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Monday, January 16, 2017

Life in Cuba, More Russian Stuff, and More

Given the recent passing away of Fidel Castro it should make sense that we'd take a look at life inside (and associated aspects of it) of Cuba:
Cuban-Americans pour onto the streets of Little Havana after hearing of Castro’s death
Cubans line up to mourn death of Fidel Castro in Havana (360 Video)
Fidel Castro dies at age 90, his brother announces on TV (ENG SUBTITLES)
‘Castro will stay in the history of mankind’ - head of Federation Council’s Intl Affairs Committee
Castro death controversy - Mourning in Havana, celebrations in Florida
'Busted!' Blogger issues joke statement after being ‘outed’ by US MSM as ‘Russian agent’

- overview in recent media
The Stream - Castro’s global legacy
Fidel Castro - Contested legacy, competing narratives - The Listening Post (Full)
The world reacts to the death of Cuba's Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolution (Fidel Castro Raul Castro Che Guevara)
Global Empire - Farewell to Fidel
Media Review - Fidel Castro's Death
- things are comfortable in Cuba. No real luxuries due to 'communist system'. US embargos (since 1961) have caused enormous problems in Cuban economy. Exacerbated by collapse of USSR. Like they're stuck in a time loop. Subsidised food. Requires development. Hybrid economy like in China, Vietnam, North Korea. Allows for private enterprise in non-essential areas
An Inside Look at Life in Cuba
- limited number of people speak English in Cuba? US embargo has made travel, economic management, communication, day to day life, etc... very difficult for Cubans. Separate currencies for imports and local affairs. People are happy, resilient, giving, etc...
Life in Cuba; food shortages, low wages and exiled family members
- short overview of Cuban revolution
Cuban Revolution _ 3 Minute History
- some videos which cover the history of Cuba
The U.S. and Cuba's Complicated History Explained
A brief history of America and Cuba
Cuba Documentary - History - CIA Archives - Full length
Cuban Revolution (Fidel Castro Raul Castro Che Guevara)
National Geographic Documentary 2015 The Story of Cuba History channel HD Documentary
Obama’s Cuba Policy - The Top Secret History Behind the Historic Breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban Relations
The History of Cuba
The History of US-Cuban Relations
The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa
What if the U.S Had Annexed Cuba
- over and over again, after finding out more about some of the former USSR and it's allies you find it very difficult to believe that they're as 'evil' as some people have tried to make them out to be (they have clearly done some silly stuff though and the political class aren't exactly protagonists of the socialist/communist ideal?). Even in North Korea there is heavy subsidising of food, housing while education and healthcare are free? Given that our models for social development are converging it feels like we went through the 'Cold War' for nothing at times
Community Doctors _ Official Documentary (2016) ELAM - Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine 
Cold War Series  
- one of the shocks for me has been that Gini Coefficients (measures of wealth inequality/equality) have generally been better across the board in Socialist/Communist states. Even now things seem to be better there than in other 
Income Distribution in the USSR in the 1980s
- Castro was clearly a gifted speaker, carismatic, etc...
Cuban President Gets Loudest Applause At UN  
- limited communication. People are friendly. Food on street is not great (though touristy areas may be a bit different). Stay with real Cuban people to get good Cuban food. People do talk about politics but mostly only privately... Illegal to go from US to Cuba, have to go via Mexico
DO's and DON'Ts of Cuba
- this seems to contradict above (lots of contradicting information about Cuba in general?). Not sure how much of it is true?
10 Things NOT to Do in Cuba
A day in the life of Havana
- a bit of a superficial look at what Cuba is like now
4 Days in Cuba With Usher
- despite what is said very strong leftist movements still out there. Deep down I think the Russians and Chinese (and many other countries for that matter) feel that our version of capitalism and life are flawed and/or inappropriate for them. While they go along with the present circumstances note that the Communist party is still the second largest political party in Russia and the Chinese still call it the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? Similar in some of their old allies where there is a strong leftist movement? Note, the structure of their economies as well. None of them could be classified as pure capitalist, socialist, communist, etc... They are obviously 'hybrid economies' taking the best from various ideologies. It's extremely obvious that the struggle between left and right isn't 'over' despite all of the covert/overt programs to get rid of either side (mostly anti-left since the US came out on top after WWII). That said, one it seems clear that there aren't too many 'genuine left' options in a lot of developed economies anymore
Keiser Report - Ponzi Lottery (E425)
Keiser Report - Petrodollar vs Petroyuan (E587)
Keiser Report - Bliss of Ignorance (E588)
- wasn't aware of a strong Arab socialist/communist movement (which continues to this day). Seems bizarre. Huge irony is that if true it seems to imply that most of the world socialist while the rest are capitalist/liberalist (forget names and think about policies and political structures in particular)?
- if you look worldwide there aren't that many genuine pure capitalist states (think about the implementation not what how governments present themselves)
left wing governments worldwide
Arnaud Montebourg makes leftwing pitch for French presidency
- in many of the former communist states a lot of communists have rebranded themselves as 'social democrats' or have become 'ideologically neutral' (particularly the case in Europe and Latin America)
- pretty good food in Cuba? Wouldn't be surprised if they could build an export market from it (even if all they do is produce cooking books, build factories producing processed Cuban food, etc...)? To be honest, food in South America seems to be much more varied and interesting?
cuban food
Lima - Peru's food revolution - Street Food
- back in school I was taught that the 'Third World' was under developed. It wasn't. These group of countries wanted no part of any ideological power struggle between the USSR and the US. The other irony is this nobody told us that the US was the basically the last empire standing?
Which Countries Stayed Neutral During The Cold War 
USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War - Crash Course World History #39 
- quick description of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis in 5 Minutes
- the way in which the economy is rigged in favour of the US/West doesn't make sense unless people explain how it is rigged against other countries?
Nikolay Starikov - How to Escape the Tyranny of the Western Financial System
Central Bankers suppressing Russian economy
Charles Bausman at the World Russia Forum in DC
- one of the things that always confuses you about some of the countries that have generally 'lower reputations' out there is that on a lot of metrics/surveys they are well up there with those who have better reputations and are generally more prosperous
happiness life cuba survey
- interesting thing about both leftist and rightist systems is that in reality very few people can move upwards. In leftist system things are more obvious. In right system, much less so
- in spite of their relative small size they made significant contributions to other members of the socialist movement
- clearly, members in either camp know that they can't really co-exist with one another
- some stuff about the island in general
National Geographic Documentary 2015 The Story of Cuba History channel HD Documentary
- a bit of background regarding relationship between the US and Cuba
Obama’s Cuba Policy - The Top Secret History Behind the Historic Breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban Relations

