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    • Politics Series: Power
      (Previous: Economy) (Introduction and Table of Contents) We have seen that who gets how much of what is a political decision: that the economy and economics is downstream from politics. Power is the ability to make people do what you want, or not do what you don’t want. Ideology determines what the good life is and power determines who lives it. All politica […]
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My mother made me write this.

Hi, people. It’s me, Brooke. I need help choosing a current event to write about for school, so my mom suggested that I ask you… It has to be an event that’s somewhat international, but there aren’t really any other requirements (other than that it should be an actually important event/issue). Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

(the person with the best idea gets a cookie)

44 Responses

  1. Hi Brooke, here’s an idea:


    The former guerrilla set to be the world’s most powerful woman

    Brazil looks likely to elect an extraordinary leader next weekend

    By Hugh O’Shaughnessy

    Sunday, 26 September 2010

    The world’s most powerful woman will start coming into her own next weekend. Stocky and forceful at 63, this former leader of the resistance to a Western-backed military dictatorship (which tortured her) is preparing to take her place as President of Brazil.

    As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is revelling in its new oil wealth. Brazil’s growth rate, rivalling China’s, is one that Europe and Washington can only envy.

    Her widely predicted victory in next Sunday’s presidential poll will be greeted with delight by millions. It marks the final demolition of the “national security state”, an arrangement that conservative governments in the US and Europe once regarded as their best artifice for limiting democracy and reform. It maintained a rotten status quo that kept a vast majority in poverty in Latin America while favouring their rich friends.

  2. Actually this is a great topic on Saudi Women being allowed to drive Finally though credit must be given to UppityWoman for bringing it to the forefront!

    Here’s the video and report…..


  3. How long is the paper supposed to be Brooke?

    The economic crisis is something that is international. It might be interesting to compare and contrast how countries are coping with it.

    Women’s issues are also interesting. It might be interesting to chronicle and discuss the gains and losses women have made worldwide.

    • One page-ish. One paragraph summarizing the article, and the rest of the page is for our responses.

  4. From The Telegraph U.K. (http://tinyurl.com/2d4jow3),
    workers in Spain, Italy, Belgium and Greece held national strikes to protest proposed austerity measures. Over 100,000 people showed up at a rally in Brussels, alone. Imagine trying to get 100,000 people to show up at a rally for *any* cause here in the U.S. From the article:

    José Manuel Barroso, the Commission President, insisted that high public debt in Greece and mistaken economic policies in Spain and Ireland had shown that governments could not be trusted to take difficult or unpopular spending decisions on their own.

    “Governments are not always right. If governments were always right we would not have the situation that we have today,” he said. “Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often, or can be, wrong.”

    Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, former Danish Prime Minister and leader of the European Socialists, accused the Commission of lacking “an understanding of how ordinary people are suffering from this crisis”.

    “There is a complete absence of democratic sensitivity. People want an approach that promotes job creation not imposed sanctions from on-high,” said.

    European nations are suffering from job losses just as we are. There are two key differences: 1) Unions in Europe are incredibly strong, and most jobs are unionized (unlike the United States), and 2) all four countries mentioned have joined the European Union and now denominate their currencies in Euros, so devaluing the currency is no longer an option to deal with trade imbalances.

    I recommend going with the approach of how worker strength, through unions, influences government decision-making.

  5. Brooke! It’s good to “meet” you! We’ve heard so much about you….

    Current event? There is so much out there that I am sure that you will decide on something that blows everyone away!!

  6. I love how all the first few suggestions so far are all about women and economic policies. 🙂

  7. Here’s a silly one for you:

    It’s been a strange few days for alien news. Not only do we have ex-military airmen coming forward about UFOs hovering over their missile silos, the United Nations apparently appointed an “alien ambassador” to become mankind’s point of contact for extraterrestrials.

    Even betting companies are putting odds on an imminent close encounter of the third kind.

    Obviously, some media outlets decided to go all-out, claiming said U.N. ambassador is needed to ask why the aliens (riding in said UFOs) are fiddling with our nukes. It’s the responsible thing to do, right?

