Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 23Mar11.
 

Security
No water, food or power – and still the rebels resist regime’s attacks
Who’s In Charge? Germans Pull Forces Out Of NATO As Libyan Coalition Falls Apart
Sarkozy opposes Nato taking control of Libya operation
Arab League to reiterate backing for Libya no-fly zone
Attacks to focus more on Libyan ground troops
Libya ground forces ‘not ruled out’
NATO to enforce Libya arms embargo
China calls for immediate cease-fire, end of airstrikes in Libya
Libya, The West and Democracy
Partition: Dividing Libya in two may be rebels’ best hope
India’s Pointless Abstention
Yemeni president given emergency powers
Defiant Yemen President warns ‘mutinous’ military of long, bloody civil war
Yemeni President Salah’s Family Decides He Should Leave; Report: U.S., U.K., Saudi Arabia Discussing Post-Salah Era
Yemen: The forbidden has occurred
Yemen May Be the Next Regime to Fall
Yemen on the brink of a breakdown
With Yemen crumbling, US sees fragile counterterrorism ally fading, and few good options ahead
Syrian forces kill 6 in mosque attack, protests continue
Report: Syria importing Hezbollah to quash protests
Syrians have broken the fear barrier
Syrian: Damned if We Do and Damned if We Don’t
Syrian Opposition Website: Jordan’s King Must Not Cooperate With Syrian Regime
Mourners call for revenge at funeral of Bahraini woman killed in unrest
Bahrain Relies on Old Playbook in Crackdown
Kuwait Sends Aid Ships To Bahrain; Shi’ite Clerics Attempt To Mediate
Iranian Website: Bahrainis Must Form Their Own Hizbullah To Fight Saudi Arabia
In Bahrain, Saudis Play Into Iran’s Hands
Saudi Arabia to hold municipal elections next month after two-year delay
Western Diplomats: Iran Again Violates Arms Embargo
Back to the Drawing Board on Iran
‘Turkey finds weapons on Iran cargo plane, arrests crew’
Police officer killed in demonstration in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region
Egypt’s Interior Ministry building set on fire as police protesters demand better wages
Early Egyptian elections could damage democracy
Post-Mubarak Egypt raising gas prices for Israel
There Is A Small War Starting Along Gaza Border
Gazans Hope to Join the ‘Arab Spring’
Arab Water Ministers Confirm A Strategy For Water Security
Saudi Emir: We Must Form United Gulf Army
Arab League states: a recent history of protests
War Stalks Revolution In Middle East
In the Mideast, U.S. policy is still driven by realism
America’s descent into strategic dementia
Islamists post bounty for killing US pastor over Quran burning
“Zionists use heavy metal music to corrupt Muslims, take over the world”
The Tragic Fate of ‘Muslim Moderates’
Ivory Coast’s recognized president asks UN to use ‘legitimate force’ to protect civilians
Somali Gov’t Claims ‘Remarkable’ Gains In Mogadishu Fighting; 7 Killed In Latest Violence
Benin opposition leader rejects election result and claims presidency
Uprisings to be replicated in sub-Saharan Africa, predicts Hague
Karzai names Nato pullout areas
Taliban’s assassination campaign against officials, security forces impedes civilian progress
Security Council strongly backs UN to lead international civilian efforts in Afghanistan
Russia supports NATO success in Afghanistan – defense minister
Is China Backing India’s Insurgents?
Kyrgyzstan Open to Military Cooperation with the US and Russia
Activist says overthrown Middle East governments have triggered Chinese crackdown on Uighurs
China’s Nimble Libya Pullout
Why Doesn’t China Want Dalai Lama to Resign?
Japanese official says fuel storage pool at troubled nuclear plant is at or near boiling point
Japan fears food contamination as battle to cool nuclear plant continues
Strong quakes jolt Japan’s tsunami-hit northeast
Why the US and China Woo Mongolia
Philippine defense official says amount of military funds lost to corruption is staggering
Kenyans: Why ‘feed’ a car?
Putin denies split with Medvedev over Libya
Russia to double oil supply to quake-hit Japan in 2011 – Sechin
Portugal braces for minority government’s collapse amid discord over austerity debt crisis
Chavez enacts decree allowing pro-government militias to receive weapons from military
Canadian opposition to vote against budget unless changes made, likely triggering election
Welcome to the Era of the Obama “Smart War”

Military
NATO: Better in Theory than In Practice
The Iranian Navy’s Historic Mediterranean Deployment: Timing Is Everything
The Bear, the Abacus and Impossible Defense Computations

Environment
Are Reusable Shopping Bags Environmentally Friendly?

