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Saturday, April 30, 2016

At Last, America First!

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/04/patrick-j-buchanan/last-america-first/

At Last, America First!

By
April 30, 2016
Whether the establishment likes it or not, and it evidently does not, there is a revolution going on in America.
The old order in this capital city is on the way out, America is crossing a great divide, and there is no going back.
Donald Trump’s triumphant march to the nomination in Cleveland, virtually assured by his five-state sweep Tuesday, confirms it, as does his foreign policy address on Wednesday.
Two minutes into his speech before the Center for the National Interest, Trump declared that the “major and overriding theme” of his administration will be — “America first.” Right down the smokestack!
Gutsy and brazen it was to use that phrase, considering the demonization of the great anti-war movement of 1940-41, which was backed by the young patriots John F. Kennedy and his brother Joe, Gerald Ford and Sargent Shriver, and President Hoover and Alice Roosevelt.
Whether the issue is a trade, immigration or foreign policy, says Trump, “we are putting the American people first again.” U.S. policy will be dictated by U.S. national interests. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/04/patrick-j-buchanan/last-america-first/

The Trump Test Anti-interventionism in the age of revolt

The Trump Test
Anti-interventionism in the age of revolt


http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/04/28/the-trump-test/

Six maps that will make you rethink the world - The Washington Post

Six maps that will make you rethink the world - The Washington Post

Daniel Berrigan, poet, peacemaker, dies at 94


Daniel Berrigan, poet, peacemaker, dies at 94


http://ncronline.org/news/people/daniel-berrigan-poet-peacemaker-dies-94

U.S. Torpedoing the Nuclear Deal Will Reaffirm Iran’s Distrust

U.S. Torpedoing the Nuclear Deal Will Reaffirm Iran’s Distrust

The Missing Link in the Debate about US Middle East Strategy

The Missing Link in the Debate about US Middle East Strategy


The debate about a new US strategy in the Middle East, upon the change of guards in Washington, is often dominated by a distinct military perspective and a single focus on regional security defined in an excessively narrow terms. In...Click here for the full report
http://mebriefing.com/?p=2286

Splits Inside the White House about Syria while the Road Forward is Clear to All

Splits Inside the White House about Syria while the Road Forward is Clear to All


Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said Friday April 22, "The movement of any additional Russian military support into Syria would be inconsistent with our shared objective of getting a political process moving". Russia has repositioned artillery near the city...Click here for the full report
http://mebriefing.com/?p=2285

US-GCC: Another Step towards NATO's Role in Gulf Security

While President Barack Obama was hardly welcomed with open arms during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, behind the scenes, progress is being made on a new "trilateral alliance," involving the United States, NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)...Click here for the full report
http://mebriefing.com/?p=2284

Mohammed Ben Salman Opens Saudi Arabia's Road to the Future

Mohammed Ben Salman Opens Saudi Arabia's Road to the Future


Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Ben Salman laid out his economic plan for Saudi Arabia 2030. The vision, if applied, means the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be transformed profoundly in all aspects. While the plan may lead to positioning...Click here for the full report
http://mebriefing.com/?p=2283

Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails

 

Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails


https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/30/hillary-clintons-damning-emails/

Friday, April 29, 2016

Close-up View of Easter Paradoxes

Close-up View of Easter Paradoxes
http://archny.org/news/close-up-view-of-easter-paradoxes

The way back to the US-Russia negotiating table

http://thebulletin.org/way-back-us-russia-negotiating-table9355

21 April 2016

The way back to the US-Russia negotiating table

Lawrence J. Korb

Lawrence J. Korb

Lawrence J. Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is also an adjunct professor of security...
Since coming into office, President Obama has made reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the United States and the world a high priority. In fact, in his April 2009 speech in Prague, he pledged to seek a world without nuclear weapons. His initial efforts produced an arms control agreement with Russia in 2010, New START; it requires both sides to reduce the number of their deployed nuclear weapons to no more than 1,550 by 2018.
Since then, however, his efforts to control the world’s most dangerous weapons have not just stalled; Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, appear ready to embark on a Cold War-style nuclear arms race. To prevent both countries from taking such a dangerous and costly course, the president should try to bring the Russians back to the negotiating table before he leaves office. The prospects for getting the Russians to the table do not appear promising at this time. But Obama can take a number of steps that would be good for the United States and put pressure on the Russians to resume negotiations. These steps can be placed in five categories. http://thebulletin.org/way-back-us-russia-negotiating-table9355

