academic site

rss .92
The Collective
Sunday, November 30, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Anyone with even passing knowledge of Venezuelan politics had to know that after his defeat at the polls last December that Hugo Chávez would make another run at a re-election amendment.

Via the AP: Chavez seeks reform for indefinite re-election

President Hugo Chavez is asking supporters to propose a constitutional reform that would allow him to seek indefinite re-election.

Chavez, who was first elected in 1998, is barred from running again when his term expires in 2024.

However, he only wants 6 more years (or so he says):

Chavez on Sunday said he would stay in office until 2024 if voters abolished the term limits.

However, the BBC report clouds the 2024 question, quoting the President:

“I am ready, and if I am healthy, God willing, I will be with you until 2024, until 2024,” he said.

Well, that clears it up. (Reuters goes with 2024).

At any rate, the BBC reports states that unlike the package of amendments proposed last year, this would be a single measure focused on the re-election question.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Elections, Latin America | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I knew it was coming:  OU jumping UT to go to the Big XII Championship, but it still sucks.  Oh, playoff, wherefore art thou?

While I fully understand that if we had just beaten Tech, none of this would matter, but it really stinks to watch to two teams your team beat (OU and Mizzou) go to the title game.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: College Football | Comments/Trackbacks (6) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Swiss approve prescription heroin

Swiss voters have backed a change in health policy that would provide prescription heroin to addicts.

Final results from the national referendum showed 68% of voters supported the plan.

The scheme, where addicts inject the drug under medical supervision at a clinic, began in Zurich 14 years ago before spreading across the country.

But in another referendum, the Swiss appear to have rejected the decriminalisation of cannabis.

Interesting, especially since one would assume that any type of liberalization concerning heroin would be more controversial than decriminalization of marijuana.

This is an example of harm reduction policies in regards to addictive drugs-the acknowledgement that drug addicts will exist no matter what punitive policies are put into place and that it is better to treat the issue as a public health concern that is to be managed, rather than a simple question of crime and punishment.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Elections, Europe, War on Drugs | Comments/Trackbacks (2) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Back when Kathleen Parker criticized the Palin pick, I remember seeing several statements by other conservative commentators that she (and others) were only trying to get approval from the liberal media.

Now, James Dobson joins that chorus and even ousts Parker from conservatism: ‘We Won’t Be Silenced’

Whatever she once was, Ms. Parker is certainly not a conservative anymore, having apparently realized it’s a lot easier to be popular among your journalistic peers when your keyboard tilts to the left.

So, if one criticizes, one is ousted? That isn’t an especially healthy attitude for Dobson and his allies to take.

Beyond that, Dobson is actually helping make Parker’s point insofar as he is clearly calling for a rigid alliance between conservative Republicans and a particular view of evangelical Christianity which one can only deviate from at one’s peril.

This strikes me as an unhealthy recipe for revitalization of the GOP, regardless of one’s views of the role of religion in politics.

h/t: John Cole

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Betancourt makes Colombia return

Former hostage Ingrid Betancourt has made a surprise visit to Colombia for the first time since she was dramatically freed five months ago.

The French-Colombian politician has lived in Europe since her release from Farc rebels after six years in July.

Reportedly she had remained in Europe because of death threats and general safety concerns after her rescue.

There had been speculation that she might return to politics. My views on that topic have not changed and can be found in this post.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Colombia, Latin America | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
Saturday, November 29, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Saudi king says oil should be $75 per barrel - Yahoo! News

Saudi Arabia’s king says the price of oil should be $75 a barrel, much higher than it is now, but his oil minister indicated Saturday that no measures will likely be taken until OPEC meets again next month.


“We believe the fair price for oil is $75 a barrel,” he said, without saying how the price could be raised.

Or, presumably, without explaining why the arbitrary figure of $75 per would be the “fair price.” Although the Qatari Oil Miniaster claims that such a prices is needed to encourage investment:

“The price between 70 to 80 (dollars a barrel) is the one encouraging in investment and developing new or current oil fields,” he said. “It falls below 70 (dollars), the investment would freeze, which will lead to a crisis in supply in the future.”

