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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Monday, May 14, 2012

14 May - My Feedly

Dawn lightDawn light (Photo credit: exquisitur)
Soldier in an internally displaced persons cam...Soldier in an internally displaced persons camp in northern Uganda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Number of IDPs, and IDPs as a percentage of to...Number of IDPs, and IDPs as a percentage of total population in Northern Ugandan districts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Original caption states, "A Ugandan milit...Original caption states, "A Ugandan military officer." The second vehicle appears to be a Mamba APC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Reintegration of War-affected Children in Nort...Reintegration of War-affected Children in Northern Uganda (Photo credit: Inmediahk)
DR Congo: Marie-Paul Kimakosa lost much of her...DR Congo: Marie-Paul Kimakosa lost much of her family to the LRA (Photo credit: Oxfam International)

My Feedly Feed your mind

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What is writing worth?
Over at Terribleminds today, Chuck Wendig holds forth on the privilege of being a writer. And I’ve got no quarrel with Chuck’s perspective. Compared to some jobs I’ve had – shoveling gravel, cook at a Pizza Hut, night-crew grocery stocker, selling women’s shoes – writing is a pretty cushy deal. Hell, when my grandfather came over from Ireland, alone and 17, his first job was dispatching cows at on
I’m travelling interstate at the moment, and with site maintenance being rather larger than usual, apologies for things being thin on the ground here. I have finally got email working again, and have been following the ever entertaining antics of the death threats that werent, the gun licence that wasn’t, and the accurate, restrained and well mannered scientists who aren’t accurate, restrained orw
Top of the Morning: Top LRA General Nabbed; Syria Violence Spills Over to Lebanon
Top stories from DAWNS Digest. Uganda Captures Top LRA General. Is Joseph Kony Next? A US-backed Ugandan military force captured one of the top leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army. This suggests that they are right on the tail of nabbing the internationally wanted Joseph Kony. “The Ugandan army said it caught Caesar Achellam, a major general in Kony’s outfit of about 200 fighters, in an ambush

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3 unread articles
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Obama’s Evolution, Romney’s Devolution
The Boston Globe May 11, 2012|Joshua Green Opinion | Joshua Green On Wednesday, after years of claiming that his view was “evolving,” President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. Oddly, the catalyst for that decision was probably his opponent for the presidency, Mitt Romney. Social issues weren’t expected to intrude on a campaign supposed to be all about the economy. But last week,
Top GOP Pollster to GOP: Reverse On Gay Issues
The Daily Beast Andrew Sullivan 12 May 2012 01:03 PM [Re-posted from last night.] Below is a remarkable document. It’s a memo circulated by Jan van Lohuizen, a highly respected Republican pollster, (he polled for George W. Bush in 2004), to various leading Republican operatives, candidates and insiders. It’s on the fast-shifting poll data on marriage equality and gay rights in general, and how tha
Romney’s Adversarial View of Russia Stirs Debate
The New York Times By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. Published: May 11, 2012 WASHINGTON —Mitt Romney’s recent declaration that Russia is America’s top geopolitical adversary drew raised eyebrows and worse from many Democrats, some Republicans and the Russians themselves, all of whom suggested that Mr. Romney was misguidedly stuck in a cold war mind-set. But his statement was not off the cuff — and it was n

The Corbett Report
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The Chicago NATO Summit: Preview and Perspective
by James Corbett GRTV.ca 12 May, 2012 Ever since its inception there have been those who have warned that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, far from offering a simple “collective security” pact to ensure the integrity of its member nations’ borders, would in fact be used as an offensive tool of imperial adventurism and conquest. Since the NATO-led Kosovo bombing campaign of 1999 at the very
Corbett Report Radio 131 – Exposing Bilderberg with Tony Gosling
Tonight we prepare for Bilderberg 2012 by listening to a 2009 conversation with Bilderberg.org founder Tony Gosling. We examine the history and context of the Bilderberg meetings and set the table for what the public can do to help shine a light on this secrecy-shrouded conclave of the world elite.

