Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I started writing this piece a few days ago, before former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler. I set it aside because I didn’t want to look like I had fallen for “Godwin’s Law,” which states that if an Internet discussion goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler, Nazis, or Nazism. Turns out Hillary fell for it first.
Actually, that was only part of the reason I put this piece aside. The topic seemed too bookish and boring. It sort of still is. But if history is your thing, read along.
There are a few interesting similarities between the former KGB agent Putin and the former Austrian Corporal Hitler. But there is always a lot of low hanging fruit in comparisons of lawless leaders because they tend to act the same.
Perhaps least interesting to many of you but fascinating to me is that both Putin and Hitler reacted to what is still the most important event in modern European history, the fall of the imperial houses of Habsburg (Austria-Hungary) Hohenzollern (Germany) and Romanov (Russia) during and after World War I. The geopolitical mayhem sprung by this event still makes trouble in Europe 100 years later (The Balkans is still not settled. Russia still has not gotten over the urge to dominate former vassal states like Poland and Ukraine.) And that is extraordinary.
Both post-Soviet Russia and post-Imperial Germany suffered from what I’ll call regional superiority complexes. Both were nations of incredible cultural and political achievement. Both were weak because of political upheaval, yet still saw themselves at the top of the pecking order in their respective necks of the woods. Neo-nationalists like Putin believe Russia has the right to dominate Ukraine, just as Hitler and German nationalists believed the Third Reich could do what it wanted in Eastern Europe. You could liken it somewhat to American attitudes toward Mexico and Central America in the 1800s and 1900s.
But, let’s be clear: Putin’s first reason for the de facto invasion of the Crimea is to ensure that it remains a base for Russian naval operations. That is number one. Without it, there is no way (that I know of) for Russia to defend itself from attacks coming through the strait of Bosporus and the Black Sea. Does anyone WANT to invade Russia? No. But that, to a Russian nationalist, is either not true or not the point.
The second reason for the invasion is that Crimea used to be a part of Russia and is full of Russians. This is a version of “Pan-Slavism.” Hannah Arendt in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” postulated that Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism in the last century was rooted in the twin strains of Pan-Slavism (Russian/Soviet) and Pan-Germanism (Nazism). The concept of the brotherhood of man which permeated most of Western Europe after the Reformation and Enlightenment didn’t affect Germany and Russia as much.
Both cared more about Germans and Russians to the exclusion of other ethnic groups and nationalities (Poles, Jews, Gypsies, and Armenians, to name a few). Hitler used the excuse of protecting Germans in Czechoslovakia as a pretext to invade. Putin did a similar thing in Georgia in 2008 and Boris Yeltsin tried to do it in Serbia. In 1999, Yeltsin warned that NATO military action against Slavic Serbia could force Russia into a “European or worldwide war.” Hello, 1914?
In the Crimea invasion, Russian nationalists want to “protect” both Russians in the “near abroad” and Ukrainians. PRI’s Charles Maynes, covering Russian reaction to the invasion, writes: “Alexei Zhivov, a self-described Russian nationalist, argues that Ukraine and Russia are really just one country. And that the Maidan (anti-government) protesters, backed by Western powers, are trying to tear Ukraine out of Russia's embrace. "We should be one pan-Slavic government.”
Zhivov’s comment also points toward traditional Russian paranoia of being invaded, thanks to Napoleon and Hitler. Maynes further writes, “Maria, a pro-(Putin) activist…suggested that if Moscow didn't come to Ukraine's rescue, the fascists would come to Russia next. Unfortunately, Ukraine isn't the final goal,” she said. “Their final goal is to destroy Russia. And what's really happening is a military intervention by the West … and that's why Crimea is asking for help. They see what's happening and understand that Russia is the only one that can save them.”
One would think people should be saved FROM the Russian government, but Russian nationalists think ethnic Russians in the near abroad deserve to live with, and be under the protection of, other Slavs or Russians.
Finally, the most dangerous comparison between Hitler and Putin is one of the easiest. At the moment when aggression could have been stopped, both Hitler and Putin stared across at weak Western leaders they calculated would do little or nothing to fight them. And you have to admit that Barack Obama does a fine Neville Chamberlain.
Putin has proven he is a lawless man who, like Hitler during his rise in the 1930s, invokes the concept of law only when it is useful to his goals of internal control and external aggression. And make no mistake: Like Hitler, Putin would do anything that he knew he could get away with.
And I have to add that when it comes of Obama and Putin and breaking the law, it takes one to know one.
