30 March 2008

Some of Them Don't Even Seem to Have any Blood to Give

The usual slander about what it means to be a conservative have little changed. Caricatured as tightwads, uncaring, wealthy, and venal, George Will recently reminded us how the data show the opposite to be the case. It’s also worth noting that the non-Washington Post reading public read all about this 16 months earlier.

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

• Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

• Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

• Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

• Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

• In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

• People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.
On the surface of these facts there is also a sort of forboding to be found when it comes to our sophisticated continental friends as well. If no-one else in this world believes that government must attend to the management of human life, it is the Europeans, the very people who conceived of every variant of socialism, communism, fascism, and today’s Gramscian Brave New World-like statist neediness.

I can’t also think of any place which is so developed, yet has so much helplessness, nihilism, and social anxiety. If anything dooms a people, it is just that.

28 March 2008

US “Hearts and Minds” Campaign More Successful in Beirut than in Islington

Former "Nightline" reporter Dave Marash has quit Al-Jazeera English, saying Thursday his exit was due in part to an anti-American bias at a network that is little seen in this country.
But it isn’t over the lack of cultural sensitivity of anyone in Qatar, it’s coming from that other presumptive “Religion of Peace”, the European left that virtually monopolizes the European media, especially the state-run media.
Marash said he felt that attitude more from British administrators than Arabs at the Qatar-based network.

27 March 2008

Loved to Death

The “climate of violence” slag oft parroted on the BBC and in the MSM appears to have either paid off for the underhanded involved in it, or must prove to the ignorant that insurgants aren’t the thoughtful, reasonable people the people in the press suppose they are:

Periods of intense news media coverage in the United States of criticism about the war, or of polling about public opinion on the conflict, are followed by a small but quantifiable increases in the number of attacks on civilians and U.S. forces in Iraq, according to a study by Radha Iyengar, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in health policy research at Harvard and Jonathan Monten of the Belfer Center at the university's Kennedy School of Government.

The increase in attacks is more pronounced in areas of Iraq that have better access to international news media,
This is rather obvious to say the least. Knowing that “world” sentiment is behind you when you’re about to maim civilians and troops probably makes the difference in the minds of those wondering if they suspect their actions might not have repercussions for them personally later in life.
The study also found that attacks increased more in parts of Iraq like Anbar province, where there is greater access to international news media, measured by the proportion of households with satellite TV, which its authors say increases the credibility of their findings.
Let’s not kid ourselves. All of this gives a certain class of people more worried about their psyches than stability a real woody:
But not the right way. Consider this: what “alliance” consists of member states that actively try to undermine each other’s dearest security initiatives, in the process endangering the lives of soldiers sent to the battlefield? This is what happened in the run-up to the Iraq war, when President Chirac and Chancellor Schroder crawled all the way to Moscow (both countries were of course, historically speaking, familiar with that road) to enlist resurgent Russia’s Vladimir Putin in their anti-American alliance.

Vladimir Vladimirovitch couldn’t believe his luck. One of his central aims – destroying American hegemony – suddenly seemed within reach, with help from the inside! If he’d been paying attention, Putin would have noticed that his guests had already been pursuing the very same agenda for a number of years.
The difference on the ground could have been enormous, as the experience of Bush senior’s Gulf War shows: a solid Euro-Atlantic coalition could have forced in more of the Arab countries as well – and made the cost for subversive action by countries like Syria and Iran much more punitive. That could have saved the Americans from dealing with a lot of crazies that were set loose in Iraq by those countries after the invasion.
And this is a result of the European model of “statesmanship”: the one where any sort of inaction is justified by waving the word “peace” around, and any other form of inaction is justified by tacitly propping up a dictator and undermining an “ally”.

26 March 2008

It’s for the Children!

Progressives’ ” notions of free expression. If it’s social suicide, they’re all for it.

A bizarre battle has erupted over the arrest on child pornography charges of a man at a California public library, with library and county officials siding against the staffer who called police to arrest the alleged criminal.

Librarian Brenda Biesterfeld was fired from her job after disregarding her supervisor's orders not to call police.

Mercy buckets a RV

22 March 2008

They Do Impressions Too

Taking the edge off of Europe’s Obama-rama, a junket to Paris by American republican presidential candidate John McCain must be giving a moment of either cognitive dissonance or the kind of flattery that would remind them of an earlier age when they France was a world power.

