitar, called the NiteFly M, had a solid mahogany body and was topped with two humbucking pickups. The bolt-on neck was also made of mahogany. This instrument was offered with a natural oil and wax finish or a similar finish in black. It had the Parker vibrato.

NiteFly Alder
The Nite Fly Alder was Parker’s version of the Fender Stratocaster. This time the body was, of course, made of alder wood, while the neck was maple topped with an ebony fretboard. The pickup layout was similar to that on a strat, but the bridge pickup was a Seymour Duncan humbucking model. The controls were the same as those on a Stratocaster; a master volume, and two tone controls. It too came with the Parker vibrato. It was offered in cream white, Indigo blue,and cherry red.

NiteFly SA

The NiteFly SA was based on the original Parker model. It had the typical Parker shape, but was topped with a white plastic pickguard that contained the electronics, including two single coil pickups and a humbucking pickup in the bridge position. A slider switch acted as a pickup selector. The guitars body was made of swamp ash and the neck was maple. It came complete with the Parker vibrato and was available in transparent red or blue.

Parker PM and Parker P Series
The Parker PM Series and P Series were similar to all of the previous versions, but are noted by the company as having significant upgrades.

U.S. Music Parker guitars included in its line up a series four solid body Parker Fly basses, in addition to their hollow-body PAB 40.


The PB61SP featured neck-thru construction of a spalted maple top and mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard and a spalted maple headstock veneer. The tuners and adjustable bridge/saddle were gold-plated. The body was in the Parker Fly Bass shape. This bass, like all Parker basses, featured twin EMG 35CS active bass pickups.


The PB51TR (Transparent Red) was very similar, except the body and neck were made of mahogany and it was finished in transparent red. The tuners and adjustable tailpiece were in a black gun metal finish.


The PB41 series offered the same great features, such as EMG pickups, however the body was made of Sitka spruce with a Urethan finish, and the bolt-on the neck was maple. It was available in Silverburst, Black Matte, and Gold Matte. The hardware was also done in a black finish. These basses were available in four or five string models.

In 2006 the company added a line of acoustic-electric and jazz guitars under the Parker brand name. These were manufactured off-shore by Washburn guitars.  At that time U.S, Music owned the US distribution rights to the Washburn brand as well.

Bronze Fly

These acoustic models included the 24 fret Bronze Fly, which was a solid body guitar in the shape of the Parker Fly. It had no magnetic pickup, only a Fishman piezo pickup in the Parker style bridge, however there was no vibrato. Ken Parker had offered this guitar when he owned the company under the name The Fly Concert.

Nylon Fly

The Nylon Fly was a similar guitar. This model came with the Fishman piezo placed under a handcrafted ebony bridge.  Both models were topped with gold-plated Sperzel locking tuner. During the years Ken owned the company this guitar was called The Spanish Fly.

The PJ14N and PJ12 SB were true archtop hollow-body guitars. Both of these guitars had the most unusual body designs as well as unique f-holes.

The body of the PJ14N was made of natural spruce and the guitar featured a single Egnater floating Humbucker pickup with pickguard mounted controls and a 5-ply Rock Maple neck with Gold Grover Titan Tuners. The inlaid trapeze tailpiece appears to be made of ebony and the headstock was highly inlaid. This jazz box had only one sound hole. The bound ebony fretboard was inlaid with mother-of-pearl block fret markers. This guitar came with a 3-on-a-side headstock and it was simply awesome!


The PJ12 SB (sunburst) featured two Egnater Humbucker pickups mounted on the guitars body with individual volume and tone controls, a stunning brass tailpiece, and a 5-ply Rock Maple neck with Gold Grover Titan Tuners. This guitar featured a bound ebony fretboard with block position markers. The 3-on-a-side headstock had a large split-diamond inlay and above it the Parker logo all in mother-of-pearl. The PJ12 was the same guitar with a natural finish.

Parker Event Series
Another development in 2006 was the introduction of a line of acoustic-electric guitars under the Parker brand.  These models all had ovular sound holes. The guitars were actually made by the Washburn guitar company under the Parker logo and were given the designation of Parker Event Series guitars. These included three wide bodied models and five thinner body instruments. All had the same unique Parker body shape as the Jazz series. The line up included three non-electric acoustic models.

Parker P8E

The P8E guitar was designed with a solid cedar top, with a flamed maple back and sides. The unbound fretboard was made of ebony and had small dot inlaid position markers on the boards bass side The electronics were designed by Larry Fishman and included a piezo unit in the bridge and a Fishman magnetic pickup just under the neck. The master volume control is on the guitars top and on the upper side bout are the controls for treble, bass, and pickup balance.

Parker P9E

The P9E was very similar, except for the choice of wood. For this guitar, the top was solid cedar, but the back and sides were made of Indian rosewood The neck was made of mahogany.

Parker P10E

The P10E came with all the features of the P9E, however the neck had an ivoroid fretboard with dark dot position markers. The bridge was made of this same material.

Parker P6E Event Series
The Parker P6E models featured a thinner body than the aforementioned instruments. This guitar was available in various styles.

This guitar had a solid Sitka spruce top with single ply binding. The accouterments were similar to th aforementioned mode,  with biggest difference being the depth of the body.

The other difference was the necks which were made of 5-ply mahogany and maple. The body on the P6E models were made with mahogany back and sides. Once again the fretboard Is made of ebony with microdot inlays, The electronics were designed by Larry Fisher. These guitars were available in white, black, and transparent red.

Parker P7EQS

The P7EQS had the same accouterments, but had a fancy quilted sapele top.

Parker Intrique Series acoustic

The Parker Intrigue Series, were acoustic guitar, with no electronic features. The unique body shape on these instruments was much different as there is no cutaway section.

Parker Intrique Series acoustic
The PA28 came with a solid cedar top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides. The neck was 5 ply mahogany/maple topped with gold-plated Grover Stay-Tite open back tuners. These instrument had a zero fret to help with intonation.

Also it 2006 Parker also came out with a unique acoustic bass guitar to match up with their Event Series guitars.

Parker PAB 40
The PAB 40 bass guitar featured the same shape as the Event Series guitars. It included nine feedback suppressing slots routed into the bodies upper bout. The piezo and electronics were the customized Fishman Matrix Bass system and installed on the upper side. The bound body was made of American black walnut and included a thumb rest. The ebony fretboard had only dot inlays at the 12th fret. The 2 on a side headstock was topped with gold-plated tuners. The pin bridge was uniquely designed of ebony wood.

JAM Industries 
In 2009, the brand was acquired by JAM Industries of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Production remained in Illinois. JAM is a multi-national distributor of musical instruments, pro audio and lighting and consumer electronic.

This company has acquired many smaller distribution companies and owns the distribution rights to quite a few well know brands including Digitech, Washburn, Marshall, Hagstrom, Randall, Oscar Schmidt, and Korg.

2010 Parker Maxxfly
In 2010 the MaxxFly model was introduced. This model was based on the Fly guitar, but featured a refined headstock which allowed it to be hung on a wall guitar hanger. The top horn was reshaped to be more traditional and ergonomic.

Standardized pickup cavities were set up to aid in manufacturing. The frets were reduced from 24 to 22, and the body became slightly thicker and heavier.

In 2015 the JAM Corporation announced that Parker's US production had ceased and a search for a new off-shore facility was underway.

Fly Mojo Snakeskin

Parker did create several special edition models after the 2015 announcement including the Fly Mojo Snakeskin model, the Koa Fly Mojo model, and the Four Season Fly Mojo guitar, which was offered in differing finishes corresponding to the seasons.

Parker Guitars  US Music page
The Parker Fly brand was being manufactured until November of 2016 when the factory in Buffalo Grove, Illinois was shut down. The U.S. Music website states, “The Parker Guitar line-up is currently being updated for re-release in 2017.

Ken in 2013 Holding his archtop

So what is Ken Parker doing these days? He has returned to his first love, which is building archtop guitars. He started doing this in the 1970’s, long before he became preoccupied with the Parker Fly guitar. During these years he was able to strike up a friendship and get advice from Jimmy D’Aquisto.

1991 model
much different Parker
Ken says on his webpage that he has been busy creating and selling his own archtop guitars. And these are very unique instruments, like no other guitars on the market. Each guitar is handmade and though they share the same outline, each is a one-of-a-kind piece. Ken has experimented with different woods that exhibit different tonal variations.

After selling his stake in Parker Fly Guitars in 2003, Ken began experimenting with the archtop guitar neck attachment. He felt that one of the pitfalls of the archtop acoustic was the bridge.

Parker Archtop "Grace"
On most models this involves a bridge with a saddle that is adjusted by means of some knurled knobs to raise and lower the action of the strings. He feels the bridge is such an important element in transferring the string vibrations to the guitars body and the standard method needed to be improved upon.

The bridges on his instruments need no adjusting.

Parker archtop neck and post
To solve this, Ken has created a unique adjustable and removable neck. The neck sets above the guitars body on a post made of carbon fiber.

This allows the player to not only adjust the neck, but to play in upper registers without being impeded by the instruments body or neck heel, as there is no neck heel. Another advantage to the removable neck is that the instrument can be dismantled and placed in travel size containers for safe travel on airlines. Parker can even build an instrument available with a variety of differing necks for the same body, such as a 25.5” scale or a 30” baritone scale, even six or seven string necks that would fit the same body.

Parker neck, bridge, fretboard

Parker’s fretboard design involves an altered conical parabolic curve that is based on the players preference for string gauge and action. He suggests using 12 gauge string sets for his instrument, preferably made of phosphor bronze material, since he uses Fishman Rare Earth SA220 humbucking pickups on his instruments.

Fishman Rare Earth pickup
top and side view
These pickups attach to the pickguard and are snug up against the distal end of the neck. A
          Project Veritas Investigation: CNN’s Van Jones Appears to Call Russia Controversy a ‘Big Nothing Burger’   

According to journalist James O'Keefe, a video released Wednesday appears to show CNN commentator Van Jones calling the controversy surrounding alleged connections between Russia and the Trump campaign a “big nothing burger”--a day after another video was released showing a CNN producer calling the Russia controversy “mostly bullshit.”
          Caddell on CNN Fake News Scandal: Networks Believe It’s ‘Their Right to Tell You Who You Must Vote For’   

Pat Caddell joined Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday to discuss the Senate healthcare bill, as well as the fallout for CNN as Project Veritas released undercover video of a CNN producer admitting he thinks the network's Russia coverage is "bullsh*t."
          Electro-Harmonix Effects Pedals; A Brief History   
Electro-Harmonix original logo
For electric guitarists it is not enough to have your instrument sound like a guitar; We leave that to the jazz players, the classical players, and the folkies. Electric players want to make their instrument growl, wail, and and scream.

Guitar George

We are not like “Guitar George, he knows all the chords. Mind he’s strictly rhythm he doesn’t want to make them cry or sing.” The majority of us want to express ourselves and be heard.

Maestro Fuzztone
Aside from a loud, over driven amplifier, effects pedals are necessary tools for most guitarists and bass players. The granddaddy of them all was the Maestro Fuzztone. This was the original pedal used on the Rolling Stone’s hit song, Satisfaction, and it started a whole industry.

One of the original and most prominent manufacturers of guitar and bass effects pedal is Electro-Harmonix. This company emerged on the scene in New York City back in 1968.

Mike Matthews in 1979

Back in 1967 Mike Matthews, the companies owner and founder was a rhythm and blues piano player and had a day time sales job. His friend, Bill Berko, was an audio repairman who had just constructed a circuit for a guitar fuzz pedal.

'67 Axis and Foxey Lady fuzz pedals

Under the advice of Matthews, Berko hired a company to construct these pedals under a deal with the Guild Guitar Company and the device was given the name of the Axis fuzz pedal. It was also sold under the name Foxey Lady.

All parties made a little money off the deal, and eventually Berko and Matthews parted ways.

Mike Matthews 1967
However Mike Matthews was smitten with the idea of creating guitar effects. As I've mentioned, at the time Matthews was a salesman for IBM and he next teamed up with an IBM colleague who was an electrical engineer by the name of Bob Myer.

In 1969 they worked together to create a distortion free sustain device. Some fuzz tones of that era produced a buzz saw like effect that produced some sustain, while others like the Maestro box, just added gain to distort the guitars signal. Guitarists at that time wanted the ability for notes to be played and held, just like those played by horn players.

Original LPB-1
What Myer and Matthews came up with was a small device the Linear Power Booster, and called it the LPB-1. This pedal boosted the signal and made the guitar stand out. It did not sit on the floor, but was made to be plugged directly into the amplifier input.

Vintage LPB-1 interior

The price for this unit was about $20 USD, and it was an instant hit. The original units were hand wired with no circuit board.

1969-70 version Big Muff Pi (π)
The next effect that Matthews and Bob Myer created was the a fuzz tone that added a low end heavy sustain to any guitar sound. They gave it the name of The Big Muff Pi. It mixed harmonic distortion, sustain, and fuzz sounds together to make even a small amplifier sound huge. Plus it distorted at any volume. Both devices were instant hits and were put to use by well known artists.

'75 Big Muff Pi (π) interior
The original version of the Big Muff Pi was pretty much hand-made on perforated electronic boards with the wiring and parts hand-soldiered. But by 1970 these devices were updated to etched PCB boards.

Double Muff and Little Muff
The Big Muff was such a hit that subsequent versions emerged in later years, such as the Metal Muff, which had a higher gain threshold, and the Double Muff, which was two Big Muffs wired in series that offered overdrive through a single circuit, or through a cascaded version.

The Little Big Muff was a smaller version of the unit and had a slight variation in the circuit. The NYC Big Muff came with a tone bypass switch that allowed the user to bypass the tone control and another switch the adjusted the frequencies of 3 filters embedded in the circuit.

EH Bass and Treble boost

There were several other devices made by Electro-Harmonix in the late 1960's and early 1970's that included a Treble Booster, called the Screaming Bird and a Bass Booster called the Mole, that were made in a similar format to the LPB-1; These small boxes had an input on one end to accept the guitar cable and a plug on the opposite side that went into the amplifier. These units originally sold for around $20 USD.

EH Slap Back Echo

The company also produced the Slap-Back Echo box that produced a slap-back effect and came with a filter switch to shape the tone.

1975 EH Small Stone Phaser
One of the more popular effects the company produced at this time was the Small Stone Phase Shifter. It was a 4 stage phasing circuit, design by David Cockerell. This device had one large knob to adjust the rate of phasing and a slider switch labeled “Color” that engaged an additional stage of feedback for a more pronounced sound. Think of the Doobie Brothers song “Listen to the Music”.

EH Band Stone Phase Shifter

The Bad Stone Phase Shifter was an upgraded circuit that added a Feedback control and a Manual Shift control to filter the sweet spot.

'77 EH Octave Multiplexer

Electro-Harmonix came out with an octave box called the Octave Multiplexer which produced the clean signal and a filtered signal an octave below.

EH Elecric Mistress Flanger

The Electric Mistress Flanger Chorus Pedal came out in the mid 1970’s and was one of the first multi-effects devices.

Mid 70's EH Attack Equalizer

The Electro-Harmonix Attack Equalizer pedal was a combination of a parametric EQ to produce desired equalization and a pre-amplifier to boost the guitars signal.

1981 EH Graphic Fuzz

The Electro-Harmonix Graphic Fuzz was not only a fuzztone/distortion unit, but it added a six band graphic eq control section.

1980 EH Full Double Tracking Effect
The Full Double Tracking Effect, split the guitars signal. One signal was given a slight delay that was adjustable, while the other was the original guitar signal. It came with a switch that allowed the delay to be 50 ms or 100 ms. The knob adjusted the mix of the original and filtered signals.

'77 EH Triggered Y Filter

The Triggered Y Filter was sort of a phaser unit that allowed the frequency range to be adjusted to Lo or Hi and the amplitude/depth of the filter sweep.

Late '70's EH Echoflanger

The Echo Flanger produced a modulated Echo and a flanging effect, similar to what record producer did when they would press their finger or thumb on recording tape to cause the one of the tracks to be slightly delayed.

1978 EH Memory Man

The Electro-Harmonix Memory Man, was introduced in 1978 and produced analog delay and echo using “bucket brigage” integrated circuits and incorporated a chorus effect. So the user could choose echo or chorus

EH Deluxe Memory Man

Several models of this effect including a stereo version and the Deluxe Memory Man that added a chorus/vibrato feature to the echo.

EH Small Clone Chorus

The Small Clone chorus, introduced by EHX around 1981 remains a very popular chorus pedal. it was also produced in two different smaller versions known as the Neo Clone and the Nano Clone.

EH Holy Grail Reverb

Electro-Harmonix issued a very popular reverb pedal called The Holy Grail.  This pedal came in several different formats including The Holy Grail Plus and the Cathedral. The Holy Stain was a multi-effects pedal that offered two different types of reverb.

EH Wigger 

Tremolo was one of the very earliest guitar effects and Electro-Harmonix offered a solid-state tremolo/vibrato pedal called the Stereo Pulsar and a tube based model called the Wiggler.

1972 Mike Matthews Freedom Amp
In 1972 the company came out with The Mike Matthews Freedom Amp. This DC powered amp put out around 25 watts RMS into a 10” speaker and was wired point-to-point. The controls included Volume, Tone, and Bite. The housing was rugged and built to be carried around. It was possibly the first battery powered amplifier.

Interior of Freedom Amp with battery clips

The only drawback was that it took 40 D cell batteries to power the thing.  It was also available as a bass model or as a public address amplifier which came with built in reverb.

'90's EH Freedom Amp
An updated 1990's version of this amplifier was later produced with a lower wattage but in an all wood cabinet. This version came with a wall adapter and a rechargeable battery.

By 1982 Electro-Harmonix was facing a multiplicity of problems. First there was a labour union dispute. And about the same time the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Two years later, in 1984 Electro-Harmonix was in deeper financial problems and Mike Matthew decided to shift his attention away from the little effects boxes to a new venture.

Mike Matthews

He launched a new company that he called the New Sensor Corporation, which was based in the Soviet Union. Matthew saw the need for vacuum tubes, which were no longer being manufactured in the United States and in short supply, but were plentiful in the USSR.

Sovtek Tubes
Matthews put together factories in three Russian cities to produce Sovtek tubes and eventually became one of the largest suppliers of vacuum tubes in the world. To this day they still offer a variety of the most popular tubes used in modern amplifiers.

Sovtek Mig 50 amplifier
At the time the company went on to produce several tube amplifiers under the Sovtek brand name that included the Mig 50, the Sovtek Mig 60, and the Sovtek Mig 100, were all named after Russian fighter jets.

These amps were based on popular circuits and can still be found on the web at bargain prices.

New Sensor EH Russian made Big Muff Pi

In 1990 Electro-Harmonix resumed the building effect pedals. Some of these were made in Russia through 2009.

EH 2006 Nano Pedals

In 2006 the smaller and more standardized "micro" and "nano" effect lines using surface-mount circuit components were introduced.

The circuit board manufacturing was outsourced, but the final assembly of the pedals was done in New York.

Vintage EH Micro Synthesizer

When synthesizers came into vogue, EH offered the Micro Synthesizer for guitar or bass and the HOG effects unit; Harmonic Octave Generator.

An original EH POG

The POG or Polyphonic Octave Generator was released in 2005 and an enhanced version called the POG 2 came out in 2009. These units allowed your instrument to produce notes 2 octaves up and one octave below the guitars signal.

EH 22 Caliber Amplifier

Two of the more interesting and modern Electro-Harmonix creations may look like effects pedals, but are actually amplifiers housed in pedal sized effects box. The EHX 22 Caliber was a 22 watt solid-state amplifer capable of driving an 8 or 16 ohm speaker cabinet.

EH 44 Magnum Amplifier

It was discontinued and replaced by the EHX 44 Magnum, which could pump 44 solid-state watts into an 8 or 16 ohm speaker cabinet. These are small enough to pack into your guitar case. It is important to note, these units must be connected to a speaker load to work.

Electro-Harmonix C9

For 2016 and 2017 Electro-Harmonix has developed some amazing pedals that can coax organ or piano sounds from your guitar without the need for special pickups.

Electro-Harmonix B9

The C9 and B9 Organ Machines replicate the sounds of several different types of organs, from Hammond organs to church organs, to combo organs.

Electro-Harmonix Key 9

The Key 9 Electric Piano Machine produces a number of electric piano sounds. Combine any of these with the Lester G Deluxe Rotary Speaker emulator or the Lester K Rotary Speaker emulator and as a guitarist you now have all the tools of a keyboard player without the weight of hauling a B-3 and a Leslie cabinet.

Electro-Harmonix Mel 9

The Mel 9 Tape Replay Machine produces sounds from your guitar that were only possible with a Mellotron.

A few of the Electro-Harmonix effects

Electro-Harmonix now offers a line up that is far too numerous to mention every product. And these include not just guitar effects, but bass effects, drum effects and vocal effects.  And they have also updated versions of their original effects that sell at a much lower price than the vintage models.

As a reminder, the sources for the pictures can be found by clicking on the links below them and the links in the text will take you to further interesting facts.
©UniqueGuitar Publishing (text only)

          Caddell: Senate Healthcare Bill ‘Dead as a Doornail’   

Pat Caddell joined Breitbart News daily SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday to discuss the Senate healthcare bill, as well as the fallout for CNN as Project Veritas released undercover video of a CNN producer admitting he thinks the network's Russia coverage is "bullsh*t."
          McCaskill Admits Donation to Foundation Connected to Russian Ambassador   
Senator Claire McCaskill
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) admitted Tuesday that she, her husband, and their private family foundation donated a total of $1,000 to the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, on whose board of directors Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak serves as honorary chairman.
          Buzzfeed: CNN Has a Sad After Fake News Scandal   
CNN Jeff Zucker (Tim Sloan / AFP / Getty)
The CNN newsroom is reportedly down in the dumps following the sacking of three employees for publishing a fake news story on the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, and after James O'Keefe's exposé on how the network is pushing the false Russia narrative for ratings.
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          Trump's Lawyers Deny He Has Russian Income Or Debt, 'With A Few Exceptions'   
In a letter released Friday, President Trump's lawyers said a decade's worth of his tax returns show that he doesn't owe money to Russian lenders and that he has received no income from Russian sources, "with a few exceptions." The exceptions include this: "In 2008, Trump Properties LLC sold an estate in Florida, that it had acquired in 2005 for approximately $41 million, to a Russian billionaire for $95 million." That buyer was Dmitry Rybolovlev, who never moved into the 62,000-square-foot mansion before tearing it down. Another exception was the $12.2 million made from holding the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, according to the letter signed by attorneys Sheri A. Dillon and William F. Nelson. The lawyers also noted that Trump very likely has received undisclosed payments from Russians for hotel rooms, rounds of golf and Trump-licensed products, such as wine, ties and mattresses. The March 8 letter was addressed to Trump, who passed it along to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
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          Georgia Says Russian Tanks Violated Truce   
TBILISI, Georgia, Aug. 13 -- Russian tanks have moved into the central Georgian city of Gori in apparent violation of a new ceasefire agreement, according to Georgian officials and eyewitnesses who reported black smoke rising over the town.

