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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why does this man want to end the U.S.-Israel special relationship?



http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.586082

In a no-holds barred conversation, Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev talks at length with Prof. Stephen Walt, coauthor of the notorious 'Israel Lobby,' about accusations of anti-Semitism and U.S. foreign policy."

Is climate change the new slavery? By Gillen D’Arcy Wood

Is climate change the new slavery?


http://grist.org/climate-energy/is-climate-change-the-new-slavery/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520April%252017&utm_campaign=daily

NSA Spying Seems Here to Stay by Jim Hightower Stillwater News Press

NSA Spying Seems Here to Stay
by Jim Hightower
Stillwater News Press

http://www.stwnewspress.com/opinion/x493465100/JIM-HIGHTOWER-NSA-spying-seems-here-to-stay

President Obama's misplaced nuclear priorities

CACNP

The recent crisis in Ukraine highlights how important it is to work with our international partners to keep nuclear material safe and to ensure that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Two decades ago, the US cooperated with Russia to remove nuclear weapons from Ukrainian soil - just imagine how different today's standoff might be if Ukraine still had nuclear weapons on its territory. Indeed, President Obama says that the fear of "loose nukes," or unsecured nuclear material, is what keeps him up at night.
But his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015 tells a different story.
The President's budget makes major cuts to nonproliferation programs that curb threats like loose nukes. At the same time, it increases funding for nuclear weapons by hundreds of millions of dollars.
A recent Mother Jones article cites the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation's research on the troubling trends in the nuclear budget. Take a look at this chart, which illustrates how funding for nuclear weapons is going up - while funding for non-proliferation and nuclear security is going down:

Then, make sure you read the entire Mother Jones piece, which quotes the Center's James Lewis.
You might also be interested in:
  • A fact sheet by Kingston Reif with more detail on the President's proposed budget for nonproliferation and nuclear security;
  • Also by Kingston Reif, a column in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about how the crisis in Ukraine will affect the future of nuclear non-proliferation;
  • To mark the 5th anniversary of President Obama's speech in Prague about his vision of a nuclear-free world, an analysis on Nukes of Hazard by Andrew Szarejko on how the President's nuclear agenda is progressing five years on.
Thank you for your interest in the Center's work.

Sincerely,

John Isaacs
Executive Director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

U.S. Anti-Tank Rockets in Syria: What Did Congress Say?

Apparently, the U.S. press doesn't think the question of who exactly in Washington approved shipping U.S. anti-tank weapons to "moderate rebels" in Syria is very interesting, even though anti-tank weapons sent to "moderate rebels" in the past wound up in the hands of a group of jihadists "so savage that it has been expelled from al-Qaeda" who are now using them against the U.S.-backed Iraqi army.

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/

Harry Reid: The Desert Fox Of Corruption

Harry Reid: The Desert Fox Of Corruption


http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/041514-697268-bundy-ranch-harry-reid-rory-reid.htm

Exposing the NSA: A Public Service Worthy of a Pulitzer Prize

 
 
 

Exposing the NSA: A Public Service Worthy of a Pulitzer Prize

The national-security state and its apologists don't see it that way—which is why we have the First Amendment.
Apr 16 2014, 6:51 AM ET
 
Earlier this week, journalism's most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize for public serice, was given to two newspapers for their exposés of mass surveillance by the U.S. government. The award citation praised the Washington Post for "its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” The Guardian was recognized for "aggressive reporting" that helped "to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.”

Iran ahead of schedule in complying with nuclear deal, UN watchdog says

Iran ahead of schedule in complying with nuclear deal, UN watchdog says

The IAEA reported that Iran has significantly reduced its stockpile of near bomb-grade enriched uranium and is moving more quickly than required to dispose of remaining stocks by mid-July.


http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2014/0417/Iran-ahead-of-schedule-in-complying-with-nuclear-deal-UN-watchdog-says

America's Fear of Iranian Nuclear Power Is Overblown

America's Fear of Iranian Nuclear Power Is Overblown

U.S. hawks aren't telling the full story about Iran's agenda.


http://reason.com/archives/2014/04/17/americas-fear-of-iranian-nuclear-power-i

Ukraine – The Acid Test by Justin Raimondo,

Ukraine – The Acid Test
by ,
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/04/15/ukraine-the-acid-test/

Rand Paul: Is Explicitly Threatening Nuclear War Necessary to Run for President?

