Saturday, April 03, 2010

The American Expatriate Who Said That the Only Thing That Helped Concentration Camp Inmates Survive During World War II Was "Hope"

Once a month or so, a group of expatriate Americans meet in one of Paris's Irish pubs (along with a smaller number of French and other-foreign friends) to discuss American politics, policies, and the events of the day. I'm often the only conservative present (or one of the few conservatives present) at "Political Pub" as most of them seem to be leftists or, at least, Democrats. During one of those meetings — in which the discussion led to war and to Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, and in which we were repeatedly told (certainly, I should say, I was repeatedly told) that the people present do not agree with war and that they are not in favor of military involvement — one young girl eventually got up and, for some reason, spoke of Adolf Hitler's concentration camps during World War II. She said that the only thing that those poor souls had going for them, the only thing that helped them survive, was "hope".

That's when I intervened. Hope did not help a single inmate survive. Whether the inmates were optimistic, they were murdered by Nazi butchers. Whether they were in a state of despair, they were murdered by Nazi butchers. Whatever they felt, however they felt, they were murdered by Nazi butchers. And the rare men and women and children who survived did so not because of hope (or because of despair), but in spite of hope (and in spite of despair).

No. The only thing that helped the inmates survive — or the main thing that helped the inmates survive, at any rate — was (well-armed) members of the United States armed forces (along with their British allies) killing Germans, as many as possible, as they headed East to defeat and destroy the Nazi régime.

La Grenouille qui Veut Etre Plus Forte que L'Elephant

We’ve touched on this idea of European talking heads “crowding out” to the point of absurdity any international confab. Never mind that they try to create and host as many of these moronic distractions as possible, or that they are a fantasy of a world long gone, where a head of state can merely accept the terms of any such event and force them on his population.

We’ve pointed out here on several occasions that there is also a desire to have it both ways. Sometimes they’re 27 members + the EP + the EC + OECD + whatever, and yet they want to be a singular, benevolent, apparently legitimate, über-power that the world bows to for simply appearing involved in so many worldy-world things, and you know, being European and saying what nice things the plebes should get for free from someone. Else.

You know it’s bad, when a European actually notices it too.

PASCAL Lamy, the formidable Frenchman who runs the World Trade Organisation, has a cunning plan to make Europeans less annoying as they crowd around the table at global gatherings like the G20. If they cannot agree to speak with one voice (by allowing a single envoy to represent the European Union), what if they agreed to speak with one mouth? If half a dozen European leaders will insist on turning up to the G20, could they divvy up the agenda ahead of time, and agree that one leader would speak (and only one) on each topic in the name of the EU?

It is a neat suggestion. Would it help?

When the G20 next meets, Europe will be represented by the national leaders of France, Germany, Britain and Italy (who are full members), plus Spain (which is an invited special guest), plus representatives of the union. The Dutch, who managed to sneak into the first G20 leaders' summits in Washington and London as Spanish-style guests, seem to have been axed from the list this time.
The thing worth noting here is that the writer doesn’t note that Pascal Lamy speaking on belaf of the WTO is doing a nice job of coaching the same folks he’s meant to adjudicate.

Realistically speaking, it isn’t a mob, or a “team” or anything of the sort. For the most part, if policy were a young, tender, innocent hope for the future, walking its’ way home, the combined effort of the Europeans to raise their profile, would be a gang raping her.
The new President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has convinced EU colleagues that he must attend meetings of the G20 to represent the union's 27 national leaders, in addition to José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission (who is to represent the EU in areas where the commission's centralised bureaucracy has the lead, such as trade policy). In a nod to the rest of the world's impatience with the number of Europeans in the G20, the two presidents have agreed to share a sherpa, and to sit behind a single name-plate at the table. I don't think there are plans for anyone to sit on laps.
The problem is that what they bring is either pointless, or an internal matter and squabbling which due to the existence of borders within borders, is magically revived as an international matter, probably because there are still a few people out there who think the word “international” still sounds important.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Invisible Hand Giving European Collectivist Types the Finger

In a bid to avert default on its sovereign debt, the Greek government is to sell off portions of its islands to Turkey
You’ll recall that just a week ago, the German suggestion that the Greek government sell off a few islands it owns was met with suggestions that it’s inhumane and racist, and was made worse by the unfounded image western Europeans hold of Greek corruption, sloppiness, and what Germans used to call uncontrollable Schlamperei.
Minister of Finance Giorgos Papakonstantinou claimed “accounting errors” before making the surprise offer, estimated in the region of €40 billion for 49% ownership of the Dodecanese islands of Patmos and Agathonissi, close to the Turkish coast.

