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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2009 at 20:21
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Nope. The EU was created to stop the relavite decline of the individual countries with respect to the competition from the U.S. and Asia. It works because those countries are developed already.
For developing countries, however, economical alliances are just a waste of time. Those countries should work to develop first.
 
Take for instance my country, Chile, which is almost developed already. Our strategy is simply to commerce with everybody, establish free-trade agreements with everybody, but don't compromise with economical protectionist alliances at all. If we want to spread our influence we invest in the targeted countries. If we want to compite better, we make complementary alliances.
 
If Chile had signed the Mercosur agreement, I bet we would be a lot worst than right now. Why we do need Mercosur when our import taxes are today smaller than Mercosur's.  Perhaps in the future, when Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay reach development, they will also change theirs mind on protectionism, and time will come to make some kind of alliances in the EU style.
 
However, countries should forget about alliances as the reason for development. They aren't. The only way a country can develop is working hard and being agresive in the international markets.
The rethoric of international congress won't replace economical failure.
 
By the way, our country belong to the ASEAN, it is guess member of Mercosur, it has free trade agreements with the U.S., Canada, Korea, Japan, China among many other countries. We armies of Chile and Argentina collaborate today. We share plans with the countries of the region in the physical integration through highways and railroads. Besides, most of our foreign investment is put in our neighbour countries. Even more, the president of the OAS is Chilean, and Chile is collaborating to rebuild Haiti.
 
So, the fact we don't believe in monolythic organism shouldn't be confussed with an isolationist policy at all.
 
 
 
 


Chile has done well as a country of late it seems, my congratulations to you and the people of Chile. Working hard and engaging in global trade is something I wholeheartedly agree with, all countries of the world should and probably want to do that. My hypothesis is that regional integration allows you to do this and other development efforts with greater effectiveness and results than if you could do it alone for example.

You make a good point that EU countries were already developed. Its however partly true, the Western European countries are developed, but the newer member countries in Eastern Europe and Balkans are lagging far behind.

Again the idea of Regional integration, is to help or enhance global trade in the best case and not to hinder in these efforts by any nation in the worst case.

As for making regional alliances between countries in defense, roads/railways infrastructure development, investment etc., these are all essential elements of regional integration. Instead of doing it in a planned organized region wide manner, what you are describing is decision making done by national govt. and doing it from a national initiative and perspective. The argument for Regional integration is that the same things are done, but done not from a national perspective, but from a regional perspective, reducing redundancies and inefficiencies. Economies of scale is hard to beat, the reason for the rise of US, China, India and Brazil and hence the idea of EU. The argument does not diminish if the regions are poorer, but it does make Regional integration efforts more difficult, because it is harder to convince a poorer and less educated skeptical public and leadership about a new reality that can be better than the current status quo. It is hard enough in EU, even if the core countries have the highest per capita GDP and HDI.

I believe all countries regardless of their level of HDI and development can benefit for Regional integration, otherwise, there would not be ASEAN for example, which after EU is one of the most successful stories of Regional integration. ASEAN has extremely poor under developed countries like Burma(Myanmar), Laos and Cambodia for example and at the same time has developed entities like Singapore and middle income countries like Malaysia.

One of the fundamental arguments I make is that smaller countries and regions with a disrupted history are at a disadvantage and Regional integration is one of the best ways to bring them to a better situation by giving them competitive advantage and thus put them in a level playing field with other big league countries and Unions, it may not be the only way and it definitely will not substitute for hard work and entrepreneurship. But on that issue, I believe, given the right opportunity all or at least most people are hard working and entrepreneurial, although there may be some degrees of difference between individuals, nations and ethnics, otherwise you would not see immigrants from poorer regions of the world doing extremely well in developed countries, which clearly shows that it is the system that is preventing them to excel, not something inherent to them. Hence my emphasis on fixing the system people are in, so there is somewhat of a level playing field for all people of the world.

The other thing I should point out is that Regional integration has some goals, most eventually want to become like a United States of Europe, as the EU. So political integration is the ultimate goal, although most start as economic and customs bloc.

Regional integration is also easier to happen among nation states which have common history of living together, common language if possible, common culture etc., so the eventual goal of a political union can be agreed upon by the inhabitants.

On this regard, Mexico is part of Latin America:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_America

That is why I suggest Mexico to go with Unasur or a Latin American Union, rather than US+Canada, whose stars are on the decline. Of course it will depend on what the inhabitants want and I don't think majority of US and Canadian citizens are ready for a political union with Mexico. For Mexico, I don't think it is wise to want to belong in this Union, however there is nothing wrong with continuing some migration and economic relationship under a modified NAFTA, which can eventually evolve into an agreement between NAU and LAU. Mexico along with Brazil and Argentina can and will play a leading role in making a very prosperous Latin American Union, that can very well compete in per capita GDP and HDI with US+Canada NAU in a few decades. The resources are all there, human, land and mineral, its all a matter of vision and leadership to make things happen. I cannot think of another region, which has a common language (Spanish and Portuguese are mutually intelligible I believe) and that is easier to unite in all respects. So I do hold great hopes for this region.





Edited by eventhorizon - 22 Dec 2009 at 00:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2009 at 21:03
You need to consider that human societies need to be hierarchically clustered with different responsibilities being dealt with at different levels.
 
