Posted by: quiscus | February 27, 2011

February 27, 2011

1.  “The price of food is at the heart of this wave of revolutions

No one saw the uprisings coming, but their deeper cause isn’t hard to fathom

 

Nowhere is immune to this wave of rebellion because globalisation is a fact; all the world’s markets are intricately interlinked, and woe in one place quickly translates into fury in another. Twenty years ago, things were more manageable. When grain production collapsed in the Soviet Union during the 1980s and what had been one of the world’s greatest grain exporters became a net importer, the resulting surges of anger brought down the whole Communist system within a couple of years – but stopped there. Today there are no such firebreaks, and thanks to digital communications, events happen much faster.

Why are all these revolutions happening now? Plenty of answers have been offered: the emergence of huge urban populations with college degrees but no prospect of work; the accumulation of decades of resentment at rulers who are “authoritarian familial kleptocracies delivering little to their people”, as Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation put it; the subversive role of Facebook and Twitter, fatally undermining the state’s systems of thought control.

Absent from this list – to the combined bewilderment and relief of the US and Europe – are the factors that were universally supposed to be driving populist politics in the Middle East: Islamic fundamentalism coupled with anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism. As one Egyptian pointed out after the fall of Mubarak, at no point during weeks of passionate revolt did either the Israeli or the US embassies become a target of the crowd’s fury, even though both are within easy reach of Tahrir Square. “Not so much as a Coke can was thrown over the wall,” he said.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/the-price-of-food-is-at-the-heart-of-this-wave-of-revolutions-2226896.html

2.  Morons:

“Tennessee bill would jail Shariah followers

Proposed law is ‘nonsense,’ critic says

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, introduced the same bill in the Senate and House last week. It calls Shariah law a danger to homeland security and gives the attorney general authority to investigate complaints and decide who’s practicing it.

It exempts peaceful practice of Islam but labels any adherence to Shariah law — which includes religious practices such as feet washing and prayers — as treasonous. It claims Shariah adherents want to replace the Constitution with their religious law.

Charles Haynes, a senior scholar with the First Amendment Center in Nashville, disagrees. He said the bill is based on a complete misunderstanding of Shariah law, which he described as a set of voluntary religious rules, similar to Catholic canon law or Jewish religious law.

The bill is wrongheaded, he said.

“It’s complete nonsense,” he said.

The bill also is unnecessary, Haynes said, because people of all faiths have to follow secular law.

“Civil law and the Constitution of the United States trumps religious law,” he said. “The government can’t label religious laws as wrong or treasonous or evil. The government may not take sides in religion. It may not say what is a good religion or a bad religion.”

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110223/NEWS0201/102230378/Tennessee-bill-would-jail-Shariah-followers

3.  “Out of Every Dollar that Funds Wisconsin’ s Pension and Health Insurance Plans for State Workers, 100 Cents Comes from the State Workers”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/02/out-of-every-dollar-that-funds.html

4.  “How the U.S. Radicalized Conservatism

If you have the stomach to listen to the likes of Glenn Beck or track the antics of people like Sarah Palin you might get the idea that today’s American political conservatives are a bunch of radicals and extremists. And, as we will see, you would be correct. But this is not how it always was. There was a time when conservatism was a more low key affair with a certain sense of pragmatism and even fair play. There is not much of this traditional conservatism left here in the U.S. except in certain intellectual circles. And, even there, one has the sense that it is hanging on by its fingernails.

American Political Conservative Obsessions

The alleged right to possess unlimited numbers of deadly weapons. For modern political conservatives obsessed with the issue of gun laws, this “right” to be over armed supercedes the public’s need for a safe environment. Thus, compared to the age old tradition of public safety, the gun mania of today’s conservatives is absolutely revolutionary. It certainly has nothing to do with the Constitution’s “well ordered militia” and does not reflect “habits that have proved useful in a huge variety of practical affairs.” In fact, the only “habits” this obsession references are those displayed in fantasies that romanticize cowboys and military combat.

An obsessive fixation with taxes. Those modern day political conservatives who have this particular mania seem to be incapable of understanding that it is a radical act to advocate the reduction of taxation to the point of social ruination. In order to spare their wallets and allegedly promote “individual freedom” they advocate, among other things, privatizing the public school systems, denial of services to indigent people, and elimination of state involvement in such issues as public health and environmental safety.

Paranoid concern with illegal immigration

The Problem of Radical Conservative Islamophobia

This then has been the fate of conservatism in America. What started out as a worldview valuing the wisdom supposedly to be had from tradition, has become a clearly paranoid mentality constantly imagining outside conspiracies and inside saboteurs aiming to destroy national values and the citizen’s personal rights. In addition, the range of remedies that today’s conservatives offer to fight against these “threats” are almost entirely extremist in nature. They range from the financial destruction of the U.S. federal government through severe reduction of taxes, to carte blanche accessibility to deadly force for gun fanatics, to the passing of draconian laws on abortion and immigration, to the McCarthyite persecutions of entire minority groups such as American Muslims. These proposed policies do not reflect any definition of traditional conservatism. “

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27574.htm

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