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Before an empire collapses, it first erodes from within. The collapse may appear sudden, but the processes of internal rot hollowed out the resilience, resolve, purpose and vitality of the empire long before its final implosion.
What are these processes of internal rot? Here are a few of the most pervasive and destructive forces of internal corrosion:

1. Each institution within the system loses sight of its original purpose of serving the populace and becomes self-serving. This erosion of common purpose serving the common good is so gradual that participants forget there was a time when the focus wasn’t on gaming the system to avoid work and accountability but serving the common good.

2. The corrupt Status Quo corrupts every individual who works within the system.Once an institution loses its original purpose and becomes self-serving, everyone within either seeks to maximize their own personal share of the swag and minimize their accountability, or they are forced out as a potentially dangerous uncorrupted insider.

The justification is always the same: everybody else is getting away with it, why shouldn’t I? Empires decline one corruptible individual at a time.

3. Self-serving institutions select sociopathic leaders whose skills are not competency or leadership but conning others into believing the institution is functioning optimally when in reality it is faltering/failing.

The late Roman Empire offers a fine example: entire Army legions in the hinterlands were listed as full-strength on the official rolls in Rome and payroll was issued accordingly, but the legions only existed on paper: corrupt officials pocketed the payroll for phantom legions.

Self-serving institutions reward con-artists in leadership roles because only con-artists can mask the internal rot with happy-story PR and get away with it.

4. The institutional memory rewards conserving the existing Status Quo and punishes innovation. Innovation necessarily entails risk, and those busy feathering their own nests (i.e. accepting money for phantom work, phantom legions, etc.) have no desire to place their share of the swag at risk just to improve sagging output and accountability.

So reforms and innovations that might salvage the institution are shelved or buried.

5. As the sunk costs of the subsystems increase, the institutional resistance to new technologies and processes increases accordingly. Those manufacturing steam locomotives in the early 20th century had an enormous amount of capital and institutional knowledge sunk in their factories. Tossing all of that out to invest in building diesel-electric locomotives that were much more efficient than the old-tech steam locomotives made little sense to those looking at sunk costs.
As a result, the steam locomotive manufacturers clung to the old ways and went out of business. The sunk costs of empire are enormous, as is the internal resistance to change.

6. Institutional memory and knowledge support “doing more of what worked in the past” even when it is clearly failing.
 I refer to this institutional risk-avoidance and lack of imagination as doing more of what has failed spectacularly.

Inept leadership keeps doing more of what once worked, even when it is clearly failing, in effect ignoring real-world feedback in favor of magical-thinking. The Federal Reserve is an excellent example.

7. These dynamics of eroding accountability, effectiveness and purpose lead to systemic diminishing returns. Each failing institution now needs more money to sustain its operations, as inefficiencies, corruption and incompetence reduce output while dramatically raising costs (phantom legions still get paid).

8. Incompetence is rewarded and competence punished. The classic example of this was “Good job, Brownie:” cronies and con-artists are elevated to leadership roles to reward loyalty and the ability to mask the rot with good PR. Serving the common good is set aside as sychophancy (obedient flattery) to incompetent leaders is rewarded and real competence is punished as a threat to the self-serving leadership.

9. As returns diminish and costs rise, systemic fragility increases. This can be illustrated as a rising wedge: as output declines and costs rise, the break-even point keeps edging higher, until even a modest reduction of input (revenue, energy, etc.) causes the system to break down:

rising-wedge

A modern-day example is oil-exporting states that have bought the complicity of their citizenry with generous welfare benefits and subsidies. As their populations and welfare benefits keep rising, the revenues they need to keep the system going require an ever-higher price of oil. Should the price of oil decline, these regimes will be unable to fund their welfare. With the social contract broken, there is nothing left to stem the tide of revolt.

10. Economies of scale no longer generate returns. In the good old days, stretching out supply lines to reach lower-cost suppliers and digitizing management reaped huge gains in productivity. Now that the scale of enterprise is global, the gains from economies of scale have faltered and the high overhead costs of maintaining this vast managerial infrastructure have become a drain.

11. Redundancy is sacrificed to preserve a corrupt and failing core. Rather than demand sacrifices of the Roman Elites and the entertainment-addicted bread-and-circus masses to maintain the forces protecting the Imperial borders, late-Roman Empire leaders eliminated defense-in-depth (redundancy). This left the borders thinly defended. With no legions in reserve, an invasion could no longer be stopped without mobilizing the entire border defense, in effect leaving huge swaths of the border undefended to push back the invaders.

