Our “smart diplomacy” response to Putin invading Ukraine? Not just sanctions, but full-scale sanctions

Reagan peace through strength Quote

Russian troops are holding military maneuvers on Ukraine’s border ahead of Sunday’s referendum on Crimea secession. Via National Post:

The measure was passed as Russia confirmed that it was conducting military manoeuvres in the Rostov, Tambov and Belgorod regions near the Ukraine border, involving 8,500 ground troops, 270 tanks and 180 armoured personnel carriers. “The main purpose of these actions is to completely check teamwork of the units and make them implement combat missions on an unknown territory,” the Russian defence ministry said.

And what’s our “smart diplomacy” response to Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine? Not just any run of the mill sanctions. No, we are threatening Vladimir with full-scale sanctions:

Full-scale sanctions, which might include trade, banking and investment restrictions or even asset freezes according to London-based Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Macro Advisory in Moscow, would be triggered if Russia moves deeper into Ukraine.

The Western strategy is to confront Russia with the threat of “pretty stark” consequences should it conduct further incursions, Constanze Steltzenmueller, director of the German Marshall Fund, said by phone from Berlin. “Everything depends on what the Russians do after” Crimea, she said.

I’m sure Vladimir Putin is shaking in his boots over our latest threats. Via Business Insider:

“Russian trade and investment are spread across multiple jurisdictions, which points to a lack of dependence on any one country. Moreover, commodities – for which it is generally easy to find an alternative buyer – dominate exports: energy exports alone account for 66% of the total. Moreover, most Russian investment abroad ($406bn USD, end 2012) and foreign investment in Russia ($496bn USD, end 2012) is structured through offshore financial centers, which may make imposition of sanctions more challenging, although we suspect that most of the assets owned by Russian foreign investors, and most of the ultimate beneficiaries of foreign investment in Russia, are in OECD countries.”

In other words, sanctions, even the full scale type, won’t be effective.

Anyone paying attention over the last six years, particularly during the 2008 campaign knew full-well what Obama’s intentions were: economic redistribution, full on radical environmentalism and knocking the United States down on the world stage.

Remember this from the 2008 campaign?

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Dear Leader’s intentions were quite clear even in 2008.

Budgets, Power & Ego: GOP establishment wants to fix, not repeal, ObamaCare

There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.

Mark Twain

The GOP establishment is more interested in fixing, and not repealing, ObamaCare. Via Rush Limbaugh today:

Now, their fixes might sound free market, conservatively oriented, this kind of thing. But the Republican establishment does not want to be identified in any way with any thought of getting rid of Obamacare. That’s the take-away. They just don’t. Now, we also will assume that the Republican establishment wants to win elections. Some people are not convinced of that.

Like some think the Senate leaders do not want to win, that they’re happier in the minority. There’s no challenge there, no real responsibility. They can’t be held accountable for anything. As a loser, you don’t have to put forth an agenda, don’t have to try to get it passed. They can just sit there in the minority and basically try to stop whatever they can, but that’s about it — and it’s easier.

Leading is tough. There are some who think that there are Republicans that really don’t want to win ’cause it’s harder. But the Republican establishment, they do want those committee chairmanships. They do want to be in charge of the money, and they don’t want government getting any smaller.

Of course, longtime MCT readers have known that politicians, D and R alike, relish the idea of being in charge of all that money flowing into Washington D.C. thanks to ObamaCare.

Via MCT September, 2013:

In business, as you rise within a company’s management ranks, the larger the budget (the amount of the companies money) you control. Job titles mean very little compared to the amount of company dollars at you disposal. Among executives, budgets are the great equalizer. Regardless of industry, the measure of a manager / executives importance to his organization is the amount of budget at his command.

It’s an ego thing.

