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Ed Webb

George Orwell: Politics and the English Language - 0 views

    1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Ed Webb

Senators Authorizing Syria Strike Got More Defense Cash Than Lawmakers Voting No | Thre... - 0 views

  • Senators voting Wednesday to authorize a Syria strike received, on average, 83 percent more campaign financing from defense contractors than lawmakers voting against war.
Ed Webb

Kenya MPs vote to withdraw from ICC - 0 views

  • Kenyan MPs have approved a motion to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • the US had refused to sign the Rome Statute to protect its citizens and soldiers from potential politically motivated prosecutions.

    "Let us protect our citizens. Let us defend the sovereignty of the nation of Kenya,"

  • No other country has withdrawn from the ICC.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have repeatedly called for the cases against them to be dropped, saying the charges are politically motivated.

    The ICC has refused and says it pursues justice impartially.

    In May, the African Union accused the ICC of "hunting" Africans because of their race.

    The ICC strongly denies this, saying it is fighting for the rights of the African victims of atrocities.

    The ICC was set up in 2002 to deal with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

    The court has been ratified by 122 countries, including 34 in Africa.

Ed Webb

Samantha Power's case for striking Syria - 1 views

    Well worth 20 minutes. Whether or not one agrees, this is an admirably clear account of how we got here and the logic of compellent force in this instance, where deterrence has failed.
    I'm only into the second paragraph of this article (and about halfway through A Problem from Hell), but admittedly, I'd think anyone familiar with the crux of the book (and thus her tremendous credibility, as per WaPo) shouldn't be surprised by her stance here. Will definitely have to look into the particulars of her argument, though, thanks for sharing. Love that I still get emails from this. ha..
Ed Webb

Petro-aggression: How Russia's oil makes war more likely - 0 views

  • A Russian natural gas embargo is a trick that can probably only be pulled once (not unlike the 1973 oil embargo).  So in a sense, European dependence on Russian energy does not imply short-term vulnerability – except that European policymakers’ perceptions of vulnerability can become its own reality.
  • Russia’s resource curse.  Russia’s energy revenues (from both oil and gas) have ensconced Vladimir Putin as an autocrat and given him a free hand in foreign policy.  Russia is so heavily dependent on its energy revenues that it is a classic petrostate, making it more susceptible to corruption, autocracy and violent conflict.
  • Russia’s incursion into Crimea can be seen as a close cousin of petro-aggression.  A state is more likely to instigate international conflict when it has a combination of (a) oil income and (b) a leader with aggressive preferences.  A lot more likely: 250 percent more military conflict than a typical non-petrostate, on average.  Oil income means more military spending, increasing the state’s scope for potential conflicts.  Even more importantly, it distorts the domestic politics of the state, reducing the leader’s domestic political risk from military adventurism and aggressive foreign policy.
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  • Here lies the real risk of Europe’s energy situation: So long as it continues to buy Russian oil and gas, it is sending massive amounts of cash to a neighboring dictator.  By keeping the taps on, Putin consolidates his power as Russian dictator.
  • Diversifying away from fossil fuels would bring security benefits (in addition to some obvious environmental ones), in part by reducing the money sent to petrostates like Russia.
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