This time, it’s the planet earth.
Haily Zaki and Brian Tuey trekked four miles up southern California's San Gabriel Mountains with 32 friends, accompanied by pack mules carrying granola bars and organic lamb. There, in a propane- and hydro-powered campsite dining hall bedecked with pine cones, they exchanged wedding vows.Don’t tell them that the propane is a hydrocarbon. They might turn into a suicide cult.
Tara Brown and Michael Selders incorporated 21 "eco-initiatives" into their wedding at Houston's Four Seasons Hotel. To make up for the pollution caused by their honeymoon flight to Hawaii, the Selderses purchased carbon offsets, a means of reducing carbon emissions by contributing money to plant trees or develop renewable-energy projects.
Dana Wilmert wore a 1950s sea foam green prom dress purchased for $1 from a thrift store when she married Johnny Damm in DeLand, Fla. She made the paper for her invitations and stitched magazines together to make the envelopes. At the reception, her guests ate local, organic fare served on biodegradable bamboo plates, which were later composted.
To apply their philosophy to their lives, and ergo to a truism: may you have short biodegradable lives, and return to the earth sooner rather than later.
Still, there are many shades of green. The Tueys' three-day camping trip wedding cost $6,500. Though Ms. Brown-Selders wouldn't comment on the cost of her wedding, she hired Jessica Zapatero, founder and director of Green Lily Events in Houston, who caters to brides with budgets over $30,000. Ms. Zapatero helped Brown-Selders find an elegant raw-silk dress and yarmulkes made from recycled cardboard. Cardstock kippas for everyone! And for every one of us TWO names! Count ‘em TWO! In the area of hyphenation, we shall be as aristocratic as possible!
"A green wedding is not just wearing a burlap sack and walking down the aisle barefoot," says Mireya Navarro, author of "Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-friendly Celebration."Of course it isn’t. That would almost shed the hypocrity.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
You Hear About People Sometimes ‘Jumping the Shark’
This time, it’s the planet earth.
Get a Load of This Moron
Like all the oddball ‘European supremacists,” he doesn’t know what he wants. i.e. Europe doesn’t go to war THEREfore EU=peace, and yet he’s very proud of their weapons industry. Never mind that fact that nearly every war in the 20th century was a leftover from either a European philosophy (communism, socialism, fascism, and the generalized malady of an idolatry of the state), and that they’re all too willing to declare peace after someone else has achieved it for them. Funnier still is the pride taken (actually it’s an obsession with) peacekeeping, where they’re always just a bit too late, and try to pawn the whole task off on Canadians, Indians, and anyone else they can threaten with strangulation over trade.
The hilarious thing is that he judges all world culture by the degree to which it mimics little selected successes of European culture, all “aid” is defined as government-to-government aid, even though Americans provide in excess of 40% of all humanitarian aid on earth. As for being proud of peddling solar panels, or any other “future-tech” that the same supremacists take so much pride in, try not to mention the fact that most of it was invented in either California, Texas, Michigan, or New Jersey.
Either way, I don’t know how these clowns can get away with lecturing America at every turn. For example their song-list has the same old trash that we’ve heard for 30 years, only occasionally adding something that gets their rocks off, and usuallyonly after Europeans find a way of failing humanity.
I.E.: the one about the US calling itself America when it is the only nation on earth to have America in its’ name. All the while they refer inceasingly to the Eurozone as “Europe”, seemingly without asking the third of the European population who aren’t living under their flag and equally disengaged in “peacekeeping”.
So who are the petty emperialists who are only out for themselves while trying to advertize their benevolence? I’d say the one that’s constantly talking about expanding its’ borders, and doing it coercively through “war by another means”.
As for free-riding, try to figure out from this video in this video who it really was that ponied up the lion’s share of the science, momentum, and capacity for this space station: the 500 million person “we are the world” slug that was had humanity changing its’ diapers for 60 years, or those evil, greedy “imperialists”?
Even the latent sympathy found among some Europeans for the goals of Jihad and Islamism, which while presented with an argument of a personal philosophical alignment of those advocates for its’ goals reveals a dynamic similar to that of “favoring the perceived strong horse”, in that it is hoped that such sympathy can free-ride too and be rewarded with an unearned power over others. Anyone believing that Europe can profit, or even left in peace, by societally accommodating a sectarian model fashioned after pre-civil-war Beirut is doing just that.
Friday, June 12, 2009
You might have already heard this one
Speculation has blossomed concerning the causes of the loss of Air France Flight 447 ("Wreckage yields clues in jet crash," News, Thursday).Fill in the blanks.
