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>Shift Happens

February 28, 2007 Leave a comment

>When non-serious people bicker over the crumbs of life they miss the fact that someone else is soon going to be baking the loaf.
http://www.glumbert.com/embed/shift

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Categories: Miscellaneous

>10 Institutions That Ruin The World – #1

February 28, 2007 1 comment

>And the winner of the institution that does the most to ruin the world is:

#1 – The United Nations

…And to the surprise of absolutely nobody, the United Nations in my number one institution that ruins the world. It’s not even close, either, the UN wins by further than Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.

The Preamble to the UN Charter states:

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

AND FOR THESE ENDS

  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
  • to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS.

Now, if good people, earnest and strong in their belief to make a difference to the world, were to get together today to create a new organisation that actually does some good then you’d have to think that it wouldn’t have a much different set of goals than does the UN.

How has it come about that the UN is now such a hopelessly corrupt, racist and destructive institution? The short answer is that these traits are the end result of socialist ideology practised to their full extent. In that regard it is similar to the EU or USSR; power without accountability leads to totalitarian institutions.

In October 2006 the Heritage Foundation hosted a speech by Dr Nile Gardiner, Director of the Margaret Thatcher Centre For Freedom, which provides some very succinct analysis of the decline of the UN.

Human Rights Failures

The United Nations has let down millions of the world’s weakest and most vulnerable people in Africa and the Balkans. The U.N.’s failure to prevent the slaughter of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 and the mass kill­ing of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994 are shameful episodes that will haunt the United Nations for generations.

There are echoes today of Bosnia and Rwanda in the killing fields of Darfur in the Sudan, a trag­edy that the U.N. initially refused to categorize as genocide. Over 200,000 people have lost their lives, many of them at the hands of the Janjaweed militias, backed by the Sudanese government. Sudan, a country with an appalling human rights track record, was an active member of the now-defunct U.N. Commission on Human Rights from 2002 to 2005. It used its membership to help block censure from the United Nations. Zimba­bwe, another African country with a horrific record of abusing the rights of its citizens, sat on the council from 2003 to 2005.

The commission reached its low point in 2003 when Libya was elected chairman with the backing of 33 members, with just three countries voting against. It was eventually replaced amidst much fanfare in 2006 by the new United Nations Human Rights Council. Unfortunately, the 47-seat body is not a significant improvement over its hugely dis­credited predecessor. The council’s lack of member­ship criteria renders it open to participation and manipulation by the world’s worst human rights abusers. Tyrannical regimes such as Burma, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Zimbabwe all voted in favor of establishing the council in the face of strong U.S. opposition. The brutal North Korean dictatorship also gave the council its ringing endorsement. When council elections were held in May, leading human rights abusers Algeria, China, Cuba, Paki­stan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia were all elected.

The United States was right in its decision not to seek a seat on a council tainted by the odor of despo­tism and tyranny. While making every effort to push for reform within the U.N., the United States must seek the creation of a complementary human rights body outside of the U.N. system that would be com­posed solely of democratic states that adhere to the basic principles of individual liberty and freedom.

Who among you in the general population was aware that the UN Human Rights Council, and formerly the Commission, was run by the actual despots whose activities that it was meant to oversee? Makes it pretty easy to understand why nothing gets done in Africa, doesn’t it?

UNESCO and Hugo Chávez

The Human Rights Council is far from being the only U.N. body to serve as a platform for despots and dictators. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded its 2005 José Martí International Prize to Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Cuban president Fidel Castro per­sonally handed the award to his leading imitator as an estimated 200,000 people in Revolution Plaza watched. The Martí prize is intended to recognize those who have contributed to the “struggle for lib­erty” in Latin America. Chávez is clearly not among this group, and the award was a major embarrass­ment to the United Nations, illustrating a long­standing lack of moral clarity within the world body on issues of individual freedom and liberty.

Founded after the Second World War, UNESCO was established “to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world.”

What sort of organisation is it that recognises people like Chavez who drive their own people even further into poverty while strutting the world stage like a preening chicken? What sort of organisation is it that Chavez can turn up to a General Assembly and refer to the President of the United States as ‘the Devil’? Regardless what you think of people the UN is either a place of respect or it isn’t.

Peacekeeping Failures: The Congo Peacekeep­ing Scandal

The U.N.’s human rights failure has been compounded by a series of peacekeeping scan­dals, from Bosnia to Burundi to Sierra Leone. By far the worst instances of abuse have taken place in the Congo, the U.N.’s second largest peacekeeping mis­sion, with 16,000 peacekeepers.

