US backs killing of 700 in Gaza [graphic]

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The latest death toll estimates range from around 700 to "might be close to 770." The Israelis have lost 7, all soldiers, three of them killed by friendly fire. When are we Americans going to ask that our tax dollars not be spent supporting state terrorism? I fully agree the U.S. should not support Hamas, but what about the state that has killed 195 children in the last few days?

195 children have been killed in Israel's war on Gaza: medics

UN: No gunmen in school at time of Israeli shelling

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words in a shop window

Every morning on my walk to the bus, I pass the windows of a shop called Bazar.  They sell imports, womens' clothing, shoes, etc.  I often look at the dresses on display with an eye for something my wife would like me to surprise her with.  They often have some posters for bands or performances that I assume the owner fancies.

However, in addition to their normal offerings for eye-candy, they offered something to reflect Barack Obama's election.  Entitled "an historic night" it was several large swaths of white paper hanging in the windows.  The hangings, read from left to right were one-line capsules of events, ideas, statements and thoughts from the beginning of the campaign up to election night.

It was and (is still) a moving experience to see the journey, laid out like a string of moments all in a row.  I had forgotten how some of the moments, victories and losses related to each of the ones that preceded or followed.  Some of them, I had forgotten altogether.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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The rise of the rest

Cross-posted at River Twice Research.

The current economic crisis has claimed many victims, but what has changed most is the way that the United States is viewed, perhaps permanently. That isn't ideology; it isn't declinism; it's a fact. For all the talk in past year about the shifting balance of power globally, until now it has been just that, talk. Saying that the emerging world of China, India, Brazil and the rest have assumed a new place is like saying that a new army is well-equipped with sharp uniforms and cutting-edge weapons. That doesn't mean it can fight. Until tested in battle, it's just a guess. The economic crisis of the past two months has been such a test, and the results are clear: talk of the emerging world as the wave of the future isn't just speculation; it's a permanent reality.

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The new world economy

Cross-posted at River Twice Research.

So the G20 met over the weekend, and if there was any doubt before, there should be none now: the financial balance of power is shifting. China, Brazil, even Japan can all claim more sound economies than the United States, and they collectively let it be known that they would no longer take marching orders from the Washington consensus. They expect a voice, and they are not asking permission.

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Obama should be allowed to use his Blackberry

The NY Times is suggesting Obama won't be able to use his blackberry once he becomes president due to the nature of the Presidential Records Act and security concerns. However, with a few modifications to his blackberry and a simple adjustment to the IT infrastructure, I believe he could theoretically continue to use his blackberry in a limited capacity while he is president. It would require implementing a proper cryptographic infrastructure between the president and the limited number people who have permission to email him on that account. As well, he may need to ensure that he cannot respond directly with the blackberry as a preventative measure. However, this second part may be unnecessary if the president is mature enough to not abuse the privileges granted him by the email account. (IE. He realizes that anything he sends on the BB can be subpeonaed.)

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