Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Can anyone at the New York Times write the English language.

I'm not much of a fan of this formerly great newspaper, now out and out leftist rag, although I do review some of its articles. Hey, I'm an intelligence geek and I read the propaganda of my coutry's enemies, e.g. Pravda, Isvesdai and The New York Times.

Now I'm not going to make comment on the artile but one thing that struck my eye.

White power promoter’s plans alarm rural town


LEITH, N.D. — The bearded man with thinning, gray-and-bleach-blond hair flapping down his neck first appeared in this tiny agricultural town last year, quietly and inconspicuously roaming the crackly dirt roads.

Nettie Ketterling thought nothing of it when he came into her bar to charge his cellphone in an outlet beneath the mounted head of a mule deer. To Kenneth Zimmerman, the man was just another customer, bringing his blue Dodge Durango in for repairs.

Bobby Harper did not blink when the man appeared in front of his house and asked him if he had any land to sell. And the mayor, Ryan Schock, was simply extending a civic courtesy when he swung by the man’s house to introduce himself.

Their new neighbor, they thought, was just another person looking to get closer to the lucrative oil fields in western North Dakota known as the Bakken.

But all that changed last week.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Bismarck Tribune revealed that the man, Paul Craig Cobb, 61, had been buying up property in this town of 24 people in The effort to transform it into a colony for white supremacists....

OK, one comment. Southern Poverty Law Center. Can you use something less radical than that? Probably not. But this I found really interesting.

There is a doomsday plan in place, Schock explained: If enough of Cobb’s friends move in to gain a majority that could vote out the current government, the council would immediately dissolve the town.

Harper, Leith’s only black resident, said a lot of people approached him at his mother-in-law’s funeral on Monday to tell him they had his back.

“People told me to leave town for the weekend, and they’d take care of everything,” he said. 
But he and his wife, Sherrill — who found herself referred to as a “filthy race-mixing white woman” in one of Cobb’s online posts — said they were not going anywhere....

Good for the Harper's but for the person who write this, "had his back." Where the hell did you learn that as proper language. Try some remedial English courses so you don't type vernacular into an article in the supposed "Paper of Record." What a joke this is. No wonder it doesn't have a "by line".

Friday, August 30, 2013

An update from a judge in Montana who needs to be hung in the public square...

A few days ago I posted on a judge's outrageous sentence to a middle aged teacher who raped a student of his. Granted it was probably "consensual" becuase she said yes, but legally she cannot. But the relationship was part of the girl commiting suicide. Now we hear something else this disgrace to the bench said.

Judge issues an apology for remarks on teen’s rape


BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana judge apologized Wednesday for saying a 14-year-old rape victim was “older than her chronological age” and had as much control of the situation as the teacher who raped her — remarks that prompted protests and a petition for his resignation.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh made the comments Monday while sentencing former Billings Senior High School teacher Stacey Rambold to a 15-year prison sentence then suspending all but 31 days and giving him credit for one day already served.

Yellowstone County officials previously agreed to defer Rambold’s prosecution for three years and dismiss the charges if he completed a sexual offender treatment program. The case was revived in December after prosecutors learned Ram-bold, 54, was kicked out of the program for having unsupervised visits with minors who were family members and not telling counselors he was having a sexual relationship with a woman.
Faced with backlash over his comments and the sentence that protesters considered too light, Baugh wrote an apology in a brief letter to the editor to The Billings Gazette.

A protest scheduled for Thursday outside Yellowstone County Courthouse will go on despite the apology, said organizer Sheena Rice, stressing that it’s important for the community to show it is not going to stand for victim blaming.

“I’m glad he apologized, but he should have known better as a judge,” Rice said. “The fact that he said it makes me think he still believes it.”
He should be removed from the bench as soon as possible. I don't know if a recall is an option but this Democrat must be removed from office.

Why do I say Democrat? Because this is a piece from AP, aka Associated Propaganda. If this judge was a Republican that fact would be mentioned every other sentence.

A letter to the editor.

Here is a letter to the editor I sent to the Houston Chronicle this morning. Who knows if they will publish it. They have published some of my writings. But if anyone can answer the question I pose or if you can give an example of the 4th Estate asking the question, please let me know.

C/O Houston Chronicle
P.O. Box 4260
Houston TX 77210

Reference Pending US attack on Syria.

As Mr. Obama moves this county to a unilateral attack on Syria I’m surprised by one question that’s not being asked. While there is no real doubt that Mr. Assad used chemical weapons on the forces against his government, what has not been asked, let alone answers, is where did he get the weapons?

Any reader of Janes, STRATFOR or a decent unclassified intelligence source knew in the 1990s Iraq and Iran were working to produce nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. But Syria wasn’t really on the radar. Again, where did they get them?

Back to open sources. In the public domain there were reports of shipments of Saddam’s weapons in late 2002 from Iraq to Syria, but for some reason that wasn’t mentioned much when then Senator Obama, among others, where accusing then President Bush of taking the US to war on false pretenses.

So again, can we ask the Forth Estate to ask Jay Carney et all the simple question. Where did they get these weapons? If they were produced in Syria, our intelligence may be lacking again. If they originated in Iraq, the basis for the Iraqi invasion has been shown valid.

I think the proper term is "Failed to Yield Right of Way-Entering Moving Lane of Traffic

It's fail to say which vehicle had "Right of Weight"!

Thanks to Michael Berry for the link.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Geopolitical Weekly: Obama's Bluff, August 27, 2013

By George Friedman

Images of multiple dead bodies emerged from Syria last week. It was asserted that poison gas killed the victims, who according to some numbered in the hundreds. Others claimed the photos were faked while others said the rebels were at fault. The dominant view, however, maintains that the al Assad regime carried out the attack.

The United States has so far avoided involvement in Syria's civil war. This is not to say Washington has any love for the al Assad regime. Damascus' close ties to Iran and Russia give the United States reason to be hostile toward Syria, and Washington participated in the campaign to force Syrian troops out of Lebanon. Still, the United States has learned to be concerned not just with unfriendly regimes, but also with what could follow such regimes. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have driven home the principle that deposing one regime means living with an imperfect successor. In those cases, changing the regime wound up rapidly entangling the United States in civil wars, the outcomes of which have not been worth the price. In the case of Syria, the insurgents are Sunni Muslims whose best-organized factions have ties to al Qaeda.

Still, as frequently happens, many in the United States and Europe are appalled at the horrors of the civil war, some of whom have called on the United States to do something. The United States has been reluctant to heed these calls. As mentioned, Washington does not have a direct interest in the outcome, since all possible outcomes are bad from its perspective. Moreover, the people who are most emphatic that something be done to stop the killings will be the first to condemn the United States when its starts killing people to stop the killings. People would die in any such intervention, since there are simply no clean ways to end a civil war.

Obama's Red Lines

U.S. President Barack Obama therefore adopted an extremely cautious strategy. He said that the United States would not get directly involved in Syria unless the al Assad regime used chemical weapons, stating with a high degree of confidence that he would not have to intervene. After all, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has now survived two years of civil war, and he is far from defeated. The one thing that could defeat him is foreign intervention, particularly by the United States. It was therefore assumed he wouldn't do the one thing Obama said would trigger U.S. action.

Al Assad is a ruthless man: He would not hesitate to use chemical weapons if he had to. He is also a very rational man: He would use chemical weapons only if that were his sole option. At the moment, it is difficult to see what desperate situation would have caused him to use chemical weapons and risk the worst. His opponents are equally ruthless, and we can imagine them using chemical weapons to force the United States to intervene and depose al Assad. But their ability to access chemical weapons is unclear, and if found out, the maneuver could cost them all Western support. It is possible that lower-ranking officers in al Assad's military used chemical weapons without his knowledge and perhaps against his wishes. It is possible that the casualties were far less than claimed. And it is possible that some of the pictures were faked.

All of these things are possible, but we simply don't know which is true. More important is that major governments, including the British and French, are claiming knowledge that al Assad carried out the attack. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a speech Aug. 26 clearly building the case for a military response, and referring to the regime attack as "undeniable" and the U.S. assessment so far as "grounded in facts." Al Assad meanwhile has agreed to allow U.N. inspectors to examine the evidence onsite. In the end, those who oppose al Assad will claim his supporters concealed his guilt, and the insurgents will say the same thing if they are blamed or if the inspectors determine there is no conclusive evidence of attacks.

The truth here has been politicized, and whoever claims to have found the truth, whatever it actually is, will be charged with lying. Nevertheless, the dominant emerging story is that al Assad carried out the attack, killing hundreds of men, women and children and crossing the red line Obama set with impunity. The U.S. president is backed into a corner.

The United States has chosen to take the matter to the United Nations. Obama will make an effort to show he is acting with U.N. support. But he knows he won't get U.N. support. The Russians, allies of al Assad and opponents of U.N.-based military interventions, will veto any proposed intervention. The Chinese -- who are not close to al Assad, but also oppose the U.N.-sanctioned interventions -- will probably join them. Regardless of whether the charges against al Assad are true, the Russians will dispute them and veto any action. Going to the United Nations therefore only buys time. Interestingly, the United States declared on Sunday that it is too late for Syria to authorize inspections. Dismissing that possibility makes the United States look tough, and actually creates a situation where it has to be tough.

