Monday, June 09, 2008

An original Nazi Labor day medal from 1934

Note the hammer and sickle, the two great Soviet symbols. There were many affinities between Nazism and Communism. They were rivals for the support of those in that era who wanted -- dare I say it -- Change. Radical change in particular. The one thing they were not is Rightist, if by Rightist we mean some sort of conservatism.

The image above is from a Medals database for collectors and several sites have the medals for sale (e.g. here) so there seem to have been a lot of them issued.


Democrats slip lawyers a tax break

As early as this coming week, Senate Democrats could try to bypass the usual committee process and rush to the floor a tax bill that contains, buried in textual obscurity, a payoff to the class-action plaintiffs' attorneys who contribute millions of dollars to their campaigns. The bill previously passed the House without the usual notice to the Treasury Department for an official analysis of its provisions. The rush to judgment in both chambers of Congress, otherwise known as cramming it down opponents' throats, is objectionable. The trial-lawyer tax break is appalling. Together, they are an outrage.

The lawyers' payoff was slipped into a large bill with all sorts of other provisions such as extensions of a tax credit for research and development and of an optional deduction for individuals for their state sales tax payments. While those provisions would extend current law, the lawyers' payoff would change long-existing policy that already made good sense. At an estimated cost to the Treasury of $1.575 billion, the provision would encourage class-action plaintiff lawyers to file dubious long-shot, big-money cases. It does so simply by letting the attorneys deduct fees and expenses up-front. Existing law rightly treats such expenses as loans to their clients, to be repaid from ultimate awards if they win or deducted on their income reports at case's end if they lose.

More here


A man after my own heart:

"My confession of being an anti-intellectual requires a bit of explanation. Being anti-intellectual is not the same as being anti-intellect. My beef is with a particular social class -- the "intelligentsia" -- and not with the practice of using one's intellect to reflect on experience. In my experience, intellectuals (as a class) are ideologically intolerant, easily offended by ordinary humor, and pretentious in their prejudices, which they disguise as universal truths. ... Moreover, I find a direct relationship between the academic obscurity of self-consciously "intellectual" writer's prose and the willingness of that writer to justify the unjustifiable.

It takes the convoluted abstractions of a Carl Schmitt or a Heidegger to offer apologetics for Hitler; a Sartre, to temporize about Stalin; a Foucault, to defend Khomeini. In this respect, I stand with George Orwell who spent the 1930s and 1940s denouncing the obscurity of intellectuals' prose as a cloak for tyranny (and, incidentally, who was also accused of being an anti-intellectual). Intellectuals spray polysyllables like squid ink, to evade the democratic decencies of conversation. I'd like not to be one of their number."

More here



But I'll bet that their white flags are in good order: "According to confidential defence documents leaked to the French press, less than half of France's Leclerc tanks - 142 out of 346 - are operational and even these regularly break down. Less than half of its Puma helicopters, 37 per cent of its Lynx choppers and 33 per cent of its Super Frelon models - built 40 years ago - are in a fit state to fly, according to documents seen by Le Parisien newspaper. Two thirds of France's Mirage F1 reconnaissance jets are unusable at present."

British socialists don't care about the troops: "A former head of the SAS has quit the army after criticising the government for risking soldiers' lives by failing to fund troops and equipment. Brigadier Ed Butler, one of Britain's most experienced and decorated special forces soldiers, is the most senior of three key commanders to have resigned in the past year amid widespread anger over lack of funding. News of his resignation comes in the same week that General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the army, called for better treatment for the forces and more money to be spent on defence.... Butler was highly critical of John Reid, then defence secretary, for keeping troop numbers low and of the failure of the Treasury under Gordon Brown to fund equipment. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Williams MC, another commanding officer of the SAS, resigned last July after being criticised by senior officers for spending too much time on the front line with his men".

Canada shows the Democrats how to do it: "Canada announced Saturday the successful conclusion of negotiations with Colombia aimed at establishing a free trade pact and cooperation on labor and environmental issues. "The free trade agreement will expand Canada-Colombia trade and investment, and will help solidify ongoing efforts by the government of Colombia to create a more prosperous, equitable and secure democracy," Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade David Emerson said in a statement. The deal, pledged by Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his first visit to Latin America in 2007, will also see Canada "delivering on its commitment to open up opportunities for Canadian business in the Americas and around the world," Emerson added".

Gasoline prices a winner for the GOP: "Republicans finally have a winning argument on a big issue, and they'd better make the most of it. It starts with high gasoline prices--the single most infuriating issue to voters these days--but doesn't end there. Democrats are not being blamed for causing the price of gasoline to reach $4 a gallon, at least by the public and at least for now. Where Democrats have stumbled embarrassingly is in their campaign to persuade the public that the American oil industry is the chief culprit. A Gallup national poll in May found only 20 percent blame the oil companies for gouging, down from 34 percent a year ago. Where Republicans have succeeded is in selling their solution to soaring gas prices: drilling for oil offshore and on federal lands, areas now off limits. In the Gallup survey, support for drilling in precisely these areas jumped from 41 percent in 2007 to 57 percent in May. So Republicans have an issue to exploit. And it's one on which Democrats are especially vulnerable because they promised in the 2006 campaign to offer a "common sense" plan to curb gas prices. They have yet to produce one"


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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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