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Over Easy: New Year Review

 For the New Year, we get a renovated Thursday foreign media roundup, today a look back, with a fresh batch of over easy eggs, but as always we continue the tradition begun by Southern Dragon at Lakeside Diner.
The year 2014 has brought home in several ways the vulnerability of the working people and of the world at large, and placed growing burdens on those we charge with protecting us, as well as our great need to find effective ways to control our own controlling powers.
Recently at The Daily Beast, an in depth report on economic equality and its history of study was presented by Jedediah Purdy and showed how long we’ve been warned that it is hazardous behavior to self rule.
Tocqueville, usually invoked as a cheery foreigner who admired Americans’ town meetings and civic organizations, was intensely pessimistic about the future of race in this country. He argued that racism against free blacks was worse than against enslaved people, because free blacks threatened whites’ race-based status. Marx forecast that the profit motive would lead to overworking and exhausting the fertility of our soil and other natural systems.
But these old works do invite us to live questions that they lived, which many of us had complacently forgotten, and which Pikettymania was an effort to remember. These are the inescapable questions of a world where the economy, including global ecology, does not take care of itself, and where it may come into conflict with democracy. They are questions for a world where we need to get clearer on what we mean by democracy, and what we lose when we neglect or betray it.
In the greater world, the problems of inequality produced conflicts that dwarf our individual struggles, and make the future threatening.   The wars made by arrogant leaders without any reflection on consequences produced armies of many kinds formed out of those cast aside by the powerful, and ignored by political maneuvering.
In the Middle East we in the West are watching a rising tide of dispossessed, the very image of the multitudes that we like to envision peacefully following the teacher Jesus and gently pushing aside the Pharisees and Sadduccees who had dominated their time while enriching themselves off the labor they had to provide if they  were to live.
It is ironic to find the Twitter account of Iran’s leader Khameini using parallels with Western religion to show how our leaders have lost all right to power by mishandling it and oppressing the multitudes here.

In one of the tweets, the Muslim cleric also made a connection between the struggle that black people in America endure in the face of police shootings and the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza.

“If #Jesus were among us today he wouldn’t spare a second to fight the arrogants&support the oppressed. #Ferguson #Gaza,” the tweet said.


Back in 2011, during the Occupy movement in the US, Khamenei used the moment to predict that the demonstrators would usher in the downfall of the capitalist system.

Under the auspices of a long discredited War on Terror, the U.S. continues to prop up military and send drone attacks against terror fronts, attacks that also kill the innocent while creating yet more struggle against our regime.   In Iraq the soldiers ostensibly fighting the Islamic State brutalities often are sending pay to their senior officers and doing their best to support the meager lives available to them in that society.

A senior source in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense acknowledged that “ghost soldiers” are nothing new to those in the military.

“We as officers, as well as normal soldiers, all knew that the army was filled with what we call ‘spacemen soldiers,’ but no one dared to talk about it,” the source told NBC News on condition of anonymity. He said that officers often divide their share and pass it up the chain to a senior level.

In Nigeria, the worldwide reaction of horror to kidnapping hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram has cast a spotlight on the government lack of control over the area it dominates, feeds on, and deceives.   The official armed force there has simply refused to take on the fight against a brutal and armed rebel group.
It has emerged that despite the presence of over 1,000 well armed Nigerian troops in Mubi and its environs in Adamawa State, it took just a handful of 30 Boko Haram insurgents to capture the commercial city last October without firing a shot.
The development, THISDAY learnt, forms the fulcrum of the series of ongoing investigations and court martials by the military high command, which has blamed the capture of Mubi and other towns in Adamawa and Borno States on sabotage by sympathetic northern troops and some of their commanders who refused to fight the insurgents.
An intelligence source disclosed that the elements averse to the operation are claiming that an all-out bombardment against the terrorists in occupied territories could lead to unacceptable “collateral damage”.
The source said the military and other security forces had been hampered by the myriad of protest letters by some emirs and political office holders claiming that some of their wives and daughters are being held captive in the areas.
Investigations further revealed that the forces sabotaging the operation cut across the military, traditional and political institutions in the north.
Here we are often privileged to find spocko spurring us to act, and do it with thoughtfulness.

Giving people a method, process and rational for contacting the sponsors kept us away from using the Government so there were not 1st Amendment fears. Focusing on advertisers who support them put us in the “market forces” category.

 When divisions among us wipe away the flimsy appearances of order, the future both promises hope and threatens more disasters.   What we will do about it becomes more important, and our own interests self evident.   It’s a New Year.   Can we take hold of it?   I fear and I hope.
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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.