28 February 2011

Pressure for Change Builds Across Arab World, Washington Post

The pressure is unlikely to go away any time soon.  The world has fundamentally changed in the past two decades and it’s because the Internet has transformed communication.  Long-time oppressive governments are no longer able to hide their secrets. Thank Al Jazeera, Wikileaks, and the blogosphere. The Internet is the modern day equivalent of the printing press.

How Chris Christie Did His Homework, New York Times

This is a spectacular New York Times article.  While the article deals with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his quest to bring public employee expenses under reign, it is also very informative and lays out a lot of the problems associated with the nationwide state pension crisis.  Politicians have been giving the public unions “handouts” for years; except, they did it by promising money later, so that they would be long gone by the time the bills were due.   Our generations will have to deal with the mess created by others, unfortunately.

Gays Who Don’t Want Gay Marriage, The Daily Beast

While I have nominally supported gay marriage, this has been my long-standing issue with it, as well.  I say this as a heterosexual man, who has a partner, and neither of us have any desire to be “married.”  From my perspective, marriage is a religious affair and I don’t understand why we bother to entangle state marriage (recognition of certain legal rights and obligations) with religious marriage (a spiritual union between two people under a certain religious tradition).

Libyan Chaos Stirs Global Panic Over Oil Supplies, Associated Press

The idea that the absence of Libyan oil supplies will radically harm supply is misguided.  In reality, Libyan, by itself, probably will not have a major impact on oil.  Therefore, oil speculators might be making a poor bet.  All the same, other Arab world disruptions, particularly one in Saudi Arabia, could have a significant impact.  That said, with oil hovering around $100/barrel, there’s very little to stop new supply from North America from pushing into the market at some point, so any spike to $120/barrel will not be long-term IMO.

Chinese Police Clamp Down on Protests, Washington Post

It’s unlikely that protesters in China will be able to topple their government in the same way that Tunisians and Egyptians did, but this is significant all the same.  The Western world has developed a mythical view of China as this unstoppable locomotive that will overtake the United States.  The U.S. certainly has its share of problems and will have to share its power more in the future with other parts of the world, but the conclusion that China’s growth is built upon anything other than a house of cards should be re-examined.  While China did experience major economic gains in the ’90s and the ’00s due to liberalization, it’s making the same mistakes that Japan and the Soviet Union did.  In the past decade, it has built itself up mostly through massive government spending and currency manipulation; not real economic progress.  Rising inflation and housing prices ares a testament to this and a real estate collapse could cause a global re-evaluation of China.

That’s all for this edition of the Hunnish News Invasion.  We hope you continue to come to us, as we ruthlessly share news from across the world and conquer the world with our own unique commentary!

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