According to the Miami Herald, the Venezuelan government has introduced what socialist President Hugo Chavez is calling a “Good Life Card” to be used to purchase groceries at government-owned stores. Speaking to Venezuelans on the government’s television channel, Chavez explained, “It’s a card for you to purchase what you are going to take and they keep deducting. It’s to buy what you need, not to promote communism, but to buy what [sic] just what you need.”
American Christians may not see eye-to-eye on the justness or wisdom of their government’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but one thing on which they should be able to agree — because the facts are indisputable — is that the wars have been devastating for their coreligionists in those countries. Hundreds of thousands of Christians, including members of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, have either fled from or been killed in Iraq since 2003. Now, according to the U.S. State Department, the situation for Christians in Afghanistan has become so dire that not a single church remains in that country.
“I have read that Americans are peace-loving,” 58-year-old Pakistani writer Syed Zubair Ashraf told the Washington Post. “But their government has interfered in every country. Why?”
That is an excellent question, and one to which Americans ought to give serious consideration, especially as a presidential election approaches. Few Americans would consider themselves warlike. Who among us would choose to drop bombs on a foreign country at his own expense and risk? Yet the U.S. government, claiming to represent the American people, does so routinely — and then blames the inevitable retaliation on foreigners’ hatred of the United States’ liberty, not its government’s foreign policy.
Is the United States bankrolling its own enemies in Afghanistan? According to a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the answer may very well be yes.
“Since 2002,” the report opens, “Congress has appropriated more than $70 billion to implement security and development assistance projects in Afghanistan, with some of those funds converted into cash and flowing through the Afghan economy.” But where has that cash gone? No one in the U.S. government knows for sure, and the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai seems none too eager to assist Washington in finding out.
No matter how many times wealth redistribution fails to achieve prosperity for all — and it has failed every time it has been tried — there are always those who think that they can make it work if given the chance. Hence, reports Fox News, “a coalition of 183 organizations from 42 countries,” featuring such left-wing bodies as unions, environmental groups, and UNICEF, “issued a plea this week urging leaders at the G-20 summit in South Korea,” including President Barack Obama, to adopt the “so-called ‘Robin Hood tax,’ aimed at collecting money from rich nations to give to the poor.”
U.S. taxpayers, it seems, are not the only ones being taken for a ride by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The New York Times reported on October 23 that Iranian taxpayers, too, are being forced to pony up millions of dollars for the Karzai regime, a story that was confirmed, at least in part, by Karzai himself two days later.
“Airports in Britain, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates have refused to offer fuel to Iranian passenger jets after unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington,” according to a report in the UK Telegraph. “Kuwaiti airports have also declined to offer fuel to Iranian passenger planes.”
The New York Times — the newspaper whose reporter Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 while deliberately covering up Joseph Stalin’s starvation of the Ukrainian people — has apparently changed its tune on the subject of communism in the decades since.
In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Kelo v. City of New London, ruled that governments in the United States have the right to steal their citizens’ property and transfer it to private developers as long as it serves a “public purpose,” namely bringing in more tax revenue. Thus, according to the court, the city of New London, Connecticut, was within its rights to evict Susette Kelo and others from their property in order to hand the property over to Pfizer for development — development that, in fact, never materialized.
Solar Trust of America, an energy firm based in Oakland, California, declared bankruptcy on April 2, fewer than 10 months after breaking ground on a project near Blythe, California, that was to be the world’s largest solar power energy project built on public lands. In its bankruptcy filing, the company claims to have assets of up to $10 million. Those assets, however, are dubious, consisting primarily of the Blythe project and another project in Riverside County, California, neither of which has gotten off the ground. Meanwhile, its liabilities may run as high as $100 million.