Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fwd: Ukraine/Poland

'In forging Turkey out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk warned his countrymen in 1923 that all they had accomplished hung in a most tenuous balance: "No matter how great they are, political and military victories cannot endure unless they are crowned by economic triumphs." Ninety years later, Atatürk's wisdom applies not just to Turkey at its inception but to all people, in all times, who seek to win and preserve freedom and independence.

There is no better modern example of the power of an economic triumph than the experience of Ukraine and Poland in the post-Cold War era. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the U.S.S.R., both nations—which emerged from Soviet domination with virtually identical economic and political systems—suddenly faced the rarest of Central European conditions: independence.


Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shooting of Michael Brown

Dorian Johnson's account


According to Michael Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown at the time, the police officer pulled up beside them and said, "Get the fuck on the sidewalk."[19][20][21][22][23] Johnson said the young men replied that they were "not but a minute away from [their] destination, and [they] would shortly be out of the street."[23]


Without saying anything further, Johnson states that the officer drove forward, only to abruptly back up, positioning his vehicle crossways in their path, almost hitting the two men. Said Johnson, "We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike's body and closed back on the officer."


At that point, the officer, still in his car, grabbed Brown through the open window around the neck. Brown tried to pull away, but the officer continued to pull Brown toward him.


According to Johnson, Brown "did not reach for the officer's weapon at all," insisting that Brown was attempting to get free of the officer rather than attempting to attack him or take his weapon from him.[24][25][26][27][28]


At that point, according to Johnson, the officer drew his weapon, and "he said, 'I'll shoot you' or 'I'm going to shoot,'" and almost instantaneously fired his weapon, hitting Brown.


Following the initial gunshot, Johnson said that Brown was able to free himself, at which point the two fled for their lives. The officer exited the vehicle, after which he fired a second shot, striking Brown in the back. At that point, according to Johnson, Brown turned around with his hands in the air and said, "I don't have a gun. Stop shooting!" The officer then shot Brown several more times, killing him.[29][30]

Piaget Crenshaw's account


Another witness, Piaget Crenshaw, said that from her vantage point, it appeared that the police officer and Brown were arm wrestling before the officer initially shot Brown from within his vehicle. The officer then chased Brown for about 20 feet before shooting him again. According to Crenshaw, when Brown then raised his arms in compliance, the officer shot him two more times killing him.[31][32][33]

Police account


In a news conference on August 10, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar stated, "The genesis of this [shooting incident] was a physical confrontation" during which Brown "physically assaulted the police officer."[1] According to Belmar, the officer attempted to exit his vehicle but was pushed back into the car by Brown, who then assaulted the officer inside the car. Brown then allegedly attempted to seize the officer's gun, which was fired at least once during the struggle. Belmar acknowledged that "more than a couple" of shots were fired in the course of the encounter.[1][34][35]


Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson later stated that the officer who shot Brown was injured in the incident.[36] The Ferguson City Police Department had declined to identify the officer involved in the shooting, who had been placed on administrative leave, but released Officer Wilson's name on August 15, 2014.[36] Dashboard cameras are not used in Ferguson police cars.[34]

Tiffany Mitchell's account


Witness Tiffany Mitchell, in an interview with St. Louis television news station KMOV, said she arrived in the area near the beginning of the altercation. She stated that she was watching as the first gun shot was fired while the police officer, but not Brown, was still in the vehicle, at which point she retrieved her cell phone in order to film the unfolding event.[37]


As Mitchell described events, "After the shot, the kid just breaks away. The cop follows him, kept shooting, the kid's body jerked as if he was hit. After his body jerked he turns around, puts his hands up, and the cop continues to walk up on him and continues to shoot until he goes all the way down."[37]

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fwd: Gaza

'Had the IDF been ordered to, it could have seized the whole of the
Gaza Strip in a week, and spent up to two years taking apart Hamas's
guerrilla army, but this has not been the goal of the operation thus
far, a senior military source said Sunday.

"Had we been ordered to defeat Hamas, we would have done it. We would
have drafted four divisions, evacuated the Gazan population from
battlegrounds, conquered the area and scanned it thoroughly.

It would take a week to take Gaza, and up to two years to destroy
terrorist infrastructure," the source said.

In such a scenario, "A guerrilla war would have started. This was not
the mission given to the IDF, and rightfully so," the source said.
"The IDF divided up Gaza dozens of times, most recently in Operation
Cast Lead [in 2009]. Every brigade can do it. The question is, what is
the aim?" The goal of the offensive was not to topple Hamas, but to
create a better security environment for Israel, the source

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fwd: Golf

'even a relatively sympathetic pundit like the Washington Post's Dana Milbank recently questioned whether it was wise for the 44th president to be tallying 180-plus rounds during his much-troubled tenure (compared with only 24 for George W. Bush in eight years), writing: "Is golf really so important that Obama is willing to handicap his political standing?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vid Angel service to stream movies minus swear words etc.

This ad is amusing.

I don't want to step on anybody's belief system.  If you think something is bad I understand, but I think that the words are only bad because we define them that way.  To me, the words are only bad if we use them to hurt someone else.   

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fwd: 9-10-2001

'Former President Bill Clinton, mere hours before the 9/11 terror
attack, openly acknowledged that he turned down a chance to kill Usama
bin Laden, according to a newly released recording.

The former president can be heard admitting this in a speech to
Australian business leaders on Sept. 10, 2001.

Until now, Clinton's eerie words had not been made public. But a
businessman who had access to the nearly 13-year-old recording handed
it over to Sky News Australia, which broadcast it in a report Monday.

"I'm just saying, you know, if I were Usama bin Laden -- he's a very
smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him -- and I nearly
got him once," Clinton said on the recording.

Tune in to Fox News' 'The Five' Thursday at 5 p.m. ET to hear the Clinton audio.

"I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to
destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300
innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than

"And so I didn't do it," he added.

Clinton had recently left office at the time of the speech.

This is not the first time that the notion was raised that the Clinton
administration had the opportunity to detain or even kill bin Laden,
but chose not to. Leading up to the final report of the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, otherwise
known as the 9/11 Report, there were conflicting testimonies and
information about whether the administration had taken Al Qaeda
threats seriously and had turned down a chance to have bin Laden
extradited to the U.S. on terrorism charges.

In the end, the 9/11 panel found that there were several missed
opportunities to go after bin Laden and Al Qaeda, including a point in
which the Central Intelligence Agency had tracked bin Laden to a
hunting camp in Afghanistan in 1999. The Clinton administration
declined to launch an attack for fear of hitting officials from the
United Arab Emirates, who were at the camp on a hunting trip.'

Debunking the Myths about Gaza

Utah cell phone law

The revised law — which went into effect in mid-May — still allows drivers to talk on cell phones, which is not regulated in Utah. As amended, it also allows for use of GPS apps and hands-free technologies. Prohibited are email, video and Internet surfing. Fines up to $100 for first offenders.

Fwd: Putin of Asia

Nobody tops Xi when it comes to irredentism, not even the fellow who called the breakup of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century and who is now doing all he can to reacquire former Soviet lands. Vladimir Putin is roiling one country—Ukraine—but China's supremo is now destabilizing an entire region, in a sweeping arc spanning China's south to its northeast.