Recent comments by Mary

The absolute supremacy of democracy is not all that we meet with in America; the inhabitants of the New World may be considered from more than one point of view. In the course of this work my subject has often led me to speak of the Indians and the Negroes; but I have never been able to stop in order to show what place these two races occupy in the midst of the democratic people whom I was engaged in describing. I have mentioned in what spirit, and according to what laws, the Anglo-American Union was formed; but I could only glance at the dangers which menace that confederation, whilst it was equally impossible for me to give a detailed account of its chances of duration, independently of its laws and manners. When speaking of the united republican States, I hazarded no conjectures upon the permanence of republican forms in the New World, and when making frequent allusion to the commercial activity which reigns in the Union, I was unable to inquire into the future condition of the Americans as a commercial people.

Can of Wilson & DiIlulio Quotes, vol. 1

< wipes tears >

The conservative-dominated coalition has predicted it will register a surplus of about €2.5bn (£2bn), in figures due to be confirmed by the EU statistics office on Wednesday.

It ["THE CONSERVATIVE-DOMINATED COALITION"] has promised benefits including a €500 "bonus" to low-income pensioners and members of the police and security services, and by midday on Tuesday 225,000 had applied.

Hundreds of thousands of Greeks apply for 'social dividends'

:: gift-exchange Pigged

The CBI [CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRIES] is facing a mounting crisis in its membership, with the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) and three other public bodies quitting on Tuesday to protect their neutrality in the Scottish referendum debate.

The LSS became the latest high-profile organisation to resign after the CBI registered with the Electoral Commission for the no campaign in the independence referendum. Public bodies have said rules preclude their membership of a political organisation, and some businesses have quit in opposition to the anti-independence stance.

The LSS was quickly followed by two universities, Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian, and the quango Skills Development Scotland. The CBI had 80 members headquartered in Scotland. Eight, including VisitScotland and Edinburgh University, quit over the bank holiday weekend, and another two are expected to follow on Wednesday. The CBI insists it was legally obliged to register as it had already publicly declared that it opposed independence and planned to make that clear in the runup to September's referendum.

Law Society joins exodus from CBI over Scottish independence stance

:: scoundrels Pigged sueweeeeeeeee
"The problem with this sort of thing is that it becomes more difficult to avoid being harassed or injured by kooks."
"The business secretary said the list, which could be used by tax authorities, would tackle the 'darker [?!] side of capitalism'."
Vince Cable plans public register of company owners

Duly noted: "[NIGEL FARAGE IS] evidently confident that the conservatives will become hysterical in the aftermath of next month's elections.

"This is the thing; if the Tories were more confident about what they stood for, or at least could be honest about it, then ukip wouldn't matter. But the Tories campaign on the lie that "we're all in it together", that even their supporters will get some measure of improvement from their policies.

"Yet they know this is not true. They are corporate whores who seek only to increase the wealth of the very richest and the easiest way to do that is to take it from everyone else, including the middle classes and especially the previously tory voting working classes who are becoming ukip's bedrock suport.

"And the saddest thing is the Labour are getting the yips about ukip as well despite the fact that the working class electorate embracing ukip haven't voted for them since the 70s. Ukip are actually the best thing form labour is decades, totally splitting the selfish vote "

In America there is no law against fraudulent bankruptcies; not because they are few, but because there are a great number of bankruptcies. The dread of being prosecuted as a bankrupt acts with more intensity upon the mind of the majority of the people than the fear of being involved in losses or ruin by the failure of other parties, and a sort of guilty tolerance is extended by the public conscience to an offence which everyone condemns in his individual capacity. In the new States of the Southwest the citizens generally take justice into their own hands, and murders are of very frequent occurrence. This arises from the rude manners and the ignorance of the inhabitants of those deserts, who do not perceive the utility of investing the law with adequate force, and who prefer duels to prosecutions.

