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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Friday, May 15, 2015

15 May - Blogs I'm Following

Sanctioning Hypocrisy

The View

10:37pm MDST

Dan Lipinski Pledges His Undying Support to The GOP In Their War Against Women

DownWithTyranny at DownWithTyranny! - 1 minute ago
Lipinski hates women; they're probably not fond of him either This week, only 4 Democrats voted to further restrict women's right to Choice, reactionary Blue Dogs, Dan Lipinski (IL), Henry Cuellar (TX) and Collin Peterson (MN) plus bizarre religious fanatic James Langevin (RI). There were also 4 Republicans who crossed the aisle in the other direction and voted with 180 Democrats to protect women's choice-- Charlie Dent (PA), Richard Hanna (NY), Bob Dold (IL) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ). Right after the vote, Alan Grayson told us, "We should not criminalize the very personal and ve... more »

Science: Plants Have Senses and Can Hear, Feel and Identify Attackers

WakingTimes at Waking Times - 33 minutes ago
*Alisa Opar* - New research into plant senses reveals how plants can hear, touch, feel, and identify attackers. The post Science: Plants Have Senses and Can Hear, Feel and Identify Attackers appeared first on Waking Times.

Blues Legend B. B. King Has Passed Away

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 34 minutes ago
*New York Times:* *B. B. King, Defining Bluesman for Generations, Dies at 89* *B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89.* *It was reported on Mr. King’s Web site that he died in his sleep.* *Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weigh... more »

Germany Is Facing Their Own Intelligence Scandal

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 42 minutes ago
Members of the media gather at the parliamentary inquiry investigating the NSA's activities in Germany, in Berlin, May 7, 2015 *Voice of America/Reuters*: *Report: Germany Gives Significant Phone, Text Data to US* *BERLIN - Germany's BND intelligence agency sends mammoth amounts of phone and text data to the U.S.* *National Security Agency [NSA] each month, Die Zeit Online reported, highlighting the scale of spying cooperation which has unleashed a political row here.* *Critics have accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's staff of giving the nod to the BND to help the NSA spy on Eur... more »

The Case (And Sentencing) Of CIA Whistle-Blower Jeffrey Sterling

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 1 hour ago
*Newsweek*: *Ex-CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to 42 Months for NYT Leak* *Former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to 42 months in prison on Monday for leaking secrets to New York Times reporter James Risen, according to Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post.* *Sterling, 47, a 10-year veteran of the spy agency, was accused of telling Risen about a failed CIA operation to derail Iran's nuclear weapons program by providing it with deliberately misleading technical blueprints, thus harming national security.* *WNU Editor:* I am a few days late in posting on this ...more »

The Need For Energy Is Driving China's Military And Diplomatic Strategy

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 1 hour ago
*(Click on Image to Enlarge)* *Business Insider*: *This Pentagon map shows what's really driving China's military and diplomatic strategy* *China leaders believe their country is a rising superpower on track to have the world's largest economy and Asia's most formidable military.* *There's one huge problem: energy needs.* *Hopes for energy independence have been dashed by China's continuing population growth, along with increasing per capita consumption as the economy expands.* *Continued economic growth is imperative for China's leaders. The Communist Party's legitimacy, and ... more »

Israel Door Breaching Weapon Is A Must Need For Urban Warfare

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 1 hour ago
*WNU Editor:* Saw this video at *Prairie Pundit*. The video is a few years old .... but the tech is impressive.

C-51 Hearings: More Questions From NDP's Randall Garrison

thwap at thwap's schoolyard - 1 hour ago
So, yesterday's post showed us both Steven Blaney and Peter MacKay babbling like the nitwits they are, trying to explain why they previously removed the state's power to take down hate speech from the internet but are now saying the state should have this power to fight "terrorism" because, as Blaney pontificated, "It all starts with words." He would go on to say that the Holocaust and the Rawandan genocide were both products of (at first) words. So, Blaney was not talking about actual terrorist plots being posted on line. The Nazis never announced their "Final Solution" for the Jew... more »

His Legacy -- A Pigsty

Owen Gray at Northern Reflections - 1 hour ago
http://www.forbes.com/ During the 2006 leaders debate, Stephen Harper asked Paul Martin, “Will you tell us, Mr. Martin, how many criminal investigations are going on in your government?” The answer was "two." Harper rode one of those investigations -- the Gomery Commission -- all the way to power. In the next leaders debate, Michael Harris writes, it would be interesting to hear Harper answer the same question: If someone were to ask Steve the same question during the 2015 debate, he wouldn’t have enough fingers on both hands to ... more »

15 Things to Give Up If You Want to Be Happy

WTStaff at Waking Times - 2 hours ago
*Meme - *From some of the world's most inspiring people comes a list of things you may want to give up to be happy. The post 15 Things to Give Up If You Want to Be Happy appeared first on Waking Times.

