31 July 2008

Discount Journalism at Mayfair Prices

I’m often amused when I’m monitoring enemy broadcasts. By my guesstimate, fully ¼ of the open mouth blather since late 2005 on the BBC World Service seems to be about the “ailing US economy”. Ads for their ever rotating set of net only “documentaries” about the US, this one dwelling death of the American dream are aired twice an hour.

In other words, to them we have been dropping to death from a massive cardiac monthly for years now.

The glaring omission is that the only reflection you find on the UK & European economies is in passing comments by interviewed guests while discussing the Americans who have to eat their young to remain obese, or throw the poor into ethanol digesters to continue driving Hummers, or the other hideous images that they can’t help themselves from sketching all day – as though one needn’t not dredge their womenfolk through flour prior to pan frying, if’n you know what I mean...

That aside, Eurota keeps it real. When you have a big growth in Europe, it’s usually something you need to see a doctor about.

30 July 2008

This is Not What they Mean by “Giving Your Last Full Measure”

What exactly is it that you can say about people that get their rocks off by spunking on monuments to those that died protecting their culture?

The latest incident saw a French couple given a four-month suspended prison sentence for making a pornographic video at the Vimy Ridge memorial near Arras.

After being found guilty of exhibitionism, they were fined £400 each and ordered to pay a symbolic one euro (80 pence) in damages to Canada, which lost 60,000 men in the Great War.

Many Canadians perished in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, in April 1917, when four members of the Canadian Corps received Victoria Crosses.

Despite the courageous deeds and sacrifice honoured by the Vimy Memorial, the couple are believed to have stripped naked and performed sex acts beside the soaring stone structure.

They then posted the video on a website, invited people to pay to watch it.
It’s interesting how people in a place that’s supposed to be so the “historically aware” will take as entertainment someone taking one last, feeble cumshot at history.

28 July 2008

Gee, Tim - Is Al Gore in Town?

Tim Blleah notes the faux snow in Sydney:

For the first time since 1836 it has snowed in Sydney - at least that’s what the locals are saying.

Meteorologists say technically it was soft hail, but that didn’t stop the locals making snowmen.

Our Effete Sophisticated Friends, Part 292

27 July 2008

When you Can't Face your own Failures, Move the Goalposts

Can you smell the "élan"?

The French Senate has proposed developing a new European university ranking system to counter the powerful Shanghai world ranking, which is said to favour English-language institutions. With France holding the EU's six-month rotating presidency, the issue is likely to be discussed by EU education ministers in November.
Why? Because it doesn't give an entrenched, embarassing, corroded monopoly a way to keep their meal ticket.
At national level, the lack of a transparent system distorts the allocation of human and financial resources, notes the report. At international level, it harms the attractiveness of France as a destination for foreign students and researchers and decreases the visibility of university research.

Continuity you can Believe in

Eurota is back, and he notes the depressing familiarity of the European press' pressing need for “change” and “hope”:

European economic news ...... Still on the brink

European political news ...... Navel gazing all-around

European elites ignoring the will of the voters ...... Shock, horror

World's climate set to implode any second (still/again) ...... Zzzzzz

26 July 2008

O! the Rapture!

Compare and contrast:

Sure the South Koreans have food and freedom. But North Korea has something that totally wipes them off the map (figuratively, not literally, at least as I’m writing this).
The Great Leader, the Sun of the Nation and of Mankind: Kim Jong Il.

Put aside any notions you may have about the man. Put aside his lust for nukes, a penchant to torture and starve his people and the funky glasses. These things are irrelevant.

The simple fact is this: Kim Jong Il is the greatest golfer in the history of, well, history.

According to North Korea’s crack research department, the diminutive dictator shot a 34 his first time golfing. And no, not at mini-golf, at a championship, par-72 course. He drilled home 11 holes-in-one in his miraculous 34-under round and reportedly still shoots in the low 50s, though at 60-plus years of age, his holes in ones are down to four or five a round.

So cheer on the South Korean women if you like, just remember that to the north there is a golfer that can handily beat them all. Or at least he would if he could get his hands on them.
"Hi, how’s it going?“ asks Obama in his deep voice. My heart beats. "Very good, and you?" I say. Obama replies: "Very good, thank you!"

Obama (with toned arms and a strong back) puts on his headphones for his iPod to listen to pop music. He hums quietly. Then he jumps on a fitness bike. He pushes three times on the pedals – but then can’t be bothered with it.

He goes and picks up a pair of 16 kilo weights and starts curling them with his left and right arms, 30 repetitions on each side. Then, amazingly, he picks up the 32 kilo weights! Very slowly he lifts them, first 10 curls with his right, then 10 with his left. He breathes deeply in and out and takes a sip of water from his 0,5 litre Evian bottle.

Shortly before five o’clock Obama comes over and sits directly next to my cross-trainer on the mat. First he does 10 sit-ups, then stretches. Then he looks at his watch and says to his bodyguard: “It’s time, let’s go.” Quickly I ask: “Mr. Obama, could I take a photo?”. “Of course!” he answers, before asking my name and coming over to stand next to me.

“My name’s Judith” I reply. "I’m Barack Obama, nice to meet you!” he says, and puts his arm across my shoulder. I put my arm around his hip – wow, he didn’t even sweat! WHAT A MAN!

Just what is it with these zombies? Do they think a set-up story about a lonely woman who can afford to work out at the Ritz-Carlton (and one apparently rather horny for a bland politico at that) who resorts to stalking political candidates is supposed to endear Europe to Americans?

Who does Bild think this feeble item is supposed to bring to political orgasm? Are we to believe that a Senator is so negligent of his duties that he has time to work his way up to being able to swing two supposedly real 72 lb. weights that she implies are free-weights?
Gee, not bad for 46 year old a smoker. Having seen men with muscles and joints of that vintage try this in the gym, I’m impressed at his stellar, superhuman qualities, truly. It recalls images of Leni Riefenstahl hero-making. The guys I’ve seen trying that end up calling their wives to come pick them up down the block, and just out of sight of anyone who saw them crawl out at best speed without changing back into their street clothes. I mean we really do have a mythical Beowulf-meets-Jesus-Christ kind of guy here. One attempted implication the the previous Barack-workout videos being that he could have plucked Mohammed Atta out of the sky with his bare hands, and that other pilot guy, whoever he is, wouldn’t be able to do a thing! NOT one THING, I tell ya... As for me, I’ll stick with the guy who knows when and when not to fire a missile, both literally and in the context of international policy.

And without someone spotting him, at that? Perhaps she’s too modest to mention him parting the seas, and making the loaves into protein bars, or the water into... bottled water.

It’s obviously a posed story that didn’t get cleared with even the provisional wing of the democratic party, where some German imagined him or herself so clued in by his prejudices as to what would sell in the US that this painfully awkward and childish stunt.

On another note, the same story in an completely different form appeared last night on Deutsche Welle Radio, lacking the tumultuous back arching, orgasm induced tears, and overt moaning. In other words, an unsophisticated attempt was made to package it using a Bild reporter positioning it one way for DW and another way for her own paper.

Keep up the good work there, Bonesky. Americans can come a step closer to being certain that Obama is so many things, that he’s a marionette of his handlers and a PR sleazebag’s fabrication - and that political outreach can be reduced to thinly veiled allusions to niche porn style “character blocking.” The sort where women, (possibly of a certain age,) who perhaps seems a lot like the ones drawn to Hillary Clinton, can dream of getting physical and imagine themselves possibly cuckolding some of what hung-up European simpletons imagine is forbidden fruit... Or some other unstated meta-crypto-political under-the-radar horseshit that most Wellesley grads are only good for at this point.

Either way, its drawing howls out of Americans, and the laughs seem to be on Judith, an entertainment and puff-piece writer for a trashy German tabloid who managed to pull off one decent stunt in her life that might get her away from doing page-six hoochie articles.