Centauri Dreams
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Remembering Dandridge Cole
I’ve been thinking all weekend about Dandridge Cole, the aerospace engineer and futurist whose death at age 44 deprived interstellar studies of one of its most insightful advocates. Cole died in 1965, just five years before a deadline he himself set (in 1953!) for a manned landing on the Moon. But then, the former paratrooper from Ohio thought a lot about the future and the need for a kind of ‘fut

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Scorching Coach Luggage Educate you on to indicate Allure of Man in This Summer
coach outlet tough good quality, delightful craftsmanship with the bag to win the style sector’s focus,http://www.coachoutlet90.org/ even though it can be minimal strengthen design and style is simple, nevertheless Trainer continuously from the established American tradition pertaining to motivation, and plug-in with the modern day American style, conventional and popular interpretation of ideal h
Tips for Receiving Coupon coming from Instructor Manufacturer Shops
If you wish to grasp a new Coach Outlet, then your best strategy is that you can choose regarding instructor coupon.http://www.coachoutletlifes.org/ If you can’t afford to buy a artist bag such as instructor luggage, you then should locate a chit that may give you the possibility to have the bag you want coming from Trainer. It really is ideal for you to definitely realize that using a Trainer cou

In These Times
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Perverts on the Bump Patrol
When feminists start applauding anything said or done by Hugh Hefner, we know we've come to an odd pass. But in the May issue of Playboy, Hefner blasts "repressed conservatives" who he says are "pounding on America's bedroom door." Citing Rick Santorum's statement that contraception is "a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be," Hefner denounces the
From California to Quebec, Students Fight Tuition Hikes
Though high-quality, low-cost education is fast becoming a relic, militant student protests are very much alive. This year marked the first time students in the world-renowned University of California system contributed more to their education than the state, a fact that has been met with demonstrations, boardroom occupations and a detailed proposal for free up-front tuition to be financed through

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Throwing Stones
Science Men are having an Excitement about a chimpanzee named Santino, who is currently interned in Sweden in a heavily fortified compound known as the Furuvik Zoo. These Science Men have subjected Santino to a Study, from which they have drawn many interesting Conclusions. However, it seems to me that the Science Men may be neglecting the primary conclusion which Santino, through his behavior, se
Sleeping Beauty
Filed under: Eros, Into The Light, La Musica
Women’s Fashion Through History
Even the sole survivor came to a bad end; for when he reached Athens with a report of the disaster, the wives of the other men who had gone with him to Aegina, in grief and anger that he alone should have escaped, crowded round him and thrust the brooches, which they used for fastening their dresses, into his flesh, each one, as she struck, asking him where her husband was. So he perished, and the
Today we had a Conference on the motion of the US in US v. Thomas [(1960) 362 US 58] to vacate the stay granted by the Court of Appeals. During the Conference [United States Supreme Court Justice Felix] Frankfurter got very heated. He recalled how I, as far back as 1946, was urging the Court to meet the segregation issue and bring cases up. He said if the cases had been brought up then he would ha

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Private Sector and Conservationists Meet on a Big Date
As schools of whales move to music undersea at image definitions of 6.54 million pixels on the giant ceiling mounted LED screen, 218 X 30 metres in length and width, expectations run high from the International Exposition Yeosu Korea 2012 at harbour town. The expo showcases 104 participating countries' visions and achievements on the Expo theme: ‘The Living Ocean and Coast: Diversity of Resou
Financial Middlemen Muddle Climate Commitments
The European Union has been using all means necessary to fill the multi- billion-euro fund for climate change, including the controversial mobilisation of public resources through private financial intermediaries.

Texas Liberal
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Two Ships
Two ships—One of the Bolivar Ferry boats and the other a big Carnival Cruise ship—passing each other yesterday in the Galveston Ship Channel. Ships can pass in the day as well as in the night.
At Rest
The dead were at rest yesterday in Galveston, Texas.
Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—Gone To Texas
Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas. (Above–A movie I did not see. Here is some background on the phrase Gone To Texas from the excellent Handbook of Texas Online.) Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeti
It has rained and stormed a lot in Houston over the past two days. Here is a picture of that rain through my car windshield.

