25 November 2008

The Crisis that Officially Isn't

Brussels Journal reports on an issue that has lit up the French "réacosphere": the idea that a nation with factional, race and ethnicity centered conflict is officially color-blind when society clearly isn't.

The cartoon at the left reads:

So, as I was saying, in France we are all racists. (Except for singers and television).
- I wonder if in foreign countries they are as racist as we are...
- No, I don't think so, seeing as how they're not French.

The cartoon at the right reads:

Unfortunately for us 60 million racists, we are a bit harassed by television.

- I propose a TV series where a girl from Cameroon goes to live in a village and finds she's the target of the villagers' racism, but at the end they see she is OK.

- Yeah, super great idea. They're often racists in the villages. Not like us in the cities.

The big 2 refers to French TV Channel 2

So, as I was saying, in France we are all racists. (Except for singers and television).

- I wonder if in foreign countries they are as racist as we are...
- No, I don't think so, seeing as how they're not French.

The cartoon at the right reads:

Unfortunately for us 60 million racists, we are a bit harassed by television.

- I propose a TV series where a girl from Cameroon goes to live in a village and finds she's the target of the villagers' racism, but at the end they see she is OK.
- Yeah, super great idea. They're often racists in the villages. Not like us in the cities.

The big 2 refers to French TV Channel 2.

23 November 2008

Your Fungible Freedoms

Anither way of saying share the goods, comrade" is all they're capable of coming up with.

It is time to think about how to prepare democratic society for the significant stress that adjusting to climate change will cause, and how to guarantee political participation in a difficult period. In Germany, citizens are already beginning to doubt that they live in the best of all political worlds. According to a study conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, almost one in three people hold the view that democracy is functioning badly; astoundingly, 60 per cent of eastern Germans were of this opinion. There is a growing impression that the political system is not equipped to deal with the "big issues" such as climate change, global justice, and demographic development. In other words, democracy is no longer "delivering" and is lacking an essential pillar of its credibility: output legitimacy.
The fear of vague ecological something-or-other is in the view of the great European minds, just another necessary wedge issue/crobar to eradicate democracy by banal rulemaking and use dirigism and subsidies to place the role of work and industry under state control.

Unremarkable to see that these unremarkable minds also believe that measure to control the runaway march to an absolute welfare state, and any number of class-warfare based complaints are some sort of justification for the dismantling of individual freedoms too.

The lack of importance the individual has to the people who spout these theories, and the casualness with which they discuss investing in central governments something closer to absolute power might seem to make a cliche out of these folks, but it's largely true when you read what they write. It's not wooly-headed to plainly say just how much people like this seem to resign themselves to concepts of governance consistence with dictatorship, and sad to see that they show no scepticism of absolutism and to the end of political pluralism at all. I suppose that like the East German regime they will willing to accept the nominal existence of more than one political party for a few years, so longs as they're all the same.
From communication management to democratic skill

It is not hard to understand that those affected by such situations feel themselves abandoned by the state, and often from democracy as well. One of the main reasons is precisely that the state has not ceased to profess willingness to provide care that in reality it can no longer afford. Thus, for example, the increasingly loud demands that low and middle income groups receive compensation for dramatically rising energy costs are likely to be disappointed. No democracy in the world that can vouch for this if resources become scarcer and therefore more expensive; moreover, if democracies wish to retain trust, paradoxically they must admit that they cannot do so. It is possible to imagine what will happen if rising energy costs result in a decline in living standards even for middle income groups, with low earners no longer able to heat their homes
But to find the true ignorance evident in their view, they cant help but forsee disorder in the public communication of relief measures to salve the people where strict controls are trying to do what free-markets can accomplish without manipulation. In wondering just how it is that central governments will be able to tell those "classes" who will demand relief from the rising cost of energy which will be for their own good, they see a "communication management problem". To translate that into plain language: they see the need to propagandize.
In the search for actors that possess or could acquire democratic skills, the gaze falls less and less upon professional politics. Some see the chance for the revival of social participation in active consumer responsibility; consumer rights lends itself well to learning democratic skills through apparently trivial questions such as: "What can I do so that our school is supplied by the local organic dairy?" According to this approach, analogous issues of climate and environmental protection open up new opportunities for political engagement that connect local and regional agendas with global ones.
That's interesting: they don't sem to want democracy, a social form that permits multiple views, debate, and an environment that permits independant study and opinion. They want people with "visible democratic skills" to all make the same kind of decisions and push for the same kinds of initiatives.

