Posted By Edgy

Like many, around the US these days, I'm reading all the news coming out of Iraq. Some are maddeningly vocal about how 'WE' screwed up, and why WE should have stayed in Iraq. However, had we stayed it would only have exasperated the situation and ultimately been the result of many more US military casualties. I'm glad we are gone, and hope that we do NOT entertain Iraq 3.0....

There is a very good piece written by Scott Anderson at: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/20/opinion/middle-east-borders-redrawn/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

And I recommend reading his piece.

Many if not all of the problems faced in the Middle-East are basically the fault of the French and British diplomats, along with Tsarist Russia as an accomplice. Also, after the war, the 'Great Powers' got together to carve up the Ottoman Empire. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Remo_conference

The consequence of all this historical information cited, is to educate all of those American voices who insist that 'WE' are responsible for this disaster and that 'WE' should do something about it.....

My thoughts go to Sarah Palin's comment, 'Let Allah figure it out'. Which might be the most intelligent thing to ever come out of her mouth even if she didn't realize it in this context. Sometimes even an ignorant person says something worthwhile.

The real lesson should be that the Ottoman's had at least a modicum of peace and allegiance through the use of their system known as the "millyet." Seems reasonable to me that if we are to have any chance of ending this mess, or at least attempting to 'turning down the volume' we should move along these lines... If possible.

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http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/23/exclusive-iraqi-kurdish-leader-says-the-time-is-here-for-self-determination/?hpt=hp_t1

By Mike Krever CNN - June 23, 2014

Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview.

“Now we are living [in] a new Iraq, which is different completely from the Iraq that we always knew, the Iraq that we lived in ten days or two weeks ago.”

“After the recent events in Iraq, it has been proved that the Kurdish people should seize the opportunity now – the Kurdistan people should now determine their future.”

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This is just one more example of why the Iraq situation cannot be solved. Only broken apart. Where tribal connections that go back thousands of years are honored. Then... with some luck, we can work with these leaders to establish some stability in the region. Lets get America and Americans off of the list of things that these people hate, and want to kill...

 

 
Posted By Edgy

A very special friend, who was a foreign teacher where I live in China, recently returned for a week-long visit. Preparing for her visit, and participating in nearly all the events of her visit has kept me quite busy. I think that its great that she came all this way to attend a wedding dinner of one of her very best students. She has now returned to her home in Canada, and the following week was occupied by getting as much rest as I could squeeze in....

The rest didn't last too long, as I quickly discovered that a mouse had invaded my home. I found it kind of weird because mice usually try to come inside at the end of summer, to find a warm place for the winter, but not at the beginning of summer when it's getting warmer and warmer outside. After several days of intense cleaning of possible hiding places, and searching for possible entry points, I was worn out. I feel like I have been invaded... So the wife has the cleaning lady to bring a cat to the house. It was an outside kitten actually and had to be given about three baths to get rid of the flee's. Plus, since its a kitten, it's probably more afraid of a mouse than the mouse would be of it. Living on the 4th floor, I still am puzzled by how that damn mouse got here. I think I see where he came into the house, but how did he get onto that ledge? Amazing.

Now mix into this my schedule for renewing my passport. Which means a trip to the US Embassy in Beijing. I can't go to Hong Kong, or Quangzhou which is much closer, because of their rules. The wife is scared to death that I want to fly there because of the missing Malaysian flight, and I don't want to spend two nights on a train. I was actually dreading this trip, as my experience is that US government workers usually treat everyone (and particularly US Citizens) as if they were all terrorists. So I was quite pleased when the trip went well, and no one worked over-time to piss me off. There is a new passport 'card' available to citizens, which I am buying even though it can't be used for travel to China. But it will come in handy in traveling in other (more technologically friendly) countries...

Add to this some family drama that no one is or should be interested in, and it's been an event filled month. Much has happened in the world, some of it dangerous, and some just down-right stupid. Makes me wonder if there is any hope for humans on this rock at all....

One final mishap. For about 8-10 days, I've had trouble accessing most of the internet, and getting this DotEasy blog site working in any browser. Some is caused by the great firewall that is blocking nearly everything because of the June 4th anniversary thingy, and the rest is I don't know what.... I will say that the Doteasy staff has been timely and anxious to help - even if some of their suggestions sounded ridiculous to this old-time technology friendly guy... 

 
Posted By Edgy

Northwestern University may have caused a stir with its football players asking for a union.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-union-qa-northwestern-football-spt-0406-20140406,0,1371315.story

While I concede that lots of things are going on here, this story gives a short synopsis of the what to expect in the near future. I do believe that this is indeed a 'landmark' decision, and there are lots of issues at stake here. For anyone who thinks this is just about 'paying players', you need to bone-up on your reading and comprehension skills. There was a really good interview with Jay Bilas of espn on this, and I think he makes a lot of sense on many of the issues.... But NOT all.