Phantom legions line the pockets of insiders and cronies while creating a useful illusion of stability and strength.

12. The feedback from those tasked with doing the real work of the Empire is ignored as Elites and vested interests dominate decision-making. As I noted yesterday in The Political Poison of Vested Interests, when this bottoms-up feedback is tossed out, ignored or marginalized, all decisions are necessarily unwise because they are no longer grounded in the consequences experienced by the 95% doing the real work.

This lack of feedback from the bottom 95% is captured by the expression “Let them eat cake.” (Though attributed to Marie Antoinette, there is no evidence that she actually said Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.)

The point is that decisions made with no feedback from the real-world of the bottom 95%, that is, decisions made solely in response to the demands of cronies, vested interests and various elites, are intrinsically unsound and doomed to fail catastrophically.

How does an Empire end up with phantom legions? The same way the U.S. ended up with ObamaCare/Affordable Care Act. The payroll is being paid but there is no real-world feedback, no accountability, no purpose other than private profit/gain and no common good being served.

That’s how empires collapse: one corrupted, self-serving individual at a time, gaming one corrupted, self-serving institution or another; it no longer matters which one because they’re all equally compromised. It’s not just the border legions that are phantom; the entire stability and strength of the empire is phantom. The uncorruptible and competent are banished or punished, and the corrupt, self-serving and inept are lavished with treasure.

This is how empires collapse: one complicit participant at a time.

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This Article was originally published on Maltanow. However, I do not believe in Carbon-14 dating, or any other dating method. Because there is absolutely no way to verify it, and the error margin is 100%, so to speak. By the way, it’s another flaw in modern archaeology.

In June 1936 Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk beside a waterfall near to London, Texas, when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. What they found within shocked the archaeological and scientific community. Embedded in the rock was what appeared to be some type of ancient man made hammer.
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In the name of Allah, the Merciful to all, the Compassionate

If you have ever visited social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube over the last year, you have probably seen a lot of beheadings, massacres, burnt bodies, gore, and blood in pictures and videos. A few articles ago, I complained about emails I was receiving from Twitter, reflecting ISIS propaganda.

If someone tortures a cat, films it, and puts it on YouTube; it instantly receives a harsh reaction, and YouTube takes that video down; no matter where that happened. But if a terrorist beheads 100 people in front of camera, none of these social media sites have any problem with it.

Just look at one the Time Magazine Top 10 photos of 2013:
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Few are eager to be the person at the office who points out a problem, for fear of being labeled disruptive or negative. And much has been written on the importance of positive attitudes such as hope and optimism at work. Well, a new study indicates that complaints—and even anger—can actually improve outcomes in the workplace.

A series of studies highlighted in Human Relations journal (pdf) suggest that expressing anger in the workplace can actually lead to more people acknowledging a problem and getting it fixed. One study the authors highlighted found that negative emotional events in the workplace had a positive outcome 70% of the time. This doesn’t mean it’s bad to express positive feelings at work—those led to positive outcomes 94% of the time—it just means that a negative emotion doesn’t always lead to a negative outcome.

When a manager sets a “negative affective tone”—basically, when they convey dissatisfaction—employees in both individual and team settings tended to perform better. The findings aren’t universal; in the study on individual settings, employees who were “agreeable” performed better in response to negative emotions than those who were not as agreeable. (So if you’re a nice person, you’re more likely to respond well to anger.) In teams, the manager’s negative tone encouraged workers not to settle for less, and to delve into deeper problems.

The paper is a response to the feel-good studies that focus on what’s called “symmetrical outcomes”—the idea that positive emotions are mostly good for employees, and negative emotions lead to discontent. The authors, Dirk Lindebaum and Peter Jordan, argue that researchers should also look at the long-term utility of an emotion, and at the effect on the person on the receiving end.

There are similar observations in social situations, going against the idea that positivity is always the best policy. For example, sadness after a loss can lead to more open social connections. And even laudable qualities such as compassion can lead to fatigue and emotional burnout.

It’s worth noting that the researchers don’t instruct employers or employees to be unkind. So when it comes to expressing anger about something at work, you should probably still be polite.

