HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Launch Port - The Open Door Business Blog

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY FRIENDS!

MAY YOU BE WISE, WEALTHY (in many worthwhile things), AND WELL

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Year in Review: The 10 Biggest Spy-Related Stories of 2014, part II

intelNews.org

Angela Merkel and Barack ObamaBy J. FITSANAKIS and I. ALLEN | intelNews.org
Since 2008, when we launched this website, we have monitored daily developments in the highly secretive world of intelligence and espionage, striving to provide an expert viewpoint removed from sensationalism and conspiratorial undertones. As 2014 is about to conclude, we take a look back at what we think are the ten most important intelligence-related developments of the past 12 months. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will surely agree that we witnessed our fair share of significant intelligence-related stories this year. Some of them made mainstream headlines, while others failed inexplicably to attract the attention of the news media. In anticipation of what 2015 may bring, we present you with our selection of stories below, which are listed in reverse order of importance. This is part two in the series. Part one is here.

5. China stops…

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Japan Wants Exo Suits For Its Soldiers

I am still very much of the opinion that Endo-suits that augment, enhance, and stimulate the innate peak biological performances of the wearer are a superior technology to that of exosuits (regardless of the application), but at least for the moment, Exo suit technologies seem to be all the rage.

How Might Nanobots Change Medicine – First Human Trial

Having a long standing interest in nanotechnologies (of all kinds) this talk on bio-molecular nanobots was superb.

sifloy

Ido Bachelet from Bar Ilan University gives an intro to his work on molecular nanobots. His claims are groundbreaking – and from what i can tell are at least theoretically feasable.

Now a human trial with a late stage blood cancer patient has begun.

This is what TED say about him:

“Nano-robots that fix tissues and control drugs have been envisioned for over 30 years. Now, using DNA origami and molecular programming, they are reality. These nanobots can seek and kill cancer cells, mimic social insect behaviors, carry out logical operators like a computer in a living animal, and they can be controlled from an Xbox. Ido Bachelet from the bio-design lab at Bar Ilan University explains this technology and how it will change medicine in the near future.

Ido Bachelet earned his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and was a postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. and Harvard University…

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[ARTICLE] Effects of Robot-assisted Gait Training Combined with Functional Electrical Stimulation on Recovery of Locomotor Mobility in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial – Full Text HTML

Again, fascinating.

TBI Rehabilitation

Abstract

[Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of robot-assisted gait training combined with functional electrical stimulation on locomotor recovery in patients with chronic stroke.

[Subjects] The 20 subjects were randomly assigned into either an experimental group (n = 10) that received a combination of robot-assisted gait training and functional electrical stimulation on the ankle dorsiflexor of the affected side or a control group (n = 10) that received robot-assisted gait training only.

[Methods] Both groups received the respective therapies for 30 min/day, 3 days/week for 5 weeks. The outcome was measured using the Modified Motor Assessment Scale (MMAS), Timed Up-and-Go Test (TUG), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and gait parameters through gait analysis (Vicon 370 motion analysis system, Oxford Metrics Ltd., Oxford, UK). All the variables were measured before and after training.

[Results] Step length and maximal knee extension were significantly greater than those before training…

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Hong Kong Dystopia

Whew. A city that big and crowded would not be for me… I need my green fields, my land to wander, my forests, and my animals.

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How oil, corruption and a murder for hire link led to one North Dakotan tribal chief’s spectacular downfall

This sounds just like a Longmire plot…

Faith helps Navy SEAL recover from battlefield

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THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (December 28, 1814-January 3, 1815)

4GWAR

General Packenham’s Decision.

Major General Sir Edward Pakenham (Courtesy National Park Service) Major General Sir Edward Pakenham
(Courtesy National Park Service)

December 28

Three days after arriving in the swamps of Louisiana’s Mississippi Delta, British Major General Sir Edward Pakenhamcontemplates the mess his army is in.

