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Battle of the Pacific Blocks has Begun!!!!

Holy titanic trade tiffs! We got a full-on fight brewing in the Pacific between the future influencers of free trade…one that covertly has the US facing off against China…and you probably didn’t hear a damn thing about it in the US news yet, have you?  Was it just a coincidence that all major US officials have been visiting Australia and ASEAN in the last week? Not. Just after the big ASEAN meeting came the bigger EAS meeting, and then on the tail end of that came a surprise announcement: a RCEP trade block is forming up, the largest free trade zone EVER, and it does not include the US! Listen to the Professor rant about how this RCEP is now competing against the TPP for control of the Asia-Pacific soul! And holla back if you are interested at all in this interesting squall!

Related Stories:
Asia Leaders Push Regional Trade Pact
Obama Asia Trip Highlights US Hopes for Region
Everybody Loves ASEAN!
In Other News…the TPP: Trans-Pacific Partnership
And a whole mini-lecture on ASEAN - pan down to 3.4 ASEAN (13:38)

Keywords: ASEAN, EAS, RCEP, TPP, US, China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Burma, trade, trade blocks, free trade, New Zealand, India, East Asia Summit, Southeast Asia

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An Election Reflection…

With all the hype and grotesque amounts of money swirling around the all-important US election, the Professor offers a rant on the problems with the US system, which has morphed into a democratic monarchy, along with some comparative alternatives of elections and democracy and leadership systems around the world. Join the conversation, and take this country back from the royals!!!!

And if you enjoyed this rant at all, suggest a topic for tomorrow, and also pledge some dollars and get some prizes from the Plaid Avenger’s project at:

Keywords: USA. election, President, democracy, political parties, corruption, monarchy, UK, Prime Minister, parliament, India, Australia, Canada, Japan, Russia, one-party state, China, Democrats, Republicans, Communist, Labor, Tory

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The Bear Further Embraces the Dragon

The Russian throw-down has officially occurred:! Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it crystal clear (through words, actions, and official visits) that he sees Russia’s future in the East, not the West. Listen as the Professor points out all the Puin moves that make this assessment entirely obvious….including multiple disses of Team West on the G-8, on Syria, and on missile defense, while further embracing China, the SCO, and a “Eurasian Trade Union.”
Putin sez: “The fundamental interests [of Moscow and Beijing] coincide broadly both in international and economic affairs.”
Hu Jintao sez: “I am firmly convinced that your visit will contribute to further development of all-embracing strategic partnership and cooperation.”
Can you feel the love? I can smell it from here.

Related Stories:
Russia and China tout strategic partnership amid global breakdown
Russia, China Pledge to Boost Ties on Trade, Foreign Policy, Military
Putin aims to cement key alliance with China

Keywords: Russia, China, Eurasian trade union, bear, dragon, G-8, NATO, Germany, France, Belarus, Kazak, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan

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Russia Tilts East by Double-Dissing the West!

Vladimir Putin is back in the saddle of the Russian presidency, and one of his first moves involved a double-diss throw down on the US! He refused to attend the big G-8 Summit being hosted in the US! What is up with that? Plenty my friends, and it’s not all about the US either. Putin’s moves reflect a tilt way from the Team West dominated G-8 and NATO groups, and towards grander relationships with Asia and specifically China. Learn all the details of the double-diss here and the deeper meaning behind them.

Related Stories:
Vladimir Putin skips G8 summit, sends Medvedev
Putin flexes muscle in shunning US-hosted G8 talks
US nuke upgrade to trigger new arms race with Russia?

Keywords: Russia, US, Putin, Medvedev, Obama, G-8, NATO, missile defense shield, SCO, Eurasian Union, China, geopolitical, Chicago, diss

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In Other News…Pissed Indigenous Peeps!

In completely unrelated stories, there is suddenly a flurry of protest activity this week by pissed off indigenous peeps that are creating a bit of chaos on two different continents. In China, pro-Tibetan-rights peeps are facing of against a crushing Chinese military presence in Tibet and Sichuan; and in Australia, pro-Aboriginal-rights groups had a bizarrely brazen “attack” on Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard! Crikey! The Professor covers a bit of background on these events and offers some hypotheses about why that are happening now, and what they are all about.

Keywords: Tibet, Sichuan, China, Australia, Aborigines, Tibetans, indigenous, rights, independence, autonomy

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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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