Category Archive 'European Union'
15 Dec 2016

The Future of NATO and the EU

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Paul Rahe discusses the basic existential problems facing NATO and the European Union.

Politics are generational, and there is next to no one left who remembers World War II. The manner in which things spun out of control in the 1920s and 1930s is no longer even a memory. It is all ancient history now. The new generation hardly even remembers the Cold War and does not appreciate how dangerous it once was. The crises that gave rise to NATO have faded into the past. Barack Obama treated our longtime allies with a measure of contempt. Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks suggest that he may think that he can do without them altogether.

The one thing that NATO could not survive is repudiation by its hegemon. We may live to regret our forgetfulness. …

There is [a] defect to the European Union that cannot be remedied. It is made up of democracies. That is a requirement for membership. But it is not itself democratically governed, and it is difficult to see how it could be. The European elite may be able to bridge linguistic and cultural differences. The peoples of Europe whom they govern cannot. The European Parliament will never be a properly representative body.

In consequence, the EU is governed by a commission appointed by the governments of its members and dominated by its most economically efficient member, Germany. In practice, there is no provision for a redress of grievances and little room for a correction of course. The ordinary citizens of the countries within the union have next to no say about the regulations under which they live and work. In effect, they are subjects within an oligarchy; and, thanks to the crisis to which the common currency gave rise and to the refugee crisis produced by the war in Iraq and Syria, there is now seething discontent. There is no way to vent that frustration by throwing the rascals out.

In the long run, such discontent is inevitable. The citizens in the various countries in Europe are unlikely to be satisfied with a situation in which they are not masters in their own homes. The more intrusive and pervasive the EU becomes, the more it will be resented. And sooner or later, when a crisis presents itself, there will be an explosion.

If the EU is to survive, the European elite will have to acknowledge that the ambition to turn the old customs union into a proper federation was folly, the currency union will have to be dismantled or reduced in extent, and the welter of regulations will have to be cut back. Charles de Gaulle envisioned a Europe des patries. It is only in such a Europe that the distinct peoples of Europe can be self-governing. Sometimes, less is more. …

02 Oct 2016

The Guardian Admires Daniel Hannan

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danielhannan
Daniel Hannan

Britain’s Guardian, the voice of Labour, has a very good, very long article by Sam Knight, paying tribute to Daniel Hannan as the key figure responsible for the recent referendum victory taking Britain out of the EU.

Hannan was part of a particular generation of young Conservatives deeply marked by these events. He was in his first term at Oxford, studying history at Oriel, when Thatcher resigned on 23 November 1990. Twenty-three days later, John Major approved an early draft of Maastricht. The sense of a mighty mistake being made has never left Hannan. By the end of term, he had founded the Campaign for an Independent Britain, or CIB, at the Queen’s Lane cafe on Oxford High Street.

“I remember swearing what the old adventure stories would call a terrible oath to do something,” he told me. …

At Oxford, Hannan’s screeds on Maastricht quoted Aristotle, Shakespeare and William Pitt the Younger. But he also had an eye for a stunt. Conservative ministers visiting the CIB were ambushed and photographed with anti-EU T-shirts, while Hannan’s speeches – as his writings are now – were littered with arch, aphoristic observations. Lord Salisbury was able to run the British empire with 52 civil servants. King’s College, Cambridge, has produced more Nobel prize winners than France. The world’s oldest parliaments all hail from small islands. Goldman Sachs wants you to vote remain. “A Hannan soundbite does stick with you,” said Littlewood. “He does make you think.” …

[W]orking to another order of events, separated Hannan and the other Maastricht diehards – even from fellow Tories who might otherwise agree with them. “The view at the centre was these were the people who had kept the Conservative party out of power for years,” said Gove. “Whatever they are most passionately in favour of must perforce be at best eccentric, at worst electoral disaster.”

One new MP in 2005 remembered being lobbied to support the move out of the EPP and asking an older colleague for advice. “He said, ‘You just cannot. It looks good. But you cannot give an inch to these guys because they will never, ever accept it. They will take and take and take until they have won.’” Several Conservative MPs I spoke to for this article compared Hannan and his set to “entryists” and “Trots” for their ideological purity, their quest to reassert what they regard as Britain’s lost place in the world. “They are grammar-school imperialists,” one MP told me. “A hundred years ago Hannan and his ilk would have been able to vent their rather bizarre beliefs bullying people in a nether-province of India.”

Hannan says such insults have never bothered him. “It passes by as the idle wind that I respect not,” he said. He simply regards himself as a different kind of a politician. “I think public life for me has a slightly didactic role, OK,” he said. “You should be trying to shift the centre ground of public opinion.” …

In November 2009, though, the Conservatives abandoned their own manifesto promise to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. Hannan called Cameron’s office to resign from his duties in Brussels – he was the party’s legal affairs spokesman in Europe. A senior aide picked up the phone. “I said … I just think you’ve made the most terrible mistake,” Hannan recalled. But he promised to step down without publicity. The adviser thanked him, and asked Hannan what he planned to do next. “I’m going to devote myself full time to securing and then winning a referendum on leaving the EU,” Hannan replied. The aide laughed down the line. “Good luck with that.”

