Saturday, June 18, 2011

"The only thing you really have in this world is your family"; Now, thanks to the government, neither we nor our children have that

There really are no surprises on how the system works once you know how it actually works. And it does not work anything like they taught you in high school history or civics class.
Excerpts from the suicide letter of Thomas James (or Tom) Ball (thanks to Arf), who immolated himself on the steps of a courthouse in New Hampshire:
… I could have made a phone call or two and borrowed the money. But I am done being bullied for being a man. … Twenty-five years ago, the federal government declared war on men.

…Almost two years after the incident [of slapping my child], I was talking with [my separated wife] on the phone. She told me that night she had called a mental health provider we had for one of the kids. Wendy, the counselor told my then wife that if she did not call the police on me, then she too would be arrested.

Suddenly, everything made sense. She is the type that believes that people in authority actually know what they are talking about. If both she and I were arrested, what would happen to our three children, ages 7,4 and 1? They would end up in State custody. So my wife called the police on her husband to protect the children. And who was she protecting the kids from? Not her husband, the father of these children. She was protecting them from the State of New Hampshire.

This country is run by idiots.

…Labeling someone's action as domestic violence in American in the 21st century is akin to labeling someone a Jew in Germany in the 1930's. The entire legal weight of the state is coming down on him.

…I was 48 years old when I got arrested here for my first time. So I went looking for the arrest numbers for domestic violence, this new group that I had unwilling joined. I could not find anything. So I wrote the U.S. Dept. of Justice in Washington. They wrote back that they did not keep track of domestic violence arrests. The FBI keeps track of all other crimes. How come not domestic violence? I thought some low level clerk was blowing me off.

At the time, I had mailing addresses in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. So I wrote to all six Congressional offices, the two Senators from each state and the two Congressman. They like doing favors for constituents hoping you will favorably remember their name in the voting booth. All six offices reported back the same thing. They do not know how many arrests for domestic violence have been made. I immediately knew something was wrong. And I also knew this was not going to be good.

…The first thing I found was a study not of domestic violence arrests but of domestic violence injuries for 18 unnamed states and the D.C. in the year 2000. In the study 51% of the injuries were 'no injuries'. So I knew I had a study of police reports. Who else but a police officer would record no injuries?

…[According to the informal study I did, the] number I have now in 2011 is 36 million adults have been arrested for domestic violence. I have a gut feeling this number could be as high as 55 million. But I only have data to 36 million. So 36 million it stays. And there is a really cool trick you can do once you have this number. You can find out how many American men. women and children ended up homeless because of these arrests.

… When then a man is arrested for domestic violence, one of two things can happen. If they are only dating and have separate apartments, then he can head home. But if they are living together, then this fellow has a real problem. Bail conditions and then a possible protective or restraining order prevent him from being with her. So he needs to find a new place to live, at least until the charges are resolved. The King of his Castle is no longer allowed into his castle. A feminist name Pence who wrote that was absolutely giddy at that outcome. So he can get his own place if he has enough money. Or he can move in with his mother, his sister or another relative. He might have a girl friend who would let him stay with her. And if none of this is possible, well then I guess he is sleeping in his car down by the river.

If he has minor children, money will soon turn into an issue. Most men I know do not mind paying child support. They want their kids to have food on their plates, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads. But it does stress that man's finances. Child support is usually 33% of the man's gross income. Withholding for taxes, social security and health insurance can range up to 28% of his gross paycheck. So a man making $500 a week gross has only $825 monthly left over after withholding and child support. That is not enough money for an apartment here in Central Massachusetts. That does not include other expenses like heating, electric, gas, groceries, telephone, cable, car payment and car insurance. So he is in a financial hole. Estimates of homeless men run 82% to 94%. I am going to round that down to 80%.

…The Dummies on the Potomac. Twenty-five years ago the federal government start pushing these arrests on state's legal systems. Now, we have an economy on the rope.

…So we have 800,000 American police officers arresting one in every six adults in the country and throwing 25% of the men, women and children out on the streets in an effort to enforce a policy that they knew did not work back in1992. And I had always assumed that you needed a man to really screw something up. Oh well, there goes another glass ceiling.

…I told the judge that the decision on whether these two girls [i.e., Tom Ball's own daughters] had a father or a fatherless childhood was not leaving this courthouse.

… Judges are addicted to counseling like a meth-head is addict to crystal meth.

… just exactly where does the buck stop with our legal system? Police have to make an arrest. The prosecutor has to pursue the case. Judges now also walk a away without rendering a verdict, and passing the buck does not constitute a decision. Can those mental health counselors slide the decision over to someone else? Just where does this end? Who is responsible? Who is accountable?

… Some people think [the mental health crowd] are geniuses with their Masters and PH D's. Others think they are so wacky that they call them fruit loops. Well, I have a third name for them. Suckers. They did not get hired for their medical ability. They got these because they were willing to take these cases off the judge's hands. Which has done nothing for the credibility for their profession. We are not here to help—we are here to unload. And they created a liability that did not previously existed. If a judge releases a defendant and he goes kills someone, that judge or the judiciary cannot be sued. But a mental health worker, and their employer certainly can be held liable. Our judiciary is now using the mental health field like a ten dollar whore.

… These people—police, prosecutors and judges—are suppose to protect us. They are checks and balances to prevent injustice. That is why we spend so much money of police training. But if the police screw it up, the prosecutor can catch it. If the prosecutor misses it then the judge can step in to fix it. But if all three have been compromised, then what does one need to do to get justice? Go to the appeals court or the Supreme Court? That seem a little ridiculous particularly when the zero tolerance has arrests for something as trivial as touching.

On one hand we have the law. On the other hand we have what we are really going to do-the policies, procedures and protocols. The rule of law is dead. Now we have 50 states with legal systems as good as any third world banana republic. Men are demonized and the women and children end up as suffering as well.

So boys, we need to start burning down police stations and courthouses. [It all] originated in Washington. But the dirty deeds are being carried out by our local police, prosecutors and judges. These are the people we pay good money to protect us and our families. And what do we get for our tax money? Collaborators who are no different than the Vichy of France or the Quislings of Norway during the Second World War. All because they go along to get along. They are an embarrassment, the whole lot of them. And they need to be held accountable. So burn them out.

