Sunday, April 27, 2014

In The News:

On Friday afternoon the Pentagon announced that Russian warplanes had violated Ukrainian airspace several times in the last 24 hours — the latest in a series of escalations between two nations that may be destined for war.
USA Today reported that Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren confirmed the breach of international law, adding that the U.S. government “call[ed] upon the Russians to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation.”

Warren did not specify the exact number of violations, the type of military aircraft or the regions overflown by the Russians.
The move follows a sweeping operation by the Ukrainian military against Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. After a rocky start last week, Ukrainian forces managed to retake parts of the country captured by pro-Russian militants. Some, many allege, are Russian special forces operating undercover.

Five pro-Russian fighters were killed in the Ukrainian reconquest of the southeastern city of Slavyansk, prompting an immediate threat from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime,” he declared, warning of “consequences” and ordering massive military drills for the forty to fifty thousand Russian troops menacing Ukraine’s eastern border.
The illegal incursions appear to be another of Putin’s consequences. Michael O’Hanlon, a defense scholar at the DC-based Brookings Institution, told USA Today that the Ukrainian military has the capacity to take down jets that violate their airspace — at least in the opening stages of a conflict.

In fact, O’Hanlon believes the Russians may be deliberately goading the Ukrainians to attack their aircraft. “I don’t put a deliberate provocation, in order to create a pretext for response and invasion, past Putin at this point,” he said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk — swept into power after mass protests in Kiev toppled pro-Russian strongman Viktor Yanukovych’s government in February — now believes Putin is intent on invading his nation. And, he warns, he may not stop there.

“Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to a military conflict in Europe,” hetold his cabinet during a meeting broadcast live and translated by Reuters.
“The world has not yet forgotten World War II, but Russia already wants to start World War III,” the prime minister lamented.

Yesterday, we jokingly noted that with separatists blockading Slavyansk from a Ukraine special-forces invasion, and with the Ukraine army blockading Slavyansk from said separatists (unclear exactly why), that the east Ukraine city of Slavyansk is easily the most blocked city in the world (and in dire need of fiber). However, based on just released satellite imagery showing the build up of Ukraine forces around Slavyansk - a city which as a reminder is located in Ukraine - what is going on around Slavyansk is no laughing matter.
Russian RIA Novosti reports that it has received satellite photos, "which clearly show the accumulation of a large number of Ukrainian military equipment and weapons on the border with the Russian Federation and in the vicinity of Slavyasnk." RIA cites a source in the Russian Defense Ministry, who commented that the pictures show a military formation designed "to wipe out the city and all its inhabitants from the face of the earth."
According to source, the group has more than 15,000 troops from the Ukraine army and national guard, about 160 tanks, 230 infantry fighting vehicles and APCs, and as much as 150 mortars, howitzers and multiple launch rocket systems ("Grad" and "Smerch").
The source concludes that "This concentration of troops in one area is not compatible with the potential of self-defense forces, armed with only a small number of pistols and submachine guns."
The satellite images are below:

It goes without saying that a matching build up (or at least an attempt at one) by Ukraine is normal and to be expected. The problem is that as we have witnessed every day over the past two weeks, military provocations on both sides of the conflict happen every day if not every hour. The latest one happened moments ago, as reported by RT:
Unknown assailants landed in helicopters and attacked a checkpoint in Soledar city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, a militia source told RIA Novosti adding that there is a fight going on. There is no information on the number of casualties.

Soledar is located about 30 kilometers south east of Slavyansk.

The people’s governor of Donbass region Denis Pushilin confirmed to RT that there is fighting in Soledar. As the unknown men attacked the checkpoint, the militia was forced to retreat, the source told RIA.

The second checkpoint is preparing for attack he said, adding that there are about 50 activists, many without weapons.

For now these skirmishes around "checkpoints" have been isolated events. But how long before the Ukraine "special forces" which may well amount to 15,000 troops as reported by Russian media, get involved. And how much longer after that until Russia retaliats. But the biggest question: who will be the agent provocateur who fires the first shot in hopes of launch an all out war? Indeed, who stands to gain the most from yet another war - one which will hardly be "contained"

The European Union on Sunday urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to return to the negotiating table, saying US efforts to broker peace must not be allowed to "go to waste," according to AFP. 
"Negotiations are the best way forward," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in response to the breakdown last week in months of efforts by Washington to keep the two sides talking.

"The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste," Ashton's statement added. "The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state solution."
US attempts to broker a peace deal by April 29 all but collapsed on Thursday when Israel pulled out of the negotiations, a response to the unity pact agreed upon by the PA and the Hamas terrorist group.
Ashton said "the EU expects any new government to uphold the principle of non-violence, to remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement ... including Israel's legitimate right to exist."

 Hamas has vowed never to recognize Israel's existence on multiple occasions.

 In all, across Liberia and Guinea, 142 people have been killed — and 242 infected — in an outbreak that began months ago in the forested villages of southeast Guinea and shot to the capital city.
And the number of those killed by the Ebola killed in Guinea is now 136. Nearly 210 cases have been confirmed.
It has dominated headlines in Africa since. The World Health Organization, which says it may spread for months, cautions that more deaths could be on the way. “As the incubation period for [Ebola] can be up to three weeks, it is likely that the Guinean health authorities will report new cases in the coming weeks and additional suspected cases may also be identified in neighboring countries,” the WHO reported on Tuesday.
The disease, for which there is no cure, is terrifying in part because of the gruesome way it kills. It predominantly spreads through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids. At first, the WHO says, symptoms include intense weakness and fever, but then the sickness deepens with bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, and internal and external bleeding.
There are several theories explaining the outbreak, Africa’s worst in seven years and the first to kill in the continent’s west. One was published last week in the New England Journal that established “the emergence of a new EBOV strain in Guinea,” which had “evolved in parallel” to other disease veins.
The fatality rate, the study concluded, was 86 percent “among the early confirmed and 71 percent among the clinically suspected cases,” a rate consistent with previous Ebola outbreaks. ”The emergence of the virus in Guinea highlights the risk of [Ebola] outbreaks in the whole West African sub-region.”

