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After dispute with Russia, Ukraine imposes martial law

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law in parts of the country to fight what its president called “growing aggression” from Moscow after a weekend naval confrontation off the disputed Crimean Peninsula in which Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels amid renewed tensions between the neighbors.

Western leaders and diplomats urged both sides to de-escalate the conflict, and the U.S. blamed Russia for what it called “unlawful conduct” over Sunday’s incident in the Black Sea.

Russia and Ukraine blamed each other in the dispute that further ratcheted up tensions ever since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine with clandestine support, including troops and weapons.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked lawmakers in Kiev to institute martial law, something the country did not do even during the worst of the fighting in the east that killed about 10,000 people.

After a five-hour debate, parliament overwhelmingly approved his proposal, voting to impose martial law for 30 days in only 10 of Ukraine’s 27 regions — those bordering Russia, Belarus and Moldova’s pro-Moscow breakaway republic of Trans-Dniester. The locations chosen were ones that Poroshenko identified as potentially in the front line of any Russian attack. The capital of Kiev is not under martial law.

Ukraine’s navy said six Ukrainian seamen were wounded when Russian coast guard vessels opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and then seized them late Sunday. The two nations blame each other. Video shown on Russian TV shows two ships colliding. (Nov. 26)

Poroshenko said it was necessary because of intelligence about “a highly serious threat of a ground operation against Ukraine.” He did not elaborate.

“Martial law doesn’t mean declaring a war,” he said. “It is introduced with the sole purpose of boosting Ukraine’s defense in the light of a growing aggression from Russia.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry already announced earlier in the day that its troops were on full combat alert in the country.

The approved measures included a partial mobilization and strengthening of air defenses. It also contained vaguely worded steps such as “strengthening” anti-terrorism measures and “information security” that could curtail certain rights and freedoms.

But Poroshenko also pledged to respect the rights of Ukrainian citizens.

His critics reacted to his call for martial law with suspicion, wondering why Sunday’s incident merited such a response. Poroshenko’s approval ratings have been plunging, and there were concerns that he would postpone a presidential election scheduled for March.

Just before the parliament met to vote, Poroshenko sought to allay those fears by releasing a statement revising his original martial law proposal from 60 days to just 30 days, in order to “do away with the pretexts for political speculation.”

Oksana Syroid, a deputy speaker of parliament, noted that martial law was not introduced in 2014 or 2015 despite large-scale fighting in the east. A state of emergency “would present a wonderful chance to manipulate the presidential elections,” she said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Poroshenko assured him that martial law would not have a negative impact on the election.

Despite Poroshenko’s vow to respect individual rights, opposition lawmaker and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko warned before the vote that his proposal would lead to the possible illegal searches, invasion of privacy and curtailing of free speech.

“This means they will be breaking into the houses of Ukrainians and not those of the aggressor nation,” noted Tymoshenko, who is leading in various opinion polls. “They will be prying into personal mail, family affairs … In fact, everything that is written here is a destruction of the lives of Ukrainians.”

Poroshenko’s call also outraged far-right groups in Ukraine that have advocated severing diplomatic ties with Russia. Hundreds of protesters from the National Corps party waved flares in the snowy streets of Kiev outside parliament and accused the president of using martial law to his own ends.

But Poroshenko insisted it was necessary because what happened in the Kerch Strait between Crimea and the Russian mainland “was no accident,” adding that “this was not the culmination of it yet.”

Russian coast guard ships fired on the Ukrainian navy vessels near the strait, which separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov, injuring six Ukrainian seamen and eventually seizing the vessels and their crews. It was the first open military confrontation between the two neighbors since the annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine said its vessels were heading to the Sea of Azov in line with international maritime rules, while Russia charged that they had failed to obtain permission to pass through the narrow strait that is spanned by a 19-kilometer (11.8-mile) bridge that Russia completed this year.

While a 2003 treaty designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, Russia has sought to assert greater control over the passage since the annexation.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin tweeted that the dispute was not an accident and that Russia had engaged in “deliberately planned hostilities,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev for what he described as a “provocation,” adding that “Ukraine had undoubtedly hoped to get additional benefits from the situation, expecting the U.S. and Europe to blindly take the provocateurs’ side.”

Klimkin told reporters in Kiev that the government is in talks with the Red Cross to make sure the captive seamen are treated as prisoners of war. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not say whether the Kremlin considers them prisoners of war.

At a U.N. Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged Russia to “immediately cease its unlawful conduct” in the Black Sea.

Anne Gueguen, the French deputy permanent representative at the U.N., urged the release of the sailors and the vessels.

But Russia called Ukraine’s actions “dangerous.” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council the incident was another example of Ukrainian leaders trying to provoke Russia for political purposes.