Consequences in Syria and Beyond

This is no longer simply about Syria. The United States has stated a condition that commits it to an intervention. If it does not act when there is a clear violation of the condition, Obama increases the chance of war with other countries like North Korea and Iran. One of the tools the United States can use to shape the behavior of countries like these without going to war is stating conditions that will cause intervention, allowing the other side to avoid crossing the line. If these countries come to believe that the United States is actually bluffing, then the possibility of miscalculation soars. Washington could issue a red line whose violation it could not tolerate, like a North Korean nuclear-armed missile, but the other side could decide this was just another Syria and cross that line. Washington would have to attack, an attack that might not have been necessary had it not had its Syria bluff called.

There are also the Russian and Iranian questions. Both have invested a great deal in supporting al Assad. They might both retaliate were someone to attack the Syrian regime. There are already rumors in Beirut that Iran has told Hezbollah to begin taking Americans hostage if the United States attacks Syria. Russia meanwhile has shown in the Snowden affair what Obama clearly regards as a hostile intent. If he strikes, he thus must prepare for Russian counters. If he doesn't strike, he must assume the Russians and Iranians will read this as weakness.

Syria was not an issue that affected the U.S. national interest until Obama declared a red line. It escalated in importance at that point not because Syria is critical to the United States, but because the credibility of its stated limits are of vital importance. Obama's problem is that the majority of the American people oppose military intervention, Congress is not fully behind an intervention and those now rooting the United States on are not bearing the bulk of the military burden -- nor will they bear the criticism that will follow the inevitable civilian casualties, accidents and misdeeds that are part of war regardless of the purity of the intent.

The question therefore becomes what the United States and the new coalition of the willing will do if the red line has been crossed. The fantasy is that a series of airstrikes, destroying only chemical weapons, will be so perfectly executed that no one will be killed except those who deserve to die. But it is hard to distinguish a man's soul from 10,000 feet. There will be deaths, and the United States will be blamed for them.

The military dimension is hard to define because the mission is unclear. Logically, the goal should be the destruction of the chemical weapons and their deployment systems. This is reasonable, but the problem is determining the locations where all of the chemicals are stored. I would assume that most are underground, which poses a huge intelligence problem. If we assume that perfect intelligence is available and that decision-makers trust this intelligence, hitting buried targets is quite difficult. There is talk of a clean cruise missile strike. But it is not clear whether these carry enough explosives to penetrate even minimally hardened targets. Aircraft carry more substantial munitions, and it is possible for strategic bombers to stand off and strike the targets.

Even so, battle damage assessments are hard. How do you know that you have destroyed the chemicals -- that they were actually there and you destroyed the facility containing them? Moreover, there are lots of facilities and many will be close to civilian targets and many munitions will go astray. The attacks could prove deadlier than the chemicals did. And finally, attacking means al Assad loses all incentive to hold back on using chemical weapons. If he is paying the price of using them, he may as well use them. The gloves will come off on both sides as al Assad seeks to use his chemical weapons before they are destroyed.

A war on chemical weapons has a built-in insanity to it. The problem is not chemical weapons, which probably can't be eradicated from the air. The problem under the definition of this war would be the existence of a regime that uses chemical weapons. It is hard to imagine how an attack on chemical weapons can avoid an attack on the regime -- and regimes are not destroyed from the air. Doing so requires troops. Moreover, regimes that are destroyed must be replaced, and one cannot assume that the regime that succeeds al Assad will be grateful to those who deposed him. One must only recall the Shia in Iraq who celebrated Saddam's fall and then armed to fight the Americans.

Arming the insurgents would keep an air campaign off the table, and so appears to be lower risk. The problem is that Obama has already said he would arm the rebels, so announcing this as his response would still allow al Assad to avoid the consequences of crossing the red line. Arming the rebels also increases the chances of empowering the jihadists in Syria.

When Obama proclaimed his red line on Syria and chemical weapons, he assumed the issue would not come up. He made a gesture to those in his administration who believe that the United States has a moral obligation to put an end to brutality. He also made a gesture to those who don't want to go to war again. It was one of those smart moves that can blow up in a president's face when it turns out his assumption was wrong. Whether al Assad did launch the attacks, whether the insurgents did, or whether someone faked them doesn't matter. Unless Obama can get overwhelming, indisputable proof that al Assad did not -- and that isn't going to happen -- Obama will either have to act on the red line principle or be shown to be one who bluffs. The incredible complexity of intervening in a civil war without becoming bogged down makes the process even more baffling.

Obama now faces the second time in his presidency when war was an option. The first was Libya. The tyrant is now dead, and what followed is not pretty. And Libya was easy compared to Syria. Now, the president must intervene to maintain his credibility. But there is no political support in the United States for intervention. He must take military action, but not one that would cause the United States to appear brutish. He must depose al Assad, but not replace him with his opponents. He never thought al Assad would be so reckless. Despite whether al Assad actually was, the consensus is that he was. That's the hand the president has to play, so it's hard to see how he avoids military action and retains credibility. It is also hard to see how he takes military action without a political revolt against him if it goes wrong, which it usually does.

Obama's Bluff is republished with permission of Stratfor.

What is the point of justice....

With asshole judges like this.

Former Senior High teacher gets 30 days for rape of student

Judge's remarks about teenage rape victim spark outrage

A Yellowstone County district judge Monday ordered a former Senior High teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student who later committed suicide to spend 30 days in jail.

Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 15 years in prison, with all but 31 days suspended, for sexual intercourse without consent...

...The judge's sentence was not received well by the girl's mother, who repeatedly screamed "You people suck!" and stormed out of the courtroom.

Auliea Hanlon testified earlier at the hearing that her daughter's relationship with Rambold was a "major factor" in her suicide, and she begged the judge to order Rambold to prison.

"Please put him behind bars," the woman said.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Rod Souza had asked the judge to order Rambold to serve 20 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.

Souza said Rambold targeted a troubled young girl and violated his position of trust as a teacher by engaging in a sexual relationship with a student.

Rambold pleaded guilty to the single felony charge in April in a case that began in 2008, when school officials and police first learned of the sexual relationship between Rambold and the girl, Cherice Morales.

Rambold was placed on paid leave in April of that year and resigned from his teaching job three months later. He also surrendered his teaching certificate.

In October 2008, prosecutors charged Rambold with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, alleging that the then-49-year-old man had an ongoing sexual relationship with Morales, who was 14 at the time.

While the case was pending, and a few weeks before her 17th birthday, Morales took her own life...

Hopefully the judge has to face the voters soon and someone will hang this sentence around his neck. If not, he needs to get his ass removed by impeachment. A middle aged man abused a girl leading to her death and was going to get a less time than for a small theft. I pray they at least took his pension.

Another example of how we do it down in Texas.....

And let's all say a loud Nice Shooting Tex!
Teen fatally shoots burglary suspect in grandmother’s Baytown home
The shooting happened at a home in the 800 block of Brentwood Drive around 5:30 a.m., according to the Baytown Police Department.

BAYTOWN, Texas – One burglary suspect was killed and another was listed in critical condition after a teen watching over his grandmother’s Baytown home opened fire on them, police said.

Police said the 18-year-old woke up to the sound of someone breaking into the home around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. He called 911 and went into the living room with a shotgun to find two men inside.

The teen told police he ordered the two men to put their hands up, but they didn’t listen. He shot both men with the shotgun. One collapsed and died at the scene while the other stumbled around and ran away. The injured suspect later turned up at the hospital in critical condition, police said.

Baytown police said the teen’s grandmother was recently put in a nursing home, and was living on the property to watch over it. He’s a graduate of the Harris County Police Explorers Program, which is a program for kids interested in law enforcement.

The young man’s family hasn’t commented on the shooting, but neighbors praised his quick actions.

“He did good, he did right, he did his job,” said Abe Garcia.

Yes Mr Garcia, he did. Thankfully he's ok, one sack of human waste is no longer on the public payroll but another is unfortunately going to be on the public dole for the rest of his (hopefully) short life.

Officer Down

Police Officer Ivorie Klusmann
DeKalb County Georgia Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, August 10, 2013
Age: 31
Tour: 10 months
Badge # 3184

Police Officer Ivorie Klusmann was killed in a single vehicle crash while responding to backup another officer at approximately 2:45 am.

He had been involved in a pursuit earlier in the evening that had been called off in compliance with the department's pursuit policy. Another officer requested backup after spotting a vehicle matching the wanted vehicle's description. Officer Klusmann was responding to the assistance call when his patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree near the intersection of DeKalb Medical Parkway and Heritage Park Trail.