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Brian Krebs, “Lorem Ipsum: Of Good & Evil, Google & China“, Krebs on Security8/14/2014:

Imagine discovering a secret language spoken only online by a knowledgeable and learned few. Over a period of weeks, as you begin to tease out the meaning of this curious tongue and ponder its purpose, the language appears to shift in subtle but fantastic ways, remaking itself daily before your eyes. And just when you are poised to share your findings with the rest of the world, the entire thing vanishes.

 It all started a few months back when I received a note from Lance James, head of cyber intelligence at Deloitte. James pinged me to share something discovered by FireEye researcher Michael Shoukry and another researcher who wished to be identified only as “Kraeh3n.” They noticed a bizarre pattern in Google Translate: When one typed “lorem ipsum” into Google Translate, the default results (with the system auto-detecting Latin as the language) returned a single word: “China.”

Capitalizing the first letter of each word changed the output to “NATO” — the acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Reversing the words in both lower- and uppercase produced “The Internet” and “The Company” (the “Company” with a capital “C” has long been a code word for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency). Repeating and rearranging the word pair with a mix of capitalization generated even stranger results. For example, “lorem ipsum ipsum ipsum Lorem” generated the phrase “China is very very sexy.”

Variations on the “Lorem ipsum” text produced even more bizarre results.

Krebs reports a wild and wonderful theory about all this:

Kraeh3n said she’s convinced that the lorem ipsum phenomenon is not an accident or chance occurrence.

“Translate [is] designed to be able to evolve and to learn from crowd-sourced input to reflect adaptations in language use over time,” Kraeh3n said. “Someone out there learned to game that ability and use an obscure piece of text no one in their right mind would ever type in to create totally random alternate meanings that could, potentially, be used to transmit messages covertly.”

Meanwhile, Shoukry says he plans to continue his testing for new language patterns that may be hidden in Google Translate.

“The cleverness of hiding something in plain sight has been around for many years,” he said. “However, this is exceptionally brilliant because these templates are so widely used that people are desensitized to them, and because this text is so widely distributed that no one bothers to question why, how and where it might have come from.”

Google’s explanation makes more sense to me, though it’s not nearly as much fun:

Just before midnight, Aug. 16, Google Translate abruptly stopped translating the word “lorem” into anything but “lorem” from Latin to English. […] A spokesman for Google said the change was made to fix a bug with the Translate algorithm (aligning ‘lorem ipsum’ Latin boilerplate with unrelated English text) rather than a security vulnerability.

The comments on Brian’s post include some other amusing examples, like the fact that not all fragments of the Lorem ipsum passage have been fixed – here’s my own screenshot from this morning:

… and the fact that even the original fragments still work going from English to Latin(again a screenshot from a few minutes ago):

As other commenters explain, it’s pretty obvious why a statistical MT algorithm would do this kind of thing, given what an unsuspecting automated finder of apparently parallel text is likely to come up with in the way of Latin/English training material. At some point, Google will manage the harder job of purging all instances of Lorem ipsum text from its training data, and then this particular source of amusement will mostly be gone.

For those few who may not know what Lorem ipsum is, Wikipedia explains that

In publishing and graphic design, lorem ipsum is a filler text commonly used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation. Replacing meaningful content that could be distracting with placeholder text may allow viewers to focus on graphic aspects such as font, typography, and page layout.

The lorem ipsum text is typically a scrambled section of De finibus bonorum et malorum, a 1st-century BC Latin text by Cicero, with words altered, added, and removed such that it is nonsensical, improper Latin.

A variation of the ordinary lorem ipsum text has been used in typesetting since the 1960s or earlier, when it was popularized by advertisements for Letraset transfer sheets. It was introduced to the Information Age in the mid-1980s by Aldus Corporation, which employed it in graphics and word processing templates for its desktop publishing program, PageMaker, for the Apple Macintosh.

The typical Lorem ipsum passage is a munged derivative of a part of I.10.32 of Cicero’s work, starting with the last five letters of the accusative form dolorem, and picking up and adding letters (as indicated below until I lost interest):

Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit,ametconsectetur, adipisci[ng] velitsed qu[d]ia[m] non num[my]quameius modtempora inciduntut labore et dolore magnaaliquam quaeratvoluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam  corporis suscipit120 laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?  At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti121 atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus.

I have no idea why they didn’t just use an unmunged chunk of Cicero — but no doubt one of our erudite commentators can enlighten us.