          In Russia, Nationalist Pride Prevails   
MOSCOW, Aug. 12 -- Along Moscow's famously colorful Arbat Street on Tuesday, there was a striking unanimity of views about Russia's brief, one-sided war with Georgia. While many people said they regretted the loss of life, the conflict appeared mainly to have stoked nationalist pride and anger that...

          In Apparent Truce, U.S. Sees Russian Fear of Global Reproof   
The Bush administration suggested yesterday that an apparent cease-fire in Georgia came about because Moscow feared it would be banished from Western-dominated international economic and political institutions if it did not stop its "aggression" in the former Soviet republic.

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          Happy New Year and a few resolutions   
Happy New Year to all. Hopefully, 2008 will be a successful and prosperous one for you all, and your resolutions are achievable. In that sense, here are some of mine:

  • Get to the gym more, and not just weights but cardio as well
  • Update this more

So not many, so hopefully I will be able to keep them going for more than a month.

I read today that TIME has awarded Vladimir Putin the Man of the Year award. At first I thought it was a practical joke given that Russia have started sending out their long range bombers to probe the Western air defences (something that has not happened since the height of the Cold War in the 1980s).

However a review of the TIME's Man of the Year awards shows that this is not entirely without precedent. Previous recipients have included notables such as:
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Harry Truman (in the year that Hiroshima and Nagasaki was bombed)
  • Nikita Kruschev
  • Lyndon B Johnson (in the year prior to the Vietnam war escalation)
  • George W Bush (enough said)
As such, Putin joining such a list is therefore not entirely out of character for the editors of TIME. Here's hoping that Putin does not join his Russian predecessors...

          It's not always good to be right.   
Last night the expected happened, and England failed to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in 14 years. This has been quickly followed up by the FA sacking McClaren and starting an urgent review of football in the country.

On the replacement coach a number of names have been mentioned as possible successors. Personally, I hope whomever is appointed is picked for his skills and not because he is a "safe" option, as McClaren was considered. Among the listed are:
  • Scolari: current Portugal coach and former coach of Brazil when they won the World Cup in 2002. He is proven on the international scene with a good pedigree while leading Brazil, I think he has been found a bit lacking for Portugal. This makes me question whether he can achieve much with England.
  • Mourhino: the controversial former Chelsea boss is currently sunning himself somewhere. Unproven on the international circuit but impeccable in domestic tournaments, he has stated that he is only interested in club football at present and would only consider coaching Portugal. Still, if there were enough 0's on the cheque, I am sure he could be persuaded.
  • Lippi: former Italian coach who won them the World Cup. Also whereabouts unknown, but may be worth a punt. However, Italy did not play particularly attractive football last year.
  • Klinsmann: the former German coach took them to the semis, even though it was his first managerial role. I cannot see the English press taking a German as the national coach though.
  • Hiddink: just signed a contract with Russia, who made it to Euro 2008 at England's expense. I cannot see him giving up that role; he doesn't want ex-KGB hitmen after him for a start!

Then there are some British names in the mix:

  • Sanchez: got a win over England when coaching Northern Ireland although currently with Fulham. A possible candidate.
  • Allerdyce: was annoyed he wasn't offered the role last time and to be frank, I would rather have had McClaren. I am not convinced that Allerdyce has enough to offer and has been found to be somewhat lacking in the more pressured environment of Newcastle.
  • O'Neill: the Aston Villa was turned down for the role originally, and although I think he has a lot of potential, it may be too early for him.
  • Shearer: there has been talk of the former Newcastle captain taking the coaching position. The worst that could happen is that this is done to try and emulate Klinsmann's success.
The selection process I imagine will be a drawn out affair, especially as a couple of the candidates are tied up until post Euro 2008. Personally, I favour Mourinho - as mentioned is untested in the international arena, but on the plus side he can eat the English press for breakfast and spit them out; and unfortunately that is prerequisite of the job nowadays. Failing that, given that we have such a long time to the next qualifying campaign, give O'Neill a run and allow him to build the team up.

For the review, I have written before about what I believe England needs to introduce in to their coaching. Hopefully, they will use this opportunity to reconstruct themselves as France did post Euro 1994. It is however a long shot if they can't get the clubs on board...
          My Paris Fashion Week diary   

As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended Paris Fashion Week for the first time last week. It was wild. For the first time in a long time, I was flying solo while attending the shows. I didn't really know where the venues were. I was mainly allocated standing tickets as I didn't really know the PRs. It was all brand new. I'm in a fairly privileged position in London, I've been blogging and attending the shows for a long time so I haven't really experienced any of these things for a long, long time.

I felt somewhat like the new kid in class, slightly awkward and unsure. And you know what, I really enjoyed it. There was something really liberating and grounding about being new and starting from the bottom. My time in Paris was a blessing and I really enjoyed going along for the ride. Here are my highlights from Paris Fashion Week:

Lutz Huelle AW17
I was super stoked to attend Lutz Huelle's AW17 show, my first in Paris. If his name seems familiar, it's because Huelle has been putting in work at Margiela's Artisinal label and at Max Mara Group as a consultant, winning the ANDAM award twice and winning the Ackermann Pret-a-Reporter prize at GWAND.

His AW17 collection built on his decontextualised aesthetic; some pieces were heavily deconstructed and some looks mixed grunge sportswear with evening wear. The shoulder was his flourish, oversized, puffed or rolled, as long as it was a voluminous statement. The puffer reigns supreme next season, cut very slim with an unexpected combination of fabrics from houndstooth to Fair Isle. The Margiela connection was easy to see and executed beautifully.

Veronique Leroy AW17
Taking place in the iconic Palais de Tokyo, Veronique Leroy's show was a hot ticket. The show opened with an incredible amber crushed velvet jumpsuit. Experimenting with velvet and denim was a fresh direction for Leroy, who's name is more synonymous with knitwear albeit with a touch of eccentricity. earthy abstract prints and gunmetal lamé with dirty pastels in ruched minis and tapered trousers contested with teddy bear shearling for a super chic, covetable collection. 

Agnes B AW17

Set in the iconic Les Invalides, resting place of Napoleon, Agnes B's show had a very grand feel, preempting a journey though women's fashion over the last 100 years. The show opened with long, conservative, utilitarian wartime silhouettes in muted colours and the odd jewel tone. The fabrics were heavy and luxurious, contrasting with the feeling of liberation for women in the interwar period - women in the workplace was a huge step forward for women's rights.

The interwar period was followed by boyish looks in will trousers paired with chic loafers and Italian suits, which contrasted with the the more feminine side of the period, gorgeous cashmere gloves and a beautiful velvet dress dress with an arm shawl.

And then the music changed, the time period was fast forward 60 years. A feeling of Carnaby Street in the 60s with leather trousers, cute combers, and geometric prints felt very punk and mod. The 70s followed, with burnt oranges, chevron prints and a touch of suede.

The show felt like a true celebration of women, and of course, I loved it.

The showrooms

The Paris showrooms are extremely different to London. In my beloved London, fashion week is squeezed into just 5 days between New York and Milan. The pace is relentless and 12+ hour days are the norm. Some days, it feels like I'm ping ponging across the city between shows, presentations and showrooms like the Road Runner from the Looney Tunes. I only get a glimpse of each collection.

Paris, by contrast, stretches over a week and is much more commercial in nature. This is where all of the selling and buying takes place, which is why visiting showrooms is key for the international buyers who flock to Paris. All of the London designers and PRs decamp to Paris for this season. I didn't have time to pop into the BFC London Showrooms but I did spy some of my favourite London designers in other showrooms alongside some incredible designers from the likes of Canada, Russia and Korea, which gives you a flavour for how international Paris Fashion Week is.

The food

While I was visiting Paris for fashion, I obviously indulged in some delicious food too. My Air Bnb was situated in Pigalle, my favourite neighbourhood which has a ton of amazing places to eat, including Buvette, Hotel Amour and Rose Bakery. I got a super early Eurostar over to Paris and headed straight to Hotel Amour for brunch in their conservatory, which is the prettiest space in Pigalle. I also discovered a new bar to add to tried-and-tested favourites in the area. Le Mondian is a cute little neighbourhood bar with a great rum selection AND the most beautiful cocktail in all of Paris.

Away from "my neighbourhood", I also had the BEST vegetarian grilled cheese sandwich at Mabel, a grilled cheese sandwich shop at the front and a kick ass bar at the back. A favourite with Parisians, it's only a hop and a skip away from Bourse metro station.

For more comprehensive recommendations, check out my Ultimate Guide to Paris post.

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          Putin Accuses "Foreign Spy Agencies" Of Supporting Terrorism To Destabilize Russia   
Putin Accuses Foreign Spy Agencies Of Supporting Terrorism To Destabilize Russia In the first public accusation that "foreign spy agencies" are seeking to destabilize Russia made in recent years, during a meeting with Russia's foreign intelligence agency President Vladimir Putin said that "some foreign special services" are directly supporting extremist and terrorist groups to destabilize the situation near Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Russia’s foreign intelligence agency.

“In general, the growing activity of foreign special services against us and our allies is obvious,” Putin said quoted by Bloomberg during the televised speech in Moscow on Wednesday, without specifying which nations he was referring to. *“There are operations to influence the domestic political and social processes in our country.*”

Tangentially, the AP reported that according to an unclassified report by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, released on Wednesday, *Kremlin leaders are convinced America is intent on regime change in Russia, *"a fear that is feeding rising tension and military competition between the former Cold War foes."

"The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime change in Russia, a conviction further reinforced by the events in Ukraine," the report says, referencing the claims by President Vladimir Putin's government that the U.S. engineered the popular uprising that ousted Ukraine's Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovich, in 2014. Russia responded by annexing Ukraine's Crimea region and supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Thursday's report, prepared long before Trump's election, reflects the Pentagon's view of the global security picture shifting after nearly two decades of heavy American focus on countering terrorism and fighting relatively small-scale wars across the Middle East. Russia, in particular, is now at the center of the national security debate in Congress, fed by political divisions over how to deal with Putin and whether his military buildup, perceived threats against NATO and alleged election interference call for a new U.S. approach.

According to the AP, the 116-page report portrays Russia as increasingly wary of the United States. It cites Moscow's "deep and abiding distrust of U.S. efforts to promote democracy around the world and what it perceives as a U.S. campaign to impose a single set of global values." One almost wonders why.

"Moscow worries that U.S. attempts to dictate a set of acceptable international norms threatens the foundations of Kremlin power by giving license for foreign meddling in Russia's internal affairs," the report says. Titled "Russia Military Power," it is the agency's first such unclassified assessment in more than two decades.

The report also discusses recent military developments, with a focus on the middle east.

It cites the example of Moscow's 2015 military intervention in Syria. The Kremlin cast the effort as designed to combat Islamic State fighters. Washington saw Moscow largely propping up Assad by providing air support for the Syrian army's offensive against opposition forces.


The report says the Syria intervention is intended also to eliminate jihadist elements that originated on the former Soviet Union's territory to prevent them from returning home and threatening Russia. In any case, the report credits the intervention for having "changed the entire dynamic of the conflict, bolstering the Assad regime and ensuring that no resolution to the conflict is possible without Moscow's agreement."


"Nevertheless, these actions also belie a deeply entrenched sense of insecurity regarding a United States that Moscow believes is intent on undermining Russia at home and abroad," the report says.

The report harkens to Cold War days when the intelligence agency published a series of "Soviet Military Power" studies that defined the contours of the superpower rivalry. Those reports ended with the 1991 demise of the Soviet Union. Now they return, DIA's director, Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, says, with an eye on the future of U.S.-Russian relations.

"*Within the next decade, an even more confident and capable Russia could emerge," *Stewart wrote in a preface to the report. No new, global ideological struggle akin to the Cold War is forecast, but the report cautions that Moscow "intends to use its military to promote stability on its own terms."

Which is why the "deep state", the Military-Industrial Complex. the neo-cons or whatever one wants to call the permanently bellicose wing in control, will *never *allow Trump to pursue a detente with Putin. To be sure, while Trump's campaign rhetoric was widely seen as sympathetic to Russia, ties have not improved in his first six months of his presidency. In April, *Trump said U.S.-Russian relations "may be at an all-time low." *Trump is expected to meet Putin for the first time at an international summit in Germany next week.

Meanwhile, to perpetuate the anti-Russia witch hunt, on Wednesday Rep. Adam Smith, the House Armed Services Committee's top Democrat, issued a "national security manifesto" on Russia. *He and a group of lawmakers writing in Time magazine cited the threat of "Putinism," which they termed "a philosophy of dictatorship" that seeks to extinguish democratic ideals such as government transparency by exploiting "discontented facets of democratic polities worldwide.*"

Which, of course, is not to be confused with CIA-ism, which is a philosophy of suberting any government around the globe with promises of globalist, credit-card driven expansion, and if that fails, with outright threats (and actions) to overthrow the existing regime by supporting its closest adversaries, both domestic and foreign.

Taking McCarthyism to the next level, at a Senate intelligence committee hearing Wednesday, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the panel's ranking Democrat, said Russia is becoming more brazen.

*"Russia's goal is to sow chaos and confusion - to fuel internal disagreements and to undermine democracies whenever possible, and to cast doubt on the democratic process wherever it exists," *Warner said.

In other words, Russia is becoming just like the US... One can see why the Deep State and Democrats are so terrified. Reported by Zero Hedge 16 minutes ago.
          Russia Isn’t on Radar for Haley at UN, She Tells Congress   

Jostled from her boast about preventing a chemical attack in Syria this week, United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley stunned members of Congress on Wednesday by saying she and President Trump have never discussed Russia’s 2016 election meddling.

The post Russia Isn’t on Radar for Haley at UN, She Tells Congress appeared first on .

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          Cheeps and Chirps for March 2017 (catching up)   
By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com June 19, 2017 More catching up from my Twitter feed! • ZOMG Donald Trump (and comrades)! Thread on March 1 revelations regarding Russia and the Trump campaign/administration. https://t.co/UwUOd1wZ2l — (( Matt Milliken )) (@memomoment) March 2, 2017 Interesting analysis of Sessions' and the Trump campaign/administration's Russian contacts. https://t.co/qdI2VjkEDw — (( Matt Milliken […]
          Larval redescription of Prosopistoma pennigerum (MÜLLER, 1785) from the River Volga near Rzhev, Tver Region, Russia (Insecta: Ephemeroptera)   

Prosopistomatidae are a monotypic mayfly family, comprising at present about 25 nominal species, distributed throughout the Palaearctic, Oriental, Australian and Afrotropical Realms, but missing from the Nearctic and Neotropics. Larvae of Prosopistoma pennigerum (the species name ’pennigerum’ relating to the feather-like caudal filaments) had been discovered in 1762 by Étienne Louis Geoffroy in the neighbourhood of Paris and initially considered to represent a taxon related to Triops SCHRANK (Crustacea: Notostraca). Only in 1871, more than 100 years later, Émile Joly realized that the ‘binocle à queue en plumet’ was in fact a mayfly larva. Although recorded from various rivers throughout Europe in the past, nowadays most populations are considered lost or extinct. In 2006 the species was found in the Volga River, which represented the first record from the Russian Federation. On the basis of this material a detailed larval redescription of P. pennigerum is provided and discriminating characters and their variation are compared with previous descriptions and illustrations. The morphological description includes micrographs of relevant features, produced with special image processing software. Presumptive larval habitat requirements of P. pennigerum as observed at the R. Volga are summarized and discussed in comparison with earlier records.

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          New in WinNc   

Major release. Distributed version with latest bugfixes – Updated: Russian language updated – Updated: Simplified chinese updated – Fixed: Numerical overflow in hash calcultion of editor … Continue reading

The post New in WinNc appeared first on WinNc, Norton Commander Clone for Windows 10.

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          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by SoCalBeachDude   
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by aldownunder   
Settle down Janet
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by SoCalBeachDude   
There is nothing in any way "incompetent" about the Federal Reserve which is the best run central bank in the world and has done a superb job and is now clearly stating that it will significantly tighten and reduce its balance sheet by around 50% by the end of 2018 and is in sync with the global financial matters of excessive credit as clearly outlined by the BIS which is the central bank of central banks.
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by Daddyotis   
So what? What business is that of yours? I take it you don't live here in beautiful and prosperous California and know absolutely nothing about our glorious state.
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by SoCalBeachDude   
<b>ZeroCredibility is about exactly the opposite and attempts to present "news" in the bleakest and most absurd spins possible - and is nearly always proven to be dead wrong within just a few days!
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by aldownunder   
Who cares what anybody from the incompetent Fed has to say
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by SoCalBeachDude   
<b>Trio of Fed speakers warn on valuations with eyes on tightening https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-27/trio-of-fed-speakers-warn-on-valuations-with-eyes-on-tightening
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by SoCalBeachDude   
<b>CREDIT CRISIS: The BIS and the global debt bubble</b> The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is to be applauded for its candor about the serious debt related vulnerabilities in today’s global economy. At a time when a great sense of complacency pervades both global markets and policy making circles, the BIS has had the courage to suggest in its recently released Annual Report that the emperor might have no clothes. It has done so by pointing to the large increase in global debt levels and the large reductions in global interest rate risk premiums that have been spawned by years of ultra-unorthodox monetary policies by the world’s major central banks. It has also done so by flagging the existence of a series of asset price bubbles and poor bank practices in a number of important countries. The BIS’s principal concern is that global debt to GDP levels today are some 40 percent higher than they were on the eve of the 2008-2009 global market meltdown. Equally troubling to the BIS is that debt levels have increased by even larger amounts in a number of systemically important countries. It notes that since 2008 overall debt-to-GDP levels are up by 190 percent in China, by 70 percent in Canada and France, and by 50 percent in Japan. The BIS is also warning that credit-to-GDP gaps have reached levels signaling elevated risks in a number of important emerging market economies. The BIS does us a service by pointing out the basic choice with which the world’s central banks are now confronted. They can either get serious now about normalizing interest rates from their artificially low levels, even though this is likely to cause some immediate painful disruption in the global financial markets; or, alternately, they can delay the normalization process at the risk of creating an even greater debt bubble down the road. That course of action would lead to even greater market disruption when that bubble eventually bursts as it will inevitably in the end do. http://www.aei.org/publication/the-bis-and-the-global-debt-bubble/
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by Daddyotis   
Laughably inaccurate. I'm merely presenting an extremely bright and wonderful future scenario for all Americans
          Comment on CNN Is Dead: Network Loses All Credibility As Producer Admits That The Entire Russia Narrative Is Fake News by SoCalBeachDude   
What I stated is 100% true and correct.
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          “Russian Intrusion and Partisan Pressures: Aspects of Election Administration Reform After 2016”   
Key Bauer post: What can be done about this? At a minimum, the election administration community should perform an “after action” audit of the 2016 episode and examine how the federal and state government performed in emergency conditions and how … Continue reading
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          NATO Chief Says Recent Cyber Attack Could Spark Mutual Defense Response   
Activist Post By Joseph Jankowski A major global cyber attack which struck particularly hard in Ukraine on Tuesday could potentially trigger NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense commitment, according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. On Tuesday, computer systems around the world were subjected to ransomware cyber attacks that spread from Ukraine and Russia, across Europe to the United States and then on […]
          John Podesta Hauled In For Closed-Door Questioning By House Intel Committee   
Zero Hedge Looks like Johnny’s got some ‘splainin to do. Former Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta was hauled in front of the House Intelligence Committee during a closed session on Tuesday – ostensibly to answer questions about the Obama administratio’s handling of intelligence that Russia tried to hack state voting systems – and, strangely […]
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          The Nash Announces July Lineup of Artists   
The Nash announces its calendar of shows for July. The live jazz club features a wide array of jazz styles, jam sessions, lectures and matinee shows to appeal to all tastes and ages.

The Nash is located at 110 E. Roosevelt St on Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix. Tickets for all shows and jam sessions are available at www.thenash.org or by calling 602-795-0464.
Advance tickets are on sale at www.thenash.org or may be purchased at the door.
The Nash offers extensive wine and beer service at all shows with a wonderful selection of full and half bottles of wine as well as an assortment of craft beers for our patrons' enjoyment.

July 1: Pete Pancrazi Quartet @ The Nash 7:30 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $20 adults/$10 students
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Pete Pancrazi-guitar/vocals, Claudia Bloom-piano, Vic Kottner-bass, Todd Chuba-drums
Pete Pancrazi has studied and performed music for most of his life. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of music degree in jazz performance. Being named by Downbeat Magazine as "one to watch" and a guitar player "deserving greater attention" is no surprise to those who have heard him perform.

July 2: Dr. Chris Wells Jazz History/Culture Discussion @ Freedom Now: Jazz and The Civil Rights Movement 3:00 - 5:00 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $30
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Join Dr. Chris Wells for a discussion of jazz history and culture and its relationships to time and place. No prior knowledge of jazz or instrumental experience is required. All are welcome! Freedom Now: Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement This workshop will focus on Max Roach and Oscar Brown's groundbreaking composition We Insist!: The Freedom Now Suite as both a breathtaking piece of art and a window into jazz musicians' broader involvement in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. We will discuss the Freedom Now Suite's history and genesis and listen closely to its many striking features with a special emphasis on the work of singer Abbey Lincoln. Christopher J. Wells is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Arizona State University's Herberger Institute School of Music and Managing Editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies.

July 2: Sunday Jam Session @ The Nash6:00 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $8 general, $5 students, free for instrumentalists and vocalists who sit in
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Stan Sorenson - guitar/bandleader
Every Sunday the true spirit of jazz plays out on stage at The Nash, as student and pro musicians play together, unrehearsed, in a variety of combinations. There's always a solid core trio. Student jazz musicians are welcome, with house band, grand piano, guitar and bass amp, drum set and sound all provided. Singers welcome. Event open to all ages! Great opportunities for audiences to enjoy 3 hours of jazz.

July 7: FIRST FRIDAY John Ettinger @ The Nash
7:30 PM
The Nash 110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Tickets: FREE www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464 John Ettinger-violin, Bryon Ruth-saxophones, Ted Sistrunk-bass, Jacob Eary-drums With three well-received recordings under his own name featuring Tony Malaby, Todd Sickafoose, Scott Amendola, Devin Hoff, Art Hirahara, and Pete Forbes, John Ettinger has also performed and recorded with an array of noteworthy artists over the years, including Honeycut (on DJ Shadow's Quannum Records); composer/clarinetist Beth Custer (on her CD Vinculum Symphony and the Hans Wendl-produced soundtrack to the 1929 Russian silent film My Grandmother); and vocalist PerCy Howard (Incidental Seductions with Living Colour's Vernon Reid, King Crimson's Trey Gunn and This Heat's Charles Hayward). Ettinger served as a co-founding member of several bay area bands, including eclectic improv groups Overdriven Cultists (with Grassy Knoll members Dave Revelli and Jonathan Byerly) and electric jazz-jam band Hurlo Thrumbo (with Jon Preuss, Andrew Luthringer, and Tod Preuss).