In the Congo, acts of barbarism have been perpe­trated by United Nations peacekeepers and civilian personnel entrusted with protecting some of the weakest and most vulnerable women and children in the world. Personnel from the U.N. Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) stand accused of at least 150 major human rights violations. This is almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg: The scale of the problem is likely to be far greater.

The crimes involve rape and forced prostitution of women and young girls across the country, including inside a refugee camp in the town of Bunia in north­eastern Congo. The alleged perpetrators include U.N. military and civilian personnel from Nepal, Morocco, Tunisia, Uruguay, South Africa, Pakistan, and France. The victims are defenseless refugees— many of them children—who have already been brutalized and terrorized by years of war and who looked to the U.N. for safety and protection.

The sexual abuse scandal in the Congo makes a mockery of the U.N.’s professed commitment to upholding basic human rights. U.N. peacekeepers and the civilian personnel who work with them should be symbols of the international community’s commitment to protecting the weak and innocent in times of war. The exploitation of some of the most vulnerable people in the world—refugees in a war-ravaged country—is a shameful episode and a massive betrayal of trust.

“…acts of barbarism have been perpe­trated by United Nations peacekeepers and civilian personnel entrusted with protecting some of the weakest and most vulnerable women and children in the world.” Kofi Annan’s reponse? “Deep concern.” What is it with this guy and his varying levels of concern? No action but lots of concern, that’s for sure.

Corruption: The-Oil-for-Food Scandal

The scandal surrounding the U.N.-administered Oil-for-Food Program has also done immense damage to the world organization’s already shaky credibility. The Oil-for-Food scandal is undoubtedly the biggest scan­dal in the history of the United Nations and probably the largest financial fraud in modern times. It has shattered the illusion that the U.N. is the arbiter of moral authority in the international sphere.

Oil for Food became the hottest investigative issue on Capitol Hill in a generation. Investigators exam­ined huge amounts of evidence relating to corrup­tion, fraud, and bribery on an epic scale; French and Russian treachery; and the attempts of a brutal total­itarian regime to manipulate members of the U.N. Security Council.

Set up in the mid-1990s as a means of providing humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people, the U.N.-run Oil-for-Food Program was subverted and manipu­lated by Saddam Hussein’s regime, allegedly with the complicity of U.N. officials, to help prop up the Iraqi dictator. Saddam’s dictatorship was able to siphon off billions of dollars from the program through oil smuggling and systematic thievery, by demanding illegal payments from companies buying Iraqi oil, and through kickbacks from those selling goods to Iraq—all under the noses of U.N. bureaucrats.

The 18-month, $34 million U.N.-appointed Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) documented a huge amount of evidence regarding manipulation of the $60 billion program by the Saddam Hussein regime with the complicity of more than 2,200 companies in 66 countries as well as a number of prominent international politicians. The three-member committee was chaired by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. The other two committee members were South African Justice Richard Goldstone and Swiss profes­sor of criminal law Mark Pieth.

According to the IIC’s report, “Oil surcharges were paid in connection with the contracts of 139 compa­nies and humanitarian kickbacks were paid in con­nection with the contracts of 2,253 companies.” Companies accused of paying kickbacks to the Iraqi regime include major global corporations such as DaimlerChrysler, Siemens, and Volvo. The Saddam Hussein regime received illicit income of $1.8 billion under the Oil-for-Food Program. $228.8 million was derived from the payment of surcharges in connec­tion with oil contracts. $1.55 billion came through kickbacks on humanitarian goods.

The 500-page report painted an ugly tableau of bribery, kickbacks, corruption, and fraud on a glo­bal scale. It amply demonstrates how the Iraqi dic­tator generously rewarded those who supported the lifting of U.N. sanctions on Iraq and who paid lip-service to his barbaric regime. Oil-for-Food became a shameless political charade through which Sadd­am Hussein attempted to manipulate decision-mak­ing at the U.N. Security Council by buying the support of influential figures in countries such as Russia and France.

The evidence presented was comprehensive, damning, and a wake-up call to those who naively believed that the Saddam Hussein regime could be trusted to comply with U.N. sanctions. Saddam’s multibillion-dollar fraud, carried out with the com­plicity of prominent political figures across Europe as well as thousands of international companies, was halted only by the liberation of Iraq by the Unit­ed States and Great Britain, in the face of deter­mined opposition by France and Russia. It is not difficult to see why powerful political interests in Paris and Moscow were so fundamentally opposed to a war that would open the archives of Baghdad to close scrutiny and subsequently cause huge politi­cal embarrassment.