… let us look at your life. You are broke after paying child support. She and the kids are not doing any better. None of you are middle class any more. You have no say in the kids education, their health treatment, you may not even have visitation with your sons and daughters. And everything you thought you knew to be true—the rule of law, the sanctity of the of the family, the belief that government was there to nurture your brood-all turned out to be a lie. Face it boys, we are no longer fathers. We are just piggy banks.

… Some where along the line I picked up the crazy notion that it is better to be dead as a free man than to live as a serf. The government needs to be a little more careful about what they teach in our schools.

… [Bureaucrats in the] Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) which is part of the United States Department of Justice … are smart, clever, bigoted and able to lie as well as any politician that ever called Washington home. In other words, they have now become Washington insiders.

But what makes them so uniques is their anger towards men, any man. They are so twisted in their hatred of men that they are positively scary. And it is not what they are doing to men that makes them frightening. You would expect that. No, it is what they are doing to the women and children that makes them so twisted.

… Your wife and kids are Collateral Damage in the war against you, the man in the family. For 25 years these feminists at OVAW have been willing to sacrifice the women and children to get you. And they cannot claim ignorance about what they are doing. Under the VAWA the federal government is funding at least 1,800 homeless shelters. As long as the Office for Violence Against Women exists in the U.S. Department Justice , no American man, women or child will be safe in their own home.

If you ask these feminists why are the shelters all full, they will not say because of all the arrests. The shelters are full because of men. But they knew from the beginning that this was not man bad—woman good thing. The year was 1976. Two things would happen that year.

… how did we end up with the theory of man bad—woman good that the government at all levels is using? The feminist writer Susan Brownmiller wrote In Our Time that," the way you get funding and church donations is to talk about the pure victims. If you talk about the impurity of the victim, the sympathy vanishes." If women get to be good then men get what is left—bad. Man bad—woman good was originally a funding raising technique. After 35 years, it has turned into official government dogma at all levels, from the local cop on the beat to the White House. Men need to be punished, restrained and retrained. Your wives and children are, unfortunately, just collateral damage in this effort to punish men. So you were not dreaming it. There really is a government pogrom against men.

When a man batters or kills, there is no excuse. When a woman commits the same act, there is nothing but excuses. Simple though inaccurate.

… As long as OVW exists then the government is at war with men. As long as there is a pogrom against men, then women and children are going to end up as collateral damage.

… Washington has not got a friend in the world. Even the British and Israelis loath them now. Kind of a bad time to be losing domestic support. And what they done over the last 25 years? They have wiped out the middle class pandering to a special interest group of bigots. And in typical Washington fashion, they did not even know they did it.

This Ivy League inbreeding in Washington has produced an elite that knows what best. Everyone else—husbands, wives, police officers, prosecutors, judges, attorney generals and guardian ad litems—are to shut up and do what they are told. The rule of law is gone, replaced by the policies, procedures and protocols …

… Betty Friedan wrote that the feminist revolution, like any revolution, would have its excesses. Losing the rule of law is too great to call it a mere excess. It is a catastrophe. It is the heart, mind and soul between the people and their government. These feelings of betrayal by losing it may be permanent.

… you replace the federal government or not, men are still going to need a legal defense center for men. Something like the NAACP used to get black people their rights. The only checks and balances in the Second Set of Books is the First Set of Books. Which means lawsuits. Now I know you guys are broke. Some of you have had your wives and kids thrown into homelessness. So I completely understand when you tell me that you are broke. But if everyone who has been arrested throws in $10.00 a year then the legal defense center will have a war chest of $360 million. You can buy a whole bunch of lawsuit with that kind of money.

… The smartest person I knew in this life was my mother. Perhaps that is true of all of us. Maybe I just got lucky. … I must have heard [her one favorite saying] a thousand times in the eighteen years I lived under her roof. It always came at the end of the conversation as she peeled away to see if it was time for Perry Mason or Lawrence Welk. She would turn her head to the side, and over her shoulder she would say, "And the only thing you really have in this world is your family." Now, thanks to the United States Government, neither we nor our children have that.

I have three things to say to my children. First, Daddy loves you. Second, you are my three most favorite people in the world. And last, that you are to stick together no matter how old you get or how far apart you live. Because it is like Grandma always said. The only thing you really have in this world is your family.

Child support was less a response to "deadbeat dads" than a mechanism to create them

In her post about a husband and father who set himself on fire on the steps of a (New Hampshire) courthouse (hat tip to Instapundit), Elie Mystal pours venom upon the hapless victim (whose Last Statement was received by a newspaper the following day).

The key question being, was the father irresponsible, suicidal, or otherwise bonkers, to begin with (cavalierly assumed by Elie Mystal), or did the man become so because (!) of the years of exasperating frustrations dealing with government, with courts, and with all the parasites in what Stephen Baskerville calls the "divorce industry"?

Using Stephen Baskerville's Taken Into Custody (The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family), let's walk her points though, shall we?

(Update: Stacy McCain takes on another feminist's attack on the victim, Tom Ball.)

Elie Mystal: "…you know what’s worse than defaulting on your student debts? Not paying your child support. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that if you had a choice between paying your student debts or making your child support payments, the morally superior choice would be to pay your child support and circle back to your student payments when you can."

Stephen Baskerville (quotes from throughout his book, Taken Into Custody):
A look at the government machinery reveals that [child support] was created not in response to claims of widespread nonpayment but before them, and that it was less a response to "deadbeat dads" than a mechanism to create them.
…To what extent child support is responsible for the very poverty it is claimed to alleviate is unclear. It has long been known that the vast majority of the homeless are male. Widespread anecdotal evidence suggests that family courts may be partially responsible for their plight.
…coerced child support is predicated not on uniting children with fathers but on keeping them apart…
… the premise betrays the true agenda: not to unite fathers with their children but to keep them apart and to pull them more securely into the government enforcement machinery, extending the bureaucratic hegemony into the every corner of their lives…
…social scientists have found that as much as 95 percent of fathers having no unemployment problems for the previous five years pay their ordered child support regularly, and that 81 percent paid in full and on time. Columnist Kathleen Parker concluded that "the 'deadbeat dad' is an egregious exaggeration, a caricature of a few desperate men who for various reasons — sometimes pretty good ones — fail to hand over their paycheck, assuming they have one." Deborah Simmons of the Washington Times observes that "there is scant evidence that crackdowns … serve any purpose other than to increase the bank accounts of those special-interest groups pushing enforcement."
…The comments of a Tennessee judge that "I specifically make it [visitation] so absolutely ridiculous that nobody can adhere to it." was apparently not deemed to be grounds for disciplinary actions, "And I hold people in contempt and put them in jail for it," he added.
…Contrary to popular belief (and centuries of common-law precedent), child support today has nothing to do with fathers abandoning their children, reneging on their marital vows, of even agreeing to a divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those divorced over their objections and who lose their children through no legal fault or agreement of their own. It is an entitlement, in short, for all divorcing mothers…
…child support is no longer primarily a method for requiring men to take responsibility for the offspring they have sired and then abandoned, as most people are led to believe. Overwhelmingly it is now a regime whereby "a father is forced to finance the filching of his own children."
Elie Mystal: "Is this [commenter on the article from the Union Leader website] honestly suggesting that we’ve gone too far in protecting abused spouses and children … ?"

