Saturday, August 30, 2014

Workers suffer when militarized police and Big Green get together

This originally appeared here on 8-28-2014 By Ron Arnold

While all eyes turn to the gunfire and Molotov cocktails of War Zone Ferguson, Mo., many minds turn to questions of mindless faith in the political establishment.

What’s happening to us?

One such mind belongs to basketball champion turned actor and best-selling author, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose Monday commentary on Ferguson for Time Magazine bore the chilling headline, “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race.”

It will be about class warfare, he predicted — the powerful and wealthy elite against the 50 million Americans who are poor — black, Latino, and white. “Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

This great icon’s class warfare insight reaches farther than he knows, into the multi-millions of marginalized, demonized, and despised workers of the resource class — loggers, coal miners, cattle ranchers, commercial fishermen, oil rig roustabouts, tunnel blasters, heavy equipment operators, and on and on — every one of us who gets dirty hands making the stuff of elite splendor and majesty. And, yes, I once shoveled foundation trenches and shouldered kegs of ten-penny brights (nails) for a living.

All these hardworking people are mocked, devalued, and destroyed by Big Green’s privileged few, as told in the recent Senate report, “How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.” It’s a class warfare warning.

Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke (heiress of the Sperry & Hutchinson fortune, see photo) doesn’t help the poor with their economic goals using her $427,595 annual compensation or the group’s $241.8 million assets, but ruins every resource worker possible.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s chief investment officer, Denise Strack, doesn’t help the poor with their economic goals using her $1.6 million annual compensation or the foundation’s $5.6 billion assets from the Intel fortune, but helps ruin every resource worker possible.

Big Green conducts class war with its power over the federal government.

If that sounds impossible, let me tell you a story.

On July 27, 1991, thirty U.S. Forest Service agents on horseback, some armed with semi-automatic weapons and wearing bulletproof vests, raided rancher Wayne Hage’s cattle in Meadow Canyon in the Toiyabe National Forest, high in the mountains of central Nevada. The cows were drinking from disputed water and were to be impounded that day, destroying Hage’s livelihood — and dooming some of the meat supply that gave minimum-wage urban burger flippers something to flip.

The agents hoped to infuriate Hage into violence and kill him. However, he showed up with a camera, immortalized them on film, sued them, and after years in a federal court, won a ruling that he owned the water. The Forest Service had no right to impound his cattle.

A court document showed that David Young, special agent in charge of the raid, had personally brought with him several Remington Model 870 pump-action 12 gauge shotguns, Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifles, Sig Sauer P220 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols and a Smith & Wesson Model 36 .38 caliber revolver.

On April 2, 1990, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service James C. Overbay sent a letter to his subordinate regional foresters, urging support of environmentalists in return for their help supporting larger Forest Service fish and wildlife budgets, removal of ranchers, and expansion of USFS authority and power. It said:

Conservation groups representing the organized wildlife and fish interests across the country have given considerable effort, time, and money to help the Forest Service promote these important programs. We need the support of these groups to avoid possible reductions in fish and wildlife budgets. They would like to see the results of these efforts. We owe this to them.

A little over a year later, the Forest Service paid off rich environmentalists by ruining Wayne Hage. The service’s culture of resource stewardship was drifting far from its conservation roots to political obsequiousness and ostentatious zeal.

Overbay had already devastated other ranchers with less publicity, but it was the Hage raid that reinforced Cliven Bundy’s misguided beliefs about federal authority and led to President Obama’s Bureau of Land Management storming the Bundy ranch from attack helicopters duded up in military-grade body armor, flashing short-barreled assault rifles, and crashing around in armored vehicles – enough combat equipment to remove the tinfoil hat stigma from the black helicopter crowd’s collective head.

As John Steinbeck famously wrote in The Grapes of Wrath: “Repression works only to strengthen and knit the oppressed.” A rabble in arms materialized from all over the West to protect the Bundy ranch – ready to die. It was blatant armed insurrection, but federal prudence prevailed and the BLM stood down – prosecutors are dealing with it now.

The militarization of federal agencies has a long history but should have a short future. Big Green’s federal power grip needs to be smashed and its storm troopers disarmed.

In June, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, introduced the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act, to stem the trend of federal regulatory agencies developing SWAT-like teams.

Maybe it’s unrealistic, but perhaps Abdul-Jabbar could recommend a diplomatic mission from the poor to the reviled workers of the resource class, put aside any past hurts and hates for a while, and organize in an effort to pursue their common economic goals.

Ron Arnold is a free enterprise activist, author, and newspaper columnist. He pioneered methods to expose the money and power of Big Green in nine books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. He mentors promising activists and writers as a civic duty.

Bill Ayers on Freedom of Speech and the Assassination of Robert Kennedy

Originally posted here on August 29, 2014, by Mary Grabar

Bill Ayers still holding forth
Bill Ayers still holding forth

Terrorist Professor Non-Emeritus Bill Ayers has been given a spot on the American Association of University Professors' site Academe to proclaim his "solidarity" with Professor Steven Salaita, who after Tweeting vile comments about Israel had his offer of a position in the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Illinois withdrawn by the Board of Trustees. Some of Salaita's horrible Tweets are described by George Leef of the Pope Center: “'At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?' Another celebrated the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, who were later found murdered: 'I wish all the (expletive) West Bank settlers would go missing.'" Salaita also wrote that a journalist with whom he disagreed "should get 'the pointy end of a shiv.'"

There has been much discussion about the Salaita case in the academic community. Disagreeing with some of his colleagues on the right, Leef contends that the Salaita case is not about free speech, but about contractual obligations. Salaita had signed an acceptance letter and quit his other position as an English professor at Virginia Tech. Cary Nelson, former president of AAUP, observes that Salaita's offensive Tweets are relevant to his teaching because they reflect his scholarship, which includes such books as Israel's Dead Soul and Anti-Arab Racism in the USA.

