Skip to main content


Fri May 01, 2015 at 08:11 AM PDT

Why Syria needs an earthquake

by gjohnsit

 The earthquake that struck Nepal killed around 6,000 people and displaced nearly half a million. It was a horrible humanitarian crisis that justifiably got the world's attention.

  If only Syria could be so lucky.

 The scale of this crisis dwarfs any other recent humanitarian event. Syria’s 12 million people in need of assistance is a number more than twice as large as the 5 million affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami, 3.5 million affected by the Haiti earthquake, and 1.7 million affected by Hurricane Katrina.
   American responded to each of these other disasters with hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. World Vision raised $36 million in the year following the Haiti earthquake—$5.9 million of it in the first week alone! In comparison, after four years World Vision U.S. has been able to raise just $2.7 million for our response in Syria.
 
Continue Reading

Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 09:50 AM PDT

House GOP foriegn policy backlash

by gjohnsit

 Three days ago the House Armed Services Committee inserted a controversial provision into an Iraqi aid bill.

 Republican war-policy writers are demanding that the United States recognize Kurdish and Sunni militias as their own “country” amid growing concerns about Iran’s influence over Baghdad.
   The bill “would require that the Kurdish peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard be deemed a country,” according to a bill summary. Doing so “would allow these security forces to directly receive assistance from the United States.”
 The House committee passed it by 60-2, and also authorizes shipping lethal weapons to Ukraine.
  There are good reasons to be concerned about the level of influence that Iran has over Baghdad, but this isn't the way to make foreign policy.
   It turns out that someone in Baghdad was watching.
Continue Reading

Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 02:45 PM PDT

Baltimore: Baseball with no fans

by gjohnsit

They should just cancel this series and make it up later!! Playing in front of a empty house makes no sense!!
  - Frank Thomas, HOF

  For the first time in Major League Baseball history, fans were shut out of a game. And then it got really weird.

 photo orioles1_zpsbhm5mpiq.jpg

Continue Reading

 Remember al-Qaeda? With all the hype about ISIS it's easy to forget that it was al-Qaeda that attacked us, while Daesh never did.
  If you've forgotten that, you wouldn't be alone. It seems that Washington has forgotten it as well, because over the last six months we've been at war with the enemies of al-Qaeda.

Continue Reading

Mon Apr 27, 2015 at 12:56 PM PDT

Negative interest rates blowback

by gjohnsit

 The insanity of negative interest rates is one of the most under-reported, under-appreciated developments in recent days.
For instance, consider this.

 JPMorgan Chase recently sent a letter to some of its large depositors telling them it didn't want their stinking money anymore. Well, not in those words. The bank coined a euphemism: Beginning on May 1, it said, it will charge certain customers' balance sheet utilization fee of 1 percent a year on deposits in excess of the money they need for their operations. That amounts to a negative interest rate on deposits. The targeted customers' mostly other financial institutions are already snatching their money out of the bank. Which is exactly what Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon wants. The goal is to shed $100 billion in deposits, and he's about 20 percent of the way there so far.
   Pause for a second and marvel at how strange this is. Banks have always paid interest to depositors. We've entered a new era of surplus in which banks some, anyway are deigning to accept money only if customers are willing to pay for the privilege.
Continue Reading

Hillary leads all Republican candidates in the important swing states of Ohio, Nevada, Florida, and Pennsylvania. However, there will be one candidate on the ballot in those states that is far more popular than Hillary - pot.

 More than 80 percent of voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, and a slight majority in each state supports allowing adults to consume pot for recreational purposes, according to the latest polling from Quinnipiac, released Monday.
  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outpolled other potential 2016 candidates in all three states in the Quinnipiac survey.
 It seems to make political sense that if Hillary wants to win these swing states then she should get out ahead of this curve and endorse decriminalization of pot.
Continue Reading

Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 09:38 AM PDT

Overcoming the Culture of Fears

by gjohnsit

 Franklin D. Roosevelt at his first inaugural address encouraged Americans to stand up to that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
  It may have taken a few more generations, but America finally lost the war against that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror".

  We've been afraid before, but this time its different.
In the 1950's American society united in a fear of nuclear annihilation. During WWII the country's common fear of fascism united the nation in the war effort.
  However, today our fear divides us. We fear our government. We fear strangers. We fear our neighbors. More than anything else, we fear things that aren't there, and its tearing our society apart.

Continue Reading

Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 10:46 AM PDT

Behold! The Flash Crash Mastermind

by gjohnsit

  On May 6, 2010, at 2:45pm the stock market plunged almost 1,000 points in a matter of seconds. It became known as the Flash Crash, and it spooked a lot of retail investors.

  Well, fear no more! The evil genius who caused the Flash Crash has been caught and charged with his crime.
  For the first time we have a picture of his Evil Hidden Lair. Behold!
 photo evil-lair_zpsh0xebvin.png
  I know what you are thinking. That looks like a quiet suburban house in England.
Well, that's because it is.

  It seems that the "evil genius" that nearly took down the world's financial system was not wealthy or connected or a computer hacker. Instead he traded from home and lived with his parents.
  Instead of looking like an evil genius, he looks a lot more like a patsy.

Continue Reading

 The Democrats in the House celebrated Earth Day by proposing a ban fracking on federal land. Texas Republicans celebrated the day by passing a bill to deny communities the ability to restrict fracking in their areas.

  Meanwhile, the economics of fracking and oil is making all the political moves moot.

 Half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies, an executive with Weatherford International Plc said.
Continue Reading

Wed Apr 22, 2015 at 11:21 AM PDT

Overcoming the Culture of Fear

by gjohnsit

 Franklin D. Roosevelt at his first inaugural address encouraged Americans to stand up to that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
  It may have taken a few more generations, but America finally lost the war against that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror".

  We've been afraid before, but this time its different.
In the 1950's American society united in a fear of nuclear annihilation. During WWII the country's common fear of fascism united the nation in the war effort.
  However, today our fear divides us. We fear our government. We fear strangers. We fear our neighbors. More than anything else, we fear things that aren't there, and its tearing our society apart.

Continue Reading

 So this happened today.

 The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is moving toward the waters off the coast of Yemen to prepare to intercept any potential Iranian shipments of weapons to the rebels fighting the U.S.-backed government of Yemen, a Pentagon official said Monday.
 That's going to make any peace treaty a lot harder to agree to.
   It's time that some people realize that things are a lot more complicated in the middle east than just cheering for whichever domestic political party. This is a hornet's nest and we are hitting the nest with a stick.
Continue Reading

  To the desperate people fleeing war and famine in Africa, the quickest way to a better life is across the Mediterranean to Italy from the chaos of Libya.
  This typically is done in a flimsy, overcrowded smuggler's boat, and increasingly with tragic results.

 AS MANY as 700 migrants are feared drowned after their packed boat capsized off Libya.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and Italy’s coastguard said that only 28 people had survived the wreck.
Their testimonies suggested there had been about 700 people on board the 20-metre-long fishing boat, officials said.
“It seems we are looking at the worst massacre ever seen in the Mediterranean,” UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami said.
  photo Libya-migrants_zpstxz7mixi.jpg
Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site