Thursday, November 11, 2010
Nation states are dead: EU chief says the belief that countries can stand alone is a ‘lie and an illusion’
What a non-sequitur! Of course countries cannot stand alone. From ancient times trade has been essential to prosperity. But nation states have existed from ancient times too!
The age of the nation state is over and the idea that countries can stand alone is an ‘illusion’ and a ‘lie’, the EU president believes. In one of the most open proclamations of the goal of a European superstate since the heyday of Jacques Delors, Herman Van Rompuy went on to denounce Eurosceptism as the greatest threat to peace.
Tory backbenchers condemned the inflammatory comments in the speech made by Mr Van Rompuy to mark the 21st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. They said it proved that David Cameron would have a battle on his hands if he is to prevent extra powers being handed to Brussels.
Last night 23 Conservative MPs, including former leadership contender David Davis, rebelled in the Commons by demanding a referendum if the Lisbon Treaty is amended – even if ministers argue the changes do not affect the UK. Their call was defeated.
Mr Van Rompuy’s speech in the German capital told his audience that ‘the time of the homogenous nation state is over’. He added that the ‘danger’ of Euroscepticism was spreading beyond the confines of countries such as Britain and was becoming a stronger force across the whole continent. ‘We have together to fight the danger of a new Euroscepticism,’ he declared. ‘This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries. ‘In every member state, there are people who believe their country can survive alone in the globalised world. It is more than an illusion – it is a lie.’
The Belgian equated Euroscepticism with fear, which eventually leads to war – echoing former French president Francois Mitterrand’s famous phrase that ‘nationalism is war’. ‘The biggest enemy of Europe today is fear,’ he said. ‘Fear leads to egoism, egoism leads to nationalism, and nationalism leads to war. ‘Today’s nationalism is often not a positive feeling of pride in one’s own identity, but a negative feeling of apprehension of the others.’ [So Hitler was motivated by fear?? What a lot of tosh! It's just pop psychology]
In a strong defence of the euro, he said the recession would have been far worse if France still had its franc and Germany still had its mark. Again employing the imagery of war, he said: ‘Just imagine the big recession of 2008/09 with the old currencies. It would have resulted in currency turmoil and the end of the single market. A currency war always ends in protectionism.’ [Rubbish! The damage would have been limited to a few mismanaged countries without the euro. As it is, even Germany was pulled into the mess]
And in a section about the fall of the Berlin Wall, he praised the ‘statesmen of 1989 – Helmut Kohl, Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Delors’. There was no mention of Margaret Thatcher, who as British prime minister at the time argued against closer integration.
Last night UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: ‘Rumpy Pumpy is unfit to govern. This man is an overpaid catastrophe who wants to abolish our nation. The only non-nation is Belgium, his own country.
Backbench Tories warned such views were now on the rise in Brussels. Conservative MP Douglas Carswell said: ‘At last we see the real intentions of the Eurocrats. If that’s what Mr Van Rompuy believes, he should at least get elected by someone before he says it.’
Refuse jobs and lose benefits for THREE years, workshy Brits told
Benefits claimants who refuse to take jobs will be stripped of their handouts for up to three years in the most far-reaching welfare reforms for decades. David Cameron today declares that a ‘life on benefits’ will be brought to an end by draconian sanctions.
A welfare package being unveiled this morning by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith includes a sliding scale of mandatory penalties for 1.6million on unemployment benefit. Anyone who refuses to accept a job, fails to apply for a position suggested by an adviser or does not complete a period of community work will see their handouts stopped altogether.
The first offence will see Jobseeker’s Allowance, worth £64.45 a week, automatically withdrawn for three months. The second offence will mean a loss of benefits for six months and the third for three years.
Currently, job centre staff can withdraw handouts from those who fail to cooperate for up to 26 weeks, but the sanction is discretionary and almost never applied. The new regime will mean professionals who lose their jobs could be forced to take menial posts or face losing benefits.
While the threat of having benefits axed for three years is symbolic of the Government’s tough stance it is unlikely to affect many people and will be tough to enforce. Critics will point out that claims of crackdowns from previous governments have failed to get to grips with the soaring benefits bill.
The sanctions, which will apply from day one of a benefit claim, are part of a sweeping Welfare White Paper which represents the biggest shake-up of the system since the foundation of the modern welfare state after the Second World War.
The Government is offering the jobless a ‘35p in the pound’ guarantee to sweep away disincentives to work. Currently, millions reckon it is not worth their while taking a job or working more hours because means testing ensures their extra earnings are wiped out by the loss of handouts. Some lose as much as £1 for every extra £1 they earn.
Mr Duncan Smith will scrap most benefits and replace them with a ‘universal credit’, which will ensure that claimants keep at least 35p in every extra £1 they earn from 2013.
Senior Government sources claim that 2.5million of the poorest people will be better off as a result. They say the number of workless households in Britain will be slashed by 300,000. The Prime Minister, who is in South Korea for the G20 summit, said: ‘It simply has to pay to work. You can’t have a situation where if someone gets out of bed and goes and does a hard day’s work they end up worse off.
‘That’s not fair and it sends entirely the wrong message – both to those on benefits and to the hard-working majority who are being asked to support them. ‘We are going to get to grips with the indefensible anomalies in the current benefit system and create a much simpler, fairer approach.’
The new sanctions will require legislation, but ministers say they should be in place by next year, well ahead of the introduction of the universal credit in 2013.
