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What!!?? Trump doing shady business dealings!? No...never.

Changes in Cuba policy could adversely impact Trump's hotel competitors

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...So is Trump using his office to target competitors, or are the competitors just impacted by a decision that was not intended to target competitors, but increase sanctions in general?

The first would be criminal, but the second would only be political, if Trump's order was against Cuba alone and not intended to harm competition to his own business. I'm sure there will be plenty of answers for both reasons, depending on which side of the aisle you are on.

I'd say it smells more like a political move, but of course he'd have no hesitation to hurt his competitors in the meantime, either. I mean, Trump needs a win. He's been doing poorly lately and needs something. And what's better for him than to undo some stuff Obama did? Hoorah! Making America great again! His base eats that up. So this is something he can easily accomplish, move some headlines (and tweets) around, get people talking of something other than Russia. And hey, the fact that it hurts his competitors is a bonus.

So objectively I'd say he likely wasn't motivated to do this because it hurt his competitors, but he likely also just thinks of it as two birds one stone sort of thing. What say you?
Mic

Just a brief question

Just a brief question.

When a bunch of Muslim radicals plunge a truck into a crowd of random people in a street, then start shooting at people or stabbing them with knives, that's terrorism, right?

So how come when a Christian British native plunges a truck into a crowd of random Muslim people in front of a mosque, then attacks them with a knife, that's hate crime and a revenge?

Where does this semantic difference come from? Same question about the reactions. In the former case, we hear "Let's not jump to conclusions" and "Let's not paint all Muslims with the same brush", and "This has nothing to do with Islam". But now we hear nothing of the sort, after the Finsbury Park attack?

How, who and what radicalized that father of several children who until yesterday used to just go to work, look after his family, and probably spend a couple hours with his pals in the local pub watching Premiership football on a daily basis? What caused him to go and massacre people he doesn't know, and then sit in the police van on his way to jail and smile back at the watching journalists, as if he had just won the lottery? "A job well done", he says. How's he NOT a terrorist?

Is there a double standard here, or am I perhaps just reading too much into this?
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Another apple of discord

Montenegro's official joining of NATO has prompted threats of "retaliatory action" from Russia. A couple of weeks ago the former Yugoslav republic became the 29th member state. The prime minister Markovic signed the joining protocol with US deputy secretary of state Thomas Shannon. Then Markovic met with president Trump and his VP, Pence. The latter stated that all countries are free to choose their allies without interference from third countries, obviously meaning Russia.

The Kremlin's response was short to follow. They interpreted this move as hostile, and the Russians said they retained their right to take reciprocal measures, which is of course a thinly veiled threat. Their diplomats said in politics, just as in physics, any action is met with a corresponding counter-action.

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sunrays

A letter that started a crisis

Millions have been affected, and tens of thousands die every year from the so called opioid crisis in the US. Preliminary data shows that last year drug overdose has killed well over 62 thousand people in America, a 19% increase. And the problem keeps deepening. It has become the leading reason for mortality among Americans under 50 years of age, NYT reports. In comparison, car accidents have killed about 40 thousand people, now giving up the top spot in the ranking, the NSC reports as well. And this, despite the fact that 2016 was the deadliest year in terms of car accidents. (.pdf)

http://www.cadca.org/sites/default/files/images/blog/cdc-us-overdose-deaths-2014_jr-1.jpg

The number of overdose deaths has been constantly growing since the 80s, when it was under 10 thousand annually. The problem has more to do with illegal drugs than the legal sales of pain-relief drugs. For the last 3 decades, both the US and Canada have developed a mass practice of prescribing painkillers based on opioid alcaloids. This happened after fierce lobbying and advertisement campaigns from several big pharmaceutical corporations that declared "war on pain and suffering". In result, millions of people have become addicted to strong painkillers. There is now talk of an opioid crisis in North America the size of an epidemic.

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toon

Friday offtopic. They come in pairs!


Many stars have companions, including our nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, a triplet system. Astronomers have long sought an explanation. Are binary and triplet star systems born that way? Did one star capture another? Do binary stars sometimes split up and become single stars? And did our sun have a twin when it was born 4.5 billion years ago? Almost certainly yes - though not an identical twin. And so did every other sunlike star in the universe, according to a new analysis by a theoretical physicist from UC Berkeley and a radio astronomer from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Harvard University...
WTF-E?

