Category Archives: american way

渡邉優

グアンタナモ湾は、キューバ島の南東部、首都ハバナから約九二〇キロメートルに位置し、キューバ島と東隣のエスパニョラ島を隔てるウィンドワード海峡そして南のジャマイカを分かつコロンブス海峡を睨む、カリブ海海上交通上の要衝である。
コロンブスによる「発見」の後、グアンタナモを含むキューバ島全体がスペインの植民地となったが、十八世紀には英国が武力でグアンタナモを奪わんと試み、米西戦争開始直後の一八九八年六月にアメリカがグアンタナモに兵を進めた。これ以降、アメリカがカリブ海及びパナマ海峡に至るまでの海域に対する制海権を維持することが可能となった。

The New Yorker

米国が膨大な資金と軍事力を投じたにもかかわらず、アフガニスタンの民主化は遅々として進まず、むしろ状況が悪化しているのはなぜなのだろうか?
米政府はこれまで約8000億ドル(約80兆円)の予算をアフガニスタンにおける軍事活動に費やしている。そのうち、約1130億ドル(約11兆3000億円)が復興活動に充てられたが、これは第2次大戦後の欧州でマーシャル・プランに使われた額を超えているという。
戦争が始まった時点で、アフガニスタンの1人当たりGDPは120ドルほどだった。それゆえに米軍の司令官デヴィッド・ペトレイアスは、アフガニスタン戦略に資金をつぎ込むことをこう奨励した。
「武器の一つとして金を用いる。金は防御手段となりうるのだ」
一方、ワシントンの関心事は、死傷者をこれ以上出さないためにアフガニスタンに駐留する米兵の数を減らすことだった。
そのため米軍は、基地のメンテナンスから調理、洗濯、物流、警備までありとあらゆる仕事を現地の人間にまかせていた。2007年以降、米軍基地内には米兵の約3倍のアフガニスタン人が働いているような状況だった。
アフガニスタン人にとっても、米軍相手のビジネスはよい生活の糧だった。なかでも、米軍に物資の調達をまかされていた物流会社はその事業をどんどん拡大していった。
このビジネスによって巨万の富を築いた者もいる。
まだ20代の物流会社のオーナー、ヒクマット・シャードマンだ。
彼は、米軍との契約期間に1億6000万ドル(約160億円)以上も稼いだという。
だが、そんな彼は現在、全財産である7099万605ドル(約80億円)を守るために米連邦裁判所で争っている。
ヒクマットは米軍やアフガンの関連業者に対する贈賄罪で告訴されているが、彼はその罪をかたくなに否定し続けている。だがすでに、この事件に関与した8人の兵士が有罪判決を受けた。

James Ball, Nick Hopkins

British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top-secret documents reveal.
The papers show GCHQ, in collaboration with America’s National Security Agency (NSA), was targeting organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Spiegel

Der US-Geheimdienst NSA hat nicht nur die Europäische Union, sondern auch die Zentrale der Vereinten Nationen abgehört. Das geht aus geheimen Unterlagen der NSA hervor, die der SPIEGEL ausgewertet hat.
Demnach ist es der NSA im Sommer 2012 gelungen, in die interne Videokonferenzanlage der Völkergemeinschaft einzudringen und die Verschlüsselung zu knacken. Dies habe für “eine dramatische Verbesserung der Daten aus Video-Telekonferenzen und der Fähigkeit, diesen Datenverkehr zu entschlüsseln” gesorgt, heißt es in einem geheimen NSA-Dokument. “Der Datenverkehr liefert uns die internen Video-Telekonferenzen der Uno (yay!)”. Innerhalb von knapp drei Wochen sei die Zahl der entschlüsselten Kommunikationen von 12 auf 458 angestiegen.

Daniel Markovits

AN UNPRECEDENTED INEQUALITY
Meritocracy’s two components, having developed together, now interact as expressions of a single, integrated whole. Elaborate elite education produces superordinate workers, who possess a powerful work ethic and exceptional skills. These workers then induce a transformation in the labor market that favors their own elite skills, and at the same time dominate the lucrative new jobs that the transformation creates. Together these two transformations idle mid-skilled workers and engage the new elite, making it both enormously productive and extravagantly paid. The spoils of victory grow in tandem with the intensity of meritocratic competition. Indeed, the top 1 percent of earners, and even the top onetenth of 1 percent, today owe perhaps two-thirds or even three-quarters of their total incomes to their labor and therefore substantially to their education. The new elite then invests its income in yet more elaborate education for its children. And the cycle continues.
The sum total of elite training and industry, and of the elite labor income that meritocracy sustains, is absolutely immense. Meritocracy makes economic inequality overall dramatically worse today than in the past and shockingly worse in America than in other rich countries.

David Brooks

Who is driving inequality in America? You are. I am. We are.
Did you read to your kids before bed when they were young? If you did, you gave them an advantage over kids whose parents were working the evening shift at 7-Eleven. Did you spend extra on tutoring or music lessons? Since 1996, affluent families have spent almost 300 percent more educating their young while everybody else’s spending has been mostly flat.
Did you marry before having kids and raise your kids in a two-parent home? The children of the well educated are now much more likely to grow up in stable families, and those differences in family structure explain 32 percent of the growth of family income inequality since 1979.
If you did these things, you did nothing wrong. You invested in your children’s flourishing as any decent parent would.
But here’s the situation: The information economy rains money on highly trained professionals — doctors, lawyers, corporate managers, engineers and so on.

Elsa B. Kania

As the PLA attempts to overtake, rather than just catch up with or match, U.S. progress in this domain, it will be vital to understand and take into account its evolving approach and advances. In particular, the PLA’s capacity to leverage military applications of AI could prove distinctive due to its model of military-civil fusion, expansive concept of “intelligentization,” and focus on AI-enabled command decision-making. Certain PLA thinkers even anticipate the approach of a “singularity” on the battlefield, at which human cognition can no longer keep pace with the speed of decision-making and tempo of combat in future warfare. While recognizing the importance of human-machine collaboration, and likely concerned with issues of controllability, the PLA could prove less adverse to the prospect of taking humans ‘out of the loop’ to achieve an advantage.

Battlefield Singularity (PDF file)

Karen Zraick

In the latest sign of the astronomical cost of living in parts of California, the federal government now classifies a family of four earning up to $117,400 as low-income in three counties around the Bay Area.
That threshold, the highest of its kind in the nation, applies to San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. It’s used to determine eligibility for federal and local housing assistance programs.

Edie Weinstein

What are the qualities of a healthy and loving relationship that has sustainability?