July 8: Jimmy Nistico & Jazz Express 7:30 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $20 adults/$10 students
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Jimmy Nistico-sax, Denny Monce-trumpet, Dave Henning-piano, Selwyn Reams-bass, Bruce Stodola-drums Jim Nistico was born in Syracuse, NY, and raised in a musical home with older brother Sal Nistico paving the way on saxophone. Jim got started on clarinet at age 10, switching to tenor sax (Sal's hand me down) at age 15. He played his first professional gig at 16 and continued playing in local clubs until age 21, when he landed a "pit band "gig at 3 Rivers Inn in upstate NY, backing Patti Page, Jerry Vale, Al Martino , and several other music legends of the day. From there, he joined Stan Collela and the official N.Y.State band playing for Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney, Maxine Sullivan, Jack Jones, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and the whole Motown Circuit.

July 9: Jazz Matinee - Mary Patrick & JeAnne Newhall @ The Nash 3:00 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $15 adults/$12 seniors/$5 students with IDYouth under 12 FREE
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
JeAnne Newhall-vocals/piano, Mary Petrich-saxophones

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, pianist JeAnne Newhall returns to her native Phoenix to team up with local jazz saxophonist Mary Petrich for an afternoon of original compositions, pop tunes and standards. Both musicians have been pushing the boundaries of their individual creativity and now reunite to collaborate in a new musical project

July 9: Sunday Jam Session @ The Nash6:00 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $8 general, $5 students, free for instrumentalists and vocalists who sit in
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Russ Schmidt- piano/bandleader
Every Sunday the true spirit of jazz plays out on stage at The Nash, as student and pro musicians play together, unrehearsed, in a variety of combinations. There's always a solid core trio. Student jazz musicians are welcome, with house band, grand piano, guitar and bass amp, drum set and sound all provided. Singers welcome. Event open to all ages! Great opportunities for audiences to enjoy 3 hours of jazz.

July 14: Catch a Rising Star
Eric Nakamoto, bass
7:30 pm

The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Road, Phoenix, AZ 85004
www.thenash.org 602-795-0464

Tickets: $15 adults/$8 students
Alex Price-trumpet, Joe Thomas-saxophone, Greg Hasson-guitar, Ben Cortez-piano, Eric Nakamoto-bass, Sam Russo-drums

Eric Nakamoto is a bass player from Phoenix, Arizona who has been an active participant in the local scene since he was 15. Formerly a guitar player, Eric started playing the violin in elementary school. Shortly after, he switched to the double bass, primarily studying classical music. Eric discovered jazz during his sophomore year of high school. Since then, he has participated combos at Scottsdale community college, the Young Sounds of Arizona, The Nash Legacy Ensemble Blue, and the All-State jazz bands. Eric has studied and been mentored by many Phoenix musicians such as Eric Rasmussen, Will Goble, Dr. Ben Hedquist, Andrew Gross, and Chris Finet. Currently, Eric studies classical bass with Dr. John Ebinger of the Phoenix Symphony. This fall, he will continue his studies at Northern Arizona University as a music major. Eric's musical influences include Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius, and James Jamerson.

July 15: Pam Morita @ The Nash 7:30 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $20adults/$10 students
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Pam Morita got hit with the jazz bug as a graduate classical piano student when she heard Joe Williams sing with the Count Basie Band at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The band swung so hard that it influenced Pam to pursue a career in jazz piano and voice. At that moment she knew she had to play jazz!

July 16: Sunday Jam Session @ The Nash6:00 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004Tickets: $8 general, $5 students, free for instrumentalists and vocalists who sit in
www.thenash.org or 602-795-0464
Beth Lederman- piano/bandleader
Every Sunday the true spirit of jazz plays out on stage at The Nash, as student and pro musicians play together, unrehearsed, in a variety of combinations. There's always a solid core trio. Student jazz musicians are welcome, with house band, grand piano, guitar and bass amp, drum set and sound all provided. Singers welcome. Event open to all ages! Great opportunities for audiences to enjoy 3 hours of jazz.

July 20: 3rd THURSDAYS JAZZ HAPPY HOUR @ The NashWE 35:00 PM
The Nash
110 E. Roosevelt Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85004

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          The Era Of Chaos-Inducing Ransomware Is Here And It's Scary As Hell - Gizmodo Australia   

Gizmodo Australia

The Era Of Chaos-Inducing Ransomware Is Here And It's Scary As Hell
Gizmodo Australia
The '90s cyberpunk thriller Hackers is used too often to illustrate the fearful future of cyber security, but it's popular for a reason. The film's seemingly fictional scenarios keep coming true. Take this week's global ransomware attack, for instance ...
The Petya ransomware is starting to look like a cyberattack in disguiseThe Verge
Cyber attack: Authorities investigate malware virus as global businesses struggle to recoverABC Online
What we know about the kill switch in Petya ransomware attackABC News
TechCrunch -Ars Technica -CNET -New York Times
all 1,377 news articles »

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          Interview with His Grace, Bishop Gregory   
Fr. John speaks with Bishop Gregory, Primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. "Don't think about joining a mission team, just get on the mission team and go."

          Report from Istanbul - 3   
In this brief episode, Fr. John is reporting from inside the Hagia Sophia, remembering the visit from the Russian emissaries who "knew not if we were in heaven or on earth."

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          Cruising the Web   
I never thought that Trump's travel order was necessary, but I didn't doubt that he had the power to issue that order. Given that he first issued the order about five months ago and it was only temporary while the administration figured out new vetting procedures for issuing visas. Well, that original time has now just about elapsed and there are going to be three to four months until the Supreme Court hears the case. So, the whole question may become moot by then if the administration actually does what it said it was going to do.

Jonathan Turley chastises the legal pundits and appellate judges who thought that the order wasn't within the president's executive authority.
For those of us who have long argued that the legal authority supported Trump, the order was belated but not surprising. However, the order does offer a brief respite for some self-examination for both legal commentators, and frankly, the courts. At times the analysis surrounding the immigration order seemed to drop any pretense of objectivity and took on the character of open Trump bashing.
Turley argues quite accurately that Trump's persona and his own attacks on the media have driven the media so crazy is that they've dropped their supposed standards and ethics. The same appeared to be happening with the lower courts.
For those of us who have long argued that the legal authority supported Trump, the order was belated but not surprising. However, the order does offer a brief respite for some self-examination for both legal commentators, and frankly, the courts. At times the analysis surrounding the immigration order seemed to drop any pretense of objectivity and took on the character of open Trump bashing....

The court ruled “when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.” The preliminary ruling on this type of stay indicates that, when the final merits are decided, a majority of the court is likely to make the changes permanent and binding.

Indeed, three justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch — did not want any limitation on lifting the injunction and dissented from that part of the opinion. To use Johnson’s rhetoric, the date of the hanging is set for the October term absent a dramatic shift on the court. That gives us some time to contemplate how this controversy has impacted our core institutions.

I previously wrote that Trump seems at times to bring out the worst of people — supporters and opponents alike. Yet, his signature attacks often cause people to fulfill the very stereotypes that he paints, particularly among some reporters and judges. Ironically, Trump’s attacks on the media as biased may not have been true at the outset but they are true now. Mainstream media have become openly hostile to Trump.

There is often little distinction on some cable networks between the hosts and their guests in attacking Trump, who brings much of this criticism on himself in ill-considered and often insulting attacks. However, the media is trained to resist such personal emotions and retain objectivity. Throughout much of its history, it has done precisely that ... until Donald Trump.

He seems like the itch that reporters and commentators just have to scratch and frankly sometimes it seems like a few are enjoying it too much. With ratings soaring, hosts and legal experts have shown little interest or patience in the legal arguments supporting his case, even though the Obama administration advanced similar arguments in court.

The hostile (and often distorted) analysis in the media was disconcerting but predictable, given the trend toward greater opinion-infused coverage. Networks are fighting for greater audience shares based on formulaic coverage — offering echo-chamber analysis to fit the ideological preferences of viewers. For the anti-Trump networks, the legal analysis is tellingly parallel with the political analysis. These cable shows offer clarity to viewers in a world without nuance. The law, however, often draws subtle distinctions and balancing tests. In this way, viewers are being given a false notion of the underlying legal issues in these controversies.

What has been more concerning is the impact of Trump on the courts. Trump shocked many in both parties by his personal attacks on judges as well as general disrespect shown to our courts. These were highly inappropriate and inaccurate statements from a president. However, once again, courts seemed to immediately become the very stereotype that Trump was painting.

Of course, the White House gave the courts a target-rich environment in the first travel order, which was poorly drafted, poorly executed and poorly defended. Yet, the courts did not just strike those portions that were problematic. Where existing case law requires courts to use a scalpel in striking down provisions, judges pulled out a meat ax. They enjoined the entirety of the order while lashing out at Trump’s most sensational campaign rhetoric....

In the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, judges brushed over the obvious improvements and again relied on Trump’s own comments and tweets. It seemed like sensational tweets were more important than long-standing precedent or official statements from the administration.

The level of reliance on campaign statements by the courts was wrong in my view, as I have repeatedly stated. The record had conflicting statements from Trump and his associates but courts seemed to cherry-pick statements, relying on those that fulfilled their narrative while ignoring those that did not. The analysis of the order should have turned largely on the face of the document. While such political statements can be relevant to analysis (particularly in areas like racial discrimination), the court has always minimized such reliance in favor of more objective textual analysis.
That doesn't mean that the order was good policy. But the basis on which the lower courts decided was to stretch the law just to deliver a blow to Trump.
Courts that once gave President Obama sweeping discretion in the immigration field seemed categorically opposed to considering the same accommodation for President Trump. For commentators, viewers were given a highly distorted view of the existing law — brushing aside decades of cases while supporting the notion that a major federal policy could live or die by the tweet.
The Supreme Court notably didn't pay any attention to Trump's statements. If all you knew about the executive order was what you heard in the MSM, you would be amazed that the Supreme Court struck down most of the injunctions against the implementation of the order. The media will have to search out

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Andrew McCarthy explains why the Supreme Court order on the travel order is not as big a deal as perhaps President Trump would like to brag.
This ruling is unworkable and actually doesn’t much narrow the lower-court stays.

Let’s try to keep it simple here. The lower courts granted standing to challenge the travel ban to American persons and entities that had special relationships with aliens outside the United States. Ostensibly, the lower courts claimed that the rights of these Americans were harmed by the travel ban’s exclusion of aliens — specifically, aliens who a) are close relatives whose exclusion would deny family reunification to an American; or b) are scholars whose exclusion would deprive their contributions to American universities that had extended offers to them. In effect, however, the lower courts were vicariously granting American legal rights to aliens outside the United States, despite the judges’ grudging admission that the aliens technically had no such rights.

In its order this morning, the Supreme Court did not disturb this arrangement.

To be sure, the justices rejected the lower courts’ extension of vicarious rights to aliens who did not have such special “bona fide relationships” with American persons or entities. The lower courts’ reasoning for that extension heavily relied on the imputation to Trump of anti-Muslim bias — that’s part of why we can infer that most of the justices are not persuaded by that rationale. Nevertheless, six of the nine justices, at least for now, appear inclined to rule that Americans in these “bona fide relationships” with aliens have not only standing but legal interests sufficiently compelling to block enforcement of presidential orders that address national-security threats.
Read the rest of his post for the evidence he marshals to criticize the Supreme Court's Monday ruling.

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Rich Lowry refutes the idea that the GOP health care bills are doing anything all that radical in reforming Medicaid. What was radical is how the program expanded on Obama.
The Democrats now make it sound as if the Obama expansion is part of the warp and woof of Medicaid. In fact, it was a departure from the norm in the program, which since its inception has been, quite reasonably, limited to poor children, pregnant women, the disabled and the ailing elderly. ObamaCare changed it to make a priority of covering able-bodied adults.

ObamaCare originally required states to enroll able-bodied adults with incomes less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line starting in 2014. The Supreme Court re-wrote the law to make the expansion voluntary, and 31 states and the District of Columbia took it up.

Traditionally, the federal government had paid more to poor than rich states, with a match ranging from 75 percent for the poorest state, Mississippi, to 50 percent for the rich states. ObamaCare created an entirely new formula for the Medicaid expansion population. It offered a 100 percent federal match for the new enrollees, gradually declining to a 90 percent match — supposedly, forever.

So, perversely, ObamaCare had a larger federal match for the able-bodied enrollees in Medicaid than for its more vulnerable populations.

“This higher federal matching rate,” writes health-care analyst Doug Badger, “allows states to leverage more federal money per state dollar spent on a non-disabled adult with $15,000 in earnings than on a part-time minimum-wage worker with developmental disabilities, who earns barely half that amount.”

According to Badger, West Virginia received seven times as much federal money for spending $1 on an able-bodied adult than for spending $1 on a disabled person.

This obviously makes no sense, and the Senate health-care bill phases out the enhanced funding over four years. But it doesn’t end the expanded Medicaid eligibility for the able-bodied. And a refundable tax credit will be available for low-income people that is meant to pick up any slack from Medicaid. This is hardly social Darwinism.
THe other change is a change in how the federal government funds Medicaid in the states.
The other, longer-term change in the House and Senate bills is moving to a per-capita funding formula for Medicaid, with the Senate bill ratcheting the formula down to per-capita growth plus the inflation rate — in 2026. Maybe this will prove too stringent, but it used to be a matter of bipartisan consensus that the current structure of Medicaid creates an incentive for heedless growth in the program.

The way it works now is that Mississippi, for instance, gets nearly $3 from the federal government for every $1 it spends. Why ever economize? In the 1990s, the Clinton administration advanced what it portrayed as an unobjectionable proposal to make Medicaid more efficient while preserving the program’s core function — namely, a per-capita funding formula.
So remember all this when you hear Democrats moaning that the GOP is set to kill millions of people. As Lowry analogizes, for progressives, the welfare state has become the equivalent of the Brezhnev Doctrine that once the Soviets dominated a country, it could never break free. Now once the welfare state has been expanded, it should never be trimmed back.

Guy Benson is also trying to refute the Democrats' demagogic hysteria about the Senate plan.
Republicans' plan would make Medicaid fiscally sustainable, and gradually revert back to a model that prioritizes help to the poorest people, who need the most help. It's perverse that the federal government provides a more generous funding formula for Medicaid's better-off, better-situated expansion enrollees than the original, neediest population for whom Medicaid was supposedly created in the first place. And while the GOP proposal would reform the structure of the program by offering a capped per-capita annual allowance to each state (which would foster restraint, prioritization, innovation, and creativity), the notion that it makes drastic "cuts" to the overall program is deeply misleading. ...

This funding increase of tens of billions of dollars is nevertheless cast as a "cut" because it would spend less than Obamacare would.

Just imagine what the media would be saying if Claire McCaskill were a member of Trump's administration.
n March, Sen. Claire McCaskill was unambiguous. The Missouri Democrat said she never once met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in her 10 years serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever," McCaskill tweeted. "Ambassadors call members of Foreign [Relations Committee]."
Soon after that tweet, it was revealed she did interact with the Russian ambassador.

And now, CNN has learned, McCaskill spent an evening at a black-tie reception at the ambassador's Washington residence in November 2015.

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Yesterday I speculated that the Supreme Court's ruling in the Trinity Lutheran case might be used to overturn states' Blaine amendments blocking state aid to schools with a religious affiliation. Well, it seems that that was indeed the Court's intention with an order remanding a case back to the lower courts that they issued on Tuesday. The WSJ reports,
In 2011, Colorado’s Douglas County adopted a Choice Scholarship Program to let 500 students attend a local private school. But groups including the American Civil Liberties Union sued. The Colorado Supreme Court killed the program citing the state’s version of the Blaine Amendment, one of many state anti-Catholic laws from the 1800s to prevent public money from funding religious schools ( Doyle v. Taxpayers for Public Education).

The Douglas County School District and the Institute for Justice, which represents three families in Colorado, appealed to the Supreme Court in 2015, but the Justices held the petition pending the resolution of Trinity Lutheran v. Comer on Monday. On Tuesday the Court vacated and remanded Doyle to the lower court for reconsideration in keeping with Trinity Lutheran’s holding that Missouri’s application of the Blaine Amendment violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

The High Court typically vacates and remands only when the Justices think there is a “reasonable probability” that the lower court got it wrong. Colorado’s do-over is a warning to other states that might use Blaine Amendments to derail school choice programs that threaten teachers unions and the public school monopoly.
I'm for as much choice as possible in education. I've seen what it means at the charter school where I teach and at the charters in Washington, D.C. where my daughter has worked. The more opportunities there are for students to get out of bad schools and for their parents to choose other options, the better.
The win comes at a good time for school choice advocates who have been building momentum in the states. In May three families successfully challenged a Montana rule that prevented a voucher program from being used at religious schools. On Monday the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld a program of tax credits for scholarships to some 13,000 students to attend private schools.

School choice is spreading because parents want the chance to get their child a better education than they receive in local public schools. Sometimes that enhanced opportunity is offered by religious schools, and the First Amendment does not allow the state to discriminate on the basis of religion.

          EU to extend sanctions against Russia   
EU to extend sanctions against RussiaSanctions against Russia have been in place since 2014
          Softball Europeo 2017: il maltempo torna a fermare le gare, salta anche l’Italia   
CARONNO PERTUSELLA – Pioggia, tutto rinviato: il maltempo ha fermato l’Europeo 2017 di softball che si sta sviluppando fra Caronno Pertusella e Bollate. Oggi pomeriggio, mercoledì, una serie di acquazzoni iniziati attorno alle 17 hanno indotto gli organizzatori ad annullare tutti gli incontri ancora mancanti del programma giornaliero, fermata a Caronno anche una tiratissima Russia-Repubblica […]
          Update: Russian waitress video is a fake   
Update: The video of a Russian waitress knocking down a customer who groped her is a fake, several news sources reported. France 21 investigated the video and traced it to a communications consultant in Kazan, Russia, who confirmed that all participants were professional actors and the video was staged to win publicity for a restaurant/bar
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          What’s Actually in the Manafort FARA Filing?    

On June 27, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort retroactively filed disclosure forms under the Foreign Agents Registration Act detailing his business relationship to the pro-Russia Ukrainian Party of Regions. The forms describe $17.1 million in receipts to Manafort’s company, DMP International, LLC ("DMP"), all from the Party of Regions. They also describe $3.9 million in expenses, including $2.6 million in travel and living expenses. DMP earned a net total of $13.2 million from Party of Regions. Here’s the 87-page filing Manafort made yesterday:


What follows is a detailed summary of the material contained in the disclosure. While Lawfare does not normally summarize FARA disclosures, given the intense interest in this one in the press, we thought it would be useful to give some detail about what’s in it.

One notable thing that is not in this document: any reference to the often-reported $12.7 million in cash payments Manafort is alleged to have received from the party. According to The New York Times, these payments were recorded in a handwritten ledger that also showed evidence of payments to election officials. The filing makes no reference to anything of the kind, perhaps because yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Ukrainian prosecutors found no proof of illegal payments to Manafort.

The registration statement (Form NSD-1) lists the registered agent as DMP, a Delaware corporation formed on June 29, 2011 and wholly-owned by Manafort. Manafort and Richard W. Gates III are listed as the company’s principal and employee, respectively, that “render services to the registrant directly in furtherance of the interests” of the foreign principal. The foreign principal is listed as Ukrainian Party of Regions.

The registration statement notes that DMP received money from the party starting in 2011. A footnote to this section notes that “An agent must register within ten days of becoming an agent, and before acting as such.” DMP received nothing of value other than money during that period. The registration form is signed by Manafort, dated June 27, 2017.

Exhibit A (Form NSD-3) provides information about the foreign principal. Exhibit A describes the foreign principal as the Ukrainian Party of Regions, a foreign political party based in Kyiv. The “official with whom the registrant deals” is Vladimir Rybak, first deputy head of the party. Public records show that Rybak was previously Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and served as chairman of the Ukrainian parliament for part of the period that DMP worked for the party. The principle aim of the party is described as: “decentralization of power with transfer of maximum authority to the regions, build a Western democratic political party, turn Ukraine into the most attractive state for investment in the region.”

Exhibit B (Form NSD-4) provides information about the terms and conditions of the agreement between the foreign principal and agent. It states that the agreement “is the result of neither a formal written contract nor an exchange of correspondence between the parties.” DMP performed the following services:

1. “Focused on electing Party of Regions’ candidates at the national and regional levels in the Ukraine by implementing pro-democratic campaign activities, engaging in party building activities, developing a party platform and political agenda, and implementing election planning, election integrity, and international election monitoring programs”

2.“Communicated with the U.S. Embassy regarding developing events in the Ukraine”

3.“Provided strategic counsel and advice to members of the Party of Regions regarding their interactions with U.S. government officials and other Western influential persons to advance the goal of greater political and economic integration between the Ukraine and the West”

4. “Provided advice to the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which was also working for the same purpose”

The form notes that the third listed activity constitutes “political activity” as defined in FARA.

Exhibit C is a copy of the operating agreement of DMP International, LLC. That document corroborates that the company is a Delaware-registered limited liability company. Pages 2 and 5 note that the only member, and the managing member, is Manafort, though Gates signed the operating agreement as well.

Two short form registration statements (Form NSD-6) provide information on each partner, officer, director, associate, employee, and agent of the registrant. The first provides information on Manafort. It describes Manafort  as an “Attorney and businessman,” who acts as a partner of DMP. Manafort provides the following services for the party:

1.“Focused on electing Party of Regions’ candidates at the national and regional levels in the Ukraine by implementing pro-democratic campaign activities, engaging in party building activities, developing a party platform and political agenda, and implementing election planning, election integrity, and international election monitoring programs”

2.“Provided strategic counsel and advice to members of the Party of Regions regarding their interactions with U.S. government officials and other Western influential persons to advance the goal of greater political and economic integration between the Ukraine and the West”

3.“Communicated with the U.S. Embassy regarding developing events in the Ukraine.”

The statement notes that the second service listed constitutes a political activity for the purposes of FARA. These services are rendered on a full time basis in exchange for compensation in the form of an undefined salary. The statement further notes that during the period between the date 60 days prior to Manafort’s obligation to register as a foreign agent to the time of the filing, Manafort did not “make any contributions of money or other things of value from [his] own funds or possessions and on [his] own behalf in connection with any election to political office or in connection with any primary election, convention, or caucus held to select candidates for any political office.” The supplemental documents also note a donation of $2,500 by Manafort to Vernon Parker, a candidate for state office in Arizona, and of $1,000 to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on March 21, 2017. The document is signed by Manafort, June 27, 2017.

The second short form registration statement provides information about Gates. The form describes Gates as a “Political Consultant” and an employee of DMP. It describes the same services rendered for Party of Regions as described by Manafort, also on a full time basis and for an unspecified salary. The statement specifies no donations of the type previously described during the period beginning 60 days prior to Gates’ obligation to file as a foreign agent to the date of filing. The statement is signed by Rick Gates, dated June 27, 2017.

The documents include supplemental statements (Form NSD-2), which are normally filed every six months to provide information about monies received and disbursed by the foreign agent, for the six-month periods ending June 30, 2012, December 31, 2012, June 30, 2013, December 31, 2013, and June 30, 2014. The statements specify no changes to the name, ownership, location, management, or employment rolls of the company. They specify four instances that constitute political activities for the purposes of FARA.

●October 30, 2012: Sent an email to Ambassador John Tefft “regarding U.S. statement on Ukrainian elections.”