    There’s just one catch. The Malaysian astrophysicist, Mazlan Othman, who — according to the UK’s press — was about to become the U.N.’s spokesperson for Earth, has no clue about her unprecedented promotion.

    OK, so we don’t really have a UN position for meeting the aliens. But should we?

  8. Brooke needs advice from me like she needs speech lessons from Elmer Fudd. :mrgreen:

  9. Here’s a silly one. A woman in Montana fought off a bear that was trying to muscle its way into her house. Her weapon of self defense? A 14 inch zucchini that she had harvested earlier in the day!

    Now that’s a Victory Garden!

  10. Brooke,
    I believe one should write about things one enjoys. Not knowing what you like, I can’t offer anything specific. So here is my suggestion, choose the area you like first, such as sports, health (*), science, technology, people, and then narrow it to one event. Your paper will be more interesting and you will have more fun doing it.

    *The cure for lung cancer may be in fish oil

  11. What about the Commonwealth Games – starting in India a few days from now. The CWG are like a mini-Olympics and of interest in vast parts of the world, but don’t get much attention here in the US. According to Wikipedia, “there are currently 54 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and 71 teams participate in the Games”.

    There’s a lot of news about how the Games this year are incredibly badly organized, with a bridge collapsing in the Games Village, dirty toilets etc. The organizers scrambled to clean up and present a better (and less embarrassing) show, but it all might be too little, too late. On the flip side, I read an article today that talks about how we are globally spending too MUCH money, time and effort on sports – apparently “The Geneva centre of housing rights and evictions reckons sport to be one of the biggest displacers of humanity, perhaps second only to war. In two decades some 2 million people have had to make way for Olympic stadiums and “villages”. (link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/23/lootfest-delhi-sport-bloated-chauvinism). It’s a fascinating argument, one that’s been made often, but does need more public debate & discussion.

    Good luck with your paper!

  12. Here is a one page story that may have huge implication in South West Asia.

    “Heavy security for India Ayodhya mosque ruling”


  13. since she likes all things French, how about writing about President Sarkozy’s mass deportation of the Roma people? Is it a valid protection of French sovereignty or scapegoating and demonization of a hapless minority? is there any similarity between the French situation and the problem of illegal immigration in this country? if deportation is not the answer, what’s a just solution? does any other country owe a responsibility to the Roma? just some questions that might be interesting to research; should get about 5 pages out of it. Good luck, Brooke

    • Hi Brooke … and Joanie. 🙂

      I was actually thinking about those lines myself. Do you know about the Roman people? In the US I mean? They have a very interesting – compelling as well as heartbreaking – history.

      There’s also the whole story about Europe’s newfound hate of foreigners (read Mußlims) entering into their(our) countries that are both equal to and very different from the US anti-immigration sentiment.

      Good luck.

    • I have a French colleague who kinda sorta supports the deportation. The problem is that the Roma do not pay taxes. BUT they end up using the French system for health care and stuff like that, which can be quite expensive if you have children with chronic medical problems, for example. The French don’t turn away anyone for treatment. It’s a right. And medical care is very good with the government picking up most of the tab. I think she’d be cool with letting them stay if they paid up. It’s only fair. But she says that when they know the revenue men are closing in on them, the Roma pack up and leave, crossing the border for a short time before they come back in and settle somewhere else. In the EU, it’s much easier for them to cross borders. No coyotes to pay.
      Maybe we’re thinking about the Roma problem the wrong way. It’s not whether any government owes them a responsibility. It’s whether the Roma have a responsibility to a government. It’s a reciprocal arrangement. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  14. Stuxnet. Definately. It’s got legs. Hi tech, espionage, cyberterror. And the story is not yet finished. Iran, nuclear weapons. By the time you are done, it will be a movie script. Good luck on your project, Brooke, and please post it here when you are done. You couldn’t make up a better story.

  15. If I were you, Brooke, I’d research the latest with Cuba. Not only could you write about whether communism has worked there, but, due to its past isolation, there are interesting fauna and flora that are native only to this island. Although greater travel there by tourists will help the economy, there are questions whether it will ruin what has been preserved.

  16. Good luck on your paper, Brooke. Would you consider writing about the inordinate influence and power of sports in our society?

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