Reluctant Thief a Symbol of Ecuador’s Demise

If You Want Opportunity, Don't Expect It on a Silver Platter

EspañolA few days ago, I was accosted at gunpoint as I walked back to my home in Guayaquil, Ecuador. “Give me your things!” the assailant demanded. “Why?” I asked. Surprised by my response, he screamed, “Give me your stuff now!”

"Thinking that Ecuador's societal change must come from public policy is not only wrong, it borders on irresponsible."

Thinking that Ecuador’s societal change must come from public policy is not only wrong, but borders on irresponsible. (Geoffrey Fairchild)

“Tell me what I’ve done to you and why you’re robbing me,” I responded. He then stared at me, and told me to go.

Why did I say this? I don’t know. Why did he let me go? I don’t have an answer for that either. What I do know is that behind every criminal, as with any person, there is a long story, and it certainly isn’t a happy one.

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Seeing Through Canada’s Anti-Marijuana Campaign

Smoking Out the Conservative Party's Ulterior Motives

EspañolMarijuana will ruin teenagers, Canada’s most important resource. At least that’s the message of the federal government’s latest fear-mongering, anti-drug campaign.

In October, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s majority government initiated their latest attempt to educate the Canadian public on the ostensible dangers of marijuana — and viewership numbers suggest it is the most successful campaign to date. Upon closer inspection, however, one can see that Canadians are starting to see through the smoke and mirrors.

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Imagine: Open Borders as They Once Were

Yaël Ossowski Unravels the Restrictionist Blemish on the Modern Era

Until the mid 20th century, passports were barely in use, but for wartime periods. Unfortunately, rulers across Europe and American nations such as Canada and the United States refused to relinquish power over movement once the two world wars subsided.

With those nations requiring passports for entry, officials elsewhere were under the gun to get with the program — and here we find ourselves, bogged down virtually the world over.

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In Mexico, It Was the State!

Tragedy of the Ayotzinapa 43 Awakens Nation to Government's Abuse of Power

"It was the state" is a phrase that expresses the shock of the Mexican government's abuses.

“It was the state” is a phrase that expresses the shock of the Mexican government’s abuses. (@frascafrasca)

EspañolYes, it was the state, it has been the state, and unfortunately, it will probably be the state sometime again in the near future. The majority of crimes against humanity are perpetrated by the state. Adolf Hitler, Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot, and military regimes the world over are just a few examples of authoritarian regimes that have demonstrated a penchant for massacring their own citizens. At one point in time, all of the these regimes have embodied the phrase: it was the state.

Several Mexican families shout this painful cry as they mourn the 43 missing Aytozinapa students, who the state presumes dead. I will be honest: I don’t know the details of the attack. I know it was the state who was responsible for the crime, through the Iguala mayor and his wife. Was it a crime of power? Impunity? Arrogance? Ignorance?

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Leonel Fernández : L’homme qui prévint la guerre

La diplomatie est encore une entreprise noble?

Felipe Cuello

Leonel Fernández effectua un acte honorable durant son mandat comme président de la République Dominicaine. Il prévint mort de centaines de milliers de Sud-Américains dans une guerre régionale. Ayant marqué une centaine d’années depuis le début de la Première Guerre Mondiale, il aurait peut être été désirable d’aavoir une solution plus similaire a celle qui fût achevée á Santo Domingo durant la crise Andine de 2008.

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Leonel Fernández, presidént de la République Dominicaine (1996-2000, 2004-2012). (@AmauryRomeroL)

Tout commençât quand l’armée Colombienne entra dans le territoire Équatorien en poursuite des commandants de la FARC – sous le « Plan Colombia » des Américains. Le FBI les avait localisées lors d’une conversation téléphonique entre Hugo Chavez et Raúl Reyes, le chef de FARC en question. Le stage étant prêt pour ce qui venait, Rafael Correa, Président d’Equateur protesta la violation de souveraineté at mobilisa des troupes sur la frontière avec la Colombie. Chávez rapidement l’imita, positionnant leur troupes sur leur frontière a l’autre frontière de Colombie.