  • Trust
  • Accountability/reliability
  • A sense of having each other’s backs
  • Open communication
  • Safety (physically and emotionally and knowing that your partner won’t intentionally harm you)
  • A willingness for each person to do the inner work to help the relationship thrive, rather than expecting the other person to take on the responsibility for you
  • Cleaning up your own messes; or as Reid Mihalko also shares, “Leave the campground better than you found it.”
  • Co-creating the rules for relationship; maintaining them or re-negotiating them
  • Focusing on strengths, as well as awareness of areas that call for improvement
  • Knowing where there is room for adjustment vs. non-negotiables

Thomas J. Sugrue

That history is a reminder that civility is in the eye of the beholder. And when the beholder wants to maintain an unequal status quo, it’s easy to accuse picketers, protesters, and preachers alike of incivility, as much because of their message as their methods. For those upset by disruptive protests, the history of civil rights offers an unsettling reminder that the path to change is seldom polite.

United States Government Accountability Office

According to experts, artificial intelligence (AI) holds substantial promise for improving human life and economic competitiveness in a variety of capacities and for helping to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges. At the same time, however, AI poses new risks and has the potential to displace workers in some sectors, requires new skills and adaptability to changing workforce needs, and could exacerbate socioeconomic inequality.

Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST)

Interested in a particular country or subject? Go beyond the experiences of simply one diplomat with Country and Subject Readers.
These Readers consist of relevant excerpts from individual oral history interviews arranged in approximate chronological order. They are designed to give users an overview of U.S. relations with a country or policy on a specific subject, as seen by those who dealt with it from Washington or in the field. The Readers offer unique insights over decades, though they may not provide full chronological continuity.

Manhattan Project “Metallurgical Laboratory”

Scientists have often before been accused of providing new weapons for the mutual destruction of nations, instead of improving their well-being. It is undoubtedly true that the discovery of flying, for example, has so far brought much more misery than enjoyment or profit to humanity. However, in the past, scientists could disclaim direct responsibility for the use to which mankind had put their disinterested discoveries. We cannot take the same attitude now because the success which we have achieved in the development of nuclear power is fraught with infinitely greater dangers than were all the inventions of the past.

Donald Trump

Even Japan. Look, the prime minister’s a great guy, Abe. He’s a warrior. Tough, strong, smart. But I said trade isn’t so good with Japan. It’s so one-sided. They don’t take our product and we take their cars, I mean the cars and 90 percent of the cars, they just come. They need Mario Andretti to drive those cars off the boats. They come off the boats like 60 miles an hour. We send a car to Japan, they analyze it for four weeks before they decide to send it back because it’s not environmentally friendly.
**
In some cases like South Korea you know they’re making a fortune. Well we backed them many years ago.
But we never trade — you know when they became rich we never changed the deal. So we were backing, backing, backing. And no politician ever changed the deal.
Now we have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them. So we lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea.
Let’s see what happens. Think I’ve done a good job with that one. That’s sort of interesting.

Donald Trump

We want reciprocal — mirror. Some people call it a mirror tariff or a mirror tax. Just use the word reciprocal. If they charge us, we charge them the same thing. That’s the way it’s got to be. That’s not the way it is. For many, many years — for many decades, it has not been that way.
And I will say, the people we’re negotiating with — smilingly, they really agree with us. I really believe they cannot believe they’ve gotten away with this for so long.
I’ll talk to Prime Minister Abe of Japan and others — great guy, friend of mine — and there will be a little smile on their face. And the smile is, “I can’t believe we’ve been able to take advantage of the United States for so long.” So those days are over.

KIMT

Iconic American guitar manufacturer Gibson is facing some financial blues.
Standard & Poor’s downgraded Gibson Brands on Wednesday over concerns that it might default on more than $500 million in corporate debt this summer.
S&P lowered its rating for Gibson to CCC-minus, from the already very low rating of CCC. S&P says a CCC-minus rating indicates that a default is imminent.
The rating agency said that Gibson continues to deal with the “lingering effects” of regulations on imports and exports on rosewood, a critical component in many guitars. Rosewood regulations slowed down the guitar industry as a whole last year, according to IbisWorld, which tracks the guitar industry.
Moody’s issued a Caa3 rating for Gibson, which it describes as a “substantial credit risk” with a capital structure that is “unsustainable.”

Emily Badger, Margot Sanger-Katz

The “able-bodied” are now everywhere among government programs for the poor. They’re on food stamps. They’re collecting welfare. They’re living in subsidized housing. And their numbers have swelled on Medicaid, a program that critics say was never designed to serve them.
These so-called able-bodied are defined in many ways by what they are not: not disabled, not elderly, not children, not pregnant, not blind. They are effectively everyone left, and they have become the focus of resurgent conservative proposals to overhaul government aid, such as one announced last month by the Trump administration that would allow states to test work requirements for Medicaid.
Able-bodied is not truly a demographic label, though: There is no standard for physical or mental ability that makes a person able. Rather, the term has long been a political one. Across centuries of use, it has consistently implied another negative: The able-bodied could work, but are not working (or working hard enough). And, as such, they don’t deserve our aid.

David Gauthier

I want to enquire into the relationship between the normative claims of a society and the normative stances of its members. I shall develop a contractarian perspective, as the only one available to persons who may neither expect nor require their fellows to share their own orientation to values and norms.

Andrew J. Bacevich

Reality turns out to be considerably more complicated. In practice, civilian control—expectations that the brass, having rendered advice, will then loyally execute whatever decision the commander-in-chief makes—is at best a useful fiction.
In front of the curtain, the generals and admirals defer; behind the curtain, on all but the smallest of issues, the military’s collective leadership pursue their own agenda informed by their own convictions of what is good for the country and, by extension, for the institutions over which they preside. In this regard, the Pentagon’s behavior does not differ from that of automakers, labor unions, the movie business, environmental groups, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Israel lobby, or the NAACP.

Lee Siegelmay

Whenever a Republican gets elected president, it is a standard reflex for die-hard liberals and progressives to wring their hands and moan about moving to Canada or Europe.
For those of us who have lived abroad — when I was 19, I moved with my girlfriend to her grandmother’s house in Norway, fleeing my father’s bankruptcy and my own economic struggles — migratory thoughts are a cozy daydream, fueled by nostalgia and idealism, but no more than that.
I thought of returning abroad after Bush v. Gore. But like thousands of crestfallen liberals, I ended up deciding that things were bad but not quite bad enough — that George W. Bush was a terrible president, but that he was just one man, a usurper. The calamity of his reign, I figured, would pass.
This time around, though, I’m thinking of living again in Scandinavia more seriously than I ever have before. Something fundamental has changed in America, for the worse.