It would be irresponsible to get ahead of evidence, but important factors are emerging. First, some experts blame global warming for the increased severity and frequency of hurricanes (most of which originate at latitudes within 5 to 15 degrees of the equator). Second, the flight appears to have passed through a band of equatorial megastorms. Finally, levels of turbulence in such storms are being investigated in the crash.
Perhaps the memorial service in Paris will be recognized as the first for airline victims of global warming.
Via Adam Smith and Cafe Hayek.
Ohhh, that is gonna hurt
Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.
Lefty Likes his Spankings
If you “caring” stuff doesn’t work and thinking people don’t want it, the next best thing is making yourself suffer. When that doesn’t get you anywhere, make the general population suffer.
Now let's objectively review the initiatives in the neolib agenda: Environmentalism, global passivism, overpopulation, socialized healthcare, and promoting government intervention into all aspects of life. All of these priorities require individuals to sacrifice their lifestyles, their income, and/or their basic comforts. All of which are initiatives that require the general population, the proletariat, if you will, to suffer, and requires nothing from those who call for the self-flagellation other than self-congratulation. Tidy, isn’t it? It’s a revision of what used to be called the martyrdom complex – only this time around it’s seen a lot more like the way Jihadists do: a martyr dies in the process of initiating the murder of others, and doesn’t necessarily meet their end by holding fast to their principals.
This past week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exhorted, "Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory..." in order to sacrifice ourselves to the gods of global warming. As presidential candidate Obama said, "We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times..." He seems to indicate that he wants us to starve and freeze.
Most of these initiatives involve the inflicting of pain and misery. Tom Daschle, in his book "Critical: What We Can Do About The Health Care Crisis" says health-care reform "will not be pain free" and that seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of having them treated. In other words, you will suffer a slow agonizing death under government mandate.
As a final phenomenological exercise, impassively observe the level of neolib support for this agenda. It has not appeared to wane. In fact, neolib fervor continues to increase as the promised level of suffering increases.
According to Rancour-Laferriere, increasing Russian masochism coincided with the rise of the Soviet Union and Communism, although it was pervasive in the soul of Russia prior to that. The conclusion to this analysis is that as neolib moral masochism increases, so does the emotional need for an all-powerful master to govern them. As the governing master becomes more dominant and disciplinarian, the masochism is reinforced and the spiral continues.Thus: enter the promised one, whose very being suspends disbelief, inspires embarrassingly servile hagiography, and a suspension of all skepticism over the political abuse of power or a belief in the need for a balance of their idol’s power.
They are not, nor have they ever been “the reality based community.” As ever, while they play at rebellion fantasies from their easy chairs, they repeat the act of licking the boot that kicks them. In their difficult relationship with the concept of power, the contemporary left, like the central Europeans of the past century favor constructing unchecked power over a population they deem untrustworthy, semi-consciously with the idea that that very untrusted mass could never include them – it’s as if at least knowing of ones’ intellectual confinement is a comfort. So long as you can get something for nothing (or at least perceive it that way) what do you care if the ambers in the stove are actually dim. Better to put another ragged blanket over your shoulders than risk anything else – besides, you’re enjoying your revolutionary dreams, aren’t you?
Consider the hatred of federalism in the construction of the EU in deference of something that seems more democratic and “flatter” but certainly isn’t – it doesn’t seem to tend in the direction of a separation of super-state, national, provincial, and local powers. It looks like a similar sort of complex where the politically active are constantly having to duel with their own instincts to seek a centralization of powers as though the public cannot be trusted, that the pain of debate and discourse may be voted away in a desperate bid to eradicate even the smallest reminder of disagreement or anger. Because they’re scary, must be controlled, and might remind us that sometimes we aren’t always right..
Looking for a new political home?
Planned/state-driven: pledged to the maintenance of a private-enterprise economy operating within a broad framework of national economic policy
Anti-globalisation: opposed to international monopoly capitalism and to laissez-faire free trade and free movement of plant and capital
Spreading the wealth: we believe that private property should be encouraged and spread to as many individual members of our nation as possible.
Social justice: we recognise that finance exists to serve the nation and its industries rather than the other way around.
Progressivism: implacably opposed to Marxism and liberal-capitalist globalism, which undermine our standard of living, human and ecological welfare, freedom and national identity
Certainly anathema to our world-view, but on the whole those of the left seeking political refuge should have no real problems from an economic perspective in signing up.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
A Neo-Nazi by any Other Name is Still a Leftist
The press immediately leapt to call James von Brunn a white-supremacist, and the usual propagandists at the PuffyHost in the usual fashion of lecturing the population on the ‘degradation of the public dialogue’ link his name to Ann Coulter, you know, in the interest of ‘improving the national dialogue’.