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Are We Winning or Losing?
We’ve now passed the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and widely expected acts of nuclear terrorism have yet to occur. One example: Graham Allison predicted in Nuclear Terrorism (2004) that, “In my considered judgment, on the current path, a nuclear terrorist attack on America in the decade ahead is more likely than not.” We all know that the most likely form of nuclear terrorism is the use
Extending Deterrence from the Triad
Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) successfully sponsored an amendment to the FY2013 NDAA that would require Defense and State to submit a report on redeploying tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea, although the language is slightly more delicate in referring to the “Western Pacific.” “What will they want next?” my colleague Jon Wolfsthal asked, “an MC Hammer comeback tour?” Oh boy. Where to st

Amused Cynicism
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Another Pirate victory — this time North Rhine Westphalia
Pirates have won another electoral voctory, this time in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, where they got 7.5% of the vote: The parvenu Pirates party, whose platform is based on greater openness in government through technology, were celebrating their fourth successive entry into a regional parliament after polling 7.5%.
What the singularity will be like without a Pirate government
Would would the world be like after a technological singularity? Well, unless the Pirate Party wins power, it could look like this: (Via The Guardian)
Why politicians don’t get the internet
(A slightly shorter version of this essay was originally published on A Burdz Eye View in April 2012. I wrote it partly as a response to an essay by Pete Wishart, but mostly to understand the phenomenon of politicians being clueless.) Politicians sometimes say (and do) things that internet users think are both clueless and immoral. Why is this? Politicians want people to vote for them, so they don

WWF - Latest News
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WWF to Total: Virunga "is in your hands"
WWF has called on French oil company Total to refrain from exploration in Virunga National Park. At a meeting of Total shareholders and investors Friday, WWF hosted a demonstration and published an open letter to the company president. Total has been granted an oil concession that includes a portion of the World Heritage Site, which is recognized as a treasure of biodiversity. WWF is asking Tota
Saving one turtle at a time in Bali
By Aimee Leslie, WWF's Marine Turtle and Cetacean Manager Indonesia is 90% Muslim, but Bali is the exception, which is 90% Hindu. The Hindu community of Bali has traditionally used marine turtles for religious ceremonies for decades. Consumption of these turtles summed between 10,000 and 20,000 a year. It is no secret that changing a tradition, specially a religious one is no easy task; but WWF
Female ranger awaits justice for abuses
By Fidelis Pegue Manga When Mary Ashu, 29, was posted to serve as forest ranger on the east flank of the Dja Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the East and South Regions of Cameroon in 2007, she beamed with enthusiasm. Not long after taking up service, he presence began being felt at a control post near the reserve. Mary would thoroughly search every single vehicle
Working together to save the dolphins of the Mekong River
By Aimee Leslie, WWF's Marine Turtle and Cetacean Manager  Today the population of 85 Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabits the Mekong River in Cambodia faces great danger. Gill nets, the proposed construction of hydropower dams, and unplanned development all threaten the survival of the Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong. But today, the biggest challenge faced by WWF scientists is that the calves

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Reappropriating Mother’s Day
Forget Hallmark and Big Flora — Mother’s Day is (and always has been) for radicals: Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars. She called for women t

Syria Comment
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“The Hamas-Syrian Split, a Dilemma for Iran’s Palestinian Strategy,” By Mohammad Ataie
The Hamas-Syrian Split, a Dilemma for Iran’s Palestinian Strategy By Mohammad Ataie for Syria Comment May 13, 2012 Since the advent of the Iranian revolution, the Palestinian issue has been at the heart of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy. For ideological and strategic reasons, supporting the Palestinian cause and resistance against Israel has been an integral part of the Islamic Republic’s