Herman Miller

 
I’m available: Shutters and lower interior walls provide a means for easy and direct interaction among team members and coworkers. Perimeter walls define a group space; this boundary offers its own form of group control.


 
I’m not available: My Studio Environments gives people a means to discourage interruption by closing the door and shutters of the office; the translucent wall allows visitors and team members to see that a person is in the closed office, a clear signal not to interrupt.

Professor Watchlist

Professor Watchlist is a project of Turning Point USA.
The mission of Professor Watchlist is to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.
This website is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations throughout the past few years. While we accept tips for new additions on our website, we only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported somewhere else. TPUSA will continue to fight for free speech and the right for​​ professors to say whatever they wish​;​ however students, parents, and alumni deserve to know the specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.

Stephen Rose

While there are no standard definitions of U.S. social classes, this report uses the following annual income thresholds for a family of three in 2014:

  • Poor and near-poor: $0 to $30,000. Families in poverty and up to 150% of the poverty level; 19.8% of the population.
  • Lower middle class: $30,000 to $50,000. Families 1.5 to 2.5 times above the poverty line, but below the median income; 17.1% of the population.
  • Middle class: $50,000 to $100,000. Families in poverty and up to 150%2.5 to 5 times above the poverty level and includes the median income; 32% of the population.
  • Upper middle class: $100,000 to $350,000. Families earning six-figure incomes at least five times the poverty level; 29.4% of the population.
  • Rich: $350,000 and higher; 1.8% of the population.

Meredith McIver

Meredith McIver explained that she included the passages from Michelle Obama’s speech after listening to Melania Trump read passages from the 2008 address.
Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.

Jon Favreau

    Jon Favreau

  • I tell the president to start speeches in the most organic way possible. You wouldn’t start a conversation by saying ‘As John F. Kennedy once said…’, so you shouldn’t start a speech that way either.
  • It’s good to put in jokes that are really funny but not ‘appropriate’ for a politician to tell.
  • The personal stories that work tell people why you do the things you do. If you’re telling a personal story make it authentic – talk about tough times.
  • What might seem like a good needling of the opposition on paper sounds a bit harsher in reality and you won’t get the applause. So a little goes a long way – the press will always pick up on it when you try to ‘draw a contrast’ as we call it. Humour is a great approach.
  • “I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president. I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return.” These lines were going to be at the top of the speech, but we moved them to the end because it was worth having a dramatic moment …

George Hahn

nyv
In a strange way, my current relationship with Manhattan now feels like a betrayal of a disloyal lover who traded-up for someone with more money. New York has been my home for more than two decades, and the thought of leaving truly breaks my heart.
… So head where? Do what? I’ve made no definitive decisions yet. This is just a period of realizations. We do what we do until it stops working. Then we change. Of the many things I’ve learned while living here, I’ve learned how to be resourceful, how to adapt and how to survive. I’ve changed careers, learned new tricks, earned self-taught skills, rolled up my sleeves and built something. I can do it again.

Jacob J. Lew

LewGiven the backdrop of weak global growth, Japan needs to look to domestic, rather than external, demand. It’s important that overall fiscal policy be supportive and that an ambitious structural reform agenda prioritizes measures to lift near-term growth. Despite recent yen appreciation, foreign exchange markets remain orderly.
It’s true that moves are not very volatile if you look at foreign exchange markets today, literally now.
Japan has to be careful not to slip into another economic decline, which means they’re going to have to be careful about how they phase the timing of future tax increases and whether they offset that with spending in their economy so it doesn’t create fiscal drag.
We agreed as a group, and Japan made this commitment, to refrain from competitive currency devaluation, and to communicate with each other so there’s no surprises, and to refrain from exchange-rate targeting. The fact Japan has reiterated those commitments is significant. We expect all G-7 and all G-20 members to keep their commitments.

Julie Bort

AnchorFree, a Valley startup that lets its users surf the Web anonymously, just announced a $52 million Series C financing from Goldman Sachs.
AnchorFree came to fame for its Hotspot Shield, an application that let’s users privately surf the Internet, free from prying eyes.
Facebook and Twitter got most of the credit for launching the Arab Spring. But how did users in countries where those services were blocked get online to use them?

Last year, AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky told Fast Company that his users in Egypt suddenly jumped from 100,000 to a million “overnight,” as protesters used it to get to Google and Facebook without the eyes of their oppressive government seeing anything.
AnchorFree now has 60 million users worldwide using it to surf two billion Web pages per month, the company says. That makes it 51st most trafficked site on the Web, according to Quantcast.
But the company has been hot in other areas, too, particularly mobile. iPhone and iPad users like it because it creates a secure connection on a public Wi-Fi network. For instance, if you are the coffee shop and you want to access your bank account, this app lets you do so without the risk of hackers snooping and stealing your password.
Goldman Sachs is joining a roster of famous tech people who have also invested in AnchorFree, including Flickr backer Esther Dyson, former Huffington Post president Greg Coleman, and Bert Roberts, the former CEO of MCI.

Frederick Kaufman

Demand and supply certainly matter. But there’s another reason why food across the world has become so expensive: Wall Street greed.
It took the brilliant minds of Goldman Sachs to realize the simple truth that nothing is more valuable than our daily bread. And where there’s value, there’s money to be made.

The result of Wall Street’s venture into grain and feed and livestock has been a shock to the global food production and delivery system. Not only does the world’s food supply have to contend with constricted supply and increased demand for real grain, but investment bankers have engineered an artificial upward pull on the price of grain futures. The result: Imaginary wheat dominates the price of real wheat, as speculators (traditionally one-fifth of the market) now outnumber bona-fide hedgers four-to-one.

Karl Rove

Karl RoveThat’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Sam Stebbins, Evan Comen, Alexander Kent, Thomas C. Frohlich

10 Cities Where You Don’t Want to Get Sick

City Readmission rate Avg.
30 day mortality rate
Hospital safety score grade Preventable hospitalizations (per 1,000)
National Average 15.2% 11.5% 59.3 *
Binghamton, NY 17.3% 14.2% C- 59.4
Morgantown, WV 17.0% 13.3% C- 88.6
Kingston, NY 17.5% 13.3% C 64.2
Hot Springs, AR 15.8% 14.3% C- 66.7
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA 17.0% 13.4% C 51.2
Madera, CA 16.4% 13.9% F 49.0
Bowling Green, KY 17.3% 11.8% C 101.5
Greenville, NC 17.2% 12.8% D- 57.9
Odessa, TX 15.9% 13.6% B- 77.0
Jonesboro, AR 16.0% 13.5% C- 71.5

* 59.3 patients per 1,000 Medicare enrollees were hospitalized for conditions otherwise treatable by ambulatory care.

WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual

In the Japanese social system, individualism has no place. Children are taught that, as members of the family, they must obey their parents implicitly and, forgetting their own selfish desires, help each and every one of the family at all times. This system of obedience and loyalty is extended to the community and Japanese life as a whole; it permeates upward from the family unit through neighborhood associations, schools, factories, and other larger organizations, till finally the whole Japanese nation is imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, obedience, and loyalty to the Emperor himself.

Jon Stewart

StewartjpSince Mr. Stewart started hosting “The Daily Show” 16 years ago, the country’s trust in both the news media and the government has plummeted. Mr. Stewart’s brand of fake news thrived in that vacuum, and turned him into one of the nation’s most bracing cultural, political and media critics.
A Pew Research poll said there were nearly as many viewers who distrusted it as those who trusted it, and there was a significant divide among the liberals who craved it and conservatives who loathed it.

Jeff Ma

Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of five major islands and 30 more groups of islands. All total, Indonesia contains 17,508 islands. Many of which are uninhabited.
Indonesia has a population of over 245 M people making it the #4 largest country in the world. Of it’s 245 M, only 30 M are online. Yet Indonesia ranks as the #3 country on Facebook (behind the US and UK) with a whopping 27 M Facebook users. You don’t have to know how to count cards to realize that that means 90% of the people that are online in Indonesia are on Facebook.
Furthermore, Twitter penetration (HR) in Indonesia continues to grow with it currently ranked as the number one Twitter penetrated country in the world. According to comScore, 20.8% of its online users are on Twitter, compared to the average country where only 7.4% of their online users are Tweeting (many of the younger Indonesians are learning English because of their desire to Tweet.)
So what does all of this mean? I’m not sure if I know yet but one thing is certain. As I look for my next opportunity in technology, learning more about Indonesia and potential opportunities there is going to be at the top of my to-do list.

The Associated Press (AP)

Officers with a finger on the trigger of the U.S. Air Force’s most powerful nuclear missiles are complaining of a wide array of morale-sapping pressures.
Key themes among the complaints include working under “poor leadership” and being stuck in “dead-end careers” in nuclear weapons, one email said. The sentiments were expressed privately by members of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, in an unpublished study for the Air Force. The complaints also said there was a need for more experienced missile officers, a less arduous work schedule and “leaders who will listen.”
Taken together, the complaints suggest sagging morale in arguably the most sensitive segment of the American military.

Jacquelyn Martin

JacquelynMartin
FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2014, file photo. Fox News reports Republican gains in the Senate in an empty White House briefing room as poll numbers begin to pour in on election day in Washington. It’s the stuff of Republican nightmares: Fox News runs out of advertising space for the 2016 presidential campaign. But a company that handles placement of political ads for cable systems, NCC Media, is already working out how to accommodate ads coming from everyone in the race.

Jon Terbush

Fox News: Fair and Balanced — and, according to a new survey, the most trusted news source around.
Tucked inside a big Brookings survey on immigration are a few questions about the integrity of television news. And there, 25 percent of respondents say they trust Fox more than any other TV source for “accurate information about politics and current events,” giving the network a slight edge over generic broadcast news. By contrast, MSNBC places last with just five percent, a hair behind The Daily Show.
This isn’t the first time a poll has found Fox as the most trusted news source. For five years running, the network has taken top honors in PPP’s annual media survey.

Jerry A. Coyne

The battle between science and religion is regularly declared over, with both sides having reached an amicable truce. “Accommodationists” on both the religious and scientific sides assure us that there is no conflict between these areas, that they deal with separate spheres of inquiry (science deals with the natural world, religion with meaning, morals and values), or even that they can somehow help each other via an unspecified “dialogue.”
But despite these claims, the dust hasn’t settled. Why the continuing publication of accommodationist books if the issue was resolved long ago? Why do 55 percent of Americans aver that “science and religion are often in conflict”? Why are less than 10 percent of all Americans agnostics or atheists, yet that proportion rises to 62 percent of all scientists at “elite” universities, and to 93 percent among members of the National Academy of Sciences? In a poll taken in 2006, 64 percent of Americans claimed that if science contradicted one of the tenets of their faith, they’d reject the science in favor of their faith. Clearly, there is still friction between science and religion, even if some scientists can leave their faith at the laboratory door.
In fact, the conflict between science and religion—at least the Abrahamic faiths dominant in the U.S.—is deep, endemic, and unlikely to be resolved. For this conflict is one between faith and fact—a battle in the long-fought war between rationality and superstition.

Barack Obama

It is not good enough simply to show sympathy. You don’t see murder on this kind of scale with this kind of frequency in any other advanced nation on Earth. Every country has violent, hateful, or mentally unstable people. What’s different is not every country is awash with easily accessible guns. And so I refuse to act as if this is the new normal.

Fermilab

FermilabWhat are we made of? How did the universe begin? What secrets do the smallest, most elemental particles of matter hold, and how can they help us understand the intricacies of space and time?


Robert D. Blackwill, Ashley J. Tellis

No other U.S. relationship approaches that with Japan in maintaining the current balance in Asia and dealing with the rise of Chinese power. Indeed, without close and enduring U.S.-Japan security cooperation, it is difficult to see how the United States could maintain its present power and influence in Asia. Thus, as Japan continues to emerge from its post–World War II self-imposed security constraints, the United States should continually support this crucial alliance partner by

  • substantially expanding its security relationship with Japan, encompassing all of Asia;
  • helping upgrade the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), including Japan’s capabilities for joint/combined-arms/amphibious operations;
  • aligning concepts such as air-sea battle and dynamic defense through a dialogue with Japan on roles, missions, and capabilities;
  • reinvigorating an extended deterrence dialogue with Japan;
  • intensifying ballistic missile defense (BMD) cooperation with Japan;
  • signaling more often that Japan remains fully and reliably under a U.S. security umbrella;
  • supporting Japan’s cooperation with Vietnam, Australia, India, and other nations concerned with the rise of Chinese power; and
  • allowing liquefied natural gas exports to Japan.