●March 19, 2013: Met with Paula Dobriansky from the Kennedy School of Government

●March 19, 2013: Met with Nadia Diuk of the National Endowment for Democracy

●March 19, 2013: Met with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

The supplemental forms include separate responses with a list of all monies received and disbursed by DMP, as well as money spent on travel, meals, and living expenses. Between January 2012 and January 2014, Party of Regions paid DMP $17,149,539.70 for services rendered. Party of Regions paid DMB once per month during that period, except that no payments were reported in July or December 2012. Payments ranged from $165,039.70 to $4,399,500.

DMP disbursed $1,268,539.70 to six contractors from May 2012 to January 2014. Over that period, DMP made the following payments:

●To Fabrizio Ward Associates LLC, seven payments totaling $278,500 for “Polling and surveys”

●To Rabin Strasburg LLC, five payments totaling $369,320 for “Media consulting services” and “Consulting services and expenses”

●To Steven J. Brown, five payments totaling $40,000 for “Political and media outreach”

●To Christopher Spence, one payment of $10,000 for “Election data analysis”

●To Clear Dialogue LLC, four payments totaling $39,935.44 for “Election integrity consulting services”

●To Konstantin Kilimnik, fourteen payments totaling $531,000 for “Professional services and administrative overhead for Kiev operations”

Except for a payment to Ward on August 8, 2013, all payments after April 2013 until the end of the principal-agent relationship were to Kilimnik. The last payment took place on January 28, 2014. DMB spent a total of $2,203,409.99 on travel and $428,352.44 on meals and living expenses from January 2012 until February 2014.

DMP earned a net total of $13,249,021.83 from Party of Regions after accounting for disbursements and other expenses.

          Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on Russian Interference in European Elections    

The Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing on Russian interference in European elections.



  • Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School of Government (Testimony)
  • Janis Sarts, Director, NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence (Testimony)
  • Ambassador Vesko Garcevic, Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations, Boston University (Testimony)
  • Constanze Stelzenueller, Bosch Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution (Testimony)

          Thoughts on the NotPetya Ransomware Attack    

Worms, malicious computer programs that spread from computer to computer throughout the network—are perhaps the most devastating delivery mechanism for an electronic attack.  Able to spread throughout an entire institution (or even across the entire planet) in a matter of minutes, they represent the most effective way for a bad actor to deliver a malicious payload to as many computers as possible.  A worm can do its damage faster than humans can react.

The most recent ransomware attack, which spread across Europe, the United States, and Asia yesterday, represents a chilling evolution in the worm-as-weapon. This is the second ransomware attack in two months, following the WannaCry attack that spread across the globe in May. Beginning in Ukraine, this new worm shut down much of the Ukrainian government, the Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk, and others. And there is a significant possibility that this wasn’t an attempt for ransom but a sophisticated attack launched against Ukrainian interests.

The worm has sometimes been referred to as Petya, based on the ransomware module used in the attack, but is really best described as NotPetya, since the Petya ransomware is simply a small component of a larger attack. This is a very sophisticated worm, which doesn’t just use one mechanism for spreading, but combines three separate techniques.  The first, using NSA tools released by ShadowBrokers, is similar to how WannaCry operated.  But the other two mechanisms are more pernicious, leveraging Windows network administration and privileges to spread.  So if NotPetya found itself running in a privileged account on a typical workstation, it could rapidly spread to other machines in the infected network.  One observer reported that it could compromise 5000 machines in ten minutes.

Here’s how it works. Although self-spreading, NotPetya does not generally spread outside of a single corporate network: it pretty much only bridges networks when computers move between them.  So the attackers responsible used another clever way in.  Rather than hacking the target networks, the attackers compromised the update service of MeDoc, a Ukrainian program used for accounting and tax purposes, with tight integration into the Ukrainian business tax workflow.  (Imagine the business equivalent of Quicken/TurboTax in the U.S.)  Most businesses that have to pay Ukrainian taxes will be running a copy somewhere in their corporate network.  By replacing the normal update with an installer for the NotPetya worm, every time a copy of the MeDoc program checked for updates (a process that happens automatically) the computer would become infected with NotPetya.  After establishing this beachhead, NotPetya could then spread throughout a corporate network.

The leveraging of privileges and administration tools is devastating.  Even an institution which is 100 percent patched and running the latest Windows 10 operating system could become completely infected if NotPetya started running on the wrong computer.  We don’t know which fraction of infections were due to a failure to patch and which fraction were due to the worm abusing privileges, but I would suspect the latter was actually more important for its rapid and effective spread.

This solid design suggests not just good development but good testing.  Building a worm is not hard per se: it’s simply a matter of coupling a remote exploit to a program that both searches for vulnerable systems and, after exploitation, copies itself onto the new victim. But it takes significant effort to make sure that a worm works reliably, especially on systems as diverse as Windows.  Unlike normal software development, the programmer can’t just simply run the program, find a bug, fix it, and repeat.  Worms need to be carefully tested in isolated networks, since even a poorly engineered worm leaves the attacker’s control if it gets loose on the Internet.  Given the difficulty in testing, doing a worm right also requires programmers who don’t write many bugs.

The problem is further magnified when testing a worm with a malicious payload.  NotPetya not only spreads using multiple mechanisms, but spreads reliably and apparently without major bugs.  It also contains an overtly malicious payload that renders unusable the host computer, in ten minutes to an hour, yet doesn’t generally impede the worm’s spread.  Killing the host is always a risk for a pathogen as a dead host can’t spread a plague further.  So a malicious payload like this needs to be tuned: fast enough to limit opportunities for human response, but slow enough that it doesn’t inhibit the spread.

This speaks to a rigorous development process.  If I had been in charge of building NotPetya, I’d budget for two to three good programmers, a month’s time, and a small but diverse isolated network for testing. I’d probably also need one additional person to keep rebuilding the isolated network after each test.  In other words, it wouldn’t be something I’d do in a basement.

Yet for all the sophistication, the ransomware payload is politely described as a fecal theater piece.  Ransomware needs a mechanism to contact the operator, but rather than using Tor hidden services, the authors used just a single email address that was quickly shut down, eliminating any way to contact the bad actors or obtain decryption keys.  If a high profile ransomware operator can’t release computers in return for payment, they will find that payments cease.  Ransomware works because the bad guys (try to) keep their word.

Ransomware also needs a payment mechanism that is hard to trace, such as a per-victim Bitcoin wallet, but NotPetya uses a single Bitcoin address.  So not only can we witness that they’ve only gained roughly ten thousand dollars, the nature of Bitcoin ensures that these miscreants will have a huge difficulty even getting their paltry earnings without being traced.

Ransomware also needs to resist a cryptanalysis attack attempting to unlock the encrypted files.  Yet NotPetya uses 800b RSA, a key length small enough that it is easily in the reach of NSA cryptanalysis and possibly within the reach of an enthusiastic private group as well.

Finally, ransomware needs a useable interface.  Good ransomware will unlock the victim’s computer at a click of a button after the attacker is satisfied.  In order to offer this functionality, the ransomware needs to keep the computer running while it encrypts the victim’s data.

But this particular ransomware can’t do that. When it infects a computer, it reboots the machine and then encrypts the files, rendering the computer completely unusable until the victim either reinstalls the computer or pays the ransom.  This would make it nearly impossible to pay the ransom in practice unless you have access to another computer: how do you contact the ransomware provider when your computer is completely unusable?  And payment is not easy, as it requires the user to copy out a complex string of characters, without error, and email it to the operator.  So even if the operator’s email account worked perfectly, odds are good the ransomware operator couldn’t unlock the victim’s computer.

Failed ransomware would be acceptable if this was new technology and new ransomware.  But the attackers integrated a range of tools, including the ShadowBrokers NSA toolkit, the mimikatz tool for extracting Windows authentication tokens, and the Petya ransomware, among other pieces.  They could have just as easily selected a much better ransomware payload, one that would actually ensure they could collect their money.

The only way the Petya payload is superior to other ransomware is that it does disable the computer.  If you wanted to deploy profitable ransomware to thousands of computers this is a horrid choice. On the other hand, if you want to deploy a payload that renders thousands of computers unusable but looks like ransomware, this is perhaps the best candidate possible. There is now additional evidence that suggests it was deliberately modified to render computers unusable rather than collect ransom.

This leaves us with two likely possibilities.  Either NotPetya was written by a group of criminals who showed great sophistication in their development process, wrote an excellent worm, and screwed up horribly on the one part that matters for the criminals to gain anything.  Or the worm was written by an actor who showed great sophistication in the development process, wrote an excellent worm, and used it to launch a malicious payload targeted at both the Ukrainian government and all businesses who pay Ukrainian taxes.

In many ways, this may even be a sequel to the CrashOverride power grid attack.  CrashOverride looked like the test of a payload.  NotPetya could easily be both an attack on the Ukrainian government and those doing business in the country and a live test of a delivery system.  If so, the worm’s incidental infection of non-Ukranian targets, notably Rosneft and other Russian targets, should act as a reminder that fast self-propagating code risks a huge amount of collateral damage.

At the moment, we don’t yet know whether the worm was developed as a criminal enterprise by hackers who failed to develop a working payment system or as an intentional attack on Ukraine disguised as criminal activity.  When all this is done, I think the NSA would be well served by making their own internal assessment of whoever is behind NotPetya public.  They don’t need to disclose sources and methods but simply the conclusion: “With X confidence, we believe NotPetya was authored by Y."  Either way, we would benefit from some attribution outside this guesswork and logic.

Even if it NotPetya does turn out to have been criminal activity, we should consider the lessons it can teach us when it comes to developing defenses. With a few changes, you could easily use NotPetya as the delivery mechanism for a worm designed to black out the U.S..  And given NotPetya’s abuse of administrative privileges, this attack could very well work against operators who are religious about patching their systems.

Experts have long worried about the potential impacts of high-speed worms, but the return of the worm to prominence, whether it is for criminals looking for profit or nation-states looking to test attacks, should give us pause.

          Today's Headlines and Commentary    

The ongoing ransomware attack across Europe, the United States, and Asia has raised concerns over the growing frequency of large-scale cyberattacks, The New York Times writes. The NotPetya attack is the second worldwide ransomware hacking since May, when the WannaCry virus disrupted the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. The Times runs through what we know and don’t yet know about the malware.

The Journal reports on Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s comments that the lack of a chemical weapons attack showed that the Trump administration’s warning to the Assad regime in Syria worked. Late on Monday, the U.S. threatened to use force against Syria in the case of another chemical attack after the Pentagon saw indications that an attempt may have been looming. Politico describes the process behind the drafting and release of the administration’s abrupt warning: while Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster were all involved, the statement left numerous top officials across the State and Defense Departments blindsided.

The White House may shift the State Department’s bureaus of Consular Affairs and Population, Refugees, and Migration to the Department of Homeland Security, CNN tells us. A White House official indicated that the proposal resulted from a “brainstorming session” dedicated to “improving efficiencies across government,” and is not yet a formal plan.

The Trump administration is considering taking a harsher stance on its relations with Pakistan in an effort to cut back Pakistani support for militant groups that have used the country as a base from which to conduct attacks in neighboring Afghanistan, Reuters reports. Options on the table include increased drone strikes, withholding of aid, and weakening Pakistan’s status as a U.S. ally. In a separate report released Tuesday, the Pentagon indicated that Pakistan was the most significant external factor affecting Afghan stability through governmental support of the Taliban and Haqqani Network. The Pakistani embassy in the United States warned the U.S. against using it as a “scapegoat” to explain challenges in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, the Qatari Foreign Minister met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a closed-door meeting in Foggy Bottom, the Post reports. The two discussed the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, which has shown no signs of resolution following Qatar’s rejection of the list of demands presented to it by the Gulf Cooperation Council States that recently cut their ties with Qatar. The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister told the press yesterday that the demands were non-negotiable and were a prerequisite to re-engagement with Qatar. Later in the day, Tillerson also met with the Kuwaiti Minister of State, whose government has attempted to mediate the weeks-long dispute.

Oil companies have expressed concern over the Senate’s new package of Russian sanctions, which would prevent American participation in any oil production projects in which a Russian firm is involved anywhere in the globe, the Washington Post reports. But Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), who is shepherding the bill through the approval process, has said the issues can be “easily addressed.” The bill has stalled in the House over procedural concerns, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) has called on the Senate to complete a fix prior to the July 4th recess.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has been under scrutiny amidst the various probes into Russian election interference, registered retroactively as an agent of a foreign government yesterday, reports The Wall Street Journal. The disclosure to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) unit marked an acknowledgement that a portion of Manafort’s lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych aimed to influence U.S. government officials and journalists. Manafort’s spokesman said Manafort began working with the FARA unit to navigate the registration process in September of 2016, prior to the election results and the investigation into Russian election interference.

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that a Canadian court can grant an injunction anywhere in the world, if such a move is required to secure the injunction’s effectiveness, The Guardian reports. In the case, the Court forced Google to remove links to one company’s content from all versions of its search engine across the globe—not only the Canadian version—following an intellectual property dispute with a competitor. Critics fear that the decision could lead to corporations and governments increasing censorship requests that then eliminate permissible content from the entire internet, no matter the location. 

The trial of accused NSA leaker Reality Winner has been set for October, according to The Hill. Winner is charged with providing a top-secret NSA report on a 2016 Russian cyberattack on a voting software company to the news outlet The Intercept.

President Trump accepted French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to meet in Paris on July 14th in celebration of Bastille Day as well as the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entrance into World War I, CNN reports. The two are expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including coordination on counterterrorism efforts.

A helicopter attacked Venezuela’s Supreme Court yesterday, CNN reports. Prior to the attack, an ex-policeman posted a video online announcing that his group planned to launch an air and land assault to restore democracy to Venezuela. From the helicopter, attackers threw grenades and shot at the building, though no one was injured. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro activated the government security forces in response. The nation has been in the depths of a political and economic crisis which has seen many calls for a change in leadership. Some have claimed that the entire incident may have been staged by the government to generate legitimacy for a harsher crackdown on dissent.


 ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare

Charlie Savage described the changes in the new, paperback edition of his book Power Wars, which provides a history of national-security legal policymaking in the Obama era.

Paul Rosenzweig asked if the cyberattack in Ukraine yesterday was a precursor to war, but updated the post after news broke that the cause was an outbreak of the Petya ransomware.

Shane R. Reeves examined previous attempts at creating “safe zones” in Syria and argued that without serious commitment, newly proposed zones will be just as ineffective or dangerous.

J. Dana Stuster posted the Middle East Ticker, covering the recent Saudi succession shakeup, the Gulf States’ demands to Qatar, and U.S. policy in Eastern Syria.

William I. Hitchcock reviewed Melissa Feinberg’s Curtain of Lies: The Battle over Truth in Stalinist Eastern Europe (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017).

Matthew Kahn posted the video of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Section 702 reauthorization.

Andrew Kent examined the Supreme Court’s decision in Hernandez v. Mesa.

Jack Goldsmith announced the supplement to the new edition of Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (6th Ed. 2017), the casebook he co-authored with Curtis Bradley.

Daniel Byman analyzed whether Al Qaeda is in decline.

Josh Blackman looked at the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision in IRAP v. Trump.

Benjamin Wittes posted a copy of his FOIA request for internal FBI communications surrounding the firing of James Comey. 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

          Financial Sanctions and Penalties for Cybercrime    

As cybercrime spreads in its many mutations, governments and regulators across the globe continue to develop a variety of solutions. One regulatory method that has gained in popularity and sophistication in recent years is the financial response to cybercrime. The United States in particular has explored financial sanctions at the “front end,” to deprive cybercriminals of access to financial channels, and financial penalties at the “back end,” particularly asset forfeiture, to recover the proceeds of criminal activity. 


Financial Sanctions

On the “front end,” the U.S. government has sought to apply to cybercrime the financial sanctions that it has employed in the areas of terrorism finance and anti-nuclear proliferation. On April 1, 2015, then-President Obama issued Executive Order 13694 to block property in (or coming into) the U.S. that belongs to anyone designated by the government as being responsible for “cyber-enabled activities.” These activities cover significant compromises of a critical infrastructure sector, disruptions of computers or computer networks, or misappropriation of funds, trade secrets, or other information for commercial advantage. 

On December 28, 2016, President Obama amended the order with Executive Order 13757, which added another category of cyber-enabled activities for tampering with, altering, or misappropriating information to interfere with electoral processes. This amendment was added in light of allegations that Russia had interfered with the U.S. presidential election. Executive Order 13757 included an annex identifying Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Federal Security Service, and other entities and individuals. 

The next day, December 29, 2016, the Department of the Treasury designated two other Russian individuals for theft of financial information and personal identifying information. To date, these are the only entities and individuals so designated under the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN) under the “CYBER” program of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control. 

These designations send a strong message that large-scale cybercrime must be defeated by the same tools brought to bear on the war on terror.  This message was reiterated in the recent Senate bill amendment codifying these executive orders and imposing additional cybersecurity sanctions against Russia.  The broad scope of all these sanctions—which could apply to overseas organizations subject to U.S. jurisdiction—could have a crippling effect on a target that depends on the world financial system. 


Application to China?

Commentators have suggested that these sanctions could be applied to actors in China that perhaps might be associated with the government. For example, as described in a Congressional Research Service report, there have been suggestions that the breaches of Office of Personnel Management data could be attributable to China state actors.

A number of factors could explain why the list isn’t longer. The nature of cybercrime lends itself to anonymity and the proliferation of unending identities and vehicles for attack.  Recent transnational malware and ransomware attacks suggest the ease with which cybercriminals are able to conceal their identity and co-opt third parties to transmit their attacks. Difficulties regarding attribution may also create some reluctance to oblige the numerous financial institutions and other actors subject to sanctions compliance to block an individual or entity that is difficult to identify. 

Even if those actors can be identified, there may be foreign policy and political considerations before a state entity or state-affiliated organization can be placed on the SDN list. There may also be concerns that financial sanctions may have little effect on certain cybercriminals who commit their crimes without any sort of financial motive but for more murky “hacktivist” principles. 

In the case of suspected cyber-enabled activities from China, however, it may be more likely that the U.S. government believes there is value in pursuing bilateral or multilateral official discussions, such as the U.S.-China High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues (or its future iteration as the bilateral Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue), or individual criminal prosecutions, which perhaps are believed to send an adequate statement of U.S. dissatisfaction with state-sponsored activities. 


Financial Penalties

These criminal prosecutions, along with individual asset forfeiture actions, provide another means of addressing cybercrime: the financial penalties designed to deprive wrongdoers of the financial benefits of their crime. In one recent case, the U.S. Department of Justice brought an in rem asset forfeiture action against bank accounts overseas that contained proceeds of a business email compromise scheme, in which the fraudsters impersonated a vendor to defraud a U.S. victim company. In another case, the U.S. sought to forfeit assets in foreign bank accounts that it claimed were the proceeds of a large-scale online website that unlawfully distributed copyrighted movie and television programming, music, and software (the individual claimants of the property are seeking Supreme Court review of this decision). 

Unlike financial sanctions, this remedy requires proof that the assets represent the proceeds of unlawful activity or at least that these assets belong to the alleged cybercriminals. Moreover, if the assets are overseas, the country in which the assets are located must be willing to cooperate with the United States to seize or otherwise restrain those assets pending a U.S. court order. For countries such as China, even though there is a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement that contemplates the freezing of assets, the use of that mechanism in this way remains for the most part untested. 


Even with these limits, financial sanctions and penalties have proven to be powerful tools.  The open nature of the U.S. economy and society provides the U.S. government with a unique lever to address cybercrime extraterritorially through international financial channels and its own international law enforcement-cooperative relationships. 

          In Praise of the Intelligence Oversight Process: Our New Anti-Populist Paper    

Years ago, when Lawfare was still in its infancy, the two of us made an entirely serious video (well, maybe not entirely serious) for YouTube about the emergent problem of abusive internet comments. Entitled "Comment or Vote," it proposed a constitutional amendment to deprive of the franchise anyone who left a comment on any website. For some time after we posted it, until it was finally removed, the first comment on the YouTube site read: "You guys are faggots." No, we're not making that up. 

The issue "Comment or Vote" spoofed was not a joke. Lawfare does not take comments, and it's always interesting to watch how offended some readers are by that. It's as though people think they have some inalienable right to participate, including in a website published by someone else. 

The broader issue of which this expectation is only a tiny slice—the populist cult of mass participation—is really not a joke. It is wreaking havoc on our political system. And it is the subject of a Brookings paper we released late last month, entitled, "More Professionalism, Less Populism: How Voting Makes Us Stupid and What to Do About It." The full paper is available below. An interview we did yesterday on the subject with the Brookings podcast, Intersections, is available here:

Most of this paper has little to do with the national security law and policy. But one section is a real exception, which we wanted to highlight here: A key case study of how anti-populist institutions function better than highly participatory ones focuses on the intelligence oversight system. We thought the thematic connections between Lawfare's subject matter and this discussion warranted excerpting it here. So what follows is the paper's introduction, along with the section on the intelligence oversight system:

“Americans—especially, but not exclusively Trump voters—believe crazy, wrong things,” runs a post-election Washington Post headline. The article, by columnist Catherine Rampell, worried about polls showing that more than a third of the public (and about half of Republicans) believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and that Hillary Clinton was involved with a satanic pedophilia ring (“Pizzagate”)—among many other things. “To me, they’re terrifying,” Rampell wrote of the public’s misconceptions. “They result in misused resources, violence and harassment, health risks, bad policy, and, ultimately, the deterioration of democracy.”

Political scientists might be excused for emitting an exasperated yawn. The literature on voter ignorance is one of the oldest, best established, and most dismaying in all of political science. Every so often, journalists and commentators dip into it and emerged “terrified.” In recent years, however, a wave of research has shown ignorance and irrationality to be even bigger problems than previously believed, and has cast new doubt on standard remedies. Neither theory nor practice supports the idea that more participation will produce better policy outcomes, or will improve the public’s approbation of government, or is even attainable in an environment dominated by extreme partisans and narrow interest groups.

Such scholarship has not shaken the faith of many commentators and reformers that increasing popular involvement in politics and government is the remedy for the ills of our political culture—the chicken soup of political reforms. Unfortunately, the country and the political-reform community have come to expect far too much from increased political participation. Participation is effective only when supplemented by intermediation, the work done by institutions (such as political parties) and substantive professionals (such as career politicians and experts) to organize, interpret, and buffer popular sentiment. In this essay, we argue that restoring and strengthening political institutions and intermediation belong at the center of a modern political-reform agenda. More specifically, we advance the following contentions:

  • Always empirically questionable at best, the populist-progressive idea that more participation will reliably improve either the products or the popularity of governance has taken a pounding in recent years, to the point where it is basically untenable. The populist model assumes that voters are better informed, more rational, and more engaged than is the case—or ever will be.
  • Even implausibly well-informed and rational voters could not approach the level of knowledge and sophistication needed to make the kinds of decisions that routinely confront the government today. Professional and specialist decisionmaking is essential, and those who demonize it as elitist or anti-democratic can offer no plausible alternative to it.
  • Professional intermediaries make democracy more inclusive and more representative than direct participation can do by itself. In complex policy spaces, properly designed intermediary institutions can act more decisively and responsively on behalf of the public than an army of “the people” could do on its own behalf. Intermediated systems are also less likely to be paralyzed by factional disputes and distorted by special-interest manipulation than are systems designed to maximize voter participation and direct input.
  • Nonetheless, the predominant ethos of the political-reform community remains committed to enhancing individual political participation. This is a costly oversight. Some populist reform ideas are better than others, but, as a class, they have eclipsed a more promising reform target: strengthening intermediating actors such as political professionals and party organizations.