Stephen Baskerville:
Though not classified as a form of child abuse, the emotional devastation inflicted on children by divorce itself is arguably at least as serious as the effects on grown women of the "abuse" recounted by domestic violence groups ("depriving her of clothes"). The psychological trauma and emotional damage of divorce on children has been understood for centuries, however fashionable it has become in recent years to deny it. Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee have called divorce the "single most important cause of enduring pain in a child's life."
…accusations of spousal abuse and child abuse made without any evidence are presumed true and used to separate fathers from children for extended periods and even for life, until proved otherwise…
…Unlike any other area of the law, the accusation is enough.
…Most fathers accused of abuse are never formally charged, tried, or convicted because there is no evidence against them. The purpose usually is not to punish a crime but to gain custody of the children, along with the financial awards they bring. The result is the parent never receives due process of law or a chance to clear his name, let alone recover his children.
…"Whenever a woman claims to be a victim, she is automatically believed," says Washington attorney Lisa Scott. "No proof of abuse is required." Jeannie Suk characterizes domestic violence as a system of "state-imposed de facto divorce that subjects the practical and substantive continuation of the relationship to criminal sanction."
…Open perjury is readily acknowledged in family law circles…
…As with domestic violence, most unsubstantiated reports are made during divorce proceedings for the transparent purpose of obtaining custody and preventing fathers' visitation…
…"There is not an epidemic of domestic violence," Judge Milton Raphelson has stated (after his retirement). "There is an epidemic of hysteria about domestic violence."
…Melanie Phillips: "One study included "feeling threatened" as evidence of violence. Even [Britain's] Home Office some years back widened the definition to include the slippery "emotional abuse." That now includes insults or rows. In America, it includes an "overprotective manner" or not helping the children with their homework. … To call it abuse is to batter the language. To equate it with violence is dishonest. To accuse only men of doing it is despicable.
Elie Mystal: "for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’m the only one who would rather face a 'legal bludgeon' than be bludgeoned by a deadbeat father my mom needs to sue every time I have a medical problem."

Stephen Baskerville :
When Heidi [Howard] said Neil was never violent the social worker replied, "You don't need to be beaten to be battered," saying he kept the family checkbook to gain "power" over her, which constitutes violence.
…the political and financial incentives that induce prosecutors, family courts, and child protective services to exaggerate and even fabricate charges of child abuse against parents in order to take away their children. "By far the most powerful incentive to rubber-stamp as abuse charge is financial," argue Parke and Brott. A San Diego grand jury investigation revealed "a system out of control, with few checks and little balance." This system, where justice is blocked by "confidential files, closed courts, gag orders, and total statutory immunity [for judges and social workers], has isolated itself to a degree unprecedented in our system of jurisprudence and ordered liberties."
…Not only has the father's role as his children's protector now become politically incorrect; the divorce machine has perverted it into a fault. Such "male violence against women" as does occur is almost certainly the result of child stealing more often than it is the cause, since common sense suggests that fathers with no previous proclivity to violence could well erupt when their children are taken. "A significant percentage of domestic violence occurs during litigated divorces in families who never had a history of it," according to Douglas Schoenberg, a New Jersey divorce attorney and mediator. At the risk of laboring the ideologically incorrect obvious, one is tempted to say this is precisely what fathers are for: to become violent when someone interferes with their children.
…By using unproven abuse allegations against men to secure automatic child custody for women, feminists are openly practicing in the political arena precisely what they claim is not happening in the courts: unfounded accusations of "battering" to separate children from fathers who are guilty of no such thing…
Elie Mystal: "If you have a Dad who didn’t beat or molest you, didn’t embezzle money from you or your family, and kept his whoring enough on the down-low that he has never had to address it in a press conference, you better be getting that man a present.

"Dads who manage to avoid all of the things mentioned in the previous paragraph are hard to find, and deserving of praise."

Stephen Baskerville:

… The growth of [the divorce] machinery has been accompanied by a huge propaganda campaign that has served to justify punitive measures against citizens who are not convicted of any crime. "is there a species on the planet who is more unjustly maligned than fathers?" writes columnist Naomi Lakritz. "Fathers are abusers, bullies, deadbeats, molesters, and all-around sexist clods who have a lot of gall wanting a relationship with their children once the initial moment of conception is over."
…the media will go to any lengths to avoid admitting that we are in a massive epidemic of government-sponsored child stealing.
So pervasive is the demonization of fathers today that fathers themselves share in it even after they have become its victims. "It is typical for a man to believe … the media myth of the Evil Male," writes Robert Seidenberg. "While he knows that he is a great father himself, he thinks everybody else is a deadbeat dad."

Update: What might Abraham Lincoln's take have been on this?

Americans and their Crazy Do-it-Yourself Hope ‘n Change

What was really that historic about the election of Barack Obama? The extent to which he’s simply repellant.