When Pakenham arrives with 3,000 fresh troops at the British camp on Christmas Day, he is greeted with cheers and celebratory gunfire. But Pakenham also finds an army suffering from the winter cold and rains, in a soggy area with no tents between the river and a cypress swamp.

The Americans had surprised the British in their camp the night of the 23rd, killing, wounding and capturing more than 200 redcoats, before they were driven back to the American lines. The camp is continuously shelled by two American ships anchored in the Mississippi across from the British camp. Snipers pick off British sentries, even at night when European military conventions…

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Video: Paths of Hate

Wow. Now that is some awesome animation indeed…

The Cryptosphere

Paths of Hate Paths of Hate

Paths of Hate is a stunning animated film by Polish filmmaker Damian Nenow. It was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination in 2010, and won Best of Show at SIGGRAPH in 2011. The film explores the dehumanizing power of war, humanity’s relationship to technology and nature, and the ironic and ultimately tragic indomitability of the human spirit.

“Paths of Hate” is a short tale about the demons that slumber deep in the human soul and have the power to push people into the abyss of blind hate, fury and rage.

The art is both stunning and true to the planes and pilots it depicts; a demonstrable love of the grace of flight, contrasted against the fragility and clumsiness of metal machines, pervades the film. The planes’ contrails (don’t start with me) score the sky like a figure skater’s graceful track. As the battle heightens, the beautiful tracery devolves…

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Breathtaking view out the plane window today…

Here and Places

Of are the Aldan Highlands in Siberia… Seemingly endless peaks and valleys, so unforgivingly remote I wondered if anybody has ever stepped foot there!

image

I was flying from Tokyo to London, and the whole flight was during the bluebird day. So beautiful it almost made me forget my ankles turned into tree trunks.

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Putin critic Aleksei Navalny arrested at rally after fraud sentence

KEEPING SCORE from DIVINE SOPHIA

It is neither the desire nor the duty of God to condemn man, but to elevate man, and to save man from himself. Man does an excellent job of self-condemnation and needs no help from God on that score.

TO LISTEN from DIVINE SOPHIA

If you will not listen to Wisdom then it is always too late. The moment you begin listening to Wisdom it is never too late.

HAPPY TRAILS

My Top Five: The Best Mountain Bike Trails in the CSRA

1

I’m proud to call the the Central Savannah River Area, or CSRA, my home. The CSRA is the the area surrounding Augusta, GA and North Augusta, SC and it’s home to some of the best, least-expected mountain biking in the southeast. I say least expected because we don’t have any mountains here. We’ve got hills, but no mountains. But boy oh boy do we have trails, about 150 miles of them actually, with more in the works. We have many of these trails because of the local MTB club, SORBA-CSRA. SORBA-CSRA has done such a good job in this area that in 2010 IMBA held their biannual World Summit here. So if you’re looking for a place to take a spring MTB trip, give the CSRA a look. In this blog post you’ll find my five favorite trails in the area, in no particular order.

FATS: Forks Area Trail System (SC)

FATS, located in the Sumter National Forest in SouthCarolina,is the crown jewel of the CSRA mountain bike scene, and the only IMBA Epic in South Carolina. It’s 37 miles of fast, swoopy, roller coaster like purpose built mountain bike trails. There are six individual loops, each with a slightly different feel and the trails will satisfyboth beginners and experienced riders alike. There is very little technical terrain at FATS so anyone can ride here and likely clean every inch of trail. What makes this trail fun is the speed – it’s easy to get, and easy to keep. But you do have to be careful with all that speed: there’s a bunch whoop-de-doos that will throw you over the handlebars if you’re not careful.


Riders cruising through some whoop-de-doos on the Deep Step loop at FATS

Mistletoe State Park (GA)

Mistletoe is the anti-FATS. It’s the most technical trail in the CSRA. The trail was not built for mountain biking, even though bikes are allowed now. There are lots of creek crossings – some are easy, some are not. There’s some rocks, and some steep climbs. The trails can be a little confusing your first time out so I suggest looking for a local to show you around. The Rock Dam and Cliatt Creek Nature Trail are the most popular rides, and most locals link them together to form a loop around 6.5 miles long, with a lot of climbing for this area. Mistletoe is the western most portion of the big Thurmond Epic route.


