Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
A favorite tool of progressives to defend government spending is the "Firemen First Principle." This term was coined by Charles Peters in 1976. It states, "the public will support [the Clever Bureaucrat's] valiant fight against the budget reduction only if essential services are endangered. Thus, C.B. always picks on teachers, policemen, firemen first." President Obama said Republicans have a choice: "Do you want to see a bunch of first responders lose their jobs because you want to protect some special interest tax loophole?" The President complained, “Over the past four years, another 700,000 workers at the federal, state and local levels of government lost their jobs. These are cops and firefighters. About half of them are people that work in our schools." Millions more are concerned about possibly losing their jobs.
The progressive media is more than happy to support this fraud. An AP story dealing with Minnesota's budget battle is fairly typical. It reads: "The blind are losing reading services. A help line for the elderly has gone silent. And poor families are scrambling after the state stopped child-care subsidies." The city of Ann Arbor laid off firefighters because of a serious budget deficit. Due to an unwillingness to tax the "wealthy" the blind, the poor and the elderly must suffer. Essential services must be curtailed. Convicted murderers and rapists must be freed from prisons.
The strategy must inconvenience the public as much as possible. The cuts must impact the "most vulnerable" in a visibly dramatic fashion. Yet there are obvious problems with the progressive portrayal of heartless Republicans. The AP story gives as an example of hardship Sonya Mills, a 39-year-old mother of eight who is facing the loss of about $3,600 a month in state child-care subsidies. That is more than $43,000 a year. The city of Ann Arbor spent $850,000 on a piece of art while laying off its firefighters. The water project was ultimately plagued by malfunctions after its completion.
Clearly progressives in government have a curious view of other people's money. Former Congressman David Obey once referred to the cost of an item of pork as, "a lousy $8 million." Senator Chuck Schumer told the Senate, “And let me say this, to all of the chattering class, that so much focuses on those little, tiny ‘ yes, porky’ amendments: The American people really don’t care.” It appears that progressives have the same outlook as their French brethren. The French philosopher Jean-François Revel asserted, "For French socialists, the main requirement for sound social policy is expenditure, not wise implementation. Results are of secondary importance."
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
David Horowitz for some reason has abandoned the extremely successful progressive tactic for dealing with uncomfortable facts: ignore them. He and Radosh compounded their mistake by personally attacking Diana West using adolescent name calling. This has brought added publicity to West's work. Would Vladimir Bukovsky have written a defense of the book if Radosh had been silent? The correct way to discredit a work is to site statements and then give irrefutable evidence that they are incorrect. Horowitz has not done this although he probably believes he has.
In Horowitz's response to Vladimir Bukovsky's endorsement of West he talks about West's supporters', "zeal in demonizing intellectual opponents," and says West attacked his and Radosh's character. He is grieved that Bukovsky has joined the "character assassins." Bukovsky has defended West's "preposterous claims," her "absurd conclusions," and "ludicrous statements." Does Horowitz see any inconsistencies here? Is it possible that Bukovsky is also a "loopy right winger?" Horowitz may not demonize his intellectual opponents but he certainly accuses them of having obtuse minds.
Horowitz counters one of West's "preposterous claims" with an even more preposterous claim: "Everyone knows" the division of Europe at Yalta was not a Soviet plot but was drawn by Winston Churchill. I did not know that. The division of Europe, even according to the court historians, was settled long before Yalta. Certainly Churchill played a role. However, his awareness of the realities and his desire to please Stalin was a large factor in his recommendations. Churchill demonstrated the westward movement of the Polish frontier (with the help of three matches) at the Teheran Conference in 1943. At the Moscow Conference in 1944 Churchill made his recommendations on spheres of influence in Eastern Europe.
Horowitz is not an expert on this period. He cannot be blamed for that. However, he has a responsibility to do some research before he condemns someone's conclusions. If he relies on the court historians he will make absurd accusations. Horowitz finds fault with West's claim, “Unopposed, unchecked, these Red Army troops would ride their Lend-Lease fleets of Jeeps and Dodges deep into a Europe that was being ethnically cleansed of millions of anti-Bolsheviks by U.S. and British troops.” I suggest he read Julius Epstein's Operation Keelhaul and Nicholas Bethell's The Last Secret. These books will give him an idea about the ethnic cleansing of American and British areas. Bethell claims this was done in compliance with a "solemn treaty." Yalta was not solemn and it was not a treaty. Had Roosevelt tried to have it passed by the Senate as a treaty he would have been impeached.
I am not an expert on the arguments about the D-Day invasion but I do have some knowledge of the Western Allies role in the modern slave trade. One of my sources is Steven Ambrose. Ambrose did not willingly investigate this issue, but used it as a defense against James Bacque's claim that the Western Allies murdered one million POWs. We did not starve these POWs to death according to Ambrose. We sent them into slavery. In order for a coverup to be successful everyone involved must play the same sheet of music. In Ambrose's book Brian Villa hits a sour note stating: "the EAC terms became convenient for the British and any other nation that wanted German POW slave labor." The consensus term is "enforced labor."
Perhaps more outrageous than the slave trade is the government engineered famine in Central Europe. This is a subject that is so alarming that it must be covered up. Yet the cover up has not been 100% successful. As an example James Tent, a professor of history and a specialist on postwar German occupation writes: "By the spring of 1947, and thereafter to the end of the military occupation, the number and variety of supplemental programs expanded to the point that some observers asked with only slight irony if there were any normal consumers - that is, those consuming 1,550 calories a day - left in the British and American zones." This is a lie. It is a contemptible lie. 1947 was the worst year of this famine. One needs only to turn 12 pages in the same book to see a photo of seven infants in various stages of malnutrition dated October 1947. To murder one infant by starvation is a monstrous crime. To kill thousands in indescribable. To conceal this fact makes one an accomplice. Excuses must be found, not matter how implausible. Tent suggests that General Clay would not allow relief agencies to operate in his zone because he had a "distaste for carpetbaggers." The famine is attributed to a worldwide food shortage. Yet Tent includes a quote from the secretary of agriculture stating that American farmers "produced a record crop" in 1946. But what do I know. I am not a professor or a certified specialist.
Bukovsky points out that we condemn the German population of the police state from looking the other way from and doing nothing about the Jewish annihilation under way in Nazi concentration camps. There were serious consequences for people who protested government policies. What is the excuse for Western media and academics. Their careers may suffer and they may not be invited to certain cocktail parties. They will also be denied access. There is enormous pressure to conform. But what is the outcome of their conformity? Bukovsky asks, "How great is a moral difference between an executioner and a mere conformist?"
I have only one criticism of Bukovsky's defense of West. He falls into the same progressive trap that West fell into. Bukovsky states, "We have been accomplices to mass murders." "We" have not been accomplices. The people who committed mass murder and their collaborators have names. They were specific individuals. They and their crimes must be exposed. They need to be exposed not only to correct the historical record, but to reveal their offspring. Horowitz described Averill Harriman as "a stalwart anti-Communist." He probably would describe Secretary of State Dean Acheson as an anti-Communist. Acheson was famous for saying, "I do not intend to turn my back on Alger Hiss.” Bukovsky states, "That treacherous Establishment is still there." There are thousands of descendants of the Harrimans and Achesons in the federal government. To mention only one, Anita Dunn, who considers Mao Zedong one of her favorite political philosophers.