James Madison and the other Founders were right to reject both direct democracy and elite rule. Instead, they insisted on a hybrid of both, believing that the two together would achieve better representation and better governance than either could achieve on its own. We believe that the country can benefit from relearning what they knew.

. . . 

[M]odern anti-institutional populism, with its instinctive suspicion of anything or anyone deemed “elite,” often underestimates and unfairly denigrates how much intermediation has to offer—and how successful it has been.

Here it is worth distinguishing between two types of intermediaries, types that play very different roles in our democratic culture. The first is the political intermediary: people such as elected officials and political party professionals. These people’s job is to make political judgments on behalf of the electorate or to help candidates and politicians frame their—and the public’s—choices. A second type is the substantive intermediary: the technical expert or specialist whose job is actually to know things about the policy space in which the government acts. The lines between these two types are not bright ones; some people play both roles at once. But broadly speaking, the political intermediary stands in for the voter in deciding fundamental policy choices: Should Congress adopt the Affordable Care Act? Should it repeal and replace it? The substantive intermediary, by contrast, frames responsible policy choices and implements them in a fashion consistent with law and technical realities. Neither of these functions is one which voters can perform competently on their own.

To see vividly the successful interaction of voters, political intermediaries, and substantive intermediaries, let’s take a close look at the area in which our system functions at its least populist: intelligence oversight.

The intelligence oversight system has been largely immune to populist reform, but not because the area has lacked for reformist instincts. (It has actually seen a lot of reform over the years.) Rather, the very nature of intelligence makes it resistant to populism. The public has no access to the CIA and the NSA and their day-to-day work. In sharp contrast to the public’s regular interaction with law enforcement officers, members of the public don’t generally interact with intelligence professionals doing their jobs. And the oversight system for all of it is uniquely opaque. Intelligence oversight is technically dense across a number of different dimensions; some of the law at issue is arcane and unusually intricate, and much of the subject matter involves highly technical electronic surveillance taking place on complex computer networks. It also involves material that is nearly always classified at the highest levels. So while the activities of the intelligence community stoke all manner of public passions, the subject is simply not amenable to populist reform. There is just no way to involve the public in decisions that, by their very nature, have to be kept from the public.

The result is that reforms in intelligence oversight have empowered intermediary actors—politicians and experts—to stand in for the public. And these mechanisms have proven remarkably durable and effective.

The intelligence oversight system operates in all three branches of government. Within the executive branch, a series of compliance regimes, inspectors general, and Justice Department officials oversee operations, particularly those involving technical collection at the National Security Agency. Collectively, those actors investigate suggestions of misconduct, rigorously count more mundane compliance failures, and review activity for legal compliance—and they report errors both internally and to the other branches of government. They also build legal compliance into the very design of technical systems; to see certain data, for example, analysts often have to enter into computer systems the facts and analysis that would justify their access to the information they seek. 

In the judiciary, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court both reviews applications for national security surveillance of U.S. persons and, more broadly, reviews the legality of surveillance programs taking place domestically but targeting overseas actors. The FISA structure does not merely put a federal judge between the intelligence community and electronic surveillance targets. It also creates bureaucracies within intelligence agencies that are designed to speak to that federal judge—bureaucracies deeply invested in keeping their agencies within the law and maintaining credibility before the judiciary. Representing the agencies before the court are Justice Department lawyers, who likewise act to keep the agencies in line. The system of judicial intermediaries thus dramatically reinforces and empowers executive-branch intermediaries, who have ongoing reporting obligations to the judicial branch.

The executive and judicial branch intermediaries are, generally speaking, substantive experts. But the intelligence oversight system uses political intermediaries too, particularly in Congress. The congressional intelligence committees review intelligence programs, get briefed on covert actions, and investigate major matters within the intelligence agencies—everything from torture to Russian hacking of the 2016 election. Unlike other congressional committees, they are staffed with intelligence community professionals cleared at the highest levels, and they have access to the most sensitive programs the government runs. The public never sees the vast majority of the work these committees do, but anyone in the intelligence community will tell you that fear of upsetting congressional overseers is a major restraint on intelligence community behavior. Note that the members of these committees are not specialists; they are just regular members of Congress. Their job is to stand in for the members of the public who cannot know what the intelligence community is up to, and to make major political decisions in the public’s stead and on behalf of the rest of the legislature.

Most people who have engaged the congressional intelligence committees agree—notwithstanding the House committee’s recent flap over the behavior of its chairman, Devin Nunes—that they function on average dramatically better than other committees do. The reasons are all related to their intermediary, non-populist nature. The professional nature of the staff reduces partisanship, for example. And the secrecy with which they operate discourages political grandstanding on the part of the members. A hearing of a normal congressional committee, which takes place in public, is a show whose audience is the public. Witnesses are chosen for C-SPAN. Questions are asked because they offer opportunities for theatrics and gotchas. By contrast, most intelligence-committee hearings have no audience beyond the staff and members. They are actually designed to convey information from the executive branch to Congress. They are arguably the only part of Congress for which hearings still consistently serve that role.

While the intelligence oversight process is decidedly intermediary-based and non-populist, it has not proven itself remote from “the people” or incapable of responding to public concerns. To the contrary, it has proven over the years to be highly responsive to public sensibilities. In other words, if the populist anxiety is that relying on intermediaries makes government distant and unrepresentative, the experience of the intelligence oversight process suggests otherwise.

The most recent example of this responsiveness is the system’s response to the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA activity in 2013. The congressional oversight process was critical in helping the community weather the storm, as when the bipartisan intelligence committee leadership spoke up publicly in defense of the legality and propriety of NSA’s programs. But the system also adapted relatively swiftly in response to the revelations and generated serious change. Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, substantially altering one of the key programs that Snowden revealed and generating new transparency with respect to certain categories of NSA and FISA Court activity. It is currently considering reauthorization of a much larger program, and further reforms are certainly on the table as it does so.

These adaptions are only the latest in a long string of legislative updates to FISA and other authorities—major changes to which took place at least in 1994, 2001, 2007, 2008, and 2012. This flurry of loving attention to the statutory scheme over time—legislative attention to make sure the statutory architecture of intelligence remains up-to-date as technology and public attitudes change—stands in sharp contrast to the more general environment of legislative dysfunction. In what should be a sharp challenge to reformers who believe that increasing public participation makes the policy process more responsive to public concerns, the portion of Congress that is least populist is exceptionally capable of actually responding to public concerns.

The long-term success of this oversight system is actually hard to overstate. America is a country, after all, whose popular culture produces movies like “Minority Report” and “Enemy of the State,” and whose civil libertarian culture is predicated on a deep suspicion of intelligence operations and government power generally. It is also a country with a history of genuine intelligence community abuses. Yet, even within the context of this culture, the oversight system allows the intelligence community the political and legal latitude to wield extraordinary powers.

And, amazingly, it does so with relatively high confidence from the population in general. The Pew Research Center has for more than a decade been polling Americans on whether they believe the government has “gone too far restricting civil liberties” or whether they believe the government has “not gone far enough to protect the country.” With the exception of a brief blip around the time of the Snowden revelations, many more Americans believe the latter than the former. Although good data on public attitudes toward the intelligence community over time do not exist, this poll question—asked since 2004—suggests that majorities do not believe the intelligence community is out of control. At a time of rock-bottom confidence in public institutions, it is notable that the intelligence oversight system, a system with hardly a trace of populism in its design, actually works effectively at its core purpose: assuring the public that the intelligence community is doing its job within the law.

The system shows that when intermediation is designed and empowered carefully, it can accomplish in a durable and robust fashion many of the objectives that populist reformers purport to seek.


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          Native Americans Call for Rethinking of Bering Strait Theory   


Native Americans are questioning the leading theory of how the first peoples in North America arrived on the continent.

For years, scientists have been debating where the first Native Americans came from, and when they arrived in North America.

The scientific community generally agrees that a single wave of people crossed a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska around 13,000 years ago.

This theory is called the Bering Strait Theory, named after the waterway between eastern Russia and western Alaska. Yet some Native Americans feel that theory is too simple and culturally biased.

Theories from the religion before science.

The first European explorers to arrive in the Americas did not use science to explain the people they found. The explorers instead looked to the Bible. Christianity’s holy book suggested that human beings were created around 4,000 years ago. Biblical tradition holds that all humans are related to the first man, Adam. That would including native peoples whom Europeans considered as primitive or simplistic.

'Dominant science believed in a concept of superiority,' said Alexander Ewen. 'And that created an idea that either people were genetically inferior or that there were stages of civilization, and Indians were at a lower stage,' he said.

Ewen is a member of the Purepecha Nation. He wrote a book called the 'Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century.'

Early scientists felt the 'primitives' they discovered in the Americas did not have the technology to have sailed the oceans. So they decided that Indians had reached North America by some unknown land bridge. They found their answer in the Bering Strait.

Ewen says that scientific theory has lasted to this day, even with new discoveries and technology. Yet new findings suggest that Indians arrived much earlier and by using different methods.

Map of eastern Russian and Alaska with a light brown boarder depicting Beringia, where archaeologists believe ancient Americans crossed from Siberia into Alaska around 13,000 years ago. (U.S. National Park Service) Map of eastern Russian and Alaska with a light brown boarder depicting Beringia, where archaeologists believe ancient Americans crossed from Siberia into Alaska around 13,000 years ago. (U.S. National Park Service)

'In the first place, it's simplistic,' said Ewen. 'The people in this hemisphere were, and are, extremely diverse, more than any other place in the world.'

Conflicting theories

In the 1930s, scientists studied a number of bones from ancient mammoths. The bones were discovered in the American community of Clovis, New Mexico. Among them were several unusual spear points, which the scientists named “Clovis points.”

Since then, tens of thousands of the Clovis points have been found across North America. Some have even been found in South America, as far south as Venezuela.

This led scientists to decide the Clovis people must have been America's first peoples. They believed the Clovis people arrived about 13,000 years ago.

Additional discoveries in the 1970s led some scientists to push back the arrival date. Archaeologist James Adovasio dated artifacts found in Pennsylvania's Meadowcroft rock shelter to be up to 16,000 years old. But other scientists criticized the methods he used to arrive at that date.

The Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Washington County, Pa., where archaeologists found artifacts dating back 16,000 years. The Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Washington County, Pa., where archaeologists found artifacts dating back 16,000 years.

All fields of science are in the debate

Other scientists have expressed their ideas on the subject. In 1998, University of California-Berkeley linguist Johanna Nichols argued that it would have taken up to 50,000 years for a single language to split into the many languages spoken by modern Native Americans. This theory meant that America’s first peoples would have arrived closer to 19,000 years ago.

Geologists have said that it would not have been possible to cross the Bering Strait by land until 10,000 or 12,000 years ago. This led to theories that early humans might have sailed down the Pacific coast into the New World.

In 2015, a Harvard University geneticist, Pontus Skoglund, noted genetic links between Amazon Indians and the native peoples of Australia and New Guinea.

An elderly member of Brazil's Surui Nation. Researchers found the Surui bear a genetic relationship to indigenous peoples of Australia and New Guinea. An elderly member of Brazil's Surui Nation. Researchers found the Surui bear a genetic relationship to indigenous peoples of Australia and New Guinea.

Yet a Smithsonian Institution anthropologist was criticized for suggesting Stone Age Europeans sailed across the Atlantic thousands of years before Christopher Columbus.

In April of 2017, researchers in California studied crushed bones they say came from an ancient Mastodon. Mastodons are no longer alive, and were related to modern elephants. The researchers think the creature they studied was killed by humans 130,000 years ago. However most scientists reject this theory because the findings cannot be confirmed.

Native American accounts

Some Native American tribes have their own beliefs of how their people came to the continent.

Montana's Blackfoot tradition says that the first Indians lived on the other side of the ocean, but their creator decided to take them to a better place. 'So he brought them over the ice to the far north,' the story says.

The Hopi people of Arizona say their ancestors had to travel through three worlds before they finally crossed the ocean going east to a final new world.

And Oklahoma's Tuskagee people believe the 'Great Spirit' chose them to be the first people to live on the earth.

However, few scientists seem to take those beliefs seriously. Joe Watkins, supervisory anthropologist at the U.S. National Park Service, says scientists are uneasy about the time references and possibility for more than one explanation.

Yet he does not feel the beliefs should be dismissed completely.

'…I do believe most of them carry within them kernels of truth of use to researchers,” he adds.

I’m Phil Dierking.

­­­­­­­­­­­­Cecily Hilleary reported this story for VOANews.com. Phil Dierking adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

How do you think the first people came to the Americas? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

artifact - n. a simple object (such as a tool or weapon) that was made by people in the past​.

bias - n. a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly​

geologist - n. a science that studies rocks, layers of soil, etc., in order to learn about the history of the Earth and its life​

inferior - adj. low or lower in quality​

kernel - n. the small, somewhat soft part inside a seed or nut​

linguist - n. a person who studies the science of languages

primitive - adj. very simple and basic ​

reference - n. the act of referring to something or someone​

spear - n. a weapon that has a long straight handle and a sharp point​

superior - adj. high or higher in quality​

          Researchers: Russia Has Technology to Cause Major Power Outages   


Computer experts said to be allied with Russia have created a weapon with the ability to cause major damage to the world’s electrical systems.

Researchers have identified the cyber-weapon as a harmful software program or virus. They say it is designed to interfere with a computer’s normal operations.

The researchers are calling this malware program “CrashOverride” or “Industroyer”. It is known to have affected the electrical system in Ukraine in December 2016. The attack briefly cut off one-fifth of all electric power in Kyiv, the capital.

Interest in attacking U.S. power stations

The cybersecurity business Dragos identified the malware in a report released on June 12. It said Russian government hackers appeared interested in targeting power centers in countries other than Ukraine.

Currently, the malware is able to attack power systems across Europe and Asia. But Dragos said it could be used against the United States. With only “some small modifications,” it could cause power outages of up to a few days in parts of the U.S. electric grid. That information comes from Dragos’ threat intelligence director, Sergio Caltagirone.

The company believes that with other changes, the malware could also attack local transportation providers, water systems, and natural gas suppliers. Researchers say hackers linked to Russia have shown an interest in targeting such infrastructure.

News of the malware’s discovery led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to make an announcement on June 12. It advised all critical infrastructure operators to make sure they were following suggested rules for security.

Similar malware used in Ukraine in 2015

Dragos identified the group responsible for creating the new malware as “Electrum.” The company said it strongly believes that Electrum used the same computer systems as the hackers who attacked Ukraine's electrical grid in December 2015.

The 2015 attack left 225,000 people without power. U.S. researchers found that Russian government hackers were responsible. That attack was linked to a group called Sandworm, which is said to have ties to the Russian government.

Dragos said that Sandworm and Electrum are either the same group, or two separate groups working within the same organization. Researchers are not sure if they are individuals working for the Russian government or actual government employees.

Like a Swiss Army knife

In the 2016 attack, the malware helped the hackers to get control of Ukraine’s power supply.

Danu Gunter of Dragos told the Washington Post newspaper what was shocking about the CrashOverride malware is that it is part of a “larger framework.” He said that it works like a Swiss Army knife, where you can open the different tools you need to perform different operations. In theory, the CrashOverride malware can be changed to attack different kinds of controls systems.

ESET, a Slovakian research group, collected malware samples from the 2016 attack. The group later shared them with Dragos. ESET has named the malware “Industroyer,” while Dragos is calling it “CrashOverride.”

The malware was specifically designed to cause harm or destroy industrial-control systems. It represents the most powerful threat since Stuxnet, a worm created by the United States and Israel to slow Iran’s nuclear activities.

I’m Phil Dierking.

­­­­­­­­­­­­This story was based on a report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Phil Dierking adapted it for VOA Learning English. His story has information from other sources. George Grow was the editor.

How large a threat do you think cyberterrorism is? e want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

framework - n. the basic structure of something​

grid - n. a network of electrical wires and equipment that supplies electricity to a large area​

hacker - n. a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information, cause damage, etc.​

infrastructure - n. the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region, or organization to function properly​

malware - n. software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.​

modification - n. the act or process of changing parts of something​

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          American's Death Raises Concerns about N. Korean Rights Violations   


The death of an American college student is raising concerns about human rights violations in North Korea.

Twenty-two-year-old Otto Warmbier died on Monday.

Warmbier returned home to the United States last week. U.S. officials say he was unable to communicate and in a coma after his release from a North Korean prison.

Doctors said Warmbier had suffered severe brain damage while in North Korea.

In January of 2016, the student was arrested on a visit to Pyongyang. North Korean officials accused him of attempting to steal a propaganda sign at a hotel. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

North Korean officials said Warmbier became sick from botulism while in detention and was given medication to help him sleep. They said he fell into a coma 15 months ago and never awoke.

After his release from North Korea, Warmbier was taken to a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Doctors there disputed the North Korean explanation of what happened. But they could not say what caused his brain damage.

His parents said in a statement on Monday their son was “at peace.”

“Unfortunately, the awful, torturous treatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today,” the statement said.

Visitors and medical personnel enter a transport plane carrying Otto Warmbier, before he is transferred to an ambulance at Lunken regional airport, June 13, 2017, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visitors and medical personnel enter a transport plane carrying Otto Warmbier, before he is transferred to an ambulance at Lunken regional airport, June 13, 2017, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sympathy and anger

U.S. President Donald Trump offered his sympathy to the family. “There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life,” he said.

Trump added that Warmbier’s death strengthens his desire to prevent future tragedies “at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.”

Tensions between the two countries have increased in recent months because of North Korea’s missile and nuclear activities. North Korea has launched more than 20 missiles and carried out two nuclear bomb tests since the beginning of last year.

U.S. officials have said they are concerned about three Korean-Americans who are being held in North Korea. At least six South Koreans are also believed to be jailed there. Some were Christian religious workers. The North Korean government accuses them of spying. Others were reportedly kidnapped by North Korean agents while helping defectors in China.

The U.S. government says North Korea uses the detainees for political reasons. North Korea accuses the United States and South Korea of sending spies to overthrow its government.

Abuses in North Korea

“The North Korean regime also wages war on their own citizens,” noted Marion Smith, the director of The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

In 2014, a United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) report compared current abuses in North Korea to those that took place in Nazi Germany during World War II.

The report said the North Korean government is holding between 80,000 and 120,000 political prisoners in four large camps. It accused the government of using torture during questioning. And it said North Koreans suspected of major political crimes often “disappear” without trial or judicial order into prison camps.

The report also noted that North Korea’s policy of carrying out executions in public causes people to fear the government.

U.S. student Otto Warmbier cries at court in an undisclosed location in North Korea, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 16, 2016. U.S. student Otto Warmbier cries at court in an undisclosed location in North Korea, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on March 16, 2016.

“The ruling Kim dynasty has shown time and time again that they have no regard for human rights,” said Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch. “They have no regard for human life, and that whatever is necessary for them to hold onto power, they will do,” he said.

Robertson added that Warmbier’s treatment should cause other countries to restart efforts to hold North Korea responsible for human rights violations.

After the COI report was released in 2014, the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution to send North Korea to the International Criminal Court. It called for the North Korean government to face charges of crimes against humanity. But the Security Council has yet to approve the measure. Experts believe North Korea’s allies, China and Russia, are stopping the Council from taking action on the resolution.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

And I'm Ashley Thompson.

VOA’s Smita Nordwall and Chris Hannas wrote this story for VOANews.com. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section, or visit our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

coma - n. a state in which a sick or injured person is unconcious for a long time

botulism - n. a serious illness caused by eating food filled with bacteria

torturous - adj. causing great pain

prime - n. a period in life when a person is best in health, strength, etc.

regime - n. a form of government

decency - n. behavior and attitude that show respect for other people

defector - n. a person who leave a country, political party, organization, etc.

dynasty - n. a family of rulers

regard - n. care or concern

          Mexico wary of young guns   
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          The American Proposal [update 1]   

Last night, we reported on the bombshell proposal from US negotiators to give all countries targets, based on their levels of economic development.

Talks broke up acrimoniously at 3.30, with a plethora of counter-proposals on the table. As he left, Yvo de Boer pronounced himself ‘confident' about reaching agreement - but I think he was joking.

There is now no chance of an on-time finish here in Bali, and a risk there'll be no finish at all. This morning, raised voices have been heard from the room where the Africans are discussing last night's event.

The Americans, meanwhile, who went into their own meeting in the early hours after Ministers called it a night, have cancelled their scheduled press briefing.

We're in deep, deep trouble...

Here's the controversial US text in full (for anyone nerdily following negotiations, this replaces B1 and B2 in the earlier text):

[quote]Enhanced action on mitigation of climate change, and the means to recognise such action, in the context of sustainable development, including, inter alia, consideration of:

(i) Effective, measurable, and reportable domestic mitigation actions [depending on the level of economic development and significance] [depending on the level of economic development and GHG contributions] [depending on the level of economic development and energy utilisation] [in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities]:

(a) including, as appropriate, quantified national emission limitation and reduction objectives, taking into account national circumstances and relative level of efforts;

(b) including, as appropriate domestic plans and measures that may include binding, market-based and sectoral programs; and

(c) supported, as appropriate, by external technology, financing and capacity building.[/quote]

To recap on why this proposal went down so badly:

  1. It talks about 'domestic actions' not binding international proposals.
  2. It brackets developed and developing countries together - rather than suggesting rich countries need to forge ahead with strong targets, while developing countries take on easier commitments.
  3. It's a major change of direction. Why introduce it so late in the day, unless the main purpose is to derail the talks?

There's a number of counter-proposals on the table, including one from South Africa that agrees to treat the Kyoto club, non-Kyoto rich countries, and developing countries in different ways. The US would be the only major country in that middle group and is very unlikely to stand for the isolation!

We're a long long way from any agreement...

Update 1: A tense morning has passed here in Bali, with countries cancelling their press conferences, while dishing the dirt to journalists off the record.

The US has retreated further into its bunker. Its early morning press conference was called off and we are yet to hear a peep from its press office (which is festooned with signs forbidding even the hotel cleaners to enter).

However, we hear rumours that the delegation team has received "new instructions" from Washington and that much of its proposal is being abandoned. Presumably it has served its purpose - to show that the US government could live with a total breakdown of talks if it doesn't get its own way.

The EU did come to meet the press, but Commissioner Dimas was there only to read a statement; no questions were allowed. Many are saying that the EU has already retreated on key issues, but Dimas said no.

It is fighting hard for a clear reference to IPCC science and is insisting that developed countries should start to negotiate deep and binding emission cuts, he claimed.

The preamble to the Bali roadmap has three controversial elements. Greenhouse gas emissions should peak in 10-15 years. They should then fall by at least half by 2050. And developed countries should use a range of 25-40% cuts by 2020 on 1990 emissions levels to ‘guide' their negotiations.