One of the deeper creek crossings at Mistletoe State Park

Modoc (aka Stevens Creek)(SC)

Modoc is another technical trail, for the CSRA at least. Located in Sumter National Forest, the Modoc trail roughly follows Steven’s Creek and has some nice scenic views. Several ditch and creek crossings keep you on your toes on this 6-mile out and back trail. Between the technical bits Modoc is pretty fast and smooth. There is plenty of really nice bench cut singletrack that has been in place for decades and it’s a lot of fun to ride. Locals link Modoc to the Turkey and Wine Creek trails for longer routes.


Only 1/4 mile from the parking lot is one of Modoc’s most memorable creek crossings. Photo: brianW

Bartram (GA)

The Bartram trail is one of the least technical trails in the area, but it’s also one of the longest. The trail is an out and back stretching from the West Dam Recreational Area west all the way to Washington Road, and it’s 22.5 miles one way! The trail runs right through the Petersburg Campground, making Petersburg a great place to stay if you’re planning a visit to theCSRA to ride.

East of Petersburg is known as “old Bartram” to the locals and it is the least challenging side. It is very flat, smooth, and very fast if you want it to be; a great place to take the kids riding. West of Petersburg, or “new Bartram” is a little tougher, with some climbing, whoop-de-doos, and a few technical challenges. The entire trail hugs the shores of Lake Thurmond and has lots of nice views. Bartram is the biggest chunk of the Thurmond Epic route.


There’s something special about lakeside singletrack. Photo: brianW

Canal Trail (GA)

This is probably going to a controversial pick as a Top Five trail but hey, it’s my list and I love the canal trail! It’s a very short 2.8 mile loop inside the city limits of Augusta. This is the only trail in the area that’s within easy riding distance from a large population area. It sits on a small piece ofland between the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal. To make the best use of the land the trail is very tight and twisty, making it a great place to work on your cornering skills. There aren’t any big climbs, but there are a few short steep rooty grunts that can test your skills.It’s a little trail, but it is big on fun!


That’s me, playing hookie from work and enjoying the canal trail on a sunny Friday afternoon in the spring. Don’t tell my boss.

THE LOBISON

It’s awful weird, but it’s kinda cool too. I have heard much of the 7th son of the 7th son, but never this hairy tale/tail.

President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to ‘stop him turning into a werewolf’

The tradition to stop stigma about the ‘lobison’ has continued for a century

The President of Argentina has adopted a young Jewish man as her godson to stop him turning into a werewolf.

President Christina Fernández de Kirchner met Yair Tawil and his family at her office last week to mark the unusual ceremony, which dates back more than 100 years.

According to Argentinian folklore, the seventh son born to a family turns into the feared “el lobison”.

The werewolf-like creature shows its true nature on the first Friday after boy’s 13th birthday, the legend says, turning the boy into a demon at midnight during every full moon, doomed to hunt and kill before returning to human form.

As well as feeding on excrement, unbaptized babies, and the flesh of the recently dead, the lobison was said to be unnaturally strong and able to spread its curse with a bite.

Fear of the lobison was so rife in 19th Century Argentina that some families abandoned or even murdered baby boys – an atrocity that sparked the unusual Presidential practice of adoption, aimed at stopping the deadly stigma.

Starting in 1907, the tradition was formally established by a decree in 1973 by Juan Domingo Peron, which also extended the practice to baby girls.
Seventh sons or daughters – now much rarer than 100 years ago – gain the President as their official godparent as well as a gold medal and full educational scholarship.

Even now, reports of dog-like creatures attacking livestock continue, as does the tradition.

Ms Fernandez said Yair is the first Jewish boy to be adopted, as the tradition only applied to Catholic children until 2009.She described her meeting with him and his family on 23 December as a “magical moment”.