For some ends regional groupings of states may be effective, but for others the nation-state needs to be broken down into smaller entities. On some issues (like, as an extreme example, allowing the building of minarets, decisions are best taken at very local levels - probably smaller even than the city or the rural district). At the other extreme there are some decisions that ought to be applied uniformly across the whole globe.
 
The only thing that one can say is definitely undesirable is the current concentration - growing even in the USA - on the nation state for deciding all issues.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2009 at 22:06
This declaration has a large dose of "wishful thinking":
 
eventhorizon:
rather than US+Canada, whose stars are on the decline
 
Markets depend upon consumers with adequate disposable income, whose agrarian base is highly diversified. Further, within this construct, one has to find the "brains" that grease the system. As of yet, I have not noted any dislocation of the notorious "brain drain" the US and Canadian economies inflict upon the rest of the globe! Placing aside all of the political rhetoric, little has changed in the old observation: When the US economy sneezes, all the others develop a cold (and some go into terminal pneumonia). I wonder what would ensue, were United States isolationism to produce a present-day equivalent of the old Smoots-Harley Tariff structure?


Edited by drgonzaga - 22 Dec 2009 at 04:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 00:13
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

You need to consider that human societies need to be hierarchically clustered with different responsibilities being dealt with at different levels.
 
For some ends regional groupings of states may be effective, but for others the nation-state needs to be broken down into smaller entities. On some issues (like, as an extreme example, allowing the building of minarets, decisions are best taken at very local levels - probably smaller even than the city or the rural district). At the other extreme there are some decisions that ought to be applied uniformly across the whole globe.
 
The only thing that one can say is definitely undesirable is the current concentration - growing even in the USA - on the nation state for deciding all issues.


Hierarchical pyramid structure is a natural state for human societies. Hereditary advantage has been on the decline for centuries, while meritocracy of capable brains are on the rise, hopefully it will become more universal, as lack of proper nutrition and being born in a backward region no longer hold back the potential of a superb brain. The potential of the development of a brain is also directly tied with the system it is born in and chooses to function in. As opposed to smaller nation states, a huge nation state entity, such as the US, China, India or Brazil, present much more of an opportunity for a brain to develop, because there are more problems to solve and the problems are bigger and more challenging in nature, while there are also resources allocated for these problem solving jobs. This I believe is one of the key for ending racist beliefs, where many races (ethnic groups) believe in their inherent superiority, whereas it may very well be just a function of climate induced biological advantage of limited value, but the main determining factors being (IMHO and hypothesis) historical continuity (lack of disruption) of societies and size of economies (whether as mercantile empires like the European colonies or as trading economies such as the US or EU). It is my belief, that when Regional integration do happen, it will create opportunities for the indigenous brains there to develop and thus show to the world that it is possible for all ethnic groups to reach high levels of GDP on their own effort. A meritocratic pyramid structure within each broad ethnic group will be a natural by product of the evolution of these Regional groups.

Many people think that racism is the exclusive preserve of the white man, but I would present a slightly more expanded picture.

Most Japanese, from somewhere in the Meiji period (probably after the Russo-Japanese war) up until WW II, were taught that they are superior to white man, but that belief was unfortunately shattered to some extent with the dropping of the big bombs. Lately with its economic success and the superiority of its products in the market place, such as Lexus, which many argue have soundly beaten German premium brands such as MB or BMW, that kind of belief has made a comeback.

So from a Japanese perspective:

1. Japanese
2. White Man (West European mostly, East Europeans and Russians hold a lower place unfortunately)
3. Korean
4. Chinese
5. Rest of the world (I don't know the details here)

From a Korean perspective, predictably:

1. White man
2. Korean
3. Japanese
4. Chinese
5. Rest of the world (again I will not venture into the details here)

From a Chinese perspective:

1. White man
2. Chinese
3. Japanese
4. Korean
5. Rest of the world

These kind of nonsense would cease to exist once the regional groups reach some parity with the development and growth of their per capita GDP. I believe it is only then racism as a whole will be on the decline on this planet and humanity will be ready for a global federation (political union) of different ethnic groups and regions that they live in.

A Brown vs. Board of education will not end segregation or racism in this world. A Barack Obama is a good positive step, but it will do little to end harmful racism and stereotyping that is so common and prevalent among humanity today. It is only with development of indigenous regions, reaching per capita GDP parity and the "archetypes" that take up the challenge to make that happen will create a different atmosphere than what we have today.


Edited by eventhorizon - 22 Dec 2009 at 01:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 00:48
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

This declaration has a large dose of "wishful thinking":
 
eventhorizon:
rather than US+Canada, whose stars are on the decline
 
Markets depend upon consumers with adequate disposable income, whose agrarian base is highly diversified. Further, within this construct, one has to find the "brains" that grease the system. As of yet, I have not noted any dislocation of the notorious "brain drain" the US and Canadian economies inflict upon the rest of the globe! Placing aside all of the political rhetoric, little has changed in the old observation: When the US economy sneezes, all the others develop a cold (and some go into terminal pneumonia). I wonder what would ensue, were United States isolationism produced a present-day equivalent of the old Smoots-Harley Tariff structure?


http://www.visualizingeconomics.com/2008/01/20/share-of-world-gdp/


Please go through the comments, some of them I found to be quite refreshing.

