Saturday, May 01, 2010

May 1 Is Victims of Communism Day

Today is Victims of Communism Day (Spasiba to Tovarich Reynolds), what until now has been A Dishonorable Holiday

The coastal frothers denouncing Arizona as the Third Reich seem entirely relaxed about the ludicrous sight of camp storm troopers in Quincy, Illinois

As Mark Steyn writes, the Canada citizen has his papers on him
— and not just because I'm in Arizona. I'm an immigrant, and it is a condition of my admission to this great land that I carry documentary proof of my residency status with me at all times and be prepared to produce it to law enforcement officials, whether on a business trip to Tucson or taking a 20-minute stroll in the woods back at my pad in New Hampshire.

Who would impose such an outrageous Nazi fascist discriminatory law?

Er, well, that would be Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But don't let the fine print of the New Deal prevent you from going into full-scale meltdown.

…All [San Francisco City Hall's] official visits to Arizona have been canceled indefinitely. You couldn't get sanctions like these imposed at the U.N. Security Council, but then, unlike Arizona, Iran is not a universally reviled pariah.

…Yet the coastal frothers denouncing Arizona as the Third Reich or, at best, apartheid South Africa, seem entirely relaxed about the ludicrous and embarrassing sight [in Quincy, Illinois,] of peaceful protesters being menaced by camp storm troopers from either a dinner-theater space opera or uniforms night at Mr. Newsom's re-election campaign.
Kevin Greene emails Instapundit:
Can you imagine the howls this would have generated from the left had George W. Bush ever called out the SWAT team on a bunch of blue-haired retirees? But then again, George W. Bush would never have attempted this. Because George W. Bush has never been afraid of the American people.

Stop me if you have heard this one before

Some people think that a perfect political movement would consist of:

a) Nationalism
b) Socialism
c) A dash of environmental fetishism

I swear this has been tried before, but I just can't put my finger on it.

You can Tell that he’s Into it

Mobs demanding something for nothing. Adulating in your class misery. You know they love it. Some should probably be thankful for Spain’s downgraded credit rating, because it gives a whole swath of people sharing a political philosophy a reason to keep living – to complain about your misery that they caused with their budgetary demands, and “real, living Socialism”.

What people do in the privacy of their
bedrooms is none of our business

Friday, April 30, 2010

Louts Ahoy!

Our European Betters, what with their usual fine comportment and dignity... they have so much to teach us.

Ukrainian nationalists are extremely unhappy over what they see as increased Russian influence since the election of Viktor Yanukovych. They showed their displeasure today by engaging in a chaotic "debate" -- using smoke bombs and eggs -- in Ukraine's parliament over Russia's lease of a Black Sea naval base being extended until 2042.
That is, after a few years of their “wonder years” come with adult supervision.

Ah, the Mosh Pit of wise deliberation and debate, are nearly rising to the level of the level of parliamentary democracy, with its healing powers of conflict resolution, as one might find in Taiwan.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ensemble Tout est Possible

I will miss the part where the hereditary political aristocracy was butting heads with greenies, though.

It So Happens That Every Illegal Alien in America Already Does Have Papers

Everybody has the right to papers!
thundered one outraged Democrat among legions, as they castigate Arizona's (supposedly) undemocratic law demanding that illegal aliens show documentation. (Except of course, one is tempted to ask what the big deal is when, if liberals had their way, nobody actually would need papers anywhere when they show up to cast a vote in an election…)

Well, it so happens that every illegal alien in the United States is documented; every illegal alien in the United States does have papers.

Mexican papers.

(Well, sometimes, they have Honduran papers, or Guatemalan papers, or Belizean papers, or Filipino papers, or some other papers, but let's keep using Mexico as an illustrative example…)

If a foreigner, say an American, were to head to Mexico, for however short (a vacation) or however long a period (to work there) — and whether he entered the country legally or not (!) — he still, guess what, has papers. He has his American papers! Offhand, he has his driver's license, various IDs, and/or his passport…

True, a number of the Mexican and Central American illegals, many of them paupers, may not physically have papers in their pockets to produce, as is the case with many of their respective countrymen, but still, offhand, the "undocumented" immigrants retain as many (or as few) papers, and rights, as any other citizen of their own country before they emigrated, legally or otherwise.

Everybody has the right to papers, but everybody does not have the right to American papers!

