Sunday, January 29, 2012

Senegal Contracts the African Disease

Abdoulaye WadeImage via Wikipedia
The president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, was elected in 1999 in what was a free and fair vote.  He was reelected in 2007 shortly after which Parliament amended the constitution to limit terms to two.  He has now convinced the highest court to allow him to stand for a third term while simultaneously preventing the head of the opposition from being a candidate.  This is variation on a theme in Africa.  Those in power hate to give it up and will do anything to remain in their positions.  He happens also to be grooming his son to succeed him.

Senegal has now erupted in violence.  Another stable democracy (which happens to be Muslim) has become problematic in Africa.  Pity.
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Germany Pushes the Edge - and Loses

Yesterday's revelations that Germany had demanded that Greece surrender its sovereignty to a EU imperial governor again shows that Germany considers itself the ruler of the Eurozone, if not all the EU.  The arrogance - aside from the sheer stupidity which is another matter - should be a wake up call to Italy, Spain and Ireland that as long as they remain "not German" the EU will not fully accept their roles or input.  The Greek reaction was understandably harsh to this suspension of democracy to save the Euro.

The fact of the matter is that Greece is bankrupt.  It does not have a liquidity problem. It is bankrupt and should leave the Eurozone. This would create a good deal a disruption, but for Greece it is a necessary step if it (and countries like it) are not continually subjected to German visions of economic genius which is geared solely to protecting the German export driven economy.  Greece needs to have its own currency again.

Additionally, the German position which seems to rest solely on austerity and no growth, is in danger of sinking the entire EU.  The Hooverism of Merkel and her party is going to destroy the economies of Europe - except for Germany.

Germany - and France at times - have aggressively pushed the concept of austerity-for-all.  At the same time, the ECB has been obsessed with inflation.  The combination is a recipe for a disaster and will not solve the debt crises.

I'm glad I'm not paid in Euro.       

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ricky the Perry - Deeper into the Stupid

Rick Perry - CaricatureImage by DonkeyHotey via Flickr
Further to the post below, Rick Perry is now wallowing in his own stupid.  On CNNs "The Situation Room" hosted by Wolf Blitzer, he goes beyond his initial stupid of saying that Turkey was run by Islamic extremists to now advocating that it be kicked out of NATO and that the US should not only, not have any relationship with Turkey, but that Turkey owes the US an explanation.   This mouth breathing knuckle dragger is symbolic of the conservative Christian movement in the US.  No country owes the US any sort of "explanation" - least of all a strong US ally like Turkey.

He then talks about honor killings  (a practice in some groups in Turkey, but also in Afghanistan, Egypt and that great ally of the US, Pakistan) as if it is official Turkish policy.  These honor killings are illegal in Turkey and the state prosecutes its practitioners.

He thinks the US provides foreign aid to Turkey? Well, if you consider mult-million dollar arms sales as aid, I guess to the galactically stupid he is correct.  Turkish troops fight together with US troops in Afghanistan.  More to the point, can anyone identify the single instance that Israeli troops ever fought alongside the US military. And yet they get to dictate US foreign policy in the Middle East.

He wants to "deal" with Turkey, Syria and Iran?  Wise up moron - Article 5 of the NATO treaty says that all members will treat an attack on one as an attack on all. 

Rick Perry is a monumental dope and dumber than a bag of hammers who should go home to his country – otherwise known as Texas – and crawl back under his rock.  I, for one, am all for secessionist sympathies in Texas. That way all of them would need visas, the US military could close all its bases and, best of all, the Cowboys could no longer be called "Americas Team".
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rick Perry - Darling of the Right

RickPerry2Image via Wikipedia
Is Rick Perry dumber than a bag of hammers?


Rick Perry said in Monday’s South Carolina debate that Turkey may have been taken over by “Islamic terrorists” based on their ruling Islamic party. The answer came in response to a question over whether Turkey should remain a NATO ally, which Perry said was a conversation worth having.
“Obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then, yes,” he said. “Not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong…but it’s time for the United states, we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it.”
This level of ignorance – reflected in his and other right wing tea party activists – is simply too astoundingly stupid to measure. 
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ten Events in Iran's Nuclear Program

This is a guest post by Shelly Mirriam, a science student and creator of, an objective source for students looking to find information on Environmental Science.

The issue of a nuclear Iran is a complex and touchy subject that will no doubt be a huge topic of debate during the upcoming US election cycle.  But with both sides arguing frightening scenarios, it can all be a little confusing.  To help get a better understanding of it, we have included ten key events from 2002 on during which Iran has been pursuing its nuclear program which began in the 1950s.  Keep in mind that Iran has 16 known nuclear facilities and insists that they are for peaceful purposes.  Iran is also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

2002 – The Russians resume construction of Iran’s first nuclear facility in Bushehr which began under the Shah under contract with German companies and help from the Ford administration in the US.
2003 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspects Bushehr, as well as the newly revealed enrichment and heavy water facilities at Natanz and Arak, for any sign of nuclear weapon development and finds no evidence.
2004 – The IAEA rebukes Iran for failing to fully cooperate with their investigations, and Iran agrees to voluntarily and temporarily suspend uranium enrichment (enrichment is not a violation of the NPT).
2005 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins presidential election in Iran and Iran resumes uranium enrichment but is found in non-compliance with the Safeguards Agreement by the IAEA. 
2006 – Iran announces it has successfully developed enriched uranium to 3.5% (over 20% is considered weapons grade while 90% is used to produce nuclear weapons) despite IAEA protests and in violation of UN resolution 1696.  UN Security Council votes for sanctions (UNSC Resolution 1737), pushing Iran to speed up uranium enrichment.
2007 – President Ahmadinejad claims he can produce nuclear fuel on an “industrial scale”.  After more UN violations by Iran, U.S. announces toughest sanctions on Iran in 30 years.
2008 – Iran tests several missiles and claims to be able to launch one into space.  Russia refuses to impose further sanctions on Iran.
2009 – Germany and several UN Council Members offer Iran the opportunity to enrich their uranium abroad.  Iran rejects the proposal as political and announces plans for further facilities.
2010 – Turkey and Brazil offer a plan for enrichment abroad but the US and certain EU countries do not agree with a plan  which they say is too limited.  A November IAEA report says Iran has 28 centrifuge cascades that are now enriching uranium up to 19.8%. 
2011 – Recent IAEA reports suggest that Iran is working on nuclear weaponry.  The IAEA found explosive containment facilities and concluded that Iran was attempting to develop nuclear weapon capability.

The complexity of the issue is much more than can be summarized by these ten milestones.  However, given the recent escalation in rhetoric regarding the Straits of Hormuz, Iranian naval exercises in the region and the Western response,  it is hoped that readers will look more in depth into how we arrived at the state we find ourselves.

.org/>Shelly Mirriam is a science student and also writes for Masters in Environmental Science which helps students find the right environmental science degree.