LeMonde Al Jezeera sur Seine puts it in a subdirectory called “poubelle,” of course.

Meanwhile the bed-wetters over at Rue89 think that the whole thing is some sort of coup by an evil wizard named Sarkozy, who they think is American (as if we’d ever accept anyone European in our horrible baby-eating prejudice!) They forget that it was a stop on the way to Berlin from London, and are horrified that he’s a “francophobe,” even if he’s never said so because of this:

The reason for his bitterness against the French? John McCain was in the Vietnam War. In 1967, he was captured in the north of the country and spent five and a half years in captivity. He explained that during his years of detention, he has seen a French television team which appeared to show some sympathy for his jailers and indifference to American prisoners. He has not forgotten.
Remember, somehow he became a francophobe, but has also (somehow) been seduced.

Among the deliciously crazy comment posters, McCain, has now been christened a “theocon”. It must mean something to them. Of course these are European leftists, which means that they know everything there is to be known and corner the market (sorry, capitalist pun) on good sense. Their reaction are typified by:
I don’t know anything about American elections, but I think Obama has a good chance of being elected.
A people speak!

Please Come Back and Let me Spank you Again, Liebchen

The EU is working hard to build an uneven playing field as a precedent for their thousand year empire. I used to suspect that the courts were being abused by EUbatting average) against large foreign companies, but am now quite convinced that the competent courts in these cases are playing along, and taking it as an entertaining or academic exercise at the expense of the eventual consumer.

Intel Defends Itself in Europe: Executives and lawyers representing microprocessor giant Intel appeared before EU regulators this week in a last-ditch effort to fend off antitrust action against the company similar to that which has plagued Microsoft recently. The hearings will continue today with representatives from Intel rival AMD explaining why, in fact, Intel needs to be curbed. "We're trying to convince the [European Commission] that this is a competitive market and that it behaves as one would expect a competitive market to behave, to the benefit of consumers," an Intel spokesperson explained. That's so cute, and I'm sure the EC will see things exactly that way, given that Intel sells over 80 percent of the microprocessors sold each year.

EU Worried that Microsoft Actions Might Harm Investments: And speaking of the EU, it turns out some there have concerns that its aggressive pursuit of Microsoft will have a negative effect on corporate investments in Europe. In a speech this week, former EU president of the Court of First Instance Bo "Duke" Vesterdorf said that slowing investment in the EU could result in slowing innovation and consumer suffering, the exact opposite of the effect the EU was shooting for when it went after Microsoft. Amazingly, Versterdorf said he regretted that Microsoft never appealed his court's decision against the company, though such an appeal had little chance of success.
After all, he might lose his meal ticket. The court’s racket is no different that the EUvian view of favoritism for well-connected and often partially state owned domestic industries. It is nothing more than trade-protectionism by another name, and it’s goal is to take without giving back, with consumers paying the difference, just as they do with their own protected industrial monopolies. If they plan on being a relic, maybe everything they do deserves to be treated as a cultural exception.

Sudden Sainthood

20 March 2008

Scripting the News

BBC celebrates the fall of Saddam by trying to pretend he didn’t even exist.

In a series of short (10-minute) films, dramatic haikus to mark the five-year anniversary of the preparations for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq (BBC2, Monday-Friday), the BBC has again shown the narcissism of small imaginations. Narcissism, because like so much of what passes for debate on Iraq, the programmes stare obsessively at the images the media themselves create of the conflict and its causes; small imaginations, because these images are tightly bounded by a tacit but iron will to confine all debate within variations on the theme of Americo-British responsibility for a disaster.