Of these three statements, the third is least acceptable to the Americans, Japanese, Canadians and (possibly) Australians. (The position of Russia is, as ever, deeply ambiguous.)

The EU continues to describe an ambitious range as "indispensable" - but I think it has a relatively low chance of surviving through to the final text.

The Association of Small Island States talked to the press at length, expressing their intense disappointment that countries are bickering about action, when climate change threatens the national survival of many of their members.

They accused the Americans of making a late move to tear up the basis of years of negotiations and are deeply concerned that an anodyne compromise might emerge as the clock ticks down.

And what of the developing countries? The G77 has now failed to turn up for three scheduled press conferences in a row - the third time without any explanation. This is due, no doubt, to the pace of the negotiations and the difficulty this disparate group has in agreeing a consistent line to communicate to the outside world.

However, we do hear bits and pieces about the role of key G77 players. While the Chinese are upset at last night's shenanigans, the South Africans continue to play a valuable role as catalyst for an agreement. The Indians seem now to be putting their weight behind South Africa's position.

Yesterday, Yvo de Boer said that he wanted the negotiations concluded by midday, so they could be translated and then photocopied for final agreement in the closing plenary session.

It is now 1 o'clock and the Nusa Dua photocopiers stand silent. We hear that the Indonesian hosts are hoping the meeting will be concluded by dawn. That's around fifteen or sixteen hours away,

Earlier in the week, one COP veteran warned me to be on the watch out for a cock-up once deadlines got tight. Ministers were up until late last night and their negotiators have been working all hours for twelve days straight.

Tempers are fraying and tired people are prone to mistakes. We're still likely to get some kind of agreement from Bali, however watered down. But a total breakdown should not be completely discounted.

Please God it's over soon - as I too am longing for some sleep.


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          Top Stories: Latest On Senate Health Care Bill; Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince   
Good morning, here are our early stories: -- Saudi King Deposes Crown Prince And Names A New Heir, Age 31. -- Here's What We Know About The Senate GOP Health Care Bill. -- Uber Founder Resigns Under Pressure As CEO, Published Report Says. -- Mattel Introduces New Diverse Ken Dolls; Hopes To Reverse Sales Slump. -- Carla Fendi, Former President Of Luxury Fashion Brand, Dies. And here are more early headlines: Tropical Storm Cindy Advances On Louisiana Coast. ( NHC ) Extreme Heat Felt In Various Parts Of The Northern Hemisphere. ( Reuters ) Former DHS Secretary To Testify On Russian Meddling Today. ( PBS ) Trump Son-In-Law, Kushner, Visits Israel On Mideast Peace Effort. ( Time ) Latest On Foiled Brussels Train Station Attack. ( AFP ) Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
          Top Stories: Trump's Cuba Policy; Escaped Georgia Inmates Recaptured   
Good morning, here are our early stories: -- Republicans And Democrats Come Together To Play Ball. -- How Cubans Are Reacting To Trump's Harsher Policies. -- Escaped Ga. Inmates Who Killed 2 Guards Captured In Tennessee, Police Say. And here are more early headlines: Senate Health Care Reform Work Still Secret. ( Houston Chronicle ) Report: U.S. To Send 4,000 Troops To Afghanistan. ( AP ) Russia Claims It May Have Killed ISIS Leader. ( New York Times ) London Tower Fire: Some Victims May Not Ever Be Identified. ( BBC ) Judge Orders Deadlocked Cosby Jury To Continue Deliberating. ( Philly.com ) Bomb Kills 8 At Chinese Kindergarten. ( The West Australian ) Fighting Continues Between Army, Militants In Southern Philippines. ( Reuters ) Security Flaw Detected In Georgia Election System. ( WABE ) Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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          Top Stories: Navalny Detained In Russia; Latest On Tehran Attacks   
Good morning, here are our early stories: -- Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Is Detained On Day Of Protests. -- Iran Says It Killed Mastermind Of Deadly Attacks On Parliament And Mausoleum. -- Penguins Beat Predators 2-0 For Second Consecutive Stanley Cup. And here are more early headlines: Mildred Loving Interview On Decision Legalizing Interracial Marriage. ( AP ) D.C., Maryland Attorneys General To Sue Trump Over Businesses. ( Washington Post ) Uncertainty Over Whether Sessions Testimony Will Be Open. ( Reuters ) Missouri Lawmakers Begin Special Session On Abortion Issues. ( St. Louis Post-Dispatch ) First Lady Melania, Son Barron Trump Move To The White House. ( NBC ) Migrants Feared Missing Off Spanish Coast. ( AP ) Saudi Arabia Says Officer Killed In Eastern Province Explosion. ( Al-Arabiya ) South Korea's Yekwon Sunwoo Wins Cliburn Piano Competition. ( VOA ) Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
          Top Stories: Arab Nations Cut Ties With Qatar; Trump On London Attack   
Good morning, here are our early stories: -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt And Other Arab Nations Cut Diplomatic Ties With Qatar. -- Trump Vows Protection From 'Vile Enemy'. -- 'Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly' Makes A Tepid Debut. And here are more early headlines: Trump To Focus On Infrastructure This Week, Starting With Air Traffic Control. ( Washington Post ) As Cosby Sexual Assault Case Opens, Here's A Timeline. ( Philly.com ) FARC Rebels Claim Colombia Breaking Treaty, May Halt Demobilization. ( VOA ) PHOTOS: Deadly Sri Lankan Flooding That Killed 200. ( Guardian ) Putin Again Rejects Charge Of Russian Meddling In U.S. Election. ( NBC ) International Space Station Gets Latest SpaceX Supply Capsule. ( NASA ) PHOTO: Man Calmly Mows Lawn As Tornado Swirls. ( CBC ) Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
          Top Stories: Deadly Kabul Bombing; U.S. Destroys Mock Warhead In Test   
Good morning, here are our early stories: -- Kabul Car Bombing Kills At Least 80 People, Injures Hundreds More. -- Wary Of North Korea, U.S. Destroys Mock Warhead Over The Pacific. -- CBS' Scott Pelley Out As Evening News Anchor, Shifted To '60 Minutes'. And here are more early headlines: President Trump Welcomes Vietnam's Leader, May Discuss China. ( CNBC ) Comedian Kathy Griffin Apologizes For Bloody Mock Trump Photo. ( CNN ) U.N. Secretary General Urges Trump To Remain In Paris Accord. ( Guardian ) Russia Uses Missiles To Hit ISIS Targets In Syria. ( Bloomberg ) Civilians Still Trapped In Southern Philippines Fighting. ( New York Times ) Chinese Activists Checking Factory That Makes Ivanka Trump Brand Shoes Are Missing. ( Washington Post ) The World Series Of Poker Opens In Las Vegas. ( Las Vegas Review-Journal ) Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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          Latest Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry Research Report: Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2020   

Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market focuses in Global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle and Africa. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.

Pune, Maharashtra -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/09/2017 -- Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market analysis is provided for global market including development trends by regions, competitive analysis of the Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market. Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry report focuses on the major drivers and restraints for the key players.

Ammonium nitrate explosive is a mixed explosive whose main component is ammonium nitrate. It has found wide use in coal mining, quarrying, metal mining, and civil construction in undemanding applications.

Browse Detailed TOC, Tables, Figures, Charts and Companies Mentioned in Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market research report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/global-ammonium-nitrate-explosive-market-by-manufacturers-regions-type-and-application-forecast-to-2021-10265137

Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market analysis report speaks about the manufacturing process. The process is analysed thoroughly with respect four points Manufacturers, regional analysis, Segment by Type and Segment by Applications and the actual process of whole Ammonium Nitrate Explosive industry.

Market Segment by Manufacturers, this report covers
- Orica,
- IPL (Dyno Nobel),
- AEL,
- Sasol,
- BME Mining
- Others…

Market Segment by Type, covers
- Emulsion Explosives
- Powder

Get a PDF Sample of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/enquiry/request-sample/10265137

Scope of the Report:

This report focuses on the Ammonium Nitrate Explosive in Global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.

Market Segment by Regions, regional analysis covers
- North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)
- Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)
- Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)
- South America, Middle East and Africa

Market Segment by Applications, can be divided into
- Coal Mining
- Quarrying
- Metal Mining
- Civil construction

Get Discount on Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/enquiry/request-discount/10265137

Highlights of Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report:

- To show the Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market by type and application, with sales market share and growth rate by type, application

- Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market forecast, by regions, type and application, with sales and revenue, from 2016 to 2021

- Describe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Introduction, product scope, market overview, market opportunities, market risk, market driving force;

- Analyse the top manufacturers of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry, with sales, revenue, and price

- Display the competitive situation among the top manufacturers, with sales, revenue and market share of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market

- To show the global market by regions, with sales, revenue and market share of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry, for each region.

- Analyse the key regions, with sales, revenue and market share by key countries in these regions

- Describe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry sales channel, distributors, traders, dealers, appendix and data source.

Have Any Query? Ask Our Expert for Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/10265137

Detailed TOC of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report:

Chapter 1 Market Overview:

1.1 Product Overview and Scope of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

1.2 Market Analysis by Type

1.3 Market Analysis by Applications

1.4 Market Analysis by Regions

1.4.1 North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)

1.4.2 Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)

1.4.3 Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)

1.4.4 South America, Middle East and Africa

1.5 Market Dynamics

1.6 Market Opportunities

1.7 Market Risk

1.8 Market Driving Force

Chapter 2 Manufacturers Profiles:

2.1 Company Name

2.1.1 Business Overview

2.1.2 Company Name Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share

Chapter 3 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Competition, by Manufacturer:

3.1 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Market Share by Manufacturer

3.2 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Revenue and Market Share by Manufacturer

3.3 Market Concentration Rate

3.3.1 Top 3 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Manufacturer Market Share

3.3.2 Top 6 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Manufacturer Market Share

3.4 Market Competition Trend

Chapter 4 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry Analysis by Regions:

4.1 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Regions

4.2 North America Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

4.3 Europe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

4.4 Asia-Pacific Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

4.5 South America Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

4.6 Middle East and Africa Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

Chapter 5: North America Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries (2011-2016)

Chapter 6: Europe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries (2011-2016)

Chapter 7: Asia-Pacific Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries (2011-2016)

Chapter 8: South America, Middle East and Africa Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries

Chapter 9: Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Type (2011-2016)

Chapter 10: Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales Market Share by Application (2011-2016)

Chapter 11: Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Forecast (2016-2021)

11.1 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Growth Rate (2016-2021)

11.2 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Forecast by Regions (2016-2021)

11.3 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Forecast by Type (2016-2021)

11.4 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry Forecast by Application (2016-2021)

Chapter 12: Sales Channel, Distributors, Traders and Dealers

12.1 Sales Channel

12.1.1 Direct Marketing

12.1.2 Indirect Marketing

12.1.3 Marketing Channel Future Trend

12.2 Distributors, Traders and Dealers

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          Ramming An Ice Mile At Russia Ice Swimming Festival   
Courtesy of Ram Barkai, Lake Baikal, Russia.

The world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal, is considered to be among the world's clearest lakes.

Ram Barkai explains, "You tend to forget that you are in the middle of Siberia, just north of Mongolia, slap bang in the middle if remote Asia. Winter temperatures can plummet to under -40°C and that lovely 636 km of water freezes to a solid 1 meter or more of ice, during the winter.

I was invited to join the Russia Ice Swimming Festival in Lake Baikal. Just getting there is no simple feat coming from Cape Town. There are no shortcuts.

It is 5 time zones east of Moscow at around 53° North. I finally got there by 4 am with my daughter Kaitlin.

She is on a month's leave from her gruelling job around the world and somehow, I managed to convince her to join me and explore. She loved it. The Russian food, the people, the swims, it was a wonderful mind (eye) opening experience.

Despite being the beginning of the summer, the water temperatures were at around 4.6°C the whole time. Listvyanka, the little town one hour from Irkutsk and the region's capital, is situated in the open area of the lake where water simply never goes above 8°C.

I never expected the water to be below 8°C, hence I didn’t plan to complete my 10th Ice Mile here. To my pleasant surprise, the water was below 5°C the whole time. The real purpose of the visit was to attend the event, educate about the ice, and offer an International Ice Swimming Association official's course.

The Russian are very familiar with the ICE; however, they are much more cautious with it than the ice swimmers in Great Britain, Ireland or South Africa. Possibly because they live with it most of the year, they respect its danger and hostility, and the idea of swimming a distance in the icy water without protection is simply against their survival instincts. They are used to neoprene, two caps and sometimes even gloves. Safety in this environment is something that gets drilled into you from Day One. Living in a country that gets to -40°C is not for the faint-hearted. The Russian’s are not scared or weak, they are as hard as nails, they don’t get scared of a challenge. They simply do it.

The first day an onshore wind picked up and made the swimming rather difficult - aside from the fact that it was 4.5°C. Nonetheless, the men and women turned to their heats and swam. Not all were strong swimmers, but they liked the challenge and the ice. The water is so clear you can see the bottom all the time and with a rescue boat with Russian medical team, all dressed up in dry suit gear, we felt safe.

On Day One, we all swam 50 meters and 100 meters. I find these distances harder with my asthma. It is a sprint and with the icy water shutting your chest, it basically only opens post-swim. No time to adjust and relax.

The next day, the wind disappeared and this pristine beautiful lake was there ready for us.

It was time for the 200-meter and 500-meter swims. I hate the 200 meters. It is a sprint in the ice. I basically can’t breathe for plus/minus three minutes. I finish feeling like I was held under a massive wave unable to get air. For some it is a long distance. For us, open water and long distance swimmers, we need 2-3 km to open up and warm up in a normal long swim. In the Ice, I need around 300 meters to start feeling comfortable. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but with experience, you learn how to adjust to the ice, not fight it. The numbers started to drop, not everyone likes the 500 meters, if you are not reasonably fast 500 meters could mean over 10 minutes in 4°C water.

It starts to get interesting. I believe everyone can swim up to 120 minutes in sub 5°C. It is just experience and no panic (being able to swim helps as well), but once you approach the 15 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes, things change in the ICE.

The next day was the 1 km swim, I usually feel relaxed about 1 km. It’s a distance I am comfortable with and not stressed. Around 10 of us swam and I could see some are starting to get cold. The swim was hard. I couldn’t get my breathing right and I was competing with Sasha Malinki, another great Alekander (all Alekander’s here are Sasha). He was a 64-year-old swimmer, strong and fast and he kept me fighting out of my relaxed zone.

Luckily, he went out too fast and I managed to pass him halfway. Nevertheless, I said to myself, 'That’s it, I haven’t prepared myself mentally for a mile.'

I’ve done my bit for Mother Russia. Tomorrow, I will play the [International Ice Swimming Association] president part and officiate the swim. When I got out, I told Kaitlin, my daughter, neit (no) Mile. I’ve done enough. At the sauna, with Vika, Sasha Brylin’s wife looking after us, we sat shivering, recovering and chatting. When we were asked about the mile, we said, 'Not now, we can talk about it later...maybe.'

Needless to say, an hour later when we discussed tomorrow's mile, I realised I simply had no choice. I swam faster and better than most of them, but not all of them. I recovered very well, yet they were all so committed, I simply had to change my mindset and commit as well. The mind is a wonderful thing. Once you convince it that something is possible, it simply becomes one. An Ice Mile is, my 10th Ice Mile. I hadn’t planned it; it simply happened.

The next day, we were explained the course. I am used to understanding around 10%-20% of what is going on in Russia. But I learnt to trust them 100%. It was only seven of us swimmers, and two ladies with fins and a small wetsuit. We got on the police boat to the start. It was a long straight line along the shore. As we approached the start point, the boat just carried on. I said few flowery words in Afrikaans to Kaitlin, but we just continued to go. That 'mile' suddenly seemed like two. When we stopped, my heart was busy recalibrating my mind. It looked so far away, I nearly lost my nerves.

Luckily the weather was so beautiful, the conditions were perfect, and nothing else aside from my mind [was there] to stop me. I had a quick chat with my mind, instructed it to get into shape and stop whining. I spotted several objects along the course and broke the course down to smaller and manageable distances. I dived into my zone, quiet, focused, and no talking.

It is visualisation time. Visualising the start and the breathing, getting my chest right and wait for it to open up before I start pushing. I decided to close my eyes so I don’t let myself distracted by the other swimmers. For me, an Ice Mile is a swim against yourself. You almost swim with an imaginary partner to pace you. You mustn’t let anyone else break that strategy, it may kill your swim.

The swim was surreal, like swimming in a frozen coral reef. I took a dog leg right course. I am not sure why, but it looked like the right thing to do at the time. After 500 meters, I was swimming above this deep blue abyss with visibility just going on forever. It was breathtaking and scary at the same time. I swam alone the whole way. I didn’t see a boat or other swimmers until the last 100 meters. Apparently, the boat was right behind me.

The swim was icy and long. 30 minutes of stroke after stroke. My hands were frozen after 300 meters and my useless legs just dragging behind me like a floating anchor. Mentally, I reminded myself to kick every now and then; however, physically, I was never sure if it really happened. I finally saw the end. I heard screams in Russian, but had no idea if they were related to my swim (of course they were...but my frozen mind was elsewhere.

Done, 10 Ice Miles.

Some like to think of Ice Mile as harder than anything...comparing it to English Channel or other running adventures. I like to see it as a very personal challenge. None of them is easy and they don’t get easy as you get fit. You just handle the recovery and the fear better. You have experience, but it is never easy. Some of my miles took me to dark scary place and some took me to deep places.

It is all in your mind...just make sure you prepare and safe.

The Russian Ice Swimmers never cease to amaze me with their spirit, their comradery and support for each other. Respect.

I know, from experience and from seeing them - that first Ice Mile has changed their life. In some positive way, forever, it changed what is possible for them even at ages of 65 years old. I could see the new respect they have gain for themselves, that I did it, I conquered my fears and I prevailed

Russia Ice Swimming Festival Ice Mile Results:
1. Aleksander Zelenteskii 33:40:68
2. Gregorii Prokupehuk 32:28:84
3. Aleksander Brylin 36:58:03
4. Nikolay Petshak 35:16:53
5. Pavel Bainov 26:11:90
6. Ram Barkai 31:45:12
7. Oleg Chekushin 29:39:09

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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          Anna Brentwood's holiday story The Mermaid's Treasure   
This continues the brief author interviews from the Windtree Press Christmas anthology, The Gift of Christmas.  I've asked each author what inspired them to write their contribution to the anthology. Anna Brentwood's story focuses on a specific item, a brooch, from her debut novel The Songbird with Sapphire Eyes. Anna loves to write historical fiction and her short story for this anthology, "The Mermaid's Treasure" is a wonderful example of her vivid imagination and eye for historical detail.

What inspired me to write "The Mermaid's Treasure" was YOU and Windtree Press and the very idea of having yet another tale to tell related to The Songbird with Sapphire Eyes! I was already working on Anthony's Angel, the sequel to my debut novel,  which picks up on the life of my heroine’s son, but I left our Windtree Press meeting with my head spinning and thinking, what to write…can I write something….no...then it started percolating-- with me a process that the word obsessing describes perfectly!

I began with what holidays mean to me. I grew up in a mixed neighborhood on the East Coast between Christians and Jews. I am not a religious person, but I am a spiritual one who, as an adult strives to take the true essence out of each holiday. To me, Christmas is a spirit, a time to share and to show you care to family and friends. It is a time to do good things and give back no matter your beliefs.

Then I focused on the brooch from The Songbird with Sapphire Eyes that gangster Johnny Gallo gives to songbird Hannah that has significance later in their story. I focused on its history, jewels and treasures and well, history. Because my thing is to always weave in real history, people and situations in my stories, I started Googling sunken ships and voila— found the right one.

I am of Russian ancestry and have found, within my own family, gaps of info and lots of “secrets” not handed down. The Russalka, meaning mermaid, was a Russian War ship that sank in route to Finalnd in 1893. That particular ship inspired the statue of an angel to be erected 1902 in Kadriorg, Tallinn, Finland that still stands today. The “Angel” felt like a sign and I always trust signs when I am creating; so more ideas started to gell.

Ultimately, the story, "Mermaid’s Treasure" is based on two real historic events: 1) a Russian battleship that sunk off the coast of Finland and inspired a statue; and 2) The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York that led to worker’s rights being protected through the garment unions. For a story I didn’t think I had in me, it almost wrote itself and I am thrilled to be part of the anthology. Windtree Press not only pushed me as a writer, but writing "Mermaid's Treasure" is truly one of my favorite experiences (to date) and I am looking forward to more! 

Learn more about Anna Brentwood at her website.

Buy The Gift of Christmas in print or ebook from the retailer of your choice.
          A new encryption ransomware attacking Russian and Ukrainian companies   

June 27, 2017

Information about a new outbreak of an encryption ransomware appeared. The Trojan affected oil, telecommunication and financial companies in Russia and Ukraine. Doctor Web informs users that the new encoder is detected by Dr.Web products.

According to data of our information security specialists, the Trojan is distributed independently, just as infamous WannaCry. Yet there is no precise data if it uses the same distribution mechanism. At present, our security researchers examine the new Trojan; we will give the details later on. Some mass media sources draw parallels with the ransomware Petya (in particular, Dr.Web detects it as Trojan.Ransom.369) due to the external side of the ransomware operation. However, a distribution method of the new threat is different from the standard pattern of Petya.

Today, on June 27 at 4.30 p.m., this encryption ransomware has been added to Dr.Web virus databases as Trojan.Encoder.12544.

Doctor Web advises all users to be vigilant and refrain from opening suspicious emails (this measure is required but is not fully sufficient). It is necessary to make backup copies of critically important data and to install all software security updates. Availability of an installed anti-virus is also crucial.

          Suggested Russian presidential election slogan: “Vote Putin: You Already Have Anyhow”   

Suggested Russian presidential election slogan: “Vote Putin: You Already Have Anyhow”

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          Para russos, Stalin e Putin são os dois "líderes mais importantes da História"   

iG São Paulo

Lista das "pessoas mais ilustres da História mundial" é realizada desde 1989; nomes de pessoas não russas aparecem apenas depois da 14ª posição

Putin aparece em segundo lugar na lista, mas

Putin aparece em segundo lugar na lista, mas "popularidade" do presidente russo cresceu nos últimos 17 anos

Foto: Presidência da Russia - 26.5.17

Uma pesquisa realizada na Rússia, divulgada nesta segunda-feira (26), mostra que, para a maioria dos russos, Joseph Stalin é a figura “mais ilustre da História mundial”, sendo seguido pelo atual presidente, Vladimir Putin.

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O estudo realizado pelo “Levada Center” questionou uma amostra de 1,6 mil cidadãos da Rússia, pedindo para que elegessem o “top 10: pessoas mais marcantes de todos os tempos e todas as nações”. Do total, os 20 mais citados foram compilados e divulgados. Vale destacar que os nomes citados não foram sugeridos na pesquisa. Nos três primeiros lugares ficaram: Stalin (38%), Putin (34%) e, em seguida, o poeta russo Alexander Pushkin, considerado “o Shakespeare russo”.

Aliás, na lista do Levada Center, que acontece anualmente desde 1989, os 34% de Putin equivalem ao percentual mais alto desde que ele chegou ao poder, há 17 anos. Já o ditador soviético Stalin teve queda em sua popularidade, já que, em 2012, teve 42% dos votos. Mas, há uma dúvida sobre a relação entre a popularidade do ex-líder e o atual.

