10.31.2014

Is Capitalism Environmentally Unsustainable?

It is undeniable that there have been massive increases in the average material quality of living since the agricultural and industrial production revolutions of the 18th-19th centuries, especially leavened by Anglo-Saxon free market philosophy. Medicine, private and public entertainments, and engineering are among the chief benefits we enjoy today. But while we disencumber ourselves of pain, toil, and anxiety, another undeniable fact has emerged: our global environment pays a steep price, in often unexpected ways.

The article asks the most pertinent question: how well suited is our current free-market economy, even our global infrastructure, to the health and longevity of our natural environment? Can we continue to produce this quantity of goods with the qualities we are accustomed to, or will we have to innovate a less ecologically destructive marketplace?

Sectarian Wedge Pushes from Syria into Lebanon

The Bekaa Valley in northern Lebanon, first home of Shiite group Hezbollah, has seen Shiite-Sunni clashes as militants and insurgents from across the Syrian border find a foothold there. The threat of war looms.

Can civilian resignation and fear be overcome in favor of peace, or will sectarian hatred continue to polarize these communities to the point of senselessly re-enacting bloodshed both current and past?

NATO Cites ‘Unusual’ Russian Air Activity as Intercepts Rise

NATO intercepts of Russian military aircraft over European airspace has tripled since 2013.

With prolonged Russian involvement in Crimea, the continuing possibility of compromised intelligence due to the Snowden affair, and Russia’s geographically anxious, expansionist character, is the Kremlin testing its fences – or ours?

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Eric Schmidt of Google “locked horns” over the shape and purpose of freedom on the Internet, elaborating opposite views on what this freedom meant, how it should be achieved, and what it was ultimately for.

Is the worldwide web best for humanity if it is left unfettered, uncensored, and transparent, benefiting from the exchange of ideas and resources between free people – disregarding any societal blowback – or do we need a strong, paternalistic apparatus to purposely sculpt it for the uses of a single political agenda ostensibly – but not necessarily – invested in freedom and democracy? 

Scary Clowns Are Terrorizing France

The cultural epicenter of Western Europe reels at its youths’ poor taste and random acts of violence.

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10.31.2014

10.30.2014

A Horse Race in Thug Land

The rebel leadership of Eastern Ukraine pushes to elect a prime minister despite being engulfed in conflict and hounded by questions of legitimacy.

The Russian-backed Eastern Ukraine may give itself a winning score, but even if they stabilize their borders and keep the old regime out, will they ever win approval from NATO and the global community?

Abbas Warning over Holy Site Closure 

The Temple Mount is closed and tensions in Jerusalem escalate yet again after the shooting of an Israeli prayer rights campaigner, allegedly by Palestinian Moataz Hejazi, who was subsequently surrounded and shot dead by Israeli police.

Has anyone considered locking the two factions in a room together and forcing them to break bread until lasting peace is achieved? If they can’t achieve peace on their own, I hear Russia is still looking for a warm water port…

Tunisia Takes Partisan Turn after Islamist Loss

Parliamentary elections in Tunisia saw a surprising upset in which the underdog Nidaa Tounes party, “an amalgam of former regime figures and secular leftists,” nosed ahead of the Islamist Ennahda party, prompting anxiety about the democratic process and the future of cooperation in Tunisian politics.

Does this signal a turn toward secularism in Tunisia, or is it simply a sign of partisan division after the high sentiments and relative success of the revolution?

High Levels of Dangerous Chemicals Found in Air Near Oil and Gas Sites

Toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene have been found in 40 percent of air samples taken from fracking sites in five US states. The levels exceed federal limits, and anyone living within the immediate vicinity of these plants is likely to suffer from serious skin and respiratory ailments.

The story of toxic sites in the industrialized world should be familiar by now – but how can the poor and working class escape this plight, when their economic survival and their geographical heritage are often linked to these unlivable zones?

Mexico Is Looking for 43 Missing Students. What Has Been Found Is Truly Terrifying

In their search for nearly 50 kidnapped student protesters, investigators have uncovered a massive underworld connecting police and government corruption directly to the cartels. 

To what extent can a state’s infrastructure be compromised by direct involvement in organized crime before it can be considered a failed state?

Dog Helps Police Arrest Owner

The loyalty of dogs: easily swayed?

10.30.2014