Toward the Abyss: Israel and the Palestinians

by Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not appear to be any closer to a resolution, even after decades of continuous struggle. Since the signing of the historic Oslo Accords, the divide between the two sides has devolved to its lowest point yet, which has made the opportunity for peace ever more elusive. The disregard of the psychological dimension BookCoverImageof the conflict, continuing occupation, rancorous public narratives, settlements enterprise, use of force, and failure of various peace negotiations over the past twenty years have glaringly demonstrated that the responsibility for the deadlock and the diminishing prospect of reaching a peace agreement any time soon falls squarely on both sides.

In this compelling series of essays, Dr. Alon Ben-Meir examines the various underlying issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ultimately argues that the Israelis and Palestinians must take a hard, critical look at their current situation and decide what they want their future to be: a continuation of violent confrontations, or sustainable peace and security.

Dr. Alon Ben Meir is a professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and at the World Policy Institute. Ben-Meir is an expert on Middle East politics and affairs, specializing in international negotiations and conflict resolution.

Ben-Meir hosts “Global Leaders: Conversations with Alon Ben-Meir” with top policy-makers from around the world, held at NYU. He writes a weekly article that appears in scores of newspapers, magazines and websites, and has been featured on networks such as ABC, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, al Hurra, CNN, and NBC. Ben-Meir has authored eight books and is currently working on a new book about the psychological dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Ben-Meir holds a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University.

Natural Gas as an Instrument of Russian State Power

by Ion A. Iftimie

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“Since the Cold War, Russia has been perceived as a broken nation that no longer represents a threat to the North Atlantic Alliance. This book emphasizes that Russia overcame this major vulnerability by developing the capacity to use unilateral economic sanctions in the form of gas pricing and gas disruptions against many European North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states. It agrees with many scholars and politics alike who fear that Russia will leverage its monopoly of natural gas to gain political concessions. The author suggests it is only a matter of time until Russia will use natural gas as an instrument of coercion to disrupt NATO’s decision making process.”

-Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr.
Director, Strategic Studies Institute

A former Intelligence Officer, Ion A. Iftimie is an energy security expert with over one decade of successfully advising senior military, business, and government leaders on Eurasian natural gas industry and related national security issues.

La Máquina Oscura

by D. G. Sutter

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The ground rumbles. The humming beneath begins, a droning monotonous tune that will one day drive us mad. The machines rise and steal oxygen from the air, rotating at dangerous speeds and emitting lethal radiation.sutter

Upon the return home to the small village of Montejo de la Sierra in Spain, Marco can feel the desperation from which the world is suffering at the will of these obscure machines. Our way of life, as we once knew it, has forever been mutated. Travel is obsolete. Communication is few and far between. Humanity is terrified and, worse, there is no explanation and may be no salvation.

Will the earth ever recover from the ruin that is being caused? Can we recuperate from the havoc that’s been wreaked upon this beautiful planet? As Marco and others search desperately for the answers to these questions, one thing will become clear…we are all influenced by our actions. Can he find a way to make everyone happy, whilst battling for their survival, or will civilization collapse before his very eyes?

Does the Earth have a self-destruct button?

Colonial American History: The Essential Story

By Robert Owens

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This work is written for non-Historians, and is a handy easy-to-read condensed look at Early American History. It is composed of short chapters each of which is designed to be a stand-alone treatment of a segment of time. It is my hope that this book will help fill the void that is exposed by the general lack of historical perspective which I believe is a major contributor to America’s Colonial American History: The Essential Storycurrent lack of self-awareness of and appreciation for the uniqueness which is the United States.

Dr. Robert Owens is a College Professor/Administrator and the author of a widely published weekly opinion column, The History of the Future, which can be viewed at DrRobertOwens.com. He is also a retired house painter, a retired pastor, a musician and a composer. He holds an Associate Degree in Biblical Studies, Bachelor Degrees in History and Religious Education, a Master’s Degree in Religious Education, a Master’s Degree in History, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Religion and Leadership. His books include: The Constitution Failed, The Azusa Street Revival, America Won the Vietnam War! and NEVER FORGET!

Between Conflict and Conformity: Freemasonry During the Weimar Republic and the “Third Reich”

Authored by Ralf Melzer
Translated by Glenys A. Waldman

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FreeFreemasonry During the Weimar Republic and the masonry during the Weimar Republic and the ‘Third Reich’…One might ask, “Is that a chapter of forgotten persecution or a legend of persecution?” After extensive research in archives in Berlin, Moscow, and Washington, D.C., the author has determined that the answer would have to be: “Neither, nor; yet some of both.” The history of the German Masonic lodges and their members in the Weimar Republic and the “Third Reich” is a story of conflict and conformity.

