While in Mexico, I was told "There's a tricky turn on Mex 1 just as you're getting into Tijuana. Be ready to make a quick left, almost an about-face, to get to the border crossing. If you miss it, you'll be heading into Tijuana." And: "If a Mexican cop pulls you over, just hand him 20 dollars. It'll save you a lot of grief." Roger that.
In the midst of the holiday season, on December 28, 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law the "Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012." This Act seeks to initiate a whole-of-government approach to what looks to be an increasing threat to the United States, and by extension to Canada as well. Canada is no stranger to the Islamic terrorist threat. The millennium bomber -- Ahmed Ressam, the Toronto 18, and Omar Khadr, among other high profile cases, have brought radical Islam to the forefront of Canadian national security. Closing the embassy of the Islamic Republic in Ottawa last year shows that Minister Harper is serious on his promise.
I have been living "the good life" in Mexico for just over six weeks now. I love it, and I am seriously considering moving here for good.We always hear that Canadians are the nicest people in the world, and although I believe that to be an accurate statement, the Mexican people sure give us a run for our money.
Despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper's recent announcements of trade talks with various Asian countries, joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a more important strategic victory for Canada. Bargaining alongside the United States, Canada can get concessions from other countries it couldn't get alone. And as a TPP member, Canada can better safeguard its relationship and hard-won market access to the United States than if it was excluded.
Many Americans and Canadians have struck all of Mexico off of their destination list because of an unfortunate string of violence in areas of the country nowhere close to La Paz -- home to what Jacques Cousteau called "the world's aquarium." But travel allows you to understand the rest of the world and lets you shed inaccurate notions you may have held before you arrived.
The G8 Summit was oddly clarifying: With Europe riven with divisions over the euro and the sclerosis of welfare states in aging societies, the United States wrapped up in increasingly parochial domestic politics, Japan adrift and Russia backsliding into authoritarianism, Canada stood alone as a country with healthy economic prospects and a stable government.
The invention of the running shoe is "the worst crime ever committed against the human foot." To see the proof, one needn't look further than the mysterious Tarahumara Indians of Mexico for whom 300-mile runs were routine, and 60-mile runs a jaunt. They wear nothing but sandals, and suffer no injuries.
President Obama and the leaders of the world's most successful alliance, NATO, -- one that deterred nuclear war and kept the peace in Europe after centuries of conflict -- gather in Chicago this weekend to talk about the future. Obama and Prime Minister Harper should consider Mexico when they meet with other NATO leaders in Chicago.
International relations scholar Henry Nau suggested two metaphoric approaches to U.S. foreign policy. The first is the jigsaw puzzle. The second is the chess game. The United States will determine whether it wants to play chess or jigsaw for the future of North America. The question is, will Harper decide to play nicely with the others?
On top of the generalized global interest about Argentina's move to nationalize its largest energy company YPF, the majority owner of which had been the Spanish energy company Repsol, there is a special local twist as the Mexican President Felipe Calderón has been particularly critical of Argentina's move calling it "very regrettable."
What happened to Norma Andrede -- who was shot five times for fighting for women's rights in Mexico -- represents how the relationship between local and global human rights. In the midst of the local assault on social services, it has helped me to see more clearly how Mayor Ford's locally proposed cuts reflect global trends.