I did read the article in your link about Unasur, thanks. It does present an insider view with the problems and prospects. The fact that Unasur exists and people spend time on this effort, should tell us something about its perceived importance among the constituent. The interest, I believe, will only increase with the passing of time.

For your information, the brain drain already has a reversing trend among Chinese and Indian nationals, though the reverse is still limited in its scope. Again, as time passes, it will become more of an exchange rather than the current mostly one way drain.

The US+Canada will continue to be a major part of the world economy, but its relative share of world GDP will reduce steadily from its current 27% to less than 10%, as per capita GDP rises in the rest of the world, perhaps by 2050, at the latest by the end of this century.

Another somewhat related factor I should mention is that GDP rise to a certain level, industrialization and urbanization has been tied to reduction in fertility rates. So it is in the interest of humanity that all should work for the rise of per capita GDP and HDI in the poorer regions, so the high fertility rates can be arrested and thus the global population can be peaked off at a much lower level than currently projected figure of 8-10.5 billion. This effort I believe is as important as curbing green house gases, because the lesser the figure of peak population, the lesser will be its impact on the climate.



Edited by eventhorizon - 22 Dec 2009 at 00:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 05:08
Graphs and charts drawn from incomplete or inexistent data do not impress. Our "retired" colleague is working on the basis of fiction and contemporary fancies drawn from the obtuse world of theoretical "economics". Models are just that, models, and often do little else than obscure reality. I really love many of the "references"...blogs of the New York Times, give me a break! Contemporary problems do not translate well into facile charts and graphs promising the elixir of future health. In fact, they are so much balderdash since when all is said and down all of the abstraction do not leave a trace of Humanity at all!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 11:11
Actually, I agree with you Drgonzaga this time. Economics must be pragmatic to work. A country can sign the most fancy union with neighbour countries but if those populations are starving it won't make any good.
 
There is no replacement for working hard. Not for individuals and not for countries. Countries that work hard don't need deals. They just make the money they wish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 14:33
eventhorizon, I don't see what your reply to me has to do with anything I wrote. 'Hierarchical' has no connection with 'hereditary' nor is it incompatible with 'meritocracy'. And it certainly has nothing to do with race. (Certainly not that is in the modern sense rather than in the old one of government by priests.)
 
My point is that it is wrong - at least, inefficient - to focus all attention on one level of the hierarchical structure that our society inherently is. Substituting regional groupings for nation states (which after all are only regional groupings anyway) doesn't solve problems, it merely shifts them to another place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 19:24
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Graphs and charts drawn from incomplete or inexistent data do not impress. Our "retired" colleague is working on the basis of fiction and contemporary fancies drawn from the obtuse world of theoretical "economics". Models are just that, models, and often do little else than obscure reality. I really love many of the "references"...blogs of the New York Times, give me a break! Contemporary problems do not translate well into facile charts and graphs promising the elixir of future health. In fact, they are so much balderdash since when all is said and down all of the abstraction do not leave a trace of Humanity at all!


You are complaining that the graphs may not be 100% perfect, but I think its not really important. The graphs are shown to convey a broad concept, which I believe is valid, regardless of some imperfections of some methods in data collection.

You cannot deny that large countries like China and India have higher growth rates today and are regaining somewhat of their economic clout that was the status quo around 300-500 years ago, mainly because of the economies of scale, an inherent advantage of a larger economy compared to a smaller one. Of course this happened after some decades of bungling by the leaders of these countries and eventually they are probably "getting the hang of it".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 19:29
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Actually, I agree with you Drgonzaga this time. Economics must be pragmatic to work. A country can sign the most fancy union with neighbour countries but if those populations are starving it won't make any good.
 
There is no replacement for working hard. Not for individuals and not for countries. Countries that work hard don't need deals. They just make the money they wish.


Again completely agree that there is no substitute for hard work, it is essential, but Regional integration gives you added competitive edge.

Consider if Texas or California would want to secede from the US union, would any residents in these states even consider it in their right mind, probably not. But the opposite is true for Regional integration, nation states are already working on them and many groups are at various stages of implementation.


Edited by eventhorizon - 22 Dec 2009 at 19:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 19:37
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

eventhorizon, I don't see what your reply to me has to do with anything I wrote. 'Hierarchical' has no connection with 'hereditary' nor is it incompatible with 'meritocracy'. And it certainly has nothing to do with race. (Certainly not that is in the modern sense rather than in the old one of government by priests.)
 
My point is that it is wrong - at least, inefficient - to focus all attention on one level of the hierarchical structure that our society inherently is. Substituting regional groupings for nation states (which after all are only regional groupings anyway) doesn't solve problems, it merely shifts them to another place.


Before posting, I thought about what you meant by 'Hierarchical', I just took a shot in the dark, obviously I have missed.

Could you please elaborate further, its still not clear, do you mean Government as opposed to the governed?

You have a point about many nation states being Regional groupings anyways, definitely what I am proposing is moving to larger entities by integrating smaller ones, if it makes sense (have common history, culture, language etc. and most important if people may potentially want such a thing, even if they are not sure about it now).

I am not saying that moving to larger entities will solve all current problems, what it will do is provide competitive edge in my opinion, so the inhabitants can compete more effectively in the global market. It will make the playing field more level for the poorer and more disadvantaged and disrupted regions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 21:33
Originally posted by eventhorizon eventhorizon wrote:


Before posting, I thought about what you meant by 'Hierarchical', I just took a shot in the dark, obviously I have missed.

