Putin Critic Assassinated, Knew He Was A Target…

A tragic event. On possibly orchestrated by Vladimir Putin.

A man Trump apparently admires. If one believes Trump’s prior praises of Putin.

Excerpt from The Washington Post.

In the plush, crimson-decked lobby bar of Kiev’s five-star Premier Palace Hotel, Denis Voronenkov, a Russian lawmaker who defected to Ukraine, knew he was in danger.

“For our personal safety, we can’t let them know where we are,” he said Monday evening as he sat with his wife for an interview with The Washington Post.

Less than 72 hours later, he was dead, shot twice in the head in broad daylight outside the same lobby bar. It was a particularly brazen assassination that recalled the post-Soviet gangland violence of the 1990s. His wife, dressed in black, sobbed as she stooped down to identify Voronenkov’s body, which lay beneath a black tarp in a pool of blood.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, just hours later, called the attack an “act of state terrorism by Russia.” As of Thursday evening, police had not identified the assailant, who died in police custody after being shot by Voronenkov’s bodyguard. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, called the accusation a “fabrication.”

In the weeks before his death, Voronenkov, a former member of Russia’s pliant Communist Party, had told friends he was being targeted. Hackers had been trying to pry into his Twitter account and his wife’s email. He had received threatening text messages, and the police had recently assigned him a bodyguard. There were rumors he was under surveillance.

“It’s a totally amoral system, and in its anger it may go to extreme measures,” he said as he sat next to his wife, Maria Maksakova, a fellow parliamentarian who defected with him. “There’s been a demonization of us. It’s hard to say what will happen. The system has lost its mind. They say we are traitors in Russia.”

He said he could return only “when Putin is gone.”

At a time when the question of Russian influence dominates U.S. politics, Voronenkov’s death will add further scrutiny to the extent, and potential lethality, of Russia’s reach abroad. It remained unclear who might have wanted to killed Voronenkov — theories include Russian agents, Ukrainian nationalists or business interests — but the fact remains that he is just the latest Kremlin opponent to wind up dead.

More BENEATH THE FOLD

 

Are We Really Who We Profess To Be?…

Here we are, precisely at the same place we were yesterday, last week, last month, and last year. Trying to determine just exactly how in the hell this nation of immigrants with the best governmental system known to humankind got so goddamned screwed up.

A bunch of educated and liberal individuals, revolutionary actually, decided to revolt against a rather liberal monarchy and in the process built a system that recognized the supremacy of the individual rather than the state. A system built on the rule of law rather than the whim of a particular individual or group of individuals.

Our founders warned against foreign entanglements. Yet over our 240 year history we have managed to regularly become entangled in many foreign adventures, including even saving the world from Fascism and Communist totalitarianism. A admirable thing. Note, Karl Marx was not a fan of totalitarianism, in  fact Marx despised the totalitarian state. Don’t confuse 20’th century communism  with 19’th century Marxism. They are not one in the same.

Back to America. What in the hell is wrong with us? A nation of immigrants with a statue that proclaims liberty and welcomes all with the following.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Yet we  elected a man who campaigned on emotions intended to result n closing the door to the above values. Why? Fear? Bigotry? Racism? Ignorance? What? Do we even question our inner feelings or motives as a nation anymore?

It s hard to know just what freedom and liberty means these days. Is it freedom and liberty as long as it is of the type we approve of while that we disapprove of is considered tyranny? It often seems that way listening to and reading a lot of the political stuff offered as gospel these days.

Freedom. Liberty. Indeed. We all have the right to experience and enjoy the blessing of both. It is our right as individuals and no one has the right to deny or take away our freedom and liberty. But, and this is all important but, freedom and liberty is not free. Freedom and liberty requires and demands that the rights to freedom and liberty of others be respected. With freedom and liberty comes a great responsibility, to respect the freedom ad liberty of others to be free. Een when you disagree with their views.

We must add to the above, just so NO ONE misunderstands, absolutely no one has the right to forcibly infringe on one the rights and freedoms of another, unless it is in an act of self-defense against someone attempting to infringe upon your rights and freedoms.

A final note to the above. The only justification for violence against another human being is in an act of self-defense against a perpetrator of violence against you.

 Simple. Philosophically pure and consistent.  Yet we’ve managed to make our founding ideals complicated so as to fit some ideological perspective.

That’s  our perspective, feel free to leave yours.

