Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In the news...

This past week-end I read a short op-ed piece in the New York Times (NYT). A reader asked the question had the U.S. merely become too large to govern? Further, the writer asked whether the current political divide in this country could adequately be addressed by debate in the legislature, or if the polarization had become so protracted that the only answer was sovereignty? Of course, as a Canadian any discussion of sovereignty, however benign in nature, reminds me of the constant issue of Quebec which dogged my childhood as the political discourse of its day. But in thinking about it at least as it pertains to the U.S., I think it may be a valid question to ask, assuming one can divorce themselves from the historic arguments that are so inextricably bound to such a discussion. After all, if the people of New York and New Jersey are in favour of civil unions, why should the opinions of people in Tennessee and Texas have any bearing?

The article got me thinking about the motivations for the creation of the nation state in the first place, and how many of those factors have long since lost their importance in the era of globalization. Certainly, no one would seriously argue that the economic sustainability of "the colonies" would be in jeopardy if some of the U.S. states did decide to separate. As well, the advent of the Internet and various international trade treaties like NAFTA, APEC, ASEAN and the WTO, have created in the our collective consciousness a kind of economic panacea that John Maynard Keynes would have advocated. Nevertheless, the mere suggestion of separation or sovereignty or however one wishes to call it appears to strike a chord that few other subjects seem to engender. Is it patriotism and one's longing for history and nostalgia which feeds our beliefs, or is it something more?

Anyway, the article has my ol' academic interests in a fervor and perhaps I may devote myself to further research (and maybe an article on the subject).

Regarding people in the news (and dumbing things down just a hair), unless you've been living in a cave the last few days you will have already heard about Britney's recent antics. Not to be judgemental, but she's no Sinead.

Notice the Star of David necklace she's sporting in this video (Time: .16 -.20 sec). Jewish jewellery in now hip? Thanks Madonna.

Finally, in perhaps my favorite gaff of the week is this little diddy mouthed by former NBA star Tim Hardaway. (Incidently, I think he was a highly overrated player and have thought so for sometime. He had a couple of good years but never had the longevity of his peers.)

Update: It is my understanding that the NBA quickly removed Hardaway from participating in any events at the All-Star week-end which was held this past week-end in Las Vegas. Hats off to Commissioner David Stern for reacting swiftly to this comment.


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