body~politic

~~~~~~~~~> Does DEBT  become SERFDOM ?

Tweet me @ColonialSerf, and let me know, and I'll share the answers HERE!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

ideas » Computer intelligence surpassing humans in 30 years?

ideas » Computer intelligence surpassing humans in 30 years?



The IEEE Spectrum is an interesting place to read about the singularity because the IEEE is run by engineers, the people closest to the technology that could make the singularity happen.




Scott Brown on How Max Headroom Predicted the Demise of TV Journalism | WIRED

Scott Brown on How Max Headroom Predicted the Demise of TV Journalism | WIRED




The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided - The Washington Post

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided - The Washington Post



Why did right-wing politicians prosper in the once-communist east. The explanation is complex, but scientists often attribute it to a mixture of anti-leftist worldviews after the wall fell and the economic downturn in the east. Many people were disillusioned by Western capitalism, but few wanted a return to communism. Right-wing politicians were quick to fill the void. The great majority of eastern Germans, of course, are welcoming.




Mastodon: "The Motherload" - David Letterman

Halo Font Main



Halo Font Main




I made this Halo energy sword for my nephew for his birthday. I decided on using an electronic sword to start with because it already had lights, sound and was motion activated. I found a really good one at Toys R Us for 11 bucks. Not bad. I first created my template in the computer plotted it full size. I made it only 21.5" to more closely match the scale of my nephew. I transferred my pattern to 1/4" MDF and cut it out as accurately as I could. I used the wooden template to cut the plexiglass using a flush trim bit on the router table. I sanded one side of the plexi with an orbital sander and 200 grit sandpaper so it would catch the light. I also polished the edges hoping to keep more light in.

I used the same template to cut the handle shape so it would match with much less work. After that I shaped the handles as well as I could with the dremel and cut all of the pockets for the circuit board, speaker, button, on/off switch and LEDs. The sword handles do not match the game as I decided to place some of the handle over the blades to hide the LEDs. I placed all of the electronics and battery pack in the wooden handles. And epoxied it all together. I wish the sword had come with more LEDs, only facing one forward on each half doesn't quite seem sufficient. Next sword more lights :). After the wooden part was complete, I added a sintra battery cover. Then some more details using Apoxie clay. Not too happy with this step as I screwed up and ended up with a gimongous line around the battery compartment. Then the paint and it was all ready for shipping. Over all I was really really happy with it. Fun as hell to swing around.

I'll definitely do a second version. I want to clay the entire handle next time and try to cast from that to make multiple handles for friends. I also think I'll use the same sword again for it's sound and motion activation. I've seen a really nice energy sword using EL wire but I think I'm gonna stick with the LEDs unless I get a bug to try for the sound, motion and EL, who knows, as lazy as I am I may never get around to it at all.

Check out the video HERE. (1 mb)

































slone on Twitter: "GOP-RUN STATES DOMINATE: Republican governors lead ALL 10 the best states for business http://t.co/1Kw2dKYNFX #tcot http://t.co/j4zczm1VGT"

slone on Twitter: "GOP-RUN STATES DOMINATE: Republican governors lead ALL 10 the best states for business http://t.co/1Kw2dKYNFX #tcot http://t.co/j4zczm1VGT"





Time Out Hong Kong | Big Smog | HK Profile: Joshua Wong - Convener of Scholarism

Time Out Hong Kong | Big Smog | HK Profile: Joshua Wong - Convener of Scholarism



Wong’s articulate, precocious wishes exemplify his belief that peaceful civil disobedience can evoke change. Wong was 15 when he convened student movement Scholarism, which campaigned against plans to introduce compulsory Moral and National Education, catalysing 100,000 people to march in the streets in 2012, before leading a sit-in at Tamar.



Goodman Games

Goodman Games








Age of Cthulhu 3:

Shadows of Leningrad

The death of a brilliant artist summons the investigators to Leningrad,
setting them in pursuit of a mystery older than Russia herself. But when
each secret revealed brings the investigators closer to madness, is the
truth worth the price?


