A shift in foreign policy under the Biden administration is going to reimagine how we participate with states in the Middle East.

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Tehran, Pinterest

With the naming of William Burns to head up CIA this week, Biden has solidified a core team of diplomatic managers to take on the ‘Iran problem’ staring down the United States. In fact, this effort is poised to become his administration’s crowning foreign policy achievement.

The Islamic Republic has been a constant blight on American efforts in the region since 1979’s siege of the American Embassy in Tehran and resulting embargo a generation ago. Burns, alongside Tony Blinken and John Kerry represent a group of familiar faces dealing with diplomatic solutions in the ongoing saga of Iranian-American relations, and in the Middle East more broadly. …


Rejoice for democracy, even if your preferred candidate lost

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University of Pennsylvania

The Georgia Senate runoff races have now mostly concluded. And the Trumpian party of stooges has been vanquished — if but for just this solitary snapshot in time. This morning is a space to allow hope back in; it’s a time to rejoice for the future of our nation and its people who have suffered such tragedy in the last year. This is a morning to celebrate the path forward that promises to rectify the even greater harms inflicted beyond any singular transgression suffered during the previous four.

Regardless of your personal politics, favored candidates, or hopes for a future that looks to project this change or that, yesterday’s vote for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have cemented a two year window for the Biden team to act with all the haste that men and women can muster. Even if you dislike Biden, Harris, Warnock or Ossoff; even if you are a die-hard conservative that thinks these new leaders will reduce some personally relevant component of the nation’s standing, you must accept the brighter morning that greets you today. …


Knowledge is the sole armament that may defeat voter suppression

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Wikipedia

There is a surprisingly simple path to electoral victory through voter denial in the current virus climate. This statement should be jarring to anyone reading it, and yet voter disenfranchisement has been commonplace in both our modern and historical America.

The Motive

Jim Crow laws enacted to strip black Americans of their liberties throughout the early twentieth century focused primarily on one aspect of black mobility: voting. The racists knew then as they know now: In order to keep black people down, you must keep them out of the voting booth.

As a brief aside, it is simple fact that the deniers of franchise exist today within the Republican party. In another era, deniers organized under the moniker of ‘Democrat,’ so labeling is only helpful insofar as to reveal alignment of real-time perpetrators. Labeling allows the worst offenders to hide behind coalition; Wilbur Ross’ efforts to redesign census questions in an effort to under count Latinos comes to mind. The outrage has subsided in large part because this effort fades into a larger agenda of White House policies. …


Breaking rules abroad has never been so thought provoking.

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Public domain vectors

The sun was setting over a small town in the far north of the Guatemalan forest land. We had all escaped for a weekend break, rumbling out of Guatemala City on an eight-hour overnight bus journey to see the Mayan ruins at Tikal.

The morning had been early, and the sun hot, but all six of us managed to hike around the gigantic complex of temples, dwellings, and commercial spaces that once writhed with life. Now a different sort of life saturated the countless stone structures: Ray Bans and Nikon cameras — aliens to the two thousand year old habitat.

At a time like this, calmer heads prevail, but there is never time to calm those heads already in the process of losing it. …


Last week Hertz sunk back to .80 before launching to $6.83

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Pixabay

I have been away from the computer for the last few days and have missed a lot in terms of Hertz updates. After news spread of Carl Ichan’s exit at a $1.6 billion loss, Hertz took another dive back down to .80 per share. Negativity around the company began to rise again and speculation suggested that the surge above a dollar per share was a fluke.

However, airline schedule announcements to end last week sent Hertz and much of the booking industry on a rapid move. Hertz in particular rose to over $2 a share Friday. …


2020 Election

Steve King, Iowa’s most famous racist is shown the back door out of Congress

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Wikipedia

Republican voters in Iowa rejected Steve King’s rare breed of inept racism in Tuesday’s state primary, denying him the chance to run for a 10th term in office in November’s election.

Steve King has unashamedly asked why ‘white supremacy’ is an offensive term, claimed that rape and incest are the primary drivers of human civilization, and lamented the future direction of the nation under the guidance of “someone else’s babies.” Segregated from his overt connections to Neo-Nazi political entities in Europe, or his cozy relationship with them back home, these opinions are jarring.

He is an unashamed champion of the ‘Great Replacement Theory,’ suggesting that ‘whiteness’ must be guarded in American social organization or else it will be overtaken by others. …


The United States government cannot declare war on its citizens

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pxfuel

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, on call with governors Monday, declared: “we need to dominate the battlespace.”

But America is not a battlespace. Military terminology does not apply here because a government cannot declare war on its own civilians: Our federal apparatus exists to serve our needs, not the other way around. This sickening reversal is not a new trend and can be found across the expanse of government — not just in the current moment of protest against police brutality.

The deployment of military police and helicopters to disperse protest signals the intention of a federal government in conflict with its electorate. …


Damascus and Syrian Kurdistan are the key pieces holding Russia in check.

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The Kremlin

Syrian conflict has historically remained a touchy subject in American foreign policy. This persists today. American leadership in the current climate is right to be hesitant regarding a third major front in the Middle East that shows no signs of abating.

But this doesn’t mean we should take our eyes off of Syria. The country sits physically at the strategic crossroads of a greater MENA, and the battlefield is one that draws Russian, Turkish, Iranian, and Saudi (all alongside American) personalities into varying and eternally shifting degrees of coordination and conflict with one another. …


My 58 cent shares continue to perform admirably, but its time for some perspective.

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Wikipedia

If you’ve been following along, then you know I bought a hundred shares of Hertz this past week in the hopes of broadcasting an experiment in risky investment strategy. Included of course, is the possibility of cashing in on a nice return as well.

Last week saw quite a bit of movement for the car rental agency. The stock slid from around $6 down to .40 …


To quell a smoldering protest. And to ignite a revolution.

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Letitia Ross, WallpaperFlare

Four police officers are responsible — to varying degrees — for the killing of George Floyd.

There’s the officer who directly administered this torturous end: a crushing eight minutes and forty-six seconds, three minutes longer than required to snuff out his life. But there are three other accomplices who could have stopped him. There are three others who share complicity in this act of violence.

White people are killed most frequently by police, however the killing of black victims far outweighs the demography of our nation. …

About

Dan Feininger

Frequent flyer thinking radically about politics, personal finance, and a future Middle East.

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