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Showing posts from May 1, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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German soldier posing as a Syrian refugee arrested for planning 'false flag' terror attack

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[Investigators say lieutenant stashed gun at Vienna airport to be used in 'act of state-threatening violence.' Interesting to see this false-flag piece on the same day as reports of large-scale defections of ISIS soldiers at the Turkish border. See also this report of a German-Russian man who 'carried out bomb attack to make money before blaming Muslims'. *RON*]
Lizzie Dearden, The Independent, 28 April 2017

A German soldier found posing as a Syrian refugee has been arrested for allegedly planning a “false flag” shooting attack that would be blamed on asylum seekers.

The unidentified soldier was detained when he went to retrieve a loaded pistol he had hidden in a bathroom at Vienna International Airport.

The public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt said the 28-year-old is suspected of planning a serious “state-threatening act of violence”, fraud and violating firearms laws.

More than 90 German police officers have worked alongside Au…

The Fall of the Latin American Left, Part II: Venezuela’s Heterodox Collapse

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[On the rise of the Chavistas. *RON*]

Ignatio Portes, Naked Capitalism, 26 April 2017

By Ignacio Portes, formerly the economy editor of the English-speaking daily Buenos Aires Herald. He has also published at Pando Daily and NSFWcorp. See Part I in this series here

The approach of Venezuela’s left was quite different to that of Brazil’s. Hugo Chávez’s government got into a frontal conflict with the country’s historical ruling classes early into his first presidential term. Things got nasty quickly. Boycotts, threats of disobedience, even a full-on military coup in 2002 backed by much of the opposition, told him and his people that nothing in the system could be trusted. So borrowing out ideas or negotiating moves with the elite was much more of a no-go, and opposing them was the first instinct whenever something came up.

Thus, when Chávez was challenged, say, by the management of the state-owned oil giant PDVSA firm, who refused to accept the new go…

Monks with guns: Is Buddhism a Peaceful Religion?

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["The monk pulled back his saffron robes to reveal his Smith & Wesson handgun." Westerners think that Buddhism is about peace and non-violence. So how come Buddhist monks are in arms against Islam? Aung San Suu Kyi should return her peace prize. *RON*]
Michael Jerryson, Aeon, 26 April 2017
Michael Jerryson is an associate professor of religious studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University in Ohio. He is co-founder and co-chair of the Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence Unit through the American Academy of Religion, and co-edits the Journal of Religion and Violence. He is the author of Buddhist Fury: Religion and Violence in Southern Thailand (2011).

The recent violence in southern Thailand began on 4 January 2004, when Malay Muslim insurgents invaded a Thai Army depot in the southernmost province of Narathiwat. The next day, after the burning of 20 schools and several bomb a…

If Christy Clark Was A CEO, She'd Be Fired For Short-Term Vision

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["Despite her heavy PR spins about jobs, her tactics, in reality, have produced lower wages, focused on dying sectors and delayed core infrastructure and maintenance to the point that affordable housing and our schools are crumbling." *RON*]
Zarah Tinholt, Huffington Post, 1 May 2017

In 1986, finance guru Larry Fink was a rising star. Throughout his career, he'd added $1 billion to his bank's profits and helped build the U.S. mortgage-backed security market. Promotions came easily until a miscalculation brought everything to a dramatic halt. He lost $100 million in a single year.

That devastating experience changed the way Larry Fink looked at money. He realized that to succeed, he would need a long-term vision that paid close attention to the economy's evolution and its risks. Now, 28 years later, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager and manages assets worth $5.1 trillion.

In early 2016, Fink sent a very alarmi…

Juncker tells May he is '10 times more sceptical than before' on Brexit

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[Account of meeting between PM and EU commission head sees some close to latter put chances of talks failing at ‘over 50%’. *RON*]
Daniel BoffeyPhilip Oltermann, and Rajeev Syal, The Guardian, 1 May 2017

A devastating account of a dinner in Downing Street between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker has emerged, claiming the European commission president ended discussions about a potential Brexit deal by telling the British prime minister: “I’m leaving Downing Street 10 times more sceptical than I was before.”

Those close to Juncker are said to have subsequently concluded that the chances of Brexit talks failing were now “over 50%”. An EU spokesman declined to comment, except to point out that Juncker had told reporters at a summit on Saturday that the dinner was a “very constructive meeting, a friendly atmosphere”.

The detailed account of the meeting on Wednesday between May and Juncker, who was accompanied by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Mi…