23 September 2016   Leave a comment

Venezuela continues to disintegrate.  Protests against the President, Maduro, have failed to remove him from office and the delay likely means that a referendum on his presidency cannot be held until 2017.  The practical consequence of the delay means that if he is removed in 2017, his Vice-President will replace him.  If he were removed in 2016, then a new election would have to be held.  It now appears as if the Socialist Party will remain in control of the government until 2018 and it is not clear that the Venezuelan economy and people can endure two more years of misrule.

Image result for venezuela economic crisis

The Washington Post has a fascinating article on the profiles of individuals who have committed mass murders in the US, including those acts associated with religion and those not associated with religion.  Interestingly, the common traits of these individuals seem to overwhelm the issue of religiosity.  The issue is important as society wrestles with the phenomenon of “lone wolf” terrorists. According to the article:

“According to the New America Foundation, jihadist-linked attacks in the United States since 9/11 have killed 94 people — and more than half of those were slain by Mateen [the murderer in the Orlando killings]. Such incidents, though more frequent in recent years, still account for a tiny fraction of the more than 200,000 homicides in the United States since 2001. Meanwhile, this year alone, non-jihadist incidents of mass shootings have killed nearly 100 people.”

If we are to anticipate such attacks in the future, we need to look far beyond the issue of religious affiliation or motivation.

President Obama has vetoed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which was passed by both houses of the US Congress by large margins.  The legislation would allow American families to sue the Saudi Arabian government for damages incurred in the attacks of 11 September 2001.  In more theoretical terms, the law would remove the immunity of sovereign governments in US courts.  It is highly likely that if the US were to make this possible, then other governments would pass similar laws allowing their citizens to sue the US government.  Needless to say, national courts are not unbiased venues for international disputes.

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Posted September 24, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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