Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Bush on Middle East Democracy...again
George W Bush has been hitting the democracy campaign trail again, this time at the Galatasaray University in Istanbul. Here he enunciated his assertion that "removing Saddam Hussein from power set the stage for a democratic transformation in Iraq that would inspire reformers in other countries." Excuse me for opening my eyes, but I hardly think Iraq is a poster child for simple and safe transformation to American-style democracy. Bremer's mismanagement of an intensely difficult situation in Iraq, and especially his decisions to purge the government and civil service of Ba'athists and demobilize 200 000 armed Iraqi soldiers, has allowed the insurgent terrorists to effectively dissuade any other Islamic country from "modernising" to democracy.

This poses a thorny problem to Bush with five months to go to the election, as he has to show the US public that the decision to go to war in Iraq could effectively spread democracy in the Middle East and give the US more leverage in handling the Israel-Palestine issue. It has to be said though, that Kerry's voice, for a candidate supposedly strong on foreign affairs, has been conspicuous in its absence.

Bush has also been forced to give a little away on the bargaining table to assist in US-Islamic state relations. Muslim countries have been especially incensed by US anger at Islamic states for upholding despots and tyrants, given the CIA's involvement in developing Osama bin Laden to his current stature, the Iran-Contra affair and US relations with Saddam Hussein in the late 80's. Bush acknowledged in his speech that "Western nations have helped nourish extremism by supporting repressive Middle Eastern leaders for the sake of regional stability", before he quickly added "but it did not serve the people of the Middle East to betray their hope of freedom, and it has not made Western nations more secure to ignore the cycle of dictatorship and extremism."

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

US resumes diplomatic ties with Libya
Despite rumours of political assassination plots, (see previous post) Gaddafi has got what he wanted, diplomatic and trade ties with the US. The Washinton Post reports that with a letter from Bush and a ceremonial opening of the US Liaison Office in Tripoli, the US has opened its arms to the former pariah.

Taking this step whilst in the middle of a State Department investigation into the allegations infers that this is an intensely political move. Bush is desperate for successes in his fight against terrorism, and Gaddafi represents a major victory, a former symbol of terrorism entering the "free" fold. (We won't even get into the implications of dropping the sanctions on Libya's vast oil resources!)

It's a brave move that could backfire immensely should the State Department uphold the assassination allegations in their report, and it's indicative of a leadership that knows how tight the forthcoming election is going to be.

Gun license chaos reinforces implementation weaknesses
Today the gun saga continues, with the government saying the press has it all wrong , whilst gun shop owners claim the government has rejected all their new applications, and the security industry is still taking the government to court to get an interdict against the implementation of the new laws.

This just reinforces the weaknesses in implementation of government policy. Whether the press gets it right or wrong, the blame for the confusion lies squarely at the door of the policy implementers. Again, why wasn't this explained to stake-holders, and the press, in a methodical way well prior to the Thursday's deadline. If the introduction of the law is three days away, can you seriously blame the press for "getting it wrong" if they had no prior information from the government to dissuade their argument. Moreover, surely the policy implementers would have taken note when the security industry applied for an interdict, and realised that some public relations, both through the press and directly with stakeholders, was neccessitated?

Mbeki has to force the civil service to lift their game, it's something so central to the 'real' delivery of value in his policies, and it may well be something his entire presidency will be judged on.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Implementation failures in Government delivery
Whilst I again have to deplore Independent Newspapers' use of rather salascious headline copy, a story they have written in The Star is another in a series of questionable rollouts of government policy.

Mbeki has rightfully trumpeted the need for delivery in this term and has created some very commendable and valuable social reform programs, but the implementation leaves a significant amount to be desired. The problem lies in the organisational capacity of the regional civil service structures that need to implement, publicise and service these programs. Recent history here in Cape Town highlights the problem perfectly. Firstly, the car licensing issues last year. Yes, there had been a deadline in place to convert to new car licenses, but local government gave the public more credit than they deserved in expecting them to contact their government branches to find out when the deadline was. The result: a huge media campaign one week before the deadline waving a big penalty stick, which forced thousands of motorists on unprepared traffic departments, leaving multi-block queues, large overtime pay bills and huge losses in productivity. Similarly, the deadline for traffic fine payment, the local AIDS drug rollout and the implementation of the FICA laws are further examples.