In reality, von Brunn is a neo-Nazi. He sentimentally memorialized the death of Marxist pro-Hamas shill Rachel Corrie. An odd thing for him to do for someone who exceeded Adolf Hitler’s definition of what constitutes a Jew.
- Tip ‘o the hat to Damian Penny
Pipe Bombs for Peace
In an unsurprising inversion of reality, they call themselves “anti-fascists”.
The far right Sweden Democrats were one of the main targets of the so-called "autonomous" movement. But parties in Sweden's coalition government also found themselves in the firing line.Fascists have traditionally been of the left, and employed populism to enlarge the power of the state over social and economic freedoms, often employing guilt and bahaviour modification techniques. They might find rather curious how well this profile fits the methods and motives of those in thrall of our current President and his Democratic Party.
"We noted around twenty incidents of violence against people or property. The Sweden Democrats were not the only ones affected; the Liberal and Moderate parties were also hit," said Johan Olsson, chief analyst for Säpo's constitutional protection division.
The chief perpetrators came from groups on the extreme left such as Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) and Revolutionära Fronten.
File under, "Really important issues facing mankind"
Molson retirees in the province of Newfoundland will see their monthly allotment of beer fall from six dozen a month to zero over the next five years.Naturally the neo-medieval guilds aren't taking this laying down:
Current workers will see their allotment drop from 72 dozen bottles a year to 52 dozen.
"There was no consultation, we just received a letter that this is a done deal, which is totally unfair," Bill Bavis, who retired six years ago after 32 years at Molson's in St. John's, Newfoundland, told the Star. "I think with the economic downturn they're trying to take advantage of us, as a way to cut retirees' benefits and justify it."
Unions have launched grievances in Montreal and Vancouver, where the allotment is less.No doubt this incident will be cobbled into some statistic used to demonstrate "union-busting" activities.
Keep Your 2nd Rate Plonk
"I always take the example of tomatoes," he said. "They're inedible, the tomatoes you find in supermarkets. But people buy them just the same." I’ll stick to Jameson’s
Though France remains a nation of wine-lovers—86 percent of French households bought at least one bottle last year, and the country retains its distinction as the world's top producer—the French are drinking less and less: the average household bought just 43 liters in 2008, down from 47 in 2007.
In the old days, it's true that we drank 10 times more alcohol," said Jacques Delpiroux, who runs a Paris brasserie with his wife and has worked in cafes since 1968. "The bars used to be full morning to night."Which almost made their children decent company, but all good things must come to an end.
How dependency is created
The idea of paying people in the developing world to preserve their forests (known in climate jargon as a global framework to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, or REDD) represents a paradigm shift.Plainly put, let's pay people in the developing world to do nothing.
Instead of making money by harvesting forests for wood products and for crops like palm oil, governments and citizens in the developing world would need to accept a different model based on so-called conservation payments, which could be used for education, health care, and alternative economic development.
The arrogance of this type of "idea" should be plainly visible to anyone not confined to the purity of the académie or the rarified/reality-deprived air of the professional do-someting conference circuit. Other than a self-righteous posture, from what morally superior perch do denizens of such an "idea" come off dictating the economic choices of a developing (or any) country?
What if the Indonesians think we should pay IT professionals in Silicon Valley to stop innovating? Pay wine-makers in France to stop producing? Pay German automobile manufacturers to stop engineering? Using the same "save Gaia" template, each of these pursuits go an equally long way in "destroying" the environment as well. Ahh, but these are western goodies without which we would notice, can't have that. Let's make the developing world suffer economically, developmentally and aspirationally. Afterall, they are on the other side of the world, nobody will notice.
There is also the political hypocrisy of those espousing this new dependency creation/aspirationally crushing "idea". Greendom is constantly espousing neo-agrarianism as a panacea for every eco-ailment, by halting real-o-agrarianism won't this new plan put lie to that claim? What is this "alternative economic development"? Is that code-talk for sweatshops? I thought those were bad too. Besides, haven't you heard, we can't have (insert western country here) manufacturing jobs going to "foreign" workers now can we?
