20 January 2007

In The News

I'm going to make commentaries on the day's news a fairly regular thing. News items were a regular feature of every course I ever had with my best prof ever, Dr. Hodge (sorry to any of my Dal profs reading this!), and his commentary was always insightful and sometimes inciteful. So in that tradition, here we go:
  • Hilary Clinton is officially throwing her hat in the ring for 2008. The Democratic side of the race for the nomination is definitely getting interesting. Between Clinton and Obama, it's got the potential to be a landmark moment in American politics. The junior senator from New York is more than a little familiar with the White House, has instant name recognition (if not the greatest reputation or credibility), and more than enough ambition to give this a run that goes right to the convention in the summer of '08.
  • The Globe has a headline that just reeks of "duh" quality: "More than 'drug addicted prostitutes.'" Congratulations, you've recognized that Pickton's victims were actual human beings. There's a real problem in society when it comes to giving recognition to prostituted women as being people with stories to tell. As the women of Ipswich can attest, the only time we really hear about prostitutes is when they are murdered. Something must be done to help alleviate their plight and allow these women to escape the horrific conditions in which they are forced to "work"--as the overwhelming majority would prefer to do--and thus this story (but not its headline) gives me, albeit faint, hope that the government recognizes the ongoing problem of male sexual violence against women is one that it can, should, and must attempt to end. It was more than a little refreshing to see an expert actually recommend the Swedish model, which I've said more times than I care to count is the avenue we should be seeking.
  • Peter Mackay says that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will require "joint efforts." This is about as much a news story as saying the sky is blue, but it's still nice to see Canada playing a part in negotiations in the Middle East. I'm always skeptical when I see a U.S. administration trying to advance the process when it is in its final two years because it inevitably ends up being a failed "legacy project," but this time is different: there is no Yasser Arafat around to obscure and obstruct the process this time around. I'm also in agreement that a provisional Palestine with temporary borders is not a good idea. It would only set the stage for future irredentist struggles and land grabs. Negotiation over the borders of Israel and Palestine must be on a permanent and final basis, which will end up prolonging the discussions but will ultimately produce a result that is beneficial to all parties that aren't committed to the destruction of Israel. Hamas, get out of the way.
  • Fidel Castro is reportedly close to death. Quick, send Sacha Trudeau! Like Arafat, Castro is an obstacle to his people and their ability to realize their ambitions. His passing into history will finally close another chapter of the Cold War and put an end to communism in the Western Hemisphere, though apparently his buddy Chavez is well on his way to establishing it in Venezuela. It's amazing to think that Castro has been running Cuba into the ground since 1959. Just think how many transfers of power there have been in the world's democratic states since then.

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