Contributor’s Links post for February 23, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

96 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for February 23, 2019”

  1. Over 50 Turkish experts to work in Akkuyu Nuclear JSC (aa, Feb 23, 2019)

    “Over 50 new Turkish specialists, receiving diplomas from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) of Russia’s National Research Nuclear University (NRNU), commenced their work in Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom announced on Saturday.

    The second group of Turkish students has graduated from the NRNU MEPhI in Moscow, Rosatom said in a statement, adding that a group of students from Vietnam and Mongolia have also obtained their diploma.

    The students received training under programs related to the construction and operation of nuclear power plants and obtained their diploma during an official graduation ceremony in Moscow, attended by Rector of the NRNU MEPhI Mikhail Strikhanov, representatives of the Turkish embassy and other guests of honor.

    “We will pursue our collaboration and you will continue joint work with MEPhI while working in your countries. I believe that we’ll welcome many of you as university professors, executives of the nuclear industry of your countries,” Strikhanov was quoted as saying during the ceremony.

    The graduates had made the right choice to get the education from one of the leading Russian universities, Strikhanov continued, expressing his hope for further partnership.

    Marina Karaseva, Human Resources Director of Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, also extended greetings to the young specialists.

    “Speaking Russian, you’ll be able to directly learn from the experience of your Russian colleagues-mentors, but the most important thing is that you’ll bring knowledge of state-of-the-art Russian nuclear technologies in the nuclear industries of your countries,” she said.

    She underlined that the graduates have learned a lot from the experienced university faculty.

    “We count on your active involvement into the implementation of the project of construction of the first nuclear power plant in Turkey. Work at NPP has a lot of challenges for the extended period of time, much-needed profession and secure employment for many years,” she noted.

    The Akkuyu project started with an intergovernmental agreement signed between Turkey and Russia on May 12, 2010. Rosatom and participants will build the plant comprising four units, each of which has a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

    The plant will have a working life of 8,000 hours per year, and will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity needs.

    The plant has an operational date for the first reactor set for 2023, while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.

    Training of the staff for Akkuyu NPP in Russia was initiated in 2011. Last year, 35 students from Turkey graduated and received their diplomas on “Nuclear power plants: design, operation and engineering” specialisation.

    Following 6.5 years in MEPhI, all graduates were hired by Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, according to Rosatom. The company said that now over 140 Turkish students continue their education in Russian universities “under the program of target preparation.”

    “All of us connect the future with the project of the NPP construction in Turkey. We ought to apply all knowledge and skills obtained and be useful for our country,” one of the graduates, Gulben Yildiz, was quoted as saying.

    “Practically all neighbouring countries have operating NPPs and Turkey highly needs nuclear power generation. Nuclear power plants are reliable and environment-friendly clean source of energy and Akkuyu NPP will become one of the safest in the world,” she continued.”

  2. Richard: Things are going to be entertaining but at times scary.

    2020 Democrat HIT PIECES Are Dropping, This Is Going To Get WILD

  3. French forces kill top Al-Qaeda commander in Sahel (thelocal, Feb 23, 2019)

    “French armed forces have killed a top jihadist leader in an air and ground ambush in Mali, the government said on Friday, ending a years-long hunt for a man accused of masterminding the kidnapping of Westerners in the Sahel region.

    Djamel Okacha, an Algerian commander in Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was killed on Thursday after French commandos, helicopters and a drone hit a column of vehicles he was travelling in north of Timbuktu, French officials said.

    Okacha, a jihadist veteran known also as Yahya Abou El Hamame, was “the mastermind and financer of several attacks,” the defence ministry said. US officials had accused him of kidnapping a number of Westerners in North and West Africa.

    French Defence Minister Florence Parly described his killing as a “spectacular action”, saying it followed a manhunt which lasted several years. His death “deals a very hard blow to terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Parly said.

    “When commandos approached, (jihadist) pickups opened fire, prompting the helicopters to return fire,” a spokesman for the French military command said.

    A total of 11 “terrorists”, including El Hamame, were killed, he said…”

  4. Austrian Minister Proposes to Create Tribunals for Daesh Fighters in Middle East (sputniknews, Feb 24, 2019)

    “Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl proposed to establish tribunals to conduct trials against mercenaries of Daesh* terrorist group in the Middle East.

    The issue of the potential return of foreign terrorist fighters to Europe and challenges associated with the returnees has been a pressing issue for several years. The issue was brought up by US President Donald Trump late last week. He urged European countries to take back more than 800 Daesh fighters, captured by the United States in Syria, and put them on trial.

    “European countries must now quickly agree that there must be tribunals against IS [Daesh] terrorists [mercenaries] with UN and EU involvement in the [Middle East] region,” Kickl said in an interview with the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

    The minister noted that the establishment of the tribunals would allow to interrogate witnesses on-the-spot and to receive all the information necessary for the criminal process.

    Kickl stressed that, according to experts, from 30 to 60 people might want to return from the war zone to Austria.

    “Protecting our own population is of paramount importance. Therefore, it is not acceptable to take these ticking time bombs [Daesh mercenaries] back to Austria,” Kickl said, adding that “there are already quite a lot of cases with this kind of problem in Austria.”

    The minister also noted that the trials of Daesh mercenaries’ wives, who provided their husbands with a reliable protection, should also be carried out in the Middle East.

    The terrorists would be unable to remain combat-ready, if someone had not prepared food for them, he explained.

    *Daesh, also known as the Islamic State (IS), ISIS or ISIL is a terror group, banned in Russia and many other countries.”