Which brings me to this article on gun laws. It's a great idea that the government is going to clamp down on gun laws and attempt to make guns and gun licenses harder to gain, I support it 100%, but again, a terrible job has been done in consulting the relevant parties, managing the process and publicising the proposed alterations. Millions of individuals and businesses in this country rely on private security forces to provide personal and enterprise security in our high-crime environment. Now we are told that as of Thursday this week, no person will be allowed to carry a gun without a competency permit, inferring that South Africa's 50 000 security personnel will require approved competency training in the next four days (a task industry expert say will take more than 16 months to complete), should they wish to carry a gun. Clearly, criminals will not be rushing to get their training, and all we have is another messy situation that leaves us all more vulnerable.

Forgive me for sounding like a true capitalist, but this kind of project management is a basic business technique and should not be beyond the skills of any mid-level manager in local government. Intelligent programs are fantastic, but they are nothing without intelligent implementation.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Dick Feels the Heat
Fresh off his recent Supreme Court disclosure win, Dick Cheney is still the man under pressure, as he cracked at yesterday's annual Senate photo session, swearing at Democratic senator Patrick Leahy. Nice colourful language from the American gent - "Go **** yourself". Nice one Dick.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Mbeki's big move
All of the papers have covered Mbeki's 'jump to the left', but I think the Business Day offers the best reporting. In a marked ideological shift, Thabo has expressed his displeasure at liberal and neo-liberal US conservatives and their penchant for free market economics and minimal influence of the state.

Mbeki contrasts the American new conservatives stance with the ANC's and firmly flies the flag with leftist ideology, saying that the "obligations of the democratic state to the masses of our people do not allow that we should join those who celebrate individualism and denigrate the state. We could never succeed to eradicate the legacy of colonialism and apartheid if we joined the campaign to portray the social, collective and the public realm as the enemies of prosperity and individual autonomy."

Personally, I agree that the strict adherence to a free market economy in South Africa is not a strong enough tool to alleviate poverty in the short term. We require state interference to redress social inequity and poverty alleviation, our past necessitates that. I cannot agree that the American form of strict individualistic and capitalistic principles can achieve any kind of moral and economic balance in this country.

At the same time however, I do believe in the need for adherence to property rights. In a move that reinforces Land and Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza's current thoughts, Mbeki notably mentioned property rights a number of times during his speech within the context of policy principles that are not necessarily in the best interests of the South African masses. Whilst this obviously doesn't herald Thabo's new dawn as a land-grab president, every word he says on property rights has substantial implications for international investment and business confidence, and ambiguity cannot be allowed.

The central question though, is how far Mbeki will go in the extension of these principles. We can all see the logic in his statements, but the door is wide open as to what actionable policy is drawn from them. What are the implications on property rights, labour law, taxation etc. In this his delivery term, things could get interesting...

Moonies take over the US Senate
You simply cannot miss this one. The Guardian carries a really bizarre story of Rev Sun Myung Moon (who owns the Washington Times and US news agency UPI), the head of the Unification church. In the presence of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, Moon declared himself the Messiah of all earth in a strange ritual. No, it's not April 1st...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The Dangers of Western-style Democracy Implementation
Martin Jacques comments in the Guardian today on the dangers of uniform implementation of Western-style democracy around the world. It’s a subject I’ve touched on before, and is a premise in which I believe very strongly.

Jacques argues that Western-style democracy is something that has only been developed over the past half century since the defeat of fascism, and even more so since the defeat of communism. Its success in its final free economic form has been based significantly on pre-form stable economic structures and even cultural societies, and it has been proven as a poor mechanism for early-stage economic growth.

“Democracy, historical experience suggests, is not that well-suited to achieving the conditions necessary for economic takeoff. Given that democracy is now the universal western prescription for developing countries, this is rather ironic.” This is especially pertinent when one considers the forceful introduction of Western-style democracy in Iraq.

Secondly, Western democracy remains a difficult instrument in diverse multi-ethnic societies where majority ethnic groups can rule over minorities.

