Who says politics can’t be fun (or funny)!?
Jimmy Kimmel kills it at this years White House Correspondent’s Dinner:
Who says politics can’t be fun (or funny)!?
Jimmy Kimmel kills it at this years White House Correspondent’s Dinner:
“The euro zone’s architects now say that what’s needed is full fiscal union — or “F U,” as my old boss Boris Johnson, mayor of London, likes to call it. More Europe, more debt, more taxes, more regulation, more foreign bankers — and fewer jobs, lower growth, less democratic accountability.”
As the advanced social-democratic Big Government state sinks under a multi-trillion-dollar debt avalanche, the conventional wisdom remains all too conventional, and disinclined even to mount an argument. So much “progressive” debate boils down to Ring Lardner’s great line:
“Shut up,” he explained.
It’s an oft-retailed quote. But fewer people know the line that precedes it (in Lardner’s novel The Young Immigrunts): a kid asking, “Are you lost, Daddy?”
As any motoring pater knows, it’s not easy to give an honest answer to that question. And the hardest thing of all is to turn around and go back, retracing your steps to the point where you made the wrong turn. If you’re a politician, it’s even harder. Leviathan has no reverse gear: “Forward!” as the Obama campaign’s 2012 slogan puts it. Yet in the end, if any of the Western world is to survive, it has to find a way to turn around, to go back.
Take the euro. It should not exist. It should never have been invented. And, ultimately, it is necessary to find a way to disinvent it. Yet even one of the least deluded of Continental leaders cannot acknowledge the need to turn around: To Angela Merkel, the euro is not a mere currency but what she calls a “Schicksalsgemeinschaft” — or “community of destiny.” Forward — to — destiny! Frau Merkel, like M. Hollande in Paris, has determined that what the Greeks and the Portuguese and the Spanish need is “more Europe.” Onward!
A decade ago, just before the euro was introduced, I noted in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph that, whereas the currencies of real nations display images of real buildings (the White House on the $20 bill, for example), the handsome edifices on the new euro notes do not, in fact, exist. Europe is full of impressive buildings — Versailles, the Parthenon — but they are unfortunately located in actual countries, and so the designers of the euro notes preferred to use composite, fantasy, pan-European architectural marvels prefiguring the Eutopia that the new currency would will into being. “In the normal course of events,” I wrote, “monetary union follows political union, as it did in the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and so on. In this instance, uniquely, monetary union is in itself an act of political binding. What’s important on Tuesday is not the introduction of the new currency but the abolition of the old ones — not the symbolic bridges on the back of the new notes, but the burning of the bridges represented by the discarded currencies.” In a “community of destiny,” there is no road back.
Continentals talk in these Eutopian terms because of their recent history. The European Union is, philosophically, a 1970s solution to a 1940s problem. Except that, in one of those jests the gods are fond of, it seems to be delivering the Continent into the very situation it was explicitly designed to prevent. The ‘tween-wars fascists sold themselves to their peoples by telling them that the world was run by a cabal of sinister foreign bankers. When the neo-nationalist Golden Dawn and the hard-left Syriza parties both reprised this line to such great effect in the recent Greek election, it had the additional merit, as Nixon liked to say, of being true. The euro has made the age-old conspiracy theories real: If you’re a Greek, your world is run by a cabal of sinister foreign bankers — the Germans and the other “northern Europeans” who control the European Central Bank, plus their chums at the IMF.
It requires a perverse genius to invent a mechanism designed to consign the horrors of the mid–20th century to the trash can of history that winds up delivering you to Mitteleuropa circa 1934. Sometimes the road forward leads you right back where you started. While Eurocrats still peddle the standard line about the EU acting as a restraint on the Teutonic urge to regional domination, the British defense secretary recently demanded that it was time for Germany, as the wealthiest nation on the Continent, to step up to its responsibilities and increase military spending. I would doubt Frau Merkel would take his advice, if only because the euro seems to be doing for Berlin’s control-freak complex what neither the Kaiser nor Hitler could pull off.