Dale Hurd reported from Moscow during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin periods. You can follow him on Twitter @dalehurd and on Facebook.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Garth Paltridge, one of the world’s most respected atmospheric scientists, writes in the Australian literary journal Quadrant that (my words, not his) the bill for climate change hysteria and the prostitution of science in the name of a leftist political fantasy could be about to come due.
And when it does, the damage to the reputation of science could be huge.
In what will be for some climate scientists the equivalent of a theologian being questioned on the existence of God, Paltridge asks of them, “Virtually all scientists directly involved in climate prediction are aware of the enormous uncertainties associated with their product. How is it that they can place hands over hearts and swear that human emissions of carbon dioxide are wrecking the planet?” And he warns that a backlash against science is building because, “…the average man in the street, a sensible chap who by now can smell the signs of an oversold environmental campaign from miles away, is beginning to suspect that it is politics rather than science which is driving the issue.
Paltridge is not small potatoes. He was a Chief Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), described as “Australia’s equivalent of the National Science Foundation, America's massive Federal Laboratory network and all the governmental agency science branches rolled into one.”
Writing in Forbes, former Virginia State Climatologist Patrick Michaels cites the Paltridge article in asking, “Will the overselling of global warming lead to a new scientific dark age?”
Michaels adds, “Paltridge lays out the well-known uncertainties in climate forecasting. These include our inability to properly simulate clouds that are anything like what we see in the real world, the embarrassing lack of average surface warming now in its 17th year, and the fumbling (and contradictory) attempts to explain it away. Every year that elapses without a significant warming trend more and more erodes the credibility of not just climate science, but science in general.”
Paltridge warns that, “…we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem…in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.”
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Far more interesting to me than the debate over man-made climate change is the way followers of this apocalyptic vision desperately cling to it in the face of scandals like Climategate and the actual climate data itself (the trusted data, not the stuff that is cooked and processed for political purposes and to attract funding).
Some of the climate faithful become absolutely apoplectic-white knuckle-frothing at the mouth in the face of criticism from the unbelieving. You’d think someone was defending their mother’s honor.
This week Jon Stewart of the Daily Show used the F-word in barking that Fox Anchor Stuart Varney’s “opinion (that Climate Change is baloney) is not as valid as scientific fact!”
Yes, CO2 does become trapped in the atmosphere and does hold in heat, although carbon dioxide is dwarfed in volume by the largest greenhouse gas, water vapor. (Never fear, scientists have devised a reason why modern man is responsible for more water vapor in the atmosphere, too--Seeing a pattern here?)
And, yes, the Earth has warmed in the past 100 years. Some scientists think the climate is still recovering from Little Ice Age in the 1600s to 1800s. And current temperatures today are not nearly as warm as they were in what is called the Medieval Warm Period (from 950 to 1250 A.D.), a time when no one drove a Hummer or ate at McDonalds, but the Earth was still very hot.
But the profound spiritual crisis for those who desperately need the climate change narrative to be true is the cold fact that the Earth stopped warming between 15 and 17 years ago. That means the climate change model that is the holy scripture for so much planned, global social engineering--environmentalism's global evangelization project--is fatally flawed.
The climate change establishment has countered that 15 to 17 years is not time enough for climate to disprove a climate model. And one finds that, ultimately, nothing can disprove climate change for the believing, which then takes it from the realm of science to religious dogma.
Has climate change become a religion for some? Of course. In Paris, French philosopher Pascal Bruckner told me it has all the marks of "a pagan religion." Bruckner has written The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse (Le fanatisme de l'Apocalypse).
Although Bruckner supports environmentalism, he likens the climate change alarmism to a religious cult.
"Because it uses all the elements of traditional religion, especially the theme of the apocalypse," he said. "You have this culture of fear: 'You have sinned and now you have to be punished.'"
Climate skeptics are treated as religious heretics in need of a good public shaming or worse.
When French scientist and politician Claude Allegre came out with the book, The Climate Deception (L'imposture Climatique), 400 French scientists signed a petition asking the government to denounce the book.
Academic freedom, anyone? Belgian TV featured a program devoted to "exposing" so-called "climate criminals;" experts like Allegre who don't believe in global warming.
What would the great astronomer Galileo say about all this if he were alive? In 1633 Galileo was convicted of “grave suspicion of heresy” for "following the position of Copernicus (that the Earth revolves around the Sun), which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture.”
Galileo had become a subversive. He was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. One gets the feeling that some climate change fanatics would love to put skeptics under house arrest, and take away their computers.
Galileo would also have something to say about another phenomenon happening today: the lack of sunspot activity. Beginning in 1611, Galileo began to document the lack of sunspots during what is called the Maunder Minimum. His drawings from that period still survive.