Number of U.S. Expatriates Continues to Soar

Andrew Mitchel reports that the number of individuals renouncing their U.S. citizenship (or terminating their long-term U.S. permanent residency) and expatriating from the U.S. continued to soar in the first quarter of 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

What the MSM Doesn't Tell You: Reasonable Doubts Persist Regarding the Claims that Jefferson Fathered Some or All of the Children of His Slave Sally

While the tests did show that one descendent of Sally Hemings had a Jefferson male line haplotype, … there are at least seven Jeffersons other than Thomas with that same haplotype who were frequent visitors to Monticello and may also have been the father (John H. Works, Jr)
In view of the fact that the rumor of Thomas Jefferson being the father of one of his slave's children (and thus a hypocrite and/or a liar) has been taken as an established fact ever since the famous DNA tests of 1998 — it has been brought up a couple of times recently on Instapundit, albeit more as an aside (and remember that in the Army of Davids, Glenn Reynolds is General Dwight (David) Eisenhower) — it bears mentioning that there are quite a few serious scholars who are not convinced that TJ (as my history teacher used to call the man who penned the Declaration of Independence) fathered the children of Sally Hemings.

During my visit to Monticello in February, I picked up a couple of books on the subject. (Many, if not most books sold at the Monticello book shop do accept the proposition that TJ shared his bed with Sally and it is important to note that there is a spat between two bodies involved in this controversy — Monticello's Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, which propounds the father story, and the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, which denies it.)

Indeed, a number of authors bring the theme into question (either as an aside or as their main subject) — pointing out that there are at least "seven other [members of the Jefferson family], any one of whom could have fathered [say] Eston Hemings" and more likely, indeed, to have done so in view of their character or the lack thereof (dissolute lives and/or a lack of interest in politics and personal renown).

You will notice that in negative comments on their books on Amazon, the authors are regularly denounced as imbeciles, radicals, extremists, lunatic white people, or, or course, racists. (A couple of examples from the press come from the New York Times who referred to the "Hemings-Jefferson Deniers" as "Desperate" and from American Heritage's editor-in-chief, who ridiculed "the extremes to which the true disbelievers are driven in their fervor to exonerate the third president from charges of miscegenation.")

Of course, it is not impossible that the skeptics are deluded (far from it), but do you recognize a common theme here? It's the age-old racer movement in operation again, demonizing, as racists or worse, anybody who does not agree with their self-serving platitudes or who is even the tiniest bit skeptical of their claims ("warts and all" or otherwise). Even to the point of using a "deliberately loaded term" — "Deniers" — likened (à la Al Gore) in at least one instance to "Holocaust deniers". (Plus ça change…)

According to David Murray's contribution to the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society's The Jefferson-Hemings Myth (Anatomy of a Media Run-Away), the whole affair sounds uncomfortably like the JournOlist all over again, a decade before the JournOlist:
Much of the coverage [when the story surfaced in 1998] demonstrated a remarkable flight from careful and skeptical reporting. All too often, the news stories, commentary, and analysis transformed an intriguing but admittedly indeterminate scientific finding into a dead certainty. Several journalists went on to turn the DNA results into some sort of referendum on the current state of race relations and presidential politics [Bill Clinton was in the midst of the Monica Lewinsky scandal]…

What did the DNA match positively establish? The findings show a probability that the DNA of Eston [Hemings] shows a descent from some male in the Jefferson paternal line [but not necessarily, and conclusively, from Thomas Jefferson himself] …

It became apparent to anyone following the actual evidentiary trail that more was going on here than strict science; in some measure, Thomas Jefferson had become a national symbol on a a battlefield of the current culture war, his behavior being treated by media and by many scholars as an implicit referendum on race, gender, and Clintonian politics ["the story gave the everybody-does-it line both pedigree and prestige," Charles Krautahammer wrote a few days before 1998's mid-term elections]. Some news accounts made this moral narrative quite explicit [examples follow from Newsweek, Reuters, and the Washington Post, among others]…
The conclusion is given by John H. Works, Jr:
Historical revisionism is perfectly legitimate when it rests on a careful reassessment of the past. But what is presented as revision in this case is based on a misleading headline in the journal Nature, scientific evidence that was interpreted unscientifically, and conclusions in the media that have no basis in the actual scientific facts. [The above are linked to the] efforts by many historical revisionists to portray Thomas Jefferson as a hypocrite, a liar, and a fraud.

While the tests did show that one descendent of Sally Hemings had a Jefferson male line haplotype, … there are at least seven Jeffersons other than Thomas with that same haplotype who were frequent visitors to Monticello and may also have been the father

Without doubt, Thomas Jefferson is the foremost intellectual founder of our nation, and the chief spokesman for those principles of liberty and self-government that have become the guiding light to oppressed people around the globe. … The allegations concerning his behavior do not merely provide an interesting sidelight on an otherwise great man. They are, in fact, frontal assault on him and his principles, and have as a stated purpose by many proponents the aim to throw out those principles and replace them with something new but as yet poorly defined.

Fundamental differences in world view regarding what this country is about: Why 2012 looks like 1860

As the season of presidential politics 2012 unfolds, Star Parker is
struck by similarities between today and the tumultuous period in our history that led up to the election of Abraham Lincoln and then on to the Civil War.

So much so that I’m finding it a little eerie that this year we are observing the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War.

No, I am certainly not predicting, God forbid, that today’s divisions and tensions will lead to brother taking up arms against brother.

But profound differences divide us today, as was the case in the 1850’s.

The difference in presidential approval rates between Democrats and Republicans over the course of the Obama presidency and the last few years of the Bush presidency has been in the neighborhood of 70 points. This is the most polarized the nation has been in modern times.

This deep division is driven, as was the case in the 1850’s, by fundamental differences in world view regarding what this country is about.

Then, of course, the question was can a country “conceived in liberty’, in Lincoln’s words, tolerate slavery.

Today the question is can a country “conceived in liberty” tolerate almost half its economy consumed by government, its citizens increasingly submitting to the dictates of bureaucrats, and wanton destruction of its unborn children.

We wrestle today, as they did then, with the basic question of what defines a free society.

It’s common to hear that “democracy” is synonymous with freedom. We also commonly hear that questions regarding economic growth are separate and apart from issues tied to morality – so called “social issues.”

But Stephen Douglas, who famously debated Abraham Lincoln in 1858, argued both these points. In championing the idea of “popular sovereignty” and the Kansas Nebraska Act, he argued that it made sense for new states to determine by popular vote whether they would permit slavery.

By so doing, argued Douglas, the question of slavery would submit to what he saw as the core American institution – democracy – and, by handling the issue in this fashion, slavery could be removed as an impediment to growth of the union.

Lincoln rejected submitting slavery to the vote, arguing that there are first and inviolable principles of right and wrong on which this nation stands and which cannot be separated from any issue, including considerations of growth and expansion.

