1 June 2015   Leave a comment

The internet has opened up a huge variety of new sources of information, some of which tap into the genius of ordinary minds.  One such site is bellin¿cat.com which is a citizen’s resource for investigative journalism.  The site has done a review of the claims that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, MH17, which crashed in Ukraine 0n 17 July 2014.  Russia has strenuously denied any involvement in the crash and offered up satellite images to prove its claim.  bellin¿cat did its own search of satellite images using open sources (Google Earth) and found the Russian claims to be false.  The virtue of such a finding is that it does not involve evidence provided by a state (such as the US or other NATO states)  that may have its own reasons for presenting misleading evidence.

The US has some form of defense relationship with 69 countries and these countries make up around 75 percent of the world’s economic output.  These alliances commit the US to some degree in defending 25%  of the human population.  This information comes from Michael Beckley, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Tufts University, who has recently published an article entitled “The Myth of Entangling Alliances“.  The article is quite sophisticated in its analysis and is definitely worth a read.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the latest in the efforts by market capitalist economies to pursue a truly global market.  It is being pushed by US President Obama and the Republicans in Congress as a significant boost to economic activity.  Many Democrats do not share this enthusiasm.  The Economist, one of the strongest supporters of free trade in the world, analyzes parts of the trade pact to see how much it would boost economic activity.  Its conclusions are cautiously positive, but raise some interesting questions about the overall benefits of the pact.

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Posted June 2, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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