Archive for the 'Foreign Affairs' category

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Limitations of Rationalism

Political Science. It was so easy to say, back at university, answering “what’s your major.” What a wonderful feeling, learning grand models that could not only explain but help you predict human behavior.
Now, having lived in the realm of international relations, in one form or another, for a number of years, I long for those days of confidence. Not to exaggerate the simplicity of my education, of course – there was plenty of skeptical back and forth. But at the end of the semester you still walked away with your grand theories.
Human, or government for that matter, behavior, presents itself as irrational more often than it rings of realism or liberalism etc, in far too many cases. Navigating the webs of relations and causes/effects can leave one with head spinning…

You mean I get to do this for a job?

I stole the sign saying “Seating Reserved for Diplomatic Corps.”

Jamaicans love their loud music in the first place, so a stadium packed with 30,000 rabid tribal political supporters, with as many airhorns, called for speakers this big.

Jamaica’s People’s National Party, currently the opposition party in government, held its final National Convention before the next general election, when its leadership promises to take back the government it lost to the Jamaican Labor Party in 2007. It has, indeed, been an eventful four years under JLP leadership, with what amounts to warfare in Tivoli Gardens, global recessions, changes in the tides of global powers and alliances, and a myriad domestic woes.

The public session on Sunday set an all time record for attendance.

Inspiring the crowd – Jamaican style.



Defunding Diplomacy

An evisceration of the State Department’s finances, backing out of America’s obligations to the United Nations? Of course! Reduce the amount of blood and gold being spent on military activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, however, or hold back some of the billions dumped into the bolstering of Israel’s military defenses? Forget it!

The budget proposed by a Republican budget plan goes in that direction, according to the AFP, slicing the State Department  budget by about 8% from the previous year.