Someone observed to me one day, in Philadelphia, that almost all crimes in America are caused by the abuse of intoxicating liquors, which the lower classes can procure in great abundance, from their excessive cheapness. "How comes it," said I, "that you do not put a duty upon brandy?" "Our legislators," rejoined my informant, "have frequently thought of this expedient; but the task of putting it in operation is a difficult one; a revolt might be apprehended, and the members who should vote for a law of this kind would be sure of losing their seats." "Whence I am to infer," replied I, "that the drinking population constitutes the majority in your country, and that temperance is somewhat unpopular."

Can of Wilson & DiIlulio Quotes, vol. 1

re: "to move forward"

In Europe we are at a loss how to judge the true character and the more permanent propensities of democracy, because in Europe two conflicting principles exist, and we do not know what to attribute to the principles themselves, and what to refer to the passions which they bring into collision. Such, however, is not the case in America; there the people reigns without any obstacle, and it has no perils to dread and no injuries to avenge. In America, democracy is swayed by its own free propensities; its course is natural and its activity is unrestrained; the United States consequently afford the most favorable opportunity of studying its real character. And to no people can this inquiry be more vitally interesting than to the French nation, which is blindly driven onwards by a daily and irresistible impulse towards a state of things which may prove either despotic or republican, but which will assuredly be democratic.

Can of Wilson & DiIulio Quotes, vol. 1

The budget surplus ["PRIMARY SURPLUS"] is a sign of the progress Greece has made to fix its finances after four years of tough bailout-imposed austerity [STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM] that wiped out almost a quarter of its GDP and sent unemployment to record highs of almost 28 percent.
[...]
Athens hit a primary surplus, excluding debt servicing costs Pigged, of 1.5 billion euros or 0.8 percent of GDP last year, its first since 2002, the European Commission and the Greek government said.

The reading also excludes other one-off spending and revenue items, such as aid to recapitalize Greek banks or profit returns to Athens by European central banks, made on their Greek government bond holdings.

Talks about further debt relief for Greece will start in the second half of the year, said European Commission spokesman Simon O'Connor.

The debt relief is most likely to include stretching out the maturities of its rescue loans to about 50 years and also cutting interest charges on some of them. Pigged [SUMMER 2012!!1!]

Greece qualifies for new debt relief after 2013 budget surplus

:: pari passu or wtf Pigged
"So debt really does equal wealth? "

Yes, that’s right: though they are public pensions that taxpayers contribute to and that public officials oversee, the exact terms of the deals being done in the public’s name with public money are typically not available to you, the taxpayer.

They may be called “public” pensions, but you’re not allowed to see what they’re doing 

:: Mental disorder is a communicable disease Pigged
"So, you equate the pension plans of unionized 'public workers' with "public pensions." That's an interesting conceptualization of the problem of unfunded benefits, attributable to 'taxpayer' contributions. "

"NHRS does not provide health insurance for retirees or their beneficiaries. "
"championing the oppressed and downtrodden"

jubilee from which you least benefit
"The factions are majoritarian (many/many), interest group (few, few), client (many/few), and entrepreneurial (few/many): who pays for the benefit / who enjoys the benefit."

Rhodes rejected the $165 million settlement

re: "Mary. Quoting a passage exhorting "in plain language." It is to laugh

:: DICTION CORNER
ex·hort
verb: exhort; 3rd person present: exhorts; past tense: exhorted; past participle: exhorted; gerund or present participle: exhorting

1.
strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something.
"the media have been exhorting people to turn out for the demonstration"
synonyms: urge, encourage, call on, enjoin, charge, press; More
bid, appeal to, entreat, implore, beg;
formaladjure;
literarybeseech
"the president exhorted state legislatures to beef up educational standards"

:: laughs best Pigged

fucking Wilson & DiIulio purports to quote Democracy in America vol.1 for paraphrase thus.

A democracy can only with great difficulty regulate the details of an important undertaking, persevere in a fixed design, and work out its execution in spite of serious obstacles. It cannot combine its measures with secrecy or await their consequences with patience.