Two easy predictions (among many) should such an "idea" fester to fruition:
1) Developing countries will receive large amounts of cash
2) Developing countries will find a way around the strictures of such a "plan" and continue on their economic trajectory (all along keeping the cash in #1)
Our developing world brothers and sisters are especially keen to the scams of the western do-gooder class and use these various scams to their own self-interest, can you blame them? Amazingly enough, a room full of western PhDs can't seem to figure out they are being played for the suckers they are. Then again, why should the PhDs care? It's all under-written by you, the tax-payer.
Fill in le blanks
The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, might be dying down across the United States. And ______ ________ — the very problem wind power seeks to address — could be behind that.No penalty for guessing.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Europe: It’s Forever been a Gitmo of the Human Soul
Metropolitan Police officers subjected suspects to waterboarding, according to allegations at the centre of a major anti-corruption inquiry, The Times has learnt.A CIA technique? Funny that something that dates back to the days of the Dutch East India Company would suddenly have its’ patent awarded to Americans, but that’s just the way they are – one little idea enters their heads and it’s CIA waterboarding all day and night. All they can think about is how to say that a technique that the CIA only used 3 times can be called “widespread,” and indicative of the essence of the entirety of American culture.
The torture claims are part of a wide-ranging investigation which also includes accusations that officers fabricated evidence and stole suspects’ property. It has already led to the abandonment of a drug trial and the suspension of several police officers.
However, senior policing officials are most alarmed by the claim that officers in Enfield, North London, used the controversial CIA interrogation technique to simulate drowning.
There is no indication that the Police in London did any FEWER than that, and no indication that torture isn’t practiced across the morally superior continent of eternal righteous indignation.
According to a new study published on March 28 by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Committee Against Torture, a Russian human rights organization, every 25th person in Russia is tortured, beaten, or harassed by law enforcement officials each year. Putting them in the millions, and entirely normal to contemporary European culture, and entirely ignored because it didn’t prop up some adolescent hatred European societies harbor for the rest of the world.
The Little Train that Couldn’t
While the usual European talking heads maintain the hobby of ragging on America about low voter turnout, and the extrapolation of about a million and one theories about why that proves that they fart daisies, they seemed to have overlooked the fact that unless you dangle a welfare check in front of their noses, the European left won’t get out of bed to vote, no matter how much they parrot the American left’s vacuous “vote for change” rhetoric.
This result is more than two points lower than in 2004, which was then the lowest in the parliament's history at 45.5%.Left, right, or indifferent, Europeans prefer the Führerprinzip anyway, and now that it hasn’t worked in favor of the easily published, the hateful tauntsmust now begin again.
Besides Belgium and Luxembourg where voting is compulsory and turnout is traditionally around 90 percent, the figures were highest in Malta, where almost 79 percent of the citizens cast their vote.
By contrast, only 19.6 of Slovaks voted on Saturday. In the country's first EU election in 2004, it registered the lowest ever score in the bloc's history at 17 percent.Apparently, they NEED compulsion to get off to a good start. After all, it’s for their own good.
Lithuania came second with 20.9 percent – a dramatic drop compared to its first election in 2004, when almost half of Lithuanians voted (48.4%).
Some 24.5 percent voted in Poland and 28.2 percent in the Czech Republic and in Slovenia.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
File under, "What did you expect?"
The dozens of public works officials, municipal engineers, conservation agents and others who crowded into a meeting room here one recent morning needed help. Property in their towns was flooding, they said. Culverts were clogged. Septic tanks were being overwhelmed.Back in the day it was decided by someone (someone far more caring, nuanced and insightful than any NP reader) decided to do something:
"We have a huge problem," said David Pavlik, an engineer for the town of Lexington, where dams built by beavers have sent water flooding into the town's sanitary sewers. "We trapped them," he said. "We breached their dam. Nothing works. We are looking for long-term solutions."
He is not alone in his dismay, and it is not just beavers. Around the nation, decades of environmental regulation, conservation efforts and changing land use have brought many species, like beavers, so far back from the brink that they are viewed as nuisances. As Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke University, put it, "We are finding they are inconvenient."You wanted it, you got it, now deal with it.
In Florida, alligators were once nearly wiped out by hunters; today the state maintains a roster of trappers who remove thousands of nuisance gators each year. The pesticide DDT once left the Pelican State, Louisiana, bereft of the birds; today wildlife organizations say fishermen must guard their bait and catches from the birds. In California, warnings about marauding mountain lions are posted on hiking trails.
There were tens and maybe hundreds of millions of beavers in North America before it was settled by Europeans, whose craze for beaver hats is often cited as motivating much of the exploration of the continent. But by 1900 their numbers had been reduced to about 100,000, almost all of them in Canada. As farming faded and the forests reclaimed much of their lost ground, Castor canadensis made a spectacular comeback. Today there are believed to be 10 million to 15 million of the animals in North America, and they are regarded as pests in much of their range.
