S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It is a small world --

Today, Saturday our current president (OCP) is at Camp David to enjoy his last weekend there. He left so that crews could repaint his house for the new guy, our next president (ONP) and his family, who will move in next Tuesday. OCP's stuff will be moved to Texas. Millions of U.S. citizens will watch the process of another peaceful transfer of power and find it perfectly normal. And millions more from other countries will also be watching with interest . Today's post focuses on those other nations (as is my usual practice on Saturdays), with a few interesting little tidbits of news of trivia.

OCP has been at it again -- Doing his "leader of the free world bit, The Raw Story reports that "Bush awards medal to three 'true friends' of the US*" (1/13/09). To quote:

President George W. Bush praised three "true friends of the United States" as he awarded the nation's highest civilian honor to Tony Blair, John Howard and Colombian leader Alvaro Uribe. The three men were given the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony at the White House in the final days of Bush's presidency.

The economic crisis knows no borders -- WorldChanging (1/12/09): "Stabilizing the Economy by Understanding* the idea of "Enough," i.e., the opposite of poor is not rich but sufficiency, a sense that there is enough. The Raw Story notes, "Financial crisis a distraction, says Nobel Winner,*" Muhammad Yunus, (12/3/08). Time Magazine wonders "Is the Euro the New Dollar?#"(1/1/09). From Grist comes "All Charged Up*" (1/12/09). It is a story reporting that China's BYD is to bring plug-in hybrid and electric cars to the U.S. in 2011. From Truthdig - Ear to Ground, we learned that "China Takes Bronze in GDP*" (1/14/09) To quote:

After reconfiguring its output figures, China has finally found itself on the medal podium for gross domestic product, ousting Germany from its role as third largest economy in the world. China’s economy has grown tenfold in the past 30 years, and its development, while marveled at, worries many environmental, human rights and labor activists.

Country by Country:

Bonus blurbs about other nations -- From a recent CQ Behind the Lines -- . . . Airport screeners in Shanghai ordered a retired policeman to drink his own urine sample to prove it was safe, Ananova informs. Jetstar’s decision to allow passengers to check in their own luggage has raised fresh security concerns at Australian airports, ABC News notes.

Borders and papers: South of the border, folks are disinclined to view border violence as a “Mexican problem,” when some 90 percent of the cartels’ weapons are smuggled from the United States, whose demand for illegal drugs is the prize being fought over, The Daily Telegraph tells — while The Miami Herald chides: “If anything, the U.S. government has been slow to recognize the threat.”

. . . Most of the citizens of newly independent Kosovo are Muslim, but “unlike most Muslim-majority nations, Kosovo is overwhelmingly pro-American, and its relations with Israel are excellent as well,” City Journal spotlights.

To conclude, to the U.S. and to the world, this transition is a pretty big deal. The foreign press, thousands of them are here to cover the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. In effect we will rub elbows all around the globe. And after that there will come a new era in our relations with other countries. President Obama's first visit to a foreign country will be to Canada in just a few weeks. To visit our closest neighbor is entirely fitting.

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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