(New York Times)
Keepers at the Smithsonian zoo in D.C. are resorting to elaborately-prepared “date nights” at the zoo to encourage mating of cheetahs and other wild animals whose habitats in the “wild” are rapidly approaching annihilation with world climate change and other effects of over-development of human activities. As those who would arrange “set ups” of human men and women, the keepers are often disappointed when their charges are not as amorous as they had hoped.
This is the view of economist Robert Pollin, a situation which he says is a major deterrent to any effective policy to pull the U.S. out of its its extended recessionary condition. The amount of unexpended reserves (liquidity) that banks have been allowed to accumulate under policies of near-zero interest rates on U.S. government securities has allowed them to achieve reserves at an astounding level of 10% of the Gross Domestic Product. Meanwhile small businesses find themselves unable to dip into this pool of liquidity as credit to finance their own operations. There are “strings,” Pollin believes, that could be pushed to alleviate the situation but they are strings that are different than those now being pushed.
(Black Agenda Report)
Glen Ford comments on efforts of the Times and other supporters of the U.S. “regime” to claim Obama’s “place in history” as the Supreme Court has approved most elements of the “Affordable Health Care Act,” billed as a success where other Presidents have failed to create a system of “health care for all.” To the contrary, Ford believes, Obamacare care will operate as it was intended, as a massive scheme to provide enhanced profits to the health care and insurance “industries” by bringing in millions of new customers while providing a level of health care that will do little if anything to advance the country toward a truly universal health care system which detaches access to health care from the ability of people to pay for (or be “covered for”) same.
“LIBERAL ISLAMOPHOBIA”: IS THAT SO MUCH MORE ENLIGHTENED THAN DOWNRIGHT “CLASH OF CIVILIZATION” RHETORIC ABOUT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE MUSLIM AND NON-MUSLIM WORLDS?
Deepa Kumar thinks not, though “liberals” like to congratulate the Obama administration on its “accommodationist” rather than its “confrontational” foreign policy where Muslims are concerned. There are “good” Muslims as well as “bad” Muslims, the good ones being identified with cooperation with U.S. policy and the bad ones whose who hope to defeat that policy. The demonization of Muslims as “terrorists” is the key to this distinction but it breaks down in practical terms when decisions like calling a drone strike against “terrorists” or ordering seige operations against insurgent “strongholds” are concerned. The “kill lists” for targeting of drone targets acknowledge that large populations of perhaps “good” Muslims will be killed, but this is put aside as collateral damage justified by a profiling of any Muslim population as likely containing a large number of Muslims. In the end liberal Islamophobia kills about as many Muslims as does out-right “clash” operations. The diffence is that “liberal” Americans turn a blind eye to such operations, since they are conducted, after all, by a “liberal” political administration.
(Miami New Times)
The difference between an incorporated city and a county that contains it, it is the difference between the core city and many distinctive outlying places with their own muncipal names and, according to Kyle Musenreider, many quirky stories about the circustances of their having been founded. One (Sweetwater) was populated by a group of Russian circus dwarves, one (Virginia Gardens) by horse lovers, one (West Miami) as a place where would-be alcohol imbibers could get a late night drink. Still another (Biscayne Park) is a “bird city” carved out when the City of Miami created a bird sanctuary and it’s still illegal to shoot a bird in the city. These and 6 other towns with unique histories illustrate a panorama of colorful history little known to outsiders.
Quote of the day…
The peace movement, floundering in the wake of Obama’s election—a 2011 study by Michael Heaney and Fabio Rojas notes that while his win was heralded as an anti-war victory, it demobilized large numbers of Democratic activists—was unprepared to respond to a shift in the way the U.S. wages wars. While many organizers praised Obama for completing the withdrawal from Iraq, military force with a “lighter footprint” was part of the new defense strategy announced soon afterward. Under the Obama administration, a drone strike has occurred an average of once every four days in Pakistan.
Rebecca Burns, on the lack of “liberal” opposition to drone strikes.
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