Calling the Tawils a “marvellous family” she described Yair as “a total sweety” and dubbed his mother “Queen Esther.”

Shlomo and Nehama Tawil, parents of seven boys, had written the President a letter in 1993 and got their wish this year, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, attending the ceremony with their son and three of his brothers.

Pictures showed them lighting Hanukkah candles together on a menorah from Israel presented to the president by the Tawil family.

Zoom in, Zoom out: Speedy, Agile UAVs Envisioned for Troops in Urban Missions

‘Snake Monster’: A Spiderlike Robot Responding To Stimuli In Its Environment

Charlie Gerard

snakebot

I found spiderlike robots fascinating. So fascinating that I am considering building my own. The way they mimic real movements is really impressive and complex to execute.

The way each ‘leg’ moves has to be done considering the position of the other ones. The balance has to be calculated so the robot can actually walk.

Besides this, more and more robots are able to adapt to their environment and any obstacle that may come in front of them.

One example is the ‘Snake Monster’, a robot developed by the Biorobotics Lab at the Carnegie Mellon University, using 6 snakelike legs.

This robot funded by DARPA, is able to respond to different obstacles like being kicked, or having to walk over a bunch of objects placed on the floor.

Watch the video below to see the robot in action:

At the moment, this kind of robots are more experimental or at…

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THE POINT OF LIFE

The point of life is to have fun, and to be a source of enjoyment to others

The point of life is to be absolutely fearless and entirely unafraid

The point of life is to be Heroic and undaunted in personal action

The point of life is to defend and protect the innocent and the helpless and to do Justice

The point of life is to stoically endure personal hardship, to overcome whatever challenges you may face, and to strive to make the world a better place while becoming better and stronger through your suffering and persistence

The point of life is to reduce or beneficially transform the suffering of others

The point of life is to be as independent and self-reliant as possible, while understanding humbly that I am still just one man and limited in capability – and to encourage others to become ever more independent and self-reliant while also empathetically understanding that they too are limited and will sometimes require my aid and assistance

The point of life is to be a true and loyal Friend who brings encouragement and happiness to others

The point of life is to treat all men equally, judging them based upon their actual behavior and conduct, not upon their mere appearances or background

The point of life is to make men Free

The point of life is to assist others in becoming Great and True

The point of life is to pursue Higher and More Permanent Things, not lesser things and petty things

The point of life is to suppress evil, sin, and wrongdoing, both in yourself and in others, and if necessary to destroy evil men and evil things before they may do others harm

The point of life is to do and promote the Good, and to persuade others of the true value of the Good

The point of life is to be a Good Steward of your own money and resources, to grow and invest that money and those resources in noble and worthwhile causes, and to be a Good Steward of the Earth

The point of life is to experiment and explore, and thereby to comprehend and to understand

The point of life is to carefully study and to truly know

The point of life is to build, create, and invent Great Things

The point of life is to be successful at and in the Great Works of your life

The point of life is to be generous to others, to be charitable in giving, and to be philanthropic in your activities

The point of life is to be a Genius in Mind and Psyche, and to make Great and Important Discoveries that will be of benefit to all

The point of life is to be a Polymath and a Renaissance Man, fully developing and using all of my God-given talents and capabilities to the best of my ability, given as much time as I have in this short life

The point of life is to do honor to my ancestors and to exceed and supersede them in all of my accomplishments, and to make a way for my descendants to exceed and supersede me in all of their accomplishments

The point of life is to be a Good Husband and an Excellent Father, and to leave a High Legacy for my Wife, my Children, and all of my descendants

The point of life is to Love Well, and fully, and to see the people and things you love triumph

The point of life is to Serve well at all times, and to lead truly when necessary

The point of life is to be Wise

The point of life is to consider myself less important than others and to sacrifice myself whenever necessary for their real benefit

The point of life is to be Saintly and Virtuous in conduct, and to become a Martyr in both Life and Death

The point of Life is to champion the Nature of Christ in both myself and in others, and to spread the Gospel both overtly and covertly in this world

The point of life is to be a Child of God and a True Friend of God – the kind of Friend to God that he most enjoys the company of

The point of life is for me to die and to go on to explore Other and far Better Worlds

*           *           *

I know all of these things to be True, none to be contradictory to the others, and at one point or another in this life, each to be the most important thing…

TOME AND TOMB

Wyrdwend

I’ve got some really good and interesting stuff up on my Gaming Blog today, including a Greek animated reproduction of the Tomb at Amphipolis.

