Thursday, February 15, 2007


The phrase "The sick man of Europe" was originally applied to 19th century Turkey and later to mid-20th century Britain (Before Mrs Thatcher). Pub Philosopher offers reasons for seeing the term as applicable to Germany today. In response to the attempt by Germany to introduce a Europe-wide ban on the denial of genocide, he writes:

To think of Germany as a patient in therapy is a useful analogy. No other nation in history has had to deal with such a burden of collective guilt. After the war, Germany was cast as a criminal and the post-war generation which is now running the country took the criticism to their hearts. Forced to confront the horror of their country's crimes, they wanted to make sure that Germany would never inflict war and genocide on Europe again. But, to prevent the resurgence of racism and dictatorship, the Germans used some familiar methods.

In their rush to break from their past, Germany's new rulers restricted free speech, banned political parties and imprisoned those who dissented from the government-approved line. In an attempt to atone for the sins of dictatorship, Germany resorted to authoritarian measures.

With its proposal to ban Holocaust denial across Europe, it is taking this authoritarianism a stage further. The irony of Germany trying to make amends for its crimes in the 1940s by attempting to browbeat the rest of Europe into introducing repressive legislation is probably lost on most members of the German government.

At this point, a therapist would politely suggest that the patient might be lapsing into old behaviour patterns and should consider doing something radically different. This would be good advice for Germany. Instead of preventing people from discussing the dark issues in its past it should confront them openly and deal with them. Allowing the Holocaust deniers to speak freely would bring their ideas out into the open where they could be easily debunked by real historians. It would show the world that the Germans are no longer afraid of their Jew-haters and, in all probability, demonstrate that Germany has no more Holocaust deniers than anywhere else in the world.

The time has come for Germany to bring its demons out into the open and to have an honest debate with those who deny the Nazi genocide. This would be a better form of therapy for Germany's psychosis than forcing its neighbours to collude in its suppression of its past.



Post lifted from Dan Mandel

The answer to my last blog - Are Palestinians planning violence in Jerusalem? - was not long in coming. The next day, following prayers at Al-Aqsa, Muslims rioted and commenced throwing rocks at Jews praying at the Western Wall.

Associated Press (AP) provides a classic instance of cussedly biased reportage with the classic ingredients of distortion, tendentious expression and obscuration of salient facts. In a report entitled 'Israeli police storm temple', the AP report commences:

Hundreds of Israeli police stormed one of Islam's holiest shrines last night, firing stun grenades and tear gas to disperse hundreds of Muslim worshipers who threw stones, bottles and refuse in outrage over Israeli renovation work at a disputed Jerusalem temple. The clash came after days of tensions over the work and raised concern that protests at the site could spread to the West Bank and Gaza, as they did at the start of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000 after a visit from then opposition leader Ariel Sharon. About 200 police stormed the hilltop compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, to try to quell the protests, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The situation grew violent after about 150 protesters barricaded themselves inside the al-Aqsa Mosque at the complex. But police did not enter the mosque, and about 90 minutes after the protesters entered, they began to leave, following negotiations between officers and Muslim representatives. At that point, police pronounced themselves in control of the situation. Israeli authorities promised that the plan to replace a centuries-old bridge leading to the compound, damaged in a 2004 snowstorm, would not harm the holy site, about 60m away. But as work began this week, it drew fierce protests in the Arab world, where many leaders accused Israel of plotting to harm Muslim holy sites.

Four points:

1. Note that the Temple Mount, the name used throughout the English-speaking world for centuries, now appears only second after reference to it by a translation of its Muslim appellation, the Noble Sanctuary, which is then described as Islam's third holiest site; that it is Judaism's holiest site is simply omitted.

2. Israeli police are alleged to have "stormed one of Islam's holiest shrines" which, it emerges later in the report, they did not in fact enter.

3. The report's opening sentence is formulated in such a way as to obscure the fact that the Israeli police intervened to stop the violence of the rioters, thereby creating the impression that the Israelis resorted to the use force against peaceful "worshipers."

4. The report omits to mention that the "stones, bottles and refuse" thrown by the "worshipers" were aimed at Jews praying at the Western Wall. Only later in the report is it mentioned that "Jewish worshipers were evacuated from the Western Wall at the foot of the compound," without explaining that this was necessitated by the violence to which they had been exposed.



UK: Archbishop battles final Anglican split: "The Archbishop of Canterbury's hopes this week of preventing the 78 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion from finally sliding into schism over the issue of homosexuality appeared slim yesterday as he prepared to fly to Tanzania for a meeting of the church's primates. Conservative archbishops, mainly from the developing world, have gathered in Dar es Salaam for a separate two-day conference in advance of a formal meeting on Wednesday to plot tactics and agree a strategy before Rowan Williams arrives tomorrow. ... Archbishops from the developing world have told Dr Williams privately that they are opposed to his invitation to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church, to attend the meeting because she supported its election of the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, in 2003. Presiding Bishop Schori is the first female primate of a leading Christian denomination in church history and some Africans have threatened that they will not sit down in the same room with her or recognise her authority."

UK: Woman goes to court in historic euthanasia case: "A 30-year-old woman who is terminally ill has launched a campaign to overturn Britain's euthanasia laws by compelling her doctors to increase her dose of morphine and let her die. Kelly Taylor lives in constant pain with a congenital heart defect and a spinal disorder. She says she has struggled with her condition all her life and wants release. She has been told she has a year to live but doctors have been unable to control her pain. 'Enough is enough,' she said yesterday. 'I don't want to suffer any more. I'm not depressed -- I've never been depressed. I am a happy person. But my illness is now at the point where I don't want to deal with it any more.' Her case is believed to be unique in launching a double-pronged challenge to the law that forbids doctors from helping patients to end their lives. She wants the court to rule that doctors may sedate her and then withdraw tube feeding so that she dies."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason -- Details here and here

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