Could you please elaborate further, its still not clear, do you mean Government as opposed to the governed?
 
'Hierarchical' originally just meant government by priests. However it then became associated particularly with the was the Roman Catholic Church is basically organised: parishes at the bottom level, then dioceses, then provinces until you get to the Holy See itself which governs all.
 
Nowadays it has pretty well lost the religious connotation in general usage, and merely means organisation where small groups are linked into larger groups, and the larger groups into still larger ones, until everyone has been included.
 
From the political point of view, such groups are usually geographically connected: basic communities (say townships, cities) are grouped geographically into clusters (say counties), those are then clustered again until you get up to the nation state, which is where it used to stop. Regional groupings of nation states provide a next level up.
 
My point is that governmental (and economic and related) decisions are frequently messed up or otherwise sub-optimal because they are taken at an inappropriate level in that herarchy of clusters - either too high or too low. It's a corollary of that fact that some decisions ought to be taken at lower levels than they are now (thus increasing variety possibly at the expense of efficiency) while some others ought to be taken at higher levels (thus increasing efficiency possibly at the expense of variety).
 
That's very much a simplification (governmental institutions aren't necessarily hierarchical for instance) but the point here is that before you can decide whether decisions should be taken at regional level rather than national (or any such comparison) you need to spell out what decisions you are talking about. One solution doesn't fit all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 21:42
Eventhorizon mused:
 
You have a point about many nation states being Regional groupings anyways, definitely what I am proposing is moving to larger entities by integrating smaller ones, if it makes sense (have common history, culture, language etc. and most important if people may potentially want such a thing, even if they are not sure about it now).

If you peruse your history of the Americas, you'd quickly realize that in terms of "government", collective identification with overarching bodies supervising all was the rule and not the exception. Politically, for some 225 years, Las Indias were but two political entities, La Nueva Espana and Peru. It was not until the 1770s that the latter was subdivided into Peru, La Plata, and Nueva Granada. However, in terms of legislation, all were subject to the rulings of the monarch through the Consejo de Indias. What makes you think that the bureaucrats of today would be more administratively "enlightened" than those of yesteryear? Certainly in terms of "economics" the laws in that sphere were all homogenous as was the taxation structure. I doubt today's Ecuadorians would have something to say about "bowing" to any judicial structure based in Lima given the role of the colonial Audiencia de Quito in the shaping of this region's autonomy. Likewise, you'd do well to study the role of military jurisdictions (the Capitanias Generales) in terms of contemporary national identities. In essence, your argument calls for the resurrection of the old "empire" in modern dress. Would contemporary bureaucrats be more "efficient" than their historical antecedents? Somehow, given the nature of bureaucracy, I hardly think so, specially when it comes to the division of revenues! In essence, what you are proposing is a revisiting of the theme favored by all the sci-fi writers of the 20th century--geographical foci fighting over ever diminishing "resources": Shades of Things to Come!



Edited by drgonzaga - 22 Dec 2009 at 21:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2009 at 23:35
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by eventhorizon eventhorizon wrote:


Before posting, I thought about what you meant by 'Hierarchical', I just took a shot in the dark, obviously I have missed.

Could you please elaborate further, its still not clear, do you mean Government as opposed to the governed?
 
'Hierarchical' originally just meant government by priests. However it then became associated particularly with the was the Roman Catholic Church is basically organised: parishes at the bottom level, then dioceses, then provinces until you get to the Holy See itself which governs all.
 
Nowadays it has pretty well lost the religious connotation in general usage, and merely means organisation where small groups are linked into larger groups, and the larger groups into still larger ones, until everyone has been included.
 
From the political point of view, such groups are usually geographically connected: basic communities (say townships, cities) are grouped geographically into clusters (say counties), those are then clustered again until you get up to the nation state, which is where it used to stop. Regional groupings of nation states provide a next level up.
 
My point is that governmental (and economic and related) decisions are frequently messed up or otherwise sub-optimal because they are taken at an inappropriate level in that herarchy of clusters - either too high or too low. It's a corollary of that fact that some decisions ought to be taken at lower levels than they are now (thus increasing variety possibly at the expense of efficiency) while some others ought to be taken at higher levels (thus increasing efficiency possibly at the expense of variety).
 
That's very much a simplification (governmental institutions aren't necessarily hierarchical for instance) but the point here is that before you can decide whether decisions should be taken at regional level rather than national (or any such comparison) you need to spell out what decisions you are talking about. One solution doesn't fit all.


I see now, you are talking about city, county, state and federal govt. to use the example in the US.

Each regional group is unique in its own right, so they will have their unique road map for integration. While we can generally say that Regional integration is a positive step, because of the above uniqueness it will be difficult to talk about details of the integration road map for different regions, in general terms.

Instead I would like to look at each Regional group one by one and their unique situations in some detail, starting with the most successful ones and then going on to the poorer regions where more attention is needed. Here we will go into division of labor between national and regional governmental bodies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2009 at 00:35
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Eventhorizon mused:
 
You have a point about many nation states being Regional groupings anyways, definitely what I am proposing is moving to larger entities by integrating smaller ones, if it makes sense (have common history, culture, language etc. and most important if people may potentially want such a thing, even if they are not sure about it now).

