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Tuesday, Aug 04th

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Goldstone, Israel's Frankenstein's monster

It's a tough slog, the hundreds of pages of the UN-sponsored report on allegations of war crimes in Gaza. The material is infuriating at times, the content inconsistent, the methodology slapdash. But for anyone who cares about the future of this place, and for anyone who has paid close attention to the hyperbole and factual errors of Israeli leaders in condemning it, the read is more than worthwhile - if only for the key element of its surprise ending: A marked degree of fairness.

It does not question the right of Israel - or, for that matter, the Palestinians - to self-defense, but it accuses both sides of having resorted to war crimes in the course of, or in the name of, defending themselves.

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Afghanistan: A War of Absurdity

"The al-Qaida presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies."

Less than 100! And he is basing his conservative estimate on the best intelligence data available to our government. That means that al-Qaida, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan--so why are we having a big debate about sending even more troops to fight an enemy that has relocated elsewhere?

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The Unacceptable Cost of Judeo-Christianity, Its Legacy of Pain

First: It must be understood what Judeo-Christianity  (also called “evangelicalism,” dispensationalism, or Christians Zionism) is: by any name, a 20th Century phenomena, an apostate-cult, meaning it practices, in part, a deviant path of following Christ, and it relies upon many varied human sources other than the traditional bible(s) for its theology.

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Krugman: Republican Party has ‘emotional maturity of bratty 13-year-old’

Krugman penned the line in response to what he called "puerile" tactics of GOP partisans who cheered the failure of Chicago to win the 2016 Summer Olympic games.

"The key point is that ever since the Reagan years," Krugman opines, "the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern."

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Why Propaganda Trumps Truth

In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the believability of the Big Lie as compared to the small lie: "In the simplicity of their minds, people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.  It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence.  Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation."

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Population: Overconsumption is the real problem

Even if the world population does stabilise soon and starts to glide downwards, that won't solve the world's environmental problems. The real issue is not overpopulation but overconsumption - mostly in rich countries that have long since given up adding substantial numbers to their population.

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Why Israel must become a secular state: Israeli editorial

Israel was originally conceived of as a secular state. It is instructive to think that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded more than twenty years before the state itself. The idea of free, critical inquiry as a core value was announced both by the University and by Israel's declaration of independence.

But Ben-Gurion's historical compromise with the Orthodox parties has turned out to be a catastrophe. Israel, to this day, doesn't have a constitution; the Rabbinate is involved in the lives of countless people who don't want anything to do with it, and the Orthodox stream in Judaism (which is a minority in Jewry worldwide) has a monopoly that aggravates and alienates millions of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.

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