The arrival of Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto as President of Mexico opens new prospects for development in a society divided ideologically, overwhelmed by poverty, social inequality and lack of opportunity for new generations; a society wounded by a demented, apocalyptic violence unleashed by organized crime, and powerless before an inefficient and corrupt judicial system, allowing the most outrageous of impunity; and a political class in which many seek only to live in their interests and irresponsible wasting of public resources, a society with a deplorable education system; and petty trade unionism that promotes community development and has built a culture of corruption that eats like black hole, the resources of which should be channelled to social development.
Mexicans owe no good bet to failure of the new government because it would be to the detriment of all citizens. And although the described reality is bleak, we must hold fast the hope that can transform our nation and forge a better society. It should leave the personal meanness to put on ourselves to build a country that can not lose the opportunities they have to be sensitive about the many problems that afflict us, and to aspire together to progress and development, which should be pillars of justice and peace.
President Enrique Peña Nieto has before him a number of challenges that are postponed to address, namely:
Promotion of an authentic humanism that puts the person and dignity in the service center of the political agenda, above party interests or particular political institutions or associations, and their ideologies.
Education, understood not only as a transmission of knowledge, but as a comprehensive education that promotes the values of the peace, respect, brotherhood and civic responsibility in building the nation.
Similarly, the scientific and technological progress, the arts and sport.
Promoting and strengthening the family, considering marriage as the basis of society, promoting education of the new generations in the moral and civic values for integration into the social development.
Combating social injustice, dramatically present in the abysmal social inequalities and suffering of poverty, through the creation of well-paying jobs, and the implementation of social programs.
Free paternalism and political patronage to promote a culture of work, solidarity, community engagement and savings.
The fight against entrenched corruption to be from a clean record of public officials, vigilant at all times with the understanding that the enemy is also home.
A tangible commitment by the government to combat and repudiate dishonesty, and proposals that severely punish this practice, because today is cancer that consumed the country and corrupt the younger generation who see this evil something natural or necessary.
Promoting economic development initiatives, going through a series of constitutional reforms, which historically has been postponed by the mixed policy that unfairly and irresponsibly slows development of future generations.
The fight against organized crime, which is an obligation on the State, with full respect for human rights and the preservation of the public peace, not only with the legitimate use o force, but through education for peace, and civic and moral values Remake the social fabric and lead us to a national reconciliation. care, protection, promotion and social integration of the people most vulnerable, the elderly, indigenous people, children and the disabled, fighting discrimination, abuse and marginalization.
Finally, the care and the preservation of ecological and natural resourcs and the nation, raising awareness in their care, fighting exploitation and pollution, and educating new generations in the responsibility for the goods of the earth that are entrusted to us by God.
Rice wasn't making life-and-death decisions on Sept. 11, 2012, when the U.S. compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack
Apparently, BO wasn't either. He either voted "Present" or was a no show. The other possibility is that he was handicapped to make a decision. I would always worry when BO says: "I got your back!" Prepare for the worst.
[Dawn] CALL it a weapon, a tool, or gloss things over by referring to it as a menace, the fact is it changed Pakistain's social fabric.
The term Kalashnikov culture appeared in the country's popular lexicon in the 1980s. In all the literature produced in and about Pakistain in the decades since it has been decried and rejected and has yet held murderously on.
Is this culture, and the popularity of the gun, declining? A newspaper reported recently that the Kalashnikov -- the AK47 assault rifle -- has been replaced by 9mm pistols as the weapon of choice for Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... 's myriad killers. In 80 per cent of the assassinations in the city, the latter are being used.
It's obvious why: 9mm pistols are easy to carry concealed, can fire more bullets with one magazine, and are cheap to lay one's hands on -- Rs15,000 upwards. The pistol is the official weapon of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... troops and is reportedly smuggled in large numbers into Pakistain. The Chinese-made replica, the CF-98, is also widely available, and the pistol is being bootlegged, among other places, in Darra Adam Khel.