If you peruse your history of the Americas, you'd quickly realize that in terms of "government", collective identification with overarching bodies supervising all was the rule and not the exception. Politically, for some 225 years, Las Indias were but two political entities, La Nueva Espana and Peru. It was not until the 1770s that the latter was subdivided into Peru, La Plata, and Nueva Granada. However, in terms of legislation, all were subject to the rulings of the monarch through the Consejo de Indias. What makes you think that the bureaucrats of today would be more administratively "enlightened" than those of yesteryear? Certainly in terms of "economics" the laws in that sphere were all homogenous as was the taxation structure. I doubt today's Ecuadorians would have something to say about "bowing" to any judicial structure based in Lima given the role of the colonial Audiencia de Quito in the shaping of this region's autonomy. Likewise, you'd do well to study the role of military jurisdictions (the Capitanias Generales) in terms of contemporary national identities. In essence, your argument calls for the resurrection of the old "empire" in modern dress. Would contemporary bureaucrats be more "efficient" than their historical antecedents? Somehow, given the nature of bureaucracy, I hardly think so, specially when it comes to the division of revenues! In essence, what you are proposing is a revisiting of the theme favored by all the sci-fi writers of the 20th century--geographical foci fighting over ever diminishing "resources": Shades of Things to Come!



The stations we have left behind in our past on our one way train to future, shall never return, so "empires" of yesterday will be nothing like Regional groups of nation states of tomorrow. So an EU will resemble the different incarnations of Roman Empires only in the fact that they combined large European landmass and ruled over a majority of European population. Its governing methods and efficiencies will hopefully be vastly more advanced and improved.

Instead of H G Wells' Things to Come, I would rather look at the following links that are more relevant:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychohistory_%28fictional%29
http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=2435
http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/07/creating-real-life-version-of.html
http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/11449.html
http://www.zompist.com/psihist.html

Fighting over resources is probably as old as life itself. Learning how to do it without shooting ourselves in the foot is something we will need to learn, to save our common future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2009 at 01:00
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

A rogue nation on its way to the top, riding on coal powered locomotive as engine of growth, the world environment and its climate who needs them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2009 at 03:15
This is a twofer in one as response to eventhorizon's musing:
 
The hapless savants of The Guardian would blame China for crucifying the Christ given half the chance. There is no end to the wrath of a lefty scorned by another "revolutionary"! The UN gonzos responsible for Copenhagen knew far well in advance that no "treaty-like" accord envisioned for Copenhagen would have (pardon the expression) a "Chinaman's chance" of receiving consent from the United States Senate, and such has been more than obvious since Kyoto and the notion the Chinese scuttled Copenhagen is nonsense. At least the Chinese were honest in telling these blokes there's no way your bureaucrats will trump our bureaucrats and their objectives. Given that the issue of "sovereignty" is a hot button in the political globe, all these UN bloviators achieved was an opportunity to belch a little gas. The Obama platitudes in this regard was little more than an opportunity for these international think-tankers to save a little face...a concept well known to the Chinese. After the Asian economic summit of the summer everyone knew this topic was DOA at Copenhagen. So spare us the finger-pointing.
 
As for those little threads drawn from the gaseous ether that is the Internet, perhaps all of the people busily envisioning those scenarios should take time out to read the "original" thing: The Utopia of Saint Thomas More.
 
Lacking that effort then let us all hail The Worm, God-Emperor of Dune! Psst, want to buy some "spice"?


Edited by drgonzaga - 23 Dec 2009 at 20:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2009 at 18:32
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

This is a twofer in one as response to eventhorizon's musing:
 
The hapless savants of The Guardian would blame China for crucifying the Christ given half the chance. There is no end to the wrath of a lefty scorned by another "revolutionary"! The UN gonzos responsible for Copenhagen knew far well in advance that no "treaty-like" accord envisioned for Copenhagen would have (pardon the expression) a "Chinaman's chance" of receiving consent from the United States Senate, and such has been more than obvious since Kyoto and the notion the Chinese scuttled Copenhagen is nonsense. At least the Chinese were honest in telling these blokes there's no way your bureaucrats will trump our bureaucrats and their objectives. Given that the issue of "sovereignty" is a hot button in the political globe, all these UN bloviators achieved was an opportunity to belch a little gas. The Obama platitudes in this regard was little more than an opportunity for these international think-tankers to save a little face...a concept well known to the Chinese. After the Asian economic summit of the summer everyone knew this topic was DOA at Copenhagen. So spare us the finger-pointing.
 
As for those little threads drwan from the gaseous ether that is the Internet, perhaps all of the people busily envisioning those scenarios should take time out to read the "original" thing: The Utopia of Saint Thomas More.
 
Lacking that effort then let us all hail The Worm, God-Emperor of Dune! Psst, want to buy some "spice"?


China is flexing muscles, because they have grown them lately and because they can - while it is disconcerting for the West, as they are not used to it, so they watch with dismay. China and India do not want to jeopardize their path to development and growth, who is to blame them. To them its not fair for the West to penalize them and stand in their way, while the West has been responsible for the bulk of the CO2 in atmosphere today.

But the fact remains that new emissions must be curbed, so the negotiation will be difficult.

I hope you are still not stuck with small is beautiful and calling larger systems as Utopian and unattainable. The problem for the rest of the world living in smaller nation states is that the US, EU, China and India are staring them in the face. They are not about to be broken up, so if we are to have a level playing field, there is little choice left other than regional integration.