Rand Paul: Is Explicitly Threatening Nuclear War Necessary to Run for President?


http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/16/rand-paul-is-explicitly-threatening-nucl

Russian Diplomats Are Eating America's Lunch

Russian Diplomats Are Eating America's Lunch

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/russias-diplomats-are-better-than-ours-105773.html?ml=m_u1_1#.U1Ak0lfwqAh

Guest Post: An Inadequate Defense Budget? Compared to Whom? Compared to When? by Winslow T. Wheeler

An Inadequate Defense Budget?    Compared to Whom?   Compared to When?
by Winslow T. Wheeler

Many Republicans and numerous Democrats, especially on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, have been characterizing the US defense budget as inadequate.  They propose to release the Pentagon from the statutory spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and its "sequestration," which would keep some, but not all, Pentagon spending in the neighborhood of $500 billion, annually, for several years.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and any other Pentagon official near a microphone have been cheering them on.
Absent from all their talking points are three salient facts:  
1.       President Obama's 2015 request for all national security related programs would exceed $1 Trillion;

2.       the US outspends any other nation, especially presumed threat nations, by a huge amount, and

3.       under the dreaded sequestration, the Pentagon portion of national security spending would remain at historically high levels.

There is a major mismatch between the actual size of the US defense budget and the characterization of inadequacy given to it.  The enormity of the US defense budget, even under sequestration, is readily apparent in both relative and absolute terms.
Each year, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) release independent and widely respected estimates of international defense spending.  While their methodologies and, therefore, their estimates differ, their data show the same fundamental picture: the US vastly outspends what many in the US today characterize as the threat nations: China, Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea.  We outspend them not just individually but collectively, by a factor of at least two.
The data for 2013, the latest available, are shown in the figure below.

(Note that, as stated in the comment in the graph, the data for Iran, Syria and North Korea are from previous years or-in one case-the CIA's World Fact Book.  This is because of measurement uncertainties for more recent years.  However, in no case would more up to date data alter the overall picture.)
The IISS released its data in a publication titled The Military Balance earlier this year; the SIPRI just released its data base this week. While the two differ (SIPRI's estimates include spending outside official defense budgets) and some may disagree with one or the other methodology, the basic picture is the same: US defense spending is more than twice the size of all presumed threat nations combined.  According to the IISS, the US spending is 2.9 times the presumed threats; according to the SIPRI, the US is 2.1 times them all.  Notably, the budget year displayed, 2013, is the first year that the sequestration process went into effect in the US.
In order to support its world-wide empire at the turn of the 19th century, Great Britain adopted the "two power standard" which called for the Royal Navy to be equal to the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world.  The US has more than doubled that standard as regards budgets, and yet our politicians and senior defense officials complain such outspending is inadequate.
There are two caveats to the argument that these data show the defense budget to be disproportionately large, not small: one puts current spending in a historic context that shows today's over-spending to be even more inappropriate; the other calls into question whether it is the size of current spending or the quality of America's national security leadership that is inadequate.
First, it is fundamentally misleading to characterize China, and even Russia, as major threat nations.  Today is very much unlike the 1948-1990 Cold War when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact constituted an ongoing existential nuclear and conventional threat to the US and a dogmatically communist People's Republic of China actively fought US armed forces or supported others doing so in two wars involving hundreds of thousands of US ground forces.  Instead, China is a major trading partner and creditor nation with the US, and Russia, even taking into account its occupation of Crimea and potential further invasion of Ukraine (no matter what the cause), constitutes  a regional power, even if major, very unlike the international superpower the Soviet Union comprised and that exercised itself with active hostility throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. 
When we faced these truly existential threats, the Pentagon's budget was significantly smaller than today.  See the graph below annually displaying the Pentagon's post-World War Two budgets in dollars adjusted for inflation using the Office of Management and Budget's economy-wide deflator.  Note especially how today's so-called "inadequate" spending compares to average annual spending during the Cold War (the dashed, horizontal line, which occurs at the $355 billion level).


That we today declare ourselves inadequately funded at a far higher level of spending than we budgeted against a much larger, much more hostile threat is remarkable.  More money in the face of lesser threats is not quite the penury so many claim.
Second, we should listen closely when today's political and military leaders asset they cannot manage at the spending levels they face under the Budget Control Act.  They are quite correct to say they are unable to do so.  Recent history proves that.
·         Our military hardware is outrageously expensive, but much of it is a step backwards in performance. 

·         Since the mid-1990s Congress has increased money for DOD pay and benefits but huge portions of it has been for indiscriminant, across-the-board military pay raises, double pensions for many armed service retirees, bigger benefits for the survivors of World War Two veterans and much else that is intended to buy off political constituencies rather than address real security problems, let alone the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

·         Under the full-on spigot of the post-9/11 era, the Pentagon's civilian and military leadership has bloated itself to historically unprecedented levels of overhead, including military staff, civilian government employees and contracted-out personnel.
 
·         In their ultimate malfeasance, none of our national security leaders have bothered to fundamentally understand the dimension of the overspending problem as the Pentagon remains unaudited and un-auditable twenty-four years after the passage of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990-intended to require the Pentagon to understand and report what it does with its money.