Tome and Tomb

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IT AIN’T JUST FOR SLAYING DRAGONS NO MORE

Tome and Tomb

And there ya go…

Actually my whole family has played for years now and it has been an especially good tool for teaching critical thinking, overcoming danger with planning and preparation (basic survival mind-set and skills), problem solving, and tactical decision making to my wife and daughters. So I think it is every bit as good a gaming tool for females as it is for boys.

Dungeons & Dragons strikes back

After a period of decline, the iconic game shows signs of revival thanks to an update and a greater diversity of players

From left: Sophia, Jung, and Charles Starrett play D&D at home.

Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe

From left: Sophia, Jung, and Charles Starrett play D&D at home.

Some updated player’s and dungeon master’s guides for D&D.

Ethan Gilsdorf

Some updated player’s and dungeon master’s guides for D&D.

As a teenager in the 1980s, Charles Starrett spent hours playing Dungeons & Dragons with his pals but…

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ORCI OUT

Interesting… or is that Fascinating?

Or not?

Roberto Orci Will No Longer Write Star Trek 3

Star Trek 3

Looks like rumors that concerns over Roberto Orci’s script were central to his vacating the director’s chair on Star Trek 3 may be accurate, as Orci himself all-but-confirmed on TrekMovie‘s message boards.

“I’m producing, [nothing] more or less,” Orci states bluntly about his current role on the project, which means that his original involvement in drafting the screenplay with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne is over.

Moreover, it sounds like Orci’s enthusiasm for the film now that Fast and Furious helmer Justin Lin has taken the reigns may be tenuous at best, as a commenter asks him if fans who supported his vision for the franchise should boycott the film.

“I won’t lie, I don’t know yet, but the story we are talking about would be awesome, hang in there!” Orci writes.

Of course, Orci’s direct online contact with Trek fans has earned him both admiration and ire within that community, and even as he relinquishes control of the U.S.S. Enterprise, it hasn’t stopped him from defending his decision to create an alternate timeline for Kirk & Co.

“Stop blaming [Bad Robot],” says Orci. “It was my idea so that you would not know what was gonna happen next. Nothing more or less. I stand behind it. And it, again, is the reason why I make movies and you don’t.”

Orci may get to make movies, but how Star Trek 3 will get made by its targeted July 8, 2016 release date if the filmmakers are still negotiating the minutiae of the story remains a mystery. As another starship captain once said, “Make it so.”

Paramount Pictures’ currently untitled Star Trek 3 is expected to star Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana and John Cho as the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.

MY GUIDE TO LOLDOM, AND HOW TO USE YOUR LOLS/LOLZ FOR GREATEST ACCURACY AND MAXIMUM EFFECT

Most people use the term LOL, or Lol, very loosely. Including myself, of course.

It can, depending on who is writing it, mean a number of different things depending upon what the LOL-user finds humorous and why. For instance you can Lol at someone or someone’s action(s) or comment(s) because you found them genuinely funny, charming, ironic, or even idiotic.

Since writing tends to have far less communicative context than personal and oral communications (when and where you can read body language, facial gestures, etc.) it can often be difficult to understand why someone is “lolling” on the internet (or in any written communication), or to express your own “Lols/Lolz” accurately in a way you can be sure will be properly understood (from your point of view).

To make matters worse many of the add-on acronyms which seek to explain why you are lolling can often result in a long string of unnecessary letters which clarify to some degree the nature of the lol (ROFLMAO) but do nothing to explain why you are lolling, or at whom. And since we are living in the Age of the Acronym (or Anachronym*, take your pick) then simplicity should rule.