The films were shot in grainy sepia with a things-are-getting-worse musical score, and actors of the quality of Juliet Stephenson, Patrick Malahide, Stephen Rea and (next week) Kenneth Branagh playing such roles as Elizabeth Wilmshurst (Stephenson), the Foreign Office legal adviser who resigned because she judged the war illegal before it began; Sir Jeremy Greenstock (Malahide), the UK's ambassador at the UN charged with the impossible task of building a majority for war on the UN Security Council; General Tim Cross (Rea), the British Army's most experienced rebuilder, who struggled in vain to persuade Donald Rumsfeld to plan for the postwar Iraq; and Colonel Tim Collins (Branagh), who will - to shift from review to preview - next week re-enact the speech Collins made to men about to do or die - "We go to liberate not to conquer".
Biased-BBC also note the deep seeded one-sidedness of the tone of the reportage, complete with bringing on Richard Perle to play the goat. Why he keeps getting on the various BBC “newsy” opinion products, I’ll never know.
In all of this, there was not one hint of more than a sentence that the war was fought against one of the 20th century's greatest monsters. It was as if we were to dissect the crassness of Abraham Lincoln before the Civil War, with no reference to slavery; the tactical blunders of Winston Churchill without the Holocaust; or - let us be up to date - the ramshackle nature of the US-British-French coalition, with Milosevic's ethnic cleansing brushed out. This, for the defining conflict of the early 21st century, is what our media do: that is, they render it unintelligible.
Which is no exaggeration. It’s exactly the impression I got, which was to crane their necks to NOT mention key facts and events to prop up the angle of their coverage, more than the coverage itself.

We’re Dealing with Idiots

al-Qaeda threatens the EU again. Europeans cover their ears.

In a new audio message purportedly from Osama Bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader threatens the EU over the re-printing of a cartoon offensive to Muslims.

The voice on it says the cartoon, re-published recently in all major Danish newspapers, was part of a crusade involving Pope Benedict XVI.
Oh that warmongering pope!

19 March 2008

Kim Jong Il can Meet his Match

How about throwing a James Earl Jones voiceover on that cat.

Miscellaneous Europeans Willing to Fight to the Last Canadian

I guess they ran either ran out of skulls, or someone thinks that being tacitly pro-Talibanwill protect them.

Canada's forces in southern Afghanistan are getting a boost from the U.S. Marine Corps


The deployment is a stop-gap to bolster the Canadians, who have been battling insurgents and insisted on help as a condition of extending their deployment. After Germany, Spain, and several other NATO states refused (again) to send troops south, the U.S. offered a Marine unit. For the next seven months, the North Americans will be fighting shoulder to shoulder in the province. Hell, if the Mexicans chip in a brigade, Kandahar could join NAFTA.
I’m sure the Spanish and German “street” will rationalize something post cultural. In the mean time a German splodey-dope detonates his bad mono-cultural self.

18 March 2008

Fun with Speculated “Facts”: Consider the Audience

At one point (April 2006) he said making Iraq dictator free was one trillion dollars. Then a January 2006 of his statement was used to raised the alarmism to two trillion dollars.

Now Stiglitz says it’s three trillion dollars.

I think I found out where he gets his routine, and why corrupting the figures is so useful. Of course, not to be out-done, Pravda raised it to six.

Further About the Palestinian Boy Killed for the Exploitation of Political Radicals

An excerpt from the conclusions of an independent ballistics report concerning the death of Muhammad al Dura, a Palestinian boy who has, since 2000 become a lionized figure due to a report with footage showing his and his father’s death by France 2’s Charles Enderlin. A great deal of controversy has risen over that report. He was said to have been shot by Israeli troops, which made the child a poster image of the Palestinians and the western radical left. Technical analysis of their relative positions done shortly after the event, and reports those on the scene have demonstrated that the report was a fabrication using the local stringers working for the world press as a means of fabricating this event for political purposes. Since France 2 wanted to indulge its’ audience and sell the footage worldwide, it practiced as it often has a sort of transparent side-taking in reporting news that it thinks it can conceal, even when it contains fabrications.

From the ballistics report:

The protesters, mostly adolescents and children, threw stones at the Israeli checkpoint. The general atmosphere was good-natured, people walk quietly and vehicles drove along the road from Gaza. Some young and people and a man near a jeep appear injured, but they are simulations, with several subjects identified. Many shots were fired, but it is not possible to identify their source. Many journalists covered the event.

The one minute long report by France 2 was titled “the death of Mohamed AL DOURA” and was aired on September 30, 2000. We found a shot the wall above and Mohammed Jamal. A total of eight Impacts are present on this wall, after which the AL DOURA child is seen lying motionless, and not through an impact on the barrel (behind which they were shown taking cover). The sequence matching the moment when Mohamed was injured is unclear. Many factors are likely create doubt that the father and son were hit by projectiles.