The relationship of US defense spending to that of presumed threat nations and the girth of contemporary defense spending compared to a time of greater threat does not call into question the adequacy of the size of today's US defense budget; it calls into question the competence of current US political and military leadership, both in the Pentagon and in Congress.
__________________

Guantánamo judge to CIA: Disclose ‘black site’ details to USS Cole defense lawyers By Carol Rosenberg

Guantánamo judge to CIA: Disclose ‘black site’ details to USS Cole defense lawyers
By Carol Rosenberg

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/17/4064798/guantanamo-judge-to-cia-disclose.html#storylink=cpy


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- The military judge in the USS Cole bombing case has ordered the U.S. government to give defense lawyers details — names, dates and places — of the CIA’s secret overseas detention and interrogation of the man accused of planning the bombing, two people who have read the still-secret order said Thursday.

Army Col. James L. Pohl issued the five-page order Monday. It was sealed as document 120C on the war court website Thursday morning and, according to those who’ve read it, orders the agency to provide a chronology of the overseas odyssey of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 49, from his capture in Dubai in 2002 to his arrival at Guantánamo four years later.

Breaking Ukraine

http://www.transconflict.com/2014/04/breaking-ukraine-174/

Breaking Ukraine

April 17, 2014
Russia has real interests in Ukraine, the West does not. The Ukrainians have fundamental interests.  The Western role should be to help them make the best deal possible with Russia while there may still be one to make.



By Gerard M. Gallucci

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

The National

http://www.thenational.ae/world/saudi-arabia/saudi-prince-bandar-promised-a-victory-he-could-not-deliver#full#ixzz2z9Ydi8l2

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

, and
April 16, 2014
     
BEIRUT and ABU DHABI // A month into the Syrian uprising, a university lecturer from Damascus was arrested at a peaceful protest in the capital and, after the customary beating and a few days in prison, was ordered to sign a confession.
The document laid before him by the Syrian mukhabarat officer admitted to personally taking US$100 dollars from the hand of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the influential Saudi spy chief who resigned this week.

Meditations for Good Friday's Via Crucis Led by Pope Francis

Meditations for Good Friday's Via Crucis Led by Pope Francis

The Face of Christ, the Face of Man


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/meditations-for-good-friday-s-via-crucis-led-by-pope-francis

Where is Dick Nixon when you need him?

Where is Dick Nixon when you need him?
http://www.humanevents.com/2014/04/07/where-is-dick-nixon-when-you-need-him/

The eastern United States: A lonely cold pocket on a feverish planet

The eastern United States: A lonely cold pocket on a feverish planet


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/04/16/the-eastern-united-states-a-lonely-cold-pocket-on-a-feverish-planet/?tid=pm_pop

Hillary Clinton Struggles to Define a Legacy in Progress

Hillary Clinton Struggles to Define a Legacy in Progress


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/us/politics/unfinished-business-complicates-clintons-diplomatic-legacy.html?hp&_r=0

EU sanctions push on Russia falters amid big business lobbying

EU sanctions push on Russia falters amid big business lobbying


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/352f4f5c-c57c-11e3-97e4-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=intl#slide0

US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides

US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides

The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world's biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10771069/US-financial-showdown-with-Russia-is-more-dangerous-than-it-looks-for-both-sides.html

The Prize for Fencing Stolen Goods

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Apr 17, 2014 03:00 am | Paul R. Pillar
Prize-awarding committees sometimes use their decisions to make some sort of political or policy statement. The committee that bestows the Nobel Peace Prize seems to have done so with increasing frequency in recent years, giving the prize to recipients who represent current aspirations more than past accomplishments. One risk of this practice, beyond any controversial or questionable aspects of the particular statement being made, is that it debases the award itself by moving it farther from any connection with actual accomplishment. Those who award Pulitzer prizes have now done so by giving this year's prize in the public service category to the Washington Post and Guardian US for publishing purloined secrets about the National Security Agency. And the Pulitzer people have done so for motives less noble than those of the Nobel people.
read morehttp://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/the-prize-fencing-stolen-goods-10263

GOP Hawks Gear Up for War on Rand Paul

GOP Hawks Gear Up for War on Rand Paul


http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/gop-hawks-gear-war-rand-paul-10265

Ukraine Crisis: Russia's Neighbors Are Worried

Ukraine Crisis: Russia's Neighbors Are Worried


http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/ukraine-crisis-russias-neighbors-are-worried-10272

Putin: Russia’s great propagandist

Putin: Russia’s great propagandist

Putin’s use of Soviet-era symbolism has alarmed those already fearful for the country’s democratic institutions

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3c8495d0-c0ba-11e3-a74d-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=crm/email/2014417/nbe/Analysis/product&siteedition=intl#axzz2z8ti3tI0

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Fed Policies Have Made The Rich Much Richer", Fed President Admits

"Fed Policies Have Made The Rich Much Richer", Fed President Admits


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-16/fed-policies-have-made-rich-much-richer-fed-president-admits

Federal Reserve Asks "Where Are The Jobs"

 

Federal Reserve Asks "Where Are The Jobs"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-16/federal-reserve-asks-where-are-jobs

Did the Department of Homeland Security Just Admit that the Government Knew about the Heartbleed Bug?