The European Union and NATO called for restraint from both sides. NATO said Stoltenberg expressed the U.S.-led military alliance’s “full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, including its full navigational rights in its territorial waters under international law.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke by telephone with Poroshenko to express her concerns and emphasize the need for de-escalation and dialogue, her office said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman, James Slack, said the incident was “further evidence of Russia’s destabilizing behavior in the region and its ongoing violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity.”

___

Vasilyeva reported from Moscow. Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Yuras Karmanau in Minsk, Belarus, and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.

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Education

Jocko Willink: Discipline = Freedom

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Jocko Willink Discipline Freedom

PragerU has a new video from Jocko Willink on Discipline on the hard road to inevitable success.

In this year’s 2019 PragerU Commencement Address, Navy Seal (Ret.) and best-selling author, Jocko Willink, offers some hard-learned, practical advice. It all starts with Discipline. That’s what will get you on the road to personal fulfillment and success – and keep you there. Watch and find out why.

We cannot do justice to this short [5:43 min] Commencement Address, so this will just be summary of the main points:
[Our emphasis]

One of the best things I’ve learned is that anyone has what it takes to travel the hard road – to walk The Path that leads to success. That includes you. It won’t be easy. It will demand everything you’ve got to give. But you can do it, and I want to give you three key principles I’ve learned that will help you to get it done.

Principle number one: Discipline. Equals. Freedom.

That’s not a contradiction – it’s an equation. Discipline might appear to be the opposite of freedom. But, in fact, discipline is the path to freedom.

Discipline is the driver of daily execution. Discipline defeats the infinite excuses that hold you back.

Some people think motivation is what will compel them to get things done. But motivation is just an emotion – a feeling, and like all feelings, it’s fickle: it comes and goes. You can’t count on motivation to be there when you need to get through truly challenging times.

Principle Number Two: Stay. Humble.

In life, you are going to have to do things that you don’t want to do. Maybe things that you don’t think you should have to do – things that offend your precious ego.


Now, being humble does not mean that you shouldn’t be confident. You certainly have to believe that you are a capable person. But don’t let confidence turn into arrogance. So keep your ego in check and stay humble.

The third and final principle: Take. Ownership. Of. Everything.

I call this “Extreme Ownership.”

In the military, the best leaders and the best troops were the ones that took ownership of everything in their world – not just the things they were responsible for, but for every challenge and obstacle that impacted their mission.

So: be disciplined in all that you do. Don’t subject yourself to the whims of motivation. Stay humble and be willing to do what needs to be done.

And: take extreme ownership of your life and everything in it.

Then: choose the hard path – the path of responsibility, hard work, and sacrifice. The Path of discipline, humility, and ownership that ultimately leads to freedom.

If you follow these principles, then nothing in the world will stop you.

I’m Jocko Willink, host of the Jocko Podcast and author of Extreme Ownership, for Prager University.

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Culture and Religion

Top 5 ‘assault weapon’ technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written

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Top 5 assault weapon technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written

Just a sample of some of the repeating firepower that existed long before the 2nd amendment.

Leftist lore has it that the only guns in existence at the time of the writing of the 2nd amendment were muskets that took 5 minutes to reload. This being exemplified by the New York Times in using an image of a musket contrasted with an assault rifle in an article on their usual obsession with gun confiscation. Or from a commercial from a liberty grabber group depicting the long, drawn out reloading of a musket. As is usually the case with leftist lore, this is a complete fabrication.

The fact is that multishot or repeating firearms existed long before the affirmation of the common sense human right of self-preservation in the US Constitution. We’ve already highlighted some of these technologies that predate the Constitution. However, for the sake of completeness, we shall fill out the list with the other fine examples.

Since there is no set definition of the term ‘assault weapon’ or ‘weapons of war’ or what ever farcical term the liberty grabber left has come up with to demonize ordinary firearms, we bestowed this term to these technology as some of the first ‘Assault Weapons’.

Repeating rifles of the early 1600s, predating the Constitution by 160 years

The Encyclopedia Britannica has a very informative article on this subject with this excerpt detailing the most important point:

The first effective breech-loading and repeating flintlock firearms were developed in the early 1600s. One early magazine repeater has been attributed to Michele Lorenzoni, a Florentine gunmaker. In the same period, the faster and safer Kalthoff system—designed by a family of German gunmakers—introduced a ball magazine located under the barrel and a powder magazine in the butt. By the 18th century the Cookson repeating rifle was in use in North America, having separate tubular magazines in the stock for balls and powder and a lever-activated breech mechanism that selected and loaded a ball and a charge, also priming the flash pan and setting the gun on half cock.

[Our Emphasis]

Please note that these multishot or repeating firearms existed almost 2 centuries before the writing of the Constitution, eviscerating the ‘Muskets only’ lie of the national socialist Left. For those who are numerically as well a factually challenged, this was also 370 years before the 21st Century.

