Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fwd: Russia

A Russian guard asked a political prisoner, "What is your sentence?" 

"Ten years." 
"What for?" 
"For nothing." 
"What a lie! For nothing they give only five years."...more

See More


A woman walks into a Russian food store. "Do you have any meat?" 
"No, we don't." 
"What about milk?" 
"We only deal with meat. Across the street there is that store where they have no milk."...more




A man walks into a Russian green grocer and inquires about the price of beets. When told that they cost 2 rubles, the shopper yells "you're a thief. Across the street they sell beets for 1/2 a ruble. 
The grocer tells the man that he can't match the price and tells the man to go across the street to shop. 
The man replies, "are you crazy? He hasn't had beets in months."


Have you heard about the new Obama diet? 
You let Putin eat your lunch everyday. 


Fwd: economics

'Since the dawn of capitalism, closed societies with repressive governments have — much like China — been capable of remarkable growth and innovation. Sixteenth-century Spain was a great imperial power, with a massive navy and extensive industry such as shipbuilding and mining. One could say the same thing about Louis XIV's France during the 17th century, which also had vast wealth, burgeoning industry and a sprawling empire.

But both countries were also secretive, absolute monarchies, and they found themselves thrust into competition with the freer countries Holland and Great Britain. Holland, in particular, with a government that didn't try to control information, became the information center of Europe — the place traders went to find out vital information which they then used as the basis of their projects and investments. The large empires, on the other hand, had economies so centrally planned that the monarch himself would often make detailed economic decisions. As these secretive monarchies tried to prop up their economies, they ended up in unsustainable positions that invariably led to bankruptcy, collapse and conflict.

In Spain, the result was a slow collapse, which has left it and its former empire suffering from perpetual economic crisis and political instability. In France, an open society would eventually be born through monarchial bankruptcy that pulled down banks around Europe, and ended in violent revolution and the vastly destructive Napoleonic wars.'

Fwd: Coming this April

"Peace is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading."
- Robert Ingersoll

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


'The letter, presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was signed by Tesla's Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis and professor Stephen Hawking along with 1,000 AI and robotics researchers.

The letter states: "AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high:'

Musk and Hawking have warned that AI is "our biggest existential threat" and that the development of full AI could "spell the end of the human race". But others, including Wozniak have recently changed their minds on AI, with the Apple co-founder saying that robots would be good for humans, making them like the "family pet and taken care of all the time".

Re: China

On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 7:05 PM, <larry.r.trout@l> wrote:

'To understand China's predicament, Mr. Dollar compared its experience with some of the best known stories of successful economic development of the last half-century: Japan, which reached China's income level per capita in the early 1970s; Taiwan, which passed this threshold in the early 1980s; and South Korea, which hit it around 1990.

What is most striking is not how all three countries followed quite similar paths, but how China's trajectory has diverged from the others'.

Household spending was always the main source of demand in all three, declining gradually to about 50 percent of gross domestic product when they were about as rich as China is today. Investment rates, which rose sharply in the early stages of their development, peaked at that time at around 35 percent of G.D.P.

By these metrics, China's economy is upside down: Consumer spending by households is only 35 percent of the nation's G.D.P. — one of the lowest levels in the world. Its investment rate — nearly 50 percent of G.D.P. — is extraordinarily high. And the productivity of this investment is dismal.'


​China is one of the worst countries in the world about letting workers keep the fruits of the labor.  Factories, many of which are owned by the military, pay low wages.  Farmers are paid for their commodities submarket prices fixed by the government.  The government is essentially stealing from the poor.

Fwd: Afghanistan

'The district of Musa Qala fell after the Taliban over-ran police and army posts in an offensive that lasted several days. Three U.S. air strikes on Saturday killed up to 40 militants, but they regrouped and chased government officials out of town.

Elsewhere in Helmand, two men in military uniforms opened fire in the former British base of Camp Bastion, killing two NATO soldiers.

In the first summer fighting season since foreign troops formally stepped back from combat roles in the Afghan war, the Taliban have pushed into a number of districts but have struggled to hold them when the Afghan army counter-attacks.'