…But another lesson to be learned from 1860 is that conventional wisdom of establishment pundits is not necessarily reliable.

These pundits will explain why the more unconventional stated and potential candidates in the Republican field – Cain, Palin, or Bachmann – don’t have a chance and why we should expect Romney, Pawlenty, or Huntsman.

But going into the Republican Convention in Chicago in 1860, the expected candidate to grab the nomination was former governor and Senator from New York, William H. Seward.

It’s What You get for Programming you Population into a Bunch of Needy Crypto-Marxist Ninkompoops

There are no takers. Literally none. Even at 28%, no-one is willing to lend the Greek government money. Zip. Nada. Nichts. Bupkus. The trade volume at the point I took the screen shot was 0. In other words, even crazy people aren’t buying it.

28 percent of nuthin’ is still nuthin’. Elsewhere Spain is biting it’s pillow, and even at 26% interest, there is no interest in their bonds.

What Would that Wall of Worry Really Look Like?

Hyperventilating CNBC host, and evil genius of stocks, Jim Cramer outlines the unlikely but worst-case scenario for PIIGS defaults. It doesn't look good, but doesn't mean that its all impossibly bad.
Fourth, Europe's recession pulls down the USA because of the tie-ins and because two or three U.S. banks had hidden exposure to Europe. The U.S. learns about the exposure too late because there still is not enough transparency and U.S. banks are still buying and insuring un-insurable risk over there. These banks are merged with healthy banks that have raised a lot of capital, but the stocks get hammered to their 2008 and 2009 lows.

Fifth, massive layoffs strike the U.S. because of Europe. The U.S. economy wasn't growing anyway, though, and the country is sinking under the weight of higher commodity prices, Washington dithering and a president, who has failed to create jobs. As the U.S. continues to sink, commodity prices plummet and construction stops due to weak demand. The industrials take a beating every day.

Sixth, money flows from risky assets to high-yielding companies that weren't' high-yielders all that long ago. Safety stocks rally because commodities collapse and margins widen. This move happens on the way down, even as corporations were prepared for the downturn. The cyclicals don't get much love, though, and fall to their 2008 and 2009 levels, as well.
Go to your nearest European bank and thank them for not having secured a damned thing.

Booyah this already...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Rationalizations

Spain’s Cinco Días

Germany's demand that private investors contribute to the bailout package must be softened, notes the business paper Cinco Días: "Even if yesterday was just a preparatory meeting it seems clear that Germany won't be able to push through its position without adjustments at the EU summit on June 23-24. It would of course be desirable that the private sector participate in the bailout, but not at the price of provoking an exodus of investors that would leave the public deficit bigger than ever. ...
It looks like a flash of awareness, although one that has the vague stench of compulsion or expropriation of assets. In effect, this is a tax on the population. “Whatever” is assumed to be the social thinkers view of this.

This is not to be confused with another apparent effort to “fight for fairnesss”.
The Netherlands’ Trouw
The Dutch parliament has approved further help for Greece on condition that the private sector also contribute to the package. The Christian-social daily Trouw considers this just: "We need to be realistic if we want to avoid deceiving the Dutch people. Stopping the bailout is not an option, nor is getting away without a certain amount of financial damage. ... It's a matter of being patient and providing a basis for Greece to overcome its plight. So far this has mainly been done with tax money. Finance Minister De Jager now emphatically wants the banks and pension funds to help back the bailout. This is progress. After all, they're the ones who invested in Greece's national debt. The risk can be borne by the state for a while, but not forever. The financial partners must be included if we want to discuss a markdown of Greek debt." if the phrase “financial sector” were about a handful of detestable capitalists, as opposed to the depositors of banks. At least they appear to be reaching to a solution. Although one that has the vague stench of compulsion or expropriation of assets. In effect, this is a tax on the population. “Whatever” is assumed to be the social thinkers view of this.

Federal and state laws and subsidies that undermine marriage are the biggest fiscal as well as cultural issue of our times

The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock babies born last year and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider
writes Phyllis Schlafly (another expert on this subject is Stephen Baskerville).
The left is content to let this problem persist because 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama for president. They vote for the party that offers the richer subsidies.

…Ronald Reagan's advice is still on target. If we subsidize something, we'll get more of it; if we tax it, we'll get less.

The financial subsidies that encourage non-marriage are the biggest reason why federal spending is out of control. There is no way to make significant cuts in the federal deficit unless we address the marriage-absence problem.

Poverty is massively greater for children living with a single, divorced or cohabiting parent than with parents who are married to each other. The poverty rate for single parents with children is 37 percent, but only 6 percent for married couples with children.

Marriage breakdown is a double-edged sword. At the same time that it forces government to become the financial provider for millions of children and their caregivers, it also reduces the government's tax receipts to pay for the handouts.

… Among other unfortunate effects, the trends toward non-marriage and toward same-sex marriage are a direct attack on fathers. The bond between a child and his mother is an obvious fact of nature, but marriage is the relationship that establishes the link between a child and his father.

There are many causes for the dramatic reduction in marriage, starting with unilateral divorce, which spread across the United States in the 1960s and '70s, putting government on the side of marriage breakup. Then came the legalizing of abortion, diminishing the custom of shotgun marriages, which in earlier years was often the response to surprise pregnancies.

The feminist notion that women should be independent of men, followed by affirmative-action/female quotas in employment, tended to carry out the goal stated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that the concept of husband-breadwinner and wife-homemaker "must be eliminated." These feminist ideas and practices demean marriage by discriminating against men and also against fulltime homemakers.

Since the federal government created the child-support bureaucracy, the majority of divorces have been initiated by women. They confidently expect that pro-feminist family courts will award them a steady income for which they will never be held accountable.

The more child support that divorced fathers are ordered to pay, the more federal funds flow through the hands of the states, which compete for federal bonuses given to states that collect the most child support. It is profitable to state bureaucrats to make sure that fathers are permitted to see their own children only a few days per month so support payments can be set at the highest possible level.

Women have discovered they can use a request for an Order of Protection against their husband as "the gamesmanship of divorce" (in the words of the Illinois Bar Journal) in order to get sole child custody plus generous so-called child support. It's easy to get such orders without any evidence of abuse or even a threat, without notice to the husband and with no danger of prosecution for perjury.

