City Calm Ahead of a Vote Organized by Pro-Democracy Protest Leaders
Crowds grew Saturday at the downtown protest site, as they have during other weekends, though there were no reports of clashes between demonstrators and police as on other recent evenings.
The student-led protesters want anyone to be able to stand for Hong Kong’s first ever public ballot for chief executive in 2017. China’s government in August ruled a selection committee largely loyal to Beijing will select those who can stand, sparking the protests.
Some local citizens—who have taken to wearing blue ribbons—are angry that students have shut down parts of the city over the issue. On Saturday night there were reports that some blue ribbon demonstrators had attacked journalists covering their counter protests in Kowloon.
“I agree with the students’ goal. Who doesn’t want a democratic society?”
Radio Television Hong Kong and Television Broadcasts Ltd. issued statements complaining their journalists had been pushed and kicked by blue ribbon protesters. Police haven’t made any arrests.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying reiterated Saturday he won’t resign, saying the protesters’ demands aren’t in accordance with the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution. Read the rest of this entry »
In this still image from a NASA video, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft leaves the International Space Station to return to Earth on Saturday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
The Gangsters of Election 2014: The Paramilitary Arm of Wisconsin Progressive Democrats’ Campaign to Defeat Scott WalkerPosted: October 25, 2014
The Nastiest Political Tactic this Year
The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.
“Such misbehavior takes a toll on something that already is in short supply: belief in government’s legitimacy.”
Some raids were precursors of, others were parts of, the nastiest episode of this unlovely political season, an episode that has occurred in an unlikely place. This attempted criminalization of politics to silence people occupying just one portion of the political spectrum has happened in Wisconsin, which often has conducted robust political arguments with Midwestern civility.
From the progressivism of Robert La Follette to the conservatism of Gov. Scott Walker (R) today, Wisconsin has been fertile soil for conviction politics. Today, the state’s senators are the very conservative Ron Johnson (R)and the very liberal Tammy Baldwin (D). Now, however, Wisconsin, which to its chagrin produced Sen. Joe McCarthy (R), has been embarrassed by Milwaukee County’s Democratic district attorney, John Chisholm.
“Chisholm’s aim — to have a chilling effect on conservative speech — has been achieved by bombarding Walker supporters with raids and subpoenas: Instead of raising money to disseminate their political speech, conservative individuals and groups, harassed and intimidated, have gone into a defensive crouch, raising little money and spending much money on defensive litigation.”
He has used Wisconsin’s uniquely odious “John Doe” process to launch sweeping and virtually unsupervised investigations while imposing gag orders to prevent investigated people from defending themselves or rebutting politically motivated leaks.
According to several published reports, Chisholm told subordinates that his wife, a teachers union shop steward at her school, is anguished by her detestation of Walker’s restrictions on government employee unions, so Chisholm considers it his duty to help defeat Walker.
In collaboration with Wisconsin’s misbegotten Government Accountability Board, which exists to regulate political speech, Chisholm has misinterpreted Wisconsin campaign law in a way that looks willful. He has done so to justify a “John Doe” process that has searched for evidence of “coordination” between Walker’s campaign and conservative issue advocacy groups. Read the rest of this entry »
Original poster Artwork by Anselmo Ballester for “The Face Behind the Mask” 1941. York Post front page for Saturday, October 25, 2014
Patrick de la Chevardière, CFO of Total SA (which is France’s largest energy company), has publicly announced that Total is looking to finance its share in the $27-billion Yamal LNG project using euros, yuan, Russian rubles, and any other currency but US dollars.
The effect of US sanctions was that Yamal LNG [in Russia's far North] will be prevented from raising any dollar financings,” Patrick de la Chevardière stated in London at a news briefing.
Patrick de la Chevardière’s boss — the CEO of Total SA and presumably the man who made that decision — was Christophe de Margerie. De Margerie is now dead, along with three crew members aboard his private jet when it collided with a snowplow just after midnight at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. The plow’s driver was drunk, according to Russian investigators, and was seemingly unhurt.
[Check out Marin Katusa's book "The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America's Grasp" at Amazon]
You have more of a chance of being struck by lightning than hitting a plow or any other ground support vehicle.
So… is it a coincidence that the one CEO who prominently broke with the petrodollar is now dead?
In my new book The Colder War, there is a whole section on “suspicious deaths” that have occurred during the current conflict between Vladimir Putin and the West. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of this political stare down, and it doesn’t much matter whether you’re against Putin or against the West. Many have fallen on both sides.
De Margerie could now be one of them. We may never know for sure.
What we are sure of is that he was outspoken in his support for Putin’s agenda, and believed Russia was a good partner for Europe. He wasn’t afraid to take on the U.S. and its primary support mechanism, the petrodollar. Read the rest of this entry »
“Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create jobs.”