The smallness of their motives is as stunningly ignorant as the unthinking ease with which they will concider such a huge and sweeping disposal of the idea that overbearing and invasive state regulation of society is somehow harmless and inherently good.

You simply could not get any more naive about history or myopic in identifying the scale of the problem that they're telling people that they want to solve. Rampling around for yet more, the credit crisis (naturally "caused by greed",) is mined for yet more proof that what the world needs is a veneer of participatory government, so that the real business of an elite within NGOs making themselves a meal-ticket out of the emotional anxiety of the polulation and a few flawed threds of science can trump all else - private of public.

We've already seen the regurgitation of the notion of "making the new socialist man" by way of the use of guilt over social, political, and environmental matters - benignly in the promotion of "new attitudes and lifestyle" which combine a trained non-resistence to anything that looks like a public stunt for "social-justice", or "saving the earth". I only wonder what other revisions of the discredited authoritarian manifestos have been left out.

21 November 2008

Imaginary News Headline Caption Contest

But not quite with THIS image. What would the headlines of the editorials and "news" items read if that was George Bush, and not Barack Obama with a crowd praying for, with, and perhaps later on in the office, TO him.

As the Rest of the World Turns....

Reisen in das Land der Neid und Müdigkeit

As noted previously, a great many Germans, always fond of anti-capitalistic "it's the man's fault" explanations for nearly anything and have managed to let their post O-gasm glow of being freshly ravished last exactly a week. The mags and rags pander to it of course, but amid the sad and outdated cliches we've seen before with cowboys, truckers, cowboys, men in busieness suits (I guess they just don't think they have any of those,) cowboys, locusts, and cowboys... we see that now someone is indulging lefty anarchist-cum-welfare-addict assasination fantasies. Medienkritik:

With Obama, Spiegel and others will no longer be focusing attacks on the American executive (at least in the short-term) as was standard practice under Bush. Instead, as we have previously speculated, they will likely turn to attacking broader aspects of American society (the economic downturn is the current dominant theme) for all that is wrong in the United States and the world. Think World Scapegoat USA. Think pet peeves. Having to respect Obama just makes accomplishing what readers require a bit more demanding.
It makes sense on one level. There appear to be enough Germans found in this survey as Clarsonimus has clued us in on, to live up to their stereotypes - in this case one of being an incredibly miserable bunch of whiners.
How, uh, shocking or something. But, then again, the most shocking thing about the latest study concerning the German nation’s outlook on life in general and democracy in particular isn’t the fact that it is so negative and down and fatalistic and just plain pitiful (their outlook is always that way, otherwise they wouldn’t call themselves Germans - although this time it’s the most negative it’s been for about twenty years or so), no, the most shocking thing about this latest study is that anyone could possibly think to classify it as being news at all.
It's an outlook from that "I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than have a bottle in front of me school" from which the same adopt the inverse, but that probably isn't important when you've already turned into Morrissey.

Please Don’t Mention We’re Going Hat in Hand to the Neighbors

Sarko the selfish and greedy want the US and Russia to agree to security terms over the subject of… wait for it… Europe. Isn’t it about time Europe guaranteed its’ own damn security for once? Are someones' delusions about the UN not working at the moment?

"As acting EU council president I propose that mid-2009 we gather for instance within the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] to lay the basis of what might be a future EU security arrangement ...which would of course involve the Russians and the Americans," Mr Sarkozy said, backing an idea originally proposed by his Russian counterpart.