Mitigating High-Impact Threats to Critical Infrastructure: 2013 Conference Proceedings of the InfraGard National EMP SIG Sessions at the Dupont Summit

by Charles L. Manto

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The Electromagnetic Pulse Special Interest Group (EMP SIG) addresses any high-impact threat that could cause long-term nationwide collapse of critical infrastructure. These threats include EMP, extreme space weather, cyber attacks, coordinated physical attacks or widespread pandemics. The EMP SIG provides trusted communications and information for InfraGard members active in any critical infrastructure in any community to enhance planning, mitigation, and sustainable infrastructure. The EMP SIG attracts leading subject matter experts who have agreed to join advisory panels and make themselves available for local InfraGard chapters that may need their special guidance.

The ultimate goal of the national EMP SIG is to assist local communities to enhance their own sustainability with a special emphasis on developing local infrastructure capacity from areas as diverse as local power generation and storage to local food production.

InfraGard’s EMP SIG plans to continue its role in fostering public/private cooperation in a comprehensive “all-of-nation” approach to disaster mitigation and planning. InfraGard members may join the EMP SIG on the InfraGard secure website. To join InfraGard and have access to the secure site, apply on the homepage of http://www.InfraGard.org.

The first time that a broad range of military and civilian government agencies and their private sector counterparts led contingency plans for nationwide collapse of critical infrastructure that could last for more than a month was in October 2011 when the National Defense University, the US Congressional EMP Caucus, InfraGard National’s EMP SIG and Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency co-hosted a series of workshops and exercises covering these scenarios focusing on geomagnetic disturbances.

Since then, the InfraGard National EMP SIG led sessions each year at the Dupont Summit. The sessions covered high-impact threats to critical infrastructure with a special emphasis on geomagnetic disturbance (GMD), and the contingency planning workshops and exercises with the National Defense University and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. This conference included analysis from NOAA of the July 23, 2012 super solar storm near miss, and research on these impacts on power grids presented at a by-invitation-only session the day before by a number or organizations led by Idaho National Laboratory.

For upcoming events and more information see the EMP SIG section of the National InfraGard secure website or contact the EMP SIG Chair, Chuck Manto, at cmanto@stop-EMP.com.

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Rigorous Grading Using Microsoft Word AutoCorrect: Plus Google Docs

by Erik Bean Ed.D.

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This is the Word AutoCorrect booklet you’ve been wanting! It’s the 21st century and teaching and technology have combined for a better student and faculty experience. Whether you’re a full-time professor, adjunct instructor for a dozen schools or one, Rigorous Grading Using Microsoft Word AutoCorrect: Plus Google Docs contains all the steps necessary to auto include essay feedback, insert rubrics, pictures, audio and video! Plus instructions to back up your AutoCorrect comments to another computer. Yes you can increase rigor and grade faster!

INSIDE:
*APA Feedback & Grammar Samples
*Absorbing and Dispensing Pictures
*Inserting Sound & Video Comments
*MLA Feedback Samples
*Enable AutoCorrect in Word Prior to 2007
*Enable AutoCorrect in Word for MAC
*AutoCorrect Backup Utility Tips
*Enable AutoCorrect Action in Google Docs

Engineering America: The Rise of the American Professional Class, 1838-1920

by Edward Rhodes

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In a single lifespan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, America passed through an extraordinary economic and social transformation. Industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and westward expansion into the vast interior of the continent yielded the structural framework of the modern America we still recognize more than a century later. The roles played by financial capital, labor, and technology in this story have been widely examined. Less well understand, however, is the remaining puzzle: how did America generate the human capital necessary for this transformation? How did a largely agrarian nation with relatively weak and largely decentralized government institutions manage to produce the professional class – the doctors, lawyers, managers, and, most importantly, engineers – essential for the emergence of a modern, industrialized, yet still liberal and democratic America?

This study takes a micro approach to this question. It focuses on a single, unexceptional case, examining the process and experience through the eyes of a single participant. Born in rural New Jersey in the late 1830s, Daniel Harker Rhodes’s wanderings took him from a tinsmith apprenticeship in upstate New York to service in the Civil War, and then on to secondary education, college education, and eventually a career building railroads that opened up the agricultural potential of the Great Plains, the minerals of the Rockies, and the energy resources of Texas and Oklahoma. Rhodes’s detailed account highlights a number of intriguing factors: the availability of education and private capital to finance it, the absence of class barriers, social institutions and technology that permitted extraordinary geographic mobility, and perhaps most importantly the impact of deeply held Calvinist norms As with any case study, the insights that emerge are suggestive rather than definitive. In this case, however, the insights underscore the significance of an unusual combination of institutions in nineteenth century America and suggest intriguing reasons why America’s pattern of social and economic development followed its distinctive course.

