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Tag: European union


A Nobel prize for idiots?

I’ve never figured out the business of awarding Nobel Peace Prizes to large organizations. When you’re honoring a crowd, you’re really honoring nobody in particular. Here’s one historian’s acid take on the virtues of the European Union:

Nobel Prize for Idiots, Signifying Only Bias
By Andrew Roberts
Bloomberg News

It is hard to imagine anything more wrongheaded than last week’s decision by the Nobel Committee to award its Peace Prize to the European Union. Until, that is, one is reminded of the frauds, terrorists, totalitarians and world- class idiots who have won the award over the past 20 years.

The fabulous ignorance necessary to pass over the organization that in reality brought peace to the European continent for the past six decades‚ the North Atlantic Treaty Organization‚ and to reward instead a soulless, corrupt, bullying, glorified customs union with pretensions to superpower, beggars belief.

The Nobel Prize was once a towering honor, worthy of the highest respect. Just over half a century ago, in 1953, Albert Schweitzer and General George C. Marshall both received it on the same day, while Winston Churchill picked up the prize for literature. But a rot set in with the political correctness of the 1990s. The (usually Labor Party-dominated) Norwegian parliament, the Storting, chooses the Nobel Committee, and in that decade the Peace Prize was won by Rigoberta Menchu Tum, the Guatemalan activist who fabricated her autobiography and supported murderous Communist guerrillas, and by Yasser Arafat.

In the 2000s it went to Jimmy Carter, Mohammed El Baradei (the International Atomic Energy Agency chairman who consistently underplayed Iranian nuclear ambitions), Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Barack Obama, in the very first year of his presidency.

Recognition of genuine achievement has been replaced by the worst kind of genuflection toward liberal icons.

Nothing better represents this degradation of the Nobel Peace Prize than the ludicrous decision to award it to the EU, an organization that has done nothing whatever to bring peace, and is currently spawning riots and mayhem in many of its vassal states.

Ask an Athenian shopkeeper, who during the past two years of civil unrest has had to board up his shop for weeks at a time, whether the EU has brought him peace. Ask the immigrants, who increasingly are threatened by Europe’s resurgent fascist parties, galvanized by the recessions that were caused in part by the EU’s effort to straitjacket every economy in Europe into a single currency, with a single interest rate and exchange rate. Ask the youth of Europe whether they’ve found peace, as the unemployment rates for their age groups rise above 50 percent in Spain, and only slightly less in Italy, Portugal and Greece.

Moreover, the EU probably funds terrorism. Every year the EU gives more than 500 million euros ($647 million) to the Palestinian Authority, with little oversight over how this money is spent. It is very likely that part of the EU funds are siphoned off to terrorists, or that it frees up other money, with which the Palestinian Authority buys arms and ammunition for attacks on Israel.
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Aviation biofuel plans could be a boon for the Northwest

Camelina plant shows promise as the source of aviation biofuel. (MCT)

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

A humble plant grown in ancient times for its oil is making a welcome comeback – as a source of jet fuel. And the Pacific Northwest is well poised to be a leader in this growing and important industry.

Camelina, a flowering plant related to mustard, is being tested as a biofuel for military and commercial aviation.

A 50-50 blend already has been used successfully by the Air Force’s Thunderbirds squadron. And Boeing’s 747-8 freighter that flew trans-Atlantic into the Paris Air Show last week used a mixture of 85 percent kerosene and 15 percent camelina oil to power its four new General Electric engines.

Camelina-based biofuel is exciting for a number of reasons. It produces about 80 percent less carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel. It can be grown with little water or nitrogen fertilizer. And it doesn’t displace food crops, as is the case with corn used to produce ethanol.
After the oil is extracted from the camelina seeds, the residual meal can be used as feed for livestock and poultry. (Bonus: Research shows that turkeys fed the camelina meal produce meat rich in omega-3 fatty acid.)
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Greece: A cautionary tale with a moral for America

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Deficits matter.

Just ask the Europeans who’ve been forced to bail out spendthrift Greece to protect their own economies. Just ask Americans who are suddenly seeing the Euro-scare drag down the U.S. stock market.

Wednesday’s 2-plus percent hit on U.S. stocks was largely driven by growing anxiety that Greece’s flirtation with catastrophe could spill over into Portugal, Spain, Ireland and perhaps Italy – all countries threatened by a general erosion of confidence. The ripples could hurt banks and investors around the world who have a financial stake in those countries.

Serious, sustained damage seems less likely now that other European countries – after much grumbling by the fiscally prudent Germans – have agreed to offer Greece $144 billion in undeserved credit. Disaster was staring everyone in the face. Greece’s credit rating had been cut to junk status; its bonds were turning toxic, and it was within three weeks of default.

The lesson for America, whose national debt has now exceeded $11 trillion, is that government cannot run up the VISA bill forever. A binge of deficit spending is sometimes necessary in a dire crisis – World War II and the credit panic of late 2008 come to mind – but the binge can’t become business as usual.

That’s precisely what happened in Greece. Under socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, its government rapidly expanded public spending in the 1980s. Since then, the country has been as indulgent as the old General Motors. Government workers were promised jobs for life; pensions were passed out to people who’d never contributed to the retirement funds; the public sector ballooned.
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