Na Rússia, Stalin é frequentemente retratado – não como o arquiteto de políticas assassinas, de fome em massa e outros problemas –, mas como o responsável pela vitória na Segunda Guerra Mundial, que é chamada de “A Grande Guerra Patriótica” no país.

Uma pesquisa realizada na Rússia mostra que%2C para a maioria dos russos%2C Joseph Stalin é a figura “mais extraordinária da história mundial

Uma pesquisa realizada na Rússia mostra que%2C para a maioria dos russos%2C Joseph Stalin é a figura “mais extraordinária da história mundial

Foto: Reprodução/Wikipedia

Por exemplo, várias cidades russas revelaram monumentos a Stalin nos últimos meses. Segundo uma pesquisa da Levada, publicada em maio, o número de russos que consideram as repressões de Stalin como "crimes políticos" caiu de 51%, em 2012, para 39% em 2017. Além disso, o número de russos que não sabiam nada sobre as repressões realizadas durante seu governo dobrou de 6% a 13% no mesmo período.

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Vladimir Putin já fez críticas ao líder soviético em algumas entrevistas. Para o diretor norte-americano Oliver, o presidente russo disse que Stalin “é uma figura complexa” e que reconhece "os horrores do stalinismo", mas também defende que "a demonização excessiva de Stalin é uma das formas como os inimigos atacam a Rússia".

Na mesma entrevista, Putin compara Stalin com o imperador francês Napoleão Bonaparte, afirmando serem “líderes que vieram ao poder pela revolução e acabaram concentrando forte autoridade”.

Raros estrangeiros

Napoleão, aliás, aparece na pesquisa da Levada, sendo considerado a 14ª “pessoa mais extraordinária da História mundial” (com 9% dos votos). Ele é o primeiro não russo (ou soviético) da lista. As únicas figuras estrangeiras que foram mencionadas por mais de 6% dos russos foram Albert Einstein (16ª posição) e Isaac Newton (19ª posição).

As respostas refletidas pela pesquisa não são incomuns. Segundo o “The Washington Post”, as pessoas tendem a nomear as pessoas e os eventos mais próximos de suas vidas, o que explica como o tiroteio de Orlando, nos Estados Unidos, ocorrido no ano passado, acabou em uma lista dos eventos históricos mais significativos nas vidas dos americanos, publicada em dezembro.

Leia também: Maduro pede que apoiadores "peguem em armas" em resposta a ataque de helicóptero

Outros nomes citados na pesquisa fora: Yury Gagarin (6º), o primeiro homem no espaço; Leo Tolstoy (7º) e Dmitry Mendeleev (13º), que desenvolveram a classificação periódica dos elementos; Vladimir Lênin (4º) e Pedro, o Grande (5º), modernizador do estado medieval da Rússia, certamente são figuras de grande importância histórica. Nenhum presidente ou líder dos EUA teve mais de 6% dos votos.

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          Intel report: Kremlin sees US urging regime change in Russia   
Kremlin leaders are convinced America is intent on regime change in Russia, a fear that is feeding rising tension and military competition between the former Cold War foes, the Pentagon's intelligence arm has assessed.
          Moscow prepares retaliation for U.S. seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds| Reuters   
Reuters reports;
          Dave Kerner and George Ofman: extreme sports fun   
Dave Kerner and George Ofman do sports at WBBM Radio in Chicago, and I interviewed them for this same podcast because they consistently have a great time on the air and off the air; I've never seen them express negativity or take themselves seriously.

First up is Dave Kerner: he talks about working in Buffalo, downstate New York, northeast Pennsylvania, and Scranton before coming to Chicago; working at The Score (WSCR), then WBBM; the difference between working at an all-sports station vs a station with sports updates; his original goals; what makes good sports talk radio; the difference between Buffalo and Chicago; why he likes the NHL (hockey) and NFL (football) the best; how he’s been able to thrive in sports radio; advice for getting into sports radio; seeing the Miracle on Ice hockey game (US vs Russia in the 1980 Winter Olympics); why he went into radio; why he likes Marv Albert and other broadcasters, and more.

After the "break" is George Ofman: he talks about working in radio for over 40 years, including being one of the original people at The Score (WSCR); the difference between anchoring and doing sports talk; how radio is changing; what makes good sports journalism; his passion for sports and fun; working at Sports Phone (where lots of other people also started); getting fired; writing for NPR, BBC, and CBC; working with various people at WMAQ, RKO, WGN, and WBBM; his first break; turning down Toronto's "The Fan" 590 CJCL before going to The Score with “interesting” personalities; how he got so much freelance work; his vocal issues; getting help from Dave Eanet at WGN; advice for getting into sports radio; how he writes sports reports, and more. (George also makes a cameo appearance in a video I did about WBBM, featuring Lisa Fielding).

Click the link below to play, or download it by right-clicking (on a PC) or holding down the CTRL key and clicking on it (for Mac).


          Personal Associate at International Civil Aviation Organization   
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention). THE ORGANIZATIONAL SETTING The Regional Office is primarily responsible for maintaining continuous liaison with the States to which it is accredited and with appropriate organizations, regional civil aviation bodies and sub-regional bodies and UN Agencies and programmes. The Regional Office ensures interregional coordination and promotes the timely and harmonized implementation of ICAO policies, decisions, Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and air navigation plans. The Regional Office also provides technical guidance and assists States with implementation. The position reports to the Regional Director (RD) who is the Head of the Regional Office and serves as the Representative of the Secretary General to States to which the Regional Office is accredited; plans and directs the work of the Regional Office; provides technical advice and assistance to States on the development and implementation of Regional Plans; and coordinates the delivery of ICAO programme activities within the Regional Office in collaboration with States, regional and sub-regional groups.The incumbent provides support to the directorate including the Regional Director. Specific instructions and directives will be provided by the Regional Director on special tasks or complex issues. MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Function 1 (incl. Expected results) Provides administrative and executive support to the Regional Director, achieving results such as:• Review, screen, log and route documents and correspondence coming in and out of the Office of the Director ensuring that necessary background documents are attached.• Maintain effective follow-up system to track and locate the documents and correspondence.• Maintain files whether in hard copy or electronic format for reference of the directorate on specific, policy as well as confidential issues.• Prepare correspondence, documents and reports, some of which are highly confidential, ensuring accuracy and conformity with ICAO procedures and standard format.• Prepare non-substantive correspondence and ensure timely dispatch.• Maintain date records of amendments to ICAO Annexes and technical documents stored at the offices of RD for reference.• Perform general duties such as receiving and screening incoming calls and answering queries in a discrete manner.• Control, supervise and keep log of pouch dispatch, incoming and outgoing. Function 2 (incl. Expected results) Coordinates and arranges meetings and appointments, achieving results such as:• Schedule of meetings and appointments for the Regional Director are properly recorded and timely coordinated.• Receive visitors of the Regional Director and accord them with appropriate treatment, prepare necessary documents for the meetings as required.• Coordinate internal meetings with Regional Officers and staff according to the regular schedule or as needs arise with proper notification and follow-up.• Prepare summary/minutes of the meetings as required. Function 3 (incl. Expected results) Coordinates and supervises office support services of the Regional Office, achieving such results as:• Coordinate and monitor office services of the Regional Office to ensure efficient services.• Initiate work procedures to improve support services, keep the assistants informed of the up to date related ICAO practices and procedures related to correspondence.• Brief and train new staff and provide guidance to other staff on correspondence procedures. Function 4 (incl. Expected results) Coordinates travel arrangement for the Regional Director, achieving such results as:• Coordinate with relevant Units, States/Administrations and Organizations on the programmes of visits, develop and finalize programme of visit in consultation with supervisor.• In consultation with the relevant States/Stakeholders, arrange for visas and hotel bookings for the RD in line with the established rules and procedures.• Coordinate with the relevant sections in HQ and/or Regional Office Administrative Section to ensure proper arrangement of travel documents.• Process mission travel requests in accordance with the prescribed practice and procedures.• Process security clearance.• Process travel claim in a timely manner.• Assist supervisor in the preparation of mission documentation and submission of the reports on schedule Function 5 (incl. Expected results) Prepares periodic report and briefing documents, achieving such results as:• Coordinate with officers concerned requesting inputs for the mission reports, according to the prescribed schedule.• Compile, edit and finalize the reports for submission in a timely manner.• Prepare PowerPoint presentations for briefings and meetings in accordance with the established format. • Research, collate and prepare briefing documents for supervisor as required. Function 6 (incl. Expected results)Performs other duties, as assigned. QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE Education Essential A College Diploma or equivalent level of education. Additional training in office management, secretariat or related field. DesirableA first-level university Degree in Business Management or related field Professional experience Essential• At least six years of progressively responsible experience in office administration in a public or private administration.• Experience in office management, communication and coordination tasks, maintenance of records and files, and competency in modern office technology.• Experience working in a multi-national and multi-cultural environment. Ability to deal with sensitive and confidential matters in a prompt and discrete manner. Desirable• Experience in administrative policies, protocol and procedures of the UN or large multinational organization desirable.• Experience in dealing with high level officials, government representatives or senior executives from States, is an advantage. LanguagesEssentialFluent reading, writing and speaking abilities in English. Desirable Knowledge of any language of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish). Working knowledge of one of the local languages in the duty Station is considered an advantage. Competencies 1. Professionalism: Good knowledge of ICAO's activities, practices and procedures, particularly the administrative functions and structure of the Organization. Strong computer skills. Good knowledge of commonly used MS Office applications including, but not limited to, word, spread sheet and PowerPoint presentation. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. 2. Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. 3. Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style, and format to match the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed. 4. Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently. 5. Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client. CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT It should be noted that this post is to be filled on a fixed-term basis for an initial period of three years (first year is probationary for an external candidate).ICAO staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Secretary General and may be assigned to any activities or offices of the Organization within the duty station.ICAO staff members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner befitting their status as international civil servants. The Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service adopted by ICAO, which are applicable to all staff members, are defined in the ICAO Service Code (Staff Regulations).ICAO offers an attractive benefit package to its employees in accordance with the policies of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC). The statutory retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service after 1 January 2014 is 65. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.
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          Start in die Vorbereitung: BVB II verpflichtet Massimo Ornatelli - Fritz wechselt   
Mit vielen neuen Gesichtern ist Fußball-Regionalligist Borussia Dortmund II am Mittwochvormittag in die Sommervorbereitung gestartet. Dem neuen Trainer Jan Siewert standen in Brackel 19 Spieler zur Verfügung - darunter ein prominenter Neuzugang. Hier gibt es die Bilder und ein Video.
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Un libro di 10 fiabe provenienti da ogni parte del mondo ma che hanno tutte qualcosa in comune: le loro protagoniste sono delle principesse.

Silvia Roncaglia ripropone con un taglio nuovo e un linguaggio più moderno fiabe classiche.

Dieci storie spigolate in tutto il mondo, dieci principesse riscoperte in diversi paesi, dalla Francia alla Cina, dalla Germania alla Russia.

Dieci potenti figure femminili, coinvolte in avventure molto avvincenti. Ci sono principesse stregate e trasformate in rana o in colomba, altre rapite da un nano crudele o da un uomo imbroglione e altre ancora troppo orgogliose o pretenziose.

C’è la principessa tradita da una perfida nutrice e quella impegnata nel salvataggio di un principe, e anche quella che principessa non è, ma lo diventa alla fine grazie alla sua astuzia e a un pizzico di magia.

          The Tatiana Papers 1   

The curiosity of this piece of paper is what lead me to this exercise. I'm sure it's just a doodle, a passing note. I found it all crinkled up at the bottom of a box of photos. Stick figures, the inked bits, a Himalayan hut. Is it a play on words? Is russing supposed to be rushing?

And then there are the measurements. And the zeros? Surrounded by the names of Shakespeare plays. How old is this? I saw a Midsummer Night's Dream with my mother in Hyde Park in the late 70's. Why did this single piece of paper survive? Is it significant?

p.s. well the google has the answer. amazing how quickly something mysterious can turn into something, well, terribly pedestrian. the joke is below. the next questions is, really? she found this funny enough to write down, with an illustration to boot? and somehow it remains among her things?

 There is a whorehouse on a hill. There is one person going to it, one person leaving from it, and one person inside it. What are there nationalities?

The man going up is Russian,
The man going away is Finnish,
and the man inside is Himalayan.

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          Blaming Obama   
A couple of months ago, on May 10, President Trump invited two Russian diplomats into the White House to celebrate his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

A couple of months ago, on May 10, President Trump invited two Russian diplomats into the White House to celebrate his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Having boasted on national TV that he'd removed Comey as a means of relieving pressure from the "fake news" investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Trump greeted Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak like old friends.

Although U.S. news media weren't allowed into the Oval Office, the Russian news agency TASS published photos of the three men smiling broadly, backslapping and shaking hands. That's how American reporters learned of the controversial Kislyak's presence. The White House neglected to mention it, presumably because his clandestine talks with fired National Security Director Michael Flynn lay at the heart of the FBI probe.

Lavrov even made heavy-handed jokes about Russian meddling, expressing mock surprise at Comey's firing and observing sarcastically that it must be "humiliating for the American people to realize the Russian Federation is controlling the situation in the United States."

The episode struck me at the time as an astonishing gesture of contempt, if completely in keeping with Trump's furious denials that Russian skullduggery had anything to do with his election. In her Salon column, Heather Digby Parton compiled a short list of the president's Twitter posts on the subject. According to Trump, the FBI investigation has been dismissed as a "Witch Hunt!", a "a total hoax," "an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election" and so on. We've all heard it 50 times.

If he's been consistent about nothing else, Trump's been consistent about that: Vladimir Putin's spies had no role whatsoever in his mighty victory.

That is, until last week.

Following The Washington Post's publication of a highly detailed blockbuster about what the Obama administration knew about "President Vladimir Putin's direct involvement" in the conspiracy to damage Hillary Clinton and make him president, Trump came up with a whole new story: Yes, Russian cyberhackers and spies interfered directly in an American presidential election — but it was all Barack Obama's fault.

"Just out," the president tweeted, "The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?"

Trump soon came up with an answer: "The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win ... and did not want to 'rock the boat.' He didn't 'choke,' he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good."

It's almost hysterically false — the Obama administration made repeated attempts to inform the voting public about Russian interference, most explicitly, as bad luck would have it, on Oct. 8, 2016, the day Trump's boasts about grabbing women's genitals first aired — but there's a half-truth there, too.

President Obama did, indeed, "choke," as one anonymous administration official told Post reporters, and we're all paying the price.

As happened more than once during his presidency, Obama appears to have over-thought the situation to the point of paralysis — pursing the will-o'-the-wisp of patriotic bipartisanship long after it had become obvious that not only Trump, but key Republican leaders had long since put party above country.

Could anybody be surprised that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for example, would stonewall any effort to inform voters that a hostile foreign power was brazenly taking Trump's side in the election?

Obama was.

In effect, congressional Republicans had chosen Putin over Hillary Clinton. By August, let us recall, Trump himself was not only openly urging Russian hackers to search for Clinton's emails — barefaced collusion — but predicting that the election was going to be rigged against him.

Obama could have done in August what he did after the election in December: hit Russia with sanctions, expelled Russian diplomats. But he reportedly feared that without GOP support, any vigorous action could easily backfire.

"Obama's approach," sources told the Post, "often seemed reducible to a single imperative: Don't make things worse. As brazen as the Russian attacks on the election seemed, Obama and his top advisers feared that things could get far worse."

"They were concerned that any pre-election response could provoke an escalation from Putin. Moscow's meddling to that point was seen as ... unlikely to materially affect the outcome of the election. Far more worrisome to the Obama team was the prospect of a cyber-assault on voting systems before and on Election Day."

Supposedly, no vote rigging happened after Obama warned Putin to his face that dire consequences would follow.

Or at least so we're told.

Instead, Kislyak and Lavrov yukking it up in the Oval Office happened.

This happened, too: Obama presided over a political Pearl Harbor — an unprovoked assault on American democracy, and with no compelling reason to believe that it won't happen again.

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          The End of the Free Market   
A week ago, I was ready to give up the Daily Shill. I had started to compose a post listing reasons, which basically summed up to "I WANT TO READ WHAT I WANT TO READ!" But I had already watched Nanny McPhee Returns and I sure wasn't going to have watched it for nothing. So I decided I'd write that one more review, and then wait to make a decision about the Shill until this week. After writing the review, I decided to give the Daily Shill another push and keep going. Because I'm not a quitter.

What brought me to the brink of quitting? Well, sure, it's a buildup over time, but the book that pushed me over the edge was Ian Bremmer's The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War between States and Corporations? It was just incredibly boring, especially compared to the many other (non-Shill) books I am now allowing myself to read. But I finally finished it yesterday, and am ready to move onto Christopher Hitchens' Hitch 22 which, though longer, should be more interesting.

As you may have already picked up on, this review of The End of the Free Market is not going to be a fair one (or a long one). I'm not an economist. I never will be an economist. And I only sort of get the economy. So, reading a book that basically lists out multiple countries' laws and regulations regarding the free market is a confusing, boring mess of words. Multiple times, I realized my eyes were going over the pages, but my mind was elsewhere. I really can't provide an accurate summary.

The reason I found The End of the Free Market so boring? I figured it out: there are no people in the book. Rather than talk about how people are affected by countries' takes on the free market, rather than talk about the lawmakers and rulers, Bremmer chooses to talk about policy instead. And that's where he lost me. The few pages on Russia (where, yes, people made a cameo appearance) were relatively interesting, but the rest of the book lost me. It's certainly not pleasure reading, and I don't recommend it (unless, of course, you're an economist or interested in the economy. You're probably the intended audience for this book.) 1/5.

Watch Jon Stewart's interview with Ian Bremmer

Buy the book

          L'anello Magico    

L'agile edizione tascabile, il testo stampato in corsivo, il prezzo di copertina estremamente contenuto sono gli elementi che caratterizzano la collana e che hanno contribuito al suo straordinario successo nel mondo.

C'era una volta in Russia un boscaiolo che viveva ai margini di una grande foresta. Si chiamava Ivan ed era una brava persona che manteneva la famiglia con il proprio lavoro.

Un giorno, mentre si apprestava ad abbattere un albero, Ivan sentì una voce nell'aria: "Cammina verso il tramonto: la fortuna è sull'albero solo!"


Regular readers of the blog (if they’re out there) know that I’m not a fan of action movies. So, as you may imagine, I was just thrilled to sit down and watch Salt, yet another action movie about a rogue agent. But, despite its many problems (and many there were), Salt was still better than Knight and Day. So, there’s that.

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA agent, specializing in Russian matters. A Russian defector shows up and, during Salt's interrogation of him, accuses her of being a Russian spy with the intention to murder the visiting Russian president. Rather than submit to questioning and prove herself innocent, Salt immediately runs, causing her (now former) coworkers to make chase. Salt, though eager to escape from the assailants, finds herself incredibly concerned for her husband’s safety—this concern only increases when she is unable to contact him. The entire movie consists of the chase with a few "I hope my husband's okay" moments.

Even though I didn’t care for the movie’s action, there was one plot point that intrigued me. The defector who labeled Salt a spy explained that there exists a Russian group that raises children with the intention of sending them to live in America as spies. These children were taught the English language and American ways before they were taught Russian, and were eventually shipped off to America with given identity and mission. If the movie centered more on this process, spending time with the children raised as spies and dealing with how they felt about the role they were forced to play, I would have been more invested. Though the mystery of whether or not Salt was a member of this group made the movie more exciting, I would have liked to see the group highlighted in a different way.

My main problem with Salt, though, was its lack of substance. The movie jumped from one chase scene to another, spending little time advancing plot or explaining why characters were taking the actions they did. Maybe that’s what the action movie audience wants, but I wish motivations for the action (other than “get away”) had been clearer. I would have cared more.

Salt gets a 1/5. Though parts of its premise were thought-provoking, the majority of the movie was a mindless chase. I don’t need to watch that.

Watch Jon Stewart's interview with Liev Schreiber

Buy the DVD

I'm sorry that there was no new post last week (and that the writing on this post is lackluster and borderline-bad). I'm in the last 3 weeks of my first year of grad school (woo-hoo!) and have been bogged down with papers, projects, and readings. Soon, though, The Daily Shill will jump into summer mode, which means that there'll be more reviews of books and often posts more than once weekly.

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          Ρώσικη Ρουλέτα   

«Ξεκίνα πρώτος» μου είπε επιτακτικά, κοιτάζοντάς με ψυχρά στα μάτια και ανεβάζοντας τον τόνο της φωνής του.

Έπιασα το πιστόλι που βρισκόταν ανάμεσά μας. Πριν λίγο, έβαλε μια σφαίρα σε μια από τις άδειες θαλάμες του περίστροφου, γύρισε δυνατά δυο φορές τον μύλο, κάνοντας το κροτάλισμα να χτυπήσει στους τέσσερις τοίχους και να σπάσει την ησυχία του δωματίου.

«ΦΟΒΑΣΑΙ?» φώναξε, συνεχίζοντας να με αγριοκοιτάζει.

Ήταν σίγουρο πως ήθελε να απαλλαγεί από μένα, αλλά μήπως αυτό δεν επιθυμούσα και εγώ? Σήκωσα το πιστόλι και ακούμπησα τη κρύα κάννη στο κρόταφό μου. Μία σταγόνα ιδρώτα ένοιωσα να σχηματίζεται στις ρίζες των μαλλιών μου και να κυλά προς το μέτωπο.

«ΚΑΝΤΟ!» ούρλιαξε, «ΠΑΤΗΣΕ ΤΗ ΓΑΜΗΜΕΝΗ ΣΚΑΝΔΑΛΗ», έφτυσε μία-μία τις λέξεις που τις ένοιωσα να μου μουσκεύουν το πρόσωπο.

Κράτησα την αναπνοή μου και πάτησα την σκανδάλη. ΚΛΙΚ. Άδεια θαλάμη.

Ακούμπησα το όπλο στο τραπέζι και ένοιωσα τα μάτια του, που φλέγονταν από μίσος να με καρφώνουν. Το άρπαξε, το έβαλε στον κρόταφό του και ουρλιάζοντας -σχεδόν τρελαμένος- πάτησε την σκανδάλη. ΚΛΙΚ. Και άλλη άδεια θαλάμη. Γεμάτος ικανοποίηση και αρρωστημένη προσμονή για την συνέχεια το άφησε μπροστά μου.

Το έφερα με τη σειρά μου στον δικό μου κρόταφο. Τον κοίταξα στα μάτια και μετά, ήρεμα και σταθερά, το έστρεψα κατά πάνω του.

«Δεν θα μου λείψεις καθόλου» ψιθύρισα και πυροβόλησα. Η σφαίρα τον βρήκε ανάμεσα στα δύο μάτια, τον διαπέρασε και σφηνώθηκε στον τοίχο ...κάνοντάς τον κυριολεκτικά χίλια κομμάτια Το μόνο που απέμεινε από εκείνον, ήταν μια άδεια κορνίζα με μερικά κομμάτια καθρέπτη στις άκρες, που έχασκε σαν ορθάνοιχτο ξεδοντιασμένο στόμα να ουρλιάζει.