Back in 2002, the BBC’s Evan Davis assured us that the euro would make Greece financially “stable.” All the smart guys agreed: It would bring “long-term economic stability,” declared the Financial Times. By contrast, I wrote that “the euro is an exercise in vanity printing that will place massive social pressures on member states whose democratic roots go no deeper than the mid-Seventies.” That would be Greece, Spain, and Portugal, if you’re keeping track. But still the Eutopians push on to the sunlit uplands of the “community of destiny.” The euro zone’s architects now say that what’s needed is full fiscal union — or “F U,” as my old boss Boris Johnson, mayor of London, likes to call it. More Europe, more debt, more taxes, more regulation, more foreign bankers — and fewer jobs, lower growth, less democratic accountability. A decade ago I said that one advantage of those fantasy buildings and bridges on the banknotes is that being nonexistent makes them much harder to blow up. But in an ever more insolvent Europe there are plenty of real buildings to hand.
“Are you lost, Eurodaddy?”
“Shut up,” he explained.
In the “Liberals say the stupidest things” column, MSNBC reporter Melissa Harris-Perry went on record Monday about how she viewed America’s reaction to the attacks against us on 9/11: It was a matter of “white America” creating racial enemies out of people of color. Something Ms Harris-Perry claims America has always done throughout its history!
Perry, who anchors The Melissa Harris-Perry show on the weekends, provided a window of clarity into the way liberals view world events. Here are some of her startling conclusions:
This is not the first time Harris-Perry has said extraordinarily stupid things.
On Oct 15 of last year, Real Clear Politics reported that Harris-Perry had denounced as racist Michele Bachmann’s observation that only 53% of Americans payed Federal Income Tax (a fact).
“What that is meant to imply is that there is a whole group that is dependent,” Harris Perry opined. That, in fact, “that 53% talk is just codeword for the “2011 version of the welfare queen.”
That Ms Harris-Perry is a rising star both at MSNBC/NBC and in liberal circles is a sad commentary upon the decayed level of judgement and discernment of American Liberalism.
Does Ms. Harris-Perry really believe America goes looking for non-white enemies to demonize and target as national enemies? Last time I looked, we fought two world wars against the Germans, and a long Cold War against the Russians. To the best of my knowledge, neither of these nations were composed of predominantly non-white people… If I’m wrong, somebody should have mentioned that to Hitler and Goebbles!
Here is a news flash for the dopey Ms Harris-Perry: It was no figment of our fevered imagination that the enemy who destroyed the World Trade Center and crashed a plane into the Pentagon on 9/11 were ”somehow Muslim”. We are at war with radical Islamic terrorists because they came over here to make war on us; not the other way around.
It is a libel of the Left that America is a racist nation; that “white America” is motivated by hatred for “people of color”. Americans have long ago accepted “people of color” into our hearts and elevated them to the highest places in entertainment, sports, and now politics. Under George W. Bush, two African Americans served as Secretary of State (Colin Powell and Condeleza Rice); and in 2008 Americans elected Barack Obama as their President (a decision that many are now regretting, for reasons that have nothing to do with his color)!
If anyone reading this watches NBC or MSNBC and assumes that network is somehow a fair and balanced news outlet; please consider the quality (or lack thereof) of the people who represent them and the drivel that spews forth from out of their mouths!
This weekend the Greeks went to the polls to vote for various political parties that all promised versions of the same thing: Let the party continue, money (or lack thereof) be damned!
Reports on the Greek elections focus on which party claims to be for staying in the Euro Zone (the Greek “Right”) and which wants to give the rest of Europe the finger (the Greek “Left”). What all seem to miss or downplay is what the Greek political parties all have in common: none endorse the kind of austerity reforms that are demanded by Germany, Europe’s chief financier; and which might save the Greek economy in the long run.
All Greek political parties reject the measures that are required for Germany to OK another bailout of the teetering-on-the-brink Greek economy. Even the so-called conservative New Democracy party, which eked out a meager victory in the weekend Parliamentary election, wants bailouts without real concessions on Greece’s part.
