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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 21,752

Journal Archives

Meet Russia's New Prime Minister, An 'Enforcer Who Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried'

Russian President Vladimir Putin's new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has a reputation for getting things done.

During his near-decade long tenure at the helm of Russia's tax service -- whose army of roughly 150,000 employees oversees tax compliance and collections -- Mishustin tripled the amount of money his agency delivers to the budget.

Coming during a period of slow economic growth amid sanctions and falling oil prices, those results earned him accolades from the government and made him a logical choice to replace Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who announced on January 15 that his government would resign.


"All of what we have seen [on January 15] suggests that what the Kremlin is most worried about is not the relationship with the population. It is getting the relationship with the elite right and keeping the elite in line and under control," said Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College London.


Amy Klobuchar speaks with Democrats Abroad - Jan 22

Tuesday, Jan 22nd, 8:30am DC time join a call with Amy Klobuchar! She'll spend time with Democrats Abroad sharing her policy stance on Americans abroad issues (and other issues too, time permitting).

They have a link in the email they I received
If you didn't receive one, or are not a member, my suggestion is to contact Democrats Abroad


Little did we know that Sherman T. Potter of MASH served with future trump voters

and their offspring

"Now you take World War 2. My unit got the word that Nazis, dressed as Eskimos, had overrun Seattle. Incredible as it seems, half my unit believed it." - That half votes and voted for il douche

The Village Genius: Astonishing Photos Of Soviet Life Found In An Abandoned House (7 BW pics)

In the spring of 2016, film student Victor Galusca was exploring a sleepy village in his native Moldova when the 23-year-old noticed some photographic negatives in the rubble of an abandoned house.

The discarded pictures were the life’s work of Zaharia Cusnir, an unknown amateur photographer who died in 1993.

The villager had struggled professionally under the communist regime and battled alcoholism, yet he left behind some of the most brilliant portraits of rural life ever captured on film.

For the past three years, with the permission of the photographer’s daughter, who dismissed her father’s work as “garbage,”​ Galusca and his photography teacher have been cleaning and scanning the stunning find, which they released on a website in January.

Two villagers pose for a portrait with glasses brimful with wine.

Villagers in fancy dress during a New Year's​ carnival.

Galusca believes Cusnir was able to afford the film needed for his hobby partly by selling prints that villagers could use in their identification cards – a mandatory document in the police state of communist Moldova.​


The Third Wave - It took five days

Want to know how easy it is for Fascism to spread

The Third Wave was an experimental social movement created by California high school history teacher Ron Jones in 1967 to explain how the German population could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War.
While he taught his students about Nazi Germany during his "Contemporary World History" class, Jones found it difficult to explain how the German people could accept the actions of the Nazis, and decided to create a social movement as a demonstration of the appeal of fascism. Over the course of five days, Jones, conducted a series of exercises in his classroom emphasizing discipline and community, intended to model certain characteristics of the Nazi movement.
As the movement grew outside his class and began to number in the hundreds, Jones began to feel that the movement had spiraled out of control. He convinced the students to attend a rally where he claimed that the classroom project was part of a nationwide movement, and that the announcement of a Third Wave presidential candidate would be televised.
Upon their arrival, the students were presented with a blank channel. Jones told his students of the true nature of the movement as an experiment in fascism, and presented to them a short film discussing the actions of Nazi Germany.

All in five days.
There has been a book based on this, movies, a documentary, etc

Field of Vision - In the Absence

Nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Documentary, In the Absence uses recordings during the sinking by the Coast Guard, news footage and interviews with parents and the civilian divers. The level of incompetence is staggering. It is extremely depressing and enraging.

I was in Korea when this happened. It is difficult to describe how people felt, because feelings were all over the map, largely due to the incompetence, indifference, corruption that had happened. It was almost as if what we were watching and hearing put everyone on overload trying to digest and understand. Example: Civilian divers had to try and recover the bodies, because the coast guard had no one trained to dive down to where the ship was. The dash cam footage you see of the vehicles, that was due to a change in the law from the Lee Myeong-bak (Conservative of course) administration that changed the way cargo had to be secured.

Aeon link and description from Aeon


They told us to stay put’: the South Korean ferry disaster that sank lives and trust

On 16 April 2014, the ferry MV Sewol sunk off the coast of South Korea, killing 304 people – the vast majority of them high-school students on a field trip. Like many other tragedies, the event made headlines around the world before quickly fading from the international news cycle. In South Korea, however, facts about the incompetence, government failures and lapses in responsibility that led to the Sewol’s sinking emerged slowly over the course of several years, prolonging pain and stoking anger to the present day. The documentary In the Absence by the South Korean director Yi Seung-Jun is a devastating account of the sinking and its aftermath – from the first signs of trouble at sea to the years-long struggle by bereaved families demanding accountability and justice. Combining original material with real-time audio and video of the tragedy, the film offers an extraordinary, chilling account of the consequences of following instructions from inept authorities – and the profound breakdown of public trust that follows such a disaster.

If you're feeling the need to be sad and get a full feeling for the pain, the school put together a commemorative video for everyone who died, it had all the students, the teachers, the sailors and the cafeteria worker aboard who died. The cafeteria worker waved several lives before drowning -- unlike the captain, she stayed and helped.
The singer is merely singing the names of all the dead, along with their classrooms, their desks, and some pictures of them

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Carles Puigdemont: European Parliament looks at lifting his MEP immunity after Spain request

The European Parliament is begun looking into — at the request of the Spanish authorities — the possibility of lifting the parliamentary immunity of self-exiled MEP Carles Puigdemont.