He’s Yours’. Keep Him.
For a moment, one of the rayonnement-spreading citizen-übermenschen of the city of lights thought for a moment that he wasn’t the creator himself, saying:
"I saw God before me,"Dude, get a life.
The Habitrail Deity Himself
Tinker Taylor Soldier Activist
They were the very essence of the what the Peace Camp thought of themselves, a pragmatic bunch, a caring bunch, a better educated bunch, each of those things and it’s opposite. With a little help from the press, we were to be convinced of their dialectic infallibility, experience, and patriotism. Among those who were supposed to be the wise old (and unelected) owls of the State Department, with their “been there, done that” disdain for elected officials of a non-leftist persuasion, we were to believe that they had the country first, and then humanity’s best interest at heart. They were “sacrificing their futures” for the defense of the nation’s laws, her decency, and so forth. This is the kind of thing that would put a retired analyst instantly onto the national spotlight in those heady days of their proletarian struggle:
A senior American official has spoken of "the myth of the special relationship" between the United States and Britain, arguing that Tony Blair got "nothing, no payback" for supporting President George W Bush in Iraq.The press was tangentially lauding people like this, and giving them more of a vehicle to propagate, because they were saying openly what the people of the press couldn’t do openly without being rather obvious in their act. Dissent is patriotic, as we all know. One must say this in a measured, thoughtful way when saying this, as though one DIDN’T read if off of a bumper sticker on a Suburu that’s burning oil, or a dealer services Volvo SUV.
Kendall Myers, a leading State Department adviser, suggested that Mr Blair should have been ditched by Labour but the party had lacked the "courage or audacity" to remove him.
Mr Blair, he said, was more articulate than Mr Bush, but the Prime Minister's ignorance of the British experience in Mesopotamia had led him to make a catastrophic error in backing the Iraq invasion. "Unfortunately, Tony Blair's background was as an actor and not an historian. If only he'd read a book on the 1920s he might have hesitated."So they thought of themselves as the freaking Ewoks, or something – fighting the great tide of reality. Whatever. That’s an awful lot of sneering condescention for a supporter of populism, especially if he spent the previous breath telling us how Blair was duped by the genius-idiot.
But is turns out that doublethink has something of a heritage. You don’t come to believe that it’s critical to the good of man by yourself.
So in the spirit of “speaking up even if your voice shakes” the intrepid souls of the left demonstrate that treason must also be patriotic too, especially when you’re quietly aiding a dictator. Power to the people, and all that...
WASHINGTON - A married couple in their 70s was accused Friday of spying for Fidel Castro's Cuba for 30 years while the husband was a top intelligence analyst at the State Department.Far from a senior state department analyst, Dr. Myers was a part time professor, pinch hitter, and VERY former mucky-muck in the state department. But rather tellingly in the illuminated Clinton years and remaining later unremoved, did have a rather interesting post, that of "Executive Director, Advisory Committee for the Study of Eastern, Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union" well after he and Frau Myers committed themselves personally and freely to the ideals of the communist state, at the specific expense of the United States' position.
Walter Kendall Myers, known as "Agent 202" to the Cubans, and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, "Agent 123" and "E-634," were nabbed at a Washington hotel following an undercover FBI sting.
They allegedly admitted their treachery spanned decades, U.S. officials said.
He might have been speaking from his own "anti-war" position, but he was likely also operating as somebody's anti-American flunky. After all, someone who could potentially get bagged for engading in espionage, remaining undetected for more than 20 years, would if they had any sense at all, maintian a low profile.
What should surpise no-one was their zest and zeal - for something that these two dwellers of the ritzy, yoga-distracted Cathedral neighborhood of DC where Al Gore learned to be a Tenneseean, really hoped could impoverish and be forced on the American population where they would not have to share the sameness to be forced on the unwashed masses, classes, and other compartments that the fantasy left what to lock us all into.
Gwen Myers, now 71, would sometimes pass secrets to Cuban agents - one code-named "GOD" - by exchanging shopping carts in a grocery, court papers alleged.Amusingly, their Cuban handlers used spycraft techniques dating to the 1930s. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a sentimentally ancient “number station” running for them. The Cuban “press” play the guilt angle, suggesting that since America was being defeated by Cuba, that the US Government was taking it out on poor widdle old people who through a lifetime of covering their eyes couldn't see what was rather obvious: communism's subsuming of the individual, his creativity, his beliefs into a ugly grey mold, distinct absense of intellectual or cultural diversity, the very opposite of the form the left think their own freedoms should take. But no matter: for people of this ilk, all human progress must halt for the sake of man. Even treason itself is rationalized as "patriotic."