More stuff on Russia:
- Russian food doesn't look too bad? Feels like a lot of variety available?
- they've clearly tried to work according to 'Western' rules but it's clear that they (and many other countries) have a problem with becoming part a singular, melange, entity though. Clear that their diplomacy is working. A lot of other countries don't want this either. They still want to maintain their national, regional, etc... identity
- Russia has unusual history (though I guess most countries are the same when you get down to it)
Simon Sebag Montefiore charts Russia's Romanov dynasty
- the irony is that a Trump presidency could actually save Russian and US/Western relations while also making things better in the US at the same time?
How will a Trump presidency impact sanctions on Russia
Traitors To Truth Push Russian False Narrative
Is Your Drinking Water Safe
Jordan Draws Potentially Poisonous Lead In 2-Year-Old Heater
Flint Residents Poisoned, Then Blocked From Crisis Decisions
Fox News - Starve The Poor, Feed The Rich
Is The Water War Already Here
Can 'Whites Only Immigration' Make America Great Again
CIA Interrogator - At Time of U.S. Invasion, Saddam Hussein Was Focused on Writing Novel, Not WMDs
Putin - Russia will not expel anyone in response to US sanctions
'US imposes new sanctions on Russia to distract attention from Syrian ceasefire'
- a lot tools to 'cool down tensions' have been used. Tourism, theme parks, cross border trade, education/exchange/study tour for students (very pertinent considering how much cheaper education is over there), joint business projects, soft power (movie exports, cartoons, charitable work, media work, celebrities, kids programs, etc...), funding think tanks, favourable political groups and individuals, minimising points of political contact/competition, etc...
Bullhorns - Blaming Putin (CrossTalk)
CrossTalk - 'Russia Card’
CrossTalk - Trumpism
CrossTalk - Targeting Russia
CrossTalk - Let Trump Be Trump
Bullhorns - Blaming RT (CrossTalk)
- for those who are feeling nostalgic (or who don't really know much about the Cold War) there's heaps of stuff online
- blind test is interesting? Interested if over the entire history of a person if they are subjected to 'biased' material how long it takes to turn them back to normal/neutral?
Russian Infowars Reporter Hacks Pedestrian Minds
- clear that there are a lot of people/countries who are willing to sacrifice themselves to ensure things work out/don't work out (for both sides, anti-Russia and pro-Russia)
Traitors To Truth Push Russian False Narrative
Expert - Russia Should Be On Full Military Alert
- if people are thinking about this in terms of standard diplomacy, statecraft, foriegn relations, etc... I think they're underestimating what could possibly happen. I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up going in very strange directions and unexpected places
BREAKING - President Obama Imposes Sanctions On Russia
Obama Wants To Punish Russia
Liberals Panic, Call For Nuclear War With Russia
World War III Has Begun
'...humiliated by their own president' - US imposed new set of anti-Russian sanctions
Elves vs trolls - Digital swords & bows out in Lithuania in hunt for ‘pro-Russian propaganda’
- a lot of Russian equipment is evolutions of Soviet stuff. Increasingly willing to supply others with up to date/more advanced equipment (look through and you'll realise that native Russian equipment is much more sophisticated/advanced then their export equipment)?
- clearly, pushing out now (to a limited extent). If you have some money to spare try Russia. It just looks like a country on the verge of 'breaking out' economically
- one of the things that a lot of people don't realise is that there are literally nuclear weapons all over the place. What's really surprising though is that host countries often don't control the ability to deploy them. For instance, while Turkey hosts US nuclear weapons it can't actually choose when to deploy them?
- in general, the political process in a lot of former Soviet parliaments is 'questionable'. Lot of fights and brawls in general it seems
- things not too bad in the following states
- didn't realise this was such a common phenomenon worldwide though?
Turkish Brawl - Lawmakers fist fight on parliament floor over constitutional amendments
- it wouldn't surprise me if at worse there is a USSR-Lite of some sort in future? Best case scenario for the Russians is they get exactly what they want. Effectively, a complete restoration of the former Soviet empire and then some... 
