Monthly Archives: July 2010
Land reform under Robert Mugabe has seen a once productive landscape turn barren and reliant on imports. Boo-hoo – that’s all we can say. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knew that the Zimbabwean “African Dream” would come to an unhappy end. Mad Bob Mugabage is just another African Dictator – did England really think that by giving the country to him all would end well? Please show me another African country, run by a Black African that is successful. South Africa will soon be joining the ranks – it took Zimbabwe +/-20 years to collapse, so going on Black African history, SA has another 4 or so years to go until total anarchy. Below is an article which chronicles the spectacular fall of a once great country…
HARARE—From breadbasket of Africa to African basket case — that’s Zimbabwe.
A country rooted in agriculture that now must import maize and wheat, 7 million of its people targeted for assistance this year by the World Food Program.
At least 85 per cent of the population is unemployed, 49 per cent malnourished according to WFP figures, with 83 per cent living on less than $2 a day.
Zimbabwe: Once the regional model of an African country functioning at maximum capacity; for the past decade in utter economic collapse, wracked by multi-trillion per cent inflation until the Zimbabwe dollar was shelved for U.S. currency last year.
The government blames a nation’s misery on international sanctions and chronic droughts.
The world blames Zimbabwe’s woes on President Robert Mugabe, his Zanu-PF thugocracy, endemic corruption and the catastrophe of land redistribution.
Out of some 6,000 large white-owned commercial farms in 2000, less than 300 remain, with half of those facing eviction orders, 80 seized in the year since a unity government was brokered between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change. That indicates very little has actually changed, even with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai installed as prime minister.
“Reform?” says Deon Theron, posing the word as a rhetorical question and simultaneously sneering. “Reforming from productive to unproductive, more like it.”
Theron is president of Zimbabwe’s ever-shrinking Commercial Farmers Union, which essentially represents Zimbabwe’s ever-shrinking constituency of white farmers. Since land resettlement legislation in 2000 — taking back for black rural farmers, allegedly, what the white colonizers had staked unilaterally in centuries past — the country has been in economic free fall, unable to feed itself, arable property lying fallow, mud-hut dwellers working tiny plots and selling their produce by the side of the road where formerly massive crop yields were sold to foreign markets.
“It’s been devastating,” says Theron, 56, himself among the white commercial farmers — raising dairy and beef cattle — divested of property without compensation, living now on his mother’s farm, though the elderly woman has also been ordered off her land, despite a High Court ruling that she is the legal owner.
The narrative of white owners driven off their farms by invaders, often violently by youth militia mobs — police looking the other way because they refuse to intervene in anything “political” — has been well-documented since 2000. Yet it’s the far more numerous black farm workers who’ve suffered most as their jobs disappeared, the land usurpers — primarily government and “parastatal” officials, Zimbabwe’s cronies — hopelessly inexperienced at commercial farming.
It’s dispiriting to drive across this country’s highways, looking upon mile after mile of disused land, the Rhodes grass waist-high where once neat furrows of crops were cultivated.
“Mugabe’s policies have destroyed the symbiotic relationship between commercial farmers and small scale farmers,” explains Theron. “They claim to be empowering black citizens but only a small handful of individuals have benefited, Mugabe and his friends.”
Just look at the figures:
Between 2000 and 2008, production of maize declined 79 per cent, wheat 90 per cent, soya beans 66 per cent, citrus 50 per cent, fresh produce 61 per cent, dairy 59 per cent, beef 67 per cent, coffee 92 per cent, tea 40 per cent. Only tobacco, a major foreign currency generator, has rebounded markedly in the last year from a nearly 80 per cent decline.
Theron’s personal story shares all the hallmarks of Mugabe’s assault on white land owners. Three farms Theron bought after Rhodesia/Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 — none of it inherited — have been seized, with all of the equipment. “They attacked us. They beat up my employees. They slept in my bed, ate my food, drank my beer. They poisoned my dogs and they almost killed me.”
Because he refused to vacate his mother’s farm, Theron was charged and convicted in an absurd kangaroo court trial where the first magistrate had himself taken over a white-owned farm, the second scolded Theron to “face the music for your illegal occupation of the land” and the third refused to allow the defence to present any evidence or call witnesses.
Theron is appealing the six-month sentence handed down two days before Zimbabwe’s last national elections.
“They were desperate for a conviction to show that they were standing up for the rights of black farmers. But very few ordinary people have been given any land.”
Further, Theron adds, urban Zimbabweans graduating from college have no wish to farm; they don’t want to work with their hands, would prefer to sit in front of computers and do technology.
“Listen, I’m not opposed to land redistribution. We all know the colonial history of this country. But what happening isn’t land reform. It’s thuggery.
“There has to be some respect for the rule of law. There has to be restitution and respect for property rights. There has to be an independent judiciary. We don’t have any of that right now.”
There have been small glimpses of progress. The Southern African Development Community, representing regional countries, has ruled in favour of ousted farmers in land ownership disputes and is threatening action against Zimbabwe for refusing to recognize its decisions. Zimbabwe’s High Court has likewise rendered verdicts acknowledging rightful ownership of property. South Africa’s ambassador intervened successfully on behalf of its nationals who were tossed off farm they owned here. The German embassy this month forced Zimbabwe to back off its eviction of a huge farming enterprise owned by a German citizen, threatening to withhold $50 million in humanitarian assistance.