The actual passage is

Foreign politics demand scarcely any of those qualities which a democracy possesses; and they require, on the contrary, the perfect use of almost all those faculties in which it is deficient. Democracy is favorable to the increase of the internal resources of the State; it tends to diffuse a moderate independence; it promotes the growth of public spirit, and fortifies the respect which is entertained for law in all classes of society; and these are advantages which only exercise an indirect influence over the relations which one people bears to another. But a democracy is unable to regulate the details of an important undertaking, to persevere in a design, and to work out its execution in the presence of serious obstacles. It cannot combine its measures with secrecy, and it will not await their consequences with patience. These are qualities which more especially belong to an individual or to an aristocracy; and they are precisely the means by which an individual people attains to a predominant position.

The phrase they splice occurs in this passage and nowhere else.

When these things are pointed out to the American statesmen, they content themselves with assuring you that time will operate the necessary change, and that the experience of evil will teach the people its true interests. This is frequently true, although a democracy is more liable to error than a monarch or a body of nobles; the chances of its regaining the right path when once it has acknowledged its mistake, are greater also; because it is rarely embarrassed by internal interests, which conflict with those of the majority, and resist the authority of reason. But a democracy can only obtain truth as the result of experience, and many nations may forfeit their existence whilst they are awaiting the consequences of their errors.

op cit.

Ironic, isn't it, clown?

AP Government (2006)

The majoritarian component of foreign policy includes those decisions (and nondecisions [sic] ) that are perceived to confer widely distributed benefits and impose widely distributed costs. The decision to go to war is an obvious example of this. So, too, are the establishment of military alliances with Western Europe, the negotiation of a nuclear test ban treaty or a strategic arms limitation agreement, the response to the crisis posed by the Soviet Blockade of West Berlin or the placement of Soviet offensive missiles in Cuba, the decision to aid the contras in Nicaragua, and the opening up of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. These may be good or bad policies

false dichotomy

but such benefits and such costs as they have accrue to the nation generally.

ibid.

But other writers disagree. To them, the strength of democracy is that, though it rarely if ever wages and unjustified war on another country, its people, when mobilized by the president, will support our overseas engagements even when many deaths occur. [2]

fucking Wilson & DiIlulio

fn. 2. See Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture (New York: Anchor Books, 2002) and Hanson The Soul of Battle (New York: Free Press, 1999)

fucking Wilson & DiIulio Ch. 20 "Foreign and Military Policy" [?!] paraphrasing de Tocqueville (Democracy in America), "In plain language a democracy is forced to play foreign policy poker with its cards turned up. As a result aggressors, from Hitler to Saddam Hussein, can bluff or misjudge us."

No gas if GAZPROM turns the "valve" from Russia to off.
Next.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association denied factory owners were turning away Rana Plaza survivors, after pledging to employ them in the wake of the disaster.

"If any survivor says he has not got a job, let him come to our office. We'll employ him immediately," association vice-president Shahidullah Azim told AFP.

The Bangladesh government has given some compensation to more than 800 families of workers killed and dozens of those who lost limbs. British clothing retailer Primark has also paid compensation to victims and their families. A $40 million fund, managed by the International Labour Organisation, was set up after the tragedy but Western retailers have so far only pledged $15 million.

Most Bangladesh factory survivors still too sick to work: survey

:: deserving Pigged undeserving

“In principle they are there to protect the interests of the French companies and citizens,” and while this could be benign, “we cannot discard [the possibility] that there are other interests being protected.”

Peace priest: CAR aid mission ‘a victory for money that never arrives’, see also Humanitarian priest: ‘It is easy to divide the world into armed mobs’

"Do you wonder if Jimmy Choo LTD intends to provide dormitories and competitive wages to artisanal cobblers of the NEW! Fukushima prefecture?"