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Critics of Oil-Sands “Propaganda” Need to Look in the Mirror

Environmentalists Welcome Third-Party Money When It Goes to Them

The possible construction of a pipeline carrying oil sands from Alberta has been stirring up a lot of emotions. It increased one notch this week when leaked documents from TransCanada, an energy company based in Calgary, revealed their strategy to win the hearts of people on their project.

Their tactics, such as not even using “oil sand” in their communications and using influential people to sell the project, might indeed be deemed deceptive. However, they are merely copying other groups that are seen as defending the (illusory) common good.

Long Live the North Korean Black Market

"Trade for Yourself, Think for Yourself" Says Defector Yeonmi Park

North Korean defector Yeonmi Park addresses the Oslo Freedom Forum on Oct. 21, 2014.

North Korean defector Yeonmi Park addresses the Oslo Freedom Forum on October 21, 2014. (YouTube)

EspañolAmong the many speeches I heard while at the Oslo Freedom Forum last month, there is one in particular that stuck with me.

Not just because of the shock value of the content or the emotional presentation, but because of the notion that there is hope for the hermit nation of North Korea, still today the victim of a decades-long extreme interpretation of socialist ideology.

That idea was presented by Yeonmi Park, a young North Korean defector with impressive English and a keen insight on one of the greatest developments to come out of the isolationist nation: an illicit market growing and prospering despite totalitarian rule.

The North Korean black market not only exists, says Yeonmi, but it is vibrant and giving people hope.

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Obama’s Immigration Plan May Be His Most Worthy Act

Amnesty Is Welcome Development for Millions of Illegal Immigrants

Español The New York Times and others are reporting that President Obama will sign an executive order Friday to allow some illegal immigrants to stay and work in the United States.

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US President Barack Obama is poised to take executive action to permit some illegal immigrants to participate in the economy without fear of deportation. (White House)

In an administration notorious for its incompetence and overreach, the president’s order will be among his few worthy actions.

To say that in the current political environment, of course, is heresy. The very idea of relaxed immigration policies, and a blanket promise of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, is enough to enrage pundits, citizen leaders, and the millions of reasonable US Americans who voted for a Republican-majority House openly hostile to illegal immigration.

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Bolivia on the Road to Serfdom

Morales Embodies Tyranny of the Majority, Hijacking of Democracy

Evo Morales has made it clear he wants his party to control all departments and municipalities in Bolivia after the next round of elections. (Wikimedia)

Evo Morales has made it clear he wants his party to control all departments and municipalities in Bolivia after the next round of elections. (Wikimedia)

EspañolIn a speech before the House of Commons in 1947, Winston Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.” He concluded that the goal of a democratic system is “to yield, from time to time, to the opinions of others.”

The very democracy that the ex-prime minister of England spoke of is the same system that has allowed countless tyrants to come to power — the same system that not only places despots in the seat of the presidency, but allows the destruction of institutions, even those as spontaneous as language and money. This is a system that slowly self-destructs, degenerating into dictatorship.

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Leonel Fernández: The Man Who Prevented a War

Why Diplomacy Remains a Noble Endeavor

By Felipe Cuello

Leonel Fernández once performed a highly honorable deed. As president of the Dominican Republic, he played a crucial role in preventing the deaths of hundreds of thousands in a regional war. Having recently marked the 100th year since the beginning of World War I, we are compelled to wish for an outcome more similar to the one achieved diplomatically in Santo Domingo during the Colombian Border crisis of 2008.

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Dominican President Leonel Fernández (1996-2000, 2004-2012) has a lot to feel proud of. (@AmauryRomeroL)

The Colombian Army lit the fuse when they entered Ecuadorean territory in hot pursuit of top-level FARC commanders — while acting under the US-led Plan Colombia. The FBI had wiretapped the phone of Raúl Reyes, a FARC leader whose location was given away during a phone conversation with Hugo Chávez, setting the stage for the coming events.

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