whackanarwhal

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newsmongering 04/07

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> First of all, thanks so much to Kate and Michael for their everlastingly civil and reasoned debate about this article on Facebook. It’s been really illuminating to watch both sides unfold; I’ve learned a lot, and thanks to both of you for your time, effort, and patience.

> Incumbent not-really-President of Cote d’Ivoire Gbagbo is holed up in his compound; I believe his military has called for a cease-fire (as for how that’s working out, I haven’t heard). Elected President Oauttara has begun to plan for the future of the country; it’ll be interesting to watch what develops as this (hopefully) winds down.

> The International Criminal Court (ICC) has reportedly asked that authorization to investigate recent happenings in Cote d’Ivoire, particularly in relation to the weekend’s massacre in Duékoué – I’m also seeing indications that another massacre may have occurred, but I’m not seeing confirmation either way at this time. Although Oauttara has announced that those involved in the massacres will be brought to justice, he’d also have an excellent opportunity to blame the killings on Gbagbo and his supporters – as the author of the FP piece linked above reiterates, Gbagbo won 46% of the vote; allegiances are all over the map right now. A peaceful exit for Gbagbo is the best shot at dignity for all sides – but as the links further up this page discuss, he’s holed up in a bunker under his residence and is stubbornly not emerging. Historically…this does not end well.

> A top Afghan official has confirmed that Karzai’s government has been conducting peace talks with the Taliban “for some time“:

“We’re in touch, we talk all the time, we’ve done a lot, we’ve sent representatives to their sides and they’ve sent representatives to our side,” said Mr. Stanekzai, who advises Mr. Karzai on reconciliation issues.

Asked if these were talks about talks, Mr. Stanekzai replied, “It is a step beyond that.”

The US is in full support of said talks, which aim for reconcilliation and reintegration, although some critics have voiced concern over what Karzai will be willing to concede. Me…I’d have to argue that this will need to be watched carefully; there’s substantial room for this to go wrong. I know we’re tired of this war, and we’re tired of all our wars, but I have yet to see a coherent enough picture of Karzai to begin to predict what his endgame would be in this strategy.

> Via Karissa: Saudi women work for change, a bit at a time.

> Hot dang. A 2,684-year-old human skull with an “exceptionally preserved” brain still inside was discovered in an anaerobic water-filled pit in the UK. Apparently the skull’s owner had been hung and then decapitated, after which his head was chucked in a channel…and stayed there for quite a long time. Really, what would we do without prehistoric death rituals?

> It’s shit like this, Hamas… on Thursday, Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus in Gaza, injuring two. Possibly, on the upside, following IDF retaliation, Hamas has now called a ceasefire (I’m not well-versed enough in this – have this historically worked?). Incidentally, the International Monetary Fund has announced that the Palestinian Authority was capable of running the economy of an independent state. The World Bank made a similar announcement last fall.

The fund issued its latest report on the economies of the West Bank and Gaza, to be presented next week to a donors’ conference in Brussels. It said for the first time that it viewed the authority as “now able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state, given its solid track record in reforms and institution-building in the public finance and financial areas.”

The Palestinians have announced that, unless a deal can be reached with Israel, they will be seeking statehood in September; an Israeli group has responded with a proposal, which, from what I’m hearing is unlikely to be agreed upon. It will be very, very interesting to watch American diplomacy as this unfolds.

> So apparently there’s this – and I use this phrase loosely – rap group. At Dartmouth. Called ‘The Young Cons.’ And by ‘group,’ I mean duo, except possibly that might sound gay or something. They go by ‘Stiltz’ and ‘Serious C.’ I am not making any of this up, and despite the fact that their music, videos, and website would all point to a pretty obvious hoax…I’m pretty sure they’re not? Maybe? I can’t even tell anymore, except that they’ve been endorsed by Megyn Kelly, Mike Huckabee, Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck…so yeah.

An excerpt:

God loves the poor, but so does big government,

That’s why everyday it tries to make more of it.

You said you wouldn’t tax under 250 grand.

A promise was made. A promise was broken.

I pray for new life, the forgiveness of sin.

He died for us, so we live for Him.

From the website:

In a day where conservatives are seen as close-minded and archaic, we bring a new perspective to a long-standing philosophy. Instead of sinking into the assemblage of the self-satisfied, we challenge the hearts and minds of Americans with lyrics that expose the true agenda of big government.

…have they read their own lyrics? Just a thought.

I will now cleanse my palette with Amanda Palmer. You probably should, too.

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Written by whackanarwhal

April 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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