Officer Klusmann had served with the DeKalb County Police Department for only 10 months and was assigned to the East Precinct. Officer Klusmann is survived by his two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Camille Paglia shows herself again

One of the things I despise about the left is the intellectual dishonesty. Bobby Kennedy's screaming against fossil fuels while a good hunk of the trust fund his bootlegging daddy left him has oil stock in it. Caroline Kennedy complainants about wealth when she is another beneficiary of her Old Joe's illegal largess to the turn of over 250 million dollars. Or the ALGORE flying from one conference to another on a private jet to complain about what ever he calls global warming this week.

Camille Paglia is a rare breed. An honest liberal. She is not one of the hypocrites who complained about George Bush flying to his ranch (during the hottest month of the year) while not finding an issue with B Hussein Obama's multiple vacations to five start locations on the taxpayer dine. Let's be honest, part of the reason the press loved Bubba and B Hussein is they brought them to Martha's Vineyard and those reporters could go there and charge the hotel to their corporate card, cut I digress. An interesting read well worth the time. Here are some highlights.

Camille Paglia: “It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton is our party’s best chance”

I can vividly remember the first time I read Camille Paglia. I was visiting New York with my mom during college and we happened across “Vamps and Tramps” at a bookstore near our hotel. Lying in neighboring twin beds, I read passages out loud to her. Explosive things like, “Patriarchy, routinely blamed for everything, produced the birth control pill, which did more to free contemporary women than feminism itself.” I didn’t always agree with Paglia, but I enjoyed her as a challenging provocateur.

I still have that copy of the book. There are asterisks in the margins, double-underlined sentences and circled paragraphs. Reading it was a satisfying rebellion against the line-toeing women’s studies classes I was taking at the time — and at a college with an infamously anti-porn professor, no less. Since then, I have moments of genuine outrage and fury over Paglia’s writing and public commentary (see: this, this and this, for examples of why) — but she is still compelling and occasionally brilliant. The truth is that many people still want to hear what she has to say — about everything from BDSM to Lady Gaga.

The paperback release last week of her book “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars” — which Salon interviewed her about last year, and which is an example of Paglia at her intellectual best and an antidote to her birther moments — is a great excuse to check back in with the so-called bete noire of feminism. I spoke with Paglia by email about contemporary feminism, Anthony Weiner and the “end of men.”...

...When Salon interviewed you last year, you were feeling inspired by Bravo’s “Real Housewives.” Are you a fan of any other TV series out there?

No, I can’t stand the bad lighting, tinny voices, snarky scripts and fake cool of today’s TV shows.

Bravo’s “Real Housewives” series isn’t just entertainment for devoted fans like me — it’s an entire all-absorbing universe of pride and passion. I can watch the same episode four or five times. The series descends from tear-jerker “women’s pictures” during the Lana Turner era, which inspired TV soap operas from the 1950s on. The formula overflowed into blockbuster prime-time soaps like “Dynasty” and “Knots Landing” in the 1980s. But then daytime soap writers started to get uppity and craved respectability in the industry. They veered away from the flamboyant trash and flash that had once endeared them to their audience, and soaps committed slow suicide by boredom. It was really stupid — because by the 1990s, the mainstream audience was flocking to movies about over-the-top drag queens like “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

Andy Cohen, the executive producer of “Real Housewives,” was a longtime ardent fan of Susan Lucci (Erica Kane on ABC’s “All My Children”), and he has always understood the soul of soap opera as a female genre — its tender emotions, ruthless rivalries and theatrical sexual exhibitionism. Soaps are a major diva mode. But beyond that, Bravo’s ace technical team has refined “Real Housewives” into a feast for the eyes. I have such admiration for the amazing camerawork and deft narrative editing — the rapid scene-setting, the revelatory reaction shots, the touches of realism in how people get out of cars or shop or order a cocktail. Too much film and TV in our digitized era has lost a sense of space. But “Real Housewives” has the old Hollywood flair for knowing how to situate bold, dynamic personalities in tangible four dimensions — from chic or glitzy interiors to exhilarating landscapes. This is contemporary cinematography at its sparkling best....

Two words: Anthony Weiner. Your thoughts?

Two words: pathetic dork. How sickeningly debased our politics have become that this jabbering cartoon weasel could be taken seriously for a second as a candidate for mayor of New York. But beyond that, I have been amazed by the almost total absence of psychological critique in news analyses of the silly Weiner saga. For heaven’s sake, Weiner is no randy stud with a sophisticated sex life that we need to respect. The compulsion to exhibit and boast about one’s penis is embarrassingly infantile — the obvious residue of some squalid family psychodrama in childhood that is now being replayed in public.

I assumed at first that Huma Abedin stayed married to Weiner out of noble concern for her unborn child, who deserved a father. But her subsequent behavior as Weiner’s defender and enabler has made me lose respect for her. The Weiners should be permanently bundled off to the luxe Elba of Oscar de la Renta’s villa in the Dominican Republic. I’m sure that Hillary (Huma’s capo) can arrange that.

Any hopes, fears or predictions for the presidential elections in 2016?

As a registered Democrat, I am praying for a credible presidential candidate to emerge from the younger tier of politicians in their late 40s. A governor with executive experience would be ideal. It’s time to put my baby-boom generation out to pasture! We’ve had our day and managed to muck up a hell of a lot. It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.

I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.

Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It’s even a key motif in “King Lear.” As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, “What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?” Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood. The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve — and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win.

What do you make of contemporary feminism, especially as it’s manifested online?

Oh, feminism is still alive? Thanks for the tip! It sure is invisible, except for the random whine from some maleducated product of the elite schools who’s found a plush berth in glossy magazines. It’s hard to remember those bad old days when paleofeminist pashas ruled the roost. In the late ‘80s, the media would routinely turn to Gloria Steinem or the head of NOW for “the women’s view” on every issue — when of course it was just the Manhattan/D.C. insider’s take, with a Democratic activist spin. Their shameless partisanship eventually doomed those Stalinist feminists, who were trampled by the pro-sex feminist stampede of the early ‘90s (in which I am proud to have played a vocal role). That insurgency began in San Francisco in the mid-‘80s and went national throughout the following decade. They keep dusting Steinem off and trotting her out to pin awards on her, but she’s the walking dead. Her anointed heirs (like Susan Faludi) sure didn’t pan out, did they?

While it’s a big relief not to have feminist bullies sermonizing from every news show anymore, the leadership vacuum is alarming. It’s very distressing, for example, that the atrocities against women in India — the shocking series of gang rapes, which seem never to end — have not been aggressively condemned in a sustained way by feminist organizations in the U.S. I wanted to hear someone going crazy about it in the media and not letting up, day after day, week after week. The true mission of feminism today is not to carp about the woes of affluent Western career women but to turn the spotlight on life-and-death issues affecting women in the Third World, particularly in rural areas where they have little protection against exploitation and injustice.

What do you think about arguments that we are witnessing “the end of men” or a crisis in masculinity?

If this phenomenon exists, it primarily applies in my view to white upper-middle-class culture, a product of the service-sector economy that has gradually displaced manufacturing since World War II. Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men,” a best-seller last year, is the focus of a Munk Debate that I will be part of at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Nov. 15. The proposition is: “Be it resolved that men are obsolete.” Arguing for the motion will be Rosin and Maureen Dowd. Arguing against the motion will be me and Caitlin Moran. It should be a fascinating and substantive discussion. Lineups of opposing views like this have been rare indeed in feminism, which has preferred to ostracize and exile dissident voices....

Worth the read. Camille, please keep talking, writing and generally making people uncomfortable.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Higher education really doesn't have enough money

Slight sarcasm.

When I was a lieutenant in Korea (1988-89) my brigade executive officer introduced me to a term: Oxygen thief. Used for a worthless buerocrates enforcing a worthless regulation or making something out of nothing to justify their worthless existence. Since those days I've seen multiple examples of these and here is a large group that really need reality therapy.
University’s Popular Mascot Deemed ‘Polarizing’ For Being a White Man

Almost the opposite version of the Washington Redskins name controversy has emerged at the University of Denver. The mascot for DU’s sports teams, the Pioneers, used to be “Denver Boone,” a Daniel Boone–esque frontiersman figure, until he was retired in 1998 for not properly representing the student body because of his race and gender; a university committee recently decided they simply won’t replace him.

“Boone was a polarizing figure that did not reflect the growing diversity of the DU community, but rather was an image that many women, persons of color, international students and faculty members found difficult to relate to as defining the pioneering spirit,” the university’s chancellor said in a statement earlier this year.

Despite the chancellor’s concerns, Denver Boone is actually quite popular with the DU community. This year, a 76-member committee made up of students, faculty, and alumni conducted several surveys and forums to find a new mascot, and the cartoonish frontiersman garned the most support from those surveyed. But the committee said it never considered Denver Boone, and ultimately never decided on a mascot. Further, during a /u>poll conducted by the campus newspaper this May, Denver Boone was again the most-preferred mascot — as a write-in choice, not featured as an actual option.

For the time being, DU has no official mascot..