The Kalashnikov was designed in 1942 as the Nazi army halted at Stalingrad. The brutality of that war is well-known, with Russians sent to the front to put up resistance but actually getting shot. The losses were huge -- in part because guns were in extremely short supply among the Russians. Also, the Germans had machine guns (the MP44s); the Soviets, in the main, had rifles.
So a young tank sergeant of the Soviet army, Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov, designed an answer: the AK47, produced for the first time in 1947.
No patent for the gun was ever taken out, and the gun is pretty easy, technologically, to replicate. And so it was manufactured in hundreds and thousands across the world, becoming a staple for at least one of the sides in pretty much any armed conflict since 1947: the warlords in Mogadishu, the Vietcong in Vietnam, the child soldiers of Liberia, the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and the gun-hung tough guys in Pakistain, even Bloody Karachi's hit mans.
The AK47, and other arms, are manufactured in a Russian town called Izhevsk, known as the 'armoury' of Russia, at a factory called Izhmash. For decades, the lathes and presses have thumped and clanged, forging the Kalashnikov and other deliverers of death for armies and gun-hung tough guys or irregular forces around the world.
According to a report published in the New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... , about 100 million Kalashnikovs have been manufactured, making that one for every 70 people on earth. And that's not counting the replicas made elsewhere.
One would think that business would be booming for Izhmash, but that is not the case. At the end of October, Mikhail Kalashnikov -- 92 years old, now -- and 16 of his colleagues wrote an open letter to President Vladimir Putin ...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile... , calling his attention to record low levels of production at Izhmash and the "catastrophic situation at what was once a manufacturing giant".
It seems that armies are no longer buying AK47s in any appreciable quality, so the factory has had to shift its focus to sales to civilians. (The civilian version does not have the fully automatic mode, which fires bursts of bullets with one pull of the trigger.)
Civilian rifles now account for 70 per cent of the factory's output, up from 50 per cent two years ago. And of the civilian versions, some 40 per cent is exported to the US, with its well-known resistance to gun control and where the import of Chinese-made handguns and rifles has in the main been banned since 1992.
Regrettably, though, the slowdown of the Izhmash production line does not mean that the Kalashnikov culture -- to which Pakistain is not alone in its affliction -- is dying. This and weapons patterned on it are used every day in conflicts around the world, but few are bought from Izhmash because used and replicated copies are so easily available. The significance of their being manufactured in Darra should not be lost on anyone.
Curiously, around the Kalashnikov, a culture has developed that can only referred to as some dark version of romance. In Pakistain, there are ads for 'Kalashnikov mosquito killers', and 'Kalashnikov deals'.
The weapon features regularly in a recently published book, Poetry of the Taliban. The image has been woven into carpets and rugs, and in Turkey, a prayer mat. I've got a feisty dance number from a Punjabi film whose lyrics translate approximately to "I am a Kalashnikov, my aim is always true; When I dance, that's when the mujra really takes off."
Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC's 'Top Gear', in fact, argues that because of certain characteristics, this weapon is unique in that it has soul. Because "...it was born amid unimaginable strife and suffering so it has genuine working-class, hard-man origins. And ... the AK has never sold out. You never find it in the pampered hands of an American soldier, boasting about how it was brought up in a cave in Saigon. It was born to help the underdog and that's what it's been doing, non-stop for nigh on 60 years. ...
"It is, after all, one of the design classics. You could frame one and hang it on the wall, and no one would want to know why you had done such a thing. Except the police, perhaps.
"Design is rarely art because design, when all is said and done, exists purely to make money. And yet the AK was never conceived to do that. In fact, Mikhail Kalashnikov lives today on nothing more than a Soviet Army pension. And that's why his most famous creation can be called an art form. And that's what gives it soul."
But things in Pakistain have moved far beyond the simplicity of a Kalashnikov, into a world where the Kalashnikov culture feels oddly -- almost endearingly -- archaic; even the gangsters of Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... now have access to uranium-tipped bullets that can pierce armoured personnel carriers. How curious that contemporary violence is so harshly inventive that the AK47 feels old-fashioned.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.