Hannan put the phone down. He was in his office in Brussels. The Macauley poem, Horatius at the Bridge, entered his mind: “Who will stand on either hand / And keep the bridge with me?

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Frank A. Dobbs.

Hannan is a brilliant conservative who knows what he is talking about, as this video of Hannan in action in the EU Parliament demonstrates.

29 Jun 2016

Vichy France Propaganda Postcard, 1942

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VichyPostcard
The French hen shelters all the national chicks of Europe (including the German one bearing the swastika), while confused Switzerland and Sweden (neutral nations) think about it. Disgruntled Great Britain is entering an American trap with a Jewish star-of-David on its door.

Hat tip to Kaj Małachowski.

23 Jun 2016

Don’t Be Taken in: Vote Yes!

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Brexit

24 May 2016

Hitler Learns of the British EU Referendum

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27 Jan 2016

The Future of Europe — German Identity Movement

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A powerful video made by right-wing young Germans.

07 Jul 2015

Greek Apology Present to EU

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GreekHorse

The Daily Mash:

15-05-12

THE nation of Greece said sorry to the European Union with a present of an enormous wooden horse.

Left outside the European Central Bank in the dead of night, the horse has now been moved into the ECB’s central lobby where it is proudly on display.

A gift tag attached to the horse, which is surprisingly light for its size and has small holes along the length of its body, suggested that it should be placed in the bank’s vaults overnight to avoid it being targeted by thieves.

Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, said: “How nice of the Greeks to acknowledge the trouble we’ve been put to on their behalf with this wonderful horse, handmade and so large it could hold a dozen double-decker buses.

“The card with it, which had a teddy bear dressed as a hobo on the front, explained that Greece made us this because they don’t have enough money for a present, which brought a tear to my eye.

“However, unless they can somehow find billions overnight then austerity measures must continue.”

Oddly, Greek representatives in Brussels have hinted that they may soon be in a position to settle their debts and have puzzled the French and German banks that hold their loans by asking if there is any discount for cash. …

Whole thing.

04 Jul 2015

Greece and the EU

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GreekMythology

05 Apr 2013

Cyprus Shows European Pols Are Ready to Eat the Rich

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Lars Seier Christensen, co-founder & CEO of Denmark’s Saxo Bank A/S, looks on at the destruction of Cyprus’s economy by the Euro Zone bailout and begins sounding like Tocqueville.

There are very few limits to what you can do to people in the modern interpretation of democracy. A version where only majority rule is required, but where there is no longer a respect for personal negative rights – as we know them from the American Constitution.

The easiest target will always be wealthy people, or even just working people and savers who did the right thing all their lives. As the bloated welfare states begin to collapse under their irresponsible promises, their crumbling value systems and their unsustainable demographics, it will be easy to convince more than 50 percent of voters that confiscating and stealing other people’s money is OK for the greater good. Boston Consulting Group calculated that 28 percent of ALL private wealth is needed to meet just existing debts – not future obligations , mind you – and the money can only come from one place… Your pockets. Beware.

A lot of things have gone wrong over the past few years, but the seeds were planted many years ago. In the form of pressure for more people having the “right” to own their properties, even if they did not fulfill the traditional mortgage criteria – hence subprime. In the form of enormous “entitlements” to not just poor, but also middle-class people in the welfare states – hence ballooning deficits and debt. In the form of a Euro, a grand, political project with no practical foundation – hence crisis after crisis, with the dominoes stretching far into the distance.

The United States has precisely the Liberal political tradition of well-established and legally-recognized Natural Rights protecting property, but we also have Barack Obama and a radical democrat majority in the US Senate sharing views identical to those of European Union socialists and caring absolutely nothing for the American Liberal political tradition, which they neither respect nor understand.

Via Tyler Durden.

27 Nov 2012

Sts. Cyril and Methodius to Have Halos and Crosses Restored

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The religious-symbol-neutered version previously scheduled for production.

Original story

After strong objections by the Catholic Church which were taken up in the national parliament of Slovakia by the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and some representatives of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) caucus to the elimination of halos from the heads of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and the removal of the image of the cross from the saints’ vestments, the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Slovakia has announced that the halos and crosses will be restored on the 2-Euro coins scheduled to be released in 2013 to commemorate the 1150th Anniversary of the Mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs.

Slovak Spectator reported, however, that restoring those halos might preclude the Slovakian €2 coin being released throughout the European Union.

The NBS [National Bank of Slovakia, country’s central bank – ed. note] Bank Council approved the original proposal of the design, even though it realises that the new approval process may lead to frustrating the original goal of releasing the commemorative coin throughout the 17-nation eurozone,” said spokesperson for the bank Petra Pauerová, as quoted by TASR.