Many issues surrounding college athletics are being discussed on many levels, and in many locations. While this may have the effect of escalating those discussions that possibly will produce good outcomes, it could also have many adverse effects. Those unintended consequences that happen across all spectrum's of life.

At the center of all this is the mess that is the NCAA. Founded in scandal, it has been embroiled in same ever since. Massive reform is needed, IF we want to sustain the allure of amateur athletics at the university level. If good decisions aren't made soon, we may find the four power conferences forming a new alliance that would bolt the NCAA entirely. It all boils down to money, and who has it. Isn't that the story of life.

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"Senior officials have sometimes suggested that government agencies do not deliberately read Americans' emails, monitor their online activity or listen to their phone calls without a warrant," Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado said in a joint statement. "However, the facts show that those suggestions were misleading, and that intelligence agencies have indeed conducted warrantless searches for Americans' communications."

http://news.yahoo.com/us-confirms-warrantless-searches-americans-213242088--politics.html

Plus this:

'President Barack Obama has promised to review some of these programs to determine whether the government should be conducting this type of surveillance at all.'

He's been promising this for nearly a year. How long do you think this will take, Mr. 'I'm a Constitutional Lawyer' President ?

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This is daring, to say the least...

http://news.yahoo.com/countrys-air-polluted-panasonic-giving-workers-hazard-pay-175426766.html

Socialists not paying their bills.... wow...

http://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-warns-airlines-not-cut-flights-amid-debt-201758165--finance.html

 
Posted By Edgy

Taiwan protests:

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-taiwan-protest-china-trade-deal-124304655.html?vp=1

"I'm not against free trade, but the government should come up with policies to protect local industries before they open the door," said a protester …..

Which is actually funny because this is EXACTLY the same argument that Chinese business leaders use when blocking agreements with the US. They, like their protesting counterparts in Taiwan, don't want to be overwhelmed by big businesses from the US and the EU. What is stranger even yet, is that apparently no one sees this …

 

President Hamid Karzai recently told the United States its soldiers can leave at the end of the year. http://news.yahoo.com/karzai-says-afghanistan-doesnt-us-troops-110618616.html

Good.. Lets get out now... Besides, our troops will be needed in more important places real soon, and they'll need some rest between wars...

 

Zuckerberg calls Obama:

"I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform," Zuckerberg wrote. (NOTE: If Zuckerberg called, how much do you wanna bet the NSA listened into THAT conversation? ? )

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/22/us-usa-surveillance-obama-idUSBREA2K1JX20140322

Barrack Obama, the president of the United States of America, the most powerful man on the planet (probably), can make a slight change to the ACA, without even blinking an eye, but he can't make any changes to the NSA practice of collecting phone data every American's phone calls, and each and every email ? ? Nearly a full year after it has been disclosed ? ? ?

'People around the globe deserve to know that their information is secure …'

Some of the largest U.S. technology companies, including Google, its rival Yahoo Inc, social networking site Twitter Inc and others, have been pushing for more transparency, oversight and restrictions to U.S. government's gathering of intelligence. . . . Read this as 'Hey Mr. President, we're losing business overseas....

 

 
Posted By Edgy

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "Iron Curtain" has descended across the continent. W.Churchill, March 1946, at Westminster College.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Curtain

 So now it must be: From Narva in the Baltic to Sulina on the Black Sea, a New Iron Curtain is descending across the plains of Eurasia.

Apparently the only differences with Winston's 1946 version and the current 2014 version is that this 'iron curtain' has been moved significantly to the east. Which in general is a good thing. No longer are Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia under the Soviet thumb. OK, well maybe Belgrade and much of the old Yugoslavia area is still under the influence...

"We will bury you!"

Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956 …

"Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television...

http://news.yahoo.com/state-tv-says-russia-could-turn-us-radioactive-212003397.html

 

This is starting to sound all too familiar. We (US) as usual, are out of position and currently out of bullets.... There was virtually no way America could respond militarily to this crisis in the Crimea without reining MIRV's down from the sky – although one has to ask if even those are still operational. So we had to act diplomatically as best we could. We have near zero assets close enough to have made any impact at all in the short run, and I'm sure old Putin is quite aware of this. BTW, someone might have asked, where was the NSA and the CIA during all this? Too busy spying on the US Senate, and the American people to know what is going on in eastern Europe?

If there was ever a time to invest in our own future, that time is NOW....

 

 

 
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