Puigdemont fled in 2017 after Spain issued a warrant to arrest him for his part in what Madrid deemed an illegal Catalan independence referendum.

He is now based in Belgium and became an MEP last May. He wants to return to Spain next month to visit jailed ex-leaders of Catalonia.

"The Spanish authorities have asked the president [of the European Parliament] to lift the immunity of Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comin to continue the judicial proceedings against the two MEPs," said Ewa Bozena Kopacz, vice president of the European Parliament. "In compliance with parliamentary rules, this demand was put to the judicial affairs commission."


2. Prince Andrew: Home Office 'recommends downgrade of security'

The Home Office is said to be recommending a major downgrade of security for the Duke of York after he withdrew from public duties, it has been claimed.

A final decision is said to rest with the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the prime minister, Boris Johnson, after review by the Metropolitan police.

It could result in Prince Andrew being stripped of his round-the-clock armed police protection, at a time when Buckingham Palace is involved in high-level discussions over security measures for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their future roles in the UK and Canada.

The Evening Standard said the Met had completed a thorough review and quoted a source saying: “Conclusions have been reached and recommendations made.”


3. Picking Up The Pieces Of Abkhazia's Latest Political Crisis

The de facto president of the self-declared republic of Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia whose independence is recognized only by Russia and a few others, has stepped down amid sometimes violent protests that erupted over what his opponents say was an illegitimate electoral victory.


Khajimba's January 13 resignation put an end to four days of protests that saw the storming of the de facto presidential administration in Sukhumi, efforts by Moscow to mediate, and the calling of a fresh vote to determine the region's next de facto president.

The crisis erupted on January 9, when hundreds of protesters descended on the building that housed Khajimba's administration as the territory's highest court resumed hearings on an appeal of the results of the second round of the "presidential" election held in September.

Alkhas Kvitsinia of the Amtsakhara party -- who became the main challenger after leading opposition candidate Aslan Bzhania fell ill due to suspected poisoning -- filed the appeal after garnering 46 percent of the vote to Khajimba's 47 percent, according to official results.


4. 'Moria is a hell': new arrivals describe life in a Greek refugee camp

Above a hill on the north shore of Lesbos, volunteers watch the sea and the twinkling lights of Turkey day and night with binoculars. The coastguard hurry to respond when they see a boat approaching, trying to arrive in time to stop children falling in the icy cold water as they clamber onto rocks and beaches.


While the numbers of migrants on the island are nowhere near those of the height of the crisis in 2015, the closing of European borders since 2016 means that there is no way for people to move off the island – which is causing a growing humanitarian catastrophe here.

The Moria refugee camp was originally intended to hold 3,000 people. As recently as last June there were 5,000 people there, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the only major international NGO that has a presence there.

In the last six months it has grown to be a shanty town of 19,000, 40% of whom are under 18. Around 13,000 of those are living in a filthy unofficial camp of tarpaulin tents and makeshift huts made of pallets, in an olive grove surrounding the main site. There is no electricity, not enough water and rivers of mud and rubbish run through the tents.


5. Belarus Scrambles For Oil Amid Supply Standoff With Russia

Belarus says it has asked several European countries to sell it oil in the face of a tariff dispute with Russia, its regular supplier.

"All commercial departments of our plants, of the Belarusian Oil Company, have been holding talks practically on a daily basis. I think we will get alternative sources for oil supplies soon. It is about all possibilities -- Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, wherever. We are working on it now," Deputy Prime Minister Dzmitry Krutoy said on January 14.


Belarus has been at odds with Russia over oil-transit prices for some time against a backdrop of increasing pressure by Moscow on Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to deepen integration between the two neighbors.


Moscow and Minsk signed an agreement in 1999 to form a unified state, but little progress has been made in the ensuing two decades.


Iran's supreme leader calls Trump 'clown' in rare Friday sermon

Iran’s supreme leader has described Donald Trump as a “clown” who only pretends to support the Iranian people but will push a poisonous dagger into their backs, as he struck a defiant tone in his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the mass funerals for Iran’s top general, who was killed in a US strike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials. The “cowardly” killing of Qassem Suleimani had taken out the most effective commander in the battle against the Islamic State group, he said.

In response, Iran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles targeting US troops in Iraq, without causing serious injuries. Khamenei said the strike had dealt a blow to America’s image as a superpower. In part of the sermon delivered in Arabic, he said the real punishment would be in forcing the US to withdraw from the Middle East.


Clown? Wonder how soon the Ayatollah becomes il douche's new best friend. Personal insults worked for the dork leader in North Korea

Fitting name 'Dotard the Clown' (evil clown)

Ukrainian PM Resigns

Source: rferl

Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk says he has tendered his resignation to president.

"In order to prevent any doubts about our respect and trust to the president, I have submitted my resignation to the president with the right to bring the issue to the parliament," he wrote in a post on Facebook on January 17.

The move comes amid a scandal surrounding an audio recording allegedly of Honcharuk disparaging the economic knowledge and competence of both himself and the president.

Read more: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukrainian-pm-resigns/30382528.html


German shepherd howling with wolves from Zootopia♥

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