- based on what I'm seeing if any state surrounding Russia tries to go off on a different tangent (pro-US/West. Russia doesn't seem to care if surrounding states remain neutral and don't become a threat to them) they will likely be broken up and be significantly weakened (Ukraine, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, etc...) A no win scenario for any of them. The only states that have been able to do any better have basically those who have been able to pursue good relations with both Russia and Western entities (such as the EU and the US). Those who have only been able to pursue good relations with one or the other haven't really done as well? Moreover, look at those who have pursued 'liberation' recently. Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Kosovo, etc... none of them has been able to make it genuinely work out. This situation is likely to worsen as the US/West continues to economically weaken and others become emboldened. I don't think surrounding states are naive to this. A lot of them have 'split allegiances'...
Dutch Sends 3,600 troops plus tanks to Poland
Russia Considers NATO Build Up in Poland a National Security Threat
US Miltary Hardware Arrives in Germany
The NATO War Machine & The Demonisation Of Russia - The David Icke VideoPodcast Trailer
CIA Interrogator - At Time of U.S. Invasion, Saddam Hussein Was Focused on Writing Novel, Not WMDs
Keiser Report: Trump & the Politics of Jobs (E 1004)
Serbia to receive tanks, MiG-29 planes and armored vehicles from Russia as gifts — media
- a lot of analysts are saying that the Russia is a diminishing power. What they neglect to understand is that there are heaps of Russian speakers worldwide. Moreover, if you know enough about linguistics and/or are multi-lingual you'll realise that other languages share significant amounts of their vocabulary which makes switching between them much simpler
language speakers
- one of the interesting things about the former USSR is that the Gini coefficient seemed to be better then in a lot of other places globally (better wealth equality. Trend continues to this day even in Russia itself even as they are accused of having a oligarchical economy?)
Income Distribution in the USSR in the 1980s
- over and over again, people say that they can win this through covert or overt warfare with Russia. I don't think It's that simple. Look at Iran, North Korea, Israel/Palestine, etc... Just because the US/West may be stronger doesn't necessarily mean that they can win. I still think the only way we can avoid conflict is via trade/economics
- I think it's somewhat naive to think that China is going to be/can be 'contained' the way that others want to
Inside Story - Are concerns about China's growing presence in Sri Lanka valid
- surprised this stuff type of stuff still going on (true or not)?
Assassination of Russian Ambassador Karlov Examined
Breaking -  Russian Consulate General to Greece found Dead
- clearly, the public doesn't realise what's going on. Watch for tone in particular when it comes to 'tainted news'. A lot of it often doesn't even make sense
Over a Thousand Russian Tanks and Military Vehicles Bordering Ukraine!
- some of this stuff makes you wonder what the heck just recently happened? 
- the irony is that overly demonising Russia works in Russia's favour when they can prove otherwise. Creates a fault line/divide elsewhere which can be exploited
- most of the difference simply comes down to a difference of opinions/perspectives and competition in limited markets?
Ukraine rips up agreements on information and broadcasting with Russia
- some weird stuff happening between the US, China, and Russia at the moment?
- whether there is going to be war, detente, etc... I don't think it's going to be anywhere near as simple as some are saying
- for anyone who hasn't seen the annual Q&A this is really interesting (and weird). Apparently, has it's roots in Tsarist Russia where the Tsar used to take telephone calls from the general public on issues of interest to them?
Putin holds annual Q&A marathon (FULL VIDEO)
Putin annual Q&A session 2016 (FULL VIDEO) 
Putin annual media Q&A marathon 2015 (FULL PRESSER) 
Putin's annual Q&A session 2014 (FULL VIDEO) 
- obviously travels well (though you could say the same of any head of state nowadays)?
- Internet censorship not too bad in Russia?
Why do I have so many hits from Russia on my blog?
- one of the things that that surprises you is that despite Russia longer being considered a 'genuine superpower' they still post incredible numbers in some areas and have capabilities that you wouldn't necessarily expect of an 'average country'?
C-SPAN Hacked By Russia
- heaps of comedy online regarding Russia Vs US. Even Americans think it's rediculous?
Russia 'Hacking' US Election...
