Only 7? Sounds a bit moderate. It’s interesting how these ideas keep getting circulated but never really catch on beyond the margins. Are that many people really that unhappy with the system? Or are political partisans really just equivalents of sports fans (with “extremists” like the Antifa and Alt-Right merely assuming the role of the football hooligans)?.
By Bonnie Kristian
Look, we had a good run.
Well, maybe “good” isn’t quite the right word … but certainly it’s been interesting. These United States were a grand experiment. But the experiment has gotten out of hand. It’s time to peacefully dissolve the union.
I know, I know. This is not what good Americans are supposed to suggest. “Four score and seven years ago” and all that. But to borrow a lesser-known phrase from that brief address, it seems to me we have tested whether this nation “can long endure,” and increasingly it is clear it cannot. It’s just not working. Do you really disagree? Do you like the way things are?
We are fresh off a midterm election which has guaranteed two years of gridlock and rancor. But the issues that animated this campaign season are in no sense resolved. David Brooks’ recent diagnosis of “two electorates” conducting entirely separate conversations and motivated by entirely different primal fears remains equally perceptive. Mutual partisan hatred is still nearly total. It is still the case that the sort of person who would attend a Trump rally and one who joined the Women’s March do not wish to share a country with each other.
They may not explicitly say so, but they do come very close. How else should we interpret, “If you don’t like it, leave,” or, “If [candidate] wins, I’m moving to Canada”? However unserious, these are basically expressions of a desire for separate nations. . .
via We should chop America up into 7 different countries. Seriously.
Egypt on the Breadline
Al Jazeera (2016)
This film is about Egypt’s chronic bread shortage and a corrupt system of subsidies that severely threatens the country’s food security.
Under Nasser (1956-1970), Egypt was self sufficient in wheat, its main staple crop. In the 1980s, as Egypt allied itself more closely with the US, farmers were pressured to grow export crops instead of wheat. The ultimate effect was to bankrupt Egypt’s economy, as it fell victim to global commodity prices and were forced to borrow to pay for wheat imports.
Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring revolution and 2013 military coup have significantly reduced its productivity. 6,000 factories have closed and there has been a significant decrease in cultivated land.
The current government continues the pattern that emerged under the deposed dictator Mubarak. It allows government officials to monopolize Egypt’s imported wheat market, by setting a fixed price for wheat and flour that barely covers production costs.
At present, there are two main types of bread in Egypt. The first is government subsidized. Produced from imported flour, it has a fixed price of 10 cents per loaf. It’s widely described as “unfit for human consumption” – due to its tendency to contain insect parts, nails, cigarette butts and sand. The second type of bread is made from Egyptian-grown wheat and costs ten times as much.
Many analysts believe a skyrocketing increase in global fuel and food prices was a major trigger for the 2011 Arab Spring “revolutions.”
“Bread, freedom and social justice,” was a common chant in Tahir Square.
Iraqi MP Ahmad Al-Assadi, senior leader of the Iraqi Construction Alliance, revealed on Friday parliamentarian moves to pressure the Iraqi government to evict US forces from the country.
Al-Assadi said that the previous Iraqi parliament had started the calls, but now the new parliament was calling for a clear timetable for the US withdrawal from Iraq, Arabi21 reported. He added that US forces had entered the country at the request of the Iraqi government for training purposes and assistance in fighting Daesh.
Yet Al-Assadi stressed that: “After the big victory against these gangs [Daesh], the Iraqi government has the right to evaluate the need for American forces to remain on Iraqi soil”. He also said that the calls for US forces to leave would be doubled during the next parliamentary term, noting that the parliament was likely to accept the existence of advisors and trainers based only on the need specified by the authorities.
Regarding the position of the government, Al-Assadi said: “The government has the right to estimate its need for advisors and trainers. The parliamentary discussions, which called for revealing the number, places and need for the American forces were not closed”.
He stressed however that the parliament is entitled to make the final decision regarding whether US forces remain in Iraq or are asked to withdraw.
via Iraq parliament calls for US forces to leave