The trail of clues takes them from the dachas of the Orkonov Estate
to the Revolution Hospital and State Museum of Leningrad, and finally to
the wilds of the frozen forests, where the investigators are faced with
a terrifying puzzle unlike any other.


Set throughout the globe and torn from the pages of the hidden history
of the world, Age of Cthulhu adventures bring new secrets and mind-bending
horrors to your 1920’s Call of Cthulhu game. Each adventure comes with
copious player handouts, detailed maps, and pre-generated investigators
ready to risk their lives and their sanity to confront the horrors of an
uncaring universe.


Age of Cthulhu adventures include many of the classic elements of Call
of Cthulhu: action, investigation, and a forbidding sense of horror. Though
the adventures utilize real locations and historical events, Age of Cthulhu
is first and foremost dedicated to exploring the horrors of the Cthulhu
Mythos, and to bringing the excitement of heroic pulp-themed adventure
to your gaming table. So dim the lights, load your trusty sidearm, and
prepare to venture into the unknown...


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Elbert Guillory: "Why I Am a Republican"

Obamacare could be crippled since 214,000 Doctors withdrew

Obamacare could be crippled since 214,000 Doctors withdrew



According to a survey conducted this year by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), a trade association comprised of multi-physician medical practices, “as many as 214,524 American physicians will not be participating in any ACA exchange products.” Reasons abound as to why, but, “chief among them is the fact that exchange plans are more likely to offer significantly lower reimbursement rates than private market plans, confusion among consumers about the obligations associated with high deductibles, and fear that patients will stop paying premiums and providers will be unable to recover their losses”
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/214000-doctors-withdraw-obamacare/#QIYeG16f2Tc21vRu.99





Sometimes people's spiritual ideas become fixed and they use them against those who don't... - Pema Chodron at BrainyQuote

Sometimes people's spiritual ideas become fixed and they use them against those who don't... - Pema Chodron at BrainyQuote



Sometimes people's spiritual ideas become fixed and they use them against those who don't share their beliefs - in effect, becoming fundamentalist. It's very dangerous - the finger of righteous indignation pointing at someone who is identified as bad or wrong.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/pemachodro527010.html#g8mLd5LuhGkriJOm.99

Massachusetts Makes the Biggest Push Yet to Make Health-Care Prices Public

Massachusetts Makes the Biggest Push Yet to Make Health-Care Prices Public



Massachusetts' effort to publicize prices is the most comprehensive so far. But some say it's more important for patients to have information on the quality of care.


Mia Love Tries to Be the First Black Republican Woman in Congress

Mia Love Tries to Be the First Black Republican Woman in Congress



White, white, white. In nearly every room Love enters as she stumps her way across Utah’s 4th District on a quest to become the first black female Republican in Congress, she is not just the only black person there. She’s the only person of any color, unless you count farmer tans.
This 39-year-old, Brooklyn-born daughter of Haitian immigrants and former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, seems completely at home in a crowd of mostly old white dudes. What’s more, she gets a warmer reception here than when she made a speech at the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. Her advisers had urged her to stay way the hell away from the Windy City. “That’s Obamatown,” they told her. “Those people will eat you alive.”

Metamodernism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Metamodernism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The Metamodernist Manifesto[edit]

In 2011, Luke Turner published a Metamodernist Manifesto.[21] The manifesto recognised "oscillation to be the natural order of the world" and called for an end to "the inertia resulting from a century of modernist ideological naivety and the cynical insincerity of its antonymous bastard child."[21][22] Instead, it proposed metamodernism as "the mercurial condition between and beyond irony and sincerity, naivety and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt, in pursuit of a plurality of disparate and elusive horizons."[23] The text cited the work of Vermeulen and van den Akker, and concluded “we must go forth and oscillate!”[24][10] Turner later credited his manifesto to the actor Shia LaBeouf as part of the pair's wider artistic collaboration.[25][26]
In early 2014, Shia LaBeouf embarked on a collaboration with Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, described by Dazed as “a multi-platform meditation on celebrity and vulnerability,” and referred to by the collaborators as metamodernist performance art.[27] This included a performance in a Los Angeles gallery entitled #IAMSORRY, in which LaBeouf sat for six days silently crying in front of visitors, wearing a tuxedo and a brown paper bag over his head emblazoned with the words "I am not famous anymore".[28]


The Face of War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Face of War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The Face of War (The Visage of War; in Spanish La Cara de la Guerra) (1940) is a painting by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí. It was painted during a brief period when the artist lived in California.
