The world and USA


Kool Keith on the Auto situation:

Realistically expect my gross is twenty times your checks
Triple that diamond around your necks, besides I hate cars
You feel the turbulence, fasten seatbelts, close your vents
Rugged horsepower, M-20-F, executive manifestin you a lesson
False representation’ll leave y’all sweatin in the train station
Remember I’m blacker than your used Acura
That’s why I laugh at ya
like a anorexic model on the crack bottle
Y’all play Frankie Beverly I’m in the future with a phaser network
I bet ya I’ll make your beck hurt
Endorsements from the universities can’t stop my abilities
Financial trainin on the campus
Sock ya like ? did Kurt Rambis
Fax you that flight number, stand by frequency
Don’t mess with me
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO
(Keith Turbo) Pontiac, GTO



‘Bamas’ appointment of Clinton as secretary of state may become problematic. Some commentators fear that it opens up for palace wars and moreover that she is more hawkish and generally less tolerant than Obama. But Obama will make sure that everyone knows who’s the president and expectations of what he actually can and want to do foreign policy wise — for instance in regard Palestine and Israel — should perhaps not be too high anyway, with or without Clinton. The appointment however may be seen as a sign that Obama will do what he has promised and take diplomacy and the revival of US soft power seriously. Clinton may not have substantial foreign policy experience but she is known figure, she allegedly has charisma (something which I haven’t noticed) and has a lot of contacts around the world. So if the two can work together and also cooperate with Pentagon this might help the return of soft power, and a decrease of hard power abuse.





The one president at a time president bails out thanksgiving turkey but stays quiet on economy, although he repeatedly ensures that he’ll keep president-elect Obama informed about the situation and that he appreciate Hank’s hard work.

Meanwhile president-elect uses the visible hand, announcing names of economic advisers he’s going to take economic advices of, and voi⋅là the rational stock market goes up up up!

He’ll announce security adviser team soon too — Gates stays as defense minister and Clinton becomes secretary of state etc. — so if everybody at the international theater of war and diplomatics acts as rational as actors in the market does everything will be just fine and dandy. And Rummie, Cheney and others responsible for one of the darkest eras of USA will … probably not be held accountable in the US and they will definitely not go to holiday in the Hague any day soon.

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the US Intelligence Community have reached the same conclusion as Johan Galtung, the Grandfather of peace studies who in 1980 correctly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union within ten years. Namely that US dominance will end within a couple of decades. (In the wake of the Wall Street meltdown this prediction probably doesn’t seem far fetched.)

NIC’s Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (opens pdf) paints a bleak picture of the future but with a few glimpses of hope. But scarcity, they argue, will be the hallmark of the new world.

Everybody, including NIC, now seem to agree that USA squandered its unipolar moment. Even though US may still be the largest economic and military power in 2025, its leadership ambitions will increasingly be met with distrust as will the Western liberal democratic model in general. The global political economic order will be completely reconfigured. US power will be balanced by the rise of the BRIC (Brasil, Russia, India, China)

“China, particularly, offers an alternative model for political development in addition to demonstrating a different economic pathway.” (NIC 2008, p. 34)

EU, will be strong but troubled by internal bickering. Much of Latin America and Africa will be early losers. Ongoing troubles will make it harder for the global community to focus on long-term risks. Nations and global governance institutions like the UN are ill fitted to meet global challanges of resource depletion, climate change, terrorism, resource conflicts and imploding states. The geopolitical rivalries will increase. Multilateralism, concerted efforts and empowerment of women are however our best chances.

“We could have a better world in 2025.” ( Thomas Fingar, chairman of NIC)

NIC’s bet on 2025 economic ranking

1 US
2 China
3 Europe
4 India
5 Japan
6 Russia
7 Brazil

Video “Global Trends 2025”

The National Intelligence Council Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (pdf)

Johan Galtung On the Coming Decline and Fall of the US Empire



New York Times





Peace and Freedom II

The Cynical Optimist


This blog on the role of USA in the 21st century world order

Many on the left are concerned that Obama’s choice of conservative foreign policy advisers and neoliberal economic advisers invalidates his commitment to change.