Theron estimates it would cost upwards of $12 billion to compensate white farmers evicted from their property. “The government doesn’t have that kind of money.”
Zimbabwe’s prolonged economic derangement and the resultant collapse of the country’s social infrastructure has been entirely self-afflicted. The government is in staggering debt yet continues to discourage the foreign investment acutely needed to get off its knees. Recent legislation now requires that large foreign-owned companies sell a majority share interest to indigenous Zimbabweans, described as “formerly disadvantaged”. That kind of unfriendly investment climate has put Zimbabwe — which pulled out of the Commonwealth in 2003 — on the wrong side of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The international community also has watched with dismay as Mugabe has thwarted key provisions of the Global Political Agreement that forced power sharing on Zanu-PF — promises to conduct a thorough land audit, to reorganize security forces, to appoint MDC governors and to end arbitrary detentions of political opponents and activists.
Meanwhile, farm seizures continue unabated.
Zimbabwe cannot possibly begin to heal itself as long as the agriculture sector remains in such colossal disarray.
Yet Theron, among others, is hopeful.
“We can still turn this around. Look at the way we stopped the runaway inflation, when all the shops were empty, no food on the shelves. The people did that, by refusing to use Zimbabwe dollars anymore and that forced the government to change their policy.
“I believe we can get back on our feet again pretty quickly, with some decent governance. The agriculture industry will come back. This has always been an agriculture-driven economy — agriculture and foreign investment.”
Salvation might be just a heartbeat away — Mugabe’s heartbeat. He’s 86-years-old. And he’s almost single-handedly holding the widely discredited Zanu-PF together.
“He still has a great deal of respect throughout Africa,” says Theron. “He’s stood up against all the odds. Absolutely, he’s a great patriot. But nobody else in the party has that kind of immunity.
“His death will change everything.”
Then, Theron offers a sheepish smile.
“I am a Zimbabwean. If you’re going to remain in this country, you’ve got to be an optimist.”
Where will it end? A comment on the original articles reads:
“Britain is heading at the rate of light speed into becoming a third world country. Excessive immigration will result in shortage in housing, water, food supplies and a decline in medical care. In addition to this there will be an increase in crime and criminal activity, with an increase of drug users and suppliers. Because the British seem to lack the will or gumption to stand up and say enough is enough, we sit back and hope that all will be okay. Remember, folks we are all on this ship called Britain that has just been struck by a huge ice burg called immigration and the ship is sinking fast, those of you who think I am okay becauce I am in the dry will soon find the water lapping against their chusy dwellings. Goans from India are flooding into Britain on Portuguese passports, and then bring over their families. Britain and the elected government are turning a blind eye to this problem. Remember all great nations fall from within and not from without. Just look at the Roman empire!”
The citizens, they are not happy!
Britain is destined to become the most heavily populated country in Europe, U.S. experts predicted yesterday.
They said that in 40 years’ time Germany will have lost its position as the European country with the highest number of people, which it has held since it was founded as a unified country 140 years ago.
While Britain’s population will have climbed close to 80million, there will be just 71.5million Germans in 2050, a report said.
The estimates from the U.S. pressure group Population Reference Bureau follow the disclosure earlier this week that a third of all the population growth in Europe is now concentrated in Britain.
The figures supplied by the U.S. organisation say that Germany’s population will have fallen by 11million by 2050, thanks to its falling birth rates and low levels of immigration.
But in Britain – where numbers will reach 70million in 2029 according to official projections – there will be 77million people by 2050, the report said.
In comparison, France, the next most populous European nation, will have seen numbers climb from the current 66.1million to just 70million.
Both France and Germany currently have far more people than the 62million estimated numbers in Britain.
But neither has the high immigration levels which mean numbers in this country are rising much faster than anywhere else on the continent.
Official estimates say that around two thirds of population growth in Britain is a result of high immigration. The latest predictions of the effects of immigration and population growth came as David Cameron tried to put an end to Coalition differences by insisting there will be a cap on numbers coming into the country.
The arguments between ministers – with Business Secretary Vince Cable calling for a ‘liberal’ immigration policy – have come as a spate of new figures give fresh impetus to concerns over the impact of rising population.
European figures earlier this week showed that numbers in Britain swelled by 412,000 in 2009, almost a third of all population growth in the 27 EU countries.
Yesterday ministers disclosed a Whitehall analysis which showed 100,000 new homes will be required each year for the next 25 years simply to cope with the numbers of immigrants arriving in the country.
The Population Reference Bureau, which campaigns for the spread of contraception as a means of controlling population numbers around the world, published figures similar to those first calculated by the United Nations last year.
The UN accepted official British estimates that the population of this country will grow by 174,000 a year as a result of migration.
But in Germany migration will add only 110,000 a year to the population while birth rates are falling, and in France, migration will mean an extra 100,000 people each year.
Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, the backbench Labour and Tory MPs who head the Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration, said in a statement that it was necessary to restrict immigration.
‘If this is to be achieved, whilst retaining the flexibility that our economy needs, we must ensure that economic migration no longer confers an almost automatic right to settle here.’