Did the Department of Homeland Security Just Admit that the Government Knew about the Heartbleed Bug?

Why Were Government Computers Immune to the Bug?

 

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/heartbleed-didnt-affect-government-websites.html

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Reporter Sy Hersh: Benghazi Is a HUGE Scandal … But Not For the Reason You Think

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Reporter Sy Hersh: Benghazi Is a HUGE Scandal … But Not For the Reason You Think

Beyond Partisan Politics: What Benghazi Is Really About


http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/real-benghazi-story.html

Why You’re Paying Too Much In Taxes Today: Because Everyone from the Ultra-Rich to Illegal Immigrants Pay Nothing … Or Get Tax Refunds


Why You’re Paying Too Much In Taxes Today: Because Everyone from the Ultra-Rich to Illegal Immigrants Pay Nothing … Or Get Tax Refunds
Giant Corporations Scam Tax Refunds Economics professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich notes: Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans. Some don’t pay any federal taxes http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/youre-paying-much-taxes-today-everyone-ultra-rich-illegal-immigrants-pay-nothing-get-tax-refunds.html

New Emails Show Lois Lerner Was in Contact With DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups

BREAKING: New Emails Show Lois Lerner Was in Contact With DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups


http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/04/16/breaking-new-emails-show-lois-lerner-contacted-doj-about-prosecuting-tax-exempt-groups-n1825292?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel&utm_reader=feedly

BOVARD: Our cluster-bomb Congress plants legislative improvised explosive devices

BOVARD: Our cluster-bomb Congress plants legislative improvised explosive devices

Arcane laws lie dormant until exploding under unsuspecting Americans


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/15/bovard-our-cluster-bomb-congress/

The Scandal of Corruption in Development Aid


The Scandal of Corruption in Development Aid

For all the effort development agencies invest to help developing states combat corruption, recent reports of corruption in Japanese and Norwegian development aid projects along with an earlier paper on corruption in World Bank projects remind that the development community does little to attack corruption in the one area where it has the most control: the projects it funds.http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2014/04/16/the-scandal-of-corruption-in-development-aid/

Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/16/ukraine-through-the-us-looking-glass/

What Next in Ukraine?

http://www.williampfaff.com/article.php?storyid=674

What Next in Ukraine?

William Pfaff

Paris, April 16, 2014 -- As I write, the next step in the Ukraine crisis is unknown. The new authorities in Kiev have sent forces to try to recover the official buildings taken over by pro-Russian forces in the East of Ukraine.

John Brennan of the CIA was in Kiev last weekend, and the Russians claim that the United States is demanding force. There have been rumors of U.S. mercenaries to back up the Ukrainians, whose own forces seem divided and may be incapable of dealing with the uprising — certainly so, if it turns into a conflict with already-infiltrated Russian special troops, or brings a border crossing by Russian regular forces. The last I would doubt will happen because it could so easily  spin out of control. The commitment of American mercenaries would be disastrous.

Rigging the Game Against Palestinians

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/16/rigging-the-game-against-palestinians/


Rigging the Game Against Palestinians

April 16, 2014

Official Washington’s neocons are busy spinning the latest U.S. failure to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace as an excuse to extend the Israeli occupation indefinitely by insisting that the Palestinians first pass some ever-receding test of quality self-governance, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

By Paul R. Pillar

Jim Hightower: NSA Spying Is Here to Stay

Jim Hightower: NSA Spying Is Here to Stay
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/16-3

CEO Pay Soars, Workers Toil in Capitalism's New Gilded Age

CEO Pay Soars, Workers Toil in Capitalism's New Gilded Age
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/04/16-0

The Humanitarian Consequences Of Nuclear War


The Humanitarian Consequences Of Nuclear War

http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2013_11/The-Humanitarian-Consequences-Of-Nuclear-War

War: This is not a game Theory

This is not a game theory
  1. The Economist (blog) ‎- 1 day ago
    Game theory suggests the NATO threat probably isn't. In backward ... The Europeans do not want war with Russia over anything. They want ...http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/04/war

Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect



http://mondoweiss.net/2014/04/limbaugh-company-blumenthal.html

The War of Ideas in the Middle East
The War of Ideas in the Middle East

Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect

on April 16, 2014
Author Max Blumenthal. Author Max Blumenthal.
Before journalist and author Max Blumenthal turned his eye towards Israel/Palestine, he was a dogged investigator of the seedy world of neo-Nazism and white supremacism in the U.S. But now, liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz has joined right-leaning Israel advocates in trying to turn the tables on him by linking the journalist to Frazier Glenn Miller (also known as Frazier Glenn Cross), the suspect in Sunday’s deadly shooting at two Jewish centers in Kansas City.