Speaking of Utopia:

http://www.gtinitiative.org/perspectives/taxonomy.html


Edited by eventhorizon - 23 Dec 2009 at 18:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2009 at 21:01
As the gravitational pull of the black hole revealed the eventhorizon, the last transmission crackled:
 
I hope you are still not stuck with small is beautiful and calling larger systems as Utopian and unattainable. The problem for the rest of the world living in smaller nation states is that the US, EU, China and India are staring them in the face. They are not about to be broken up, so if we are to have a level playing field, there is little choice left other than regional integration.

Level playing fields exist solely in the realm of Sports and then solely as an abstraction [unless you are speaking of the textured surfaces]. Perhaps you are uninformed as to the fate of AIG, the massive conglomerate that sough the efficiency or integration through financial synergies? Supra-governing bodies have but one result: sooner or later significant composite elements feel alienated by all the administrative smothering. "Managers" neither create wealth nor resolve individual needs in fact bureaucracies exist solely to insulate the powerful from the vagaries generated by their exercise of power. A bit blunt, but when these fancied structures ae distilled to their essence the conclusion is inescapable. Here is a little object lesson from history: viable governments arise from the bottom and move up as a hierachical responsibility system--they are never imposed from the top down! That perspective only generates chaos and inevitable disintegration.

That government is best that governs least 
Thoreau
 
Given the nature of society, government through micromanagement dressed up as macromanagement is esentially absurd. I can see it now...little gasometers implanted on bovine anal apertures so as to measure the production of methane!Confused


Edited by drgonzaga - 24 Dec 2009 at 01:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2009 at 00:48
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

As the gravitational pull of the black hole revealed the eventhorizon, the last transmission crackled:
 
I hope you are still not stuck with small is beautiful and calling larger systems as Utopian and unattainable. The problem for the rest of the world living in smaller nation states is that the US, EU, China and India are staring them in the face. They are not about to be broken up, so if we are to have a level playing field, there is little choice left other than regional integration.

Level playing fields exist solely in the realm of Sports and then solely as an abstraction [unless you are speaking of the textured surfaces]. Perhaps you are uninformed as to the fate of AIG, the massive conglomerate that sough the efficiency or integration through financial synergies? Supra-governing bodies have but one result: sooner or later significant composite elements feel alienated by all the administrative smothering. "Managers" neither create wealth nor resolve individual needs in fact bureaucracies exist solely to insulate the powerful from the vagaries generated by their exercise of power. A bit blunt, but when these fancied structures ae distilled to their essence the conclusion is inescapable. Here is a little object lesson from history: viable governments arise from the bottom and move up as a viable system--they are never imposed from the top down! That perspective only generates chaos and inevitable disintegration.

That government is best that governs least 
Thoreau
 
Given the nature of society, government through micromanagement dressed up as macromanagement is esentially absurd. I can see it now...little gasometers implanted on bovine anal apertures so as to measure the production of methane!Confused


Thanks for illuminating the unsuspecting public about my pen name ;-), specially for the benefit of those to whom it was not obvious.

Level playing field is what happens when a large system like PR of China comes up, faces the West and stares squarely in the face, never taking the eyes off. I am sure you know what I meant and mean.

As for AIG and its CDS and CDO, and the fantastic creative financial instruments, which were allowed to proliferate after the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act - it was not a failure of Government Bureaucrats, in fact it was quite the opposite, it was small govt. shouting Republicans and other conservatives (if I am not mistaken you seem to have the same political bent) who repealed this act and took other measures so Wall Street could go on a binge and create the financial bubble that just got burst. Unbridled Capitalism without govt. control to steer it towards public good, is a recipe for disaster.

Your attempts at humor are entertaining ;-) and I enjoy reading them, but the point you just tried to make, on closer examination don't hold much water.

Again this does not diminish the argument for large systems in any way, on the contrary it bolsters it further.

It shows:

- how a large system such as the US can hold the world hostage with its military, technological and apparently superior financial services lead, not to mention the fiat currency that was taken off the gold standard in early 1970's, which the world must use as reserve currency (EU with its Euro is just following the trail the US has blazed and China will probably follow soon after with its Yuan, to become the third most important reserve currency)

- EU is following the US to create an eventual United States of Europe, so it can compete on equal terms with the US and of course with up and coming large systems like China and India

- China, another large system that is coming up fast and threatens the dominant position of the West

- the lesser large systems such as Russia, India and Brazil struggle to reach parity

- the smaller nations find themselves at the mercy of these great Titans, who they must follow or perish or should I say languish








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2009 at 01:56
Gadzooks, Olympian parvenus challenge the rule of the Titans! Guess, old Saturn (Father Time) has gone on a new diet! The sale of worthless paper as speculative gold is hardly a consequence of the repeal of Glass-Steagall, history is littered with such paper and the implosions have familiar names: The Mississippi Bubble, Credit Mobilier, Czarist Bonds...and if you want the real reason for the contraction of 2006-2009 just utter Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac specially shaped by bureaucrats for the extension of easy credit and fantasy mortgages. And if you think that problem has gone away, you'd best fasten your seat-belt, it's going to be a bumpy night. Wall Street simply sought to make money from the bubble the government created. By the way, the rush to politics is a cheap shot, given that the presidential signatures on the tinkerings with the regulatory machinery bear the signatures of Jimmy Carter and another William J. Clinton. As for the monetary chaos of the 70s, that situation would hardly have arisen save for the "guns and butter" principle adopted by LBJ in the 1960s. The story is far more complex than you would have it...as for the Chinese flexing their "muscles", there are none: the musculature you observe is but a leotard stuffed with United States paper. Eventhorizon, your range of vision is being obscured by all the space junk being sucked in by the gravitational pull. Shall we discuss the banking crisis in terms of the European panorama, or the smothering stasis of the Japanese economoy now going well past its 20th year?