Australia is being infiltrated by militant Muslims. Why can’t these Muslim men rather take up a sport or play chess? No, instead they sit around dreaming up ways to kill anyone who doesn’t believe in their religion. Please people – get a life! We really don’t want to pray to your religious idol – we have our own. Just stay in your own countries, pray, keep your women oppressed etc. etc. etc. and then we’ll all be happy. We don’t want you around us just as much as you don’t want to be around us. I can assure you that the feeling is mutual!
AN Islamist website based in Australia is co-hosting an international forum this weekend.
It is described by a London research centre as an “online conference of global terrorists”.
The forum, to be streamed live on the Australian-registered website Authentic Tawheed, will feature a line-up of speakers known for their militant teachings and links with al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups.
They include British-based cleric Abdullah el-Faisal, who was previously a translator for British al-Qa’ida leader Abu Qatada, and who was deported from Britain in 2007 after being convicted of inciting racial hatred and urging his followers to kill non-Muslims.
The forum will “examine the current war against Islam and Muslims, and ask for how much longer can the kuffar (non-believers) fight against the deen (religion) of Islam, and the necessary steps needed for victory”. A starting time of midnight tonight in Sydney is advertised.
The keynote speech, titled Conquest of Washington, will be delivered by militant sheik Omar Bakri Mohammad, who British authorities accuse of mentoring several men convicted of terrorism-related offences. He fled Britain for Lebanon after the London 7/7 bombings and is barred from returning.
The London think tank the Centre for Social Cohesion says authorities in Australia and elsewhere should move to prevent such events.
“Convicted terrorists and Islamist hate preachers are regularly using internet chat forums and websites registered to the US and Australia to circumvent anti-terrorism measures,” says the centre’s director, Douglas Murray.
“Anti-terrorism measures are used to convict hate preachers and stop incitement to terrorism by proscribing organisations, as well as barring individuals from entering the UK. However, these same hate preachers can use websites registered outside the UK with impunity.
“Chatrooms are increasingly being used . . . to disseminate a violent Islamist ideology from virtually any country. Governments worldwide need to develop policies to combat this threat.”
The Authentic Tawheed (tawheed is an Islamic concept referring to the oneness of God) site was registered last month through an internet service provider in Brisbane. It has links to downloadable books and sermons by a range of militant clerics, including the US-born, Yemen-based Anwar al-Awlaki, who is accused by the US government of inspiring the Fort Hood military base shooting in Texas last November and the botched Christmas Day airline bombing in Detroit a month later.
It also has a link to a US-registered site, RevolutionMuslim.com, which contains a page endorsing suicide attacks.
The former head of international counter-terrorism for the British police Special Branch, Nick O’Brien, who now heads terrorism studies at Charles Sturt University, says Australian authorities should monitor the forum.
“There is a balance between the right of freedom of speech and encouraging people to commit acts of terrorism or violence,” he said.
The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been visiting third world countries and being ultra-PC. He’s currently on the “please don’t vilify Muslims” band-wagon. And to think that the UK voted his party in to save it from the destruction from Gordon Brown! Mr Cameron has also just handed EU police and prosecutors unrestricted access to the UK where they can enter and arrest people in the country. We will soon be one big happy international family – with no boundaries and all living under a Socialist umbrella – wow, can’t wait! The sooner the EU collapses the better for everyone.
This post is going to be — again, the man just won’t stop — about David Cameron and the speed, indeed eagerness, with which he and his Government are handing powers over to Brussels. Last week’s capitulation to EU demands that foreign police will be able to travel to the United Kingdom and take part in the arrest of Britons is just the most recent of the powers Cameron is surrendering the Brussels. I will get back to all that in a moment.
But before I start, I ask you to wonder at this: somehow the prime minister was willing to sit there on Indian television yesterday and listen to demands that the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond be wrenched from the Monarch’s most spectacular crown and handed to the modern state of India. This kind of polite listening to insulting demands for Britain’s treasures to be handed to politicians who are running modern states which were not even in existence when the jewels — or the Elgin Marbles, or any of the rest — were moved to London happens now anytime a senior British politician visits one of the disgruntled countries.
Yet Cameron was in Turkey before he arrived in India. If he thinks this kind of demand merits gentlemanly consideration, I would have welcomed a demand from him to have Christianity’s greatest church, the Hagia Sophia built by the great Christian Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, handed back to Christianity by the modern Turkish government. Minus the added minarets, of course.
But, odd, that: visiting British politicians never demand the return of Western Christian treasures which were seized by Muslim powers.
Indeed, if Cameron had been up on British history when that demand about the Koh-i-Noor was made on Indian television, he could have countered that he would rather more expect the demand to come from Pakistan. The defeated maharajah from whom the diamond was taken was a ruler in what is now part of Pakistan. It is likely that the then Maharajah of Lahore got it the same way the British did: he seized it, fair and square. ‘If New Delhi is eager for the diamond to go back to its historic home,’ the prime minister should have purred, ‘would the Indian government like us to begin negotiations with the Pakistani government?’
But more, Cameron missed another trick. While some of the Indians were bleating about how Britain should feel guilty about its colonial legacy — the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has said the diamond should be handed back as ‘atonement for the colonial past’ — he should have pointed out that it was only the British presence that ended the Muslim’s Mughal empire and ensured that today India is free to be Hindu, ‘but, hey, no need to say thanks.’