He also expressed his "preoccupation" with Mr Medvedev's threat to deploy short-range missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, bordering Poland and Lithuania.
Sound like there is a lot of acting going on, actually – but it’s a shame that that “preoccupation” with the US defending them from missile attack is seen as imperial over-reach by Sarko.
Prague and Warsaw have poured cold water on French calls for a moratorium on a planned US missile shield in Europe, with both capitals saying that president Nicolas Sarkozy overstepped his mandate.

"I don't think that third countries, even such good friends as France, can have a particular right to express themselves on this issue," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday (15 November).

The Polish leader described Mr Sarkozy's comments as his "own point of view, [with] no impact of the future of the project," according to AFP, adding that "The question of the anti-missile shield is governed by an agreement between Poland and the United States."

A similar message came from the Czech republic, with the country's deputy prime minister Alexandr Vondra saying he was taken by surprise.

"France did not discuss its viewpoint with us ... As far as I know, the French presidency mandate for the EU-Russia summit did not contain a position on the US missile defence system," he said.
Of course they wouldn’t discuss the viewpoint with you – they’ve got plans that don’t necessarily include you!

20 November 2008

Dearth of a Nation

People continue to ask: “who are the citizens of Europe?” Well, to begin with, it’s people from non-member states that are trying the hardest to get in, while the actual citizens are trying very hard to avoid history altogether and be a non-nation. Non-confederacy extended to anything that actually IS the role of the state (foreign policy, legal justice, defence,) while the EU itself is preoccupied by standards that can be set by industries themselves, and trying to look like they’re filling the potholes and building roads – the precise opposite of any sane definition of governance.

Then again, what do you expect? The European world-view seeks global (outsourced) governance in nearly anything that matters – so long as it’s own ideas can be injected in it and imposed on others. Such is what we find with the misperseption with the idea that the American view of free markets asn the European notion of “social markets” (whatever that is this week,) both have an impact on reversing the global economic downturn. They don’t. Arguing that point will not recapitalize banks, all it could do is change the practices in the future.

They just make one think that governance is doing something tangible, and appear to be responding to the call for someone to do “something… anything.” The confusion is permanent. From the EU Observer we discover just how fevered their minds really are when they refer to internal matters under the heading of “Global Governance”:

"The World Trade Organisation should be taken as a positive example of global governance," the 20 chambers said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Socialist grouping in the European Parliament on Thursday issued a five-point plan from Manchester where their MEPs had been having a strategising pow-wow, for a rebuilding of the world financial system and how to boost the economy.

Their "Manchester Declaration", is a largely Keynesian document, calling for a European green investment package to put money in people's pockets and make the shift to a low-carbon economy, targetting in particular vulnerable households and small businesses.

The left-of-centre MEPs call for much greater levels of intergovernmental co-ordination and public spending.

"The European Union has a key role to play in raising and channelling funds. There should be no taboo," said French Socialist MEP Pervenche Berès, chair of the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee. "The member states should discuss the possibility of the EU issuing Eurobonds to invest in European projects."
Further to that confusion is what the NGO groupies outside are saying about the very idea that personal economic behavior can be dictated:
"Let's call time on global greed," they continued. "The same systems that create poverty here – unfair trade rules and tax systems, debt burdens, privatisation and attacks on welfare spending – also create poverty in the developing world."
Good luck. Since there has never been a suuccessful economic recovery that didn't involve a reduction of trade rules, taxes, employer mandates, and public borrowing, we can see what the critic there is really looking for: some supernatural corection to whatever is historically true. Proof that the left's ideas, however bad they are, must be made to seem a success at any cost.

Wow, I say.

19 November 2008

Obviously They've Been Holding Back. Think of all the Human Misery they could have Spared us.

I really can't wait for this Hamas "Scientist" to start treating people for AIDS based on his own assertions.

