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Daily Archives: November 17, 2009


Hope And Change: Obama Disappointing Europe Over Climate Change?

If the article in Der Spiegel is any indication, the answer is “yes”.  Lead paragraph:

US President Barack Obama came to office promising hope and change. But on climate change, he has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush. Now, should the climate summit in Copenhagen fail, the blame will lie squarely with Obama.

What, he can’t blame Bush? Surely he can find a way. I guarantee one thing – he will blame it on Republicans and then the Senate.

But the disappointment in Obama is not only palpable, it is obvious:

Barack Obama cast himself as a “citizen of the world” when he delivered his well-received campaign speech in Berlin in the summer of 2008. But the US president has now betrayed this claim. In his Berlin speech, he was dishonest with Europe. Since then, Obama has neglected the single most important issue for an American president who likes to imagine himself as a world citizen, namely his country’s addiction to fossil fuels and the risks of unchecked climate change. Health care reform and other domestic issues were more important to him than global environmental threats. He was either unwilling or unable to convince skeptics in his own ranks and potential defectors from the ranks of the Republicans to support him, for example by promising alternative investments as a compensation for states with large coal reserves.

Obama’s announcement at the APEC summit that it was no longer possible to secure a binding treaty in Copenhagen, is the result of his own negligence. China, India and other emerging economies have always spoken openly about the fact that the US, as the world’s largest emitter of CO2, has to be proactive in commiting itself to targets agreed on by way of international negotiation. But that is not America’s style. The US is quite happy to see itself as the leader of the Western world. But when it comes to climate change, America has once again failed miserably — for the umpteenth time.

To that I say, “thank goodness” for the umpteenth time. This is all a load of blarney and those who’ve looked at the science and considered the findings of scientific skeptics know that not only is the science far from settled, there’s no “scientific consensus” in its validity.

That said, it’s interesting to see how quickly Mr. “Citizen of the World” Obama gets thrown under the bus by Europe. Anyone who has observed Europe over the years would have anticipated this – perhaps not this quickly. But there was no “reset” with the rampant anti-Americanism that lives there. There was only a pause – mostly because they disliked George W Bush so much. But this particular article – among more and more I’m seeing lately – signals a return of the Europe we’ve all known and loved for so long – anti-American, disdainful of all things American and proud of it. Climate change is simply their latest excuse to take shots at the US and its leadership.

It’ll be interesting to see how the administration reacts to this building criticism. My guess is, given how they’ve reacted here, it won’t be pretty.

~McQ


“Give ‘Em An Inch …”

To me the UK has become the example of what can happen when you allow the state to begin to usurp liberties in the name of “safety” or “security”. What may first be given over to the state usually becomes an ever expanding list of things the state then feels enabled to intrude upon. The old “camel’s nose under the tent”. The latest example from Britain:

Health and safety inspectors are to be given unprecedented access to family homes to ensure that parents are protecting their children from household accidents.

New guidance drawn up at the request of the Department of Health urges councils and other public sector bodies to “collect data” on properties where children are thought to be at “greatest risk of unintentional injury”.

Council staff will then be tasked with overseeing the installation of safety devices in homes, including smoke alarms, stair gates, hot water temperature restrictors, oven guards and window and door locks.

The draft guidance by a committee at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has been criticised as intrusive and further evidence of the “creeping nanny state”.

Ya think? Two things at work here – one of which we’re all familiar, even in the US. This is what? It is “for the children”. All manner of state intrusion is prefaced by claiming it is “for the children”. Which brings us to the second thing – the assumption by the state that parents are too dumb and inept to properly care for their children. While this is true of some, certainly, the standard is applied to all. And we’ve certainly seen evidence that the state is so much better, haven’t we?

So why does the state not only feel the necessity but right to intrude at such a level?

About 100,000 children are admitted to hospital each year for home injuries at a cost of £146m.

Oh, health care costs. And who controls the health care in the UK.

Why the state, of course. So of course it feels it has the right to intrude. When the state pays for health care, it assumes the “right” to tell you how to live your life and it also feels empowered to do what is necessary to make you do so in order to drive down costs, doesn’t it?

Well, it does in the UK. And we’re about to hand a similar power over to the state with this health care bill being considered. Our camel’s nose under the tent moment, if you will.  In terms of intrusion, it may not be quite as bad as the UK’s – yet. But then they’ve had 60 years to get to this point.

~McQ


Still Won’t Say It

ABC News leads the report with this:

Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s military superiors repeatedly ignored or rebuffed his efforts to open criminal prosecutions of soldiers he claimed had confessed to “war crimes” during psychiatric counseling, according to investigative reports circulated among federal law enforcement officials.

The report goes on to account for his last few hours and his activities, and the asserts:

Investigators believe Hasan’s frustration over the failure of the Army to pursue what he regarded as criminal acts by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan may have helped to trigger the shootings.

Really? So I wonder why he didn’t go after the soldiers who had allegedly committed the war crimes versus a random lot at a processing center?

The report continues with some pretty damning evidence that not only were there a lot of red flags with this guy, but they seem to have been pretty darn obvious. That doesn’t change the fact that other than some oblique references to his religion, ABC cannot seem to acknowledge that perhaps, at base, it was that which “may have helped trigger the shootings”.

~McQ

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