There are no formerly-poor nations that have adopted socialist governments and then become prosperous.
The public’s definition of “socialism” is vague at best. For a discussion of the term, complete with dictionary definitions, see my October 2007 column Capitalism Is Not Freedom, and Socialism Is Not Love. Here, I am mostly discussing government social policies that involve transfer payments and other government help to individuals and groups (for example, nationalized healthcare); it is only in Communist nations where the socialist “ideal” (and dictionary definition) of having the State ownand operate all means of production and distribution is actually implemented – which, in turn, is why Communist nations, since the Russian Revolution in 1917, have always been among the most abysmal hell-holes on the planet. (Communist China has transitioned from actual Communism, as practiced under Mao, to a semi-capitalism akin to National Socialism as practiced under Hitler.
As mentioned, the number of poor nations that have adopted coercive-socialist governments and then become prosperous is “zero.” The “coercive” part is in the nature of government itself – at the very least, funding for government activities is obtained via coercion – and this should be made explicit because non-coercive, non-government socialism (a family or a voluntary commune, for example) is a very different and far more positive thing. more – Glenn Allport at Strike the Root
However, there is another horrific, American-backed slaughter that Obama has been silent about for even longer — throughout his entire presidential campaign, in fact, and continuing into his presidency. We speak, of course, of the ghastly Terror War “regime change” operation in Somalia, where American bombs, American weapons, American training, American money — and American death squads — aided the military forces of the Ethiopian dictatorship in its brutal invasion and murderous occupation of the long-shattered land. more – Chris Floyd
“(The Great Depression resulting from the Stock Market crash) was not accidental. It was a carefully contrived occurrence….The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so they might emerge as rulers of us all.”
Louis McFadden, US Congressman (R-PA) (1915-1935), Chairman of House Banking and Currency Committee. Poisoned in 1936.
Yes, in Israel’s eyes. it’s an “US vs. Them” world. Us being the ones chosen by their god, the Jews as the Master Race and them being the rest of us, the Gentiles or the GOYIM. And us GOYIM are thought of by Jews as being no more than beasts of burden, to be used and abused until that day you get treated like some cow in one of those Rabbi blessed, Kosher approved Agriprocessor plants.
Muslims have known that fact for decades, especially the Palestinians. Americans are slowly finding out with the continued looting of Wall Street by various Tribe members who are stealing so much it’s turning Main Street into a Ghost Town at the same time, our sons and daughters are being shipped to the ME and south Asia to fight a series of never ending wars for Israel.
‘What impartiality requires is not that everyone receive equal treatment, but rather that everyone be treated as an equal.’ Ronald Dworkin Taking Rights Seriously. Harvard University Press. 1977, p. 227).
BBC director general Mark Thomson can not screen footage of Palestinian suffering in Gaza without compromising his cooperation’s impartiality.At the heart of his obfuscation lays a belief that Palestinian pain is not an objective reality. It is, at best, a subjective possibility, one loaded with the potential to burst into a subversive, destabilizing force.
For activists and supporters who are frequently asked why they devote more energy to Palestine than Darfur or the Congo (the implication being of course that they are anti-Semites) Mark Thomson provides the most succinct answer. For Thomson has no problem whatsoever screening Disaster Emergency Committee films on behalf of Darfur and the Congo. The suffering endured by people in these regions is endorsed by the BBC as a universally acknowledged fact. Screening footage of the humanitarian disaster in Palestine though, sabotages Sky and the BBC’s obligation to be ‘balanced.’ If this was indeed a war, and not genocidal attack, then the BBC could counter their depictions of carnage in Gaza with images of the horrors endured in Sderot. But this is of course impossible. The visual impact of adamaged kitchen doesn’t quite cut it next to the apocalyptic hell hole that is Gaza.
Problematically, for a Zionist broadcaster who wants to appear ‘fair’, the humanitarian appeal does not come across as ‘balanced’ because the conflict is not ‘balanced’. Again, the Palestinians are collectively punished for this annoying glitch in egalitarian reporting. Rather than responsibly portray a reality that inevitably induces a condemnation of Israel, these corporations re-brand Palestinian reality as’ journalistic bias.’
