George Mason professor explains reasoning behind U.S. invasion of Iraq

first_imgGeorge Mason University professor Ahsan Butt presented “Why did the U.S. invade Iraq in 2003?” to students and faculty Tuesday afternoon in Jenkins and Nanovic Halls. The presentation, named after Butt’s research paper of the same title, was presented by the Notre Dame International Security Center.Butt focused on one of the most commonly acknowledged reasons for the Iraq war: Saddam Hussein’s possession or mobilization of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In addition to noting that the Bush administration was “sincerely wrong about this intelligence,” he went on to further squash this WMD argument.“Many believe that uncertainty of intelligence led to the decision for war, but I would argue that the decision for war led to uncertainty of intelligence,” Butt said.He continued by saying WMDs certainly can lead to war, but there was no evidence for that in this example.Instead, Butt said the U.S. invasion of Iraq can be attributed to performative war thesis, an argument dependent on status and hierarchy. He said anxiety regarding the United States’ status led to a need to demonstrate hegemony and establish order. The United States’ motivations fell into three factors: the need for a “new beginning,” repairing reputation and avoiding peaceful bargain.“The ’90s were a time of great peace and prosperity for the U.S., and all of that ended on 9/11 and America became vulnerable for the first time,” Butt said. “It led to a desire to show that we are in fact the hegemon and are not vulnerable.”Thus, this new beginning was about fixing the United States’ global status, Butt said.“The Bush administration wanted to remake the world’s political map,” he said. “These aren’t small goals and they didn’t have to do with WMDs.”Another important point made by Butt was that Afghanistan, a vulnerable country itself, wasn’t enough, so why invade Iraq? The fact that Hussein was still reigning and powerful following the Gulf War presented a threat to which the U.S. could prove its hegemony, Butt said.Lastly, Butt argued that there was never an opportunity for a peaceful bargain, for example, working through the United Nations following 9/11. The invasion of Iraq, Butt said, was not a question of if, but when.“If there even was a decision, when was it taken?” Butt said. “Most likely on 9/11 and no later than October or November of that fall.”Butt concluded his work on the performative war thesis by saying a bargaining model isn’t everything, and the case of the U.S. in Iraq was “rooted in assertive nationalism and American exceptionalism.”Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Ahsan Butt, iraq, Iraq warlast_img read more

Plant a Little History.

first_imgIf gardening is your favoritehobby, the winter weather may be putting a damper on your fun.Don’t let it. Spend these cool months planning your spring gardenand selecting your seeds.Follow in Your Grandfather’sGardening FootstepsWhy not try something a littledifferent this year? Plant some of the same seeds your great-greatgrandfather may have planted. Where can you get such jewels? They’reeasy to find now, thanks to the Southern Seed Legacy (SSL) Project.The SSL Project began as a three-yearproject funded by the Southern Region Sustainable AgricultureResearch and Education (SARE) program. SARE’s southern officeis at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences campus in Griffin, Ga.The SSL Project’s original goalwas to preserve the diversity of Southern seeds. The project wasled by UGA anthropologist Bob Rhodes and has received recognitionfrom the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for its efforts in maintainingagrodiversity.Bringing Seed SaversTogether”Over the first three years,the project established a database of people who save seeds orwant to save seeds,” said Gwen Roland, information specialistfor the Southern Region SARE program.”The people in this databasewho provide seeds for the collection also bank their memories,”she explained. “They describe how they remember the plantbeing grown, what it tastes like and any cultural information.”Memory banking involves more thanjust whether it was planted in hills rather than rows or thatit needs a lot of water.”It’s more like how it wasused in a holiday dish or other information that places it ina cultural setting,” Roland said.Contributorsto the database come from across the southern states. One of thefirst contributors to the seed bank was 82-year-old Ernest Keheleyof Marietta, Ga. He donated a host of heirloom seeds includingBig Boy Bean, Blue Goose Bean, Hastings Cornfield Bean, HerculesPea, Pink Eye Pea, Rattlesnake Bean and Red Ripper Pea.In addition to his seeds, Keheleydonated his memories that are attached to each variety and histricks of the gardening trade. One of his tricks is a seed mixtureof Hickory King Corn, Hastings Field Corn and three or four bean varieties.He says planting this mix is more efficient and the pole beanseventually climb up the cornstalks and use them for support.More Than Just aPackage of SeedsNow that the project’s originalfunding period is over, the database will keep running as a privateentity. Through annual $10 memberships to the SSL network, gardenersget a quarterly newsletter, heirloom seeds to plant and discountson SSL events such as the annual seed swap.”There’s also a wonderfulteacher’s kit available that guides teachers through introducingstudents to heirloom seeds and interviewing seed savers,” saidRoland. “You can also get a field manual for collecting anddocumenting seeds.”Roland cautions that joining SSLand getting heirloom seeds from their seed bank shouldn’t be ahasty decision. “The seeds come with a commitment,” Rolandsaid. “If you go into seed saving, you haveto be willing to follow through.”The Seeds Come With a CommitmentRecipients of the seeds must agreeto keep detailed records of their plantings, including photosof the crops’ performances in the field and in the kitchen. Thegrower also agrees to pass along a third of the harvested seedsto another gardener, give a third back to SSL for the seed bankand keep a third for their own enjoyment.”This ensures the heirloomvarieties will continue to multiply and be passed along,”said Roland who joined the seed savers group this year. “Ijust received my first packet of Red and Back Field peas and I’mactually a little nervous. These seeds can be traced back to the1800s, and suppose my guineas eat them!”Aside from the historical aspect, what’s so special about heirloom seeds? “Many of these seeds are open pollinated varieties,” Roland said. “People grow them for a variety of reasons such as flavor or the ability to withstand adverse growing conditions.”Roland says most seed companiesshy away from heirloom seeds, but there are some seed companieswho specialize in them. “Heirloom seeds aren’t patented,”she said.For more information or to join SSL, write to Southern Seed Legacy, c/o Agrarian Connections, 10 Legacy Road, Crawford, Ga. 30630 or visit the SSL Web site at read more

