Less than a month remains before the 2012 US Presidential Election, and after Obama’s veritable debacle during the October 3rd debate, it appears that we may actually have a very tight race for the White House this time around. Neither candidate is a guaranteed winner or loser.
The debate has been regarded throughout the media, excepting only the most partisan pro-Obama sources, as a home-run by Romney and a trouncing for Obama. The full debate can be seen here:
In my humble opinion, the media’s prevalent opinion following the debate was, for once, an accurate one. The debate featured a noticeably subdued and sombre Obama at the bottom of his game paired with an energetic Mitt Romney consistently on the attack and at the height of his game. Whether you agree or disagree with Romney, there is no doubt that he won this debate. He brushed aside nearly all of Obama’s attacks and pounded home his own. The only surely contestable grounds where Obama fared about as well as Romney was on the issue of Obamacare.
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Posted in America, American politics, D.I.D. Roasts, D.I.D. World Tour, Democracy, Political Trends, USA | Tagged 2012 American Presidential Campaign, American Left, American Right, Barack Obama, Democracy, Freedom, Mitt Romney, Politics, United States, USA | 5 Comments »
At some point in time, everyone will attempt to make some basic sense of an often chaotic world that swirls around us. Humans have an innate curiosity, a strong disposition to look for a pattern in recent events, a larger picture. When I look at the great historical events that are in the process of being written today, it is increasingly apparent that many of these global trends are pointing towards one common theme: the end of Western dominance.
What we are witnessing in the Middle East is to a certain extent the collapse of foreign political predominance in the region. Whatever the ultimate outcome of the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, the governments there will be formed by the domestic political climate and are unlikely to fall under the sway of direct American – or any other foreign - control for much of the forseeable future.
Meanwhile, the economic edge that the Western nations have over the rest of the world is rapidly corroding. A series of projections done by numerous financial institutions have placed several emerging economies as among the dominant players in the world by as early as the late 2020′s. Notably, numerous predictions have China surpassing the United States by measure of GDP as early as the next decade. Despite the potential for unrest within China, or even a major economic downturn, it would seem that the emerging economies in South and East Asia are going to continue to grow at an average pace that outstrips any Western country for much of the forseeable future.
This is further compounded by the immense sovereign debt loads that all Western states (and Japan) bear today, as opposed to the more debt-free economies in emerging areas of the world. The recent financial crisis, and the ongoing debt problems in Europe, further are weakening the relative position of the West in global affairs by severely constraining its ability to act.
The current hegemonic actor in international relations, the United States, is increasingly buffeted by all of these contemporary problems and in addition its domestic political scene has run into a very stubborn gridlock. Despite the Americans’ official policy of staying on top of the world order, the ongoing and generally peaceful emergence of many regional powers, from China to India to Turkey to Brazil, is making this goal increasingly unviable.
Technology and the increasing importance of non-state actors are also milleting against continued dominance of the world system by any one country, or even one group of countries. Continue Reading »
Posted in Afghanistan, America, Britain, Canada, Canadian Politics, China, D.I.D. World Tour, Democracy, Egypt, Europe, European Union, France, Germany, Iraq War, Israel, Japan, Libya, NATO, Pakistan, Palestine, Political Trends, Russia, South Korea, UN | Tagged Afghanistan, American politics, American Right, Ant-Western sentiment, Britain, Canada, European Debt Crisis, Foreign Aid, Iran, Iran Conflict, Islam, Islamic Liberalism, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, NATO, Politics, United Nations | Leave a Comment »
In late 2012, there be dragons out there!
Things are certainly looking gloomy these days, are they not? Okay, not exactly: it is still summer, so at least the outside environment for those of us in the northern hemisphere does not physically appear to be gloomy. Politically speaking, however, the recent few months represent the culmination of what is possibly the largest and most unstable stockpile of political dynamite the world has seen in twenty years:
- The Arab Spring continues onwards, with bitter constitutional debates in Egypt and Tunisia between the liberals, Islamic democrats, and Islamists.
- Meanwhile, Libya is in a state of political chaos where no one seems to know who is the legitimate governing authorities…
- …while Israel and Iran continue to toss military death threats at each other across the bloody mess of a civil war raging in Syria. The political security of the world’s premier oil-producing region continues to disintegrate, during a time of prolonged economic downturn that our lying political swine told us was over months ago.
