Russia Will Only Get Worse. Maybe.

Putin is on the horns of a dilemna. For the first time since the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Russia faces a severe economic crisis – after enjoying years of relative prosperity – and she has a warmongering chief executive. This is a nexus of events that will shape and define Russia for at [...]

Middle History

Whereas the novelist creates characters to drive his narrative and arranges plot steps into a dramatic arc toward some sort of resolution, the historian is given his characters and tries to find a plausible narrative to support an unfolding record of events and outcomes. He searches the record to identify the circumstance, interpret the motive.

[...]

Open Source: Latest Updates on Malaysian Plane Crash in Ukraine

NYT – On Friday, Open Source continues to follow the aftermath of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine to supplement the latest coverage of New York Times reporters on the ground.

Updates below mix breaking news reports with new information on the investigation into the disaster and the reaction to [...]

Lest we forget we are part of the glass house…The downing of Flight 655

NYT- U.S. DOWNS IRAN AIRLINER MISTAKEN FOR F-14; 290 REPORTED DEAD; A TRAGEDY, REAGAN SAYS; ACTION IS DEFENDED – July 4, 1988- United States Navy warship in the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian passenger plane today that the Navy said it mistook for a jet fighter, and Iran said all 290 people on [...]

BP’s Latest Estimate Says World’s Oil Will Last 53.3 Years

OilPrice.com, By Andy Tully, July 13

According to BP, drivers whose vehicles rely on burning oil have a little more than a half-century to find alternate sources of energy. Or walk.

BP’s annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, [...]

Nadine Gordimer | 1923-2014

NYT – A Nobelist With 3 Banned Apartheid Novels

Bengt Oberger/Wikimedia Commons

Ms. Gordimer found themes in the injustices and cruelties of South Africa’s policies of racial division, and she left no quarter of the society unexplored. She died Sunday at 90.

Nadine Gordimer in the New Yorker here

[...]

All Wet: Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister

h/t Steve H.

Guardian -The British government’s problems with missing files deepened on Wednesday when the Foreign Office claimed documents on the UK’s role in a CIA global abduction operation had been accidentally destroyed when they became soaked with water.

In a statement that human rights groups said smacked of a cover-up, the department maintained [...]

Gitmo brass testifying on force-feeding would be bad for morale, US says

Al Jazeera, By Jason Leopold, July 8

The former warden of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility should not be hauled into court to “defend against our enemies’ legal challenges” because it could lead to low morale among soldiers under his command who may question his leadership skills, the Justice Department argued in court documents.

Moreover, [...]

NoTitle NoComment cartoon

Steven G. Artley@artleytoons via Politico

Thoughts?

Trans-Pacific Partnership talks going on in Ottawa

CBC, By Kristy Kirkup, July 3

Trade officials from Canada and other Asia-Pacific nations are meeting behind closed doors in Ottawa to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive free-trade proposal that could create one of the world’s largest trading blocks.

The TPP currently comprises 12 countries, including Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New [...]

Ten Years after D-Day

London Review of Books, By John Perry, June 27

Over ten days in June 1954, a decade after the D-Day landings, the CIA sent twelve planes to drop bombs and propaganda on towns in Guatemala in support of a coup against the elected government of Jácobo Arbenz. They did only minor damage at first: one [...]

One step forward, two steps back

Forward:

World People Making a Difference Change Agent

Katrell Christie, owner of a tea shop in Atlanta, helps educate girls in India, giving them choices beyond lives of hard labor.

Back:

Buy a discount maid at Singapore’s malls

In Singapore, maids are put on display and made available for ‘purchase’ in central [...]

The Left-Right Political Spectrum Is Bogus

It might be a division between social identities based on class or region or race or gender, but it is certainly not a clash between different ideas.

The Atlantic, By Crispin Sartwell, June 20

Americans are more divided than ever by political ideology, as a recent Pew Research Center study makes clear. About a third [...]

Israel accepts first delivery of disputed oil from Iraqi Kurdistan’s pipeline

Tanker reportedly delivers disputed crude oil from Kurdistan’s new pipeline despite legal threats by Iraqi government.

Reuters, By Julia Payne, June 21

A tanker delivered a cargo of disputed crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan’s new pipeline for the first time on Friday in Israel, despite threats by Baghdad to take legal action against any buyer.

[...]

What Green Revolution? Coal Use Highest In 44 Years

OilPrice.com, By Nick Cunningham, June 18

U.S. President Barack Obama may be engaging in a “war on coal” with carbon regulations intended to shrink coal’s share of energy production, but worldwide, coal is in its strongest position in decades. In 2013, enough coal was burned to meet 30.1 percent of the world’s energy demands — [...]

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