According to the statements, Mohamed was injured in his right knee and his stomach, but no trace of impact or blood was visible on his clothes. Although France 2 photographer Talal Abu Rhama said that the child had bled for ten to fifteen minutes, no trace of blood was visible on the ground.
A doctor indicated that if the wound in the stomach was from a bullet that fully entered him, projections of blood and flesh would be visible on the wall (which they were up against), which does not appear on the Photographs of the BBC covering the ten seconds after the France 2 report.
It was said that Jamal was hit on the right arm, abdomen, and legs, while no trace of impact or blood was visible on his clothes. In addition, the location of these indicated injuries was hidden either by the barrel and by the body of his son, who were between him and the direction of the rounds.

Therefore he could not be in the condition described by France 2’s report. Talal Abu Rhama said that gunshots were directed at Jamal and Mohamed AL DOURA for at least forty minutes. Had that been the case, and assuming that a single shooter has concentrated his fire in their direction during the entire time, more that eight impacts that would have been shown to be on the wall above them, but a minimum of two thousand.

While many other cameramen were present at the scene, only France 2 filmed the episode of the "death" of the child. The Israeli police post is located 80 yards from where Jamal and Mohamed AL DOURA took cover. Depending on the plan which we have been provided, the angle of fire is about 36 degrees to the wall behind them. In this situation, the father and the child could not be fired on by the Israeli post for the following reasons:
Jamal Mohamed AL DOURA and were protected by the barrel they used for cover, and it shows no trace of shots through it. In this position, they certainly could not been hit in the lower limbs [as France 2 stated].

The test firing conducted with the weapons used at the time by the Israeli army showed that the impact characteristics of allegedly oblique gunfire have been substantially elongated and are almost horizontal. Those visible on the wall are generally circular, which corresponds to shots fired
Perpendicular to the plane of the wall [not at the oblique angle].
Talal Abu Rhama said that fire came from behind him, while the Israeli checkpoint was sharply to his right and slightly behind his camera location.
It is not likely that the cameraman from Reuters and another journalist would be located next to Mohamed AL DOURA before his death because they would have left them open to the direction of the Israeli fire [not covered as the al Duras were].
The boy was killed for the exploitation of political radicals with the aid of partisans in the press who are too dihonest to state their political motives, and are willing to fabricate news stories that advance causes that fit in with their own opinions.

17 March 2008

Paging Scott Burgess... Paging Scott Burgess...

Serial media buffoon Jackie Ashley finds the perfect platform to peddle her idiotic fantasies that everyone is like the Europeans she is willing to talk to. She advocates talking the headless hydra that is al Qaida. Of course, this is the Guardian we’re talking about, so in the unintentionally hilarious comments the usual theme that al Qaida doesn’t exist – and that even if it did, it was created by the CIA, and even if it was, the Israelis were behind it, just like they were behind the Northern Ireland “troubles”. Never mind that the genius behind the structure of al-Q is that it isn’t structures in a way that a leader can control the cells, and that it would fragment into hundred of “Real IRAs”, and that it is structured not to ever take a U-turn.

Also orbiting planet Graun, the usual fevered minds are advocating perpetual autocracy in Cuba to a piece by Vaclav Havel, a man once imprisoned in similar “paradise”.

In fact the same readership who are apoplectic at Havel for wanting to open up a serious dialogue with Cuba about a pluralistic future free of oppression are eager to talk to murderous, illiberal fanatics.
I must however correct Ashley on one point: al Qaida has frequently offered “peace” with civilization, but our governments have to forcibly convert their populations to Islam first.

The garden variety Guardian reader’s willingness to accept the living death of having things forced on a population is nothing new. In fact I cant think of any group of people whose tirades and examples are as unchanging, consistent, and impervious to their own statements of concern for people as these. We’re also sure to see them shortly gleefully going after someone else tortured by communists. It’s just something they do.

Photos from a Brussels street courtesy of RV

14 March 2008

Monopolist, Heal Thyself

Funny how they’ll engage in triple jeopardy with any American tech company, but can’t get a single little public award to be competitive. Or cough up what is in this case, probably about 3 1/2 pages of interoperability information.

With these bufoons the thing is never really about the thing.

