Brexit or not, here is what is important for the UK

The big topic in Britain now is all about Brexit – will it happen, will in not, what it will mean for the British public and international relations, and on and on. Commentators on all sides are throwing in their two pence, and much of what I have seen is either pro or con, with very little in between. So, I may as well throw in my few cents on the issue as well. Speaking as an American, but also an Australian, seeing that both Trump and Brexit happened in the same year, there may be some common ground here. Continue reading “Brexit or not, here is what is important for the UK”

The fractious state of Ukraine

Following on from the previous post it would probably be useful to look at Ukraine in  more detail, given what is taking place there, and what we might expect there in the near future. There are also the issues of Western meddling in that country, bad government within Ukraine, the neo-liberalization of Ukraine under Western direction, neo-Nazism, religious schisms and the fractious and fraught relations it has with its neighbors and internally. Ukraine is not a happy place, not where you might want to take your significant other for a vacation at the moment. Continue reading “The fractious state of Ukraine”

The Sea of Azov incident and Poroshenko’s gamble

As you may have heard, there was an incident on the Black Sea near the entrance to the Sea of Azov on the morning of 25 November between three Ukrainian military vessels and the Russian coast guard. No one was killed, and only three Ukrainian sailors slightly injured. The incident took place beginning at 6:10 am Kerch time and went on for most of the day. It started when the three Ukrainian vessels – two naval artillery boats and a naval tugboat – left Odessa headed for Mariupol, entered Russian territorial waters without following agreed protocol and regulations and proceeded to attempt to enter the Kerch Strait, over which the new Russian Kerch Strait bridge now crosses. The Russians are quite protective of their new bridge. Continue reading “The Sea of Azov incident and Poroshenko’s gamble”

California and its disastrous state of affairs

Two days after the midterm elections in the US, on November 8th, our attention was once again drawn to, or riveted on California, but not for the best of reasons. And as I got close to finishing this I got a piece of bad news, which made this article quite difficult to finish. We’ll get to why in a bit. California is known for a great many things. In the election cycles in the US it is known as a solid blue state (Democratic, as in Party), and at one time it was one of the most progressive states in the Union. It is not so much so now, and quite a lot has changed there in recent years, largely due to the advent of the tech sector, big money and neoliberal economic policy. At one time it was the place to be for many Americans and a great many people migrated there. Now many people are moving out, due to soaring rental and housing prices, changing demographics and economic reasons. It is a state that boasts an economy larger than England or France, the largest population of any state in the US, many technological achievements, and of course, Hollywood, just to name a few things. But given recent events, I have had to take another look at California’s astrology, and that, along with the latest event, is what we will cover here. Continue reading “California and its disastrous state of affairs”

The deal of the century and Gaza

Are you ready for the deal of the century? Well, it’s coming, reportedly on the 1st of December, and if recent events in Gaza are any indication it will not fly with Palestinians. The Palestinian leader Abbas has seen the deal and wants no part of it. The Palestinians want adherence to the terms of the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem. The US has said that like it or not, the deal is done. Such rhetoric will only serve to unite the Palestinians more strongly, further inflaming tensions. All of a sudden there seems to be a lot of interest in Gaza from the White House. If the deal is announced on December 1st as is purportedly planned, then it could be quite an explosive day. And in the midst of all this, Netanyahu is about to lose government due to his defense minister having just stepped down because of Netanyahu’s actions with regard to Gaza. Interesting times in old Palestine. Continue reading “The deal of the century and Gaza”

Khashoggi and what his death really means (a follow-up)

Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, it will be of use to us to begin to parse out what the event and its resulting outcry will mean for the world at large. It turns out that this was no small event, but rather a catalyst for long-term changes in the region and international relations. What has become apparent since that fateful day on October 2nd is that this was not an isolated incident, that it was premeditated, had been planned weeks in advance and that it is playing a significant role in the changing dynamics of international relations. Continue reading “Khashoggi and what his death really means (a follow-up)”

Midterm wrap-up: What to expect

Well, finally, the nail-biter of a midterm election is over. The world at large will breathe a sigh of relief for those quarters that have been appalled at the Trump administration, while there will be disappointment in the farther right-leaning and business sectors internationally. The election was touted as a referendum about Trump. And there you have it: As many pundits predicted for the US midterm elections, the Democrats have won the majority in the House of Representatives and the GOP has retained the Senate. However, there was no ‘blue wave’. The Dems only gained enough seats in the House for a simple majority. The GOP gained at least three seats in the Senate. But, it has been a setback for the Trump administration. Continue reading “Midterm wrap-up: What to expect”

The US Midterm Report

Unless you have been sleeping in front of the television for the past year, tomorrow we have yet another of the seemingly endless elections in the US. At least that appears to be a big part of what we hear about on American television – who will be running for president in a few years, or Congress and so forth. This one has been touted as being special, though, and especially for the world at large. Why? Because the outcome will likely have far-reaching implications for foreign policy, for international relations between the US and its allies/enemies, for financial markets, and on and on. Yes, it is an important set of elections, because it will determine whether or not Trump becomes a lame duck, or emboldened as to his policies. And that will play heavily upon the national mood, which becomes more and more restive with the passing of years. So, are we going to hear a prediction as to the outcomes of those elections here? Continue reading “The US Midterm Report”

A wobbly moon and Halloween horrors

World history is not the ground of happiness. The periods of happiness are empty pages in her.” (Hegel)

Starting on Thursday, 24 Oct, through to Halloween day, there was a series of shocking events, tragedies really, that marked the week before Halloween, and ended with Halloween day. It was one of those periods where we saw a confluence of violent events, and we were left scratching our heads wondering what was going on. Well, the signs were all there if one knew where to look, and we will outline some of that here. Before we do, though, as with any tragic event we extend our condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones and meditate for the safe and secure passage through the afterlife for those who lost their lives. Continue reading “A wobbly moon and Halloween horrors”

The Brazilian elections: There may be a few surprises shortly

In case you haven’t heard, elections were just held in Brazil. It was a landmark election for a number of reasons, which we will get to. Voter turnout was high. The man who won the presidential bid, Bolsonaro, defeated the challenger, Haddad, by 10 percentage points – a resounding win. Bolsonaro is controversial, to say the least. What may not be apparent is that Haddad made very significant gains in popularity after the first round of the election. In the first round he only polled at about 30%, whereas in the 2nd round he came in a 45%. But the election, in key respects, was a sham. Wait! you say… Continue reading “The Brazilian elections: There may be a few surprises shortly”