So, this morning on my walk with my dog, I decided I would devise a very simple and straight-forward and accurate key for lolling that explains in a very few letters why you are lolling and at what or whom. Therefore, below, you will find my guide to precise LOLDOM.

THE KEY OF LOL:

Alol – I am laughing about or at it/them/you, because it/they/you are foolish and a moron.

Nalol – Yes, what you just did or said does indeed make you a moron, and so I still feel compelled to laugh at loud, but you are so naïve and so charming that I am laughing as much for you as at you.

Elol – I am laughing enjoyably or in a friendly/good-natured manner with them/you because I fully understand and can relate.

Ilol – I am laughing in a manner which is fully cognizant of the irony, paradox, ridiculousness, or understatement of it all. (Sometimes also called the P-lol, or the Ulol.)

Slol – What you are is just plain silly.

And of course, the ever prevalent and super-charged Lollicopter.

Lollicopter/Lollycopter – I am laughing (or choking) out loud, over and over again, in a very vigorous rotary fashion, because it/they/you have proven to be a complete, intentional, and unrepentant idiot.
Now enjoy your day folks, and go forth and LOL. The world needs more lols. But now you can do so in a more accurate manner, of course.

* I accidentally invented the neologism Anachronym as a teenager. I meant to say it this time.

WHAT THIS NATION REALLY NEEDS…

What this nation really needs at this moment in time is a Justinian style ass-whooping applied with extreme prejudice to its entire governmental and legal system. Be that federal, state, or local.

About 80% of all laws ever written by Congress need to be immediately abolished, about 90% of all regulations ever written by any agency or branch or institution of government need to be immediately obliterated, the powers of the president of the United States need to be severely curtailed, most of the powers of the US Senate need to be very seriously reduced (if not eliminated), the powers of the courts need to be greatly reduced, the size and scope of all government needs to be reduced by about 2/3rds (at least by 1/2), and all of those freedoms and powers need to be immediately returned to the Individual Citizen.

Otherwise we’re just gonna become the Byzantine Empire, Part Deux, but five times as corrupt and ten times as bankrupt.

I don’t know about you but screw that Deux, and the diseased, gum-eyed, broken-back, lame-legged, flea-bitten, mangy governmental mare it rode in on.

THERE ARE A LOT OF MODERN PEOPLE from HUMAN EFFORT

There are an awful lot of modern people who don’t ever want to be truly happy about anything. But they do want to be perpetually angry about nothing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

JOY TO THE WORLD, GOOD TIDINGS TO MAN

Launch Port - The Open Door Business Blog

My Business today is the welfare of my Fellow Man.

HAVE A JOYOUSANDPEACEFULCHRISTMAS EVE!

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MOST DANGEROUS

One Hundred Years Ago Today

Got some military buddies who are big WWI students, and will enjoy this poem.

The Russian Blue

From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: "British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches" From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”

Dear Readers,

Today, Christmas Eve 2014, is the 100 year anniversary of the famous 1914 Christmas Truce. I have always been deeply moved by this event, and as so, I have composed this poem in commemoration. It is titled,

“One Hundred Years Ago Today.”

One Hundred Years Ago Today,

On Flanders Fields, where we now lay,

We Brothers, in the midst of blight,

Waited on that silent night.

 

In trenches deep, we lit our fags,

Praying to God as we clutched our tags.

Prayers for home, prayers for peace,

Pleading for the fires to cease.

 

On the night the Angels sang,

We waited for a hellish bang,

Surveying that dreadful no man’s land,

Unsuspected, the miracles, now at hand.

