Mark Humphreys maintains a near encyclopaedic post on the mind of the left.
Boring? Have you tried to live with anything else? Because I have, and it’s dull AND repressive.
Sometimes the conventional wisdom is rightnotes Chrystia Freeland in an International Herald Tribune article that starts out well and logically and common-sensically, but later turns out to be a… Soros love-fest… One of the professors at the Budapest university praised as "one of the intellectual centers of the region’s political and economic transition" tells Freeland that “I may be the only academic in town who didn’t study on a Soros scholarship”.
The Arab Spring really is the most important political event since the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe. So it makes sense to find out what the East Europeans make of the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and to ask what they think it will take to transform the promise of these rebellions into a lasting political transformation.
…The scholars and activists who gathered [in Budapest to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Central European University] spent a lot of time debating the lessons of their revolution for the Arab Spring. Here are four of them:
The first is that selling democracy has become harder now than it was 20 years ago. That’s because, as Aryeh Neier, the human rights activist and head of the Open Society Foundations, explained, the equation of prosperity and democracy, which was universally acknowledged in 1989 and the period that followed, has broken down today.
… A second big idea was that while technology has probably made it easier to rebel against authoritarian governments, it has also made it tougher to build enduring, deeply rooted democratic polities to replace them.
… The third big idea was a historical one. Wanda Rapaczynski was one of the leading creators of Poland’s vibrant free press. But she identified a critical external force in her explanation of what made the revolutions in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic succeed: Europe and the promise of membership in the European Union.
… The fourth lesson of Central Europe for the Arab Spring came from the founder and chief benefactor of Central European University — George Soros. Mr. Soros, who fled Budapest as a teenager and made his fortune in the United States, suggested that the history of his homeland offered an example for the Arab revolutions that was both cruelly realistic and ultimately inspiring.
… Listening to these friends and patrons of Central Europe’s successful revolutions prompted one big question. It was left unspoken — and that is probably appropriate, since it is most properly asked on the banks of the Nile, not the banks of the Danube. It is this: Where is the European Union and where is the George Soros for the Middle East and North Africa?
…where is the George Soros for the Middle East and North Africa?
Europeans have discovered that they do not have the means to achieve their ambitions - or even to protect themselves.
Ignore for a moment the chillingly infantile notion of what some of their 'ambitions' might be - that really doesn't matter when your forces are undertrained, underequipped, and insufficient to even deal with Muammar Gadaffi, let alone the Bashir Assad that's also killing civilians and creating instability just across the sea lanes of the EU.
The first of these is that even those Europeans who believed that military dependence on the United States was the best means of guaranteeing cohesion among the western powers were obliged to revise their position when the Americans did not lift a finger to provide support for Georgia in its conflict with Russia. In August 2008, the most Atlanticist Europeans suddenly discovered that America was prepared to prioritise the stabilisation of its relations with Moscow over one of its most faithful European allies and assert its own interest to the detriment of a solidarity that Europe had believed to be unshakable.To call them 'faithful' is both questionable and has that strange emotionalization that Visigoth 'non Anglo-saxons' seem to insert in the least meaningful ways.
The United States is no longer willing to fund European defence, and there is hardly any reason to expect that this will change anytime soon. That was the perfectly explicit sense of Robert Gates' message, which is already evident in the Americans' deliberate strategy of leaving Europeans in the front line in Libya. Now that they have been forced to shoulder most of the burden of this operation, European states must be aware that they will have to increase military spending, especially in the context of the Arab Spring and a prolonged period of instability in a region that extends from Rabat to Sana'a.Which, if they are even unable to find the GWOT on a map - put it into a into a geographic and cultural context, might at least let them come to grips with the fit of silliness Europe has been putting itself through for the last decade. The fact is that those who saw Europe as a soft target were preoccupied with the Americans who were disrupting their networks and drawing their effort further and further away from 'Fortress Europe' itself.
In late 2009, President Barack Obama announced U.S. troop reductions in Afghanistan would begin in July 2011writes Marco Vicenzino as France immediately picks up from the Apologizer-in-Chief's speech and decides to withdraw as well.
