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Mediterranean may be driest for 900 years

The drought that has blighted the eastern Mediterranean since 1998 could be the worst in nine centuries, according to new research led by scientists from the US space agency Nasa. They report in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheresthat they used a tree-ring chronicle – trees accurately reflect the rainfall conditions of each year in their annual growth – to establish what had happened. They …

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Karlfried Graf Dürckheim – Daily Life as Spiritual Exercise

“There is a story that tells of Meister Eckhart’s meeting with a poor man: “You may be holy,” says Eckhart, “but what made you holy, brother?” And the answer comes: “My sitting still, my elevated thoughts, and my union with God.” It is useful for our present theme to note that the practice of sitting still is given pride of …

Flipping the Script: Rethinking Working-Class Resistance By Henry A. Giroux

I have often thought about when that moment came in which my working class sensibility turned into a form of critical class consciousness. For most of my youth, I was defined by ruling-class types and mainstream institutions through my deficits, which amounted to not having the skills and capacities to do anything but become either a cop or firefighter. For …

What’s Wrong With Robert Kaplan’s Nostalgia for Empire – Juan Cole

Journalist Robert D. Kaplan thinks that what is wrong with the Middle East is a lack of imperialism, and he urges that it be brought back. It is how, he says, most of the world has been ruled by “default.” This argument is so ahistorical and wrong-headed that it takes the breath away. First of all, “imperialism” is an imprecise term. Kaplan …

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Saudis Pour Oil on the Mideast Fire – Anthony F. Shaker

While denouncing Iran and its supposed Yemeni “Shi’a” allies in a recent speech, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, Saud ibn Nayyef bin Abdel Aziz, put his country’s Shi’a community — fellow citizens — squarely in his sights. “While our country is going through what it is going through and standing together as one bloc,” he ranted, “we find …