All hail Lord Buckethead!

Some of you may've watched last weekend's John Oliver segment about the UK elections (a major clusterfuck for Mrs May and the hard-Brexiters; but that's another long story). As ridiculous as some aspects of that election might have been, the one that sticks out for me is the inclusion of one Lord Buckethead, a mock candidate (they've got many in the UK) who ran against and eventually personally faced Mrs May.

He got 249 votes. And he had the most sensible message among them all. Which says a lot, really.

By the way, this isn't the first time Lord Buckethead had run in UK elections. Last two times were against Thatcher and Major.

Details: HERE.

Oh, and John Oliver has a neat idea about the upcoming Brexit negotiations, which are in shambles:


...I COULD MURDER A CURRY.

TP goes to DW

Hey folks! We've talked about this before, but now it's official. You certainly know what happened to LJ: a while ago they came up with some new terms of use, which many agree marked the final stage of the death of LJ.

So here's the thing. As many folks have migrated to Dreamwidth, we figured it's time we did too. It's time we switched places, and moved to DW. So I'm now inviting those of you who still haven't created their DW accounts to do it in the following weeks. It's a platform very similar to LJ, very intuitive to use; and the best thing is, it's got a system of direct synchronisation of your LJ accounts with your new DW ones, within a couple of clicks away. You don't need to cross-post anything, just follow a few short steps to move your entire LJ contents to DW, including posts, usericons, tags, comments, communities, friendlists, etc. Everything.

Here's the Talk_Politics community on Dreamwidth:

https://talkpolitics.dreamwidth.org/

So far we've been occasionally synchronising it with LJ (manually), but starting from July 1, we'll be all posting and commenting there instead of here. The idea is to move all activity to Dreamwidth starting from the first day of July. And of course, you're all invited! :)
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Wow, Gulen must be more powerful even than Soros!

Turkish mayor suggests Gulen plotting earthquake to harm economy

"Melih Gokcek said investigations needed to be carried out on a "seismic vessel" which had been in the vicinity of the Aegean coastal town of Canakkale on Monday when a small earthquake struck, the latest in a series of tremors in recent days. "No matter what they say, I'm still worried about the possibility of an artificial earthquake," he wrote on Twitter, adding that the "Gulenist Terrorist Organisation" (FETO) had planned an earthquake before."

By the way, this isn't the first time that the Ankara mayor has accused evil foreign powers in plotting earthquakes to undermine the Turkish economy. In February he said the quake in the western provinc eof Canakkale may've been organized by dark forces as well.

But yeah. Every nation deserves exactly the rulers that it gets. And this one is no exception.

I say all earthquakes should be immediately detained and declared closet Gulenists. Oh, and we could do something about those HAARP tornados while we're at it. And don't forget the chemtrails, either.
3D

Building a dream

While the main question about Iraq and Syria is how to defeat the Islamic State, a miracle is being built in North Iraq, in the territories controlled by the Kurdish militia, the so called Peshmerga ("the men facing death"). The Kurds have slowly been pushing the jihadists away with arms from the US and EU, and taking control of the abandoned and ruined Suni Arab towns and villages.

The Kurds are now offering refuge to almost 2 million Syrian refugees, many of them Christians. The region of Iraqi Kurdistan has been out of effective control from Baghdad since 1991, and only the generation over 40 years of age still speak Arab.

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Assume Both Articles are Correct

Originally posted by debunkgpolitics at Assume Both Articles are Correct
A “take over” could mean the end of Sharia law, radical Islamic terrorism, and other religions in England, According to Communists, God does not exist. Therefore, either all religious institutions would be forced to close or register with the State. If they register, then what is preached within their walls would require pre-approval from the State, as with China and Russia. Islamic terrorists who justify their unacceptable behavior in the name of their God could be punished for exercising their religious beliefs, which could discourage future tragedies.
How the Mayor of London, practicing Muslim, and Labour Party member Sadiq Khan maintains his religious and political allegiances would be interesting.from

One article is from The Economist 5-13-2017 (52). The other article is from The Economist 6-3-2017 (50-51).