Saturday, January 1, 2011, by Austin Thompson
West African nation may be on brink of civil war
“For the last several years, the U.S. armed forces and armies of other North Atlantic imperialist countries have sought to establish a permanent military presence in West Africa. The motive is to establish client states in the region that can secure strategic natural resources and promote Western military and corporate interests.
Whether under the cover of “humanitarianism” or the “war on terrorism,” the aim of militarization is to guarantee unrivaled access to West Africa’s resources and to police uncooperative peoples or governments. Now, North Atlantic imperialists are seizing on a political crisis in the Ivory Coast in order to consolidate their strategic foothold in the region.”
“The utter contempt of the United States for the democratic process in Afghanistan exposed the colonial nature of the occupation in South Asia; likewise, it is the opportunistic defense of Ouatarra in Ivory Coast that reveals the true imperialist ambitions in West Africa. The “democratic” theme is only invoked in cases where the North Atlantic countries consider their strategic interests threatened.”
“The United States and its North Atlantic allies are using massive mobilizations of their armed forces to gain a strategic advantage in West Africa over China. In addition, imperialists see the effort to “to push democracy and capitalism,” in the words of the leaked cables, as key to maintaining their influence in the region.”
“In the meantime, progressives should call for a peaceful resolution to the political stalemate and stand with the African left, saying to imperialist powers, “Hands Off the Ivory Coast!””
What Would You Say in a Church Exit Interview? Priest and Professor William J. Byron talks about the importance of Catholic churches finding out why people are not attending church anymore (an idea he attributes to a former corporate CEO)
Can’t philosophers tell the difference between science and religion? Demarcation revisited: In the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board case, a federal district court ruled that Intelligent Design creationism was not science, but a disguised religious view and that teaching it in public schools is unconstitutional. But creationists contend that it is illegitimate to distinguish science and religion, citing philosophers Quinn and especially Laudan, who had criticized a similar ruling in the 1981 McLean v. Arkansas creation-science case on the grounds that no necessary and sufficient demarcation criterion was possible and that demarcation was a dead pseudo-problem. This article discusses problems with those conclusions and their application to the quite different reasoning between these two cases.
Doctors Getting Rich With Fusion Surgery Debunked by Studies: Back surgery is arguably the most abused type of surgery, but there are also a lot of knee procedures that have low efficacy rates.
A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice: The last year or so has seen more scientific papers and presentations that raise the genuine prospect of catastrophe (if we stay on our current emissions path) that I can recall seeing in any other year.
Solar power – A future energy source: Energy from solar radiation is a proven technology found throughout society – from the tiny solar panels on your calculator to the huge fields of sun reflecting mirrors found throughout the world.
Bank Failures at Highest Level Since 1992: More banks failed in 2010 than any year since the savings-and-loan crisis ended in 1992, but regulators said Wednesday that they believe failures have passed their peak. So far this year, the 157 banks that failed had total assets of $92.1 billion compared to 140 bank failures with total assets of $169.7 billion in 2009.
Recent poll found 79 percent of Americans think using pulpit to advocate for political candidates is inappropriate: The Rev. Cary Gordon garnered his fair share of headlines in the run up to the November election for his open defiance of federal law prohibiting tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in elections in support of or opposition to any candidate. And the Sioux City pastor says he’s confident he will prevail. In September, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a formal request with the IRS demanding an investigation of Cornerstone World Outreach, a Sioux City church that urged Iowa religious leaders to encourage their congregations to vote against retaining three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for a retention vote. In a letter sent to pastors around the state, Gordon conceded that the campaign raised legal dangers for churches, but to soothe any fears, noted that the conservative Liberty Institute would provide free legal defense if necessary. (NOTE: If pastors, politicians and pontificaters (not to mention organizations, churches, and corporations) can get away with breaking the law and not pay taxes where they should, “We the People” should follow their lead when we can get away with it also.)
Florida considered most likely to pass measure that would ban abortion, consider zygotes as persons: Personhood battles continue in new year with Republican legislatures