Saturday, 28 February 2015

Boris Nemtsov RIP

Boris Nemtsov RIP

The shooting, on a bridge near Red Square, under the towering domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, ended Mr. Nemtsov’s two-decade career as a champion of democratic reforms, beginning in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, and just days before he was to lead a rally to protest the war in Ukraine. --

He is by far the most prominent public figure to die in such a fashion, though just one in a string of murders of opponents of Mr. Putin, most notoriously the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the human rights researcher Natalia Estemirova and the security service defector Aleksandr V. Litvinenko. And while low-level criminals have been detained in some cases, the investigations in Russia never traced back to those who ordered the murders.

Read the entire NYT article here

Friday, 27 February 2015

Surprise, surprise: New warmist paper predicts that global warming will return after "false pause"

Whatever happens in the real world - even in the case of a new ice age - warmists will always maintain that sooner or later global warming will return!

Manmade global warming over the past decade has probably been partly offset by the cooling effect of natural variability in the Earth’s climate system, a team of climate researchers have concluded. --
The authors of the new paper describe the slowdown, sometimes called a global warming hiatus or pause, as a “false pause”. They warn that the natural cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic that they found are currently having an overall cooling effect on temperatures will reverse in the coming decades – at which point warming will accelerate again.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Finally: UK and US to send military personnel to train the army of Ukraine

Finally at least some action in the right direction after Merkel´s disastrous Minsk 2:

British military personnel are to be sent to Ukraine in the next few weeks to provide advice and training, says Prime Minister David Cameron. --

Mr Cameron said he would push for more sanctions on Russia if the separatists failed to observe the truce.

The prime minister told a House of Commons committee that up to 75 British soldiers divided into four teams would go to an area well away from the conflict zone to provide medical, logistics, intelligence and infantry skills. --

In a statement, British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said that the move was a result of "continued Russian-backed aggression".

The United States has already said it is planning to send a battalion of soldiers to train three Ukrainian battalions.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Bellingcat: "artillery attacks on Ukrainian territory and against Ukrainian forces originated from the territory of Russia"

There is clear evidence that heavy Russian artillery, based on the Russian side of the border, has played a crucial role in the fighting in Ukraine:

Ukrainian armed forces positioned near the Russian-Ukrainian border were attacked by artillery fire in the summer of 2014. Between 9 July and 5 September 2014, the Ukrainian Border Service and the National Security and Defense Council reported more than 120 artillery attacks from Russia. Russian officials, however, have denied the existence of any artillery attacks on Ukraine originating from its territory.
The pressure of sustained artillery attacks through early August led Ukrainian armed forces to lose control of hundreds of kilometers of border territory. Google Earth satellite images of eastern Ukraine from July, August, and September 2014 have enabled the Bellingcat investigation team to find evidence of these artillery attacks, determine their origin, and compare them with local sources.
After reviewing and analyzing these satellite images as well as videos from social media, local media reports, and the shifting maps of the ongoing conflict, the Bellingcat investigation team has determined that there is compelling evidence that artillery attacks on Ukrainian territory and against Ukrainian armed forces originated from the territory of Russia.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Merkel as Ukraine "peacemaker": "When Germans speak about defense, nobody listens, especially not the Russian president"

Anne Applebaum is spot on in her description of Angela Merkel´s Germany:

Since the Second World War, Germany has had no serious foreign policy record and no cadre of diplomats accustomed to solving foreign crises. Germany has no army to speak of either: At a recent NATO exercise, German troops were so badly equipped that they used broomsticks instead of guns.
When Germans speak about defense, nobody listens, especially not the Russian president.

The Ukraine crisis actually began because Ukrainians demonstrated — and risked their lives — in hopes of drawing closer to the European Union. But although the union theoretically has a foreign policy function, in practice it barely exists, not least because Germany first weakened it and now ignores it. But even without the European Union, Germany could have created a Western contact group for Ukraine — including the United States and perhaps Britain, France, Poland or the Netherlands — that would have had real defense capability and real foreign policy clout. --

 Merkel has put her personal stamp on a cease-fire agreement she cannot enforce — and if it fails, there is no Plan B. She has, it is true, hinted at one: Ukraine could give up its eastern provinces, build a “Berlin Wall” around them in the form of a demilitarized zone, tighten its borders and gain time to rebuild its state. But for that plan to work in the longer term, the West would have to treat the rest of Ukraine like it once treated West Germany, reinforcing it economically, politically and militarily, in order to deter Russia.
Right now, there is no sign that Germany or anyone else is prepared to do that. Instead, Ukraine will lose control of the Donbas industrial heartland to Russian proxies whom Russia can then use to further destabilize the Ukrainian state, perhaps to take more territory, perhaps to threaten NATO. The Russian president is limited by his failing economy — but then, thanks to the Greek crisis, Europe may soon be limited by its failing economies, too.

Friday, 20 February 2015

National Weather Service suspects that global warming is behind the record-breaking "Siberian express"

The "Siberian Express" makes its mark on central and eastern US:

The central and eastern U.S. prepared for another blast of record-breaking cold, snow and ice on Friday after already frigid temperatures shattered all-time lows.
It was the coldest morning in Chicago in 79 years. At Niagara Falls, the majestic rushing water was obscured by blocks of craggy ice. In Florida, the start of spring training felt less than springlike.

Surprise, surprise, Matthew Rosenkrans at the warmist US National Weaterh Service already points to global warming as the reason for the record freeze:

In the future, climate change may lead to more extreme weather conditions, such as this frigid winter, he added.
"More extreme events do show up in some of the modeling studies under the warming planet scenario," Rosencrans said.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pope Francis and Egypt´s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Islam

Here is an interesting comparison:

In a speech to Egypt’s top Islamic authorities, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for a “religious revolution.” Why? Because he believes that Islam has problems: “That corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries … is antagonizing the entire world.” He continued: “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants…?” He then warned the assembled imams not to “remain trapped within this mindset” but to “reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.”
However you interpret el-Sisi’s remarks, it’s clear that he believes the problems of Islam are not the fault of a tiny minority. He seems to think that a great many are to blame, and he particularly singles out Islamic religious leaders, whom he holds “responsible before Allah” on “Judgment Day.” And, most tellingly, he refuses to indulge in the this-has-nothing-to-do-with-Islam excuse favored by Western leaders. Rather, he states that “the entire umma [Islamic world]” is “a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world” because of “the thinking that we hold most sacred.”
By contrast, after his visit to Turkey, Pope Francis compared Islamic fundamentalists to Christian fundamentalists and said that “in all religions there are these little groups.” A little over a year ago in his apostolic exhortation, he joined the ranks of those who say that terror has nothing to do with Islam by observing that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
So the leader of the largest Muslim country in the Arab world thinks that the entire Islamic world is suffused with dangerous and destructive thinking, and the leader of the Catholic Church thinks terror is the work of a few misunderstanders of Islam.

Read the entire article here.