Europe on the brink of catastrophe 0

Germany and France drove the creation of the European Union (EU). Both wanted to be part of a vaster, more powerful political entity: Germany in order, forlornly, to dissolve its national guilt in it; and France, pathetically, to rival the power of the United States with it. Neither hope has been fulfilled. The EU is a failure.

What is the EU? It’s a conglomerate of disparate nations, run by unelected bureaucrats. It has a parliament with no power worth having.

How could it have been expected to succeed? It doesn’t even have a common language. Every document “of major public importance or interest” has to be translated into every one of its 23 official languages.

Imagine the cost of that alone. Bill Bryson wrote (in his book Mother Tongue) that way back in 1987, when the inchoate union was called the European Economic Community (EEC) –

An internal survey found that it was costing $25 a word, $500 dollars a page, to translate all its documents. One in every three employees of the European Community is engaged in translating papers and speeches. A third of all administrative costs – $700 million in 1987 – was taken up with paying for translators and interpreters. Every time a member is added [to the original 6], as most recently with Greece, Spain, and Portugal, the translation problems multiply exponentially.

There are now 27 member states, prices have risen steeply, and in any case no one knows how much the EU pays for anything. Its costs are never accurately calculated.

Because it is irredeemably corrupt, its accounts cannot be cleared. Despairing auditors who turned whistle-blower have been sacked and abused. Officials riding the  gravy-train grow rich on fraud.

Now its nemesis has caught up with it. The 16 member states that adopted the euro as their currency  are not at ease with one another. Their socialist policies are bankrupting them as they were bound to do. Greece has been temporarily saved from economic death by the rest of the EU (and also by the IMF, to which American tax-payers contribute the most). But the peoples, especially the Germans who’ve been made to fork out the bulk of the EU contribution, resent having to do it. (Recent elections in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia indicate that voters are angry with the federal government’s decision to help Greece and “defend the Euro”.)

The dream of a United States of Europe was always an impossible one. The attempt to realize it is a nightmare.

George Will writes:

The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament (in Strasbourg) no one other than its members wants to have power (which must subtract from the powers of national legislatures), a capital (Brussels) of coagulated bureaucracy no one admires or controls, a currency that presupposes what neither does nor should nor soon will exist (a European central government), and rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring. The euro currency both presupposes and promotes a fiction — that “Europe” has somehow become, against the wishes of most Europeans, a political rather than a merely geographic expression.

The designs of the paper euros, introduced in 2002, proclaim a utopian aspiration… The bills depict nonexistent windows, gateways and bridges. They are from … nowhere, which is what “utopia” means… [The euro] is an attempt to erase nationalities and subsume politics in economics in order to escape from European history.

The euro pleases dispirited people for whom European history is not Chartres and Shakespeare but the Holocaust and the Somme. The euro expresses cultural despair.

It also presupposes something else nonexistent. The word “democracy” incorporates the Greek demos — people. As the recent rampages of Greece’s demos, and the reciprocated disdain of Germany’s demos, demonstrate, Europe remains a continent of distinct and unaffectionate peoples. There is no “European people” united by common mores.

Even the Financial Times – which is pink in color politically as well as literally – warned on May 14 that “displays of anger” in the member states may “become more widespread”,  and that “a Europe hounded [sic] by market forces has acted too late” with sudden desperate programs of austerity to save itself from economic catastrophe.

The Euro will fall further. The EU itself may fall apart. That at least, to our mind, is an eventuality devoutly to be wished.

Strengthen the government and bring it down 0

At Townhall today, George Will expresses this opinion:

There are legislative miles to go before the government will be emancipated from its health care myopia, but it is not too soon for a summing up. Whether all or nothing of the legislation becomes law, Barack Obama has refuted critics who call him a radical. He has shown himself to be a timid progressive.

His timidity was displayed when he flinched from fighting for the boldness the nation needs — a transition from the irrationality of employer-provided health insurance. His progressivism is an attitude of genteel regret about the persistence of politics.

On this judgment we cannot agree with George Will (unless he is intending to be ironic, which we suspect and hope he is).

Obama is insisting almost hysterically on health legislation being passed, no matter what horrors it foists on the people of the United States provided only that it delivers control of a sizable portion of the economy into the hands of his government.

Now one has only to read what has been published about Obama’s parents, upbringing, and career to see that he is a born, bred, and thoroughly committed Marxist radical. Why otherwise would he appoint radical leftists, including self-confessed Communists of various stripes, some of them Maoists, to advisory posts and “Czardoms” in the White House?