- clear that the having such a large military industrial complex works in favour for and against US. For others allows potential easier access to 'secrets' (even with heavier compartmentalisation)
- one of the funny things about watching politics is that just because someone takes a side it automatically becomes 'bad'?
- clear that we've done equally silly things?
- the main difference between Russian and US/Western media is that it seems to mix things up. It's comedy, analysis, debate, conspiracy theories, etc... all at the same time. It's easy to see why people are more attracted to it even if some of it is gibberish at times? They literally have no competition. The breadth of ideas, individuals, concepts that they cover (on RT alone) is often far wider then multiple Western outlets combined
Bullhorns - Blaming RT (CrossTalk)
‘Surreal echo chamber’ - Watch ‘Russia hacked US’ narrative challenged in RT debate
Fake or Hoax - Hunt to identify false news stories masquerading as genuine
American MSM 'continue down the downward slope of irrelevancy' – Max Keiser on Trump-Russia scandal
- dip about 1996, 2000 then back shoot back up. Latest dip has been around 2014 (related to Ukraine and Crimea circumstances and associate sanctions)
- one of the interesting things for me is why why some people go across to the other side? Some of them just feel like paid mercenaries, others just have a different perspective, others because things working well or their side, some of them are 'fake', etc...
- what seems obvious is that (regardless of what country/countries 'lead the world') we need a new model of development. This one is basically reaching it's limits
Breakup of EU could be chance to save Europe – former Czech President Vaclav Klaus
You can end world hunger 
- believes that US/West often overestimates abilities to shape events which can get them into trouble?
- history is really complicated. These doesn't really tell the complete story about what is happening but it sort of gives you an idea
Military Clash Between The US And China
Deep State’s Cold War - Trying to Tie Trump’s Hands
Over a Thousand Russian Tanks and Military Vehicles Bordering Ukraine!
Putin Claims Russia And US Share Common Enemy
- thinks that the US is desperate to maintain it's empire even if it means that things may be bad internally (this may change with Trump obviously)
'Keep American empire alive’ - NATO builds up forces along Russian border
- they see massive parallels between Trump and Putin?
Russian Reporter - Get Ready For Trump's Authoritarian Press Conferences
- Putin doesn't really run Russia. It's a 'group of people'
Putin Claims Russia And US Share Common Enemy
- the way in which the economy is rigged in favour of the US/West doesn't make sense unless people explain how it is rigged against other countries?
Nikolay Starikov - How to Escape the Tyranny of the Western Financial System
Central Bankers suppressing Russian economy
Charles Bausman at the World Russia Forum in DC
- a lot of people who have gone across the (either way or have simply gone 'neutral') have figured out that there have been a lot of mis-perceptions. They're often more likely to be curious and intelligent based on what I've seen?
RI Exclusive Interview with Starikov - Who is winning the information war, Russia or the West
Charles Bausman at the World Russia Forum in DC
Charles Bausman Trashes Corporate Media on RT
- frustration over what was lost amongst those were around during the time of the USSR? There seems to be a lot of people who have said that things were better back then?
- this is another of the strange things for me. If the statistics are correct then a lot of things in so called 'evil states' are actually better than in the US/West. For instance, poverty levels, crime levels, wealth inequality, educational achievement, healthcare, etc...
- obvious that their economy is 'competitive'. At the upper end, things are much of a muchness. Not much to differentiate a lot of them
russia business competitiveness
- still very protective over some aspects of their lives?
- one very strange thing is that a lot (most) of surveys indicate life is worse for citizens now than prior to the end of the USSR (for citizens who live in the area)?
happiness life ussr survey
Eastern Europe’s post-Soviet ‘happiness gap’ with west closes
- the irony is that the problems that we now face in the West are the exact same problems that the Marxism/Leninism attempted to solve and the a lot of activists are attempting to work against. For instance, impact of 'big money/companies' in politics, democratic deficit, etc... They basically took a shortcut and used the 'state' as the centerpiece in an attempt to bypass some of the conflicts that are present with regards to 'Shadow Government' in particular. Once you understand this, you're not quite certain who's silly/wrong or right in this?