How Clinton and Obama tried to run the world — while trying to manage each other

How Clinton and Obama tried to run the world — while trying to manage each other

Review of "Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle for American Power" by Mark Landler

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2016/04/29/how-clinton-and-obama-tried-to-run-the-world-while-trying-to-manage-each-other/ 

WPR Articles April 22 — April 29


WPR Articles April 22 — April 29

Island Deal Backlash Signals the Honeymoon Is Over for Egypt’s El-Sissi

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
Two years ago, the Egyptian people spared no adjective in praise of their savior, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who in turn framed his lightning-fast rise to power as an expression of the people’s will. When he ran for president in 2014, he won in a landslide. But now the honeymoon is over.

From Australia to the EU, Can International Law Actually Protect Refugees?

By: Karina Piser | Trend Lines
A recent deal between the EU and Turkey for mass returns of refugees from Greece to Turkey has come under fire for its illegality. But Europe isn’t alone in taking advantage of the nonbinding nature of international law. For years, Australia has been criticized for shipping refugees to offshore detention centers.

Facing a Shifting Latin America, Venezuela’s Maduro Doubles Down

By: David Smilde | Briefing
A series of crises at home, including a new plan to ration electricity, are not the only issues facing Venezuela. Abroad, the regional coalition forged by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is starting to unravel, complicating international relations for Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro.

Ukraine Faces Rejection Abroad and Upheaval at Home

By: David Klion | Briefing
More than two years after protests ousted corrupt President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine remains mired in corruption at all levels. The country’s recent political upheaval points to the need for a series of reforms that, while not especially likely, will be crucial if European integration is ever to succeed.

Don’t Kill the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review—Fix It

By: Steven Metz | Column
A bill recently introduced in Congress proposes getting rid of the Defense Department’s much-criticized Quadrennial Defense Review and replacing it with two other classified strategy documents. To an extent, criticisms of the QDR are warranted, but simply throwing it out may not be the best option.

As President, Trump Would Definitely Change the U.S. Military—but How?

By: Steven Metz | Column
Even if he wins the GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump’s bid for the White House remains a long shot. But strange things can happen in elections. While a Trump presidency may be unlikely, it would have far-ranging repercussions, particularly for U.S. defense policy and the American military.

Cuba’s Communists Face Contradiction of Economic Reform vs. Ideology

By: William M. LeoGrande | Briefing
Cuba’s Communist Party congress this week focused on the economic, political and ideological challenges facing the party. On the questions of how to stimulate growth and manage relations with Washington, Cuba’s leadership faces inherent tensions between economic imperatives and political necessity.

U.S. Presidential Candidates Shake Things Up on Foreign Policy

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Peter Dörrie discuss Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority; the U.K. referendum on EU membership; and instability in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. For the Report, Michael Cohen joins us to talk about foreign policy in the U.S. presidential election.

It’s Time for the U.N. to Refresh Its Neglected Cease-Fire Monitoring Skills

By: Richard Gowan | Column
International efforts to monitor the unraveling cessation of hostilities in Syria have been paltry, in part because the U.S. and Russia prefer a certain degree of opacity there. But even if they had wanted an effective international presence in Syria, it would have been hard to pull together.

Why Nagorno-Karabakh’s Conflict Turned Hot—and Could Again

By: Michael Cecire | Briefing
The recent intense fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh should be seen not as an isolated flashpoint, but as the culmination of years of escalating tensions. The regional economic downturn and antagonism between Russia and Turkey only add to the volatility.

