South Korea seems to be handling the North well

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In what I think is the right posture for them, South Korea is flexing their muscles enough that the North should think twice about repeating any of their recent aggressions: New South Korea exercises to test border tension.

I think this is probably the only reasonable response.  Clearly doing nothing was just providing an incentive for the North to keep attacking, and the South’s population got sick of doing nothing.  But, the South can’t really instigate because everyone’s afraid that’d lead to all-out war, and even though the North would be easily beaten, the initial artillery shelling would deal quite a bit of damage.

An inspiring speaker in Canadian politics? Can’t be.

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Check out this speech by Bob Rae in parliament: The lion of the house.

Honestly, I’ve never paid much attention to Rae, mostly because I’ve heard his time as premier of Ontario didn’t go well.  Also, I don’t tend to like some NDP policies, so a former NDP-er-turned-Liberal is a bit scary.

Anyways, this video gives me enough pause to think it’s worthwhile to check out his past record myself.  Canadian politics is definitely lacking in the inspiration department.

Are the leaked diplomatic cables good for us?

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I haven’t decided yet.  I’m sure some good will come of it, and I’m all for open and transparent government, but I’m also wary of disclosing private communications.  Every cooperating group of people, whether a business, government, family or friends, have conversations they assume are private.  These conversations would obviously be very different were they expected to be public, and the privacy leads to more open discussion.

There will obviously be a difference between the public and private aspects of relations between countries, and I’m not sure what good exposing one part of the private aspect will do.  We’re not getting the whole context; there’s also lots to these relationships that happen in-person.  For example, does knowing that Saudi Arabia was secretly working against Iran on some issues change anything.  It’s very interesting to know, but it feels a bit like it’s not something we needed to know.

Some of the leaked cables have probably done some good, but I’m not sure the whole has done more than embarrass a few countries and will obviously force them to tighten up security on these communications.

I would, however, like to have more transparent government in other ways.  I’d like easily accessible data on the money transfers between countries (I’d say governments, but I’m sure some official transfers get hidden via private corporations), and especially weapons sales and transfers.  I want more data on who is paying off which politician and how they vote on related issues.