Hillel Aron

The only thing New Yorkers love more than talking about New York is talking about how Los Angeles isn’t New York, how our streets are too long; our public transit, nonexistent; our pizza shitty, our bagels shitty, our bars close too early, everything closes too early, no one dances at shows, everything is too slow, and everyone is too polite.
And when an Angeleno visits New York? We’re kind of like, whatever. Cool place to stay for a week or so, as long as you have a couch to sleep on, ’cause you have to be, like, an oil magnate to afford a hotel room.
Because you can love L.A. without being obsessed with L.A.; you can love L.A. but not have your identity be all about being from LA. Our history is not so overbearing, or buildings not so iconic, our accents just ambiguous enough to allow us to wear our L.A.-ness like a loose garment. Ours is a kind of freedom New Yorkers will never know. And that is why they hate us. They hate us because we are free.

Karen Attiah

IfIf what is happening in Baltimore happened in a foreign country, here is how Western media would cover it:
International leaders expressed concern over the rising tide of racism and state violence in America, especially concerning the treatment of ethnic minorities in the country and the corruption in state security forces around the country when handling cases of police brutality. The latest crisis is taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, a once-bustling city on the country’s Eastern Seaboard, where an unarmed man named Freddie Gray died from a severed spine while in police custody.
Black Americans, a minority ethnic group, are killed by state security forces at a rate higher than the white majority population. Young, black American males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than white American males.

西山隆行

アメリカ的信条を構成する自由や民主主義などは、かなりの程度に普遍性を標榜できる価値観である。このような価値観は、アメリカのアイデンティティを定義するだけではなく、他の多くの国でも程度の差こそあれ、受け入れ可能であるに違いない。そして、多くのアメリカ人は、そのような価値観を世界に広めるのがアメリカの義務だと考えていて、実際にそのような活動を熱心にやっている。圧政に苦しむ人々のいる地域に自由と民主主義を広めるのはアメリカの責務だという考えが、当然のように表明されるのである。
だが、一般的にいえばその活動は他国に対する内政干渉である。ならば、何故、そのような一般的には認められない活動がアメリカには許されるのかというと、アメリカが例外的な国だからだというより他はない。このような議論は、アメリカ例外主義論と呼ばれており、アメリカ国民に広く受け入れられている。 。。。
アメリカでは、アメリカ的価値観の素晴らしさに魅了されて移民がアメリカを訪れ、その価値観を受け入れていったのだと主張された。その結果、アメリカ的信条は普遍性を持ち、世界中で受け入れられるべきものだと解釈されるようになっていったのである。
世界で多くの国が自国の文化的伝統に誇りを持ち、その独自性を強調するのは、一般的に見られる現象である。だが、その特殊性は他の国には模倣することのできない固有のものだと主張されるのが一般的である。これに対し、アメリカでは、その特殊性はむしろ他の国によって模倣されるべきモデルだと主張される点に特徴がある。それらの特殊性を表記する際に英語では、アメリカ以外の国については、Japanese uniqueness やGerman uniquenessなどのようにuniqueという表現が用いられるのに対し、アメリカではAmerican exceptionalismという表現が用いられる点も興味深いといえるだろう。

Jamila Trindlemarch

Whatever the effect of a Fed move might be on India, Brazil, or Turkey, it’s not supposed to be part of the Fed’s decision-making process. The Fed has a dual mandate of maximizing U.S. employment and holding down U.S. inflation — worrying about emerging markets isn’t part of Yellen’s job description. Still, she said, a healthy U.S. economy is a boon for everyone.
“A strong U.S. economy certainly is something that is good for other countries as well,” Yellen said Wednesday.

Daryle Hochstetler

For 37 months in a row more than 46 million Americans received food stamps. The Department of Agriculture released figures that show from October 2011 until October 2014 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) had over 46 million beneficiaries.
Almost more shocking than the number of dependents is the cost associated with food stamps. In October 2014, $5.9 billion was spent on food stamps for 22.8 million households. Over the course of those 37 months, $226.7 billion was spent.
October’s 22.8 million households account for 19.7 percent of American households. The 46.6 million participants compose 14.6 percent of the population. This is a growth of 1516.96 percent from 1969 when 2.8 million people benefited from food stamps.
The figures released on America’s food stamp use comes even as President Barack Obama highlights recent job growth: “Right now, there are more job openings than at any time since 2001.”
President Obama claims to have added 10 million jobs since entering office, but the number of those depending on food stamps has increased by almost twice that. Many of the jobs the president “added” are part-time and low paying.

Attract Women Report

There are cute girls,there are pretty girls, there are sexy women, attractive women, and once in a great while, you run across a drop dead beautiful woman. A woman so beautiful, she affects everyone around her and the very air surrounding her seem charged with heavenly energy.
Awe struck men dare not approach her and women forget to be jealous in their admiration.
Unusually beautiful women, attractive women, and even above average women are generally treated different by mere mortals and that gives them even more power than their beauty inherently grants them.
Because these women are treated in a special way, they have certain traits in common. Certain traits that you must know about and overcome in order to approach these princesses. Let’s break the force field around beautiful women by understanding these secrets of beautiful women.
 

Secret #1 : Beautiful women know they’re beautiful
Secret #2: Beautiful women enjoy getting hit on
Secret #3: Beautiful women can’t be seduced with compliments or the nice guy routine
Secret #4: Beautiful women CAN be picked up

Rein Müllerson

America has been and in many ways remains an indispensable nation; and, I mean, indispensable for the good. But to realise this potential, America needs allies; real allies and not underlings who unquestionably follow their master’s voice; allies who sometimes think differently, may even have different values and interests. In the multipolar century, cooperation and compromises between equals are the order of the day.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar

When he was 11 years old, George Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father’s estate. He continued to acquire slaves — some through the death of family members and others through direct purchase. Washington’s cache of enslaved people peaked in 1759 when he married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis. His new wife brought more than 80 slaves to the estate at Mount Vernon. On the eve of the American Revolution, nearly 150 souls were counted as part of the property there.
George-Washington-Mount-Vernon

Stephanie Saul

The archetype of the condo boom is the Time Warner Center. Marketed during the real estate malaise that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the towers were heavily promoted to an international clientele. The Russians have come buying.
Many of the apartments were purchased through shell companies, but a New York Times investigation identified at least 20 that have been owned by Russians or citizens of other former Soviet republics who, in all, invested more than $200 million in Time Warner Center condos.
“This building has so many Russians, it’s unbelievable,” said Stratos Costalas, a real estate broker with Oxford Property Group who has sold apartments in the building.
There is evidence of even more Russian owners, but their identities are so carefully concealed that The Times was unable to definitively identify them.

Amy Chozick

HClintonWith advice from more than 200 policy experts, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to answer what has emerged as a central question of her early presidential campaign strategy: how to address the anger about income inequality without overly vilifying the wealthy.
lthough people close to Mrs. Clinton say she has not yet settled on a specific platform, she is expected to embrace several principles. They include standard Democratic initiatives like raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, closing corporate tax loopholes and cutting taxes for the middle class. Other ideas are newer, such as providing incentives to corporations to increase profit-sharing with employees and changing labor laws to give workers more collective bargaining power.

