December 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
“The Rand McNally era of the Middle East has ended.”
December 1, 2015 § Leave a comment
I didn’t realize that this article is 3 months old. But given that the Syrian Opposition has accepted an invitation to talks by Saudi Arabia it is important to note it.
Russia and Saudi Arabia failed in talks to overcome their differences on the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“A key reason behind the emergence of [ISIL] was the actions of Assad who directed his arms at his nation, not Islamic State [of Iraq and the Levant],” Jubeir told a news conference after talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“Assad is part of the problem, not part of the solution to the Syrian crisis. There is no place for Assad in the future of Syria,” he said.
Source: Al Jazeera English
I will add that the Syrian Opposition has now agreed to participate in talks by Saudi Arabia. In the bigger picture of regional politics, I am still unsure of the dynamics. It seems a hopeful sign in the the Syrian Opposition is willing to engage at all. Or a broadening of confict through proxy.
October 30, 2015 § Leave a comment
Like the tobacco industry Exxon has choreographed deception, traded lives – if not an entire planet – for profit. Exxon has long been aware of the catastrophic consequences of their industry but funded and perpetrated what can be labeled as scientific propaganda to contradict their own research. Unlike tobacco, the scale of the impact reaches far beyond the self-destructive, personal choices, of an individual. We now face the potential global victimization of 100s of millions of innocent people to the ravages of economic and hypernatural disasters.
“Exxon was aware of climate change, as early as 1977, 11 years before it became a public issue, according to a recent investigation from InsideClimate News. This knowledge did not prevent the company (now ExxonMobil and the world’s largest oil and gas company) from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation—…”
In their eight-month-long investigation, reporters at InsideClimate News interviewed former Exxon employees, scientists and federal officials and analyzed hundreds of pages of internal documents. They found that the company’s knowledge of climate change dates back to July 1977, when its senior scientist James Black delivered a sobering message on the topic. “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black told Exxon’s management committee. A year later he warned Exxon that doubling CO2 gases in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by two or three degrees—a number that is consistent with the scientific consensus today. He continued to warn that “present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.” In other words, Exxon needed to act.
Read the full article at the source.
June 1, 2015 § Leave a comment
Premature Celebration! Sometimes we need see a light in this sea of darkness. I will enjoy the moment. And think about the potential move away from the decades of greed and despotism that has plagued post-colonial African countries.
“Sidi, is an assistant lecturer of English language at the Liberal Studies department of the Federal Polytechnic in the north-western town of Kaura Namoda, Zamfara state. He travelled six hours by road to physically witness the inauguration ceremony of Buhari whom he describes as “a man with personal and public integrity” with “a credential that Africa badly needs.” He also compares him (President Buhari) to Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln.”
The newly elected president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, offers hope for true economic reform of Africa’s largest and wealthiest nation. Though it has been promised many times, this time seems genuine, and Nigerians enthusiastically dare to hope. Let’s join them!
“After many years of hoping against hope, Nigerians appear certain that they are in for a new deal with the newly inaugurated administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
The rise in expectation was borne out of the gush of renewed promises last Friday by Buhari during his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Buhari at the inauguration said: “No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation.”
“It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20billion expended since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians,” he said…” http://businessdayonline.com/…/buhari-era-signposts-light-…/
January 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
In the wake of the massacre that took place in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, I have been called upon as a scholar specializing in Islamic paintings of the Prophet to explain whether images of Muhammad are banned in Islam.
– Christine Gruber
The author, “Christiane Gruber, is associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of Michigan. Her primary field of research is Islamic book arts, paintings of the Prophet Muhammad, and Islamic ascension texts and images, about which she has written two books and edited a volume of articles. She also pursues research in…
Isaiah’s vision of Jesus riding a donkey and Muhammad riding a camel, al-Biruni, al-Athar al-Baqiyya ‘an al-Qurun al-Khaliyya (Chronology of Ancient Nations), Ottoman lands, ca. 1560. Bibliothèque nationale de France Read more at: http://toni-two.com/blog/on-images-of-the-prophet/ | FieldGrass