Bulwarks Against Poverty in America

by Max J. Skidmore

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In Bulwarks Against Poverty in America, long-time Social Security scholar Max J. Skidmore presents seminal articles selected from the journal Poverty and Public Policy to clear away much of the confusion dominating pubic discussion relating to Social Security, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act. Experts in the field have praised this important book as a weapon against “misinformation and ideological mischief.” They say it is “a must-read for policymakers,” and a “road map to the debates raging over the future of Social Security, Medicare, and health care reform.” Skidmore’s Bulwarks is a thoughtful contribution to a field heavily influenced by misrepresentation and scare propaganda.

Avant-Garde Politician

Avant-Garde Politician: Leaders for a New EpochBy Yehezkel Dror

In this iconoclastic book, Dror argues that humanity cascades through a metamorphosis, driven mainly by science and technology. Radical human enhancement, synthesis of viruses, quasi-intelligent robots and molecular engineering illustrate the emerging quantum leap, as do value changes ranging between mass-killing fanaticisms to human “maturation.”

Along with the windfall of opportunities for thriving that the emerging epoch offers, dangers of calamities, including the demise of humanity, require thinking in terms of raison d’humanité, a powerful Global Authority and new modes of human existence. Dror argues that a new approach to political leadership is the key to the future of humanity amidst these monumental changes. Our current political leaders are inadequate: new, avant-garde politicians are required to cope with the fateful challenges that lie ahead.

Avant-Garde Politician offers a thorough overview of the changing human condition. The author proposes innovative human survival and thriving imperatives, a Global Humanity Constitutions establishing a decisive global regime, and some radical value changes – including the addition of duties to human rights. He also suggests novel approaches to composing humanity-craft, such as regulating science and technology. And specifies the qualities required from avant-garde politicians together with ways to acquire them.

Based on multiple academic disciplines combined with extensive personal experience of the author in “hot corridors” of power worldwide, this book will be of interest to leaders, policy advisors, scholars, scientists, students, and all concerned about the future of humanity.

Of this work, Michael Marien, WAAS Fellow and Director of Global Foresight Books, has said, “Suffice to say that all members of the US Congress, and national leaders and would-be leaders everywhere (along with leading editors and relevant academics), should spend a week with Avant-Garde Politician if we are to get serious about world order in an undeniable age of metamorphosis and possible global collapse. It won’t happen, of course. But the slim possibility of a maturing humanity would be improved if this were so, and if we could acknowledge the structural problems that keep us from learning about—and seriously debating–more appropriate worldviews for our turbulent times.”

For the full review, visit Cadmus Journal

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Baronial Bedrooms

Baronial Bedrooms Cover FRONT copyBy Barbara Billauer Bailey

A grand tour of 700 years of palatial bedrooms spanning four continents and ten countries, Baronial Bedrooms: The Kama Sutra of Grand Design, presents a historiography of design, architecture, history and bedroom-intrigue through the ages. Beginning at a time when the bedroom supplanted the salon or parlor as audience-chamber and meeting-room of the imperial class, this book distills the essence of decorative features common across nations, continents, cultures and time, and presents timeless axioms of decoration in a fashion that is accessible, relevant and modern. Showcased in hundreds of pictures, analytical commentary and pithy captions, “Baronial Bedrooms” is a feast for the eyes, and inspiration for the mind, and a source of endless delight to the reader, whether professional decorator, historian, or a baronial wanna-be. Suggestions for incorporation of the principles distilled from an analysis and study of these rooms, yet easily adaptable for today’s ‘Barons-on-a-Budget,’ are presented in modern examples.

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Conflicts in Health Policy

Conflict in Health Policy COVER FRONT ONLY

Edited by Bonnie Stabile, Introduced by Randy S. Clemons & Mark K. McBeth

When conflicts arise in health policy, the insights of policy scholars can contribute to crafting solutions to seemingly intractable problems.   Beyond their mere technical attributes, health and medical policy issues require political acumen and policy knowledge to diagnose problems, inform debate, and devise policy interventions.  The cases in this volume cover a range of health issues and illustrate how political theory and philosophy are critical to efforts aimed at treating public health challenges.

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The Idea of the Digital University

By Frank McClusky & Melanie Winter

It is widely believed that college is not what it used to be. Politicians are calling for a full-scale overhaul of higher education. The public is losing its confidence in higher education. It is argued that American higher education is in crisis. The authors, who together have spent more than 70 years in higher education, are optimistic about the future of the university with one caveat.  The university must come to grips with the way the digital revolution has changed the acquisition, storage and transmission of information. Can the university adapt to these changes and still remain true to its essential mission?  This book provides a blueprint of how to do both.

Comprehensive, insightful and visionary.

Read the review at Kirkus.

Also by Frank McClusky & Melanie Winter: 

“Cathedrals, Casinos, Colleges and Classrooms: Questions for the Architects of Digital Campuses” in the Higher Learning Research Communications Journal.