- Europe’s long-running sovereign debt drama has caused the collapse of government after government, its latest victim being former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and with Greece’s beleaguered government slated to be next on the chopping block. Summit after summit has produced next to no results, and the very survival of the Euro zone – if not indeed the European Union – seems to be under serious question for the first time since the inception of either.
- The West in general is in a very sorry state financially and economically.
- The Afghanistan war is winding down while the Taliban have neither been defeated nor brought to the negotiating table.
When you add all of these things together, it makes quite the fearsome combination. I for one have never seen such a witches’ brew of general economic and political instability in the entirety of my short life.
Every single one of these problems contains the potential to escalate into a major crisis that in turn may ignite every other. For instance:
- Any insane war between Israel and Iran (especially if each side enlists their respective allies) runs the risk of crippling the world economy due to the threat it would pose to much of the world’s oil supply, and may also significantly impact what kind of governments will emerge from the Arab Spring.
- A disorderly collapse or reduction of the Euro Zone could severely impact the global financial system, which in turn could throw the world into a deeper depression and cause social unrest, and further destabilize the shifting sands of the Middle East hence making war more likely.
- Depending on how the local revolutions play out in the Arab world, this could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, which could also lead to a regional war, which will affect the world’s energy supplies, which would then affect the cost of living and ultimately strike the financial sector, et cetera.
If either the Euro Zone endures a series of sovereign defaults, or the Arab world is taken over by a particularly unpalatable political faction, or Israel and Iran go to war over the worries associated with Iran’s nuclear program, then the world is in for a major transformation. While the international system has dealt with similar problems in the past, very rarely has it had to contend with so many seemingly intractable problems coming to a head simultaneously.
It appears this year that the world is embarking on a transformative course. It likely will be very messy, though it need not be disastrous for everyone. Unfortunately, a good degree of disaster is almost a certainty for a good many people.
Fasten your seatbelts, everyone. Very interesting times are ahead.
Posted in America, American politics, Britain, British Politics, Canada, Canadian Economy, Canadian Politics, China, Conflicts, D.I.D. World Tour, Democracy, Egypt, Europe, European Union, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Libya, Libyan Civil War, NATO, North Korea, North Sudan, Pakistan, Pakistan War, Palestine, Political Trends, Russia, South Sudan, Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair, Tunisia, UN, USA | Tagged Britain, British Politics, Canada, Canadian Politics, China, David Cameron, Democracy, Egypt, Europe, European Debt Crisis, Foreign Aid, François Hollande, France, Freedom, Iran, Israel, Nationalism, NATO, New Democrats, Politics, Smoke and Mirrors, United States, Western politics | 2 Comments »
Some things are just too widely believed to be readily recognized as falsehoods.
Public myths are a popular thing no matter what place you live in or visit. Whether they be tales of the past, accepted truisms of how things are, or ideas of how something is publicly perceived, such notions and tales circulate amongst every society whether they be true, exaggerated, or out right fictions.
Canada has a large number of them, and for no reason other than these particular myths really grate at my nerves, I shall now debunk five of this country’s top stupid political myths.
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Posted in Canada, Canadian Culture, Canadian Politics, Conspriracy Theories, Democracy, Political Trends | Tagged Access to Information in Canada, Alberta, Alberta Oilsands, Canada, Canadian Parliament, Parliament, Politics, public myths, Regionalism, Regionalistic Stupidity, Smoke and Mirrors, Supreme Court of Canada | 2 Comments »
Robocalls and more nonsense. Ho hum.
Now that the robocalls scandal has been allowed to fester for a few weeks and the media has done its rounds, it appears that our esteemed politicians have once again provided a bad example for our youth and have once again shown that we really do have the biggest batch of narcissists imaginable in power.
There have been allegations the past two weeks or so that the Conservative Party had engaged in electoral fraud in the past election. Namely, that the Conservative Party had indirectly instructed some robocallers on their payroll to deliberately mislead people away from the correct location of voting booths on election day.