 

The silence was broken, but not by…

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CSTO states plan to set up collective air force

Interesting…

militarytechcooperations

Russian Military Technologies,  22.12.2014
December 22 – Member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plan to establish collective air force.
This issue was put on the agenda of a joint meeting between CSTO foreign, defense ministers and secretaries of security councils within a joint CSTO military cooperation development concept. Participants in the meeting will talk streamlining of Collective Rapid Response Forces and Collective Rapid Deployment Forces in Central Asian collective security region, Russian Defense Ministry said.
“Participants in the meeting will consider creation of CSTO collective air force. A plan of joint events in operational and combat training for 2015 is expected to be approved,” the defense agency noted.
Tajikistan’s CSTO presidency in 2015 will be given close attention. A CSTO session at which Tajikistan will take over regional organization’s presidency from Russia will be held in Moscow on December 23.
Photo: CSTO states plan to set up collective air force

December 22 - Member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plan to establish collective air force.
This issue was put on the agenda of a joint meeting between CSTO foreign, defense ministers and secretaries of security councils within a joint CSTO military cooperation development concept. Participants in the meeting will talk streamlining of Collective Rapid Response Forces and Collective Rapid Deployment Forces in Central Asian collective security region, Russian Defense Ministry said.
“Participants in the meeting will consider creation of CSTO collective air force. A plan of joint events in operational and combat training for 2015 is expected to be approved,” the defense agency noted.
Tajikistan’s CSTO presidency in 2015 will be given close attention. A CSTO session at which Tajikistan will take over regional organization’s presidency from Russia will be held in Moscow on December 23.

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BRIDGE OF SIGHS

IF MAN from HUMAN EFFORT

I suspect that if Man were only half the thing he could and should be he would still be twice the thing he is now.

IF CHRIST PREVAILED – MERRY CHRISTMAS

IF CHRIST PREVAILED

 

If Christ prevailed men would not cower
If Christ prevailed God’s Holy Tower would
Stand a rampart in this world that none could
Raze nor hope to break, nor should
His Kingdom ever quake for fear of being over-run

If Christ prevailed men would fear not Death
If Christ prevailed men would not fear to truly Live
If Christ prevailed there would be no tribes
At endless war, no pointless hate consuming every shore
With riot, hatred, fire, and fury circumscribed

If Christ prevailed “Repent!” on every tongue and wrong
Would be avoided, not relived eternal in profitless cycles
Of sorrowful sin, evils would be un-grown and long buried
Not watered with grasping human grievance, a song of
Festering harm sung to our children like Grimmaged fairy tales

If Christ prevailed all men would as brothers walk long
Beside another, traveling from place to place in happy peace
While laughing of marvelous discoveries made and deeds
Redeemed in better fortune than they had first imagined
When humbly in their abandoned pride they were again Reborn

If Christ prevailed then Justice would rule this Earth
Not vengeance, not crucifying and murderous retribution,
If Christ prevailed then innocents would not lie dead
In pools of blood or lay breathless and abandoned
In favor of our own prideful assumptions about the Truth

If Christ prevailed all men with Mercy would extend themselves
To rework wrong into a better thing, a home fit for
Good and Godly conduct, Law would be Great and not merely law
No man would flee responsibility, Duty would reign, and
Sacrifice would paint and decorate our halls with Holy Acts

If Christ prevailed we would need no government of man
For God would live within, and Man Himself, once so ennobled
Could neither bow nor sit for any other king, and all
Other governance would seem a dream of despair long deserted
In the desperate nightmare of an unreal and wasted world

If Christ prevailed then such a Kingdom as the world has never
Known would be everywhere apparent, its Frontiers swollen
With ceaseless growth, no enemy would want to stand against it,
Old foes would be absorbed and made equals, no Jew, no Greek,
No Gentile would be alien or stranger in that Better Land

If Christ prevailed all men would be equals, anxious
To outdo the other in holiness and good, competitive in our
Desires to be more like God, not less of honor and of grace,
Our Feats would be of Saintly Salt, Virtues would accrue, and
Our Peeraged Manhood we would hold a Holy Thing from God

But Christ does not prevail

For we are sorely and surely most ourselves, self-absorbed,
Split into endless, bickering tribes, minted into our
Mindless classes, divided in our sickened hearts, soulless
In our lack of faith, impotent in our works, spiritless and
Dead within ourselves – we guard nothing, build nothing,
Claim nothing, oppose nothing, promote nothing, become nothing

For deep inside we are afraid, and we are small and we are
No men to build Mighty Kingdoms of, and so

Christ does not prevail, for we are cowards all by choice,

and so instead we prevail unto our doom.
MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL

MAY YOU HAVE THE WORLD YOU MOST DESIRE… AND ARE MOST WILLING TO WORK FOR

THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 2014

MALAYSIAN MH370

It’s an interesting theory. Of course this guy is a novelist.

