Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 104 Re-run

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Description: Interventions, Interference, and Invasions: Nate and Bill lead a world tour of the post-WWII history of countries entering other countries’ civil wars and uprisings, for good or ill, and what it means for the future. (We talk about Cuba, Angola, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Indonesia, Guatemala, Libya, Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia, and many others.) People: Bill, Nate. Originally produced: October 20th, 2014. Re-edited and abridged: April 19, 2017.

Discussion Points:

– Kissinger’s plan to bomb Cuba and what the future of the embargo is
– CIA history: Why arming rebels has often failed and what it means for US plans in Syria now
– What does the future hold for international and unilateral military interventions in armed conflicts and crises? Is the UN still relevant?

Episode 104-Abridged (54 min)
AFD 104

Related links
Segment 1

NYT: Kissinger Drew Up Plans to Attack Cuba, Records Show
AFD: Jimmy Carter’s Election Prevented a Disastrous War in Cuba

Segment 2

NYT: CIA Study Says Arming Rebels Seldom Works

Segment 3

AFD: Confusion in Libya as Egyptian jets bomb Benghazi
AFD: US suddenly surprised to find Mideast states acting unilaterally
AFD: Is the US-led Syria operation vs ISIS legal under international law?
AFD: France announces indefinite Sahel deployment
AFD: France: Back to Africa?

Subscribe

RSS Feed: Arsenal for Democracy Feedburner
iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

Indonesia is releasing a gigantic amount of trapped CO2

The latest:

A catastrophic milestone has been reached. The carbon-dioxide-rich peat bogs (and tropical forests) being set ablaze in Indonesia to clear land for farming are now producing repeated single-day spikes of emissions exceeding the daily output of the entire U.S. economy, according to the World Resources Institute.

Background information:

79% of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions result from the destruction of its carbon-rich tropical forests and peat bogs for conversion into palm oil plantations, other agricultural uses, or development – according to the World Resources Institute.

This is a critical problem because Indonesia, which only has the world’s 16th-largest economy, is now the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Indonesia also has the third largest tropical forest cover by area. (And lots of marshy peatlands.) Still, this forest cover has rapidly declined in recent decades. For example, the large Indonesian island of Sumatra went from 50% forested to 25% forested between 1985 and 2008.

Troublingly, many of the uses for which this newly cleared land is being diverted (such as palm oil production) could actually be located on other sites with previously degraded or clear-cut land.

Additionally, Indonesia’s September 2015 climate action plan only promises emissions reductions against project 2020 levels, although it does include more pledges to limit deforestation.

This post produced in conjunction with The Globalist Research Center.

December 3, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 109

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Topics: Big Ideas – Cash transfers for poverty; Nigerian politics; US state legislatures. People: Bill, Nate, Sasha. Produced: December 1st, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– Big Ideas: Are cash transfers more effective on poverty than “workfare” and tax cuts?
– Is Nigeria’s ruling PDP feeling threatened in the upcoming elections? Are Boko Haram attacks widening?
– What should we expect from US state legislatures after heavy Republican wins in 2014?

Episode 109 (53 min)
AFD 109

Related links
Segment 1

AFD: “Social inclusion, anti-poverty policy are great for the economy!”
The Globalist: “Bolivia: Where Socialism Appears to Work”
AFD: “Weirdly, tax cuts don’t solve poverty, finds UN in New Zealand”
AFD: “Indonesia debuts world’s largest cash transfer program ever”

Segment 2

AFD: “Report: Tear gas used in Nigeria parliament”
AFD: “Nigeria government raids opposition offices”
AFD: “Kano: Boko Haram strikes Nigeria’s 2nd largest city”
African Arguments: “Nigeria Forum – What Happens When Oil Prices Fall?”