Economic News , Data and Views ( May 15 , 2015 ) - For Broader Europe , Italy , Spain , UK , Russia , Bund/ Bonds , Cyprus in focus ..... Greece substantive block of information ( economic , political , financial travails , creditor talks and more )

Fred Walton at Catharsis Ours - 2 hours ago
Tweets..... Broader Europe.... *Ansa English News* @ansa_english · 2h2 hours ago Renzi says 'portion' of pension money to be repaid: Padoan to outline measures at cabinet Monday http://bit.ly/1d1DQZk *Ansa English News* @ansa_english · 17h17 hours ago Transport strike on Friday May 15: Rome to be affected, Milan Expo services to run http://bit.ly/1A3LdJQ *El País in English* @elpaisinenglish · 2h2 hours ago Catalan nationalist parties outraged over order to take down pro-independence flags http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/05 /15/inenglish/1431676542_954337.html … [... more »

San Francisco Enacts Employee Bill Of Rights - What Rights Would You Put In?

Donna Ballman at Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home - 2 hours ago
San Francisco's employees now have rights, at least in the retail sector. The city has enacted a Retail Workers' Bill Of Rights that includes rights such as: - Offering extra hours to existing employees before hiring new employees or using subcontractors or temps; - New owners must retain existing employees for at least 90 days; - Provide a written estimate of the shifts and schedules employees will work before they start; - Post schedules 2 weeks in advance; - Provide advance notice of schedule changes and pay up to 4 hours for last minute shift cancellations... more »

Russian Navy Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov in Dry Dock for Unknown Reasons and Length of Time

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 4 hours ago
[image: Admiral Kuznetsov CV]Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, The Admiral Kuznetsov, went into the dock of a shipyard in north Russia for repairs, the Northern Fleet’s press office reported on Thursday, giving no timeframe for the repairs. "The repair workers will first make the ship’s inspection in the dock, after which a decision will be made on the scope of the repairs," the fleet’s press office said, adding the repairs would be carried out by specialists of the 82nd shipyard at Roslyakovo in the Murmansk Region. The aircraft carrier performed its last long-distance voyage in May... more »

USAF nominates JASSM missile to host new computer-killing weapon

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 4 hours ago
[image: Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile]The head of the Air Force Research Laboratory has nominated Lockheed Martin’s stealthy, long-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM-ER) as the optimal air vehicle to carry a new computer-killing electronic attack payload known as CHAMP, or Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project. Major general Thomas Masiello says the technology, which fries electronic equipment with bursts of high-power microwave energy, is mature and will be miniaturised to suite the JASSM-ER. “That’s an op... more »

We Need YOU! Pledge 300

D ... Breaking The Silence at Removing The Shackles - 4 hours ago
The Conscious Consumer Network Needs YOU!! If you missed Sunday nights Transpicuous News Weekend Report, then you missed this blast out that I did to promote CCN's Pledge 300 Fundraising Drive. I just published the archive video of Sunday's TN report here: http://removingtheshackles.blogspot.com/2015/05/transpicuous-news-may-10th-archive-video.html If you don't have the time to watch the entire 1 hour and 21 minute show, I ask that you please take at least 12 minutes to watch this video below. To expand upon some of the history of the "funding" that CCN was suppose to receive,... more »

German defense ministry reportedly decides on 'Meads' missile defense system

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 5 hours ago
[image: MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar]The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ), a leading German national daily, reported on Friday that Berlin's defense ministry had decided to purchase the Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) developed by US defense giant Lockheed Martin in cooperation with German MBDA and Italian companies. The defense ministry has, however, so far declined to confirm the report, saying a decision would be announced before the end of June. The project to develop the mobile, surface-to-air defense system began 10 years ago. But then the US government decided... more »