Daily Homily: They Paid Him 30 Pieces of Silver

Daily Homily: They Paid Him 30 Pieces of Silver


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/daily-homily-they-paid-him-30-pieces-of-silver

The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California

The Rise of Corporate Democrats in California

California, the most progressive state in the U.S., still boasts a sizeable — and growing — corporate Democrat contingent.

http://www.alternet.org/investigations/plain-sight-rise-corporate-democrats-california

Our Soldiers' Trauma from U.S. Wars Has Endangered the American Public

Our Soldiers' Trauma from U.S. Wars Has Endangered the American Public

Deadly recipe for society: A privatized military means a hunger to profit from more wars, and the govt. wants to cut care for veterans.

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/why-america-likely-suffer-many-more-tragedies-ft-hood

Matt Taibbi: The SuperRich in America Have Become 'Untouchables' Who Don't Go to Prison

Matt Taibbi: The SuperRich in America Have Become 'Untouchables' Who Don't Go to Prison

Taibbi discusses his new book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap."

http://www.alternet.org/books/matt-taibbi-superrich-america-have-become-untouchables-america-who-dont-go-prison

“We are in great danger”: Ex-banker details how mega-banks destroyed America

“We are in great danger”: Ex-banker details how mega-banks destroyed America

"The power has only been more consolidated," warns Goldman Sachs veteran Nomi Prins in an interview with Salon


http://www.salon.com/2014/04/15/we_are_in_great_danger_ex_banker_details_how_mega_banks_destroyed_america/

Matt Taibbi: 'Hands Down' Bush Was Tougher On Corporate America Than Obama (VIDEO)

Matt Taibbi: 'Hands Down' Bush Was Tougher On Corporate America Than Obama (VIDEO)


http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/matt-taibbi-bush-tougher-than-obama-corporate-america

What To Do After Peace Process Failure


Apr 15, 2014 10:37 pm | Paul R. Pillar
Now that Secretary of State Kerry's attempt to breathe life into the diplomacy known as the Middle East peace process has been widely pronounced—even by those who appropriately salute his efforts—to be a failure, different quarters are chiming in with recommendations for what to do next about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some suggestions are helpful; others would only help to perpetuate the Israeli occupation and lack of an agreement, and may be tacitly intended to do just that.
The New York Times editorial board proposes that the United States, as a last act before ending this phase of its active diplomacy on the problem, post on the international bulletin board its own sense of what the principles of a final settlement ought to look like. This is probably worth doing, and it has the merit of reflecting the fact that the basic lines of a feasible two-state solution have been apparent for some time. Perhaps this would help to clarify who is resisting such a settlement and who is not. This has been tried before, however, most notably with the Clinton parameters, and it was insufficient to push the process over a finish line.
read morehttp://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/what-do-after-peace-process-failure-10260

The Chernobyl Factor in the Ukraine Crisis

Bennett Ramberg, a policy analyst in the US State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs under President George H.W. Bush, is the author of Destruction of Nuclear Energy Facilities in War and Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy. read more

Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bennett-ramberg-calls-attention-to-the-dangers-of-fighting-near-nuclear-power-stations#8FItJwHSZwRqGsgF.99
The Chernobyl Factor in the Ukraine Crisis
http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bennett-ramberg-calls-attention-to-the-dangers-of-fighting-near-nuclear-power-stations

If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?

If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?


http://theweek.com/article/index/259829/if-a-nuclear-bomb-exploded-in-downtown-washington-what-should-you-do

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

'Pivoting' To Prop Up U.S. Alliances, Obama's Asian Trip Will Not Serve U.S. Interests

'Pivoting' To Prop Up U.S. Alliances, Obama's Asian Trip Will Not Serve U.S. Interests

Steve Harner
Forbes.com
http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenharner/2014/04/10/strengthening-a-discordant-security-status-quo-obamas-asian-trip-will-not-serve-u-s-interests/
It is a fact that no objective observer can deny:  the rise of China over the past 30 years is an epochal development that has fundamentally altered global economics and politics.
Realism, and pursuit of American national interests, dictates that the aim of U.S. policy should be to take maximum advantage of China’s rise, and adjust other relationships as necessary to this objective.
Yet, what we have saw during the first Obama administration term, and continue to see during the second, is an economic, political, and defense policy toward Asia fundamentally denies, if it does not actually challenge, China’s rise.

