Saturday, January 21, 2012

Observations From the Back Row

By Rich Kozlovich

This week’s top ten readers came from the United States, Russia, Slovenia, Germany, Bulgaria, Ukraine, France, Canada, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Thank you for your interest. Here are my picks for the week.  I hope you will find my latest provocation worth your time. Let's begin with;

CRIME

One Mexican State Bordering The US Was Deadlier Than All of Afghanistan Last Year
Organized crime-related deaths in one Mexican border state during the first nine months of 2011 exceed the number of Afghan civilians killed in roughly the same period in all of war-torn Afghanistan. According to the Mexican government, from January through September 2011 2,276 deaths were recorded in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico.

EASTERN EUROPE

Eastern Europe Swings Right (Actually all that they are describing is a lurch back to the left. RK)
Hungary is almost broke and has lurched to the right so sharply that the EU has launched legal action in defense of democracy. But the problem is far more widespread: Nationalists and populists are gaining ground across Eastern Europe. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán only needed a few years. In that short time he managed to turn his country inside out. Civil liberties and press freedoms were reined in, the democratic separation of powers annulled, and a constitution……Orbán himself, formerly a much-admired politician, now seems like a dubious mix of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chávez...Orbán's Hungary represent a political movement that is sweeping across central and southern Europe… central and southern European societies also lack political and social stability. These regions have two decades of uninterrupted reforms and tough austerity policies behind them. Many people there are exhausted, and democracy fatigue, euroskepticism, and aversion towards the once deified West are on the rise……"The danger of this is that entire social classes or regions like those in eastern Poland, Slovakia and Hungary fall victim to hopelessness and extremism."

ENERGY

Obama Nixes Job-Creating Pipeline 11 Months After Launching Plan With Canada to Boost Growth on Both Sides of Border
After three years of environmental review and a 60-day congressional deadline for a decision, the Obama administration on Wednesday nixed the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring tar sand oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The decision drew strong reaction from business and energy groups. Environmental groups oppose the pipeline, fearing the possibility of an oil spill. In a statement, the State Department said it had recommended to President Obama that the permit be denied and that, “at this time,” the pipeline project “be determined not to serve the national interest.

GREEN versus THE CONSTITUTION

Mark Levin: You Cannot Have This EPA and a Constitution
Mark Levin says America cannot at the same time have a Constitution and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is doing what the EPA is doing today. Levin made the observation in an interview with CNSNews.com about his new book, “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America.” Modern American liberals, who are Utopias, Levin said, aim to erode the separation of powers built into the U.S. Constitution so that a “relative handful of masterminds” can tell everybody else what to do. “This erosion has been going on for about a hundred years,” said Levin. “It’s at a much faster pace right now and there’s a reason for this--because you can’t have constitutionalism and utopianism.”

“You cannot have an EPA and a Constitution at the same time doing what this EPA is doing,” “You cannot have an NLRB deciding who gets to work where, how, and when, and at the same time follow the Constitution,” “You cannot have a tax code that serves basically the purpose of redistributing wealth, which is one of the things that Marx was pushing for so strongly, and at the same time be arguing about limited government and constitutionalism,” “The utopians reject history. Everything begins today,” said Levin. “The models they want to put in place begin today. So why anybody thinks they’re going to respect the Constitution when they don’t respect the rest of history is beyond me.”

JUDICIARY

Court Ruling Broadening Americans with Disabilities Act Will Harm Taxicab Safety and Cost Hundreds of Millions
A federal judge last month barred New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission from issuing permits for taxicabs unless they’re accessible to people who use wheelchairs,” citing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The judge effectively rewrote the ADA to cover taxi cabs, even though “the ADA specifically exempts automobile-type vehicles, including most taxicabs, from the requirement to be wheelchair accessible.”….The court’s unduly expansive interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is backed by the Obama Justice Department, which filed a brief supporting the lawsuit.

MIDDLE EAST

Afghan Taliban Say Recruited Soldier Who Kill French Troops
The Afghan Taliban said on Saturday they had recruited an Afghan soldier who shot dead four French soldiers in the country's east a day earlier, prompting France to threaten an early pullout from the NATO-led war.

The ‘Arab Spring’ as Winter Descends
The movement had many causes, and democracy is not the only solution. Honest reflection on the past twelve months of discontent, as manifested in various forms of revolutionary zeal, rhetoric, and violence, exposes a solitary thread weaving through all the demonstrations and “rebel” and “opposition” movements that cycloned through the Middle East and North Africa: In each case, local issues were the engines of public mobilization. Whether discussing Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia, the tribal swaggering in Yemen, or demonstrators’ exploitation of opportunity (and Iranian money) in Bahrain, it is clear that the “Arab Spring” is a haphazard series of disconnected local events, united in time but varying greatly in motivation.

A new generation of political Islamists steps forward
Olivier Roy is a professor at the European University Institute in Florence and the author of “Holy Ignorance.” Everywhere, the Muslim Brotherhood is benefiting from a democratization it did not trigger. There is a political vacuum because the liberal vanguard that initiated the Arab Spring did not try, and did not want, to take power. This was a revolution without revolutionaries. Yet the Muslim Brothers are the only organized political force. They are rooted in society, and decades of opposition against authoritarian regimes gave them experience, legitimacy and respect. Their conservative agenda fits a conservative society, which may welcome democracy but did not turn liberal.

My Take – Is there anyone out there that thinks this guy is as delusional as I do? RK

RACE

Ron Paul’s Black Execution Claim Debunked
In the Republican presidential candidates’ debate on Jan. 7, Congressman Ron Paul said: “I’m the only one up here … that understands true racism in this country is in the judicial system.” He said this racism has to do with “enforcing the drug laws” and then added: “They (blacks) get the death penalty way disproportionately.”……

SOCIALIZED MEDICINE

Obama Administration to People Needing A Bone Marrow Transplants: Drop Dead
In December, a federal appeals court ruled in Flynn vs Holder that the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA) does not forbid compensation for the majority of “bone marrow donors.” That was great news for patients needing bone marrow transplants: As CEI’s Greg Conko noted earlier, the court’s ruling clarified that it is legal for approximately 70 percent of donors to be paid for their life-saving contribution, compensation that is essential because as many as 3,000 people still die every year in the United States alone waiting for a marrow transplant because an appropriate match cannot be found. Only compensation provides an incentive for additional donors to come forward and contribute their life-saving cells.


Rule Four of The Rules

4.  What does it take to be the smartest person in the world? You have to understand six things.
•First, everything is the basics.
•Second, some things really are right and some things really are wrong.
•Third, there really is such a thing as good and evil in the world.
•Fourth, everything has an historical context.
•Fifth, everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality.
•Sixth, you need the balancing effect of other people’s personalities in your life.

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