Category Archive 'Uncategorized'
04 Oct 2007
George Friedman, at Stratfor, discusses the fundamental contradiction of the current European Union.
How do you have multiple sovereign states within a single central bank? How do you reconcile national sovereignty with a multinational monetary system when it is impossible to create a single monetary policy that satisfies the policies of multiple sovereign nations? Someone must always be hurt. What is of great significance is that Sarkozy has made it clear that it is France, one of Europe’s founders, that is being hurt — to the benefit of its partner, Germany.
This leads to the more immediate question: If Germany and France undertake fundamentally different approaches to economic development, how can both of these strategies be contained in a single European structure? In a way, it would have been simpler had there not been a euro. Multiple economic strategies can be reconciled with a customs union, or even a multinational regulatory system. But reconciling multiple economic approaches with a single currency cannot happen.
The United States confronted this question in the past. In the 1850s, some states wanted a radical revision of social, economic and monetary policy that would benefit them but leave other states at an enormous disadvantage. The industrializing part of the country wanted policies that would protect its interests. The agricultural part of the country, heavily dependent on exports, wanted a different policy. A conference was held in 1863 at Gettysburg. Both sides made compelling arguments over three days, but in the end it was decided that not only would the policies of the industrializing states be followed, but no one would be permitted to withdraw from the economic, political and social union of the United States. State sovereignty was to be limited and federal power was to be paramount.
It was the Union Army that made the most convincing argument at Gettysburg. There is no Union Army in Europe. There is no sovereign center that can hold dissidents in the monetary or economic union. And there is, for that matter, no power on Earth that can keep France and Germany within a single system if they do not want to be there. Sovereignty, without the slightest shadow of doubt, rests with the nation-states of Europe — and the European institutions will last only as long as they reflect the interests of all of these nations.
George Friedman has started blogging.
19 Jan 2006
Jack Kelly at Real Clear Politics reports a possible terrorism connection the MSM studiously overlooks:
Last month Italian authorities arrested three Algerians who were members of the al Qaida -linked terror group GSPC.
The three were plotting attacks on ships, railway stations and stadiums in the United States in a bid to outdo the casualties caused on 9/11, said Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu.
The arrests made front page news in newspapers in Italy, Britain and France. But apparently the only U.S. newspaper to mention them was the Philadelphia Inquirer, in a short AP dispatch on page A-6. The AP did not mention that the principal targets of the plotters were in the U.S.
The incuriosity of our news media about the plotters and their plots is curious, especially in light of the mysterious death of Joel Hinrichs, 21, a Muslim convert who, wearing a suicide vest, blew himself up Oct. 1 on a park bench outside the stadium in Norman where the university of Oklahoma football team was playing Kansas State. When Hinrichs’ apartment was searched after his death, the FBI found a plane ticket to Algeria.
Hat tip to AJStrata
And Thomas Joscelyn has an article in the Standard backgrounding the same al Qaeda-affiliated Algerian terrorist group, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC).
05 Jan 2006
A comedic spectacle worthy of the old-time confrontations between the Communist mayor Peppone and Catholic priest Don Camillo in the novels of Guiseppi Guareschi will soon be playing out in an Italian courtroom:
An Italian court is tackling Jesus — and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.
The case pits against each other two men in their 70s, who are from the same central Italian town and even went to the same seminary school in their teenage years.
The defendant, Enrico Righi, went on to become a priest writing for the parish newspaper. The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month.
“I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression,” Cascioli told Reuters.
Cascioli says Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is “Abuso di Credulita Popolare” (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is “Sostituzione di Persona,” or impersonation.
“The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala,” Cascioli claimed, referring to the 1st century Jew who fought against the Roman army.
“In my book, ‘The Fable of Christ,’ I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ’s existence,” Cascioli said.
Signore Cascioli is evidently unacquainted with Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews (William Whiston, translation) 63:
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
23 Dec 2005
Jon T. Coleman’s influential 2004 book Vicious – Wolves and Men in America argues for the reintroduction of wolves (from Canada) into the United States to repopulate their former hunting grounds, to “heal ecosystems overrun with herbivores, …bring a sense of wildness to national parks, … (and) brighten the human soul.” After all, the author observes: “There is no record of a nonrabid (sic) wolf killing a human in North America since the arrival of Europeans.”
These kinds of expansive claims are often published by writers on the Environmental left (who are insufficiently well-read), but a recent event in Northern Saskatchewan seems likely to eliminate the repetition of that particular refrain, and will probably impact regional wolf reintroduction debates.
On Nov. 8, student Kenton Joel Carnegie was walking alone near a remote camp owned by a mining exploration company when it is believed that he was killed by wolves.
Though an investigation is continuing, some wolves in the area had been attracted to a garbage dump and appeared to be less fearful of humans. Thus far authorities said Carnegie’s death is thought to be the first documented case in the wild of healthy wolves killing a human in North America since 1900.
21 Dec 2005
The goofballs in the US Senate again blocked oil exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Tara Sweeney explains what oil exploration means to her people, the Inupiaq Inuit who live there.
Right now, it’s 30 below zero in Kaktovik, the only village within the entire 19.6 million acres of the federally recognized boundaries of ANWR. It is total 24-hour darkness, and the wind is howling. Beyond the little houses, there is flat frozen ocean and tundra for as far as the eye can see. Stretching 1000 miles from the Barents Sea near Siberia in the west, to the Canadian border in the east, the Arctic Coastal Plain is one of the harshest climates in the world. Only the strongest people survive.
The PURE LUXURY of running water, flush toilets, local schools, local health care clinics, police and fire stations, were unavailable prior to the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay, America’s largest oil field, 90 miles to the west. Kaktovik was the last community on Alaska’s North Slope to get these wondrous things, courtesy of tax revenue from oil operations at Prudhoe Bay.
What would Americans in the Lower 48 States do if they were denied these basic necessities? They’d scream bloody murder!
Yet these are the basic amenities that radical environmentalists of the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society say the Inupiat Eskimo people should be denied.
John Hinderaker of Power Line asks:
It’s a funny thing: when the Democrats are in the majority, the Democrats run Congress. When the Republicans are in the majority, the Democrats still run Congress. How does that work?
Maybe if we get lucky, the democrats will nail Bill Frist with that phony scandal they’ve been working on, and get rid of him for us.
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