Economy
Oil rising again; gasoline prices flat, but experts say they should keep climbing this spring
Oil markets and Arab unrest: The price of fear
Breaks in the Supply Chain: Disaster in Japan Sends Ripples through the Global Economy
UK Inflation ‘expected to hit 28-month high’
IMF Plan Sees Role in Crises

Politics
Capitol Hill falls silent as Libya war rages
Libyan bombing ‘unconstitutional’, Republicans warn Obama
Why Obama’s Not Open on His Real Reason for War
A Rorschach Presidency Won’t Work
U.S. Approaching Insolvency, Fix To Be ‘Painful’
Public Asleep as Budget Crisis Mounts
U.S. to Issue More Gulf Drilling Permits
9/11 Military Case Has Stalled as White House Pushes For Civilian Trials
American anger at BBC World Service Trust’s bid for US funding
U.S. demanding gay rights support at U.N. body
Big Labor’s Plan to Break the Financial System
Census: Detroit population falls 25 percent in past decade, losing more than 237,000 people

Religion & Culture
Christians in prison, beaten in Saudi Arabia
Nepal Christians protest to demand the government provide burial grounds
Beijing’s fear of faith
Failed Bomb Blasts in Jos Nigeria as Genocide of Christians Continues
Malaysia: Bibles Still Restricted
Catholic Church says Cuban government to release last 2 political prisoners held since 2003
S.D. governor signs 3-day wait for abortion into law
‘Extinction threat’ to religion
Buddhism is the new opium of the people
Why Are We Letting Our Daughters Dress Like Prostitutes?

  Hey Sal, How Did You Miss This?

Posted by Chris van Avery on 15Feb11.
 

Given his weekly diversity diatribe , I’m shocked to find that Sal missed this story from last week:

NYT: Social Scientist Sees Bias Within

The story has a nice “gotcha”:

Some of the world’s pre-eminent experts on bias discovered an unexpected form of it at their annual meeting.

Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”

It was identified by Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia who studies the intuitive foundations of morality and ideology. He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.

“This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Dr. Haidt concluded, noting polls showing that 40 percent of Americans are conservative and 20 percent are liberal.

It’s got a nice, new buzzword and exposure of a lack of self-criticism (usually called “hypocrisy”):

In his speech and in an interview, Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a “tribal-moral community” united by “sacred values” that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals.

“Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”

And it wraps up with a description of what’s going on in the Naval Academy’s selection process:

“If a group circles around sacred values, they will evolve into a tribal-moral community,” he said. “They’ll embrace science whenever it supports their sacred values, but they’ll ditch it or distort it as soon as it threatens a sacred value.”

  Saudi Admiral Calls for Arab Introspection

Posted by Chris van Avery on 11Feb11.
 

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, a retired Commodore in the Royal Saudi Navy utters the unspeakable in the Arab press:

I have, since childhood, been hearing about an invisible thing called the Israeli conspiracy.

It is always said that Israel did this and Israel did that. What is worse is when I hear that Israel is planning to do that. So, if we already know what Israel is planning to do, then why not either stop it or avoid it. The biggest conspiracy I heard regarding the Arabs and the Israelis is the humiliating defeat of June 1967. The Egyptians blamed everybody but themselves for the defeat.

To this day, I see Arabs blaming Israelis for young Arab drug addicts, their poor education, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, bad roads, corruption, lack of democracy, unemployment, 9/11, the division of Sudan, the upheaval in Tunisia and the unrest in Egypt. If Israel can do all these things, then the Israelis are either super humans or we simply enjoy blaming others for our failings.

The Arabs and Muslims must get rid of the notion that the whole world is conspiring to destroy them. The Arab world is rich in raw materials, rivers, fertile land, wealth and educated people. We must concentrate on education, health care, infrastructure, transparency and open channels between the rulers and the ruled. It is very sad to see Iraq, one of the richest countries in mineral resources, water and educated people, having millions struggle like refugees. It is also sad to see Yemen wasting 40 percent of its water resources to grow qat, just as it is sad to see a country like Lebanon that has the potential to be an attractive tourist spot being fractured because of vested interests, not national interests.

A brave and wise man, that Commodore Al-Mulhim.

I just hope he’s watching his back….

  Christian=Racist In the Minds of Some

Posted by Chris van Avery on 08Feb11.
 

Rachel Ben-Avi crafts a mostly predictable diatribe among the secular Left in America in the Huffington Post today:

Our president has, of late, been referencing God and Jesus more than usual. Even one such reference proves excessive.

She then goes on to play amateur lawyer and historian (she’s a psychoanalyst) and throw out quotes to remind us what role the founders thought religious institutions (as opposed to belief ) should play. All well and good.

But then, she rolls out this non sequitur :

So sure, Barack Obama is free to say anything he likes, but in his attempts to convince us he is a good enough American, religious enough, Christian enough, he cooperates with those whom we may suspect would like to rewrite our constitution here and there. And they are likely the same “folks” who would shrink him back to 3/5 of a person, without blinking.

Maybe she should lean a little more history before she tries to connect any more dots.

One would think with all the prejudice Jews have faced for millenia, a Jew would be a little more careful about the conclusions she draws.


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