The assault on the suburbs seemed to be a sign of the growing presence of dissident soldiers closer to Damascus, and of the government’s rising concern about the situation. Although the tightly controlled capital has been relatively quiet since the uprising began, its outskirts have been the scenes of intense protests, and army defectors have become more visible and active in the past few months.
The military has responded with a withering assault in the Damascus suburbs to stamp out the resistance, leading to a spike in violence has killed nearly 100 people since Thursday.
Somehow “judicial activism” is associated with liberal judges, but conservatives were the ones who created ex nihilo a whole new life form, the corporate “fictional person” — and then gave these “persons” the freedom to impose their interests on real people like you and me. Pay attention to where the threats to democracy really come from.
A former senior Russian archive official says he saw a file that could shed light on Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg’s fate — challenging the insistence of Russia’s KGB successor agency that it has no documents regarding the man who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Hungary before disappearing into the hands of Soviet secret police.
Anatoly Prokopenko, 78, told The Associated Press that in 1991 he saw a thick dossier containing numerous references to Wallenberg that suggested he was being spied upon by a Russian aristocrat working for Soviet intelligence. Russian officials later said the file didn’t exist, in line with blanket denials of having information on Wallenberg.
“That file is extremely interesting, because it could allow us to determine the reasons behind his arrest,” Prokopenko said, while acknowledging he had only a few minutes to flip through hundreds of pages of documents.
“Teachers in black state schools work an average of 3.5 hours a day, compared with 6.5 hours in the former white state schools known as “Model C”. A fifth of teachers are absent on Fridays, rising to a third at the end of the month. The education minister herself admits that 80% of schools are still “dysfunctional”.”—Officially, 25% of South Africans are unemployed; the real figure is probably nearer 40%. Some accuse the country’s education system of churning out candidates that are largely unemployable. (via theeconomist)
“Just as having a lot of pens doesn’t make you a great writer, having a lot of ideas doesn’t make you a great thinker.”—Ezra KleinchallengesNewt Gingrich’s identity of an idea man. (via washingtonpoststyle)
“Bed-bugs can drink seven times their own weight in blood in a night, leaving itchy welts on the victim’s skin and blood spots on his sheets as they do so.”—Neither five-star hotels nor top-notch apartments have been spared bed-bug infestation in New York, and hoteliers from London to Los Angeles are getting nervous. Now two researchers have come up with a bed-bug trap baited with something the bugs find irresistible—the smell of their own droppings. (via theeconomist)
Picture 1 shows Cassius Marcellus Clay, a Louisville, KY abolitionist. When his slave-holding neighbors assembled at his home to burn down his printing press, they found Mr. Clay had put a cannon on his front porch.
Generations later, a black woman in Louisville named her son after…
With my impending move to New York City I’m down to final packing and preparations in Seattle. Part of the greater process (spreadsheet- and custom-calendar-documented, of course) included my last Seattle-to-Utah road trip to deliver my car, some stuff and my dog to my parents’ home. My Dad kindly volunteered to buy my beloved car for safe-keeping as well as drive some stuff—and my dog—out to New York in a few weeks.
So I find myself in Seattle and my dog enjoying the retiree, snowy mountain-side lifestyle in Utah.
Today Mom sent word that my dog continues to visit ‘my’ room in my parents’ house, looking for me. And I talked to a lump of laundry on my bed twice last night, mistaking it in my peripheral vision as a snoozing mutt. Old habits die hard. I’m curious to see what new ones shape up after relocating.
I predict Schettino will be come a derogatory term. It’s such a tidy echo of ‘shit’, it’d be an easy adoption. And he allegedly deserves it, as reported details, charges and lawsuits mount against him.
SEATTLE — A “potential major winter storm” that could dump twice Seattle’s annual snowfall on the city over the course of two days was headed for the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday, weather.com reported.
My return flight from SLC to SEA is scheduled to land in the second front of the storm, if Cliff Mass’ read is right. And if that’s cancelled, I have a very short reschedule window so I can fly over the storm once it’s past Seattle because it heads toward Idaho and Utah next. (Everyone desperately need the snow, so I won’t grump about one bit of it except volatile flight schedules).
"From the right" anti-Gore efforts baked into a shareholder proposal around Apple re-joining the US Chamber of Commerce…okay. From Footnoted’s analysis, looks like shareholder activism is now a two-pole affair and NCPPR’s just getting into the game.
Stepping back a little, [Footnoted’s crew likes] this development, and can’t help but hope it’s a trend toward more varied proxy measures from more varied groups. At the very least, proxies could become a lot more entertaining.
Still, barring the discovery of some smoking gun regarding Gore’s involvement in the decision, we do wonder how the group’s position on the matter squares with some pretty broadly held conservative positions, including the idea that corporate boards should more or less be allowed to run companies and take policy positions as they see fit. Conservative commentators have generally not been kind when it comes to activism-by-proxy-contest, as we’ve seen in the debate over board nominations.
Syria’s uprising seems to have moved into a more complicated, confusing phase in recent weeks. Protests have appeared to revive in some locations, and armed elements of the opposition have seemed emboldened by defections from the security forces.
Meanwhile, bombing attacks in Damascus, the capital, have killed scores of people over the past month. The government has said that foreign-backed terrorists were responsible; the opposition claims the government carried out the bombings itself in a cynical effort to sully the protesters’ image.
In the latest turn, the Arab League on Tuesday denounced attacks on its observers in Syria, who arrived last month to monitor an agreement brokered by the league that was meant to end the violence. The league’s secretary-general, Nabil el-Arabi, said that both loyalists and government opponents had carried out attacks, but that in the end the Syrian government was to blame for failing to provide for the security of the mission. He said the government was “totally responsible” for protecting its 165 observers.