The Daily Mail has learned, however, that the introduction of the universal credit could be disrupted because the computer system needed to operate it will not be ready until 2014.
Ministers hope to reduce the £5billion a year bill for fraud and error as the benefits system is integrated with the PAYE tax system, enabling officials to spot changes in income which affect entitlement to benefits. But Treasury documents show that the ‘real time’ software required to operate the new system will not be in place until April 2014.
Privately, ministers admit that gathering all the information on each benefit claimant in one place will be much harder without the system up and running, but they say it will still be possible.
Sources have also revealed that the total cost of the 35p guarantee could be higher than the Treasury has budgeted for in the long term. Ministers have revealed that the cost of the new scheme will be £2.1billion. But ministerial sources say it could go higher after 2015.
Labour work and pensions spokesman Douglas Alexander said: ‘If the Government gets this right we will support them, but the Government will not get more people off benefits and into work without there being work available.’
Liberal Lies About the Death Penalty
In July 2007, two career criminals, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, broke into the Connecticut home of Dr. William Petit. The pair beat Dr. Petit nearly to death with a baseball bat and tied him up in the basement, saying “if you move, we’ll put two bullets in you.” They then set upon his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.
Komisarjevsky savagely raped Michaela in her bed, pausing only to take cell phone pictures of the terrified little girl. After forcing her to withdraw $15,000 from her bank account, Hayes raped and strangled Jennifer in the living room. Then, as police surrounded the house, they bound the girls to the beds, doused them with gasoline, and lit the house on fire.
Yesterday, Steven Hayes was sentenced to death by lethal injection in a state that has only executed one person since 1960. For most people, the only shame is that his death won’t come quick enough.
Not so for death penalty opponents, who spend more time bleating for monstrous criminals than for their victims. When Hayes is finally strapped to that gurney, there will no doubt be candlelight vigils, where criminal-coddlers will spout canards about capital punishment.
We know what they’ll say. They’ll say the death penalty does not deter murder. We don’t know that, since it’s never actually been studied. This is a statement of personal belief, not fact.
What we do know is that the murder rate soared when the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in 1972. In 1960, the U.S. murder rate was 5.1 per 100,000 people. By late 70s, it had nearly doubled, reaching 10.2 in 1980. The U.S. government didn’t execute a single person that year. The murder rate only began to fall as more capital sentences were handed down in the 1990s. By 2009, it had plummeted to an all-time low of 5 per 100,000. 52 people were executed last year.
They’ll say the death penalty is the easy way out for murderers. While a few might feel that way, most of them spend years filing appeals. They resist execution until their legal options run out—which is why it often takes decades to execute a death row inmate.
They’ll say the death penalty is racist, so we need a moratorium. To hear them tell it, Southern juries would be stringing innocent blacks from trees if the ACLU didn’t keep them in check.
Tell that to the parents of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, who were carjacked and murdered in Tennessee by four black thugs in 2007. The killers raped Chris, shot him three times, and lit his body on fire on a set of railroad tracks. Over the next several hours, Channon was raped multiple times and had bleach poured down her throat. She was then “hogged-tied” and stuffed in a trash can to suffocate.
The DNA of two defendants, Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins, was found on the victims. All four admitted to witnessing and participating in various aspects of the crime, including raping the victims and holding them at gunpoint. They showed no remorse. When asked if he ever thought of sparing Channon’s life, defendant George Thomas replied, “F--- that white bitch, she don’t mean nothing to me.”
Only one defendant, Lemaricus Davidson, received the death penalty. The other defendants claimed he initiated the carjacking and ultimately stuffed Channon in the trash can. Davidson was tried by a black prosecutor and sentenced to death by a multi-racial jury. Rather than wantonly sending blacks to the death chamber, the juries reserved the ultimate punishment for an obviously guilty ringleader. Unfair? Racist? You be the judge.
Finally, they’ll say the death penalty is barbaric. If it’s barbaric to execute someone who has been granted an attorney, formally tried, convicted, and had his conviction upheld after decades of appeals, I’m happy to live in a nation of savages. Is death by lethal injection too cruel a punishment for a man who raped a woman before suffocating her in a trash can? Or a man who burned a child alive in her bed, surrounded by stuffed animals?
Only if you have no sense of justice. For the Petit family, justice has finally been served.
Victory over a stupid and oppressive law in Australia
It was an unmitigated attack on freedom of association that was wide open to abuse by unscrupulous cops. It's a sad day when we have to have bikies standing up for our individual liberties
THE South Australian Government must go back to the drawing board with its anti-bikie law after the High Court's ruling it is unconstitutional, a lawyer for the Finks bikie gang says.
The High Court today declared as unconstitutional sections of SA's controversial laws banning gang members from associating.
The majority judgment throws into doubt a key aspect of South Australia's Serious and Organised Crime Control Act, which allows restrictions to be placed on gang members without a court having the power to review the evidence.
The High Court has sided with the Finks Motorcycle Club, upholding a ruling by the SA Supreme Court in 2009.
Finks lawyer Craig Caldicott said the state government should reconsider the legislation. "This legislation is flawed and, clearly, they have to go back to the drawing board," Mr Caldicott said. "We have been saying from the start there are better ways of doing all of this.
"What they have done is decided that they will try to enforce draconian laws that the High Court has ruled invalid."
Following today's judgment, the South Australian government has been ordered to pay costs to Finks motorcycle gang members Sandro Totani and Donald Hudson. [Great!]
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.