What Now for Burma?

Posted by osurce, 19th November 2010

Aung San Suu KyiIan Holliday

Aung San Suu Kyi’s release has generated important political possibilities for Burma, says Holliday. Beyond Burma’s borders, key powers are generally supportive of change. China seeks above all a stable, prosperous, and friendly Burma, and has long urged military rulers to embrace national reconciliation and incremental reform. India has no problem with this agenda. The US wants faster progress but is pushing too hard after many years of policy failure. The odds therefore remain stacked against Ms. Suu Kyi. However, by signaling that talks are now possible without preconditions and that sanctions may be debated, she has created an important political opening. For generals keen to settle a fractious nation and bring in Burma from the cold, the offer placed on the table could be enticing.

Holliday is dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong.

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How to Kill the Meth Monster

Posted by osurce, 16th November 2010

Meth LabRob Bovett

The best way to end methamphetamine production is to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant found in some cold and allergy medicines and a main ingredient in meth. Oregon did so four years ago and has virtually eliminated meth labs there while also showing the steepest crime decline in the 50 states. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has proposed legislation to require prescriptions for products with pseudoephedrine across the nation, and Bovett says Congress should enact it without delay.

Bovett, the district attorney for Lincoln County, Ore., was the primary author of Oregon’s anti-methamphetamine laws.

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Can Anything Serious Happen in Cancun?

Posted by osurce, 12th November 2010

Tianjin-city-ChinaBjorn Lomborg

The upcoming climate summit in Cancun promises more proposals that ignore economic reality, writes Lomborg. World-wide public spending on research and development for clean energy technologies is a paltry $2 billion a year. Increasing this to $100 billion a year could be a game-changer. Not only would it be almost twice as cheap as the $180 billion a year cost of fully implementing Kyoto, but the effect of this kind of spending would be hundreds of times greater. Lomborg argues that this should not be our only response to global warming. We should also invest considerably more in adaptation to global warming’s effects and research geo-engineering technologies as a potential backstop.

Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus, a think tank, and author of “Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming” (Knopf, 2007). His new film, “Cool It,” opens in US theaters nationwide today.

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The Case for a ‘Repeal Amendment’

Posted by osurce, 17th September 2010

American ConstitutionRandy E. Barnett and William J. Howell

The authors note that Virginia is considering a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow two thirds of the states to repeal a federal law. They argue that the Repeal Amendment would help restore the ability of states to protect the powers “reserved to the states” noted in the 10th Amendment. And it would provide citizens another political avenue to protect the “rights… retained by the people” to which the Ninth Amendment refers. In short, the amendment provides a new political check on the threat to American liberties posed by a runaway federal government. And checking abuses of power, they conclude, is what the written Constitution is all about.

Barnett is a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. Howell is the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

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Banking on volunteerism

Obama will triple its promotion via AmeriCorps

Posted by Bernardo Kliksberg, 4th June 2009

obamavoluntariadoA narrow economist point of view has devalued the possibilities of volunteerism. It’s time to get over this once and for all. Obama’s example, banking on volunteerism in the midst of the American economy’s biggest crisis in eighty years, is more than suggestive.


How the global economic crisis is affecting the working woman

The ILO reveals that the number of unemployed women could increase by 22 million in 2009

Posted by Raquel Sánchez Bujaldón, 26th March 2009

mujerescrisis.jpgGender inequality in the working world is something that is lamentably deeply rooted in our societies. The global economic crisis is making it worse.


Corruption in Latin America: getting past the myths

The importance of increasing public and private transparency

Posted by Bernardo Kliksberg, 12th March 2009

siemens.jpgThe greater a society’s inequalities, the more easily perverse incentives for corruption are created. This has became more ingrained in Latin America during the last few decades. How to put up a fight.


The Human Rights situation: a distressing outlook

Without leadership, multilateralism rhetoric goes nowhere

Posted by Ferran Requejo, 5th March 2009

bankimoondavos.jpgFrom the latest independent reports regarding human rights emerge the cases of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a serious failure to ensure them, and Spain (like other liberal democracies) with specific cases of failure to ensure them.


Obama’s ethical warnings

The United States starts to bring back social discourse

Posted by Bernardo Kliksberg, 25th February 2009

greenspan.jpgIt is impossible to understand or act on the intense collapse of the American and global economy without taking the ethical failures into consideration.