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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Graham Fuller’s Scorecard on Predictions for 2015–Part 1

Graham Fuller’s Scorecard on Predictions for 2015–Part 1
Graham E. Fuller, 30 Dec 08:55 PM

Graham Fuller’s Scorecard on Predictions for 2015
30 December 2015

Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal to melting point - The Washington Post

Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal to melting point - The Washington Post

How the battle against the Islamic State is redrawing the map of the Middle East - The Washington Post

How the battle against the Islamic State is redrawing the map of the Middle East - The Washington Post

Goodbye to 2015, a year of absurdity and overreach - The Washington Post

Goodbye to 2015, a year of absurdity and overreach - The Washington Post

For 2016, let’s keep on arguing - The Washington Post

For 2016, let’s keep on arguing - The Washington Post

Iran Poised for Another Raucous Election

http://lobelog.com/iran-poised-for-another-raucous-election/#more-32396

Iran Poised for Another Raucous Election

by Farideh Farhi
December 25 marked the last day of registration for the February 26 joint elections in Iran for the parliament and the Assembly of Experts. Like the deadline for the Assembly of Experts registration two days earlier, the large number of people wanting to register at the last minute led to the extension of the deadline until midnight.
According to the Interior Ministry, 12,123 individuals registered to run for parliament (with women increasing their participation from 8 percent in 2012 to 12 percent of total registrants), more than twice the number registered for the lackluster 2012 election (and 45 percent higher than the previous high record of 8,365 in 1996). For the Assembly of Experts the number was 801, a 62 percent increase from the last election in 2006. The Interior Ministry, which has the first crack at the parliamentary qualification process, will reject some of the parliament registrants who don’t meet the minimum requirements set by law for being a candidate. In the end, however, the Guardian Council, which is the ultimate vetting body, will disqualify the larger number of registrants for both bodies, for mostly political reasons. The average rate of parliamentary disqualification since the Guardian Council sharpened its vetting knife in 2004 is around 37 percent; for the past two Assembly elections, it was approximately 65 percent.
But the increase in the number of registrants is still noteworthy and reflects the fact that all political forces active within the Islamic Republic take the elections for both the parliament and the Assembly of Experts seriously. In effect, the upcoming electoral process is a confirmation that elections are back as a significant mechanism for redefining and recalibrating the country’s balance of political forces.http://lobelog.com/iran-poised-for-another-raucous-election/#more-32396

In Retrospect: A Year of Sharpening Contradictions | Informed Comment

In Retrospect: A Year of Sharpening Contradictions | Informed Comment

The Most Awful and Absurd Foreign Policy Quotes from 2015 | The American Conservative

The Most Awful and Absurd Foreign Policy Quotes from 2015 | The American Conservative

Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica

Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/29/world/countries-rush-for-upper-hand-antarctica.html?ref=world&_r=1&utm_source=The+Sinocism+China+Newsletter&utm_campaign=84b1077f9b-Sinocism12_30_1512_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_171f237867-84b1077f9b-29615013&mc_cid=84b1077f9b&mc_eid=5935182a65

Pope Francis’ 10 New Year’s Resolutions for You | Word On Fire

Pope Francis’ 10 New Year’s Resolutions for You | Word On Fire

China begins major environmental assessment on Antarctic Peninsula

China begins major environmental assessment on Antarctic Peninsula


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-12/30/c_134964210.htm?utm_source=The+Sinocism+China+Newsletter&utm_campaign=84b1077f9b-Sinocism12_30_1512_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_171f237867-84b1077f9b-29615013&mc_cid=84b1077f9b&mc_eid=5935182a65

China to replace Japan as second-largest funder of U.N. peacekeeping


China to replace Japan as second-largest funder of U.N. peacekeeping

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/22/national/politics-diplomacy/china-replace-japan-second-largest-funder-u-n-peacekeeping/?utm_source=The+Sinocism+China+Newsletter&utm_campaign=84b1077f9b-Sinocism12_30_1512_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_171f237867-84b1077f9b-29615013&mc_cid=84b1077f9b&mc_eid=5935182a65#.VoUwDVKGhRn

China Said to Suspend Foreign Banks' Cross-Border Yuan Business

China Said to Suspend Foreign Banks' Cross-Border Yuan Business



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-30/china-said-to-suspend-foreign-banks-cross-border-yuan-business?utm_source=The+Sinocism+China+Newsletter&utm_campaign=84b1077f9b-Sinocism12_30_1512_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_171f237867-84b1077f9b-29615013&mc_cid=84b1077f9b&mc_eid=5935182a65

A Bigger, Bolder China in 2016

A Bigger, Bolder China in 2016

Efforts to project country’s economic and military clout around the world set to accelerate



http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-bigger-bolder-china-in-2016-1451471404?utm_source=The+Sinocism+China+Newsletter&utm_campaign=84b1077f9b-Sinocism12_30_1512_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_171f237867-84b1077f9b-29615013&mc_cid=84b1077f9b&mc_eid=5935182a65

‘Lunatic/Marco Rubio for President,’ is Rubio’s title for his latest ad

‘Lunatic/Marco Rubio for President,’ is Rubio’s title for his latest ad

By Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

Not making this up. Marco Rubio titles a neoconservative foreign-policy ad for his campaign: "Lunatic/Marco Rubio for President"

Read in browser »http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/lunaticmarco-president-rubios?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=b26ab8fa55-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-b26ab8fa55-398529985

Novel featuring Palestinian-Jewish romance threatens ‘Jewish identity,’ Israeli gov’t rules

Novel featuring Palestinian-Jewish romance threatens ‘Jewish identity,’ Israeli gov’t rules

By Philip Weiss

Israel takes another step down a dark path, banning a novel from high school classes that deals with a romance between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man. The government says it will undermine "Jewish identity."