 

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This Article was originally published on Distractify:

A busy NYC restaurant kept getting bad reviews for slow service, so they hired a firm to investigate. When they compared footage from 2004 to footage from 2014, they made some pretty startling discoveries. So shocking, in fact, that they ranted about it on Craigslist.
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By Professor Doom

I’m pretty sure, “once or twice”, I’ve mentioned the corruption of higher education, and how it’s completely insane to teach 6th grade math to adults, charge a fortune for it, and call it “higher education.”
The main reason higher education is so “successful” in the US today is the massive student loan and grant scheme, which pours outrageous sums of money on institutions to teach students, teach them anything, no matter how ridiculous, useless, or outright wrong the material may be.
The main reason student loan debt is soaring is the same reason there was a housing bubble, or a stocks bubble before that: government money pouring into a system causes prices to rise in that system. With tuition rising, the loans rise, the tuitions rise again, the loans rise again. It’s pretty simple.
People feel trapped into taking ever higher loans, because they feel they *must* have a degree to get a job. I have my doubts about that, because the kind of degree is pretty important (and most of the crap sold at US institutions isn’t useful for getting a job), and even jobs for the right degrees are far from a sure thing. The fact remains: people are willing to pay (or borrow) whatever it takes to get that degree, so they can get that magic rainbow job.
Trouble is, houses and stocks are actual things, there’s a minimum, intrinsic value there. Education? Ultimately it’s just a piece of paper, which, much like US dollars, can be generated in basically infinite amounts. Only the rigged system traps students into thinking a piece of paper means anything and should cost a fortune.
But what if some place outside the system was formed, where tuition didn’t rise, and, in fact, was very cheap? If the education was every bit as good as in the US (and that’s a low, low, bar for most institutions), what would happen to the higher education bubble?
Can someone say “pop”?
     Well, it’s happened. I present to the gentle reader, University of the People. If you or a loved one might be going into higher education for getting a job, I strongly recommend checking out the TED talk on that link. Fair disclosure: I’ve done some work for UoPeople, though I’m no officer or administrator or anything like that. Allow me to explain the good and ill of UoPeople.
First, price is by far the good. It’s tuition free. In case someone didn’t hear me, I repeat: TUITION FREE. One more time, because it’s just that important:

TUITION FREE!!!!!
     How exactly are traditional US institutions, with their $20,000 a year tuition, going to compete with that? I suspect laws will be passed very quickly to shut this place down, but, for now, the price is awesome. The only drawback is students must pay for tests, $100 apiece. For typical courses, that means the entire 4 year degree costs about $4,000 bucks. That’s for the entire degree, not just a year, or a semester. That’s ridiculously cheap compared to anything being offered in the US.
Second, textbooks are free. I’ve written a little on the textbook scam, which seems to only get worse. UoPeople only uses public domain textbooks. A 4 year education at a traditional school could cost $4,000 or more just for the textbooks.
That’s pretty much it for the good. I’m not damning with faint praise here, knocking 95% or more off the usual price of a legitimate university education is such a powerful good that there really is nothing I can say in the realm of “bad”  that will be comparatively relevant. I’ll say it all the same.
As you might expect, UoPeople is all online. I’ve written before that online degrees are highly questionable, and are of minimal value in the marketplace. Of course, people are paying huge fortunes for online degrees now, so UoPeople’s very cheap online degree is superior in the only way that counts, once you consider its product is identical. This is “blessing with faint criticism” as far as I’m concerned.
Well, not exactly identical. UoPeople is taking the high road here (that’s why I do work for them, is they have that “integrity” thing that is sorely lacking in much of the US’s higher education system). UoPeople only has 2 degree programs: business administration, and computer science. The coursework is exactly what students need for those degrees.
These are the exact two degrees in super-high demand in the job market, and that’s what UoPeople is all about. So, no Gender Studies or Queer Musicology or other crud. UoPeople exists exactly for those people that think a college degree is necessary for a job, and it sells the best possible such degrees to those people, without crippling them with a lifetime of student loan debt. There’s no liberal arts at UoPeople. Nothing against liberal arts (and my degree is in liberal arts), but it really is long past time to stop taking advantage of people that want higher education just for a job.
How does UoPeople pay the faculty and staff? Not much, the people aren’t in it for the money (I volunteered). Again, it’s about integrity. It simply is wrong to cripple young people with debt for a worthless education, and I’m hardly the only faculty member willing to volunteer to stop crimes being done to the young.
Realize, online schools are very limited in interaction with an expert, and even moreso in UoPeople. Students grade each other’s work, and are, largely, responsible for their own education. Yes, they totally can cheat…but with no money involved, I’d like to think integrity is more common than in the cheating-infested for-money system everyone else uses. It can’t be less common than any other online school, after all.
Oh, one more detail. University of the People is FULLY ACCREDITED. Yes, accreditation is a scam, and I suspect, if UoPeople starts to threaten US higher education, accreditation will capriciously be revoked. Until that happens, however, a degree from UoPeople is every bit as legitimate as University of Pheonix, or your typical bloated state university, or just about any place else. It’s also every bit as valuable in the job market…it’s just so much cheaper.
If UoPeople can stay away from student loan scams, not be taken over by plundering integrity-destroying professional administrators, and not be cheated out of being accredited, it can single-handedly snap the neck of the incredibly corrupt higher education system in the US.
The only question is how long it will take before people realize “hey, I can pay $4,000 or $100,000 for the exact same product” and make the obvious decision.
Any guesses how long that will take?

