Saturday, August 09, 2014

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
–William Shakespeare

Iran seeks alternative to Maliki to hold Iraq together - Daily Star

“We have reached the conclusion that Maliki cannot preserve the unity of Iraq anymore, but Ayatollah [Ali] Sistani still has hopes,” said the Iranian official, referring to Iraq’s top Shiite cleric. “Now, Ayatollah Sistani also backs our view on Maliki.”
“There are not many candidates who can and have the capability to preserve the unity of Iraq. Our ambassador to Iraq has had some meetings in the past days with relevant groups and some of the candidates,” the Iranian official said.
Political allies said Maliki, seen as an authoritarian figure whose sectarian agenda has destabilized Iraq, had no intention of stepping aside despite mounting pressure from Sunnis, Kurds, some fellow Shiites and now Iran. Maliki has stayed on in a caretaker capacity since the April vote and said he would seek a third term, despite widespread opposition.
An Iraqi minister, speaking on condition of anonymity because of sectarian tensions within the caretaker government, confirmed that there was a marked change in the position of Tehran, the biggest foreign influence in Iraq.
The United States has urged Iraqi politicians to form a more inclusive government that can unify Iraqis and take on ISIS, the Al-Qaeda splinter group that swept through the north in June, almost unopposed by Maliki’s U.S.-trained army.
A senior Iranian security official said Tehran was far more concerned with stabilizing Iraq than with standing by Maliki, whom it supported.
“With Maliki in power, Iraq will be divided. To fight against the Islamic State [ISIS], Iraq needs a powerful government and we back this idea. A divided Iraq is a threat to Iran’s national security,” the official said....

bth: without support from the US, Sadr, Sistani or Iran it is hard to see how Maliki can retain power.

Friday, August 08, 2014

CNN Poll: Trust in government at all-time low - CNN

...The poll also indicates that the public's trust in government is at an all-time low.
Just 13% of Americans say the government can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time, with just over three-quarters saying only some of the time and one in 10 saying they never trust the government, according to the poll.
"The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.
"But polls conducted by the University of Michigan consistently found a majority of Americans in the 1960s and early 1970s saying that the government could be trusted all or most of the time - until Watergate. In 1972, 53% said they trusted the government always or most of the time. By 1974, that figure had plummeted to 36%, and except for a brief period of patriotic sentiment immediately after the 9/11 attacks, it has remained under 50% ever since," Holland added.
The survey indicates that skepticism doesn't stop at the White House and Capitol Hill: Only 17% of Americans believe that big business can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time....

bth: despite these abysmal numbers, all incumbents won their primary races so far. Disheartening.

Narendra Modi's Foreign Policy Goals

CDC Director: Ebola Crisis Unprecedented

Monday, August 04, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson on gmo food!

Gaza tunnel demolition