The trauma and the view of war had often served as inspiration for Dalí’s work. He sometimes believed his artistic vision to be premonitions of war. This work was painted between the end of the Spanish Civil War and beginning of the Second World War.
The painting depicts a disembodied face hovering against a barren desert landscape. The face is withered like that of a corpse and wears an expression of misery. In its mouth and eye sockets are identical faces. In their mouths and eyes are more identical faces in a process implied to be infinite. Swarming around the large face are biting serpents. In the lower right corner is a hand print that Dalí insisted was left by his own hand.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Word of the Day | Definition, Word Origins, and Quotes at Dictionary.com

Word of the Day | Definition, Word Origins, and Quotes at Dictionary.com



Quotes:
Perhaps the smell of blood, dark and chthonian at the precise moment that the bird screamed,awakened something deep and intrinsic in what remained of Pan's consciousness.
-- Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume 1984
Meanwhile, the obstinate insistence of the chthonian  voices did not let up, as if the threatening presence of enemies, of the powerful who persecuted the people of the Lord, remained unresolved.
-- Umberto Eco, Translated by Richard Dixon, The Name of the Rose 2014


Indignados Venezuela on Twitter: "Venezuela (182 de 189) entre los peores países para hacer negocios -► https://t.co/UVt2oaGEXz #Venezuela http://t.co/FWB3w4Mcvu""

Indignados Venezuela on Twitter: "Venezuela (182 de 189) entre los peores países para hacer negocios -► https://t.co/UVt2oaGEXz #Venezuela http://t.co/FWB3w4Mcvu""

Voting Error at Moline Public Library

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph

Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph



In short, the middle class has good reasons to be frustrated with Obamanomics – especially given that the President has so often claimed to be on the side of the little man but has largely operated to the benefit of the super rich. 




Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph

Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph



Finally, even the much praised unemployment rates can be misleading. While the number seeking work might be falling, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve found some. In January 2009, the labour force participation rate was 65.7 per cent; today it is 62.7 per cent. In other words, a lot of Americans have simply withdrawn from the labour market.




Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph

Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph



Now, it’s true that the Obama administration deserves plaudits for extending tax relief to middle-class Americans. But that’s been shaped by political and economic reality. Politically, his natural instinct for raising taxes – such as the significant charges that Obamacare will levy – has been curtailed by dealing with a Republican Congress: in fact, since 2009 one think tanks says that he has proposed no less than 442 tax increases. Economically, any assistance that has been passed onto the voters is a reflection of the parlous state of their personal finances. 




Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph

Life under Obama sucks. And these numbers prove it - Telegraph



It’s true that unemployment has fallen to its lowest point since Obama took office, but that’s actually coincided with a collapse in his approval ratings: joblessness has dipped below 6 per cent, but 53 per cent of Americans think Obama is doing a bad job with the economy.
The reason? Quality of life is poor. Starting at the very bottom, poverty levels point to stagnation. In January 2009 the poverty rate stood at 14.3 per cent. It rose to around 15 per cent and then fell back down in 2013 to 14.5 per cent (but the actual number of those in poverty remained the same from 2012). Things are worse for black Americans, whose poverty rate has risen in that same period from 25.8 per cent to 27.2 per cent.