12 March 2008

And They Claim to Have a Monopoly on Tolerance

Rival Democratic camps battle over race and gender

The latest explosion followed a comment from Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter and onetime vice presidential candidate, that as a black man, Obama had received preferential treatment.
Leftie politicking is clearly a mental health issue.. It’s as skin deep as their deep, deep concern for “middle class families” and it typified by this bit of loony OCD about one reflexively “I’m not partisan” partisan of the press prodding another “I’m not partisan” partisan of the press.

...and in other news: Paying that kind of money, it’s probably a small tip.

So much for “The Caped Avenger” of fake populism and anti-commerce who some Democrats were hoping would be the “first Jewish President.” Why are these people so obsessed with genetics?

11 March 2008

Dogging for Diversity

Euro-enlightenment watch:

The police's National Diversity Expertise Centre (LECD) wants sex allowed in all public parks in the Netherlands. The police institute has advised the cities to follow the example of Amsterdam, De Telegraaf newspaper reported Friday.

In Amsterdam's Vondelpark, owners of dogs let off the leash can be fined, but sex will shortly be permitted. "Why should we try to maintain something that is actually impossible to maintain, which also causes little bother for others and for a certain group actually signifies much pleasure?"
Diversity. Okay. Do you happen to know any other words? Oh, I forgot... there’s “group pleasure” which in previous generations was expressed as a passive acceptance of mass slaughter and waiting in bread lines, and other forms of meagerness with some kind of literary potential.

Strangely enough though, it’s those dog people that are mad about it, basically over their hurt feelings and the possibility of having to take care of potential “Rover took over” moments. The old saw about the Dutch caring more about their pets than their children seems to have panned out.
Dog owners in Amsterdam are angry after the city legalised public sex in one of the city's most famous parks.
Councillors agreed that heterosexual and gay couples could have sex in the Vondelpark which has ten million visitors a year.
But they promised to clampdown on dog owners who let their pets walk in the park without a lead.
But in that quintessentially Dutch way, they make even this un-fun in their robotic and disinterested way:
"There still are rules," he added. "They must take their garbage with them afterwards and never have intercourse near the playground. The sex must be limited to the evening hours and night."
I will give them this: this is the first evidence of ‘two legs good, four legs bad’ that’s been heard of from the continent of divine wisdom in decades. It’s just that “diversity” usually means never offending anyone with guilt-derived political clout, like say Moroccans “youths” who are unlikely to find much appeal in either dogs nor boinking bipeds (or both) in the normally bog-like Dutch topsoil. I guess if we’re lucky, the fatter child molesters will even get stuck in it.

The Dance of the Monkeys

Funny that. All they needed was a piece of ass. Instead we ended up with decades of hideous social policy and scores of miserable “liberated” human failures, and the inappropriate parade of self-absorption celebrating the personal becoming the political. Is that crowd waiting outside in the cold for the Methadone Clinic to open up something to really be that proud of?

Götz Aly:

If the ratio of men to women had been more balanced, things would have gone differently. It was like the dance of the monkeys. There were few women at the universities, and at the same time there was the Pill and the sexual revolution. Reimut Reiche has noted that Freud said protesting men have a very special sexual attraction – they are XXL men. With this in mind, there was a very clear purpose to sexual liberation. It was fun, but it had little to do with emancipation.

Q: Didn't you perceive 1968 as a liberation?

Of course. In 1967 German students still addressed one another formally, as Fräulein Schmidt or Herr Aly. They wore pleated skirts or ties and jackets, and had nervous breakdowns every time they had a meeting with a professor. But all the writing about emancipation from that era is unbearable junk. Not only the theoretical stuff, even publications about private kindergartens. They don't contain one reasonable sentence, nothing that one could profitably read today.
Oddly enough there was no sit-com called Joschka’s Heroes, but there really should have been – featuring fist-pumping Socialists who were rather willing to kill people, the Bader-Meinhoff Gang, the KGB funded Red Brigade, their instinct to passively accept totalitarianism, and every crappy idea they’ve latched onto since.

With the hard-drug addiction, suicide, and divorce rate being as high as it is, the attendant loneliness of huge numbers of people who then had to invent absurd analogs to the intimacy of family life... with all of that, can we actually call it a failure and move on, or do we have to keep pretending that these incredibly fragile, touchy people really did create that miracle of social revision they keep claiming the rest of us should thank them for?

08 March 2008

A Nitrogen Rich Self-Image

Chide as they might that Americans keep themselves psyched up about being a great society, it isn’t driven by the arrogance we see above that requires something about us to be the center of everyone else world.