No doubt, my theory that this could be some sort of solo attempt at unstated meta-crypto-politics-under-the-radar horseshit or VHS-quality niche porn will draw “thoughtful reflection”, but it’s the only thing trash like this deserves. To give you a taste of what level of journalistic brilliance we’re dealing with here: today, Bild’s lead is a story about Annie Lennox dying her hair blond.

The Pulitzer committee must be struggling with their feelings at this point.

This was Supposed to Move Your Soul, America

The “expectation-reducing” estimate of 100.000 from 1.000.000 somehow turned into a 20.000 talked up to 200.000 as spirit moved them.

It turns out that Berlin’s Obamatons convention has turned out into something of a Dutch auction, where the bidding drops until the bien pensent can no longer stand it.

John Rosenthal:
ZDF Berlin studio chief Peter Frey added, "We do estimate that 20,000 [literally, "a couple of ten thousand"] people have turned out." Frey's tone, like that of Gelhard, reflected the gap between the relatively modest number cited and the lofty predications that had preceded the event. Moreover, while the ZDF live images showed that the "Fan Mile" was indeed populated from one end to the other, they also appeared to reveal patches of thinness and pedestrian traffic flowing easily on the half of the boulevard closer to the Brandenburg Gate (i.e. furthest from the "Victory Column").

And then: the candidate did not appear at the appointed time. Could his handlers have been disappointed by the turnout? Did they hope to buy time for more spectators to arrive? At this point, ZDF interrupted its special coverage and broke for the nightly news. When the coverage resumed some fifteen minutes later, ZDF host Claus Kleber promptly declared that there were "one hundred thousand" people on the Fan Mile. He then repeated the claim twice more in rapid succession -- now, more precisely, "over one hundred thousand people" -- as if repetition could somehow cover up the glaring discrepancy between this number and the number cited by his colleague Frey only 20 minutes earlier.

Minutes later, Obama was on stage. And a half hour after that, he was gone again. By 8 p.m. -- as the crowd filed out, obediently following the order to disperse given over the loud-speaker system -- the number being cited had grown to fully 200,000. As this German timeline indicates, the original source for the rapidly growing estimates was in fact the rally organizers: i.e. the Obama team. The 200,000 figure would also be attributed to the Berlin police -- which might represent the first time in modern history that the police and the organizers of a political rally agreed on their estimates of crowd size.
BBC evasively called it “some tens of thousands” which is beautifully non-numeric, as the press was trying to suppress it’s “hallelulias”. The other amusing feature of the 200.000 send-up is that it would represent 6% of the population of the city which seems to be as prone to general belly-aching and lacking in enthusiasm as you’ll find.

Reporting on the scene is Berlin-based Atlantic-Review, a blog run by former Fulbright scholars which is supposed to be focussing on NATO and the Trans-atlatic relationship with funding from the German Marshal Fund has for the last few weeks appeared to have drunk the juice. Taking sides under the dangerous pretense that they are sure who will win, and that there really isn't anything unseemly for a para-governmental think-tank grabbing its' ankles.

They even managed to call their needy-dope-on-the-street-interview post “continuity you can believe in”, somehow intellectually consolidating “continuity” and “change” without their heads imploding.

The premise behind their effort is that life would be just dandy if Germans liked America again. A silly expectation from the nation that brought you Realpolitik, which means throwing anyone under the bus if it's convenient or if there are enough molotov-cocktail tossing German adolescents outside.

Oddly enough, they seem unaware of just how many people this could alienate, and I don't mean the half of the population who will vote for McCain, I mean imagining that America should expend even one man-hour of somebody's time at Foggy Bottom on being liked by Germans when there are real problems in the world, and it isn't worth exciting ones shred of resentment from those governments leery of Germans, i.e. The Poles, Russians, and a cast of dozens for the sake of some collective sandbox jollies which won't matter to either relations or the broader German and American publics.

Europeans don't do change, at least not at anything faster than a glacial pace. Obama isn't going to magically compel anyone in Europe to do anything cooperative. If they like the fluff, fine, but there is no way in hell Americans will elect a man just to be told some silly fiction about being temporarily and conditionally liked by Europeans.

You'll be sure to enjoy the continuity the Jordanian guy expresses in his idea that all American politicians are alike, and the wacko at the end hoping for “Bush jokes”. On the planet that think-tank types live on, this is called a budding endearment to America

The sad thing is that now these people expect a possible President Obama to follow policy guidance that favors them. Fat chance getting that out of this shark. These very people will make no effort to conceal their resentment of America even more in 24 months out of simple disappointment for not having gotten out of him in policy terms, something for nothing.

Even among friendly nations, the exercise of seeking affection out of random citizens is pointless. If they like or dislike America, it's for their own reasons that shouldn't cost one drop of American blood or one single element of domestic interest. Only on a superficial cultural level could that emotional cultural bond matter, and Realpolitik being what it is - the Europeans would withdraw that bond in a flash if we ever needed it.

Nor would that effort of being broadly liked by the German public benefit Germans either. Want to be liked if you have a serious task in the world that might require cooperation from Europeans? Then get a dog. Affection hasn't been used as the basis of international relationship since the Soviets employed the pretense ran an annual “solidarity parade” for each of their satellites – where the children wore Marxist Pioneer or FDJ shirts and attendance was mandatory.

25 July 2008

The Essence of Evil had to be Found in a Pickle

Readers of the Times could be forgiven for feeling a little confused after reading that "the monkeys have not merely surrendered but are prostrating themselves at the Golden Arch" of McDonald's. The monkeys? The French. The evidence of their national surrender to burgers: the latest profit figures showing that France is leading the field for McDonald's in Europe with revenues increased by 11% to €3 billion (£2.3 billion) in 2007.

For decades on end, it couldn't just be a product or idea that people like or reject. It had to be ginned up into "imperialism," or some other item from the short list of buzzwords rolling from the tips of their tongues much as Pavlov's dog's drool.
French school canteens, with a menu du jour displayed every day in playgrounds, also educate young palates so that children don't become slaves to fast food in later years. Most teenagers in France go to McDonald's, but it doesn't prevent them from enjoying their grandmother's soupe de cresson their uncle's soufflé au fromage, and more importantly, they know the difference between junk food and gastronomy.
As they do everywhere else on earth, but in their great, superior enlightenment, able to leap tall buildings, etc., etc., to a degree which somehow must always be defined as greater or better, as they eternally try to define themselves banking on a distant past.

As if this grand, global drama (based on them, of course) really existed, there had to be a way to talk about oneself, and one's great inability to be taken seriously when something (anything) identified as being from some other nation competes with anything as minor as your own malbouffe, something MUST be rationalized.
But of course, to explain McDonald's parfum de success you may prefer to dig into the legendary contrarian nature of French behaviour ...

- H/T to Eurota

You Could Almost Write their Script Now

David Aaronovitch notes that the Europe’s anti-Americans resort to the same old things: the feeble recitation of comparing their high culture to others’ low culture, all the while pretending they’re assaulted by the tabloid papers and trashy TV that they exported to America.

But even if he had been a half-Chinese ballet-loving Francophone, he would have been hated by some who should have loved him, for there isn't an American president since Eisenhower who hasn't ended up, at some point or other, being depicted by the world's cartoonists as a cowboy astride a phallic missile. It happened to Bill Clinton when he bombed Iraq; it will happen to Mr Obama when his reinforced forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan mistake a meeting of tribal elders for an unwise gathering of Taleban and al-Qaeda. Then the new president (or, if McCain, the old president) will be the target of that mandarin Anglo-French conceit that our superior colonialism somehow gives us the standing to critique the Yank's naive and inferior imperialism.

Often those who express their tiresome anti-Americanism will suggest, as do some of the more disingenuous anti-Zionists with regard to anti-Semitism - that they, of course, are not anti-American, and that no one really is. But, coming as I do from an Anti-American tradition that wasn't afraid to proclaim itself, I think I know where the corpses are interred. For example, the current production of Bernstein's Candide at the English National Opera is a classic of elite anti-Americanism, in which we are invited to laugh at the philistine invocation of “Democracy, the American Way and McDonald's”. The laughter that accompanied this feeble satire showed our proper understanding that we, the audience, had a proper concept of democracy, and would never soil ourselves with an Egg McMuffin.

