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Dedicated to the Restoration of Progressive DemocracyThe Mound of Soundhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09023839743772372922noreply@blogger.comBlogger10701125
Updated: 20 min 50 sec ago

Shell CEO - No Solar Until It's Profitable

3 hours 8 min ago

Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, says the energy giant won't be moving into solar energy until it proves profitable.

I know something that might change Ben's mind. Eliminate all the subsidies, direct and indirect, that go to the fossil fuelers and direct that money, $34-billion each and every year in Canada (according to the IMF) into renewables, including solar.

We're currently paying the hydrocarbon giants not to switch to renewables and we're paying them royally with these unconscionable subsidies.  Pull the free money, top that with $30 a ton carbon taxes escalating $10 a ton every five years thereafter, and you won't have outfits like Shell sneering down their noses at renewable, clean energy.

Trudeau's Elbow From a Different Angle.

5 hours 37 min ago
Sorry, Ruth Ellen.

Harper and Associates Consulting, Inc.

7 hours 12 min ago
That's the formal name of Shifty Steve Harper's new company. Joining him are, oh so predictably, Ray Novak (unemployed prime ministerial ball scratcher) and Jeremy Hunt, veteran Harper advisor.

Actually, HAC Inc. is just the formal, company name. It'll be carrying on business under a different name, "STFU, Now You Listen Here!"

Don't Wanna Know. Keep It to Yourself.

8 hours 34 min ago

Close, but no cigar.

Exxon and Chevron shareholders have voted down resolutions demanding that their companies explore their vulnerability to climate change action.

Chevron shareholders voted 41% in favour. Exxon shareholders came in at 38% in favour. Support does seem to be growing but the executive and directors remain off the hook - for now.

The number of shareholders supporting the climate-risk measures “is significant, and it will continue to grow,” said Beth Richtman,investment manager at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages about $290 billion. Calpers owns about $1 billion worth of Exxon shares and approximately $600 million in Chevron stock.

“There’s a groundswell of share owners who are going to keep pushing this forward,” she said. “We need to see them rise to the realm of best practices in terms of climate risk reporting, and we’re not there yet.”

While the shareholder votes aren’t binding, supporters of the measures declared victory even in defeat after the oil companies’ annual shareholder meetings Wednesday.
“You have to read this as a shot across the bow of the industry,” saidAndrew Logan, director of the oil and gas program at Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit group that advocated for the proposals.

Attack of the Psycho Sheep

9 hours 2 min ago



This one's too good to pass up.

Dateline: Rhydypandy, a village in Wales.

A flock of sheep has gone on what is being described as a "psychotic rampage" through the village of Rhydypandy after apparently eating cannabis plants dumped by a local grow-op factory.

County councillor Ioan Richard raised the alarm, saying the sheep have been "roaming the village" causing havoc by breaking into homes.

"There is already a flock of sheep roaming the village causing a nuisance," he said.

"They are getting in people's gardens and one even entered a bungalow and left a mess in the bedroom."

He warned of the dangers of the rest of the flock discovering the remains of the cannabis plantation dumped at Rhydypandy, in the Swansea valley in South Wales.

He said: "I dread to think what will happen if they eat what could well be cannabis plants - we could have an outbreak out of psychotic sheep rampaging through the village."

Dreadful, ghastly, foul - relax, it sounds like they've got the munchies. Get some chips, maybe a bag of Oreos, - problem solved. Oh yeah, you should also confiscate their rolling papers and lighters while you're at it.

Would Napoleon Have Chosen Waterloo?

10 hours 23 min ago

The Harper/Ambrose Conservatives are gathering in Vancouver for a whoop-up. Seems like an odd place for Tories to gather. Sure it's beautiful, much nicer than any place where they still reign, but it's sort of like Napoleon going back with the boys for a reunion at Waterloo.

Vancouver wasn't Tory-friendly in the last election. The whole coast, including Vancouver Island, sent Tory candidates packing.

I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been the Maritimes but, then again, we know what Tories think of those indolent folks down east.

I'm not sure nature wants the Conservatives out here either. We've been having balmy, sunny weather. It seems that'll end this afternoon. It's going to turn cold and damp and the sunny warmth won't be back until Monday.

Mr. Ambassador, You're Not a Cop

10 hours 39 min ago

He rose to fame by taking down Michael Zehaf-Bebeau when the gunman stormed Parliament's centre block. That probably had something to do with former House of Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, being appointed Canada's ambassador to Ireland. Nice gig.