This is what Saber-rattling looks like...

...in a Eco-touron’s idea of a “idyllic society.” It involves a female senior citizen in Mauritania hacking away at her napping neighbor until he’s in a coma.

Sing it!

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

The Veiling of Sculptures

Confused as they are about diversity having something to do with human rights, they definitely are on the right track.

Bagged the old fashioned way

Here’s That “Social Rebellion” they Always Adored

Thank your local deluded old hippy for the world they left us with... Every day in that self-described “socially superior” society of France, 60 teachers are assaulted.

04 March 2008

America: Stupid, Unclultured and Backwards

Whether it’s true or not, it’s said and repeated de rigeur. James Harkin writing in the FT thinks otherwise:

If distinctively European thinkers such as Isaiah Berlin and émigrés from Europe to America such as Hannah Arendt had dominated the battleground of ideas during the age of ideology (defined, by the British historian Eric Hobsbawm, as the years between the first world war and the fall of the Berlin Wall), one of the oddities of this new landscape of ideas is that Americans seem to be much better at generating them. There are still some heavyweights around in Europe with novel things to say - Jürgen Habermas in Germany and Slavoj*Zizek in Slovenia, for example - but they are few and far between.
This might seem like an exaggeration until you look at the figures that pop up in the yackity-yack-arati are small in number and recurring, regardless of the size of the population. It’s also not hard to picture Europe’s not so distant past it was characterized by a large, difficult, ungovernable population being made into a passive, insatiable, debilitated large population thorough the horrors inspired by a small intellectual elite.
When France's Jean Baudrillard died in March last year, at the age of 77, it seemed to signify the close of an intellectual era. In any case, Baudrillard was canny enough to know which way the intellectual wind blew. For all his criticism of American culture, he was enchanted by this place he called "the original version of modernity". France, he pointed out, was nothing more than "a copy with subtitles".
Which brings us to WHY Baudrillard would have to put it in this way. The double standards are so pervasive and the habits are so deep as to even require an admired public intellectual figure to have to salve a statement with something that indulges the foregone conclusions accepted by the wider public.
However, America's dominance in the new global landscape of ideas is not only a matter of resources. Americans have also become expert packagers of ideas. American writers and thinkers seem to have acquired the knack of explaining complex ideas in accessible ways for popular audiences. The success of idea books such as The Tipping Point and Freakonomics and a rather depressing glut of books about happiness has signified to cultural commissars a thirst for good ideas clearly expressed. It helps that journalism in America is taken more seriously than it is in most other countries; its newspapers and magazines have been happy to whet the public appetite for interesting ideas, clearly articulated.
Which is a foregone conclusion, unless the way you see the world and roles people play in it as fixed.
Assaulted by this battery of sometimes flaky new ideas, it would be easy for European thinkers to sit back and sniff. Some of it is mere gimmickry - zappy headline titles that seem to capture the essence of a complicated idea while intriguing the reader enough to read more.
Which used to give rise to the ribe that Americans were obsessed with health and exercise and seemed to know the terminology inside out. The slag then moved on to computing and finance. But perhaps between the best-seller list and the dominant themes of the insults, we have a sort of contrarian way of seeing things as they really are.

Even George Romero Couldn’t Dream these People Up

Somewhere trapped in between the now parochial hatefulness found to be nearly ubiquitous in Arab public life, and the now parochial social position of the over-the-top trannies and bobos of European public life there’s Wendy to shield you from this lunacy, who unlike our two friends is not into ritualistic abuse or dressing entirely in black in summer, and appears to corner the market in common sense.

Too rah.

These Two Things are the Same, Only Different

Why don't you go and give a billionaire another tax cut, then enslave your citizens in debt in order to pay for killing foreign children with weapons that are contributing to the heat death of the planet? I know that's how I'm spending my Sunday.
"The Israelis and Bush are really disgusting and evil.  When I'm big, I will pound them on the head." The words are those of a 4-year old girl in a kindergarten in Nørrebro, Copenhagen.

Several institutions describe similar cases, while other kindergartens haven't experienced such things. 

A kindergarten teacher tells of a little boy who last week said: "The Danes are really dumb.  They hate all the Arabs and will slay us.  But then I'll shoot them first."