Not that Cameron would have the spine to say that. He was too fresh from doing Salaam around Turkey. Instead of trying to do his job — ie, look after British interests in Asia Minor — he was busy reinforcing the sense of grievance the Turks have because they have not yet been allowed to join the EU.
Now, normally I would applaud any British politician stirring it up about Turkey and the EU, because nothing is guaranteed to annoy both President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel as much as demands that Turkey be allowed to join The Club. The French and the Germans don’t want the Turks in The Club. Having the British Prime Minister insisting that he was going to ‘pave the road from Ankara to Brussels’ is calculated to result in maximum fury in Sarkozy and Merkel.
Here is the reason why I would usually applaud such stirring. Turkey joining the EU would be a disaster, especially now that the Lisbon Treaty — you remember, the one Cameron and Hague rolled over and refused to fight about three minutes after it was finally ratified — has increased the power of vote-by-population in EU affairs. By figures from the CIA Factbook, Turkey has a population of 78m, near-level-pegging Germany’s population of 82m. Bad enough for Berlin to take. But here is what causes the real panic in Berlin: Germany’s birth rate is 8.21 births per thousand population. Turkey’s is 18.28. The Turks can reproduce their way to EU dominance (and good luck to them: the refusal of Europeans to have babies is a disaster in every way, but that is for another post).
Plus, membership of the EU would mean no barrier to Turkish immigration anywhere in Europe. And the Turks do so enjoy staying with their relatives in Germany.
So, when anyone says, ‘Turks into the EU,’ I’m right there to say, ‘Yes, tomorrow if possible. And what about all the former Roman Imperial colonies of North Africa — they have just as much claim to be European as Turkey. Libya in!’
That is a particular dream of mine, to have the dead-dull European Council meetings enlivened by the presence of Col Gaddafi and his 200-member all-female personal bodyguard.
As Lenin said, ‘Worse is better.’ Letting Turkey join the EU will just help bust-up the EU all the faster.
But that isn’t why Cameron was pushing Turkey’s membership this week. No, instead he was engaged in that fashionable smear that anyone who opposes Turkey’s membership is ‘wilfully misunderstanding Islam.’ Here is a politician who hasn’t yet got a handle on British history — reminder again to the prime minister, America wasn’t in the war in 1940 — yet he wants to pretend to a sound grasp of Islam.
Remember, Cameron is a man whose only job outside politics was as a public relations man for Ratner’s Television, as Carlton is known to some of us who used to work in broadcasting. All Cameron is doing with his ‘analysis’ of Islam is reading the briefing notes from whomever is running his own p.r. now. Doesn’t matter to him that his briefing notes are smearing three-quarters of core Tory voters. Number 10 despises them anyway, so who cares?
Trouble is, decent Conservative politicians are being sucking into Cameron’s manoeuvrings, out of loyalty, I assume. Poor Old Daniel Hannan, the euro-sceptic, which is to say, euro-rational,Tory MEP, has made an argument on his Brussels blog that in all this, ‘David Cameron is a remarkably traditional Tory, and his attitude to Turkey is as traditional as they come. His — my — party has been Turcophile since Derby’s leaderhip a century and a half ago.’ he says Cameron’s reasons for backing Ankara’s EU membership bid are ‘solidly Conservative.’
So, a Tory loyalist is being pushed to insist that Cameron’s reasons for admiring Islam are solidly Conservative. What unfortunate timing: in recent days the Dutch political leader and anti-immigration campaigner Geert Wilders has been reminding those of us in Brussels and The Hague what Winston Churchill wrote about Islam in his ‘The River War’ of 1899, and ‘the curses it lays on its votaries’:
‘Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy…Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. ..The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property –either as a child, a wife, or a concubine — must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men…’
And on the Young Winston went. Now, was he right? That is not the point here. The point is, he was Tory.
And the point of this blog is to note that if Turkey is allowed to join the EU, Turkish police and Turkish prosecutors will be free to come to Britain and investigate British men and women, demand information from the national DNA data base — and remember how many innocent men and women and children in Britain now unwillingly have their DNA on the data base — because Cameron and his Government have just agree to hand such powers to other EU states.
British law enforcement officials will be unable to stop foreign police from travelling to Britain and take part in the arrest of HM’s subjects. The will be free to keep Britons under surveillance, monitor bank accounts and demand fingerprints, and DNA and blood samples.
Cameron wants us to believe that this is of course true Conservatism. The only question is: at what point are the true Conservatives going to rise up and roar that is isn’t?
Just a few everyday rape reports from South Africa. Now that the Soccer World Cup is over and the ANC no longer have to filter what the media reports, the real crime stories are once again seeing the light of day. Rape is a huge problem in South Africa as this is the only sport that Black African males excel at. No quotas required here.
Hat tip: Michael
Port Elizabeth – Two young tourists were raped in separate incidents in the Eastern Cape at the weekend – near the Addo Elephant Park and at Storms River.
In one of the incidents, a German boy, 14, was forced to sit quietly and keep quiet while his cousin, 15, was raped by two men who were armed with knives.
The boy and his cousin were fast asleep on Saturday at about 05:45 when a man apparently climbed through the window of their chalet and opened the door for his accomplice.