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Happenstance and political argument
The arguments against legalizing same-sex marriage become emptier and emptier. The latest example is the following from Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman:People in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect. However, that doesn't mean it carries on to marriage... I don't think it's a matter of civil rights. I think it's just a matter o
To bigotry no sanction
I'm slightly surprised I'd never come across this letter before, but I hadn't. It's a letter written by George Washington in 1790 to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, and it's to go on show at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia after a decade in storage. This is the heart of it:The Citizens of the United States of America have a right
Not what we are, but only because of what IT is
Hugo Rifkind has a piece about torture in yesterday's Times. I think it's confused. Rifkind is against torture on moral grounds, but he doesn't believe that any of what he calls the 'rational' arguments against torture succeed. Thus - I summarize - he's not convinced that torture doesn't work; with a lot of people it might well work. And he's also not wholly persuaded by the argument that torture
A gadget for all seasons
There's a piece in the Independent claiming to feature the '50 Best travel gadgets'. Having just returned from travelling, I think I can say with some authority that there's a serious omission from that list. Here's an example of one of the very best gadgets of all, travel or otherwise. Here's another example. You got it: the BOOK.
Liberty Bell
My sister Tam - that's my little sister - took me into Philadelphia yesterday and I got a look at the Liberty Bell. The picture is Tam's, though the figure of me is mine: I'm not from Oregon; that T-shirt was bought in Manchester. But anyway, it's me beside a historic symbol of political freedom, and paying my respects. Afterwards we continued in the same mode and went to Independence Hall. If
A new outing for universal jurisdiction
See the report here:A South African judge on Tuesday ordered prosecutors to investigate whether Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government committed human rights abuses, saying it would benefit Zimbabweans tortured in their homeland and South Africans determined to see their own government live up to its international responsibilities. The ruling by High Court Judge Hans Fabricius is the fir

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Will conservative talk show hosts talk about Agenda 21?
by Mark Vogl:    The foundation for Obama's policies come from United Nations Agenda 21! Will this ever be addressed by Rush, Sean, Glen Beck or Savage?
Privatizing Marriage Would Settle the Issue
by Kenn Jacobine:    Statists claim that the purpose of licensure laws is to protect people and produce quality results.
Same Sex Marriage, Big Whoopee!
by Gene DeNardo:    Another non issue that occupies the minds and time of partisan folk and keeps them from uncovering the real problem.
Conversation With A Keynesian, Part 3
by Van Bryant, II:    That's the Keynesian mind... It's magic and unrealistic! ~
Conversation With A Keynesian, Part 2
by Van Bryant, II:    Pots of gold and rainbows, and my red balloons!

The Arabist
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Links May 6-12 2012
My latest column for The National, on Egypt's presidential race and its political context, is here. I'm on a trip, so there will be very little posting in the next few days. Transcript of round 1: Mousa vs Fotouh Debate #monazarat | moftasa.net Syria Comment » Archives » Main Pillars of the Syrian Regime Collapsing Syria Crisis: A Firsthand Look at a Devastated Country | PRI's The World From
The US military's Islam problem
The US military: the word's most advanced fighting force, technologically bleeding edge, probably the most complex logistics and planning effort by anyone on the planet. The core of the American empire. Unfortunately, it is also plagued by complete morons and, apparently, a culture of tolerance for genocide. Danger Room reports: The U.S. military taught its future leaders that a “total war” a
Google's Howard Carter Doodle
Google has a nice doodle today celebrating the 138th birthday of Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb of King Tut and other goodies.
What I've been up to lately
So here are a few recent stories I've forgotten to link to: An article on curricular and education reform in Egypt and Tunisia (which with the exception of some edits to the civic education books -- the most egregious offenders in terms of flattering references to the countries' dictators -- hasn't really started yet) in Foreign Policy. In Egypt, at least, the challenges to reforming public educat
Dunn on the necrophilia law hoax
It's gone around the internets a lot already, but I really think Michael Collins Dunn of MEI deserves kudos for his excellent deconstruction of the stupid "necrophilia law" hoax. It's really amazing how many people completely suspended their common sense and took it seriously. As he writes: It's a case study in the down side of instant 24/7 reporting, and it tells us something about the tende
Once we kissed
It took me almost a year to collect this rare footage from Arab films between the 20's and the 60's. With the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism after the Arab Spring in 2011, extremists have been calling for a rupture with the past and censorship of our heritage. This is a reminder of who we used to be, and that one day we were capable of showing love rather than condemning it... Inspired by Giusep