Edited by drgonzaga - 24 Dec 2009 at 01:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2009 at 03:00
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Gadzooks, Olympian parvenus challenge the rule of the Titans! Guess, old Saturn (Father Time) has gone on a new diet! The sale of worthless paper as speculative gold is hardly a consequence of the repeal of Glass-Steagall, history is littered with such paper and the implosions have familiar names: The Mississippi Bubble, Credit Mobilier, Czarist Bonds...and if you want the real reason for the contraction of 2006-2009 just utter Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac specially shaped by bureaucrats for the extension of easy credit and fantasy mortgages. And if you think that problem has gone away, you'd best fasten your seat-belt, it's going to be a bumpy night. Wall Street simply sought to make money from the bubble the government created. By the way, the rush to politics is a cheap shot, given that the presidential signatures on the tinkerings with the regulatory machinery bear the signatures of Jimmy Carter and another William J. Clinton. As for the monetary chaos of the 70s, that situation would hardly have arisen save for the "guns and butter" principle adopted by LBJ in the 1960s. The story is far more complex than you would have it...as for the Chinese flexing their "muscles", there are none: the musculature you observe is but a leotard stuffed with United States paper. Eventhorizon, your range of vision is being obscured by all the space junk being sucked in by the gravitational pull. Shall we discuss the banking crisis in terms of the European panorama, or the smothering stasis of the Japanese economoy now going well past its 20th year?


Space junk can obscure visions, but it will take a lot of space junk to throw super massive black holes in the center of galaxies off balance :-).

My knowledge on many areas are limited, but I am happy to engage in a debate that will expand my 'horizon'. Please pick your subject. But you do recognize that I have a hypothesis and I believe I am on the right track on that one, unless someone can come up with some convincing arguments and supporting facts on the contrary.

By the way, I mentioned no direct relationship between repeal of Glass-Steagall and worthless paper money as speculative gold. Repeal of Glass-Steagall, it is argued, is one of the important factors behind the current financial bubble. There is no question that Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac were also partly responsible, but so was Greenspan's insane inclination to keep the interest rate low with no small influence from Bush admin. I am well aware that the story of this "super recession" is only half way through, there are millions more under water mortgages that will be defaulted with foreclosures and short sale. Democrats such as Carter and Clinton were also partly responsible to bring down the regulatory framework, no question about it. I am sure the story is more complex and I cannot do justice to this topic with my limited knowledge and in the space of a few lines.

But I will say this that the power the US have accumulated in the past century as the dominant large system, has given way to abuse of this power (leveraging at will printing of dollar which happens to be world's main reserve currency to collect an inflation tax on the planet is just one of those abuses) that is affecting adversely the rest of the planet's population and biosphere and there is no player in the field who can challenge a country like the US and change its unilateral course of action. That is not a pretty scenario.




Edited by eventhorizon - 30 Mar 2010 at 23:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2009 at 20:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Dec 2009 at 00:42
George Soros? You've got to be kidding...currency trading is a form of theft and you appeal to the King of Thieves?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Dec 2009 at 04:04
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

George Soros? You've got to be kidding...currency trading is a form of theft and you appeal to the King of Thieves?


Well, King of Thieves at least should know where to put his money.


Edited by eventhorizon - 28 Dec 2009 at 19:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2009 at 20:25
The upper crust elite Nigerian young man trying to blow up a plane, made me think what could cause such events, why would an apparently sane and nice individual become brainwashed and attempt to commit such crimes.

I would consider the following contributing factors.

Human beings since birth grow up in their own meme system, imprinted on them early on from family, neighborhood, school etc. If the meme and its accompanying large system that implemented this meme system in that particular society in the first place, is in disarray, then various cancerous and degenerate idea memes can originate from a fragmented and decaying parts of a large system. These corrosive meme's can cause considerable damage to related societies and the world in general.

At the last stages of the life of Ottoman empire, many claim that a British agent implanted the idea of the Wahabi meme (it could very well be a conspiracy theory). The nationalism memes of Pan-Turkism or Pan-Turanism and Arab Nationalism was borrowed and helped by the West in general, which eventually became the main factors behind the breakup of the Ottoman empire.

After the breakup, the Arab population and their leadership soon realized the precarious situation  they were in. In this cauldron of historical turning point came several important figures - Hassan Al-Banna, Syed Qutb, Taqiuddin Navani and finally after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, came people like Zwahiri and OBL, after the Wahabi and extremist Brotherhood strain was combined to form today's Al Qaeda variant. One thing they have in common, it seems is that all wanted or want some kind of Caliphate or global Islamic empire or nation state if you will, that includes most or all Muslim majority countries. Supposedly it would solve all ills of the Islamic peoples and Muslim countries.

