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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

A lot of things have been going on in Africa, much of it good, but there is always some bad along the way.

In Sudan it appears that decades of conflict may have reached a final solution as the referendum on spitting the nation appears to have passed and Southern Sudan will enter the community of nations.

Other than some lines on maps drawn by Europeans, the two halves of Sudan have almost nothing in common, not ecosystems, not religion, not ethnicity. This might not have been a problem if the North had done something other than take from the South. The taking led to a civil war that has lasted more than 20 years. Hopefully people can put the violence behind them, and build their own nations.

In Tunisia mounting opposition to the regime of the Ben Ali clan that has been sucking the wealth out of the country has resulted in their fleeing the country, and a interim “national unity” government being installed. The understanding is that there will be elections soon to install a permanent new government. Corruption was rampant with a limited group of families controlling almost everything in the country.

Both Egypt and Algeria are very nervous about this, as it might signal the creation of popular movements to change in their governments.

On a negative note, especially if you are fond of chocolate, Ivory Coast is still in gridlock after its elections. Ivory Coast’s incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo “is refusing to hand power to Alassane Ouattara, seen internationally as the winner of November’s elections.”

Everyone outside of Ivory Coast agrees that Ouattara won the election, but Gbabgo refuses to accept reality, and seems ready to use force to retain his office. This will very likely end badly.

January 17, 2011   4 Comments

Price Gouging

These people are, in many ways, worse than looters, the business that jack up prices to an absurd level when their communities are under stress.

The ABC reports on the situation in Flood victims charged $10 for bread, and include one official’s solution:

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale says the city will remember businesses that try to take advantage of the disaster.

“I know I’m not supposed to say [this] – but the health inspectors are on their way and the building inspectors are on their way after we finish this to see if we can help those businesses – [but] like hell,” he said.

I can see that the mayor intends to be “very helpful” to the gougers.

January 17, 2011   5 Comments

Just Stupid

CBS is reporting that Feds to Oppose Moving Tucson Shooting Trial.

As expected all of the Federal judges in Arizona recused themselves and the Feds had to bring in Judge Larry Burns, a Federal District judge from San Diego. The real clue that the trial was going to have to be moved was when all of the Federal public defenders recused themselves, requiring the Feds to bring in Judy Clarke, who is also based in San Diego, to defend the accused. Here’s a hint: if the people whose job is to defend people accused of Federal crimes don’t feel they can be fair and impartial, you will play hell finding a jury, and, you will also play hell convincing the Court of Appeals that you accomplished that miracle.

January 17, 2011   4 Comments

More Information

This report was filed at Media Matters the day before the incident at the ABC town hall meeting that resulted in Mr. Fuller being sent for an evaluation: Arizona Shooting Victim Criticizes Palin, Beck and Fox News

Eric Fuller, a 63-year-old Navy veteran who was shot in the knee and received fragments in the back last Saturday, said the rhetoric of Sarah Palin and others can impact “demented” people like suspect Jared Loughner.

Fuller, who said he has been interviewed by several national news outlets, added he would not appear on Fox News if they sought him, predicting it “might develop into a screaming session.” He added: “I don’t like what they’re selling.”

Fuller, who said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is a disabled U.S. Navy veteran.

He said he drove himself to the hospital after the shooting and has been visited by numerous reporters and news outlets at his home …

Veterans, especially those dealing with PTSD, don’t like people pointing guns at them, and are not receptive to those who advocate violence and guns as political solutions.

January 17, 2011   9 Comments