The Plaid Avenger

Plaidcast  |  The Americas

Professor Rant: SOPA stopper = Return of Democracy

In the first full-on raging rant of the semester, the Professor talks about the deeper and more thought-provoking impact of the SOPA/PIPA internet protest that occurred yesterday, and how it reflects a new wave of democratic expression in the US. That is, it wasn’t just about internet freedoms and the power of innovation it brings, but also how the movement itself physically unfolded via social networking…a mechanism that mirrors other protests around the planet that are delivering power to the people, and out of the hands of corporations/kings/dictators in general. Power to the peeps, baby!

Keywords: SOPA, PIPA, Wikipedia, Google, Apple, iAuthor, MPAA, Arab Spring, social networking, protest, black-out, innovation

In Other News…US Invades Australia!

Crickey! 1000 troops being deployed to Australia? What, is there a rabid army of koalas getting ready to overrun Canberra? Not at all, and in fact this is a much longer-term strategic shift that I believe is going to be of great consequence for the entire Pacific realm. Just as US President Obama is pushing for the Pacific free trade area called the TPP, it is being leaked out that the US has plans (for the first time ever) to have US troops stationed in Australia. Taken together, this speaks to a gigantic US shift of focus, both economically and militarily, to the Pacific realm…probably to increase economic activity, shore up and protect its allies, increase its influences, all while also simultaneously countering the growing influence of China in this PAcific ‘hood. Watch this and learn more about the Pacific specifics of US moves into this most crucial 21st century water world!

Keywords: Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim, APEC, TPP, Japan, Australia, US troops, Darwin, Northern Territory, China, South China Sea

In Other News…the TPP: Trans-Pacific Partnership

Barack Obama’s new baby: a full on free trade block forming! The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement currently being negotiated among the United States and eight other partners…and is getting ready to be rolled out at the big APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting this weekend in Honolulu. This move signals the ever-increasingly important economic shift from the Atlantic-centered world to the Pacific, and also can be interpreted as a US strategic move to cement its influence in the Pacific arena…possibly to counter China’s power, and certainly to try to expand US exports to these bustling economies. Who will get on board this TPP train? Let’s find out!

Related Stories:
Premier Says Japan Will Join Pacific Free Trade Talks
Push for Pacific free trade block gains traction
U.S.-China tensions colour APEC meet

Keywords: TPP, Trans-pacific Partnership, APEC, US, Obama, Japan, South Korea, Chile, China, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Peru, Brunei, Malaysia

Crazed Cops Cause Chaos For Correa

?Ay, caramba! Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was just given an in-public full-on smack-down by some pissed off policemen?and it was feared the entire country would collapse into chaos! Who is heck is this Correa, what happened to him, and what in the living hell would have caused Ecuador?s police force to go postal on their own President? The Avenger did a quick trip to Quito to unravel this mess, and even found some positive repercussions to this presidential pummeling?.namely: democracy triumphed!

Related Stories:
State of siege in Ecuador as Rafeal Correa takes on rebel police
'Coup' drama plunges Ecuador into uncertainty
Ecuador calm after police unrest

Keywords: Rafael Correa, Ecuador, austerity measures, South America, Latin America, leftist, conservative, IMF, World Bank

Cool Calderon Bags a Barbie (part 2)

Holy hot tamales my amigos! Mexico is on fire, and I’m not talking about jalape?os either! President Felipe Calder?n and the Mexican government’s war against drug cartels has ramped up in violence and death count in a very big way in the last 4 years, impacting all levels of society both within Mexico but also neighboring countries/regions. Instead of delving in the dirty details of the daily violence, the Plaid Avenger explains the “Why here?” and “Why now?” behind the rise of these cartels in northern Mexico here in the 21st century.

Related Stories:
Mexico fired 10 percent of federal police in 2010
Mexico rethinks drug strategy as death toll soars
U.S.-Mexico Cross-Border Marijuana Traffic
Gang violence in Central America
Who's responsible for US illegal drug traffic? (GREAT graphics!)

Keywords: Mexico, drug cartels, Felipe Calder?n, US, Central America, Colombia, NAFTA

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Issue 2: Battle For Burma

Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?

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