And what came next in weather history? Little Ice Age.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
She is being called "the brave German." Her name is Heidi and she stood up in the middle of a Muslim-Christian "interfaith service" and denounced a Muslim call to prayer by reciting Martin Luther, proclaiming, "Jesus Christ alone is Lord over Germany!":
Here is another video of as she is escorted from the church by police.
Here is an account of what happened from Politically Incorrect News:
On Sunday, the Memorial Church in Speyer hosted Karl Jenkins’ so called Mass for Peace “The Armed Man” where the Islamic call to prayer is performed by an Imam. For that reason, the “Campaign group for persecuted Christians” held a silent vigil at which 40 Christians took part. One of them, Heidi M. – also known as “The brave German”- didn’t want to remain silent any longer. Here is her report:
Together we are going to Speyer. We are seeing light in the congregation center behind the Memorial Church. A friendly young woman is leading us the way to the place where they are selling tickets. So, there are still some tickets left. Thank God! In a very unfriendly manner, she is being called back by the choral conductor. “Like the devil”, we two are thinking at this very moment. Many faces in this room are looking as if they were petrified. Where can I find Jesus in them?
We are getting two tickets. That’s 36.-€ (48.60$). Is this an investment in truth, or is this just a waste of money? As an economist, I quickly start calculating. There are 2000 seats in the church. If it’s only filled half, they already earned 18,000.-€. What will they do with that money? Build another mosque? What do we finance with our entrance fee?
I don’t want to join the silent vigil that had permission to quietly protest far away from the church. Regarding the issue, I cannot simply remain silent. We have tickets for the balcony. My brother – we are all like one family – cannot keep his mouth shut. He is from Northern Africa, and he’s already been through a lot. When reading the inscription at the tall statue of Martin Luther, we are deeply concerned.
While the choirs are entering the church, I have the feeling God is telling me: History repeats. The Imam is the second act of the evening. At least the first row of seats is filled with Muslims. F. recognized them immediately. They are watching him constantly.
Confidently the Imam is reaching the pedestal and starts with this awful call. Quickly I’m taking my German flag which reads: Jesus Christ is the Lord. I’ m unrolling the flag and speak the famous quote by Martin Luther: “I am standing here. I cannot do otherwise.” I know, time is short. I’m lifting the curse the Imam has just placed on the church and on us.
From each corner, people start pulling my flag. I don’t want it to rip. Then they are pushing me and F. They shall leave me, don’t touch me. I keep telling that I will leave voluntarily. They try grabbing F.’s cell phone he used for filming. Over and over they try holding me ruggedly. They already had been waiting for us to come up with something. Through the rear exit we are being pushed downstairs. I remember what Jesus Christ himself once said to those who are not worthy of God’s peace:” And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.” (Matthew 10:14 English Standard Version (ESV)) So we both consciously do. I keep thinking: this is betrayal, betrayal of the martyrs, betrayal of us believers, of our country, of God himself.
I know, this is not just about a show concealed as a “concert”. This is about the foundation of our existence. This is about our lives.
The Memorial Church in Speyer had been built at the beginning of the last century by the German state and the congregation in commemoration of Martin Luther and the German rulers who protected him. Now “the great prostitute” (Revelation 17:1 (ESV)) had occupied it.
The great Apostle Paul says in Galatians 1:8 (ESV):
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”
Reading about the content of this terrible performance, it seems to me like a curse on our country. It feels as if we were singing to this “concert” for our own judgment. It’s pure idolatry being carried out in God’s church. The living God, this house has been dedicated to, will react to this.
The pastors and the leader of the Protestant/Evangelical Church in Germany betray their founder Martin Luther and the reformers, they betray our country which built its law and moral standards upon God’s word, the Bible. They betray all of us.
F. told me this morning: “I am proud of us There is nothing more beautiful in my life than what we did last evening. Heidi, you were Martin Luther’s substitute. WE are the congregation. We said what had to be said. The people know and understand nothing.”
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The world wasted almost a billion dollars a day last year trying to “limit global warming,” according to the latest Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) report. $359 billion. It’s money that could have been used to feed and clothe a lot of poor people or eradicate a disease or invest in struggling third world economies.
The only sliver of good news is that it was $5 billion less than the year before.
This week, the self-anointed head of the Climate Church, Al Gore, is running a climate “telethon” on the Internet, called “24 Hours of Reality.” The goal is scare enough of the guilty into wasting even more money on a “carbon tax.” The website says “Join us as we go around the world, identifying the costs of carbon pollution and the solution that can change the course of our future.”