Spanish nurse who survived Ebola says worst part of infection was finding out her dog was dead | Daily Mail Online

Spanish nurse who survived Ebola says worst part of infection was finding out her dog was dead | Daily Mail Online



  • Teresa Romero has been in quarantine since October 6 suffering from Ebola

  • She has now been cleared and will be released when she has recovered

  • Has spoken for first time about the disease saying family kept her upbeat

  • Said worst part of illness was learning dog Excalibur had been put down 



  • Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2811366/Spanish-nurse-survived-Ebola-says-worst-infection-finding-government-dog-vows-new-little-Excalibur.html#ixzz3HV9kJjmv
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook





    US Homeownership Rate Drops To 1983 Levels: Here's Why | Zero Hedge

    US Homeownership Rate Drops To 1983 Levels: Here's Why | Zero Hedge



    Of course, those who have been following real-time rental market trends would be all too aware there is no rebound coming to the homeownership rate. The reason is simple: increasingly fewer can afford to buy, instead having no choice but to rent, which in turn has pushed the median asking rent to record highs. In fact in the past two quarters, the asking rent was just $10 shy of its time highs at $756 per month.






    Cuffé on Twitter: "#RaiseTheWage RT @DRUDGE_REPORT: Shoppers to be greeted by robots at LOWES... http://t.co/BjBF24OiAq"

    Cuffé on Twitter: "#RaiseTheWage RT @DRUDGE_REPORT: Shoppers to be greeted by robots at LOWES... http://t.co/BjBF24OiAq"



    -

    Suit Filed to Halt Work Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients in New Mexico

    Suit Filed to Halt Work Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients in New Mexico



    On October 27, the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, the Southwest Organizing Project, and a number of food stamp recipients filed suit to halt work requirements for food stamp recipients which are set to go into effect in November.

    The Associated Press reports the changes would require "some childless adults [to] work in order to receive food stamps." Other recipients would have to "search for a job or participate in community service or job training." 
    The suit is directed toward the Human Services Department (HSD), which is implementing the requirements as part of a larger body of reforms put in place by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R). HSD spokesman Kevin Kennicott said the lawsuit is "baseless."


    Ebola exclusions are now being written into policies

    Ebola exclusions are now being written into policies





    With the confirmation of the first Ebola case in New York City last week, several US and UK insurers are adopting a cautious approach in the way they insure groups like hospitals, event organizers and other businesses subject to disruptions caused by the virus.



    Gary Flynn, an event cancellation broker at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group in London told Business Insider the industry in general will now charge higher prices for companies choosing to insure business travel to West Africa or cover the risk of business interruption due to quarantine shutdowns.




    Monday, October 27, 2014

    EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil markets plunge on Rousseff re-election | Reuters

    EMERGING MARKETS-Brazil markets plunge on Rousseff re-election | Reuters



    Oct 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian financial markets plunged on Monday with stocks falling to their lowest level in nearly seven months, as leftist President Dilma Rousseff's re-election victory dashed investor hopes of significant policy changes over the next four years.




    LIBERTARIAN INVESTMENTS: Deflation

    LIBERTARIAN INVESTMENTS: Deflation



    One major mistake that many people make in economics, including many so-called economists, is that they confuse cause and effect. Deflation doesn't cause a depression/recession any more than a wet street causes rain. Whether we are talking price deflation or monetary deflation, it isn't really a cause of a depression. You could say that monetary deflation can trigger a depression, but the depression was already built into the cake if that is the case. The Austrian Business Cycle Theory teaches us that if there is monetary inflation, it will cause bad investments to take place, and there inevitably has to be a bust. If there is monetary deflation or even a decrease in monetary inflation, then the boom may come to an end. If there is never a slowdown in the rate of monetary inflation, then you will eventually get hyperinflation.



    Going back to deflation, during the Great Depression, there was monetary deflation at the beginning. This was because there was no FDIC to bail out banks and their depositors. There were runs on banks and the fractional reserve lending process reversed itself. With the FDIC today, you won't have a similar situation.



    As far as price deflation, it is possible to have a slight decrease in prices, even if the Fed is inflating the money supply. First, you can have a situation as we have right now where the banks increase their excess reserves voluntarily. But another scenario still is that during an economic downturn, people have a greater demand for money. They are more likely to save money and spend less. Money will change hands less quickly. This can have the same effect as a decrease in the money supply. With less people spending, there will be less people to bid up prices. It is possible for prices to fall even if there is monetary inflation.