"'Instead of freeing the detained, in particular the People's Governor of Donetsk, Pavel Gubarev, the Kiev authorities continue to arrest political opponents in the southeast,' Lavrov said during a joint press conference in Moscow with his Mozambique counterpart Oldemiro Baloi."
Russia Says Kiev Fails to Follow Through on Geneva Accords

:: well regulated Pigged

One Oplot member, Alexander, showed off his weapon. It was a US-made Remington 870 Express Magnum. "It's a hunting gun," he said. "It's my own. I've got a licence for it." Alexander said he had purchased his uniform himself: a light-coloured khaki top and trousers, a flat jacket, and a matching hat. He added: "I'm against America. But I have to say they make good guns."

Kiev's grip on eastern Ukraine weakens as pro-Russians seize army vehicles
"The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo."
Concerning the Militia | Federalist No. 29 
"'It’s professional, it’s co-ordinated, there is nothing grass-roots-seeming about it,' Power said."
UN ambassador: Ukraine unrest has 'tell-tale signs of Moscow's involvement'

"As we shall see, American welfare policy since the 1930s has been fundamentally shaped by a slow but steady change in how we have separated the 'deserving' from the
'undeserving' poor." (Wilson & DiIlulio)

"[Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov] did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation ... We will persevere until the end,' he said, according to Reuters, in a reference to the Geneva accord.

wut?

Barack Obama said in Washington that his main concern is successful Ukrainian elections on 25 May and that he has little faith in Russia’s promises. "The question now becomes will, in fact, they [Russia] use the influence that they’ve exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election," he said.

Pro-Russia separatists reject EU and US-brokered pact

Offener Brief an Putin Von Volker Bräutigam

:: Pigged

He also acknowledged for the first [sic] time that Russian troops had played a direct role in Crimea, assisting local militia.

Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence

At the same time, there is an understanding that elections should be held as soon as possible to calm tensions. In your opinion, could Russia put forward a proposal that would facilitate a compromise with the US? So that elections are held on May 25, while at the same time all guaranteeing parties agree before May 25 on the future regionalisation of Ukraine through negotiations or any other diplomatic means.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Is there a possibility of Russia reaching a compromise with the US on Ukraine? A compromise should be reached by the various political forces in Ukraine, not third parties. This is actually the key issue here. We can only support and accompany this process.

Direct Line with Vladimir Putin
syndicate
Transcript: Vladi­mir Putin’s April 17 Q&A

Earlier this month, the UN secretary-general Ban-Ki Moon said that with half the country in direct need of humanitarian assistance, only 20% of the $200 million of humanitarian aid pledged to CAR by the international community as part of a broader $500 million commitment had arrived.
[...]
“The NGOs that receive this aid themselves don’t have a systematic approach,” he said. “They end up buying things that are not necessary, or that will only benefit village elites. Recently, NGOs in my area bought plastic covers for the roofs of houses that had been burned down. They started distributing them without verifying who was receiving them and now you can’t see any trace of those covers - and the houses are still without a roof.”
[...]
Even more seriously, it was “quite probable” that the Sangaris were being deployed to protect French commercial interests, in his assessment.

“The French troops don’t even try to hide it,” he said. “In principle they are there to protect the interests of the French companies and citizens,” and while this could be benign, “we cannot discard [the possibility] that there are other interests being protected.”

Peace priest: CAR aid mission ‘a victory for money that never arrives’, see also Humanitarian priest: ‘It is easy to divide the world into armed mobs’
:: Pigged

"The business secretary said the list, which could be used by tax authorities, would tackle the 'darker side of capitalism'."
Vince Cable plans public register of company owners

subcontinent of Florida : geo-engineering UPDATE
"The hard part, scientists say, is creating a laser beam with the right combination of range, precision and strength."
Giant lasers could control the weather

21 April 1944 – the Provisional Government of the French Republic issues an ordinance extending suffrage to women (who will first get to make use of it in municipal elections in April 1945).

< wipes tears >
So, you reply to me?

re: black knight python comedy

Incidentally, within the retail industry LPS is the acronym for loss prevention services, i.e. personnel, techniques, and tools to prevent theft, or "shoplifting".

