The Islamic State Must be Destroyed Immediately

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The Islamic State is not just in Syria and Iraq. They aren’t even relegated to the Middle East. They have spread their untraceable tentacles around the world in a way that the President of the United States and his advisers simply do not seem to understand or accept.

Now is not the time to politicize this issue and I have no intentions of attacking the actions or lack thereof from our Commander-in-Chief or any politician. I won’t point to what certain Republicans would do. We don’t have time to wait for the election. Regardless of political affiliation or religious doctrine, we must support the current President and guide him to the realization that the Islamic State cannot be handled the way our current policy is dictating. To get a glimpse of what that policy is, President Obama was asked about it the day before the attacks in Paris.

They are not contained, nor can the possibly be contained. Their land grabs in the Middle East are only part of the war that they’re waging. They aren’t just an army. They’re an idea, a beacon that can bring out the most extreme core of angry Muslims yearning to serve their god and his prophet. The longer that the Islamic State is allowed to exist militarily, the greater the threat will be for people around the world.

We all know about Paris. Most believe that the Russian passenger jet that crashed from Egypt was taken down by a bomb planted by Islamic State sympathizers. They have reached into Beirut, Lebanon, to fight their enemies in Hezbollah. There haven’t been attacks like these in the United States in recent years, but the FBI is actively probing nearly 1000 Islamic State cases.

The victories by the armies of the Islamic State embolden potential attackers around the world while their defeats enrage them. We cannot afford to allow the swelling of support they are receiving and the number of potential terrorists they’re recruiting to continue. The only way to stop it at this point is through absolute annihilation of the group at its heart.

It’s not about air strikes. It’s not about a few dozen special forces units. Now is the time for the United States and Russia to join forces with every other willing military in the world for the most important battle the world has seen since World War II. It would have been possible for Hitler to have been stopped and the deaths of millions of Europeans, Asians, and Americans to have been avoided if the world had been willing to act decisively before it was too late.

With the Islamic State, it’s approaching that tipping point of being too late.

Just as the military victories embolden and the defeats enrage, the actions abroad from agents of the Islamic State encourage Muslim extremists. It gives them hope that they can be successful in their ordered missions, that they can be a part of something that will, in their view, grant them eternal life with 72 virgins. They are motivated. The longer that the Islamic State is allowed to exist in its current form, the more attacks there will be everywhere in the world.

They will hit the United States at some point if they’re allowed to continue. While law enforcement has done exceptionally well at keeping us safe in recent years, there is nothing they can do to stop the influx from the shadows that will exist in perpetuity while the Islamic State continues.

This isn’t like 9/11. They learned that America would not crumble completely from a single attack. The Islamic State is not al Qaeda. They are far worse and they will only grow until they are cut off at the source.

Again, this isn’t the time to politicize things, but in case there needs to be some additional incentive, here it is. If President Obama and President Putin came together to unite for the unilateral destruction of the Islamic State, both would be solidified in the history books as the men who put their great differences aside to save the world.

President Obama and Vladimir Putin

We cannot wait for the forces in the Middle East to get their acts together. We cannot hope that Russia will be able to do it on their own. There is no time to wait. President Obama, you must lead this country and the world right now or all will be lost.

Soshable

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Oh, cool. Marissa Mayer has destroyed the only reason I still went to Yahoo

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screen-shot-2014-06-19-at-8-29-20-pmYahoo is a relic of the Web’s past. The best thing it has going for it? A deal Jerry Yang architected years ago that gave them a stake in Alibaba– a Web property that’s still actually relevant in 2014.

I’ve been plenty critical of Mayer’s “say yes to everything” strategy in the past. And now it seems the convoluted, crazy-quilt that is the new EVERYTHING!! YES! YES EVERYTHING!!! Yahoo has finally infected Yahoo Finance– the only part of Yahoo I have visited for much of the last decade.

Yahoo Finance used to be super simple– I’d want to know a stock quote of a company and see basic charts of its performance. I’d go to finance.yahoo.com and enter the ticker. Done and done. Was it perfect? No. Was it pretty? About as pretty as Craigslist. And the market caps were frequently wrong which was incredibly annoying. Other services like YCharts offered snazzier charts and UIs.

But Yahoo Finance was free and generally reliable and — ironically– the thing Mayer keeps saying she wants Yahoo to be: A daily habit I just couldn’t break. I’d have typed finance.yahoo.com before my brain had even finished thinking “I need to look up the price for…” 

I’m not sure exactly when Yahoo rolled out its new awful version of Finance but visiting the site tonight I was left totally baffled. They’ve destroyed the basic functionality of looking up a stock quote.

Enter, say, “King.com” in the search box and you get this monstrosity:

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Let’s see: Trending stocks? Don’t care. I want to know about King.com. Burger King auto fill? Really? Stories that are actually about King? Well, we’re getting warmer but that’s dated information from a third party. Used to be  buried at the bottom of a profile page for a reason. Yahoo Finance videos about King? A link to King’s own profile about itself on its own Web site? Ads for the LA Kings and Sacramento Kings and a box offering me more ads with the word King?

None of these were what I was looking for. I could have found all that better on a search engine like Google. I came to Yahoo Finance, so HOW ABOUT THE BASIC STOCK QUOTE? Worse: Not a single thing in the left rail to take you to a quote page or summary page.

Granted, mega caps like Facebook have a handy box that gives you basic stock info. But for whatever reason, Yahoo Finance hasn’t rolled this out widely.

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So the company essentially destroyed a universally useful feature to build an arguably prettier version of it with a lot more clutter and ads that only works for some stocks. Great move.

Confused, I tried to figure out Yahoo Finance’s logic. For instance, Zynga– about half the market cap of King and in the same sector– gets a fancy profile box. Meanwhile, TriNet — another recent IPO– didn’t get any profile or stock info, just like King.

King and TriNet recently went public. So maybe it takes Yahoo a few months to add these to pages? Makes sense. What journalists or investors would want to track information on a newly public company anyway?

Nope, Veeva– which went public last fall in a banner IPO and has struggled since– had no fancy profile box either.

Helpfully, Yahoo shows a profile box for HP, but in the first “search” result highlights a totally different HP.

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Seems totally arbitrary. Just what you want in a Web utility. Congrats, Yahoo.

(Update: Gets weirder. After playing around with this in several browser windows for a while, I went back to look up more stocks. Suddenly everything was reverting to classic Yahoo Finance profile pages. So I tried the same ones I’d looked up before. All displayed with old profile pages with the normal useful information.

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I tried it a few ways in different windows and different browsers with different computers even. I did the exact same thing: Going to finance.yahoo.com and entering a company name in the search box. I got different results repeatedly. It seems to rely on whether or not Yahoo recognized the actual ticker or not.

I’m sure there’s some strange technical nuance that is causing Yahoo Finance’s search box to give me answers I actually want in some cases and a new bizarro version of results other times. But given the general users Yahoo is trying to appeal to are arguably even less tech savvy than I am, I’m not sure the reason matters. This is ultimately commodity information that I went to Yahoo to find out of habit. No more.)

PandoDaily

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