Marc Thiessen (aka: ready to fight to the end of time with not his own blood) : Is Obama considering surrendering to the Taliban? – The Washington Post

Obama clearly sees Afghanistan through the prism of Vietnam. Yet even in that war, the United States signed the Paris Peace Accords, in which both sides agreed to a cease-fire, the withdrawal of U.S. forces and an exchange of prisoners. In Afghanistan, such an accord with the Taliban between now and 2016 is highly unlikely. So any actions Obama takes to “end” the conflict with the Taliban will be unilateral.

Obama will no doubt argue that walking off the battlefield before the enemy is defeated is different from signing a surrender document on the deck of the USS Missouri. While that may be technically true, it is a distinction without a difference. If you throw in the towel, and quit fighting before the other guy does, you lose.

No matter how Obama dressed it up, in the absence of a peace agreement or capitulation by the Taliban, a unilateral declaration ending our mandate to fight the Taliban under the AUMF and returning all Taliban prisoners would be an act of surrender.

It may be an action that Obama is preparing to take.

via Marc Thiessen: Is Obama considering surrendering to the Taliban? – The Washington Post.

Creating a new dependency, even if done out of love- will it help? New KC center for homeless veterans offers ‘homes for the brave’ | The Kansas City Star

{Few, very few homes as a solution, even though there are more warehoused vacant one and two family homes with two bedrooms than there are homeless veterans in the US.

It is hard, I guess, to help people as individuals so everything is industrialized, so to speak, and warehousing the elderly, the disabled, or veterans is the way that gets the most attention and money. Living independently is the American dream but not if you are poor and elderly, disabled, or a veteran who needs some help back up.}

St. Michael’s Veterans Center officially opens the first of three planned buildings, with 58 apartment units for homeless veterans and a full complement of social services in the same building. Many say the project is unusual and innovative, especially in this region.

“It’s far more beautiful than I ever imagined it would or could be,” Fillmore said of the three-story edifice at 3838 Chelsea Drive, on a hill just south of the VA Medical Center. “It doesn’t resemble anything but first-rate market housing.”

via New KC center for homeless veterans offers ‘homes for the brave’ | The Kansas City Star.

{The assumption is that they are broken and need counseling – but maybe they just need financial help to get back up and would want to pay some back to help others later on?}

{The next bubble to impoverish US warming up!} Wall Street Sets Its Sights on Renters | Inter Press Service

Right as housing prices bottomed out around January 2012, large institutional investors began buying distressed properties in regions hit hard by the foreclosure crisis; they’ve purchased at least 200,000 to date.

In only a year, private equity giant Blackstone Group went from owning no single-family rental properties (SFRs) to being the U.S.’ single largest landlord.

Now, several companies, including Blackstone, are packaging their SFRs into bonds similar to the mortgage backed securities that fueled the financial crisis.

Like those securities, SFR bonds are backed by homes; but this time rental payments, rather than mortgage payments, pay the interest. Securitisation frees up money, allowing big buyers to purchase more properties with less capital by increasing their leverage – and risk.

via Wall Street Sets Its Sights on Renters | Inter Press Service.

“Because I can and want to! Nah, naw, nah, na! Despite U.N. ruling, Japan says it will resume whaling – UPI.com

Despite a whaling ban imposed months earlier by the International Court of Justice, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said Japan plans to resume its whale hunt in the Antarctic.

“I want to aim for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research.”

The ICJ ruled on March 31 that Japan’s annual whale hunt — conducted under the auspices of a scientific research program — did not conform to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, and ordered Japan to stop the program.

It is unclear how Japan intends to bypass the ban.

via Despite U.N. ruling, Japan says it will resume whaling – UPI.com.

Humans of New York

Humans of New York.

“I’ve been working my whole life to make the word ‘organic’ mean something. I lobbied for 20 years. I was hopeful when the National Organic Program was instituted in 2000. I saw an early version of the bill, two months before it was passed, and I’m telling you— it was awesome. But they gutted it. By the time they got done with it, 142 synthetics were lawfully permitted in the growing of ‘organic’ food.”