Ayers, who traveled to Gaza a few years ago to cause trouble, shares Salaita's political views, but uses the occasion to make a faux argument for "freedom of speech," which quickly segueways into a self-serving defence of his own difficulties with the Board of Trustees, who denied him Emeritus status upon his retirement from the University of Illinois at Chicago for having the name of Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy, on the dedication page of the Weather Underground's Prairie Fire manifesto. The objection came from Christopher Kennedy, the son of Robert Kennedy.
After the Weather Underground's Blast of the Pentagon
After the Weather Underground's
Blast of the Pentagon
Ayers expressed his surprise that Christopher Kennedy, the head of the board and "billionaire chair of Chicago's Merchandise Mart," had even heard of the document, no doubt because in Ayers's mind, only the politically sophisticated would know about it. It had been resurrected by Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly in the run-up to the 2008 elections, Ayers claimed:
“Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly read from it regularly—good stuff mostly—always pointing out that it was “dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy.” That wasn’t true. The dedication page reads: “to harriet tubman and john brown/to all who continue to fight/and to all political prisoners in the us.” This boxed dedication is superimposed over an artist’s rendering of wall-to-wall names of people in prison—hundreds and hundreds of them. The force of the piece is that it points to the fact that the US was already well into creating a massive gulag—and this was way before mass incarceration gripped the country—and it’s true that Sirhan Sirhan’s name is there, but so are Willy Johnson’s and Michael McGann’s—exactly, who the hell are they? And was the artist in any way endorsing Johnson’s and McGann’s actions whatever they were? Not likely.”

Ayers recounts his correspondence with Kennedy in which he expressed his sadness that his "loss" was made "present and painful to you and your family." Ayers then claims he extended the olive branch:

“I asked to meet with him away from the weight of stereotypes and media creations “to see if we might find some common ground in our shared commitment to the University, to basic democratic principles, and to a belief in the power of redemption and reconciliation.”

Ayers told him he had never praised the man who had murdered his father, nor condoned assassination. Ayers, however, does not leave it at that but makes one of his political points--one that demonstrates that his views have not changed since his days with the domestic terrorist group Weatherman:

“I did not point out—I thought about it for sure, but restrained myself—that both his father and his uncle not only condoned assassinations, but participated actively in assassinations and attempted assassinations from Viet Nam to Cuba to the Congo—they would presumably bear the brunt of Chairman Kennedy’s sanctimonious exclusions if coherence and consistency were part of his make-up.”

Calling Robert Kennedy an Assassin: Only a sociopath could apologize for reopening old wounds about a father assassinated and then in the next breath claim that the assassinated father was also an assassin. In other words, Robert Kennedy is on the same moral plane as Sirhan Sirhan. After this interlude of political commentary, Ayers goes on to his point about freedom of speech:

“But I went on to ask him to consider the implications of his action. What are my thousands of students to make of it? And beyond that, what was anyone to make of the board intervening in the academic affairs of the university, making decisions about things they cannot adequately or fully evaluate or judge, and are therefore appropriately the province of the faculty and the officers hired by the board?”

Not surprisingly, Kennedy did not take up Ayers's offer to "talk about" the "rekindled pain" that the incident may have stirred up in him, but according to Ayers did reply with a letter thanking Ayers for his "thoughtful response" and informing him that the decision was not personal, but made by the board. Ayers speculates that the last part was written by a "tricky lawyer" because emeritus status is based on merit alone, and Ayers, being Distinguished Professor of Education, had certainly earned it. Ayers says that it's the "experts"--the professors like Ayers--who are qualified to make such decisions about "merit."

One thing that Ayers, in spite of his Distinguished Professor statuts, is not good at is elementary logic, nor are the radicals who hired him and promoted him.

Ayers relates his victimization to that of playwright Tony Kushner who was denied an honorary doctorate by CUNY for his anti-Israel diatribes. Mind you, Ayers and company would not object to any professor denied even an interview based on what they perceive to be as "hate" or political incorrectness, as I've outlined in my collection, Exiled. That kind of discrimination is perfectly acceptable.

While some on the right condemn the Salaita case as a chilling example, George Leef points to many other cases where leftist professors have used the excuse of freedom of speech to use their classroom podiums as political soapboxes. The problem arises from what is accepted as scholarship today. Hiring committees are made up of like-minded ideologues. They hire only ideologues who think as they do. Like Ayers, they use "freedom of speech" as a cover, forgetting that like all other employees, professors have a job description. Bill Ayers has never demonstrated his abilities as a scholar. I've painstakingly shown that in my book, Bill Ayers: Teaching Revolution.

Readers may be curious as to the conclusion of Professor Ayers's story at the AAUP site. Characteristically, after making his sophistic arguments on behalf of anti-Western, Marxist goals, he changes course to talk about himself and what a swell guy he is, as demonstrated by the retirement party thrown for him:

“Political comrades, university colleagues, family and friends crowded in and the pot-luck tables groaned with plates of fried tofu in dill and basil, yummy home-made tamales, tasty grits with spicy greens, cardamom cake and sweetened rice squares. One colleague and her kids made a zillion astonishing cupcakes, each with a strip of paper bearing quotations from my books toothpicked to the top like a delicious exhortation. People loaded up, ate and talked, and then moved on to the dance floor as DJ Dave kept the party going with a mix of old and new, and Bernardine and I swirled through the crowd, warm embraces and surprising home-made tattoos and buttons in every direction: “I pal around with Bernardine and Bill.” It was loud and sweaty, lovely and sweet.”

Yes. that's the kind of writing that got Ayers "Distinguished Professor" status. The inmates have taken over. That's why Boards of Trustees, and citizens, parents, and students need to do more to make sure fake professors like Bill Ayers and Steven Salaita don't get hired in the first place

Friday, August 29, 2014

Green Fatigue

By Rich Kozlovich

On August 25, 2014 Amy Westervelt wrote an article saying Environmental Messages Have Lost Appeal.  She went on to say, “Small businesses are playing down their green message. A decade ago, entrepreneurs rushed to take advantage of consumer demand for environmentally friendly products—but now…."We've never used the term 'eco' or 'green' in our marketing—people are saturated with those terms,"….. "The word 'eco' no longer elicits a very positive response."

