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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 2, 2005 / 24 Iyar, 5765

The EU meets democracy

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | French President Jacques Chirac forgot the first rule of European Union politics: "Don't consult the voters (it will only encourage them)." For that, he suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday, when 55 percent of French voters delivered a stirring "non" to the proposed new EU constitution, potentially ending the EU project as we have known it. See what mischief comes from allowing pesky public opinion to have too large a say in EU affairs?

To this point, the EU has become steadily more powerful on the basis of bureaucratic aggrandizement and elite bullying. After the French vote, EU worthies lined up to dismiss it. Josep Borrell, president of the EU parliament, said, "France decides only for France." But the constitution is supposed to be approved by all 25 EU member nations. Martin Schulz, a member of the parliament, agreed: "We respect the result of this democratic vote. But [there's always a 'but'] French voters voted against the opportunity to create a better Europe." And so the implication hangs in the air that the vote is illegitimate and cannot stand.

This is the EU way. It was practically built on reversing inconvenient popular votes. In 1992, Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty, the agreement to change the European Community — a common market — into the more ambitious European Union. Since this result was considered unacceptable, a revote was held shortly afterward, and the treaty passed. Ireland rejected the Nice Treaty, which would have expanded the EU from 15 to 25 nations in 2001, and then accepted it in a revote in October 2002. Revotes are never deemed necessary when a pro-EU measure passes.

Such a "do over" is already being discussed in France, the heart of the EU. Sunday's vote was a little like Texas voting against President George W. Bush.

French attitudes have been implanted into the very DNA of the EU, including the bureaucratic centralization and anti-Americanism. Chirac could plausibly argue that France would fulfill its national destiny by ratifying the constitution, the drafting of which was led by — of course — a former French president.

The voters had different ideas. They rejected the ungainly document, which is as thick as a trashy summer novel, for a dog's breakfast of right-wing and left-wing reasons. Many "non" voters opposed the "Anglo-Saxon" free-market economic policies that would accompany further EU integration. But even an Anglo-Saxon can find the French public's verdict exhilarating, a thumb-in-the-eye revolt against their betters, who didn't realize the mistake in allowing them to vote until it was too late.

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The EU is meant to smother just such populist outbursts. Only the unelected European Commission — a collection of bureaucrats from each of the member states — can propose legislation, giving it a pre-emptive veto over the work of the European parliament. The parliament itself has limited powers, and can only pass advisory opinions on many issues. The parliament's claim to represent anyone in the first place is tenuous since its elections routinely draw a pathetic turnout.

The crisis brought on by the French vote represents an opportunity. The EU vision has always been to unify the 25 members into one European super-state with common foreign and defense policies and to make it a geopolitical rival to America. Now, U.S. policymakers should encourage a two-tiered EU. The center — France, Germany and Belgium — should be tightly united in a federation. The rest should be loosely affiliated in a glorified free-trade area, thus preserving the ability of Britain and countries in Eastern Europe to maintain their distinct (and markedly more sympathetic to the U.S.) foreign policies.

The German playwright Bertolt Brecht once wrote a poem mocking the Soviets for complaining about the skepticism with which East Germans regarded them: "Would it not be easier for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?" Surely that is the option that the EU masters would prefer in the wake of the French vote. Democracy will take some getting used to.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate

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