Easy problem! Give the guy a visa and revoke it at the airport. “The Obama administration says Iran’s nomination of a former hostage-taker as its ambassador to the United Nations is "extremely troubling".” Charge him with abduction on US territory (the embassy in Iran), put a hood over his head, apply manacles and parade him before the press with lots of public speeches. Does the Lindbergh Law still work? Good. Use it.
First it was the NSA spying on everyone. Now the CIA runs rough-shod over the rights of citizens in USA“Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.” by searching and modifying PCs in USA. This is yet another example of absolute power corrupting absolutely. Did they think no one would notice important documents disappearing? In the middle of an investigation into other illegal acts?
It remains to be seen whether this will be hushed up but it’s hard to imagine the press letting this slip from their fangs. The press in USA does care about the constitution even if the current administration does not. It seems it’s time for a third party to come to power in USA. Clearly neither the Democrats nor Republicans are willing to do what is required to restore the constitution to its rightful place. With the gerrymandering of electoral districts, it will take a huge turnout at the next election to make a difference. Let’s see whether or not the press can build a big enough fire in the population. To save themselves, the Democrats will have to swing a double-edged sword through government and the Republicans had better let it happen. The Supremes will no doubt get a call to back legality.
I think a necessary and possibly sufficient action the West can take to restrain Russian involvement“All Awacs [Airborne Warning and Control System] reconnaissance flights will take place solely over alliance territory” in Ukraine is to admit Ukraine into NATO. The first steps appear to be under way and at the same time the Ukrainian government is visiting Washington D.C. Without this measure Putin will be free to advance into Ukraine as far as he wants under the guise of supporting a local uprising of Russian-leaning Ukrainians.
This could be working already as Russians are mining the approach to Crimea and digging in. AWACS, in case anyone does not know is a distributed airborne and land-integrated command and control system able to direct combat air patrol, close air support, interdiction, etc. largely through 360 degree radar coverage of huge areas. These have been deployed all over the world in troubled places. I saw them flying in Saudi Arabia back in the 1980s. They were instrumental in the First Gulf War and other adventures. This may not be a precursor to “boots on the ground”, but integrated with Ukrainian boots and NATO air-power it certainly is a real force-multiplier. Putin knows that. He knows that all his toys on the ground and even his naval forces could be wiped out in a day or two if NATO focusses on Crimea.
This is the kind of diplomacy Putin understands. It’s about time the West got its act together. If I were Obama, I would open up a big base in Ukraine and pull the boys and girls out of Afghanistan where they are not welcome to Ukraine where they will be welcome. You can bet Ukrainian recruits will not be trying to shoot them in the back and they would at last have a place where their armour and helicopters could rip Putin a new one pretty quickly. The “Americans” like a target-rich environment. Putin, for all his bluster, knows he can intimidate small countries but not NATO.
Once Ukraine is a part of NATO, a proper ultimatum can be given to Putin to pull out of Crimea. He denies presence so he cannot object to NATO assisting Ukraine in reasserting authority there. It will be interesting to see what Putin says when badgless citizens are rounded up and imprisoned for taking up arms against Ukraine. Then will they magically be Russian citizens instead of Ukrainian defenders?
Laws are the framework of a modern society. A consensus of the governed defining the rules that apply to all, the governed and the governing… News that the new constitution boycotted by a large portion of Egyptians has been adopted is deadly. This could lead to rebellion, terrorism or horrible repression in a country vital to the Arab and African world.
“The head of the Egypt Constitutional Committee described the turnout as "unprecedented" — 20 million people, representing 38.6% of those eligible to vote.”
No good can come of a situation where a military government has not the consent of the governed. Will Egypt wake up and back away from the precipice or will Egypt fall into a pit of violence and despair? Only Egyptians can decide and they don’t seem to be in a mood to talk about it.