Fwd: newborns

'According to the US Census Bureau data and the Pew Research center an estimated 340,000…were babies of unauthorized immigrants. That's 8 percent of the entire newborn population in this country…

Of the 1,130,818 immigrants who were granted legal permanent residency in 2009, a total of 747,413 were family sponsored immigrants -- 66 percent.'

Fwd: Russia

'Cheap oil, however, didn't destroy the Soviet empire: Communism did. Putin's Russia is more oil-dependent than its predecessor, but it isn't bound by ideology or principle, and that may help the regime stay in power.

The Soviet Union was a strange kind of petrostate. In 1985, fuel accounted for 52.7 percent of its exports. But only 24.7 percent of the exported crude, 61.6 percent of oil products and 45 percent of natural gas were sold for hard currency, in other words, at market prices. The rest was supplied to Comecon countries for "transfer rubles," the Soviet Bloc's common currency, or was bartered to other nations within the Soviet orbit. Satellite countries were able to obtain oil and gas in exchange for goods the Soviet Union didn't particularly need. This was, in effect, a system of subsidies.

Much of the hard currency earned by exports to the capitalist world was used to purchase grain. The collectivization of farming under Stalin and the subsequent decline of Soviet agriculture turned Russia from the No. 1 grain exporter into the biggest importer. '


Fwd: Britain

'IT IS hard to exaggerate the chaos of the Labour Party in the 1980s. It once held a press conference to announce that Michael Foot was still party leader. Visitors to Walworth Road, recalls Tom Watson, now a party grandee, were "met at the front door by two striking miners and their table full of Davy lamps and buckets of shrapnel" and treated to harmonica recitals of "The Red Flag". On Peter Mandelson's first day as head of communications one colleague tried to kill another with poison.

This was a time when the party strayed far into the electoral wilderness, then succumbed to years of infighting as modernisers like Mr Mandelson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown wrenched it away from the loony left and led it back to power after 18 years in opposition. Three decades on, however, one of the losers in that battle—Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left MP for Islington North—is on the verge of winning the party leadership. Once more a period of introspection and infighting looms.'

Fwd: streaming

'Annual U.S. sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs has fallen from a high of $20.2 billion a decade ago to around $10 billion, according to data from the Digital Entertainment Group, while the Recording Industry Assocation of America reports shipments of CDs fell from $13.2 billion in 2000, to $1.9 billion last year.

In response, the city of Chicago is experimenting with having local taxes collected on cloud computing services and streaming music and video. Other state governments like Tennessee and Idaho are experimenting with new taxes as well….

Yahoo Finance's Michael Santoli says while the Netflixs of the world may not like it, it's not surprising that these tax schemes are arising. "Many [local goverments] have done it under the guise of 'you can tax services as well,' so I do think that it's a very predictable thing when you see these municipalities losing revenue from a big consumer area and essentially trying to replace that."'

Fwd: 26%

'The latest analysis of the so-called "Cadillac tax" on rich medical plans projects one in four employers offering health benefits "could be affected" by the regulation in 2018 if they don't make changes to their benefit structures…

Starting in 2018, employers pay a 40% tax on costs of health plans that are above $10,200 per individual and $27,500 for family coverage.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, which looked at a sampling of nearly 2,000 employers that range in size from more than 5,000 workers to fewer than five employees, said the tax could impact even more employers as their costs rise. Kaiser researchers said nearly one-third, or 30%, of employers could be affected by 2023, rising to 42% of employers in 2028'

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


'Almost 80,000 people had by Monday signed a petition urging the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes when he visits London next month.


The petition was launched earlier this month by British citizen Damian Moran and is posted on the government's website.

"Under international law he (Netanyahu) should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014," Moran said, referring to the 51-day offensive by Israeli forces in Gaza last year.

If the number of signatories reaches 100,000, the petition can be considered for debate in Britain's parliament. '

Fwd: China

'China's central bank on Tuesday cut its benchmark interest rate and freed banks to lend more, the latest signs of the government's growing distress over slumping stocks and slowing economic growth.

The central bank's action came after a global stock market rout in which China's markets led the declines. The main Shanghai share index plunged another 7.6 percent on Tuesday, to its lowest level this year. That brought its three-day decline to 22 percent and signaled that two months' worth of attempts by the government to prop up stock prices had limited effects.

