With widespread ill-effects -- like food and oil shortages
The world isn't as flat as it used to be. During the long march toward globalization, international borders and trade barriers came down. Communism fell. Protectionist walls in Latin America and elsewhere were dismantled. Governments -- long prone to meddling in trade -- took a back seat to broader market forces. In a globalization manifesto, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman declared that the Internet and other planet-spanning technologies were erasing national boundaries. The world, he said in a 2005 best seller, was flat.
No longer. The global economy appears to be entering an epoch in which governments are reasserting their role in the lives of individuals and businesses. Once again, barriers are rising. Call it the new nationalism. "The era of easy globalization is certainly over," says Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, whose 1998 book, "The Commanding Heights," detailed the triumph of markets over nations, starting with British deregulation under Margaret Thatcher. "The power of the state is reasserting itself."
Just a decade ago, Asia, Latin America and Russia were on financial life support from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The U.S. was planning yet another round of global trade negotiations. The European Union was writing a constitution to shift power to Brussels from member nations. Now borrowers shun the IMF and World Bank. Trade talks are shelved. Barriers to foreign investment are rising around the world. State-owned companies are expanding, particularly in oil and gas. Public support of immigration restrictions is growing in countries from the U.S. to India.
"Moderate" Muslim antisemitism: "Malaysian Muslim groups have called for protests when Chelsea football club visits in July because the coach, Avram Grant, and a player are Israeli. An alliance of 21 Muslim groups is angry the Malaysian authorities have given permission for the Israelis to visit the country with the London club. Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel, and the Malay Muslim majority is strongly pro-Palestinian. Malaysian citizens are banned by their government from visiting Israel."
UK: Elections "vulnerable to fraud": "Elections in the UK fall short of international standards with the system vulnerable to fraud, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust claims.Measures to improve choice for voters -- such as postal and electronic voting -- are actually risking the integrity of the electoral process, it said."
Multicultural nonsense: "The intellectually fascinating feature of multiculturalism is just how incoherent it quickly becomes. If one fails to accept multiculturalism, well then one is acting badly; but if one accepts multiculturalism, then no one can be blamed for anything at all since from some, however obtuse, cultural standpoint any conduct can be 'justified.' It would be far more enlightened to figure out some basic standards of human morality and then apply them to any society and culture carefully. The nihilism of refusing to judge is simply unavoidable to us -- even that refusal is a judgment and in need of rational support."
The lazy British police: "A family who dialled 999 when eight men wearing balaclavas burst into their home at 11.15pm were told by the police that they were too busy to come. Mathew Sims, 24, his partner Sarah Barham, also 24, and their two children, aged 6 and 5, ran upstairs when the men, one brandishing an axe, smashed the glass in a door that Mr Sims was trying to keep closed. Eventually the burglars left in two cars after stripping the downstairs rooms of electrical items. Three hours later the police turned up at the house - barely a mile from a police station - in Arnold, Nottinghamshire. Mr Sims said: "The minute we knew these people were in the house we rang the police, but they said it would be at least half an hour before they could come out. "No one from the police had turned up half an hour later, and when we rang again they said there was no one they could send." In a letter to the couple, Chief Inspector Andy Burton said that they deserved an apology and confirmed that an inquiry was under way." [If he had said that somebody had called him a queer, they would have been right out]
UN corruption again: "The United Nations has been accused of covering up allegations that its peacekeepers traded gold, ivory and arms with violent rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Confidential sources told the the BBC that Pakistani and Indian troops were implicated in arms deals. It is the latest scandal to hit the UN's mission to the DRC, where soldiers and officials have been accused of repeated sexual misconduct. The UN said that it investigated the accusations last year but could find no evidence that troops had supplied arms to militias. But the 18-month investigation by the BBC Panorama programme concluded that such deals had taken place, and that UN staff had been told not to pursue their investigations for fear of upsetting Pakistan - the biggest contributor of peacekeepers."
Proposed Mortgage Regulations Prompt Opposition: "The mortgage industry, facing the prospect of tougher regulations for its central role in the housing crisis, has begun an intensive campaign to fight back. As the Federal Reserve completes work on rules to root out abuses by lenders, its plan has run into a buzz saw of criticism from bankers, mortgage brokers and other parts of the housing industry. One common industry criticism is that at a time of tight credit, tighter rules could make many mortgages more expensive by creating more paperwork and potentially exposing lenders to more lawsuits."
Russian mafia trades weapons for Afghan poppies: "The heroin flooding Britain's streets is threatening the lives of UK troops in Afghanistan, an Independent investigation can reveal. Russian gangsters who smuggle drugs into Britain are buying cheap heroin from Afghanistan and paying for it with guns. Smugglers told The Independent how Russian arms dealers meet Taliban drug lords at a bazaar near the old Afghan-Soviet border, deep in Tajikistan's desert. The bazaar exists solely to trade Afghan drugs for Russian guns - and sometimes a bit of sex on the side. The drugs are destined for Britain's streets. The guns go straight to the Taliban front line. The weapons on sale include machine guns, sniper rifles and anti-aircraft weapons like the ones used in the attempt to assassinate the Afghan President Hamid Karzai last weekend."
Indiana 1, Vote Fraud 0: "You have to show a photo ID to buy beer or smokes. Now you have to show a photo ID to vote. The U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold an Indiana law aimed at ending voter fraud. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the decision. Stevens said the law “is amply justified by the valid interest in protecting ‘the integrity and reliability of the electoral process’.” “We cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters,” Stevens said. Indeed, the 2 plaintiffs who sued include a snowbird who was registered to vote in both Florida and Indiana. She was refused permission to vote in Indiana because she flashed her Florida driver’s license. In short, the law works."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)