Ova to you, RTV expert-in-residence ...

There is a Native American tribe in California called the Chukchansi that’s fighting over the most basic thing any group can fight over — who should be a member? David Ferry explains just how bitter their dispute has become. (22 minutes)

I Know I Am, But What Are You? | 491: Tribes

GTFO! Express | Sociological experiments edition

"How Michelle Malkin And Suey Park Found Common Cause In Hashtag Movements"
2014
"These men of many nations must be taught American ways, the English language, and the right way to live."
1914

re: Hot breaking news!!!!

Why is Cuba, Venezuela, the African Union, Latin America and the CARICOM nations turning a blind eye to the US occupation of Haiti, even participating in the pillage and plunder? Is this what Venezuelan president Maduro calls ‘supporting revolution?’… Tourism, an export economy, sweatshops and privatization of pubic assets are not development for Haiti, Africa, or the Caribbean… The Haitian people identify as enemy, to varying levels and degrees, those who directly or indirectly treat them as less than human. Painting Cuba or Venezuela on the wall of Imperialism’s forts so-to-speak, won’t stop Haiti’s masses from attacking the super-leftists, or super-progressives’ racist part in today’s white supremacist occupation in Haiti.

End the Left-Right White Solidarity against Haiti
:: more fruitcake Pigged
GTFO! Express | Good-luck-with-that edition
v.
Campaign to cancel the odious debt of Tunisia and Egypt
v.
Happy Black History Month! | Principals of Management Science edition
Parts I-III, Endnotes

re: Hot breaking news!!!!

Duly noted:"Piketty asserts that 'we need to rebuild the democratic institutions that can redistribute income and wealth.' Redistribution, or sharing, of resources, skills and knowledge is the commonsense option to the destructive neo-liberal model. Putting the principle of sharing at the heart of the economic system is a sane alternative that is increasingly gaining ground. A plethora of sharing initiatives have been set up, many of them local, from sharing unwanted items through various recycling websites, to car and bicycle sharing schemes. Systems of information sharing are growing, whether smallholder farmers in India spreading their wisdom and sharing their experiences through a mobile phone app, or the mighty United Nations. Above all sharing unites people, building relationships and creating the possibility for trust to flower, something inequality has destroyed."

:: sumbuddy PLS PASS THE FRUITCAKE to burnside Pigged
"What does Piketty propose by way of solutions? "
(to the problem, implied by a historiography of 600 years accumulated capital through extortion, slavery, and rapine)

Duly noted: "Economic categorisation, like credit ratings and classifications, tend to be as murky as World Bank politics itself. Individuals like Okonjo-Iweala dislike the institutionalise hypocrisy of the World Bank and western accounting techniques, but happily play the game when required. The phenomenon of rebasing GDP is certainly popular in the African context, and is bound to turn up surprises of both a nasty and pleasant kind. In previous years, Botswana has seen a 11 percent reduction, while the Democratic Republic of Congo saw an increase of 66 percent.

"The problem, as ever, is that GDP is one of the greatest tricks in the economist’s manual. In itself, it says nothing. Roy H. Webb1 of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond offers a definition: 'the market value of current, final, domestic production during a specific interval of time.' Already we have our first problem – value includes defined as sum of clearing prices"
< pick teeth >
"for goods and services actually paid in market transactions. Defense costs may not be available because market prices are not available. What is left out can prove as vital as what is included."

iNEedaPERCapITa.
:: complementarity Pigged
Eurostat to revise EU's annual GDP figures higher Jan 2013
Beijing Rethinks Formula for GDP Nov 2013
Changes to How the U.S. Economy is Measured Roll Out July 31 [2013]

:: internal inconsistency of a theory Pigged

"what is not said is as significant as what is said"
GINI
"we?"
gold toilets and yachts
"For what is government?"
Bill Gates walks into a bar ...
"Ima slap myself silly

Who said: we is the last refuge of a scoundrel???

