Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Compare/Contrast

Excerpt from Hungarian PM Viktor Orban's State of the Nation Address, Feb. 28:

Hungary gave its own answers to the most important European questions in 2010. Already since 2010, we have been living in the future which many other countries are only just setting out towards or will attempt to reach sooner or later. Europe today continues to huddle behind the moats of political correctness, and has built a wall of taboos and dogmas around itself. In contrast, we took the view that the old pre-crisis world will not return. There are things from past periods which are worth keeping, such as democracy – as far as possible in a form which needs no modifying adjectives; but we must let go of everything that has failed and has broken down. We must let go of these things before they bury us beneath them. We have chosen the future. Those who do not make choices find that instead circumstances will make the choices for them. Those who do not actively decide will find that their lives will be decided for them. We therefore let go of neo-liberal economic policy, and perhaps we did so as late as we possibly could have; we let go of the policy of austerity, just before we were about to share the fate of Greece; we let go of the delusion of the multicultural society before it turned Hungary into a refugee camp, and we let go of liberal social policy which does not acknowledge the common good and denies Christian culture as the natural foundation – and perhaps the only natural foundation – for the organization of European societies. We decided to face the barrage of unfair attacks and accusations, and also let go of the dogma of political correctness.

And as far as I see it, Hungarian people are by nature politically incorrect – in other words, they have not yet lost their common sense. They are not interested in talk, but want facts and results; they are not interested in theories, but want jobs and affordable utility bills; and they do not swallow the nonsense that unemployment is a natural concomitant of modern economies. They want to free themselves from the modern-day debt slavery that they were driven into by foreign currency loans. They do not want to see their country thronging with people from different cultures, with different customs, who are unable to integrate; people who would pose a threat to public order, their jobs and livelihoods. Naturally, we should not be unfair on liberal notions, as during the period after 1990 they did bring a number of benefits to Hungary which we ourselves fought for; times have changed, however, and we cannot be blind to that fact. We learnt from Gy├Ârgy Bencze something which we now experience personally on a daily basis. He told us that liberals are extremely tolerant – they are only intolerant of fascists. But it is surely not their fault that everyone else – everyone except for them – is a fascist. Yes, we must understand that liberal politics only ever recognizes two kinds of opinion: its own and the wrong one. You yourselves may clearly remember this; this is how these considerations led to Hungary taking a new direction in 2010, and a new era of national politics began.

Excerpt, President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address, Jan. 20, 2015

That’s what middle-class economics is -- the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules.  (Applause.)  We don’t just want everyone to share in America’s success, we want everyone to contribute to our success.  (Applause.)
 
So what does middle-class economics require in our time? 
 
First, middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change.  That means helping folks afford childcare, college, health care, a home, retirement.  And my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year.  (Applause.)
 
Here’s one example.  During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority -- so this country provided universal childcare.  In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever.  (Applause.)
 
It’s not a nice-to-have -- it’s a must-have.  So it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.  (Applause.)  And that’s why my plan will make quality childcare more available and more affordable for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America -- by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.  (Applause.)

10 comments:

  1. It seems every leader is a socialist now - either the reactionary nationalist type, or the progressive trans-nationalist type.

    I hope Orban does better than Chavez or Maduro, or Kirchner.

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as "bad luck.”


    ― Robert A. Heinlein

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  2. So yet again, 0bama is shown as small and pathetic as a national leader. His vision for the country's future is myopic at best.

    The Heinlein quote is perfect

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  3. Almost all of Heinlein is perfect. I wasn't at all surprised to read a major SF publisher/editor comment that their Heinlein books outsold all of their award winning current authors, combined.

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    1. I'm not surprised. Today's scifi is dreck; squishy, rainbow-y, shallow, and badly written.

      I did enjoy John C. Wright's Awake in the Nightland, but haven't read any of his other novels or short stories. Yet. :)

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  4. I was impressed by Orban's speech. I know nothing about him, I read his Wiki page last night (don't know how accurate it is) and got a little better feel for the man but his politics are still clear as mud. To me, anyway ;)

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    1. Orban is a Hungarian nationalist who believe that the Hungarian state should be by and and for the Christian Hungarian nation and that Europe should be an assembly of such states and not a pan-European federation.

      Of course, as he notes in his speech, this makes him a fascist.

      He is considered a Putin mini-me here in the Department, an enemy.

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    2. Thanks for the information, Jourdan.

      He is considered a Putin mini-me here in the Department, an enemy.

      That surprises me. I wonder if they feel the same about Japan, who has always rejected multiculturalism.?

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  5. No, Japan gets a pass. It never enters anyone's mind to consider Japan in that light.

    We've just been informed that Venezuela has called the OAS into an emergency session, to be held next Thursday, to discuss the President's (ridiculously overwrought) designation of the situation in Venezuela a threat to national security.

    Working with people I strongly disagree with for the most part is not difficult.

    It's the amazing incompetence that really is starting to get to me.

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    1. I agree Jourdan.

      We have met the JV team, and they are us.

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