Στη μουσικούλα ακούμε το As The Dark Wave Swells. Οι The Bampi Molesters φλερτάρουν με τον Morricone και παίζουν με τα άγρια όνειρα του Tarantino. Η φόρμα δομημένη και χιλιοειπωμένη, λίγα έχει να προσδώσει πέρα από το ταλέντο, την πραγματική γνώση, την άρτια κατάρτιση και το όραμα που διαθέτει το γκρουπ. Καλή σας ακρόαση!!!

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          Sonoma County Vineyard For Sale   
Click for details



This Sonoma County Vineyard for Sale all of the key elements of the highly sought after Healdsburg and Sonoma County lifestyle and living here is a lifestyle choice. This ranch is just one mile to the town of Healdsburg and located just off the historic Old Redwood Highway. The vineyards surrounding this comfortable home produce award winning fruit year after year. There is room to garden, make wine, grow flowers, raise kids in an amazing environment and run your business from here at the same time. 
This property does consist of 2 parcels and one address. It is located on the Old Redwood Highway in the Russian River Valley. This portion of the Old Redwood Highway is a mix of Vineyards, Family Wineries and Estates. This is the best area of Sonoma County.
There are many acres of Sonoma County Vineyard  surrounding this property. 10 acres belong to this ranch. There are 3 varieties of grapes on this estate. The vineyard has award winning Petite Sirah, Pinot Gris,  Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Musque vines with a bountiful crop this year.

This ranch features a spacious three bedroom, three bath plus, ranch style home with a fenced yard. There is a three car garage / shop with office space or recreation room above that totals 2400 square feet. The home is comfortable and spacious for an active family or hobbyists. The yard around the residence is fenced and there is an abundance of flexibility with this layout. 

The upstairs recreation room is nicely finished, it has a nice bathroom and two large decks. The decks have wonderful views of the Russian River Valley, Fitch Mountain and Mt. St. Helena. 

The entire property has an infrastructure. The buildings are compliant. There is an engineered drainage system throughout the property. The Septic has been pumped and inspected. The well is delivering approximately 50 GPM. The system of good roadways provide both ingress and egress. There is freeway frontage on the far end of the property. 

More information on all grapes can be found on the National Grape Registry website at ngr.ucdavis.edu http://www.ngr.ucdavis.edu/.               

The Musque clone that came from Bordeaux, France, in 1962 and was originally labeled “Savagnin musque.” It is probably the second most planted clone in California, but may only total 1% or 2% of Sauvignon Blanc acreage. It has been the key to all of the wards won here. 

The other big winner has been the Petite Sirah which has been the winningest fruit at the local wine competition. 


          INTERN - Language Training Programme, Russian Team [Temporary]   
Level : I-1
Job ID : 80366
Job Network :
Job Family : Internship
Department/Office : United Nations Office at Geneva
Duty Station : GENEVA
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/12/2017
Deadline : 6/30/2017
Level : G-5
Job ID : 80518
Job Network : Public Information and Conference Management
Job Family : Conference Services
Department/Office : Department for General Assembly and Conference Management
Duty Station : NEW YORK
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 6/9/2017
Deadline : 7/8/2017
          Networks Obsessed With Trump-Russia Probe, Media Research Council Study Shows (Fox News Insider)   

Fox News Insider:
Networks Obsessed With Trump-Russia Probe, Media Research Council Study Shows  —  A new study from the Media Research Council shows just how obsessed network news is with the ongoing Russia investigation.  —  The study looked at every ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscast from the appointment …

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          SENIOR REVISER (RUSSIAN) [Filled from Roster]   
Level : P-5
Job ID : 79108
Job Network : Public Information and Conference Management
Job Family : Language
Department/Office : United Nations Office at Geneva
Duty Station : GENEVA
Staffing Exercise : N/A
Posted Date : 5/16/2017
Deadline : 6/29/2017
          Karavaevi Brothers Cafe   
Moscow, Russia
Designer: V12 architects
Contributed by: robot_gort

The restaurant is a corner storefront on the ground floor of a residential building dating from the 1950s. V12 Architects: "Working with spacial limitations, we also took into account one special feature of the restaurants location. Surrounding neighborhood has a number of foreign embassies, including the Danish. Across the street from it stands the monument to Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who organized a relief program for millions of Russian famine victims (1921-1922). Therefore we were inspired by Scandinavian aesthetics, which is characterized by functionality and simplicity. We used basic materials such as wood, stone and painted metal, which are also often used in Nordic interiors."

Bolshoy Levshinskiy per., 3/5
119034 Moscow
          Danke für alles, Jürgen Klopp!   
Das soll es nun also gewesen sein. Nach sieben wundervollen Jahren verlässt Jürgen Klopp Borussia Dortmund. Vermutlich ist es die richtige Entscheidung – für Klopp und die Mannschaft. Ich bin trotzdem traurig. Weil Klopp inzwischen einfach BVB war. Und der BVB war Klopp. Zeit, Danke zu sagen.  Ich kann mich noch ganz genau an die […]
          Thilo Viehrig   

Instrument builder and musician Thilo Viehrig studied violin and organ building as well as instrument restoration in East Germany. For over 20 years he has concentrated on the performance practice and reconstruction of historical instruments. He established the musical instrument museum at the Center for Performance Practice in Michaelstein, Germany and his copies of historical instruments (harps, lyres, bowed instruments, clavichords, harpsichords and organettos) can be viewed in various museums. He has been involved in various music archaeology projects including the University of Leipzig project to examine, conserve and reconstruct the collection of over 30 original Renaissance musical instruments discovered in the Freiberg Cathedral near Dresden. His copies of the lyres from Trossingen, Germany and Novgorod, Russia are part of the European Archaeology Project Exhibit which will be touring various museums throughout Europe. As a musician he has specialized in historical bowed instruments - vielle, rebec baroque violin – and medieval lyre. He also restores classic cars.

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          Mark C.Toner Supports ISIS Timber Sycamore Health Organization White Helmets but.... is wary of its leader, suspected of.... terrorism and banned from US   

James Le Mesurier
creator of the health service
 ISIS Al Nosra Front
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
by Yanick Toutain
October 24, 2016

White Helmets "$ 23 million through USAID". "Boris Johnson evoked in a video twitted by the Foreign Office late September his "pride" to provide them support 32 million pounds (half of the aid they receive)".

The White Helmets created by the James Le Mesurier a contractor (with all the characteristics of a criminal member of a private MI6) are an auxiliary agency of the terrorist plot Timber Sycamore :  ISIS Al Nosra Front  Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
They are health aids ISIS-Al Nosra
They are received as heroes in France.
Their terrorist leader Rahed Saleh on October 19.
While their militias pro Qaradawi accomplices request and receive municipal halls in France by members of the auxiliary mayors terrorist group - Young Leaders.
This "Young Leaders" group who recruited Alain Juppe a year before Hillary Clinton seems to be the main lobby of the terrorist plot Timber Sycamore Europe.
Their main activity at the moment - to share receive terrorist auxiliares health DAECH Al-Nosra - is to organize the reception of millions of potientiels militia of pro-capitalist revolution against Europe.
What follows is a breathtaking video where Toner explains -in language "diplomatic" - a group can be admirable when its main leader is suspected of terrorism



Transcript here https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/04/256667.htmit can be seen how the govt supports terrorists and their health organization but wary of the leader suspected of terrorism .... ...And then last thing – and this is about the attacks that occurred, I believe yesterday, on the Syrian Civil Defense station in al-Atareb, Syria. The United States is appalled by Monday’s multiple aerial strikes, reportedly by the Assad regime, on a Syrian Civil Defense station in the town of, as I noted, al-Atareb in Aleppo province, where at least five members of the civil defense are believed to have been killed and many more innocent people were injured. This attack fits with the Assad regime’s abhorrent pattern of striking first responders, over 100 whom – of whom have been killed in action. Many are killed in so-called double-tap strikes, where warplanes return to a strike zone after first responders have gathered to assist victims, and the Syrian Civil Defense station in al-Atareb was reportedly hit five times on Monday. We condemn in the strongest terms any such attacks and we urge Russia to use its influence and press the Assad regime to fulfill its commitments under UNSCR 2254 and immediately stop any further attacks of this nature. We also commend the heroic members of the Syrian Civil Defense who’ve saved more than 40,000 people by serving as impartial emergency responders on the front lines performing search and rescue missions following brutal attacks often perpetrated by the Assad regime and its allies. And the United States will continue to support this group and their courageous and tireless efforts to protect the Syrian people. That’s it. Matt. QUESTION: On the last one -- MR TONER: Yes, sir. QUESTION: -- you commend this group, you’re going to continue to support them, and yet you revoked the visa of their leader. I don’t – that makes zero sense to me. MR TONER: Well -- QUESTION: What – what’s exactly going on? MR TONER: Well, I mean, this group, and I would precisely make that -- QUESTION: Yeah, but this is the guy who is the leader of this group who the head of USAID lionized in a – and her – that she lauded him -- MR TONER: Sure. Sure. QUESTION: -- in a speech at the event that he was supposed to be accepting -- MR TONER: Sure. QUESTION: -- an award that he couldn't get here for because the State Department canceled his visa while he was in the middle – while he was in midair, presumably, over the Atlantic so that when he arrived at Dulles, he was promptly thrown on the next plane back to Turkey. And now here you are talking about how wonderful his group is. I just don’t understand how it works. MR TONER: So a couple responses. One is, unfortunately, we can’t speak to individual visa cases. I think broadly speaking, though, on any visa case we are constantly looking at new information, so-called continually vetting travel or records. And if we do have new information that we believe this – an individual -- QUESTION: But -- MR TONER: -- let me finish – would pose a security risk, we’ll certainly act on that. I can’t speak again specifically to this case, but what I can talk about is this group. And this group, as I said, has saved some 40,000 lives, that are first responders, they operate in a combat zone, and the fact that they’re being singled out and hit by the Syrian regime is, frankly, cause for a concern. And we do support this group. We do support their efforts to save lives in what is admittedly a very complex and convoluted battlefield scene. And to speak to your broader – to say that this group’s – which I think is the implication of your question, that they somehow have ties to -- QUESTION: No, I’m not suggesting that at all. MR TONER: Then – okay. QUESTION: I’m saying that it just strikes me as a bit odd that you’re saying that this group is wonderful and does such a great job and you’re commending them for their heroism, and yet, this – you’re doing this just 10 days after the leader of this group, who was supposed to be – who got his visa revoked and wasn’t allowed to travel here. I understand there was an attack that killed some of its members, and I know that that’s the immediate cause of it -- MR TONER: Right. QUESTION: -- but it just strikes me as being a bit inconsistent if you say that this group is wonderful, and yet, you also ban its leader from coming to the States to collect an award for which – and you say you’re going to continue to support the group. I mean, if you have reason to revoke his visa, that he could be a security threat or something like that, why would you continue to support -- MR TONER: But again – but again, I’m trying to separate this individual from the group, which we believe is -- QUESTION: All right. So the guy is – you’re saying that basically he is suspect but his group is not? MR TONER: Well, again, I can’t speak to the specific allegations against him, Matt. QUESTION: Well, not if I -- MR TONER: No, I’m sorry, I – my hands are tied too but -- QUESTION: All right. The other thing -- MR TONER: -- but yes, we’re not condemning the group in any way whatsoever. QUESTION: Off -- MR TONER: We believe it’s doing good work. QUESTION: Could I -- QUESTION: (Off-mike.) QUESTION: If he is the leader of the group, how do you support this group and he is not allowed to get into the States? This is the question. MR TONER: I understand that and all I can say is that -- QUESTION: How can you separate the leader of the group from the group? MR TONER: Well, he’s one individual in the group. QUESTION: But the leader of the group. MR TONER: And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for. QUESTION: Okay. It just seems a little odd. QUESTION: Could I just follow up on the group? Which group is -- MR TONER: Sophisticated. (Laughter.) QUESTION: I mean, they are a civil defense group, right? They are -- QUESTION: The White Helmets? QUESTION: Who are -- MR TONER: The White Helmets. So this is a group -- QUESTION: White Helmets. Okay, I understand. MR TONER: So, yeah, this is the Syrian Civil Defense Group. Yeah. QUESTION: Do you know – I understand about the White Helmets. Do you know who finances them, how they operate, who are they supported by, what kind of organization they have? How do you get your information from them and so on? MR TONER: Well – well, I can say we provide them with -- QUESTION: We – you do know a little bit. MR TONER: Well, I can tell you that we provide, through USAID, about $23 million in assistance to them. QUESTION: Right. MR TONER: I can say that they’ve saved over 40,000 lives, as I just mentioned at the – in the topper by acting as first responders. They go into combat zones, they save people after attacks. We’ve seen no action on the part of this group writ large that indicates in any way that they’re nothing but an impartial group that – like any humanitarian organization – works across lines of control and is in contact with a range of groups to facilitate their life-saving efforts. And that’s – again, we’ve talked about this the last couple days. Aleppo is -- QUESTION: I understand that. MR TONER: -- a very complex situation. We understand that. And for these groups to operate, they have to be able to operate within the milieu on which they’re working. QUESTION: Mark, but can you ask for some – I mean, this just seems bizarre to me. You’re giving this guy and his group $23 million. Yes, they do good work, they save lives, but you’ve revoked his visa for some reason and you won’t say why and it just doesn’t make any sense. Why is the U.S. taxpayer supporting a group whose leader you have banned from coming to the States? MR TONER: Well, I mean, look, I’m always willing to try to get more information. QUESTION: Please. MR TONER: In this case, I’m a bit restricted by the fact that this is -- QUESTION: Just – well, I know, but it just -- MR TONER: I can’t talk about a specific visa. QUESTION: To the average person, I don’t think this makes any sense. Anyway, I wanted to ask you about something else that you started with -- MR TONER: Sure.
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          Fiabe e Leggende dal Mondo   

Le fiabe accompagnano da sempre la crescita dei bambini, aiutandoli a sviluppare la capacità di immaginazione, arricchendone il vocabolario, facendo loro rivivere situazioni ed emozioni che fanno parte della vita quotidiana.

Questo libro vuole recuperare il ricco universo di storie provenienti da tutto il mondo, attraverso il fascino e la bellezza di racconti che hanno molto in comune con le fiabe classiche, scoprendo punti di vista, usanze, ambienti, personaggi di tante culture diverse.


  • L'uccello di fuoco (Russia)
  • Baba Jaga (Russia-Nord Europa)
  • Le avventure di Giufà e la leggenda di Cola Pesce (Mediterraneo)
  • Tin-ne-ah (Indiani d'America)
  • La giraffa vanitosa (Africa)
  • L'aquila pescatrice e il rospo (Africa)
  • Sassi o ossi (ebraica)
  • L'orco Nung-Guama (Cina)
  • I quattro dragoni (Cina)
  • La ragazza del melone (Giappone)
  • Il pesce Luna (Australia)
  • Il Grande Serpente e i costruttori di canoe (ISOLE Fiji)
  • Alì Babà e i quaranta ladroni (Arabia)


          Ninna-a! Ninna-o!   

Dormi bambino,
è giunta la stella della sera,
e l'agnellino, col tintinnar del campanello,
se ne torna piano a casa.

Questa raccolta unica, corredata da magnifiche illustrazioni, ci presenta ventinove ninnananne della tradizione orale mondiale: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brasile, Corea, Francia, Giamaica, Giappone, Groenlandia, India, Iran, Iraq, Italia, Malawi, Messico, Nigeria, Norvegia, Regno Unito, Repubblica Ceca, Russia, Spagna, Stati Uniti, Turchia, Ungheria.

Le ninnananne sono corredate anche da un testo a fronte in lingua originale e in appendice sono incluse le melodie con alcuni semplici accordi per chitarra.

È un libro prezioso, non solo per i genitori, ma per tutti.

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          La Montagna della Morte   

Nel gennaio 1959, dieci giovani sciatori esperti partirono per il Monte Otorten nell’estremo nord della Russia. Mentre uno di loro si ammalò e tornò indietro, i restanti nove componenti giunsero sul versante della montagna conosciuta come Kholat Syakhl, la ‘Montagna della Morte‘.

La notte del 1 febbraio 1959 qualcosa, o qualcuno, indusse gli sciatori a uscire precipitosamente e terrorizzati dalla loro tenda con ciò che avevano a dosso, ad una temperatura esterna di almeno -30°C.

Le ricerche iniziarono poco tempo dopo e i loro corpi, in alcuni casi, furono ritrovati con massicce lesioni interne ma senza segni esterni. L’autopsia dichiarò che le lesioni violente erano state causate da ‘una forza sconosciuta incontenibile‘.

La zona fu isolata per anni dalle autorità e gli eventi di quella notte rimangono ancora oggi inspiegabili e senza risposta.

In questo libro Keith McCloskey, attraverso una ricerca condotta direttamente in Russia e avvalendosi dei documenti e delle foto originali, ripercorre la vicenda in modo accurato e dettagliato proponendo al lettore le ipotesi ad oggi emerse per tentare di spiegare cosa sia successo ai nove giovani che persero quasi sessanta anni fa la vita nel misterioso ‘Incidente del passo Dyatlov‘.

          La Storia Segreta di Dracula   

Nella primavera del 1460 la città di Braşov fu vittima di «indicibili abusi, danni cui non si può porre rimedio, efferati omicidi, mutilazioni, pene», inflitti dall’infedele e crudele tiranno Dracula «seguendo gli insegnamenti del diavolo».

Così scriveva già allora un contemporaneo dell’uomo destinato a divenire uno dei più terribili simboli del male. La leggenda vuole che dopo aver impalato le sue vittime ne raccogliesse il sangue nel suo piatto. Le nefandezze di Vlad l’Impalatore furono in realtà un atto di legittima difesa per salvaguardare il suo regno? Furono dettate dalla sete di vendetta per la crudeltà con cui vennero uccisi il padre e il fratello? O furono piuttosto la manifestazione della furia sadica di un pazzo?

M. J. Trow analizza i miti e la realtà storica per svelarci chi fu davvero l’uomo il cui nome ha dato origine alla leggenda di Dracula il vampiro. Esamina i racconti pieni di terrore associati a questo personaggio già nel XVI secolo, per giungere al pallido conte delle creazioni letterarie di Bram Stoker, Sheridan Le Fanu e John Polidori e ai film della Hammer e della Universal Studios. Prima di loro, infatti, già le leggende popolari europee, dall’Irlanda alla Russia, avevano proposto racconti terrificanti di demoni assetati di sangue, di “morti viventi” che dormono nelle loro bare di giorno e di notte terrorizzano villaggi sperduti.

Un secolo e mezzo prima che Stoker scrivesse Dracula, epidemie vampiriche colpirono un’Europa sconcertata: il loro epicentro fu inevitabilmente la Transilvania...

Questo libro prende in esame le molte sfaccettature di Vlad tramandate dalla storia: l’Impalatore; il principe rinascimentale la cui reputazione fu infangata dai suoi nemici; l’eroe dal cavallo bianco che fece della Valacchia una nazione combattente e temeraria; il martire sconfitto imprigionato dal re ungherese Corvino. Queste pagine avvincenti rivelano la vera storia all’origine del mito e ci conducono nel cuore sanguinario e avvolto di mistero dell’Europa medievale.

«Non era molto alto, ma era di costituzione forte e tarchiata, il suo aspetto era freddo e terribile, il naso grande e aquilino, le narici costantemente dilatate e il viso magro e rossastro; le lunghissime ciglia incorniciavano i grandi occhi spalancati dall’aspetto minaccioso a causa delle folte sopracciglia nere. Il viso e il mento erano rasati a eccezione dei baffi. Fronte e tempie prominenti aumentavano le dimensioni del suo capo. Il collo taurino sosteneva una testa la cui nera e riccioluta chioma si adagiava sulle larghe spalle.»
Niccolò Modrussa a papa Pio II, 1466 circa

«Ecco la storia crudele e terribile di un uomo selvaggio e assetato di sangue, Dracula il voivoda. Di come impalò e arrostì gli uomini e li fece a pezzi come cavoli. Arrostì anche bambini e costrinse le madri a mangiarli. Molte altre cose sono scritte in questo libello, anche sulla terra su cui regnò.»

          La Più Grande Catastrofe di Tutti i Tempi   

È ormai noto a tutti che i dinosauri furono spazzati via 65 milioni di anni fa dalla caduta di un meteorite che uccise la metà delle specie allora viventi. Molto meno conosciuta è una catastrofe di dimensioni assai maggiori – la più grande di tutti i tempi – verificatasi 251 milioni di anni fa, alla fine del periodo Permiano. Quel cataclisma distrusse almeno il 90 per cento degli esseri viventi, sia in mare che sulla terraferma e rese il nostro pianeta un luogo freddo in cui l’aria scarseggiava, dove solo poche specie sopravvivevano a stento. Cosa provocò una distruzione di proporzioni così vaste e come rinacque la vita? Questo libro non si limita a descrivere quanto accadde in quel remoto passato, ma fa il punto sul riemergere del concetto di “catastrofismo”, che sembrava ormai abbandonato in seguito alla grande disputa sull’argomento degli inizi del xix secolo. Ormai gli scienziati concordano almeno sul fatto che il mondo sia stato sconvolto nel passato da giganteschi cataclismi. Ancora controversa invece è la causa della quasi totale estinzione della vita alla fine del Permiano: fu l’impatto con un enorme meteorite o con una cometa dal diametro di oltre dieci chilometri? O fu una lunga eruzione vulcanica in Siberia? L’autore, un addetto ai lavori, ci accompagna in queste pagine alla scoperta di una realtà affascinante, dalle ricerche geologiche sul campo in Groenlandia e in Russia, ai banchi dei laboratori in cui una quantità di scienziati sono al lavoro con un unico obiettivo assai ambizioso: fare luce sul pericolo più grave mai corso dal nostro pianeta. Anche perché, avverte Michael Benton, non si tratta di arcane teorie che interessano solo pochi scienziati. Capire le crisi di milioni di anni fa è oggi più che mai necessario per far fronte a quella – assai attuale – della biodiversità. Il passato oggi può essere davvero una guida per decidere il presente e il futuro della Terra.

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          Il Diamante Magico   

Un lungo racconto fiabesco in cui due fratelli gemelli sì contrappongono; l'uno coraggioso, leale, generoso, l'altro vile, traditore, egoista.

Tutta la vicenda si snoda sullo sfondo della Russia cristiana dei primordi, minacciata da oriente dall'invasione dei mongoli. Una catena segreta di solidarietà, formata da uomini fedeli, quanto misteriosi, contribuirà all'affermazione del bene, in mezzo a situazioni avventurose, dove il pericolo, dovuto anche a una natura forte e selvaggia, è sempre in agguato.

Un magico diamante, nascosto nelle vìscere della terra, sarà di valido aiuto al generoso "Cavaliere nero" per il trionfo della verità.

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          Was Russia behind Brexit? Did Le Pen fall on Vlad's sword? What will happen in Germany? THIS is your Senate Intelligence Committee hearing thread "Russian interference in Europe" edition. (10am ET start time) [Live]   
Live [link] [110 comments]

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