The true irony went way above the sniggerers' heads, which was that Leonard Bernstein was the American cultural import that we were, at that very moment, enjoying.
His title?
Eventually, we will all hate Obama too
Which is an exaggeration. Unlike European political dynamics, it really isn’t necessary to join a cult of attendant party social organizations, only buy the party newspapers line, etc. In America is isn’t necessary to detest your political opponents as it would be among the “brain trusts” of the UMP and PS in France.

The sad thing about the title, is that except the reasons the usual European pedants will have to hate won’t be rational. They will be the “usual” ones. The complex of myths and prejudices that they’ve been flogging for ages. It’s a slightly more adult looking form of the “we invented that first” game, but only slightly so.

24 July 2008

What Germans Call “A Million People”

If they knew how to count.

Of course in the dizzy enthusiasm of groupthink, that isn’t the only error they’ve made lately. Speaking at the monument associated with another leftist, an American candidate canvassing for non-votes might find the local hype might not be all it’s cracked up to be, especially when practicing the usual progressive “forgetfulness” about history.
The “Victory Column” as such already existed before Hitler and Speer decided that it would form a suitable centerpiece for the “East-West Axis”: one of the two major thoroughfares laid out in their megalomaniacal plans for a “new” Berlin redesigned to reflect the power of the new German Reich. The polarity of column and gate — with the two monuments providing dramatic points of reference for the mass demonstrations so beloved of the Nazis — undoubtedly figured in their calculations. One can well expect both elements to be featured in the televised images of Obama’s mass rally on Thursday.

Tourism is not an International Relations Credential

Today on BBC, it was summed up quite nicely. There was a brief snippet of sound thrown into a horribly disorganized piece flashing uncritically from one bit of Obama-idolitry to another, where a German state minister was quoted saying [Obama] "he represents civil rights to me", in a statement based solely on his image and the color of his skin, is 40 years late to the lefty zeitgeist party, and is utterly ignorant of the involvement of the democratic party in Illinois being more along the lines of Bull Conner, a democrat, than with Martin Luther King, a republican.

The question is, do our news editor-created, airbrushed, bumbling, leftist idiots outdo their news editor-created, airbrushed, bumbling, leftist idiots.

Democratic Candidate Attempts Impersonation of an Average American, Fails

One thing Americans know about the Euro-bama mystery tour is that it reveals why we don’t want the man his superficial promoters abroad want to be “the world’s candidate”.

Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama has compared Americans unfavorably with Europeans, which seems to be a recurring theme among Democrats in general. This time it has to do with language. When Europeans come to America, says Obama, they speak English along with their French and German. But when Americans go to Europe, all they can say is "Merci beaucoup." I guess that assumes they all go to France when they go to Europe. But be that as it may, the point seems to be, Europeans can speak the language of the country they visit, while Americans can't.

That is not the case. In fact, it is a ridiculous argument.
All it really is, is a the usual display of European ignorance by proxy.
When Europeans visit Spain (which they do in droves), do they speak Spanish? Perhaps the equivalent of "Merci beaucoup" but not much more than that. Not to mention when they visit Latin America. What language do they speak then? English. How chauvinistic! And how about when Europeans visit Portugal, or Denmark, or the Netherlands, or Poland, or the Czech Republic, or Italy, or.... What language do they speak? Either their native German or French (if that's where they're from), or ... English.
It’s even worse that they’re pandering to some notion that there is “one world view”, but that’s something that the left in Europe and America have always fallen for. To the surprise of German Green Party candidate who certainly learned everything she knows about the US from a protest sign or the hateful tirades of American leftists themselves:
But the Green Party's Deputy Parliamentary Leader voiced what many politicians, especially on the left, probably feel, when he told reporters, "Barack Obama's visit shows: there is another America."
Who knew? Everyone who isn’t ignorant and doesn’t share you narrow world view or doesn’t crave absolute uniformity of thought, that’s who.

All the while, the making of the myth-making continues, and anything that isn’t skin deep or based on a simple, flattering adjective is ignored. For example, can Democrats really call themselves “worldly” when they can’t even get a grip on the variety of things that the people worldwide find meaningful? Well, they never have in the past, especially when it comes to promoting views that most humans find repellant.
But the Ghanaian song [about Obama] adds two starkly negative chords. Over the rat-a-tat-tat of simulated gunfire, it cautions Obama about white racists who could harm him. Then it warns that his entire nation faces doom on Judgment Day, because of "legalizing abortion in America."

Do listeners realize that Obama himself is a strong advocate of abortion rights? I don't know. But here's what I do know: Africans are deeply conservative on cultural issues, especially abortion and gay rights. And when they find out that Obama isn't, he might start to lose some of his luster.

Consider a recent column out of Uganda, where, as in most of Africa, abortion is prohibited by law. "The Democrats whom Obama wants to take to the White House are known for killing unborn babies," columnist Owen Kibenge declared.

Even worse, Kibenge continued, Obama supports civil unions and adoption rights for homosexual couples. "I am certain that the majority of Ugandans would not subscribe to this, even if it meant not voting for a black man," Kibenge added.
Lefty, the world is listening. Some of them want you in govern the US because they hate America. Some of them don’t want you in power because you hate their values. Some of them are actually struggling with the idea that voting on racial lines might not be what someone meant by “content of their character”, but the idea of not having your own skin color or gender chaining you to a candidate is bubbling through, and it’s your loss, and democracy’s gain.

Your “hate Bush” campaign did more damage abroad than anything else the US has had to do militarily, succeeded in undermining US policy, damaging American leverage worldwide, and now you can’t wait to do some more of it. Thanks for doing your best to try to sink the ship.

23 July 2008

Why Worry About Weapons Being Banned when you can Just Steal Them?

Near Lyon:

A local athletic track is being investigated into the theft of 28 kilos of semtex found this weekend at the civilian arsenal at Corbas, a suburb of Lyon.

The police are trying now to make the link between this theft and a Sunday brush fire in the neighbouring area of Saint-Fons, where six detonators stolen and two grenades without fuses dating from the Second World War disappeared from their inventory, but were found by firefighters. Located less than five minutes drive from Fort Corbas, the overgrown former landfill is suspected to have served as a place to abandoning or field test equipment for budding terrorists. The discovery of the semtex has not yet led to any arrests.

What they can Digest Defines what they’re Offered

Gideon Rachman serves ‘em up “news”, NAY organizations tailor made for Euro-style public media consumption, in honest terms for once:

It goes as follows:

By reporters everywhere

An ineffectual international organisation yesterday issued a stark
warning about a situation it has absolutely no power to change, the
latest in a series of self-serving interventions by toothless
intergovernmental bodies.

“We are seriously concerned about this most serious outbreak of
seriousness,” said the head of the institution, either a former minister from a developing country or a mid-level European or American bureaucrat. “This is a wake-up call to the world. They must take on board the vital message that my
organisation exists.”

The director of the body, based in one of New York, Washington or an agreeable Western European city, was speaking at its annual conference, at which ministers from around the world gather to wring their hands impotently
about the most fashionable issue of the day.
Somebody should DO something!

How Dare you Question Europe’s New Living Saint

Blackfive posted a quick email received from an Air Force officer who had to endure Obama “supporting the troops”.

As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to ' The War Zone ' . I wanted to share with you what happened.

He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram.

As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand, he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service.
No doubt Germans will be treating him like the flawless, superhuman deity undisambiguated earthling that they have no actual clue about that he is – probably because traditionally they’re used to being treated like a number when it comes to any sort of interaction with government. I guess fearless leader is worthy of Europe’s historically frightening uniformity of thought and deficit of rational critical capacity which usually doesn’t clear up until it’s too late.