In an aggressive two-part move on Tuesday, the central bank lowered the benchmark lending and deposit rates by 0.25 of a percentage point. It also cut the so-called reserve requirement ratio for the amount of cash that banks are required to hold in reserve by 0.5 of a percentage point. It was China's fifth interest rate cut since November, and the fourth reduction of the reserve ratio since February. The central bank made a similar tandem cut to both rates in June, when the stock market first began to fall from its peak, but that reduction of the reserve ratio did not apply to the biggest banks.'

Monday, August 24, 2015

Trump’s immigration plan could spell doom for the GOP

It would be nice if we could live in a world with open borders.  However, in the current world, open borders would open the floodgates for people coming here.  We currently have about 50 million hispanics who have legally and illegally immigrated to the United States.  Maybe that this is O.K., but how many more would come if the border were completely open?  Would we say that another 50 million is O.K.?  How about another 100 or 200 million?  

In short, if we had open borders, people would flood here en masse until such time that the United States was no longer a more desirable a place to live than the places that these people are coming from.  It would strain our resources and make the competition for jobs so great that wages would be depressed.  It would import poverty and the problems associated with it.  It would also change our culture.

In short, you have to set some finite limit on immigration.  And what is the point of having laws if you don't enforce them?

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, August 21, 2015

Black Lives Matter Declares Minnesota State Fair Racist, Plans to Disrupt

Sale Of Aborted-Baby Organs Must Stop

Fwd: EW

'Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia's jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as "eye-watering."…

In contrast with the US, Russia has large units dedicated to electronic warfare, known as EW, which it dedicates to ground electronic attack, jamming communications, radar and command-and-control nets…

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fwd: Loophole

'The Tony Soprano Enabling Act

Labor gangsterism—mob-run labor unions that loot pension funds, make back-room deals with both politicians and companies that favor union management over workers, and support crooked big city machines as part of a strategy to keep law enforcement at bay—is one of America's oldest union traditions. How important has the mob been in labor history? Ask Jimmy Hoffa, if you can find him.

Now, a recent rash of minimum wage laws have created a huge new opportunity for mafia enrichment: laws that hike the minimum wage to utterly unrealistic levels, but allow companies to pay less than the minimum wage—if the low wages are part of a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union. WSJ:

More than 20 U.S. cities and counties, recently including Los Angeles and Kansas City, Mo., have set minimum wages above state and federal levels. Some will eventually reach more than twice the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.

In at least a half-dozen of those communities, the pay-floor ordinances include a provision allowing unions to waive the wage mandates as part of a collective-bargaining agreement.…

the real answer is the exemptions create an incentive to force companies like hotels and fast food chains to recognize labor unions precisely so they can keep labor costs down..

One way to stop that would be for state governments to intervene and outlaw minimum wage laws that offer labor loopholes. There should not be two classes of workers in American states, and private organizations like labor unions should not be able to grant exemptions to public laws.'


Immigration excuses

Fwd: Iran

'Wednesday's bombshell from the Associated Press. The news service reports that Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors at the secret Parchin nuclear site under its secret side agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This is a new one in the history of arms control. Parchin is the military complex long suspected as the home of Iran's nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile development.

Fwd: 14th

'The author of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."'

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fwd: China

'Southeast Asian nations want China to stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, a regional official said Tuesday, but China insisted it has a right to continue the activity.

Le Luong Minh, secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said ASEAN foreign ministers expressed concerns in a meeting Tuesday over massive Chinese island-building activities that have escalated tensions in the area.

the amount of land reclaimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan in the disputed area over the last 45 years totals 40 hectares (100 acres), a fraction of the more than 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) reclaimed by China in the last 18 months alone.'

Fwd: Power

"Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is imposing the Clean Power Plan on all fifty states, requiring each state to close down coal-burning electric plants, and shift to other sources of electricity — natural gas burning plants, nuclear plants, solar and wind power generators — in order to reduce carbon emissions by one third... But nationwide, about 40 percent of electric power is produced by coal plants. Forcing these utilities to close will burn consumers with higher electric bills. It will also send hundreds of thousands of jobs a year up in smoke, as employers pay more to operate their businesses, according to Heritage Foundation economists.

And for what? The purported benefit is to avoid an imperceptible 0.02 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by the year 2100. That's the official EPA estimate of the benefits of this Clean Air Plan. You must be kidding.