Read in browser »http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/featuring-palestinian-threatens?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=b26ab8fa55-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-b26ab8fa55-398529985

US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the ‘special relationship’

US spying on Israel reveals cynical heart of the ‘special relationship’

By Eamon Murphy

A new Wall Street Journal scoop details how a NSA wiretap trained on the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led to intercepts of conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American Jewish groups. While the possibility of illegal spying on Congress will dominate public discussion of the story, the monitoring of Netanyahu and his staff, and the blunt way American officials reportedly discuss it in private, completely belies the public presentation of a relationship based on "shared values."

Read in browser »
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/reveals-special-relationship?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=b26ab8fa55-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-b26ab8fa55-398529985

Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps



Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps

By James North and Philip Weiss

Just when the Israel lobby was getting back to its feet after Iran Deal, Obama administration wiretaps reveal Israeli officials working with US Jewish groups against the deal. WSJ says Obama authorized taps as a serving a "compelling national security purpose."

Read in browser »http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israel-damning-wiretaps?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=b26ab8fa55-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-b26ab8fa55-398529985

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Financial Armageddon Approaches: U.S. Banks Have 247 Trillion Dollars Of Exposure To Derivatives

Financial Armageddon Approaches: U.S. Banks Have 247 Trillion Dollars Of Exposure To Derivatives

America Is Being Destroyed By Problems That Are Unaddressed

 America Is Being Destroyed By Problems That Are Unaddressed
http://www.unz.com/proberts/america-is-being-destroyed-by-problems-that-are-unaddressed/

Orthodox Rabbis Bring Jesus Home for Christmas

Orthodox Rabbis Bring Jesus Home for Christmas



http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=28027

The Perfect Crime: What's Killing All the Bees?

The Perfect Crime: What's Killing All the Bees?


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34184-the-perfect-crime-what-s-killing-all-the-bees

Why Philanthropy Actually Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems

Why Philanthropy Actually Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World's Worst Problems


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34190-why-philanthropy-actually-hurts-rather-than-helps-some-of-the-world-s-worst-problems

The Rise Of The Temp Economy: More U.S. Employers Than Ever Want A ‘Disposable Workforce’

The Rise Of The Temp Economy: More U.S. Employers Than Ever Want A ‘Disposable Workforce’


http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-rise-of-the-temp-economy-more-u-s-employers-than-ever-want-a-disposable-workforce

The True Cost of Ending ISIS


The True Cost of Ending ISIS

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-true-cost-ending-isis-14759

Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps

Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israel-damning-wiretaps#sthash.gJV4PkCQ.dpuf

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israel-damning-wiretaps

Vatican document represents important step towards repenting past sins against Jews

 

Vatican document represents important step towards repenting past sins against Jews

http://ncronline.org/blogs/small-c-catholic/vatican-document-represents-important-step-towards-repenting-past-sins

Pope Francis entrusts today’s new Christian martyrs to Mary

Pope Francis entrusts today’s new Christian martyrs to Mary


http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/12/26/pope-francis-entrusts-todays-new-christian-martyrs-to-mary/?s_campaign=crux:rss

Judge says Catholic school discriminated against man in same-sex marriage

Judge says Catholic school discriminated against man in same-sex marriage


http://ncronline.org/news/people/judge-says-catholic-school-discriminated-against-man-same-sex-marriage

Will the Christians of Iraq One Day Be Able to Live the Joy of Christmas?


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/will-the-christians-of-iraq-one-day-be-able-to-live-the-joy-of-christmas

The United States is having an identity crisis


The United States is having an identity crisis


http://ncronline.org/blogs/where-i-stand/united-states-having-identity-crisis

Catholic Charities answers misconceptions over resettling refugees in Michigan

Catholic Charities answers misconceptions over resettling refugees in Michigan


http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/catholic-charities-answers-misconceptions-over-resettling-refugees-michigan

In Bethlehem Then and Now, ‘Jesus Is the Door to Peace’


http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/in-bethlehem-then-and-now-jesus-is-the-door-to-peace

'To grow in faith, we need to contemplate Baby Jesus more often.'

 

'To grow in faith, we need to contemplate Baby Jesus more often.'

