Left-wing politics from the US to Nepal, via Zimbabwe, South America and Palestine.

Monday, May 01, 2006

First Post

Hey everyone, welcome to my new blog, 17 Fish Invaded Estonia. No idea where that title came from, but hey, what's new?

I'll be writing mostly about 'political' issues, from Nepal to Zimbabwe, through Palestine and New Orleans.

Some thoughts for today:
  • The New Black Panther Party showed up on Duke's campus today, as yet more fallout from the Duke lacrosse rape case. These guys were mostly just here to provoke, really. While I agree with most of their demands, it's clear that they are here to recruit and incite, without an original or coherent message. Their rally was pretty small, but had the largest number of Duke police at any event since the Palestine Solidarity Movement conference a couple of years back. A little over the top if you ask me. Police and Duke administrators outnumbered protesters quite a bit...
  • The new Israeli government was announced. More on that in the coming days. In some ways, this government is a throwback to the old large coalitions of the 90's. It's centrist-dominated, with a very strong presence of the ultra-orthodox. This latter group, represented by Shas, has held a strong position in most recent coalition governments. The only notable exception was the last government, in which the anti-orthodox party, Shinui, took their place. Shinui disappeared entirely in this election: they betrayed their voters by voting pro-orthodox in a number of key Knesset decisions. Such is the fate of populist parties in Israel, and I predict the 'new force' of the Pensioner's Party will similarly disappear come the next election.
  • Bolivia is nationalizing gas! Morales seems to finally be showing some teeth. With the new 'Bolivarian' trade agreement just signed, he may be feeling more empowered these days...let's wait and see if he becomes another Chavez. Personally, I don't think so. He just doesn't seem that flashy...
Just for kicks, here are a couple of blogs I've been reading lately:
It's always interesting to get news from the ground from places like Nepal and Zimbabwe. Blogs have enabled that to a greater extent than ever before. While access to the internet is still a very privileged thing, blogging has increased democratic access and control of media. There is wider access to the means of production of media, and since (political) power flows from the control of means of production (and from the barrel of a gun, thanks Mao :) ), we are seeing more democracy. It remains to be seen if large multinationals will be able to restrict information flow online, returning us to a previous age of closed and elitist reporting, from which we have only just begun to escape.

With that, welcome to 17 Fish!

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Anonymous arya said...

It's great that you mentioned Nepal. Wonderful show there, and the recent exporters of "democracy" and "freedom" can perhaps learn something about what the word genuinely means. I was hoping the King would live up to the U.S ambassador's prediction and leave the country dangling from the "wheels of a helicopter"!! That ambassador chap hasn't yet recovered from the Saigon shock! But I suppose the King is too overweight for such aerobatics. Anyway keep posting and cheers for the brave Nepalese.
To casual visitors: keep reading Rann. When it comes to madness-- methodical or otherwise-- no one can quite compete with him.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:14:00 AM

Anonymous mathpants said...

I find it IRONIC that Rann has condemned neither Iran, nor blacks, nor cheese, in any of his postings.

He pretends to be a liberal, butt is in fact anti-Semiotic.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 12:34:00 PM

Blogger Joey7777 said...

And what were the New Black Panther clowns' demands that you agreed with?

Thursday, January 10, 2008 3:45:00 AM

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