“They attacked the teenagers, pulled a blanket over the boy’s head and apparently raped the girl,” said police spokesperson lieutenant colonel Priscilla Naidu.
The incident happened at the Lenmore Bed and Breakfast in the main road near the Addo Elephant Park.
Naidu was unable to say on Sunday where the tourists were now. The suspects were still on the run.
“The asked the children to keep quiet. One of the men asked them not to leave the room for an hour after they had left.”
“Fifteen minutes later, however, the children started screaming and their family members in the room next to them went to them,” said Naidu. The owner of the bed and breakfast apparently had to help open the locked door. The owner did not want to talk about the incident on Sunday.
The boy’s two brothers, in their early twenties, were sleeping in the room next door. According to the police, the girl’s mother was staying at a bed and breakfast further down the road.
“The family is on vacation in South Africa as schools in Germany were closed,” said Naidu.
The boy and girl had given a description of the men to police. A camera and some of the teens’ personal belongings had been stolen.
In Storms River, a Dutch woman, 22, was also raped in the early hours of the morning. The 27-year-old suspect will appear on Monday in the local magistrate’s court. The woman, a volunteer at a nursery school in the area, had spent Friday night with friends. She went home on Saturday morning.
“On the way there, a man who was known to the victim, offered to walk with her. He then overpowered her at a densely wooded area and raped her,” said Naidu.
The woman reported the matter to the police. According to Naidu, the man, whom the foreigner only knew by his nickname, was also known to police. The woman had arrived a week ago in Storms River and would have left on August 14. Naidu could also not say on Sunday where the woman was now.
Veliswa Mhlapo, spokesperson for the Eastern Cape tourism board, described the incidents as shocking.
She said the tourism board sometimes helped victims who reported such cases to them.
“It is too bad that something like this has to happen so soon after the World Cup. It places the province in a bad light and frightens off foreign tourists,” said Mhlapo.
The Black ANC government of South Africa are officially frightened of the media and have now said that it is their “duty” to stop the press. I remember when the ANC was unbanned and had lots to say about how they would be democratic and how everyone had a right in South Africa – the country has, after all, one of the most progressive constitutions in the world (ha ha). Seems like they’ve decided that no one has a right anymore – especially the Newspapers who are painting them in an unflattering light. I’m just surprised it’s taken them this long to gag the media. That’s how Old Mad Bob Mugabage has gotten to stay in power….
Cape Town – The ANC is considering a total onslaught against the printed media, which it wants to rein in with legislation and investigations.
The documents for discussion at the ruling party’s national executive council meeting in September have just been released. These include a document entitled “Transformation in the media, ownership and diversity”.
It outlines the route the ANC wants to follow against a “neo-liberal” media which depicts the government as “weak and passive”, that “over-emphasizes people’s individual rights” and is “fundamentally market-driven”.
The ANC states in no uncertain terms that “legislation and intervention” is needed to ensure a diverse media.
These discussion documents have emerged amidst the controversial proposed Protection of Information Act, which will allow the State to classify any information it deems sensitive and hand down heavy penalties to journalists.
According to the documents, it’s the printed media in particular which is a thorn in the party’s side because of reports which seldom paint the government in a positive light.
“A superficial audit of the printed media reveals an astounding degree of dishonesty, a lack of professional integrity and independence.”
According to the ANC, corrupt journalists receive money to promote the agenda of certain political parties, and the “rot” is far worse than the media would like to admit.
The party takes particular exception to the fact that confidential information is leaked to the media after party meetings.
The document also states that corrections are never given sufficient prominence and that the press ombudsman (self-regulation) is ineffective.
“This situation is intolerable.”
The ANC also feels it is its duty to intervene, in order to protect the media’s credibility.
A quick summary of what has been happening in Peru. Peru has managed to claw it’s way out of its 1980’s recession and where it had an inflation of 7000%. Today it has a thriving economy from implementing free trade agreements and by leaving the loony leftist policies behind. Despite this, the current president still hasn’t stamped out corruption and the people are uneasy and frustrated. Que Hugo Chavez and his backing of one of the opponents in the election next year. I really hope that Peruvian people don’t fall for this idiot’s tricks and smooth talk and allow Peru to be taken backwards on the same destructive path of Venezuela.
It is hard to believe that just twenty years ago, Peru was going through one of its worst crises in its history. After years of irresponsible economic policies and public spending, the nation was isolated, plagued by a soaring hyperinflation, widespread terrorism, insurmountable debt, high unemployment, falling wages and a sense of hopelessness that made looking into the future extremely dim. Peru ended the 1980s with one of the worst recessions in Latin America, including an inflation rate of 7,000 percent, one of the highest in the world. Access to credit, foreign or local, was unattainable and the country was in desperate need of order and change. But thanks to tough measures taken in the 90’s to correct the nation’s course, Peru today is a totally different country.
Upon arrival at Jorge Chavez’s International Airport, one can sense that the economy is thriving. The airport is extremely modern with high-end stores and duty-free businesses full of people actualy buying. Leaving the airport is just as easy and fast, with modern routes, national and international stores along the way that have replaced the tanks and military personnel which not too long ago guarded the city day and night.