Head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: God Has Not Forsaken His People

Head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church: God Has Not Forsaken His People

Says Christ Is Coming to His People, As He Entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/head-of-ukrainian-greek-catholic-church-god-has-not-forsaken-his-people

Rand Paul Says Something Non-Crazy About Iran By Jonathan Chait


Rand Paul Says Something Non-Crazy About Iran



http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/04/rand-paul-says-something-non-crazy-about-iran.html

We still can’t afford the F-35 | TheHill

We still can’t afford the F-35 | TheHill

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/203342-we-still-cant-afford-the-f-35#ixzz2ytUiliX1 

Ancient Text Refers to Wife of Jesus

Ancient Text Refers to Wife of Jesus

Ancient Text Refers to Wife of Jesus

Experts at Columbia, MIT and Harvard have concluded through scientific testing that a small papyrus fragment that quotes Jesus making references to “my wife,” is in fact from ancient times. What do these new findings reveal? Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Michael Peppard, a theology professor at Fordham University, about the religious ramifications of this discovery.

TRANSCRIPT

HARI SREENIVASAN: Experts at Columbia, MIT and Harvard have concluded that a small papyrus fragment made public two years ago is from ancient times, not a forgery. But its contents continue to provoke controversy. That’s because it quotes Jesus making references to “my wife,” and also includes the words “she will be able to be my disciple.” For more about this we’re joined by Michael Peppard, he’s a professor of theology at Fordham University and author of the book “The Son of God in the Roman World.” Alright, so first of all, what’s the scientific finding confirm and why does it matter?
MICHAEL PEPPARD: Right, well when this came to light about a year and a half ago, there was a lot of uproar about “why wasn’t this tested” “how do we know it’s not a forgery.” Typically with ancient papyri, they’re not tested by science, they’re tested by paleography — meaning the study of handwriting. And yet because there was such a bombshell finding here in this phrase “my wife.” It was sent out and professor Karen King commissioned this from Harvard to be sent out for testing. Now the truth about this scientific testing is that it cannot authenticate something as much as it can prove that it’s not fake. So what I’m saying is that–
HARI SREENIVASAN: There’s a difference…
MICHAEL PEPPARD: Yeah, there’s a difference, the testing did not falsify anything. So that kind of tilts the scale a little bit back towards authenticity, right? But I would say that the community of scholars that study early Christianity, like myself, are still kind of in this middle ground of mysteriousness about the text. That being said, some of the critics on the forgery side argue that there is bad grammar, that there are other indicators, bad penmanship and that kind of stuff. But papyrologists — that is nerds like us that study ancient papyri — we see bad handwriting all the time. The apostle Paul himself in the new testament talks about his bad handwriting. So handwriting it’s a techne in Greek, it’s a skill, it’s acquired. And so we might think of typing, right? Typing doesn’t mean you’re smart or something like that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So to a non-Christian scholar, what are the religious ramifications if Jesus did have a wife? Why does that matter so much?
MICHAEL PEPPARD: Right, so what we have here is probably a 7th or 8th century papyrus, which if authentic preserves possibly an earlier text, which doesn’t really tell us anything about the first century; so we have layers of history here. I would say most scholars do not think Jesus was married and I don’t think that’s a pious answer, I think it’s an answer about historically plausibility. I think Jesus was an itinerant, apocalyptic teacher, he says very controversial things critical of biological and domestic family life, already there in the canonical scriptures. And so I think that most scholars and most Christians will say “well we don’t think Jesus was married, and we think that is a later discussion about the roles of women as disciples, and the role of kind of sex and family life.” But now that is interesting, for a different reason, I think to most scholars. And that is that this papyrus gives us another window into what were some live debates in early Christianity. Debates such as: is procreation a vehicle for holiness or is celibacy — voluntary celibacy– a vehicle for holiness. A second debate that it clearly was engaging was the worthiness of women as disciples, especially Mary the mother and Mary Magdalen, two of the main figures that were discussed.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Some of these debates we’re still having a couple thousand years down the line. Alright, Michael Peppard from Fordham University. Thanks so much.
Via:pbs
- See more at: http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/ancient-text-refers-to-wife-of-jesus/#sthash.zMrF6wZU.dpuf
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/ancient-text-refers-to-wife-of-jesus/

Ancient Text Refers to Wife of Jesus

Experts at Columbia, MIT and Harvard have concluded through scientific testing that a small papyrus fragment that quotes Jesus making references to “my wife,” is in fact from ancient times. What do these new findings reveal? Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Michael Peppard, a theology professor at Fordham University, about the religious ramifications of this discovery.