The House of Commons passed a unanimous resolution to allow Elections Canada and the RCMP, among others, to investigate the results of the past election for any wrong doing. The investigation is ongoing and is as of yet inconclusive, but the media and our dear members of the Canadian Institution for the Politically Insane seem to think that they have already determined who is guilty, without a trial.
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Posted in Canada, Canadian Politics, Conspriracy Theories, D.I.D. Roasts, Lost Causes, Nycole Turmel, Political Trends, Stephen Harper | Tagged 2011 Canadian Federal Election, 2012 Robocalls Scandal, Bob Rae, Canada, Canadian Parliament, Canadian Politics, Conservatives, Democracy, Liberals, New Democrats, Nycole Turmel, Ontario, Ontario Liberals, Politics, Québec, Smoke and Mirrors | Leave a Comment »
Lights, camera, action! Rally the media! Beat the war drums! Blow the war trumpets! Sow fear, chaos and confusion to an unsuspecting public! Yep, there is no mistaking it, the bomb-bomb-bomb Iran crowd is at it again and the media has brought the rhetoric to a height unseen previously. While the war drums have raised the volume in periodic bursts over the past couple years, and curiously each of these episodes seem to occur in the early and late months of each year, we are now seeing the rhetoric and fear mongering accompanied by definitive tactical moves played as a precaution should war break out.
Nor is the rhetoric one-sided. The Iranian state has not helped defuse the situation in the least, on the contrary the heated messages sent out by Iran’s political leaders have set much of the world on edge. While Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian uses, the international community remains suspicious and the IAEA has warned of a potential military program in the Iranian nuclear program in its most recent report. Iran’s continual talk about erasing the “Zionist regime” and its going ahead with its nuclear program in the face of numerous UN Security Council resolutions has raised alarms and rhetoric across the world.
The Iranian state’s rhetoric has of course most alarmed Israel and much of the Western and Arab worlds. Israel fears the acquisition of nuclear arms by a state that is an enemy in everything but name, Saudi Arabia likewise fears a nuclear-capable rival, the United States worries about its “interests” in the region, and the de facto Dominions of the American Empire, Britain and Canada prominently (if shamefully) among them, are geopolitically bound to do what their Master bids them to do, hence our benighted Minister of Foreign Affairs’ shameless fear mongering.
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Posted in Afghanistan, Afghanistan war, America, Britain, British Politics, Canada, Canadian Politics, Conflicts, D.I.D. World Tour, Europe, France, Iraq War, Israel, NATO, Pakistan, Pakistan War, Political Trends, Stephen Harper, UN | Tagged 2012 American Presidential Campaign, Ayatollah Khameni, Barack Obama, George W Bush, Iran, Iran Conflict, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, NATO, United Nations, United Nations Security Council | 5 Comments »
The US Presidential Race has been looming large in world news for weeks now, and has been a major news topic ever since it began. Primary after primary, grandiose speech after grandiose speech.
Obama is the obvious candidate for the Democrats, so naturally all attention is currently being focused on the Republican primaries. As is common with American national elections, heated rhetoric and hyper-nationalistic bombast is the order of the day. The remaining Republican candidates at the time of writing, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, have spent their past few weeks engaged in a long procession of “debates”, composed primarily of ego-stroking, attacking Obama, self-posturing, attacking Obama, speculating about issues irrelevant to the everyday lives of Americans, attacking Obama some more… and that is basically it.
The Republicans' infighting seems all rhetoric and no substance.
Despite its absurd sensationalism, it seems as if everyone whom follows politics are watching it. From all of the major media networks in the West, to the ad-hoc world of political bloggers, everyone is either commenting on it or at least watching it closely. In fact, in the Canadian political blogosphere, it is common practice to blog about the American presidential race if there are little serious discussions coming from Ottawa or the provinces.
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Posted in America, American politics, D.I.D. Roasts, D.I.D. World Tour, Democracy | Tagged 2012 American Presidential Campaign, Afghanistan war, American Debt Crisis, American Economy, American Left, American politics, American Right, Barack Obama, Democracy, Democrats, Hilary Clinton, Iran, Iran Conflict, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Pakistan, Republicans, Ron Paul, Smoke and Mirrors, United States | Leave a Comment »
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