- nothing makes sense. Seems like not much different? Changes in Russia/Moscow now reminds me of Peter the Great brought to Russia. More European feel now in spite of population who mightn't really want it sometimes?
What Is Life Really Like In Moscow, Russia
Russia - history channel documentary - My Life in Russia - US Russia documentary - America Russia
- listen to the following and it seems clear that a lot of people don't even have any idea why the US and the USSR/Russia were engaged in conflict with one another
Channel 3 - Moscow (1986) _ Life in the Soviet Union
Soviet woman recounts the good life in USSR
Life in USSR - Young Builders of Communism
Life in the USSR. Starving time in the USSR.
USSR - Moscow 1990 Grocery Store
Back in USSR - Unique photos show Soviet life in the 50s through the eyes of US diplomat
- still some parts of Russia are stuck in the past
Daily Life In Russia's Secret Nuclear City
- Russia doesn't look that different? Lot of high rise apartments? Multi-cultural but mostly white European and Orthodox Christian based on what I've heard. Supermarkets look identical. Girls dress up in case they may meet someone? US has lots of homeless people but Russia has lots of homeless dogs (not so much in Moscow). Russia is a little bit behind the times. Russian people can be more aloof/distant at times. Customer service is a bit problematic compared to the US/West. Russian people need to know you to be warm to you. US may be more friendly in general but can come across as insincere at times especially in customer service context. Russia free healthcare unlike US (still have choice of private healthcare in Russia though). Cars most popular followed by public transport. In Russia marriage done in official government offices. In US/West many choices with regards to marriage. Culture to offer alcohol in Russia unlike US/West. It's considered rude to not drink one anothers alcohol/vodka upon invitation (explains Russian alcohol problem?). Lots of people speak English in Russia. People in Russia are nice in general
Day in the life of A Black guy living in Russia
Differences in life in Russia and the US
- big country. Entering Russia via Ukraine. Visting Chernobyl. Radiation still a problem there. People still living there. Government still has a socialist aspect/nature to it. Great architecture in Russia. Reminds me of Western Europe at times with a mix of nostalgia with modernity. Homemade vodka normal in Russia. Legal as long as not business. Rivalry between St Petersburg and Moscow. Lots of things have changed in Russia but people still remain the same from 50 years ago. More time to change (if at all). Going to public sauna is still normal in Russia. Good nightlife in Moscow. Lots of awkward/strange aspects of Russian/Soviet industry. Stronger understanding of history in Russia than in a lot of other countries? 
- once again, Russia/Moscow has very strong European feel to it. Subway is almost like museum. Very artistic? Lots of reconstruction/redevelopment occurring in Russia. Moscow bigger then New York population/area wise? 
Life in RUSSIA - is it really that crazy
- provincial/suburban areas reminds me of Europe
PROVINCIAL RUSSIA - Life in a Small Russian Town _ Commuter Train to Moscow _My Vision of Russia
Different Russia
- prices in general cheaper than to US/West? Fresh produce in particular much cheaper!
Russia Groceries. Food Prices. Life in Small Russian Town. Vlog - Russia 2013. P13
- nostaligic aspect to their culture at times. Strong nationalism (reminds me of USSR at times still)?
Bear TV
Russian Listening and Reading 
rigged russian elections
rigged russian elections by united states
rigged united states elections by russian
- some stuff regarding Russian Internet security community
Inside Russia’s Hacker Underworld
- this is what I don't get about Russia in general. It's an up and down economy. Almost everyone acknowledges they have a good education system. Government is a bit behind the times (though same could be said of many countries worldwide) but clearly they are getting better
A Look Inside Russia’s Creepy, Innovative Internet (Hello World - Episode 9)
- I can see easily see mass abandonment of US IT firms if this goes too far... Could easily see a market for those wanting their own infrastructure/something to rival current Internet. In reality, people don't need want much. A lot of reference material (such as Wikipedia) can easily be taken offline

