Permanent war

So as expected, president Obama said yesterday that he will continue the long-standing US practice of all war, all the time, finding new wars to start even a the old ones drag on. ISIS/ISIL has now given momentum to that effort by moving public opinion in the US by some horrific acts. Of course, if the beheading of two Americans can anger public opinion here so much, one can imagine what is the reaction of people in that region when the US blasts so many of their people to bits with powerful hi-tech weaponry.
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O Lucky Man (1973)

This brilliant but strange and fascinating film by director Lindsay Anderson stars Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren and a raft of first-rate British character actors. It is a biting satire on the ruthlessness of the capitalist system in which McDowell plays a naïf who thinks that he can become rich by doing the will of wealthy people and thinks that they will show their gratitude by taking care of him and rewarding him, and ends up in one mess after another. It is an illusion shared by many today. I liked one gag where the graffiti on a wall has the message “Revolution is the opium of the intellectuals”.
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Microhouses

We heard about the trend to build McMansions, huge house that have far more space than the occupants could possibly need. An opposite trend is to build what are called microhouses, tiny living spaces that try to utilize every bit of space efficiently. Some of them are ingenious in their design and quite beautiful
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The push for more war

Today president Obama will speak to the nation and likely once again drag the country into another military conflict. There have been calls for president Obama to ‘take strong action’ against ISIS/ISIL, arm ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels (whoever they are), get back into Iraq, deploy NATO against Russia, in addition to the drone attacks that keep going on in other parts of the world. He will choose the by now standard option of bombing from the air, supplying weapons to our ‘allies’ and ‘moderates’ (who may tomorrow be ‘enemies’ and ‘extremists’) so that no US military personnel will be at immediate risk.
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Gay group will march in NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade

It has been announced that one gay group called Out@NBC-Universal, a group of gay employees at NBC, will be allowed to march under their own banner for the first time in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade next year with more allowed to apply for 2016. Catholic cardinal Timothy Dolan, who will be the parade’s grand marshal next year, has said that he welcomes the move.
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The changes in Iran

Journalist Ramita Navai talks with Jon Stewart on what is happening in Iran. She says that reformists in the country who seek a more democratic state that has less theocratic influence have been disturbed by the chaos in neighboring countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria due to the influence of foreigners. As a result, they have retreated from seeking quick changes and are now looking for a more gradual process that is generated by forces purely from within the country.
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Shift in the climate change zeitgeist

There has been long-standing opposition in the US to recognizing that anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon and needs to be taken seriously, with great efforts taken to discredit the research. The opponents have taken strength from the fact that religious ideas are strong in the US and a significant segment of the population are science skeptics and willing, even eager, to repudiate the conclusions and recommendations of the scientific community, even promoting cranks like Christopher Monckton, who was beautifully made fun of by an Australian TV show.
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Chuck Todd off to a great start

David Letterman poked fun at the new host of Meet the Press, one of the wasteland of Sunday morning talk shows where many words are spoken and few are worth listening to. The reason may be that, as demonstrated by Todd, there is very little listening that takes place on these programs and that people come with an agenda that they are determined to push through.
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