August 3rd – International News Round-Up (Part III)

Neo- Liberalism

SPERI

I was going to tag this under the United Kingdom but I see it now as a chance to make a wider point about a couple of things. One is that conservative parties and their policy of putting the matter of choice at an individual level and not willing to recognize the fact that systems can be gamed to make certain choices easier to make seems to cut across countries. This idea of circumstances not affecting the choices and outcomes of social processes is quite surprising and something that conservatives have become quite proficient at.

The second point I wanted to make was with respect to the famous David Cameron comment about people eating too much and not working out enough. There are tons of neighborhoods in the United States which have a real problem with basic access to healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are sometimes more expensive to buy since you have to make a bulk investment. Parents might work day to day. They simply don’t have the time to do this for their children. What compounds their problem is the fact that fast food companies have invested so much money in R&D that their per serving rates are absurdly low. Junk also satiates people a lot better than boring wholefoods do.

Now, these are all obviously complex arguments to make. They also require you to make observations on how ethical any of this, and how it affects individuals and communities over a period of time. That also might be why they’re apparently called the, ‘nasty party’.

David Cameron (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
David Cameron (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Abortion

The Guardian via Feminist Current

Apparently, women who are receiving the abortion treatment (pills?) are required to be told that their abortion can be reversed. This is after they have taken the first pill and before they have taken the second one. I’ve seen a bunch of articles that speak of this as a coercive practice. I really don’t see how.

ISIS

Fair Observer

How is the international consensus on genocide prevention helpful in the conflict that is fueled by ISIS? Clearly, the fact that it was drafted with national states as the primary actors in mind has affected the international community on some level, but I really don’t believe that it really has hamstrung efforts. There’s more fundamental reasons why there wasn’t more done.

July 29th – National News Round-Up

Gujarat Congress MLA Exodus

The Gujarat Congress unit was afraid enough of the BJP’s reach that they flew 44 legislators to Bangalore. This reminds me of what happened in Tamil Nadu, post the death of Jayalalithaa. The number of defections that have happened in the past couple of days has been outstanding. Every time this happens, one has to wonder how any of these dealings is constitutionally valid. No governor should stand behind this.

Zakir Naik

The controversial preacher has apparently been granted Saudi Arabian citizenship. Also his assets have been seized.

What now?

What’s going to happen to the already tenuous state of the India-Pakistan peace process? The article argues that the very fact that there is going to an interim PM and then a new one means that this is a setback. I kind of feel like this is a good thing, really. Granted, he attended Modi’s swearing in, but I honestly think that he didn’t do enough to challenge the military and the ISI. Bargaining with him was always about fool’s gold, because he was a man with very little leverage. Let the chips fall where they may. Maybe everybody will be better off this way.

Military Preparedness

Article speaks for itself. I would just like to point out one thing though. Why are we talking about air defense preparedness in light of attacks on the India-Pakistan border? Are we really talking about conventional capabilities in 2017?

NDA seat collecting in RS

The BJP can expect to have 57 seats is the RS by the end of the elections. Bring it on par with the Congress. Another blow for the opposition.

Nitish is CM again

This should have been the first headline. My apologies. There was an Op-Ed in the 29th July version of the Hindu (today) on the shrinking space in the opposition and the fact that there is no viable leader around which people like Nitish Kumar can sort of rally behind. There’ll be more to write on this matter in the future, that’s for sure.

Abortion Plea

I’m not trying to make value judgements here. I just want to understand what the rationale behind asking a 10-year-old girl to raise a child is. Also, I thought abortion when the person in question is pregnant post-rape was legal in India? Am I wrong?

BJP Gains

Map of BJP’s electoral gains since 2014.

Gandhi Speaks

Gopalkrishna Gandhi (VP candidate) speaks out on the right to privacy and other issues. Not that it matters anymore. The interview also brings into question how Venkaiah Naidu would behave if and when he is confirmed to have been elected as VP. VPs have generally been very quiet on the national stage, whatever their political affiliations have been.

The Story of Bihar

The story (as far as we know it) of what went down with the grand alliance In Bihar. The Prakash Utsav invitation was the first signs of a problem. I can’t believe that Lalu Prasad did not see this coming. A lot of people have him down as a simpleton who just happens to be in politics, but in my opinion, he is a very shrewd actor. At least he was. He might have been blinded by the fact that his son was the one who had been implicated in corruption allegations. Those are the chains that are the toughest to bear.

Nitish Kumar (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Nitish Kumar (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

C130J Arrives

C130J and the Mountain Strike Corp. Welcome news for the security community.