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Friday, June 27, 2014

Interesting Scenarios Taking Root

If I had to be glad for something, it'd be that we haven't had a boring week in the news. 3 main reasons that pop out for this assessment comes from stories on Ukraine and Syria, +U.S. Soccer in the World Cup, and the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court concerning cell phone searches by the cops.

First off in Syria and Ukraine, there's a reason these two countries are lumped together, they both involve movements by the USA and Russia to try and lower tensions. In Syria, all chemical weapons have been declared accounted for and removed. This is good news, as now there's no more means of setting off more weaponry that could cause unabashedly ghastly civilian casualties. In addition, it also leaves the christened Islamic Republic of Iraq and Syria (aka Islamic Republic of Iraq and the Levant) with no WMD's to use for terrorist attacks. In addition, in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has made the indication that he's willing to work for peace. The Ukraine scenario, as it's now unfolding, has Putin making conciliatory gestures and statements to Ukraine and is calling on all pro-Russia militias to accept and abide by the recently declared cease-fire. There's a couple of reasons behind this. The first is that the USA and the EU were prepared to throw the heaviest crippling sanctions on Russia's energy sector, and upon implementation would have completely brought the Russian economy to a full standstill. Putin might have taken that into consideration, since that happens to be the majority of where Russia's gas exports go (the EU). The other reason is that more bloodshed would have killed off a major supply route for Russian gas exports, had there been continued attacks on Ukrainian gas pipelines in the east.

Another source of contentment is that +U.S. Soccer has done very well this year in the +FIFA WORLD CUP. What's not surprising is the closeness of the game yesterday between USA and Germany. The reason is simple unlike Soccer/Football pitches (fields) in Europe, which tend to be fairly flat, pitches in the Americas tend to have an incline. This is mostly from the geography of where people play the game. For the most part, Europeans are not used to playing on an incline, which is why they play fairly poorly in the Americas. USA, from being in the Americas, is not as deeply affected by this, as we're used to having a bit of an incline. The inverse is also true, where many American countries, are not as used to playing on a flat surface, which is why countries like Brazil or Argentina, won't do as well in Europe. Now on the part of USA, I think that we'll advance pretty far this time, the only troublesome nation to take on would be Argentina, who I think will make short work of Switzerland. If USA miraculously defeats Argentina, then the only tough game ahead would be the final, and seeing the way things are going in the Cup, Brazil will make it there and will meet up with whomever the other champion is. My guess is that USA will be that other one, and that will be interesting to see.

On a final note, there was a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court yesterday that has fully barred cops from searching your smartphones without a warrant. This unanimous ruling was a no-brainer, Liberal or Conservative, as these devices are practically miniature computers with SIM cards in them. To access anyone's meta-data, cops need to use the same constitutional provisions that they had for searching people's homes and other belongings, get a warrant. This at least shows, at the most basic level, that the 4th Amendment against unwarranted searches and seizures is still relevant at this present time. The ruling is 100% necessary given the previous overreach of spying on ordinary Americans by George W. Bush's administration.

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