Irish Water work to fix burst pipe in east Donegal

first_imgIrish Water is working to repair a burst water main in east Donegal his afternoon (Weds). Repairs are being carried out on burst main in Ballindrait area – meaning supply may be disrupted.Surrounding areas including Tober, Springhill, Toberoneill and Backlands may also experience some disruption. Works have an estimated completion time of 4pm on September 11.If you need to get in touch with Irish Water about this incident, quote the reference number DON00008602.Irish Water work to fix burst pipe in east Donegal was last modified: September 11th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Boeing shows its colors

first_imgBoeing has unveiled a 747-8 Freighter painted in the livery of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks to urge the team on in the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday.Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks and has partnered with the team for more than a decade on programs in the Puget Sound area.”The Seahawks have been an inspiration to our entire community throughout this incredible season,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We’re honored that we could join together two Northwest icons, the Seahawks and the 747, for this special salute from the entire Boeing team.”This 747-8 is owned by Boeing and currently being used for flight testing. The special livery features the distinctive Seahawks logo and a “12” on the tail to salute the team’s fans. The airplane will make its first flight in its new livery on Thurs, January 30.And with such an event comes some fascinating comparison and stats.One of the most fascinating – and believable for anyone who has been to a Sea Hawks game – is that the crowd noise from the Sea Hawks fans is an incredible 38 times louder than a 747 at take-off.The other is that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s longest pass this season, 80 yards (240 ft.), was almost the same length as a 747-8 fuselage (243.5 ft.)”The 747 team is proud that one of our airplanes could be used as a tribute to the Seahawks’ success this season and a rallying cry for the team as they prepare for the Super Bowl,” said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager, 747 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.”The partnerships we have with the Seahawks and others are making a positive difference in the communities where Boeing employees live and work. We join with all Seahawks fans in wishing the team success on Sunday.”last_img read more