Segment 3

AFD: “Beyond the Senate: The 2014 state losses”
Al Jazeera America: “The Democratic comeback plan”

Subscribe

RSS Feed: Arsenal for Democracy Feedburner
iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

Indonesia debuts world’s largest cash transfer program ever

Earlier this year, Indonesians elected Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as their new president. The Jakarta governor’s background was unusual in Indonesian federal politics extremely humble:

A former carpenter and furniture exporter who was born in a slum in Central Java Province, he will be the first president in Indonesian history not to emerge from the country’s political elite or the ranks of former army generals.

 
For Indonesia’s very poor and near-poor, this election choice is already paying dividends — quite literally:

As part of the three-card package comes a pre-activated mobile phone SIM card linked to a saving account at state-owned Bank Mandiri. Using this system, the government said it hopes to transfer 200,000 rupiah ($16.50) a month to 15.5 million poor and homeless families to ease the pain of the fuel subsidy cuts. Beneficiaries will be able to cash in their payments at designated bank branches and post offices. If successful, the new system will become the world’s largest government-funded cash-transfer programme, bigger than Brazil’s Bolsa Familia, a similar scheme that has covered 12 million families since its launch in 2003.

 
Previously from Arsenal For Democracy — on cash transfer experiments in Brazil and Bolivia: “Social inclusion, anti-poverty policy are great for the economy!”

President Jokowi, then Governor of Jakarta, shakes hands with a crowd in January 2013. (Credit: Provincial Government of Jakarta via Wikimedia)

President Jokowi, then Governor of Jakarta, shakes hands with a crowd in January 2013. (Credit: Provincial Government of Jakarta via Wikimedia)

October 22, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 104

AFD-logo-470

Description: Interventions, Interference, and Invasions: Nate and Bill lead a world tour of the post-WWII history of countries entering other countries’ civil wars and uprisings, for good or ill, and what it means for the future. (We talk about Cuba, Angola, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Indonesia, Guatemala, Libya, Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia, and many others.) People: Bill, Nate. Produced: October 20th, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– Kissinger’s plan to bomb Cuba and what the future of the embargo is
– CIA history: Why arming rebels has often failed and what it means for US plans in Syria now
– What does the future hold for international and unilateral military interventions in armed conflicts and crises? Is the UN still relevant?

Episode 104 (57 min)
AFD 104

Related links
Segment 1

NYT: Kissinger Drew Up Plans to Attack Cuba, Records Show
AFD: Jimmy Carter’s Election Prevented a Disastrous War in Cuba
NYT Editorial Board: End the U.S. Embargo on Cuba

Segment 2

NYT: CIA Study Says Arming Rebels Seldom Works
AFD: Gen. Dempsey Outlines Proposed Syrian Rebels Plan

Segment 3

AFD: Confusion in Libya as Egyptian jets bomb Benghazi
AFD: US suddenly surprised to find Mideast states acting unilaterally
AFD: Is the US-led Syria operation vs ISIS legal under international law?
AFD: France announces indefinite Sahel deployment
AFD: France: Back to Africa?

Subscribe

RSS Feed: Arsenal for Democracy Feedburner
iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

Australia was spying on Indonesia

New NSA/Five Eyes-related revelations in the Guardian: “Australia tried to monitor Indonesian president’s phone”

I’m not really surprised to find out the Australian government was spying on senior leadership in Indonesia. I think I’d be more surprised to learn they were definitely NOT.

That being said, the new jackass Prime Minister had a pretty weak response, besides incorrectly (see below) brushing it off as the work of the other party from whom he just took power. The government’s primary excuse? Australia’s activities were not so much “spying” as “research” [and] “We use the information that we gather for good, including to build a stronger relationship with Indonesia.”

Oh ok then. So you just needed to hack phones to find out their pets’ names or … what?

I really enjoy this “research” for better relations excuse. I mean, it’s seriously like saying Australia was just trying to Facebook-creep on Indonesia to see if Indonesia was “in a relationship” with anybody. 

And about the claim that this is all the other party’s fault? The docs show the spying on Indonesia actually started the very day the previous PM from his party left office, meaning their own party would have been in office when it was planned, even if Labor technically had taken office by the time it began.