Getting My Money’s Worth (richcabot)
The State Department on Monday issued a worldwide alert three days of ahead Thanksgiving cautioning travelers of “increased terroristic threats” from ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and other groups.
A “worldwide alert.” Everywhere I go is at risk of a terrorist action.
The airstrikes came amid a military response to the Taliban’s recapture of Kunduz, the largest territorial gain for the group since the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. In the days following the incident, the American narrative of the events shifted rapidly with officials describing the strikes as “collateral damage,” a response to a threat against American forces, and later, the byproduct of faulty intelligence by the U.S.’s Afghan partners on the ground.
Turkey’s officials say they spotted the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 military plane flying into Turkish airspace, across the border that it shares with Syria. They claim they warned the Russian plane 10 times in five minutes before they shot down the plane. Russia’s defense ministry said they received no communication attempts from Turkey — visual or otherwise.
Moscow has threatened Ankara with economic retaliation for the incident and Putin even accused the U.S of leaking information about the flight to Turkey after they gave them prior warning of the mission.
As Sputnik transcribes, according to a press release from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov pointed out that, “by shooting down a Russian plane on a counter-terrorist mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria, and one that did not violate Turkey’s airspace, the Turkish government has in effect sided with ISIS.”
Does It Pay To Be Kind To Strangers? (jdargis)
It wasn’t meant to be like this. Mann, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire, had just embarked on a new project to explore the phenomenon of “paying it forward” – a popular philosophy of being generous to a stranger, in the hope they will pass on the kindness to someone else. “The idea is to create a chain – a domino effect,” Mann explains.
The first is… doing nothing at all. Let us call this position “Caution!” The economy, some claim, will heal itself, like an organism responding automatically to a fire, flood, or famine. The logic goes thus: as the unemployment rate falls, so wages will be forced to rise, because there is more competition for workers. That is classical economic theory — and it appears to be mistaken, because it does not examine the world as it is, only as it is modeled. While unemployment has fallen precipitously, wages have barely nudged. Worse still, even when unemployment was low, incomes remained flat — for decades. Why? Because the bulk of new jobs replacing those being destroyed are low-wage, low-end, dead-end McJobs. That simple but vital issue of the quality, not just quantity, of jobs has been missing from the discussion of the “Caution!” position.
A Most Convenient Massacre (richcabot)
Note that after the Russian jet crashed in the Sinai there weren’t all that many Facebook avatars with the Russian flag pasted over them, and hardly any candlelight vigils or piles of wreaths and flowers in various Western capitals. I even detected a whiff of smug satisfaction that the Russians got their comeuppance for stepping out of line in Syria.
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Corruption U.S.A. (richcabot)
Financially, Washington had invested sums in both countries that far exceeded the Marshall Plan, which so successfully put Western Europe back on its feet after World War II. Yet Iraq and Afghanistan were left on their knees amid a carnival of corruption and misspent taxpayer money. What made revisiting this spectacle so stunning wasn’t just the inability of the U.S. military, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a crew of crony warrior corporations raking in the big bucks to do anything right, but that this was the United States of America. It was the country I — and I was hardly alone in this — had grown up thinking of as the globe’s master builder. In the 1950s and early 1960s, my childhood years, it seemed as if there was nothing Americans couldn’t build successfully from an unparalleled highway system to rockets that were moonward bound.
Fans of hydroelectric power talk about expanding its portion of the aggregate generation capacity in the U.S., but even for hydro-bulls, this is a very slow process that might see hydroelectric power double its share of generating capacity over the course of several decades. That growth trajectory pales in comparison to the level of growth in wind and solar (albeit off a much smaller base of installed capacity for the latter sources).
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