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/general-audience-on-the-nativity

SEVMORPUT Completes Trials After Overhaul; Signs for the Future

SEVMORPUT Completes Trials After Overhaul; Signs for the Future


http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com/2015/12/sevmorput-completes-trials-after.html

Gulf States Face Their Biggest Challenge

Gulf States Face Their Biggest Challenge

The GCC states are now entering into the early stages of reconfigured citizen-state relations similar to what most other non-energy-rich Arab countries experienced from 1986 to 1995.
Keep your eyes on the oil-fueled Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Arab states in the year ahead, because they are just starting to experience a genuinely novel, almost existential, challenge that will test the quality of their statehood and national integrity as these have never been tested before. The issue that sparks this historic reckoning of statehood and citizenship in the GCC is not Iran’s nuclear future, the fate of the “Islamic State,” nor the wasteful war in Yemen. It is the sudden array of sharp fiscal adjustment measures that most GCC states have announced in the past three weeks.
These will curtail government spending, increase taxes and fees on citizens, and reduce the extent of the welfare state that has covered most of the basic life needs of most GCC citizens for the past two generations. The sharp and continuing drop in the price of oil is the main reason for this, given the GCC states’ reliance on oil and gas income for three-fourths or more of their state budgets, which in turn drive the private sector. So most GCC states have dipped into their plentiful reserves to make up for their budget deficits this year, which reached nearly $100 billion in Saudi Arabia and $20 billion in Kuwait.
Most also have already announced measures to reduce spending and increase revenues, such as issuing global bonds, drawing down their reserves, postponing or canceling some state-funded projects, raising corporate taxes, implementing a Value Added Tax, reducing gasoline, water and electricity subsidies, privatizing some basic services, and even introducing income taxes.http://thecairoreview.com/tahrir-forum/gulf-states-face-their-biggest-challenge/

Saudi Arabia, Turkey to boost ties with 'strategic cooperation council'

http://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-turkey-to-boost-ties-with-strategic-cooperation-council/a-18950601

Saudi Arabia, Turkey to boost ties with 'strategic cooperation council'

A new joint council between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is expected to bolster security and investment cooperation. Ankara and Riyadh are key supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. http://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-turkey-to-boost-ties-with-strategic-cooperation-council/a-18950601

Star Wars' fans: Force to reckon with Michelle Maltais

Star Wars' fans: Force to reckon with


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/starwars/

The Military Versus the Private Sector for Job Security and Quality of Life - The Atlantic

The Military Versus the Private Sector for Job Security and Quality of Life - The Atlantic

Experts on Whether Inequality Will Ever Improve - The Atlantic

Experts on Whether Inequality Will Ever Improve - The Atlantic

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions - NYTimes.com

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions - NYTimes.com

Database of 191 million U.S. voters exposed on Internet: researcher

Database of 191 million U.S. voters exposed on Internet: researcher


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-voters-breach-idUSKBN0UB1E020151229

Ebola: Timeline of an epidemic

Ebola: Timeline of an epidemic

Tens of millions of trees in danger from California drought

Tens of millions of trees in danger from California drought

com/articles/u-s-spy-net-on-israel-snares-congress-1451425210 U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-spy-net-on-israel-snares-congress-1451425210

U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress

National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders also swept up the content of private conversations with U.S. lawmakers

By Adam Entous and Danny Yadron
The Wall Street Journal | Dec. 29, 2015 
President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.
But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Mr. Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Mr. Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill.
The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-spy-net-on-israel-snares-congress-1451425210

2015: The Year in Politics and Policy


2015: The Year in Politics and Policy

A roundup of some of our favorite stories that we published in the past year.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/politics-favorites-from-2015/422181/

$2 gasoline isn’t having the economic impact everyone thought it would - The Washington Post

$2 gasoline isn’t having the economic impact everyone thought it would - The Washington Post

Dave Barry’s Year in Review: The sad thing is, we’re not making this up!

Dave Barry’s Year in Review: The sad thing is, we’re not making this up!


https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/dave-barrys-year-in-review-the-sad-thing-is-were-not-making-this-up/2015/12/20/5a55390a-993c-11e5-94f0-9eeaff906ef3_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency Book Forum

On Tuesday, January 5, at noon, we’re hosting a book forum on Charlie Savage’s Power Wars, the most comprehensive account to date of how and why the Obama administration continued—and even expanded—most of the Bush-era War on Terror programs. The featured commentator is Professor Michael Glennon, whose 2014 book National Security and Double Government warned of an “emergent autocracy” controlled by national security insiders; the Boston Globe summed up Glennon’s thesis rather starkly, as “Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.” What explains the striking degree of policy continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations: pressure from the permanent bureaucracy, rational threat assessment, the demands of electoral politics—or a combination of all three? Come on by on Tuesday to explore that question with Savage and Glennon, and get a libertarian “free lunch.” You can register for the event here or at the bottom of this page. Hope to see you there!

Best,
Chris





The Cato Institute invites you to an event.

Upcoming Cato events that can be attended in person or watched online. Unless otherwise noted, events are held at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency

 
Book Forum
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
12:00PM - 1:30PM


Featuring the author Charlie Savage, Washington Correspondent, New York Times; with comments by Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law, Fletcher School, Tufts University; Author, National Security and Double Government. Moderated by Gene Healy, Vice President, Cato Institute.

“We’ve paid a heavy price for having a president whose priority is expanding his own power,” then-senator Barack Obama proclaimed on the campaign trail in 2007. As president, he promised, “I’ll turn the page on the imperial presidency.” And yet, as Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Charlie Savage documents in his new book Power Wars, as president, Obama has launched more than seven times as many drone strikes as his predecessor, including the remote-control execution of an American citizen. He’s continued and expanded dragnet domestic surveillance programs based on a secret interpretation of the PATRIOT Act and launched two wars without authorization from Congress. Much has changed in the Obama era, but the imperial presidency endures and thrives. Based on interviews with more than 150 current and former government officials, Savage’s Power Wars stands as the most comprehensive account yet of the internal deliberations within the Obama administration. Please join us for a lively and timely discussion of the politics and law of presidential power.
 