Al Gore knows a thing or two about the cost of “carbon pollution.” Forbes Magazine says Gore owns “a 20-room, 10,000 square foot antebellum mansion in Nashville’s wealthy Belle Meade neighborhood, and (a) $8.9 million rising ocean-front threatened villa in Montecito, Calif., he purchased following his divorce.“
Gore’s Nashville home alone generates a 221,000 kilowatt-hours utility bill, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. That’s 20 times the energy consumption of the average household.
There are a few hopeful signs that the world just might be coming to its senses about all this climate change hooey. Tony Abbott was just elected in Australia on a platform of ending their carbon tax. Renewable subsidies are being cut in ten European nations, the price of carbon credits has collapsed in Europe, and global coal usage is growing.
Global temperatures have been stubbornly flat for almost 17 years despite apocalyptic climate model predictions. Extreme weather in the U.S. defied the scare-mongers this year. America's hurricane season was a no-show. Antarctica continues to set ice records.
The Earth will never cooperate with you, Mr. Gore. It will go its own way. Droughts and floods, warm and cold periods, all will come and go as they did millennia before coal or the invention of the internal combustion engine.
What the world really needs is a telethon to save the hundreds of billions being utterly wasted every year to "save the planet." Billions that could be used for so much good. That is a true global tragedy.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
An environmental website called 350.org has proposed that the World Meteorological Association start naming hurricanes after politicians who don't believe in the climate change fairy tale.
"RICK PERRY LEAVES TRAIL OF DEATH" reads one chyron banner in 350.org's fantasy hurricane coverage.
This could be from the comedy site, The Onion, but it's the real deal:
Pity there haven't been any hurricanes this year for them to re-name.
Pity? Yes, it's a great disappointment to this religious movement so in need of an apocalypse, a savior, and the forgiveness of their carbon sins through indulgences called carbon credits.
The Houston Chronicle reports the bad news:
"For the first time in 11 years, August came and went without a single hurricane forming in the Atlantic. The last intense hurricane (Category 3 or above) to hit the United States was Hurricane Wilma, in 2005. According to Phil Klotzbach, head of Colorado State University's seasonal hurricane forecast, accumulated cyclone energy is 70 percent below normal this year."
NOAA predicted 20 named storms this year. Twenty? There have been seven so far, and none have been hurricanes.
Friday, August 30, 2013
From HSLDA (the American-based Home School Legal Defense Association):
Children Seized in Shocking Raid
At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence in Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7–14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.
The children were taken to unknown locations. Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children anytime soon.
HSLDA obtained and translated the court documents that authorized this use of force to seize the children. The only legal grounds for removal were the family’s continuation of homeschooling their children. The papers contain made no other allegations of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Germany has not even alleged educational neglect for failing to provide an adequate education. The law ignores the educational progress of the child; attendance and not learning is the object of the German law.
Judge Koenig, a Darmstadt family court judge, signed the order authorizing the immediate seizure of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s children on August 28th. Citing the parents’ failure to cooperate “with the authorities to send the children to school,” the judge also authorized the use of force “against the children” if necessary, reasoning that such force might be required because the children had “adopted the parents’ opinions” regarding homeschooling and that “no cooperation could be expected” from either the parents or the children.
In October 2012, state youth officials had been granted formal legal custody of the Wunderlich children by a German court based solely on the fact that the family was homeschooling. German lawyer Andreas Vogt sought appellate relief on behalf of the Wunderlichs and was able to forestall immediate removal of the children. But, yesterday, as the family quietly began their homeschool day, a knock at the door signaled the interruption that turned their lives upside down.
Wunderlich described the frightening turn of events.
“I looked through a side window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it,” Wunderlich told HSLDA.
“The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first,” he said. “It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.”
Over the past 4 years, HSLDA has reported on the Wunderlichs saga as they have moved from country to country in the European Union looking for a place to call home where they could freely homeschool their children. Although they found refuge from homeschool persecution, Mr. Wunderlich was unable to find work, and last year the family had to return to Germany.
The family resettled to their home in Darmstadt, Germany, just south of Frankfurt, with some trepidation. After quietly homeschooling for a few months neighbors noticed the Wunderlich children weren’t attending school and turned the family in to the authorities. The youth authorities moved quickly and obtained legal custody of the children but left them in the residence since they were being well treated and otherwise cared for by their parents.
Authorities even took the passports of the children making it impossible for the family to escape—a violation, said Michael Farris, Chairman and Founder of HSLDA, of a number of human rights guaranteed to them by the European Convention of Human Rights.
“The right to homeschool is a human right,” said Farris,” and so is the right to freely move and to leave a country. Germany has grossly violated these rights of this family. This latest act of seizing these four beautiful innocent children is an outrageous act of a rogue nation.”