First, the logic of the New Totalitarians begins with the flawed assumption that they are setting out to avert an apocalypse of some kind of another. Their views on the issue at hand, they argue, must be adopted or the consequences will be the destruction of all life or something approaching it. It is interesting that the form that this apocalypse will take is often unexamined and it is instead simply deemed to be unthinkable (to remedy this, I would recommend that everyone read Herman Kahn’s brilliant book about nuclear warfare, “Thinking About the Unthinkable”).  This assumption that disaster is inevitable and that there is only one course that may avert it leads naturally to the second core assumption of New Totalitarianism.

Since the advocates of this New Totalitarianism, such as Hayes, assume themselves to be in the absolute right and, further, that the fact that they are so is self-evident, they assume that all opposition to both their goals and their methods must be rooted in evil. Hence the abhorrent rhetorical strategies that they adopt in seeking to advance their own goals, such as branding anyone who disagrees with any element of their catechism a “denier” and Hayes’ implicit comparison of those whose economic interests align with the fossil fuel industry with slaveowners. This is not the rhetoric of reason but of the worst kind of religious fanaticism, one which assumes the existence of only One True Faith and which deems those who deny the light and self-evident justice of the One True Faith to be heretics who must be burned and destroyed. The purpose of this sort of intolerance is to make debate impossible.
Finally, because the New Totalitarians believe that they are fighting to ward off Armageddon and that their opponents can only be motivated by evil, they have no patience of the niceties of civil society, and in particular the rule of law. They do not mean to win debates with the opposition, they mean to silence and to destroy it by any means necessary.

This tendency is visible across many different fronts and is notably evident in Hayes’ article, wherein he doesn’t even stop to address the fact that the $10 Trillion in wealth that he would so blithely and confidentially destroy represents the work of a lifetime for millions of people -- not merely unsympathetic oil company executives, but also for millions of ordinary people including many millions in the Third World who are enjoying a decent standard of living for the first time in history (and whose aspirations, as I have pointed out many times before, ultimately make any debate over the use of fossil fuels and global CO2 emissions a waste of time and energy). 
Because they think themselves to have absolute good on their own side and because they believe that their opposition represents absolute evil, the New Totalitarians feel free to demand that the coercive power of the state be used to destroy the property and liberty of individuals and corporations seemingly without any regard for the loss that that actually represents. It is one thing to blithely proclaim, “we must all sacrifice for the state, comrades” from the comfort of your Crimean dacha when it isn’t your family’s farm that is being collectivized.

 If we accept -- which I do not, but for the sake of argument I will indulge the notion -- that the countless individuals whose wealth is tied to the consumption of fossil fuels are the equivalent of the slaveholders of the Old South, then does it not follow that they should resist any attack upon their property every bit as fiercely as those who served the Confederacy did? 

Therein lies the fundamental problem...with the architecture of the ideology of the New Totalitarians: 
if they insist of dogmatically adhering to their own professed beliefs and insist upon using the power of the state to attempt to target the property of a significant percentage of the population for destruction while being utterly willing to use coercion to silence any and all dissent while willingly overriding the rule of law anywhere that it should prove to be an inconvenience, then the inevitable result will be civil war. No group of people, anywhere, should be expected to sit passively by while they and their property are targeted for liquidation and destruction, nor will they. Those segments of the left that are edging towards totalitarianism are not just threatening to start a war: they happen to be leading us towards a war that they will inevitably lose.

After all, why did the South lose the first American Civil War? Ultimately the defeat of the Confederacy was largely a matter of economics. The North had more people and a larger industrial base and in the end they used both to good effect to grind up the armies of the South in spite of the tremendous spirit and gallantry displayed by the latter. If an ideologically-inspired civil war were to take place in America -- or anywhere else in the West, for that matter -- today, who would have more money, more guns, and more soldiers at their disposal? 

[Note: And these last paragraphs serve as a reminder and give us even more "data" that the restrainer must be removed before the reign of the antichrist]

[Before reading this article, it is always worth remembering the 'dedication' that Mr Alinsky wrote in his book "Rules For Radicals". Here is the direct quote from his book:
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.
This must never be forgotten as we observe the actions of those 'leaders' who endorse and follow the rules of this book]

The internet has been buzzing for the last few days with hysterical hypocrisy from the Left over some remarks made by Clive Bundy, the Nevada Rancher who recently staved off a paramilitary assault by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Bundy made a comment that perhaps black people were better off slaves (as opposed to the neo-slavery of benevolent government.) He was roundly thrashed for his remarks.

First, this is textbook; Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals rule #12
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”
See, the Left cannot win any argument on the merits of their beliefs; they have to attack the personalities involved. The Politics of Personal Destruction Bill Clinton once called it - while being a master practitioner of the tactic himself. As the old legal adage says, if the facts are against you argue the law, if the law is against you argue the facts, if both are against you attack the parties involved. This last is what Liberals do, because they have neither facts nor laws on their side. They have to impugn people’s motives.

It is not about the person of Clivn Bundy. The statists have made it so because they cannot win a free and fair exchange of ideas on this issue.
Which is what this argument is supposed to be about. Does the government have the right to usurp property rights just because they can. This is not and should not be about Clive Bundy’s personal views. Bundy as an individual does not matter here; what matters is a fundamental principle.
The Liberals know this, and they know they will lose if they have this discussion. They HAVE to turn this into a food fight.

Also see:

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