The report should prompt widespread soul-searching within the United Nations, whose admin­istrators turned a blind eye to massive wrongdoing in a humanitarian program designed to help the weakest and most vulnerable in Iraq. The fact that the Baathist regime was able to get away with such a vast scandal under the noses of U.N. bureaucrats, and in some cases with their complicity, represents both spectacular incompetence and extremely poor leadership at the top of the world body.

The overall IIC investigation should not, though, be viewed as the final say on the Oil-for-Food scan­dal. It should be seen as an important but at times flawed and incomplete inquiry that left many ques­tions unanswered in relation to the role of senior U.N. officials, including Kofi Annan and his chief aide, Iqbal Riza.

According to the second interim report released by the Volcker Committee, Iqbal Riza, Kofi Annan’s chief of staff, authorized the shredding of thousands of U.N. documents between April and December 2004. Among these documents were the entire U.N. Chef de Cabinet chronological files for 1997, 1998, and 1999—many of which related to the Oil-for-Food Program. Riza approved this destruction just 10 days after he had personally written to the heads of nine U.N.-related agencies that administered the Oil-for-Food Program in Northern Iraq, requesting that they “take all necessary steps to collect, preserve and secure all files, records and documents…relating to the Oil-for-Food Programme.” The destruction con­tinued for more than seven months after the Secre­tary-General’s June 1, 2004, order to U.N. staff members “not to destroy or remove any documents related to the Oil-for-Food programme that are in their possession or under their control, and to not instruct or allow anyone else to destroy or remove such documents.”

Significantly, Kofi Annan announced the retire­ment of Mr. Riza on January 15, 2005—the same day that Riza notified the Volcker Committee that he had destroyed the documents. Riza was immedi­ately replaced by Mark Malloch Brown, Administra­tor of the U.N. Development Programme. Riza was chief of staff from 1997 to 2004, almost the entire period of the Oil-for-Food Program’s operation, and undoubtedly possessed intricate knowledge of the U.N.’s management of it. He was a long-time col­league of Kofi Annan and served as Annan’s deputy in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations from 1993 to 1996.

The destruction of highly sensitive documents by Iqbal Riza was an obstruction of justice that demands congressional investigation. It gave the impression of a major cover-up at the very heart of the United Nations and cast a dark cloud over the Secretary-General’s credibility. It projected an image of impunity, arrogance, and unaccountability on the part of the leadership of the United Nations.

The Volcker investigation may have ended, but several other major inquiries will continue to gain momentum and reveal new findings relating to the Oil-for-Food scandal. These include the leading investigations on Capitol Hill, led by the House International Relations Committee and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, in addition to the Department of Justice inquiry. It will be many months, even years, before the full extent of the corruption and mismanagement within the United Nations is completely exposed.

An unelected, undemocratic organisation with a questionable history of openness and integrity (do some research on former Secretary Boutros Boutros Ghali; you’ll be shocked at what he got up to) is managing a multi-billion dollar program and people are surprised that it’s completely corrupt? The French and Russians were the most vocal opponents of taking real action against Iraq and it transpires that they were the countries with their snouts most firmly in the trough? The French really are the pits; they have long been the worst country in the world in terms of inflicting damage through unprincipled self interest.

Questions About the U.N. Tsunami Relief Effort

The Oil-for-Food Program is one of several U.N. operations to raise major concerns over trans­parency and accountability. The U.N.’s much-vaunted tsunami relief operation has also sparked doubts regarding the U.N.’s ability to manage a huge humanitarian project.

The tsunami disaster which struck large sec­tions of Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East Afri­ca on December 26, 2004, claimed some 231,000 lives and displaced 2 million people. It prompted an outpouring of humanitarian help from around the world, with an estimated total of $13.6 billion in aid pledged, including $6.16 billion in govern­ment assistance, $2.3 billion from international financial institutions, and $5.1 billion from indi­viduals and companies.

