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Does Jade Helm Violate Posse Comitatus?
by Ralph Lopez
The multi-state military drill known as Jade Helm has provoked a fierce debate. Is it much ado about nothing—or, as some claim, an effort to desensitize the public toward martial law? WhoWhatWhy takes a look.
US is Obligated by Treaty to Defend 67 Foreign Countries
For its first 165 years, the US signed just one treaty obligating America’s military to come to the aid of another nation. Since then, Uncle Sam has become the world’s “older brother” with a web of alliances, treaties and on-the-record assurances that its blood and treasure are “on call” should one of 67 countries be attacked. Still, not all treaties are created equal, nor do they equally lock Uncle Sam into being the world’s policeman. Rather, it’s how leaders use and abuse those treaties that matters.
Former ‘Master’: We Are All Slaves
The American Conservative ponders a German documentary on the global finance system titled “Master of the Universe.” In it, a former high-level investment banker talks bluntly about a pernicious global system fueled by avarice, instant gratification and extreme interpersonal dislocation. Since the American-led deregulation of the 80s shifted the world to this hyper-financialized paradigm, the system has grown so powerful that the system itself has mastered the so-called masters of the universe.
Karl Marx Was Right
Chris Hedges compares the current frenzy of hoarding by bankers and corporations to the final phases of capitalism predicted by Karl Marx. Ironically, according to Hedges, the real utopians are those who believe that capitalism’s holy trinity of free trade, free markets and dogmatic individualism will lead to a greater distribution of wealth and freedom. To the contrary, it is a machine that concentrates wealth into the hands of elites. To wit, the world’s top 1% are on track to own more than half of the world’s wealth by next year.
What if The Wire Were Set in Ramallah?
It’s hard to imagine anything bringing Israelis and Palestinians together. But a new television show depicting an undercover unit chasing terrorists in the West Bank is doing just that by replacing black and white views of the conflict with a complicated human drama painted in various shades of grey. The show—Fauda—was created by an Israeli Special Forces veteran and a journalist, but it’s packed with Arab actors and is blowing away the competition, like Games of Thrones, on Israeli cable.
Australia is Low on Koala Food and May Need to Kill Some of the Iconic Creatures
The state of Victoria’s koala population isn’t dwindling… quite to the contrary. In fact, it’s experiencing a population boom that portends a predictable collapse as Australia’s cuddly creatures “over-graze” their way to eventual famine. Critics point out that the koalas were sent to the affected area to attract tourists and that more trees are the answer, not less koalas. If nothing else, it is another lesson in the tenuous nature of ecosystems and the need to maintain balance and habitat.
Black Rhinos Return to Northern Kenya
Kenya is on the other side coin as it struggles to reintroduce the once-ubiquitous Kenyan black rhino some 25 years after the population was wiped out by poachers. Poaching is decimating elephants and rhinos around the continent and it is growing at an alarming rate as criminal organizations race to profit off the trade in tusks and horns. The reintroduced rhinos will be watched around the clock by the local Samburu people.
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