The right of parents to decide how children are educated is a human right of the highest order said Farris.
“The United States Constitution is not alone in upholding the right of parents to decide how to educate their children. Germany is a party to numerous human rights treaties that recognize the right of parents to provide an education distinct from the public schools that so that children may be educated according to the parents’ religious convictions. Germany has simply not met its obligations under these treaties or as a liberal democracy,” he said. “HSLDA and I will do whatever we can to help this family regain custody of their children and insure that they are safe from this persecution. This case demonstrates conclusively why the Romeike asylum case is so important. Families in Germany need a safe place where they can educate their children in peace.”
Following the raid, Dirk Wunderlich told Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Director for International Affairs, that he and his wife were devastated.
“These are broken people. They said they felt like they were being ground into dust. They were shaken to their core and shocked by the event. But they also told me that they had followed their conscience and the dictates of their faith.” Donnelly said. “Although they don’t have much faith in the German state—they have a lot of faith in God. They are an inspiring and courageous family.”
“I’ve been fighting for German homeschool freedom for years,” he continued, “and I had hoped that things were changing in Germany since it has been some time since brutality of this magnitude has occurred. But I was wrong.”
“Mike Farris and I spent time with the Wunderlichs at the first global homeschool conference in Berlin in November last year,” Donnelly explained. “They are a delightful family with precious children. They are really just regular people who are doing what millions of people here in the United States do every day.”
“My question to the political leadership of Germany is how long will you permit these kinds of brutal acts to be perpetrated against German families? Why is it so important to you to force people into your state schools? The echo of this act rings from a darker time in German history. When will leaders stand up and make changes so that brutality to children like the Wunderlichs no longer happens because of homeschooling? Isn’t there any German statesman willing to stand up for what is right anywhere in Germany?” Donnelly asked.
Wunderlich said that his 14-year-old daughter had to be forcibly taken out of the home.
“When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched. I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen. They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said—‘it’s too late for that.’ What kind of government acts like this?”
After the children were taken away, the family was “invited” to a meeting with the senior social authority in charge at the scene, Mr. Behnis. The Wunderlichs agreed to the meeting and were joined by their attorney, Andreas Vogt, who came as soon as he notified, traveling hours by train to attend the meeting.
When the parents asked when they could seek a hearing to contest the seizure of their children, they were told they would have to wait until the regular judge returned from vacation. Vogt told HSLDA that the authorities had displayed little sympathy. Vogt has become a key lawyer in the German homeschool movement, representing many active cases. He has taken some to the German Supreme Court with no success to date.
Petra Wunderlich said her heart was shattered - her faith intact she said she was empty without her children.
“We are empty. We need help. We are fighting but we need help,” she said.
I included a comment from Dirk and some shots of the Wunderlich family in this story about homeschooling.
Follow me on Twitter @dalehurd and on Facebook.com/dalehurdnews
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Germany's Green Party has been engulfed in a scandal over it's very close association with the pedophile movement.some Greens wanted legalization of sex with minors. This has been a huge embarrassment for the Greens because, as this Spiegel article explains, "No other party depends as heavily on the claim of being on the right side of morality."
In the 1980s,
The German media is continuing to dig and is asking why Germany's homosexual rights movement, which publicly disavows pedophilia, was allied with pedophiles.
Follow me on Twitter @dalehurd and on Facebook.com/dalehurdnews
Friday, August 23, 2013
The was an earthquake in Copenhagen last night.
Former radical Islamist Ahmed Akkari stood before a packed house of the Free Press Society and admitted that every mosque in Denmark is run by a extremist Imam.
Akkari says, "The truth is that there is not a single mosque or Muslim organization in Denmark that is not run by Islamists. As soon as you enter the house of the believers, you are met with Islamism whether you want it or not. As soon as you become a devoted Muslim, you are infected by extremism."
Here is the story by Ingrid Carlqvist. It explains the significance of the mug Akkari is holding in the photo..
Akkari's "inconvenient truth" shreds the Left's narrative that radical Muslims in Denmark are just victims of bigotry and only need a big hug. Two years ago I did the story from Copenhagen, "Radical Islamic Threat Grips Denmark," showing how radicals were running the show in Denmark's immigrant Muslim sub-culture, enabled by the reliably clueless leftist political class and media.
Since my interview in that story with Lars Hedegaard, founder of the Free Press Society, a man described by police as "foreign" and posing as a package courier tried to kill Lars. But, thankfully, the bullet missed.
Last night Hedegaard and the former radical Akkari were on the same team. What a sad state of affairs for the multiculturalism elites still coddling extremists and denouncing their critics as racists.