That he’s so popular in Europe, though is rather telling. Since they want to cobble US policy any way thay can, are generally a predatory economic competator willing to use the full force of government to create “champions” and cramping the competitiveness that the rest of the world thrives on to pimp their overpriced rubbish, then Americans will realize just who to vote for, and specifically who to vote against to see that US interests. Sweeping everything ideological aside, it's safe to say that what they want isn't good for us, so why then, would we accept “their” and their fellow travellers' candidate?

If it hasn’t registered yet, it isn’t the guy eager to serve a non-voting foreign “constituency” who want most to see us poor and weak. Now that we know what Europeans are looking for, as if there was any question about it in the past based on the comments of Joe and Jane euro-sixpack, it's really is the dawn of a new age of transatlantic understanding. We hear you loud and clear, and we trust the meddling naïfs even less than ever.

20 July 2008

EU lagging behind on education, illiteracy on rise

In case you had any doubts, they aren’t just self-aggrandizing, they’re also dumshits.

However, countries have failed to bring down the share of low performing readers. Instead of the targeted 20% decrease, illiteracy has actually increased by more than 10% since 2000.
According to the Commission, all countries have their own relative strengths and weaknesses across the benchmark areas and "there are significant divergences between member states and fields". For example, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland and Slovenia "exceed the five benchmarks on average and are still progressing" while France, the Netherlands and Belgium show only "average performance below the benchmarks and have stopped progressing in this respect".

A lIfe in the Merde

Trying to pare down gub’mint? Trying to pad it for votes and to creep toward an entirely centralized economy? Makes no difference in the land where you end up with Socialism no matter who you elect.

During the presidential campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy had said would only replace one in two government employees as their positions are made vacant at retirement. Half of the savings generated would go to deficit reduction, and the rest to increase civil servant salaries. Once in office, he decided to pursue the decline in the public service started under Chirac. In the 2008 budget, 23 000 public service positions will be eliminated.
But, incredible as it may seem, the State does not know exactly how many people it employs.
I suppose this includes the long-since communized parts of the economy itself, which is to say the state enterprises that have as their workforce “state employees” such as EdF, GdF (which now owns formerly-nearly non-state Suez), the passenger trains, the post office, etal. While HItlerian state-run corporatism rules that day in some parts of Europe, these “champions” invariably buy-up other Europeans’ privatized entities.

Free-markets? Just you try it! We’ll fix your wagon!

Hint: The Sierra Club won't like it.

After all, they and their ilk like the idea of killing apostates much more. But while the touchy-feelies talk themselves into rationalizing the end of humanity over nothing, we got the juice:

What is small enough to be hauled on a truck, has the power to provide electricity to 45,000 homes, can help the U.S. cut its dependence on foreign oil and has no emissions?


An Energy Department official told New Scientist magazine four years ago that such reactors wouldn't require maintenance or need to be refueled. After their useful life of about 30 years they could be returned to the factory.

19 July 2008

The Lingering Red Parasites Who Want You to Believe Them Harmless

Defending the indefensible and believing the absurd is still a common pastime for many battle hardened British Stalinists, albeit these days the struggle continues with aging ranks and greatly depleted numbers (depleting one assumes due to the deaths of members from the aging ranks). The late Andrew Rothstein’s CPB remains the largest grouping of tanky Brits. Don’t let that fact overwhelm you though. Figures from the party’s 2007 congress reported that membership had at the last count fallen to just 941. One can only wonder just how small the smaller factions actually are when this is considered the behemoth of British Stalinism. It does appear to be that the smaller your faction the crazier you tend to be - and the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) is both very small and very crazy.
So reports the Johnny Guitar, but have no doubts, others of this ilk do indeed have options. While most have gravitated toward the comfortable, protected, humanity-hating false populism of Greenie mendacity, others would do well to move to France with the home-buying sort of Britons they detest.

They are sure to find a friend in the boy wonder of agitational fantasy Marxism, Olivier Besancenot. A recent revelation that he has links to a Red Brigade era terrorist of Action Directe proves that he’s got the “cred” that the hopeless, lonely, and stupid are looking for.
Ultradirigisme on one side, and ultralaxisme on the other... In immigration, his constituents and others know that they Besancenot and his party are demanding the immediate amnesty of anyone not in the country lawfully, granting each a 10 year residence permit which they suggest could be automatically renewable. Do they know that the LCR claims the right to voter eligibility for all foreigners (including non-EU noational) in all elections, perhaps even for president? To break the "criminalization of youth and the poor," the Trotskyist party advocates nothing less than the repeal of public safely laws, and even the doing away of keeping police files! Nonetheless they want "controls" over the social sphere.

"Unrealistic and dangerous": is what Minister Jean-Marie Bockel, called the LCR’s program in an interview. "If revenues were applied [as the LCR wished], he adds, the economy would collapse in a few weeks, and, fairly quickly, our freedoms would be questioned." Including in his party one Jean-Marc Rouillan, the former Action Directe terrorist, the party is not as limited to worker issues as Besancenot has suggested. She recalled the "historic links" between the extreme left and violence, and these tinks never completely broken. Interviewed by Le Monde, Pierre-Francois Grond, leader of the LCR and one close to Besancenot described as mere "twenty years ago bullshit" the double murder of Georges Besse and General Audran!
Moreover he’s a complete fake, as 5 Years Later recently notes.
We often wondered if the factor Aggravant still working? To this question, the candidate Besancenot spoke of his monthly salary of less than €1200 as a Postal worker. Blessed are the believers, because the reality is somewhat different. He’s paid mainly by the party. For example, he very regularly got compensation as a European parliamentary assistant when Alain Krivine was an MEP, in amount considerably above the monthly €5000.

What is his provenance? To this question, Olivier Besancenot speaks with modesty of a small studio in the 18th arrondissement. The journalist would have had much to see - a really good size apartment in the neighborhood of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre - the most expensive part of the 18th, one of the most sought after by Parisian Bobos. Of course, he owns it... something impossible on a postal worker’s salary, but who’s saying...
What strikes me about these people is their ignorance, for which I have absolutely no desire to lend any tolerance to. I lived behind the iron curtain as a fireigner, and had the good fortune to be able to leave. The population didn’t, and none of these latter-day zealots who continue to have wet dreams of collective, homogeneous being where so many of life’s choices are taken away, but are rather assigned to you, have never had to live that kind of life. Rather than make any effort to understand the dynamics of making a good life in a free society, they’re more than happy to seem to appeal to others while being very much in love with assigning you your life options based on opinions they alone have without respect to others’ freedom to have some control over hteir own lives.

Even if their exaggerations about the life in the easterm block being so good, and ours being so violent and unjust were true (which they aren’t,) removing people’s will over their simplistic materialism is an abomination. Were they to actually think about it, would they themselves actually take free child daycare over the ability to leave the country, or to travel, or to invent a new vocation of their own? Would they genuinely be able to salve their suspicions that everything is “the peoples’ property” versus “the corporations” when they are slaves to a state which itself is the boldest example of corporate abuse and holds an absolute monopoly over the satisfaction of simple, easily served human needs which they struggled with? Unless they’re stupid enough, I doubt it.

Cue the Accordions

Pépé Le Pen Godfather to Dieudonné’s Newborn Daughter
Horse head in the bed to follow

Humorist Dieudonné has had his fourth child baptized last Friday in Bordeaux by a traditionalist bishop in the presence of Jean-Marie Le Pen, according to a website close to the Front National and Liberation.

The site "Nation Presse hebdo" [Nation Press Weekly] said that the president of the National Front is the godfather of the youngest of four children of Dieudonné.

"It could have been a fairly ordinary baptism if the godfather of the girl had been anyone other than the President of the National Front, Jean-Marie le Pen," he wrote.

Reached by telephone on Wednesday, an FN official refused to comment, stressing that it is "a private matter." Abbé Philippe Laguérie, a traditionalist known for its links with the extreme right, presided. According to "Nation Presse hebdo", information has been confirmed by the abbot."

The rapprochement of Dieudonné with the FN had started on November 11, 2006, when he participated in the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge festival at Le Bourget, near Paris.