But where is your real evidence? Of course in a case like this little to no real evidence is yet available.

U.S. military shot down MH370 because they thought it had been hacked and was about to be used in terror attack’, claims former airline boss 

  • Marc Dugain says U.S. Navy in Indian Ocean attacked the plane 
  • He claims that islanders saw the plane fly close to a U.S. base
  • Also alleges that a spy told him to back away from his probe into MH370

A former airline boss and writer claims the U.S. downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 because the military feared it had been taken over by hackers and was about to be used in a 9/11-style attack.

Marc Dugain, the former chief executive of now-defunct Proteus Airlines, said the jumbo jet was shot down near a U.S. military base on the remote island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean after it was hacked.

He told Paris Match that islanders in the Maldives near Diego Garcia told him they saw the missing aircraft flying low.

Dugain spoke of a fisherman on a small island who spoke of a ‘huge plane’ in Malaysie Airline’s colours on March 8.

Scroll down for video 

Theory: Marc Dugain, the former chief executive of now-defunct Proteus Airlines, said Malaysia Airlines flight MH370  was shot down near a U.S. military base

Theory: Marc Dugain, the former chief executive of now-defunct Proteus Airlines, said Malaysia Airlines flight MH370  was shot down near a U.S. military base

The former airline exec told Paris Match that islanders in the Maldives near Diego Garcia told him they saw the missing aircraft flying low.

The former airline exec told Paris Match that islanders in the Maldives near Diego Garcia told him they saw the missing aircraft flying low.

Video released to explain the search efforts for flight MH370

He also said islanders had found an empty fire extinguisher from the plane in the water near Baarah island.

The Senegal-born Frenchman, who is now a successful novelist, also told a radio station he was warned not to investigate MH370 by an intelligence source, who spoke of ‘risks’ and counselled him to ‘let time do its work’.

Last week grieving family members of Chinese passengers from a missing Malaysia Airlines flight protested outside the foreign ministry in Beijing Friday accusing the government of failing to provide them with regular updates on the search for the aircraft.

About 30 people, many of them elderly, gathered at the gates of the ministry with temperatures approaching freezing and were confronted by a line of police.

The U.S. Navy Support Facility at Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory. Dugain claims the U.S. feared the plane was about to be used in a terror outrage

The U.S. Navy Support Facility at Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory. Dugain claims the U.S. feared the plane was about to be used in a terror outrage

Family of MH370 victim to sue airline and government

Leading Seaman, Boatswain's Mate, William Sharkey searches for debris on a rigid hull inflatable boat in the Southern Indian Ocean in April. In the background is HMAS Perth, which was involved in the search

Leading Seaman, Boatswain’s Mate, William Sharkey searches for debris on a rigid hull inflatable boat in the Southern Indian Ocean in April. In the background is HMAS Perth, which was involved in the search

They demanded to speak to government officials in a bid to get more information on the search for flight MH370. Police manhandled and pushed protesters that attempted to enter the gate and warned passersby to leave the area immediately.

‘My son is alive and I want to know what the government is doing to find him,’ said Liu Dianyun, the mother of one of the passengers.

Some drove for two hours to attend the demonstration, despite acknowledging that their efforts were unlikely to produce results.

Chinese passengers account for about two-thirds of the 239 people who were aboard the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to China’s capital.

Dozens of their relatives were reportedly beaten and arrested earlier this year.

Australia has been spearheading the hunt for the plane, which is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off western Australia.

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