REGISTER

Beauty's Menacing Half-Sister

Beauty's Menacing Half-Sister


http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/beautys-menacing-half-sister/2261/

FBI Sued for Civil Rights Violations for Surveilling Muslims Near San Bernardino

FBI Sued for Civil Rights Violations for Surveilling Muslims Near San Bernardino


http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2015/12/fbi-sued-for-civil-rights-violations-for-surveilling-muslims-near-san-bernardino/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Judicial%20Watch%20Tipsheet%20-%20Template%202%20%282%29&utm_content=

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bernie Sanders: Audit The Department Of Defense

Bernie Sanders: Audit The Department Of Defense:
"We have massive cost overruns with defense contractors, we've got deployment after deployment for our soldiers, and we've got military families on food stamps."

U.S. Is Still No.1 at Selling Arms to the World

U.S. Is Still No.1 at Selling Arms to the World:
Sales leapt by almost $10 billion in 2014: The United States remains the world's preeminent exporter of arms, with more than 50 percent of the global weaponry market controlled by the United States as of 2014.
 

Those Demanding Free Speech Limits to Fight ISIS Pose a Greater Threat to U.S. Than ISIS

Those Demanding Free Speech Limits to Fight ISIS Pose a Greater Threat to U.S. Than ISIS

https://theintercept.com/2015/12/29/those-demanding-free-speech-limits-to-fight-isis-pose-a-greater-threat-to-u-s-than-isis/ 



News from Afghanistan is Bad By Robert Fisk

News from Afghanistan is BadBy Robert Fisk
Isis men are now fighting in their thousands in the country we arrived to "liberate" 14 years ago, quite apart from tens of thousands of Taliban "pushing" in to their "heartland" around Sangin . http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article43815.htm

These companies lost your data in 2015's biggest hacks, breaches | ZDNet

These companies lost your data in 2015's biggest hacks, breaches | ZDNet

All That is Visible and Invisible


All That is Visible and Invisible

http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/all-that-is-visible-and-invisible/5041/

An Extraordinary Year of Mercy

An Extraordinary Year of Mercy
https://ascensionpress.clickfunnels.com/fr-josh?utm_source=Discover+Ascension&utm_campaign=84781e0d35-Year_of_Mercy12_4_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa8273a6fe-84781e0d35-351278213&mc_cid=84781e0d35&mc_eid=2bb902f84a

Ilargi: 2016 Is An Easy Year To Predict

 
"It’s noteworthy when someone who does not see themselves as a finance person to predict that the big story of the upcoming year will be deflation. And that’s more a finance story than a macroeconomic story. It is the result of central banks playing a large role in weakening labor bargaining power, of aggrandizing their role by playing to the fantasy that monetary policy can do more to stimulate growth than it really does, and by backing themselves into the ZIRP/QE corner in their effort, as much as possible, to restore status quo ante in the banking system. Stephen Roach came to similar grim conclusions about how the Fed is choosing to back its way out of ZIRP. However, Roach thinks the Fed might be able to prevent a train wreck if it weans investors of the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellen put. Even if he were right, I can’t imagine this Fed ever doing that."
By RaĂșl Ilargi Meijer, editor-in-chief of The Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/12/ilargi-2016-is-an-easy-year-to-predict.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

Saudi Arabia's mounting security challenges


Saudi Arabia's mounting security challenges


Saudi Arabia's battle in Yemen and conflicts with Iran, coupled with the fall in the price of oil, point to a trying 2016 for the kingdom
Saudi Arabia faces an increasingly complex web of security challenges at a time when its economy is depressed. With oil prices unlikely to rise in the next couple of years, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud will have to balance carefully his foreign policy priorities.
The kingdom announced its new budget Dec. 28 with a record $87 billion deficit. Revenues are projected at $137 billion and spending at $224 billion. Riyadh's immediate priority is the war in Yemen. The war costs an estimated $200 million a day, or $6 billion a month. The Saudi coalition and the Houthi rebels both violated the last United Nations-sponsored cease-fire. The Saudis did gain control of the capital of Jawf province along the Saudi border during the supposed truce. The talks in Biel, Switzerland, did not produce a breakthrough, but are to resume Jan. 14.
The Houthis show no sign of giving up. Their leadership remains hard-line and defiant. The war appears to be a bloody stalemate that has catastrophic humanitarian costs for Yemenis. The outside world pays little if any attention.http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/contents/authors/bruce-riedel.html#

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries taking aim at foreign deals

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries taking aim at foreign deals


http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e2d07618-aa3b-11e5-9700-2b669a5aeb83.html

Guest Post: Connecting Health and the Fight Against Corruption | GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

Guest Post: Connecting Health and the Fight Against Corruption | GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

When the poor are forced to the suburbs, getting to work becomes a huge challenge

When the poor are forced to the suburbs, getting to work becomes a huge challenge


https://www.washingtonpost.com/classic-apps/2015/12/28/9545f3ac-9e95-11e5-a3c5-c77f2cc5a43c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Google is tracking students as it sells more products to schools, privacy advocates warn


Google is tracking students as it sells more products to schools, privacy advocates warn

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/12/28/google-is-tracking-students-as-it-sells-more-products-to-schools-privacy-advocates-warn/?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Trump is right: Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game

Trump is right: Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-right-bill-clintons-sordid-sexual-history-is-fair-game/2015/12/28/70a26bdc-ad92-11e5-b711-1998289ffcea_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

I’m an evangelical preacher. You can’t be pro-life and pro-gun.