With Amendments and Muslim Brotherhood Curbs, Jordan Follows Saudi Lead

By: Frederick Deknatel | Trend Lines
Earlier this month, Jordan shuttered the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Amman. With King Abdullah’s other recent moves, including constitutional amendments to consolidate his power, the restrictions look like part of a general closing of political space in Jordan in the name of national security.

Can Vietnam’s New Leadership Deliver on ‘Last Good Chance’ for Change?

By: David Brown | Feature
In January, Nguyen Phu Trong, head of the Communist Party of Vietnam, fought off a challenge for the party’s top job. If Trong can also successfully fight corruption, Vietnam could become a competitive player in the global economy. But a crackdown on dissent could still undermine that opportunity.

Despite Optics of Obama’s Gulf Trip, U.S.-GCC Cooperation Remains Robust

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
The readout from President Barack Obama’s trip last week to the Gulf reflects ongoing strains in his relations with the Gulf monarchs. Both sides share responsibility, and it will take time to shift perceptions in the region so that the ongoing cooperation taking place is viewed more positively.

Serbia Needs More Than Token Measures to Fight Corruption

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Last week, Serbian police arrested 49 people, including officials from several government ministries and state-run businesses, on allegations of corruption, as part of a larger anti-graft campaign. In an email interview, Petrus C. van Duyne discussed Serbia’s fight against corruption.

West Africa’s Regional Force Against Boko Haram Is a Political Prop

By: Alex Thurston | Briefing
In March, Benin announced that it would contribute 150 soldiers to the Multinational Joint Task Force, a 9,000-soldier West African coalition fighting Boko Haram. But rather than an integrated military outfit, the force is primarily a political prop, taking advantage of the optics of regional integration.

U.S. Special Ops in Syria: In the Fight Against Terror, Less Is More

By: Michael A. Cohen | Column
President Barack Obama’s deployment of an additional 250 special operations forces to Syria has raised fears of another military quagmire in the Middle East. These fears are natural, but if anything, the move represents what the U.S. war on terrorism after 9/11 always should have looked like.

Why Austria’s Far-Right Freedom Party Is On the Rise Again

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, Norbert Hofer, the candidate from the far-right Freedom Party, came in first place with 36 percent of the vote. In an email interview, the University of Vienna’s Thomas Meyer discussed the elections and the state of politics in Austria.

Election Defeat Complicates Park’s Plans in South Korea

By: J. Berkshire Miller | Briefing
South Korea’s ruling conservative Saenuri Party, led by President Park Geun-hye, is looking for answers after a crushing loss earlier this month in legislative elections. The stunning reversal will reshape South Korea’s political landscape and constrain Park’s ability to pursue several domestic initiatives.

Old Guard Victorious in Vietnam’s Power Struggle

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and host Peter Dörrie discuss violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, U.N. cease-fire monitoring, and West Africa’s regional anti-Boko Haram force. For the Report, David Brown discusses Vietnam’s leadership battles and prospects for economic growth.

Scottish Independence Back on the Table as Brexit Gains Momentum

By: Maria Savel | Trend Lines
Recent polls show 45 percent of Britons in favor of staying in the EU. In Scotland that figure is higher, with some polls putting it at up to 70 percent. Not surprisingly, the specter of a new Scottish independence referendum has been raised as another potential risk of the U.K. voting for a Brexit.

Technology Transfer Is a Weak Link in the Global Health System

By: Jeremy Youde | Briefing
In mid-April, the Ugandan government admitted that the country’s only functioning cancer treatment machine had broken earlier that month. The episode illustrated the larger problems in global health around issues of technology transfers and long-term commitments to keep that technology working.