The huge international relief effort was co-coor­dinated by the United Nations and involved an astonishing 39 U.N. agencies, from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

When the U.N. took over the tsunami relief oper­ation in early 2005, the world body pledged full transparency, in light of its disastrous handling of the Iraq Oil-for-Food Program. The U.N.’s Under-Secre­tary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, boasted in an opinion editorial that “only the UN has the universal legitimacy, capacity, and credibility to lead in a truly global humanitarian emergency.”Egeland had earlier criticized the U.S. contribution to the tsunami relief effort as “stingy.”

An investigation by the Financial Times, however, raised serious questions regarding the U.N.’s han­dling of the tsunami relief effort, in particular the way in which it spent the first $590 million of its $1.1 billion disaster “flash appeal.” The appeal included nearly $50 million from the United States. The two-month FT inquiry revealed that “as much as a third of the money raised by the UN for its tsu­nami response was being swallowed up by salaries and administrative overheads.” In contrast, Oxfam, a British-based private charity, spent just 10 percent of the tsunami aid money it raised on administrative costs.

Unable to obtain figures from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the FT approached several U.N. agencies directly to establish exact numbers for tsunami relief expendi­ture. Many “declined or ignored” requests for infor­mation, while others offered incomplete data. The newspaper found that of the $49 million spent by the World Health Organization as part of the tsuna­mi appeal, 32 percent had been spent on “personnel costs, administrative overheads, or associated ‘mis­cellaneous’ costs.” At the World Food Program, 18 percent of the $215 million spent by the agency went toward “staff salaries, administrative over­heads and vehicles and equipment. The Financial Times concluded that:

A year after the tsunami, pledges of trans­parency and accountability for the UN’s ap­peal appear a long way from being realized. This is primarily blamed on dueling UN bu­reaucracies and accounting methods plus what in many cases appears to be institu­tional paranoia about disclosure.

Australia was second only to the United States in terms of its relief effort and had the highest per-capita contribution of all countries. People would be thrilled to bits to find that this bureaucratically bloated catastrophe of an organisation was spending one-third of all donations on itself.

Peacekeeping

The United States should call for a Security Coun­cil–backed, fully independent investigation into the MONUC abuse scandal, to cover all areas of the MONUC operation. In addition, there should be independent investigations launched into allegations of abuse by U.N. personnel in other U.N. peacekeep­ing operations, including Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Burundi. Fully independent commis­sions of inquiry should handle all future investiga­tions into human rights abuses by U.N. personnel.

The United States government should pressure U.N. member states to prosecute their nationals accused of human rights violations while serving as U.N. peacekeepers. The U.N. should lift diplomatic immunity for its own staff accused of criminal acts in the Congo, opening the way for prosecution. The Security Council should exclude countries whose peacekeepers have a history of human rights viola­tions from future operations. The U.N. should pub­licly name and shame those countries whose peacekeepers have carried out abuses in the Congo.

The U.N. should make publicly available all internal reports relating to the Congo scandal and outline the exact steps it plans to take to prevent the sexual exploitation of refugees in both existing and future U.N. peacekeeping operations. Serious con­sideration should be given to the establishment of an elite training academy for U.N. peacekeeping commanders. This effort should be backed by the U.N. Security Council.

Hold on. Isn’t living in a more peaceful world one of the UN’s Charter statements? It would be nice to see them actually DO something that ensure peace.

Human Rights

In an ideal world, membership in the United Nations should be restricted to free democracies. According to Freedom House, just 89 of the U.N.’s 192 member states are “fully free” (i.e., 46 percent). There can be little doubt, though, that any attempt to limit membership in the U.N. would be strongly opposed by the G-77 countries. U.S. interests are best served at present by building an alliance of democracies within the U.N. as well as developing human rights structures outside of the United Nations.

As human rights scholar Joseph Loconte has argued, Congress should appoint an independent Human Rights Ambassador to head a new U.S. Commission on Human Rights. It could be mod­eled on the U.S. Commission on International Reli­gious Freedom, a quasi-governmental group that monitors religious liberty abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress.

The United States should mobilize a “Democracy Caucus” to protect human rights and expand dem­ocratic freedoms. The new U.S. Human Rights Ambassador would lobby other governments in the fledgling Community of Democracies, founded in 2000 in Warsaw, to establish their own human rights commissioners and advisory bodies. They must be a morally serious coalition of the willing— operating both within and outside the official U.N. system—that offers a bright alternative to the exist­ing Human Rights Council.

