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 [...]

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

[...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 — [...]

No further comment needed ?

A little momentary distraction from world headlines… You know who you are.

As participants gathered for the Pitti Uomo trade fair, it was clear that the modern man has a beard.  (NYT caption)

Canadian Government Conditionally Approves 731-Mile Northern Gateway Tar Sands Pipeline

Climate Progress, By Katie Valentine, June 17

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper conditionally approved the Northern Gateway Pipeline Tuesday, a major hurdle for the 731-mile twin pipeline system that will carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the west coast of Canada.

The approval is contingent on Enbridge meeting the 209 conditions for the pipeline [...]

I may be excommunicated from my church for asking for equal rights

Women aren’t allowed to be ordained as priests in the Mormon faith. Because I created a movement to advocate for ordination and equality, I’ve been ordered not to pray aloud.

The Guardian, By Kate Kelly, June 16

On Sunday, I will be tried in absentia for apostasy by the leaders of my former congregation in [...]

Fukushima’s Children are Dying

EcoWatch, By Harvey Wasserman, June 14

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.

More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid [...]

Indian president lays out new economic agenda

Pranab Mukherjee tells parliament government will encourage foreign investment and engage energetically with neighbours.

Al Jazeera, June 9

India’s new government will pursue an economic reform agenda that foresees introducing a general sales tax, encouraging foreign investment and speeding approvals for major business projects, the president has told parliament.

Pranab Mukherjee also said on Monday [...]

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