Random Stuff:
- some bears are just incredible. One thing I have noticed Russian bears just seem to be more intelligent (or else there aren't as many online videos of other intelligent bears? They just seem less 'wild'. Even without training they seem more placid and more sociable?). They literally go up to the roads, get up on their hind legs, wave at humans, and ask for food? People in Russia seem to keep wild animals as pets more often? 
Bears - A Cute And Funny Bear Videos Compilation _ NEW HD
Russian Goes _ Cute Bears Compilation
Domesticated 7ft Bear Lives With Russian Couple
Epic Russian Pet Bear
Cute Russian Bear is Internet Sensation (Real-life Kung-Fu bear)
Cute bear dances with kids - Funny Videos
Funny_cute bear head banging with a group of kids!
Cute Polar Bear Handstand - Extreme Fun! [HD]
Funny bear walking like human - CUTE VIDEO
Russia - Un-bear-ably cute! Stray cub flies in face of convention, takes airfield as home
It’s a Pandaful Life! (RT Documentary)
Top Funny Polar Bear Videos Compilation 2016 - Cute Animals
- wonder if bears in general don't like carrots?
Lucky the bear eating his breakfast November 21, 2012
- interesting concept? It's basically a sideward scrolling website for various media outlets
- Israel has a ridiculously complicated history
Truck Crashes into a Group of Israeli Soldiers in Jerusalem
Netanyahu Announces Recent Discovery of Ancient Menorah in Judea
Obama Walks in the Steps of Haman to Destroy the Jews
Dr. Petrovich Discovers Hebrew Alphabet Derived From Egyptian Hieroglyphics
- desperate times call for desperate measures? From time to time I get people watching this blog from unexpected countries (and sending me emails about subjects I wouldn't expect them to ask me for expertise on)...
- not a bad package...
- found some more free soundpacks and patches
- wonder why they just don't add rockets (discarded once spent) on some of these jets for greater speed/payload on take off (they've done this previously to reduce take off time for some jets)? Have barriers to reduce impact of side and head/tail wind problems. UAVs to add payload while in mid air?
J-15 'Flying Shark' LIAONING Carrier Arrest Ski Jump Fly Ops
- here we go again?
- if you've watched the Indian military it's sort of funny because it seems like almost everything is delayed or not working all of the time?
- a lot of EDM music is actually repetitive in terms of structure
simple bassline edm music
- one thing I think that is really strange in the battle between SAM system and military aircraft is that a lot of the higher end SAM systems can knock out most missiles/projectiles which makes you wonder if they can do that why aren't stealth aicraft completely redundant (unless they operate at standoff range most of the time?). This will particuarly be the case when lasers and other energy weapons finally make it to the battlefield. Surely, ground based systems will always have the advantage owing to the fact that they don't need to factor in portability issues?
Russia boosts anti-missile shield over Crimea with S-400 system
Eurofighter Typhoon using American IRST system?
- apparently, they jus leave them lying around until they rust out?
- a lot of bombs being dropped out there?
- new weapons...
UK military to build prototype 'laser weapon'
- kind of funny to be honest?
- it's clear that North Korea isn't crazy enough to attack the US unless they're desperate. The only genuine security threat would be if North Korea sold their research to other countries?
- ironically, this site goes down fairly often with SQL based issues?
- can't believe what people do as job sometimes?
- propulsion will continue to remain the problem for the forseeable future
- hmmm... this is common?
EPA - Chrysler Also Cheating On Emissions
- wonder if this is a viable option for a lot cities who are running out of land. If you can purchase multiple old vessels and effectively build a platform between (or on) them you can build an off shore airport with having to worry about noise issues and possibly fairly cheaply (especially if you can get the vessels relatively cheaply)?
- I wonder what the IQ of the average 'slime' would be?