The Frenchman in a Suit Who Inquired of a War Supporter If He Could Ask Him a Question

I was present at the speech David E. Sanger gave at the Paris launch of the French translation of his book, L'Héritage (The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power).

During question-and-answer time, I made some comment to the Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times concerning Iraq and the fact that of the myriad reports and articles in Western newspapers and on Western TV shows throughout the years regarding the allegedly "unnecessary" and "disastrous" Iraq war, it was odd that so few seem to have been written by… Iraqis themselves. After the presentation was over, some young Frenchman (of Middle Eastern origins?) in a very well-tailored suit came up to me and said, "Can I ask you a question?" Mais oui. "Do you really believe that not a single Iraqi has died during the Iraqi war?!" At that, he let out a peal of high-pitched mocking laughter (I am tempted to think Brüno), his eyes wide open and staring into mine.

How to answer this? I decided to join in his laughter. "The way you described that was very funny." It indeed sounded ridiculous. "The only problem is, I wasn't the one who said that — or anything like it. You are…" This got him riled, and he started berating me about all the things about the Iraq war that I supposedly unaware of…

Everyday Meetings with Common Europeans

Notes taken from everyday life in France and "old" Europe

Thursday, April 01, 2010

You know the type

Why does it always seem to be our compassionate, all-inclusive, all-caring, all-knowing statist friends who display the latent streak of violence:

Just imagine the hand-wringing, indignation and concern if the shoe was on the other foot.

Also Known As…

Among other things, the Xaybe'h de Camara cantina
near Mexico's Chichen Itza offers fried fish…

This is also known as position 35-C
in the latest edition of the Kama Sutra…

Still Damp and Moist

Hermann’s Observer notes a high pressure front.

Elsewehere: Europeans loved for who they really are. What the hell – the old ways always worked for them.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Once More, with Feeling

Finally, we have an explanation to those strange syphilitic beings roaming the great Godhead’s chosen continent. And it the fault of those dastardly Americans!

Case have increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular.
It probably has more to do with the unenthusiastic shiftless festered mess that has come to represent British womanhood at this point, and the number of them that out of pure boredom, would screw anything that’s tied down.

Meta-capitalists are natural allies of the communists … What we have is a gigantic symbiosis of all globalist and statist forces around the world

As always, Olavo de Carvalho has the inside dirt on the state of communism in Latin America — and on the entire planet…
Communist and pro-communist parties rule about a dozen Latin American countries today. This fact, by itself, is enough to prove that the “end of communism,” proclaimed by the Right soon after the fall of the Soviet Union, is a myth. World communism was never only an appendix of the USSR. It actually created the USSR, not the other way around. It existed a century before the Russian Revolution and continued to exist after the nominal extinction of Soviet power.

What made the resurgence of communism easier — not only in Latin America, but around the world — was the cowardly timidity of Western right-wingers who, instead of taking the opportunity of the fall of the USSR to punish the communists for their crimes, chose instead a policy of “extending them a hand,” as if asking for their pardon for having defeated them, and offering them all sorts of aid, enabling them to reappear with a new or attenuated identity, even protecting them from being called “communists” (the fashionable euphemism is now “populism”).

