The armor of innocence in Ukraine

Source: Christian Science Monitor
by staff

“On Friday, leaders of Western countries will gather in Germany for the third time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to coordinate which weapons to send to the war-torn country. Their possible choices, such as the advanced Leopard 2 battle tank, may matter less than the shifting rationale for them. Nearly a year into the invasion, the original reason for the West to arm Ukraine has gone beyond the goal of ending a ‘war of aggression’, or the altering of a national border by force. In recent weeks, as the Russian military has lost ground and turned more to killing and abducting civilians, its use of terror has made it easier to justify the deployment of more powerful weapons in order to protect innocent Ukrainians.” (01/17/23)

How Atheist Anti-Capitalists Miss the Point

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Dan Sanchez

“If an economist sees the handiwork of God in the economy, does that invalidate his economic arguments from a secular perspective? The great economist Ludwig von Mises, who himself was either atheist or agnostic, noted that: ‘Many economists, among them Adam Smith and Bastiat, believed in God. Hence they admired in the facts they had discovered the providential care of ‘the great Director of Nature.’ Atheist critics blame them for this attitude.’ … Free-market defenders have countered that Smith, Bastiat, and Read were speaking figuratively, not literally. However, even if they were speaking literally, and even if the atheism is true, it still would not invalidate their arguments. That is because those arguments did not rely on a divine characterization of the economy.” (01/18/23)

Girl Scout Cookie season approaches with a twist on the Thin Mint

Source: SFGate

“A new Girl Scout cookie is ready to be devoured in the coming months. This season, troops across the U.S. welcome the debut of the Raspberry Rally, a Thin Mint-inspired cookie. With a similar shape, size and chocolate covering, the only difference will be its pinkish, raspberry-tasting crunchy center. Only one question remains: When can we get our hands on them? The new treat will be available for online purchase via direct shipment, according to KCRA. You won’t see these out in the wild just yet. The online sales model is supposed to help the Girl Scouts practice e-commerce sales and entrepreneurship.” [editor’s note: A new challenge for the folks at Dollar General? – SAT] (01/18/23)

Musk chose us to report on the Twitter Files; here are the disturbing things I learned about the FBI

Source: Fox News
by Michael Shellenberger

“Over the last month, a team of journalists that includes me has enjoyed extraordinary access to the internal emails and other documents of the social media platform Twitter. As part of that investigation, I discovered that the FBI and intelligence community discredited factual information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings both after and before The New York Post revealed them to the world in October 2020. The story begins in December 2019 when a Delaware computer store owner named John Paul (J.P.) Mac Isaac contacts the FBI about a laptop that Hunter Biden had left with him. … the FBI did nothing to investigate the many signs of criminal activity revealed by emails and other documents on the laptop.” (01/18/23)

What if Turkey blocks Finland and Sweden NATO bids?

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Mark Episkopos

“Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is set to meet his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington this week. There are scant expectations among observers that the visit will resolve any of the outstanding issues in what has been an increasingly troubled bilateral relationship, with the Biden administration keeping its distance from Ankara over allegations of human rights abuses and the Eurasian country’s increasingly warm ties with Moscow. Turkey has reaffirmed its uncompromising stance on the fraught NATO bids of Sweden and Finland, setting the stage for a showdown with serious long-term implications for both Ankara and the alliance.” (01/18/23)

Microsoft to cut 10,000 jobs

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Microsoft will cut 10,000 jobs in the latest round of staff redundancies to hit the tech industry. It will affect up to 5% of its global workforce and cost the business $1.2bn (£972bn) in severance and reorganisation costs. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said that while customer spending had grown during Covid, more people were now choosing to ‘exercise caution’. He said the firm would continue to hire in key areas. Breaking the news in a memo to staff, Mr Nadella said many parts of the world were in recession or anticipating one, ‘while at the same time, the next major wave of computing is being born, with advances in AI.’ Microsoft is considering a multi-billion-dollar investment in artificial intelligence company OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), according to the Financial Times.” (01/18/23)