Obama Is Siding with Saudi Arabia over 9/11 Victims | The National Interest Blog

Obama Is Siding with Saudi Arabia over 9/11 Victims | The National Interest Blog

The U.S. Economy Officially Joins The Global Economic Slowdown – 1st Quarter GDP Comes In At 0.5%

The U.S. Economy Officially Joins The Global Economic Slowdown – 1st Quarter GDP Comes In At 0.5%

Trump’s Message to the DC Foreign-Policy Establishment: 'You’re Fired!' | The National Interest Blog

Trump’s Message to the DC Foreign-Policy Establishment: 'You’re Fired!' | The National Interest Blog

The Islamic State Is to Islam as Moonshine Is to Whisky - FPIF

The Islamic State Is to Islam as Moonshine Is to Whisky - FPIF

All of us are called to be witnesses | National Catholic Reporter

All of us are called to be witnesses | National Catholic Reporter

Report: Pope considering global peace as topic of next Synod of Bishops | National Catholic Reporter

Report: Pope considering global peace as topic of next Synod of Bishops | National Catholic Reporter

Giving better Bibles to bishops | National Catholic Reporter

Giving better Bibles to bishops | National Catholic Reporter

Do not lose sight of the nuclear war threat: Tools of resistance | Global Sisters Report

Do not lose sight of the nuclear war threat: Tools of resistance | Global Sisters Report

Suspects arrested in alleged plot against Vatican, Israeli embassy | National Catholic Reporter

Suspects arrested in alleged plot against Vatican, Israeli embassy | National Catholic Reporter

China, Russia are boosting military cooperation - Business Insider

China, Russia are boosting military cooperation - Business Insider

China denies request for Hong Kong port call by US aircraft carrier - Business Insider

China denies request for Hong Kong port call by US aircraft carrier - Business Insider

Xiaomi launching smartwatch in second half of 2016 - Business Insider

Xiaomi launching smartwatch in second half of 2016 - Business Insider

4 maps China dominating global trade - Business Insider

4 maps China dominating global trade - Business Insider

How George McGovern Made Donald Trump Possible

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-george-mcgovern-made-donald-trump-possible-1461884978

How George McGovern Made Donald Trump Possible

Republicans adopted the 1970 nominating reforms that even Democrats have long since modified.

By
Philip Terzian
April 28, 2016 
My office moved recently, and among the gems recovered from my swollen bookshelves was a 64-page brochure, printed in 1970 and bound in orange, titled Mandate for Reform. It was the report of the Commission on Party Structure and Delegate Selection to the Democratic National Convention, called the McGovern Commission after its chairman, Sen. George McGovern.http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-george-mcgovern-made-donald-trump-possible-1461884978

Its business, nothing personal


Its business, nothing personal


In an interview published by the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warns that Russia will be scaling up “military-technical” measures against Sweden if Stockholm moves closer to NATO.
“It is every country’s right to decide the arrangements for their safety, but one must understand that if the military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders , then we will of course take the necessary military-technical measures. Nothing personal in it, it is just pure business,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov was clear that if Sweden moved from neutrality to NATO relations would change, not because Sweden would be seen as an aggressor but because its military infrastructure would be integrated with NATO’s supreme command.
The nature of measures to be taken were not specified. https://www.neweurope.eu/article/lavrov-warns-sweden-stay-clear-off-nato/

Six maps that will make you rethink the world

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/29/six-maps-that-will-make-you-rethink-the-world/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_6-maps-950a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory


Six maps that will make you rethink the world

By Ana Swanson April 29 2016
We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms — a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than 200 nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete.
Khanna is the author of the new book “Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization,” in which he argues that the arc of global history is undeniably bending toward integration. Instead of the boundaries that separate sovereign nations, the lines that we should put on our maps are the high-speed railways, broadband cables and shipping routes that connect us, he says. And instead of focusing on nation-states, we should focus on the dozens of mega-cities that house most of the world’s people and economic growth.
I spoke with Khanna about several of the incredible maps from his book, which he uses to illustrate some proposals for our future world that might, at first glance, seem pretty far out — like dividing the United States into seven economic mega-regions or politically integrating North America. But with the world rapidly changing and urbanizing, these proposals might be the best way to confront a radically different future.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
One of the most impressive maps in your book is the map of the world’s mega-cities. You say that by 2030, more than 70 percent of people will live in cities, and that these cities matter a lot more than the countries that they’re in. What does this map tell us? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/29/six-maps-that-will-make-you-rethink-the-world/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_6-maps-950a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Westinghouse Expands Nuclear Fuel Factory in Sweden

Westinghouse Expands Nuclear Fuel Factory in Sweden


http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2016/04/westinghouse-expands-nuclear-fuel-factory-in-sweden.html?cmpid=enl-poe-weekly-april-29-2016&cmpid=enl_PE_Weekly_2016-04-29&eid=288118515&bid=1390570

What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing by Andrew Levine

What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing



http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/29/what-is-the-democratic-party-good-for-absolutely-nothing/

Has the Time Come to Consider Criminalising Tax Avoidance?

