Politics & Government

The activities of nations and states, and the people and organizations who control them.

Rethinking Royalty

— Filed under: Politics & Government, People & Culture
Crown princess Victoria of Sweden at the Swedi...

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Sweden's Princess Victoria

With most of the world drifting toward democracy, or at least toward some sort of representative government, the question arises whether royal families are still needed.  Certainly, monarchies have gradually become less popular over the last few hundred years, as they are ousted by coups or just abolished outright.  But even in those countries where the monarchy still exists in a symbolic role only, the debate is growing as to whether they serve any useful purpose.

The upcoming wedding of Sweden's Princess Victoria has started some grumbling about the enormous cost to the state (estimated at $2.5 million USD), especially at a time when so many are struggling financially.  Many Swedes feel that the royal family is symbolic of the divide between the rich and the poor, an imbalance which is simply unacceptable to many in this day and age.  The article linked above also references a poll suggesting that support for monarchies is dropping throughout Scandinavia.… Continues …

Saudi Arabia to Allow Israel to Attack Iran?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
RAMON AIR FORCE BASE, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19:  A...

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The Times Online (UK) reported this weekend that Saudi Arabia had given Israel the green light to use its airspace for an attack on Iran.  Saudi Arabia has since denied this report.  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims that it is simply an effort by the West to drive a wedge between Iran and Saudi Arabia.… Continues …

Oil Spill: A Question of Priorities

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Business & Finance
A very angry Obama

Image by boutmuet via Flickr

Another day, another screaming headline in the ongoing saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.  We're being bombarded by new stories every day, and it sometimes feels like we're focusing on the wrong things.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria took the unusual step of blasting the press for their obsession with Obama's emotional response to the spill, an obsession which forced the president to utter the now-famous "ass to kick" phrase.  As Zakaria points out:

"What exactly is the point of all this? What purpose would be served by having the president scream or cry or whatever it is he's supposed to do to show emotion? Would it plug the hole?"

Who/what deserves most of the blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster?

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Business & Finance

BP: American Double Standards?

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Opinion
SHARM EL SHEIKH/EGYPT, 19MAY08 - Tony Hayward,...

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BP's Tony Hayward

It hasn't been a good time for BP CEO Tony Hayward, who has spent the last few weeks grovelling abjectly on television while being described in The New York Daily News as 'the most hated – and clueless – man in America'. BP has been the subject of protests in many cities, with protesters waving placards proclaiming 'BP=bad polluter' and 'fubp'.

President Obama, stung into action by criticism of his approach has weighed into the situation with unusually bullish language. Being quoted as trying to find out "whose ass to kick", he has given the green light to criminal proceedings to be brought against the BP board for the mass murder of the eleven rig workers, and has called for BP to be banned from giving dividends to its shareholders.

The President of the world's largest polluter and energy consumer, which consumes 25% of global energy with 5% of the world's population, has called the spillage "an affront to the American people".… Continues …

Options for Solving the UK's Deficit

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Opinion

I am not going to pretend to understand all of the implications of spending vs. cuts when it comes to Government but after reading articles on the BBC website with regards to the latest spending announcements, I am disturbed and worried.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 - David Cameron, Le...

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The current Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced a further £67 million will be spent on ensuring bombs planted in Afghanistan were countered.  He has stated that Afghanistan is his number one priority and is a national security issue.  Britain currently has 10,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan.  He also suggested that he would not be looking at sending further troops, and that the £200 million from aid funding would be diverted from other budgets to assist Afghanistan in building up its Army, Police Force and Civil Service.

Don't get me wrong, I am all in favour, and proudly support the British Forces, I am just unhappy they are there in the first place. I may be wrong in thinking, but I firmly hold George Bush and his cronies responsible for getting England into this mess in the first place.  I had been told in the past that the reason England bent over every time America came calling for support, was due to a debt that we only recently paid back to America from World War II, when England was a financial mess, and Chamberlain requested help.  If this is the case, then nothing has been altered, we are still having severe financial difficulties, we are still doing the bidding of Former American Presidents work, and we are still getting shafted.… Continues …

Iran Throws Down Gauntlet, Offers to Escort Ships to Gaza

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
Ali Khamenei has been the supreme leader of Ir...

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Ayatollah Ali Khameini

After scattered reports last week that Turkey was planning to escort the next aid flotilla to Gaza, new information is trickling in now that Iran has entered the fray by offering to provide protection to ships trying to enter Gaza.

The Guardian reports that Ali Shirazi, representative of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, said:

"Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval forces are prepared to escort the peace and freedom convoys that carry humanitarian assistance for the defenceless and oppressed people of Gaza with all their strength."

Turkish Navy to Escort More Ships to Gaza

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
MEKO 200 TN type frigates of the Turkish Navy ...

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In a late-breaking development, Turkey has announced that they will send more ships to aid Gaza, and that this time they'll be accompanied by the Turkish Navy. This is a provocative and dangerous move, and one that is sure to raise tensions in the region.

The implications of Turkey's threat are unknown at this time. Avi Trengo, a columnist at an Israeli news site, implies (before Turkey's announcement) that in a showdown between the two countries, Israel is likely to cave first.

You read it here first!… Continues …

Israel Attacks Flotilla, Shoots Themselves in Foot

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government

In a development which is somehow both surprising and not surprising at the same time, the Israeli military has attacked the flotilla of aid ships that was heading from Turkey to Gaza. Anywhere from 10 to 19 civilians have been killed, with many dozens more injured.

After appearing remorseful at first, Israel has now taken a very defensive stance, claiming that its commandos were attacked and possibly even fired upon. Of course the activists claim to be the true victims of aggression, with Greta Berlin, one of the organizers, saying by telephone:… Continues …

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