China has become a powerhouse of industry. It’s part of everything we do these days. Consider shopping retail. I was looking for an item to buy as a Christmas present. I am cheap, really cheap…. A similar item in a local store cost much more and had fewer features than the Chinese model, so I ordered via AliBaba on December 1. The credit card was processed by December 2 and the item was shipped December 7. I received acknowledgement that delivery will be by tomorrow, December 19… I was worried it would be late for Christmas but it looks as if I will be OK.
Wow! My own “Black Friday” kind of excitement at my own pace and without leaving my chair… :-))
UPDATE Picked the package up at the post-office today. It was in excellent condition, exactly as advertized, and it worked perfectly. Way to go!
The USA calls their NSA, The National Security Agency. The NSA is not about security at all but insecurity. Spying on innocents is an act of war.“If all of the known National Security Agency surveillance wasn’t enough, the organization infected 50,000 computer networks with malware that could "steal sensitive information" according to new slides published by the Danish paper, NRC.” While the problem is huge, it is possible to fix. Every nation on Earth should be outraged by the USA and take these steps:
- Set up economic sanctions against USA including:
- Cashing in all treasury bonds from USA,
- Stop all interbank transfers just as the USA called for Iran,
- ban all trade in goods and services with the USA or USAian corporations,
- fork all FLOSS projects headquartered in USA if they will not voluntarily relocate,
- ban all software from Microsoft and “partners” headquartered in USA, including Google, whom we cannot trust if they are subject to USAian laws promoting NSA,
- prosecute for espionage all collaborators who helped NSA undermine communications and security globally,
- terminate all peace, military, cooperation and trade agreements with USA,
- block flights, trucks, shipments or vessels to or from USA, and
- bar entry to all persons bearing USAian passports.
- Seek out and undo all alterations of communications networks worldwide sponsored by the NSA, and
- Replace all satellites forming part of the global networks.
How long do you think the NSA would continue its reign of terror if the world stood up to the USA like this? Not even a few months. The NSA would be shut down by the very people who set it up out of their own sense of self-interest.
There is no love-loss between these two, probably going back to ancient times but certainly since before WWII. A few weeks ago there were rumours: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is considering setting up an air defense identification zone that would overlap with Japan’s over the East China Sea — a move that is likely to heighten tensions between the countries — according to an internal Chinese military document.” but now there is a map:
Here is the text of the associated announcement. “Issued by the Ministry of National Defense on November 23
The government of the People’s Republic of China announces the establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone in accordance with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on National Defense (March 14, 1997), the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Civil Aviation (October 30, 1995) and the Basic Rules on Flight of the People’s Republic of China (July 27, 2001). The zone includes the airspace within the area enclosed by China’s outer limit of the territorial sea and the following six points: 33o11′N (North Latitude) and 121o47′E (East Longitude), 33o11′N and 125o00′E, 31o00′N and 128o20′E, 25o38′N and 125o00′E, 24o45′N and 123o00′E, 26o44′N and 120o58′E.”
This could be just tit-for-tat because Japan’s “identification zone” extends towards China past the midline on the ocean. The reality is that China is powerful, united and resourceful. China has nothing to fear from Japan. Dreams of empire died decades ago in Japan. It’s time both countries accepted reality and agreed to live and let live. China needs to treat Phillipines, and other neighbours well too. Just because China is strong there is no reason to be a bully. China should relax a bit and enjoy peaceful prosperity. They earned it by hard work over a century. So did others.
Saudi Arabia is an interesting country. Hammered out of nomadic tribal regions living a Stone Age existence in the 1920s with Islam as a unifying force, Saudi Arabia has one foot in the Middle Ages and another in the 21st century. Women are getting restless there because they have to depend on the men of the family to go to work or to shop or just to travel from A to B according to custom. Since the Gulf War when women drove while the men were called to military duty, the restlessness has increased. Expect news today as a protest by women is being organized. I can tell you from experience that Saudi women organized is a force to be reckoned with. Prohibition may just kindle a bigger fire…
At a time when Saudi Arabia is breaking its long history of collaboration with USA over Syria and Egypt, unrest on the home front is not something the leadership will want to deal with. I predict some compromise after some token of enforcement. The old guard in Saudi Arabia is on its last legs and Saudi Arabia will emerge as a modern democratic society. The only question is how long it will take. Saudis are patient and persistent. So are their women.