However, a glance at earlier presidents show that there are both those who chose competent advisers but don’t let them steer the agenda, for example Clinton who had many progressive advisers but stuck to his pro-corporate track, and those who give a lot of leverage to advisers, for example Reagan and Bush II. It’s reasonable to suppose that Obama belongs to the former category and that he will call the shots. Therefore, as Randy Shaw argues, people should be most concerned that he choses advisers that can get things done.

“I admire Rahm Emanuel greatly, he is a wonderful politician, his skills and instincts are extraordinary […] he studied Ballet for a few years. In fact, he was the first to adopt Machiavelli’s the prince for dance. It was an intriguing piece, as you can imagine” Barrack Obama 2005

A wise president ought to choose the wise people in his state, and give them the liberty of speaking their mind to him; but he ought to question them upon everything, and listen to their opinions, and afterwards form his own conclusion.

However one can, as many have done, of course discuss if Obama is really that progressive himself. And from a Scandinavian point of view he’s indeed more or less right of the center. Hans Blix said the day after the election that said that he thougth of Obama’s victory as more of a relief that McCain didn’t win than anything else. Personally I’m slightly more optimistic. Judging from the state of global affairs, humanity seem to have arrived at a bifurcation point. It’s up to the “grass roots” to force Obama in the direction of change. And he, not his advisers, shall be held accountable if he breaks his commitments.



Web-based methods were important for the most efficient and innovative election campaign ever. Now the President-Elect has started a brand new blog in which he will communicate his intentions with the public during the transition period. Det progressiva USA says that this makes it possible for Obama to get his messages through independent of traditional American media.

The rest of the world will obviously evaluate this election campaign and we can foresee that the internet will be increasingly important for election campaigners in the industrialized democracies.

In an ideal world the web may also facilitate transparent, honest and inclusive politician-public communication. That, of course, presupposes a shrinkage of the digital divide. In any case, the future will tell if this blog will be used to strengthen vertical interaction and if it will become a new and important governmental portal alongside

There is a monumental difference between the goal of being balanced and and the goal of being objective.

A study of the campaign coverage conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism suggests that FOX treated both President and VP candidates to approximately the same level of good and bad press.

In comparison, an interpretation of the report suggest that MSNBC (and ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN) took a Pro-Obama stance.

Supposedly this proves that channels like MSNBC were “pro-Obama/Biden & anti-McCain/Palin” and that FOX was “pro-McCain/Palin and anti-Obama/Biden”. Many people now argue that study shows that FOX News gave their viewers the most balanced coverage of the 2008 campaign. “The only thing still shocking at this point,” Rob writes, “is how many times this rampant, unapologetic bias is uncovered without the media being even so much as embarrassed or ashamed about it”. NewsBusters, of Media Research Center, “the leader in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias”, argue that the study confirms a strong tilt by journalists in favor of the Democrats.

But is that really how PEJ’s study should be interpreted? Unbiased doesn’t necessarily mean saying the exact same number of positive and negative things about both sides. There is a monumental difference between balanced and objective. McCain and Palin made a hilarious number of blunders during the campaign compared to Obama/Biden. Thus, doesn’t the study suggest that Fox was relatively negligent to the negatives of the McCain campaign? Moreover the study isn’t measuring qualitative aspects of the “positive” or “negative” things being said. There’s clearly a difference between opining that Obama is a socialist or Muslim and thus likely to support terrorists than to state the fact that Palin was repeatedly unable to answer what the Vice President does.

Lastly this study points to another interesting question: While the right wing nutters keep complaining about “Liberal bias,” lots of media outlets probably where in favor of Obama. Should the Media strive and/or claim to be objective or should they openly argue (in accordance with implicit normative standpoints and/or material interests) in favour or against this and that? 


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