The comedian had clarified a few days later he did not vote FN, but he did not "not to vote FN." A month later, leaders of the far-right party had attended a show by the comedian.
Think about it, it’s a win-win PR stunt for both of these psychos, and it only comes at the expense of a child’s dignity for the rest of her life. The press, giddy with excitement, did leave out a minor detail, of course.
Can you confirm being the godfather of Dieudonné’s 4th child, as reported by Libération on Wednesday morning?

"Yes, I confirm. But contrary to what was reported by Libération, I'm the godfather of the third child of Dieudonne, not the fourth. The rest is true: it went well at a ceremony in the Bordeaux last week. It went well in the traditionalist parish of Saint-Eloi. The baptism was celebrated by Father Philippe Laguérie."

"I didn’t have any interest in talking about it publicly. It is a fact of privacy. I'm not like Sarkozy: I do not feel obliged to stage my privacy."

What is the nature of your relationship with Dieudonné?
"It was Dieudonné who asked me to become the godfather of one of his children because he thinks that this is not incompatible with the meaning of life and honor."

"I have esteem for Dieudonné. We are closer because we have things in common. We all belong both to the 'community of outcasts’. In addition, we’re both from Brittany: he’s 50% Breton, and I’m 100%. This is what created the link between us."

Have you asked Dieudonné to join the FN?
"No, he can join is he wishes, though."
The only question is: who’s legitimizing who?

17 July 2008


The FARC's Swiss Dupe gets even weirder, now that we get to see the paper trail:

Switzerland’s Colombia policy is suffering one blow after another. A few days after the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian President Uribe officially withdrew Switzerland’s mandate to conduct negotiations. On Tuesday, things escalated still further: Bogotá announced that it was opening a criminal investigation into the activities of Swiss envoy Jean-Pierre Gontard. The crime: "concierto para delinquir" - membership in a criminal association. According to the Colombian district attorney, there is evidence that Gontard led a conspiracy or participated in one.
It's damning stuff, and the “sophisticated” Swiss were such bozos that they couldn't figure out what the FARC's “Foreign Minister” was doing right under their noses, and with their money.
According to Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos, e-mails found on the computer of the killed FARC commander Raúl Reyes suggest that Gontard delivered some $500,000 to the Marxist guerilla in 2001. In so doing, the Swiss envoy would have overstepped his function as "mediator."

As is so often the case when she is confronted by serious criticism, the head of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), Michéline Calmy-Rey, has maintained an eloquent silence ever since the crisis with Colombia began. But she has dispatched her underlings before the press, in order roundly to deny all the accusations. M. Gontard "never delivered ransom payments," the EDA announced.
Why talk to them at all? Why dispatch funds? Why deny that you pay ransom?
Colombian authorities suspect that the half a million dollars was part of the ransom money with which the pharmaceutical firm Novartis purchased the freedom of two of its employees who had been taken hostage. They accuse Gontard of having personally delivered the cash.

Alle Menschen Werden Brüder

In their usual gentle and culturally superior manner, Europeans know how to party and contemplatively celebrate their patriotism.

The July 14 festivities were glazed many incidents, including in Ile-de-France. On Monday night, 295 cars were set ablaze in the country bringing to nearly 600 the number of vehicles damaged in two days.

As with the previous night, the night of the 14th gave rise to numerous incidents and many skirmishes between youths and police. 295 vehicles were burned in France, including 150 in Ile-de-France and 145 elsewhere in the country. The figures for the previous night showed 297 cars were torched.

In two days, nearly 600 vehicles were burned and a total of 219 people were arrested.

The national secretary of the PS
[Socialist Party], Bruno Leroux, has accused the Interior Ministry yesterday of trying to obscure the figures on the violence committed on Saturday night, especially in Seine-Saint-Denis. That was a false charge against the Interior Ministry, which confirmed these figures and also recorded a 20% drop in car torching incidents for the first six months of the year compared to 2007. In addition, the ministry announced its intention to tighten legislation on the sale of fireworks after a police commissioner was very seriously injured in the eye by one in clashes between youths and Police in Asnières (Hauts-de-Seine).
Primitives that we are, Americans have yet to develop a taste for carbeque on their national day.

Revolution through Administrative Inaction

Think anyone noticed?

A seemingly innocuous judicial ruling introduced the right to polygamy in Belgian law. On 26 June, the Constitutional Court amended the law of 15 December 1980, and thus prohibited discrimination against children from polygamous families.

A circular noting the change sent to embassies and consulates in Belgium said that children "are not responsible for the marital status of their parents." But an oversight of the Court gives a completely different flavor to the text. "On the last page, the Court deletes text from Article 10 regarding the exclusion of spouses in a polygamous marriage," said Freddy Roosemont, Director-General of the Foreign Residents Office.

The new law stipulates that "the spouse of a foreigner whose polygamous relationship with another spouse already residing in Belgium can not be unrecognized. It permits polygamy.
And the sheep will soon tremble.

Mad like a Sandmonkey

F’ing brilliant:

Unarguably , Obama's number one foreign policy objective is to get things right with the arab and muslim world. And that's when you are going to watch the best circus in the world, because no a single leader, in the arab or the muslim world, really wants to get right with the US. Hell, our rulers have justified their entire existence in power by positioning themselves as opposed to America . They continue , in their state-sponsored media, to point fingers at the US and go " See, those bloodthirsty Americans. They will kill you all, rape all of your women and drink the blood of your babies, if we are not here to protect you. So eat shit and shut up!", and If you think I am exaggerating please check Egypt, Syria, Iran, Yemen, etc.. etc.. Those people have built their entire rule on that whole notion, you think they are going to give that up because the silly Americans voted for a 40-something inexperienced Black dude? Get real!
He also raises this excellent point of perceptions. The nodding, bien pensent repugnant elite might think Obama some sort of healer to those people who are “victimized by our existence”, when the inverse is rather more obvious.
Oh, and I am sure that once he gets elected that the Islamists will warm up to him immediately. You know, because there is nothing that Islamists like more than a former born- muslim who chose, by his own accord, to become a Christian and an active one at that. Yeah, I am sure they will be very impressed, and quit fighting the US immediately. After all, he said that he intends to deliver a speech from a muslim nation in his first 100 days of office. Yeah, that kind of pandering really calms islamists down, especially coming from apostates. And they will surely respect him if he withdraws partially from Iraq, and not mistake it as a sign of weakness or that they are winning or anything. And since we are on the topic, can you imagine what will happen if a terrorist attack took place during the Obama Presidency, after he does all of this? Can you imagine how America will feel, when they realize that even after they voted for the Blackman with Arab middle name and Muslim background who gave a speech during his first 100 days in a muslim nation, that the world still hates them and that Islamists still want to kill them?
But it would never dawn on the Birkenstock-wearing buffoons with PhDs at your local fair-trade anti-capitalist co-op grocery store to understand the obvious. It really is too much to ask of the “brilliant progressives” of this world.

16 July 2008


In the case of the Swiss Foreign Ministry ant the FARC, the European notion of “constructive engagement” promoted the FARC’s narco-smuggling, kidnapping, and terror. Switzerland’s Weltwoche [the world this week], reports on an initial effort to “reel them in” and legitimize the FARC that led to actively supporting their actions.

Switzerland, the Helpful Courier

The seizure of the computers provoked a political earthquake. What had long been merely suspected was now out in the open for all to see: the socialist governments of Ecuador and Nicaragua, as well as and above all that of the Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chávez, were involved up to the elbows in the sinister drug and arms dealing of the FARC. The blow was struck just as Chávez, intent on extending his influence across the South American continent, was seeking to take control of the militarily severely depleted FARC.
It might be that the world still see the Swiss with rose colored glasses given the image and reputation they’ve built, but what is far more likely is that outside of commerce, they have no meaningful stake in the goings-on beyond the European fortress, and are a lot more scared by their position as Europe’s Lesotho puts them in.
Switzerland has played a central role in the Colombian hostage crisis as a supposedly “neutral” mediator. But the e-mail correspondence of the FARC, extracts from which are available to Die Weltwoche, shows that a solution of the hostage crisis was never in fact a priority for the FARC. The “negotiations” as such, which provided an international stage for the militarily beleaguered guerilla, were from the start an end in themselves for the FARC. The Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), under the direction of Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, took on the role of helpful courier in the cynical game of poker being played by the guerilla and often neglected to take even the slightest distance from the FARC extortionists.

