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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces that were meant to supply Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday. The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a video uploaded by a media group loyal to the Islamic State. The video appeared authentic and corresponded to AP reporting of the event.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gerard Parkes, an Irish-Canadian actor who played the kind inventor Doc on Jim Henson's live-action HBO children's show "Fraggle Rock" in the 1980s, died on Sunday in Toronto. He was 90.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged. read more


Monday, September 29, 2014

A senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that Afghanistan will sign a deal Tuesday to allow American soldiers to remain in the country past the end of the year.

The deal will allow about 10,000 American troops to stay in the country after the international combat mission ends on Dec. 31.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Former MI-6 agent Alastair Crooke: ISIS is using us to give it what it wants: wide Islamic mobilization, the de-legitimization of allied Arab leaders, and an inchoate "war" with no strategy or "end game" -- a process Obama is in fact facilitating. But in the final analysis, the deep inconsistency -- and likely cause of this whole enterprise's ultimate failure -- is simply the paradox that the West's allies of choice will not, and cannot, be true "partners" to this "war." They have been too tainted with the firing up of this same Salafist ideology for too many decades. They are of it (the ideology). And the West has been complicit for so long, in allying to it, that it can neither abandon its "compromised" allies, nor expect them to put their own boots on the ground. It is a war declared with no troops in view, or the means to craft an outcome. ISIS has cleverly used us.


Comments

IF YOU live in Monrovia, especially if you're poor, Ebola's a very big deal, and rich countries like the United States ought to be doing everything they can to help you avoid catching and spreading it. But if you live in, say, Boston and you're terrified of Ebola and rank it high among threats to your well-being -- well, the most generous way to say this is that you're highly attuned to the cultural sensibilities of our time. The "Ebola is coming!" frenzy has little to do with actual disease or rational risk assessment and a lot to do with other things -- some old, like fear and loathing of Africanness, and some relatively new, like the retreat from the public sphere and the concomitant rise of screen-mediated relationships as the new standard in secure, hygienic interaction with other humans.

...

There's not much compassion for those actually threatened by Ebola in our discussions of the disease, which are animated by inward-turning questions about how much we trust our government and how secure we should expect our lives to be. The answers abound with contradictions. Apparently, we want our government to guarantee our perfect safety from terrorists and Ebola, but not to do anything about more pressing dangers -- like guns -- that kill citizens all over our country every day. We rely on cheap goods and labor from abroad, but we want to hermetically seal our borders. We want to feel connected to others, but we shun the company of flesh-and-blood people in ways that seem mundane now but were confined to the realm of science fiction just a generation or two ago.

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