TRANSCRIPT

HARI SREENIVASAN: Experts at Columbia, MIT and Harvard have concluded that a small papyrus fragment made public two years ago is from ancient times, not a forgery. But its contents continue to provoke controversy. That’s because it quotes Jesus making references to “my wife,” and also includes the words “she will be able to be my disciple.” For more about this we’re joined by Michael Peppard, he’s a professor of theology at Fordham University and author of the book “The Son of God in the Roman World.” Alright, so first of all, what’s the scientific finding confirm and why does it matter?
MICHAEL PEPPARD: Right, well when this came to light about a year and a half ago, there was a lot of uproar about “why wasn’t this tested” “how do we know it’s not a forgery.” Typically with ancient papyri, they’re not tested by science, they’re tested by paleography — meaning the study of handwriting. And yet because there was such a bombshell finding here in this phrase “my wife.” It was sent out and professor Karen King commissioned this from Harvard to be sent out for testing. Now the truth about this scientific testing is that it cannot authenticate something as much as it can prove that it’s not fake. So what I’m saying is that–
HARI SREENIVASAN: There’s a difference…
MICHAEL PEPPARD: Yeah, there’s a difference, the testing did not falsify anything. So that kind of tilts the scale a little bit back towards authenticity, right? But I would say that the community of scholars that study early Christianity, like myself, are still kind of in this middle ground of mysteriousness about the text. That being said, some of the critics on the forgery side argue that there is bad grammar, that there are other indicators, bad penmanship and that kind of stuff. But papyrologists — that is nerds like us that study ancient papyri — we see bad handwriting all the time. The apostle Paul himself in the new testament talks about his bad handwriting. So handwriting it’s a techne in Greek, it’s a skill, it’s acquired. And so we might think of typing, right? Typing doesn’t mean you’re smart or something like that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So to a non-Christian scholar, what are the religious ramifications if Jesus did have a wife? Why does that matter so much?
MICHAEL PEPPARD: Right, so what we have here is probably a 7th or 8th century papyrus, which if authentic preserves possibly an earlier text, which doesn’t really tell us anything about the first century; so we have layers of history here. I would say most scholars do not think Jesus was married and I don’t think that’s a pious answer, I think it’s an answer about historically plausibility. I think Jesus was an itinerant, apocalyptic teacher, he says very controversial things critical of biological and domestic family life, already there in the canonical scriptures. And so I think that most scholars and most Christians will say “well we don’t think Jesus was married, and we think that is a later discussion about the roles of women as disciples, and the role of kind of sex and family life.” But now that is interesting, for a different reason, I think to most scholars. And that is that this papyrus gives us another window into what were some live debates in early Christianity. Debates such as: is procreation a vehicle for holiness or is celibacy — voluntary celibacy– a vehicle for holiness. A second debate that it clearly was engaging was the worthiness of women as disciples, especially Mary the mother and Mary Magdalen, two of the main figures that were discussed.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Some of these debates we’re still having a couple thousand years down the line. Alright, Michael Peppard from Fordham University. Thanks so much.
Via:pbs
- See more at: http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/ancient-text-refers-to-wife-of-jesus/#sthash.zMrF6wZU.dpuf

Syrian Rebels Spotted Using U.S. Missiles

Syrian Rebels Spotted Using U.S. Missiles
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/syrian-rebels-spotted-using-u-s-missiles/

Online videos show Syrian rebels using what appear to be U.S. anti-tank rockets,
weapons experts say, the first significant American-built armaments in the
country's civil war.

They would signal a further internationalization of the conflict, with new
rockets suspected from Russia and drones from Iran also spotted in the forces of
President Bashar al-Assad.

None of that [...]

Russia Insists Ukraine on Edge of Civil War


Russia Insists Ukraine on Edge of Civil War
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/russia-insists-ukraine-on-edge-of-civil-war/

Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an
"anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with
troops and armored personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint eastern town.
Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for the separatists to
lay down their arms, witnesses however saw no signs yet [...]

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year | Electronic Frontier Foundation

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year | Electronic Frontier Foundationhttps://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/04/fbi-plans-have-52-million-photos-its-ngi-face-recognition-database-next-year

Hope for Tought Days Good Friday Video

http://pauline.org/Resources-Start-Exploring-Here/Discover-Hope/Hope-for-Tough-Days

Daily Homily: You Are My Servant, A Light To The Nations Tuesday of Holy Week

Daily Homily: You Are My Servant, A Light To The Nations

Tuesday of Holy Week


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/daily-homily-you-are-my-servant-a-light-to-the-nations

White House Announces Delegation Attending April Canonizations

White House Announces Delegation Attending April Canonizations

Special Advisor John Podesta to Lead Delegation


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/white-house-announces-delegation-attending-april-canonizations

Pope: Are you like Judas or Pilate? Or are you loyal to Jesus?