Chancellor, you really need to get a clue. The few morons complaining about this mascot do not represent you student or alumni. So please, concentrate on things that are important like educating you students and eliminating oxoygen thieves life the Women Studies department, etc. If I have to explain why they are worthless, you need to eliminate ourself from the public payroll.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Geopolitical Weekly: Lessons in Unification: Germany's History and the EU's Future, August 13, 2013

By Marc Lanthemann

Europe's leaders will soon return from summer vacation, and when they do, they will be forced to confront problems that persisted in their absence -- namely, high unemployment and a looming consumer credit crisis. Some have expressed optimism over recent improvements in the European crisis, but German leaders may be less assured. More than anyone else, they understand that the debate over whether the European Union should integrate further is unavoidable; further integration may be one of the only ways the bloc can outlive its current problems.  

They understand this because Germany's own unification was such an arduous process. It took decades of war, major technological shifts and extraordinary leadership for the various German mini-states to unify. Ultimately, they came together for one reason: survival. Now Germany must once again measure the risks and rewards associated with integration, only this time for the sake of preserving the whole of Europe. But there is a limit to how much Berlin is willing to sacrifice for a group of nations that innately distrusts German power. 

Partial Execution 

As a model of governance, the European Union failed simply because it was never executed fully. In 1992, a few countries within the European Union's free trade zone agreed to abandon their own currencies for a common currency, thereby relinquishing their monetary policy to a centralized bureaucracy, the European Central Bank. They did not agree on what their next steps should be toward further fiscal, and thus political, integration. The eurozone has since expanded to include 17 countries, but it did little to change the fact that the value of money was created in one place but spent in another. 

This arrangement proved to be an extraordinary generator of wealth in times of global prosperity, so long as financial markets regarded Greece's economic risk to be on par with Germany's. But it left the eurozone uniquely unequipped to deal with large-scale economic crises. Without monetary control, individual countries could not devalue their currencies -- a common practice for escaping recessions. Meanwhile, EU institutions were unable to implement and enforce a coherent strategy because they lacked the fiscal and political control over their constituent members. By dividing power between the countries and a centralized bureaucracy, each part is left unable to move effectively, and the entire system becomes paralyzed. 

In its current form, the European Union is inherently unstable and unsustainable. However, many Europeans still believe the Continent can and should be unified; for them, unification is a path out of the current crisis. And they are right to think so. In theory, a federalized Europe would be more stable and more prosperous than the current hybridized system.
These are only the most recent Europeans to dream of a unified Continent. Many before them have attempted to bring so many countries under the aegis of one polity, but none were able to bridge the interests of so many powerful nations. The problem is that their attempts began with bloodshed and ended in chaos.

Though it is not a perfect analogy for the formation of the European Union, Germany in the 19th century is perhaps the best example in modern history of a successful unification. Unlike Europe, Germany was the product of polities with common ethno-linguistic roots. Nonetheless, its composite parts were an assortment of competing mini-states whose sacrifices helped build a prosperous nation. German history could inform Europe's understanding of the true costs of unification. For its part, Berlin should bear in mind the lessons of unification as it is forging a true European Union, should it choose to do so. 

Shared Legacies 

More often than not, new political systems are rooted in the ashes of war. The European Union and Germany share this tradition. Theirs is a legacy of birth marked by conflict so severe that it destroyed the old system and gave way to unorthodox solutions previously unthinkable. 

The European Union came from the trauma of World War I and World War II. This 30-year period brought what was then the most powerful group of nations in the history of the world to its knees, leaving behind a ruined, exhausted and divided Continent. 

The Napoleonic Wars brought about modern Germany. By the end of the 18th century, Germany's predecessor, the Holy Roman Empire, was composed of nearly 200 quasi-independent states in an area that covered what is now Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and many others in Central and Northern Europe. This disunited band of bickering principalities, duchies and electorates was utterly incapable of standing up to the citizen armies unleashed after the French Revolution. The revolutionary armies eventually consolidated under the control of the general-emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, easily defeated the haphazard coalition of German forces and their allies and steamrolled through Europe before reaching Russia. 

It took 22 years and six successive coalitions by all the major European powers to finally defeat the French armies. The Holy Roman Empire had been completely dissolved and the Napoleonic Empire, through its chief diplomat, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, had encouraged a process whereby small German states would be incorporated into their larger neighbors to ease political transitions. By the early 19th century, only about 40 German entities remained. 

The French Revolution was as instrumental for creating Germany as the two world wars were for creating modern Europe. The French Revolution created new ways of thinking about what it meant to be a nation-state. Years of bloodshed left behind a group of exhausted nations conscious of their own weakness as the world around them changed. However, a different kind of revolution was necessary to spur the creation of a united Europe. The prospect of economic gain would have to entice individual nations to integrate more closely. For Germany, that event was the Industrial Revolution; for Europe, it was the global economic boom of the 1980s and 1990s. 

Throughout the 19th century, technological advances in manufacturing processes made manufacturers radically more productive. New transportation technologies, particularly the steam engine, enabled nations to become internally connected through rail and to reach more consumer markets. The Industrial Revolution began in England and eventually spread to the Continent. 

But Germany remained politically fragmented, unable to join this revolution or embrace an industrialized economic model. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, political fragmentation was only modestly restrictive; most of the Continent relied on agriculture, not industry. But the development of high-productivity manufacturing required large amounts of unevenly distributed mineral resources and free access to large amounts of consumers, conditions that put the various fragmented German mini-states at a serious disadvantage. Products manufactured in Prussia had to be inspected and taxed as many as a dozen times before reaching Wallonia, where coal and steel had to undergo the same ordeal in the opposite direction. This created huge additional costs for German industries and stunted the development of the German states. The resultant economic imbalance was one of the many catalysts for the German revolutions of 1848. 

In the late 20th century, modern Europe believed it had to remove tariffs and the restrictions on capital movement if it were to keep up with the growing economic and political might of the United States and Japan. These two economic powers dwarfed even the greatest individual European nations, but as a whole, Europe remained the wealthiest part of the world. For Europe, like Germany in the 19th century, a free economic zone was the logical next step.  

At the behest of Prussia, a small number of German states formalized a customs union in 1834 that eventually reduced or otherwise abolished tariffs, created a single labor market and integrated capital markets. Starting in the 1840s, Germany's first rail links were laid across the members of the customs union, establishing an increasingly prosperous domestic market and bolstering Prussia's pre-eminence among German states. The union continued to expand over the years but always stopped short of becoming a monetary and banking union. 

Prussia saw little interest in diluting the strength of its banking sector before guaranteeing its control over the fiscal and economic policies of the other members of the customs union. It is at this point that the unification of Germany and the unification of the European Union begin to diverge. 

Unlike 19th century Germany, modern Europe pushed the boundaries of the trade union and has created a European Central Bank that administers the monetary policy of a steadily increasing number of member states. While nations were willing to relinquish control of their currency, tempted as they were by the promise of accumulating even greater wealth, they are not as willing to surrender sovereignty over their fiscal policy. Many see no reason to give Brussels control over their military or energy budgets, for example.
Moreover, the European Union also lacks an internal leader that is willing and able to act decisively. From the very beginning, Prussia shaped the unification of the German nation. It had gained some 500,000 subjects and 10,000 square kilometers (nearly 4,000 square miles) of land after the Napoleonic Wars and had the best land army in Europe. Like Prussia, modern Germany is the wealthiest and most powerful member of its respective trading bloc, yet it has continuously balked at assuming leadership of the European Union. In a telling anecdote, when financial markets were reeling from uncertainty over a string of bailouts, Poland's foreign minister famously said in 2012 that for the first time in history his country feared German inaction more than German action.

No 'Blood' or 'Iron' 

Germany's reluctance to be Europe's leader is perfectly rational for Berlin. In fact, its reluctance highlights another key difference between Chancellor Angela Merkel's situation and that of her most illustrious predecessor, Otto von Bismarck. The original design of a united post-war Europe was foreign-made. A trade union in Europe served the strategic interest of the United States. While modern Germany has greatly benefited from the European Union (more than anyone, in fact) as a trade union, it is far from certain that a full fiscal and political union is in Berlin's interest. It is not even clear that it would solve the great problem in modern Europe: the current economic and social crisis. 

The wealth of Prussia's customs union was not a means in itself for Prussia, although it greatly contributed to its strength. Prussia's national security was at stake. The Napoleonic Wars and the slow but steady expansion of the Austrian and Russian empires made it very clear to Prussia that only a political, economic and military union of German-speaking people would guarantee its security.  

Such calculations are nearly absent from German strategic thinking today. There are no security threats to the core of the European Union that could spur Germany into action. Even Russia has understood the lessons of the Soviet Union and, for now, appears content to focus on maintaining its own domestic stability while making only modest forays in Central Europe. Thus there is nothing driving Germany to push for further integration with the European Union. 

The question then is whether Germany's imperative to preserve the trade union, on which much of its economic prosperity depends, will merit a stronger push from Berlin. The case study of Germany offers yet another cautionary tale regarding the true costs of the next step to unification.
In 1862, after being appointed Prussia's minister-president and foreign minister, Bismarck appeared in front of the parliament and delivered a historic speech asking lawmakers to approve a massive increase in Prussian military spending. Bismarck noted that the great problem of German unification would be solved only by "blood and iron." Bismarck clearly understood that the alignment of economic interests that had created the customs union had reached its limit and that the next phase in the creation of a wealthy and secure European state would have to involve coercion.

