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Total number of comments: 17 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:59)


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  • Why does the Iraqi Army Keep Running Away from ISIL?
  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
  • Oil Price Fall: Saudi Arabia targets US Shale Oil, Iran, Iraq, Russia
    • I would point out additionally that biofuels are hardly magical. They are burned, they produce pollution. It doesn't really matter what we burn-- we have to stop burning stuff generally to get anywhere on this matter.

    • No offense but biofuels are so twentieth century. Stripping the planet of plant matter to put into engines is even less workable than what we're doing now.

      Conservation--reducing consumption-- is a more immediately doable than anything else we've tried, but we seem to have some aversion to it. And any belief that we can painlessly convert to "green technology" (and biofuels are hardly green) is probably misplaced.

    • Hmmm. Nobody has yet explained to me how airplanes and ships will convert to electric or battery power. The short answer is, they won't, and no technology to make airplanes run on anything but petro-fuel is on the horizon. Same goes for container ships. As long as we continue to fly and ship goods over the ocean, there will be a large and healthy market for oil. Private automobiles are only a fraction of the picture.

  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge
    • Most Americans are too poor to even think about putting solar panels on their home, much less buy a new environmentally friendly car. Tax breaks don't mean much when almost half of Americans don't make enough money to pay any taxes anyway.

  • Creationists to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Evolution isn’t scientific, but the Book of Genesis is
    • “You know, the word ‘science,’ it’s kind of a magical word,” Comfort said..."

      There is a psychological phenomenon known as "projection". Ray Comfort is Exhibit A with this statement. He's the one promoting an uncritical belief in magic, but it's what he's accusing scientists of? Incredible.

  • GOP isn't Getting more Ignorant on Evolution, it is Just getting Older
    • I hate to be the one to point this out but Creationism is wll known in South Korea-- about 50% of the population there are American-style evangelical Protestants and some of them are ridiculously religious. They have had access to American religious propaganda for many years and certainly a good number of South Koreans believe in Creationism too. Creationism "science" is also experiencing a meteoric rise in the Muslim world thanks to the efforts of one Odnan Aktar aka Harun Yahya, who plagiarizes American material. He's most influential in Turkey, but it's a growing thing everywhere with Muslims. I would love to see what thoughts Dr. Cole has about that, too.

  • Alshabab attack on Nairobi a Sign of Political Defeat
    • True what Dr. Cole said about the economic effects. I think they are often overstated. German tour operators are already booking Egypt again, for crying out loud.

  • The Burka Avenger stands up to Male Chauvinist Taliban on Pakistani TV
    • I don't know if Dr. Cole allows links, but this one will take you to a poster, which, just as feared, calls the cartoon Western and-or Jewish propaganda and exhorts the youth of Pakistan to boycott/block the production of the cartoon.

      link to

    • I would just note that she isn't fighting "Taliban types" at least openly--her archenemy is called a "magician", in other words a specifcally un-Muslim person (it's kind of like portraying nuns as witches in order to villify them). Overt religion is absent from the cartoon, which is understable given its target audience, but even so, there has been a great deal of negative reaction because the "magician" villian wears a beard-- and religious Pakistanis feel that it is "not allowed" to criticize men with beards because it's assumed that they're pious. In other words, they understand that on some level the magician is a Taliban stand-in, and they're upset by that.

      I don't know how well it will go over with viewers who aren't already predisposed to dislike the Taliban. When I was in Pakistan, the truly radicalized didn't allow their children to watch TV anyway. "Burkha Avenger" will be written off by many as just more Western propaganda, in spite of Haroon.

  • Egypt's "Revocouption" and the future of Democracy on the Nile
    • In Germany, any party whose stated ideals are contrary to democracy cannot participate in the elections. I have no problem with this qualificiation and would love to see it implemented everywhere. Religious extremists and others who would revoke democracy if elected are automatically excluded from participating in a system they seek to dismantle. It's fair and it works. Proof that a party is anti-democratic can be gathered in various ways. There would be no more problem with the Muslim Brotherhood if Egypt adopted this policy. They would either change a great deal, or be out of the running.

  • Creepy Israeli Planning for Palestinian Food Insecurity in Gaza Revealed
    • Israel's plan is, of course, to drive them out into neighboring countries like Egypt and Jordan. I've had Israelis tell me "The Palestinians have a homeland--it's called Jordan." Of course, Israelis do not say this publicly. I'm sure you know, also, that many Israelis have a view that Palestinians were somehow "planted" in Palestine by unfriendly interests and didn't in fact live there when Israel was founded. Of course they don't talk about this belief in polite company either. But in Israeli minds, this is all the fault of neighboring Arab countries for refusing to take Palestinians in (although they have, to the tune of millions of people).

      So, how does the world have the discussion when they won't bring up the elephant in the room--that Israel intends to make Palestinian lives miserable until they simply leave? How do we approach this? Accuse Israel of having this intention publicly? I'm sure that's not very diplomatic.

  • Arabs and the Olympics (Majid)
  • One Million Displaced as Rising Waters Threaten Major Cities
    • 40% of Pakistan's children were malnourished before any of this started. There will be large scale starvation in Pakistan this winter. I hope it can be averted but I don't know how it can be avoided. The camps for flood victims are already under siege by people who haven't been displaced but are no less hungry for a meal, and hope to inifltrate the camps to get aid. God help these people in their hour of need.

  • An Israeli Attack on Iran would reduce Barack Obama to a One-Term President
    • well, only one minor comment--Pakistan is not a "thriving" country, rather teetering dangerously close to failed state status. I agree with pretty much everything else you said.

  • 500,000 evacuated from Jacobabad as Floodwaters head toward Sindh
    • RedPossum suggests we "let Saudi pay for it". They will pay for it...and it will be a sure way to increase fundamentalism in the area, as Saudi already spends a great deal of money on spreading its brand of wahabism. Why give them chances to do more of that?

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