> 170 al-Qaida suspects released after pledging to behave
> Women attacked in bar mail pink underwear to anti-women-in-bars group
> American economy morphing into French socialism
February 13, 2009
The New York Daily News reported this week that Yemen released 170 al-Qaida terrorist suspects after they signed pledges against terrorism. And BBC News reported that Indians outraged at an attack on women for drinking in a bar are sending underwear to a right-wing activist group. Meanwhile, Newsweek Magazine reported in a story titled “We are all Socialists Now,” that in many ways the U.S. economy already resembles a European one and that as boomers age and spending grows, America will become even more French. Pundits are debating whether getting terrorists to promise they’ll be good, embracing socialism, and resisting terror by sending undergarments through the mail, is enough to fix the economic and ethical challenges we face in today’s world.
“I’m all for trying new approaches to old problems, but the idea of using old-failed approaches to current problems isn’t only stupid, it’s naive and dangerous,” said Helene Curtis, a suave red-headed investment banker, with smarts and a body that causes paralysis in four out of five dentists who chew gum. “The French economy has been a wreck for years, why would the U.S. want to emulate that? And terrorists tell lies like it’s their common language, you can’t believe them when they promise they’ll ‘behave.’ And when it comes down to battling a pro-Taliban-values group that beat women who go into bars — by sending them underpants in the mail — you know we’ve left go of reality as well as common sense. The reality is we have to fight for civilization by crushing those who would crush us, and cut taxes and free businesses that create jobs and power the economy — not expand bureaucratic government that does nothing but suck the money and freedom out of it’s citizens, the larger it gets. We have to limit government and terrorists. Left to their own devises they become the same: totalitarian dictators.”
Not everyone agrees with Curtis. “Fighting violence with violence and forcing the market to drive the economy rather than thoughtful bureaucrats is an enormous mistake that has resulted in the twisted social-economic reality that the world faces today — more food, medical care, goods and services for more people than ever before in the history of the world — and this has got to stop because it’s risky and dangerous,” said someone claiming to be an evangelist and mortician named Ralph Nader, who was rumored to have run for U.S. president, but no one knows for sure. “Left on it’s own with a modest set of rules every marketplace is scary and unsafe, they must be managed and controlled by well-meaning socialists who only want what’s best for us after they have enough. You can’t let an economy be run by marketplace demand and allow bad businesses to fail. It’s ethics like those that get you into trouble. I’m not sure how, but I know I’m right. I’ve always been right. Everyone on the left is right. Or something like that.”
The New York Daily News reported that Yemen released 170 men it had arrested on suspicion of having ties to al-Qaida, security officials said, two weeks after the terror group announced that Yemen had become the base of its activities for the whole Arabian peninsula. The men were freed Friday and Saturday after signing pledges not to engage in terrorism — a strategy the Yemeni government has often used with those suspected of fighting in militant causes abroad. Elements of al-Qaida have long found a haven in Yemen’s remote hinterland. Last month, Saudi al-Qaida fugitives in Yemen and their Yemeni associates announced in an Internet video that they were joining forces to form a single group. On Saturday, Saudi Arabia issued a list of 85 most wanted living abroad that included two Yemenis. Many of the Saudis on the list are suspected of hiding out in Yemen as well. The officials who announced the release spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to the press.
BBC News reported that Indians outraged at an attack on women for drinking in a bar have gathered together to send a provocative gift of underwear to right-wing activists. More than 5,000 people, including men, have joined the Facebook group, which calls itself the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women. The group says it will give the pink underwear to Sri Ram Sena (Army of Lord Ram) on Valentine’s Day on Saturday. It was blamed for the bar attack in the southern city of Mangalore last month. Pramod Mutalik, who heads the little known Ram Sena and is now on bail after he was held following the attack, has said it is “not acceptable” for women to go to bars in India.