The problem with this kind of thinking (I am tempted to call it childish and juvenile for the lack of a better term) is that it ignores the history of the recent Islamic empires, which are Ottoman, Iran, sub-continent and Central Asian Khanates. Out of these only Iran retains most of its territories with its original ethnic mix (some northern areas near Caspian sea, if I remember correctly were lost to Russia). Ottoman was broken up into many nation states, so did Mughal sub-continent after it became British India, although Islamic rule of sub-continent was tenous and not complete for most periods of Muslim dominance and the majority remained non-Muslim. Central Asia for the most part was absorbed within Tsarist Russian Empire. Each of these empires and regions have their unique history of Islamic rule, and though they considered themselves part of the Ummah, meeting once a year in Mecca during Hajj and cooperated or fought at times, specially the neighboring ones, none ever had the illusion that they could ever become one state encompassing all regions. I must venture to say that only people colored and blinded with their belief system and meme, lacking any depth in understanding of human psychology and social history, specially their own, could come up with such amateurish ideas. IMHO if you look at the source of these ideas, all came from backwaters of former Ottoman empire, none came from its center, which is today's Turkey, which remains a beacon of tolerance and sensible thinking in the Islamic world and which wants to get into EU, for obvious reasons and leave behind its common past with Arabs, who they partly blame for the betrayal and breakup of their empire.

Having painted this background, how does this relate to the present. It is my hypothesis that the originators of these ideas and their leaders today, share a crucial commonality. They are all brilliant minds from mostly privileged background, not unlike our current Nigerian guy, thrust into the spot light. If they were born within a properly functioning large system, which I recommend in my earlier posts, they would probably become influential or visionary leaders in these systems, making lives better for their fellow citizens who share their large system and would probably lead happy and productive lives. In the absence of such large systems and the prospect of fulfilling careers, what they find are small broken systems, controlled by some cleptomaniacs aided and supported by the West or China or some such external powers. In such a situation, in their frustration they try to dream up a religiously derived large system such as the Caliphate, which has some appeal among the unwashed Muslim masses, and try to promote this as the panacea for all their current ills and problems.

It is indeed a sorry state of affairs. My recommendation to such dreamers would be concentrate on their own region, create public opinion for integration to some of the large systems I have recommended earlier and then work within them to make lives better for the people there. Foolish ideas such as these, will only bring damage and grief to your own societies and people, while people following them try in vain to follow these ideas and inflict damage on other perceived enemy societies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2009 at 22:14
Why not dump all the Chomskyesque blathering and reach the conclusion taken by the father of the individual in question: he's a dangerous fool!

Edited by drgonzaga - 30 Dec 2009 at 18:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Dec 2009 at 23:12
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Why not dump all the Chomkyesque blathering and reach the conclusion taken by the father of the individual in question: he's a dangerous fool!


That he is a "dangerous fool" is obvious. I was just explaining why apparently nice normal people like this Nigerian guy get attracted to useless ideas and where and why these ideas come from.

But there is no Chomsky here though, Chomsky's ideas are nothing close to mine, Chomsky does not propose a solution like I do, in the form of large systems created out of regional integration, for areas which have shared history, language, culture, ethnicity etc. Regional integration in Arab League, Sub Saharan African Union, SAARC, CAU and ASEAN would solve most or all Islamic terrorism problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Noam_Chomsky

"Noam Chomsky is a widely known intellectual, political activist, and critic of the foreign policy of the United States and other governments. Noam Chomsky describes himself as a libertarian socialist, a sympathizer of anarcho-syndicalism and is considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of American politics."

Chomsky would be the last person to promote regional govt.  vaguely resembling past empires which I propose, although under a democratic structure like the EU.




Edited by eventhorizon - 29 Dec 2009 at 01:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 2009 at 19:06
ROTFLAMAO! A good Spanish sindicalista would have Chomsky for breakfast and the fact the good old Noam created a contradiction-in-terms (libertarian-socialist) to describe himself, exemplifies the aridity of his supposed intellectualism. You need not mouthe his politics to emulate him in terms of grasping at fictitious and fallacious elaborations and propounding such as solutions to the human condition.
 
By the way, what is the difference between integration into an Arab League and the Restoration of the Kalifat? Sounds like you are a potential recruit for the Osama jihad!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Dec 2009 at 18:21
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

ROTFLAMAO! A good Spanish sindicalista would have Chomsky for breakfast and the fact the good old Noam created a contradiction-in-terms (libertarian-socialist) to describe himself, exemplifies the aridity of his supposed intellectualism. You need not mouthe his politics to emulate him in terms of grasping at fictitious and fallacious elaborations and propounding such as solutions to the human condition.
 
By the way, what is the difference between integration into an Arab League and the Restoration of the Kalifat? Sounds like you are a potential recruit for the Osama jihad!


Sindicalista and Chomsky, whatever went on in their brains is not relevant to the discussion on this thread and so is your feelings and opinions about my assertions. If you don't like them, just don't waste your time commenting on this thread and spare others as well, I am sure you have better things to do.

As for Arab League and my opinion about its integration, again what it sounds like to you is not relevant to our discussions here, you are welcome to report me to relevant authorities in your home country, if you feel that it is your duty as a citizen. I stand by my ideas that I stated in detail on this thread and will continue to develop on them as my time permits.
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