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ashok
Soviet workhorses, ISAF training form the backbone of a developing Afghan Air Force - The Long War Journal - http://www.longwarjournal.org/archive...
From the page: Time will tell whether the Afghan Air Force can progress quickly enough to sustain itself without day-to-day ISAF involvement. Current strengths remain equipment procurement, progress in staffing, and the quality of the pilots. The nascent air force still needs significant improvement, however, in the areas of communications, advanced tactics, logistics, performance of maintenance functions, and the consistency and localization of Afghan training. Overall, American advisers project optimism, though specifying that it is contingent upon continued Western involvement over the next few years. - ashok
ashok
Little Green Footballs - The Hallowed Ground of Murfreesboro - http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article...
From the page: "Saleh M. Sbenaty, an engineering professor who came to the United States from Syria for his doctoral studies three decades ago, gets misty-eyed describing the kindness his neighbors showed his family after Sept. 11. At one point, he recalled, he was in a shopping mall parking lot with his wife, who wears a hijab, and a group of locals made a point to stop and assure them they had nothing to fear. The other day, however, as he was standing on the mosque's 15-acre parcel of land just outside town, drivers honked and flipped their middle fingers in the air as they rode past. "It's tough to see that change," Sbenaty said." - ashok
ashok
Whats the Matter with Wayne State? - Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education - http://chronicle.com/blogPos...
From the page: "Wayne State stands out like a sore thumb on this list. It has the single biggest percentage-point gap between white and black students in America. The overall graduation rate for black students is in single digits. And unlike the rest of the institutions, where on average only about six percent of the student body is black, almost a third of Wayne State students are black. This is a Research I university than enrolls close to 7,000 black students in a given year and their graduation rate is nine percent." - ashok
ashok
Republican Party starts to kill its own: S.C. Rep. Bob Inglis ousted for not hating Obama enough - http://www.nydailynews.com/news...
I don't agree with Bob Inglis' vote on the surge; I might have voted him out for that reason alone, even now. But I suspect this article is correct, and it wasn't the surge vote that did him in. - ashok
ashok
Rachmaninov Vespers - 6 Hail Mary - http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Rachmaninov Vespers - 6 Hail Mary
Play
If you don't cry during this, you're not human. - ashok
ashok
Housing Insanity - Business - The Atlantic - http://www.theatlantic.com/busines...
From the page: "No, really. The government has apparently decided, in its infinite wisdom, that what the American economy really needs is more homebuyers with no equity." - ashok
ashok
Rethink: On Poetry, Politics and Philosophy. - http://www.ashokkarra.com
New layout - asking all stumblers to check it out and give feedback. - ashok
ashok
From the page: ...I've been perusing right-wing blogs myself, and the amount of hate being spewed is palpable. The only way this will change is if conservatives endorse better, thoughtful, more moderate media. I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell that will happen now: the crazies are dominant, and those few really are aiming to destroy the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. This is hate - don't underestimate how far it will go, because it will kill for the heck of it if it can. - ashok
ashok
Analysts Find Little New in WikiLeaks Afghan Documents | The Atlantic Wire - http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinion...
From the page: "Mother Jones' Adam Weinstein worries about the safety of Afghan officials and individuals who meet with the U.S. in "what the military calls KLEs - key leader engagements. Military officers, as well as officials from State, USAID, and other agencies regularly meet with important players in a war zone to get their take on the situation. ... If they were ever outed as collaborators with American forces, they'd be as good as dead. And Wikileaks has 16 pages of secret military KLEs with individuals and groups in Afghanistan, spanning six years. No names are redacted. In this case, what retired general James Jones, the White House national security adviser, said yesterday is correct: WL is putting some lives at serious risk with that particular data dump."" - ashok
ashok
The Wasted Summer Break - Continued - Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education - http://chronicle.com/blogPos...
Maybe one day it'll dawn on a number of professors that yes, indeed, many of them are sell-outs. Complete sell-outs. From the page: "What is most shocking to me is that outside of a few comments about the benefits of summer internships for students (as if there are enough summer internships and jobs for all who want them, or that all college students are spoiled 18 year olds who have never worked a 9-5 job before and need to do it during their college summers, or that summer is the only time when it is conceivable that an internship or job might be available), it is clear that most of the commenters weren't at all concerned about how to improve outcomes or reduce costs for students, but instead how to make their own lives and careers more comfortable" - ashok
ashok
Report: Political Appointees Vetted DHS Public Records Requests | Threat Level | Wired.com - http://www.wired.com/threatl...