 A number of years ago I was at a wedding reception and we were talking – actually I was pontificating - about global warming and all this green claptrap. One man said he was really sick and tired of hearing about it, and the rest of those sitting around the table pretty much agreed.  That's when I coined the term - Green Fatigue!

You can only scare people for so long before they start to look into what you're really up to. We have to give the environmental movement a lot of credit for attacking the issues involving clean water and air.  But we also have to recognize the states were already heading down that path.  Did the creation of the EPA and green activists speed that process up? Yes! But having done something right doesn't give you a pass on the rest of life.

In the early 1980's the green movement was overtaken with leftist ideologues. And the phony environmental scares haven't stopped since. Why? Because green is a business. Once the air and water was cleaned they would have to go out and get real jobs. Either that or create scares that would generate huge amounts of money. Then the leftists took over these organizations, and claims about concern for the environment merely became a ploy for power and money – of which the fraudulent Alar scare is a classic example.   

Dr. Jay Lehr – one of the ones who helped found the EPA – says:

In the late 1960s, I got involved in the formation of the U.S. EPA, and in the ‘70s was instrumental in the establishment of a safety net of environmental regulations. I had my hand in the writing of seven different pieces of legislation: the Water Pollution Control Act (which later became the Clean Water Act), the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (which dealt with waste disposal), the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide and Fungicide Act (FIRFA), the Superfund, and the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. During this time, several of us had to teach environmental science to the Legislature and get them to pass different bills that would wake the public up to the need to maintain clean air, water, soil and groundwater, and to dispose of our waste in a more reasonable manner. During that decade we did a terrific job.

However in the ‘80s that work was complete and then the pendulum swung. Environmental advocacy groups saw the environment as a way to promote big government and liberal ideas that reduced individual freedom, and threw a monkey wrench in the path of progress and capitalism.

He went on to say:

Quite frankly, U.S. EPA has done nothing useful since 1980, and is, in my opinion, the worst agency today in the federal government and one that could be disbanded with no negative impact on the public. Each state has their own EPA and they do a good enough job that we really don’t need the Feds anymore. I began to realize that everything was being taken to an extreme during the ‘80s and in 1991, I published a book called “Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns,” where I contacted 50 different experts on various environmental issues and asked them if the government was handling their issues correctly or in an overbearing manner. All 50 of the scientists said things had gotten out of hand and there were distortions and mythologies creeping into their areas of environmental science.

But what about all these studies that demonstrate ecological disaster?  He goes on to say:

Science is following the government money, and it’s a problem in all industries. We’ve totally distorted science, not all of it, but certainly at the university level. They know they have to say what the government wants to hear in the grant proposal process in order to get their money. U.S. EPA rules the roost, and if they’re not out to prove or say bad things about chemicals of all kinds, they won’t likely get the money. This is all driven by the environmental advocacy groups that control U.S. EPA today. 

Environmental activists really are great at finding fault, but they really are lousy at finding solutions – and for a couple of reasons.  One, most of their complaints are fraudulent non-problems, and two,  people like Jay and Dr. Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder,   abandoned the movement as they saw the direction it was going, and that direction has nothing to do with real science or legitimate benefits to the environment or humanity. 
However, Dr. Lehr just as doesn’t just outline the problem in his talks and his articles -  he has developed a plan for replacing the federal EPA and still have oversight on environmental issues.
It eventually became obvious to those who research these green scares that the environment activists lie – a lot!  All of their answers for attaining “utopia” mean abandoning modern life.  They’re against every form of energy production.  They’ve now turned on the forms of energy they promote as in solar, wind, biofuels.   They insist we need to become one with nature to attain utopia.  The reality is this.    Dystopia – squalor, misery, sickness, suffering and early death - follows the green movement like Sancho Panza followed Don Quixote, a madman!  The green movement – through implementation its policies - has been responsible for more death, misery and suffering than the fascist and communist monsters of the 20th century!  Their claims about concern for future generations - and their emotional appeal "it's for the children",  must fall deaf ears. Most of what they've done isn't "for" the children, it been "to" the children, since its the children who have suffered the most from their policies.  This would include their stand against genetically modified organisms, including Golden Rice, which would have saved the sight and lives of millions, and they should be held accountable for those millions of children who have been blinded, and died as a result of their opposition. 
Is it any wonder society is suffering from Green Fatigue?  It's about time!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quote of the Day!

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.  - Michael Crichton, graduate of Harvard Medical School and author of State of Fear.

Paradigms and Demographics: Morning Edition!

Posted By Rich Kozlovich

Guest opinion by Dr Tim Ball Creating the News: On August 4 2014, an article in The Guardian claimed, “World’s Top PR Companies Rule Out Working With Climate Deniers”. It is a classic example of what purports to be journalism today, a concocted story, in which the story contradicts the headline. It is a…
It is a fundamental economic law that pricing the services of any product above its market clearing price will create a surplus for that product. It should therefore be a self-evident truth that this economic law applies to labour with equal force. Regardless of what a many people think, labour is not special nor is it bought and sold. What employers actually do is pay rent to labour for the use of its services. How much rent must be paid for those services depends on the supply of labour and the value of its marginal product. The lower the supply (given an unchanged demand) the higher will be the wage, and vice versa.  The demand curve for labour consists of a descending array of marginal productivities. The point at which the wage rate is determined is where we find marginal workers, those it only just pays to hire. It is at this point that minimum wage laws* do their damage. These workers are the first to go when the effective minimum is raised. It follows that what really matters is not the minimum wage per se but the effective minimum rate, the rate that exceeds the market clearing price of labour. Hence it is this rate that causes unemployment....... Of course, Dresser could use the old Keynesian standby that as these employers save part of their incomes while marginal workers save nothing, then boosting the minimum wage will raise spending by reducing savings. No it won’t. This fallacy contains even more fallacies. To begin with it assumes that to save is not to spend. But saving is spending by another name and is the means by which spending is directed from the purchase of present goods to the purchase of future goods. (I should add that Keynesians are forever confusing cash balances
The truth about racial preferences in higher education.
The Evidence Behind Common Core Is Really Weak
Much like the push for government preschool, the Common Core movement is suffused with much hope but little evidence.
Not much bang for D.C.’s education bucks
...once more as students return for another round of reading, writing and arithmetic. In the District of Columbia, sad but true, they’re not learning much.
WV Against Common Core Holds Town Hall Meeting
West Virginia Against Common Core held a town hall meeting to inform local residents why they feel Common Core will negatively affect our state.
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday became the latest state education higher-up to express skepticism on Common Core
One Judge Attempts to Block Thousands of Students from Accessing School Vouchers
Judge Robert Hobgood ruled the state’s school voucher program unconstitutional because the program appropriates funds in a manner that does not accomplish a public purpose.
more »
Global Warmingmore »