"Marquis" (pl. marquises) is one title of nobility, is it not? And "nobility" is a synonym of aristocracy, is it not? And "aristocracy" is a category in the "template" of European social hierarchy relative to le roi, is it not?

That is my observation (above). Proceeding from your expressed affection for castles.

I'd like to understand what limits you find appropriate in its usage.

One's usage of the first person plural is best defined. or prefaced, by a specification of the group to which one refers for authority. And, yes, neither "humanity" nor "Americans" satisfices this rule, evidently, as any number of exceptions at any given point in time may be marshalled for argument.

Merriman so good as all that?

The question implied is not is he "good," but , whether one is able and willing to compare the contents of his historiography with your oblique remarks about French revolutionary and republican personnages.

intrinsic inflation

Such an apposition is nonsensical.

You've got sensitized to the first person plural.

Are you addressing me in particular and my annotation to your remark ?

landowners for the most part. The 'squirearchy'.

Gentry, in English

the grands bourgeoises - what we[?!] would call the parasitic rich today.

Upper-middle class, in English, including but not limited to "bankers" and securities brokers, as distinguished, purportedly, from The Middle Class, common commodity merchants or les petites bourgeoises

Marquises perished.

A member of aristocracy, peers of the divine right by grant or birth, in English

:: ubn warned Pigged

John Merriman lectures online

ANNA PAVLOVA: Yes, colleagues, thank you. We have a surprise video call, which I would describe as sensational. It was sent by a person who has made an information revolution by exposing a mass surveillance programme that affected millions of people around the world.

Mr President, you have a question from former intelligence agent Edward Snowden.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Do I really?

EDWARD SNOWDEN: Zdravstvuyte. I'd like to ask you a question about the mass surveillance of online communications and the bulk collection of private records by intelligence and law enforcement services. Recently, the United States, two independent White House investigations, as well as a federal court all concluded that these programmes are ineffective in stopping terrorism. They also found that they unreasonably intrude into the private lives of ordinary citizens – individuals who have never been suspected of any wrongdoing or criminal activity; and that these kinds of programmes are not the least intrusive means available to such agencies for these investigative purposes. Now, I've seen little public discussion of Russia's own involvement in the policies of mass surveillance. So I'd like to ask you: Does Russia intercept, store, or analyse in any way the communications of millions of individuals, and do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations can justify placing societies – rather than subjects – under surveillance? Thank you.

BEGIN DECODER RING TRANSLATION

KIRILL KLEYMENOV: Mr President, did you get the gist of the question?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Yes, by and large.

KIRILL KLEYMENOV: This is a professional question from Mr Snowden. You speak freely with foreign leaders during summit meetings, as we can see. But I will try to translate the question for our audience.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Still, American English is slightly different…

KIRILL KLEYMENOV: I tried to write down the question, which, as I have said, concerns some professional aspects…

VLADIMIR PUTIN: As I understood it, he wants to know if we engage in electronic surveillance.

KIRILL KLEYMENOV: He asked about the mass surveillance of online communications and the collection of users’ private records. He said that the US federal court concluded that these programmes are ineffective in stopping terrorism. This is an important admission. He also said something about intrusion into the private lives of ordinary citizens. Mr Snowden also said that he had seen the public discussion launched in Russia on this topic. And, lastly, he has asked you if Russia intercepts, stores, or analyses in any way the communications of millions of individuals. He wants to know if you believe that such mass surveillance can be justified.

END DECODER RING TRANSLATION

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr Snowden, you are a former intelligence officer, and I have worked for an intelligence agency, too. So let’s talk like two professionals. To begin with, Russia has laws that strictly regulate the use of special equipment by security services, including for the tapping of private conversations and for the surveillance of online communications. They need to receive a court warrant to be able to use this equipment in each particular case. So there is no, and cannot be any, indiscriminate mass surveillance under Russian law.