Federal and state laws and subsidies that undermine marriage are the biggest fiscal as well as cultural issue of our times.

Great Moments in Self-Awareness

They're finally admitting how dull and pointless their summits are. Now for the stunning epiphany:

"Arguably, the two sides could save a huge amount of time and money by holding a video conference or even just exchanging position papers. In an age of government austerity, excessive debt and budget cuts, the public would surely applaud the move," he said in a written statement.
What does the meeting really amount to? EU: Kan I haz your revenue?
Cameron dubbed the event 'The Vegetable Summit' because of a mini-drama involving E. coli.
Otherwise, intimidation comes cheap in Russia. The fringe benefit is that it turned what would be a pointless European circus into a rather more effective phone call.
Authorities cancelled at the last minute a 9 June press conference to be held by Russian NGOs in the so-called EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. One of the forum's leaders also had her car number plates stolen - putting her at risk of arrest - and her credit cards blocked.

"The Catastrophe" to the Party: Some Socialists Are Calling for the Expulsion of DSK Victim's Mother from the PS

Nine years ago, Anne Mansouret dissuaded her daughter from filing a legal complaint for attempted rape against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a prominent member of the Socialist Party in France and the former husband of one of her best friends
writes the New York Times' Maïa de la Baume as The Economist claims that "the aftershocks in France have already been felt."
But now she is speaking out about what happened and what other Socialist leaders knew. And some Socialists — deeply embarrassed by the allegations against the wealthy man who was likely to be their presidential candidate next year — have called for her expulsion from the party.

In a series of interviews, Mrs. Mansouret — by turns defensive, emotional, argumentative and uncompromising — said she did it to protect her daughter, Tristane Banon, now 31, and the party itself.

Ms. Banon, a journalist and novelist, asserts that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who is facing criminal charges in New York of attempted rape of a hotel housekeeper, tried to rape her during an interview in an empty apartment in 2002 — grabbing her arm, pulling off her bra, trying to unzip her jeans, fighting with her on the floor and ignoring her cries of “no.” She described him as “a chimpanzee in rut.”

Party leaders knew of her daughter’s experience with Mr. Strauss-Kahn, Mrs. Mansouret said, but chose to ignore it. And she herself felt stymied, in part, because Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s second wife, Brigitte Guillemette, was one of her best friends and the godmother of Ms. Banon.

“Many people knew the story, but didn’t want to talk about it,” Mrs. Mansouret said. …

Since the arrest of Mr. Strauss-Kahn in New York, Mrs. Mansouret, a Socialist member of the regional council of Haute-Normandie, has been caught in a highly politicized drama. She is widely seen as a betraying mother who silenced her daughter’s trauma for nearly a decade and who is now tarnishing the image of the party she originally tried to protect.

Michèle Sabban, vice president of the regional council of Île-de-France, asked for her expulsion from the Socialist Party.

“She has no spirit of responsibility,” Mrs. Sabban told the French radio station RMC. “She didn’t take the measure of the catastrophe” to the party, she said, after the indictment of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the party’s leading candidate for the presidency and head of the International Monetary Fund. …

“I knew the Socialists would deny it,” Mrs. Mansouret said. “Between the truth, what you know as being true, and what people present as being true, there is a often a difference in politics.” Ms. Banon herself said in 2008 that she was struck by a “general hypocrisy on this story,” which the mainstream press did not investigate.

As for The Economist, the London weekly says:
How the mood has changed since the arrest in New York of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of sexual assault and attempted rape. …

The sight of an American court taking seriously the word of an African immigrant chambermaid against that of a rich, powerful man has been sobering in France. The country may have ousted its monarchy, but it treats its elite as a caste with special privileges. Ministers seldom resign promptly, even after scandals unrelated to the bedroom. Earlier this year, President Nicolas Sarkozy dithered before ditching Michèle Alliot-Marie as foreign minister over her ties to the discredited Tunisian regime. …

As for sexual harassment, cases rarely surface. Politicians dismiss accusations as vengeance or fantasy; women, sometimes threatened, fear for their jobs or reputations; the press steers clear.

The DSK affair is changing all this. It “has been a catalyst,” says Valérie Toranian, editor of Elle, a magazine. “There will be a before and an after.” …

Overnight, the French seem to have found that their democratic temples of liberty, fraternity and equality are in fact hotbeds of sexism and predatory behaviour.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1850s: "Discourage litigation" and "Persuade your neighbors to compromise"

As Righthaven's case of frivolous lawsuits (rightfully) collapses (hat tip to Glenn Reynolds) — with Clayton concluding that "Righthaven's scalp needs to be clearly visible as a reminder that being a lawyer has ethical requirements" — it bears reminding that already in the 1850s, a prominent frontier lawyer, disturbed by what he saw, felt compelled to offer the following advice in a speech to aspiring lawyers.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. … A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.

Abraham Lincoln — for it was he (drawn above by Dan Greenberg) — concluded: there is a
popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest . . . the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.

They Really Don’t Get any Phonier than This Guy

Typical, usual, like whatever.

Sadly, the Internet is the predator's venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.

- Anthony Weiner, elected by
the great state of New York.

The whole point is the effect of what Weiner did on the House of Representatives and on the country as a whole

…among liberal commentators and millions of other Americans, there is a great deal of flawed thinking about whether [Anthony] Weiner should resign
writes Dennis Prager who points out that "Most Americans understand that Congress, like every other institution, including their local church and synagogue, is composed of sinners."
The two most common arguments offered against his resigning have been that (1) what Weiner did was not illegal and (2) it was not even as bad as an extramarital affair because he never met, let alone had physical contact with, any of the women to whom he sent naked and semi-naked photos of himself.

The argument's entirely beside the point.

The point — the whole point — is the effect of what he did on the United States House of Representatives and on the country as a whole, especially young people.

There is a simple way to prove this. Let us imagine that some congressman had walked onto the House floor in his underwear. I think it is fair to assume that just about every Democrat and Republican in the country would demand his resignation. But why? That action is not illegal, and it certainly does not constitute a form of infidelity to his wife.

The reason people would demand his resignation is that such behavior disgraced the House of Representatives.

That is the issue here. When a member of Congress sends pictures of his penis to women around the country, he has demeaned Congress.