Ahmad Al-Muzain: "The Prophet Muhammad said: 'If a fly falls into your drink, you should dip it in the drink, and then dispose of the fly, because one of its wings bears a disease, and the other wing bears the cure.' This hadith was included in the Al-Bukhari collection. This hadith makes it absolutely clear that the Prophet Muhammad confirmed a clear scientific fact: If a fly falls into a vessel - before a person drinks from this vessel, he should dip the fly in his drink, before disposing of it. Then he should drink the beverage, because it won't do him any harm. Why? Because one of the fly's wings bears the disease, and the other one bears the cure.
Man, he's right out there on the bleeding edge of frontier of knowledge, isn't he?
"Bayer... Derived Great Benefit from [This Study]... To Treat AIDS"

"When Bayer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, learned about this study, it derived great benefit from it. It established biological breeding farms, where they raised flies and extracted antibiotics from their wings - the strongest antibiotics in the whole world. This antibiotic was made into a course of five pills, which is given to the patients, and it is used - believe it or not, my brothers - to treat AIDS patients. It strengthens their immune system, and destroys all types of microbes with which they are afflicted. This is all thanks to the power of this antibiotic. Obviously, this antibiotic is very expensive, and one course costs more than $500, but it is very strong and effective. How did they discover it? From this hadith." [...]
Actual facts or connections obviously not needed.

17 November 2008

The Make Believe Superpower

Someone wants to be taken seriously for the sake of everyone pretending to take them seriously.

Soren Kern:

European leaders have congratulated Obama on his election victory by sending him a six-page letter in which they benevolently “offer” the United States a “partnership of equals” in order to address global problems in the post-Bush era.

That’s right: Europeans are calling on Obama to “accept” Europe as America’s equal on the global stage. The idea behind this new man-to-man relationship with Washington was hatched by (surprise, surprise) France, which currently holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the reason for establishing an equal transatlantic partnership is that “the world has changed.” Europe has suddenly realized that the United States “is not the only one concerned by the world’s problems. The European Union has become more resolute…. We don’t want to play a secondary role any more,” says Kouchner.
The claim is implausible. They will, as the German withdrawal of committment to the fight in the Taliban in Afghanistan does in the face of the prior insistence that the US "not go it alone."

I'm sorry, but given the unreliability of our "European betters", there is no way anyonme on earth will not have to "go it alone" when the Europeans are involved in the partnership, specifically because they do nothing. Even since unsuccessful dismantling the Former Yugoslavia, an effort that has taken far longer than what now is at the phase of a successful peace-keeping operation in Iraq, this has been patently obvious.
What’s behind Europe’s latest round of “let’s play superpower make-believe?” European leaders are testing Obama’s mettle, plain and simple; they want to see if he will bend more easily to the European will than did his predecessor. European leaders never wracked up the courage to ask President Bush directly for a partnership of equals because they knew he would have laughed them out of town.

Bush understood that Europeans were unable and unwilling to match their words with deeds. Faced early on in his presidency with the solemn responsibility to protect Americans from terrorism, Bush effectively told European leaders to “Put Up or Shut Up.” Most Europeans decided to take their ball and go home. They then rode out the rest of the Bush Administration by salving their wounded pride with anti-Americanism.
The analogy couldn't be any better. The goal is as it always is, to exert the maximum leverage and highest profile at least or no cost, but also for very little reason other than to avoid some sort of Euro-humiliation. Increasingly, there seems to be no point to their outward actions other than for their own commercial interest, and little evidence that the EU's purported interest in riding the human rights/social justice parade to no effect and at no cost. The latest word on the 6 helicopters for

Darfur that the Europeans have not been able to come up with since 2004? They're hoping for some charity from the Russians who are providing 4 to indulge their moral vanity that they have any effect other that a parisitic one on humanity.

16 November 2008

A Farewell Welcome to Arms

I'm sure the public can't handle toe truth. With good reasons, French merchants what to arm themselves.

CCTV cameras and metal bars weren't sufficient to protect themselves against attack. Merchants in Moissy-Craymel (Seine-Saint-Denis/77) decided to resort to firearms.

