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Danger mounts as failed nation states multiply
Apr 30th, 2016 by Warren Swil

After 100 years,

it’s time to

redraw the map

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is at the center or untold and unnecessary massive human suffering.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is at the center or untold and unnecessary massive human suffering.

During the five years of civil war that has destroyed what once was Syria, the list of failed nation states has dangerously multiplied.
Territories where government is unable to function at even a basic level for most citizens now include Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Others like Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan teeter on the precipice.
As the hundredth anniversary of the French-British-Russian pact that carved up the Middle East approaches in May, it is time for a radical, new approach that acknowledges this reality.
In most failed states, partition has become a fact on the ground. The sooner this is politically recognized, the sooner we can find a way out of endless war costing hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.


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TRAIN WRECK: Trump may destroy the Republican Party

GOP LOOKS INCREASINGLY LIKE HUMPTY DUMPTY
Just days from the first balloting in the 2016 presidential race, it is beginning to look increasingly possible that Donald Trump might destroy the Republican Party. There are several scenarios, perhaps the most likely being a brokered convention in which Trump loses, then runs as an independent a la Ross Perot.
If something like this does happen, it will take a generation for the party to recover – if it ever does – after handing the 2016 race to the Democrats.


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TARGETED: Firearms makers soar on talk of new controls

PRESIDENT TAKES AIM AT GUN LOBBY WITH NEW SAFETY MEASURES
Choking back his tears, President Obama focused national attention on the need for improved gun control – an issue that has became a source of shame for all Americans.
While the new gun safety measures announced by the president are unlikely to have a major impact, they do have far greater symbolic value. At least he is willing to take on the gun lobby.
Perversely the president’s remarks sent stocks in the biggest purveyors of firearms soaring on US markets.


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REAL SCARY NEWS: Trump surges after mass shootings

FRIGHTENING MASSACRES BOOST EXTREMIST IDEOLOGUES
As mass shootings pile on top of each other in the US, and the pathetic US Congress remains paralyzed like a deer caught in headlights, a growing number of Americans is flocking to extremist ideologues who prattle only meaningless drivel in response to genuine public outrage.
The root cause of the paralysis is the corrupting influence of big money in politics.
We will remain an outcast among civilized countries until campaign finance reform rises to the top of the political agenda in the US – an unlikely scenario given the current crop of candidates.


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Thousands more killed in gun violence than terror attacks (with video)

BIG MONEY BLOCKS ALL ATTEMPTS AT GUN SAFETY REFORM
The paralysis of America in the face of an epidemic of mass shootings is shameful and disgraceful.
It was best captured by the president in his reaction to the latest tragedy at a community college in Oregon. He was frustrated and angry at his inability to enact sensible gun safety laws.
It is a sad commentary on the state of US politics that one special interest group can exert such a stranglehold despite an overwhelming majority of Americans agreeing that something urgently needs to be done.
It will take a tidal wave of voter discontent to dislodge such big-money influence over Congress.


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DROP IN THE BUCKET: Why record rain won’t dent California drought

GOLD IS THE NEW GREEN AS WE LEARN TO LIVE WITH LESS WATER
Mother Nature’s paradoxical “gift” of record rainfall in mid-July is not going to alleviate the water shortage in California any time soon.
The recent storm was not only in the wrong place at the wrong time; its bounty was far too little to make a real difference.
A green front lawn is no longer a badge of pride here, however. In fact, it has become a downright embarrassment. Gold is the new green. We are having to learn to live with less water.


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Conservatives, too, should welcome gay marriage decision

‘FAMILY VALUES’ ADVANCED BY SUPREME COURT RULING
With its historic decision on gay marriage, the Supreme Court has advanced the “family values” agenda in a big way. And, the US has become a “more perfect union.”
Even conservatives should join the celebration.
The Court’s finding of a constitutional protection for same sex marriage is an historic occasion at least on a par with its 1967 decision on interracial unions.
It moves the US into the modern era as a more egalitarian and tolerant society. It is not just for those directly affected.


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READY, SET, REJOICE: Gay marriage coming soon to all of America

WHY SUPREME COURT WILL BLESS SAME-SEX UNIONS THIS TIME
A decision is imminent in the most closely watched Supreme Court case in recent memory – its consideration of same sex marriage. Few doubt the result.
New legal precedents and rapid social change make it almost certain that a 5-4 majority of the justices will find a constitutional reason to recognize gay marriage. It may even be a 6-3 vote.
It will be a welcome if delayed development.


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THE REAL DEAL: Vermont senator livens up 2016 presidential race

BERNIE SANDERS GAINS TRACTION WITH PLAIN SPEAKING, AUTHENTICITY
Bernie Sanders is a breath of fresh air in the presidential sweepstakes.
What sets the Senator from Vermont apart from all the other contenders in the 2016 race is his authenticity.
He believes what he says and says what he believes.
One might not agree with Sanders on all or even most of his positions, but having a candidate for the top office in the country who is unafraid to stake out populist positions on a host of issues is a refreshing change.


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CHECKBOOK DIPLOMACY: China courts Latin America

PREMIER WIELDS LARGESSE IN 4 STRATEGIC NATIONS AS US SNOOZES

While US media paid scant attention, a top Chinese official swung through Latin America this week inking deals worth billions of dollars.
The strategic significance is enormous.
It is no wonder the authorities in Beijing are unconcerned about the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal from which they have been excluded. They clearly don’t need it. The have much more going for them in burgeoning bi-lateral deals and the nascent Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.


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