As early as June 2001, almost a year before the kidnapping of Betancourt, Lucas Gualdrón, the Lausanne-based FARC coordinator for Europe, assessed the possibility of Switzerland playing a role as mediator. In an e-mail to a superior stationed in Cuba, Gualdrón comes to a positive conclusion: “They [the Swiss] have changed their communication policy and they no longer only work low profile, but also pursue a very aggressive communication policy.” Switzerland is open to the FARC’s cause, Gualdrón reports, and ready to organize meetings “at the highest level.”
In addition to that, these supposedly shrewd Swiss interlocutors were made into useful idiots.
Prolonging the Hostage Crisis

From the standpoint of the FARC, Switzerland has served its purpose and can leave now. In summer 2007, the EDA withdraws from the negotiations. The Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chávez takes over. His aims are by no means humanitarian in nature, as Chávez wants to make the world believe. The correspondence on Reyes’s computer shows that the Venezuelan president promises the FARC substantial arms shipments and financial aid on the order of some $300 million. Hugo Chávez wants to integrate the guerilla force into his “Bolivarian Revolution,” which is supposed to transform the entire subcontinent from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego into one big socialist paradise according to the well-known recipes of Karl Marx and Fidel Castro.
Instead of “giving peace a chance”, what they did was gullibly buy the FARC more time.

13 July 2008

Constructive Optimist Bewilders Sour Grapes

Deep in the heart of the arrogant soul of a developing world aristocratic normally lies an irrational viciousness that’s hard to understand. Normally, we’re talking about intelligent achievers, but frequently ones finds beneath it comfortably out of touch prince who confuses hate for edginess.

Take for example a senior Indian diplomat asked to sum up the impact of the Bush years on south Asia. No matter the achievements, it’s either inadequate, or in violation of the newly improvised theory of the-only-thing-that-now-matters:

Rice said the US's "strategic accomplishments in Asia" also included "partnerships with a newly democratic Afghanistan, a democratic Pakistan, and an historic transformation of our relationship with the rising democratic power, India". But the bulk of her speech related to North Korea problem, underlining Washington's expectation Pyongyang will soon make a "verifiable, complete and accurate" declaration of its nuclear programs, facilities and materials so that Bush claims a legacy.

As Bush heads toward Japan for the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Hokkaido, he anticipates he's likely wrapping up two Asian legacies - and if luck holds, three. Beware the lame duck. As the Washington Post summed up, "George W Bush's presidency seems exhausted and irrelevant, but that's a dangerous illusion. The Decider remains in command ..." Clearly, North Korea has begun disabling its plutonium production facility at Yongbyon under the watchful eyes of US inspectors. Rice's consultations in Beijing last week galvanized the process. The White House announced that Bush proposed to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Summer Olympic Games in August.

Meanwhile, a second Asian legacy for the Bush era is also gaining traction. On Wednesday, on the sidelines of the G-8, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inform Bush that New Delhi has decided to give the final push to the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with the US. The Indian deal goes way beyond Kim Jong-iI's "denuclearization". It is a major non-proliferation move. India will surrender its right to test nuclear weapons; India's nuclear program will come under US monitoring and control; and India's capacity and will for augmenting its weapon stockpile will remain under US scrutiny.
Bitterly, of course it MUST come down to something. Something where the author/his theory/his land/etc. mutates into the great cotter pin in the great axle in the great wheel of humanity... even if it’s something entirely invented:
The big question now is whether Bush's gargantuan appetite for Asian legacies will be satiated.
Does anyone have a gargantuan craving for an Asian legacy?

See? They matter! They Really matter, dammit! Even if it’s slightly cracked to think that Bush personally covets some sort of legacy that’s theirs! Their’s dammit!

Take that nap, M.K. You might feel better in a few hours.

Cops Lazy in the Unhinged Kingdom

'He then stood up, put his hands in the air and said, "I've just murdered two people, I've got third degree f***ing burns and they are not even f***ing arresting me."
'Me and my cousin looked at one another and I said, "What did you do?" Then he said, "I've just told them I've killed two people in New Cross and they are not even f***ing arresting me.'''
Not only did the perpetrator of a brutal double murder get a chance to change his mind when he was about to confess, but no longer will burglary get one you thrown into the crowbar hotel.

“Property is theft”, and all that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire retired population moved to Spain or Arizona by winter.

Funny, I’ve Seen a Lot of Cases

Anyone who has worked in an a bar or hospital emergency room will tell you that you never know what will come through the door. Andrew Bolt makes that abundantly clear:

Psychiatrists have detected the first case of "climate change delusion" - and they haven't even yet got to Kevin Rudd and his global warming guru.
Writing in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Joshua Wolf and Robert Salo of our Royal Children's Hospital say this delusion was a "previously unreported phenomenon".
"A 17-year-old man was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne with an eight-month history of depressed mood . . . He also . . . had visions of apocalyptic events."
Green is indeed the new bleak, and this desire to kick the legs out from under civilization is ubiquitous, as Bret Stephens pointed out this week in the Wall Street Journal noting in the number of ways Global Warming science, now called “Climate Change” science in a desperate bit to give it credibility might – just might – suffer from the same uncertainty and politically induced corruption that theories suffer from when they get big-game-prize money attached to them. A parasitic casts emerges and makes itself out to be a priestly class to benefit off of it, much like Charles Manson, using the impressionable young and the intellectually weak and wayward as a victimized flock. Free to wrap their limit their philosophical exploration to doom, self abuse and little else, it’s hard to imagine a Thomas Aquinas or Augustine emerging from it, nor do they want anything more elaborate than the repetitive pinning of the voodoo doll:
If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.
So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.
The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore – population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations – and global warming provides a justification. One wonders what the left would make of a scientific "consensus" warning that some looming environmental crisis could only be averted if every college-educated woman bore six children: Thumbs to "patriarchal" science; curtains to the species.
A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.
And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.
Can you feel the love there? The hand-wringing, the concern for out mother earth on the way to a universally poor, unhealthy, and short life where all we burdensome inhabitants of the planet earth can be both equal and the same? Pfft!

Might Europeans Perhaps Go So Far as to Wring Their Hands?

Doubtful. By the time they’re done navel gazing, there wont even be a régime be bananes left.

A Title (Mis)Match

For the past two weeks the story has been making the rounds. Johns Hopkins Majid Khadduri professor of Middle East studies at the School for Advanced International Studies
Fouad Ajami
writing in the Wall Street Journals Opinion pages offers a recitation of the timbre of the traditional hatred floating around between Europe and the Near East. The title given is “Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype“, but seems to end up being betrayed by selectively deciding the bombings of the 80’s and 90’s being little other than hype, not to mention the Hizballah’s debutante party on Marines stationed in Beirut as part of an Palestinian-Israeli cease fire, the holding of American diplomats as hostages in Teheran, and so forth.

I grew up in the Arab world in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and anti-Americanism was the standard political language – even for those pining for American visas and green cards. Precious few took this seriously. The attraction to the glamorous, distant society was too strong in the Beirut of my boyhood.
It is no different today in Egypt or Pakistan. And what people tell pollsters who turn up in their midst with their clipboards? In Hosni Mubarak's tyranny, anti-Americanism is the permissible safety valve for Egyptians unable to speak of their despot. We stand between Pharaoh and his frustrated people, and the Egyptians railing against America are giving voice to the disappointment that runs through their life and culture. Scapegoating and anti-Americanism are a substitute for a sober assessment of what ails that old, burdened country.
This happens to be rather at odds of the Beirut of my childhood, where being apparently “Imriki,” and not Lebanese in ones’ American-ness made one a hostage-taker’s commodity. For all you youngsters out there: it was not a status symbol.