Given the undeniable fact that democratic countries with free markets, free speech, freedom of the press enjoy better health, have longer life expectancies, a high standard of living and lower environmental impact than dictatorships and other totalitarian regimes, it makes complete sense that in order to achieve the goals of the UN’s own Charter its members should pursue a democratic path. How is it that representatives from undemocratic countries have an equal voting weight to democracies? How does that advance the world?

For being the most corrupt and ineffective international organisation, one that goes nowhere near to living up to its ideals, whose only priorities seem to be destroying Israel and damaging the United States, whose approach to African genocides is to be ‘deeply concerned’ and that gives an international stage to lunatics like Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Mugabe and Castro, the United Nations takes the #1 position on my list of 10 Institutions That Ruin The World.

#2 – The European Union
#3 – Expansionist Islam
#4 – The Environmental Movement
#5 – The Mainstream Media
#6 – Education Institutions and Education Unions
#7 – Government
#8 – The Social Justice Movement
#9 – The Peace Movement
#10 – The Intelligent Design Movement, Discovery Institute

Categories: Culture

>9/11 Truth Nutjobs: "BBC video proves conspiracy"

February 27, 2007 5 comments

>A new video clip from 9/11 has been found and it purports to show that the BBC ‘knew’ Tower 7 was going to be brought down because they reported it 20 minutes before it actually happened. The fact that the video feed ‘conveniently’ breaks up just a few minutes before the tower fell is further sinister proof of the dastardly plot. The implication is that they couldn’t have known unless it was a conspiracy.

Leaving aside the BBC’s pathological leftist anti-Americanism, which should be enough to debunk the story altogether and just looking at the facts, I conclude the following:

  • The reporter, Jane Standley, is a couple of miles from the WTC so must have received news from a third party;
  • That news was probably that Tower 7 was ‘going to’ collapse not that it ‘had’ collapsed and in the confused reporting of the day that got mixed up;
  • Not being a local, she didn’t know which one Tower 7 was. Only a foreign news service could have made that error;
  • The fact it’s standing in full view behind her actually debunks the conspiracy because if it was a conspiracy then they would have picked a location that wasn’t so obviously going to give it away; and
  • Since when is it abnormal for a satellite signal to break up? I started recording events when the news came on the TV that a plane had hit the first tower and have over 12 hours of news coverage. I can’t count the number of times that the signal broke up during that time because it was so high.
Categories: 9/11, Conspiracy

>Loss of an Aussie rock’n’roll legend

February 27, 2007 Leave a comment

>Sad news overnight that the great Billy Thorpe has passed away of a massive heart attack at the age of only 60. He really was a fantastic performer. I saw him a few years ago and commented to one of my mates that the up and coming young bands should learn from the way he goes about his business.

Thorpe was born in England and emigrated to Brisbane with his family in the 1950s, later moving to Sydney in 1963. Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs became a major rock outfit, selling out concert venues and producing chart-topping songs in the 60s and 70s.

According to rock historian Glenn A Baker, “Thorpe came up in that crop of 60s teen idols but there was a greater dimension to him. After he was a teen idol he went to Melbourne for a few years … he completely re-orientated himself and then turned Australian rock on its ear with a thunderous, pulverising music. The Aztecs just become a byword for really the origins of Australian pub rock. It’s the one form of music we’ve done better and more convincingly than any other. This sort of loud, roaring, howling, ferocious, sort of pub-based bluesy rock and roll and Thorpe was that incredibly powerful voice. There was something that was just primal about Thorpe’s blood-curdling roar. There was nobody like him on the stage.”

Condolences to his family and friends. He really will be missed.

Here’s a wander down memory lane. First up is Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs on GTK (Get The Knack) with the thumping Mama followed up by his classic Most People I Know (Think That I’m Crazy) live from Sunbury ’72:

Categories: Australia, Music

>10 Institutions That Ruin The World – #2

February 26, 2007 1 comment

>Coming in at a distant second spot on the list… Today we have:

#2 – The European Union

The 27 member EU is the successor to the EEC, which was founded in 1957. Its modern day goal is to operate as a single market that can compete more effectively with the United States. It aims to become a force for peace and democracy in the world.

From those lofty goals has emerged a hugely expensive, largely ineffective bureaucracy staffed by undemocratically elected, self-interested ‘Eurocrats’. Corruption is rife and the European Court of Auditors has refused to sign off on the accounts for the last twelve years. Besides costing 1% of GDP, EU inefficiency has knocked at least another 1% off member nations’ growth rates, which are only being propped up by a strong global economy led by the US, China and India. If the US slows down and the China and/or India industrial locomotives hit difficulties due to inflation, for example, and have to apply the economic brakes then the impact on the EU will be serious enough to cause it to face severe difficulties. These could well lead to significant regional instability and, potentially, conflict.

