For your Friday afternoon reading pleasure, let’s dissect an exciting press release from the Spartanburg County Young Republicans. (The release is bolded, with comments following each paragraph.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2009
Spartanburg County Young Republicans to hold Parliamentary Procedures Training
Wow, there’s an attention grabber for you. Talk about nine words all but guaranteed to put even the most hardcore insomniac to sleep.
Spartanburg CountyYoung Republicans group will be holding a Parliamentary Procedures training course on June 23, 2009 at 6pm. The three-hour course will be held at the Evangel Cathedral (500 Evangel Road Spartanburg, SC 29301) in the Atrium. The class is designed to give a basic understanding of Parliamentary Procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order.
A three-hour course?!? On parliamentary procedures training?!? That’s got to rank up there with do-it-yourself root canals and reading Beowulf in Old English for excitement. One could probably read Robert’s Rules of Order from cover to cover in three hours, if one were so inclined.
The course will be lead by State Parliamentarian Todd Kincannon, Associate with Barnes, Alford, Stork & Johnson.
State Parliamentarian? Is that an official title? Do we have just one? Is it like Highlander: “In the end, there can only be one.”
Limited seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. Cost of the course is $25.00.
Limited seating? Really? Is there that big a market for folks to pay $25 to sit through three hours (three hours!) of stupefying boredom that the Spartanburg County Young Republicans are promoting this event on a first-come, first-served basis?
And who believes that anyone willing to fork over $25 would possibly be turned away from this action-packed evening of procedure and order?
(Hat tip: Waldo Lydecker’s Journal)
In the mid-1990s, there was considerable consternation in the press about political gridlock – the idea that because we had a Republican-controlled Congress and a Democrat in the White House nothing would get accomplished in terms of passing new legislation.
A few wise individuals, however, saw gridlock as a good thing. The fewer laws passed, they reasoned, the better off the average American would be in the long run.
Well, the days of Congress getting little done have long since passed and the American public is paying the price as a result.
Federal regulations imposed a whopping $1.17 trillion last year in compliance burdens on Americans, according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That amounts to $3,849 for each man, woman, and child in America.
Federal agencies issued 3,830 rules in 2008, and the Federal Register, the depository of all rules, stands at a record-high 79,435 pages.
“The costs of federal regulations too often exceed the benefits, yet these same regulations receive little official scrutiny from Congress, said Wayne Crews, author of Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.
The report urges Congress to step up and take responsibility as lawmakers to review and roll back economically harmful regulations.
“Rolling back regulations would constitute the deregulatory stimulus that the U.S. economy needs,” Crews said.
Poland demanded an explanation from Russia on Thursday after a bizarre article blaming Warsaw for starting World War II was published on the Defense Ministry’s web site, according to a story in The Moscow Times.
The 4,000-word article by a military academic said Poland had triggered the war by refusing to meet Adolf Hitler’s demands.
“Germany’s demands were pretty modest – to include the free city of Danzig (Gdansk) in the Third Reich and to allow the construction of an extraterritorial motorway and a railway, which would connect East Prussia with the main part of Germany,” wrote Colonel Sergei Kovalyov of the Defense Ministry’s Institute of Military History.
“One can hardly call the first two demands ungrounded,” he said.
The Defense Ministry declined to comment on the article, titled, “Fabrications and Falsifications About the Soviet Union in the Run-up to and Start of World War II.”
The article is odd on a number of levels: most significantly, that a Russian officer would give a pass to Nazi Germany, the arch-foe of the Soviet Union, in determining cause for a war that led to the deaths of at least 20 million Soviets.
Another report stated that “The unorthodox reading of history appears to be the latest effort by Russian historians to defend the Soviet Union and its leaders, especially their role in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War.”
But this seems counter-intuitive when one considers that by mid-1939 Hitler had already remilitarized the Rhineland, annexed Austria, incorporated the Sudetenland and invaded Czechoslovakia after a little more than half a decade in power.
A closer look at the events of that year offers evidence that Kovalyov’s report is definitely putting a revisionist spin on Soviet history.
In early 1939, the Soviet Union tried to form an alliance against Nazi Germany with the United Kingdom, France, Poland, and Romania; but several difficulties arose, including the refusal of Poland to allow Soviet troops transit rights through their territories as part of collective security, according to Wikipedia.
With the failure of the negotiations, the Soviets shifted from their anti-German stance and on August 23 signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany. Under terms of the pact, the Soviets and German agreed to partition Poland between themselves and divide Eastern Europe into Soviet and German spheres of influence.
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact gave Hitler a free hand to attack the Poles. A week later, the Germans invaded Poland from the west, officially beginning World War II. On September 17, the Red Army invaded Poland from the east.
At the time, the Soviet government announced that it was acting to protect the Ukrainians and Belarusians who lived in the eastern part of Poland, because the Polish state had collapsed in the face of the German attack and could no longer guarantee the security of its own citizens, according to Wikipedia.
Not surprisingly, the Poles are none too pleased with Kovalyov’s report.
Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Piotr Paszkowski said exotic interpretations of history sometimes appear in Russia, according to the report in The Moscow Times. “But this time, it resurfaced on the official web page of Russia’s Ministry of Defense, and we will ask the Russian ambassador to Poland for explanations.”
“We understand that such views in no way represent the mainstream of Russia’s historical thinking,” he said.
Relations between Poland and Russia have been frayed since the former communist bloc country left Moscow’s orbit at the end of the Cold War, although as recently as last month both countries restated their desire to become better neighbors, according to The Times.
President Dmitry Medvedev on May 19 announced plans for a history commission to review what it perceives as an anti-Russian view of 20th-century history, raising fears among some historians that criticism of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s rule will be censored.
Kovalyov’s article argues that in the buildup to World War II Western powers “created unfounded illusions” in Warsaw of their support for Poland.