What is there to be outraged about here? The equivalent is true for Americans, and for other Westerners — for instance the Yanqui Gringo mentioned above, who does not have the right (or an automatic right) to Mexican papers. Just as I, a foreigner living in Paris, do not have right — certainly, not an automatic right — to French papers and do not have the right to vote in French elections (it is not a right I would want — no offense intended — and I would never castigate the French for failing to give it to me or to any other foreigner)…

If I had the time, we could enter a discussion regarding the difference between natural rights (which every individual on Earth has) and civic rights (or citizen rights, which depend on the country you are — legally — living in, whatever part of the globe that country is located in), but I don't, so I will just suggest you read the books of Harry Jaffa

To return to Mexico, nothing in Mexican law presupposes that our American expatriate be given, say, a job (or that he have the freedom to choose any job he wants) in Mexico or that, say, he vote in Mexican elections. Indeed, reports on Mexico's own problem with illegal aliens (Central Americans that cross over that nation's Southern border) point out to quite a few problems in that country (the one allegedly martyred by white American racists), far worse than anything in the United States, with Amnesty International calling "the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis".

Indeed, as JammieWearingFool puts it (gracias por el Professor Reynolds),
No wonder they're all moving to the Nazi-like, fascistic, police-state of Arizona.
Now, if any Mexicans, say the citizens of the estado de Chihuahua, want American papers, there is a simple solution: I suggest that they ask that the state be annexed by the United States. (Don't be so quick to issue a snort. I'm sure quite a few Mexicans would be more than willing to see that happen…)

Update: Referring to el Presidente de México, Rich Galen points out the double standards:
Felipe Calderón is whining about the way we are treating immigrants in the U.S. because they may be asked to produce documents proving they are here legally, while immigrants in his very own country are being kidnapped, robbed, raped, and murdered by the tens of thousands.
Update: Don Miguel adds as follows:
How about this: my father was born and grew up in Mexico. About 10 to 15 years ago Mexico passed a law allowing children of expatriates born in other countries to apply for citizenship. I was interested in this because it would then allow me to buy beachfront property in Mexico (foreigners cannot directly buy property within a few km of the beach or border legally). So I went to the closest consulate with my father's birth certificate and they told me basically to get lost since my father was considered by them to be a "gringo." Regardless of what the law said I wasn’t the “right” type of person for them. So even though I technically met the requirements of the law, there’s no way they would process my application.
That comment leads Pat Patterson to write:
I had heard some stories like the one Don Miguel related and to be honest thought they were either old wive's tales or simple misunderstandings.

Until one of my neighbors thought it would be a good idea for his children to have dual citizenship but was turned away at the consulate in Santa Ana for 'technical reasons' even though he had only recently become an American citizen. His delay oddly enough was because he had been an officer in the Mexican Air Force and the investigation took longer because the Mexican government wouldn't release his service record for years. It seems that the rule of thumb is that college educated American citizens of Mexican origin will either not be approved or delayed while working class Americans of Mexican origin will be approved asap.
Update: Mark Steyn:
…the coastal frothers denouncing Arizona as the Third Reich or, at best, apartheid South Africa, seem entirely relaxed about the ludicrous and embarrassing sight [in Quincy, Illinois,] of peaceful protesters being menaced by camp storm troopers from either a dinner-theater space opera or uniforms night at Mr. Newsom's re-election campaign.
Update: Ann Coulter:
The New York Times' Linda Greenhouse recently compared the Arizona law to Hitler's policies toward the Jews. You remember how Jews were constantly sneaking across the border into Nazi Germany?

The Pot-Banging Idiots are in Charge

Greece will never pay Germany back
Beware the rage of the Grecian street.

IFO’s Hand-Werner Sinn has warned, quite simply, that Greece is a bum. Any investor thinking of lending them a pfennig should be warned. The same is true for governments, and anyone buying the bonds of those governments that lend to them will see the rates creep up.

All fine and dandy, if you don’t think that they’ll default, but this is bad news for the taxpayers in those countries which will see the repayment cost on bond obligations rise.
The warning came as a new poll showed nearly two-thirds of Germans were opposed to helping Greece, with a majority believing that membership of the EU brought more disadvantages than advantages.

Asked on MDR radio if Berlin would ever get its money back, Sinn, who heads the Ifo institute and is one of the top economic advisers to the government, said: "To tell you the truth, no."

Greece "will not be in a position to carry out the necessary budgetary rigour" and will eventually have "to ask for Germany to waive the debt," he said.