With the tone of “see!” I’ve received this article from people of numerous ideological appeals, it seems to have become something of thing that is either all things to all people, when in fact it offers the most inscrutable thing to those lacking healthy skepticism: a handful of data points. That it helps prop up a theory is one thing, that it shows us patterns that will remain in force for a century to come is another: a fundamental lack of seriousness in those carrying that anger around.

Nor should we listen too closely to the anti-American hysteria that now grips Turkey. That country was once a serious, earnest land. It knew its place in the world as a bridge between Europe and Islam. But of late it has become the "torn country" that the celebrated political scientist Samuel Huntington said it was, its very identity fought over between the old Kemalist elites and the new Islamists.
Imagine the self-evasion associated with looking for evil under every sack of American corn meal, and what this means to the risk it exposes the emoting “victim” of this malady of the concrete risks to their lives, and to the detriment it does to the prospect of looking at ones’ own society honestly.

That we are to minimize the weight given to the impact Anti-Americanism has is an evasion in itself. If it IS just a metaphor for those who can’t “discuss the Pharaoh,” and it remains that way for the next 50 years as it has for the past 50 years, then it’s indicative of a much larger problem than even those hesitating to minimize the use of anti-Americanism as a verbal magic wand can imagine.

Further, he notes:
He said he feared that Mr. Obama, as a "black man," might succumb to an "inferiority complex" if he were to come to power. "This is a great menace because Obama might turn out to be more white than the whites, exaggerating his persecution and disdain of blacks. The statements of our Kenyan brother with an American nationality about Jerusalem, and his support for Israelis, and his slighting of the Palestinian people is either a measure of his ignorance of international politics or a lie perpetrated on the Jews in the course of an election campaign."
There is no need to roam distant lands in search of indictments of America's ways. Tales of our demise appear every day in our media. Yes, it is not perfect, this republic of ours. But the possibilities for emancipation and self-improvement it affords are unmatched in other lands.
But this is meaningless in the context of America’s future, or even the future of the anti-American at that. It is simply a truth, but one that may not cause anti-Americanism as some would fear, nor endear America to those given to resentment.

It simply ‘is’ while the risk to America is not in it’s image, it’s the concrete risks identified on the left as “the amount of time we must remain in the dar ul harb, and by the right that the concept of the dar ul harb still exists in the zeitgeist at all. Either way, a beloved or hated America, as Ajami cites the lack of seriousness found among those who hate it, still has to debate whether or not we are America Alone.

Image, as Ajami points out by example, isn’t everything. But risk and interest have very little to do with image. The European Union should take this as an object lesson, since that very same concern with their image seems rather consuming, and consuming at the expense of their effectiveness in creating any sort of instrument of statecraft at all.

- Cross-posted on Atlantic Review

09 July 2008

O! Compared to Republican Warmonger Who Suspended Haebeus Corpus

Of course being everything to everyone, and all that, a jihad to “Lincolnize” a man who has never liberated anybody is underway. In fact, now he's white too.

08 July 2008

Timing is Everything


But, while praising President Alvaro Uribe's work towards her release, she said it was time to end "extremist" language towards the Farc.
That 'time' being right after she was freed. Then again, consider the audience.
Ms Betancourt is in Paris, where she flew after her release on Wednesday.

"I think we have reached a point where we must change this radical, extremist vocabulary of hate of very strong words that intimately wound the human being," she told French radio.
The FARC (or their flunkies) not being given to that kind of thing.

Meanwhile, back in the bosom of democracy and reason, the hunt for bigots continues.

05 July 2008

Meet the Feebles

From macho to gaucho: the desperate struggle against learned helplessness hits new heights in EUtopia:

Few would deny that living side-by-side with stinking, oozing piles of garbage for months on end makes life more difficult. Even in the normally chaotic southern Italian city of Naples, garbage-induced temper tantrums have periodically resulted in trash piles being set on fire -- and the firemen who respond to the call are then pelted with detritus.
We had our New Orleans, they have their entire middle class.
Help is on the way. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi not only pledged on Tuesday that the problem would be solved within two weeks, he also is sending a thousand volunteers to Naples to teach the city about the importance of separating recyclables out of their garbage. Among those volunteers will be dozens of psychologists from an organization specially trained for missions in disaster areas.
And then they came to change their diapers.
"We’re not talking about psychology in the way that many people understand it," Luigi Ranzato, president of the group Psicologi per i Popoli, which is sending the psychologists, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Instead, we will be there to try to help introduce a sensibility about garbage disposal to, for example, the old and the young. They need to learn how to separate the garbage so that it doesn’t become an inconvenience for their daily life.“

04 July 2008

Clinging to Satan Worship and Rape

They call themselves “Agents of Change

- Hat-tip to Strummin’ Joe

Surprise, Surprise

First the denials, then the legalisms. As if it wasn’t obvious, German fantasy-lefty Gregor Gysi was a stool pigeon for commie spooks.

Linksfraktionschef (Left group leader) Gregor Gysi has repeatedly failed, by court Stasi allegations against him in the media. [Television network] ZDF had "sufficient factual evidence," the court ruled.

Hamburg - In the dispute over allegations of Stasi cooperation, left Group chief Gregor Gysi suffered another legal defeat: the Hamburg regional court rejected a request to gag ZDF disclosure of their investigative report, according to a court spokeswoman on Wednesday. Gysi wanted Stasi document Supervisor Marianne Birthler to defend her statement
[of his participation with the Stasi]. Birthler had accused him on "Heute Journal" that as a lawyer in the GDR regime he "knowingly and willingly" reported Robert Havemann, a critic of the regime, to the State Security Service. Gysi denies the allegation.

The court ruled that there is a legitimate public interest in the publication to be able to see Birthler’s statements. Gysi’s privacy rights have to defer to the public interest in this case. "The report is still permissible as investigative journalism," said court spokeswoman. ZDF had carefully researched the facts behind the allegations against Gysi. It would be "sufficient factual evidence, expressed suspicion that the case". Gysi had requested an injunction against ZDF over the release of the report.

The district court ruled in ZDF’s favor. Moreover, the facts were presented to Gysi, and he was given an opportunity to refute them. He was offered an interview but declined. According to a group spokesman, Gysi will dispute the court’s decision. Previously, a court in Mainz rejected Gysi’s request to require that his reply be broadcast.
It needs to be noted that a great Germans take at face value accusations that American suppress dissent, but will rationalize the right to gag journalism at home. Even in a strange, nearly kangaroo-court-like matter of regurgitating harm-done under a government that no longer exists. It might be in poor taste, and that he could potentially be found at fault for the consequences, but to try to say that it’s discussion can be disputed is nearly as chilling.

03 July 2008

If their Culture is so Precious, Why is it Packaged and Exported like Menthos?

Humble yet powerful. Tall yet short. Touching, yet lecturesome. I have a question: is there anything a European Architect think he (but rarely she) isn’t? Or are they everything, nothing, and its’ opposite too? Why not when you can always rationalize that the magic from your fingertips will otherwise be wasted like the sperm on the walls.

In an article in der Spiegel from 21.12.2007, architect Christoph Ingenhoven wrote an article aimed at provoking a "long overdue debate" about what Deyan Sudjic describes as the "close ties between architecture, power, money and politics", which make it difficult for some architects to view their work with the necessary political distance. Ingenhoven said he would never "want to be responsible for the representative buildings of a non-democratic regime", adding that he wouldn't build for Libya, because he couldn't see "why [he] should champion an intolerable regime."
Amazingly, what these guys still do best is put a pretty face on de-facto tyrants building idealized factory cities, and using the “sustainable city” cover to retread Cabrini Green style schemes and oafish central planning concepts.