Random Quotes:
- Since the end of the Cold War, the US has waged several ground and air wars in the region – two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and one in Libya – and is currently threatening more. Each conflict has of course its own specific objectives, but there is a common denominator: the need to keep the oil of the region free-flowing, inexpensive, and under the firm control of the US and its friends.

American strategists don’t simply want to obtain oil. If you have money, that’s easy. They also want to eliminate all potential competitors, safeguarding the region politically and militarily so that the flow of oil from the Middle East to world markets remains under their direct control.
Business as usual

As for Britain, which enthusiastically supported the US-led war in Iraq in sharp contrast to most of the US’s European allies, the partnership with the US wasn’t simply a manoeuvre for influence on the global stage, and nor was it the fruit of imperial delusion. Britain also had a clear material interest in being awarded a share of the spoils in the form of trade, contracts, and access to markets and natural resources.

This is not a matter of supposition or conjecture. In October 2002, five months before the invasion of Iraq, the then-trade minister, Baroness Symons, told BP executives that the British government was working to secure a good share of Iraq’s oil and gas reserves for British energy corporations as a reward for Blair’s strong military commitment to US operations for regime change in Iraq.

Confidential minutes released as a result of Freedom of Information request by Greg Muttitt, co-director of the campaign group Platform, reveal that in several meetings with BP and Shell executives, detailed plans were drafted by the British government to exploit oil opportunities in post-Saddam Iraq.

Many view all this as evidence of a conspiracy, but that is reductive. These events are part of a larger balance of global economic and political mechanisms – a tangle of political and economic interests converging under the rubric of “regime change”.

Vested interests representing energy, weapons and influential segments of the media and communications industries are entrenched in key sectors of Western governments. These interests are concerned with maintaining their privileged position, and key elements of the US and British elite respond directly.

This was not a conspiracy; it was simply business as usual.
- With the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) once in a decade leadership change in 2012, Beijing once again changed course in its approach to regional and international diplomacy. With current President Xi Jinping at the helm, China altered its course from a conservative defensive role to a more active offensive role in regional and international affairs. Xi’s government has consistently promoted itself, and for the most part, acted as a responsible international power. But lately, China’s naval and military maneuvering in the South China Sea has irked its neighbors and their allies, while earning Xi the moniker of being a “strongman president”; the strongest Chinese president, some observers say, since Mao Zedong.

Beijing has become convinced that the greatest threat to peace and stability in Asia is the long-term presence of the United States military in the Western Pacific. From a strategic perspective, the Chinese government is content with its lack of influence in East Asia due to historical conflicts with Japan and the security threat of its troublesome northeastern ally, North Korea. Despite its diplomatic shortfalls in East Asia, Chinese policymakers believe that its allies within ASEAN and its economic influence in the region makes Southeast Asia, without a doubt, China’s most important regional sphere of influence.

With a mix of economic soft power and cultural populism, Xi is determined to position China as a regional security power that will one day be able to offer Asian nations state of the art weapons technology, becoming an Asian alternative to the United States. The Chinese president dreams of a Chinese military industrial complex (MIC) that could one day supply state of the art weaponry on par with the United States, and at a fraction of the cost to its Asian allies.
- Apart from wearing a tin-foil hat, using cash, having plastic surgery to disguise your face, and living in a cave somewhere, the short answer is you cannot escape a digital footprint but you can and should minimise it.

You can and should spend hours going through the privacy settings of the devices you have. You can delete Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media profiles – perhaps it is better just to remove PII, but the damage is probably done already. You can use a VPN for all Internet activity and encrypt everything.

One thing you should do is install Ghostery for Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE, an extension, that gives you complete control over the scripts and cookies that run when you visit any site. You'll be able to see which sites are dropping cookies or running scripts that call home right in your browser, and choose to block or allow any of them you choose.

But in the end it comes down to education — like this article — and common sense. Never put anything in writing that you don’t want your mother to see.
- It is a criticism I have heard from more than one person who has worked with President Obama: that he regards himself as the smartest person in the room—any room. Jeffrey Goldberg’s fascinating article reveals that this is a considerable understatement. The president seems to think he is the smartest person in the world, perhaps ever.
- Ancient Babylonian kings had a special tool at their disposal when economic or social conditions turned dicey: They would declare a "debt jubilee" and instantly wipe out borrowers' loans, allowing average people deep in hock to start over with a clean slate.