Last month’s attack in Mangalore, which was filmed and then broadcast on national television, shocked many Indians. Television pictures showed men chasing and beating up the panicking women. Some of the women, who tripped and fell, were kicked by the men. Women’s groups strongly condemned the attack, which was described by the country’s Women’s Minister Renuka Chaudhury as an attempt to impose Taliban-style values. The Hindu nationalist BJP government in Karnataka state distanced itself from the attack. It said it had nothing to do with Sri Ram Sena. But a BBC correspondent says that right-wing Hindu vigilante groups loosely linked to the BJP are active in many parts of India and have in the past targeted Muslim and Christian minorities as well as events such as Valentine’s Day.
Newsweek Magazine reported that in many ways the U.S. economy already resembles a European one and as boomers age and spending grows, America will become even more like the French. In essence, everyone is becoming socialist. The article went on to say that the U.S. remains a center-right nation in many ways—particularly culturally, and our instinct, once the crisis passes, will be to try to revert to a more free-market style of capitalism—but it was, under a conservative GOP administration that we enacted the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years: prescription drugs for the elderly. People on the right and the left want government to invest in alternative energies in order to break our addiction to foreign oil. And it is unlikely that even the reddest of states will decline federal money for infrastructural improvements.
Authors Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas wrote that if we fail to acknowledge the reality of the growing role of government in the economy, insisting instead on fighting 21st-century wars with 20th-century terms and tactics, then we are doomed to a fractious and unedifying debate. The sooner we understand where we truly stand [we’re all socialists], the sooner we can think more clearly about how to use government in today’s world. Whether we like it or not—or even whether many people have thought much about it or not—the economic numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction.
A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French. Bush brought the Age of Reagan to a close; now Obama has gone further, reversing Bill Clinton’s end of big government.
Some people say that entropy and chaos are part of nature and should be embraced and not resisted.
“Many of the early European settlers on the North American continent had fled Europe for religious freedom, limited government, and opportunity to do what they wanted by carving out hard lives in the mountains and on the plains, taming the rugged landscape and inventing new ways to raise crops and harvest them. Then they invented unheard of manufacturing and household technologies that built an American economic monster that has been loved and hated around the globe as it freed people from tyranny and made them dependent on goods, services and luxuries that never existed before. They brought order out of chaos and lifted hardship off the common man, and they fought against nature in the fields and human heart, while they traded worship of the earth for worship of a Judeo-Christian god that gave them inalienable rights. What a bunch of anti-bureaucracy anti-nature anti-intellectual ass-holes,” said Manfred Friedhelm-Wainwright, a mental giant who knows best, because he can contemplate social-economic theory every day, having inherited a fortune from his dead father who built and sold several businesses during his life time — but apparently didn’t leave his son a lick of common sense. “Chaos and disorder is natural. Entropy and disintegration of systems is natural, even organic. It’s the way all things should be. Disorder and French pastries and economics are the ways of all good people. Mailing some underwear to terrorists will work fine, I’m sure it would have stopped Hitler in his tracks and made Stalin rethink his purges. And if not, well, chaos, mayhem and murder are like chaotic acts of nature and are for the best in the long run. Just don’t pick on me, I’m above all this stuff and should be treated like royalty. That’s all we socialists really want you know.”
In other news, Deseret News reported Sunday that Pentagon auditors say there is a possibility that the Army is missing nerve gas because there are discrepancies in records between how much chemical weapons agent was initially stored, and how much of it was later destroyed at Utah’s Deseret Chemical Depot and other bases nationwide. The auditors report said, “The (Army Chemical Materials) Agency didn’t have complete assurance that amounts recorded in the system were accurate, which increased its chances for heightened levels of program scrutiny by federal, state and international organizations that have a vested interest in the elimination of chemical weapons.” Such words can cause shivers among Utahans who remember such things as the death of thousands of sheep in Skull Valley in 1968 that were blamed on nerve gas tests that went awry at nearby Dugway Proving Ground, and Skull Valley residents who have blamed mysterious illnesses on exposure to tiny amounts of nerve agent from such tests. No word on why they’re bothered since chaos is natural, or if they’re going to protest by mailing underwear to military officials.
(C) 2009 InebriatedPress.com
Official: Yemen releases 170 al-Qaida suspects after they sign pledges against terrorism
Underwear protest at India attack
We Are All Socialists Now
Nerve agent may be missing