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This Article was written by Stephen Lendman originally published on RINF:

On August 21, Washington joined Germany, Britain and France. They presented a largely one-sided Security Council resolution to end over six weeks of conflict.

It’s pro-Israeli. It’s pro-Western. It’s anti-Palestinian. It’s more Gazan Versailles than legitimate peace plan. It demands rejection.

It’s in lieu of what’s fundamentally needed:

A resolution holding Israel responsible for premeditated genocidal aggression;

  • holding Netanyahu and other Israeli officials accountable;
  • ordering them prosecuted in a Nuremberg-style tribunal;
  • unconditionally ordering Gaza’s siege be lifted;
  • mandating Israel alone pay for damage it caused, compensate surviving family members for their losses, and fully cover the cost of medical treatment for injured Gazans;
  • assuring long denied justice for beleaguered Gazans;
  • ordering Israel to halt settlement construction;
  • mandating an end to occupation; and
  • guaranteeing support for unconditional Palestinian self-determination within 1967 borders by a specified date.

The current resolution is deeply flawed. Claiming it’ll end fighting is fantasy. Or achieve any form of long denied justice. The two-page document is titled “Elements.”

They include:

  • returning Gaza to PA control;
  • reconstructing it under international supervision;
  • preventing Hamas from rearming;
  • wanting it kept defenseless against certain future Israeli aggression;
  • restarting sham Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; and
  • doing so based on what Israel categorically rejects – within pre-1967 borders – with no enforcement teeth.

Fact: Abbas and other PA officials are longtime Israeli collaborators.

Fact: They have no legitimacy.

Fact: They serve as Israeli enforcers.

Fact: They betray their own people.

Fact: Hamas is Palestine’s democratically elected government.

Fact: International law prohibits any nation or combination thereof from interfering in the internal affairs of others.

Fact: Palestinians alone may decide who’ll govern them under laws, principles and norms they choose.

Fact: Not Israel, Washington, Germany, Britain, France, or Security Council resolution denying them their inalienable right.

The proposed document condemns “all violence and hostilities directed against civilians, as well as indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties, and all acts of terrorism.”

It calls for an “immediate, sustainable” ceasefire on both sides. It’s based on the following principles:

  • returning Gaza to PA control;
  • undefined security arrangements to prevent resumption of hostilities;
  • denying Hamas the right of self-defense;
  • doing so by prohibiting all weapons and munitions sales to Gaza without PA permission;
  • preventing the financing of Israel’s notion of terrorism;
  • assuring Gazan self-defense is defined this way;
  • assuring Israeli aggression is called its right to self-defense;
  • lifting “economic and humanitarian restrictions” short of unconditionally ending siege;
  • permitting reconstruction, economic rehabilitation and development based on what Israel will allow under rules it establishes;
  • reopening all border crossings without assurances against future unilateral Israeli closures; and
  • doing so in accord with the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access.

Washington and Israel brokered it. It was supposed to let PA officials control border crossings after Israel’s 2005 Gazan disengagement.

The resolution establishes a Western controlled international monitoring and verification body.

It would oversee implementation of agreed on principles, investigate ceasefire violations, inform the Security Council, facilitate movement of people and goods, as well as “ensure effective communications” between both sides.

