Friday already?
The unwanted election

Ack! - another book

Or maybe ack ack ack ack!

Another book percolated to the top of my hold list yesterday - it's so nice having a library only a 15 minute walk away. And since a common bit of advice to writers is to read a lot - I am. Mostly fiction, but also several on how to write. Yesterday I picked up another one by P. D. James, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, and almost made it home. "My" pub had an open stage going on, so I stayed to listen, and chat, and drink many pints. Life goes on.

The Middle East's various conflicts are still covered in print and online but there's not quite the distraction of a few weeks ago, as many watched live coverage from Tahrir Square in Egypt. I know it used up a lot of my day - as well as my online bandwidth. Yesterday's Citizen had a good article by Ian MacLeod - Birth of a Revolution- that explained some of the demographics of the region, of what some call "age rage" . While 36% of Canadians are under 30, in Yemen it's 73%. Coupled with high unemployment rates - 27% in Tunisia and an overburdened medical and education system, with internet access to show what other more fortunate countries provide, and as a way to communicate across borders, it's not surprising that there is so much unrest.

Patrick Watson was in Saturday's Globe and Mail - How will Arab Spring reshape the Mideast? He challenges assumptions that Western liberal values are back in vogue in the area, and that Islam will have an only minor involvement. Most of the countries currently in upheaval in the area have little likelihood of a serious democratic outcome - the criteria for this are listed as "high income, low levels of injustice, and plenty of democratic experience". Many would do better with a benevolent dictator - I wonder if our own Stephen Harped would be interested? Watson's article also points out that Islam isn't necessarily to be feared as a destroying influence, granted that democratic elections in the area have increased the size of the Islamist, but the process also tends to moderate their positions. Speaking of moderation, it's suggested in the article - and elsewhere - that this would be a good time for Israel to start negotiations and no longer be seen as an occupier denying freedom to Palestinians.

Meanwhile the UN moves to impose sanctions and condemn the killings of protesters in Libya - and elsewhere - but won't go as far as no-fly zones. Campbell Clark - in the G&M - describes our slow development of a policy in this area, our eventual support for sanction but no open support of protesters, cautious optimism - a reminder of why we're no longer a member of the Security Council.


Note - trying to post more here (again) to keep this more active, without wondering that what I have is suffeciently earth moving. We'll see how long I last this time. I do have NaNoEdMo starting March 1!




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