Given that Bush’s war was from the outset illegal –a war crime –none of the GITMO detentions were legal. Each detention is a war crime! If SCOTUS was not up to the task of ordering an immediate release, then who was, who could, who would? As the US is signatory to treaties prohibiting Bush’s actions, what has Brookings to say about the undeniable fact that George W. Bush committed war crimes violating both US Codes and US treaty commitments, crimes for which the penalty is death? more – Len Hart – The Existentialist Cowboy
The government has refused to comment directly on its individual attacks, but officials seem almost universal in their agreement that the Bush era practice of unilateral strikes on the territory of an ally should continue, no matter how much relations with that ally are harmed by them.
Bay City home where Marvin E. Schur froze to death
On January 17, the frozen body of 93-year-old Marvin E. Schur was found by neighbors at his home in Bay City, Michigan, several days after the municipal power company had restricted his access to electricity due to outstanding bills. The death has provoked outrage among residents in this working class city of 36,000, located where the Saginaw River flows into Lake Huron, about 100 miles north of Detroit.
On January 13, the city ordered the installation of a device known as a “limiter” that restricts the amount of electricity a household can use. Between the time the limiter was placed and January 17, a bitter Arctic cold front settled over Michigan, with overnight temperatures in the Bay City area reaching minus 10 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). It is not clear when Schur died, but an obituary from the local newspaper placed the death on January 15.
Robert Belleman, Bay City’s city manager, said that Schur had accrued over $1,000 in unpaid electricity bills over the preceding months. No effort was made to visit Schur prior to the suspension.
“And as the miseries become legion: bankruptcies climb; old neighbourhoods become deserted; the hunger-driven discontent rises; law and order breaks down; the cops go berserk; and reality just generally goes to hell, the freshly minted believers will turn to their leader for solace. “They’ll light some more candles, put out a votive twinkie, and let the mantra fill their head banishing all distraction. A black man is president! I never thought I’d live to see the day! The American dream is true!” – your own genuine Obama shrine more – aangirfan
Is the new Obama administration taking cues from the Bush administration to get Congress to act? It certainly seemed that way to, South Carolina’s junior Republican senator, Jim DeMint.
DeMint, speaking Jan. 27 at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., explained the Obama administration will “create crisis and widespread panic” just like its predecessor in order to get Congress to act expeditiously.
“I’ve been around long enough to know whenever someone tells me I have to make a decision right now, my response is no,” DeMint said. “That clears it up right away and I think more and more the Bush administration and now this administration knows that they’re not going to get a quick reaction out of Congress unless they create crisis and widespread panic. And that’s going to be their M.O. to get Congress to act.” more – Jeff Poor
President Obama’s interview with al-Arabiya television is remarkable in several ways, but what strikes me the most is that it coincided with the first air strikes on Pakistan under his administration: 22 people were killed, including between four and seven Taliban/al-Qaeda bad guys.
In the Arabiya interview, Obama was at his charming best, and the easily charmed were bowled over. Andrew Sullivan, for example, fairly swooned, and announced it’s “about the same thing as inviting Rick Warren or supping with George Will: it’s about R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
What would you say if the police came into your neighborhood to confront reported criminals, killed a few – and also managed to knock off 18 or so bystanders? Would you say this shows the police respect the neighborhood?
Even as he was speaking, American drones were snuffing out lives and his generals were planning a wider war. That seems to be the signature Obama style: cool, calm, and collected as he talks out of one side of his mouth, while he’s giving the order to kill out of the other. If that doesn’t scare you, then you’ve probably had a little too much of that sweet-tasting Obama-brand Kool-Aid.
The idea of rounding up the nation’s youth and forcing them to labor in government-assigned jobs is once again back in the news. Coming from an ethics expert, the latest call for a civilian draft squares to a troubling extent with what Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, suggested in a 2006 book, and isn’t too far off from what the president himself has endorsed. It’s hard to avoid wondering if we’re seeing the first signs of a coming policy — and what the consequences will be for Americans who say “no.”