The children say in several cases that they had heard that on TV.  Most Danish families of Arabic background can see over 400 Arab channels via satellite.
That is to say, the difference between the indoctrination of a comment poster on the Grauniad’s bileous “Comment is Free” site or a 4 year old trained to hate by their parents who only watch any number of the 400 Arabic language channels available in Europe by satellite.

- Thx to Georges and Hervé

03 March 2008

Iridium: An Indecent Proposal on Alexander Graham Bell’s Birthday

Globalstar has 50 mhz, and the Iridium low-earth, non-stationary orbiting satellite communications array is in possession of 25,5 mhz of bandwidth which can reach any stationary or moving object in virtually the entire planet without a directional antenna. Designed as system of global satellite telephony systems, they also provide low speed data tx/rx to remote and unconnected areas of the world such as at sea and at great distances away from the nearest fixed lines or cellular tower. They could also be used for much more

At the same time in many parts of the world the precious slice of the L- and S-bands that the Iridium, Inmarsat and Thuraya satellite are competing with regional efforts to implement mobile one-way media delivery systems in a cost effective manner after the fashion of Sirius and XM in North America, and to a similar degree to the Worldspace radio and data delivery system covering Africa, portions of Asia, Europe, and soon in South America.

This excellent and more modest proposal from Australia found a way to answer the question as to who something like Sirius or XM could be provided in Australia, but the same could clearly be done in other regions and the diameter of the drinking straw it’s delivered through could actually provide a good bit more on the global level.

In fact there is a lot of capacity, most of which goes unused over the world’s highly developed or moderately developed and populated land mass. Using what could be done with Iridium’s 25,5 mhz of capacity, a great deal is possible for all 4 of those providers which could reflect light into the areas of the world shaded from the information age, provide travelers and migrants worldwide with access to news, culture, music , and sports wherever they are, and solve a nettlesome frequency allotment problem that developed regions have been struggling with the UN hosted dinosaur-like ITU / IBU to resolve.

* A format in between Standard Definition (640 x 480) and Low Definition (320 x 240), say 480 X 360 pixels x a 25 (in lieu of 30) fps would requires only 47% of the (nominal) 3 mbits/sec capacity of a SD television channel, and could fit inside of 0,8 mhz of the delivery systems conduit using mpeg-4, AVC. Moreover, if the content is delivered at a compressed rate over the whole of the bandwidth allotted to visual content.

Since it’s designed to look for a terrestrial connection first, to a satellite which relays to the public switch, and to a satellite which communicated to another satellite in the array as a last resort, the telephony and wireless IP component can have its’ capacity easily improved by adding more ground stations. This allows for the relief of some of that capacity to construct “regional” XM or Sirius subscriber audio services bundled to serve regional languages and interests, as well as provide a global, multilingual radio and TV delivery mechanism that can be held in the hand, watched and heard in the air, at sea, or middle of the desert or jungle,...

... and not be fully controllable by aggressive governments that opposed the free flow of information,
... and support the profitability of the systems which will allow the satellite array to be completed and enlarged.

And that’s just what’s possible from one of the 4 portable global satellite telephony providers. At lease one of the others could create yet more competition and capacity that that. What’s needed is a range of devices which will take a subscriber SIM or smart card that will use this or any competitor’s delivery mechanism. They could take the form of a PDA that can access all the services except radio and television, shuttling radio only receivers for homes and automobiles, receivers for media distribution in ships and aircraft, a simple medium sized video display for use about a boat or vehicle, or a compact combined device for all the services that might resemble an oversized version of the iPhone or gPhone prototypes, along with all the other asset tracking devices that use GPS and are already in commercial use. In fact the presence of a two-way data system might even permit the customer to use the full service system on a pay-per-use basis.

So there it is, right off of the top of the head and probably in need of a slap to straighten me out. Your opinions please...