Bismarck turned out to be right, and modern Germany was born on two battlefields, 800 kilometers and four years apart. In 1866, the Prussian armies defeated Austria and its German allies at the Battle of Koniggratz, in the modern-day Czech Republic. The battle settled the Prussian-Austrian war and firmly excluded Vienna from its position as a contending head for the German states. It left a union with Prussia as the sole viable path for German security and prosperity. Bismarck had thus crushed all internal dissenters to a united Germany under Prussia's aegis. Notably, he did not forcefully incorporate them into Prussia's orbit even though he could have easily done so. Instead, he fabricated a foreign threat from a historical foe, Paris, to bring them into the fold.
In July 1870, Berlin coaxed Paris into an offensive action against Prussia after some creative diplomacy by Bismarck. The memories of the Napoleonic Wars prompted the last independent German states to rally under the Hohenzollern banner. Two months later, the superior Prussian army trounced the French at the Battle of Sedan and captured the French leader, Napoleon III. In 1871, in the palace of Versailles, Prussian King Wilhelm I was acclaimed as the kaiser of the new German Reich.

Today, France and Germany find themselves once again at the core of the European political system. Stratfor has often written that the fate of the European Union rests on the stability of the Franco-German alliance, the foundation on which more than six decades of European peace is based. As the crisis worsened, the differences between the French and German models have become more pronounced, and tensions have begun to rise accordingly.
Today it is unthinkable to imagine Merkel delivering a "blood and iron" speech at the European Parliament. However, building nations from several composite parts necessarily requires redistributing wealth and power, an approach that runs counter to the sovereignty of the constituent entities. At some point, nations must be coerced, though military coercion is by no means the only available option.

This is where the analogy between the European Union and 19th century Germany ends. It is increasingly unlikely that a true fiscal and political union in Europe can be achieved by aligning the interests of the constituent nations. However, there does not seem to be any pressure on Germany to force other nations into a more integrated union. 

Many Europeans hope Germany's September elections will usher in a more assertive administration and bring about the end of the European crisis. These people would be well served to look at Germany's history to fully understand the cost of unification. 

Geopolitical Weekly:  Lessons in Unification: Germany's History and the EU's Future Copyright STRATFOR.COM

Some good news to start off Monday with

Especially since I work an extra job at an AT&T and this may have knocked out a gang targeting my store.

4 arrested in Sunday robbery of AT&T

Four men are in police custody after allegedly robbing an AT&T store on Rayford Road, South of The Woodlands in Montgomery County, and instigating a high-speed chase on I-45.

The robbery comes less than a month after the robbery of another AT&T store just six miles away...

...The chase and subsequent arrest were a team effort by Shenandoah Police, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police, the Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The suspects are being interrogated by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes division.

On Sunday, MCSO responded to a 911 call received at 3:30 p.m. Deputies gathered vehicle and suspect descriptions.

Shenandoah police officers and constables with Montgomery County Precinct 3 began chasing the vehicle southbound on I-45 at Sawdust road. The pursuit ended when the suspects’ vehicle crashed at Rankin road and Ella Blvd.

One suspect was apprehended on scene. The other three fled on foot, but were eventually arrested. One suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment from a dog bite from a Houston Police K-9 unit...

Hopefully the K-9 wasn't infected by this turd. Good work guys!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This was not supposed to happen.....

Obamacare is increasing cost....and costing people jobs and hours.

Businesses seek cure for health care cost surge | savannahnow.com

NEW YORK — A year ago, Teresa Hartnett was on the verge of expanding her small business. The company had hit $1 million in sales, and requests from clients were flowing in. She planned to transition from nearly 30 freelancers to a full-time staff of 60 by 2014.

Then the reality of the Affordable Health Care Act hit. Hartnett realized she might not be able to afford to carry out her plan.

“At the end of that marathon of effort and sweat and stress, I’d face the impact of the ACA. I decided against it,” says Hartnett, whose company, Hartnett Inc., transforms printed documents into digital content.

The expected surge in health insurance costs under the ACA has many small business owners changing the way they operate. For many like Hartnett, hiring and expanding is going on the back burner. Others expect to cut back on some of the services their companies provide, raise prices or cut employees’ hours and bonuses.

The ACA requires that companies with 50 or more workers provide affordable health coverage for their workers. For many companies, that could mean higher insurance costs. And while the government has put off enforcement of the law until 2015, premiums for 2014 are expected to rise sharply because of the law’s requirements.

A survey of owners taken last month by the advocacy group National Small Business Association found that 20 percent have held off on implementing a growth strategy because of rising health care costs. Thirty-six percent said they had refrained from raising salaries and 26 percent have held back on hiring....
That can't be true. Increased cost?! B Hussein Obama said it would lower everyone's health insurance premium to as much as 2500 a year.
Well at least people are not getting their hours/pay cut. Oh, you mean.....
Businesses claim Obamacare has forced them to cut employee hours

Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,” said Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises, including a restaurant in Kennebunk. “I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.”

Goodridge said he’s cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won’t trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The provision takes effect in 16 months.

Luke Perfect, who has worked at Goodridge’s Kennebunk Subway for more than a decade, said it was “horrible” to learn he was among the employees whose hours would be limited, and that it would be a financial hardship. “I’m barely scraping by with overtime,” he said.

The White House dismisses such examples as "anecdotal." Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, said, “We are seeing no systematic evidence that the Affordable Care Act is having an adverse impact on job growth or the number of hours employees are working. … [S]ince the ACA became law, nearly 90 percent of the gain in employment has been in full-time positions.”

But the president of an influential union that supports Obamacare said the White House is wrong.

"It IS happening," insisted Joseph Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has 1.2 million members. "Wait a year. You'll see tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced. The facts are already starting to show up. Their statistics, I think, are a little behind the time."...

Facing the prospect of my HMO fees skyrocketing next year, I have to say to this leech who pushed B Hussein on his members and the county, good for you. Misery loves company. Another case in point.

At St. Petersburg College, a public university in Florida where most of the faculty is part-time, 250 have had their hours reduced for the fall term because the college said it can’t afford to offer them health insurance.

St Petersburg’s president, Dr. Bill Law, said providing health care for the 250 adjunct professors would cost more than $777,000 dollars a year. "The cost associated with making a part-timer benefits-eligible really is not available to us as a public college,” said Law.

"I don't think anyone [passed the law] so they could make our life worse,” said Law. “They did it because people need access to health care."

Part-time math professor Tracey Sullivan said she will lose half her income because of the cuts.

"I never thought it would impact me directly,” said Sullivan. “I was stunned when I got the email...I love teaching at St. Pete College but that is a significant cut..."

Cost increase/ That's can't be right. B Hussein said if you like your plan, your doctor, you can keep them. Rihgt?
I don't know what is worse, the fact educated idiots (if you need an example of why you should not confuse intelligence and education) bought B Hussein's snake oil or the fact these idiots are educating impressionable young students. Hey guys, welcome to reality. Hope it's bitter. And speaking for millionose who didn't want this, it's a bit of revenge for the American people. And revenge is a dish best served cold.

Right now we have two Hail Mary's running to kill this off. A case is in the courts saying if this is a tax it is illegal because it didn't originate in the House. And some Republicans are actually working to defund this. Let up pray.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Now what's the problem with concealed carry?

I've said often I generally don't have issue with concealed carry holders as they are usually level headed and have thought through the use a of a firearm. When CCW started to go forward in the 90s propaganda was put forth by leftists in the media, academia and DC saying we would have bloodbaths in the streets. Strange that the cities with the most restrictive gun law are also the most dangerous to live in. E.G., Chicago.

And now we have an example of how to handle crooks from the great city of Houston.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
A woman opened fire on a group of robbers at a local Denny's restaurant. 
At around 4 a.m. Thursday, a man who does not want to be identified, said his brother was robbed by six men with guns at a Denny's off the Gulf Freeway in southeast Houston. 
"I don't know if it was random or someone set him up. Because he got his own label," said the victim's brother. 
His brother's wife was in the restroom at the time, but when she exited the restroom she saw the group of suspected robbers. Police said that's when she pulled out her gun and shot at them. 
"She said she came out of the restroom and saw my brother on the floor. That's when she started doing what she gotta do. She got a license and she'll do anything to protect her kids and my brother," he said. 
Police said there was a shootout, but it is not known how many shots were fired at the time. However, police said the gunshots did hit cars in the parking lot. No bystanders or customers were injured. The group of suspects fled the scene. 
The married couple said they are still shook up, but their family said they're glad they made it out alive. "Self-defense saved my brother's life," he said. 
According to police, the robbers got away with jewelry.
Nice Shooting Tex! Glad you were there for the family and the other diners at the restaurant.

Officer Down

Police Officer Rodney R. Thomas
New Orleans Louisiana Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, July 7, 2013
Age: 52
Tour: 8 years
Badge # 2053

Police Officer Rodney Thomas was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on the I-10 High Rise Bridge at approximately 1:00 am.