As the self-imposed deadline approaches, a token drawdown should suffice for the president to save political face without seriously risking operational effectiveness. Realities on the ground must determine strategy. The president’s deadline was always illusory. It was a concession to placate his party’s grassroots when announcing the Afghan surge of 30,000 troops. It also puzzled allies, confused publics in NATO member-states and undermined the international mission’s credibility.
Undoubtedly, a lasting political settlement with insurgents presents the only way out of the current conflict.
However, Obama’s public eagerness for negotiations creates the risky perception of a rush for the exit door. Sensing weakness, insurgents may drive an even tougher bargain. The insurgency is far from monolithic. Unless a broad consensus emerges in its ranks, negotiations will prove futile.
In addition, it is naïve to think Osama Bin Laden’s death or increased drone attacks alone will force rebels to the table. Most grievances remain local. Unless substantially addressed, little will change.
Not surprisingly, most of America’s next generation of military leaders has lost confidence in NATO. At a recent talk I gave at an elite U.S. military institution, just five participants out of an audience of some 60 raised their hands when asked how many believed NATO ought to continue in business.And a big thank you to Professor Reynolds for the Instapundit link…
An American colonel, recently returned from Afghanistan, told me that when he asked an officer from a European NATO member country to lead a supply convoy one evening, the officer explained that he was only paid to work for a set number of hours and his working day was done. Reminded that there was a war in progress, the officer said, “Maybe your country is at war, but not mine.” … This European/American schism within NATO is further aggravated by a split between Central and Eastern European members on one side, and Western ones on the other. The former continue to regard Russia as a threat, the latter do not. If this NATO is “an essential source of stability in an unpredictable world,” heaven help us all.
… After speaking with over 50 military and political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, I am convinced this will to change will only come about when America decides to take away its defense credit card and asks Europe to take responsibility for its own security.
Fanboys of 'radicalism' should beware that their sick ideological frotteur with authoritarian leftism doesn't exactly provide the never-ending peace and harmony that they'd like to think it does. Here's your real living socialism, Sparky:
In one account, a male guard who could not bear his hunger killed his colleague using an ax, ate some of the human flesh and sold the remainder in the market by disguising it as mutton, the report said, without giving any further details such as when the alleged crime occurred.
Europe wants to reverse the American Revolution and re-colonize us, and it sees in Obama a kindred spirit willing to do its bidding.
On June 2, the convicted Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti walked out of a Brazilian prison a free man. He did so after Brazil’s supreme court upheld the decision of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to refuse to extradite Battisti to Italy. A member of the left-wing terror group Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC) during Italy’s blood-ridden “years of lead” in the 1970s, Battisti had been on the run from Italian justice for nearly thirty years, since escaping from a prison near Rome in October 1981.It even includes a special appearances by geopolitical bungling meddler, Bernard-Henri Lévy, the pasty head of the Socialist Party, and Paris' token gay Mayor..
In the intervening years, Battisti had become a cause célèbre of the French left. Following his February 2004 arrest in Paris, the then chair of the French Socialist party, François Hollande, would visit Battisti in prison, in order to “make clear [his] disapproval.” Alluding to the “Mitterrand doctrine,” Hollande insisted that France had to “keep its word.” Hollande is the current frontrunner to obtain the Socialist nomination for the French presidential elections in 2012. The city of Paris, under the leadership of Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoë, likewise expressed its support.Lévy wrote in the typical arrogant terms of those who see themselves as the masters of the universe and unimpeachable high lords of justice.
Three years later, in May 2007, it was the turn of globetrotting French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy to visit Battisti in prison—this time in Brazil. After the Brazilian supreme court ruled in a first decision that there were no legal grounds to prevent Battisti from being extradited to Italy, “BHL” penned an impassioned letter to the Brazilian president, appealing to him to refuse Battisti’s extradition
...I would be dismayed – there are many of us in the world who would be dismayed – to see “our” Lula doing damage to the tradition of welcoming refugees that is the pride of your country. Extraditing Battisti would create a dangerous precedent.Abusing term the term beyond despair, that "refugee", obfuscating his crimes under the babble of turning his standing as merely "an affair":
Alberto Torregiani was 13 years old on February 16, 1979, when his father Pierluigi was shot in the head by members of Italy’s Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC) in Milan. The younger Torregiani also took a bullet that day and ended up a paraplegic. Now he spends most days in a wheelchair...His explanation?
