California's multi-year drought grew dire enough in 2014 to prompt Governor Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency in January. By the end of the year, California had experienced the driest and hottest 36 months in its 119-year instrumental record.
The first principle of an open society is not to let the intolerant define "the territory of insult" -- those areas off limits to criticism or ridicule. But how does one define "territory" when media now crosses the boundaries of nations, cultures and civilizations? In the end, free societies must defend the right of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists against murder by fanatics, the Sony filmmakers against the North Korean regime and novelists like Salman Rushdie against a fatwa from the ayatollahs. But isn't Pope Francis also right that, in today's diverse and connected world, we must exercise the civil restraint of "respect" for the non-fanatic faithful (see the other depiction of the Prophet acceptable among some Muslims on left above), even if we insist on irreverence toward political authority? Finding an equilibrium amid the frictions and fusions that abound in this global public space will determine whether or not we can forge a new cosmopolitan commons of the 21st century. This week, The WorldPost engages this conundrum. Writing from Denmark, Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who commissioned cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad a decade ago that set off riots across the Muslim world, argues against "the tyranny of silence" fanatics would impose. Mehdi Hasan says he is "fed up with free speech fundamentalists" who feel they have a "duty to offend." (continued)
As many around the world said to Americans in September 2001, we say to the men and women throughout Paris, France and Europe today: You are not alone. Our unity will ultimately triumph, and our cause will ultimately prevail.
Iran can replace American efforts in the region with informed and constructive policies that define Tehran as a benevolent regional power. The Islamic Republic can also take the path of investing in some religious and political groups while excluding others.
There's a certain type of solidarity that requires an enemy, and I'm certain the national leaders who marched in Paris on Sunday were there to promote only this kind of solidarity, not the more troubled and complicated kind... the kind that sees no enemies, only victims.
You can't have victory if you have no idea where the finish line is. But there is one bright side to the situation. If you can't create Victory in Iraq for future VI Day parades, you can at least make a profit from the disintegrating situation there.
If the moderate Muslim community is the key to defeating radicalism that so many seem convinced that it is, then we cannot continue this juvenile attitude of pointing fingers only to pull away and turn our backs when it is their turn to bury their dead.
No it's not because the bad guys are strong enough to do whatever they fancy doing, nor because they have the popular backbone that keeps them alive.
The shock wave from Paris is the latest in a growing wave of jihadi-inspired terror against Muslims and westerners in recent months in France, in Europe, in the Middle East and across the globe.
Kuwait may have scored the first goal against Australia in the opening match of the Asian Cup but when the match ended 4:1 in favor of the Australian hosts the message was not simply a defeat on the pitch. It highlighted the importance/impact of Middle Eastern politics on the region's game.
It should be clear after four bloody years in Syria that if we are to make any progress moving forward, it is necessary to shed illusions and fantasies that have shaped too much of the discussion about the conflict.
The Charlie Hebdo killings, whatever their connections to the current wars in the Middle East, were acts of terrorism that should be handled by law enforcement.
Europe is facing divisive challenges on all fronts. It is being torn within by hardening attitudes toward the growing presence not only of Muslim immigrants, but also of citizens. On Monday, demonstrators thronged the streets of Dresden in support of "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident." On Wednesday in Paris, 12 people were killed, including cartoonists who lampooned the Prophet Muhammad, in the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack. While the euro tumbles, northern and southern Europe are bitterly at odds over austerity policies and continuing high unemployment. And a newly aggressive Russia is challenging European values on its eastern frontier. (continued) Writing from Berlin, Alexander Gorlach analyzes what is behind rising Islamphobia in Europe. From Paris, Le Huffington Post editorial director Anne Sinclair pays homage to the slain journalists. "Infidel" author Ayaan Hirsi Ali warns that we can't let political Islamists define the territory of insult. Akbar Ahmed looks at the long history, and present social conditions, of Muslims in Europe.
To believe that the attack in Paris was a tragedy singularly about a cartoon or as an event solely to be defined as an assault on freedom of expression, is to be daft and incongruent with the history and reality of American and Western policy in the Middle East.
Operation INHERENT RESOLVE is the name for our military intervention against ISIL. Obama selected this strategy because it was his least worst policy ...
Voila! You, citizens, are now the shepherds and fiscal beneficiaries of what seems to be an economic perpetual motion war machine, much to the posthumous dismay of Smedley Butler, and the vast majority of other nations on this planet.