Some political articles
Oil has been the main source of fuel for machinery in the 20th century. We can argue that it is one of the pillars of contemporary human civilization, powering everything from cars, factories, airplanes, to war tanks, house heating and barbeques. In short, we take it for granted.
Years ago, I recall reading a Scientific American article, The End of Cheap Oil, in March 1998 by Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrere. In that article, the authors predicted a sharp rise in prices due to many factors, the most important of which is producing countries overestimating their reserves to get long term credit from banks. They predict that the shortage is not 50 years away, but rather as near as 10 years away (approx. 2010 or so).
A while back, Dr. Saadeddin Ibrahim, a political and social activist in Egypt, wrote a New York Times article on May 23, 2005, titled: Islam can vote, if we let it. In it, he raises several valid points about democracy in Egypt and other parts of the Arab region eventually bringing Islamic factions to power. In general, he says that this should not be feared, as it is not the disaster that some in the West think it is.
He draws parallels between how Islamist parties in Turkey have proven to be moderate, and the possibility of similar parties in Egypt turning out to be the same.
Geneive Abdo is a long time journalist and academic who has worked and studied Egypt's political and social changes for 20 years. She has a telling article in the Washington Post titled: Is the US ready for Egyptian democracy?In the article she rebukes the Bush administration for always casting failues as success, whether in the mess that is post invasion Iraq, or hailing the recent flawed re-election of Mubarak, while ignoring the real opposition there: the elephant in the room, the Islamic minded Muslim Brotherhood.
Ahmed Mattar أحمد مطر is an Iraqi poet who have been living in exile for decades, most recently in London. His style is somewhat reminiscent of Nizar Qabbani نزار قباني but does not have the latter's knack for vulgarities and themes of womanizing. His poetry is very critical of rulers of Arab countries, lack of freedoms, the use of torture, clinging to power at all costs.
Two presidential candidates in Egypt's upcoming elections have withdrawn from the race. Nawal el Saadawi withdrew her candidacy a few days a go, though I doubt that she would get much votes, being on the fringe as far as most Egyptians are concerned. A few days later, Saad Eddin Ibrahim also withdrew from the elections, and also said he is boycotting the election, calling it a "farcical electoral process". He said that some people outside have been deceived by the recent cosmetic and token changes, and that the new election laws effectively prevents independant candidates from running.
Ali Abdullah Saleh has been president of Yemen for 27 years. On Sunday July 17, 2005, he announced that he will not seek re-election next year.
This move is unprecedented in the Arab world, where no head of state leaves office voluntarily, whether they are monarchs or so-called presidents.
In the last year and a half, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi has captured a huge mind share of mainstream news media. In this article, I try to gather some info on him to put him in perspective.
Here is an example of how one person can make a difference using determination, time, and the internet.Cory Horner, of Kamloops, British Columbia is an unemployed 24 year old electrical engineer. He is also a computer wiz. He undertook the daunting task of summarizing and tabulating the data from the records of Parliament proceedings.The result is a web site that summarizes how each member of parliament (MP) voted on every single vote. Also, how many times they are absent on votes, how many words they spoke and how many bills they introduced. The results are on the How'd They Vote web site.
Over the last few weeks, Canada's Federal government has been in a political crisis. It started in 2004, when on the June 28 vote there was no clear majority for any political party, thus forcing a minority government: the first in 25 years. This can have a silver lining, since no party holds absolute power and all things have to be negotiated.In April, the Gomery inquiry, charged with investigating the Ad Sponsorship Scandal from a decade ago, made public some explosive testimony about the Liberal Party funneling the money for elections.
When news leaked that the U.S. State Department annual report on terrorism showed that terrorist incidents have in fact increased after the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration decided to scrap the report, since it shows that the world is not safer after this invasion.
Now, it seems that pressure has caused the administration to release the report with several interesting statistics facts in it. Here is a very telling summary:
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