From the page: Under the FOIA, the government is required to release requested records unless they would harm national security, violate privacy rights protected by statute or conflict with specific exemptions enacted by Congress. The e-mails obtained by the AP, however, reveal that political appointees were less interested in vetting record requests for these reasons than for determining, based on the kinds of requests coming in, what areas of the government might be under scrutiny. Knowing what records journalists were requesting might help the administration prepare a response in anticipation of a news story. For example, the e-mails show concern about making sure the department didn't release information about Obama's father without first coordinating with the White House. - ashok
ashok
Go read Ario's new blog. Now. No excuses. - ashok
ashok
Animal Spirits | The New Republic - http://www.tnr.com/book...
From the page: Insofar as the book is interesting, it is for its almost salacious expose of the animal liberation movement, which is surprisingly violent for its allegedly non-violent goals. This is particularly true of the fringe groups Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, which have terrorized researchers and corporations alike, setting fire to labs and breaking into workers' homes. Their efforts often extend to the companies that do business with labs that use animals; it even targeted the New York Stock Exchange in 2005 after the Exchange announced that Huntingdon Life Sciences, a contract animal testing corporation, would be listed on the Big Board. Smith amasses a rather impressive collection of crimes and malevolent quotations attributed to animal rights activists. In 2007, the ALF sent Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a death threat in an attempt to coerce him to change the city's animal shelter practices. In Britain, one... - ashok
ashok
Video: At Conference, Glenn Beck Announces He May Be Going Blind | The Atlantic Wire - http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinion...
I can't stand Glenn Beck, not one bit. But I wouldn't wish "going blind" on my worst enemy. Best wishes for a speedy recovery if this is the case, and my hopes that further testing reveal nothing wrong. - ashok
ashok
Little Green Footballs - Administering the Occasional Reminder - http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article...
Entirely agreed with Mr. Coates on this point: "Mark Williams is the same man who has denounced Barack Obama as "Indonesian Muslim" and a "welfare thug." If Mark Williams is not a racist, then there are no racists in American society - a position which many, some liberals among them, no doubt find plausible." - ashok
ashok
Little Green Footballs - Mark Williams: Its Impossible for Tea Partiers to Be Racists - http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article...
The Tea Parties are definitely pushing the bounds of the acceptable, and this sort of thing is an utter disgrace: From the page: "On CNN, Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams says the NAACP is a racist organization because they have the words "Colored People" in their name. Yep, really. He also says it's impossible for a Tea Party member to be a racist. (Previously on CNN, Williams called President Obama an "Indonesian Muslim welfare thug.")" - ashok
ashok
Iroquois Nationals travel window closing | Indian Country Today | Sports - http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living...
An utter, utter disgrace and nothing more than a bureaucratic screw-up. From the page: "The team was supposed to fly to England on Sunday, July 11, but could not leave after the British government refused to recognize their Haudenosaunee Confederacy passports and asked the U.S. government for written assurance that the delegation would be allowed to return to their homes. The U.S. government refused until today to issue that assurance or honor the Haudenosaunee Confederacy passports, even though citizens of the Six Nations â€" Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Mohawk and Tuscarora â€" have used the passports for international travel for more than 30 years. The Haudenosaunee passports no long meet the stricter immigration rules, the U.S. government said. The team re-booked its flight for Monday, and again for Tuesday while diplomatic efforts were underway to resolve the problem. The delay has cost the team more than $25,000 in expenses." - ashok
ashok
Teaching Military History in a Time of War - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education - http://chronicle.com/article...
From the page: "I have been guilty to a degree of accepting the view of my student veterans that the nonveterans are soft and generally spoiled, unfamiliar with both service and sacrifice. Yet the reality of teaching in wartime, most particularly at a working-class college such as Central Connecticut State University, is that war has touched the families of many of our students, and it is a tragic error to think that they have not experienced the staggering blow of loss and personal sacrifice." - ashok
ashok
So, How Bad is M. Night Shyamalans New Movie? (Really Bad.) - http://gawker.com/5577043...
From the page: In fact, if there is anything that is intended to resonate with adults, at least parents of the New Age persuasion, it is the philosophical truisms that dot the dialogue, lines like "water teaches us acceptance," "you must let anger go," "there is no love without sacrifice" and the ever-popular, "is there a spiritual place where I can meditate?" - ashok
ashok
No Easy Way to Fix Social Security - Business - The Atlantic - http://www.theatlantic.com/busines...
