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Name: RuggedRealist
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 32,886

Journal Archives

Excellent NY Times article that I think supports need for indictment of Wilson


Ferguson Grand Jury Faced Mass of Evidence, Much of It Conflicting

Many witnesses first began to pay attention while the two were wrestling at the car window, though they often said they could not see enough to know what was going on. But even when the confrontation broke out into the open, the accounts diverged.

“I see the officer running behind shooting,” said one witness. “When he gets out the car he immediately starts to shoot,” said another. “Let me stop you,” still another said. “He did not take off running after Michael.”

Testimony about the critical final moments – when Mr. Brown stopped running, turned and moved back toward Officer Wilson – lay along a spectrum. Some hewed closer to Officer Wilson’s recollection. “I could say for sure he never put his hands up,” said one witness, a man who was working in the area and did not live there, and whose recollection most strongly bolstered Officer Wilson’s case. “He ran to the officer full charge.”

Others spoke just as confidently that events unfolded in a completely different way.

“Yes I personally saw him on his knees with his hands in the air,” one witness said in a recorded interview with federal officials that was played for the grand jury before he testified. The prosecutor questioning that witness did not hide her skepticism of his story, highlighting contradictions in his various accounts. “Basically just about everything that you said on Aug. 13, and much of what you said today isn’t consistent with the physical evidence that we have in this case, O.K.,” she said to him.

Matthew Shepard's parents head to Russia to confront homophobia there

Brave folks, I fervently hope they remain safe.


NEW YORK (AP) — The parents of a gay U.S. college student tortured and murdered in 1998 are traveling to Russia on Friday to spread their message of tolerance and acceptance in a country where anti-gay policies and attitudes are widespread.

The centerpiece of their five-day trip is a gay film festival in St. Petersburg at which a documentary film about Matthew Shepard will be shown and discussed. The film's director, Michele Josue, a high school classmate and close friend of Matthew's, will be accompanying the Shepards on the trip.

Matthew Shepard, at the time of his murder, was a 21 year-old student at the University of Wyoming. His death became a rallying cry for the U.S. gay-rights movement and was a factor in the passage of federal hate-crimes legislation in 2009.

The Shepards also will visit Moscow, and are hoping to meet with Russian parents who have gay or lesbian children.

Obama Executive order. Figuratively says to GOP... "¡Vete a la mierda con su porquería!"

Or, translated, "Go to hell with your B.S."

Haw! Boehner threatens to stop cooperating?

Haw! Get this, Boehner said if Obama does the Immigration Reform Executive Order, he and Republicans will... hehehee (Laughing so hard I can barely type...)... stop cooperating with him!!!!!! Bwahahahahaha, GOP cooperating!!! Hahahahahaha, Government shut down, scores of Obamacare repeal votes, tea party protests of stimulus, a half dozen invented scandals including Benghazeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Cooperation ending? Bwahahahahahahaha!

Putin hoped to get Merkel and Germany on his side in the Ukraine crisis. That hope is over

Merkel and Germany have had enough of Putin. What's startling is how significantly the relationship between Germany and Russia, Merkel and Putin has changed. When you read this article immediately below, its hard to imagine that just nine months ago they were enjoying friendly relations.


Nov 17 (Today) - Russia could seek to destabilise vast areas of eastern Europe if it is not challenged in Ukraine, Angela Merkel warned on Monday.

The strongly worded statement came as Ukraine's president warned of a resumption of "total war" in the strife-torn country's east.

In a speech to Sydney's Lowry Institute for International Policy Studies, the German Chancellor said Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilisation of eastern Ukraine "called the whole of the European peaceful order into question".

"This isn't just about Ukraine," she said. "This is about Moldova, this is about Georgia, and if this continues then one will have to ask about Serbia and one will have to ask about the countries of the Western Balkans."

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/angela-merkel/11236622/Angela-Merkel-warns-Russia-could-seek-to-destabilise-whole-of-the-European-peaceful-order.html

Note from two articles from severla months ago how the status of the relationship and Merkel's statements have changed since the beginning of the crisis. She was thought of as the "Chief Mediator", but Putin's behavior has put Merkel against him.

March 7 - (Reuters) - After one of her first encounters with Vladimir Putin in 2002, Angela Merkel joked to aides that she had passed the "KGB test" by staring straight into his eyes without averting her gaze.