Old habits, it seems, die hard. Ambassador Vickers was in attendance in Dublin today for a commemoration of British soldiers who fell putting down the October Rising when Irish Republicans tried to take Northern Ireland by force.

Protester, meet Mr. Ambassador.

A protester wearing an "Easter Rising" t-shirt got up and yelled "this is a disgrace." Vickers intervened, tackling the man and apparently holding him until the cops could arrest him.

Kevin, great catch and everything, but... you're an ambassador, not event security. That's why they had cops there. You have to leave it up to that other nation's cops to decide if and when they'll arrest somebody. That's not your call.


Another First for the Athabasca TAR Sands

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 13:11


You knew they're grotesque. You knew they're dirty. You knew they create massive amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The Athabasca Tar Sands are an environmental calamity.

All that and more, the "more" part being the emission of noxious, organic aerosols.

The aerosols are minute particles, roughly 1/10th the diameter of a human hair or less, that are created when chemical-laden vapours from the mining and processing of bitumen react with oxygen in the atmosphere and are transformed into solids that can drift on the wind for days.

While researchers have long thought that the oil sands must be a source of such particles, the new results, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, show that their impact on air quality is significant and of potential concern to communities that are downwind.


The oil-sands aerosols are similar in abundance to those that U.S. researchers recorded rising from the massive oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon drilling-rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. But they are ever-present.

“The oil spill lasted a few months, and the Alberta oil-sand operations are an ongoing industrial activity,” said Joost de Gouw, a Colorado-based research physicist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who led the oil-spill measurements.

“The take-away is that there’s more that’s emitted into the atmosphere than we’ve fully appreciated,” said Jeffrey Brook, an air-quality researcher with Environment and Climate Change Canada who participated in the oil-sands study. “There is a need to continue to improve our knowledge about where these emissions go.”
The researchers believe that many thousands of people living downwind of the Tar Sands are inhaling these invisible droplets with every breath, every day, year in and year out.
Scientists are still trying to understand the complex health effects those particles can trigger when inhaled, but they have been linked in previous studies to lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

How Do You Go From Emperor to Shopkeeper? Harper's AfterLife.

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 12:37


The rumour is everywhere. Shifty Steve Harper will resign his seat in Parliament this summer to pursue other opportunities.

One theory is that he'll set up some sort of foreign policy institute. Bad idea. While, on the international scene, Harper frequently liked to scold other leaders, he really didn't champion any notable initiative. He didn't build any grand alliances. He didn't bring peace to any troubled spot. He has no foreign policy legacy worth mentioning even if it could be recalled - and it can't.

The legendary foreign policy types tended to have vision. Harper, domestically or internationally, was never burdened by the weight of vision. No great statesmanship there - not at the United Nations (which he despised), nor at the
G7, NATO, APEC or just about anywhere else.

The alternative theory is that Harper is planning to enter business, pick up a few directorships, that sort of thing. Not sure he's cut out for that either. Personality problems. A person with dictatorial instincts might not be a good fit on a board of directors.

Brian Mulroney - there's a man who embodied directorial qualities. A jovial personality, a guy who could lean over and tell the next guy some dirty joke, a man who could seek out compromise or at least some accommodation.

Harper - he's convinced he is always, has always been, shall always be the brightest man in the room. He acts on belief, dispensing with evidence or fact. He has a low threshold for frustration, cussing out subordinates, kicking chairs across the room. He's a bully and, like all bullies, a coward - first one into the janitor's closet sort of guy. He's cold and lifeless, utterly joyless. He angers easily and cultivates grievance. Sum it all up, he really, really does not play well with others. He's a nasty, churlish little piggy.

What could he do? Maybe some third-rate burger joint franchise might work, the sort of place he could staff with guest workers from the Philippines, that sort of thing. He could hide out in the office/closet with the water heater; berate the staff all day and carry on his life as a professional shit.

I don't know. Any other ideas? Feel free to weigh in.

Unrepentant Sinner of the Year

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 09:30


And the award goes to - Chevron CEO John Watson.

While other top oil executives are on the run from angry shareholders and investors or snooping prosecutors, Watson says climate change could be good for Chevron.

Climate change - good for an oil company - how so? Well, according to Watson, he's expecting Chevron to wind up increasing its market share.