...Cesare Battisti, a member of PAC who was convicted of murdering four Italians in the 1970s, including the elder Torregiani.
“Clearly it’s not enough to use diplomacy, so the people’s voice must be heard.”The PEOPLE! That generic mass imagined to have a monolithic outlook that matched his own, whether they like it or not.
it so happens that every illegal alien in the United States is documented; every illegal alien in the United States does have papers.Of course, the Jose Antonio Vargas testimonial (excerpt from My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant below) evokes sympathy, but not every immigrant, legal or otherwise, is a Jose Antonio Vargas and none of them — none — turns out to be someone who can be called an "undocumented" immigrant.
(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, they retain as many (or as few) papers, and rights, as any other citizen of their country before they emigrated illegally.
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)…
One day when I was 16, I rode my bike to the nearby D.M.V. office to get my driver’s permit. Some of my friends already had their licenses, so I figured it was time. But when I handed the clerk my green card as proof of U.S. residency, she flipped it around, examining it. “This is fake,” she whispered. “Don’t come back here again.”
Confused and scared, I pedaled home and confronted Lolo. I remember him sitting in the garage, cutting coupons. I dropped my bike and ran over to him, showing him the green card. “Peke ba ito?” I asked in Tagalog. (“Is this fake?”) My grandparents were naturalized American citizens — he worked as a security guard, she as a food server — and they had begun supporting my mother and mefinancially when I was 3, after my father’s wandering eye and inability to properly provide for us led to my parents’ separation. Lolo was a proud man, and I saw the shame on his face as he told me he purchased the card, along with other fake documents, for me. “Don’t show it to other people,” he warned.
I decided then that I could never give anyone reason to doubt I was an American. I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship. I felt I could earn it.
I’ve tried. Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from high school and college and built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country. On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream.
But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.
…This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.
There are three operative approaches to the slaughter in Syria, where a dictator’s army meets a citizens’ uprising with new savagery day after daynotes John Vinocur in the International Herald Tribune.
Silence: from the Arab world — and jarringly so from Egypt and Tunisia, whose successful revolts built the notion of an Arab Spring and raised the possibility of a wave of democratic solidarity supporting rebellions against despotism in places like Syria.
Talk: a vocabulary full of words about the “inacceptable” and “intolerable” nature of the Syrian regime’s “murderous path” from the United States, France, Britain (and even Germany), but no palpable steps to stop the killing beyond a few very ignorable sanctions.
Action: from Russia, which, as Syria’s main arms supplier, is defending its strategic handhold in the Middle East by opposing or blocking U.N. reports on its ally’s nuclear program and arms deals with Iran, and through a probable veto of a condemnation of Syria if it comes up in the Security Council.
In the absence of an activist position involving Syria’s Arab neighbors, the situation’s external backdrop involves three leaders contemplating the ongoing massacres and calculating how (don’t look shocked) their actions will play out in presidential elections next year.
Barack Obama (in November) and Nicolas Sarkozy (in May) will both seek second terms. Vladimir Putin, the pre-eminent figure in the Russian power structure as prime minister, has an advantage over both democrats: no risk of losing in a presidential election in March if he chooses to run — while stroking a “patriotic” constituency that wants him to demonstrate that the West, particularly America, is in retreat, two-faced and unwilling to help troublemakers challenging established authority.… Could [Sarkozy] confront the Russians on Syria?
Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has said that if Russia chooses to veto a French-sponsored Security Council resolution condemning Syria (the United States supports it at a distance), “it will be their responsibility.” French presidential politics would then leave Mr. Sarkozy with a hard time not defining that responsibility.
The United States, in a lower octave, and without specifically mentioning Russia, has said through its U.N. ambassador, Susan E. Rice, that “we will be on the right side of history if it comes to a vote” in the council, and that other countries’ refusal to approve Syria’s censure “will be their responsibility to bear.”