Nigerian Oil Minister Odein Ajumogobia also said they would be “very happy” with oil at $75.

Less investment in long-term supply, it is pretty obvious that the issue has far more to do with short-to-medium term politics:

The recent price drop has left OPEC price hawks Venezuela and Iran clamoring for further reductions of at least 1 million barrels a day. Both countries need crude at about $90 per barrel to meet spending needs aimed in part at propping up domestically unpopular regimes.

The likelihood that OPEC will be able to drastically affect price itself is quite small. They have already met twice in recent months to try and curtail supply and yet the price has continued to plummet. More likely than not these regimes are simply going to have to face the fact that in the current global economic climate that they will not have the cash that they planned on having going forward.

Indeed, as the story notes:

A Nov. 24 New York-based Oppenheimer & Co. research report says that for oil to rebound to $65 a barrel, OPEC would need to cut crude production by more than 3 million barrels per day from its September levels — a move it called highly unlikely.

That’s a pretty drastic cutback, and even then they won’t reach their %75 mark. Further, the incentive for cheating will be high, as each of the states in question would love for overall supply to be decreased, just not their part of supply.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: The Economy, World Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
Friday, November 28, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

If you are trying to get up to speed on the Mumbai situation, here are some recommendations:

The BBC has a useful timeline: Mumbai under attack and CNN has a map of the sites that were attacked.

The NYT has a summary of events here: 5 Hostages Die as Mumbai Siege Persists - Mumbai Hotel Is Last Scene of Conflict.

Robert Kaplan has a good overview of the relevant domestic political context over at The Atlantic: Behind Mumbai.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Asia | Comments Off |
By Dr. Steven Taylor

While several of the hotels that had been attacked over the past several days have been secured, there are still three terrorists in the Taj hotel who are currently being engaged by Indian security forces.


On Friday night – 51 hours into the war-like operation on terror – the National Security Guard said there are at least three terrorists still holed up inside the hotel.

The NSG are in a close combat with the dogged terrorists at the iconic hotel after securing two other centres taken over by gunmen two nights ago.

While an all-clear was sounded at Hotel Oberoi-Trident and Nariman House – the other two flashpoints – NSG DG told CNN-IBN the operation at Taj would continue over night.

IBN is also reporting that some of the attackers were Pakistanis.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Asia | Comments Off |
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I had seen, in passing, a ref to Matthews possibly running for the Senate in PA in 2024, but I thought that it was a joke (and I forget where I saw it in any event). However, according to Nate Silver, it isn’t a joke: Chris Matthews Staffing Up for Probable Senate Run in 2024.

The seat in question currently belongs to Arlen Specter.

It would be an interesting move, in any event. Perhaps the Franken campaign inspired him.

Update: Matthews Denies Report

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2010 Elections, US Politics | Comments Off |
Thursday, November 27, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

As Thanksgiving Day 2024 comes to a close, I have to say it has been, in my little corner of the world, a lovely day. I have largely avoided my normal daily does of news, instead having had a day of the four F’s: family, food, football and fotografías.1 I certainly have much to be thankful for in regards to my wonderful family pictured below and the food was delicious and plentiful. On a lesser quantum of significance, I can’t argue with the football outcomes and messing with the fotos was quite relaxing…

I am also thankful for the magic of the internet and blogging (not to mention e-mail), which, amongst other things, allows me to have far more contact with distant friends (another “F”!) in ways that otherwise would not be possible (I hope you all had a fine day).2

I will say, that as we all have so much to be thankful for, and even with my own self-imposed news avoidance (mostly), I have to admit that my mind has often gone to the the horrible events in Mumbai. On that subject, I recommend this post on that topic from one of the aforementioned distant friends.

Cheers to you all.

Sphere: Related Content

  1. i.e., all the photoblogging []
  2. I am especially reminded of this, as not only do I frequent their blogs, I have had direct communication from several of them today-truly a marvel of modern tech. []
Filed under: Not politics, photoblogging | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
Next Page »

Take a Look At This!

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



Visitors Since 2/15/03

Powered by WordPress