This is more than an echo of the “Arab Spring”, all over the world the old guard is dying off. USSR became the Russian Republic, women are running more governments, Africa is healing from centuries of imperialism, USA keeps getting younger,more idealistic leaders and representatives (not necessarily a good thing in the case of the Tea Party, but at least they stir the pot), social media are having important influences, and news is immediate so cumbersome bureaucracies cannot respond promptly to changes. Governments responding to change expose their vulnerabilities. This empowers individuals and minorities who find they are not alone. Change is good often but not always. We live in interesting times.
“The authorities in Saudi Arabia have stepped up warnings to women not to defy a ban on female drivers by taking part in a mass driving protest.”
Just when I have my snowblower tuned up for some heavy lifting the weather-people predict below average snowfall here. Bah! They’re probably wrong as usual. I need at least enough to replenish the ground water and to help me slide a big buck out of the bush next month.
“Partly as a consequence of the US Government shutdown, there are presently more than two hundred .gov websites using expired SSL certificates. Although the shutdown is expected to be a short term measure, the widespread use of expired certificates on .gov sites may cause long term harm. The US Government is effectively training its citizens and employees to click through SSL warnings, and once the users of a website treat SSL error messages as normal, attackers may be able to perform otherwise difficult man-in-the-middle attacks.”
Government Of the People, is what they call themselves, but they are really economic terrorists doing real harm to the country they claim proudly as their own, damaging it hundreds of ways by their absurd tactics. Typically of terrorist groups, the Republicans are indoctrinating their young that they should kill them all and let God sort them out. Perverting the power of the USAian government, the Republicans are harming war-widows, small businesses, veterans, the ill, the poor and the young. Bastards!
Holding a bird too tightly has two likely outcomes: the bird dies or the bird escapes, never to return. That could happen to the Internet if it is not pried out of the claws of USA soon. The same could happen to international commerce and finance.
“post-NSA revelations, the United States has lost its standing as the Internet’s defender. Instead, it has been revealed that as a country we have systematically worked to undermine its encryption, and the inherent privacy that it grants users.
Instead of keeping the Internet safe, we have built an industry designed on its subversion. And now the Internet is ready to break up with us.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The world is primed to sanction USA for all its insanity: global terrorism, the war on just about everything, spying, failure of its government to budget or even operate and soon, failure of its government to pay its bills. Unfortunately, my country, Canada is welded at the hip to USA and may well be sucked under by the turbulence when USA sinks. I was looking forward to a peaceful retirement but now it looks as though I may have to return to the bush just to survive. Good luck to the rest of you.
“It means that they may go broke. They may have that extra financial stress on an already stressed life. It could be, in worst case scenario, a suicide spike; emotional stability drops. I mean, we’re talking about a population of veterans that are not seeking out the mental health care they so desperately need.”
So, the veterans are complaining and will march on Washington… They are not the only ones who should do that. If one million marchers won’t change the government, perhaps ten million will. In a modern society integrated globally with many other modern societies, IT IS INSANE TO SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT. If the politicians elected last time don’t see that, it’s time to start over. Citizens should demand a new election and the opportunity to turf the bastards out. Those politicians are little more than terrorist scum using dollars instead of bullets and bombs. People did not vote them in to shut down the government. They voted them in to run the government.
When a government does not have the consent of the governed it’s time for change. If citizens can’t have an election they should form a new constitutional convention and explicitly limit the powers of the politicians to prevent such madness from ever happening again and start the whole damned thing over again. RESET if recall isn’t enough. The world, the USA and all its individuals cannot wait for the damned politicians to get their act together. The government was not set up to enhance the power/prestige of politicians but to do the things which are best done collectively by and for the people. Apparently the powers that be have forgotten that or they hope citizens have forgotten.