He warned that bailing out Greece could set a precedent for other euro area countries labouring under high debt and public deficits.
Of course the feelies have to ring in as well, despite the fact that markets need to be left to establish the real, repayable, and durable value of what those loans will cost. German commentators, investors, and government are being accused to making things worse for Greece by merely thinking about what they are being asked to get into. How dare they consider the consequences to themselves.
The Greeks are mainly responsible for their current predicament. But the German government has made the country's situation worse with its lectures and reluctance to provide assistance. Chancellor Angela Merkel is mainly to blame for the fact that German taxpayers now have to suffer.
How? By her reluctance to lend an alcoholic the money to buy another bottle of Thunderbird only to have that vagrant smelling vaguely of urine show up again? It’s stupider than feeding squirrels.

Have no doubt about it, many in Europe will continue to carry on as though they’re Bolivian peasants “seeking justice” (and other people’s resources for free). Further, reason for the silence of the other EUvian über-champion economies (i.e. France, the UK, the Scandinavians, etal,) is rather obvious:
"It would be understandable if the Italians or the Spanish put pressure on us to pay up now because it is an important precedent for them," said Sinn.
Perhaps Berlin should bite this bullet, and leave the “national NINJA loans” of the likes of Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland to the EU member states that are helping to be generous with German citizens’ resources now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Agog, with Hands on Hips Akimbo

I silently hum “Don’t cry for me Argentina” when I hear this stuff:

BRUSSELS — European Union officials Wednesday were unable to mask their frustration with the downgrade of Greek debt by Standard & Poor’s to junk status.
“Who is Standard & Poor’s by the way?” asked Amadeu Altafaj
Oh piffle! Aren’t they something like People Magazine or something?

I mean, who’s this Amadeu Altafaj, anyway?
the spokesman for Olli Rehn, the E.U. monetary affairs commissioner, as he took the podium at a regular midday news briefing at the European Commission.
I guess they don’t teach that “you should actually know the subject” stuff at spokesman school. It gets better though, because it seems what they really want is that agencies DON’T rate anything in Europe, so as to put a Bund/Greek size yield gap between what their paper is really worth, versus what they wish it was worth.
Chantal Hughes, the spokeswoman for Michel Barnier, the E.U. commissioner for the internal market, then delivered a thinly veiled warning to agencies like Standard & Poor’s at the same news conference.

“We would expect that when credit rating agencies assess the Greek risk, they take due account of the fundamentals of the Greek economy and the support package prepared by the E.C.B., I.M.F. and Commission,” Ms. Hughes said. “And we of course expect that credit rating agencies, like other financial players, and in particular during this difficult and sensitive period, act in a responsible and rigorous way.”
I think they’re likely pricing in the Greek government’s ability and willingness to actually pay out on those maturities, actually, regardless of how much they can borrow from anyone else.
The E.U. passed new regulations for credit rating agencies last year after blaming them for significantly contributing to problems in the financial markets over the past two years and, in particular, for underestimating risks associated with complex financial instruments.
Which is alright, so long as you don’t price the risk on them.

Much ado about nothing....

Not sure what the AP is yammering on about:
World markets tumbled Wednesday amid acute fears that Greece's debt crisis would spread like wildfire through Europe after a leading credit ratings agency downgraded the country's debt to junk status and cut Portugal's rating as well.
After all, we know the seer of all statist seers recently reassured we the great unwashed that:
The reality is plain to see: there is no debt crisis that need cause us concern. Of course there are issues to deal with, but talk of a crisis is plain nonsense.
What is this, a moment of (somewhat) clarity from the statist touchstone:
And this then is a crisis created, in the main, by bankers – who put in place too many of the strictures inherent in the Euro; by libertarians who promote the hatred of the states and the poor regard for regulation that has denied the Greek government so much of the tax revenue it is owned and by financial institutions who (as Goldman Sachs seem to demonstrate, time and again) just love just situations to make short term profit at cost to ordinary people.
Nary a mention about the serial fraud perp'd by successive Greek governments in reporting phony economic data for years, nor the successive European governments who failed to hold the Greek governments accountable for their actions, nor the failure of EU-level governmental bodies for properly investigating the year over year over year fraud.

Then again, statists don't do governmental responsibility.

Eventually Going to Ground

A curious comment left on Gavin Hewett’s BBC news blog, went unrebutted.

In hard times Europe reasserts its true nature, antisemitic, antiroma, xenophobic, a cesspool of false national pride, ethnic hatred, and intense jealousies. All of the laws and treaties in the world can't change what is in people's hearts.
Then the author takes an interesting turn.
Outsiders may be ignored, their presence even tolerated to a degree but they are never fully integrated. Not after a generation, not after dozens of generations where they have lived peacefully yet are the objects of exclusion. America by contrast is based on a structure of shared values.
Further, without any sort of piling on to silence it, as one would normally find on this kind of forum, is a virtual Tea Party Movement sentiment coming from a Briton.
Well, people get sick and tired of being preyed upon by their government. They get sick and tired of being poor, watching their wages drop, watching their taxes rise. They get angry, they get tired. And then they start doing things all angry, tired folks generally do.