The European Commission earlier stated that the commemorative coin cannot contain crosses and halos in order to observe the principle of religious neutrality in the European Union. Later it was revealed that it was not the EC as such, but certain eurozone members that objected to releasing the coin with religious symbols.

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The same paper separately identified the countries who had a problem with Christian saints being depicted with such particularist Christian symbols as halos and crosses/

It was certain eurozone member states that expressed disagreement with the original artistic proposal for a Slovak commemorative coin depicting Saints Cyril and Methodius with crosses and halos set to be released in 2013, Andrej Králik from the Representation of the EU Commission in Slovakia said on Thursday, November 22.

The commission subsequently asked Slovakia to submit a modified proposal, which was later approved by the EU Council, Králik told the TASR newswire. He rejected statements by certain Slovak politicians who said that the case involved a ‘dictate of Brussels’ and ‘high-handedness of officials from the EU Commission’, describing these assertions as untrue and deceptive.

The commission stated that the removal of the religious symbols was due to the need to observe religious neutrality, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. German MEP Martin Kastler earlier on Thursday revealed that the countries that had raised objections to the original Slovak proposal were France and Greece

19 Nov 2012

EU Censors Crosses & Halos From 2-Euro Coin Commemorating Sts. Cyril & Methodius

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Translated from Polish Catholic DEON.pl news item:

A Two-Euro coin design by Miroslav Hric to be released into circulation in May of next year by the National Bank of Slovakia (NSB) in commemoration of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of the two saints in Moravia was changed.

Currently, there is the image of the two saints, and between them a double cross representing the national emblem of Slovakia. However, the symbol of the cross was removed from the saints’ vestments, and halos were removed from around their head. NSB spokeswoman Petra Pauerova told the Slovak newspaper “Pravda” that “the European Commission, assenting to the ‘request of some Commonwealth countries’ prescribed the removal of these attributes from the original coin design.” Since the coin will be released into circulation in all euro area countries, the project should respect the principle of “religious neutrality,” explained Pauerova.

The removal of those features from the Slovakian coins was announced on Sunday on public television and radio stations in Slovakia.

The Slovakian Bishops’ Conference in a statement did not hesitate to use the word “disgrace”. “The resignation of the key attributes associated conceptually with Saints Cyril and Methodius demonstrates the lack of respect for the Christian tradition of Europe.” indignantly remarked Church spokesman Rev. Jozef Kovaczik. He added the Church only learned that the two symbols would not appear on the Two-Euro coin via the media.

“In 1988, before the Velvet Revolution, the faithful in Slovakia risked their lives, preaching the doctrine of the two saints. Do we really live in a nation of law, or in a totalitarian system, which dictates to us what attributes we may use?” asked Rev. Kovaczik, noting that Slovakia is a Catholic country.

St. Cyril (926-869) and St. Methodius (815-885) were the first missionaries to the Slavs. It was to their mission that the Slavic portions of Europe owe the adoption of the Christian faith and their own roots in the culture of Europe.

These saints in both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are called the Apostles of the Slavs, and came from Byzantium to the Moravian state in 862 A.D. at the request of the local ruler Rostislav. They knew both the language and customs of the Slavs, having dealt previously with Christianized Southern Slavs living in the area around the Byzantine Thessalonica. Both had already made a translation of the Bible into Slavonic, having for purposes of translation created a special 40-letter alphabet, the Glagolitic script.

Cyril and Methodius’ students continued their mission to the Eastern and Southern Slavs. The complicated Glagolitic script ultimately replaced in liturgical writings by the simpler Cyrillic alphabet, modeled upon the Greek alphabet.

Pope John Paul II gave Sts. Cyril and Methodius the title of patron saints of Europe.

In church iconography the saints are depicted dressed in pontifical garb as Greek or Latin bishops. Their attributes are a cross, a book and an unrolled scroll displaying the Slavic alphabet.

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The NBS web-site. announcing the winning design, says blandly:

The original competition design was modified in line with recommendations made within the notification and approval procedure conducted pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 975/98 on denominations and technical specifications of euro coins intended for circulation, as amended.

14 Oct 2012

EU Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

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The best line came from the fellow on Facebook who quipped: “At least, they didn’t give the European Union the prize for Economics!”

02 Oct 2012

European Relationship Problems

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08 Mar 2012

Rather Strange EU Commercial

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The advertisement in favor of the European Union, first of all, takes a surprisingly negative, and decidedly politically incorrect, view of European relationships with China, India, and Africa.

Not every European country, I would tend to think, likes to see itself as a red-headed woman in a yellow leotard. And the proliferation of meditating broads seems to this viewer at least to represent a strikingly ineffective response to a series of martial arts challenges. Of course, donning yellow leotards and assuming the lotus position, it could be argued, is not an entirely inaccurate way of depicting the European approach to defense generally, but there really should be some reference to relying on the Americans to come in and kick those wogs’ butts for them if they attack the pretty red-headed girls.

Hat tip to Kaj Malachowski.

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