    But let's remember that falling prices aren't a bad thing. In a recession, where the economy is trying to flush out the bad investments, it helps people that they don't have to pay as much for food, gas, and other items. Price deflation is a cure. It should not be seen as part of the disease.






    Amazon.com: Guild Wars Factions - PC: Amazon Warehouse Deals

    Amazon.com: Guild Wars Factions - PC: Amazon Warehouse Deals



    • Hundreds of new creatures, guild halls, skills and more
    • Two new professions: the deadly Assassin and the necromantic Ritualist
    • A whole new continent, Cantha, either connects to the lands of Tyria or stands on its own
    • Guilds band together into alliances to gain control of towns and access exclusive Alliance Missions
    • New game types include missions with ranked scoring and large-scale Alliance vs. Alliance battles

    Sunday, October 26, 2014

    Phineas Fahrquar on Twitter: "Since Obama was elected... RT @voxdotcom: 6 years of fatal Baghdad car bombings, in 1 map http://t.co/yHf1YCd1J0 http://t.co/vXPhneLVkF"

    Phineas Fahrquar on Twitter: "Since Obama was elected... RT @voxdotcom: 6 years of fatal Baghdad car bombings, in 1 map http://t.co/yHf1YCd1J0 http://t.co/vXPhneLVkF"



    Ukrainians Vote to Face West - The Atlantic

    Ukrainians Vote to Face West - The Atlantic



    Parliamentary elections showed impressive support for pro-European parties. But the impasse in Donetsk and Luhansk is no closer to resolution.




    Famous-Quote.net on Twitter: "Economic ignorance is the breeding ground of totalitarianism. - John Jewkes"

    Famous-Quote.net on Twitter: "Economic ignorance is the breeding ground of totalitarianism. - John Jewkes"

    Download The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (2014) Torrent - KickassTorrents

    Download The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (2014) Torrent - KickassTorrents



    On June 4, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing untold hundreds of people. A quarter-century later, this defining event remains buried in China's modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. In The People's Republic of Amnesia, NPR correspondent Louisa Lim charts how the events of June 4th changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4th by rewriting its own history. 

    Lim reveals new details about those fateful days, including how one of the country's most senior politicians lost a family member to an army bullet, as well as the inside story of the young soldiers sent to clear Tiananmen Square. She also introduces us to individuals whose lives were transformed by the events of Tiananmen Square, such as a founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, whose son was shot by martial law troops; and one of the most important government officials in the country, who post-Tiananmen became one of its most prominent dissidents. And she examines how June 4th shaped China's national identity, fostering a generation of young nationalists, who know little and care less about 1989. For the first time, Lim uncovers the details of a brutal crackdown in a second Chinese city that until now has been a near-perfect case study in the state's ability to rewrite history, excising the most painful episodes. By tracking down eyewitnesses, discovering US diplomatic cables, and combing through official Chinese records, Lim offers the first account of a story that has remained untold for a quarter of a century. The People's Republic of Amnesia is an original, powerfully gripping, and ultimately unforgettable book about a national tragedy and an unhealed wound.

    Liars Never Win on Twitter: "#YesWeDid drive the labor participation rates to the lowest level since the 70’s"

    Liars Never Win on Twitter: "#YesWeDid drive the labor participation rates to the lowest level since the 70’s"

    Conrad Hackett on Twitter: "Say working hard is very important to getting ahead US 73% UK 60 Germany 49 Turkey 38 France 25 Greece 21 China 18 http://t.co/Dv4mGx2Nep"

    Conrad Hackett on Twitter: "Say working hard is very important to getting ahead US 73% UK 60 Germany 49 Turkey 38 France 25 Greece 21 China 18 http://t.co/Dv4mGx2Nep"

    Rh blood group system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Rh blood group system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    A mother who is Rh-negative may develop antibodies to an Rh-positive baby. If a small amount of the baby’s blood mixes with the mother's blood, which often happens in such situations, the mother's body may respond as if it were allergic to the baby. The mother's body may make antibodies to the Rh antigens in the baby’s blood. This means the mother has become sensitized and her antibodies may cross the placenta and attack the baby’s blood. Such an attack breaks down the fetus’s red blood cells, creating anemia (a low number of red blood cells). This condition is called hemolytic disease or hemolytic anemia. It can become severe enough to cause serious illness, brain damage, or even death in the fetus or newborn. Sensitization can occur any time the fetus’s blood mixes with the mother’s blood. It can occur if an Rh-negative woman has had a spontaneous or undetected miscarriage of a Rh positive fetus.