There’s A Boom In Teaching People How To Code

first_imgRelated Posts How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? lauren orsini Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Tags:#code#education#programming#women in tech center_img Until last February, Janine Holsinger had never typed a single line of code. But the Columbus, Ohio, entrepreneur wasn’t going to let that get in the way of her dreams. She signed up for a service called Treehouse, paid the monthly fee of $25, and devoted 8-10 hours a day to learning Ruby on Rails. “Within a few days, I was building my own Rails application,” she said. “Within 30 days, I’d launched my company website, NextChapter.”Holsinger’s experience shows just how empowering and lucrative learning to code can be. But some startups are learning there’s even more to be made in teaching the skill to others. Code Breaking RecordsWithin the last two years, more and more companies have saturated the market with the express purpose of teaching everyone and anyone our generation’s hottest new job skill: programming. Now it’s become a fundraising race to the top of the pile. This April, learn-to-code startup Treehouse announced that it raised a “war chest” of new funding. In a Series B round led by Kaplan Ventures, the Portland, Ore., company added another $7 million, for a total of $12.35 million. For CEO and founder Ryan Carson, the money couldn’t have come at a better time. Competition between learn-to-code startups is rising, and Carson plans to press his advantage by adding more employees to Treehouse’s current 55 workers.One of Treehouse’s biggest competitors is the omnipresent Codecademy. Founded by 22-year-old Zach Sims, Codecademy has been heralded as the leader of a “movement” in code education. The startup’s most recent Series B funding round, in July 2012, brought the company $10 million. With just nine employees, Codeacademy is just a fraction the size of Treehouse size, but it boasts “millions” of students, including the mayor of New York City.The newest startup on the playing field is Tynker, launched just last week with $3 million in seed funding. Like many programming apps aimed at young children, Tynker uses a visual programming language designed to get kids comfortable with coding. Even though Tynker doesn’t have a product yet, angel investors like 500 Startups are already comfortable funding it into the millions.It’s Not Just Venture Money, EitherEven learn-to-code startups who aren’t looking for venture capital are finding that money is easy to come by. When Code School wanted to crowdfund an iPhone app development course, it turned to Kickstarter and earned triple its $50,000 goal. Meanwhile Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that targets the gender gap in the tech industry, received a quarter-of-a-million Knight Foundation grant last year. The startups named above are all less than two years old, but the market’s education giants already know that programming tutorials are a goldmine. Udemy raised $12 million in a December funding round, and tech education oldtimer Lynda raised $103 million this January.It’s hard to say how long the money will keep flying at this rate. But it’s clear the race to dominate coding education is on — and still wide open. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Why You Love Online Quizzeslast_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer ready for ex-teammates media gauntlet: An easy ride?

first_imgMan Utd boss Solskjaer ready for ex-teammates media gauntlet: An easy ride?by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to run a gauntlet of former teammates in the media.Ex-United stars attacked Jose Mourinho over his negative tactics, his public rows with Paul Pogba and other first-team stars.Solskjaer said: “I won’t get an easy ride. Do you think Gary Neville will ever give anyone an easy ride?“I sat next to Gary for 11 years in the dressing room and he is different class. He is paid to be a pundit now and I think he is fantastic at his job. Gary is unbelievable.“But he has been a manager as well. He was caretaker manager at Valencia, so he knows what position I’m in. He’s been a player, he’s been a manager, and now he’s a great pundit.“There’s also Scholsey, Rio, Keano. They all have strong opinions and are entitled to those opinions. But they know me as a person. They know how I work and how the club works, so they understand the decisions I will make. They understand that results don’t just come with a flick of my fingers.“But for me this job is about getting better performances and getting the team to improve. If the performances improve then the results will come. If not….then we’ll see.“Results have been mixed this season, but the Premier League has changed. When I played here we maybe had one challenger in Arsenal for a period and then Chelsea. Now there are five or six teams challenging, so it is a completely different competition.“I never thought I would be manager here so I’m just going to enjoy these five months and do the best I can. It’s about getting the fans smiling.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Cinema Against AIDS XX Raises Almost 25 Million