The ABC of RutherglenJennifer Marohasy
IF global warming is the greatest moral issue of our time, then the truth really does matter. But this morning, I felt that I had been shut outside, or at least cut-off, without having a chance to tell the whole story. Bronwen O’Shea the host of an ABC radio program for the Goulburn Murray, a [...]

Submitting the U.S. to the international community's will -- without the consent of Congress.

Alarmism: When Is This Bozo Going Down? By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger Climate alarmism is like one of those pop-up Bozos. No matter how many times you bop it, up it springs. In fact, the only way to stop it, as most kids learn, is to deflate it. In this…

Yesterday we mentioned Obama’s nuclear option event, and now the fallout begins. From Timothy Cama and Scott Wong, The Hill President Obama’s election-year plan to win a new international climate change accord is making vulnerable Democrats nervous. The administration is in talks at the United Nations about a deal that would seek to reduce global greenhouse…more » more »


more » The Muslim Rape of Christian Nuns - Raymond Ibrahim
An ancient tradition continues -- with little to stand in its way.

While authorities and child protection services turned a blind eye to avoid being called "racist."

What we must learn from Iraq’s example. more »

When Americans Leave for Jihad - Peter Bergen and David Sterman, CNN
What can be done? Western governments are keenly aware of the problem of Syrian veterans coming home both radicalized and trained. The problem is that in some European countries with hundreds of returnees, it is just not possible to monitor all of them. That was vividly illustrated by the case of Nemmouche. more »

Middle East

The walking time bombs in our midst. more »

Protestors stand up to Jew-Hate on an American campus.

Can the Middle East Redraw Itself? - Marc Champion, Bloomberg View
Amre Moussa, the former Arab League head from Egypt, is calling for a Middle Eastern equivalent of the 1814 Congress of Vienna, in which Europe’s great powers established a new order to prevent wars between empires following the defeat of Napoleon. Admittedly, Moussa quickly backtracked to say the plan couldn’t initially include Iran, Turkey or Israel, making it really just another Arab League meeting. Still, I think he’s onto something.

A Grim Stalemate at War's End in Gaza - Dan Perry, Associated Press
The third Gaza War in six years appears to have ended in another sort of tie, with both Israel and Hamas claiming the upper hand. Their questionable achievements have come at a big price, especially to long-suffering Palestinians in Gaza. In a sense, Israel got what it wanted: Hamas stopped firing rockets in exchange for mostly vague promises and future talks. But the cost to Israel was huge: Beyond the 70 people killed - all but six of them soldiers - the economy has been set back, the tourism season destroyed, its people rattled for 50 days and its globa... more »

Hamas' Humiliation, Israel's Looming Loss - Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel
Don’t be fooled. Hamas has capitulated to a ceasefire without any of its promised achievements. But Israel, too, will be a loser unless it changes its position on Mahmoud Abbas. more »

Iran's Great, and Squandered, Potential - Karim Sadjadpour, The Daily Star
During Iran’s 2013 presidential campaign, Hassan Rouhani marketed himself to a wary Iranian public and hard-line political establishment as the man who could reconcile the ideological prerogatives of the Islamic Republic with the economic interests of the Iranian nation. Iran did not need to decide whether to wage Death to America or dtente, whether to resist the global order or reintegrate with it, or whether to be theocratic or democratic. Under his leadership, Rouhani implied, the Islamic Republic of Iran could do it all. more »

President Barack Obama's decision to authorize aerial surveillance of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions in Syria suggests that airstrikes employing manned and unmanned aircraft may not be far behind. All of this is right and proper. Yet danger lurks. The head of Syria's preeminent crime family—President Bashar Al Assad—waits, crocodile-like, for the American angler to tumble out of the boat. For Assad, opportunity knocks. If he handles matters correctly he can, with an assist from American inaction, return to polite society while others do the anti-ISIS ... more » more »

What the media won't tell you about affirmative action plans imposed on police departments.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Best of Alan Caruba!

Common Core Rapidly Losing Support - By Alan Caruba

As their children either start or return to school, parents are naturally concerned about the quality of education they receive from kindergarten through twelfth grade. In the past, before the teachers unions gained virtual control of the schools and before the federal government decided it had to impose “national standards”, it was the job of local boards of education to ensure students learned the basics—the three R’s—and, if history is any indicator, they did.

There should be no federal intervention in our school systems, but programs such as 2001’s “No Child Left Behind” and Obama's "Race to the Top" have conditioned people to accept its role. The most recent example is Common Core, but it is the creation of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The support it has received from the White House, the Department of Education, and voices on Capitol Hill has left many with the impression it is a federal program. That doesn’t make it any less awful. Here’s why…..for the first time the annual Pi Kappa Delta/Gallup poll revealed that “a majority of Americans—81%--has heard of Common Core. And 60% oppose it.”

 “Nationalizing education, like nationalizing anything,” says Pullman “requires compromise to get enacted. And compromise inevitably sacrifices quality. Quality has to grow from the ground up, through cooperation and competition, or it will never exist.”…..

What is the Difference Between the DNC and the CPUSA? - By Alan Caruba

On the home page of the Communist Party USA it says “A better and peaceful world is possible—a world where people and nature come before profits. That’s socialism. That’s our vision. We are the Communist Party USA.”  No, it’s not Socialism which is a watered down version of Communism. Real Communism is the kind that was practiced in the former Soviet Union. It can be found in Cuba and North Korea where the state controls all power and property,and the people have none.  Modified versions exist in China, Russia, Venezuela, and other nations where some aspects of Capitalism are maintained for the sake of their economies. In the West Socialism was incorporated by both the U.S. and Great Britain, and other nations via various social welfare programs.