Gideon Rachman

There are growing doubts in the west about the trinity of ideas around which the post cold-war world has been constructed: markets, democracy and American power.
The faith in free markets was severely shaken by the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession — and has never really recovered. Although the global depression that many feared was avoided, the exuberant belief in the ability of free markets to raise living standards all over the world has not returned. The belief that there is a market-based formula out there that all sensible policy makers can adopt — a “Washington consensus” — has faded, to be replaced by a global lack of consensus.
Democratic evangelism, meanwhile, has been undermined by the horrors unleashed by the Arab uprisings. The wave of revolutionary change that hit the Middle East in 2011 initially looked like the Arab equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Authoritarian systems were tumbling and new democracies seemed to be emerging. But the failure of democracy to take root in any of the countries that underwent revolutions, with the exception of Tunisia, has undermined faith in the inevitable advance of political freedom.
The third prop of the age of globalisation is American power. That, too, looks less reliable than it did a decade ago. Here the central event was the Iraq war. America’s inability to stabilise Iraq or Afghanistan, despite many years of effort, has demonstrated that while the US military can destroy a hostile regime in weeks, it cannot guarantee a stable postwar settlement. The rise of China has also raised questions about how long America’s reign as “sole superpower” can continue.

Amy Davidson

A judgment issued on Thursday by the European Court of Human Rights contains an account of the treatment of a man who, after some detective work by a foreign police force, was handed over to the C.I.A. as suspected member of Al Qaeda:

Upon arrival, still handcuffed and blindfolded, he was initially placed in a chair, where he sat for one and a half hours….Then, two people violently pulled his arms back. On that occasion he was beaten severely from all sides. His clothes were sliced from his body with scissors or a knife. His underwear was forcibly removed. He was thrown to the floor, his hands were pulled back and a boot was placed on his back. He then felt a firm object being forced into his anus….He was then pulled from the floor and dragged to a corner of the room, where his feet were tied together. His blindfold was removed. A flash went off and temporarily blinded him. When he recovered his sight, he saw seven or eight men dressed in black and wearing black ski masks.

Four months, two hunger strikes, and a sojourn in more than one secret prison later, the man, Khaled El-Masri, who had been picked up in Macedonia in 2003, was simply dumped by the side of the road near an Albanian border crossing. Along the way, he’d had a gun held to his head as an interrogator berated him, demanding that he admit his connection to Al Qaeda.  … after a couple of months, the C.I.A. figured out that they had picked up not a shadowy terrorist but a car salesman from Bavaria who happened to have a similar name. Even then, they kept him prisoner for several weeks while trying to figure out their next move. There is now no dispute that this was a case of simple mistaken identity.

Henry Paulson

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR TREASURY AUTHORITY
TO PURCHASE MORTGAGE-RELATED ASSETS

Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.
The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time

Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Langston Hughes

Gimme six-bits’ worth o’ ticket
On a train that runs somewhere.
I say six-bits’ worth o’ ticket
On a train that runs somewhere.
I don’t care where it’s goin’
Just so it goes away from here.

Baby, gimme a little lovin’,
But don’t make it too long.
A little lovin’, babe, but
Don’t make it too long.
Make it short and sweet, your lovin’,
So I can roll along.

I got to roll along!

Sandeep Jauhar

In American medicine today, “variation” has become a dirty word. Variation in the treatment of a medical condition is associated with wastefulness, lack of evidence and even capricious care. To minimize variation, insurers and medical specialty societies have banded together to produce a dizzying array of treatment guidelines for everything from asthma to diabetes, from urinary incontinence to gout.
At some level, this makes sense. Some types of variation are unwarranted, even deadly.
But the effort to homogenize health care presumes that we always know which treatments are best and should be applied uniformly. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The evidence for most treatments in medicine remains weak. In the absence of good evidence recommending one treatment over another, trying to stamp out variation in care is irrational.

Gail Collins

We learned a lot from that big Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. interrogation tactics after 9/11. It was what may be the first time in American history that the term “rectal hydration” appeared in family newspapers throughout the land.
One of the most unnerving parts involves the fact that the waterboarding, ice baths and wall-slamming were conducted under the direction of an outside contractor.

David Cay Johnston

The U.S. tax debate tends to focus on the top 1 percent. Problem is, the top 1 percent is a very misleading measure. It mixes doctors and billionaires, masking the taxes paid by the middle class and the affluent.
Everyone seems to know that about half of Americans paid no income taxes and that the top 1 percent paid about 37 percent of the income taxes. But how many people know that households making less than $75,000 collectively paid more federal income tax than those making $1 million or more?
The top 1 percent paid an average income tax rate of 24 percent in 2009. That is almost exactly the rate paid by those making $500,000 to $1 million. Those who made $1 million to $10 million paid a higher rate, 26 percent. But those making more than $10 million paid a significantly lower rate, 23.3 percent.
The top 400 taxpayers paid a much lower rate. On an average income of $270 million each, their federal income tax rate was 18.1 percent. A single worker earning less than $90,000 pays a higher rate than that.

Embassy of the United States in Tokyo

j-schiefferJohn Thomas “Tom” Schieffer was sworn in as the 27th U.S. Ambassador to Japan on April 1, 2005 and presented his credentials to the Emperor on April 11, 2005. Prior to his Jan. 15, 2009 departure from Japan, he worked to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, increase trade, and facilitate the realignment of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, among other issues.
Before coming to Japan, Ambassador Schieffer served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia from July 2001 until February 2005.
Prior to his diplomatic service, Ambassador Schieffer was an investor in the partnership that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Club in 1989, with George W. Bush and Edward W. ‘Rusty’ Rose. He served as team President for eight years, responsible for day-to-day operations of the club as well as overseeing the building of The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Victoria Nuland

victoria-nulandThroughout this period the United States’ message has been clear and unequivocal. We stand with the people of Ukraine in their search for justice, human dignity, security, a return to economic health, and for the European future they have chosen and that they deserve.
Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.