 
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/has-the-time-come-to-consider-criminalising-tax-avoidance.html

How the New York Times Helped Hillary Hide the Hawk

 
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/how-the-new-york-times-helped-hillary-hide-the-hawk.html

Michael Hudson: The Wall Street Economy is Draining the Real Economy

Michael Hudson: The Wall Street Economy is Draining the Real Economy


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/michael-hudson-the-wall-street-economy-is-draining-the-real-economy.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

The Week With IPS

Click here for the online version of this IPS newsletter   

Violence Against Women Journalists Threatens Media Freedom
Tharanga Yakupitiyage
For women journalists, violence and intimidation don't just happen in conflict zones, they are every day experiences. “You don’t even have to be in a conflict zone to be violated anymore,” New York Times reporter and author of the Taliban Shuffle Kim Barker said Wednesday at the launch of a ... MORE > >

UN Predicts 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030
Thalif Deen
Ten presidents and prime ministers from around the world will work together to resolve the growing global water crisis amid warnings that the world may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030. The figures continue to be staggering:  despite improvements, at least 663 ... MORE > >

How We Can Keep Press Freedom from Withering Away?
Farhana Haque Rahman, Director General, Inter Press Service
Media freedoms appear increasingly under siege around the world, with concerning signs that achieving middle-income status is no guarantee for an independent political watchdog in the form of the press. Farhana Haque Rahman The news is constant and disheartening. The death this week of ... MORE > >

Why we need to stand united against governments cracking down on dissent
Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah
Last month, after receiving threats for opposing a hydroelectric project, Berta Caceres, a Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, was murdered. A former winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for her opposition to one of Central America’s biggest hydropower projects, Berta was ... MORE > >

Opinion: Increasing Productivity Key to Revive Growth and Support Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
Shamshad Akhtar
The Asia-Pacific region’s successful achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development needs to be driven by broad-based productivity gains and rebalancing of economies towards domestic and regional demand. This is the main message of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific ... MORE > >

Playing Ping Pong with Disability
Silvia Boarini
Despite formally adopting progressive laws, such as Law Number 4, and ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, Palestinian authorities still struggle to get beyond rhetoric when it comes to supporting the 7 to 11 per cent of the population that is affected by ... MORE > >

Times of Violence and Resistance for Latin American Journalists
Daniela Pastrana
Mexico is the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. In 2015 it accounted for one-third of all murders of reporters in the region, and four more journalists have been added to the list so far this year. The latest, Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, was shot dead outside his home in ... MORE > >

Why the World Needs a UN Leader Who Stands Up for Human Rights
Anna Neistat
Last August, Balla Hadji, a 61-year-old truck driver in Bangui in the Central African Republic, was having breakfast with his wife when they heard shots outside. He ran out to call his daughter inside, but troops were already there, and shot him in the back as he ran away. His 16-year-old son, ... MORE > >

The Hypocrisy of the West and Fiscal Paradise
Roberto Savio
The publication of the Panama Papers has now been digested, like any scandal, after just a few days. We are now getting so accustomed to scandals, that it is confusing, and the general public reaction often is: all are corrupt and politics is all about corruption. Roberto SavioThis, of ... MORE > >

Choose Humanity: Make the Impossible Choice Possible!
Herve Verhoosel
We have arrived at the point of no return. At this very moment the world is witnessing the highest level of humanitarian needs since World War Two. We are experiencing a human catastrophe on a titanic scale: 125 million in dire need of assistance, over 60 million people forcibly displaced, and 218 ... MORE > >