Its rather like a child, used to a generous weekly allowance from its parents; rebelling against having to do household chores to earn it! The Greeks don’t want to clean their room, do their own dishes, or mow the lawn. Instead, they invite their friends over for a major weekend blowout, ordering pizza and buying beer on Dad’s credit card!
The Greeks are just the most obvious example of Spoiled-Rotten Liberalism.
Growing-up in the liberal entitlement society, where bad behavior is divorced from real-life consequences the modern liberal masses enjoy the largess bestowed by Big Government’s patronage; the bills for which are paid for by the hard-working “adults” in said society. In the spirit of “from each according to his means; to each according to his needs” those who are willing/stupid enough to work hard and pay their fair-share of taxes (to essentially “grow-up!) are increasingly milked dry.
Meanwhile, those on the “dole” demand more as their just entitlement; the unemployed demand ever more months of unemployment benefits; government employees demand higher wages and cushier benefit packages; and students going to school on tax payer supported loans demand debt forgiveness and free tuition!
In Greece, where the workday is 6 hours (broken up into two segments by a three hour, mid-day break for lunch, love-making, and a good nap) and guaranteed 6 week long vacations; where government sector wages and benefits exceed those of the average private sector employee by a factor of two; the economy can no longer support this cushy life-style. Instead of making changes to their lifestyle and spending habits that would balance their budgets, the Greeks want the hard-working Germans and Swedes to pay more of their earnings to finance the Greek’s fiestas and siestas!
Germans, who retire at the age of 67, are understandably resentful of subsidising a nation where hairdressers can retire at the age of 50; apparently due to the hazardousness of that profession!
Like spoiled-rotten children, they refuse to grow-up and take responsibility for themselves; instead demanding that mom and dad keep paying their bills far into their adulthood.
In America, we see the same syndrome developing. One has only to watch the antics of and support on the left for the Occupy Movement to see this up-close here at home.
This weekend’s election in Greece will ultimately mean nothing. Germany will not allow Greece to (on the one hand) stay in the Euro Zone and receive German bailout; while on the other doing nothing to tighten their belts and alter their unsustainable lifestyle. Greece will fail economically for the same reason Socialism always fails: eventually it runs out of other people’s money to spend or steal.
Dennis Prager, Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The quotation of the week last week had to be that of Harvard professor Daniel E. Lieberman in an opinion piece for the New York Times.
Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology, was among those who publicly defended New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to ban the sale of sugared soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.
And he did so using, of all things, evolution.
Now, we all know that humans have always needed — or evolved to need — carbohydrates for energy. So how could evolution argue for Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on sugar, a pure carbohydrate?
“We have evolved,” the professor concluded his piece, “to need coercion.”
In order to understand both how silly and dangerous this comment is, one must first understand the role evolutionary explanations play in academic life — and in left-wing life generally. The left has always sought single, non-values based explanations for human behavior. It was originally economics. Man is homo economicus, the creature whose behavior can be explained by economics.
Rather than dividing the world between good and evil, the left divided the world in terms of economics. Economic classes, not moral values, explain human behavior. Therefore, to cite a widespread example, poverty, not one’s moral value system, or lack of it, causes crime.
Recently, however, the economic explanation for human behavior has lost some of its appeal. Even many liberal professors and editorial writers have had to grapple with the “surprising” fact that violent crime has declined, not increased, in the current recession.
In the words of “Scientific American,” “Homo economicus is extinct.”
But the biggest reason for the declining popularity of economic man is that science has displaced economics — which is not widely regarded as a science — as the left’s real religion. Increasingly, therefore, something held to be indisputably scientific — evolution — is offered as the left’s explanation for virtually everything.
Evolution explains love, altruism, morality, economic behavior, God, religion, intelligence. Indeed, it explains everything but music. For some reason, the evolutionists have not come up with an evolution-based explanation for why human beings react so powerfully to music. But surely they will.
Now, along comes Professor Lieberman, not merely to use evolution to explain human behavior but to justify coercive left-wing social policy.