Capitalism is about profits, innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment. It is about the freedom to acquire wealth. It emphasizes work, not welfare. It is the reason America has a dynamic economic system---when it is permitted to prosper, free from federal interference.

In America, conservatives have always been acutely aware of Communism, but the 47% who still approve of Barack Obama and those who are members of the Democratic Party are the dupes of those whose quest for tyrannical power permits them to tell the most appalling lies, particularly about Republicans.  The Democratic Party is so politically corrupt and devoid of moral standards that it is currently engaged in seeking to harm potential Republican presidential candidates with an utterly bogus indictment of Texas Governor Perry and the slanders leveled against New Jersey Governor Christie. It is a tactic of those who fear a loss at the ballot box……

 The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution do not abandon religion, they embrace it. They do not, however, require that Americans believe in God, nor punish them for failing to do so.  Central to the liberties enshrined in these documents is the belief that they come from a higher power and America exists because of that belief. Without it there would have been no America. There are those among us who insist that, as a nation, we abandon faith in God and, if we do, America will cease to be a power for good in the world.
When Thomas Jefferson presented the Declaration to those who would pledge their lives and their sacred honor to achieve independence from England John Adams asked that it include the words “They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” after the phrase “all men are created equal” and Benjamin Franklin agreed, suggesting that “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” be added as well.” In their 2004 book, “Under God” by Toby Mac and Michael Tait, said “The changes demonstrated Congress’s strong reliance upon God—as delegates added the words “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions.”….

The Progressives Are On The Wrong Side Of History

By Burt Folsom 26 Aug 2014

Who is “on the wrong side of history,” progressives or conservatives? Progressives often insist they are “on the right side of history,” but their ideas failed 100 years ago.

Today, for example, progressives have opposed fracking and have halted the building of the Keystone Pipeline to bring cheaper oil from Canada through the United States. As a result, gas prices at the pump have been over $3.00 per gallon for years. One hundred years ago progressives also stopped the flow of oil. They used new antitrust laws to break up the Standard Oil Company; and, as a result, no American company had the venture capital to pursue the foreign drilling that might have prevented shortages today.

On taxes, President Woodrow Wilson gave us the first progressive income tax. He and his progressive friends said raising tax rates would not hinder investments. But the year President Woodrow Wilson left office, the U.S. had a top tax rate of 73% and unemployment had skyrocketed to 12%. Because of high taxes, entrepreneurs refused to invest, the national debt spiraled upward, and the number of Americans reporting $300,000 in income declined from almost 1,300 in 1916 to fewer than 250 in 1921. High taxes chased away wealth and stifled growth....To Read More....

Paradigms and Demographics: Evening Edition

Posted By Rich Kozlovich

There are some seriously conflicting views here today, so pick and choose.  Some of this I agree with entirely, and some of it I would put in the same category as tripe. Please enjoy!

Are environmental and social problems such as global warming and poverty the result of inadequate governmental regulations or does the burden fall on our failure as consumers to make better consumption choices? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, responsible consumption shifts the…
 more »

Smuggled Bushmeat: Ebola's Back Door to U.S.? - Flynn and Scutti, Newsweek
Bushmeat, which can range from bat to monkey to lion, including a number of endangered species, is beloved by many African-born Americans, despite the fact that it is illegal in the U.S. In the Bronx, the high price (up to 0 for six or seven pounds, Appiah tells us) attached to bushmeat (or viande de brousse, as it is known in the French-speaking world) indicates a luxury indulgence in the same way illegally imported caviar might for Russian émigrés in Brooklyn.  

Treating Africa Like a Diseased, Dirty Place - Seay and Dionne, Wash Post
This week’s Newsweek magazine cover features an image of a chimpanzee behind the words, “A Back Door for Ebola: Smuggled Bushmeat Could Spark a U.S. Epidemic.” This cover story is problematic for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that there is virtually no chance that“bushmeat” smuggling could bring Ebola to America. (The term is a catchall for non-domesticated animals consumed as a protein source; anyone who hunts deer and then consumes their catch as venison in the United States is eating bushmeat without calling it that.) While eating bushmeat …. more »

Agriculturemore »

*We're running out of food!* *So says the gullible Justin Gillis of the NYT -- completely ignoring all the facts. Take for instance the current situation in icy Canada:“In Western Canada, we’re moving from a huge glut of wheat to still a pretty big carry-over, but by no means the kind of over-supply we had in the last year. And in 2013: “Canola - Nationally, canola production increased 29.5% from 2012 to a record 18.0 million tonnes; “Wheat: Farmers reported record wheat production of 37.5 million tonnes, a 38.0% increase from 2012.". The only crop not a record in 2013 was was Barley and Oats."... more »


U.S. Must Acknowledge China's Ambition - Chris Layne, Boston Globe
One hundred years ago this month, Britain declared war on Germany. And though the issues of that era may seem irrelevant now, the pre-war tensions between those two nations can actually help us understand where today’s Sino-American relationship is headed. After all, though history never repeats itself exactly, as Mark Twain famously observed, it does rhyme. Or to put it another way, clear patterns recur when two rival nations are locked in a cycle of rise and decline.

Indian Trade Booming with ASEAN - Luke Hunt, The Diplomat
Business ties extending west into India have never enjoyed the same cachet as trade with China to the north. Thats partly because access to India was blocked by Myanmars isolation and partly because a two-decade economic boom in China soaked-up as much capital as ASEAN investors could spare. But that equation is changing as Chinas economy slows and growth buckles under debt while India reappraises its relationship with ASEAN amid the prospect that overland routes from Southeast Asia through Myanmar will improve east-west trade potential.

