Rome, too, was once the center of the world.
Too Late, The Sky's Already Fallen: The only news in the latest news about the NSA's ubiquitous surveillance is that from time to time they use warrants. The demand for info from Verizon is but a continuation of a program dating back to at least 2006, and is a descendent of a program initiated under the Bush regime in 2002. Their protestation about not getting the content doesn't ring true, in that they've been getting every bit of every land-line call for a decade or more and collects and stores essentially every phone call, email, text message, Facebook posting, web-page visit and every credit card purchase and any other piece of electronic information about every American. If you didn't know this, it was because you didn't want to know.
Turkey, Stuffed: The Turkish 'occupy' movement is made up of the middle class, not the poor, and has not suffered enough deaths and injuries to succeed. The protest are about PM Erdogan's overreach and abuse of power and not an Islamist/secularist clash (although it ought to be). Perhaps enough foreign investors will get nervous and force Erdogan to slow down both his Islamification and his enrichment of his cronies. But it seems unlikely.
Fine Print; The current record for drone kills is held by a former Air Force drone operator who took part in missions that led to the deaths of 1,626. Exactly; they keep score.
Funny That: The administration would like us to rise up in indignant protests because the Chinese hacked into the Obama and McCain campaign computers... and forget all about what the NSA has been up to for ten years.
The Spoiled Of War: Are you still getting used to owning a $750 million embassy in Baghdad? That was just the up-front cost (not counting the $2 or so trillion we spent clearing the site). The upkeep is going to run $400 million a year for the first five years. It'd be cheaper to figure Iraq will throw us out by then and pocket the money.
Asked & Obvious: Why is this recovery unlike the others? Maybe because it is remarkably recovery-free.
Words and Deeds: "Saying we are a Christian nation does not make it true: just look at our homeless children, starvation, poverty, the death penalty, racism, ageism, sexism, or so much hypocrisy. We are, in fact, a savage and brutal nation resoundingly despised around the world for our incessant war mongering...”
All Over But The Foot Dragging: A Pew survey shows that everybody but Republican politicians, Baptist preachers, Boy Scout executives, His Holiness and some guys in the piney woods down south agree that same-sex marriage equality is inevitable. So is the 40-year rear-guard delaying action that the Southern states will drag us through.
Porn O'Graph: An IMF/ECB aide de mémoire.
The Parting Shot:
Lathyrus latifolius Sweet Pea