“The west remains oblivious to the profound difficulties presented by ethnic diversity. As Amy Chua points out in World on Fire, democracy is far from a sufficient condition for benign governance in the kind of multiracial societies that are common in Africa and Asia. Democracy, the politics of the majority, allows the majority ethnic group to govern, potentially without constraint. Multi-ethnic societies, like Malaysia or Nigeria, require, for their stability, a racial consensus: democracy, resting on majorities and minorities, is deaf to this problem. Moreover, democracy works very differently in different cultures.”

It is these differences that we have to take into account. What the US/UK is in great danger of being responsible for, is the creation of a politically expedient client democracy, which last for half a decade, under which ecnomic growth is stagnant, and extremists flourish, before it is overrun by an extermist dicatator once more, and we are all back to square one.

All I am conveying is that applying Western-style democracy into the Muslim world requires a significant amount of careful consideration. A rigid, blanket application, forced or otherwise, will simply not be in the best long-term interests for both Iraq and the Western world. There has to be some compromise made in conjunction with the Iraqi people, under their own ethnic realities and cultural history (with the obvious exception of human rights abuses) where aggressive economic and political Western-style democracy is tempered to fit Iraq’s needs.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Zim Property Rights Back-Track
Mugabe's government has back-tracked on recent statements of the nationalisation of all private land in Zimbabwe. "Citing a letter by foreign ministry official Joe Bimha to Zimbabwe embassies abroad, the Sunday Mail reported that the government would be nationalising only the land it had seized under its land reform programme."

"The correct position is that all land acquired under the current phase of the land reform programme now reposes to the state," Bimha was quoted as saying.

I wonder whether this was a unheralded triumph for Mbeki's quiet diplomacy. Coming so soon after Mbeki's meeting with the International Investment Council in Cape Town, one wonders if Mbeki knew that this development in Zimbabwe was just too expensive for our economy in terms of international investment, and whether some serious behind-the-scenes negotiation happened over the last few days...

Bloggers get the cred
IOL reports that bloggers are getting a look in as valued political commentators in the US. A number of political blog writers have been invited as part of the media contingent to the upcoming Democratic Convention in Boston in late July. Hands up who wants to go to the next ANC event?

Has Parliament Lost It's Mind?
Some depressing news out of our legal fraternity this morning. Stemming out of Parliamentary provisions from 1998 Amending Act on Magistrate's Courts, lay assessors will soon be in our courts with the power to overrule a regional magistrate's ruling in rape, murder or indecent assault cases, should they differ from him. This essentially takes the ruling out of the hands of the magistrate and will markedly retard the speed at which the courts operate, which is already unacceptably slow.

Somebody really needs to explain the logic of this one to me. How can we overrule a learned, experienced magistrate with two people off the street? Consult to yes, give a ruling which can be overruled by the magistrate, yes, but to give the power to the lay person is just ludicrous. Moreover, as News24 reports, if one of the two compulsory lay assessors is ill, the court is held up, and if one of the assessors is unable to continue, the case has to be closed and restarted from scratch.

The most inexplicable thing is that there are currently no clear guidelines on the selection of assessors, and no set specifications that the assessors have to adhere to. Without control over this selection process by both the prosecuting and defending parties, it becomes the easiest tool for corruption and manipulation by interested parties.

With the amount of crime and corruption in our fledgling democracy, the law has to remain a pillar of truth and transparency. This is a horribly regressive step, and I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more on lay assessors, probably in some forthcoming scandal...

Friday, June 18, 2004

Happy Birthday to our President, Thabo Mbeki, who is 62 today.

The NY Times reports that Rumsfeld admitted yesterday that he told jailers to keep a detainee in Iraq out of Red Cross view. He also is very quick to put the blame on to George Tenet, saying he had a written request from him to do so. Sounds a bit like a schoolyard fight where you blame the guy who's gone home...

Bush supporters are finding less and less dry ground to stand on, but the question is, is Middle America hearing these developments? The more liberal west and east coast media are very open with carrying these stories, but the media in traditional Republican Middle America is incredible controlling in the information they disseminate, and thus the information that these huge voting populations assimilate. Their control, along with the Rush Limbaugh Republican radio networks, may well be a large factor in the November elections.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, I've been away on holiday.