In other words, the left is not only progressive when it coerces citizens to act in ways the left deems appropriate but also science itself — through evolution — inexorably leads to government coercion on behalf of such policies.
Whereas until now, the democratic left has attempted to persuade humanity that left-wing policies are inherently progressive, this Harvard professor has gone a huge step further. Left-wing policies are scientifically based. This is exactly how the Soviet Communists defended their totalitarian system. Everything they advocated was “naoochni,”“scientific.”
To differ with the left is not only definitionally sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, and bigoted (SIXHIRB, as I have labeled it) — it is now against science itself.
Those who oppose Mayor Bloomberg’s law in the name of liberty are therefore missing the point. Not only does another left-wing god — health — demand government coercion, so does evolution itself. Those Americans who place liberty above other considerations and oppose Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban large sodas might as well argue against the earth’s tilt because they don’t like winter.
That is the logical upshot of Professor Lieberman’s position.
But there is an even more foolish and dangerous upshot to “we have evolved to need coercion.”
If we take this claim seriously and use evolution to guide social policy, little that is truly decent will survive. Is there anything less prescribed by evolution than, let us say, hospices? Professor Lieberman writes that humans have evolved into cooperating with one another. But he cannot deny that the basic evolutionary proposition is survival of the fittest. How, then, can an evolutionary perspective demand the expending of energy and resources to take care of those who are dying? And if evolution demands the survival of the species, wouldn’t evolution call for other “coercion” — against abortion, for example?
Which all proves that what the professor really means to say — and more and more college graduates will be taught — is this: “We have evolved to vote Democrat.”
It was a case of deja vu all over again, as the President’s much-touted reframing of the fall campaign issues, rambled on for 54 minutes.
Stalemate between the parties, a financially irresponsibile Europe dragging on our economic coat tails, and its “all George Bush’s fault!” are themes we have heard from the President repeatedly, ad nauseam. Every time he speaks, one can predict precisely what President Obama is going to say. And its becoming plain annoying. Like one of those irritating bubble-gum songs that use to play endlessly on FM radio stations in the 70s: intrusive, cloying, sometimes catchy, but WAY overplayed!
Yet in his “reset the campaign” speech today at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, what we got was more of the same! A rambling, shambling 54 minutes of regurgitated “I’m right, Republican’s wrong! Oh, and did I say: It’s not my fault??”
I was reminded that while Obama meandered on-and-on, the national debt grew by $140 million!
Pundits piled on afterward to pan this as one of Obama’s worst speeches yet.
“One of his least successful speeches…Went on-and-on…At times he seemed to lose the thread… He lost his audience.”, said Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter.
“…nothing new in this speech”, sniffed Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller.
John Hayward of Human Events had the best take on it: “This Obama speech is so long-winded it might be the first attempt to filibuster an election!”
On June 12, Obama blamed (shockingly!) Republicans for the financial woes he inherited, and which (according to the President) continue to plague the country. Republicans are like a guy who “goes to a restaurant, orders a big steak dinner, a martini and all that stuff, then just as you’re sitting down they leave and accuse you of running up the tab,” Obama said.
What the President conveniently forgets to mention is that since taking office, Obama and the Democrats (who controlled Congress in the first two years of his Administration, not to mention the last two years of the Bush Administration!) have since doubled the debt amount run up by Bush! In other words, what debt it took Bush (and Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid) eight years to accrue, Obama has matched (and then some!) in just three years!
During his first three years, Obama has increased the National Debt by 70%.
Using the President’s own analogy: he walked into a restaurant, and was left with the other guy’s tab; then proceeded to shout out: “Drinks and dinner for EVERYONE!!”
If Bush went on a spending binge his last two years (again, compliments of a Democrat-controlled Congress), Obama presided in his first two years over a virtual spending bacchanal!
Today the President was correct about one point: the problem in Washington is, indeed, that the two parties have VERY different visions for this economy: The Republicans want to stop borrowing money at a rate of $2.6 million per minute; while the President doesn’t think we have borrowed and spent enough.
It will indeed be up to the voters in November to break this impasse.