Since criminals, including terrorists, use these modern communication systems for their criminal activity, security services should be able to respond accordingly and use modern equipment to combat crime, including terrorism. Yes, we do this, but not on such a large scale and not arbitrarily. Hopefully – I hope very much – we will never act in this manner. Besides, we do not have such technical capabilities and funds as the United States. But the main thing is that, happily, our security services are strictly controlled by the state and society and their operation is strictly regulated by law.

Direct Line with Vladimir Putin

syndicate
Transcript: Vladi­mir Putin’s April 17 Q&A

try to find the reason I want or don't want to invest in something...I try to do that too, on a macro case basis

That's yer first mistake. Let me help you "find the reason" to "invest in something," that is, a financially stable going concern.
EDGAR

A public utility is some economic good whose distribution a government regulates by assigning a license to operate to some service organization. So, yes, the availability of a public utility is a right, derived from conditions of a license and regardless of any organization's particular claims to operating equipment.

Similarly, your social security income benefit is a right which I need not pay for, since you don't need it to survive.

YEVGENY KOSTYLEV: ... That said, the self-proclaimed Ukrainian government is doing its outmost to make life intolerable for the people of Crimea. For example, almost all banks have left Crimea, which means that we now have problems with exchanging hryvnas and people can’t make payments and transfers. Specifically, pensioners, who have been saving for many years for a rainy day, can’t withdraw their pension savings because Ukrainian banks are ignoring their requests and legitimate interests.

Mr President, my question is the following: How does the Russian Government intend to resolve this issue?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: This is currently one of the most urgent issues that has yet to be addressed. There are other issues as well, as you know, such as power and water supply. However, the problems with banking have not been fully resolved. We will seek to reach common ground with our Ukrainian partners. These efforts have so far been unsuccessful. Oschadbank and Privatbank with its owner Mr Kolomoisky and the head of the Crimean branch Mr Finkelstein are not willing to meet us halfway. Hryvna circulation is limited, so we have no other choice but to accelerate the transition to the ruble. The solution is to open accounts for individuals and legal entities and establish a new banking network. Doing this the right way takes time. I think that it will take us about one month to open the required number of accounts, roll out the network and equip it with modern technology.
[...]
In order to prevent any sharp increases in the inflation rate and prices, which is happening in Crimea anyway, we decided to enforce this on a step-by-step basis in four stages: incomes of Crimean pensioners and public sector employees are to rise by 25% from April 1, by another 25% from May 1, and then another 25% on June 1 and 25% more on July 1. During this period incomes of pensioners and public sector employees will surge. For pensioners, income will soar 100%, which means that the gap between pensions in Russian and Crimea… In Russia, pensioners receive twice as much as in Crimea. The average pension in Russia will be 11,600 rubles this year, while in Crimea it is about 5,500 rubles. The same goes for public sector employees, who earn twice or even two and a half times more in Russia. Russian military personnel – and it should be mentioned that a lot of local residents will be serving in Crimea – earn four times as much as in Crimea.

Direct Line with Vladimir Putin

Why would the name of any amount added to volume usage charges pose a problem to delivery of electricity, gas, water, telecommunication? Suppose a county, municipal, IOU or state PUC changed the name. You don't suppose, do you, that the premium or one's obligation to pay it would disappear?

"As we shall see, American welfare policy since the 1930s has been fundamentally shaped by a slow but steady change in how we have separated the 'deserving' from the 'undeserving' poor." (Wilson & DiIlulio)

Associating drug dealers with HH incomes < 100% FPL helps immediately to alleviate any interest in "cost/benefit" analysis of Life Line public policy. Many mericans identify indigent HHs and drug dealers with client politics; that is, an outcome which assures few benefit / many pay the cost. Further, some mericans can not be persuaded, as Wilson DiIlulio have suggested, that the burden shared by 100% the population to finance reliable but limited telecommunication service for about 16% of the whole is either a fair nor charitable, useful nor necessary function of "polite" society. In any case, criminals are not members of polite society, especially when they don't pay retail.