first_imgA trip to space with Leonardo DiCaprio, a private performance by legendary rock icons Duran Duran, and a family portrait sitting with Annie Leibovitz: these were just a few of the items sold at amfAR’s most successful benefit event to date.Cinema Against AIDS XX on May 23 exceeded all expectations, raising nearly $25 million in a single night, helping amfAR in its continued fight against HIV/AIDS.amfAR has long been known for its global reach, but Cinema Against AIDS XX marked its first foray into outer space fundraising, with three seats aboard Virgin Galactic alongside Leonardo DiCaprio selling for a combined total of €3 million. This truly once in a lifetime opportunity, secured by amfAR Global Fundraising Ambassador Milutin Gatsby, raised more than any other single auction item ever seen at an amfAR benefit. Harvey Weinstein, a longtime chair of Cinema Against AIDS, helped to lead the live auction at the record-breaking charity event, held in conjunction with the Cannes International Film Festival on May 23 at the famed Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France.amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone said in a statement, “Tonight in Cannes we’ve made AIDS history. We’ve made $25 million with the very people who seeded the pediatric AIDS fund. We’re grateful, and we’re grateful to that one little girl in Mississippi who was our first child cured. To you, we dedicate this evening, because you are the girl who’s taking us forward into the future, when this cure will be here not only for the 330,000 children who have AIDS, but the 34 million people who are living with AIDS. Tonight is for you. We love you. Our hope belongs to you.”Stone was a Chair of the event, along with Weinstein and amfAR Ambassadors Janet Jackson and Milla Jovovich, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Jessica Chastain, Global Fundraising Ambassador Milutin Gatsby, Heidi Klum, Carine Roitfeld, Aram Shishmanian, Michel Litvak, Roberto and Eva Cavalli, Vincent Roberti, Remo Ruffini, and Boris Collardi, who were all in attendance.amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole and Harvey Weinstein took the stage together during the night to reflect on how much the Cinema Against AIDS event has grown since its inception at the Cannes film festival in 1993, largely due to the passionate support of the film, music, and fashion communities. At the end of the night, Cole and Weinstein announced the $25 million raised to the audience, and thanked everyone involved for bringing amfAR a step closer to curing AIDS.Guests included Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adrien Brody, Thom Browne, Rosario Dawson, Lily Donaldson, Goldie Hawn, Eva Herzigova, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jeremy Irvine, Stacy Keibler, Karlie Kloss, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova, Melanie Laurent, Annie Leibowitz, Olivia Palermo, Zachary Quinto, Aishwarya Rai, Jeremy Renner, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Liberty Ross, Anja Rubik, Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Irina Shayk, Joan Smalls, Audrey Tautou, Stefano Tonchi, Giambattista Valli, Stefanie Van Der Laan, Paz Vega, Dita Von Teese, Christoph Waltz, and Zhang Ziyi, among many others.Some of the highlights in a truly unforgettable evening included live performances by internationally renowned musical acts. Duran Duran, who have sold more than 100 million records throughout their storied career, had guests at Cinema Against AIDS dancing in the aisles. Joined by dozens of top models on stage, they played their cult classic “Girls on Film,” giving their only public performance of 2013. Dame Shirley Bassey made a special appearance to sing a number of her much loved and celebrated songs, including “Goldfinger,” and brought the house down with a commanding performance. Ellie Goulding, one of the UK’s most exciting singer-songwriters, opened the evening with a stripped-down acoustic rendition of “Lights.” Rounding out the line-up was American Music Awards winner Hot Chelle Rae, who performed their mega-smash hit “Tonight, Tonight.”“The Ultimate Gold Collection Fashion Show” was one of the most dynamic moments of the night. Curated by Carine Roitfeld, forty top models walked in the spectacular runway presentation of one-of-a-kind gold looks, accessorized with gold jewelry from emerging and established designers. The entire collection was auctioned off for a total of €1.2 million. The show was streamed live on auction opened with an Academy Awards Weekend package that sold for 1.5 million euros. The lot included tickets to some of the most exclusive Hollywood awards season parties. Leonardo DiCaprio generously donated a pair of tickets to the upcoming premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in which he stars. Heidi Klum offered the unbelievable addition of going along as the winner’s date. The package was so popular in the room that a second set of tickets went for €500,000, minus Ms. Klum.amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone led an appeal that raised more than €1.25 million for amfAR’s Pediatric AIDS Initiative.A private, in-home performance by Duran Duran was another of the evening’s priceless auction items. This one-of-a-kind experience sold for €400,000.Goldie Hawn auctioned off a stay at Donna Karan’s Parrot Cay retreat and a pink gold and diamond Shamballa Jewels Royal Bracelet. The package sold for €200,000.Adrien Brody and Rosario Dawson auctioned a stunning motorcycle specially commissioned by Redemption Choppers as a tribute to the 20th edition of Cinema Against AIDS, which sold for €600,000.Zachary Quinto helped to sell a priceless opportunity to play soccer alongside Zinedine Zidane and take in a Real Madrid match with the world-famous footballer in his private box at Real Madrid Santiago Bernabou Stadium, which sold for €380,000.Other artworks in the auction included an Andy Warhol print of amfAR Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor, “Liz, 1964,” a Damien Hirst piece entitled “DL-Octopamine,” and an original plate portrait by Julian Schnabel.A rare bottle of 1893 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection sold for €50,000 and was presented by Jeremy Irvine.Cinema Against AIDS XX featured an exhibition by iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz, who also donated coveted items to the live auction. Her Niagara Falls print sold for €320,000, and the chance to sit for a private family portrait with Leibovitz sold for €450,000.Longtime amfAR supporter Roberto Cavalli was responsible for the design and décor for the gala dinner. The famed Italian designer created a spectacular setting for the event, dressing every table and chair in his dazzling signature prints.Since amfAR’s late Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor hosted the first Cinema Against AIDS in 1993, the event has become the most coveted ticket in Cannes. Past events have been chaired by amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone, President Bill Clinton, Demi Moore, Sir Elton John, and Madonna, among many others.Like the epidemic itself, AIDS research knows no borders. amfAR’s programs have had a global reach since 1986, when the Foundation began awarding international grants. Today, amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide and works to translate their research into effective policy, prevention, and treatment programs around the globe.last_img read more

