The U.N. Security Council is poised to vote on a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, calling the construction "illegal" and "a major obstacle to the achievement of peace."
The White House is trying to block the resolution, but Obama has not indicated whether the U.S. would veto it. Predictably, American politicians and pundits from across the political spectrum are furious that Obama would "sell out" Israel.
I thought oil was supposed to be fungible, so I was curious as to why a barrel of Brent could be selling in the low $100s while WTI was around $85/barrel. That sixteen dollar spread is some sort of record.
The protest movement in Egypt has suddenly alerted many Westerners to the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood, a newish group who did not emerge in Egypt until almost the end of the Coolidge Administration. Furthermore, this fast-breaking development has alerted Western pundits, bloggers, and politicians to the urgent need to say something about the Muslim Brotherhood.
There's an old chestnut that says that two democracies have never gone to war. It's not quite true, or only true if you aggressively redefine "democracy" until you've fallen into the "no-true-Scotsman" fallacy. ("No true democracy ever goes to war with another ...." ) But it is an instructive half-truth: functional democracies very rarely go to war with one another.
Having watched events unfold in Egypt this past week, I must say I am impressed by the bravery and strength of will shown by the Egyptian people. They are standing tall against a dictatorial regime, and that is to be applauded.
My wife and I noticed several months ago that the food we chose to buy was getting much more expensive. I was probably more inspired by Michael Pollan and she by Mehmet Oz, but years ago we agreed that we would cut out the hydrogenated stuff and the high fructose stuff and the high sodium stuff.
Doomer James Kunstler is telling us, Gird Your Loins for Lower Living Standards. He says something like that every year right about now, so it must be time to put the Xmas tree back in the box. Still, he is entertaining.
I agree that hearing Julian Assange's lawyers outrage that leaked information pertaining to the rape charges against him should have never been made public is funny. I also agree with David Seaton that politics is politics and that anything that makes Assange look like a hypocrite is bad news for him. In the game he's playing image is important. You can't be for the release of all secrets except for your own. All absolutists find their petards hoisted sooner
One of my fondest memories was showing Fahrenheit 451 to my stepson. After Guy Montag finds the community of living books at the end (of the film), my stepson proclaimed them heroes with the sort of ardor most kids reserve for famous athletes. He's a librarian now.
The Post Carbon Institute posts this series of videos of a talk by Richard Douthwaite, co-founder of Feasta, an Irish think tank concerned with sustainable economics. He was speaking by phone and video to a group in Michigan, about a month before last year's Copenhagen Summit climate talks, so it is like watching Max Headroom do a slide show. The first four videos are about the problem, the last two are Feasta's proposal for a cap and share system and debt-free currency to keep the poorer folk going.
I'm hoping that this article by Amos Harel, defense correspondent for Israel's Haaretz newspaper, comes through the paywall. Harel is someone I read regularly. He has this no-nonsense straight-forward way of writing that I find refreshing, and many others might find dull. But he knows his stuff. Here's his not so positive assessment of what the future looks like for Israelis and Palestinians.
Some of you recall that earlier in the summer I posted something on increased anti-semitism in Europe, and it bothers me more than you might expect that at least one regular poster stopped posting after things got tense in the comment thread. I really do regret that happened, and I wish I could turn back the clock and bring back anyone who hasn't posted because of that.
I would be lying if I told you all that I don't have continued bruised feelings towards some folks on and off the masthead for what transpired over that thread. We'll see; time heals. I know some of you don't think about these things like I do. . .different strokes (imagine that).
By Timothy Olanrewaju in Maiduguri, The Sun, August 24, 2014
A man who appeared like Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram insurgents in a new video released on Sunday boasted the sect has established an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza town, southeast of Borno State.
He also suggested the terrorists’ rejection of the Nigerian nation, saying: “We are in Islamic Caliphate. We have nothing to do with Nigeria. We don’t believe in this name.” He vowed to continue attacks to increase their quest for more control [....]