Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Rev. Ian Paisley retires from politics
A most doughty defender of his people. Pic below as he is most likely to be remembered. Even in retirement, his counsel will still be sought. Story here
Pinochet's Legacy: Free, Non-Communist Chile
Gen. Augusto Pinochet was laid to rest after several years of illness, which prevented the Chilean Supreme Court from hearing criminal charges against him. I well recall the dark days of the early 1970s. We had cut and run from Vietnam. The Communists were on the march in Angola and Mozambique. Salvadore Allende had been elected by a minority of the electorate and was busy moving Chile to a Communist state.
The Soviet Union, which seemed invincible, announced the Brezhnev Doctrine. Simply stated it was this: Once a Communist country, always a Communist country. There was no turning back. You could never vote to undo a Communist regime or to overthrow such a regime by other means. If a state turned Communist it would remain a Communist regime forever.
Allende had been elected by a minority of the voters in a three-way split among the electorate. The outright conservative candidate received almost a third of the vote, the centrist candidate received nearly a third of the vote and finally the Communists under the banner of Allende received just over a third of the vote. He interpreted this as a mandate.
Pinochet staged a coup. He bombed the Presidential Palace in Santiago and took over communications in Chile. Pinochet’s saving of Chile from the Communists was ironic. Allende himself had placed the military under the control of Pinochet because he believed the military would be loyal to him. When the moment of truth came, Allende killed himself with a gun given to him by his pal Fidel Castro.
Pinochet took over Chile and ran it with a firm hand. Recognizing that he did not know anything about economics, he turned to the University of Chicago. Chicago economic scholars told him to initiate a free market. He did so. And it worked. Soon Chile was the most prosperous country in the region.
Pinochet did run Chile with an iron fist. Interestingly, when I was giving training seminars in the former Soviet Union, Pinochet’s name frequently came up. Russian leaders wanted my opinion if the Chilean model would be good for Russia.
In due course, Pinochet promulgated a Constitution. He got the voters to ratify it. Then he proposed a referendum question, which if passed would allow him to continue in office for some years. If the resolution were defeated he said he would step down. I was part of a team working with the conservative forces in Chile, in preparation for the vote on the referendum. We were able to have breakfast with Pinochet. He was obviously well educated and clearly was prepared to step down if the referendum were defeated.
We trained the conservative forces and the election was reasonably close but his proposition clearly was defeated. So he stepped down. Chile had prompted the late great Jeane Kirkpatrick to distinguish between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. The Soviet Union was totalitarian, she opined. Chile was authoritarian.
When I went to Chile I was amazed to find freedom of the press. Far more than half of the media was highly critical of Pinochet. At that time there was no opposition press in the Soviet Union. Indeed, in Chile there was freedom of assembly. All sorts of groups and potential political parties were preparing for that resolution.
I asked Pinochet point blank if indeed he would be prepared to step down in light of defeat of his resolution. He told me he absolutely would do so. He kept his word.
Pinochet should go down in history as a liberator. He, alone, reversed the Brezhnev Doctrine. Today Chile is a prosperous left-of-center nation. People there have health-savings accounts and have better health care than in any other Latin American country. Pinochet made that happen. His free market reforms made Chile into a prosperous nation. He even looked after the poor with medical care.
Yet what he is known for, it seems to me, are the deaths of some 3,000 people and the torture of others. As William F. Buckley reminded us, Pinochet “spoke with passion to say he had not himself known about, let alone authorized any of the random killings and torture laid at his door.”
Perhaps he did not know of these killings and the torture of the living. First, let it be said: He fought a war. And when you fight a war, people will end up dead. Second, to this day there are those who vilify Pinochet. I believe they cannot forgive him for reversing the Brezhnev Doctrine. He showed that you can overthrow a Communist regime and set it on a road to freedom. He was an authoritarian who agreed to step down, albeit reluctantly, when he lost the confidence of the people. Name me one Communist dictator of that era who stepped down when his efforts went astray. Not in Hungary, not in Poland, not in Estonia, not in Czechoslovakia. If something went wrong one Communist was replaced with another.
The left in Chile set out to punish Pinochet. They never succeeded. Either he won an appeal or he became too ill to testify. I know it is heresy to say this but the people of Chile should thank Pinochet. He saved their nation from a brutal Communist “experiment.” The Chilean people should ask the people who lived in the Soviet Empire how it was to live there. No free market. No free press. No freedom of assembly. I will light a candle in memory of Pinochet, the man who had the courage to take on the Soviet Empire.