"They weren't doing it for money - they were true believers with an affinity for Castro," the U.S. official said.
Maybe they thought it a cheap trade if you're going to get a cool name like "Agent 202".
An Open Letter to President Obama
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have livedwrites Lou Pritchett to the Apologizer-in-Chief (thanks to Penny),
and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
Mr. Brown survived a closed-door meeting on Monday with Labor Party members of Parliament, including 350 from the House of Commons. Although those attending said a handful of lawmakers had spoken harshly against the prime minister, with some demanding he resign, they described participants as applauding vigorously when Mr. Brown admitted personal but undefined "flaws" and pledged to change his governing style, in particular by listening more carefully to the demands of Labor backbenchers.To be a fly on the wall. Here you have a room full of con artists, it is their very profession, being addressed by one of their own, yet they line up like easy marks, swallow the bait and find themselves willingly conned. The mind reels at what the participants must have told themselves in order to believe what they were hearing, self-delusional beyond doubt.
How long Mr. Brown would keep his pledge to abandon the "bunker mentality" and bullying cited by many of his Labor critics seemed open to question. One of his principal cabinet allies, Ed Balls, emerged from the meeting to tell the BBC that the rebellious faction should "just shut up and get on with doing our job for the British people."
There is the old saying about fooling me once, shame on you .... fooling me twice, shame on me. Does anyone know how the saying goes at the tenth iteration of being fooled? Eleventh? Other?
The discerning visitor
Monday, June 08, 2009
Obama's stirring words to D-Day veterans ("You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the seawall") come with… (faint) apology for WWII!
Of the four speeches made at the American cemetery near Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy on June 6, 2009, the speech by Nicolas Sarkozy was by far the most moving (I do not remember hearing any French president lay out the facts of the war and of the nations involved as well as of the landings so precisely before) — I defy anybody to listen to it without tearing up. (Well, at least the first part commemorating the 1940s, which was outstanding and second to none; the second and final part, devoted to today's world, goes on to celebrate the UN, to take on this generation's greatest challenge — global warming — and to seemingly take potshots at the Bush doctrine.)
A quoi pensaient-ils ces jeunes soldats le regard fixé sur la mince bande noire de la côte qui émergeait peu à peu de la brume ?By all means, see the whole discours (at least the part directly devoted to la Seconde Guerre Mondiale).
A leur vie si courte ? Aux baisers que leurs mères déposaient tendrement sur leur front quand ils étaient enfants ? Aux larmes retenues de leurs pères quand ils étaient partis ? A celles qui les attendaient de l’autre côté de la mer ?
A quoi pensaient-ils ces jeunes soldats dont le destin avait mis entre les mains le sort de tant de peuples, sinon qu’à 20 ans il est bien tôt pour mourir ?
Leur silence était comme une prière.
The best speech was by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who switched back and forth between French to English and who seemed to be giving a reply to today's pacifists. At Juno, he said:
Never dismiss these things [freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law] as mere abstractions. They are the very foundation upon which our lives of peace and prosperity are built. They are the very lives to which all of our fellow human beings aspire. And it is only when these values are in peril, when we have to defend them, that we can truly understand their worth. As our soldiers did here on these beaches 65 years ago.The speech by Gordon Brown was also rather good (the most notable part of it being malheureusement when Omaha Beach was rechristened (03:55) Obama Beach — you can't hear it in the video (see below, at 0:20), but it was the whispers that started throughout the audience that got the British Prime Minister to realize his mistake.)
So intense was the allied cooperation that when Winston Churchill regularly asked to see strategists planning D-Day he never knew until he arrived at 10 Downing Street whether the officer would be British, Canadian, or American.The worst speech, I can confirm without undue partisanship, was by the Apologizer-in-Chief, who was flying in from Dresden (where, the Germans tell us — or, rather, where they tell themselves [as it is not something they want publicized abroad] — that Obama did not disappoint).
Echoing Dresden (very faintly), Obama did not seem to apologize for the Allies' strategy and actions in World War II in Normandy, offhand — except that: he found it necessary to mention that the "nations that joined together to defeat Hitler's Reich were not perfect" and that they "had made their share of mistakes". Obama went on to speak of "a battle of competing interests" and "a competing vision of humanity" as well as the "sheer improbability of this victory" and so on, while seemingly (haughtily?) denying anybody the right to call the conflict the "good" war. But the bottom line is that — yes — Obama did manage to apologize — however faintly — to the Germans for the actions of the WWII Allies.