China's Silent War on Terror - Emily Rauhala, Time
A virtual media blackout makes it hard to know what's happening as Beijing tackles unrest among its Uighur Muslim minorities. more »

more » 2014: A Year of Botched Elections in Asia - Andrew Oplas, The Diplomat
It is commonly understood that genuine elections are among the most indispensable prerequisites for effective and sustained democratic governance. And yet as with democracy itself, elections are imperfect and malleable. Often associated with triumphant images – the purple-stained finger or zigzagging queues of hopeful voters risking everything in the face of threats – it is easy to overrate the ability of elections to set the stage for lasting democratic reforms in countries with little history of self-government.

Tough Times for Quebec's Mobsters - Jonathan Kay, National Post
How fitting that Quebec’s Charbonneau Commission — officially known as the Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry — is nicely under-budget as it cruises into its last few months of active existence. “Documents obtained through an access to information request reveal that as of July 16, 2014, the high-profile inquiry, which started in 2011, had spent a grand total of .62-million,” Montreal’s Gazette newspaper reported over the weekend. “The provincial government had initially set aside... more »


A few years ago, I used to know a senior wind turbine engineer. One evening, over a few beers, he told me the dirty secret of his profession: “The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction,…

Climate Skeptics often cite the fact that renewables like wind and solar don’t have constant power flow, and thus need either a nuclear, hyrdo, or coal/gas power plant backup in order to deliver a reliable power supply to the electrical grid. Proponents often retort with “all we need is better battery technology to store power”.…

Is Coal winning the energy battle?- Anthony Watt
Guest essay by Mike Jonas In an absurd article “Full extent of global coal ‘binge’ is hidden, say researchers“, the BBC’s Matt McGrath argues that instead of modeling actual and expected CO2 emissions from coal and gas power plants, it should all be counted in the power station’s first year. [You couldn't make this stuff


HEADS need to start rolling at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The senior management have tried to cover-up serious tampering that has occurred with the temperatures at an experimental farm near Rutherglen in Victoria. Retired scientist Dr Bill Johnston used to run experiments there. He, and many others, can vouch for the fact that the [...] more »

The hot questions for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) mount up. Rutherglen was one of the temperature recording stations that was subject to large somewhat mysterious adjustments which turned a slight cooling trend into a strongly warming one. Yet the official notes showed that the site did not move and was a continuous record. On paper, Rutherglen appeared to be ideal — a rare long rural temperature record where measurements had come from the same place since 1913. The original cooling trend of – 0.35C was transformed into a +1.73C warming after “homogenisation” by th... more »

A Lead Author of IPCC AR5 Downplays Importance of Climate Models - Richard Betts
......The first bullet point on his webpage under areas of expertise describes his work as a climate modeler. He was one of the lead authors of the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report (WG2). On a recent thread at Andrew Montford’s BishopHill blog, Dr. Betts…more »

EPA: Ignore our previous statements on Ocean Acidification  - Anthony Watts
Hoisted with their own petard fighting a lawsuit Story submitted by Eric Worrall The EPA is fighting a desperate battle to sink a green lawsuit, a lawsuit which is substantially based on the EPA’s own climate narrative. The Lawsuit, launched by the Center for Biological Diversity, seeks to impose enhanced clean water act protection upon… 

Global sea level rise a bit more than 1mm a year for last 50 years, no acceleration - Joanne Nova
Here’s a novel approach. Beenstock et al wondered if tide gauges were placed in any old spot around the world or were biased toward area where sea-level did more rising. They compared the location of tide gauges in the year 2000 to sea level rises and falls as measured by satellite altimetry. It turns out the placement seems to be independent (meaning anywhere). This is pretty important because the infernally tough thing about measuring sea levels is whether the land is subsiding or rising at the same time, and how to correct for that. If tide gauges are spread evenly (or quasi-ra... more »

BOM finally explains! Cooling changed to warming trends because stations “might” have moved! - JoNova
It’s the news you’ve been waiting years to hear! Finally we find out the exact details of why the BOM changed two of their best long term sites from cooling trends to warming trends. The massive inexplicable adjustments like these have been discussed on blogs for years. But it was only when Graham Lloyd advised the BOM he would be reporting on this that they finally found time to write three paragraphs on specific stations. Who knew it would be so hard to get answers. We put in a Senate request for an audit of the BOM datasets in 2011. Ken Stewart, Geoff Sherrington, Des Moore, Bi... more »

Letter to the editor by Viv Forbes Twenty-two years ago a bunch of green activists calling themselves “The Earth Summit” met in Rio and invented a way to tour the world at tax-payers’ expense – never-ending conferences on environmental alarms. Like any good bureaucratic committee, they soon established sub-committees on sustainability, pollution, development, energy, forestry,…

ARCUS Sea-Ice predictions are in, includes WUWT’s contribution - Anthony Watts
ARCUS Sea Ice Prediction Network writes in their executive summary: Thank you to the groups that contributed to the August 2014 Outlook. We received 23 pan-Arctic contributions. Of the 23 contributions, some are unchanged from July. The median Outlook value for September extent is 5.0 million square kilometers with a quartile range from 4.58 to…

The Atlantic is leaking methane – but researchers say there’s no cause for alarm -  Anthony Watts
We’ve seen all this before, but there is a twist this time, the authors of the paper are dialing back the alarm a bit. “…authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps.” From the BBC – 24 August 2014 ‘Widespread methane leakage’ from ocean floor off US…

Choking the Oceans with Plastic - Charles J. Moore, New York Times
The world is awash in plastic. It’s in our cars and our carpets, we wrap it around the food we eat and virtually every other product we consume; it has become a key lubricant of globalization — but it’s choking our future in ways that most of us are barely aware.


Europe's Slow Surrender to Intolerance - Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
On the one hand, it is completely unsurprising that Europe has become a swamp of anti-Jewish hostility. It is, after all, Europe. Anti-Jewish hostility has been its metier for centuries. (Yes, the locus of much anti-Jewish activity today is within Europe’s large Muslim-immigrant population; but the young men who threaten their Jewish neighbors draw on the language and traditions of European anti-Semitism as much as they do on Muslim modes of anti-Semitic thought.) On the other hand, the intensity, and velocity, of anti-Jewish invectiveand actual anti...