San Diego-Based Marine Helicopter Found After Vanishing on Disaster Mission in Nepal

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 5 hours ago
[image: UH-1 Huey]The wreckage of a U.S. military helicopter missing in Nepal has been found on the slopes of a mountain east of Kathmandu, a local army official said Friday. The American chopper was spotted in the Gorthali area, at an altitude of 11,200 feet, according to Brig. Gen. Binoj Basnet. There was no immediate word on the fate of the crew. The UH-1 Huey helicopter was carrying six U.S. Marines and two Nepali service members when it lost contact Tuesday evening, Pentagon officials said. Read more

Third French Reaper UAV deploys to Niger

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 5 hours ago
[image: MQ-9 Reaper]The French Air Force received its third Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), on 7 May, which was then deployed directly to Niamey in Niger with France’s Barkhane Force. The French Air Force said the third Reaper supplements the existing French drone squadron, composed of two Harfang UAVs and two Reaper UAVs, operated by the 1/33 “Belfort” drone squadron stationed in Cognac. Since their arrival in theatre, the Reapers have logged more than 4,000 flying hours. Read more

Australia Hoses Down U.S. B-1 Bomber Talk

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 5 hours ago
[image: B-1B Lancer]Prime Minister Tony Abbott said a senior Pentagon official misspoke about plans to place U.S. long-range strike bombers in Australia, adding that steps to boost America’s military presence there weren’t aimed at any particular country. David Shear, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for Asian and pacific security affairs, told a U.S. Senate hearing this week that strategic bombers would be sent to Australia. “We will be placing additional air force assets in Australia... including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft,” he said. The presence of B-1s—designed in ... more »

Sikorsky Progresses in Building Optionally Piloted Black Hawk

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 5 hours ago
[image: Optionally Piloted Black Hawk]Sikorsky Aircraft is making parts for an autonomous flight kit arising from its “Matrix” research program. The manufacturer plans to fly the kit on a UH-60A Black Hawk late next year to demonstrate its potential as an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV). In July 2013, Sikorsky started flight tests of an autonomy system consisting of fly-by-wire flight controls and multiple situational awareness sensors on its Sikorsky Autonomous Research Aircraft (Sara), an S-76 helicopter. Read more

China to sell Jordan missile-firing drones after Obama says no to helping ally

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: MQ-1 Predator]China is offering to sell Jordan missile-firing drones to fight the Islamic State terror army, according to a U.S. congressman. “I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said in a letter on Thursday to President Obama. Rep. Hunter has pressed the Obama administration — to no avail — to approve the sale of Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft to the kingdom. Read more

IDEF 2015: RMK Marine Unveiled Some New Fast Attack Craft and Corvette Designs

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: TTHB-1 / FMC 69]During IDEF 2015 (the International Defence Industry Fair which was held last week in Istanbul, Turkey), local shipyard RMK Marine (member of the Koç Holding Group of Companies) unveiled several news design for both domestic and export market: A new Fast Attack Craft Missile (FACM), a new Multi Mission Corvette (MMC) and an update to an existing Corvette design. RMK Marine's designation for this vessel is Fast Missile Craft TTHB-1 / FMC 69. An RMK Marine representative explained to *Navy Recognition* that this vessel was entirely designed and developped to ... more »

Russian Bombers Barrel Toward British Airspace, RAF Jets Take To Skies To Stage Intercept

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: Tu-95 Bear D and EF-2000 Eurofighter Typhoon]A pair of Russian bombers capable of delivering nuclear bombs were spotted flying toward British airspace on Thursday, their intentions unknown — until the Royal Air Force scrambled Typhoon fighter jets from its air base in Lossiemouth, Scotland. The RAF jets cut off the Russian “Bear” bombers and escorted them out of the area. The intercept comes just two days after British RAF Typhoons stationed with the NATO Baltic Policing contingent were forced to scramble over the Baltic Sea to make sure that a Russian spy plane kept clear o... more »

Japan arms fair confirms country’s status as weapons exporter

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: A visitor examines a scale model of Japan's P-1 maritime patrol aircraft]In a bustling exhibition hall crowded with scale-model aircraft carriers, full-sized naval cannons and displays bearing industrial euphemisms for war, Japan on Thursday celebrated its coming-out as an international weapons exporter. The three-day Maritime Systems and Technology arms fair being staged in Yokohama is Japan’s first military trade show since the second world war and comes as defence budgets and tensions rise across the region. The event represented a moment in Japanese history “dreaded by ... more »