Yesterday afternoon a dozen of them went to the Police Commissariat in Moissy to ask for gun permits for their shops.

"We decided to protect ourselves."
There never will be a cop around when you need one, even in a police state, and these people know it.

Further to the European Fixation with Race

German-African-American artist Marc Brandenburg employs the usual auto-promotional bombast when he calls himself a bastard, but reveals a sort of ahuman and depersonalized view of human nature when all he can say about Barack Obama is that “he's practically white.”

The subheading found in print was promptly rewritten, but what they replaced it with is early as feeble to say that “Hopefully Obama will Survive his Term of Office”:

He calls himself a "bastard", and Barack Obama and Lewis Hamilton as well. Berlin artist Marc Brandenburg likes bold words. WORLD ONLINE has talked with him about him and with him about racism in the United States. He is sure: if Obama look like Eddy Murphy - he would not win the election.
As is the case whrn you're mincing concepts to keep the social leverage of long-dead racism alive for your own uses, except for the fact that Condaleeza Rice's complection wouldn't have altered her election prospects.

But never mind all that. The reality of those who actually live in the US, a place exceedingly less given to overnt and unstated racism that Germany is.

Brandenburg is a Berliner who hasn't actually lived in the US for any significant part of his life. Die Welt is asking him these questions in the most typically European way: not because of any actual life experience or generation knoledge of the 1960s, but because of the color of his skin and over some unspoken foolish notion that there is something in his genes that qualiies him to assume that Obama will be pander to his dramatic imaginings and be assasinated due to his skin color.

I can understand the motive. In a tacit manner it gives Brandenburg a way to imagine himbself a potential martyr and vessel for your attention and public expression of pity. I hope he makes at least one sale out of it.

13 November 2008

So, are ya Feeling "Global"?

It's the European self image, and it's all about the warm-fuzzies found in free-riding and feeling good about having all kinds of fine principals that you proceed to ignore. Like human rights, security risks, and doing things that actually are good for the environment, or anything else for that matter.

When Europeans talk about "multilateralism," they typically don't mean agreeing on a common policy to carry out together. They mean defaulting global security to the United Nations, where Russian and Chinese vetoes curtail effective action. At best, multilateralism à la Paris and Berlin is short for European approval for where and how Americans may intervene around the world.

The Continent's free-riding on U.S. security while criticizing the way that security is provided predates the Bush Administration and will outlive it. President Bush has mainly provided Europeans with an excuse for refusing the kind of cooperation they'd rather not provide anyway. Mr. Obama has promised a multilateral surge of troops into the Afghanistan-Pakistan front. He may find, like Mr. Bush, that most of those troops will have to be American.

- from the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal

11 November 2008

How Quickly They Regress

Saturday in front of Berlin's Brandenburg gate, there was a retread of the kind of dope-palooza that one sees rather more frequently in places infected by French social though, such as people in Belgium striking over the cost of living as if the global commodities market was listening.

The usual amusement included home-made sandwich-board signs about how "without weapons sales, the rich could not exist" and "capitalism is failed" as if socialism ever succeeded.

Onward to a new REAL Socialism AT LAST!

This is where it gets funny. The people holding that banner (comforting to some, and menacing to anyone with any brains and memory) – is within 10 feet of the curb where the fence of the Berlin wall whipped around. The banneristas are standing in the narrowest extension of the famous death strip so loved by the happy smurfy people who in large part, were resigned to being imprisoned in and by the thing they're so adamant about making "real" "at last."

It seemed pretty damn real the first time.

The Zombies Among Us

Funny about all that Europhoria at the election of Barack Obama. The way it starts is that as soon as you respond to someone's question about being an American, they congratulate you. Then they dismissively lecture you after telling them that you didn't vote for the man.

Then, sooner or later, as if they let themselves not live in the third person for a moment, probably after the day's boozing has finally gotten to them, they spew some of the usual racist crap, or if they're sensitive, unwitting racist crap. All of this is, of course, supposed to be regarded as their divine illumination for our benefit.

