American Elephants

Britain Slams Dishonest Obama by American Elephant
September 7, 2009, 2:34 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, News, Politics, United Kingdom | Tags: , ,

Obama knew about the Lockerbie bomber release all along:

‘The US was kept fully in touch about everything that was going on with regard to Britain’s discussions with Libya in recent years and about Megrahi,’ said the Whitehall aide.

‘We would never do anything about Lockerbie without discussing it with the US. It is disingenuous of them to act as though Megrahi’s return was out of the blue.

‘They knew about our prisoner transfer agreement with Libya and they knew that the Scots were considering Megrahi’s case.’ [read more]

Justice, Injustice, Compassion, and Mercy, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference. by The Elephant's Child

The release of the mastermind of the Lockerbie bombing, Abel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, after serving just eight years of a 27-year minimum sentence, on “compassionate grounds” has shocked friends and families of the  259 passengers and 11 villagers killed by the wreckage.

Whether or not al-Megrahi is actually dying of cancer remains to be seen.  Moammar Gadhafi arranged for a large audience to greet him when he arrived in Libya on one of Gadhafi’s jets.  The crowd was delirious, cheering and singing patriotic songs.

Canadian journalist David Warren addressed the situation:

The use of the very term “compassionate” in the Scottish decision is two-edged.  while it does, indeed, spit on the graves of the bomber’s victims, and in the faces of their survivors, it simultaneously infers that by refusing “compassion” opponents of the decision are unjust.  Here we enter into the insanity of “moral relativism” and “moral equivalence” — recently on exhibit in tears shed ignominiously for the inmates of Guantanamo.

We reveal, almost everywhere that compassion is invoked, the fact that we no longer have a viable conception of justice.  For in the conception we once had,”compassion” had no part.

The operative word was “mercy,” and the idea behind it was radically different from the idea behind compassion. … Mercy has tempered justice, in our western tradition.  Note that construction: mercy is not a part of justice, it is “another thing.”(…)

But today it is “justice,” which, in our civilization, was known to be something sharp and hard.  Justice is necessary to rectify injustice.  The man who intentionally kills many unknown to him, in order to make a political statement, has committed a grave act of injustice, for which an equal and opposite act of justice is required.  Justice, not retribution; for a desire for revenge should no more come into a just judgment, than a desire for compassion.

And as it has become clear that the release of this man had little to do with “compassion” and everything to do with millions in British business opportunities in the oil fields of Libya, David Warren added:

It is insulting to be told an obvious lie; more insulting when the lie is insisted upon, in the face of undeniable facts.  Unfortunately,  few of our contemporary politicians seem to grasp this, yet they do not always pay for it in the polls.  It appears from this distance that at least Gordon Brown, the current U.K. prime minister, will not be returned to office when the British have their next chance to vote, and that his Labour Party will be annihilated.  But I wish I could be sure.

Can we borrow Mr. Hannan, please? by The Elephant's Child

A little over 24 hours ago, Daniel Hannan, Member of the European Parliament for South East England, stood up in the European Parliament to challenge Prime Minister Gordon Brown. As Mr. Hannan notes on his blog, politics has changed forever. This short video has gone viral on the internet, with Conservatives cheering.

Conservatives here are waiting for someone to take on President Obama in similar fashion. This reckless disregard of fiscal sanity must stop. Feel free to cheer!

British politicians, because of the way their parliament works, learn to speak very well. British schools however are abandoning history, even their own history, so this will probably change.

They don’t even teach about Churchill anymore.

While Rome Burns… by American Elephant

World Leaders kick off global food-crisis summit with lavish 8 course dinner:

The dinner consisted of 18 dishes in eight courses including caviar, smoked salmon, Kyoto beef and a “G8 fantasy dessert”.

The banquet was accompanied by five different wines from around the world including champagne, a French Bourgogne and sake.

African leaders including the heads of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Senegal who had taken part in talks during the day were not invited to the function.

The dinner came just hours after a “working lunch” consisting of six courses including white asparagus and truffle soup, crab and a supreme of chicken.