Officer Thomas was en route home following his shift when he was involved in a minor accident. He was still in uniform and put on his traffic vest to check on the other occupants of the vehicle. As he did so, a vehicle driving recklessly entered the crash scene. As Officer Thomas attempted to signal the vehicle to stop it struck him.

He was dragged a short distance before being thrown to the pavement.

Detectives discovered the vehicle in a body shop several days later. The driver, an occupant, and the body shop owner were all arrested and charged in connection with Officer Thomas' death and subsequent attempt to cover up evidence.

Officer Thomas had served with the New Orleans Police Department for eight years and was assigned to the 2nd District. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What's going on in the World Today 130812

Al Czervik: Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?
[looks at Judge Smails, who's wearing the same hat]
Al Czervik: Oh, it looks good on you though.

Al Czervik: Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity.

Al Czervik: You're a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?

Al Czervik: What're we, waiting for these guys? Hey Whitey, where's your hat?
Judge Smails: Do you mind, sir. I'm trying to tee off.
Al Czervik: I'll bet you a hundred bucks you slice it into the woods.
Judge Smails: Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir, and I never slice.
[Swings club, slices ball into woods]
Judge Smails: *Damn*.
Al Czervik: OK, you can owe me.
Judge Smails: I owe you nothing.

Al Czervik: [tees off] Fore!
[his ball hits Judge Smails in the crotch]
Al Czervik: I should have yelled, "Two!"

Al Czervik: [drops his bow anchor on Judge Smails' sailboat, sinking it] Hey, you scratched my anchor!

Man I miss Rodney D. Hope you had a great weekend.







India's Aircraft Carrier Unveiled 08/12/13

NEW DELHI -- India has launched its first home-built aircraft carrier, marking another milestone in its efforts to bolster its maritime presence.

Defense Minister A.K. Antony said Monday that India needed a strong navy to defend itself, and that India will press ahead with developing its maritime capabilities.

India joins the U.S., Russia, France and Britain in building its own carrier. The carrier was launched at the Kochi shipyard in southern Kerala state, but it still needs to be outfitted and extensive trials held before it is inducted into the Indian navy in 2018.

India has steadily built up its naval capabilities in recent years, spurred by its rivalry with neighboring China.

On Saturday, India activated an atomic reactor for its indigenously built nuclear submarine.

Reactor Powered Up On First 'Made in India' Nuclear Sub August 11, 2013

A Russian Akula-class sub in Brest harbor, western France, in 2004. The INS Arihant is said to be based on this Cold War design.

India has activated the reactor aboard the INS Arihant, believed to be the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine designed and built outside the Cold War "nuclear club."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the event a "giant stride in ... our indigenous technological capabilities."

It's the first nuclear-powered submarine built in India and the first such vessel constructed by a country other than the United States, U.K., France, Russia or China.

Reports of the vessel suggest its design is based on Russia's Akula-class submarines, which came into operation toward the end of the Cold War. India has leased one from Moscow and plans to operate others. However, unlike the Akula, which is an attack submarine, Arihant is designed to be the first in a class of Indian boats that carry ballistic missiles.

The BBC says:

"Nuclear [ballistic missile] submarines will add a third dimension to India's defence capability, as it has previously only been able to launch ballistic missiles from the air and from land. ...
"The fact that this submarine, the nuclear reactor that powers it, and the ballistic missiles that it will fire are all manufactured locally in India — though there may have been some assistance from Russia — is a significant technological achievement."
Naval-technology.com adds:

"The Indian Navy has a fleet of 16 diesel-electric submarines leased from Russia and Germany. However, the disadvantage with diesel electric submarines is that they cannot stay under water for an extended period.
"Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to ascend to the surface each day to eject carbon dioxide produced by the generator. Nuclear-powered submarines, on the other hand, can stay under water for long durations without being detected."

The website says the cost of building the Arihant is estimated at $2.9 billion.

Indian-built Arihant nuclear submarine activated

The move means the submarine can now undergo sea trials.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the "giant stride in... our indigenous technological capabilities".

Experts say is the first ballistic missile submarine known to have been built outside the five recognised nuclear powers.

Last year, India rejoined those countries - the US, UK, France, Russia and China - in being an operator of nuclear-powered submarines when it formally commissioned a Russian-built submarine into its navy.

Nuclear submarines will add a third dimension to India's defence capability, as it has previously only been able to launch ballistic missiles from the air and from land.

Assuming its sea trials are completed successfully, India's new nuclear-powered submarine could be operational within the next two years, the BBC's Jonathan Marcus reports.

Russian alliance
When it is eventually deployed, the Arihant will be able to carry a crew of about 100 sailors on board.

It will be able to stay under water for long periods and thereby increase its chances of remaining undetected.

By contrast, India's ageing conventional diesel-powered submarines need to surface frequently to recharge their batteries.

Last year India leased the Russian-built nuclear-powered submarine the INS Chakra for the next 10 years at a cost of about $1bn (£630m).

India had previously operated a Soviet nuclear submarine until 1991.

India and Russia are long-time allies, and Russia supplies 70% of India's military hardware.

Russia is also expected to help India train the Arihant's crew. The crew of the Chakra underwent their training in a secretive programme in St Petersburg...


UK's nuclear weapons being dismantled under disarmament obligations

Quietly, slowly and without any fuss, Britain is dismantling its nuclear weapons. Three Trident warheads a year are being moved from the Clyde to the home counties to be taken to pieces, according to evidence seen by the Guardian.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that it is overseeing a programme "to disassemble Trident warheads" at Burghfield in Berkshire, in a way that will prevent them from being put back together. This fulfils a government promise to cut the number of the nation's nuclear weapons from 225 to 180 by the mid 2020s.

The latest monitoring of nuclear bomb convoys by activists suggests that in 2012 five warheads were sent by road to Burghfield from the royal naval armaments depot at Coulport on Loch Long near Glasgow. Two were refurbished and returned north, they said, while three stayed at Burghfield to be dismantled.

Ministers announced in June 2011 that Britain's stockpile of nuclear weapons was being reduced by 45 to "no more than 180" over about 15 years to comply with international disarmament obligations. Until now it's not been clear what was happening to the warheads, with critics suspicious that they could just be disarmed and stored ready to be rearmed if necessary....






China: Cargo Ship To Transit Northeast Passage August 12, 2013

A cargo ship that departed northeastern China's Dalian port on Aug. 8 is attempting China's first-ever commercial transit of the Northeast Passage, north of Russia, the Financial Times reported Aug. 11. The 19,000-ton ship, operated by state-owned Cosco Group, is bound for Rotterdam. The Arctic is expected to become more important in coming decades as natural resources and transport routes become more accessible. China was granted observer status in the Arctic Council in May








Russia: Few Options to Redress Ethnic Tensions




War splits Syria into 3 distinct regions

Rebels have firmer grip on northern provinces while government is in tight control of central areas

Beirut: More than two years into Syria’s civil war, the once highly-centralised authoritarian state has effectively split into three distinct parts, each boasting its own flags, security agencies and judicial system.

In each area, religious, ideological and turf power struggles are under way and battle lines tend to ebb and flow, making it impossible to predict exactly what Syria could look like once the combatants lay down their arms.

But the longer the bloody conflict drags on, analysts says, the more difficult it will be to piece together a coherent Syrian state from the wreckage. “There is no doubt that as a distinct single entity, Syria has ceased to exist,” said

Charles Lister, an analyst at IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. “Considering the sheer scale of its territorial losses in some areas of the country, Syria no longer functions as a single all-encompassing unitarily-governed state.”

The geographic dividing lines that have emerged over the past two years and effectively cleft the nation in three remain fluid, but the general outlines can be traced on a map. The regime holds a firm grip on a corridor running from the southern border with Jordan, through the capital Damascus and up to the Mediterranean coast, where a large portion of the population belongs to President Bashar Al Assad’s Alawite sect.

The rebels, who are primarily drawn from Syria’s Sunni majority, control a chunk of territory that spans parts of Idlib and Aleppo provinces in the north and stretches along the Euphrates river to the porous Iraqi border in the east.

Tucked into the far northeastern corner, meanwhile, Syria’s Kurdish minority enjoys semi-autonomy. Those contours provide the big picture view. The view from the ground, however, is slightly muddied.


Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM

Monday, August 12, 2013

Oh Mommy, can I have one, please!


Meet the new Omen. This semi-automatic weapons platform can hit a target out to 1,400 meters. The military-only version shoots 3 shot groups in an area the size of a dime, civilian-versions under a quarter at 100 yards. Stretching nearly four feet in length, it holds 14 rounds.

This description might sound like the latest big bore .50-cal on the market, but this is the new NEMO Omen .300 Winchester Magnum semi-automatic sniper platform. This revolutionary rifle weighs less than 11 pounds unloaded. Comparatively, the average AR-15/M-4, chambered for 5.56 NATO, weighs in at under 7 pounds while a comparable AR-10, chambered for the 7.62 NATO cartridge, weighs in at just under 10 pounds.