Let me be clear: There’s not yet any sign that the Obama administration plans to implement civilian conscription. Still, the idea has certainly been entertained by both the president and at least one of his top aides. It’s long past time, then, to ask the authors of such plans to engage moral and practical objections to compelled service. Advocates of a draft have yet to tell us how such a scheme differs from slavery. And they have yet to explain why they think the good to be done would outweigh the harm inflicted by punishing and alienating the large numbers of young Americans likely to resist conscription.
Even allowing that compelled civilian service might be less objectionable to many than compelled military service, plenty of Americans can be expected to refuse to participate. Most of them will object not to the vague idea of serving the community that permeates these proposals, but to the naked compulsion and government direction that will inevitable lie behind actual programs. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, but all believing that they have a right to choose that trumps any of Babcock’s fine-sounding arguments about “shared responsibility,” they’ll dodge the draft in public and private, peacefully or confrontationally, as their temperaments dictate.
So what do Babcock, Emanuel, Obama and company propose to do to penalize such disobedience? And do they think the consequences of such penalties are worth whatever they hope to gain?
In the newspapers and in public office as they are, it’s time that advocates of mandatory service answer these questions — or else drop the idea and leave us alone.
During her one term in the House of Representatives, from a largely rural, traditionally Republican district, Kirsten E. Gillibrand was on safe political ground adopting a tough stance against illegal immigration.
But since her appointment by Gov. David A. Paterson last week to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand has found herself besieged by immigrant advocates and Democratic colleagues who have cast her as out of step with a majority of the state, with its big cities and sprawling immigrant enclaves.
Gun-control advocates, including Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat from Nassau County, have also taken sharp issue with Ms. Gillibrand’s opposition to some gun control measures, with Ms. McCarthy threatening to run against her.
Outside a reception in Washington following her swearing-in ceremony, she acknowledged that she had an obligation to revisit some of these questions as she now “represents the whole state.” more – NY Times
It is something of an axiom of Jewish life that “Is it good for the Jews?” remains the litmus test of Jewish communal activity — in other words, interest over principles. A good example is free speech. There can be little doubt that the organized Jewish community sees free speech as a problem because it may be used to criticize the behavior of Jewish organizations and especially Israel.
In Canada the response of the organized Jewish community to recent demonstrations against Israel was to attempt to invoke Canada’s restrictions on free speech in order to silence their critics. The Canadian Jewish Congress complained that protests against Israel’s incursion into Gaza contained images that were “uncivil, un-Canadian, that demonize Jews and Israelis.” They are asking the police to investigate the matter for referral to the Canadian Human Rights Commission which is in charge of enforcing laws that infringe on free speech. Although the organized Jewish community in Canada has strongly supported the thought crime legislation (see below), Bernie Farber, the head of the CJC, stated “we are firm supporters and believers in the need to be able to demonstrate passionately in free and democratic societies.”
Because of the First Amendment, we are still a ways from the situation in Canada here in the US. Nevertheless, the ADL has been in the forefront of promoting hate-crime legislation in America, and there can be little doubt that they see the First Amendment as a barrier to their interests in suppressing thoughts and speech critical of Israel and other Jewish interests.
Pope Benedict on Wednesday reaffirmed his “full and unquestionable solidarity with Jews” in an attempt to relieve tensions with Jews after he rehabilitated a Catholic bishop who denied the Holocaust.
Speaking at his Wednesday audience, the pope said the attempt to exterminate the Jews in the Holocaust should remain a warning for all people.
British-born Richard Williamson, one of four traditionalist bishops whose excommunications were lifted on Saturday, has made several statements denying the full extent of the Holocaust of European Jews, as accepted by mainstream historians. Meanwhile, death camp survivor, author and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel said the Pope’s decision had given credence to “the most vulgar aspect of anti-Semitism”.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Wiesel also said there was no way the Vatican could have not known about the bishop’s past and it may have been done “intentionally”. more – Haaretz