Always putting himself in the middle of things, moreover, he had to mention every single family member who (somehow or other) was involved in the war: there was his "grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived on this beach" (six weeks after D-Day), there was his "great uncle" (who "was part of the first American division to reach and liberate a Nazi concentration camp"), there was his "grand-mother" (who "did her part as an inspector" in Kansas), etc…
This may not seem like a big deal, although notice that none of the other speakers spoke of the parts any of their family members played during the war. Also, if this was a one-time deal it would indeed seem harmless, but the point is that Obama always — in all of his speeches — seems to have to put himself at the center of attention.
Worse was to come: America's most outstanding orator™, the inspirer of hope© and the bringer of change©, went on to address the veterans (does the commander-in-chief have no knowledge of military affairs, of the military way of life, of honor and brotherhood?! does he have no empathy with military men, retired or otherwise?!) saying that — wouldn't you know it? — they could have behaved dishonorably (although that is probably not a word someone like Barack "It's always been up to us" Obama would use…)
You could have done what Hitler believed you would do when you arrived here. In the face of a merciless assault from these cliffs, you could have idled the boats offshore. Amid a barrage of tracer bullets that lit the night sky, you could have stayed in those planes. You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the seawall. You could have done only what was necessary to ensure your own survival. But that's not what you did. That's not the story you told on D-Day.So, as we see — of course — the orator extraordinaire goes on to conclude (08:45) that — of course — the "veterans of the landing" did not behave dishonorably. Au contraire. But still — even if you don't take offense over language used like this at a ceremony for the dead at a military cemetery and even if you don't find fault with oratory that is less than compelling — you should take notice that the (surprizing?) fact that the troops did not behave dishonorably somehow, seems, for this child of the pacifist 1960s, to be the main reason "why we still remember what happened on D-Day."
Compare Obama's talk with Stephen Harper's (previous) speech, in which the Canadian PM not only spoke of the "iron will of those troops, the careful planning of their commanders, and the unwavering support of their fellow citizens back home" (as well as Europe's other dicatorship, "the tyranny of communism"), but also (nudge, nudge) of the "triumph of good over evil":
The Allied troops from our four great nations who crossed the Channel to launch the liberation of Europe and rescue civilization from the darkness of fascism had no uncertainty about their purpose or duty. In the words of Captain Jack Fawcett of the First Canadian Scottish battalion, Scottish regiment, “We were so intent of getting to the beach that even if the engines had stopped or broken down, sheer willpower would have driven the craft ashore.”Eschewing references to global warming (as he passed to the present day), Stephen Harper went on to remind us to
think of the courageous men and women of our enduring alliance who serve shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan to bring light and hope to a people who have long known only darkness and despair. And we remember that our peace and prosperity have come not only with a price but also with an obligation to do what we can to share our good fortune with others, including those elsewhere who to this day endure violence, oppression and privation.Compare Obama's talk also with Ronald Reagan's 1984 oration at the Pointe du Hoc (starting at 05:05, merci à Stu):
So let us resolve today, on behalf of our honoured veterans, on behalf of those young people so full of hope for a safer, better world, on behalf of the heroic souls who came to liberate these shores to never forget, to never surrender, to never waver in our determination to defend freedom, to advance democracy, and to seek justice for all people.
You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love.But the bottom line, of course, is that — beyond the fact that their orations were more stirring than the One's — neither Harper nor (25 years earlier) Reagan (nor Brown nor Sarkozy) managed to apologize (however faintly) for the actions of those who, during World War II, fought against the Nazi juggernaut.
The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
…Something else helped the men of D-day; their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer, he told them: "Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do."
…Today, as forty years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose: to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.
And what does it tell us about the man — the American leader and the world leader — that he felt it necessary to apologize during a military ceremony?
