Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘hungary’

“We will no longer remain slaves”

Posted by Richard on October 23, 2006

On this day fifty years ago, the people of Hungary, chanting the banned song lyric, "We vow, we vow, we will no longer remain slaves," toppled Stalin’s statue and overthrew the Soviet puppet government. It lasted about two glorious weeks, during which the West did nothing. Eventually, the Soviets sent 17 divisions of the Red Army into Hungary. The United Nations, in sharp contrast to its response in Korea, merely expressed concern. The forces of freedom and democracy were slaughtered, and those captured imprisoned or executed.

Hathor remembered with two excellent YouTube videos and a personal recollection:

I was crestfallen as a child, my vision of America changed after this event. Heard much talk of Radio Free Europe and the encouragement we were giving the new Soviet satellites to seek freedom. Communist were the scourge of the earth, and yet we let the Hungarians fight alone. My most vivid memory, watching the news and seeing the Russian tanks roll through the streets. I could not understand why America was not helping.

Later we fought this fight in some distant rainforest.

I don’t remember the 1956 uprising (I was only 7), but I remember reading about it just a few years later and having the same reaction — how could we stand idly by? I suppose that’s the naive reaction of someone who doesn’t have to pay the cost (in lives and dollars) or consider the consequences. Nonetheless, the events of October and November 1956 brought honor to many Hungarians — but none to the U.S., the U.N., or the NATO countries.
 

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Hiding unemployment

Posted by Richard on September 19, 2006

In Budapest, Hungarians rioted overnight because the government lied about the economy and unemployment. In Sweden, voters just elected a center-right government in part because the socialists have been massively fudging the numbers, claiming 6% unemployment when independent estimates are in the 15-20% range. Sweden’s Social Democrats had their worst showing since 1914. The Bullwinkle Blog and Rossputin.com connected the two events. The latter observed:

Maybe even true Socialists are seeing the light…just not American socialists. As George Will says, there are more Marxists on the faculty at Harvard than in all of Eastern Europe.

Publius Pundit, true to form, provided pictures of pro-freedom Swedish babes along with the election news and commentary:

As you may imagine, Sweden’s stock market went hog-wild, creating tons of wealth for lots of people across the board. Markets are forward looking and they see something they like in this victory that could unleash the energies of Sweden’s intelligent and itching to work young people.

It’s a great victory for markets and progress in a peaceful country that’s been socialist for way too long.

Meanwhile, over at TCS Daily, Nima Sanandaji of the Swedish free-market think tank Captus provided a fascinating look at one of the techniques used by the Swedish socialist government to "fight" unemployment. Jessica Petterson, an out-of-work 25-year-old Swede was pressured by the unemployment agency to meet with a work psychologist, who gave her some tests:

To her surprise the psychologist said that Petterson should be classified as disabled since she wasn’t good enough at mathematics. Jessica was shocked to hear this: "I might not be a math genius, but I know how to count," she told the paper.

The unemployment agency explained that it was simply a matter of changing a code in her status as unemployed. If she agreed to be classified as mentally disabled she would be entitled to a range of government subsidies and programs. In fact, she could begin working at "Samhall" – a government project aimed at providing employment for the disabled. There she could get a job cleaning and building wheelchairs.

Alarmingly, what happened to Petterson is not an isolated incident in Sweden. The state unemployment agency is constantly attempting to force people to "admit" to being disabled. Today 19.3 percent of those seeking jobs at the unemployment office are being classified as disabled.

Stockholm University professor Mikael Holmqvist, who has done research on the subject of Samhall’s workers, believes that most of these people are in fact not disabled at all. They have been lured or threatened into agreeing to become classified as such. The reason for this is simply that if you are disabled you are removed from the statistics of open unemployment, something that the current Social Democratic government greatly appreciates.

Classifying job-seekers as mentally disabled? Well, I do know a few places where you’d have to be crazy to want to work there. 😉
 

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