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Casting the U.S. as Parent in a Teenage World – Thomas P. M. Barnett – NYTimes.com

February 16, 2009 Leave a comment

“It took us 89 years to free the slaves and 189 years to guarantee African-Americans the right to vote,” he writes. “Women waited 144 years before earning suffrage. If a mature, multiparty democracy was so darn easy, everybody would have one.” (via Review of Book – ‘Great Powers’ by Thomas P. M. Barnett – Casting the U.S. as Parent in a Teenage World – NYTimes.com).

Maybe, Mr.Barnett, before you build a case for more intervention by the ‘adult’ US in the lives of immature Rest, he should look at the American record again!

The writer forgets how the disenfranchisement laws still work in the US. The disenfranchisement laws came into effect by the 1890’s – that continue till today. This ensured that the disproportionate numbers of Blacks could not vote – and George Bush became the President of the USA for the 2nd time. After some 60,000 Black Voters were disenfranchised, George Bush technically, won by less than 1000 votes (most of the disenfranchised voters were expected to vote against George Bush).

Or that in the Police Republic of The US has the largest number of people in prisons – disproportionately African Americans. USA, with a population of 30 crores (300 million), has a criminal population of 70 lakhs (7 million) – behind bars, on probation or on parole. US Government estimates a figure of 20 lakhs (2 million) people serving prison sentences.

Though US women have the vote, they cannot elect their own. Where is the US woman as a President?

Freedom - US Style ...?

Though, maybe the reviewer may be right, when the reviewer claims in the closing line, “it is hard to disagree with his … observation that “the world desperately wants America back.”

Especially looking at the Middle East, that US propaganda may be working. Maybe, the Middle East does want its Unca Sam fix.

Or that Indians may want ‘freedom’ – US style.

Is recession behind spike in bank robberies? – CNN.com

Capital punishment

Capital punishment

A rash of bank robberies in New York has the city’s police commissioner worried that criminals have turned banks into “virtual cash machines” and some wondering whether tough economic times are fueling the trend.

On Monday alone, robbers targeted five banks in the Big Apple, some striking in broad daylight and near famous landmarks. Police called the incidents unrelated, but they’re just the latest examples of the growing tally of hold-ups.

Bank robberies in New York have risen 54 percent compared with last year, with criminals committing more than 430 in the past 12 months, according to the New York police department. “As it stands now, they’ve turned [banks] into virtual cash machines,” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Bank robberies are also up in many areas across the country, including San Diego, California, and Houston, Texas, federal law enforcement experts told CNN.

It’s enough for some to link the trend to the rash of layoffs, the plummeting stock market and the bust in the real estate values, all of which have left many Americans in dire financial straits. (via Is recession behind spike in bank robberies? – CNN.com).

The root causes of high crime levels …

At different times, high crime levels are blamed on the following five elements. The theory in crime management is control these five and you are in control: –

  1. Police to population ratio (increase police force).
  2. Prison population (put more criminals behind bars)
  3. Capital punishment (kill enough criminals to instil fear)
  4. Poverty (it is povery which the root of all crime)
  5. Gun ownership (more guns means more crime)

The Indian conundrum …

India has the low scores on the first three indices – low number of policemen, low prison population and low capital punishment number – and high on gun ownership and poverty.

Yet the crime rate in India is in the low-to-average range. How come? 4000 years back in history is the answer …

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