Let’s focus on the UK and have a look at a few of the facts since this European powerhouse joined the EU.

  • EU membership costs every Briton 873 Pounds (US$1714) per year; that’s over 50 billion pounds (US$100 billion) in total;
  • The EU has issued 23,000 directives and regulations into UK law – a figure greater than the total number of Acts passed by the UK Parliament in the whole of its history. There are around 650 new EU laws each year using Statutory Instruments to bypass the UK Parliament;
  • 85% of British law now is as a result of EU law. EU Directives and Regulations from unelected Commissioners are interpreted into British law by unelected Civil Servants. Parliament is bypassed by Ministerial Order or Statutory Instrument without MPs’ awareness. Article K7, Amsterdam Treaty, gives the European Court of Justice power to over-rule national Courts (incidentally proving the Queen is no longer sovereign). Some EU judges are not even legally qualified. The EU Court is a political court devoted to (in its own words) “….overcoming the resistance of National Governments to European integration”;
  • The annual cost of EU regulation on the UK’s airline industry alone is over 6 billion Pounds.

This unelected Euro gravy train has one function – to pass laws. As I point out in my essay on why Government is an institution that ruins the world, allowing government to pass laws regarding day to day activities results in a loss of individual freedom. Europe is lurching towards becoming a fully socialist state and nobody seems to mind. The structure of the EU even looks like the Soviet Union, with a central Politburo (the European Commission) and individual soviets (member countries). How does all that help to promote democracy, one of its main aims?

How has the EU scored on one of its other aims – to promote peace? Where was it during the Bosnian conflict? Nowhere. The United States had to engage NATO to sort things out. How has it used its power to deal with Islamist terror? It hasn’t. In fact, the home of the EU, Brussels, now has the highest murder rate in Europe, an increase that has paralleled Muslim immigration. What about Sudan or Somalia? Again, the mighty peacemaking EU is nowhere to be seen.

Let’s make a list of good things the European Union has achieved…

…Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Europe already has enough crises to navigate through in the next generation and a half without having this corrupt and undemocratic handbrake holding them back. Unfunded pension liabilities average more than 100% of GDP across Europe and, with declining birth rates, servicing those pensions will place more and more strain on national budgets. These problems are going to spill over onto the rest of the world and affect us all; and it won’t be pretty.

For representing the worst of Europe, inflicting unpopular laws on unwilling populations and not living up to any of the standards it sets for others the European Union makes it into the #2 spot on the list of 10 Institutions That Ruin The World.

#3 – Expansionist Islam
#4 – The Environmental Movement
#5 – The Mainstream Media
#6 – Education Institutions and Education Unions
#7 – Government
#8 – The Social Justice Movement
#9 – The Peace Movement
#10 – The Intelligent Design Movement, Discovery Institute

Categories: Culture, Europe

>10 Institutions That Ruin The World – #3

February 25, 2007 3 comments

>Into the final stretch in my series. Today we have:

#3 – Expansionist Islam

It is a sign of the times that a large proportion of the population in the West fails to appreciate the extent of violence being undertaken by Islamic ‘radicals’ around the world. If I told you that, leaving aside Iraq and Afghanistan, there’d been over 4,000 attacks by Islamists since September 11, killing 20,000 and injuring more than 40,000 you might be somewhat surprised.

In Africa, there’s been over 200 attacks in Algeria killing 1100, 50 in Nigeria killing 600, 60 in Somalia killing 600 and 60 in Sudan killing 2000 not to mention incidents in Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia. Well, Africa’s always had problems, you might respond. OK. 50 in Bangladesh killing 200, 1300 in India killing 3500, 500 in Pakistan killing 1700 and, what might really surprise you, 800 in Thailand killing 1100. Compare those numbers to Israel, apparently the cause of all Islamic tension in the world and focus of radicals everywhere, 280 attacks killing 1000 with a drop off over the last couple of years after they increased their security by building the controversial fence. In Russia there’s been 300 attacks killing 2000 with Chechyna making up about half those numbers. Indonesia has seen 80 attacks killing 500 and the Philippines 140 killing over 700.

