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Edward Snowden represents more than another crack in the United States' security culture.

It is disheartening to watch the panic of the Obama administration as it attempts to have it both ways. It has spent the last week shrugging off Edward Snowden as a mere sellout with only middling access to privileged information, all the while moving heaven and earth to retrieve him. This reaction is not useful to any serious narrative. It gives credence to the notion that Snowden is a spy-for-hire, just looking for a safe haven long enough to unload his cargo of mid-level bureaucratic secrets.

Socialist Landslide in Albania

The Socialist Party of Albania has won a landslide in parliamentary elections held on June 23rd. As the lead party of the broad Alliance for a European Albania, their share of the vote increased from 40.85% to 57.7% and their seats from 65 to 84. The previous right-wing government led by the Democratic Party and their Alliance for Employment, Prosperity, and Integration, saw their votes fall from 40.18% to 39.4% and their seats from 68 to 56.

Evading responsibility in Syria

c.f., http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4658190.html

For those who have researched this question carefully, they would know that the author's opinion is generally correct.

Governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens against mass atrocities, war crimes, genocide, etc. That is part of international law. Where governments cannot, or will not, satisfy this responsibility, the international community must protect the lives of human beings.

Hitler Hipster and Vodka

Dear authors of Hitler Hipster,

I refer to your cartoon broseph-stalin (http://hipsterhitler.com/comics/broseph-stalin/), which I believe was authored around October 2011, judging by the image file URL.

Letter to Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Victorian ALP

Sent to http://www.danielandrews.com.au/haveyoursay/

Dear Daniel,

I will keep in brief and summary form as an initial submission. Further elaboration will be provided as this project develops.

A critical objective for a jobs plan is to have a public finance system that encourages employment. There are some existing limitations in public finance that damage capital investment in productive activity.

The New Government Supports Religious Bigotry

The new Victorian Premier, Ted Ballieu, has recently announced intention to change the Victoria's Equal Opportunity Act 2010 which ensured that religious organisations could not discriminate in the field of non-religious employment.

Vive la différence! L'affaire du foulard

Much has been made of the fact that France, the has banned the burqa, l'affaire du voile, with the exception of places of worship. Earlier in the year a law was passed that scarves covering the face were banned in schools and hospitals, as well as on public transport. Women, who violate this requirement will be fined €150 Euros and given a course of lectures on the basics of the secular foundations of the French Republic. Men, who force women to wear burqa, will face up to a year in prison.

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