  5. CNN -What if Trump refuses to accept defeat in 2020?

    President Donald Trump’s critics are increasingly focused on the question of which Democrat will challenge him for the presidency in 2020. It’s an important question, but another one might be even more important: Regardless of who runs in 2020, if Trump loses, will he leave the Oval Office peacefully?

    Let’s start with why we need to ask this question: Trump is increasingly proving himself to be a President eager to overstep his authority. Just last week, Trump displayed his willingness to invoke unprecedented presidential power to declare a national emergency utterly without justification. This week has brought a startling report from the New York Times that, for the past two years, Trump has tried to undermine the investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other parts of the Justice Department in order to, in the words of the Times, “make the president’s many legal problems go away.” In light of these overreaching assertions of his own authority, it’s at least plausible that Trump might attempt to cling to power in ways previously unimaginable by an American president.

    Thankfully, there are four steps that key actors across the American system of governance can take to get ahead of this possibility.

    Remember, when Trump was merely a private citizen running for President in 2016, he became the first presidential candidate in recent memory to refuse to commit that he’d honor the results of the election if he lost. Now, he occupies the Oval Office. He’s the commander in chief of the most powerful military on Earth. If he even hints at contesting the election result in 2020, as he suggested he might in 2016, he’d be doing so not as an outsider but as a leader with the vast resources of the US government potentially at his disposal.

    Trump’s unrelenting assaults on the media and intelligence community, augmented by his baseless insistence on widespread voter fraud, have laid the groundwork for him to contest the election results in worrisome ways by undermining two institutions Americans would count on to validate those results.

    As the 2018 midterms approached, Trump appeared to preview exactly such behavior. He tweeted that he was “very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election” and “pushing very hard for the Democrats.” Without pointing to even a shred of analysis from the intelligence community, media reports or any other sources, Trump seemed to dangle the notion that, if the elections went too badly for the Republicans, he might allege foreign interference with the vote tally to cast doubt on the validity of the results.

    In 2020, with his reelection on the line, the stakes for Trump himself are, of course, wildly bigger.

    All told, there’s real reason to worry here. So, what can be done now to avoid a potential constitutional crisis and ensure that the 2020 election results — whatever they might be — are respected and that any transfer of power occurs peacefully?

    While many of us worry that President Trump has fallen woefully short in addressing foreign election interference through social media that can change American voters’ minds, there’s nonetheless an obvious imperative to respect the actual vote tally unless the intelligence community indicates that malicious actors have directly altered it (which would be unprecedented). Thankfully, there are four key sets of governmental actors across the United States that can commit now to certain steps that would help to isolate President Trump should he refuse to hand over power peacefully.

    First is the justifiably much-maligned Electoral College. As we were reminded in 2016, elections are not determined by popular vote but by the votes of each state’s and the District of Columbia’s electors, who are generally chosen by the political parties at state conventions or through a vote of the party’s central committee. For the sake of the rule of law and peaceful transfer of power, both parties should require anyone seeking to be one of the college’s electors to pledge that they will not withhold, delay or alter their vote based on the claims or protestations of any candidate, including President Trump.

    Second is Congress. It’s the newly seated Congress that, in January 2021, will meet in joint session to receive the Electoral College’s handiwork and count the electoral votes. Thereafter, the President of the Senate will formally announce the election’s result. Unlike the electors, who haven’t been selected as of this writing, we already know many who will be serving in Congress that day (with the exception of any defeated incumbents, resignations, deaths or other unusual occurrences). These senators and representatives should make a joint pledge not to delay or alter counting of the votes based on any candidate’s objections. Moreover, they should pledge to hold public hearings with intelligence community leaders should those officials or any candidate suggest that vote counts were influenced by foreign election interference or for any other reason. That unvarnished testimony by intelligence professionals could debunk any claims by Trump (or any other candidate) that the final vote count shouldn’t be honored.

    Third, 39 of America’s 50 state governors will not be up for reelection in 2020. They represent continuity in critical positions of leadership, and some command respect across party lines. Those 39 should band together now to make clear that they will serve, at least informally, as bastions of our democracy should a peaceful transfer of power look threatened by any candidate’s response to the election. Especially because most, if not all, are sure to support one candidate or the other, they hold great power to urge respect for the election’s results, regardless of who wins. Think here of the example set by former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas after the December 2017 special election for a Senate seat in Alabama. When Republican candidate Roy Moore initially appeared intent on baselessly contesting the election results, Huckabee, a Republican stalwart, issued a sharply worded rebuke to Moore. Moore soon acknowledged defeat.

    Fourth, our civilian and uniformed Defense Department leaders have a role to play. The health of our democracy rests, in part, on not involving the military in transfers of power. And that should continue. But imagine the most extreme scenario, with Congress certifying Trump’s defeat but Trump refusing to leave office. In those circumstances, the military would no longer owe its loyalty to Donald Trump as of noon on January 20, 2021. And it’s worth asking the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as they testify before Congress in coming months, to affirm that they understand that and would act consistently with it.

    These are dire thoughts. But we live in uncertain and worrying times. Perhaps, in 2016, Donald Trump never really intended to contest a loss at the ballot box. Still, having seen him in action as President, it’s surely best, as we hurtle toward 2020, to be prepared in case President Trump makes good on his threats from 2016 — now with far more power at his disposal.

    Joshua A. Geltzer is executive director and visiting professor of law at Georgetown Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and an ASU future of war fellow at New America.
    He previously was senior director for counterterrorism and deputy legal adviser at the National Security Council.

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