The oil industry sure is crazy. How crazy? This crazy:

A band of gutsy and resourceful truck drivers are crisscrossing dangerous front lines in wartorn Syria to deliver oil and other cargo, Raja Abdulrahim reports. Tanker trucks carry oil from Kurdish wells to Islamic State territory.

The Kurdish north is dependent for revenue mostly on oil and wheat, and wells are mostly idle because the Kurdish administration doesn’t have the ability to refine or export large quantities. Islamic State controls 10 oil fields in Syria but it has been forced to buy fuel from the Kurdish state, and that trade is indirectly funding the Kurdish militia fighting the extremists.


The Kurds have been selling their oil to ISIS to get money the Kurds need to fight ISIS. The Islamic State needs oil that it can refine and export to get money to fight its enemies and so it has to buy oil from the Kurds, one of its major enemies.
Crazy.

Okay, Next.

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 09:12

The American press is all over the story of the successful drone attack on Taliban commander, Mullah Mansoor, whose car was reduced to scrap metal by a missile fired from a stalking drone.

Why do these "we whacked their leader" stories so closely resemble "world's oldest person dies" stories? Both seem to happen with an almost boring regularity.

Yes, you're the new Taliban commander? Thanks, I'll write down your name and do remember to have somebody tell me when you're dead.

There's always another "world's oldest person" and there's always another Taliban or al Qaeda or ISIS commander.

Okay, next.

Tony Blair Unveils His Defence

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 09:01
Tony Blair is looking increasingly nervous as he awaits the imminent release of the Chilcot Inquiry report into Britain's role in instigating and conducting the Iraq War that toppled Saddam Hussein and plunged the region into chaos. The report is set for release on July 6.

Blair is sticking to his fantasy that conquering Iraq was "the right thing to do" but his latest fallback is that the British and American governments "profoundly underestimated" the chaos that would arise during the occupation.



Blair has no choice but to stick to the justification defence. Anything else would be a confession to war crimes that could send him to a place with no Michelin star kitchens or Savile Row tailors.

The silly git doesn't have a lot of friends in the UK any more. Even his Labour Party, now headed by Jeremy Corbyn, is calling for a war crimes investigation into Tony Blair.

Blair's obvious and worsening nervousness may have something to do with the fact that he has already read the report's findings. He knows what's coming.

I wonder if Tony has his bags packed, ready at a moment's notice to bolt to Saudi Arabia or some other sanctuary?


Foreign Policy Wrap-Up - Saudi Arabia, Israel in the News

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 17:37

The Yanquis, it seems, are leaving Canada's federal government in the foreign policy dust.

First up, Saudi Arabia - or what Steffie Dion and Slick would call our "good ally."  In the course of debate over a new Senate bill that would allow the victims of the 9/11 (mainly Saudi) terrorist attacks to sue the Saudi monarchy, House members of both parties got together to castigate the Saudis for stoking extremism. That, in case you're wondering, is code for ISIS and al Qaeda.

“The Saudis and the Saudi royal family have been right up to their eyeballs in terrorist activity,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).


Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), the chairman of a House subcommittee on terrorism, noted that “Wahhabi followers are more easily recruited by terrorist groups.”

Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman of California accused Riyadh of funding religious leaders who “preach violent murder against those who they disagree with.”

During the hearing, Rohrabacher asked the four Saudi expert witnesses — who included former 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer — to raise their hands if they believed the Saudi Royal family did not know of the 9/11 plot ahead of time. Two experts, Karen Elliot House of the Belfer Center and Daniel Byman of Georgetown University, raised their hands, while Roemer and Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute kept their hands down. Later, Roemer said the question was too complex to deal with in an up-or-down fashion, but Rohrabacher rejected that view. “The Saudis have been financing terrorism now for 20 years at least,” Rohrabacher said.
Meanwhile, as Israeli slips into the arms of fascism, its newest Democratic BFF, Hillary "what's in it for me?" Clinton was handed a bit of a setback today. The Dems know they've got a huge problem with Bernie Sanders who, unlike Hillary, consistently outpolls Donald Trump as the peoples' choice for president.
Hillary, for a lot of good reasons, is not well liked. Her negatives far outweigh her positives among American voters. Bernie is the opposite. The Dems know that if they throw the nomination to Hillary - and they will - they'll be vulnerable not only to Trump but, potentially, to Bernie supporters also who threaten to boycott the polls on election day.
Operation Placate Bernie is underway. The Democratic organization is trying to play nice with Sanders, inviting him in to help draft party policy. Sanders foreign policy advisor, Jim Zogby, says that would mean a tougher approach to Israel including calling Israel's half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory a - gasp - "occupation." Remember, this is coming from the strongest Jewish presidential candidate in American history.
We'll just have to wait for Bernie's shopping list to unfold but, chances are, it won't be Hillary-friendly.
To Zogby and other Sanders supporters, the independent Vermonter’s 20 states won in the Democratic nominating contest have given his message a mandate. In conceding appointments on the drafting committee, the DNC has acknowledged Sanders’s clout among the party electorate. And Sanders’s picks, sure to clash with those selected by Democratic leaders and the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely nominee, are his most powerful statement yet that he intends to fight for the party’s future beyond the convention in Philadelphia.