I believe that this absurd surrender of the winners was also stimulated by powerful globalist circles, whose interest in establishing worldwide bureaucratic controls converges with the objectives of the communists. The number of billionaire companies which came to openly contribute to leftist parties is enormous. I call “meta-capitalists” the individuals and groups which grew so wealthy with the market economy that they can’t stand anymore being at the mercy of the free market and seek, instead, to control everything, supporting bureaucracy instead of capitalism. Meta-capitalists are natural allies of the communists. … What we have is a gigantic symbiosis of all globalist and statist forces around the world.
To the New American's question, What role have Hugo Chavez and Venezuelan Petrodollars played in this resurgence? Is the Cuban government an important player? Olavo de Carvalho answers:
Hugo Chavez is only a scarecrow that the Latin American Left waves before the world to distract the attention away from the São Paulo Forum, which is the true strategic command of the Latin American revolution. Cuba and Venezuela are important as shelters for terrorists and drug traffickers. In Venezuela and other Spanish-speaking countries ruled by the São Paulo Forum, there is strong and organized opposition, while in Brazil all that is left is the Left itself, which controls the scene absolutely.

[Indeed,] however unbelievable it may seem, there is a strong and organized resistance against the rise of neo-communism in Venezuela. Colombia, likewise, is a remarkable center of resistance. On the other hand, nowhere else has the Right been so utterly destroyed as it has been in Brazil, which is, for this very reason, the headquarters of Latin American revolution. … In this sense, American political analysts are always getting it all backwards: They are alarmed at Venezuela and do not understand that the headquarters of the revolution is in Brazil.
And what does Olavo de Carvalho think of los Estados Unidos — where he currently lives?
In 2005, as I was getting tired of receiving weekly death threats from leftist maniacs, I found it was a good idea to accept a job as a Washington foreign correspondent that was offered to me by a traditional Brazilian business newspaper, the Diário do Comércio (“Business Daily”), and here I am living in Virginia with my family. I love to be here, because Americans, though already infected by the neo-communist virus, are not yet so stupid as Brazilians have become.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The French Decision to Step Back From the Carbon Tax, Says Rocard, Will One Day Be Seen as a Crime Against Humanity

Al Gore Redux: Although the relinquishment of France's carbon tax law is approved by a majority of Frenchmen (69%), Michel Rocard says that the government's decision to step back from the bill and wait instead for a EU-wide carbon tax law is criminal, suggesting that one day it will even be seen as a crime against humanity.

Meanwhile, Le Monde's readers are outraged that state governments in the U.S. are demanding that their respective schools teach a more differentiated view of global warming climate change, the French reporter and readers alike likening it to creationism and to believing the Earth is flat.

Privacy, Violated

Last month’s dancing bear routine of false indignation over the US government tracking financial transaction has yielded fairly efficiently to numb silence over the EU spying on people in precisely the same way.

The European Commission is to begin talks with member states on the Europe-wide monitoring of financial transactions by suspected terrorists.

Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, announced yesterday (24 March) that the scheme would be modelled on the Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP) operated by the United States. “We would like to set up our own TFTP,” she said.
Now, it seems that looking at others’ data is oh-tay, except without these louts howling and baying about rights being shredded, etcetera, etcetera...

Reding said that she would also seek to negotiate a framework agreement with the US that would set standards for all transatlantic agreements involving data sharing.

A new agreement on Swift is necessary after the European Parliament, using new powers under the Lisbon treaty, rejected an interim agreement with the US in February.
After all, just a few weeks ago, the issue was all about as pedestrian as being about personal attention seeking behavior, if anything.
MEPs have been basking in the warm glow of global political attention over the EU-US arrangements on sharing bank transfer data. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek on Friday (5 February) to enlist his support for a temporary data-sharing deal.

William Kennard, the new US ambassador to the EU, was lobbying so assiduously in the corridors of Parliament that Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal group, quipped that Kennard was “working harder than an MEP”. German centre-right MEP Manfred Weber, who is the European People Party's co-ordinator on SWIFT, also seemed to have doubts about the diligence of his colleagues
If anything says “too late, no deal” to data sharing with the EU from now on, it’s motives like those ones we see having been touted over the use of SWIFT data.

If they want to play that game with the lives of their citizens, then to hell with them. They simply can’t be trusted.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Behind the Green Door

While our statist friends prattle on and on and on and on about green new deal this, green jobs that, sustainability sustainability sustainability, it looks as though our Bosch brothers and sisters are indeed doing what they do best, putting it all into practice:

Dresden has long been known as centre for quality handicrafts, but an erotic shop is taking a new twist on the tradition by offering dildos formed from local Elbe River sandstone.
Not to be confused with those Saxons plying their own splinter-free version of green new jobs:

According to news agency DDP, Elmar Thüry and family started making the dildos in 2006. They' dubbed their woody sex toys "The country pleasure maker" and a "natural alternative to synthetic dildos."