:: credo Pigged
"I would presume most of us, if we want to be neighborly at all, nod and uh-huh regardless."

He also acknowledged for the first [sic] time that Russian troops had played a direct role in Crimea, assisting local militia.

Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence

VLADIMIR PUTIN: I have already spoken about this publicly on several occasions, perhaps not loud enough. However, in my conversations with my foreign colleagues I did not hide the fact that our goal was to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will. And so we had to take the necessary measures in order to prevent the situation in Crimea unfolding the way it is now unfolding in southeastern Ukraine. We didn’t want any tanks, any nationalist combat units or people with extreme views armed with automatic weapons. Of course, the Russian servicemen did back the Crimean self-defence forces. They acted in a civil but a decisive and professional manner, as I’ve already said.

It was impossible to hold an open, honest, and dignified referendum and help people express their opinion in any other way. Still, bear in mind that there were more than 20,000 well-armed soldiers stationed in Crimea. In addition, there were 38 S-300 missile launchers, weapons depots and rounds of ammunition. It was imperative to prevent even the possibility of someone using these weapons against civilians.
[...]
TATYANA REMEZOVA: Mr President, there was a caller with another very interesting question. I will read the message: “Russia has annexed Crimea by force. Does that mean that power is the only guarantee of a state's sovereignty these days?”

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Russia did not annex Crimea by force. Russia created conditions – with the help of special armed groups and the Armed Forces, I will say it straight – but only for the free expression of the will of the people living in Crimea and Sevastopol. It was the people themselves who made this decision. Russia answered their call and welcomed the decision of Crimea and Sevastopol. This was natural, and it could not have been any other way.

As for the power factor in international relations, it has always existed and will always exist. That’s a different issue, and the thing is that countries, taking into account that power plays a significant role in international affairs, should develop and strengthen, based on their common sense, such rules of conduct which would be stable and would allow for negotiating, compromising and balancing the interests of a state and its people on the international arena without using this power.

Direct Line with Vladimir Putin

The militia who captured the armoured vehicles on Wednesday looked like professionals. They had Kalashnikovs, flak jackets, ammunition. One even carried a tube-shaped green grenade-launcher. Some hid their faces under black balaclavas. Others waved and smiled.
[...]
One Oplot member, Alexander, showed off his weapon. It was a US-made Remington 870 Express Magnum. "It's a hunting gun," he said. "It's my own. I've got a licence for it." Alexander said he had purchased his uniform himself: a light-coloured khaki top and trousers, a flat jacket, and a matching hat. He added: "I'm against America. But I have to say they make good guns."

Kiev's grip on eastern Ukraine weakens as pro-Russians seize army vehicles

Ukraine's military operation to wrest control in the east from pro-Russian separatists was stymied Wednesday, as civilians halted army columns in their tracks and militants hijacked Ukrainian military vehicles and drove them around with Russian flags.
[...]
The six vehicles then took up positions around a cafe near the city council building, and dozens of masked men in fatigues—with no insignia—carrying automatic weapons and sniper rifles formed a cordon around them. When asked who they were, a masked soldier patrolling near the vehicles claimed the unit was part of the 25th brigade of Ukraine's airborne forces that had switched sides.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied the unit had defected. In a terse statement it offered no explanation for the quick surrender or what their orders had been.
[...]
The men controlling the vehicles, who also had no insignia on their uniforms, were joined later by armed irregulars who have controlled this town, about 100 miles from the border with Russia, since Saturday.

Ukraine's Efforts to Regain Control of East Sputter

:: well-regulated Pigged

"The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo."
Concerning the Militia | Federalist No. 29 

"The government in Kyiv had yet another objective in mind when it created the National Guard: it wanted to disarm the volunteer militias that were formed during the revolutionary events in February."

Can the National Guard save Ukraine?
"Belgian police used water cannons, while security staff at the US mission ordered staff to stay inside and to keep away from windows in what they called a 'lock-down.'"
Protest in EU capital [!] prompts security scare at US embassy