As Iraq flexes its muscle following the departure of U.S. troops, and as Iran continues to challenge the “international community” relative to its nuclear program, the civil unrest in yet another Middle Eastern country is reaching critical mass and threatens a call for more “Western intervention” in the region.
With all the talk about "disparities" in innumerable contexts, there is one very important disparity that gets remarkably little attention — disparities in the ability to create wealth. People who are preoccupied, or even obsessed, with disparities in income are seldom interested much, or at all, in the disparities in the ability to create wealth, which are often the reasons for the disparities in income.
In a political culture based largely on hollow promises, it’s nice to know that there are some in Washington determined to follow through on their commitments. On January 12 U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was elected in 2010 on his promise to do his part to reduce federal spending by shrinking big government, announced that his Senate office would return a whopping $500,000 to the U.S. Treasury — federal funds left over from his official operating budget.
Gun fights south of Tripoli between rebel militias and forces still loyal to the late Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi left several dead and dozens wounded over the weekend, according to news reports. And it is not over yet.
GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is under fire in South Carolina for touting his alleged pro-life beliefs but voting to subsidize abortion and Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in America, while serving in the U.S. Senate. He has also backed pro-abortion candidates and voted for legislation that is being used to federally prosecute peaceful pro-life protesters who demonstrate outside of abortion clinics. Critics are outraged. The once top-tier Republican candidate, who surged into the spotlight after an unexpected strong finish in Iowa before a disastrous showing in New Hampshire, defended himself against the attacks by lashing out at fellow GOP contender Rep. Ron Paul. He also argued that he voted for the unconstitutional appropriations — used for terminating pregnancies, lobbying against pro-life legislation, handing out birth control, and litigating to keep abortion legal — because they were part of bigger spending bills he supported. A group called Iowans for Life first went after Santorum on the issue before the caucuses there, distributing fliers calling the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania a “Pro-Life Fraud.” The leaflets highlighted, among other points, the fact that Santorum had "a long and storied history of campaigning for radical pro-abortion candidates” such as former Sen. Arlen Specter — a Republican who later turned Democrat.
Republicans in the South Caorlina Fox/Twitter Presidential debate loudly booed the Golden Rule in the context of foreign policy January 16. The occasion for booing was a comment by Texas Congressman Ron Paul about respecting the sovereignty of other nations when it comes to bombings.
When New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Buffalo was going to receive $1 billion over the next five years to raise the city from its near-poverty level, local politicians were already dreaming of how to spend the money. Cuomo declared in his second annual State of the State speech, “We must address the crisis in Western New York. It’s gone on too long. It’s going to stop today. We believe in Buffalo and we’ll put our money where our mouth is.”
On Sunday, the head of the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel for Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, Colonel J.P. Colwell, sent an e-mail ordering all lawyers under his command to defy rules authorizing and requiring officials at the naval facility’s detention center to open and read all correspondence between lawyers and the five detainees suspected of involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Late last week, British prosecutors announced that they were initiating an investigation into allegations that agents of MI6, British intelligence, participated in the capture of two enemies of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and the subsequent delivery of those two rebels into the hands of the Gadhafi government where they were tortured.
Just in time for the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, the U.S. Interior Department announced that it will change one of the inscriptions on the memorial that supposedly bears the late activist's words.