I’m an evangelical preacher. You can’t be pro-life and pro-gun.

The American obsession with guns just doesn't square with biblical teaching.

"The impulse to protect oneself is natural, especially after terrorist attacks. But evangelicals must be careful that the noble language of self-defense is not used to cloak a more insidious lust for revenge. St. Paul wrote to persecuted Christians, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay.’” We must turn away from our fears, base human instincts and prejudices, and turn toward the example of Jesus in word and deed."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/12/28/im-evangelical-you-cant-be-pro-life-and-pro-gun/?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Monday, December 28, 2015

Convicted Al Qaeda Boss Was Found On Migrant Boat - Authorities Attempted To Bury This Story - US Chronicle

Convicted Al Qaeda Boss Was Found On Migrant Boat - Authorities Attempted To Bury This Story - US Chronicle

Receding pink tide?

Receding pink tide?
By Vijay Prashad | January 8, 2016 | Frontline | http://www.frontline.in/world-affairs/receding-pink-tide/article8017831.ece?homepage=true

In Latin America, electoral victories of the Right have shifted the balance of forces in the continent away from the Left. By VIJAY PRASHAD

In Argentina, the Right returns to the presidency for the first time since 2003. After a contentious election campaign, the Right will dominate Venezuela’s National Assembly after 16 years in the cold. Brazil’s political world is in disarray, with corruption charges against leaders of the ruling Workers’ Party allowing the Right to appear as the country’s saviour. Elsewhere in South America, similar patterns are evident. Is the “Pink Tide” that began with the 1999 election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela finally receding? http://www.frontline.in/world-affairs/receding-pink-tide/article8017831.ece?homepage=true

The Origin of the New Species of Drone Operator

http://lobelog.com/the-origin-of-the-new-species-of-drone-operator/#more-32378

The Origin of the New Species of Drone Operator 

by David Isenberg
Back in April I wrote about growing involvement of private contractors in unmanned aerial systems.  Only half tongue-in-cheek I wrote:
Yes, it’s PDCs—strange visitors from planets SAIC, BAE, CACI and others in galaxy Androneda—who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of ordinary servicemen. PDCs—enablers of targeted killings. Champions of covert counterterrorist strikes, valiant, courageous fighters against the forces of “inherently governmental” federal employees, who, disguised as Dark Rents, mild-mannered contractors for great metropolitan corporations, fight a never-ending battle for secrecy, obscurity and the American cost-plus contract.

But that might not have been the best reference to use. After all, private contractors are very much a homegrown, not extraterrestrial, life form. Having had some time to study the intervening news and reflect, I think a more apt metaphor may be Charles Darwin, specifically the trait of adaptation that Darwin cited to explain the diversity of species we see in the world around us.
If you think of the market economy as a living being then one must give it credit for the staggering diversity of groups within it. While, to date, nobody has attempted a full taxonomic classification of the PMOCD (Privatus Militaris Obsess Contraho Diligentia), this private military and security contracting industry has managed, with great vigor, to adapt itself to various market niches over the past few decades—from logistics to shooters—and in varied locales from the Balkans and to Iraq to Afghanistan, Africa, and Latin America. Indeed, as a genus, its geographic range is global.http://lobelog.com/the-origin-of-the-new-species-of-drone-operator/#more-32378

Rich, White and Refusing Vaccinations


Rich, White and Refusing Vaccinations


http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/rich-white-and-refusing-vaccinations/

Elites and media really hate Donald Trump’s voters New York Post

Elites and media really hate Donald Trump’s voters New York Post
http://nypost.com/2015/12/26/elites-and-media-really-hate-donald-trumps-voters/

Palestinian lives matter!