Think Of "Dr. Strangelove" on Steroids

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 10:08

The good news is that your chance of dying in a car accident isn't very high, about one in 120 in the United States.

The bad news is that the risk of an average person dying from an extinction event is five times greater than the car accident risk.

So we demand cars that have the best brakes, stability control systems, crash absorbing zones, air bags, seat belts and more. We spend a fortune to build and maintain our highways and hire police to enforce our traffic laws.

Well then, what are we spending on that extinction event risk, the far more dangerous threat? Well, when you add it all up, it comes out to just about bugger all.

When it comes to extinction-level risks there are several. Climate change and nuclear war are 1 and 2. Britain's astronomer royal, Baron Martin Rees, gives us a no better than 50-50 chance that we'll succumb this century to what he calls "bio-terror or bio-error." According to Rees, now that we've privatized scientific research, there's stuff going on in the big corporate labs, unmonitored, that could easily wipe us out if someone goofs up or should it fall into the wrong hands. He gives many examples in his book, Our Final Hour, that - trust me - you probably don't want to read.

I was born at the start of the Cold War and grew up under the constant threat of nuclear Armageddon. When the Soviet Union collapsed we felt a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. The Doctor Strangelove era was over. Well that didn't last long. It's back. More people have nuclear arsenals and some of them are much more likely to use them than anyone who had them back in the 70s. And now we've got all these other extinction-grade threats.

"[N]early all of the most threatening global catastrophic risks were unforeseeable a few decades before they became apparent. Forty years before the discovery of the nuclear bomb, few could have predicted that nuclear weapons would come to be one of the leading global catastrophic risks. Immediately after the Second World War, few could have known that catastrophic climate change, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence would come to pose such a significant threat."
There are no easy answers. Confronting these challenges, reducing the risks to something manageable, survivable is going to require a different model of organization and governance. We'll have to redefine society as we've known it right down to our notions of basic citizenship. That's because we'll never be able to reduce this plethora of risks nearly enough which demands that we also focus on building our resilience, our ability to cope and adapt. You can't do that with social cohesion in tatters as we have today. 
It will take real leadership and vision of a calibre we haven't known for years.

And They Attacked Michelle for Having Bare Arms.

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 09:28

Remember when Republicans criticized Michelle Obama for appearing in a sleeveless dress? Oh, that was so undignified, so unsuitable for America's first lady.

Well, look what they've got in store.


There she is, bare cheeks, in a thong with a gun on the wing of Her Donald's private jetliner. But wait, there's more. Here's a picture of Melania inside that jet, looking for all the world like some drug lord's moll with a briefcase overflowing with jewelry.


Thank the Lord on High that all them good, God-fearin Americans won't have to put up with this any more:



Now, More Than Ever - Boycott/Divest/Sanction

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 19:28

“If there is something that frightens me about the memories of the Holocaust, it is the knowledge of the awful processes which happened in Europe in general, and in Germany in particular, 70, 80, 90 years ago, and finding traces of them here in our midst, today, in 2016.”
                                                                   General Ya'ir Golan                                                                    Deputy Chief of Staff, Israeli Army
The appointment by Benjamin Netanyahu of ultra-right extremist, Avigdor Lieberman, to the second highest office in Israel's government, defence minister and de facto consul of Palestine, demonstrates that Israel is on a headlong dive into fascism.
General Golan's warning, delivered during a Holocaust Day speech, has effectively ended his career and put his life in danger - from the threat posed by his own countrymen. Speaking the truth in a state of fascism can be a death sentence.
Former member of the Knesset and peace activist, Uri Avnery, has seen the signs before as a young Jewish schoolboy witnessing the collapse of the Weimar Republic. He was lucky. His parents fled Germany just in time. The world knows what befell those who weren't as quick.
"I was there when it happened, a boy in a family in which politics became the main topic at the dinner table. I saw how the republic broke down, gradually, slowly, step by step. I saw our family friends hoisting the swastika flag. I saw my high-school teacher raising his arm when entering the class and saying “Heil Hitler” for the first time (and then reassuring me in private that nothing had changed.)