Support for English Language Unity Act Continues to Grow
Rep. Louie Gohmert became a co-sponsor of the English Language Unity Act yesterday, the sixth Congressman in seven weeks to support official English legislation in the House. The addition of the representative from the First Congressional District of Texas brings the number of bi-partisan supporters of H.R. 997 to 134 members of Congress from 36 states.
“I want to thank Rep. Gohmert for his support for making English the official language of the United States,” said Mauro E. Mujica Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc. “From congressional district to congressional district, we may hear many different languages in our travels, but we know that the English language is the one that unites our diverse society. It is the language of opportunity, the language of education, and as more than 80 percent of Americans agree, should be the official language of the United States.”
During the last Congress (2007-08), Rep. Gohmert was a co-sponsor of the English Language Unity Act (also H.R. 997), voted to reduce multilingualism at the IRS, and voted to protect employers who have English-in-the-Workplace policies. His efforts to promote the common language of English and eliminate divisive multilingual policies earned him an “A in English” Award from U.S. English in May 2008. The three-term representative was also a co-sponsor of the English Language Unity Act in the 109th Congress (2005-06).
The English Language Unity Act would require the United States government to conduct most official business in English. Specifically, H.R. 997 would limit routine government operations to English, while giving government agencies common sense flexibility to protect public health and safety, national security, and to provide for the needs of commerce and criminal justice systems. H.R. 997 is pending in the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.
Islamists Play Shell Games with Security
Despite the countless terror attacks perpetrated by their co-religionists, some Muslims still have the chutzpah to demand that security protocols conform to supposed Islamic sensitivities. But like a typical shell game, every time we think we know which procedures they grudgingly will tolerate, we discover that we have been hoodwinked yet again.
Responding to security measures implemented after the attempt to bomb a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day, CAIR characteristically charged that "the new guidelines, under which anyone traveling from or through 13 Muslim-majority nations will be required to go through enhanced screening techniques before boarding flights, … amount to religious and ethnic profiling." CAIR's proposed alternative: "First look at behavior, not at faith or skin color. Then spend what it takes to obtain more bomb-sniffing dogs, to install more sophisticated bomb-detection equipment, and to train security personnel in identifying the behavior of real terror suspects."
All are fine ideas. But in reality, Islamists oppose each of them:
Scrutinizing behavior. Consider the "flying imams" imbroglio, where six Muslims who seemed to exhibit "the behavior of real terror suspects" were removed from a plane before takeoff in 2006. Passengers and crew members became alarmed when the men spoke loudly in Arabic, refused to sit in assigned seats, and requested unneeded seatbelt extenders. How did CAIR respond? By alleging religious discrimination and suing everyone in sight — with some success. True, the imams were fingered originally by alert citizens rather than dedicated security officers. But should we believe that CAIR's reaction would have been different otherwise?
Bomb-sniffing dogs. Given that some Muslims see dogs as unclean, using them for security purposes often provokes Islamist criticism. Britain has experienced a litany of canine controversies, while a prominent Canadian Muslim recently voiced concerns about dogs patrolling Vancouver. The issue of police dogs also arose when a Detroit-based radical imam was killed in an October FBI raid. According to the Detroit News, the attorney representing his widow "said it was needlessly confrontational to send a dog after Abdullah because Muslims view dogs as unclean and anyone attacked by a dog could react violently"; an FBI canine was shot dead by the imam. How long until bomb-sniffing dogs in U.S. airports face objections?
Bomb-detection equipment. Body scanners are about as sophisticated as it gets, but now we know that these, too, run afoul of Islamist sensibilities. "The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) emphasizes that a general and public use of such scanners is against the teachings of Islam, natural law, and all religions and cultures that stand for decency and modesty," the group explains in a fatwa issued on February 9. CAIR, which had championed "sophisticated bomb-detection equipment" just a month earlier, backed the ruling.
The shell game continues, with the Fiqh Council offering yet another idea: "FCNA appreciates the alternate provision of pat-down search" and advises Muslims to avail themselves of this option over the body scanners. After all, no Muslims balk at being touched, right?
Democrats ready to break Obama's tax promises: "Tax increases may be necessary to rein in $12 trillion in federal debt, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday. Hoyer emphasized the need to reform Social Security and Medicare, but he also made it clear that raising taxes will have to be on the table. “No one likes raising revenue, and understandably so,” Hoyer said in an address at the Brookings Institution. “But if you’re going to buy, you need to pay. “If need be, I am hopeful that both parties will agree to look at revenues as part of the solution — not as a gateway to higher spending, but as part of a compromise that cuts spending and balances the budget,” he added. Hoyer, a voice for centrists in the House leadership, said reining in record debt requires a combination of spending cuts and tax increases."