Pope: Are you like Judas or Pilate? Or are you loyal to Jesus?


http://www.romereports.com/pg156432-pope-are-you-like-judas-or-pilate-or-are-you-loyal-to-jesus--en

Pope Sends Passover Greetings to Jewish Community of Rome

Pope Sends Passover Greetings to Jewish Community of Rome

Expresses Closeness With Those Who Suffer Under New Forms of Slavery


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-sends-passover-greetings-to-jewish-community-of-rome

Silicon Valley Could Force NSA Reform, Tomorrow — What's Taking So Long?

Silicon Valley Could Force NSA Reform, Tomorrow — What's Taking So Long?

Time for Internet companies to call out the NSA, on every homepage.

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/silicon-valley-could-force-nsa-reform-tomorrow-whats-taking-so-long

Can Foreign Anti-Bribery Enforcement Statistics Help Us Measure Corruption Levels Objectively?

Can Foreign Anti-Bribery Enforcement Statistics Help Us Measure Corruption Levels Objectively?


http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2014/04/15/can-foreign-anti-bribery-enforcement-statistics-help-us-measure-corruption-levels-objectively/

China’s Currency Conundrum

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/ronald-mckinnon-warns-that-foreign-pressure-for-renminbi-appreciation-risks-triggering-inflows-of--hot--money#PBYU3gQ6s2pLtBzr.99

Ronald McKinnon

Ronald McKinnon is Professor Emeritus of International Economics at Stanford University, and the author of The Unloved Dollar Standard: From Bretton Woods to the Rise of China.
APR 11, 2014

China’s Currency Conundrum

PALO ALTO – The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), it seems, cannot win. In late February, the gradual appreciation of the renminbi was interrupted by a 1% depreciation (to $1:¥6.12). Though insignificant in overall trade terms, especia

The Shame of Brandeis And of a culture that has lost its way

The Shame of Brandeis
And of a culture that has lost its way


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/375450/shame-brandeis-charles-c-w-cooke

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/business/more-renters-find-30-affordability-ratio-unattainable.html?_r=0

10 States Most Dependent on the Federal Government

10 States Most Dependent on the Federal Government


http://wallstcheatsheet.com/personal-finance/10-states-most-dependent-on-the-federal-government.html/

The Hedge Fund Managers Tax Break: Because Wall Streeters Want Your Money

The Hedge Fund Managers Tax Break: Because Wall Streeters Want Your Money


http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23074-the-hedge-fund-managers-tax-break-because-wall-streeters-want-your-money

Planned Obsolescence Disguised as Innovation, Oligopoly Disguised as a Free Market, and the Enrichment of Oligarchs

Planned Obsolescence Disguised as Innovation, Oligopoly Disguised as a Free Market, and the Enrichment of Oligarchs


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/04/planned-obsolescence-disguised-innovation-oligopoly-disguised-free-market-enrichment-oligarchs.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

IMF Members Weigh Options to Sidestep U.S. Congress on Overhaul

IMF Members Weigh Options to Sidestep U.S. Congress on Overhaul

Frustrated With Inaction, Some Members Want U.S. to Lose Its Veto Power on Executive Board


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303887804579501252344303012?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303887804579501252344303012.html

Missile Defense: A Way Forward in the Gulf


Apr 15, 2014 03:00 am | DB Des Roches
Military relations between the United States and her partners in the Arabian Peninsula appear to be at a historic low. Two former Saudi ambassadors to the United States—Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Prince Turki al-Faisal—have explicitly stated the view that the U.S. has been duplicitous over negotiations with Iran and Syria, and accuse the United States of withdrawing critical security support from long-time Gulf allies at a moment of extreme danger.
The Saudis and other partners feel the United States either doesn’t recognize the nature of the Iranian threat, or has decided to swap Arab chess pieces for Persian ones and will walk away from a series of decades-old security commitments.
There is, however, one bright spot in this story—the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman are finally moving towards developing their own integrated missile-defense systems. The United States, which had been urging the GCC countries to develop an integrated system, has paradoxically only seen progress on this elusive goal when the GCC countries decided the United States was a fickle and unreliable ally.
For years, the United States had been trying, with little success, to push and prod the GCC members to develop a networked, layered defense of key strategic assets in their countries as a deterrent to Iranian missile attacks. The GCC countries, however, have a profound internal rivalry which has inhibited all but the most basic levels of defense cooperation.
read morehttp://server1.nationalinterest.org/commentary/missile-defense-way-forward-the-gulf-10248