…On the flight to the summit, Mr Brown urged Britons to cut food waste as part of a global drive to help avert the food crisis. [emphasis mine]

Symbolism matters. This was a boneheaded move by all those involved.

Europe Signs Away Sovereignty by The Elephant's Child
April 22, 2008, 3:38 am
Filed under: Europe, History, Socialism | Tags: , ,

The heads of all the states in the European Union have signed up to the Lisbon Treaty. Once this treaty is finally ratified, the EU acquires a constitution and becomes a legal entity, in effect the United States of Europe. Politicians and their bureaucrats in Brussels have settled the matter behind closed doors. None of the 27 countries involved was allowed to hold an election to say whether or not their people approved of the surrender of national sovereignty that is at the core of this unprecedented political experiment. Several countries, Britain among them, had promised to hold a referendum, but all, again led by Britain, found some crafty way to cheat on their promise.

The preceding paragraph opens a column by David Pryce-Jones on National Review Online. Do read the whole thing.

It is really hard for Americans to understand why the British or the Continentals go along with this sort of thing. Do I only imagine that I would refuse to sit passively by as I was deprived of the right to vote on my own future and that of my family? That we would just turn it all over to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats to decide about our laws and security and customs?

Our own notions of freedom and rights came from our British heritage. Now you have Labour Prime Minister Brown trying to figure out how to give the British people back some sense of patriotism, of Englishness. (In the meantime, they have dumped Winston Churchill out of the school curriculum as unimportant.) Gordon Brown commissioned a review of citizenship in order to find ways of “increasing a shared sense of belonging”.

According to Melanie Phillips, suggestions are that schoolchildren should swear an oath to the Queen and promise to obey the laws in a ceremony similar to those for new immigrants. Apparently British ministers look enviously at the way Americans pledge allegiance and proudly fly their flag, and feel that the right kind of loyalty oath will increase a feeling of Britishness.

But Gordon Brown misses the point. Americans rally to the flag, not because of a pledge, but because of great pride and belief in what their country stands for. We love our country for what it represents — freedom and equality — which are just superior to anything else. And because we believe so strongly in the importance of freedom, we are prepared to fight and die for it.

The facts of our history have thus made it easy for us to assume that our national life, as distinguished from that of the European peoples who trace their identity to a remote era, has had a clear purpose. Life in America — appropriately called the American Experiment — has again and again been described as the test or the proof of values supposed to have been clearly in the minds of the Founders. [Daniel Boorstin: Hidden History]

Never, Boorstin suggests, has there been a nation which so firmly believes that it was founded on a full-blown perfect theory. The words of Lincoln in 1863 affirm that “our fathers brought forth on this continent , a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”.

It is worth reflecting on this a little at a time when sovereignty supposedly is so unimportant, and patriotism is derided. When former presidents are chatting with the enemy, and some make a big deal out of a decision not to wear a flag pin. There are many in our own country that believe that sovereignty is not a big deal and that international law and international governance might be desirable.

Tratado de Lisboa

Brave New World by The Elephant's Child

Is this the world of the future? Gordon Brown announced last summer, plans for 10 eco-towns in response to the housing shortage in Britain. Half of the households in eco-towns will have to live without a car, and those that have one will be limited to a speed-limit of 15mph.

These new towns will have about 20,000 residents each, and such amenities as skateboard parks will be included to help achieve community cohesion. Rainwater will be captured and wastewater recycled so there is no overall increase in water demand.

The Secretary of State for Communities and the Minister for Housing and Planning have other plans. Happy socialist plans to assure that everyone gets along. The possibility of limiting Britain’s open door immigration policies to ease the housing crisis seems never to have occurred to anyone.

Melanie Phillips, author of Londonistan, has a must-read article from the Daily Mail about what is happening to England, and what seems to be her inexorable future.

Glowing descriptions of the eco-communities of the future sound uncomfortably familiar to the glowing descriptions of gracious apartment buildings in “modern housing projects” that were described to us many years ago. The notion that government can do a better job of planning our future than we can, is fairly frightening.

There’ll always be an England
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.


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