Fwd: China

'The death toll from last Wednesday's multiple blasts in the New Binhai district remained 114 yesterday, but is expected to rise sharply over the next few days, with officials admitting it is unlikely any of the 60 missing people will be found alive.

A majority of those killed are understood to be firefighters first on the scene and engulfed by a much larger second explosion. Many were aged just 17 and earned less than 3000 renminbi ($640) a month.


'Deputy head Dong Shexuan is the son of a former police chief of Tianjin port.

"My connections is in police and fire. When we needed a fire inspection, I went to meet officials at the Tianjin port fire squad. I gave them the files and soon they gave me the appraisal," Dong said, according to Xinhua.

The warehouse was storing hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide, far more than legally allowed, it has emerged.

Ted Cruz’s Secret Trump Strategy

Fwd: Iran

'Despite a five-year ban on arms shipments to Iran under the nuclear agreement announced last month, Russia appears willing to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the country -- in a development triggering objections from the Obama administration.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fwd: Germany

'Germany to expect 750,000 refugees in 2015 - reports

The numbers are far higher than the record 438,000 asylum applications in 1992 during the Bosnian crisis.

Few arrivals from Balkan countries such as Albania or Kosovo are granted asylum in Germany and the government in Berlin is currently considering measures aimed at discouraging Balkan migrants from arriving.'

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fwd: Temple Mount

'Palestinian religious leaders – both Muslims and Christians – signed a declaration stating that Jews have no right to enter the Temple Mount at a press conference in east Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The declaration, titled "the Blessed Aksa Mosque Document" and signed by scores of religious figures, expressed their objections to Israeli and Jordanian understandings that allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount and to claims that the two countries had agreed to jointly supervise archeological excavations at the holy site.

The declaration was initiated by the Islamic Supreme Commission, which is headed by former Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri.

The Israeli presence in Jerusalem, the sheikh emphasized, was an "illegal occupation," and added that Israel has no sovereignty over the Aksa Mosque.

Sabri told journalists at the press conference that the Aksa Mosque, as well as all the area surrounding it and above and beneath it, was "purely and exclusively sacred to Muslims."

Neither Jews nor any other party had any right to the site, "not even one grain of soil," he said, adding that entering the site is considered an incursion of Palestinian Muslim rights.'


Fwd: Iran

'Just two weeks after Western nations and Tehran struck a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, the Pentagon says Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 new Patriot missile interceptors.


The $5 billion-plus purchase is likely just the first of many more as America's Middle Eastern allies arm themselves in response to the nuclear deal, which would lift Iran's conventional-arms embargo sanctions in five years and sanctions on long-range missile projects in eight.


"We're going to see more of this," Karako said. "So long as the Iranian missile threat exists, GCC and other countries in the region are going to have to invest in counters offensive and defensive."




Fwd: China

'The Obama administration has warned Beijing about the presence of Chinese agents in the United States who are secretly attempting to pressure prominent expatriates to return home to China immediately.


The Obama administration's warning to Beijing is likely to increase tensions between the two countries ahead of an official visit by President Xi Jingping to Washington next month.'

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fwd: China

'One of the hottest reads among Washington national security experts this summer is not the latest White House policy document or a big report from an influential think tank, but a novel by two of the national security community's own: Peter Singer and August Cole. Their book, "Ghost Fleet," is a riveting thriller in the Tom Clancy tradition. Much of the attention it is getting is due to its explanation of cutting-edge military technology, but it is also captivating—and important—because its core scenario is one that every policymaker and policy expert fears: a major war between the United States and China.

Fwd: France

'In A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France, Emile Chabal, currently a chancellor's fellow in history at the University of Edinburgh, proposes that we look beyond the policy arena to the political culture. What he sees there is an opposition between two traditions, one "republican" and statist in orientation, the other "liberal" and focused on civil society. (American readers may be amused, not to say confused, by the association of "republican" with strong central government and "liberal" with society and the market.) Republicans, in Chabal's telling, insist that citizens must abandon all "particularistic" allegiances (pertaining to religion, ethnicity, and economic interest) when they enter the "universalistic" public arena. For republicans, the state shapes culture and society, especially through the public schools. By contrast, liberals accord primacy to civil society in shaping the state. Republicanism, as we will see, is therefore hostile to multiculturalism, whereas liberalism tolerates and even encourages it…'

Fwd: e-mail

'Chinese cyber-spies are reading the private email accounts of Obama administration officials and other "national security" figures, in an operation first code-named the "Dancing Panda", it has been revealed.