"I was the only Jew in the entire gymnasium (high school.) When the hundreds of boys – all taller than I – raised their arms to sing the Nazi anthem, and I did not, they threatened to break my bones if it happened again. A few days later we left Germany for good.

"General Golan was accused of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Nothing of the sort. A careful reading of his text shows that he compared developments in Israel to the events that led to the disintegration of the Weimar Republic. And that is a valid comparison.

"Things happening in Israel, especially since the last election, bear a frightening similarity to those events. True, the process is quite different. German fascism arose from the humiliation of surrender in World War I, the occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium from 1923-25, the terrible economic crisis of 1929, the misery of millions of unemployed. Israel is victorious in its frequent military actions, we live comfortable lives. The dangers threatening us are of a quite different nature. They stem from our victories, not from our defeats."


"The discrimination against the Palestinians in practically all spheres of life can be compared to the treatment of the Jews in the first phase of Nazi Germany. (The oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied territories resembles more the treatment of the Czechs in the “protectorate” after the Munich betrayal.)

"The rain of racist bills in the Knesset, those already adopted and those in the works, strongly resembles the laws adopted by the Reichstag in the early days of the Nazi regime."


"By the way, when the Nazis came to power, almost all high-ranking officers of the German army were staunch anti-Nazis. They were even considering a putsch against Hitler . Their political leader was summarily executed a year later, when Hitler liquidated his opponents in his own party. We are told that General Golan is now protected by a personal bodyguard, something that has never happened to a general in the annals of Israel."

This has been building for a long time. The world was put on notice just over 20-years ago when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, put to death by a countryman, for his moderate beliefs and pursuit of peace.
"In Rabin's pocket was a blood-stained sheet of paper with the lyrics to the well-known Israeli song "Shir LaShalom" ("Song for Peace"), which was sung at the rally and dwells on the impossibility of bringing a dead person back to life and, therefore, the need for peace."

What does all this say about the government of the day and our prime minister? Trudeau chose to support the Tories' motion to censure the BDS movement when he should have been embracing it, adding Canada's voice to the international community's.  Instead Trudeau chose political expediency at the expense of everything else, including morality and the honour of Canada.


Wouldn't It Be Great If This Was Comedy?

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 13:31
It's a Big Club and you ain't in it.


The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump Or a Caisson-Ride Down Pennsylvania Avenue

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:10



Let's hope he doesn't pick Ted Cruz as his running mate. That said I doubt Trump would want a running mate whose popularity could drag down his own. Trump-Cruz, possibly the worst ticket imaginable.

There's been a lot of speculation about Trump in the Oval Office, most of it focusing on the rise of a fascist state. Some speculate that Trump would go extra-constitutional, dissolve Congress, suspend the Constitution. Me? I don't believe it.

Two things might happen. One involves a state funeral, the other a trial on charges of "high crimes and misdemeanours."

There are many powerful people in the United States, all of whom have taken an oath to defend their country and uphold its Constitution. Many hold their Constitution in near religious reverence and, to them, the state and their constitution are inseparable. Included in this group are America's military commanders and the key personnel in its national security apparatus. The latter group has already proclaimed Trump as a threat to American security and global stability should he become president. I expect that conversation has been echoed behind many closed doors at the Pentagon.

My guess is that some very powerful voices would speak very softly to president-elect Trump laying out some fairly stark options for his presidency. For all his bluster and eccentricity, I don't see much courage in Donald Trump, any willingness to sacrifice for a cause. No, he won't like it but he will do as he's told once he realizes what's at stake.

Kids, I Think You're Going To Have To Take Your Future Into Your Own Hands

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 09:38

Has there ever been a phrase more inviting of abuse than, "for their own good"?

People with power like to invoke that phrase to justify what they do to those without as much power. Things get done for, and quite often to, others "in their best interests." The powerful like to do that because they get to define "their own good" and "their best interests" almost invariably in ways that closely mirror the good interests of the powerful themselves.