The platform, announced at last year's annual NRA meeting in Houston, extends the range a sniper can operate within a combat zone. While most AR-15's cannot reliably extend beyond 600 meters and AR-10s beyond 1,000 meters; the OMEN is capable of reaching out to 1,400 meters, nearly a mile, and can rapidly engage multiple targets without requiring the operation of a bolt. This system fills a gap between 7.62 NATO semi-automatic sniper systems and the Barrett M107 .50 BMG, which is capable of engagements exceeding 2,000 meters. The Barrett weighs more than two OMENs combined.

The development of the rifle is considered a major stepping stone in the AR rifle market. Historically, previous AR platforms have restricted the size of cartridge to those with a length shorter or equal to the 7.62 NATO cartridge. However, NEMO engineers expanded the receiver size to accept the massive cartridge while maintaining a lightweight profile. Despite the massive cartridge and light weight, weapon recoil is little more than its AR-10 counterpart thanks to a proprietary recoil reduction system built into the weapon's bolt.

If this weapons platform catches on, expect to see our snipers carrying this into combat soon. If so, I don't foresee them complaining. For those civilians who want one, though, it can be yours for just under $6,000. If that price seems a little steep, compare that to NEMO's latest offering: a titanium chassis AR-10, weighing just over 8 pounds, sells for a mere $100,000.

I wonder if the department would.... Oh, never mind ! :<)

Officer Down

Sergeant Mike Wilson
Charlotte County Florida Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Monday, August 5, 2013
Age: 42
Tour: 20 years

Sergeant Mike Wilson was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex on Veterans Boulevard in Port Charlotte.

The call involved a man in a physical fight with his wife and son. As Sergeant Wilson walked up to the stairs to the apartment the male subject emerged and opened fire from the second floor landing, striking Sergeant Wilson in the chest above his vest.

The subject then committed suicide.

Sergeant Wilson had served with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office for 20 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I gotta give a shout out to Juan Williams

For calling out these race baiting poverty pimps.

I have more than a few disagreements with Juan Williams (Obamacare, taxation, etc) but on this he is dead on. And for some reason the the good suggestion Mr Williams' makes at the end of this statement are not really embraced by those two sleaze bags.

Why I'm calling out civil rights hustlers Sharpton and Dyson

Editor's note: The following op-ed is based on a monologue delivered on the July 30, 2013 edition of Fox News Channel's "The Five" and an op-ed that appeared previously in Fox News Opinion.

Race has been the topic over the last couple weeks, but if we're going to do this right, if we're going to have an honest discussion among people who care about the problems inside the black community, we have to be dealing with honest brokers. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the so- called civil rights community are frauds, outright hucksters.

Two of the worst: civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson. Their goal: demonize white people, especially conservatives like Bill O'Reilly, so they don't have to deal with the real problems that continue to plague the black community. Making an older, conservative white guy like O'Reilly a boogie man is easy for these hustlers.

But do they ever confront the real problems and threats in the minority community? No.

High murder rates? How about that? What about high dropout rates? What about the breakdown of the family?

I bet you think I'm exaggerating. Well, here’s this from Michael Eric Dyson:

“Why is it that when we say we want to have a conversation on race, you want a conversation on blackness? You don't want to have a conversation on race. You don't want to have a conversation on white privilege, unconscious bias. You don't want to talk about the collective world we made as black, brown, red, yellow and white people. You want to lecture black people.

So, Mr. O'Reilly, I'd love to have that conversation about protecting yourself behind white picket fences and Fox News and having digital courage. Come in the streets where you went to Sylvia, and you were surprised that black people don't throw bananas at each other or swing from trees.”

Can you believe that? This is unbelievable on so many levels. But let me just start by saying this: Dyson is making the charge basically that O'Reilly is portraying black people as animals. And, of course, this never happened. This is not true.

In the whole episode (when he visited Sylvia's restaurant), which O'Reilly and I talked about on the radio, was going on about defeating racial stereotypes in this society. But that's not what Michael Eric Dyson wants to do here. He wants to hold up somehow that Bill O'Reilly is a racist and target of the conversation and therefore we should be about, somehow, going after Bill O'Reilly.

Well, who does that help? Let's think about that for a second. If this is a real conversation about helping people, if you truly love people, and want to help those in need, how does it help to go after conservatives, O'Reilly, white people, rich people? Let's go to the people who need help and give them help.

But that's not what Michael Eric Dyson is doing. Oh, no. When you start asking questions like well, are you doing anything to help the schools in the inner-city? No.

What about the carnage on black streets with kids shooting each other? No.

What about, you know, any of the issues attached to family breakdown, 70 percent of children born out of wedlock? What about that? No.

So what we're doing here is a huge distraction. Yes, there's legitimate rage in the black community over the Zimmerman verdict, but the idea that we have to use the power that exists in this country to help people who are in need in the black community, that is an ongoing and longer story and you can't pull away from that by making Bill O'Reilly into your target and somehow beating him up. That's craziness.

So what can we do, what should we do to start helping people who are in need in the African-American community today? I wrote about this in my book, “Enough” and recently in an opinion piece for FoxNews.com.

Here’s the message I would like to see expressed in America today. I think it would be especially powerful if it could come from the black man with the highest level of credibility in black America since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – President Obama.

1. Stay in school and graduate from the highest level of school – but absolutely, no excuses, graduate from high school.

2. Take a job and hold it, no matter what job, no matter if your friends put you down for ‘flipping burgers.’ Use the job to get experience, make contacts with business people, and build a resume.

3. Marry after you have finished your education and while you have a job.

And the final step is important for you and for the future of your family and your community:

4. Don’t have children until you are at least 21-years-old and married.

Imagine if President Obama repeated that message over and over, ignoring the phonies who want to focus only on “systemic” racism as the reason for high rates of poverty, involvement with crime, and incarceration among black men.

Imagine if the president delivered that message despite attempts to intimidate him by civil rights leaders.

Imagine if he decided to deliver that message and by-passed the so-called ‘racial experts’ and academics who prefer to look at America’s troubled racial history – slavery and legal segregation.

The answer is the president could make a difference in millions of lives and build a legacy on par with Dr. King.

Mr. President it is your move.

Mr Williams, cannot put it better. Hopefully NPR will see the failure of their ways. But I have my doubts. May God bless you and hopefully your message will be the one put out, not these two leeches on society.

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Jeff Watson
St. Charles Parish Louisiana Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Sunday, August 4, 2013
Age: 41
Tour: 12 years

Deputy Sheriff Jeff Watson was killed in an automobile crash while responding to an assistance call from another officer at approximately 8:45 pm.

He was traveling on Paul Maillard Road with his emergency lights activated when an oncoming vehicle attempted to make a left turn in front of him onto Post Drive. Deputy Watson, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, attempted to avoid a collision but swideswiped the vehicle and then struck another vehicle head-on.

The occupants of the other vehicles all suffered injuries.

Deputy Watson had served with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office for 12 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Geopolitical Weekly: A Little Cold War: Russia, Europe and the United States, August 6, 2013

By George Friedman

Stratfor has been chronicling what we call the end of the Post-Cold War world, a world with three pillars: the United States, Europe and China. Two of these three have been shifting their behavior over the past few years. We've discussed the end of China's high-growth, low-wage expansion. We've also discussed the deep institutional crisis in Europe resulting from its economic problems. We have discussed some of China's potential successors. What needs to be discussed now is the system that will emerge from the Post-Cold War world, and to do that, we need to discuss shifts in Russia's behavior.

Chaos in Russia

Russia went through two phases in the Post-Cold War world. The first was the chaos that inevitably followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chaos sometimes can be confused with liberalism and many think of Russia in the decade after the Soviet Union as being liberal. But Russia under Boris Yeltsin was less liberal than chaotic, with a privatization program that enriched those who rapidly organized to take advantage of the poorly defined process, a public life that had little shape or form and a West that was both pleased with the fall of Soviet power and deluded into thinking that Russia was reshaping itself into a Western constitutional democracy.

The second phase was a reaction to the first. The havoc of Yeltsin could not continue. To a great extent Russia was not working. The only structure that had survived the Soviet Union and that was still working was the security services -- and even those were being seriously degraded by Yeltsin's efforts. The security services had both held the country together to the extent possible and had participated in the accumulation of wealth through the privatization process. In the course of that they not only retained the power they had in the Soviet Union but also dramatically increased their power. At the same time, a class of oligarchs emerged and the two groups oscillated between competition and cooperation.

Russia could not continue as it was. It was sinking into extraordinary poverty, worse than the Soviet Union; there were regions that were seeking to break away from the Russian Federation; and it had little to no international standing.

The United States and NATO waged a war in Kosovo, completely indifferent to Russian opposition. Russia opposed the war both because Serbia was an ally and because one of the principles of Europe since World War II was that there would be no shifts in borders. This was regarded as sacred inasmuch as redrawing borders was one of the origins of the war. Russia's wishes were disregarded.