Avoiding Gluten Take This New Device Out to Dinner

first_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. October 6, 2015 Gluten avoiders, meet Nima.Available for pre-order later this month, Nima is a small, portable sensor that consumers can use to quickly detect whether the food in front of them contains gluten.The product is the first for San Francisco-based 6SensorLabs, which was founded two years ago by Massachusetts Institute of Technology alums Shireen Yates and Scott Sundvor. The idea was inspired by their own experiences with food allergies and sensitivities.Related: Soon, You Could Own a Device That Scans Your Food for GlutenThe key to Nima is its speed. Yates says that existing tests on the market take up to 15 or 20 minutes to give an uneasy diner a definitive answer.  Nima takes two minutes. “A lot of the innovation was [asking ourselves] how do we make this fast enough so we can put it in the hands of consumers,” she says.All a user has to do is place a sample of the food into a disposable, one-time use capsule and close it with a cap. They then place the little capsule into the sensor and turn it on with the push of a button. If the food does contain gluten, a little blue sad face will pop up on Nima’s display. If it’s gluten-free, you’ll see a happy face. The sensor will detect if the food contains at least 20 parts per million of the gluten protein, in adherence with the FDA’s requirement that gluten-free food contain less than 20 parts per million.Image Credit: 6SensorLabsRelated: A Gadget That Detects Gluten? With $4 Million in Funding, This Startup Is Working on It.Yates said she has been pleased with the reception thus far. “I take it pretty much wherever I go out to eat. It’s been really great to see people react to it. [The reaction’s] been really positive. It’s like a novelty, people are really excited and wait staff are really receptive.”A Nima starter kit, with the sensor and three one-time use capsules can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $179 starting Oct. 20 on the 6SensorLabs website. After the first five days, the price will increase to $199 until pre-orders are exhausted. During the pre-order time, 12 packs of those disposable capsules will be priced at $47.95. The device will retail for $249 at full price.Related: Why Food, Sleep and Exercise Are Critical to SuccessWhile the kits will only be available to purchase on the site for the time being, Yates says “eventually we do want to be in retail, but just to start, we want to keep total control over the brand, keep an efficient way of getting it into the hands of consumers. We ask people all the time, if this existed in a store, where would you want it? [They tell us] Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods.”Yates, Sundvor and their team of 15 are also hard at work on an app that will be released with the device, but will be accessible without purchase of a kit. On the app, users will find current information about whether a restaurant is allergy-friendly and the knowledgeability of the staff down to whether to avoid a specific item on the menu or, if there is a gluten-free or allergy-free option, how good it actually tastes.Related: 3 Simple Tips for Elevated Health in Less Than 15 Minutes a DaySo what’s next for 6SensorLabs? Looking ahead, tests for peanuts and dairy are next in the queue, followed by other food groups that cause reactions, such as shellfish. Yates and Sundvor are also thinking about tests for additives, GMOs, preservatives and bacteria that causes food poisoning. They are also considering a certification program for restaurants and food manufacturers to be designated as friendly to individuals with food allergies and sensitivities.Ultimately Yates says her company’s mission is about food transparency. “It’s food transparency beyond this first protein we are looking at, helping anyone who wants to know what’s in their food and how to best nourish themselves.” Related: How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle While Chowing Down at Lunch Meetingscenter_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 4 min readlast_img read more