In this way people with power justify clinging to power long after it should have passed to a new group, perhaps the next generation. After all those calling the shots are only acting in the youngsters' "best interests" and "for their own good."

Governance, however, is not parenting. Those who wield and broker power rarely meet any recognizable fiduciary standard. What is paramount to any government is to still govern after the next election.

Now there's your problem. The kids are still looking to the horizon. They're wondering what they can expect when 2050 or 2060 or 2070 rolls around. The more they look the less they like what they see.

For those in power, their horizon is the current term in office with an option to renew. They see things differently than the kids see things because the kids have to visualize the future, their future. Those in power, snicker among themselves, knowing they'll be taking the eternal dirt nap before the future descends.

Think of it in the context of a commercial airline flight. The passengers are all youngsters. The cockpit crew, however, they're geezers. They're not going to be around for the landing, they won't make it. How does that make you feel if you're enduring the torment of a centre seat in cattle class?

Wouldn't it make sense for all the passengers to get up and toss out the captain and first officer before they managed to get that aircraft off the ground? Shouldn't they demand a flight crew who would at least be around to handle the landing?

In these perilous times that we're entering, that's the predicament facing today's young people, the under 40s. They have to wrest power away and into their own hands. We have shown, time and again, that we're as responsible as drunken sailors when it comes to planning for the future and meeting our fiduciary obligations to our younger generation. We are showing no sign that will change, really change, either.

Time, as the near unanimous chorus of scientists reminds us, is not on our children's side. The Big Bad Wolf is coming and all we've got is a house made out of straw. The kids are going to need something a lot better than what we're planning to bequeath to them. If we're not going to provide it, then it's up to them to take it.

I don't know if they have a sense of their steadily worsening predicament and how urgent it is that they move us out of power and fill our positions with their own. For their sake, the sooner the better. For, once they displace us, they're bound to find they define "their own good" and "their best interests" much differently than we chose to for them.

There Goes the Neighbourhood. Chalk Another One Up for Fascism. And, Yes, It Has Nukes.

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 09:22


Washington is rightly concerned with who else has nuclear weapons.

North Korea is a case in point. The US has to fret that whatever iteration of lunatic Kim runs the place could get a bit twitchy and launch a warhead or two.

Pakistan likewise keeps Pentagon defence planners up at night. Two threats there. One is the outbreak of war between India and Pakistan leading to a nuclear exchange that might quickly spread to adjacent regions and then, who knows? The other is the prospect of Islamist radicals, either terrorists or from within the Pakistani military, commandeering some or all of Pakistan's arsenal.

Now there's a new name they'll be chalking up on their Worry Board, Israel. This follows Benjamin Netanyahu's embrace of  the Israeli ultra-nationalist party, Yisrael Beitenu, and the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as the country's defence minister. Critics claim the move represents the evolution of Israel into a full blown fascist state, one with its own substantial nuclear arsenal.

Former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, says Netanyahu has planted the seeds of fascism. Netanyahu's former defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, spurned a new portfolio, quitting instead, and warning, "Extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and the Likud and are threatening (society)."

As the Jerusalem Post points out this means that Lieberman, as defence minister, now becomes Czar of the West Bank and occupied Palestine.

So how is this going down with Israel's neighbours, a.k.a. the Arab Muslim world? As you might expect. Egypt's military government, until now one of Israel's few friends in the region, is troubled by Lieberman's appointment and the shift in Israel's government and society.
Making the Egyptians deal with Lieberman is a slap in the face to Cairo, given that he once suggested destroying the Aswan Dam and sweeping the Egyptians into the sea. Knowing that the erratic and extremist Lieberman has his finger on the nuclear button must also be nervous-making for the al-Sisi government. The pan-Arab leftwing London daily, al-Quds al-`Arabi, reported that circles around al-Sisi were “shocked” at the prospect of having to work with Lieberman, and that they consider his appointment a “red line” after he threatened them with genocide.

On his way out the door, Yaalon warned that the extremism, violence and racism that has manifested in Israeli society is now spreading into the military.

The former prime minister, Barak, warned Israelis that there'll be a price to pay. "The outgoing defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, was the victim of a purge. In the initial months, Liberman will give off the impression that he is moderate. Sooner or later, however, we will see the price we have to pay."






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