Strangely enough when they impose their imprint on people, they call it “Elysium”. If these self-absorbed, self-declared übermenchen need to bone up on “Architecture and Morality” (both of which they think are out of the common man’s reach), they should probably tone down their marketing racket for a few minutes and look here, where it’s quite clear that the debate is not long overdue to the rest of us, and has been ongoing continuously.

Rescue is Imprisonment. Freedom is Captivity.

Serguei is an Idiot.

It’s quite obvious from her tone on Wednesday, that in her heart, that Bétancourt is happy to be free, not permanently imprisoned and chained to her misery as Serguei’s hope to find melodrama would suggest. Worst still, he suggest that freedom is somehow imprisonment. I guess every other self-indulgent inversion of “whatever is the best you can hope for” applies too in his feeble world view, evan as it links to an article about Sarkozy praising the Columbian forces for their rescue.
The hostages, who had been divided in three groups, were taken to a rendezvous where two disguised helicopters piloted by Colombian military agents were waiting …

The pilots, [Betancourt] said, were posing as members of a relief organization, but “they were dressed like clowns,” wearing Che Guevara shirts, so she assumed they were rebels.

Now this is their kind of Crisis

The BBC makes history. Every day. Note how something they never called ‘a crisis’ before suddenly becomes one, what with the fate of the FARC’s fate is in play, and that her freedom by having been ‘released’ appears numerous times, while there is one mention of her having been rescued appears near the top, but beneath the emotive headline, and only once and in lesser type.
Audacious rescue
What the freeing of Ingrid Betancourt means for Colombia's Farc rebels
The only question now, is how the Columbians can engineer the circumstances of the FARC’s surrender, while the title editors seem to be hoping for precisely the reverse.

But accuracy doesn’t really matter to them when there’s political spin to do. As for the nation that adopted Bétancourt as their patron saint, Ingrid’s “release” doesn’t matter to them anyway. The boys are looking for their own kind of “happy ending”.

To hell with Ingrid, les gars are just looking for some trim.

In Perpetual Morrissey Mode



Any questions?

Roger Kusch, a former senator in Hamburg and a prominent right-to-die campaigner, has said he advised Bettina Schardt, a healthy 79-year-old pensioner, on how to prepare a lethal cocktail of sedatives and anti-malaria drugs which would kill her. He said he then left her flat shortly before she died.

Mr Kusch filmed nine hours of conversations with the unmarried and childless woman, who said she dreaded being taken to a home for the elderly. However, she did not have a terminal illness and said: "I can't say that I am suffering."

- Hat-tips to Perfesser Norm and Clarsonimus

02 July 2008

The Union that Hates its’ Members

A transit worker on the RER A line/south branch (one that goes through the less famous hoods near Orly) is assaulted. Colleagues of said victim inflict their sorrow on roughly 1 million commuters on Tuesday in a wildcat strike without consulting the politically manipulative trade union umbrella’s leadership at the CGT. Oddly enough this has the effect of caving in to crime. One perturbed branch of the suburban rail system disrupted the entire transit system which took most of the day to progressively back on line.

Probably bitter that they weren’t in charge of that little bit of social arson, someone from the CGT is quoted saying that the victim had it coming to them. They’ve also grown aware after 40 years that transit problems just make them look greedy and hateful. It seem that this gets them no brownie points from the “lumpenproletariat” that they think they commandeer.

"...she put herself in a position that made it totally predictable," said Yannick Le Bohec, CGT delegate to the RATP. He denounced the rising tensions between passengers and drivers in recent months which is due according to him, to "the degradation of service" on the RER A. "Passengers are transported in appalling conditions”, "he said. The CGT calls into question the decision to increase service on the line with 27 additional trains at peak times, instead of 24.

"This assault is last straw," he summarized, after a meeting with the leadership of the RATP. The unions representing the strikers indicate that the discussions have not resulted in a compromise, leaving open the possibility of a new day of strikes Wednesday. "RATP will intensify the presence of teams of security officers to the end of the feast of Loges [until August 17], "she said, but unions have regretted that" the representatives only want to talk about personal safety."
That’s what they mean by “power to the people,” I guess. The unions over the years have realized that the population want the population to control the “means of production” and not the venal CGT.

Euro-intellectualism in Film School

You’ve got to love that Belgian Style Trans-nation Prosecution Stuff

This is the kind of thing the ICC is really meant for:

A Jordanian prosecutor on Tuesday charged Dutch politician Geert Wilders with blasphemy and contempt of Muslims for making an anti-Koran film and ordered him to stand trial in the kingdom, judicial sources said.

In Riyadh, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a league of 56 Muslim nations, said it was "deeply annoyed" after Dutch prosecutors said on Monday they would not take action against Wilders as he was protected by the right to free speech.

"The decision ... encourages and supports the irresponsible defamatory style followed by some media outlets and instigates feelings of hatred, animosity and antipathy towards Muslims," the Saudi Arabia-based OIC, said in a statement.
Doing anything they can to suppress bad news at the cost of anything, including occasionally free speech. On the other hand a pressure group of concerned, caring European types show their colors:
Dutch prosecutors said Wilders was not inciting hatred of Muslims as he did not call for acts of violence against them.

A Dutch anti-discrimination group, The Netherlands Shows its Colours, said it would appeal the prosecutors' decision.
I’m sure they’re all about freedom of speech and liberties, ‘n stuff, given that they pushed for a different prosecution of Wilders in the Netherlands based partly on “statements made in public”. Next stop on the neo-fascist lefty love train: thought crimes. They have yet to explain to anyone how it is that the things other people say are somehow worse that the things they actually do.

01 July 2008

What, Isn’t their Misery Politically Useful Enough?

Farrakhan has yet to rule on the elaborate conspiracy behind this one.

Hudna Achieved

From Marseilles, that multicultural success story of a city:

They owe their lives to a customer in a snack bar patron who kindly get them indoors until police arrive. Three Romany were lynched and their vehicles burned by a hundred people Saturday evening at Bricarde, a housing project in the 15th arrondissement of Marseille, the daily La Provence revealed on Tuesday morning. The police had to resort to tear gas. The three people assaulted were seriously injured and hospitalized. The scene is surreal for the three male victims who were the apparent victims of rumor.
Indeed, since the disappearance of a young woman named Fatima on May 7 in Marseilles, a text message was circulating in the city indicating that the young woman was allegedly kidnapped by Roma as part of an organ trafficking scheme. Since then, in school yard, public parks, and coffee counters, the rumor swelled. Authorities are submerged in calls by people worried about their children. And what should happen has happened with a Saturday night having been lynching-free.
Interviewed by LCI.fr, Pierre Carton, the departmental director for public safety, again denies "any child abduction and trafficking in human organs is currently going on Marseilles" and was concerned about the stigma around a community "who did nothing.
That was the weekend that was. Elsewhere: in France, they aren’t so kind as to call them trailer trash. People just assault them and leave them for dead.
The gendarmes, accustomed to some grizzly scenes, did not recall seeing something this sordid in the Gironde in years. They found it difficult to believe their eyes on Saturday when they discovered the body of a young man beaten to death an disfigured. The victim had been abandoned on the edge of a forest, in a ditch near a road at a place called Cousseau in the town of Gours in Dordogne.
You know how those slack-jawed hicks are: elsewhere on the crime beat, weapons found:
Weapons were discovered. After being abandoned in the woods, his torturers returned to celebrate, their clothes stained with blood.
But then they got worried and returned to the scene of the beating and decided to get rid of the body. They flagged down a Parisien and a 21 year old woman and went about a dozen kilometres. When they reached Gours, they took a country lane, and once out of sight abandoned the corpse wrapped in a blanket, and tried to undress. They then recovered the blunt instruments and the rifle that and threw them into the water.
Further “Partying” Noted
It’s a worrying indicator of the trauma caused by a night of rioting. Since the June 14 incidents in Vitry-le-François (Marne), where groups of youths had destroyed some sixty cars and were taken in by police after the murder of one of their comrades killed in a brawl, people in the rushed to install security systems.
Good luck with all that.