Makes the moral equivalency argument between Christian radicals and Islamist radicals look a bit weak, doesn’t it? There is no other movement that has used violence to anywhere near the extent that Islam has all around the world in the last five years. What is their goal? It’s quite simple, really. Expansion. Why are they doing it now? Also simply answered. Opportunity.

Most empires throughout history have expanded with a combination of will and opportunity. Islam, far from being another Abrahamic religion in the manner of Christianity or Judaism, is primarily a political doctrine wrapped up in a religious message. This is another area where the moral equivalency argument falls down; Islamist extremists are driven by primarily political motives rather than religious. Islam’s history is one of opportunistic expansion from the moment of its birth right through to the present.

Today, Islamist rebels are waging serious wars in Algeria, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Chechnya. Islam is preying upon weakness in the West (particularly in Western Europe), using its own institutions against it and financing those prepared to take the fight to the enemy whether that be in the form of insurgents in Iraq, suicide bombers in Israel or lobby groups such as CAIR and on-campus Muslim associations. Multiculturalism, cultural equality and social justice have all created a values vacuum that an energised Islam has enthusiastically entered.

You can’t fight bad values with no values and if those with bad values are given equal standing through the instrument of cultural equivalence then it’s even harder to protect yourself. It should take about a nanosecond to answer the following. Who has greater belief in their values? Islamists or secular Europeans? Who is prepared to fight to defend their values? Islamists or secular Europeans? Who is prepared to fight in order to promote their values? Islamists or secular Europeans?

At least in Australia we apply common sense to the issue, as demonstrated by Treasurer Costello from a speech given in 2005.

CANBERRA: Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament.

“If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you,” he said on national television. “I’d be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false. If you can’t agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practises it, perhaps, then, that’s a better option,” Costello said.

We really Aussies really do get this stuff right. People should give us the task of leading the charge against expansionist Islam. Mainstream values first. Religion second. Welcome to Australia. Enjoy your life.

We are told that radical Islamists are not representative of the majority of Muslims, who are described as ‘moderate’. Where are these moderates? Name even one that has any moderating influence in a Muslim population in the West. That supposed moderate Muslim majority obviously disagrees with the radicals so much that the UK is now facing its worst terror threat since 9/11 with potentially more than 2000 individuals plotting attacks. Where are these so-called moderates speaking out against terror conducted in their name? When have any of them condemned specific attacks rather than make vague statements about peace and respect et blah?

The unspoken truth is that moderate Muslims believe in the expansion of their religion and are not only prepared to turn a blind eye to those that are helping bring it about but also act as a host for radical elements. They understand that if society is frightened then they simply need to claim that the threat has been brought about due to Muslims being discriminated against, push for concessions and bully society into conceding more ground to them. It’s a bargaining chip that they use very effectively against weak people that have no values they’re prepared to defend.

Islam is an ideology that is completely incompatible with traditional Western values. The disaster that is beginning to take shape in France speaks truth to this. The current expansionary phase can only cause a rupture in which conflict is the only solution. Muslims do not understand that those who promote political correctness have a totalitarian mindset that, when pushed past its limit of tolerance, is capable of extreme violence. This was a large element of what happened in Kosovo.

Recent surveys show that people don’t believe that Islam and the West are headed for a showdown. People don’t want to look at the reality of thousands of attacks in dozens of countries, preferring instead to worry about global warming. Cognitive dissonance reigns supreme.

For using violence and terror in the name of expanding its influence, Expansionist Islam is the #3 institution on my list of 10 Institutions That Ruin The World.

UPDATE: Imposing Sharia Law – The tactic seems to be to make a huge list of demands in the expectation of getting a few concessions. (HT: LGF)

#4 – The Environmental Movement
#5 – The Mainstream Media
#6 – Education Institutions and Education Unions
#7 – Government
#8 – The Social Justice Movement
#9 – The Peace Movement
#10 – The Intelligent Design Movement, Discovery Institute

Categories: Culture, Islam

>Sunday night foot tapper

February 25, 2007 Leave a comment

>Sunday evenings seem an ideal time to post an old classic from the Australian music archives. Back in 1981 the most popular song of the year was from a Kiwi band, The Swingers, fronted by ex-Split Enz member, Phil Judd. Given the small size of the New Zealand market it was normal for their bands to try their hand in Australia. Split Enz became successful in Australia and after splitting up Neil Finn formed Crowded House, a huge success overseas.

Tonight we have The Swingers’ Counting The Beat. Try not tapping you feet to the LaDaDiDa bit.

Categories: Australia, Music