Unlike presidents in Washington - George W. Bush claimed to have gotten a glimpse of Putin's soul and Barack Obama promised to "reset" relations with Russia - the German chancellor has never harbored any illusions about the former Soviet agent, nor hopes that she might change him.

It is this hard-nosed realism, born of Merkel's own experience growing up in a Soviet garrison town in East Germany and reinforced over a turbulent 14-year relationship with Putin, that has earned her respect in the Kremlin and thrust her into the potentially risky role of chief mediator in the Ukraine crisis.


May 2 - Teneo Intelligence's Carsten Nickel has discussed the relationship between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir in light of the Ukraine crisis.

He said that Germany has" "economic interests in maintain ties with Russia if you think of the energy challenge in Germany.

"It puts every German government...in a position where they will have to work towards mediation".

The Rude Pundit and I will be live on the air at 9pm ET, 6pm PT tonight

Talking immigration reform, wrap up of the election, and more. Listen in at http://tunein.com/radio/KCAA-1050-s31934/ . Call in and talk to us at (888) 909-1050

Slate: Don’t Accept Putin’s Version of History. The West didn’t provoke Russia...

Excellent article by Slate's Anne Applebaum. Since the fall of the USSR, the US and NATO did everything to reassure Russia and make Russia feel like a part of what was going on in the world. Putin and his government did nothing but take advantage of that. Ms. Applebaum lays out the history.


But one Western policy stands out as a phenomenal success, particularly when measured against the low expectations with which it began: The integration of Central Europe and the Baltic States into the European Union and NATO. Thanks to this double project, more than 90 million people have enjoyed relative safety and relative prosperity for more than two decades, in a region whose historic instability helped launch two world wars.
For the record: No treaties prohibiting NATO expansion were ever signed with Russia. No promises were broken. Nor did the impetus for NATO expansion come from a “triumphalist” Washington. On the contrary, Poland's first efforts to apply in 1992 were rebuffed. I well remember the angry reaction of the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw at the time. But Poland and others persisted, precisely because they were already seeing signs of the Russian revanchism to come.

When the slow, cautious expansion did eventually take place, constant efforts were made to reassure Russia. No NATO bases were ever placed in the new member states, and until 2013 no exercises were conducted there. A Russia-NATO agreement in 1997 promised no movement of nuclear installations. A Russia-NATO council was set up in 2002. In response to Russian objections, Ukraine and Georgia were in fact denied NATO membership plans in 2008.

Meanwhile, not only was Russia not “humiliated” during this era, it was given de facto “great power” status, along with the Soviet U.N. Security Council seat and Soviet embassies. Russia also received Soviet nuclear weapons, some transferred from Ukraine in 1994 in exchange for Russian recognition of Ukraine's borders. Presidents Clinton and Bush both treated their Russian counterparts as fellow “great power” leaders and invited them to join the G-8—although Russia, neither a large economy nor a democracy, did not qualify.

Video - Obama: Nobody's stopping the GOP from passing bills.

The control of both houses of congress will actually be the GOP's undoing. Now they have to demonstrate an ability to govern, an ability they sorely lack.

How much of a head start does Hillary have on her potential GOP opponents? Virtually insurmountable


So those folks saying "OMG!!!!111!11!! Hillary can't beat (X Republican candidate) !!!!11!11!!!!!!11elevens... have no idea what they are talking about.

Um, yeah, we need to punish President Obama and Democrats for being on the er, wrong track. Derp.


U.S. Payrolls Rise as Jobless Rate Drops to Six-Year Low
By Michelle Jamrisko Nov 7, 2014 9:19 AM ET

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. employment gains exceeded 200,000 for a ninth straight month in October and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a six-year low. The 214,000 increase in employment followed a 256,000 advance the prior month that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The jobless rate declined to 5.8 percent. Peter Cook reports on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

Employers added more than 200,000 workers to payrolls in October for a ninth consecutive month and the jobless rate dropped to the lowest level in six years as the American economy powered past a global slowdown.

The 214,000 increase in employment followed a 256,000 advance the prior month that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The jobless rate fell to 5.8 percent, even as more people entered the labor force, boosting the share of the population working to the highest in five years.

Steadfast hiring signals employers are confident domestic demand will hold up in the face of struggling European and emerging economies. The report probably keeps Federal Reserve policy makers on track to boost interest rates in 2015 even as wages, the labor market’s weak spot, continued to lag behind
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