When his wife, Maria, expressed misgivings about the business, Thüry says he told her what he tells all his customers - that spruce wood doesn't splinter and has a special resonance.

"Guitars and violins aren't made of spruce wood for nothing," he told DDP.

His wife satisfied, Thüry set about carving out his business, naming the company, "Waldmichlsholdi," which is a play on words on a popular German folk song. All five family members, aged 18 to 46, have a hand in producing the products.
Somehow we think our prodnose statist friends don't exactly have this pleasure-driven version of au naturale as the preferred version of au naturale.

However, that most holy of grails does play a part in our story. Our statist friends get what they crave most*, VAT is included in all purchases made (at least on the wood).

*outside of repeated attempts at forcing freakish controls upon the individual.

Sarkozy-Obama: The Subjects of Discord

Les Dossiers Qui Fâchent: An article in Le Monde concerning Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the United States presents the objects of discord between the French president and Barack Obama: foreign policy (Afghanistan, Middle East, Iran…), EADS, finance regulation, global warming issues after Copenhagen…

For the Murder of Six Babies, One of the Worst Infanticide Cases in History, 2.5 Years per Victim in Jail

For killing her babies — six of them over as many years — in one of the worst infanticide cases in history, Céline Lesage was sentenced not to death, not to life in prison, but to 15 years in jail (2 1/2 per baby) — apparently because by the time she gets out, she will no longer be able to have children and there will be no more "reason" for the serial killer to remain behind bars…
"Elle pense que la justice a été correctement appliquée", dit son avocate.

Idealizing “a Virtuous and Equal Poverty for All”

Dr. Sanity nails it:

Indeed. As I have noted time and again, the left with their regressive agenda are in complete denial about the sinister motives that drive their so-called "compassion" for others. Progressivism is just another strategy to obtain power over the lives of others. Getting this kind of power over others--and at the same time reinforcing your own grandiosity and sense of superiority!-- is far more important than trying to convince others of your position.

But its all part of the ideologically enhanced sense of moral and intellectual superiority that drives all these progressive, neo-Marxist fascists.

If you listen to these fiscal histrionics, who believe that wealth and progress are magically created out of their wishes and whims, you begin to get an idea of the kind of utopia they actually envision--that is, if they were rational enough to actually take their cognitively dissonant ideas to a logical endpoint.

For example, spend enough time around these latter-day Marxists (whose political ideas invariably lead to untold poverty and human misery), and you could easily begin to think that human beings are entirely spiritual beings, existing in a golden glow of non-material nothingness. You would think that people are not composed of matter and have substance in a 3-dimensional, material world. Or, you could cue the Madonna music and believe exactly the opposite: that we are living in a material world, and that human beings are nothing more than physical, material creatures. And, of course the Obama Administration is going to rescue us from ourselves and make it so that we don't have all that money to spend on such useless "things". He says that he's only going to "soak the rich", but as the WSJ noted, there's only one teensy little problem:

Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 --paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.
What is becoming obvious of the actions considered most important by the Obama Administration are:
The de facto nationalization of the Heath system
Financial regulation that will remander of autonomy of individual wealth and savings
Carbon regulation, providing effective control over the energy sector.
The three of which represent roughly half of the United States GNP. In the guise of trying to remake the crony-capitalism that the European “Social Democracies” are trying desperately to shed, he is creating the tools by which a bad actor can create a command economy. Don’t forget, it only took a decade of incrementalism for the eastern states of Germany to become the Marxist-Leninist DDR.
Let's stop and think about the Marxist modus operandi for a moment. If you take the anti-materialistic and anti-capitalist, "redistribute the wealth" message to its logical extreme, you must inexorably reach the conclusion that the highest values of society should be to encourage a virtuous--and equal--poverty for all; while homelessness and hunger would be proof that an individual has attained the highest moral plane. From the perspective of the "anti-materialists", malnourished children in societies of mud huts wearing rags and owning nothing- would be the epitome of human existence; since the possession of material wealth only condemns us to meaningless and empty lives given over in pursuit of meaningless and empty things. Clearly the poor have managed to eke out a life of powerful meaning and spiritual worth.