Organised Civil Society Increasingly Hemmed In by Global Elites
Constanza Vieira
Collusion, according to the dictionary, means “secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others.” That is what the world’s political and economic elites engage in, according to Danny Sriskandarajah, secretary general of the international civil society ... MORE > >

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bishop Barron on Bill Nye and Philosophy


Bishop Barron on Bill Nye and Philosophy

http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/video/bishop-barron-on-bill-nye-and-philosophy/5152/

Inequality Will Increase Until There’s a Revolution

Inequality Will Increase Until There’s a Revolution

IPsoft Amelia profile - Business Insider

IPsoft Amelia profile - Business Insider

Democrats: Party Of The Rich | The American Conservative

Democrats: Party Of The Rich | The American Conservative

Barack Obama Readies For Final TPP Push, Which Could Benefit Presidential Library Donors

Barack Obama Readies For Final TPP Push, Which Could Benefit Presidential Library Donors

Pentagon Gong Show


Pentagon Gong Show


http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/27/pentagon-gong-show/

Op-Ed The battle for truth over Saudi Arabia's ties to 9/11


Op-Ed

The battle for truth over Saudi Arabia's ties to 9/11

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0427-bacevich-28-pages-saudi-911-20160427-story.html

FBI’s flawed forensics expert testimony: Hair analysis, bite marks, fingerprints, arson.

FBI’s flawed forensics expert testimony: Hair analysis, bite marks, fingerprints, arson.

NASA maps Zika's potential spread in the U.S. - CNN.com

NASA maps Zika's potential spread in the U.S. - CNN.com

Former Tax Lobbyists Are Writing the Rules on Tax Dodging

Former Tax Lobbyists Are Writing the Rules on Tax Dodging

Trump reboots the US foreign-policy debate

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/trump-reboots-us-foreign-policy-debate-leon-hadar?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish
Trump reboots the US foreign-policy debate
His "America First" message is one of nationalism, not globalism
By Leon Hadar
Published originally in the Business Times of Singapore
Mr Trump is confident that Americans, tired of military interventions that go nowhere and of trade deals that rob them of jobs, would be drawn to his nationalist diatribe. PHOTO: AFP
APR 29, 20165:50 AM
Washington
SINCE the end of the 1960s, when American military intervention in Southeast Asia triggered a long and bitter public debate, students of American politics and US foreign policy seemed to be operating based on the following axiom:
The Democratic Party and the liberal politicians and intellectuals who embodied its values were representative of a school of thought that advocated foreign-policy restraint and placed emphasis on resolving international crises through the use of diplomatic means, as opposed to military force.
Republicans and conservatives, on the other hand, embraced a foreign-policy agenda that accentuated the need to maintain a strong US defence posture and apply it, if necessary, in response to national-security threats, recognising that diplomacy worked only if it was backed by military force. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/trump-reboots-us-foreign-policy-debate-leon-hadar?trk=hp-feed-article-title-publish

Fear of a Hot Planet « LobeLog

Fear of a Hot Planet « LobeLog

Fear of a Hot Planet

LobeLog logo

3833138_e5ab1f2c
Published on April 28th, 2016 | http://lobelog.com/fear-of-a-hot-planet/#more-33997