France's Fake Crisis Boosts the Far Right - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg France is reshuffling its government for the second time in 147 days because at least two leftist ministers rebelled against Prime Minister Manuel Valls's pro-business, anti-spending inclinations, such as they are. As traditional center-left and center-right politicians bicker about inefficient, half-baked fixes for real economic problems, public trust for them is at rock bottom, and the extreme right stands to gain the most.

A Belated Day of Reckoning for France - Jonathan Fenby, Financial Times
After two years of compromise, France’s President Normal has met his moment of truth. The stand-off between Franois Hollande, the Socialist head of state, and the leftwing of his own party that erupted at the weekend, resulting in the purging of anti-austerity leftwingers from the government, has ramifications stretching far beyond the immediate confrontation. These will have significant implications both for the way France is run and for Europe. There is a distinct possibility of a period of chaos, reflecting the deep concerns at the root of the moros... more »

Why Ireland Has an Abortion Ban -Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times
The most successful single issue movement in the history of the State, the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC), was established in January 1981 by 13 organisations: the Congress of Catholic Secondary School Parents’ Associations; the Irish Catholic Doctors’ Guild; the Guild of Catholic Nurses; the Guild of Catholic Pharmacists; the Catholic Young Men’s Society; the St Thomas More Society; the Irish Pro-Life Movement; the National Association of the Ovulation Method (“natural” contraception endorsed by the Catholic church); the Council of Social Concern (COS... more »

It's Scoundrel Time in Scotland - Tom Gallagher, The Commentator
Monday's second debate between Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister and Alistair Darling, former Labour Chancellor and head of Better Together, was nasty and shaming at a national level. It laid bare the divisions which are likely to make Scottish politics turbulent irrespective of the outcome of next month’s referendum on its future relations with the rest of the United Kingdom (known in Scotland as, rUK).


Will 'El-Qaida' Swarm Us from Mexico? - Joshua Keating, Slate
The Mexican government is expressing some irritation with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who suggested last week that there’s a “very real possibility” that members of ISIS or other terrorist groups are entering the U.S. illegally via Mexico. As Perry acknowledged in his own remarks—and as the Pentagon confirmed—there’s “no clear evidence” that this is happening. But as is generally the case when fears of “El Qaida” periodically emerge, a lack of evidence is no barrier to bold sweeping claims.

Mideast Madness

Destroy the 'Islamic State' - John Bolton, National Review
Approving U.S. military force against the Islamic State on August 7, Obama stressed two limited goals: protecting U.S. civilian and military personnel in Irbil, the Kurdish capital, which the Islamic State was rapidly nearing; and aiding refugees who had fled as the group advanced into Iraq from Syria. These are legitimate objectives, but they are far too constrained even in humanitarian terms, let alone against the serious regional and global strategic threats the Islamic State poses. more »

Don't Give ISIS the Wider War It Wants - Emile Simpson, The Guardian
Last week’s murder of US journalist James Foley was shocking – as Islamic State (Isis) no doubt intended it to be. The risk is that UK policy, while right in its instinct to act against Isis, is drawn into precisely the wider confrontation that Isis desires.

Obama Is Just 'Tickling' ISIS, Rebels Say - Josh Rogin, The Daily Beast
U.S. airstrikes against ISIS, even if they extend into Syria as several Obama administration officials are signaling, don’t have a chance of destroying the terror group, moderate political and rebel leaders inside the country are cautioning. They have told The Daily Beast that air strikes will only make things worse unless there’s a coordinated plan to defeat ISIS. more »

Nusras more pragmatic approach, a few days after an ISIS video that seemed deliberately evocative of Zarqawi-era beheadings, shows that the old disagreement over tactics still persists, and has only gotten more public since al-Qaida and ISIS formally severed ties earlier this year. more »

The Worst Fate Possible for a Journalist - Michael Totten, World Affairs
I cancelled my trip to Libya and went to Lebanon instead. Knowing I had a colleague and a friend-to-be waiting in Benghazi wasnÂt enough. There is safety in numbers, sure, but we journalists can only do so much to protect each other. He seemed disappointed, but he too ended up leaving Libya and went to, of all places, Syria. His name is Steven Sotloff. And he was kidnapped last August by ISIS. Last weekend ISIS executed our colleague James Foley on camera and said Sotloff is next. Sotloff appears in the video too and personally witnessed FoleyÂs behead... more »

Iraq Explains Why Not to Leave Afghanistan - Paul Miller, Foreign Policy
Despite his obvious and understandable hesitations to return U.S. military forces to Iraq, the president's humanitarian concerns combined with the United States' strategic interests and added heft to his decisions to use force in Iraq. In other words, the president has articulated the best possible argument for remaining engaged in Afghanistan beyond the 2016 deadline he established for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops there.

Hillary’s Hand in Hamas’ Terror Tunnels - Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
One accomplishment from Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. more »

The only way to secure Christian survival in the Middle East. more »

Libya Under Siege - Joseph Klein
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates respond to a jihadist takeover -- while the U.S. stands in their way.

Singing to the tune of "Allahu Akbar." more »

How Islam spawned Foley's fate -- and our culture's inability to accept it.

Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon's Precedent - George Friedman, Stratfor
Lebanon was created out of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This agreement between Britain and France reshaped the collapsed Ottoman Empire south of Turkey into the states we know today -- Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and to some extent the Arabian Peninsula as well. For nearly 100 years, Sykes-Picot defined the region. A strong case can be made that the nation-states Sykes-Picot created are now defunct, and that what is occurring in Syria and Iraq represents the emergence of those post-British/French maps that the United States has been trying to maintain since the ... more »

Why al-Qaeda Released a U.S. Hostage Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard
This difference in tactics can also be seen in how al Qaeda is handling the case of Warren Weinstein, an American who was kidnapped by al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan in 2011.