A National Security Agency briefing from 2014 showed that the intrusion was first detected in April 2010, and the attacks are still ongoing, according to a senior intelligence official who spoke to NBC.

Fwd: detainers

'A California toddler fighting for her life Thursday after a brutal beating at the hands of an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record is the latest case to rile California sheriffs and police against a U.S. immigration policy they say is forcing them to release dangerous criminals out on the street.

The issue, says Parkinson and dozens of other sheriffs and police chiefs across California and Arizona, is that, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement routinely asks departments to hold prisoners like Chavez until they can take custody of them for deportation, the local law enforcement officials believe doing so will expose them to lawsuits.


'Before her death earlier this year, American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped by the top leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to counter-terrorism officials.'

Thursday, August 13, 2015

All the President's Certitudes.

'One might have thought that, by now, the president and his advisers would be chastened by experience. Al Qaeda is "on a path to defeat" (2012). Bashar Assad's "days are numbered" (2011). "If you like your current insurance, you can keep that insurance. Period, end of story" (2009). Russia and the U.S. "are not simply resetting our relationship but also broadening it" (2010). Yemen is an example of a counterterrorist strategy "we have successfully pursued . . . for years" (2014).'

Fwd: China

'Global markets fell Tuesday after China unexpectedly devalued its yuan currency amid weaker economic growth.


Beijing's devaluation of the yuan allowed it to fall by its biggest one-day margin in a decade. The central bank said the 1.9% decline was due to changes aimed at making the way it sets exchange rates more market-oriented. The U.S. dollar also gained against the yen, Indian rupee, South Korean and other Asian currencies.'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fwd: $100 million

'According to federal officials, the defendants made a combined $100 million in illegal profits. The group includes two Ukrainian men who are believed to be the hackers, plus 30 other people from the U.S. and elsewhere who made the stock traders

The SEC initially filed fraud charges under seal on Aug. 10 in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J. The Justice Department announced criminal charges against several of the same defendants, including the alleged hackers, Ivan Turchynov and Oleksandr Ieremenko.

The Ukrainian men are said to have led the scheme over a five-year period. They hacked at least two newswire services, stealing hundreds of corporate earnings announcements before they were released.

The two hackers created a secret location on the Internet to send stolen data to traders in Russia, the Ukraine, Malta, Cyprus, France, and three U.S. states: Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania. In some cases, the traders shared a portion of their illicit profits with the hackers.'


'The Islamic State group released a video Monday showing the brutal execution of Afghan tribesman by detonating explosives they had positioned earlier underground.

In the video, the men, wearing traditional tribal clothes and with blindfolds around their heads are made to kneel in front of machine gun-toting jihadists clothed fully in black.

A scene that was filmed earlier showed the Islamic State fighters burying explosives in mounds on which the captives would later sit.

The men were accused by the so-called Khorasan province of the Islamic State of collaborating with the Taliban and Pakistan's intelligence agency against the Sunni jihadist group that aims to establish a global caliphate'


Fwd: 5%

'"We Democrats believe that our economy can and must grow at an average rate of 5% annually, almost twice as fast as our average annual rate since 1953....We shall bring in added Federal tax revenues by expanding the economy itself." -- 1960 Democratic Party Platform

"We will continue to use tax policy to maintain steady economic growth by helping through tax reduction to stimulate the economy when it is sluggish." – 1968 Democratic Party Platform

"We reject ..the big government theory that says we and spend our way to prosperity..We honor business as a noble endeavor." -- 1992 Democratic Party Platform

"Today's Democratic Party knows that the era of big government is over. Big bureaucracies and Washington solutions are not the real answers to today's challenges. We need a smaller government." – 1996 Democratic Party Platform

"We have ended the era of big government; it's time to end the era of old government…Democrats believe in supporting the startups, the small businesses, and the entrepreneurs that are making the New Economy go." -- 2000 Democratic Party Platform

"We promise to cut taxes for 98% of Americans…We believe the private sector, not government, is the engine of economic growth and job creation."  -- 2004 Democratic Party Platform

"The American people do not want government to solve all our problems..We will shine a light on government spending." -- 2008 Democratic Party Platform

"What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist? I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think?"--MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)

"The difference between….the real question is what's the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican." -- Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), avoiding Matthews' question

Five years after the immaculate recovery declared by Vice President Joe Biden in the summer of 2010, the U.S. still faces dismal job and wage growth, with more small businesses shuttering than opening, a first for the U.S. economy since the Carter Administration.

