The big story this week has been the Children of the Corn running amok in Missouri. I hope to have a longer piece on that by and by. In the meantime, enjoy your Friday LinkSwarm:
Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category
Portugal has decided that EU economic mandates trump that pesky Democracy:
Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.
He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.
I’m not entirely unsympathetic to Silva’s plight. As in Greece, the anti-austerity movement is an economically illiterate coalition of looters who insist that the welfare state gravy train can never come to an end, ever, even when the country is dead broke. (Though note that author Ambrose Evans-Pritchard never once mentions “welfare state” in his piece.) Remember that Portugal has never practiced real austerity (cutting budget outlays to match receipts), never once having balanced its budget in the last decade. And if the commies (who are, thankfully, only a minority coalition partner) had actually promised to set up a dictatorship of the proletariat, I’d be cheering Silva’s intransigence.
But Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. If Portugal thinks they can take cues from Greece’s anti-austerity tantrum and somehow not get slapped down just as hard, let them try. And in fact the leftwing’s coalition’s promises “to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro” are entirely rational and in Portugal’s self-interest.
The EU has always been an explicitly antidemocratic union, one designed to prevent mere voters from overruling their bureaucratic betters. The fact that this time they’re opposed by idiots who think they can keep voting themselves goodies from other people’s wallets doesn’t change the problem of the EU’s deficit of democracy.
Two of modern Europe’s central foundations (a monetary union and a cradle-to-grave welfare state) are not only unsustainable, they are incompatible with each other, and corrosive to both stability and democracy. And the EU leaders have no idea what to do about it.
In Odessa: “A recent law banning Communist symbols in the country meant that a Soviet-era statue of Vladimir Lenin in Odessa needed to come down. Instead, the city opted to transform it into a monument to one of pop culture’s greatest villains: Darth Vader.”
What’s the difference between Lenin and Darth Vader?
One was a power-mad dictator who crushed the people’s freedom, ruthlessly put down rebellion, and brought death and destruction in his wake.
The other was voiced by James Earl Jones.
Another Friday, another LinkSwarm, heavy on Benghazi and Presidential race news:
The meerkat keeper is a great opening sentence. But this, from the Times, is the best this year. pic.twitter.com/MwG72hn49K
— Stephen Spencer (@sspencer_63) October 15, 2015
Another LinkSwarm. And if you’re live in Austin, don’t forget the meetup/blogshoot on October 10th.
I increasingly think the Democrat/Muslim union has to do with old-fashioned relativism. Democrats don’t actually believe that women’s rights and gay rights apply to everyone; white people: sure. Arabs? Well, who am I to judge? And Muslims know this.
When Robby George is just dumbfounded as to why all these Muslims support the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage, the answer seems pretty clear to me: They’re supporting the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage for infidels
I think the issue is more that they see Muslims as a new potential mascot group that they can champion and therefore obtain that cheap sense of moral superiority that comes with riding in like a white knight. I think a lot of liberal attitudes towards minorities aren’t actually based on the good of the minorities, but how good it makes the liberals feel to champion them. Muslims are (as of now) a tiny, insignificant minority. They’re mostly kinda swarthy, so the “it’s racism” meme is easily transferable, and a significant chunk of liberals loathe Christianity.
UK’s Labour Party just just elected hard lefty Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
How hard lefty? He makes Bernie Sanders look like Bob Dole:
Nothing should detract from his record as an unreconstructed socialist peacenik. He is stridently anti-American and has declared himself a “friend” of Hamas and Hizbollah. Despite the growing belligerence of Russia, he is inclined to take the UK out of Nato and would scrap Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent. Of particular concern is his critical stance towards the EU. It is now far from certain that Labour will support continued UK membership of the bloc at the forthcoming referendum.
On domestic policy, he lacks any credibility. He would nationalise Britain’s railways and utilities and remove the private sector from public services. Despite his claim to green credentials, he has pledged in the past to reopen the UK’s coal mines. He toys with forcing the Bank of England to underwrite deficit financing for any purpose, regardless of the effect on inflation. Under Mr Corbyn, Labour will, in the words of one party MP, become a “1980s Trotskyist tribute act.”
Now the question becomes: Which party replaces Labour as the main opposition to the Tories in 2020, SNP or UKIP?
For Labor Day weekend, here’s a look back at the birth of Solidarity in Poland.
Robert Conquest, one of the leading historians of Soviet genocide, has died at age 98.
It’s hard to remember now, but for most of the Cold War, western liberals vehemently denied that genocide had occurred in the Soviet Union (or other communist nations) at all. Conquest’s The Great Terror helped crack that facade of willful ignorance, as did Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s monumental The Gulag Archipelago.
I once reviewed The Harvest of Sorrow, his work on the Holodomor, Stalin’s terror famine in the Ukraine, and it’s a devastating, amazingly well-researched book. “In the actions here recorded about 20 human lives were lost, not for every word, but for every letter, in this book.”
He was also a poet, and dabbled in science fiction as a writer and editor, but it was as a historian he made far and away his greatest impact. Communism was the great evil of the 20th century, and Conquest had a key role in exposing it. “Over all, Mr. Conquest estimated the death toll for the entire Stalin era at no less than 20 million.”
Here’s an obituary from The Telegraph. “Conquest personified the truth that there was no anti-communist so dedicated as an ex-communist.”