And he has done so far more than any member of Congress whose extramarital affair was publicly disclosed.

…I cannot think of a single event that symbolizes the decline of American society — and especially of its liberal elite — as much as Weiner's actions and his retention of his seat in Congress.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For One African Leader: 7 Ferraris, 4 Mercedes-Benzes, 5 Bentleys, 4 Rolls-Royces, 2 Bugattis, 1 Aston Martin, 1 Porsche, 1 Lamborghini, & 1 Maserati

Africa's "Ill-Gotten Gains" Are Embarrassing France, writes Le Monde on its front page, as it emerges that a Paris investigation into the matter has been at least partly squelched. As Philippe Bernard explains,
Threats to the ongoing judicial investigation on their alleged "ill-gotten gains" acquired in France have not tempered their taste for luxury. The stockpiling of luxuries and swanky cars, by three African presidents mentioned in the 2008 complaint filed in Paris by the organization Transparency International France (TIF) for "concealment of embezzled public funds", has continued unabated, as if they felt untouchable.
Revealed by documents which Le Monde has seen, the list of recent acquisitions by the Bongo (Gabon), the Sassou Nguesso (Congo), and the Obiang (Equatorial Guinea) families makes the head spin. These lavish purchases take on a new political dimension in the context of the Arab revolutions where the dictators' personal enrichment fueled popular anger.

Police officers from the Office central pour la répression de la grande délinquance financière (OCRGDF), instructed by investigating Paris judges Roger Le Loire and René Grouman, thus established that Ali Bongo, son of the late Omar Bongo, acquired a Bentley in France in 2009, a few months before being elected President of Gabon, following the death of his father in June of that year. The police say that the choice of Mr. Bongo, current head of a state with 20% of the population living on less than $2 a day, fell on a Continental Flying Speed model. The 2.5 ton car, capable of reaching 322 km/h, costs over 200,000 Euros.

The family of Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of Congo-Brazzaville, is far from lagging behind: while in France in early 2010, his wife Antoinette acquired an E-class Mercedes registered in the name of the Diplomatic Corps. As for Wilfrid Nguesso, the nephew of the head of state and boss of the Congolese shipping company responsible to Brazzaville for collecting taxes from tankers of Congolese oil, he set his sights in October 2009 on a Porsche Panamera turbo (priced at 137,000 Euros).

But the most stupefying find of the police concerns Teodoro Nguema Obiang, 41, son and near-namesake Teodoro Obiang Nguema, 69, who has reigned over Equatorial Guinea with an iron fist since 1979, and who happens to be the current president of the African Union (AU). Customs investigators have established that in November 2009, "26 luxury cars and six motorcycles […] for a value of almost $12 million were shipped to Marne's Vatry airport from the United States [by Teodoro Obiang Nguema] for re-export to Equatorial Guinea."

The lot included 7 Ferraris, 4 Mercedes-Benzes, 5 Bentleys, 4 Rolls-Royces, 2 Bugattis, 1 Aston Martin, 1 Porsche, 1 Lamborghini, and 1 Maserati. … The tastes of Obiang Junior are not confined to luxury cars. A Tracfin (the government's anti-money laundering unit) alert, dated March 7, 2011, reports that the Malabo dictator's son "purchased 109 lots for a total of 18,347,952.30 euros" [during] the sale of the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé [shareholder of Le Monde] collection" in February 2009 organized by Christie's France. The endless inventory of antiques acquired is breathtaking: from the 17th-century "scarlet bull" costing 298,604 Euros to the 112,724-Euro "coconut cup", through the 744,716-Euro "bronze Hermaphrodite figure".

…The quite logical conclusion of the Tracfin investigators reads thusly: "Given the positions that the person concerned holds in Equatorial Guinea and the particularity of charging his purchases of works of art to the Somagui company [of which he is director], the presence of 'ill-gotten gains' could be suspected." Mr. Obiang's need for so many works of art becomes clear when you discover that he has no fewer than six homes, including one in Malibu (California), one in Ville d'Avray (Yvelines), and another on Avenue Foch (Paris). According to a witness quoted by Sherpa, a group of lawyers leading the case, his Paris abode extends over four levels and includes several dozen rooms, including "a dining room in coral and a Turquerie with Lalique panels."
Aussi dans Le Monde :

Biens mal acquis : deux magistrats instructeurs désignés (AFP)

Biens mal acquis : une enquête vise le président du Cameroun (AFP)

L'arrêt sur les biens mal acquis ouvre des perspectives pour les ONG anticorruption (Philippe Bernard)

Biens mal acquis : l'enquête empêchée (Éditorial dans Le Monde)

Bitter, Party of One!

Many Europeans, just like fantasy-“revolutionary” Jack-in-the-Box Juan Cole, are reacting as expected the warning-laden message in Robert Gates’ recent speech on the failure of most of the EU’s member states in the arena of supporting their defense.

Shorter SecDef Robert Gates: European members of NATO need to bankrupt themselves with military spending and wars just as the United States has done, or else the US Congress will stop being willing to support NATO's war efforts.
In these nation-states where governments typically and chillingly represent more than half of all GDP, eclipsing the capacity of civil society to work hard enough to sustain the elephant compelling them to give them a piggy-back ride, spending 2 percent of their GDP on their own security and stability is “bankrupting them”. Somehow asking them to commit 2% to receive the benefit of what is likely the effect of an 8-10% commitment is too much.

One-time Fulbright scholar and nominally pro-NATO blogger Joerg Wolf (whose position is to discuss and theoretically to promote the interest of Germany in NATO) repeats Cole’s emotional tone, resorting to citing moronic adolescent taunts typically heard at a “peace” rally:
Let's talk truth to the NYT: Europe seized the opportunity of the peace dividend after the end of the Cold War, while America's elite of neocons and liberal interventionists have turned "Perpetual War" into US ideology as James Joyner argues.
If the result of this passive-aggressive tone, and the desire to smother criticism is to be assumed to be anything, it is an attempt to have the US continue its’ “perpetual war” stance just enough to relieve the burden of Europeans having to protect the Smurf village that they conceive of their lands to be.

Don’t forget that these are the people who have tried to mask their never-ending and useless invective direct at the US as “the concern and advice of an older brother”. How do they understand one statement of objective criticism every five years or so? Exactly as you see it. Many of their public intellectuals still mad that about one minor statement about “Freedom Fires” a decade ago, and that a Hollywood script writer once fashioned a character called Hans Gruber in 1988.

