May 27th, 2012

Godzilla, default

The Syrian Rebels get aid in their great struggle against the evils of Assad:


But they get them from Saudi Arabia and like-minded countries that are solid modern absolute monarchies that are arguably how one, if one were hot and bothered to try, to build a totalitarian state using a monarchy as the template, states which are assuredly not committed to freedom or democracy, but rather to a religious-based totalitarianism that would replace the Assad variant of totalitarianism with an Arab face with a different variant but leave much of the same patterns intact.

Frankly put I am totally and completely ambiguous about this. It's great that they're finally getting real help instead of people talking about how tragic it is that they're getting none, but the people they're getting it from, be they US Allies or US enemies, are precisely not the kind of people whose solutions actually improve as opposed to worsen things. Assad is obviously a monster, if he weren't, he wouldn't be pushing this civil war to the extent he is. But a regime that Riyadh would feel comfortable with is not much of a change for the better and would arguably be one that would be much, much worse.

Your thoughts?
Groovy Kol

Nikolić: The strange metamorphosis

The surprise win of the nationalist Tomislav Nikolić on the 2nd round of the Serbian presidential election last week could be interpreted in many ways, but one thing is for sure. Serbia, and possibly the West Balkan region, is heading toward a new period of instability. If not for any other reason, at least for the very person Nikolić himself. He's been described as Milosević's close ally, and he's expected to make a sharp turn in Serbia's road to EU and NATO membership. Or maybe not.

The leader of the Progressive Party won 51% of the vote, and the incumbent Boris Tadić got 48%, so it was pretty close. Ironically, this election was called early by the incumbent (stating reasons that he wanted the presidential and parliamentary elections to coincide, but possibly aiming to garner more support while he still could). But Tadić's problem was the low turnout. Nikolić has a firm base that he always manages to organize, while the wider array of voters who generally vote moderate, this time didn't turn up in great numbers. And this cost the incumbent his post.

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We will need a whole new planet in 2030?

WWF Living Planet Report Warns That By 2030 Two Earths Will Be Needed To Sustain Our Lifestyles
Humans have radically altered ecosystems in the past 50 years Changes have brought many gains but at high ecosystem cost Further unsustainable practices will threaten development goals

In its report "Living Planet 2012", the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warns that if a sufficient number of people around the world do not change their lifestyle in the next decade, we might be in need of a second Earth very soon - by 2030 actually. And we still do not have another planet. Does this assessment mean to say that we will have wasted all our resources until that "deadline"? Not exactly. But it means that by that time, our way of life would have become irreversibly unsustainable. And that can mean only one thing: societal collapse.

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