    The Man With the Golden Blood - Slashdot

    The Man With the Golden Blood - Slashdot



    First time accepted submitter Torontoman points out this story of a man with one of the rarest blood types in the world.Forty years ago, when ten-year-old Thomas went into the University Hospital of Geneva with a routine childhood infection, his blood test revealed something very curious: he appeared to be missing an entire blood group system. There are 35 blood group systems, organized according to the genes that carry the information to produce the antigens within each system. The majority of the 342 blood group antigens belong to one of these systems. The Rh system (formerly known as ‘Rhesus’) is the largest, containing 61 antigens. The most important of these Rh antigens, the D antigen, is quite often missing in Caucasians, of whom around 15 per cent are Rh D negative (more commonly, though inaccurately, known as Rh-negative blood). But Thomas seemed to be lacking all the Rh antigens. If this suspicion proved correct, it would make his blood type Rhnull – one of the rarest in the world, and a phenomenal discovery for the hospital hematologists.



    US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors - Slashdot

    US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors - Slashdot



    HughPickens.com writesClifford Davis reports that only 30% of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are qualified to become soldiers primarily due tothree issues: obesity or health problems; lack of a high school education; and criminal histories. While cognitive and moral disqualifications have held steady, weight issues account for 18% of disqualifications, and the number is rising steadily and it's projected to hit 25% by 2025, which Batschelet calls "troubling." The current Army policy is that every recruit, whether enlisting for infantry or graphic design, has to meet the same physical requirements to join — but that requirement may be changing. "Today, we need cyber warriors, so we're starting to recruit for Army Cyber," says Batschelet. "One of the things we're considering is that your [mission] as a cyber warrior is different. Maybe you're not the Ranger who can do 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups and run the 2-mile inside of 10 minutes, but you can crack a data system of an enemy." "We're looking for America's best and brightest just like any Fortune 500 company out there," says Lt. Col. Sharlene Pigg. "We're looking for those men and women who excel in science, technology, engineering and math." Batschelet admits that a drastic change in physical requirements for recruits may be hard for some to swallow. "That's going to be an institutional, cultural change for us to be able to get our heads around that is kind of a different definition of quality," says Batschelet. "I would say it's a modernizing, or defining in a more precise way, what is considered quality for soldiers."



    Ukrainians Vote in Historic Elections, Shifting Power From Russia

    Ukrainians Vote in Historic Elections, Shifting Power From Russia



    DONETSK, Ukraine –- Ukrainians rushed to the polls on Sunday in historic elections in which they ushered in a pro-Western parliament that, for the first time ever, will not include the Communist Party, exit polls indicate.
    In doing so, voters solidified the country’s shift away from Russia’s sphere of influence and removed the legislature elected under its former Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych.


    The monumental vote, largely overshadowed by the ongoing war in Ukraine’s east that has killed more than 3,500 people, was the first parliamentary election in the country since bloody street protests ousted Yanukovych and replaced him with an interim technocratic government in February.
    Western-friendly billionaire businessman Petro Poroshenko, known as the “Chocolate King” for his ownership of the country’s largest confectionary, was elected president in May and dissolved the country’s parliament in August, paving the way for Sunday’s snap elections. 


    Addressing the nation on the eve of the vote, Poroshenko said: "It's time to complete a full reset of power."

    "I believe in a deep upgrade and rejuvenation of the Parliament," the president said. 
    "You will see, this will be a radically new Parliament."
    "You will see, this will be a radically new Parliament."

    While final results are not expected until next week, exit polls showed the pro-Western parties leading by a wide margin over nationalist and far-right parties.