As to the message “responding” to Gates’ warning? Okay. We get it. Gates doesn't have to make his point again.

The European critics of his measured warning just did it for him.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Compare with Bin Laden's Death at the Hands of the U.S.: When a Cuban Dissident Is Killed by Havana, Only a Couple of French Readers Bother Reacting

While a Cuban dissident dies in the custody of the Santa Clara police, excitement is the order of the day as the AFP recounts in Le Monde that Che Guevara's unpublished journals from his guerrilla years in the Sierra Maestra are to see the light of day…
Le journal d'Ernesto Che Guevara, écrit pendant la campagne dans la Sierra Maestra, avant la révolution cubaine de 1959, devait être publié pour la première fois mardi 14 juin à Cuba, ont annoncé lundi les éditeurs. Le Journal d'un combattant recueille, selon la quatrième de couverture, "des moments uniques de la lutte armée à Cuba, depuis l'arrivée du yacht Granma" le 2 décembre 1956 sur la côte avec 82 révolutionnaires à bord, jusqu'au triomphe de la révolution dirigée par Fidel Castro.

"Le témoignage humain de grande valeur qui ressort de sa lecture permet d'approcher les perceptions du Che sur la réalité de l'île, sa culture, son identité et le contexte politique", ajoute le texte de présentation du livre édité par la maison australienne Ocean Press-Ocean Sur. Cette dernière a travaillé main dans la main avec le Centre d'études Che Guevara dirigé par la veuve du guérillero, Aleida March.

To return to the article Un dissident cubain meurt sous les coups de la police: noting that there are only a handful of reactions to Juan Wilfredo Soto's death in the article's comments section, one Le Monde reader points out the double standard, comparing the reactions to the Cuban's death with those to a hypothetical case of a similar nature in the United States and with those to a real killing five or six weeks ago that nailed America's public enemy nr 1:
2 réactions ! C'est tout ! Changer de titre. " Un contestataire américains...police" : minimum 50 réactions scandalisées. "Ben Laden est tué par des militaires" : 90 réactions scandalisés ! Les citoyens français sont des défenseurs des droits de l'homme, mais il y a les petites préférences et les petites obsessions ; il y a homme et homme.

A couple of reactions! Is that all?! Try changing the title: "An American Protestor Dies Because of Police Brutality" — there would be at least 50 incensed comments. "Bin Laden Killed by Soldiers": 90 comments voicing outrage! French citizens are defenders of human rights, but they have small preferences and small obsessions; there are humans and then there are humans.

Highly Recommended

David Mamet's The Secret Knowledge
(On the Dismantling of American Culture)

The European Members in NATO should just “Declare Victory and Go Home”

In a policy speech given in Brussels, outgoing US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates took umbrage with NATO’s European members’ dismal non-participation in an alliance that they insist on remaining members of.

The U.S. has tens of thousands of troops based in Europe, not to stand guard against invasion but to train with European forces and promote what for decades has been lacking: the ability of the Europeans to go to war alongside the U.S. in a coherent way.

The war in Afghanistan, which is being conducted under NATO auspices, is a prime example of U.S. frustration at European inability to provide the required resources.

"Despite more than 2 million troops in uniform, not counting the U.S. military, NATO has struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25,000 to 45,000 troops, not just in boots on the ground, but in crucial support assets such as helicopters, transport aircraft, maintenance, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and much more," Gates said.
Call it “tough love” if you like, but to be it looks more like a warning that much of Europe’s parasitism is going to have to come to an end if they don’t want to lose American support altogether.

The question is simple: do you want to put in half a loaf and get some? Or will you rationalize some more nonsense about not needing NATO to function as Europe’s continental defense and deterrent and get nothing from the US?

It’s a simple, simple question.
To illustrate his concerns about Europe's lack of appetite for defense, Gates noted the difficulty NATO has encountered in carrying out an air campaign in Libya.

"The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country, yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference," he said.
And when it comes to dealing with a third rate thug with aging Soviet and Russian equipment, most of Europe’s over-downsized armed services remain flummoxed.
"While every alliance member voted for the Libya mission, less than half have participated, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission," he said. "Frankly, many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they can't. The military capabilities simply aren't there."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"A victory for biodiversity in Europe”: EU Court Backs French Hamsters

The wheels of justice have spun in favour of the Great Alsatian Hamster,
reports the Wall Street Journal's John W. Miller from Brussels,
as the European Court of Justice, in one of 11 decisions released on Thursday, ruled that France needs to do more to protect the little golden critter.
(Merci à Damien, whose e-Nough carries the whole backstory and who, indeed, has been reporting on the situation for three (!) years…)

Enjoy that Amish Future of Yours’, Deutschland!

Germany’s phasing out of nuclear power generation will make them more vulnerable that they already are to manipulation by commodity producers such as Russia.

As Steve LeVine recently pointed out in Foreign Policy, “Germany—already reliant on Russia’s Gazprom for 30 percent of its natural gas—will be buying much more gas in order to compensate for the loss of nuclear power, which provides 28 percent of Germany’s electricity.” Of course, maybe the Germans will rely more on coal or hydraulic fracturing instead—surely the Greens would have no objection, right?
It’s interesting, because you would think a nation where half of the politically-active students and the foam-at-the-mouth activist types who seem so fond of rattling on about the US being Saudi Arabia’s lapdog don’t seem to register much concern for their own bogeymen: Gazprom and “big solar”.
Meanwhile, Merkel’s conservative critics—those in the media and in the business sector—are already scoffing. They talk of impending blackouts. Some nuclear energy companies are threatening to sue for damages in the billions. According to Die Welt (translation by Der Spiegel), “The nuclear phaseout marks a creeping rejection of the economic model which has transformed Germany into one of the richest countries in the world in recent decades. .  .  . What will the new energy age cost us Germans in terms of money and jobs?”
What about all of those “green jobs” making windmills and the need for masses of manual labor after power outages force de-mechanization?

I mean, do the proponents of this trash REALLY hate the blue-collar working class THAT MUCH that they would lie to them, and themselves about “green economy” lunacy? Have they forgotten that it was just a talking point to deflect anyone who disagreed on reasonable economic terms?