What could fix all that?

For the Democrats to stop their identity crisis and return to their economic growth plans built on their small government, low-tax platforms.'

Fwd: Greece

'The Greek government said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal with its international creditors for a third bailout, though a number of European officials expressed caution.

The rescue plan, outlined in a 20-hour negotiating session in an Athens hotel, would provide aid worth up to 86 billion euros, or about $94.4 billion, to Greece in exchange for harsh austerity terms. It also acknowledged that the economy has been so severely damaged that it is now likely to wallow in recession through at least next year.

But whether the accord would satisfy Germany, or be ratified by other European governments in time to send Greece new aid to make a crucial €3.2 billion payment to the European Central Bank on Aug. 20, remained to be seen.

Martin Chaudhuri, a spokesman for the German Finance Ministry, said that Berlin had not yet been notified of an agreement. Should a deal emerge, "we are ready to evaluate it quickly," he said.

"What we have is a technical-level agreement," Annika Breidthardt, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, told a daily news conference on Tuesday, referring to the negotiations with the government in Athens. "What we don't have at the moment is a political agreement."'

Fwd: Nice Guys

'Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: "If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill." (2000)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region." (2001)

Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: "If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." (2002)

Nasrallah: "Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: 'Death to Israel.'" (2005)

Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps: "With God's help the time has come for the Zionist regime's death sentence." (2008)

Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei's representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: "We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust." (2010)

Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: "We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time while arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases." (2011)

Khamenei: "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed." (2012)

Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: "The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel." (2013)

Nasrallah: "The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world." (2013)

Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: "The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base." (2013)

Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's representative in the Revolutionary Guard: "The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction." (2013)

Khamenei: "This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated." (2014)

Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: "We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat." (2014)

Salami: "Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth." (2014)

Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: "The issue of Israel's destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader [Khamenei] on the issue of destroying the Zionists. The region will not be quiet so long as Israel exists in it ..." (2014)

Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: "The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime ... We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region's geopolitics." (2015)'

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fwd: What's the difference

'Socialism, according to, is defined as: "A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."


'In 2010 the U.S. Treasury Department linked Mr. Soleimani to the failed Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States while he dined in a D.C. restaurant.

"Qassem Soleimani is the one who has been exporting malign activities throughout the Middle East for some time now" 


Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Quds Force that is tied to terrorist activity and reports directly to the supreme leader, recently visited Moscow to meet with … Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin'

Fwd: Russian oil

'Russia has lots of oil, but in a weird twist of fate, the nation could soon run dangerously low on gasoline.

The head of Russia's biggest oil company is warning that the world's second largest oil producing nation could soon face a fuel shortfall.

Rosneft's Igor Sechin predicts that Russia's gasoline shortage could reach 5 million tonnes a year by 2017. It produced around 38 million tonnes of gasoline in 2014, according to the energy ministry.

The expected shortfall is a result of many factors, including new tax rules, a weakening economy and Western sanctions that are hurting Russia's oil refining businesses. This is pushing fuel prices up, even as oil prices have plunged.

Fwd: Energy

'When politicians propose a new policy, such as Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's plans to outlaw one third of US CO2 emissions in the next 15 years, it is always worth asking: Has this been tried before? And what happened when it was?

The answer is: a much, much milder version of the Obama-Clinton plan has been tried in Germany—and it has already impoverished millions.

Fwd: Coal

'Some 1,200 coal plants are planned across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India, according to the World Resources Institute…

• "The U.S. is dropping coal plants at an unprecedented rate, but still nowhere near as quickly as India is adding them," Bloomberg Business reckons.

