Jeremy Corbyn gives a barn burner of a speech

Thanks to Cory Doctorow I came across this short but powerful speech given yesterday by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to the huge, young crowd at the Glastonbury music festival. He attacks Donald Trump and the austerity policies promoted by the political elites. He rails against war, greed, racism, sexism, homophobia, the denigration of refugees, and the destruction of the environment. He calls for unity and peace and human rights. He seems to be really energized and impassioned and yet relaxed.
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Here we go again …

Marcus Ranum discusses the status of the war in Afghanistan and the ever-enduring belief of the military that seems to be immune to repeated failure, that if they just get more troops, they can win whatever war they are currently engaged in. This is what general Stanley McChrystal told president Barack Obama when he was appointed in 2009 to take charge of the war. McChrystal felt that with 40,000 more troops, he could capture and hold the Taliban stronghold of Helmand, thus delivering a crushing blow. Obama gave him 30,000, NATO allies gave another 10,000, Helmand remained defiant, and McChrystal was fired for insubordination. This was the basis for the satirical film War Machine.
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How to deal with a toxic relationship

All of us have had the experience of having to deal with someone who just rubs you the wrong way. The simplest way to deal with them is to cut them out of your life but sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you cannot do that. How should you deal with them in a way that does not make you grit your teeth and leave you stressed out afterwards? Christine Carter offers five suggestions.
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You cannot be stripped of your citizenship as easily as the government wants

I wrote last month about a case that had been argued before the US Supreme Court about whether one can be stripped of one’s citizenship because one had lied about anything on your citizenship application or whether the lie had to be one that might have materially affected the decision. The government had argued that any lie would be cause for such stripping, even not revealing offenses for which one had not been arrested, such as speeding.
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The Qatar crisis worsens

Saudi Arabia continues its drive to be the Arab hegemon in the Middle East and, along with its subordinate partners Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, has issued a set of demands to Qatar as to what must be done within ten days for the sudden blockade they imposed more than two weeks ago to be lifted. Qatar must shut down the Al Jazeera network, close a Turkish military base, and reduce ties with Iran. The full list of demands can be seen here. This is quite an ominous development in an already volatile region.
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Wait for the Republicans to cave on the health care vote

The Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell has released his version of the health care reform bill and it has as its main feature a massive transfer of wealth to the rich while cutting health service to the poor. The main target seems to be Medicaid, the government-run system that serves the poor. Steven Rosenfeld summarizes the main features.
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Creationists must love Turkey

It is really not surprising how fundamentalism is the same irrespective of the religion because at root it requires the putting on of blinkers on young people so that they believe dogma and not question anything. A draft of the new science curriculum for Turkish students has deferred the teaching of evolution until students enter college because it is too ‘controversial’ and students may bot be able to understand the scientific issues involved. Actually, of pretty much all the major ideas in science, evolution is the easiest to explain and understand.
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Serving 25 years for a crime that never happened

The US media seems to regularly go through periods of hysteria when one particular crime grabs their imagination and suddenly they see widespread evidence of it everywhere. There have been many notorious cases where innocent people were wrongfully prosecuted and convicted for crimes committed by others. But what is even worse is doing so when there was no crime in the first place. This was the case during the period that some of you may remember from a few decades ago when it seemed like there was an epidemic of cases involving children’s day care centers that seemed to be hotbeds of all manner of abuse. It seemed like we saw a parade of day care providers being hauled off in handcuffs and sent to prison.
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When leakers are justified in releasing information

Before the latest reports emerged of of an alleged new NSA contractor leaker Reality Leigh Winner, David Sirota had a wide-ranging interview with Glenn Greenwald (who is one of the founders of The Intercept and whom Snowden chose as one of his conduits to release his documents) asks about when leaks are justifiable, how they should be handled, whether the motives and the identity of the leaker are relevant, and the role of journalists.
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Democrats seem unable to shake off ineffective leaders

The much-hyped special elections in Georgia and South Carolina have resulted in wins for Republicans. It is true that both are heavily Republican districts but the Democrats had hoped that the unpopularity of Donald Trump, the chaos surrounding his administration, and their health care proposals would enable them to pull off wins. But that was not to be and neither race was close.
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