USS George Washington completes fire suppression systems testing

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: General quarters drill]The US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington's (CVN 73) engineering, weapons and air departments have successfully conducted the testing of critical firefighting systems. Crew members onboard carried out tests on the carrier's fire suppression systems (countermeasure wash-down systems), which form a significant part of damage control efforts aboard the vessel. Maintained by George Washington's damage control division, the countermeasure wash-down system uses seawater and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to prevent fire by extinguis... more »

Iran Patrol Boats Fire on Singapore-Flagged Commercial Oil Tanker in Gulf

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: MV Alpine Eternity]Iranian patrol boats opened fire on a Singapore-flagged oil tanker as it moved through the Strait of Hormuz in a confrontation that raised new concerns about Iran’s attempts to exert more control of commerce in the Persian Gulf. For the second time in two weeks, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Naval patrol boats confronted a commercial ship moving through the strait and ordered it into Iranian waters on Thursday, according to U.S. officials. Three Iranian patrol boats opened fire on the 600-foot-long Alpine Eternity when the tanker crew refused to follow... more »

S. Korea stages military drill to defend Dokdo

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 20 hours ago
[image: Dokdo exercise]South Korea is conducting a military drill to defend its easternmost islets of Dokdo amid Japan's renewed claims to the territory, military officers said Friday. The Navy, jointly with the Coast Guard, "are carrying out the two-day drill from yesterday on and around the rocky outcroppings in the East Sea," said a Navy officer, requesting anonymity. "It is designed to deter any trespassers on our territory via a sea or air route." The exercise has been carried out twice a year since 1986, with the latest taking place in November last year despite protests from ... more »

As Protecteur is retired, questions raised about naval weakness

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 21 hours ago
[image: HMCS Protecteur]As HMCS Protecteur was officially decommissioned at CFB Esquimalt Thursday, a former commanding officer of the key Royal Canadian Navy supply ship worried about the implications of having no military replenishment ships on either coast. “We as a nation should have been preparing for the loss of these ships years ago,” said Don McClean, who commanded Protecteur between 1990 and 1993, leading the ship into the Gulf War and humanitarian missions. The Navy announced in September it would retire four warships: one guided-missile destroyer from each coast, HMCS Iro... more »

Sonobuoy Tech Systems Wins $9.4M in Foreign Sales Contracts

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 21 hours ago
Sparton Corporation and Ultra Electronics USSI, a subsidiary of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (ULE), announce the award of subcontracts valued at $9.4 million from their ERAPSCO/SonobuoyTech Systems joint venture. Multiple foreign contracts are represented in these orders for the manufacture of Passive and Active Sonobuoys in support of multiple underwater missions. ERAPSCO/SonobuoyTech Systems will provide manufacturing subcontracts in the amount of $5.4 million to Ultra Electronics USSI and $4.0 million to Sparton Deleon Springs LLC. Read more

Bergen wins Norwegian Armed Forces’ frigate maintenance extension contract

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 21 hours ago
[image: HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen]The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (FLO) has awarded a one-year extension contract to Bergen Group for the technical maintenance of the navy's frigate class vessels. Valued at Nkr70m ($9.41m), the contract has validity until July 2016. In June 2012, Bergen received a comprehensive contract from FLO for maintenance and repair of frigate class. The initial contract carried an option for annual renewal of up to three additional years until summer 2017. This contract marks the second renewal ordered by the navy. Read more

Rivlin tours new IDF submarine during Germany visit

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 21 hours ago
President Reuven Rivlin visited the Kiel shipyards in Germany on Wednesday, receiving a private tour aboard the INS Rahav – the fifth submarine expected to arrive in Israel. You are our fortified wall on our maritime borders, and nowhere is too far for you when it comes to Israel’s safety," the president told the submarine commandos. The tour of the submarine was held on the last day of Rivlin's visit to Germany to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Read more

BB King R. I. P - but live and brilliant here

Not a sheep at Not a sheep - 21 hours ago

B.B. King R. I. P.