The ambulance driver posted the photo of Nasasra lying dead on Facebook [Kamal Badran]
Date of publication: 27 December, 2015 | http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/12/28/palestinian-lives-matter
Over the course of the past few weeks, Israeli political leaders have given carte blanche to their military to kill anyone they see as a threat.
On December 17, Naseer was driving from Nablus to Ramallah. Light rain fell as he approached the Israeli military’s checkpoint at Huwwara. In front of him was another car, moving cautiously. About fifty meters before that car was an Israeli military vehicle. Caution is the order of the day in the vicinity of the Israeli military. No sense in provoking their ire. Naseer kept some distance between the cars. They were moving slowly.
Beside the road, on the grass off the sidewalk, a young boy walked in the same direction of the cars. Naseer observed that the boy seemed to be on the grass to avoid the puddles on the sidewalk.
The Israeli military vehicle braked. An order must have come from the soldiers. The boy put his hands up. Naseer did not hear them but saw him obey. The car in front of his began to go around the military vehicle. Naseer followed. He saw the boy with his hands up. The next minute, in his rear view mirror, Naseer saw the boy on the ground. All this happened in a split second. One minute the boy was standing with his hands up, and the next minute he was dead on the ground.
Naseer stopped his car, as did the driver of the car in front of him. The two men exchanged information. They had both witnessed an execution. There was no opportunity to approach the Israeli soldiers, who had already cordoned off the area.
Not long after, Israeli state media announced that their military had killed Abdullah Hussein Nasasra (age 15) from Beit Furik (near Nablus). The Israeli military said that Nasasra had “charged the forces while armed with a knife.”
Naseer said that he saw no knife. Nor did he see Nasasra charge the military men. They had guns trained on him. Why would he try to attack them with a knife?
Over the course of the past few weeks, Israeli military and security forces have used deadly force against a number of children whom they accuse of knife attacks. Israeli political leaders have given carte blanche to their military to kill anyone they see as a threat. Interior Security Minister Gilad Arden said, “Every terrorist should know that he will not survive the attack he is about to commit.” Yair Lapid, former Minister of Finance in the Israeli government, concurred, “You have to shoot to kill anyone who pulls out a knife or a screwdriver.” Since the Israeli military is the Judge, Executioner and Investigator of these incidents, there is no accountability for them.
When Kamal Badran Qabalan drove his ambulance to the scene, the Israelis blocked him from access to the body. There will be no independent investigation of this death. The miasma of Israeli propaganda – terrorist, knife – has already covered over the facts. Naseer says he is ready to testify against the Israeli military. But how does he do it? There will be no trial. The case will close quietly. Naseer is a distinguished man. His eyes are kind and honest. His voice is defiant as he tells me the story – “I saw them kill a boy,” he says. But what can Naseer do? His body language bespeaks the Occupation. There is futility here beside the defiance. http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/12/28/palestinian-lives-matter

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Israelis don’t want to confront the ugly truth about the occupation

Israelis don’t want to confront the ugly truth about the occupation

That’s too bad, because in not one case have reports and testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence been proved wrong.

During the Dreyfus affair, when despair gnawed at the supporters of the ill-fated Jewish captain, Georges Clemenceau, the editor of the newspaper that would publish Emile Zola’s “J’Accuse” and a future prime minister who would lead France to victory in World War I, wrote: “People don’t know. That’s the biggest tragedy on earth.” This harsh truth keeps repeating elsewhere.
This truth undermines the foundations of democracy and casts doubt on its rationale. People don’t want to confront the ugly truth. Thus immense courage and endless devotion and love for this country, despite all its ills, are required to carry on with the mission undertaken by Breaking the Silence.
These people deserve great respect, as do their supporters such as Maj. Gen. (res.) Amiram Levin, who once led the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. Another example of ethical reflection during war was provided by Col. Eli Geva, a commander of a tank brigade who resigned during the first Lebanon war rather than open fire on a civilian area.http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.693744

The image-makers

The image-makers

The big themes. The best photos. And the stories behind them.
A look back at 2015, as seen through the eyes of photographers who were there.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/opinions/2015/12/23/the-image-makers/?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Saturday, December 26, 2015

“Christmas has no place in the Holy Land”: Far-right Israeli leader wants to expel Christians and ban the holiday


“Christmas has no place in the Holy Land”: Far-right Israeli leader wants to expel Christians and ban the holiday

Benzion Gopstein, head of hate group Lehava, said Christians are "vampires and blood suckers."

http://www.salon.com/2015/12/24/christmas_has_no_place_in_the_holy_land_far_right_israeli_leader_wants_to_expel_christians_and_ban_the_holiday/

Russia 'warming 2.5 times quicker' than global average

Russia 'warming 2.5 times quicker' than global average Moscow (AFP) Dec 25, 2015 - Russia is warming more than twice as fast as the average for the rest of the world, the environment ministry said Friday, sounding an alarm on the rise in floods and wildfires nationwide. A government report on environmental protection said temperatures in Russia had warmed by 0.42 degrees Celsius per decade since 1976, or 2.5 times quicker than the global warming trend of 0.17 degrees. ... morehttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Russia_warming_25_times_quicker_than_global_average_ministry_999.html

How to register your drone with FAA - Business Insider

How to register your drone with FAA - Business Insider

Most unforgettable photos of 2015 - Business Insider

Most unforgettable photos of 2015 - Business Insider

Infected by atrocity – Mondoweiss

Infected by atrocity – Mondoweiss

A Christmas Message in Dark Times | Global Justice in the 21st Century

A Christmas Message in Dark Times | Global Justice in the 21st Century

Why the best Mars colonists could come from places like Iran and Brazil? | SMJ Mortazavi | LinkedIn

Why the best Mars colonists could come from places like Iran and Brazil? | SMJ Mortazavi | LinkedIn

The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s. - The Washington Post

The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s. - The Washington Post

A Christmas Lesson by James J. Zogby

http://lobelog.com/a-christmas-lesson/#more-32375

A Christmas Lesson

by James J. Zogby
There are two Christmas stories. There is the romanticized antiseptic tale that has taken hold in our popular culture. It is the “Silent Night”/”Oh! Little Town of Bethlehem” version. Mary is smiling; Joseph is hovering protectively over mother and child. Animals provide warmth; angels are singing; and shepherds come to see the new born “Babe in the Manger”. In this version, all is pure and all is bright.
It is a comfortable story. But it’s not real. http://lobelog.com/a-christmas-lesson/#more-32375

Slack, one of the 50 Smartest Companies, Wants to Put All Your Work Communiques in One Spot | MIT Technology Review