US Senate votes unemployment benefits, highway funds : "The Senate on Tuesday passed a $10 billion measure to maintain unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and provide stopgap funding for highway programs after a holdout Republican dropped stalling tactics that had generated a Washington firestorm. Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning had been holding up action for days but conceded after pressure intensified with Monday’s cutoff of road funding and extended unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless.”
CA: Jerry moonbeam officially enters race for governor: "Asserting that California needs ’someone with an insider’s knowledge but an outsider’s mind’ to pull the state out of its economic doldrums, state Attorney General Jerry Brown strode into the governor’s race Tuesday morning after taking months to make the inevitable official. … Brown, the son of former two-term Gov. Pat Brown, has served as secretary of state, governor, mayor of Oakland and state attorney general in a career that spans 40 years and three short-circuited runs for the presidency.”
UK: Cleric issues anti-terror fatwa : "A leading Islamic scholar has issued a fatwa in Britain condemning ;terrorists; as the enemies of Islam, in a bid to deter young Muslims from extremism. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, head of the Minhaj ul-Quran religious and educational organisation, said suicide bombers were destined for hell as he released his 600-page edict in London on Tuesday.”
Panic time for liberals : "Liberals seem to be getting bent out of shape over the fact that increasing numbers of people are challenging their statist paradigm. They’re suggesting that anyone who questions their beloved welfare-state socialism must be crazy, insane, irrational, greedy, selfish, and evil.”
Obama's bipolar energy policy : "Supporters of generating electricity with nuclear power cheered after learning that President Obama had included federal guarantees in next fiscal year’s budget to clear the way for starting work on the first two new U.S. nuclear power plant in decades. The same people jeered when they also saw that the president proposed eliminating funding for a national nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, originally scheduled to open this year, but delayed by congressional diversions of monies appropriated for the site to other spending programs. So with one hand, Washington plans to facilitate the construction of a new nuclear power plant by shielding owners from liability for future accidents, but with its other hand, doesn’t want to finish building a repository to safely store nuclear waste.”
Obama used the Post office as an example of a government-run business: "In some rather believable news, the Postmaster General has announced that the Post Office could lose $238 Billion over the next decade. According to the Washington Post, "The U.S. Postal Service estimates $238 billion in losses in the next 10 years if lawmakers, postal regulators and unions don't give the mail agency more flexibility in setting delivery schedules, price increases and labor costs." Fiscal Conservatives and libertarians have long opined on how the Post Office was the perfect example of why Government does not know best when it comes to business sense. And now, even the Postmaster General, John E. Potter, is aknowledging the inefficiencies that are created by the Federal Government and Unions" [A foretaste of Obamacare]
ACORN Housing Boom: "As ACORN gears up to use your tax dollars to get involved in the 2010 Census and influence future elections, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is conducting a "massive" probe of ACORN Housing Corp., a source familiar with the ongoing investigation says. The HUD probe comes as ACORN Housing, the best-funded of ACORN's affiliates, participates in the ACORN network-wide rebranding aimed at duping funders and the public and allowing ACORN to continue to devour government grants. ACORN Housing is a key component of the far-flung ACORN empire of activism which has long used its housing affiliate as a piggy bank -- so it's too important to be allowed to collapse. Although ACORN is now converting state chapters into new shell corporations operated out of the same old ACORN offices and staffed by many of the same people, ACORN Housing opted simply to change its name. ACORN's latest public relations ruse may give it an opportunity to take in untold millions of taxpayer dollars under cover of darkness just in time to cause trouble during the 2012 election cycle."
A Stern Word on Obama's Debt Appointment: "Barack Obama announced his appointments to the Bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform this past Friday, February 26th, nominating none other than Andy Stern. Stern is one of the White House's most frequent visitors, and President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an organization with close ties to ACORN and a substantial Democratic campaign contributor. But for a bipartisan panel, supposedly created to "improve the fiscal situation," and "achieve fiscal sustainability," Stern must have some qualifications that make him an ideal addition to this panel. Right? As J. Justin Wilson, Managing Director for the Center for Union Facts told LaborPains.com last week, "Stern and his unions know a thing or two about government debt, as they do their fair share to contribute to it. The SEIU has single-handedly driven more than a few states to the edge of fiscal insolvency. For instance, in 2009, SEIU members in California earned wage increases nearly double the national average, despite the fact that California's economy is in one of the worst in the nation".
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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)
Posted by JR at 10:17 PM