Hey everyone, welcome to my new blog, 17 Fish Invaded Estonia. No idea where that title came from, but hey, what's new?
I'll be writing mostly about 'political' issues, from Nepal to Zimbabwe, through Palestine and New Orleans.
Some thoughts for today:
- The New Black Panther Party showed up on Duke's campus today, as yet more fallout from the Duke lacrosse rape case. These guys were mostly just here to provoke, really. While I agree with most of their demands, it's clear that they are here to recruit and incite, without an original or coherent message. Their rally was pretty small, but had the largest number of Duke police at any event since the Palestine Solidarity Movement conference a couple of years back. A little over the top if you ask me. Police and Duke administrators outnumbered protesters quite a bit...
- The new Israeli government was announced. More on that in the coming days. In some ways, this government is a throwback to the old large coalitions of the 90's. It's centrist-dominated, with a very strong presence of the ultra-orthodox. This latter group, represented by Shas, has held a strong position in most recent coalition governments. The only notable exception was the last government, in which the anti-orthodox party, Shinui, took their place. Shinui disappeared entirely in this election: they betrayed their voters by voting pro-orthodox in a number of key Knesset decisions. Such is the fate of populist parties in Israel, and I predict the 'new force' of the Pensioner's Party will similarly disappear come the next election.
- Bolivia is nationalizing gas! Morales seems to finally be showing some teeth. With the new 'Bolivarian' trade agreement just signed, he may be feeling more empowered these days...let's wait and see if he becomes another Chavez. Personally, I don't think so. He just doesn't seem that flashy...
With that, welcome to 17 Fish!