The Schadenfreude is mounting as I watch the weeping and gnashing of teeth at Jean-Marie Le Pen coming second in the French presidential elections. I almost hope he wins (since I don't have to live there). The only problem I foresee is the Left trying to conflate Le Pen's modest success with the rise of centre-right parties in the rest of Europe. Le Pen isn't even right-wing in the US/UK conservative sense. He's more accurately a reactionary old goat hankering for La Gloire Française. He's anti-globalisation, anti-American and pro-tariffs. Of course, there are now calls to 'reform' the voting system to stop this sort of thing happening again - read today's Telegraph. You couldn't make this stuff up.
Aarggh! How in hell does James Lileks get to be so damn good? Read his latest bleat. As somebody said (one of the Blogerati, forget which) - he writes this well for free.
By the way, for US citizens reading this, don't for a moment think I'm denigrating or underplaying your role in the Allies' victory in WW II. It could not have been won without you, and for that this particular European is profoundly and eternally grateful
That aside, I bet your mother's best friend didn't see her mother converted to offal by a German fighter conducting a strafing run in the streets of a small provincial town.
Yes, my chilluns, the Germans did some mighty bad juju on the people of Britain. I remember, even though I was not there. Isn't that strange?
This is funny. Apparently the CIA shot Abu Zubaydah's cock off. So, when he gets to that remarkably bizarre whorehouse the Islamofascists call Paradise, what's he going to do with the 72 black-eyed houris? Play table football? For ever?
Asparagirl has an interesting take on how the Holocaust is almost a racial memory for her. I kind of feel the same way about WW II, even though the invasion of Poland was thirty years to the day before I was born. My father was a soldier in the British Army in WW II. My mother withstood Nazi bombing raids as a child. Both of them lost friends to enemy action (some of my mother's tales chill my blood). My kid sister went to a school with a prominent memorial to the fallen children and teachers from an aerial mine attack.
There was no significant action taken by the Axis against civilian targets in the US post Pearl Harbor. So I think it's hard for many people in the US to realise quite how long the fingers of a war can be. The kitchen window in my parents' house was near-opaque 'R' glass for years, this being the 'R'ough glass you got after a bomb blew your windows in. I had to have the central pillar in my bedroom replaced (in the late 80's!) because my parents' house had been lifted off its foundations by the 1000 lb bomb that wiped out a family a few hundred metres away, and the house was still shifting. There's a crack in the masonry up the side of the house next door - a perfect indicator of a phenomenon known as 'blast shadow'. I grew up steeped in the knowledge that a generation fought and died to give me what I have. I think we're heading into a similar conflict against an enemy just as evil as the Nazis. If all goes well, at least I'll have something stirring to tell my children and grandchildren.
Read this report in today's Daily Telegraph to understand why I think leaving the UK for Costa Rica was the best thing I ever did. I think Mohammed Al Fayed is a reprehensible individual in many ways, but he has my every sympathy in this particular case.
In a nutshell, the unreformed Trotskyists of the soi disant 'Scottish Executive' are proposing legislation to allow 'crofting communities' to buy the land where they live, whether or not the landowner wishes to sell. This has to be in direct contravemtion of Article I of the Treaty of Rome:
Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.
It could be argued, I suppose, that para. 2 in the above gives the SE the leeway to pass this law. However, the Scottish Executive does not represent 'The State' - it is a devolved institution within the United Kingdom and as such is not a signatory to the Treaty of Rome. Secondly, it is arguable that such an act would be counter-productive, in that it would cause loss of inward investment and employment, and hence would run counter to the 'general interest'.
Whether or not this legislation comes to pass, it is still an utterly shameful piece of retro-Communist dogma. It extends the notion of 'eminent domain' (in itself a troublesome concept for a free-market libertarian like me) from government to a subset of the populace. Free property is the linch-pin of a free society. Thank God I had the guts to live up to my pledge in 1997 (unlike Robert Altman, Alec Baldwin et al.) and emigrate when that demagogic little popinjay Blair came to power.
Christopher Johnson in Midwest Conservative Journal has pretty much the same take on Melanie Phillips' Spectator article that I did, namely that the liberal 'intelligentsia' prefers its downtrodden victims to be just that. Once they start getting the upper hand then they must be oppressing someone else. So It's OK to get all shocked and sad when Jews are being carted off in railcars to be gassed, but standing up for themselves? Well that's hardly sporting.
According to this report from the BBC, Jean-Marie Le Pen has made an unexpectedly strong showing in the first round of the French Presidential elections. I wonder what would happen if he won? Remember that there was talk of sanctions against Austria when Jorg Haider won there, and even when Silvio Berlusconi won in Italy. Le Pen is very far to the right of those two (and an extremely nasty piece of work for whom I hold no brief, I hasten to add). I hope he loses, but a nasty little devil inside me is chortling at the schadenfreude I would feel were he to win.
Woohoo! I get in Max Power's Hall Of Reciprocity. I now have a Sullivan Number of four. Thanks Max! Although this is all a bit incestuous. I linked to his site because of a link he had to a review of a book on Intelligent Design (one of my interests, in the debunking-thereof-sense that is). Ain't the Internet grand?
Contact me: d a g g i l l i e s @ y a h o o . c o m