Karel van Wolferen

The American-triggered regime change in Ukraine at the Western end of the Eurasian continent has been widely discussed. Less noticed, if at all, has been the American-triggered change of government in Japan four years ago as part of the so-called ‘pivot’ aimed at holding back China on the Eastern end. The two ought to be considered together, since they share a purpose known as ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’. …
… The protracted overthrow in the course of 2010 of the first cabinet formed by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) does not at first glance resemble what happened in Kiev on January 22nd 2014 – when Victoria Nuland & Co triggered, aided, and abetted an anti–Russian coup d’état. No snipers were involved. No deaths. No civil war against Japanese citizens who had supported a reformist program. It was a gentle overthrow. But an overthrow it was even so. And, importantly, while the Ukraine case served the elevation by consensus of Russia to being the new number one enemy of ‘the West’, the abrupt end to a new Japanese policy of rapprochement was the start of a fairly successful drive to create common imagery of China as a threat to its neighbors.

Daniel P. Bolger

MG_Daniel_Bolger… But as a three-star general who spent four years trying to win this thing — and failing — I now know better.
We did not understand the enemy, a guerrilla network embedded in a quarrelsome, suspicious civilian population. We didn’t understand our own forces, which are built for rapid, decisive conventional operations, not lingering, ill-defined counterinsurgencies. We’re made for Desert Storm, not Vietnam. As a general, I got it wrong. Like my peers, I argued to stay the course, to persist and persist, to “clear/hold/build” even as the “hold” stage stretched for months, and then years, with decades beckoning. We backed ourselves season by season into a long-term counterinsurgency in Iraq, then compounded it by doing likewise in Afghanistan. The American people had never signed up for that.
What went wrong in Iraq and in Afghanistan isn’t the stuff of legend. …

Mike

Why is it that liberals always think the populace is stupid? Maybe it’s because they’re so arrogant, sitting in their ivory towers, gazing down imperiously on the people. Most folks know what’s best for them, whether they have a Ph.D., a Nobel Prize, or not. And they spoke this week in a strong voice. They do not want to go where the Democrats want to herd them. They are shedding Democrats as fast as they can. If it wasn’t for the fact that only 1/3 of the Senate is voted upon at any election, the Republicans would have been in this place four years ago.

Thomas L. Friedman

In May, I visited Vietnam and met with university students. After a week of being love-bombed by Vietnamese, who told me how much they admire America, want to work or study there and have friends and family living there, I couldn’t help but ask myself: “How did we get this country so wrong? How did we end up in a war with Vietnam that cost so many lives and drove them into the arms of their most hated enemy, China?”

William Blum

NED successfully manipulated elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and Mongolia in 1996. It helped overthrow democratically elected governments in Bulgaria in 1990 and Albania in 1991 and 1992. NED was busy in Haiti in the late 1990s on behalf of right-wing groups united in opposition to former-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his progressive ideology.
NED says that it is teaching the ABCs of democracy and elections to people who don’t know, but in all five countries named above there had already been free and fair elections. The problem was that they were won by political parties not favored by NED.
The NED maintains that it is engaged in “opposition building” and “encouraging pluralism.” “We support people who otherwise do not have a voice in their political system,” said NED program officer, Louisa Coan. But NED hasn’t aided progressive or leftist opposition in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua or Eastern Europe — or, in the U.S. — even though these groups are hard pressed for funds and to make themselves heard. However, Cuban dissident groups and media are heavily supported.

Alec

The New York City subway of today is what one might lightly call “starkly different” from its predecessors. In the 1980s, over 250 felonies were committed every week in the system, making the New York subway the most dangerous mass transit system in the world. Over the course of a decade, New York public transportation would lose over 300 million riders, largely due to its reputation as a hotbed of crime and drug use. In the gallery below, we take a look at what the New York City subways were like in the 1980s:

1980s-new-york-city-subways1980s-new-york-city-subways371980s-new-york-city-subways33
1980s-new-york-city-subways21980s-new-york-city-subways491980s-new-york-city-subways25
1980s-new-york-city-subways41980s-new-york-city-subways131980s-new-york-city-subways45

Big Appled

19 things that only seem normal to New Yorkers:

  1. Avoid eye contact at ALL costs, especially on the subway.
  2. Sandwich yourself between strangers in extremely crowded public places.
  3. Yet, get irrationally irritated when a slow walking person is in your way…
  4. Or, when someone touches your hand by accident on a subway pole.
  5. Complain about how overrated the brunch scene is… yet roll out of bed hungover as hell every Saturday morning to go to brunch.
  6. Wear all black most all of the time, regardless of the season.
  7. Filter out the absolute insanity that goes on around us.
  8. Order lunch and dinner from the same restaurant on the same day via Seamless.
  9. Whine about the horrific lines at Trader Joe’s… but still shop there even though you know exactly how long it’s going to take – FOREVER.
  10. Make reservations for dinner no earlier than 10 pm.
  11. Immediately ask the question “So, what do you do for a living?” upon meeting someone for the first time.
  12. Pay a messenger service to have something delivered from a store that is literally across the street from your apartment.
  13. Talk about the weather with almost every person you encounter during the day.
  14. Ask people you barely know how much they pay for rent.
  15. Develop odd preferences for certain neighborhoods, and hate on neighborhoods you have never even been to before.
  16. Avoid the clipboard people in Union Square like the Bubonic plague and ignore every flyer that someone tries to hand to you.
  17. Live in constant fear of unusual things falling from the sky such as AC units, flying buzz saws and the dreaded mysterious drip.
  18. Pay $6 for a latte..or $18 for cranberry vodka at the club.
  19. Incessantly complain about the city… …but share a love for NYC that runs deeper than anything because no other city in the world compares to our beloved Big Apple.

Dave Boyer

1168288837The White House fired back at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday over his country’s settlement construction, saying Mr. Netanyahu’s criticism of the administration over the weekend “seemed to ignore our concerns.”


Amanda Marcotte

The real problem is a cultural one. While things have been definitely improving in recent decades as feminists raise awareness of the problem of sexual violence and the importance of consent, there are clearly still a large number of men who disregard women’s basic human right to control your own body and own sexuality. The men in these groups really do believe they are entitled to own and control female bodies. While these insular misogynist communities certainly end up reinforcing their ugly attitudes toward women amongst themselves, they didn’t invent the notion that women’s bodies are public property for men to use how they please, regardless of a woman’s feelings about it. The only real, long-term solution is to change a culture that inculcates young men with these feelings of entitlement and teach respect for women to boys starting at a young age.

wiseGEEK

Lipstick feminism is a school of third wave feminism in which women support the belief that it is possible to be a feminist while also displaying femininity, being sex positive, or engaging in other displays of sexuality which earlier generations of feminists once condemned. In the literal sense, lipstick feminists believe that it is possible to wear lipstick and still be called a feminist, since feminism is about much more than how you dress. Some feminists have criticized the lipstick feminism movement because they believe that it is contradictory to engage in displays of sexuality while advocating for equal rights for women.