Congress has adopted this philosophy as well. With continual expansion of the Federal budget, most Representatives and Senators work to seize ever larger portions of our national economy expanding members of Congress budgets. This expansion gives members greater power and influence. Once ObamaCare is sufficiently implemented, members of Congress will have trillions of additional dollars at their disposal to spend as they see fit- mostly to ensure he or she remains in office no matter what.

When the GOP lead House of Representatives caves on removing funding of ObamaCare (they will cave) from the federal budget, it will have less to do with receiving blame for a government shutdown or obscure parliamentary rules and more to do with budgets, power and ego.

It’s no wonder why so many conservatives are don’t trust the GOP establishment

Funny Video: How It’s Unmade- The Oreo

You’ve seen the hypnotic “How It’s Made” t.v. show. But, have you seen its companion  show “How It’s Unmade?” Here’s a clip of the show demonstrating how Oreo Cookies are unmade and raw materials extracted:

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Very clever…

What could go wrong: Detroit Public Schools to convert abandoned campus to urban farm

When did ‘urban farming’ become all the rage?

Of course it will be too late when those involved with this boondoggle bothers breaking out a calculator and realizes that the ‘urban farm’ is cost prohibitive:

 Less than 50 years after it was built, Kettering High School was shut down in 2012 due to declining enrollment, rising maintenance costs and poor academic performance.

Two years later, the school district plans to grow new life into the east Detroit campus from the ground up — literally.

Detroit Public Schools officials plan Thursday to announce details of a project to turn the sprawling site at the corner of Van Dyke Road and I-94 into a 26.9-acre urban farm.

The announcement will come as part of a real estate developers conference on what to do with Detroit’s dozens of vacant former school buildings.

The school district plans to build eight hoop houses and start growing vegetables on the new Kettering Urban Agricultural Campus in 2014, with later phases to include food processing and distribution to students and the community, officials said Wednesday.

“I am certain that the innovative re-purposing of the Kettering property by our Office of School Nutrition will be of great benefit not only to our school community, but also to the surrounding community,” said DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin in a statement.

This will be a certain money loser. Is it any wonder the Detroit Public School District is completely broke?

*** h/t Michigan Report ***

Remember when eco-loons told us snowfalls are now a thing of the past?

Way back during the global warming scam heyday, remember how they told us that snowfall is a thing of the past. Via UK Independent (March, 2000):

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Fast forward fourteen years to the winter of 2014; a.k.a. the winter that never ends:

Wednesday’s snow dropped the expected 5 to 8 inches of snow across our area.

There were a few isolated spots that got a little more, but the overall average across Metro Detroit was in the 5 to 8-inch range.

Most importantly — for those of you who are closely following these record — is that we got an official total of 6.5 inches at Detroit Metro Airport. That set a new March 12 daily snowfall record — the old record of 2.4 inches was set in 1984. AND, this now gives us 90.6 inches total for the season, only 3.0 inches shy of the 134-year-old record of 93.6 inches set in 1880-81. Could we break the record next week?

Not only is it really snowy, it’s going to be downright cold tonight.

milford temps

Personally, I’ve had it with winter, snow and freezing cold…

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Bring on the summertime blues!

If sugar is so evil, then why aren’t the do-gooders telling us to eat more steak?

Like I’ve said before, most bad ideas that begin in Europe tend to find their way here:

On Wednesday, for instance, no less an authority than the UN’s World Health Organisation came out with the firm recommendation that we should all be aiming to cut our sugar intake by half and that children should not be given fizzy drinks at all.
That came just one day after Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, proposed that a sugar tax needed to be introduced if we wanted to cut sugar intake and reduce obesity.

Yep, government busybodies advocate taxing sugar to gently nudge we the people into making the “correct” decisions. Nice.

The Daily Mail article continues.

And it came on the same day that an eminent New York cardiovascular research scientist warned that the long-running demonisation of fats, and saturated fats in particular, could be entirely misplaced.
The real killer, according to Dr James DaNicolantio, particularly when it comes to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes — those two scourges of the modern age — is sugar.