    Poroshenko press secretary Svyatoslav Tsegolko described the result as "a landslide vote of confidence."



    Voter-Ukraine


    A man takes a last look at party lists as he prepares to cast his ballot in Ukraine's parliamentary elections in Mariupol on Sunday.
    IMAGE: EVGENY FELDMAN
    Ukraine uses a mixed electoral system for its parliamentary elections, under which half the country’s parliament is elected by a proportional system of party lists. To enter parliament, a party must win at least 5 percent of votes. The other half is elected through single-mandate voting districts with a plurality rule, meaning the candidate with the most votes will win. The system has allowed for wide-scale rigging in previous elections.

    But the vote on Sunday went off without any major hitches or significant violations, Poroshenkowrote on Twitter.

    Giving him another reason to be pleased, preliminary tallies show his party, Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, came out on top, taking some 24 percent of the vote but not obtaining an absolute majority in parliament. Consequently, the president will likely be forced to form a coalition government with the Popular Front party of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, which got about 23 percent.



    Following them in Sunday’s vote was the Western-leaning Samopomosch Party with just under 13 percent. The Radial Party of pitchfork-wielding politician Oleh Lyashko, who billed himself a "kingmaker" in the run-up to elections, took a mere 8 percent.

    Meanwhile, the right-wing nationalist Svoboda Party took a little more than 7 percent of the vote, and the Batkivshchyna Party of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko took less than 6 percent percent, a disappointing turnout for the former political prisoner whose popularity has plummeted since her release.

    But the big news of the night was that, for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, the pro-Russian Communist Party failed to win the 5 percent of votes needed to enter parliament and will therefore will not be represented in the new government.


    Three other parties failed to break the threshold, including the pro-Russian Strong Ukraine party, and the far-right Right Sector party.

    Opora, an election watchdog, reported that turnout was 51 percent. However, due to the ongoing war in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and hundreds of thousands of residents were effectively disenfranchised.

    By some estimates, just 25 percent of residents in Luhansk region and 45 percent in Donetsk region were able to vote. More than 800,000 people have been internally displaced since the onslaught of the conflict in April, according to the United Nations.
    Ukraine-billboard


    A black PR campaign poster in Dnipropetrovsk, eastern Ukraine encourages voters to cast their ballot for Opposition Bloc and Viktor Yanukovych, the former president who was overthrown by protesters in February and now lives in self-imposed exile in Russia.
    IMAGE: EVGENY FELDMAN
    In Mariupol, a seaside city about 70 miles south of Donetsk, voters turned out in big numbers to cast their ballots.

    One voter was Marisya, who declined to give her last name for fear of persecution. But the 75-year-old said she had voted for the Opposition Bloc, "because I don't trust the current Ukrainian authorities: They've ruined our Donetsk and almost surrendered our Mariupol."

    Alexandr Mitrofanovich, 64, also voted for Opposition Bloc, he said, "because Mariupol's voice has to be heard in parliament."

    In several surrounding cities, voters found themselves unable to cast their ballots as separatist leaders did not allow for Ukrainian parliamentary elections to be held in the areas they control. Moscow-backed rebels are planning to hold their own elections on Nov. 2 to choose a prime minister and a legislature of their own as they attempt to legitimize the self-declared “people’s republics.”



    In Donetsk, the unofficial separatist capital, the only elections on locals’ minds on Sunday were their own. A rally in a central city park brought out street vendors serving traditional food from Russia and Belarus while costumed performers danced on stage to howling female vocalists.

    Camouflaged-clad gunmen roamed the crowd, acting as security. Some, however, brought their families. A rebel dad carried his young son atop his shoulders with his machine gun in tow as his wife held his arm. Several others strolled to a pizzeria, where those dressed in fatigues outnumbered others who weren’t sporting such attire.

    Kiev has said it will not recognize the separatist elections next weekend.
    End-of-Elections-Ukraine


    Mariupol election officials dump out ballots as they prepare to count votes in Ukraine's parliamentary elections on Sunday night.
    IMAGE: EVGENY FELDMAN
    Evgeny Feldman contributed to this story from Mariupol.

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