When Serbia did not collapse immediately under air attack and the war dragged out, the Russians were asked to negotiate its end. In return they were promised a significant role in managing post-war Kosovo. That didn't happen; the future of Kosovo became a matter for European and American decision-making.

Influence is not something given to a country. It has that influence because of its power, because the consequences of ignoring its wishes would have unacceptable consequences. By 1999, Russia had reached the low point of its influence.

Putin Brings Russia Back

It was logical that a man like Vladimir Putin would emerge from the chaos of the 1990s. Putin was deeply embedded in the KGB and the old security apparatus. During his time in St. Petersburg, he was integrated with the emerging oligarchs as well as the new generation of economic reformists. Putin understood that in order to revive Russia, two things had to happen. First, the oligarchs had to be intimidated into aligning their activities with the Russian government. He owed too much to them to try to break them -- though he made an example or two -- but he did not owe them so much as to allow them to continue to loot Russia.

He also understood that he had to bring some order to the economy both for domestic and foreign policy reasons. Russia had massive energy reserves, but it was incapable of competing on the world markets in industry and services. Putin focused on the single advantage Russia had: energy and other primary commodities. To do this he had to take a degree of control of the economy -- not enough to return Russia to a Soviet model, but enough to leave behind the liberal model Russia thought it had. Or put differently, to leave behind the chaos. His instrument was Gazprom, a government-dominated company whose mission was to exploit Russian energy in order to stabilize the country and create a framework for development. At the same time, while reversing economic liberalism, Putin imposed controls on political liberalism, limiting political rights.

This process did not happen overnight. It was something that evolved over a decade, but its final result was a Russia that not only was stabilized economically but also had influence in the world. For Putin, the consequences for political and personal freedom were not a high price to pay. From his point of view, the freedoms of the 1990s had damaged Russia tremendously. Putin wanted to create a stable platform for Russia to protect itself in the world. The dread of disintegration, supported by Western powers in his mind, had to be reversed. And Russia could not simply be ignored in the international system unless Russia was prepared to continue its position as victim.

Energy production created an economic base that the government could use to end the erosion of economic life throughout the country. It also gave Russia a lever that assured it would not be ignored. Energy sales to Europe became an essential part of European economic life. Germany, for example, needed energy to maintain its economy. There was always a chance that Russia might cut off sales. On several occasions, the flow of energy was severed when disagreements arose between Moscow and the transit states, Belarus and Ukraine. As the Russians developed greater reserves it became easier for them to endure the cost of a monthlong disruption than it was for Germany.

Therefore, Germany and the rest of Europe ceased to be indifferent to what Russia wanted. They couldn't afford to neglect Russian interests. During the Cold War, Russia had been poor and powerful. After the Cold War, it had been poorer and powerless. Putin returned it to a place where it was somewhat better off and had international power. That he was indifferent to individual rights upset urban liberals in Russia. Its effect outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg is less clear, but his popularity continues to be greater outside major cities.

An Emerging Russian Strategy

As Europe is struggling with its internal problems and China is dealing with its economic problems, Russia has attained a position of significant regional influence -- influence that Putin is systematically trying to increase. Putin is following a policy that we might call "commercial expansionism." Russian tanks are not about to surge into the former Soviet satellites in Europe like they did in Georgia, but the weakness of Europe has forced these countries to rely less on the rest of Europe and to try to cope on their own. Unable to rely on the United States, where the single issue of missile defense has created substantial unease, they remain distrustful of Russia in the extreme. However, they have few options, and the Russians are being meticulous in assuring that commercial relations are not seen as a means of political control.

Russian interests are working to increase their ownership of energy resources and a range of other industries. Weakened by the European crisis, joint ventures, purchases and sales agreements are being quietly signed everywhere. Most are small, but it is the small relationships that are binding Eastern European economies to Russian interests. Given the way that Russia is managing its economy, even small companies must align with broad strategy, and the broad strategy is that the deals must make financial sense, but one of the results is increased Russian influence.

This is not confined to former satellites. Russian firms, holding energy-generated cash, have made deals or flirted with deals throughout troubled Europe. The strategy is that commercial relations will beget internal pressure to avoid confrontation with Russia on political matters, shaping foreign policy.

This strategy creates a new dynamic in Russia's relationship with the United States. During the Soviet era and under Putin, the Russian strategy toward the United States has been to generate problems in diverse areas in order to force U.S. actions that diffuse American power and lead Washington to overcommit. Vietnam was an example of this. For Putin, the sphere for this action is the Middle East. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were gifts to the Russians. The Americans were tied down, creating a window of opportunity for the Russians to recover their balance, rebuild their system and, when the opportunity presented itself, expand their power.

The end of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not in the Russian interest. Moscow benefits, with some costs, from the U.S. preoccupation in the Islamic world. Therefore, the Russians have played a role in both Syria and Iran, essentially inviting the Americans to continue their policy in the Middle East while relieving pressure on the Russians. The United States has responded with increased pressure on the Russians to halt support for Bashar al Assad and the Iranians. The Russians refused.

The New Cold War

When you step back, you see the United States in the process of disengagement that normally follows American wars. This disengagement comes at the same time that Europe is undergoing an internal economic crisis that has created an institutional crisis. This has opened opportunities for the Russians to increase their influence in Europe at a time when the United States is trying to find its own balance. The Russians are helping to maintain potential crises in the Middle East that the Americans might be tempted to get involved in. The Russians are also reactivating and expanding a network of relationships with regimes in Latin America. There is a long-standing anti-Americanism in Latin America that equates anti-Americanism with left-wing politics. Today, the Russians are hardly left-wingers ideologically; they are nationalists. But the ability to create tensions between Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia and the United States costs the Russians little and has potential benefits.

The Snowden affair should be seen in this light. There are many issues involved in the Snowden case, from U.S. constitutional matters to the obligations of those with clearances. The Snowden affair also has this context: An American with access to highly classified materially has defected to Russia. The Americans want him back. Ten or 15 years ago he might have been returned, but not now. If the Russians returned him, all other potential American defectors might decide not to trust Russia. If an equivalent Russian defected to the United States, it is unlikely he would be returned to face trial. But the defection would be much more quiet, as the less the Russians knew the better. For reasons perhaps beyond their control, or perhaps not, this defection cannot be hidden.

But that serves two purposes. First, it creates a political crisis in the United States and between the United States and its allies. Second, it aligns Russia with human rights groups (international and inside of Russia itself) that have been condemning Russia for violating human rights. Russia has created a moral equivalency on human rights with the United States, valuable in its political war with the United States. The Snowden affair is on this level a minor matter. But there are no opportunities too minor to be exploited now.

There is no danger of a military confrontation now or perhaps ever. But the Russians are now using the European economic crisis and tensions between Europeans and Americans to project power -- commercial, in this case -- into Europe, to separate the Europeans from the Americans to the extent possible and to put the United States on the defensive.

The Russians are not being aggressive from their point of view. They suffered a massive reversal in 1991 that the United States in particular has taken every opportunity to exploit, from Kosovo to Ukraine to the Baltics. For a while it appeared that the Americans would succeed in breaking Russian power permanently. If not for 9/11 they might have. Russia sees itself as creating a sphere of security to protect itself and assert its interests as a great power.

The United States has not yet defined its policy toward Russia. It continues to look at Russian behavior in the context of isolated actions that do not form a coherent whole. Syria, Iran, Eastern Europe and Ecuador are viewed as Russian irritants, not a Russian strategy. But it is now a strategy -- a strategy of finding the means to tie down and divert the United States while Russia creates a new reality on its periphery and especially in Europe.

The United States can afford to be confused. It is a huge power with ample time to react. Russia is ultimately a weak power. Its advantage in energy depends on the price of energy and the development of alternative sources and customers of energy. Russia's reassertion rests on a very weak foundation and I doubt that they can sustain their play. The Soviet Union was much stronger on the whole than Russia is today, and it could not sustain itself. Neither can Russia.

But for now, it has a powerful play. What Latin American leftists do is really not very important. And the United States is not going to be sucked back into the Middle East; two wars are enough. But what the Russians are doing in Eastern Europe could transfigure Europe sufficiently to challenge American interests. It is hard to ignore it. It is also hard to react to it. This is the American problem. For now, the United States has no good options.

This is one of the reasons President Barack Obama is considering canceling the September summit with Putin. Snowden is the excuse and a piece of it, but it's not just that. The United States is in the process of coming to terms with the fact that Russia is an adversary waging a well-reasoned and effective strategy within the limits of its resources, one for which the United States has no clear counter. The last summit achieved nothing, nor will this one.

In The Next 100 Years, I laid out a sequence in which Europe and China weakened. I argued that the power that would emerge from this weakening would be Russia, that Russia would wind up in a little Cold War with the United States and that Russia's ability to sustain itself for a generation really isn't there. But I saw this as still the most significant successor to the Post-Cold War world. I think we are there. It is not a Cold War, but it is more than a little chilly. And it will become a central feature of the international system.

A Little Cold War: Russia, Europe and the United States Copyright STRATFOR.COK