In the streets of Lima, construction of modern and expensive residential buildings and offices is everywhere and local businesses are enjoying better wages and access to credit. For instance, it is practically impossible to go to eat in one of the city’s restaurant without a reservation. More shopping malls with internationally renowned stores are being built in several districts and international firms have opened their doors in Lima. Analysts already say that Peru has become one of the most open investment regimes in the world and, despite the current economic turmoil that has engulfed the globe, it is enjoying excellent economic growth.
The road to Recovery
It was only in 1990 that the foundations for the economic, security and social recovery were laid. Prior, Peru was often criticized for constantly changing its legal framework. To address this problem, the Fujimori administration established the current regime which allow investors to enter into so-called Stabilization Agreements. These ensure investors that the legal framework in place at the time they enter into a contract will continue to apply to their investments for a set period of time. Since Peru enacted these laws, the country has attracted numerous foreign investors and opened its markets.
Overall, the 90’s were generally a time of economic growth, and the neoliberal policies implemented at the time, ended price controls, protectionism, restrictions on investment and most state ownership of companies. Since 1993, reforms have provided the basis for economic growth and in 2007; the Peruvian economy experienced a growth rate of 9%, the largest in Latin America. This was repeated in 2008 with a 9.8% rate
Today, Peru’s economy is well managed with better tax collection which is increasing revenues while expenditures are keeping pace. Private investment is rising and becoming more broad-based. Peru obtained investment grade status in 2008. The García administration is pursuing decentralization initiatives, and is focused on bringing more small businesses into the formal economy. Peru weathered the 2008 global financial crisis well, and was one of the few Latin American countries that had a positive growth rate.
On the security front, strong measures were adopted to combat terrorism, which ran its operations on funding from the cocaine trade. The effort was extremely successful.
The routes of Peru have also undergone major improvements and the airports all over the country have adopted modern systems, which make traveling inside the Andean nation, a pleasure.
The transportation sector still needs to be improved inside the major cities.
The Garcia Presidency
Even though President Alan Garcia’s first term was marked by bouts of hyperinflation, which reached 7,649% in 1990 and had a cumulative total of 2,200,200% over the five years, thereby profoundly destabilizing the Peruvian economy, Peruvians decided to give him a second chance and re-elected him in 2006.
During his election campaign, Garcia assured Peru’s business sector that he would not repeat the leftist populist policies of his 1985-1990 presidency – a promise he has kept. True to his word, Garcia has followed free market policies, signing free trade agreements with the United States, Canada and Singapore, and pursuing free trade deals with China, the European Union and Chile.
In fact, Peru, South America’s sixth largest economy, is rebounding faster than its neighbors from the global recession.
But despite these achievements, Garcia’s popularity is low, standing at 26 percent, according to an Ipsos Apoyo Opinion y Mercado poll taken May 12-14 for Lima’s El Comercio newspaper. That’s down from 29% in March and a high of 58 percent two months after he took office.
Even though the economy has performed well under Garcia, poverty and corruption have kept discontent bubbling at dangerous levels. The economic benefits have yet to reach vast sectors of society. In addition, people associated with Garcia’s party have been involved in scandalous corruption cases. Also, the latest paroles of convicted terrorists such as US citizen, Lori Berenson, and revelations of financial reparations from the state done in secret during the Toledo regime have produced a backlash against the Garcia administration, with people blaming him for not stopping what they consider blatant injustices.
The problem with this scenario is that the hostility towards Alan Garcia and his administration increases the chance of Ollanta Humala, an ally of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, taking power in the April, 2011 presidential elections. Even though Humala is currently in third place with 13% popularity behind Keiko Fujimori (23%) and current Lima major Luis Castañeda (21%), he is ahead of former President Alejandro Toledo by 1 point, which many analysts consider alarming.
In order for a democratic centrist to win the next election, they may not only have to contend with Garcia’s inability to sufficiently bring down the poverty rate and reduce corruption but with the interference of Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez. Prior to the last elections, it was reported that Chavez was supporting Humala to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. It is likely that some of that support is continuing along with Chavez’s Houses of Alba that are political indoctrination fronts providing free services to the poor. Peru is a big prize and Chavez would like nothing more than to bring it into his orbit further increasing his power and enlarging his Bolivarian Revolution.
So there is a great danger that the people that are not satisfied with the results democracy brings will likely vote for a populist candidate in 2011 like Ollanta Humala.
More so, Garcia’s failure to win popular backing may jeopardize economic stability and foreign investment by boosting the expected candidacy of Humala whom Garcia defeated by 52.5% to 47.5% in a 2006 runoff. Even if Humala is not elected, populist candidates may secure victories in regional elections in southern Peru which could discourage foreign investment putting a damper on Peru’s growing economy.
Now that we know Barack Obama lied about being “shocked, shocked” over Scotland’s release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, it’s worth a few minutes to consider the presidential pretender’s history with Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi.
But before we examine this surprising relationship, let’s review the facts of the Megrahi release.
Pan Am Flight 103 was on its way from London to New York Dec. 21, 1988, when it was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers including 190 Americans, 16 crew members and 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, when debris landed on the town.
In total, 270 people were killed in the bombing.
Libyan al-Megrahi was convicted of carrying out the attack and was serving a life sentence in Scotland until last August when, inexplicably, officials there released him on “humanitarian” grounds, saying he was suffering from terminal cancer and had no more than three months to live.