I love Cheney's nerve. Yesterday he launches a tirade against the media for evidence for "irresponsible" reporting, saying the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. He cites that there is evidence that Iraqi officials met with Bin Laden in the early 90's. If he's going back that far, he may as well launch 'regime change' against the USA for dealings with both Bin Laden and Hussein in the late 80's. Remember that 'brotherly love' picture of Rumsfeld with Hussein? I don't think Dick does.

Anyway, the 9/11 commission has been investigating this for many months now, with access to all intelligence surrounding the decision to go to war, and of course, all the intelligence that the Bush administration could get to them that would help their cause. Cheney states that the media is "not doing their homework" in reporting the ties between Iraq and Bin Laden. He clearly needs an extra pair of hands to do his dirty work for him...

Monday, June 14, 2004

I find media and leadership censure of Zimbabwe's latest land nationalisation policy conspicious in its absence.

The leadership of this country has fought long and hard for true freedom within our borders, yet it is ambivalent about Zimbabwe's recent slide, and now its rejection of a conerstone of democracy and freedom. The SA media has reported this occurence with very little judgement, and absolutely no alarm, simply reporting the story as if it was a policy decision in Uzbekistan. And once again, ANC leadership is silent.

Surely our media is not as toothless as not to ask a single question of our leadership's position? Are they perhaps too used to being rebuffed? The more our media toes the ANC party line and offers no investigation or resistance, the more we are left with a true one-party state, unquestioned, unchallenged and unanswerable to its people.

Friday, June 11, 2004

This is just too juicy to ignore: "U.S. probes reports Gadhafi targeted top Saudi" from MSNBC. Two separate men have claimed involvement in a Libyan plot to kill Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, with the two men claiming to have been instructed by Gadhafi in August last year, right at the time he was denouncing terrorism and cozying up to the West.

Well, well, look out Mel Gibson. Thabo has firmly joined the conspiracy theorists in this morning's ANC Today newsletter. It really does seem that Mbeki is getting increasingly paranoid and agitated by what is simple opposition politics. His cries of 'dirty tricks' are coming through in his weekly newsletter, his recent speeches, and his ANC spokespeople. Does he really need to spend so much energy defending his party when he owns 70% of the electorate? Surely he should adopt the classic presidential approach and stay above it?

The DA, as powerful as they try to make themselves seem, are a 12% party, and yet the ANC is playing directly into their hands by getting involved in these leadership spats, which inherently projects the DA into both an automatic 'official opposition' role and one of more equal power in the perception of the public. The latest being the ongoing SCOPA saga. In my view, the ANC should be maintaining their divide and conquer approach. Keep above the petty politics, and let the opposition parties fight amongst themselves. It's what they did so successfully in the recent elections.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Bush-Blair show is fast becoming a real farce. The false hope they have been given by the UN vote has now led them to offer at the G8 summit plans for "greater Nato involvement in Iraq, plans to bring western-style democracy and economic reform to the Middle East and north Africa and a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." World peace? AIDS? The Springbok flyhalf problem? Whilst they're at it, why not solve all the world's issues.

For once, I agree with Chirac. You cannot force American-style democracy on Islamic states, it simply does not fit. Islamic countries need to build their own style of democracy, taking into account their ideological Islamic needs, and their economic and social realities. Western values and Islamic values have grown in different paths over many centuries, and it is short-sighted and simplistic to assume that American democracy can be placed over current structures.

Of course, in reality, the timing smacks of electioneering. Both Bush and Blair are facing troubled waters with the US elections in November, and the probable UK elections early-mid 2005, a movement toward democratic values in the Middle East would be a vindication for much of the recent skewed Middle East foreign policy.

I take it as a real triumph for the our fledgling democracy, and a lucid indication of how far this country has come in the last decade, when the release of Eugene Terreblanche on Friday raises very little media coverage, and the majority of the offered column space is laced with a subtle derision. Feared this man no longer is, and the non-white population of Ventersdorp will be greeting him with interest and amusement, akin to some sort of washed-out 80's electronica celebrity.