Slack, one of the 50 Smartest Companies, Wants to Put All Your Work Communiques in One Spot | MIT Technology Review

Sakti3, One of the 50 Smartest Companies, Tries to Make Batteries Smaller, Lighter, and More Useful | MIT Technology Review

Sakti3, One of the 50 Smartest Companies, Tries to Make Batteries Smaller, Lighter, and More Useful | MIT Technology Review

Peter Thiel Says Computers Haven’t Made Our Lives Significantly Better | MIT Technology Review

Peter Thiel Says Computers Haven’t Made Our Lives Significantly Better | MIT Technology Review

Sarah Lewis, Author of The Rise, Discusses the Connections Between Art and Innovation | MIT Technology Review

Sarah Lewis, Author of The Rise, Discusses the Connections Between Art and Innovation | MIT Technology Review

Dropbox: Founder Drew Houston Simplifies the Cloud | MIT Technology Review

Dropbox: Founder Drew Houston Simplifies the Cloud | MIT Technology Review

Q&A: Bill Gates | MIT Technology Review

Q&A: Bill Gates | MIT Technology Review

Q&A: Buzz Aldrin | MIT Technology Review

Q&A: Buzz Aldrin | MIT Technology Review

Endless War, Undeclared and Undebated

http://lobelog.com/endless-war-undeclared-and-undebated/#more-32366

Endless War, Undeclared and Undebated

by Mel Gurtov
The death of six US soldiers in Afghanistan on December 21 at the hands of a Taliban suicide bomber brings to 21 the number of US combat deaths there in 2015. Once again we must confront the question of national purpose in waging war without debate or declaration. Like all other battlefield deaths in the Middle East, the Obama administration rationalizes these latest as being part of “training, advising, and assisting,” not combat. But those are merely code words for direct interventions that Congress has not authorized since 2002, in clear violation of restrictions the War Powers Resolution of 1973 places on presidential power.
There will be plenty more casualties in the Middle East for years to come, and not just because of the seemingly permanent US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Consider two recent news items. According to a plan not yet formally approved, the Pentagon wants to create a worldwide string of “hubs” as staging areas for Special Operations forces to strike quickly against terrorists. Second, most members of Congress are unwilling to introduce and debate a bill authorizing the Obama administration’s use of force in the Middle East and beyond. Thus, there is no end in sight to the US at war, both because the Pentagon has found the perfect enemy and because no one in Congress is willing to stand up to it.
The Pentagon’s plan is to have a forward presence that, in the words of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, “will enable unilateral crisis response, counterterror operations, or strikes on high-value targets.” Not long ago the Pentagon’s mantra was “places, not bases,” so as to avoid all the political problems, as well as the monetary costs, associated with a permanent military presence on foreign soil. Now “places” evidently have been modified to “hubs” and “spokes,” Pentagon-speak for small-scale leased bases of the sort already in place all over Africa. Northern Iraq and southern Europe are being considered as additional hub sites.
Beltway Resistance
Not everyone is reportedly on board with the Pentagon’s plan. The State Department correctly sees it as a power grab that may actually harm US foreign policy. The plan works at cross-purposes with diplomacy, substituting the deployment and use of force for potential opportunities to engage governments and rival groups. More US military facilities, no matter their size, invite criticism in the host countries, may become targets of terror groups, and feed the hostile propaganda of militants. In our terrorism era, however, State has no chance to win this battle.http://lobelog.com/endless-war-undeclared-and-undebated/#more-32366

The Empire Files: 'This Ship is Sinking' Says Former Bush Official


The Empire Files: 'This Ship is Sinking' Says Former Bush Official


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgig1QVU2lY

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

My best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2016 New Year
Michele Kearney

Sy Hersh: Backing Assad's Ouster, Has Hillary Clinton Forgotten the Lessons of Iraq & Libya?


Sy Hersh: Backing Assad's Ouster, Has Hillary Clinton Forgotten the Lessons of Iraq & Libya?


http://www.democracynow.org/2015/12/22/sy_hersh_backing_assads_ouster_has

Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby

Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby

By Allison Deger

Israeli police have opened an investigation into a group of extremist Israelis who recorded themselves rejoicing over the killing of a Palestinian baby by stabbing a photograph of the toddler who was burned alive earlier this year. Footage of the incident aired on Israeli news stations last night, depicting a wedding party in a West Bank settlement waving knives and guns in the air while singing “we will take revenge on the Palestinians.”

Read in browser »http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/israeli-settlers-wedding-palestinian?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=f9ef83dcf4-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-f9ef83dcf4-398529985

Reminders of the first Christmas in today’s migrant crisis

Reminders of the first Christmas in today’s migrant crisis


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hearing-echoes-of-the-first-christmas-in-todays-migrant-crisis/2015/12/24/f96752b4-a9bb-11e5-9b92-dea7cd4b1a4d_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

A Christmas of despair for Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon

A Christmas of despair for Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a-christmas-of-despair-for-syrian-christian-refugees-in-lebanon/2015/12/24/d035f3a2-9d07-11e5-9ad2-568d814bbf3b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

Christmas Day – The Savior by Bishop Robert Barron

Christmas Day – The Savior


http://adventreflections.com/christmas-day-the-savior/

The Nativity of Luke's Gospel

The Nativity of Luke's Gospel


http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/video/the-nativity-of-lukes-gospel/296/

Christmas and the Prologue of John

Christmas and the Prologue of John


http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/video/christmas-and-the-prologue-of-john/223/

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 in Pictures: What Mondoweiss Showed The World – Mondoweiss

2015 in Pictures: What Mondoweiss Showed The World – Mondoweiss

The United States of Fear and Panic


The United States of Fear and Panic

BY STEPHEN KINZER - BOSTON GLOBE - DEC. 23, 2015


Religious terror is not raging across America, but it seems that way. National attention is suddenly focused on our vulnerability to attacks by Islamist fanatics. Presidential candidates compete to offer more radical solutions, from banning Muslim tourists to carpet-bombing the Middle East. Welcome to the United States of Panic.