Of course, al-Megrahi is alive and well 11 months later and doctors treating him now say he will likely live for years, perhaps a decade or more, in Libya, where he is treated like a national hero. In fact, British intelligence knew Gadhafi paid a premium to doctors for the phony diagnosis.
What did Obama have to say about all this at the time?
“I think all of us here in the United States were surprised, disappointed and angry about the release of the Lockerbie bomber,” he said. “And my administration expressed very clearly our objections prior to the decision being made and subsequent to the decision being made. So we welcome any additional information that will give us insights and a better understanding of why the decision was made.”
Most Americans were surprised, disappointed and angry that a mass-murdering terrorist was released. But it is now clear Obama wasn’t surprised, disappointed or angry. In fact, he was part of the fix from the beginning, and his administration encouraged the final outcome.
A week before al-Megrahi’s release, Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the U.S. embassy in London, sent a letter to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and justice officials saying the U.S. would prefer if the terrorist remained in prison, but protested only a prison transfer not a release.
“Nevertheless,” wrote LeBaron, “if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that al-Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the U.S. position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose.”
It now appears the release of al-Megrahi was part of a deal brokered by BP for a lucrative oil contract with Libya.
The scandal stinks no matter how you look at it. It’s a story of politicians doing what they do without regard to the safety, security and best interests of their constituents – unless those constituents happen to be multinational oil conglomerates and terrorist mass murderers.
But what were Obama’s motivations? Consider this mini-history review of Obama’s odd links with Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi:
- Gadhafi received Obama’s Kenyan grandmother, Sarah Obama, in Tripoli last December. She went to see Gadhafi to congratulate him on his efforts to unify the African continent, the official Jamahiriya News Agency said. According to the Jamahiriya News Agency, she told Gadhafi she had come “to tell him of her pride as an African citizen in the efforts he has made to unify the African continent and his humanitarian initiatives for Africans.”
- Obama’s pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, met with Gadhafi in Libya in 1984 on a trip with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
- After the freeing of al-Megrahi, the Obama administration gave $400,000 to a Libyan charity run by the Gadhafi family. The money went to two foundations – $200,000 to the Gadhafi Development Foundation, run by Gadhafi’s son, Saif, and another $200,000 to Wa Attassimou, an organization run by Gadhafi’s daughter, Aisha. Saif Gadhafi, by the way, brokered the prisoner exchange with BP oil officials.
- Gadhafi had nice words to say about Obama last September when he visited the United Nations – calling Obama “my son” or “our son” several times. “Can you guarantee after Obama how America will be governed? We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as president of America.” Gadhafi also reportedly referred to the U.S. president as a “black African Kenyan.”
- Obama sat two seats away from Gadhafi at the annual Group of Eight summit a year ago – separated only by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
- In 2008, Gadhafi said Obama was a Muslim of Kenyan origins who studied in Islamic schools and whose campaign may have been financed by people in the Islamic and African worlds.
- Gadhafi has repeatedly expressed concern that Obama might someday be assassinated.
To most Americans, Gadhafi is a monster – a psychopathic killer and tyrant, perhaps even a madman.
But he has a fondness for Obama. And, by all indicators, Obama, despite his claims to the contrary, has a soft spot in his heart for Gadhafi.
So, 30% of the 2.63 million square miles of the United States is directly owned by the federal government. They also own a large proportion of the West. Then why does the federal government want more land?
There are ten planks in the Communist Manifesto and it will come as no surprise to anyone to discover that they are being implemented by the Obama administration in league with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The first plank called for the abolition of all private property ownership and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
The Constitution regards the ownership of private property to be of such importance that the Bill of Rights’ Fifth Amendment includes an injunction against the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. The object was to keep as much private property as private as possible.
Some of the other Communist goals included a heavy progressive or graduated income tax and abolition of all rights of inheritance. If the Bush tax cuts are not extended, the “death tax” on estates will partially implement the inheritance goal and, of course, everyone currently anticipates that income tax rates will rise.
The federal government has long been involved in sequestering land from private ownership and in cases such as the establishment of National parks and forests it has proven to be a good idea, ensuring the protection of landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park.
Such efforts ensured that the U.S. still has 70% of the forest land that existed in 1600—737 million acres. Of these 33.5% are reserved from harvest by law or represent slow-growth areas unsuitable for timber production. The rest are timberlands that, for forest management purposes, are still harvested.
This has not stopped environmentalists, often called tree-huggers, from trying to stop any harvesting and the 1980s Spotted Owl hoax in the Northwest was so successful it closed down timber and sawmill operations, devastating an important industry. The claim was that the owls were endangered. Like most environmental claims it was false.
Most people will be surprised to learn that nearly 30% of the 2.63 million square miles of the United States is directly owned by the federal government.
This federal land is located primarily in the West. For example, 69.1% of Alaska is owned by the federal government and 84% of Nevada. More than half of both Utah and Idaho is owned by the federal government. Other western states such as Arizona, California, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado have from 53.1% to 36.6% of their land allocated to the federal government.
If the States are sovereign republics in their own right, it begs the question why the federal government owns so much of the West, but the most pressing question today is why new legislation is making its way through the House and Senate to create a permanent trust fund for the purpose of acquiring still more federal land.