Not a sheep at Not a sheep - 21 hours ago
https://youtu.be/-Y8QxOjuYHg Lucille

Lockheed Martin Receives $174 Million Contract for ATACMS Missile Production

Ko Savonije at Naval Open Source INTelligence - 21 hours ago
Lockheed Martin received a $174 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract for Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) production for the U.S. Army and the United Arab Emirates. ATACMS is the U.S. Army’s only tactical long-range precision-strike surface-to-surface weapon system. “ATACMS has unsurpassed surface-to-surface capability,” said Ken Musculus, vice president of Tactical Missiles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “It is extremely reliable and proven in combat, which is why it continues to be our customers’ choice for long-range strike requirements.” Read more

EU breakup better than refugee quotas

Luboš Motl at The Reference Frame - 22 hours ago
Instead of thinking about some creative plans to genuinely and systematically improve the lives of all those Africans who are dreaming about moving to Europe, such as recolonialization of Africa, the apparatchiks in the European Commission – an enelected government of the EU – proposed another "clever solution", namely the EU-wide refugee quotas. They must have completely lost their mind. *Some EU countries suffer because they include similar sceneries.* So far, they talk about a very modest group of 20,000 refugees in two years but it's obvious that this number is just a "demo" a... more »

U.S. B-1 Bombers Will Not Be Deployed To Australia To Deter Beijing's South China Sea Ambitions

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 23 hours ago
The US B-1 Bomber will not be immediately based in Australia. Photo: Supplied *The Guardian:* *Tony Abbott says US defence official 'misspoke' on B-1 bombers in Australia* *David Shear had told US Senate committee the US would be ‘placing additional airforce assets in Australia, including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft’* *A senior United States defence official “misspoke” when he told a US Senate committee the country planned to station B-1 bombers in Australia, Tony Abbott has said.* *US Defence Department assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs, Dav... more »

Are The Iranian Nuclear Talks Doomed?

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 23 hours ago
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L), U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (2nd R) and staff watch a tablet in Lausanne as U.S. President Barack Obama makes a state address on the status of the Iran nuclear program talks, April 2, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool *Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: **Revolt on Iran* *President Obama faces determined Republicans, nervous Democrats and a skeptical public on Iran. His desperation for a deal and serial concessions have heightened wariness about a deal that would leave Iran with its nuclear weapons inf... more »

Russia Says No ‘Snap-Back’ Sanctions If Iran Breaks Nuclear Deal

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 23 hours ago
Vitaly Churkin, left, speaks to John Kerry at UN headquarters in New York on September 19, 2014. (photo credit: UN/Eskinder Debebe) *Bloomberg*: *Russia Rejects Automatic Sanctions Return If Iran Cheats on Deal* *The Obama administration is trying to sell a nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical Arabs, Israelis and U.S. lawmakers by saying that United Nations sanctions will be restored automatically if the Iranians are caught cheating.* *Not so, say the Russians, who have one of five vetoes in the 15-member UN Security Council.* *“There can be no automaticity, none whatsoever” in re... more »

Czech Republic Blocks Attempt By Iran To Buy Compressors For Nuclear Enrichment

War News Updates Editor at War News Updates - 23 hours ago
A view shows the interior of the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, about 1,215 km (755 miles) south of Tehran, November 30, 2009. *Reuters:* *Exclusive: Czechs stopped potential nuclear tech purchase by Iran - sources* *The Czech Republic blocked an attempted purchase by Iran this year of a large shipment of sensitive technology useable for nuclear enrichment after false documentation raised suspicions, U.N. experts and Western sources said.The incident could add to Western concerns about whether Tehran can be trusted to adhere to a nuclear deal being negotiated with world powers... more »


Michael Turton at The View from Taiwan - 1 day ago
[image: DSC06525] It's official. Wang Jin-pyng, Speaker of the Legislature, KMT heavyweight, possible presidential candidate, is out. He held a presser this morning to say that he would not be picking up a registration form for the KMT presidential primary. Storm media has it in Chinese. This means that either Chu has to jump in or be forced in, or the KMT is going to go with a third-tier candidate and hope that some combination of Taiwanese businessmen in China, threats and more from Beijing (and as someone pointed out to me on FB today, Beijing can keep the KMT alive as long as ... more »

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