Tag Archives | defense

In Defense of Cornel West: Is Barack Obama Right, or Has Michael Eric Dyson Lost His Mind?

"Cornel West 2008" by Esther - originally posted to Flickr as cornel west!!!. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Cornel West 2008” by Esther – originally posted to Flickr as cornel west!!!. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Carl Dix and Lenny Wolff write in Revolution Newspaper:

This Sunday, the New Republic posted a vicious attack on Cornel West, “The Ghost of Cornel West,” by Michael Eric Dyson. This attack is not an academic dispute; it is a hit job against a deeply principled intellectual who refused to put away his critical faculties when Obama took office, who has increasingly stepped out into the struggle against murders by police and mass incarceration, and who has done so in a way that condemns and exposes the crimes—and yes, they are crimes—of the Obama Administration. All the sound and fury of Dyson’s long rant cannot hide that essential, and shameful, fact.

On one level, Dyson’s attack is beneath contempt and barely merits reply. But because principle and intellectual rigor are currently so debased in this society, and because powerful forces seem intent on promoting Dyson’s takedown of Cornel West, reply we must.

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Russia Wants to Give Weapons to Mexico

Russian Republic of Chechnya (Originally published by The Fifth Column News) - Speaker for the Chechnyan Parliament, Dukuvakha Abdurakhamanov, has announced Chechnya’s willingness to send an undisclosed amount of high-tech weapons and ammunition to Mexico. His announcement comes in response to the continued urging of Congress to send undisclosed amounts of high-tech weaponry to the US sponsored Neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. Putin’s Russia has already begun to downplay the remark and put as much distance between itself and the allegation as possible. As usual, it is not what political leaders are saying in front of microphones that is important. Other global events happening concurrently among parties which are politically involved with the Ukraine Crisis paint a disturbing picture.

Dukuvakha is making the same kind of threat as a playground bully. If US sends weapons, Chechnya will send weapons. He says the US supplying weapons to Ukraine would be interpreted as a signal to send “the most modern weapons to Mexico.” It would also resume discussions of the legal status of “US-annexed territories that now house California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and a part of Wyoming,” says Dukuvakha.… Read the rest

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Russia Says Its Space Troops Are “Not Ready To Fight Extraterrestrials”

outerspaceI’m glad that at least some governments are thinking about this. Russia Today reports:

Despite being called Russia’s space troops, they are not ready to deal with invasions by aliens from outer space, according to a statement by a Russian defense official.

In a surprising move, an apparently serious journalist raised this question of extraterrestrial security during a media conference at the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center near Moscow, Russia’s main satellite control center.

“So far we are not capable of that. We are unfortunately not ready to fight extraterrestrial civilizations,” the center’s deputy chief Sergey Berezhnoy explained.

Titov space center, which is run by Russia’s Aerospace Defense Troops, controls around 80 percent of the country’s satellite fleet, both military and civilian. Russia’s space troops, in their current form, were created in 2011 through the integration of several military branches responsible for…control of outer space.

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Fruits and Veggies Can Be “Trained” to Defend against Herbivores

attack_of_the_killer_tomatoesJane J. Lee writes at National Geographic:

A study published online today in the journal Current Biology found that store-bought cabbage, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries respond to light-dark cycles up to about a week after harvest.

And when the produce was kept on the same light-dark cycle as a predator—cabbage looper moth caterpillars (Trichoplusia ni)—it was better able to resist attacks.

Circadian clocks tell plants when the seasons change due to variations in day length, saidJanet Braam, a plant biologist at Rice University in Houston, Texas. But the clock is also critical in plant defenses against insects.

“[Plants] know when the insects eat,” said Braam, who is a co-author on the recent study, “so they can prepare a defense in advance.”

Braam and colleagues knew that levels of protective compounds called glucosinolates were under the control of the circadian clock in a plant called Arabidopsis.

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