Only one problem with all this Marxist and neo-Marxst BS: human beings are not either spiritual or material. They are both at the same time. And, even more important for this discussion, there is a direct link between human freedom and those material goods the left incessantly tells us we should shun. Consider: all the marvelous goods and services that our incredible capitalistic society makes possible would not exist unless there were thinking, rational MINDS creating them.
Everything had to be done as it was, of course “for the workers”, and “the good of man”. This is the same rotten tree that the “progressives” who detest human progress hide behind as well.

As we have seen with the absurd demonization of the Insurance companies, those people who actually suppress the cost of procedures, and are little more than middle-men, the methodology of constructing a puppet show of inverse good-guys and bad-guys is alive and well in the present age. All it could leave us with is the culture of a Nomenclatura, where the government controls so many of life’s basic functions, and does it so badly, that getting ANYTHING done will require the petty criminality of “needing to know somebody”. Like the political penetration the left has made of educati0on and social services, I think you know what new “power class” will benefit from that.

As faith was an enemy of the fascists by virtue of its’ ability to give people a means of honest reflection independent of the vilest nationalists, so it goes today: which is why so many on the left, in the course of constructing an authoritarian framework over the little things in life, attempt to make an straw man of independent entities functioning freely in society, and are bound up with the notion of individual freedoms and autonomy, as “authorities” to be defeated. Mad as it sounds, 1918, 1933, and 2010 have more in common that anyone cares to think.

After all, we already have a minority of young willing “street fighters” treating a leader as though he is infallible, and press hacks willingly and unsceptically taking his every effort with unquestioning fealty – making a halo for him with every thoughtless repetition of his every breath being “historic”. Sure is. They just don’t know what history he’s reflecting back to.

Lincoln Graphic Biopic Preview: Honest Abe's Cooper Union Speech Described the Way Members of the Republican Party Were Demonized

Present at the Cooper Union's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's February 1860 visit to New York City and of his speech in the Peter Cooper-founded venue — widely credited with being crucial to handing Honest Abe the Republican Party's nomination for presidential candidate three months later — Erik Svane and Dan Greenberg (authors of the upcoming graphic novel, The Life & Times of Abraham Lincoln — which is, really, more of a graphic "biopic") decided that their readers might want them to share a preview of the book's Cooper Union sequence…

Included in the Cooper Union sequence from Svane and Greenberg's graphic biopic are the remarks that Lincoln addresses to the Republican Party's adversaries; read them below or on the first and second pages above and… ask yourself how much things have really changed in a century and a half…
…when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to [Republicans]. In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism] as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

Crisis of faith in Germany

Astute readers of NP are no doubt aware of the myriad of problems which have been rocking the Church, especially in Germany. Years of scandal, cover-up and deception appear to be driving the flock away in droves from the faith:

Germans are losing their fear of climate change, according to a survey, with just 42 percent worried about global warming.

It seems the long and chilly winter has taken its toll on climate change sensibilities despite the fact that weather has nothing to do with climate.

The latest figure is a clear drop from the 62 percent of Germans who said they were scared of such changes just last autumn.
To add insult to injury, our German brothers and sisters firmly show their new-found heretical beliefs know no bounds:

The new survey, carried out by polling company Infratest for Der Spiegel magazine, showed a quarter of those questioned thought Germany would profit from climate change rather than be badly affected by it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis (thanks to Mark).
A flood of apocalyptic legislation: The real goal of "health care" legislation, the real foal of "cap-and-trade", and the real goal of the "stimulus" is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control.

Pravda Tells the Truth About the State of the Free Market in America

It already made a splash when it came out several months ago, but Pravda's Stanislav Mishin article is as pertinent today, if not more so, as when it first came out.
…the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives.

…The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past … months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
The good news is that the part about "the American public [taking] this with barely a whimper" has been proven false. As has the final paragraph, including the sentence, "The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is."