Other draft provisions include:

  • helping PA officials establish “effective governance” in Gaza – under rules acceptable to Israel and Western states;
  • urging UN member states to contribute to rebuilding Gaza;
  • doing so in lieu of demanding Israel pay for the enormous damage it caused;
  • holding an international conference on rebuilding Gaza;
  • urging attending nations to help pay Gazan civil servants and aid PA security forces; and
  • initiating “renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to resume the negotiations in order to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of two democratic states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side on the basis of the pre-1967 borders in peace and security.”

It’s hard imagining Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups accepting what demands rejection.

The draft resolution violates international law. It’s a dagger in the heart of equity, justice and peace.

It lopsidedly favors Israel. It renders Hamas defenseless. It offers what Israel can unilaterally abrogate for reasons it invents.

It puts longtime Palestinian collaborators in charge of governing Gaza. It assures justice denied.

It restarts sham peace talks. It proposes doing so on terms Israel categorically rejects.

It perpetuates the greatest hoax in modern times. Talks were stillborn from inception. Israel rejects peace and stability.

Palestinians have no say whatever. They’ve been brutalized for decades. They’re denied all rights. They’re virtual prisoners in their own land.

Oslo was unconditional Palestinian surrender. So were Oslo II, Wye River, Camp David, Taba, Bush’s Road Map, Annapolis, other negotiating rounds, and the most recent failed talks had they continued.

The current Security Council proposal holds Gazans hostage to Israeli and Western diktats.

It leaves Israel unaccountable for high crimes against peace. It assures future Israeli aggression.

It lets occupation harshness continue. It perpetuates decades of injustice. It leaves Palestinians isolated on their own.

It gives Israel wiggle room to interpret provisions to its own advantage. It denies Gazans the same right. It leaves major issues unaddressed.

They include:

  • internationally guaranteed/universally recognized Palestinian sovereignty;
  • ending occupation;
  • letting diaspora Palestinians return;
  • compensating them and Palestinian refugees for land and possessions Israel stole;
  • ending settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land;
  • giving Palestinians control of their airspace, coastal waters, and resources (including offshore gas reserves); as well as
  • East Jerusalem as their exclusive capital.

The resolution instructs UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to initiate proposals to “implement the relevant provisions.” He’s a longtime pro-Western/pro-Israeli imperial tool.

It lets Security Council members circumvent international law. It lets them impose punitive measures if either side violates resolution provisions. It assures imposition on Palestinians alone.

It lets pro-Israeli Western nations force-feed unacceptable terms on Gaza. It gives Gazans no say. It punishes them for rejecting unacceptable demands.

It destroys Fatah/Hamas unity. It perpetuates longstanding injustice. It assures future conflict.

Current Israeli genocidal aggression continues. Western leaders support it. Israel murdered nearly 2,100 Palestinians. Over 10,300 were injured.

Large parts of Gaza lie in ruins. A pre-dawn air strike killed three al-Qassam Brigades commanders.

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians marched through Rafah. They did so in mourning. They honored Mohammed Abu Shamalah, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed Attar.

Their deaths came a day after Israel unsuccessfully tried to assassinate senior al-Qassam Brigades leader Mohammed Deif.

An airstrike on his home killed his wife and eight-month-old son. Netanyahu tried to link his aggression to Obama’s war on the Islamic State in Iraq.

He lied calling both groups a “branch of the same tree.” He did so without a shred of credible evidence. None exists.

At the same time, Israel activated another 10,000 reserves. Hardliners Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and others want Hamas entirely destroyed.

Perhaps a second ground invasion will follow. Since Israel sabotaged Cairo talks, it murdered around five dozen more mostly civilian Palestinian men, women and children.

They included five family members digging a grave in Sheikh Radwan cemetery. They were doing so for lost loved ones.

They were noncombatants. They posed no threat. Israel deliberately murdered them in cold blood. It considers civilian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm legitimate targets.

Doing so is part of its longstanding collective punishment policy. It’s in flagrant violation of international law.

It doesn’t matter. Western leaders support Israeli genocide. They turn a blind eye to its worst high crimes against peace.

They continue daily throughout Occupied Palestine. Gazans suffer most.

Long denied justice is nowhere in sight. The US/German/British/ French resolution assures keeping things this way.

Palestinians remain isolated on their own. Gazans remain trapped on their own land.

Israel is free to wage aggressive wars on whatever pretexts it invents. Business as usual continues.

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