The Truth is Where?
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Boat crafted from Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar to be launched.
7th May 2012.  Find Full Article Here:- A boat crafted from 1,200 pieces of wood, including fragments from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, will be launched today as part of a national art project to mark the Olympics. Created as a “floating collage of memories”, The Boat Project has been funded by the Arts Council England’s Artists’ Taking the Lead project Photo: PA Created as a ”
Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US.
Here is a short video of Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds highlighting the shocking radioactive contamination in Tokyo. March 25th 2012.  Watch 4 min Video Here:- About this videoWhile traveling in Japan several weeks ago, Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen took soil samples in Tokyo public parks, playgrounds, and rooftop gardens. All the samples would be considered nuclear waste if found here in the US.
Massive rise in Asian eye damage
By Matt McGrath Science reporter, BBC World Service 4th May 2012. Find Full Article and Short Video Here:- Up to 90% ofschool leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia – short-sightedness – a study suggests. Researchers say the “extraordinary rise” in the problem is being caused by studentsworking very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light. The scientists told the Lancet th
Quantum computing: Is it possible, and should you care?
By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News  13th April 2012.  Find Full Article Here:- What is a quantum computer and when can I have one? It makes use of all that “spooky” quantum stuff and vastly increases computing power, right? And they’ll be under every desk when scientists finally tame the spooky stuff, right? And computing will undergo a revolution no less profound than the o

Climate Realists
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Robert M Wagner: Global warming claims all hot air, says speaker at OU
Article Tags: Robert M Wagner Dr. Robert M Wagner of the group Conservative Cavalry denied the existence of climate change during an appearance at Ohio University Thursday evening. Wagner suggested the notion of human-caused global warming is mainly a cover for intrusive government regulation. "If you really boil it down, [the climate change debate] is about control," Wagner said. "How can we
Andrew Bolt: Milne says goodbye to science to beef up her scare
Article Tags: Andrew Bolt, CO2 Propaganda, Spot The Deliberate Mistake CCN Australia's Climate Summit: Christine Milne (Australian Greens) - YouTube link Published on May 13, 2012 by antonylewis66 Friday Evening Political Forum: Beyond the Carbon Price Part 7 of 8: Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens, delivers an inspiring call to action as the consequences of climate change ar
P. Gosselin: Yet Another Paper Shows “The Enormous Importance Of Solar Activity Fluctuations On Climate”
Article Tags: Fritz Vahrenholt, Headline Story, P Gosselin, Sebastian Lüning, Solar News Figure 1: Reconstruction of precipitation amounts for the edge of the Tibet Plateau. The bars on the chart depict prominent weak phases of solar activity, which correspond to Om = Oort Minimum; Wm = Wolf Minimum; Sm = Spörer Minimum; Mm = Maunder Minimum; Dm = Dalton Minimum). Figure from: Sun & Liu
Solar Climate Change: Latest news: There Have Been NO Significant Earthquakes in May
Article Tags: Solar Climate Change The latest report from earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes has ZERO in the MAY section for 2012 Significant Earthquake and News Headlines Archive... Significant Earthquake Earthquakes: • NOTHING FOR MAY (SO FAR) • APRIL •Magnitude 6.7 TONGA April 28, 2012 •Magnitude 6.6 NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA April 21, 2012 •Magnitude 6.8 EASTERN NEW GUINEA
WOW: DON'T MISS: 5th - 6th June 2012: The Transit of Venus
Article Tags: NASA, WOW eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov - The transit or passage of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare occurrence. As seen from Earth, only transits of Mercury and Venus are possible. On average, there are 13 transits of Mercury each century. In contrast, transits of Venus occur in pairs with more than a century separating each pair. The last Venus transit was
MUST SEE YOUTUBE: Roger Helmer lambasts Commissioner Tajani for lack of insight
Article Tags: ROGER HELMER Roger Helmer lambasts Commissioner Tajani for lack of insight YouTube link Published on May 10, 2012 by UKIPmeps Donate to UKIP: http://www.ukip.org/donations | http://www.ukipmeps.org • European Parliament, Brussels, 8 May 2012 • Speaker: Roger Helmer MEP, UK Independence Party (UKIP, East Midlands), Europe of Freedom and Democracy group (EFD) Read in full w
Lawrence Solomon: Green power failure
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