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Response to Mira Bar-Hillel

July 17, 2014

Israel   Dear Mira,I noticed how you said you were on the brink of burning your passport after you claimed a Member of the Israeli Knesset, Ayelet Shaked condoned the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children in Gaza. I am not here to save you from the brink of this bizarre act of attention seeking, nor to dispute your vitriolic words. Burn away, for it will mean nothing I can assure you. Mira we’ve been apart for far too long. You see I moved to Israel, the Jewish state, the land of a thousand opinions, where multi-party coalitions rule, and disagreements are comically played out in the open on street corners, in restaurants and taxis. You did the opposite and moved to the UK, where coalitions are frowned upon, 2 or 3 narratives dominate the political discourse, and some disagreements are cosily ushered into back alleys, taking place behind...

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Sports – Rear Guard Fortuna

July 11, 2014

Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India   For those who may have come back home from office, travel, work or from the bar after a couple of drinks and switched on their TV to settle down for a nice session of test match cricket, the splendid rear guard action by the bowlers must have been an extremely frustrating experience, for both the English and Indian fans. Here I am specifically talking about the sort of vintage fans who still enjoy watching test cricket and not the IPL variety.  How on earth are the bowlers scoring so freely on a slow low Indian-ised track when the Cooks, Kholis, Bells and Rahanes have struggled? Perhaps the bowlers have exhausted their energies and ideas to get them out. Or did the last batsman learn so prodigiously from the collective experience of all the other top order batsmen who have failed? Test match cricket, for the IPL...

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“Oil” Fuels the Kurdistan-ISIS Conflict

July 9, 2014

Erbil, Iraq   Realities of today’s politics heavily depend on previous historical decisions made, specifically in Middle East. Therefore, we cannot understand today’s Iraq unless we go to back to Iraq in WWI. The current borders of Iraq were shaped by the western countries such as Great Britain, France and Italy after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Those decisions given at that time by the big powers of that political context had negative impact not only on the future of the Middle East but also the future of Iraq as it separated Kurdistan into four pieces included in neighboring states with significant Kurdish population, namely Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Right after the invasion of Iraq by ISIS, the idea of Caliphate became an actual fact in the region.  Historically, creating a caliphate system to control the rest of Islamic world was the project of United Kingdom to prevent...

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The Ill and The Holy

July 8, 2014

Parañaque, Philippines Philippine Justice Secretary hailed the capitulation of the two senators incriminated in the $220 million (or £130 million) embezzlement scheme as a step forward in the country’s obsolete and often dysfunctional judicial system. But the acts of surrendering were nothing but a farcical and blasphemous spectacle of enduring acting prowess. After all, these were actors whose loyal aficionados tossed them into the obnoxious arena of politics – not an uncommon trend in Philippine government, mind you. Days leading to what his counsel baptized as a voluntary submission, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., in an ambiance characteristic of a film star encouraging the public to watch his latest movie, went round the pauperized districts of Manila to defend himself against the “false” charges of plunder. Three days after, the morose senator, along his equally dour wife, held a press conference where a crying Revilla beseeched for fair proceedings and uttered...

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Veterans Healthcare

June 29, 2014

Richfield, Minnesota I came across this statement the other day while looking for some information about primary care at the VAMC: A Relationship for Life We’re starting with a renewed focus on making sure your health care gets personal and is designed to provide continuous and coordinated care throughout a Veteran’s lifetime. A family doctor who’s with you for life. Isn’t that what we would all like? A new approach implemented throughout VA hospitals brings that concept closer than ever before in a simple, personalized health care experience designed to focus solely on the Veteran. It works closely with one another as they provide continuous, comprehensive care for the Veteran during the various stages of life, providing early detection screenings, acute care (short term medical treatment), chronic care and end of life (palliative) care. The team uses education, lifestyle coaching, and ongoing communication and consultation to deliver whole-person care...

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