"By the end of this year, some 7.5% of the U.S. coal fleet will have disappeared ... . But by 2020 India may have built about 2.5 times as much capacity as the U.S. is about to lose."

Then, of course, there's the world's biggest coal addict by far — the People's Republic of China


Lawson's calculations of how coal use is growing in China are jaw-dropping


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Obama's speech on the Iran deal.

Of the two videos I found, this one had the best video quality.  Unfortunately, the speech doesn't start until 1 hour and 15 minutes into the video.
Here Obama does a good job of highlighting the different choices.  As a result, he seems to make a really good case for his agreement with Iran.
I think that the opposition considers Iran to be completely untrustworthy and an ongoing threat.

Is Jeb Bush Turning Into Michael Dukakis?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015


'An illegal immigrant suspected of murdering one woman, wounding another and attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl was released earlier this month by Ohio sheriff's deputies after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents told them not to hold him, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Juan Emmanuel Razo, 35, was arrested Monday after a shootout with police following a crime spree police say began with the attempted rape of a girl in a park in Painesville, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland. He later shot a woman in front of her children and murdered a 60-year-old woman in nearby Concord Township, according to police. While Razo is being held on $10 million bond, authorities are trying to explain why he was allowed to remain in the U.S. illegally after local authorities questioned him just three weeks ago.



A machine at China's National University of Defense Technology in Guangzhou, called Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2) is thought to currently be the fastest supercomputer in existence — variously reported as doing either 34 or 55 petaflops (1 petaflop is equivalent to 1 quadrillion floating-point operations per second).

The executive order, issued by Obama on Wednesday, would set up a body known as the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) to research and build what is hoped to become the first machine to hit 1 exaflop, equivalent to 1,000 petaflops…

But Industry Tap notes that such a machine would require 200 megawatts of power (compared with 3 megawatts for the current-generation machines). That means "a power plant would be required to run it."

​<Insert joke about global warming here.>

The president's executive order is just the latest salvo in something of an international supercomputer arms race that has broken out in recent years


The question on my mind is why do they need it?  I wonder if the Chinese machine would be sentient with the right software running on it?​


100-petaflop machine is being developed in the U.S. and is expected to be ready by 2017

​But can I play Candy Crush on it?​

Fwd: Iran

"He basically said, if Congress votes this down, there will be some saber-rattling and some chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran will come back to the table to negotiate again and that would be to our advantage," Sanchez told me in an interview. "He thought if the Congress voted it down, that we could get a better deal."…

 They all say that if the Congress doesn't lift U.S. sanctions, the rest of the international regime will collapse and allied countries will rush to do business in Iran. That would make the U.S. sanctions moot and put U.S. businesses at a disadvantage, the argument goes.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fwd: Xeon

'China's Tianhe-2 is the world's fastest supercomputer with a theoretical peak speed of 54.9 petaflops. It was scheduled to be expanded, and reach a new peak speed of 100 petaflops this year.

Now those plans may be in jeopardy. The U.S. government claims the Tianhe-2 has been used in "nuclear explosive activities," and has banned Intel from shipping its Xeon chips to four related Chinese supercomputing centers.

"I think the U.S. doesn't want the Tianhe-2 to reach 100 petaflops," said Zhang Yunquan, a professor at the Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences, who also keeps track of China's top supercomputers. '


'Until recently, Turkey was an emerging market darling. In 2010, its economy was growing at a robust 9.2 percent. But by 2013, GDP growth had fallen to 4.1 percent. The slowdown has continued, and growth for 2015 is now forecast at 3.1 percent, which may actually be a generous estimate. Unemployment in the country has reached 11 percent, the highest rate in 5 years...


Turkey was a secular Muslim country for nearly a century until 2002, when Erdogan's Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) rose to power.


Turkey is currently providing shelter for nearly 2 million Syrian refugees, and that figure is projected to rise another 500,000 by the end of 2015...

​  ​
The problem is the cost—Ankara estimates that it has spent nearly $5.6 billion on refugees since the beginning of the crisis…


Fwd: Montana

'FBI agents say Deniz, a Mexican national and green card holder, "admitted to shooting three people with a .22-caliber rifle and then driving away from the scene in the victim's vehicle."

"Deniz told the interviewing agents that he shot the victims because he was getting tired of waiting around, and because the daughter laughed at him."