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World War O
“O” as in “Obama”… who told Americans in 2013 that “a decade of war is now ending.” So much for wishful thinking. The US is actively and quite lethally engaged in five countries, its troops are deployed in three “conflict zones,” and it is tangled up in a pair of Arab civil wars. And now the issue of US drone strikes—and its poorly-conceived targeting criteria—is front and center after the “mistaken” deaths of two hostages. It seems that the President’s pre-emptive Peace Prize is losing a bit of its luster.
To Send a Message, Judge Sentences David Petraeus to 75% of One Speaking Fee
Do you need more evidence that America has a two-tiered justice system? Okay, take a look at the sentence given to retired General and former CIA Director David Petraeus for leaking classified info. As Marcy Wheeler points out, the $100,000 fine levied against him will easily be paid after he gives just one $132,750 speech. Not only does he have a “get out of jail free card,” but he’s going to make a ton of money each time he passes “Go” on the speaker’s circuit.
The Neoconservative Counterrevolution
Jacobin traces the roots of the Neoconservative movement back to the Sixties, when Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb spearheaded a reactionary response to the “New Left” and to the campus radicalism of the Vietnam Era and the Civil Rights Movement. That conflict—which played out in elite circles and dueling journals—was the forge that minted the Neocons into a unparalleled political force able to alter—some say woefully—the trajectory of American politics.
The Stock Market’s Role in Destroying Middle Class
As another tech bubble brews on NASDAQ, MarketWatch examines the opportunity cost of all that financial wheeling and dealing on Wall Street. It’s really quite simple… all that money cycles through a financial system that encourages corporate managers to loot their own companies through buybacks. The inflated stock prices get skimmed off, which bloats their bank accounts instead of being reinvested back into building up the businesses, and the type of economy, that once sustained the Middle Class.
Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests. That Might Actually Be a Good Thing.
Right now, somewhere in America, a horde of bark beetles is destroying trees at an impressive rate. One estimate is that the voracious insects are felling up to 100,000 trees per day! So, it is time for a red alert? Is it time to roll out barrels of poison and do what Americans do best… and declare “war” on the dreaded bark beetle? Nope. Like so many so-called pests and creepy critters, bark beetles actually play a vital role in forest ecosystems. They cull the weak trees, thin the forest for new growth and keep the cycle of life rolling along. Really, people need to just get out of the way and stop trying to “manage” the beetle.
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