Makenzie Schultz

Makenzie Schultz1
Makenzie Schultz2
So here’s the deal. Our service tonight sucked. Took 20 minutes to get water, 40 minutes for an appetizer and over an hour for our entree. People all around us were making fun of the restaurant & how bad the service was. Yeah, it was pretty terrible. But, it was very obvious that the issue was being short staffed, not the server. He was running around like crazy and never acted annoyed with any table. At one point we counted he had 12 tables plus the bar. More than any one person could handle! As I sat there and watched him run back & forth and apologize for the wait, I said to Steven… Wow, this used to be us. Waiting tables. I don’t miss it at all and I never loved that job. I did it for the tips. Steven and I agreed it would feel good to make this guys night when he would probably be getting minimal to no tips due to slow service. We walked out before he saw this and I’m not posting this for a pat on the back. I’m just sharing this as a friendly reminder to think of the entire situation, before you judge. And always always always remember where you came from.
— with Steven Schultz.

Charleston Voice, Wikipedia

reagan greets prince bandar ibn saudBandarBush2a-332x345Wright-US-SaudiArabia-2-690


Bandar bin Sultan has formed close relationships with several American presidents, notably George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the latter giving him the affectionate and controversial nickname “Bandar Bush”. His particularly close relationship with the Bush family was highlighted in Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. He was reportedly so close to George H. W. Bush that he was often described as a member of the former president’s family. He advocated Saddam Hussein’s overthrow in Iraq in March 2003. He encouraged military action against Iraq and supported Dick Cheney’s agenda for “The New Middle East”, which called for pro-democracy programs in both Syria and Iran. Additionally, Prince Bandar’s children supposedly attended the same school where Cheney’s grandchildren were enrolled.


image001-715475Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan is the head of al-Qaeda terrorist group and the founder of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in Syria.
Before ISIS even surfaced publicly this Arabian article from Alalam was written pointing out Bandar not only pulled the strings for Al-Qaeda, but ISIS as well.

RT.com

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is blaming a woman for getting raped by an inmate while at work at a state prison, saying she should have locked the door to her office. The prisoner has a history of rape, including of a woman at another jail.

ByZuY_NIQAASf2apenn1

Time Out editors

NY150 reasons fall in New York is the best

  1. Central Park is suddenly a magical, multicolored wonderland of crunchy-underfoot, leaf-throwing shenanigans.
  2. It’s finally cool enough to drink proper beer again instead of the generic watery crap we’ve been hosing our insides off with all summer.
  3. The color the sky turns right before the sun completely sets.

The New York Times

05EXILE-master675At the Smorgasburg food fair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mikheil Saakashvili motored in fluorescent green sneakers among bearded men with tattoos and women in revealing overalls. They lined up for Cheese Pops, Dun-Well Doughnuts and other local delicacies. He ordered a fresh coconut.
“My friend, one of the biggest sheikhs of the United Arab Emirates, gave Georgia 20,000 palm trees,” Mr. Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, said as he dropped a straw in the machete-opened fruit and emptied its water with a few deep pulls. “As a personal gift.”
Mr. Saakashvili is in self-imposed exile on North Seventh Street — plotting a triumphant return, even as his steep fall from grace serves as a cautionary tale to the many American government officials who had hoped he would be a model exporter of democracy to former Soviet republics.

James Bamford

In Moscow this summer, while reporting a story for Wired magazine, I had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden. It gave me a chance to get a deeper understanding of who he is and why, as a National Security Agency contractor, he took the momentous step of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents
Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom

Matthew M. Burke, Chiyomi Sumida

Once an independent kingdom, the island was occupied by the Chinese, the Japanese and the U.S. Many still harbor resentment for civilian casualties at the end of World War II and the Japanese decision to abandon the island and fortify the mainland after America’s decisive victory there in 1945. Okinawa was reverted back to Japanese control in 1972.
The relocation of Marines from the densely populated center of the island was first advocated in the late 1990s over fears of aircraft crashes. But the plan really gained momentum after the 2004 crash of a CH-53D Sea Stallion into Okinawa International University.
The protesters said the November governor’s election would act as a referendum on the project and let their voices be known to the world. Nakaima is running against Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga and former state minister under the Democratic Party-led government Mikio Shimoji.
Nakaima has drawn fire as of late for signing off on the project in December.
Onaga is adamantly against it, and Shimoji has called for prefectural referendum.
There is also an ongoing lawsuit in U.S. federal court over the effects the runway would have on the dugong, a large sea mammal that uses the bay as a feeding ground.

Central Park Conservancy

strawberry-fields-lStrawberry Fields is a living memorial to John Lennon. This tranquil section of Central Park was named after one of Lennon’s favorite songs, “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The black-and-white mosaic was created by Italian craftsmen and given as a gift by the city of Naples. Based on a Greco-Roman design, it bears the word of another of Lennon’s songs: Imagine.

David Autor, Melanie Wasserman

It is widely assumed that the tra­di­tional male dom­i­na­tion of post sec­ondary edu­ca­tion, highly paid occu­pa­tions, and elite pro­fes­sions is a vir­tu­ally immutable fact of the U.S. eco­nomic land­scape. But in real­ity, this land­scape is under­go­ing a tec­tonic shift. Although a sig­nif­i­cant minor­ity of males con­tin­ues to reach the high­est ech­e­lons of achieve­ment in edu­ca­tion and labor mar­kets, the median male is mov­ing in the oppo­site direc­tion. Over the last three decades, the labor mar­ket tra­jec­tory of males in the U.S. has turned down­ward along four dimen­sions: skills acqui­si­tion; employ­ment rates; occu­pa­tional stature; and real wage levels.

  • …these profound changes in family structure reinforce and exacerbate the divergent educational and economic trends of males and females.
  • …the absence of stable fathers from children’s lives has particularly significant adverse consequences for boys’ psychosocial development and educational achievement.
  • …the female advantage in educational attainment is substantially more pronounced in female-headed households and in households where the father is less educated than the mother.

Claire Cain Miller

Things that you can now rent instead of buying: a power drill, a song, a tent, an office for an hour, a Prada handbag, a wedding dress, a painting, a dog, your neighbor’s car, a drone.
This new way of consuming — call it the Netflix economy — is being built by web start-ups that either rent items themselves or serve as middlemen, connecting people who want something with people who own it. They are a growing corner of the broader sharing economy, in which people rent out rooms in their homes on Airbnb or drive people in their cars with Uber or Lyft. Soon, tech entrepreneurs and investors say, we’ll be able to rent much of what we always thought we must own.