You cannot see (or feel) it, but the entire ground shook every time a cannon fired one of its salvos in the 21-gun salute… And then there was the flyover…
On the way back to Caen in a convoy of special buses, incidentally, I sat next to two Frenchmen discussing the event, the younger one of them (who looked like a very self-confident graduate of les grandes écoles) saying with a wry smile that France has been trying to take the D-Day commemorations down a notch or two for the past few years, notably this year, and that one (main) reason (if not the main reason) for the entire exercise — you would expect it to be a secondary reason, non? — is to keep America well-anchored as a friend…
It ain't a joke — unfortunately…
Update: WWII hero and D-Day survivor Arthur Seltzer relives his harrowing experience on that tragic day (merci à Arnaud)
Update 2: Smitty says he gets the impression that
Obama didn't really care about D-Day, what it means or what was accomplished. Like it's so boring, it was sixty-five years ago, with all these tottering old white guys in their VFW hats and the whole thing is so European.Update 3: A reader of NP writes that he was watching a bit of the ceremony on television and has to
admit that I couldn’t make it to the end of Obama’s speech. It was glaringly obvious that he didn’t really have anything to say on the occasion and what he did have to say, as you point out, was all faintly apologetic. I thought it was also bizarre how he spoke of the “sheer improbability” of the victory of the Allies. By June 1944, the victory of the Allies was totally probable and the Normandy invasion made it virtually certain. The guy just knows nothing. Every word that comes out of his mouth falsifies history, even inadvertently.
And Just How Many WAS it That it Took to Pull off a Beer-Hall Putsch? Hm?
1.3% of the general population in France supporting an Anti “Zionist” list is still rather sick. That means that 1 in 76 adults is looking for vengeance against a class of people to salve their empty little lives. In Europe, what that has always meant traditionally, is that you are the “political type”.
Still Healing their Inner Pétain
Al Jazeera sur Seine runs the story of an unemployed man who’s arrested for driving without a license in a distant suburb of Ba-reez, mostly because he’s so afraid of his neighbors that he doesn’t want to walk the streets.
They filed it under “Africa”.
Oddly enough, even though the man was not in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, they also deigned to call what the man went through as torture.
However the Socialists expressed deep disappointment. Martin Schulz, head of the socialist group, said it was a "very bitter evening" for the party and that they "had hoped for a better result."It seems as though only yesterday the pan-left's hopes and dreams where that of anger and outrage to be directed at financial bosses with attendant benefits to be harvested by evermore clamoring from the electorate for a hyper-increased role for government:
Ahead of the vote, the Socialists had been trying to position the centre-right as possessing a failed ideology that led to the economic crisis. They had been hoping for around 200 seats.
Police are preparing for a "summer of rage" as victims of the economic downturn take to the streets to demonstrate against financial institutions, the Guardian has learned.As predicted on these pages, right idea - wrong target:
If the reporting is correct the police may be right in theory but wrong in practice. The riots/demonstrations to-date in Europe have been directed at government and the governmental failure to properly address the economic situation. If/when the "summer of rage" pops off it will be directed at government and the collective failure of leadership across the board.Exhibit A.
Update: Looks like early views from the left should leave the more rational and logical among us with even more satisfaction, they just do not get it. The fears listed in this post are the end result of governmental policies and actions. The left has a true and chronic problem which goes to the core of their faith, the claim that more governmentalism will cure (insert topic here). Voters see through this ruse and know it for the sham it is. An acknowledgement by the left that more government is not the answer is simply heresy amongst the faithful. Again, good news for the rational and logical among us.
Time to gin up the "quick wins" and "good news stories"
The White House says America's employment picture is worse than the Obama administration had anticipated just a few months ago. The somber admission follows the latest jobless report showing the highest unemployment rate the United States has seen in more than 25 years.These are the very same now proclaiming rosy economic corners being turned in late 2009, early 2010? Being set to control inflation in short order should it debut? Sure...
And to Think the EU Believes Itself a Wellspring of Humanism
Remember Mister Wong is your servant! And since many of the French imagine that all Asians admire their culture, it really isn’t culturally condescending in the least... After all, look at all those tourists!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Those EP Elections
Words to be on the look-out for
Strange things happen when individual citizens are actually given a say in the process via the ballot.
Caring and Cuddly and all that
Government: not “clever enough” to run your own life
A mother is taking her fight to the European Court of Human Rights after she was forbidden from seeing her three-year-old daughter because she is not “clever enough” to look after her.
The woman, who for legal reasons can be identified only by her first name, Rachel, has been told by a family court that her daughter will be placed with adoptive parents within the next three months, and she will then be barred from further contact.
The adoption is going ahead despite the declaration by a psychiatrist that Rachel, 24, has no learning difficulties and “good literacy and numeracy and [that] her general intellectual abilities appear to be within the normal range”.
Her daughter, K, was born prematurely and officials felt Rachel lacked the intelligence to cope with her complex medical needs Baby K was released from hospital into care and is currently with a foster family. Her health has now improved to the point where she needs little or no day-to-day medical care.