State Capitalism vs. Market Capitalism – who’s your money on?

The question, never mind the answer, isn’t as clear as you might think, argues Niall Ferguson in this month’s Foreign Policy Magazine (hyperlink not working). It’s generally assumed that since the de facto beginning of the end of Maoism/Chinese Communism – call it what you will – in 1979, China has been pioneering a new hybrid model of “State Capitalism”. In more recent years, Putin’s Russia is regularly cited as another state pursuing a similar course. And this new-ish state …

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A dark day for Glasgow Celtic

And for the SPL. This is the reality of the unsurprising news that Rangers are filing for bankruptcy. What’s next for the Old Firm? And can Celtic survive in anything like their present – never mind past – status without an Old Firm? The finances of professional soccer have been a farce for too long. Now what? RuaraiStrategic Communications Consultant, located in Washington, D.C.

Miliband’s on the hunt – but he desperately lacks a clarion call

In today’s New Statesman, David Miliband has released a new essay on building Britain a social democratic future. It’s disappointing. Miliband’s focus on Labour’s electoral strategy neglects a more urgent and, for progressives, a more difficult question: What’s the point of the progressive project anymore? Against the backdrop of mass bankruptcies and near-bankruptiies – and, consequently, the bankruptcy of supply side economic policies – could there be an easier, more ripe time for progressive parties to articulate the dangers of …

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Questions for Ulster Protestants

Assuming, for the sake of discussion, Scottish independence happens in the next 5-50 years: 1. What would be in the best interests of Ulster Protestants in a post-union (i.e. post-U.K) Northern Ireland and why? 2. For centuries most Ulster Protestants have had a series of reasons for being both (a.) pro-Union and (b.) opposed to a unified, one-person-one-vote, independent Irish state. Notwithstanding your views on the continuing present day validity of perspective (b), what would it mean to be pro-Union …

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SOTU – signs that transformation is finally on the way

Last night’s speech offered a realistic and encouraging vision of the future. It was delivered in a statesmanlike tone, was partisan in the best sense of the term – substantive, specific, based on conviction – yet its delivery addressed its primary opponent in a pointedly respectful, exemplary fashion. On substance, it was also a serious speech. Anchored upon one Big Idea, tax reform based on a flattened tax code – i.e. a decipherable, transparent tax system that’s harder to exploit, avoid or …

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Newt: I am America and I am the law

LA Times: Gingrich would refuse to respect the Supreme Court. There are many obvious points that should be made about the threat to American values posed by a Newt Gingrich Presidency. From a man whose love for his country increasingly resembles how he loved his wife – motto: ‘if no longer convenient: ditch’–we see the most lethally potent of his many weaknesses and vices captured in the following brilliantly revealing off-hand justification for binning the constitution: “I’m fed up with elitist judges“. If …

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Public property: Keep out

So a “public ownership” model has successfully driven China’s economy for the last thirty years? So says The Guardian’s Seamus Milne, a socialist so impressed by the authoritarian state’s “public ownership” approach to economic growth – never mind that China’s economy has annually soared since it chucked communist economics and began a Great Opening to market economics in 1979 – that he thinks we should take some inspiration from it. Whatever the merits of public ownership, China is hardly the place since …

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Politics aside, shouldn’t they play together?

So as another NornIron coach sets out on a mission impossible, while the coach of the Republic (at least in name – for now) heads off to an international championships leading the least favoured side in the competition, are there any sporting arguments against the two Irish associations stealing a play from the rugby crowd’s book and playing together? Sure there’s politics involved but since many people pushing the political arguments are the first to claim that northern players should …

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Peace and Good Will to all men – or else!

Hostilities renewed in the Holy Land. (What are the odds that their subsequent sermons were on peace?) Update: Mea Culpa Pete: I just noticed you beat me to this gem.     RuaraiStrategic Communications Consultant, located in Washington, D.C.

Pass Netanyahu Molyneaux’s memoirs before it’s too late

Reports are gathering that Hamas is on the run…from Syria. If so, the short-to-medium range consequences for Assad and his regime appear more terminal than many dared hope. Moreover, if Hamas is abandoning Assad and contemplating a strategic and non-violent alliance with Fatah (supported, presumably, by many of the newly emerging Middle Eastern states) then we will enter game-change territory for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A non-violent and united Palestinian negotiating partner obviously presents Israel with an incredible opportunity. However, as Molyneaux’s reflections on the immediate …

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Meet Kim Jong-un, he may need your advice

You’re the 20-something-year-old son of megalomaniac prison warden who owned and ran a brutal penitentiary housing around 23 million prisoners, many of whom are starving to death. You’ve no real understanding of the world and nor has the world of you. Your father’s just died, bequeathing you the family business without any training and, presumably, to the ire of some of Dad’s older cronies. Your Chinese sponsor is very nervous about its own power transition next year and will not …

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Did Christopher Hitchens have a Big Idea?

Lunching with an agreeable friend last Friday -and what better way to mark Hitchens’ death? – I was momentarily stumped by my companion’s confession. He didn’t believe Hitchens had left any particular idea that helped illuminate the world in a clearer way and he challenged me to prove otherwise. David Frum’s summary of Hitchens indirectly endorses my friend’s view. “Christopher did not offer a model of what to think. He offered a model of how to think – and how …

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