An Australian fire, a Dutch MP, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters.
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There was widespread applause when Nillumbik Mayor Bo Bendtsen said changes were likely to be made about the council’s policy surrounding native vegetation.
But his response was not good enough for Mr Spooner: “It’s too late now mate. We’ve lost families, we’ve lost people.”
Last, but not least, let’s move on to the story of Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders. Here’s the story in brief as reported by the Guardian (UK):
Geert Wilders, the rightwing Dutch politician accused of Islamophobia, was today refused entry to the UK after arriving at Heathrow airport in London.
Wilders was due to show his 17-minute film Fitna, which criticises the Qur’an as a “fascist book,” at the House of Lords today. But on Tuesday he received a letter from the Home Office refusing him entry because his opinions “threaten community harmony and therefore public safety.”
Now let’s just stand back a moment here and take a good long look at what we are seeing.
First, it needs to be said that Members of Congress should get out in the world. That caring for the environment is a good thing. That bigotry is never a good thing. Yet in each and every one of these cases we see something that should scare the living bejeebers out of you.
Congressmen Frank and Waters have spent considerable time lately using their government power to go after private businessmen for abusing taxpayer dollars. Their pal Congressman Sherman has specifically hammered both the bankers and the carmakers hauled before their committee for the act of simply owning and using jets for, presumably, business purposes. Nowhere that I have heard have the bankers and carmakers been charged with using the company jets for obvious playtime stuff like, well, Ms. Waters. She, you see, followed her trip to Brussels with Barney with — in the same week — another government trip to the warm climes of Trinidad and Tobago. With her husband along.
Were the travels of Barney and Maxine reported as some sort of earthshaking scandal? Are you kidding? Hey, just another day at the trough with the taxpayers footing the bill. Why was it no big deal? Because, you see, Barney and Maxine and their congressional pals work for the government! There is no such thing as an abuse of taxpayers money if this is the government.
If then-Merrill Lynch chairman John Thain spends a million bucks of the firm’s money pre-bailout to redecorate the office in the middle of tough times, the guy is an idiot who should be fired. (Actually, even he realizes he was an idiot and he was fired…but that is or should have been between Thain and his bosses. which is to say a board of directors and shareholders. Our opinion doesn’t count — nor should it.) Thain was a piker when compared to the government boys and girls who, thanks to the “Title VI, Financial Services and General Government” section of the “stimulus” bill, are set to get “not less than $6,000,000,000 (which) shall be used for construction, repair, and alteration of Federal buildings.” Alteration. That’s government-speak for redecorate. (A hat tip to the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger.)
In other words, if some private sector guy is insensitive enough to blow a million bucks of his company’s money in a display of bad judgment at a bad time for the economy, off with his head. But $6 billion for the federal government version of the same thing? Noooooooooo problem. Let’s get those new drapes for the Commerce Department! The government shall not be trifled with!
Which, with infinitely more tragic results, is the story with our Australian friends. In obeisance to the gods of environmentalism, Australians are waking up to the realization that some 200 people are now dead because the government (catch that word “government” again) was not to be trifled with. Common sense? Cutting down “native vegetation”? What, are you crazy? The government said no, and that’s final. Or was, at least, until a little mass death grabbed everybody’s attention.
Last but certainly not least is the unsettling case of the Dutch MP and would-be filmmaker Mr.
Wilders. Let’s put aside Wilders’ film on Islamofascism, since (presumably) most of us have not seen it. Let’s posit that Mr. Wilders is, say, a Dutch version of America’s David Duke or Al Sharpton. Mr. Duke is in deserved obscurity precisely because the American people have a Constitution that lets them take him or leave him — and they left him. Ditto Reverend Sharpton. Yes he gets PR, yes he agitates on the radio. But President Al? The good Rev has, with his own effort, turned himself into a joke in most quarters. Yet even where he is not taken seriously, no one of any substance is disputing his right to rant. Not so over there in Britain, where our good cousins in a fit of government-gone-even wilder have barred MP Wilders at the proverbial gate.
What is going on here in these several incidents is, as has been noted with increasing alarm (finally) in conservative precincts — the deification of government. You can fly the government equivalent of corporate jets, replete with plush seats, government stewards and movies at your seat while you appetize — and no one blinks. Ruin the economy with your government power as did Congressman Frank and company? Don’t worry, we’ll all look the other way. No pesky hearings or prosecutions for those guys! You can redecorate $6 billion worth of government offices or build whole new ones and no one is supposed to care. But woe betide he or she if they dare to use Australian common sense that shrieks “cut the damn grass” or tries to visit Britain with a film questioning the violence of others. The government will have none of that, mate. Community harmony and all of that.
In an era of instant communications, the global left is making what eventually will be a huge mistake.
The rest of us are not asleep.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?