The rest I leave to Denis Boyles

Le Monde seems to have wisely realized that the entire Obama campaign may have created a sky-high set of expectations that may result in "regrettable disappointments" — especially, the paper warns, if Obama is serious about adding troops to Iraq, or if he puts Europe in an "awkward" situation with Russia by helping Ukraine and Georgia join NATO, or if he slips into protectionism as an economic strategy — and that those who sing his praises loudest now may be howling loudest later.
Which along with a new myth which is forthcoming, probably something along the lines of what the CIA that controls AmeriKKKa will not let Obama do to remake us in the image they long since resigned, is the architecture of the next form of underlying hatred they will hold for all 300 million of us. As you know, we'll report – you decide. Further to that Boyles over-estimates the capacity at reason he sees in the "new realists" trying to talk the EUphorics down off of the ledge – their readers would be hard pressed to understand why in America a president could not simply declare socialization of health care, or as virtually everyone whom I've talked to about it seems to find of utmost national import, the doing away with having to fill out declaration forms on airliners entering the US – in other words, and as usual - them, which is the only kind of change they can believe in.
The gist here, if I'm not being clear, is that Le Monde, its readers, its bloggers, its coffee-drinking bureaucrats — the entire population of its small cosmos, in fact — are humming with an intensified version of the fervor that fills the tent just before the evangelist jumps to the pulpit. "With the 44th U.S. president, we reach the highest stage of worship, that accorded to God . . . Obama has already entered the pantheon. Soon, no doubt, he will perform miracles." Soon? Rousseau and Houdart must be kidding — and of course they are. This is meant to be arch humor, but something tells me not everyone gets the joke.
Funnier still at the fear of filling out a form, the same people who complain about this seem in abject ignorance their own casual references to "diese Schawrtzer" or the fact that a foreigner living in the EU faces a series of annual reporting requirements at the police station, and any other kind of window they can find. In the abstract, it's more akin to a round the clock rectal exam when you compare it to the "atmosphere" in America that they seem to so readily to whine about.

Nonetheless, they out that mask back on, and repeat what they think they should about the US just as they do in nearly every feature of their own lives as it relates to having an opinion heard by others.
There are only so many ways to say "I love you, Barry," so naturally a certain amount of contrarianism has already set in. Le Monde, in an editorial called "After the Euphoria," tried to dial back the rapture a little by wisely observing that in the election, race had been a secondary issue — at least for white voters — since Obama had been very careful during the campaign not to become "the candidate of blacks." Mostly because he didn't have to, but that's a salient point, since if he had run a campaign based on entitlement, he would have lost —
Which is funny, because between calling me a racist for voting McCain, having to listen to their own racism, and their childish inability to realize that race is not shorthand for any sort of ideology that they want it to be, I still wonder why the UR-Europeans can't get a life and stop trying to project their own internal social problems on the way they look at the rest of the world.

02 November 2008

Ignorance is the new Red

A student explains rather plainly the lesson drawn from life in France:why Obama sucks.

I am living in France with two other Americans, both of whom voted for Obama. The election has come up a few times, and also the subject of socialism. I said, "I'm not voting for Obama, because I don't want to see my country become socialist."
One of my American friends, twenty-two years old, said, "What's wrong with socialism? I don't think it's a bad idea."

I was speechless for a second. But then those little warning bells that tell me, "say something. Don't let that pass. Even if her vote is cast, you can still try to give her an alternate perspective for the future," made me open my mouth.

So, I said, "What's wrong with socialism? We live in a socialist country right now, and you hate it here. You just spent all day yelling, "Damn these French!" Imagine this level of bureaucratic frustration and ineptitude taking over every aspect of American life." I didn't want to belabor the point. But I kept thinking of life here in a socialist nation
As with the passionate babble and desperate defenses I've been hearing in Paris about DSK, the French will defend the idea, because it's all they have at this point. Once a pickle, never a cucumber!

- With many thanks to Stavn