What Gavin is documenting here is the ritual of fascism. He calls it a "script" of European life. And that is correct.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The New York Times Does It Again: Segregationist's 1960s "Hate Speech" Has "a Startlingly Contemporary Aspect"

The New York Times does it again: comparing tea partiers to the most excessive populists around the planet. This time — and again, with an insouciant and gratuitous comparison throw — Janet Maslin compares tea partiers to a Southern populist in favor of segregation. The tea partiers comparison, t'is true, is not quite spelled out, but it's quite clear whom she has (or whom her editors have) in mind. In a book review of Hampton Sides' Hellhound on His Trail, she writes that Eric Starvo Galt (aka James Earl Ray), the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr, "worked as a volunteer for the presidential campaign of George Wallace", which is fair enough, but then she adds a description of Wallace,
whose incendiary speeches and claims that a “whole heap of folks in this country feel the same way I do” are enough to give the hate speech in “Hellhound on His Trail” a startlingly contemporary aspect.

Enabling Evil

Merkel is aware of Germany’s aiding proliferation, but little is being done about it. How could it, in a world where the leader of Europe’s security benefactor still thinks that protecting oneself with a missile shield is a “provocation”?

‘According to the German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Tehran, two thirds of Iranian industrial enterprises and three quarters of its small and medium-sized firms use machines and systems of German origin. As Berlin’s Federal Agency for Foreign Trade affirmed in 2007, Germany is still Iran’s No. 1 supplier of almost all types of machinery apart from power systems and construction, where Italian manufacturers dominate the market.‘
The incredibly feeble part of it, is that it’s being used as an argument against free trade, using the tone of protectionist astroturfing of the issue from a “anti-globalization” position to get it through the reader’s thick heads:
When is such free trade, stupidity and suicidal? Should Europe be supplying Iran with instruments for the death of the West? Who in Brussels is listening while the regime and the crowds shout ‘Death to the Great Satan’ or ‘the world devourers’ — USA, Britain and Europe? They have been shouting that for THIRTY years.
And in that time, the Europeans, who are in the range of Iran’s missiles, used the opportunity to taunt the United States with accusations of fear-mongering for trying to do something about it, and in fact, using their flaccid and empty chattering, as if the Iranians were living by the rules of Victorian era gentlemen, as diplomatic cover under which Iran has managed to buy enough time to build (and buy from supposed “allies”) what they have.

The reaction, to all of this, is as one would expect. To demonize anyone mentioning the threat, and to advocate disarming their own states to put the strategic balance in the Iranians’ favor, and busying themselves with self-indulgent, stylized irrelevancies.

Step 3:
Seek the reason behind all of this ridiculous acting and then mush it together with all other hippie activists that have come before. Most hippies don't have new reasons for their social position or existence. Many just cling to a little dab here and there of purpose and protest but more or less are quiet, introspective, mumbling idealists. They may have great ideas in mind but have trouble expressing them. Many simply recycle old ideas and theories and regurgitate them in current tongue. World peace, anti-war, anti-establishment, free love, or simply liking the pretty colors will suffice for this step.
It’s probably a good way to pass the time waiting to watch missiles track overhead as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New York Times Compares Tea Parties to France's Ultra-Right-Wing and Racist National Front

In Michael Kimmelman's article about the status of the French language and about French culture and identity, the New York Times insouciantly (and gratuitously) throws in a comparison of America's tea parties to France's far-right party, the National Front, a faction whose members are routinely described as populist, reactionary, racist, and, above all, (very) dangerous. (That seems to be becoming the narrative, in France and elsewhere, as American expatriate Jake Lamar did something similar in Le Monde Magazine last weekend, "explaining" to French readers that Fox News would be like a popular French news channel, albeit run by le Front National.)
This ["having a common language doesn’t assure you a common political or cultural point of view"] may sound perfectly obvious to Americans, but it’s not necessarily so to France’s growing tea party contingent. The populist National Front party won some 20 percent of the vote in the south last month (less nationwide), despite Mr. Sarkozy’s monthslong campaign to seduce right-wing voters by stressing the preservation of French national identity. Part of that campaign has been affirming a policy of cultural exceptionalism.
The Front National is not only wrongly called the equivalent of a "tea party contingent" (for some reason, in case it might interest you, the International Herald Tribune's print version puts the expression "tea party" in quotes, thus: 'France’s growing "tea party" contingent'), the Michael Kimmelman article also wrongly seems to suggest, deliberately or otherwise, that the FN is a recent phenomenon (based you would think in effect on America's tea party), when Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the party almost 40 years ago…