Perfect! Since all the do-gooders and busybodies are all worked up over sugar, its time (well if my back yard wasn’t still buried in knee-deep global warming) throw a few New York strip steaks on the grill.

Of course, this new ‘revelation’ raises an important question; for the last few decades, the do-gooders and busybodies have been telling us that fats, red meats and their ilk are killers. Now they are telling us sugar are the real killers. It sounds like these so-called studies are more junk science.

Power of the Individual: Drummer Loses Hand in Freak Accident Creates Drumming Prosthetic (video)

This is awesome:

Two years ago, as he was cleaning an air vent hood at work, Jason Barnes was struck by a freak jolt of electricity. The accident wasn’t fatal, but he did end up losing part of his right arm. An aspiring drummer, Barnes was thunderstruck. He refused to give up, cobbling together his own make-shift drumming hand out of a brace and some springs.

The hand didn’t work perfectly, but through perseverance Barnes was able to secure himself acceptance to the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media. Little did Barnes know at the time, but his life was about to change for the better. He was about to become super-human.

At the institute, Barnes and his makeshift hand got drumming instructor Eric Sanders thinking. Sanders knew of a man who could remake Barnes hand. He could make it better, faster. Gil Weinberg, at Georgia Tech, was in the business of building robot drummers, but Barnes would be his first cyborg.

Amazing what perseverance and the entrepreneurial spirit is able to achieve.

Here’s a video of the new cyborg drummer in action:

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Our cyborg drummer sounds pretty darn good.

Detroit News behind the MCT curve on the impending ‘tsunami’ of retail store closings

If you read the Detroit News, you read this about the impending ‘tsunami’ of retail stores closing today:

That day of reckoning, some say, has arrived, with one retail watcher predicting a “tsunami” of store closings this year.

That prediction, by Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors in New York, was made in January. Radio Shack announced this week that it was closing up to 1,100 of its stores, and Staples said Thursday it was shutting 225 of its locations.

Even retailers that recently have been in expansion mode are trimming their store counts. Teen retailer Aeropostale is planning to close 175 stores in coming years. The Children’s Place, while continuing to open stores, will shutter 125 of its weakest shops by 2016.

MCT readers have a nearly two month head start on Detroit News readers:

It would be fun to point and laugh at clueless Obama voters except due to their lack of a basic understanding of economics. However, there are real life consequences to their support of the leftist agenda. A lot of people are losing their jobs.

Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

Experts said these headlines are only the tip of the iceberg for the industry, which is set to undergo a multiyear period of shuttering stores and trimming square footage.

Just thought I’d point this out.

Leftists at AP launch smear campaign against Trail Life USA

The AP recently ran a story smearing Trail Life USA, a new, and rapidly growing, alternative the Bout Scouts. Via Bookworm Room:

The photograph ran last Sunday in newspapers across the nation and generated hundreds of angry emails and some threatening telephone calls to Trail Life headquarters.

But it turns out that the boys were not saluting Hitler and contrary to the first Associated Press caption, they were not reciting a creed. The boys were singing “Taps,” a longtime Boy Scout tradition that the Texas Trail USA troop had adapted as their own.

The boys had gathered in a circle with their hands raised straight into the air. They gradually lowered their hands as they sang the song. It concludes with their hands flush against their side.

The picture AP selected to accompany their story about Trail Life?

Trail-Life

Leftists / Democrats will stop at nothing to advance their agenda. Drag business owners to court if they object to participate in a gay wedding? Absolutely. Sue Nuns from the Little Sisters of the Poor because they refuse to provide birth control pills. Check. Launch a smear campaign against a youth organization because they aren’t down with allowing openly gay members or leaders. Not a problem.

Democrat politicians are completely supportive of this agenda.

How does the casual Democrat, the someone who isn’t overtly political, feels about being part of a movement that isn’t above smear and intimidation campaigns.