The Mail & Guardian reports that he will be "welcomed by a brass band and flanked by two riders, he will mount a black horse and parade through town to a hotel, where he will give a press conference." Question 1: Will he fall off? Question 2. Will anyone care?

I did have to chuckle at this quote from Terreblanche's lawyer, Gerrie Basson. "His ideology hasn't changed but he has become more tolerant. He's not a racist, more a xenophobe who respects his own kind more." One of the best euphemisms I've ever heard! 'A xenophobe who respects his own kind more', I think that inherently implies denigration of others that are not his 'own kind', doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Two great pieces in the news this morning. George Bush and Bob Mugabe. Enough said!

Firstly, the New York Times reports that Dubya was given some interesting legal advice last year. And I quote "A team of administration lawyers concluded in a March 2003 legal memorandum that President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal antitorture law because he had the authority as commander in chief to approve any technique needed to protect the nation's security."

Two things. One, I guess that puts paid to his assertion that Abu Ghraib was such a huge surprise for the President and his executive. Oh, and by the way, guess who requested the legal advice. Rumsfeld takes the line again...

Secondly, surely this legal advice is a moot point. As the leader of the much heralded world's only superpower, surely the man can see that if he is caught with that knowledge, and that the paper trail of torture led back to him, he would not be able to put out the flames of world opinion with a paper stock of legal advice?

And then on to Bob. I suppose it was just a matter of time. Once you've destroyed any semblance of a democracy in the electoral process, why not rip out the cornerstone of democracy and freedom - property rights. Independent Newspapers quotes Zim land minister John Nkomo as stating "In the end all land shall be state land and there will be no such thing called private land. We want a situation whereby this very important resource becomes a national asset. The state should not waste time and money on acquisitions. Ultimately, all land shall be resettled as state land," Nkomo said.

Forgive me for being trite, but sure, I suppose it wouldn't be too out of character for old Bob to build a statue of Lenin in Harare, revive the Cold War, join up with North Korea and China and atack the 'free' world. "Screw Iraq, check out our Axis of Evil", he'll rant! Aah well, maybe that'll incite Dubya to another regime change and put his new found "above-the-law" status to some good use for once...

Monday, June 07, 2004

Intelligence in my inbox this morning from MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute - If you haven't signed up for their newsletter, do it here now). MEMRI reports that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been attacking democracy, and liberal democracy more specifically, stating that "the source of all human torment and suffering is the 'liberal democracy' promoted by the West as 'progressive political thought'."

He goes on to say "The torment of the Iraqis, of the Palestinians, and even of the Americans are the direct outcome of liberal Western democracy, and this must serve as an important lesson to the rest of the world, [which must] open its eyes and understand that those who call themselves advocates of human rights and democracy are in fact the main supporters of crimes against humanity... The reason for [this] disgrace [i.e. Abu Ghureib] is [the fact that] liberal democracy is devoid of morality, while the political thought of Imam Khomeini respected morality in addition to democracy, and at the same time pinned its hopes on God."

Khamenei offers an echo of Ayatolla Khomeini's comment "One day the U.S. too will be history" and a prediction that in Iraq, the US "will taste the bitterness of sure defeat."

With US military and Pentagon hawks cranking up the narrative against Iran, and the recent Chalabi embarrassment illuminating Iran's manipulation of decision to go to war, the country is fast positioning itself in taking over North Korea's role of the US' state enemy number 1. Iran seems to be willing to take up formerly Qadhafi's, latterly Hussein's mantle as the largest Islamic state to actively and publicly oppose the US on the one platform it prides itself on - the moral high ground.

The Islamic world is becoming increasingly polarised by the the US 'War on Terror' and in particular, the Iraq war, with Saudi Arabia, Libya and Pakistan on one camp supporting the US, and the rest, led by Iran and Syria leading those ever more vociferous in their condemnation. Bush's emphatic doctrine 'You're either with us or against us' shattered every vestige of diplomacy and forced Islamic governments to choose, and the chickens are slowly coming back to roost. The question thus, is a docile ally like Pakistan worth more than an incited enemy like Iran?

Friday, June 04, 2004

Quote of the day comes from Pieter Dirk-Uys in the Telegraph, on South Africa's long journey ahead:

"We should not be sentimental about ten years of democracy," he says. "That's a very young democracy. If a child is ten years old, you don't let them play in the traffic."