Talking about historical good and evil when it concerns Russia is a novelty for an Obama administration that has characterized the Cold War as a kind of neutral event.
…doing nothing about [the Syrian slaughter], or avoiding focusing on Russia’s responsibility, could well be a re-election campaign liability for both the French and American presidents.
Once Mr. Putin or President Dmitri A. Medvedev emerges as a candidate later this year, how could Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Obama not confront the rigged nature of the Russian presidential election without exposing themselves to accusations of having failed in their judgment of Russia’s capacity for change?
Greenie says: "eat shit and die!" What could possibly be greener than repulsion and feeding people human pathogens?
Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, has developed steaks based on proteins from human excrement. Tokyo Sewage approached the scientist because of an overabundance of sewage mud. They asked him to explore the possible uses of the sewage and Ikeda found that the mud contained a great deal of protein because of all the bacteria.
The researchers then extracted those proteins, combined them with a reaction enhancer and put it in an exploder which created the artificial steak. The "meat" is 63% proteins, 25% carbohydrates, 3% lipids and 9% minerals. The researchers color the poop meat red with food coloring and enhance the flavor with soy protein. Initial tests have people saying it even tastes like beef.
The initiative in Poland commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Ronald Reagan … has been a civic action directed to all those who are close to the values adhered to by President Reagan and who appreciate his undeniable contribution to the overthrow of communism and the recovery of freedom. Our goal is to pay homage and express gratitude to President Ronald Reagan, using the 100th birthday anniversary to remind public opinion in Poland of his character, his achievements, and his ideals, to which he was faithful.
We invite everyone to testify in the Memorial Book, which after closing will be printed and sent to the Ronald Reagan Library in the United States.
We invite institutions, associations, governments, businesses, media, etc. to take in their fields of activity of initiatives to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth. Remember that it is to a large extent thanks to Ronald Reagan that today we can enjoy freedom of association and civic activities, social and economic. All who choose to take any initiative, please let us know. We will inform, encourage and inform the media.
Il est vrai que ce dessin animé invite à être compris comme une métaphore de la lutte sino-américaine pour la suprématie mondiale.
Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist cadres are fast-tracking the redefinition of "marriage and family," which, in effect, perpetuates the neglect of children, thus necessitating institutional solutionswrites Mark Alexander as he takes on Hillary Clinton's "thesis [that] suggests that parenthood can be outsourced" and as he asks Who Needs a Father?
Obama understands that to "fundamentally transform America" into a socialist state, the Left must successfully destabilize the three pillars of Essential Liberty: Individual Liberty, Economic Liberty and Constitutional Liberty.
…Marriage is the foundation for the family, which in turn, serves as the foundation for a free society. This principle is especially embodied in the spirit of natural law upon which our Republic is founded.
In 295 B.C., Mencius wrote, "The root of the kingdom is in the state. The root of the state is in the family. The root of the family is in the person of its head."
When fathers do not take on their parental responsibilities, broken marriages and families are the result. These, in turn, lead to broken societies.
…an increasing number of fatherless homes result from mothers who separate without reasonable grounds from the fathers of their children.
…Of course, some fatherless children successfully fill the "daddy deficit" by becoming overachievers in the corporate, political or sports arenas, and not usually in a Rule of Law way. A textbook case study would be Barry Obama.
On the official White House website, the bio for Obama claims, "His story is the American story -- values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family..." While this is certainly the image Obama would like to project, it is most certainly not accurate. Like so many Leftists, his roots are shallow and broken, and they are in no way a reflection of "values from the heartland."
In effect, Obama is the consummate poster child for the consequences of fatherlessness. Though his pathological narcissism has driven him to the most powerful political post on the planet, the phony façade of "a middle-class upbringing" has all but worn away.
The fate of fatherless children like Obama is, at best, a broken heart. At worst, it is the root cause of contemporary American social entropy. It is also the greatest threat to Essential Liberty as established by natural law, because, I would argue, it is directly linked to the broken faith of the fatherless. Broken trust with earthly fathers often results in a lack of trust in our Heavenly Father, our Creator.