Though beaten back in the past, the House recently passed the “Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010 and, in the Senate, Harry Reid is trying to incorporate similar legislation in his so-called “energy act”, creating a multi-billion trust that, unlike the original Land and Water Conservation Fund, would not have to go through the appropriations process.
The so-called trust fund aspect is an old Congressional trick. The Social Security trust fund has been raided for years to the point where it is insolvent, but trust funds set up for highway funds, airport funds, and others have been regularly diverted.
Another land grab effort is an act called “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act” that is in essence a Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency authorization to control every drop of water in the nation.
The original 1972 Clean Water Act applies only to “navigable” waters, i.e. bodies of water on which boats and ships can function, but the new bill would include wetlands and everywhere else water is found. In short, not just farmers and ranchers would be affected, but your backyard if it has puddles after a rainstorm. This has long been an EPA objective.
Would it surprise anyone to know that Carol Browner, the president’s chief advisor (czar) on environment and energy was a former high ranking member of Socialist International?
The Obama administration is filled with people for whom the environment is a kind of religion, devoid of any science to support its bad intentions, and willing to ignore the U.S. Constitution any time it might get in the way.
Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX) has been a longtime opponent of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). In June he issued a warning against the latest efforts to grab more land for federal government control, citing in his view that the “federal government already owns far too much real property.”
This is really bad legislation that must be defeated. Otherwise, as Rep. Paul warns, “it allows the Executive Branch to have powers that are constitutionally directed to Congress. So this bill not only diminishes private property, it also erodes the Constitutional separation of powers.”
The Constitution is under attack by Communists. Our freedoms are constantly eroded and the keystone of wealth, private property, is under attack.
Onto my favorite topic – Obama. I see he appeared on the
liberal program “The View” trying to boost his free-fall popularity. Read the article below and understand what you’re up against. I sincerely hope that the American people come to their senses and vote these clowns out before they do anymore damage to the country. November voting results better not disappoint me!
When I was about 25 and living in Cambridge, Mass., I had just taken a job in a bookstore in Central Square when, during my very first day on the job, I was held up at gunpoint.
I remember vividly how I felt the instant I saw the man standing in front of the checkout counter, ski mask pulled over his face, pointing his handgun at me.
My reaction was very common: For a fleeting second or two, my mind raced as I somehow thought what was happening was something other than what it was – like a joke or a prank.
Out of nowhere, a man in the grip of dark forces had stepped into my personal space and was threatening my life. It simply wasn’t within my experience or psyche to instantly connect this odd, slightly clownish figure standing in front of me with profound evil.
Right now, a year and a half after Barack Obama’s election as president, many Americans are experiencing what I experienced a second and a half after being confronted by an armed robber. Maybe in the broad sweep of history, years are like seconds. Or, perhaps we’ve all just been so indoctrinated and confused by leftist education, media and culture that it takes a while to recognize a smiling revolutionary for what he really is. In any event, for millions of us, the two seconds of denial and wishful thinking are ending as we approach the November midterms, while finally coming to grips with the outrageous reality staring us in the face:
We’re being robbed. Though we’ve tried in vain to view what’s happening as something other than what it is, the truth is, our wealth, our liberty, our lives, our happiness – and our country itself – are being stolen. If you think that’s even a slight exaggeration, you really haven’t been paying attention.
Obama and the far-left leaders of Congress are standing before us, not with ski masks, but with the masks of arrogant deceivers. They smile, they reassure, they act as though they care about us – but it’s all one big cynical pretense. Virtually everything they do, and want to do, is irrational and destructive, violating the laws of the land, of economics and of common sense. They want to dramatically raise taxes during a deep recession. They want to make your electricity bill “skyrocket” (to use Obama’s word). They want to leave our children with a level of debt that is, quite literally, impossible to repay. They want to leave America’s southern border unprotected, even though there’s a full-scale invasion of our nation from the South, not to mention a full-scale drug-war raging just across the border, with tens of thousands dying – yes, you read it right, tens of thousands.
Each new Obama appointment brings further outrage: Obama’s “safe schools” czar, Kevin Jennings, founder of the gay activist group Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, is notorious for promoting homosexuality in schools! Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the head of our taxing system, is a tax cheat! Labor Secretary Hilda Solis goes on national TV to tell illegal aliens, if they’re not getting paid fairly by their American employer, to contact her and she’ll help them! John Morton, the Department of Homeland Security’s top man for immigration enforcement, says he doesn’t want to prosecute illegal aliens referred to his agency by Arizona authorities!
In this generation, we simply haven’t had to face this kind of treachery in the highest levels of government – nothing even close. Hence the delayed recognition of reality. But it’s time we realized the man with the mask standing in front of us is not a normal customer. He means to take our hard-earned money by hook or by crook and “redistribute” it – to his friends and supporters.
So, what do we do about the masked man and his congressional gang of thieves?
Well, after my holdup, I dashed out the door of the bookstore and ran down Massachusetts Ave. chasing after the robber, flagging down a cop I saw across the street – but the perpetrator got away. And I couldn’t identify him from the books of mug shots at the Cambridge Police Department, either (no surprise there, since my guy was wearing a ski mask!). In the end, the police never identified or caught him.
However, you and I do know the people who are holding us up right now in Washington. We just need to remove as many of them from Congress as possible this November – if not to jail, at least to a nice, long retirement.