Articles from Juan Cole

Total cost of Owning an Electric Vehicle falling below Gasoline Dinosaurs

Asit K. Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada | (The Conversation) | – –

Global interest in climate change – its effects on the environment and society more broadly – is probably at an all time high. Countries around the world, with the glaring exception of the US under President Donald Trump, are increasingly acknowledging the shift that’s needed from a fossil fuel-driven economy to one that is sustainable, green and attempts to mitigate climate change.

Israel’s new Jewish state bill ‘institutionalising the apartheid regime’

Middle East Monitor | – –

The Israeli Knesset is fast tracking a “nation-state bill” which opposition groups have denounced as “institutionalising the apartheid regime”. Knesset members approved the final draft of the bill defining Israel exclusively as a nation for Jews.

The “Zionism’s flagship bill”, as it’s been described by Israeli politicians, will permit Jewish-only communities and mark a dangerous turning point for Palestinians whose democratic rights will come under greater threat.

Why Electric SUVs will save the American Car Companies, not China Tariffs

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Joann Muller at Forbes, in a piece on Ford Motor Company’s plans vastly to expand its electric and hybrid offerings, puts her finger on something absolutely crucial.

Ford and other American car companies really, really need electric sport utility vehicles in order to get through the coming years. Some electric sports cars wouldn’t hurt, either.

Happiness Index: From Immigrants to Health, how Trump & GOP are making America Sad (Sad)

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The World Happiness Index is out this year, and the United States is ranked only 18 for the years 2015-2017– lower than Iceland or Costa Rica, and not much ahead of places with real problems like Mexico and Brazil.

And, the US has fallen 4 spots in recent reports.

The US is still the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, so why isn’t it the happiest?

CIA Cables detail New Director’s Role in Torture at Thailand Black Site

By Raymond Bonner | Special to ProPublica | – –

Gina Haspel . . . was more deeply involved in the torture of Abu Zubaydah than has been publicly understood, according to newly available records and accounts by participants.

Update, March 13, 2018 from ProPublica: President Donald Trump has reportedly picked CIA deputy director Gina Haspel as the agency’s new chief. We published the story below on Feb. 22, 2017.

Did United Arab Emirates lobbying instigate Tillerson’s sacking?

Middle East Monitor | – –

US President Donald Trump has sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, one week after the BBC obtained emails revealing efforts by the UAE to have him sacked at “a politically convenient time.”

Was this an unlikely coincidence? Should Americans not wake up to the power of lobby groups that are threatening to undermine their country’s democracy?

‘Algorithms of Oppression:’ How Corporations Reinforce Racism and Biases

TeleSur | – –

“People think of algorithms as simply a mathematical formulation, but in fact, algorithms are really about automated decisions.”

Through the book, “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” Safiya Umoja Noble, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, USC’s, Annenberg School of Communication, broke down how algorithms work in systematically oppressing the women of color.