So Thabo is attacking the free market ideology at the African Economic Summit in Maputo the week. A great saucy headline from Independent Newspapers which is salaciously misleading. (No, Thabo's not brandishing the old hammer and sickle.)

Actually, I agree with Mbeki's point. Partly. Liberal I am, but I do feel that some state intervention is necessary, if only to redress financial imbalances that have been born from a direct result of past injustice. As pure liberals will tell you, the market's success will trickle-down to the poor eventually. It's the 'eventually' part that's gives me trouble. It takes time. And time is one thing the poor don't have in abundance.

There are certain causes that the private sector has no interest in, and whilst the market may lift the most deprived areas up when they've leveraged everything else, I do believe that the state has to assist in building up poverty-stricken areas so that they can at least take part in the market. As labels go, I'm not sure where that leaves me. Somewhere between liberal-democratic and social-democratic? I think I'll pin my flag more to the former!

Another point of interest was host African Economic Summit Joaquim Chissano's response to an assertion on behalf of business by Reuel Khoza that NEPAD's Peer Review Mechanism should have more teeth in order to deal with offending states. Chissano insisted that it would be wrong to try to drive a country into isolation. "You will never get a good system that way." Funny, I thought it was quite a successful way to force South Africa to reject Apartheid?

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Don't have much time this morning to post, but two good articles in the papers today. Firstly, from former New York Times editor Howell Raines in the UK Guardian, a very balanced article on why Kerry is currently on path to lose the US election by his muddled message, and what he should be doing to alter his course.

Secondly, an article (technically yesterday!) on News24, where Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota postulates when South Africans will cease to be black, white and coloured and just be South African. Our recent history precedes us in this matter, and infers that viewing each other within ethnic boundaries has been ingrained in our past. One wonders whether this is merely a simple altering of mindset, or whether this 'rainbow nation' view will only be able to occur when all ethnic groups believe both that they are socially comfortable and unthreatened in South Africa, and when there has been some redressment for the past.

When this will mindshift come to fruition? That's the question, because it is a central proposition for South African political parties across the spectrum, from the ruling ANC to the 'official' opposition, the DA. When will the electorate look beyond voting on traditional party ethnic blocks and look toward issues voting, and voting on delivery of services and satisfaction?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

There's a very interesting article in Sunday's Observer regarding the upcoming D-Day commemorations in France. It's written by a writer from German newspaper De Welt, Thomas Kielinger, who laments the fact that the ongoing remembrances of WWII does not allow Germans to escape their past, almost two generations after the war. Whilst I agree with his sentiment, especially since this is the first year that a German leader has been invited to the commemorations, what interested me was a comment he makes on the stunted patriotism that Germans feel for their country, which he hypothesises is a direct result of "this curse of the visual record of inhumanity perpetrated lurking on the sidelines as if it happened only the other day".

This strikes me as a very interesting insight. As white South African youth, whilst not having been old enough to hold an understanding of, or an influence on, the Apartheid system, we have grown up with a distinct consciousness of our own race, and its position in the atrocities of the past. Is this perhaps a reason for the lack of true patriotism I see daily from white youth in South Africa? An underlying sense of shame about the country's past, which infers that they cannot truly believe themselves to be part of, and hence proud of, their country?

All power to Hans Fabricius, SC!

Let's hope Manto Tshabalala-Msimang finally gets reigned in. The Pretoria High Court is currently hearing an appeal on behalf of 11 000 medical practitioners by the gloriously named Hans Fabricius, charging that her decision on dispensing regulations infringed on doctors' right to dignity, freedom of movement and of practicing their professions freely.

I cannot agree more. Whilst there are definite imbalances in private healthcare locations run down racial geography, the solution surely is in the partnering with the medical profession, not resorting to 'apartheid-like', draconian laws that define where a free doctor can or cannot employ his skills. The dispensing regulations force a doctor to choose between his profession and his community, something which smacks of the ultimate for of state interference. Surely this is a constitutional issue?

Perhaps this is where more liberal roots show, but I cannot believe that this much state interference can be in the best interests of the country.