And while this sort of thing, reported and discussed by Scott Wheeler, is happening under his administration, it’s hard to believe he has faded into nothing more dangerous than a “timid progressive”:

A Marxist group that has demanded the “destruction” of the U.S. and issued a call “to bring this government down” is the recipient of stimulus funds from the Obama American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This same group, the Brecht Forum, has also called for the complete takeover of insurance companies and farms [!] in America.

The controversial stimulus bill, as ARRA is better known, provided funds for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), which promptly granted the New York City-based Brecht Forum $5,000 in 2009 and $9,000 in 2010. The NYSCA had previously announced in 2008 that due to state budget cuts it would no longer be able to fund 573 organizations that it had previously funded. One of the groups on the list to be slashed was the Brecht Forum. After NYSCA secured $399,000 in stimulus money, the Brecht Forum once again had funding.

The Brecht Forum is host to the New York Marxist School and displays this statement on their website:

“Can society be changed significantly for the better? What kind of changes would be needed? and, Who could bring about such changes?” …

In 1975, a group of civil rights, community, labor, and student activists came together to found The Brecht Forum’s New York Marxist School. They saw the study of Marxism as central, not as a dogma but as a living current of thought and as a vital tool for understanding capitalist society.

In a September 2009 lecture at the Brecht Forum, Jed Brandt, a longtime communist, political activist and outspoken atheist [at least he has this much common sense – JB] offered the following instructions:

“We have to bring this Government down! We have to help destroy this system and that requires increasing the alienation that working people and oppressed people feel. The way this change is going to happen is the destruction of The United States of America!” [“Increasing the alienation”, ie deliberately piling misery on the underclass until they rise in revolutionary rebellion, continues to be an orthodox formula of Marxist theory though it has never, fortunately, worked that way in practice – JB]

Fox News Channel picked up on Brandt’s call to action and played clips several times the week of March 1st. My own investigation uncovered the link to federal stimulus dollars providing financial support for the Brecht Forum. The grants from NYSCA were ostensibly provided for artistic projects, for example, the NYSCA website shows the following as the description for the Brecht Forum grant:

“The Brecht Forum’s 09-10 program features workshops in the participatory theater techniques developed by the noted Brazilian director Augusto Boal. The program includes monthly workshops led by members of the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory and two master workshops led by Augusto Boal.” …

“Augusto Boal has defined Theater of the Oppressed as a rehearsal for revolution.”

The website further describes its mission as using “interactive theater as an organizing tool” and works with “educators, human service and healthcare workers, union organizers and community activists” to solve perceived problems.

Almost choking on Communist jargon, the Brecht Forum is shouting its revolutionary intentions. The NYSCA obviously knows exactly what it’s subsidizing. The Obama administration knows what the NYSCA’s political agenda is. It gets its grants because it has that agenda. It is radically leftist. There’s nothing timid about it.

Grow and strengthen government, or bring it down? Is President Obama conscious of being caught on the horns of a remarkable dilemma – how to square his office with his ideology? How does he reconcile his present job with his old objectives? Does it trouble him that he is the power Jed Brandt wants to overthrow?

A mind even more suspicious than ours might wonder whether the New Left program of “the long march through the institutions” set Obama climbing to the pinnacle of power with the intention of bringing about “the destruction of the United States of America”. But surely Obama is not as extreme as all that – is he?

To our great detriment 3

Great speeches were made at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this February 2010. We particularly liked John Bolton‘s address, and Dick Cheney’s, and George Will’s [see our post A prescription for pleasure, February 20.]

We questioned the wisdom of conservatives accepting the co-sponsorship of the John Birch Society [More harm than help, February 20.] But that is far less objectionable than the convening of a CPAC panel by terrorist sympathizers.

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugged, who convened an anti-terrorist event,  tells what happened in an interview with Jamie Glazov at Front Page:

Geller: Last Friday, Robert Spencer and I hosted a standing-room-only event at CPAC. …

Our conference was designed to speak the truths that others will not speak. First to speak was Wafa Sultan, the ex-Muslim who shot to international fame after she stood up for human rights against Sharia on Al-Jazeera in a debate with an Islamic cleric on a famous viral video, and the author of A God Who Hates. She spoke of Islam’s war against the West. Then Steve Coughlin, the former Pentagon Islamic law specialist who was making his first public appearance after being fired from the Defense Department after pressure from those who didn’t like his truth-of-the-matter stance on jihad. He gave a bit of his controversial presentation to the Pentagon, showing how the Defense Department is ignoring the true nature of the jihad threat, to our great detriment – which is the title of his lengthy thesis on this problem.