The Grotesque Alliance Carving Up Syria - David Blair, Daily Telegraph
As recently as 2012, after all, Baghdadi’s extremists were a weakened force confined to a small area of Iraq. Then Assad released a cohort of Syria’s most dangerous jihadists from Sednaya jail near Damascus. Some of these men – along with others freed in later amnesties – are believed to have become Isil commanders. more »

Who is to blame for the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)? The group's stunning military advances in Iraq and Syria have, together, built the most important safe haven for Islamic extremists since Taliban-held Afghanistan, and possibly ever. So it is important to understand where ISIS came from — and how it got so strong. more »

U.S. and Iran Hit ISIS, Ignore Each Other - Eli Lake, The Daily Beast
With ISIS over-running Syrian bases, the time might seem right for a grand alliance against the Islamic State. But so far, the U.S. isn’t talking to Iran or Syria’s armies. more »

 5 reasons why an expanded mission to strike James Foley's killers in Syria won't work. And why it's going to happen anyway.

Dempsey's Clarity and Obama's Confusion - Tom Rogan, National Review 
Military strategy demands the disruption of an enemy’s “center of gravity.” The Islamic State’s center of gravity is in Syria, and General Dempsey’s comments last Thursday reflected that truth.

more » Gaza's Rubble Bucket Challenge - Miriam Berger
After the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS went viral, Palestinian journalist Ayman Aloul decided to take the Gaza version, the Rubble Bucket Challenge, a campaign launched to spread awareness of life in Gaza in the aftermath of Israeli airstrikes.

No One on the Ground Can Beat ISIS - Jamie Dettmer
In Iraq today the administration has committed to doing something against the forces of the so-called Islamic State, but the limited military intervention we’ve seen to date lags far behind the bellicose rhetoric of Obama officials since the murder of American journalist James Foley. Once again, we see the same reluctance that was on display about retaliation against Syrian President Bashar al Assad for spreading toxins. Fear of mission creep, fear of putting American boots on the ground, and excessive faith in the wonders of American military technology... more »

Barack Obama Is Not a Realist - Paul Saunders, The National Interest
The principal reason that Obama’s critics and defenders considered him a realist for so long has been his administration’s generally pragmatic policies. But realism is much more than pragmatism; confusing the two is one of the most fundamental and enduring errors in America’s foreign-policy debates. Realism is pragmatism rooted in awareness of international anarchy, infused with a deep understanding of American power and in service of a strategy based on American national interests. Obama is not a realist because his policies typically start and s... more »

Don't Cooperate with Assad - Michael Totten, World Affairs
The US is considering air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria as well as Iraq and the Syrian government says any unilateral action that isnÂt coordinated with Damascus will be seen as an act of aggression. President Bashar al-Assad would be perfectly content, however, to have the United States fighting on its side. more »

Libya the Sign of a Newly Proactive Gulf  - Jane Kinninmont, The Guardian
Whatever has happened in Libya in the past few days – with the US claiming that the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were behind several airstrikes on Islamist militias – it is clear that America’s traditional allies in the region are looking for new ways to protect themselves against a spectrum of threats that they think the US is not taking seriously enough.

What’s behind the rush to separate the religion from its most notorious exponents.

Getting moral clarity.

Frontpage Editor unveils the sinister roles of CAIR and ISNA in the "Tri-Faith Initiative."

d the media's silence.

The Left's rush to judgment, division and hate -- without the facts.

Policymore »

Want to know what happens when the U.S. retreats from a leadership role in the Middle East? This is what happens–Egypt and the United Arab Emirates together collaborate to stage air strikes against Islamist militias in Libya. And meanwhile Qatar, which is at odds with its fellow Persian Gulf sheikhdom, the UAE, has been funneling arms to the very Islamist militias that UAE’s air force is bombing. more »

The Rand Paul Doctrine: Don't Get Involved - David Francis, Fiscal Times
At the height of the Iraq crisis, as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) surrounded a mountain where Iraqi Christians and other minorities had taken refuge, one loud voice on the American public policy scene was silent. As President Obama launched air strikes that eventually allowed the Yazidis to leave Mount Sinjar, Rand Paul had nothing to say. Pauls silence was understandable; he is as close to an isolationist as the Republican Party has seen in decades. more »

The Overstretched West - Joschka Fischer, Project Syndicate
The chaotic consequences of the gradual disintegration of Pax Americana are becoming increasingly clear. For seven decades, the United States safeguarded a global framework, which – however imperfect, and regardless of how many mistakes the superpower made – generally guaranteed a minimum level of stability. At the very least, Pax Americana was an essential component of Western security. But the US is no longer willing or able to be the world’s policeman.

Libertarians Need to Man Up on Foreign Policy - Roger Simon, PJ Media
Libertarianism, if we are to believe none other than The New York Times, has become quite chic. But paradoxically, during this same time frame, it has become perhaps even more evident that one of the apparent tenets of libertarianism a kind of neo-isolationism is, well, to put it bluntly, insane. In the era of the Islamic State (not to mention a dozen other similar murderous, increasingly global organizations we could name or are being invented as I write), anyone who believes we can roll up the gangplanks to create the perfect libertarian state and everyt... more »

A reaction from Pat Michaels follows. From the NYT article: Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be… more »


The Ferguson mob sets its sights on Officer Wilson’s head. more »

Why the mob won't be appeased until it has Officer Wilson's head. more »

moremore » The Lie Behind the Lynch Mob - John Perazzo
The remarkable statistics on police shootings and race.


What a Russia-Ukraine Deal Could Look Like - Patrick Smith, Fiscal Times
All eyes will focus this week on Minsk where Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko. After coming close to armed confrontation over the aid-laden convoy Russia sent into Ukraine’s eastern region last week, the encounter in the Belarus capital Tuesday suddenly and unexpectedly presents the two sides with the their best chance yet to reach a diplomatic and political agreement settling the nine-month crisis over Ukraine’s future status and direction. more »

Russia Is Already Invading Ukraine - David Frum, The Atlantic
On the same day as the convoy’s theatrical but seemingly pointless mission, NATO officials publicly charged that “Russian artillery support—both cross-border and from within Ukraine—is being employed against the Ukrainian armed forces.” Russian military units are now firing at Ukrainian forces from positions on Ukrainian territory. If that’s not an invasion, it’s hard to know what else to call it.

Putin Is Key to Avoiding a New Cold War - David Owen, The Guardian
The presidential summit in Minsk offers hope of a deal over Ukraine. But the Russian leader will not accept humiliation. more »