 

Following Trumps Address To Congress He Quickly Returns To The Old (True) Trump…

President Trump is back to playing Twitter in Chief. As his administration is coming under increasing scrutiny for contact with the Russian Government, and, Attorney General Sessions failure to disclose his contact with Russian official(s) during confirmation hearings, Trump has went into full attack mode. His modus operandi of course is to deflect attention from his administration by claiming democrats are hypocrites, having done the same themselves. He apparently fails to recognize his comparisons are ones of apples to oranges.

 

President Donald Trump, his administration under siege for contacts with Russian officials, is calling for “an immediate investigation” into Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s own ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s evidence? A 14-year-old photo of Schumer and Putin holding coffee and doughnuts in a New York City gas station.

The president on Friday tweeted a photo of the two men, calling for a probe into Schumer’s “ties to Russia and Putin” and called the New York senator “A total hypocrite!” Trump did not say where the photo came from, but Schumer quickly pointed out that it was taken in 2003 when Putin ventured to New York to celebrate the opening of a Russian-owned Lukoil gas station on Manhattan’s west side.

Several news organizations covered that event, which drew far more political star power than the average gas station opening.

Schumer, in his own tweet, said he would “happily talk” under oath about his meeting with Putin, which took place “in full view of press and public.”

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Trump’s tweet came just hours after the conservative website Drudge Report made the photo its lead image. And that was a day after the photo was unearthed by the pro-Trump blog Gateway Pundit, which ran it with the headline “Where’s the outrage?”

Trump targeted congressional Democrats for their encounters with Russians over the years even though the party’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions centered on his failure to acknowledge his meetings when questioned at his Senate confirmation hearing and in written responses to the Judiciary Committee.

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Trump also tweeted Friday about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was among the first to call for Sessions to resign.

In his tweet, Trump linked to a 2010 photo in which Pelosi and other lawmakers, including Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, now the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, are shown meeting with Russian officials, including then-President Dmitry Medvedev and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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Pelosi then needled Trump by saying he didn’t “know the difference” between an official meeting photographed by the press and a “secret” meeting that Sessions “lied about under oath.”

It is not improper for elected officials to meet with foreign diplomats’.

See full article FOLBELOW THE FOLD.

 

A Trump Foreign Visit Delayed, Oh My…

Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK is to be delayed until October and will take place mostly in Scotland, according to reports.

The Daily Mail has reported that planners want to shift much of the US president’s trip – originally pencilled in for the first week in June – to the Queen’s residence at Balmoral, Aberdeenshire, in a bid to deter protesters.

The president could spend as little as one day in London before heading to Scotland.

A senior Whitehall source told the paper: “The Americans have asked to push it back.

“They don’t want what will be one of his first big foreign trips to be overshadowed.

”Mr Trump’s mother, Mary, was born in Stornoway on the isle of Lewis.

There is also speculation that Mr Trump may wish to visit the area during his stay.

He has substantial business interests in Scotland, including the Trump International Golf Course in Aberdeenshire.

However, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those calling for his state visit to be cancelled in retaliation for his “deeply wrong” travel ban.

The reported delay also means that Parliament will be in recess, making it impossible for MPs to “snub” the President by refusing him the honour of making an address.

Officials believe the delay could also allow tempers to cool over Mr Trump’s controversial policies, and that the autumn weather may make mass protests less likely.

It is unlikely , given the character damage President Trump has brought upon himself, that a delay will change the desire to protest Trump’s visit to he UK and Scotland. Foreigners are able to see Presdent Trump for who and what he really is.

It is clear that the Trump administration will be running damage control operations everywhere he visits. He simpy is not well like by anyone or any nation. Except maybe Russia.

A 21st Century Nuclear Arms Race?…

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to ensure the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

In a Reuters interview, Trump also said China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.

In his first comments about the U.S. nuclear arsenal since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump said he would like to see a world with no nuclear weapons but expressed concern that the United States has “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”

“I am the first one that would like to see everybody – nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.

“It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,” Trump said.

Russia has 7,300 warheads and the United States, 6,970, according to the Ploughshares Fund, an anti-nuclear group.

“The history of the Cold War shows us that no one comes out ‘on the top of the pack’ of an arms race and nuclear brinkmanship,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the independent Arms Control Association non-profit group.

Trump code for lets start another nuclear arms race to the top. This dude is one scary MF’er.

Full REUTERS article BELOW THE FOLD.