Update: The New York Times does it again

French is now spoken mostly by people who aren’t French

French is now spoken mostly by people who aren’t French
écrit Michael Kimmelman (see whom the New York Times compares tea partiers to).
More than 50 percent of them are African. French speakers are more likely to be Haitians and Canadians, Algerians and Senegalese, immigrants from Africa and Southeast Asia and the Caribbean who have settled in France, bringing their native cultures with them.

Which raises the question: So what does French culture signify these days when there are some 200 million French speakers in the world but only 65 million are actually French? Culture in general — and not just French culture — has become increasingly unfixed, unstable, fragmentary and elective. Globalization has hastened the desire of more people, both groups and individuals, to differentiate themselves from one another to claim a distinct place in the world, and language has long been an obvious means to do so.

You’re Hopeless if...

...all you can imagine freedom amounts to, is the unfettered theft of intellectual property. I’m sure the authors and musicians don’t think it’s a bargain.

Pirate parties fighting for increased freedom in sharing online content have formed an international organisation, writes Público. Gathered in Brussels, delegates from 44 countries approved statutes affirming the movement’s apolitical stance and non-profit motive. “The online content industry is leading a worldwide effort to limit civil liberties. This is the first step in our counterattack”,
And to think the German “Pirate Party” imagines themselves to be the continent’s smart and edgy, “I wear weird glasses” Libertarian types. The best they could come up with is basically to unionize, and stick it to the people who are actually creative. It flies in the face of their stand on the propriety of private communication, something they do believe to be somehow a different kind of private property than some author’s book or song. Tapping them is fair game.

Do they even know what rights are?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh No! They Killed Fatima!

Will someone find me some of those mobs of moderates who have something to say about this style of “raising awareness”?

A radical Islamic website is warning the creators of "South Park" that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode broadcast on Comedy Central last week.
The most utter humorless, thin skinned culture on earth, just got less worthy of anyone’s concern.
Reaching by phone early Tuesday, Abu Talhah al Amrikee, the author of the post, said he wrote the entry to "raise awareness." He said the grisly photograph of van Gogh was meant to "explain the severity" of what Parker and Stone did by mocking Muhammad.

"It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome," al Amrikee said, referring to the possibility that Parker and Stone could be murdered for mocking Muhammad. "They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality."
Using the naming style of al-Queda’s mud-hut-in-the-middle-of-dirt notion of internationalism, the man renamed himself “al Imriki” or “the American,” just like Azzam al Amriki (the buffoonish threat-monger, Adam Gadahn), Abu Ayyub al-Masri (Masri = Egyptian), etc., etc., and the rest of the muppet rejects.

The guy is a playtime wannabe Jihadist, who even by the dim standards of Arab society finds “enriching” the reducing of your persona to your nation of origin within “the global caliphate”.
Al Amrikee said the website is considering a protest against the "disgusting" show, which also depicted the Prophet Muhammad in an episode on July 4, 2001.

"This is not a small thing," he said. "We should do whatever we can to make sure it does not happen again."
And to think it only took him 8 years and 10 months to catch on.

Tell you what, Spanky: you stop apologizing, if not abetting the murder and abuse of Arab Christians simply because of their consciences, and I’ll start worrying about you tender little feelings, and ignore your desperate outbursts trying to prop up your distorted notion of what manhood is. To him, it seem that a man is someone who murders when offended, then tells himself something to call his extremism socially “just”.

Carville's "Reptiles" Smear Is a Perfect Illustration of Lincoln Describing the 19th-Century Demonization of Republicans

Plus ça change… James Taranto points out (thanks to Instapundit) that
former Clinton aide James Carville, raising money for the Democratic National Campaign Committee, put his name to an email titled "reptiles," which insults Republicans in a way some see as invidious:
First there was Sarah Palin. Now we can add another Republican reptile from the past trying to help the GOP win House races this year--former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
How could anybody better illustrate my contention (a mere observation, really) — discernible in my upcoming graphic novel with Dan Greenberg, The Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln — that not much has changed from a century and a half ago, specifically when Honest Abe spoke at the Cooper Union in February 1860 (150 years ago), addressing the Republicans' castigators:
…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.

Update: Lincoln Reloaded: The House Divided Speech, Updated for 2010