01 March 2008

Loi Du Demain

"Il est Interdit d'interdire" Meets "The Precautionary Principle"

Now Stay in your Playpen This Time

Mark Boyle was a man with a dream. He was so convinced that a world without the evils of money is possible that he set out to walk from Britain to India without spending a penny in order to prove it.
But that cruel, cruel world struck back. He didn’t make it past Calais.
Adding insult to injury, he had to "touch money" in making the trip.
which is even funnier considering his stated profession.
Specifically, the 28-year-old businessman and his two travelling companions had failed to consider the likely reaction when they arrived in Calais and attempted to blag their way across the proud Gallic nation without being able to speak French.
What? No “we are the world” altermondialistes to share mung beans and hemp sandals with them? Was is because he’s a hated bidniss-man? Who knows and who cares. His burning quest to walk to the “anti-money” cliché in his mind, a Ghandi’s India that never really existed, would surely meet with resistance in that heated Indian business environment, as well as all those capitalism-hating cultures on the way. Which reminds me on an old joke...
How many Sephardic Jews does it take to outsmart an Armenian businessman?
Which makes me wonder if this guy with primitive notions of economy (why barter money when you can barter big heavy rocks?) kind of guy appreciated the fact that money actually got him home after he was 1% of the way into a journey that mooching (and other Europeans) couldn’t.

No, You’ll be Taught to Care, Silly!

A new state broadcaster for the super-state is going to air, and heaven knows where it’s going from there. In a bid to engineer consent by pretending it isn’t propaganda, the new “Euranet” seems to have more of an air of Radio Mockba under Brezhnev.

The station was officially launched in Brussels by Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission and in charge of the EU's communication strategy. The EC felt there was a need for fair and balanced information on EU affairs, she said. One aim of Euranet, in response to a demand felt by the Brussels leadership, is to get closer to the citizens, particularly the young. Ms Wallström stressed that a charter will guarantee the station's editorial independence.
How this independence will be shown is still quite unclear to me:
The sixteen broadcasters are targeting a young section of the population: the 20 to 45-year- olds. They are commonly seen as a difficult target group that is perceiving the European Union as a boring and complicated phenomenon.
I wonder why this is even necessary? Why isn’t a popular interest in integration allowed to grow in a substantive, meaningful, and natural way without being structured by a body somewhere? Are they that untrusting of a population to go on the past twenty years of advertising?

Speaking of a sell job, my favorite fake blogger and Frau Commissar of the Commissariat Margot Wallström is being employed as a sort of token living smiley for this peacetime propaganda operation. In fact it’s rather hard to tell if she’s been airbrushed for this one or had “a little work done”, but either way, her use here as a poster child really gives away the fact that a century of state operation of cultural management (with banal, implausible, “it’s a small world afterall”-like results) has taught them nothing, as has centuries of wars and violence in Europe which stemmed from the strange and pervasive cult of state power that has been it’s hallmark.

Anyway, her “blogging career” has been so illustrious by the standards of the überstate’s mandate to tell their public faces to “get out and blog” like it’s going to make people love them, that just one measly comment on it yielded this dopey email: a request from a grad student to respond to canned-sounding survey questions about a canned-reading blog.
I am a student in communication at the University of Paris-Est, France, and I'm making a memoir (= a small thesis) about several blogs and their roles in the European communication and debate.
To that purpose, I need your contribution, as a commentator of Margot Wallström's blog. I would really appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes to answer my questions (les francophones peuvent répondre en français bien sûr!).
And a sample of the sort of questions that come up when considering the grand and glorious Instapundit and Boing-Boing killing nature of the blog:
Your activity on M. Wallström’s blog ?
A good question I guess, but that was the title. Remember, graaaad student!
- Which types of comments do you usually make (reaction to a post of M. Wallström, to another comment, offer or request of a complement of information) ?
- What incites you to intervene ?
- When you make a comment, do you expect an answer ?
- Which other information technologies do you use to get information or to debate on European questions ?
- Do you only go to English-speaking websites, or do you also go to websites in other languages ?
- Have you ever established relations with other commentators (email exchanges, instant messaging, “real” meetings…) ?
- How did you come to know this blog ?
- How long have you visited this blog, and how often do you go there ?
- To which factors do you attribute the high participation to this blog ?
- Do you go to other blogs partially or totally dedicated to European questions, and which ones? Do you also make comments on them ?
- Have you created your own blog, and if you have, does it deal, partly or wholly, with European questions ?
Could you tell me more about you ?
- Where do you live, where do you come from, how old are you, what is your gender, which diploma have you got ?
- What is your job, and is it related to European questions ?

Thank you very much !
The warning sign here is that if you have to “nation-build” at home and bypass the voting public’s referenda with a treaty passed with perfunctory preceduralism to a disinterested “legislature”, you’re off to a hell of a start.