Fear is becoming part of our daily lives. Yet it is not justified by reality. The true terror threat inside the United States is a fraction of what many Americans want to believe.http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/12/23/the-united-states-fear-and-panic/o3DvdxI1nUw45Z2Lza9aLM/story.html

Rail line disruption set for dramatic increase as sea levels continue to rise

Rail line disruption set for dramatic increase as sea levels continue to rise Plymouth, UK (SPX) Dec 24, 2015 - Rail services to and from the South West of England could be disrupted for more than 10 per cent of each year by 2040 and almost a third by 2100, a new study suggests. The cost of maintaining tracks and sea defences could also soar as predicted sea level rises, coupled with coastal storms and floods, pose major challenges for rail operators and governments. The research, published in ... morehttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Rail_line_disruption_set_for_dramatic_increase_as_sea_levels_continue_to_rise_999.html

Wild bee decline threatens US crop production

Wild bee decline threatens US crop production Burlington VT (SPX) Dec 24, 2015 - The first national study to map U.S. wild bees suggests they're disappearing in many of the country's most important farmlands - including California's Central Valley, the Midwest's corn belt, and the Mississippi River valley. If losses of these crucial pollinators continue, the new nationwide assessment indicates that farmers will face increasing costs - and that the problem may even destabiliz ... more http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Wild_bee_decline_threatens_US_crop_production_999.html

UN: 47% of Gaza households were food insecure in 2014 – Mondoweiss

UN: 47% of Gaza households were food insecure in 2014 – Mondoweiss

Israel's ambassador taunts the White House (again) with holiday gift of settlement goods

Israel's ambassador taunts the White House (again) with holiday gift of settlement goods

Syria ready to take part in Geneva peace talks: minister

Syria ready to take part in Geneva peace talks: minister


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKBN0U70BC20151224


Syria agrees to join Geneva peace talks

Foreign minister says "Syrian-Syrian" dialogue should take place without foreign interference.


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/syria-agrees-part-geneva-peace-talks-151224070532156.html

Syria conflict: Government 'ready to attend peace talks'


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35175475

The UN makes a bit of progress in ending the Middle East’s most intractable war

The UN makes a bit of progress in ending the Middle East’s most intractable war


http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21684537-diplomacy-now-full-swing-crucial-details-are-unresolved-ever-un-makes-bit

A Realistic Peace Plan for Syria Needs to Begin With an Immediate Ceasefire

A Realistic Peace Plan for Syria Needs to Begin With an Immediate Ceasefire


http://www.cfr.org/syria/realistic-peace-plan-syria-needs-begin-immediate-ceasefire/p37388?cid=nlc-dailybrief-daily_news_brief--link12-20151224&sp_mid=50330559&sp_rid=bWljaGVsZXRrZWFybmV5QGdtYWlsLmNvbQS2

A Skeptic’s Take on Solving Syria


A Skeptic’s Take on Solving Syria

Bashar al-Assad is just one of many obstacles in the way of pulling a war-torn country out of chaos. At least for now.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/23/a-skeptics-take-on-solving-syria-middle-east-peace-us/?utm_content=bufferee56a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

St. Augustine on Why We Celebrate Christmas

St. Augustine on Why We Celebrate Christmas


http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/st-augustine-on-why-we-celebrate-christmas/2174/

Christians in China feel full force of authorities’ repression

Christians in China feel full force of authorities’ repression


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/christians-in-china-feel-full-force-of-authorities-repression/2015/12/23/7dd0ec5a-a736-11e5-b596-113f59ee069a_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

U.S. plans raids to deport families who surged across border

U.S. plans raids to deport families who surged across border


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-plans-raids-to-deport-families-who-surged-across-border/2015/12/23/034fc954-a9bd-11e5-8058-480b572b4aae_story.html?wpisrc=nl_draw2

70% of Syria refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

70% of Syria refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty':
Based on an assessment of more than 4,000 refugee households, the report found that an estimated 70 percent of them are living below the Lebanese extreme poverty line of $3.84 per day. "This is a striking increase from 49 per cent in 2014," Mireille Girard, head of the UN refugee agency's Lebanon office, told AFP.

Clinton Lies (Again) by John Halle

Clinton Lies (Again)


http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/23/clinton-lies-again/

Hewitt Hits Hillary’s ISIS Claim: ‘She Lied Again,’ ‘She Invented a Second Video Narrative’


http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hewitt-hits-hillarys-isis-claim-she-lied-again-she-invented-a-second-video-narrative/

Hillary’s Insane Lie about Trump

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428853/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-lie-isis-recruitment
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428853/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-lie-isis-recruitment