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Thursday, September 12, 2013

One World Trade Center & Washington Monument Time-Lapse 2004-2013!

Watch this commemorative time-lapse movie, highlighting progress at the World Trade Center site from October 2004 to September 2013. Witness the rise of One World Trade Center, including the installation of the spire, bringing it to a staggering height of 1,776 feet. Hundreds of thousands of high definition images were captured over the past 9 years and hand-edited for this special time-lapse movie.

The Washington Monument is currently closed for repairs due to damage sustained from an earthquake in 2011. Watch as local crews secure scaffolding to the entire structure in this hand-edited time-lapse movie. In the culminating images, watch as the flip was switched for 488 lights attached to the scaffolding, turning this iconic landmark into a work of art.

Putin to Obama: "God created us equal!"

A Plea for Caution From Russia
What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
Published: September 11, 2013  
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal

This coming from the leader of a communist nation? Hmm!
 
America responds:
  • Say what you will about the Russians and Mr. Putin in particular. This reaching out is unprecedented. Surly our country and our leaders cannot ignore this gesture from the Russian government. We, at the very least, should meet this offer in sincerity and in the hope, that something good and lasting will come of the discussions between our two nations. The stakes are far too high to let this moment over take either one of our nations. Put aside mistrust and bad feeling for the moment, and try find and do something positive for the world. The killing needs to stop. We really can live in peace with each other if only we would really try.
  • Well written. I appreciate hearing Putin's thoughts directly, and hopefully his open letter to the US can be reciprocated, allowing Obama to directly address the Russian people on important topics. Putin's claim that the originators of the gas attack likely were Syrian rebels requires the same evidence of proof as Obama's claim the attack was made by the Syrian government. "Trust me, I know" isn't sufficient. However, if he is right, that may increase the chance of US military action, because if the Syrian government has lost control of their enormous chemical weapons stockpile that arguably is a direct threat to US national security. 
  • I find it particularly funny almost, the way he admonishes the world. We know he is providing aid to the Syrian government, probably both militarily and financially. He speaks of the U.N. and its great "leverage" but fails to mention he is the one causing it to go down the path of the league of nations by using what was supposed to be a emergency veto option multiple times, actually every time a Syrian resolution comes up. He loosely tries to convince that there is some reason to believe the rebels were responsible when every single piece of evidence points to Assad, including a U.N. committees report that the regime is behind 8 chemical weapons attacks while the rebels are behind one. 
  • As much as I disagree with President Putin, I'll admit that he has a much clearer message than Obama. I wish that Obama would show a little more leadership. I get the impression that he really has no idea what he's doing when it comes to foreign policy and is just making it up as he goes. It's pretty worrisome when the public starts to trust Putin more than the US President.
  • Finally a powerful foreign leader has the guts to point out the hubris of a country that constantly not only calls itself 'exceptional', but is populated by a majority never having set foot in another country in their life considering it 'the greatest country in the world'.
  • I wish I could feel that Mr. Putin was being sincere here. If nothing else, he has a fabulous writer. But at my age, having grown up during the Cold War and witnessed all sorts of tricks, lies, distortions, and manipulations by the old Soviet Regime, I just have some doubts. As an ex-KBG agent, Mr. Putin may not be my age, but he was trained in the old Soviet culture. I think the main thing that really strikes me here is how myopic the US can be to its image around the world. We pay lip service to the idea that certain actions will "surely win us more enmity around the world," but we usually go on our merry way trying to get our way. 
  • Quite possibly, Putin's intended audience is not the American people, but the citizens of the rest of the world. He wants to be their hero -- standing up to the US, pointing out our hypocrisy. I don't trust Putin, but I think he is exploiting a weakness that the US needs to correct, namely, that we are far too mired in self-delusional, campaign-style spin -- even on the international stage, e.g. that we'd be welcomed as liberators in Iraq, that President Obama's Syria strategy was a high-level chess game and played out exactly the way he planned. 
  • I am amazed that this op-ed would be generating such positive responses. How dare the leader of Russia, who's human rights record leaves much to be desired, have the nerve to lecture the United States and the American people about moral standards. Under Putin's leadership, civil liberties and the right to voice opposition to the government are the worst since Russia became a democracy. This is who everyone is praising? I don't really see what difference it makes who launched the attack. 

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