Then in the second hour our speakers showed the next phases of the advance of jihad and Sharia. While Coughlin was fired for telling the truth about Islam and jihad, human rights activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is being prosecuted for “hate speech” in Austria for the same truth telling. After her came Anders Gravers of Stop the Islamisation of Europe, who has been physically assaulted for standing up for freedom in Denmark. Then Simon Deng, a former slave in Sudan and a leading human rights activist against jihad and Islamic supremacism, showed what life is like for the subjugated, enslaved Christians of southern Sudan – the fourth phase of Sharia encroachment. Finally, the war hero and Congressional candidate Lt. Colonel Allen West gave a stirring speech calling us all to the defense of freedom.

FP: It’s a great sign that CPAC hosted an event like this, right?

Geller: Well Jamie, it’s not really what happened. The truth of the matter is that our event was at CPAC, but it was an independent event, not a CPAC event. And the truths that our speakers told were not aired at any other event at CPAC.

FP: Ok, just a second, let me get something straight: we are facing a deadly enemy in this current terror war, and that enemy is Islamic jihad — based on Islamic theology. CPAC had how many panels about it?

Geller: One. And it was an exercise in misinformation.

FP: Are you kidding me?

Geller: Not at all. The single panel was:

“You’ve Been Lied To: Why Real Conservatives are Against the War on Terror

Sponsored by Campaign for Liberty

Speakers: Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Karen Kwiatkowski and Jacob Hornberger, President of FFF [The Future of Freedom Foundation]

The message there was that “real conservatives” don’t support the war on terror because it is a creation of the “Israeli lobby” — which coalesces with the left-wing’s new anti-Semitism against neoconservatives. Karen Kwiatkowski is a darling of both the leftist Huffington Post and the anti-Semitic paleocon site Antiwar.com.

FP: Tell us some more about Kwiatkowski.

Geller: Well, let’s put it this way: in a 2006 article, she described John Bolton as “that blubbering bundle of self-righteousness.” She also wrote:

“Many in America oppose the U.S. knee-jerk, unquestioning support for Israel. Many more worry that the Israeli lobby is unusually influential in Washington, while remaining hidden and unaccountable to average Americans. Still others are alarmed that Israel’s constant war mentality has become our new American model, and that Iraq and our own borders have become our own occupied territories, teeming with terror and constituting a never-ending threat to our lives, prosperity and value system.” …

That panel was, of course, a reflection of Ron Paul’s perspective. There were no counter-jihadists, no Robert Spencer, no Ibn Warraq on any CPAC panel, but they had room for this well-funded “Campaign for Liberty” presentation. …

Nothing was said about the Islamic doctrine that shows that jihadists would be waging war against the U.S. even if we did end all actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The panel agreed with Obama, that Muslims are angry with us because of our actions, and will stop being angry with us if we change our foreign policy. This view is naïve and reflects ignorance of Islamic doctrine…

FP: This is mind-boggling. This is a conservative conference and one would think conservatives are interested in national security and protecting our liberties and American lives. Why do you think this happened?

Geller: I think CPAC’s agenda in 2010, as well as 2009 and before that, reflects the influence of Grover Norquist, the conservative powerhouse and kingmaker. He is a board member of the ACU [American Conservative Union]. … Norquist and his ally Suhail Khan seem to be in charge at CPAC

FP: Expand a bit on what perspective Norquist represents.

Geller:  Grover Norquist’s troubling ties to Islamic supremacists and jihadists have been known for years. He and his Palestinian wife, Samah Alrayyes … are very active in “Muslim outreach.”

Geller: In December 2003, David Horowitz wrote that Norquist “has formed alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities….

Frank Gaffney here in Frontpage [wrote] how Norquist had given Muslims with jihad terror links access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Grover Norquist was on the jihad payroll before and after the carnage and death of September 11. Gaffney revealed Norquist’s close ties to Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is now serving twenty-three years in prison for financing jihad activity. In 2000, Alamoudi said at a rally, “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here?…Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. I wished they added that I am also a supporter of Hizballah.” …

Norquist also introduced Nihad Awad, cofounder and executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations, to President Bush. CAIR is one of the foremost Islamic supremacist hate sponsors in the U.S. Terror expert Steve Emerson wrote that “CAIR, which touts itself as America’s premier Muslim civil rights organization, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land [Foundation] terror trial.” …

Emerson also reveals that according to the testimony of an FBI agent, “CAIR was listed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” The Palestine Committee is dedicated to jihad for the destruction of Israel

Robert Spencer added this about CAIR: “CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror…”

These are Grover Norquist’s bedfellows. Abusing his power and access, he introduced Islamic supremacists who advocate the overthrow of the government to those who have an oath to protect and defend the Constitution…

A prescription for pleasure 0

We urge our readers to indulge themselves by watching and listening to George Will making a great speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference here.

It’s so good there’s no one part we could pick out and say “this bit is even better than the rest”.

Enjoy it all.

Posted under Commentary, Conservatism, News, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tagged with , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink
« Newer Posts