“You know that old theory, ‘trickle-down economics,’” she continued. “That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”
“You know, one of the things my husband says when people say ‘Well, what did you bring to Washington,’ he said, ‘Well, I brought arithmetic,’” Clinton said, which elicited loud laughs from the crowd…
It’s hard enough to impersonate one celebrity well enough to impress friends and family. Imagine doing 25.
Meet actress and singer Christina Bianco, who sang CeeLo Green’s “Forget You” like 25 different celebrities at the Hippodrome in London on Sept. 7. Each time a star’s name is called out, she switches voices. Watch her go from impersonating Drew Barrymore to Kristin Chenoweth to Bette Midler, all in one breath. Her Celine Dion, Penélope Cruz, and Bjork impressions are especially spot-on…(more)
Originally posted on Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements:
In my book Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S., I point out that China may launch hypersonic missiles to destroy a whole aircraft carrier battle group from an aerospaceplane it has been developing. As the aerospaceplane flies around the earth in its orbit at the speed of Mach 23, the missiles launched from it also have the hypersonic speed of Mach 23. There is no weapons system to intercept such missiles.
True enough, China has already developed a hypersonic air-to-surface missile using the supersonic speed of the supersonic fighter or fighter/bomber plus its own gravity and propulsion to attain the speed of Mach 4.5 to 5, close to the Mach 5+ achieved by the best US hypersonic glide vehicle.
View original 417 more words
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.
“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads. Read the rest of this entry »
From the CNN report on today’s shooting:
The gun used in the shooting has been traced to Fryberg’s father, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. It is a “high capacity” one, but did not have an extended magazine, the source said.
Investigators are executing a search warrant at the family home, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Beretta .40-caliber handgun is believed to have been used, a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
First off, there is no such thing as a “high capacity” handgun that does “not have an extended magazine.” This is just nonsensical media-speak for “a standard handgun.” Handguns typically come with 12-18 round magazines, the average .40-caliber magazine holding 12 rounds.
“The shooter was 14-years-old, which means that he was not allowed to do anything at all with a handgun outside of his parents’ care. In the course of his crime, he broke the rules regarding possession…”
We don’t know which model he used, but Beretta’s offerings are well within the standard range: In .40, the Px4 Storm, comes with a 14-round magazine; the 96 comes with an 11-round magazine; the 8000 comes with a 15-round magazine. There is nothing odd or “high capacity” about these weapons. There are tens of millions like them in the country.
Second, if this report is correct and the shooter did indeed use a “Beretta .40-caliber handgun,” then we can stop debating what this tells us about the law before we even start. The shooter was 14-years-old, which means that he was not allowed to do anything at all with a handgun outside of his parents’ care. In the course of his crime, he broke the rules regarding possession: Federal law prohibits anybody under 18-years-old from possessing a handgun or handgun ammunition. Read the rest of this entry »
“When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending. Sadly that was not to be.”
– Graham’s parents, John and Sue Graham
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Remains found nearly a week ago in a rural area of Virginia are those of a university student who disappeared last month, authorities said Friday, ending a search that left the campus and community on edge.
“We are working diligently with local law enforcement on the investigation to ensure that we make the best determination for our community and the Grahams in the pursuit of justice.”
– Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney
University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. Her remains were found Oct. 18 about 12 miles from campus, in a heavily wooded area of Albemarle County that is home to rolling hills and horse farms.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter… Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished.”
– John and Sue Graham
The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. His attorney, Jim Camblos, said in a voicemail greeting that he is not answering questions about the case. Read the rest of this entry »
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An assailant shot three sheriff’s deputies in two neighboring Northern California counties on Friday, also shooting and wounding a bystander in an attempt to carjack a vehicle, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies were searching a canyon in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Auburn Friday afternoon for an armed man suspected in all four shootings. Placer County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin told The Associated Press that a woman who was seen with the man earlier in the day had been taken into custody, and Erwin said the woman had a handgun in her purse.
Residents in the rural area were being urged to stay indoors and Erwin said nearby schools were on lockdown as multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the remaining suspect.
The condition of the three deputies and bystander was not immediately known.
The dramatic events began around 10:30 a.m. when a Sacramento County deputy was shot as he approached a suspicious occupied vehicle in a parking lot in a commercial area, Sacramento County spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said. Read the rest of this entry »
The alleged shooter, who was a student, and one other person were killed, the police said. A law-enforcement official added that the shooting suspect appeared to have died from a self-inflicted wound. The police officials offered no details about the second death.
A Marysville hospital said four young people have been admitted, two males and two females, adding that three are listed in critical condition in either surgery or an intensive-care unit.
Commander Robb Lamoureux of the Marysville police department said he had no information about a motive…(more)