From the page: This is coming up over and over again--an "easy" fix for Social Security wherein "all" we have to do is get rid of the cap on Social Security payroll taxes, without increasing benefits. Dylan Matthews has the charts that are currently making the rounds, which show that this simply solution not only eliminates the Social Security shortfall, but also generates a substantial surplus! This is not actually surprising, since what this amounts to is hiking the marginal tax rates on high incomes by 15 percentage points--making the federal tax take on the highest incomes 55% in 2012, assuming that Obama and Congress follows through and allows the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2011. This is obviously a gigantic hike, and moreover, when Medicare, state, and local taxes are added in, would push the tax burden on the highest incomes to over 2/3 in the hightest tax jurisdictions. - ashok
ashok
Little Green Footballs - Sharron Angle Surfaces, Still Nuts - http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article...
Harry Reid's seat was in danger, until this woman was nominated. It's one thing to have doubts about things like current U.S. foreign policy. It's quite another, like she does, to advocate leaving the UN as a serious part of her Senate platform. - ashok
ashok
Watching Slovenia-US... - http://www.ashokkarra.com/2010...
Yes, I'm critical of US play in the first half of this game. But I also think this: any team can beat another if goals are magically wiped off the board. - ashok
ashok
WordPress &8250; Blog & WordPress 3.0 "Thelonious" - http://wordpress.org/develop...
Love Wordpress, but this installation might get a blog post out of me - it's that good, and I'm seeing major (and very good) differences already. Can't wait to play with the "Twenty Ten" theme. - ashok
ashok
San Francisco Passes Cellphone Radiation Law - NYTimes.com - http://www.nytimes.com/2010...
From the page: "The law - believed to be the first of its kind in the nation - came despite a lack of conclusive scientific evidence showing that the devices are dangerous, and amid opposition from the wireless telephone industry, which views the labeling ordinance as a potential business-killing precedent." - ashok
ashok
Standing Up Against Money in College Sports - Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education - http://chronicle.com/blogPos...
From the page: "The Big Ten has grown in economic power under the leadership of commissioner Jim Delany, who is paid over $1-million per year and was the architect of the Big Ten cable television network, which generates roughly $200-million in annual revenue by providing 24-hour/ 365-day coverage of Big Ten athletes demonstrating the NCAA amateurism principal" - ashok
ashok
The Chimera of College Brands - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education - http://chronicle.com/article...
From the page: The ad touted "Harvard Summer School," where anyone with $4,450 and a dream can live in "historic Harvard houses" for seven weeks. ("JFK slept here," the Web site says, "and so did Henry David Thoreau, Natalie Portman, and Al Gore.") But they'll also need an additional $2,580 per four-credit class, which may be taught by either Harvard College professors or "visiting scholars" (i.e., not Harvard professors). But there's a catch: You can apply those credits toward a Harvard degree only if you get accepted at Harvard, and good luck with that. Or you can transfer the credits to another college, but only if the other college accepts them. One should be even more wary of online credits from Harvard Summer School, as the list of institutions that won't accept them includes ... Harvard College. - ashok
ashok
Are We the Dumbest Generation? - http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Are We the Dumbest Generation?
Play
Via Mark Bauerlein, an excellent series of interviews with high schoolers that should scare the living hell out of you. - ashok
ashok
No Refills - Magazine - The Atlantic - http://www.theatlantic.com/magazin...
From the page: Tougher safety and efficacy standards may also be keeping good drugs out of the public's hands. Most people agree that today's FDA would not have approved aspirin; even penicillin, the miracle drug that helped dramatically extend the human lifespan when introduced in the early 1940s, is questionable. Allergic reactions to penicillin kill a higher percentage of its takers than Vioxx ever did, while the gastrointestinal bleeding produced by aspirin means it probably would have flunked while still in animal testing. - ashok
ashok
Assault Behind Bars - Reason Magazine - http://reason.com/archive...
From the page: "Even lower-end estimates given by correctional organizations suggest that 20,000 to 40,000 inmates are sexually assaulted in American prisons every year. Those are figures no civilized society should accept." - ashok
ashok
Why do politicians and pundits lie about government spending? - http://www.ashokkarra.com/2010...
From the page: Take a look at the federal budget for FY 2009: add up Social Security spending (20%) and Medicare/Medicaid (19%) and that's nearly 40% of the budget gone already before the government does things like maintain the world's best military force (23%) and rebuild at least two other countries. I wouldn't be surprised if it were cheaper to do both of those - maintain the world's best military and rebuild a number of other countries - than to pay entitlements that overwhelmingly go to one interest group. Now none of this is to say we shouldn't pay for the sick and the elderly. Of course we should, but anyone telling you that Social Security and Medicare aren't the elephant in the room, that one can magically cut "pork" and "foreign aid" and get a budget that's under control is out of their mind. Even before the bailouts and health-care reform and all that nonsense this was not a sustainable course; there was going to have to be reform of some sort, and take a guess at what... - ashok
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