Fear of a Hot Planet

by John Feffer
An extreme weather event hits Norway. Finally shocked into doing something radical about climate change, Norwegian citizens propel the Green Party into government, where it declares an immediate suspension of oil and gas production. The new prime minister promises to provide Europe instead with electricity from the next generation of “clean” nuclear power.
The European Union, heavily dependent on Norwegian hydrocarbons, isn’t happy. At the behest of Brussels, Russian commandos kidnap the Green prime minister and force him to restart the flow of oil and gas. To ensure compliance, the Russians become a shadow occupation force. The prime minister is desperate to avoid bloodshed and so tries to accommodate his new “partners.” Most Norwegians don’t see much change in their everyday lives. Some citizens, however, prepare to fight back.
This is the plot of Occupy, a Norwegian TV drama now available for streaming on Netflix. Some of the plot is all too plausible. For instance, Europe is indeed dependent on Norwegian energy. Norway is the second largest supplier of oil to the EU (at 12 percent) and the second largest supplier of natural gas (at 30 percent), in both cases after Russia. It’s not inconceivable that an extreme weather event could hit Norway. Major hurricanes routinely hit the country.
And perhaps the Norwegian Greens could some day take over the government, even though the party only has one seat in parliament after achieving a little less than 3 percent in the 2013 elections. Even without the Greens taking over, Norwegian politicians across the political spectrum take climate change very seriously. Just last month, the Norwegian parliamentoverwhelmingly passed legislation that will force the country to meet stringent carbon emission caps. Only the right-wing, anti-immigrant Progress Party — now, admittedly, the third largest party in the country — challenges the scientific consensus that humans are behind global warming.
Other elements of Occupy are perhaps less plausible. Norway is indeed researching new, presumably safer nuclear power plants, but these alternatives might never prove viable. Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine Russia and the EU teaming up to do anything — not even a game of mixed doubles, much less a soft invasion of a Scandinavian country. Presumably, Russia would welcome a Norwegian oil and gas stoppage, which would give Moscow more access to European markets and more leverage over Brussels.
And taking over Crimea is one thing — Finlandizing Norway quite another. Russia has historically had good relations with Norway, going back to the Soviet expulsion of the Nazis in World War II. The operation of Russian troops outside the “near abroad” of former Soviet lands with significant Russian-speaking populations is not in the cards.
Still, Occupy is a gripping drama, and an important reminder of the life-and-death stakes involved in petropolitics. Governments should indeed be embarking on radical efforts to cut back on carbon emissions, to which there will be considerable pushback. In the end, however, I suspect we’ll see a different kind of “occupation.”
Before I sketch out that scenario, let’s take a closer look at the Paris accord on climate change, signed last week at the UN on Earth Day, and its likely impact. http://lobelog.com/fear-of-a-hot-planet/#more-33997

Apple isn't alone: Global smartphone market shrinks for first time in history | ZDNet

Apple isn't alone: Global smartphone market shrinks for first time in history | ZDNet

UN Rejects Israel’s Claim To The Golan Heights As Top Rabbis Await The Messiah’s Imminent Arrival

UN Rejects Israel’s Claim To The Golan Heights As Top Rabbis Await The Messiah’s Imminent Arrival

Watch Bill Clinton, Larry Summers, and Phil Gramm Have a Love Fest Over Repeal of Glass Steagall


Watch Bill Clinton, Larry Summers, and Phil Gramm Have a Love Fest Over Repeal of Glass Steagall

Posted on by
Michael M. Thomas insisted, correctly, that we post on a wee bit of history unearthed by Daily Bail: a video showing the key actors in the passage of the bill that formally ended Glass Steagall patting each other on the back. Well, almost all of the key actors. Most of the speakers make a point of singling out former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin as a moving force, along with former New York Senator Al Damato. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/04/watch-bill-clinton-larry-summers-and-phil-gramm-have-a-love-fest-over-repeal-of-glass-steagall.html

Pentagon Gong Show Popinjay Military

Pentagon Gong Show
Popinjay Military
It should be clear that the Global War on Terror (GWOT) launched by George W. Bush and perpetuated by Barack Obama is a bust.  It is now the longest war in US history; it is now the second most expensive war in US history; and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  
Yet despite the GWOT’s astronomical cost, forces deployed and combat tempos are minuscule when compared the those of the far lower cost Viet Nam War.  Nevertheless, the top uniformed and civilian officials in the Pentagon are whining to Congress that these tepid tempos have created a looming readiness crisis. They assert the relatively small cutbacks in the future growth implied by the budget caps of Budget Control Act of 2011 to what is by far the largest defense budget in the world is now the “gravest strategic danger” facing the United States! http://chuckspinney.blogspot.com/2016/04/pentagon-gong-show.html