The Lorenzoni repeating flintlock: Portable firepower that predated the Constitution by over 100 years

Our first video from the venerable website Forgotten weapons is of two London-Made Lorenzonis Repeating Flintlocks. This was a repeating flintlock developed in the early 1600’s that was able to fire multiple shots 160 years before the writing of the Constitution.

Early development of revolving cylinder firearms, predating the Constitution by over 109 years

Next on the Pre-constitutional timeline, we have One of the Earliest Six-shot Revolvers from the collection of the Royal Armory that we profiled in a previous article. The Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson notes that this wasn’t one of the earliest revolvers along with pointing out how the technology has ‘evolved’ over time.

This also brings up an important point, that arms and other weapons of self-defense were vitally important, a matter of life or death. Every living being is in a battle for survival, in the case of human society, these technologies determined its survivability. Thus it is a constant competition with these technologies constantly changing and evolving over time. Something that would have been known by the learned men that wrote the founding documents.

The Puckle or Defense Gun from 1718, was predating the Constitution by over 70 years

We have previously detailed the Puckle or Defense Gun invented in 1718 and demonstrated early ‘automatic weapon’ fire in 1721:

The Puckle Gun, or Defense Gun as it was also known, was invented and patented in 1718 by the London lawyer James Puckle.

This was an early ‘automatic weapon’ was capable of firing 63 shots in 7 minutes in 1721.

For those following along this missed the mark of being a 21st Century weapon by almost 300 years.

The multishot Girardoni Air Gun that predated the Constitution by 9 years.

This is another multishot weapon of war that existed before the Constitution.

Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket – 1786, this also predates the Constitution

Our last video of multishot or repeating firearms that predated the Constitution is the Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket from 1786. We’re trying to keep this as short as possible, thus we have left off other examples such as the Ribauldequin, Duckfoot or Nock gun.

Very much like the previous example, the Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket was known to the founding fathers because he corresponded with Congress on this weapon in 1777 [Again, before the drafting of the Constitution]. For those keeping score at home, 1786 is still is not of the 21st Century.

Leftist lies on this subject depends on a number of improbable fallacies and assumptions. The founding fathers would have known the history of technological developments and they would have expected those developments to continue. Thus rendering the fallacy that they could not have foreseen that weapons technologies wouldn’t of continued on to the point of absurdity.

The Takeaway

Unfortunately for the Liberty Grabber Left, firearms tend to be valuable historical artifacts, these videos show that multishot or repeating firearms existed well before the Constitution. Thus we have eviscerated the ‘musket myth’. It should also be evident that the violence problem hasn’t been caused by the ‘easy’ availability of guns or repeating firearms.

As is the case with most Leftist lies and prevarication’s, they depend on a lack knowledge of the subject to succeed. This is why is extremely important that everyone of the Pro-Liberty Right be apprised of these facts in engaging those of the Left who have little care for logic, science or truth. The fact that multishot or repeating firearms existed centuries ago should make it clear that the Left is lying about the subject of self-defense from beginning to end.

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Foreign Affairs

Capt. Chuck Nash: Iranian regime trying to hold out in hopes Trump is not reelected

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Capt Chuck Nash Things in Iran are getting worse by the day

Iran’s saber rattling continues as the U.S. military buildup reaches a point in which they can no longer expect to be able to defend themselves if they start a way. Meanwhile, the President lobbed a clear threat to them about their rhetoric and aggression.

Speaking on Fox News, retired U.S. Navy Captain Charles T. Nash said, “Regimes, whether it’s the Soviet Union or the current theocracy in Iran, they won’t stop loosening up until it’s too late, and when they do they know it’s all going to fly apart. The wheels are going to come off.”

Opinion

Iran has a serious problem, and it’s not the United States. Their leadership has been so obtuse during times of economic prosperity that they didn’t use it to help their people become self-sustaining. Now, they’re reliant on a government that doesn’t have the resources to help them, making this an issue that goes beyond oppression. They’re on the verge of financial collapse and the only solution is the one solution they will never consider.

As Nash noted in the video above, they won’t change. They can’t. It goes against their nature to do what’s right by their people if doing so means doing anything the United States, Saudi Arabia, or Israel want. Their pride will be the undoing of their people.

President Trump is the biggest reason they’re failing. At this point, all they can do is hope he loses reelection. If he does, they have a chance of recovering if they’re even able to survive that long. If he wins, they’re toast and they know it. Expect to see them attempt to interfere with our elections any way they can, including expansion of Endless Mayfly.

The defection of Ali Nasisi is most likely a huge blessing for America. As their ambitions appear to be coming to light, the information gleaned from the former Iranian Brigadier General has been invaluable.

Quote

“What they’re trying to do is hold out hope against hope, and if President Trump is reelected, then they’re going to have to figure out what they’re going to do.” – Captain Charles Nash

Final Thoughts

Iran is desperate. Now that their military aggression is on call by the President, they may have to resort to terrorism to achieve their goals of ousting Trump and spreading fear across the world.

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