It says something about the global economy in 2016 that the concept of a modern debt jubilee has been finding its way into some mainstream financial market discussions.

Eight years ago, unsustainably high debt was the root cause of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Yet world debt overall now is far above 2008 levels. And as with millions of American home buyers back then, many of today's borrowers owe amounts that could become crushing burdens if the global economy should careen into a new recession.
- Rome: From a smartphone app delivering market prices to Guatemalan farmers to online nutrition tips in rural Colombia, the push to end hunger has entered a new era with the United Nations' food agency deploying the latest technology to fight it.

The World Food Program's (WFP) new innovation hub, launched in Munich this week with the support of the German government, will seek out new technologies to help reach the goal of zero hunger faster.

In September, the UN adopted an ambitious new set of global goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals, to end hunger, poverty advance equality and protect the environment by 2030.

"[But] if we continue progress at the same rate, we are not going to be even close to eradicating hunger by 2030," Robert Opp, head of innovation at WFP, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
- Kuwait signed for 28 Typhoons in April and may also buy the F/A-18, while Rafale has notched up three deals in quick succession, with Egypt, India and Qatar. Aboulafia said the French jet had an advantage in a region where nations are hesitant to buy from the US or a European consortium because of the risk of being cut off due to geopolitical developments.

The F-35, he said, was “seen as absolutely dominating all markets where they play, and that’s happening, just a lot slower than they expected. I’m just no longer sure of this massive carnage and total F-35 dominance that I was a decade ago.”

Aboulafia added, “There is the expectation that there is a blood-letting coming in the next few years, [and] some but not all planes will be dead. The irony is, they will probably be American planes,” such as the Super Hornet, Boeing’s F-15 and Lockheed’s F-16.

Meanwhile, he added, the F-35 hasn’t proven to be a “stake through the heart" for the competition.

In other markets like Brazil, the F-35 is simply seen as too expensive, and Sweden’s Saab is taking full advantage. The firm is continuing to develop and build the existing C/D models of Gripen alongside the new Gripen E/F, and sees a big market opportunity for second-tier air forces like Malaysia, Slovenia, Croatia, Colombia and Peru for the Gripen E/F or C/D version.
- “I'd like to build a new CAS airplane right now while we still have the A-10, transition the A-10 community to the new CAS airplane, but we just don't have the money to do it, and we don't have the people to fly the A-10 and build a new airplane and bed it down,” he said.

Starting a new program is never easy, but the service doesn’t necessarily have to spend huge amounts of time and money to develop a new platform, he told Defense News in an exclusive interview earlier in June.

“I think you can do it much quicker than people think you can,” he said. “We don’t have to come up with sensors and weapons that are cosmic. That’s not what we need. We’re talking about something that can do the bulk of the low threat, maybe a little bit of medium threat work in rugged environments all over the world.”
- In the hardest-hitting passage, she said: “We need a government that will deliver serious social reform – and make ours a country that truly works for everyone. Because right now, if you’re born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others. If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white.

“If you’re a white working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman, you still earn less than a man.”
- New research published in the journal Pediatrics shows that children with these habits are less likely to develop allergies to house dust mites, grass, cats, dogs or airborne fungi. It’s further evidence in support of the so-called “hygiene hypothesis”, which suggests that childhood exposure to microbial organisms and other nasties alters immune function, resulting in a decreased risk of developing allergies.

“While we don’t recommend that these habits should be encouraged, there does appear to be a positive side to these habits,” study co-author Malcolm Sears of McMaster University said in a statement.

For the study, the researchers took data from the ongoing Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study, which is following the progress of 1037 participants born in Dunedin, New Zealand from 1972 to 1973. Back when this study got started, parents reported their children’s thumb-sucking and nail-biting habits when they were five, seven, nine and 11 years old. When these children turned 13, and again at 32, they were checked for atopic sensitisation — a skin prick test that detects a sensitivity to at least one common allergen.

Slightly less than a third of all children enrolled in the study were frequent nail biters or thumb suckers. By the time these kids reached their teenage years, nearly half showed an atopic sensitisation of some sort — so oral habit or not, half of these kids still developed an allergy. But for those with one oral habit, their chance of developing an allergy dropped to 40 per cent. And for those with both habits, this figure plummeted to 31 per cent. That’s significant.

Quick Beef Stew Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/11/chinese-style-congee-jook-recipe...